Saturday, January 26, 2013

It takes quite a bit to generate sympathy for Microsoft, but this qualifies. Using the power of the state to interfere with a private sale — and one based in large part on the ridiculous policies championed by politicians like Steinberg himself — makes it clear that California isn’t in the governing business any longer. They’re running a protection racket.

(Oh and name that party — the Bee didn’t bother to.) - Ed Driscoll/PJM

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey spots California in full “nice business ya have there — wouldn’t want anything to happen to it” mode, as he puts it.

Under the headline of ◼ “California lawmaker threatening Microsoft over … loss of Sacramento Kings?”, Ed links to ◼ this recent Sacramento Bee article:
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is not backing down from a request for information about Microsoft’s dealings with California, a gesture that many interpreted as a warning to prospective Sacramento Kings buyer and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

After reports emerged that Ballmer was one of the investors seeking to purchase the Kings and relocate them to Seattle, Steinberg sent a letter to the Department of General Services asking for data about California’s contracts with Microsoft and the monetary value of the state’s past purchases from the technology giant.

Steinberg faced criticism from those who said he was unfairly bullying Ballmer and endangering a lucrative partnership. But Steinberg defended his move on Thursday as a service to constituents and said he would press on.

“There’s something that doesn’t feel right about making money working directly with the state of California – in fact, having some of their largest contracts with the state of California – and at the same time using at least some of those gains or profits to try to move a major asset out of the state of California in its capital city,” Steinberg said after emerging from a closed-door meeting about the Kings with Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and other lawmakers on Thursday.

Illinois’ credit rating downgraded; state drops to worst in the nation

A warning came Saturday morning from state treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) IL State Treasurer. The Standard and Poor’s downgrade from A to A-minus puts Illinois last on the list– and means a higher cost to borrow money. - WGNTV ◼ Via Drudge

On Wednesday, the state will issue $500 million in new bonds to pay for roads and other transportation projects. Rutherford says the credit downgrade will cost taxpayers an additional $95 million in interest,

When compared to a perfect triple-a bond rating enjoyed by other11 states including neighboring Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

“Our problem in Illinois is that we have not substantively and fairly addressed the state public pension issue.”

Obama's Illinois Downgrade Makes It America's Greece - IBD Editorial

State Budgets: Inability or unwillingness to fix the state's hemorrhaging pension system and curb union power has led a major credit rating service to downgrade the Land of Lincoln's rating to the lowest in the nation....

The news comes after failed attempts at even modest pension reform failed in a lame duck state legislative session.

A recent release by the Illinois Policy Institute shows this is only the tip of the iceberg and when you add in other liabilities such as $54 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health insurance and $15 billion in pension bonds that Gov. Pat Quinn and his immediate predecessor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, issued to avoid pension reform, Illinois' total unfunded liabilities amount to $275 billion, or $58,000 in debt for each and every household in the state.

While neighbors like Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan have either challenged the unions on pension reform or embraced right-to-work to encourage the economic growth to fund them, Illinois remains in thrall to big labor.

Obama Administration Proposes Slashing Health Care Benefits for Military

Congress won’t let him get away with this, but it is indicative of how seriously the administration is out to corral as many people as possible and put them in Obamacare insurance exchanges. - Rick Moran/PJM

The 2013 defense budget will force active duty and retired military to pay more for their health insurance. Gallingly, unionized civilian defense workers will not suffer the same fate.

Trashing Tricare: Obama to cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military - Bill Gertz/Washington Free Beacon

The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Federal appeals court ruled Wisconsin collective bargaining law is constitutional

A federal appeals court on Friday reversed a decision by a local federal judge and upheld a state law that sharply curtails the collective bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin. - gopUSA

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed a ruling issued in March by U.S. District Judge William Conley that struck down key parts of the collective bargaining law. Conley had ruled that the state can't prevent public employee unions from collecting voluntary dues through payroll deductions and can't require annual recertification of unions.

But writing for a 2-1 majority, Judge Joel Flaum wrote that the law's payroll deduction prohibitions do not violate First Amendment free speech rights because "use of the state's payroll systems to collect union dues is a state subsidy of speech that requires only viewpoint neutrality."

Flaum also wrote that unions' arguments against the creation of different collective bargaining rules for two sets of public workers -- public safety employees and general employees -- were appealing but aren't supported by established law....

Union officials said they would keep fighting, noting the federal suit the appeals court rejected Friday was just one challenge to the law.

GOP Weekly Address: Obama Has Added $6 Trillion in Debt in One Term …(That’s 1/3 of Total US Debt Folks)

Republicans must inform the public on Obama’s very destructive economic record. If they won’t do it, it won’t get done. The liberal media just can’t be trusted to report the truth anymore.

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) delivered the Weekly Republican Address this morning. - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

FULL TEXT: (Via ◼ Andrew Malcolm at IBD)Hi, I’m Senator John Thune from the great state of South Dakota.

With the recently passed fiscal cliff legislation, Congress enacted tax relief for 99 percent of Americans.

Now that the tax part of the fiscal cliff issue has been dealt with, it’s time to address the real cause of Washington’s fiscal mess— out-of-control spending.

Washington is addicted to spending your money.

Over the past four years, our country has added nearly $6 trillion to the national debt. At $16.4 trillion, our nation’s total debt is now larger than our entire economy.

This means that every man, woman, and child owes a $53,000 share of this debt. That level of spending is unsustainable. We cannot afford to keep adding over a trillion dollars to the debt every year, as we have for the past four years.

A major credit rating agency has already downgraded our nation’s credit once, and, if we don’t start making some real progress on spending reforms, more downgrades are likely in the near future.

What does that mean, practically speaking?

Well if you or I as citizens had a bad credit rating, banks would charge a higher interest rate when we approached them to borrow money.

It works the same way with nations. If the United States’ credit rating is further downgraded, our country will pay higher interest rates. This will mean trillions of borrowing in order for America to pay its bills.

Needless to say, we can’t go on like this forever. Eventually, we are simply going to run out of money. And no tax increase, no matter how high, will be enough to save us.

The only way—the only way—to dig ourselves out of this hole and put our country on a sound financial footing is to get spending under control.

Reducing our spending and debt will jump-start our economy and create jobs and opportunities for American families and workers.

And the way to start is by passing a budget.

I think most American families would agree that having a budget is essential to keeping their spending under control.

And if a budget is essential when you’re running a family, it’s even more essential when you’re running an entity the size of the federal government.

Congress’ first priority every year should be coming up with a spending plan. In fact, the law requires Congress to do just that. Yet, it’s been almost four years since the Democrat-led Senate passed a formal budget.

