If you support our national security issues, you may love and appreciate the United States of America, our Constitution with its’ freedoms, and our American flag.
If you support and practice our fiscal issues, you may value worldly possessions.
If you support and value our social issues, you may love Judeo-Christian values.
If you support and practice all these values, that is all good; an insignia of “Wisdom” . - Oscar Y. Harward
National Debt Clock-Click Here-Real Time
Monday, July 13, 2009
ConservativeChristianRepublican-Report - 20090713
It is your right to be happy. This is what you were made for. And if you will not resist, happiness will find a way to pour from your heart and fill your days. -- Hugh Prather
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
"Everywhere we go we tell everyone about Christ." (Colossians 1:28)
On a visit to Nazareth, the very hometown of Jesus, I shared a meal with one of the brightest and most successful men whom I knew in Israel. All of the country's tourism fell under his supervision and promotion. We sat at a table in the local hotel, enjoying our lunch in the midst of a crowded room full of diners.
I had felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share my faith with this man, and I began to talk about the many great things Jesus Christ had done for me. I saw the flicker of genuine interest in my new friend's eyes, and I looked forward to asking for His decision to receive Christ in some more solitary spot after lunch.
But my friend did not want to wait! He wanted to pray while we were still at our table. And this successful businessman of Israel poured out a heartfelt prayer to God, asking the Lord to take over in his life before a room full of his fellow citizens.
As we concluded our lunch, my friend pleaded, "Dr. Bright, will you please send someone back to Nazareth to help me share this new truth with everyone I know?"
I immediately recognized the irony in his words: new truth. The good news of Christ is two thousand years old, and it emerged, of all places in this world, in that very city in which Jesus lived and worked. But for this man it was a new truth.
"The Patriot Post"
"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." -- James Madison
"If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all." -- psychologist and philosopher Will Durant (1885-1981)
"The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else." -- French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
"He who does not bellow out the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers." -- French poet, essayist and editor Charles Peguy (1873-1914)
"I doubt whether there are many Americans who think Congress has either the right or competency to choose where they live, what clothes they wear or what cars they drive. Yet many Americans stand ready to allow Congress to decide what doctors they go to and what treatments they receive. We forget that once we have government-sponsored health care, it can be used to justify almost any restraint on liberty." --economist Walter E. Williams
"The president claims that we must pass a government-run health insurance program -- possibly the most wide-ranging and intricate government undertaking in decades -- yesterday or a 'ticking time bomb' will explode. If all this terrifying talk sounds familiar, it might be because the president applies the same fear-infused vocabulary to nearly all his hard-to-defend policy positions. You'll remember the stimulus plan had to be passed without a second's delay or we would see 8.7 percent unemployment. We're almost at 10." -- columnist David Harsanyi
It's about time: "[T]he honeymoon is coming to an end for President Obama, but it's not personal, it's professional, as now the public appears to be judging the president on some of his actions. And right now, there's a growing concern about the budget deficit and some of this government interaction into the economy on things like GM. Five months into office, President Obama is now dealing with a public that is judging him more and more for the actions he's taking, and not just the promises he's made." -- NBC's Chuck Todd
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain": "It is not an infomercial. ABC News does not do that." -- ABC's Diane Sawyer on ABC's infomercial for Obamacare Wednesday night
Obamessiah complex: "Howard Dean [is] the man who really laid out the path for Barack Obama. He was the St. John the Baptist, I'd say, leading for that fellow, not to make any further reference there to the Deity." -- MSNBC's Chris Matthews
From the sycophants: "In this fatherless world, where did you learn to love? ...[E]very parent in the country is watching your every move as a parent." -- CBS's Harry Smith to Obama
"Focus on the Family"
Why Laughter is Good for Your Marriage
Laugher is good medicine, having an important physiological effect on you and your soul mate.
by Les Parrott, Leslie Parrott
Laugher is good medicine, literally. It has important physiological effects on you and your soul mate. The French philosopher Voltaire wrote, "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." Modern research indicates that people with a sense of humor have fewer symptoms of physical illness than those who are less humorous.
This idea, of course, isn't new. Since King Solomon's times, people have known about and applied the healing benefits of humor. As Proverbs tells us, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." (17:22)
But humor brings more than physiological benefits to a husband and wife. Humor helps us cope.
Consider Janet, who wanted to impress a small group of couples with an elaborate dinner. She cooked all day and enlisted her husband's help to serve the meal. All went well until the main course. As her husband was bringing in the crown roast, the kitchen door hit him from behind and the platter flew across the room. Janet froze, regained her composure, then commanded, "Dear, don't just stand there. Pick up the roast, go in the kitchen, and get the other one!"
No doubt about it, humor helps us cope — not just with the trivial but even with the tragic. Psychoanalyst Martin Grotjahn, author of Beyond Laughter, notes that "to have a sense of humor is to have an understanding of human suffering."
Charlie Chaplin could have said the same thing. Chaplin grew up in the poorest section of London. His mother suffered from serious mental illness and his father died of alcoholism when Charlie was just five. Laughter was Chaplin's tool for coping with life's losses. Chaplin eating a boiled leather shoe for dinner in his classic film Gold Rush is more than a humorous scene. It is an act of human triumph, a monument to the coping power of humor.
One does not need to be a professional comedian, however, to benefit from comedy. Viktor Frankl is another example of how humor can empower a person to contend with horrendous circumstances. In Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning, he speaks of using humor to survive imprisonment during World War II. Frankl and another inmate would invent at least one amusing story daily to help them cope with their horrors.
A Nazi prison camp is a dramatic backdrop to underscore the value of humor, but it may help you remember what a good laugh can do for you and your marriage on stressful days. Let's be honest, every marriage has its difficulties. When the checkbook doesn't balance, when the kids can't seem to behave, when busy schedules collide, when you can't remember your last date-night, not to mention your last vacation. For these times, and dozens of others, humor is invaluable.
Take it from the professionals: Legendary comedian Bob Hope says laughter is an "instant vacation." Jay Leno says, "You can't stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh." And the great Bill Cosby says, "If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it." Researchers agree. Studies reveal that individuals who have a strong sense of humor are less likely to experience burnout and depression and they are more likely to enjoy life in general — including their marriage.
