Monday, June 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff, No Leader ("would have, should have, could have" president)

American Thinker ^ | june 11,2012 | Jeffrey Folks

On January 1, 2013, America careens off a fiscal cliff. The largest tax increase in the country's history goes into effect. Spending on defense, Medicare, and other vital areas will be cut indiscriminately. And, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the fiscal cliff may well push the economy back into recession.

At his June 8 news conference, Obama informed the country that "private sector is doing fine." He also noted that "the private sector has been doing a good job creating jobs." That's news to the 27,000 workers who may lose their jobs at Hewlett-Packard, and to the 25 million who are unemployed, underemployed, or so discouraged they've quit looking for work. If American businesses are doing "just fine," you'd think there would be jobs for everyone.

Obama is rapidly becoming the "would have, should have, could have" president. He has an excuse for everything, including an 8.2% unemployment rate and the weakest post-recession GDP growth in memory.
I'm sure he will have an excuse when taxes on small businesses go up 24.3%, as they are scheduled to do on January 1. He'll have an excuse when unemployment goes back above 10%. And he'll make excuses when seniors can't get treatment because physicians won't accept the reduced payments that Medicare will be forced to make. A real leader would grasp the enormousness of the situation and deal with it instead of whining that things "would have been better" if Greeks hadn't been deadbeats.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

House Slaps Obama On Yucca Mountain, Nuclear Power

IBD Edirorials ^ | June 11, 2012

Energy: A green administration blocks the safe storage of nuclear waste and refuses even to acknowledge nuclear power has a future. But after the GOP House votes to open a safe site, the nuclear debate has been reopened.

Actually "waste" is an inaccurate term for the spent nuclear fuel rods still accumulating at above-ground fuel storage sites around the country, many near major cities. Spent nuclear fuel is a renewable resource that, in generating energy after being reprocessed, emits no greenhouse gasses.
But wait, critics shout, what about Fukushima and Chernobyl?

Certainly Russian incompetence and Japanese carelessness produced tragic results.
But considering that these same critics claim fossil fuels are ushering in planetary doom via climate change, shouldn't a greenhouse gas-free power source be reconsidered, one that to this day continues to provide around 20% of our power and safely powers our aircraft carriers and submarines?
Even if we don't build another nuclear power plant, spent fuel rods from existing facilities will continue to accumulate.
The Obama administration and folks like Nevada Democrat Sen. Harry Reid — whose state is home to the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear storage site — don't want to have a safe storage facility, fearing it would usher in more nuclear plants.
By a vote of 326-81, including 98 Democrats, the House on Wednesday approved an amendment by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2013. It allocates $10 million for salaries and expenses for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to complete the licensing process for Yucca Mountain, something that has been stopped dead in its tracks by the Obama administration.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Tea Party, Americans for Prosperity, Sarah Palin [Her Supporters] and Strong Leadership Win in WI

A Time For Choosing ^ | June 11, 2012 | Gary P. Jackson

First let me say, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Lt Governor Rebecca Kleefisch are real heroes. They stood up to armed union thugs, suffered death threats, and other acts of violence, just to save the state they love so much.

Governor Walker has a plan for Wisconsin that works. He’s taken a $3 billion budget deficit and turned it into a projected $275.1 million surplus on June 30, 2012 and a $154.5 million surplus on June 30, 2013. That ain’t chickenfeed!

By short-stopping the union thug bosses and ending collective bargaining for government workers, Governor Walker was able to save hundreds of union jobs those thug bosses would have gladly sacrificed for a fatter payday.
In short, Governor Walker is showing the way out for blue and purple state governments, and well as the federal government. Hopefully he’ll inspire a national Right-to-Work movement so that all of America can be as prosperous and productive as the states that already have Right-to-Work laws.
Governor Walker and Lt Governor Kleefisch prove that all any politician needs is courage and a good plan.
That’s not what has me all jigged-up though.
After the landslide win by Walker and Kleefisch, democrats … who just days before were declaring this the election to end all elections …. the most important of all time …. where whining about the money spent [never mind both sides spent roughly the same] and declaring the whole thing meaningless.
Then we have the Republican Establishment sitting back and grinning like the cat that ate the canary.
Yes, I know Reince Priebus, the RNC chair sent some resources, but it wasn’t a big effort. Frankly, listening to the after-talk, it seems to the RNC, this was more about setting up a large GOTV structure for November, rather than making sure Walker won. Maybe I’m too sensitive to this stuff, but that’s how I see it anyway.
One of the things the “conservative” talking heads, who were busy patting themselves on the back election night, were pointing out was the fact that Barack Obama was AWOL, sending a rather pathetic little tweet in support, late into the process, rather than going to Wisconsin. Well, that’s actually better than Mitt Romney managed. [and the democrats had no problem pointing it out]
Noted Profile in Courage™ Mitt Romney waited until the networks called the race for Walker and Kleefisch, at which point it was apparent that we were looking at a landslide victory. Then Mitt decided it was time to speak up about Liberty and Freedom.
Don’t even get me started on Karl “Tokyo” Rove and the rest of the clowns. Rove has yet to acknowledge any of the hard work by the Tea Party groups and the regular American people who came to help out. Evidently, to Rove, they don’t exist.
What is missing, even on many of the bigger “conservative” sites, is mention of all of the hard work by the Tea Party groups, Americans for Prosperity, and Sarah Palin, as well as many of her strong supporters.
It was an Americans for Prosperity event that brought Sarah Palin to Madison, Wisconsin last year. This is the famous “Game On!” speech where Sarah not only took on the union thugs, but told the GOP Establishment that they needed to “Fight Like a Girl!,” her cute way of saying “grow a pair why don’t ya!”
As you see in the video, Sarah, and the Tea Party crowd was surrounded by armed, violent union thugs, who had been terrorizing the streets of Madison in the months previous. She never blinks. Instead, she talks above the thugs, and reaches out to rank and file union workers telling them they didn’t have to be intimidated by their union leaders, and that Governor Walker was looking to save their jobs, not take them away.
It worked too. We’ve learned 38% of union households voted for Walker and Kleefisch.
Part of the reforms Governor Walker put in place, mean the state government is no longer the bag man for the unions. No longer collecting the “tribute” workers are forced to pay to the union thugs just to have a job. Without government automatically taking the union dues out of their checks, tens of thousands of workers abandoned the unions. AFSCME the powerful municipal union saw more than 30,000 members, over 50% of their membership, take a hike.
No wonder the union thugs were steaming bloody murder! It turns out, if workers are actually given a choice, most would rather not pay “tribute” to these fat cats!
I can’t imagine any member of the Republican “leadership” being able to give the speech Sarah did, or inspire so many to follow her lead. It takes courage to walk into the middle of a hostile mob, look em in the eye and say “Bring it!”
Americans for Prosperity and their people did a yeoman’s job of raising money, setting up a GOTV effort, and so on. If you aren’t keeping up with all of the good work they do nationwide on your behalf, here is their website, check it out.
Then there is the Tea Party Express. If you are on their mailing list, you know just how busy Amy Kremer and her crew were. After working brilliantly in Texas, TPE took their brand new mobile call center, a bus filled with phone banks, to Wisconsin to make last minute phone calls to voters.
Both AFP and Tea Party Express are great groups of patriots. If you have any spare change lying around there are a lot worse ways to spend it!
That brings us to Sarah Palin’s top supporters. Organize4Palin was well represented in Wisconsin.
Contributing Editor Whitney Pitcher, who is also the Illinois organizer for American Grizzlies United [O4P] traveled to Wisconsin, not only to take in a few rallies, but man the phone lines, smilin’ and dialin’.
Hard working Texan Michelle McCormick, who also spent a lot of time organizing in Iowa last year, was there. Here’s a bit from a note I got from Whitney a few days ago that I’d like to share:
Michelle and I went up to Wisconsin and attended the Madison Tea Party Express rally on Friday and the Racine Tea Party rally on Saturday morning. We spent the rest of Saturday at the Racine Victory Center making phone calls and did some block walking too.
Bill, the O4P coordinator in WI, has worked tirelessly the past several months making phone calls and other grassroots activities. Brian Lerch, one of our Illinois O4P volunteers, came up Saturday too. Janne Myrdal, the former ND O4P coordinator, came for several days and was even a poll watcher on election day. There were a few other O4P folks who helped leading up to the election as well.
Here’s Michelle McCormick and Whitney [Michelle is wearing the dark jacket]
This is [L to R] Brian Lerch, State Senator Van Wanggaard, Michelle, and Whitney at the Racine Victory Center:
[L to R] “Converted Democrat” Tamra, former IL state rep candidate Danielle Rowe, Whitney, Michelle:
Makin’ calls:
Big Crowd in Racine:
Whitney also sent along this video of Rebecca Kleefisch at the rally. No wonder Sarah Palin likes her so much. This woman has some fire in her belly!
Rebecca is definitely someone we will be watching. She is one of the rising stars of the Conservative movement.
I admire each and every one of these patriots who gave up their time to save Wisconsin from the big democrat machine and the union thugs, who were sucking the lifeblood out of Wisconsin before Governor Walker came along. These people, the members of Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Express, [and all of the Tea Party groups] and all of our friends at American Grizzlies/Organize4Palin, are who we should be thanking. They, along with Governor Walker and Lt Governor Kleefisch are the winners here, along with the people of Wisconsin.
These are the folks who are showing all of America how it’s done.
The Republican Establishment may be crowing over “their” big victory, but we all know that it was a much larger effort by a lot of ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.
Sarah Palin reminds America often that one doesn’t need a title to make a difference. The great victory in Wisconsin proves it.

