Thursday, September 30, 2010

Obama's Bullshit Decoder Ring

"I will allow 5 days of public comment before I sign any bills."

"I will remove earmarks for PORK projects before I sign any bill."

"I will end Income Tax for seniors making less than $50K a year"

"I'll put the Health Care negotiations on CSPAN so everyone can see who is at the table!"

"I'll have no lobbyists in my administration"

Did you get yours yet?

Me neither. Demand is too great...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Abolish Public Schools

Abolish Public Schools
Terry Jeffrey
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

President Barack Obama said on NBC on Monday he would like American children to spend more time in public schools. Here is a better idea: American children should spend no time in public schools.

County by county, state by state, Americans should begin functionally abolishing government-run schools and replacing them with a free market in schools. On the federal level, Congress should kill the Department of Education by choking off its funding. The department was not constitutional in the first place.

Everybody's children should get the same chance Obama's children have had to attend the private school of their parents' choice.

American children should have the opportunity not only to attend schools where they are well instructed in reading, writing and arithmetic, but also where they are unambiguously taught that our Declaration of Independence is right -- that God is the Author of our rights and that even the government must obey His laws.

We should aim for a society where children spend more time with their most important teachers, their parents, and less time with the less important teachers at their school.

Obama wants the opposite. And he does not want our children spending more time with just any teachers, but with government teachers -- who often double as liberal propagandists seeking to indoctrinate children with values contrary to those they learn at home, while failing to teach them reading, writing and arithmetic.

"I think we should have a longer school year," Obama said on NBC. "We now have our kids go to school about a month less than most other advanced countries. And that makes a difference. It means that kids are losing a lot of what they learn during the summer."

Obama then made a class-war argument to defend his point -- in the process taking a snotty swipe at what he presumes to be the inferior reading habits of lower-income families.

"It's especially severe for poorer kids who may not be seeing as many books in their house during the summers, aren't getting supplemental educational activities," Obama said. "So, the idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense."

In keeping with his Marxist analysis, Obama pointed to the education system in the People's Republic of China -- a nation governed by the Communist Party -- as a model for the United States to emulate when it comes to dealing with teachers.

"When I travel to China, for example," said Obama, "and I sit down with the mayor of Shanghai, and he talks about the fact that teaching is considered one of the most prestigious jobs and a teacher's getting paid the same as an engineer, that, I think, accounts for how well they're doing in terms of boosting their education system."

Obama's unstated assumption: Central planners, not the free market, ought to determine the value of a particular job and who gets paid what.

I say: Let the market decide -- especially in education.

The greatest problem with primary and secondary education in America today is precisely that it is dominated by government-run schools that people are compelled by force of law to pay for whether they like them or not and whether they send their children there or not. The second greatest problem is that the political power controlling these government-run schools has become increasingly centralized, gradually removing decision-making from local communities, passing it up to the state and federal level.

On NBC, Obama made clear he wants to use increased federal education spending to increase federal leverage over local schools, forcing policy changes preferred by him. That would move power in exactly the wrong direction.

The historical record compiled by the Department of Education itself shows that increased government spending on education does not improve the academic performance of government schools.

"From 1989-90 to 2006-07, total expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools rose from $8,748 to $11,839 (a 35 percent increase in 2008-09 constant dollars), with most of the increase occurring after 1997-98," says the Education Department's The Condition of Education 2010.

In 1980, 17-year-old students in public schools earned an average score of 284 out of 500 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test. In 2008, they still scored 284. Despite increased per pupil spending, the needle did not move.

In 1999, 17-year-old students in American public schools earned an average score of 307 out of 500 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress math test. In 2008, they scored 305. The needle moved in the wrong direction.

Every community in America should give all parents a voucher equal to what it now pays per-pupil for its public schools, allowing those parents to use those vouchers at any school they choose. Let the market decide if government-run schools survive.

To discover what Terry Jeffrey thinks is the stupidest spending program of all, click here.

Finding the Source of Floating Babies

Finding the Source of Floating Babies
Marybeth Hicks
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

Social scientists use the parable of the "floating babies" to remind us that we can't solve a problem until we know its source.

You know this story: The townspeople meet at the riverbank for a celebration when suddenly they notice a baby struggling to stay afloat in the river's rushing waters. Someone runs to save the baby; then he notices another one coming from upstream. More and more babies come rushing down the river as the people of the town quickly make a human chain to try to save the infants.

When a few townsfolk run upstream along the riverbank, someone yells, "Where are you going?"

"We're going to find out who is throwing these babies into the river and stop them!"

A new documentary, "Waiting for Superman," is posing the question: Just who is throwing an entire generation of American children into the rough and dangerous waters of public education, only to drown in a torrent of mediocrity?

The film is being criticized for pointing out that America's teachers unions too often protect incompetent educators and perpetuate a system that rewards longevity over talent. Being unions, they place the economic goals of their members over the educational needs of the children they supposedly serve. (Why does this surprise some people?)

Still, it's simplistic — and believe it or not, convenient — to point fingers only at the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. We have to look farther up the river.

The problem is poorly prepared and uneducated teachers, and for that, we can thank the recently retired Bill Ayers, the former distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and late of the Weather Underground.

Most folks don't realize that in the decades between Mr. Ayers' infamous taunt, "Guilty as hell, free as a bird," and then-candidate Barack Obama's disingenuous explanation, "He's just a guy from my neighborhood," Mr. Ayers distinguished himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders in American teacher education.

He thinks the purpose of public education is to empower "change agents" for participation in democracy, not to instill in our children the knowledge, skills and critical-thinking habits that will lead them to a productive future. More important, when Mr. Ayers uses "democracy," he isn't thinking Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; he's thinking Hugo Chavez and Che Guevara.

Mr. Ayers helps lead the radically leftist postsecondary education machine that has, for more than a half-century, churned out educators who think their job is doing "social justice."

One of the most important leftist theories is "critical pedagogy," developed by Brazilian socialist educator Paulo Freire and articulated in his iconic tome, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," first published in 1968. There probably isn't a teacher in an American classroom today who hasn't read Freire's book, and meanwhile, Mr. Ayers has said it is a "myth" that teachers must possess subject-matter expertise.

Starting to see the source of the problem?

The field of teacher education is dominated by those who view their role as training up the army of teachers who will instruct America's children about the values and virtues of a socialist society.

Certainly, not all of America's schoolteachers are out to indoctrinate our youth. The vast majority of rank-and-file teachers are caring, committed educators who do what they do because they love children and have a heart for teaching. I do not condescend when I say they mean well.

But a love for teaching is not enough. The leftist teacher-education system has other goals, and until we fix that problem, our babies will just keep floating toward failure.

Youth of America: Stop Drinking Obama's Kool-Aid

Youth of America: Stop Drinking Obama's Kool-Aid
Katie Pavlich
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

If America’s youth want any chance at having a stable economic future, free from total government control, I suggest they put down the Kool-Aid and start drinking some tea.

In 2008, then-candidate Obama ran on a theme of “Hope and Change.”

In an attempt to get his young and impressionable base to “buck up,” President Obama spoke at a rally held for University of Wisconsin students in Madison yesterday.

“Now, two years ago, you defied the conventional wisdom in Washington. The message out there was, no, you can’t. No, you can’t overcome the cynicism of our politics. No, you can’t overcome the power of special interests in Washington. No, you can’t make real progress on the big challenges of our time. No, you can’t elect a skinny guy with a funny name, Barack Hussein Obama. They said, no, you can’t. But what did you say, Wisconsin?” the president said after joking about sports teams.

“Yes we can!” responded the audience.

President Obama went on to slam big corporations and “rich” people while failing to mention that those evil people and corporations give recent college graduates jobs, a very rare thing this day in age.

“The basic theory of the Republican leadership was you cut taxes mostly for millionaires and billionaires. You cut regulations for special interests, whether it’s the banks or the oil companies or health insurance companies,” he said. Hopefully none of the students in the audience were going to school to get their engineering or finance degree.

