Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Harper: Thanks to Obama’s “no” on Keystone, the price of Canadian crude will go up for the U.S.

Hotair ^ | 04/03/2012 | Tina Korbe

The damage is done. Even if President Barack Obama decides to approve the Keystone XL pipeline at some point in the future, he already sent a message to Canada that our northern neighbor can't rely on us as its only energy customer --- and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper heeded it.
In an interview with former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) in D.C. yesterday, Harper explained that Canada will now seek to expand its export market to Asia and will also cease to supply oil to the United States at a discounted rate.
“Look, the very fact that a ‘no’ could even be said underscores to our country that we must diversify our energy export markets,” Harper told Harman in front of a live audience of businesspeople, scholars, diplomats, and journalists. …
Harper also told Harman that Canada has been selling its oil to the United States at a discounted price.
So not only will America be able to buy less Canadian oil even if Keystone is eventually approved, the U.S. will also have to pay more for it because the market for oilsands crude will be more competitive.
“We have taken a significant price hit by virtue of the fact that we are a captive supplier and that just does not make sense in terms of the broader interests of the Canadian economy,” Harper said. “We’re still going to be a major supplier of the United States. It will be a long time, if ever, before the United States isn’t our number one export market, but for us the United States cannot be our only export market.
“That is not in our interest, either commercially or in terms of pricing.”
“We cannot be, as a country, in a situation where our one and, in many cases, only energy partner could say no to our energy products. We just cannot be in that position.”
Harper’s comments came the same day that Barack Obama’s Super PAC, Priorities USA, released an ad that sought to tie Mitt Romney to Big Oil. The ad was itself a response to an ad underwritten by the American Energy Alliance that attacked Obama on his energy record and warned that this administration would be content to see gas prices rise as high as $9 a gallon.
This fallout from the president’s decision on Keystone XL underscores the truth that Obama does not make policy decisions in a vacuum. He’ll do what he will — and other countries will respond accordingly. Our famously “cerebral” leader might have preferred to have had more time to “sufficiently review” the project, but he didn’t. In the time frame he was given, he made his priorities perfectly clear: He cares more to retain the support of certain constituencies than to approve a project that would have created thousands of jobs and signaled to Canada that we’re committed to ensure a supply of affordable energy for ourselves. The American Energy Alliance had it right: The president’s energy policies have done nothing to secure America’s energy future. We’ll be ever more at the mercy of the oil-producing countries the president likes to blame so much.

Debt Grew Four Times Faster Under Obama than Clinton or Bush!

weeklystandard.com ^ | April 3, 2012
An alarming chart from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee showing the "rate of debt increase during presidents' 4-year terms."
"Debt grew four times faster under Obama than Clinton or Bush," the Senate Budget Committee finds.
 
The Senate Republicans send along these facts to go along with the chart:
· In just four years, President Obama’s policies will have added $6.4 trillion in new gross debt, for a total debt of $16.4 trillion by the end of this year.
· Per-household debt will have risen from $85,500 at the end of 2008 to $135,100 by the end of 2012.
· Average spending under the Obama Administration will be 33 percent higher than the four years preceding his term.

Flying car a 'step closer': Terrafugia (Update)

 

April 2, 2012 by Andrew Beatty
The two-seater car-plane, which has the rounded features of a Fiat 500 and collapsible wings, is on presale for $279,000 Enlarge
The prototype "Transisition" car plane. Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia said their production prototype "Transition" car-plane had completed an eight-minute test flight, clearing the way for it to hit the market within a year.

Drivers hoping to slip the surly -- and traffic congested -- bonds of Earth moved a step closer to realizing their dream, as a US firm said it had successfully tested a street-legal plane.
Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia said their production prototype "Transition" car-plane had completed an eight-minute test flight, clearing the way for it to hit the market within a year.
"With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream," said founder Carl Dietrich.
The two-seater craft, which has the rounded features of a Fiat 500 and collapsible wings, is on presale for $279,000 and some 100 vehicles have already been ordered.
While many companies have successfully built a flying car, none have succeeded in producing more than a handful of models.
But things have changed since the clunky Curtiss Autoplane hopped and spluttered into action in the early 1900s.
New materials and computer-aided design mean today's flying cars are cheaper and lighter to build.
They also look more like "Blade Runner" than "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
The successful test flight has given hope to aficionados that this staple of science fiction is a step closer to reality.
"Is it going to be like the Jetsons with everyone driving one in five years? No," admitted Winfield Keller, vice president of The International Flying Car Association, a trade group.
"But we are getting to the point where 10, maybe 15 years from now that the people owning and operating (them) will be everyday people."
In the meantime manufacturers hope they can build something that appeals to border security agencies, the police or the military, as well as hobbyists.
Terrafugia is targeting pilots looking for a bit more flexibility and fewer hangar fees.
Spanning 90 inches (2.3m) the same as a car, it fits into a normal-sized garage, before unfurling a 26 foot (8m) wingspan.
The Transition, they say offers unparalleled freedom of movement, with a range of 490 miles (787 kilometers) and without the need to check bags.
But to take advantage, would-be owners will need to have both a driver's and pilot's license -- with a minimum of 20 hours of flying time.
The craft needs 2,500 feet (762 meters) of runway for takeoff, meaning pulling onto the shoulder and escaping the traffic is not really an option.
"The Transition Street-Legal Airplane is now a significant step closer to being a commercial reality," the company said.
At least two other companies are racing to bring an autoplane to the market.
Dutch company PAL-V has tested a prototype gyrocopter-style car. It hopes to now build a full production prototype and to have the first deliveries by 2014.

