Friday, April 22, 2011

op ed review 4/24

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

“A devastating Gallup survey showing the president with the lowest approval ratings of his presidency--just 41 percent….The White House received another significant blow today with the release of the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, which revealed deep-seated public unease over his handling of the economy, the number one issue for US voters.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100084488/a-grim-easter-for-the-obama-presidency-washington-postabc-news-poll-delivers-another-blow-to-the-white-house/

Gas prices have reached five dollars per gallon at some stations in Washington, DC.

http://www.upi.com/News_Photos/view/f772b5b1f31e2af83d29d52d228dd553/Gas-prices-continue-to-rise-in-Washington/#ixzz1K4Z5az9s

On the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the administration’s de facto moratorium, or “permitorium,” on offshore drilling has resulted in higher prices for gas and heating fuel in addition to costing thousands of Americans jobs and making the country more dependent on foreign oil.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/265182/gulf-still-waiting-more-drilling-permits-darrell-issa

U.S. households are now getting more in cash handouts from the government than they are paying in taxes for the first time since the Great Depression.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/04/20/government-cash-handouts-exceed-tax-revenues/

There are so many tax breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110417/ap_on_re_us/us_no_taxes

That would probably be about the same 43% of Americans who say their tax rate is “about right”

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147152/Americans-Split-Whether-Taxes-High.aspx

The Governor of Idaho has signed an order banning Obamacare.

http://www.localnews8.com/news/27614296/detail.html

Republicans say any bill that even hints at amnesty or legalization for millions of illegal immigrants already living and working in the United States is dead before it ever makes an appearance in a congressional committee.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ap-comprehensive-immigration-reform-prob

A state-funded sex education Web site in Massachusetts tells teens an abortion is “much easier than it sounds”

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0420site_no_stigma_in_abortion_critics_blast_state-funded_sex-ed_web_site/srvc=home&position=0

Indiana could become the first state to end Medicaid coverage for Planned Parenthood services.

http://www.indystar.com/article/20110420/NEWS05/104200323/Senate-approves-bill-cuts-off-funds-Planned-Parenthood?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|IndyStar.com

Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are the strongest potential Republican challengers to President Obama at this time, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll. And Obama faces a formidable bloc of voters who say, as of now, that they definitely won't vote for him no matter who his opponent is.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/19/112463/romney-huckabee-take-early-lead.html

The US government plans to sell off much of its remaining stake in General Motors this year at a potential loss of more than $11 billion, but the Obama administration is willing to accept the loss in order to cut its last ties to the auto manufacturer.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iQ772RYgyZRuijNjN58Syvf8HExw?docId=CNG.862196b5b90a6d3e5734cc272997d1cd.a51

General Electric paid no U.S. corporate taxes in 2010. Also, since 2002, GE has eliminated a fifth of its work force in the U.S.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2014684454_edit05taxes.html

This week GE reported a 77% increase in first-quarter earnings.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703983704576276564256544634.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

He is known for dressing inmates in pink underwear and feeding them green baloney. And now America's toughest Sheriff has come up with a new initiative to give the public a voice in law enforcement - an online Mugshot of the Day competition. Arizona-based Joe Arpaio, known for his uncompromising stance on crime, is letting the public browse through the mugshots of those arrested each day and then vote for their favorite.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378608/Americas-toughest-Sheriff-Joe-Arpaio-lets-public-rate-mugshots-online.html#ixzz1K4aBEYNN

Reports of a U.S. “death squad” in Afghanistan, complete with the publication of gory photographs, have failed to attract media attention. Conservatives, while not seeking negative coverage of the armed forces, say it is another example of a blatant double standard. The reason the mainstream media have barely touched the story, conservatives say, is because it happened under President Obama, not George W. Bush.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/17/afghanistan-death-squad-killings-fail-get-media-po/

In Texas, 54 percent of legal immigrants and 70 percent of illegal immigrants receive welfare assistance, with illegal immigrants generally receiving benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children.

http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2011/04/study_immigrants_with_children.html

Three days after a federal appeals court continued to block implementation of major parts of the Arizona immigration law, state legislators in Georgia overwhelmingly passed a bill with provisions similar to Arizona’s on a 112-59 vote, despite threats of boycotts by pro-immigration groups and lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/04/undeterred-9th-circuit-court-appeals-georgia-follows-arizona-s-le

Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) reports that US taxpayers are on the hook for an impending bailout of Portugal.

http://biggovernment.com/crodgers/2011/04/18/u-s-taxpayers-on-the-hook-for-portugal-bailout/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigGovernment+%28Big+Government%29

The California state Senate has approved legislation that would require public schools to include gay history in social studies lessons.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/California-GayHistory-Schools/2011/04/17/id/393120

One year after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, support for offshore oil drilling has rebounded. A new survey indicates that 69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling, with just over three in ten opposed.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/19/cnn-poll-support-for-increased-offshore-oil-drilling-on-rise/

Florida officials are investigating after an unemployment agency spent thousands in taxpayers' money to give 6,000 superhero capes to the unemployed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378632/Workforce-Central-Florida-spends-14k-public-funds-6k-superhero-capes-jobless.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Rich Lowry, National Review

The size of government threatens the American way of life as we know it. The solution is straightforward — cut government. A vibrant grassroots movement insists that it happen, and Washington is lousy with rival plans for how to go about it.

The social threat to the American way of life is as dire, if not more so. But it is more insidious, and more complicated. No grassroots movement has mobilized against it, and no high-profile bipartisan commission is suggesting remedies. Yet it proceeds apace, all but ignored except in the lives of Americans.

Among those trying to sound the alarm is Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, an author and a thinker who has a well-earned reputation for prescience and fearlessness. In a bracing lecture on “The State of White America,” he notes that America has long had an exceptional civic culture. “That culture is unraveling,” he warns. “America is coming apart at the seams. Not the seams of race or ethnicity, but of class.”

Murray takes whites as his subject to avoid the question of whether racism is responsible for the problem he describes, namely the “emergence of classes that diverge on core behaviors and values.”

Murray identifies what he calls the “founding virtues,” such as marriage, industriousness, and religiosity, which have always been considered the social basis of self-government. He looks at whites aged 30–49 and divides them into the top 20 percent socio-economically and the bottom 30 percent. The top tier is basically the upper middle class, the bottom the working class. He finds two worlds, increasingly separate and unequal.

In 1960, everyone was married — 88 percent of the upper middle class and 83 percent of the working class. In 2010, 83 percent of the upper middle class is married and only 48 percent of the working class. This gap “amounts to a revolution in the separation of classes.” In 1960, births to single mothers in the working class were just 6 percent; now they are close to 50 percent.

When it comes to industriousness, there’s the same divergence. In 1960, 1.5 percent of men in the upper middle class were out of the workforce; it’s 2 percent now. In 1968, the number for working-class men hit a low of 5 percent; even before the spike in unemployment after the financial crisis, it was 12 percent in 2008. “The deteriorations in industriousness,” Murray notes, “have occurred in labor markets that were booming as well as in soft ones.”

Although secularization has long been on the rise, it’s more pronounced in the working class. Among the upper middle class, 42 percent say they either don’t believe in God or don’t go to church. In the working class, it’s 61 percent. In other words, a majority of the upper middle class still has some religious commitment, while a majority of the working class does not.

These trends mean, just as it is suffering economically, the working class is getting cut off from the richest sources of social capital: marriage, two-parent families, and church-going. More people are falling into a lower class characterized by men who can’t make a minimal living and single women with children. Murray argues that America can maintain its national power even if these trends continue. With a growing lower class “increasingly unsuited for citizenry in a free society,” though, it will no longer be the country we once knew.

