Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann top Mitt Romney in fundraising

Michele Bachmann tops Mitt Romney in fundraising - Politico
Michele Bachmann became the queen of 2011 fundraising this quarter, bringing in a combined $2.2 million for the quarter – bigger than the $1.9 million that frontrunner Mitt Romney reported bringing in, officials confirmed for POLITICO.

Bachmann raised $1.7 million for her congressional committee, and another $500,000 for her leadership PAC, Bachmann adviser Andy Parrish said.

he numbers are sure to roil the early presidential-watching, as the Minnesota congresswoman gears up for a likely run for the White House in 2012.

Much of her donations are reportedly small checks.
Exclusive: Ron Paul's $3M pot of gold
Ron Paul raked in roughly $3 million during the first quarter through his various political organizations, POLITICO has learned.

Though not all of that money can be transferred to a potential presidential campaign, the big haul demonstrates Paul’s continuing force as a grassroots-powered online fundraiser.

The Texas congressman raised $1 million through his federal PAC and $2 million through Campaign for Liberty, a 501C(4) which cannot transfer funds directly to political organizations. Paul’s fundraising documents, to be filed later Thursday with the FEC, will also show he has $1.7 million on hand in his congressional campaign account.

“Dr. Paul's fundraising comes almost exclusively from individuals, not special interests,” LibertyPAC director Jesse Benton told POLITICO. “He received contributions from all 50 states, and his average gift this quarter was under $70, demonstrating his broad grassroots support.

“Dr. Paul's grassroots fundraising prowess is unmatched, and any 2012 political endeavor on which he embarks will have the financial backing it takes to win,” Benton added.

Obama is expected to raise a billion for his re-election campaign.

Eat the rich

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bush: Stay in Afghanistan for women’s sake

Bush says women's rights are worth American lives. Bravo. Now where are the Dems on this? - Femisex
Bush: Stay in Afghanistan for women’s sake - Politico

Are you Happy?

A true awareness of the good things in your life however small, and a sincere gratitude for those good things — and the other awareness, of what you can and cannot change — it all plays into the happiness equation. It all makes a difference. - The Anchoress

Most Popular Conservative Websites

Conservative 100: Most Popular Conservative Websites, March 2011 - DBKP

Uncovered: New $2 billion bailout in Obamacare

Uncovered: New $2 billion bailout in Obamacare
- ByronYork/Washington Examiner (◼ @ByronYork)
Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.

...The program began making payouts on June 1, 2010. Between that date and the end of 2010, it paid out about $535 million dollars. But according to the new report, the rate of spending has since increased dramatically, to about $1.3 billion just for the first two and a half months of this year. At that rate, it could burn through the entire $5 billion appropriation as early as 2012.

...the biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086. Other big recipients include AT&T, which received $140,022,949, and Verizon, which received $91,702,538. General Electric, in the news recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year, received $36,607,818. General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

The program also paid large sums of money to state governments. The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118; the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267; the Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127; and the state of New York received $47,869,044. Other states received lesser but still substantial sums.

But payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the auto workers union, which received more than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined. Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby American bald eagles are expected to hatch in Decorah, Iowa, between March 30 and April 1. Watch it live on webcam:

Free video streaming by Ustream

Night vision as well as daytime camera

Bachmann unloads

Congresswoman and tea party leader Michele Bachmann tells Newsmax she will flat-out refuse to support any budget bill that does not include the defunding of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan.

Read more on Angry Bachmann Unloads: Obama’s a Hypocrite—Dems Plan to Shut Down Govt
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

...New York Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday said on an open microphone that his caucus had told him to label the tea party as “extreme” at every opportunity. Republicans said that indicated Democrats are more interested in playing political games, and perhaps even forcing a shutdown of the government.

Former National Democratic Chairman Howard Dean and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have expressed sentiments similar to Schumer’s in recent days.

“Between Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Howard Dean, they let the cat out of the bag,” Bachmann says.

“That is that the Democrats’ political plan is to shut down government because they think they will benefit from doing that. Now we know that if the government shuts down it’s not the tea party’s fault, it’s the Democrats’ fault, because they’ve made a decision they’re not interested in compromise. They just want to see the government shut down.

“They aren’t interested in a practical solution, and I think people all across the United States are tired of political games.”

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado is a 'wake-up call' for states

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states - The Hill
...Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, told the panel that his department’s study identified nearly 12,000 people who were not citizens but were still registered to vote in Colorado.
Of those non-citizen registered voters, nearly 5,000 took part in the 2010 general election in which Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated Republican John Buck.

