Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Bummer: Seven State Unions Sue New York Over Obamacare

ACA Health Care Standards Should be Determined by Federal Government, Not States - PolicyMIC via Doug Ross

Seven New York state unions have filed federal lawsuits against the state over what they claim is an unconstitutional increase in health care costs for retired workers. This is not a promising beginning for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now that Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has given more power to the states in implementing the law.


Colonel Michael Steele says he supports Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the former U.S. House Speaker’s ability to take action. -

Steele, who retired in 2010 after almost three decades in the U.S. Army and was Company Commander of the U.S. Army Ranger company portrayed in the book and film Black Hawk Down, said this coming year’s election is pivotal.
“I believe we have one shot left, the way we vote is the way our nation goes and I think if we screw this up we’re not getting another shot at it, we have to pick the right man,” he said, adding that he endorses Gingrich’s campaign for a change in Washington. “I for one am tired of people talking, and would offer it is time to replace a professional talker in the White House with a professional doer. Newt Gingrich is a professional doer, he gets things done. And we are in a point in our nation’s history where we need to get things done.”

Kelly Clarkson album sales surge after Ron Paul presidential endorsement

The singer's "Stronger" climbed to #2 on Amazon - NY Daily News

Karen Brooks Announces Supe Candidacy

Arcata environmental activist Mark Lovelace, who has yet to decide whether he’ll run for a second term after his landslide victory in June 2008, has an extra factor to consider — Bayside businesswoman Karen Brooks, who made public this week her intention to run for the job. - Humboldt Sentinel
“This mom, this business woman, this concerned citizen has decided that we can do better for the people of Humboldt County and I’m standing up to make your voice heard,” she wrote on her Facebook wall yesterday. “If you live in Manila, Arcata, Blue Lake, Kneeland, Bayside, Freshwater, northern Eureka and all points in-between I would represent you with no nonsense, real world leadership. I have a vision to bring our future back to our children and grandchildren…stay tuned!”
Her first campaign event will be a Pancake Breakfast meet and greet at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the D Street Neighborhood Center, just south of Humboldt State University in Arcata. While the breakfast is free, Brooks is asking attendees to bring two cans of food per person to help the local food bank — and she’s also asking for people to bring their own dishware to make it a zero waste event.

Brooks characterized the event as part of a “listening tour” in a press release earlier today, and says she intends to sound out issues and concerns from local residents in order to find sustainable solutions. For more information on her campaign, e-mail Brooks at

Here’s an excerpt from Planet Humboldt (produced by the Sentinel) of Brooks delivering comments at the 9/11 Commemoration held in Fortuna earlier this year:

Karen Brooks officially announces run for 3rd District county supervisor seat - Times-Standard

Virginia Attorney General Intervenes in Primary Ballot Dispute

Possible good news for any GOP candidates not named Mitt Romney or Ron Paul that might still be in the running by the time March rolls around: - Michelle Malkin
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is intervening in the Virginia presidential primary dispute and plans to file emergency legislation to address the inability of most Republican presidential candidates to get their name on the ballot, Fox News has learned.
Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia primary, a contest with 49 delegates up for grabs.
The failure of other candidates to qualify — notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry — led to complaints that the 10,000-signature requirement is too stringent.
Cuccinelli, who is a Republican, shared the concerns.
“Recent events have underscored that our system is deficient,” he said in a statement. “Virginia owes her citizens a better process. We can do it in time for the March primary if we resolve to do so quickly.”
Sources told Fox News that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to support the emergency legislation as well.
Virginia Attorney General Intervenes to Get GOP Candidates on Ballot - National Journal
(Rick) Perry has challenged the Virginia law and has been granted a Jan. 13 court date. On Saturday, other GOP hopefuls (Newt) Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum formally joined Perry's lawsuit.

Perry's spokesman, Ray Sullivan, said Saturday that Perry “applauds” Cuccinelli’s leadership on the issue and hopes the state legislature acts quickly to change the law. “Virginia's onerous and restrictive ballot access rules do create serious constitutional problems and undermine the rights of citizens and candidates,” Sullivan said. “Governor Perry agrees that Virginians deserve a better process.”
Virginia AG Intervenes in GOP Ballot Dispute as Blocked Candidates Join Suit - FOX

Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage Poll: Gingrich in Dead Heat With Romney, Paul in Iowa

Insider Advantage polled 429 registered Republicans on Wednesday who are likely to vote in the Jan. 3 caucuses. - NewsMax

(Insider Advantage chief pollster Matt) Towery labeled as “nonsense” reports that any single candidate has locked up a victory in the Iowa caucuses as of today.

“They’re absolutely packed together,” Towery told Newsmax. “I suspect that the various campaigns know that because they’ve been so into wanting to fight each other and blast each other. That really is not the way you win Iowa. I think they’ve been realizing that this is such a bloodbath because they’re all so close that they are really doing everything they can to try and get through this.”

Although considerable attention has been paid to Iowa’s undecided voters, Towery said he doesn’t see the undecided voters figuring prominently in the home stretch.

Candidates more likely will have to focus on taking votes from each other.

"Now that he's sort of free from having to put out these fires, the president will have a larger playing field. If that includes Congress, all the better," said Josh Earnest, White House deputy press secretary. But, he added, "that's no longer a requirement."

Obama Will Govern Without Congress - Newsmax

Leaving behind a year of bruising legislative battles, President Barack Obama enters his fourth year in office having calculated that he no longer needs Congress to promote his agenda and may even benefit in his re-election campaign if lawmakers accomplish little in 2012.

Absent any major policy pushes, much of the year will focus on winning a second term. The president will keep up a robust domestic travel schedule and aggressive campaign fundraising and use executive action to try to boost the economy.

Partisan, down-to-the-wire fights over allowing the nation to take on more debt and sharply reducing government spending defined 2011. In the new year, there are almost no must-do pieces of legislation facing the president and Congress....

Aides say the president will not turn his back on Congress completely in the new year. He is expected to once again push lawmakers to pass elements of his jobs bill that were blocked by Republicans last fall.

If those efforts fail, the White House says, Obama's re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action.

Earnest said Obama will come out with at least two or three directives per week, continuing the "We Can't Wait" campaign the administration began this fall, and try to define Republicans in Congress as gridlocked and dysfunctional.

Ezra Klein, Chris Hayes Reveal What DC Media Knew: Obama Was Willing to Let Payroll Tax Cut Expire

Yesterday, on MSNBC, left-wing journalists Chris Hayes of The Nation and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post–no strangers to Democrat-media collusion–revealed that they had been part of an off-the-record White House briefing in which it was made clear that President Barack Obama planned all along to let the temporary payroll tax holiday expire, and then blame Republicans. - Breitbart's Big Journalism

It is... a glaring indictment of the mainstream media, which knew of Obama’s true plan while encouraging Americans to blame the Tea Party and the Republicans, eagerly echoing Democrats’ accusations that the Tea Party had held the nation “hostage” for political gain.

In fact, as Hayes and Klein admit–laughingly, and why not? – Obama was the one holding a gun to the heads of the American people, knowing that a dutiful Washington press corps would erase his fingerprints.

Obama Maps Out ‘Warrior of Working Class’ Message - ABC
After a heated battle between the White House and House Republicans, the payroll tax cut was extended until the end of February — a battle the president ultimately won albeit for just two months. It also delayed the president’s vacation here, but the White House official noted that it gave the president and his senior advisers time to work through policy proposals that they plan to roll out in the new year — one being to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of 2012.

...ABC New Political Director Amy Walter added: ”The Obama folks should take some comfort in the fact that Obama’s numbers have improved in the wake of the payroll tax fight. Republicans looked disorganized and petty, which helped Obama look more presidential.”

