Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why Do Public Teachers Send Their Kids to Private Schools?

Set Our Children Free ^ | 8/28/12 | Tony Caruso

Suppose you went to eat at a strange restaurant and, upon asking the waitress what was good on the menu, she told you that she didn’t know because she never ate there. When you ask why, she explains that the food and atmosphere are much better at her favorite place, and even though the food costs more, it’s worth it. You would naturally attribute a great deal of credibility to this waitress because she was honest enough to point you away from the place where she has a personal stake in its success. In other words, you would trust her word more than another employee, because she is working against her own interest by recommending you go elsewhere to eat.

Suppose you went to eat at a strange restaurant and, upon asking the waitress what was good on the menu, she told you that she didn’t know because she never ate there. When you ask why, she explains that the food and atmosphere are much better at her favorite place, and even though the food costs more, it’s worth it. You would naturally attribute a great deal of credibility to this waitress because she was honest enough to point you away from the place where she has a personal stake in its success. In other words, you would trust her word more than another employee, because she is working against her own interest by recommending you go elsewhere to eat. The debate about public vs. private schools is similar to the restaurant analogy. According to a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, public school teachers are almost twice as likely (1 in 5 overall) as other parents to choose private schools for their own children. You know there’s something wrong when those who know the public school system best, and have a vested financial interest in keeping their own kids there, send them to private schools instead. The figure would actually be higher if many of these same teachers could afford private schools, as the study showed that the lower the teacher’s salary, the less likely they were to choose private schools. In many cities, one third to one half of public school teachers chose private schools for their kids. I’ve taught in public schools, and trust me, no teacher I know would be surprised at these statistics. And this study was done eight years ago. Does anyone think our schools have gotten better since then?
The question is why? Well, just like the restaurant analogy, the top three reasons given for the switch to private schools were: 1) higher academic achievement, 2) greater discipline, and 3) better atmosphere. The two largest teachers’ unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), declined to comment on the report, thus lending a great deal of credibility to it. I mean, what can you say when a substantial number of your own employees don’t believe in how you run your business? Kind of reminds you of that Pepsi commercial where the Coke delivery guy keeps getting caught drinking Pepsi.
The unions’ response to failing schools, along with their allies in the Democrat party and the rest of the government educational establishment, has been to fight school choice tooth and nail. In Louisiana, they have gone so far as to threaten private schools who accept vouchers. School choice is an idea whose time has finally come. Unfortunately, it came at a steep price - several generations of young people whose education was sacrificed at the altar of governmental monopoly. And the battle has just begun. We look back and wonder how we ever let our education bureaucrats take our money and give us no choice in how they spend it to educate our kids. It happened at a time in our history when we trusted government to be responsive to we, the people, and make the right decisions. That time has passed. The government’s own employees’ choices have told us all we need to know.

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

Anti-alcoholism' drug cleared for use in France (and at VHPA reunions!)

MedicalXPress ^ | April 25, 2012

French health authorities have approved the use of a drug, originally designed to treat nervous spasms, for the treatment of alcoholism on a "case by case" basis.

AFSSAPS, the regulator that authorises drugs, said that while the drug Baclofen had not been definitively shown to be efficient in the treatment of alcoholism, it had shown "clinical benefits in some patients". It recommended in a statement that Baclofen -- the lab name for a medication branded as Kemstro, Lioresal and Gablofen -- should be considered on a "case by case" basis. The history of the drug goes back 50 years. It was originally designed for epilepsy before becoming licensed to treat spasticity, but researchers are now interested in using it to ease alcoholic craving. Interest was sparked in 2008 by a book, "Le Dernier Verre" (The Last Drink), by cardiologist Olivier Ameisen, who self-treated his alcoholism with high doses of Baclofen. The AFSSAPS statement came after French doctors said last month that the drug had cleared an important early test. The trial entailed enrolling 132 heavy drinkers who were given Baclofen at high doses over a year. Eighty percent either became abstinent or turned into moderate drinkers. By comparison, two drugs that are commonly used to treat alcoholics, naltrexon and acamprosate, yield a success rate of 20-25 percent. Side effects included fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, dizziness and digestive troubles. Lead researcher Philippe Jaury of the University of Paris-Descartes said the outcome opened the door to one-year clinical trials, expected to start in May, in which 320 alcoholics would be divided into two groups. One batch will receive Baclofen, progressively building in dosage until the craving symptoms subside, while the others will receive an inactive look-a-like pill, or placebo. France's health system is paying 750,000 euros ($469,000) of the 1.2-million-euro ($1.45-million) cost of the trial, and an unidentified donor is paying the rest, Jaury told AFP. The pre-trial study was published in a specialist journal, Alcohol and Alcoholism.
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-04-anti-alcoholism-drug-france.html#jCp


Just Think

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At Some Point...

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Off The Cliff

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The Other

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It's not fair...

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Things Could Be Worse!

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GM to idle Volt plant for 4 weeks, more Obama success!

Automotive News ^ | August 27, 2012 | Mike Colias

DETROIT -- General Motors plans to idle the plant where it assembles the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid for four weeks starting next month, two people familiar with the plans said.

