Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Forward: Reset Your Clocks

COUTURE BEST LOOKS SPRING 2013 Slideshow (Elie Saab & Chanel shown) - Harpers Bazaar

Daylight Saving Time – often referred to as "Summer Time", "DST" or "Daylight Savings Time" – is a way of making better use of the daylight in the evenings by setting the clocks forward one hour during the longer days of summer, and back again in the fall.

Daylight Saving Time (United States) 2013 begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10 and ends at 2:00 AM on Sunday, November 3

13) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Conservatives tend to do well with this one until they get to the last part. Polarization is at the core of the Left's strategy. According to liberals, if you're conservative, you hate blacks, Hispanics, gays, Jews, Muslims, women, the poor, the middle class, the environment, and probably a half dozen other groups I've forgotten. Even when something is in front of our face, conservatives shy away from polarization. What's wrong with pointing out how hostile the Democratic Party has become to Christianity? Why not point out the truth: that most white liberals are racists who think black Americas are too stupid and incompetent to compete with white Americans, which is why they push Affirmative Action and racial set asides? Why not note that liberals want poor Americans to stay poor and dependent, because as long as they do, they'll keep voting for the Democrat Party? There's a reason Barack Obama bows to foreign leaders, is constantly apologizing for America, attended an anti-white, anti-American church for 20 years, and it's why his wife was proud of the country for the FIRST TIME because she thought it was going to elect her husband. The sad truth is that these are people who hate and despise this country. Why do you think "hope and change" appealed so much to Obama that he made it his theme? When you look at America as an evil, racist, unfair, horrible place to live inhabited by ignorant trash and "bitter clingers," what else would you do other than hope for change? If you love this country and the values it represents, the people in the White House not only don't share your values, they hold people like you in utter contempt. ◼ 12 ways to use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals Against Liberals - Townhall

Oddly enough, if you work and would like a tax cut, according to Pelosi you’re asking the government to increase spending… and that’s bad for our economic future. If you lose your job end up receiving unemployment checks which cost billions of dollars per year, you’re boosting the economy and creating jobs.

NANCY PELOSI: 'TAX CUTS ARE SPENDING' - William Bigelow/Breitbart In 2006, the year before Pelosi became Speaker of the House, the Congress's budget was $2.65 trillion. By fiscal year 2011--the last year of her speakership--that figure had jumped to $3.59 trillion. ◼ Nancy Pelosi: Tax cuts are spending, and we must curtail spending - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin ◼ “But spending is also related to tax cuts,” said Pelosi. Tax cuts are spending. Tax expenditures, they are called. Subsidies for big oil, subsidies to send jobs overseas, breaks to send jobs overseas, breaks for corporate jets. They are called tax expenditures. Spending money on tax breaks." - Terence P. Jeffrey/CNS ◼ This is another great illustration of how these people think. What she's saying is that a tax cut equals government spending. Meaning anybody who benefits from a tax cut, tax break, tax loophole, is benefiting from government spending. That is why, by the way, anytime a tax cut is proposed, they start saying, "Well, how are we going to pay for it?" - Rush

“It seems childish – take my ball and go home”

Kansas Teens: Obama Ruined Our Spring Break - Todd Starnes/FOX

A group of Kansas teenagers says the Obama Administration has ruined their spring break trip to Washington, D.C. after their tour of the White House was canceled – a victim of the Sequester.

“President Obama is just being petty,” said Dalton Glasscock, an 18-year-old high school student from Wichita, Kan.

Glasscock is a member of the Kansas Federation of Teenage Republicans – one of the dozens of high school and middle school groups around the nation that received cancelation notices.

“I think he’s taking it out on young people especially,” said Glasscock. “President Obama is using American children as pawns in a game of political chess.”

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told Fox News the cancelations are politically motivated. “It seems childish – take my ball and go home,” he said.

The Most Interesting Man In The World

NEW: CA job growth vs. ND job growth: Bring on fracking!

Let’s trade governors with North Dakota - Chris Reed/Cal Watchdog

Greens were doing some chest-thumping this week after a new study came out that said California led the nation in 2012 in creation of green jobs.
“Environmental Entrepreneurs tracks the creation of green jobs on a monthly basis. The 2012 wrap-up found firms announced the creation of 110,000 green jobs last year. About 26,000 of those jobs were in California.”
But that’s a puny number by almost any objective standard....

Meanwhile, let’s look at the employment numbers in North Dakota, where leaders emphasize brown jobs — created by the fracking boom — not subsidized, corporate crony green jobs. From 2010 to 2012, this tiny little state went from 370,000 employed residents to 421,000 employed residents — a stunning 14 percent increase with few parallels in recent U.S. history. Equivalent growth in the California workforce would mean 2 million new jobs....

Consider that California easily could be the Saudi Arabia of the First World, but that the majority party that controls the state thinks this is a bad thing.

The Lie Gets Worse

Our president’s mastery of “partisan message management” will do him in. - R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr./American Spectator

Things are going to get more interesting. For months, the President has been talking as though sequestration has to be very painful and very ugly. Now the government is closing the White House for tours because of sequestration. There will be other showy demonstrations of these painful cuts. But the cuts need not be so painful in a $3.8 trillion dollar budget.

The greater problem is that practically everything the President says has to be verified. He seems as Woodward says to forever engage in “partisan message management.” Soon the country will catch on. There is no dealing with a partisan message manager.


at Breitbart

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Delivers Weekly GOP Address

In anticipation of next week's unveiling of Senate Democrats' first budget in four years, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) cautions that the tax gimmicks and new spending that will be included in their budget will grow the government, not our economy. In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, says, Congress has a "moral duty" to balance the federal budget and bring the deficit down to zero. "But I fear the Democrat proposal will fail this defining test and will never achieve balance," he says. "I fear it will crush American workers and our economy with trillions in new taxes, spending and debt. I fear [Senate Budget] Chairman Murray will follow the President's lead: raising taxes to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people." Senate Republicans, Senator Sessions says, are ready to reform Washington's spending to grow the economy, create American jobs, and balance the federal budget.