Obama readies Iowa machine for Romney

President Obama’s campaign will be ramping up its grassroots machine in Iowa this weekend as it prepares for the rival it has long expected in 2012: Mitt Romney. - The Hill via Drudge

Obama’s campaign with its eight offices throughout Iowa — from Sioux City to Waterloo — is using the Republican caucus as an “organizing opportunity” and a practice run of sorts for the general election. While Obama, who spent months courting voters in the Hawkeye State back in 2007, is not in a competitive primary race this time around, campaign aides say they hope to get thousands to turnout on Tuesday, while they court likely voters for November.

Since August, President Obama has held only one formal White House news conference. That came on Oct. 6, nearly three months ago. It lasted 74 minutes, shorter than any single Republican debate, and the president was asked 17 questions, most of them softballs on the economy and his latest legislative proposals to create jobs.

Media Grills GOP Candidates, Gives Obama a Pass - Real Clear Politics via Drudge

No questions on immigration, no questions on Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel or North Korea -- global trouble spots the GOP candidates have been queried about repeatedly. Moreover, he was not asked about what spending cuts he would make to reduce the deficit, nothing about Medicare and Social Security reform or his health care law, all familiar questions for the Republicans seeking his job.

Obama’s ability to avoid tough questions, skate above the fray and look presidential while his potential successors appear to be futilely flailing is not by accident. It is by White House design, abetted by a press corps that seems content with being shut out by the president and being spoon-fed the message of the day, rather than clamoring for more chances to ask him questions during this critical time.

Just over the last couple of weeks, several major world events cried out for presidential comment, but little was forthcoming other than a few statements, some of which were attributed not to the president but to administration officials, named and unnamed.

Obama’s approval rating plummets

President Obama enjoyed a surge in popularity this week — but the bounce proved to be remarkably short-lived. - The Hill

A Gallup tracking poll released Thursday showed that Obama is once again underwater, plummeting to 41 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval, a sharp drop from earlier in the week.

Newt Gingrich Recalling Mother

Friday, December 30, 2011

Is It Really That Hard to Conceptualize Actual Cuts to Federal Spending?

(All signs point to yes) - Nick Gillespie/

This is no time to be praising folks who would lock in massive, historic increases in across-the-board spending (defense, entitlements, you name it). It is a time to push politicians to actually start talking about how to right-size government, whether it's via "The 19 Percent Solution," which would balance expenditures with historic levels of revenue or plans such as those authored by The Republican Study Committee or Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), either of which would get the job done. With all due respect to Pethokoukis, those are the plans that need to be championed, not ones that jack spending even more over the future.

Sadly, there are only two candidates offering a real means by which to actually undo that which the Left has done to this country for the past 50 years, and not just conservative platitudes. One of those candidates is Ron Paul, but his foreign policy is naive at best and reckless at worst. The other is Newt Gingrich, who has campaigned on what I believe is the most important issue facing us as a people—the loss of the rule of law.

Why I Am Endorsing Newt Gingrich for President - Steve Deace

This is a time for leadership, not warm fuzzies. The future is at stake, and we may never get another environment with the country so prepared to challenge the system as we have right now.
I suppose I could stay silent and let the process run its course, as many other so-called leaders are doing, so as to not worry about alienating some of my fellow believers by making this decision. But then I’d have to look my children in the eye years from now and explain to them why I stood by and said nothing when I had the chance, as more hackneyed Obamneys finish off what’s left of the greatest country God has ever shed His grace upon.

Empowering American Families

Our most powerful social asset is the one we aren’t supposed to cultivate. - John Hayward/Human Events

On the eve of what could, therefore, be either his big break or his swan song, Jim Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute took a look at Santorum’s detailed campaign platform. As with the other GOP candidates, he doesn’t talk about it enough when he has the attention of a national audience – it’s curious how they treat so many powerful, intriguing proposals as footnotes.

Santorum is better than average at tying the many elements (31, to be exact) of his platform into a unified theme, reflected in its title: “Made in America: Empowering American Families, Building Economic Freedom.” The economic freedom part comes from lowered and simplified tax rates, particularly on investment and manufacturing. One of those curiously underplayed ideas is what amounts to a flat income tax with only two rates, 10% and 28%.

Unlike some other tax reform proposals, Santorum’s keeps plenty of deduction incentives, compromising economic freedom in the service of a very specific goal: supporting American families. He offers tripled deductions for children, and eliminates marriage tax penalties. He would keep the deductions for charity, home mortgage interest, health care, and retirement savings, all of which are of keen interest to families.

Our media and political culture is rather hostile to the notion of deliberately supporting families through government policy. This is partly a result of the enormous energy deployed in the quest to re-define marriage – an effort premised on the notion that there is absolutely nothing special about the union of one man and one woman. Policies deliberately designed to cultivate traditional families are unhelpful to this effort, so they draw accusations of bigotry, theocracy, or at least hopelessly out-of-touch nostalgia. The defense of marriage and the family is dismissed as the province of unthinking religious zealots.

However, there are eminently practical reasons to support and nurture the traditional family, which have nothing to do with religion.

Another Obama donor convicted of fraud

This latest scandal involves a former Tarheels basketball player and a $21 million bank fraud scheme. - HotAir

Democratic fundraiser convicted of engineering $21 million bank fraud scheme - NY Daily News

Courtney Dupree was convicted of vastly overstating the billings of his Long Island City-based lighting company GDC Acquisitions in order to fraudulently obtain a loan from Amalgamated Bank.

Dupree, 42, sat stone-faced as the verdict was read in Brooklyn Federal Court. He faces up to 30 years in prison and has to pay back at least $18 million. …

Dupree, who attended the elite Wharton School of Business, was a rainmaker in Democratic circles.

In 2008, Dupree hosted a $1,000-a-ticket fund-raiser for Barack Obama at his Broad St. apartment that was attended by top aide Valerie Jarrett.

His company counted NBC Universal and Goldman Sachs among its clients.

Santorum a late bloomer in Iowa

Of all the Republican candidates, he has spent the most time traveling the state, and now his efforts seem to be paying off. The media is showering attention and more voters seem to be swinging his way. - LA Times (image source)

In final days, Santorum has potential to soar - Byron York/Washington Examiner

After months of hard-slog campaigning in all 99 of Iowa's counties, Rick Santorum is finally reaping the benefits of hard work. But there may be more to come, because the particular nature of the Iowa race at the moment could mean much more support will soon come Santorum's way. Here's why:

For months, Iowa social conservatives have searched for a candidate behind whom they could unite in their drive to stop Mitt Romney. But they were never able to come together behind a single choice. They had high hopes for Rick Perry, but he disappointed them with poor debate performances. They had high hopes for Herman Cain, too, but his ill-prepared answers to serious policy questions troubled them. (And that was before any allegations of sexual improprieties on Cain's part.) They had doubts about Michele Bachmann's experience. Finally, they were drawn to Newt Gingrich, but many had a difficult time getting over the former speaker's three marriages.

There was one candidate that nearly all of them wanted to support, and that was Rick Santorum. But they had a problem with Santorum, too. That problem wasn't about knowledge, or experience, or personal history. No, the problem with Santorum was always electability....

The study’s author, Tad DeHaven, wrote in his “Guide to the Presidential Candidates’ Proposals to Cut Spending” that Texas Rep. Ron Paul stands out the most.

Study: On spending cuts, most GOP candidates light on details - Daily Caller

“When it comes to proposing specific spending cuts and identifying the dollars amounts, Paul’s website is unrivaled,” DeHaven explained.

“He is the only candidate to put together an actual budget proposal,” he said. “Paul’s spending proposals would amount to the largest reduction in the size and scope of the federal government of any candidate.”

