Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama Declares War on Investors, Entrepreneurs, Businesses, And More

"countries that spend more produce less, while nations that tax less produce more."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29434104

Obama Declares War on Investors, Entrepreneurs, Businesses, And More
Posted By: Larry Kudlow Anchor
cnbc.com 27 Feb 2009 04:39 PM ET

Let me be very clear on the economics of President Obama’s State of the Union speech and his budget.

He is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds.

That is the meaning of his anti-growth tax-hike proposals, which make absolutely no sense at all — either for this recession or from the standpoint of expanding our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Raising the marginal tax rate on successful earners, capital, dividends, and all the private funds is a function of Obama’s left-wing social vision, and a repudiation of his economic-recovery statements. Ditto for his sweeping government-planning-and-spending program, which will wind up raising federal outlays as a share of GDP to at least 30 percent, if not more, over the next 10 years.

This is nearly double the government-spending low-point reached during the late 1990s by the Gingrich Congress (I want to point out here that this was a Republican congress run by Newt during Clinton's admin. that reached a government spending low-point) and the Clinton administration. While not quite as high as spending levels in Western Europe (very socialist Western Europe might I add), we regrettably will be gaining on this statist-planning approach.

Study after study over the past several decades has shown how countries that spend more produce less, while nations that tax less produce more. Obama is doing it wrong on both counts.

And as far as middle-class tax cuts are concerned, Obama’s cap-and-trade program will be a huge across-the-board tax increase on blue-collar workers, including unionized workers. (obviously not just the folks making over $75,000K a year) Industrial production is plunging, but new carbon taxes will prevent production from ever recovering. While the country wants more fuel and power, cap-and-trade will deliver less.

The tax hikes will generate lower growth and fewer revenues. Yes, the economy will recover. But Obama’s rosy scenario of 4 percent recovery growth in the out years of his budget is not likely to occur. The combination of easy money from the Fed and below-potential economic growth is a prescription for stagflation. That’s one of the messages of the falling stock market.

Essentially, the Obama economic policies represent a major Democratic party relapse into Great Society social spending and taxing. It is a return to the LBJ/Nixon era, and a move away from the Reagan/Clinton period. House Republicans, fortunately, are 90 days sober, as they are putting up a valiant fight to stop the big-government onslaught and move the GOP back to first principles. (This is why it is important not to blindly stand by a leader who is wrong and to stand against him to do what is right)

Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for “change” — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner.

There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse.

Well then, do conservatives dare say: We told you so? (I will be there to say "I told you so"...but it's not too late to jump off this sinking ship!)

© 2009 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved
URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/29434104/

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama's Plan Will Cost Each American Taxpayer $25,573.48

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123561551065378405.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

The 2% Illusion
Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough.

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."

This is going to be some trick. Even the most basic inspection of the IRS income tax statistics shows that raising taxes on the salaries, dividends and capital gains of those making more than $250,000 can't possibly raise enough revenue to fund Mr. Obama's new spending ambitions.

Consider the IRS data for 2006, the most recent year that such tax data are available and a good year for the economy and "the wealthiest 2%." Roughly 3.8 million filers had adjusted gross incomes above $200,000 in 2006. (That's about 7% of all returns; the data aren't broken down at the $250,000 point.) These people paid about $522 billion in income taxes, or roughly 62% of all federal individual income receipts. The richest 1% -- about 1.65 million filers making above $388,806 -- paid some $408 billion, or 39.9% of all income tax revenues, while earning about 22% of all reported U.S. income.

Note that federal income taxes are already "progressive" with a 35% top marginal rate, and that Mr. Obama is (so far) proposing to raise it only to 39.6%, plus another two percentage points in hidden deduction phase-outs. He'd also raise capital gains and dividend rates, but those both yield far less revenue than the income tax. These combined increases won't come close to raising the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue that Mr. Obama is going to need.

But let's not stop at a 42% top rate; as a thought experiment, let's go all the way. A tax policy that confiscated 100% of the taxable income of everyone in America earning over $500,000 in 2006 would only have given Congress an extra $1.3 trillion in revenue. That's less than half the 2006 federal budget of $2.7 trillion and looks tiny compared to the more than $4 trillion Congress will spend in fiscal 2010. Even taking every taxable "dime" of everyone earning more than $75,000 in 2006 would have barely yielded enough to cover that $4 trillion.

Fast forward to this year (and 2010) when the Wall Street meltdown and recession are going to mean far few taxpayers earning more than $500,000. Profits are plunging, businesses are cutting or eliminating dividends, hedge funds are rolling up, and, most of all, capital nationwide is on strike. Raising taxes now will thus yield far less revenue than it would have in 2006.

Mr. Obama is of course counting on an economic recovery. And he's also assuming along with the new liberal economic consensus that taxes don't matter to growth or job creation. The truth, though, is that they do. Small- and medium-sized businesses are the nation's primary employers, and lower individual tax rates have induced thousands of them to shift from filing under the corporate tax system to the individual system, often as limited liability companies or Subchapter S corporations. The Tax Foundation calculates that merely restoring the higher, Clinton-era tax rates on the top two brackets would hit 45% to 55% of small-business income, depending on how inclusively "small business" is defined. These owners will find a way to declare less taxable income.

The bottom line is that Mr. Obama is selling the country on a 2% illusion. Unwinding the U.S. commitment in Iraq and allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire can't possibly pay for his agenda. Taxes on the not-so-rich will need to rise as well.

On that point, by the way, it's unclear why Mr. Obama thinks his climate-change scheme won't hit all Americans with higher taxes. Selling the right to emit greenhouse gases amounts to a steep new tax on most types of energy and, therefore, on all Americans who use energy. There's a reason that Charlie Rangel's Ways and Means panel, which writes tax law, is holding hearings this week on cap-and-trade regulation.

Mr. Obama is very good at portraying his agenda as nothing more than center-left pragmatism. But pragmatists don't ignore the data. And the reality is that the only way to pay for Mr. Obama's ambitions is to reach ever deeper into the pockets of the American middle class.




http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/toby_harnden/blog/2009/02/26/25_57348__what_barack_obamas_budget_will_cost_each_taxpayer

$25, 573.48 - what Barack Obama's budget will cost each taxpayer

So how much will President Barack Obama's budget cost us? The projected 2010 budget of $3.552 trillion can be found on page 114 of the "New Era of Responsibility" budget here.

The US Census bureau estimates that the current US population is 304,059,724. Dividing the $3.552 trillion by that gives us close to the $11,833 that Drudge came up with. ABC's Jake Tapper reports that there wil be $989 billion in new taxes over the next decade.

I'm an American taxpayer and the starkest figure is what this could cost me. The latest figure I could find for the number of US taxpayers is 138,893,908 returns in 2007 here. By my reckoning, that's $25, 573.48 each.



'09 BUDGET SPENDS $11,833 FOR EVERY AMERICAN...

http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE51O6JA20090226?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&rpc=23&sp=true

Denver archbishop warns against ‘spirit of adulation’ surrounding Obama

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15176

Archbishop Charles Chaput

Toronto, Canada, Feb 23, 2009 / 09:03 pm (CNA).-

Canadians packed St. Basil’s Church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear Archbishop Charles Chaput speak about how Catholics should live out their faith in the public square. He warned that in the U.S., Catholics need to act on their faith and be on guard against "a spirit of adulation bordering on servility" that exists towards the Obama administration.

