Monday, June 25, 2012

Times Out - New York Times Insufferable Survey Analysis


Cowboy Confessional ^ | 6/25/12 | Guy Smith



It is a rare and wonderful day when the New York Times gets something right.
Today is not one of those days.

When it comes to partisan or ideological media (which may be a redundant phrase), the New York Times has no peer (I omit MSNBC which is not a news organization with propagandist tendencies, but a propaganda organization with news tendencies). New York’s news yuck not only dervishly spins news items to the left, but often misses obvious realities and non-subtle facts. The Old Gray Lady lapses into senile dementia more often than articulating lucid thoughts.
In this week of Supreme Court pronouncements, the NYT’s recent survey of public sentiment and exposé of the court exposes some of the Times’ anti-intellectual analysis.
Assuming all the original beads remain on NYT abaci and that their survey tallies hold true, the Times notes a slide in public’s perception of the Supremes – that their approval rating has plummeted from 66% in the late 1980s to a mere 44% today (let’s ignore that this level is a higher approval rating than congress can hope to achieve before the second coming or that Obama can achieve before his non-existent second term). The Times asserts that plunging approval is a reflection of “Americans’ growing distrust in recent years of major institutions in general and the government in particular.”
The NYT’s diagnosis is akin to a doctor prescribing aspirin to treat pain arising from metastasized cancer. Both quacks view the symptom and not the underlying cause. In the 1980s public political awareness was as top-down as Soviet economic planning, and about as accurate. Being part of the now crippled Forth Estate, the Times is unwilling to admit their altered reality, that the media landscape changed with knowledge and perspective expanding beyond their control. Starting with talk radio and followed by the citizens’ media, growth in the distrust of government parallels the shrinkage of the Times’ journalistic tallywhacker. Growing distrust of the Supremes is merely a manifestation of a people who get their data, analysis and perspective from many sources instead of the incestuous news business.
Pluralism is a bitch, isn’t Ms. Abramson?
Digging themselves deeper, the Times then espouses “after the ideologically divided 5-to-4 decisions in Bush v. Gore, which determined the 2000 presidential election.” This equine flogging episode, lingering in the alleged minds of lefties everywhere, nears the pale if not actually leaping it with room to spare. The two core issues in the cited case – equal protection and mandated vote certification dates – were purely mechanical with no ideology involved. For the Times to perceive this decision as partisan shows a lack of basic con law capacity on the part of their “reporters.” Perhaps it is election year fire fanning on their part, but the Times’ statement falls on its own.
Following these two extensive errors, the Times then swerves off the road of knowledge by noting “the public is skeptical about life tenure for the justices.” I have to give them a pass on this one because it is common and wholly false that Supreme Court justices serve for life (though in practical terms it may be true). Perhaps the Times’ research department, which evidentially consists of a librarian and frequently stoned intern, couldn’t remain consciousness long enough to actually read the Constitution’s opening paragraph concerning the courts (Article III for those of you not working for the Times). “The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior.” This passage was a device for removing any judge under rather hazy guidelines, which we use when politically viable (though impeachment them occasionally causes ex-judges to be elected). This clause specifically notes that any of the Supremes can be hoisted out of office using the same system in which lower court judges are occasionally excommunicated.
That these facts elude Times reporters is unremarkable.
Perhaps the largest error the Times makes – the same one that the American political left is making in this election – is focusing on the presidential race. The Tea Party has its sights set on a more interesting game, and one that has longer lasting effects than who is the nation’s CEO. If successful, the Tea Party will reset the political landscape for a good eighteen years or more, constitutionally hobbling future administrations and resurrecting the odd notion that the Supreme Court must enforce the express written will of the American people.
No doubt the New York Times will misreport this after November 6th.

GM Recalls Nearly 500,000 Chevy Cruzes for...Engine Fires!


Breitbart.com ^ | 6-25-12 | Seton Motley



Oops.

Concerns that Chevrolet Cruzes could catch fire have caused General Motors (GM) to recall more than 475,000 of the popular compact sedans, the automaker said Friday...

All (Cruze) cars manufactured from September 2010 to May of this year are subject to the recall.


Already getting Chevy Volt flashbacks? Of course you are.

In January, GM “called back” every single Volt ever sold in the U.S., to fix the (fire problem on the) allegedly already “fixed” battery….
It’s important for a company to create a branding identity--something all its products possess as an underlying, unifying theme.
GM has successfully identified and implemented theirs: combustibility.
And this is not the first Cruze recall.
First, 2,100 Cruzes were recalled when steering wheels started spontaneously falling off.
But that was just the tip of the Titanic.
Government Motors is now forced to recall ALL 154,112 2011 Cruzes - for multiple problems. There was, again, the steering. And an automatic transmission with a phantom Park – it looks like it’s out of gear, but (Surprise!) it’s not.
Not a very “fuel-efficient vehicle” if you can't disengage the transmission.

At once propping up the uber-failed “success” of the Barack Obama Administration’s amped-up auto bailout - and its non-green non-energy crusade.
We have been told by GM that people come in to look at the $41,000 Volt, but leave with the $17,000 Cruze.
"The Volt is leading to a lot of Cruze sales," said Mark Reuss, GM's CEO for North America. Customers are coming in to see the Volt, but “not everyone can buy a Volt,” Reuss said. The Volt has a starting price that’s nearly two and half times greater than the Cruze’s price.
It’s good to know they aren’t missing out on any of the excitement.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Obama government wants more people on food stamps!


CNN ^ | June 25, 2012: | Tami Luhby



More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll.

The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.

The department is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on paid spots, and free public service announcements are also airing. The campaign can be heard in California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and the New York metro area.

"Research has shown that many people -- particularly underserved seniors, working poor, and legal immigrants -- do not understand the requirements of the program," said Kevin Concannon, a USDA under secretary.

The radio ads, which run through June 30, come amid a bitter partisan fight over the safety net program. Republican lawmakers want to reduce funding for the benefit or turn it into a block grant program, which would also minimize the cost. Democrats, however, are not willing to make major cuts

(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...

Obama for America stiffing Durham, NH for… $30,000. Wait, WHAT?


Red State ^ | 6/24/2012 | Moe Lane

The very short version:

President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a campaign speech on Monday, in the town of Durham, NH. This will cost the town an estimated sixteen to thirty thousand dollars in additional overtime for cops and fire officials and whatnot.

The town is taking the position that while they’d be happy to eat the cost for a Presidential visit, a campaign stop by the President is a different story; the town also claims that they’ve asked previous campaigns to foot the bill for overtime/costs. Obama for America has declined to do this, claiming that the Secret Service wants the extra security in place (this is fast becoming OfA’s favorite excuse for bad visuals); the town is now contemplating symbolically dis-inviting the President. If passed, then hi-jinks will then presumably ensue.

No, really, that was the really short version.

Let’s break this down into several parts.

First, the merits… well, how much merit Durham’s claim has depends on how you look at it, and whether the town really has made a distinction between campaign and official stops. It’s also in some ways the most irrelevant part of the problem facing Obama for America right now… and likely to be the one that they myopically fixate upon, bless their hearts. Because the second problem for the Democrats is how this looks. This isn’t 2008. The country doesn’t feel as rich as it did. Particularly since Obama hit Mitt Romney a couple of weeks ago with a campaign ad accusing Mitt Romney of… not wanting to pay for firemen and cops.

Oops.