Paul calls for getting rid of the Commerce, Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development and Interior departments, while also making major cuts to the military. He also believes younger American citizens should be permitted to opt-out of Medicare and Social Security....
h/t: pb

$682,570 Taxpayer Funded 'Shrimp On A Treadmill'; Research Going Swimmingly

Reports of $500,000 of taxpayer funds to study a project that has shrimp running on a treadmill hit the headlines early in 2011 - MRC TV

A recent report now shows that $682,570 in grants has been awarded to the research effort.

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF) website, the money has been granted to the “Taking the Pulse of Marine Life in Stressed Seas” research conducted by biology professors Louis and Karen Burnett at the College of Charleston

What Congress Heard from Constituents in 2011:

Top 50 Bills in Congress That Garnered the Most Messages to Congress - SF Gate

POPVOX releases list of bills that provoked the most messages from constituents to Congress in 2011. Robocalls to cell phones, consumption tax proposals, abortion restrictions, health reform repeal, and online intellectual property bills topped the list....

Topping the list of legislation was H.R. 3035, the Mobile Information Call Act, with over 10,000 people weighing in against the proposal. Given the large-scale opposition, the sponsor, Representative Lee Terry, pronounced the bill "dead" on December 17.

The "Fair Tax Act" took two spots in the top ten list, with the House version, H.R. 25, ranked second in popularity and the Senate version, S. 13, ranking ninth (both with 80% support.)

H.R. 2306 to end the federal prohibition of marijuana, H.R. 3 to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion, and H.R. 2, to repeal health reform, took third, fourth, and fifth places respectively. The much-discussed "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA), H.R. 3261, ranked sixth in number of people who sent a message to Congress using POPVOX....

To view a list of the Top 50 bills and a slide show of the Top 10, ◼ visit POPVOX:


link - Ashlee Titus, Esq./The Flash Report

From a policy standpoint, this decision is a victory for property rights advocates and for state and local governments struggling to provide basic government services. RDAs are known as prolific abusers of eminent domain, and have suffered from a number of scandals related to misuse and mismanagement of funds. RDAs have been unable to provide proof of any economic advantage from their activities. Instead, they shuffle economic development projects between neighboring communities, but do not generate a net increase in such activity on a statewide basis. State and local governments will now have greater flexibility to craft their budgets because RDA funds will be unencumbered from that specific use, and will be available to pay for basic government services, such as education, police and fire. The state budget will benefit too – while ABX1 27 was expected to relieve the state’s general fund from having to pay $1.7 billion for education, transit and fire districts in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the Legislative Analyst estimated that the complete elimination of the agencies would free up $3 billion (after repayment of RDA debts and obligations) to provide funding to local governments and offset state general fund costs (mostly for education) during the same time frame.

The California Redevelopment Association is already chirping about the dire economic fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision this morning. As the Legislature prepares to reassemble for the second half of the 2011-2012 session, expect supporters in the Legislature to go to heroic lengths to revive RDAs.

The latest snafu is a change (as of two months ago) regarding the hoops candidates must jump through in order to qualify for the Republican primary. The equation’s factors are political ‘thinking’ times lawyerese. The result is explained here; it's the most succinct of the dozens I've read

Virginia's Republican Party Sinks to the Occasion...Again - Gates of Vienna

BETTER THINGS TO DO: Why It’s Time to Change Virginia’s Unreasonable Ballot Access Law -
Virginia’s statutory ballot access requirement is, quite simply, one of if not the most daunting in the country: A minimum of 10,000 petition signatures collected statewide, including at least 400 from each of its 11 congressional districts. That’s hard enough. But then there are the additional restrictions: the petition circulators must be registered or eligible to vote in Virginia. The signatures must be gathered using the State Board of Elections’ official form, a two-page document which must be reproduced as double-sided. (Single-sided stapled forms are not accepted.) Signatures must be collected on forms that are specific to each city, county and congressional district. Only “qualified” voters may sign a petition. And every single petition form must be sworn and notarized.

Paul’s Stance on Foreign Policy Divides Many Traditional G.O.P. Voters

The emerging question is to what extent Mr. Paul’s more dovish stances — like ruling out pre-emptive strikes against Iran — are so far out of the Republican orthodoxy that they will limit his support in many places, or, as many in the party argue, make him unelectable in important early-nominating states like South Carolina and Florida. - NY TIMES

...One recent national poll by ABC News and The Washington Post found that 45 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican said Mr. Paul’s opposition to American military interventions overseas was a major reason to oppose his candidacy, compared with the 29 percent who saw it as a major reason to support him.

He has said he would bring troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and questioned the American military presence in South Korea.

But Mr. Paul’s national security positions draw raves from many veterans, students and others who believe his noninterventionism would curtail a dangerous trend toward military adventurism and strengthen America’s influence and prestige while diverting resources to pay down the national debt. In interviews at Paul campaign events this week, many said they embraced his national security proposals, rather than reluctantly accepting them.

“He would get us out of our difficulties overseas,” said Tony Snook, a retired Army sergeant first class wounded in a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq, in 2007 who came to a raucous Paul rally that drew 500 people on Wednesday night in Des Moines. “You should choose your fights wisely,” he said. “If it’s not there, don’t invent something, don’t shed blood needlessly....”

Ron Paul Senior Advisor Doug Wead on FOX News w/ Megyn Kelly

Ron Paul

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Local: Democrats manipulated California redistricting commission; ProPublica investigation reveals process was biased

California's congressional Democrats ran a secret effort earlier this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizen panel that drew the state's new political districts, foiling the intent of reformers who sought to remove the redistricting process from the control of party bosses. - Times-Standard

Democrats met behind closed doors at the party's Washington, D.C., headquarters, hired consultants, drew their ideal districts and presented maps to the panel through proxies who never disclosed their party ties or “public interest” groups created specifically for the purpose. In many cases, the panel responded by doing just what the Democrats wanted.

The New York-based nonprofit investigative foundation ProPublica released findings last week from a months-long reconstruction of the Democrats' stealth redistricting strategy, relying on internal memos, emails, interviews and map analysis.

The success of the strategy has Democrats projecting they may pick up as many as seven congressional seats in 2012 under new district boundaries adopted last summer, far more than had been expected originally.

Local officials respond to ProPublica investigation; analysis: Democrats manipulated state redistricting effort - Times-Standard

Representatives in Thompson's office said the congressman was traveling with family for the holidays and was unavailable for comment.

LaMalfa, a Republican and Butte County resident, said he was pleased to see the ProPublica investigation address some of the issues he'd seen during the redistricting process.

”It has someone else talking about the stuff many of us have been concerned with on the games that were being played behind the scenes on the new lines being drawn,” LaMalfa said. “The maps were compromised by outsiders.”

ProPublica's investigation revealed last week that Democrats allegedly hired consultants to present their ideas to the commission and that the consultants never disclosed their party affiliations or intent. LaMalfa said the Democrats made a blatant effort to influence the new district lines.

”The Republicans didn't actually place people on there and work hand-in-hand with them, inappropriately with them, on that,” LaMalfa said about the map creation process.

Political Predictions for 2012

As New Year's approaches, here are a baker's dozen predictions for 2012. - Karl Rove/Wall St. Journal
Republicans will keep the U.S. House, albeit with their 25-seat majority slightly reduced. In the 10 presidential re-elections since 1936, the party in control of the White House has added House seats in seven contests and lost them in three. The average gain has been 12 seats. The largest pickup was 24 seats in 1944—but President Barack Obama is no FDR, despite what he said in his recent "60 Minutes" interview.

Republicans will take the U.S. Senate. Of the 23 Democratic seats up in 2012, there are at least five vulnerable incumbents (Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania): The GOP takes two or three of these. With the announcement on Tuesday that Nebraska's Ben Nelson will retire, there are now seven open Democratic seats (Connecticut, Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, Wisconsin): The GOP takes three or four. Even if Republicans lose one of the 10 seats they have up, they will have a net pickup of four to six seats, for a majority of 51 to 53.