Jesus Christ Banned from Prayer by Pennsylvania House Speaker
Folks, this is a "most serious" matter. The only way to win these important issues on the political issues is to fight the oppositions in the courts, vote them out of elected offices, and/or pray then out of business. Please encourage all Pastors and other leaders in (y)our Houses of worship that Alliance Defense Counsel (ADF) http://www.alliancedefensefund.org and Liberty Counsel http://www.lc.org provide pro-bono legal counsel for defending Judeo-Christian values in states and federal courts. We also must remember to financially support these "Not For Profit" organizations. - oyh
Jesus, the Conscientious Objector
THE LAST DAYS are unfolding according to the Word of God. "Jesus Christ" was declared an offensive term by Democrat Pennsylvania Speaker of the House House Keith R. McCall. Once the Government successfully bans Jesus, they get to be top dog - or wolves . . .
See the announcement by Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt below.
BREAKING NEWS: Pennsylvania House Speaker bans Jesus Christ from prayers. Heroic Pastor Censored. California City also debates vote to ban Jesus from prayers. "California, Stand Up For Jesus!" State-wide Prayer Rally 5 Aug., 6pm in Lodi, CA.
The right to pray publicly "in Jesus name" is under new attack in Pennsylvania and again in California. Please let me explain to you exactly what terrible events just transpired...
The Democrat Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Keith R. McCall has just issued (and enforced) a policy which bans the name of Jesus Christ as illegal speech that may not be uttered during voluntary prayers spoken before the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Pastor Gerry Stoltzfoos of Freedom Valley Worship Center in Adams County, PA had been invited to pray the invocation at the State-House on June 30th, but McCall's office insisted on previewing and censoring a written copy of the prayer beforehand.
"I wrote the prayer and sent it to them and they sent back a very short rejection notice," Pastor Stoltzfoos told reporters from One News Now. "So I wrote back, 'I'm curious as to why.' And they said it had an offensive word. 'Can you tell me what the word was?' And they came back and said 'Jesus.'" Stoltzfoos says he prays in Jesus' name because Jesus instructed him to do so in the Bible. In John 14, 15, and 16, Jesus said three times, "the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." Colossians 3:17 says, "whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus."
McCall's office then refused to allow Stoltzfoos to say the prayer before the legislature. The Democrat's staff told the pastor that Speaker McCall was afraid of lawsuit by atheist groups.
MCCALL'S SPOKESMAN MISQUOTES THE LAW:
Penn. Speaker McCall spokesman Bob Caton told the York Daily Record (after silencing Pastor Stoltzfoos from saying "Jesus"), "It is not an attempt to silence religious leaders, but rather an effort to prevent taxpayers from having to foot the bill of a lawsuit if someone objects to a prayer's contents and chooses to sue the state." He did not admit that if atheist groups sue, the Alliance Defense Fund has offered pro-bono legal defense of Christian prayers before any legislature, at zero tax-payer expense.
"Unfortunately, it's because states like Indiana and Ohio have been sued," Caton misled. "We've followed the example that unfortunately was set in other places. We're bringing Pennsylvania's practices in line with what other states have done."
Actually, Indiana and Ohio have done the opposite. When sued by atheists to ban Jesus prayers, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals bravely ruled to reverse an anti-Jesus ban, and restored pastors right to pray "in Jesus name" in the Indiana legislature. (I know, because my lawyers and I personally advised the Indiana Attorney General who successfully appealed Hinrichs v. Bosma and WE WON a 2-1 appeals court ruling reversing the anti-Jesus policy).
And when the Ohio Speaker Jon Husted had temporarily mollified Democrat complainers by issuing an anti-Jesus prayer policy in 2007, I flew to Ohio and helped the Ohio Christian Alliance mobilize pastors to phone their legislators. So many citizens called to demand free speech, that Speaker Husted bravely reversed his temporary ban, restoring the rights of pastors to pray "in Jesus name" in the Ohio State House. Now in Pennsylvania, Speaker McCall is doing the opposite of what other states and courts have directed.
CHAPLAIN KLINGENSCHMITT FIGHTS "AU" IN PENNSYLVANIA
In 2007, the anti-Christian group Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) wrote a threatening letter to four key leaders of the Pennsylvania Senate, demanding they stop and censor pastors from speaking the word "Jesus" in their public prayers. They complained that 25% of the invited pastors used "sectarian language" in prayers before the PA Senate, and threatened a lawsuit if any Jesus prayers were permitted.
When I heard of this in 2007, I immediately wrote my own letter to those same four key Pennsylvania Senators, citing three national polls indicating that 76%, 85%, and 94% of voting citizens support all pastors rights to pray according to conscience, even if they pray "in Jesus name" in a public setting. When the Senators realized they could be voted out of office by pro-Jesus voters, they found their nerve and stood firm to allow Jesus prayers in the Pennsylvania Senate. In fact, PA State Senator Rich Alloway (R-Pennsylvania) heard the story and has already invited Stoltzfoos to pray before the state Senate on July 29th, 2009.
Not all current members of the PA House fear the atheist complainers. State Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams County) told the York Daily Record that he objects to McCall's prayer policy. "I personally don't think it's reasonable because our country was founded on Christian-Judeo beliefs. That's who started our government," Moul said. "We should never be ashamed to speak about our Christian beliefs. That's what our prayers are for."
Moul supports a reasonable policy that allows rotating clergy from diverse groups to pray as guest chaplains according to their own faith. "Legislators have the ability to leave the floor if they find the content of prayers offensive," he said. "I am extraordinarily tired of the vast majority changing our way of life to accommodate a few," Moul said. As for the argument that the state could face lawsuits, Moul said simply: "Let 'em sue us." Other Reps and Senators remain undecided, so....
CALIFORNIA CITY WILL VOTE WHETHER TO BAN JESUS PRAYERS
On August 5th, 2009, the city council of Lodi, California will debate and possibly vote to ban the name of Jesus from public prayers offered by guest pastors invited to pray the invocation. Under threat of lawsuit by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, Lodi Mayor Larry D. Hansen said he is considering changing the Lodi city council prayer policy (which has traditionally allowed the word "Jesus" to be spoken in 39 of the last 55 prayers) to instead censor all prayers into a moment of silence, rather than allow diversity of free speech.
