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
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The GOP Platform’s issues begin at (y)our local Precinct Executive Committee Conventions in every community. As resolutions, rulings, etc. are proposed, voted on and passes, it advances to (y)our local County Executive Committee Conventions, then to (y)our Congressional Executive Committee Conventions. Each issue, if approved, then moves forward to the State Executive Committee Conventions. Upon that approval, the approved resolutions, motions, rulings, etc. are advanced to the Republican National Committee Conventions for approval or defeat.
Each of the passing resolutions, motions, rulings, etc. are approved or rejected at each of these levels starting at the Precinct level; then forwarded at each level up, to the Republican National Committee. Then if approved, the resolutions, motions, rulings, etc. become part of the RNC Platform; an open democratic republic system of any organization.
The problem over the years is that so many Republican Party candidates supported very little of the issues which are the GOP Platform foundation. Some, whom many of us as true Conservatives often refer to, are defined as Republicans In Name Only (RINO’s). It is for these reasons why so many say it is difficult to define the differences between Republican and Democrat Party issues.
As I have said earlier in another writing, the GOP does not need additional political switchers from the Democrat Party whom have an eighty (80%) percent voting record in support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. We must build our Republican Party based on our GOP Platform values. Being a true Republican and supporting the Republican Party is more than being a member of a social club. We all must confirm our fiscal and social values, as clearly defined.
This can be the year when Americans may appreciate the true values of the GOP Platform. Many often articulate they have difficulty defining the differences between the Democrat and Republican Parties. The decision by the RNC to support candidates to those who support the GOP Platform is a corrective direction to make a true difference in years 2010 and 2012, and beyond.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
How many times have you seen many different videos where Obama promised his program would be televised on C-Span http://www.breitbart.tv/the-c-span-lie-did-obama-really-promise-televised-healthcare-negotiations/?
President Obama is now asking for a “jobs” bill. He has told others not to call it another “stimulus” bill. Again, you will find out Obama’s “jobs” bill will be nothing less than another “giveaway” bill to the unions, etc. And the list goes on.
Their continuous legislations are damaging a free society, and a two party system. When will President Obama and the Capitol Hill Democrats recognize these debts must be paid by someone, someday, and somehow. The question is who, when, and how. We are drowning our children’s future financial system with looming debts.
These Democrats from the radical left-wing are demanding Republicans on Capitol Hill bargain away the fiscal and social values which are part of the GOP Platform. The GOP has stood firm in effort to prevent the Democrat Party from “transforming” our nation as President Obama promised http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY.
Unfortunately, President Obama talks out of both sides of his mouth. What he said yesterday, is very different, somewhat reverse from what he says today. We can continue to expect his words of tomorrow to be totally contrary as to what he says today.
America has never had a President whom was so constantly contradictory with his previous words. I do not believe this is the “change” they thought they voted for.
The US Chamber of Commerce, first founded in 1912, has been the voice of business in a free and open economy. The National Association of Independent Business (NFIB) was founded in 1943. These and others have been the foundation of business throughout America; however, President Obama fails to invite these representative organizations into his White House jobs and/or business meetings. President Obama always invites those from organized labor. How many jobs does the AFL-CIO, or any of the other unions create? Due to much greed in organized labor, many businesses have been forced out-of-business or relocated to other nations, for lower labor cost and benefits. The largest union memberships are now employed by government; rather than businesses in our open economy.
For our economy to rebound, the Chambers of Commerce, NFIB, and others must be involved, and be made aware as to what any new and/or expanded businesses will be facing with new(er) legislataion in this political process.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Since being introduced to most of our fellow Americans in August 2008, many of us as true Conservatives have grown to love you, your family, and your sound Conservative values, your principals, your life, etc.
At the same time, I propose a large majority of the true and sound Conservatives are disappointed at your decision to support John McCain in 2010, and campaign for his re-election for US Senate. There are multiple conservative positions with various political reasons, for my objection to John McCain’s re-election.