According to the Economic Policies Institute, unemployment among people 16-24 years old is 18.9 percent and on top of that, a majority of college graduates have been so discouraged looking for full employment that they have stopped looking altogether. Youth fortunate to actually land a job after graduating may not have one on January 1, 2011, due to President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to extend the Bush tax cuts, leading to the biggest tax hike in American history. More taxes equal less money to pay workers, especially in the middle of a recession. Without this tax-cut extension, employers will be forced to cut employees along with salaries, and lucky recent graduates will be first ones the chopping block.

In addition to cutting jobs, the Obama administration and liberal politicians have further burdened employers and individuals with higher health insurance premiums thanks to the passing of ObamaCare. Obama touted to UW students that young people can now stay on their parents’ insurance plan until the age of 26, but what happens when those parents can no longer afford health insurance due to heavy government regulation and involvement?

President Obama continued his speech by condemning the previous administration, repeating over and over again what happened before he took office, naturally painting himself as the victim of the economic crisis. Although he was speaking to college students, he sounded more like a child pointing his finger at the kid next to him in order to avoid getting placed in timeout.

“What we found when we arrived in Washington was the rawest kind of politics. What we confronted was an opposition party that was still stuck on the same failed policies of the past, whose leaders in Congress were determined from the start to let us deal with the mess that they had done so much to create,” the president said. “They realized that Obama was walking in and we had just lost 4 million jobs in the six months before I was sworn in.”

Well yes, that is precisely why young people elected President Obama along with other Democrats, to fix the problem which has only gotten worse through the continuation of reckless government spending. Dare I say a domino affect from TARP, which was put into place by President Bush?

John Kerry told a group of reporters in Boston recently, “We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening.”

When talking about the youth vote in 2008, John Kerry is correct. Our nation’s youth were not informed about real issues and what liberal polices would mean for their future. Instead of relying on facts, they fell for a man with a teleprompter and a simple slogan of “Hope and Change.”

Well here are the facts:

Under the Obama administration, overall unemployment has been hovering just below 10 percent, the president spent more money his first year in office than any other U.S. president (totaling $3.5 trillion), the deficit expanded to $1.3 trillion, and his new healthcare overhaul is already increasing health insurance premiums for individuals, families and employers.

Youth smell what Barack has been cooking, and they don’t like it.

Now, what does the tea party have to offer? It is simple. The tea party offers young people freedom and opportunity from government control, giving everyone the right to economic liberty and individual choice. Why is it that young people want to be free and independent, without anyone telling them what to do, but yet they vote for liberal politicians and policies, giving the government more control of their lives? Only the individual can fulfill their own dreams. America’s youth must take responsibility for their future.

“The other side would have you believe this election is a referendum on me or a referendum on the economy,” the president said.

President Obama is in charge and has been in charge with a majority in the House and Senate. America’s economic situation is his responsibility.

So youth voters have a choice to make on November 2: Tea or Kool-Aid?

Obama: Not Rough Enough?

Obama: Not Rough Enough?
Brent Bozell
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

NBC Universal is getting ridiculous with its shameless courting of President Obama. On the morning of Sept. 27, NBC's Matt Lauer interviewed Obama for a half-hour with no commercials. But it wasn't just on NBC. Their devotion to El Jefe is so transparent they aired it live on most of their other cable properties, including MSNBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Chiller, Sleuth, Universal HD and Universal Sports.

The announced topic was education, but Lauer also turned to politics, and that's where the NBC host just regurgitated the current liberal complaint: Obama is apparently too calm and not tough enough toward Republicans. Lauer noted Obama's recent declaration that "The Republicans, they're treating me like a dog." He didn't ask for proof for that bizarre and whiny claim. He underlined it like it was the gospel truth.

Then he begged for ratcheting up the "rigor" in Obama's attacks on opponents: "Former President Clinton said he doesn't think the Democrats, and you included, have been rigorous enough in pushing back against some of the Republican attacks. Over these next five weeks, Mr. President, do you intend to change your tone or your emotion in terms of your pushing back?"

(Try to imagine NBC welcoming Jim DeMint or Newt Gingrich to the studio and Lauer saying suggestively "Some think your tone has been too timid in attacking Democrats. Do you intend to ratchet up your attacks as the election nears?")

The biggest myth in the Obama arsenal is that Obama is some kind of blissfully bipartisan mediator not prone to mean-spirited messaging. It should be obvious to anyone with ears that he was a hardball-throwing liberal throughout the presidential campaign, and he's grown even more partisan since he won and the Democrats took over everything.

The president has to be shocked when he hears this too-wimpy complaint. He gently replied that anyone who's "heard me speak around the country over the last several months" would know he's declared "a very sharp difference with the Republicans" -- even as he admits he's hammering them at every turn. In his Saturday radio address two days previous, Obama accused the GOP of wanting to cut taxes for the super-rich and "cut the middle class loose to fend for itself." He called the new Pledge for America document "an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to relive."

Obama's real problem is his atrocious record. Much of that "disastrous decade" featured an unemployment rate between 4 and 6 percent, which right now sounds like a dream. The president unspools crazy anti-GOP lines like this one to Lauer: "They proposed $4 trillion worth of tax cuts and $16 billion in spending cuts." Lauer didn't follow up with any notion that (a) the trillions in "tax cuts" aren't actually "cuts," but keeping the current tax rates the same. Then there's (b), the Republicans propose to peel spending back to Fiscal Year 2008 levels, which is -- if they ever accomplished it -- many multiples of "$16 billion in spending cuts."

Network anchors buy (and sell) every silly thing the Democrats have to say on fiscal issues, including the mind-boggling whopper that adding millions of people to federally funded health insurance under ObamaCare is going to reduce the deficit.

But that wasn't the only question where Lauer worried out loud to Obama that his mythical status is falling apart. Lauer referred to the other recent NBC hour of free airtime to Obama, on CNBC, where the discouraged Obama supporter said she was tired of defending him. An incredulous Lauer suggested she was feeling "in some way, you have lost touch with the struggles of the average person on the street. I say it with some sense of irony, because you began your career in public service as a community organizer. That is all about getting in touch with people on the street. So how can this criticism now be coming up of a guy who started out as a community organizer?"

Obama correctly suggested that this discouraged woman, Velma Hart, is still an enthusiastic supporter, but like many liberals, she's in disbelief that Obama's socialism didn't work. She told Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post: "I guess I started to believe, on some small level, that he had a magic wand. Maybe in that respect my question was somewhat unfair." She also told the Post she would have hugged him if he told her that recovery was coming, but "Right now, you're expecting too much from me."

The liberals at NBC Universal want to hug Obama, too, with all the free airtime he wants. But first, they want him to put his every ounce of civility aside and pick up the mud bucket. Liberals can't maintain control of Washington without casting the conservatives as the incoming embodiment of all evil.

To read another article by Brent Bozell, click here.

Liberals Confuse Me

Liberals Confuse Me
Walter E. Williams
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

Christine O'Donnell, U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware, has faced considerable criticism and news media attention about her youthful association with witchcraft. Have we seen similar news media attention given to other politicians who have made bizarre remarks that border on gross stupidity -- possibly lunacy?

During a congressional Armed Services hearing in March, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., expressed concern that stationing 8,000 Marines and their equipment on Guam, our Pacific territory, could cause the island "to become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize." Such a remark is grossly stupid but the liberal press didn't give it anywhere near the amount of attention and derision that they gave Christine O'Donnell.

On the campaign trail in March 2008, then-presidential candidate Obama told his Beaverton, Ore., audience, "Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go." Whether Obama misspoke or not, that's a grossly stupid remark, but white liberals among the intellectual elite and the liberal news media all but ignored it. Of course, when former Vice President Dan Quayle misspelled "potatoe," they pounced upon it and had a field day.

