Saturday, January 28, 2012

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire in her State of the State address

In final State of the State talk, governor hits big issues - The Columbian

Gov. Chris Gregoire in her State of the State address on Tuesday said she hopes lawmakers in Olympia can fix the $1 billion budget crisis, pass a temporary half-cent sales tax increase, reform education, approve a $3.6 billion transportation package and legalize same-sex marriage during the 60-day legislative session.

Republican legislators from Southwest Washington agreed that the budget must be cut but criticized other aspects of the Democratic governor’s agenda.

Breitbart Calls Out 'Comic Book Villain,' 'Bankster' & #Occupy Benefactor Soros

NBC, Brokaw denounce Romney ad

Brokaw, whose statement noted he was speaking on his behalf, said, "I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad. I do no want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign."
"The NBC Legal Department has written a letter to the campaign asking for the removal of all NBC News material from their campaign ads," NBC News said in a statement, which added, "Similar requests have gone out to other campaigns that have inappropriately used Nightly News, Meet the Press, Today and MSNBC material."
NBC: Mitt Romney, tear down this ad. Yet NBC keeps running it, getting paid - Miami Herald

NBC Covers Up for Newt as the MSM Tries to Keep the Gingrich Campaign Alive -

Wisconsin: The Most Important Non-Presidential Election of the Decade

Wisconsin's Scott Walker is facing a recall after his labor and spending reforms. If he loses, public unions will flex their muscles nationwide. - Stephen Moore/Wall St. Journal

The stakes here "go well beyond who will be governor of Wisconsin," Mr. Walker explains. The recall's ultimate objective is to intimidate any official across the country who's thinking of crossing swords with the empire of teachers and other public-employee unions. "This is about killing reform initiatives in every state in the country," says Mr. Walker.

In Wisconsin, the evidence is mounting that Mr. Walker hasn't brought economic Armageddon but financial stability. Last year's $3 billion deficit is now a $300 million surplus—and it was accomplished without the new taxes that unions favored. "If a business is failing, you don't raise the prices on your customers," Mr. Walker scoffs.

In addition to union reform, Mr. Walker and his allies in the legislature passed a statewide school voucher program, eased business regulation, and enacted tort reform. When Illinois raised its income taxes by 67%, he launched a PR campaign urging Illinois businesses to "escape to Wisconsin."

When Mr. Walker took office, a survey of major business owners by the state's Chamber of Commerce found that only 10% thought Wisconsin was heading "in the right direction." Now 94% say it is. Chief Executive magazine found that Wisconsin's business climate in 2011 showed the greatest one-year improvement of any state in the history of the magazine's ratings. After bleeding 150,000 jobs in the previous three years, Wisconsin added 10,000 jobs in 2011.

The interplay between the Wisconsin recall and the November elections. - Althouse

Wisconsin Emerges As A Crucial Swing State - Larry M. Elkin, Palisades Hudson /Business Insider

"RECALL WALKER/Tell him: Keep it up/IT'S WORKING!" - Althouse (image source)

We've got our 'Vanity Listing' on Facebook

Marco Rubio: Obama will 'pit Americans against other Americans' to mask his record

In the Weekly Republican Address, Florida Senator Marco Rubio explains the failures of the Obama administration. He contrasts those with the promise of America that he and Republicans believe in, if the government stops doing the wrong things.

Weekly Remarks by Sen. Marco Rubio, as provided by Republican Party leadership - IBD

Hello, I’m Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida. Right now all eyes are focused on my home state ahead of next week’s Republican presidential primary. It’s an exciting contest and I know that passions are high. So I wanted to take a moment to explain to the rest of the country why Republicans in Florida are so excited about this primary: Because we believe our country is in big trouble.

Saudi women reportedly to be allowed in soccer stadium

A government-run Saudi Arabian newspaper reports that for the first time in the conservative Muslim country, women will be allowed to attend soccer matches in one of the country's stadiums. - FOX News (image source)

Al-Sharq newspaper on Saturday quoted unnamed officials as saying that women will be able to watch the matches in a new facility that will be completed in 2014 in the western port city of Jeddah... The officials say that the new stadium will include a family section with private cabins and balconies for women who wish to attend the games.

Reuters Acknowledges Rubio Hit Piece is a 'Fiasco' and a 'Disgrace'

After Daily Caller blogger Matt Lewis eviscerated a harsh Reuters story on Florida senator Marco Rubio, the wire service was forced to make five corrections. - Weekly Standard
Now Reuters is attempting damage control and conceding the story is regrettable
Reuters laments Marco Rubio 'fiasco' - Politico
Reuters Busted on Rubio Hit Piece - Thomas Lifson/American Thinker

Without the Internet this smear would have gone uncorrected. via Lucianne

Sarah Palin with John Stossel

Palin Giving Lessons In How To Give Appropriate Criticism - The Other McCain

Friday, January 27, 2012

White House dumps 500 plus pages of documents tonight! Emails from Burke to Holder's office regarding Terry murder and Fast & Furious weapons?

Sipsey Street Exclusive: BREAKING. - Sipsey Street Irregulars

Sipsey Street Irregulars has learned that the Department of Justice, at the direction of the White House, has dumped more than 500 pages of documents including emails on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Darrell Issa tonight. Sources say that among these are at least one email on 15 December 2010 from then US Attorney Dennis K. Burke to Monty Wilkinson, aide to Eric Holder, informing the Attorney General office of the murder of Brian Terry and, later that day, of the seizure at the scene of Fast and Furious weapons.

NPR was apparently the preferred outlet for the dump.

Latest Friday night document dump shows Holder was informed of Fast and Furious connection to Brian Terry’s murder on day border agent died - Matthew Boyle/Daily Caller

...Burke followed up with Wilkinson after Burke discovered from officials whose names are redacted that the guns used to kill Terry were from Fast and Furious. “The guns found in the desert near the murder BP officer connect back to the investigation we were going to talk about – they were AK-47s purchased at a Phoenix gun store,” Burke wrote to Wilkinson.

“I’ll call tomorrow,” Wilkinson responded.

At local stops, Mitt Romney draws applause, but Newt Gingrich gets cheers

Different crowds, different tones at events for the 2 top GOP candidates - Orlando Sentinel

The two leading Republican presidential candidates came to Central Florida on Wednesday, and their events — and reception by voters — couldn't have been more different.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney showed up at factory in Orlando on Wednesday morning, telling a politely enthusiastic crowd of about 400 that President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night showed that the president is out of touch with America....

Gingrich made an afternoon appearance before an enthusiastic, overflow crowd of 700 in Cocoa, offering an expansive vision for the U.S. space program in a region that has lost nearly 10,000 jobs with the retirement of the space shuttle....

The two appearances, almost 50 miles apart, underscored the differences between the two men. Romney was orderly, scripted and focused on his criticism of Obama. Gingrich, by contrast was disheveled, extemporaneous and seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd.