Anyway, the point here is that a thirty grand overtime bill is not exactly a hill that you’d expect Obama for America to die on; regardless of the relative merits, the optics are sufficiently poor that it’ll probably cost them more than thirty grand’s worth of headaches. It is, in fact, the sort of thing that campaign money is for; making problems go away that might otherwise stomp on the smooth delivery of a campaign’s message. The Obama campaign really should have just smiled tightly, and paid up. Unless… they’re, you know, feeling the pinch these days. To the point where thirty grand looks as much like real money to them as it does to most of the people reading this article.


Supreme Court Allows Immigration Checks


Wall Street Journal ^ | June 25, 2012 | JESS BRAVIN And TAMARA AUDI



The Supreme Court struck down much of Arizona's effort to crack down on illegal immigrants but left one key part intact in a ruling that gave both sides of the debate something to cheer.

In a 5-3 ruling, the court said Arizona in effect had tried to set up a parallel enforcement system that punished illegal immigrants more harshly and interfered with congressional authority over the nation's borders. The court rejected parts of the state law known as SB1070 that made it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work and that authorized warrantless arrests of people suspected by state and local police of committing deportable offenses.

But the court upheld for now the law's directive that state and local police check the immigration status of people they stop when they suspect them of lacking authorization to be in the U.S. The justices observed that federal law already requires immigration officials to respond to status checks from local authorities.
The impact of the ruling was unclear Monday, as immigrants and advocates scrambled for answers from legal analysts and law enforcement. Most opponents of the law reacted with relief at the ruling, but some immigrant advocates said implementation of the law could still pose problems for immigrants.
"There's still going to be a lot of uncertainty until it's clear how police will approach this," said Joe Rubio, lead organizer for Arizona Interfaith Network-Industrial Areas Foundation, a network of community organizing groups. "The state is going to have to monitor this very carefully" to avoid racial profiling, he said.
The court left open the possibility that the surviving provision could be challenged depending on how it is applied. It acknowledged concerns that the provision could lead to abuses, such as prolonged detention of arrestees while their status was being checked.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Eric Holder ‘Fast and Furious’ contempt vote to be held Thursday (Double tap, baby!)


WaComPost ^ | June 25, 2012 | Ed O'Keefe



The House is scheduled to vote on recommendations that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. be held in contempt of Congress on Thursday, according to House Republican aides.

Republican leaders plan to bring the issue to the floor on Thursday, meaning lawmakers likely will vote on contempt charges on the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to announce its ruling on the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care reform law.

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

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says He Will Continue To Enforce State Immigration Laws (video)


Conservative Nation News ^ | June 25, 2012



A true patriot defies the treacherous Obama Regime.

See Video:  http://conservativenationnews.blogspot.com/2012/06/sheriff-joe-arpaio-says-he-will.html

(Excerpt) Read more at conservativenationnews.blogspot.com ...

How Hillary and B. Hussein Helped Soros & Muslim Brotherhood Declare Jihad in Egypt


PolitiJim.com ^ | 6-25-2012 | PolitiJim (@politiJim)



hillary_clinton_and_barack_obama
Here is what the new Egyptian President said this past May:
“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.”
Jihad and Death brought to you by Hillary Clinton and your friends in the State Department. Isn’t Democracy wonderful?
Forget for a moment that Barack and Hillary were first in line to push Mubarak over the cliff or under the bus. (Choose your own Muslim metaphor). Forget for a moment that Obama and Hillary attended Chelsea’s wedding at the estate of George Soros, who was directly tied to money falsely orchestrating the whole “Arab Spring” movement. (More on that below.)
Just fast forward to when Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration (much less the mainstream media) told us that there was “no chance” of the Muslim Brotherhood taking over and that the Arab Spring was like watching live re-enactments at Lexington and Concord?
“The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt,” they told us. No need to worry. Besides, they changed their policy on outlawing Christians or women to be President. Therefore, one of the very first things that happened was OUR US Government, “reaching out” to those wascally wittle wabbits formerly known as “terrorists.” Hillary said:
"It is in the interests of the United States to engage with all parties that are peaceful and committed to nonviolence. We welcome therefore dialogue with those Muslim Brotherhood members who wish to talk with us."

Continued at: This Egyptian Jihad Brought To You By Hillary and B. Hussein Obama
(Excerpt) Read more at politijim.com ...

Obama's Coverup


Flopping Aces ^ | 06-25-12 | DrJohn



There's really no doubt any longer.

As Curt noted, this administration is lying through its teeth about Fast and Furious.
Liberals have all sorts of pathetic commentary for Fast and Furious- it runs from the frenetically dissembling Jay Carney saying it's not worthy of Congress
[VIDEO AT SITE] or HERE
to the feckless Sheila Jackson Lee blaming George Bush while conflating Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious.
[VIDEO AT SITE] or HERE
It's been suggested that Fast and Furious intended to create violence in Mexico as a means of introducing stricter gun laws.

TAPPER: You really think that there’s a possibility that they were sending guns across the border not because they were trying to get people in the Mexican drug cartels, not because they were trying to figure out drug — I mean, gun trafficking, but because they were trying to push gun control? ISSA: Two things quickly. First of all, this was so flawed that you can’t believe they expected to actually get criminal prosecutions as a result of it. So the level of flaw — flaw — flaw, if that’s a word, here is huge.
But here’s the real answer as to gun control. We have e-mail from people involved in this that are talking about using what they’re finding here to support the — basically assault weapons ban or greater reporting.
So chicken or egg? We don’t know which came first; we probably never will. We do know that during this — this Fast and Furious operation, there were e-mails in which they’re saying we can use this as part of additional reporting or things like assault weapons ban. So the people involved saw the benefit of what — what they were gathering. Whether or not that was their original purpose, we probably will never know.
The left has been blathering and distracting from this premise, but there is evidence that it is true.

"Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales."
And there is indirect evidence.

Right on cue, Democratic lawmakers have begun to say the DOJ’s lethal and irresponsible Fast and Furious program underscores the need for stricter gun control laws: “This hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein at a recent Senate Judiciary hearing while discussing Fast and Furious.
“And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”
The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have introduced a dedicated firearms trafficking statute, but it has stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.
Congressman Darrell Issa narrowed the focus of his investigation to specific documents:
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Top secret: $80B a year for food stamps, but feds won’t reveal what’s purchased!


The Washington Times ^ | June 24,2012 | Luke Rosiak



Americans spend $80 billion each year financing food stamps for the poor, but the country has no idea where or how the money is spent.

Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants. And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.

As a result, fraud is hard to track and the efficacy of the massive program is impossible to evaluate.
As the House debates the once-every-five-years farm bill, the majority of which goes to food stamps, there is a renewed and fervent call from a broad spectrum of camps that the information - some of the most high-dollar, frequently requested and closely held secrets of the government - be set free.
The District said it would be illegal to tell the newspaper how many food stamp dollars were flowing to each local vendor, but first offered to sell The Washington Times the information for $125,000.
“Why don’t you just pay the charges? Your paper has a lot of money,” said David Umansky, spokesman for the District’s chief financial officer.
Told that the newspaper would not pay, the CFO’s office then said that only JP Morgan, to which it contracted out operations, had access to the store totals and that the office had never looked at them. After six months of the local government attempting to extract the information from JP Morgan, the District finally said that releasing the information would be illegal.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Homeland Security suspends immigration agreements with Ariz. police


The Washington Times ^ | June 25,2012 | By Stephen Dinan



The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport.
“We will not be issuing detainers on individuals unless they clearly meet our defined priorities,” one official said in a telephone briefing.
The official said that despite the increased number of calls, which presumably means more illegal immigrants being reported, the Homeland Security Department is unlikely to detain a significantly higher number of people and won’t be boosting personnel to handle the new calls.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

One Well-Paying American Industry Can't Find Enough People To Hire (No College degree required)


Business Insider ^ | 06/25/2012 | Sam Ro



The U.S. economy can't function unless goods get from point A to B.

