Saturday, March 16, 2013

More CPAC Highlights II

David Bossie President of Citizens United

Tea Party Patriot's Jenny Beth Martin

U.S. Representative Steve King

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann

President Obama's Prayer Breakfast Club (featuring Dr. Ben Carson)

Former U.S. Representative Artur Davis

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Ted Cruz steals podium to intro Palin: She ‘drives the mainstream media bat-crap crazy’ - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner

Just when CPAC attendees expected Sarah Palin to take the stage for her speech this afternoon, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stole the podium to give her a second introduction.

“The mainstream media wants us to be timid and hide in the corner and the mainstream media is absolutely convinced that women cannot be conservatives,” Cruz said. “And if they are [conservatives], they especially cannot shoot really big guns and hunt grizzly bears. Let me tell you, that’s why Gov. Sarah Palin drives the mainstream media bat-crap crazy.”

Cruz then rattled off a list of Palin’s successful endorsements — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C. — before getting around to the 2012 campaigns

“And this last election cycle, there were three Republicans who won new seats — Deb Fischer, Jeff Flake, and myself — she supported all three of us,” Cruz said. “Let me tell you something, I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Gov. Sarah Palin.”

Sarah Palin CPAC Speech 3-16-13 Transcript - Maggie's Notebook

Phyllis Schlafy, Founder, Eagle Forum

Brent Bozell, Founder and President Media Research Center

Mia Love, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

NRA President David Keene

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers

Ann Coulter

Egypt May Allow “Citizen’s Arrest” of Western Tourists for Blasphemy

Egypt’s tourism sector was doing really badly, so the Muslim Brotherhood regime decided to finish it off. - Daniel Greenfield/Front Page magazine

And this is taking place in a country where much of the population thinks that being a member of a non-Islamic religion is blasphemy and being a Westerner means you are a spy....
The Egyptian prosecutor general for the Muslim Brotherhood regime (their equivalent of our Attorney General, Eric Holder) has enacted a new law permitting ordinary Egyptians to make what amounts to carte blanche arrests of foreigners in Egypt for things like suspicion of ‘spying’ or blasphemy, or pretty much anything else that goes against Egypt’s sharia based legal code:

Egypt’s Coalition to Support Tourism (CST) condemns the prosecutor-general’s decision to allow citizens’ arrests announced on Sunday, arguing it raises many worries among tourists.
Sudan To Prosecute Doctors Who Refuse To Carry Out Sharia Court Mandated Amputations - Weasel Zippers

KHARTOUM, Sudan, March 12 (UPI) - Judges can receive special training to perform court-ordered amputations if doctors refuse to carry out the sentences, a Sudanese justice said Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Rahman Sharfi added that any doctors who refuse "the rule of Allah" will themselves face prosecution, the Sudan Tribune reported.

He made the comments at a news conference in response to strong criticism from human rights groups concerning last month's amputation of the right hand and left foot of a man found guilty of armed robbery.

Why it's become clear that Obama's White House is open to the rich and closed to the poor

Once, only nobles were granted an audience with the King. In America, we've prided ourselves on abandoning those privileges of class some 237 years ago, following that little uprising in the 13 colonies. - Mark McKinnon/Telegraph

Since last weekend, Mr and Mrs Regular Citizen have been denied the access people used to be granted to tour the White House, purportedly because of the clampdown on federal spending since the "sequester" that imposed cuts (in the amount of growth) across the board....

Meanwhile, noble Americans can buy time with the president for a suggested donation of $500,000 to his new campaign group, Organising for Action.

Yes, the announcement offering access to the president for cold, hard cash was made openly and with total transparency. But it was also made without shame.

It's the third version of Obama's original monster campaign machine, Obama for America, which then morphed into a re-election campaign machine, Organising for America, on the third day of his first term.

It has now re-launched again as Organising for Action (OFA) - a non-profit, tax-exempt group headed by his former campaign advisers. Apparently no longer "for America", the group might just as well be called Organising for Obama's Agenda.

Its mission: to support the president in his attempt to achieve enactment of gun control, environmental policies and immigration reform.

At the two-day kick-off event last week for the new OFA's founding summit, attended by 75 folks for the "bargain" rate of just $50,000,

The sequester wasn't a Republican idea, but a form of spending blackmail invented by President Barack Obama. On this Afterburner, watch Bill Whittle demonstrate how the president is consciously using the situation to punish the American people and accelerate our way into bankruptcy

Afterburner -- Making It Hurt - PJTV

Bill Whittle thinks that President Obama is trying to deliberately hurt America through the questionable sequester budget cuts. Why would the President of the United States try to punish the nation he has sworn to protect? Find out.

Judicial Watch Sues U.S. Department of State for Details on $400,000 Benghazi Security Contract

State Department first denied hiring of security guards, then admitted having provided false information after WIRED magazine expose - Judicial Watch March 05, 2013

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State seeking access to records concerning a contract totaling nearly $400,000 that was awarded to a foreign firm for “Security Guards and Patrol Services” at the Benghazi Consulate prior to the deadly attack of September 11, 2012. The contract was signed on February 17 and May 3, and, at the time, identified only as “Award ID SAQMMA12COO92”. Judicial Watch filed its lawsuit on February 25, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00243)). This is one of three Benghazi FOIA lawsuits being pursued by Judicial Watch.

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate - Wired 09.17.12

Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.

A representative for Blue Mountain, reached at its U.K. offices Monday, said no one was available to comment.

The State Department frequently hires security companies to protect diplomats in conflict zones. It usually is done through what’s known as the Worldwide Protective Services contract, in which a handful of approved firms compete to safeguard specific diplomatic installations. In 2010, State selected eight firms for the most recent contract. Blue Mountain wasn’t among them, and the State Department did not explain why the Benghazi consulate contract did not go to one of those eight firms.

It isn’t known how the Blue Mountain contractors performed Tuesday when the consulate came under sustained attack by small arms fire. In an official account provided Wednesday by the Obama administration, embassy security staff — both American and Libyan — failed to break the assault. They required help from Libyan security forces, assisted by a sympathetic Libyan militia, to regain control of the consulate’s main building and end a pitched battle that raged for 4.5 hours.

Nor is it clear if two former Navy SEALs killed in the assault were Blue Mountain employees. One of them, Glen Doherty, told ABC News last month that he was part of a mission sent to Libya to lock down Moammar Gadhafi’s missiles to prevent them from reaching the black market. Blue Mountain’s contract doesn’t refer to safeguarding thousands of rockets and missiles that have gone missing in the aftermath of the 2011 war.

Carson: Obama Trying to ‘Destroy the Country’

Dr. Benjamin Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital who garnered national headlines for his pointed remarks at last month’s National Prayer Breakfast, says that President Obama and his political allies are trying to “destroy the country.” - Eliana Johnson/National Review

“Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation,” Carson postulated in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.”