CA soon could have highest U.S. unemployment rate

California’s unemployment rate stayed the same in December, at 9.8 percent, the third highest. But what’s curious is that the unemployment rates of No. 1 and No. 2, Nevada and Rhodes Island at 10.2 percent each, are inching downward and soon likely will be lower than California’s. - Cal Watchdog

California’s higher taxes, stiffer regulations and hare-brained schemes like High-Speed Rail are going to increase unemployment here.

Hoping to excel his late father’s accomplishments with building infrastructure in the 1960s, Brown was enthusiastic in his speech... about his dream for California. The reality will be that he’ll soon be dealing mainly with higher unemployment and declining budgets.

Friday, January 25, 2013

According to RealClearPolitics, FOX News offered to renew Palin's contract as a contributor, and the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee declined.


CFRW: Capitol Update

State of the State
By: CFRW Intern Jilian Plank

Yesterday Governor Brown delivered the State of the State. The bulk of his address highlighted California’s success in overcoming its crippling deficit. With a Prop 30 victory and the praise of a balanced budget, the Governor thanked the legislature for making hard decisions and pulling California back from fiscal disaster. While the Governor may think California has overcome all of its failures, there is still a lot of progress to be made. The people of California must hold the Governor and the Democrat supermajority accountable and true to their promises. Governor Brown said we must live within our means and not spend more than we have, meaning when it comes time to make the hard decisions, we must decrease California’s out of control spending. Californians have been gouged with taxes, and while that is not going to change, we must demand the accompaniment of decreased spending and a “live within our means” budget. Governor Brown also focused on education and water infrastructure in his address Thursday. He established his commitment to education and also touted local control as one of the ways to solve our broken education system. In addition, he stated the importance of our college students and denounced tuition hikes. When it came to water, he prioritized the Delta and noted the importance of water to our farmers. A huge part of the Governor’s address was logical and common sense oriented in terms of policy progress. As Californians, however, we must take what the Governor said today as a promise and a commitment to its people. For far too long we have heard incessant talk and no real action. Therefore, it is now in the Governor and the Legislature’s hands to create and implement these promises and re-commit ourselves to education, water infrastructure, job creation, decreased spending, and living within our means. When real policy implementation comes we will really be able to say California has made it past its difficult times. Until then, we must continue to hold the Democrat supermajority and Governor Brown responsible for our economic health and viability.

Notable Legislation

This year our Republicans in the legislature have introduced intelligent legislation that can help Californians as well as beat the Democrats and their supermajority at their own game. As you read in the Capitol Update last week, Assemblyman Gorrell (R) and Senator Cannella (R) have introduce legislation that will put Prop 30’s tax increase to work by not raising tuition on California’s public college students. This week we’ve learned about Assemblyman Logue’s (R) AB 51, a bill that would create $10,000 college degrees from California schools. From a press release, “This program would allow a student to graduate with a BA degree in 18 months and get right into the work force. I hope my bill will be the beginning of a revolution to the very pressing issue of the costs of college that students face these days,” said Logue. “We cannot expect today’s students to have a higher standard of living than their parents if they continue to leave college saddled with so much debt.” Today is the deadline to introduce bills in both houses. We look forward to more crafty bills like these from our Republicans!

President’s Message

Dear CFRW Members,

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." (Henry Ford)

Blisters and all, we were successful yesterday, January 24, 2013, as Allison and I walked the halls of the State Capitol, meeting with some of our Republican Legislators. We felt it was necessary to open dialogue between our Republican Legislators and the California Federation of Republican Women. In a few cases we were not able to meet with the Assemblyman/woman or Senator, but did meet with a member of their staff. We will be continuing to meet with the remainder of the Legislators and those we missed yesterday.

The response was so positive. It was surprising how many were not aware of all we did as a Federation, other than run headquarters and help during elections. We received commitments from most of the legislators we personally spoke with about joining the Ambassador Program and having their staff join a Federation Club. We emphasized the need of being partners, of our working together on legislative issues, the Republican Party and being advocates for each other.

It was a wonderful experience and we are looking forward to continuing to stay in touch. Several requested information on our Conferences and Advocacy. Who know we might have some drop in when we meet in San Diego, on February 8-10.

We hope you are gearing up to share ideas with us at our workshops. You won't want to miss the "Leadership and Mentoring Workshop" on Friday beginning at 2:00 P.M. The three workshops on Saturday are only going to be as successful as you are willing to participate. Look on our CFRW Web site for further information.

Have you remembered to make your hotel reservations and send in your Conference Registration Form? If you are a Delegate or Alternate to the California Republican Party make sure you identify it on your registration form or you will not be allowed to vote for the CRP Endorsements.

It is with sadness that I mark the passing of two wonderful women who have meant so much to me. Karen Shubin, daughter of our CFRW Treasurer, Carol Stein, and my adopted niece. She lost her battle with cancer. She taught me so much and I thank her for her example. Also, Wathagene Bailey, one of my mentors. She convinced me not to quit the Federation when I was so discouraged. I often thanked her for her words of encouragement and wisdom. She was a former CFRW and Central Division Officer before she moved to Washington State. I shall miss them more than words can say. They were truly angels walking on this earth. May Our Father in Heaven continue to bless their family and friends.

Much love to all of you,
Carol Hadley
CFRW President
CFRW Winter Conference

Ladies, our winter conference is practically here! We are so lucky to be holding it in sunny San Diego! Click ◼ HERE for a flyer of more information and ◼ HERE for our Ambassador’s Event flyer. It’s not too late to register to hear speakers Senator Mark Wyland, BOE member Michelle Steel, RNC Committee member Shawn Steel, and more amazing speakers! Click ◼ HEREto register TODAY!

Full text: Bobby Jindal’s dynamite speech to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte

"Stop being the stupid party," says Bobby Jindal. - Althouse

Jindal said 'offensive and bizarre comments' by some Republicans hurt the whole party. Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor and RNC chair, seconded Jindal's message on Friday. - NY Daily News

Jindal: The man who could be GOP king - Pittsburgh Tribune (image source) (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

Below is the text of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s full speech to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte, N.C. delivered Thursday night. - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

Thank you all for having me here tonight. And thank you Reince for the outstanding leadership you provide to the Republican Party. And I want to thank our great RNC members from Louisiana, Chairman Roger Villere, National Committeewoman Lenar Whitney, and National Committeeman Ross Little for all of their hard work.

Let me warn you in advance that I plan to talk big picture here tonight, and I plan to say some things that may challenge your assumptions.

You may not agree with all of it, but that’s ok, ours is a party that can handle real discussions.

