Saturday, September 17, 2011

op ed review 9/18

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

How’s that hope & change working out for you? The income of the typical American family — long the envy of much of the world — has dropped for the third year in a row and is now roughly where it was in 1996 when adjusted for inflation.

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/19129/61/

46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty, about one in six. The number of Americans living in poverty was the highest in the 52 years since the U.S. Census Bureau began gathering that statistic.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-13/poverty-in-u-s-climbed-to-17-year-high-in-2010-as-household-income-fell.html

The insurance-buying mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20110913_ap_pafederaljudgerulesagainstinsurancemandate.html

It sounded improbable on the surface that a New York City congressional district where Democrats have a 3-1 registration edge and have held office for nearly a century could even come close to electing a Republican to the U.S. House. But voter frustration over the sour economy and President Barack Obama's policies made the improbable a reality, as a Republican political novice, Bob Turner, scored an upset victory in a special election Tuesday over David Weprin, a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent local political family.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NY_SPECIAL_ELECTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-09-13-23-31-19

A majority in Virginia now say they do not think President Obama deserves to be re-elected.

http://news.yahoo.com/poll-obama-disapproval-soars-54-percent-va-103525059.html

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “joked” that he has been "hoping" to get fired.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/09/14/geithner_on_getting_fired_ive_been_hoping_for_sometime.html

A four-star Air Force general said the White House tried to pressure him to change his testimony to make it more favorable to a company tied to a large Democratic donor.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/15/lightsquared-did-white-house-pressure-general-shelton-to-help-donor.html

In a stunning reversal of voter opinions; the Rasmussen national telephone survey reveals that ''Likely U.S. Voters'' has flipped from 75% feeling it is at least somewhat important for the government to launch a new stimulus program to create jobs, to just 38% now supporting the President’s $447 billion jobs plan presented to the Joint Session of Congress.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chriss-street/support-for-big-governmen_b_959217.html

“Oh, no! Another Democratic senator in possible election trouble for 2012. And from California already? A new Field Poll brings news that California's Sen. Dianne Feinstein is -- how can we put this in a liberal kind of way? -- approved by 41% of voters who want to see her reelected next year.”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/09/dianne-feinstein-field-poll-oops.html

Michael Reagan is considering a challenge to Feinstein.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/16/MNJT1L533F.DTL#ixzz1YDcUc1Co

Think about this for a moment: There were only 1.75 full-time private-sector workers last year for each person receiving benefits from Social Security.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/labor-dept-data-only-175-full-time-private-sector-workers-social-security-recipient

Nearly $19 billion in state unemployment benefits were paid in error during the three years that ended in June. The amount represents more than 10% of the $180 billion in jobless benefits paid nationwide during the period. Washington State had one of the higher error rates: in three years the 14% error rate resulted in $775M in overpayments. (close enough for government work?)

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/09/14/billions-in-unemployment-benefits-paid-in-error/tab/print/

The House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the National Labor Relations Board from "ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance." The legislation is aimed at punishing the NLRB for its attempt to stop Boeing from opening a factory in South Carolina. The bill passed 238 - 186 with seven Republicans voting to protect the NLRB. All seven have taken cash from big labor.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/republican-union-cash-kings-cave-nlrb-vote

AFL-CIO Chief Richard Trumka called it "sleazy legislation" and says it panders to the "radical ideology" of the tea party.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/2016185554_boeing_nlrb.html

A federal judge found the Longshoreman’s Union in contempt of court, a week after police said hundreds of its members raided a grain terminal in southwestern Washington, smashed windows and menaced security guards. “Every (union) protester he saw that night was carrying a weapon - baseball bats, lead pipes, garden tools….I didn't see a longshoreman who didn't have something in his hands," he said. He was pulled out of his car by one longshoreman, and another man swung a metal pipe at him, he said.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/15/2409154/wash-union-held-in-contempt-for.html

Teamsters President James Hoffa led a rally of union members in Puyallup, Wash, but was met with a local opposition Tea Party group “SOBs United”, protesting his “sons of bitches” Labor Day remark.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/09/tea-party-sobs-united-greet-jimmy-hoffa-at-washington-event/

As Republicans prepare for 2012, they should read a new poll on regulations which found that an overwhelming majority of Americans — 74% — feel businesses are over regulated. 73% say regulations raise prices.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/42179

“In the UK, teachers are branding thousands of children racist or homophobic following playground squabbles. More than 20,000 pupils aged 11 or younger were last year put on record for so-called hate crimes…..Some of them are even from nursery schools where children are no older than three.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2037050/Racists-aged-THREE-Children-accused-bigotry-broccoli-head-calling.html

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Austin Hill 7/31

What’s more important: the wellbeing of each individual citizen in America, or the wellbeing of government?