Friday, March 15, 2013

“Religious beliefs aside, I’m a conservative because of a belief in individual liberty..."

Not too long ago, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s endorsement of gay marriage would have sent a shockwave through the Republican Party. A cautious former Bush administration official, onetime VP short-lister and current vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – breaking ranks on this? - Politico

Far from touching off a Beltway political firestorm, Portman’s announcement that he has a gay son and now supports same-sex marriage drew a muted or even positive response from his fellow members of the Republican elite.

The clearest way to see that widespread same-sex marriage is inevitable - Jaltcoh

Rob Portman commentary: Gay couples also deserve chance to get married - The Columbus Dispatch

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he supports allowing gay couples to marry because he is a conservative, not in spite of it. I feel the same way. We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives. We also consider the family unit to be the fundamental building block of society. We should encourage people to make long-term commitments to each other and build families, so as to foster strong, stable communities and promote personal responsibility.

One way to look at it is that gay couples’ desire to marry doesn't amount to a threat but rather a tribute to marriage, and a potential source of renewed strength for the institution.

The funniest line in "Taken 2" was Neeson's advice to his daughter in an emergency: "Go to the U.S. Embassy. You'll be safe there." It opened a couple of weeks after Benghazi

An unstable truce with the Axis of Crazy - Mark Steyn/OC Register

Meanwhile, back at the GOP, Sen. Rand Paul is no Dick Cheney, either: At CPAC this week, the narrow bounds of his smash-hit filibuster – questioning drone assassinations of Americans in America – broadened somewhat, not just to questioning drone assassinations of Americans anywhere, nor to questioning drone assassinations of anyone, nor even to questioning the "war on terror" or war in general, but to questioning the very assumptions of American global order, starting with our bankrolling of Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. The Egyptians send mobs to torch the U.S. embassy, the Saudis wage ideological warfare against Western civilization, the Turks call Israel a "crime against humanity" and threaten a cultural and demographic takeover of Europe, the Pakistanis are ramping up nuke production to sell to any loon in town – and those are just our "allies." With friends like these, who needs foreign policy?

...The assumption that developed nations will get richer under Washington's defense welfare has been the central tenet of the American era. So now the wealthiest countries in history cannot defend their own borders, while economic basket-cases of one degree of derangement or another are nuclear powers.

Perhaps this improbable division will hold. Perhaps the Axis of Crazy will be content just to jostle among itself, leaving the Axis of Torpor to fret about lowering the retirement age to 48 and mandatory transgendered bathrooms and other pressing public policy priorities. But, even under such an inherently unstable truce, the American position and the wider global economy would deteriorate.

As the CPAC crowd suggested, there are takers on the right for the Rand Paul position. There are many on the left for Obama's drone-alone definition of great power. But there are ever fewer takers for a money-no-object global hegemon that spends 46 percent of the world's military budget and can't impress its will on a bunch of inbred goatherds. A broker America needs to learn to do more with less, and to rediscover the cold calculation of national interest rather than waging war as the world's largest NGO. In dismissing Rand Paul as a "wacko bird," John McCain and Lindsay Graham assume that the too-big-to-fail status quo is forever. It's not; it's already over.

Ted Cruz vs. Dianne Feinstein.

link - Althouse ◼ The “ignorant” Cruz clobbers Feinstein, MSNBC - Another Way Of Looking At It

...A normally level-headed Joe Scarborough said, “This guy, what he is saying, the way he is framing his question suggests complete, utter ignorance.”

Scarborough called Cruz ignorant no less than five times.

“It suggests complete, utter ignorance of what the Second Amendment says and what … the conservative court said in 2008,” Scarborough bitterly complained.

The 2008 decision was District of Columbia v. Dick Anthony Heller. Scarborough repeatedly suggested that Cruz should have read the case instead of confronting Feinstein without the facts.

But that’s laughable.

Not only is Cruz familiar with District of Columbia v. Heller, he’s the guy who argued the Heller amicus brief for 31 states and won!

Scarborough’s foaming at the mouth went so far as to suggest that Harvard is a sub-par law school. “Did they teach Ted Cruz to read what the Supreme Court said, especially in the landmark decision regarding Second Amendment rights?”

Yup, Joe. They sure did.

“When he lectures Dianne Feinstein that she is violating the Second Amendment, that it impinges upon Second Amendment rights, that’s just false.” Scarborough exclaimed at one point, “Read the damn case law!”

Actually, Cruz did read the case law and went right to the spot that might render Feinstein’s ban as unconstitutional. Cruz correctly points out that Heller forbids Congress from outlawing weapons that are common and ordinary. If Feinstein’s bill really does cover 4 million weapons then Cruz might be correct to say it’s a violation of Heller....

Preserve and protect Prop. 13

Multiple revisions of the landmark tax-limitation measure are pending in the California Legislature - Orange County Register EDITORIAL

California's Proposition 13 has protected property owners from government's voracious appetite for taxes since its overwhelming passage in 1978. While virtually every other tax, and a good number of new ones, have lurched upward since then, the landmark protection authored by tax-fighting activists Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann froze taxes on property at 1 percent of assessed value and limited annual increases to 2 percent....

Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar told us that 63 tax-related bills have been introduced this session, an indication of how eager the majority party is to rewrite tax law. We urge restraint. Prop. 13 has served California well as other taxes and costs of living have increased. It is one of the few restraints on rising real estate prices that make homeownership difficult for middle-class and low-income families, and it is one of the few advantages California businesses enjoy when comparing costs in other states.

Egypt's Islamists warn giving women some rights could destroy society

Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood warns that a U.N. declaration on women's rights could destroy society by allowing a woman to travel, work and use contraception without her husband's approval and letting her control family spending. - Michelle Nichols/Reuters

...The Muslim Brotherhood warned the declaration would give girls sexual freedom, legalize abortion, provide teenagers with contraceptives, give equality to women in marriage and require men and women to share duties such as child care and chores.

It said the declaration would allow "equal rights to homosexuals, and provide protection and respect for prostitutes" and "equal rights to adulterous wives and illegitimate sons resulting from adulterous relationships."

A coalition of Arab human rights groups - from Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Tunisia - called on countries at the Commission on the Status of Women on Thursday to stop using religion, culture, and tradition to justify abuse of women.

"The current positions taken by some Arab governments at this meeting is clearly not representative of civil society views, aspirations or best practices regarding the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls within our countries," said the statement issued by the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies....

CPAC highlights

Lt. Col. Allen West:

Nothing a ‘Liberal Progressive Fears More’ Than a Black Conservative - CNS

“There’s nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black American who wants a better life and a smaller government,” West said.

