Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wall Street sees opportunity in marijuana

Hoping to cash in if pot becomes legal nationwide, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. - LA Times

1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It's Time For A National Conversation

It's time for President Obama to practice what he preaches. - Ralph Benko/Forbes

The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America....

It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America. There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok. About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways. The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this: it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget. So… why not?

If Obama doesn’t show any leadership on this matter it’s an opportunity for Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to summon Secretary Napolitano over for a little national conversation. Madame Secretary? Buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and deploying armored personnel carriers runs contrary, in every way, to what “homeland security” really means. Discuss.

'Homeland' Denies Massive Ammunition Purchase - ELIZABETH FLOCK/US News & World Report

Won't Answer Congress - IBD Editorials

Fifteen members of Congress have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding to know why the federal agency is buying so many rounds of ammunition. We'd like to know too.

Freshman California Republican Doug LaMalfa and 14 of his House colleagues, who signed on to his March 5 letter, are asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain why it is buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition of various calibers. They aren't happy with explanations provided so far in the press by lower-level officials, answers meant to debunk "unfounded" concerns.

As we have noted, DHS has been buying lots of ammo, enough by one calculation to fight the equivalent of a 24-year Iraqi War.

...hollow-point bullets (which make up the majority of the DHS purchases) are not used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds.

"We never trained with hollow points, we didn't even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps," Mason said....

Cover-up? - Steve Watson/Infowars

Silence, secrecy and shoddy attempts at debunking the facts have led to Congressional scrutiny...

Big Sis has remained silent on the issue, refusing to answer questions from reporters and even from multiple elected representatives, about the ammo buys.

The continued huge orders for weapons and bullets have prompted attendances at gun shows to explode, as gun store owners say they are having to contend with significant national shortages.

Efforts to portray the very real stockpiling by the federal agency as a conspiracy theory have fallen flat on their face, and have only served to further highlight how suspect the DHS’ actions are.

When Media Matters and Raw Story both recently attacked Fox Business host Lou Dobbs for daring to raise the issue on his show, it quickly became clear that neither had any prevailing counter point, and were dismissing the facts only by regurgitating a glib statement of a single DHS official.

Media Matters, which has been documented to be little more than an Obama administration mouthpiece, reported that, “The claim that DHS bought a 1.6 billion bullet stockpile is also misleading,” while simultaneously admitting that “DHS did buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.”

The source of the claim that concerns over the bullet buys are a conspiracy theory or “misleading,” is a February 14 Associated Press report which did not conduct any actual investigation into why the DHS was purchasing the ammo, instead regurgitating a statement from DHS official Peggy Dixon, who claimed the bullets were bought in bulk to save money and were for training purposes only.

As we have tirelessly noted, however, hollow point bullets are completely unsuitable for training purposes because they cost significantly more money compared to standard firing range bullets. In one fell swoop, this fact debunks claims that the agency was attempting to save money argument and is intending to use the ammo in training exercises.

Military veterans and ammunition experts have also confirmed that they have never used hollow points for training purposes, expressing confusion at why the DHS is buying up so many of them.

◼ Background: Responses to Senator Coburn’s November 13, 2012 Letter: link - Coburn.Senate

"This week, the House passed Republicans’ balanced budget that fully repeals and defunds ObamaCare to protect families, workers and seniors from its devastating consequences."

"The House will continue working to scrap the law in its entirety, and will use oversight authority to expose its harmful impacts as they continue to unfold." - Speaker Boehner, marking the three-year anniversary of the president's health care law.

Today marks three years since the President signed Obamacare into law. While he celebrates the anniversary of government-run health care, we’re moving forward with a responsible plan to balance the budget in ten years. ◼ Join the fight against Obamacare and support a balanced budget. - Paul Ryan

LIST: Here are the 20 Obamacare Turncoats in the U.S. Senate - Doug Ross

As you know, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) forced a vote on an amendment last week to defund Obamacare. The Democrats defeated the amendment, but all 45 Republicans voted in favor of it even though some in the party don't want to fight the issue anymore.

But the real test for Republicans came this week when the Senate held the final vote on the bill that funds Obamacare.

As we expected, a large group of Republicans flip-flopped and helped the Democrats pass the legislation.

Here are the 20 Republicans who voted to give the Obama Administration the funding it needs to implement Obamacare. The highlighted (in bold) senators are running for re-election in 2014.
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Wicker (R-MS)
These senators want voters to know they oppose Obamacare, but they aren't willing to do what is necessary to actually stop it. They give lip service to conservative principles, but won't make real sacrifices to deliver for the American people.

Senate votes down Ted Cruz amendment for full repeal of Obamacare - Daily Caller

Democrats celebrated the third anniversary of the passage of President Obama’s signature health-care legislation on Friday by voting down a Republican amendment to repeal the entire law.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s amendment repealing Obamacare failed to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate on Friday, receiving 45 ayes and 54 nays. The amendment was attached to the Senate Democratic budget resolution for 2014.

Columbia Journalism School Tuition Costs a Whopping $83,884 A Year

The median income for a journalist these days is around $34,000 annually and starting pay is often in the $25,000 range. But if a budding journalist takes his education at the Columbia School of Journalism, he’ll pay a whopping $83,884 for his one-year Master of Science j-school degree, far more than he’ll make in his first few decades as a working journalist. - Warner Todd Huston/Stop The ACLU

Journalism itself is moving in a downward direction. As John Nolte reported March 19, “According to a new Pew study, the number of newsroom jobs have hit a 35-year low. The industry peaked in 2000, but over the last thirteen years, there has been a 30% cutback in personnel. Now, for the first time since 1978, there are fewer than 40,000 full-time newsroom jobs.”

Cyprus looks to take quarter of all large bank accounts

Cyprus said on Saturday it would tax big savers at its largest bank in a dramatic U-turn as it raced to satisfy European partners and seal an 11th-hour bailout deal to avert financial collapse. - Reuters ◼ Via Drudge

Obama Has Lost Advantage Over G.O.P. on Economy

...with more budget battles approaching, over raising the nation’s borrowing limit and perhaps reaching a grand bargain, Mr. Obama’s advantage over Congressional Republicans has all but vanished - Micha Cohen/New York Times

Obama’s Popularity Continues to Drop, Gallup Chief Says - Newsmax

(Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll), tells Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show” the commander-in-chief’s percentage points began sinking after the sequester crisis.

“Not just our poll but every poll shows that Obama’s ratings are down,” Newport says.

After a grueling, all-night debate that ended close to 5 a.m., the Senate on Saturday adopted its first budget in four years, a $3.7 trillion blueprint for 2014 that would fast-track passage of tax increases, trim spending gingerly and leave the government still deeply in the debt a decade from now.

Senate Passes $3.7 Trillion Budget, Its First in 4 Years - New York Times

The 50-49 vote sets up contentious — and potentially fruitless — negotiations with the Republican-dominated House in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan on Saturday, and four Democrats — Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska and Max Baucus of Montana — also opposed it. All four are Red State Democrats up for re-election in 2014....