God Bless you, in Jesus' name,
Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt
Witnesses Announced For Sotomayor Hearing
What you will hear and see in the next coming days from within the US Senate Judiciary hearings will be many who support Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Most of these supporters are those who claim to support "civil rights"; however, these same individuals support "abortion" over "life". I fail to understand how anyone can profess to support "civil rights", while at the same time, fail to support "life". For Judge Sotomayor's support "for" the "abortion" issue, most Democrats in the US Senate will vote to "confirm" Judge Sotomayor. As for my thoughts, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been so radical on many issues, more than 60% of her rulings which reached SCOTUS were overturned. For these reasons, Judge Sotomayor should be rejected by the US Senate as an Associate Justice to SCOTUS. - oyh
Chairman Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions have announced the witness list for the confirmation hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Association Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin on July 13 at 10:00 a.m. The lists of witnesses invited by the Majority and Minority of the Judiciary Committee follow. For more information about the Supreme Court, the Sotomayor nomination, and details about how to attend the hearing, click here.
American Bar Association Witnesses
Kim Askew, Chair of the Standing Committee
Mary Boies, Primary Reviewer
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police
David Cone, former Major League Baseball pitcher
JoAnne A. Epps, Dean, Temple University Beasley School of Law, on behalf of the National Association of Women Lawyers
Louis Freeh, former Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Michael J. Garcia, former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York
Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Patricia Hynes, President, New York City Bar Association
Dustin McDaniel, Attorney General, State of Arkansas
Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney, New York County, New York
Ramona Romero, National President, Hispanic National Bar Association
Congressman Jose E. Serrano, New York Sixteenth District
Theodore M. Shaw, Professor, Columbia Law School
Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Linda Chavez, President, Center for Equal Opportunity
Sandy Froman, Esq., former President, National Rifle Association of America
Dr. Stephen Halbrook, Attorney
Tim Jefires, Founder, P7 Enterprises
Peter Kirsanow, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
David Kopel, Esq., Independence Institute
John McGinnis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law
Neomi Rao, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Frank Ricci, Director of Fire Services, ConnectiCOSH (Connecticut Council on Occupational Saftey and Health)
David Rivkin, Esq., Partner, Baker Hostetler
Nick Rosenkranz, Professor, Georgetown University School of Law
Ilya Somin, Professor, George Mason University School of Law
Lieutenant Ben Vargas, New Haven Fire Department
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life
Sotomayor Hearing Opens Battle for Supreme Court
WASHINGTON – Sonia Sotomayor looks almost certain to emerge from Senate hearings this week poised to become the first Hispanic member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
But political debate over President Barack Obama's plans for the top U.S. court has only begun.
Republicans are ready to resist what they fear could be a sharp leftward turn for the court under Obama's Democratic administration, reversing a steady tack to the right under former Republican President George W. Bush.
"For Sotomayor, it is a critical moment to set the public's perception of her. She will define herself for the country in her opening statement," said Doug Kendall, founder of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal legal think tank in Washington.
"But for senators, it is much more about stating their case about the future of the Supreme Court itself."
Obama, a former constitutional law professor, chose the 55-year-old Sotomayor to replace the now-retired Justice David Souter, who had been one of four liberals on the deeply divided nine-member court. Members are appointed for life.
A daughter of Puerto Rican parents who grew up in a public housing project in New York, Sotomayor's story of tough beginnings and Ivy League education mirrors Obama's own while her long experience as prosecutor and appeals court judge gives critics few opportunities to attack her credentials.
FEW CLUES ON POSITIONS
Legal experts parsing Sotomayor's rulings for clues to her positions on everything from abortion to gun control have come up with little, although most agree she will not change the court's ideological balance -- which has been split with four liberals and five conservatives.
Barring an unforeseen scandal, Republicans privately concede that Sotomayor will be confirmed -- not least because Democrats control the needed 60 of the Senate's 100 seats to override any minority opposition.
But they hope to use the nationally broadcast hearing to argue that judges should rule according to the law and without regard to personal feeling.
"Republicans have made a commitment not to prejudge her. This is her opportunity to explain what some may call troubling or puzzling decisions," one Republican aide said.
Obama entered the argument when he said he favored judges with "empathy" -- which conservatives portrayed as shorthand for allowing emotion, or bias, to take precedence over statute.
"Empathy is great, perhaps, if you're the beneficiary of it. But it is not good ... (if) you don't catch the judge's fancy or if you fail to appeal to a shared personal experience," Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary committee, said in a Senate speech.
Republican's have zeroed in on an early Sotomayor speech in which she said a "wise Latina" might arrive at better legal decisions than a white man because of her life history.
And questions could focus on a case in which the Supreme Court, voting 5-4, said the city of New Haven, Connecticut, violated civil rights law by throwing out firefighter exam results which did not produce enough qualified black applicants -- overruling a lower court decision upheld by Sotomayor.
But many analysts say Republicans must tread carefully through the politics of the nomination.
"They have a tricky challenge. They are trying to attack her use of race without impugning her race, and that's not easy to do," said Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University in Washington.
Sotomayor has drawn public support in opinion polls and the top rating from the American Bar Association. She is also seen as a trailblazer by the Hispanic community -- the fastest growing U.S. minority group, accounting for about 15 percent of the population.
"There could be questions raised about any judge's ruling on any case. But the fact is, I believe she has a record that is unparalleled," said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
Business groups are also holding their fire. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's biggest business group with more than 3 million members, plans to withhold any endorsement or opposition until her Senate testimony.
"To some extent the timelines are so long and uncertain on what's going to happen in the court that it is underappreciated by Wall Street," said Anne Mathias of Concept Capital Washington Research Group, which tracks Congress for investors.
Manuel Miranda of the Third Branch Conference, a conservative legal group, said Republicans may use the question of the Supreme Court's future to underscore their mounting criticism of the Obama administration on other issues including its huge deficit-spending plans.
"The Sotomayor hearings are a spotlight on the president who nominated her, and if the Republicans don't use it that way they are fools," he said.
Pope Benedict Gives President Obama a Bioethics Book
VATICAN CITY -- President Barack Obama promised Pope Benedict on Friday that he would do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions in the United States, the Vatican said.
Obama and Benedict held private talks for about 40 minutes in the Pope's frescoed study in the Vatican's apostolic palace and the Vatican said bioethics and life issues were a central part of the discussion.
In a surprise move, the pontiff gave Obama a booklet explaining Vatican opposition to practices such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research, which Obama supports.