So what might explain the liberals giving Hank Johnson and Obama a pass whilst playing up the perceived shortcomings of Christine O'Donnell and Dan Quayle? The answer might be as simple as just looking at the colors involved. O'Donnell and Quayle are white and Johnson and Obama are black. That means the white liberal vision comes into play where to openly oppose, criticize and ridicule blacks is racist. The key term is openly. I bet that when alone, in trusted company, white liberals crack up over the things that some black people say and do. The white liberal vision holds one set of standards to which white people are obliged and another that's lower for blacks. I don't believe that white liberals are racists in the sense that Klansmen and neo-Nazis are; however, their paternalistic and demeaning attitudes toward blacks are far more debilitating.

There needs to be a bit of elaboration of the statement that to openly oppose, criticize and ridicule a black is racist. If the black in question is a conservative, possibly Republican, then any sort of criticism and treatment is acceptable. This was seen in the criticism and ridicule of Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" cartoon featured President Bush referring to Secretary Rice as "brown sugar." Pat Oliphant showed her as a parrot with big lips and Ted Rall's cartoon had Miss Rice proclaiming herself Bush's "House nigga." Don Wright's cartoon depicted Justice Thomas as Justice Scalia's lawn jockey. These cartoons were carried in major newspapers nationwide. Ask yourself what would happen to a nationally syndicated cartoonist, and the newspaper that carried it, depicting President Obama as a wide-eyed, fat-lipped monkey.

Racial double standards are nothing new. It has been the currency on jobs and college campuses where there is an acceptance of behavior by blacks that would be condemned if done by whites. Often misguided white liberal professors, in the name of making up for injustices of the past, give black students grades they didn't earn. Being 74 years old, I have frequently told people that I'm glad that I received just about all of my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black people. That means I was obliged to live up to higher standards.

More blacks need to be bold and challenge the demeaning attitudes of white liberals. During the early years of the Reagan administration, I had a number of press conferences in response to a book or article that I had written. At several of them, I invited the reporters to treat me like a white person -- just ask hard questions.

To read another article by Walter Williams, click here.

Taxing the Rich

Taxing the Rich
John Stossel
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. Sunday's New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don't get it.

As I've said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some -- by force -- and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.

That's the moral side of the matter. There's a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.

A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone's loss. As long as government keeps its thumb off the scales, the "makers" who get rich do so by making others better off. (When the government allocates capital or creates barriers to competition, all bets are off.)

Of course, this is not the prevailing view among the intelligentsia. Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tells me, "Those who have more should pay more."

But is there a point where they stop producing wealth or leave altogether?

"The rich have always cried wolf like that," Hill says.

But the wolf is here. Maryland created a special tax on rich people that was supposed to bring in $106 million. Instead, the state lost $257 million.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who is running again for his old job, says: "It reminds me of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was always surprised when Lucy pulled the football away. And they're always surprised in Washington and state capitals when the dollars never come in."

Some of Maryland's rich left the state. "They're out of here. These people aren't stupid," Ehrlich says.

New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies. He created 13,000 jobs.

Then New York state hiked the income tax on millionaires.

"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he says. "Not that I like to throw the number around, but my personal income tax last year would've been $13,800 a day. Would you like to write a check for $13,800 a day to a state government, as opposed to moving to another state where there's no state income tax or very low state income tax?

He established residence in Florida, which has no personal income tax.

Now Gov. David Paterson may have even seen the light.

"We projected that we would get $4 billion, and we actually got well short of it," he says.

Art Laffer, the economist who has a curve illustrating this point named after him, isn't surprised.

"It's just economics," he says. "People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what they can after tax. They'll change where they earn their income. They'll change how they earn their income. They'll change how much they earn, when they receive the income. They'll change all of those things to minimize taxes."

We can see it in the statistics. In 1960, federal revenues were 18.6 percent of total output. Over the next 50 years, that percentage has rarely exceeded 20 percent or fallen below 17 percent. As Laffer says, people adjust their activities to the tax burden.

Donald Trump, who knows something about making money, says of course the rich will leave when hit with higher taxes. "I know these people," he told me. "They're international people. Whether they live here or live in a place like Switzerland doesn't really matter to them."

You haven't left, I told him.

"I haven't left yet. ... Look, the rich people are going to leave. And other people are going to leave. You're going to end up with lots of people that don't produce. And then that's the spiral. That's the end."

And that's another good reason for us to get on with reducing the size of government.

To read another article by John Stossel, click here.

President Obama: He's Just Not That Into Us

President Obama: He's Just Not That Into Us
Ben Shapiro
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

President Obama's old sloganeering has worn thin. It's time for a new motto for the most powerful man in the world. And he's up to the challenge. Obama's new slogan: "It's not me, it's you."

What else are we to make of his latest interview with Rolling Stone magazine, in which he channels Jimmy Carter-esque malaise-speak, ripping the American public with barely-concealed rage? "People need to shake off this lethargy," Obama told the magazine. "People need to buck up ... if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

Well, maybe Obama's finally catching on. We weren't serious when we elected him. We did it to assuage our long-standing racial guilt; we did it in a misguided attempt to heal a divided country; we did it because we were hopeful and foolish and nearsighted. We certainly didn't do it because we wanted the Obama transformative change agenda.

What's striking about Obama's language, though, is his utter disdain for the American public. We're the children for objecting to his failures; he's the adult. We simply need to keep our chins up in the face of adversity rather than blaming him (even as he blames us for his obviously burgeoning depressive state). Even his supporters come in for a tongue-lashing from the Great Professor: "The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible."

But Obama, predictably enough, reserves his harshest criticism for his political opponents. Fox News comes in for a beating -- Obama says that the news network supports "a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world." Obama even went so far as to compare Fox News with the media empire of William Randolph Hearst, famous for its yellow journalism.

In the past, I've argued that Obama doesn't like what America stands for. He thinks we're the country of slavery, not of freedom; the country of Jim Crow, not equal opportunity; the country of My Lai, not of death camp liberation.

What's becoming clearer and clearer, though, is that Obama doesn't like Americans, either. We're ignorant rubes who still believe in oddities like God and guns. We're uncivilized barbarians who insist that free enterprise, not government redistributionism, cures economic ills. We're not world citizens, Ivy League professors or community organizers. In short, Obama's just not that into us. And his scorn justifies his whining. Either that or he's cracking.

Obama seems to be suffering from battered woman syndrome. Battered woman syndrome, for the non-lawyers in the crowd, is a legal defense used by women who commit crimes; they claim that they've been hit over and over again by a man, which forced them to snap. Obama has come under heavy criticism so often that he's reacting to even the mildest criticism with disproportionate anger and emotion.

The unflappable man seems more and more flappable. He's aged visibly since his inauguration. He's been unable to quit smoking. He seems less apt to move off script, more apt to skip, like a broken record, back to comfortable grooves.

Obama has always held the wrong principles. But he, personally, was supposed to be the epitome of cool. Now he's rattled, and he's acting like it. Hopefully, we can retire him sooner rather than later, so he can receive the tender loving care he so richly needs.

To read Ben's article on the 5 most annoying republicans, click here.

Big Labor, Not Tea Party, Is Workers' Worst Enemy

Big Labor, Not Tea Party, Is Workers' Worst Enemy
Michelle Malkin
Wed, Sep, 29, 2010

The Service Employees International Union plans to send 25,000 rank-and-file workers on 500 buses to Washington this weekend to protest the tea party movement, Republicans and Fox News. If SEIU members had any sense, they'd be demonstrating at their own bosses' D.C. headquarters. It's the Big Labor Left, not the Tea Party Right, that is flushing rank-and-file union workers' hard-earned dues down the collective toilet in these hard times.

The co-organizer of the so-called "One Nation" protest by a coalition of progressive groups is George Gresham, president of the behemoth SEIU Local 1199 based in New York. (This is the same SEIU affiliate that employed current Obama domestic policy adviser Patrick Gaspard as chief lobbyist for nine years.) Peeved by all the attention that grassroots conservatives and limited government activists have received over the past year, Gresham spearheaded the rally plans earlier this summer to "counter the Tea Party narrative" and reclaim the voice for "working people." Perhaps Gresham should pay more attention to his workers' pensions than to tea party leaders' media appearances.

