Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How Mitt Romney Will Choose His Running Mate.


L A Times ^ | May 16, 2012 | Paul West



Far less attention will get paid to the vital, somewhat shadowy, process of protecting Romney from choosing someone who cannot withstand the white-hot scrutiny of a presidential campaign. A longtime Republican insider who’s been a central figure in vetting numerous VP candidates has just written an eye-opening description in the Wall Street Journal of the process Romney is likely to follow.

“They will be asked for their agreement to join him on the GOP ticket if chosen, and in the meantime, to submit to a most intrusive and far-reaching vetting by lawyers and advisors working for the campaign,” writes A.B. Culvahouse, a lawyer in the Washington office of Los Angeles-based O’Melveny & Myers. “No other candidate, not even the presidential nominee himself, is subjected to the same scrutiny.”


“For the ‘vettees,’ the process can appear ad hoc, opaque and at times capricious [and] without precedent in their political experience,” he added.
Already, trusted Romney aides have probably embarked on the first phase: a secret investigation, using “public databases, media archives, political blogs and other sources,” to determine whether a potential pick is qualified for the short list.
Those who make the initial cut must turn over “tax returns, medical histories, financial statements, court records, and anything else labeled ‘private and confidential,’ while also answering the most probing questions about themselves, their spouses, their children and their extended family — questions I would not dream of posing in any other context,” said Culvahouse, who served as White House counsel under President Reagan.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...

Rev. Wright Was a Second Father to Obama


Newsmax ^ | 5-15-2012 | Ronald Kessler



“At this secret meeting with him, Obama practically begged him not to go on and speak any further,” Klein says. “This was after one of Obama’s best friends had sent an email to a member of the church saying that he was prepared to give the Rev. Wright $150,000 if he would shut up. The Rev. Wright told me that he has saved that email.”

In the recorded interview, Wright says he basically could not afford to shut up for $150,000, Klein says.
“Wright explained he had expenses that he had to pay,” Klein says. “He had a child and a couple of grandkids in college that he was paying for. And so he goes around the United States giving sermons and making speeches, and he gets paid for that.”

“Everybody says Obama sat there for 20 years listening to the Rev. Wright spew his anti-white, anti-Jewish, anti-American tirade in church,” Klein says. “The fact of the matter is that his relationship with the Rev. Wright goes back further than his membership in the church and sitting and listening to the Rev. Wright.”

Klein says it was clear from his interview with Wright that he felt abandoned and stabbed in the back by Obama.

“For many, many years, Wright was Obama’s single most important intellectual and spiritual guide, and when things got rough, Obama threw him under the bus,” Klein says. “Wright was still stinging from that experience.”
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...

Same Sex "Marriage" Is Biologically Impossible!


Town Hall ^ | May 16, 2012 | reasonmclucus



Marriage is a biological function, not something created by government to discriminate against homosexuals.

Regardless of how government may artificially define marriage in legal terms, marriage is really the union of the two different types of human beings -- males and females. Two members of the same sex cannot have a marriage relationship regardless of what ignorant politicians like President Barack Obama say.

Marriage unites members of the different sexes to form a unit that has all the human characteristics. Two men or two women cannot form such a unit. They are like two left shoes or two right shoes. A man and a woman fit together like two puzzle pieces. Two people of the same sex are just mirror images.

Males and females not only have anatomical differences, they have different biochemistries, including different skin PH. Men's and women's brains function differently.
Males produce chemicals called pheromones that are beneficial to females. The research on how males might benefit from pheromones women produce is less clear because most research on female pheromones deals with how they attract men. Research does indicate that men benefit from marriage and the benefits may involve biochemistry.
The fact that men's and women's brains function differently complicates relationships, but provides the couple with the benefit of viewing the problems faced from two different perspectives. This difference stimulates the relationship and makes the opposite sex more intriguing. A member of the opposite sex is more likely to respond "unexpectedly" to a situation than a member of one's own sex.
The brain differences can potentially allow an opposite sex partner to provide a type of support that someone with the same type of brain cannot. However, some people may be psychologically unable to provide or accept support from others.
Having sex with a member of the opposite sex allows an individual to experience the physical sexuality of the opposite sex. Having sex with a member of one's own sex provides no such benefit.
To women, men are strength. To men, women are energy.
In many cultures a man will refer to his wife as his "better half". A woman may call her husband her "other half". A husband or a wife is half of a unit. Both together are a complete unit.
When a man calls his partner a wife he is indicating she is his female half. For a woman, a husband is her male half.
A woman who calls her partner a "wife" is implying the partner, rather than her, is the female part of the unit making her the "male". A woman who calls her partner a "wife" and expects her partner to have any children is acting like a man and is very likely a transsexual rather than a homosexual. She may call herself a lesbian because she fails to understand that she is attracted to other women because she has the brain of a man.
Some male homosexuals claim that they look at other men the same way men look at women. However, scientific research by Dr. Ivanka Savic of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, indicates that in their brains, homosexual men "look at" other men the way women look at men. This tendency could indicate that these homosexual men have female brains and are thus transsexuals. They call their partners "husbands" because subconsciously they think of themselves as women.
A study by of lesbians by Dr. Savic indicates their brains responded to certain chemicals that might be pheromones in the same way as the brains of heterosexual men rather than in the way that heterosexual women's brains responded.
Homosexuals don't understand that the characteristics of the human body only determine how the body can engage in sexual activity. Human sexuality is determined by the sexual identity of the brain. A female brain is attracted to a male body. A male brain is attracted to a female body. A person attracted to someone with the same type of body most likely has a brain of the other sex.
A study of brain structure by Dr. Ivanka Savic and Per Lindström, of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, indicates that homosexual men and heterosexual women have similar brains and that homosexual women and heterosexual men have similar brains.
Heterosexuals desire a marriage relationship to gain a feeling of completeness by being part of a unit that contains a member of each sex. Homosexuals cannot become complete by having a relationship with a member of their own sex, even though they may think that calling a relationship a marriage gives them what heterosexuals have in a marriage. Homosexuals who want to call their relationship a "marriage" are implying they are dissatisfied with being homosexuals and want what they believe heterosexuals have by being married.
Homosexuals don't understand sex. They don't understand marriage. They don't understand their own medical condition.

SACRIFICIAL SCAMS (Michelle Obama Faux Job Etc)



AnnCoulter.Com ^ | May 16, 2012 | Ann Coulter






SACRIFICIAL SCAMS
The real class warfare in this country isn't rich vs. poor, it's government employees vs. we, the taxpayers, who pay their salaries.

Working for the government is supposed to be a trade-off: You can't be fired and don't have to exert yourself, but you will receive smaller remuneration than in the private sector, where layoffs are common (especially in the Obama economy!). Instead, government jobs are safe, secure, pressure-free -- and now, amazingly lucrative!

Whether it's in Wisconsin, Illinois, California or the nation's capital, today's public sector workers expect to do little or no work (I'm not counting partying in Las Vegas as "work"), and then be lavishly compensated. Often, the only heavy lifting they do all week is picking up their paychecks.

When government employees mobbed the state capitol in Wisconsin last year, the upside was: They got to bully people. The downside: Voters finally found out what these public servants were being paid.

Their compensation included not only straight salary, but also lavish overtime benefits, pensions, health care plans, sick days and vacation time (most of which they spent protesting).

The unions thought they could fight back against Gov. Scott Walker's tiny rollbacks without anyone finding out the details. Most people saw what public employees were getting and assumed it was a misprint.

Two years ago, seven bus drivers in Madison, Wis., made more than $100,000 a year.

A few years before that, we found out that the city manager of little Bell, Calif. -- per capita annual income $24,800 -- was making $787,637, or including benefits: $1.5 million a year. The chief of police was getting $457,000 a year -- $770,046 counting benefits -- making him the first chief of police to commit highway robbery on the job. The assistant city manager was taking home $376,288 per year, for a total compensation package of $845,960.
Read More »

BREAKING: Democrat-Held Senate Rejects Obama's Horrific Budget, 99-0 (AGAIN!!!)