The House plan ostensibly brings the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the automatic “sequestration” levels now roiling federal programs, and it orders significant changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan, in contrast, includes $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years through legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the Senate plan would leave the government with a $566 billion deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that time.

Senate passes its first budget in four years on 50 to 49 vote - The Hill

The body approved a plan that relies heavily on $975 billion in new tax revenue to stabilize the growth of the national debt within the next ten years. The budget does not balance, however, and has a deficit of $566 billion in 2023....

"This budget is a rehash of the extreme policies that continue to hobble the economy and crush the middle class," Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. "The only good news is that the fiscal path the Democrats laid out in their Budget Resolution won’t become law.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Biden Stays at London, Paris Hotels; Two Nights, Costs Taxpayers More Than A $1 Million

Vice President Joe Biden’s one day trip cost taxpayers more than half a million dollars. - Daily Mail (image source)

The price was reported by The Weekly Standard after they discovered the official contract filing online, showing how much the government paid for the hotel bill.

Few details were revealed about the five-star stay, but the Intercontinental reportedly has a promotion where if guests ‘find a lower price elsewhere and your first night is free.’

That must not have applied to Mr Biden and his security detail, however, because it would have been far less costly for tax payers if their one-night bill was taken care of....

The Vice President's wife, Dr Jill Biden, was traveling with him and their first stop was in Germany, before heading to Paris and finishing the tour in London on February 5....

For some reason, the pound must be at a better level than the euro as his hotel bill for one night at the Hyatt Regency in London was only $459,388.65, more than $100,000 less than his night in Paris.

The contract for the London trip specifies that the Vice President’s crew required 136 hotel rooms for the evening, so it is fair to assume that they needed a similar- if not the exact same- number in Paris for the next leg of the trip.

Vice President Joe Biden’s one-day trips to Paris and London in February cost American taxpayers more than $1 million, according to multiple reports. - Newsmax

Vice President Biden has been flying home to Wilmington, Delaware most weekends at enormous expense to taxpayers, even though he has an exclusive government-provided residence in Washington. - Keith Koffler/White House Dossier

Biden himself acknowledged the flights during recent remarks to the National Association of Attorneys General, noting that the sequester would force him to temporarily alter his expensive habit and use the train instead.

The cost of flying Air Force Two, a military version of the Boeing 757-200, amounts to about $8,800 per hour, according to the most recent federal data.

The distance between Washington and Wilmington is only about a hundred miles...

Three Years Later, Obamacare Is Even Less Popular

link - Weekly Standard
OBAMACARE: 6 in 10 physicians will retire earlier than planned - everydayhealth

Because the mainstream media lobbied every bit as hard as Obama to win passage of ObamaCare, they are every bit as invested in doing whatever is necessary to see that it is perceived as a success. Unfortunately for Americans who expect truth from their media, this means the media are having to manufacture a false reality that says ObamaCare is, to steal a phrase, "doing fine."

In order to manufacture this phony reality, the media must further sell their blackened soul by violating one of their most cherished principals: reporting on how government policy hits America's weakest the hardest. It's just a fact that the worst fallout of ObamaCare is already landing hard on the working class, who are losing work hours, jobs, and their insurance. ...

In no particular order…

1. Millions are and will lose the insurance Obama promised they could keep....
2. The cost of healthcare premiums is about to further skyrocket....
3. Lost jobs. Lost jobs....
4. Potential doctor shortages that will mean rationing....
5. Somewhere around $800 billion in tax increases will hit America's middle class....
6. Inflation, the cruelest tax on the poor....
7. Added bureaucracy....
8. To cut costs or to avoid having to provide insurance, workers on the economic margins are already losing hours, which means a lower paycheck....
9. ObamaCare is projected to add $6.2 TRILLION to a deficit the GAO has already declared "unsustainable." That's "trillion" with a "t".
10. More taxes than currently estimated are likely to hit...
Three years ago, Obama, Democrats, and his media lied to us about cutting the cost of health care, being able to keep our insurance, and not taxing the middle class.

Today, those lies and what ObamaCare is and will do to the working and middle class are the biggest untold story in America.

The media is currently engaged in an ObamaCare cover-up every bit as big, corrupt, and damaging as the ongoing Libya cover up. (These are excerpts, read the whole thing, and the comments, at the link.

NFRW Capital Connection

Why Recruiting Women Candidates for Office can be Difficult

The NFRW continues to emphasize that one of its main goals is recruiting women to run for political office. One Federation member in Nebraska, Jean Stothert, a current member of the Omaha City Council and candidate for Mayor of Omaha, has witnessed first-hand the difficulties a female candidate for office can encounter.

Jean has been a conservative voice on the Omaha, Nebraska, City Council for the past 3 ½ years, fighting the Democratic mayor's increased fees and taxes as well as his close relationship with unions. Needless to say, unions are not supporting Jean's candidacy.

Over the past few days, Jean has come under vicious attacks from negative push polls, false mailers, vile and disgusting tweets and most recently an Omaha City Council colleague displaying a derogatory t-shirt about Jean. Both the t-shirt and the tweets were "some of the worst" examples of sexism in politics that Debbie Walsh, Director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, has ever seen. "This is just really beyond the pale and quite disgusting," said Walsh.

Nebraska U. S. Senator Deb Fischer and former Governor Kay Orr have both rushed to Jean's defense and, according to Senator Fischer, decry the "vile attacks" she is facing. Former Governor Orr describes the attacks as "both vile and dishonest" and calls for all conservative women across the country to answer the call to action by being willing to put a stop to such derogatory campaign tactics.

The Omaha World-Herald recently published an article illustrating the savage treatment Jean has been receiving as a conservative female candidate trying to become the first female mayor of Omaha in city history. Jean's campaign points out the difficulty female candidates can encounter when outrageous, sexist claims are made against them.
NFRW Thanks Missouri Representative Jo Ann Emerson

Representative Jo Ann Emerson, (R-Mo.), the first Republican woman to represent Missouri in Congress, recently resigned her seat after winning a 10th term in Congress. Representative Emerson held a senior position on the powerful Appropriations Committee and was chairwoman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government.

Representative Emerson has been a Missouri Federation of Republican Women member for many years and, as reported by Kathy L. Chinn, president of the Missouri Federation, she has demonstrated inspiring leadership and constituent representation for the citizens of the 8th Congressional District of Missouri. President Chinn echoes the sentiments of all that Representative Emerson has certainly been a Republican leader and will be missed as she retires from office. We thank her for her service and wish great success in the future.

Nominating Committee Members and Alternates Chosen

As you know, the National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors, at its Spring Board Meeting in March, 2013, elected the following women as Nominating Committee members and alternates:
Chairman: Brenda K Smith
Secretary: Jeanita McNulty
Member: Dena Barnes
Member: Beverly Owensby
Member: Roseann Slonsky-Breault
Member: Dianne Thompson
Member: Dulany Woodward
Alternate 1: Sally Taylor
Alternate 2: Bea Kehr
The Nominating Committee has set April 19, 2013, as the deadline by which documents from candidates and letters of recommendation for candidates must be received. Be certain to mail/e-mail all documents to all Nominating Committee members and alternates in the event an alternate is called into service.