Another Fine Mess Obama's Gotten Us Into!

IBD editorials ^ | june 11, 2012

Leadership: An incoherent press conference and contradictory explanation show that if the president thinks the answer to job-killing federal policies is boosting state and local governments with borrowed money, we're really in trouble.

'Tone deaf" fails to describe President Obama's statement at Friday's press conference that "the private sector is doing fine," when median income is down 10% in three years, family net worth has plunged 39%, 23 million Americans are out of work and the official unemployment rate tops 8% for the 40th month in a row, the longest sustained period at that level since the Great Depression.

Mitt Romney's charge that the president is "out of touch" might be more accurate, but we would prefer "clueless."

Then came the walk-back at a later press event: "It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That's why I had a press conference," Obama explained to those who were wondering, and as if the two statements did not contradict one another. Cognitive dissonance has been redefined.

Lost in the commotion caused by the dueling teleprompters was the president's suggestion that, aside from job-killing ATMs, the economy was in the tank because state and local governments weren't big enough and spending enough.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

90 percent of Chicago teachers authorize strike (hire more?)

Yahoo ^ | 6/11/2012 | TAMMY WEBBER Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Teachers in the nation's third-largest school district voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if their union and the city cannot reach a deal on a contract this summer — signaling just how badly the relationship between teachers and Chicago school officials has deteriorated, union officials said Monday.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced the result of last week's balloting — nearly 90 percent of its 26,502 members voted to authorize a strike —and called it "an indictment of the state of the relationship between the management of CPS and its largest labor force members." State law requires 75 percent approval.

Teachers are upset that Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled last year's raise and that they're being asked to work longer days without what they consider to be an adequate pay increase. Lewis said other key issues include class size and resources.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

White Student Returns $1,000 Scholarship Intended For Black Students!

CBS 2 ^ | 6/11/2012

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 6:01:44 PM by Altura Ct.
A 17-year-old student at King High School in Riverside has returned a $1,000 scholarship intended for black students because he is white.

Jeffrey Warren and his father Rod returned the scholarship from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club the night the teen was announced as the winner of the African-American student scholarship, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Jeffrey, who has a 4.25 cumulative grade-point average, applied for 27 scholarships and won three others in addition to the award from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club, which only specified that African Americans were “encouraged to apply,” the newspaper reported. School counselors were informed that the scholarship was for black students.

The club intends to change the language on next year’s application to clarify who is eligible, according to the Press-Enterprise.

The returned scholarship was later awarded to an African-American girl at King High School.

Jeffrey plans to take his scholarships – two for $2,000 and another for $500 – to San Diego State University in the fall, where he will double major in English in Business, the paper reported.

Scott Walker, An American Hero ^ | June 11, 2012 | Bruce Bialosky

The battle is over for now, but the war has just begun. Scott Walker has responsibly and successfully led duly-elected officials in an historic effort to permanently change this nation’s course. You don’t need a PhD. in math to understand that our government is headed toward fiscal Armageddon, principally because elected officials have made reckless decisions and promises whose effects on future generations were never considered. At last, we now have a genuine hope to regain America’s future.

