Saturday, May 29, 2010

op ed review 5/30

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Americans are dissatisfied with both major political parties, but the public's approval of the Democratic Party is at its lowest level ever, a new CBS News poll shows. Favorable views of the Democratic Party dropped 20 points in the past year to 37 percent, according to the poll.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20005961-503544.html?tag=latest

GOP wins House seat in Obama's home district.. First time in 20 years.

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20100523_Djou_wins_US_House_seat.html

Another: For the first time in 20 years, Hawaii's First District Congressional seat goes to a Republican. “Hawaii Republican Djou heads for Congress: 67% reject Inouye”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/hawaii_republican_djou_heads_f.html

President Obama will skip the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery this weekend. But he will hurry home in time to make a White House tribute to Paul McCartney on Wednesday evening. “Somehow, wanting the president to appropriately honor the troops who paid the ultimate price is chalked up as “political ammo.”

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/05/26/president-obamas-memorial-day-vacation/

Pres. Obama gave a commencement speech at the United States Military Academy at West Point, which in effect told the thousand or so soon-to-be second lieutenants that, if he has his way, they’ll soon be out of a job.

http://article.nationalreview.com/434778/obama-at-west-point-lessons-unlearned/arthur-herman

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that the House Republican leadership is “committed to repealing the health care law” if Republicans win a majority in the House in the November elections.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/66614

Dino Rossi is in the race against Sen. Murray.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/05/28/1452896/rossis-senate-bid-gives-voters.html

Another GOP candidate, Clint Didier, wins Sarah Palin's endorsement.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/05/27/clint_didier_tea_party_dino_rossi_palin

Senate Democrats united to pass a financial regulatory bill that allows the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks, including customers’ addresses and ATM receipts.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/66439

Democrats in the Senate have defeated a move by Sen. John McCain to send an additional 6,000 National Guard troops to the U.S-Mexico border.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9FV86NG4&show_article=1

Creeping socialism advances. Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year. At the same time, government-provided benefits rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010. “….a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.”

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-05-24-income-shifts-from-private-sector_N.htm

Democrats in Congress have added $173 billion in new spending to the federal deficit in just three months. They will try this week to add an additional $197 billion in aid to the unemployed and Medicaid funding for states.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/25/democrats-set-to-consider-197-billion-in-emergency-spending-that-will-add-to-the-debt/

A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/05/24/lawmaker-introduces-b-union-pension-bailout/

At first, it was Rush Limbaugh who tagged the gusher in the Gulf "Obama's Katrina" — but now two lions of the left are warning the White House that the administration's handing of the environmental catastrophe is inflicting long-term political damage

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37632.html

A worker hired by Census 2010 told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/two_more_census_workers_blow_the_OqY80N3DBTvL17VmxKKR0O

Mark this date on the calendar and call your senators. The Senate is slated to vote June 10 on Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) resolution that strips EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Murkowski has 40 co-sponsors – including centrist Democrats Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) – for the plan.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/99669-senate-showdown-over-epa-climate-rules-may-happen-june-10

Unions have made no bones about their upcoming involvement in the midterm elections of 2010. In short, unions are scared to death that they will lose their grip on their control of the House and the Senate unless they spend tens of millions of dollars and force their members to campaign for Democratic incumbents.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/25/bradley-blakeman-unions-pelosi-reid-obama-democrats/

“Arizonan Frog Scolds Obama Officials for Not Reading Immigration Law”

http://www.rightpundits.com/?p=6280

Investigators have learned that an illegal immigrant accused of raping a woman in Edmonds WA has been deported nine times.

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Investigators-Edmonds-rape-suspect-deported-nine-times-94637479.html

In a remarkable display of self-degradation, some New York State judges are considering joining the United Federation of Teachers, a highly politicized, big bucks political donor, in an effort to raise their pay.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/05/which_side_are_you_on_ny_judge.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Slaves to the government dole

Washington Examiner 5/26/10

Throughout our history, politicians and pundits have often said "America is at a crossroads." Sometimes it was true, as in the final convulsive years leading up to the Civil War when we decided to end slavery. New data on personal income, taxes and dependency makes clear that the country is again at a historic crossroad and another form of slavery is the central issue. There are no iron chains involved this time, but dependence on government for economic sustenance is no less an enslavement.

Based on Bureau of Economic Analysis data, USA Today reported Tuesday that the portion of personal income received from private sector paychecks declined to 41.9 percent, its lowest point ever, during the first quarter of 2010. The figure was 44.6 percent in December 2007 at the outset of the current recession and 47.6 percent in the first quarter of 2000. By contrast, the personal income received from government programs climbed to 17.9 percent. Add another 9.8 percent for government employee compensation and 27.7 percent of all personal income is derived from government sources. (The remaining 30.1 percent of personal income results from small-business proprietor profits, farm profits, privately funded pensions, investment sales and dividends, and insurance annuities.)

The problem is that government only redistributes income to dependent individuals after taking it from productive individuals, a process that is reflected in tax returns. As the Tax Foundation recently pointed out, 36 percent of all individual returns in 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, showed no net tax liability. That is the highest level of non-paying tax filers in American history. As recently as 1990, only 21 percent of tax filers paid no levies. The result of this trend is that millions more Americans today pay nothing for the benefits they receive, which are paid for by productive taxpayers.

It's no surprise then that measures like the Heritage Foundation's Index of Dependency are curving steeply upward. Preliminary figures from Heritage's Center for Data Analysis show a 13.9 percent increase for 2009, the biggest single-year increase since 1962. The massive one-year jump in dependency -- indexed according to changes in government spending on housing, retirement, health and welfare, etc. -- was mainly caused by President Obama's unprecedented expansion of federal deficit spending and national debt through corporate bailouts and the economic stimulus program. But what happens when productive taxpayers can no longer pay enough taxes to support benefits promised by "progressive" politicians to dependent America? With European welfare states like Greece teetering on this threshold of collapse, our crossroad is whether to continue down the same road or to return to the path that once made us the freest and most prosperous country the world has ever seen.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Slaves-to-the-government-dole-94877134.html#ixzz0p3z4PmWq

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“Mr. Calderon's claim that 80 percent of guns used in Mexican crimes come from the United States is completely false. Most weapons seized in Mexico have traceable serial numbers that show they come from countries other than the United States. The 80 percent number reflects how many guns sent to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing end up being from America. Most weapons seized in Mexico aren't transferred to U.S. authorities, so that figure is meaningless for calculating overall totals. It is offensive for Mr. Calderon to come here as our guest and make up facts to blame America for Mexico's many problems. But it was more frightening to witness Democratic House and Senate members jump up and give a standing ovation when the foreigner called for renewing the Assault Weapons Ban. That's a warning all American gun owners should heed."