President Obama's weekly remarks: Obama finds 'our democratic debates messy and often frustrating' - Andrew Malcolm/IBD

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fun Fact for International Women's Day:

80% of the nation's female governors are Republicans

12) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Honestly, this is more of a liberal problem than a conservative one, since liberals always seem to be clamoring to rip out some functional necessity of American society so they can replace it with an ill-defined hodgepodge of ideas that they think will shift power their way or be less "mean." Our ideas work; so coming up with a constructive alternative is seldom a problem. ◼ 12 ways to use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals Against Liberals - Townhall

The moral of the story in Venezuela is the same as for the Cuban Revolution. Never underestimate how much people enjoy being sadistic toward one another once the politics of vengeance has given them a taste of it.

What the Left Doesn’t Know about Hugo Chávez’s Venezuelan Supporters - Mario Loyola/National Review Online

As was the case with Fidel Castro, there are basically two kinds of people who supported Hugo Chávez. The kind that predominated outside of Venezuela liked him because (a) he was anti-American like them, and (b) they don’t know anything. The kind that predominated inside Venezuela supported him because (a) he was lower class like them, and (b) he gave the upper classes their long-overdue comeuppance, by whatever means necessary.

"The Senate has the power to restrain the executive branch — and my filibuster was the beginning of the fight to restore a healthy balance of powers."

Sen. Rand Paul: My filibuster was just the beginning - Senator Rand Paul/Washington Post

"The president still needs to definitively say that the United States will not kill American noncombatants. The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment applies to all Americans; there are no exceptions.

The outpouring of support for my filibuster has been overwhelming and heartening. My office has fielded thousands of calls. Millions have followed this debate on TV, Twitter and Facebook. On Thursday, the White House produced another letter explaining its position on drone strikes. But the administration took too long, and parsed too many words and phrases, to instill confidence in its willingness or ability to protect our liberty.

I hope my efforts help spur a national debate about the limits of executive power and the scope of every American’s natural right to be free. “Due process” is not just a phrase that can be ignored at the whim of the president; it is a right that belongs to every citizen in this great nation.

I believe the support I received this past week shows that Americans are looking for someone to really stand up and fight for them. And I’m prepared to do just that."

The idea to cut the vaccination program – at a rate higher than sequestration might do – was introduced by the president himself in his 2013 budget proposal over a year ago.

Obama Proposed Vaccine Cuts, But White House Blamed Sequestration - Matt Cover/CNS

The Obama administration claims that because of the $44 billion in across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration) this year, tens of thousands of American children will not be vaccinated. However, the idea to cut the vaccination program – at a rate higher than sequestration might do – was introduced by the president himself in his 2013 budget proposal over a year ago.

Known as Section 317, the immunization program provides vaccines to states for children who might not otherwise get them. In his 2013 budget, President Obama proposed cutting the 317 program by nearly $60 million.

“The FY 2013 budget request for the Section 317 immunization program reflects a program level decrease of $57.986 million,” the administration’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) budget says. The CDC is the agency in charge of the 317 grant program....

In other words, before it was warning that thousands of children all across the country would be “hurt” by the reduced vaccine funding, the White House was planning to cut the funding itself and claiming that nobody would be hurt because Obamacare would help them get insurance....

Obama’s 2013 budget never went into effect because Senate Democrats voted it down unanimously. So the Section 317 program never saw the cuts the president had directed. However, the White House did not disclose any of this information on its sequester-consequences map, neither its planned cuts nor the notion that it claimed Obamacare would take care of the problem anyway.

How the GOP forced Obama´s hand

The White House entered the sequester debate in January hoping to replicate the playbook of the $620 billion fiscal cliff deal: warn of a looming threat, highlight the damage to regular Americans, push a politically popular solution, hammer Republicans as protectors of the wealthy, watch their poll numbers crumble, wait for them to splinter and capitalize on the divisions. This approach forced Republicans to accept tax rate hikes for the first time in a generation. But with the sequester, it didn’t work. - Politico
The simple power of saying, "no." - Discussion at Lucianne

The new GOP generation stands up - New York Post sharp contradistinction to Sens. McCain and Graham, I find it nigh impossible to imagine a situation in which it is wrong for Rand Paul to press the president on a constitutional question. The Republican Party is lucky to have someone prepared to do so.



Elisabeth Hasselbeck is being fired from ABC’s “The View” because market researchers found that her conservative views were out of touch with the show’s audience, according to a report in Us Weekly.

“If Hasselbeck’s conservatism is a problem with audiences, it would appear to be a relatively new one; she has been on the show for nearly ten years with no apparent fuss,” the Huffington Post notes.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Leaving The View After Nine Years, Viewers Found Her "Too Extreme and Right Wing" - Us (image source)

When America Needs a Boost, We're Stuck with Dr. Doom in the White House

The Anti-Confidence Man - Peggy Noonan/Wall Street Journal

Conservative media should stop taunting the president because he spent the past month warning of catastrophe if the sequester kicks in, and the catastrophe hasn't happened. It hasn't happened yet. He can make it happen. He runs the federal agencies. He can decide on a steady drip of catastrophe—food inspectors furloughed on the 15th, long lines at the airport on the 18th, sobbing children missing Head Start on the 20th, civilian contractors pointing to a rusting USS Truman on the 25th.

He can let them happen one after another, like little spring shoots of doom. And it probably won't look planned and coordinated, it will look spontaneous and inevitable.

And you have to assume that's the plan, because that's kind of how he rolls...

It is interesting that almost at the same time as the dinner the president's people once again begun warning of doom. A blast email from Organizing for Action, signed by Stephanie Cutter, used these words: "Devastating," "obstructionism," "destructive," "this is real." It claimed 100,000 "teaching jobs" will be cut, along with "70,000 spots for preschoolers in Head Start, $43 million for food programs for seniors, $35 million for local fire department," and nutritional assistance for "over half a million women and their families." All this because of loopholes "for millionaires and billionaires" who want their "yachts and corporate jets."

They aren't dropping the Frighten Everyone strategy.

Their whole approach is still stoke and scare—stoke resentment and scare the vulnerable into pressuring Republicans....

It's always the language of zero-sum, of hardship that must be evenly divided, of constriction and accusation.

It's all so frozen, so stuck. Just when America needs a boost, some faith, a breakthrough.

Santelli: 'Are We THAT Far Down the Hole?'

Santelli & Liesman Fight Over 'Normalizing Rates' - CNBC

Krauthammer: Obama's Golf With Tiger Travel Expenses Would Pay for a Year of White House Tours: Eric Bolling and Sean Hannity offer to pay for White House tours

President Obama actually had the nerve this week to close down the White House to tours as part of budget sequestration. - Noel Sheppard/Newsbusters

"So I suggest that perhaps he curtailed the travel, or perhaps auction off the set of clubs and he might be able to allow those Iowa tots to come through the White House," Krauthammer added. "I'm not cynical enough – I’m trying."

