What’s a job seeker to do? There are 12.8 million unemployed people in the U.S. filling out job application after job application, trying to land a paycheck. The lucky ones get called in for an interview. The interviewer cannot, by law, ask about your marital status, your religion, or a whole slew of other forbidden topics.
What they can ask you for, however, is your Facebook password.
...Hansen recommends people keep their social network personalities free of anything they wouldn't want shared with potential employers, regardless of the private or public settings on their accounts....
Facebook says just say no to giving up passwords, threatens legal action; Eureka attorney says employers could open themselves to liability
A Facebook privacy official, responding to reports that employers have been asking potential employees in interviews for their passwords to social networks in order to view their profiles, released a blog post Friday morning telling members not to disclose the information and warning employers against the practice.
As the Mercury News reported in January and the Associated Press reported earlier this week, jobseekers say that some potential employers have requested their Facebook password in order to view their private profiles.
In a Friday blog post, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan told Facebook users that providing their password to anyone else is a violation of Facebook's user agreement as well as unfair to the user.
”If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends,” Egan wrote.
Egan warned that the Menlo Park company could lobby lawmakers to halt the practice, or possibly file lawsuits.
”We'll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers or, where appropriate, by initiating legal action, including by shutting down applications that abuse their privileges,” Egan wrote.
While Facebook’s Terms of Service require that users not turn over their passwords to anyone, the courts have discovered a confidentiality loophole. The operators at Facebook and MySpace have complete access to accounts. Therefore, everything posted on those accounts, everything, is considered to be stated in the presence of a third party.
There is no confidentiality on facebook. No attorney/client privilege. No doctor/patient confidentiality. Laws may differ by state, but once the courts get involved, there’s not a whole lot of difference between what is listed as “Public” and what is listed as “Private.”
Lionsgate’s record-shattering The Hunger Games opened with $68.25M grosses for Friday’s North American box office, including $19.75M in record-setting midnights. That should make for a first weekend of $140M with upside from 4,137 locations, with a screen count just under 10,000 prints. About 75% of those prints are in digital theaters, including 268 IMAX theaters across North America. Hunger Games records include: the highest non-sequel opening weekend ever, and the highest debut single day for a non-sequel ever, and the highest March opening ever, and the 5th highest opening day ever.
Only 3 out of 10 voters surveyed wanted to see the race come to a quick end, while the rest wanted to see their candidate of choice soldier on to secure the nomination, even if it means that the primary contest will continue on for months.
Rick Santorum cruised to victory in the Louisiana Republican presidential primary on Saturday but still trails Mitt Romney by a wide margin in the national delegate count for the party nomination.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, was projected to finish second. Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich was third, but immediately rejected suggestions he should drop out. Texas congressman Ron Paul ran fourth.
Santorum had strong support in all income groups except for the very wealthy, and solid backing from conservative and religious voters in the Deep South state.
"The people of Louisiana sent a loud and clear message - this race is far from over," Santorum said...
The underdog's big win in Louisiana renders ridiculous Romneyworld's demand that he step aside.
"We don't believe, as the pundits have said, that this race is over. We didn't get the memo," Santorum said. "We're still here. We're still fighting.… I'm not running as a conservative candidate for president. I am the conservative candidate for president."
“It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background," Gingrich said. "Is the President suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot that would be ok because it didn’t look like him?"
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Friday that he's grateful the rest of the country has sat up and taken notice of the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin. But he can't help but wonder: Why has it taken so long for everyone else to recognize the chronic injustices that African Americans face?
◼ CA GOP - California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro today issued the following statement regarding the second anniversary of the unpopular ObamaCare mandate:
“Despite the protests of millions of Americans who wished to preserve individual liberty, President Obama and the Democrats two years ago on this very day jammed through reckless healthcare reform that will cost families more in healthcare expenses and be devastating for small businesses.
"Of all the states, California can least afford the damage Obamacare will do to the economy; having the nation’s second highest unemployment rate, compounded by a Governor who seeks to raise taxes on struggling families, it is a recipe for disaster.
“This President's signature accomplishment in office has done more to paralyze the engine of this economy which is small businesses. This November, Americans will send a sharp reminder to the President that they haven’t forgotten he didn’t have a plan to bring jobs back to America, and that he required us to bailout Washington time and time again.”
Two years ago today, President Obama signed into law his vision of health care reform, a far-ranging and ever-more-expensive collection of price fixing and individual mandates that will forever be known as Obamacare.
Now, according to tradition, cotton is known as the gift for a second anniversary. But what do you get a federal government that wants to control everything? Unfortunately, the answer is more of your hard earned tax dollars.
Obamacare doesn't do much to bring down the price of health care, but it does a lot to pass the costs along to the states. In fact, starting in 2014, Obamacare will cost the State of Texas at least $27 billion over the next 10 years.
That'll buy a lot of cotton.
That was even before the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office announced earlier this month that the price tag for Obamacare had been dramatically underestimated, now looking to cost $1.76 trillion over 10 years instead of the $900 billion President Obama had originally touted.