In 1958, New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. signed an executive order allowing the formation of public-employee unions. This was duplicated at the federal level in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, who was deeply indebted to the unions for catapulting him into office. Since then, the number and clout of unionized public employees has soared – along with the size and cost of government.
A combination of three events then accelerated the downhill spiral. First, union leaders convinced legislators to compel automatic deduction of dues from employee paychecks and required all new workers to become union members as a condition of employment. Second, they used those coerced dues to purchase elected officials (through campaign contributions and other mechanisms), an initiative so successful that in many states and municipalities unions now maintain a relentless hammerlock on public policy. Third, they used this clout to provide their members with outrageous salaries and benefits, thereby generating ever-larger amounts of dues that only reinforced the cycle of manipulation.
We can get past all the mayhem that happened in Wisconsin to focus on the material. We can now put aside the fact that just questioning the status quo prompted the Left to call the Governor a “bomb-thrower,” or that those courageous legislators that dared to challenge an overblown government that feeds the pigs at the trough were considered the embodiment of evil. We can also put aside the fact that Democrats ran to Illinois and hid like children instead of honoring the votes of their fellow residents and acting like grownups. And, finally, we can put aside the failed attempts to recall state senators, state Supreme Court justices, and, ultimately, the governor and lieutenant-governor, in a vain attempt to overturn the will of a responsible electorate.
We can put all these aside, but we can never, ever forget them. In Wisconsin, this death spiral has been stopped in its tracks.
Mr. Walker accomplished two momentous things that will have a lasting effect in Wisconsin, and will hopefully spread throughout the nation. First, he proved that you can cut the size of government, balance a budget (which was $3.6 billion in the red) without raising taxes, and improve the economy all at the same time. Clueless elitists in America and Europe brand responsible actions like this with the pejorative term “austerity,” but Governor Walker made it work. Unemployment is down and the business environment is vastly improved. Teachers’ jobs, which the union leadership was willing to sacrifice just to line their own pockets, have been saved. Since Walker became Governor – only 17 months ago! – Wisconsin has jumped 21 spots in surveys that measure the climate for business owners and entrepreneurs. He has single-handedly defeated the liberal assumption that growth requires you to “stimulate” the economy using borrowed or printed money.
His bigger accomplishment was to kick-start something that many Republicans have wanted to do for ages, only to be undermined by spineless and wavering elected officials. Walker has begun to defund the Left. Through its two largest financial sources, the Left has for decades used government funds to promote liberal Democrats at the expense of the taxpayers. Both trial lawyers and unions that feed off government funds continually influence legislation and budgets to perpetuate their income stream and power. Democrats happily hand taxpayer resources over to these favored constituents, who then use the money to keep their favored children in office.
Through his experience as County Executive for Milwaukee County (the second largest government in Wisconsin), Scott Walker knew how the game was played. He knew that if he was going to straighten out the state budget without penalizing the working people of Wisconsin, he would have to take on the unions. Incidentally, don’t feel too sorry for the Wisconsin public employee union members. Their average salary after reform is $81,000 along with benefits. Private sector employees get $67,000 for the same job, which means there is still work to do.
About a year ago, a friend of mine asked me when will the people of America wake up to the crisis in pay, pensions, and health care benefits for our public employees. I told him that it was coming, little by little. With the leadership of Scott Walker, we’ve now have taken a giant step. With the 2-1 votes in San Jose and San Diego to restructure public employee pensions even deranged Californians have caught on to the pending disaster. There are many, many battles ahead. Winning this war will require hand-to-hand combat in cities, counties, and states throughout the country, but we have no choice because the future of America is at stake.
Scott Walker has given us inspiration, and a huge leap forward. That is why he is an American hero.

Jackass with blinders

OBAMA BLINDERS, OBAMA'S BLINDERS ^ | June 11, 2012 | Political Calculations

Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012 8:41:06 AM by Kaslin

Now that we've looked at the last decade's worth of data for both Greece and Spain, two nations whose deteriorating debt situations could well blow apart the European Union, we thought we'd turn our attention across the Atlantic Ocean and look at what has happened to both government spending and tax collections per capita with respect to GDP per capita in the United States in the years from 2000 through 2011. Our results are presented in the chart below:

There's a lot going on in the chart, so let's start at the beginning. In the year 2000, the U.S. government ran a budget surplus, as the nation benefitted from outsize tax collections resulting from the peaking of the Dot Com stock market bubble, which reached its maximum inflation in August of that year. United States Government Spending and Tax Revenue per Capita vs GDP per Capita, 2000-2011
That situation reversed after the bubble burst in the following month and entered its deflation phase as the U.S. economy entered into recession. The deflation phase of the Dot Com Bubble would last until June 2003.
Without the stock market bubble to sustain them, the U.S. government's tax collections fell during this period of time, even as the U.S. government's spending increased at a steady rate. The result of this situation was to swing the government from running annual budget surpluses to running annual budget deficits instead, as the federal government's revenues from its taxes on investor capital gains plummeted.
With the end of the Dot Com Bubble's deflation phase in 2003, the U.S. economy began to grow again and the U.S. government's tax collections began to rise. This increase in tax collections occurred despite the implementation of large tax cuts in 2003.
Under those tax cuts, the U.S. government effectively taxes its economy at a tax rate of 28.1%, which we've shown with the tax revenue trendline shown in the chart for the years of 2003 through 2008. In addition, the federal government would appear to provide the nation's economy the equivalent of a $4,661 per capita tax credit.
In 2008, the U.S. economy entered into a deep recession that bottomed in 2009, which we can observe in the chart with the decline in the nation's GDP per Capita coinciding with that year. During the time since, which corresponds with President Obama's entire presidency, we see that the federal government's spending has skyrocketed while its tax collections have fallen far below where they were for the same level of GDP per Capita in the years from 2003 through 2008, opening up a wide gap between the two.
That's significant because both observed changes are directly due to policies implemented by President Obama during his term in office. In addition to significantly boosting the federal government's spending, the President has also implemented tax cuts that have contributed to the widening of the gap between the federal government's spending per capita and tax collections per capita - putting the nation onto an unsustainable fiscal path.
But you don't have to take our word for it. Here is what President Obama's re-election campaign has to say of their achievement in reducing the federal government's tax collections (or at least, what they said on their web site as recently as 2 June 2012):
President Obama has cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses. One of the first things he did in office was cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. He has also signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses and extended the payroll tax cut for all American workers and their families, putting an extra $1,000 in the typical middle-class family’s pocket.
Since the income tax rates established in the U.S. in 2003 are still in effect, we can assume that the federal government is still capable of collecting the same 28.1% of GDP in taxes, less $4,661 per capita, that it did in each year from 2003 through 2008. However, the federal government is taking in approximately $1,339 per capita less now than it did under the nation's effective rate of taxation of its GDP that applied before President Obama's time in office, as the federal government has boosted its effective "tax credit" to the U.S. economy of $6,000 per capita.
Put more simply, the only reason the federal government is not collecting an amount of taxes equal to what it would have for the same GDP per Capita in the years from 2003 to 2008 are the tax policies specifically implemented by the Obama administration.
We find then that President Obama's claim of putting an extra $1,000 in the typical middle-class family's pocket is both a bit understated and also ignores the true cost of the impact of his policies upon the nation's fiscal situation. By shifting the burden of taxation away from where the most income is to be found in the United States in favor of forcing a much smaller number of GDP generators to bear an increasingly disproportionate share of the tax burden in the U.S., President Obama has seriously degraded the fiscal health of the United States government during his time in office, far beyond the impact of just his spending increases alone.


