Friday, August 2, 2013

House passes bill to improve federal customer service ^ | August 2,2013 | Josh Hicks

The House on Friday approved a bipartisan bill aimed at improving customer service from federal agencies.
The measure, sponsored by two Texas congressmen, Henry Cuellar (D) and Michael McCaul (R), would require the Office of Management and Budget to set government-wide customer service standards, including targets for response times. It would also establish a specialized team to help agencies that consistently fail to meet the goals.
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
The legislation has a high likelihood of passing in the Senate, as a bipartisan companion measure was already proposed in that chamber. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who sponsored the Senate bill along with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), applauded the House vote on Friday.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Judge Dismisses Suit Against Online Gun Marketplace

By Jacob Gershman
Getty Images isn’t liable for the brutal murder of an Illinois woman shot to death by a man who used the online firearms marketplace to make an illegal gun purchase, a federal judge ruled this week.
The lawsuit was brought by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence on behalf of the brother of Jitka Vesel, a 36-year-old immigrant shot and killed in 2011 by a Russian immigrant living in Canada. Gun-control advocates said the legal challenge was the first of its kind.
U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle of Illinois dismissed the wrongful death claim this week, concluding that Armslist can’t be held responsible for the criminal conduct of its users.
“The Court finds that Defendant owes no duty to the general public to operate its website to control private individual users’ sale of handguns,” the judge wrote.
Attorneys for Armslist didn’t respond to a request for comment.
One of its users was Demetry Smirnov, who is serving a life sentence for stalking and murdering Ms. Vesel, whom he met online years earlier.
Mr. Smirnov admitted to purchasing a .40-caliber handgun in Seattle from a private seller who posted an ad for the weapon on Armslist. Mr. Smirnov paid an extra $200 because it was an illegal purchase, and then shot Ms. Vesel about a dozen times in the parking lot of a Chicago-area museum, according to federal prosecutors. The seller received a one-year sentence.
The Brady Center argued that Armslist endangered public lives by designing a website that “encouraged” people to buy illegal guns. Judge Norgle called the argument “speculative,” saying Armslist “has no involvement in the sales transaction of the products, including firearms, merely advertised on the website.”
The judge also noted that people who visit Armslist must first click through a terms-of-use disclaimer and agree to comply with state and federal gun laws.
The Brady Center said the disclaimer was hardly an obstacle and that the site ought to at least require buyers and sellers to enter verifiable identification, such as a driver’s license number.
The Brady Center is weighing an appeal. “We continue to believe that those who choose to facilitate the supply of guns to dangerous people owe society a duty to use reasonable care,” Jonathan Lowy, a Brady Center lawyer, told Law Blog.

Not So Fast: Congress Is Still in an Obamacare Trap ^ | August 2, 2013 | by Rob Bluey

News broke late last evening about the debate playing out over Obamacare and whether members of Congress and their staffs will get special treatment.
Yet a detailed analysis of this issue by Heritage Foundation experts found that the Office of Personnel Management does not have the legal authority to do what the Obama Administration promised Congress last night.
Furthermore, it is mighty curious that word of the Obama Administration “solving” Congress’ problem was suddenly leaked to a couple reporters at 9 p.m. — just hours before the release of Heritage’s report (embargoed copies of which had been given to the media).
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