Colorado conducted the study by comparing the state’s voter registration database with driver’s license records.

“We know we have a problem here. We don’t know the size of it,” Gessler said in testimony to Administration’s Elections subcommittee....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Redistricting Reform, California Style

Redistricting Reform, California Style - Peter Hannaford for the American Spectator 3.28.11

In November 2008 California voters passed Proposition 11, which took away from the state legislature the power to reapportion itself every 10 years and gave it to a new citizen commission. In a state where no incumbent had lost in the last decade and where the legislature's approval rating was stuck at 16 percent, this seemed like manna from heaven. It did not seem so to the special interests -- particularly the state's public employee unions -- who depend upon a pliant legislature to keep the money trough full.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission, which will also redraw congressional districts, was chosen through a multi-step screening process of several thousand applications until 14 finalists were chosen by the State Auditor: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 independents or members of other parties. Their charge was to make all districts more or less equal in population and to avoid the tortured gerrymandering practiced by the majority Democrats in the legislature over the last two census cycles.

A new day of competitive legislative races was about to dawn. Or was it? Someone must draw the actual maps for the many districts and the commission called for bids. The winning bid went to Q2, a small firm based in Berkeley that had what Sacramento Bee political writer Dan Walters called "indirect, but unmistakable ties to Democrats." The head of the firm, Karin MacDonald, also is the head of the Statewide Database, the data bank used for redistricting. It, in turn, was created by one Professor Bruce Cain in 1981 when he worked as a consultant to the State Assembly's Democrats. Cain is a co-owner of Q2.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Fearless" Bill Maher and the "C" Word

Bill Maher at the Winspear - he acknowledged that some people would probably be uncomfortable with some of his remarks about religion, not to mention calling Sarah Palin a “cunt” (“there’s just no other word for her”) -

Fact Check: How Obama's Libya Claims Fit Facts


Geraldine Ferraro, 1935-2011

Geraldine Ferraro, 1935-2011 - Micael Barone/Washington Examiner
I knew Geraldine Ferraro fairly well and always liked her; off the stage she had the same spunky, good-humored persona you saw in public appearances. I remember going out to her neighborhood in Forest Hills, Queens, when she was on the short list for Walter Mondale’s VP nomination—an affluent corner of large single-family houses amid the welter of high-rises lining Queens Boulevard. I admire her as I do a set of women who were on the mommy track for a significant portion of their adult lives and then entered public affairs and did very well—better than their resumes would have suggested. It’s an interesting list, and I suspect some of those on it would not appreciate being grouped with some of the others: Katharine Graham and Phyllis Schlafly, Madeleine Albright and Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi and (perhaps) Michele Bachmann. How did they muster the resources to do so well? Perhaps the experience of being a full-time mother and supervising a household does more to strengthen one’s character and sharpen one’s intellect than accumulating the professional credentials which we tend to see as indispensable qualifications for positions of responsibility in politics and public affairs.

Smaller packages, bigger prices

In every economic downturn in the last few decades, companies have reduced the size of some products, disguising price increases and avoiding comparisons on same-size packages, before and after an increase. Each time, the marketing campaigns are coy; this time, the smaller versions are “greener” (packages good for the environment) or more “portable” (little carry bags for the takeout lifestyle) or “healthier” (fewer calories).

Where companies cannot change sizes — as in clothing or appliances — they have warned that prices will be going up, as the costs of cotton, energy, grain and other raw materials are rising.

“Consumers are generally more sensitive to changes in prices than to changes in quantity,” John T. Gourville, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, said. “And companies try to do it in such a way that you don’t notice, maybe keeping the height and width the same, but changing the depth so the silhouette of the package on the shelf looks the same. Or sometimes they add more air to the chips bag or a scoop in the bottom of the peanut butter jar so it looks the same size.”

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Coordinates Dem Budget Attack on GOP

Schumer Coordinates Dem Budget Attack on GOP
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, got on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning without realizing the reporters were already listening in. Schumer thought he was on a private line with four Democratic senators who were to talk with reporters about the current budget stalemate.

Schumer instructed the group, made up of Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.

He told the group to make sure they label the GOP spending cuts as "extreme."

"I always use extreme, Schumer said. "That is what the caucus instructed me to use."