SEIU Local 1199's Upstate Pension Fund has plunged from 115 percent funded in 1999 to 75 percent funded, and its Greater New York Pension Fund was funded at only 58 percent of its future obligations as of 2007, according to Hudson Institute analyst Diana Furchtgott-Roth. The union fat cats blame Wall Street. But while the pensions of SEIU workers nationwide are in "endangered status," the pensions of SEIU top brass have been protected and remain fully funded.

The D.C.-based Alliance for Worker Freedom, which monitors labor union abuses, reported last year that 13 major local SEIU pension funds are in serious financial jeopardy. Indeed, fewer than one in every 160 union-represented workers is covered by a union pension with required assets. Local 1199 workers -- already subject to wage freezes to salvage their pensions -- might want to know how their leaders were able to pony up $1 million for Haiti earthquake relief in January while their retirement funds wither on the vine.

SEIU leaders have shown a special talent for squandering their workers' dues. They poured $10 million down the drain in Arkansas on a failed bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln. They spent $10 million on a nasty lawsuit against a competing union in California. They've burned through union dues to transport SEIU radicals to bully bank execs and their families at their private homes and to bus workers to Arizona to protest crackdowns on illegal aliens, who depress the wages of law-abiding working-class Americans.

Under former Purple Army Chief Andy Stern, the union's liabilities skyrocketed from $7.6 million to nearly $121 million. Stern burned through $61 million to put Barack Obama and the Democratic ruling majority in place. And before abruptly stepping down in April, he installed a cadre of labor management stooges embroiled in financial scandals across the country.

One of them, Stern protege and former SEIU national Vice President Tyrone Freeman, remains under FBI investigation for siphoning off hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues money for his personal enrichment and pleasure. The Los Angeles Times uncovered schemes that ranged from piping $600,000 in union contracts to his wife's video production and entertainment ventures to paying his mother-in-law $8,000 a month to babysit his daughter and other union employees' children to footing a $13,000 bill for membership at a Beverly Hills cigar club.

Another Stern underling, former SEIU leader Alejandro Stephens, is under FBI investigation, the LA Times reported this week, for $150,000 in consulting fees paid "under a confidential agreement" signed by Stern. The feds allege the money funded a no-show job for Stephens. While probing the smelly deal, the feds also stumbled upon a cozy agreement by SEIU executives to shell out $80,000 to promote a book Stern wrote in 2006. The SEIU may not have been looking after rank-and-file workers, but Stern made sure the SEIU was looking after him.

Now, Stern's profligate successors will steer an estimated $44 million in union worker dues into Democratic coffers this November -- all in the name of defeating right-wing enemies of the working people. Perhaps it's time for rank-and-file workers to stage a tea party of their own.

To read another article by Michelle Malkin, click here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Planned Parenthood's business model depends on delivering death

Planned Parenthood's business model depends on delivering death
by Rita Diller and Katie Walker
-The Washington Times 9-29-10

While Planned Parenthood continues to sit on its annual report for 2008-2009, new documents found hidden on its labyrinthine website give taxpayers an insider's look into the beleaguered abortion monopoly it is helping fund.

The numbers paint the grisly picture of an organization beset by financial problems yet determined to increase income by killing more preborn human beings.

But that's not the surprising part. The shocking thing about these numbers is that they are finally dispelling the ubiquitous Planned Parenthood lie that the organization is about something other than abortion.

Planned Parenthood's own numbers dispel the myths:

Myth 1: Planned Parenthood offers "choices"to women. While Planned Parenthood claims it is all about "choice,"a look at its maternity-related services to pregnant women paints a horrific picture of death and destruction inside the innocuous-looking facilities found in nearly every major American city.

The 2008 service figures show that 96.5 percent of pregnant women who received maternity-related "services" from Planned Parenthood aborted their children, with only 3.5 percent receiving prenatal care or adoption referrals.

So much for "choices."

Myth 2: Planned Parenthood is working to reduce abortions. While many Americans continue to believe the urban legend that Planned Parenthood is in the business of reducing abortions through birth control and sex education, the numbers tell a different story.

The year 2008 marked the 26th consecutive year Planned Parenthood increased its share of the U.S. abortion market, by performing 324,008 abortions. All told, Planned Parenthood affiliates brought in an estimated $152,283,760 via its abortion business.

Another disturbing trend is Planned Parenthood's uncanny ability to monopolize and profit off a "service" on the decline. Nationwide, abortion numbers fell dramatically in the 1990s and into the beginning of the millennium. But while national rates were going down, Planned Parenthood managed to more than triple its share of the market. In 1990, Planned Parenthood performed 8 percent of U.S. abortions. By 2008, its share of the abortion market had catapulted to 26.8 percent.

Myth 3: Abortion is only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood services. Knowing that community support and government funding will evaporate if the American people understand the truth, Planned Parenthood has been aggressive in marketing the oft-quoted notion that abortion is only 3 percent of what it does.

Pencils ready? Planned Parenthood arrives at 3 percent by dividing its total number of abortions by its total number of "services." For 2008, that would be 324,008 divided by 10,940,609.

To illustrate the absurdity of such a statistic, note that if Planned Parenthood hands out 97 condoms, it could count that as 97 "services." Then it does three abortions and claims that, because it also handed out 97 condoms, abortion is 3 percent of its business. This statistic is specifically designed to lead the American people and the legislators who continue to give government money to Planned Parenthood to believe that a very small portion of Planned Parenthood's business is abortion-related.

A better way to illustrate Planned Parenthood's abortion-centered business model would be to see what percentage of its total clinic income is attributable to abortion. When we do the math, we see that Planned Parenthood's estimated $152,283,760 abortion income in 2008 amounts to 40.6 percent of its 2007-2008 clinic income.

Here is an invitation to Planned Parenthood: Please prove us wrong. While Planned Parenthood cannot argue with the facts stated above, one way to dispel the many theories surrounding Planned Parenthood's failure to produce its annual report would be for it to actually release the report.

In the last five years, Planned Parenthood has been rocked by internal and external scandals. It has seen dedicated pro-life groups release tape recordings and videos shedding light on what really happens in its facilities. It is facing fraud and child-abuse allegations. It has seen the black community raise a loud voice against its operations because of its racist roots and current practices.

And while the organization's own statistics prove that Planned Parenthood's abortion numbers are rising, one of the most credible theories surrounding the group's refusal to release the annual report says that Planned Parenthood is in a tight financial bind and doesn't want word to get out. As Planned Parenthood has already seen three affiliates - in South Palm Beach, Fla.; El Paso, Texas; and San Francisco - collapse owing to financial issues, this makes sense.

One of the ways to make up for financial shortfalls, according to former Planned Parenthood facility director Abby Johnson, is to increase abortion income - its most lucrative "service."

For Planned Parenthood, increasing abortions is simply a good business move - a cold-blooded, calculated business move. This becomes horribly macabre when one stops to consider what abortion is - the intentional killing of a preborn human being.

Rita Diller is the national director of American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood project and Katie Walker is American Life League's communications director.

If You Are Not a Leftist, Why Are You Voting Democrat?

If You Are Not a Leftist, Why Are You Voting Democrat?
Dennis Prager
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

All Americans, including conservatives, understand why any leftist would vote Democrat this year. The Democratic Party is now America's version of a European Social Democratic or even Green Party. In domestic policy, there is no significant difference between the American and European parties.

So there is no question as to why those on the left would vote Democrat. There is, however, a legitimate question regarding non-leftist Americans -- why would any of them vote for a Democrat this year?

The Democratic president and Democratic Party have expanded the American government to an unprecedented extent. Moreover, they have done so in unprecedented ways: Never before has such extensive society-changing legislation been passed without a single vote of the other political party; and unprecedentedly vast powers have been given to "czars" and their new federal agencies -- with no congressional oversight. Add to this a level of national debt that is unsustainable -- but meets the left's great aim of redistributing wealth -- and you have the most left-wing government in American history.

Why then would any of the vast majority of Americans who are not leftists vote Democratic this year?

The answer lies in emotion. For many non-leftist Democrats, it is emotionally impossible to vote Republican.

I can illustrate this best with a personal example that I often use in speeches to Jewish audiences.