Scandals surrounding the now-bankrupt Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, MF Global and administration insider deals still to emerge will metastasize, demolishing the president's image as a political outsider. By the election, the impression will harden that Mr. Obama is a modern Chicago-style patronage politician, using taxpayer dollars to reward political allies (like unions) and contributors (like Obama fund-raiser and Solyndra investor George Kaiser). ...Read them all

Perry Loses Bid to Stop Virginia Ballots

◼ UPDATE: Texas Governor Rick Perry failed in his bid to stop Virginia election officials from printing or distributing primary ballots without his name on them. - Bloomberg

A federal judge in Richmond said today that he wouldn’t stop the printing before the next hearing in the case, scheduled for Jan. 13. He didn’t rule on the merits of Perry’s challenge.

Krauthammer: ‘Ridiculous’ GOP Congress And ‘Embarrassing’ Candidates Are Handing Obama A Victory

President Obama’s consistent lead over most Republican contenders has taken some on the right by surprise, given his low approval ratings and the bad economy the administration can’t seem to shake. To Charles Krauthammer, none of the credit should go to President Obama, however, but to the “embarrassing” Republican candidates and the “ridiculous” behavior of the Congressional Republican leadership. - Mediaite

Drama: Bachmann’s Iowa chairman endorses Ron Paul — three hours after appearing at an event for her; Update: Sorenson told us Paul offered him a “large sum,” says Team Bachmann; Update: Sorenson, Paul camp deny

The official statement from now-former Bachmann chair Kent Sorenson: - HotAir
[T]he fact is, there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for President, both here in Iowa and nationally. Ron Paul is easily the most conservative of this group.

The truth is, it was an excruciatingly difficult decision for me to decide between supporting Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at the beginning of this campaign. Dr. Paul and his supporters were a major help in my successful campaigns for Iowa House and Senate even when I couldn’t count on the support of the Republican establishment here in Iowa…

He’s also consistently spoken out against government spending, assaults on individual liberties, and unnecessary trillion-dollar military adventurism for over 30 years. Polls show he is the Republican candidate that can take on and defeat President Obama in November 2012…

With the entire Republican establishment intent on smearing Ron Paul and his dedicated supporters, I understand this decision could impact the way people see me and my entire political career. But this is the right decision, and one in which I proudly stand behind.

Michele Bachmann chair defects to Ron Paul - Politico

Michele Bachmann's Iowa chairman Kent Sorenson defects to GOP rival Ron Paul's side - NY Daily News

Big Government EXCLUSIVE: Nancy Pelosi’s Daughter: ‘My Mom Wants to Leave Congress’

Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of House Minority Leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Big Government this week that her mother wants to leave Congress–and that she remains in Washington only at the behest of her campaign donors. - Jeffrey Scott Shapiro/Big Government

During a telephone interview, Ms. Pelosi–speaking from a friend’s home in New York City–described her mother’s predicament:
She would retire right now, if the donors she has didn’t want her to stay so badly. They know she wants to leave, though. They think she’s destined for the wilderness (greatness). She has very few days left. She’s 71, she wants to have a life, she’s done. It’s obligation, that’s all I’m saying.
Alexandra Pelosi, 41, is a television producer and documentarian who won multiple Emmy awards for her work on Journeys with George (2002), an HBO documentary on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign. The film was widely hailed as fair in its depiction of a president not used to sympathetic media portrayals.

Nancy Pelosi, Victim Of Those Bad, Bad. . .Campaign Donors - the Other McCain

Political Predictions for 2012 - Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by year's end. - Karl Rove/Wall St. Journal


2012 Presidential Matchups - Rasmussen

Mitt Romney has now jumped to his biggest lead ever over President Obama in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. It’s also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over the incumbent in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.

The latest national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the former Massachusetts governor, while 39% prefer the president. Ten percent (10%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

California Supremes Rule, Redevelopment is History

Today's action may be the final chapter in one of 2011's most contentious budget fights - KQED News

In a ruling that is no doubt sending shock waves through city halls across California, the state Supreme Court has ruled that only half of a state budget proposal diverting redevelopment dollars is legal. That split decision means that more than 400 local redevelopment agencies must cease operations -- for good -- sometime in 2012.
As it turns out, the comment made during last month's court hearing by the attorney representing the state. "The redevelopment agencies took a gamble on this lawsuit," said deputy state attorney Ross Moody.

And it's a gamble they lost.

Today's action may be the final chapter in one of 2011's most contentious budget fights, a fight that began with Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to abolish redevelopment agencies and divert the freed up cash to other state budget-busting needs.

American Idol winner and pop singer Kelly Clarkson Endorses Ron Paul

I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he's got my vote. Too bad he probably won't. -

The response on Twitter was apparently rather negative, so Clarkson published another post rebutting accusations of racism.
Ron Paul

Karen Brooks to Take On Mark Lovelace Next Year

Bayside’s Karen Brooks, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Assm. Wes Chesbro last year, looks to be turning her attention to a more junior member of the Arcatocracy next year. - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost

Earlier this month, Brooks, a Republican, filed campaign organization papers to set up a run against incumbent Supervisor Mark Lovelace for the Third District seat.

New 3rd District county supervisor candidate emerges; fundraising committee papers filed by Karen Brooks - Megan Hansen/Times-Standard

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CFRW 4th Quarter Newsletter!

◼ Our fourth and final CFRW Newsletter for 2011 is now available online! To view the newsletter, please click HERE.

Have a safe and happy New Year!!!

"We could be having this conversation 15 years from now and talking about how President Obama, as a Democrat, was the president that started the path to killing Social Security"

Payroll Tax Cut Could End Social Security - DAVID HOGBERG, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

The 2-percentage-point reduction on employee wages originally was set to expire Dec. 31.

But House Republicans late Thursday agreed to adopt the Senate's two-month stopgap approach. They had pushed for a yearlong extension but they came under fire by President Obama and Democrats, who accused them of being willing to raise taxes on the middle class.

Few analysts doubt that the payroll tax eventually will be renewed beyond 2012. And that could be a slippery slope to ending Social Security.

"If the argument is that a 2% payroll tax cut helps job creation, then why not 4% or 6%?" Fichtner asked. "Why not get rid of the entire payroll tax if it is holding back job creation?"

But that would mean Social Security will no longer be funded by the payroll tax but by transfers from general revenues. That could change the perception, real or not, that Social Security is an earned retirement pension.

"It becomes a welfare program, and a lot of people will think that they're not paying into the system and want to cut back on Social Security," Fichtner said.

The Year in Obama Scandals — and Scandal Deniers

See no scandal, hear no scandal, speak no scandal. - Michelle Malkin (Photoshop source: Courage in America)

Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan asserted in May — while Operation Fast and Furious subpoenas were flying on Capitol Hill — that “one of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals.” Conveniently, he defines scandal as a “widespread elite perception of wrongdoing.”

So as long as left-wing Ivy League scribes refuse to perceive something to be a scandal — never mind the actual suffering endured by the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whose death came at the hands of a Mexican cartel thug wielding a Fast and Furious gun walked across the southern border under Attorney General Eric Holder’s watch — there is no scandal!

...Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum likewise proclaimed: “Obama’s presidency has so far been almost completely free of scandal.”

This after the year kicked off in January with the departure of lying eco-radical czar Carol Browner. In backroom negotiations, she infamously bullied auto execs to “put nothing in writing, ever.” Read The Rest

Newt Gingrich: Millions of Jobs Right Now

Newt Gingrich

2012 Nobama Wall Calendar

at Barnes&Noble

"Republican" Golf Balls

Newt Interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, Answers Attack Ads

“Build an echo chamber and the media laps it up.”