The public lecture by Archbishop Chaput took place on the campus of the University of Toronto at St. Basil’s Church and was attended by an overflow crowd of more than 700 people.

After giving a sketch of the basic principles in his New York Times Bestseller "Render Unto Caesar," the archbishop offered his insights on the need for an honest assessment of the situation of the Church in the public square.

"I like clarity, and there’s a reason why," began the archbishop. "I think modern life, including life in the Church, suffers from a phony unwillingness to offend that poses as prudence and good manners, but too often turns out to be cowardice. Human beings owe each other respect and appropriate courtesy. But we also owe each other the truth -- which means candor."

The Denver prelate then provided his critique of President Obama.

"President Obama is a man of intelligence and some remarkable gifts. He has a great ability to inspire, as we saw from his very popular visit to Canada just this past week. But whatever his strengths, there’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change. Of course, that can change. Some things really do change when a person reaches the White House. Power ennobles some men. It diminishes others. Bad policy ideas can be improved. Good policy ideas can find a way to flourish. But as Catholics, we at least need to be honest with ourselves and each other about the political facts we start with."

Yet this will be "very hard for Catholics in the United States," Chaput warned.

According to the archbishop, the political situation for Catholics is difficult to discern because a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility already exists among some of the same Democratic-friendly Catholic writers, scholars, editors and activists who once accused pro-lifers of being too cozy with Republicans. It turns out that Caesar is an equal opportunity employer."

Looking ahead to the coming months and years, Chaput offered four "simple things" to remember.

"First," he said, "all political leaders draw their authority from God. We owe no leader any submission or cooperation in the pursuit of grave evil."

"In fact, we have the duty to change bad laws and resist grave evil in our public life, both by our words and our non-violent actions. The truest respect we can show to civil authority is the witness of our Catholic faith and our moral convictions, without excuses or apologies."

In a reference to the messianic treatment the Barack Obama received from some Americans during the presidential primaries, Archbishop Chaput delivered his second point: "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs."

Noting that Obama actually trailed in the weeks just before the election, the Denver archbishop said that this places some of today’s talk about a "new American mandate" in perspective.

"Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion.
That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."

The third point to focus on when the beliefs of Catholics are challenged is that "it doesn’t matter what we claim to believe if we’re unwilling to act on our beliefs," Chaput counseled.

"The fourth and final thing to remember, and there’s no easy way to say it," remarked Archbishop Chaput, is that the "Church in the United States has done a poor job of forming the faith and conscience of Catholics for more than 40 years."

"And now we’re harvesting the results -- in the public square, in our families and in the confusion of our personal lives. I could name many good people and programs that seem to disprove what I just said. But I could name many more that do prove it, and some of them work in Washington."

American Catholics need to realize that many in the current generation haven’t just been "assimilated" into the American culture, but have in fact been "absorbed and bleached and digested by it," Archbishop Chaput asserted.

If this realization doesn’t happen, the coming generations will continue on the same path and "a real Catholic presence in American life will continue to weaken and disappear," said Chaput.

Citing the example of "unhappy, self-described Catholics who complain that abortion is too much of a litmus test," he stated, "We can’t claim to be ‘Catholic’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time without owning the responsibility for where the choice leads – to a dead unborn child."

The archbishop also addressed the "abortion reduction" argument being made by some in politics.

"We can’t talk piously about programs to reduce the abortion body count without also working vigorously to change the laws that make the killing possible. If we’re Catholic, then we believe in the sanctity of developing human life. And if we don’t really believe in the humanity of the unborn child from the moment life begins, then we should stop lying to ourselves and others, and even to God, by claiming we’re something we’re not."

"Catholic social teaching goes well beyond abortion," Chaput noted. "In America we have many urgent issues that beg for our attention, from immigration reform to health care to poverty to homelessness."

Winding his talk down, the Archbishop of Denver remarked on the misunderstanding of the word "hope."

"For Christians," he explained, "hope is a virtue, not an emotional crutch or a political slogan. Virtus, the Latin root of virtue, means strength or courage. Real hope is unsentimental. It has nothing to do with the cheesy optimism of election campaigns. Hope assumes and demands a spine in believers. And that’s why – at least for a Christian -- hope sustains us when the real answer to the problems or hard choices in life is ‘no, we can’t,’ instead of ‘yes, we can.’"

The full text of the archbishop's speech can be found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/document.php?n=790

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

US Active Duty Soldiers Doubts President's Authority, Questions Eligibility

http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=89837

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
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Soldier questions eligibility, doubts president's authority
'As an officer, my sworn oath to support and defend our Constitution requires this'

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By Bob Unruh
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WorldNetDaily

A U.S. soldier on active duty in Iraq has called President Obama an "impostor" in a statement in which he affirmed plans to join as plaintiff in a challenge to Obama's eligibility to be commander in chief.

The statement was publicized by California attorney Orly Taitz who, along with her DefendOurFreedom.us Foundation, is working on a series of legal cases seeking to uncover Obama's birth records and other documents that would reveal whether he meets the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

"As an active-duty officer in the United States Army, I have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the office of president of the United States," wrote Scott Easterling in a "to-whom-it-may-concern" letter.

Obama "has absolutely refused to provide to the American public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility," Easterling wrote. "In fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so."

Taitz told WND she had advised Easterling to obtain legal counsel before making any statements regarding the commander-in-chief, but he insisted on moving forward. His contention is that as an active member of the U.S. military, he is required to follow orders from a sitting president, and he needs – on pain of court-martial – to know that Obama is eligible.

Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 250,000 others and sign up now!

Taitz said other legal cases questioning Obama's eligibility filed by members of the military mostly have included retired officers, and courts several times have ruled they don't have standing to issue their challenge.

Easterling, however, is subject to enemy fire and certainly would have a reason to need to know the legitimacy of his orders, she argued.

"Until Mr. Obama releases a 'vault copy' of his original birth certificate for public review, I will consider him neither my Commander in Chief nor my President, but rather, a usurper to the Office – an impostor," his statement said.

Easterling said he joined the Army at age 40 after working in Iraq as a contractor.

"I chose to work … to support my troops and then left that lucrative position when the Army raised its maximum enlistment age to 40. Upon completion of basic training, I entered Officer Candidate School and commissioned as a 2LT in August 2007. After completing the subsequent basic officer leadership courses, I was assigned to Ft. Knox and shortly thereafter deployed to Balad, Iraq," he wrote.

"I implore all service-members and citizens to contact their senators and representatives and demand that they require Mr. Obama prove his eligibility. Our Constitution and our great nation must not be allowed to be disgraced," he wrote.

Taitz said Easterling is among the plaintiffs she is assembling for a new legal action over Obama's eligibility. Others include a list of state lawmakers who also would be required in their official position to follow orders of the president.

"My conviction is such that I am compelled to join Dr. Orly Taitz's lawsuit, as a plaintiff, against Mr. Obama. As a citizen, it pains me to do this, but as an officer, my sworn oath to support and defend our Constitution requires this action," he said.

Easterling was "saluted" in a forum on Taitz' website.

"Lt. Easterling, As a retired US Army SFC, I salute you sir as a true American patriot and hero! Thank you for your unselfish service to our country. It is rare to find someone today with such moral courage to do the right thing regardless of repercussions," said one contributor.

Said another, "For your voluntary service to our country, we owe you a debt we can never pay."

As WND reported yesterday, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said during a meeting with constituents in Cullman County he has never seen proof the new president was born in Hawaii.

