Saturday, October 29, 2011

Union-Controlled San Diego Unified Edges Closer to Insolvency

Officials at California’s second largest school district, San Diego Unified, are now openly discussing the possibility of insolvency. - Ron Nehring/Flash Report

Predictably, district officials are blaming state education cuts for the district’s massive financial problems, including the prospect of a $118 million deficit this year....

So, are state education cuts alone to blame for San Diego Unified’s woes? Not so fast.

Two years ago, well before the current round of education cuts went into effect, district officials were already seeing the financial warning signs of trouble ahead.

Did the district take every possible step to bring costs down when the insolvency warning light started blinking on the dashboard? It doesn’t appear that way....

It’s #OccupyIgloo.

A VERY chilling Halloween: New England swept by early winter wonderland as the East Coast braces itself for snowstorm which could hit 60 MILLION people - Daily Mail (image source)
Earliest New York City snow predicted since the Civil War... Snow already falling in Massachusetts... Parts of Connecticut could get a foot of snow this weekend... Since record keeping began NYC has never had an inch of snow in October via Drudge

'Occupy' camp defiant on snow day - NY Post

Even though it’ll be extra chilly at the sprawling camp which is also now down six generators and 13 fuel containers, removed by the FDNY yesterday, Wall Street haters were toughing it out.

Perry’s Plan to Skip Debates Prompts Criticism from Gingrich, Santorum

In a question-and answer-session with reporters following an education forum, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both suggested it is a sign of weakness for Perry to take a pass on some future debates. At least 10 have been scheduled between now and the end of January. - National Journal

Gingrich suggested that Perry’s reluctance raises questions about his fitness for the fall campaign. “I don’t see how somebody can say that they can’t debate Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, but they’ll be ready to debate Barack Obama,” he said. “I think Governor Perry would find it an enormous mistake to not go to the debate and I think that frankly he’d look pretty silly.”

Both Santorum and Gingrich spent years in the nation’s premier debating society, the U.S. Congress, and the experience has stood them in good stead at the debates so far. Moreover, as back-of-the-pack candidates, both stand to benefit from the national exposure that they receive at the televised events.

Republican ranks rising, poll suggests

More Americans identify themselves as Republicans than they did in 2008, a new Gallup survey shows. - Politico

The poll, which sampled 88,000 adults in 2008 and 2011, show that 40 percent of respondents now say they consider themselves Republican or lean Republican, up from 37 percent in January-March of 2008.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Milwaukee DA investigating out-of-state voting allegations

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is investigating a complaint accusing out-of-state election volunteers of voting in Wisconsin, listing a local hotel as their residence. Journal-Sentinel

Earlier Wednesday, Media Trackers, a conservative advocacy group, posted a blog linking images of two voter registration forms and identifying those named on the forms as out-of-state "activists," working for the Service Employees International Union. Each form lists the Residence Inn in Glendale as the voter's address.

An image of another voter registration form on the Media Trackers site lists Austin Thompson as the voter and the same hotel as Thompson's address. Thompson was arrested last week during an Occupy Milwaukee protest at a downtown Milwaukee bank.

Media Trackers is sponsored by American Majority, a Virginia-based tea party training group that also organized a pro-Gov. Scott Walker rally in February.

UNCOVERED: Three Out-of-State SEIU Activists Registered To Vote From Hotel - Media Trackers
UPDATE: Arrested Occupy MKE Protester Worked For Wisconsin Jobs Now! - Media Trackers
DOCUMENTS: Thompson Voter Registration Reveals Improper Proof of Residence - Media Trackers

Rick Perry - Cut, Balance and Grow

Rick Perry

Experts begin to doubt Obama’s re-electability

Barack Obama polls below 50 percent in every state that matters. - Neil Munro/Daily Caller

The economy has stalled, unemployment is much higher than the official number of 9 percent, and Hispanics and African Americans are disappointed. The president’s approval ratings have tanked, and the right-track/wrong-track number fell of the cliff in the summer.

Obama has reached the stage of political doom when voters’ disappointment is so deep that they just don’t want to listen to him, talk about him or watch him, said David Hill, a veteran GOP strategist and pollster, in an interview with The Daily Caller.

Gov. Jerry Brown risks backlash on pension plan

The governor's proposed retirement system overhaul sets the stage for battles with fellow Democrats and his biggest supporters, public employee unions. - LA Times

Brown's 12-point plan, announced Thursday, would require that all public workers have at least half the cost of their pensions deducted from their paychecks. Most state employees already make that contribution, but many in cities, counties and school districts across the state pitch in far less.

The governor also wants future employees to receive up to a third of their retirement income from a 401(k)-style plan rather than a traditional guaranteed pension. And he urged that the retirement age for most new public workers be raised from 55 to 67.

"I try to protect working people whenever I can," said Brown, 73, "but I'm also responsible to the taxpayer and making sure we have a solvent state government."

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Faxes: (916) 445-4633 Fax: (916) 558-3160

If you have already graduated, can't find a job, and are occupying a tent in a park, you don't qualify.

Past students not eligible for Obama loan bailout - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

Obama's Student-Loan Order Saves the Average Grad Less Than $10 a Month - Daniel Indiviglio/The Atlantic

Who Qualifies for Obama's 10% Student Loan Payment Cap? - Daniel Indiviglio/The Atlantic


Chris Stirewalt at Fox News points out with the logical extreme, the overall plan could encourage some undesirable consequences

GOP says health care law undermines marriage

House Republicans, eager to repeal the nation's new health care reform law, released a report Thursday claiming that a new tax penalty included in the reforms will discourage people from getting married. - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

The Republican-led House Government Oversight and Reform panel issued the 22-page report to coincide with a hearing at which witnesses offered mostly critical critiques of the health care law drafted and passed by Democrats in 2009.