Wisconsin budget surplus projected to grow to $484 million

Wisconsin's budget picture brightened Thursday, with new estimates that show a surplus will grow to $484 million, giving Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker even more room to pursue their tax cutting agenda. - Wisconsin State Journal

In 2011, Walker took office facing a roughly $3 billion budget shortfall and attacked the problem with deep cuts to education, local governments and other programs. He also forced public workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits, and effectively ended workers' collective bargaining rights, leading to an unsuccessful attempt to recall him last year.

The surplus this time makes it easier for Walker and Republicans to follow through on their promises to cut income taxes while also increasing spending on K-12 schools.

One more occasion for us here at Meadhouse to dance to "Stand with Governor Walker." - Althouse

"What difference does it make?"

The difference between life and death. - Ramirez at Townhall
Asked and answered, sweetie. - Protein Wisdom

D.C. Appeals Court rules Obama recess appointments unconstitutional

President Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Obama's Abuse of Power: An appeals court says his recess appointments are unconstitutional. - Wall St. Journal

President Obama has shown increasing contempt for the constitutional limits on his power, and the courts are finally awakening to the news. A unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the President's non-recess recess appointments are illegal and an abuse of executive power.

On January 4, 2012, Mr. Obama bypassed the Senate's advice and consent power by naming three new members of the National Labor Relations Board and appointing Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Other Presidents have made recess appointments and we've supported that executive authority.

But here's the Obama kicker: He consciously made those "recess" appointments when the Senate wasn't in recess but was conducting pro-forma sessions precisely so Mr. Obama couldn't make a recess appointment. No President to our knowledge had ever tried that one, no doubt because it means the executive can decide on his own when a co-equal branch of government is in session....

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that President Obama violated the Constitution when he sidestepped the Senate to fill open spots on a labor relations panel, in a major setback for the president. - FOX

...a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia said the appointments were not valid because the Senate was not officially in recess. If the decision stands, it could invalidate hundreds of board decisions.

"Either the Senate is in session, or it is in the recess. If it has broken for three days within an ongoing session, it is not in 'the Recess,'" the panel said.

The court said the president could only fill vacancies with the recess appointment procedure if the openings arise when the Senate is in an official recess, which it defined as the break between sessions of Congress.

Obama recess appointments unconstitutional - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

In a case freighted with major constitutional implications, a federal appeals court on Friday overturned President Obama’s controversial recess appointments from last year, ruling he abused his powers and acted when the Senate was not actually in a recess.

The three-judge panel’s ruling is a major blow to Mr. Obama. The judges ruled that the appointments he made to the National Labor Relations Board are illegal, and hence the five-person board did not have a quorum to operate.

But the ruling has even broader constitutional significance, with the judges arguing that the president’s recess appointment powers don’t apply to “intra-session” appointments — those made when Congress has left town for a few days or weeks. They said Mr. Obama erred when he said he could claim the power to determine when he could make appointments.

“Allowing the president to define the scope of his own appointments power would eviscerate the Constitution’s separation of powers,” the judges said in their opinion.

"President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel...a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday." - Althouse

◼ Background: Levin tears into Obama’s statement from today where he said that he wouldn’t let a minority in the Senate stop him from getting his appointments, saying that the road to a dictatorship is paved with poisonousness language like this... - The Right Scoop January 4th, 2012

Obama’s Union-Controlled NLRB Thumbs Nose At Court Ruling, Chairman Vows To March Onward - Redstate
On NLRB Decision Nullification: No One For Union Bosses & Democrats To Blame Except Themselves - Redstate

New term, new slogan

"What difference does it make?"

Cartoon by William Warren

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Despite new evidence the Community Reinvestment Act led to riskier lending and played a key role in the subprime mortgage crisis, the Obama administration is broadening the anti-redlining regulation´s authority and scope, spooking bankers.

Clinton Added Teeth To CRA, Obama Turned Them Into Fangs - IBD

Through executive orders, Clinton set strict numerical lending targets for banks in "underserved" neighborhoods, while ordering regulators to crack down on alleged bank redlining.

The new rules for the first time mandated that banks use "innovative" or "flexible underwriting practices." Compliance required banks to pass a heavily weighted "lending test" or suffer holds on expansion plans.

The CRA overhaul "has been a disaster," said ex-BB&T CEO John Allison in his recent book on the financial crisis. He argued it's forced "banks to participate in making high-risk housing loans to low-income buyers who would not meet traditional bank lending standards."

Added Allison, who now heads the Cato Institute: "The default rates on these low-income loans are extraordinarily high."

..."DOJ wants banks to have a physical presence in the inner city," Washington-based Buckley Sandler LLP recently told clients, adding that "banks should carefully monitor loan data to determine whether an appropriate volume of loan originations emanate from minority areas."

Karl Rove to headline California Republican Party convention

The California Republican Party is turning to GOP strategist Karl Rove, the "architect" of former President George W. Bush's political campaigns, as it works to rebuild its own brand in the Golden State. - Sacramento Bee

The convention will mark the first official gathering of GOP operatives and delegates since the 2012 election, when Democrats dominated at the polls. Voters ousted several GOP congressional incumbents, gave Democrats a supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature and approved a $7 billion tax measure backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The GOP's share of the electorate fell to less than 30 percent of registered voters.

Former GOP Senate leader Jim Brulte is expected to take the reins as party chairman in leadership elections conducted during the convention. Many within the party are counting on him to improve the party's fundraising and prospects for political success.


Chambliss Introduces FairTax Bill

Senator Saxby Chambliss introduced S 122, the FairTax legislation, into the Senate! He also sent out a great press release that is a one page summary of the FairTax

◼ FOLLOW on Facebook.

Sheriff Against Gun Control?

According to the Texas-based group founded by former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, “Sheriffs have risen up all over our great nation to stand up against the unconstitutional gun control measures being taken.” - North Coast Journal

With the debate surrounding gun control heating up and President Obama calling for action on a national level, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said today that he stands with a group of sheriffs resisting federal control.

Downey is among the law enforcement officers on a “growing list of sheriffs saying ‘no’ to Obama gun control,” according to the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

“For me it’s a constitutional issue,” said Downey, confirming his alliance with CSPOA.

Number Of Nation's Sheriffs Refusing To Enforce Unconstitutional Gun Laws Snowballs - CNS

From Florida to California, a growing number of the nation's sheriffs are standing up to gun control measures proposed by both the administration and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Many law enforcement officials have written letters to President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden voicing their concerns over what they believe is an effort to infringe upon the Second Amendment.