"Well, his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate," Shelby said. "You have to be born in America to be president."

Shelby's office later stated the senator is confident of Obama's vetting process, although it did not elaborate.

WND has reported on multiple legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

Here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama's eligibility:

New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn't properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.

Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat, demanded that the courts verify Obama's original birth certificate and other documents proving his American citizenship. Berg's latest appeal, requesting an injunction to stop the Electoral College from selecting the 44th president, was denied.


Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama's dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.

Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut's secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.

Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes headlines a list of people filing a suit in California, in a case handled by the United States Justice Foundation, that asks the secretary of state to refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office. The case is pending, and lawyers are seeking the public's support.

Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama's vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.


Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama's eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama's citizenship. His case was denied.


In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.


In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama's citizenship. The case was denied.


In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama's birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia's secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.

California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters.
In addition, other cases cited on the RightSideofLife blog as raising questions about Obama's eligibility include:

In Texas, Darrel Hunter vs. Obama later was dismissed.


In Ohio, Gordon Stamper vs. U.S. later was dismissed.


In Texas, Brockhausen vs. Andrade.


In Washington, L. Charles Cohen vs. Obama.


In Hawaii, Keyes vs. Lingle, dismissed.
WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi had gone to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.



http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=89941

2nd U.S. soldier in Iraq challenges eligibility
Says issue could decide if 'we are a Constitutional Republic'

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Posted: February 24, 2009
8:30 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
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WorldNetDaily

Another U.S. soldier on active duty in Iraq is joining a challenge to President Obama's eligibility to be commander-in-chief, citing WND's report on 1st Lt. Scott Easterling, who has agreed to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit over the issue, as his inspiration.

"I was inspired by 1LT Easterling's story and am writing you to inform you that I would like to be added as a plaintiff against Obama as well if you feel it would help your case," said the soldier, identified for this report only as a reservist now on active duty in Iraq.

His letter was directed to California attorney Orly Taitz who, along with her DefendOurFreedom.us Foundation, is working on a series of legal cases seeking to uncover Obama's birth records and other documents that would reveal whether he meets the requirements of the U.S. Constitution.

Easterling, who confirmed separately to WND that he is questioning Obama's authority, wrote to Taitz that, "As an active-duty officer in the United States Army, I have grave concerns about the constitutional eligibility of Barack Hussein Obama to hold the office of president of the United States."

The second soldier wrote, "I am an Army reservist who was activated last August and am currently serving with a military police battalion in Camp Bucca, Iraq. I will be here until at least June 2009."

He continued, "When I enlisted last year I had to show my birth certificate, as well as my driver's license, high school diploma, college transcripts, social security card; I also filled out loads of paperwork to include listing the names, addresses and phone numbers of my family members and had to answer any questions regarding foreign travel.

Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 270,000 others and sign up now!

"I think it is reasonable for Obama to prove his citizenship status thus certifying his eligibility. I too raised my right hand and swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States," he told Taitz. "I believe the case you are filing could very well determine if we are in fact a Constitutional Republic or a nation of mob rule. I would be honored to be a part of your efforts."

Perhaps anticipating a wave of outrage from Obama supporters, he asked that he be given no "unnecessary publicity," although his name eventually would become public when a case is filed.

Taitz told WND she was making contingency plans that could include her travel to Iraq should a military case be brought against the soldiers who are speaking their minds about Obama.

"I told him if there is any prosecution, he can get in touch with me. I would even fly to Iraq and work with the attorney there to provide his defense," she told WND.

She said undoubtedly a part of the defense would be a demand for documentation on Obama's actual qualifications to serve as U.S. president.

WND has reported on multiple legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." While representatives for Obama has called such claims "garbage," the Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."

Some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.

Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

Several of the cases have involved emergency appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court in which justices have declined to hear arguments. According to a report from the Associated Press today, another such case has been rejected. The appeal by Cort Wrotnowski alleged Obama was a British subject at birth and, therefore, ineligible to be president.

There was no comment from the court, the same treatment the justices have given cases brought by several other lawyers, including Philip Berg, Leo Donofrio and Taitz.

WND reported yesterday when Easterling agreed to be a plaintiff in Taitz' case.

Taitz told WND she had advised Easterling to obtain legal counsel before making any statements regarding the commander-in-chief, but he insisted on moving forward. His contention is that as an active member of the U.S. military, he is required to follow orders from a sitting president, and he needs – on pain of court-martial – to know that Obama is eligible.

Taitz said other legal cases questioning Obama's eligibility filed by members of the military mostly have included retired officers, and courts several times have ruled they don't have standing to issue their challenge.

Easterling, however, is subject to enemy fire and certainly would have a reason to need to know the legitimacy of his orders, she argued.

"Until Mr. Obama releases a 'vault copy' of his original birth certificate for public review, I will consider him neither my Commander in Chief nor my President, but rather, a usurper to the Office – an impostor," Easterling's statement said.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

12-year-old steals day with pro-life speech

http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=89135

Teachers threaten disqualification, but girl chooses to speak against abortion
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Posted: February 16, 2009
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Despite facing threats of disqualification, a 12-year-old girl took first place in a speech contest when she eloquently argued for the rights of unborn children – after an offended judge quit.

"What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were going to live or die?" the seventh-grader begins in a video recording of her speech on YouTube. "What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you'd done in the past or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?"

The girl, a student at a Toronto school identified only as "Lia," continued:

"Fellow students and teachers, thousands of children are right now in that very situation. Someone is choosing without even knowing them whether they are going to live or die.

"That someone is their mother. And that choice is abortion."

But what made the 12-year-old choose to speak about abortion?

"It was really a family thing," her mother explained on the blog Moral Outcry. "I saw Lou [Engle] speak at a conference several years ago. I came back to my family with the Life Bands, and we all wore them, made our covenant, and prayed the prayer for abortion to end. … We were invited to participate in a 'Life Tape Siege.' Once my kids heard of this invitation, they all agreed: 'We have to do that!' Since then, Lia's passion for seeing abortion end has continued."

Despite Lia's enthusiasm for her topic, her teacher "strongly encouraged" her to select a different one for her class presentation or she would be considered ineligible for an upcoming speech contest.

"[S]everal teachers discouraged her from picking the topic of abortion; she was told it was 'too big,' 'too mature' and 'too controversial,'" her mother wrote. "She was also told that if she went ahead with that topic, she would not be allowed to continue on in the speech competition."

Lia's mother continued, "Initially, I tried helping her find other topics to speak on, but, in the end, she was adamant. She just felt she wanted to continue with the topic of abortion. So she forfeited her chance to compete in order to speak on something she was passionate about."

Lia's teacher was so impressed by the speech that she allowed her student to advance as the winner. Lia presented her speech to judges in front of her entire school on Feb. 10.

The school principal and teachers called Lia's presentation the "obvious winner" – but the judges suddenly disqualified her the following day "because of the topic and her position on abortion," her mother said.

Lia's father later revealed that the judges had a "big disagreement." One was offended by the speech and voluntarily stepped down while the others reversed their earlier decision – declaring her the winner.

Now Lia plans to take her message of life to a regional speech competition, and more than 130,000 visitors have viewed her presentation online.

"Why do we think that just because a fetus can't talk or do what we do, it isn't a human being yet?" She asks in the video. "Some babies are born after only five months. Is this baby not human?

"We would never say that. Yet abortions are performed on 5-month-old fetuses all the time. Or do we only call them humans if they're wanted?"