He quotes the 19th-century observer of American life Francis Grund: “The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but it can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation. Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter of the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government.”

When it comes to saving the American way, balancing the budget is the easy part.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/264455/coming-apart-seams-rich-lowry

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“The debt accrued on Mr. Obama's watch is the centerpiece of the forces that are driving the United States to global pauperhood. In 2008, gross public debt was 69 percent of the gross domestic product. This year it will pass 100 percent. Mr. Obama's debt has stifled economic productivity and has driven the country to the point where only 66 percent of men had jobs last year, the lowest figure on record. Were it not for Mr. Obama's drunken-sailor-style spending, facilitated by Democratic supermajorities in both houses of Congress during his first two years, the United States wouldn't be in this fix. Still, the president's answer to economic crisis is to heap on more debt. It's this crippling tax-and-spend Obama creed that's bringing America to the brink of Third World inferiority."

-The Washington Times

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BOOKS, FILM

“Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World” by Andrew Breitbart. “If you ever watch the news, listen to the radio or check the headlines on msn.com, you must read this book. There is a battle going on for the information gateway of our country: the news media complex. And the great general leading the charge, the brilliant strategist who has been literally on the forefront of this fight and has seen it from the inside-out and the ground-up, who makes it possible for you and I to literally hear "the rest of the story".... is Andrew Breitbart….”

http://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Indignation-Excuse-While-ebook/dp/B0047Y16FI/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Coming in June: “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America” by Ann Coulter. “The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic. The Democratic Party activates mobs, depends on mobs, coddles mobs, publicizes and celebrate mobs – it is the mob. Sweeping in its scope and relentless in its argument, Demonic explains the peculiarities of liberals as standard groupthink behavior. To understand mobs is to understand liberals.”

http://www.amazon.com/Demonic-Liberal-Endangering-America-ebook/dp/B004IK8Q8Q/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

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LEFTIST WATCH

“United Nations diplomats will set aside pressing issues of international peace and security to devote an entire day debating the rights of “Mother Earth.” A bloc of mostly socialist governments lead by Bolivia have put the issue on the General Assembly agenda to discuss the creation of a U.N. treaty that would grant the same rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Mother Nature.”

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/04/18/prepares-debate-rights-mother-earth/

President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has long been an advocate for weakening American sovereignty in order to benefit the UN and its anti-American agenda. It is a policy known as “engagement,” where the United States subsumes its own vital interests, abandons its traditional role of leadership in the world community, and, as Anne Bayefsky writes, pushes the process of “subcontracting American national security” to the UN.

http://frontpagemag.com/2011/04/18/the-misguided-tenure-of-susan-rice/

Once again we find a Democrat in Congress expressing contempt for the Constitution.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/35698

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ACTIVISM

“Join other conservative leaders from across Washington at the Evergreen Leadership Conference: A Conservative President – How Do We Choose? Our conference will be held on the weekend of April 30-May 1, 2011, in Yakima, Washington.”

http://www.evergreenconference.org/about.htm

The RightOnline Conference (Minneapolis MN, June 17-18) brings together influential new media experts, representatives of conservative organizations, and hundreds of citizen activists to provide important leadership and grassroots training, offering the tools and inspiration to more effectively impact public policy in favor of limited government and free enterprise. The agenda provides a solid program of workshops and training seminars on new media strategies and tools that can be used to mobilize and advance free market policies. Speakers include Michelle Malkin, Andrew Breitbart, John Fund, Ed Morrisey, etc.

http://rightonline.com/beta/

The American Family Association urges you to support the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, under attack by gay activists.

http://www.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147505518

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ISLAM

Women who do not wear headscarves are being threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists intent on imposing sharia law on parts of Britain.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377780/London-Taliban-targeting-women-gays-bid-impose-sharia-law.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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GLOBALONEY

Seattle is enduring the coldest average high temperature for the first half of April on record at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. And there's no end in sight. "It's an all-time record for the least number of days above 55 degrees".

http://soundpolitics.com/archives/014778.html

The original moonbat, GeorgeMonbiot, columnist for the left wing UK Guardian, now admits that he was bamboozled by fearmongers whipping up anti-nuclear fears. “The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all. I've discovered that when the facts don't suit them, the movement resorts to the follies of cover-up they usually denounce..”

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/04/leading_warmist_admits_he_was.html

Time Magazine says your ice maker is killing the Earth.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2011/04/18/time-your-icemaker-killing-earth

Crazed cult leader Charles Manson has broken a 20-year silence in a prison interview to speak out about the dangers of global warming.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378178/Charles-Manson-breaks-20-year-silence-40th-anniversary-gruesome-Sharon-Tate-murders.html#ixzz1Ju8mPD2X

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ARTICLES

CBS News on Sunday morning managed to examine incongruities in the U.S. tax system, highlighting those – including a former New York Times reporter – who think the wealthy aren’t paying enough, but without bothering to point out the disproportionate share of the income tax paid by those at the top nor how more than a third of those who file an income tax return pay nothing or even get more back than they put in.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2011/04/18/cbs-rues-unfairness-rich-not-paying-enough-without-noting-more-third-am#ixzz1JtqUlDZq

“Barack Obama’s budget address last week ranks among the most dishonest and dishonorable presidential speeches in generations. It contained an avalanche of false and misleading statements. It was shallow and bitterly partisan. Yet the speech served a useful purpose: It provided the American people in general, and Republicans in particular, with the basic line of attack President Obama will use between now and the 2012 election. The White House strategy is clear: argue that Obama wants to restore fiscal balance by raising taxes on “millionaires and billionaires””

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/incredible-shrinking-obama_557490.html

Which two have done more to improve your life - Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, or Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/18/job-and-liberty-destroyers/

“I'm hoping someone can help me. I left on vacation last week, and when I got back, an entire war was missing. I've looked for it on all the major networks and cable outlets (excepting Fox News), as well as all the major newspapers. Although I've found hints that it still exists somewhere, President Obama's Libyan War is officially missing in action….”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/a_war_gone_missing.html

“Sarah Palin rides to the sound of the guns. It was a chilly, wet and blustery afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin — one more appropriate for a late-season Packers game than a springtime political rally. The stirring NFL Films theme, “The Classic Battle,” would’ve been a more apt musical choice than Van Halen’s “Right Now” to accompany Palin as she entered the stage outside the state capital building to address thousands of Tea Party members, along with a good number of extremely hostile, expletive-hurling government union rowdies….”

http://blogs.reuters.com/james-pethokoukis/2011/04/16/palin-in-madison-veni-vidi-vici/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5cZWRx_AMs

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

“You'll go starry-eyed at Nasa’s latest mission success - because the space agency has uploaded thousands of amazing space snaps onto the internet, including shots of previously unseen galaxies, stars and asteroids.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1377762/Nasa-posts-thousands-amazing-space-images-internet.html#ixzz1JtlvqSrd

The photos are here:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/main/index.html

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WISE WORDS

"A Constitution is not the act of a Government, but of a people constituting a government and a government without a constitution is a power without right."

-Thomas Paine

Saturday, April 16, 2011

op ed review 4/17

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

The House on Friday approved a fiscal year 2012 budget resolution that will impose $5.8 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade…..at least half of the Republican Caucus supports even tougher spending cuts. Every Democrat voted "no."

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/156379-house-clears-ryans-2012-budget-plan-conservatives-want-more-cuts

JP Morgan has radically downgraded its projection of the nation’s short-term prospects for economic growth. Morgan now thinks the economy will grow at an annual rate of 1.4 percent this year.. Numbers are "a potential death knell for Barack Obama’s presidency."