The report concludes that only 2 million of 60 million couples would be eligible within the next decade to receive a health insurance tax credit under President Obama's health care law.

"The evidence suggests, therefore, that Obamacare introduces a substantial new marriage penalty into the tax code," the report states. "Over time, [the law's] marriage penalty will directly cause fewer individuals to marry."

Perry's right: Republicans drowning in debates

Everyone knows why Texas Gov. Rick Perry wants to skip some of the coming Republican presidential debates. He's a lousy debater, and the biggest single factor in his fall from front-runner to back-in-the-pack has been his poor performance in a number of high-profile debates.... That said, Perry has a point when he suggests there are just too many debates scheduled in the rapidly dwindling number of days before voters go to the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other key primary states. - Byron York/Washington Examiner (Image source: (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

Until a few weeks ago, there seemed to be lots of time for debating. The Iowa caucuses were set for Feb. 6, with the other contests after that. Then Florida upended the Republican schedule, setting its primary Jan. 31 and forcing the early contests to move to earlier dates. The Iowa caucuses will now be Jan. 3. More than a month of campaign time has been lost; debates that were in the planning stages have been squeezed into a smaller period of time.

The sheer number of debates raises the question of diminishing returns. The early debates helped introduce the candidates to the Republican primary electorate. Later debates will help voters in critical states make their final decisions. But the next few debates, while they might be the occasion for a major gaffe or gotcha, have little purpose....

The strongest case against Perry's fewer-debates position is that the Republican nominee will have to take on Barack Obama in two or three super-high-stakes debates in October 2012. The party needs to know whether its candidate can hold his own. But voters will know that by the end of the primary season anyway. And being a good campaigner is important, too. Fewer debates would let the GOP candidates do more of that.

Hillary Clinton: DOJ didn't give State a ‘heads up’ about Fast and Furious

“My recollection is that I heard about it from the press,” Clinton added. (Video) - The Hill

Richmond Tea Party spokeswoman Colleen Owens told CBS Washington that the protesters have been given special treatment and free reign of the park and have not had to comply with the strict liability and security provisions that the city required of a Tea Party Tax Day in 2009.

Tea Party to Mayor: Make ‘Occupy Richmond’ Pay Up - Washington CBS

As the person in charge of the 2009 event, Owens said Richmond officials dictated the number of police and emergency personnel they were required to have on site and required a $1 million liability policy to protect the city. Owens said that when a Tea Party member decided to call the mayor’s office to see if the protesters had required any of the necessary permits for the park, the city said that “Occupy Richmond” didn’t have any requirements for them to protest and stay overnight in Kanawha Plaza.

“We’re forced to comply with the laws, but yet they don’t have to,” she said. “That’s such a blatantly unequal application of the laws.”

“Let’s re-emphasize what powers we have! What we can do on our own! Push the envelope!”

White House chief of staff Bill Daley, unplugged - Politico

“On the domestic side, both Democrats and Republicans have really made it very difficult for the president to be anything like a chief executive,” Daley says. “This has led to a kind of frustration.”

The president’s solution? “Let’s figure out what we can do [without Congress] and push the envelope on some of these things,” Daley says.

Daley recognizes that there are three branches of government and the president leads only one of them, but now is the time for him to flex his muscles and show what he can do without the squabbling, ineffective — and far less popular than even he — Congress.

Despair - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forget Scott Walker in Wisconsin and John Kasich in Ohio. Public-employee unions have a new bete noire to demonize, another governor threatening to challenge their power — and the source of their power. Only this time, it’s not a Republican, but a Democrat from one of the bluest states in the nation

Next governor to challenge PEU establishment: Jerry Brown? - HotAir

In one sense, this isn’t all that surprising. Brown presides over a state budget that is an utter disaster, largely because of the massively underfunded pension systems for state employees. Any rational executive would have to address this problem in order to put the state back on a realistic fiscal footing, but Brown’s predecessor — the nominally Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger — didn’t exactly demonstrate courage in challenging the state’s PEUs on pension reform.

However, even with that said, Brown’s gambit is notable for both his courage to go after the PEUs and the type of reform he’s proposing. Most states use defined-benefit models for their public-sector pensions, which is why their systems are nearing collapse. Brown moves significantly (although not entirely) towards a defined-contribution plan that essentially transforms pension systems into 401K instruments, as KNX reports. Also, the elimination of “spiking” takes a big step towards eliminating the kind of corrupt actions seen in California, where gaming pensions has become a common strategy in the final years of employment....

Needless to say, the PEUs aren’t going to take this lying down...

Gov. Brown Unveils New Pension Plan For State Workers - LA CBS local

Jerry Brown wants voters to approve his pension overhaul plan - Jon Ortiz/Sacramento Bee

Brown will propose benefits for new state workers that combine elements of traditional pensions with a 401(k)-style savings plan. He says the state can no longer afford its current retirement system. - LA Times
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Faxes: (916) 445-4633 Fax: (916) 558-3160

"I raise this because Operation Fast and Furious - if the facts of this case had not come to light — would have been used by this Administration as another false argument to attack law-abiding American gun owners."