She continues, "No, fetuses are definitely humans – knit together in their mother's womb by their wonderful Creator who knows them all by name."

Video can be seen here:

Obama's Pork Bill aka: Stimulus

Today, Obama wrote in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post that if Congress does not pass his "stimulus" package, and do so right away, "Our nation will slip deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse." "Wow," I thought when I read this, "The stimulus bill must contain some really important stuff if it's critical to the survival of our country! I better take a closer look. Maybe the guy is really onto something." So, I did some internet research and here is just some of the massive spending proposed in the bill:

-- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

-- $380 million for the Women, Infants & Children welfare program

-- $300 million in grants to combat violence against women

-- $1.2 billion to provide "youth" with summer jobs

-- $2.4 billion for "neighborhood stabilization" activities

-- $650 million for digital TV coupons A

-- $150 million for the Smithsonian

-- $34 million to renovate the Dept. of Commerce headquarters

-- $500 million for improvements to the National Institute of Health facility

-- $44 million for repairs to the Dept. of Agriculture's headquarters

-- $350 million for agriculture department computers

-- $88 million to move (that's right, move) the Public Health Service into a new building.

-- $1 billion for the Census Bureau

-- $89 billion for Medicaid

-- $30 billion for COBRA extensions

-- $36 billion for expanded unemployment

-- $20 billion for food stamps

-- $850 million for Amtrak

-- $87 million for a "polar ice breaking ship" (What about the ice caps melting because of global warming?)

--$1.7 million for the National Park Service

-- $55 million for the Historic Preservation Fund

-- $7.6 million for the Rural Advancement Program

-- $150 million for "agricultural commodity purchases"

-- $150 million for producers of livestock, farm-raised fish and honey bees

-- $160 million for paid volunteers (what is a "paid volunteer"?) at the Corporation for National and Community Service

Are we really to believe Obama that we may not be able to reverse our country's slide if he and Congress are prevented from ramming all this pork down our throats? And, by the way, what happened to Obama's pledge to end pork barrel spending?

Another interesting tidbit: Obama said that one of the reasons Congress must pass the stimulus bill, and must pass it NOW, is to end our dependence on foreign oil. What is astonishing is that he made this proclamation about energy independence less than 24 hours after his new interior secretary canceled the oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of federal land.

We are only two months into this guy's term and already he and his party are out of control.

Obama Expected to Regulate Carbon Dioxide?








"...under the clean air law any source emitting more than 250 tons of a declared pollutant would be subject to regulation, potentially including schools, hospitals, shopping centers, even bakeries, which has prompted some critics to call it the "Dunkin' Donuts rule." But Bookbinder and other supporters say the regulations can be written to exempt these potential emitters." ...Hypocrites...so they are saying that the future of this planet lies in reducing CO2 but they only favor enacting laws against CO2 emisions on certain companies (that are convenient for them).

http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/19/healthscience/19epa.php

EPA expected to act in regulating carbon dioxide

By John M. Broder

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WASHINGTON: The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials.

The decision, which most likely would play out in stages over a period of months, would have a profound impact on transportation, manufacturing costs and how utilities generate power. It could accelerate the progress of energy and climate change legislation in Congress and form a basis for the United States' negotiating position at United Nations climate talks set for December in Copenhagen.

The environmental agency is under order from the Supreme Court to make a determination whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant that endangers public health and welfare, an order that the Bush administration essentially ignored despite near-unanimous belief among agency experts that research points inexorably to such a finding.

Lisa Jackson, the new EPA administrator, said in an interview that she had asked her staff to review the latest scientific evidence and prepare the documentation for a so-called endangerment finding. Jackson said she had not decided to issue such a finding but she pointedly noted that the second anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Massachusetts v. EPA, is April 2, and there is the wide expectation that she will act by then.

"We here know how momentous that decision could be," Jackson said. "We have to lay out a road map."

She took a first step on Tuesday when she said that the agency would reconsider a Bush administration decision not to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-burning power plants. In announcing the reversal, Jackson suggested that the EPA was considering additional measures to regulate heat-trapping gases. The White House signaled that it fully supported Jackson's approach, deferring to her to discuss the administration's response to the Supreme Court case.

Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman, also pointed to statements on the subject during the presidential campaign by Heather Zichal, a top adviser on environmental and energy issues.

Zichal, who is now deputy to Carol Browner, the White House coordinator for climate and energy policy, said last fall that the Bush White House had prevented the EPA from making the endangerment finding "consistent with its obligations under the recent Supreme Court decision." She also said that while Obama supported congressional action on climate change, he was also committed to using the regulatory authority of the executive branch to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.

LaBolt said the White House would not interfere with the agency's decision-making process.

If the environmental agency determines that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant to be regulated under the Clean Air Act, it would set off one of the most extensive regulatory rule makings in history. Jackson knows that she would be stepping into a minefield of congressional and industry opposition and said that she was trying to devise a program that allayed these worries.

"We are poised to be specific on what we regulate and on what schedule," Jackson said. "We don't want people to spin that into a doomsday scenario."

Even some who favor an aggressive approach to climate change said they were wary of the agency's asserting exclusive authority over carbon emissions. They say that the Clean Air Act, now more than 40 years old, was not designed to regulate ubiquitous substances like carbon dioxide. Using the law, they say, would capture carbon emissions from new facilities, but not existing ones, blunting its impact. They also believe that a broader approach that addresses all sectors of the economy and that is fully debated in Congress would be better than a regulatory approach that could drag through the courts for years.

The finding and proposed regulations would be issued in sequence, with ample opportunity for public comment and not in a sudden burst of regulatory muscle-flexing, Jackson said. The regulations would work in concert with any legislation and not supplant it, she added.

"What we are likely to see is an interplay of authorities, some new, some existing," she said.

That is not likely to assuage critics, including many Democrats from states dependent on coal-generated electricity and manufacturing jobs, where such regulation could significantly increase costs. Representative John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who has long championed the interests of the auto industry, said that the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions by the EPA would set off a "glorious mess" that would resonate throughout the economy.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, warned Jackson during her January confirmation hearing that she should not undercut Congress's authority by using the agency's regulatory power to address global warming. Barrasso called the use of the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon "a disaster waiting to happen."

Many environmental advocates, however, said the EPA's action was long overdue, but added that it was only as a stopgap until Congress passed comprehensive climate change legislation.

"It's politically necessary, scientifically necessary and legally necessary," said David Bookbinder, chief climate counsel at the Sierra Club, a plaintiff in the Supreme Court case.

But, Bookbinder added, congressional action is preferable to the agency's acting on its own. "We are loudly advocating for tailor-made legislation as the best means of addressing carbon emissions," he said. "Trying to address climate change via a series of rule makings from EPA is a distant second best."

As Jackson navigates the complexities of carbon regulation, she will be advised by Lisa Heinzerling, a former law professor at Georgetown who wrote the winning Supreme Court briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA. Heinzerling is now the agency's lead attorney for global warming matters.

Jeffrey Holmstead, the former head of the agency's office of air and radiation, said that a finding of endangerment from emissions of heat-trapping gases did not initiate immediate regulation but started a clock ticking on a process that typically took 18 months to two years.

"Potentially, it's a huge mess, not only for EPA but for state regulatory agencies, because the Clean Air Act is second only to the Internal Revenue Code in terms of complexity," said Holmstead, now director of environmental strategies at the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani.

