Monday, July 23, 2012

The Chicago Way

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Obama Evolves

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Loose Lips

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Speed Bump

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"I'm a Big Fat Liar"

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"I am Not a Crook"

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No Clues

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Doin' just fine!

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Horse Shit

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Don't Look Now

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Soft Spot

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Biting your ass

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The Buck Stops...

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Liar, Liar

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Right Direction?

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On the Bright Side

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All Together Now

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Man of the People

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Nobody'd buying

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Kill Axelrod?

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Swiss Accounts

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Not a Pizza

How Much Did Obama Spend On Vacations & Green Energy Projects? And Now Out Of Campaign Cash!

Maybe Bambi was so confident that back in 2009/2010 he had no doubt he could raise a billion for the 2012 campaign.And what has he been doing in the meantime?Million Dollar Vacations?

 Spending our tax dollars as if it was growing on trees? and the 100 or so billion spent on green energy and the Chevy Volt? And to think that the 52% of Americans who voted for him assumed he was the smartest dude in the room.

And look at where their hero is now! 100 days till election week and no more money to attack 

"President Mitt Romney".

Romney: A Man Finds His Moment! ^ | July 23, 2012 | Carol Platt Liebau

As Salena Zito has pointed out, Mitt Romney is on fire. With the President's riff on small business owners -- "you didn't build that" -- the man has finally met his moment.

As I pointed out last week, guest-hosting for Hugh Hewitt, this election has got to be framed as being about something bigger than simply a Romney-Obama showdown -- otherwise, it's just a personality contest between two men. Rather, it's got to be about competing visions, about the nature of the American economy and the nature of the American people -- and the contrasting futures for our country that each vision will enable.

With his dismissive and arrogant remark, the President may have provided a turning point in the campaign -- not just because of the remark itself, but even more because of its effect on Governor Romney.

It's almost as if the spontaneous remarks finally convinced the Governor of the President's true views about the role of government as the "prime actor" in American life -- and those views genuinely appalled him. Now, he's articulating with passion and brilliance a competing view of government and the American character -- offering a vision of America many of us have long embraced, where government is the servant of the people and every individual has (or ought to have) the opportunity to make of him- or herself what s/he will.
With no record of accomplishment to run on, most of the President's campaign has been about trying to convince voters that Romney is not "one of us" -- that his enormous personal success means that he doesn't "understand" who we are and what we want. With his slur on small business owners, the President managed to undo his whole narrative, putting Governor Romney squarely on the side of anyone who sees (or wants to see) the individual -- rather than the government -- as the indispensable factor in achievement, effort and success.
In his obvious rejection of the President's government-centric view of American life, and in his passionate affirmation of the American can-do spirit, Governor Romney is a man who has found his moment. Whenever he feels his energy or passion flagging, let us hope Governor Romney keeps President Obama's remark in mind.

MN Obamacare Exchange and $41 million contract!

Citizens Council on Health Care ^ | 7-19-12 | twila brase

On Monday, the administration of MN Governor Mark Dayton announced a $41 million contract to "design and develop" a state health insurance exchange (HIX) - President Obama's federal takeover center, his superstructure for the nationalization of health care.

National Registration System, not a "Marketplace": This is not a one-stop-shop, it's a center to register (and pay) for government-approved health insurance. Using the exchange, every person, or their employer, must register each individual's insurance status with the federal government for approval or exaction of the Obamacare tax-penalty.

The registration and IRS enforcement occurs as you purchase government-approved health insurance online through the exchange, when your employer sends your name and tax ID number to the exchange for registration, or when your name appears in the exchange with no corresponding insurance purchase. Comments on the Star Tribune article amuse and enlighten, but this is why a "website" costs $41 million to construct.
Peter Frank, the head of the Minnesota exchange (info tech) contract, told me they are looking for data sources to "pre-populate" the exchange insurance registry with the names of Minnesotans. They are considering all possible databases, including the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue tax rolls.
Dayton's Achilles Heel: On July 10, Dayton's letter to the federal government noted the "State leaders, who choose to obstruct the implementation of this new law" as "part of the problem." And as evidence of Dayton's so-called problem, the $41M contract includes the following statement:
"The State may immediately terminate this Contract if it does not obtain funding from the Minnesota Legislature, or other funding source; or if funding cannot be continued at a level sufficient to allow for the payment of the Services covered here..."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Rasmussen: 72% think small business owners did “build that”

Hot Air ^ | 7-23-2012 | Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama handed Mitt Romney a gift with his “You didn’t build that” comment ....

according to Rasmussen’s latest poll: Most Americans believe entrepreneurs who start businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government. They also believe overwhelmingly that small business owners work harder than other Americans and are primarily responsible for the success or failure of their businesses.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 13% disagree. …
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters believe entrepreneurs who start small businesses do more to create jobs and economic growth than big businesses or government programs. Sixteen percent (16%) think big businesses do the most when it comes to creating jobs and economic growth. Eleven percent (11%) feel state and local government programs deserve the most credit, while seven percent (7%) think federal government programs have the biggest impact.
What about the other argument in Obama’s speech — the one that Jazz Shaw found most repellent?
(Obama transcript)"I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)"
Rasmussen says that fares even worse than the “you didn’t build that” comment:
Seventy-seven percent (77%) believe small business owners work harder than other workers. Just two percent (2%) think they don’t work as hard.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

If It's So Easy to Run a Business on Leftist Principles, Why Don't Leftists Do It?

FOX ^ 
by Seton Motley |

If It's So Easy to Run a Business on Leftist Principles, Why Don't Leftists Do It?

Our nation is saddled with a tiny cadre of Leftists - who unfortunately hold many key positions both inside and outside of government. These Leftists assert with great - though completely unfounded - authority that they know best how private businesses should do their thing.

Leftists think they know exactly how every little facet of the giant, endlessly faceted private economy works, which is remarkable, considering their enormous disdain for it.

President Barack Obama in his first autobiography described his few scant months spent doing actual (private sector) work thus:

“Like (I was) a spy behind enemy lines....”
And famously, recently uttered the unbelievable:
“If you’ve got a business - you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

What to do with Obama Tee shirts nobody wants ^ | July 23, 2012 | Kevin "Coach" Collins

One of the leading online election related merchants is Café Press.

They sell Tee shirts and anything else with candidates’ names on it.. Café Press has no political bent; they are just merchants selling what people want.

If people like what they are selling they will make more of that product. If people show little interest in a particular product they make fewer of that item and move on to offer what they see will sell. “….Café Press’ (CP) latest sales figures for pro Barack Obama items are significant.
When CP compared its Obama items sales figures this past week it revealed some telling information.
They found that compared to this time in 2008, their Obama items sales figures were down sharply. Where the ratio of anti to pro Obama items was 14% to 86%, that figure today is 56% anti Obama to 44% pro Obama.
The anti- figure has taken a huge jump up and the pro number has sagged by almost C P reports that since January not only have sales of pro Romney items been greater than Obama’s 2008 figures, but the ratio of pro to anti Romney items has substantially exceeded Obama’s positive side sales.
Just 5% of all Romney related merchandise has been anti with a whopping 95% being pro.
Using what is calls an “Election Meter” to track these sales C P has developed its own theory about what the results might mean in November’s election.
Its director of marketing explained the meaning of these sales this way, “We believe that how people spend money on political merchandise is a leading indicator of how they will ultimately vote.
At Café Press we track the spending on candidate related gear ……often in line with polls and voting results.”…
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


The Daily Pen ^ | MONDAY, JULY 23, 2012 | Dan Crosby

LYIN’ HAWAIIAN: Following shocking contradictions discovered by criminal investigators between the contents of the forged digital image of Obama’s alleged 1961 “Certificate of Live Birth” posted on the internet and long-standing federal vital records regulations, the State of Hawaii now refuses to verify that the digital image matches the paper record in their files.

The American people were ridiculed and insulted by the liberal media for years for questioning the authority of the State of Hawaii when the current and former directors of the Hawaiian Department of Health, Loretta Fuddy and Chiyome Fukino, publicly stated that they had verified that Obama’s birth records existed on file under their jurisdiction.

Based on that uncorroborated information, Fukino even fancied herself as an INS agent stating in July of 2009 that she believed Obama was a natural born citizen. However, according to the digital image we were told was Obama’s official, original, authentic birth certificate, he is not a natural born citizen which is defined by birth to two citizen parents. Obama’s alleged father was a British citizen born in Kenya.
Then, at the very moment Obama, or most likely someone on his staff, posted a digital image of an unauthorized .pdf version of an alleged State of Hawaii issued birth certificate to an official government media source in April, 2011, a crime was committed.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

STAND with the Boy Scouts: Say NO to pro-homosexual bully tactics & liberal media

TFP ^ | 07-23-12 | TFP

Why does the homosexual movement continue to target the Boy Scouts of America with relentless protest?