As you will realize below, John McCain may look good and sound good on TV, but he is not a Conservative. John McCain has created havoc for the GOP and the Conservative causes, on the issues. This year, 2010 in Arizona can and should elect a new Conservative Republican Party US Senator, and Arizonians may be offering at least two other Conservative candidates at the current time.
As I have said before, John McCain is to be commended for his service in the US Military, and especially as a "prisoner of war" in Vietnam. For goodness sake, do not allow Sen. McCain and others give away our precious freedoms so many have served for, and so many have given their lives for, especially for the criminal elements, which are now coming over the borders illegally. Americans support legal immigration. Americans do not support illegal immigration. Based on his personal record, John McCain supports illegal immigration.
My primary political observation is John McCain’s more current fights with the radical, left-wing Democrats on Capitol Hill are based on the fact that with the somewhat and almost current super-majority, the Senate Democrat Party no longer requires John McCain to negotiate and/or give away our GOP Platform’s precious values. For many years, John McCain has disorderly trashed so many of our Conservative fiscal and social issues, as defined in our party Platform.
I am proposing you to scrutinize John McCain’s record:
1. John McCain was the co-author of McCain-Feingold legislation: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=107&session=2&vote=00054 which damaged the GOP financing, and supported the 527’s for those like MoveOn.org. and funded by radical left-wing billionaire, George Soros. SCOTUS recently declared this legislation to be unconstitutional: http://www.capitalresearch.org/blog/2009/12/04/soros-election-theft-project/. May I suggest that you to review Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/01/21/supreme-court-decimates-mccain-feingold-campaign-finance-law/ .
2. In 2008, during the election season, John McCain called on the NC GOP to remove an advertisement criticizing Democrat Party nominee, Barack Obama and his association to the Rev. Wright: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/04/dont_run_antiob.html or http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/04/nc-gop-refutes.html or http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/0408/RNC_McCain_camp_urge_NC_GOP_to_not_air_Obama_ad.html.
3. In 2008, John McCain refused to meet with Rev. Billy Graham: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2028275/posts or perhaps: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,364766,00.html. After a great deal of political “debate” on this issue, McCain reversed his previous decision and agreed to meet with Rev. Graham.
4. In 2008, John McCain refused to meet with evangelists: http://www.seattlepi.com/national/gops29.shtml
5. McCain remembers Sen. Kennedy: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/143665
6. “Conservatives: Beware of McCain Regression Syndrome” by Michelle Malkin: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/01/22/conservatives-beware-of-mccain-regression-syndrome/
7. John McCain Is Not A Conservative, by Oscar Y. Harward: http://www.magic-city-news.com/Guest_Column_89/John_McCain_Is_Not_A_Conservative9431.shtml
8. Is John McCain a Conservative? By Robert Robb: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/is_john_mccain_a_conservative.html.
9. John McCain: Palin's Political Bridge to Nowhere:
10. Have you no shame, Senator McCain? By Michael J. Gaynor: http://www.webcommentary.com/php/ShowArticle.php?id=gaynorm&date=080128
This is a list that many others are talking about. Governor Palin, your personal and political values are much more acceptable to a majority of Americans, than those of John McCain’s.
It was you, Sarah Palin, who carried the load, and John McCain who mired the load, for the 2008 General Election. While America could never get excited with John McCain’s political philosophy, many do get excited about Sarah Palin.
It is so encouraging with you and your solid Conservative values in the most recent eighteen months, trusting and believing in you and your political views, equal to many others. I currently see you as the leading Presidential nominee for 2012.
It is my true belief that a majority of Americans are counteracting the “mean stream” media and getting more in line trusting and believing you and your political views.