California-based Moller International has built a personal vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, although it requires a little more training to operate.
(c) 2012 AFP

Obama Fails 'Uniter' Test on Trayvon Martin Incident (shock)!

National Legal & Policy Center ^ | April 3, 2012 | Carl Horowitz

Obama & Sharpton photo
Two lying dogs who should be asleep!
 
This past weekend saw further escalation of nationwide demonstrations over the fatal February 26 shooting of a black Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin, by a white Neighborhood Watch volunteer. Though in apparent self-defense, many are demanding the shooter, George Zimmerman, be arrested. In lieu of such action, some are vowing to apply their brand of street justice. Unfortunately, they have an ally in President Obama.
Speaking before reporters outside the White House on Friday, March 23, Obama implied Martin was a victim of a racially-motivated murder and cover-up. His defining line - "You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon" - very likely gave undeserved credibility to "civil rights" demagogues such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. A state grand jury is set to convene on April 10. And the U.S. Justice Department now has launched a probe.
Whenever a particular act or threat of violence in this country crosses racial lines, truth is usually the first casualty. More to the point, what has reigned over the past few decades is an unwritten rule enforced by the Sharptons and Jacksons of this country: Black crime against whites isn't newsworthy; white crime against blacks is. What's more, if a white is the alleged perpetrator, he faces a presumption of guilt, regardless of the evidence. What matters is fulfilling the larger assumption of black suffering in a white-dominated society. Facts, in this view, shouldn't get in the way of this assumption. If they do, they must be ignored or distorted. This view, incessantly peddled by black activists, has become the coin of the realm in much of journalism, politics, law and academia. Even the Republican Party , supposedly opposed to official racial favoritism, is petrified of challenging this new orthodoxy. This orthodoxy has led to witch-hunt atmospheres awaiting any white defendant accused, even if falsely, of a crime against a black. Even if the defendant is exonerated - as in the case of the patently fraudulent charges brought against three white Duke University lacrosse players for their "rape" of a local black stripper in March 2006 - their finances and reputations may wind up permanently damaged.
The shooting in alleged self-defense by George Zimmerman of Trayvon Martin fits this pattern. Here are key facts, according to police, ABC, CNN , the Orlando Sentinel, and "911" eyewitness police calls to police, among other sources.
It was a rainy evening, about 7 P.M., on February 26 in Sanford, Florida, a fast-growing city of more than 50,000 in Seminole County near Orlando. In recent years, Sanford had been experiencing a sharp upswing of burglaries and other crimes, enough of one at any rate to form Neighborhood Watch patrols. Zimmerman, a mixed-race white (his mother is Peruvian), age 28, served as a patrol captain. Like any person in his position, his job was to observe and report; i.e., he should let the police handle any potentially dangerous situation. On this evening, Zimmerman came across a teenaged pedestrian whom he felt could be dangerous. His name was Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black high school student from Miami Gardens in Dade County. Martin, about 6'2", lanky and tough, was in Sanford to stay with his father during a 10-day school suspension (not his first suspension either). He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, or "hoodie." It's common knowledge that people who dress this way are seeking to disguise their appearance in anticipation of committing a crime. In other words, quite apart from race, many people might have viewed Martin, hardly a "child," with a certain measure of suspicion.
George Zimmerman was suspicious when he saw Martin walk down the street, returning from a convenience store. His destination was the residence of his father's fiancée located in a gated community, the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Zimmerman followed him. Once inside the complex, he observed Martin veer along a path between two rows of townhouses. Martin, aware he was being watched, began to run. Zimmerman gave chase, but lost him. He then called a non-emergency police number to indicate this guy could be a perp. The dispatcher asked, "Are you following him?" Zimmerman said "yes." The dispatcher replied, "OK, we don't need you to do that." An important distinction must be made here: The dispatcher was telling Zimmerman that he didn't have to follow the suspect, not that he couldn't. Zimmerman, not in formal violation of a police directive, continued his search.
Shortly thereafter, he found Trayvon Martin - or more accurately, Trayvon Martin found him. The teen had stepped directly into Zimmerman's path and asked him in a menacing way, "What's your problem, homie?" Zimmerman responded, likely with more than a touch of fear, that he didn't have a problem. Zimmerman then reached for his cell phone. Martin quickly responded, "You do now," charged at Zimmerman, and then decked him with a sucker punch in the nose. The blow knocked Zimmerman to the ground. Rather than be satisfied that he made his (highly illegal) point, Martin pressed his advantage. He pinned a prone, face-up Zimmerman, and slammed his head against the ground. When Zimmerman yelled, Martin told him to shut up and hit him again. Zimmerman now had every reason to fear for his life. Unbeknownst to Martin, he also had the means to save his life. Zimmerman pulled out a handgun from his pocket and, after a brief struggle, fired at least one shot at close range, hitting Martin in the chest. "You got me," Martin said, falling backward. When police arrived at the scene, they found Martin dead. Zimmerman was alive, but with a bloody nose, a cut on the back of his head, and grass stains on the back of his shirt.