He said that under the clean air law any source emitting more than 250 tons of a declared pollutant would be subject to regulation, potentially including schools, hospitals, shopping centers, even bakeries, which has prompted some critics to call it the "Dunkin' Donuts rule."

But Bookbinder and other supporters say the regulations can be written to exempt these potential emitters. Jackson said that there was no timetable for issuing regulations governing carbon emissions and that her agency would not engage in "rash decision making."

But she also said that the Supreme Court decision obliged her to act.

"It places EPA square in the center of the discussion on climate and energy," Jackson said. "People are waiting."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Castro, Hussein...Welcome Chavez!!!

Remember...the "Bolivarian Revolution" that Chavez publicly speaks of refers to Simon Bolivar and Chavez's "Napolean-esque vision" in which the South American countries are united under him in one large superpower. This was one of my election day predictions. http://visionsfromthehorizon.blogspot.com/2008/11/and-wait-is-on.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5747992.ece

February 17, 2009

Emboldened Hugo Chávez to speed up his Bolivarian Revolution

An emboldened Hugo Chávez vowed to speed up “the construction of true socialism” in Venezuela after winning the right to stand for reelection indefinitely – a measure that opponents say puts the country on the path to dictatorship.

The President told ecstatic supporters that his decisive victory in a referendum on removing term limits had smashed the barriers to a permanent socialist revolution in Venezuela, one of the world’s largest oil producers.

To chants of “Chávez will not go” from a crowd gathered outside Miraflores Palace in Caracas, the President vowed to stand in the next elections in 2013 and beyond. “Unless God decides otherwise, unless the people decide otherwise, this soldier is already a candidate,” Mr Chávez declared.

The President has said that he needs to stay in power until at least 2019 to complete his Bolivarian Revolution, a process whereby the State has taken control of the country’s vast oil wealth, expropriated private land-holdings and businesses and instituted a programme of social reforms. First elected in 1998, he has on occasions suggested that he might hold on to power until 2049, when he will be 95.

The prospect is relished among his most fervent supporters. “Chávez has changed Venezuela from the sky right down to the earth,” said MarÍa Moreira, 48, an administrative assistant voting in 23 de Enero, a poor Caracas barrio and Chavista stronghold.

“Now there are opportunities for all, from the richest to the most deprived. Before there were children who didn’t eat, now they have food, they have schools, they have hospitals. The people love him. We cannot go back.”

Triumphant supporters on motorcycles filled Plaza Altamira, the heart of Caracas’s most affluent neighbourhoods and the symbolic stronghold of the Opposition. Dressed in red, they tore around the square in victory loops, beeping horns and setting off fireworks until the early hours.

Analysts said that his triumph in Sunday’s vote would lend a new impetus to Mr Chávez’s socialist project. The victory of the “yes” campaign, by 54.4 to 45.6 per cent with a 70 per cent turnout, “returns a sense of strength and invulnerability to Chávez” after his difficulties in November’s municipal elections, said Luis Vicente León, of the Datanalisis polling company.

After a brief respite of a “week of love” proclaimed by the victorious President, sweeping reforms are expected as he seeks to capitalise on his renewed popularity. Before the vote he promised to nationalise some goldmining concessions now held by foreign companies, while ministers have hinted at more land expropriations for the purposes of food production to wean Venezuela off expensive imports.

“We are going to see Chávez taking advantage of this to do radical things very quickly,” said Mr León. He predicted that Mr Chávez would launch an assault on the private sector, saying: “I think they are going to try and control the food industry, the financial and insurance sectors.”

Opposition leaders went farther, warning that the charismatic populist, who already holds sway over the courts, the electoral council and the National Assembly, was now virtually unstoppable. Last night they claimed that Mr Chávez’s use of state resources to mobilise supporters, and the pressure on two million public employees to vote with the Government, had skewed the results.

Others blamed a weak campaign by a fractured opposition coalition. Oscar Reyes, a political scientist who advises the Opposition, said that it had to construct a detailed and creative platform to counter Mr Chávez. “For Venezuelans, simply saying, ‘Chávez go away’ is not enough.”

However, Mr Chávez faces worsening economic problems. Plunging oil prices have thrown the PDVSA state oil company into crisis, with 5,000 workers currently going unpaid, and could jeopardise the social projects that have helped to maintain his support among Venezuela’s poor.

“His strategy has been to bet on high oil prices and that’s not working anymore,” said José Guerra, an economist and former central bank director who is critical of the Government.

Chávezisms

On George W. Bush at the UN “Yesterday the Devil came here. Right here [crosses himself] . . . Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the President of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the Devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world”

On Condoleezza Rice “Remember, little girl, I’m like the thorn tree that flowers on the plain. I waft my scent to passers-by and prick he who shakes me. Don’t mess with me, Condoleezza”

On Tony Blair “You are an imperialist pawn who attempts to curry favour with Danger Bush-Hitler, the No 1 mass murderer and assassin there is on the planet. Go straight to Hell, Mr Blair”

On Robert Mugabe “I give you a replica of liberator Simón BolÍvar’s sword . . . For you who, like BolÍvar, are and will always be a true freedom fighter [who] continues, alongside his people, to confront the pretensions of new imperialists”

On Bush, again “You are a donkey, Mr Danger. You are a donkey, Mr George W. Bush . . . A psychologically sick man, I know it”

Source: Times database

Monday, February 16, 2009

Former astronaut speaks out on global warming

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/national/general/view/2009_02_15_Former_astronaut_speaks_out_on_global_warming/srvc=home&position=recent

By Associated Press Sunday, February 15, 2009 http://www.bostonherald.com Around the Nation

SANTA FE, N.M. - Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.

"I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect," said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.

Schmitt contends that scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.

"They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said.

Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.

Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the "global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."

Williams said Heartland is skeptical about the crisis that people are proclaiming in global warming.

"Not that the planet hasn’t warmed. We know it has or we’d all still be in the Ice Age," he said. "But it has not reached a crisis proportion and, even among us skeptics, there’s disagreement about how much man has been responsible for that warming."

Schmitt said historical documents indicate average temperatures have risen by 1 degree per century since around 1400 A.D., and the rise in carbon dioxide is because of the temperature rise.

Schmitt also said geological evidence indicates changes in sea level have been going on for thousands of years. He said smaller changes are related to changes in the elevation of land masses — for example, the Great Lakes are rising because the earth’s crust is rebounding from being depressed by glaciers.

Schmitt, who grew up in Silver City and now lives in Albuquerque, has a science degree from the California Institute of Technology. He also studied geology at the University of Oslo in Norway and took a doctorate in geology from Harvard University in 1964.

In 1972, he was one of the last men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

Schmitt said he’s heartened that the upcoming conference is made up of scientists who haven’t been manipulated by politics.

Of the global warming debate, he said: "It’s one of the few times you’ve seen a sizable portion of scientists who ought to be objective take a political position and it’s coloring their objectivity."

___

Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama Undoing Clinton's Biggest Achievement

With the exception of his passage of the policy of regime change in Iraq, "Workfare" may be Clinton's biggest success. I've never been a Clinton fan but he has Republicans and Democrats on board with this one. Now...with one bill, Obama has erased an entire 2 terms of Clinton's work and success. Read on...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5733499.ece

February 15, 2009
Obama warned over ‘welfare spendathon’
The new administration's economic stimulus plan may undo reforms that cut the dole queues, critics say


RONALD REAGAN started it, Bill Clinton finished it and last week Barack Obama was accused of engineering its destruction. One of the few undisputed triumphs of American government of the past 20 years – the sweeping welfare reform programme that sent millions of dole claimants back to work – has been plunged into jeopardy by billions of dollars in state handouts included in the president’s controversial economic stimulus package.