With that being said, I am asking you to reconsider your support of John McCain for his reelection to the US Senate in 2010. It is my belief that John McCain continues to be an obstruction to the growth of the GOP. Just as Obama said he was going to transform America http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cqN4NIEtOY, John McCain has said he was going to transform the Republican Party. Do not allow John McCain’s multi-million dollar campaign bank account encourage your political decisions. Conservative “values” are superior to John McCain’s money.
The GOP does not need additional political switchers from the Democrat Party whom have an eighty (80%) percent voting record in support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. We must build our Republican Party based on our GOP Platform values. Being a true Republican, and supporting the Republican Party is more than being a member of a social club. We all must confirm our fiscal and social values, as clearly defined. This can be the year when Americans may appreciate the true values of the GOP Platform. Many often articulate that they have difficulty defining the differences between the Democrat and Republican Parties. Let us make a true difference in 2010 and 2012. Please, Sarah Palin, this decision is up to you!
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
I received an e-mail from Nevada GOP US Senate nominee Sue Lowden. She is a real Conservative "winner". I propose you visit Sue Lowden's website: http://www.suelowden.com/
Struggling Nevadans know that the time for hope is long past - and the time for real solutions has come. Washington still hasn't figured it out. It's the place of grand speeches and poll-tested promises. Unfortunately, too many promises have been broken, priorities misplaced and opportunities squandered.
Today, we have higher unemployment, higher debt and hardworking Nevadans continue to be separated from their homes in record numbers. Washington taxes too much and spends even more. In fact, each Nevada taxpayer is saddled with $110,000 of debt. It's too late to simply freeze government spending - we must cut spending across the board.
I am proud to have outlined real solutions to real problems in my campaign. From outlining a jobs plan to providing more affordable and accessible health care, my campaign has focused on not just issues - but solutions. My plans are backed not just by promises, but by a record of action and progress.
Government growth and personal freedom do not go hand-in-hand. It's time for Washington to know that Nevadans choose more freedom over more government.
Sue Lowden for U.S. Senate
Survey of 500 Likely Voters in NV
January 11, 2010
Election 2010: Nevada Senate Race
Sue Lowden (R)
Harry Reid (D)
Some other candidate
Election 2010: Nevada Senate Race
Danny Tarkanian (R)
Harry Reid (D)
Election 2010: Nevada Senate Race
Sharron Angle (R)
Harry Reid (D)
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." -- Mark Twain
"I am not a has-been. I am a will be." -- Lauren Bacall
"Do not wait; the time will never be 'just right.' Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." -- Napoleon Hill
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
The LORD our God is just in everything He does. (Daniel 9:14)
In one of the worst travesties in American justice, four young men from Chicago with no history of violence were convicted of kidnapping, rape, and double murder. The bullet-riddled bodies of a young couple were found on May 12, 1978. Acting on an anonymous telephone tip, the police arrested the four suspects. News reports declared that the crime had been solved. The men were convicted, and two were sentenced to death row. Appeals failed; all looked hopeless.
But in September 1981, a tattered envelope arrived at the offices of the Chicago Lawyer magazine. That letter led Rob Warden, editor and publisher of the Chicago Lawyer, and Dennis Protess, professor at Northwestern School of Journalism, to investigate the case. They uncovered substantial evidence that ultimately exonerated the four convicts.
Finally, on July 2, 1996, Judge Thomas Fitzgerald ended the defendants' fight against an unjust sentence by reading, "All the convictions are vacated." The four prisoners were free! The next day, the state attorney's office charged the real killers.
Justice is a pillar of any society. It vindicates the innocent and punishes the guilty. All too often though, this standard is compromised for personal gain. Corrupt judges sometimes tilt the scales of justice; unscrupulous lawyers manipulate laws and juries; witnesses lie. Truth is often distorted to benefit the powerful.
Today, since our legal system can often be manipulated, many people mistakenly believe they can manipulate God's justice. But oh, how wrong they are! You can always count on God to act according to His perfectly just character.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Imagine for a moment a God who is perfectly just, but not merciful. Describe what that would look like. Now imagine a God that is loving but not perfectly just. Describe what that would look like? Now imagine a God who is both perfectly loving and perfectly just. Describe what that would look like? Today, worship the God who is perfect in every way.