Conservatives “understand that the Constitution was written to control and regulate the government, not the people,” he said.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey:

Mario Lopez:

U.S. Senator Mike Lee

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:

U.S. Senator Rand Paul:

#StandwithRand: Sen. Rand Paul asks CPAC to stand with him in liberty; Attendees remain standing through speech - Twitchy

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Donald Trump:

Presidential Dinner sponsored by Newsmax feat. Jim DeMint:

U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte:

‘Leading From Behind Doesn’t Work’ - Viral Read

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), spoke at CPAC this morning to a rousing reception. One of the rising stars in the Republican Party, Ayotte spoke on national security, outlining the failures of the Obama administration when it comes to foreign relations.

In Libya, she said, four of our citizens, one being our Ambassador to the country, lost their lives because of a lack of attention and leadership in the country. Ayotte blamed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, mocking Clinton’s statement to Congress that she was “clear eyed” when it came to security in Benghazi.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

McConnell vows to repeal Obama health care law - AP/Yahoo

McConnell faces re-election next year. He says Republicans need to rebound from election losses last year and, quote, "punch back." He says Democrats haven't had a new idea, quote, "since the days of the Studebaker."
He compares the possibility of Democrats nominating Hillary Rodham Clinton or Joe Biden for president in 2016 to, quote, a "rerun of 'The Golden Girls.'"

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan:

Paul Ryan and Wayne LaPierre speeches at CPAC - Matt Purple/American Spectator

Paul Ryan tells conservatives of the need to cut the budget, tackle poverty - JS Online

'Vatican not only place blowing smoke'...

Hey, girl! Paul Ryan to CPAC crowd: ‘Nice to be in a room full of conservatives for a change’ - Twitchy

NRA's Wayne LaPierre

‘Let Them Be Damned’ - Eliana Johnson/National Review

“Scissors? That’s their answer?” LaPierre asked. “Let’s get this straight: To protect our children at school, we recommend a trained professional with a gun, and they recommend scissors? And they say we’re crazy? It’s sheer madness.”

He went on to mock the advice offered by Vice President Joe Biden in a recent town hall, in which he counseled a young woman to protect herself with a double-barreled shotgun, arguing that such a weapon is preferable to a semi-automatic rifle. “The vice president of the United States actually told women facing an attack to just empty their shotguns into the air. Honestly, have they lost their minds over at the White House?” The question was rhetorical, and the crowd whistled and cheered in approval.

“Keep your advice, we’ll keep our guns,” LaPierre concluded, to sustained applause.

Rick Santorum

Former Governor Mitt Romney (Intro by Gov. Nikki Haley):

Romney Warmly Welcomed at CPAC: Mitt Romney may have lost the election but he evidently hasn’t lost the hearts of many conservatives. Introduced at CPAC a few minutes ago, Romney was given a prolonged standing ovation and welcomed with chants of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” - Matt Purple/American Spectator

Much of the rest of Romney’s speech was a general defense of America and the American dream. The former Massachusetts governor also pledged to fight for conservatism. “I’m sorry I won’t be your president,” he said, “but I will be your co-worker and I’ll continue to fight alongside you.”

Louisianna Governor Bobby Jindal:

Jindal at CPAC: Be the Party of More - Mary Katherine Ham/HotAir

The Five Takes on Day 1 of CPAC

US to deploy more ground-based missiles as North Korea steps up threats

The officials didn't say specifically why the missiles are being deployed, but the announcement comes as North Korea has been making bellicose threats to void the armistice that ended the Korean War and launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. - US News & World Report

THE US is set to bolster its missile defences in the face of growing threats from North Korea which sparked outrage today by firing missiles into the sea of Japan. - The Sun

The controversial move comes in response to recent aggression from the pariah state led by tyrant dictator Kim Jong-un

Earlier today the communist nation caused international anger when it reportedly fired short-range missiles close to Japan.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to reveal tonight the deployment of 14 ground based missile interceptors on the US West Coast.

The move will also involve the re-opening of a missile field in Alaska, and some based in California.
It would take two years for all of the systems to come online.

Sacred mystery: Blockbuster ratings for ‘The Bible’ confound Hollywood

How can the cable mini-series “The Bible” be such a ratings hit when there is no audience for overtly religious entertainment programming? - Daniel Wattenberg/Washington Times

According to the latest Nielsens, released Tuesday, Sunday night’s telecast of “The Bible,” produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey for basic cable’s History channel, managed to attract more viewers than anything on broadcast network NBC … during the entire week.

The second installment of this five-part mini-series airing at 8-10 p.m. Sundays through Easter — the first foray into scripted drama for “Survivor” creator Burnett — drew 10.8 million viewers, good for number one in its timeslot and number 11 overall for the week.

Following President Obama’s lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins described the food served and said the president was not able to eat since his “taster” was not present

Obama couldn’t eat at Hill meeting without food ‘taster’ - Nicholas Ballasy/Daily Caller

I Filibustered to Defend Millennials

Last week, a Senate colleague of mine said that when I questioned whether or not the president could order a drone strike on American citizens on American soil, I was just catering to "libertarian kids in their dorm rooms." - Rand Paul at Policymic

Standing up for the Bill of Rights and the Fifth Amendment was not a political stunt designed to appeal to certain audiences. I took an oath to protect the Constitution and it is an oath I intend to keep.

But we do need a Republican Party that addresses the concerns of young people. We need a different kind of GOP, a party that speaks to the rising generation, who may have unique interests and concerns....

Young Americans — conservative, libertarian, independent — are as fed up with big government as their parents and grandparents. A Republican Party willing to address their unique concerns could build a new majority that might finally turn this country around.

California Fracking May Boost State Economy 14%, USC Says

Such drilling in the Monterey Shale Formation, in addition to increasing per-capita gross domestic product, may add as much as $24.6 billion in state and local tax revenue and as many as 2.8 million jobs by 2020, according to the report released yesterday by the Los Angeles-based university. - Bloomberg

“Based on the experience of other states, not only would state unemployment fall, but significant migration of properly skilled workers into California would occur,” according to the study. “More job gains can be captured by Californians with appropriate education and training.”

Unlocking the oil within the 1,750-square-mile (4,532- square-kilometer) swath of rock southeast of San Francisco could require hydraulic fracturing, which injects water and chemicals into the shale. Environmentalists say it may damage water supplies.

The Monterey Shale may hold 15.4 billion barrels of oil, two-thirds of the nation’s shale-oil reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a 74-year-old Democrat, said yesterday that he would defer to state regulators to develop a fracking policy.

“Between now and development lies a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I feel confident that the people are in place in my administration to handle the issues as they come up,” Brown said at a news briefing on renewable energy.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Capital Connection NFRW News for the Week of March 14, 2013

National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors Meets During its 75th Anniversary

The National Federation of Republican Women Board of Directors met and conducted business in Washington, D.C. March 8-9, beginning the celebration of its 75th anniversary by first attending a special Legislative Day on Capitol Hill on March 7.

Meeting in the Capitol building for Legislative Day, courtesy of United States Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the staff of her office, NFRW members were addressed by approximately 30 members of Congress, including Senator Paul Rand who, hours before, had completed a nearly 13 hour filibuster of John Brennan's nomination as CIA Director. Attendees were then free to visit with their elected Representatives and Senators.