Rep. Joe Walsh becomes fourth Congressman to demand Eric Holder resign over 'Fast and Furious' Murder Weapons - Doug Ross
Rep. Joe Walsh to Eric Holder: You better resign immediately, buddy - HotAir

It was faint at first, but it grows ever louder, this cry for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) today became the fourth Congressman to explicitly call for Holder to take responsibility for the lethally reckless Operation Fast and Furious and to voluntarily leave his post because of his presumed authorization of the program. Walsh’s behest follows similar requests from Reps. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

Walsh today sent a harshly-worded letter to Holder, in which he asked Holder to “resign immediately and issue an apology to the American people [he has] failed to serve.” Walsh also took Holder to task for his stonewalling of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into Fast and Furious.

But the most memorable portion of the letter came, not at the beginning, when Walsh lambasted Holder’s understanding of his job, nor at the end, when he called for Holder’s resignation. It came in the middle, when Walsh delved into the seemingly-obvious-but-not-yet-confirmed motivation for the program...

Ron Paul Owns Michael Moore and Larry King on “Free” Health Care

via Hillbuzz
Ron Paul

As the Obama administration doubles down on “rule by waiver” and stonewalls on Fast and Furious …

Boo! It’s going to be one scary law-and-order election - James Poulos/Daily Caller

Some say we’re facing a referendum on debt and structural deficits. Some claim it’s all about jobs. Others declare a fateful choice between liberty and servitude, our constitutional principles hanging in the balance.

None of these are weak political narratives. But an even more powerful election-year framing is beginning to intrude — a monster issue with the power to scare into the background all our other policy polarities....

We’re already deep into a major crisis in the rule of law. Even as he uses the regulatory state (a la Solyndra) to distort and defy legality, Obama himself understands he must take action to prevent a headlong slide into federal illegitimacy — deporting, for instance, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

But the administration’s heavy reliance on drones and kill teams abroad symbolizes our fear at home that, today, the maintenance of order anywhere, at any time, requires the use of brute force.

This sentiment is especially painful given the general political realignment of Americans toward a more libertarian set of ideals. Yet it prevails — leaving the electorate more favorable toward cracking camped-out skulls even as support for the legalization of pot tops 50% for the first time since polling began.

Today’s stewing new breed of pessimistic populists are increasingly permissive on social issues — from abortion to immigration to sex and drugs — while growing increasingly dismissive of those whose choices lead to costly disruptions of basic social order....
Read it all

Carney says Obama has been doing this throughout his entire presidency and it is only newsworthy at this point since it’s “obvious to everyone” that the Congress is dysfunctional and acting as “obstructionists.”

"The things [Obama] is doing administratively, through executive powers are things he can do, the things that do not require legislative action so he is exercising that power" - Real Clear Politics

Samuel Wurzelbacher, ‘Joe the Plumber,’ Kicks Off Bid for Congress

Wurzelbacher joined America Live to talk about his Congressional run, saying, “It’s gotta be done.” He went on to discuss how Republicans and Democrats pretend to fix problems by putting “duct tape on the pipes,” but he wants to really fix and restructure things. - FOX

Hillary Clinton leads GOP presidential candidates, poll says

Clinton leads Mitt Romney, 55% to 38%; Rick Perry, 58% to 32%; and Herman Cain, 56% to 34%, among likely voters in a general election. - USA Today

Peter Schiff Speaks for 1 Percent at Occupy Wall Street

Rove: Obama's Specialty Is 'Stump Speaker'

President Barack Obama’s fundraising trips and barnstorming around the country on Air Force One to push his jobs bill showcase an “essential truth” about his presidency: He’s uncomfortable doing the job, former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove writes in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal. - Newsmax

“His renewed enthusiasm shows that nothing rejuvenates this president more than leaving Oval Office duties behind to reprise his role as stump speaker,” Rove writes. “We're even seeing snappy new slogans: the latest is ‘We can't wait,’ a clever way to hide Mr. Obama's discomfort with the business of convincing Congress to pass his bills.

“This slogan unintentionally showcases an essential truth about the Obama presidency: comfortable on the political hustings, he's uncomfortable doing the job. Energetic at campaigning, he's lethargic at governing. From the start of his administration, he has left the policy details and heavy lifting to others.”

"Americans expect more of their chief executive than a passion for the campaign stump."

The President Who Hates to Govern - Karl Rove in The Wall St. Journal

According to Mark Knoller, CBS Radio News White House Correspondent, President Obama has attended 60 campaign fund-raisers this year. That's one every four days since he kicked off his re-election on April 4....

This idea that you are just going to go around the Congress is just, it’s almost laughable. And so we are keeping a very close eye on the administration to make sure they are following the law and following the Constitution," House Speaker John Boehner told the Laura Ingraham radio program this morning.

Boehner "Keeping A Close Eye" On Obama Making Sure Law Is Followed

Stocks End Up 3% on EU Deal, Dow Above 12,000

Stocks slipped from their best levels Thursday, but still closed sharply higher, boosted by an agreement reached by EU leaders on a plan to resolve the region's sovereign debt crisis and after a handful of encouraging economic and earnings reports. - CNBC
S&P 500 Extends Best Month Since ’74, Euro Rises on Debt Accord - Bloomberg
Stocks Rally on Pact in Europe - Wall St. Journal

MERKEL MIRACLE: Merkel Cements EU Leadership Role as She Seeks to Win Back German Voters - Bloomberg
Chancellor Angela Merkel emerged from 10 hours of negotiations in Brussels with a plan to stem the debt crisis that might as well have been written in Berlin.

