Thursday, July 12, 2012

What Does a Conservative Believe?

by Marc Gindin

Let's lay out the belief system of a conservative, as applied in the 21st century. If you're a conservative -- or if you know someone who claims the conservative label -- here's what it means:

Government's job is to protect the individual's rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. A conservative America looks to the government as an enforcement body, one that steers clear of individual ambition and activity and makes way for a person's freedom to do (or not do) anything at all, so long he doesn't infringe on someone else's rights in the process. Conservatives do not look to the government to solve problems.

No person has any rights at all OTHER than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A conservative believes that the Constitution lays out a federalist system and utilizes a separation of centralized powers to ensure that no branch of government get too strong or too imposing on the people. The Bill of Rights makes very clear exactly what the general government CANNOT do, so as to protect the right for an individual to protect himself and seek to stay alive, the right for an individual to exercise free will, and the right for an individual to pursue his own hopes and dreams. No one is entitled to anything else in the United States.

Congress's legislative powers are outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 lays out 18 enumerated powers, or areas of responsibility, granted to Congress that it may fund through its taxing power. A conservative believes that Congress's scope of legislative powers is finite, limited only to those 18 powers.

The "general welfare" clause of the Constitution is not a power. Despite misunderstandings by so many Supreme Court justices, James Madison made very clear in the Federalist Papers that the statement preceding the 18 enumerated powers does two things: 1) it establishes Congress's power to lay and collect taxes, and 2) it sets the purpose of the taxing power as the funding of the 18 enumerated powers that follow. Madison defines the term "general welfare" precisely AS the enumerated powers that follow it -- meaning that if a particular federal program or line item does not appear on that list, it was never intended to be a power of Congress to create or legislate. A conservative understands and believes this.

"Necessary and proper" is not a power of Congress either. This statement was included at the end of Article 1, Section 8, granting the Congress the power to pass any laws necessary and proper to exercise its powers as defined in Article 1, Section 8. This means nothing more than, "Hey Guys -- we need a new coin called a penny. Let's pass a law and make it so." It is not a license for Congress to do whatever it wants or an excuse to expand its power.

The needs, wants, and desires of individuals are the responsibility of individuals. Conservatives believe that government has no appropriate role in your birth, your health care, your lower education, your higher education, your food, your recreation, your housing, or your retirement. All of these needs, wants, and desires can be serviced in the private sector and in fact all traditionally have been. Where the people of a particular state DO want government involvement in some or all of these things, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution allows for this by state and local governments, but these are NEVER functions of the central government.

Your need, want, or desire for something isn't my obligation or responsibility to provide it. Conservatives believe that society at large is not responsible for that which is sought by some, but they also understand that in a free market, that which some want will be provided by others in exchange for money. The average farmer grows food not for the common good but for the opportunity to sell it through the marketplace and make a profit. A doctor practices medicine for the same reason, as do plumbers, bankers, retailers, stock traders, and entrepreneurs practice their trades and run their businesses: to serve market demand and earn a living. Further, a conservative believes that the intensity of someone's need has no affect on the government's power to compel others to provide it.

Be charitable and help people. Conservatives who live their beliefs understand the importance of helping others as an offset to government encroachment. Those who need a hand up should be able to reach out to family, friends, religious institutions, neighborhood programs, local assistance, and, as a worst case, to a state-level safety net. The best assistance, however, is temporary and provided by those closest to the person who needs it. The value of donating time, money, and resources to the people and causes conservatives care most about cannot be overstated.

Some specific policy beliefs:

Free markets invariably yield better products than government monopolies. Education, for example, should be fully returned to the private sector: let educators compete for students, eliminate property taxes used to fund education, and let parents send their children to the private schools of their choosing -- or let parents send their kids nowhere at all. Your desire to have your children educated is not my responsibility to pay the teacher or teach your child. And your desire to have 15 kids AND send them to school is definitely not my obligation to shell out dollars to educate them. Part of your choice to have 15 kids should be the consideration that you'll need to educate 15 kids.

Public housing projects should be eliminated in favor of allowing folks with less money to find housing they can afford, even if it requires relocation. No one has a right to live in a particular city, and nothing good comes of large concentrations of disadvantaged, public-subsidized folks living in tight quarters together. Further, your desire to live in, say, Manhattan is not my obligation to contribute tax dollars to the apartment you can't afford. Pick yourself up and move somewhere with lower rent.

Public budgets should be balanced except in case of emergency.