The four senators came on the call after Schumer abruptly went silent and followed Schumer's script closely.
Barbara Boxer (D)
Hart Senate Office Building
Room 112
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3553
San Francisco: (415) 403-0100 Fax: (415) 956-6701 (contact via webform)

Shutdown looms as budget talks stall - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner
Talks have stalled between congressional Democrats and Republicans trying to negotiate a federal budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, escalating the chances that the government could at least partially shut down next month.
Schumer: who is “in the box”? - Roger L. Simon

Sen. Marco Rubio: "I am not running for president in 2012"

ABC News Exclusive: Sen. Marco Rubio's First National Television Interview

Chris Crawford R.I.P.

Community mourns death of businessman, activist Chris Crawford; former Eureka Chamber of Commerce president dies at 58
Community members from all walks of life are mourning the death of Chris Crawford, a local businessman who helped connect Humboldt County to the digital world. Crawford, 58, died Saturday after a brief battle with cancer.

A board member of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce and the Humboldt Business Council, Crawford was also a founding member of the Redwood Technology Consortium and served as a board member for the Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District. According to his obituary, local fire stations flew their flags at half-staff Saturday to honor Crawford.

The family is holding a memorial service at the Arkley Center on April 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"I don’t think in my lifetime a U.S. president has ever asked for both a UN and Arab League OK — and not the sanction of the Congress of his own country"

President Obama’s Ten Libyan Paradoxes - Victor Davis Hanson
...Libya is now an exegesis of the Iraq War. By now we know that the Bush-Cheney “shredding” of the Constitution (e.g., tribunals, wiretaps, intercepts, renditions, preventative detention, Predator drones, and Guantanamo Bay) was simply a liberal talking point. Why do we know that? Because Obama has either embraced or expanded all of those anti-terrorism protocols, and even hired the very lawyers and deans to legitimize them who used to sue the government to stop them. But Libya was the capstone of the entire liberal reset. When the MSNBC talking heads now support bombing an oil-producing Muslim Arab country that does not threaten our national security — without congressional approval, and with fewer allies than went with us to Afghanistan and Iraq — then we realize the entire Iraq hysteria was simply partisan politics, not about principles. ...

You know you are in trouble when...

John Kerry is for this war - err, kinetic military action in his op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

PG&E offers SmartMeter opt-out Option would cost customers hundreds in upfront charges

PG&E offers SmartMeter opt-out plan
Eureka resident Beverly Filip doesn't own a microwave oven, has never used a cell phone and relies solely on Ethernet cables to access the Internet from her home. Soon, Filip might also be able to rid her house of the radiation from her Smart-Meter, installed by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. last year. But if a recent opt-out plan proposed by the utility is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the decision would nearly double Filip's monthly energy bill and cost her hundreds of dollars in up-front charges. "I think it's ridiculous," Filip said of the plan, which offers existing customers a handful of payment options in order to have a PG&E technician turn off the device's wireless transmitter, which some claim produces harmful side effects.

Under the plan, which the utility submitted to the CPUC last Thursday, customers would be required to pay an up-front charge to have the transmitter shut off along w ith a monthly fee. For customers not enrolled in the CARE discount program, opting out would cost either $270 or $135, with an additional monthly fee of $20 for the lower up-front fee or $14 a month for the higher fee...

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Remarks on Libya

Transcript of President Obama’s speech on Libya

Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya – what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

Jerry Brown's Dilemma

At first it looked as if Jerry Brown had devised a no-fault way to cover California's expected $26.6 billion deficit. He would ask the legislature to mount a special election in June so the voters could agree to a five-year extension of several taxes about to expire. If they didn't, draconian program cuts would ensue, but they would know in advance what these would be (the usual suspects such as home health care for the indisposed; child welfare; education).

Special elections require approval of two-thirds of the legislature. This means he would need a few Republican votes. Most balked. They said the voters turned down tax increases on the 2008 ballot. Nevertheless, a few began to negotiate with the governor's staff, thinking they could wring out of him a concession to reform the state's wildly generous public employee pension scheme. This hasn't happened and the deadline for a June ballot is fast approaching.

Brown has options, none of them quite what he wanted. He can get the Democratic majority in the legislature to use some fancy footwork to circumvent the two-thirds rule and activate the election without any Republican votes. This would probably face legal challenges and, thus, delays.

Hollywood and Atlas Shrugged?

Atlas Shrugged - COMING TO A THEATRE NEAR YOU - April 15
Who is John Galt? - washingtonexaminer

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS…" -- Thomas Paine