I was raised both as an Orthodox Jew and a liberal Democrat. In my early 20s, not wanting to practice religious laws solely out of habit or fear, I experimented with religious non-observance.

I remember well the one time this yeshiva graduate ate ham. It was emotionally difficult.

I also well remember the first time this lifelong Democrat voted Republican. And it, too, was difficult. In fact, it was actually more emotionally difficult to vote Republican than to eat the ham.

Now, how could that be? How could it possibly have been more emotionally trying for a lifelong Democrat to vote Republican than for a lifelong observant Jew to eat ham? Isn't religion a far deeper conviction than politics?

The question implies the answer.

Liberalism and leftism are religions. While I felt I would be sinning against God when I tasted ham, I was certain I was sinning against both God and man were I to vote Republican.

That is how liberals, not to mention leftists, think: It is a grievous sin to vote Republican (unless the Republican is a liberal). One is abandoning their faith, values, community and very identity.

But it is more than that. What keeps most non-leftists voting Democrat (and calling themselves liberal) has been the spectacularly effective saturation of virtually all media and all educational institutions with the message that the right is mean spirited and dangerous.

One of the first books I ever owned -- in high school -- was titled "Danger on the Right." Throughout the world, people are fed the message "Danger on the Right" -- and virtually never "Danger on the Left," despite the left's far bloodier and more totalitarian record.

The majority of people who vote Democratic do not have left-wing values. Only 20 percent of Americans even consider themselves liberal. But vast numbers of people with views that are not leftist have been effectively brainwashed (one cannot come up with a more accurate word) into fearing the right when the threats to their liberty, as well as to America's standing in the world, its exceptionalism and its economic future all emanate from the left.

That is why nearly all Democratic and leftist reactions to conservatives and Republicans are to avoid argument (remember, on the issues the left has few supporters) and smear them as SIXHIRB, my acronym for "Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted." It is almost impossible to come up with the name of a leading conservative whom the dominant media have not dismissed as one or more of SIXHIRB -- and usually as a buffoon as well. This obviously serves the left and the Democratic Party in many ways. But the most important is to keep non-leftists in fear of anyone who opposes the left. In effect, the left says, and has been saying for a hundred years, "You may not agree with us, but our opponents are evil."

The Democratic appeal to black voters provides an excellent example. In nearly half a century, the left has done nothing for black America. Leftists have ruined the cities they govern and most of the public schools they control. But they have mastered one thing -- the ability to paint their opponents as racist opponents of blacks. So, blacks, many of whom have conservative values -- from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting school vouchers -- vote almost universally for the left.

The same holds true of most American Jews. Most live profoundly conservative lives but vote left. Why? Overwhelmingly because they believe there is "Danger on the Right." It doesn't matter how anti-Israel the left is and how pro-Israel the right is, or that liberal Time magazine has a mendacious cover story on "Why Israel Doesn't Care about Peace," while every major conservative periodical is passionately protective of Israel. For most Jews, voting Republican is a far greater sin, emotionally, morally and socially than eating ham.

That is why virtually every liberal columnist at The New York Times has described political opposition to Barack Obama as racist. The left cannot win on arguments. It must demonize its opponents. From Stalin calling Trotsky a Fascist to Frank Rich labeling the tea parties as mimicking the Nazis' Kristallnacht, this has been the favored leftist method of achieving power. And that is why it remains so hard for most Democrats to vote what they believe and vote Republican -- a lifetime of demonization has worked.

To read another article by Dennis Prager, click here.

The Republican Philosophy

The Republican Philosophy
Cal Thomas
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

All public policy is founded on an underlying philosophy about humanity and the world. Some call it a "worldview," but whatever it is called, everything government does (or does not do) derives from a philosophical foundation on which it is constructed.

While the usual suspects have criticized the Republican's "A Pledge to America" document, I find it a refreshing reminder of the founding philosophy that "brought forth on this continent a new nation," in Lincoln's words, 234 years ago.

The Republicans might have chosen a word other than "pledge." They could have selected "promise" (a declaration that something will or will not be done), or "covenant" (an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified), or even "assurance" (a positive declaration intended to give confidence), but they chose "pledge" (a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something). Pledge is best, because "solemn" is the most serious of words.

Not to nitpick, but something is missing from the document. The pledge speaks of what Republicans will and won't do should they regain power and how they will cut this and repeal that, but what about us: the unelected who voted them into office? What's our role?

The pledge speaks of having a "responsible, fact-based conversation with the American people about the scale of the fiscal challenges we face, and the urgent action that is required to deal with them." OK, but will this be a one-way conversation, or will we be told what is expected of us? If the people are to have a minimal role in the restructuring of government, if this is just an anti-government agenda, the pledge will not work.

The first sentence of that conversation should be "we can't go on like this." Too many Americans have been riding the gravy train called "entitlement" for too long and it is about to derail. Republicans should make weaning them from dependence on government a patriotic duty and the essence of liberty. Focus on those who have overcome poverty and let them serve as examples of what others can do.

Let's talk about individuals demonstrating more responsibility for their lives and ensuring their own retirement, with Social Security returning to the insurance program it was originally designed to be: a safety net, not a hammock. Get serious about reforming Social Security and Medicare so that younger workers can save and invest their own money and have it with interest and dividends when they need it. Older workers and retirees would continue on the current system.

Specifics on reforming Social Security and Medicare were left out of the pledge because Republicans know Democrats aren't serious about taming these twin monsters. Democrats would rather use these issues to demonize the GOP than offer practical solutions to amend them.

Since the New Deal, there has been an unhealthy relationship between government and the people that has harmed both. But like illegal drugs, there would be little supply if the demand were not high. The idea that people are incapable of taking care of themselves and their immediate families would have been foreign to our Founding Fathers. What too many lack is not resources, but motivation. Remind politicians of the stories from our past and present about people who overcame obstacles, start teaching these stories to the kids in our schools.

Perhaps no one in modern times articulated the conservative philosophy about government and its rightful place better than Ronald Reagan, who said in a 1964 speech endorsing GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater: "This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."

Philosophy is easier to express than to apply. Republicans, should they win back Congress this year and the White House in 2012, will face enormous opposition from entrenched interests that will test more than the strength of their philosophy. It will test the strength of their character.

To read another article by Cal Thomas, click here.

Politics Versus Gold

Politics Versus Gold
Thomas Sowell
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

One of the many slick tricks of the Obama administration was to insert a provision in the massive Obamacare legislation regulating people who sell gold. This had nothing to do with medical care but everything to do with sneaking in an extension of the government's power over gold, in a bill too big for most people to read.

Gold has long been a source of frustration for politicians who want to extend their power over the economy. First of all, the gold standard cramped their style because there is only so much money you can print when every dollar bill can be turned in to the government, to be exchanged for the equivalent amount of gold.

When the amount of money the government can print is limited by how much gold the government has, politicians cannot pay off a massive national debt by just printing more money and repaying the owners of government bonds with dollars that are cheaper than the dollars with which the bonds were bought. In other words, politicians cannot cheat people as easily.

That was just one of the ways that the gold standard cramped politicians' style-- and just one of the reasons they got rid of it. One of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first acts as president was to take the United States off the gold standard in 1933.

But, even with the gold standard gone, the ability of private individuals to buy gold reduces the ability of the government to steal the value of their money by printing more money.

Inflation is a quiet but effective way for the government to transfer resources from the people to itself, without raising taxes. A hundred dollar bill would buy less in 1998 than a $20 bill would buy in the 1960s. This means that anyone who kept his money in a safe over those years would have lost 80 percent of its value, because no safe can keep your money safe from politicians who control the printing presses.

That is why some people buy gold when they lose confidence in the government's managing of its money. Usually that is when inflation is either under way or looming on the horizon. When many people start transferring their wealth from dollars into gold, that restricts the ability of politicians to steal from them through inflation.

Even though there is currently very little inflation, purchases of gold have nevertheless skyrocketed. Ordinarily, most gold is bought for producing jewelry or for various industrial purposes, more so than as an investment. But, at times within the past two years, most gold has been bought by investors.