Everyone should pay taxes and enjoy identical tax rules. As the government has no need to know the intricate details of our employment and our incomes, a flat consumption tax applied to everyone at time of purchase is the best way to fund central, state, and local governments. This approach also eliminates the IRS.

Eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), Obamacare, and all other federally funded social programs that exceed the general government's constitutional authority. End all taxes for these programs and return this money to the states and the people who earned it to make choices for themselves. States, of course, may choose to evaluate and enact some or all of these programs for their own residents and tax accordingly, but that is permitted via the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Get federal funds out of all non-profit organizations, charities, and universities. Taxpayer dollars are only to be collected for the purposes outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and the Congress of the United States has no power to distribute tax dollars for any other purpose. In a free enterprise system non-profits and charities should have to compete for your dollars in the marketplace of ideas. They should NOT land a windfall from the federal government as simply an outcome of a successful lobbying effort.

Be a better person, and hold your elected officials to the same standard. While we all complain about the corruption in the government, we vote for corrupt candidates over and over again. Hold your representatives to the same high standard you hold yourself, and things will begin to change.

The Media's "Republicans Have No Obamacare Replacement" Myth ^ | 07/12/2012 | Ben Domenech

Of all the absurd memes repeated by the policy-bereft media these days, the idea that Republicans have no plan to replace Obamacare is one of the most irritatingly false. Here’s the latest example at Politico. Keep in mind how bizarrely ignorant this piece is by considering this context: it would’ve been as absurd to claim that Democrats had no plan for health care in 2009 because there were bills introduced with key elements differing, and occasionally clashing, with each other - or saying they had no plan in the summer of 2008 because Barack Obama's plan was only bullet points on a page, not legislation.
A legislative process inevitably involves internal negotiation and give and take between the ideal and the feasible, and should Republicans have the opportunity to pass something after November, that’s exactly what they’ll do.
What’s more, there’s far more agreement internally in the Republican Party on the broad strokes of this replacement than there was in the Democratic Party at this point in 2008, when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were slamming each other openly about the individual mandate and the public option was a single line in a campaign white paper.
Regardless of what the Romney campaign proposes to do on health care, Congressional Republicans know what they want to do. Here are eight things they agree about:

  1. They want to end the tax bias in favor of employer-sponsored health insurance to create full portability (either through a tax credit, deductibility, or another method);
  2. They want to reform medical malpractice laws (likely through carrot incentives to the states);
  3. They want to allow for insurance purchases across state lines;
  4. They want to support state-level pre-existing condition pools;
  5. They want to fully block grant Medicaid;
  6. They want to shift Medicare to premium support;
  7. They want to speed up the FDA device and drug approval process; and
  8. They want to maximize the health savings account model, one of the few avenues proven to lower health care spending, making these high deductible + HSA plans more attractive where Obamacare hamstrung them.
This is a picture of broad agreement throughout the caucus on numerous health policy issues – the only real disagreements are about how to achieve these goals, not what the goals are. But what’s notable about this approach is that unlike PPACA, you don’t need the Rube Goldberg-like assemblage of a 2,700 page bill to do it. You can do this in fifty pages, as Rep. Paul Broun does (he also reforms EMTALA, too!), or you could break them up and pass them separately. You don’t have a situation where pulling one block out makes the rest collapse, as we’re seeing even now in the arguments over states passing on the Medicaid expansion. Journalists who say this more gradualist approach to reform means there is no plan betray their ignorance or their bias or both.
Oh, and here are twenty-seven pages of health care bills Republicans introduced in this Congress – some comprehensive reforms, some partial. These are some of the best ones.

NBC's Guthrie Worries: Is Romney Campaign 'Calling the President a Liar?' (Well, if the shoe fits) ^ | July 12, 2012 | Kyle Drennen

In an interview with Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over Republicans dismantling false Obama campaign attacks that Romney outsourced jobs as head of Bain Capital: "I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today....are you calling the President a liar?"

Gillespie didn't shy away from the charge: "What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie...independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign."

Guthrie acknowledged: "It is true that some of these outsourcing allegations have been disputed by fact-checkers..." Actually, the allegations have been proven false by fact-checkers, not simply "disputed."

Trying to deflect the falsehood of the Obama attacks, Guthrie attempted to undermine Romney's record as a job-creator at Bain: "...the outsourcing happened after Romney left day-to-day control of Bain Capital....if that's going to be the line of demarcation, should Romney not take credit for jobs created by Bain after that point in 1999 when he gave up day-to-day control?"