Police took Zimmerman into custody for questioning. Following interrogation, they decided not to arrest him. Sanford Police Chief Billy Lee had concluded there was no evidence to dispute Zimmerman's assertion of having acted in self-defense . First-person statements support this conclusion. Sanford Police Officer Timothy Smith indicated :
While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head...While the SPD was attending to Zimmerman, I overheard him state, "I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me."
An unnamed witness who was not a police officer corroborated this view. Here is one published summary of the account:
The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling at me, ‘Help! Help!' and I told him to stop and I was calling 911," said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.
John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and hear at least one gun shot.
And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.
It's hard to avoid concluding that Zimmerman acted in self-defense against a criminal assault, potentially a lethal one, by Martin.
Martin's supporters, beginning with his parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, dispute this account. "That was bull," said the elder Martin. "No way. At that point, I knew there was something terribly wrong." Adding fuel to their fire was a video obtained by ABC News and shown on news outlets throughout the country showing Zimmerman in handcuffs being taken into police custody with no visible injuries or bleeding. Those who see this rather grainy footage as catching Zimmerman in a lie, however, overlook the possibility that he had received emergency medical treatment. Moreover, they ignore the fact that an enhanced video released yesterday showed clear evidence of trauma to the back of Zimmerman's head.
Yet for the sake of argument, let's assume that this wasn't a case of self-defense and that Zimmerman's wounds were superficial at best. The reality remains: Zimmerman hasn't been charged with anything. And if he eventually is indicted, he deserves to be tried in court and not before baying, seething mobs. The whole point of a criminal justice system in any society is to marginalize vigilante passions, not cater to them. Public officials, beginning at the top, have a special responsibility to ensure an orderly process in which evidence can be introduced and explained.
By the time President Obama rendered his opinion on March 23, a campaign by Martin's supporters to vilify Zimmerman had reached fever pitch. Martin's parents, family members and attorneys on March 8 had held a press conference calling attention to the case. On March 14, the parents created a petition on the website Change.org calling for Zimmerman's arrest. By March 21, it had generated nearly 900,000 signatures. The attorney for the parents, Benjamin Crump, verified they had received a flood of media inquiries, in fact, more than 400 media calls in a single day. On March 22, Sanford Police Chief Lee, under intense local pressure, announced he would "temporarily" step down. That day Martin's parents met with officials from the U.S. Justice Department. And Reverend Al Sharpton conveniently had come down from New York to give an incendiary speech before thousands in Sanford's Fort Mellon Park. On March 23, the day of Obama's statement, students at about 50 schools across Florida staged a walkout in support of Trayvon Martin. By now, the Change.org petition had gathered a whopping 1.5 signatures.
This explosive situation called for transcending hysteria, not tacitly endorsing it. President Obama, unfortunately, chose the latter. Here is one account of the president's response to a reporter's question:
"I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this," Mr. Obama said. "All of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen."
"Obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through, Mr. Obama said, his face grim. "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids."
"You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon," Mr. Obama said, pausing for a moment. "I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
Stripped of his piety, the president was saying that this was a murder and police cover-up, very likely possessed of racial motives. His words at minimum implied that we need a special federal prosecutor to get the real story, and over the long run, yet another "national conversation" on race.
Yet if Obama was of a truly objective cast of mind, he easily could have said that Sanford police from the start have been trying to get all relevant facts. He could have stated that rule of law, not rule by mob, is the way justice works in America. And he could have pointed out that Zimmerman is entitled to a presumption of innocence. At the very least, he could have refrained from likening Trayvon Martin to the son he never had. Unfortunately, he did the opposite.
There are, however, many black voices employing highly unguarded language. Several can be found on Capitol Hill. Last Wednesday morning, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., as an act of solidarity with Martin, wore a gray hoodie and sunglasses, and delivered a speech from the House floor calling for a full federal investigation. "Racial profiling has got to stop," he said. "Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum." He then was escorted off the floor by the House sergeant-at-arms for inappropriate dress. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., called the shooting an "execution." Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., proclaimed, "I, personally, really truly believe this is a hate crime," in a joint interview on CNN with Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo. Cleaver, for his part, stated, "The issue is the low esteem in which black life is held, particularly black males."