Among items considered by Nominating Committee members and alternates will be the duties and responsibilities of each particular office and each candidate's Federation work, knowledge of Federation procedures, leadership and ability to work with others, dedication to the organization in past endeavors and energy and time to carry out their duties if elected.

Each candidate for office is required to provide the Nominating Committee members and alternates with her bio, contact information including cell phone number, reason for seeking office, willingness to serve, print quality high resolution digital photo and verification that her current dues are paid with an NFRW local club.

Capitol Update


Our 38th Annual Advocacy Workshop is upon us. But you can still register! ... We have an exciting program in store! Our Monday luncheon speaker is Katy Grimes, journalist for Cal Watchdog. Katy writes hard hitting stories exposing waste and dishonesty in our government. ◼ CLICK HERE for an archive of Katy’s awesome articles in Cal Watchdog. Also on Monday our brand new CRP Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillon will be joining us! This will be a great opportunity for our members to meet our dynamic, new Republican Party Vice Chair. Tuesday our members will hear from Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association President, Jon Coupal on the attacks being made on our taxpayers by the Democrat majority in our state legislature. Our women and students will also hear from Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, Assemblywoman Shannon Grove and all of our Assembly Republican women members! The theme for our students is ACTIVISM! They will have the opportunity to learn how to be activists for the conservative cause on their campuses and in their cities. In this day and age when our students are being taught revisionist history with a liberal bias in every class, we want to give our Advocacy participants the tools to be able combat liberalism in productive and positive ways. They will be given a class on how to use social media in advancing our cause by Micah Grant from the Senate Republican Caucus. Our student guests will also be hearing from other young students who founded conservative activism clubs on their campuses. The last day to register for Advocacy is Monday, March 25th. You don’t want to miss all this.

NFRW Update

Ladies, we need you to get your membership per capita reports in ASAP! Our very own CFRW Past President, Kathy Brugger, is running for NFRW President! The number of delegates we have to our national convention is determined by our membership numbers by June 2013. Let’s support Kathy and our state Federation and get those club memberships up!!

Realignment Woes

Governor Brown signed AB 109 in 2011 which released many California criminals back to the streets. Two years later and we are seeing increases in crime rates across the state. These “109ers,” as Senator Jim Nielsen (R) has dubbed them, are committing heinous crimes at an alarming rate. Realignment needs to be fixed. The Senate Republican Caucus took a hard look at realignment. ◼ Read their report HERE.

Spring Recess

The California Legislature broke for a hard earned spring recess yesterday. Our legislators will be back in their districts until April 1st.
Disclaimer: The Capitol Update is an activity of the CFRW Advocate's Office. The update is for information only. CFRW official positions on legislation are stated immediately preceding the stated legislation or immediately following the stated legislation in this report.

View this article ◼ online:

HRWF Members: Remember, you are also a member of CFRW, and you can obtain a member password at CFRW. Click here. Webmaster's note, I keep asking them not to put this stuff behind a password wall. There are several links left out of the Advocacy piece above, because all it does is lead to the password wall, but if you have a password, you can sign up at the CFRW site.

Republicans should prepare for the collapse of Obamacare

In my last column, I argued that for all the undeniable woes of the Republican Party, the unfurling of Obamacare represents a huge vulnerability for Democrats. The Democratic health reform bill is economically nonsensical and politically unpopular. - Mona Charen/Washington Examiner

Writing in National Affairs, James Capretta and Robert Moffit summarized the ideal Republican approach this way: " ... The essential common element is a move toward consumer control. Individuals would become active, cost-conscious consumers looking for value in the health care marketplace. This shift would, in turn, create tremendous incentives for those delivering medical services to find better and less expensive ways of caring for patients and keeping them well."

As Obamacare's rising costs and constricted choices alienate the American people, Republicans should be ready with an alternative that is market-oriented, assembled and on the launchpad.

U.S is now less popular in the region than at the end of the George W. Bush administration.

Obama's Middle East policy in tatters - USA Today

In his Cairo speech, Obama pledged a relationship between America and Muslims around the world "based on mutual interest and mutual respect." But in 2013, interests are diverging, and respect is in short supply.

Of all the strained relationships in the Middle East, the partnership with Israel is the most important and potentially the most easily repaired. Obama is not popular in the country. A poll released last week showed he had a scant 10% approval rating in Israel, with an additional 32% saying they respect but don't like him. But the president is making significant symbolic gestures to heal the breach, such as visiting the grave site of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. It's being interpreted as showing support for the Jewish people's historic connection to the land of Israel, something Obama avoided in his first term.

...The hope that Obama will say the right things in Thursday's speech at Jerusalem's convention center is negated by doubts he will follow through. The president has to assure Israelis and Palestinians that he is still engaged if the peace process has any chance of moving forward. In part, this means convincing them that he still matters.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The dismantling begins: Senate votes to repeal Obamacare’s medical device tax

We guess the “severe conservatives” among the Senate Democrats and Republicans didn’t get @BarackObama’s memo reminding them of the futility of trying to roll back progress. The Supreme Court may have upheld Obamacare, but the court doesn’t control the purse strings. - Twitchy

Proposals would force Obama, Biden into health law exchanges... - The Hill

Republican amendments to the Senate's budget proposal would require President Obama and Vice President Biden to get their medical care through the new exchanges created by Obama's signature healthcare law.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) both offered amendments to move the president and vice president into the healthcare law's exchanges.

After the Affordable Care Act passed, the White House said Obama would enroll in an exchange once the time came in 2014. Collins and Ayotte's amendments would require the president, the vice president and the Cabinet to put their premiums where their politics are.

Over 30 Senate Dems vote to repeal medical device tax in health care law they couldn’t wait to pass - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

In December of last year, more than a dozen Democrats who voted for the ironically titled Affordable Care Act wrote a letter to Harry Reid. The letter requested a delay in implementation of the “job killing” medical device tax that was contained in the law those same senators couldn’t wait to pass. (Thurs)day, over 30 Senate Democrats went on record as wanting to repeal the tax....

New York Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman:
OK, it’s non-binding but this huge vote to repeal medical device tax — a funding mechanism for ObamaCare — has to be a WH embarassment
— Jonathan Weisman (@jonathanweisman) March 22, 2013

Put on your shocked face: Health insurance companies warn premiums could ‘increase sharply’ - Twitchy

Senate Democrats Vote In Lock Step Against GOP floor motion to Balance the Budget

What do Democrats have against balanced budgets?

Senator Jeff Sessions offered a motion tonight to send Patty Murray's Senate budget back to committee with instructions to re-do it in any way necessary to produce a balanced budget.