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/04/13/longterm-debt-how-about-shortterm-implosion/

President Barack Obama’s approval among the poorest Americans dropped to an all-time low of 48 percent last week, according to the Gallup poll, leaving the president with less-than-majority approval among all income brackets.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/gallup-obama-s-approval-drops-below-50-p

The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2011-04-13-more-americans-leave-labor-force.htm?loc=interstitialskip

President Obama announced a fiscal plan that punishes the American people with higher taxes if politicians overspend. Called a “debt failsafe trigger,” Obama’s scheme would automatically raise taxes if politicians spend too much.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/echoes-of-80s-failure-in-obamas-fail-safe-budget-plan/2011/04/14/AFCaakfD_story.html

The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that Americans have now supported the repeal of Obamacare for 56 consecutive weeks (every single week since it was passed).

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/56-straight-weeks-support-repeal_557104.html

By 45%-42%, voters back Republican efforts to balance state budgets by limiting collective bargaining rights for government unions, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/2576-ibd-poll-public-favors-limiting-collective-bargaining

Republican won 24 of the 37 Senate contests last year, giving them a head start not only on winning a Senate majority in 2012 but possibly winning a 60-seat supermajority two years later.

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/56_111/rothenberg-uneven-senate-landscape-2012-2014-204931-1.html?ET=rollcall:e10143:80020084a:&st=email&pos=eam

The recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous the feminist claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy. A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women now earn 8% more than men.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

The Washington State unemployment rate has increased to 9.2 percent.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014762123_apwawashjobless.html?syndication=rss

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Big government on the brink

Robert J. Samuelson 4/10/11

We in America have created suicidal government; the threatened federal shutdown and stubborn budget deficits are but symptoms. By suicidal, I mean that government has promised more than it can realistically deliver and, as a result, repeatedly disappoints by providing less than people expect or jeopardizing what they already have. But government can’t easily correct its excesses, because Americans depend on it for so much that any effort to change the status arouses a firestorm of opposition that virtually ensures defeat. Government’s very expansion has brought it into disrepute, paralyzed politics and impeded it from acting in the national interest.

Few Americans realize the extent of their dependency. The Census Bureau reports that in 2009 almost half (46.2 percent) of the 300 million Americans received at least one federal benefit: 46.5 million, Social Security; 42.6 million, Medicare; 42.4 million, Medicaid; 36.1 million, food stamps; 3.2 million, veterans’ benefits; 12.4 million, housing subsidies. The census list doesn’t include tax breaks. Counting those, perhaps three-quarters or more of Americans receive some sizable government benefit. For example, about 22 percent of taxpayers benefit from the home mortgage interest deduction and 43 percent from the preferential treatment of employer-provided health insurance, says the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

“Once politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything,” writes the eminent political scientist James Q. Wilson in a recent collection of essays (“American Politics, Then and Now”). The concept of “vital national interest” is stretched. We deploy government casually to satisfy any mass desire, correct any perceived social shortcoming or remedy any market deficiency. What has abetted this political sprawl, notes Wilson, is the rising influence of “action intellectuals” — professors, pundits, “experts” — who provide respectable rationales for various political agendas.

The consequence is political overload: The system can no longer make choices, especially unpleasant choices, for the good of the nation as a whole. Public opinion is hopelessly muddled. Polls by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago consistently show Americans want more spending for education (74 percent), health care (60 percent), Social Security (57 percent) and, indeed, almost everything. By the same polls, between half and two-thirds of Americans regularly feel their taxes are too high; in 2010, a paltry 2 percent thought them too low. Big budget deficits follow logically; but of course, most Americans want those trimmed, too.

The trouble is that, despite superficial support for “deficit reduction” or “tax reform,” few Americans would surrender their own benefits, subsidies and tax breaks — a precondition for success. As a practical matter, most federal programs and tax breaks fall into one of two categories, each resistant to change.

The first includes big items (Social Security, the mortgage interest deduction) whose benefits are so large that any hint of cuts prompts massive opposition — or its specter. Practical politicians retreat. The second encompasses smaller programs (Amtrak, ethanol subsidies) that, though having a tiny budget effect, inspire fanatical devotion from their supporters. Just recently, for example, the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns defended culture subsidies (“an infinitesimally small fraction of the deficit”) in The Post. Politicians retreat; meager budget gains aren’t worth the disproportionate public vilification.

Well, if you can’t change big programs or small programs, what can you do? Not much.

If deficits were temporary — they were certainly justified to temper the recession — or small, they would be less worrisome. That was true for many years. No more. An aging population and uncontrolled health costs now create an ongoing and massive mismatch between spending and revenue, even at “full employment.” The great threat is a future debt crisis, with investors balking at buying all the Treasury bonds the government requires to operate. So President Obama and Congress face a dilemma: The more they seek to defuse the economic problem of too much debt, the greater the political risks they assume by cutting spending or raising taxes.

The package to prevent a shutdown barely touches the prevailing stalemate. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposed 2012 budget forthrightly addresses health spending but doesn’t make any cuts in Social Security. Ryan’s plan would ultimately gut defense and some valuable domestic programs; it wouldn’t reach balance until about 2040. Compared with Democrats, however, Ryan is a model of intellectual rigor and political courage. Obama would run huge deficits from now to eternity; the Congressional Budget Office has projected about $12 trillion of added debt from 2010 to 2021 under his policies. Obama urges an “adult” conversation and acts like a child, denying the unappealing choices.

Government is suicidal because it breeds expectations that cannot be met. All the partisan skirmishing over who gets credit for averting a shutdown misses the larger issue: whether we can restore government as an instrument of progress or whether it remains — as it is now — a threat.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/big-government-on-the-brink/2011/04/09/AFNcwrGD_story.html?hpid=z3

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Republicans want to 'end Medicare as we know it.' Cue cat shriek! This 'end Medicare as we know it' line -- and many like it ('end Medicaid as we know it,' 'end carbon-based life as we know it,' etc.) -- is the lead-off talking point for the entire Democratic Party in response to Rep. Paul Ryan's just-released budget proposal, 'The Path to Prosperity.' Here's the thing: Of course he wants to end Medicare as we know it. You know why? Because the way we know it right now, the program is barreling toward insolvency. Personally, if I were on a plane that had one engine out and was belching smoke, I would certainly hope somebody with some judgment and competence might calmly remove his oxygen mask long enough to suggest 'ending this flight as we know it.'"

-Jonah Goldberg

"In 2010, three of the five top campaign contributors to the Democrats were public sector unions. Service Employees International was No. 2 at $11.6 million in campaign contributions to Democrats, the National Education Association was No. 3 at $8 million, and the American Federation of Teachers was No. 5 at $7 million. ... Liberals don't love big government because they think it's efficient, compassionate, fair or even remotely useful. They support big government because they are guaranteed the support of nearly everyone who works for the government. Public sector employee contracts are written by the union and rubber-stamped by Democrats -- and the taxpayers only find out years later that public school teachers are allowed to get a full year's pay for 30 days' work over three years after they retire -- as is the case in Green Bay, Wis., where one out of every 12 teachers retired this year to take advantage of the 'emeritus' scam. This is what all the commotion is about in Wisconsin. Republican Gov. Scott Walker isn't even trying to eliminate collective bargaining for government workers' salaries. He only wants to eliminate collective bargaining over their conditions of employment, which has led to massive inefficiencies."

-Ann Coulter

"There is no question that Terry Jones [the Florida pastor who burned a Koran] is an opportunist. Yet what would one call those Muslims who both incite and commit violence at the slightest provocation? It is worth remembering that when Newsweek falsely reported a Koran being flushed down a toilet at Guantanamo Bay in 2005, 15 people were killed in rioting. Former Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris has been forced into hiding -- in the United States -- after she became the target of a death threat following her 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' satire for that newspaper. The most compelling argument against what Jones did can be reduced to the idea that you don't swat a hornet's nest. Yet it is precisely that kind of self-censorship which allows the hornets to continue stinging whenever they choose to do so. ... This is where the West's infatuation with political correctness has taken us. It is an ideological bankruptcy so profound, that we are reduced to a disturbing reality brought on by equal amounts of weak thinking, apologist inanity and reflexive appeasement: It takes a bigot to expose a death cult."