GM will close its Detroit-Hamtramck plant from Sept. 17 until Oct. 15, one of the sources said. Union representatives last week told the plant's roughly 1,500 workers about the scheduled downtime, the source said.

GM also notified suppliers last week, according to another source in the supply chain.
A GM spokesman wouldn't confirm whether the company planned to idle the plant.
"We don't comment on production schedules," the spokesman said. "We continue to match supply and demand."
GM assembles the Volt and recently began making small numbers of the redesigned 2013 Chevrolet Malibu at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which straddles both cities' limits. GM assembled 590 Malibus in June and July, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Most Malibu production is done at GM's Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.
Second curtailment
It's the second time this year that GM has throttled back on Volt production. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant was idled from March 19 until April 16 amid swollen Volt inventories.
Volt demand has picked up this year, after sales last year fell short of GM's goals. GM sold 10,666 Volts through July, more than triple the 2,870 sold during the same period a year earlier.
GM executives have attributed the sales increase to strong demand for a low-emissions version of the Volt that qualifies for California's coveted carpool lanes, which GM launched in March. Previous versions of the Volt didn't qualify.
Volt inventories have been whittled down, too, to 6,500 units, or 84 days' worth, as of Aug. 1. On March 1, just before the last production shutdown, GM had 154 days' worth.
Tracking EV sales
Volt sales have been a closely watched barometer of demand for electrified vehicles, as several other automakers are in various stages of rolling out electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Volt also has become a target of conservatives who criticize the Obama administration's financial support for green-car technology.
GM has said it plans to add a second shift to the Detroit-Hamtramck plant once it starts production of the next-generation Chevrolet Impala sedan there. GM is expected to begin making the redesigned Impala at the plant during the first quarter of 2013.
James B. Treece contributed to this report.

Top 10 Reasons Not To Re-elect Obama!

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | Chuck Norris

In 2010, President Barack Obama confessed to ABC News' Diane Sawyer, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." But what if Obama's one term was not good but bad for the country?

The past two weeks, I've given the first eight reasons not to re-elect President Obama. Though I would encourage readers to read the details in each of those points, here they are in summary:

10) Obama's economic actions have failed to lower the unemployment rate in the U.S. to less than 8 percent for the past 42 months, which is a record. 9) The Obama administration's out-of-control spending has led America to the economic brink and destroyed our country's credit rating.
8) Obama's reckless spending and fiscal policies have added more to the national debt than most U.S. presidents combined -- roughly $6 trillion in his first term in office (making the total debt nearly $16 trillion and, by White House projections alone, $21.3 trillion by the end of fiscal 2017, $25 trillion in 2021 and $25.9 trillion in 2022).
7) Obama has detrimentally increased not only the costs of entitlements but also the dependency of citizens upon government subsidies rather than empower the people's autonomy, responsibility and freedom.
6) Obama demeans private enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit -- the very heart of America.
5) President Obama has left the U.S. in a weaker and more disrespected position in the global community.
4) Obama has broken or unfulfilled 324 campaign promises.
3) Through his presidency, President Obama is invoking and enabling a radically progressive secular state in the U.S.
Here are the last two unquestionable justifications for ousting Obama from office:
2) Obama elevates himself above the U.S. Constitution -- which contains the rulebook for his presidency -- discarding and bypassing its principles and tenets.
What should be of grave concern to every American citizen is that President Obama has described the Constitution as "an imperfect document ... a document that reflects some deep flaws ... (and) an enormous blind spot." He also said, "The Framers had that same blind spot." In so doing, the president established a rationale and justification for disregarding, disavowing and disposing the Constitution from oversight and obedience in his administration and decisions, which he swore to uphold when sworn in to office. To add insult to injury, Obama places himself above the Constitution and those "blind Framers," who just couldn't see the big picture as he does today. After all, he's the constitutional scholar, and the Framers were just, well, the creators of the document!
Today the Constitution tragically conforms to and serves the White House's political whims, not vice versa. It's time we stop that constitutional chaos and return to the founding principles, limited government and taxation, and freedoms of our early republic, whether we like them or not.

1) Four more years of President Obama will not only fundamentally transform but also unravel the very fabrics of our republic as our Founding Fathers knew it and as we know it.
On the eve of Obama's election, he promised that he would "fundamentally transform the United States of America." He wasn't kidding. And he's well on his way. Imagine what four more years of Obama unleashed would bring, when there would be no re-election to face or consequences to bear.
Imagine no more.
WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein, has just published a groundbreaking expose and look into exactly what would happen in a second term with Obama. "Fool Me Twice: Obama's Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed," WND explained, "is based on exhaustive research into Obama's upcoming detailed presidential plans and policies as well as the specific second-term recommendations of major 'progressive' groups behind Obama and the Democratic leadership -- the organizations that help craft legislation and set the political and rhetorical agenda for the president and his allies."
From crumbling down American sovereignty by giving sway to U.N. rule and European socialism to clamping down on Second Amendment gun rights and passing the Freedom of Choice Act -- the sweeping bill that would abolish all pro-life regulations across the nation, from parental notification laws to bans on federal funding of abortion -- our republic would be in deep, deep trouble with Obama at the helm for four more years, because he would complete his fundamental transformation of the United States into a completely progressive European-socialist state.
Fellow citizens, America is out of time, out of money and indebted up to its ears, and our economy and unemployment rates are in the tank. We can't afford a single day more of President Obama -- especially knowing that every day, his administration adds $4,179,115,306 of debt (on top of the existing spending and debt).
The fiscal actions of Obama's federal government are diametrically opposed to those of America's founders, who adopted the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Thomas Jefferson could have been writing to us today when he wrote in 1816 to Samuel Kercheval, roughly 40 years after the creation of the Declaration of Independence:

"We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers."
The Declaration of Independence could have been speaking about President Obama when it stated, "In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People."