-The Washington Times

"Memo to Republican National Committee: this is the branding opportunity of a lifetime. Mr. Calderon whacking decent Americans and being cheered by leftist Democrats is an election-year dream come true. What could be better than a thirty-second commercial showing the power center of a bankrupt political party taking the side of a shamelessly hypocritical foreigner over their fellow Americans? One could even envision a voice-over announcer asking the ultimate brand-reinforcing question: Are Democrats the political party you want representing American interests in Washington, D.C. after the November election?"

-Arnold Ahlert

"The fact is, Mexico has two big exports: Oil, and their second biggest export is poverty to the United States -- from which, in remittances sent back to Mexico, they get $21 billion a year. Mr. Calderon has a stake in illegal immigration to our country."

-George Will

"The bottom line is that Obama, the Justice Department, and the entire executive branch are on Mexico's side in this dispute. On the other hand, the majority of the American people are with Arizona."

-Byron York

"Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled in Congress ... about Arizona's new immigration law. He's denounced the Arizona law as unconstitutional while admitting he hasn't read it. He's read the law, it's the Constitution he's never seen."

-Argus Hamilton

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BOOKS

In a new biography on sale Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh calls fellow conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly a “Ted Baxter” — after the fictional character on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” who was portrayed as a vain, shallow, buffoonish TV newsman. “Sorry but somebody’s gotta say it,” Limbaugh is quoted as saying in “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One” by Zev Chafets.

http://thehill.com/capital-living/in-the-know/99609-rush-limbaugh-mocks-bill-oreilly-in-new-book

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LEFTIST WATCH

President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- a strong supporter of the government-run health care system in Britain -- said in a 2009 interview about Comparative Effectiveness Research, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/66465

Think about this: “We see [health care reform as] a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care. You won’t have to be job-locked.” —Nancy Pelosi, speaking to musicians and artists in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2010

http://weeklystandard.com/articles/marx-keynes-pelosi

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NEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD

It was a scene Saudi women ’s rights activists have dreamt of for years. When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition. But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping. “For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop…the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.”

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=175779

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GLOBALONEY

Global warming downgraded? UN now says case for saving species 'more powerful than climate change'...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/21/un-biodiversity-economic-report

This year’s snowpack in the Sierras is 167 percent of normal.

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/05/24/2771679/persistent-cold-wet-weather-stunts.html#ixzz0oxCUGSLF

A record low of 32 at Spokane International Airport.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/may/24/highs-creeping-back-low-60s-today/

The latest spring snow ever recorded at Salt Lake City International Airport.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=10895240

Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/science/earth/25climate.html

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ACTIVISM

America, House Republicans want your help. In an effort to shed its image as a "party of no" with few original ideas to challenge the Democrat-controlled Congress and White House, House Republicans on Tuesday will begin a campaign to ask the general public for input in drafting their next agenda.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/24/gop-begins-seeking-ideas-from-public/

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ARTICLES

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country's future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise -- limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052101854.html

Rush: “Mexican President Felipe Calderon's speech to a joint session of Congress beating up on the Arizona law, criticizing the Arizona law and blaming us for all the guns in Mexico. And the Democrats were standing up and applauding, giving him a standing ovation for this. This is unprecedented. We have never before had an ally come to the United States, make a speech before a joint session of Congress, rip our country, rip our states, and have the Democrat Party stand up and applaud.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_052010/content/01125106.guest.html

“Over the past week we witnessed presidential and congressional disloyalty without precedent in American history, events that should be indelibly imprinted on the American electorate's collective memory. For the first time (at least to this writer's knowledge), a foreign head of state who is promoting an ongoing, aggressive, illegal, and often violent invasion of America came to our country, met with our president, and, from the White House itself, received our president's implicit but obvious public support for that invasion..”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/is_this_just_a_nightmare_or_di.html

But in Mexico, illegal immigrants receive terrible treatment from corrupt Mexican authorities, say people involved in the system. And Mexico has a law that is no different from Arizona's that empowers local police to check the immigration documents of people suspected of not being in the country legally.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-05-25-mexico-migrants_N.htm

Thanks in large part to Governor Jan Brewer's bold action in signing SB 1070, immigration is shaping up as the issue of the 2010 election….illegal immigration has become the arena in which the upcoming election will be fought. The left cannot win that match. Illegal immigration violates too many fundamental precepts involving security, economics, and questions of national identity. Polling reveals an overwhelming public aversion to illegal immigration, with opposition reaching up to 70%. The Democrats might be better-advised to run on a platform calling for more child abuse. They may not be able to win the debate, but they can fix it so they don't lose either, at the expense of the country as a whole. As for conservatives, we are often only too willing to stumble into the elephant trap laid out for us, losing public arguments you would think it impossible to fumble (see Paul, Rand). So what are the proper tactics for debating the illegals question?........

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/illegals_and_the_election_1.html

One oddity about the Arizona illegals controversy is how little fallout, positive or negative, has touched the politician who set it off, Governor Jan Brewer. As women have moved into the forefront of conservative politics, they have become targets for serious assaults from the left. The treatment they receive is far worse than that given male politicians of the same order, as we have clearly seen with Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. (Snip) And yet Governor Brewer -- much to her own relief, I'm sure -- has not yet become a target in the same way as Palin and Bachmann.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/the_remarkable_rise_of_jan_bre.html

When Sarah Palin speaks, liberal feminists go wild. The woman is like a stilettoed catalyst for backlash from the professional political sisterhood. Much of the bitterness that gushes forth from the lefty sisterhood has very little to do with Palin herself. It’s about the things she represents. She’s a seemingly happy mom, surrounded by her husband and a big family. Pro-life, religious, conservative. Political powerhouse. Depending on who you are and what your gripe or wound is, you can add to and subtract from this list.

http://article.nationalreview.com/434723/sarah-palin-a-feminist-in-the-pro-life-tradition/kathryn-jean-lopez

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Must see. “Obama at the bat”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tcahn7PwQU

The U.S. national debt has passed the $13 trillion mark, according to USDebtClock.org, an independent website that tracks the real-time growth of U.S. revenues and spending. That is $43,000 for each and every American.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Politics/national-debt-soars-past-13-trillion/story?id=10748382

The “Feel good moment of the day”

http://gimundo.com/videos/view/humming-puppies/

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LATE NITE

Jay Leno: President Obama is becoming frustrated about the oil spill and he reportedly said, “Plug the damn hole.” That’s the same thing he says whenever Joe Biden starts talking……The market had such a bad day that over at Merrill Lynch, they tried to lynch Merrill……At the Shanghai World Expo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton passed out teddy bears to Chinese children. The children politely accepted the bears — even though they made them…….A judge has ordered Lindsay Lohan to wear an alcohol detector. She said, “Great. This will help me find alcohol?”……Mexican President Felipe Calderon lashed out at Arizona over their immigration law. He said that Mexicans should boycott sneaking into this country until that law is repealed.

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WISE WORDS

"A judicial activist is a judge who interprets the Constitution to mean what it would have said if he, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it."

Sen. Sam Ervin

"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness."

-George Washington

"It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement."