-Arnold Ahlert

"While it's true that Muammar Gaddafi is a brutal tyrant, that's par for the course in Arab and Muslim nations. In fact, the only thing I've noticed that sets him apart from the norm is that he appears to be a transvestite. So, why the heck are we looking to depose him? For offending the international dress code?"

-Burt Prelutsky

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BOOKS, FILM

“The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know -- and Men Can't Say “ by Susan Venker and Phyllis Schlafly. Ann Coulter says, "A gutsy and profound book. Those who crave the truth will inhale The Flipside of Feminism, while those beholden to feminism will resist it. For both, Flipside is a must-read. Schlafly and Venker show how insidious the feminist movement is - and what is its real motive." Mark Levin says "The Flipside of Feminism exposes the lies at the core of the feminist agenda: there is no difference between men and women, the hook-up culture is liberating, women are oppressed victims in the home and office, and children are fine when left all day in daycare. Those who consider themselves 'socially liberal but fiscally conservative' will re-examine their attitudes after reading this book."

http://www.amazon.com/Flipside-Feminism-What-Conservative-Women/dp/1935071270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302546345&sr=1-1

“Class Tax Mass Tax” by Peter Rush. No one loves to pay taxes. From the time the first tribal leader demanded a share of his kin's produce as a price for protection, tax systems have been inequitable and contradictory. But the American personal income tax, converted to a mass tax in 1941, has expanded the government's ability to raise revenue beyond the wildest dreams of any king. The income tax, once hailed as the way to prevent the concentration of wealth in a few hands, has become an albatross around the neck of the common man and driven many into the underground economy. Class Tax Mass Tax expertly weaves the stories of regular (and not so regular) Americans striving for their dreams with the complex history and ramifications of America's income tax as well as the federal government's increased reliance on it.

http://www.amazon.com/Class-Tax-Mass-Peter-Rush/dp/1460998251/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302546218&sr=8-1

Who is John Galt? “..to promote fiscal conservatism and have a great evening, see "Atlas Shrugged" (Part 1), on opening night, this Friday, Tax Day. Liberals hate Ayn Rand. Hundreds of great thinkers from Adam Smith through Milton Friedman have argued that free markets work better than government control. Rand takes a different approach, arguing for the morality of capitalism, and "Atlas Shrugged" is her greatest work. A 1991 study commissioned by the Library of Congress listed "Atlas Shrugged" as the second most influential book of all time, right after The Bible. This is an independent film with limited distribution. Box office receipts in the first few days will determine if the film gains wider distribution and if the second two parts are made. A list of Seattle-area theaters showing "Atlas Shrugged" is here. http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/theaters#Washington

The trailer:

http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/atlas-shrugged-movie-trailer

“After more than 50 years, Ayn Rand’s seminal novel and ode to free market capitalism “Atlas Shrugged” is finally hitting the big screen this weekend, in the first of a planned trilogy of movies…….Reaching out to conservative organizations such as the Cato Institute, FreedomWorks and Tea Party groups, the filmmakers are actively courting a target audience that they believe Hollywood would not so willingly endorse.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/04/15/will-conservatives-make-atlas-shrugged-a-hit/

____________________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH

Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country. The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

http://www.canada.com/news/world/document+would+give+Mother+Earth+same+rights+humans/4597840/story.html

Obamacare’s $200 million propaganda campaign designed to “make a behavioral change” in individuals is revealed. Big Brother can't get much bigger.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/04/obamacare-s-200-million-propaganda-campaign-reveled

While Republicans demand an end to reckless government spending, MoveOn.org is organizing a "rolling fast" to protest the “immoral budget cuts Republicans are pushing in Washington."

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/liberals-blast-immoral-republican-budget

“….this extraordinary video, posted by RealClearPolitics, reveals the innermost character of modern liberalism in just a little over one minute. Speaking last week at Tufts University, Nancy Pelosi said, among other things, "To my Republican friends, take back your party so that it doesn't matter so much who wins the election because we have shared values."

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/04/028813.php

The “Congressional Progressive Caucus” calls for a $4 trillion tax increase over 10 years. An increase in the top tax rate to 49 percent. A $2.3 trillion cut in defense spending – and an increase in domestic spending. Oh, and they would revive the “public option” to offer government-run health care. The progressives, in their rollout, were not quite ready for prime time. “Their oft-repeated slogan, “The People’s Budget,” conveyed an unhelpful association with “the people’s republic” and other socialist undertakings.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/if-progressives-ran-the-world/2011/04/13/AFD7YtYD_story.html

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ISLAM

An Iraqi immigrant has been sentenced to 34 years in an Arizona prison for running over his daughter because she became too Westernized. He was also found guilty of aggravated assault for running over the mother of Noor's boyfriend and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge told Almaleki, 50, that forgiveness is the core of all religion and was struck by his lack of remorse for the killing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377507/Iraqi-jailed-running-daughter-honor-killing.html

A provocative, unsettling theory on why the Muslim world is such a basket case. “Everywhere in the western world, people look at the savage violence that is a daily occurrence in the Muslim world and shake their heads in stunned disbelief. A pastor of a very small Christian flock in Florida burns a Koran. Weeks later at literally the global antipode, Muslim imams drive through neighborhoods in a vehicle with loudspeakers attached, calling the townsfolk to riot. The townsfolk respond, and before it is all over, at least 22 innocent people are dead at the hands of these townsfolk, with at least two of them beheaded. How is this possible? How can this be? How can human behavior and culture be so monstrously different? Is this difference attributable to nothing more than environmental nurture theory? No. There is something else. There is a catalyst -- absent in every other culture on earth -- that has poisoned the cultural soil, thus yielding the fruit of bad harvest for nearly 1,400 years.….the Muslim population is the only population on earth that is mentally and physically devolving. This inherent weakness makes Muslim populations more susceptible to nefarious, oppressive leadership and mass manipulation. The amount of objective evidence supporting this statement is colossal and obvious.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/the_keystone_of_the_islamic_mi.html

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ARTICLES

Snookered. That's what grassroots conservatives are feeling about the Boehner budget deal. A backlash is building among the grassroots that hasn't crested yet. Boehner's less-than-honest budget deal advertising may pass as clever in Washington, but it's not selling across the nation to conservatives.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/04/are_boehner_and_the_gop_skirti.html

Jonah Goldberg: “I can't remember a more depressing week in Washington. The Republicans boasted a heroic accomplishment: slashing $38.5 billion from the budget, purportedly the largest cuts in history. But strip away the gimmicks and shine a light on the shadows, and it turns out the real cuts amounted to $352 million, or less than 1 percent of what was promised. America borrows $4 billion a day. So we likely borrowed more than we cut in the amount of time the GOP leadership spent bragging about its "victory." It is a dismal, dreary, mope-inducing performance that makes one wonder what the point of the 2010 elections were.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_budget_bloater_vs_the_bumblers_FWU2KtKGeWaOHPQyWzps3J#ixzz1JgylRjzH

5 Things That Will Happen To You When America Goes Bankrupt

http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2011/04/12/5_things_that_will_happen_to_you_when_america_goes_bankrupt/page/full/

Making union membership or portions of union dues voluntary has a track record of resulting in fewer employees’ paying. Consider Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels signed an executive order limiting collective bargaining for state workers. In 2005, when Daniels signed the order, 16,408 state employees belonged to the union. Now 1,490 do…… In 2006, a Heritage Foundation analysis found that after paycheck protection was passed, public-sector union donations to candidates declined by about 40 to 50 percent. Take Utah, which passed paycheck protection in 2001. In the following year, donations from the Utah Education Association declined by 75 percent, while the Utah Public Employees Association donated nothing that year, according to the Utah Taxpayers Association. In 2005, the UEA reported that only 6.8 percent of teachers were donating to the political arm of the union, down from 68 percent before the law.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/264545/opting-out-unionization-katrina-trinko

Exclusive Interview With ‘Kennedys’ Producer Joel Surnow – Part 1

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2011/04/13/exclusive-interview-with-kennedys-producer-joel-surnow-part-1/

"Obama has spent more money and added more debt than any President in history. This is not political rhetoric, this is simply fact!"