All that doesn't make us feel much like celebrating. Oh, well, Obamacare has a date before the Supreme Court on Monday to argue that its mandate that all individuals be forced to buy insurance is somehow Constitutional. (It isn't.)
Let's hope we won't have a third anniversary to observe.
Landmark Legal Foundation respectfully requests an immediate and thorough investigation to determine whether IRS employees are acting improperly in the evaluation of exempt status applications. This investigation also must determine whether the relevant IRS employees are acting at the direction of politically motivated superiors.
“I thought failure was part of the process,” Mr. Brown said, speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, Calif. “Hell, I was out of office for how many decades? You gotta try things.”
Mr. Brown pointed out that the collapse of Fremont, Calif.-based Solyndra was a sign that solar-power prices were falling, which benefits California, the largest solar-power market in the U.S.
“Solyndra thought the market was one price, and the price was lower; Hallelujah! California installed 500 megawatts of solar last year and we’ll do more this year.”
Mr. Brown said there’s a lot to learn from the Solyndra debacle, including how politics influences energy. But he notes that Solyndra’s failure—which left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for more than $500 million—was “chump change” compared to the recent mortgage meltdown and financial crisis.
Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.
A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”
Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.
The document, an update on Solyndra’s $535 million Energy Department (DOE) loan guarantee, notes that $527 million had been disbursed and that DOE believed no more funds should be alloted.
•The Occupy Movement is made up of “All parts of the Left.”
•That includes proudly: “Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists.”
•Must all work together because of the “Huge task of transforming America and the world.”
•“We are all together”
At last weekend’s Left Forum 2012, the annual pep-rally for liberal thought, renown leftist professor and activist Frances Fox Piven shown some light onto the makeup of the current America Left.
The Assembly passed the resolution on a 48-22 vote. It rejects the notion of corporate personhood and calls on Congress to pursue a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 decision saying corporations can spend unlimited sums to influence elections.
Democrats said the resolution is an important first step toward overturning the ruling that granted “personhood” rights to corporations, which they say has made it harder for ordinary citizens to have a voice in the political process.
...Opponents of the ruling are pursuing a ballot initiative that would reject the notion of corporate personhood in California. Proponents of the “Corporations Are Not People Act” could not be reached for comment.
In the northern California town of Arcata, residents are gathering signatures for a symbolic “Corps Ain't Peeps” initiative.
...“What more than 30 states have tried to do is put in place a common-sense measure of voter ID so that people are assured that voters are who they purport to be, and voter IDs are commonplace in our culture. You need [an ID] for a driver’s license, for boarding an airplane, receiving a passport, purchasing alcohol or checking out a library book. So to use it to safeguard the integrity of the voting process at the voting station is pretty noneventful.
...“At the end of the day, it is a false issue to say show me how many millions of votes have been fraudulently cast. If you owned a bank would you wait until your bank is robbed before you put in safeguards to protect the dollars in your bank? The answer is no.
“This is not a matter of saying there is voter fraud that’s run rampant, but we do have enough anecdotal evidence. We all know the horror stories of ACORN in 2008 and 2010. So there is enough evidence to suggest that we need to put things in place to protect this from going crazy.
“This is a reasonable safeguard to protect against voter fraud and ballot box stuffing when we have sufficient enough evidence that there are some people who would do just that if given the opportunity.”
The Humboldt County Republican Party will honor Cherie and Robin Arkley as Republicans of the Year at an invitation dinner on April 14 at the Ingomar Club.
Together with their daughters, Rob Arkley, a native of Humboldt County, and Cherie Arkley, from Piedmont, Calif., own Eureka-based SN Master Holdings.
Since the 1990s, the Arkleys have been active in development, redevelopment and civic projects, creating the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts, funding an upgrade of the Sequoia Park Zoo and contributing $2 million to the waterfront boardwalk, according to a press release.
The Arkleys also founded Economic Fuel, an annual competition that awards seed money for new businesses.
"Today, I am directing my administration to cut through red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority," Obama said amid applause.
Republicans fired back the president is hyping his role in relieving the bottlenecked supply because construction on this portion of the pipeline is expected to start in June -- with or without him.
"After more than three years of environmental study by various agencies, the president in January denied ... a permit for the entire project, stranding more than 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada, North Dakota and other upper Great Plains states," said a group of GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill. "Today, however, he took credit for a section of the pipeline that required no presidential approval. The fact is, the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t require presidential consent because it doesn’t cross an international border."
...Republicans counter the president's two-day energy tour is a sign he's on defense over soaring gasoline prices.
"Why is the president holding it up, then trying to take credit for it?," asked Sen. John Hoeven, R-S.D. "This is bizarre. The president's denial of the full Keystone XL pipeline project is causing real hardship for real people in my home state of North Dakota, where we’re still moving product by truck and rail rather than by pipeline, which is safer and more efficient."
City Council members were one step closer on Wednesday to becoming the first in the nation to adopt a resolution condemning certain types of speech on public airwaves.