Townhall.com ^ | May 16, 2012 | Guy Benson



For the second consecutive year, the Democrat-controlled United States Senate has unanimously rejected President Obama's 2013 budget. The final vote was 99-0, making the the running two-year tally 196-0. This move follows the House of Representatives' 414-0 rebuke of the same fiscal blueprint earlier this year. Astonishingly, not a single Senate Democrat has voted in favor of any budget for three years, even as they refuse to offer a plan of their own. Democrats have claimed that three fig leaves mitigate this embarrassing spectacle:

(1) "The Senate has already passed a budget!" False. The Senate has not passed a budget. It "deemed" itself a budget as part of a separate piece of legislation over the summer. That law did not address tax policy, entitlement programs, and a slew of other items that a real budget entails. Harry Reid's hand-picked Senate Parliamentarian has confirmed Republicans' contention that the Senate has not fulfilled its basic budgetary obligations. This is the 1,113th day in a row that this has been the case.
(2) "Republican obstructionism!" False. Budgets explicitly cannot be filibustered. If Democrats introduced a budget, whipped their members, and called a vote, it would pass. Simple as that. Republicans couldn't do a thing to stop it. But that would require Democrats to put their long-term plans on paper, which they've been avoiding like the plague for entirely political reasons.
(3) "This vote is a gimmick!" If Democrats want to label an up-or-down vote on a Democratic president's budget a "gimmick," they're welcome to do so. In some ways, it's an appropriate description, given the pitiful gimmicks upon which Obama's budget relies -- even to achieve the fraudulent "savings" it claims. Had it not been defeated by Congress 513-0, Obama's budget would have added $11 Trillion to the gross national debt. It would literally never balance.

The Senate will now move on to vote on four separate Republican-proposed budgets, including the House-passed version. They will all receive more votes than President Obama's brainchild, but none is expected to pass. Stay tuned for updates...
---

UPDATE - The Senate has defeated the House-passed Ryan budget, 41-58. I counted five Republicans joining Democrats in voting it down, at least one of whom voted no because it doesn't go far enough. Democrats voted in lockstep against this budget, as they have on every proposed budget for the last three years. Head-to-head tally: Paul Ryan 41 - Barack Obama 0
UPDATE II - The Senate has defeated Senator Pat Toomey's (R-PA) budget resolution, 42-57. This is the seventh consecutive proposed Senate budget that has failed to attract even one Democrat vote.
UPDATE III - The Senate has rejected the two remaining GOP budget alternatives, authored by Senators Lee (17-82) and Paul (16-83). Harry Reid's Senate once again goes oh-fer on budgets, in an age of $16 Trillion debt, a national credit downgrade, and a struggling economy. Disgraceful.

Obama's Indian strategist has new prophesies (5 reasons Obama will lose election)




Override Title: India's "Nostradamus": Obama will lose election

Inder Dan Ratnu says his third self-published novel inspired Obama's 2008 campaign. But he has a dire prognosis for 2012.


Jason Overdorf

Longtime fans of GlobalPost may remember Inder Dan Ratnu, whose story I first told in "Obama's Indian strategist" in 2010.


The upshot? Inder “believes that he deserves credit for [President Obama's] stunning landslide victory in 2008, as his third self-published novel, 'First Lady President,' outlines in detail the strategy behind Obama's 'Yes, We Can' campaign," as I wrote back then.


At the time, Inder was angling for me or another journalist to put Obama on the spot when he visited India, and demand to know whether he'd drawn inspiration from Inder's book.

I wasn't able to accommodate him. But since then, I've thought about re-introducing Inder to GlobalPost readers several times, as he has continued to pitch me ideas about how and why his book on the 2008 US presidential race remains current (if not prophetic).

(One email, which he wanted me to forward to other members of the press corps, ran to 11 pages, if I recall correctly, so I am also writing this post with a little trepidation).

But now I have a news peg: Obama is running for re-election. And, I think you'll find, Inder is irresistible. So in the interest of convincing you to read my first story about him, I'm giving you an update.

In pitching his Obama novel — actually, it was more about Hillary Clinton, whom Inder still insists would really have been the first lady president if she'd bothered to read his book, like Obama did – Inder simply wanted to get his due as a modern-day soothsayer.

"I'm more accurate than Nostradamus," he told me in 2010. "What Nostradamus wrote were the stanzas, the verses, which were poetic, and people made conclusions out of it." Inder's own predictions were clear and specific, he insisted.

This time, though, he wants to influence Obama's campaign without the trouble of writing a 200-odd-page novel (not to mention his ill-fated, Borat-like trip to Washington, where a vigilant bus driver reported him as a terror suspect while he was looking for the McCain campaign HQ).

So he's developed a five-point shortlist of the reasons that Obama will lose this time around – which have nothing to do with, as Inder says, “the reasons of economy, unemployment, obamacare, an unbalanced budget and enormous national debt, etc. (most of which he can always blame upon the preceding Republican administration).”

Here's the dirt, edited for brevity:

1. Intellectual “befooling”
Not surprisingly, Inder's top-of-mind reason goes right back to First Lady President: “Obama 'misguided' the American people about the credentials of Hillary Clinton back in 2008 and thus snatched the presidency from her.”

2. His Muslim complex
“[Obama] has been suffering from a complex that he has been a Muslim by birth (right from the time of taking oath) and hence has an extra leverage to improve relations with the Muslim world...” The resulting crisis in Iran and conflict with the Israeli prime minister “will eventually alienate and pit the Jewish lobby 'against' president Obama in the election.”

3. Soft on terror “He has weakened — through his ‘inexperience’ and ‘naivety’ — by his policies and actions — the overall security apparatus of the United States making it more vulnerable to an attack by Muslim extremists.” .... “This one single point is so powerful that it can bring down the president by itself without the help of any other point.”

4. OBL blowback
“His much acclaimed achievement of killing Osama Bin Laden too would turn into a 'negative' thing instead of a 'positive' one as he failed to capture him alive whereas he could have easily done so.”

5. The Ground Zero mosque
“He has already become instrumental in robbing the American people of the 'peace of their mind' by failing to prevent the construction of a mosque/Islamic center next to WTC. On the contrary, he turned out to be a staunch supporter of it. He has thus succeeded in erecting a ‘temple mount – Al Aqs mosque’ (based in Jerusalem) sort of controversy on the mainland United States.”

Personally, I found "First Lady President" more charitable, and more convincing. But that was with the benefit of hindsight, and a face-to-face explication from the author – which is on offer again, by the way.

“If it interests you, you are most welcome to revert to me for ’evidence’ and further explanations, if needed,” Inder maintains.

It’s Time for TRUTH (Radical common sense.)


PJ Media ^ | May 16, 2012 | Janine Turner



“Time for TRUTH” seems like a cliché. Perhaps it is a cliché, at least in government. Lots of well-meaning men and women dedicate many hours of service to the United States government. Yet somewhere along the way TRUTH became a nice thought but an unattainable goal, and somehow America started a downhill spiral on a road with no return.

Entrenched in the gutters of “it simply can’t be done,” many representatives of the people insist that clarity, accountability, and accessibility (of bills, for example) are simply too hard to obtain. “Status quo with a minutia of meaningful exertion,” is the mentality that permeates the parliament.

Day upon day, year upon year turn into decade after decade with closets that have not been cleaned and habits that have not been honed. Instead of revitalization and renewal, the republic became the reciprocal for intrigue and IOUs. Instead of active involvement and interaction, deliberation and petition, democracy became the dungeon of denial and isolation, silence and apathy.
How can a Thomas Paine invoke common sense or a Patrick Henry inspire liberty when the people ignore the quest or call? How can a John Adams call for reason or a Thomas Jefferson repeal intrusion if the government resists the duty?
Hence, the troubled state of the shining city on a hill. Hence, the doom that awaits the hapless, hopeless occupants because TRUTH is a nuisance.
When the siege of debt tramples our rights and the lack of honest appraisal annihilates our independence, we the people will be to blame for allowing TRUTH to be an unreasonable goal and allowing our government to run with the wind of whims.
At one time, before the 17th Amendment and the seduction of federal money, the sovereign states were to be the protectors of the TRUTH. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 26, wrote that “the state legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant, but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens, against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if anything improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.”
Beyond the states, the ultimate keepers of TRUTH were to be “we the people” – vigilant seekers of accountability in the bills and laws with votes and voice. Yet the indolent populace led to bloated bills producing the fatted laws upon which liberty has been sacrificed.
So as America, once the hope for all mankind, falls into oblivion, the lynchpin will be the acceptance of “TRUTH as a cliché” and “accountability as novice.”
Alexander Hamilton said, “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.”
I write these things as I trudge the lonely highway with my TRUTH ACT because, to once again quote Alexander Hamilton, “I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be” – though I still hope for things as they ought to be.
The TRUTH ACT
Having members of the legislative branch:
T- limit the bills from Thirty to Three-hundred pages
R- Read the bill
U-Understand the bill
T- Testify under oath that they understand the bill
H- read it in its entirety on ustream so that it may be Heard by the people

Army reviews whether women can go to Ranger school!


Associated Press ^ | May 16, 2012 | LOLITA C. BALDOR



WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Army leaders have begun to study the prospect of sending women soldiers to the service's prestigious Ranger school - another step in the effort to broaden opportunities for women in the military. ("I wanna be an Air Borne Ranger")

Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, says he's asked senior commanders to provide him with recommendations and a plan this summer.

