Saturday, April 7, 2012

op ed review 4/8

THIS WEEK’S NEWS

Under President Obama's budget plan, debt will be $73,000 per American in 2022:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/73000-debt-american-under-obamas-budget-plan_635499.html

The unemployment rate drops to 8.2% for one simple reason: the number of people NOT in the labor force is back to all time highs: 87,897,000.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/nfp-big-miss-120k-expectations-205k-unemployment-82

Thanks to his friends in the media though, his Gallup daily approval rating is back up to 50%

http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

Appeals court upholds Calif. affirmative action ban

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/appeals-court-upholds-calif-affirmative-action-ban/

Attorney General Holder recently addressed the question of affirmative action, and for how long it would be required. He answered, stunningly, that reverse discrimination has only just begun: "The question is not when does it end, but when does it begin…... When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?"

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/holders_revenge.html#ixzz1qwMg1Qpe

Nine state attorneys general issue a “A Report on Obama Administration Violations of Law”

http://www.teapartytribune.com/2012/03/05/attorneys-general-join-forces-to-call-into-account-illegal-obama-administration-violations/

President Obama suggested that the Republican governing agenda will lead to "poisoning our kids".

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-gop-vision-poisons-our-kids/467561

President Obama took an opening shot at conservative justices on the Supreme Court, warning that a rejection of his sweeping healthcare law would be an act of "judicial activism".

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/us-obama-healthcare-idUSBRE8310WP20120402

A rumor that the Supreme Court preliminary vote is against Obamacare. Also a rumor that Justice Kagan leaked the results of the vote to President Obama. "That's why he went out there and did this today. Somebody called him. He lost the vote, the preliminary vote on Friday.”

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/04/03/obama_puts_out_bounty_on_supreme_court

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Obama, telling him to "back off" from comments earlier this week where he appeared to question the constitutional powers of the Supreme Court and the possibility that it could overturn his health care law. "The president crossed a dangerous line this week, and anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. The independence of the court must be defended."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/apr/5/mcconnell-tells-obama-back-over-court/

The head of the General Services Administration (GSA) resigned Monday and two deputies were fired after an internal report revealed excessive spending at a conference in Las Vegas — an event that cost $822,851 and included a clown and mind reader.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/219605-gsa-chief-resigns-employees-fired-for-costly-conference

“GSA Federal Worker Does Rap Video Bragging About Lavish Perks”

http://nation.foxnews.com/general-services-administration/2012/04/05/american-idle-croons-about-being-under-inspector-generals-investigation

With NBC investigating how a tape of George Zimmerman‘s 911 call on the night he killed Trayvon Martin got edited to make him appear more racially aware than he was on the tape, many are wondering whether it was an intentional move.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bernie-goldberg-to-oreilly-nbc-should-cut-their-relationship-with-irresponsible-msnbc/

NBC: “We deeply regret our error that made George Zimmerman sound like a racist, and now you should leave us alone..”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/03/nbc-we-deeply-regret-our-error-that-made-george-zimmerman-sound-like-a-racist-and-now-you-should-leave-us-alone/

The NBC producer responsible for the misleading edit of the George Zimmerman's 911 call has been fired.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/04/06/nbc-fires-producer-of-misleading-zimmerman-segment

Whatever happened on the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, we know one thing for sure: The gun prohibition lobbies and their compliant media friends have been deceiving the public about Florida’s laws. Among the many deceits is the claim that Florida’s “stand your ground” law affects the legality of whatever Mr. Zimmerman did.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/debunking-the-stand-your-ground-myth/

Vice President Joe Biden criticized “Senator Romney” for opposing Obamacare.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/03/biden-senator-romney-opposes-health-insurance-companies-covering-pre-existing-conditions-audio/#ixzz1r0Unpdhz

In its quest to implement stealth amnesty, the Obama Administration is working behind the scenes to halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.”

http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2012/04/dhs-to-grant-illegal-aliens-unlawful-presence-waivers/

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN

Charles Sykes, Wisconsin Policy Institute 3/27

Milton Friedman may have argued that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but you’d have a hard time convincing millions of Americans of that today. They know better – or at least they think they do. A record 46.5 million Americans rely on food stamps, and in 2010 the federal government paid out more money in the form of benefits than it collected in federal income taxes. But perhaps the most striking measure of the success of the entitlement state has been the way it’s eroded the stigma of being on the dole, while spreading dependency as a virtue as widely as possible. In other words: Everybody should buy everybody’s free lunch. And free breakfast too. (Did I mention free dinner also would be nice?)