The German leader forced French President Nicolas Sarkozy to bend to her will on using the European rescue fund only as a last resort, ruled out an automatic crisis-fighting role for the European Central Bank and dragged banks back to the table to take greater losses on Greek debt. She even wrung further budget concessions out of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

“Merkel got what she wanted,” Shada Islam, an analyst at the Friends of Europe policy-advisory group in Brussels, said in a telephone interview. “This has confirmed Germany’s role as the make-or-break player not only in the euro-zone crisis but in European Union affairs beyond Europe.”
EU reaches agreement on Greek bonds - Financial Times
Merkel: 50 pct haircut to cut Greek debt by 100 bln euros - Reuters
Private owners of Greek bonds will accept a 50 percent writedown on their investment, enabling both a 100 billion euro cut in Greece's sovereign debts and allowing a new Greek programme of aid of 100 billion euros, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"Our goal is that the debt of Greece by 2020 is 120 percent (of GDP)," Merkel told journalists after a meeting of euro zone leaders.

Ramirez at Townhall

Our Plan.

Today is the day, official ribbon cutting at the park!!

Today is the day, official ribbon cutting at the park!! Please come out and join us for this wonderful event! And if you have kids, excuse them from school and bring them over! 12:00 at the park!

Help rebuild Chevret-Vaissade Park on Facebook

Want a free #WeCantWait bumper sticker?

Text "WECANTWAIT" to 91919. - Republican National Committee

Paul Ryan: “Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy and the Politics of Division”

A Paul Ryan Speech That Is a Must Read - Houston Chronicle

His speech is long, but worth the read. Ryan really breaks down all the myths that Obama is trying to perpetuate, and he explains real solutions to our problems.

Full text of Paul Ryan's speech at Heritage - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

Paul Ryan’s ‘Politics of Division’ Speech - National Review has the TRANSCRIPT:

Obama to bypass Congress on housing

Barack Obama wants to pose as a man of action on the economy, the New York Times reports today, and so he will announce a series of executive actions on housing and education. Obama hopes that these actions will contrast himself with Congress, where even Democrats have balked at passing his American Jobs Act either in whole or piecemeal. - HotAir
Jobs Plan Stalled, Obama to Try New Economic Drive - New York Times

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Finally unearthed: The stunning, toxic origins of Obamacare

A book...documents for the first time the radical origins of President Obama’s health-care law, revealing the principal author of the foundation for the legislation while tracing the law itself to a group funded by George Soros. - WND

“Red Army: The Radical Network that must be defeated to save America” also finds the founders of the controversial Apollo Alliance, run by a slew of radicals, helped craft the marketing campaign behind the health-care initiative.

The new book, by authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott, exposes what is characterized as “the radical socialist network that seized political power in Washington over decades, shaped Obama’s presidential agenda and threatens the very future of the U.S.”

On Obamacare, “Red Army” documents how the legislation, deliberately masked by moderate, populist rhetoric, was carefully crafted and perfected over the course of decades and is a direct product of laborious work by a coalition of radical groups and activists, many with socialist designs....

“Red Army” documents how a little-known marketing outfit called the Herndon Alliance helped to market Obamacare, even providing suggestions on which words supporters should use the promote the bill.

Acceptable phrases include “quality affordable health care”; “American solutions”; “giving security and peace of mind”; “fair rules”; “government as watchdog”; “smart investments, investing in the future”; and “affordable health plans.”

Unacceptable words include “universal health care”; “Canadian-style health care”; “Medicare for All”; “regulations”; “free”; “government or public health care”; and “wellness.”

“Red Army” found the research component of the Herndon Alliance was provided by Celinda Lake, who teamed up with a marketing research firm, American Environics. AE uses social-values surveys to gauge public opinion.

Lake, herself, worked for a number of leftist institutions and unions, including the AFL-CIO and the SEIU. She also serves on the board of directors of the Progressive Congress Action Fund alongside Robert Borosage, whose Healthcare for America Now anticipated spending $42 million in its final push for passage of Obamacare.

AE was founded in 2004 by a team of American strategists and Canadian researchers. In April 2005, current AE managing partners Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger started AE’s American branch. One year before, Shellenberger did imaging for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Nordhaus and Shellenberger co-founded the Apollo Alliance sometime around 2002 and were two of its original national board members.

“Red Army” exposes how Apollo helped draft not only the president’s green jobs programs, but also the $787 billion economic stimulus bill and other proposed new energy legislation.

Apollo is led by a slew of radicals, including Van Jones...

Media Cronyism: “Where are the health care all-stars?” - MediaChecker

Huge Compilation of links and sources, connecting the dots.

The best part for Obama is that he can obligate the Treasury without Congressional approval thanks to the passage of what he described as a cost-saving measure in 2009.


Obama is now seeking to use that new power to obtain a taxpayer-financed stimulus that Congress won’t approve. The idea is to cap student loan repayment rates at 10 percent of a debtor’s income that goes above the poverty line, and then limiting the life of a loan to 20 years.

Take this example: If Suzy Creamcheese gets into George Washington University and borrows from the government the requisite $212,000 to obtain an undergraduate degree, her repayment schedule will be based on what she earns. If Suzy opts to heed the president’s call for public service, and takes a job as a city social worker earning $25,000, her payments would be limited to $1,411 a year after the $10,890 of poverty-level income is subtracted from her total exposure.

Twenty years at that rate would have taxpayers recoup only $28,220 of their $212,000 loan to Suzy.

The president will also allow student debtors to refinance and consolidate loans on more favorable terms, further decreasing the payoff for taxpayers.