One of the reasons that the United States occupies a distinguished place in the world is because the American founders prioritized the wellbeing of the individual person. Government, the founders believed, should be the servant of individual people. This was a rather significant departure from the view that individual people should be the servant of their all-important government. Unfortunately, many Americans today prioritize the wellbeing of government above all else. Take for example our President, Barack Obama.

Throughout the debate over our nation’s debt and deficit, President Obama has made it clear that politicians and bureaucrats must be permitted to go on spending money as they see fit. Any limitations on government borrowing or government’s ability to collect taxes will result in calamity, whereas borrowing and taxing will enable all the societal goodness that can exist.

The President’s vision defies historical fact. But here’s a quote from a press conference on July 16th, where he addressed the public pressure to curb government spending, that he and the Congress have been facing: “….Some of these decisions are tough…but they don’t require us to gut Medicare or Social Security…they don’t require us to stop helpin’ young people go to college…they don’t require us to stop, you know, helpin’ families that have got a disabled child…they don’t require us to violate our obligations to our veterans…and they don’t require quote-un-quote job killing tax cuts…”

Much of this is simply rhetorical. Nobody has proposed “gutting” Medicare or Social Security. Nobody in Congress has suggested that college students or parents of disabled children should be abandoned. But notice President Obama’s choice of words about taxation – “job killing tax cuts.” Nobody who has even a remote acquaintance with basic economic concepts actually believes that allowing private individuals to retain more of their own wealth decreases “job creation.” Indeed it’s just the opposite – the more wealth that individuals can keep for themselves, the more likely it is that they will invest money in business enterprises that will lead to employment opportunities. Yet, there he is, the leader of the free world, fussing over alleged “job killing tax cuts.”

This “government is everything” mindset doesn’t begin and end in Washington. Last week I happened to catch Rush Limbaugh engaged in conversation with “Carl,” a 24 year old caller to his talk show who was arguing that we all must sacrifice more (especially “rich” people) to keep the government goodness flowing. A portion of the conversation went like this:

CARL: A tax cut depletes necessary revenue needed to keep the government operational and functioning.

RUSH: Carl, that's not what a tax cut is. A tax cut is you work for a living, and you are paid X. At the present, you have a tax rate -- let's just pick one, may not be accurate -- of 30%. Which means that 30% of every dollar you earn goes to Washington, but the money starts with you. It's yours. You earned it. You did what was necessary to be paid that money…If a tax cut happens, and your tax rate goes to 20%, then all of a sudden you get to keep 80¢ of every dollar you earned rather than 70¢ of every dollar you earned. How in the world is that spending?

CARL: Because when I spend that money out of my own paycheck, that's money that I spend on my own life. When the government spends my tax dollars, they're spending it on necessary infrastructure that's to keep the entire government running, to keep schools running…

RUSH: No... Wait a minute. So are you telling me that you believe that it is more important for government to spend whatever money it has than it is for you to spend whatever money you earn?

CARL: The government spending tax dollars benefits everybody, whereas me spending my own money benefits me…

Apparently Carl hasn’t been taught that when he spends his own money, it benefits the person who grows his food, manufactures his clothes, and so forth…….President Obama will likely never embrace this “people before government” philosophy. But will America ever return to it?

Edited from a longer column, read it here:

http://townhall.com/columnists/austinhill/2011/07/31/job_killing_tax_cuts_and_a_guy_who_called_rush/page/full/

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

"Many people think that when the government takes payroll tax from their paychecks, it goes to something like a savings account. Seniors who collect Social Security think they're just getting back money that they put into their 'account.' Or they think it's like an insurance policy -- you win if you live long enough to get more than you paid in. Neither is true. Nothing is invested. The money taken from you was spent by government that year. Right away. There's no trust fund. The plan is unsustainable."

-John Stossel

“The internet was buzzing this week with video of First Lady Michelle Obama apparently showing extreme disrespect to the American flag at a ceremony in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As police and firefighters fold the flag to the sound of marching bagpipers, a skeptical looking Mrs. Obama leans to her husband and appears to say, “all this just for a flag.” She then purses her lips and shakes her head slightly as Mr. Obama nods……..this is the same woman who said she had never in her adult life been really proud of America before her husband ran for president, so it is no wonder she might dismiss a flag ceremony as just so much nonsense.”

-James Robbins

"The fact that a mere seven years after being attacked by Muslims, we elected a guy who spent his early years in Islamic schools in Indonesia; his most formative years being raised in Hawaii by white socialists and tutored by a black communist; and his adulthood, attending a black racist church in Chicago, while hanging around with unrepentant radical terrorists, strongly suggests that America should have had its head examined."