As Obama celebrated Valentine’s Day yesterday with a return to his Chicago home for a private weekend with family and friends, his success in piloting a $785 billion (£546 billion) stimulus package through Congress was being overshadowed by warnings that an unprecedented increase in welfare spending would undermine two decades of bipartisan attempts to reduce dependency on government handouts.

Robert Rector, a prominent welfare researcher who was one of the architects of Clinton's 1996 reform bill, warned last week that Obama’s stimulus plan was a “welfare spendathon” that would amount to the largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history.

Douglas Besharov, author of a big study on welfare reform, said the stimulus bill passed by Congress and the Senate in separate votes on Friday would “unravel” most of the 1996 reforms that led to a 65% reduction in welfare caseloads and prompted the British and several other governments to consider similar measures.

Though some researchers have questioned the true impact of Clinton’s “workfare” reforms, they were wildly popular with millions of US taxpayers tired of subsidising what many saw as a generation of slackers.

Despite dire warnings that reduced benefits for single mothers and deadlines on entitlement would create a social calamity – one liberal senator warned at the time that children would be “sleeping on grates” – the 1996 reforms cut welfare rolls from more than 5m families in 1995 to below 2m a decade later without a discernible increase in hardship.

In the American political lexicon, welfare has since become a dirty word – often referred to as the W word – and nothing arouses US tabloid ire more than the hint that taxpayers’ money is being wasted.

When it emerged that Nadya Suleman, the mother of octuplets born in Los Angeles last month, was a “single mom” with six children already and was relying on welfare assistance, she was transformed overnight from fertility goddess to the target of death threats.

Obama argued last week that his bill was essential for reviving the US economy and protecting victims of the credit crunch. Yet his Republican rivals have seized on the billions lavished on new welfare spending to stir the conservative faithful from their postelection misery and reunite the opposition.

“If you like government dependence, you will love the plan they are jamming through Congress,” declared Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Rector, a senior scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation, argued that Obama’s spending proposals in effect encouraged individual states to add more families to their welfare rolls; the more Americans sign on to the dole, the more state budgets will benefit from US Treasury payouts.

“They have completely overturned the fiscal and policy foundations of welfare reform,” Rector complained.

Supporters of the bill argue that the current crisis is so grave that intellectual quibbling about the nature of welfare has to take second place to the upheaval transforming millions of American lives.

“How can you tell someone who has lost his income to look for another job if there aren't any more jobs?” asked one Obama backer.

While some scholars are beginning to suspect that Clinton’s welfare reforms were fatally flawed – or at least viable only during an economic boom – Republicans are not alone in fearing that Obama’s hastily concocted package is the first step towards the creation of a quasi-socialist welfare state.

Even Mickey Kaus, a prominent liberal blogger, has denounced what he describes as the “get more people on welfare” provisions of Obama’s bill. Writing at Slate, the political website, Kaus said: “Lack of jobs isn’t a reason to loosen work requirements . . . Have the Dems never heard of ‘workfare’?

“Give recipients useful community service work, and if they do the work, then they get the [welfare] cash.”

Returning to Chicago for the first time since his inauguration last month, there were other pressing matters on Obama’s mind – not to mention the minds of millions of Americans still enthralled by his every move. Where would he take his wife Michelle for a romantic Valentine’s dinner? How much time would he spend in the gym? Would he fit in a game of basketball?

Opinion polls last week showed that for all his administration’s errors in his first three weeks in office, the new president has lost little of his personal appeal. He continues to enjoy an average 64% approval rating.

Yet after another fracas over the withdrawal of the Republican senator Judd Gregg as Obama’s choice for commerce secretary – the second time a nominee has given up the post – Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was obliged to insist that it was not “amateur hour” at the White House.

Obama also stumbled over a curious claim that his stimulus plan would enable Caterpillar, one of America’s leading manufacturers of heavy earth-moving equipment, to start rehiring workers. He was promptly contradicted by the company’s chief executive, who said he had no such intention and was planning more lay-offs.

The dangers are beginning to pile up for the novice president and his struggling economic crew. Tim Geithner, his treasury secretary, tripped up with opaque attempts to explain how the administration would fix the banking crisis, while from every corner of the country there were alarming indications that increased government intervention in the lives of ordinary Americans could prove an invitation to waste.

In Wisconsin, the state that forged a pioneering path in welfare reforms in the 1990s, residents were astonished by a newspaper investigation that disclosed that a $340m (£236m) programme offering taxpayer-financed child care to low-income working parents was riddled with fraud and expensive loopholes.

In one case, a family of four sisters who had 17 children between them put all of them together, took it in turns to babysit them and over the past three years claimed $540,000 (£374,000) in perfectly legal state childcare subsidies.

Examples like that fuel American suspicion that so-called “big government” invariably turns out to be inefficient, expensive and easily exploitable. And there has been no bigger government action in the US than the stimulus package presented by Obama.

Few dispute the need for some kind of stimulus, but has Obama got the details right? The Republicans do not think so and, led by Gregg, they are already shunning the president’s bipartisan overtures.

Perhaps more worrying for the president is that some of his natural liberal supporters are not feeling all that confident either. In a telling commentary last week, Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel prize-winning economist, declared that Obama’s stimulus victory “feels more than a bit like defeat”.

Krugman added: “I’ve got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach – a feeling that America just isn’t rising to the greatest economic challenge in 70 years.”

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Democratic Socialist Party Of America

A Page From History

Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 to December 19, 1968) was a
leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential
candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

The Socialist Party candidate for President of the U.S., Norman
Thomas, said this in a 1944 speech:

"The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under
the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the
socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation,
without knowing how it happened."

He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a Presidential
Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our
platform." .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Republicans Shut Out of Stimulus Conference Negotiations

Another One of Obama's Promises of Change He Is Reneging On!

I told all of my Obama supporting friends not to believe a word out of this fools mouth. That politicians always say what they want (because they can) and only a fool believes them. To look at what they do, not what they say. I reminded them that when he spoke of working together and crossing party lines that he was full of it and that his record (the single most liberal voting record in the Senate) was proof. They didn't listen to me and now it is I who gets to throw the "I told you so" in their faces! So HA! (I'm laughing now because once this great nation finishes crumbling to its knees beneath the weight of Obama's Iron Fist...even I won't be able to laugh any longer.) There will no longer be a light at the end of the tunnel for this once great nation.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=30667&s=rcmp

by Connie Hair (more by this author)
Posted 02/11/2009 ET
Updated 02/11/2009 ET

Republicans have caught the Democrats in a midnight “stimulus” power play that seeks to cut Republican conferees out of the House-Senate negotiations to resolve a final version of the Obama “stimulus” package. Staff members from the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met last night to put together the “stimulus” conference report.

They intend to attempt to shove this $1.3 trillion spending bill through in the dead of the night without Republican input so floor action can take place in both chambers on Thursday.

I spoke with House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) moments ago about this latest version of Democratic “bipartisanship.” Pence told me, “I think the American people deserve to know that legislation that would comprise an amount equal to the entire discretionary budget of the United States of America is being crafted without a single House Republican in the room.”

