Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

White House using fake numbers in payroll tax fight

The White House is manipulating numbers to boost the emotional impact of its allegation that Republican legislators are denying a $40 per paycheck tax cut for 160 million American workers. - Dao;y Caller

According to the Census Bureau, the U.S. economy supports only 131.7 million American workers — not 160 million. That total is only slightly up from last November’s total of 130.3 million workers, because of the stalled economy.

Still, White House officials continue to push the 160 million number.

“We’ve been doing everything we can to ensure that 160 million working Americans aren’t hit with a holiday tax increase,” President Barack Obama said Dec. 22 at a White House press event intended to pressure the GOP into signing the Senate’s compromise deal on taxes and spending for 2012.

Also, according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the temporary rollback of Social Security tax is worth about $1,000 a year. That means about $20 a week to the average worker, not the $40 per week the White House commonly cites.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yes, Virginia, there are only three Republican candidates (Update: 2 or 3?)

Almost hard to believe, but only Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have qualified for the Virginia Republican primary on Super Tuesday in March. - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Perry Heartache In VA: Just A Bit Outside - The Other McCain

Perry disqualified from Va. primary ballot - Washington Post
Four candidates — Romney, Perry, Paul and former House speaker Newt Gingrich — turned in thousands of signatures by the deadline Thursday.

State party officials are spending Friday certifying the signatures. They have not examined Gingrich’s signatures yet, but expected to do so by late Friday night. His campaign said it submitted 11,050 signatures .

Update, 6:30 p.m.: Jerry Kilgore, former attorney general and chairman of Perry’s campaign in Virginia, said in an interview Friday night he did not know how many signatures were submitted. He said he was disappointed, but that qualifying for the Virginia ballot is a “daunting task.”

“Hopefully, he will do better in other states,’’ he said. “He can focus on other states.”

Candidates had until 5 p.m. to collect 10,000 signatures from across the state, including 400 from each of the 11 congressional district.

Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum did not submit signatures and failed to qualify on Thursday, according to state GOP officials.

Virginia, an increasingly important swing state, will hold its primary on Super Tuesday, March 6.

Donald Trump switched his party affiliation from Republican to “unaffiliated”

According to the source, he did so because he is “disgusted” with the way Republicans are handling matters in Washington, including the recent payroll tax cut deal. - ABC

(T)he move also sets Trump up for a potential third-party run for president — a possibility he began talking about almost as soon as he told his fans in May he wasn’t running.

Trump has sought to reach out to the group, Americans Elect, an online, independent presidential nominating organization that has already made it on the ballot in several states, including California.

Merry Christmas!

“Merry Christmas.” (T)hose words, and the emotion behind them, contain not the slightest trace of obligation. They are a wish, not a command; a gift, not a contract. They issue sweetly from any pair of lips, and rest gently upon any ear. No particular faith is necessary to give them wings… but the tiniest breath of hope will make them soar.

Christmas At Peace, An after-action report from the holiday wars. - John Hayward (Doc Zero) at Human Events

"Merry Christmas, everyone!"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

White House: What Does #40dollars Mean to You?

The White House says it’s been flooded with responses to the question it posed Wednesday: “What does $40 mean to you?” - Michelle Malkin

Consider this:

★  Forty dollars could be given back to almost 14 million taxpayers for what went up in carbon neutral smoke on Solyndra.

★  Forty dollars could have been sent to almost 21 million people for what was spent on the stimulus. That’s a lot of “Friday Family Pizza Nights” that could have been “saved or created.”

★  Forty dollars is the “investment” of 6,250 taxpayers in each Chevy Volt.

★  It took 2,500 taxpayers unwittingly shelling out $40 each just to pay for a separate flight to Hawaii.

Report: Huntsman, Bachmann, Santorum Fail to Make Virginia Primary Ballot UPDATE: Close Calls for Newt and Perry

A certain number of petition signatures had to be delivered by close of business today in order for candidates to be included on the ballot for the March 6 Virginia Republican primary. - The Other McCain

Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum not on Va. primary ballot Richmond Times Dispatch

Four Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul — submitted paper work in time to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 primary ballot. . . .

Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman did not submit signatures with Virginia’s State Board of Elections by today’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Those who submitted the required signatures must clear another hurdle. The Republican Party of Virginia has until Tuesday to certify which candidates qualify. . . .

The State Board of Elections will turn over the petitions to the respective political parties for validating. Republican will begin the process Friday morning and have sought volunteers to help with the process.

Candidates must submit the signatures of at least 10,000 registered voters, with 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts.

Romney submitted 16,026 signatures; Paul 14,361; Perry 11,911 and Gingrich 11,050.

The fact of President Obama’s temporary payroll tax reduction folly is that for short-term political gain, the president is robbing billions of dollars from the already unstable Social Security and Medicare funds. Why does the media ignore this undeniable truth?