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/04/obamas_deceit.html

As governor, Mitt Romney accomplished a feat that most Republicans would have thought impossible. With the single stroke of a pen he convinced the liberal population of Massachusetts that they, too, hate government-run health care. As a health care plan, Romneycare is an unmitigated fiasco. It has caused costs to skyrocket, insurance premiums to soar and nonprofit providers like Blue Cross to suffer hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view/2011_0412romneycare_a_big_bust/

“RomneyCare could be radioactive for GOP”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/04/romneycare-could-be-radioactive-gop

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

The latest new car from Government Motors (yes, the steering wheel falls off)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2_b4V6C4aM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) talks about how he enjoys hearing the pledge of allegiance at the beginning of the Senate session, however does not say "under God." Instead, he says "one nation, indivisible."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/04/12/harry_reid_omits_under_god_while_reciting_pledge.html

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HUMOR

"President Obama said Thursday that green energy will be worth the expense. People can't believe their utility bills lately. With the price of water and power it's more cost-effective to go to Wal-Mart and buy a replacement shirt for a dollar than it is to do laundry."

-Argus Hamilton

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LATE NITE

Leno: A lot of people wonder what a government shutdown would be like. I think a lot more people wonder what a government running properly would be like."

Jay Leno

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WISE WORDS

"Madness is rare in individuals - but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule."

-Nietzsche

"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

-William Boetcker (1873-1962)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

op ed review 4/10

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Republican conservatives were the chief winners in the budget deal that forced Democrats to accept historic spending cuts they strongly opposed. Emboldened by last fall's election victories, fiscal conservatives have changed the debate in Washington. The question no longer is whether to cut spending, but how deeply.

http://www.komonews.com/news/national/119535234.html

The national deficit is careening upward of $1.6 trillion this year, with a projected debt of $24 trillion by 2021. “Those young people applauding Mr. Obama so heartily are the very ones with bull’s-eyes on their backs for ruinous tax increases in their prime earning years. They also are going to find out that Social Security has been a huge Ponzi scheme, with them as the “marks.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/1/obamas-energetic-war-on-the-young/?page=2

In March the U.S. Government spent more than eight times its monthly revenue

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/march-madness-feds-spent-more-eight-time

House Republicans unveil a plan that would cut government spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years, lower the corporate tax rate to 25%, and dramatically revamp Medicare.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gop-proposes-62-trillion-in-spending-cuts-2011-04-05?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

The number of people on food stamps has gone up almost 50% in the two years that Mr. Obama has been President.

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/food-stamp-s-up-50-under-obama?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sweetness-light%2FsURR+%28Sweetness+%26+Light+-+Articles%29

In the 2010 mid-term election, according to the Edison exit poll, just 37 percent of whites backed Democrats in House races, while 60 percent supported Republicans-the highest share of the white vote Republicans have won in a House election in the history of modern polling.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/04/pew-poll-obama.php

A conservative incumbent surged to a commanding lead in Wisconsin's hotly contested Supreme Court election Thursday, after a predominantly GOP county's clerk announced she had incorrectly entered vote totals in the race seen as a referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive union rights law.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/07/135221696/wis-corrects-vote-count-gives-incumbent-big-lead

“And just think…. It was only a few short hours ago that far left Wisconsin candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg declared victory in the state’s Supreme Court race. Now this. Watch the first 36 seconds of her victory speech if you want a good laugh….”

http://biggovernment.com/jhoft/2011/04/07/oh-snap-it-looks-like-kloppenburg-lost-big-after-all-too-bad-about-that-victory-speech-huh/

What Wisconsin's Judicial Election Means:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/04/what_wisconsins_judicial_elect.html

Over the next ten years, Washington State can expect to distribute over $427 million in gas tax money to Indian tribes – while the state transportation budget runs a billion dollars short. It’s the jaw-dropping punchline to a deal the state made with Indian tribes four years ago. If the tribes get into the lucrative truck-stop business, many believe $427 million will be the low end.

http://www.washingtonstatewire.com/home/8565-state_will_give_tribes_427_million_in_gas_tax_money_over_10_years_while_transportation_budget_runs_a_billion_short.htm

Seattle Times headline tries to make us feel guilty?: “State budget cuts to be felt by illegal immigrants” “Washington is projected to spend more than $300 million over the next two years on services illegal immigrants can tap….”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014677745_immigrants04m.html

In a move that some are saying could provide illegal immigrants with a disproportionate amount of representation in Yakima, Washington, immigrant rights activists are suing the city in an attempt to re-jigger the city's current voting procedures.

http://right-mind.us/blogs/blog_0/archive/2011/04/05/79908.aspx

The Parents Television Council has put a second broadcast pilot in its cross-hairs this season. After blasting ABC over the working title of its dramedy pilot “Good Christian Bitches”, now the TV watchdog is attacking the NBC drama pilot “The Playboy Club” over the nudity clause in the actors' contracts.

http://www.deadline.com/2011/04/parents-television-council-slams-comcast-over-nudity-clause-in-playboy-contracts/

The average retired teacher in California made more than the average working teacher in 28 states, according to the salary rankings published by NEA.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/01/retired-teachers-in-california-earn-more-than-working-teachers-in-28-states/

Freshmen Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) feels ready to run for president in 2012, saying in an interview that he's not content to settle in as a legislative back bencher and doesn't feel the need to wait his turn when it comes to a run for higher office. In response to a question about his relative lack of experience as a lawmaker, Paul noted in an interview that President Obama faced the same criticism during his 2008 campaign. ”Didn’t seem to hurt him, did it?" said Paul.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/153555-rand-paul-says-hes-ready-to-run-in-2012

Glenn Beck will end his daily Fox News Channel program later this year.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/06/glenn-beck-to-end-daily-fox-news-program/?hp

Tim Eyman was awarded the Modern Day Sam Adams prize by the Sam Adams Alliance.

http://www.samadamsalliance.org/programs/sammies/the-finalists.aspx

Great moments in socialized medicine: "A former UK National Health Services director died after waiting for nine months for an operation--at her own hospital. Her devastated husband said: "I don't really know why she died. I did not get a reason from the hospital. We all want to know for closure. She got weaker and weaker as she waited and operations were put off."

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/04/02/long-wait-operation-fells-uk-health-director#ixzz1Ia0OY3cM

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Disarmament the Obama Way

Investors Business Daily 3/23

As Russia invests in new weapons and China increases military spending by double digits, the administration conducts a new review looking to cut our nuclear arsenal even beyond misguided treaty obligations.

The F-15 Eagle that lay smoldering in the Libyan desert was downed not by hostile fire but by "mechanical failure." It's a perfect metaphor for the current administration's downgrading of national defense from a constitutional imperative to an optional budget item.

