Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why do Americans mistrust the media? Here’s one reason.

Digital Journal ^ | Sept. 25, 2012 | John David Powell

America’s news organizations did not spend much time reporting on the most recent Gallup poll (www.gallup.com/poll/157589/distrust-media-hits-new-high.aspx) that looked at how the public feels about them. That is understandable. After all, not many folks want to dwell on the fact that most of the world does not trust them.

At least that’s what Gallup says about the state of the American journalism profession today. The survey determined six out of ten Americans (that’s 60 percent for those keeping score at home) have little or no trust in the media to do their jobs fully, accurately, and fairly. But this is nothing new. Gallup has seen a steady decline in trust going back to 2001, the first year of the George W. Bush administration. Coincidence?
Republicans and Independents are the most wary of journalists, 74 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Independents. About 58 percent of Democrats had a fair amount, or a great deal, of trust. But that’s nothing to crow about. What if only 58 percent of your customers trusted your work? How long would you stay in businesses, or, how long would your boss keep you around?
I do not have enough time, space, or energy to go into what has happened to the profession I started in forty years ago. But, I can offer an example of how we have devolved from reporting the news to creating it. And, at times, becoming active participants in the story.
An example of this aired on an Austin, Texas, network affiliate that I will not name to keep them from further embarrassment and ridicule. A 73-year-old homeowner had tied a metal folding chair and flag to a tree in his front yard. This set the hair on fire of a local liberal blogger who implied strongly that the man was a racist and that his act was a thinly disguised symbolic lynching of President Obama.
It apparently also raised the hackles of the management of said TV newsroom, because the folks there ran a big expose’ during their early afternoon newscast.
The breathless anchor proclaimed that they tracked down the display, probably thanks to the blogger who provided the homeowner’s address and telephone number, and were ready to roll the complete, unedited confrontation between the station’s reporter and the homeowner.
Hide the chickens and shoo away grandma, because this was not going to be pretty.
And so began the entire 3-minute and 40 second verbal sparring that turned out to be more of an indictment against the station, its management, and, by association, the journalism profession than proof of racism in the Republican Party as the original blogger contended.
The reporter reprimanded, yes, reprimanded, the homeowner by telling him he should realize an empty chair has racist meanings. Then, the reporter challenged him to explain why he was untying the chair if he didn’t think it was a symbol of lynching.
The reporter wrapped up the story by going live from the newsroom to say the man eventually put his chair in the middle of his lawn and kept it there, along with the American flag.
What she and the wide-eyed anchors did not report was that the man broke no law, that police did not arrested him, that the state filed no charges, and that he did not violate the covenants of his homeowners association.
All he did was ruffle the sensibilities of individuals who believe the Constitution reserves freedom of speech only to their speech, and provide news organizations the opportunity to prove why the American public’s respect for journalism is at an all-time low.
Back when I was teaching, I used to tell my students early in the semester that they should always take their profession seriously and never put themselves above their profession. Journalism, the gathering and reporting of news and information, is one of the most important elements of a free society. It should provide us with the unfiltered information and knowledge we need to make intelligent and thoughtful decisions about our lives and the future of our nation. It should not feed the irrational behavior found on the fringes of society or politics. Or in our newsrooms.
John David Powell writes his Lone Star Award-winning columns from ShadeyHill Ranch inTexas. His email address is johndavidpowell@yahoo.com.

Another Reason for Barack Obama To Go Home

Townhall.com ^ | September 27, 2012 | Emmett Tyrrell

Now that Governor Mitt Romney has revealed the details of his tax returns, it is high time that Senate Leader Harry Reid reveal the details of his relationship with that cow that was linked to him in a world exclusive right here in this very column last month. Doubtless, I shall be nominated for yet another Pulitzer, but as always I shall chastely demur, insisting, as in the past, that I consider this column a public trust. No award or commendation is required. Fulfilling my public duty as a citizen is in itself reward enough.

Last month, I was only very sketchy about Reid's relationship with the cow. No names were included. No trysting places could be exposed. Yet, Reid claimed living, breathing sources had informed him that the Massachusetts governor had failed to file his income taxes. The Senate leader was adamant: no taxes had been paid by the governor over a 10-year period! Well, as with so many other things that the senator says, it was poppycock. So go ahead, senator, tell us all you know about the cow or I shall be compelled to tell all. Even the amusing story about where she got that cute bronze cowbell.