Gillespie explained: is true that jobs were created at places like Staples, Sports Authority, and others, that have resulted in thousands of Americans today being in a job. And the fact is, those companies are successful because of the investments that Bain made in them. But to say that, you know, moving jobs overseas, when it didn't happen while Governor Romney was the CEO of Bain, patently false and Americans have the right to know that.
Gillespie also made sure to point out President Obama's factual record of outsourcing: "...under President Obama we've seen outsourcing from our stimulus dollars, millions of dollars going to create jobs in Finland, in Denmark, in China. So, when you're looking at real facts, the facts are President Obama is the outsourcer-in-chief..."
Guthrie bristled at that charge as she wrapped up the segment: "Well, to be continued for sure. I know that's an allegation the Obama campaign likewise disputes, but we'll continue it another day."
Here is a portion of the July 12 interview:

GUTHRIE: Ed, I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today, that responds to President Obama's campaign's allegations that Bain Capital – which Romney of course headed up for many, many years – outsourced jobs. Here's a portion of the ad from the Romney campaign today.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [ROMNEY AD NARRATOR]: When a president doesn't tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead? The Obama outsourcing attacks, "misleading, unfair and untrue." There was "no evidence" that Mitt Romney shipped jobs overseas. 

GUTHRIE: Ed, before we get into the specifics of the charge, let's just ask you point-blank, is – are you calling the President a liar?
GILLESPIE: What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie. If you look at – that's based on numerous independent fact-checking – independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign. There's another ad running in northern Virginia by the Obama campaign which completely misrepresents Governor Romney's views on the issue of life.
We have an obligation as a campaign to make sure that when voters vote, they vote based on true information, that they have accurate information on which to base their vote, and right now these – the Obama campaign ads have been shown to be demonstrably false and that's a – you know, those – that's another way of saying a lie, obviously.
GUTHRIE: It is true that some of these outsourcing allegations have been disputed by fact-checkers, saying that these – the outsourcing happened after Romney left day-to-day control of Bain Capital. I guess my question to you is, if that's going to be the line of demarcation, should Romney not take credit for jobs created by Bain after that point in 1999 when he gave up day-to-day control?
GILLESPIE: Well, look, Savannah, the – as you noted, and that is the – you know, one of the central reasons why the ad is false, is that he didn't have control and didn't, you know, shut down jobs. In fact, all of the companies cited in that Washington Post article that while Governor Romney was CEO of Bain added jobs in the United States, created jobs. And it is true that jobs were created at places like Staples, Sports Authority, and others, that have resulted in thousands of Americans today being in a job. And the fact is, those companies are successful because of the investments that Bain made in them. But to say that, you know, moving jobs overseas, when it didn't happen while Governor Romney was the CEO of Bain, patently false and Americans have the right to know that.
By the way, it is true, as we know, that under President Obama we've seen outsourcing from our stimulus dollars, millions of dollars going to create jobs in Finland, in Denmark, in China. So, when you're looking at real facts, the facts are President Obama is the outsourcer-in-chief and Governor Romney, while he was at Bain, did not move jobs overseas.
GUTHRIE: Well, to be continued for sure. I know that's an allegation the Obama campaign likewise disputes, but we'll continue it another day. Ed Gillespie, thank you.
MATT LAUER: And by the way, speaking-
GILLESPIE: Thank you, Savannah.
LAUER: Pardon me, Ed. Speaking of politics, Savannah tomorrow on Today, you will sit down with former President Bill Clinton to talk about the presidential race, the state of the economy, and his upcoming trip to Africa.
GUTHRIE: Lots to talk about.

NBC News Declared Dead: Microsoft Leaves MSNBC

American Spectator ^ | July 12, 2012 | Jeffrey Lord

NBC News, the legendary television and news organization that once starred such journalistic pros as Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw was declared officially dead on Wednesday afternoon.

The death was preceded by a stunning divorce announcement between Microsoft and NBC that had resulted in a long, tempestuous televised and website union known as MSNBC.
The details of the divorce are reported by Daily Beast media columnist Howard Kurtz.
In the traditional style of liberal journalism, the real story was buried deep inside the Kurtz piece and revealed this way:

…as the MSNBC channel has forged a separate identity as the liberal home of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and others, the company has worried about the brand confusion caused by its straight-news site bearing the same name.
Catch that?