Unitary executive proclaims student-loan regulation relaxations - HotAir

Note, though, that the actual impact of limiting payments is likely to be pretty small. Former students will see payments cut by a third, which in theory gives them more money to spend elsewhere. But Obama has also capped the payment schedule to 20 years (down from 25 in the Congressionally-enacted regulation), which means that taxpayers will end up eating more of the back end of these loans years into the future, since borrowers will pay less at these inflated interest rates and pay for a shorter period of time. How much will taxpayers lose? Since the level of lending is so significant, debt forgiveness is likely to stretch into the billions of dollars.

HHS Admits Nearly $5 Million Spent on Implementation of CLASS Act Prior to Abandoning Program

"After ignoring repeated warnings from budget experts and Congressional Republicans, HHS still spent nearly $5 million of taxpayers' hard-earned money to implement a program it now says has no `viable path forward.' As families across America continue to struggle financially, the Obama Administration has wasted nearly $5 million on a failed program. - Senator John Thune

Thune introduced his Repeal the CLASS Entitlement Act (S.720) in April and the bill currently has 34 co-sponsors.

It's Working! The 60 second Commercial

Big Government: Email from Lisa Fithian to #OccupyWallStreet Confirms ACORN Role in Occupy’s Next Assault on Banks

Lisa Fithian–the radical organizer whose role in Occupy was first exposed at Big Government–has apparently confirmed that ACORN-linked organizations are leading the Occupy movement’s next major protest action against banks nationwide.

Fox News reported earlier today that remnants of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), the radical community organizing group that collapsed after its corruption was exposed by Big Government, are playing a “behind the scenes” role in organizing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

The Fox News investigation followed ◼ Matthew Vadum’s report two weeks ago at Big Government that ACORN was paying people to attend the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York through the Working Families Party, an ACORN front group.

Now, Big Government has learned that in an email (at the link) sent by Fithian to Occupy organizers and supporters on October 22, 2011, she reported that the “New Bottom Line”–an effort to move as much money out of major banks as possible on November 5th–is being led by several ACORN-linked organizations: “National People’s Action, National Pico Network, and Alliance for Just and Sustainable Economy and other key state groups like ACCE in CA, NYCC in NY, or MORE in St. Louis.”

ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in 'Occupy' Movement - FOX

...The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities...

Voter Fraud Allegations Hit San Francisco Mayor’s Race

Shocking voter fraud allegations are rocking the mayor's race in San Francisco. District Attorney George Gascon has launched an investigation and demands are growing for federal authorities to move in. - FOX

Supporters of incumbent Mayor Ed Lee, who is running for a full four-year term next month, are accused of illegally handling vote-by-mail ballots.

Witnesses say workers for the group, SF Neighbor Alliance, set up a makeshift sidewalk voting site in the city's Chinatown and accuse it of illegally casting absentee ballots for elderly Chinese voters.

The witnesses claim cell-phone videos show workers telling voters to vote for Lee, filling out ballots for the voters and even using a stencil to hide the names of rival candidates so the voters could only chose one -- Lee.

They also say that the completed ballots were stuffed in plastic bags, which is prohibited by state election law.

"At first we thought they were just helping them understand what absentee ballots were," witness Malana Moberg told Fox News, saying that she saw a worker filling out a voter's ballot. But she said, "It was pretty blatant..." "I noticed that someone who was working at that booth, who had an Ed Lee shirt on, fill in an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter, and I was immediately shocked and couldn't believe that someone would actually fill in the ballot. I thought it was probably illegal, and if not at the very least, unethical," Moberg said, adding that "someone filling out a ballot for somebody else seemed completely inappropriate."

Ed Lee's campaign supporters target of new probe - SF Chronicle

SF Officials, Mayoral Candidates Request Department Of Justice Investigation Into Allegations Of Voter Fraud By Ed Lee Camp (Video) - SF Appeal (Online)

Obama’s Arab winter

President plays active role in America’s decline, Islam’s rise - Jeffrey T. Kuhner/Washington Times

President Obama is empowering radical Islam across the Arab world. He is presiding over both the American decline and the rapid advance of our mortal jihadist enemies. From the Middle East to North Africa, the Arab Spring has turned into an Islamist winter. Contrary to the administration’s claims, the popular uprisings have not led to a “rebirth of freedom” - the emergence of liberal democracies in distant Arab lands. Rather, Muslim fundamentalists have used street protests against corrupt, autocratic regimes as a Trojan horse to expand Islamic militancy.

In Tunisia, an Islamist party with ideological ties to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is poised to win national elections. Its goal is to repeal the nation’s secular traditions (inherited from the French empire) and erect a Muslim theocracy. Its platform calls for banning alcohol, forcing women to wear the veil and implementing Shariah law. Non-Muslims and women are to be treated as second-class citizens.

Libya's liberation: interim ruler unveils more radical than expected plans for Islamic law - Richard Spencer.Telegraph

CNN: West on Obama Iraq policy: "Campaigner in Chief" vs. "Commander in Chief" (Video)

Redwood ACLU to Hold Eureka School Board Candidate Debate

The Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is holding a Candidates' Debate on Civil Liberties for the candidates for Eureka School Board, to be held on Wednesday, October 26th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on live television -- Access Humboldt Channel 11 -- out of the Community Media Center studio at Eureka High School.

The format of the debate will start with opening statements and an airing of the candidate’s views on questions posed by the moderator concerning civil liberties issues in Humboldt County. All other questions will be posed by phone-in questions from the television audience, followed by closing statements. Each candidate will have the opportunity to issue rebuttals to the statements of others.