“If this is what the conservative movement has become, then count me out”

Mark Levin

In fact, the first applause line for the governor came when he called for pension reform. He received no major applause when discussing the taxes. He did not mention spending limits but acknowledged at the beginning of his talk that California spends more money than it collects.

Gov. Brown Pitches LA Chamber for Tax Measure Support - Fox&Hounds

Governor Jerry Brown returned to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce to give a similar speech to the one he gave last year– seeking support for his tax plan. Last year, his proposal was in the legislature, this time he had an initiative to sell. However, the business people I talked to in the audience were non-committal on the taxes, especially if the taxes were not accompanied by other reforms such as spending limits and pension reform.

In His Own Words

Ener1, Parent of Obama-Backed Green Company, Files for Bankruptcy

The parent company of an electric car battery maker that received more than $100 million in government funding from the Obama administration has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company announced Thursday. - ABC News

...EnerDel, a subsidiary of Ener1 dedicated to making batteries for electric cars, was awarded a $118 million grant from the Energy Department in 2009 as part of President Obama's economic stimulus package and green energy push. Ener1 said that the bankruptcy filing and newly announced company restructuring would allow its subsidiaries, including EnerDel, to "continue normal operation...."

Rick Santorum: Unleashing America’s Energy

link - Rick Santorum at RedState

President Obama’s flat-out rejection of the Keystone Pipeline is radical, irresponsible, and dumbfounding. Sadly though, It is yet another example of this President’s capitulation to the radical environmental fringe which puts our economy and national security at risk. Our nation needs to become energy independent and this pipeline would have been an important step in that direction. Instead of an estimated twenty thousand jobs going to Americans – those jobs will go to our international competitors like China....

We need a leader who understands that we must unleash our domestic energy production to enhance our national security and grow our economy. Unlike sending a man to the moon, this is not rocket science. Countries like Brazil, France, and Canada have largely achieved self sufficiency through biofuels, nuclear energy, and natural gas and oil respectively. Now is the time to unleash our great energy resources to expand American job opportunities, strengthen our national security,and preserve and grow our status as the leading economy in the world.

"I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008…."

Sarah Palin: “this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque re-writing of history” - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left - Sarah Palin

And I question whether the GOP establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted. Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary. So, one must ask, who are they really running against?

That excuse always seemed preposterous. Solicitor General Kagan was kept totally out of the loop on the most important legal defense her Administration would ever mount, in order to keep her unsullied for the chance that she might sit on one of the most important cases the Supreme Court would ever hear?

Kagan Defended ObamaCare As Solicitor General - John Hayward/Human Events

Well, the Kagan firewall just went up in smoke. ◼ Fox News reports:
With just weeks until the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, there are new calls for Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the case.

Her critics point to a 2010 case regarding a San Francisco health measure, in which then-Solicitor General Kagan's office filed an amicus brief touting the newly passed health care law.

In May 2010, after Kagan had been nominated to the nation's highest court, Principal Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal sent her a memo outlining the cases in which she had "substantially participated." Kaytal specifically referenced the Golden Gate case, noting that it had been "discussed with Elena several times."

That's enough to convince Heritage Foundation Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky that Kagan shouldn't take part in the current health care case before the high court.

"I don't see how any ethical lawyer adhering to professional codes of conduct could not consider that they need to recuse themselves from this case," he said.

Obama: I Want An Economy "Where We're Making Stuff And Selling Stuff And Moving It Around"

"On Tuesday at the State of the Union, I laid out my vision for how we move forward," President Obama said at a campaign event in Las Vegas, Nevada. - Real Clear Politics (video)

Obama’s Misleading 3 Million Jobs Created Claim - Net Right Daily

There is a distinction between the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) measurement of private sector jobs in the establishment survey and the overall jobs picture in the household survey. For obvious reasons, the narrower establishment survey does not catch everything. But most Americans who heard the speech probably thought Obama was saying the economy had created 3 million jobs overall since Feb. 2010.

It was a distinction Obama again failed to make on Jan. 25, a day later, on the campaign trail in Iowa. Then, he said, “We have created 3 million jobs over the last 22 months.” Again, implying the economy has created more jobs than it actually has. However?

According to BLS, since Feb. 2010, when Obama starts measuring his claim that 3 million jobs were created, the amount of people employed has only increased from 138.66 million to 140.79 million, a net increase of only 2.13 million. While that sounds nice, that is a pace of just 96,000 a month, which does not even keep up with the growth of the population — which grew at a pace of 163,000 a month — let alone replace the 8 million jobs that were lost in the recession.

Evidence is mounting that this election will be like none before it, both in terms of the role of the media and the specter of legal and political maneuvering being undertaken to help ensure victory for Obama.

(I)t is highly questionable if this November’s election is really going to come down to a simple matter of competing visions. - Trevor Loudon

There are numerous other factors—and potential factors—already at work, with still others being planned that could play a major role in the outcome of the election....

Team Obama is not taking any chances, and they are attempting to create enough havoc and diversions that they can win the election, regardless of the state of the economy, the overwhelming sentiment to repeal ObamaCare, and the widely held belief that Obama prefers to ignore Congress, and the Constitution, and run the country through a series of unaccountable “czars,” bureaucratic regulations and executive orders.

A recent attempt to end-run Congress and the Constitution was the recess appointments of Richard Cordray to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), at a time when the Senate was not actually in recess....

But in this report I will focus on the role the media will likely play, and another factor with potentially great significance that could match the impact of the media and should really be keeping Republicans up at night. It is a scheme, maybe a scam, called Americans Elect....

The apparent desire by an overwhelming majority in the mainstream media to see a president reelected has never been as obvious as it is today....

Perhaps most offensive is the constant use of the race card by the leftist media to demean conservatives in general, such as the Tea Party activists, but even more so the Republican presidential candidates. It is a regular refrain by the hosts on MSNBC, particularly Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Martin Bashir, to call, or imply, that these people are racists.... read the rest

Indiana: Right-to-work advances

Hoosier State prepares to eliminate mandatory unionization - Washington Times

It looks like the Hoosier State may no longer force employees to pay tribute to union bosses if they want to keep their jobs. The Indiana House adopted a landmark right-to-work bill Tuesday that’s on track to breeze through a GOP-dominated Senate toward the willing signature of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Twenty-three other states have similar statutes that say employees cannot be forced to join a union or pay union dues as a precondition of employment. It’s no coincidence that the states playing by these rules are some of the economy’s best performers, such as Texas, Tennessee and even Alabama.

Egyptian authorities are barring several U.S. citizens — including Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son — from leaving the country after Egyptian government forces raided the offices of Washington-backed groups monitoring recent parliamentary elections there

These Americans now find themselves caught in a power struggle between the United States and Egyptian governments over the country’s future direction. - Politico

Direct intervention by President Barack Obama and other top administration officials has failed to resolve the NGO dispute, although U.S. officials are hopeful it can be defused soon.

The no-fly order for Americans is a new wrinkle — and ups the ante politically.

