Wednesday, June 27, 2012

America's Richest Cities In 1978 And Today


Business Insider ^ | 06/27/2012 | Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic



In many ways, the contemporary history of America's economy is really a story about cities.

Metro areas rise and fall with each generation, buoyed or sunk by the industries and trends that support them.

The chart below, from the McKinsey Global Institute, does a beautiful job telling that story.

On the left, we have the top 30 U.S. metro areas ranked by real GDP as of 1978.

On the right, the top 30 for 2010.

That cross-hatch of red and blue lines shows just how much churn there has been in the economy. But I think there are three main trends to take away from this.


the atlantic chart america's richest cities



First, there's the fall of the Rust Belt and the rise of the Sun Belt. As the country's economy eased away from manufacturing, which tends to be clustered in discrete regions, and towards services, which can be almost anywhere, people moved away from the old, frigid, and declining industrial centers towards states with cheap real estate and warm weather. Population growth ultimately means economic growth. And so you see the emergence of places like Riverside, Phoenix, Orlando, and Tampa.

Second, there's the dominance of finance. If New York had the same GDP today that did in 1978, it would still have the second largest economy of any American metro region.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

Obama Uses Tax-Evader Marc Anthony as Example of Someone Who Can Pay More in Taxes


Media Research Center (MRCTV) ^ | 6/27/2012 | Joe Schoffstall



On June 26, 2012, President Barack Obama held a fundraiser in Miami, FL featuring Latin pop-singer Marc Anthony. During his speech, Obama used the singer as an example of a wealthy person who can pay his more in taxes.

Problem is, Marc Anthony has a history of evading taxes.

In 2010, Anthony was hit with a tax lien of $3.4 million, including bills of $1.8 million and $1.6 million in back taxes on his estate located in Long Island.

That's not all.

In 2007, Anthony was slammed with $2.5 million in back tax bills, a product of not paying his taxes for four years.

WATCH VIDEO WITHIN LINK

(Excerpt) Read more at mrctv.org ...

Federal judge hands Florida Gov. Scott voter purge victory!


Post on Politics ^ | 06/27/2012 | Dara Kam



A federal judge denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for an emergency restraining order to halt Florida’s non-citizen voter purge and said the controversial scrub does not violate federal law.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle heard arguments this morning from the Justice Department and Michael Carvin, a Washington lawyer representing Gov. Rick Scott’s administration. Carvin was one of the lead lawyers for President George W. Bush in the protracted 2000 recount legal wrangle.
Hinkle denied the request for the emergency stop to the program in part because he said the state was no longer doing it.
But he also rejected Justice Department attorney John Bert Russ’s argument that the non-citizen voter purge violates federal law.
He also chided both administrations, saying the “federal government and the state government ought to be working together” to ensure honest elections.
Wednesday’s hearing is the first of multiple lawsuits over the voter purge. Scott is suing the Department of Homeland Security over access to a federal database the state contends would allow them to create a less error-prone list than the Secretary of State Ken Detzner distributed to county supervisors in April.
While he denied the emergency restraining order, Judge Hinkle allowed the lawsuit to move forward.
And he put Detzner on notice that he would be available for future emergency hearings if the state “ramps up” the voter purge without making sure the list was less error-riddled.
Scott insists that no citizens have been wrongly removed from the voting rolls as a result of the purge but that about 100 non-citizens were found to have been registered to vote.
Many of the 2,600 flagged individuals on the list given out in April turned out to be naturalized citizens and therefore eligible to vote, Hinkle noted.
“Questioning someone’s citizenship unnecessarily is not as trivial as the state would have it,” Hinkle scolded. “But leaving an ineligible voter on the list is not a solution. People need to know we are running an honest election.”

22 Reasons That Show The American Dream Is Being Systematically Destroyed


etfdailynews.com ^ | June 26, 2012 | Michael Snyder



The American Dream is being systematically destroyed right in front of our eyes and most Americans don’t even realize what is happening. In the old days, if you were a hard worker and you played by the rules you could always find a good job. That good job would enable you to buy a house, buy at least one car and support a family. It would also enable you to take a couple of vacations each year and buy some nice things for your family. After working for 30 or 40 years you would look forward to a comfortable retirement. But these days fewer and fewer Americans are able to enjoy the American Dream. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a breathtaking pace. Our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for all of us anymore, and an increasing percentage of the jobs that are being produced pay 10 dollars an hour or less. The cost of living continues to rise steadily every single year while wages do not. Close to half of all American workers are living month to month, and many American families have gone deep into debt as they struggle to pay the bills. Millions more Americans are falling into poverty each year and dependence on the government is at an all-time high. Something is fundamentally wrong with our economy. It is not working the way that it used to, and the middle class is being absolutely shredded. Most American families are finding it harder and harder to make it through each passing year, and unless a miracle happens things are going to continue to get even harder.

The following are 22 statistics that prove that the American Dream is being systematically destroyed….

#1 As the economy has declined, the number of Americans living month to month has soared. At this point, millions upon millions of Americans are living without any financial cushion whatsoever. If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies. Another survey found that 42 percent of all American workers are currently living paycheck to paycheck.
#2 Thanks to horribly oppressive regulations, red tape and taxes, it is incredibly difficult to run a successful small business in America today. According to the Christian Science Monitor, more than half of all small business owners in America cannot even afford to put food on the table from their small business earnings….
"A shocking figure from the Wave survey relates to how well the business owners were able to meet their basic needs through their business. An incredible 52% of American small business owners can’t put food on the table through the earnings from their business over the past twelve months."
Another recent survey found that 23 percent of all small business owners have gone an entire year without pay.
#3 In recent years U.S. families have experienced an astounding decline in wealth. According to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of families in the United States declined “from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010“.
#4 The U.S. economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for all of us at this point. For example, it was reported that 20,000 people applied for just 877 jobs at a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama earlier this year. Sadly, the official U.S. unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row, and this is supposed to be “the recovery”.
#5 Eight million Americans have “left the labor force” since the recession supposedly ended. If those Americans were added back into the unemployment figures, the unemployment rate would be somewhere up around 12 percent.
#6 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high. Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.
#7 The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in GDP per capita. Today we have slipped to #12.
#8 Just paying for the basics is becoming increasingly difficult for many Americans. For example, there are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing. That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#9 The average American household spent approximately $4,155 on gasoline during 2011, and electricity bills in the U.S. have risen faster than the overall rate of inflationfor five years in a row.
#10 Health insurance continues to become more expensive. Health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent since Barack Obama became president. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3%.
#11 As the cost of living goes up, wages continue to stagnate or even fall in many areas of the country. Sadly, this is part of a long-term trend. According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 declined by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
#12 The percentage of low paying jobs just continues to increase. At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less. If that sounds like a high figure, that is because it is. Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.
#13 Over the last several decades, the debt burdens being taken on by average Americans have absolutely exploded. All of this debt is making things incredibly difficult on American families. The following is from a recent CNN article….
In 1983, the bottom 95% had 62 cents of debt for every dollar they earned, according to research by two International Monetary Fund economists. But by 2007, the ratio had soared to $1.48 of debt for every $1 in earnings.
#14 During this time of the year, there are large numbers of new college graduates entering the work force. Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough jobs for all of them. In fact, approximately 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.
#15 Many young adults have found that they can’t make it on their own at all in this economy. Today, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.
#16 Wealth in this country is becoming highly concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Today, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.
#17 Increasingly, our country is being divided into “two Americas“. According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.
#18 The rise in poverty is hitting children particularly hard. If you can believe it, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is now 22 percent. Large numbers of children in this country would go hungry without assistance. At this point, approximately one-fourth of all American children are enrolled in the food stamp program.
#19 The more money the government spends on poverty, the more poverty seems to increase. The federal government spent about 80 billion dollars on the food stamp program last year, but they can’t even tell us how that money is being spent.
#20 While Barack Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 32 million to 46 million. But the Obama administration has decided that is not enough so they are spending taxpayer money on ads that will encourage even more Americans to go on food stamps….
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.
#21 As the middle class shrinks, the ranks of the poor continue to expand. Sadly, at this point 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.
#22 More Americans are becoming dependent on the government than ever before. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives financial benefits from the government.