China Cashes In on Bankrupt Detroit

The New American ^ | 7/31/2013 | William F. Jasper

Detroit’s filing for bankruptcy on July 18 was the culmination of decades of “Progressive” politics and brazen corruption. “Detroit is a very high-profile example of some of the challenges our cities continue to face, but it’s by no means unique,” said Kil Huh, an analyst who tracks local finances for Pew Charitable Trusts. “Detroit is indicative of governments living beyond their means — and they are going to eventually have to pay the piper.”
The time to pay the piper has indeed finally arrived for Detroit. The question is: How will the piper be paid? Some are calling for another federal bailout. But President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, sensing that the American taxpayers are in no mood for more mass payouts for deadbeats, have declared there will be no bailout for the beleaguered city. At least not a direct bailout. However, the plan seems to be for Detroit (and other cities in the same predicament) to obtain an indirect bailout by transferring their bloated and unfunded public union pension plans to ObamaCare.
This would mean, of course, that the taxpayers would be stuck for billions of dollars that the city’s Democratic politicians promised to the union activists and welfare drones, in exchange for their votes.
There is another alternative poison pill that is being promoted as a magical panacea: Let China buy Detroit — and all the other bankrupt U.S. counties and municipalities. With hoards of cash and more than a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury securities, Communist China’s State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) can scoop up big chunks of distressed American real estate for pennies — literally; many of Detroit’s 78,000 abandoned buildings can be had for a single dollar.
The firesale has been underway for some time now, and the Beijing regime is already a major buyer. “Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry,” the New York Times reported on May 12. “Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers,” the Times article continued. “While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.”
Of course, Beijing has far more than car sales in mind; far more important, in Beijing’s eyes, is the political leverage that will come from having thousands, then tens of thousands, and then millions of American workers, suppliers, and subcontractors (and voters) dependent on Red China’s SOEs for their jobs and livelihoods.
A CNN story entitled, “Can China help save Detroit jobs?” in 2011, reported:
At the Shanghai Auto Show, car exec after car exec is talking about big investment plans — finding Chinese partners, setting up factories, possibly building cars here for other parts of the world….
Pacific Century Motors is the latest Chinese company to inject money into Detroit. PCM is partly owned by the Beijing city government. For $450 million, PCM bought Nexteer, a storied unit of General Motors that makes steering equipment. Nexteer employs thousands of people in Michigan. (The sale was coordinated by Chinese auto parts maker Tempo. Tempo was also an investor in a $100 million deal to buy a brakes division of former GM parts maker Delphi.)
Chang'an Motors, Ford's Chinese partner, is opening an R&D center — and is looking to hire when it does.
Red Carpet for the Reds
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is a big booster of Beijing’s investment invasion of the United States. The governor announced in April that he is headed to China again this fall, his third trip to the “People’s Republic.” During his visit to the Communist dictatorship in September 2011, Gov. Snyder was interviewed by People’s Daily Online, and he let them know he was rolling out the red carpet for them in Michigan:
Q: How do you see the potential in building further business collaboration with China???
A: There are lots; there are lots; because of the automotive industry and the agricultural area, two areas that have really been highlighted, but almost any area, that there’s common ground to do business. It’s very exciting. There’re many market opportunities in China, the sales in China, the export and the new business here. And also, Michigan is one of the open places for business that encourage international trade, immigrants to come; an exciting place. We have been working diligently to improve Michigan’s business climate and are here to open new doors for trade and business between our state and China. We want to get the message out that Michigan is open for business too, because we’ve gone through very difficult times. We think we have great values now in Michigan and we are creating a very competitive environment for enterprises to succeed and do well. We’ve redone our tax system, our regulatory system; we’ve just balanced our budget. So we’re doing many things to be very business-friendly. Michigan is already one of the top 10 U.S. states receiving direct investment from China. There're at least 50 Chinese auto-related companies that have set up shops in the Detroit area.
Tom Watkins, a former Michigan state superintendent of schools, is another China booster and “business consultant.” In a recent newspaper column, Watkins wrote:
According to the Asia Society, the Chinese will be seeking overseas investment opportunities of $1 trillion to $2 trillion over the next decade. Detroit, Michigan and the U.S. need to be aggressive about securing a chunk of Chinese investment….
Detroit can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of its bankrupt humiliation. Just as the Chinese sought knowledge and investment from the West, Detroit may look to the East to rise again.
Detroit and Michigan leaders should tap China’s continued rise, economic clout, and excess capital — seeking a place for that country’s investment as yet another tool in its efforts to revitalize a once-great city.
Detroit is now a hollow, broken shell of the once prosperous and famous “Motor City,” world capital of the automotive industry. Since 2000, more than a quarter of the city’s population has fled the area, and the exodus continues. Huge sections of the city have become desolate no-man’s lands that look like bombed-out war zones. Many of the remaining inhabited neighborhoods are war zones, with the highest violent crime rates in the country, abandoned buildings and abandoned hopes. Unfortunately, many other cities are headed for the same sinkhole that ate Detroit. President Obama’s hometown of Chicago heads the list, according to some analysts; others include: Minneapolis; Portland, Oregon; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Trenton, New Jersey (see here, and here).
“None of the other cities are as far along [as Detroit], but there are dozens, if not hundreds of cities that have similar issues,” says Alan Mallach, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Every other industrial city has problems that could send them down the same path.”
What Mallach and many other commentators have failed to mention is that Detroit’s woes are not the result of some natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina; they have been visited upon Detroit as a direct result of the political decisions and policies of the past 60 years. More specifically, they are the direct result of six decades of misrule by politicians of the Democratic Party, who turned Detroit into a Democratic fiefdom and used Detroit’s public purse as their personal piggy banks.
Trevor Loudon, in his NewZeal blog for July 22, properly nailed the blame for Detroit’s demise on the radical Marxists and actual Communist Party activists that took over the city during the long, ruinous rein of Coleman Young.
“If one man could be blamed most for the destruction of Detroit, it would be Coleman Young,” Loudon writes in his article, Coleman Young: the Communist Who Destroyed Detroit. “Mayor from 1974 to 1993, Young set a city already in decline on the pathway to the disaster area it is today.”
Loudon then provides a chronicle of Young’s Communist Party activities, along with active links to articles documenting the communist activities of many of the other radicals who helped Young transform Detroit into the dysfunctional and corrupt “people’s republic” it is today.
It is a story that is much the same for most of the other urban centers now facing the same grim reckoning: the progressives/communists/socialists/liberals destroy the once-prosperous and pleasant communities, and then propose that we embrace Communist China as our savior.
We wrote about this in “China: The New Investment Savior?” (May 12, 2011), particularly focusing on the National Governors Association’s wooing of Red China’s state-owned corporations. As we noted then, the PRC would love to “invest” here massively, and, if allowed to do so, would create colossal centrally-planned SEZs (Special Enterprise Zones), as they have done in Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou, Xiamen, and other Chinese cities. In a very short time they pack millions of people into these new urban anthills.
As we have reported, China’s Communist Party has launched a huge program to transplant between 250 million and 400 million Chinese from rural areas to newly created “cities” over the next 12 years. Much of this will involve forced relocation of rural populations who wish to stay on their local farmland. Do Americans really want Communist Party central planners who cavalierly order hundreds of millions of people around at whim to be our new landlords and employers? Apparently, many mayors, governors, county commissioners, and congressmen do. As does President Obama, who is now negotiating a bilateral investment treaty with Beijing.
It would be a very good idea for Americans to rethink this proposed trend and let their elected officials know there are other options besides federal bailouts and Red China fire sales. U.S. companies and individual private investors are holding trillions of dollars in cash that they would gladly invest in places such as Detroit — if the radical politicians and their punitive Marxist taxes, regulations, and policies were removed, so that free enterprise could have a chance to operate and flourish.

Pediatricians should decorate office with pictures of gay couples: Medical consultants group ^ | 08/02/2013 | KIRSTEN ANDERSEN

If you’re a physician who sees children and adolescents on a regular basis, there is a lot you can do to encourage young patients and their families to view homosexuality as normal and healthy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The AAP recently issued an updated policy statement concerning homosexuality to its 60,000 members. The new guidelines say pediatricians should strive to “provide the context that being LGBTQ is normal, just different.”
According to the AAP, homosexuality “should not be considered abnormal.” While the organization acknowledges that “LGBTQ” teens as a whole engage in riskier behaviors and report higher rates of substance abuse, promiscuity, depression, self-harm, and even teen pregnancy, they blame that on “the presence of stigma from homophobia and heterosexism,” which “often leads to psychological distress [and] an increase in risk behaviors.”
As a result, the organization says doctors should make every effort to eliminate heterosexism in their practices.
Heterosexism is defined as “the societal expectation that heterosexuality is the expected norm and that, somehow, LGBTQ individuals are abnormal.” The AAP calls heterosexism “insidious and damaging.”
The organization recommends doctors display brochures and images featuring same-sex couples as well as straight ones, and affix rainbow decals throughout their offices to show they embrace homosexuality.
Doctors are urged to ensure that all office forms are gender neutral and do not presume heterosexuality; for example, forms should refer to “parent(s) or guardian(s),” not “mother and father.”
The group also warns doctors to never assume that a young patient is heterosexual. If a child tells her doctor she is having sex, the first question the AAP recommends physicians ask is, “Are you having sex with males, females, or both?”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Detroit Goes Begging as Obama Sends Money Overseas!