And adding a Washington twist to the tense situation, three high-powered K Street lobbyists — Bob Livingston, Toby Moffett and Tony Podesta — have been doing work on behalf of the Egyptian government by trying to shift the blame for the standoff on to the NGOs, POLITICO reported earlier this week.

Why Is the RNC Sabotaging Its Own Candidates?

It’s the most important election of our lifetime. Now, more than ever before, it is important to understand what the Presidential candidates believe, what their policies are, and the differences between themselves and the current administration. The Republican National Committee knows this, yet they have decided to turn over the entire process of informing the populace to the Democrat Media Complex. - Meredith Dake/Big Government

GOP Infighting May Help Obama in General Election - THOMAS SOWELL/IBD

That Was Quick: The Entire Conservative Establishment Has United To Kill Gingrich's Campaign - Michael Brendan Dougherty /Business Insider

Memo to the GOP Establishment: STOP trying to manipulate conservative voters (UPDATED) - Sister Toldja

Thursday, January 26, 2012

House Judiciary letter warns Holder not to redistribute $335M Countrywide settlement to ACORN affiliates

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith warned Attorney General Eric Holder not to permit the transfer of funds from a recent $335 million Department of Justice settlement to organizations associated with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, more commonly known as ACORN, or other advocacy groups allied with President Obama. - Daily Caller

“I am concerned that the terms of the Justice Department’s recent settlement with Countrywide Financial Corporation and certain affiliates (collectively, ‘Countrywide’) will allow the Department to give large sums of money to individuals and organizations with questionable backgrounds or close political ties to the White House without any guidelines or oversight,” Smith wrote.

President Obama, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Share Tense Tarmac Moment

Longstanding tension between Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Democratic President Barack Obama flared into the public spotlight today just after Air Force One touched down in Phoenix. - ABC (image source)

Audio: Jan Brewer On The Radio With - Jan Brewer's account of the meeting on the tarmac - KFYI ◼ Mike Broomhead

Brewer On Heated Argument With Obama: "He Was A Little Tense" - Real Clear Politics

McCain backs Brewer in tarmac tiff, calls Obama 'prickly' - Chicago Tribune

"Apparently Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, had a similar exchange with the president," McCain said Thursday morning. "It is very well-known he has a prickly personality and I think it has been displayed in both of those cases."

Gov. Jan Brewer Doubles Down On President Obama: ‘I Thought He Was Pretty Thin-Skinned’ - Mediaite

UPDATE: Ranking Of Jan Brewer’s Book Up Over 1,350,000% On - Mediaite

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was the only local politician to greet the president when he landed in her city this evening. - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner

No other local figure competed with Goodman for Obama's attention. "I think everyone is trying to protect their positions," Goodman said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, to explain the lack of politicians greeting the president.

Brewer releases copy of letter she handed to Obama - Arizona Republic

Tension on the Tarmac - Maureen Dowd/New York Times

WHAT is it with Barack Obama’s penchant for getting in tangles with blond politicians on airport tarmacs?

Usually, tarmacs are for joyous welcomes or teary goodbyes. But No Drama Obama saves his rare tempests for the runway.

Infantilizing Obama - Ed Driscoll at PJM

Bobby Jindal on Brewer, Obama Photo Exchange: The Same Thing Happened to Me After Gulf Oil Spill - FOX
Jindal told the co-hosts of Fox and Friends Monday morning that when President Obama first visited Louisiana after the Gulf oil spill, the president pulled him aside on the tarmac and engaged him in conversation, expressing frustration in a move that he called “obviously staged.”

“He grabs me by the arm, takes me aside,” he said, “Here’s the strange thing … I thought he’d be angry about the oil spill, the lack of resources; I thought he’d get down there and say, look governor, we’re going to do everything we can to work together. Instead, he was upset he was going to look bad; he was worried about some routine letter we had already sent to his administration, nothing important.”

Jindal said the reaction shocked him. “I was amazed at two things: one, that he was mad about the wrong things, and two, that he was so thin-skinned.” In a time of crisis, Jindal said the last thing he wanted or expected was for the president to stage what was “clearly a media stunt.”

“I wanted him to be the president of the country, and instead he was playing political theatrics.”

Warren Buffett's Secretary Likely Makes Between $200,000 And $500,000/Year

Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.

We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffett keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income. So I assume the tax rate Obama refers to is from her own earnings....

Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.

We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation.

...Buffett is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.

Obama's Hypocrisy: Making Warren Buffett Richer - IBD
Some 20,000 middle-class jobs could have immediately come from Obama's approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, with hundreds of thousands more created over the project's lifetime. Yet he shut it down, even while he claimed in his address that he supported an "all of the above" energy strategy.

As Bosanek might be aware, her boss stands to benefit handsomely from that decision, much as other Obama supporters, like the campaign donors who owned Solyndra and other green enterprises, cleaned up from the diversion of tax dollars from the middle class into green boondoggles.

Clinton ready to step off 'high wire' of politics

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she's ready to step off "the high wire of American politics." - Politico

Clinton, who's already made it clear that she won't be serving in a second Obama term if there is one, told State Department employees that she's ready to be out of the public eye."I think after 20 years -- and it will be 20 years -- of being on the high wire of American politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be probably a good idea to just find out how tired I am."

Clinton finds it "a little odd for me to be totally out of an election season" after being involved as a presidential and senatorial candidate, and as a key surrogate for her husband's White House campaigns.

The president plays small ball

Once upon a time, small ball was not Barack Obama’s game. Tuesday, it was the essence of his State of the Union address. - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post

The visionary of 2008 — purveyor of hope and change, healer of the earth, tamer of the rising seas — offered an hour of little things: tax-code tweaks to encourage this or that kind of behavior (manufacturing being the flavor of the day), little watchdog agencies to round up Wall Street miscreants and Chinese DVD pirates, even a presidential demand “that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.” Under penalty of what? Jail? The self-proclaimed transformer of America is now playing truant officer?

It sounded like the Clinton years with their presidentially proclaimed initiatives on midnight basketball and school uniforms. These are the marks of a shrunken presidency, thoroughly flummoxed by high unemployment, economic stagnation, crushing debt — and a glaring absence of ideas.

Jacksonville Debate: Two Winners, One Loser

link - Guy Benson/Townhall
We had two winners tonight: From a 'micro' perspective, Rick Santorum was terrific and narrowly won the evening. On a macro level, Mitt Romney came awfully close to winning the debate outright, and just owned Newt Gingrich during three dramatic exchanges. Because Newt didn't have a particularly strong showing, the political inertia stays in Romney's favor heading into Tuesday.
Ron Paul calls for diplomatic relations with Cuba - Alana Semuels/LA Times
Analysis: Mitt Romney Wins Florida Debate, Newt Gingrich Looks Rattled And - Amy Walter and Michael Falcone/ABC News
Gingrich hints at making Marco Rubio VP - CBS
Newt pulls punches in Fla. - Alexander Burns/Politico
No knockout in GOP’s last Florida debate - Miami Herald


Thursday at 5 p.m. PT for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Michael Reagan reiterates endorsement of Newt Gingrich

Michael Reagan reiterates endorsement of Newt Gingrich - HotAir

On Thursday, Mike Reagan, a respected conservative commentator, responded to the Gingrich critics with this statement to Newsmax:

“I am deeply disturbed that supporters of Mitt Romney are claiming that Newt Gingrich is not a true Reaganite and are even claiming that Newt was a strong critic of my father.