Councilmember Jan Perry introduced legislation this week that would call upon media companies to ensure “on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs” on radio and other broadcasts.
Members of Black Media Alliance, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Korean-American Bar Association, and American Indians in Film and Television were on hand to voice their support for the proposal.
The resolution — which was also supported by Councilmember Bernard Parks and Council President Herb Wesson — called attention to the recent uproar over comments by KFI 640 AM talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou.
Kobylt and Chiampou were suspended after they called the late pop singer Whitney Houston a “crack ho” three days after her death in February.
As I’ve said before, we did not get here because of simple distortions or exaggerations or even misrepresentations. Obamacare is the product of statements known by their makers to be untrue and meant to deceive - lies. Two years after the president signed his health care takeover into law, the enormity of those lies continues to grow.
“No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
Mr. Obama made this empty promise before the American Medical Association in June 2009, and the few remaining doctors still willing to associate with the AMA - only about 17 percent - believed it. America didn’t. Neither did the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), whose most recent analysis reveals that up to 20 million Americans could lose their employer-based health insurance as a direct result of Obamacare. As an aside, if your own doctor is still a member of the AMA, you might want to find a smarter doctor.
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”
Candidate Obama made this empty promise in 2008. Then he unleashed Obamacare, which raises taxes on everything from tampons to tanning salons, from MRI scanners to Q-tips. If your doctor uses it to serve you, its price tag just went up, and so did your bill. Moreover, taxes are going up on health insurance itself, if you dare to purchase a plan more comprehensive than your government thinks you need, a “Cadillac” plan. Obamacare contains no fewer than 20 new or increased taxes.
“We will bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.”
It certainly won’t make the experience any less painful, but next time you fill up your gas tank, try figuring out how much you just paid in taxes. Do the math, and you’ll soon discover that rising fuel prices are a whole lot better for the government than they are for you.
California consumers pay the highest prices for fuel anywhere in the continental United States. These prices include hidden taxes that help drive up fuel prices. Each and every time fuel prices rise, our taxes go up too.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, California's gasoline taxes and fees, averaging 67 cents per gallon, are tied with Connecticut’s as the second highest in the nation. California’s diesel taxes are the highest in the nation, averaging 75.9 cents per gallon.
Included in the price you pay for gasoline are a (1) federal excise tax of 18.4 cents per gallon, (2) state excise tax of 35.7 cents per gallon and (3) sales tax of 2.25% plus applicable local taxes. Notably, the sales tax is calculated on the total price of the fuel sale including excise taxes, resulting in double taxation—California consumers pay a tax on a tax.
According to Lew Uhler, founder and president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, “The double tax on gasoline – geared to price changes – creates a perverse windfall for the government big spenders precisely when rising gas prices hurt consumers most.”
Rather than taxing you on your taxes, the government should send you a thank you note.
Here’s why: even with declining fuel consumption, California consumers are paying more tax for less gas. This happens because sales tax is calculated per dollar spent rather than per gallon of fuel. As a result, government coffers receive an unanticipated windfall when fuel prices rise.
The State Board of Equalization’s numbers show that even with lower levels of consumption, rising fuel prices have spurred fuel tax revenues to record levels. Due to rising fuel prices, the state collected $61 million more in fuel tax revenues during the second quarter of 2011 than during the same period the year prior. In the meantime fuel consumption fell by 127 million gallons.
And that’s only the part of the story.
In 2010 the Legislature enacted a law requiring the State Board of Equalization to lower the sales tax on fuel and raise the excise tax by a corresponding amount. As a result the excise tax for motor vehicle fuel is currently 35.7 cents per gallon, but the BOE must readjust it annually to ensure “revenue neutrality.” The rate is currently set to increase to 36 cents effective July 1. Absent legislative action, high fuel prices will drive this tax even higher in 2013.
California lawmakers may lack the political courage to address other reasons why California fuel is so expensive (e.g. special fuel blend requirements), but they can and should address the problem of rising fuel taxes. Simply put, the government shouldn’t be doing anything that drives fuel prices even higher.
To this end, I am crafting a legislative proposal to limit sales tax to the first $4.00 per gallon of gasoline and cap excise taxes at their current levels. Under my proposal, the state would still receive all of the fuel tax revenue the Governor was counting on in his January budget, which forecast average quarterly fuel prices of no greater than $3.82 during the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Even so, capping fuel taxes could help keep hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of California consumers, bolstering consumer confidence and California’s economy. Given rising fuel prices, it should be a no-brainer to take this small step to help California consumers.
Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit ◼ www.boe.ca.gov/Runnerwww.boe.ca.gov/Runner
The fault does not lie with Congress as a whole. The House has passed budgets. Senate Republicans have tried to do the same. But after passing a budget resolution in 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to allow passage of a new budget in 2010, 2011, and, it appears, 2012 as well.
"We do not need to bring a budget to the floor this year," Reid told reporters last month, arguing that legislation setting limits on spending is sufficient.
