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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Falling Energy Prices Lead to First 12-Month Drop in Consumer Prices since 1950s

(CNSNews.com) – Fueled by a 39 percent drop in gasoline prices and a 23 percent decline in overall energy prices, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell in March for the 12 month in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It’s the first 12-month decline in consumer prices in the United States since August of 1955.


White House, Georgetown Say Covering Over Name of Jesus Was Unintended Consequence of Staging
(CNSNews.com) - A White House spokesman and an associate vice president of Georgetown University said on Thursday that covering over the monogram “IHS” — a symbol for the name of Jesus — on a pediment at the back of the stage where President Obama spoke on Tuesday was the unintended consequence of the White House’s desire to have a backdrop of flags behind the president.

Georgetown Did Not Cover Over Name of Jesus When First Lady Laura Bush Spoke

(CNSNews.com) – As First Lady, Laura Bush spoke at Georgetown University in front of the same "IHS"--a symbol for the name of Jesus--that the Jesuit school covered over when President Barack Obama spoke there on Tuesday.

Failing on Campaign Promises

By Rich Tucker :
Our federal government is almost recession-proof. Unfortunately. While private companies across the country are letting workers go, Uncle Sam -- fueled by February’s massive “stimulus” bill -- plans to add tens of thousands of employees. Once retained, these bureaucrats will remain on the public payroll for decades, long after the current economic difficulties are over and forgotten.

That brings to mind another growth industry in the nation’s capital: lobbying.

On the campaign trail last year, candidate Barack....

The Myth of Public Airways

By John Armor :
People who don’t know much about freedom of the press (or don’t care much about it) often say that the government has a right to regulate the content of broadcast media because "the public owns the airways." If that were true, the government would have a right to censor your personal phone calls and e-mails.

Let’s take this a step at a time. The Radio Act of 1927.....

Veterans a Focus of FBI Extremist Probe - WSJ.com

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year launched a nationwide operation targeting white supremacists and "militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups," including a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to memos sent from bureau headquarters to field offices.

The initiative, dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle, was outlined in February, two months before a memo giving a similar warning was issued on April 7 by the Department of Homeland Security.

Rattner Involved in Inquiry on Fees - WSJ.com

Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration's auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state's pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Barney Frank's Double Indemnity

Mr. Frank wants to put a public safety net under municipal bonds. - WSJ

Barney Frank's track record as a financial analyst is, shall we say, mixed. The House Financial Services Chairman said for years that a collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would pose zero risk to taxpayers. For most people, a mistake of that magnitude would trigger introspection, if not humility. But not the sage of Massachusetts. He's cooking up another fantastic subsidy -- and like the last one, he swears taxpayers won't feel a thing. In his words, "it would cost the federal government zero." Uh oh.

Mr. Frank believes state and local governments are ......

When Doctors Opt Out

We already know what government-run health care looks like.- WSJ.com

Here's something that has gotten lost in the drive to institute universal health insurance: Health insurance doesn't automatically lead to health care. And with more and more doctors dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see a physician no matter what coverage you have.

Obama's Popularity Doesn't Mean Much Abroad

As ever, countries have interests, not friends. - WSJ.com

States battle over drug tests for welfare recipients

By Dr. William Douglass

We're all living President Obama's socialist dream (which I'm positive is going to end up being America's nightmare). Federal money is being tossed about in ways that would embarrass the most drunken of sailors.

Believe it or not, some states have shot down bills that would require drug tests for people on the welfare rolls.

As if it's not bad enough that we have 20 million illegal citizens of Mexico getting health benefits from the U.S. taxpayers, now it seems that it's just fine to be paying people to sit around and take drugs instead of taking a job and contributing to society. Where does it end?

As you probably have guessed, the argument over these welfare drug testing bills follow party lines closely: Republicans support it … Democrats are against it.

Republican West Virginia State Delegate Craig Blair sponsored the bill that put this debate in the national limelight, and has spread the word about his theories on the website NotWithMyTaxDollars.com. And though he recently saw his bill get voted down, he vows it will be back.

Critics of Blair's idea claim that it takes aim at the poor. "That is false," Blair says. This is trying to make sure that we're going to have the resources for those that are truly in need."

Blair says the idea has gained popular support - in my opinion, that's because it makes sense. So far, he's received more than 5,000 emails and countless phone calls from people who are rallying to his cause.

Blair's idea was to put a "two strikes and your out" plan in place: two failed drug tests, no more public assistance funds. Incredibly, he met resistance.

But while the bill died in West Virginia, it's gotten the nod from the Kansas State House, where State Rep. Kasha Kelley said the ultimate motive of the bill was to encourage drug abusers to seek treatment. The added bonus of the law would of course be that good tax dollars aren't used to support bad habits.

According to Kansas State Rep. Tom Sawyer, a Democrat from Witichita, "We do not have the right to assume that poor people are more likely to take illegal drugs."