“Recently I endorsed Newt Gingrich for president because I believe that Newt is the only Republican candidate who has both consistently backed the conservative policies that my father championed and the only Republican that will continue to implement his vision.

“It surprises me that Mitt Romney and his supporters would raise this issue — when Mitt by his own admission voted for Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale who opposed my father, and later supported liberal Democrat Paul Tsongas for president.

“As governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s achievement was the most socialistic healthcare plan in the nation up until that time.

“Say what you want about Newt Gingrich but when he was speaker of the House he surrounded himself with Reagan conservatives and implemented a Ronald Reagan program of low taxes and restrained federal spending.

“Newt’s conservative program created a huge economic boom and balanced the budget for the first time in more than a generation.”

California GOP chief eyes statewide election strategy to boost initiatives, candidates

While blue California is almost certain to go for President Barack Obama come November, California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro sees opportunity for the GOP to be a major force from the presidential race down. - Torey Van Oot/Sacramento Bee

GOP Registration at All-Time High in Oklahoma

Republicans make historic gains and Democrats continue a half-century of decline in latest voter registration report -

"It is encouraging - but not surprising - that more and more Oklahomans are finding a home in the Republican Party," said Chairman Pinnell. "Though this has been a long-term trend, the sharp left turn of the Democrat Party and this administration has only accelerated the process. Last week's decision on the Keystone XL pipeline (a decision that Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins defended) is just the latest example of a Democrat Party that is wholly antithetical to the values and priorities of most Oklahomans...."

"This is no longer your granddaddy's Democrat Party. Democrats are pursuing an agenda that favors far left environmentalists over middle-class American jobs, an agenda that seeks to divide Americans along class lines, and an agenda that promotes an ever-increasing federal role in all facets of life. While they pursue that agenda, we are waiting in the wings with voter registration forms....lots and lots of voter registration forms."

CNN Florida debate: Six things to watch for

Here are six things to look for tonight. - Tony Lee/Human Events
1. Crowd noise
2. Hispanic issues
3. Will Romney act like a front-runner again?
4. Will Gingrich revert back to the punchy underdog?
5. Santorum and Paul
6. Fast and the Furious and Solyndra

CNN LIVE: Tune in TONIGHT - Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Scott Walker's State of the State speech

Protesters gather for State of the State speech:

Scott Walker's State of the State speech - and the protesters who made it an occasion for themselves. - Althouse

Nancy Reagan 1995: Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt

Pros and Cons
Nancy Reagan 1995: Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Gingrich and Reagan - Elliott Abrams/National Review
Reagan's Young Lieutenant - Jeffrey Lord/American Spectator
Romney’s claims about Newt’s ethics charge are false and misleading - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Drudge versus history - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Gingrich: Conservative critics part of DC 'frenzy' - Byron York/Washington Examiner
Elliott Abrams Caught Misleading on Newt - Jeffrey Lord/American Spectator

Drudge Headlines:
NEWT 1986: 'The Reagan administration has failed, is failing...
NEWT 1988: 'If Bush runs as continuation of Reaganism he will lose'...
R. EMMETT TYRRELL: William Jefferson Gingrich...
CNN: Gingrich admits his ABC claim was false during debate...
Gingrich tells UNIVISION: No perjury during my divorce depositions...
Marianne Gingrich lawyer: 'He was never deposed'...
FLASHBACK 1998: Gingrich Orchestrated GOP Ads Recalling Clinton-Lewinsky Affair...
DeLay: 'He's not really a conservative'...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

E-mail of the day: Media Matters coordinates with Capitol Hill “allies” on Keystone XL; Plus: 20,000 jobs “is not that many”

A flack for Media Matters for America, the Soros-backed one-trick GOP-bashing pony, sent an e-mail peddling the group’s latest anti-Keystone XL “study” to the Senate Democrats’ communications director at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Mary Kerr. - Michelle Malkin

For some reason, Senate Republican EPW communications director Matt Dempsey with GOP Sen. James Inhofe’s office also ended up cc’ed on the e-mail.


We know at least one Democrat recycling the Media Matters talking points: Chicago Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), who tried arguing today that 20,000 jobs “is not that many.”

The Real State of the Union

Has Barack Obama learned nothing in three years? Last night, during his State of the Union address, he promised "a blueprint for an economy." But economies are crushed by blueprints. - John Stossel/Townhall

What should Obama have said in his speech? Here's what I wish he'd said:

Our debt has passed $15 trillion. It will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.

But if we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn't just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Government is best which governs least.

We'll start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. It's insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.

Next, we'll close the Department of Housing and Urban Development. That saves $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created.

Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can't count votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. We will eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies and so on. None of it is needed. READ THE REST...

CNN/Time Poll: Dead heat in Florida ahead of debate

One day before the final GOP presidential debate in Florida, it's all tied up between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, according to a new survey. - Paul Steinhauser/CNN

A CNN/Time/ORC International Poll also indicates that while Gingrich surged following his 12-point victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary, his momentum appears to be quickly cooling off.

According to the poll, 36% of people likely to vote in Tuesday's Republican primary in the Sunshine State say they are backing Romney as the party's nominee, with 34% supporting Gingrich. The former Massachusetts governor's two point margin over the former House speaker is well within the survey's sampling error.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

Obama Misquotes Lincoln

...Obama is deliberately misquoting Lincoln, in a way that completely changes the meaning of what the Great Emancipator said. - John Hayward at Human Events

During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, President Obama quoted Abraham Lincoln as follows:
I'm a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. That's why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States. That's why we're getting rid of regulations that don't work. That's why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program....
Charles C. Johnson at Big Government got the actual Lincoln quote from distinguished professor Harry Jaffa of Claremont McKenna College, who was able to recite it from memory. The full quote is easily found on the Web, and presumably could have been located by President Obama’s immense royal retinue, if they had been interested in anything other than propaganda.

Here is what Lincoln actually said:
The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities.
Obama didn’t merely paraphrase Lincoln’s words. He completely inverted their meaning.

Obama's Dumbest SOTU Demand: Imprison Kids in Schools Until They're 18

Let's leave aside whether the president of the United States should be so far into the weeds on education standards, which has traditionally been more of a local and state issue. - Nick Gillespie/

Obama didn't mention the one thing that might make kids more interested in staying in school voluntarily: Letting them and their parents choose among competing alternatives where they want to go. It works pretty damn well in every other aspect of our lives - including higher education - and as Reason's Lisa Snell will tell you, it works pretty damn well in the school districts that are experimenting with it.

Can Newtzilla Be Stopped?