"The fact is, you don't need a budget," agreed fellow Democrat and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer a few weeks ago. "We can adopt appropriations bills. We can adopt authorization policies without a budget. We already have an agreed-upon cap on spending."
In fact, the lawmakers are required by law to pass a budget each year. That's made conspicuously clear by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. But proposing and passing a budget can cause lots of problems. It can force a party to take potentially unpopular stands on critical issues. How much should the government spend on national defense? On health care? On social programs? As Reid and his allies see it, better to just ignore the whole thing.
Ryan's budget will almost surely be passed by the House of Representatives, all but four of whose Republican members voted for his budget last year. But it will not pass in the Senate, whose Democratic majority in defiance of legal requirements did not produce a budget for the last two years and is poised to not pass one again this year.
Bush, who many have touted as a possible compromise candidate if Romney fails to attract enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot, made it clear in his statement that the time has now come for all Republicans to stand squarely behind the former Massachusetts governor’s candidacy.
He gave his endorsement within hours of the Illinois primary, where Romney crushed his nearest challenger, former Sen. Rick Santorum, by 12 percentage points.
“Congratulations to Governor Mitt Romney on his win last night and to all the candidates for a hard fought, thoughtful debate and primary season,” said Bush in a statement, pointing out that it is time for party unity after 34 contests.
“Now is the time for Republicans to unite behind Governor Romney and take our message of fiscal conservatism and job creation to all voters this fall,” Bush said.
“We face huge challenges, and we need a leader who understands the economy, recognizes more government regulation is not the answer, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism and works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to succeed.”
As long as very low interest rates are robbing savers and retirees of their wealth and suppressing an economic recovery, it is highly unlikely that any of the proposals to raise taxes on the Nov. 2012 ballot will succeed. The tax proposals on the upcoming California ballot are diverting attention from larger federal policy that is squelching an economic recovery.
Yet More Taxes
There are even more taxes in the pipeline: cigarette taxes, oil taxes, gas taxes, out-of-state business taxes, and imposing reassessments for commercial property taxes every year instead of when a property resells, as is now provided under Proposition 13. The tax proposal on oil and gas would increase such taxes 40 percent higher than any other state in the Union.
These tax proposals do not include the $11.1 billion Water Bond scheduled to also be on the ballot. The water bond actually would cost about $18 billion with matching fund requirements. Counting interest, the Water Bond would cost about $36 billion....More at the link
When asked why he doesn’t think it’s just a bunch of unhappy people, he said “The comments are all the damn same. ‘You hate women! You hate women! You hate women!’”
Stevens is so put off by this attack that he has decided to double, even triple down on his advertisements. He said he’s even in negotiations to just run ads spots noting his support for free speech.... video at link
RUSH: Now, a little housekeeping here, folks. Yesterday on this program we played for you a couple of audio sound bites from an advertiser of this program in New York City, a guy by the name of Mark Stevens. He was on the Fox Business Network with Stuart Varney. And he pointed out that he's being hit by a coordinated attack that he calls "terrorism." It's not angry consumers, but he thinks that this is a coordinated attack. He doesn't name the group, but we will. It's Media Matters. And he knows, Mark Stevens knows, that the people contacting him -- many of them -- don't even live in New York and have never patronized any of his businesses. They're simply trying to intimidate him...
RUSH: Media Matters and the Democrat National Committee and the Democrat Party are exposing themselves. This an unintended consequence. They're exposing that their Astroturf campaigns are not grassroots at all. They are ginned up. They are totally professionally created and executed Democrat Party opposition research-type attacks. And they have nothing to do with consumers here, nothing to do with the audience, nothing to do with customers. Of those 40,000 e-mails that Mark Stevens got, 2,000 of them were critical. And I will bet you that those 2,000 critical e-mails were written by three or four people and just signed by different names.
That's exactly what they do. Look, this has been going on with me since this program started, practically. And this is how this has always worked. In fact, way back in the days of my TV show, a Microsoft employee got fired for trying to run one of these operations from her cubicle, aimed at television show advertisers. That's back in 1992. So this really is nothing new. It's just this time they sense blood in the water, and they're going for it. And, see...
Have you heard a conservative media member express a desire that the opposition be shut down and silenced or thrown in jail or prosecuted? Do you ever hear that? No. We're not afraid of discussing what we believe. We know we'll triumph. We're not afraid of debating our ideas, and we're not threatened by virtue of their existence. We're threatened by what they want to do and we're threatened by their ideas, but we're not threatened by their existence. We don't seek to shut 'em down, but this is all they've got. It's obvious now here that there's no grassroots anything going on. It's pure political party opposition research.
President Obama’s willingness to falsify the facts about a personal tragedy in order to make a political point speaks volumes about not only his cynicism but also his character. It’s important to remember that this is no misunderstanding but rather a bald-faced lie....
President Obama never apologized for his original lie. He just assumed, rightly it turns out, that even though this whopper was uncovered by the New York Times, neither that paper nor the rest of the liberal mainstream media would pursue the matter further as they almost certainly would (and should have) had his Republican predecessor been found out in a similar matter. Thus encouraged, he has now repeated the falsehood, albeit artfully recast in an attempt to avoid blame.