Hard as it is to believe, these are voices of moderation compared to those of top black "civil rights" leaders. Jesse Jackson, just back from a foreign policy mission Geneva, Switzerland, declared in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "Blacks are under attack." He elaborated: "Our disparities are great. Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks, and ultimately killing us, is big business." Making the jump from a single incident to systematic genocide is a stretch even for the hyperbole-prone Jackson. Al Sharpton, in his speech in Sanford, declared: "We came for permanent justice. Arrest Zimmerman now! That's what this rally is about." It's noteworthy that Sharpton, now a full-time news anchorman for MSNBC, is creating as well as reporting on a news story. Some might call this a conflict of interest. Worse yet was Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan . Minister Farrakhan, apparently not technology-averse, sent this ominous Twitter message to followers: "Where there is no justice, there will be no peace. Soon the law of retaliation may very well be applied." In another tweet, he stated, "Let us see what kind of justice will come for his bereaved family and our bereaved community." By any reasonable definition, Farrakhan's statements constitute incitements to murder.
Other statements have been even more inflammatory. The New Black Panther Party is offering a $10,000 bounty for Zimmerman's death, and for good measure, has circulated a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" poster. It's hard to see the humor; the group's leader, Mikhail Muhummud, has declared, "God dammit, he should be fearful for his life." A new Twitter account, "KillZimmerman," shows a mug shot of Zimmerman with a bulls-eye superimposed over his head. The page reads, "This Page Is 4 Da Ppl Who Believe Zimmerman Should Be Shot Dead In the Street." Here is one of its messages: "Every1 is going to die one day sum ppl deserve to die today." Another group, New Black Liberation Militia, has announced it is sending members to the Orlando area to "attempt a citizen's arrest" of Zimmerman. A t-shirt featuring a picture of George Zimmerman's mug shot framed by the words "Pussy Ass Cracker," is now available for purchase. And black filmmaker Spike Lee ("Do the Right Thing," "Jungle Fever," "Malcolm X") re-tweeted to followers the home address of George Zimmerman - or so he thought. The address turned out to be that of an elderly Florida couple, Elaine and David McClain, who have a son living at home named William George Zimmerman, an entirely different person than George Zimmerman. This case of mistaken identity triggered a barrage of hate mail to the couple, who had to flee temporarily for their own safety. Though Lee since has apologized and settled with the couple's attorney for damages, that doesn't erase the fact of his intent to incite.
George Zimmerman - the real one - is now in hiding, along with his family. He obviously has good reason not to be found. He does, however, have people in his corner. That includes family members speaking from undisclosed locations. On March 28, his father, Robert, appeared on television to state that Trayvon Martin had threatened to kill his son and beat him to the point where his son had to use his gun. The next day, George Zimmerman's brother, Robert Jr., appeared on CNN and asserted that medical records will prove that his brother was attacked and that his nose was broken. A black man, Joe Oliver, who describes himself as a close friend of George Zimmerman, appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and said that his friend fears for his life. Finally, Zimmerman's attorney, Craig Sonner, told ABC News that evidence will come out in court that his client had suffered a broken nose and a head injury before pulling out his gun.
The question now arises: Has President Obama provided moral cover for the public hanging jury? It's entirely possible. What's more, even if he hasn't, he has refused to denounce the murderous sentiments. And he hasn't repudiated his March 23 statement. A federal investigation, announced by the Justice Department two weeks ago , is now in the beginning stages. The FBI, the department's Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida plan to conduct a joint review all evidence and take "appropriate" action, noted the department in a prepared statement. With Attorney General Eric Holder leading the charge, federal prosecutors have every incentive to "discover" a crime committed by Zimmerman. Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott has asked state officials to assist in the investigation. On March 22, he also announced the appointment of State's Attorney Angela Corey, 4th Judicial Circuit, as the lead prosecutor to replace Norman Wolfinger on the case.
In a larger sense, President Obama implicitly has endorsed the black demagoguery that has made reasonable discussion of race in this country almost impossible. Rather than repudiate hustlers like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Maxine Waters, he appears eager to join them. For him, as for the more noisy voices, white-on-black crime, even if the "crime" is an apparent act of self-defense, is a national problem. Black-on-white crime, which is far more common, by contrast, doesn't register on their radar screen. In Sarasota, Florida last week, a 17-year-old black youth, Shawn Tyson , was found guilty by a jury of murdering two young white British tourists, James Cooper and James Kouzaris, last year. Tyson had attempted to rob the pair, but then shot each through the heart when they said they had no money. Just before opening fire, Tyson said, "If you ain't got no money, I got something for you ass." When Obama can send his sympathies to the families of Cooper and Kouzaris, his sympathies toward the late Trayvon Martin might ring halfway true.
Related:
Obama Issues Executive Order Mandating Racial Favoritism
New Study Justifies Arrest of Henry Louis Gates
‘New' Al Sharpton Draws Praise from Obama, Top Officials
Wall Street Journal Is Wrong About New, ‘Pragmatic' Al Sharpton
New NLPC Special Report Exposes the Real Al Sharpton
Why Obama Is Wrong About Henry Louis Gates