There were worries at corporate about "brand confusion" between "the liberal home of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and others" with the so-called "straight-news site bearing the same name."
So the obvious question.
Why in the world would NBC be worried about "brand confusion" with a cable version of itself?
That's right. Because there was nothing "straight-news" about what has evolved at MSNBC.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Big Labor gives Obama, Democrats big cold shoulder with alternate convention

Daily Caller ^ | July 12, 2012 | Michelle Fields

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Thursday that his union will not be at the Democratic convention, “do[es] not intend to put any money into the convention” and will be hosting its own convention — without Obama.

Speaking in Washington, D.C., Trumka said the labor group “will not be doing extravagant events” at this year’s convention like “we’ve done in the past.”

Instead of giving money to the Obama campaign and Democrats they are focusing on their own event that rivals the Democratic convention. The event, called “Workers Stand for America” will be held on August 11 in Philadelphia.
“We will be having a bigger on the ground effort than we have ever had in the past” said Trumka. “This time around, unlike in past elections, we’ll be able to talk to non-union workers. So not only will we be educating, mobilizing, and getting out the vote of unions … we’ll also be talking to non-union workers”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Harry Reid: Romney ‘couldn’t be confirmed as a dog catcher’(Desperate democraps!)

YahooNews ^ | 07/12/12 | Holly Bailey

President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have launched a sustained attack this week over Mitt Romney's refusal to release additional tax returns, suggesting the Republican nominee is trying to "hide" something from the American people. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested Romney would never win Senate confirmation for a Cabinet position because "he won't show anybody his tax returns."

 But as Politico reports, Reid took that criticism a step further on Thursday, saying that Romney couldn't even win confirmation to be a "dog catcher."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama Guts Welfare Reform

The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) ^ | July 12, 2012 | Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley

Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the reform law. The Obama directive bludgeons the letter and intent of the actual reform legislation.

Welfare Reform under Clinton

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The underlying concept of welfare reform was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.

The welfare reform law is often characterized as simply giving state governments more flexibility in operating welfare programs. This is a serious misunderstanding. While new law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) did grants states more flexibility in some respects, the core of the act was the creation of rigorous new federal work standards that state governments were required to implement.

The welfare reform law was very successful. In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline. But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half. Employment surged and child poverty among affected groups plummeted. The driving force behind these improvements was the rigorous new federal work requirements contained in the TANF law.

Obama’s Trick to Get Around Work Requirements

Today the Obama Administration issued a new directive stating that the traditional TANF work requirements can be waived or overridden by a legal device called the section 1115 waiver authority under the Social Security law (42 U.S.C. 1315).

Section 1115 states that “the Secretary may waive compliance with any of the requirements” of specified parts of various laws. But this is not an open-ended authority: Any provision of law that can be waived under section 1115 must be listed in section 1115 itself. The work provisions of the TANF program are contained in section 407 (entitled, appropriately, “mandatory work requirements”). Critically, this section, as well as most other TANF requirements, are deliberately not listed in section 1115; they are not waiveable.

In establishing TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from the section 1115 waiver authority. They did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of Health and Human Services (HHS) bureaucrats. Of the roughly 35 sections of the TANF law, only one is listed as waiveable under section 1115. This is section 402.

Section 402 describes state plans—reports that state governments must file to HHS describing the actions they will undertake to comply with the many requirements established in the other sections of the TANF law. The authority to waive section 402 provides the option to waive state reporting requirements only, not to overturn the core requirements of the TANF program contained in the other sections of the TANF law.

The new Obama dictate asserts that because the work requirements, established in section 407, are mentioned as an item that state governments must report about in section 402, all the work requirements can be waived. This removes the core of the TANF program; TANF becomes a blank slate that HHS bureaucrats and liberal state bureaucrats can rewrite at will.
Congressional Research Service: “There Are No TANF Waivers”

In a December 2001 document, “Welfare Reform Waivers and TANF,” the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that the limited authority to waive state reporting requirement in section 402 does not grant authority to override work and other major requirements in the other sections of the TANF law (sections that were deliberately not listed under the section 1115 waiver authority):

Technically, there is waiver authority for TANF state plan requirement; however, [the] major TANF requirements are not in state plans. Effectively, there are no TANF waivers.

Obviously, if the Congress had wanted HHS to be able to waive the TANF work requirements laid out in section 407, it would have listed that section as waiveable under section 1115. It did not do that.

Define “Work”…

In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work.