In ◼ New Mexico, 30 of the state's 33 county sheriffs have reminded state lawmakers that they are under oath to support the U.S. Constitution, and that includes the Second Amendment. previously reported that ◼ 28 of the 29 sheriff's in Utah sent a letter to President Obama stating that they will not enforce any new gun laws they believe to be unconstitutional.

A host of Oregon sheriffs have said that they will not comply with any new unconstitutional gun regulations... Much more at the link.

The Day Accountability Died

All The Difference in the World - Sultan Knish

...Benghazi, Obama said, during his appearance with Jon Stewart, the man of many grimaces, was a bump in the road. And that's all it was. The Obama campaign bus drove over four bodies and reached its destination in an armored parking garage somewhere in D.C. An irritated Hillary Clinton, who is prepping for her own bus tour in 2016, has every reason to demand to know what difference it makes now to discuss who lied about what and who failed to secure the Benghazi mission....

...This isn't even about Hillary 2016. It's about the Middle East where bad policies make a world of difference. And it's about a political establishment that rewards the Hillary Clintons for the disasters they make while punishing the Michele Bachmanns for the truth that they tell, because it is unable to come to terms with its own mistakes....

Clinton on Benghazi: Protest, Terrorist Attack–What Difference Does It Make? - Helle Dale/Heritage's Foundry

Clinton’s totally inappropriate sarcasm and theatrics in response to a line of questioning by Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) will undoubtedly be the quote that stands out from the day.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” The difference between organized terrorism and random mayhem, nothing less....

Clinton stated, “We cannot retreat from…these Arab Spring regimes. We need to do a better job a [sic] counter-narrative to the extremist, jihadist narrative.” She correctly bemoaned the fact that the U.S. government has “abandoned broadcasting to the Middle East,” and stated that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which is responsible, is “a defunct agency.” Why Clinton herself, who has a seat on the board, has never done anything about this deplorable state of affairs remains one of the many questions the hearings left unanswered.

Rife with inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and bluster, Clinton’s performance yesterday left a great deal to be desired. Not only that, but the American public is no closer to knowing what the Obama Administration is doing to bring to justice the killers of the four brave Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Clinton was not a great secretary of state - Washington Examiner Editorial

Hillary Answers Just Don’t Add Up - Conservative Byte

Tongue Bath Time: Four months of rehearsal payoff as Congress lets Hillary slide. - Lucianne

The Day Accountability Died - Bryan Preston/PJM

Feinstein calls for banning more than 150 types of firearms

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein staged a dramatic press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with 10 weapons at her side and unveiled legislation instituting a government ban on more than 150 types of firearms, including rifles, pistols and shotguns. - Daily Caller

Full text: List of ‘assault weapons’ banned by bill introduced by Sen. Feinstein - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

Drudge Headlines:

Feinstein opens press conferences with prayer...
'I believe gun lobby is no match for cross lobby'...
Senator got special permission to display guns in DC...
Biden: It's Safety, Not Control...
Number of Sheriffs Refusing to Enforce New Laws Snowballs...

"We need to stand firm against those siding with the anti-gun crowd"

NRA boycott kills outdoors show that banned assault weapons - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

A massive boycott backed by the NRA and outdoorsmen and women outraged that the nation's largest outdoors show banned the exhibition of assault weapons has caused the show's organizers to abruptly cancel the week-long event in Harrisburg, Pa.

Fed's Holdings of U.S. Gov't Debt Hits Record $1,696,691,000,000 -- Up 257%!

The Fed's holdings of U.S. government debt have increased by 257 percent since President Barack Obama was first inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, and the Fed is currently the single largest holder of U.S. government debt. - CNS

GALLUP: Obama's Fourth Year in Office Most Polarized In History...

The list of most polarized years makes it clear that Obama's highly polarized ratings may be as much a reflection of the era in which he is governing as on Obama himself. The last nine presidential years -- the final five for Bush and Obama's first four -- all rank in the top 10. Thus, it appears that highly polarized ratings are becoming the norm, as Americans aligned with both parties are apparently not looking much beyond the president's party affiliation to evaluate the job he is doing. - Gallup

Live Blog: Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State

At the Sacramento Bee

'California did the impossible,' Brown says in State of the State - LA Times

Gov. Jerry Brown says California has averted fiscal collapse. He calls for investing in water and rail programs, but warns: 'Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our good intentions but the basis for realizing them.'

January 24, 2013 - FULL TEXT:

The message this year is clear: California has once again confounded our critics. We have wrought in just two years a solid and enduring budget. And, by God, we will persevere and keep it that way for years to come.

Against those who take pleasure, singing of our demise, California did the impossible.

You, the California legislature, did it. You cast difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget. You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment and you reformed and reduced the state's long term pension liabilities.

Then, the citizens of California, using their inherent political power under the Constitution, finished the task. They embraced the new taxes of Proposition 30 by a healthy margin of 55% to 44%.
Members of the legislature, I salute you for your courage, for wholeheartedly throwing yourself into the cause.

I salute the unions--their members and their leaders. You showed what ordinary people can do when they are united and organized.

I salute those leaders of California business and the individual citizens who proudly stood with us.

I salute the teachers and the students, the parents and the college presidents, the whole school community. As the great jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once said when describing what stirs people to action: "Feeling begets feeling and great feeling begets great feeling." You were alarmed, you stirred yourselves to action and victory was the outcome.

That was 2012 and what a year!

In fact, both 2011 and 2012 were remarkable.

You did great things: Your 1/3 renewable energy mandate; the reform of workers compensation; the reorganization of state government; protecting our forests and strengthening our timber industry; reforming our welfare system; and launching the nation's first high speed rail system.

But, of course, governing never ends. We have promises to keep. And the most important is the one we made to the voters if Proposition 30 passed: that we would guard jealously the money temporarily made available.

This means living within our means and not spending what we don't have. Fiscal discipline is not the enemy of our good intentions but the basis for realizing them. It is cruel to lead people on by expanding good programs, only to cut them back when the funding disappears. That is not progress; it is not even progressive. It is illusion. That stop and go, boom and bust, serves no one. We are not going back there.

The budget is balanced but great risks and uncertainties lie ahead. The federal government, the courts or changes in the economy all could cost us billions and drive a hole in the budget. The ultimate costs of expanding our health care system under the Affordable Care Act are unknown. Ignoring such known unknowns would be folly, just as it would be to not pay down our wall of debt. That is how we plunged into a decade of deficits.