Which Pays Fair Share of Taxes, ExxonMobil or GM?

National Legal & Policy Center ^ | April 3, 2012 | Mark Modica


One thing that I have realized about the rhetoric surrounding green energy initiatives and the proclamations by Team Obama glorifying companies like General Motors while vilifying others like ExxonMobil is that the claims and the facts are worlds apart. Voters are led to believe that evil oil companies like ExxonMobil are getting a free pass and not paying their fair share while the supposedly patriotic GM is an American success story which now contributes to society and builds miracle cars like the Chevy Volt which will free the US from foreign oil dependence. One set of facts that is very easy to check on is the amount of taxes each of these companies pays. Following are the facts from the SEC annual financial reports (10Ks) of GM and ExxonMobil.
 
In 2011 ExxonMobil made about $73 billion and paid about $31 billion in tax.
 
That is a tax rate of greater than 40%; assumedly more than Warren Buffett's secretary.
 
The much heralded GM made about $9 billion. General Motors not only did not pay any taxes on the income, they received a benefit of $110 million. This as the hypocrites in office continually play the class warfare card as they campaign on the perceived benevolence and success at GM while implying that the rich and companies like ExxonMobil are not paying their fair share.
 
Look, I have no great affection for big oil companies. I just get tired of the constant misrepresentations that come out of the White House and the constant references to what a great job the Administration did by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at GM so that they can continue to reward the politically powerful UAW. Geez, the company was given about $50 billion of US taxpayer money and about another $11 billion from the Canadian government, how can they not appear to be doing well? Ford was able to ride out the economic downturn by borrowing an extra $20 billion. Our efficient government needs at least three times that for their GM turnaround "success" story.
To add insult to taxpayer injury, tax law was changed so that GM could benefit from tax loss carryovers that give them a free ride for years to come saving them billions of dollars in taxes while even those making significantly less than Buffett's secretary pay more in taxes. The abuse continues while our President tries to misdirect the public's anger towards the wealthy and oil companies and away from a failed energy policy that sees gas prices approaching $5 a gallon (coincidently the amount GM CEO Dan Akerson said he wanted to see) and the crony capitalism that rewards companies like GM.
Perhaps I am bothered because I was a GM bondholder advocate and saw first hand the political ugliness that transpired throughout the GM bankruptcy process. In addition to all the billions of dollars GM received, they were relieved of their obligations to bondholders which amounted to about $27 billion. I worked with a group of bondholders in an attempt to uphold contract law and get fair representation for bondholders, to no avail. The bondholders, most of whom were retired senior citizens relying on the income from their bonds, were vilified as their wealth was redistributed to the UAW. The reason this was done was the same as the reason we now see the vilification of the wealthy and oil companies. If you are part of a class of individuals in this country that is not politically popular, you are subject to discrimination. And for the majority of Americans that don't care, that's fine; until it happens to you.
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.

Obama Accused of Trying to 'Intimidate' Supreme Court by Texas Congressman!

MyFox Boston ^ | 04/03/2012
WASHINGTON -- Texas Republican congressman Lamar Smith on Monday suggested that President Barack Obama's remarks about health care at a Rose Garden press conference came close to intimidation of the Supreme Court.
 
"I am very disappointed by our President," Smith told FOX News Radio. "That comes very close to trying to intimidate the Supreme Court of the United States and I'm not sure that's appropriate," he added.
 
Earlier in the day at a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Obama was asked about the consequences of the court ruling that his health care law was unconstitutional.
"Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress," Obama said.
 
The president added, "I'd like to just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step."
 
Last week, the Supreme Court heard three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the law. The court is expected to deliver its ruling in late June. Smith said the nine justices should be able to reach a conclusion without the "interference" of the president.
 
"It is not unprecedented at all for the Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional, they do that on a regular basis so it's not unprecedented at all," Smith told FOX Radio. "What is unprecedented is for the President of the United States trying to intimidate the Supreme Court.

(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxboston.com ...

Crestfallen Liberals Failed to Take Constitution Seriously

Townhall.com ^ | April 3, 2012 | Charlotte Hays
Conservatives should not be lulled into a false sense of security by the questions asked during the Supreme Court’s oral arguments over the Affordable Care Act. But we can savor the shock and horror spreading through the ranks of the bill’s supporters, can’t we?
 

Let’s start of the immortal words of the famously filter-less former Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked if the Congress had the constitutional authority to change our government and the way we live our lives in one fell swoop known as the individual mandate. She replied with a taunting "Are you serious? Are you serious?"

But last week it began to dawn deliciously on Pelosi & Co. and their associates in the mainstream media that we were indeed serious and that their pet law might be in jeopardy. Aghast constitutional scholar Chris Matthews admitted he had never before dreamed of a scenario that featured “[President Obama’s] major achievement just ripped off the books.”
 

The Boston Globe cited a survey of Supreme Court lawyers and former clerks taken before the debate began that gave only a 35 percent probability that the mandate forcing people to buy a product (health insurance) would be struck down. “The provocative view in Washington when oral arguments began on Monday was that the vote to uphold could be lopsided,” the newspaper noted. By Tuesday afternoon, however, this view had been supplanted by gloom.

When CNN’s senior legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin—described by Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan as appearing “increasingly depressed”—emerged from the courtroom to say, “This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama administration and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble," the Newsroom anchor back in the studio gasped, “Oh, my goodness.”

Unable to accept that it’s the arguments, Stupid, the left is piling on unfortunate Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. who had the unenviable task of arguing the government’s case. Not a good career move.

“Sounding less like a world-class lawyer and more like a teenager giving an oral presentation for the first time, Verrilli delivered a rambling, apprehensive legal defense of liberalism’s biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s—and one that may well have doubled as its eulogy,” Mother Jones, the leftwing magazine, wrote.