Why Is Barack Obama Destroying Social Security and Medicare? - The Ulsterman Report

Recently, and for the first time in its history, Social Security paid out more than it brought in – a recipe for the total collapse of what some politicians like Texas Governor Rick Perry has rightly called a “Ponzi Scheme”. And while Democrats have historically prided themselves on being the political party that mandated Social Security decades ago, and continue to express their unwavering devotion to it, it appears the current Democratic President, Barack Obama, is willing to damage and perhaps ultlimately destroy that very system in the hopes of scoring temporary political points with voters.

It is an odd thing to watch Democrats push so aggressively for a particular tax cut that is in fact, directly stealing from the Social Security/Medicare fund in order to give voters about $20 extra each week. Of course, for those millions of Americans without a job, the Obama payroll tax/Social Security theft means absolutely nothing to them – except for the fact that if during their previous line of work they paid into Social Security and Medicare, Barack Obama is now stealing that money to give to those who still have jobs. Whereas cuts in the federal tax rates do not directly steal from any particular program, but rather work to stimulate long-term growth and job creation in the economy, Barack Obama is reducing payroll taxes – indicating that such cuts will “help the economy”, while saying nothing regarding that those payroll taxes are responsible for the direct funding of both Social Security and Medicare – two programs Barack Obama has repeatedly indicated his full and unwavering support for.

The question that remains then is WHY?

“His priorities are so messed up. He’s worried about a temporary tax cut when we ought to be talking about freeing entrepreneurs so that they have the confidence that they can create jobs in this country, putting people back to work. That’s what this president ought to be talking about, but he’s more interested in playing politics”

Rick Perry Blasts Obama for Payroll Tax Cut Extension - ABC

Rick Perry slammed President Obama for focusing on the payroll tax cut extension, a proposal that the Texas governor opposes because it’s temporary, instead of turning his attention to such broader reforms as expanding energy production to create American jobs. “His priorities are so messed up. He’s worried about a temporary tax cut when we ought to be talking about freeing entrepreneurs so that they have the confidence that they can create jobs in this country, putting people back to work. That’s what this president ought to be talking about, but he’s more interested in playing politics...”

Santorum Surge: It’s Real and Spectacular

Is it just me? Am I imagining things, or does Rick Santorum have a legitimate chance of scoring an upset in the Iowa GOP caucuses? - The Other McCain

In this case, the president — with his cross-country stumping in favor of the American Jobs Act — flattered our prejudices to betray our interests.

Why Republicans should have stood firmly against any payroll tax cut extension - HotAir

The Social Security trust fund was designed as a trust fund, to which we would all contribute. True, plenty of retirees receive far more in benefits than they ever contributed in the first place, but, the point is, Social Security is the one safety net in which we are all invested.

Certainly, Social Security is in desperate need of reform — I’m one who didn’t flinch when Rick Perry called it a Ponzi scheme — but a payroll tax cut is not it. If ever President Obama’s rhetoric about taxes as “investments” was true, it’s in the case of the payroll tax. Even workers among the 47 percent of Americans who pay “no taxes” still contribute to Social Security. Especially given that the cut will likely produce no very great burst of economic activity, the extension can, perhaps, best be interpreted as a redistributive policy.

...In this case, the president — with his cross-country stumping in favor of the American Jobs Act — flattered our prejudices to betray our interests. Of course we’re prejudiced in favor of the cut. Who doesn’t want more take-home pay? But at a time when broken entitlement programs are the major driver of our economy-crushing debt, reducing contributions to Social Security — outside of the context of comprehensive reform — betrays our interests.

Bush 41 Endorses Romney, Not Gingrich

Bush, the 41st president of the United States, told the Houston Chronicle that he felt Romney was the best choice for Republicans and cited past conflict with Gingrich as a reason he had trouble backing the former House speaker. - The Street

Krauthammer: Ron Paul’s misunderstanding of history is simply staggering

Krauthammer cites a comment from the last debate where Ron Paul argued that we should pick up the phone and call Iran just as Kennedy did with Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis. - The Right Scoop

Yet Krauthammer says it didn’t happen that way at all and proceeds to recite what did happen and finishes by saying that Ron Paul’s misunderstanding of history is simply staggering (video)

Biggest question – what took people so long on Ron Paul?
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Now that Newt’s surge has stalled or burst, the full frontal attack is being launched on Ron Paul. It’s not that the scrutiny is not warranted, it’s just interesting that it took so long.

CLAIM: 'Draft Hillary' movement part of vast right wing conspiracy...

“If it is, in fact, a Hillary supporter, I would urge whoever is doing it to please stop. She is not going to run, and this effort only serves to embarrass her. If the person is on this list, or if anyone on this list knows who is behind it, tell them to knock it off.” - Politico via Drudge

Hillary Clinton’s people — current and former — are mystified, suspicious and bit peeved with the recent raft of mysterious “Draft Hillary” robocalls and emails and a mangy web site – which looks like it was produced in the Hindu Kush.

The current theory, according to posts on a listserv frequented by former Clinton 2008 staffers and senate staff forwarded to POLITICO, is that it’s a GOP plot.