"Obama told the Pope of his commitment to reduce the number of abortions and of his attention and respect for the positions of the Catholic Church," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters after he was briefed by the Pope.
Obama supports abortion rights and says his policy is to change economic and social conditions so as to put more women in situations where they do not feel they have to have an abortion.
The Pope gave Obama, who last March lifted restrictions of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, a copy of a recent Vatican document on bioethics in which the Holy See explains its opposition to such practices.
"Dignitas Personae" (dignity of a person) condemns artificial fertilization and other techniques used by many couples and also says human cloning, "designer babies" and embryonic stem-cell research are immoral.
The document defends life from conception to natural death and a Vatican statement issued after the meeting said the topics discussed included "the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one's conscience."
The Pope's private secretary told reporters after the meeting: "This reading can help the president better understand the Church's position on these issues."
"We know that this (abortion) is a crucial theme for the Pope. There is no need to hide it. It (giving him the booklet) was an attempt to be clear, it was not polemical," Lombardi said.
POPE IMPRESSED BY OBAMA
Lombardi said the Pope was "very impressed" by Obama and that the pontiff was "extremely satisfied" with the talks.
Obama told the pope during a picture-taking session after the private part of the audience: "We look forward to a very strong relationship between our two countries."
The Pope also gave the president a copy of his latest encyclical, "Charity in Truth," which called for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.
Obama, who was going to the airport from the Vatican, joked to the Pope when he gave him the two documents: "I'll have something to read on the plane."
Unlike his predecessor George Bush, Obama and the Pope do not see eye-to-eye on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.
The Vatican condemns embryonic stem cell research, which scientists say can lead to cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's, because it involves the destruction of embryos.
Before he arrived at the Vatican, Michelle Obama and their children Malia and Sasha were given a private tour of St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Michelle Obama joined her husband and the Pope after the private talks ended.
House Democrats’ health care bill has been delayed indefinitely as leaders continue negotiations with fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats.
Committee chairmen had planned to release their bill on Friday and begin marking it up on Monday, but notices were sent out this morning noting that both the release and markup would be delayed.
Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), who chairs the Blue Dogs’ health care task force, warned leadership in a two-hour meeting Thursday night that his group would bolt unless a series of demands were met, including altering reimbursement rates under a proposed public option so that they are not based on Medicare rates.
Ross said he and other Blue Dogs will meet Friday with Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) in hopes of charting a path forward on the health care measure.
Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
Current Position: U.S. Representative (since January 2007)
Why She Matters
During the 2008 presidential campaign, liberals who griped about Sarah Palin’s conservative values got an introduction to another rising female GOP star whose right-wing views drew their ire — Bachmann, the first-ever Republican Congresswomen from Minnesota. In an October 2008 interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball, Bachmann raised the specter of Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.) in expressing her belief that Barack Obama and many members of the federal government were “anti-American” and calling for Congress to investigate.Johnston, Nicholas, “Bachmann’s ‘Anti-American’ Jab Roils Republican Races,” Bloomberg News Service, October 24, 2008.(1)Johnston, Nicholas, “Bachmann’s ‘Anti-American’ Jab Roils Republican Races,” Bloomberg News Service, October 24, 2008.
Bachmann came to Congress in 2006 after six years as one of the most socially conservative members of the Minnesota state senate. Known for her strong Christian faith, Bachmann has never shied away from her religion views: During her first Congressional campaign she said God had “called her” to run, and that she and her husband fasted and prayed for three days before making the decision.Rothstein, Betsy, “Bachmann’s sudden transformation,” The Hill, January 13, 2009.(2)Rothstein, Betsy, “Bachmann’s sudden transformation,” The Hill, January 13, 2009. A self-proclaimed “fool for Christ,” Bachmann and her husband own a Christian counseling center, where he currently works.Birkey, Andy, “Michele Bachmann Speech at Church Could Cause Tax Troubles,” Minnesota Monitor, October 15, 2006.(3)Birkey, Andy, “Michele Bachmann Speech at Church Could Cause Tax Troubles,” Minnesota Monitor, October 15, 2006.
Her values have made her a darling of conservatives, while her outspoken nature has made her natural Democratic foe. While Republicans struggle to regroup, Bachmann’s aggressively vocal fight for staunch conservative principles could make her a star.
Path to Power
Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann grew up in Anoka, Minn., graduating from public schools and later earning her bachelor’s from Winona State University. A more liberal ideology, then-Minnesota Sen. Walter Mondale’s (D) spot on the ticket, and becoming a born-again Christian led to her working on Jimmy Carter’s 1976 campaign, where she met her husband, another born-again Christian.Libit, Daniel, “The Shuttle: Michele Bachmann,” Politico, June 13, 2008.(4)Libit, Daniel, “The Shuttle: Michele Bachmann,” Politico, June 13, 2008.
However, the pair became dissatisfied with Carter’s position on abortion and Bachman ultimately joined the Republican Party.Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.(5)Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.
She attended the Coburn School of Law at Oral Roberts University for her J.D. (the law school was closed in 1986) and continued her legal education at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, earning an L.L.M. in tax law.
Bachmann first landed in the public eye in 1993 while lobbying for the opening in Stillwater, Minn., of the New Heights Charter School, the nation’s first for grades K-12. As a member of the board of directors for the school — a nonprofit receiving public funding — Bachmann faced controversy as protests about separation of church and state arose over the teaching of Christianity, through creationism classes and incidents such as refusing to screen Disney’s Aladdin because of its alleged depiction of witchcraft and paganism.Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.(6)Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.
As the debate heated up, Bachmann resigned, later calling the saga anti-Christian discrimination.Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.
8Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.(7)Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.
8Anderson, G.R., “The Chosen One —Michele Bachmann’s recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) City Pages, October 4, 2006.In 1995, she became a litigation attorney with the U.S. Treasury Department in St. Paul, arguing tax cases. By 1999, Bachmann was ready to run for public office, but dissuaded from running for the state Senate by regional Republican officials. Instead, she ran for the local school board and lost.Black, Eric. “Rove stumps for Bachmann, Kennedy,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star-Tribune, July 21, 2006.(8)Black, Eric. “Rove stumps for Bachmann, Kennedy,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star-Tribune, July 21, 2006.
In 2000, the local GOP establishment again attempted to discourage Bachmann from running for state Senate and continued its support for 28-year incumbent Gary Laidig, but she prevailed in the primary and went on to win the election. She was reelected in 2004 after redistricting pitted her against another incumbent.