That the Republican equivalent of the elite civil-defense forces is now desperately trying to stop him in his tracks only makes his support grow. - Jonah Goldberg/Real Clear Politics

...he’s changed the argument. “People actually misunderstand what’s going on,” he explained Saturday night after his South Carolina win. “It’s not that I am a good debater. It is that I know how to articulate the deepest-felt values of the American people.”

The bottom line: Gingrich acted properly and violated no laws.

What really happened in the Gingrich ethics case? - Byron York/Washington Examiner

The Romney campaign has been hitting Newt Gingrich hard over the 1990s ethics case that resulted in the former Speaker being reprimanded and paying a $300,000 penalty. Before the Iowa caucuses, Romney and his supporting super PAC did serious damage to Gingrich with an ad attacking Gingrich's ethics past. Since then, Romney has made other ads and web videos focusing on the ethics matter, and at the Republican debate in Tampa Monday night, Romney said Gingrich "had to resign in disgrace."

...Given all the attention to the ethics matter, it's worth asking what actually happened back in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Gingrich case was extraordinarily complex, intensely partisan, and driven in no small way by a personal vendetta on the part of one of Gingrich's former political opponents. It received saturation coverage in the press; a database search of major media outlets revealed more than 10,000 references to Gingrich's ethics problems during the six months leading to his reprimand. It ended with a special counsel hired by the House Ethics Committee holding Gingrich to an astonishingly strict standard of behavior, after which Gingrich in essence pled guilty to two minor offenses. Afterwards, the case was referred to the Internal Revenue Service, which conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. And then, after it was all over and Gingrich was out of office, the IRS concluded that Gingrich did nothing wrong. After all the struggle, Gingrich was exonerated. Full story at the link

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

#SOTU: Familiar Rhetoric, Failed Record

FACT CHECK: It was a wish list, not a to-do list. A look at Obama's rhetoric Tuesday night and how it fits with the facts and political circumstances -

Haven't We Heard this Before? - Weekly Standard


“Tonight, President Obama once again showed that he does not represent the fundamental change this country needs. Instead of offering solutions to the problems our country faces, the President was intent on delivering a campaign speech, further dealing in the typical Washington political gamesmanship that has gotten us exactly nowhere close to improving the lives of the American people.

“In a speech where much of the rhetoric was devoted to job creation, it was strange that President Obama would brag about his job-destroying national health care plan, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank bill, which, contrary to the President’s claims, guarantees future taxpayer bailouts of large institutions. Unfortunately, President Obama’s ‘job creation’ policies amount to little more than continuing to allow government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, which is a recipe for continued economic stagnation.

“President Obama claims to want an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Yet he remains committed to the same old system of debt, deficits, bailouts, and cronyism that created our economic problems. The President speaks of giving us energy independence from unstable nations, yet he refuses to allow the type of development needed to achieve this goal, while at the same time his administration hands out favors to the politically connected – those given to the likes of Solyndra, who fail to produce jobs or energy but succeed in ripping off the taxpayers.

“Of course, President Obama refuses to even mention the role the Federal Reserve plays in creating an economic system where some are denied a fair shot or even to support my efforts at bringing transparency to the Federal Reserve. Also not mentioned by President Obama is the very crucial need for reining in spending and balancing the federal budget. What is called by some ‘the greatest threat to our national security’ seems not to be of great importance to this President, although I, like many Americans, believe it to be cause for immediate measures, like the $1 trillion in spending cuts that would take place in my first year as President under my Plan to Restore America.

“In the area of foreign policy and civil liberties, President Obama’s rhetoric may be different, but the substance of his polices – as shown by his administration’s defense of the TSA’s treatment of my son, Senator Rand Paul, is hardly ‘change we can believe in.’ No wonder more and more Americans, especially young people, are rejecting the phony alternatives of Obama and establishment Republicans and embracing my campaign to Restore America Now.”


We have a crisis of work in this country and tonight President Obama proposed nothing in the way of policy changes that will get us to robust job creation and dramatic economic growth.

Instead, the president described his conviction that his big government is built to last and should be paid for with higher taxes.

But bigger government and higher taxes will not lead to jobs and growth. Bigger government and higher taxes will instead lead to more people on food stamps, a situation which the President and his party defend as a fair outcome.

Rubio, McCotter, Cantor, Bachmann, Priebus: Response to #SOTU

Senator Marco Rubio: “I’m actually very disturbed by the speech tonight. The President is on the verge of committing economic malpractice.

“How does raising taxes create jobs? How does raising my boss’s taxes help me keep my job? Why is he advocating policies that will punish people that are investing in American businesses that are creating middle class jobs?

“It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s the kind of policies that have taken a bad economy over the last four years and made everything worse.”

Thaddeus McCotter: “Tragically for the American people, in our unfolding globalized century the President remains wedded to a failed “Great Society” government: specifically, Washington elites dictating who gets someone else’s money. For the sake of our country’s economy and security, this President must learn that the great American tradition isn’t redistributionism; the great American tradition is exceptionalism. The sooner he does – or is relieved of the burden of governing – the sooner the American people will build a 21st Century of unprecedented liberty, prosperity and security.”

Eric Cantor: We need bold, pro-growth policies that focus squarely on the job engines in this country – our nation’s small businesses. Small businesses need to know that Washington won’t make it harder for them to succeed. To me, what makes our country so special is that no matter who you are, where you come from or what your background is, in America, if you work hard and play by the rules everyone has a fair shot at earning success.

Michele Bachmann: Tonight, in his State of the Union address, President Obama will claim that he supports “fairness” in America, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the same president who, in his first year, signed into a law a budget stuffed with 9,000 earmarks. It’s the same president who doles out grants for his friends in the green energy field, with Solyndra being the poster child. And it’s the same president who allowed his healthcare program, Obamacare, to pick winners and losers with more than 1,000 waivers granted to exempt entities from the law. Mr. President, this doesn’t sound like “fairness” to me. Instead, the Constitution provides a clear guide on fairness - equal protection under the law.

Paul Ryan

Reince Priebus: Tonight, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address. The speech was new, but it seems like we’ve heard it all before. Promises to create jobs. To fix the economy. To do things differently.
“For three years, the president has made promise after promise. And more often than not, he’s broken those promises. Barack Obama has treated his presidency like a campaign—willing to say anything to keep his job, unwilling to do anything to create jobs for Americans.
“Last week, we saw yet another example of the president’s misplaced priorities. President Obama had a chance to create at least 20,000 jobs by authorizing the Keystone XL energy pipeline. But he said no. He said no to jobs and no to energy security and affordability—just to please his liberal political base.
“Compare that to Solyndra. The president loaned half a billion dollars of taxpayer money to a company backed by political allies. It went bankrupt and laid off workers.” MORE

When Virginia Seitz was being considered by the Senate for being appointed to the Justice Department, she assured the Senate that she would "not stand idly by" if the administration were to take steps that she believed to be unconstitutional.