Some Republicans reportedly were in the late-night conference. But -- at least from the Senate -- the official Republican conferees were excluded. HUMAN EVENTS has received e-mail confirmations from the staffs of both Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.) saying that they had no participation in the conference.

Today, the House-Senate deal was announced in a press conference held by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid especially praised Susan Collins for her tireless work in developing the $789 billion deal.

UPDATED: The deal was Snowe's and Collins's, according to a Senate source. Sen. Specter, who had been in Harry Reid's office for an earlier meeting on the compromise, left at about 7 p.m. At 8:45 p.m., there was another meeting at which Sens. Snowe and Collins were the only Republicans present. They made the deal, and Specter signed on to it later. He had given an indication of the deal earlier that evening in an MSNBC interview.

No House Republicans were at either meeting.

More of Obama's false campaign promises (aka: LIES) can be found at: http://visionsfromthehorizon.blogspot.com/2009/02/change-anyone-obama-made-promises-he.html

Change Anyone?! (Obama Made Promises He Isn't Keeping)

"In this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result." - Barack Obama 2008

Leon Panetta - Obama's Director of CIA (Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton)
Rahm Emanuel - Obama's Chief of staff - (Senior Advisor under Bill Clinton)
Robert Reich - Obama's Economic Advisor - (Sec. of Labor under Bill Clinton)
Eric Holder - Obama's pick for Attorney General - (Deputy Att. General under Bill Clinton)
Carol Browner - Obama's Energy and Climate Change Advisor - (Director of EPA under Bill Clinton)
Susan Rice - Obama's Foreign Policy Advisor and US Ambassador to the UN - (Asst. Sec. of State under Bill Clinton)
The only new face - Obama's Secretary of State...Hillary Clinton!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Bill Largest Pork Barrel Bill In US History!

I thought you all might remember how well ACORN did in registering dems in all of our neighborhoods and see how Obama is rewarding them with more than Four Billion of our tax dollars.

The U. S. Senate has not yet voted on this bill, and a number of additional "pork" (more spending) items are being added to it. As a result, the House of Representatives will have to vote on the bill again!

HR 1 is the largest pork barrel bill in the history of our great country. President Obama claims that we can spend our way out of debt! It's never worked before, and it won't work this time!

Here's what your taxes will be paying for if this bill passes:

There's billions for the radical environmentalists' agenda:

* $20 million "for the removal of small- to medium-sized fish passage barriers"
* $70 million to "Support Supercomputing Activities" for climate research
* $10 million for biking and walking trails
* $200 million for plug-in car stations
* $400 million for NASA to conduct research on climate change
* $600 million for diesel emission reduction
* $650 million for "alternative energy technologies, energy efficiency enhancements and deferred maintenance at Federal facilities"
* $1.5 billion to build "green schools"
* $2.4 billion for "carbon capture demonstration projects"— WHATEVER THAT MEANS!

There's billions for federal bureaucrats:

* $600 million to buy new cars for government workers— THIS IS ON TOP OF THE $3 BILLION PER YEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY SPENDS ON ITS FLEET OF VEHICLES.
* $150 billion to more than double the budget of the U. S. Department of Education— THIS MEANS MORE FEDERAL CON TROL OF OUR CHILDREN AND OUR LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS
* $34 million to remodel the Department of Commerce HQ
* $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts— REMEMBER HOW WE THE TAXPAYERS HAVE PAID FOR A PAINTING OF CHRIST IN A VAT OF URINE, AND FOR SEXUAL ORGANS PAINTED TO LOOK LIKE HUMAN FACES?
* $54 million for federal programs that our government has criticized as "ineffective" or that cannot pass basic financial audits—PAYING TO CONTINUE PROGRAMS THAT DON'T WORK!
* $462 million for equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities at the Center for Disease Control
* $1 billion for follow-up to the 2010 Census
* $1 billion for AMTRAK

There's billions in political payoffs:

* $246 million for Hollywood -- MOVIE MOGULS RAISED MILLIONS FOR THE OBAMA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
* $83 billion for tax credits for people who don't pay taxes
* $4.19 billion to ACORN, THE OBAMA SUPPORT GROUP THAT IS

Economic Crisis Planned & Controlled?!

http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2009/02/08/congress_spooke.html

Was anyone else suspicious back in 9-08 about the perfect timing of the economy tanking? Who was withdrawing this tremendous amount of $? George Soros? Wasn't BO trailing in the polls back in 9-08? Remember...Paul Kanjorski is a Dem. Could one party really ruin millions of American people for power?

February 8, 2009

Congress Spooked in September By Massive Financial System Run Underway?

Everyone remembers that Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke went into a closed session in Congress in mid-September of 2008 and scared the crap out of the assembled politicians. According to a (very rough) transcript of a semi-coherent Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) on C-Span, here is what Paulson and Bernanke said:

It was about September 15th [sic]. … On Thursday at about 11 o’clock in the morning the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of, uh, money market accounts in the United States to the tune of $550-billion was being drawn out in in a matter of an hour or two.

The Treasury opened up its window to help, and pumped in $105-billion into the system, and quickly realized it could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close down the operation, to close down the money accounts. … If they had not done that, in their estimation, by 2 PM that afternoon $5.5-trillion would have been withdrawn and would have collapsed the U.S. economy and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.

We talked at that time about what would have happened. It would have been the end of our economic and our political system as we know it.

More here. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ca2_1234032281 As I said at the outset, this only seems semi-coherent to me, but undoubtedly this is a semblance of what was described.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pres. Obama Invites Hamas Terrorists to America

http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/p_williams/2009/02072009.htm

By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza.

The "presidential determination" which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States was signed on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.

President Obama's decision, according to the Register, was necessitated by "the urgent refugee and migration needs" of the "victims."

Few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Catching Wild Pigs‏

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at th e professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have" -- Thomas Jefferson

Obama's Education Stimulus

I agree that if we are to boost the spending of our tax dollars anywhere, EDUCATION is the place to do it. I'm even okay with boosting it by the amounts proposed AND THEN SOME! In the long run it will solve what I believe is the source of many costly social problems. We can provide a future for our youth instead of providing welfare, prisons, criminal justice, rehabilitation, etc. How we spend this money is important though. I agree that our current lack of competition is the root of the problem and it isn't addressed here. See below for some key suggestions to fix this problem.

The bottom line is that more than $147 billion in federal "education stimulus" will prolong the dysfunctional qualities of the United States education system. It is one of the most expensive and most mediocre K-12 systems in the world. Throwing more money at public schools without addressing the problems inherent in the system - lack of accountability and lack of competition - will simply drive up education costs with little to show for the money.

The best outcome would be to avoid a federal education bailout altogether. However, if an education stimulus is inevitable, it should at least demand some concessions from the education establishment before doling out $120 billion.

Here are a few suggestions:

Only give money to school districts whose labor unions agree to "flat contracts" that offer flexible employee practices such as firing for "just cause" and are willing to suspend seniority and tenure in exchange for merit-pay.

Only give money to school districts that will report transparent budget numbers at the "school level" so parents and taxpayers can see how much money a school spends on education in real dollars and not district averages. It is important to know how much money is siphoned off at district offices and for administrative costs - and how much money actually makes it into the classroom.

Prioritize money for, or give incentives to, districts that attach per-pupil funding to the backs of children, letting parents choose the public school (or dare I say charter or private school) that best suits their child.