In what must be a low point in Mr. Verrilli’s career, the White House felt it necessary to issue a pathetic statement of support Wednesday, describing the Solicitor General as “an extraordinarily talented advocate who possesses a sharp mind, keen judgment, and unquestionable integrity.” As we used to say in high school, “She’s really sweet, and she makes her own clothes.”

As the week progressed, Obamacare supporters moved from surprise and despair to developing a new meme. Nowhere was the new meme more revealingly or cynically expounded than in a column in the Washington Post by former Hillary Clinton adviser, Mark Penn, headlined “Could Defeat for Obamacare Mean Victory for Obama?”

“In the face of a Supreme Court ruling against the law, a defiant president may seek to make an even more strident case for his vision for health care in America,” Penn wrote. “Already, the talking points for a war on the high court are being put in place by organizations such as the Center for American Progress.” According to Penn, the “story line is simple” and it is that “the Supreme Court puts politics above the people in the name of the Constitution.”

Although Penn says that this argument “could play among an electorate predisposed to suspect the worst,” he ultimately rejects this as the way to go. Not because it is cynical and would tear the country apart. But merely because this tactic only gets the president his base, which he already has. Something tells me, however, that this talking point is not dead.

Despite the responses being developed in the media and places like the Center for American Progress, supporters of this law have to know that the Supreme Court’s overturning of Obamacare would be bad for the president. Or maybe not.


Regardless of the political implications, Americans have reason to be heartened by the events of this week. Perhaps only those of us inside-the-beltway types take guilty pleasure in the site of crestfallen liberal elites, but all Americans should appreciate that we have a Supreme Court that still takes the Constitution seriously.

Trayvon Martin Story Destroys Last of Media’s Credibility

Red State ^ | 4/3/2012 | Leon H Wolfe

I don’t really know what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. What I do know is that this story has resulted in at least one homicide – the self-inflicted homicide of the media’s last shreds of credibility. And it isn’t just conservative blogs that are noticing – even straight news sources have begun to notice the shame with which the media has covered itself during this entire sad saga.
 
The Washington Post reported Friday that NBC’s egregious editing of Zimmerman’s 911 call will be “internally reviewed,” which is as close as you will ever get to an admission of a very serious screw up from a major news organization.
The most stunning admission yet came from something called a Touré, which is apparently an MSNBC contributor. Touré apparently got tired of being on a television channel no one watches so he went on Piers Morgan last week to take Piers to task for the journalistic crime of getting both sides of the story:
You know, at NBC, in the hallways, we were laughing at you today,” Touré told Morgan. “We wouldn’t take [Robert Zimmerman]. Standards and Practices at NBC wouldn’t let him get through door. And you had him on the air and allowed the hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands or whatever number of people watch your show listen to what he had to say.
This is the first time I can remember an alleged news figure explicitly stating that his network had a policy against allowing one of the major players in a national news story to give his side. My favorite part of Touré’s hysterical rant was his indignation at the fact that people would hear what Zimmerman had to say.

One thing is clear – the way the media has been covering this story so far validates that Touré really was telling the truth. Journalistic Standards and Practices apparently don’t allow for any coverage of the Trayvon Martin story that would suggest that the race pimps who are currently hustling this story don’t have it right.

SCOTUS meets Obama's Chicago style politics

American Thinker ^ | April 3, 2012 | Thomas Lifson
President Obama's Rose Garden remarks yesterday on the Supreme Court are shameful, a blot on his presidency.

"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,"
As a purported constitutional law lecturer, President Obama is fully aware that laws passed by democratically elected majorities (that's how laws are made) are overturned by the Supreme Court on a regular basis.
His claim of a sizable majority is false when it comes to the House, where the margin was very close. But the size of the majority has no relevance, nor does the fact that the law in question was passed on a purely partisan basis with no Republican votes make any difference either.

Because the Harvard-educated lawyer knows all this, the words "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" are lies.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

How Bad Is It for Obama That Oprah Won't Campaign for Him?

The Atlantic ^ | April 2, 2012 | David A. Graham
If patterns from 2008 are any indication, the media mogul's absence from the stump could make the president's reelection a little bit harder.
 
Back in the heady days of May 2007, when Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama, the future looked bright for both of them. Five years later, they've both gotten somewhat bogged down. Obama, of course, won the presidency, but inherited a nation in the throes of recession. While the economy is back on course, he still faces a tough road in his quest for reeelection.
And he'll be down one major asset: Oprah herself. That's because Winfrey's gotten sidelined too. In 2009, she announced she was leaving her outrageously popular daytime TV show to create her own cable network, but the Oprah Winfrey Network has proven to be a harder proposition than she expected. Turnover has been high, ratings have been low, and Oprah says she can't take time off to stump for the president this year.
"I actually love our president and have the utmost respect for him and that office and what it takes to be there," Winfrey said on CBS's Early Show, adding that she still backs him "100 percent." "I will not be out because I'm trying to fix a network."
So could this hurt Obama in the general election? Laugh all you want, but it's a serious question. (The Wikipedia entry for "Oprah Winfrey's endorsement of Barack Obama" is disturbingly comprehensive.) In fact, political scientists Craig Garthwaite and Tim Moore set out to determine what effect her endorsement had on Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary. And guess what? It was pretty large...
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...