It's A Right?

IMPEACHMENT BAIT


June 27, 2012 | The Beloved Deb



Anyone who was following the news, this week, had to be shocked at the immediate, smash-mouth response from the Obama White House to the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the most important part of the Arizona immigration law. He ordered his entire administration and all the government agencies to IGNORE any immigration violations reported by Arizona law enforcement. "If Arizona calls, hang up" is basically what he told his people. At the same time he provided a toll free number for illegals to call to report any perceived profiling by Arizona authorities. And, of course, the harassment of sheriff Joe Arpio continues.

How can he do this? How can he completely ignore his own federal laws? Didn't he vow to defend the laws of this country?

What's he doing?

The Odds Overwhelmingly Say That Obamacare Is Finished!


TBI ^ | 6-27-2012 | Brett LoGiurato



As the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, the only market offering its prediction thinks its key element will be ruled unconstitutional.
The Ireland-based InTrade market has the odds of the Supreme Court overturning the individual mandate at 75.5 percent as of this post. Here's a look at how it's changed over time:


Intrade
The odds spiked into the 60-percent range after March's oral arguments were deemed a disaster for President Barack Obama and his signature piece of legislation. The only time it had climbed over 50 percent was in December, when the Supreme Court decided it would hear the case.
Intrade has been an inaccurate predictor before. For example, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry were, at one point, better bets than Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination.
The odds of overturning the individual mandate by next year are even greater, according to Intrade:

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

Left, the Right, and the Constitution


NRO ^ | 6/27/2012 | Yuval Levin



Whatever decision the Supreme Court announces on Obamacare tomorrow, the various liberal missives of anticipatory anxiety in recent days have already revealed a great deal about the Left’s attitude toward our constitutional system. What we’ve learned can hardly come as news to conservatives, but it has been put forward in an unusually clear and undiluted form, and so is worth some thought....
The basic message of these left-leaning diatribes is pretty simple: A majority of the Court could only disagree with liberals about whether requiring all Americans to buy health insurance is beyond the proper bounds of the Congress’s power to regulate commerce if that majority acted in a purely political or partisan way; there is no room for disagreement regarding the actual interpretation of the actual Constitution.
[....]
It would be easy to criticize all this for its sheer unselfconscious lack of seriousness: These people are actually saying that any outcome except the one they want must be driven by an outcome-oriented political crusade. Only their view could result from an actual engagement with the question before the Court, and any other view could only be a function of corruption or of cynicism. It must be nice to be so enlightened.
[....]
[Liberals] imply that there ought to be no connection between the most basic political divisions that define our public life—crudely encompassed in the Left/Right division—and ways of understanding the Constitution. This is a profound mistake, and a very telling one. As the Left often does, they underplay the substantive seriousness and significance of the Left/Right divide, presumably because they do not think of themselves as possessed of a particular worldview and believe they are merely objectively analyzing the obvious realities of the world around us. But there’s much more than they think to the Left/Right divide.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

Obama Administration Probably Guilty of Murdering Mexicans in "Fast and Furious" War on Mexico


Freeper Editorial ^ | 27 Jun 12 (Update) | Xzins



On October 11, 2011 Eric Holder broke the news that Iran had been engaged in a covert war against the United States, and had even sent an agent to the U.S. to involve Mexican drug cartels as accomplices in a plot to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.

What is truly amazing about this is that Eric Holder has been engaged in his own covert war against another nation...against Mexico and Mexicans for the past three years. In the bizarre world of Washington D.C., the Obama Administration was doing the same thing against the Mexican government that it accused Iran of doing against the United States. It has been arming Mexican drug cartels with thousands of highly lethal battlefield weapons. The cartels have been using those weapons to deadly effect against Mexican officials and Mexican citizens. Hundreds of Mexicans have been killed in cold blood with weapons intentionally provided to them by the Obama Administration.
As recently as 8 Oct 2011 the Los Angeles Times reported:

High-powered assault weapons illegally purchased under the ATF's Fast and Furious program in Phoenix ended up in a home belonging to the purported top Sinaloa cartel enforcer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, whose organization was terrorizing that city with the worst violence in the Mexican drug wars.http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-atf-guns-20111009,0,6431788.story

In addition to the blood spilled in Mexico, blood has also been spilled in the US. U.S. Border Agent, Brian Terry, murdered in a firefight against the Mexican cartel on the U.S. side of the border, has had the weapons used to kill him positively identified as being among those GIVEN to the drug cartels by the Obama Administration. In a conversation reported by CBS News, Terry’s death is callously dismissed as “collateral damage.” (See http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20109529-10391695.html)

While Eric Holder might plead "not guilty" to the above charges, the facts remain the same. If it is not murder and a covert war, the Obama Administration is left with only one dishonorable explanation: they could plead gross incompetence and hundreds of grossly negligent homicides.

The Obama Administration has been a major participant in hundreds of Mexicans being murdered. It has provided deadly arms to the Mexican government's number one public enemy, the blood-thirsty Mexican drug cartels. To date, Mexico has not filed charges in either the World Court or at the United Nations.

Will it do so? Mexico's attorney general, Marisela Morales, quoted in the Los Angeles Times said that:

deliberately letting weapons "walk" into Mexico ...would represent a "betrayal" of [her] country http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/19/world/la-fg-mexico-fast-furious-20110920
At this point, the investigation into the Obama Administration's covert war on Mexico has been hampered by obvious obstruction from Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, a man whose incompetence has permitted this travesty to go on. Even now a contempt of Congress vote is being prepared against him. Additionally, President Obama's claim of executive privilege can only mean that the ultimate trail must lead to the top member(s) of the Executive Branch.

Morales, Mexico's attorney general, ...told The Times that she first learned about Fast and Furious from news reports. And as of last fall, she said, U.S. officials had not briefed her on the operation...nor have they apologized. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-fast-furious-20110920,0,6511144,full.story "At no time ...In no way would we have allowed it, because it is an attack on the safety of Mexicans."
To repeat, Morales said that directing weapons into Mexico to be used against Mexican citizens and the Mexican government is "a betrayal of [her] country."

The Obama Administration owes more than it can ever repay to the families of Mexican murder victims and to the family of murdered US Border agent, Brian Terry. At the least, it could acknowledge some grave error and begin making reparations to those struck down in cold blood with U.S. provided weapons.
Even though a contempt of Congress citation is all the talk these days, due process should result in criminal charges. These will be small consolation for the murder victims of the Obama Administration’s covert war on Mexico.

WEINER: WE WERE RIGHT ON OBAMACARE


Breitbart/Big Journalism ^ | 6-27-2012 | Breitbart News




by Breitbart News

Politico, in full attack mode against Republicans on the eve of the Supreme Court's likely decision to overturn all or part of Obamacare, sought out former Rep. Anthony Weiner to offer his insights on the law. Weiner claims that Democrats were right to pass the law, but that the public is simply too stupid to understand its benefits, and that the party should have done a better job of defending its members from public outrage over the issue.