Grassley: Author of legal opinion on recess appointments may have seen her last Senate confirmation - The Hill

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Monday evening that he doubts that the Senate will ever confirm again the Obama administration Justice Department official who wrote an opinion that said recess appointments can be made while the Senate is not technically in recess.

Grassley spoke on the Senate floor in reference to Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz, who wrote the opinion that said Obama can make recess appointments when the Senate is not available to offer advice and consent. That opinion led to four recess appointments in early January, when the Senate was holding occasional pro forma sessions....

Grassley acknowledged that Seitz did not stand idly by during this month's controversial recess appointments, but actually did something worse by becoming a "lackey for the administration."

"She wrote a poorly reasoned opinion that placed loyalty to the President over loyalty to the rule of law," he said.

Andrea Mitchell: "Top Romney Advisor" Said "Party Elites" Will Find Alternative If Mitt Loses Florida

#SOTU: Text of Mitch Daniels' Republican response to State of the Union speech

"The status of 'loyal opposition' imposes on those out of power some serious responsibilities: to show respect for the Presidency and its occupant, to express agreement where it exists. Republicans tonight salute our President, for instance, for his aggressive pursuit of the murderers of 9/11, and for bravely backing long overdue changes in public education. I personally would add to that list admiration for the strong family commitment that he and the First Lady have displayed to a nation sorely needing such examples.

"On these evenings, Presidents naturally seek to find the sunny side of our national condition. But when President Obama claims that the state of our union is anything but grave, he must know in his heart that this is not true.

Herman Cain: #SOTU Tea Party Response

Mitch Daniels: #SOTU Republican Response


Mitch Daniel: Adult advice after the State of the Union Address - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post

Text of the State of the Union Address

“An America Built to Last”
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
Washington, DC

As Prepared for Delivery –

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.

Senator Rubio speaks before President Obama's 2012 State of Union

15 Questions the Media Would Ask a Republican Barack Obama

15 Questions The Mainstream Media Would Ask Barack Obama If He Were A Republican - John Hawkins /Townhall

During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We've heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt's angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans?

1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?

2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration? READ THE WHOLE THING...

Pelosi On President Gingrich: "That Will Never Happen! There's Something I Know."

Pelosi Doubles Down: Gingrich Won’t Be Elected — There is Something I Know - Michelle Malkin
You have to watch the video to capture the full glory of Pelosi’s giddy, sophomoric attitude. She behaves like a high schooler who found the letterman jacket of the opposing school’s quarterback in the back seat of the car of the girl who beat her out for homecoming queen — and is dying to tell somebody about it just before the game.
Newt to Nancy: 'Put up or shut up -- bring it on'... - Washington Times

"I have a simple challenge for Speaker know, put up or shut up. I mean, I have no idea what she's talking about. I don't think she has any idea what she's talking about, but bring it on," he said.

"My life has been looked at by lots of people and I've been around a long time. And I just think that when you are a left-wing Democrat, the prospect of a Gingrich presidency is really sort of like a nightmare," Mr. Gingrich added.

Important: Facebook Timeline: There's no escaping it now

Ding, ding ding! Your time is up! This is not a drill: You can no longer avoid using Timeline on Facebook, something that until now has been optional. - MSNBC

Timeline is rolling out over the next few weeks to everyone, all 800 million users, Facebook said Tuesday, and once you have it, you have 7 days to change it up — but there is no escaping it.

Even if you hate the biggest visible change to come to Facebook in awhile, you're stuck with the new feature, introduced last fall. Your profile and wall are going to be turned into a visual CV of your life, whether you want it to or not.

Over the next few weeks, everyone will get Timeline. When you get Timeline, you'll have 7 days to preview what's there now. This gives you a chance to add or hide whatever you want before anyone else sees it.... users can learn more about the new features "by taking the quick tour available at the top of your Timeline. If you want to get Timeline now, go to the Introducing Timeline page and click "Get Timeline." Or you can wait until you see an announcement at the top of your home page."

State of the Union? More Like State of the Campaign

Republicans have good reason to believe that when President Obama delivers the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, his goals are more partisan than presidential. - New York Times

Mr. Obama has shifted into full-bore campaigning. He expects little from Congress this year beyond the extension of existing payroll tax cuts. His highest-profile initiatives are designed to enhance his re-election prospects.


The State of the Union speech:
Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, 6:00 p.m. PST
Expected to last at least an hour
Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response.
Herman Cain will deliver the Tea Party response.

California lawmakers will sue Controller John Chiang for blocking their pay during last year's budget dispute

Lawmakers believe the Democratic controller overstepped his bounds when he said they initially sent Gov. Jerry Brown a flawed budget last June and docked their pay. - Sacramento Bee/Capitol Alert

Chiang's move gave Brown significant leverage in budget negotiations, as the controller essentially suggested that Brown could block legislative pay with his veto pen. Lawmakers have seethed ever since. If their lawsuit succeeds, they would not only have greater pay protection this year, but also greater leverage.

Poll: Ron Paul bests Rick Santorum in Florida

(I)n the latest poll of likely Florida Primary voters. Mr. Paul garnered 13 percentage points in an Insider Advantage poll released Sunday. The Texas congressman bested Mr. Santorum by 2 percentage points in the Florida poll. - The State Column

This is the first post-South Carolina Primary poll of likely Florida Primary voters. The results of the South Carolina Primary were discouraging for supporters of Mr. Paul’s campaign. The former Air Force surgeon pulled in 13 percent of the votes to finish in fourth place. Mr. Santorum stole a top-tier finish from Mr. Paul by earning 17 percent of the votes.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who won the South Carolina Primary, also won the Florida poll with 34 percent of the votes. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney finished in second place 26 percent of the votes.

Mr. Paul leads all Republican candidates in Florida with 30 percent of the votes among voters age 30-44. However, Mr. Gingrich leads Mr. Paul among voters age 18-29.

With a week to go before the Florida Primary, Mr. Paul has a shot at a top-tier finish in the Sunshine State. However, Mr. Paul is not expected to campaign in Florida in order to focus on the upcoming caucus states of Nevada and Minnesota.

Some real talk about our debt crisis

(T)he question is, will we pretend that the problem doesn’t exist, as Lind seems to want to, and wait until we’re in the midst of an emergency to start making draconian policy changes? Or do we want to take serious steps to tackle the problem now, when there’s still time to ease in more modest changes? - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
Five-part series:
◼ Part One: The welfare state is destroying America - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
◼ Part Two: Europe: the canary in the welfare-state coal mine - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

What Is a “Saul Alinsky Radical”?

By Discover The Networks

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has referred to Barack Obama as a “Saul Alinsky radical” whose values run counter to those of America’s founders. Who was Saul Alinsky? What was his message? What influence did it have on Obama?
Though Alinsky is rightfully understood to have been a leftist, his legacy is more methodological than ideological. He identified a set of very specific rules that ordinary citizens could follow, and tactics that ordinary citizens could employ, as a means of gaining public power. His motto was, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.”