Our Fake, Fair President

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | John Ransom

Uh-oh. The Fake Fairness Fairy is on the loose again.
And that smell? That’s not pixie dust.
Obama wants you to know that your next promotion, the car you own, your house, your kids, you don’t deserve any of it. Someone else is mostly responsible for it.
“There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own,” Senate candidate and fake Indian, Elizabeth Warren explained to us months ago. “You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory.”
Warren- and Obama- explain that in return for not worrying about “marauding bands” taking everything we have, we should just allow a marauding government to take what they will, while we lay still and Think-of-England.
Apparently Warren isn’t familiar with the 2nd Amendment, which has always been a most effective way of preventing marauders, public, private, quasi-governmental and federally governmental, from plundering our private property.
Her own state, Massachusetts, provided a great example in 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord of the 2nd Amendment in action.
Perhaps as one of the other great Law Givers and Professors in this country, Warren ought to borrow a history book or two from Sarah Palin.
And actually read them.
Oh, and, never mind that the factory owner Warren and Obama take for granted already pays taxes for all those services Warren lists- just like the rest of us do. In fact, the factory owner probably pays more in taxes, plus pays for infrastructure improvements required under local zoning rules, improvements that likely make the locality more attractive economically.
But, who cares about facts when you can whip out the Fake Fairness Fairy.
More and more, the Democrats have been turning out the Fake Fairness Fairy.
War on Women? The Fake Fairness Fairy.
The War of Catholics? The Fake Fairness Fairy.
Deporting some illegal immigrants, while allowing others to stay here illegally? The Fake Fairness Fairy.
Tax hike on the evil millionaires and billionaires? The Fake Fairness Fairy.
Solyndra, Fast and Furious, voter intimidation, Trayvon Martin, the war on energy- all brought to us by the Fake Fairness Fairy.
Look, I don’t object to Obama turning the novelty of his “blackness” into the one-way mirror into which he never tires of looking. And I don’t object when he then writes books about it and makes a fortune.
Good for him.
But let me be clear.
He’s done it on the back of the Fake Fairness Fairy that the rest of us pay for.
We paid for it with a great civil war, testing whether our republic or any republic can long endure.
We paid for it by separate, but equal laws that took its toll on white society as well as black.
We paid for it in the great civil rights struggle, which has rewritten our constitution to give equal protection under the law to all, although the Fake Fairness Fairy says that some laws are more equal than others.
So, now the content of character no longer determines our outcome.
Instead the Fake Fairness Fairy cares only about our race, gender, income or religion- as long as it’s not Christian.
This, in part, explains our fake president’s obsession with taking from some and giving to others in his quest for fake fairness.
After all, it wasn’t fair he was born in Indonesia ;-).
It wasn’t fair that he’s parlayed a resume as thin as his body into fame, riches, a real estate deal with a convicted influence-peddler and notorious slumlord that included, a massively unfair mansion.
Was the Nobel Peace prize he was awarded fair? Was his Harvard degree fair? Was it fair when he unsealed the divorce records of his Republican opponent in the race for the US Senate in Illinois that set Obama up to be president?
I can understand why Obama might have some mixed feeling about whether he has actually earned his way in the game of life.
Because in truth, he hasn’t.
Not in the way you and I and everyone else have to.
We don’t get to appeal to the Fake Fairness Fairy when the coal mine shuts down. We don’t get to appeal to the Fake Fairness Fairy when we miss a mortgage payment so we can make payroll for our employees. We don’t get to appeal to the Fake Fairness Fairy, because there is no magic fairy that makes everything fair.
What you do with what God gives you is the only fairness that exists, to paraphrase Forrest Gump.
And come November Obama will discover the painful lesson that the rest of us knew a long time ago.
That Fairness Fairy? She’s fake.

Obamacare: Seven New Taxes on Citizens Earning Less than $250,000

Breitbart ^ | 6/29/2012 | by Robert Allen Bonelli

While we were all debating the cost to our liberty due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), we were ignoring the cost to our pockets. If there ever was a reason for bipartisan rage about this law, it should be on the twenty - yes, twenty - hidden new taxes of this law. Making matters even more relevant is that seven of these taxes are levied on all citizens regardless of income. Hence, Mr. Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 is just another falsehood associated with this legislation.
The first, and best known, of these seven taxes that will hit all Americans as a result of Obamacare is the Individual Mandate Tax (no longer concealed as a penalty). This provision will require a couple to pay the higher of a base tax of $1,360 per year, or 2.5% of adjusted growth income starting with lower base tax and rising to this level by 2016. Individuals will see a base tax of $695 and families a base tax of $2,085 per year by 2016.
Next up is the Medicine Cabinet Tax that took effect in 2011. This tax prohibits reimbursement of expenses for over-the-counter medicine, with the lone exception of insulin, from an employee’s pre-tax dollar funded Health Saving Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). This provision hurts middle class earners particularly hard since they earn enough to actually pay federal taxes, but not enough to make this restriction negligible.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Obama voters reject 'hope and change' in new documentary!