There were no caveats to how this should be done - Senators were simply voting to accept or reject the very principle of balancing the federal budget within 10 years. Text of the motion follows:
Mr. Sessions moves to commit S. Con. Res. 8 back to the Committee on the Budget with instructions to report back no later than March 22, 2013 with such changes as may be necessary to achieve unified budget balance by fiscal year 2023.
Every Democrat Senator except for Sen. Joe Manchin voted against this measure.

...Senate Democrats also voted unanimously tonight to maintain the $1 trillion in tax increases in their budget plan which includes raising taxes on the middle class.
They rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior member of the Finance Committee and the Budget Committee, which would have protected the middle class and paved the way for pro-growth tax reform.
Grassley said in his speech before the vote, "the Democrat budget taxes the middle class to spend more. It is 'balanced and fair' because they finally figured out that you can't just raise taxes on the wealthy, they gotta raise it on the middle class!"

Senate Democrats unite to defeat balanced budget motion - The Hill

“Tonight the American people witnessed a remarkable and alarming event: the Senate’s Democrat majority declared they do not want to balance the budget, will not balance the budget, and will oppose any effort to balance the budget in any way," Sessions said after the vote.

Paul Ryan's House Republican Budget vs. Patty Murray's Senate Democrat Budget - Peter Ferrara/Forbes

The bottom line on Ryan’s Republican budget is that it restores federal taxes and spending back near the long term, stable level as a percent of GDP that prevailed for 60 years after World War II, from 1948 to 2008.

...The Democrats have attacked Ryan’s budget claiming it is “extremist” and “radical.”

At issue is the level of screening these "assisters" should receive before they handle confidential information about the people they are enrolling this year in the state's new health insurance exchange, called Covered California.

Call for screening of healthcare enrollers meets resistance: California needs 20,000 workers to sign people up in the new health insurance exchange. In the process, they would have access to sensitive consumer data. - LA Times

State officials say they need 20,000 people for the job of signing up millions of Californians for health insurance in the coming months, but a battle is brewing over whether these workers should undergo background checks and fingerprinting.

At issue is the level of screening these "assisters" should receive before they handle confidential information about the people they are enrolling this year in the state's new health insurance exchange, called Covered California.

These enrollers, who will earn $58 from the state for every application completed, would have access to highly sensitive consumer information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, income data and tax returns.

Covered California, the state agency implementing the federal healthcare law, says these enrollment advisors must be thoroughly screened to deter fraud and protect consumers. But critics say the state's proposal is overly intrusive and will prevent too many minorities from helping at a time when enormous manpower and quick action are required....

The state's goal is to enroll 1.4 million Californians next year and eventually reach more than 5 million residents who are uninsured or may qualify for federal premium subsidies. By January, most Americans must buy health insurance or pay a penalty under the federal Affordable Care Act....

California insurance officials, insurance agents and other patient advocates say they are surprised by the level of resistance to rigorous screening.

New studies: Democrats are uninformed, intolerant and hypocritical

Another mainstream survey from another widely-respected, non-partisan polling firm has confirmed yet again that, contrary to everything we are told, it is Republicans who are more educated on the issues, more informed on current events and more open-minded, and Democrats who demonstrate persistent ignorance of the facts, narrow-minded intolerance and contradictory logic.

According to Pew Research, Republicans not only scored better on most of their questions on the issues, but by an average of 18 percentage points, while the few questions Democrats scored better on were only better by less than 5%. This is despite Republicans having fewer post-graduates.

The demographics questions also confirmed yet again that Republicans make up the most mainstream, Middle Class portion of the population, with solid educations and regular salaries, while the left is composed almost entirely of society's outer-fringes: the extremely poor and uneducated, and extremely wealthy academics.

...Such polls, surveys and studies also consistently indicate that Mainstream America rejects the left on virtually every issue and sides with the Tea Party movement (which is also more educated) at every turn, hence the reason Tea Partiers are regularly crucified as bigots and dangerous extremists by the Non-Fox Media.

So, as it turns out, having a corrupt, biased news media that spoon-feeds blatantly partisan misinformation from Media Matters to the liberal herd while hysterically smearing all dissent against Obama as mean-spirited right-wing racism...somehow manages to leave Democrat voters ignorant, bigoted, irrational, and completely unable to handle intellectual confrontation. But remember, it's the (far-more mainstream) FOX News viewers and Rush Limbaugh listeners who are being brainwashed, not the "pro-tolerance," "pro-diversity" "realists" of the left.

Incidentally, being routinely trashed, lied about and vilified by the tantrum-throwing liberal fanatics who now control almost the entire flow of information in this country has the reverse effect on those who vote on actual principle (conservatives), making it easy for them to debate any opponent, no matter how adolescent, emotional or absurd.

For instance, consider Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) hilariously inept response to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently questioning her Constitution-shredding attack on gun rights (middle left). When asked if she has also decided to arbitrarily and illegally give herself the authority to pick and choose which other constitutional rights people really get to have (like freedom of speech), she couldn't defend her reasoning, so she stomped her foot and indignantly told him how offended she was.

Obama quotes Alinsky in speech to young Israelis

In his address in Jerusalem today, President Obama channeled Saul Alinsky, citing the radical community organizer’s defining mantra as he urged young Israelis to “create change” to nudge their leadership to act. - Aaron Klein/WND

Mark Levin: Obama quotes Saul Alinsky in the Middle East – what the hell is he doing there? (Audio, Listen Online) - the Right Scoop

Obama compares Israel/"Palestinian" conflict to U.S./Canada relationship (Video) - Robert Spencer/Jihad Watch

Obama Uses His Egyptian Disaster to Argue That Israel Should Trust the Terrorists - Daniel Greenfield/FrontPage

Obama demands empathy from Israelis but makes no such parallel request of the other side. Most Israelis have wanted the fighting to end for decades. The problem is on the other side. And that is what Obama fails to address.

Wanting a better life is not the same as wanting peace. Wanting a better life for yourself is not the same as a willingness to let someone else have a better life too.

Rather than address the hatred and bigotry on the terrorist side, Obama takes refuge in meaningless words and demands that Israelis show an empathy that has not been and will not be reciprocated. And he uses the meltdown in Egypt to bolster his case where Islamists and their opponents have been fighting it out in the streets.

Obama refuses to learn from history and he insists that Israelis should likewise refuse to learn from history.

Obama in Israel: What’s Behind All the Smiles? - Helle Dale/Heritage

It may be true that the United States is Israel’s best friend, but Israelis may not find it a comforting thought. Only 10 percent of Israelis hold a favorable view of Obama and his foreign policy. Palestinians are even less enthusiastic.
Nor is this surprising. Since Obama has been in office, the Middle East region has become a far more dangerous and unstable place. The Administration’s hands-off approach and the hope that others will take the lead—which are key aspects of the Obama Doctrine—have allowed turmoil in the region to go unchecked.

Morning Bell: Obama Doctrine on Display in the Middle East - Amy Payne/Heritage

President Obama’s car came to a halt in Israel yesterday, reportedly because it had been filled with the wrong kind of gas.