-Estienne de la Bo├ętie


Saturday, May 22, 2010

op ed review 5/23

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Any doubt about just how toxic the political environment is for congressional incumbents and candidates hand-picked by national Republican and Democratic leaders disappeared late Tuesday, when voters fired Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas and chose tea party darling Rand Paul to be the GOP nominee in Kentucky's Senate race.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g8-DEMtAE9q4i4ySQ0eV_qZefmRQD9FPUP6O1

For any politician with the usual instincts for self-protection, the lessons of Tuesday’s primaries could not be more clear: This could happen to you. Arlen Specter lost in Pennsylvania even though the party-switching Democrat was recruited and backed by a sitting president. Rand Paul won in Kentucky even though the Republican was regarded as an eccentric renegade by that state’s political establishment. The 2010 electorate has swallowed an emetic — disgorging in a series of retching convulsions officeholders in both parties who seem to embody conventional Washington politics.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37468.html

Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda -- especially the health care overhaul.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/21/anti-obama-tack-buoys-some-democrats/

Campaign analysts say mounting Republican momentum has yet to peak and predict more GOP candidates will gain inroads to toppling incumbent Democrats in November's midterm elections, buoyed by independents' dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies and angry, anti-Washington voters.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/19/momentum-seen-for-republicans/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

An Arizona utility commissioner said he's willing to pull the plug on Los Angeles if the city goes through with a boycott of his state. In a letter to the city of LA, a member of Arizona's power commission said he would ask Arizona utility companies to cut off the power supply to Los Angeles. LA gets about 25 percent of its power from Arizona.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Power-Play-Over-Immigration-Law-94251079.html

Is this a good thing, or a long slippery slope? Catholic Church officials said the recent creation by researchers of the first synthetic cell can be a positive development if correctly used, but warned scientists that only God can create life. Vatican and Italian church officials were mostly cautious in their first reaction to the announcement from the United States that researchers had produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. They warned scientists of the ethical responsibility of scientific progress and said that the manner in which the innovation is applied in the future will be crucial.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9FR87BG3&show_article=1

The new Miss USA is a pole-dancing Shi'ite Muslim who counts the Hezbollah terrorist group as part of her loyal fan base. Or, as the Los Angeles Times put it, Rima Fakih is "the poster girl for modern America." Miss Fakih, who as Miss Michigan took the Miss USA crown last weekend, was born in southern Lebanon and has extensive family connections to Hezbollah. But that reportage has been overshadowed by the more politically correct "first Arab-American Miss USA" storyline… The pageant also has taken on a hint of left-leaning political correctness. In years gone by, it was a standing joke that contestants would blather something about world peace during the question period. Now, competitors can expect to be drilled on controversial matters of public policy. This year's victim was Miss Oklahoma Morgan Elizabeth Woolard, who was hit with a hot-button question regarding Arizona's new law against illegal immigrants. She said she was "a huge supporter of states' rights" and that the Arizona law was "perfectly fine." Miss Woolard had been leading Miss Fakih by a wide margin through the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition, but - like Miss Prejean last year - the Okie finished as first runner-up.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/19/the-shiite-stripper-girl-next-door/

Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite allegedly collaborated with anti-Vietnam War activists in the 1960s, going so far as to offer advice on how to raise the public profile of protests and even pledging CBS News resources to help pull off events, according to FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! News.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts2067

Speculation has run rampant for months that Gen. David Petraeus is toying with the idea of a run for the White House. General Petraeus did little to squelch that speculation last week when he spoke at the annual dinner of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of Washington's premier conservative think tanks.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/david-petraeus-speculation-presidential-bid-alive/story?id=10645536

The Obama Administration gave the gulf spill oil rig a “safety award” last year.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100516/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill_inspections

“Democratic Senate candidate lied about serving in Viet Nam

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/18/nyregion/18blumenthal.html

More of this will come: Texas doctors are opting out of Medicare at alarming rates, frustrated by reimbursement cuts they say make participation in government-funded care of seniors unaffordable.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7009807.html

Two fans at a Phoenix Suns basketball game were ejected from their first row seats and removed from the arena last week after refusing orders from security guards to take off their shirts in support of Arizona’s recently passed law against illegal immigration.

http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/17/fans-asked-to-remove-pro-arizona-immigration-law-shirts-during-nba-game/

A top Department of Homeland Security official reportedly said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, said it appeared the Obama administration is "nullifying existing law" and suggested the official may not be the right person for his post if he fails to enforce federal immigration law

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/21/official-says-feds-process-illegals-referred-arizona/

Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, helped craft President Bill Clinton’s political strategy for sustaining his veto of the partial-birth abortion ban in 1997. As a result of Clinton’s successful veto that year, the ban was not enacted until 2003, when it was signed by President George Bush.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/66062

The Texas state school board gave final approval to new social studies standards. The changes, which passed in a series of 9 to 5 votes, could have reverberations far beyond the Lone Star State's schools and its 4.7 million students. The state's large textbook market has traditionally led the way for others; at minimum, Texas students will get very different history lessons than does the rest of the country, as early as next year. The seven-member conservative bloc on the board successfully pushed through changes that they said restored balance after what they called years of liberal bias in history education.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052104365_pf.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

C. Edmond Wright, The American Thinker, 5/19/10

The U.S. dollar and good news for Democrats have a lot in common these days. No matter how much of either liberals print, the absolute value keeps declining. To be fair, the Jurassic media is actually half right in their group think analysis that yesterday's elections were more evidence that the prevailing mood in the country is simply anti-Washington. But the half they get wrong is very wrong indeed. As such, they are losers yesterday.

The biggest winners were Rand Paul's campaign and the Tea Party movement / philosophy. The biggest losers were Barack Obama and the current far left Democrat Congress and their notion of a large and intrusive government. Other losers include the political thinking of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, John McCain, and Bill Clinton.

As for the major parties, consider that the continued rebuke of "reach across the aisle" and "new tone" Republicanism is good news for a GOP that is rather rapidly finding its way. Conversely, the rebuke of a sitting President and Congress -- not to mention the entire governing philosophy of the Democrats -- is potentially catastrophic for them. It was an awful night for liberals.

It is true that there is fierce anti-Washington fervor. But pundits are dead wrong in claiming this means both parties are affected equally. Washington is a liberal Democrat city -- and not only by the standards of the current make up of the administration and the Congress -- though that is very true.

It goes deeper. The very notion of Washington as a control center and hub of intellectual power and great solutions is by definition a liberal ideal. Washington is Mecca to the Democrat liberal base. By contrast, the city and all it represents is anathema to progress and prosperity for the Republican base voters. You know, the tea party types. Yesterday was another sound rebuke of Washington as defined by liberals and thus another big day for the mindset of the tea party movement.