Fox ^ | 8/27/12 | Jedediah Bila

In an election year, there is nothing more powerful than the voices of regular Americans. Their excitement, hope, disappointment, anger, and distress have a greater impact than any politician's words ever could.
Citizens United Productions knows that. For their soon-to-be-released documentary, "The Hope and the Change," producer David N. Bossie and Writer/Director Stephen K. Bannon traveled to the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to interview forty Democrats and independents who supported Barack Obama in 2008 and will not be backing him in 2012. The film will be screened at the Republican and Democratic conventions before wider distribution begins.
In a recent interview, Writer/Director Stephen K. Bannon told me that with the assistance of Democratic consultants Pat Caddell and Kendra Stewart, "It took a year to plan, locate, and film the voters." Bannon was impressed with the very first focus group, noting that "The way they articulated the angst, fear, and trepidation about their lives, the country, and their children's futures was incredible."
Throughout the documentary, 24 Democrats and sixteen independents recount how the euphoria and optimism they felt about candidate Obama were replaced with disappointment and dissatisfaction with President Obama's policies and their destructive ramifications.
Viewers experience the unfiltered, from-the-heart stories of former Obama supporters, including such 2008 sentiments as "He is just a charismatic individual who I saw as a knight in shining armor" and "Everyone was just so excited for this savior of our nation" to 2012 revelations like "What I see now is not who I saw during his campaign" and "We don't care that you're out at talk shows…I want to see you make this economy better."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/08/27/obama-voters-reject-hope-and-change-in-new-documentary/#ixzz24puDS9MV
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

25 Examples Of What America Would Be Like If Everyone Was A Liberal

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | John Hawkins

1) America's credit rating would get so low that it would force President Dennis Kucinich to petition the UN for donations to pay for Social Security, Medicare, and his newly implemented 350 weeks of unemployment plan.

2) There wouldn't be a Pledge of Allegiance said in schools, no one would sing the Star Spangled Banner before any sporting event, and no one would celebrate the 4th of July.

3) Gas would cost $9 a gallon. Liberals would consider this a plus because it would cause more people to get tax credits to buy government subsidized $40,000 electric cars.

4) Seven year olds would be able to vote. Free candy and endorsements from cartoon characters would become a staple of campaigning.

5) The corporate tax rate would be 15 percent higher, most American workers would be unionized and tax rates would soar. As a result, our economy would be stagnant and our unemployment rate would permanently be in the 10-20% range.

6) Prison sentences would be short, crime would be rampant, and the police would be so undermanned and tied down with regulations that they wouldn't even bother to lock people up for committing crimes like burglary..

7) There would be price controls on electricity, gasoline, and most household goods. Of course, there would also be regular shortages of electricity, gasoline, and most household goods.

8) Children would be taught to be androgynous, gender-confused weirdos in school rather than risk exposing them to "gender stereotypes."

9) Conservatism would be considered hate speech that could draw a massive fine or even jail time for repeat offenders.

10) The good news is that housing would be free. The bad news is that it would mostly be in ugly cement buildings with drug addicts, former homeless people, the severely mentally ill, and career criminals peppered all through the complex for the sake of "diversity."

11) Wearing a cross, mentioning the Bible, or advocating Christian beliefs anywhere outside of a church would be illegal because it might "offend people."

12) Meat, 32 ounce sodas, and trans fats would be illegal. Crack, meth, and heroin would be legal.

13) America's military would be so weak we'd have to rely on Mexico and Canada to defend us from potential threats.

14) The Israelis would be driven into the sea, Taiwan would be swallowed by China, and Russia would begin to gobble up the countries that broke free after the Soviet Union fell.

15) Not only would partial birth abortions be legal, but a mother would be allowed to kill her child for three months after he’s born without penalty.

16) Stopping sex offenders from teaching school or adopting children would be considered discriminatory.

17) Activists would be able to sue on behalf of individual plants and animals in court.

18) The government would control health care top-to-bottom. It would take six months to get an operation, which would be considered a feature, not a bug because a lot of old people would die in the interim and save the government money.

19) Only government employees would be able to legally own guns.

20) Income inequality would be nearly eradicated after all the rich Americans and big corporations fled the country rather than pay confiscatory tax rates.

21) Wal-Mart would only be allowed to hire union employees and completely coincidentally, their prices would double.

22) We'd have open borders and so many illegal aliens in the southern United States that California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas would end up being ceded back to Mexico.

23) There would be a free, in-house abortion clinic in every junior high in America.

24) President Kucinich's new idea to help deal with the soaring jobless rate? Paying workers the new minimum wage, $80,000 a year, to dig holes and fill them back up.