That's why we have air carriers like FedEx, railroaders like CSX, and truckers like J.B. Hunt.
Truckers are a crucial component in this equation because a plane or train can't exactly back into the loading dock of the local grocery store.

Unfortunately, America can't seem to find enough people to fill the cabs of their 18-wheelers.
USA Today's Paul Davidson reports:

A worsening shortage of truck drivers is pushing up freight rates and delaying some deliveries, defying the weak economy, high unemployment and falling gasoline prices.
Davidson identifies a few reasons why we can't seem to higher enough truckers:
* training costs are high and typically lasts weeks
* minimum age is 21 years
* safety ratings are horrible, causing the screening process to be stringent
However, the shortage is causing pay in the industry to rise. According to a consultant in Davidson's story, the average drivers' annual salary has increased 5 percent year-over-year to $50,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

Study: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Spent on Welfare But Poverty Levels Unaffected


CNS ^ | June 25, 2012 | Matt Cover



“The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable … rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government is not making much headway reducing poverty despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a study by the libertarian Cato Institute.
Despite an unprecedented increase in federal anti-poverty spending, the national poverty rate has not declined, the study finds.
“[S]ince President Obama took office [in January 2009], federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year,” the study says.
Federal welfare spending in fiscal year 2011 totaled $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains high at 15.1 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty.
In 1966, the first year after Johnson declared war on poverty, the national poverty rate was 14.7 percent, according to Census Bureau figures. Over time, the poverty rate has fluctuated in a narrow range between 11 and 15 percent, only falling into the 11 percent range for a few years in the late 1970’s.
The federal poverty rate is the percentage of the population below the federal poverty threshold, which varies based on family size.
While the study concedes that some of the increased spending under Obama is a result of the recession and the counter-cyclical nature of anti-poverty programs, it also finds that some of the increase is deliberate, with the government having expanded eligibility for welfare programs.
In fiscal year 2008, anti-poverty spending was $475 billion. In fiscal year 2009, when Obama took office, it had risen to $590 billion.
“But the dramat­ically larger increase also suggests that part of the program’s growth is due to conscious policy choices by this administration to ease eligibility rules and expand caseloads,” the Cato report says. “For example, income limits for eligibility have risen twice as fast as inflation since 2007 and are now roughly 10 percent higher than they were when Obama took office.”
In fact, the study points out that according to the administration’s own projections, federal welfare spending is unlikely to decline even after the economy recovers – further evidence that not all of the increase in spending is recession-related.
“All this spending has not bought an ap­preciable reduction in poverty,” the study says. “[T]he poverty rate has remained relatively constant since 1965, despite rising welfare spending.”
The study counts as a welfare program any federal program that is means-tested and provides some kind of cash or in-kind benefit. Means-tested programs are federal programs that only make benefits available to people at or below a certain income level. In-kind benefits are things like healthcare, housing, or other non-cash benefits that are given in lieu of money.
Included in this expanded definition of welfare spending are traditional welfare programs such as food stamps and cash welfare benefits, as well as in-kind, means tested programs like Medicaid, energy assistance grants for low-income people, and the refundable portions of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The study faults the way poverty programs are designed, saying that the increase in spending and largely unchanged poverty rate showed that the issue is not a matter of money, but a matter of what the programs aim to achieve.
“The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giv­ing poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”
Instead, the study recommends refocusing anti-poverty efforts on keeping people in school, discouraging out-of-wedlock births, and encouraging people to get a job – even if that job is a low-wage one.
“It would make sense therefore to shift our anti-poverty efforts from government programs that simply provide money or goods and services to those who are living in poverty to efforts to create the condi­tions and incentives that will make it eas­ier for people to escape poverty.

MSM: The Unreality Journalists


Townhall.com ^ | June 25, 2012 | Morgan Brittany



Alright, we on the right have been saying for years that the media is in the tank for the left and Democrats. We have been screaming it at the top of our lungs. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly spew monologue after monologue, citing examples over and over.

Bernie Goldberg and Brent Bozell wrote books about it for pete’s sake! (Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News-Goldberg) and (Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media-Bozell). Still, the media kept their eye on the path of liberal bias. At first they were more cautious and discreet in their reporting. Subliminal messages would creep into their commentary or they would completely ignore stories that were favorable to Republicans.

If a Democrat was suspected, charged or guilty of wrongdoing, they would give it a passing glance and try to sweep it under the carpet as insignificant. Always though, they would blame the other side and charge racism or playing politics. There was always that subtle little dig that skewed the story.
Well, that was then. Now, it is right out there in the open. There is no hiding their bias anymore. Media producers are blatantly doctoring tapes and feeding it to salivating anchors who report the stories with glee and laughter. Take for instance, the Andrea Mitchell piece on MSNBC last week.
Their whole purpose was to make Mitt Romney look like he was out of touch with mainstream America when he talked about a supermarket scanner. They laughed and joked about him as though he were a fool. A few months earlier, they doctored the George Zimmerman tape trying to paint him as a racist. I get it, the MSNBC audience wants to hear this, they want red meat from this network, but come on, this is becoming ridiculous. It is embarrassing to the serious journalists out there and the whole profession in general. I kind of relate it to the state of entertainment television today.
You have great shows that are serious and well-thought out, well written and well acted like the CSI franchise, NCIS and others, and then you have the inane, stupid, degrading reality shows that expose the lowest common denominator in our society. Granted, some of the scripted shows like Glee and Smash push the liberal agenda in their storylines, but we see that for what it is and it isn’t being passed off as anything except someone’s opinion. It is aggravating sometimes to have that inserted into a great show, but then I can always choose not to watch it. The news however, is a different situation.
Journalists are supposed to be objective, fair, and report the information they receive accurately without any underlying motive. If they purposely misinform people, how different are we from fascist countries that only tell you what they want you to know?
We have known for awhile that the lamestream media is blurring the lines between fantasy and reality with shows like “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”. These are supposed to be “fake news” programs even though some people accept them as fact. The lines between reality and fantasy are becoming increasingly distorted. These shows take on the appearance of being “real”, but whenever people start to believe them as hard facts, they hide behind the fact that they are just satire or comedy. That doesn’t erase the fact that hundreds of thousands of viewers take their words as gospel.
Now, maybe the tide is beginning to turn. It seems like even former NBC producers like Greg Kandra who worked for Katie Couric has come around and can’t defend the bias anymore. Jake Tapper admitted that the media tilted the scales for Obama in the 2008 election.
Is it guilt making them admit it or what?
When you really look at the big picture going on here, you get a sort of disquieting feeling. Are these people so blinded by their ideology that they will do anything to make sure the outcome favors their agenda? It is the feeling that “the end justifies the means”? Have we reached a point in this country where you can lie, steal, cheat or worse and it’s acceptable as long as you get the outcome you want? I want honest journalism, honest reporting. I want my country’s media to tell me the truth as it is, not as they see it.
The American people are not as dumb as the lamestream media thinks. In a recent poll, 67% of respondents said that the media was biased. That should cause them to maybe look in the mirror and see the truth. I don’t know what the answer is. There seems to be less and less that one can depend on these days. We look with a skeptical eye on almost everything that comes at us every day. We doubt our political leaders, we don’t trust our financial institutions, and we wake up to the reality of broken promises for our future. I only wish we could have some honest reporting of the facts. Come on liberal journalists and anchors, respect your profession, bite the bullet and man up. Be straight with us. After all, we are grown-ups. Give us the truth, even if you don’t like it.
Watch us on: Politichicks.tv

German official: Obama should get his own debt under control before handing out free advice!