Awesome: #OpenOurWH trends after Eric Bolling and Sean Hannity offer to pay for White House tours - Twitchy

“Let these families take their White House tours next week and I’ll cover the added expenses. Word is it will cost around $74,000,” he said on Thursday’s edition of “The Five.”

Fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity quickly joined in with a matching offer to help end the White House’s ongoing theatrics.

Fox News anchor offers to personally pay to keep White House tours open - Alex Pappas/Daily Caller

Bolling’s offer comes as critics accuse the Obama administration of shutting down the tours not out of necessity, but in order to portray the cuts as more severe to average Americans than they really are.

It’s not known exactly how much it would cost Bolling to do this. ABC News estimates that the White House is saving about $18,000 a week. Politico reported that it costs the the Secret Service about $74,000 a week to staff the tours.

The White House first announced the cancellation of the tours this week after the automatic cuts to federal agencies – known as the sequester – went into effect March 1.

“Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration we regret to inform that White House tours will be canceled effective Saturday March 9, 2013 until further notice,” the White House said this week. “Unfortunately we will not be able to reschedule affected tours.”

Rotten to the Core: The Feds' Invasive Student Tracking Database

While many Americans worry about government drones in the sky spying on our private lives, Washington meddlers are already on the ground and in our schools gathering intimate data on children and families. - Michelle Malkin/Townhall

Say goodbye to your children's privacy. Say hello to an unprecedented nationwide student tracking system, whose data will apparently be sold by government officials to the highest bidders. It's yet another encroachment of centralized education bureaucrats on local control and parental rights under the banner of "Common Core."

Rotten to the Core: Obama's War on Academic Standards (Part 1)
America's downfall doesn't begin with the "low-information voter." It starts with the no-knowledge student.... Under President Obama, these top-down mal-formers -- empowered by Washington education bureaucrats and backed by misguided liberal philanthropists led by billionaire Bill Gates -- are now presiding over a radical makeover of your children's school curriculum. It's being done in the name of federal "Common Core" standards that do anything but raise achievement standards.

Common Core was enabled by Obama's federal stimulus law and his Department of Education's "Race to the Top" gimmickry. The administration bribed cash-starved states into adopting unseen instructional standards as a condition of winning billions of dollars in grants. Even states that lost their bids for Race to the Top money were required to commit to a dumbed-down and amorphous curricular "alignment."
Rotten to the Core (Part 11): Readin', Writin' and Deconstructionism
The Washington, D.C., board of education earned widespread mockery this week when it proposed allowing high school students -- in the nation's own capital -- to skip a basic U.S. government course to graduate. But this is fiddlesticks compared to what the federal government is doing to eliminate American children's core knowledge base in English, language arts and history.

Thanks to the "Common Core" regime, funded with President Obama's stimulus dollars and bolstered by duped Republican governors and business groups, deconstructionism is back in style. Traditional literature is under fire. Moral relativism is increasingly the norm. "Standards" is Orwell-speak for subjectivity and lowest common denominator pedagogy.
Rotten to the Core (Part III): Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt
Texas is a right-minded red state, where patriotism is still a virtue and political correctness is out of vogue. So how on earth have left-wing educators in public classrooms been allowed to instruct Lone Star students to dress in Islamic garb, call the 9/11 jihadists "freedom fighters" and treat the Boston Tea Party participants as "terrorists"?

Here's the dirty little secret: Despite the best efforts of vigilant parents, teachers and administrators committed to academic excellence, progressive activists reign supreme in government schools.

"No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House."

How the White House quieted, silenced, muted, gun control groups - Politico

President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda is looking more doomed by the day, but gun control advocates still haven’t said a word to complain.

That’s no accident.

The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.

The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House....

It’s not just advocates: the White House has also kept in line members of Congress who have made a career out of being outspoken on gun control. Biden speaks regularly with Rep. Mike Thompson of California, who is leading the House Democrats’ gun violence task force....

MUST SEE: GOP Rep. Andy Harris obliterates head of CDC over reduction of vaccines due to sequester cuts


"Did the CDC assist the White House in preparing that estimate?"

“I’d have to get back to you on that”

“And what did the president’s budget do to [program] 317, the president’s prospective budget?” Harris inquires. ”Does [a] $58 million cut sound familiar?”

Frieden says yes, before Harris proceeds: “And what [did] the sequester cut?…Does $30 million sound familiar?”

Receiving positive acknowledgement, Harris continues: “So actually, the president cut the program twice as much in his budget. Can I assume that the president’s proposed [cut] would have reduced funding to 4,400 children in Maryland?”

Astonishingly, the CDC head says that under president Obama’s proposed $58 million cut, they believe they could have run the program more efficiently and avoided the cuts.

“Let me get it straight…Is it your testimony that under the president’s proposed cut of $58 million in his budget to the 317 program, you could have avoided cuts to vaccines to children in Maryland?” Harris asks.

“We believe that we could have maintained vaccination levels, yes,” the CDC director responds.

Harris concludes with a knowing, “very interesting.”

In short, the President’s budget would have cut the CDC 317 vaccination program by 58 million where they sequester only cuts it by 30 million. - The Right Scoop

The head of CDC testifies that they believe they could have maintained current vaccination levels with the president’s budget cuts, yet are saying with the lesser sequester cuts they would have to cut vaccinations to over 2,000 children in Maryland. Huh?

Cynical president shapes cuts into a weapon - Thomas Sowell/Redding Searchlight

Obama administration tells feds to make sure the sequester hurts as much as advertised - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

...In the internal email, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service official Charles Brown said he asked if he could try to spread out the sequester cuts in his region to minimize the impact, and he said he was told not to do anything that would lessen the dire impacts Congress had been warned of....