After her second victory, state Senate Minority Leader Dick Day (R) appointed her assistant minority leader of policy; however, she was stripped of the position the next year after her demands for tax cuts and anti-abortion initiatives threatened to hold up financing legislation. When the 6th district House incumbent, Rep. Mark Kennedy (R), announced in 2005 he would vacate his seat to run for the U.S. Senate, Bachmann announced her candidacy to replace Kennedy. Her appeal to fundamentalist Christians and the conservative base earned her strong support from the National Republican Congressional Committee and special attention from President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and strategist Karl Rove, all of whom raised funds for Bachmann’s campaign.Roberts, William, “Republicans Falter in Bid to Mobilize Christian Conservatives,” Bloomberg News Service, October 19, 2006.(9)Roberts, William, “Republicans Falter in Bid to Mobilize Christian Conservatives,” Bloomberg News Service, October 19, 2006.National religious and conservative groups such as James Dobson’s Focus On The Family also lent their efforts.Freed, Joshua, “Ellison, Walz grab seats; Bachmann holds 6th for GOP,” Associated Press, November 7, 2006.(10)Freed, Joshua, “Ellison, Walz grab seats; Bachmann holds 6th for GOP,” Associated Press, November 7, 2006.
Bachmann defeated DFL candidate Patty Wetterling and Independence Party candidate John Binkowski with 50 percent of the vote.Paitich, Aaron, and Wolter,
Lori, “Bachmann wins 6th District,” Minnesota Daily, November 5, 2008.(11)Paitich, Aaron, and Wolter, Lori, “Bachmann wins 6th District,” Minnesota Daily, November 5, 2008. Given her tax background, she was immediately assigned to the House Financial Services Committee, including the subcommittees on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises; Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology; and Oversight and Investigations.
Bachmann was an early favorite in the 2008 election against DFL candidate Elwyn Tinklenberg, but her comments on Hardball led to a massive fundraising surge for the Democrat and condemnation from within her own party, tightening the race. Despite the unfavorable national attention, Bachmann defeated Tinklenberg by three points, 46 percent to 43 percent.Bachmann, Michele, testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, June 19, 2007.(12)Bachmann, Michele, testimony before the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, June 19, 2007.
Throughout her career, Bachmann has been a strong proponent of education reform. Bachmann homeschooled her children, including 23 foster children, saying they were failed by the public-school system.La Paglia, Bernadette, “Senator Bachmann Lectures on ‘School-to-Work’,” Naples Sun Times, October 6, 2004.(13)La Paglia, Bernadette, “Senator Bachmann Lectures on ‘School-to-Work’,” Naples Sun Times, October 6, 2004. In the state Senate, Bachmann was an outspoken adversary of the state’s “Profile Of Learning” program, which set graduation standards; she also was a harsh critic of the federal “School To Work” policies, which provides funding to states that establish programs with a focus on vocational skills."Defeating Michelle Bachmann,” Minnesota Daily, November 22, 2008.(14)"Defeating Michelle Bachmann,” Minnesota Daily, November 22, 2008. In Congress, she voted against an increase in Pell Grants, as well as lower interest rates and raised borrowing limits for student loans, citing the efforts as too expensive."Schools Should Not Limit Origins-Of-Life Discussions to Evolution, Republican Legislators Say,” Stillwater Gazette, September 27, 2005.(15)"Schools Should Not Limit Origins-Of-Life Discussions to Evolution, Republican Legislators Say,” Stillwater Gazette, September 27, 2005.
Separation of Church and State
Bachmann has lobbied hard throughout her political career for the teaching in schools of intelligent design, the belief that some aspects of existence are best attributable to a superior being. She has argued that evolution is a theory that has never been proven.Smith, Dane, “Ten Commandments Rally Days About 200; Groups Call for Christian Values in Public Life,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune, November 1, 2003.(16)Smith, Dane, “Ten Commandments Rally Days About 200; Groups Call for Christian Values in Public Life,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune, November 1, 2003. In the state Senate, she co-authored a bill requiring intelligent design to be part of the school curriculum, and, in 2003, she participated in a “Ten Commandments Rally” at the Minnesota state Capitol, calling for the posting of the Ten Commandments at public schools and buildings.Brunswick, Mark, “Same-sex marriage bill heads to House floor,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune, March 12, 2004.(17)Brunswick, Mark, “Same-sex marriage bill heads to House floor,” (Minneapolis, Minn.) Star Tribune, March 12, 2004.
Bachmann is a staunch opponent of any effort to expand gay rights. In the state Senate in 2004, she proposed a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and then organized a “Minnesota for Marriage” rally in which she told supporters to flood the state Senate and directly protest to opponents of the bill.Markell, Jan, “Prophetic Views Behind The News,” KKMS-AM News, March 20, 2004.(18)Markell, Jan, “Prophetic Views Behind The News,” KKMS-AM News, March 20, 2004.As a result, Senate business ground to a halt and the session ended in stalemate. Bachmann again proposed the bill the following year and held a second rally, but the legislation was rejected. She supports a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and also opposes other arrangements such as civil unions. She has called homosexuality a sexual “dysfunction” and accused the gay community of targeting children.Scheck, Tom, “Bachmann: Iran has plan to turn part of Iraq into terrorist haven,” Minnesota Public Radio, February 23, 2007.(19)Scheck, Tom, “Bachmann: Iran has plan to turn part of Iraq into terrorist haven,” Minnesota Public Radio, February 23, 2007.
Bachmann supported the troop surge in Iraq and continues to oppose a timeline for pullout of American troops. She caused controversy by publicly claiming that Iran had a plan to control half of Iraq and use the territory to launch terrorist attacks throughout the Mideast region.Scheck, Tom, “Bachmann: Iran has plan to turn part of Iraq into terrorist haven,” Minnesota Public Radio, February 23, 2007.(20)Scheck, Tom, “Bachmann: Iran has plan to turn part of Iraq into terrorist haven,” Minnesota Public Radio, February 23, 2007.
Bachmann’s stances on energy have ranged from issues large (introducing legislation to reduce dependence on foreign oil sources and increase domestic production) to small (introducing legislation to repeal a nationwide phase-out of conventional light bulbs). She is a strong advocate of increasing domestic oil and natural gas exploration in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve and Outer Continental Shelf; she is also a proponent of renewable energy. She has voted to combat rising energy costs.