25) The federal government would spend 134 billion dollars replacing the current Presidents on Mount Rushmore with Gloria Steinem, Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, and Margaret Sanger.

Also see, 25 Examples of What America Would Be Like if We Were All Christian Conservative Tea Partiers

Romney's an Extremist, and Obama Isn't? LOL

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | David Limbaugh

President Obama's casting of Mitt Romney as extreme is one of the most glaring incidents of political projection in the modern era. Romney doesn't approach extremism in substance, style or disposition. Obama swims in it.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney has locked himself into "extreme positions" on economic and social issues and would implement them if in office.

Accusing Romney of extremism is just another arrow in Obama's fantasy quiver, because reality just doesn't help him. Romney is anything but extreme, and no serious political analyst believes otherwise. He is certainly extremely bullish on America, American business and the free enterprise system, and he doubtlessly wants to move the nation extremely away from the disastrous course on which Obama is taking it, but that's about the extent of his extremism. Romney's policies are right of center, to be sure, but not extreme, except from the perspective of a radical leftist, which brings us to Obama.
Let's use Obama's bill of particulars against Romney as a yardstick to measure his own place on the political spectrum -- as if it weren't painfully obvious.
Obama says Romney is locked into extreme positions on economic issues because Romney favors across-the-board tax cuts that "would mostly help the rich."
Obama discredits himself in the very words of his charge. If the cuts are across-the-board, they don't mostly favor the rich. In fact, Romney -- to my disappointment, by the way -- is suggesting reducing deductions for upper-income earners. Obama, on the other hand, apparently believes that the bottom 49.5 percent of income earners are getting ripped off because they are paying zero income taxes. He must think his actions in expanding the public sector, increasing the food stamp rolls and removing the work requirement for welfare are moderate.
Obama says Romney is extreme for not signing on to his quixotic wind energy hallucinations -- as if anyone who doesn't believe in the government's throwing away billions more at failed and scandalous green energy experiments is the extremist -- as opposed to recklessly implementing such policies when the nation has one foot in the bankruptcy door.
Obama says Romney lacks "serious ideas" and refuses to "own up" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president. These take the cake.
Romney is proposing serious entitlement, tax and spending reform and reducing the unprecedented regulatory burden strangling the private sector. Nothing remotely extreme here. Sorry, Mr. Obama; that rabid dog will not hunt.
Obama has amassed deficits in excess of $1 trillion in each of his four years. He has not produced a budget that would yield deficits below that threshold in the next decade. He has not even presented a plan to reform entitlements, has obstructed Republican reform bills and has saddled us with a brand-new budget-busting entitlement (Obamacare). His own budgets failed to get a single vote -- not even a Democratic vote. Extremism?
How about Obama's serious ideas? The only idea Obama has come up with since 2008 has been government spending. There is no evidence he can even ponder economic solutions straying from that nightmare. He certainly will not reduce the tax and regulatory burden on producers and small businesses, and he most definitely will not take his pillow off the face of the smothered private sector. He can't, because he is a dogmatic extremist who would rather preside over national financial catastrophe than deviate from his straightjacketing ideology.
How about owning up to the responsibilities of being president? Do these include intentionally dividing Americans, sidestepping a bipartisan budget commission he formed for political cover, orchestrating America's military decline, sabotaging domestic energy producers, grotesquely gloating over the killing of Osama bin Laden, and endless golf outings?
Social issue extremism? Romney can hardly be called an extremist on abortion. He not only rejects Todd Akin's formulation; he supports the rape exception. Obama, on the other hand, opposed Illinois' Born Alive Infant Protection Act and supports partial-birth abortion.
Perhaps most laughable is Obama's assertion that unlike Romney, he will be willing to compromise on a range of issues. If his entire first term doesn't prove that claim is sheer carnival barkery, then nothing can. Romney, on the other hand, has sometimes been criticized from the right for compromising too much with Democrats.
Obama's left wing has become so extreme that it would have the nation believe that mainstream conservative ideas are now extreme and that the extreme positions it promotes are moderate, reasonable and routine.
Only if George Orwell defines the terms -- and for Obama and today's left, he increasingly does -- is Romney extreme and Obama a centrist. I suspect that in November, Obama is going to find out just how far out of phase he is with the electorate, but we shall see.

This Convention Matters

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | Mona Charen

We've all heard the objection that political conventions have become empty kabuki theater. The high drama of multiple ballots is dead and gone. Uncertainty about the outcome is no more. "Today," laments political guru Mike Murphy, "delegates are bound through the application of TV ad ratings points, not machine deals. They sit in the convention hall like the background actors in a TV show, milling about to the director's orders, wearing costumes and denied a single line. It seems a shabby ending to a great tradition. It's time for a mercy killing."