The cultural shift has become so pronounced today that even some progressives are showing signs of unease. Were it not for her impeccable ideological pedigree, Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, might have irreparably damaged her standing with her mother’s friends when she produced a brief video for HBO about her recent encounters outside a New York welfare office. In the Pelosi video, a man waiting in line is drinking beer and smoking cigarettes as he admits that he’s fathered five children by four different mothers. “I’m here to get a check … whatever they’ve got to offer,” he explains. “It’s not like they’ve got a checklist … I’m just here to get what I can get.”

Of course he was. In the video, Alexandra Pelosi quizzes one man: “Why should I help you? Why should my tax dollars be going to you?” He replies, “Because my ancestors came here to help build this place – my ancestors, the slaves.” The last time the man worked, he says, was “half a decade” ago.

Around the country, there is a lot of “taking” going on. There was some mild bureaucratic embarrassment in Michigan recently when a 24-year-old woman who won $1 million in the state lottery was found to be collecting food assistance. “I feel it’s okay because, I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay,” explained the woman, Amanda Clayton. “I have two houses.” She was utterly without embarrassment of any kind. Like the upstanding gentleman in Pelosi’s video, Ms. Clayton was echoing the British welfare queen who declared, “I don’t feel bad about being subsidized by people who are working. I’m just working with the system that’s there. If the government wants to give me money, I’m happy to take it. We get what we’re entitled to.”…..

Clayton’s use of taxpayer assistance after buying a new home and car with her winnings was not unusual. Another Michigan resident continued receiving food assistance after he won $2 million in the 2010 state lottery. That’s what prompted congressman Dale Zorn (R-MI) to pass legislation in his state’s House earlier this year that would remove large-sum lottery winners from welfare rolls. (Legislation is pending in the Michigan Senate.)

Yet there’s still plenty of freebies left to dole out. And as those freebies multiply and as politicians up the bidding, notice how often the two sides seem to talk past one another, using words that carry radically different meanings, depending on the speakers.

While GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was campaigning last week in Peoria, Illinois, a young woman was caught on camera declaring: “So you’re all for like, ‘yay, freedom,’ and all this stuff. And ‘yay, like pursuit of happiness.’ You know what would make me happy? Free birth control.”

Wants have been transformed into “rights” in America and ultimately into obligations and entitlements. Consider this young woman’s thought process. In the alchemy of the new entitlement culture, freedom and the pursuit of happiness are transformed into a demand for free stuff that makes her happy. You could argue with her that freedom means something other than free stuff and that the pursuit of happiness was never intended to imply a guarantee of taxpayer-financed bliss. But she knows what she wants, and she wants it for free. Romney, to his credit, told the woman that if she wanted free stuff, she should “vote for the other guy.” Romney continued, “Politicians get up and promise you all kinds of free stuff, more and more stuff that you won’t have to pay for, and you know what? We get elected that way, in many cases, politicians do. That’s not something I subscribe to.”

But the Romney heckler illustrated the way in which wants have been transformed into “rights” in America and ultimately into obligations and entitlements. The process can be illustrated this way: “I want you to buy me lunch. Therefore, I need lunch. And if I need something, I have a right to it – and you, therefore, have an obligation to pay for it.” The equation looks like this: Wants = needs = rights = obligations. The laundry list goes far beyond free lunch to include free health care, free cell phones, free birth control, free mortgage bailouts– and on and on.

We’ve seen how this worked out for the Greeks, of course. But for a growing number of Americans, what happened in Greece is irrelevant: The entitlement state appeals to voters who believe they will bear no consequences for the costs or sustainability of the program. Questions of affordability don’t come into it, because they know they will never have to pay for it. (Recall that 49.5 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax at all.) They are not thinking of the burden to their children, their grandchildren, their friends, their fellow citizens of the country, or anyone else. As long as it is free to them – it’s free. And good luck telling them otherwise.