To STAND with the Boy Scouts, sign your petition here

Two national BSA board members are pressuring the organization to abandon its morally sound membership policy which bars open homosexuals from holding leadership positions.

Groups and advocates who promote “tolerance” have also collected over 300,000 online petitions” — aided by liberal media publicity — to force the Scouts to accept unnatural vice in their ranks.

However, the Boy Scouts are standing strong by their Oath: “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country …to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
In fact, the Scouts’ right to uphold moral standards was confirmed by a Supreme Court ruling in 2000. Shortly before that decision, the Boy Scouts issued this statement: “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.”

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith reaffirmed that the organization’s exclusion policy “is absolutely the best policy.” Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca added: “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”

Parents understand how public acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle would not only undermine the moral atmosphere of the Scouts, but also increase the risk of sexual abuse. A study published by the Family Research Council shows that homosexuals, who account for approximately two percent of the population, are responsible for up to one third of child sexual abuse cases.

Please Stand with the Boy Scouts: sign your petition here

Let your voice be heard. Join millions of Americans who respect moral values, Natural Law and the Ten Commandments. Please ask 5 of your friends to stand with the Boy Scouts too by signing the petition.

Gallup: Bain still a positive for Romney

Politico ^ | July 23, 2012 | ALEXANDER BURNS

It may be the political question of the summer: are Team Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney's business background working?

Priorities USA polling says yes. Other independent polls -- including from Gallup and NBC/WSJ -- show at least some impact.

But Gallup's out with a round of data for USA Today that suggests, whatever the marginal impact of the Bain assault, Romney's businessman brand is more of an asset than anything else, and that in the big picture he's well positioned on the economy:

By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney's background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation's economic problems over the next four years. …

The Democratic attacks on Romney seem to have had limited effect on voters' assessments of him. In February, 53% said the former Massachusetts governor had the personality and leadership qualities a president should have; now 54% do. Then, 42% said they agreed with Romney on the issues that mattered most to them; now 45% do.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Most Pro-Gun Low-Crime City in the United States

The anti-Second Amendment crowd is on the warpath again. PBS’ Bill Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary in the Lyndon Johnson administration from 1965 to 1967, called the NRA “the enabler of death.” It seems to me that James Holmes is the Enabler of Death. 65 million other gun owners in the United States didn’t kill anybody last Thursday evening.

I live just a few miles from the most pro-gun city in the United States – Kennesaw Georgia – where gun ownership is mandatory. It’s not the “Wild West” like some people predicted when it passed a mandatory gun ownership law. “The city of Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation’s ‘10 best towns for families.’ The award was aimed at identifying the best communities nationally that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing, good jobs, top-rated public schools, wide-open spaces, and less stress.”[1]
In 1982 the city passed the following ordinance [Sec 34-21] which was in response to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill.

(a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.
(b) Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.
The city’s website states that Kennesaw “has the lowest crime rate in Cobb County,” one of the most populace counties in Georgia. In fact, from 1982 through 2009, Kennesaw had been nearly murder free with one murder occurring in 2007.
There were three murders in 2010 committed by the same man in what is described as a “school safety zone,” an area extending 1,000 feet from any school, including adult colleges and technical schools. This means that even though Kennesaw has the most liberal gun laws in the United States, employees at the facility where the murders were committed could not have a gun on the premises.
Of course, criminals don’t care about laws; that’s why they’re criminals. Ed Stone of Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner makes these important points:
“Unfortunately experience with actual ‘school safety zones’ in Georgia has proven that the ‘school safety zone’ law approach does not stop violent armed crime, as it disarms only the potential victims of an attack. Criminals seeking to rob, rape, and murder ignore the ‘school safety zone’ as merely one more law they are breaking.”
Now we come to New York City. In September 2011 Ryan Jerome, a former Marine Corps gunner, walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he could check his gun.
He had a valid concealed carry permit from his home state of Indiana. He also had the rights given to him under the Second Amendment. No matter, the security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail. “The 28-year-old with no criminal history now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. If convicted, his sentence could be as high as fifteen years.”
He brought the gun for protection since he was traveling with $15,000 worth of jewelry that he planned to sell. Certainly a rational decision, given the crime rate in New York City and stories like the U.S. Marine veteran who was shot three times when a Craigslist transaction went bad.
In December of 2011, Tennessee nurse Meredith Graves noticed a “no guns” sign at the World Trade Center site in New York City and asked where she could leave her weapon. Like Jerome, she was arrested and faces similar charges. Mayor Bloomberg claims that she was in possession of cocaine. It seems that what the police found was BC Powder, an over-the-counter pain reliever that is sold exclusively in the South.
In a 25-year period, New York City has had more than 15,000 murders – 2245 in 1990 alone– while Kennesaw, Georgia, had 1.

Read more:

An Aurora Massacre Takes Place Every 10 Days in Chicago, Gun-Control Capital of the United States!

Directorblue ^ | July 22, 2012 | Doug Ross

The city of Chicago enforces the most draconian (and unconstitutional) gun-control laws in the United States!

And how's that working out?

Oddly, there are no calls for more gun control in the wake of the weekly Chicago massacre. Once you have the stiffest gun control laws on the books, you should probably look at the root of the problem... "Three men are dead and at least 23 other people wounded from gun violence across the city since Friday night."
In fact, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy is "accentuating the positives" of the bloody results of his city's oppressive gun ban, which prevents only the law-abiding from defending themselves by force of arms:

McCarthy noted this weekend's numbers were half the total of shootings for the same weekend last year. He also said that while 2012 shootings are up by eight percent over 2011, they've decreased considerably since March when the year-to-year increase was 40 percent... ...McCarthy also said the murder rate is well below the record of 970 set in 1974, although it's still on pace to reach 450 murders and that the murder rate is increasing as overall violent crime in Chicago is showing a decline.
In other words, an Aurora massacre occurs every 10 days in Chicago, the gun-control capital of the U.S. Like Washington DC, New York City, Mexico City and London --to name but a few --"gun-free" cities are truly areas where the innocent are targeted by predators who have no intention of abiding by any law. The masterminds who think they can banish evil from the world by banning guns must reject all of human history, as well as logic and reason, to promote their unconstitutional schemes.

Woman Dies After Second-Trimester Abortion at Planned Parenthood!

Life News ^ | July 23, 2012 | Steven Ertelt

A young woman has died after having a second-trimester abortion at a Chicago-area Planned Parenthood clinic. Tonya Reaves, 24, died late Friday night, according to a local CBS television station, of hemorrhage, with a cervical dilation and evacuation, according to the medical examiner’s office following an autopsy after the abortion that claimed her life.
CBS Chicago said Reaves died after the abortion she had at 18 S. Michigan Avenue Planned Parenthood facility. The woman was transported from the Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood abortion clinic to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 11:20 P.M.
An autopsy conducted Saturday determined that she died from hemorrhage following a Dilation and Evacuation abortion. The D&E abortion method is one employed in pregnancies that have advanced beyond the first trimester. In involves opening the cervix and removing the pre-born baby by dismembering him or her. The Loop Health Center Planned Parenthood advertises abortions up to 18 weeks.
Tonya’s twin sister Toni was devastated by the news, telling the television station, “We were born the same day. She was my other half.”
“It happened so fast. She was just fine one day and then the next day she was gone. We’re just trying to figure out what happened… what happened,” she said.
Reaves’ sister indicated Tonya was engaged to be married and had another son, who had just enjoyed his first birthday.
Troy Newman, the head of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation, told LifeNews he is saddened by Reaves unnecessary death.
“Abortion deaths like this are completely avoidable. When a woman bleeds to death after an abortion, it is usually an indication of error on the part of the abortionist coupled with a delay in calling for emergency assistance. Planned Parenthood should be held accountable,” said Newman. “Our heartfelt prayers go out to the victim’s family at this time of tragic loss.”
Newman said the abortion death follows a recent expose’ published in the Chicago Tribune in June, 2011, that took to task abortion facilities in the state failing to report abortion complications and exposed the fact that some abortion practitioners did not report complications at all, in violation of the law. At that time, Illinois officials made no attempt to enforce abortion laws in that state.
Newman said that, while the name of the abortion practitioner in this case is likely unknown, Planned Parenthood’s most recent 990 Tax Forms list abortionist Caroline M. Hoke as its Medical Director.
In fact, Planned Parenthood of Illinois CEO Carole Brite, in a written statement the television station obtained, refused to give further details, saying, “We do not publicly discuss private patient matters and we follow HIPAA laws that forbid the disclosure of patient information.”