Last week, Brown failed his own loyalty test. He agreed to a deal to put a tax-increase measure on the November ballot when he has to know that the new measure exacerbates California's dysfunctional finances....
"I understand why he did it," noted GOP strategist Rob Stutzman, but the business community, which was trying to work with the governor, now has reason to see Brown "basically by force of politics being driven back to the arms of labor."
Make that big labor and the spend-happy Legislature.
Hoover Institution economist John F. Cogan noted that over the past 25 years, California has had liberal and conservative governors, but one common trend: "Movement toward a welfare state of liberalized benefits, removing taxpayers from the rolls at the lower end, (while) keeping tax rates high, and ever-increasing regulation of business. We see the results. When you see these trends, what's common? It's the Legislature."
After 80 yrs of Democrat control, WV is 50th in Business Start-ups, 49th in per-capita GDP, 48th in per-capita income, 49th in Business Friendliness, and 50th in education Final Performance Rank. This can only be described as a failure. The people of WV deserve better, but the Dems, with help from their good 'ol boy network, can only offer excuses. The time for excuses is over. It's time for solutions. ◼ WVGOP on Facebook
“Put it this way: If Mr. Romney could speak about Obamacare the way Mr. Santorum does — not simply as a policy disagreement but as a threat to our freedom — he'd be locking up the nomination.”
...Healthcare is an issue that doesn’t lend itself to a technocratic fix, Kristol says. “Mitt Romney likes mandates. Conservatives — especially in light of Obamacare — don’t. Conservatives like liberty.”
Israel now believes that it can attack and disable Iran's nuclear weapons effort without either of the side effects that otherwise make an attack unpalatable.
1) without so infuriating Iran's civilian population that they dig in and fight to the death, and
2) without drawing the rest of the world into the conflict.
Specifically, Goldberg says, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that an attack on Iran's nuclear sites would actually "unclothe the emperor"--demonstrating to Iranian civilians that their leaders were weak and, thus, encouraging them to overthrow the regime.
Secondly, Goldberg says, Israeli officials have now convinced Netanyahu that they will be able to take out Iran's nuclear sites without provoking an all-out war. Because the sites aren't located in heavily populated areas, this theory goes, Iran's regime will just deny that an attack took place. And Iran will be so scared of America's military power, meanwhile, Iran won't risk attacking U.S. ships in retaliation...
The difficulty, then, is to convince the loquacious and crowd-adoring Obama to focus instead on private fundraisers, photo-ops, sporting events, and teleprompted studio speeches. He looks a lot more presidential when he’s golfing than he does when he’s giving yet another whiny speech about why high gas prices are somebody else’s fault and not drilling is sound energy policy.
Similarly, Obama realizes that the legislation he pushed for and that passed in the two years the Democrats controlled Congress before the tea-party revolt grows increasingly more unpopular. In any case, Obama is not keen on running for reelection on Obamacare or his stimulus package, given that his sinking polls bottomed out once the Republicans won the House and stopped much of his agenda. Somehow Obama must square the circle of blaming the Republican House for derailing the unpopular agenda of his first two years in office, and thereby giving him a far better chance for reelection....
Obama is not quite Jimmy Carter, who retreated to the Rose Garden during the campaign of 1980 during the Iranian hostage crisis in hopes of seeming engaged while actually being flummoxed and disengaged, but he has adopted the same spirit — a virtual Rose Garden of appearing busy and on top of things, while doing little abroad that could cause turmoil, which in turn could lead to unpopularity at home over yet another messy and costly Middle East commitment.
Landmark's letter to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission Calling for Investigations into 29 judges who signed petitions to recall Governor Scott Walker. A read-only copy of the brief is available by clicking on the following link: ◼ Wisconsin Judicial Commission Complaint (PDF)
House Republicans threw down the gauntlet in an election year, offering today a counter to President Obama’s budget plan as Congress barrels toward an April 15 budget deadline — and the country plummets further into a deficit crisis.
Try as the California Teachers Association might, the powerful union cannot realistically organize all of California’s 900-plus charter schools, only about 15 percent of which are currently unionized. Instead, the union is taking an indirect approach, sponsoring legislation that, if enacted, could over time greatly diminish the number of charters in the state—and thus reduce what little school choice Californians have. While other states have readily embraced school choice, including vouchers, Californian’s only real alternative to traditional public schools is charter schools. Charters are, in fact, public schools, but they aren’t bound by the intrusive union contracts that stifle so many traditional public schools. The flexibility that non-unionization offers is a key attraction for teachers and parents. And so the CTA’s long war against the charter option continues.
At some point, the legislature needs to stop writing bills to protect union members’ jobs and start thinking about what best serves California’s parents and children.... More...
As the battle for the Republican presidential nomination drags on through state after state, a number of commentators are suggesting that California’s primary scheduled for June 5 may help determine the party nominee. If that is so, Republican turnout should increase on election day. The potential upsurge in Republican voters could have a telling effect on both ballot measures and, perhaps, assembly and senate races.