Liberal pundits.. have said that Rand Paul's Primary win is more evidence that the Republican Party is imploding. They could not be more wrong. Paul -- armed with perhaps the perfect first name for a politician in 2010 -- is the quintessential Tea Party candidate. A fierce defender of limited government, the younger Paul and many of his supporters seem unburdened by some of his Dad's most unconventional thoughts, yet he was able to tap into some of the Ron Paul cult support system. More importantly, opponent Trey Grayson, was a McCain type candidate. He seems to have borrowed the worn out phrases from Kay Bailey Hutchinson's tired campaign in Texas. Grayson's ads touted his ability to "get things done" in Washington by "working with people." I think Grayson would have lost to a blank space with such a tone-deaf campaign.

No, the party is not imploding. It is healing, and this means getting rid of cancers like Grayson (and Bennett and Crist.) Rand Paul will win the General Election, as will Marco Rubio in Florida and a Republican in Utah also.

Arlen Specter's final chapters as a Senator are object lessons in what is wrong with Washington generally and what is wrong with moderate Republicans as a concept. The most devastating turn in this campaign was the release of an ad featuring kind words from Bush 41 from days when Specter was a Republican…Bush's endorsement of Specter was a center- piece in Rove's philosophically vacant "permanent majority" strategy. The era of Arlen Specter - and of the "new tone" - is over. Now Pennsylvania will get a choice. Liberal Joe Sestak will run against Conservative Republican Pat Toomey in November. And yes, there is indeed more "than a dime's worth of difference" in those two.

You know it's bad night when a win is actually a loss. Perhaps the worst news of the night for Team Obama was the Democrat win in the special election in Pennsylvania for Jack Murtha's seat. Huh? Yep, Mark Critz is a "Rush Limbaugh Democrat" who campaigned against almost everything Obama and Murtha support. Frankly, he was more conservative than the McCain campaign of 2008 and was more apt to criticize Obama than is, say, Lindsay Graham. Republican Tim Burns had no one to run against, and the district is heavily Democrat by registration. This was hardly a race that can be celebrated by the Democrat leadership today. Critz is the type of Democrat that Nancy Pelosi was hoping to lose in November.

There is no clearer symbol of the trouble Obama is in than Blanche Lincoln. She is a sitting U.S. Senator and has the strong endorsement of the two most popular Democrats in a century - Obama and Bill Clinton. -- and she is barely hanging on in her struggle to win a primary...... Once powerful national machines are now losing intramural contests on their home fields. So what does this mean? Does it mean that people are simply fed up with Washington and all elected officials? Not exactly, though there is an element of truth in that analysis. The real meaning is that people are fed up with this President, this congress, their party and the attempt to destroy a country and an economic system that have done more for freedom and good than any country or economic system in world history.

Moreover, people are also fed up with any kind of namby-pamby opposition party that is little more than a low calorie version of the statist Democrats. And this is not new. This wave has been building since Rick Santelli had his tea party rant over mortgages in February of 2009. It built through the tea party rallies in the spring of 2009 and into the town hall meetings of the summer of 2009. The wave rolled in the fall through stunning elections of 09 in Virginia, New Jersey and then later in Massachusetts with Scott Brown. It rolled after the health care debacle and rolls today fueled by brave conservative leaders like Chris Christie and Jan Brewer.

A lot can happen between now and November's general elections, but make no mistake: Yesterday's elections were definitely an extension of the conservative ascendency that is taking hold in this country. As such, it was yet another bad day for liberal America and a good day for tea party supporters. And it matters not that the pundits do not understand it. The truth does not require validation on the "Morning Joe" program or in the New York Times.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/another_very_bad_night_for_oba.html

Another good read:

From the G.M. bondholders, to the Black Panthers at polling stations, to ACORN to the mobs showing up at the homes of private citizens, Obama is running a Hugo Chavez-style thugocracy. In one of the most aggressive and offensive intimidation tactics to date, hundreds of members of the largest union – the SEIU – stormed the front yard of a Bank of America executive. The angry mob had bullhorns, signs and even broke the law by trespassing to bully Baer’s teenage son, the only one home at the time, who locked himself in the bathroom out of fear. This is what unions do. They pressure politicians into spending too much. They push government into bad policy decisions. They sacrifice the private sector for the public sector. And now, they trespass and break the law only to scare the children of private citizens to get their way. If you think the unions are working alone, think again. These protests, the ones storming Wall Street bank lobbies and now the private homes of bankers, are likely being carefully coordinated with the White House to increase their profile against the financial fat cats and help pass disgraced Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s financial regulatory bill. Remember, when the White House visitor records were finally made public, it was SEIU boss Andy Stern who was the most frequent guest. There are also no coincidences in politics. The bill passed the Senate last night.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/21/andrea-tantaros-seiu-andrew-stern-union-protest/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world. That picture -- a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam -- is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there's no cost in lining up with America's enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.”

-Charles Krauthammer

"Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama's agenda). Thanks, Republicans! That's what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton's impeachment. It's what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that's what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha. Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it."

-Ann Coulter

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BOOKS

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gives President Barack Obama only a 20 percent chance of being reelected — and says he might be the one to give Obama the boot. Gingrich, who this week published a book called “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine,” said he thinks Obama has “about one chance in five of getting reelected.” and called him “the closest thing to Jimmy Carter I’ve seen.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37399.html#ixzz0oIAqIAvR

“An American Knight: The Life of Col. John W. Ripley, USMC” by Norman J. Fulkerson In our morally confused age, officers who defend traditional values tend to be the ones kept in the Pentagon closet rather than those with less normal views. Despite this political pressure, most warriors espouse a very conservative ideology. One of them speaks to us from the grave.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/21/not-in-the-pentagon-closet/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

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LEFTIST WATCH

Woody Allen is apparently frustrated with the cumbersome operations of American democracy. He tells the Spanish-language magazine La Vanguardia "It would be good...if (Obama) could be dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/05/woody-allen-obama.html

On his website, Reverend Jim Wallis -- ringleader of the leftist anti-poverty group Sojourners -- has outlined the mission of his organization: "... to articulate the biblical call to social justice." Further perusal of the site elicits how this "biblical call" is to be answered: By means of a government-directed redistributive effort. By spreading the wealth through taxation. By force. To this end, the Sojourners site stipulates that, "There is a biblical role for the state," and "social justice requires economic support from government."

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/the_ugly_side_of_social_justic.html

Socialism: After 12 years in power and $960 billion in oil earnings, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is down to stealing private swimming pools to bring the good life to Venezuela's "poor." It's a new milestone on his road to ruin. Acting like Robert Mugabe on cocaine, Venezuela's dictator went on a shopping spree over the weekend, confiscating one farm and industry after another. First, a flour factory run by Mexican multinational Gruma was plundered, followed by the nationalization of a bauxite unit of U.S.-based NorPro. After that, a steel subsidiary….