Newman called on the Obama administration to pull taxpayer funding from the Planned Parenthood abortion business because of the death.
“In light of this tragedy, which is yet another in a long list of Planned Parenthood abuses, we call on President Obama to immediately withdraw all Federal funding and personal support from Planned Parenthood,” said Newman. “Friday’s death is yet another reason why men and women of conscience across this nation cannot and will not comply with the forced funding of abortion and its intentional violation of religious liberties.”

Why Michele Bachmann Is Right About Keith Ellison

FrontPage Magazine ^ | July 23, 2012 | Robert Spencer

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has accused Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) of having a “long record of being associated” with the Hamas-linked Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Evoking the days of McCarthyism, a common charge being leveled at Bachmann these days, Ellison responded: “I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.” He accused Bachmann of religious bigotry:
“I think she has a very narrowly prescribed definition of who belongs and who doesn’t. And there’s a whole bloc of people she don’t like. I think she thinks that we’re evil because we don’t understand God the way she does….It’s also about marginalizing and alienating a certain group of Americans who she does not view are American enough.”
Not content with that, he accused her of petty attention-seeking:
“But you have to ask yourself, you know, why did she make this so public? Why did she seem to be seeking public attention for these allegations she was making? If she really had actionable intelligence, why wouldn’t she go to the agencies that investigate these things? I think the answer is clear that she wanted attention. That was her goal all along.”
The only problem with Ellison’s wounded-martyr stance toward Bachmann’s accusations is that what she said is true: Ellison really does have a “long record of being associated” with Hamas-linked CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood.
As long ago as 2006, Ellison’s closeness to Nihad Awad, co-founder of Hamas-linked CAIR, was a matter of public record. Awad, who notoriously said in 1994 that he was “in support of the Hamas movement,” spoke at fundraisers for Ellison, raising considerable sums for his first Congressional race. According to investigative journalist Patrick Poole, Ellison has appeared frequently at CAIR events since then, despite the fact that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. Its California chapter distributed posters telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI.
Poole explains that “according to Justice Department, Awad is a longtime Hamas operative. Multiple statements made by federal prosecutors identify Awad as one of the attendees at a 1993 meeting of US Muslim Brotherhood Palestine Committee leaders in Philadelphia that was wiretapped by the FBI under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant. The topic of discussion during that 1993 meeting was how to help Hamas by working in the U.S. to help sabotage the Oslo Peace Accords.” But none of that fazed Ellison.
CAIR is also linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Awad and CAIR’s cofounder, Omar Ahmad, were officials of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) before founding CAIR. A captured internal Muslim Brotherhood document lists the IAP as one of the Brotherhood’s allied groups in the U.S.
And as for the Muslim Brotherhood itself, in 2008 Ellison accepted $13,350 from the Muslim American Society (MAS) to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. What is the Muslim American Society? The Muslim Brotherhood. “In recent years, the U.S. Brotherhood operated under the name Muslim American Society, according to documents and interviews. One of the nation’s major Islamic groups, it was incorporated in Illinois in 1993 after a contentious debate among Brotherhood members.” So reported the Chicago Tribune in 2004, in an article that is now carried on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English-language website, Ikhwanweb. The Muslim American Society, according to Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, “is the de facto arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. The agenda of the MAS is to … impose Islamic law in the U.S., to undermine U.S. counterterrorism policy.”
Weirdly, Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, denied that MAS had funded Ellison’s hajj: “Keith Ellison is a member of Congress who knows that congressmen don’t take trips sponsored by nonprofits. That would be a breach of congressional ethics.” Bray apparently failed to check with Ellison’s office before issuing this statement, as his office issued its own statement saying: “The trip, funded by the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, was fully reviewed and approved in advance by the House Ethics Committee.”
Imagine if a conservative Congressman had taken a trip that had been paid for by a Christian group that was, according to one of its own internal documents, dedicated to “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house” so that Christian law would replace the U.S. Constitution. I expect we would hear more of an outcry than we ever heard about Ellison’s Brotherhood-funded hajj.
Ellison has also retailed the Muslim Brotherhood-invented concept of “Islamophobia,” which was cooked up in a Brotherhood think tank, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, as a weapon to intimidate Americans into being afraid to resist jihad terror and Islamic supremacism. And in March 2011 he famously began weeping during Congressman Peter King’s (R-NY) first hearings on Islamic jihad terrorism, as he read what turned about to be a false report about a Muslim who went missing on 9/11 and was suspected of terror ties until he turned out to have been killed in the jihad attacks of that day. Ellison’s crocodile tears stole the show on that day, and successfully diverted media attention from what should have been the focus of the hearing: Islamic jihad activity in the United States.
Michele Bachmann is right: Keith Ellison’s Brotherhood ties should be investigated. That he and so many others on the Left have had such a furious reaction to her mere call for an investigation is only an indication that they have something to hide. John Boehner and the rest of the Republican Congressional leadership should be defending her and joining her call for investigations into Muslim Brotherhood influence in the Government. Instead, to their shame, they have joined Ellison in throwing her to the wolves, demonstrating that mainstream Republicans are no better than mainstream Democrats in confronting the threat of Islamic supremacism. And meanwhile, the Islamic supremacists continue to advance.

The Dawn of the Great California Energy Crash! ^ | Sunday, July 22, 2012, 8:46 PM | by Gregor Macdonald

California, which imports over 25% of its electricity from out of state, is in no position to lose half !
of its entire nuclear power capacity. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year, when the San Onofre plant in north San Diego County unexpectedly went offline. The loss only worsens the broad energy deficit that has made California the most dependent state in the country on expensive, out-of-state power.

Its two nuclear plants -- San Onofre in the south and Diablo Canyon on the central coast -- together have provided more than 15% of the electricity supply that California generates for itself, before imports. But now there is the prospect that San Onofre will never reopen.

Will California now find that it must import as much as 30% of its power?
The problem of California’s energy dependency has been decades in the making. And it’s not just its electrical power balance that presents an ongoing challenge. California’s oil production peaked in 1985. And despite ongoing gains in energy efficiency via admirably wise regulation, the state’s population and aggregate energy consumption has completely overrun supply.
Some will say, however, that California doesn’t need to concern itself with domestic energy production. As an innovation economy, in the manner of Japan or South Korea, many have said California can simply import greater and greater quantities of energy in exchange for its intellectual capital and the services and products it provides to the world. But the problem with such a notion is that it extrapolates the trend too far.
Only a century ago, California was an emerging giant of oil and gas production, building much of its wealth from natural resource extraction. It was inevitable that this would change over time. However, given the state’s high priced electricity, its wrongly devised transportation system (which is heavily exposed to oil prices), and its deep financial distress, the nation’s largest economy is having to exchange greater amounts of capital to keep itself running.
Indeed, the latest data shows that California energy production from all sources -- oil and gas, nuclear, hydro, and renewables -- has just hit new, 50-year lows:
California’s Great Energy Crash: State Energy Supply at Fifty-Year Lows