Interestingly, Romney and his wife's tax returns reveal that they donated 29.4 percent of their income to charity in 2011, giving away $4,020,772 out of income of $13,696, 951 -- not bad. President Barack Obama and his wife donated only 21.8 percent of their income, despite all their claims to exemplary public-spiritedness. They donated $172,130 from earnings of $789,674. Still they were veritable philanthropists compared to the miserly Vice President Joe Biden. He and his wife gave 1.5 percent of their 2011 income, their generosity amounting to $5,540 from an income of $379,035. Once again, Joe, you are pathetic.
It is becoming clearer by the day that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are hypocrites of a classic sort. Mitt Romney is not the scoundrel he is being portrayed as by the Democrats but rather an exceedingly decent man and a perfect citizen. Dare I say it, a good neighbor? Moreover, he is a vastly more accomplished man in both the private sector and the public sector than either of these lifelong spongers at the public trough. As for Harry Reid, I am not quite sure how to describe him. Surely he had to know that there was at least a danger that his charges of tax evasion against Romney were open to being exposed as false at any moment. All that had to be done was for Romney to do what he did last week, reveal his taxes.
My guess is that Reid has believed that it did not matter if Romney opened his books and revealed the Senate leader as a liar and a fool. The senator believed that the mainstream media -- the Democratic media, that is -- would simply ignore his failed charge of tax evasion and move on. That is precisely what the media have done.
Yet in recent weeks, the Democratic media are having to ignore an awful lot of evidence that reveals the Obama record as a dangerous failure both domestically and in foreign policy. Domestically, he has resided over the weakest recovery in modern times, and this month's action by the Federal Reserve Board reveals still more. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has now announced that the economy is in need of his further ministrations, ministrations heretofore unthinkable. The recovery is in danger, and the lousy growth numbers and jobs numbers speak volumes.
Now the Obama foreign policy is in tatters. It was one thing to have the Russians and the Chinese giving Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton the back of their hands, but now the Arab world is too. The White House's initial story about the assault on the Benghazi consulate was false. It was not a local rampage but a well-coordinated military attack. Soon we shall recognize that three days before the attack took place, the American government was warned. Obama did nothing. American installations in Libya should have been prepared for the worst on September 11, as should American installations all around the world. Instead, embassies in Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen were also attacked.
It is the end of President Obama's Cairo Doctrine. Delivered in Cairo in 2009, President Obama imagined the speech -- the most breathtaking mea culpa delivered by an American president ever -- would represent a new dawn of friendship and cooperation between the United States and the Arab world. It failed. Now, three years later, the Arab world is in ferment against the United States. The only good that can come of this foreign policy disaster is that it came at an opportune time, election time. It is one more reason that Barack Obama should be retired.

Ann Coulter Causes Mass Hysteria on 'The View,' Whoopi Bleeped...


"The View" co-hosts get into heated discussion with Coulter, the author of "Mugged."


The conservative commentator makes the case in her new book, "Mugged" that liberals use race mongering for political advantage.
Host Whoopi Goldberg confronted the author over the topic of race, cursing her out and accusing her of not knowing what she was talking about.
Coulter voraciously defended her book, claiming its more about white liberals, than African Americans.


ROUGH TRANSCRIPT...