“Passing the law was the good thing to do and the right thing to do, but the campaign for it kind of stopped the moment it was passed. It was an article of faith that once people understood the benefits of the law, they would like it,” he said. “We were right on the substance, and right on the politics in the long term. But we have not done nearly as good a job fighting for it, communicating it, and defending it.”...
“We didn't give a lot of air cover to the people who did hang in there and fight. In that awful August of 2009, I thought the only way to fight things is to run into the heat of it. I got my butt handed to me a lot...


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


Chuck Norris blasts Obama over 'pro-queer' Boy Scouts' stance


LA Times ^ | June 27, 2012 | Rene Lynch



Real-life action figure Chuck Norris is blasting President Obama for allegedly working behind the scenes to create a "pro-queer Boy Scouts of America."


Norris -- an action star and well-known conservative and gun-rights activist -- made the charges in a piece posted Tuesday on Ammoland.com, a site dedicated to shooting-sports news.
Norris suggests that Americans take a closer look at the recent headlines made when James Turley, a Boy Scouts of America national board member, announced that he will work from within the scouting organization to change its long-standing position barring gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders. Turley is also chairman and chief executive of Ernst & Young.
"Is Turley working on his own initiative, or has the White House prodded him with perks and favors?" Norris asks in the article, which also suggests that Obama has tossed several political plums Turley's way so that he will carry out what he describes as the White House's pro-gay agenda. "Is it a coincidence that Turley is in tight cahoots with the White House and that he is the only BSA national board member in 100 years to oppose its pro-traditional family stance?"
The article also seems to criticize Obama for what Norris sees as the administration's favoritism of illegal immigrants, homosexuals, atheists and agnostics over Christians and U.S. taxpayers.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...

Mexico laments part of US immigration ruling!


CBS News ^ | June 26, 2012



MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government says it's disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld part of an Arizona law requiring police check the immigration status of anyone they stop.

The Mexican government has openly opposed Arizona's immigration law since it was passed in 2010. The statement said enforcing parts of the law that were upheld by the Supreme Court would lead to violations of the civil rights of Mexicans living in or visiting Arizona. It says the law doesn't recognize the many contributions immigrants make to their communities.

Mexico filed a "friend of the court" brief challenging the law in the Supreme Court case.

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

Do Brian Terry’s Parents Deserve Less Attention Than Cindy Sheehan Got?


BernardGoldberg.com ^ | June 26, 2012 | John Daly



There are many elements of the ATF’s botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation that are worthy of attention. It’s a compelling story, really: The U.S. government loses track of an arsenal of weapons that end up being used by a Mexican drug cartel in the murder of a young border patrol agent named Brian Terry. Up to two hundred additional deaths across the border in Mexico are thought to be linked to the missing guns as well. A suspected federal cover-up ensues with the explanation for the failed operation morphing from a sheer denial of its mere existence to Attorney General, Eric Holder’s total unawareness of who authorized it.
To me, however, the most intriguing thing about the story is the mainstream media’s virtual blackout of it. While viewers of FOX News and listeners of conservative talk radio have been well aware of the details of Fast and Furious for over a year, the rest of the country hadn’t a clue of its existence until President Obama exercised executive privilege to keep sealed documents pertaining to the operation from the U.S. Congress. It was that, along with the Republicans’ threat of holding Eric Holder in contempt, that garnished any sort of attention from the establishment press.
And when that time finally came, most of the networks introduced the story as if it had no history. Anchors like Brian Williams and pundits like Rachel Maddow described it as some sort of out-of-the-blue, partisan side-show during an election year. The reality, of course, is that the Fast and Furious controversy started long before this election year.
The peculiar conduct of the media begs the question of why they ignored it for so long. After all, this is the kind of story that they’ve been all over in the past: A young man is killed while bravely serving his country, after being put in harm’s way by what is perceived to be a reckless decision by the government. The man’s grieving family seeks answers and accountability and goes public out of frustration.
It sounds a lot like the plight of Cindy Sheehan from 2004 to 2006, and Pat Tillman’s family. Both of those sympathetic stories received a huge amount of attention. They made magazine covers, and reporters were at the beckon call of the families whenever they wanted to vent their frustrations.
In the minds of the media, however, they’ve managed to rationalize the death of Brian Terry as a completely different circumstance. For starters, George W. Bush is no longer our president. That’s enough of an explanation in itself. But additionally, border violence isn’t a political issue that liberals want to bring attention to. It introduces complexities to the immigration debate that the Democratic party would rather avoid. War violence, on the other hand, worked quite well for the media when the goal was to hurt Bush.
Speaking of the war issue, isn’t it absolutely miraculous how the anti-war movement either ceased to exist or was completely dumped by the media the moment Barack Obama took office? This despite the facts that Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan and even started one of his own in Libya.
Back to the topic at hand…
In the era of Obama, a murdered border-agent and a government cover-up simply isn’t that noteworthy to the media. It’s just not as consequential of a story, apparently, as crude comments from Rush Limbaugh, Ann Romney’s horseback riding, or Warren Buffett’s secretary.
It’s times like this when the value of the FOX News Channel is underscored. Regardless of how you feel about FNC, there’s no denying that the network provides a small counterbalance to the overwhelming liberal slant of the mainstream media. Without FOX, the public would be completely unaware of important, valid stories like this, and people like Brian Terry’s parents would be left without any kind of voice.
You can’t help but feel terrible for the Terry’s. In addition to the loss of their son, they’re having to deal with an environment where it often takes massive publicity to get any kind of results from our government. Thus, their calls for answers and accountability have largely gone unheard. And only because the overwhelming majority of the media was way too late to the game, are the Terry’s now being insulted by snide people in the media who wish to write off their son’s story as a mere political stunt.
The Terry’s deserve better, and their plight deserves every bit as much attention and sympathy as Cindy Sheehan got.

Liberal Talking Points – The Economy


Liberal Talking Points – The Economy

With the onset of the general election campaign, the liberals will, at the behest of Team Obama, will resort to their daily dose of “kool-aid”…err, I mean talking points.
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows that the cornerstone issue for this campaign is going to be about the state of the economy.
Liberals will tell you that Obama is clearly the man for the job and that a Romney presidency would be calamitous. Really? Obama’s the man for the job – we’re still talking about the economy over three years into his presidency, and they still will tell you that’s he IS the one.
Time to debunk the myth –
The Obama Administration put out a report in 2009 called The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. In it, the Obama Administration predicted that the stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8%. They even provided a graph on page 5 – shown below.
This is what they said the stimulus would do.
Obama said that without the stimulus – “…we could see a much deeper economic downturn that could lead to double-digit unemployment.” (Source) So, without the stimulus, the Obama Administration said that unemployment could have gone anywhere from 9-10% — if not higher!
Wait for it –
According to the NY Times: U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 10.2%, Highest in 26 years
So, we spent billions and billions of dollars to keep unemployment from reaching double digits – AND IT STILL DID!!
The classic Liberal Talking Point from the Obama Administration – The stimulus created 3-4 million jobs.
Even Obama can’t get it straight…