Recall the story of Genesis and Pharaoh's dream of seven cows, fatfleshed and well favored, which came out of the river, followed by seven other cows leanfleshed and ill favored. Then the lean cows ate up the fat cows. The Pharaoh could not interpret his dream until Joseph explained to him that the seven fat cows were seven years of great plenty and the seven lean cows were seven years of famine that would immediately follow. The Pharaoh took the advice of Joseph and stored up great quantities of grain during the years of plenty. When famine came, Egypt was ready.

The people have given us seven years of extra taxes. Let us follow the wisdom of Joseph, pay down our debts and store up reserves against the leaner times that will surely come.

In the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt said: "There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation has a rendezvous with destiny."

We --right here in California-- have such a rendezvous with destiny. All around us we see doubt and skepticism about our future and that of America's. But what we have accomplished together these last two years, indeed, the whole history of California, belies such pessimism.

Remember how California began.

In 1769, under King Charles III, orders were issued to Jose de Galvez, the Visitor General of Baja California, to: "Occupy and fortify San Diego and Monterey for God and the King of Spain.´

Gaspar Portola and a small band of brave men made their way slowly north, along an uncharted path. Eventually, they reached Monterey but they could not recognize the Bay in the dense fog. With their supplies failing, they marched back to San Diego, forced to eat the flesh of emaciated pack mules just to stay alive. Undaunted, Portola sent for provisions from Baja California and promptly organized a second expedition. He retraced his steps northward, along what was to become El Camino Real, the Kings Highway. This time, Father Serra joined the expedition by sea. The rest is history, a spectacular history of bold pioneers meeting every failure with even greater success.

The founding of the Missions, secularized and sold off in little more than 50 years, the displacement and devastation of the native people, the discovery of Gold, the coming of the Forty-Niners and adventurers from every continent, first by the thousands and then by the hundreds of thousands. Then during the Civil War under President Lincoln came the Transcontinental Railroad and Land Grant Colleges, followed by the founding of the University of California. And oil production, movies, an aircraft industry, the longest suspension bridge in the world, aerospace, the first freeways, grand water projects, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Venture Capital, Silicon Valley, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Qualcomm, Google and countless others, existing and still just imagined.

What is this but the most diverse, creative and longest standing mass migration in the history of the world. That is California. And we are her sons and daughters.
This special destiny never ends. It slows. It falters. It goes off track in ignorance and prejudice but soon resumes again--more vibrant and more stunning in its boldness.

The rest of the country looks to California. Not for what is conventional, but for what is necessary--necessary to keep faith with our courageous forebears.
What we have done together and what we must do in the coming years is big, but it pales in comparison to the indomitable courage of those who discovered and each decade thereafter built a more abundant California.

As Legislators, It is your duty and privilege to pass laws. But what we need to do for our future will require more than producing hundreds of new laws each year. Montaigne, the great French writer of the 16th Century, in his Essay on Experience, wisely wrote: "There is little relation between our actions, which are in perpetual mutation, and fixed and immutable laws. The most desirable laws are those that are the rarest, simplest, and most general; and I even think that it would be better to have none at all than to have them in such numbers as we have."

Constantly expanding the coercive power of government by adding each year so many minute prescriptions to our already detailed and turgid legal system overshadows other aspects of public service. Individual creativity and direct leadership must also play a part. We do this, not by commanding thou shalt or thou shalt not through a new law but by tapping into the persuasive power that can inspire and organize people. Lay the Ten Commandments next to the California Education code and you will see how far we have diverged in approach and in content from that which forms the basis of our legal system.


In the right order of things, education--the early fashioning of character and the formation of conscience--comes before legislation. Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children. If we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify.

In California's public schools, there are six million students, 300,000 teachers--all subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations. In addition to the teacher in the classroom, we have a principal in every school, a superintendent and governing board for each school district. Then we have the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, which makes rules and approves endless waivers--often of laws which you just passed. Then there is the Congress which passes laws like "No Child Left Behind," and finally the Federal Department of Education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America, where sixty million children study, not six million.

Add to this the fact that three million California school age children speak a language at home other than English and more than two million children live in poverty. And we have a funding system that is overly complex, bureaucratically driven and deeply inequitable. That is the state of affairs today.

The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.

We seem to think that education is a thing--like a vaccine--that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. But as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, "Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire."

This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.

Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work - lighting fires in young minds.

My 2013 Budget Summary lays out the case for cutting categorical programs and putting maximum authority and discretion back at the local level--with school boards. I am asking you to approve a brand new Local Control Funding Formula which would distribute supplemental funds -- over an extended period of time -- to school districts based on the real world problems they face. This formula recognizes the fact that a child in a family making $20,000 a year or speaking a language different from English or living in a foster home requires more help. Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.

With respect to higher education, cost pressures are relentless and many students cannot get the classes they need. A half million fewer students this year enrolled in the community colleges than in 2008. Graduation in four years is the exception and transition from one segment to the other is difficult. The University of California, the Cal State system and the community colleges are all working on this. The key here is thoughtful change, working with the faculty and the college presidents. But tuition increases are not the answer. I will not let the students become the default financiers of our colleges and universities.

Health Care

California was the first in the nation to pass laws to implement President Obama's historic Affordable Care Act. Our health benefit exchange, called Covered California, will begin next year providing insurance to nearly one million Californians. Over the rest of this decade, California will steadily reduce the number of the uninsured.

Today I am calling for a special session to deal with those issues that must be decided quickly if California is to get the Affordable Care Act started by next January. The broader expansion of Medi-Cal that the Act calls for is incredibly complex and will take more time. Working out the right relationship with the counties will test our ingenuity and will not be achieved overnight. Given the costs involved, great prudence should guide every step of the way.


California lost 1.3 million jobs in the great Recession but we are coming back at a faster pace than the national average. The new Office of Business and Economic Development -- GoBiz --directly assisted more than 5,000 companies this past year.

One of those companies was Samsung Semiconductor Inc. headquartered in Korea. Working with the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County, GoBiz persuaded Samsung to locate their only research and development facility in the world here in California. The new facility in San Jose will place at least 2,500 people in high skill, high wage jobs. We also leveled the field on internet sales taxes, paving the way for over 1,000 new jobs at new Amazon distribution centers in Patterson and San Bernardino and now Tracy.

This year, we should change both the Enterprise Zone Program and the Jobs Hiring Credit. They aren't working. We also need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act. Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.

California's exports are booming and our place in the world economy has never been stronger. Our ties with The People's Republic of China in particular are deep--from the Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific in 1848 to hosting China's next President in Los Angeles last February. This year we will take another step to strengthen the ties between the world's second and ninth largest economies. In April, I will lead a trade and investment mission to China with help from the Bay Area Council and officially open California's new trade and investment office in Shanghai.