The new welfare dictate issued by the Obama Administration clearly guts the law. The Administration tramples on the actual legislation passed by Congress and seeks to impose its own policy choices—a pattern that has become all too common in this Administration.

The result is the end of welfare reform.

Obama Had No Time for the NAALCP

Rush ^ | July 12, 2012 | Rush Limbaugh


RUSH: You know, one of the biggest lies that the news media and the rest of the Democrat Party is foisted on us for the past 50-years-plus is the lie that the Democrat Party is the savior of blacks and all minorities.

Do you realize Democrats were the ones who started the KKK?

You don't find Republican senators that were members of the KKK. But Robert "Sheets" Byrd (Democrat-West Virginia) was a Grand Wizard or Kleagle or whatever. He was a recruiter for the KKK. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats were the ones who turned fire hoses and police dogs on civil rights marchers in Alabama. Not just Alabama, all across the South. Bull Connor was a Democrat. Democrats were the people standing in the schoolhouse doors refusing to admit black students that wanted an equal education with white students.

It was Democrats who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It was Democrats that LBJ had problems with, trying to get the Civil Rights Act passed. Now the Democrats have the gall to accuse Republicans of working against blacks and other minorities. As for Biden and Reverend Wright, we don't really care what Biden learned from Reverend Wright. We want to know what Obama learned from Reverend Wright. The KKK was a wing of the Democrat Party. It was the militant wing of the Democrat Party.

The KKK was created to stop blacks and whites from voting for Republicans. The earliest targets of the KKK were Republicans! How many of you people are probably shocked to hear this? This is one of the great reversals of reality that has taken place in this nation's history. A greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act in the Senate in 1964 than Democrats, and yet look at what everybody thinks! John Lewis -- who, as he describes it, "got beat upside the head" at the Selma march -- got beat upside the head by Democrats.

John Lewis marched with Dr. King and got beat up by Democrats. He had the fire hoses turned on him by Democrats. He had the dogs turned loose on him by Democrats. He was chased down by the Ku Klux Klan. It was Democrats that killed Emmett Till. It wasn't Republicans. You'd never know it. And now, if you are just joining us, I have to share with you the quote of the day. It comes from Charlette Stoker Manning, chairwoman of Women in NAACP.

She told the website BuzzFeed, after Romney's speech at the NAACP yesterday, quote, "You can't possibly talk about jobs for black people at the level he's coming from. He's talking about entrepreneurship, savings accounts -- black people can barely find a way to get back and forth from work." What do you mean, savings accounts? Start your own business? Black people don't understand that! Those things aren't for black people.

Now, she wants people to think that this country's so racist and so discriminatory that it doesn't let blacks have savings accounts. The Democrat Party is the party that engineered all of those so-called predatory loans that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. Guess who was the target of those loans? It was blacks. And they want you to believe that Wall Street bankers came up with the idea. The idea was Bill Clinton's, feeding off an idea of Jimmy Carter's.

And it was rooted in this notion of "fairness," that it wasn't fair that some people should have homes while other people don't. And black people were being denied the American dream. So let's come up with a way to get 'em into houses. Okay, we'll give '
em mortgages that they can't possibly pay back. Democrat Janet Reno, attorney general under Bill Clinton, told banks they would be investigated if they didn't participate in the program. This is another historical reversal of fact.

Now it's Wall Street banks that came up with the program, instituted the program, 'cause they're racist and selfish and greedy. What sensible businessman makes a loan to somebody that will never be able to pay it back?

What wizard comes up with a program like that?

Nobody does, unless your government commands that you do it under threat of investigation. Now, I mentioned that Obama didn't show up the NAALCP, and there's a simple reason. He's got no story to tell. He cannot go to the NAACP and engender a bunch of support based on what's happened. He cannot ask them to give him four more years of this presidency. He can't go and celebrate good times with 'em. Remember, he's the first black president. Historical.

It was gonna mean so much. It was gonna be the end of so much and the beginning of so much wonderfulness. And it's been an utter disaster! There's not one positive thing Barack Obama could say to 'em. So he sends surrogates out to make the conventioneers feel sorry for him. "Yeah, they're attacking our president. They're attacking our young guy. You gotta have Barack's back. You gotta make sure they don't get Barack! You gotta protect Barack!"

These people say, "Okay, fine. What's he doing for us?"