Charles J. Sykes is senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Institute and author of seven books, including A Nation of Moochers: America’s Addiction to Getting Something for Nothing.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/03/27/The-Entitled-States-of-America-We-Want-More.aspx#page2

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS

“….Obamacare is the first time Congress has used its power to regulate commerce to produce a law 'from which there is no escape.' ... Throughout the life of this nation it has been understood that for a contract to be valid, the parties to it must mutually assent to its terms -- without duress. In addition to duress, contracts are voidable for reasons of fraud upon, or the mistake or incapacity of, a party to the contract. This underscores the centrality of the concept of meaningful consent in contract law. To be meaningful, consent must be informed and must not be coerced. Under Obamacare, the government will compel individuals to enter into contractual relations with insurance companies under threat of penalty. ...this case is the last exit ramp on the road to unlimited government."

-George Will

"Someone will have to remind President Obama the Supreme Court is a co-equal branch of government, part of a system of checks and balances designed to rein in precisely the kind of runaway government exhibited by his administration……Surely the constitutional law professor has heard of Marbury v. Madison, the 1802 case that formed the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States under Article III of the Constitution. It was also the first time in Western history a court invalidated a law by declaring it 'unconstitutional.' Such an action is not unprecedented. ... By one estimate, the Supreme Court has struck down 53 laws between 1981 and 2005 alone. The president speaks of a law passed by a 'democratically elected Congress' yet it was a bill no one had read and which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass to find out what was in it.... To say the bill passed 'a strong majority' of a democratically elected Congress is an overstatement. The bill passed the House with a vote of 219-212, a majority of seven, with 34 Democrats defecting. ... This isn't the first time President Obama has lectured the Supreme Court. In his State of the Union address on Jan. 27, 2010, he shamefully scolded the justices on national television for 'having reversed a century of law' in a ruling in which the court was protecting the freedom of political speech enshrined more than two centuries ago in the First Amendment. It will be poetic justice if in answering the administration's assertions on the constitutionality of ObamaCare, the court will echo Justice Samuel Alito's reply that night: 'Not true.'"

-Investor's Business Daily

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LEFTIST WATCH

In this Holy Week of Easter, one of the socialist communiqués destined for my "Know Thy Enemy" email folder was a promotion for a new "award-winning" film, "Jesus was a Commie." The film was described as "an avant-garde conversation about critical social issues," and it supports the errant pop-thesis that Jesus advocated socialism. As absurd as that title is, liberal atheists and too many well-meaning but chronically nescient Christians regularly assert that the communist doctrines of Karl Marx equate with the teachings of Jesus Christ -- that the central message of Christianity supports socialism. Most notable among this week's Easter crop of socialist propagators was Barack Hussein Obama, who was out stumping for income redistribution by invoking a Biblical reference from Genesis 4, "I am my brother's keeper," to promote "redistributive justice" for socialist welfare programs to benefit "the least of these" (Matthew 25). At the same time, Obama condemned free enterprise as "you're-on-your-own economics."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shira-levine/matthew-modine-jesus-was-a-commie-_b_1084766.html

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BOOKS, FILM

National best-selling author of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto and President of FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe returns with “Hostile Takeover”, revealing how the centralized bureaucracy of government is eroding our hard-fought freedoms and how the Tea Party movement can return America to the decentralized vision of our Founders.

http://www.amazon.com/Hostile-Takeover-Centralized-Governments-Stranglehold/dp/0062196014/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1333809473&sr=8-2

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GLOBALONEY

New U.N. report blows cold on human causes for weather extremes. The surprise absolution of human beings from the crime of triggering severe weather phenomena was handed down by none other than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), leader of the campaign to sell the world on anthropogenic climate change. The IPCC’s Special Report on Extremes, released March 28, reads, “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized [property] losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.” The breathtaking admission is a sign that objective science is reclaiming a leading role in the discussion.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/2/abrupt-climate-change-reversal/

If you're thinking about buying a fuel-efficient hybrid, electric or otherwise eco-friendly vehicle as a way to save money over time, do your homework. Buyers who choose Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan's Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even, according to a new report by The New York Times that examines the cost of fuel efficiency.