But since the Obama supporters will say that since the video clip is clearly a GOP ad; it can’t be taken seriously. OK. Fine! Let’s debunk the myth using information from the Obama Administration itself.
Most of the people who believe this nonsense will send you to Recovery.gov where you can find all sorts of glowing platitudes, reviews, and results provided by none other than – drum roll please –the Obama Administration.
According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, the Obama Administration changed the way they calculated the number of jobs “created or saved” by the stimulus.
Here’s why: The Federal Office of Management and Budget previously told recipients of the stimulus dollars to count only jobs that were created and filled as a result of stimulus spending or existing jobs “that would not have been continued” if not for the spending. So, in English, if stimulus money was spent to create or “save” a job — then they could count that in their total.
Now, time for a change –
Now all jobs funded with stimulus dollars will be counted as created or saved, whether or not they were in jeopardy of being eliminated, according to new rules OMB released last month in a memo that drew little attention.
Huh? So, to count now — stimulus money has to be used in whole or part. Obvious impact — More jobs can be included in the count and up goes the total.
But wait for it —
Also, when stimulus money is used for pay raises, it will translate into a fraction of a job created or saved.
That’s right. Give four people a raise — you just created or saved a job. So, all of the executives the OWS protestors want arrested should be praised for saving so many jobs!! So, even more padding of the numbers of jobs created or saved by the stimulus.
I found the actual memo from Peter Orzag — Director of OMB — providing “guidance” on how to perform these counts. (For your viewing enjoyment:)
1st Page of OMB Memo about how to count stimulus jobs
Quoting from the memo:
Part 2…Reporting on Jobs Creation Estimates by Recipients…reflects important simplifications to the manner in which job estimates are calculated and reported…
So, no more running total — just a quarterly total. What about the jobs that are eliminated in one quarter and then re-created in the next? What does that equate to? One person getting to keep the same job — but no economic growth. But the numbers will look better though!
In addition, recipients will no longer be required to make a subjective judgment…(but) easily and objectively report on jobs funded with Recovery Act dollars.
So, this confirms what was stated in the AJC article and also by the liberal website, Mother Jones.com.
Then the calculation of jobs created or saved is based on hours worked — not the permanence of the job.
…to perform the calculation, a recipient will need the total number of hours worked by employees in the most recent quarter…The recipient will also need the number of hours in a full-time schedule for the quarter. (This is also spelled out on the Recovery.gov website.)
So, if a person works more than a 40 hour work week; then that one job can count as more than one job. Don’t you love that new fangled math? Better yet, don’t you love how that would increase the total number of jobs that have been created or saved by the stimulus?
So, the idea that the stimulus created 3 million jobs or more is completely ludicrous since the Obama Administration is not even trying to prove it.
You know what campaign propaganda Team Obama should put out –
The stimulus package created 3-4 millions, ended world hunger, and cured cancer because…

Because my name is Barack Obama and I approve this nonsense! (I felt the need to correct him.)

Barack Obama Jumps the Shark and Lands on the Wedding Cake!


Flopping Aces ^ | 06-27-12 | Vince




President Obama has jumped the shark. The phrase “Jumping the Shark” dates back to 1977 when the cast of the popular television show Happy Days took a trip out to Los Angeles and The Fonz, played by Henry Winkler, jumped over a shark cage while waterskiing. The original use indicated when a TV program had run out of creative and compelling storylines and began to utilize gimmicks to keep viewers interested such as trips to foreign countries, the introduction of new characters (particularly babies) or cameos by special guest stars. Over the last three decades the idiom has taken on a broader application in that it typically means the beginning of end of something, some endeavor, an erstwhile high flying company, or in this case, a career.
According to Gallop, Barack Obama’s approval rating is sitting at 46%, and the last time it was above 50% was May of 2011. To put that in some perspective, at this point in 2004 George Bush was sitting at 49% and had been at 60% as recently as that January, while Bill Clinton was sitting at 55% at this point in 1996. As bad as that approval rating is, Rasmussen has Obama 5 points behind Mitt Romney with a further 5% undecided. Dick Morris has a great way of explaining why that 5% is likely to go sharply against the President. He says being undecided at this point in the election cycle is the equivalent of asking if you think you are going to be married to your wife this time next year. If you don’t come down strongly in favor of yes, there’s a problem. As such he suggests that most of those undecided voters are going to go against the President.
So what does all this mean? That basically things are not looking good for Barack Obama in November. The economy seems to be mired in the cellar, the housing and unemployment numbers are looking bleak and the writing has been on the wall for months about this week’s Obamacare decision. It is said that in times of adversity a person’s true character comes to light. Over the last few months Barack Obama has proved that adage true.
So what is a politician to do when their political career is hurtling towards the abyss? Use the political equivalent of gimmicks to resuscitate their campaign. In the case of President Obama, that means doing things that will energize his base, regardless of their constitutionality or their probity. Take for example the White House’s use of the left’s thuggish tactics to intimidate private citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights and using the Office of the President to suggest that individuals are somehow “Betting against America” simply for supporting Mitt Romney.
Then of course there is the President’s recent foray into law making that is unencumbered by constitutional authority. According to Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution, the President is directed to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” On the 15th of this month President Obama decided rather than do as directed by the Constitution, he would implement his own extra constitutional version of “The Dream Act", a bill that Congress couldn’t pass, even when the Democrats had a supermajority.


(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Despite Law, SEIU Gets To Continue Taking Medicaid Check Money


Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/23/2012 | Jack Spencer



A federal court judge ordered the State of Michigan to continue deducting dues from Medicaid checks and send it to the Service Employees International Union, in direct conflict with a state law signed in April by Gov. Rick Snyder.

If unchallenged, this would mean the so-called "home health care dues skim" would go on through February of next year.

Judge Nancy G. Edmunds of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan handed down the order after a brief hearing in Detroit. The gist of Edmunds' ruling was that because Michigan's Employment Relations Commission recognized the forced unionization of tens of thousands of so-called home health care workers in 2005, the state is on the hook for fulfilling the contract obligations with the union.

In making her decision, Edmunds chose to ignore several elements. Among these is the established fact that the alleged employer in the case, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) no longer claims to be the employer and the fact that (since being defunded by the legislature) the MQC3 has had only a single employee who works out of her house in Okemos for three hours or less a month so she can continue to collect unemployment benefits.
Additionally, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, the union has given the MQC3 at least $12,000 to keep it afloat. Whether those who were unionized were ever eligible to even be considered as public employees in the first place also is an unanswered question.
Instead, Judge Edmunds determined that it had been up to MERC to weigh such issues and decide if the unionization process was valid. Since MERC certified the process in 2005, the resulting contract remains in effect for the duration.
Judge Edmunds' definition of the duration included the six month extension SEIU and MQC3 signed in April. That agreement, signed on the day Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation to end the "dues skim," moved the final contract day from Sept. 20, 2012 to Feb. 28, 2013.
"This was a victory for the underhanded actions that took place when Jennifer Granholm was governor," said Patrick Wright, senior legal analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "This judge was unwilling to unpack and examine the history of those actions."
Under Gov. Granholm, state bureaucrats allowed the SEIU to pencil in MQC3 as a dummy employer for the unionization effort. A majority of those unionized under the scheme are not professional home health care workers; they are people who take care of homebound relatives or friends, and most had no idea they were being unionized.
To date, the SEIU has taken more than $30 million from the checks of so-called home health care workers. If the scheme continues to the end of February 2013, it would be about $35 million.
Scott Kronland argued the case for the union. He was with a small contingent representing the SEIU who traveled to Detroit from San Francisco.
Kronland opened his arguments by asking the court for a preliminary injunction to stop the state from ending the collection, which had been collecting in escrow since late May, and transfer the dues and fees before June 25, which would be the next scheduled date for the transfer to take place.
"The defendants (the state) aren't going to suffer, [if the dues flow continues]," Kronland argued. "The union, a First Amendment advocacy organization, will suffer irreparable damage."
Among the damages the SEIU would suffer, Kronland said, was being denied use of the money (about $3 million) during the upcoming election.
Ray Howd, assistant attorney general, handled the hearing for the State of Michigan. His basic argument was that the contract had been between the MQC3 and the union.
"The two public entities that entered into this agreement were separate from the ones that are being represented here," Howd told the court. "They (MQC3) should be here."
There was no testimony taken in the case. Edmunds said that, prior to the hearing, she had read legal briefs that had been handed in. During the hearing she listened to oral arguments from both sides.
Edmunds' ruling that the "skim" continue could be appealed.
"Before determining that (an appeal) we'll have to study the judge's written opinion," Howd said.
Wednesday's court action keeps the"skim" going despite the following:
In 2011, the legislature defunded the dummy employer, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council, with which the union had its collective bargaining agreement. The MQC3 no longer claims it is the employer of the home health care workers. MQC3 was kept alive by SEIU funding, with its director Susan Steinke working out of her home – and restricted to three hours or less a month so she can continue to draw unemployment. This year, Michigan's legislature passed legislation designed to stop the "skim." In April, Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation designed to stop the "skim." In May, Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion that the "skim" should be halted. "It shows how deeply the union managed to embed all of this," Wright said. "She [Edmunds] simply took it on face value that because MERC certified it, that meant it was legitimate to consider these people public employees."
During the hearing, Edmunds pointed out that so far Snyder had not taken actions, such as replacing members of the MQC3 Board. The context of this remark seemed to be that the administration hadn't been actively pursuing MQC3 changes. A majority of the members of the MQC3 board serve at the pleasure of the governor. However, it is not clear whether changing the board members would have affected the out come of the hearing.