Leaked email adds fuel to claims White House playing politics over impact of cuts

Leaked email adds fuel to claims White House playing politics over impact of cuts - FOX

UPDATED: ◼ Obama Proposed Vaccine Cuts, But White House Blamed Sequestration - Matt Cover/CNS

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In praise of Mitch McConnell

Barack Obama’s basic filibuster mistake. - Moe Lane/Red State

It’s pleasant to see the candidates that you worked so hard to elect – often while being actively opposed by the establishment GOP – demonstrate competence and flair at their craft in public. It’s pleasant to hear your beliefs and opinions get properly articulated in public. And it’s very pleasant to watch the Establishment itself back the grassroots’ play – and, make no mistake: Mitch McConnell (whatever else you might think of him) had a perfect chance to shut down the filibuster last night. McConnell instead backed Rand Paul’s play, stopped a point-of-order bobble before it cascaded into a filibuster-ender, and made dang sure that it was made clear that Republican Senators were lining up to support this thing.

11) If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.

The winner in politics is almost always whoever is on offense. Liberals understand this in an intuitive way that most conservatives don't. We think because we have this wonderful, honest, logical response to a charge that we're scoring major points -- but, except in rare cases, it's not true. If you're spending all of your time refuting the charges that you're extreme, racist, hate women, and despise the poor -- you're losing. That's because some people will assume where there's smoke, there's fire, and disbelieve you no matter how good your explanation may be. Additionally, if you're busy defending yourself, you can't go after the other side. Defend when you absolutely have to, but make sure most of your time is spent attacking relentlessly attacking. ◼ 12 ways to use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals Against Liberals - Townhall

On This Day in 1964, Democrats Filibustered the Civil Rights Act

link - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

June 10, 1964, was a dramatic day in the United States Senate. For the first time in its history, cloture was invoked on a civil rights bill, ending a record-breaking filibuster by Democrats that had consumed fifty-seven working days. The hero of the hour was minority leader Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen (R-Ill.)...

Michael Zak wrote about this in his book Back to Basics for the Republican Party and reminds us that Democrats, the party of Slavery, Secession, Segregation and the KKK… fought against equality.

Gov. Perry blasts ICE's 'federally-sponsored jailbreak'

"This seems to be a plan to try to scare as many Americans as we can, to try to put as much pain onto people, whether they're individuals who are being furloughed from some fairly important jobs. I think this president's got a political agenda that he's driving, not one that's looking to solve problems in this country." - Greta/FOX

Colorado Republicans Planning Rand Paul-Esque Filibuster Over Tough Gun Control Legislation

Colorado lawmakers are currently considering some of the toughest gun control legislation in the country, including a “assault weapons liability” law (making “assault weapons” manufacturers and retailers responsible for crimes), a high-capacity magazine ban, mandatory background check fees, gun restrictions for domestic violence offenders, ban on concealed carry on college campuses, and universal background checks. - Jason Howerton/The Blaze @jason_howerton

The Colorado Senate is set to debate seven gun control proposals on Friday, but don’t expect a speedy resolution. KDVR-TV reports that state Senate Republicans are planning a Rand Paul-esque filibuster to protest the legislation. The bold move could push the floor debate on the seven gun control bills into Saturday and even Sunday.

...There are 20 Democrats in the 35-member state Senate. With 18 votes needed to pass any bill, no votes from just three Democratic senators would kill any of these bills.

Right now, two Democrats are planning to vote against three of them.

Keep Colorado free: State GOP lawmakers plan filibuster on gun-grab bills - Michelle Malkin

The action starts at 9am Mountain time. Follow ◼ #coleg and ◼ @ColoSenGOP for live tweets. ◼ Twitchy will have full coverage.

Drudge, this morning...

OLD BULLS BUCK RAND STAND - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times
Almost exactly 24 hours after Mr. Paul began his information-seeking filibuster against John O. Brennan, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham took to the Senate floor to denounce his demands and say he was doing a “disservice” to the debate on drones.
McCain tells Sen. Paul to 'calm down' - Brian Doherty/Reason
The Republican Party is at war, folks, and let's hope Rand Paul and his troops win.
Graham calls freshman 'ridiculous' - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit
DUO DINED WITH OBAMA DURING FILIBUSTER: Obama Pays Dinner Tab - Keith Koffler/White House Dossier
WH finally answers Rand Paul's question - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum
Holder's Letter to Rand Paul: 'No,' the U.S. Can't Use Drone to Kill Citizen Not Engaged in Combat on U.S. Soil - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
DRONE WARS: 12-HOUR RANDPAGE! - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times
President Barack Obama has the authority to use an unmanned drone strike to kill US citizens on American soil, his attorney general has said. - Telegraph
Holder: 'The Government Has No Intention' of Carrying Out Drone Strikes in America - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
KRAUTHAMMER: 'Stroke of political genius' - Noel Sheppard/Newsbusters
Young bucks, new GOP power brokers join Paul - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

Lindsey Graham: Premise of Rand Paul’s filibuster is ridiculous - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Yesterday’s filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul was all about a fairly simple question for the president: Is it constitutional to order a drone strike on an American citizen who is not an imminent threat on American soil without due process?

There was no response from the White House where a Nobel Peace Prize adorns a West Wing wall.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — being a courtly southern gentlemen who doesn’t believe in troubling the man who just bought him dinner — found Paul’s entire premise outlandish:
“This idea that we’re going to use a drone to attack an American citizen in a cafe in America is ridiculous.”
Well, in that case it should be an easy question to answer, shouldn’t it?

The many and varied Rand Paul filibuster accomplishments - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Rand Paul filibuster energizes Tea Party against GOP establishment - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

"There couldn't have been a starker contrast between the new leadership of Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz and the old guard of McCain and Graham," noted one GOP aide.

McCain defended his criticisms of Paul, telling The Washington Examiner that the Kentucky lawmaker's opposition to drones would limit the president's power to stop terrorists.

"I think the whole argument, if we went that way, would threaten our national security," McCain said.

But Paul told The Examiner that McCain is wrong and that the public backs his efforts to curb government overreach, a central Tea Party tenet.

"He's dismissive of something that involves the discussion of whether the Fifth Amendment applies to American citizens," Paul said. "And I consider that to be a very important issue."


Rand Paul Yields The Floor, Ending Nearly 13 Hour-Long Filibuster Over Obama’s Drone Strikes - Mediaite

On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) served notice to both the Republican establishment and to the Democrat-Media Complex: conservatism isn’t gone. It’s not even on vacation. The new wave of conservatives is here, and they know how to play the game. - Ben Shapiro/Breitbart

Citing everyone from left to right, Paul pointed out the hypocrisy of an administration ripping into waterboarding of terrorists but happy to target them for death from the skies. He asked repeatedly why the administration could not answer his simple question about the boundaries of government power. And the American people listened.