There is, of course, a problem with Sawyer's rhetoric (as there often tends to be with most liberal rhetoric). If what Sawyer says is true, then "we" also don't have the right to assume that police officers, bus drivers, airline pilots, or train operators are more likely to take illegal drugs. And yet those and many other jobs have drug testing as a perquisite of employment.

Think about that: it's OK to require drug testing for people who want to work, but drug testing people who want to get free money is a no-no. It's asinine.

Programs like this are actually nothing new. Michigan had a random drug testing program in place for welfare applicants 10 years ago, but that was stopped because it was deemed "unconstitutional" in by a 2003 Federal court. Of course, the court neglected to point out that there's actually nothing in the Constitution that authorizes that tax dollars be spent on public assistance, either … but I digress.

And with that, the concept of personal responsibility in America puts another foot into the grave.

Iran's new South American embassies tied to Hizbullah activity, U.S. routes
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials said Iran and its proxy, Hizbullah, were expanding activities in South America and using the same trafficking routes into the United States as Mexico's drug cartel.

The officials said Iran has opened six embassies in South America since 2004 in an effort to establish an intelligence and operational network.

"Return of the Money Snatchers?"

By Richard W. Rahn (Cato Institute: Commentary)
When will the next round of inflation hit, and how can we protect ourselves? Many economists and commentators, including yours truly, have warned about the potential of a new round of high inflation due to the great expansion of government spending. But does an increase in government spending necessarily translate into higher inflation? The answer is "no," but it most often does, and this is why.

An increase in government spending must be financed by......

Caving to Iran

The British are surrendering to blackmail from Iranian proxies. The U.S. should not follow suit.
By Michael Ledeen

In American custody in Iraq are two Iranian terrorists, Ali Musa Daqduq and Qayis Khazali. Both were captured in Iraq in the spring of 2007, following the bloody attack in Karbala in which five American soldiers were murdered.

U.S. military forces in Iraq discovered that both of them were working for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force. The British want them released. They want them exchanged for Brits being held hostage in Iran. Those hostages are used to blackmail their country into doing things it might not otherwise do.

Knowing all this about the Brits, one has to wonder to what extent we, too, are being blackmailed by the mullahs. There are now four Americans held hostage now in Iran, the most well-known being Roxana Saberi, and two in North Korea.


By Jack Kelly
To The Point News
"The White House said the president is unaware of the tea parties and will hold his own event today," ABC's Dan Harris reported on the "Good Morning America" program the morning of April 15.

This was, of course, a preposterous lie. Mr. Obama may not approve of the Tea Party phenomenon, but he had to be aware of an event that drew hundreds of thousands of people in hundreds of cities across the country.

But if the president is as clueless as his aides represented him to be to Mr. Harris, let's hope his foreign intelligence is better than his domestic intelligence is.

Caroline B. Glick: The Pakistani dilemma
In the current era of ideological polarization, throughout the West, the Right and the Left diverge on almost every issue. One of the few convictions that still unifies national security strategists across the ideological spectrum is that it would be a global calamity of the first order if al Qaida gets its hands on nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, due to the rapid demise of nuclear-armed Pakistan as a coherent political unit, this nightmare scenario is looking more possible than ever. Indeed, if events continue to move in their current direction, it is more likely than not that in the near future, the Taliban and al Qaida will take possession of all or parts of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"In his major foreign policy address in Prague committing the United States to a world without nuclear weapons, President Obama took note of North Korea's missile launch just hours earlier and then grandiloquently proclaimed: 'Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response.' A more fatuous presidential call to arms is hard to conceive. What 'strong international response' did Obama muster to North Korea's brazen defiance of a Chapter 7 -- 'binding,' as it were -- U.N. resolution prohibiting such a launch? The obligatory emergency Security Council session produced nothing. No sanctions. No resolution. Not even a statement. China and Russia professed to find no violation whatsoever. They would not even permit a U.N. statement that dared express 'concern,' let alone condemnation. Having thus bravely rallied the international community and summoned the U.N. -- a fiction and a farce, respectively -- what was Obama's further response? The very next day, his defense secretary announced drastic cuts in missile defense, including halting further deployment of Alaska-based interceptors designed precisely to shoot down North Korean ICBMs. Such is the 'realism' Obama promised to restore to U.S. foreign policy."

--columnist Charles Krauthammer


"Didn't the President, with a straight face, promise to reduce the deficit by half in five years? The Congressional Budget Office forecasts government spending over the next 10 years will quadruple the annual deficit of Bush's presidency. The CBO expects the nation's debt to double in five years and triple in 10. But according to The Heritage Foundation, Obama's claim of '$2 trillion in savings over the next decade' is 'simply not true. His budget increases spending by $1 trillion over the next decade, which he attempts to offset by reclassifying as "savings" $1.4 trillion in tax increases and $1.5 trillion in reduced spending in Iraq.' First he describes tax increases as 'savings.' Then he falsely projects spending on the war in Iraq to remain high. By manipulating 'future spending,' Obama can then 'reduce it' and pronounce it 'savings.'"