"The Patriot Post"
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson
Government & Politics
The Modern-Day Plantation
Democrats run the Capitol like a plantationThe new book "Game Change" by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin has Washington buzzing. The book revealed some comments made by prominent Democrats that they probably wish had stayed in the smoke-filled room. The one receiving most attention is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's remark that Barack Obama would succeed as a presidential candidate because he is "light-skinned" and speaks "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
Reactions on the Left were all too predictable: Reid groveled before Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, and Democrats circled the wagons. It almost goes without saying that, were a Republican to have said the same thing, he would have been run out of town on a rail. But Republicans didn't have to say anything before Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, thundered, "Senator Reid's record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities -- most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the health bill now under consideration." Reid also last month called opponents of health care racists in the vein of those who resisted civil rights legislation in the 1960s (i.e., Democrats).
More interesting, though, is that conservatives disagree on how to handle the revelation. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who is black, called for Reid to resign his leadership post because that's what Sen. Trent Lott did in a similar situation in 2002. Steele is an attack dog; it's his job to say this. But what would Republicans gain by collecting Reid's scalp? Probably not much. Given his dismal poll numbers, Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund doesn't believe Reid will even run for re-election, much less win it, so the GOP may pick up his seat anyway.
National Review's Jonah Goldberg took issue with Steele's premise as well, writing, "[B]y demanding Reid's resignation, Steele is making an idiotic, nasty and entirely cynical game bipartisan. Yes, there's a double standard, but the point is that the standard used against conservatives is unfair, not that that unfair standard should be used against Democrats as well."
Thanks to Democrats, racism has been so broadly defined that practically anything Republicans do or say can be construed as such. As long as that doesn't change, the double standard will remain in effect.
Beyond the political chess match, however, the core of the matter is that Reid's observation isn't necessarily racist. He was partly correct, too. Besides the fact that no Republican was going to win the White House last year, Obama's race helped him.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once put it, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Democrats still have that reversed: "I have a dream that my children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the content of their character but by the color of their skin." What's truly racist is that Democrats demand absolute allegiance and ideological purity from blacks, in effect keeping their prized constituency on the modern-day plantation..
News From the Swamp: Health Care Cost Shuffle
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the latest organization to analyze the health care fiasco currently being cooked up behind closed doors in Washington, and its assessment is not good. According to the report, the legislation will force health care spending to rise by $222 billion over the next 10 years. Conveniently, revenue for the legislation is spread out over a 10-year budget period, but most of the spending provisions are in effect for only six years.
The report also attacks the idea that cuts in Medicare will help fund the health care bill, pointing out that doctors and hospitals will bear the brunt of these reductions. It's obvious to anyone willing to admit it that this will lead to a lower quality of service and doctors turning away patients insured by the government in favor of those with private coverage and "relatively attractive payment rates." This report, and several like it from numerous nonpartisan groups, have pointed out repeatedly that the health care bill in its current form will do exactly the opposite of what Democrats claim it will do, yet our "representatives" in Congress continue the proverbial march off of the cliff.
"We're looking at 37 Democrats who are in districts that are particularly upset and vulnerable to the provisions of this health care bill. Are they going to be with the people or are they going to be with Pelosi?" --House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), saying that "this health care bill can be defeated"
"For some time now, leading Democrats have seemed to suffer from an ideological monomania vis-à-vis ObamaCare. No matter how unpopular the measure is, and thus how politically perilous for Democratic office-holders -- they are determined to push it through. But this reaches a new level of pathology. One can understand why they might want to play games with the certification of a Brown victory, but what in the world do they gain by saying so ahead of time? If Brown becomes the first Republican elected to the Senate from Massachusetts since 1972, it would be as clear a message of opposition to ObamaCare as one could hope to have.... For Democrats to announce pre-emptively that they will ignore such a message shows a stunning contempt for democracy." -- Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto
Judicial Benchmarks: Washington's Felon Vote
In its ongoing war against sanity, the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals has once again decided it knows better than the people and their elected representatives. Why wouldn't it? After all, there are upwards of 30 of our most politically connected former lawyers on the Circuit. Why shouldn't they know more about what to do about 100-year-old provisions of the Washington State constitution than the 6.5 million citizens of Washington?