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=534341

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GLOBALONEY

Noted scientists at a Chicago climate conference declare that global warming is not only dead, but that the planet faces a big chill for decades to come.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/534878/201005211905/Are-You-Ready-For-Global-iCoolingi-.aspx

Spain’s unimpressive experience with green energy: Spanish newspapers have finally called out the U.S. President for choosing a failed model for a “Green Economy.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/spanish-paper-obama-driving-off-green-energy-cliff-94572944.html

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ACTIVISM

With CBS is rolling out a show this fall that hints at an expletive in its title, watchdog group the Parents Television Council is threatening the network's affiliates with a challenge to their broadcast licenses. At its upfront presentation in New York on Wednesday, CBS announced "$#*!" My Dad Says." The show will air at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday nights this fall.

http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/news/release/2010/0520b.asp

An effort by Sarah Palin and Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer: 'We're all Arizonans now and, in clear unity, we say, 'Mr. President, do your job, secure our border,'" “If you want to stand up with Secure the Border - Support Arizona, please join us in showing your support by adding your name to the petition.”

http://securetheborder.org/

You might want to sign this petition in support of the military:

http://americansforthemilitary.com/

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ARTICLES

Mark Steyn: You may not be interested in Islam, but Islam is interested in you. Islam smells weakness at the heart of the west. The post-World War Two order is dying: The European Union's decision to toss a trillion dollars to prop up a Greek economic model that guarantees terminal insolvency is merely the latest manifestation of the chronic combination of fiscal profligacy and demographic decline in the west at twilight. Islam is already the biggest supplier of new Europeans and new Canadians, and the fastest-growing demographic in the western world. Therefore, it thinks it not unreasonable to shape the character of those societies — not by blowing up buildings and airplanes, but by determining the nature of their relationship to Islam.......Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, "immigrant communities" were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo "female genital mutilation." So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice…..they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a "ritual nick" to young girls. A few years back, I thought even fainthearted western liberals might draw the line at "FGM." After all, it's a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam…..Der Spiegel, an impeccably liberal magazine, summed up the remorseless Islamization of Europe in a recent headline: "How Much Allah Can The Old Continent Bear?" Well, what's wrong with a little Allah-lite? The AAP thinks you can hop on the Sharia express, and only ride a couple of stops. In such ostensibly minor concessions, the "ritual nick" we're performing is on ourselves. Further cuts will follow.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=534079

Lights out in LA?: An Arizona official asks a good question: If California wants to boycott Arizona over the way it enforces federal law, what about the electricity California gets from there? The problem with righteous indignation is that when others call you on it and tell you to put your money where your mouth is, it can cause an embarrassing leak in your hot air balloon.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/534694/201005201839/Lights-Out-In-LA-.aspx

The essence of liberal bankruptcy can be reduced to two words: unintended consequences. Quite simply, the unintended consequences of liberalism are the result of people behaving like people actually behave--instead of how liberals believe they should behave.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0510/ahlert051910.php3

One of the most worrisome social trends today is that many Americans no longer claim ownership of the Constitution. Every time I write about some constitutional issue, I inevitably hear from some smug liberal scoffing at how "Frank the Constitutional Scholar" knows more than the judges and congressmen who reign in Washington. Apparently we are supposed to be comfortable with the idea of letting President Obama, Harry Reid and the judges they appoint and confirm tell us what the Constitution means.

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/opinion/columns/frank/article_f06045b2-5fa8-11df-a56b-001cc4c03286.html

A Salon writer wonders, ''What's the conservative fetish with the Founding Fathers?'' It's because we read history, my sadly ignorant friend. So did the Founders. History is full of Obamas, and the people who idolized such power-hungry self-glorifying narcissists. The Founders understood human history in their very bones…

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/05/why_conservatives_love_the_fou.html

Mitch Daniels. He's got the conservative chops for it. He's run a leading conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute, and worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Yet that's not what could separate him from the pack of Republican politicians so eager to face off against formidable President Barack Obama. What separates Daniels from other Republicans is his attitude toward the populist tea party movement. He doesn't want to tame the tea party. He doesn't want to own it. He wants to keep a respectful distance. He agrees with the ideas expressed…but believes “the tea party must be authentically separate and spontaneous, which I think it is," Daniels said. "I have carefully stayed away from it — not because I don't appreciate what they are doing, because I do — but because I don't want them tainted by too close of a relationship to either party. "By being independent they have gotten the attention of their fellow citizens in a way that the existing parties, the Republican Party, let's just say, doesn't. I think it's been very constructive. I've said a little creative hell-raising on behalf of freedom is a good thing,"

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0516-20100516,0,5292294,full.column

Harvard’s double standard on gay rights: “On the one hand, Harvard accepts money from Saudis. Saudi Arabia, by the way, executes homosexuals, Saudi Arabia represses women, Saudi Arabia does not allow Christians or Jews to practice their religion, but Saudi money is fine….So Harvard, for the right price, can summon tolerance even when it comes to governments’ executing people for sodomy. Yet it showed considerably less tolerance for the United States military on the matter of not allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.”

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/295151

The 2012 presidential election wasn’t high on the minds of the NRA convention’s organizers, or of most of the attendees. But mainstream-media voices declared that the speaker lineup “looks like the conservative roundup for the 2012 GOP primaries,” and it’s hard to imagine a Republican winning the party’s nomination without a reasonably solid record on protecting the Second Amendment.

http://article.nationalreview.com/434275/the-nra-convention-as-a-2012-cattle-call/jim-geraghty?page=1

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Oliver North, Veterans Day salute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJfeD-I39CQ

You’re going to like this guy’s attitude:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU7fhIO7DG0

Ray Stevens, “Come to the USA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV1aZFPPvY8

“I got to sit on a cliff and feel the earth move”

http://www.komonews.com/news/94104494.html

For dog lovers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkPNa4DBFHI

For stock pickers, check the IBD 100:

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/1761-born-in-the-usa-top-5-american-stocks-in-ibd-100

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LATE NITE

Jay Leno: At the White House state dinner, Mexican President Calderon said that he and President Obama have a lot in common. They’re both presidents of beautiful countries, they’re both left-handed, and they both preside over 40 million Mexican people. …….A Kansas City used car salesman has admitted sending over $23,000 to al-Qaida. Just when you thought al-Qaida couldn’t get any lower, they link up with used car salesmen……Attorney General Eric Holder has said that he may sue Arizona for their new immigration law, though he admitted that he had not read the law yet. That didn’t stop them from passing healthcare…….The Supreme Court declared that sex offenders can be held indefinitely, even after their sentence is complete if they are considered dangerous — unless they won an Oscar or they have a lot of friends that are celebrities……..For the first time, an Arab-American, Rima Fakih, won Miss USA. Rima is very excited and she hopes this will help get her name off the No-Fly list….

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WISE WORDS

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country."