Issa exposes "Green Jobs" Scam ^ | June 11, 2012 | Bob Beauprez

Kermit the Frog established his legacy convincing millions of impressionable youth that "it's not easy being green." Unfortunately for the once famous frog, the Obama Administration has made poor Kermit look like a liar and burst the generational myth – apparently, it is a whole lot easier to be green than Kermit would have had us all believe.

In a June 6 hearing to delve into exactly how the Administration comes up with all those green jobs they claim to have saved-or-created, Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee probed the essential question, "Just what qualifies and gets counted as a green job?"
The exchange occurred between Issa, Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner Josh Galvin and Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Jane Oates at the “Addressing Concerns about the Integrity of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Jobs Reporting” hearing Wednesday in Washington:

If perception is reality, Obama campaign needs a reality check!

Digital Journal ^ | June 10, 2012 | John David Powell

The idea that perception is reality is something I tried to teach my children when they were, well, children. If you look like you’re doing something wrong, people are going to think you’re doing something wrong. It’s a simple concept they picked up all too well, which made them pretty good at looking like they were doing something right when they were doing something wrong.
Teenagers can figure out this concept pretty quickly; whether they put it into action is another matter. That can be said for managers of organizations, institutions, and businesses. They fully understand the direct relationship between perception and reality, but many times they just blow it off out of carelessness or the teenage-belief that they can get away with anything.
The U.S. military came up with the term “perception management” to describe in two words the techniques used to persuade foreign leaders to get behind Uncle Sam. Public relations firms peddle their expertise in perception management in much the same way (except for bombs and bullets) by finding the perception gap for businesses, which is the difference between how the business perceives itself and how its stakeholders perceive it. Whether a stakeholder’s perception is either good or bad depends on the stakeholder’s experience with the business or organization.
And in politics, perception management is paramount to success. Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “Daisy” commercial made Barry Goldwater look like he would take the world into nuclear war if elected president. The idea that George H.W. Bush was “amazed” by a check-out scanner, an event that did not happen, gave the perception that he was out of touch with Americans who work hard every day and go to the grocery store every week, which contributed to his re-election defeat.
Well, it seems the Obama re-election campaign needs a big ol’ heaping helping of political perception management.
The campaign began sputtering when the president’s re-election surrogates started doing the one thing you cannot do in Washington politics: speak the truth. First came Democratic rising star and Newark mayor Cory Booker who was supposed to hang Bain Capital like a political albatross around the neck of Mitt Romney. Instead, Booker went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and declared attacks on Bain were “nauseating” to him. “If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record . . . they’ve done a lot to support business, to grow business.”
Well, that set a lot of hair on fire in the White House and throughout the Democratic Party. And Booker’s subsequent attempts to clarify his remarks only dug his political grave a little deeper.
Next, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick went on another NBC program, this time “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and declared Bain “a perfectly fine company” that has been “distorted in some of the public discussion.”
Finally, former president Bill Clinton became the campaign’s Bain Capital bane when he told CNN that Bain did “good work” and described Romney as having a “sterling” career.
Then there’s that whole perception campaign that rich-guy Romney is out of touch with middle America. Not a bad strategy, but one that requires Obama to look like he feels the pain of the 99 percent. But you don’t do that by having the Prada Devil herself, “Vogue” editor Anna Wintour, cutting a spot inviting people to enter a lottery to win a seat at a big-deal Big Apple $40,000-a-plate dinner with herself and actress Sarah Jessica Parker, along with FLOTUS and POTUS.
You can almost hear the lucky winner singing “I got a golden ticket” with Wintour in the background saying “let them eat Wonka Bars.”
And then, in an effort to look hip, the Obama campaign tapped rocker Jon Bon Jovi to headline a different New York City campaign event for about 500 supporters, and flew him in aboard Air Force One, with the campaign picking up the tab.
But Bon Jovi may not have been the best act to give the perception that Obama can rock and roll even with a rocky economy rolling toward the cliff.
The trouble with Bon Jovi is that his songbook is not noted for hope and change. Take “Lost Highway” with all of its meaning about starting fresh somewhere else (“I don't know where I'm going, but I know where I've been/And I'm afraid of going back again”).
Instead, Bon Jovi sang “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles, giving the perception that even a successful American rocker has to turn to foreigners to bail out the show.
If perception is reality, then the Obama campaign needs a reality check.
John David Powell writes his Lone Star Award winning columns from ShadeyHill Ranch in Texas. His email is

40 percent of the U.S. workforce to retire over the next five years!

Atlantic Journal Constitution Blog ^ | 6/8/2012 | Ed Rust Jr. CEO State Farm

We need you in America’s workforce. Some of our aging baby boomers may be delaying their retirement because of current economic conditions, but eventually they’ll step away. In fact, we expect 40 percent of the U.S. workforce to retire over the next five years. What kind of workers will replace them? Where will the U.S. stand in the global economy if we don’t have skilled and knowledgeable people to take their place?

Obama's second-term agenda (as if he will win)!

Politico44 ^ | 6/11/12 | BYRON TAU

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza looks at what President Obama and his advisors hope to accomplish in a second-term:

Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda, which, at least in broad ways, his campaign is beginning to highlight. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change, one of the few issues that he thinks could fundamentally improve the world decades from now. He also is concerned with containing nuclear proliferation. In April, 2009, in one of the most notable speeches of his Presidency, he said, in Prague, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He conceded that the goal might not be achieved in his lifetime but promised to take “concrete steps,” including a new treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

In 2010, Obama negotiated a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians and won its passage in the Senate. But, despite his promise to “immediately and aggressively” ratify the C.N.T.B.T., he never submitted it for ratification. As James Mann writes in “The Obamians,” his forthcoming book on Obama’s foreign policy, “The Obama administration crouched, unwilling to risk controversy and a Senate fight for a cause that the President, in his Prague speech, had endorsed and had promised to push quickly and vigorously.” As with climate change, Obama’s early rhetoric and idealism met the reality of Washington politics and his reluctance to confront Congress.
Obama’s advisers say it is more likely that the President would champion an issue with greater bipartisan support, such as immigration reform.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Liberal Paul Krugman: Economy under Obama in a Depression!

Washington Examiner ^ | 6/11/12 | Charlie Spiering

Economist Paul Krugman had bad news for liberals Netroots Nation on Saturday. During his keynote speech the New York Times columnist admitted that the United States economy was suffering a depression. "We don't have a formal definition, I'd say that a Depression is when things are down, when things are terrible for an extended period of time," Krugman said, reminding them that were even "official" periods of recovery during the Great Depression. "So it is again today," he said. "It's not as bad as the Great Depression - there's a winning slogan," he added cynically.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

State results dim Dems' hopes for House takeover

San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 6/11/12 | Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

California voters threw a wrench Tuesday into fellow Californian Nancy Pelosi's plans.