JOY BEHAR: With 40 days until the election, Ms. Ann Coulter is back with a new book, "Mugged", where she claims that President Obama has abandoned black Americans and that the OJ Simpson verdict was a great thing for America. Please welcome back the very controversial Ann Coulter!
Ann, I need you to tell me, what you are trying to say in this book. Because we don't know what you are trying to say.
ANN COULTER: What I am trying to say is race mongering has been very bad for America, liberals use it to promote causes that nothing to do with blacks and in fact harm blacks. And that excellent lead in you just gave, with OJ, I think that was the movement, having lived near New York City in the 70's and 80's, which was the golden era, it was Trayvon Martin and Duke Lacrosse case everyday.
With the OJ verdict, white America said that’s it, the white guilt bank is shutdown. And that ended up being the best thing that ever happened to black Americans.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: What are you talking about?
COULTER: I meant that no longer...
BARBARA WALTERS: He being aquited was good for whom?
COULTER: Millions of white people watching with the equivalent of in New York, we use the Brooklyn juries who simply would not convict, even guilty black criminals.
GOLDBERG: You know what, hold up Ms. Coulter. Please stop, please stop! If you're going to talk about race, at least, know what you're talking about. At least know what you're talking about.
Tell me how much you know about being black?
COULTER: Well, this isn't about being black.
GOLDBERG: But you just said that this is, you just made all these statements about how black people feel, tell me how you know it?
COULTER: This is not a book about black people, this is a book about white liberals. And I do know and this is a fact, once for years, Republican policies on crime and welfare for example were called racist.
When they finally got implemented after the OJ verdict, implemented by Giuliani in New York, Reagan and Bush judges overall, tens of thousands of black lives were saved. That's a fact.
GOLDBERG: Your facts a just a little shaky. You're saying that because liberals have abandoned black people now because, what? I don't get it, I don't understand.
COULTER: I don't think that liberals ever cared about black people. 5 minutes after the civil rights act of '64, they start calling everything that doesn't have to do with black people a "civil rights issue"
Abortion on demand, homeless rights...
SHERRI SHEPARD: You're saying liberals don't care about black people, then are you saying that Republicans embrace us in a warm fuzzy.
COULTER: I do, we are not embraced back. We try to...
BEHAR: So, the white southern strategy wasn't a republican thing, it was a Republican thing? And also Newt Gingrich calls President Obama a food stamp president, that's not racist?
HASSELBECK: Do you think its racist for Newt to say that the President is a food stamp President?
COULTER: I'm not a big fan of Newt, so we can just skip that for a second and get to the Southern Strategy because I've specifically disproved it. It's absolutely a liberal folk-lore, Republicans were winning the South since 1920, it was the outer states of the South, it was Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia.
GOLDBERG: What are you talking about, we weren't allow to vote?
COULTER: Who was trying to get them to vote, Republicans were! And the first black congressmen were all Republicans and the first black Governor was a Republican.
GOLDBERG: Wait a minute, you are talking about way back after...
SHEPARD: Everyone understands Republicans are way different than the way they are now and...
COULTER: And that's what we are told and The Democratic segregationist were all Democrats, it's a lie that they were Conservative democrats
GOLDBERG: Everyone was a segregationist darling , everybody was! White people were, they didn't matter whether they were Republican or not.
COULTER: Republicans were not...
GOLDBERG: Bullshit! Bullshit, I'm sorry! That's bull, that's bull
COULTER: No, no that is not... ok just read chapter 14 in the book, the first Republicans to be elected in the south
GOLDBERG: I listen to my grandmother, who was there! Who remembers what happened.
COULTER: Howard Baker, an aggressive integrationist, first Republican elected in Tennessee to the Senate, Winford Brokford, first republican governor in Arkansas, an integrationist.
The Southern Strategy is a lie.
BEHAR: It seems to me that voter suppression is happening in areas where black people and hispanics are and it is really being promoted by the Republicans, not the Democrats.
So, my view and I have a different one from you, it looks as though the Republicans are really going against blacks, not the Liberals. What do you say to that?
COULTER: It's a perfect example, no i'll explain why, of liberals using the label of civil rights to promote a liberal cause they support, ie voter fraud, in fact one of the first states in the union to pass voter ID bill was Rhode Island, 85 percent democrat legislature. And who pushed it? A black Democrat in the house, a black Democrat in the senate. That's a fact!
BEHAR: You may pick out Rhode Island, but there are other states where it's completely Republican driven
COULTER: Why would Black Democrats be pushing this? Because they've seen voter fraud!
BEHAR: Because they want the hispanic vote to go to Romney!
BARBARA WALTERS: Can I ask a general question, everybook that you write is very controversial and shocking and usually an opinion thats desperate with everyone else.
Do you just write these books and try to find whatever it is that's going to make everybody say, "Ah!"
BEHAR: You don't believe this crap?
COULTER: The reason, it's an excellent question. The reason I write these books is because I try to correct things that people believe that are just false.
SHEPARD: Here's a question, because I was reading the book..
WALTERS: And you may be the only one that says it.
COULTER: There are a few things, discovering that we never won the Goldwater states and Republicans didn't win the Dixiecrat states until the Dixiecrats died out
SHEPARD: You keep standing back in the past, you got to come back to the present. But this what I wanted to say.
COULTER: That's new to me, the rest of it other people know.
SHEPARD: You keep saying if you read chapter 14, you make such divisive comments and incendiary comments, and hateful comments at times, it makes people not want to pick up your book and read it!
COULTER: No, I don't think so. What's a hateful comment in here?
SHEPARD: When you talk about, you stay in the past,
COULTER: Well, that’s because that was brought up. It’s just a fact.
SHEPARD: When you talk about voter suppression, which is obviously trying to keep black and Latino.
COULTER: Republicans have never done that, that was a Democrat thing...
SHEPARD: Ann, there are states where they don't even have...
WALTERS: Stop it, can I just say one thing to Ann? No matter what, you sit down here and you got 5 women going bah badda badda, whatever it is, thank you for coming on!