On Thursday evening, donors to the NFRW's Capital Regents and Regents program were treated to a special dinner at which CNN guest commentator Alex Castellanos spoke regarding the need to move the Republican Party forward by being the Party of new frontiers. At their Friday luncheon, the NFRW participants heard from conservative messenger and author of Frederick Douglass Republicans: The Movement to Re-Ignite America's Passion for Liberty, KCarl Smith. Smith detailed the importance of patriot and author Frederick Douglass's example in Republican politics from being a Republican abolitionist as an escaped slave to being an advisor to five Republican United States Presidents.

Earlier in the day, Newt and Callista Gingrich appeared for book signings and the former Speaker of the House of Representatives addressed the NFRW members. Participants were also treated to a video produced by Lisa Roper, assisted by Kim Chambers, both from the Texas Federation of Republican Women, that featured U.S. House and Senate leadership and other elected members who wished the NFRW "Happy Birthday" in honor of NFRW's 75th Anniversary.

Resolutions Passed by the NFRW Board of Directors

At its annual Spring Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C. last week, the NFRW Board of Directors passed three resolutions dealing with mandatory health care policy, government access and immigration reform. (Webmaster's Note: You can read the resolutions online at, with your member password - no point in linking to it, since you can't get in without the password)

Republican women leaders from across the country gathered for the meeting and expressed outrage that President Obama closed the White House, denying school children and other Americans access to the "peoples' house" in his effort to score political points on the sequester. With support and encouragement from former United States House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, who addressed the women, the board of directors passed a resolution calling on the president to immediately open the White House to all Americans.

Board meeting attendees also adopted a resolution in support of the Hobby Lobby family-owned business which is currently before the United States Supreme Court in a lawsuit filed to stop mandatory provisions of Obamacare. As a Christian family, the Hobby Lobby business owners object to the government's new mandate that their business must provide abortion-causing drugs as part of their health care insurance in violation of their religious beliefs. They have been forced to go to court to avoid being required to contradict the Biblical principles upon which their company is founded. If Hobby Lobby refuses the Obamacare mandates, they face government fines of up to $1.3 million per day.

The Texas Federation of Republican Women introduced, and the NFRW Board of Directors passed, a resolution on immigration reform, a topic which Texas members spent almost a full year studying and researching with experts, businesses, land owners, law enforcement and recent immigrants. The resolution first calls on the federal government to expedite provision of resources necessary "to finally secure United States borders." The resolution also urges federal officials to provide resources necessary to reform the current immigration system and create a guest-worker program that documents workers and their families and requires them to pass health and criminal background checks, to be self-supporting, including the purchase of health and other required insurance, to pay taxes and demonstrate a working knowledge of the English language. Finally, the resolution calls for criteria to be established for a legal residency program or path to citizenship for young people illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own if they demonstrate English fluency, a knowledge of American civics, comply with all health requirements, have no criminal record, graduate from an accredited high school and pursue a college degree, trade certification or enter into military service.

A Look at the Operations of the 2012 Obama for America Campaign

On Tuesday, March 5, NFRW President Rae Chornenky and NFRW Political Director Maria Jeffrey attended a breakfast meeting at which Patrick Ruffini, an expert who has shaped digital strategy for national candidates in each of the last three elections, carefully analyzed the digital, technological, and analytic operations of the 2012 Obama campaign. Ruffini first highlighted the differences between the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign in voter contact strategy. Republicans simply made voter contact during the campaign but Democrats were gathering and analyzing data received from those prospective voters, and entering feedback about their views and opinions into a national database. As a result, the Democrats were able to better analyze what effective appeals to make when contacting potential voters.

Democrats had over four times as many people in field offices as Republicans and over twice as many field officer teams running neighborhood centers. More Democrat field workers were paid than Republicans. As a result, the Obama team had better access to information in local neighborhoods about what was going on with voters. This access allowed Obama workers to delve into voter localities, after televised debates for example, to examine what opinions were and what - if anything - had changed in voters' minds.

Because the Obama campaign's ground strategy covered more area with more paid volunteers and utilized information from potential voters more effectively, the campaign was able to predict with better accuracy what percentage of the early vote it had secured. Indeed, less than 10% of the people called by Republicans were actually contacted voice-to-voice as opposed to having a phone message left for them. Democrat field workers made multiple contacts and made voice-to-voice, fact-to-face contacts.

Ruffini urged that in re-evaluating the use of social media, Republicans must be aware that of the 18 - 29 year old demographic, 50% did not give a phone number but 80% had Facebook phone apps. Forty percent of traffic to the Obama website came from mobile devices and not only was a large use of text messaging made, but that also allowed voters to easily store credit card information with their mobile devices so that they could contribute frequently by simply pressing a button. The Democrats worked hard collecting cell phone numbers and using mobile phone technology to reach out to and communicate with young voters. Ruffini also noted that Democrats "carpet bombed" online computer advertising and pop-up ads appeared everywhere online.

In terms of messaging, Republicans did ask what issues voters trust Republicans on but never went to the next step and asked which of those issues really mattered to the voter. Republicans did not prioritize enough, Ruffini argued, where it was clear that issues involving small businesses and entrepreneurship are what voters trust Republicans with but health care, for example, was what truly mattered most to them. Finally, it was suggested that greater effort be invested in training campaign workers in explaining policy so that they are prepared to say, "This is what the Republican candidate is doing and proposing concretely."


Suddenlink stopped working in McKinleyville and elsewhere in the county sometime in the middle of the night. As reported in this week’s paper, someone has been cutting and, in at least one case, stealing fiber optic lines. - McKinleyville Press
Suddenlink is offering a $5,000 cash reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) that are responsible for these crimes.

This is an on-going investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is working diligently to identify a suspect or suspects in these crimes and to stop further vandalisms and interruptions to Suddenlink’s services.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call Detective Kirkpatrick of the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 707-268-3640 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 707-268-2539.
Reward offered for information on Suddenlink vandals; fiber optic line cut for the third time in less than one week - Times Standard
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the incidents, which have caused an estimated $20,000 in damage and left Suddenlink crews scrambling to restore telephone, cable and Internet services to thousands of frustrated customers across Humboldt County.

The most recent incident was reported by a Suddenlink supervisor, who discovered that a four-foot section of the company's fiber optic line had been cut out and discarded into nearby brush shortly after 11 p.m. Monday.

The vault containing the latest cut wire was 1,000 feet north of the south Weymouth Bluff Road on Blue Slide Road in Ferndale, and the resulting outage affected about 1,000 customers in Rio Dell and Scotia. A temporary repair was made to the line to restore services, a sheriff's office release said.

Lt. Wayne Hanson said the suspected vandalism appears to be related to two previous cuts made to Suddenlink's fiber optic line in the Trinidad and Ferndale areas on Friday, which caused an estimated $10,000 in damage and knocked out services for thousands of customers.