Like all other House Republicans, Bachmann voted against President Obama’s economic stimulus package approved by Congress in February 2009. Bachmann has strict anti-tax principles, and believes strongly in small government. She opposed the federal bailouts of financial institutions and the American auto industry in fall 2008, and has argued for breaking up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She also opposes increases in the federal minimum wage.
“I am very concerned that he may have anti-American views,” Bachmann said about Obama on MSNBC's Hardball (and following with similar statements on a radio show the following the day), citing his association with pastor Jeremiah Wright and education reformer Bill Ayers. But she was quick to backtrack after being taken to task even by those in her own party: Minnesota Sen.Norm Coleman (R) denounced her remarks, as did 2008 vice presidential-candidate Palin. Both Colin Powell and a former Republican governor of Minnesota publicly backed Obama in direct response to the comments. Bresnahan, John, “Colin Powell calls Bachmann’s comments ‘nonsense’,” Politico, October 19, 2008.(21)Bresnahan, John, “Colin Powell calls Bachmann’s comments ‘nonsense’,” Politico, October 19, 2008.
A movement for an official congressional censure of Bachmann gathered 35,000 signatures within 24 hours of the Hardball interview. The comments reflected her general distrust of liberal philosophy as anti-capitalist; in the state Senate in 2001, she publicly accused Congress of trying to replace free-market ideals with a socialist, globalist worldview disloyal to America.Chapman, Michael J., and Bachmann, Michele, “How New U.S. Policy Embraces a State-Planned Economy,” 2001.(22)Chapman, Michael J., and Bachmann, Michele, “How New U.S. Policy Embraces a State-Planned Economy,” 2001.
Bachmann is a strong opponent of abortion, except in cases of rape or incest. In the state Senate, she introduced legislation to limit public funding for abortion.
Bachmann is tied closely with major national conservative groups, including Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council and James Dobson and Focus On the Family. She also remains in contact with statewide conservative groups, including EdWatch, the Minnesota Family Institute, and the Minnesota Family Council. Within her state congressional delegation, Bachmann often teams up with Rep. John Kline (R) on legislation.
She is also still close with former allies of the Bush administration; she was backed by President George W. Bush (a fellow born-again Christian), although she was mocked for making prolonged hand contact with and kissing him on the floor of the House after the 2007 State of the Union Address."Bachmann video draws national attention,” KSTP-TV News, January 28, 2008.
(23)"Bachmann video draws national attention,” KSTP-TV News, January 28, 2008.
Her support from Rove led to ties with the John McCain presidential campaign, which faded — at least publicly — in the aftermath of her Hardball appearance.
Honduras: When is a Coup not a Coup?
WASHINGTON -- For more than a week, the State Department has stopped short of defining the military ouster of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya as a "coup."
The reluctance is fueling a political and legal debate over the definition of "coup," and whether the de facto Honduran government is legal. It has also fueled lingering suspicions that the U.S. might have been involved in the coup, given its longstanding ties to the Honduran military and the increasing criticism Zelaya has leveled at the United States in recent years. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has gone as far as to accuse the "Yankee empire," but not President Barack Obama, of playing a role in Zelaya's ouster.
The situation is testing Obama's stated desire to improve relations with Latin America and its leaders. That includes with Chávez, who is putting his political muscle behind Zelaya's attempts to regain power, ordering his country to cut off oil to Honduras as long as the Zelaya is not in power. For his part, Obama has condemned the coup without explicitly defining it as a "coup," and backed Zelaya despite his concerns about some of Zelaya's policies and his respect for Honduran law.
Since being elected to a non-renewable four-year term in 2006, Zelaya has made waves at home and abroad by moving away from a free-trade agreement supported by the U.S. and pursuing strong ties with Chávez and other leftist leaders in the region. He surprised many and angered some by announcing in August 2008 that Honduras would join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), a regional trade alliance led by Chávez that seeks to counteract U.S.-backed free-trade efforts. He also ripped the U.S. war on drugs, and in a strongly worded letter he sent to Obama in December, criticized what he saw as U.S. interventionist policies in Latin American.
Meanwhile, his country remains one of the poorest in the hemisphere, reeling from a history of government corruption, high unemployment and an uptick in drug violence.
Zelaya's current problems are the result of a dispute with the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court over a non-binding referendum that would have asked voters last month whether they supported constitutional reforms. Zelaya called it a public opinion poll. Critics labeled it a backhanded attempt by Zelaya to stand for re-election after his constitutionally mandated four-year term is up in 2010.
Congress forbade the referendum and the Supreme Court ruled it illegal. When the military refused to organize the vote, Zelaya fired the top military commander. Again, the court overruled Zelaya and things escalated from there. On June 28, Zelaya was removed from the presidential palace at gunpoint and flown to Costa Rica. The Honduran National Congress later tapped Robert Michelletti, a member of Zelaya's Liberal Party and a political foe, as interim president.
Since then, there have been a slew of meetings in Washington between regional leaders and the Organization of American States, which subsequently voted to suspend Honduras. Last weekend, the Honduran military prevented Zelaya from landing at the Tegucigalpa airport in a plane Chávez had loaned him, with at least one protester killed in the accompanying chaos. The de facto government has stood firm against the international pressure, only recently agreeing to meet with a mediator in Costa Rica in the hopes of preventing further violence.
So was it a coup and does it really matter?
Michael Shifter and Manuel Orozco, both of the Inter-American Dialogue, say it is, and argue that any charges against the president should have been addressed through the judicial system. "Removing someone in any of the branches of government without the constitutional authority to do so . . . constitutes a coup d'état," Orozco said. "In this sense the Honduran military technically did so."
Miguel A. Estrada, a prominent Washington attorney, disagrees. In a letter to the Washington Post, Estrada said that Zelaya was in "open defiance of the Honduran constitution and of rulings by the Honduran Supreme Court." He went on to ask, "How then could you advocate -- in the name of defending democracy, no less -- that the United States work to reinstate Mr. Zelaya?"
One reason the U.S. is reluctant to define the events as a coup is that the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act prohibits funds being funneled to governments where the head of state has been deposed by a military coup. In the case of Honduras, that would amount to roughly $100 million in U.S. aid, including development and health assistance, military funding for anti-drug operations and training for peacekeeping missions.