(Excerpt) Read more at kgwn.tv ...

Just 159 more reasons to repeal Obamacare!


The New Labyrinthine Bureaucracy of Obamacare (159 New Ones) to Streamline and Decrease Cost Of Healthcare!

Adding at least 159 new federal commissions and boards for healthcare reform seems like a great way to increase efficiency and access to medical care while at the same time decreasing costs.


WRONG! Adding one new federal agency is one too many.


Just 159 more reasons to repeal Obamacare!

Below is a list of new boards and commissions created in the Obamacare bill:

1. Grant program for consumer assistance offices (Section 1002, p. 37)
2. Grant program for states to monitor premium increases (Section 1003, p. 42)
3. Committee to review administrative simplification standards (Section 1104, p. 71)
4. Demonstration program for state wellness programs (Section 1201, p. 93)
5. Grant program to establish state Exchanges (Section 1311(a), p. 130)
6. State American Health Benefit Exchanges (Section 1311(b), p. 131)
7. Exchange grants to establish consumer navigator programs (Section 1311(i), p. 150)
8. Grant program for state cooperatives (Section 1322, p. 169)
9. Advisory board for state cooperatives (Section 1322(b)(3), p. 173)
10. Private purchasing council for state cooperatives (Section 1322(d), p. 177)
11. State basic health plan programs (Section 1331, p. 201)
12. State-based reinsurance program (Section 1341, p. 226)
13. Program of risk corridors for individual and small group markets (Section 1342, p. 233)
14. Program to determine eligibility for Exchange participation (Section 1411, p. 267)
15. Program for advance determination of tax credit eligibility (Section 1412, p. 288)
16. Grant program to implement health IT enrollment standards (Section 1561, p. 370)
17. Federal Coordinated Health Care Office for dual eligible beneficiaries (Section 2602, p. 512)
18. Medicaid quality measurement program (Section 2701, p. 518)
19. Medicaid health home program for people with chronic conditions, and grants for planning same (Section 2703, p. 524)
20. Medicaid demonstration project to evaluate bundled payments (Section 2704, p. 532)
21. Medicaid demonstration project for global payment system (Section 2705, p. 536)
22. Medicaid demonstration project for accountable care organizations (Section 2706, p. 538)
23. Medicaid demonstration project for emergency psychiatric care (Section 2707, p. 540)
24. Grant program for delivery of services to individuals with postpartum depression (Section 2952(b), p. 591)
25. State allotments for grants to promote personal responsibility education programs (Section 2953, p. 596)
26. Medicare value-based purchasing program (Section 3001(a), p. 613)
27. Medicare value-based purchasing demonstration program for critical access hospitals (Section 3001(b), p. 637)
28. Medicare value-based purchasing program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 3006(a), p. 666)
29. Medicare value-based purchasing program for home health agencies (Section 3006(b), p. 668)
30. Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality (Section 3012, p. 688)
31. Grant program to develop health care quality measures (Section 3013, p. 693)
32. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 3021, p. 712)
33. Medicare shared savings program (Section 3022, p. 728)
34. Medicare pilot program on payment bundling (Section 3023, p. 739)
35. Independence at home medical practice demonstration program (Section 3024, p. 752)
36. Program for use of patient safety organizations to reduce hospital readmission rates (Section 3025(b), p. 775)
37. Community-based care transitions program (Section 3026, p. 776)
38. Demonstration project for payment of complex diagnostic laboratory tests (Section 3113, p. 800)
39. Medicare hospice concurrent care demonstration project (Section 3140, p. 850)
40. Independent Payment Advisory Board (Section 3403, p. 982)
41. Consumer Advisory Council for Independent Payment Advisory Board (Section 3403, p. 1027)
42. Grant program for technical assistance to providers implementing health quality practices (Section 3501, p. 1043)
43. Grant program to establish interdisciplinary health teams (Section 3502, p. 1048)
44. Grant program to implement medication therapy management (Section 3503, p. 1055)
45. Grant program to support emergency care pilot programs (Section 3504, p. 1061)
46. Grant program to promote universal access to trauma services (Section 3505(b), p. 1081)
47. Grant program to develop and promote shared decision-making aids (Section 3506, p. 1088)
48. Grant program to support implementation of shared decision-making (Section 3506, p. 1091)
49. Grant program to integrate quality improvement in clinical education (Section 3508, p. 1095)
50. Health and Human Services Coordinating Committee on Women's Health (Section 3509(a), p. 1098)
51. Centers for Disease Control Office of Women's Health (Section 3509(b), p. 1102)
52. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Women's Health (Section 3509(e), p. 1105)
53. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Women's Health (Section 3509(f), p. 1106)
54. Food and Drug Administration Office of Women's Health (Section 3509(g), p. 1109)
55. National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council (Section 4001, p. 1114)
56. Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health (Section 4001(f), p. 1117)
57. Prevention and Public Health Fund (Section 4002, p. 1121)
58. Community Preventive Services Task Force (Section 4003(b), p. 1126)
59. Grant program to support school-based health centers (Section 4101, p. 1135)
60. Grant program to promote research-based dental caries disease management (Section 4102, p. 1147)
61. Grant program for States to prevent chronic disease in Medicaid beneficiaries (Section 4108, p. 1174)
62. Community transformation grants (Section 4201, p. 1182)
63. Grant program to provide public health interventions (Section 4202, p. 1188)
64. Demonstration program of grants to improve child immunization rates (Section 4204(b), p. 1200)
65. Pilot program for risk-factor assessments provided through community health centers (Section 4206, p. 1215)
66. Grant program to increase epidemiology and laboratory capacity (Section 4304, p. 1233)
67. Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (Section 4305, p. 1238)
68. National Health Care Workforce Commission (Section 5101, p. 1256)
69. Grant program to plan health care workforce development activities (Section 5102(c), p. 1275)
70. Grant program to implement health care workforce development activities (Section 5102(d), p. 1279)
71. Pediatric specialty loan repayment program (Section 5203, p. 1295)
72. Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program (Section 5204, p. 1300)
73. Allied Health Loan Forgiveness Program (Section 5205, p. 1305)
74. Grant program to provide mid-career training for health professionals (Section 5206, p. 1307)
75. Grant program to fund nurse-managed health clinics (Section 5208, p. 1310)
76. Grant program to support primary care training programs (Section 5301, p. 1315)
77. Grant program to fund training for direct care workers (Section 5302, p. 1322)
78. Grant program to develop dental training programs (Section 5303, p. 1325)
79. Demonstration program to increase access to dental health care in underserved communities (Section 5304, p. 1331)
80. Grant program to promote geriatric education centers (Section 5305, p. 1334)
81. Grant program to promote health professionals entering geriatrics (Section 5305, p. 1339)
82. Grant program to promote training in mental and behavioral health (Section 5306, p. 1344)
83. Grant program to promote nurse retention programs (Section 5309, p. 1354)
84. Student loan forgiveness for nursing school faculty (Section 5311(b), p. 1360)
85. Grant program to promote positive health behaviors and outcomes (Section 5313, p. 1364)
86. Public Health Sciences Track for medical students (Section 5315, p. 1372)
87. Primary Care Extension Program to educate providers (Section 5405, p. 1404)
88. Grant program for demonstration projects to address health workforce shortage needs (Section 5507, p. 1442)
89. Grant program for demonstration projects to develop training programs for home health aides (Section 5507, p. 1447)
90. Grant program to establish new primary care residency programs (Section 5508(a), p. 1458)
91. Program of payments to teaching health centers that sponsor medical residency training (Section 5508(c), p. 1462)
92. Graduate nurse education demonstration program (Section 5509, p. 1472)
93. Grant program to establish demonstration projects for community- based mental health settings (Section 5604, p. 1486)
94. Commission on Key National Indicators (Section 5605, p. 1489)
95. Quality assurance and performance improvement program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 6102, p. 1554)
96. Special focus facility program for skilled nursing facilities (Section 6103(a)(3), p. 1561)
97. Special focus facility program for nursing facilities (Section 6103(b)(3), p. 1568)
98. National independent monitor pilot program for skilled nursing facilities and nursing facilities (Section 6112, p. 1589)
99. Demonstration projects for nursing facilities involved in the culture change movement (Section 6114, p. 1597)
100. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1619)
101. Standing methodology committee for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1629)
102. Board of Governors for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (Section 6301, p. 1638)
103. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (Section 6301(e), p. 1656)
104. Elder Justice Coordinating Council (Section 6703, p. 1773)
105. Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation (Section 6703, p. 1776)
106. Grant program to create elder abuse forensic centers (Section 6703, p. 1783)
107. Grant program to promote continuing education for long-term care staffers (Section 6703, p. 1787)
108. Grant program to improve management practices and training (Section 6703, p. 1788)
109. Grant program to subsidize costs of electronic health records (Section 6703, p. 1791)
110. Grant program to promote adult protective services (Section 6703, p. 1796)
111. Grant program to conduct elder abuse detection and prevention (Section 6703, p. 1798)
112. Grant program to support long-term care ombudsmen (Section 6703, p. 1800)
113. National Training Institute for long-term care surveyors (Section 6703, p. 1806)
114. Grant program to fund State surveys of long-term care residences (Section 6703, p. 1809)
115. CLASS Independence Fund (Section 8002, p. 1926)
116. CLASS Independence Fund Board of Trustees (Section 8002, p. 1927)
117. CLASS Independence Advisory Council (Section 8002, p. 1931)
118. Personal Care Attendants Workforce Advisory Panel (Section 8002(c), p. 1938)
119. Multi-state health plans offered by Office of Personnel Management (Section 10104(p), p. 2086)
120. Advisory board for multi-state health plans (Section 10104(p), p. 2094)
121. Pregnancy Assistance Fund (Section 10212, p. 2164)
122. Value-based purchasing program for ambulatory surgical centers (Section 10301, p. 2176)
123. Demonstration project for payment adjustments to home health services (Section 10315, p. 2200)
124. Pilot program for care of individuals in environmental emergency declaration areas (Section 10323, p. 2223)
125. Grant program to screen at-risk individuals for environmental health conditions (Section 10323(b), p. 2231)
126. Pilot programs to implement value-based purchasing (Section 10326, p. 2242)
127. Grant program to support community-based collaborative care networks (Section 10333, p. 2265)
128. Centers for Disease Control Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
129. Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
130. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
131. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
132. Food and Drug Administration Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
133. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (Section 10334, p. 2272)
134. Grant program to promote small business wellness programs (Section 10408, p. 2285)
135. Cures Acceleration Network (Section 10409, p. 2289)
136. Cures Acceleration Network Review Board (Section 10409, p. 2291)
137. Grant program for Cures Acceleration Network (Section 10409, p. 2297)
138. Grant program to promote centers of excellence for depression (Section 10410, p. 2304)
139. Advisory committee for young women's breast health awareness education campaign (Section 10413, p. 2322)
140. Grant program to provide assistance to provide information to young women with breast cancer (Section 10413, p. 2326)
141. Interagency Access to Health Care in Alaska Task Force (Section 10501, p. 2329)
142. Grant program to train nurse practitioners as primary care providers (Section 10501(e), p. 2332)
143. Grant program for community-based diabetes prevention (Section 10501(g), p. 2337)
144. Grant program for providers who treat a high percentage of medically underserved populations (Section 10501(k), p. 2343)
145. Grant program to recruit students to practice in underserved communities (Section 10501(l), p. 2344)
146. Community Health Center Fund (Section 10503, p. 2355)
147. Demonstration project to provide access to health care for the uninsured at reduced fees (Section 10504, p. 2357)
148. Demonstration program to explore alternatives to tort litigation (Section 10607, p. 2369)
149. Indian Health demonstration program for chronic shortages of health professionals (S. 1790, Section 112, p. 24)*
150. Office of Indian Men's Health (S. 1790, Section 136, p. 71)*
151. Indian Country modular component facilities demonstration program (S. 1790, Section 146, p. 108)*
152. Indian mobile health stations demonstration program (S. 1790, Section 147, p. 111)*
153. Office of Direct Service Tribes (S. 1790, Section 172, p. 151)*
154. Indian Health Service mental health technician training program (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 173)*
155. Indian Health Service program for treatment of child sexual abuse victims (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 192)*
156. Indian Health Service program for treatment of domestic violence and sexual abuse (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 194)*
157. Indian youth telemental health demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 204)*
158. Indian youth life skills demonstration project (S. 1790, Section 181, p. 220)*
159. Indian Health Service Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment (S. 1790, Section 199B, p. 258)*