Since 1985 (the year that state oil production peaked above one million barrels a day), the state of California has seen its portfolio of energy production steadily decline, from an all- time high above 3,600 trillion BTU (British Thermal Units) to 2,500 trillion BTU (latest available data is through 2010). Because the contribution from both nuclear and renewables during that period has been either small or simply flat, the steady decay of California’s oil and natural gas production has sent the state’s energy production to 50-year lows.
However, during those five decades from 1960 to 2010, California’s population more than doubled, from nearly 16 million to nearly 38 million people.
Additionally, California built out its freeway system and expanded greatly into counties such as Riverside and San Bernardino. Indeed, in San Bernardino County, population quadrupled from 1960 to 2010, from five hundred thousand to over two million, with the attendant homes, public infrastructure, state highways, and freeways.
This great expansion of California’s residential and industrial topography was a tremendous value proposition back when energy, especially oil, was cheap. But now we are in a new pricing era for oil. Equally, California must also pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country. In counterpoint to the dreams of energy conservation, while California’s population merely doubled, its electricity demand rose nearly fivefold, from 57 million KWh in 1960 to 258 million KWh in 2010.
Essentially, California, like the rest of the country, has built a very expensive system of transport, which is now aging along with its powergrid.
Surely in the forty years that followed 1960, the prospect that California would have to import greater quantities of fossil fuels and electricity was no cause for alarm. However, the capital that is now required each year to maintain its aging highway system and purchase out-of-state oil and electricity, is mounting. While it’s true that California’s GDP is mighty and ranks as the 8th largest in the world, it’s also true that even smaller US states have seen their energy production not fall, but rather advance, in the era of higher-priced energy. Surprisingly, California’s total energy production is now lower than Pennsylvania’s, which is an intriguing contrast given that the Keystone State figures so prominently in the history of early oil and coal production.
Who will produce all the energy that California will need to buy in the future?
Golden State Hit by Nuclear Power's Inherent Complexity
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, a number of countries and communities are reassessing the risk and the cost of nuclear power. Overall, however, it is the aggregate complexity of nuclear power that is driving the global stagnation and now the decline of this particular source of energy.
The complexity of nuclear power -- its enormous expense, its dependence on government financing, its long construction timeline, and its perceived and actual risk -- means that bringing new plants online is ploddingly slow and aging plants are increasingly likely to see their licenses rejected for renewal. From a recent LA Times article, California energy officials plan for life without San Onofre:
California energy officials are beginning to plan for the possibility of a long-range future without the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The plant's unexpected, nearly five-month outage has had officials scrambling to replace its power this summer and has become a wild card in already complicated discussions about the state's energy future. That long-range planning process already involves dealing with the possible repercussions of climate change, a mandate to boost the state's use of renewable sources to 33% of the energy supply by 2020 and another mandate to phase out a process known as once-through cooling, which uses ocean water to cool coastal power plants, that will probably take some other plants out of service. "Some of the weaknesses we have in the infrastructure [of Southern California] are laid bare by San Onofre," said Steve Berberich, chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, the nonprofit that oversees most of the state's energy grid... Before the current shutdown at the plant, officials had planned only for a scenario in which one of the reactors would be off line. No one had anticipated a complete shutdown. The plant's 2,200 megawatts of power provide electricity to about 1.4 million homes, but the facility also provides voltage support to the transmission system that allows power to be imported from elsewhere to the region San Onofre serves, particularly San Diego.
San Onofre’s processing ability has been damaged by faulty computer modeling, which caused excessive and accelerated wear in its steam generator tubes. The cost and timeframe for a solution may be so great that the return on such an investment may not be worth it. But again, note the complexity involved here, which runs the spectrum from computer programming that guides the reactors' operation to the critical role that this southern California power source plays in the grid. In powergrids, nuclear power plants play an infrastructural role but are also critically dependent on receiving power from elsewhere in the grid. As Japan discovered, its own power plant structurally survived the tsunami but failed when it lost external power.
In 2010, the year for which the latest data is available, California consumed 258,531 million KWh (kilowatt hours). 26% of that total was imported mostly from other US states (54,406 million KWh) and a small amount came from Mexico. California’s two nuclear plants provided 32,200 million KWh, about 12% of the total power that the state consumes from all sources.
Roughly speaking (because supply, demand, and capacity fluctuate from year to year), the loss of San Onofre will increase California’s potential dependency on out of state power by at least another 5%. This will indeed push out-of-state power dependency to 30%.
California’s Soaring Oil Dependency
California, like Texas, has been a giant in the history of US oil production. But after reaching a peak rate of production in 1985-86 at around 1.1 million barrels per day, California now produces half that amount, at 540 thousand barrels per day.
Just as in other post-peak producing regions of the world, such as Mexico and the North Sea, there is a constant flow of hope and theorizing that once again California could increase its oil production. While it’s true that opening offshore blocks to development could eventually stabilize and possibly raise the state’s aggregate production, it is highly unlikely that onshore production can now be moved higher. The reason is that best technology practices are already well-deployed in California's onshore production -- where old, original fields continue to produce, but at much lower rates.
More important is that California now has over 35 million registered vehicles, nearly matching its population. That makes California automobile rich but public-transit poor, as the state remains highly leveraged to gasoline.
Indeed, the post-war buildout of California followed the low-density, urban-sprawl model that was replicated throughout the nation after 1950. Accordingly, cities like Los Angeles are having to make a Herculean effort to resurrect a light rail system (built on the grid of its historic trolley network, once the largest in the world).
But 60 years of automobile-driven development will not be undone easily. The state is already spending a disproportionate amount of capital each year just to maintain the existing highway system (an issue we will explore in Part II of this article). And despite that ongoing investment, Californians drive on roads with some of the poorest conditions in the country.
Let's take a look at the history of California's oil production against its historical consumption of gasoline:

The spread between the quantity of oil produced in California and the quantity of gasoline consumed started to blow out in the mid 1980s, when gasoline consumption rose above oil production as measured in BTUs. Many believed this to be sustainable. But as the rest of the country would discover, a price revolution in oil would eventually hurt the economy very badly -- and, consequently, oil consumption. In BTU terms, the difference between production of oil and consumption of gasoline reached its widest in 2006-2007, when annual consumption was running above 1,900 trillion BTUs and oil production at 1,250 trillion BTUs.
Now consumption, like production, is falling. Will consumption follow production downward, relentlessly?
The prospect that petrol consumption has peaked in California, along with the rest of the United States, is exciting if one is viewing such a transition through the lens of efficiency, sustainability, and post-industrialism. However, the dream of a non-industrial economy, like all good ideas, reaches a terminus when we consider that a majority of human services and products are still delivered and produced through physical processes. The State of California does not deliver state transportation, health care, education, police and fire protection, and public works digitally through the Internet. Instead, energy, delivered through tangible infrastructure, is required to run the Golden State.
In Part II: California: The Bellwether for the Rest of America, we take a look at the severely-pressured state budget of California, as well as other measurements of its economy indicating that the direction of its energy balance is entering dire territory. What exactly is the cost of California's energy consumption? And what does it mean, as companies like Facebook build data centers outside the country to access external sources of electricity, that California cities such as Stockton declare bankruptcy?
There is no miracle solution for California. Even if we assume that the country continues to enjoy cheap natural gas prices, the cost of imported electricity from NG-fired power generation will not fall, because the cost of electricity transmission will continue to rise as the grid ages and requires new investment. Eventually the price level of higher energy and lower quality public services will also catch up even to higher wage employees, because a hollowing-out effect is going to pare down the number of service providers -- teachers, merchants, construction workers, and even health care professionals and lawyers.
Such woes, however, are not unique in any way to California. They are shared by most US states right now; California is simply further down the timeline at this point. The key question here is what are the steps Californians (and the rest of us) should be taking?

Football is a U.S. Religion!

Email Subscription From Dr. Boys | July 21, 2012 | Don Boys, Ph.D.

In 1982. famous sports announcer Howard Cosell breathlessly said in his own inimitable way, "The Cowboys are more than a football team in Dallas; they are a religion." He went on to say, "Look at the loyalty of those people! Look at the signs they have made. Truly, the Cowboys are a religion in Dallas."