What that suggests is that increasing numbers of people don't trust this administration's economic policies, especially their huge and growing deficits, which add up to a record-breaking national debt.

When a national debt reaches an unsustainable amount, there is always a temptation to pay it off with inflated dollars. There is the same temptation when the Social Security system starts paying out more money to baby boom retirees than it is taking in from current workers.

Whether gold is a good investment for individuals, and whether the gold standard is the right system for a country, are much more complicated questions than can be answered here. But what is clear is that the Obama administration sees people's freedom to buy and sell gold as something that can limit what the government can do.

Indeed, freedom in general cramps the government's style. Those on the left may not be against freedom in general. But, at every turn, they find the freedoms granted by the Constitution of the United States hampering the left's agenda of imposing their superior wisdom and virtue on the rest of us.

The desire to restrain or control the buying and selling of gold is just one of the many signs of the inherent conflict between the freedom of the individual and the left's attempts to control our lives.

Sneaking a provision on gold purchases and sales into massive legislation that is supposedly about medical care is just one of the many cynical tricks used to circumvent the public's right to know how they are being governed. The Constitution begins, "We the people" but, to the left, both the people and the Constitution are just things to circumvent in order to carry out their agenda.

To read another article by Thomas Sowell, click here.

TARP Again?

TARP Again?
Larry Kudlow
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

President Obama is crowing about his small-business bill, signed into law on Monday. “It was critical that we cut taxes and made more loans available to entrepreneurs,” he said. Trouble is, small businesses and community banks don’t want Obama’s $30 billion program. That’s right. They don’t want it.

An AP story quotes community bankers who do not want the Treasury Department or other federal agencies to own stock in their banks. They know the regulatory takeover risk that will come with this program. Next thing you know, the government will order banks to make unaffordable mortgages available to low-income folks, or perhaps force business loans on the basis of race or gender.

“We have taken a strategic decision not to have our primary regulator, the government, also be a partner in our bank,” said William Chase Jr., CEO of Triumph Bank in Memphis, Tenn. The upshot is that Obama’s whacky $30 billion mini-TARP is likely to be rejected by the vast majority of small banks. They took a look at the TARPed-up regulation overhanging the big banks, and they don’t want any part of it.

Triumph’s Chase also said that his “business customers are mired in uncertainty and are reluctant to invest in their businesses.” Chase is onto something. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), only 4 percent of small-business owners surveyed in August cited a lack of financing as their top business problem. And a full 91 percent say all their credit needs are met.

So what’s the real problem? It’s the economy, stupid. And it will get worse should the entire Bush tax-cut plan, including the alternative minimum tax, wind up in flames at year-end. If the Bush rates expire, an already sluggish recovery will be doomed. That’s the real issue.

But Obama thinks his $30 billion mini-TARP will do the trick. Most folks may not know it, but as part of this plan, the Treasury would buy stock in the community banks that qualify, with those banks having to pay an annual dividend of 5 percent to the government. If those banks make loans to small businesses, the dividend payment might drop to 4 percent. But if they don’t use the money for loans, the dividend payment becomes a penalty at 7 percent. That amounts to Treasury control of the small banks that play this silly game.

Who in their right mind would sign up for this? This is government-planning intervention almost beyond belief.

Now, the Obama plan includes some tiny targeted tax cuts for capital gains and faster business depreciation. But why not universalize those ideas for all businesses on a permanent basis, instead of just small-ball targeting? If you believe those investment-related tax cuts will work for a year for small businesses, why not believe they will work permanently for all businesses?

Just lower the cost of capital and raise the investment return permanently to reignite sagging animal spirits in the economy. Then let markets -- not government planners -- make the final decisions.

Another business-tax point: In the Pledge to America, the GOP House leadership unnecessarily plays small ball with its own small-business tax plan. The Republicans want a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of small-business income. But they would be much better advised to take a big-bang approach that would lower the marginal tax rate on all business profits, large, medium, and small. Take the top rate of 35 percent down to 15 or 20 percent. Better yet, replace the corporate-profits tax for all businesses with a sales tax net of all investment expenses. This would end the double tax on business capital and provide new tax-rate incentives.

And one other bee in my bonnet: Republicans should support a 5.25 percent tax holiday on the repatriation of $1 trillion in U.S. corporate profits that reside overseas. This Bush-era idea worked in 2005 by bringing about $350 billion of new investment into the United States. And the stakes are even higher now. At the lower tax rate, American firms will bring their money home. Since some portion of that new money will go into new investment and job hires, this plan will pay for itself.

So I encourage the GOP to think big on business taxes, not small. And also to think big on major flat-tax reform to radically simplify the crazy IRS system, slash the marginal rate, and broaden the base to get rid of all special-interest tax subsidies.

Let free-enterprise know that change is really coming.

Stephen Colbert: Can't Handle the Truthiness?

Stephen Colbert: Can't Handle the Truthiness?
Jonah Goldberg
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

Stephen Colbert's "testimony" before Congress last week was a clear sign that ironic rot (if you've got a better term, let me know) is sinking into the foundation of our political system.

Irony or post-irony or ironic post-whatever has been metastasizing through the culture for decades. The most famous example was "Seinfeld," a hilarious show that was famously "about nothing" and much-derided by earnest writers on the left and right for its detached mockery of any deeply held principle or conviction.

But it hardly began with "Seinfeld." David Letterman launched a talk show that made fun of talk shows. Before that, "Saturday Night Live" crafted brilliant fake commercials and newscasts (which, sadly, are the only reliably funny parts of the show these days).

In the 1990s, Washington fell in love with Hollywood in an unprecedented way. In countless films, politicians, reporters and pundits played themselves. There was also an influential, and occasionally funny, sitcom called "Murphy Brown" that jumped back and forth from make-believe to reality. Things got particularly confusing when Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the show for glamorizing out-of-wedlock birth, and the show's creators responded by having the fictional Murphy Brown whine about personal attacks on her lifestyle.

Things got outright weird with the creation of "The Daily Show," a fake news program hosted by Jon Stewart since 1999 that often provides some of the best (and occasionally the worst) criticism of American politics and is revered on the left as somehow newsier than news. For what it's worth, a senior Republican congressmen told me that a "Daily Show" piece on the GOP "Pledge to America" was the only one that drew blood.

"The Daily Show" begat "The Colbert Report," in which Colbert plays a jingoistic, know-it-all, borderline bigot whose standard for veracity can be summarized with the word "truthiness."

In other words, he pretends to be what many liberals claim Bill O'Reilly is. That's the joke, get it?

It was this Stephen Colbert who was invited to testify before a House judiciary subcommittee on immigration and labor. It was an excruciatingly inappropriate spectacle. "This is America," Colbert inveighed. "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican."

But who, exactly, is Colbert parodying here? O'Reilly doesn't talk like that. Nor does Sean Hannity or any of the usual targets Colbert's supposed to be lampooning. The real upshot of Colbert's shtick is that he's mocking people who disagree with him -- or with the left-wing base of the Democratic Party -- on the complicated issue of immigration.

This was made abundantly clear by the sober testimony of Carol Swain, a Vanderbilt University professor of law and political science, who argued quite effectively that a steady flow of cheap migrant labor depresses wages for poor blacks and other American workers while keeping working conditions grim.

Though Colbert would obviously deny it, his testimony amounted to calling Swain -- an African-American woman of very humble background -- an ignorant bigot, because her analysis runs counter to the liberal party line.

Colbert's defenders point to the fact that other celebrities have testified before Congress. "I would like to point out," Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) noted during the hearing, "that in the past the Republicans have had witnesses such as Loretta Swit, who played 'Hot Lips' Houlihan from 'MASH,' to testify on crush videos." True enough. But she didn't testify as "Hot Lips."

Colbert's testimony reduced the topic to a black-and-white issue in which people on the other side are fools or bigots worthy of cheap mockery. I thought the whole point of Colbert was to stand against that sort of thing by making fun of it, not by doing it. Are our politics really improved by making congressional hearings even more of a joke? Were they truthiness-deficient?