The former House speaker from San Francisco, once third in line for the presidency and architect of the key legislation of President Obama's first term, is making a longshot bid to regain House control this year.

The minority leader was counting on California, home to an increasing number of Democratic Party voters and where new legislative district maps forced four veteran GOP lawmakers into retirement, to deliver half a dozen of the net gain of 25 seats she needs.

After the results of last week's primary election in the state, Democrats now hope to pick up four or five seats, said Jennifer Crider, deputy executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Republicans think the state will end up delivering next to nothing for Democrats.
"I think it comes out to virtually a wash in California," said Brock McCleary, deputy political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which oversees House races.

Major disappointment

By any measure, the new "top two" primary, low voter turnout and redrawn districts produced disappointment for Democrats on Tuesday.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Nation's Top 'Progressives' - and Socialists and Communists ["progressive" = communist] ^ | June 8, 2012 | Paul Kengor

The left-leaning magazine The Nation has published a list of what it deems America’s all-time, most influential progressives. The list, which you can review for yourself, is very revealing.
For starters, it’s fascinating that The Nation leads with Eugene Debs at number 1. Debs was a socialist. It was 100 years ago this year, in 1912, that Debs ran for president on the Socialist Party ticket.
Today’s progressives get annoyed if you call them socialists. Well, why is a pure socialist the no. 1 “progressive” on The Nation 's list?
Of course, progressives really get annoyed if you suggest they bear any sympathies to communism. That being the case, two other “progressives” on The Nation ’s list are quite intriguing: Paul Robeson and I. F. Stone.
Paul Robeson was a proud recipient of the “Stalin Prize.” Even the New York Times concedes Robeson was “an outspoken admirer of the Soviet Union.” When Robeson in 1934 returned from his initial pilgrimage to the Motherland, the Daily Worker thrust a microphone in his face. The Daily Worker rushed its interview into print, running it in the January 15, 1935 issue under the headline, “‘I Am at Home,’ Says Robeson At Reception in Soviet Union.”
The Bolsheviks, explained Robeson, were new men. He was bowled over by the “feeling of safety and abundance and freedom” he found “wherever I turn.” He discovered sheer equality under Joseph Stalin.
When asked about Stalin’s purges, Robeson retorted: “From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!”
Yes, Robeson was deadly serious.
Robeson told the Daily Worker that he felt a “kinship” with the USSR. So much so that he moved his family there.
He also joined Communist Party USA. In May 1998, the centennial of Robeson’s birth, longtime CPUSA head Gus Hall hailed Robeson as a man of communist “conviction,” who “never forgot he was a communist.”
None of this is mentioned in The Nation ’s profile, which blasts anyone who dared consider Robeson a communist. Instead, The Nation insists that Comrade Paul was a “progressive.”
And that brings me to I. F. Stone.
Stone is listed at number 26 on The Nation’s list. Stone has been hailed by liberals for decades as the literal “conscience” of journalism—a hero of impeccable honesty. In fact, we now know that Stone, at one time, was a paid Soviet agent.
In their latest Yale University Press work, historians John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev conclude that Stone (from 1936-39) was a “Soviet spy.” Also closely studying Stone’s case is Herb Romerstein. In The Venona Secrets , Romerstein likewise concluded that “Stone was indeed a Soviet agent.” One of the stronger confirmations from the Soviet side is retired KGB general Oleg Kalugin, who reported: “He [Stone] was a KGB agent since 1938. His code name was ‘Blin.’ When I resumed relations with him in 1966, it was on Moscow’s instructions. Stone was a devoted communist.”
None of this appears at Stone’s “progressive” profile at The Nation .
And speaking of progressives with communist sympathies, also on The Nation’s list is Margaret Sanger. The Planned Parenthood matron sojourned to Stalin’s Potemkin villages in 1934. “[W]e could well take example from Russia,” Sanger advised Americans upon her return, “where birth control instruction is part of the regular welfare service of the government.”
The Planned Parenthood founder was stunned by the explosion in abortions once legalized by the Bolsheviks. No fear, though. Sanger offered this confident prediction: “All the [Bolshevik] officials with whom I discussed the matter stated that as soon as the economic and social plans of Soviet Russia are realized, neither abortions nor contraception will be necessary or desired. A functioning Communistic society will assure the happiness of every child, and will assume the full responsibility for its welfare and education.”
This was pure progressive utopianism, an absolute faith in central planners.
Overall, the socialists, communists, and Soviet sympathizers on The Nation’s list are dizzying: Upton Sinclair, Henry Wallace, W. E. B. DuBois, Norman Thomas, Lincoln Steffens, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, and John Dewey—founding father of American public education.
Thus, I’m compelled to ask: Is this “progressivism?” Is progressivism synonymous with liberalism, or is it much further to left, closer to communism?
I plead with progressives: This is your ideology … Could you better define it, if that’s possible? Or is the definition of progressivism always progressing? Actually, it is always progressing; that’s precisely the problem with this train-wreck of an ever-elusive ideology. The Nation’s list of leading American “progressives” is truly a teachable moment.

Obama's Horrible Record...worst president EVER!

Bureau of Labor Statistics | Official Data Sources

These data are right out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Office of Management and Budget, Standard and Poor’s Labor Statistics, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and the US Census, among others.

Can we survive 4 more years of this big government socialist who never ran anything in his life as an executive, not even a hot dog stand, until anointed to the highest office in land?

Obama donors get deal; depositors get ‘stiffed again’ - FDIC eases settlement for bankers!

Washington Times ^ | 6/10/12 | Chuck Neubauer

A billionaire Chicago family that has donated and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for President Obama got a deal from the federal government to avoid paying all of a $460 million settlement it agreed to in the 2001 failure of a Chicago-area bank it owned, while 1,400 former depositors are still owed more than $10 million in lost savings.

And now, 11 years later, the prospect that any of the depositors will get their money back is bleak.
The Pritzker family, which made its fortune in hotels and manufacturing, agreed to a $460 million settlement offer in December 2001 to avoid sanctions and civil lawsuits in the failure of Superior Bank in Hinsdale, Ill.

But after paying $316 million of the interest-free debt, the family quietly struck a deal with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) in June 2011 to discount the balance in return for paying off the debt early.