Cosell was only confirming what Dr. Alan Goldberg of the University of Connecticut said: "Sports [is] like a religion." This is obvious to anyone when even enthusiastic, evangelistic and evangelical religious leaders change their church schedules for athletic purposes! Houston's First Baptist Church announced in June 1994 that their Sunday evening service could be changed "if there is a sixth game between the Rockets and the Knicks." God help us when alleged Bible-preaching churches are so fanatical about secular things such as sports.
Football, yea most U.S. sports, has become a religion to many Americans. The “denominations” are the various professional and college leagues. The coaches are the pastors/priests and their associated coaches are the associate pastors. I suppose some would say there is even a pope representative in the football commissioner. They often play on Sundays and money is a major concern. (Although no one ever says, “Those sports’ teams are only interested in money. Every time I go there they charge huge parking fees, massive entrance fees, and gouge me for a hotdog and drink. What a racket!”)
Recently a major tragedy was played out when one of the major “priests/pastors” was discovered to be guilty of sexual child abuse. Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State Assistant Football Coach, was recently convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse involving at least 10 boys over a fifteen year period.
Furthermore, his immediate boss, legendary Hall of Famer Joe Paterno (recently deceased before the hangman could grab him), along with the university president (fired as president but still teaching there!), the athletic director, and university vice president “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade” according to a just-released report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh. They all knew a homosexual predator was living among them but looked the other way!
Someone should have fingered Sandusky thereby protecting an unknown number of innocent boys. There were more red flags there than are displayed every May 1 in Red Square. Penn State Assistant Coach Mike McQueary admitted that he observed Sandusky raping a boy in the locker room in 2001. He did nothing. Well, maybe the 28 year old husky former football player at Penn State clinched his fists and even held his breath but the coward did nothing to help the boy. I wonder how well he has been sleeping the past decade.
When Paterno, who was considered the king (or maybe cardinal of college football), was fired for his part in the cover-up, the “congregants” rioted in protest. Sport’s enthusiasts are very dedicated fanatics. Paterno was considered the most ethical coach in college football but by keeping silent and permitting an underling to sodomize boys, he proved to be a coward. No one spoke to Sandusky to even suggest that he might stop bringing boys to the campus for sessions of sodomy!
Why did Paterno or one of the other three high level men not drop by Sandusky’s office (very close to Paterno’s) and say, “Hey Jerry, it would be better if you did your sodomy off campus.”
I have not read one report that applies the word “homosexual” to the horrendous assaults upon innocent boys. We have been told that, in fact, there is no link between homosexuality and pedophilia! But no sane person believes that. It’s sure a crazy world out there.
There will always be creeps (perverts) like Sandusky but university leaders are supposed to be men of education, sophistication, character, convictions, honor, and decency who also should have concern for the young, innocent, and helpless.
But this is an old story, a story of fallen men who put reputation, salary, perks, popularity, friends, family, and job ahead of duty, honor, and truth. They stifle their shame, subdue their honor, courage, convictions, and live with guilt and shame for a lifetime. In 1999 Paterno promised Sandusky he could coach as long as he wanted even knowing Sandusky was being investigated over a 1998 sodomy incident!
This column title suggests that the football culture is religion and we see parallels with the cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church when some of the highest U.S. religious leaders dawdled, dallied, and delayed while thousands of boys were sodomized by “men of the cloth.” I don’t think the Catholic Church will ever recover–and maybe it shouldn’t.
Alas, the same is true with my own crowd: fundamental Baptists! There have been many cases but one that I am privy to is the Bob Gray case of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Bob was an acquaintance of mine who had been very gracious, generous, kind, and helpful to me and my work but Bob admitted sexually abusing many little girls in his church office.
The abuse became known to church leaders and they did exactly what the top honchos at Penn State did: stammer, stall, and stonewall. After all, “we can handle it and keep more innocent people from getting hurt.” Or, “Yes, this is terrible but we must be concerned how this will impact our ministry.” Or, “Since we didn’t actually see anything, maybe we can ship our pastor off to Germany as a foreign missionary.” I don’t suppose the thought occurred that there are little girls in Germany. Like Paterno, they paid him to go and like Paterno, Gray beat the hangman to the grave before trial.
Sounds judgmental and self-righteous but I’m often ashamed to be part of the human race and occasionally ashamed to be a Baptist. However, I would rather be a lapsed Baptist than a religious sports fanatic!
Copyright 2012, Don Boys, Ph.D.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 14 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Today for 8 years. Three years ago, the second edition of ISLAM: America's Trojan Horse! was published, and his new eBook, The God Haters is available for $9.99 from These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations. His other websites are and Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

President Obama distorts Mitt Romney’s record and ignores his own

NY Daily News ^ | July 22, 2012 | Masthead Editorial

Class warfare is no way to win a presidential election.

Barack Obama is throwing jabs and dodging the truth.

Running far less on his own record than against that of his opponent, President Obama has latched on to Mitt Romney’s career in venture capitalism as a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.
These desperate times for Americans have called forth desperate measures from an incumbent weighed down by an 8.2% unemployment rate and the barest flicker of job growth. Say, why not suggest that Romney could even be a felon? Oh, right, an Obama aide did that.
Masterfully and disappointingly, the President’s campaign is branding Romney as a rich (repeat, filthy rich) corporate buccaneer who made a fortune sending jobs overseas and bankrupting companies.
In states where voters are in neither camp solidly — the crucial swing states — Obama is executing a distort-and-destroy media blitz. A primary goal in campaign-speak is to “define” Romney as not just out of touch, but as an agent of fat cats who want to take everything.
Secondarily — never mind the results of his almost four years in office — Obama is trying to frame the campaign as a referendum on a clash between a compassionate there-for-you Democrat and Republican forces that would strip government bare to get theirs.
The rhetoric distills to class warfare and is intended to deflect discussion of how exactly Obama would rev the economy any better in a second term. Follow his logic, and you arrive at the extreme Obama reached in a speech in Virginia, where he described how “wealthy, successful” Americans achieved their standing.
“I’m always struck by people who think, ‘Well, it must be because I was just so smart,’ ” he said. “There are a lot of smart people out there. ‘It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.’ Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Regardless of whether Obama was talking about “roads and bridges” or about “a business” when he said, “you didn’t build that,” there is no question that as he extolled the virtues of government — the government he claims Romney would dismantle — the President demeaned the qualities of initiative, industriousness and ingenuity that drive America’s ladder-climbers.
Just as revealing have been Obama’s attacks on Romney’s tenure as head of Bain Capital, the firm he created in 1984 and built into a powerhouse with a strategy of buying underperforming companies and attempting to straighten them out and increase their value.
Romney’s record at Bain is more than fair game, not least because he has used economic savvy and jobs that Bain helped to create as key credentials for the White House. But the President’s swing-state advertising blitz on the topic was rife with cynical mischaracterizations.
The ads labeled Romney a “corporate raider” who had “shipped jobs to China and Mexico.” Really? The invaluable nonpartisan truth squad at researched the Obama assertions and reported that “we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas.”
The campaign similarly leaped on Bain paperwork that seemed to suggest Romney had stayed involved with Bain in years when the firm took actions that might be stretched to weakly support the outsourcing accusation. Out of this came the suggestion of a felony.
Actually, the evidence all but conclusively indicates that Romney had broken from decision-making at Bain in 1999 to devote his energies to rescuing the scandal-scarred Salt Lake City Olympics from collapse.
He made the games a hit, as well as a financial winner. Obama avoids that part of Romney’s record, just as he has shied from putting his own tenure front and center before voters.

He fiddled

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About unemployment

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Credit deserved

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Dreams and nightmares

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Field of Dreams

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You didn't do that...

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Bain vs Blame

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Food Stamps Promotion

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Another year, another stopgap bill instead of real budget!

The Washington Times ^ | Sunday, July 22, 2012 | Sean Lengell

Congress is heading into the final stretch of its summer work period having passed none of its annual spending bills. What’s more, with the start of the next budget year some 70 days away, a tit-for-tat between the Democrat-controlled Senate and the GOP-run House means it’s unlikely that any of the bills will reach the president’s desk for his signature.

So with Capitol Hill calcified with partisan gridlock, lawmakers are gearing up for an all-too-familiar annual routine: kicking their appropriating responsibilities down the road by passing temporary, stopgap funding bills to avoid a government shutdown at the start of the next fiscal year Oct. 1.
A central duty of Congress is to appropriate money for the federal government to stay open, an annual process that is supposed to be handled through 12 major spending bills. By law, all such appropriations measures must originate in the House before moving on to the Senate. On Thursday, the House passed a 2013 spending plan for the Pentagon — the seventh appropriations bill to clear the lower chamber this year.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has refused to take up any of the House’s spending bills before the November elections, saying they include more cuts than Congress agreed to as part of last summer’s hotly contested compromise to raise the federal debt limit.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Majority of voters blame president for bad economy!