”This is not a random act of violence,” Hanson said Tuesday. “Someone knows what they are doing.”
Latest fiber optic cut was in Bayside - Times Standard

Suddenlink Down in McKinleyville, Blue Lake - Lost Coast Outpost

Suddenlink: 95 percent restored, damage estimates at more than $50,000 - Times Standard

On Wednesday night around 11 p.m., someone broke into an underground vault, cut lengths of fiber optic cable and discarded them at the scene. Around 10,000 customers were left without service Big Lagoon, Trinidad, Blue Lake, McKinleyville, Fieldbrook and parts of Arcata.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has no new updates to report, and is continuing its investigation, an official said.

This year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off today, Thursday, March 14 and lasts through Saturday,

link - Allen West/Director of Next Generation Programming

This year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicks off today, Thursday, March 14 and lasts through Saturday, March 16. CPAC is the biggest conservative event of the year with thousands of young Americans in attendance. PJ Media, PJTV and Next Generation will be there to bring you coverage of the event.

I'm honored to be a featured speaker at this year's conference. I'll be joined at the event by Michelle Fields. Together, we'll be conducting interviews with key speakers, guests and other newsmakers, along with providing updates straight from the event.

Dick Morris to CPAC: Stop Talking Balanced Budget, Roe v. Wade, Entitlement Reform - Bill Straub/PJM

The prognosticating consultant admits "we lost," says he has winning formula. (Don't miss Next Generation's members-only coverage of CPAC 2013 — featuring former Congressman Allen West and Michelle Fields.

It’s On: Paul, Rubio Stir Up CPAC with 2016-Caliber Speeches - Bridget Johnson/PJM

PERRY ROCKS THE HOUSE - Ian Schwartz /Real Clear Politics

RAND PAUL: 'GOP of Old Grown Stale and Moss-Covered'

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

RUBIO: 'We don't need new idea. The idea is America, and it still works' CPAC UPDATE◼ LIVE UPDATES: Conservatives Rally at First Day of CPAC 2013 - ANC

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff in a remarkably fast conclave. - AP


Bergoglio tested by Argentine leaders - Silvina Frydlewsky and Anthony Faiola/Washington Post


Jay Carney contradicted President Obama today by admitting the White House in fact cancelled tours of the White House, not the Secret Service: - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
OBAMA: I didn't do it - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
President Obama says he's not the one who canceled the White House tours. He made the comments in an interview with ABC News.

"[O]ne more question about the spending cuts," said the interviewer from ABC News. "You’ve been takin’ a lotta heat for this cancellation of the White House tours. They get– the Secret Service says it’s costs about $74,000 a week. Was canceling them really necessary?"

"You know, I have to say this was not– a decision that went up to the White House. But th– what the Secret Service explained to us was that they’re gonna have to furlough some folks. What furloughs mean is– is that people lose a day of work and a day of pay," Obama said, in response.

"And, you know, the question for them is, you know, how deeply do they have to furlough their staff and is it worth it to make sure that we’ve got White House tours that means that you got a whole bunch of families who are depending on a paycheck who suddenly are seein’––a 5% or 10%– reduction in their pay. Well, what I’m asking them is are there ways, for example, for us to accommodate school groups– you know, who may have traveled here with some bake sales. Can we make sure that– kids, potentially, can– can still come to tour?"
'Labor intensive' tours will remain closed - Vince Coglianese/Daily Caller
Obama Spurns Trump Offer to Foot White House Tours - Newsmax
Even as a top senior presidential adviser dismissed Donald Trump’s offer to pay to resume tours at the White House, President Obama said he would try to reopen the doors in time for spring-break school groups....

“If you look at what’s going on, I guess they’re trying to make a political point. It’s just really ridiculous,” Trump said. “It does make us look awfully bad and awfully pathetic.”
Former Agent Blasts Obama Administration for ‘Throwing Secret Service Under the Bus’ - Andrew Johnson/National Review
... former agent blasted President Obama for blaming the Secret Service for the decision to shut down White House tours, calling it “an act of political cowardice” on Your World with Neil Cavuto this afternoon. Dan Bongino explained that the agency’s job is to provide security for the White House; it does not determine who comes in. “To say that this was the Secret Service, and that they somehow injected themselves into a political decision — well, do they get to tell [the president] to stop taking vacations and to stop going golfing as well?” Bongino said. “This doesn’t even pass the smell test....”

Obama’s Trojan Horse Dinner

He only needed to snooker half of the senators he fed. - Peter Hannaford/The American Spectator Online ( 3.11.13

Last Thursday President Obama had twelve Republican members of the United States Senate to dinner at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel. What had come over this man who, for more than four years, had exhibited frequent disdain for Republicans in general and Congressional Republicans in particular?

The reason escaped the “mainstream” media, but was not that hard to see. For two weeks leading up to March 1 when the budget sequester began he had preached daily the end of civilization as we know it. Children would be deprived of food, old folks would be thrown out in the snow, and so forth. Then, to make sure everyone knew how painful it would be — thanks to Congressional Republican intransigence — he arranged immediately to cancel White House tours, using Secret Service staffing problems as an alibi.

Alas, playing Dr. Doom didn’t work. The appeal of school children to tour “our house” got wide coverage. Obama’s poll numbers went down. There was no catastrophe. In fact, there was no apparent change in daily life except the lack of White House tours.

It was reported that Obama and his guests dined on lamb. In fact, the main course was meat from a Trojan Horse. The hastily-called dinner was not an unveiling of a new, cooperative negotiating partner, but an element in a new strategy by the Old Obama. By schmoozing with them, Obama hopes to sweet talk six into voting for the Democrats’ Senate bill to undo the sequester. The intention is, with just enough Republican Senate votes, to send a bill to the House that contains either no entitlement reforms (Social Security, Medicare) or, if any, ones so tiny as to be only cosmetic. It will probably include provisions to cut “loopholes” from the tax code, but without passing on the new revenue to taxpayers in the form of reduced rates (a House Republican promise). The funds will be used instead to continue Obama’s profligate spending (such as for a program to create robotic squirrels, as noted by Sen. Tom Coburn)

Then, when the House rejects the bill, Obama’s mouthpiece, Jay Carney, will say with a straight face, “He did everything he could. He worked with Republicans in the Senate, but the House just wouldn’t let go of its protection of millionaire and billionaire tax loopholes.” And Obama, himself, will once again level daily barrages at Republicans. So much for the Trojan Horse Dinner.

In short, the dinner was part of an Obama plan to position himself on moral high ground when it come time to again cast blame. Indeed, if the bill in question fails it will be followed by a series of seemingly coincidental results of the sequester: long security lines at airports, Head Start programs shut down, and national parks closed. When this happens bear in mind who is in charge of the federal government’s Executive Branch.