On Oct. 30, Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive" will join Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" on the National Mall. They will rationalize the stunts as send-ups and putdowns of all that is wrong with our politics. But by slowly degenerating from satire into plain old mockery, these guys are slowly becoming too-clever-by-half versions of the very people they claim to deplore.

To read another article by Jonah Goldberg, click here.

What Is a Narcissist To Do?

What Is a Narcissist To Do?
David Limbaugh
Tue, Sep, 28, 2010

With news of President Obama's plan to swarm the heartland this week to re-energize his base, one wonders whether he's finally heard the message that mainstream America is repulsed by his agenda. Is his direct appeal to "the young and minority voters" an admission that he's beyond electoral redemption with the rest?

Well, a new George Washington University Battleground poll indicates that only 38 percent of Americans believe he deserves to be re-elected. His personal approval rating is higher -- mystifyingly -- but that is doubtlessly small comfort to Democratic congressmen, whose political fortunes are on the line in just five weeks.

Unfortunately for Democrats, the midterm elections will be nationalized like never before (including 1994), and the primary issue at play in these so-called "local" elections will be the president's agenda, just as it was with the U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. The Republicans were smart to introduce their "pledge" notwithstanding its flaws, but even without it, the congressional elections would have been nationalized.

The Washington Post reports that Obama is focusing his efforts on his "surge" voters -- "the roughly 15 million Americans who voted for the first time in 2008" -- because the polls are "showing independent voters swinging toward Republicans in Wisconsin and the nation's other battlegrounds."

But even Obama's 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, acknowledges that though many of these voters still strongly approve of the president, "a lot of them aren't showing enough predilection to vote."

Then again, what else can Obama do? He has lost credibility with mainstream Americans, and his record is an unmitigated disaster. He has no persuasive excuses for his policy failures, as the blaming Bush strategy lost its luster months ago. Not that he isn't going to continue trying to persuade adults to ignore their lying eyes, but for now, at least, he's out to recapture the magic with those voters he excited into participatory politics.

But how will he sell them this time? Plouffe says Obama intends to remind students of all the hard work they put into his 2008 campaign and warn them that if they don't stay engaged, all their hard work together could be jeopardized.

But hard work to what end? Has he ever bothered defining what he is trying to accomplish, beyond the platitudinous "hope and change"? Hope and change from what, to what?

Of course, we adults know darn well what he's trying to accomplish: the transformational change of the greatest nation in the history of mankind. That is, uprooting America's founding ideals and replacing them with his Utopian vision, which even he does not understand.

But when he approaches his fellow idealists this time, he will be on different footing. He can no longer credibly portray himself as an outsider looking to change the status quo. He is largely responsible for the status quo, which, by the way, is anything but static. The "quo" is dynamic and is heading straight into the gutter, with our federal government 1 1/2 steps through the bankruptcy door, nationalized medicine merely a heartbeat away, our national security going south and a chief executive and commander in chief determined to continue on the same perilous path.

What specifics will he tell young people and minorities to motivate them to stay engaged? Reportedly, he will "tout his administration's record on issues important to young people." Does that mean he will tell the young that if they continue to support his agenda by electing his shameless enablers in Congress, they can expect America to stay in a severe recession for another decade because "it took us 10 years to get into this mess"? He might as well say, "Stay the course and be guaranteed you won't have a job when you graduate, but at least you'll be thwarting those evil Republicans."

Will he tell minorities he has personally enhanced race relations in this nation, when he has clearly fanned the flames of racial tension? That he has improved their plight, when he has, for example, single-handedly reversed welfare reform, which had measurably reduced, among other things, black child poverty and illegitimacy?

Don't forget that a major part of his appeal to the young and minorities was his promise of a new era, a new type of politics, a different atmosphere in America. But he has given us the most partisan and divisive administration in recent memory. How can going back to the well with yet more empty rhetoric help him when he has completed a two-year record directly contradicting his promises?

Say what you will, but Obama has no other play in his playbook than to make these elections about himself and his agenda, when that is the exact opposite of what his party needs. But what is a lonely narcissist to do?

To read another article by David Limbaugh, click here.

Political Correctness?

Let's Offend Everybody!

Q. What's the Cuban National Anthem?
A. Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Q. Where does an Irish family go on vacation?
A. A different bar.

Q. What did the Chinese couple name their tan, curly-haired baby?
A. Sum Ting Wong .

Q. What do you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter than the other?
A. A speech impediment.

Q. Why aren't there any Puerto Ricans on Star Trek?
A. Because they're not going to work in the future either.

Q. Why do Driver Ed classes in redneck schools use the car only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays?
A. Because on Tuesday and Thursday, the Sex Ed class uses it.

Q. What's the difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo?
A. The southern zoo has a description of the animal …along with a recipe.

Q. How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the 'F' word?
A. Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell, 'BINGO!'

Q. What's the difference between a northern fairytale and a southern fairytale???
A.A northern fairytale begins, ...'Once upon a time...'
A southern fairytale begins,... 'Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit.'

Q. Why doesn't Mexico have an Olympic team?
A. Because all the Mexicans who can run, jump, or swim are already in the United States

OH! shut up ... just pass it on!

Joe asks for 6 months of retraining for 'Cattle Guards'!

You know why there's a Second Amendment? In case the government fails to follow the first one.

" In God We Trust."

Joe asks for 6 months of retraining for 'Cattle Guards'!


For those of you who have never traveled to the west, or southwest, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways (sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing over that area. For some reason the cattle will not step on the "guards," probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

A few months ago, President Obama received and was reading a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado .The Colorado ranchers had protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, so he ordered the Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the “cattle guards" immediately!

Before the Secretary of the Interior could respond and presumably try to straighten President Obama out on the matter, Vice-President Joe Biden,intervened with a request that...before any “cattle guards" were fired, they be given six months of retraining for Arizona border guards. 'Times are hard', said Joe Biden, 'it's only fair to the cattle guards and their families!'

Cattle Guards

And these two bozos are running our country, OMG!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The 'Peace Through Strength' Pledge

The 'Peace Through Strength' Pledge
Frank Gaffney
Mon, Sep, 27, 2010

Last week, Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiled with much fanfare their "Pledge to America." It is intended by the GOP leadership to serve as both a campaign platform for winning a new majority and as a program for governing should they succeed.

The document transparently is designed to appeal to those Republicans, Tea Party activists, independents and conservative Democrats who are rallying to the defense of the U.S. Constitution at a moment when it is under assault, in the words of the congressional oath of office "from enemies, foreign and domestic."

Just as the framers saw the need for the immediate amendment of the original Constitution with the Bill of Rights, however, the Pledge to America cries out for a strengthened national security plank. Call it a "Bill of National Security Rights" or, better yet, "the Peace Through Strength Pledge."

As it stands, the House GOP's Pledge treats the Constitution's obligation to "provide common defense" as a kind of afterthought. Just 758 words - a little under two pages of the forty-five in its glossy blueprint for "a governing agenda" - are devoted to mostly hortatory statements about demanding policies, "getting all hands on deck" and passing "clean" troop-funding legislation.

The "Plan for National and Border Security" reads like focus group-tested themes embraced as a sort of issue box-checking exercise. What the times require, though, must be a key element of a defining - and differentiating - platform for a would-be governing party.

There are considerably more pictures in the Pledge booklet than there are substantive commitments on why we need a different approach to national security than has been the practice under Democratic control, and to what end.

A modest suggestion would be to flesh out the Pledge to America with a real national security platform - one that has the advantage of addressing more comprehensively and more definitively the choices facing the country in this critical election.

To this end, leaders of six preeminent national security-minded public policy institutions - including the Heritage Foundation, the Claremont Institute, the Foundation for Defense of Democracy and my own Center for Security Policy - came together earlier this year to define such an agenda. As it is rooted in the tradition and vision of Ronald Reagan, we call it the Peace through Strength Platform.

This 10-item Bill of National Security Rights includes the following commitments:

* A robust defense posture including: A safe, reliable effective nuclear deterrent, which requires its modernization and testing; the deployment of comprehensive defenses against missile attack; and national protection against unconventional forms of warfare - including biological, electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) and cyber attacks.