Hot Air.com ^ | June 25, 2012 | Erika Johnson



In a not-so-subtle rebuke of President Obama’s tendency to offer unsolicited recommendations on how Europeans should handle their debt crises on Sunday evening, Germany’s finance minister suggested that perhaps His Munificence should focus on his own problems before trying to fix everybody else’s.
Wolfgang Schaeuble told public broadcaster ZDF in an interview late Sunday that “people are always very quick at giving others advice.”
He says: “Mr. Obama should first of all take care of reducing the American deficit, which is higher than in the eurozone.”
An unfortunate and embarrassing truth — the EU’s debt-to-GDP ratio is well over eighty percent, but the United States’ ratio sits at above one hundred percent. The difference is that more people still have more confidence in the United States’ financial future, and we have more time to sort things out, but how long can those advantages last before our unsustainable spending habits catch up with us?
With the eurozone crisis still dragging on with no end in sight, it’s taking a massive toll on the global economy — a situation that President Obama would desperately like to improve before November. A global economy that at least kinda’, sorta’ feels like it’s recovering would vastly bolster his chances for reelection, and Europe’s woes are the single greatest obstacle to that sentiment right now.
Although, for President Obama at least, there might be something good for his campaign coming out of the euro crisis. There are few things that cause as much economic angst as high gas prices, and it looks like Europe’s fiscal problems are helping to keep gas prices low, as futures traders are nervous that the debt crisis will curb worldwide demand for fuel.
“The outlook for oil remains negative while concerns remain about the economic outlook in Europe weigh on demand,” Michael Hewson, a London-based analyst at CMC Markets, which handles about $240 million a day in U.S. crude contracts, said today in an e-mail. “Investors remain skeptical that EU leaders will be able to agree on anything tangible to alleviate the current crisis.”
Oil for August delivery dropped as much as 97 cents to $78.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $78.92 at 12:53 p.m. London time. Prices have fallen 23 percent this quarter, the biggest decline since the final three months of 2008.

Obama still evolving on executive power?


Hot Air.com ^ | June 25, 2012 | ED MORRISSEY



Ross Douthat marveled yesterday on Barack Obama’s apparent evolution on executive power — and that of the Left as well. When Obama ran for the presidency in 2008, he championed the Left’s hostility toward George W. Bush’s supposed “imperial presidency,” often using his experience as a Constitutional law lecturer to assail Bush for his unilateral approach to the job. He even appointed Harold Koh, one of the Bush administration’s fiercest critics on the use of executive power, to work in the Obama administration at the Office of Legal Counsel.

Now, as Ross notes, rather than reverse the use of unilateral executive power, Obama has grown a lot more comfortable with it — and so has the Left:
On issues large and small, from the conduct of foreign policy to the firing of United States attorneys, the Bush White House pushed an expansive view of executive authority, and Democrats pushed right back — accusing it of shredding the constitution, claiming near-imperial powers and even corrupting the lawyers working in its service.
That was quite some time ago. Last week the Obama White House invoked executive privilege to shield the Justice Department from a Congressional investigation into a botched gunrunning operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The previous week the White House invoked powers that President Obama himself had previously claimed to lack, unilaterally revising the nation’s immigration laws by promising to stop enforcing them against a particularly sympathetic population.
Both moves were entirely characteristic of this presidency. Obama campaigned as a consistent critic of the Bush administration’s understanding of executive power — and a critic with a background in constitutional law, no less. But apart from his disavowal of waterboarding (an interrogation practice the Bush White House had already abandoned), almost the entire Bush-era wartime architecture has endured: rendition is still with us, the Guantánamo detention center is still open, drone strikes have escalated dramatically, and the Obama White House has claimed the right — and, in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, followed through on it — to assassinate American citizens without trial.
Ilya Somin notes that Obama has gone farther than Bush:
Douthat does not mention what was perhaps Obama’s biggest reversal on executive power. The man who in 2007 wrote that “[t]he President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” last year waged a war against Libya without any congressional authorization. Even Bush never went that far.
Actually, the unilateral exercise of executive power started from the beginning of this presidency — and Gitmo is an example. Without taking time to consult with Congress, overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats at that time, Obama issued an EO on his very first day in office ordering Gitmo closed within a year. Obama had promised just such an order for almost two full years on the campaign trail, but soon discovered that it’s a lot easier to issue orders than to have them fulfilled when you go it alone. By the time the next year rolled around, the Christmas Day bomber had scorched his gonads in a nearly-successful attempt to bomb a plane over Detroit, Nidal Hasan had killed 14 in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, and Americans decided they didn’t like the idea of giving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a media platform in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center location where his plot killed almost 3,000 people.
As I wrote in my column for The Fiscal Times, the problem with Obama’s use of executive power isn’tjust the hypocrisy involved — but also the exposure of his incompetence:
The most expansive use of extraordinary executive authority came next. Obama demanded authorization to spend $800 billion in a stimulus package to rescue the economy and keep unemployment below 8 percent. Democrats locked Republicans out of the crafting of the bill, and the end result gave Obama access to an amount of money in excess of the gross domestic product of Poland today, which ranks 23rd in world economies, with little oversight on its use.
Despite arguing that these extraordinary executive resources could succeed in rebuilding the economy and protecting jobs, unemployment soared to over 10 percent. It has not dropped below 8 percent since then, with the civilian population participation rate in the workforce plummeting to a 30-year low as millions despaired of finding work in the US economy.
Finally, of course, this week provided the ultimate in executive action. Obama assertedexecutive privilege in an investigation of how guns run into Mexico by the ATF resulted in the deaths of hundreds in Mexico, the murders of two American law-enforcement agents (Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata), and how the Department of Justice misled Congress by claiming the program didn’t exist and that ATF never allowed guns to walk across the border at all.
In this case, we have executive action designed to hide the failures of previous extra-legal executive action, this time within agencies that derive their authority in part from Congress itself. That is likely to work out just as well as Obama’s previous assertions of extraordinary executive authority, and the escalation of the fight over Operation Fast and Furious practically guarantees that national media outlets will have to cover the scandal in much greater detail than over the past sixteen months of House Oversight Committee investigation.
The political problem with this much unilateral executive action is that when things go wrong, no one shares the blame. Whatever momentary bump one gets for being a Man Of Action will evaporate rapidly when the action proves ineffective or counterproductive. Obama has had too many of the latter and has no political cover from the consequences, and neither do those who sold out on limited executive power as soon as George W. Bush headed for Marine One on January 20th, 2009.

Immoral Dem Rep. Maxine Waters Challenges Tea Party To a Fight, “Let’s Get It On”…


Partiot UpDate ^ | June 24, 2012

Posted on Monday, June 25, 2012 10:18:31 AM by yoe

California (immoral) Congressman Maxine Waters told Denver Democrats tonight that Republicans are waging a war on women on issues ranging from health care to wage disparity.