If the government is going to give the money away anyway, it might as well empower parents and teachers rather than the status quo, which is failing miserably.

http://reason.org/commentaries/snell_20090127.shtml

Huge Stimulus Plan Won't Change the Education System's Status Quo
Throwing money at failing schools won't boost test scores or graduation rates
By Lisa Snell

Get ready for the largest transfer of funds from the federal government to local schools in history.

Democrats in Congress are proposing a new infusion of federal cash for public schools through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In the House version of the stimulus package released on January 15, Democrats suggest allocating $120 billion for K-12 education, almost $22 billion for higher education and close to $5 billion for early education. It includes a $79 billion block grant for states to help stabilize state and local education budgets, $26 billion in new money for existing Title I and special education programs, $1 billion for technology to provide "21st Century Schools," and a new $20 billion school construction program. All this money will be in addition to the approximately $60 billion a year in taxpayer money that the federal government already spends on education in the United States.

The stimulus package will spend more than double the current total federal education budget, bringing federal funding of education to well over $200 billion. Unfortunately, this huge expansion is unlikely to spur improvements in public education and will continue to encourage states and local districts to spend money with little regard to student outcomes.

In the last 30 years, the United States has doubled per-pupil spending in real dollars. We spend more money on education for K-12 than most other industrialized countries. According to the OECD's 2008 Education at a Glance, the United States ranks number one in all education spending and well above the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average for K-12 education. Yet, outcomes for students at the end of their public education career have not kept pace with these large-scale investments. The average reading and math scores for 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the nation's benchmark for student achievement, are no better today than they were in 1971; SAT verbal scores show a decline (from 530 in 1972 to 504 today); and SAT math scores have been essentially flat (from 509 in 1972 to 515 today). U.S. graduation rates were 78 percent in 1972 and are 74 percent today; and U.S. 15-year-olds score below the international average on science and math literacy when compared with 30 OECD countries - American kids rank behind students from Poland, Hungary, and France to name a few.

The biggest chunk of this new education stimulus will be a block grant to cover operational costs for local school districts. The federal government will direct large amounts of aid to states struggling with huge budget deficits aggravated by the economic downturn. For example, New York Gov. David Paterson is counting on $6.4 billion in help for teacher salaries and other operating expenses over the next two years if the education block grant is part of the final economic stimulus package.

As a House Democratic leadership aide told Politico,"When the recession ends, you are still going to need teachers, firemen, policemen, and the question is do we step in now or pay more to rebuild later."

Public schools suffer from some of the same problems as the auto industry. In Detroit, the financial meltdown is partially caused by union contracts that make promises to employees that are impossible to fulfill and also remain economically viable. In schools, automatic pay raises and teacher tenure mean that school districts have very limited flexibility in hiring and firing and prohibit them from negotiating pay-cuts that reflect the country's current economic conditions.

School districts have also continued to hire more teachers as enrollments have declined. The National Center for Education Statistics puts the current average teacher-student ratio at 1 to 15. There is little evidence that class-size is correlated with student outcomes, yet districts continue to favor small class size as school reform.

This stimulus plan would also prolong the practice of generous defined-benefit retirement plans, which guarantee teachers specific retirement payments despite school districts ever-increasing unfunded pension liabilities.

School Construction

The stimulus package put forth by House Democrats proposes to spend $20 billion on school construction. But there is no indication new school construction cash will do anything to make the process more efficient or cost-effective. School construction projects are notoriously behind schedule, over budget and more expensive than other types of construction projects.

Dr. Jay Greene, an education researcher at the University of Arkansas, has noted that building schools costs much more than other types of construction. According to the 34th Annual Official Education Construction Report, the median new school built in 2007 cost $188 per square foot for elementary schools; $211 per square foot for middle schools; and $175 per square foot for high schools. By comparison, the median cost per square foot to build a three-story factory in 2007 ranged from $83 in Winston-Salem to $136 in New York City, with most major metro areas hovering around $100 per square foot.

These stimulus plans contain no incentives for schools to cut costs or reform the school construction bureaucracy by using innovative practices such as public-private partnerships to more efficiently build new schools.

Internet Access

President Barack Obama announced in a recent radio address that his administration would seek to expand broadband access in schools. The House stimulus package contains $1 billion for technology programs and $6 billion to bring broadband access to underserved communities that may include schools. Before moving into the White House, Mr. Obama said, "Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm president - because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world."

But that's close to being accomplished. The 2007 report "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2005" that in the fall of 2005 nearly 100 percent of public schools in the United States had access to the Internet. In 2005, 97 percent of public schools had high-speed broadband, with a ratio of 3.8 students per 1 computer with Internet access.

Billions have already been spent through the federal "E-Rate" program to give students Internet access. Like most large-scale government giveaways, the federal E-rate program, which collects $2.5 billion a year in telephone taxes to hook up schools and libraries to the Internet, has produced a huge amount of waste.

Puerto Rico has spent $101 million in federal grants to wire 1,500 public schools for Internet access. Yet the island-wide school district warehoused most of the equipment for more than three years, and only nine schools were actually connected to the Internet. The Chicago public schools have more than $5 million in E-rate computer equipment sitting in a warehouse. In San Francisco, school officials discovered that a $68 million project should have cost less than $18 million.

A huge new federal investment in broadband technology will likely do little to expand broadband access while opening up the potential for even more waste and incompetence. More money for Internet access is a duplicative funding stream to solve a non-problem.

Early Education

The House version of the education stimulus package includes $2.1 billion for Head Start, the federal preschool program for poor children, and $2 billion for additional child care grants. But how will students be helped or what will taxpayers get for the money?

Consider Oklahoma, a state that has spent millions implementing universal preschool. Oklahoma's fourth-grade NAEP reading score in 1998, when it adopted universal preschool, was 219-six points above the national average. Last year, it had dropped to 217-three points below the national average. Similarly, Oklahoma's fourth-grade NAEP math score was on par with the national average in 2000. Last year, it had dropped two points below. Since employing universal preschool, not only is Oklahoma doing worse compared with the nation, but also its own prior performance.

It's also important to note that 70 percent of 4-year-olds are already enrolled in preschool. States with government-run universal preschool programs also enroll about 70 percent of students, so it is not clear how many more kids the stimulus will result in enrolling.

Education Bailout Should Revolutionize Public Schools

The bottom line is that more than $147 billion in federal "education stimulus" will prolong the dysfunctional qualities of the United States education system. It is one of the most expensive and most mediocre K-12 systems in the world. Throwing more money at public schools without addressing the problems inherent in the system - lack of accountability and lack of competition - will simply drive up education costs with little to show for the money.

The best outcome would be to avoid a federal education bailout altogether. However, if an education stimulus is inevitable, it should at least demand some concessions from the education establishment before doling out $120 billion.

Here are a few suggestions:

Only give money to school districts whose labor unions agree to "flat contracts" that offer flexible employee practices such as firing for "just cause" and are willing to suspend seniority and tenure in exchange for merit-pay.
Only give money to school districts that will report transparent budget numbers at the "school level" so parents and taxpayers can see how much money a school spends on education in real dollars and not district averages. It is important to know how much money is siphoned off at district offices and for administrative costs - and how much money actually makes it into the classroom.
Prioritize money for, or give incentives to, districts that attach per-pupil funding to the backs of children, letting parents choose the public school (or dare I say charter or private school) that best suits their child.
If the government is going to give the money away anyway, it might as well empower parents and teachers rather than the status quo, which is failing miserably.

Lisa Snell is director of education at Reason Foundation. An archive of her work is here and Reason's education research and commentary is here.


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