The Court is offended that prison inmates in Washington are disproportionately minorities (this is a painful fact across America). Thus, two members of the Circuit concluded that the provision in the state's constitution denying felons the right to vote was racial discrimination, violating the federal Voting Rights Act. Now, we always thought that convicted felons became convicted felons because a jury found them guilty of committing a felony. We find it hard to believe that Washington juries are motivated to convict by the race of the accused. We also find it difficult to believe that the citizens of Washington would tolerate such a racist judicial system. However, we find it all too believable that two members of the most reversed court in America would rule this way. After all, judges know best. Soon, however, the case may head to the U.S. Supreme Court, where sanity is more likely to prevail.
Dear Crosswalk Friends,
Once again our values are under intense attack from radical liberal feminists. Only this time they are venturing where they never should have gone..
Football. And not just any football game. The Super Bowl.
This week, the liberal feminist organization, National Organization for Women (NOW), launched an all-out effort attacking a pro-life ad that will be in the Super Bowl commercial line-up. The ad, produced by our good friends at Focus on the Family, tells the story of Pam Tebowâ€™s decision to continue with her pregnancy against her doctorâ€™s advice and give birth to the Heisman trophy winning Florida Gator Quarterback, Tim Tebow.
NOWâ€™s call to take this advertisement off the air is their attempt at shutting down the Christian witness of Tim Tebow and his mother. Standing by their convictions, the Tebows made this ad to share their experience of accepting Godâ€™s plan for their lives and experiencing the ultimate gift of Life.
Shouldn't the â€œpro-choiceâ€� position respect Pam Tebowâ€™s decision to choose Life and then tell others about that choice? What is the worst case scenario in allowing this ad to air? Women are exposed to an example of sacrifice for the sake of an unborn child.
The fact of the matter here is that they are attacking more than just Tim Tebow and his mother for having the courage of their convictions to share the positive message of Lifeâ€”they are attacking you and me, and the values we stand for.
We canâ€™t allow this to go unanswered. When someone this prominent is willing to put himself out there with a positive message about Life, we need to support him.
Click here and go to our page, where you can send your name and a message of encouragement to Tim Tebow and his family.
Letâ€™s show Tim Tebow that the pro-life movement is standing behind him and thank him for sharing his momâ€™s beautiful testimony on choosing Life.
Susan B. Anthony List
The 2010 State of the Union Address
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) Responds to State of the Union
FACT CHECK: Obama and the 'hatchet' job
Calvin Woodward- Associated Press
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, who once considered government spending freezes a hatchet job, told Americans on Wednesday it's now part of his solution to the exploding deficit. He didn't explain what had changed. His State of the Union speech skipped over a variety of complex realities in laying out a "commonsense" call to action. A look at some of his claims and how they compare with the facts:
OBAMA: "Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't."
THE FACTS: The anticipated savings from this proposal would amount to less than one percent of the deficit -- and that's if the president can persuade Congress to go along. Obama is a convert to the cause of broad spending freezes. In the presidential campaign, he criticized Republican opponent John McCain for suggesting one. "The problem with a spending freeze is you're using a hatchet where you need a scalpel," he said a month before the election. Now, Obama wants domestic spending held steady in most areas where the government can control year to year costs. The proposal is similar to McCain's.
OBAMA: "I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline. Yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I will issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans."