“This is a metaphor for his Middle East policy—he’s been running on the wrong kind of fuel,” said Heritage expert James Phillips.

Now the governor seeks to undo what he done did in haste and stupidity - and other gun news

Andy Cuomo Learns an Important Lesson About Guns - Bryan Preston/PJM

“There is no such thing as a seven-bullet magazine,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “That doesn’t exist. So you really have no practical option.”

So, even under the revision, New Yorkers could own a 10-round magazine…they just couldn’t put 10 rounds into it.

Criminals all over the state will be sure to abide by that.


Colorado Gov. signs gun control bill amid opposition - Red Alert Politics

On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that strictly curbs gun rights in that state.

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed legislation requiring a background check for all gun purchases in Colorado, a bill that requires the gun buyer to pay for that background check, as well as legislation that restricts gun magazine capacity to 15 rounds of ammunition. The new regulations will begin on July 1....

“He just slapped rural Colorado right in the face,” Brophy said about Hickenlooper’s signing of the bill. ”They are overwhelmingly upset about this.”

Besides the obvious Second Amendment issues, many other pro-gun advocates pointed to losses in jobs and business that will occur because of the new legislation. One company, Magpul Industries, which manufactures gun magazines and accessories in Colorado, has already announced that they will be leaving the state in order to re-establish their business elsewhere.

Many sheriffs in the state have come out opposing the legislation, with a few even announcing that they will not enforce it. One sheriff, Terry Maketa of El Paso County, Colo., even went so far as to say that he would destroy any concealed carry records his department held, rather than hand them over.

“[I]f anyone tried to get their hands on it [database of gun owners], I would destroy the database [and] would intervene if government agents started arresting county residents for exercising their constitutional rights,” Maketa said.


I just received word that the American Laws for American Courts bill, SB4, authored by Senator Gerald Allen, just passed the Alabama state senate. Congratulations, freedom lovers. (hat tip Chris Holton) - Pamela Gellar/Atlas Shrugs

SB 4 Alabama Senate Bill

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


For the first time, I am wondering about the long-term viability of the Republican Party. I say this not as an advocate of its demise or restructuring but as an observer of troubling signs. - David Limbaugh/Human Events

The Republican Party is thought to be the institutional vehicle for the advancement of conservative policies, but for decades, the conservative movement has been frustrated with the party’s deviation from conservative principles — its refusal to live up to its decidedly conservative platform.

I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.

The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.

Excuses, excuses from the conservative wing - Noemie Emery/Washington Examiner

What’s the last time you heard Republicans in California talk about how great the state is?

California GOP Needs to Learn to Love California Again - Joe Mathews/Fox&Hounds
Republicans should listen to themselves. Moderate or conservative, coastal or inland, they offer a never-ending litany of California as a failed state. It’s nothing but negative: on taxes, on regulation, on demography, on values. The messaging is all about people leaving the state (and why that’s a good idea). What’s the last time you heard Republicans in California talk about how great the state is?
Dan Walters Daily: The amazing shrinking California? - Sacramento Bee

California unemployment rate holds at 9.8%, highest in U.S. - LA Times

The state's jobless rate, unchanged in January for the second straight month, is tied with Rhode Island. But California is No. 2 in payroll job growth.

California was No. 4 in tax burden before Proposition 30 passed - Sacramento Bee

California's high tax burden ranking is a mix of relatively high sales, income, automotive fuel and corporate taxes, offset by relatively lower property taxes and very low taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

Examiner Editorial: Nobody's property is safe when bailouts begin

Imagine checking your bank statement one day only to discover that someone had just taken 10 percent out of your savings account without your permission. - Washington Examiner EDITORIAL

You'd be pretty upset, wouldn't you? So were many citizens of Cyprus, whose government announced last Friday it would be assessing a 9.9 percent "stability levy" on all deposits of more than $100,000 and a 6.75 percent levy on deposits less than that. Cypriots quickly deduced that the government was seizing their property to bail out their nation's banks and immediately tried to withdrawal their funds. To prevent them, the government of Cyprus has declared a bank holiday that has been extended through at least Wednesday.

...But this could never happen in the United States, could it? Wrong. It already did.

When the Obama administration bailed out Chrysler in 2009, it threw out more than 100 years of federal bankruptcy legal precedent by stiffing Chrysler's secured creditors and giving that money to its political allies in the United Auto Workers union.

The lesson Americans should draw from Cyprus is simple: The more the government controls the economy, the less safe their property is from confiscation.

All Roads Lead to Cyprus - Sultan Knish

Cyprus is Europe's original failure. It was the first part of modern Europe to be invaded and colonized by Muslims, while its native Christian population was ethnically cleansed. Cyprus is to Islam what Czechoslovakia was to Nazism; the canary in the coal mine warning of worse things to come.

Now Cyprus has wound up in the middle of the European Union's meltdown as everyone scrambles to salvage what they can from an unsustainable system at the expense of everyone else. It's easy to look at what almost happened as another case of powerful elites abusing ordinary pensioners, but it's a good deal more complicated than that....

Cyprus is the place we go to learn that everything is tangled up with everything else and that there are no more answers left; just blame to be passed around and money to be stolen.

Everyone is deep in debt and no one is going to pay up. And why should they? Southern Europe may have dug itself into a hole, but the Eurocrats ordering them to dig out were the ones who provided the shovel because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Debt was a profitable and useful political tool. It still is.

American Federalism was built on the Federal assumption of state debts. Obama's two-term reign was built on massive bailouts used to consolidate power while reassuring the banks that they would be taken care of. The National Debt is headed into 17 trillion dollar territory because that too is a useful political tool. Driving the debt to the point where it can never be repaid is meant to transform the entire way we do business and spend money. And it's working.

Cyprus was a dirty little demonstration that you can kill two birds with one stone by giving a desperate government two impossible choices. And despite all the reassurances, there is no real reason to believe that it will stay in Cyprus. If anything the last few days have demonstrated how effective that particular tactic is. And once the money has fled Cyprus, the demonstration will be considered a success.

Steve Forbes: Cyprus Bank Levy Is ‘Crazy’ and ‘Destructive’ - Money News

Imposing a levy on bank deposits as a condition for a bailout is “crazy” and “destructive,” writes Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, warning that this idea could be disastrous for everyone.

Obama in Israel: Pretty speeches won’t do it

Obama makes nice speech in Israel.. Why it won't help - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post
Upon arriving in Israel on Wednesday, President Obama immediately corrected his 2009 Cairo gaffe, in which he skipped over a few thousand years of Jewish history and tied Israel’s existence to the Holocaust.