If the political left weren’t so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, overtaxing, anarchistic, controlling, rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic, unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant—and if the political left weren‘t hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family’s life—the truth is, I would not be in your life.
That was enough to get him rolling. The fact that the left was determined to impose their hatred of God and hatred of life on everyone in America was sufficient cause for him to confront these “totalitarian freaks” head on. The left was not used to that sort of confrontation in America where they were usually able to get their way because of the fecklessness of the opposition.
...For the first time, we have a U.S. Justice Department that is actively opposing basic voter identification measures that would ensure that only eligible voters participate in the process.
This is the same Justice Department that chose not to prosecute, over career staff objections, two Black Panther Party members who were swinging a sword at a polling place to intimidate white voters from participating.
At the same time, far left billionaire funder, George Soros has been busily funding the campaign war chests of the state elected officials who oversee the election process. The Soros Secretary of State project has been successful in electing the officials who oversee the balloting in the electorally key states of Ohio, Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico among others, all with an eye toward controlling the vote counting process.
One of the continuing jokes in politics is to vote early and often, and stories of graveyard voting in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York City are part of the political lore of those cities.
No matter how quaint those tales remain, the modern day equivalent threatens the very fabric of our nation.
If America loses faith that the political system is anything more than a dog and pony show, a Soviet-style election, the government loses its moral authority to lead, people choose to not pay taxes, others choose to not serve in the military, and ultimately, the nation falls.
The White House has admitted to telling news agencies to pull stories on Malia Obama visiting Mexico for spring break, Politico reports.
Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady, emailed Dylan Byers:
From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.
The Blaze first noticed the disappearing stories Monday afternoon, when accounts of Malia and 12 friends visiting Oaxaca with 25 Secret Service agents mysteriously began turning into broken links.
With the approval of the Obama administration, and under the guise of closing achievement gaps between black and white students, PEG is promoting teaching methods that discourage “black and brown” students from conforming to an inherently “white” -- and therefore racist -- curriculum.
PEG also encourages teachers to conform to the presumed cultural backgrounds of students, rather than focusing on norms of assessment and accountability....
PEG has triggered local opposition, and occasional alarm. As long ago as 2007, organizations such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute have dismissed Singleton, saying he has “become a rich man by preaching racism, hate, and scapegoating” (original links):
Previously, Singleton embarrassed the Seattle Schools. In 2002, they hired him to indoctrinate their students and staff about racism. As a result, they redefined racism consistent with Singleton’s extreme and radical beliefs. The Seattle Schools defined “individualism” as a form of “cultural racism,” said that only whites can be racist, and claimed that planning ahead (“future time orientation”) is a white characteristic that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit.
Regardless of widespread criticism and a controversial history, Singleton’s PEG continues to expand into new public schools, soaking up more tax dollars.... More, at the link.
The verdict is in: The mainstream media believes that Derrick Bell is not a story. They believe it so deeply that they've had members of the Breitbart.com team on national television repeatedly; they've spent thousands of words covering it; and they've mentioned it on radio and the Internet incessantly. All to say that there's nothing to see here.
Unfortunately, for President Obama, there's something to see here.
“Despite the fact that we have had a tremendously contentious and unsatisfying Republican primary so far, despite the fact that people are a little bit more enthusiastic about the direction of the economy, and despite the fact that there have been relatively few problems for this administration in recent months, every poll shows it at a dead heat between President Obama and the current front-runner, Mitt Romney,” Law says.
“The fact that that’s where this race is despite all of those other circumstances indicates that it is a very, very competitive race.”
In fact, “When we go out and talk to people who voted for President Obama in 2008, people who were right in the middle, people who could go either way, most of them will tell you that they really don’t want to blame President Obama for everything that has happened,” Law says.
At the same time, “They are terribly disappointed in him,” Law says. “They think his policies are not the right policies. They think that he has failed to fix Washington, and they are worried that he may not be the kind of leader that our country needs right now, but they are not quite yet ready to let him go.”
That tells Law that “the floor on which Obama is standing right now in the polls has rotten floor boards underneath of it, and he could definitely have a lot further to go down the road ...”
All student health plans, HHS said Friday as it finalized a new regulation under the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) must cover the full set of cost-free women’s “preventive services” that HHS ordered last month must be covered by all U.S. health care plans.
These free “preventive services” include surgical sterilization procedures and all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.
...“Sterilization,” the IOM report said, “is a surgical procedure.”
In explaining the prevalence of contraception and sterilization in the United States, the IOM’s report on its recommendations cited a government study entitled, “The Use of Contraception in the United States: 1982 to 2008,” that was published by HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010.
The study said that 16.7 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 have been sterilized. This includes 4.5 percent of American women ages 15 to 44 who have never been married.
There are a number of facts and figures that could be challenged, but for now we are going to focus on this sequence. The series of words and images is an excellent example of how such films can create a misleading impression, while skirting as close as possible to the edge of falsehood.