Daily Ticker ^ | 8-2-2013 | Lauren Lyster

At least one thing seems pretty clear since we learned the Motor City has run out of steam: Uncle Sam will not be offering up any emergency reserves.

Detroit, which has filed for a record-setting $18 billion bankruptcy, will not be getting federal assistance if you believe the rhetoric coming from Washington officials.
This has people debating not just whether or not Detroit should get a bailout (lawmakers coughed up billions for the automakers and banks), but debating more broadly how tax dollars are spent at a time when budgets are tight in general.
Bloomberg makes this comparison: $323 million in proposed U.S. aid would go to Colombia next year versus only $108 million that will go to Detroit.
Most of the money flagged for Colombia will go to “peace and security.” Meanwhile, Detroit (where it takes almost an hour for police to respond to 911 calls) has an 81 percent higher homicide rate than the South American country, according to Bloomberg.
And Colombia is not even in the top five of the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid. National Priority Projects reports that for fiscal year 2013, U.S. funding for foreign countries amounts to $23 billion – the number jumps to $37 billion when you add in our foreign military assistance.
When it comes to cities, former New York lieutenant governor Richard Ravitch points out to Bloomberg that helping cities is a state responsibility. Ravitch has told The Daily Ticker the same thing.
Related: Here's the “Enormous Problem” Facing States: Ravitch
And to be sure, the states get much more money (over 15 times more) than foreign countries at $573 billion (in 2011) – according to the Census Bureau.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Finger Lickin’ Frauds (McConnell and Cornyn need to go!!) ^ | 8/2/13 | Erick Erickson

John Cornyn went on radio yesterday with Chad Hasty (on twitter: @chadhastyradio) on Lubbock’s NewsTalk 790 AM KFYO. When asked why he took his name off Mike Lee’s letter about defunding Obamacare, John Cornyn said he did so because of a Congressional Research Service report on the implication of Mike Lee’s strategy.
There’s just one problem. John Cornyn took his name off the letter before the Congressional Research Service released its report. In fact, before Mike Lee’s office officially released the names on the letter, multiple sources in the Senate confirmed that Senator Cornyn removed his name after conversations with Senator Mitch McConnell’s office.
The Congressional Research Service report came out Monday, July 29, 2013. Senator Cornyn dropped off the letter the prior Monday, and was publicly not on the list when Mike Lee officially released it on July 25, 2013.
Last night on the floor of the Senate, Senators Cornyn and McConnell went through a kabuki dance of “We Care” theater showing just how committed they are to killing Obamacare.
First, Senator McConnell asked for unanimous consent to delay the individual and employer mandates in Obamacare. His friend Harry Reid objected for the Democrats.
Then, Senator Cornyn asked for unanimous consent to prohibit the IRS from enforcing Obamacare. Again, Senator Reid objected.
In other words, Senators Cornyn and McConnell are panicked that conservatives are exposing them for not really fighting to stop Obamacare. They asked the Democrats for unanimous consent to stop Obamacare. The Democrats.
But neither Mitch McConnell nor John Cornyn are willing to commit to opposition of the continuing resolution if it provides funds for Obamacare. They say it will only partially defund Obamacare. Meanwhile, their stunts at unanimous consent are killed by Democratic objections.
All they have to do is oppose a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. It’s not a complete repeal. As Senators McConnell and Cornyn and others repeatedly tell us, that is impossible with Barack Obama in the White House.
But it is a good start. Unfortunately, the 11 herbs and spices of these finger lickin’ frauds include show votes and sermons opposing Obamacare and while Republicans are so distracted by the theatrics, they ignore these guys refusing to take actual meaningful steps to disrupt Obamacare.
Put simply — Republicans who drone on about Obamacare, but won’t sign Mike Lee’s letter and vote against a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare are finger lickin’ frauds. They stick their finger in the wind and speechify in that direction, but just won’t walk what they’re talking in that direction.

Does the Obama family really need to take this expensive vacation? Will the Media ask them about it?

American Thinker ^ | 08/02/2013 | Silvio Canto Jr.

We just heard from President Obama that the middle class is struggling. We also heard that he is taking another those vacations that will cost a fortune:

"The Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, the exclusive playground for presidents and their families, is about to get its annual summer infusion of cash and attention as President Obama and his family prepare to arrive August 10 for an eight-day vacation.
Local reports indicate that the first family will likely be staying at a $7.6 million resort home on southern edge of the island in the town of Chilmark where homes feature water access to Chilmark Pond, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Staying at the home of Chicago corporate finance manager David Schulte is a break from past Obama vacations because the $21 million home they've rented, Blue Heron Farm, isn't available. Schulte's summer home sits on nine and a half acres, has ocean views and a basketball court."
Does anyone at the Obama White House understand how bad this looks? I guess not because Valerie Jarrett is going for the ride!
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

CIA Agents Who Were In Benghazi Warned By CIA: Keep Silent – “You Jeopardize Your Family”

Freedom Outpost ^ | Aug 2, 2013 | Tim Brown

On Thursday, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that the Central Intelligence Agency is now pressuring agents who were on the ground in Benghazi, Libya on the night of September 11, 2012 to keep silent and not talk to Congress or the media.