* Preservation of U.S. sovereignty against international treaties, judicial rulings and other measures that would have the effect of supplanting or otherwise diminishing the U.S. Constitution and the representative, accountable form of government it guarantees.

* A nation free of Shariah, the brutally repressive and anti-Constitutional totalitarian program that governs in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Islamic states and that terrorists are fighting to impose worldwide.

* Protection from unlawful enemy combatants. Enemies who refuse to wear uniforms, use civilians as shields and employ terrorism as weapons are not entitled to U.S. constitutional rights or trials in our civilian courts. Those captured overseas should be incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, which should remain open, or in other prisons outside the United States.

* Energy security, realized by exploiting to the fullest the natural resources and technologies available in this country. We Americans must reduce our dependence for energy upon - and transfers of national wealth to - enemies of this country.

* Borders secure against penetration by terrorists, narco-traffickers or others seeking to enter the United States illegally. Aliens who have violated immigration laws should not be rewarded with the privileges of citizenship.

* High standards that protect the military culture essential to the All-Volunteer Force. The Pentagon should implement sound priorities, policies and laws that strengthen recruiting, retention, and readiness.

* A foreign policy that supports our allies and opposes our adversaries. It should be clearly preferable to be a friend of the United States, not its enemy.

* Judicial and educational institutions that uphold the constitutional responsibility of elected officials to make policy for our military and convey to future generations accurate portrayals of American history, including the necessity of defending freedom.

Some of these points are touched on in the Pledge to America; others are not. But taken together, an amended and augmented Pledge would provide a far more firm basis for appealing to the American electorate. It would also ensure that those elected this Fall have a mandate for leadership in this most important of portfolios, one that promises to stand the country in far better stead during the difficult months and years ahead. One that would be worthy of broad-based political support - and likely to secure it.

To paraphrase President Reagan, if not we, who will offer the leadership necessary truly to meet the constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense? And, if not now, when?

To read another article by Frank Gaffney, click here.

A Shrugged Summer

A Shrugged Summer
Bruce Bialosky
Mon, Sep, 27, 2010

Whenever June comes around, summer reading lists are sure to follow. They appear from a variety of sources, each of which wishes to enlighten us on how to best spend our afternoons at the beach and our lazy summer evenings. Most lists include a popular spy/crime thriller along with other mindless diversions. But this summer, my son and I tackled a more challenging, yet vastly more fulfilling book: Atlas Shrugged.

I have read Atlas twice before. When I proposed the idea to my son, who turned 21 years old in August, I pointed out that it was generally considered to be America’s second most influential book, after the Bible. We sent my old, worn paperback to the recycle store and ordered two beautiful new copies.

The 1,168 page tomes arrived and my boy did not flinch, even though he was staring at the longest book with the smallest type that he had ever attempted to read. Our plan was to read about 100 pages a week, after which we would meet to discuss what we had read and to share particularly moving passages.

Taking on such a challenge can be quite … challenging. As you read through what is generally regarded as Ayn Rand’s manifesto for capitalism, you must wonder how she conceived such a project. While many authors have described the process of writing a 350-page crime novel – usually how they must outline the entire story before they start – Ms. Rand’s sheer brilliance is reflected in the fact that she actually completed this project, which was both her final and her finest novel. The fact that it is written in such clear prose, and covers such essential life concepts, makes you realize why so many people are so consumed by the book.

During the summer I told some friends what my son and I were doing. Everyone had some type of reaction. The people who had not read it spoke of their desire to do so, and the others told me of how many times they had read it. I told everyone that the book is a work of science fiction, an opinion which was generally met with either a quizzical look or a sigh. I explained to them that the book, which was first published in 1957, clearly predicts our society under the Obama Administration. Veteran and virgin readers alike realized that they needed to get their nose into Atlas to gain clarity on what we are all facing as long as Obama remains in office.

If you doubt the prescience of Ayn Rand, turn to page 744 to read about a doctor who no longer practices his profession. When asked why, he replies “I quit when medicine was placed under State control many years ago. Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun.” If you don’t think vast numbers of doctors feel this way, you have not spoken to any. If ObamaCare goes into effect as passed in 2010, you will soon see droves of doctors living by this creed, and the medical care that most Americans receive will come at the hands of graduates from schools in Indonesia, Mexico, and India because America will not be able to replace the retired doctors quickly enough.

The book, which is sometimes a love story and sometimes a thriller, expresses Ms. Rand’s philosophy on the greatest issues that you will ever face as an individual, and that we will ever face as a society. Each week, my son and I cherished the opportunity to discuss issues that are timeless and yet have never been as relevant as they are today. And each week, I saw the boy who used to ride on my shoulders become a true man, not only in body and age, but in mind.

Reading Atlas Shrugged remains a daunting task. Reaching page 1,000 provides you with certain self-satisfaction, and completing the book brings a feeling of euphoria. Sharing such a vital book with a loved one made the effort totally worthwhile, and absorbing again the philosophies of Ayn Rand made this an experience that will live with me forever.

To read another article by Bruce Bialosky, click here.

Who Are the Realists and Who Are the Ideologues?

Who Are the Realists and Who Are the Ideologues?
Star Parker
Mon, Sep, 27, 2010

The banter continues about the Republican Party being pushed to the right by “ideologues.”

Working Americans interest in politics is motivated by how to make our lives better. They don’t care about how one set of intellectuals or pundits think the world should be against some other set of ideas of ideology. They care about the facts. How the world really is and acting accordingly.

Two principles often labeled as “right wing ideology” are that as a society we are better off with limited government and individual freedom and that as individuals we are better off being married. Is this wishful thinking of ideologues or is this reality?

Two publications just out provide factual substantiation backing up both these principles.

Economic Freedom of the World, now in its 16th edition, is an annual index published co-operatively by 70 think tanks from around the world. This team has developed measures of economic freedom and then correlates these measures with economic performance in every country in the world.

What, according to this publication, is economic freedom? The core principles are “personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of privately owned property.”

They look at five areas to measure if these conditions exist. Size of government (expenditures, taxes, and government enterprises), legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade, and regulation of credit, labor, and business.

The result of the analysis – using the measures of economic freedom and looking at 141 nations around the world to examine the correlation between economic freedom and prosperity - leads to a clear conclusion. More economic freedom correlates with more prosperity and higher quality of life.

Breaking down 141 nations into four quartiles, running from the least free quarter to the most free, shows the following: The highest quartile – the most free - has an average per capita income two and half times higher that than the average of the second quartile, four and half times higher than the third quartile, and nine and a half times higher than the least free quartile.

Average life expectancy in the most economically free nations is seven years higher than the second quartile, eleven years higher than the third, and twenty years higher than in the poorest.

The Index also shows that nations that are more economically free are more likely to be politically free – they have more political rights and civil liberties – than those not economically free. And individuals in the most economically free nations report the highest levels of “life satisfaction.”

How about marriage?

A new paper published by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation examines data in our own country and shows with clarity that the more likely a household is headed by a married couple the less likely that household will be poor.

Thirty six percent of children living in households headed by a single mother are poor. Six percent of children living in households headed by married parents are poor.

Among black families, 38% of single parent households are poor compared to 13% of households with married parents. Among white households, 22% of single parent household are poor compared to 3% of households with married parents.

As Rector notes, when President Johnson announced the War on Poverty in 1964, 93% of babies born in our country were born to married parents. Today 59% of babies born in the United States have married mothers.

If you accept my definition of ideologue, that it’s someone wedded to a set of ideas, independent of facts, who are the ideologues?

We have overwhelming factual evidence that the more economic freedom individuals have in a country, the more likely that nation will be prosperous, with a high quality of life. We also have overwhelming evidence showing that the more likely a family is headed by a single parent, the more likely that household will be poor.

Looking from the other side, we have overwhelming evidence that government spending does not reduce poverty nor does big government create prosperity.

So who are the ideologues and who are the realists?

To read another article by Star Parker, click here.