Rep. Darrell Issa's Letter to Obama


June 25, 2012
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On June 19, 2012, shortly after leaving a meeting in the U.S. Capitol, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote to request that you assert executive privilege with respect to Operation Fast and Furious documents he is withholding from this Committee. The next day, Deputy Attorney General James Cole notified me in a letter that you had invoked executive privilege. The Committee received both letters minutes before the scheduled start of a vote to recommend that the full House hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with its subpoena.

Courts have consistently held that the assertion of the constitutionally-based executive privilege — the only privilege that ever can justify the withholding of documents from a congressional committee by the Executive Branch — is only applicable with respect to documents and communications that implicate the confidentiality of the President’s decision-making process, defined as those documents and communications to and from the President and his most senior advisors. Even then, it is a qualified privilege that is overcome by a showing of the committee’s need for the documents. The letters from Messrs. Holder and Cole cited no case law to the contrary.

Accordingly, your privilege assertion means one of two things. Either you or your most senior advisors were involved in managing Operation Fast & Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee, or, you are asserting a Presidential power that you know to be unjustified solely for the purpose of further obstructing a congressional investigation. To date, the White House has steadfastly maintained that it has not had any role in advising the Department with respect to the congressional investigation. The surprising assertion of executive privilege raised the question of whether that is still the case.
As you know, the Committee voted to recommend that the full House hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress for his continued refusal to produce relevant documents in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious. Last week’s proceeding would not have occurred had the Attorney General actually produced the subpoenaed documents he said he could provide. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the contempt resolution this week.
I remain hopeful that the Attorney General will produce the specified documents so that we can work towards resolving this matter short of a contempt citation. Furthermore, I am hopeful that, consistent with assertions of executive privilege by previous Administrations, you will define the universe of documents over which you asserted executive privilege and provide the Committee with the legal justification from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).
Background
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight with a group of armed Mexican bandits who preyed on illegal immigrants in a canyon west of Rio Rico, Arizona on December 14, 2010. Two guns traced to Operation Fast and Furious were found at the murder scene. The Terry family appeared before the Committee on June 15, 2011, to ask for answers about the program that put guns in the hands of the men who killed their son and brother. Having been stonewalled for months by the Attorney General and his senior staff, the Committee issued a subpoena for documents that would provide the Terry family the answers they seek. The subpoena was served on October 12, 2011.
Internally, over the course of the next eight months, the Justice Department identified140,000 pages of documents and communications responsive to the Committee’s subpoena. Yet, the Department handed over only 7,600 of these pages. Through a series of accommodations and in recognition of certain Executive Branch and law enforcement prerogatives, the Committee prioritized key documents the Department needed to produce to avoid contempt proceedings.
These key documents would help the Committee understand how and why the Justice Department moved from denying whistleblower allegations to understanding they were true; the identities of officials who attempted to retaliate against whistleblowers; the reactions of senior Department officials when confronted with evidence of gunwalking during Fast and Furious, including whether they were surprised or already aware of the use of this reckless tactic, and; whether senior Department officials are being held to the same standard as lower-level employees who have been blamed for Fast and Furious by their politically-appointed bosses in Washington.
I met with Attorney General Holder on June 19, 2012, to attempt to resolve this matter in advance of the Committee’s scheduled contempt vote. We were joined by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley, respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
The Department had previously identified a small subset of documents created after February 4, 2011 — the date of its letter containing the false claim that no gunwalking had occurred — that it would make available tithe Committee. The Justice Department described this small subset as a “fair compilation” of the full universe of post-February 4th documents responsive to the subpoena.
During the June 19th meeting, the Attorney General stated he wanted to “buy peace.” He indicated a willingness to produce the “fair compilation” of post-February 4th documents. He told me that he would provide the “fair compilation” of documents on three conditions: (1) that I permanently cancel the contempt vote; (2) that I agree the Department was in full compliance with the Committee’s subpoenas, and; (3) that I accept the “fair compilation,” sight unseen.
As Chairman of the primary investigative Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, I considered the Attorney General’s conditions unacceptable, as would have my predecessors from both sides of the aisle. I simply requested that the Department produce the “fair compilation” in advance of the contempt vote, with the understanding that I would postpone the vote to allow the Committee to review the documents.
The short meeting in the Capitol lasted about twenty minutes. The Attorney General left the meeting and, shortly thereafter, sent an eight-page letter containing more than forty citations requesting that you assert executive privilege. The following morning, the Deputy Attorney General informed me that you had taken the extraordinary step of asserting the privilege that is designed to protect presidential decision making.
In his letter, the Attorney General stated that releasing the documents covered by the subpoena, some of which he offered to the Committee hours earlier, would have “significant, damaging consequences.”1 It remains unclear how — in a matter of hours — the Attorney General moved from offering those documents in exchange for canceling the contempt vote and ending the congressional investigation to claiming that they are covered by executive privilege and that releasing them — which the Attorney General was prepared to do hours earlier —would now result in “significant, damaging consequences.”
The Scope of Executive Privilege
Deputy Attorney General Cole’s representation that “the President has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents” raised concerns that there was greater White House involvement in Operation Fast and Furious than previously thought.2 The courts have never considered executive privilege to extend to internal Executive Branch deliberative documents.
Absent from the Attorney General’s eight-page letter were the controlling authorities from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. As the court held in the seminal case of In re Sealed Case (Espy):
~~~~~~~~~~~~
1 Letter from U.S. Att’y Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. to the President (June 19, 2012), at 2.
2 Letter from Deputy U.S. Att’y Gen. James Cole to Chairman Issa (June 20, 2012).
~~~~~~~~~~~~
The privilege should not extend to staff outside the White House in executive branch agencies. Instead, the privilege should apply only to communications authored or solicited and received by those members of an immediate White House adviser’s staff who have broad and significant responsibility for investigating and formulating the advice to be given the President on the particular matter to which the communications relate.3
The D.C. Circuit established the “operational proximity test” to determine which communications are subject to privilege. Espy made clear that it is “operational proximity to the President that matters in determining whether the president’s confidentiality interest isimplicated.”4
In addition, even if the presidential communications privilege did apply to some of these subpoenaed documents, Espy made clear that “the presidential communications privilege is, at all times, a qualified one,” and that a showing of need could overcome it.5 Such a need — indeed a compelling one — plainly exists in this case.
The Justice Department has steadfastly maintained that the documents sought by the Committee do not implicate the White House whatsoever. If true, they are at best deliberative documents between and among Department personnel who lack the requisite “operational proximity” to the President. As such, they cannot be withheld pursuant to the constitutionally based executive privilege. Courts distinguish between the presidential communications privilege and the deliberative process privilege.