The sequence, in fact, evokes a famous story that candidate Obama told during the 2008 campaign—that his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, fought with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage.
But the story was later called into question by Dunham’s biographer. The fact that Obama’s initial claim is not directly repeated suggests the filmmakers knew there was a problem with the campaign story, but they clearly wanted to keep some version of it in the film.
...In any case, the filmmakers must have known they had a problem with this story or else they would have recounted it as Obama had done in the 2008 campaign, using phrases such as “pre-existing conditions,” “health insurance,” and “treatment.”
Instead, they arranged the quotes and images to leave a misleading impression of what really happened.
As of today, the president who promised to cut the deficit in half has now racked up more new debt than any of his predecessors—and in less time.
In 2008, Obama said “I don’t want to wake up four years from now and find out that our children’s future was mortgaged by another mountain of debt.” But four years later, that’s exactly what’s he’s waking up to.
Instead of cutting the deficit in half, as promised, the president did the opposite. He created four record budget deficits—$1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and it is projected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2012.
What have we gotten in return? A weak economy. A bloated government. A failed $831 billion stimulus. A job-killing healthcare bill. Loans to failed companies like Solyndra. An embarrassing credit downgrade.
Today, the debt sits at $15.5 trillion and is greater than the U.S. GDP. Under Obama’s budget, by the end of 2022, the total federal debt will reach $25.9 trillion.
The size of the debt is shocking. But it still pales in comparison to the magnitude of President Obama’s hypocrisy on the issue.
During the 2008 campaign, President Obama called adding $4 trillion to the debt “irresponsible.” More memorably, he added, “It’s unpatriotic.”
If $4 trillion in eight years is “unpatriotic,” what is $4.9 trillion in three years?
This hypocrisy undermines the president’s credibility. It makes his campaign promises completely unbelievable. After breaking a major vow with such dramatic consequences, voters simply cannot believe him.
Worse still, from what we know, a second term would be no different. The president would continue to pursue policies that would add to the debt and imperil our economy.
In his Fiscal Year 2013 budget, the president has no comprehensive plan to cut the deficit. It called for more spending on top of more taxes. He has no plan to save Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid—the major drivers of the debt.
That means the debt ceiling will once again have to be raised. It also means that we are likely to see yet another credit downgrade. Last year, Standard and Poors revoked America’s AAA credit rating for the first time in history. Now, the credit rating agency Fitch may do the same.
Fitch has warned that if the United States does not produce a “credible plan” for cutting the deficit and debt, they too could downgrade our credit in 2013. In an already weak economy, we cannot afford that.
We have seen Barack Obama’s record. We know he will never produce a “credible plan” for deficit reduction. He ignored the recommendations from his own deficit reduction commission. He did not listen to his own advisors, and he does not listen to the American people who are demanding a responsible, efficient government.
That was the message they sent to Washington in the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans have been fighting for that cause, for the Ryan Plan, and for the Balanced Budget Amendment. But Democrats block those efforts and continue to say “spend more.”
We can’t afford to “spend more,” and we cannot afford a second term of Barack Obama. The first term has already been too expensive—$4.9 trillion too expensive, to be precise.
If you agree, be sure to watch and share the RNC’s new video, “Mountain of Debt.”
...Defending a corporate welfare agency. Attacking the critics of intrusive federal anti-terrorism measures. Giving a President the benefit of the doubt regarding the jailing of journalists critical of U.S. foreign policy. Ignoring multiple, deadly, ongoing, unauthorized wars. Celebrating military victory over a weak country as if creates moral legitimacy. Keeping Guantanamo Bay open.
But five months and almost three dozen announcements later, a closer look at the We Can’t Wait program shows just how hamstrung the president has been in acting on his own to provide expansive or quick relief to struggling Americans.
Some initiatives involve little more than a new website, a pilot program or a brochure. Others are basically repackaged announcements of programs already well under way. Yet others are works in progress, waiting on the government bureaucracy to catch up with the urgency of Obama’s “we can’t wait” mantra....
Despite her Florida district she gets her campaign donations from some very national sources, making this observer wonder just who owns Debbie Wasserman Schultz? The analysis (at the link) looks at the top 100 donors to the DNC Chair's campaign and her PAC (many donors donated to both). All of the data comes from opensecrets.org, and covers her donations after the 2010 campaign.
...If you live in DWS's district I hope you want a representative who is beholden to big labor, because over one-fifth of her money comes from labor sources. In the chart below the lines in yellow were donations made to Rep. Wasserman Schultz's PAC the ones in blue were made directly to her campaign....
Bristol Palin, starts ◼ her new blog with a bang. She’s challenging the president to take on his own Sister Souljah Moment, but this time against the misogynist left:
Your $1,000,000 donor Bill Maher has said reprehensible things about my family. He’s made fun of my brother because of his Down’s Syndrome. He’s said I was “f—-d so hard a baby fell out.” (In a classy move, he did this while his producers put up the cover of my book, which tells about the forgiveness and redemption I’ve found in God after my past – very public — mistakes.)