It was an astonishing demonstration of the power of ideas. Paul spoke directly to the American people from the floor of the Senate. No media interrogators. No Obama functionaries. No spin machine. He was not strident, but he was firm. “No American should ever be killed in their house without warrant and some kind of aggressive behavior by them,” said Paul. “To be bombed in your sleep? There’s nothing American about that …

Over the next 24 hours, look for the Democrat-Media Complex to strike back against Paul. They know the battle is on.

Finally, it appears that Republicans do too.

Rand Paul found that sliver of principle on which right and left agree

Rand Paul’s filibuster of John Brennan yesterday, which went on for over 12 hours, was a phenomenon. He was joined at various times by Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ron Wyden, and late in the night, Tim Scott, Ron Johnson and others. - William A. Jacobson/Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Progressives bemoaned the fact that other than Ron Wyden, their heroes like Elizabeth Warren were nowhere to be found on the most basic of civil liberties principles, the right of an American citizen in America not to be deprived of life without due process of law.

Paul’s filibuster on the specific and narrow issue of using a drone to kill an American on American soil who was not engaged in an imminent and substantial threat of violence was the perfect issue on which to mount this historic filibuster. It is an issue which, as narrow as it were, was so basic that even the normally Obama-worshipping media could not crazy Paul over it.

This is another example of what I said in the aftermath of the suicide of Aaron Swartz. Groups which do not normally agree on so many political and economic issues can find common ground on limited government.


Late Wednesday night, as Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster entered its 12th hour, there was significant reaction from people all across America.
◼ C-Span experienced viewership levels rarely seen
◼ The hashtag #IstandwithRand topped the Twitter charts.
◼ Even Liberals like Van Jones, actor John Cusack the far Left group Code Pink were supporting the filibuster.
The New York Times had the story buried well into the middle column of the front page with the headline, “Rand Paul Does Not Go Quietly Into The Night”

Over at NBC News, a banner was placed across the top of its website, but the big stories appear to be focused on gun control and allegations race-based different standards being applied in schools...

Curiously, CBS News had no mention of the filibuster on their front page....

ABC News gave the top positions to other stories, but did find a place for Senator Paul on the second tier...

CNN’s U.S. edition missed the story completely...


Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster against the confirmation of CIA Director and "drone czar" John Brennan offers a "teachable moment" to the media and the left about the Tea Party. As they seethe in outrage and confusion that it took a Republican to question the constitutionality of drone attacks, it is important to remind our friends on the other side that it wasn't just any Republican, but a--gasp!--Tea Party Republican who spoke "truth to power."

Not only that, but the Senators who were first to offer their assistance were also Tea Party Republicans--the so-called McCarthyist Ted Cruz of Texas, and Marco "Water Break" Rubio of Florida. All three of these Senators won their primary elections against candidates favored by the Republican establishment. All three have been attacked by the left and smeared as racist and extremist for belonging to the Tea Party. Yet without them, no one from either party would have questioned a policy that the left once saw as a dangerous abuse of executive power.

Only one Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, supported Paul.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


On Wednesday afternoon, Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Council at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington D.C., spoke with Breitbart News exclusively about Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster of the John Brennan nomination to CIA director over the administration’s failures to answer questions about domestic use of drones. - Ben Shapiro/Breitbart

Anders backed Paul to the hilt, and was highly critical of the Obama administration.

“It’s certainly a courageous and historic effort by Senator Rand Paul and his colleagues, who are now increasing in numbers and coming to the fore in support of his filibuster,” said Anders. “The information Senator Paul is looking for goes to the very core of what the US is and who Americans are as a people.” Anders pointed out that the information Paul seeks is easy for the administration to hand over – it “ought to be a no-brainer,” he said. “It ought to be upsetting for everyone, all Americans of both parties, to not be able to get a straight answer to what is a very straightforward question from Senator Paul.”

10) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

When you launch an attack, tie it in as part of a theme and never stop hammering the theme as long as it's true and it works. John Kerry is a flip-flopper, Bill Clinton is a liar, Barack Obama is bankrupting the country and wrecking the economy -- tie your attacks into themes that can be picked up on social media, talk radio, cable TV, and in the blogosphere over the long haul. Why does McDonald's keep running ads? Because it may be that 50th ad or 100th ad you see that gets you to go buy a Big Mac, just as it may be the 50th or 100th time someone hears that Obama is bankrupting the country and wrecking the economy before it sticks. ◼ 12 ways to use Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals Against Liberals - Townhall

Rand Paul has been *standing* for more than 9 hours

He is filibustering President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA, objecting to the apparent Obama administration policy that it can execute, without trial or charge, U.S. citizens, even when they pose no imminent threat, and even when they are on U.S. soil. - Timothy P. Carney/Washington Examiner @TPCarney

...Paul has been standing the whole time: When Paul takes questions from other Senators, he continues to hold the floor. For that reason, he must continue to stand–on the floor. Some of his allies have deliberately given very lengthy questions, which gives Paul a break, and a chance to talk with his staff, but not to go to the bathroom, catch a smoke, or rest his feet....

Sen. Mark Kirk made a touching gesture, and reference to “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Around 6:15, Sen. Mark Kirk came onto the Senate floor. Kirk is recovering from a stroke, and so he painfully limped, with a cane in his right hand, and his left leg rigid, down the stairs to the well, where Paul’s desk was. Kirk then delivered to Paul — while Paul was speaking — a thermos and an apple. Those were Jimmy Stewart’s sustenance during his filibuster in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” The thermos had hot tea in it....

About 30 minutes ago, Democrats blocked a resolution saying the US gov can’t drone an American on American soil. Democrats.

Rand Paul Filibester Spectacle Rivets Senate. - Instapundit

The best part was when Rand Paul sought unanimous consent for a sense of the Senate resolution that the President shouldn’t kill American citizens in America — and Democrats, led by Dick Durbin, objected.

This Is What A Republic Looks Like - Iowahawk/Breitbart

One man with principles beats the hell out of a vuvuzela-blowing mob.