Obama helped fund 'Alinsky Academy' - Teaches tactics of direct action, confrontation and intimidation - Aaron Klein/WND
"The Woods Fund, a nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director from 1999 to December 2002, provided startup funding and later capital to the Midwest Academy.... Obama sat on the Woods Fund board alongside William Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization.... 'Midwest describes itself as 'one of the nation's oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change.'... Midwest teaches Alinsky tactics of community organizing."

Obama touted Solyndra in his 2010 State of the Union as an example of the success of his policies

1,000 Days since Senate Democrats and the President have passed a budget

Lots of difficult and important things, as this excellent video from the Heritage Foundation points out. One thing you can’t do, however–at least, not if you are the Democratic Senate–is fulfill your legal obligation to pass a budget. Today is the 1,000th day since the Senate last fulfilled its legal duty by adopting a budget. The fault lies 100% with Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats, who have been in control of the Senate throughout that time
A Thousand Days of Nihilism
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN 1,000 DAYS? - Powerline

Senator Marco Rubio: Today, when the President gives the State of the Union address, we also mark 1,000 days since Senate Democrats and the President have passed a budget. That means since April 29, 2009, Washington has been on a rudderless spending binge with absolutely no restraint. This spending spree has added $4.5 trillion in new debt to our tab and has enabled our overall debt to surpass $15 trillion. Last year, the President’s budget proposal, which would have spent almost $46 trillion and raised taxes on large and small businesses, failed in the Senate 97-0. This means not even one member of his own party could support his reckless job-killing agenda.

In March of last year, I outlined the importance of reigning in Washington’s out-of-control spending and pursuing policies that will give certainty to job creators in the private sector. Keeping America exceptional requires a serious plan that would ideally include fundamental pro-growth tax reform, regulatory reform, meaningful cuts to discretionary spending, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and reforms to save Social Security and Medicare.

The Majority Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, said it would be “foolish” to pass a budget. I disagree. As we mark the 1,000th day since Senate Democrats have passed a budget – a fundamental element of governing – it is clear that those in Washington worrying more about their next reelection than making the tough choices to get our nation on a sustainable fiscal path are the ones being foolish. ◼ link

Congressman Allen West: Today marks 1,000 days w/out a budget for the American economy. This means the United States has no fiscal blueprint for its fiscal future. ◼ link

Monday, January 23, 2012

Surging Newt Gingrich draws fire from rivals in GOP debate

In a potentially pivotal GOP presidential debate, Newt Gingrich repeatedly found himself on the defensive Monday night - LA Times

Romney, reeling from a double-digit loss to Gingrich two days earlier in South Carolina, improved on his halting performances in recent debates but didn’t land a knockout blow.

Gingrich, who brought debate crowds to their feet last week, was restrained and passed up several opportunities to attack Romney. He also avoided his past attacks on the news media and, with an eye toward the more moderate electorate in next Tuesday’s Florida primary, muted his strident populist rhetoric.

FULL NBC GOP Debate Tampa Florida January 23 2012

Supreme Court: Police need warrant to use GPS tracking on cars

The justices all agreed that the government needs a search warrant from a judge before it seeks to track a suspect by secretly installing a device on his car. - LA Times

The Supreme Court on Monday put the brakes on the government’s use of high-tech monitoring devices to track motorists, ruling unanimously that police and the FBI violated the 4th Amendment by attaching a GPS device to a Jeep owned by a drug suspect.

Document: Read the full Supreme Court opinion

President Obama has given up on doing his job

Trying desperately to save his job, Barack Obama has given up on actually doing his job. - Reince Priebus at FOX

The Oval Office must be a quiet place these days.

Trying desperately to save his job, Barack Obama has given up on actually doing his job. He’s courting wealthy donors for campaign cash. He’s crisscrossing the country rallying disaffected voters. And he’s running disingenuous ads in five battleground states.

He’s out busily trying to secure a second term, while Americans are still waiting for him to deliver on the promises of his first. Yet judging by the president’s schedule, we shouldn’t get our hopes up.

Obama is in full-time campaign mode. And it’s only January.

This week the president sets off on a three-day campaign jaunt through five different states. Last week he held four Manhattan fundraisers and took a trip to Disney World.

But he didn’t save the fairy tales for the Magic Kingdom. The Obama campaign is up with a strange new ad in swing states defending his record on ethics, saying the president “kept a campaign promise to toughen ethics rules.” An independent fact-checker, Politifact, called the ad “half-true.” Does that make him semi-ethical?

What does it say about Obama’s record that this was the campaign’s debut ad of 2012?

Mostly, it says they have no record to run on. A record of success in jobs and the economy would be easy to champion. But when you have a record of failure, half-truths are the best you can do.

Expect to hear more of this as Obama hits the stump this week. He’ll ignore his failures and build his case on faulty premises and empty promises. That worked in 2008 because Obama had no record. But it won’t work in 2012 because he has a very clear record.

On the economy, jobs, health care, energy, the deficit, the debt, housing, lobbyists, ethics, and energy policy -- all of these issues -- the president has broken his promises to the American people. It all makes for a very unflattering before-and-after.

Let’s take that list in reverse order.

On energy, Barack Obama said in 2008 that it was time to end our foreign oil addiction. In 2011, he admitted, “we’re not where we need to be.” He called his own energy policy “just a hodgepodge.” And last week, he blocked the Keystone pipeline project, which would have provided America with a safe, affordable energy source.

On campaign ethics, Obama called Wall Street executives “fat cats” and then acted like a fat cat himself: he’s accepted more Wall Street money than all other presidential candidates -- combined.

Health care was supposed to be Obama’s great achievement. He promised his plan would bring down premiums “by $2,500” for the typical family. Last year, they rose by 9 percent.

Obama boldly promised that lobbyists would never “find a job in my White House.” He’s hired almost 100 of them.

In 2008, he said adding $4 trillion to the debt was “unpatriotic.” He’s increased it more than $4.5 trillion and is on track to add trillions more.

Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, he racked up three record deficits of more than $1 trillion each.

He promised he could create thousands of jobs with green energy spending. Then he lost a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan to the now-bankrupt company Solyndra.

With his $825 billion stimulus, Obama promised unemployment would stay below 8 percent. Not only did unemployment shoot past 8 percent, it hasn’t come back to that level since.

And then there’s the biggest promise of them all: the economy. Barack Obama was so confident he could turn around the economy that he promised in early 2009 that if he didn’t have it fixed in “three years” then his presidency would “be a one-term proposition.”

(To be fair, that’s one promise he can still keep.)

In October of last year, President Obama unveiled the slogan “We Can’t Wait.” It was par for the course for a White House that regularly substitutes sloganeering for policymaking. And it was indeed merely a slogan. Three months later, we’re still waiting. We’re still waiting for a plan to revive the economy, a plan to reduce the debt, a workable, reasonable, bipartisan plan to keep any one of Obama’s many promises.

But if this week is any indication, we’re going to be waiting a lot longer.

Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee. A native of Wisconsin, he is a lawyer by profession and previously served as chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party and RNC General Counsel.