"Well, doesn't matter." He's got nothing to say to 'em. He's got no good times to share. He can't promise 'em anything better 'cause he's not gonna change anything he's doing. It's only gonna get worse for 'em. He's gotta finish the job, but he can't tell 'em that. Finishing the job (snorts) is misery for everybody. But he did send a video. Yeeees, the first black president sent in a video. We have two sound bites of it. Here's the first of the two.

OBAMA: Good morning, NAACP! I'm sorry I can't be with you in person this year, but I wanted to take moment to thank your board chairman, Roslyn Brock, and President Ben Jealous for their leadership and strong partnership that they formed with my administration. I want to thank everybody at the NAACP's 103rd Convention for coming together, not just today, but every day, to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice. I stand on your shoulders.

RUSH: Right. And then -- and then -- he told 'em that he's creating ladders to the middle class. Now, that was Romney that went and talked about the middle class. Romney is the one who treated 'em as equals. Romney spoke to 'em as adults. Romney spoke to them as men and women who have the same objectives for their families as he does: An improved standard of living, more freedom, greater quality of life. That's what Romney went and spoke to 'em about. But Obama, he's telling them he is building ladder to the middle class. Which, of course, implies what? There aren't any blacks in the middle class, which is what these people all want everybody to think.

OBAMA: I will get up every single day and fight as hard as I can for that big, diverse, hopeful, optimistic, hardworking America that we love. An America where we're lookin' out for the middle class. An America where we're creating ladders for people who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class. That's my promise to you. And if you keep standing with me, if you keep persevering like the NAACP always has, then I know that we can arrive there together. Thank you so much. I'm proud of all that you do.

RUSH: Pshew! Folks, it's an alternate universe. It is the Twilight Zone. "I had time to go to George Clooney's house. I had time to hang around with his girlfriend. You ought to see that babe. She's six feet tall, former WWE. I mean, you ought to see her moves! I gotta spend time with her. I spent some time with Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz. I'm all over the place. I got time. In fact, I'm going over to Paris.

"Well, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to get there, but Clooney's gonna be raising money for me in Paris in August, and I'll probably go to Olympics. I'll watch the swimming. I'm not going to Martha's Vineyard, that wouldn't look good, but I've been there the last two years. I had time to go to New York. You know, Michelle and I went to the greatest Broadway play and couple of nice restaurants.

"We took both Air Force Ones, you know that? We went to Spain. Well, Michelle went to Spain. I went to Hamburger Heaven, but that doesn't matter. I just don't have time to come to Houston. I just can't bop in to your convention. I had dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker's house. Oh, I wish you all coulda been with me there. Anna Wintour from Vogue magazine came in. We had these clods -- uh, uh, members of the public -- that won a chance have dinner with me.

"And I'm going back to San Francisco. I'm going back to Beverly Hills. I got some more fundraising to do with some movie stars. I've been to 158 fundraisers, and I'm having more fun than ever. I'm eating well. Everything is just exactly as I had imagine. I just don't have time to come to Houston. Now, I gotta go because Clooney's on the phone. There's some problem with Paris that I gotta figure out. But you keep doing what you've been do. We're gonna be just fine."

Pentagon Develops Easy Capture Nano-second Electrical Pulse Stun Gun ^ | 12 July, 2012 | R.J. Huneke

Get fired upon and instantaneously be rendered unconscious by the Department of Defense’s newest non-lethal, but beefed up, stun gun.

This Nano-second Electrical Pulse Stun Gun (nsEP) is one of several projects that the Department of Defense showcased on June 22 at the Non-Lethal Weapons Industry Day in Quantico, Virginia.

It is in the early prototype stages, per the Pentagon’s PDF, and the nsEP gun is currently being tested on animals (ouch) to see if it will be safe for human utilization. They say the Nanosecond Electrical Pulses (nsEP) have the potential to cause a non-lethal disabling effect, and that the electrical parameters bring about durations of hundreds of nanosecond and peak potentials of tens of kilovolts under load.
What this means is that the government enforcement agent carrying one of these stun gun whoppers will be able to direct hundreds of volts of more powerful electricity than your standard stunner at a human being for fractions of a second so that they are incapacitated but not permanently damaged (as Darth Vader would say).
The Pentagon has plenty of lethal weapons on file, so they are now looking into the non-lethal variety. The new pulse gun is a lightweight device supposed to be an improvement over the existing — and often limited — stun guns, says Defense News.
Forget the current stunners (that have run rampant in the attack on Occupy Wall Street camps), because those allow the victim to recover as soon as the electricity stops zapping. The nsEP stun gun will render that enemy (activist?) unconscious for several minutes, making detainment far easier than it is right now. Having worked with high voltage electricity before, this sounds like it hurts (but I could be wrong).
The evolution of weapons never ceases to amaze.