During her speech at the 5th annual House District 7 Unity Dinner, she accused Republicans of attacking President Obama any chance they get.

“We cannot allow the opportunities that America stands for to be eroded by those who simply want to bring this president down,” she said.

She was cheered when she said, “After a good night sleep, I wake up the next day, and I say, ‘Come on, Tea Party, let’s get it on.’”

The Obama Phone Free Government Cell Phones Program - Apply Now!


US Government ^ | 2012 | Barack Hussein Obama

















The Obama Phone Program

What exactly is the free Obama phone? The free Obama phone is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. Communication should not be limited to people in relation to what they are able to afford. The Lifeline program was actually created decades ago to help low income families have access to land lines. Over the years the cost of cell phones and cellular service has decreased and the program has been extended to cover cell phones.
During the Bush administration, there was the introduction of a project that gave subsidies to those who could not afford a phone. The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911. There are a number of deaths that take place every year do to lack of proper communication, and access to emergency services should be a right for everyone.
The free Obama phone is an important program, especially for low income families that would otherwise not have access to basic communications. There are different plans to choose from. Some plans offer fewer minutes and more texting and some even include rollover minutes. Make sure you check out all the plans before choosing the one that is right for you.

Get Started Now

Click Here to learn how to qualify. If you have further questions about the Obama Phone, visit our Obama Phone FAQ.





Obama Phone Signup

The 7 Safest Banks in America


Wall Street 24X7 ^ | 06/24/2012 | Jon C. Ogg and Samuel Weigley



Moody’s recent downgrade of fifteen of the world’s largest banks, along with JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (NYSE: JPM) multi-billion trading loss, make it clear that certain big banks are just not as safe as depositors might have hoped. Still, consumers have to keep their money somewhere.

24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the safest banks to help consumers navigate through continued difficult times. The criteria were very strict. We focused on the universe of the money-center banks, super-regional banks, and banks with retail branches that encompass several states.

24/7 screened for banks with a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. We further screened for banks whose share value is be less than 14 times earnings (P/E ratio). The share price to book value had to be less than 2.0. The bank had to have a minimum return on equity of 8% or more. To demonstrate how confident a candidate bank is, it had to pay its common holders a dividend yield of 2.0% or higher.

We also only chose financial institutions with an investment grade credit rating by ratings agencies, and Wall Street analysts had to value the bank’s share price above the current price. We also didn’t consider regional banks with fewer than 100 branches. All but one stock of the banks on our list trades above $10.00 per common share. We also gave preference if Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) is an owner of the common shares.
We remained focused on the top 50 banks by assets with a large retail banking presence, so even though the fiduciary banks of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT) and Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK) fit our initial screening criteria, they were not included. The ‘problem banks,’ which include Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) and Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), were excluded even though it would seem nearly impossible that depositors would have any risk with them. We also chose to avoid regional banks that are located in the troubled Southeast and the entire Pacific Coast where so many faced financial troubles from housing and lending during and after the recession. We left off some of the large banks that have been involved very recently in mergers and acquisitions. Finally, we absolutely eliminated banks where we had concerns about their viability and survival during another recession.
Here are the seven safest banks in America to deposit money:
1. Wells Fargo & Company
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is now the undisputed safest bank in America now that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) has come under scrutiny — even if Chase has about $1 trillion more in assets. Wells Fargo has branches in almost every state in the U.S. with some 6,200 storefront branches and over 12,000 ATMs. The bank has an asset base of over $1.3 trillion. To prove how safe this bank is, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns close to $13 billion worth of the common stock, and that stake keeps rising. The market cap is a whopping $171 billion. The shares trade at less than 9 times earnings and at almost 1.2 times book value. The return on equity is just above 12%, and it offers a 2.7% dividend yield to the common holders. While shares trade at around $32.50, Wall Street values the top bank at almost $38.00 per share.
2. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Despite the media attention surrounding the JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (NYSE: JPM) multi- billion dollar trading loss, the firm is still in good shape compared to many of its peers. It has a fortress-like balance sheet with about $2.3 trillion in assets, and CEO Jamie Dimon said the only risk to the bank’s failure is a collision of the earth and moon. Despite the share price decline following the trading loss, the company still has a sizable market cap of $135.17 billion. JPMorgan shares trade at less than 8 times earnings and only about 0.7 times book value. The return on equity is 9.8%, and the company pays a dividend yield of 3.4% on the common stock. While the bank shares are trading at just over $36, analysts value the company at $47 a share.
3. U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) is often overlooked as a money-center bank because it is a super-regional located in Minneapolis. It is the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States and caters to millions of consumers. U.S. Bancorp has $341 billion in assets, more than 3,000 branch locations, more than 5,000 ATMs, and its operations spread out over 25 states in America. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns some 69 million shares worth more than $2.1 billion. The bank’s market cap is $59 billion. It is worth about 10 times earnings and 1.6 times book value. The return on equity is very high at 16%, and it offers a 2.5% dividend yield to the common holders. Shares are trading around $31.50, and Wall Street analysts have a target of about $34.25 on this great safe bank.
4. M&T Bank Corporation
M&T Bank Corporation (NYSE: MTB) is based in Buffalo, New York and now has more than $79 billion in assets. Excluding any small purchases made recently, M&T had nearly 700 branches, 2,000 ATMs and a presence in eight states. The market cap is $10.12 billion, its P/E ratio is 12.7, and its price-to-book value is only 1.07. M&T has a return on equity of 9.5% and pays out a dividend of 3.5% to common stockholders. The stock is trading just north of $80 a share, but analysts have set a target price of about $90. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) owns almost 5.4 million M&T Bank common shares worth more than $400 million.
5. PNC Financial Services
PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC) is based in Pittsburgh and has almost $300 billion in assets, with over 2,500 branches and almost 7,000 ATMs in 14 states. It has a market cap of $31.01 billion, and its stock is valued at 10.6 times earnings and at less than 0.9 times book value. The return on equity is 8.9%, and the company pays out a 2.73% dividend. Shares are trading at under $59, but Wall Street is eyeing a price of $70.50. PNC was even strong enough financially to close its National City acquisition at the end of 2008 when there was so much risk in the financial markets. PNC owns almost one-fourth of the great asset management firm of BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK).
6. KeyCorp
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is the one exception to our rule about share prices under $10.00. Its other metrics more than make up for this exception. It has a market cap of just $7.12 billion against some $87 billion in assets. It operates in 14 states throughout the Rocky Mountain states, Northwest, the Great Lakes and the Northeast. It is impressive that KeyCorp is on the list considering that its headquarters is in Cleveland where many troubled loans arose. The bank has a return on equity of 9.2% and pays out a 2.7% dividend yield. Shares trade around $7.50 but have a target price of $9.00 from Wall Street.
7. BOK Financial Corporation.
BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: BOKF) is the smallest bank on the list with a $3.8 billion market value and $26 billion in assets. The bank holding company is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its common branch names in other states are Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of Arizona, Bank of Arkansas, Bank of Kansas City, Bank of Oklahoma, Bank of Texas and Colorado State Bank and Trust. BOK is worth about 12.5 times earnings and is valued at 1.3 times book value. The return on equity is 11%, and it offers a 2.7% dividend yield to the common holders. Shares are trading around $56.00, and Wall Street analysts have a target above $59.00.

Is Fast and Furious Obama's Watergate?