If Maher talked about Malia and Sasha that way, you’d return his dirty money and the Secret Service would probably have to restrain you. After all, I’ve always felt you understood my plight more than most because your mom was a teenager. That’s why you stood up for me when you were campaigning against Sen. McCain and my mom — you said vicious attacks on me should be off limits.
Yet I wonder if the Presidency has changed you. Now that you’re in office, it seems you’re only willing to defend certain women. You’re only willing to take a moral stand when you know your liberal supporters will stand behind you.
What if you did something radical and wildly unpopular with your base and took a stand against the denigration of all women… even if they’re just single moms? Even if they’re Republicans?
The White House insisted this week that Mr. Obama still spends “the vast preponderance of his time on his official duties.” But with his schedule increasingly crowded by fund-raisers and speeches that could easily double as campaign rallies, that case is getting harder and harder to make.
Except for a phone call he made on Friday to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan shortly after midnight, Mr. Obama’s day was dominated by speeches like the one he gave in a hotel ballroom in Chicago, where he told a faithful crowd that he understood “it’s not as trendy to be involved in the Obama campaign as it was back then.”
Yesterday, Breitbart.com revealed exclusive video of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder speaking to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, stating that he wanted to “brainwash” people against gun ownership.
The video reveals Attorney General Holder’s early, consistent, and strident enthusiasm for gun control legislation. He wanted schools to talk about anti-gun propaganda “every day, every school, and every level."
Operation Fast and Furious -- in which Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) smuggled guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels -- could finally have provided Holder the material for that anti-gun curriculum.
On December 7, 2011, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson (who is the only one in the mainstream media faithfully reporting this story) shared documents proving that the motive behind Operation Fast & Furious was to implement harsher gun regulations.
Ms. Attkisson reported that Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) officials within the DOJ discussed using the illegal gun sales to justify “Demand Letter 3,” which would require some gun shops to report the sales of multiple rifles or long guns.
Each new revelation pushes Operation Fast and Furious up the chain of command and provides more evidence that it was to be used for more gun control.
“Of course, we’ve heard this kind of thinking before. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. … There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don't believe in the future, and don't believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That's why he's not on Mount Rushmore because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. He’s explaining why we can't do something, instead of why we can do something.”
— President Obama, remarks on energy, Largo, Maryland, March 15, 2012
According to Ari Hoogenboom, who wrote the definite biography, “Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior and President,” Hayes entertained Thomas A. Edison at the White House. Edison demonstrated the phonograph for the president. “He was hardly hostile to new inventions,” Hoogenboom said.
Hayes, in fact, was such a technology buff that he installed the first telephone in the White House. A list of telephone subscribers published in the article “The Telephone Comes to Washington,” by Richard T. Loomis, shows that the White House was given the number “1.”
The White House phone initially was connected to the Treasury Department. Hoogenboom, in his book, writes that Hayes’s wife Lucy requested that a quartet sing on October 26, 1877, to inaugurate the service, but the concert abruptly ended because the powerful bass voice of one singer smashed “to atoms” the “sounding board of the telephone.” More at the link
"I don't think anybody should be told to drop out," Rubio said. "I think people should run until they feel that either they don't want to continue or they don't see a path to victory. I've never been a believer in asking people to drop out of a race, because I had a bunch of people ask me to drop out of a race."
Obama lags behind Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in finding donors willing to give $2,000 or more — a surprising development for a sitting president, and one that could signal more worrisome financial problems heading into the general election. At this point in the last election cycle, Obama had received such large donations from more than 23,000 supporters, more than double the 11,000 who have given him that much this time. President George W. Bush had more than four times the number of big donations at this point in his reelection.
Democrats see a variety of possible explanations for such a dramatic drop in big-dollar contributions. The ailing economy has dampened fundraising overall. Some wealthy liberals and Wall Street executives alike have grown disaffected with the president over time. And the extended Republican primary has shined a spotlight on a field of potential rivals that many Democrats believe Obama will easily beat.
This weekend’s Solyndra dump tells the story of an administration that was considering having Solyndra execs sit in the First Lady’s box for the January 2011 State of the Union address, until a White House staffer saw the writing on the wall:
The idea of seating Solyndra officials with first lady Michelle Obama in the Capitol during the president’s nationally televised speech came up around the same time that DOE was preparing a controversial change to the company’s $535 million federal loan guarantee, which wound up increasing the risk to taxpayers.
But Daniella Gibbs Léger, director of White House message events, batted down the idea of a State of the Union invite before it could be raised among her superiors. “Can’t do Solyndra … they’ve run into some issues recently. ,” she wrote on Jan. 5, 2011.
It doesn’t end with that little anecdote. Writing at Hot Air, the timeline seemed odd to Ed Morrissey, considering the Department of Energy allowed Solyndra $75 million in new financing and a restructured deal after the January 2011 SOTU...
What it boils down to is that Solyndra was too much of a political risk to feature their execs at a State of the Union speech, but not too much of a financial risk to put taxpayers on the hook for yet again (unfortunately in DC taxpayer money is considered a renewable resource).