The F-22 Raptor was designed to replace our aging F-15 fleet, which is older than the pilots who fly them and whose wings are almost literally falling off. Raptor production was cut off at 187, not nearly enough to meet global commitments that now include three Mideast wars, including one that President Obama escalated in Afghanistan and another he started in Libya while on tour in South America.

American exceptionalism once included a military that was second to none, not second-rate. And while we still possess some of what are called "unique capabilities," they are slowly being whittled away while those waiting to supplant us on the global stage arm like there's no tomorrow.

The latest administration move toward disarmament is a new strategic review to determine what further cuts can be made to our strategic arsenal beyond those cuts made in the New START treaty recently concluded with our good friends in Moscow.

The review was ordered by President Obama last year to look at issues such as what targets the U.S. would have to hit in a worst-case scenario and what types and quantities of weapons would be needed. Translation: How many more strategic weapons can we discard?

On Tuesday, 41 Republican senators warned against further major changes in nuclear policy or reductions in our strategic arsenal without consulting Congress. The letter, circulated by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., a leading opponent of the New START treaty when it was considered by the Senate, states that continued sharp reductions in our strategic forces "would have important and as yet unknown consequences for nuclear stability."

Meanwhile, the Russians appear hell-bent on modernizing their military, including their strategic forces. Moscow just announced it will spend $703 billion on a rearmament program to modernize its forces by 2020. Working with this unprecedented budget, Russia will buy 36 strategic ballistic missiles, two strategic missile submarines and 20 strategic cruise missiles this year. The $703 billion will also be used for purchasing five spacecraft, 25 warplanes, 109 helicopters, 21 missile defense systems, three multirole nuclear-powered submarines and a surface warship. That program, which includes work on a Russian stealth fighter, is quite ambitious. The Russian air force recently celebrated the maiden flight of the Sukhoi T-50, Moscow's version of the American F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

We have shut down the F-22 production line, viewing it as an unaffordable and unnecessary extravagance. Notice that no Raptors are enforcing the no-fly zone, lest their usefulness and need be on public display.

The Chinese have recently begun flight tests of their own stealth fighter, the J-20. Along with its carrier-killing missile, the DF-21D, it could change the balance of power in the western Pacific, where the first Chinese aircraft carrier may set sail this year……

As we put our defense spending on the chopping block, the Chinese have announced that their military budget will rise 12.7% in 2011, resuming a long series of annual double-digit increases after a slight dip in 2010.

What may be called "Obamalateral disarmament" is clearly under way, a policy that leaves us exposed to tyranny's Final Four: China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/566957/201103231820/Disarmament-The-Obama-Way.htm

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Leftists like to think of themselves as clear-thinking realists who are sensitive to nuance and irony. In reality, they are like little children who regard fairy tales as non-fiction. For instance, they champion socialism even though the past hundred years have proven time and again that it doesn't work in practice the way it does in theory. On the contrary, in every country where it has existed, it has inevitably led to loss of liberty, widespread poverty and mass murder on a scale that has no parallel in human history. Point out this obvious fact to a liberal, and once he gets done calling you a greedy, heartless, bloodthirsty reactionary, he'll insist that we haven't yet seen true socialism. Actually, we have, though. We've seen it in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, in China, Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba."

-Burt Prelutsky

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BOOKS, FILM

“Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy” by David Freddoso. “Why send a group of pinstriped thugs from the Treasury Department to interfere in a private company’s bankruptcy, all so that the property of its lenders can be given to a politically favored union? Why should officials at Chrysler, who actually pushed at one point for fairer treatment of the secured creditors, receive threatening, angry e-mails from the Treasury, and the creditors receive threats from a White House smear campaign?”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263845/gangsta-wrap-interview

“The History Channel wouldn't put it on the air, but last night America finally got to see the much hyped and derided "The Kennedys" on ReelzChannel. What was all the controversy about and did it live up to its reputation?” The critics loved it, especially the ones writing for conservative outlets.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20050359-10391698.html

____________________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH

CBS was paying its drug-addled bad boy (Charlie Sheen) two million $ per episode, which arguably makes that network one of the all-time enablers in the history of man.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0411/ahlert.php3

Fired NPR CEO Vivian Schiller lashed out at the videographers who exposed the bigotry in her organization, calling the undercover sting an “abomination.” She admitted the rest of the establishment is “terrified” of being the next NPR, Planned Parenthood or ACORN…and speculated that the goal of these stings is to instill fear. “It’s terrifying,” Schiller said.

http://bigjournalism.com/pjsalvatore/2011/04/05/fired-npr-ceo-media-establishment-terrified-of-being-next-sting-target/

George Soros is helping fund two major conferences “Close to 350 left-wingers from a variety of organizations are gathering there for the National Conference for Media Reform. That “change the world” conference includes two commissioners from the FCC, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Bernie Sanders, four Democratic representatives, the head of Columbia University, and assorted left-wing journalist types…”

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/04/06/george-soros-events-weekend-aim-remake-financial-order-media-wheres-reporting/#ixzz1Irq9HWEF

_____________________________________________________________________________

ISLAM

“Medieval justice... in the 21st Century: Woman caned in front of a baying mob for having an affair”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375168/Sharia-Law-A-woman-whipped-having-affair.html

Officials of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's leading Islamic group, have called for the establishment of a Saudi-style modesty police to combat "immoral" behavior in public areas in what observers say in another sign of a growing Islamic self-confidence in the post-Mubarak era.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=215050

_______________________________________________________________________________

ARTICLES

Moonbats are cheap. And they prove it again every year at this time when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gives them the chance to personally raise their own income taxes. Your average liberal would give an illegal alien the shirt off your back. Not his back, but your back. Just ask them. They sit in Starbucks and angrily blog about how AmeriKKKans who work don’t pay their “fair share.” They harrumph, what about the children? But you know what they say. Money talks, you-know-what walks. So far this tax season, the state Department of Revenue has received 1,971,000 returns.

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1328675

“I was Mr. Obama's college classmate at Columbia University Class of '83. Our college was dominated by socialists and Marxists who hated capitalism and America. Let's look at the facts up close and personal - Jeff Foxworthy style. Mr. Foxworthy leaves no doubt as to "who might be a redneck." Let me leave no doubt that "Obama might be a socialist…..”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/4/obama-might-be-a-socialist/print/

The vacuum created by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) absence from the 2012 campaign trail presents a major opportunity for the woman she once hinted might share a presidential ticket with her: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/153819-bachmann-begins-to-overshadow-palin-as-more-likely-12-contender

A recent Fox poll vividly illustrates how little support or momentum any potential Republican presidential candidate has yet acquired. This should not be viewed as a particular cause for concern for Republicans — it’s still 10 months until the Iowa caucuses and 19 months until the showdown with President Obama — but it does highlight the degree to which Republican voters seem to be hoping that other candidates will enter this crucial race.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/fox-poll-republican-voters-aren-t-sold-anyone-current-field_557046.html

Here’s an idea: What If Our Politicians Had to Wear Sponsor Logos Like NASCAR Drivers?

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/04/09/cowboy-libertarian-politicians-wear-sponsor-logos-like-nascar-drivers/

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Why did AARP - the retirement group known for discounts - favor passage of ObamaCare when it would cut $500 billion in Medicare benefits? Surprise, ObamaCare cut their competitors' plans while preserving those of AARP. Congressman Dave Reichert and two other congressmen issued a report Thursday about the conflicts of interest of AARP. “Behind the Veil: The AARP American Doesn't Know”

http://reichert.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=232147

This site is meant to "facilitate efficient sharing of public information about the Obama Administration" and highlight FOIA requests that have gone unfulfilled. It has been set up to look like Wikipedia. Crossroads GPS, the cash-rich Republican outside group planning to spend $120 million on the 2012 election in conjunction with its sister organization American Crossroads, announced the launch Wednesday.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20046215-503544.html

http://www.wikicountability.org

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LATE NITE

Jay Leno: A lot of people wonder what a government shutdown would be like. I think a lot more people wonder what a government running properly would be like……. President Obama announced that he will run for re-election in 2012. His new slogan is “Change you can believe in — this time, I promise.”