Impeach Obama Campaign ^ | June 23, 2012 | Kris Zane



Operation Fast and Furious has been painted as a rogue program out of the ATF Phoenix Office, with no orchestration at the Department of Justice or White House. When it was revealed that Eric Holder had received memos discussing Fast and Furious, Holder denied reading them. When wiretap applications discussing Fast and Furious approved by the DOJ were revealed, Holder stated DOJ officials only read summary sheets that did not include any mention of Fast and Furious details. When Darrell Issa, spearheading the investigation, subpoenaed 80,000 documents relating to Fast and Furious, Holder refused to comply because of “ongoing investigations,” providing less than ten percent of the documents (most of which were redacted.) Holder’s claim of “ongoing investigations” was an obvious stonewalling technique that he has used many times in the past, including during the Clinton Administration. With a Contempt of Congress vote looming against Eric Holder, Obama threw down the gauntlet, asserting Executive Privilege regarding the subpoenaed documents. This was obviously an eleventh hour ruse, bringing to the fore the belief (as most have asserted all along) that Fast and Furious was an Obama Administration program, not (as asserted) an operation conducted by a handful of rogue ATF agents. Regardless, the Obama Administration is now in attack mode with the House Oversight Committee voting to place Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
As commentators have indicated, the President can’t have it both ways. He stated unequivocally that he had no knowledge of Fast and Furious, but Executive Privilege specifically only covers communications between the President or one of his close advisers with another party (and cannot, as Nixon tried to assert, cover anything he desires.) That Obama would issue this right to cover tens of thousands of documents is ludicrous. Per the Congressional Oversight Manual, Executive Privilege covers communication by or surrounding the President: “The communication must be authored or ‘solicited and received’ by a close White House advisor (or the President). The judicial test is that an advisor must be in ‘operational proximity’ with the President. This effectively means that the scope of the presidential communications privilege extends only to the boundaries of the White House and the Executive Office complex” (51).
Ironically, Executive Privilege cannot be used unless Obama was involved in Fast and Furious. And if he was involved in Fast and Furious, then Obama was involved in sending hundreds of guns to Mexican drug cartels. If Obama was involved in facilitating the murders of hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least one American citizen—Border Patrol agent Brian Terry—this would necessitate immediate impeachment. Of course, most Americans know that Fast and Furious was an Obama Administration-orchestrated program in order to substantiate Obama’s wild claim in March of 2009 (parroted by Holder, Napolitano, and Hillary Clinton) that 90% of weapons used by Mexican drug cartels in violent crime come from U.S. gun dealers. To demonize U.S. gun dealers by first encouraging them to sell to Mexican drug cartel straw buyers, and then to blame them for doing so. To ramp up gun laws. To curtail and eventually void the Second Amendment. To literally countermand the highest law in the land! This is Obama’s Watergate, and the American people will not rest until this man is removed from power.

Obama's Worst Week Ever: SWEET!


Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 6-25-2012 | MOTUS



So, I see “Obama’s Big Week” is starting off with a rehash of last week’s mis-misinformation on our Fast and Furious operation that had nothing to do with swaying people’s opinions on guns and the Second Amendment: see video here:

>http://landing.newsinc.com/apvideo/home.html?f=AP&CID=10203&WID=3989&SPID=23647093&VID=23647093&freewheel=90121&sitesection=ap_us&external_url=http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_CAMPAIGN_FINANCE_MONTANA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-06-25-10-07-37<

If my history pack is accurate, the original intent of the 2nd Amendment was to protect the people not so much from each other butt from a government run amok. I don’t think either Big Guy or Ricky have done much to disabuse anyone of the utility of this concept...
In other news...
...As first reported by Anonymouse, IHOP’s deal with the devil required them to take up the slack from the schools for the summer. The propaganda normally served up by teachers in the classroom will be provided this summer through the IHOP’s summer re-education and correct- think program. It’s provided free of charge, with crayons, right on your child’s placemat.

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



Is the Country Unraveling?


PJ Media ^ | 25 June 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson



The Thrill Is Gone



The last thirty days have made it clear that Barack Obama is not going to win the 2012 election by a substantial margin.

The polls still show the race near dead even with over five months, and all sort of unforeseen events, to come. But after the Obama meltdown of April and May, I don’t think he in any way resembles the mysterious Pied Piper figure of 2008, who mesmerized and then marched the American people over the cliff. Polls change daily; gaffes and wars there may come aplenty.

But Barack Obama has lost the American center and now he is reduced to the argument that Mitt Romney would be even worse than he has been, as he tries to cobble together a us versus them 51% majority from identity groups, through cancelling the Keystone Pipeline, granting blanket amnesty, ginning up the “war on women,” and flipping on gay marriage.

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

Pelosi Urges President to Raise Debt Ceiling


Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 23 June 2012 | John Semmens



House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) urged President Obama to follow up his unilateral grant of amnesty to illegal aliens with a unilateral increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.

“Failing to enact immigration reform isn’t the only thing Congress has failed at,” Pelosi observed. “The Senate has failed to pass a budget since 2009. And while Congress was barely able to scrape together the votes to increase the debt ceiling last year I wouldn’t want to bet we can do it again.”

“Enacting legislation when Congress fails to do so is a power reserved to the President under the ‘necessary and proper’ clause of the Constitution,” Pelosi maintained. “If it is necessary and proper to grant amnesty to those in this country through no fault of their own, it is certainly necessary and proper for the debt ceiling to be raised. We can’t afford to put the nation’s financial situation at risk by waiting for Congress to move on this. It’s an election year and I just don’t see how Congress can pull it off. The President must take action.”

if you missed any of this week's other semi-news posts you can find them at...
http://azconservative.org/2012/06/23/press-secretary-parries-questions-on-fast-furious-scandal/

AZ Immigration Law Partially Struck Down, But Section 2B Stands for Now


The PJ Tatler ^ | June 25, 2012 | Bryan Preston



The US Supreme Court today struck down most of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, but upheld section 2B, which allows police to check an arrestee’s immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that that person is in the country illegally. The other sections struck down were found to be trumped by already existing federal law. Here is the court’s opinion.

As for section 2B of the law, the Supreme Court handed it back to the 9th Circuit, which had struck that provision down. Writing in dissent, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia would have upheld Arizona’s law entirely. Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion.
The Arizona ruling was today’s last ruling, so we’ll have to wait for the ObamaCare ruling on Thursday.

More: Today’s decision leaves the most controversial provision of SB 1070 in place, which is the section empowering local police to inquire about immigration status. That is the section that other Georgia and Alabama and other states have emulated in their immigration laws. The sections struck down had to do with banning illegal aliens from seeking work, mandating immigrants to carry their visas with them at all times, and penalizing employers of illegal aliens. The court ruled that existing federal laws already deal with those issues. The vote to uphold Section 2B was 8-0 with Kagan recusing herself.

Tying the Gas Tax to Inflation: Not a Good Idea!


ATR ^ | 2012-06-25 | Kyle Pomerleau



Recently, oil industry insiders have stated that gas prices throughout the country are going to drop as low as $2.50 a gallon due to a drop in demand and high supply. Surely this is good news for drivers in the short run, but if the federal government continues to block domestic production, we will see prices continue on an upward trend.