For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer— 26.6 years.

http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2012/04/savings-come-slowly-for-hybrid.html

Mitsubishi has decided to “mothball” its Fort Smith wind-turbine manufacturing that was expected to employ 400 at full production.

http://talkbusiness.net/2012/04/mitsubishi-to-mothball-fort-smith-wind-turbine-factory/

Another subsidized solar firm flames out: Solar Trust for America received $2.1 billion in conditional loan guarantees from the Department of Energy -- "the largest amount ever offered to a solar project," according to Energy Secretary Steven Chu -- for a project near Blythe, Calif., but declared bankruptcy within a year.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/solar-company-bankrupt-despite-win-win-doe-loan/459621

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ACTIVISM

Coming soon on June 15-16, Americans for Prosperity Foundation will host the fifth annual RightOnline Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years, RightOnline has built a reputation as the premier conference for bloggers, social media gurus and online activists to network and learn new tactics. This year, RightOnline is an event you can’t afford to miss. Top national speakers and leading experts will host tracks and break-out sessions featuring the latest in new media applications and strategy for 2012. Due to the sharpened focus, RightOnline will have limited space that is expected to fill up fast.

http://rightonline.com/beta/

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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Santorum trailing Romney in Pennsylvania by 5 points, 42 percent to 37 percent.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/04/05/040612-news-campaign/

After suffering three defeats this week, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is taking an extended break from the campaign trail before the critical Pennsylvania primary.

http://www.boston.com/Boston/politicalintelligence/2012/04/rick-santorum-taking-extended-campaign-break-after-suffering-triple-losses/wFyWpEhiek4CRidKNJ9rbM/index.html

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ARTICLES

Most summits are mush-mouthed affairs full of pleasantries. Tuesday's "Three Amigos" summit was different: a litany of how President Obama has alienated our neighbors. You wouldn't know this from reading the mainstream media, which reported the disastrous summit with anodyne headlines like: "Obama talks trade, energy with Canada, Mexico leaders at Summit" (Associated Press) and "Obama, Mexico's Calderon vow more drug crime cooperation" (Reuters). Fortunately, the Canadian and Mexican press told the real story.

http://news.investors.com/article/606670/201204031900/obama-alienates-mexico-and-canada-over-energy-trade-and-weapons.htm

Shelby Steele: “In fact Trayvon's sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America's civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well…..The civil rights community and the liberal media live by the poetic truth that America is still a reflexively racist society, and that this remains the great barrier to black equality. But this "truth" has a lot of lie in it. America has greatly evolved since the 1960s. There are no longer any respectable advocates of racial segregation. And blacks today are nine times more likely to be killed by other blacks than by whites….Before the 1960s the black American identity (though no one ever used the word) was based on our common humanity, on the idea that race was always an artificial and exploitive division between people. After the '60s—in a society guilty for its long abuse of us—we took our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity. We could not have made a worse mistake. It has given us a generation of ambulance-chasing leaders, and the illusion that our greatest power lies in the manipulation of white guilt. The tragedy surrounding Trayvon's death is not in the possibility that it might have something to do with white racism; the tragedy is in the lustfulness with which so many black leaders, in conjunction with the media, have leapt to exploit his demise for their own power.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303302504577323691134926300.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

What we know about the Zimmerman-Martin case so far.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/zimmerman_and_ketman.html

The Rebirth of Birthers? “Mockton's testimony is a bombshell. It is a credible voice suggesting that the image on the White House website, offered to the American people in good faith, was presented as an accurate depiction of Obama's birth certificate, and for whatever reason, it is not. This is forgery, a crime in itself, but it is the reason for the possible forgery -- fraud -- that keeps the media and lawmakers from running with this amazing story. Anyone calling Obama's birth certificate into question will have to entertain the notion that perhaps the forgery was made because the president does not have legal proof of his American birth. And anyone carrying that message will have the stink of "right-wing birther" on him, and he will be swiftly devoured by the attack dogs in the media and marginalized. So in a way, I don't blame conservative lawmakers and pundits for treading lightly around the issue.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/the_rebirth_of_birthers.html#ixzz1rGwd1B9r

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LATE NITE:

Leno: . Oh, here's your tax dollars at work. This is what makes people furious. The head of the GSA, a woman named Martha Johnson, has resigned after they found out she spent over $830,000 on a four-day government conference in Las Vegas. And the president is furious. Not President Obama, the president of China. It's his money. It's his money she spent………Up in Sacramento this week a man jumped on the hood of a police car that was moving. Started screaming his name. He was wearing a puffy winter jacket, a sombrero, one boxing glove. Police say the guy was in a total state of delirium. They didn't arrest him. Turns out just a JetBlue pilot on break. He was just on break.

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WISE WORDS

"I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where ... is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time -- possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived -- all of them put together. How do we explain that -- unless He really was what He said He was?"

-Ronald Reagan

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