-Burt Prelutsky

"Has Obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override?"

-Thomas Sowell

"Obama is like the guy in the bar who says, 'I'll stand drinks for everyone in the house,' and then adds, 'Those guys over there are going to pay for them.'"

-Michael Barone

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BOOKS

Here come the insider tell-all books: “A new book claims that the Obama White House is a boys’ club marred by rampant infighting that has hindered the administration’s economic policy and left top female advisers feeling excluded from key conversations…. In an excerpt obtained by The Post, a female senior aide to President Obama called the White House a hostile environment for women.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/suskind-book-female-advisers-in-obama-white-house-sidelined-and-ignored/2011/09/16/gIQAAOSSXK_print.html

“After America” by Mark Steyn. “If his predictions in After America come true then, as the poet says, let us quit all and give our vineyards to a barbarous people. His thesis is that the West is finished. Europe has already thrown in the towel, and the US is about to follow. Power is shifting epochally to some scary Asian autocracies, and we'll look back wistfully at the 250-year Anglo-American imperium now coming to a close. Big government has infantilised its citizens. The dwindling private sector is crushed under the a class of state-funded Eloi (Steyn draws entertainingly on HG Wells's Time Machine throughout the work). Men are becoming unmanly, women are giving up on motherhood, and we face irremediable demographic decline. Europe will end up under some kind of patchwork sharia system, large parts of the American Southwest will effectively rejoin Latin America, and other states will secede from the USA in order to salvage what they can.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100105216/after-america-the-book-of-2011/

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LEFTIST WATCH

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on 9/11: “Fake heroes like…..Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror……The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame…”

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/11/the-years-of-shame/?smid=tw-NytimesKrugman&seid=auto

Don Rumsfeld tweets: “After reading Krugman’s repugnant piece on 9/11, I cancelled my subscription to the New York Times this AM.”

http://twitter.com/#!/RumsfeldOffice/status/113249858596503553

Of 106 supposedly apolitical hires by the Obama/Holder Civil Rights Division, all 106 are demonstrably, irrefutably leftist activists……"These people were members of groups like 'Queer Resistance Front,' 'Intersex Society of North America,' and of course People for the American Way. Their published essays focused on issues such as 'Genital Normalizing Surgery on Intersexed Infants' and on arguing that providing material support for terrorism isn't a war crime. They, or those promoted, have histories of extracurricular activities that include getting arrested at a World Bank protest, going on a hunger strike while chaining oneself to an oak tree and doing advocacy work for 'the rights of incarcerated native Hawaiians to dance the hula and perform Hawaiian chants and rituals in privately owned prisons in Arizona.' A large number of them have donated significant campaign funds to Barack Obama, and some to other liberal candidates."

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/09/15/deep-corruption-at-the-obama-j

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GLOBALONEY

Al Gore's Current TV will use 24 straight hours of airtime this week to try to convert global warming skeptics. Will he mention a recent report that shows the climate change scare is grossly overblown? The CERN report has been largely ignored by the mainstream press.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/584556/201109121840/More-Gore-Hot-Air.aspx

"There will be a full-on assault on climate skeptics, exploring where they get their funding from."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/12/us-gore-climatechange-idUSTRE78B2GT20110912

A tiny car company backed by Al Gore has gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125383160812639013.html

A 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly resigned from the American Physical Society in disgust over its officially stated policy that "global warming is occurring." "In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?" he wrote in an email to the executive officer of the physics society. "The claim … is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period," his email message said.

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/14/nobel-prize-winning-physicist-resigns-from-top-physics-group-over-global/#ixzz1Y21yLozG

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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as the firm frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a poll released Monday, outpacing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among declared candidates by 32 percent to 21 percent. Registered Republicans over 50 favor Perry over Romney by 41 percent to 22 percent, according to the latest CNN poll. Among those over 65, Perry leads Romney by a whopping three-to-one margin, showing seniors have not been scared by Perry's provocative language about Social Security being a failure and a Ponzi scheme.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/rick_perry_cements_frontrunner_status_2tKb3iTQ22EBJHeMSDoc6L

At the GOP presidential candidate debate Monday night, Gov. Perry was booed by debate-watchers over a Texas law that gives in-state college tuition to children of illegal immigrants. The Texas governor, who signed the bill during his first term in 2001, sparred with fellow candidates Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney over the issue. “The American way is not to give taxpayer-subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws and are here in the United States illegally,” Bachmann said at the CNN/Tea Party Express debate.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/gop-debate-rick-perry-booed-over-texas-immigration-law/

A fight over the future of Social Security has emerged as a key feature of the struggle between Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. But there is another issue that divides the two. Perry opposes E-Verify, which is a program requiring employers to check the legal status of new hires. It has been very effective in stopping the hiring of illegals, but Perry does not support requiring private businesses to use it, and he doesn't want state agencies in Texas to use it, either. ????