"I think they are being hesitant because they want a little room to maneuver," Shifter said. "I don't think there is a big appetite for punishing Hondurans."
Following a meeting on Tuesday with Zelaya, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias -- winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in bringing El Salvador's civil war to an end -- would mediate the conflict. Clinton also said the United States had "paused" the military and non-humanitarian aid that would be affected by the relevant statute. That allows humanitarian aid to keep flowing for the time being.
Still, skeptics suggest the administration has its eye on Honduras' scheduled election this fall, and does not want to delegitimize the de facto regime led by Micheletti that just might end up in power through a democratic process. Others suggest the restraint is in recognition of the fact that Micheletti is more sympathetic to the U.S. than Zelaya.
Obama's handling of the situation has drawn criticism from some members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. John McCain, both Republicans. Coburn took issue with the U.S. "siding with Hugo Chávez, Raul Castro and [Zelaya]," who McCain characterized as "in violation of his country's constitution."
Cap and Tax: Government vs. America
Posted by David Limbaugh
There is still time to stop the legislative monstrosity known as the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill before the Senate approves it. But for that to happen, Americans must learn how bad it is.
Let's briefly review the basics: The bill is ostensibly designed to curb man-caused carbon emissions (presumably without outlawing breathing) to retard global warming.
Even if we accept, for purposes of argument, the assumptions of radical, hysterical leftist environmentalists that man-caused global warming will destroy the planet if evil, rich capitalists don't radically curtail their own contributions to the catastrophe, Waxman-Markey would not prevent this Armageddon.
Climate scientist Chip Knappenberger, of New Hope Environmental Services, calculates that the bill would only reduce Earth's temperature by 0.1 to 0.2 degree Celsius by 2100. The Heritage Foundation's Ben Lieberman says he's found no "decent refutation of the assertion that the temperature impact would be inconsequential."
Unfortunately, the bill's negative impact on the economy would not be inconsequential. Lieberman says the bill would cause estimated job losses averaging about 1.15 million from 2012-2030, and the cumulative projected loss in gross domestic product would be almost $10 trillion by 2035. The national debt from this bill alone, disregarding the multiple bailouts, stimulus packages and health care "reform," would increase by 2035 for a family of four by 26 percent, or $115,000.
Heritage is not alone in making these claims. The far more liberal Brookings Institution estimates the bill would cost 1.8 percent of GDP in 2035 and 2.5 percent by 2050. Heritage's "Foundry" blog concludes, "Economists from liberal think tanks, conservative think tanks, and industry associations agree that Waxman-Markey will reduce income by hundreds of billions of dollars per year."
These facts are enough to make you question why people aren't threatening a sit-in in the Senate until this recklessness stops. But there are other things about the bill you should know -- just in case you have an unusually high outrage tolerance:
--As noted, the bill contains a hidden provision establishing unemployment benefits for up to three full years for workers displaced as a result of this "job creations" bill, as well as health insurance premium subsidies and $1,500 each for job search and relocation expenses -- all at taxpayers' expense.
--The American Issues Project has exposed Section 204 of the bill, called the "Building Energy Performance Labeling Program," which gives the federal government unprecedented authority over your home. AIP says the section mandates that new homes be 30 percent more energy-efficient than the current building code on the very day the law is signed. The requirement increases to 50 percent by 2014 and continues to increase until 2030.
--The program would also affect existing properties you already own. It requires states to label residential and nonresidential buildings based on their efficiency ratings and to publicize this information. This will lead to "a number of circumstances under which the states could inspect a building," such as if you want to renovate your house in a way that requires a building permit, sell your house, or change the name of the person responsible for paying its utilities. The federal commissars, in their infinite compassion with other people's money, have also set aside a fund to help homeowners retrofit their properties. Of course, there's a formula, to be administered by the bureaucratocracy. The more radically you purify your property the more "awards" you receive -- up to $12,200. Be aware, though, that further fine print requires the property owner to pay at least half of these retrofitting costs, no matter how much their "awards" from the government. I suppose this is the Marxists' nod to self-reliance and fiscal responsibility.
--The bill is so egregiously obscene that even the strong Democratic majority in the House couldn't have passed it without bribing some recalcitrant representatives -- also with our money. To buy, er, secure Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur's vote, they offered a new federal power authority, which, according to The Washington Times, is "stocked with up to $3.5 billion in taxpayer money available for lending to renewable energy and economic development projects in Ohio and other Midwestern states." Just swell.
--In addition to all the economic destruction the bill would cause, in the end, it is not so much about global warming as Obaman wealth redistribution. "The Foundry" says Obama's own budget "promises to raise $650 billion in revenues by selling carbon permits (which are the exact same thing as an energy tax)," only $150 billion of which will go to alternative energy production. The rest will be redistributed to people who "don't pay income taxes."
The Founding Fathers and our fathers are rolling over in their graves as this great country voluntarily abandons its dreams of equal opportunity, achievement and prosperity and sows the seeds of its own destruction.
This just cannot stand.
Queen-like staff support for First Lady
Ethel C. Fenig
As noted by C. Edmund Wright Michelle Obama requires far more staff than previous first ladies. A few examples of salaries for her bloated staff:
$172,2000 - Sher, Susan (CHIEF OF STAFF)
$140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND WHITE HOUSE SOCIAL SECRETARY)
$102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
Winter, Melissa E. (SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
$90,000 - Medina, David S. (DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF TO THE FIRST LADY)
$84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (DIRECTOR AND PRESS SECRETARY TO THE FIRST LADY)
$75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND ADVANCE FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND PROJECTS FOR THE FIRST LADY)
$65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
Reinstein, Joseph B. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY SOCIAL SECRETARY)
$62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR FOR THE FIRST LADY)
There's more at the link.
Mary Lincoln was taken to task for purchasing china for the White House during the Civil War. And Mamie Eisenhower had to shell out the salary for her personal secretary.
Because of the increasing demands on presidents' wives in recent years, partially because of the obsessive celebrity culture, resulting in an expanded public role, I don't begrudge tax dollars for Michelle Obama's social secretary, a few chefs, maybe another employee or two or even listing some nice clothes as a legitimate business expense.