Both, the Espy court observed, are executive privileges designed to protect the confidentiality of Executive Branch decision-making. The deliberative process privilege, however, which applies to executive branch officials generally, is a common law privilege that requires a lower threshold of need to be overcome, and “disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct has occurred.”6
The Committee must assume that the White House Counsel’s Office is fully aware of the prevailing authorities of Espy, discussed above, and Judicial Watch v. Dep’t of Justice. 7 If the invocation of executive privilege was proper, it calls into question a number of public statements about the involvement of the White House made by you, your staff, and the Attorney General. Finally, the Attorney General’s letter to you cited numerous authorities from prior Administrations of both parties. It is important to note that the OLC opinions provided as authorities to justify expansive views of executive privilege are inconsistent with existing case law.
~~~~~~~~~~~
3 In re Sealed Case (Espy), 121 F.3d 729 (D.C. Cir. 1997).
4 Id.5 Id.6 Congressional Research Service, Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice, and Recent Developments (Aug. 21, 2008)
7 365 F.3d 1108 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (holding that presidential communications privilege only applied to documents“ solicited and received” by the President or his immediate advisers).
~~~~~~~~~~
Remarks about White House Involvement in Fast and Furious
For the past sixteen months, Senator Grassley and I have been investigating Operation Fast and Furious. In response to a question about the operation during an interview with Univision on March 22, 2011, you stated that, “Well first of all, I did not authorize it. Eric Holder, the Attorney General, did not authorize it.”8 You also stated that you were “absolutely not” informed about Operation Fast and Furious.9 Later in the interview, you said that “there may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made and if that’s the case then we’ll find out and we’ll hold somebody accountable.”10
From the early stages of the investigation, the White House has maintained that no White House personnel knew anything about Operation Fast and Furious. Your assertion of executive privilege, however, renews questions about White House involvement.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emphasized your denial that you knew about Fast and Furious. Mr. Carney stated, “I can tell you that, as the president has already said, he did not know about or authorize this operation.”11 A few weeks later, Mr. Carney reiterated the point, stating, “I think he made clear . . . during the Mexican state visit and the press conference he had then that he found out about this through news reports. And he takes it very seriously.”12
In an October 6, 2011 news conference, you maintained that Attorney General Holder“ indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious.”13 Regarding your own awareness, you went on to state, “Certainly I was not. And I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America.”14
On March 28, 2012, Senator Grassley and I wrote to Kathryn Ruemmler, who serves as your Counsel, to request that she grant our numerous requests to interview Kevin O’Reilly, a member of the White House National Security Staff. We needed Mr. O’Reilly’s testimony to ascertain the extent of White House involvement in Operation Fast and Furious.
In her response, Ms. Ruemmler advised us that the e-mail communications between Mr. O’Reilly and William Newell, the Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, did not reveal “the existence of any of the inappropriate investigative tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any decision to allow guns to ‘walk.’”15 She further emphasized “the absence of any evidence that suggests that Mr. O’Reilly had any involvement in ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ or was aware of the existence of any inappropriate investigative tactics.”16 Your assertion of executive privilege renews concerns about these denials.
~~~~~~~~~~~
8 Interview by Jorge Ramos, Univision, with President Barack Obama, San Salvador, El Salvador (Mar. 22, 2011).
9 Id.10 Id.11 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney (June 17, 2011).
12 The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney (July 5, 2011).
13 Richard Serrano, Obama Defends Attorney General: Holder Faces Scrutiny over ATF’s Fast and Furious Gun Operation, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, Oct. 7, 2011.
14 Id.15 Letter from Hon. Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President, to Hon. Darrell E. Issa, Chairman, H. Comm. On Oversight & Gov’t Reform, & Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary (Apr. 5,2012).
~~~~~~~~~~~
Earlier this month, when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith asked the Attorney General when the Justice Department first informed the White House about the questionable tactics used in Fast and Furious, he responded, “I don’t know.”17 He informed Chairman Smith that his focus was on “dealing with the problems associated with Fast and Furious,” and that he was “not awfully concerned about what the knowledge was in the WhiteHouse.”18
Attorney General Holder has assured the public that he takes this matter very seriously, stating that “to the extent we find that mistakes occurred, people will be held accountable.”19
Yet, he has described the Committee’s vote as “an election-year tactic.”20 Nothing could be further from the truth. This statement not only betrays a total lack of understanding of our investigation, it exemplifies the stonewalling we have consistently faced in attempting to work with the Justice Department. If the Attorney General had produced the responsive documents more than eight months ago when they were due, or at any time since then, we would not be where we are today.
Moving Forward
At the heart of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious are disastrous consequences: a murdered Border Patrol Agent, his grieving family, countless deaths in Mexico, and the souring effect on our relationship with Mexico. Members of the Committee from both sides of the aisle agree that the Terry family deserves answers. So, too, do Agent Terry’s brothers-in-arms in the border patrol, the Mexican government, and the American people. Unfortunately, your assertion of executive privilege raises more questions than it answers.
The Attorney General’s conditional offer of a “fair compilation” of a subset of documents covered by the subpoena, and your assertion of executive privilege, in no way substitute for the fact that the Justice Department is still grossly deficient in its compliance with the Committee’s subpoena. By the Department’s own admission, it has withheld more than130,000 pages of responsive documents.
I still believe that a settlement, rendering further contempt of Congress proceedings unnecessary, is in the best interests of the Justice Department, Congress, and those most directly affected by Operation Fast and Furious. In light of the settled law that confines the constitutionally-based executive privilege to high-level White House communications, I urge you to reconsider the decision to withhold documents that would allow Congress to complete its investigation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
16 Id.17 Oversight of the U.S. Dep’t of Justice: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 112th Cong. (June 7, 2012)(Test. of U.S. Att’y Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr.).
18 Id.19 Mike Levine, Guns Groups To Sue over New Obama Regulations, DOJ Vows To “Vigorously Oppose,”FOXNEWS.COM, Aug. 3, 2011, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/03/guns-groups-to-sue-over-new-obamaregulations-doj-vows-to-vigorously-oppose/#ixzz1yRMujaLY.
20 Congress Contempt Charge for U.S. Attorney General Holder, BBC NEWS, June 21, 2012,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18528798.
~~~~~~~~~~~`
In the meantime, so that the Committee and the public can better understand your role, and the role of your most senior advisors, in connection with Operation Fast and Furious, please clarify the question raised by your assertion of executive privilege:
To what extent were you or your most senior advisors involved in Operation Fast and Furious and the fallout from it, including the false February 4, 2011 letter provided by the Attorney General to the Committee?
Please also identify any communications, meetings, and teleconferences between the White House and the Justice Department between February 4, 2011 and June 18, 2012, the day before the Attorney General requested that you assert executive privilege.
I appreciate your prompt attention to this important matter.
Sincerely, Darrell Issa
Chairman
cc: The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
Senator Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. Senate Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. Senate
The Honorable Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President

Why Obama Has Already Lost The Fast & Furious Executive Privilege Issue In Court Of Public Opinion


MB26



Obama made a very serious mistake in invoking the issue of Executive Privilege in the F&F matter.
First, he has now made Holder's problems his problem. Why would he do that unless there was some smoking gun memo that involved Obama personally? Is his ego so big that he thinks that simply his "presence" will remedy the situation. If so, I would remind him of how successful he was in bringing the Olympic Games to Chicago.