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0911/york.php3

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is endorsing Rick Perry in the 2012 presidential race.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63274.html#ixzz1XmXBkY9x

Former Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race last month, endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/09/pawlenty-endors.php

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ARTICLES

“Barack Obama is solidifying his status as the worst president in American history. The leader who promised us a bright future of peace and fraternity is leading the American empire – and the rest of the world with it – into a dark abyss. Ever since he settled into the Oval Office, Obama has been hopping from one disaster to the next, making every possible mistake, boosting enemies and disregarding allies while ruining everything he touches in the process.”

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4113047,00.html

Canada has recovered all the jobs it lost in the 2009 recession, and Alberta's oil sands are no small part of that. The province is on track to become the world's second-largest oil producer, after Saudi Arabia, within 10 years. Meanwhile Mr. Obama clings to his subsidies for solar panels and his religious faith in green jobs.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904836104576560933917369412.html

George Will “In societies governed by persuasion, politics is mostly talk, so liberals’ impoverishment of their vocabulary matters. Having damaged liberalism’s reputation, they call themselves progressives. Having made the federal government’s pretensions absurd, they have resurrected a supposed synonym for the government, the “federal family.” Having made federal spending suspect, they advocate “investments” — for “job creation,” a euphemism for stimulus, another word they have made toxic. Barack Obama, a pitilessly rhetorical president, continues to grab the nation by its lapels, demanding its attention, and is paying the price: The nation is no longer listening. This matters because ominous portents are multiplying….”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-floundering-federal-family/2011/09/13/gIQA9oaxSK_story.html?hpid=z2

John Galt is the character in “Atlas Shrugged” who persuaded the productive — inventors, artists and businessmen — to cease being productive, thus starving the welfare state of the taxes they generate. As alluring and charmingly idealistic as the idea of Going Galt may be, the irony is Going Galt relies on human altruism just as much as socialism does and human beings tend to put themselves first and will break ranks. The rewards for individual effort outweigh the collective effort to withhold production. But under President Obama investors finally are Going Galt.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/42400

Chicago Tribune: “Rick Perry has gotten a lot of heat for describing the Social Security system as "a Ponzi scheme," and he deserves it. The Texas governor owes a big apology to Charles Ponzi. Sure, Ponzi fleeced investors, but they at least had a choice about participating. Social Security operates on a compulsory basis. In other respects, though, Perry has a point.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-socialsecurity-20110913,0,6514632.story#start

In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers are considering adopting the method used in Maine and Nebraska to divvy up Electoral College votes. Presidential candidates would receive a vote for every congressional district they carry and the candidate who carried the state would receive two more (representing the senators). This proposal shocked the Left because, well, because — that is why — just because. Oh and it might mean Barack Obama is not re-elected.

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/42305

The lefties at Mother Jones are worried: “…this would have an effect equivalent to flipping a medium-size winner-take-all state—say, Washington, which has 12 electoral votes—from blue to red. And Republicans wouldn't even have to do any extra campaigning or spend any extra advertising dollars to do it.”

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/09/gop-electoral-college-plan-beat-obama-2012

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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES

Many photos from the 9/11 memorial ceremonies. Must see.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2036096/9-11-ANNIVERSARY-Leaders-tears-America-begins-ceremonies-remember.html

Obama's expression of remoteness and arrogant disdain was so palpable that the Wall Street Journal chose to feature it on the front page of the Monday edition. Obama is pictured with his nose at a 45-degree angle standing next to George Bush, whose face, furrowed from the effects of eight years in office, is bowed deep in prayer. In the photo, former President Bush comes across as just the sort of humble and reverent man he is; Obama appears to hold himself above the proceedings, uncomfortable among the ordinary folk gathered for the occasion and deeply contemptuous of everyone there. See for yourself.

http://kristoffertripplaar.wordpress.com/

Funny

http://wimp.com/frenchcows/

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HUMOR

"L.A. is considering a ban on both plastic AND paper grocery bags. Fine. If I ever go shopping in L.A., my bags will be made from the fur of animals I killed myself."

-former Senator Fred Thompson

"President Obama's speechwriter Jon Lovett resigned to pursue what he called a more fulfilling life in Los Angeles writing comedy. He helped write the stimulus bill, the health care law and the president's jobs plan. His work as a comedy writer in Washington is done."

-Argus Hamilton

"Government statistics show the U.S. economy created zero jobs in August. President Obama now says he's confident this month he can double that."

-Jay Leno

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WISE WORDS

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."

-William Pitt

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone."

-Frederic Bastiat

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