Rep. Gohmert Delivers Cough Drops And Chocolates To Sen. Paul During Filibuster - Kerry Pickett/Breitbart
Congressman Louie Gohmert (R - TX) went to the floor of the Senate and delivered chocolates and cough drops to the long filibustering Senator Rand Paul (R - KY). Senator Paul, with the help of Senators Mike Lee (R - UT), Ted Cruz (R - TX), and Ron Wyden (D - OR) among others has been filibustering Barack Obama's CIA nominee John Brennan since 11:47 AM on Wednesday. The Senators are discussing the the dangers of the government's use drones that could of kill Americans on U.S. soil.
This is Exciting - Ace Of Spades/Breitbart
I have the same feeling of receding cynicism I did when the Tea Party first exploded on to the scene and began doing things that just weren't done in America anymore -- taking politics seriously, taking the Founders' legacy to us seriously, showing up at Town Halls to ask their once and future representatives some real questions, engaging, questioning, insisting, demanding.

There was a time 200 years ago when this was commonplance. Americans had just won their liberty and were enthused about it. They treated their civic duty not as a mere duty but as the highest aspiration of political man.

This filibuster excites me for the same reasons -- a return to the Old Ways, the ways that actually work, the way American politics is actually supposed to be conducted, with Senators offering thoughtful defenses of their positions and, above all, insisting that this nation is We the People not We the Ministers & Lesser Bureaucratic Warlords of Whatever Current Government the Public Has Had the Folly to Install In Office....
Rand Paul Filibuster Inspires HuffPo to Blister Obama Over Drone Policy - John Nolte/Breitbart

Paul picked the exact right issue to filibuster on; bringing right and left together against Obama.

The CONVERSATION at Breitbart covers the days events, check it out.

Live Blog: Rand Paul’s Filiblizzard against Drones, Brennan; Mentions NR’s Kevin Williamson - Andrew Johnson & Nathaniel Botwinick/National Review

The power of Twitter: Sen. Ted Cruz reads #StandWithRand tweets during filibuster; Update: Video added - Twitchy

In the Senate, a Reverse Mr. Smith - Tim Groseclose/Ricochet

...Senator Ted Cruz asked Paul to yield for a question. Paul did, and Cruz asked if he was aware of the overwhelming support he is receiving on Twitter. Cruz then read several complimentary, sometimes moving, comments from people who had hashtagged “#StandWithRand” in their tweets.

Cruz’s maneuver was eerily similar to a moment from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (which you can view at the 7:00 mark of this video). One of the corrupt senators asks Mr. Smith if he would like to learn what his constituents have to say. Smith says “yes,” and the corrupt senator brings in baskets full of telegrams, all of them critical of Smith. The telegrams had been manufactured by the leader of the political machine that controlled the corrupt senator. Smith reads them and faints from exhaustion.

In contrast, the modern-day telegrams, the tweets read by Cruz, are honest. And they were overwhelmingly supportive of Paul....

Newsweek Editor: Bush Would've Been Impeached If He Had Obama's Drone Policy - CNS

This has been said by many on the right recently in calling out the hypocrisy and silence of the media, but now it's been reiterated by Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief of left-leaning Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

Rand Paul brushes off Harry Reid’s attempt to end filibuster

“I have no problem with people talking a long time,” Reid said, before asking if Paul and two other senators would limit themselves to speaking for 30 minutes more each. - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum

Reid asked for unanimous consent, but Paul objected. “The only thing I would like is a clarification,” Paul said, proposing that Holder retract his claim that “it is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

Thus far this has been a brilliant filibuster: Measured, respectful, thoughtful. - John Nolte/Breitbart

FILIBUSTER: Marco Rubio Joins Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Jerry Moran, Ron Wyden, Saxby Chambliss, Pat Toomey, John Cornyn, John Barrasso

Randpage: Rand Paul filibusters Brennan nomination for CIA director - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times

American Guts: #StandWithRand - Smitty/The Other McCain

Rand Paul took the floor of the Senate around noon today for a good, old-fashioned filibuster. Spot on. The purpose is to find out just where the 5th Amendment line is on drone strikes on Americans on American soil. The direct effect of the filibuster is to threaten a delay of a vote to confirm John Brennan as CIA chief.

Sen. Marco Rubio: Why is it so hard for Obama to ‘just say no’ to killing American citizens with drones? - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

White House 'Cries Wolf' 3 Times Over Past 10 Days About Sequester Cuts...

The Obama administration has incorrectly stated on three separate occasions the effect of the $85 billion in sequester cuts. - CBS DC


Thus far this has been a brilliant filibuster: Measured, respectful, thoughtful.

Senator Rand Paul is not only exposing President Obama's breathtaking hypocrisy on the issue of drones, he's also giving a Master Class on the U.S. Constitution.

Cruz to Paul: You're 'Standing Here Today Like a Modern Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
"My only regret," Cruz continued, "is that there are not 99 of your colleagues here today standing with you in defense of the most fundamental principle in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution."

Paul's filibuster has been going on for almost 4 hours, and only recently have other senators joined the floor to ask Paul questions.
Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Terry Moran Join Rand Paul’s Senate Filibuster Over Drone Strikes - Nice Deb


Democrat Senator: I'm Joining Rand Paul's Filibuster - John Nolte/Breitbart

The tag team of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are currently mopping the floor with Barack Obama.

Tag-teaming Obama - John Feehery/The Hill

The president convincingly won a second term in November, but since that time, the congressional Republican leadership has outfoxed, outmaneuvered and plain out-strategized him on just about every issue.

On taxes, McConnell (R-Ky.) just flat-out beat Joe Biden. He preserved 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts in perpetuity, which from a policy perspective is huge. He also made sure that the payroll tax holiday came to a conclusion, thereby making sure that every American would feel the tax increase that President Obama has long been fighting for.

By agreeing on a smaller tax increase, McConnell also inoculated Republicans from Obama’s demands for higher taxes later on. Hey, Mr. President, we just raised taxes, and you want to raise taxes again? That dog simply doesn’t hunt with most voters, and Obama has taken to the less politically explosive position of closing tax loopholes. Boring.

On spending, the Republicans haven’t gotten everything they wanted. But they did get the rebranding opportunity that they so desperately needed. They are once again champions of spending cuts, and the American people now believe them.

And thanks to Boehner’s (R-Ohio) nimble reshuffling, they were able to get rebranded as spending cutters without having to resort to defaulting on the debt or closing down the government.

Ted Cruz to Eric Holder: Yes or no, is it constitutional to use drones on U.S. soil against someone who’s not posing an immediate threat?