But even if he prevails legally, which he probably will not, the public has already made up its mind.
The concept is simple: Why try to hide something, if there is nothing to hide.

It’s very much like what a judge once said about an accused invoking 5th Amendment protections in court:

“1: The person exercising their rights under the 5th Amendment has the absolute Constitutional right to do so.
2: The jury will be instructed as to that right and told that they must not, in any way, hold the exercising of that right against the person doing so.
3: Back in the jury room, regardless of the instruction shown in #2, most jury members thinking someone “taking the 5th” is guilty as hell, otherwise, why not answer the questions?!?!”

So it it with Obama. Regardless of whether or not the claim of Executive Privilege is upheld, most Americans already think Obama has something to hide.
That means he has already lost.
:)

Racist Hotline Audio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb6cN2W5jwI&feature=youtu.be

Arizona Work Camp

Biased, Incompetent CNN Ratings TANK... to a 21-YEAR Low!


Reaganite Republican ^ | June 27, 2012 | Reaganite Republican




Time-Warner learning credibility is a precious, frail thing


In the wake of it's worst primetime month in 20 years, CNN is taking an ever harder hit to it's once-towering prestige... it's lowest-rated quarter in primetime since 1991(!)...


For Q2 2012 the floundering network scared-off viewers by the score as the vital 25-54 demographic crashed and all primetime programs posted steep declines. CNN averaged 446,000 total viewers and 129,000 in that all-important (to advertisers) 25-54 group in primetime. Compared to last year, that’s down 35% and 41% respectively.
For purposes of comparison, for Q2 2012 Fox scored 1.79M viewers in primetime, down 1% as all TV networks face stiff competition from a booming new media.

As for other discredited Obammunist propaganda organs, MSNBC was down 13% in total primetime viewers and down 17% in the 25-54.


Even supposed flagship CNN shows had viewers running-away like the building was on fire: Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room, (4-6 PM Eastern), was down 42% in 25-54 and 26% in total viewers.

Inexplicably, that flailing show is now expanding to a full 3 hrs starting this Friday, as Blitzer attempts to fill the open hour following his slot left by the recent cancellation of John King's U.S.A., itself a ratings black-hole...


CNN FAIL video/more at Reaganite Republican


_________________________________________

Patrick Kennedy warns of Tea Party “rampage” if SCOTUS upholds Obamacare!

Patrick Kennedy warns of Tea Party “rampage” if SCOTUS upholds Obamacare
The Examiner ^ | 27 Jun 12 | Philip Klein



Patrick Kennedy, a former representative from Rhode Island and son of the late Ted Kennedy, warned in a fundraising email for Congressional Democrats that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds President Obama’s health care law, then “dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage.”

The fundraising email was sent out Wednesday afternoon, to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Health Care Rapid Response Fund” ahead of Thursday morning’s expected ruling by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the health care law.
“My father, Ted Kennedy, spent his entire political career fighting tooth and nail for universal health care,” the email reads.

It promises that, “If the Court strikes down the law, Democrats will need to redouble our efforts, fighting to ensure universal health care that’s affordable and accessible to every American is a reality.” But predicts, “If the Court upholds the law, dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage.”
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...


Why All My Ex's Live In Texas (Why all of America is moving to the Lone Star State)


Townhall ^ | 06/27/2012 | Wayne Allyn Root



Not only do my ex’s live in Texas, but your ex’s, and pretty much everyone else’s ex’s as well. All of America is moving to Texas. Especially the ex-residents of high tax states like California and New York. And, I'll bet many of the ex-residents of Big Brother tax and spend Massachusetts, Illinois and Michigan are there too. The fact is Texas led the nation in net population growth for the past decade, while New York and California led the nation in net population loss. Interestingly, the most new Texans (over 550,000) came from one state- California. They brought with them a remarkable $14.3 billion in income, but even that paled to the almost $1 trillion in assets and income that re-located New Yorkers brought to the Lone Star State.

From 2000 to 2010 a staggering 3.4 million people moved out of New York resulting in a net loss of 1.3 million residents. California was a close second with a net population loss of 1.2 million during the same decade.

So why is everyone running for their lives from New York and California? And why are so many of them heading to Texas? The answer is taxes, regulations, and quality of life. Americans have figured out that high taxes and excessive regulations kill jobs and quality of life. People simply want to have more opportunity for success and keep more of the money they work so hard to earn.

It’s no coincidence that New York has ranked first or second in the nation for tax burden every year since 1977. That includes state income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. There is also gas tax of a whopping 49 cents per gallon, and the highest estate and gift taxes in the nation. After grabbing more of your money than any state while you’re alive, New York also steals more of your money after you’re dead. I should know- I left New York 25 years ago and never looked back.
California now ranks first (ie worst) for highest state income tax. Add to that the mantle of worst state in the nation for excessive rules and regulations. It’s no wonder the Milken Institute ranks California as having the worst business environment in the nation. I should know- I left California too.
Lest you think this is some kind of fluke, or that taxes are not the determining factor in this “escape from NY and California,” it isn’t just Texas that is gaining all these fleeing residents. The U.S. Census reported that all of the top 15 states for population growth during the past decade are no tax or low tax states like Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. It seems Americans are smarter than politicians give them credit for- they are voting with their feet for lower taxes, pro business attitude, and more economic freedom.
Because no state in the union has a better economy, let’s look "up close and personal" at the Texas miracle. Texas practices what I proudly call “Wild West Cowboy Capitalism.” And it works!
Texas has zero state income tax, zero capital gains taxes, and zero death taxes. It is a “right to work” state where employees may choose to join a union, but are never forced to. It is pro business and anti-lawyer (discouraging class action lawsuits and the first state to pass a “Loser Pays” law). Texas is also tight-fisted with welfare and entitlement benefits- unlike New York and California. The result of this limited government attitude is people with high incomes, assets, and ambition are moving into Texas, while those who lack work ethic, and feel entitled to handouts are moving out. Good riddance.
But the most important attribute of Texas is that its constitution limits the time that politicians can meet. The Texas Legislature is limited to meeting only 4 months every other year. That pretty much explains everything. Texas and my state of Nevada have no state income taxes and the fastest growing populations in America…not in spite of, but because the politicians aren't allowed to sit in their seats all year long thinking of new ways to re-distribute income, impede business, and destroy jobs.
Let’s look at the remarkable results of favoring hard working job-creators over entitlement addicts, and business owners over lawyers. Texas now has more Fortune 500 headquarters than New York. It tied for the highest state economic growth in America over the past 50 years, while displacing New York as the second largest state economy. The annual Texas economy has passed $1 trillion, accounting for 8.3% of the entire U.S. economy. In the last three years one third of all jobs in America were created in Texas, and in the past decade, more jobs were created in Texas than in the other 49 states COMBINED.
One smart businessman, Andrew Puzder, sums it up. Mr. Puzder, CEO of California-based CKE Restaurants with over 3000 restaurants including Carl’s Jr. and Hardees was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal. He calls his home state of California “the most business-unfriendly state…” Opening one of his restaurants in California takes 2 years and costs $200,000 more than opening one in Texas, where it takes only 6 weeks. Is it a surprise that CKE has stopped opening new restaurants in California, but plans to open 300 in Texas?
So there you have it. Now you know why everyone’s ex’s live in Texas (or soon will), and why businesses, as well as people, choose states that treat them better, give them more freedom, and allow them to keep more of their own money. Imagine that? The results of smaller government, restrained politicians and lower taxes is dramatically increased wealth, happier citizens with a higher quality of life, and far higher job creation.