43% Expect Better Economy if Romney Wins; 34% Say Same of Obama

Rasmussen ^ | 9/27/2012 | Scott Rasmussen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Most voters still think the economy will get worse or stay about the same, no matter which candidate wins the White House and which party wins control of Congress in November. But they’re now a little more confident in economic gains if Mitt Romney and the Republicans come out ahead. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think the economy is likely to get better if President Obama is reelected and Democrats regain full control of Congress, marking little change from early July when the two sides ran nearly even. By comparison, 43% now believe the economy is likely to improve if Romney wins and the GOP is in charge of Congress. That’s up seven points from 36% in the previous survey.
Sixty-two percent (62%) are more pessimistic about the economic impact if the president and his party in Congress win the election, with 41% who expect the economy to get worse and 21% who say it will stay about the same.
Fifty-two percent (52%) paint a similar picture if the Republican challenger wins and the GOP takes over Congress, including 37% who think the economy is likely to worsen and 15% who feel it will stay about the same. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
This survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on September 25-26, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

NAACP Urges U.N. to Investigate U.S. for ‘Racially Discriminatory Election Laws’ [Felon rights]

CNS ^ | September 27, 2012 | Patrick Goodenough

Charging that millions of citizens, two-fifths of them black, have been denied the right to vote because of felony convictions, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called on the United Nations this week to investigate America’s “racially discriminatory election laws.”
An NAACP delegation visiting Geneva hosted a panel on the “disenfranchisement” of U.S. citizens and addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council, which is in session in the Swiss city.
A delegate told the HRC that the right to vote was a cornerstone of democracy and that in the U.S. a patchwork of divergent laws and procedures have posed barriers to voting.
The NAACP urged the U.N.’s “special rapporteur” on racism to investigate “racially discriminatory election laws,” and said the HRC should then make recommendations that would restore the political and voting rights of all citizens.
On Tuesday, the delegation hosted a panel on the subject at the U.N.’s Geneva headquarters.
“Today, nearly 5.3 million U.S. citizens have been stripped of their voting rights on a temporary or permanent basis, including more than 4.4 million citizens who are no longer incarcerated,” said Lorraine Miller, who chairs the NAACP national board’s advocacy and policy committee.
“More than two million are African American, yet African Americans make up less than 13 percent of the U.S. population,” she said.
Miller said the NAACP commended Attorney-General Eric Holder for his efforts to “prevent the implementation of recent challenges to voting rights.”
“However, we remain deeply concerned with the continued practice and discriminatory impact of felony disenfranchisement.”
Among the delegation is a woman named Kemba Smith Pradia who, according to the organization, was convicted of a drug-related offense in 1992, granted clemency by President Clinton, but is barred from voting in Virginia under legislation prohibiting those formerly incarcerated to vote in the state.
“Nationally, I represent more than five million citizens that are disenfranchised from being a part of the political process simply because of past felony convictions,” she said.
NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy Hilary Shelton told the panel that the restrictions on voting “prevent those most in need of an advocate from the ability to elect someone who will represent their concerns: the need for a decent public education, for a health care system that addresses their specific demographic needs, as well as the creation of decent jobs, a functional criminal justice system and other basic human needs.”
This is the second NAACP visit to the HRC in six months. Last March NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous addressed the council on voter ID and other laws, which he said would “disproportionately block members of minority groups from voting.”
“These voter-suppression laws include so-called strict voter-ID laws, cutting of Sunday voting, early voting and same-day voter registration, and the reimposing of notoriously racist bans on formerly-incarcerated people voting,” he said.
As CNSNews.com reported at the time, among those listening to Jealous’ appeal for HRC support were representatives of countries whose citizens have no right to vote freely, including one-party states Cuba and China; and Saudi Arabia, where men can only vote in municipal elections and women have been barred from even that limited right.
In a Rasmussen poll last December, 70 percent of likely voters agreed that voters should be required to show photo ID before casting ballots. Only 22 percent of respondents opposed such a requirement.
Although support for voter ID was significantly higher among Republicans (92 percent), 54 percent of Democrats also favored the requirement, according to the poll.
Sixty-nine percent of respondents said the laws were not discriminatory, while 22 percent said they were.
The 2012 Democratic Party platform is critical of voter-ID laws, stating that they “can disproportionately burden young voters, people of color, low-income families, people with disabilities, and the elderly, and we refuse to allow the use of political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens.”

The Obama Phone


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAOwJvTOio

Time (Money Land) ^ | February 8, 2012 | Brad Ruttle

Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills. But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don’t qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone.

(Excerpt) Read more at moneyland.time.com ...

2012 Election Could Mirror 1980 Race

Townhall ^ | Sep 27, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

There was only one presidential debate in 1980 between challenger Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Just two days before the Oct. 28 debate, Carter was eight points ahead in the Gallup poll.

A week after the debate, he lost to Reagan by nearly ten percentage points.

Reagan's debate quip, "There you go again," reminded voters of Carter's chronic crabbiness. Even more devastating was Reagan's final, direct question to American voters: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

No one, it seemed, could muster a "Yes!" Yet there was more to the 1980 campaign than the final game-changing debate rhetoric -- and some of the details are relevant to 2012.

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

Anger grows over media bias (No more will Conservatives let them get by with it unanswered!)

the examiner ^ | 9/27/2012 | BY: FRANK VERNUCCIO

Anger is beginning to erupt nationwide over what many perceive to be media bias against Mitt Romney and other Republican or conservative-oriented candidates. The Media Research Center has consistently provided examples of bias against the Republican challenger to President Obama.