-Samuel Adams

Saturday, May 15, 2010

op ed review 5/15

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Republicans have solidified support among voters who had drifted from the party in recent elections, putting the GOP in position for a strong comeback in November's mid-term campaign, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.. Republicans have reassembled their coalition by reconnecting with independents, seniors, blue-collar voters, suburban women and small town and rural voters—all of whom had moved away from the party in the 2006 elections, in which Republicans lost control of the House. Those voter groups now favor GOP control of Congress.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704247904575240812672173820.html

That Republican wave is looking bigger: 63 Democrat-held House seats are now toss-ups, likely GOP pickups or lean Democrat. When IBD looked at that average about a month ago, it was 48.

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/1741-63-democratic-house-seats-in-play-for-republicans

In the first five weeks after ObamaCare's passage, Americans favored repeal by a whopping 16 points (56 to 40 percent), according to Rasmussen's poll of likely voters. Now, in the wake of developments such as the news that ObamaCare has actually prompted major corporations to discuss the possibility of dropping their employer-sponsored health plans, that number has risen to 19 points (56 to 37) -- and to 28 points among independents (60 to 32 percent). Independents actually favor repeal by more than Democrats oppose it (34 percent of Democrats support repeal, while 58 percent oppose it).

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/why-repeal-can-really-happen

Drill, baby, drill. Even after the recent oil spill in the Gulf Coast, that’s the overwhelming sentiment from the public, with six in 10 Americans supporting more offshore drilling, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. In addition, a majority believes that the potential economic benefits of offshore drilling outweigh its potential harm to the environment.

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/politics/Poll__Despite_spill__support_for_oil_drilling_high-93630734.html

President Obama has lost nearly half of his support among American Jews, a poll by the McLaughlin Group has shown.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137449

Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was thrown out of office by delegates at the Utah GOP convention in a stunning defeat for a once-popular three-term incumbent who fell victim to a growing conservative movement nationwide.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/08/sen-bob-bennett-ousted-utah-gop-convention/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

“When it was announced that Bennett had been eliminated from the race, a huge ovation swept through the convention hall…”

http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/05/smallbusiness/1099_health_care_tax_change/index.htm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of the Hawaii special election for Rep. Neil Abercrombie's (D) seat, effectively handing the seat to the Republicans

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/96941-dccc-pulls-out-of-hawaii-special

The Pew Research Center reports that the "public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration" by a 27-point margin. Main elements of the law, when described, are even more popular.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/poll-widespread-support-arizonas-laws-elements

“NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd seemed astonished by how a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll confirmed solid agreement with Arizona's immigration enforcement law – “a whopping 64 percent support the law,” Todd marveled, “and we read them the law verbatim exactly as it's been written” and still, he repeated, “64 percent approve of it.” NBC also treated as surprising the majority backing for racial profiling to prevent terrorism…”

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2010/05/12/nbc-astonished-poll-finds-support-arizona-law-and-profiling-skip-gop-su

The law passed in Arizona is catching on nationwide, with lawmakers and others in several states considering similar legislation.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/10/other-states-taking-cue-from-arizona-illegals-law/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_must-read-stories-today

Strikingly, nearly half of Democrats like the law, under which local law enforcement officers are tasked with verifying people's immigration status if they suspect them of being in the country illegally.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/12/94050/most-americans-approve-of-arizonas.html

Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer also signed a bill Wednesday that targets ethnic studies programs in schools that critics say unfairly demean white Americans. The law, which takes effect Dec. 31, would prohibit courses that promote resentment toward one race; that are designed for students of one race; that promote ethnic solidarity ''instead of treating students as individuals;'' and that encourage ''the overthrow of the United States government.''

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/13/arizona-governor-now-targets-ethnic-studies/

Sen. Jim Inhofe says President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, is not qualified for the post and says he would participate in a filibuster to prevent her confirmation. But he also admitted that she will likely be confirmed, with support from some Republican Senators.

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/inhofe-kagan-filibuster-court/2010/05/12/id/358859

Kagan is known for her decision to throw military recruiters off the campus of Harvard University because she opposed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/05/kagans_stance_on_military_recr.html

It's perfectly OK, Elena Kagan wrote in the University of Chicago Law Review, for the government to restrict free speech as long as it means well and calls it something else. She argued that the government can employ Orwellian restrictions on speech if it thinks such speech might "harm" others, either by direct action or inciting someone else to take direct action. Who gets to decide..? Why, the government, of course.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/14/the-first-amendment-under-progressive-siege/

Kagan “not sympathetic” towards the Second Amendment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aPI35t8uR6Gs

"This action causes me deep distress," Kagen wrote. "I abhor the military's discriminatory recruitment policy." It is a "profound wrong - a moral injustice of the first order." Her decision was essentially overturned by the Supreme Court on a unanimous 8-0 vote, showing how far out of the judicial mainstream her thinking is.

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/inhofe-kagan-filibuster-court/2010/05/12/id/358859

“US faces same problems as Greece, says Bank of England”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/edmundconway/100005657/us-faces-same-problems-as-greece-says-bank-of-england/

Pope Benedict XVI called abortion and same-sex marriage some of the most "insidious and dangerous" threats facing the world today.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9FM362G0&show_article=1

“Ga. Seniors Told They Can't Pray Before Meals “because of a federal guideline.”

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/23495797/detail.html

The 7-foot-tall metal cross in a 75-year-old war memorial that withstood the heat of the Mojave Desert and a blazing battle in the Supreme Court over its legality was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to federal officials. "The American Legion expects whoever is responsible for this vile act to be brought to justice," said Clarence Hill, the group's national commander. "While the memorial has been attacked, the fight will continue to ensure that veteran’s memorials will remain sacrosanct."

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/11/thieves-steal-mojave-desert-memorial-cross-nighttime-heist/

Pioneering moonwalking astronauts Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan accused the Obama administration of hastily concocting an ill-conceived road map for manned space exploration in its move to shelve NASA's back-to-the-moon program.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7002563.html

Washingtonians have filed 77 ballot initiatives this year, the most ever. It blows away the previous record for filings, 60 in 2003.

http://blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2010/05/13/record-setting-77-ballot-initiatives-filed/#ixzz0nufmhF5v

If you are of the Muslim religion, you don't have to give all the new Obamacare healthcare reform regulations and penalties another thought. Because the concept of being compelled to participate in such a healthcare program offends Islamic sensibilities, Muslims are specifically exempt.

http://www.examiner.com/x-38904-Phoenix-Small-Business-Management-Examiner~y2010m3d26-If-you-are-muslim-you-can-opt-out-of-the-Obamacare-health-care-reform-laws-with-no-penalties

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Victor Davis Hansen 4/21/10

Obama and the New Civility

During the Bush years a dangerously heated rhetoric became commonplace. Now, lo! a new age has dawned.

It was sometime early this year that Americans finally learned the rules of proper political discourse — another dividend from the Obama administration. We can all be grateful for our new bipartisan protocols, which will go something like the following.

It will be considered childish to caricature a stressed president for mangling his words, whether “nucular” or “corpseman.” If, from time to time, the commander-in-chief flubs up and says something stupid like Bush’s “Is our children learning?” or Obama’s “Cinco de Quatro,” we have learned to accept that such slips are hardly reflective of a lack of knowledge. The old “gotcha” game is puerile and, thankfully, is now a thing of the past.