Mike Murphy is an astute observer of all things political, but I think he's wrong about this. Sure, conventions have lost their drama (though, even in the old days, very few actually featured any suspense about the eventual nominee). And yes, like so much else in American life, they have become shows. But at least they are shows about public policy and about democracy -- each party getting an extended opportunity to make its best case. Political conventions are one of the only shows Americans watch collectively that are about important matters, like the direction of the country rather than about Snooki or "Monday Night Football." (Not that there's anything wrong with football...)
The Republican convention is particularly important this year, because if the polls are to be trusted (an open question), the voters are quite dissatisfied with the leadership of Barack Obama yet unconvinced that Romney is an acceptable alternative.
As Jack Kemp was fond of saying, people want to know that you care before they care what you know. Voters are uncertain about Romney because they don't yet perceive him to care about their problems. Funny how that can happen when your opponent spends hundreds of millions of dollars presenting you as a villain -- a corporate raider, felon, tax cheat and murderer.
But there's another reason as well. Romney himself -- unlike the sort of candidates we've seen in the past several cycles, particularly Bill Clinton and Barack Obama -- has a kind of old-fashioned reticence. He doesn't have a story about paternal abandonment as Obama (quite the opposite) or posthumous birth as Clinton. He comes from the kind of loving and supportive family that he now heads with Ann Romney. But even if he did have a hard luck story, one senses that he wouldn't be comfortable retailing it. Yes, he can tout his accomplishments as a businessman or governor or savior of the Olympics, but he cannot tell stories about his personal kindness and decency -- about how often he has dropped everything to help others.
There is no shortage of such accounts -- and the convention is the place (the only place) where they can be told to a large audience. Romney surrogates can highlight the striking number of instances of kindness and generosity in Romney's life. The Daily offered these examples:

"One cold December day in the early 1980s, Mitt Romney loaded up his Gran Torino with firewood and brought it to the home of a single mother whose heat had been shut off just days before Christmas. Years after a business partner died unexpectedly, Romney helped the man's surviving daughter go to medical school with loans for tuition -- loans he forgave when she graduated.
And in 1997, when a fellow church member's teenage son fell seriously ill, Romney sprinted to the hospital in the dead of night, where he kept vigil with his terrified parents.
Stories like these -- tales of long hours spent with grieving families, financial assistance to those in need and timely help given to strangers whether asked for or not -- abound in the adult life of the Republican presidential candidate."
As a skeptical Andy Ferguson wrote in The Weekly Standard, his coolness toward the candidate evaporated after reading "The Real Romney" by two Boston Globe reporters. "My slowly softening opinion," Ferguson wrote, "went instantly to goo when 'The Real Romney' unfolded an account of his endless kindnesses -- unbidden, unsung, and utterly gratuitous."
A campaign is more than a personality contest of course. Romney's acceptance speech will be an important moment to present a roadmap for the nation's recovery. But that much could also be done through advertising and in the debates. The introduction of Romney the man, on the other hand -- lifting the curtain on the truth about his character and virtues -- can only be done by others and thus, requires the backdrop of the convention -- silly hats, programmed applause, staged tableaux and all.

How did the party let itself get hijacked by abortion warriors?

Red State ^ | 8/27/2012 | Neil Stevens

Hold your fire. Did you think I was talking about Republicans? Oh, no. I’m talking about the Democrats. That party has been hijacked by the radical feminist fringe. In a way that mimics the imagined trend of the Tea party, the feminists are pushing losing candidates on the Democrats, and forcing them to pick up losing issues in the elections.

This goes from Barack Obama on down. In a jobs election, he’s talking abortion.
This has been brewing a while, too. So hold your inflamed commentary about recent events, because this is older than that. Here’s a trio of photos I took in the DC Metro system on August 6, here in Virginia:
I zoomed in sequentially so you could see what was going on here? The Chicago gang is taking their regional, extremist values and trying to push them on the entire country. They’re so out of touch they think they can, or even must, win this election on social issues.
It’s not just Barack Obama, either. Look at the Democrat stronghold of Massachusetts. Twice in a row they’ve been stuck with absolutely horrible candidates for Senate, despite having a deep bench, as every single House district in the state is represented by a Democrat. Why? It’s clear they’re insisting that they elect the first woman to represent Massachusetts in the Senate.
First Martha Coakley, then Elizabeth Warren, both of whom have shown an inability to pull away from Scott Brown in a far left state, because they’re both too ineffective and too extreme even for Massachusetts. And now Barack Obama is being forced to walk the radical pro-abort line, even in a jobs election.
It’s not enough for the social fringe of the Democrat party that they win elections. They must make the election be about fringe social views, even if it costs them elections. It’s about teaching a lesson, apparently.

Federal Appellate Courts Rejecting Lower Court Awards Of Attorneys' Fees In Class Actions

Friends of Ours ^ | 07/15/12 | Friends of Ours

Federal appellate courts across the country increasingly are reversing settlement agreements and fee applications approved by the lower court judges in class action cases.
On Friday the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a deal which awarded $2 million in attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs' lawyers but provided the class members -- consumers who purchased Frosted Mini-Wheats after an ad campaign by Kellogg claiming the cereal improved children's attentiveness -- with only "a 'paltry' $5 a box for up to three boxes" as reported by Maura Dolan for the Los Angeles Times. Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, Judge Stephen S. Trott held:
[T]he $2 million award of attorneys' fees is unreasonable. Indeed, because the settlement grants counsel "a disproportionate distribution of the settlement" compared with the benefit to the class, it is possible the settlement was "driven by fees." * * * [T]he $2 million fee award breaks out to just over $2,100 per hour. Not even the most highly sought after attorneys charge such rates to their clients.
Download Kellogg Decision
Last month a unanimous three-judge panel from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals put the kibosh on a derivative action brought on behalf of shareholders by the law firms Vianale & Vianale and Sarraf Gentile against retailing giant Sears as reported by Daniel Fisher for Forbes. In an opinion written by Judge Frank H. Easterbrook the appellate court held "this litigation is so feeble that it is best to end it immediately," and "the only goal of this suit appears to be fees for the plaintiffs' lawyers."
Download Sears Decision
Critics of class actions often argue that many cases serve as little more than vehicles by which the plaintiffs' lawyers get rich, and often the district judges do little in protecting the interests of the class members when approving the settlement agreements and fee applications; however, the two above decisions suggest that the appellate courts no longer may be willing to allow the district judges to rubber stamp the deals with gratuitous recitations of the governing standards.