“We have been stiffed again,” said Fran Sweet, 67, a depositor still owed $70,000. “It is a lot to lose. We are not wealthy people. We are white-collar and blue-collar workers who saved this money, [or] thought we saved this money.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Wires turn salt water into freshwater

Wires turn salt water into freshwater

June 8, 2012 by Lisa Zyga feature
Wires turn salt water into freshwater Enlarge
(a) Seven pairs of graphite rods/wires are dipped into brackish water. (b) An electrical voltage difference is applied between the anode and cathode wires via copper strips, causing the electrodes to adsorb salt ions. (c) Scanning electron microscopy image of the membrane-electrode assembly. Image credit: S. Porada, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society
( -- As a rising global population and increasing standard of living drive demand for freshwater, many researchers are developing new techniques to desalinate salt water. Among them is a team of scientists from The Netherlands, who have shown how to transform brackish (moderately salty) water into potable freshwater using just a pair of wires and a small voltage that can be generated by a small solar cell. The simple technique has the potential to be more energy-efficient than other techniques because of the minimal amount of mixing between the treated and untreated water.
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The researchers, led by Maarten Biesheuvel from Wageningen University in Wageningen, The Netherlands, and Wetsus, Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, have published their study on with wires in a recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
As the researchers explain in their study, there are two main ways to desalinate salt water. One way is to remove pure from the salt water, as done in distillation and reverse osmosis, particularly for water with a high . The opposite approach is to remove the from the salt water to obtain freshwater, which is done in deionization and desalination techniques using, among other things, batteries and .
Here, the scientists used the second approach, in which they removed positively charged and negatively charged from brackish water to produce freshwater. To do this, they designed a device consisting of two thin graphite rods or wires, which are inexpensive and highly conductive. Then they coated the outer surface of the wires with a porous carbon electrode layer so that one wire could act as a cathode and one as an anode. The wires were clamped a small distance apart in a plastic holder, with each wire squeezed against a copper strip.
To activate the electrodes, the researchers dipped seven sets of wire pairs into a container of brackish water and ran electrical wires from the copper strips to an external power source. Upon applying a small voltage difference (1-2 volts) between the two graphite wires of each wire pair, one wire became the cathode and adsorbed the positively charged sodium cations, while the other wire became the anode and adsorbed the negatively charged chlorine anions from the salty water.

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Wires turn salt water into freshwater

(a) Multiple pairs of porous electrode wires adsorb salt ions under an applied voltage. (b) A porous electrode temporarily stores ions as the device is carried to the brine container. (c) After short-circuiting the cells, salt is released in the brine container, and the wires are transferred back to the freshwater container. Image credit: S. Porada, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society
The ions are temporarily stored inside the nanopores of the carbon electrode coating until the wire pair is manually lifted from the once-treated solution and dipped into another container of waste water, or brine. Then the researchers removed the voltage, which caused the electrodes to release the stored ions into the waste water, increasing its salinity. By repeating this cycle eight times, the researchers measured that the salt concentration of the original brackish water, 20 mM (millimolars), is reduced to about 7 mM. Potable water is considered to have a salinity of less than roughly 15 mM. As Biesheuvel explained, this improvement could be useful for applications involving the treatment of moderately .
“The new technique is not so suitable for extremely salty waters, as it is based on removing the salt, and making the remaining water less salty,” Biesheuvel told, explaining that distillation and reverse osmosis are still superior for desalinating seawater (500 mM salinity and higher). “The new technique is more suitable, for example, for groundwater, or for water for consumer applications that needs to be treated to remove so-called ‘hardness ions’ and make it less saline. These water streams are less saline to start with, say 100 mM or 30 mM. Or this new approach can be of use to treat water in industry to remove ions (salts) that slowly accumulate in the process. In this way there is no need anymore to take in freshwater and/or to dump used water (at high financial penalty).”
One of the biggest advantages of the technique is that it avoids inadvertently mixing the brine with the water being treated during the process, which limits the efficiency of other deionization techniques. By using a handheld wire-based device and producing freshwater in a continuous stream, the researchers could split the two types of water in separate containers to avoid mixing. Only a minimal amount of brine, about 0.26 mL per electrode, is transferred between containers, which does limit the degree of desalination but to a lesser extent than other techniques. Another advantage of the new technique is that it has the potential to be less expensive than other desalination methods.
“This technique can be made very inexpensive, just carbon rods or wires to conduct the electrons, onto which you can simply ‘paint’ the activated carbon slurry, which becomes the porous carbon electrode,” Biesheuvel said. “Because of its simplicity and low cost, it might out-compete state-of-the-art technologies for certain applications, and may also have advantages over the technology called capacitive deionization (CDI or cap-DI), which is beyond the development stage and commercially available. Also, the voltage required is low, just 1.2 V for instance, and DC, perfectly compatible with solar panels. Thus it can be used at off-grid or remote locations.”
In addition, Biesheuvel explained that the wire pairs can be used repeatedly without degradation, which could give the device a long lifetime.
“In capacitive techniques where the porous carbon electrodes are used to capture ions and release them again (in the so-called ‘electrical double layers,’ or EDLs, formed in the very small pores inside the carbon), it is well-known that the cycle can be used for thousands or tens of thousands of times (until the experimenter gets tired) without any appreciable decay,” he said. “For the wires we only went up to six times repeat and found, as expected, no changes. This is in contrast to battery-style techniques, either for energy storage or desalination, where one would expect to lose performance (like rechargeable batteries, which can only be charged, say, 100 times successfully). That is because in those techniques there is real chemistry going on, phase changes, change of the micromorphology of the anode/cathode materials. Here, in the wire desalination technology, nothing of that kind, the EDL is a purely physical phenomenon where ions are stored close to the charged carbon in the nanopores under the action of the applied voltage, and later released again.”
The researchers also found that the efficiency could be improved by adding a second membrane coating to the electrodes. For instance, a cationic membrane on the cathode wire has a high selectivity toward sodium cations while blocking the desorption of chlorine anions from within the electrode region. As a result, cationic (and, on the anode wire, anionic) membranes could enable the electrodes to adsorb and remove more ions than before.
In the future, the researchers plan to perform additional experiments using the cationic and anionic membranes. They predict that these improvements could increase the desalination factor from 3 to 4 after eight cycles, with 80% of the water being recovered (i.e., 20% of the original water becomes brine). The researchers also want to use the technique to treat large volumes of water, which they say could be done by using many wire pairs in parallel to accelerate the desalination process.
“This research continues by scaling up the technology (testing larger arrays of wires), packing them more closely, and trying our hand on automation to have the rods lifted automatically from one water stream into another,” Biesheuvel said. “We also want to test ‘real’ ground/surface waters, not only artificial simple salt mixtures as tested now.”
More information: S. Porada, et al. “Water Desalination with Wires.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. DOI: 10.1021/jz3005514
Copyright 2012
All rights reserved. 

Bill Clinton in a china shop!

The Wichita Eagle ^ | June 11, 2012 | John Dickerson, Slate’s chief political correspondent.

Bill Clinton is the great Saint Bernard of politics, bounding around the political landscape, rescuing and providing aid while simultaneously knocking over the table lamp.

Last week he hosted the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting, taking a serious look at America’s economic problems. He is also in the thick of the 2012 campaign, raising money for President Obama. The trouble is no one is better at articulating the case for Obama’s re-election – while at the same time occasionally undercutting Obama’s chances.