Despite media obituaries proclaiming their demise, the Tea Party is alive and well.


American Thinker ^ | 5/12/12 | Jay Clarke



Despite media obituaries proclaiming their demise, the Tea Party is alive and well. And highly energized. Like with Mark Twain, the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.


The resounding defeat of Indiana's six-term Senator Richard Lugar by primary challenger and Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock is proof positive that the Tea Party has not been sleeping.
Just...steeping.

Lugar was an establishment guy. How could he not be after 36 years in the Senate? He claimed to be a conservative. But endorsements from a pro-union group and a voting record that supported both of Obama's Supreme Court choices said otherwise. Lugar was even praised by the L.A. Times, hardly the home of conservative anything. Barack Obama and Democrat Senators John Kerry and Dick Durbin thought Lugar was a wonderful senator. Good indicators, all, that Indiana voters made the right choice to send him packing.

Lugar misjudged the mood of the electorate and lost touch with the values of his constituents. He sought votes in a state where he didn't even live and was surprised when polls showed him behind. In the end, his defeat was no surprise to anyone. As November approaches, other GOP incumbents have started to notice Lugar's misfortune and wonder, "Could I be next?"

The short answer? Absolutely.

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

One Afternoon In a Garage in Reno, Nevada



Nice_turnout_barry
Good afternoon! Hello, residents of Whispering Hills subdivision! Thank you for that fine reception. How's everybody doin' out there?
Now that's what I call spirit - Reno spirit. American spirit! Yessir, what you folks might lack in numbers, you make up for in enthusiasm. Just like Reno is the 'Biggest Little City in the USA,' I've gotta say you folks are the Biggest Little Garage Sale Crowd in Reno this afternoon. So give yourself a Biggest Little Hand!
Yeah! Alrigh-yi-yi-YI YI YI YI YI YI YIIGH SQUEEEEECH
Oh, uh, sorry about that. Billy, can we bring down the EQ on the driveway monitor? I'm getting some nasty feedback here. Okay. Check. Check. Pop. Poppop. Check check, testingggg one two. Okay, I think we got that.
Okay! As I was about to say, it's no accident I'm here today at the Kellers. You all know Paul and Val here as great neighbors, the kind of hardworking friendly neighbors any neighborhood in America would want. And as President of the United States neighborhood, I've worked tirelessly to make sure that neighbors like Pal and Vaul have the financial support they need to stay right here in Whispering Hills.
Yeah! Sure, you can applaud! Come on, give it up for the Kohlers!
That's why, when the housing crisis occurred during the previous administration, we got to work on programs to provide support to families struggling with mortgage payments. As you all know there were a lot of...
How's that? Oh. I'm sorry but could it possibly wait? We'll be on our way in 10, 15 minutes tops, and... oh.
Um, could I have one of you fellas in the security detail move the motorcade? One of the Escalades is blocking a driveway. Yes. That one over there, with the white minivan. Let's step on it guys, I'm told they're late for a soccer tournament.
Okay, then. Where was I? Yes. The mortgage payments. As you know there were a lot of unscrupulous lenders during the previous administration who tricked unsuspecting Americans into buying houses they couldn't afford. And suddenly, when the housing market crashed, those folks found themselves no longer able to afford the houses they couldn't afford. That's when we lept into action - with innovative federal refinancing programs and loan guarantees to make sure the owners could keep up their payments to the unscrupulous lenders, and no longer worry about losing their unaffordable houses. This is just one of the ways that we are making...
Whoa, heads up! Son, you really need to work on that jump shot! What the... for God's sake, Marvin, you didn't need to tackle the boy, it was just an air ball. What's your name, son?
Josh? So Josh, what kind of game console do you have? XBox, okay. As your president, I'm asking you to go inside and play XBox until I'm finished with my speech. You can come back out and shoot hoops all you want later. Okay? Okay.
So, in any case... hey, I heard that! I heard that, Josh!
So, in any case, that is just one of the many ways we are helping everyday homeowner in neighborhoods all across America. Take for example the Keelers here, Pearl and Van. Yes, I mean Paul and Vel. Val. When they decided to reduce household clutter and free up extra cash to help create jobs in the community, we stood at the ready to invest through our innovative American Garage Sale Recovery Act. Through AGRA, the Kelmers were able to secure federal grants-in-aid to buy the yard signs, Craigslist ads, card tables and price tags they needed, along with expert advice from the Federal Bureau of Garage, Rummage & Yard Commerce.
When I heard about how this innovative $23,000 public-private partnership was helping Paul and Val, I couldn't wait to fly out here on Air Force One and see all these incredible bargains for myself. Bargains like this 4.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton go-kart for only $6,000! So who wants to step up and buy this fun...
Bob, please, I'm just getting to the sale, and... oh. Are you sure? Well, okay. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to go ahead and pull the sale on that go-kart. Apparently they were outlawed by the Comprehensive Go-Kart Emissions & Safety Act I signed 2009. And a good thing too, because nothing matters to me more than safety, the environment, and also the economy. But don't worry, there are plenty of other great bargains here. Like this commemorative Obama-Biden Inauguration collector's plate, made of real porcelain! And only $50! Who wants to be the first to buy this piece of history?
Don't be shy, $50 takes it home.
Fifty, fiftay, fifffffftaaaaay.
Okay, how about if I make it even more of a collector's piece. Marvin, could I have the Sharpie? Thanks. There - a commemorative Obama-Biden Inauguration plate, signed by me, the 44th president of the United States. Okay, do I hear fifty dollars?
Fiftaaaaay. Fiftay.
Okay, you know what? Before the bidding gets too crazy, I think I'm gonna keep this one for myself. Sold! To the president of the United States, for $100! Marvin, could you pay Paul and Vil? I'm a little short this week.
And there you have it folks, a great start to a great public garage sale. It's great seeing our investments at work, with Pal and Vaul $100 closer to the money they'll need to pay their federal go-kart racketeering fine. Unfortunately, I have to fly back to Washington to create more innovative programs, but please stick around for more of these incredible bargains!
God bless you, and God bless the United States of America yuh-yuh-YUHYUHYEHYEEYEESCQREEEE
Dangit, can somebody do something about the feedback?