Central to the life of our state is water and one sixth of that water flows through the San Joaquin Delta.

Silicon Valley, the Livermore Valley, farmers on the East side of the San Joaquin Valley between Fresno and Kern County and farmers on the West side between Tracy and Los Banos, urban Southern California and Northern Contra Costa, all are critically dependent on the Delta for Water.

If because of an earthquake, a hundred year storm or sea level rise, the Delta fails, the disaster would be comparable to Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy: losses of at least $100 billion and 40,000 jobs. I am going to do whatever I can to make sure that does not happen. My proposed plan is two tunnels 30 miles long and 40 feet wide, designed to improve the ecology of the Delta, with almost 100 square miles of habitat restoration. Yes, that is big but so is the problem.

The London Olympics lasted a short while and cost $14 billion, about the same cost as this project. But this project will serve California for hundreds of years.

Climate Change

When we think about California's future, no long term liability presents as great a danger to our wellbeing as the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

According to the latest report from the World Bank, carbon dioxide emissions are the highest in 15 million years. At today's emissions rate, the planet could warm by more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, an event unknown in human experience. California is extremely vulnerable because of our Mediterranean climate, long coastline and reliance on snowpack for so much of our water supply.

Tipping points can be reached before we even know we have passed them. This is a different kind of challenge than we ever faced. It requires acting now even though the worst consequences are perhaps decades in the future.

Again California is leading the way. We are reducing emissions as required by AB 32 and we will meet our goal of getting carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Key to our efforts is reducing electricity consumption through efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. Over the last three decades, these pioneering efforts have saved Californians $65 billion dollars. And we are not through yet.

We are also meeting our renewable energy goals: more than 20% renewable energy this year. By 2020, we will get at least a third of our electricity from the sun and the wind and other renewable sources--and probably more.

Transportation and High Speed Rail

In the years following World War II, California embarked on a vast program to build highway, bridges and roads.

Today, California's highways are asked to accommodate more vehicle traffic than any other state in the nation. Most were constructed before we knew about climate change and the lethal effects of dirty air. We now expect more.

I have directed our Transportation Agency to review thoroughly our current priorities and explore long-term funding options.

Last year, you authorized another big project: High Speed Rail. Yes, it is bold but so is everything else about California.

Electrified trains are part of the future. China already has 5000 miles of high speed rail and intends to double that. Spain has 1600 miles and is building more. More than a dozen other countries have their own successful high speed rail systems. Even Morocco is building one.

The first phase will get us from Madera to Bakersfield. Then we will take it through the Tehachapi Mountains to Palmdale, constructing 30 miles of tunnels and bridges. The first rail line through those mountains was built in 1874 and its top speed over the crest is still 24 miles an hour. Then we will build another 33 miles of tunnels and bridges before we get the train to its destination at Union Station in the heart of Los Angeles.

It has taken great perseverance to get us this far. I signed the original high speed rail Authority in 1982--over 30 years ago. In 2013, we will finally break ground and start construction.


This is my 11th year in the job and I have never been more excited. Two years ago, they were writing our obituary. Well it didn't happen. California is back, its budget is balanced, and we are on the move. Let's go out and get it done.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

CFRW Winter Conference

CFRW Board of Directors and Conference Meeting
February 8 - 10, 2013
San Diego Marriott Mission Valley
8757 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108
619-692-3800 / 877-622-3056
Reservation code: CFRW
Confirmed Speakers:
Michelle Steel
Member Board of Equalization

Committeeman Shawn Steel
Republican National Committee

John Nienstedt, President
Competitve Edge Research Co.

Chairman Tom del Beccaro
California Republican Party

State Senator Jean Fuller
California State Senate

Former State Senator Jim Brulte
Candidate/Chairman for the California Republican Party

Rosario Marin
Former United States Treasurer under George W. Bush
Hispanic Outreach Representative
Friday, February 8, 2013
Cabrillo Salon

New study by the National Council on Teacher Quality exposes insolvent teacher pension systems. via Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


Today while almost all the media was gushing over outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's theatrical and less than forthcoming Senate testimony about events in Libya, CBS News' investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson tweeted out a penetrating series of unanswered questions that both the White House and its media minions will ensure are never answered. - John Nolte/Breitbart

One honest reporter isn't enough, unfortunately. Until the media as a whole makes the White House pay a political price for remaining silent, the White House will continue to remain silent. But in our present media atmosphere where 98% of so-called journalists in this country see it as their job to protect the White House from having to answer these questions, it's just never going to happen.

That doesn't mean, though, that we shouldn't recognize, appreciate, and encourage Attkisson's fine reporting.

The point seems to be: Anything that is bad for Democrats is wrong. These unfair “tactics” include (a) direct quotes, (b) facts and (c) math.

Liberal Blogger: ‘How Dare You Smear Hillary by Quoting Her Accurately!’ - The Other McCain

As she leaves office, the American people deserve to know whether she supports the leading-from-behind approach that has undone some of the Libyan achievement and dangerously prolonged the war in Syria. If it is the president's policy and not hers, now is the time to voice her objections. If it is her policy, too, then it is fair to ask her to defend it and to be held accountable for its consequences.

Hillary and 'Leading From Behind' - Paul Wolfowitz/Wall St. Journal

The House has passed #NoBudgetNoPay in a 285-144 vote.

Senate Dems proclaim victory; House ready to pass debt-limit bill

Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday proclaimed victory in the long-running battle over the debt ceiling and described House Republicans as being in “full-on retreat” on fiscal policy. - The Hill

Will the Democratic Party survive Obama? - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner @conncarroll


Video: Rand Paul Hammers Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi During Senate Hearing, “I Would Have Relieved You Of Your Post”… - Weasel Zippers

Wednesday morning, during her testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got into a heated confrontation with Wisconsin’s Republican Sen. Ron Johnson over the cause for the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. At times pounding her fist on the table in front of her, Clinton insisted that regardless of whether the attack was carried out by a “protest, or guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans,” it is their job to to now prevent anything like it from happening again.



[VIDEO] Pressed for Answers on Her Response to the Benghazi Attack, Hillary Clinton Fumes ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ - Bryan Preston/PJM

Clinton shouts at Ron Johnson over talking points - Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton’s Laughter At Benghazi Hearing, After Feigning Tears - Sooper Mexican

“What difference does it make?!” For one, it makes a difference if you don’t know what the motives are of the murderers who killed 4 Americans. She wants us to believe they’re sincerely seeking after them without understanding their reasoning for the attack? And finally, it matters because a government shouldn’t be lying to it’s citizens when it’s attacked. But you won’t see any of that in the media – you’ll just see her tears, and not her laughing at us all behind our backs.