Romney's Opportunity

Townhall.com ^ | August 28, 2012 | Cal Thomas

This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."

One of the chief complaints from voters about politicians is that they too often package themselves disingenuously to get elected, only to reveal their real agenda after they've won. That is what President Obama did in the 2008 campaign when he styled himself as a unifier who wanted to bridge the partisan divide by saying, "...we are not a collection of red states and blue states. We are the United States of America." He then governed more like he was in Soviet America with redistribution of income and more centralized power in Washington.

Romney has rejected appeals to speak to the celebrity culture by "opening up" and exposing his feelings and emotions. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said, "People would like me to lie down and let it all out." He is right to reject such a strategy. He is what he is and voters should appreciate seeing the "real" Romney. They have had enough flash and are ready for substance.
This is a "take your medicine" election for Americans who think we can go on without reforms in Medicare and Social Security and with no substantial reductions in wasteful and unnecessary government spending.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio is among a group of younger GOP leaders who are prescribing medicine the country desperately needs to swallow. In an address last week to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches, Rubio said younger generations must accept a new Medicare: "The bottom line is there will be no Medicare if we don't reform it." That's the truth, not political spin.
Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is saying much the same. Appearing on Laura Ingraham's radio show, Ryan said, "This is a serious choice of two futures we have in this country. If we stick with the president's path, this is a nation that will go into decline. This is a nation that will have a debt crisis. He'll bring us more toward a welfare state where we have a stagnant economy, where we suspend upward mobility and prosperity and opportunity and growth. And so we're going to make this about ideas. We're going to make this about a positive vision for the future."
Democrats continue to expound the 20th-century model created by Franklin Roosevelt and expanded by Lyndon Johnson in which the federal government fosters a growing dependence on government rather than encouraging self-reliance with government as a safety net. That model, while well intentioned, has failed those who bought into it. The greed, envy and entitlement mentality it perpetuated has harmed, not helped, the poor and middle class it promised to help. While technology has advanced and improved many lives, this dying government-first culture has done the opposite, stifling individual and national growth and lowering, not raising, motivation for individual success.
If enough Americans believe that Romney-Ryan are serious about doing what is necessary to fix our sick economy, they might trust them sufficiently to vote for them and for other Republicans. This must be a package deal. Divided government will hurt, not help reform.
That's the case Romney and Ryan must make at the convention. Democrats have no vision for the future, other than pacifying their unions and other liberal groups with a failed model for government.
Some opinion polls are showing a trend toward Romney-Ryan, but it's a hard sell to get government "addicts" into political rehab.
If Romney-Ryan can close the deal and get Congress to go along with them (a big "if" even if Republicans win a Senate majority), they will deserve the thanks of a grateful nation and maybe a place on Mt. Rushmore.

New Video: The Frank Marshall Davis Story You Haven’t Heard – Until Now

AB Independent Productions, in collaboration with Veteran investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid of America’s Survival, has released a new video that reveals in detail for the first time, the story of how communist and probable Soviet agent Frank Marshall Davis – arguably the most influential person in Obama’s life – was discovered, and how the national media attempted to cover this story up.