The Hill reports:

The CIA allegedly had “dozens” of agency operatives on the ground at the U.S. diplomatic annex in Benghazi, Libya, during last year’s deadly terrorist attack that ended with the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Langley is taking extreme measures to mask the agency’s operations in Benghazi and in northern Libya at the time of the strike, according to CNN.
Agency employees involved with CIA operations in the country are being subjected to monthly polygraph tests, among other counterintelligence measures, an unnamed source told CNN.
“Sources now tell CNN dozens of CIA agents were on the ground that night,” Tapper reported, “and the CIA is going to great lengths to make sure whatever they were doing and what happened that night remains a secret.”
“It’s being described as pure intimidation with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employees who leaks information could face the end of his or her career,” Griffin added.
The report a communication was referenced by a CIA source which revealed the effects of the threats against the agents.
“You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well,” an anonymous source wrote. “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation,” another source added.
“In the aftermath of the attack, [Rep. Frank] Wolf(R-VA) said he was contacted by people closely tied with CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk. Then suddenly, there was silence.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Detroit’s Failure, a Product of Liberalism and Greed!

Canada Free Press ^ | 8/2/2013 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh

Detroit is a classic example of failed obamunism and personal responsibility; it played out the union-controlled socialism to the bitter end and it lost the destructive game - eventually all socialists run out of other people’s money as Margaret Thatcher used to say. Detroit is now a picture of litter and filth with few suburbs left that take pride in their appearance. Pontiac and Flint are not far behind in their march towards insolvency.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

NAACP introduces 'Trayvon's Law'

Digital Journal ^ | Aug 2, 2013 | Larry Weiss

The 2012 killing of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has led to various rallies, boycotts, and even songs. Now, the NAACP is leading the way in an effort to force legal changes across the United States in an attempt to prevent another similar situation.

The NAACP created "Trayvon's Law," a series of legislative policies that aims to "end racial profiling, repeal stand your ground laws, form effective civil complaint review boards to provide oversight of police misconduct, improve training for community watch groups, mandate law enforcement to collect data on homicide cases involving non-whites, and address the “school to prison pipeline, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous explained in a statement according to AllHipHop. "What happened to Trayvon Martin must never happen again," Jealous said according to Jet Mag. "Trayvon's Law will serve as the foundation for community advocates as they work to end laws and practices that contributed to his death and to create new policies that will prevent further tragedies."

The NAACP will push "Trayvon's Law" at the local, state, and federal levels. The organization's Florida State Conference will be working to immediately enact the law in Florida, AllHipHop reports. The organization is also urging states across the US to adopt the law.

Why Trying to Defund Obamacare Is the Definition of Insanity

Pajamas Media ^ | 08/02/2013 | Rick Moran

The effort by some Republicans on the Hill to shut down the government in order to prevent the implementation of Obamacare has officially jumped the shark and entered cloud cuckoo land. The Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, has issued a report, requested by Republican Senator Tom Coburn, which shows that even if the GOP is successful, Obamacare will roll forward anyway.
The CRS explanation for why a government shutdown wouldn’t stop Obamacare from being implemented is straightforward:

“It appears that substantial ACA implementation might continue during a lapse in annual appropriations that resulted in a temporary government shutdown,” the report said.
That’s primarily due to two factors. First, the government can keep spending during a shutdown using “no-year discretionary funds” and reserves set aside for mandatory expenditures. The ACA specifically set aside billions of dollars for its own implementation that won’t be touched by a shutdown.
Second, the report said ObamaCare could fall under one of the limited exceptions in which the government is allowed to allocate funds in lieu of a spending bill from Congress.
In short, the White House would have the money and the power to keep the ACA up and running even if the lights go dark in Washington.
But it appears that Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are not letting the facts stand in the way of an opportunity to get the juices flowing of the pro-shut-down conservatives in the base of the party. Cruz, especially, seems eager to burn some bridges by calling out Republican senators who don’t agree with his quixotic quest, accusing them of having a “defeatist” approach to dealing with Obamacare. “I think they’re beaten down and they’re convinced that we can’t give a fight, and they’re terrified,” he said.
Or it could be that most Republicans on the Hill have faced up to the reality of the situation and, like any adult, are dealing with the world as it is, not as some less-mature members would wish it to be. The two-thirds of Republicans who think it a bad idea to shut down the government for absolutely no reason save a puckish desire to make the president look bad will suffer the political consequences — not the loudmouths who call their brethren cowards and continue to insist that the facts can be ignored in order to achieve a result that simply isn’t achievable.
Senator Lee’s cynicism is especially repugnant:
Those of us who are Republicans and those of us to claim to be against ObamaCare, who happen to vote to fund it, will have a lot to pay, will have a lot to answer for with our constituents.
Lee said on Tuesday, “Defund it, or own it. If you fund it, you’re for it.”
Some of the leading critics of Cruz, Lee, and the rest of the pro-shut-down caucus — like Tom Coburn and Bob Corker — are among the most vociferous opponents of Obamacare. To question their em>bona fides and accuse them of political cowardice is ridiculous. This is especially true for Lee, who has latched on to the fake Obamacare defunding effort in order to do a little fundraising. He sent an email to supporters pleading for cash:
“As I told my good friend Sean Hannity last week, the upcoming budget vote is truly the last stop on the Obamacare express,” Lee wrote. “We can’t afford to let this opportunity pass us by.”
To do your part to save America, you are to “make an emergency contribution of $25, $35, $50, $100, $200 or whatever you can afford to my campaign right now, and help me continue spearheading the national effort to defund Obamacare before it’s too late.”
It’s already too late, but why allow reality to intrude on such a lovely fantasy? The problem is that the more obvious it becomes that you can’t defund Obamacare, the more strident, mean-spirited, and insulting the shut-down caucus becomes toward their fellow Republicans who disagree.
One needs to ask why Cruz, Lee, and the rest of the pro-shut-down crowd are pushing the fantasy that Obamacare can be defunded. What kind of scam are they running? True, many of their supporters will dismiss the CRS report as some kind of plot to prevent the defunding of Obamacare, but what’s their excuse? That they’re as nutty as some of their supporters? One might suspect that they’d like to keep bashing Republicans who won’t fight fights that can’t be won because they look all the more “principled” to the slack-jawed crowd, with more reality-based Republicans seeming weak and squeamish by comparison. Or perhaps, like Alfred the butler describing a Burmese bandit inThe Dark Knight, “some men just want to watch the world burn”
If it is some kind of conservative Götterdämmerung they wantthey aren’t likely to get it. There may be other reasons that Republicans will shut down the government, but it won’t be over Obamacare funding.
One would think the leadership in the House and Senate would take a hand and defend members who are pushing back against this madness. Alas, what passes for Republican leadership in both chambers is allowing this internecine warfare to continue unabated. Speaker John Boehner, who doesn’t have control of his caucus anyway, says that “no decisions have been made” about a possible shutdown, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, trying to beat back a primary challenge from a Tea Party candidate, told reporters at his weekly press briefing:
I know they’re going on on the House side as well. There’s no particular announcement at this point, but you all are familiar with the various points of view about how we might go forward later this year.
A real profile in courage, those two.
Cruz said recently that a government shutdown wouldn’t be that bad for the GOP:
“The sort of cocktail chatter wisdom that, ‘Oh, the shutdown was a disaster for Republicans,’ is not borne out by the data,” Cruz said.
Asked about polls finding that a majority opposed defunding the law, Cruz invoked “largely useless,” slanted polls put out by advocacy groups that blame a government shutdown on Republicans. In his view, it’s President Obama who is threatening to shut down the government by refusing to take out funding for Obamacare.
In a poll taken on Obamacare implementation by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, there is plenty of good news for Republicans as far as how the public views the law.
- A plurality of Americans oppose Obamacare (47 percent-42 percent).
- Large majorities of Americans support dismantling the worst parts of Obamacare now (63-22) — including 61 percent of independents.
- A strong plurality (49-39) of Americans believe healthcare is a responsibility of the individual, not a collective right.
Good news, indeed — except for the response to this question:
Some people say that the health care reform law is so bad that an effort to repeal it should be attached to a bill necessary to keep the government running. Do you think it is a good idea or a bad idea for opponents of the health care reform law to risk shutting down the government in an effort to get rid of the law?
By a whopping 64-29 margin, the public thought this a bad idea.
Some Cruz supporters are saying the poll was “rigged.” Oh, really? A poll commissioned by a Republican group, carried out by a Republican pollster, containing all sorts of good news for Republicans was “rigged” to show an outcome on one question that wasn’t to the liking of a minority in the party?
Matt Lewis takes care of that nonsense:
Crossroads says they were describing it as it would likely be explained by the mainstream media, and this isn’t an absurd thing to say. I’m generally of the opinion that the President always has the bully pulpit (and Obama has a friendly media), so it isprobably wise to overestimate Obama’s ability to frame the debate. What is more, the repeal question is question number 47in the survey — meaning that (by the time the question was asked) respondents wouldn’t need to be reminded yet again that “the health reform law” is the same as Obamacare. Still, it would have been preferable had they called it “Obamacare.” And by not doing so, they invited skepticism.
Regardless, it seems that the only thing less popular than Obamacare itself is a government shutdown.
Cruz and his pals are kidding themselves that Republicans won’t be in for the lion’s share of the blame if there’s a government shutdown. Not surprisingly, that doesn’t seem to affect those determined to elevate futility to an art form. Joel Pollak at Breitbart thinks the effort to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government should go forward anyway — “win(?) or lose”:
The critics overlook the strongest case for attempting to defund Obamacare: namely, that doing so is an urgent political necessity to save a party rapidly losing touch with its voter base.
Conservatives–and, in fact, Americans in general–are eager for an effective opposition party. Among the many different explanations for why Mitt Romney lost in 2012–changing demographics, Tea Party suppression, the “47 percent” remark–the fact remains that he was the candidate least qualified to take on the policy most objectionable to voters.
First of all, there is no “win” in this “win or lose” scenario, only inglorious defeat. So to make the base happy, the GOP should throw sanity to the winds, say they are voting to shut down the government to defund Obamacare despite the fact that it’s an impossibility to do so, and beat their breasts claiming…what? “Look at us! We’re crazy enough to shut down the government for no reason at all! Vote for us!”
Sounds like a winner to me.

Congress Exempts Itself From Obamacare Rate Shock as Americans Face Skyrocketing Premiums! ^ | August 2, 2013 | Katie Pavlich

As everyday Americans face healthcare premium rate shock thanks to Obamacare, Congress and their staffs have just been exempted from having to pay thousands of dollars in extra cash for their healthcare next year. How? Their plans are being heavily subsidized by taxpayers. More from POLITICO: 

Lawmakers and staff can breathe easy — their health care tab is not going to soar next year.

The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill, will issue a ruling that says the government can continue to make a contribution to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides, according to several Hill sources.

A White House official confirmed the deal and said the proposed regulations will be issued next week.

The problem was rooted in the original text of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) inserted a provision which said members of Congress and their aides must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange.” Until now, OPM had not said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program could contribute premium payments toward plans on the exchange. If payments stopped, lawmakers and aides would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year. Under the old system, the government contributed nearly 75 percent of premium payments.
Lets break this down: First, lawmakers on the Hill voted for a terrible bill that a majority of people didn't want. Now three years later, those same lawmakers have exempted themselves from Obamacare rate shock in order to save their own wallets while the rest of America suffers from skyrocketing healthcare premiums. Don't worry though, Nancy Pelosi is reassuring everyone that Congress and their staffs will have to enroll in Obamacare exchanges, they just won't be paying for it. 

"Members of Congress and their staffs must enroll in health marketplaces as the Affordable Care Act requires,” she wrote. “As we continue our work to ensure the smooth implementation of this law and look forward to the start of enrollment on October 1st, we will continue our efforts this August to educate consumers on the law’s provisions and tout the critical benefits already in place for millions of Americans.”
Ironically, lawmakers were concerned a jump in premiums for their staff would kill jobs on the Hill.