A must-see via Mediaite, not just because this is the right question to ask after Holder’s letter on drone policy yesterday but because it fell to Cruz, the new bete noire of the left, rather than a Democrat to press the civil-libertarian case. - Allahpundit/HotAir

Simple question: Is it a violation of due process to fire a missile at a guy on American soil if he’s not engaged at the moment in carrying out a terrorist attack? He might be a member of Al Qaeda; he might be planning an attack; but if he’s strolling down Main Street in some American town, is there any constitutional justification to toss a Hellfire at him rather than send the cops in to pick him up? Watch Holder’s reaction. Cruz has to browbeat him for three minutes to get him to shift from saying it wouldn’t be “appropriate” — which implies that the government might have the power to do it but would refuse to exercise that power for prudential reasons — to finally saying that, constitutionally, it doesn’t have that power. That’s an important admission; unless I missed something, it’s the first time anyone at the top has acknowledged a legal limit to drone strikes under certain circumstances. Here’s hoping we don’t have to point back to it someday.

Sen. Ted Cruz Batters Eric Holder on Domestic Drone Strikes in Tense Exchange - The Blaze (photo source, via Mediate)

Rand Paul begins talking filibuster against John Brennan

'I will speak until I can no longer speak' - Washington Post ◼ Via Drudge
Won't let Obama 'shred the Constitution' - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is staging an active filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director, a move prompted by Attorney General Eric Holder’s admission that it could be constitutional to carry out a drone strike on an American in the United States.

Paul said that all presidents must honor the Fifth Amendment. “No American should ever be killed in their house without warrant and some kind of aggressive behavior by them,” Paul said on the Senate floor. “To be bombed in your sleep? There’s nothing American about that . . . [Obama] says trust him because he hasn’t done it yet. He says he doesn’t intend to do so, but he might. Mr. President, that’s not good enough . . . so I’ve come here to speak for as long as I can to draw attention to something that I find to really be very disturbing.”

“I will not sit quietly and let him shred the Constitution,” Paul added.”No person will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process,” he said, quoting the Fifth Amendment.
'No American should be killed by a drone on American soil'... - AP
Invokes Hitler - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard

Up From the Grave

The California Republican Party sees an opportunity. - Peter Hannaford/The American Spectator Online ( 3.6.13

California’s Republican Party met in Sacramento last weekend for what the news media assured us would be a wake. One newspaper wrote, “A punch-drunk GOP arrives for its convention and our writer jumps down the Grand Old rabbit hole to see if ‘Reagan Nation’ can rise from the ashes.”

Rather than hanging crepe, the 1,000 delegates were fired with energy despite losses in November of Congressional and State Legislature seats. In fact, for the first time in many decades, the Democrats have super majorities in both houses of the legislature.

Never mind, the delegates were constantly reminded by candidates for the party’s statewide leadership. From now on the emphasis is on rebuilding from the grassroots up. It wasn’t said in so many words, but the idea was to ditch the moniker Grand Old Party and replace it with “Grand Opportunity Party,” meaning opportunities to help members win elective office and opportunities to replace the state’s stifling tax and regulatory systems with ones aimed at economic growth.

To underscore one of these points, the convention schedule showcased a number of elected minority officials. Harmeet Dhillon, a dynamic woman lawyer born in India, campaigned successfully for party vice chairman on her background of heading a reborn Republican Party in, of all places, San Francisco and running twice for office there.

In the first session, Ruben Barrales, president of a new Hispanic Republican organization, Grow Elect, emphasized the group’s slogan, “Electing Republican Latinos one office at a time.” To prove the point, its website lists 21 such elected officials in local offices up and down the state. The next afternoon, dedicated to break-out sessions, had a Standing Room Only crowd at Grow Elect’s event which featured a panel of elected Republican Latinos telling how they won office.

Michelle Park Steel, wife of Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel, and herself an elected member of the state Board of Equalization, spoke to the convention about the importance of electing Asian Americans to public office (she was born in South Korea).

The changing demographics of the population of California was not lost on any delegates. The convention came shortly after new reports that Hispanics had become the largest single ethnic segment of the state’s population.

Jim Brulte, a veteran of the state legislature, now in private business, led both the Assembly and Senate Republican caucuses during his Sacramento years, won the state chairmanship in a landslide. He is a straight-forward speaker, clear in his resolve to make the state apparatus work for local and regional committees and candidates, and has a reputation for getting done what he sets out to do.

Will all this result in Republican gains in what has become a predictably blue state? Time will tell, but there is plenty of it before the November 2014 election.
About the Author: Peter Hannaford was closely associated for a number of years with the late President Reagan, beginning in the California Governor’s office. His latest book is Presidential Retreats.

Congressman: No Golf for Obama Until WH Tours Resume

Representative Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) has filed an amendment to the House GOP’s six-month continuing resolution that would bar federal funds from being spent on President Obama’s golf outings until public tours of the White House start up again. - Andrew Stiles/National Review

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

9) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

9) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. How about we treat the Left to some of its own medicine? Libs throw a pie at a conservative author on campus; then we promise to shower every liberal speaker on the same campus with garbage. They post a conservative address online; we post two liberal addresses online. They hold a protest at someone's house; then we hold a protest at someone's house. They hit one of our politicians with glitter; we hit one of their politicians with coal dust. Liberals have a mentality that says, "Everything we do is harmless, but everything conservatives do is potentially dangerous." Yet, we're usually too well behaved to copy their tactics. Mimic those tactics once or twice and the Libs will freak out so hard that they'll start declaring it to be off limits for everyone, including their own activists. ◼ - Townhall

The Great Ammunition Myth

Something strange is going on. Federal non-military agencies have bought two billion rounds of ammunition in the last 10 months. The Obama Administration says that federal law enforcement agents need the ammunition for “mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions....” - William Bigelow/Breitbart

Even though the National Rifle Association says that the amount of ammunition bought isn’t excessive, considering the number of federal agents and the fact that the ammunition is used over a five-year period, there are others who question why the need for so many federal agents. Among them is Jeff Knox, director of The Firearms Coalition, who said:
It’s not the number of bullets we need to worry about but the number of feds with guns it takes to use those bullets....