Members of the press or public with questions may contact the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or, or drop by our office at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka.

Yemeni women burn their veils to protest crackdown

In the capital Sanaa, the women spread a black cloth across a main street and threw their full-body veils, known as makrama, onto a pile, sprayed it with oil and set it ablaze. As the flames rose, they chanted: "Who protects Yemeni women from the crimes of the thugs?" - AP

The women in Yemen have taken a key role in the uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's authoritarian rule that erupted in March, inspired by other Arab revolutions. Their role came into the limelight earlier in October, when Yemeni woman activist Tawakkul Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with two Liberian women, for their struggle for women's rights.

Wednesday's protest, however, was not related to women's rights or issues surrounding the Islamic veils - rather, the act of women burning their clothing is a symbolic Bedouin tribal gesture signifying an appeal for help to tribesmen, in this case to stop the attacks on the protesters.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

‘For every million dollars Obama raises, $6.4 billion is added to our national debt.’

OBUMMER: 'This election will not be as sexy as first'... - CNS via Drudge
Bans photogs at ritzy LA fundraisers -- allows them at chicken shack stop... - White House Dossier
...freezes local reporters out of SF event - SF Chronicle

Gary Johnson to RNC: Letting news media pre-select presidential field is irresponsible

In response to several debate exclusions Presidential candidate Gary Johnson sent the following letter to Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus:

“There is one thing about which all Republicans agree: Our greatest imperative in 2012 is to elect a Republican President of the United States.

It is the simple reality that our country is headed in a disastrous financial direction that prompted me to seek the Republican nomination for president. As a Republican who was elected – and reelected – governor of New Mexico, an overwhelmingly Democrat state, I recognized that the right kind of leadership is essential if we are to regain the White House in 2012.

Having compiled a record as governor that, by any measure, demonstrates the ability to curb spending, cut taxes and create an economic and regulatory environment that will bring about real job creation, I entered the race for president with the belief that I bring to the table not only the credentials, but ideas that Republicans would like to see and hear. Never did it occur to me that I would be excluded from the conversation; however, that is precisely what is happening – and I believe the Republican National Committee bears some responsibility for what is going on.

Debates, such as the one this week in Las Vegas, are supposed to be opportunities for voters to see the candidates, hear their views, and judge their qualifications without the distortions of money, recognition and favoritism. However, when organizing those debates is left to the national news media, the result has been an absurd Catch-22. Invitations to participate in the debates are based upon arbitrary polling criteria decided in the conference rooms of media organizations such as CNN or NBC or the Washington Post.

Of course poll performance in the early stages of a campaign is almost entirely a function of money and name recognition – those same distortions debates are intended to eliminate. Even worse, the same organizations who organize the debates are the ones who conduct the polls upon which their invitations are based. In my case, most of those organizations do not include me in their polling. The net result is that a handful of media executives have largely denied Republicans the opportunity to hear from a former governor whose record clearly merits their consideration.

I recognize that the RNC is not in the business of helping one candidate for the nomination or another. However, I would suggest that it is the business of the RNC to insure that the Republican nominating process is not ceded to the likes of CNN and the Washington Post. Commentators across the board have pointed to the fundamental unfairness of my exclusion from the process. Even other candidates have done the same. But nowhere have we heard the voice of the Republican National Committee. As a lifelong Republican and a former Republican governor, I would suggest that allowing the national news media – who do not have the best interests of the Republican Party in mind – to pre-select the presidential field is nothing less than irresponsible.

It is no secret that not all of my views, particularly on some so-called ‘social issues’ are shared by certain elements of the Republican Party – elements who frankly exert inordinate influence within the Party. Many of my supporters who are Independents – and even Democrats – are quick to suggest that the Republican “establishment” doesn’t want my voice heard. I hope that is not the case. To the contrary, as I travel the country, I find a great number of Republicans who not only share my views, but who feel disenfranchised by a vocal minority that has become the face of the Party.

My electoral success in a heavily Democrat state should serve as proof that my candidacy presents an opportunity to demonstrate that the Republican Party is big enough to allow a slightly different voice to be heard. That will be important next year when it comes time to turn our attention to the ultimate goal: Convincing a majority of Americans that they want a Republican in the White House.

With the early Republican primaries and caucuses fast approaching, I urge you to exert some leadership and reclaim the nominating process from the national news media who are today pre-ordaining the viability and success of candidates. It is Republican voters who ultimately lose when the process is skewed, and serving the interests of those voters is, in fact, your responsibility, as is the integrity of the nominating process.”
Gary Johnson

Is Pot Going to Pot?

Once again, California leads the way. - Peter Hannaford for American Spectator 10.24.11

Last week was a bad week for marijuana lovers in California. It ended with a large raid in one county that netted 850 pounds of dried marijuana, 400 growing plants, $200,000, a cache of firearms and the arrest of two Czechs, three Thais, a Bulgarian, a Ukrainian and a German. The week began with city councils and county boards of supervisors pondering the stiff letters they had just received from U.S. Attorneys' offices around the state.

The letters put local officials on notice that marijuana remains a prohibited drug under federal law and therefore those officials could be held liable if they were to allow medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders.

Many cities in the state have been wrestling for several years over ordinances to govern such dispensaries. When medical evidence showed that the use of marijuana by terminally ill patients could ease their pain, pro-legalization forces got enough signatures to put an initiative on the 1996 ballot to allow the use of it for medical purposes if recommended by a physician. Most voters took it at face value and, after a campaign generously funded by the well-known leftist George Soros, passed the measure.