“Four years after we broke the story wide open with the release of a 600-page FBI file on Barack Obama's communist mentor, we are still finding major elements of the media with their heads in the sand,” Kincaid said.
Davis was first exposed by noted researcher Trevor Loudon of NewZeal blog back in March 2007, a mere month after Obama announced his candidacy for president. As is usually the case, Trevor’s source for this revelation was the communists themselves. Trevor quotes Communist Party USA member Gerald Horne who wrote in the CPUSA’s journal, Political Affairs, that Davis:
…spent a good deal of his adult life in Chicago, before decamping to Honolulu in 1948 at the suggestion of his good friend Paul Robeson (Ed: Robeson was staunch Stalinist).
Eventually, he befriended another family – a Euro-American family – that had migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago.
Realizing this was a potentially explosive story, Kincaid sought to confirm it through independent sources.
In the video, Kincaid quotes more of Horne’s revelations, including the following prophetic statement:
At some point in the future, a teacher will add to her syllabus, Barack’s memoir, and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis’s equally affecting memoir, Livin’ the Blues. And when that day comes, I’m sure a future student will not only examine critically the Frankenstein monsters that U.S. imperialism created in order to subdue communist parties, but will also be moved to come to this historic and wonderful archive, [referring to the communist party archive] in order to gain insight on what has befallen this complex and breathing planet on which we reside.
Did Horne know back in March 2007 that Obama would be the next president? Seeking further verification, Kincaid located University of Hawaii professor, Kathryn Takara, who had written her dissertation about Davis. She confirmed via phone that Obama’s “Frank” was indeed Frank Marshall Davis and that they had a significant relationship.
Kincaid obtained Davis’s 601 page FBI file in August of 2008. It revealed that Davis was not only a high level communist party member (CPUSA # 47544), but very likely an active Soviet agent. He was under FBI surveillance for 19 years and was placed on the Bureau’s “Security Index.” This list identified people considered dangerous enough to be summarily arrested in case of war with the Soviet Union.
Author and historian Paul Kengor details many of Davis’s subversive activities in his book “The Communist.” He discussed his evidence that Davis was a Soviet propaganda agent at a recent Kincaid press conference, The Vetting: Obama, Radical Islam and the Soros Connection. According to Kengor:
  • The Soviet goal was to create a separate “Negro Republic” in the American south
  • Later they would join the revolution to help create “Soviet America”
  • Davis joined the Communist Party about 1943, after the Hitler/Stalin Pact was signed
  • Davis founded and edited the CPUSA’s Chicago Star newspaper; regularly wrote virulently anti-American “Frank-ly Speaking” editorial
  • Davis had a “direct line to the Kremlin;” obtained exclusive interview for Star reporter with Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov
  • Soviet agents I.F. Stone and Lee Pressman wrote for the Star
  • Star editorial writer Howard Fast was a communist Hollywood screenwriter and winner of the Stalin Prize
Hawaii was not yet a state when Davis first relocated there in 1948. It had significant strategic importance and was thus the focal point of intense interest from the Soviets. Not coincidentally, it was swarming with communists. For example, Kincaid has uncovered a 1949 Saturday Evening Post article which described a 177 day-long communist inspired strike of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU). At the time, Davis was editor of the ILWU newspaper, the Honolulu Record. According to Kengor, this was a job created especially for Davis before he even arrived.
A disaffected former communist ILWU member provided much of the information for the Post article. He said the strike was launched in an attempt by the Communist Party to take over the island. If successful, it would have pulled Hawaii into the Soviet orbit.
Nothing to see here; move along now.
At the same conference, movie producer Joel Gilbert exposed Davis’s seedy side in his new film, “Dreams from My Real Father – A Story of Reds and Deception.” He revealed that Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, posed nude for a series of photographs taken by Davis, and was one month pregnant with Obama at the time. Gilbert’s thesis is that the child carried by Dunham was in fact Davis’s son. The evidence Gilbert presented in this film makes a very strong case for his thesis. It also provides a compelling explanation for Obama’s obsession with hiding his birth certificate, and the document’s riddle of inconsistencies discovered by Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse.


In 2008, Kincaid sought to get this story exposed in major media but they ignored it, calling Kincaid’s efforts to expose the truth “McCarthyism.” Later, when the story got too big to dismiss, the media glorified Davis and ignored or downplayed his communist past:
  • Newsweek’s Jon Meacham characterized Davis as “a strong voice for racial justice” who was victim of a “McCarthyite denunciation” by the House Un-American Activities Committee.
  • Time Magazine’s David Von Drehle wrote “Like his friend Paul Robeson and others, Davis perceived the Soviet Union as a ‘staunch foe of racism’ …”
  • The Washington Post wrote a 10,000 word article in 2008 about Obama’s Hawaii years, without once mentioning Davis.
A Washington Post reporter attended one of Kincaid’s conferences, calling it “a UFO convention.”
Even the Drudge Report refused to run Kincaid’s ads about Davis as “too controversial.”
Joel Gilbert publicly lambasted print and broadcast media, including some conservative media, for suppressing information about Obama. In promoting his “Dreams” film, Gilbert related how Talking Points Memo (TPM Muckraker) requested a review copy, illegally edited it and posted parts of the edited version on Youtube. TPM then informed the public “now they don’t need to buy the film.” Gilbert said that even Newsmax pulled his advertisements at the last minute, claiming to want to “move to the center.”
Gilbert’s reflections on the media are fitting here, because he spells out the danger:
All evidence indicates that Barack Obama was raised and indoctrinated by Frank Marshall Davis, Communist Party propagandist, during his formative years. And all evidence indicates that Barack Obama, his entire life, pursued the dreams from his real father. And what are those dreams? They are the dreams of a forced imposition of a classic Stalinist/Marxist agenda upon America at home and abroad. And what is the history of Marxism? …Marxism leads to economic ruin and the biological destruction of populations and societies...
American journalists have a key role to play in revealing the truth, and they must do so immediately, without further delay.
Would Obama have been elected in 2008 had Americans known the full story? Almost certainly not. The national media organs have actively suppressed this major story. If you don’t read Accuracy in Media, Breitbart, Right Side News, American Thinker, or one of the other conservative sites, it is likely you have never even heard of Frank Marshall Davis. This information needs to become common knowledge for voters prior to the 2012 election. It simply must get around.

James Simpson is a businessman, media consultant and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, Breitbart, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter & Facebook