Jim Pethokoukis alerts us to the stunning release of a confidential memo sent to Barack Obama by senior economic adviser Larry Summers on December 15, 2008.

Pethokoukis: Secret 2008 Memo to Barack Obama reveals White House knew Stimulus was a partisan scam - Doug Ross

11 stunning revelations from Larry Summers’s secret economics memo to Barack Obama - The Enterprise Blog

A lengthy piece in The New Yorker looks at policymaking in the Obama White House. A key source for writer Ryan Lizza is a 57-page, “Sensitive & Confidential” memo written by economist Larry Summers—eventually to be head of Obama’s National Economic Council—to Obama in December 2008.
1. The stimulus was about implementing the Obama agenda.
The short-run economic imperative was to identify as many campaign promises or high priority items that would spend out quickly and be inherently temporary. … The stimulus package is a key tool for advancing clean energy goals and fulfilling a number of campaign commitments.
2. Team Obama knows these deficits are dangerous (although it has offered no long-term plan to deal with them).
Closing the gap between what the campaign proposed and the estimates of the campaign offsets would require scaling back proposals by about $100 billion annually or adding new offsets totaling the same. Even this, however, would leave an average deficit over the next decade that would be worse than any post-World War II decade. This would be entirely unsustainable and could cause serious economic problems in the both the short run and the long run.... more at the link
The Obama Memos - The making of a post-post-partisan Presidency - New Yorker

Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN), who ran for president against Mitt Romney in 2008, has offered a full-throated endorsement to Newt Gingrich. - Talking Points Memo

High stakes at tonight’s NBC/National Journal/Tampa Bay Times debate, especially for Romney and Gingrich

#FLDebate airs beginning at 6:00 pm PT on NBC, moderated by NBC’s Brian Williams

Live Blog Transcript: GOP Florida Debate on NBC – January 23rd, 2012 at 9pm EST/8pm CST - HillBuzz
How to Watch: Livestream can be found here. Note: NBC has one of the worst track records in providing a reliable Internet stream to watch these debates. I can’t recall a single time they’ve hosted one where the stream worked properly. So cross your fingers.

Alternate streams: National Journal or
Follow us live from the USF debate
If you would like to be part of the conversation, tweet your debate feedback to @PoliticsTBTimes
or leave a comment on the Times Facebook page.

Florida Debate Open Thread - Michelle Malkin
Live Thread: NBC Republican Debate… - Weasel Zippers
Open thread: The nastiest debate yet? - HotAir
PPP’s first post-South Carolina poll in Florida finds Newt Gingrich with a small lead. He’s at 38% to 33% for Mitt Romney, 13% for Rick Santorum, and 10% for Ron Paul…

If Rick Santorum drops out between now and next Tuesday, Gingrich will be the beneficiary. His voters prefer Gingrich over Romney 50-23, and in a field where he’s no longer a candidate Newt’s lead expands to 43-36…

Newt is drawing out new voters. With the 11% of the electorate that didn’t vote in the 2008 primary, he leads 40-30. Meanwhile Romney is having trouble holding onto the folks who voted for him in 2008. 37% are supporting someone else this time, with 19% of them moving toward Gingrich. This was a big problem for Romney in Iowa as well- if he could just hold onto the folks who supported him last time he’d be winning easily. But he doesn’t inspire a passionate enough following to keep folks in the fold
link - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Liveblogging the NBC Tampa Debate - Ace of Spades

Allen West: Food stamp president a 'fact'

“There is no race code. It’s a fact. Since President Obama has been in the Oval Office, you ‘ve seen a 41 percent increase in the food stamp recipients in the United States of America,” West said on Fox News. “We have a president that’s making more American victims rather than victors.” - Politico

“When you put something into digital form, you can’t control where that’ll end up.”

Who Should Have Access to Student Records? - US News & World Report

Since “No Child Left Behind” was passed 10 years ago, states have been required to ramp up the amount of data they collect about individual students, teachers, and schools. Personal information, including test scores, economic status, grades, and even disciplinary problems and student pregnancies, are tracked and stored in a kind of virtual “permanent record” for each student.

But parents and students have very little access to that data, according to a report released Wednesday by the Data Quality Campaign, an organization that advocates for expanded data use.

All 50 states and Washington, D.C. collect long term, individualized data on students performance, but just eight states allow parents to access their child’s permanent record. Forty allow principals to access the data and 28 provide student-level info to teachers.

COMING SOON: 1000 Days Without a Budget

What’s Happening in the GOP Primaries. In One Picture.

In a nutshell? We’ve had enough of both the Political Establishment and the Lamestream Media. - Tammy Bruce (image source)

Florida: Gingrich 41%, Romney 32%

Florida allows early voting, and Romney leads among those voters by 11 points. Gingrich leads by 12 among those who have not yet voted. Fourteen percent (14%) have already cast their vote. - Rasmussen

One-in-three (32%) say they still could change their minds before they vote in the January 31 primary. Another nine percent (9%) have no initial preference yet. Fifty-nine percent (59%) are already certain of their vote, including 73% of Romney supporters and 62% of Gingrich voters.

“And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”

Obama Defends Roe v. Wade As Way for ‘Our Daughters’ to Have Same Chance As Sons to ‘Fulfill Their Dreams’ - CNS News

Turning the Tide On Abortion - John Hayward

Today is the annual March for Life, the biggest demonstration you never hear about. The marchers won’t “occupy” anything. They won’t grab headlines by fighting with the police. Their beliefs have been ruled beyond the pale by popular culture. They are routinely told they’re marching on the wrong side of an issue that was decided forever by judicial fiat in 1973.

But the marchers keep coming, and they are winning one of the most uphill battles of modern times. Anyone who is interested in persuasion, and the passionate exchange of ideas, should marvel at what they have accomplished. They do it with a fraction of the attention lavished upon far smaller groups. You won’t see many pro-life events where the police and reporters outnumber the demonstrators.

Today a group called Students for Life of America released a video filled with people who credit the pro-life movement with their very survival. Let anyone who doubts that a human life is at stake during every single visit to an abortion clinic argue with these folks.

Lara Logan: Life is not about dwelling on the bad

CBS news star talks about PTSD, her recovery, her family, her work and the women that inspire her - NY Daily News

Lara Logan is back on the air, she’s got nine stories in the works at “60 Minutes” and a new show set to launch — but she still battles the demons of a horrific gang sexual assault, even sometimes while she puts her young daughter to bed.

“People don’t really know that much about (posttraumatic stress disorder),” she told the Daily News. “There’s something called latent PTSD. It manifests itself in different ways. I want to be free of it, but I’m not.

“It doesn’t go away,” she said. “It’s not something I keep track of. It’s not predictable like that. But it happens more than I’d like.”

Last Feb. 11, while covering the Egyptian uprisings in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Logan was surrounded by an angry mob of men and ripped away from her CBS crew. She was viciously stripped and suffered a “brutal and sustained” sexual assault....