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WISE WORDS

"To preserve independence...we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and Liberty, or profusion and servitude. ... The fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follow that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression."

-Thomas Jefferson

"Having never been a proselyte to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits ... I consider them, on the contrary, as evils which ought to be removed as fast as honor and justice will permit.”

-James Madison

Sunday, April 3, 2011

op ed review 4/3

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

President Obama’s approval rating and prospects for reelection have plunged to all-time lows in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. Half of the registered voters surveyed for the poll think that the president does not deserve a second term in office.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52208.html#ixzz1I5roWhZv

When questioned by an illegal alien student who showed him a deportation letter, President Barack Obama said he did not want to deport illegal alien students, he wanted them to succeed.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-illegal-alien-we-don-t-want-deport

An auditor at the Government Accountability Office, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the federal government can actually prevent or stop illegal entries into the United States along only 129 miles of the 1,954-mile-long U.S.--Mexico border.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/federal-auditor-border-patrol-can-stop-i

The media has buried the “worst scandal since Abu Ghraib” because it would embarrass the Obama administration. “Now that our former "cowboy president" has given way to our "international out-reach artist," nothing which might end up in the minus column of Barack Obama's presidential ledger will be given remotely the same treatment.”

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0311/ahlert.php3?printer_friendly

With anxiety growing as their electoral successes have not translated into major legislative gains, tea party leaders and their allies in Congress are warning lawmakers of all stripes that political penalties will result if they avoid making the tough decisions needed to put the country on a sustainable fiscal path.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/31/at-hill-rally-tea-partyers-turn-up-heat-on-boehner/

The French Presidential elections are about one year away, but there is plenty of news that has the European political establishment quaking. Leading in the polls is Marine Le Pen of the National Front, daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Her message is direct and simple: multiculturalism has failed France. And continued efforts down that path will lead to a replay of the Balkans and Lebanon, only this time with a French accent.

http://bigpeace.com/pschweizer/2011/03/28/is-france-on-the-brink-of-a-violent-civil-war/Is%20France%20on%20the%20Brink%20Of%20A%20Violent%20Civil%20War?

Though Democrats tout the auto bailout as a success, recent reports illustrate the taxpayer cost of the GM auto bailout was substantially larger than the Obama administration and a Congressional Oversight report has owned up to. A March 16 Congressional Oversight report, estimates taxpayers will be out of $25 billion. And that's only the beginning. Both the White House and the Congressional Oversight report omit the fact that during its bankruptcy, GM got a $45 billion tax break.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/mar/31/barack-obama-losing-84-billion-big-success/

Ready for another cash for clunkers program? It looks like General Motors is attempting to replace it's own consumer incentives with tax payer money.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/mar/29/cash-clunkers-2-dumped-capitol-hill/

Wisconsin Democrats and their organized labor overlords are pouring enormous resources into recall efforts against eight Senate Republicans. Similar campaigns against fleebagger Democrats have narrowed from eight to just three because conservatives are getting out-hustled on the ground, perhaps lulled into complacency by their recent legislative triumph:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2011/03/28/why_the_wisconsin_fight_isnt_over,_and_how_the_left_could_win

The cash-strapped New York Metro Transit Authority may soon put welfare recipients to work scrubbing and cleaning New York subways.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/29/2011-03-29_cashpoor_mta_may_put_recipients_of_unemployment_benefits_to_work_again_cleaning_.html#ixzz1I0KrElkB

As the price of gas heads for $4/gallon, more than two-thirds of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle, neither producing oil and gas, nor being actively explored by the companies who hold the leases.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_ENERGY?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=US

Are Barack Obama's energy policies influenced by George Soros? “…the Obama administration is clamping down on oil and gas development in America (both onshore and offshore) but is hell-bent on helping other nation's tap their resources….such help is being showered specifically in New Guinea, of all places….Soros stands to massively benefit if New Guinea becomes an energy power, especially if the American taxpayer subsidizes this development…”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/soros_wins_under_obamas_energy.html

Four branches of the military have begun sending training material to 2.2 million active and reserve troops as a prelude to opening the ranks to gays, with instructions on, for example, what to do if an officer sees two male Marines kissing in a shopping mall.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/22/military-set-to-train-for-end-of-dont-ask/

U.S. consumers face "serious" inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. operations warned Wednesday.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-03-30-wal-mart-ceo-expects-inflation_N.htm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie performs better in a head-to-head match up with President Obama in 2012 than most of the rumored field of Republican presidential hopefuls, according to a new poll.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/152943-poll-christie-runs-stronger-against-obama-than-most-of-rumored-gop-field

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

STEPHEN MOORE 4/1/11

If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida's ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York's….

Now it is certainly true that many states have not typically been home to traditional manufacturing operations. Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, for example. But in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers. West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners. New York is the financial capital of the world—at least for now. That sector employs roughly 670,000 New Yorkers. That's less than half of the state's 1.48 million government employees.

Don't expect a reversal of this trend anytime soon. Surveys of college graduates are finding that more and more of our top minds want to work for the government. Why? Because in recent years only government agencies have been hiring, and because the offer of near lifetime security is highly valued in these times of economic turbulence. When 23-year-olds aren't willing to take career risks, we have a real problem on our hands. Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn't pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.

The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment. It is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we've gotten.

Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to "win the future." The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704050204576219073867182108.html

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Economic lunacy abounds, and often the most learned, including Nobel Laureates, are its primary victims. The most recent example of economic lunacy is found in a Huffington Post article titled 'The Silver Lining of Japan's Quake' written by Nathan Gardels, editor of New Perspectives Quarterly.... Mr. Gardels says, 'No one ... would minimize the grief, suffering and disruption caused by Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami. But if one can look past the devastation, there is a silver lining. The need to rebuild a large swath of Japan will create huge opportunities for domestic economic growth, particularly in energy-efficient technologies, while also stimulating global demand and hastening the integration of East Asia. ... By taking Japan's mature economy down a notch, Mother Nature has accomplished what fiscal policy and the central bank could not.' ... It's not just disasters in Japan. After Florida's devastating 2004 hurricane, newspapers carried headlines such as 'Storms create lucrative times.' and 'Economic growth from hurricanes could outweigh costs.' ... Why might Japan's and Florida's devastation be seen as 'pluses'? French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) explained it in his pamphlet 'What is Seen and What is Not Seen,' saying, 'There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.' ... Do a simple smell test on these examples of economic lunacy. Would the Japanese economy face even greater opportunities for economic growth had the earthquake and tsunami also struck Tokyo, Hiroshima, Yokohama and other major cities? Would the 9-11 terrorists have done us an even bigger economic favor had they destroyed buildings in other cities? The belief that society benefits from destruction is lunacy."

-Walter E. Williams

"[P]rognostication is a skill few journalists, politicians, diplomats, and intelligence officials have demonstrated consistently over time. So while it's clear that the Muslim world is in the throes of a major transformation, let's not pretend we know how this story ends. It's possible we're seeing an Arab spring, a democratic awakening -- uprisings that will bring freedom to societies that have known only oppression. But it's equally possible that one form of oppression will simply replace another"

-Cliff May

"When you have Islamic jihadists going toe-to-toe with a mass-murdering thug and his followers, humanitarianism is in dangerously short supply. So, apparently, is sanity. If Colonel Cuckoo wins, we have the makings of a terrorist-led pariah state that hates the West in general, and the United States in particular. If the rebels win, we have the makings of a terrorist-led pariah state which hates the West in general, and the United States in particular. Is there clarity in redundancy?"