Barack Obama has done nothing to promote tax policies aimed at producing economic growth and creating jobs. Instead of culling out undue regulations, he has promoted ever more regulations and red tape that reduce economic efficiency and prevent the nation from taking advantage of the energy bonanza under our feet. Today, the federal government soaks up the equivalent of 25 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. That compares with the 18 percent that is normal. The difference must come out of the private sector, thus inhibiting its ability to create jobs.

In a zero-sum economy, for everyone who does well someone else must do poorly. That is a notion the American Left has inherited from the Marxists. Too bad Obama seems to have heard that message and not the one John F. Kennedy left us, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
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.

Rubio Discusses Measure To Block Aid To Egypt Absent Economic & Human Rights Reforms:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

End Teacher "Pink Slips"

Senator Huff Calls on Legislature to End Cruel Stunt on Teachers - cssrc

As the March 15 deadline nears, Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) asked that his fellow lawmakers join him in co-authoring a measure (SB 559) today designed to end the annual school March madness when unnecessary layoff “pink slip” notices go out to tens of thousands of teachers. Most of the notices never lead to actual layoffs, but they can cause teachers and families to experience unnecessary grief.

Current law requires districts to send out notices every year by March 15th, but because school districts have no idea what their budgets will look like, they typically overestimate and send out countless layoff notices to teachers who will never actually be laid off.

The change sought in Senator Huff’s legislation, which has been recommended by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), changes the complicated, expensive and inconsistent procedure that costs millions in taxpayer dollars. The out-of-date law also creates months of undue stress on teachers since most layoff notices issued by school districts are rescinded.

“We have to put an end to the practice of causing teachers to think they are going to lose their job, then turning around and telling them ‘never mind,’” said Senator Huff. “It’s cruel. Everyone thinks their job is in jeopardy, which creates anxiety for the teachers’ families, students and communities.”

In one year at Elk Grove Unified, one of California’s larger school districts, 445 teachers received pink slips, crushing morale among the teaching staff. But by July, all of the layoff notices were repealed after the district was able to properly assess the state budget. The last minute decision created a mass scramble to place teachers back in the classroom, disrupting valuable learning time for students.

According to Ed Trust West, in 2010, of the three largest California districts, 78% of the layoff notices were ultimately withdrawn by July. The LAO estimates the notices cost $706 per teacher, costing schools millions annually. This is money that could have gone to the classroom.

SB 559 will move preliminary layoff notices from March 15 to June 1, which is closer to the state budget deadline. Final notices would be moved from May 15 to August 1.

CNN Reporter to Laura Bush: Should We Just Accept “Anti-Semitism” and “Anti-Americanism” in Middle East?

This is very troubling. - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

During their interview on Monday, CNN anchor Erin Burnett asked former first lady Laura Bush:

Should we “accept” anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism “when we want to make change” in the Middle East?


“An Egyptian woman, her name’s Samir Ibrahim, and she’s done a lot of things, courageous things. She’s also been criticized for sending tweets that are anti-Semitic, anti-American,” Burnnett said during a segment on the George W. Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program.

“Does the U.S. need to accept that when we want to make change? You have to support people that do those things — financially in term of awards, in terms of all these things — because it pays off in the end? Is that a trade-off we have to make?” she asked.

Mrs. Bush responded with a laughing, “No.”

...You may recall that the the U.S. State Department recently rescinded its “Women of Courage Award” to Ibrahim because she has in the past tweeted some pretty unbelievably offensive comments.
...On Twitter, Ibrahim is quite blunt regarding her views. On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”

Ibrahim frequently uses Twitter to air her anti-Semitic views. Last August 4, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews.” Seventeen days later she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”

Ibrahim holds other repellent views as well. As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.” Possibly fearing the consequences of her tweet, she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.

Obamacare’s employer mandate forces all employers with more than 50 full-time employees, defined as those who work at least 30 hours per week, to provide health insurance for employees or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers. This creates an incentive for businesses to avoid both the penalty and cost of coverage by hiring part-time employees instead of full-time employees... This affects a wide range of American workers, from restaurant employees and college adjunct professors to state government workers

Top 10 Organizations Slashing Workers And Hours Thanks to Obamacare: details at the link. - Doug Ross

Remember: the real Obamacare regulations don't kick in until 2014.

A little late: RNC to hire chief technology officer

The RNC has announced plans to focus on digital strategy and hire a chief technology officer by May 1, preferably one that “is maybe able to come in and change the way that we think,” according to RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

Tale of Two Budgets

How Paul Ryan proposes to balance budget in 10 years - Alex Pappas/Daily Caller
House budget chairman Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday unveiled the GOP’s budget proposal that would slash $4.6 trillion in projected government spending over the next decade in order to balance the country’s budget by 2023.

“We owe the country a balanced budget,” the Republican congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee said during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Ryan’s plan includes a combination of tax reform, reform of entitlements and repeal of President Obama’s health-care law....

Here are some of the major bullet points from Ryan’s 91-page fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity”:
• Simplify the tax code to make it fairer to American families and businesses.
• Substantially lower tax rates for individuals, with a goal of achieving a top individual rate of 25 percent.
• Consolidate the current seven individual-income-tax brackets into two brackets with a first bracket of 10 percent.
• Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.
• Reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
• Transition the tax code to a more competitive system of international taxation.
• Provide states flexibility on Medicaid.
• Repeal the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid.
• Repeal the health-care law’s exchange subsidies.
• Allow states to customize SNAP to address the needs unique to their citizens.
• Reinstitute welfare’s work requirements.
• Preserve Medicare for those in or near retirement.
• Reform Medicare for younger generations.
• Repeal the health-care rationing board.
• Reform the medical-liability system.
• End the raid on the Medicare Trust Fund.
• Means-test premiums for high-income seniors.
• Require the President to submit a plan to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund.
• Reform civil-service pensions.
• Reform the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
• Reform civil-service pensions.
• Require the President to submit a plan to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund.
• Restore competition to the energy sector with the goal of energy independence.
• Stop the government from buying up unnecessary land.
• Wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
• Reform the Federal Credit Reform Act.
• Revisit flawed financial regulations.
• Repeal the President’s health-care law.
• Move toward patient-centered reform.
• Provide $560.2 billion for defense spending in fiscal year 2014, an amount consistent with America’s military goals and strategies.
Throughout the Tuesday press conference, Ryan challenged Democrats to offer a plan to solve the country’s debt problem.
GOP plan takes aim Obamacare, balances budget in 10 years - AP
House Republicans redoubled their efforts to roll back signature accomplishments of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, offering a slashing budget plan that would repeal new health care subsidies and cut spending across a wide swath of programs dear to Obama and his Democratic allies.

The GOP plan was immediately rejected by the White House as an approach that “just doesn’t add up” and would harm America’s middle class. Obama said the plan would “slash deeply” into programs such as Medicaid.