5 Reasons Liberals Are Such Unpleasant People To Be Around

Townhall.com ^ | April 3, 2012 | John Hawkins

Don't get me wrong. Not every conservative has a winning personality and not every liberal is a toothache in search of a mouth to inhabit. In fact, one of the single nicest people I know is a liberal (Hi, Julie Joyce!) Yet and still, it's not a reach to say that most liberals, especially the ones that are politically active, are just generally difficult to get along with.

It's not just me saying that either. I've interviewed more than one big name conservative who has told me that they moved over to the right in large part because the other liberals they were around were such insufferable human beings.


John Hawkins: ...I always find the stories of people who ideologically move from the left to the right to be fascinating and I noticed that you used to be a liberal who even worked for Ron Dellums...

Michael Medved: Ron Dellums helped to make me a conservative.

John Hawkins: How so? What caused you to move to the right?

Michael Medved: First of all, even at the time I went to work for Dellums, I knew better. Because I was never that far out. I mean I supported Robert Kennedy, not Eugene McCarthy.

John Hawkins: Dellums was even a Communist, wasn't he?

Michael Medved: Yeah, he basically was. I worked for Dellums for 6 weeks and then I couldn't stand it anymore. Because I think he so clearly demonstrated some of the most malign and malevolent tendencies of the American Left. Corruption, drug use, Communist sympathies if not Communist party membership.

John Hawkins: A related question, I guess you would have been pretty surprised when you said in the book that while Christians "hold religious beliefs against homosexuality," they are some of the most tolerant, understanding, and kind people I have ever met. So was that a big surprise for you when you weren't getting condemned?


Tammy Bruce: Yes, it was; it was shocking. For me it was quite life-changing in my sense of how I viewed the world and I was also, when it comes to my view of Christians, quite surprised by how happy they were. I mean, I remember being on the left; no one is happy, trust me. They (are the) biggest group of miserable people you would ever want to meet. Everything is wrong, everything is going bad, everyone is after you, everyone wants to get you, people are building camps.

To speak with finally, on talk radio, with Christians, I was struck first by the genuine happiness from these people and also the fact that even though they disagreed with me, finally I was having conversations with people who were curious, disagreed with me, but didn't want to hurt me, were interested in persuading me, and it was quite a revelation, I have to say. I owe my beginning in talk radio to that kind of --- it's the only place really where you can have that kind of exchange between someone like myself and conservative Christians and have it be safe and have it be really life-transforming.

Why are liberals so unpleasant to be around?

1) They're unhappy: Study after study shows that conservatives are happier people than liberals. The difference can be staggering.


In 2004, people who said they were conservative or very conservative were nearly twice as likely to say they were very happy as people who called themselves liberal or very liberal (44 percent versus 25 percent). Conservatives were only half as likely to say they were not too happy (9 versus 18 percent).

Unhappy people are generally disagreeable because when you're miserable, you tend to become very selfish. If you want an example of how that works, go hit yourself on the hand with a hammer and while you're writhing in agony, see how much time you spend thinking about helping other people as opposed to wishing you hadn't smashed your own hand.

2) Liberals don't care as much about tradition: Although it goes without saying that people who worship change for change's sake don't care very much about customs, you might wonder why that would make such a big difference. Well, as Thomas Sowell has noted, "Civilization has been aptly called a 'thin crust over a volcano.' The anointed are constantly picking at that crust."

In many cases, societal conventions represent the accumulated wisdom of previous generations. Through trial and error, they discovered that there are certain things you can do that help keep a society running well. There are reasons why people get together and sing Christmas carols in the town square, refuse to insult people immediately after they die, treat marriage as sacred, and don't turn funerals into campaign rallies. Because liberals tend to think they're smarter than all those old dead people simply by virtue of being liberal, they tend to ignore those conventions and create disorder and havoc around themselves in the process.

3) Liberals see people who disagree as evil: Liberals see themselves as part of a Manichean struggle in which they’re trying to create Utopia on earth while they’re being opposed by people who want to do evil for evil’s sake. In other words, liberals are about as complex as your average comic book from the fifties. As Charles Krauthammer has said,


To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.

When you attribute disagreements with Barack Obama to racism, opposition to gay marriage to homophobia, standing against abortion as hatred of women, and a desire to balance the budget to loathing of the poor, you have a hopelessly simplistic view of the world that makes you utterly impervious to reason. Stupid, you may be able to educate, but evil, you have to defeat -- and liberals are seldom picky about the means or the manners they use while trying to do so.

4) Liberals aren't very religious: Liberals are overwhelmingly either atheists or agnostics, people who don't take their religious beliefs very seriously in the first place, or people who allow their ideology to completely subvert their religious beliefs. This is no small matter because religion is one of the great civilizing forces. That's not to say that even sincere practitioners of a religion always do the right thing because as Rick Warren has noted, "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for saints." However, if you take human beings with open minds, put them in a pew and expose them to "Love thy neighbour as thyself" and "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" long enough, it will curb their nature and make them into much better people than they otherwise would have been.