No, Mr. President, Same-sex Couples Cannot Marry


The New American ^ | 16 May 2012 | Selwyn Duke



In case you’re wondering, I’m using the word “cannot” properly in the above title. No, I don’t mean “same-sex couples should not marry” — rather, they aren’t capable of doing so. What am I talking about?
Barack Obama’s coming out party notwithstanding, the question in this debate should never be one of rights. It should be one of definitions. If we accept that marriage is, by definition, the union between a man and woman and nothing else, the faux-marriage-rights argument is moot.

For you cannot have a right to that which doesn’t exist.

This isn’t just semantics. If social engineers insist on pushing faux marriage, we must demand that they first attempt to redefine the institution.

“Have you gone off your rocker, Duke?! This is precisely what we’re fighting!” some will now say.
Actually, no, it isn’t.

This is because there is no widely accepted and professed alternative definition to fight. For the Left has not sought to redefine marriage.

They are “undefining” it.

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

Obama can thank 'Julia' for his drop in the polls!


The Hill ^ | May 16, 2012 | Sabrina L. Schaeffer



If “Julia” taught us anything, it’s that the Democrats' agenda — a set of cradle-to-grave policies designed to “protect” women and keep them under the auspices of government control — is doomed to fail come November.

Yesterday’s CBS/New York Times poll that found that women support Romney over Obama 46-44, revealing that playing gender politics actually doesn’t win you women’s — or men’s — votes. The fact is this “gender split” really just mimics the general vote split, suggesting that these ideas are widely unpopular.

As I’ve written before, the “War on Women” narrative is risky business, as women are more and more out-performing men educationally and professionally and even, increasingly, becoming the breadwinners in the family. With so much success, it gets hard to maintain the narrative that women are somehow grossly discriminated against and in need of government support.

Not only do all the policies the White House touts as favorable for women — Head Start, “Race to the Top,” Title IX, government-administered financial aid, ObamaCare and “free coverage,” workplace regulations like Lilly Ledbetter and the Paycheck Fairness Act — fail women and their families, but also they lead to fewer choices, less flexibility and less freedom in all of our lives.

Let’s be clear: Too often, the policies promoted by the left in the name of helping women actually end up hurting women.
Sometimes the condescension coming from the White House is just too much. Apparently women’s success has all been a function of government. Whether you’re the star swimmer on your college team or the new CEO, it’s because Washington carried you there.
What yesterday’s poll numbers reveal is not that Romney has his thumb on the pulse of American women — he certainly still needs help refining his policies and communications. But it suggests that women are tired of being talked (down) to as if they are a victim class in need of constant care.

Time to Come Clean, Ms. Warren? [Cherokee genealogist calls out Elizabeth Warren]


Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter ^ | May 14, 2012 | Polly's Granddaughter




There has been a lot in the news about Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who is running for US Senate. It seems she may have wrongly claimed to be Native American to help further her career. Of course, she claims she "checked the box" to get involved in social activities with "people who are like" she is. I would like to know what she meant by the statement "people who are like I am." If she means people like Ward Churchill, I guess I get it, but if she means people like me and other REAL Indians, I don't. She isn't a real Indian. And contrary to most of the current media stories, she doesn't even have a Cherokee ancestor.

Chris Child of the New England Historic Genealogical Society publicly stated that Ms. Warren did have a Cherokee ancestor, but it seems both he and the NEHGS have backed away from that claim, thanks to media attention and to the investigative work of Sam Morningstar.

I have been unavailable to research this much due to a family emergency, but I have been kept in the loop of the research done by both my team and that done by Mr. Morningstar. The team I work with has been tracing Ms. Warren's ancestry and has found no indication of Cherokee ancestry in any of her ancestral lines so far. Emails from them to Chris Child of the NEHGS went unanswered. Mr. Morningstar was able to get answers to at least one of his emails where Mr. Child admitted the only thing they had showing Cherokee ancestry for Ms. Warren was the infamous family newsletter. That newsletter has now been shown to be inaccurate.

It is unfortunate that things like this have to happen in order for us to see why false claims of Cherokee ancestry (or any Indian ancestry) can be harmful. Did Ms. Warren use her false claim to get the edge over others who might have been equally as qualified to teach at Harvard? This doesn't just affect Cherokees or other Native Americans. It effects everyone. What if Ms. Warren was selected over another equally as qualified white woman simply because she "checked that box"?

I have read a lot of comments to the recent news stories and some people are asking why it matters. It matters because Ms. Warren lied. And her lie is worse than that of the average Joe Shmoe on the street who wrongly claims to be Cherokee because Ms. Warren is a LAW PROFESSOR. She is aware of laws and the standards of proof needed for what we claim to be true. High cheekbones wouldn't cut it in court and it doesn't cut it in genealogy either. Ms. Warren cannot claim ignorance nor can she claim she just didn't have the money to do her genealogy. After all, she is a Harvard professor and also works as a consultant.

I have a lot more to say on this topic with a lot of documentation, but for now, I would just like to say:
It's time to come clean, Ms. Warren. You can blame all this attention on Senator Scott Brown if you like, but we Cherokees aren't buying what you are selling either. It is time to admit you have nothing but a family story on which you base your claim of Cherokee ancestry and that after investigation, you realize that story is not true. It is time you apologize not only to your supporters but also to the real Cherokee people - not just for pretending to be one of us to further your career, but also for that "high cheekbone" comment. Come on, if you really got your job at Harvard on your merits, then you are intelligent enough to know that is a stereotype and insulting. Buh!

Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.





**Note - I would like to thank both the team of researchers I work with and Mr. Morningstar for keeping me aware of their findings while I was busy taking care of family responsibilities. Your unending devotion to finding and revealing the truth is admirable and makes me proud to call you all friends.

And Mr. Morningstar, glad to see you back in the game! Keep up the good work!;)

Wright: I “Made It Comfortable” For Obama to Accept Christianity Without Having to Renounce Islam!


thegatewaypundit.com ^ | 5-15-2012 | Jim Hoft



In a shocking interview yesterday on the Sean Hannity Radio Show, author Ed Klein said Barack Obama’s former pastor helped Obama accept Christianity without having to renounce Islam. The Daily Caller reported:

Klein also said Wright told him he “made it comfortable” for Obama to accept Christianity without having renounce his “Islamic background,” which Klein said he has on tape.

Klein spoke more on this in a separate interview with NewsMax:
Klein says Obama originally sought out Wright to discuss community activism.
“Quickly the conversations turned from picking up garbage on the street and getting streetlights put up on street corners to political matters and religious matters,” Klein says. “And the Rev. Wright turned into really a substitute father figure, who guided Obama in the two major areas of his life.”
The first area was Obama’s identity — just who was he?
“Obama was steeped in Islam but knew nothing about Christianity,” Klein says.
Klein asked Wright if he converted Obama from being a Muslim into a Christian.
“He said, I don’t know about that. but I can tell you that I made it easy for him to come to an understanding of who Jesus Christ is and not feel that he was turning his back on his Islamic friends and his Islamic traditions and his understanding of Islam,” Klein says.
The second area was Obama’s political philosophy. Wright introduced Obama to Black Liberation theology.
(Excerpt) Read more at thegatewaypundit.com ...

Obama and GM Cook the Books!


National Review ^ | May 16, 2012 | John Lott



Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser? Three years ago his administration invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth less than $34 billion. By anyone’s definition, that investment is a glaring failure. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success.