Passage raised new questions. Would patients need a prescription from their physician? Where would they get the marijuana? Physicians could not write prescriptions for it because that would violate federal law. Instead, they wrote letters of recommendation. As for sources, presumably a patient could grow a small amount, but that was impractical. Thus, dispensaries began to pop up all over the state (Los Angeles had several hundred within a few years). While some of these operated carefully within the framework of the new state law, labeling each patient's "grow" with his or her name, it was widely believed that others were obtaining it in large quantities and selling it with a wink and a nod -- becoming marijuana retailers for regular users who had obtained "recommendations" from doctors sympathetic with the legalization movement.

As the years rolled on, law enforcement agencies tended to ignore people who had very small amounts of marijuana for their own use, but the dispensaries were another matter. A cottage industry of growers developed to furnish inventory to many of them. In some cities (Arcata on the north coast, for example) neighbors complained about a large number of rental houses that had been converted to indoor "grows." The smell was overpowering and the heavy use of electricity resulted in many fires. Citizens demanded more restrictive ordinances.

To make matters worse for marijuana growers, an environmental expert says indoor "grows" cause harmful carbon emissions and use enormous amounts of electricity. Peter Lehman of the Schatz Energy Research Center and Environmental Resources Engineering Department at Humboldt State University presented his findings two weeks ago to the county's board of supervisors. "Two percent of our entire national electric grid is used to grow a plant. It's nuts," he said.

Speaking of that one north costal county, he said that indoor marijuana "grows" used enough electricity to power 13,000 homes and added 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
What's a liberal pro-marijuana environmentalist to do? What a dilemma.

What city and county elected officials are doing in many parts of the state is taking those U.S. Attorney letters seriously by putting a moratorium on permits for marijuana dispensaries, closing many and severely restricting their size. In other places, such as Log Angeles, they are shutting down many that had already received permits.

Last November, California voters turned down a ballot proposition intended to semi-legalize marijuana in the state, despite the federal law. So, things remain status quo. Pro-legalization supporters claim marijuana is a harmless recreational drug and that legalization will reduce the crime rate. Many medical professionals believe it may have long-term negative consequences for users. Most law enforcement agents think it is an abomination.

One thing is certain. In the city where this writer lives, scarcely a week goes by without a police raid on a drug house. The newspaper reportage is so predictable it could fit a fill-in-the-blanks form: packaged marijuana ready to sell is seized, along with crack cocaine, methamphetamine, other drugs, some cash, a ledger book of customer names and firearms. The two or three occupants are hauled off to jail, awaiting trial.

Peter Hannaford lives on the Northern California coast.

Another good week for Cain: Herman Cain tops Mitt Romney in latest CBS/NYT poll

Businessman Herman Cain is now atop the field of Republican White House hopefuls, squeaking past former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the latest CBS News/New York Times poll. - CBS

Cain garnered 25 percent support of Republican primary voters in the poll released on Tuesday, compared to Romney's 21 percent.

PPP's newest polls find him with a double digit lead in Wisconsin, and running only a point behind Mitt Romney in Nevada. - Public Policy Polling

This now makes 4 weeks in a row where Cain's been on the top of our polls- in 9 surveys we've conducted over that period of time he's held the lead in 8 with this Nevada poll serving as the only exception.

In Wisconsin Cain's at 30% to 18% for Romney, 12% each for Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, 8% for Ron Paul, 5% for Michele Bachmann, 2% for Rick Santorum, and 1% each for Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson.

In Nevada Romney's at 29% to 28% for Cain, 15% for Gingrich, 7% for Paul, 6% for Perry, 3% for Bachmann, 2% for Santorum and Huntsman, and 0% for Johnson.

Cain's numbers continue to represent a huge amount of momentum. He's gained 21 points from late July in Nevada, when he was at 7%. And he's gained 23 points from mid-August in Wisconsin where he was also at 7%.

Sonoma Co. is the latest Sanctuary County in California

Sonoma County California just added to its status as a Sanctuary County. -
Sheriff, Santa Rosa police recognize Mexico IDs - Press Democrat

Rasmussen: -22

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday

18% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -22

Monday, October 24, 2011

Perry Proposes 20 Percent Flat Tax

Perry would keep popular deductions for mortgage interest and charitable gifts. - National Journal

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry unveiled a sweeping economic agenda Monday highlighted by a plan to level a voluntary 20 percent “flat tax” on all taxpayers who will accept it in place of what they’re paying now.

The plan, outlined in a Wall Street Journal op-ed column a day before the Texas governor was set to unveil it in South Carolina, also calls for capping federal spending at 18 percent of the country’s GDP while allowing younger earners to privatize their Social Security accounts. Taxpayers who don’t want to pay a 20 percent flat income tax, he said, can keep their current rate.

Perry offers several proposals that appear designed to sweeten the offer – and to counter criticism that the flat tax is regressive, taking a proportionally bigger bite from smaller incomes. His plan would preserve popular deductions for mortgage interest and donations to charity for households earning less than $500,000 a year. It would increase the standard deduction to $12,500.

Calling his agenda “Cut, Balance and Grow” -- a clear nod to congressional Republicans, who have proposed a “Cut, Cap and Balance” budget bill -- Perry says his proposal is the best way to cure the nation’s ailing economy.