The Hill ^ | 07/23/12 | Sheldon Alberts

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.
The poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, found 53 percent of voters say Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down. Forty-two percent said he has taken the right actions to revive the economy, while six percent said they were not sure.
Obama has argued throughout the presidential campaign that his policies have made the economy better. He says recovery is taking a long time because he inherited such deep economic trouble upon taking office in 2009.
“The problems we’re facing right now have been more than a decade in the making,” he told an audience last month in Cleveland.
Obama’s campaign, under the slogan “Forward,” has sought to steer voter attention less toward current and past economic performance and more toward questions about Republican Mitt Romney’s work in the private sector economy. It has launched attacks on the challenger’s role as head of the private equity firm Bain Capital, casting him as a jobs “outsourcer” whose firm shipped thousands of U.S. positions overseas.
The Hill Poll, however, shows the extent to which voters hold Obama responsible for the economy and reveals his vulnerability should the election become primarily a referendum on his economic management.
It finds that voters strongly believe more could have been done by the White House and in Congress to achieve growth in the economy and employment.
While 64 percent of voters consider this downturn to be “much more severe” than previous contractions, barely one quarter (26 percent) say the agonizingly slow pace of the recovery was unavoidable.
While voters feel Obama carries a greater portion of the blame than others, the poll found almost 6-in-10 are unhappy with the actions of Republicans in Congress who have challenged the president on an array of policy initiatives.
Fifty-seven percent of voters said congressional Republicans have impeded the recovery with their policies, and only 30 percent overall believe the GOP has done the right things to boost the economy.
The tension between a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a Democratic-run White House has also featured in Obama’s campaign strategy.
In his economic speech last month in Cleveland, Obama cast the 2012 election as a chance to choose between two competing visions for the nation.
“What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take,” he said. “This election is your chance to break that stalemate.”
Romney agrees that the election is a choice between two radically different views of America, but he characterizes it as a contest between his own vision of an industrious people free to achieve their dreams and Obama’s faith in big government.
If there is a silver lining for Obama in the poll results, it’s that centrist voters, who may well decide the 2012 outcome, tend to blame Republicans in Congress more than the president for hindering a more robust recovery.
Twenty-six percent of centrists cited Congress as most to blame for U.S. economic woes, compared to 20 percent who blame Obama.
Similarly, 53 percent of centrists said Obama has taken the right actions as president to boost the economy, compared with 38 percent who said he had taken the wrong steps.
Seventy-nine percent of centrist voters said Republicans had slowed the economy by taking wrong actions. Only 13 percent of centrists credited GOP lawmakers with policies that have helped the economy.
The poll found sharp differences in opinions along racial lines, with 94 percent of African-Americans saying Obama had taken the right actions on the economy, compared to 34 percent of white voters.
The Hill poll was conducted July 9 among 1,000 likely voters, and has a 3 percentage point margin of error.

Entrepreneurs Like Steve Jobs Build Prosperity – Not Politicians! ^ | July23, 2012 | Star Parker

I think it’s a sport for President Obama to make outrageous statements like “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” – which he said in a recent campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia - and then watch Republicans go predictably bananas.

Certainly the multimillionaire business supporters of the president on Wall Street and in Hollywood know this is absurd. Anyone with the mildest understanding of business and capitalism knows this is absurd.

Yet the president struck at the heart of what makes capitalism tick – individual freedom and personal responsibility – without his polling numbers in the week that followed budging and his re-election probability on actually ticked up two and half points.
We are reaching dangerous critical mass of those in our country who have enough stake in big government – whether they are employed by it, collecting benefits from it, or businesses getting favors from it – that political protection is commanding a higher premium than freedom.
If Americans want prosperity, we need a grand reawakening to the incontrovertible fact that its source is entrepreneurs unfettered by meddling politicians.
Apple, Inc is now the most valuable company in the world. Its recent stock price puts its valuation at around $560 billion, more than $150 billion more than America’s biggest oil company – Exxon Mobil.
Fifteen years ago, in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned as CEO of Apple, the company was worth less than $3 billion dollars, about a half a percent of what it is worth today. Estimates then were that Apple was several months away from bankruptcy.
John Lilly, a former Apple employee, now a silicon valley venture capitalist, blogged memories, after Jobs’ death, about a talk that Jobs gave to employees shortly after his return. Apple was losing money, its stock was languishing, there were rumors about the company being acquired, and Jobs was asked about a suggestion that the company should just shut down.
He concluded his response with “If you want to make Apple great again, let’s get going. If not, get the hell out.” The blogger continues, “I think it’s not an overstatement to say that just about everyone in the room loved him at that point, would have followed him off a cliff if that’s where he led.”
In the following year, according to the account in Walter Isaacson’s recent book about Jobs, 3000 employees were laid off and Jobs reviewed Apple’s entire product line, pruning it from fifteen products to four.
Now Apple is the most valuable company in the world with innovative products no one would have dreamed of in 1997.
In September 1997, Apple had 8437 full time employees.
Today, according to its website, Apple has 70,000 employees worldwide, of which 47,000 are in the U.S. The company estimates that 514,000 jobs have been created as result of employment at Apple, at companies supported by Apple, and the economy created by Apple products.
Suppose, when Jobs revamped and shrunk Apple’s product line, he needed employees to vote in order to get rid of each product? It, of course, would have been impossible.
But this is what we have when government goes where it doesn’t belong - getting into businesses like providing retirement services, health care, housing, and education. Even if programs work for a while, times inevitably change. Businesses can adjust. Government can’t. Changing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, and government housing policy today is about politics, not good economic decisions.
So we’re stuck pouring billions we don’t have into programs that don’t work.
Capitalism is not about being “on your own” as we hear so often from liberals. It’s about entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, being free to create prosperity by serving their fellow citizens with innovative ideas and products.
And it’s about government doing its proper job – protecting life and property – so this can happen.

Value: $0, Taxes: $40 Million

Commentary Magazine ^ | 7-23-12 | John Steele Gordon

This week’s winner of the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up contest is undoubtedly a front-page story in this morning’s New York Times. When New York art dealer Ileana Sonnabend died in 2007, she left her children a fabulous collection of modern art valued at $1 billion. Her children have already paid $471 million in estate taxes on the collection, being forced to sell off most of it to meet the bill. (This is a beautiful example, by the way, of why estate taxes should be abolished and replaced with a capital gains tax on inherited assets—the collection, an artistic whole in itself, had to be destroyed to pay the taxes due.)
But there is one item in the collection, a work by Robert Rauschenberg that cannot be sold. It contains a stuffed bald eagle and under the terms of the 1940 Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the 1918 Migratory Bird Act, it is a felony to “possess, sell, purchase, barter, transport, import or export any bald eagle — alive or dead.” The estate, advised by three experts, including one from Christie’s, therefore, valued the work at zero. The IRS decided it was worth $65 million, and is demanding $29.2 million in taxes and $11 million in penalties because the heirs “inaccurately” stated its value.
The trouble, of course, is that the heirs didn’t inaccurately state its value. Anything that cannot, for whatever reason, be sold, is worth zero by economic definition. The value of anything is only what someone else is willing to pay for it. And to pay a dime for this particular artwork would be to commit a federal felony. To sell it for a dime would be to commit a federal felony.
The IRS has an “Art Advisory Panel,” that provides expert advice on the value of art works involved in estates. It was the panel that decided it was worth $65 million. Stephanie Barron, a member of the panel and an art curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, said that, “It’s a stunning work of art and we all just cringed at the idea of saying that this had zero value. It just didn’t make any sense.”
It makes perfect sense and Ms. Barron’s statement is a classic example of the fallacy of the just price, that things have inherent value independent of the marketplace. They may have artistic value, emotional value, religious value, etc. But if they cannot be sold then they have no monetary value because they cannot be converted into money.
The IRS Art Advisory Board, I assume, is made up of art experts. It should add an economist to give the other board members a lesson in economics 101 when necessary. And the IRS should have someone empowered to tell the Bureau, “Are you crazy? This will make us look like idiots, and vindictive idiots at that.”

Obama Donor: Stimulus Was Like a Hooker in Prison ^ | July 23, 2012 | John Ransom

Another green company backed by an Obama bundler just bit the dust.

After announcing earlier this year that the company would lay off 200 of its 300 employees, solar manufacturer Amonix Inc. closed its operation in North Las Vegas leaving taxpayers in the red by $20 million.

Editor's note: We've updated this piece with research from the RNC below, entitiled: "The Big Payback: Where It All Began," which details the massive payoffs directed to Obama supporters using taxpayer dollars in the guise of "stimulus."