PS. My Texas friends want everyone to know, “Come on down, ya’ll are welcome. Just leave your liberal politics at home.”

Is Obama Planning to Reinstate Obamacare via Executive Order?


National Review Online - The Corner ^ | June 27, 2012 | Avik Roy



“We will be prepared,” said Obama aide Valerie Jarrett this week when asked about White House contingency plans in the event that Obamacare is struck down by the Supreme Court. But on Twitter, Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic said something interesting: that the White House has executive orders ready to go if Obamacare is struck down. “Their content and timing I don’t know,” Marc says. “But they’ve got contingency plans a-plenty.”

It’s not clear to me exactly how much of Obamacare can be reinstated via executive order. It’s certainly conceivable that the president could issue costly mandates that affect private insurers. But the president couldn’t expand Medicaid on his own, or ration Medicare without congressional approval.

“Obama’s White Support Is Too Low to Win” a headline that needs no explanation


coachisright.com ^ | June 27, 2012 | Kevin "Coach" Collins



Last Friday Rush read …. Real Clear Politics article called “Obama’s White Support Is Too Low to Win.” The message …… should have been clear enough, but some choose to nuance its message.
Saying Barack Obama doesn’t have enough White support to win doesn’t need a “Yeah but” attached to it, but of course it did. In this case unfortunately the “Yeah but” was, “electoral data indicates Mitt Romney has not yet attracted enough of these white voters to capitalize on Obama’s weakness.”
Although this line was probably necessary to gain approval from a cautious editor, there isn’t much “there” there.
It deliberately overlooks a huge White rhino in Mitt Romney’s campaign war room: of those who intend to pull a lever for Romney probably more than half will be voting AGAINST Barack Obama not FOR Mitt Romney.
There are few commenters who will say the truth about what is happening on our street corners and “meeting places” on line.
Nevertheless, what they are ducking is that, put bluntly, most people who want to get rid of Obama see Mitt Romney as the name on a commode handle they MUST pull down to flush Obama away and not much more.
Enthusiasm on the Right far out strips that of the Left. Barack Obama has brought about the return of the “broken glass conservative” – people who would swim through alligators then crawl through broken glass to vote against him.
These voters don’t really care whose name is on the Republican line.
Yes White people will vote against Obama and yes the Left will call that racism Blacks voting 95% for Obama in 2008 was NOT racist? but none of that means anything. Whites will vote against Obama for the same reasons 20% of Blacks….
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

CALL NOW! DOJ Sets Up “Hotline” For Illegals to Complain About Arizona’s SB1070


Stand With Arizona ^ | 06-27-2012 | John Hill




The Obama Administration shows us once again who is its TRUE constituents: ILLEGAL ALIENS.
The Department of Justice, angered by the Supreme Court unanimously upholding Arizona's ability to check the immigration status of anyone stopped by police under S.B. 1070 - has setup a "hotline" to report "civil rights" concerns under the new law.
The Justice Department has set up a hotline for the public to report potential civil rights concerns regarding the Arizona law that requires police to check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons.
Meanhwhile, where's the "hotline" for CITIZENS who have lost their jobs thanks to Obama slashing worksite enforcement by over 70% since he took office? Where is the "hotline" for Americans victimized by illegal alien criminals from coast-to-coast?
Where is the "hotline" for states, cities and towns across America which have been pushed to the financial brink by illegals bankrupting hospitals and straining schools and social services to the breaking point?
Sorry, pal, the DOJ is NOT interested in you. Well, too damn bad. LET'S CALL THEM ANYWAY!
*** Call the DOJ "CIVIL RIGHTS" HOTLINE NOW: 1-855-353-1010 ***
A LIVE person answered without delay when I called (sparing no expense to help illegals fight those evil Arizonans). So go ahead and call now. After 5PM EST it is set to voicemail - so BLAST it 'till it's full.
BTW, make sure to key in *67 before you dial - after all it is re-election time, and the Administration has the Big Brother knob set to 11.
*** Or you can Email them: SB1070@usdoj.gov ***
TELL THEM YOU STAND WITH ARIZONA AND THE RULE OF LAW!
Complain about all the illegals taking jobs, stealing identities, and driving without licenses or insurance, and demand they do something about it!
BTW, to see just how deep the La Raza tentacles reach into this Admin., the DOJ Civil Rights Division Chief is Thomas Perez...who previously served on the board of CASA DE MARYLAND - our main opponents in our recent victory to stop Maryland's Dream Act in-state tuition for illegals. this is in addition to Cecilia Munoz, La Raza's (NCLR) former chief lobbyist who now is one of Obama's most senior staffers.
Is there ANYONE in this Administration who cares about legal citizens?

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Voter Apathy Isn't a Crime!


Townhall.com ^ | June 27, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg



It's a sure sign someone is losing when he demands that the rules be changed.

That might explain the renewed interest in forcing people to vote against their will. Peter Orszag, President Obama's former budget director and now a vice chairman at Citigroup, recently wrote a column for Bloomberg View arguing for making voting mandatory.

He's not alone. Icons of the Beltway establishment Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann also favor the idea. As does William Galston, a former advisor to President Clinton. (Mann and Galston are scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution; Ornstein is a colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute.)

While I have great respect for Ornstein, Mann and Galston -- I'm undecided about Orszag -- I find the idea absurd, cynical and repugnant.

Let's start with the repugnant part.

One of the chief benefits of coerced voting, according to Orszag, is that it increases participation. Well, yes, and kidnapping drunks in pubs increased the ranks of the British navy, but it didn't turn the conscripted sailors into patriots.
I think everyone can agree that civic virtue depends on civic participation. Well, any reasonable understanding of civic participation has to include the idea of voluntarism. If I force you to do the right thing against your will, you don't get credit for doing the right thing.
Let's move on to the absurdity. Ornstein and Mann suggest fining people, say $15, if they don't vote and using the proceeds to set up a lottery to bribe reluctant voters. If the old line that lotteries are taxes on stupid people is correct, then the upshot of this proposal is that the cure to what ails democracy is an influx of large numbers of stupid voters.
Even if all the people who play the lottery aren't stupid (I've bought my share of tickets), there's still a problem. Do we really think democracy will be improved by enlisting the opinions of Americans who otherwise wouldn't bother if there wasn't a jackpot in the offing?
This brings us to the cynicism of it all. While many political scientists and economists hold that mandatory voting probably wouldn't change electoral outcomes, many people still believe that compelling the poor, the uneducated and the politically unengaged would be a boon to Democrats (what that says about Democrats is for others to judge). I wonder: Would the winner of the ballot lottery have to show a photo ID?
It's hard to see how Orszag is interested in anything other than changing the rules for his side's benefit. As Reason magazine's Tim Cavanaugh notes, just last year Orszag argued for taking some policymaking out of the hands of voters and empowering technocrats -- like him -- to run the country. "We need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions," Orszag explained, "by making them a bit less democratic."
Ornstein and Mann, whose new book blames Republicans for all that's wrong in Washington, make a slightly different argument. They claim that coerced voting would revive the political center by reducing the influence of activists and ideologues.
Ultimately, this is a more sophisticated way of making the same argument. They do not like the way conservatives have been winning battles in Washington. Forcing people to vote, they hope, would put an end to that.
And it's worth noting that we are talking about making nonvoting a crime. If a citizen refuses to vote or pay the fine -- and countless would -- he would be breaking the law. How far would the government go to compel these citizens to pay up or comply? This is how the "experts" would make democracy healthier?
It's an unfashionable thing to say, but if anything, voting should be harder, not easier. Scarcity creates value. Sand is cheap because there's so much of it. Gold is valuable because it is rare. If you want people to value their vote, we should make it more valuable.
Personally, I wouldn't mind tying eligibility to vote to passing the same citizenship test we require of immigrants. We might get fewer voters, but the voters would be far more likely to appreciate the solemnity of their ballots.
But such proposals just elicit rage from people who love democracy -- albeit only when they're winning.