The presumed Republican motive, however feckless, is that the campaign would sow divisions in the Democratic ranks, and remind people that the secretary of state is a lot more popular than the man who bested her in the primaries four years ago. (The fact that Clinton is hugely popular isn’t lost on the scattered remnants of Hillaryland who see a 2016 race as a possibility, but think any premature talk about her ambitions would sabotage her chances.)

But the current text that accompanies the online petition being pushed around is so bare bones it seems phony on its surface (“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton should be the Democratic Party’s 2012 Presidential nominee. Run Hillary Run!”) and seems to be as implicitly anti-Obama as explicitly pro-Clinton (“We need a president who will not compromise on core democratic values”). But who knows.

THE FIGHT OVER THE $40 TAX CUT: #40dollars

Obama Launches “$40″ Payroll Tax Cut Campaign - White House Dossier

From the White House:
In the afternoon, the President will continue to urge House Republicans to do what’s right for the American people by allowing a vote on the short term bipartisan compromise passed by almost the entire Senate. If Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck.
Obama will point people to a new section of the White House website where they can “share what a $40 paycheck means to them.” In addition, he’ll urge them to make use of a new Twitter hashtag, #40dollars.

Obama to trot out real Americans in tax tiff - National Journal
'Waa, No Pizza Night': Sad Stories Roll In at Request of Obama White House - CNS News
Michelle's Hawaiian pizza party, in Hawaii - Washington Examiner
What Does $40 Mean To Obama? Doggie Treats For Bo… - WeaselZippers
On the same day the White House asked Americans to explain “What does $40 mean to you?” President Obama spent $41 on his dog Bo during a shopping trip in Northern Virginia. - CNS
On the same day the White House asked Americans to explain “What does $40 mean to you?” President Obama spent $41 on his dog Bo during a shopping trip in Northern Virginia.

According to the White House pool report, the president left the White House at 12:45 with Bo in tow: They stopped at a Pet Smart: “Okay, Bo, don’t get too personal here,” POTUS admonished, holding tightly to Bo’s leash. He pulled out a $50 bill to pay for two items, one a large dog bone. Total was slightly more than $41.”

President Obama then stopped at Best Buy, where he spent $194.48 on gifts for his daughters. “Let’s see if my credit card still works,” he joked. It worked.

Cantor invites Obama to Hill: 'He could bring his dog'

"I saw the president out yesterday doing his Christmas shopping. I saw he brought his dog with him. You know, we're here. He could bring his dog up here. We are pet friendly. You know, again, it will not take a long time," Cantor said. "We could probably resolve the differences within an hour." - Real Clear Politics
Boehner invites, too; Obama declines - National Review
Today, Speaker Boehner called President Obama to discuss the Speaker’s desire to provide a full year of tax relief for American families before December 31st. With Senator Reid having declined to call his Members back to Washington this week to join the House in negotiating a full-year extension of the payroll tax cut, the Speaker proposed that the President send members of his economic policy team up to Congress to find a way to accommodate the President’s full-year request. The Speaker reiterated that if their shared goal is a one-year bill, there is no reason an agreement cannot be reached before year’s end. The President declined the Speaker’s offer.
Did Bo Return From Hawaii for Obama’s Photo Op? - White House Dossier
Bo Obama was supposed to be in Hawaii. Instead, he showed up at President Obama’s side Wednesday shopping for treats at Pet Smart

According to Michelle Obama’s press office, the first dog was planning to go to Hawaii with the first lady and the Obama daughters. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that he in fact had gone there. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser quoted an eyewitness who said he had seen the Portuguese Water Dog having his walk.

So what is Bo doing back in Washington shopping at PetSmart?

Obama’s Media Flying Monkeys Get Their Marching Orders, Gear Up To Do Battle

Now the mainsteam media aren't even trying to conceal it. - Investors Business Daily

"An all-star list of progressive and liberal media folks came to the White House (Monday) to chat with President Obama over coffee in the Roosevelt Room," reported ABC's Jake Tapper — who wasn't invited.

"The group chatted with the president about economic messaging, his agenda for 2012, the various campaign arguments against different GOP candidates, the desire among some Democrats for him to highlight his foreign policy accomplishments, fighting corporate influence, and the 'crappiness' of the Senate filibuster."

A skeptic might think it was just a president sharing his thoughts with reporters. But this wasn't even that. None of these chosen ones at what Mediabistro called the "ego summit" wrote or broadcast anything about this White House pow-wow.

According to Tapper, this session was all about "messaging" — how to smear the president's political opponents, both in the Congress and on the campaign trail, with a single coordinated voice to maximize the impact....

Participants included Washington's most visible elites — Ezra Klein and Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, Frank Bruni of the New York Times, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Chris Hayes of the Nation, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo and Faiz Shakir of ThinkProgress. All filed out of the White House and then — like the flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz" — flew off to spread the messaging Obama wanted.