Nor should we ever refer to any elected administration as a “regime” — that unfortunate habit of the likes of Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews, and various talk-radio hosts. Thank God, we in 2010 all recognize the pernicious effects of such near-treasonous rhetoric.

At last there is a return to civility. If we were confused in recent years as to whether “hate” was a permissible word in public discourse — as in the outburst of Democratic national chairman Howard Dean, “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for,” or the infamous essay by The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait that began, “I hate President George W. Bush” — we now accept that such extreme language in the public arena is not merely uncivil, but is an incitement to real violence. The use of the word “hate” at last has become “hate speech.”

With Rep. Joe Wilson’s improper outburst to President Obama — “You lie!” — we also have at last come to appreciate that those in Congress have a special responsibility not to use incendiary language to defame our government officials. That’s why we now lament Rep. Pete Stark’s slur of George W. Bush from the House floor as a “liar” — the same Rep. Pete Stark who said of our troops that they had gone “to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

But since 2009 Americans have finally learned that our soldiers are sacrosanct and must not be smeared — as in Sen. Richard Durbin’s characterization of American military personnel as synonymous with Nazis, Stalinists, or Pol Pot’s murderers; as in the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s comparison of American troops to Saddam’s lethal jailers; as in Sen. John Kerry’s smear of our soldiers as acting in terrorist fashion. Evocation of Nazi or Brownshirt imagery particularly coarsens the public discourse; it demonizes opponents rather than engage them in real debate. So we can all concur now that Sen. John Glenn, Sen. Robert Byrd, and former vice president Al Gore spoke quite improperly when they compared their president’s governance to that of the Third Reich.

Our military officers deserve special consideration. No senator should ever again accuse a wartime theater commander of telling an untruth (“suspicion of disbelief”). Major newspapers should not extend discounts to pressure groups that defame our officers with cheap slurs such as “General Betray Us.” All that is dangerous rhetoric. Indeed, it risks undermining our noble bipartisan efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We now know that environmental terrorists of the sort that spike trees, torch forestry equipment, blow up people with letter bombs, or wage anti-globalization urban violence are engaging in the same sort of behavior as are the unhinged militias. Therefore we must all be careful, left and right, in criticizing our government — lest either another Ted Kaczynski becomes too inflamed by Al Gore’s accusatory furor about environmental desecration, or a Michigan militia member goes over the top after hearing a talk-radio rant about Barack Obama.

Ever since Dwight Eisenhower hit the back nine, critics have snickered at golf-playing presidents — as if their polo shirts, shades, and splashy caps were revelations of aristocratic disdain for the rest of us, or as if they were engaging in a sort of loafing amid world crises. Not now. We have come to realize that presidents should play golf — in fact, lots of it — both for needed relaxation and as a reminder that it is no longer a sport of the elite.

http://article.nationalreview.com/432056/obama-and-the-new-civility/victor-davis-hanson?page=2

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"So now, I gather, our only strategy is to hope the terrorists' bombs keep fizzling. There's no other line of defense. In the case of the Times Square car bomber, the Department of Homeland Security failed, the Immigration and Naturalization Service failed, the CIA failed and the TSA failed. (However, the Department of Alert T-Shirt Vendors came through with flying colors, as it always does.) Only the New York Police Department, a New York street vendor and Shahzad's Rube Goldberg bomb prevented a major explosion in Times Square. Even after the NYPD de-wired the smoking car bomb, produced enough information to identify the bomb-maker, and handed it all to federal law enforcement authorities tied up in a bow, the federal government's crack 'no-fly' list failed to stop Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai….Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should consider creating a 'Really, REALLY No-Fly' list."

-Ann Coulter

"At a high school south of San Jose, Calif., five students were sent home for causing offense to Hispanic classmates by wearing clothes emblazoned with American flags on Cinco de Mayo. ... When displaying your country's flag becomes a political statement, something is amiss. While Santa Clara County is not indicative of the American norm, the fact that there is anyplace in the country where expressions of national identity have become offensive should give us pause. That administrators would allow a claque of students to bully them into punishing other classmates is a sign of real weakness. That they would allow the American flag to be deemed an offensive symbol indicates that their weakness is rooted in a multicultural attitude that holds that all cultures are equal, except their own. Most troubling, though, is the fact that the students of Hispanic ancestry who were interviewed did not feel a part of the American experience and that they saw the two flags as antithetical. ... California continues to point to an unhappy future for the rest of the nation."

-Chris Stirewalt

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BOOKS

President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan tells us a great deal about the Supreme Court that the president wants to create as his lasting legacy to shape the future of this country. It’s a far-left vision for America. Elena Kagan….graduated from Princeton and then Harvard, where she was an editor of Harvard Law Review. She clerked for a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, then Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. She….became dean of Harvard Law School. In 2009, she became U.S. solicitor general...Everyone else is talking about those facts. But Obama picked her for other reasons. First, she’s a liberal without a paper trail. She’s never been a judge or had to lay out her beliefs on hot-button issues. Yet, as I explain in my new book, "The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency," Obama (like President George W. Bush) has a massive vetting team in place, and the only candidates on his short list are people that have been vouched for by some of the president’s most trusted advisers, who have known her for years and have a firm grasp of her interpretation of the Constitution and what she believes the role of the courts is in our society. In fact, she’s a personal friend of President Obama, and he knows her well.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/10/ken-klukowski-obama-nominate-elena-kagan-harvard-law-school/

"Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," by Zev Chaffets. Even devoted Dittoheads will find there's a lot they don't know about the self-described "harmless little fuzzball" who has, over the years, taken on the giants of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party-from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama-with "half his brain tied behind his back, just to make it fair." Chafets paints a compelling portrait of Limbaugh as a master entertainer, a public intellectual, a political force, and a fascinating man.

http://www.amazon.com/Rush-Limbaugh-Army-Zev-Chafets/dp/1595230637/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273945083&sr=8-2

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NEWS FROM THE ISLAMIC WORLD

A Palestinian husband killed his wife because an ultrasound test had revealed she was carrying a female fetus. Although this man already had three sons, he was said to envy his brother who had nine sons. Knowing nothing about biology, this as-yet-unnamed man killed his wife for failing to give him what he wanted.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/05/13/phyllis-chesler-palestinian-husband-wife-ultrasound-girl-honor-killing/

Two Moroccan terrorist suspects deported from Italy last month were allegedly plotting to kill Pope Benedict XVI. Mohammed Hlal and Errahmouni Ahmed were students at the University of Perugia until their repatriation to Morocco on 29 April. ''Hlal wanted to kill the Vatican's head of state (the pope), saying he was ready to assassinate him and gain his place in paradise,''

http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=3.1.386822783

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LEFTIST WATCH

''Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional. Britain, you chose well.'' Was that a British socialist speaking in Parliament? Nope. It was Dr. Donald Berwick, a Harvard professor about to face Senate confirmation as President Obama's nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/05/13/time-magazine-introduces-radical-obama-nominee-says-hes-not-radical