--columnist Larry Elder


"What's called the public debt stands at $11 trillion and growing. That pales in comparison to the federal government's unfunded liability -- obligations that are not covered by an asset of equal or greater value. Mike Whalen, former policy chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, commenting on last year's Social Security Trustees annual report on the state of the Social Security and Medicare programs, said, 'The report on the state of entitlement programs is rather grim -- the combined unfunded liabilities of both programs are $101 trillion.' What that means is that in order for government to make good on its promises, Congress would have to put aside tens of trillions of dollars in the bank today. Keep in mind that our GDP is only $14 trillion. In the absence of massive tax increases or cuts in benefits, in order to meet its promises Congress must cease spending on one in four programs by 2020, such as education and highway construction, and one in two by 2030, and by 2050 or so all federal revenue will be spent supporting Social Security, Medicare and prescription drug benefits. Such a scenario is unsustainable. There will be economic and political chaos. Today's politicians are not likely to take measures to avoid the coming chaos because senior citizens, the major beneficiaries of Social Security and Medicare, vote in large numbers and will exact a high political price. Plus, neither today's senior citizens nor today's politicians will be alive in 2050. I'd be more optimistic if my fellow Americans were simply suffering from congressional deception as opposed to their not caring about the economic calamity that awaits tomorrow's Americans."

--George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

"The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful." --President Calvin Coolidge

"The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful." --President Calvin Coolidge

"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --John Marshall

Rescued Ship’s Captain Gives Navy All Credit
(CNSNews.com) – An American sea captain whose ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates ended in dramatic fashion on Sunday was described as “heroic” by a senior Navy officer, but is giving all credit to his U.S. Navy rescuers.

Green Stimulus Money Costs More Jobs Than It Creates, Study Shows
(CNSNews.com) - Every “green job” created with government money in Spain over the last eight years came at the cost of 2.2 regular jobs, and only one in 10 of the newly created green jobs became a permanent job, says a new study released this month. The study draws parallels with the green jobs programs of the Obama administration.

Ari Fleischer Says It's Bad for Our Democracy to Exempt Half the Country From Income Taxes - WSJ.com

If you thought Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme was bad, wait until you hear about the inverted pyramid scheme the federal government is working on. While Mr. Madoff preyed on people who trusted him with their money, the federal government has everyone's money, and the implications of its actions are worse.

Picture an upside-down pyramid with its narrow tip at the bottom and its base on top. The only way the pyramid can stand is by spinning fast enough or by having a wide enough tip so it won't fall down. The federal version of this spinning top is the tax code; the government collects its money almost entirely from the people at the narrow tip and then gives it to the people at the wider side. So long as the pyramid spins, the system can work. If it slows down enough, it falls.

Saving Captain Phillips - WSJ.com
The Easter Sunday rescue of cargo ship Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates is a tribute to his personal bravery and the skill and steel nerves of the U.S. Navy. Now the Obama Administration has an obligation to punish and deter these lawless raiders so they'll never again risk taking a U.S.-flagged ship or an American crew.

The End of Private Health Insurance - WSJ.com
Above every other health-care goal, Democrats this year want to institute a "public option" -- an insurance program financed by taxpayers, managed by government and open to everyone, much like Medicare. This new middle-class entitlement is the most important debate in Congress this year, because it really is the last stand for anything resembling private health insurance.

This public option will supposedly "compete" with private alternatives. As President Obama likes to put it, those who are happy with the insurance they have now can keep it -- and if they happen to prefer the government offering, well, gee whiz, that's the free market at work. The reality is far different. Not only will the new program become the default coverage for the uninsured, but Democrats intend to game the system to precipitate -- or if need be, coerce -- an exodus to government from private insurance. Soon enough, that will be the only "option" left.

Caroline Glick : Surviving in a post-American world
Like it or not, the United States of America is no longer the world's policeman. This was the message of Barack Obama's presidential journey to Britain, France, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Iraq this past week.

Rachel Marsden : French Workers Shut Down Eiffel Tower: A Preview Of Socialism
A Rasmussen poll here in America has just found that only 53% Americans prefer capitalism to socialism. Care to see what the alternative looks like?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jonah Goldberg : Obama's Word Play
President Obama had a grand time in Europe. He wowed the press, met the queen, gave some wonderful news conferences and got virtually none of the major policy concessions he wanted. But he did do a lot of talking, for what that's worth.

And for Obama, that's worth a lot. During the campaign, then-Sen. Obama made it clear that he thought....

Paul Jacob : Today, our backyards -- tomorrow, Washington
Our ability to stop the federal government from spending us, our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren into poverty appears inadequate. For most of the last five decades, the federal boys have spent out of control.

Today? Only more so.

Even worse, this main course of debt and diminished.....

George Will : Racing Past the Constitution
WASHINGTON -- Rampant redistribution of wealth by government is now the norm. So is this: It inflames government's natural rapaciousness and subverts the rule of law. This degeneration of governance is illustrated by the Illinois Legislature's transfer of income from some disfavored riverboat casinos to racetracks.