Arpaio: ICE refusing to take illegal immigrants from MCSO

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Lt. Justin Griffin says they pulled over a vehicle and have eight people in their custody for human smuggling at 35th Avenue and Durango. Griffin says they attempted to give four of the detainees to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but MCSO says ICE is refusing to take them. - KPHO

Arizona sheriff's officers turn in federal credentials - USA Today

Dozens of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail officers lined up at a news conference in Phoenix Wednesday to ceremoniously hand in their federal credentials a week after they were stripped of the ability to verify the immigration status of inmates.

Arpaio spoke at the same news conference, saying he's going to hold the federal government to its promise to send 50 federal agents to do such screening in his jail. But he predicted there will be illegal immigrants in jail who won't be deported and will be put back on streets.
"I want to see how many agents are going to be coming to our jail," the sheriff said. "I want to see how long it will take for 50 agents from across the country to work in our jails."
The Department of Homeland Security announced Dec. 15 that more than 90 of Arpaio's Maricopa County jail officers could no longer check whether inmates were in the county illegally.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rep. J.C. Watts Endorses Newt Gingrich for President

"When you consider where we are today, and you think about the good, old days of balanced budgets, entitlement reform, and paying down our National debt, getting tax relief; as a Republican majority, Newt Gingrich was the Speaker, we haven’t seen things like that in the last thirteen years."
Newt Gingrich

Dems Plead Guilty to Felony Charges in Voter Fraud Scandal in Troy, New York

Last week, we told you about an election fraud investigation with allegations of faked signatures to get then-candidate Barack Obama on the Indiana primary ballot in 2008. - Fox News Insider

Today, four Democratic operatives, including a city councilman, have pleaded guilty to felony charges in a voter fraud scandal to try to steal the primary election — this time in Troy, New York.

Fox News first broke the story nationally about the allegations that absentee ballots were forged in the 2009 primary in Troy of ◼ the Working Families Party, a group once associated with the defunct community group ACORN. Voters told Eric Shawn that they never signed absentee ballot applications and that ballots were cast in their names. ... read the rest.

Investigation Uncovers Democrats' Successful Efforts to Subvert Citizens Redistricting Commission

An investigation has uncovered evidence that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outright manipulated the redistricting process to benefit Democrat candidates. - CA GOP

SACRAMENTO — An investigation has uncovered evidence that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outright manipulated the redistricting process to benefit Democrat candidates. The report, published this morning by ProPublica, a Puliter-Prize winning investigative journalism website, detailed the relationship between the DCCC and local activists, stating that "California's congressional Democrats ran a secret effort earlier this year to manipulate the work of the independent citizen's 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."

Read the entire ProPublica investigation, "How Democrats Fooled California's Redistricting Commission" ◼ HERE, as well as the report in the San Jose Mercury News ◼ HERE.

The California Republican Party has consistenly expressed concerns that the redistricting process, which was designed to be a transparent, non-partisan procedure, had been overrun by partisan interests and its outcome unfairly manipulated.

"The ProPublica report vindicates my repeated contention that the redistricting process was hijacked," said CRP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro. "That report, however, is just the tip of the iceberg. The corruption of the process went far beyond what was disclosed in that report. No fair minded person can now say the process or the result was fair. I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation, by Congressional and State authorities, to get to the bottom of this obviously corrupted process. Beyond that, the lines as drawn by the Commission should not be used in any way for the upcoming elections."

Earlier this year, Chairman Del Beccaro wrote a scathing article in the political website, Flash Report, called ◼ "The Redistricting Commission — Worse Than I Could Possibly Imagine." In it, Del Beccaro wrote:

"It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The intentions of Prop 11 and 20 were indeed good. But the process intended to provide fair redistricting has been overtaken by partisanship and incompetence. The truly fair-minded people on the Commission cannot allow this process to be cynically hijacked. It is time for them to vote down any plans that remotely resemble the most recent visualizations. It is also time for Californians to consider saving themselves from the Commission they created, even if that means by referendum."

From the Redistricting Commission's inception, the CRP petitioned the CRC to conduct itself with openness and fairness. In March, the party recommended that the commission hire bi-partisan line drawing experts and Voting Rights Act counsel to assist them with re-drawing legislative lines to avoid the commission being cast as a partisan one. Instead, they chose to ignore the party's advice and hired Q2 Data and Research, a firm widely known for its ties to Democrats. Please ◼ read the letter (pdf) Chairman Del Beccaro sent to the commissioners regarding this decision.

Chairman Del Beccaro also chronicled the Commission's proceedings with pieces in the ◼ Sacramento Bee and ◼ Fox and Hounds Daily, which pointed out the high level of partisanship involved with the selection of Q2 Data and Research.

Shortly thereafter, it was ◼ revealed by Cal Watch Dog that one of the commissioners, Dr. Gabianno T. Aguirre, had made multiple political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and has a special "web of connections" with a special interest group that submitted its own redistricting proposals to the commission. Again, a clear violation of the Redistricting Commission's rules.

The CRP ◼ called for Aguirre to step down as his involvement compromised the commission's integrity. Those calls fell on deaf ears, and Dr. Aguirre was allowed to maintain his position on the Commission.