Obamacare? Just say No!

Tar and Feathers ^ | 7-11-12 | Iratus Vulgas

I had a history teacher who used to say that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to—but you should be prepared to face the consequences. He was usually talking about homework assignments, but there was always an implied message of the responsibility of rebellion: Defy the powers that be if you must, but always be aware of the results that will follow. In the wake of all of the nationwide protests over Obamacare, my teacher’s words remain prudent advice.
A number of GOP governors have publicly stated that they will ignore the recent Supreme Court Decision or refuse to implement the bill in whole or in part. I’m not yet buying it. You see, there’s a cynical little man that lives inside my skull that’s telling me this is nothing more than election year posturing designed to gin up their constituents. I doubt that any of these politicians have seriously thought this through.
Frankly, I would support such a defiant move, but I’d also suggest that a few governors put their heads together and discuss some strategy, tactics and a full range of possible scenarios. I’m not convinced that anything like that has occurred yet. Take a stand, yes, but make sure you completely understand the consequences before you refuse to back down.
A strong leader knows the difference between battles worth fighting and battles best avoided. And such leaders must choose wisely in deciding when to fight. I hope to heck that there are a few GOP leaders that are willing to see a bigger picture beyond cheap campaign gimmicks.

The Current "Top Ten Least Intelligent" And "Top Ten Most Despised Democrats" Lists.

Based on the most embarrassing moments and inexcusable scandals of the Obama Administration, these two "Top Ten Democrat Lists" should be pretty accurate. Take a look at them and express your opinions of accuracy. There is likely a few more that can be added to the lists,so please feel free to add if you feel some Democrats are missing.

TOP TEN WORLDS DUMBEST DEMOCRATS: 1)Debbie Wasserman, 2)Maxine Waters, 3)Nancy Pelosi, 4)Elizabeth Warren, 5)Sheila Jackson, 6)Hank Johnson, 7)Chuck Schumer, 8)Barney Frank, 9)Frederica Wilson, 10)Dick Durbin

Top Ten Most Hated Democrats: 1)Eric Holder, 2)Van Jones, 3)David Axelrod, 4)O'Bozo, 5)Harry Reid, 6)Baba Boxer, 7)Stuart Smalley, 8)Sherrod Brown, 9)Charlie Rangel, 10)Valerie Jarrett.

Networks Ignore Harry Reid's Refusal to Call Vote on Tax Cut Extension ^ | July 12, 2012 | Ken Shepherd

As I noted yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to call a vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, even though President Barack Obama days earlier urged passage of such tax cuts as soon as possible. Predictably, however, the July 11 editions of the network evening newscasts -- ABC's World News, the CBS Evening News, and NBC's Nightly News -- all ignored the development. Ditto with the network morning shows today.

Each evening newscast did, however, note the House vote to repeal ObamaCare, the first such vote after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as a tax.
Curiously absent, of course, was any mention that Reid is now not only blocking Republican measures but also ones favored by a Democratic president.
"With so much urgent business before the House, why spend so much time voting to repeal the law over and over again?" CBS anchor Scott Pelley complained on the July 11 Evening News. Hmm, uUrgent business like passing a middle class tax cut?
To his credit, NBC News White House correspondent Mike Viquiera noted Reid's refusal to call a vote in a question posed to White House press secretary Jay Carney in the July 11 briefing (emphasis mine):
Both sides continue to talk past each other. The House vote today that you've already decried; Senator Reid blocked bringing up the President's tax cut proposal in the Senate -- you can call it gamesmanship, political posturing, whatever -- both sides talking past each other, but the President is speaking only to Democrats today. Why not get Republicans up here and get the ball rolling on this?
In other words, it's one thing to slam Republicans alone for gridlock, but Democrats, including President Obama share the blame. Viquiera, however, was not featured on the July 11 Nightly News.
Two stories were filed on Nightly News last night from Washington, by Andrea Mitchell and Kelly O'Donnell regarding Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D-Ill.) strange medically-related absence from Congress and the ObamaCare repeal vote respectively.
Neither Mitchell nor O'Donnell noted Reid's refusal to "get the ball rolling" on a tax cut extension debate.