My Tax and Spending Reform Plan - Individuals will have the option of paying a 20% flat-rate income tax and I'll cap spending at 18% of GDP - Rick Perry in the Wall St. Journal
Rick Perry

Obama's new slogan is being promoted/mocked on Twitter with the hashtag #wecantwait

Out: Pass This Jobs Bill! — In: We Can’t Wait! - Michelle Malkin

“Pass this jobs bill” has been abandoned in favor of something with a little more urgency: “We can’t wait!” It’s called “We can’t wait” because “Who needs Congress” sounded too brazen.

Republicans agree, #wecantwait - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner

Nimble Republican operatives quickly 'hijacked' the hashtag as supporters picked up on it and spread their own "We can't wait" messages across Twitter today.

@rnc: #WeCantWait for 2012.

@reincepriebus: #WeCantWait to make @BarackObama a one-term president.

Speaker John Boehner: #WeCantWait for POTUS & Democrats to work with Republicans to find common ground #4jobs

@tommccammon: #WeCantWait another 910 days for Senate Dems to pass a budget.

Steve Forbes Endorses Rick Perry and His Plan to Cut, Balance, and Grow

Perry gets Forbes endorsement - HotAir
Perry endorsed by Forbes as Sununu backs Romney - USA Today
Steve Forbes Endorses Perry for Pushing Flat Tax - NY Times
Steve Forbes: Perry’s flat tax ‘most exciting tax plan since Reagan’s’ - Zachary Roth/The Lookout
Rise of Cain’s 9-9-9 and other Republican plans show the nation is hungry for a flat tax - Steve Forbes/New York Post
Rise of Cain’s 9-9-9 and other Republican plans show the nation is hungry for a flat tax - Steve Forbes/New York Post
Rick Perry

TODAY is the last day to register to vote in the November election

Election day is November 8th. Times-Standard

Humboldt residents should register at the Humboldt County Elections and Voter Registration Office at 3033 H St. in Eureka. Registration forms are available there, at all post offices, many city clerk offices, libraries and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Candidates for office

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Women in Senate, but Seats Are at Risk

The 2012 elections are likely to mark the new “year of the woman” in the Senate. For better or worse. - New York Times

Ten women — six of them incumbents — are presumed Democratic Senate nominees this year, and another is seriously considering a run. Republicans have one female senator, Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, up for re-election, and one presumed nominee, Linda Lingle of Hawaii, that state’s former governor. Other women in both parties are engaged in primary fights.

It is the greatest number of female incumbents ever up for re-election in the Senate, and would be among the highest number of nominees ever, which could add up to a banner year for women in the deliberative — and testosterone-infused — legislative body.

But, with Democrats endangered and Republicans lagging in recruitment of women — one of their own, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, is retiring — it is also quite possible that in 2012, women could lose ground in the Senate for the first time in a generation.

Elections to the United States Senate are to be held on November 6, 2012, with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested in regular elections whose winners will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2013 until January 3, 2019. - Wikipedia

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez wins: Landslide

Fernandez had 53 percent of the vote after 43 percent of the polling stations reported nationwide. Her nearest challenger got just 17 percent. - AP

La. Gov. Bobby Jindal wins re-election

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday easily coasted to a second term, winning in a landslide election after failing to attract any well-known or deep-pocketed opposition. - USA Today

His win comes amid the virtual collapse of the Democratic Party's clout in the state. In the current term, Republicans have gained control of all seven statewide elected posts and both chambers of the legislature. Hollis was an outsider to the political establishment and was unable to drum up the cash needed to challenge Jindal or mount a big-ticket advertising competition.

The race that received more attention in Louisiana was the one for lieutenant governor, because the officeholder is next in line should Jindal step down because of his national political ambitions.

Incumbent Jay Dardenne, who took office after a special election last year, had 53 percent of the ballot in defeating Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser with 47 percent , results showed with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Like Jindal, Nungesser was a vocal critic of the federal response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

Monday is the last day to register to vote in the November election

Election day is November 8th. Times-Standard

Humboldt residents should register at the Humboldt County Elections and Voter Registration Office at 3033 H St. in Eureka. Registration forms are available there, at all post offices, many city clerk offices, libraries and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fraud case leaves California Democrats scrambling

While the extent of the losses isn't yet clear, the coffers of dozens of Democratic politicians have been frozen, prompting the crippled campaigns to ask the California Fair Political Practices Commission to permit further donations from contributors who have already given the maximum. Mary Slosson/Townhall

"It's quite clear that we can't just say 'the contribution limit is set aside'," California Fair Political Practices Commission chair Ann Ravel said, adding that the commission's legal team was researching what options were permissible by law.

(Dianne) Feinstein donated $5 million of her own money to her re-election bid after the campaign lost access to an estimated $5.2 million, Carrick said. The senator has sued Durkee for fraud and breach of contract in a lawsuit that also accused First California Bank of aiding that fraud.

Durkee, the 58-year-old daughter of a Hollywood pastor, is accused of co-mingling money in the roughly 400 accounts she controlled at the bank, making it unclear to whom any recovered money actually belongs.

The bank reported $2.5 million in Durkee-controlled accounts, according to court documents, far less than the at least $9.8 million that her clients had raised, according to the Los Angeles County Democratic Party....

If a donor's campaign contributions were never received, Ravel said, there is a possibility that they could donate again. The commission hopes to decide if and how donors could contribute again by its next hearing on November 10.

Candidates Speeches and Q&A at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition

At The RightScoop

Rick Santorum
Newt Gingrich
Rick Perry
Michele Bachmann
Herman Cain

◼ Bonus RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

Ohio Swing State Straw Poll Results - RON PAUL WINS WITH 53.5%!

Ron Paul