That was on Arab soil; on Israeli soil, he now declares:
I know that in stepping foot on this land, I walk with you on the historic homeland of the Jewish people. More than 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people lived here, tended the land here, prayed to God here. And after centuries of exile and persecution, unparalleled in the history of man, the founding of the Jewish State of Israel was a rebirth, a redemption unlike any in history. Today, the sons of Abraham and the daughters of Sarah are fulfilling the dream of the ages — to be “masters of their own fate” in “their own sovereign state.”
It took four years, but his speechwriters finally got it right. Too bad he does not repeat that affirmation in front of Arab audiences.

GLOBAL COOLING: Bethlehem rioters set fire to pictures of Obama - KHALED ABU TOAMEH/Jerusalem Post
WH map 'erases' Jerusalem - WND
Obama, Netanyahu trade banter as they tread a new 'red line' - Reuters
Obama’s Israel trip a peacekeeping mission — with Netanyahu - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

White House Partners with Muslim Brotherhood Front

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins and an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial, recently toured the White House and met with multiple officials. - Ryan Mauro/Front Page

According to the group, Paul Monteiro, Associate Director of the Office of Public Engagement, “cited ISNA as his primary means of outreach to the American Muslim community.”

The Obama administration’s close relationship with ISNA is about more than photo ops and press releases. It is about policy formulation. The input of ISNA is so treasured that the officials coached the organization on how to engage the White House.

On March 8, ISNA President Mohamed Magid joined 10 other religious leaders in a 90-minute conversation with President Obama about immigration reform. Also present was senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, who spoke at ISNA’s 2009 convention. Three days later, Magid took part in a meeting with President Obama where he got “recommendations” in preparation for his Middle East trip, including some from groups with a history of defending Hezbollah....

Instead of working with anti-Islamist Muslim groups like the American Islamic Leadership Coalition or the LibForAll Foundation, the Obama administration is embracing the larger Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups. The way to engage in the Muslim-American community is by discrediting the Islamist theme, not by giving a platform to those broadcasting it.

Image makeover? Obama arrives in Israel after 5-year hiatus, stresses ties

After staying away for five years, President Obama arrived in Israel Wednesday declaring the U.S. Israel's "greatest friend" -- kicking off a whirlwind tour that could serve more to boost his battered image in the country than jump-start peace talks. - FOX

"We stand together because we share a common story -- patriots determined to be a free people in our land," Obama declared, shortly after touching down in Tel Aviv....

Obama also plans to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and he will travel to Jordan to talk with King Abdullah.

White House officials, in an effort to downplay expectations, have made clear Obama has no grand plan to bring Netanyahu and Abbas together for face-to-face peace talks.

They say he instead hopes only to improve his relationship with Netanyahu and help facilitate future talks....

Beyond having no new plan to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table, the president does not appear to have plans for a big boost in assistance to the struggling Palestinian Authority, no new strategy for dealing with the chaos in Syria and no new outreach to Muslims like the one that was the centerpiece of his June 2009 visit to Cairo.

Obama turning to executive power to get what he wants

He’s done it with a package of tools, some of which date to George Washington and some invented in the modern era of an increasingly powerful presidency. - Anita Kumar/McClatchy Newspapers

And he’s done it with a frequency that belies his original campaign criticisms of predecessor George W. Bush, invites criticisms that he’s bypassing the checks and balances of Congress and the courts, and whets the appetite of liberal activists who want him to do even more to advance their goals.

While his decision to send drones to kill U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism has garnered a torrent of criticism, his use of executive orders and other powers at home is deeper and wider.

Russian Television: Partial Release of Hacked Hillary Clinton Emails

Confidential emails purportedly from former political adviser Sidney Blumenthal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been hacked and widely distributed to politicians and news sources. Included in the hacker “Guccifer’s” distribution list are Russian news services such as Pravda, Moscow Times, and RT. - Paul Roderick Gregory/Forbes

RT has released excerpts from the purported Blumenthal-Clinton memos. RT, which is a propaganda arm of the Putin regime, will have its own agenda in selecting and interpreting excerpts, which is not immediately clear. RT focuses on two of the four hacked emails, citing sensitive sources, on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

...The timeline reported in the Blumenthal memo is curious. He reports the President meeting with advisors during the day of September 11. The organized attacks in Benghazi did not begin until after nine PM that evening....

The reader should be warned that these are first and partial accounts of hacked emails that may be fabricated by someone with a hidden agenda. Time will tell whether they have any credence. The RT selection of excerpts appears to fit into Putin’s agenda. Unhappy with the overthrow of Kaddafi, Putin would want to emphasize the sinister role played by the CIA in Libya. The second memo refutes Obama’s claim of an Al Qaeda on the run by showing an increasingly coordinated pattern of Al Qaeda sponsored attacks throughout the Middle East.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The self-labeled Progressive Movement that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it.

There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run “the Progressive Movement.” More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars, will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations. It will come clean, pressed and laundered through Organizing for Action, the latest incarnation of the Obama Money Machine which has recently morphed into a “nonpartisan non-profit corporation” that will ‘‘strengthen the progressive movement and train our next generation of leaders.’’ - JOHN STAUBER/Counterpunch

Does this information concern you? If not, you need to get out of the propaganda bubble of your Progressive Movement echo chamber and think. Think hard....

The Progressive Movement we see today was created by a small group including Democratic political operatives and foundations including ◼ TIDES (formed in 1976), the millionaires and billionaires of the ◼ Democracy Alliance, (formed in 2005) and eventually the Obama machine.

After Al Gore’s 2000 debacle, the rich liberal Democrats in the East and the West began to talk and meet. The green elite funders and millionaires of the Bay Area solidified relationships with the Beltway think tanks, political consultants and and PR flacks. Liberal Democratic Party players like MoveOn’s co-founder Wes Boyd and TIDES Drummond Pike drew closer with others including the George Soros, John Podesta and Stanley Greenberg crowd. The Democratic Party defeats in 2002 and 2004 fueled further despair and solidified plans for the elite to build a new Progressive Movement that would serve their agenda.

This became very visible with the arrival of the Democracy Alliance. A summer 2005 article in the ◼ Washington Post made clear their intent to pour millions into creating and owning a Progressive Movement. Looking back, someone needs to give these folks an award because the wealthy elitists in the Democracy Alliance succeeded wildly, mission accomplished!

...For almost a decade now the funders of the Progressive Movement, the rich Democrats of the Democracy Alliance and their cliques, networks and organizations, have employed and funded political hacks, fundraisers, pollsters, organizers and PR flacks. Over the past ten years they have dumped more and more money into the big feeding trough shared by the major players of the Progressive movement. The overall goal and result has always been to bring withering rhetorical fire and PR attacks upon the Republican Right, while creating a tremendous fear of the Right to increase the vote for Democrats. This has become Job #1 for the Progressive Movement. No one quite remembers Job #2.

...Every well-funded movement needs an echo-chamber to pump up its propaganda and messages, and for the Progressive Movement the Netroots Nation bloggers, The Nation, Alternet, Mother Jones, and scores of other journalists and pundits have filled the bill. The development of the messages and talking points of the Progressive Movement is the realm of DC think tanks and organizations such as Media Matters, and a small army of flacks is also utilized including PR maven David Fenton, pollster Stanley Greenberg and messaging guru George Lakoff.