Recently he has been on the wrong end of at least three different statements he has had to clarify – defending Bain Capital, testifying to Mitt Romney’s “sterling” business career, suggesting the country was still in a recession, and suggesting he favored extending the Bush-era tax cuts. Clinton is doing such good work for Romney that he now appears in the Republican nominee’s press releases. Even Sarah Palin praised Clinton in an effort to make Obama look way out of the mainstream.

What is up with Clinton? Everyone has a theory, which is part of the problem with Clinton. He compels theories from people about his hidden machinations, even when there aren’t any.

So let’s consider a series of theories based on a round of conversations with Clinton watchers, former staffers and allies:

• A storyteller in a Twitter world. Clinton is at his best when he is telling a tale or reasoning something out with you. “I could give a pretty good one,” he once said to an Ames, Iowa, audience about loping political speeches, “’cause I came out of a tradition of storytellers where we listened and learned how to tell stories.” That doesn’t really fit in the 140-character world of Twitter. The news cycle has sped up even faster since he was president. So have the phony outrage and games of gotcha. His talent for framing what the election is about is less valued and gets less play than the moments when he is off message.
He’s actually not off message. If you look at Clinton’s so-called gaffes, they’re not off message in any reasonable sense. When he said that Romney had a “sterling” business career, it was right up against a sentence that said he would not be a good president.
When he said the Bush-era tax cuts should be “extended,” he was talking about a temporary extension to work out a deal with Republicans. Twice in the interview he said he did not support a permanent extension. The comment about the recession was simply an act of misspeaking.
He has forgotten how to talk like a politician (because he doesn’t have to). Clinton speaks in paragraphs. He spends a lot of his time in long conversations with interesting people talking about global issues. That can deaden your political communications skills that – when sharp – allow you say nothing interesting about even the smallest issues. In order to navigate a world in which your every word is spliced, you must say nothing that can be taken out of context, which is to say, very little at all.
The former leader of the free world isn’t going to simply read talking points cooked up by the Obama campaign in Chicago, anyway. One strong dissenting voice among my interviews argued that while Clinton did have trouble adapting to the new world during the 2008 campaign, he’s long since adapted.
• He thinks he is the smartest one in the room. Clinton thinks that the Bain attacks on Romney are inefficient and not smart. They also risk hurting major Democratic Party donors. In a CNN interview, he also clearly was sending a bigger message about how he thinks this election should be fought: on ideas about the future. That was a memo to the Obama team. It may have been an act of ego, but it was an act of ego to help Obama. This contradicts the theory of those who think that Clinton has been trying to undermine Obama for one reason or another.
• Occam’s bushy beard. Occam’s razor says that the simplest answer is usually the right one. But in the political world, people often believe the opposite is true. Practitioners and pundits (at the dinner table and in the green room) often search for the most baroque explanations to explain utterly common things. In medicine, this is known as Hickam’s dictum. So when Clinton is simply running his mouth, it is interpreted to be subtle positioning to set up his wife’s presidential run, or an attempt to undermine Obama’s legacy so that Obama won’t get elected to a second term and diminish the record of the last two-term Democratic president.
• He loves politics. As Taylor Branch wrote in “The Clinton Tapes,” he “never begrudged survival and ambition in politicians, whether friend or foe. Indeed, he reveled in calculations from opposing points of view.” For someone who loves politics this much, Clinton doesn’t mind playing a few angles, for whatever purpose, so it’s understandable to think every deviation he makes must be a clever stratagem. But when he’s making a tactical move, says one who knows him, it’s a little more obvious. He works his way to his point in a methodical way. That’s not what people have seen in his supposed gaffes.
• He is angling for his wife. Clinton was his wife’s chief surrogate in 2008. He says the decision is up to her, but everyone assumes that he really wants her to make another run for president. So could he be sabotaging Obama to help his wife? That would require enough subtlety not to get caught, but would still need to be bracing enough to do Obama some damage. Even Clinton can’t pull that off. But it’s true, say those who know him, that Clinton is loyal to those who have helped him and his wife. That would explain his defense of Bain, and it also would explain his warm comments about Donald Trump.
No single theory explains Clinton. He contains multitudes. Which portion of which theory makes up the complete picture requires you to come up with your own alchemy. As for the Obama campaign, which must handle these little eruptions now and again, the best thing to do is to prepare for the occasional breakage of a family heirloom, because they’re never really going to be able to control the Saint Bernard.


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Democrat Sign Lanuage

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Stay Afterward!

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Obama-Clinton Joke

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Tax and the City

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White House Humor

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I can see!

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Fight for your Right!

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Free Market

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Man of the People?

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What LIARS end up with!

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Unions: Go Home

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On Wisconsin!

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The Union Bug

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Real Per Capita

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More BHO BS!

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Not enough water?

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Liberalism is Terminally Ill

Canada Free Press ^ | June 10, 2012 | Matt Barber

It’s been a pitiful sight – a sad week for progressives and “Big Union” Democrat-shilling thugs. In the wake of Tuesday night’s devastating recall smackdown in Wisconsin, tens of thousands of “Occupy” hippies across the nation have simply been too depressed to get stoned and not look for work.
On Wednesday the White House released President Obama’s detailed itinerary through October:


Indeed, the president has much to worry about. No honest politico can deny that liberals’ Wisconsin debacle likely represents a shadow of things to come – a precursor to November.
Recall DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s admission on CNN. In a rare moment of candor, she said Wisconsin was a “dry run” – a “test run” for the 2012 election. (A bit like the Titanic’s test run, as it turns out.)
Tuesday night Sarah Palin took to Fox News where she said that Scott Walker’s humiliating defeat of Tom Barrett, the DNC and heretofore-excessively-coddled-labor-union-leaders spells big trouble for little Barry. “Obama’s goose is cooked,” she said. “It’s the union leaders who need to be recalled.”(continued)

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Bringing Africa back to life: The legacy of George W. Bush

Dallas Morning News ^ | 6/8/2012 | JIM LANDERS

On a beautiful Saturday morning, Delfi Nyankombe stood among her bracelets and necklaces at a churchyard bazaar and pondered a question: What do you think of George W. Bush?

“George Bush is a great man,” she answered. “He tried to help poor countries like Zambia when we were really hurting from AIDS. He empowered us, especially women, when the number of people dying was frightening. Now we are able to live.”

Nyankombe, 38, is a mother of three girls. She also admires the former president because of his current campaign to corral cervical cancer. Few are screened for the disease, and it now kills more Zambian women than any other cancer.

“By the time a woman knows, she may need radiation or chemotherapy that can have awful side effects, like fistula,” she said. “This is a big problem in Zambia, and he’s still helping us.”

The debate over a president’s legacy lasts many years longer than his term of office. At home, there’s still no consensus about the 2001-09 record of George W. Bush, with its wars and economic turmoil.