Obama’s involvement in solving this impasse was unusual, to say the least. But it came after serious griping from both sides of the aisle about the potential of a “brain drain.” The fear, as told by sources in both parties, was that aides would head for more lucrative jobs, spooked by the potential for spiking health premiums.
To make things worse, despite the Obama administration delaying parts of Obamacare for corporations while individuals pay a heavy price for a piece of legislation that isn't ready for primetime, cowards on both sides of aisle don't have the guts to defund the bill in its entirety. 

As a reminder, more people than ever want Obamacare repealed and a majority disapprove of the law.

A new CBS News poll finds more Americans than ever want the Affordable Care Act repealed.
Keep working America, Washington is depending on you. 

According to the poll, 36 percent of Americans want Congress to expand or keep the health care law while 39 percent want Congress to repeal it - the highest percentage seen in CBS News polls. The poll also found a majority of Americans - 54 percent - disapprove of the health care law, 36 percent of Americans approve of it and 10 percent said they don't know about it.

~Incarcerated Beauty~

Reaganite Republican ^ | 02 August 2013 | Reaganite Republican

More/video at Reaganite Republican...



Team develops new water splitting technique that could produce hydrogen fuel

PhysOrg ^ | 8/1/13 

This is an artist's concept of a commercial hydrogen production plant that uses sunlight to split water in order to to produce clean hydrogen fuel. Credit: University of Colorado

A University of Colorado Boulder team has developed a radically new technique that uses the power of sunlight to efficiently split water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen, paving the way for the broad use of hydrogen as a clean, green fuel.

The CU-Boulder team has devised a solar-thermal system in which sunlight could be concentrated by a vast array of mirrors onto a single point atop a central tower up to several hundred feet tall. The tower would gather heat generated by the  to roughly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,350 Celsius), then deliver it into a reactor containing  known as metal oxides, said CU-Boulder Professor Alan Weimer, research group leader.
As a  compound heats up, it releases oxygen atoms, changing its  and causing the newly formed compound to seek out new , said Weimer. The team showed that the addition of steam to the system—which could be produced by boiling water in the reactor with the concentrated sunlight beamed to the tower—would cause oxygen from the  to adhere to the surface of the metal oxide, freeing up  for collection as  gas.
"We have designed something here that is very different from other methods and frankly something that nobody thought was possible before," said Weimer of the chemical and biological engineering department. "Splitting water with sunlight is the Holy Grail of a sustainable hydrogen economy."
A paper on the subject was published in the Aug. 2 issue of Science. The team included co-lead authors Weimer and Associate Professor Charles Musgrave, first author and doctoral student Christopher Muhich, postdoctoral researcher Janna Martinek, undergraduate Kayla Weston, former CU graduate student Paul Lichty, former CU postdoctoral researcher Xinhua Liang and former CU researcher Brian Evanko.
One of the key differences between the CU method and other methods developed to split water is the ability to conduct two chemical reactions at the same temperature, said Musgrave, also of the chemical and biological engineering department. While there are no working models, conventional theory holds that producing hydrogen through the metal oxide process requires heating the reactor to a high temperature to remove oxygen, then cooling it to a low temperature before injecting steam to re-oxidize the compound in order to release hydrogen gas for collection.
"The more conventional approaches require the control of both the switching of the temperature in the reactor from a hot to a cool state and the introduction of steam into the system," said Musgrave. "One of the big innovations in our system is that there is no swing in the temperature. The whole process is driven by either turning a steam valve on or off."
"Just like you would use a magnifying glass to start a fire, we can concentrate sunlight until it is really hot and use it to drive these chemical reactions," said Muhich. "While we can easily heat it up to more than 1,350 degrees Celsius, we want to heat it to the lowest temperature possible for these chemical reactions to still occur. Hotter temperatures can cause rapid thermal expansion and contraction, potentially causing damage to both the chemical materials and to the reactors themselves."
In addition, the two-step conventional idea for water splitting also wastes both time and heat, said Weimer, also a faculty member at CU-Boulder's BioFrontiers Institute. "There are only so many hours of sunlight in a day," he said.
The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and by the U.S. Department of Energy.
With the new CU-Boulder method, the amount of hydrogen produced for fuel cells or for storage is entirely dependent on the amount of metal oxide—which is made up of a combination of iron, cobalt, aluminum and oxygen—and how much steam is introduced into the system. One of the designs proposed by the team is to build reactor tubes roughly a foot in diameter and several feet long, fill them with the metal oxide material and stack them on top of each other. A working system to produce a significant amount of  would require a number of the tall towers to gather concentrated sunlight from several acres of mirrors surrounding each tower.
Weimer said the new design began percolating within the team about two years ago. "When we saw that we could use this simpler, more effective method, it required a change in our thinking," said Weimer. "We had to develop a theory to explain it and make it believable and understandable to other scientists and engineers."
Despite the discovery, the commercialization of such a solar-thermal reactor is likely years away. "With the price of natural gas so low, there is no incentive to burn clean energy," said Weimer, also the executive director of the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, or C2B2. "There would have to be a substantial monetary penalty for putting carbon into the atmosphere, or the price of fossil fuels would have to go way up."