Tides Foundation & Tides Center -
Natural Resources Defense Council -

CSU officials want faculty pay raises, higher enrollment with Prop. 30 money

link - Sacramento Bee via Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

Professors get Prop. 30 raises, not much money goes to students. Of the first $125.1 million to CSU, 69% went to faculty/staff, only 10% to reducing course bottlenecks to help students graduate.


Holy cow: Not even 40 votes in the Senate for the assault-weapons ban, says Reid - Allahpundit/HotAir

Reid Drops Assault Weapons Ban from Dem Gun Bill - Luca Gatton-Celli/American Spectator

“My understanding is it will not be [part of the base bill],” Feinstein said. “It will be separate.” - Politico
After a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday, a frustrated Feinstein said she learned that the bill she sponsored — which bans 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — wouldn’t be part of a Democratic gun bill to be offered on the Senate floor. Instead, it can be offered as an amendment. But its exclusion from the package makes what was already an uphill battle an almost certain defeat.
Congress: Assault-weapons ban nixed from bill - AP

"I very much regret it," Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters of Reid's decision. "I tried my best."

Newtown, Conn., sees jump in gun permit applications - Politico

Newtown in recent years has issued about 130 gun permits annually. Police say the town received 79 permit applications in the three months since the Dec. 14 massacre, well over double the normal pace.

"A good percentage of people are making it clear they think their rights are going to be taken away," said Robert Berkins, records manager for Newtown police.

340 Sheriffs Refuse To Enforce Unconstitutional Gun Control Laws - Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr./CNS

Magpul confirms plan to leave Colorado ‘almost immediately’ following magazine ban - Twitchy

Harry Reid concurs with Ted Cruz: Dianne Feinstein is a blithering idiot. - Moe Lane/RedState

Sequester or No, St. Patrick’s Day Party Rolls On at White House

Layoffs and furloughs are in store, delays at airports are on the way, and tours of the White House are cancelled, but the White House has found the money for a full day of St Patrick’s celebrations today - Keith Koffler/White House Dossier

The festival of everything Irish culminates in a lavish East Room party tonight that will no doubt be watched over carefully by some of the same Secret Service agents unable to conduct White House tours, lest the inevitable imbibing get out hand.

Tonight’s party will be hosted by President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who will, as is the custom, present Obama with a bowl teaming with Irish shamrocks....

The money for these events will perhaps come from the same kitty that paid to dye the White House South Lawn fountain green all day on St Patrick’s Day Sunday.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gifted Hands

A remarkable book titled Gifted Hands tells the personal story of Benjamin Carson, a black kid from the Detroit ghetto who went on to become a renowned neurosurgeon. - Thomas Sowell/Townhall

It is an inspiring personal story, told plainly and unpretentiously, including the continuing challenges he faced later as a neurosurgeon operating on the brains of people with life-threatening medical problems, often with the odds against them.

To me it was a personal story in another sense, that some of his experiences as a youngster brought back experiences that I went through growing up in Harlem many years earlier.

I could understand all too well what it was like to be the lowest performing child in a class. That was my situation in the fourth grade, after my family had moved up from the South, where I had been one of the best students in the third grade -- but in a grossly inferior school system....

The kinds of things that statisticians can measure, such as family income or parents' education, are not the crucial things. The family's attitude toward education and toward life can make all the difference.

Virtually everything was against young Ben Carson, except for his mother's attitudes and values. But, armed with her outlook, he was able to fight his way through many battles, including battles to control his own temper, as well as external obstacles.

Today, Dr. Benjamin Carson is a renowned neurosurgeon at a renowned institution, Johns Hopkins University. But what got him there was wholly different from what is being offered to many ghetto youths today, much of which is not merely futile but counterproductive.

The Republican Party released results Monday of a wide-ranging study on why it lost the presidential election, and as Party Chair Reince Priebus predicted Sunday on "Face the Nation," it was not a fun read.

Growth Opportunity Project

The GOP Report

"The Republican Party needs to come across as positive and upbeat and open and inclusive and not red-hot hatred" - CBS News

The party announced a massive new outreach to minorities and, next time around, fewer debates and an earlier nominating convention.

Burton Waddy is among those voters that Republicans are trying to woo. It's an effort to win back voters who were turned off by their message.

RNC leadership’s idea: Let’s make the party more like RNC leadership, less like its base - Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner @TPCarney

The More Businesses Learn About Obamacare, The More Reluctant They Are To Hire

Wondering why the unemployment rate has been near or above 8 percent for nearly four years? The Federal Reserve has an answer for you: Obamacare. - Sally Pipes/Forbes

Earlier this month, the Fed released its latest “beige book” – a monthly report on economic conditions across the country. The book noted that employers across the country have “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”

The more businesses learn about the president’s health reform law, the more they’re coming to realize that “affordable care” is the last thing it will provide. And that’s in large part due to the multibillion-dollar tax that Obamacare is set to levy on health insurance companies.

Starting next year, insurance companies will have to remit $8 billion to the federal treasury. The tax climbs to $11.3 billion in 2015 and 2016, to $13.9 billion in 2017, and to $14.3 billion thereafter.

Insurance companies will pay based on their share of industry revenues in a given year — the more revenue, the bigger the hit....

Obamacare’s premium tax will also distort the insurance market by tilting the playing field heavily against for-profit insurance companies like WellPoint, UnitedHealthcare, and Aetna.

Unlike just about every other tax they pay, for-profit insurers won’t be able to deduct the premium tax from their earnings. So a good chunk of their income will effectively get taxed twice — once to satisfy Obamacare’s premium tax, and then again when they pay the corporate tax. That means they’ll have to raise premiums even higher.

Non-profit insurers like Blue Shield of California don’t pay income taxes, so they won’t face this double whammy when paying the premium tax.

What’s more, the law exempts non-profits that do 80 percent or more of their business with the government from the premium tax altogether. That gives non-profits an even bigger leg up against their for-profit competitors.

‘Obama’s, Race to the Top Agenda’ – Selling Children Out For A Profit

This graph from the Next Generation Schools, Race to the Top agenda, spells out how to mold the child toward those objectives. It shows how representative government, as well as parents, will be erased from any authority in educating their children or how the schools of the future will function through a computerized monopoly of selected profit making corporations, otherwise known as corporate fascism. - Freedom Outpost

...Obama unlocks data, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act OF 1974 (FERPA) is unleashed, and opens Pandora’s Box of privacy invasion, psychological manipulation, giving data for free to organizations to make a profit, and falsely using children in research unknowingly to parents, school boards, and legislators. The “learning genome,” which means testing and teaching the whole child, is not just about academics....

HELPFUL CHART: Projected Obamacare Premium Increases by State. California: 42% - 61%

It's the gift that keeps on taking. - Doug Ross

Remember that repetitive presidential promise to “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year”? As 2014 and full implementation of Obamacare get closer, it is crystal clear that won’t be the case.