These concerns, as well as numerous other complaints, are ◼ listed in this memo from Fairness and Accountability In Redistricting (F.A.I.R.) as well as links to official letters to the Citizens Redistricting Commission listed below:
CRC PRA Request (PDF)
Letter to CRC re: McDonald Barreto (PDF)
Letter to CRC re: Population Deviation (PDF)
Letter to CRC re: Aguirre (PDF)
Letter to the CRC re: Not Adopt Senate Plan (PDF)
Bagley Keene Act Proposition Objection to Action' (PDF)

How Democrats Fooled California’s Redistricting Commission - ProPublica
California Democrats secretly influenced drawing of new political district boundaries - Lisa Vorderbrueggen/Contra Costa Times

"Perhaps Holder believes that perjury is now passé, or at least that a DOJ employee does not have the requisite “state of mind” when the ideological cause is deemed righteous enough. "

Breaking Bombshell News on DOJ Perjury Imminent - PJMedia

The Justice Department Condones Perjury … Again - Hans A. Spakovsky/PJMedia
A career employee in the Voting Section of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has confessed to committing perjury, sources say. The employee, Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi, reportedly told investigators from the Inspector General’s Office that she perjured herself during an inquiry into Justice Department leaks during the previous administration. Despite the admission, she has not been fired for criminal malfeasance. Indeed, it appears she has not been disciplined in any meaningful way at all.

The genesis of Ms. Gyamfi’s perjury is apparently rooted in political attacks on the Bush Justice Department. Throughout 2005-2007, numerous attorney-client privileged documents, confidential personnel information, and other sensitive legal materials were leaked from inside the Voting Section to the Washington Post and various left-wing blogs.

One of the most prominent leaks involved the Voting Section’s privileged, internal analysis of the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan, submitted to the Civil Rights Division in October 2003 for review under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The contents of the internal memorandum appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on Dec. 2, 2005, to great fanfare from Democrats on Capitol Hill and their surrogates in the liberal blogosphere....

Amazingly, despite Ms. Gyamfi’s admission of committing perjury not once, but three times, she so far has been neither terminated nor disciplined by the Justice Department. In fact, her boss, Voting Section Chief Chris Herren, continues to assign her to the most politically sensitive of matters, including the Department’s review of Texas’s congressional redistricting plan.
Confessions of Perjury Inside DOJ - J. Christian Adams at Breitbart's Big Government

The New York Times Is Suing the DOJ Over the Assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki

Back in September President Obama had U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki assassinated. When pressed on the legality of using "targeted killing" against a U.S. citizen without first providing due process, the Most Transparent Administration in History™ clammed up. Eventually word leaked that White House and DOJ lawyers had written a memo justifying the assassination. The memo was "secret." - Reason

Back in September President Obama had U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki assassinated. When pressed on the legality of using "targeted killing" against a U.S. citizen without first providing due process, the Most Transparent Administration in History™ clammed up. Eventually word leaked that White House and DOJ lawyers had written a memo justifying the assassination. The memo was "secret."

TAX FIGHT TURNS UGLY... OBAMA PHONES IT IN... Then goes Christmas shopping...

Headlines on Drudge
GOP shuts down House on Dems’ payroll-tax gambit Washington Times

The House was set to hold a pro forma session, but two top Democrats, Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen, demanded to be recognized to try to force a vote on the two-month extension. House Republicans have blocked that deal, which is strongly backed by President Obama, and are holding out for an extension that covers all of 2012.

Obama calls Boehner, Reid amid tax cut standoff Mercury News

The White House says President Barack Obama has called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to urge a resolution to the payroll tax cut standoff.

Obama and Bo go Christmas shopping - Politico

After calling congressional leaders to reaffirm his support for the Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, Obama exited the Oval Office with Bo in tow and headed to a shopping strip in Alexandria, Va. — a man alone with his dog as his family vacations in Hawaii.

Boehner: It's time for Obama to get involved on tax deal

When hardworking taxpayers have work to finish, they don't knock off early. They stay and get the job done. Let's follow their example and come together to do the right thing for our economy and our country. - John Boehner at USA Today

This fall, President Obama called for a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut, and the House passed a year-long extension, with bipartisan support. Our bill would also extend and reform unemployment insurance, protect seniors' access to doctors through Medicare, and help create jobs. Unfortunately, instead of passing the House bill or any other year-long extension, Democratic leaders in the Senate passed a two-month measure and left town for the holidays.

Washington doesn't get to punt on this one.

The president and the House are right to want to extend this tax cut a full year, rather than two months. Having run a small business, met a payroll, and hired workers, I've seen first-hand how Washington's Band-Aids and gimmicks cause further uncertainty for employers and employees alike. The idea that the federal government can set tax rates in two-month increments without doing any harm is exactly the kind of Washington thinking that has helped run our economy off the tracks.

Don't take my word for it. Non-partisan payroll tax experts have told Congress that a two-month extension is "unworkable," and that it "could create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees."