But given President Barack Obama's (D) very public scolding to companies who received bailout money not to host lavish business conventions and such, the Congressional grilling of auto executives who flew to Washington on private planes instead of commercial or even using their own cars and similar public put downs, this lavish retinue of numerous (mostly) ladies in waiting reeks of a certain je ne sais quoi, let them eat cake mentality.
Perhaps Ms. Obama's staff should follow the example set by her husband's staff and blame--or in this instance, learn--everything on the situation she inherited. As Ralph Alter pointed out yesterday
For purposes of comparison, please consult Dan Froomkin's 2004 White House Staff List-By Salary published in the Washington Post on June 13, 2004. Tallying Laura Bush's staff from the list provided by Froomkin totals $561,325 in annual salaries for the former First Lady's staff.
In other words, even accounting for inflation, Laura Bush's expenses were less than half of Ms. Obama's--and this was in those flush times derided by Obama fans. If Michelle Obama wants to be involved in more projects than those required by her husband's job, that is her personal choice. And it should be her personal expense.
Tensions Simmer Between White House, Democrats Over New York Senate Primary
Former President Bill Clinton is headlining a fundraiser for the opponent of White House-backed Sen. Kristen Gillibrand and New York Rep. Charles Rangel rebuked President Obama for meddling into the primary as he defended Rep. Carolyn Maloney's right to run.
Friday, July 03, 2009 She hasn't even announced her Senate candidacy yet, but New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney's likely challenge of Sen. Kristen Gillibrand in the state's Democratic primary already is stirring dissension among party leaders.
The White House has played an active role in clearing the primary field for Gillibrand, who was appointed by Gov. David Paterson earlier this year to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when President Obama tapped Clinton to be his secretary of state.
But former President Bill Clinton is headlining a fundraiser for Maloney in what could be seen as a snub to the Obama White House. And New York Rep. Charles Rangel rebuked Obama for meddling into the primary as Rangel defended Maloney's right to run.
"I really don't understand why President Obama got involved in our primary," Rangel told the New York Daily News. "I don't want to use the word wrong, but it doesn't seem like the astute political thing to do."
Just days ago, Vice President Biden called Maloney to discuss the race, a sign that the White House didn't want a primary fight next year. Obama already has asked Rep. Steve Israel not to challenge Gillibrand, a request he honored. And White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters last week that the White House would help Gillibrand's re-election bid.
Rangel said he hasn't yet decided who he will endorse, but he offered a glowing review of Maloney.
"I really cannot say anything negative about a senior member who wants to run and whose polls, at this point in time, appear to be in her favor," Rangel told the New York Daily News.
"Nobody can challenge that she's not a hardworking member of Congress," he said, citing her work on behalf of Sept. 11 victims and her landmark legislation protecting credit card holders. "She is certainly one of our most active members."
Maloney's record has won her the support of one prominent Democrat. Matt McKenna, a spokesman for Bill Clinton, said the former president will be attending a July 20 fundraiser in New York for the congresswoman.
McKenna disputed any suggestions that Clinton is taking sides in the race, saying Clinton's attendance at past or future fundraisers should not be perceived as an endorsement.
"We agreed to this event some time ago as a way of saying 'thank you' to Congresswoman Maloney for her efforts on his wife's behalf last year," McKenna said.
Bill Clinton also did a fundraising event for Gillibrand, but word of the Maloney event comes as the congresswoman moves toward formally announcing her candidacy. An adviser said this week she is running.
Both Maloney and Gillibrand supported Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid, and Bill Clinton had made a point of thanking her supporters.
During the Democratic primaries last year, Bill Clinton publicly criticized Obama as untested and unready for the job of president. Hillary Clinton engaged in a grueling and ultimately losing battle with Obama for the party's nomination. Bill Clinton and Obama made amends and the former president campaigned for the Democratic nominee.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Great Deals At The Washington Post
By K. Daniel Glover | July 2, 2009
The big media news inside the Beltway today was the brouhaha over The Washington Post planning, and then canceling, dinner parties that promised deep-pockets lobbyists access to Obama administration insiders, members of Congress and even the Post's own editorial staff.
Bloggers across the political spectrum condemned the idea; the Post's ombudsman called the story a "public relations disaster"; the paper's executive editor said he never would have let his staff participate; publisher Katharine Weymouth reaffirmed her commitment to "our journalism and our integrity"; and the Obama administration had to answer questions about whether it had been invited to the "salons" and agreed to attend.
Everyone agrees, the Post blew it big time and will have an ethical cloud over its work for quite a while. Now that we have all that serious talk out of the way, let's have a little fun by imagining what kind of deals the Post might offer next.
Plenty of people are letting their imaginations run wild over at Twitter. There is even a new hashtag (#WaPodeals) to make all of the wisecracks (including the predictably vile ones from lefties) easily searchable. Here's a family-friendly sampling:
For $10 million none of the Post's staff will say anything negative about Sarah Palin for a day.
For $7,000, David Broder will write about the need for more bipartisanship. (Who are we kidding? He'll do it for an ice-cream cone.)
For $10,000, WaPo will hire and fire Dan Froomkin again and let you watch.
For $1,250, Al Kamen will consult the Obamas on their Christmas card before it goes to the printer.
For $25,000, we'll have [Bob] Woodward write a book on you. For $250,000, it will actually be complimentary.
Just $100,000 gets you a Date Lab with the governor/member of Congress of your choice.
For $10,000, George Will will wear jeans for a day.
For $30,000, Richard Cohen will fly to your house and yell at those annoying kids on your lawn.
Hey, maybe for $20, WaPo will let me RickRoll its editorial board.
How much does it cost to get my paper delivered before I leave for work?
Here's my contribution: For $1, the Post will hire the worst "conservative" blogger it can find as a token to counter the boatload of liberals already on the blogging staff.
Share your ideas in the comments section.
The Post scandal also spawned a great new word on Twitter (at least its new to me) --"presstitutes." Any other words you would like to suggest for the media lexicon? Post them in the comments, too.
K. Daniel Glover is a project manager for Accuracy In Media. He has worked as an editor, writer and new media specialist in the Washington area since 1991, spending most of that time at National Journal and Congressional Quarterly.
"The e-mail Bag"
Jokes That Can Be Told In Church
Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?''
The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.'
The child thought about this for a moment then said, 'So why is the groom wearing black?'
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!' While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again! As she ran she once again began to pray, 'Dear Lord, please don't let me be late....But please don't shove me either!'