White House says Obama plan won’t include balanced budget - Vince Coglianese/Daily Caller
Obama delays budget until April, slams Ryan’s plan: White House budget will be two months late - Neil Munro/Daily Caller

Obama’s budget would add almost $1 trillion in debt every two years - Neil Munro/Daily Caller
What Obama said to Senate Democrats in a private meeting today - Alexis Levinson/Daily Caller

“I think he just asked, ‘Can someone please tell me where that $5 trillion in unspecified cuts is coming from?’” Harkin said of Obama’s comments on the Ryan budget.

As conservatives–especially conservative women–we cannot continue to sit on the sidelines and let Obama continue this economic war, even if it is on his main supporters. Birth control aside, we must start economically educating young women if they’re to have a prosperous and financially secure future.

OBAMA’S WAR ON YOUNG WOMEN - Celia Bigelow/The Blaze

Ladies, President Obama may have won the farcical “war” on contraceptives, but he is waging his own war on your pocket books.

During the campaign, President Obama accused Governor Romney and Republicans for wanting to “decide the healthcare choices that women are making” and for “taking away access to birth control,” while conveniently avoiding the real issue: the economy.

But, it worked. He won, and the 66 percent of young women ages 18-29 are feeling the economic consequences of reelecting this President.

President Obama has forced young Americans into what I like to call the “Great Youth Depression.” Only 6 in 10 young Americans are currently employed, half of which are working full-time. Since President Obama took office, average graduating student loan debt is around $28,000, and student loan default rates have reached an all-time high of 13.1 percent.

I guess President Obama’s consolation to unemployment and indebtedness is free birth control. Yippee! You might not have a job, but at least, well you know…

Idaho state House passes measure to prevent enforcement of new federal gun restrictions

If you’re a gun owner living in Idaho, you may have picked the right state to live in. If you’re a gun owner not living in Idaho, maybe you should move there. - Red Alert Politics

The state of Idaho is already one step ahead if the Obama administration successfully passes its gun control proposals.

The Republican-controlled state House just passed legislation that would prohibit state and local police from enforcing any gun control mandates the federal government passes.

The bill passed by a large margin, 55-13, sending it on its way to the state Senate....

Idaho isn’t the only state pushing pro-gun measures. State legislatures in Montana, Wyoming, Texas and Virginia have all sought out legislation to block potential federal gun restrictions. One Georgia town is even considering mandating gun ownership.

Bottom line: all across the country, states are sending President Obama a clear message. We don’t want your federal gun control laws here.

Outdoor Channel Blacklists Colorado Over Gun Control Laws - Godfather Politics

Living in the Southwest for most of my life, I’ve seen just how many people go to Colorado to hunt, fish, ski, hike, camp and sight see. Combined together, these activities generate millions of dollars for businesses as well as the state government.

Yet, the controlling Democrats are willing to lose a large portion of that revenue and place many businesses in jeopardy, just to push Obama’s anti-gun policies. A couple of major businesses are already looking to relocate out of the state because of the recently passed and newly proposed anti-gun laws.

Now, the Outdoor Channel, a very popular cable network for hunters, fishermen and outdoors type people, has notified the Colorado Senate Republican Caucus that they are prepared to pull all of their productions out of the state if the anti-gun laws are passed. Currently, the Outdoor Channel has four cable program series being produced in Colorado, including their most popular program ‘Gun Stories.’

California Seizes Guns as Owners Lose Right to Keep Arms - Bloomberg

Despite Sequestration, Feds Spend $1.5 Million 'to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat'

Gov't Advertises for Nearly 2,600 New Jobs Since Sequestration - Bridget Johnson/PJM
White House Staffers Raking In Big Paychecks Despite Budget Cuts - FOX
Feds Spend $1.5 Million 'to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat' - CNS
$227,000 to study magazine photographs - Washington Times

McClatchy-Marist poll shows Obama tumbling in voters’ eyes

If President Barack Obama had piled up political capital with his impressive re-election, it’s largely gone. - McClatchy

His approval rating has dropped to the lowest level in more than a year, with more voters now turning thumbs down on his performance than thumbs up, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. The measure of how much people like him also has dropped.

He’s still vastly more popular than Congress, particularly congressional Republicans. But in the biggest political clash of the year – over the federal budget and how to curb deficits – voters split 44 percent to 42 percent between preferring Congress or Obama.

At least some of the president’s fall to Earth lies in the fact that voters no longer see him in the context of an election. He has to stand alone in the eyes of voters again and doesn’t benefit from the comparison with Republican rival Mitt Romney.

...Another factor in the president’s decline is anxiety about the economy and the country.

Just 34 percent of voters think the country’s heading in the right direction, while 62 percent think it’s headed the wrong way. That’s also the worst since November 2011.

Indeed, despite gains in jobs and the stock markets, voters think by 62-34 percent that the country is still in a recession. Just 22 percent think they’ll be better off in the coming year, while 41 percent think they’ll be about the same and 36 percent think they’ll be worse off.

Monday, March 11, 2013

South Korea Flirts With Nuclear Ideas as North Blusters

As their country prospered, South Koreans have largely shrugged off the constant threat of a North Korean attack. But breakthroughs in the North’s missile and nuclear programs and fiery threats of war have heightened fears in the South that even small miscalculations by the new and untested leaders of each country could have disastrous consequences. - MARTIN FACKLER and CHOE SANG-HUN/New York Times

Now this new sense of vulnerability is causing some influential South Koreans to break a decades-old taboo by openly calling for the South to develop its own nuclear arsenal, a move that would raise the stakes in what is already one of the world’s most militarized regions.

SPLC Letter To DOJ & DHS: Patriot Groups Pose Domestic Terror Threat

The Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC), an organization that claims to teach tolerance while attacking certain groups and people with whom they disagree, has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging them to investigate alleged domestic terror threats posed by the likes of organizations and individuals such as the Constitution Party, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, columnist Devvy Kidd, the Tyranny Response Team, and Oath Keepers. - Freedom Outpost

These thousands of people and organizations that the SPLC spews its hatred against by declaring them to be those that hate are, for the most part, people who simply are Americans who see a growing tyrannical Federal government and want to halt it in its tracks.

Dr. Benjamin Carson: Media Bullies 'Beat on' Those Who Don't Toe the Line & 'Suppress Freedom of Speech'

Dr. Benjamin Carson didn’t back down from his controversial speech with President Obama in attendance or his follow-up comments that organizers asked for a copy of his speech beforehand. - IJ Review

Dr. Carson’s remarks about people craving someone to speak up are amplified by the phenomenal reaction to Rand Paul’s filibuster on the Senate floor. Senator Paul vowed that the filibuster was ‘just the beginning‘ and it is time for the Congress to reassert its role as a check on the executive branch....

Dr. Carson has proven to be a voice of reason in a political environment that has gone off the rails. His common sense stands out as genius because of the credibility and demeanor of the speaker.