Unfortunately, assertions that “all loans have been repaid to the federal government,” that the bailout “saved more than one million American jobs,” that “U.S. automakers are hiring hundreds of thousands of new workers,” that GM is again the “number-one automaker” — all are based on creative accounting.

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

Obama and the Marxist/Communist View of Marriage and Abortion


American Thinker ^ | 5/16/12 | Paul Kengor



Conservatives are not shy about highlighting what they perceive as Marxist/communist roots in various aspects of Barack Obama's policies, vision, and rhetoric. Some of these alleged parallels are a stretch; others are not. Many are merely the common overlap we often see among factions within the broader left of the political spectrum. We could debate and dissect them one by one; either way, they ultimately add up to a man -- our president -- who is on the far left.

Yet while conservatives tend to focus on matters of economics and excessive government growth and intervention, they're missing crucial aspects of Obama's social policy, vision, and rhetoric which, in fact, are arguably even closer to the Marxist/communist tradition. Here I'll give two salient examples: marriage and abortion.

On marriage, Obama last week finally came out of the closet in favor of "gay marriage." This means that the current president of the United States possesses the most radical/non-traditional view of marriage and the family of any president in the 200-plus-year history of this republic. (Yes, think about that.) That radical/non-traditionalism is fully consistent with the Marxist/communist worldview.

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx several times wrote openly of the "abolition of the family" and of communism abolishing "eternal truths" and "all religion, and all morality." "The communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional relations," Marx affirmed. "[I]ts development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas." Marx knew how shockingly revolutionary this was. He wrote: "Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists."

Marx practiced what he preached. He was a terrible father who caused tremendous discord in his family. As the family nearly starved, and as Marx's long-suffering wife neared the breaking point, Marx began an affair with the family's
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

The New York Times isn't liberal and the Washington Post isn't biased


Coach is Right ^ | 5/16/2012 | Doug Book



Recent weeks have seen ombudsmen at both the New York Times and the Washington Post defend their respective newspapers from charges of journalistic bias and a deep-seated, enduring slant to the political left.

Described as “trusted [intermediaries] between…an organization and some…external constituency,” it is the job of New York Times ombudsman Arthur Brisbane and the Post’s Patrick Pexton to represent “the broad scope of constituent interests” by seeking to present readers with facts and straightforward, impartial reporting. (1)

Of course anyone with a sense of humor—or any sense at all—will get a real kick out of claims of straightforward and impartial reporting by the Times or the Post. But that is exactly what these embattled colleagues have done in their attempts to defend recent articles responsible for more than the usual show of outrage from the reading public.

On May 10th the Post printed a story of Mitt Romney’s 1965 involvement in forcibly cutting the hair of fellow Cranbrook student John Lauber. According to the very lengthy article, Romney and a...

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

Black Stone Capital Fired Thousands, Gives Obama $1,000,000


JoeClarke.Net ^ | 05/16/2012 | JoeClarke.Net



No sooner had President Obama released a "Bain Capital Video" which highlights the hatcheting job Mitt Romney did to poor performing companies, that he attended a high roller fundraiser at Black Stone Investment which awarded the President with a cool million bucks at the $36,000 a plate dinner. Note: Black Stone Capital has been responsible for firing untold thousands of workers through various "investment" programs. Here is a record of 800+ who were placed on the chopping block via Black Stone:

IN THE TRENCHES How a Blackstone Deal Shook Up a Work Force Layoffs at Travelport, Dividend for Investors; 'On Pins and Needles'
By IANTHE JEANNE DUGAN Link http://www.sporttaco.com/rec.sport.golf/Private_Equity_firm_Blackstone_groups_Steven_Schwarzman_lays_off_841_americans_to_make_an_extra_billion_dollars_3822.html July 27, 2007; Page A1
CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Not long after the Blackstone Group bought Travelport Ltd. last August, workers at the company's office campus here began feeling the squeeze. Two months after the deal closed, scores of employees were lugging boxes of personal belongings to their cars, having lost their jobs. Under Blackstone's ownership, the travel-reservations conglomerate has laid off 841 people, about 10% of its work force. Blackstone, a private-equity firm, has already recouped all of the money it invested in Travelport. __________________________________ RAPID PACE
• The Situation: After Blackstone Group bought Travelport, changes came swiftly for some workers. • The Background: To capitalize on their investments more quickly, private-equity firms have been overhauling companies faster. • The Bottom Line: Travelport has laid off 841 workers, and Blackstone has already recouped its investment. _______________________________ Similar scenes have been unfolding at companies around the nation, a human toll of the corporate-buyout boom. Private-equity firms, which say they bring sorely needed financial discipline to poorly run companies, have been slashing costs and extracting profits at warp speed. As the cycle of buying and selling companies has intensified, life in the trenches can be unstable and traumatic. By the end of 2007, Travelport expects to slash costs by $150 million. Last week, it brought public its online reservations unit, Orbitz Worldwide Inc., using the proceeds to pay off debt. Its Galileo unit, which feeds airline information to travel agents, is the focus of much of the overhaul. Many of the job cuts have occurred at the company's data-operations center here outside Denver, where some jobs have been outmoded by shifts in technology and in the way people buy airline tickets and rent cars, executives say.
John Kliegel, 41 years old, a computer-systems analyst, and his twin, Russell, a technical writer, were both laid off. They're selling the house they share because they can no longer afford it. Don Kleppinger, a 46-year-old software engineer with five sons, lost his job, leaving him without health insurance for several months. Grace Covyeau, 63, who lost her job as a telecommunications engineer, took a part-time job last month making sandwiches and coffee at King Soopers grocery store. "It came as a shock," says Michael Berson, 49, who lost his job as a data engineer in October, three years after receiving a "Super Star" award for saving the company $1.2 million on telecommunications costs. Mr. Berson has moved to Tulsa, where he is looking for a new job.
In addition to the 841 layoffs, 1,500 Travelport workers have left voluntarily since the buyout. The company says it has hired 1,582 new workers during that period, and has invested heavily in new technology.
Travelport Chief Executive Jeff Clarke describes the Centennial operation as the "factory" through which thousands of transactions pass every second. "We need to shift into new technologies," he says. "Some require productivity improvements and often will lead to layoffs."
To complete their $4.3 billion Travelport purchase, Blackstone and Technology Crossover Ventures, a Palo Alto, Calif., venture-capital firm that now owns 11%, invested $1 billion and borrowed the rest. That debt landed on Travelport's balance sheet. In March, Travelport borrowed an additional $1.1 billion and paid it out as a dividend to the two firms, returning all their money in just seven months.
"This is likely one of the quickest returns of invested capital for a private-equity deal of its size," Travelport's new chief financial officer, Michael Rescoe, said in a May conference call with analysts.
The buyout boom has been lucrative for Blackstone partners and investors, which include large institutions such as pension funds. Last year, Blackstone managed assets valued at about $88 billion and earned $2.27 billion, according to a prospectus for its own initial public offering in June. Its chief executive, Stephen Schwarzman, who resides in a 35-room Manhattan apartment, made more than $650 million on the offering and retained a 24% stake now worth more than $5 billion. Such riches raise hackles among laid-off workers. "These investments are helping the fat cats by hurting the little guys," says Ms. Covyeau. "It'll make you sick." Over the past five years, private-equity firms have bought more than 10,000 companies. This year, through June, 1,399 deals worth $582 billion have been announced, according to data provider Dealogic.
In order to recoup their investments quickly, buyout firms are speeding up everything -- closing deals more swiftly, cutting jobs and restructuring companies faster, and taking them public sooner. They've also been taking big cash payments out of the companies they buy, as Blackstone did with Travelport. These payments, known as "dividend recapitalizations," reached a record $25 billion in 2006, and are on pace to exceed that amount this year, according to Standard & Poor's Corp. In 2001, they amounted to just $1 billion. The payments increase pressure to cut costs. "Layoffs are far more likely at firms that pay these dividends," says Steven Bavaria, who oversees bank-loan ratings at Standard & Poor's. "Employees left behind are doing more work, looking over their shoulders, feeling stressed." At a congressional hearing in May, the Private Equity Council, a lobbying group, testified that buyouts often result in long-term job growth. It cited the Carlyle Group's 2005 purchase of auto-parts company AxleTech International Holdings Inc., which grew to 568 from 425 workers after it began supplying parts to military-vehicle makers.
In other cases, job cuts follow buyouts. After buying Hertz Global Holdings Inc. for $15 billion from Ford Motor Co. in late 2005, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc. and a unit of Merrill Lynch & Co. collected a $1 billion dividend, then took the company public. This year, Hertz cut more than 2,000 jobs, or about 8% of its work force. Last summer, Blackstone teamed up with Carlyle, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and other buyout firms to buy VNU, the parent of Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, for about $10 billion. In December, the firm announced 4,100 job cuts, about 10% of its work force.
"None of us wants a single job to be cut," says Paul "Chip" Schorr IV, the Blackstone senior managing director who orchestrated the purchase of Travelport and now serves as its chairman. Mr. Schorr, 40, joined Blackstone in 2005 from the venture-capital arm of Citigroup Inc.
The layoffs at Travelport were one of many steps taken to revamp the company. All told, Travelport has reduced operating costs by 6%, the company says. Before Blackstone bought it, Travelport was operating as the Travel Distribution Systems unit of Cendant Corp., a travel and real-estate conglomerate based in Parsippany, N.J. Cendant's founder and chief executive, Henry Silverman, a former Blackstone partner, had cobbled together Cendant's travel unit through a series of acquisitions.
Galileo, which Cendant bought in 2001, gets paid by airlines to feed information about airline schedules, pricing and inventory to travel agents. In addition, it runs the reservations system for United Airlines. Galileo is the largest contributor of Travelport revenue, which totaled $2.6 billion last year.
That business has been suffering. The Sept. 11 attacks curtailed airline travel, as did the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. In 2003, struggling airlines reduced the fees they paid to middlemen such as Galileo. Cendant also had gotten into the online travel-agency business by buying Orbitz, which competes with Travelocity, Expedia and others. Each time consumers use the site to book reservations for flights, rental cars and hotels, Orbitz collects a fee. As more consumers turned to the Internet for travel planning, the business grew. But as airlines and hotels began handling reservations through their own Web sites, the middlemen lost business. In 2001, systems such as Galileo had handled 70% of airline reservations, according to Forrester Research, a market-research firm. These days, such systems handle just 50%. Cendant began laying off employees, and in 2005, it decided to split itself into four parts.
Mr. Schorr believed that Cendant hadn't fully integrated the systems behind the travel businesses it had acquired. "It was like having a house with eight kitchens," he says. If it eliminated overlapping systems, he believed, the business could become more efficient. He also saw growing opportunities in foreign markets such as the Middle East and Asia.
On Aug. 23, the day Blackstone took over, Mr. Clarke wrote to employees on an internal blog: "For most of us, our jobs won't change." Mr. Clarke, who had become chief executive a few months earlier, previously held senior positions at Computer Associates and at Compaq Computer Corp.
Some employees believed Blackstone's arrival would ease the belt-tightening and stress that had begun under Cendant. "A lot of us thought these layoffs would stop," says Gina Fugazzi, 51, who oversaw the company's voice systems in the U.S. "There was no more to cut."
Others had heard enough about how private-equity firms operate to be concerned about their jobs. Ms. Covyeau, the telecommunications manager, says many employees were "aware that the pattern at private-equity firms was streamlining work forces." Anxiety, she says, began rising.
In the blog, Mr. Clarke noted to employees that Travelport intended to re-engineer operations to reduce overlap and to eliminate "activities that are not contributing to our success."
The company decided to overhaul the telecommunications center housed in Centennial. "We are automating work that was done manually," explains Mr. Clarke. Within weeks of the buyout, at a meeting with employees in Centennial, some managers warned that more cuts were coming. Ms. Covyeau says she began packing her boxes and told a manager: "Please, just give me a severance package and let me out of here." One morning in October, managers in Centennial sent emails instructing employees to report to various conference rooms and cafeterias. Ms. Fugazzi says her heart sank when she walked into her designated room and found only about 20 people. "I suddenly realized I was in a group getting laid off," she says. A colleague, she recalls, spotted a tray of bagels and coffee and chortled: "Looks like this is our last supper."
A manager told them their jobs were being cut for economic reasons, according to several people who were there. Some employees burst into tears; others stared stoically. "I was devastated," recalls Ms. Fugazzi, who says she had planned to retire in four years. "I had the mentality that if you worked hard, you could keep your job forever."
When they got back to their desks, their email had been disabled. Guards lingered while employees filled boxes with belongings. The company declined to provide written references. In the confusion, some employees say, they were inadvertently given a wrong number to call about benefits -- it was a sex line. A company spokesman says only eight employees received the incorrect number, and the company corrected the mistake right away.
All told, Travelport laid off about 500 people that month, including veterans in their 50s and 60s who say they had good performance reviews and relatively high salaries of about $100,000.
Most of the layoffs occurred at Galileo. Gordon Wilson, Galileo's London-based chief executive, said in a written statement that many of the jobs had been outmoded by technology. For example, travel agents used to connect to Galileo's system by phone. Now, many of them access it via the Internet.
The company offered laid-off employees two weeks severance for every year they worked, according to several employees. Mr. Wilson declined to provide details about the severance packages, which he called "generous."
In December, Travelport announced the acquisition of Worldspan, one of Galileo's chief competitors, for $1.4 billion. At a Christmas party at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, a Travelport executive assured remaining employees that 2007 would be more stable, according to people who were there.
In January, Mr. Clarke, the chief executive, reorganized Travelport into three brands -- Orbitz, Galileo and Gullivers Travel Associates, a wholesaler of hotel rooms and group tours. The company continued to cut jobs.
Galileo's Mr. Wilson says he has warned employees of "further changes" as the company completes the Worldspan acquisition. The deal could produce about $100 million in cost savings through the consolidation of sales staffs, data centers, and other operations, Mr. Clarke says.
In this year's first quarter, Travelport's profits were up 36% over the year-earlier period, to $157 million. Half of the profit improvement was because of revenue growth, the company says, 25% was because of vendor-related cost reductions and 25% was from productivity improvements, including reductions in the work force. Mr. Wilson says Travelport's debt load has made it more urgent to generate cash. "If we can accelerate the reduction of our debt and therefore lessen our interest payments," he says, "no one would expect management to do otherwise." With the Worldspan merger looming, employees at both companies say they are worried about their jobs. "We are all on pins and needles," says one employee. "Everybody here feels it's only a matter of time."
For many laid-off employees, finding new jobs hasn't been easy. Danny Carrasco, a software developer in his 50s, searched for five months before finding a job at a telecommunications company. Technical analyst Robert Renwick, 30, sent out more than 100 résumés over four months before landing a job at the local school district. He and his wife, a first-grade teacher, put off having children, he says. "I can't believe they would ruin all these lives to make a couple extra pennies," he says. John Kliegel is earning 33% less as a program manager at a satellite company. His twin, Russell, is juggling job hunting with free-lancing. Mr. Kleppinger, the software engineer, once expected to retire at Travelport. He's now earning 20% less at a new job.
After months of searching, writing résumés and reading books on how to interview, Ms. Fugazzi landed a job with the Colorado Department of Human Services. She earns about $33,000 less than she did at Travelport, counting her old bonus. But the government job, she says, "feels more secure."

Write to Ianthe Jeanne Dugan at ianthe.dugan@wsj.com

If The Truth Will Set You Free, What Will the MSM Do?


fag

PJ Media ^ | May 14, 2012 | Andrew Klavan




I was going to write a satire of the mainstream news media this week but the Washington Post beat me to it. Proving that they are spiraling toward irrelevance and bankruptcy the old fashioned way — by earning it! — the Post ran a hit piece on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that managed to be both irrelevant and suspect, if not altogether untrue. The Post reported that Romney, as a teenager, bullied a classmate. The newspaper also implied Romney’s motive was homophobia. Romney admits he was a prankster as a kid, which he regrets, but says that homophobia had nothing to do with it. The family of the alleged bullying victim John Lauber says WaPo‘sportrayal of John is factually incorrect and we are aggrieved that he would be used to further a political agenda.”
The politically meaningless and factually dubious story was timed for release in the immediate wake of Barack Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage. In an incredibly gutsy call, Obama was forced to abandon his make-believe opposition to the controversial issue when his blithering vice president’s open support for guy-on-guy action humiliated the president to the point where he stopped lying about being against gay marriage and lied instead about feeling it was a matter that should be left to the states.
Keep reading...

Obama’s Clean Coal Con


Flopping Aces ^ | 05-15-12 | DrJohn





Hear it?
It's getting louder.
The sounds of a election come nearer.
And it's making a particular President wet his pants.
Reacting to the stinging criticism from two members of Congress in a key election state Barack Obama modified his "All of the Above" energy website.