5) Liberalism encourages arrogance: Liberals tend to believe they're brilliant, compassionate, moral, enlightened, perceptive, and courageous, not because of anything they've actually done, but just because they're liberal. When you completely divorce a person's self image from his behavior, it produces terrible results -- like liberals who hurl abuse at conservative women while believing that they're feminists or selfish left-wingers who've never given a dime to charity, but believe themselves to be much more compassionate than people who tithe 10% of their income.

Now, on some level, liberals know this is all a big sham. But, even that can be problematic because unstable high self-esteem actually causes more bad behavior and violent behavior than low self-esteem. As Roy Baumeister noted in Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty,


The sequence goes something like this. Someone tells you that you are not very competent at something. If you are a shame-prone person, you start to experience that sinking feeling that the other person may be right and this is not the only thing that you are bad at, and maybe you are just a worthless loser in general. You start to feel panic, anxiety, and misery, and your heart beats faster. To break free of those feelings, you reject the premise. You are not incompetent in the way the other person said. The other person had no right to say that to you, and he's completely wrong. Your feelings are now directed outward at him, instead of yourself, and the effects of your faster heartbeat and general arousal transfer into intense anger at the person who has so unfairly insulted you. You want to hit him.

Congratulations! You've just graduated from "Interactions with Liberals 101."

Toy Poodle

Green Energy Economy

Stupidity

Not American?

Contract

National Healthcare

Comrade Obama

Throws Like A Girl

Give Me Another Chance

Nice Court You Have There, It Would Be A Shame If Something Happened To It!

PJmedia.com ^ | 3/29/2012 | Richard Fernandez
The Talking Points Memo headline reads: “Dems Warn Of ‘Grave Damage’ To SCOTUS If ‘Obamacare’ Is Struck Down.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D), a former attorney general of Connecticut, pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court would damage itself if it did something so ridiculous as find Obamacare unconstitutional:
 
"The court commands no armies, it has no money; it depends for its power on its credibility. The only reason people obey it is because it has that credibility. And the court risks grave damage if it strikes down a statute of this magnitude and importance, and stretches so dramatically and drastically to do it."
 
Blumenthal was clearly engaged in “begging the question”:
 
 
"A type of logical fallacy in which a proposition is made that uses its own premise as proof of the proposition. In other words, it is a statement that refers to its own assertion to prove the assertion."
 
By saying Obamacare is so self-evidently wonderful and legitimate that only someone crazy would disagree with it, Blumenthal makes you wonder why this matter is even before the Court in the first place. For the answer to that question, see “begging the question.”
What is less clear is whether Blumenthal, in reminding the court that the executive branch had the monopoly on physical power, was not engaged in a kind of subtle menace. After all, the Court’s power is not based on “credibility.” It is based on power vested in it by the Constitution. What would the administration say if someone argued that the president’s authority was based on “credibility” rather than his legal power as chief executive?
By saying Obamacare is so self-evidently wonderful and legitimate that only someone crazy would disagree with it, Blumenthal makes you wonder why this matter is even before the Court in the first place. For the answer to that question, see “begging the question.”
What is less clear is whether Blumenthal, in reminding the court that the executive branch had the monopoly on physical power, was not engaged in a kind of subtle menace. After all, the Court’s power is not based on “credibility.” It is based on power vested in it by the Constitution. What would the administration say if someone argued that the president’s authority was based on “credibility” rather than his legal power as chief executive?
So unworthy a sentiment as intimidation would not occur to Blumenthal any more than it would to Winston Churchill, who when speaking to Stalin in 1944, trying to persuade the Generalissimo to give Poland a break after the war, drew from him one of the bon mots of the 20th century.
Churchill was telling Stalin:
"That is why I attach such paramount importance to good neighborly relations between a restored Poland and the Soviet Union. It was for the freedom and independence of Poland that Britain went into this war. The British feel a sense of moral responsibility to the Polish people, to their spiritual values. It is also important that Poland is a Catholic country. We cannot allow internal developments there to complicate our relations with the Vatican …"
Then:
"“How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?” Stalin asked, suddenly interrupting Churchill’s line of reasoning.
Churchill stopped short. He had not expected such a question. After all, he was speaking about the moral influence of the Pope, not only in Poland, but, also, throughout the world. Once again, Stalin reaffirmed that he only respected force, and brought Churchill back down to Earth from the nebulous heavens."
You had to hand it to old Uncle Joe: cut to the chase. All business, all the time. But maybe the real question the Obama administration is asking itself now is not: “How many divisions has the Supreme Court?” Rather, it could be: “How much of this Obamacare money have we already promised to the boys? And what the hell are we going to do if it doesn’t go through?”
Administrations which are not very particular about spending money from the future in the today are probably the improvident sorts who hire people in advance.
Perhaps one answer to Blumenthal’s observation is to flip the statement:
"An administration that can’t come up with the vig can lose an awful lot of support from the base real quick. The only reason people obey it is because they get a check in a brown envelope. And the administration risks grave damage if a promise of that magnitude and importance doesn’t come off, because people have already made down payments on cars and vacations in expectation of that commitment."

And by the way, the Soviet Union is gone, but there’s still a Poland. And last I heard, there was still a pope.