Who Will Board The Defund Obamacare Train? ^ | August 2, 2013 | Mark Baisley

Bill Kristol has about had it with Ted Cruz.
In a radio conversation Thursday morning, the Weekly Standard founder and multi-platform pundit made sure to establish a base coat of respect, even admiration for the energetic and courageous conservatism of Texas’ freshman Senator.
But he grows weary of what he perceives as attacks from the Defund Obamacare chorus that anyone preferring another path must be an unfit warrior in the battle against the fraudulently-named Affordable Care Act.
The community distancing from the Defund movement contains people I have long respected, from Bill Bennett to Charles Krauthammer to Texas’ other Senator, John Cornyn.
All point to the near certainty that the defund effort will fail on the Senate floor, and succeed only in marginalizing the Republican party with another government shutdown PR disaster.
They have a point. And it’s probably not helpful to refer to them as members of a “surrender caucus.”
But rather than quibble over the word choices of Cruz, Utah Senator Mike Lee and others rallying around them, I prefer to examine why I will stand with the defund effort until it breathes its last.
Massive tyranny requires bold response. Obamacare is not just another big-government bad idea that can be whittled and trifled with by detail guys like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. It is a scourge of epic proportions, the most stunning hijacking of our economy and our liberties in modern times.
Parsing the poisonous pages of the Affordable Care Act gives the impression that this is just another in a series of noble pushbacks that Republicans will mount in the Obama era.
It is no such thing. It is an attack that necessitates a reply that reflects our outrage.
We all know it passed, and that it is “the law of the land.” Well, here’s another matter of law-- Congress holds the purse strings, even to measures that have passed. If they can legally turn off the money spigot to fend off this nightmare, that is as legitimate an exercise of public will as its hasty, ramshackle passage in March 2010.
Now to the skeptics’ points:
“It cannot succeed.” Perhaps not, but it will succeed in doing two things-- galvanizing the passions of a dispirited GOP base that is sick of tepid party leadership that has ushered us into our current mess as surely as liberal Democrats have done.
And it will provide that lost, precious commodity: clarity. We will know who the fighters are. Not just the talkers, the arguers, the pontificators and posturers, but the warriors willing to suit up and stare down this administration on every hill. This is a virtue that can separate bold leaders from colleagues who are ideologically similar but stylistically quieter.
“The government shutdown will hurt the Republicans.” In the short term it may, but the harshest licks will come from people who will savage the party anyway, no matter what it does.
Among the Americans who may blanch at the brief spectacle of a shutdown, some may actually come to understand, even admire the fire of leaders who stand up for what they believed in as they argue that a few days of government stoppage are a paper cut compared to the national evisceration that lies ahead if this law takes hold.
“This will hurt GOP Senate chances in 2014.” For every fence-sitting voter left cold by the defunders’ passions, I would suggest there are two dispirited or non-voting Republicans who will thank God some in the party are finally sprouting some spine.
Defunding naysayers will continue to protest the criticisms leveled by those walking the point on the Obamacare battlefield. But what they should worry about most is the mood of the electorate.
While pragmatists wring their hands about the dozens of strategies they will try to employ in 2014, protesting the coarseness of their more intrepid colleagues, millions of voters are looking for a new kind of leadership, unapologetic and fearless.
So let’s try this: Instead of name-calling, the Defund Caucus members should patiently but assertively explain why they are more than willing to spend 2014 chipping away at Obamacare, but only after spending some of 2013 trying to stop it in its tracks.
In return, skeptics should stop fussing about how futile the effort is, cowering over how the big, bad media will say mean things about the effort.
My own state of Texas provides an example of the inspirational value of standing and fighting against long odds.
If you are fuzzy on what actually happened at t Alamo, the bottom line is that it was a massacre. Nearly 200 Texas freedom fighters were annihilated by a Mexican force almost ten times larger.
But their refusal to surrender was an example of courage that spread to countless hearts across Texas, inspiring vast numbers to join the fight. The following month, in April 1836, Mexico was forced to surrender at the Battle of San Jacinto, where Sam Houston’s forces brought the enemy to its knees in under twenty minutes.
But the part of my state’s history that will stick with you most is the letter written by 26-year-old Alamo commander William Barret Travis, who wrote a letter while under siege, to be shared with “The People of Texas and all Americans in the World.”
Knowing a violent death was likely days away, he wrote:
“Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man.
The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat...
“I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country.
Victory or Death.”
Now tell me again why we should fail to at least try to defund Obamacare.

Fox Versus the Islam-Boosting 'Mainstream' ^ | August 2, 2013 | Bren Bozell

They may find it scandalous for someone to say so, but our secular liberal media are playing favorites with religion. They have a spoiled child, Islam. Journalists see Islam as a bullied, minority faith for brown people. Draw a cartoon of Mohammed with dynamite on his head, and you are the worst kind of trouble-making hater.
But write a book declaring that Jesus isn't God? That's not picking a fight or making trouble. That actually delights media elitists. They see America as too identified with Christian-nation "intolerance," a bond that needs to be broken.

Look no further than Lauren Green's interview with Muslim author Reza Aslan, who wrote a book titled "Zealot," which wildly claims that Jesus wasn't God, and (scriptural evidence be damned) Jesus never said or thought that he was.

Green's first question? "This is an interesting book. Now, I want to clarify: You are a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?"

That's hardly a ridiculous question. It is actually the necessary first question. I have written a book charging that the liberal press stole the 2012 election. Were I to appear on CNN, would it not be correct to establish from the start that I am a conservative?

But liberals sniffed "bigotry" in Green's open-ended question (which she asked several times and couldn't get a straight answer). They sensed she was saying Aslan and Muslims should somehow be banned from writing about Christianity.