-Arnold Ahlert

"The real warriors ... all say the same thing: spend my life if you must, but don't waste it. A bond of trust based on that contract must exist between a president and the troops. If the president is willing to risk their lives in the absence of a compelling need to defeat a threat to America, that trust is violated. President Obama violated that trust by entering the Libyan civil war in the absence of any compelling and urgent American interest. He risks the future of our all-volunteer military by, without good cause, risking the lives of U.S. pilots and those who support them in combat."

-Jed Babbin

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FILM

“Atlas Shrugged is a movie that speaks to the issues of today. And, just as importantly, it is a faithful adaptation of the novel that Americans surveyed describe as the second most influential novel in their lives (after the Bible).”

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/laborunionreport/2011/03/29/first-look-atlas-shrugged-dagny-confronts-the-union/

You might think that given the abysmal box office record of left-wing movies about the Iraq war that "Fair Game," a highly distorted version of the tired controversy surrounding former CIA non-agent Valerie Plame Wilson, would never have been made. Of course, since Hollywood is dominated by leftists, economic sanity did not prevail. Economic reality did prevail, though, as "Fair Game" ended up being a total bomb.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2011/03/29/distorted-valerie-plame-flick-bombed-box-office

With movie theater attendance in the U.S. and Canada down a whopping 20% so far this year compared with 2010, cinema operators and some studio chiefs surprisingly agree on at least one cause: The movies haven't been very good.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-cinemacon-20110330,0,3640208,full.story

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LEFTIST WATCH

The far left has attempted to portray their elderly hero, Frances Fox Piven, as a lonely shut-in who spends her time knitting mittens and eating Werther’s Originals in her New York apartment. But the truth is that age has not dampened Piven’s appetite for radical socialist political activities. Piven, an academic who is still on the board of ACORN-partner Project Vote, has announced that she will be co-hosting a 1960s-style “teach-in” April 5th, and she’s bringing in some heavy hitters.

http://biggovernment.com/kolson/2011/03/31/frances-fox-piven-and-richard-trumka-join-forces-april-5th/

For the second time in less than eighteen months, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers admitted he wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father."

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/03/27/bill-ayers-admits-second-time-he-wrote-obamas-dreams-my-father

President Obama's point man on U.S. development and humanitarian missions testified before Congress this week that a budget plan House Republicans passed last month would lead to 70,000 kids dying.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/01/obama-official-gop-budget-kill-70000-kids/

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ISLAM

New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear. “…a new Islamic civilization is on it’s way.”

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/March/Iranian-Regime-Video-Says-Mahdi-is-Near-/

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan reiterated his defense of Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday, calling the embattled Libyan leader a friend and Muslim brother who's lent the movement $8 million over the years.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110401/ap_on_re_us/us_nation_of_islam_farrakhan

“The West is almost as in love with improving the world, as the Muslim world is with conquering it. These two contradictory impulses, the missionary and the warrior, intersect in the Clash of Civilizations. The Muslim world has two approaches to the West, underhanded deceit and outright terror. The former are considered moderates and the latter extremists…”

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/34895

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CHINA

China is on course to overtake the US in scientific output possibly as soon as 2013 - far earlier than expected. But this study shows that China, after displacing the UK as the world's second leading producer of research, could go on to overtake America in as little as two years' time. Chinese spending has grown by 20% per year since 1999, now reaching over $100bn, and as many as 1.5 million science and engineering students graduated from Chinese universities in 2006.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12885271

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ARTICLES

Some of the most disgruntled folks in Washington these days are conservative Republicans in Congress. They believe their party has abandoned the cause of deep spending cuts that spurred the Republican landslide in the 2010 midterm election. They say their leaders are needlessly settling for small, incremental cuts. Moreover, this demand for bigger cuts and defunding of liberal programs—immediately—comes from prominent members of the House, not just excitable freshmen. "This is our mice or men moment," according to Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704425804576220350402194830.html

She will make a decision by June, but she behaves more like a candidate with each passing day. She has five children and long dark hair. She is prone to gaffes, but can she fire up a crowd. She appeals especially strongly to the conservative wing of her party, Tea Party types and born-again Christians alike. She's a terrific fundraiser, and is seriously considering a White House run. Oh, and one other thing. She's not Sarah Palin. In the thus-far lacklustre Republican contest to produce a challenger to Barack Obama next year, meet Michele Bachmann.

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/rupert-cornwell-rising-star-of-the-us-right-is-certainly-no-palin-lite-2598242.html

As night follows day, the appearance of conservative woman on the scene drives many of the liberal media to distraction and to hysteria. The Sarah Palin script is dusted off — the media have grown bored with her as a successful celebrity and an unlikely presidential aspirant — and pulled out for the next media juggernaut. Along comes Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) — no whackier than Newt Gingrich, no more conservative than Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), no more a long shot than Rick Santorum, no more gaffe-prone than Joe Biden — and the left-leaning punditocracy goes into ridicule mode.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/when-conservative-women-descend-the-liberal-media-take-flight/2011/03/04/AFWNC9kB_blog.html

I wonder how many liberals would've voted for Barack Obama if he had stumped the nation with this campaign vow: "We're fighting two wars, but as president I pledge to change that policy by ordering up a third. And I will do so by exercising the prerogatives of the imperial presidency. George W. Bush felt it was necessary to get congressional authorization for the war in Iraq, but I will do him one better. When I launch our third intervention, I pledge to inform the members of Congress only when it's too late…”

http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-27/news/29194912_1_liberals-president-obama-libya

John Stossel: “I went to Princeton in 1969, where they taught me that government could solve the world's problems. Put the smartest people in a room, give them enough taxpayer money, and they will fix most everything. During those years, I heard nothing about an alternative. How things have changed! I recently spent time with several hundred college-aged people at a Students for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C. Here were hundreds of students who actually understand that government creates many of the problems, and freedom—personal and economic liberty—makes things better."

http://reason.com/archives/2011/03/31/students-who-get-it

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Want to buy a used aircraft carrier? The UK is having a big sale.

http://www.edisposals.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/Disposals-Public-Site/en_US/-/GBP/ViewProductDetail-Start;pgid=MieqQ4wkQg8000ArvQ_8K1sp0000zkQXIpQ6?ProductUUID=eIDAqBIQIhQAAAEupZZcNt5o&CatalogCategoryID=VaLAqBELPagAAAED8GeasfoP&JumpTo=OfferList

How about a destroyer, for sale cheap!

http://www.edisposals.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/Disposals-Public-Site/en_US/-/GBP/ViewProductDetail-Start;pgid=MieqQ4wkQg8000ArvQ_8K1sp0000zkQXIpQ6?ProductUUID=1nXAqBIQc2AAAAEt_7zjB9i_&CatalogCategoryID=VaLAqBELPagAAAED8GeasfoP&JumpTo=OfferList

Cute twins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrpvG3WuLOQ

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HUMOR

Argus Hamilton: Hillary Clinton revealed Wednesday she will step down as Secretary of State after the first term ends. She said the job requires her to spend all her time away from home. That prompted Bill Clinton to call the president and volunteer to take her place.

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WISE WORDS

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

-Daniel Webster

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."

-Bertrand de Jouvenel

"Any organization is in actuality only the lengthened shadow of its members. A political party is a mechanical structure created to further a cause. The cause, not the mechanism, brings and holds the members together. And our cause must be to rediscover, reassert and reapply America's spiritual heritage to our national affairs. Then with God's help we shall indeed be as a city upon a hill with the eyes of all people upon us."

-Ronald Reagan