The Obama campaign changed its website Thursday night to include a reference to “clean coal” in the president’s “all-of-the-above” energy plan after Republicans lawmakers criticized the omission. Under the heading “President’ Obama’s approach to energy independence,” an entire section on the campaign website was altered from “fuel efficiency” to “clean coal.” The sections now appear as: oil, natural gas, clean coal, biofuels, wind, solar and nuclear.
Earlier this week, Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican from Kentucky who chairs a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, criticized the president for excluding coal and hydropower, two energy resources that together provide for more than half of the country’s electricity, from his “all-of-the-above” energy plan.
“This administration has been openly in the business of putting coal out of business,” Mr. Whitfield said. “And for the president to run around talking about an ‘all of the above’ energy policy, even on his campaign website, and to not mention coal as an important energy sector is unbelievable to me.”
Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, on Wednesday tweeted his disappointment about the exclusion of coal, saying Mr. Obama was “out of touch [with Ohio’s] needs.”
In what has to be an act of desperation the Obama website was changed from this

to this

Let's have a close look at what the newest version says:
"President Obama has set a 10-year goal to develop and deploy cost-effective clean coal technology."
Obama's coal industry goals can be properly summarized this way:
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Obama's Campaign Strategy: More Vague Cliches


FR ^ | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | cc



Hey, it worked the last time, why not try it again?

Aided by an uncurious Big Media, Team Obama is all set to roll out the same vague rhetoric that worked so well in 2008. You know, the "America faces huge challenges", "we must all pull together", "now is the time to put aside our differences", type of blather, bland cliches that never move beyond the level of a high-school essay?

Why do they do this? Well, they're dumb. They don't really have an ideas of substance, so there's nothing else to talk about. And sadly, it works - some people get sucked in by this verbal sleight-of-hand, and miss the real questions in the background. WHY is the economy a challenge; YOU'RE in charge, sir?

WHY is the unemployment rate the same as when you took office (and twice Bush's average), despite your blowing 3X as much money as Bush spent in all 8 years?? Time for accountability, Obama!
They'll do this for the next 6 months if you do nothing. Don't put up with another campaign of touchy-feely vague rhetoric that lets this dope evade his sorry record - nail him on the specifics at every chance!

It Ain't 1960 Anymore!


Conservative Outcry ^ | 5/15/12



Listening to current rhetoric, Liberals would have us believe Conservatives are made up of primarily middle-aged, white, male, bigots.

What with the so called “War on Women” bandied about the press, and the “War on Blacks” as espoused by Reverend Al Sharpton, who could assume otherwise? Let’s not forget the “War against Islam”, and the recently-topical Gay Marriage Debate when painting Conservatives as nothing more than a group of Racists.


I’ve been told recently that if I were to “process the data correctly”, I would come to the same conclusions.

Well, as instructed by Theron K Cal, host of the Real Brother Radio Show on Blog-Talk Radio, and a host of others on the web and throughout Twitter, I’ve looked at the data…and I’m sad to report I’ve found nothing but the contrary.

It’s a shame even today we cannot have a serious discussion about race. All involved seem fearful their words will be misconstrued as nothing more than hateful rhetoric. And, while that statement in itself is supports the existence of racism, racism is becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s society.
Racism exists on all sides. In addition to “White America”, racism exists in the Black, Asian, Muslim, etc. communities, as well. To dispute that fact only depicts one’s ignorance.
But the numbers are dwindling on all fronts. And, to dispute that would be to “process the data incorrectly”, as others would say. For example, let’s look at the 2008 Presidential Election.
Polling just prior to the election showed President Obama defeating Senator McCain. McCain’s loss was no surprise. The surprise comes within the numbers.
Polling of registered voters, just before the election, by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal revealed 2% of voters who said race made them more likely to vote for Barack Obama. 4% said it made them less likely to do so, and 2% were not sure. Race apparently was not a major factor for 92% of voters (margin of error was ±2.9%).
So while many would have us to believe our nation had made no progress from the 1960’s through 2008, we elected our first Black President. President Obama garnered 69,456,897 votes to Senator McCain’s 59,934,814.
Of the President’s 69 million votes, approximately 42 million came from “White America”, more than the total Black population at that time. To dispute this statement would be to “process the data incorrectly”, as well.
While many argue President Obama would not have been elected without the mobilization of the Black community, the fact remains he could not have been elected had “White America” still been living in the 1960’s. Politics, not race decided the 2008 Presidential Election, nothing more.
The fact President Obama garnered the same percentage of the White-American electorate as Senator Gore and President Clinton before him only further proves politics, not race decided the 2008 Presidential Election.
Again, it was politics, not race (or sex) that decided the 2010 South Carolina Gubernatorial Race.
While Jake Knotts’ comments, referenced in the video below, provided us with yet another example of racism today, the South Carolina Electorate (certainly not a liberal stronghold) provides proof of its lessening grip when Nikki Haley, an Indian-American, was elected Governor over all others.

More examples of Racism’s dwindling relevance range from Governor’s Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts to Representative Alan West in Florida.
Herman Cain was considered a front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination until his recent fall from grace. But it wasn’t racism that caused this fall. Again it was politics.
The same politics that would have us believe in the faux wars on Women, Blacks, Muslims and Gays mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this post.
Bigotry dies, or at least becomes irrelevant with time. At least, this is what that the data tells me. Further proof of this can be seen on playgrounds throughout the nation.
Children don’t possess a bigoted bone in their bodies, until taught. And the data only supports the fact that less and less adults are teaching it, on all sides.
But Politics remain forever.
So when presented with the liberal spin through the biased reporting of the Main Stream Media, the dated ramblings of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and those heard on the Real Brother Radio Show, to the attempts of organizations like MoveOn to distract voters from the real issues, keep this post in mind.
Politics, not race, (or sex) will decide the 2012 Election, as it did in 2008. Those who “process the data correctly” can come to no other conclusion.
Better stated, Hope & Change or the lack thereof will decide the 2012 Election, nothing more.

Mitt Romney's Poll Surge Might Be Bigger Than It Looks!


US News and World Report ^ | May 15, 2012 | Peter Roff, contributing editor



The latest CBS News/New York Times poll shows President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a dead heat in the race for the White House.

Given that Obama has had a relatively good week and Romney something of a bad one, this poll is a real shocker. Asked for whom they would vote were the election held today, 46 percent of the nearly 600 registered voters surveyed said Romney while 43 percent said Obama. Given that the error margin is plus or minus four points, it looks like the race is all tied up.

Actually, Romney may be in better shape than the poll suggests. The same survey conducted in April showed each man with 46 percent of the vote while the polls from March and February showed the president ahead.

What is particularly interesting is this is a poll of registered voters, meaning it's a survey representing the entire universe of those who may cast ballots in the upcoming election. Thanks to things like "motor voter," there are far more Democrats in the pool of registered voters than Republicans and, unlike surveys of so-called "likely voters," many of them may not bother to vote. It is not too much of an inference, therefore, to think that Obama may be losing the country—and that's because he has failed to get a handle on the nation's economic troubles.

Unemployment is down from where it had been under Obama, to 8.1 percent, but that's not because the economy is creating jobs. It's because, as this simple analysis shows, large numbers of people have simply stopped looking for work. "In April," wrote Tyler Durden on Zerohedge.com, "the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to 88,419,000," which he says is the highest number ever recorded. The labor force participation rate, meaning the people who are working or looking for work, is now at 64.3 percent, a 30-year low.
With numbers like that, with Obama having wiped out 30 years of job creation under presidents of both parties, is it any surprise that 62 percent of respondents in the CBS News/New York Times poll "cited the economy as the most important issue in the presidential election"?
"Concern over the budget deficit ranked a distant second at 11 percent, followed by health care at 9 percent. Seven percent picked same-sex marriage, 4 percent cited foreign policy and 2 percent chose immigration," according to an analysis of the numbers conducted by CBS.
The response of the White House and Obama's campaign to the numbers has been to attack the way the survey was conducted—which is really their only choice since they can't dispute what the numbers say. The president's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutler, told NBC's Chuck Todd, "We can't put the methodology of that poll aside, because the methodology was significantly biased." When pressed, Cutler called the sample "biased."
Maybe so, but that doesn't get around the fact that 67 percent of respondents—remember these are registered voters, not likely voters—rated the condition of the national economy as either "fairly bad" or "very bad." And 63 percent said they thought things would stay the same or get worse.
Equally disturbing for the White House, and perhaps the reason why the Obama campaign, its political allies, and its friends in the media have suddenly unleashed the attack squad against the former governor, is that this same poll found Romney leading among independents, among men and among women, 46 percent to 44 percent for the president—still within the margin of error but an indication that any bounce the Democrats might have gotten over accusations the GOP was engaged in a "war on women" has dissipated.
Team Obama needs a new strategy. It doesn't take a college degree to figure out that just about the only thing left is to try and make Romney radioactive, which means a nasty and negative summer is in the offing. It will be interesting to see if the same journalists and Washington "deep thinkers" who call out the Republicans every time they say something uncomplimentary will be as hard on the Democrats as they "go nuclear" on Romney.