The Colorado Model & The Left’s Stratagem For Turning Red States to Blue - RedState

Although it’s being deployed in several states like Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and others, there are still many who have never heard of the Colorado Model. What’s worse, despite all the Left’s bemoaning of the “vast right wing conspiracy,” Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or whatever enemy they can dream up, there is still nothing like the Colorado Model on the Right....

Unfortunately, the Right still doesn’t seem to embrace or, more importantly, understand the Colorado Model. What’s worse, because the Colorado Model requires cooperation, it is unlikely the Right will ever be successful in creating a model similar to that which the Left is deploying across the country.

Unlike Barack Obama’s OFA, which coordinates with the institutional Left, the Moveon.orgs of the world, hundreds of 527s, think tanks, unions, and the like, the Right largely consists of groups who work disparately, in disagreement with, and, often, openly fighting with one another. On the Right, we have the Keystone Cops facing the Red Army on the Left.

...While the Colorado Model isn’t a secret, it hasn’t drawn much national attention either. Democrats, for now anyway, seem wary of touting it. One reason for their reticence is that it depends partly on wealthy liberals’ spending tons of money not only on “independent expenditures” to attack Republican office-seekers but also to create a vast infrastructure of liberal organizations that produces an anti-Republican, anti-conservative echo chamber in politics and the media.

The Colorado Model - Weekly Standard
The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care) - get it at Amazon
Become A Force Multiplier: Five simple tasks for American Activists - scribd doc

The 2011 HUMAN EVENTS Conservative of the Year: Paul Ryan

Ryan has old-fashioned goals... like saving America from fiscal bankruptcy, economic stagnation and a European-style entitlement state - Human Events

The editors of HUMAN EVENTS are proud to name Rep. Paul Ryan as “Conservative of the Year” for 2011. The Wisconsin Republican was a favorite from the very beginning of the nomination process, not only with our editorial board but with our readers as well, for his relentless commitment to proposing bold, free-market reforms to rein in an out-of-control, ever-expanding government that is destroying the American economy. Despite the left’s vicious and unfounded attacks, Paul Ryan has pursued an agenda of limiting Washington’s control over our private property and the decisions we make, while eloquently arguing that true way out of poverty is through the benevolence of capitalist pursuits, not through the confiscatory paws of government bureaucrats. And who better to profile Ryan’s indefatigable journey than eminent financial columnist and popular television host Lawrence Kudlow. Congratulations, Paul Ryan. Read the rest

It begins: Radio ad asks Iowans to caucus for Palin

It begins: Radio ad asks Iowans to caucus for Palin - HotAir

"On Jan. 4, we'll have the strongest grass-roots organization and campaign finance infrastructure in place of any candidate going forward"

In Iowa, Obama toils while GOP roars, then departs - Charles Babington/AP WABC

'Mischief' voters push Paul to front of GOP race

Ron Paul is surging in the Republican presidential race. Just not among Republicans. - Byron York/Washington Examiner

The Texas congressman is leading some polls in Iowa and is in a tie for second in New Hampshire. A candidacy once dismissed as sideshow is now being taken very seriously; the front page of Monday's Des Moines Register featured a huge spread under the headline "COULD RON PAUL WIN?"

Given Paul's views on the Fed, the gold standard and social issues, not to mention his isolationist foreign policy, the polls have left some politicos wondering whether Republican voters have somehow swerved off the rails. But there's another question that should be asked first: Who are Ron Paul's supporters? Are they, in fact, Republicans?

..."Paul is doing the best job of getting those people who aren't really Republicans but say they're going to vote in the Republican primary," explains Smith. Among that group are libertarians, dissatisfied independents and Democrats who are "trying to throw a monkey wrench in the campaign by voting for someone who is more philosophically extreme..."

Non-Republicans are sure to vote in all three early GOP contests. Iowa requires that caucus participants be registered Republicans, but anyone can show up on caucus night, register, and vote. In New Hampshire, so-called "undeclared" voters of any stripe can participate in the GOP primary. And South Carolina's GOP contest is open to all. Wherever Paul's final total, it will reflect lots of non-Republican votes.

Of course, next November's general election is open, too, and the Republican nominee will needs significant non-GOP support. But if Paul were the nominee, he would likely lose lots of Republicans, along with independents, and all of the Democrats who cast mischief votes on his behalf. Even his own supporters don't view him as having the best chance to beat Barack Obama.

Paul holds slim lead over Romney in first post-Christmas Iowa poll: Paul leads the field with 24 percent, but Mitt Romney is a close second at 20 percent. - Jonathan Easley/The Hill

Voters want growth, not income redistribution

So why should voters be leery of economic redistribution in times of economic distress? - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

Perhaps because they realize that they stand to gain much more from a vibrantly growing economy than from redistribution of a stagnant economic pie. A growing economy produces many unanticipated opportunities. Redistribution edges toward a zero-sum game.

They miss growth when it is absent. They don't appreciate it so much when it is happening.

Roosevelt's 1934 and 1936 victories were won in periods of growth. After the economy shifted into recession in 1937, New Deal Democrats fared much worse, and Roosevelt won his third and fourth terms as a seasoned wartime leader, not an economic redistributor.

Lesson: If you want redistribution, you better first produce growth. Which the Obama Democrats' policies have failed to do.

“Congress has proven it does not understand the Internet. Perhaps they will understand brute strength against them at the ballot box. If members of Congress do not pull their name from co-sponsorship of SOPA, the left and right should pledge to defeat each and every one of them.”

SOPA is the end of us, say bloggers - Politico

The conservative and liberal blogospheres are unifying behind opposition to Congress’s Stop Online Piracy Act, with right-leaning bloggers arguing their very existence could be wiped out if the anti-piracy bill passes.

“If either the U.S. Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA) & the U.S. House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) become law, political blogs such as Red Mass Group [conservative] & Blue Mass Group [liberal] will cease to exist,” wrote a blogger at Red Mass Group.

...“Some good news on the SOPA front: Its corporate base of supporters is starting to crumble,” David Dayden wrote at Firedoglake. “GoDaddy is not alone. Scores of law firms are requesting their names be removed from the Judiciary Committee’s official list of SOPA supporters.”

In the blogosphere, the trajectory of the bill seemed set — that it is destined for failure if the pressure of the online community is kept up.


Renowned economist, father of The Laffer Curve and supply-side economics, and architect of the Ronald Reagan economic plan, Arthur Laffer, announced his endorsement Tuesday of Newt Gingrich for President of the United States. -

"Newt has the best plan for jobs and economic growth of any candidate in the field," said Laffer.

"Like Ronald Reagan's tax cuts and pro-growth policies, Newt's low individual and corporate tax rates, deregulation and strong dollar monetary policies will create a boom of new investment and economic growth leading to the creation of tens of millions of new jobs over the next decade. Plus, Newt's record of helping Ronald Reagan pass the Kemp Roth tax cuts and enacting the largest capital gains tax cut in history as Speaker of the House shows he can get this plan passed and put it into action."

Mr. Laffer will join Newt Gingrich in Storm Lake, IA Thursday for a formal press conference announcing the endorsement.

"Rebuilding the America we love requires returning to job creation and economic growth. We need big changes to fix the economy, and I am ready to stand up to Barack Obama's class warfare rhetoric to make the case that letting the American people keep more of what they earn is the best way to create jobs."

Dr. Laffer received his B.A. in economics from Yale, his MBA and Ph. D. in economics at Stanford. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research firm focusing on interconnecting macroeconomics, political and demographic changes affecting global financial markets.