What makes these price increases worse is that a significant portion of what people pay for gas is taxes. The federal gasoline tax is 18.4 cents per gallon and the average state gas tax is 26 cents per gallon. What’s worse, politicians in most states vote to increase the tax every single year.
However, some states have a particularly bad policy that increases gasoline taxes without politicians having to take responsibility. In Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina and Wisconsin, the state gas tax increases with inflation. So when the CPI goes up, so does the tax on gas.
If you think about this for a second, this is particularly dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, politicians no longer have to explain to their constituents why their gas taxes have increased. There is no vote, so there is no longer accountability. Politicians can now count on more of our money with less of our consent. Since there is no accountability, it is no surprise that all of these states have gas taxes that are above the national average.
Second, and probably worse, the price of gasoline is included in the calculation of the CPI! So as the price of gas goes up, this creates upward pressure on the CPI. In turn, this increases the gas taxes in these states. So citizens in these states are hit even harder by gas price increases.
The counter to this argument says that states need to adopt this policy because this tax pays for roads and road repairs become increasingly expensive as time goes on.
Well if that were the case, we should see that those states with an indexed gas tax would have better roads. More money for roads means better roads, right? Not necessarily. According to an annual Reason Foundation study on the quality of our states’ roads, only Nebraska ranks in the top ten and Maine ranks a dismal 32th in 2008. Even better, North Dakota, which has only raised its gas tax once in the past decade, has the best roads in the country.
So policymakers should be weary of claims that indexing the gas tax is the solution to their crumbling roads. Taxpayers are paying higher and higher prices for roads that are not necessarily any better. It is clearly the case that more money is not necessarily the solution. Perhaps these states that are flirting with enacting this policy should first look to state with good roads to see what they can learn. Families cannot afford to keep paying a higher and higher price for poor quality roads.
Read more: http://atr.org/tying-gas-tax-inflation-good-idea-a6983#ixzz1yoybrRbj

New Obama Ad Is Senseless!


TalkingSides.com ^ | 06/25/12 | CaroleL



In his latest campaign ad, President Barack Obama tries to blunt attacks over something he said by claiming he didn't say what he said while showing an image of him saying exactly what he said. Go ahead and read that again but it won't make any more sense the second time.


In the ad set to air in nine swing states, Mr. Obama is seen at the press conference in which he uttered the now infamous and ridiculous opinion that "The private sector is doing fine." Meanwhile an announcer claims that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his "billionaire allies will spend millions to distort the president's words."

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

The Mirror



grey_whiskers | 06-24-2012 | grey_whiskers



Once upon a time, there was a mirror.

And the mirror was bright, and polished, and pure, without any flaw; and it was said the the mirror would return the very image of its beholder without distortion.

And it happened, by chance or malfeasance, that the mirror fell, and was shattered: and it was broken, sparkling, into countless shards scattered throughout the earth. And the fate of these shards as they were scattered differed one from another. Some indeed retained their brilliance, such that they sparkled like a rainbow in the sun, but all their powers to return an image were gone; some others were sullied, losing even the luster of reflected light, becoming mere sharp edges and a danger to the unwary; still others were verily ground into powder and lost.

Yet there persisted into later days, or maybe they were visions of various men, but whether that of seers, prophets, or madmen no-one could tell, stories of an ancient time when the all the pieces were yet one, the mirror unbroken, presenting a vision clear for him who had a heart to stand, and eyes to see and behold, the mirror.
Many doubted these tales, saying that those who listened were mere fools, for such dross as could be still be found was not sufficient in quantity, nor was it of a type, that it should ever have come from a mirror. Besides, they said, even of the brighter shards, should they be found and assembled, was it not clear from their shapes that they had never fit together as a whole? And was it not readily to be seen that none of the pieces gave a distinct image? How then, could the union of such detritus, such fragments, ever be more than the wished-for imaginings of the gullible, and of those who deceived them?
And yet there are those who, guided by the reflections of the light, believe that there was a mirror, lost in the depths of time. And they look forward to the day when the shards are gathered, and re-formed, and the mirror once again reflects the august, creative image of its maker.

Post Turtle




Three friends, the lizard, the turtle, and the rabbit were offered a business opportunity. Landscaping. The lizard and turtle partnered and invested in the business. The rabbit opted not to. The business was very successful and the partners earned much wealth and bought a great estate together. To help out their friend, the rabbit, they purchased all of their fertilizer for their business from him.. his droppings, that is.
One day while making a delivery the rabbit rang the doorbell at the lizard's and turtle's mansion. The butler opened the door and the rabbit asked for the lizard. The butler answered, "Mr. Li-zard is out in the yard." So the rabbit asked for the turtle. The butler informed him, "Mr. Tur-tel is out by the well."
The rabbit, having enough of this snootiness, asked the butler to tell his friends that, "Mr. Rab-bit is here with the shit!"
True story.

Lie to me!