Drudge Headlines: Gets emotional over Benghazi attack... Shouts: 'What Difference ... Does It Make?!' Disses Rice: 'I Wasn't Involved In Talking Points'... NYT: Some Algeria Attackers Hit US Embassy in Libya... SecState: I never saw requests for more security... Blames Congress for lack of funding... Rand Paul: 'I would have relieved you of post'... Dem Sen brings up WMD's in Iraq...

Amazing video: Dolphin asks for diver's help - and gets it.

NFRW Political Briefing

Federal Regulations Cost Reached $518 Billion in Obama's First Term

A recent report by the American Action Forum found that in President Obama's first term in office, the total cost incurred by businesses from federal regulations has been $518 billion, a figure which includes the cost of proposed rules, final rules, and interim rules, and is more than the combined GDP of Norway and Portugal. By tracking every proposed and final regulation that appears in the Federal Register, the AAF compiled its report which is summarized here.
While Obama's Administrator of the White House office of Information and Regulatory affairs, Cass Sunstein, may argue that regulatory rescission saved businesses $2.5 billion last year, any savings were negated by the $236 billion in new regulations that were proposed and implemented.

Last year the White House disregarded its obligation to publish an accounting of regulations in April and October of every year according to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A spring edition was never released and the fall edition was put out in December. The White House also failed to report new paperwork burdens on businesses as a result of these regulations by not releasing the Information Collection Budget. The White House also never released its "Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations."

AAF points out that while many assume the Environmental Protection Agency is the "sole driver of new burdens," the "top two proposed rules in 2012 and top final rule this year were either energy or fuel conservation rules." 2013 awaits five new conservation rules.

In the past four years, the projected cost of proposed and interim regulations has been much lower than the actual cost of the final regulation except in 2011, when regulations on the whole were curbed. In 2009, the projected cost of proposed and interim regulations was $921 million, but the actual cost was $83 billion. In 2010, the price of heavy regulation was $104 billion more than projected. In 2011, the actual cost of regulations was $144 billion less than projected, but in 2012 the cost of regulations was $195.2 billion more than projected.

In 2012 alone, White House officials instituted regulations costing businesses $236 billion.
These are just some of the AAF findings in the report ◼ Piling On: The Year in Regulation. To learn more about this issue and to see the graphs and charts AAF composed on the 2012 Top Proposed Rules by Cost, the 2012 Top Final Rules by Cost, the 2012 Top Regulations by Paperwork Burdens, and the Industry Regulation Index, which breaks down the financial burden these regulations impose by industry and year, check out the AAF report.

Obama's First Term by the Numbers

Last week, the RNC Research arm released a list of how much President Obama's first four years cost in terms of deficits, regulations, stimulus spending, and the underemployed and unemployed individuals. The following are a few of those figures:
$25.4 Trillion: Projected federal debt in 2022 due to Obama's binge spending (Office of Management and Budget, 7/27/12).
$16.4 Trillion: Current national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).

$9.2 trillion: Amount Obama's FY2013 budget would add to the debt through FY2022 (OMB, 7/27/12).

$5.8 Trillion: Added to the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).

$2.6 Trillion: True cost of ObamaCare once fully implemented (Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Report 1/6/11).

$1.75 Trillion: Annual cost of federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).

$1.18 Trillion: Total cost of Obama's first stimulus with interest (CBO, 1/31/12).
$1.17 Trillion: American debt held by China (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).

$1.090 Trillion: Federal budget deficit for FY2012--Fourth Highest in U.S. History (CBO, 10/5/12).

$833 Billion: Price tag of Obama's first failed stimulus (CBO, 8/23/12).

$820 Billion: Amount of taxes in ObamaCare (CBO 3/13/12).

$518 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden since Obama took office (American Action Forum, 1/14/13).

$447 Billion: Price tag of Obama's second stimulus (The White House, 9/8/11).

$236.7 Billion: Amount of regulatory burden in 2012 (American Action Forum 1/14/13).

$188 Billion: Taxpayer funds for Fannie May and Freddie Mac (ProPublica, Accessed 10/10/12).

$28.5 Billion: Outstanding government investment bailouts of the auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).

$24.3 Billion: Amount government expects to lose on bailouts of auto industry (Treasury Department, 1/10/13).

$535 Million: Stimulus loan to the failed solar company Solyndra (The Oakland Tribune, 11/4/10).

46.2 Million: Number of Americans receiving food stamps (Department of Agriculture, 1/4/13).

22.7 Million: Americans unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

12.2 Million: Unemployed Americans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

2.6 Million: Unemployed workers that have given up looking for work (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

757,000: Unemployed veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

226,000: Unemployed post-9/11 era veterans (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

89,000: The number of stimulus checks sent to dead or incarcerated people (The Wall Street Journal, 10/7/10).

$53,224: Your share of the national debt (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).

$18,804: Increase in your share of the national debt since Obama took office (U.S. Treasury Department, Accessed 1/17/13).

45,696: Pages of new rules added to the federal register during Obama's first two years in office (Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2011).

$15,500: Annual cost per household from federal regulations (Small Business Administration, September 2010).

61%: The amount by which new offshore leases for oil and natural gas drilling has declined under Obama (, 10/19/12).

$3,065: Amount of increase of average cost of family health care premiums since Obama took office (The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2012).

7.8%: The current unemployment rate, which is the same as when Obama took office (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/17/13).

Since Obama took office, the unemployment rate for women has increased from 6.9% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).

In December 2012, the unemployment rate for women spiked from 7.6% to 7.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).

Since Obama took office, the African American unemployment rate has increased from 12.7% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).

In December 2012, the African American unemployment rate increased from 13.2% to 14.0% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/4/13).
To access the full list, complete with links, ◼ click here: Obama By The Numbers

“We’re not people to be trivialized, marginalized or demonized as unreasonable. We’re not children who need to be parented or misguided ‘bitter clingers,’” he concluded. “We believe in the right to defend ourselves…We believe in our country, we believe in our Bill of Rights and we believe in our Second Amendment.”


Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre issued a scathing review of President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, saying the president expects Americans to accept his flawed interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment.

“He wants you, all of you, and Americans across this country to accept the idea of principles as he sees fit,” LaPierre said. “It’s a way of redefining words so that common sense is turned upside down, and nobody knows the difference.”

“We as gun owners face that same kind of false ultimatum,” he added. “We are told that to stop insane killers, we must accept less freedom.”