Ron Paul building a solid Michigan base

Success in early races might bolster him here in February - Detroit News

With U.S. Rep. Ron Paul topping recent Republican presidential polls in Iowa, supporters in Michigan are revving up campaign efforts anticipating Paul will emerge successful from the early contests and ready to compete in the Wolverine State.

Aside from former Gov. Mitt Romney, Paul is the only other candidate with a staffed Michigan campaign. Supporters are hosting meetings regularly at coffee shops and restaurants around the state, canvassing neighborhoods and trying to persuade potential voters in the state's Feb. 28 primary.

"I'm absolutely delighted," supporter Sheldon Rose of Bloomfield Hills said of Paul's jump in the polls. "It makes me think American public opinion is sliding to his view, which is a libertarian view."

Perry sues Virginia elections board to gain ballot access UPDATED

Taegan Goddard provides the obligatory zinger about a noted fan of states rights and the Tenth Amendment asking a federal judge to overrule Virginia’s preferences on ballot access. - HotAir

Here’s the complaint, which is mercifully short. One interesting bit comes in paragraph 18, which says Perry submitted “over 6,000 petition signatures from qualified Virginia voters.” According to the Virginia GOP, ◼ he submitted more than 11,900 signatures total, which I guess means … only slightly more than half were from qualified voters? Good lord. The other important part, which you should take two minutes to read, is Count 1 spanning paragraphs 24 through 28. He’s arguing that Virginia’s requirement that petition circulators all be residents of the state who are either registered to vote or eligible to be registered imposes a too-heavy burden on his right to engage in political speech and therefore violates the First Amendment. Is he right? Well, here’s the leading Supreme Court precedent that he cites, which is also mercifully short. Skip down to section III and take two more minutes to read that. The question for the Court in that case was ever so slightly different: Colorado law allowed only currently registered voters to be petition circulators, not people who were eligible but who hadn’t registered yet. It was slightly more restrictive than Virginia’s system, in other words — and the Court found that it did in fact violate the First Amendment.

◼ UPDATE: Perry Loses Bid to Stop Virginia Ballots - Bloomberg

Texas Governor Rick Perry failed in his bid to stop Virginia election officials from printing or distributing primary ballots without his name on them.

A federal judge in Richmond said today that he wouldn’t stop the printing before the next hearing in the case, scheduled for Jan. 13. He didn’t rule on the merits of Perry’s challenge.

Newt: Winning the Argument

Newt Gingrich

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

White House’s Relations With Media Turn Nasty

The Washington Post reports that journalists are complaining of the White House’s heavy-handed rudeness towards them when they do anything but fawn over the administration, branding the correspondence “nastygrams.” - P.J. Salvatore/Big Journalism

Journalists complain the White House press office has become overly combative - Washington Post

Carl Cannon, a longtime political journalist who is the Washington editor of the Web site Real Clear Politics, says he recently got zinged. After his site posted a headline and video of President Obama promoting a political fundraising raffle at the White House in June — which Republicans said could be a violation of campaign-finance law — Cannon heard about it in no uncertain terms. A deputy press official let loose “a screaming, profane diatribe that lasted two or three phone calls,” Cannon recalled. “It hurt my ear.”

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska will announce today that he is retiring after two terms, a serious blow to Democratic efforts to hold onto their majority in the chamber next November.

Add another to the list of Democratic victims of ObamaCare - HotAir
On one hand, it’s easy to underestimate the power of incumbency. On the other, the man couldn’t even eat a pizza in peace after casting a decisive vote for ObamaCare and tossing his pro-life credentials into the wastebasket by doing so. Nelson wasn’t going to get re-elected, and would likely have lost by a wide margin in a very red state, especially in a presidential election cycle.
A political tsunami hit Nebraska politics today, with Democratic U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson declining to seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. -
It's good news for Republicans, but incredibly bad for Democrats who need the equivalent of a Christmas miracle to keep the seat.

Democrats have no candidate waiting in the wings. They will have to scramble for a candidate who can quickly organize a statewide campaign and raise millions in less than a year, while competing against Republicans who have been in campaign mode for more than a year.

...Nelson was considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent Democrats in the U.S. Senate, in large part, because of a single vote. Nelson cast the crucial 60th vote in support of President Obama's controversial health-care package in December of 2009.

His vote and the subsequent national outcry over the so-called Cornhusker Kickback - an amendment inserted into the health-care bill to garner Nelson's vote - seriously damaged his political reputation on the homefront....

An Iowa Caucus Primer: How the Process Works

Despite the national media saturation, the process by which the Iowa caucuses are run can seem incomprehensible even to politically attuned outsiders, and it is rarely explained in detail. - Real Clear Politics

But some quintessential Iowa quirks notwithstanding, the Republican caucuses are rather straightforward.... The gatherings are run entirely by the state Republican Party, which will deliver to each precinct a list of registered Republicans as of Nov. 14.

Once people start arriving at their caucus sites, they will be checked in and directed to their seats if they are already registered with the party. Non-Republican voters are allowed to register on site with the GOP upon providing a driver’s license or other photo ID with proof of residency and will be added instantly to the party’s registration rolls and can participate that night.

Seventeen-year-olds who will turn 18 by Nov. 6, 2012 are allowed to take part.... read the rest...

As Iowa Goes, So Goes Iowa - Michael Barone/Wall St. Journal

Congress Firing back at gun control

Congress muzzles federal funds used to weaken the Second Amendment - Emily Miller/Washington Times

The Obama administration’s anti-gun agenda, which has been sneaking into the federal bureaucracy in recent years, was blasted by Congress last week. Republicans used the $1 trillion omnibus bill for 2012 to shoot back at the sneaky use of federal funds for gun control.

One sentence in the 2,100-page spending bill stopped taxpayers’ money from being used for sham studies designed to make legal gun ownership seem like a public health hazard. The House GOP included a provision in the Health and Human Services appropriations bill preventing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using any of its $30.7 billion funds to “advocate or promote gun control.”

Rep. Denny Rehberg led the charge because, despite Congress‘ holding the line on Second Amendment rights, “the gun control special interest groups haven’t gone away, they’ve just turned to the executive and judicial branches to erode our constitutional rights.” The Montana Republican told The Washington Times, “We know President Obama fundamentally opposes gun rights, so it’s our job to keep a close eye on his administrative actions.”


Obama to ask for debt limit hike: Treasury official - Reuters

A Time for Choosing

To the Republicans of the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida: - Bill Kristol/Weekly Standard

At this moment of great peril for our nation, you have the privilege of beginning the process of selecting the 2012 Republican presidential nominee—the individual who will save us from the ghastly prospect of an Obama second term, and who will then have the task of beginning to put right our listing ship of state, setting our nation on a course to restored solvency, reinvigorated liberty, and renewed greatness.

Your responsibility is great. Your votes will affect which candidates survive January’s electoral gauntlet, their likelihood of ultimately prevailing, and even whether others will feel impelled to enter the race. You, the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, will shape the range of choices for your fellow citizens elsewhere in the nation in this crucial year.

How should you decide for whom to vote?

Kristol: Anyone want to jump in now? - HotAir

Throughout this Republican primary process, Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard has offered a consistent vision. He wants someone else. In the latest edition of TWS, Kristol makes one more call for an all-in, calling it “A Time for Choosing,” and not just for voters but for Republican leaders...

Even if a candidate were to jump in at this late date, it would have to be one who could reliably raise money fast, organize effectively, have good name recognition, be well prepared on policy, and survive the kind of intense vetting that has derailed Cain, Rick Perry, Bachmann, and has deflated Gingrich’s bubble. That’s a recipe for an establishment candidate, not an outsider. We should stop fantasizing about white knights riding to the rescue and focus on the choices we have in front of us now.