The extreme left and right have been locked in a relationship of mutual fear, vociferous accusation and reciprocation. But one thing is for certain: Americans cannot unite around the divisive and unrealistic charges that anyone who criticizes the president is ‘racist,’ that conservatives are waging a ‘war on women,’ and people who want to work and support themselves are ‘greedy’ and ‘selfish.’

Benjamin Carson’s unifying message of using common sense on many issues has proven to be just what the doctor ordered. One gets the feeling we’re going to be hearing a lot more from the good physician in the future.

Six months later, where are the Benghazi survivors?

Today marks six months since the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. - Sharyl Attkisson/CBS

Some watchdog groups, members of the media and Republican members of Congress are asking: Where are the more than two dozen U.S. personnel who survived the attack but haven't been seen nor heard from in public since? There were also an undisclosed number of witnesses at the U.S. compounds in Tripoli but they also have not spoken publicly.

In a recent press report, Secretary of State John Kerry said he visited one survivor at "Bethesda hospital," and referred to him a "remarkably courageous person who is doing very, very well." Kerry added, "I've called his wife and talked to her." But the identities, condition and testimony of the survivors and witnesses have been closely held from the public.

Timeline: How Benghazi attack, probe unfolded - CBS

Judge Invalidates 'Capricious' NYC Sugary Drink Ban

A judge on Monday invalidated New York City's plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries, one day before the law was to take effect. - CNBC

Justice Milton Tingling of the trial-level state supreme court in Manhattan ruled the new regulation was "arbitrary and capricious'' and declared it invalid. The American Beverage Association and other business groups had sued the city challenging the ban.

Judge Halts Nurse Bloomberg's Soda Ban - Ace of Spades

@gabriel_malor notes that the decision is from the "New York Supreme Court," but remember, New York names its courts oddly; the "Supreme Court" is the lowest-level court. (The highest level court, analagous to the US Supreme Court, is the Court of Appeals.)

Judge Halts New York City Soda Ban - WSJ

The regulations are "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences," the judge wrote. "The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole….the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule."

...Judge Tingling also suggested that Mr. Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him. The City Council, he wrote, is the legislative body "and it alone has the authority to legislate as the board seeks to do here."

NY judge halts Bloomberg sugary soda ban - Michelle Malkin

These Are The Six Groups That Stood Up To Mayor Bloomberg's Soda Ban — And Won - Kim Bhasin/Business Insider

It was six groups of trade associations and a union that united to fight Bloomberg's regulations.
And they won.

(Well, for now. Bloomberg's office has promised to appeal the decision "as soon as possible.)
Many of the groups are — or are backed by — huge, national powerhouses:
◼ New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce — the state's biggest Hispanic business association
◼ The New York Korean-American Grocers Association — non-profit trade association that serves as an information exchange for Korean-American businesses in New York
◼ Soft Drink and Brewery Workers Union, Local 812, International Brotherhood of Teamsters — Teamsters in the beverage industry in NYC
◼ The National Restaurant Association — America's largest foodservice trade association
◼ The National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State — a trade organization that represents the owners of movie theaters; the largest of its kind in the country
◼ The American Beverage Association — a huge trade organization that represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry

The girls of FOX news

The ladies who appear on Fox News are not just beautiful, they’re packing serious brains.

Wisconsin taxpayers really ought to be paying more attention to how their education dollars are spent.

Wis. education officials want students to wear ‘white privilege’ wristbands - EAG News

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction runs several programs that heavily emphasize racial issues in public schools.

Some feel that one of those programs – an Americorps operation called VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) – may go a bit overboard by encouraging white students to wear a white wristband “as a reminder about your (white) privilege.”

The idea of encouraging white kids to wear ‘white privilege’ bracelets to remind them of their so-called ‘white privilege’ is one of the most racist things I’ve seen in a while. Forget about hard work, dedication and ambition. It’s all about skin color. - The Right Scoop

Their website encourages you to 'Find a person of color who is willing to hold you accountable for addressing privilege' - Beyond Diversity Resource Center

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lost in the controversy over the federal government’s use of military drones is an issue that hits home: commercial drones that can videotape you in your backyard.

Why a drone can hover over your home, and you can’t stop it - Yahoo

Under limited circumstances, the FAA has approved the use, starting in 2015, of drones owned and operated by citizens. Some will be used for commercial purposes; others will used for recreational purposes....

The act is mostly focused on air safety issues, but the implications of drones, with photo and infrared cameras, flying over personal air spaces is fraught with privacy issues.

Then there are the implications for commercial drones, news gathering and the First Amendment. Television stations spend millions of dollars on helicopters, which can show live video from a distance. Drones are the fraction of a helicopter’s cost, but they can’t fly as high as a helicopter under normal circumstances.

So what happens if a drone is hovering over your house as journalists gather news? Or what if it is drone owned by a police department? Or a news entertainment show like TMZ?

...Privacy concerns are even more problematic. As any journalist can tell you, the press has a right to photograph or videotape what can be seen from a public location, with some exceptions.

But what point in its flight is a drone above the airspace controlled by a homeowner? And can a drone operator use a thermal imaging camera to video record your house?

The Congressional Research Service rattles off other privacy scenarios: Can homeowners harm a drone if they deem it to be a trespassing threat? What about stalkers, Peeping Toms and wire tappers? Some drones can record sounds from 100 yards away from a source.

Part of the solution to these problems could come from Congress, which can pass laws to better define drone etiquette.

Paul Ryan: Repealing Obamacare Key to Balanced Budget

Ryan believes that he can save $770 billion over 10 years if Obamacare is repealed. - Rick Moran/PJM

America has been on a 40 year binge and getting back to fiscal sanity is going to entail sacrifice. Shrinking government is not going to be easy but there’s really no alternative if we are ever going to balance the budget and begin to address the massive debt we’ve foolishly acquired.

Mr. Paul Goes to Washington

The broadly positive reaction to Paul’s filibuster suggests, to me at least, that many Americans now fall outside the bipartisan Washington consensus that there’s little need for serious congressional scrutiny or debate when it comes to the War on Terror, and are relieved to hear that dissatisfaction echoed on the Senate floor. - Julian Sanchez/

The crucial message we should take from Paul’s marathon oration, then, may be this: If it’s absurd to pose the question that inspired his filibuster, surely it’s far more absurd that we’ve arrived, after a decade of complacency about government secrecy and unfettered executive discretion in the sphere of counterterrorism, at a point where the question would need to be posed.

as his time on the Senate floor went on, Paul went much further. He called into question aspects of the war on terrorism that a typically bellicose Congress rarely questions, and most often defends, often demagogically so. - Spencer Ackerman/Wired

I’m happy today to welcome all the new fans who made #StandWithRand a number one topic on Twitter last night. And let’s hope they all stick around, and keep trying to rein in the president’s authority to incarcerate and even assassinate American citizens on American soil. - David Boaz/