Just as important, hardworking taxpayers trying to make ends meet or save for college or retirement deserve to know what their paychecks will look like for the whole year — not just an eight-week stretch.

The American people expect Congress to pass a one-year extension, and we should not wait to finish this work. We should complete it immediately. the rest

Gingrich offered sympathy to House Speaker John Boehner for having to negotiate with “a Senate majority leader who is totally disruptive and a president who is basically campaigner-in-chief, who has no interest in solving the problems of the American people.”

But he said resistance was doomed. - Wall St. Journal

Mr. Gingrich made it clear he favored a one-year extension of the two-percentage point payroll tax cut, which expires Jan. 1, not the two-month extension that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. He called the Senate bill “an absurd dereliction of duty.”

“Obama is so inept as a president, and the Congress is so dysfunctional as an institution, that we are lurching from failure to failure to failure,” Mr. Gingrich said.

He offered sympathy to House Speaker John Boehner for having to negotiate with “a Senate majority leader who is totally disruptive and a president who is basically campaigner-in-chief, who has no interest in solving the problems of the American people.”

But he said resistance was doomed.

“It’s very hard for the legislative branch to outperform the president in communications,” he said. “He has all the advantages of being one person. He has all the advantages of the White House as a backdrop, and my experience is presidents routinely win.”

Bill Clinton: The American Press Favored Obama Over Hillary

LA Mayor Villaraigosa Calls For Budget Cuts To Offset Millions In #OccupyLA Costs

Repairs to City Hall’s lawn where the Occupy group set up camp on Oct. 1 will require an estimated $400,000. The police action to clear out the encampment on Nov. 30 cost more than $700,000. -

Additional expenses are attributed to hauling away debris from the camp, and cleaning up graffiti that defaced City Hall marble walls and trees.

Shock – Completely misleading story about Newt saying gays should vote for Obama

The left-wing blogs, and even some parts of the mainstream media, are pushing the story today that Newt Gingrich told gays to vote for Obama. - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

But it’s all a lie. Gingrich never said he wanted gays to vote for Obama, or that he did not want to “engage gay Americans.”

The video finally was released, and the question to Gingrich was “on this one specific issue” of gay marriage.

All Gingrich said was that if the single most important and determinative issue to a gay person was implementing gay marriage, then that person would be disappointed in Newt and probably should vote for Obama. Newt made clear that if gay marriage was not the determinative issue, then the person should consider Newt (video and links at Legal Insurrection)

Analysis: Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers $250,000 Per Vehicle

CAVUTO: Volt sales inflated with taxpayer fleet buys... via Drudge

The Audi president called the Chevy Volt a “car for idiots,” but because the average Volt owner earns $170,000 a year and the average American couldn’t afford to buy it if they wanted to, it sounds more like the taxpayers are the ones who have been played for fools... - Michelle Malkin

Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle - CapCon

Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Hohman looked at total state and federal assistance offered for the development and production of the Chevy Volt, General Motors’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. His analysis included 18 government deals that included loans, rebates, grants and tax credits. The amount of government assistance does not include the fact that General Motors is currently 26 percent owned by the federal government.

The Volt subsidies flow through multiple companies involed in production. The analysis includes adding up the amount of government subsidies via tax credits and direct funding for not only General Motors, but other companies supplying parts for the vehicle. For example, the Department of Energy awarded a $105.9 million grant to the GM Brownstown plant that assembles the batteries. The company was also awarded approximately $106 million for its Hamtramck assembly plant in state credits to retain jobs.

The company that supplies the Volt’s batteries, Compact Power, was awarded up to $100 million in refundable battery credits (combination tax breaks and cash subsidies). These are among many of the subsidies and tax credits for the vehicle.
The $3 billion total subsidy figure includes $690.4 million offered by the state of Michigan and $2.3 billion in federal money. That’s enough to purchase 75,222 Volts with a sticker price of $39,828.

Interview with James Delingpole - Part 1

Hugo Chávez blasted President Barack Obama as a “clown” and an “embarrassment” who has turned the United States into a “disaster”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Egyptian Women March, Decry Abuse by Military

Thousands of Egyptian women descended on downtown Cairo's central Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest what many have described as systematic abuse of female activists by the interim ruling military regime. - Wall St. Journal

"The administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs — job-killers win, American workers lose."

Obama's policies are so destructive, even his union pals are getting pissed - Doug Ross

RNC outraises DNC in November

The Republican National Committee on Tuesday reported bringing in $7.1 million last month, down from $8.5 million raised in October. - CNN

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee raised $6.5 million, with $10.5 million cash on hand and $7.8 million in debt, according to a Democratic official with knowledge of the numbers.