The bias extends beyond actual news reporting and includes the well-known proclivity of Hollywood to back leftist candidates, exemplified by the recent disclosures that funds would be provided to “push” a pro-Obama message on purely entertainment television shows. The incentive may well be a redundancy. Indeed, some broadcasts, David Letterman being a prime example, already sound like humorous infomercials on behalf of the president.

The heightened level of anger is thought to have sprung from several recent incidents, although lingering resentment over exceptionally pro-Obama sentiments, particularly on television news broadcasts, remain from the 2008 election. A prime example often cited by critics is MSNBC’s Chris Mathews admission that he gets “a thrill up his leg” when he hears Obama speak.

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

Stop the Hand Wringing over Polls and THINK!!! And then Relax


by HamiltonJay

Okay everyone I am getting tired of repeating myself, so, I am going to just write this one time, and folks can keep bumping this back into the mix to REMIND people about this polling nonsense.

Here's the deal folks, if just 1 in 14 voters who selected Obama last time, don't this time, he loses the popular vote... PERIOD.

Now, I know there are polls showing Obama up 10, 20 50 points nationally and in swing states, and I am telling you, right here, right now they are ABSOLUTE CRAP!
Look, Obama won the election by 7.2% of the vote in '08, and only beat the 50% mark by 2.9%. He did this with unprecidented turn outs and support from a few keye groups.. and on the back of Bush fatique. Republican vote was supressed and McCain ran less than a stellar campaign. Obama didn't win 2008 because "he's obama' he won 2008 because he wasn't Bush!
2008 was the perfect storm for him, he won't see anything near that support this time... Please stop panicing over every poll!
THINK! People THINK!
last time Obama won Ohio by 4.6% of the vote, yet we are to believe today, where none of that perfect storm is aligned for him, he's still got that kind of lead there, or better yet TWICE THE LEADE? Come on folks, doesn't pass the smell test!
Stop living and dying by every poll number its NONSENSE, the polling (some of it anyway) is so rediculous it should be laughed at. The idea Obama is up 8 or 10 in Ohio is patently ABSURD! The idea he's up 10 in PA is just as absurd.
Look, Obama is losing this election, don't believe me? Look at what's going on? NC is off the table for him.. IA is off the table for him... NH and CO are moving off the table for him.. He's not Winning, he's losing. Nothing has fundamentally gone his way since the day Romney accepted the nomination.. NOTHING.
His foreign policy is disintegrating in front of the cameras and he's trying to blame it on a youtube video.. Come on... The economy is beyond in the toilet... etc etc et.c
Do you really think 1 in 14 people who voted for him last time won't be changing their minds? If you do, I don't htink you have walked the beat and talked to enough people.
The fundamentals of the race have not changed.. you have a failed president trying to get another 4 years.. the election is a referendum on him and he is failing it miserably. The only thing that could change this would be if Romney would blow up and I mean completely blow up, like howard dean type disintegration at the debates.. otherwise Romney wins and wins handily.
Stop It! Just stop it and think!
1 in 14.... that's it... 2008 was the high water mark for this bum, he will not and cannot remotely get the support he got then and unless folks buy into the crap polls and stay home, republicans won't be supressed like they were in 08 either.
RELAX!! GO FOR A WALK.. TALK TO FOLKS from all walks of life and you'll soon find that fare more than 1 in 14 have abandoned this chump.

LIBERALS CAN’T BREAK 200-YEAR RACISM HABIT!

Ann Coulter Dot Com ^ | 26 Sep 2012 | Ann Coulter

Democrats spent the first century of this country's existence refusing to treat black people like human beings, and the second refusing to treat them like adults.

After fighting the Civil War to continue enslaving black people and then subjecting newly freed black Americans to vicious, humiliating Jim Crow laws and Ku Klux Klan violence, Democrats set about frantically rewriting their own ugly history.

Step 1: Switch "Democrat" to "Southerner";
Step 2: Switch "Southerner" to "conservative Democrat";
Step 3: Switch "conservative Democrat" to "conservative."

Contrary to liberal folklore, the Democratic segregationists were not all Southern -- and they were certainly not conservative. They were dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrats on all the litmus-test issues of their day.
All but one remained liberal Democrats until the day they died. That's the only one you've ever heard of: Strom Thurmond.
As soon as abortion is relegated to the same trash heap of history as slavery has been, liberals will be rewriting history to make Democrats the pro-lifers and Republicans the pro-choicers. That's precisely what they've done with the history of race in America.
In addition to lying in the history books, liberals lied on their personal resumes. Suddenly, every liberal remembered being beaten up by a 300-pound Southern sheriff during the civil rights movement.
(Excerpt) Read more at anncoulter.com ...


Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year!

Daily Caller ^ | September 27, 2012 | Alex Pappas

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.

In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”
“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.
“The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Gray told TheDC.
Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning.
When the trip is deemed political, it’s customary for the president to pay the equivalent of a first class commercial ticket for certain passengers. But Gray says that hardly covers the taxpayer cost of flying the president and his staffers around on Air Force One.
“When the United States’ billion-dollar air armada is being used politically, is it fair to taxpayers that we only be reimbursed by the president’s campaign committee for the value of one first-class commercial ticket for each passenger who is deemed aboard ‘for political purposes?’” Gray asks in the book.
“And is that bargain-price advantage fair to those opposing an incumbent president?”
In the book, Gray admits Americans want their president to be safe and comfortable but argues the system should be reformed to stop the amount of unquestioned perks given to the president.
“There is no mechanism for anyone’s objection if a president were to pay his chief of staff $5,000,000 a year,” he told TheDC. “And nothing but a president’s conscience can dissuade him from buying his own reelection with use of some public money.”
Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.
Here is a sample of other pricey taxpayer funded perks exclusively reserved for the president:
The president can appoint high-paid staffers without Senate confirmation: Obama has 469 senior staffers and 226 are paid more than $100,000 a year, according to the book. Seventy-seven are paid as much as $172,000 per year. He also has appointed 43 “czars.”
The president can vacation for free at Camp David: Gray writes that each round trip made to Camp David costs the taxpayers $25,350. It’s also estimated that the combined transportation and personnel costs for a Camp David visit are $295,000 per night.
The president has a full-time movie projectionist in the White House theater: Projectionists sleep at the White House and are there 24 hours a day in case anyone needs to see a movie. “Compared to the 450 times President Carter used the movie theater in his four years in the White House, the average American citizen, according to industry statistics, goes out to see a movie slightly less than five times a year,” Gray writes.
The president’s family’s gets certain travel and security expenses paid while vacationing: “First Lady Michelle Obama drew flack from the media and irate citizens when it was disclosed that, not counting Saturdays and Sundays, she spent 42 days on vacation — within the span of one year.”
The president’s dog gets its own high-paid staffer: “Bo made the news when he and his handler were flown to join the president on vacation in Maine,” Gray wrote about the Obama family dog. “It has been reported that the first family’s dog handler was paid $102,000, last year.”

The Moral Argument Must Be Made


Townhall.com ^ | September 27, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman

The Obama administration's policies are bad. Bad in the sense that the policies are morally corrupting. They take money and control away from people and give them to government bureaucrats, who then decide what should be done. The policies encourage people to be less responsible personally and to rely more on the government.
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued that "socialism itself -- in all its incarnations, wherever and however it was applied -- was morally corrupting," Claire Berlinski wrote in "There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters" (Basic Books, 2008). "Socialism turned good citizens into bad ones; it turned strong nations into weak ones; it promoted vice and discouraged virtue ... transformed formerly hardworking and self-reliant men and women into whining, weak and flabby loafers."
Sound familiar?
Republicans are currently debating the surface arguments about the Obama administration's programs -- they cost too much, they are not paid for and there is too much government intervention.
The core of the matter is the same today as it was in Great Britain in the 1970s.
The system President Obama is championing is morally wrong.
In order to win in November, Republican nominee Mitt Romney must win the argument, and thereby win the vote.
The argument is that the system Obama is promoting is bad and that it creates a weak society. Romney needs to articulate what it is to be an American; why we must defend America's core values; why they are good values.
Romney's speech this week at the Clinton Global Initiative reverberated with these themes.
He talked about "the incomparable dignity of work."
"Free enterprise," he said, "has done more to bless humanity than any other economic system not only because it is the only system that creates a prosperous middle class, but also because it is the only system where the individual enjoys the freedom to guide and build his or her own life. Free enterprise cannot only make us better off financially, it can make us better people."
Romney recounted the story of Muhammed Bouazizi of Tunisia. "He was just 26 years old. He had provided for his family since he was a young boy. He worked a small fruit stand, selling to passers-by. The regular harassment by corrupt bureaucrats was elevated one day when they took crates of his fruit and his weighing scales away from him.
"On the day of his protest, witnesses say that an officer slapped Bouazizi and he cried out: 'Why are you doing this to me? I'm a simple person, and I just want to work.'"
"I just want to work," Romney repeated.
"Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike. Work builds self-esteem," he continued. "It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hardworking men and women."
He linked free enterprise to freedom. "The most successful countries shared something in common," he said. "They were the freest. They protected the rights of the individual. They enforced the rule of law. And they encouraged free enterprise. They understood that economic freedom is the only force in history that has consistently lifted people out of poverty -- and kept people out of poverty."
The next step is for Romney to lay out this argument not only for other countries, but for our own. It works here as well as abroad. There are 12.5 million unemployed Americans; 8 million more are working part-time when they want to work full time; 2.6 million people are so discouraged that they have given up looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.
More than 23 million Americans understand the statement, "I just want to work."
These people and those around them understand that there is great dignity in work, and want to work -- but cannot find a job.
In order to win the vote in November, we must first win the argument. America works best when Americans are working. The way to get more Americans to work is to promote freedom, ingenuity and free enterprise. While government programs and subsidies might provide temporary relief, the only proven way to long-term prosperity is to create more jobs, thereby allowing people to lift themselves up, providing not only their monetary needs, but also dignity of purpose.