“We don’t have our ‘A’ team” - Neoneocon

“We Don’t Have Our ‘A Team’ on the Field” - Rich Lowry/National Review

Will the Last Job Creator to Leave California Please Turn Off the Lights?

...the pro-tax crowd in California produced this video... - Dan Mitchell/Big Government

I suppose I could criticize the petty dishonesty of the proponents, since they deliberately blurred of the difference between “tax rates” and “taxes paid.”

Or I could expose their economic illiteracy by pointing out that higher tax rates would accelerate the emigration of investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and other rich taxpayers to zero-tax states such as Nevada.

But I won’t do those things. Instead, like the Nevada Realtors Association and Arizona Business Relocation Department, I’m going to support this ballot initiative.

Not because I overdid the rum and eggnog at Christmas, but because it’s good to have negative role models, whether they are countries like Greece, cities such as Detroit, or states like California.

So here’s my challenge to the looters and moochers of the Golden State. Don’t just boost the top tax rate by five-percentage points. That’s not nearly enough. Go for a 20 percent top tax rate. Or 25 percent. After all, think of all the special interests that could use the money more than Ms. Kardashian.

And if somebody tells you that she will move to South Beach or Las Vegas, or that the other rich people will move to Texas, Wyoming, or Tennessee, just ignore them. Remember, it’s good intentions that count.

In closing, I apologize to the dwindling crowd of productive people in California. It’s rather unfortunate that you’re part of this statist experiment. But you know what they say about eggs and omelets.
- (Weigh in here)

“And now he plays the race card...I think it’s, to use his word a cowardly use of the race card and it’s unbecoming. It also is dangerous in a country where it can stoke that kind of racial animosity. He shouldn’t be using it.”

Krauthammer: Eric Holder ‘one of the most incompetent attorneys general in US history’ - Jeff Poor/Daily Caller

The Solyndra Scandal: Politics infused Obama energy programs

Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. - Joe Stephens and Carol D. Leonnig/Washington Post

Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.

They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.

“It’s not about the people; it’s politics... We all feel betrayed.” - Daily Caller

The Washington Post review of the Solyndra scandal concluded that the Obama Administration was continually concerned about political “optics” and re-election consequences rather than good government policy. - Bob Beauprez/Townhall

Monday, December 26, 2011

Rick Perry: Part-Time Congress

Rick Perry

Sheriff Joe 'suspicious' of motive behind Obama attacks

Is lawman's probe of president creating panic at White House? - Bob Unruh/World Net Daily

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona's Maricopa County has been under fire for his immigration law-enforcement policies from protesters who simply object to what he's doing, in a lawsuit alleging his department profiles on race, and from the federal government which has canceled agreements with his department to check for violators who arrive at his jail.

Now he's wondering just how much of that displeasure from Washington is being generated by the perceived White House alarm over his Cold Case Posse investigation checking out suspicions raised by area tea-party officials that Barack Obama may use or try to use fraudulent documents to be on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona.

...Arpaio has confirmed his "Cold Case Posse" investigating Obama's presidential eligibility will release a preliminary report in February of its findings, which he expects to be "controversial."

He has described the work that is going on as "a serious law-enforcement investigation" and he said the findings will be "based in facts." Arpaio said a comprehensive report will be issued shortly after the February preliminary report.

His investigation was launched after local tea-party members expressed their concern to him about the possibility of fraud in the Obama campaign.

Arpaio gets death threats over Obama investigation - Warned he 'will be filled with thousand bullet holes' - Jerome R. Corsi/World Net Daily

Heavily Dem downstate IL county: 7,100 voting age residents, 7,800 registered to vote

The Bloomington Pantagraph is reporting that Alexander County has just 7,100 residents of voting age, but 7,800 registered voters. - Marathon Pundit

Francis Lee, the county clerk, has known about this problem for more than a year, but has done nothing to correct it--she's blaming a lack of funds. But Lee says this numerical mismatch has not led to voter fraud, but like St. Clair to the north, Alexander County is ◼ no stranger to voting irregularities.

Is This Man The Reason Newt Gingrich Isn’t On The VA Ballot?

All Michael Osborne wants is a little fairness. But in the end he may be responsible for handing Virginia’s Republican presidential delegates to someone other than who the polls show Virginia Republicans want. - Talking Points Memo

The self-proclaimed conservative independent and former Republican leans any which way but Romney in the Republican presidential primary fight, and says he likes what Gingrich has to say. But thanks to a lawsuit he filed after his local GOP, he says, tried to keep him off the ballot earlier this year as their nominee in a southwest Virginia delegate race, Osborne may be partially responsible for Romney’s much smoother path toward a win in the Commonwealth on Super Tuesday.

Ballot access expert Richard Winger first reported Osborne’s story Monday. In order to understand it, you need to understand how candidates are chosen for the ballot in Virginia — namely, by collecting thousands of signatures.

...up until this year the state GOP did not verify the signatures with the diligence that you might expect. “[I]n the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked,” Winger writes. “Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot.”

Put another way, Winger says Republican officials used to essentially ignore the legal requirement that signatures be verified, accepting raw signatures instead. But this year, things were different. The state GOP gave the list of signatures a close look, Winger says, which is why Gingrich and Perry (who both professed to turn in more than 10,000 signatures) didn’t make it.

EPA’s New Mercury Rule? Environmental Hocus Pocus

The EPA’s analysis of the new mercury rule (the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or Utility MACT) is yet another example of regulatory bait-and-switch. -

The rule refers to mercury but really targets CO2, and it generates its purported benefits from reducing particulates that are already covered by other regulations.

Final Iowa blitz underway...VOTING: IN 7 DAYS

GOP campaign for Iowa caucus enters final week - AP via Drudge
Christmas cease-fire over; final Iowa ad war begins
Reporting from Des Moines— The holiday hiatus, such as it was, has ended, and 2012 campaign advertising, post-Christmas edition, is taking flight in Iowa.

A week and a day before the nation's leadoff caucuses, the airwaves of the Hawkeye State are once again clotted with a slew of ads, positive and negative, from the Republican presidential candidates and their supporters.... Absent from the Iowa ad blitz, at least for now: Michele Bachmann (and Jon Huntsman, who isn't openly campaigning for the Jan. 3 caucuses).
The GOP field: The week ahead

Newt Gingrich: Christmas Day 1776

Newt Gingrich

The cost of "security theater"

Smoke Screening - Charles C. Mann/Vanity Fair

As you stand in endless lines this holiday season, here’s a comforting thought: all those security measures accomplish nothing, at enormous cost. That’s the conclusion of Charles C. Mann, who put the T.S.A. to the test with the help of one of America’s top security experts.

TSA screenings aren't just for airports anymore - LA Times

Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. Critics say it's largely political theater.


“A liberal is [a person] who puts his foot down on thin air” = Powerline

In his column today, the Washington Post​’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. asserts, “Obama will thus be the conservative in 2012, in the truest sense of that word.”

This is a silly claim, of course, but also a revealing one. - Peter Wehner/Commentary Magazine

Old Rhetorical Tricks: When a liberal like Dionne insists that a liberal like Obama is the “true” conservative in the 2012 race, it shows the broad appeal of conservatism. It also shows the enormous damage liberalism has inflicted on itself when no one, not even Obama, wants to run on what he is. There is a reason reactionary liberalism in America has been discredited. It has been a failure in almost every significant way....

2012 Offers Divided U.S. a Momentous Choice - E.J. Dionne, Jr./Real Clear Politics

Gingrich Narrowly Tops Romney in Latest Gallup Poll

Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the former speaker garners 26 percent of the vote, compared with 23 percent for Romney. - ABC

That has narrowed sharply from the 15-point lead Gingrich enjoyed in early December.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul trailed behind the two, with 12 percent of the vote. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had 8 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman polled last with 1 percent.