A California middle school and state university were both involved in the making and promotion of a video called "Environmental Police Agency" which features middle schoolers going around tackling and arresting "non-environmentalists" for crimes like having a refrigerator, leaving computer screens on, and throwing away a soda can. At the end they caution that drastic times call for drastic measures so we should institute this kind of green police state to save the world.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/eyeblast-tv-staff/2010/05/12/video-middle-school-uses-students-call-arresting-non-environmenta#ixzz0nmMROJBE

The battle over the American flag has reached a middle school art class in California’s Santa Rita School District where a student was told not to draw Old Glory because it was “offensive,” while another student was praised for drawing a picture of President Obama.

http://www.thefoxnation.com/american-flag/2010/05/10/teacher-deems-american-flag-offensive

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ACTIVISM

A great opportunity for OER readers in the Pacific Northwest: “Join the Evergreen Freedom Foundation for our upcoming Activist Mini Camp. In the last year, many Americans discovered their voice and began to vocalize their concern with irresponsible, unaccountable government. In order to make a lasting difference in our state and nation, active citizenship must become a part of our everyday lives. Come and learn the tools you need to make an impact on a daily basis.We will be covering a number of critical topics:

The Big Picture - We will be taking a look at the political climate of our state, discussing both the crises we presently face and the opportunities that arise as a result.

Mobilizing Your Community - All politics are local. We will show you the strategies and tactics necessary to create real change in your hometown.

The Art of Persuasion - If our movement is going to change the hearts and minds of people, we must learn to be persuasive in how we present our message. Our experts will demonstrate how to craft an winning argument.

Online Activism - The opportunities for communication online are too large for our movement to ignore. We will walk you through the basics of Internet activist tools and how you can get started.

Opposition Research - Knowing your opponent is key to victory. Discover several effective tactics you can utilize to dig up the truth.

Town Hall Workshop - We will stage a mock town hall meeting to help give you an idea of what works and what doesn't.

Kirby Wilbur says: “The sessions are extensive and well done, you will learn so much and you will leave a better advocate for liberty, limited government and the free market.”

Saturday, May 15 – VancouverClark Community College
http://vancouveractivistminicamp.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, May 22 – Shoreline – Shoreline Community College
http://shorelineactivistminicamp.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, June 5 Spokane Convention Center
http://spokaneactivistminicamp.eventbrite.com/

Cost is $30.00 which includes lunch. If you gather a group of ten or more, the fee is $25.00 per person.

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ARTICLES

“The conservative newsletter Imprimis has nearly 2 million subscribers, which is surprising because almost no one has ever heard of it. To judge by its presence on the national media radar, Imprimis is an unknown entity. But in the conservative grass roots, among the people who populate Tea Party rallies and line up for Sarah Palin appearances, Imprimis is very well known, and is often passed from person to person like a Grateful Dead bootleg.”

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/05/13/imprimis_influential_conservative_publication/

“As an active participant in the conservative movement for more than 50 years, I've long thought that, even at the peak of our strength, conservatives could only slow the growth of government, not reverse it. That was the case under Ronald Reagan, who didn't have a sympathetic Congress and whose administration was plagued with officials who did not share his vision. But with the emergence of the "tea party" movement, for the first time in my life I sense that it may be possible for conservatives to actually shrink the federal government….”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/email/s_680091.html?_s_icmp=et#

Jim DeMint is becoming something of a tea party hero, even a potential conservative kingmaker, a status that is not making the freshman senator many friends among fellow Republicans in Congress. A backbencher known for his eagerness to challenge the Republican establishment, DeMint is becoming one of the most influential voices of the conservative rebellion that's shaking up GOP primaries.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/05/11/politics/p001048D03.DTL&feed=rss.news_politics

Dick Morris: “Hillary Clinton Is Throwing Obama Under The Bus For A 2012 Run”

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/dick-morris-suggests-hillary-clinton-is-throwing-obama-under-the-bus-for-a-2012-run/

Under George Bush, the media's R-word was "recession," but under Barack Obama it's "recovery. As economic indicators plunge, the mainstream media is going to comical lengths to soften the political blow for Obama. Unemployment rose to 9.9 percent in the latest reports, but here's The News & Observer's screaming print headline this morning: “Job surge beats outlook.”

http://www.carolinajournal.com/mediamangle/display_story.html?id=6397

One of the constant criticisms of Barack Obama's first year is that he's making us "more like Europe." But that's hard to define and lacks broad political appeal. Until now. Any U.S. politician purporting to run the presidency of the United States should be asked why the economic policies he or she is proposing won't take us where Europe arrived this week. In an astounding moment, to avoid the failure of little, indulgent, profligate Greece, the European Union this week pledged nearly $1 trillion to inject green blood into Europe's economic vampires.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703339304575240591350076252.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_opinion

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers: "Why Should American Taxpayers Bail Out Greece?"

http://bit.ly/9baEZ8

“Rumors of Gov. Gregoire's Departure Designed to Save Patty Murray?”

http://www.redcounty.com/rumors-gregiores-departure-designed-save-patty-murray/39961

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Long list of candy products in Washington State that will be taxed as of June 1. Why are some exempt?

http://www.dor.wa.gov/Docs/Pubs/ExciseTax/RetailSales_UseTax/CandyList.xls

YouCut – a first-of-its-kind project - is designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Vote on this page today for your priorities and together we can begin to change Washington's culture of spending into a culture of savings.

http://www.republicanwhip.house.gov/YouCut/

A lesson for Republicans on how to handle liberal reporters: New Jersey Gov. Christie smacks down a reporter for calling him confrontational

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/13/video-chris-christie-destroys-reporter-for-calling-him-confrontational/

This really is the Russian Red Army Choir, having fun with a goofy Finnish rock band while playing “Sweet Home Alabama

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lNFRLrP014

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LATE NITE

Leno: A man in his 70s known as the “geezer bandit” has held up his ninth bank. He says he’s going to keep robbing banks until he finds one with money in it…….The new Coors Light case of beer has a window in it, and when it turns blue, that means you know your beer is cold. That’s way more convenient than the old way: touching the cans……Greece is a relatively small country, much like a state in the U.S. But it overspent and over-borrowed, promised expensive pension plans, overtaxed, and it over-regulated business. So the state it would be here is California.

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WISE WORDS

"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife."

-Thomas Jefferson

"I want to speak to you this evening about my highest duty as president: to preserve peace and defend these United States. ... One cannot sit in this office reviewing intelligence on the military threat we face, making decisions from arms control to Libya to the Philippines, without having that concern for America's security weigh constantly on your mind. We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. 'To be prepared for war,' he said, 'is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.'"

-Ronald Reagan