Gary Johnson Goes Libertarian

Johnson Goes Libertarian - Volokh Conspiracy

Michelle Obama’s Unsavory School-Lunch Flop

The first lady’s initiative has been a disaster. - Michelle Malkin at National Review

Fire at Iran refinery prompts state of emergency

Isfahan is home to Iran's uranium conversion facility, which operates
under IAEA surveillance. Photograph: Caren Firouz/Reuters

Behold! The Dear General

Behold! The Dear General - Peter Hannaford on 12.20.11 at The American Spectator (image source)

House kills payroll-tax bill, sets up showdown with Senate

As predicted by Republican leaders on Sunday, the motion to disagree with the Senate was approved with the support of nearly every Republican. The motion was passed 229-193, and only 7 Republicans voting against it. - HotAir

"If Newt Gingrich were being nominated for sainthood, many of us would vote very differently from the way we would vote if he were being nominated for a political office."

The Past and the Present - Thomas Sowell/Real Clear Politics

Obama’s Middle Class Betrayal

(B)eyond the not-so-thinly-disguised “us-against-us” rhetoric emanating from his teleprompter, what has Obama actually accomplished on behalf of the middle class? - Net Right Daily

Two Iowa conservative leaders pick Rick Santorum, ask other candidates to merge

Rick Santorum Gets Endorsement by Key Iowa Social Conservative Leader Bob Vander Plaats - The Other McCain

Missing $4,155? It Went Into Your Gas Tank This Year

It's been 30 years since gasoline took such a big bite out of the family budget. - CNBC

Gingrich wins Tea Party Patriots straw poll

"An overwhelming number of activists from around the nation showed they are serious about electing a candidate who advances tea party principles," said National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin. - CNN


US to release women action plan: Obama official - Breitbart
'Enabling women to have a voice alongside those of men' - Reuters

Attacks on Ryan Medicare proposal named 'lie of the year'

The claim that House Republicans' budget would end Medicare is the "lie of the year," according to the fact-checking website Politifact. - The Hill

According to Politifact's analysis, saying the Ryan plan "ends Medicare" overlooks the fact that its changes would not affect people 55 and older. Politifact also said Medicare would remain in existence, but in a different form — which Ryan's critics say is the same thing as ending Medicare.

Gallup: Both Romney And Gingrich In Statistical Tie With Obama In Head-To-Head Matchups…

Both Romney and Gingrich Tie Obama on 2012 Ballot - Negative voting more a factor against Obama than against either Republican via ◼ weaselzippers

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich essentially tie President Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election preferences of registered voters nationwide. Fifty percent of registered voters would support Obama in each hypothetical matchup, while 48% would give their vote to Gingrich or Romney.

...Registered voters' rationale for their vote choice in an Obama vs. Romney matchup breaks down as 39% backing Obama because they are for him and 11% backing Obama as a vote against Romney. At the same time, 30% back Romney as a vote against Obama, while 18% back Romney because they are actively for him.

The findings are similar in the hypothetical Obama vs. Gingrich matchup; however, the percentage of registered voters saying their vote for Obama would be a vote against the Republican is slightly higher with Gingrich than with Romney as the hypothetical nominee, 15% vs. 11%.

Monday, December 19, 2011


House Set to Vote Down Payroll Tax Cut Extension - New York Times

Unlike Mitt, Newt dares — and he may yet win. As the old Dem bumper stickers used to say, “Newt Happens.”

The Gingrich Gestalt
- Mark Steyn From the December 31, 2011, issue of NR

Egypt clashes move into 4th day; US worried

EGYPT'S DAY OF SHAME: Female protesters beaten with metal poles as vicious soldiers drag girls through streets = Inderdeep Bains/Daily Mail via Drudge
Caught on camera: Bahrain human rights activist handcuffed and dragged along ground for sitting on a roundabout (and now SHE's been charged with assault)- - Daily Mail
CHAOS IN TAHRIR SQUARE: U.N.'s Ban condemns excessive force in Cairo clashes - Reuters
SHOCK PHOTOS: Soldiers baton-charge Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square after eight die and 300 are wounded in new clashes - Craig MacKenzie/Daily Mail
Islamists claim sweep of second round vote - Reuters
Blast hits gas pipeline to Jordan, Israel... - Reuters
Egypt clashes move into 4th day; US worried - Reuters
Ancient books, maps burned - Al Arabiya


Gingrich Collapses in Iowa as Ron Paul Surges to the Front - The Atlantic Wire

A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Ron Paul has taken the lead in the Iowa caucus race, while Newt Gingrich's support is fading fast. A different Gallup poll shows Gringrich still holding the lead, but slipping, while The New York Times has Paul in the lead as well.

Gingrich has seen his numbers in the PPP poll drop from 27 percent to 14 percent in just three weeks, while his favorability rating is now split at 46 percent for to 47 percent against, the worst of any candidate not named Jon Huntsman. That's quite a fall for someone who looked to be running away with the state and taking charge on the national level.

Mitt Romney has also seen his numbers tick up slightly (to 20%), putting him just behind Paul (23%) for second place. The poll measured voters who are planning to vote in the Republican caucus.

Perhaps the most telling secondary question was, "Do you think Newt Gingrich has strong principles?" Only 36 percent say that he does, but for Paul that number was 73 percent.