Gingrich surpassed Romney in Gallup’s poll in mid-November. Unlike other candidates who surged and then fell, the former congressman from Georgia has maintained his lead. He is the favorite to win the Iowa caucus next week but Romney remains the favorite in New Hampshire, according to a Boston Globe poll released earlier today.

Romney Less Polarizing Than Gingrich or Obama - Gallup

Iranian officials: Woman may be hanged instead of stoned

A woman sentenced to die by stoning will be executed, Iranian officials said Monday, but the method of execution is still being debated, according to an Iranian media report. - CNN

"This lady is accused of two crimes," Hojatoleslam Sharifi, the judiciary chief of Eastern Azarbaijan province, said at a news conference Monday, the semi-official Iran Student's News Agency reported. "One is adultery, which is punishable by stoning to death, and the other is assisting in her husband's murder. She is currently serving 10 years for helping to kill her husband."

Harry Reid's Unicorns: Fact Checking a Whopper

Tax policy should be serious business carried out by serious politicians using real facts and figures. This is why we have the Library of Congress and the Congressional Budget Office, among other expert institutions. - Forbes

How can we take Congress seriously when the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, makes patently inaccurate, outrageous and bizarre claims on an important tax-policy issue without any heads being turned? I guess this is what we have come to expect of Congress. No wonder citizens with favorable opinions of Congress are as rare as unicorns, to borrow a phrase.

Harry Reid’s statement on December 6 on his proposed 1.9 percent surtax on million-dollar incomes has kicked up some dust. Here is his statement:
“Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist… Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than 1 percent, are small business owners. And only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction are traditional job creators…Most of these businesses are hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers. They don’t do much hiring and they don’t need tax breaks.”
Taking their cue, National Public Radio launched a search for one millionaire job creator. They triumphantly announced: “NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.”

..Millionaire tax filers earn $221 billion – almost a quarter of a trillion — from business and professions, partnerships, and S-corporations. This is puzzling: If Harry Reid’s figure is correct (2,361 millionaire businesses), then the average millionaire-owned business earns almost a hundred million dollars, and all, except 118 of them, do this without hiring anyone. These super heroes do their own typing, selling, drafting. public relations, building, and manufacturing. They do not need employees. Remarkable!

...Reid, in his clumsy way, is trying to portray Republicans as the party of dishonest millionaires, who have not earned their wealth, have not created jobs, detract rather than create value, and refuse to pay their fair share. Such class warfare will be the anchor of the Democrat election playbook.

Harry Reids Unicorns: Where Are Senate Republicans? - Maggie's Notebook

Happy Kwanzaa!

Ten facts about Kwanzaa - Star Tribune ◼ (Image source)

10) Isn't it a made-up holiday? Yes, it was created in 1966. But a lot of holidays are made up. What matters isn't the origin of the holiday but the meaning we give to it. To the 18 million people who will celebrate this, the 46th year of Kwanzaa, I say, "Harambee" -- "Let's all pull together."

The Obamas celebrate Kwanzaa in spirit of umoja - IBD

The Virginia Republican Massacre - The Plot Thickens UPDATED

Prior to November, 2012, any Republican turning in over 10,000 raw signatures was considered to have met the Virginia state requirements for inclusion on the ballot. At some point in November, the State Board of Elections made a change to their internal rules. The minimum number of required signatures was kept at 10,000 but the Board decided that the cut-off for automatic qualification would be changed to 15,000. - Wolf Howling

(T)here really isn’t a path out of here that doesn’t involve lawsuits.

Gingrich Doesn’t Make Republican Primary Ballot in Virginia - Bloomberg Business

Did the VA GOP change the rules on primary ballot access in November 2011? - Moe Lane

Richard Winger over at Ballot Access News has an ◼ EXTREMELY interesting post (link via here) on the mess that the Virginia Republican party has found itself in over… access to the ballot in Virginia. For those coming in late, background here and here: the very short version is that the VA GOP only certified Mitt Romney and Ron Paul for its primary ballot. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich both had too many signatures tossed; Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann didn’t even try. Of the seven candidates, one (Romney) had more than enough signatures (15K) to bypass the verification process entirely. All of this has caused a lot of agitation among Republicans following the primary process, of course; and not just from people who disapprove of what the VA GOP has done. There has been a good deal of defending of the outcome; and one argument heavily used in this defense has been that the campaigns all knew the rules and that previous Republican campaigns were able to get on the ballot, so clearly a competent current Republican campaign should have done so.

One small problem with that: as Winger argues, the rules were allegedly drastically changed. In November of this year.

Newt Gingrich, Quite Properly, Criticizes Virginia Ballot Access Laws - Richard Winger/Ballot Access News

◼ UPDATE: ACTION ALERT: Virginia GOP Changed Ballot Access Rules at Last Minute; Here's How to Contact Them Now and Demand Changes - Doug Ross

(T)o contact the Virginia GOP:
• Email: Contact Form
• Phone: 804-780-0111
• Fax: 804-343-1060
• Facebook:
• Twitter: @va_gop

Rasmussen poll shows most voters want government spending reduced

Earlier this month, for the first time ever, the number worried that the government would do too little reached 50%, a level matched in the most recent survey. - HotAir

As a result of the growing concern that the government will not do enough, Rasmussen Reports explored the type of action that voters were looking for the government to take. Among all voters, 77% want the government to cut deficits, 71% think the government should cut spending, and 59% want the government to cut taxes. This is consistent with long held voter views that cutting spending and taxes is good for the economy.

To Help Economy, Voters Want Government To Do More Cutting - Rasmussen

Governor Of The Year – Scott Walker

What Walker represents – the idea behind his policies – cannot be killed even if he is temporarily removed from office. - Governor's Journal

In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R) served as the embodiment of the state by state battle to balance budgets and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges. His first year will extend well into his second year, quite likely culminating in a recall election to remove him from office.

He has dominated the political debate on both sides. Defining the issues. He is cited by both Democrats and Republicans as the best of example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government. Although they will never admit it, many Democratic governors are different from Walker only in a matter of degrees.

Nearly every governor, regardless of party, began the year saying the current path of expensive pension and benefit packages for public employees is unsustainable. The way the issue exploded in Wisconsin is as much a function of the legal and legislative tools at Walker’s disposal as it is about the specific route he chose to take.

This is why Governors Journal has selected Scott Walker as the 2011 Governor of the Year.
Read the rest...

Raw footage shows Ron Paul DIDN'T storm out of CNN interview over racist newsletters... the interview was simply done

Reports that Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul stormed out of a CNN interview earlier this week seem to be dramatically over-exaggerated.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Redundant broadband cable a reality in Humboldt County; $14.4 million fiber-optic cable project launched Friday

Humboldt County is less vulnerable to broadband Internet blackouts thanks to a new redundant fiber optic cable that runs along the Highway 36 corridor in Humboldt and Trinity counties. - Megan Hansen/Times-Standard

The project was completed by the San Francisco-based IP Networks Inc., which worked with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to install fiber optic cable on PG&E's poles and towers -- technically making PG&E the owner of the cable. The route follows PG&E's existing right-of-way from the Cottonwood sub-station near Redding through both the Six Rivers and Shasta-Trinity National forests to Eureka and the Humboldt Bay area.

Not only does the line provide redundancy, it also allows service connections to places in eastern Humboldt and southern Trinity counties that were either under-served or had no service. According to a press release, providers like 101 Netlink will now be able to connect communities like Wildwood, Mad River, Ruth and Bridgeville, offering service to 527 rural households over a 218-square-mile area.

The total cost for the project is $14.4 million, of which $5.7 million was provided by the California Advance Services Fund. This fund was created to provide under-served areas with universal service. It's supported by the public through a surcharge rate on revenues collected by telecommunications carriers.