The World is Changing Minute by Minute ^ | July 12, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

We are witnessing a seismic shift in global affairs. The shake-up is a perfect storm of political, demographic and technological change that will soon make the world as we have known it for the last 30 years almost unrecognizable.

Since the mid-1980s there have been a number of accepted global constants. The European Union was assumed to have evolved beyond the nation-state as it ended the cycle of militarism and renounced free-market capitalism. With its strong euro, soft power and nonaligned foreign policy, the EU was praised as a utopian sort of foil to the overarmed U.S. with its ailing dollar.

Germany, ostracized after losing two world wars and struggling with the guilt of the Holocaust, as penance was to be permanently submerged in European alliances, as its economic power was always expected to prop up the eurozone experiment.
The Arab Middle East for the last 40 years seemed to be the world's cockpit, as its huge petroleum reserves brought in trillions of dollars from an oil-depleted West, along with political concessions. Petrodollars fed global terrorism. Oil-poor Israel had little clout with Europe. In general, the West ignored any human-rights concerns involving the region's oil-rich dictatorships, monarchies and theocracies, as well as their aid to Islamic terrorists.
Conventional wisdom also assumed that an indebted U.S. was in permanent decline, a cash-rich China in ascendency. The world would increasingly make the necessary political corrections as it pivoted eastward.
But none of that conventional wisdom now seems very wise -- largely because of a number of technological breakthroughs and equally unforeseen political upheavals.
The eurozone is unraveling. An aging, shrinking population and a socialist welfare state lead to serfdom, not utopia. War guilt and EU membership will no longer ensure German subsidies, but rather serve to alienate the German public. Europe's cloudy future hinges not on Brussels technocrats, but on Europeans learning how to deal with a dynamic, increasingly confident and peeved Germany.
The Arab Middle East is now in a free fall. Tyrants in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen were ousted, while one in Syria totters. But while the world hoped secular democrats would follow in their wake, more likely we are witnessing the emergence of one-election Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood. The region will be mired in turmoil whether these upheavals turn out to be like the hijacked Iranian revolution that ended in theocracy, or the Turkish democratic model that is insidiously becoming Islamist.
Horizontal drilling and fracking have made oil shale and tar sands rich sources of oil and natural gas, so much so that the United States may prove to possess the largest store of fossil fuel reserves in the world -- in theory, with enough gas, oil and coal soon never to need any imported Middle Eastern energy again. "Peak oil" is suddenly an anachronism. Widespread American use of cheap natural gas will do more to clean the planet than thousands of Solyndras.
If the United States utilizes its resources, then its present pathologies -- massive budget and trade deficits, mounting debt, strategic vulnerability -- will start to subside. These new breakthroughs in petroleum engineering are largely American phenomena, reminding us that there is still something exceptional in the American experience that periodically offers the world cutting-edge technologies and protocols -- such as those pioneered by Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and Walmart.
In comparison, China is not only resource-poor but politically impoverished. For decades we were told that Chinese totalitarianism, when mixed with laissez-faire capitalism, led to sparkling airports and bullet trains, while a litigious and indulgent America settled for a run-down LAX and creaking Amtrak relics. But the truth is that the Los Angeles airport will probably sooner look modern than the Chinese will hold open elections amid a transparent society -- given that free markets did not make China democratic, only more contradictory.
Even more surreal, tiny oil-poor Israel, thanks to vast new offshore finds, has been reinvented as a potential energy giant in the Middle East. Such petrodollars will change Israel as they did the Persian Gulf countries, but with one major difference. Unlike Dubai or Kuwait, Israel is democratic, economically diverse, socially stable and technologically sophisticated, suggesting the sudden windfall will not warp Israel in the manner it has traditional Arab autocracies, but instead become a force multiplier of an already dynamic society. Will Europe still snub Israel when it has as much oil, gas and money as an OPEC member in the Persian Gulf?
Who would have thought that a few fracking innovators in Texas would change the world's carbon footprint far more than did Nobel laureate Al Gore -- while offering a way for the U.S. to be energy-independent. Or that Angela Merkel, not the European Union, would run Europe. Or that Arabs would be overthrowing Arabs, as oil-rich Israel idly watched.

Most think ObamaCare is a tax!

The Hill ^

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows why Barack Obama has been so reluctant to talk about his health care plan this summer.

55% of voters say ObamaCare is a tax, while only 36% say it's not. That's a nearly 20% gap and a huge political liability.

Some of the specs:
a. Voters think Congress should repeal the law, 49%-43%.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...