Barnhardt.biz ^ | June 24, AD 2012 | Ann Barnhardt



A little confluence of events this week has brought to the fore of my mind the sad, sick reality that most people in this culture are so far gone that they WANT to be lied to, and will seek out and attach themselves to liars. While it is nauseating to behold, it is also interesting in a clinical sort of way.
First, I helped some guys out in outing a con artist blogger earlier this week. What was fascinating was watching people cling to their "friend" even while being beaten over the head with objective evidence over and over and over again. Seeing it on a micro level was jarring, but then I realized that it was exactly the same Stockholm Syndrome variant that keeps people loyal to these scumbag politicians and cult leaders. People get themselves into such "herd" and "team" mentalities (which is just a fraction of an inch away from being a "gang" mentality) that they will do absolutely anything for the psychopath that they are attached to. Think Hitler. Think Jim Jones. Think Obama.
Which segues into my speaking engagement Thursday for a Tea Party group here in Colorado. As I was setting up my PowerPoint and clicker, one of the Tea Party fellows came up to me and told me that I shouldn't talk about islam to this group, and that I should refrain from any "extreme facial expressions." I poop you negative.
Well, as you can imagine, that was like dangling a steak in front of an already irate and half-starved Rottweiler. My interior response?
"RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!"
It is certainly satisfying to witness to the truth to people who want to hear it. But you know what is even better? Witnessing to the truth to people who DON'T want to hear it - to people who WANT to be lied to.
By the end of my talk two-thirds of the people had gotten up and left. A third didn't want to hear the truth about islam - for fear of being called "racist" - and the other third didn't want to hear the truth about Romney and the Republican Party in general. You all have probably seen my takedown of islam - it is on my YouTube channel, link to your left - but you may be wondering what I said to infuriate the rah-rah Tea Partiers about Romney and the GOP.
I call this the "So, You Want To Be President of the United States, Huh?" lecture. It goes a little something like this:
1. Europe alone is sitting on $70 trillion in unrepayable bank and sovereign debt. That $70 trillion in unrepayable, bad debt is ITSELF the collateral on at least $700 trillion in derivatives. And that is JUST EUROPE. For perspective, the GDP of the United States is $15 trillion, and the GDP of the entire planet is $63 trillion.
What's the plan, Mitt Romney? What's the plan Sarah? What's the plan, Rick Perry? What's the plan Rick Santorum? What's the plan Ron Paul? What's the plan Michelle Bachmann? What's the plan Paul Ryan? Unless you have a detailed plan to deal with that objective reality, which can not end in anything less than a truly royal clusterbungle, you need to sit down and shut your mouth, because you're not even remotely serious. And if you DARE run for POTUS or VPOTUS and DARE raise money for your campaign and refuse to acknowledge this objective fact, much less provide a detailed plan for dealing with it, you are nothing less than a sociopathic, money-grubbing, power-hungry, carney hack grifter.
2. The U.S. Dollar is soon going to cease to be the global reserve currency, replaced by a new Sino-Russian backed and controlled currency.
What's the plan?
3. The U.S. economy is a massive debt bubble that MUST and WILL collapse by at minimum 50% of GDP. The United States government MUST spend LESS than it receives in tax revenue. Therefore, the U.S. government must reduce in size by something like 75%.
What's the plan?
4. Social Security and Medicare MUST END. These Ponzi schemes will CEASE TO BE, one way or another. If they are not ended voluntarily, they will destroy and collapse the entire government and economy.
What's the plan?
5. The "Ryan Plan" assumes massive, prolonged GDP growth for decades on end which outpaces new debt creation. FACT: Since 1980 there has not been ONE three month period in which GDP growth exceeded new debt in the United States. (This is the Denninger Axiom.) In other words, Ryan's plan is built upon a big heaping pile of unicorn manure. And he knows it.
So, what's the plan?
6. Nuclear war is now all but inevitable with Russia, China and the islamic caliphate on one side, and the United States alone on the other.
What's the plan?
7. Abortion MUST be totally outlawed in the United States. Even if every point above was to be addressed and miraculously solved, so long as this nation engages in cult child sacrifice it will be cursed to destruction.
What's the plan Mitt? Sarah? Rick? Newt? Michelle? Ron?
There is no plan. There is no plan because it is all a total and complete joke. It is theater. These people aren't competent to run a nation, much less solve the largest problems in all of human history, which are all occurring simultaneously. It is a con game to enrich the oligarchs, create the illusion of democracy, and to create false power paradigms.
The RINOS in the Tea Party simply don't want to hear any of this. They want to be on a "team" and root for "their guy" and thus delude themselves into thinking that they are actually accomplishing something. Most people, at the end of the day, want to be lied to. They want someone to stand up and tell them that everything is going to be fine just as long as "we" get "our guy" into office come November. Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah. Yay team.
You want more proof? Behold the ever-more-nauseating site HotAir.com, which published the results of its Who Should Be Romney's V.P.? poll over the weekend. Now remember, it is all irrelevant because the Republic is already dead, but this just shows you how utterly fake the entire system now is - including the conservative blogosphere. Do you know who won? Bobby Jindal. Again, I poop you negative. Jindal, while a pleasant enough fellow, would be just about the last guy you would want to put on the ticket. He would be ruthlessly mocked to destruction by the media, but even more importantly, and proof of how sickeningly corrupt the system is, Jindal, like Obama, is NOT constitutionally qualified. He was born to Indian nationals six months after they immigrated to the U.S. He is not a natural born citizen, meaning a citizen born to two citizen parents.
Golden boy number two over at HotAir is yet ANOTHER constitutionally unqualified for POTUS/VPOTUS politician, Marco Rubio.
HotAir is clearly pandering to the Obama regime in the nonsensical tapping of Jindal and Rubio as the "golden boys" in order to quash any discussion of the Obama usurpation.
And please don't forget my seven questions above. Do you honestly think Jindal, Rubio or ANYONE ELSE will EVER acknowledge, much less give actual solutions to any of those seven issues?
Even the majority of those who identify as conservative-right are completely deluded and just want to be lied to, pacified, entertained, and given a group matrix to dwell in, even if that matrix is a total sham.

Obama Backers Use Race as Alibi for Ebbing Support!


Townhall ^ | June 25, 2012 | Michael Barone



As Barack Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in the polls narrows, and his presumed fundraising advantage seems about to become a disadvantage, it's alibi time for some of his backers.
His problem, they say, is that some voters don't like him because he's black. Or they don't like his policies because they don't like having a black president.

So, you see, if you don't like Obamacare, it's not because it threatens to take away your health insurance, or to deny coverage for some treatments. It's because you don't like black people.
This sort of thing seems to be getting more frequent, or at least more open. As White House Dossier writer Keith Koffler notes, HBO host Bill Maher accused Internet tyro Matt Drudge of being animated by racism because he highlights anti-Obama stories.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews asked former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown if House Chairman Darrell Issa's treatment of Attorney General Eric Holder was "ethnic." Brown agreed, and Matthews said some Republicans "talk down to the president and his friends."
There's an obvious problem with the racism alibi. Barack Obama has run for president before, and he won. Voters in 2008 knew he was black. Most of them voted for him. He carried 28 states and won 365 electoral votes.
Nationwide, he won 53 percent of the popular vote. That may not sound like a landslide, but it's a higher percentage than any Democratic nominee except Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.
Democratic national conventions have selected nominees 45 times since 1832. In seven cases, they won more than 53 percent of the vote. In 37 cases, they won less.
That means President Obama won a larger percentage of the vote than Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and (though you probably don't want to bring this up in conversation with him) Bill Clinton.
Now it is true that you can go out in America and find people who would just never vote for a black person. But it's a lot harder than it was a generation or two ago, when most voters admitted to pollsters they would never vote for a black president.
And you can probably find some people who usually vote for Democrats but would not vote for a black Democrat. But not very many of them, and they're likely to be pretty advanced in age, and so there are likely fewer of them around than there were four years ago.
My own view is that such voters were more than counterbalanced by voters who felt that, as an abstract proposition in the light of our history, it would be a good thing for Americans to elect a black president.
In 2008, Obama, who came to national attention by decrying the polarization of Red-state and Blue-state America, had obvious appeal to voters. I think there is a similar, and similarly unquantifiable, factor working for Obama this year: Many voters feel, as an abstract proposition, that it would be a bad thing for American voters to reject the first black president.
Some conservatives complain that there is a double standard, that whites who vote against Obama are accused of racial motives, while blacks, 95 percent of whom voted for him, are not.
I think that's unfair. Members of an identifiable group that has been in some way excluded from full recognition as citizens will naturally tend to support a candidate who could be the first president from that group. In 1960, Gallup reported that 78 percent of American Catholics voted for John Kennedy.
American blacks have suffered exclusion and discrimination more than any other group. And very large percentages of them regularly vote for candidates who share Obama's views on issues.
What's remarkable about our politics in 2008 and today is that most voters seem to be making their decisions based on their assessment of the issues and the character of the candidates.
The fact that some have, at least for the moment, moved away from supporting Obama to opposing him, or remain unsure, reflects not an increasing racism, but the fact that we simply have more information than we had four years ago.
Most of us are disappointed when our candidates don't win. But that's no excuse for phony alibis.

Chuck Norris Facts


Chuck Norris Facts ^ | 06/25/12 | chucknorrisfacts.com



What better way to start off a Monday than waking up to some Chuck Norris Facts! Enjoy!
The only reason why any hurricanes actually reach the United States coastline is due to a conflict in Chuck Norris' schedule.
Children are warned not to run with scissors. Scissors are warned not to run with Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris is going to be 1 year old in 2012
Chuck Norris is the missing link
If Chuck Norris' beard were an animal, it would undoubtedly have zero natural predators and every living organism would be its natural prey.
Bill Gates owes Chuck Norris money
Lightning never strikes twice in one place because Chuck Norris is looking for it.
Chuck Norris can do the y.m.c.a with both hands down by his side
Once Chuck Norris chewed up a gold bar and a chocolate bar, then he spit out Mr. T
The only way to make diamond powder is to rub the diamond on Chuck Norris's skin.
(Excerpt) Read more at chucknorrisfacts.com ...