In Africa, he’s a hero.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

As November election nears, splits in Democratic coalition resurface

The Hill ^ | 6/11/12 | Niall Stanage

Divisions in the Democratic coalition have burst into view, endangering both President Obama and his party colleagues in Congress as November’s election nears.

Fissures have opened over everything from tax policy and former President Bill Clinton’s off-message comments to recriminations following the party’s fiasco in the Wisconsin recall, which some say should have been avoided.

Democrats disagree over the wisdom of Obama’s attacks on Republican Mitt Romney’s private equity background at Bain Capital and are split over the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s vast oil sands.

The divides are opening just as Republicans appear more unified, which underlines the danger for Democrats and highlights an abrupt reversal in the two major parties’ fortunes.

Just a few months ago, Republicans were absorbed in a bitter primary battle, and mutual attacks among GOP hopefuls filled the airwaves.

But last week’s news that Romney and the Republicans had outperformed Obama and the Democrats in May fundraising suggested the party of the right was coalescing, as did news of weekly strategy calls between Romney’s campaign and GOP leadership.

Wisconsin, where GOP Gov. Scott Walker trounced a recall effort last week, exposed tensions between Washington Democrats, including the president, and the labor movement.

Many in Washington thought the recall was a bad idea from the start, something reflected in Obama’s reluctance to get involved at any level beyond his Twitter feed.

The lack of effort added to disillusionment among union activists already unhappy with the low priority the White House had accorded to issues such as “card check” that they hold dear.

After the result, liberals formed a circular firing squad. Speaking to The Hill last week, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and soon-to-retire Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) complained the entire effort to heave Walker out of office had been a miscalculation.

Rendell called the push “a dumb political fight.” Frank asserted “people on the Democratic side made a big mistake ... My side picked a fight they shouldn’t have picked.”

The Democratic fissures reach into policy matters as well as political strategy.

Clinton’s TV comments suggesting he was in favor of temporarily extending the Bush tax rates for everyone were very different from the White House position — that people earning more than $250,000 per year should start paying higher taxes on Jan. 1.

Some high-profile Democrats on Capitol Hill seem to sing from the Clinton songbook, rather than echoing the White House on tax rates.

Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) last week indicated that they were undecided about extending the Bush rates for everyone. Tellingly, both senators are facing reelection challenges this year.

Other Democrats would prefer a strategy that pushes instead for higher rates only on people earning more than $1 million annually. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took that position in a letter to GOP leaders, although her spokesman denied this should be seen as a gentle prod to the White House. Senate Democratic messaging guru Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) also favors the $1 million threshold.

Clinton’s break with the White House on taxes was only his latest difference with Obama.

The former president had already vexed aides to Obama by referring to Mitt Romney’s “sterling” business record during a period when the president’s reelection team was attacking Romney as an uncaring venture capitalist.

Clinton’s narrow defense of Romney also played into an ongoing controversy about the Obama reelection team’s aggressive approach. Prior to Clinton’s intervention, Newark mayor Cory Booker had caused the biggest ripple. But others, including Rendell, had also expressed unease.

In the process of leveling those criticisms, however, the three men also reopened old fault lines with more strident liberals who have long been critical of the coziness of centrist Democrats with Wall Street.

Obama also faces a split on the Keystone XL pipeline. Back in April, 69 House Democrats defied a threat of a White House veto to back a transportation bill that would have advanced the controversial pipeline project. Republicans plan to continue pressing the issue on Capitol Hill and the campaign trail, in part to further expose the Democratic rift.

Still, if Obama’s partnership with Democrats in Congress may be tense, neither side is close to filing for divorce just yet. Many Democrats insist the tax cuts issue will ultimately play to their advantage, helping tar Republicans as in thrall to the demands of multimillionaires.

More broadly, Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said his members remained enthusiastic backers of the president.

“This caucus is solidly behind President Obama, and as goes the president, will go this caucus. We’re inextricably linked to his success, and that’s why we’re fighting so hard for his agenda to be brought to the floor,” Larson told The Hill on Friday.

Obama loyalists insist the Wisconsin vote was not reflective of the likely outcome of the presidential election in the Badger State. They may be right: Polls continue to show Obama with a healthy lead over Romney there, and exit polls last week indicated a significant number of voters who had backed Walker also declared a preference for Obama in the presidential match-up.

Outside observers also suggest that reports of the demise of the union movement as a political force in the wake of the Wisconsin vote may be exaggerated.

“What I expect to see is a weaker union movement that is less popular, but that doesn’t mean that public employee unions aren’t going to continue to be major players in electoral politics for the foreseeable future,” said Taylor Dark, a political science professor at California State University, Los Angeles, who is an expert on labor unions. “They will continue to have a lot of money and numbers.”

At the level of presidential politics, however, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) had insisted prior to the vote that the contest would serve as a “dry run” for the Obama campaign in Wisconsin.

Once the results came in, her counterpart at the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, gleefully insisted that the battle had indeed been “a great dry run.” To his mind, the recall results had proven “Republicans have the infrastructure and enthusiasm that will help us defeat President Obama in Wisconsin.”

Maybe unity, too, will be a stronger factor for the GOP than most people predicted just a few months back. Romney’s ability to out-fundraise Obama last month could be a sign of his party’s new togetherness.

“For Romney to do better [than Obama] induces more money people to contribute,” veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins told The Hill.

“To me, it shows how much Republicans want to win: after all the primary stuff, Romney is their guy and they’re going to get behind him.”

Obama's plan to help the private sector - hire more government workers! ^ | 6-10-2012 | unknown

President Obama's top campaign strategist, David Axelrod, said Sunday that the country needs to "accelerate" job creation in the private sector -- by hiring more teachers, police and firefighters.

Read more:

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

How hard is it for the RNC to turn this into an ad?

We're supposed to ignore the fact that cities, counties, and states find themselves with much less tax revenue now than they had ten years ago. The Left think no one should lose their job, even if that job is really not necessary and/or even if it takes federal tax money to save it.
During the boom years, government unions were "creating" new job titles like crazy to add to their rolls (more dues payers!) and adding ultra-rich benefits to keep the unionistas happy and on board!
The IRONY in this headline makes the perfect intro for an ad - Obama's plan to help the private sector is --- hire more government workers!

Yesterday, someone on Fox News Sunday said we must stop calling them "public sector employees" and start calling them what they actually are - government union workers. Isn't it time we stop letting liberals set the tone in every argument, determining the terminology that favors their side?!!!

A few come to mind:
"public servants"
"women's choice" (It never represents the choice NOT to have an abortion!)
"contraceptives" - (abortifacients ARE NOT contraceptives!)
"collective bargaining"
"fair share"
"It takes a Villages...." (ugh)

I'm sure you can think of more?
Here is another good link about the abuse of liberal talking points!