In responding to Green's question, Aslan arrogantly lectured Green like she was a little girl, dismissing her question as impudent. He claimed, "I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions. ... To be clear, I want to emphasize one more time, I am a historian. I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions." That is emphatically false. The Ph.D. was in sociology, something entirely different. He also has a master of arts in fiction. That qualification seems more appropriate here. In an interview on NPR's "Weekend Edition," Aslan had another "cringe worthy" moment that even NPR felt pressed to correct on its website: "Our guest incorrectly says the first Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, contains no statement of messianic identity from Jesus. In fact, in Mark 14:62, Jesus responds affirmatively when asked if he is the Son of God."
NPR didn't say "inadvertently." Not "mistakenly." The word they chose -- "incorrectly" -- speaks volumes. Aslan was pushing a falsehood.
Reverse this media phenomenon: What if it were a Muslim who converted to Christianity claiming Mohammed wasn't a prophet? For starters, no one in today's press would ever give him the time of day; or if they did, the first question would certainly be Lauren Green's question: Aren't you biased?
The adjectives piled up to describe this interview filled a thesaurus of trash talk. MSNBC midday host Alex Wagner made a list of liberal blog babble: "It's been called absolutely demented, cringe worthy, excruciating, breathtakingly incurious, a complete car crash, the most embarrassing interview Fox News has ever done."
As she interviewed Aslan, Wagner boasted "Fox has revealed two biases; anti-Muslim and also anti-fact." Fact-challenged Aslan announced his interview was a "jump the shark" moment marking the decline and fall of Fox News.
Soon, MSNBC will be number one?
A professor named Jeffrey Scholes exemplified perfectly the liberal superiority dance against "Christian privilege" on the blog Religion Dispatches
"Many of us want to see the scholar vs. the dilettante; the open-minded vs. the close-minded; the objective vs. the subjective; the facts vs. values." These people actually believe liberalism is objective, and liberals deal in facts, unlike conservatives. He continued: "More to the point, the interview presents us with a real shot at projection: We finally get the chance to stick it to Fox News, especially as it shows itself to be less than 'Fair and Balanced.'"
No one mocking Fox and Green gave them any credit for extending an interview to Aslan in the first place. And no one acknowledged the sad fact that Green is the only religion correspondent at a national TV news network. The boob-tube "news" crews don't darken church doors and feel no need to have any expertise in any religion's sacred texts or theology.
But Aslan can be hailed on every liberal outlet, with hosts shamelessly aiming to "juice" his book sales, as MSNBC's Wagner put it. "Please do read the book," she pleaded. In an interview on "The Daily Show," substitute host John Oliver was over the top: "I loved this book," he said in the first minute. At interview's end, he repeated: "I absolutely love this book! You gotta get it. ... The fantastic Reza Aslan!"
This might be obvious, since mocking the divinity of Jesus Christ from Jon Stewart to "South Park" is the daily bread of Comedy Central. And mocking Mohammed is banned.

The Insult

The Top 7 Lies of Obam-a-CON-omists… So Far ^ | August 2, 2013 | John Ransom

There they go again: while admitting to their lie about first quarter GDP, government economists are finding new ways to lie about second quarter GDP.

While all of the attention for market-watchers has been on will-they-or-won’t-they taper at the Fed, the real story of the year is the fact that the Commerce Department just downgraded GDP growth once again, in at least a partial revision of the lie they first told last winter.

And lost in the official revisions to GDP and the revisions to revisions and the revisions to revised revisions, is the story of how ordinary people are struggling. And lost is the way  they want ordinary folks to stay. Why? Because politicians are getting ready for another round of reckless spending.

The tape doesn’t lie, they say in the stock market, but this government finds ingenious ways to lie every day about the economy as Main Street languishes.

If Mark Twain said that there were lies, damned lie and statistics, I would only add a fourth category: government statistics.

More specifically government statistics put out by Obama economists.

First quarter GDP was revised downward from an initial reading of 1.7 percent to 1.1 percent, a revision amounting to a whopping 35 percent. Even Republican pollsters got better margin of error against Obama in 2012.

I know what you are thinking: These are the same honest O’bam-a-con-O’mists who sold America Obamacare as a deficit reduction measure-- a measure that would decrease healthcare costs, improve healthcare, wash your car and make the seas part so Al Gore could walk to Europe instead of taking his jet.

Thus, we should just give them the benefit of the doubt like stock traders do.

Well, if this stock market ever tries to trade just on real fundamentals- like it used to- the new cash-induced highs that we’re told are the new normal could crash, as they normally do when taken of the Fed’s cash-drug abruptly.

And here’s a cautionary note for all of you: the second half of the year has tended to be troublesome the last few years for both the economy and the stock market.

Or let’s put it this way: If these revisions to GDP were a child, they’d have to put its picture on a carton of milk. Abduction- or some other crime- is the only way to explain the missing GDP from the first quarter’s initial read.

And then there’s the matter of the miraculous 2Q-2013 initial reading for GDP that was just reported at 1.67 percent. As our own Mike Shedlock points out, they got that result because suddenly inflation has been halved…officially and statistically.

Mike writes that Doug Short from Advisor Perspectives says that without that suspicious inflation number (called a deflator for GDP projections) GDP would have been reported as half of the 1.67 percent number: “GDP with a hypothetical 1.6% deflator (as forecast by would have been 0.78%, which rounds to 0.8%,” says Short. “GDP with the average deflator over the past 14 quarters (which is 1.75%) would have been 0.64%, which rounds to 0.6%.”

It all adds up to GREAT NEWS for the market, while Main Street gets the bill .

Heads, the market wins, and tails Main Street loses.

From USAToday:

“For Main Street, the GDP report is downright frightening. After several rounds of quantitative easing, and a somewhat sluggish improvement in the labor market, a 1.7% print is ridiculously underachieving for our economy," says Todd M. Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital.

However, "for Wall Street, this is terrific news. It's hard to fathom the Fed taking its foot off of the proverbial QE pedal with such a low and abysmal growth rate. It should be status quo for the bulls as the rally will continue for the rest of the summer," he added.

It was just a few weeks ago that we were hearing about how unstoppable this economy finally, finally, finally was.

But there they go again.
The Top 7 Lies of Obam-a-CON-omists… So Far
7) Government Sequester- Remember when the world was coming to an end because the government was required to cut spending about half the amount that citizens were required to? Yeah. I do too.

6) Oil and Energy- you see a big problem is that we don’t have five dollars a gallon gas like they do in Europe. Ha, ha, ha, ha!

5) Too-Big-To Fail- it’s a good thing that they fixed the too-big-to-fail problem because, um, oh wait… they didn’t fix it.

4) GDP- yes the geniuses that brought us Obamacare have now included Miley Cyrus’s intellectual property as part of our GDP. Why? Politicians are getting ready for another round of reckless spending.

3) Inflation- inflation? what inflation? Oil is always $110 a barrel.

2) Obamacare- politicians are using Obamacare as the newest way to bail out big cities. Why? Politicians are getting ready for another round of reckless spending.

1) Unemployment- you want progress? Twice as many people are getting food stamps than jobs created since Obama took office. How progressive!