“Just seven months after California-based solar power company Amonix Inc. opened its largest manufacturing plant, in North Las Vegas,” reports the Las Vegas Sun, a liberal paper, last January, “the company’s contractor has laid off nearly two-thirds of its workforce. Flextronics Industrial, the Singapore solar panel manufacturer that partnered with Amonix to staff the new $18 million, 214,000-square-foot plant, laid off about 200 of its 300-plus employees Tuesday.”
Now only 14 months after opening the facility, and seven months after massive layoffs, it has closed due to manufacturing over-capacity in the solar industry, along with quality control issues.
"I don't think they had a lot of training," said Rene Kenerly, a former material and supply manager at Amonix, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. "There were a lot of quality issues. A lot of stuff was coming back because it had some functionality issues."
Sounds like a picture perfect Obama program: Very expensive with "functionality issues."
The man behind the company, Steve Westly, has received over $500 million in taxpayer-funded grants, loans and cash for a variety of companies- mostly in the in the green space after raising $86,000 for Obama as a bundler in 2008, according to the campaign cash website
So far this election cycle, Westly has donated $101,000 to various Democrat candidates and groups according to data compiled by opensecrets, including $60,000 to DNC Service Corp, also known by the less creepy name of the Democrat National Committee.
Earlier this week, I detailed plans by another Obama bundler, Steven Gluckstern, to help municipalities seize mortgage loans under eminent domain laws- that is, abuse eminent domain laws- in order to generate fees for his company, Mortgage Resolution Partners.
Westly’s list of interests backed by the Obama administration is much, much longer than the Gluckstern scheme however.
From the Center for Public Integrity:
“We believe that with the Obama administration, and other governments … committing hundreds of billions of dollars to clean tech, there has never been a better time to launch clean tech companies,” says his company website. “The Westly Group is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this surge of interest and growth.”
Uniquely positioned, indeed.
One of President Barack Obama’s most prolific fundraisers, Westly was among guests at January’s state dinner for the president of China. A month later, he dined with Obama again at an exclusive San Francisco Bay area gathering for prominent high tech CEOs, including the leaders of Facebook, Google and Apple.
In addition to the $20 million in loans and tax credits for the failed Amonix plant, Westly also is involved in other companies that have benefited from Obama-directed taxpayer help: Tesla Motors, CalStar Products, Solexel, Recycle Bank, EdenIQ and Amyris Biotechnologies.
Now I understand why the Democrats are so worried about Mitt’s tax returns: Mitt’s showing income not losses.
Obama's taxpayer rate of returns shows losses not income.
Occupy that.
Here’s my proposal: If it’s constitutional to tax people who don’t have healthcare, isn’t it constitutional to levy a tax on investors who benefit from federal green energy boondoggles?
If you are going to go after millionaires and billionaires, here’s a set of folks who are just crying for it.
Because if you want to know what happened to the all the stimulus jobs that were supposed to be created, now you know: They were sacrificed to stimulate the bundlers.
That’s all.

From RNC Research:


The Big Payback: Where It All Began

Obama Relives His High Profile Stimulus Rally, A Bill Defined By Cronies Given Payoffs And Middle Class Layoffs
Today, President Obama Will Appear At The Harborside Event Center In Fort Myers. FL. "President Barack Obama will talk about the economy when he returns to a downtown Fort Myers civic center Friday, more than three years after he first visited. Campaign officials said Tuesday night that Obama will hold a public rally Friday morning at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers." (Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, "Tickets Available Wednesday For Obama Visit To Fort Myers On Friday," Naples Daily News, 7/17/12)
Obama Appeared At The Harborside Event Center In February 2009 To "Rally Support For His $800 Billion-Plus Stimulus Package." "That's the same place the president held a town hall meeting in 2009 to rally support for his $800 billion-plus stimulus package." (Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, "Tickets Available Wednesday For Obama Visit To Fort Myers On Friday," Naples Daily News, 7/17/12)
Obama Said Stimulus Would Create New Jobs In Renewable Energy, "Jobs Building Wind Turbines And Solar Panels And Fuel-Efficient Cars." OBAMA: "And they won't be make-work jobs. They'll be jobs that lay the groundwork for a lasting economic boom, jobs that put people to work today preparing America for tomorrow: Jobs building wind turbines and solar panels and fuel-efficient cars -- (cheers, applause) -- doubling our investment in clean energy, helping end our dependence on foreign oil. (Cheers, applause.)." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Town Hall Event, Fort Myers, FL, 2/10/09)
A Month Later At A Green Energy Venture Capital Conference, Obama Donor Paul Holland Made An Off Color Joke When Asked " How Can We All Make Some Money Off" The Stimulus
"In A Video Appearance From 2009, Venture Capitalist Paul Holland - Who Had Given The Maximum Legal Contribution To Obama, And Whose Companies Received Over 6 Million In Government Dollars - Described His Feelings When Heard About The Billions Up For Grabs." (Michael Hastings, "Obama Official Was Like 'A Hooker Dropped Into A Prison Exercise Yard,'" BuzzFeed, 7/17/12)
Question: "One of the things, and Paul I'm going to start with you because you just go off a plane from Washington, D.C. and there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there and you guys in particular who are specifically looking at the stimulus package or packages I should say. And wondering if there is an opportunity there, for your companies, for new companies what is the latest from DC, what were you doing there, and how can we all make some money off of that?"
Foundation Capital's Paul Holland: "Yeah, that's big question. So I guess I would just peel it back to a couple of weeks before I was at the Wall Street Journal's Economics Conference and Matt Rogers who probably a number of you know came in and was doing a talk and this is going to be a little off collar so I don't want to get in trouble for this. He came in to do his talk and opened his talk with, 'I'm Matt Rogers I am the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Energy and I have $134 billion that I have to disperse between now and the end of December.' So upon hearing that I sent an email to my partners that said Matt Rogers is about to get treated like a hooker dropped into a prison exercise yard . And I had the lack of judgment to go up and share that with him and the other people who were all standing around him at the end of the talk and uh fortunately for me they all laughed and thought it was funny."
(Paul Holland, Remarks, Venture Capital Panel, Green:Net 09, 3/24/09)
Obama Bundlers Worked In His Department Of Energy "As It Showered Billions In Taxpayer-Backed Stimulus Money On Alternative Energy Firms." "Several of Barack Obama's top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, iWatch News and ABC News have learned." (Ronnie Green and Matthew Mosk, "Bundlers On The Inside," iWatch , 9/29/11)
  • "$3.9 Billion In Federal Grants And Financing Flowed To 21 Companies Backed By Firms With Connections To Five Obama Administration Staffers And Advisers." (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Venture Capitalists Play Key Role In Obama's Energy Department," The Washington Post , 2/14/12)
  • "The Administration Tapped Industry Players To Take On Key Energy Department Roles, Both As Agency Staffers And Outside Advisers On Agency Boards." (Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens, "Venture Capitalists Play Key Role In Obama's Energy Department," The Washington Post , 2/14/12)
The Washington Post: "You Can Call It Crony Capitalism Or Venture Socialism - But By Whatever Name, The Energy Department's Loan Guarantee Program Privatizes Profits And Socializes Losses." (Editorial, "The Energy Department's Loan Guarantee Program Is The Real Solyndra Scandal," The Washington Post, 11/17/11)
Steve Westly Brought In Big Bucks For Obama And Got A Tremendous Return On His Investment
As An Obama Bundler, Steve Westly Has Raised Over $1 Million For Obama During The 2008 And 2012 Election Cycles. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 7/13/12)
  • In 2008, Westly Served As The California Co-Chair Of Obama For President And As A National Finance Committee Member. "In the 2008 election cycle Mr. Westly served as a California co-chair and a National Finance Committee member of the Obama for America campaign." ( The Westly Group Website, Accessed 7/13/11)
Steve Westly On Investing: "Who Cares About What I Think, Let's Talk About What Does Obama Like?" WESTLY: "People ask me about this all the time and I'm so flattered. But what I'd say is 'who cares about what I think let's talk about what does Obama like?' Here's what he likes because here's where the federal government is putting money and let me tell you whatever he likes, that's what I like." (Steve Westly On Clean Teach On GTM TV, 2/10/10)
  • Westly: "The Key Is In Clean Tech Investing Is Venture Capitalists Are Going To Have To Know The Ins And Outs Of Government And That Will Make Us Better Investors." (Steve Westly, Remarks, Venture Capital Panel, Green:Net 09, 3/24/09)
  • The Westly Group's Website Boasted That They Are "Uniquely Positioned To Take Advantage" Of The Billions In Subsidies That Obama Offers To Green Energy Firms. "'We believe that with the Obama administration, and other governments … committing hundreds of billions of dollars to clean tech, there has never been a better time to launch clean tech companies,' says his company website. 'The Westly Group is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this surge of interest and growth.'" (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
Westly's Venture Capital Firm Has "Received More Than Half A Billion Dollars In Loans, Grants Or Stimulus Money From The Obama Energy Department …" "All the while, Westly's four-year-old green business has boomed. Since June 2009, four companies in his venture firm's portfolio have received more than half a billion dollars in loans, grants or stimulus money from the Obama Energy Department, a review by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News has found." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
  • "Relatively Few Companies Succeed In Winning Such Benefits. More Than 90 Percent Of Applicants Have Failed To Secure Funding In Two Programs Benefiting Three Westly-Backed Firms." (Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk, "Green Bundler With The Golden Touch," Center For Public Integrity & ABC News, 3/30/11)
Biden's Former Chief Of Staff Got A One-Month Lobbying Contract To Get A Green Energy Client Their Loan Guarantee
BrightSource Hired Bernard Toon, Vice President Biden's Former Chief Of Staff, To Lobby For Its Loan Guarantee As Their Deadline Neared. "BrightSource spent more than $500,000 on lobbying in the third quarter of 2010 through the second quarter of 2011, according to federal records, on behalf of the loan program and its own loan. The records show that $40,000 of the BrightSource lobbying money went to Bernie Toon, who was chief of staff to Mr. Biden, then a U.S. senator, in the 1990s." (Alicia Mundy and Ryan Tracy, "Solar Firm's Big Push For U.S. Loan," The Wall Street Journal, 6/5/12)
Just Days After Being Hired, Toon Went To The White House With Three BrightSource Executives And Met With Alan Hoffman, A Top Aide To VP Biden. "On March 9, 2011, just days after being hired, Mr. Toon went to the White House with three BrightSource executives, according to Senate and White House records. There he visited a former colleague, Alan Hoffman, now the top aide to Mr. Biden, whose office was working on green-energy programs, the records show. The White House didn't make Mr. Hoffman available for comment." (Alicia Mundy and Ryan Tracy, "Solar Firm's Big Push For U.S. Loan," The Wall Street Journal, 6/5/12)
  • "The Loan Was Approved April 5 And Mr. Toon's Lobbying Contract Ended."(Alicia Mundy and Ryan Tracy, "Solar Firm's Big Push For U.S. Loan," The Wall Street Journal, 6/5/12)
  • On April 6, 2011, Toon's Lobbying Report Notes That He Terminated His Contract With BrightSource Energy. (Lobbying Report: The Ingram Group DBA The First Group, House Of Representatives, Effective 4/6/11)
Brightsource Is "Sustained By An Impressive Array Of Federal, State And Local Subsidies, Including A $1.6 Billion Loan Guarantee From The Department Of Energy." "Fortunately for BrightSource, its efforts are sustained by an impressive array of federal, state and local subsidies, including a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, one of the largest solar guarantees on record. The company notes federal provisions providing solar projects with a 30% investment tax credit through 2016, as well as accelerated depreciations of capital costs for solar entities, among other goodies." (Editorial, "Secretary Of Subsidy," The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/11)
The Wall Street Journal : BrightSource Energy's IPO States The Company Has "A String Of Net Losses, Totaling $177 Million" And Most Of Its Revenue Comes From A Contract With Chevron To Recover "Not-So-Renewable Heavy Oil." "Mr. Bryson, who had a long tenure running California energy company Edison International, has more recently served as chairman of BrightSource Energy, a startup specializing in solar-thermal power. Founded in 2004, the company has attracted more than $500 million in private funding and has become a renewables darling, with agreements to supply electricity to California utilities PG&E and Southern California Edison. That's the good news. But the company's SEC filing in April for a $250 million IPO tells a more, er, interesting story. The company has posted a string of net losses, totaling $177 million. Much of its $32 million in revenue over the past three years has come not from power generation, but from a contract with Chevron to use its technology to recover . . . not-so-renewable heavy oil." (Editorial, "Secretary Of Subsidy," The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/11)
After First Wind Hired Larry Rasky's Lobbying Firm, The Close Personal Friend Of Biden Helped The Company Secured Over $500 Million In Loans And Grants
Obama Fundraiser Alan Solomont Said Of Rasky "Larry Rasky Is In A Unique Position, He's Very Close To (Vice President-Elect) Joe Biden. Certainly Larry Is Someone Whose Voice Will Be Heard." "Jockeying across New England is intense because local Democrats haven't been up for the well-paid federal posts since 1992. Early Obama support from the state's top politicians - Gov. Deval Patrick and Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry - means Massachusetts will have more clout than usual, Solomont said. Other behind-the-scenes elves in the federal jobs sweepstakes include politically wired PR gurus such as Larry Rasky and Tom O'Neill, son of U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill Jr., observers say. 'Larry Rasky is in a unique position, he's very close to (Vice President-elect) Joe Biden. Certainly Larry is someone whose voice will be heard,' Solomont said." (Hillary Chabot, "Crowning Achievement; Mass Dems Have Influence Over Obama's Picks," The Boston Herald, 12/26/08)
Larry Rasky Is An Obama Bundler, Having Pledged To Raise Over $500,000 During The 2012 Election Cycle. (, Accessed 7/18/12)
  • Rasky Is A "Close Associate And Former Spokesman" For Vice President Joe Biden. "Sen. Joe Biden has received $5,300 from politically wired Hub lobbyist Joseph Baerlein, whose firm, Rasky/Baerlein, is co-owned by Biden's close associate and former spokesman Larry Rasky. The lobbying/public relations firm, which is registered federally and in Massachusetts, organized fund-raisers in Boston for Biden during the Democratic presidential primary." (Dave Wedge, Dems In Denver; Lobbyist$ Paid Off For Sen. Joe Biden," The Boston Herald, 8/28/08)
First Wind Hired Larry Rasky's Firm To Lobby On Its Behalf; Rasky Baerlain Strategic Communications Registers On January 5, 2009. (, Accessed 7/18/12)
  • First Wind Paid Rasky Baerlain $405,000 Between The First Quarter Of 2009 And The Third Quarter Of 2011. (, Accessed 7/18/12)
  • Julia Bovey, First Wind's Director Of External Affairs, Was Formerly Director Of External Affairs For Obama's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission From June 2009 To June 2010. (Julia Bovey, LinkedIn, Accessed 7/18/12)
Since Obama Took Office, Lawrence "Larry" Rasky Has Visited The White House At Least 21 Times. Three Times On September 23, 2009; December 14, 2009; December 15, 2009; February 23, 2010; March 29, 2010; May 5, 2010; July 12, 2010; August 17, 2010; February 2, 2011; February 16, 2011; April 27, 2011; June 17, 2011; Twice On July 20, 2011; July 28, 2011; November 4, 2011; January 10, 2012; February 16, 2012. (, Accessed 7/18/12)
On July 27, 2010, First Wind's Kahuku Wind Farm In Hawaii Received A $117,330,968 Loan Guarantee From Through The 1705 Program. (, Accessed 7/18/12)
  • Since Obama Took Office, First Wind's Projects Have Received Over $452 Million In Grants Through The Stimulus' 1603 Program. The Grants Went To First Wind's Stetson Wind Farm In Maine, 40,441,471; Cohocton Wind Farm In New York, $52,352,334; Dutch Hill Wind Farm In New York, $22,296,494; Milford Wind Corridor Phase I In Utah; $120,147,809; Milford Wind Corridor Phase II In Utah, $80,436,803; Rollins Wind Farm In Maine; $53,246,347; Sheffield Wind Farm In Vermont, $35,914,864; Kahuku Wind Farm In Hawaii, $35,148,839; Steel Winds II Wind Farm In New York, $12,778,751. ( Department Of The Treasury, Accessed 7/18/12)
D.E. Shaw Was Also An Investor In The Kahuku Wind Farm. "Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Chu whether his decisions had been influenced by several specific people tied to the administration, including former National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers, who before joining the White House worked as a part-time managing director at D.E. Shaw, a New York-based investment firm that has an ownership stake in the Kahuku Wind project." (Darren Samuelsohn, "Steven Chu On Solyndra: enough Already," Politico, 3/20/12)
In Late 2011, Former Obama National Economic Council Chairman Larry Summers Rejoined Hedge Fund D.E. Shaw As A Consultant. "It hasn't been widely reported, but late last year Summers rejoined the firm, this time as a consultant. According to a person familiar with Shaw, he is spending about five to ten per cent of his time working for the firm, largely in an advisory capacity. Asked what sort of things Summers does, this person said he addresses standard macroeconomic questions-such as the likelihood of a revaluation in the Chinese currency-and also advises the firm on how to limit risk." (John Cassidy, "Summers And The World Bank: Is Obama Serious?" The New Yorker, 3/22/12)
  • In 2008, Before Joining The Obama White House, Summers Was Paid Over $5 Million From Hedge Fund D.E. Shaw. "Larry Summers made a lot of money last year, and boy is it voyeuristically impossible to resist looking through his disclosure to see who paid him what. The really big money, unsurprisingly, came from DE Shaw: a salary of $1,432,497 (weird amount, that), along with partnership distributions of $3,756,126, for a total of $5,188,623. But just because he was earning $100,000 a week from DE Shaw doesn't mean he wasn't earning lots of money elsewhere, too: his speaking engagements alone came to another $2.8 million or so." (Felix Salmon, "Larry Summers's Millions," Reuters, 4/4/09)