That is not the solution, LaPierre explained. Nonetheless, Obama believes the only “principled way to make children safe is to make lawful citizens less safe” through gun control.

“Criminals couldn’t care less about Obama’s so-called principles, that’s why they are criminals,” LaPierre said to applause. “You all know that.”

Obama wants you to believe that putting the federal government right in the middle of every firearms transaction, except those between criminals, will somehow make the country safer, the NRA executive vice president lamented.

“He wants to keep all those names in a massive federal registry. There are only two reasons for such a registry of gun owners, that is to tax them or take them,” he added.

...LaPierre went on: “Mr. President, just because you wish words meant something other than what they mean, you don’t have the right to define them anyway you want. Because when words can mean anything, they mean nothing.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shopping Around for a Better Life

Thanks, California! Thanks for your monstrous spending and absurd regulatory overreach! America needs you. We need Connecticut and Illinois, too! We need you the way we needed the Soviet Union, as models of failure, to warn us what happens if we believe those who say, "Government can." - John Stossel/Townhall

Moving to California was once the dream for many Americans. Its population grew at almost triple the national average -- until 1990. Then big government, in the form of endless regulation and taxes, killed much of the dream. In the last decade, 2 million people left California.

Many of them moved to Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming. More on what makes those states special in a moment.

When the USSR died, overthrown by its own citizens' hatred of central planning, I assumed the world would acknowledge that big government is a nightmare. But people don't. Our brains are programmed to believe that "next time, central planning will help." So, many people forget the lesson of the USSR.

Fortunately, they can still watch what's happening right now in California, Illinois and Connecticut. OK, those states are not totalitarian dictatorships, but they tax and micromanage so much that they will soon approach bankruptcy, cut services and stagnate.

And Americans have an advantage Soviet citizens never had: 50 states. If we live in a big-government state, we can move.

Happy Anniversary, "Baby"

‘Happy anniversary, baby’: Mehcad Brooks slammed for ‘sexy’ ad toasting Roe v. Wade decision - Twitchy

Sick: Mother Jones wishes Roe v. Wade ‘happy birthday’ - Twitchy

On anniversary, Obama praises Roe’s ‘guiding principle’; Aborted children can’t write letters - Twitchy

Boom: CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson tears into Obama Admin over Benghazigate

Read all the questions, at Twitchy

Post Inaugural Drudge Headlines Tell A Story

Obama's lofty inaugural ideals run into reality
TV Ratings Down Substantially
Jarrett Compares Obama to Lincoln
GALLUP: American Optimism Hits Lowest Point Since Carter


For all the momentum 2nd Amendment detractors seemed to have at their disposal with their politicization of the Sandy Hook tragedy, pro-gun Virginia legislators have proven very successful at shooting down multiple anti-gun measures already this year. - Awr Hawkins/Breitbart


State Department refuses to delay delivery to Muslim Brotherhood-run Egypt - Washington Free Beacon

Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s … a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congress passed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace. - S. Smithson/Washington Times

Shock Claim: New Obama Litmus Test For Military Leaders: They Must Be Willing to Fire On US Citizens - Nice Deb

Dr. Jim Garrow, a renowned author and humanitarian, made the shocking claim on ◼ his Facebook page, yesterday.
I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new “litmus test” in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. “The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.” Those who will not are being removed.
Garrow noted in the comments that “the man who told me this is one of America’s foremost military heroes,” prompting this relpy from one of his followers, “if this man is truly a military hero, he had better not be keeping this a secret. Military hero’s (sic) do what’s right, not what’s comfortable for themselves.”

Garrow responded, “have folks forgotten that the word is now out. I believe that the gentleman has done what he should and allowed all of us to sound the alarm.

Dr. Jim Garrow is not some random crackpot on Facebook. He’s a respected human rights activist who’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and is the founder of The Pink Pagoda Girls.

He has personally made it his mission to help save little girls in China from certain death. He has rescued over 45,000 little lives and has committed to rescuing a million more over the next ten years. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and continues to inspire the world with his dedication to giving. He is also the author of The Pink Pagoda.
The Examiner reported:

This comes on the heels of Sunday’s report in the Washington Free Beacon (WFB) that the head of Central Command, Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis is being dismissed by Obama and will leave his post in March.

The WFB article states:

“Word on the national security street is that General James Mattis is being given the bum’s rush out of his job as commander of Central Command, and is being told to vacate his office several months earlier than planned.”

Keep in mind that there are now two military “studies” being discussed in military circles that demonize the right.

The $10 Trillion Climate Fraud

Cap-And-Trade: While senators froth over Goldman Sachs and derivatives, a climate trading scheme being run out of the Chicago Climate Exchange would make Bernie Madoff blush. Its trail leads to the White House. -

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) advertises itself as "North America's only cap-and-trade system for all six greenhouse gases, with global affiliates and projects worldwide." Barack Obama served on the board of the Joyce Foundation from 1994 to 2002 when the CCX startup grants were issued. As president, pushing cap-and-trade is one of his highest priorities. Now isn't that special?

Decades of glamor: Stunning inauguration dresses chosen by America's First Ladies

Donation: Helen Herron Taft, pictured right at her husband's 1909 inauguration was the
first First Lady to donate her gown to the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Bolero: Pat Nixon opted for a short jacket and canary yellow dress combination. It was designed for the 1969 inauguration ball by Karen Stark for Harvey Berin

Asymmetrical: Nancy Reagan wore an inauguration gown... The one-shouldered white
embellished dress was designed by James Galanos. 'She knew her style very well,
and it was always simple and elegant,' Galanos told the Los Angeles Times

Possible clash: Arnold Scaasi designed this gown for Barbara Bush.
The designer had already sold three so he called his other clients to
ensure they weren't wearing it to the 1989 ball

Purple reign: Hillary Clinton, often criticized by the fashion pack, took on an
uncharacteristic glitzy style with this gown for the 1993 inauguration ball

First Lady in red: Laura Bush opted for this eye-catching
Michael Faircloth gown for her husbands 2001 inauguration ball

Michelle Obama chose a Jason Wu dress for the inauguration ball in 2009

Michelle Obama stuck to what she knows and picked another dress by Jason Wu -
a dramatic ruby-colored velvet and chiffon creation made especially for her

From Helen Taft to Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush, Smithsonian Museum of American History exhibition shows off inauguration ball choices of First Ladies gone by - Daily Mail

First Lady wore chiffon and velvet creation by designer who also made gown for 2009 ball - Daily Mail

Michelle Obama Wears Inauguration Jewelry by L.A. Jeweler Kimberly McDonald - Hollywood Reporter

Inauguration Day through the years - CBS News (Slideshow)