Gingrich Survives Glare to Exploit the Spotlight

By mid-November, Mr. Gingrich had lifted himself from a low of about 2 percentage points in the polls in mid-June to the lead in many national and state polls. Now, with just 16 days until Republican voters begin choosing a nominee at the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, he is favored in three of the four early voting states; the exception is New Hampshire, Mr. Romney’s adopted home state. - Katharine Q. Seelye/New York Times

As the perceived front-runner, he is drawing a barrage of attacks from his rivals. His strategy appears to be set on the spur of the moment: he had planned to spend this weekend at home, but as the criticism mounted and his negative ratings rose, he added a Sunday-morning television appearance and conference calls with reporters and supporters . In one call, he asked listeners to press 1 if they wanted to speak on his behalf in Iowa and 2 if they wanted to be a precinct captain. The burst of activity underscored just how far he remains behind Mr. Romney in fund-raising and get-out-the-vote efforts.

But if Mr. Gingrich can sustain his resurgence, he will have pulled off one of the most striking turnarounds in American politics....

“I’m looking at Newt,” Sheila Ness, 58, a dog breeder in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who had supported Mr. Cain, said the other day. She said she liked that he knew how Washington worked: “I figure he’s been there before.”

This year there have been investigations, indictments or convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. In all but one case, the alleged fraudsters were Democrats

Voter fraud is real. And voter ID laws are really needed; they are not racist - Jack Kelly/Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Fraud of the magnitude which swings elections typically combines absentee ballot fraud and voter registration fraud. At least 55 employees or associates of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now have been convicted of registration fraud in 11 states, says Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, who's written a book about ACORN.

Of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000.

"There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of a state's interest in counting only eligible voters' votes," wrote liberal Justice John Paul Stevens for a 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court's 2008 decision upholding Indiana's ID law, the toughest in the nation.

In a speech Tuesday at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at the University of Texas, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a full scale assault on the laws the Supreme Court said are constitutional and necessary.

...A Gallup poll Tuesday indicates why Mr. Holder is trying so hard to gut ballot security measures. Mr. Obama trails in all swing states. Democrats fear they can't win next year unless they cheat.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dead at age 69

In a "special broadcast" Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died of a heart ailment on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" on Dec. 17 during a "high intensity field inspection." It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis. - AP via Drudge

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio released the following statement regarding the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il:

"Kim Jong Il was a cruel tyrant who leaves behind unimaginable suffering by the North Korean people. The United States should work with our partners to ensure that this period of transition is seized as an opportunity to persuade North Korea to abandon its hostile nuclear program, open up its society and address the humanitarian crisis that its tyrannical leaders have inflicted."


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Obama: “Indefinite Detention” To Be The Law Of The Land

Yes, you read that right, Obama is going to sign into law INDEFINITE DETENTION for AMERICAN CITIZENS. - No Quarter

Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law - Salon
The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”
Military given go-ahead to detain US terrorist suspects without trial - Civil rights groups dismayed as Barack Obama abandons commitment to veto new security law contained in defense bill -
Barack Obama has abandoned a commitment to veto a new security law that allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay.

Human rights groups accused the president of deserting his principles and disregarding the long-established principle that the military is not used in domestic policing. The legislation has also been strongly criticised by libertarians on the right angered at the stripping of individual rights for the duration of "a war that appears to have no end"....

The legislation's supporters in Congress say it simply codifies existing practice, such as the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists at Guantánamo Bay. But the law's critics describe it as a draconian piece of legislation that extends the reach of detention without trial to include US citizens arrested in their own country.

"It's something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration," said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. "It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent."

The Des Moines Register’s GOP caucus endorsement: Mitt Romney is best to lead

Sobriety, wisdom and judgment. - Des Moines Register
Liberal Iowa Newspaper Backs Romney for President - Newsmax
Iowa's liberal-leaning newspaper, the Des Moines Register, which endorsed Barack Obama for president in 2008, has endorsed Mitt Romney for the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

In giving its endorsement on Saturday, the paper cited Romney’s "sobriety, wisdom and judgment" and noted that he graduated from the Ivy League, finishing "in the top 5 percent in his MBA class at Harvard."

The Register said that, although Romney is not a Democrat, he has distinguished himself from others in the GOP field because "he offers smart and well-reasoned alternatives rather than simply proposing to swing a wrecking ball in Washington . . . His detailed policy paper on the economy contains 87 pages of carefully crafted positions on taxes, energy, trade and regulatory policy, complete with 127 footnotes."

The paper applauded Romney for his controversial healthcare program he instituted and mandated as governor of Massachusetts.
Mitt Romney

Gallup: 99% is really 34%

On paper, the rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street crowd should have led to revolution. - Don Surber
1% of the country controls more than 1% of the wealth. For shame. But the classic battle between the Haves and the Have Nots never materialized, and the Gallup Poll people found a reason for this: The overwhelming majority of Americans — 58% — say they are members of the Haves.

Only 34% believe they are members of the Have Nots.

Republicans score themselves in the Haves 76% to 17% Have Not. (Democrats 49%-44%) Yes, there is a difference.)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Christmas Greetings

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