Rumor control: Did the Dept. of Homeland Security recently request to purchase 21,600,000 rounds of handgun ammo? - Daily Caller

The government is not planning a violent putdown of civil unrest. - Charles C. W. Cooke/National Review Online could reasonably ask why the Social Security Administration would need any ammunition at all. Are the elderly especially unruly these days? ...Okay. And why does the USDA need 320,000 rounds? Because it runs the Forest Service, which covers “155 national forests” and “20 national grasslands” on a total of “193 million acres of land.” ...It’s all about scale. Forty-six thousand rounds also sound like a lot for the National Weather Service. (Actually, the ammo was requested by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, which is overseen by the same department.) In reality, it’s not that much.

Feds, media rebut Sarah Palin ´stockpiling bullets´ claim - Ken Cirilli/Politico

While government agencies are, in fact, purchasing large amounts of ammunition, they are doing so for training exercises and shooting ranges, according to federal officials. The Washington Post last month summed up the Department of Homeland Security’s buying of more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition for training with an article headlined, “Not so sinister: Homeland Security is stockpiling ammo for target practice.”

But what about those DHS purchases of armored vehicles for domestic use? Though I guess that sort of thing is nothing new. - Instapundit/PJM

DHS Adopts Armored Vehicles for Domestic Use -

Why Is Obama's Growing DHS Army Buying Armored Vehicles? - IBD

In addition to stockpiling over a billion bullets and thousands of semiautomatic weapons the feds would deny U.S. citizens, the vehicle of choice for fighting the counterinsurgency war in Iraq is appearing on U.S. streets.

The sequestration question du jour is why the Department of Homeland Security, busy releasing hundreds, if not thousands, of deportable and detained illegal aliens due to budget constraints, is buying several thousand Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles?

And just who are they intended to be used against?

Drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil are legal - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum

Video: The Romneys interview

link - Ed Morrissey/HotAir

...Romney’s right about the debates, too, but only to a certain point. The questions in the debates were intended to tear down the candidates, but Republicans will have to expect that as long as they continue to insist on pairing with media outlets for the debates. They can stage these debates themselves and narrowcast them on the Internet and invite C-SPAN to televise them, and then choose moderators that will focus on real issues rather than contraception and the latest TV ads. Until the GOP makes up its mind to do that, Republican candidates will have to endure the freak-show moderation and game-show formats imposed on them by the mainstream media.

“In the real world we were kidding ourselves”

Newt Gingrich talks to Salon about why he and his party were so wrong about the election and the future of the GOP - Salon

Poll: 41% of Dems think president should have power to kill suspected American terrorist on American soil

“On his own.” To be clear, they think he should have the power to do this “on his own.” This is what years of screeching during the Bush era about “the unitary executive” has come to. - Allahpundit/HotAir

Washington has a serious spending problem

Venezuelan Dictator Chavez, dead


Hugo Chavez 1954-2013 - Daniel in Venezuela
As we all anticipated yesterday the denouement was at hand. It came at 4:25 according to the cadena right now. The cadena earlier today must have been a preemptive strike, to start pushing the burden of guilt away from the regime.

May he find the peace that he missed in all his life.

And thus we enter the year of all dangers.
Hugo Chavez, Socialist Monster and Anti-Democratic Thug, Now Burns In Hell With Satan - Ace Of Spades

It's official: Nicolás Maduro wants to be Chávez 2.0 - (image source)

Meet The New Leader Of Venezuela - Business Insider
"It's impossible to expect Maduro to be another Chávez,'' Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of Latin American history at Pomona College and the author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela told Wilson. "Instead he represents continuity with the policies and programs that the president has promoted. This is still very much an evolving process with much still unclear."

Another bigger question is whether Maduro will actually be able to claim the presidency. Diosdado Cabello, speaker in Venezuela's congress and a hardline Chavez ally, may himself make a run for the presidency or attempt to become the interim president, forcing Chavez's party into conflict with itself.

And either way, Venezuela's constitution calls for an election in 30 days
Things are about to get crazy in Venezuela. - Adam Taylor/Business Insider

Hugo Chavez… - neoneocon

Hugo Chavez is dead; Update: Democratic rep mourns; Update: So does Jimmy Carter - HotAir
So, what’s next for Venezuela now that their corrupt, destructive, America-hating, socialist leader is no more? Either Vice President Nicolas Maduro or National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello will become interim president for thirty days while the country engineers a special election — and without Chavez to figurehead his “Chavismo” movement, the outcome isn’t necessarily a sure thing.

Update (AP): Michael Moynihan’s acidic obit at Newsweek is the one you’ll want to read. As he reminds us, there was no monster Chavez wasn’t willing to hug in the name of anti-American camaraderie. He was a proud supporter of Saddam, Mugabe, Qaddafi, and of course Bashar Assad, not because they overlapped much philosophically beyond authoritarianism but because they were all antagonists of the United States. That was Chavez’s core shtick — anti-colonialist vaudeville at the expense of the west’s superpower.
Condolences flow from the left upon news of Hugo Chavez death - Anne Sorock/Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Dow Sets Record High, Tops 2007's All-Time High of 14,198.10

Stocks shot higher Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average topping its all-time high, propelled by a better-than-expected ISM non-manufacturing index, upbeat economic data from Europe and as China pledged to meet its growth targets. - CNBC ◼ Via Drudge

The Last Time The Dow Was Here... - Zerohedge

...we leave it to none other than Jim Cramer to sum up where we stand (oh and the following list of remarkable then-and-now macro, micro, and market variables): "we all know it's going to end badly, but in the meantime we can make some money..."

◼ Dow Jones Industrial Average: Then 14164.5; Now 14164.5
◼ Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73 (higher in CA)
◼ GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%
◼ Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million
◼ Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million
◼ Size of Fed's Balance Sheet: Then $0.89 trillion; Now $3.01 trillion
◼ US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%
◼ US Deficit (LTM): Then $97 billion; Now $975.6 billion
◼ Total US Debt Oustanding: Then $9.008 trillion; Now $16.43 trillion
◼ US Household Debt: Then $13.5 trillion; Now 12.87 trillion
◼ Labor Force Particpation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%
◼ Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6
◼ S&P Rating of the US: Then AAA; Now AA+
◼ VIX: Then 17.5%; Now 14%
◼ 10 Year Treasury Yield: Then 4.64%; Now 1.89%
◼ EURUSD: Then 1.4145; Now 1.3050
◼ Gold: Then $748; Now $1583
◼ NYSE Average LTM Volume (per day): Then 1.3 billion shares; Now 545 million shares

Economic Optimism Plunges To 15-Month Low; 59% Say U.S. In Recession - IBD