California: 42% - 61%

Hacker Begins Distributing Confidential Memos Sent To Hillary Clinton On Libya, Benghazi Attack

Armed with confidential memos to Hillary Clinton that were stolen from the e-mail account of a former White House aide, a hacker has distributed some of the documents to a wide array of congressional aides, political figures, and journalists worldwide. - The Smoking Gun

In a series of weekend e-mail blasts, the hacker known as “Guccifer” disseminated four recent memos to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of the former Secretary of State....

The hacker’s e-mails went to hundreds of recipients, though the distribution lists were dotted with addresses for aides to Senate and House members who are no longer in office. But many of the addresses to which the Blumenthal memos were sent are good (though it is unclear whether is a solid address for the Republican mastermind).

Most of the e-mail recipients were sent four separate memos that were e-mailed to Clinton by Blumenthal during the past five months. Each memo dealt with assorted developments in Libya, including the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. One memo marked “Confidential” was sent to Clinton on September 12.

Morbid find suggests murder-obsessed gunman Adam Lanza plotted Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook massacre for years

Law enforcement reportedly discovers a sickeningly thorough 7-foot-long, 4-foot-wide spreadsheet with names, body counts and weapons from previous mass murders and even attempted killings. 'It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research,' an anonymous law enforcement veteran said. - NY Daily News

What investigators found was a chilling spreadsheet 7 feet long and 4 feet wide that required a special printer, a document that contained Lanza’s obsessive, extensive research — in nine-point font — about mass murders of the past, and even attempted murders.

But it wasn’t just a spreadsheet. It was a score sheet.

“They don’t believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet,” he continued. “This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list. They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills. That’s what (the Connecticut police) believe.”

The man paused and said, “They believe that (Lanza) believed that it was the way to pick up the easiest points. It’s why he didn’t want to be killed by law enforcement. In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that’s why he killed himself.


A former executive of the National Security Agency (NSA) is continuing his crusade against creeping encroachments on American liberty, speaking out at the National Press Club on Friday. - The Blaze

Thomas Drake had been with the NSA for 32 years and was the senior technical director when he decided he could no longer support the agency’s actions. For the past several years, he has been raising awareness as a whistle-blower about domestic spying, waste, and fraud, and was even prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information (the charges have been dropped).

The National Press Club ◼ wrote of the event (all subsequent emphasis added)
In a passionate plea for the sanctity of the First Amendment, Drake warned that journalists are being increasingly frozen out of government sources.

“How else will the press report the real news when their sources dry up and the government becomes a primary purveyor of its own news?” he asked in one of many disturbing scenarios posed to the audience. He quoted George Orwell and John F. Kennedy to the same effect: It is a slippery slope from government secrecy to tyranny.

Club President Angela Greiling Keane has made press freedom a priority for her presidency this year. Had Drake been convicted, “it would have had a chilling effect on whistleblowers and journalists, who often receive and keep defense documents,” she said in introducing Drake.
“What is the price of keeping the public in the dark, and having the government increasingly operating in the dark through secret law, or interpretations in secret of existing law?” he asked ominously.

“…In our post-9/11 world, the government is increasingly in the ‘First Un-amendment’ business, engaged in a direct assault on free speech and the very foundation of our democracy.”

The National Press Club posted video of Drake’s entire speech:

Awful… Barack Obama Bans West Bank Jews From Thursday Speech

Barack Obama disqualified students from Ariel University from attending his speech because they study at a West Bank settlement school. - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

Labor MK calls on students to boycott Obama speech as a result - imra

Labor MK Nachman Shai called on students to skip US President Barack Obama’s planned speech to the Israeli public, scheduled for Thursday night, citing the White House’s exclusion of Ariel University from a program to allow students to attend the Jerusalem address.

Shai said the Student Union should protest the president’s decision to exclude the university by not attending the highly touted speech, to take place at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.

“Following the decision not to invite students from Ariel to the US President’s speech in Israel, I demand that the Student Union inform President Obama that they will not attend his lecture on Thursday,” Shai wrote on his Facebook wall.

...“It is shocking to think that you can disqualify students just because they learn in the West Bank. I do not understand how President Obama wants to conduct a dialogue with the Israeli public when he is consciously excluding part of it,” he said.

Cyprus: Savings Seizure Tax – Banks Closed, Assets Frozen, ATMs Broken or Empty

Europe gets to test the plan Obama is clearly interested in – dip into the savings of Americans. - Maggie's Notebook

The Cypriot Prime Minister “agreed to force a tax on all bank deposits” to qualify for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. A citizen of Cyprus or anyone having deposits in the country will pay nothing…the government will just ‘take.’ Charles Barkley is on Fox this minute saying the message to Cyprus is you’re bankrupt, you need €10 billion ($13 million). You have to come up with €6 billion before the €10 billion comes your way. So the €6 billion comes from the people’s savings. No warning. Today through Thursday, if you want to get money out of your bank in Cyprus you are SOL. Closed banks was to be a one day event, then lengthened to Thursday. The question now: which Thursday? Frozen assets, broken or frozen ATMs happening now for the people of Cyprus....

Zerohedge reports that small accounts are also included and that there is likely ◼ no way Bernanke and Obama did not know of the plan. Some of those smaller account are foreign depositors.

...Déjà vu: The people’s money will be used to shore up Cypriot banks. Sound familiar? ◼ Read what’s brewing in the U.S.


Island set to seize personal savings...
Plan moves ahead as vote delayed...
Putin: 'Unfair,' 'Dangerous'...
FT: Here come bank runs...Financial Times
Germany: Not our idea...
Will Italy follow?
Markets rattled...
Euro tumbles...
Dow drops...

Cyprus lawmakers delay emergency vote on bank-deposit tax - LA Times

First, They Came For The Cypriots... - IBD

Rule Of Law: Markets tumbled after Cyprus and the EU said they might tax private bank accounts to pay for a bailout. Arbitrary property grabs are a new low and a bad precedent in this crisis. Worse still, it can happen here.

Oklahoma House Passes Obamacare Nullification Bill

Now that the bill has passed the House, it’s headed for the Senate. Representative Ritze thinks the chances of the bill making it to the Governor’s desk is 50/50. And if the Governor does sign the bill into law, expect the feds to throw a fit like they did when Texas tried to nullify the TSA. - Godfather Politics

State Representative Mike Ritze, a doctor and surgeon himself, has been a fierce opponent of Obamacare since its inception. He made headlines last summer when he introduced legislation that would not only render Obamacare null and void, but also would criminalize any federal agent attempting to enforce Obamacare mandates and regulations inside the state of Oklahoma.

Now that the Oklahoma state house is back in session, the bill was voted on and passed by a vote of 72 to 20. Even though the bill differs from its original form in that it no longer imposes fines and jail times for those federal agents seeking to enforce the federal healthcare law in Oklahoma, it does still acknowledge that the law is unconstitutional and renders it null and void inside state borders.