EDITORIAL: Rigging the polls!

Washington Times ^ | 09/27/2012 | Editorial Board

Last week New York Times polling guru Nate Silver tweeted, “The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense.” They do make a lot of sense if the objective is to help President Obama win a second term — or so Democrats think.

Major election surveys in the last few months have shown Mr. Obama either in the lead or tied for the win, despite an economic record of massive unemployment and astronomical debt. With that kind of baggage, the current Oval Office occupant ought to be trailing by at least 10 points.[SNIP]
Another way to avoid the pitfalls of subjective partisan sampling is to look at the political middle. No candidate has been elected president in the modern era without winning middle-class voters and independents. According to the latest Politico/George Washington University battleground poll, Mr. Romney has a commanding 14-point advantage among middle-class families. According to Gallup, the “pure independents,” those without partisan or ideological affiliation, give Mr. Obama a 37 percent approval rating. Mr. Obama may believe that those who live on government handouts represent a “majority coalition,” but if he loses Middle America he will be off to Hawaii in January.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

Chicago Teachers

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Mugged

Fool

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Hands

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2016

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Cork Board

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Making Excuses

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Obama's Free Money

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Pressing

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Dwelling

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Need a job!

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Bumps

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Concede

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Love

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I will stand with the Muslims

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Hey, Media, a $75K Mechanic Pays a Lower Tax Rate Than Romney

Townhall.com ^ | September 27, 2012 | Larry Elder

If "journalism malpractice" were a crime, Nancy Grace would not be able to keep track of all the trials.
ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl recently said: "Mitt Romney ... made $13.7 million last year and paid nearly $2 million in taxes. His effective tax rate -- 14.1 percent. That's a lower rate than an auto mechanic who made $75,000 in pay."

Not again.

Back in January, anchor Diane Sawyer teased "Mitt's millions" on ABC's "World News": "What Mitt Romney's taxes really show about wealth, taxes and fairness." Then correspondent David Muir informed viewers: "(Romney's) tax rate? In 2010, about 13.9 percent, perfectly legal under the current tax code, which allows Americans to pay a much lower rate, a capital gains tax, when their earnings come from investments, and not a job." Muir cut to a "tax analyst," who said: "If (Romney) were a doctor or lawyer with the same salary, he would be paying 35 percent (emphasis added)."
It gets worse.
NBC, through MSNBC, employs "civil rights activist" the Rev. Al Sharpton as a talk show host. He regularly rails against Romney and his fellow racist Republicans while supporting the President who wants to raise taxes on the "millionaires and billionaires" who "can afford to pay a little bit more." Sharpton is rich. But he has trouble with the "pay a little bit more" part. According to a recent profile in GQ, Sharpton lives large, in a ritzy Manhattan "bachelor pad." He belongs to an exclusive private club where -- after a television performance in which he rails against the top 1 percent -- he hangs with the top 1 percent.
Though he pushes for tax hikes on the wealthy and demands tax transparency for Romney, Sharpton himself has taken a respite from paying his own taxes. According to the New York Post last December, Sharpton owed $2.6 million to the IRS and almost $900,000 in state taxes. In addition, his nonprofit (in debt by $1.6 million) owed more than $880,000 in federal payroll taxes. But we digress.
NBC's Peter Alexander, on "Today," told his audience in January: "Romney appeared to be knocked off message, promising to share his returns in April and also disclosing that he pays 15 percent in income tax, like many wealthy Americans, but less than many middle class Americans (emphasis added)."
Over at taxpayer supported NPR, its "Morning Edition" co-host Renee Montagne said in January: "Yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay (emphasis added)."
One problem. It isn't true -- not even close.
First, as with the purchase of new car, almost nobody pays sticker price. To make Romney's "low" effective tax rate look bad, some news media irresponsibly compare his rate to that of a middle-class taxpayer's top marginal rate.
Just how misleading?
Assume Mr. Auto Mechanic is married, with two children. After offsetting income with exemptions, deductions for things like mortgage interest and assorted tax credits, Mr. Mechanic's effective federal income tax rate -- the percentage of income actually paid in taxes -- is much less than Romney's rate.
The liberal Tax Policy Center reports that 91.4 percent of individual taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) between $50,000 and $100,000 pay less than 15 percent in taxes. And 43.9 percent of the $50,000-$100,000 AGI taxpayers pay an effective rate between 5 and 9.99 percent, while 4.6 percent of this group pay no federal income tax at all.
Many in the media forget about all those pesky deductions and credits and exemptions. Income tax brackets are marginal rates. The top marginal rate in a taxpayers' tax bracket DOES NOT apply to his entire income from dollar one.
New York Times' David Leonhardt understands this and, to his credit, explains it properly: "This disconnect between what we pay and what we think we pay is nothing less than one of the country's biggest economic problems. ... All told, most households pay less than 15 percent of their income to the federal government because of tax breaks, like the exclusion for health insurance, and because marginal rates apply to only a small part of a taxpayer's income. On the first $70,000 of a couple's taxable income, the total federal income tax rate is only 13.8 percent."
Why does Leonhardt comprehend this, while so many in his profession do not? Consider this.
Previous editions of a widely used high school textbook, "The American Pageant," by Thomas Bailey and David Kennedy, show charts on the federal deficit in historical dollars. When it came to the Ronald Reagan years, the graphic shows a rapidly increasing deficit. But as a share of the gross national product, Reagan's deficits are really much smaller than FDR's. By not showing the numbers as a share of the GNP, their charts make his deficits look outrageous. Of the textbook's depiction of the "outsized" Reagan deficit, University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart said, "The appearance to mislead seems intentional."
Well, ABC, NBC, NPR, is it intentional?

Obama, the Great Divider

Townhall.com ^ | September 27, 2012 | Jeff Jacoby

It was the commitment at the core of Barack Obama's candidacy, the most important promise he made to the American people: He would unify a divided nation. Again and again, he vowed to repair the political breach. To end the bitter polarization of American life, to do away with "slash-and-burn" politics that "tear us apart instead of bringing us together" -- above all else, that was the hope and the change he offered.
At every milestone in Obama's journey to the White House -- from the keynote address in Boston that put him on the national radar screen to his inaugural address in 2009 -- he held himself out as a healer. Skeptics might note that partisanship and rancor were as old as American democracy itself, but Obama insisted that would change when he was president. The toxic style of politics wasn't inescapable. Give me the highest office in the land, he assured a rapturous crowd in Ohio two days before the 2008 election, and "we can end it once and for all."
Millions of voters believed him. They took to heart his vow to transfigure American public life. They looked forward to the uplifting leadership he promised. What they got instead was the most polarizing and divisive presidency in modern times. The civility and goodwill that were to be Obama's touchstone? "I haven't fully accomplished that," he concedes. "Haven't even come close."
As the 2012 campaign heads into the home stretch, a story in Politico notes that "Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign." The man who won the presidency by decrying "partisanship and pettiness and immaturity" now seeks reelection by deploying slurs and aspersions with abandon: A key aide suggests that Mitt Romney's financial filings may amount to a felony. The vice president claims that Republicans want to put voters "back in chains." An Obama campaign video likens Romney to "a vampire."
"The Obama-led attacks on Romney's character," Politico concludes, "have been both relentless and remorseless."
Of course there is nothing new about ruthlessness in politics. For all of Obama's talk about not wanting "to pit red America against blue America," it was always foreseeable that his reelection campaign would eventually become a merciless march to the sea.
Yet Obama's brutal negativity can't simply be brushed aside as the inevitable surrender of idealism to realism. It's true that presidents have often lamented the shrillness of American politics. Abraham Lincoln sought to "bind up the nation's wounds." George W. Bush originally ran for office as "a uniter, not a divider." Even Richard Nixon said his "great objective" would be "to bring the American people together." But only Obama made national unity and bipartisan harmony the justification for his candidacy.
It never happened. The 44th president has been nothing like the healer-in-chief he promised to be. Early on he took the low road, inflaming resentments, demonizing his critics, and, yes, pitting red Americans against blue Americans. His defenders argue that he had no choice -- that in the face of unremitting Republican opposition, going negative was his only option.
But all presidents face partisan opposition. Democrats vehemently fought Bush; Republicans fiercely battled Bill Clinton. Obama never conditioned "hope and change" on GOP support for his agenda. His condition was that he be elected.
"2008's candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012's candidate of fear," New York Magazine's John Heilemann wrote last spring. "For anyone still starry-eyed about Obama, the months ahead will provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting, red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler determined to do what is necessary to stay in power."
The president says now that his "biggest disappointment" is that he hasn't been able to elevate the tone of American politics. For countless voters, a far bigger disappointment may be that he never tried.