THE FACTS: Any commission that Obama creates would be a weak substitute for what he really wanted -- a commission created by Congress that could force lawmakers to consider unpopular remedies to reduce the debt, including curbing politically sensitive entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That idea crashed in the Senate this week, defeated by equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Any commission set up by Obama alone would lack authority to force its recommendations before Congress, and would stand almost no chance of success.
OBAMA: The president issued a populist broadside against lobbyists, saying they have "outsized influence" over the government. He said his administration has "excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs." He also said it's time to "require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or Congress" and "to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office."
THE FACTS: Obama has limited the hiring of lobbyists for administration jobs, but the ban isn't absolute; seven waivers from the ban have been granted to White House officials alone. Getting lobbyists to report every contact they make with the federal government would be difficult at best; Congress would have to change the law, and that's unlikely to happen. And lobbyists already are subject to strict limits on political giving. Just like every other American, they're limited to giving $2,400 per election to federal candidates, with an overall ceiling of $115,500 every two years.
OBAMA: He called for action by the White House and Congress "to do our work openly, and to give our people the government they deserve."
THE FACTS: Obama skipped past a broken promise from his campaign -- to have the negotiations for healthcare legislation broadcast on C-SPAN "so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies." Instead, Democrats in the White House and Congress have conducted the usual private negotiations, making multibillion-dollar deals with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and other stakeholders behind closed doors. Nor has Obama lived up consistently to his pledge to ensure that legislation is posted online for five days before it's acted upon.
A speech only Washington could love
Conn Carroll - Guest Columnist
The more things change, the more things stay the same. A little over a year ago, President Barack Obama came to office expecting to pass a "big bang" of policy changes all in the first year: healthcare, cap-and-trade, and banking regulation. With the big-bang strategy officially a failure, President Obama's State of the Union address last night desperately tried to keep all of these legislative efforts alive while also acknowledging that the country has firmly rejected his policy agenda.
The result was an incoherent mess of promised tax cuts for small businesses coupled with the threat of tax hikes from his healthcare and energy proposals; more federal money to encourage banks to lend to businesses, coupled with new taxes on banks and individuals; the continued waste of his $862 billion stimulus plan and $2 trillion in new healthcare spending, coupled with a delayed and temporary spending freeze. As one of the longest State of the Unions in the past 45 years, we cannot cover everything here. But our crack team of Heritage experts did hit almost every issue last night, and you can read their full reactions here. Highlights include:
The new hire tax credit
The tax credit for new hires is another recycled idea from Washington. Last tried in the 1970s, the tax credit proved to be a windfall for big businesses that were planning to hire anyway. Small businesses, the engine of job growth, did not use the tax credit largely because they were unaware of it and did not understand how to take advantage of the credit. The jobs tax credit proposal will likely also delay hiring since businesses that understand the tax credit now face an incentive to postpone hiring decisions to take advantage of the tax credit. Extending the Bush tax cuts and undoing the heavy taxes in the healthcare legislation is a better step to job creation than this tax credit.
The bank tax
President Obama called for a new tax on banks and other large financial institutions, "a modest fee," he said, "to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need." That sounds great, but in truth, the new tax would do nothing of the kind. Mr. Obama knows that almost every major bank has paid back their bailout funds, with interest. Taxpayers made substantial profits on those repayments. On the other hand, most of the companies that still owe billions to taxpayers -- including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and auto firms GM and Chrysler -- would not be subject to the tax. In short, Mr. Obama would tax those that have paid back taxpayers and exempt those who have not.
The spending freeze
Obama's spending freeze would apply to a narrow sliver of spending (somewhere around 1/8th of total spending) and at best, savings would be less than one percent of the total budget. Moreover, it explicitly exempts the very entitlement programs driving future deficits. At a time when the deficit is $1.4 trillion and we face a sea of even worse red ink as far as the eye can see, such a freeze is tantamount to bailing out -- forgive the double entendre -- the Titanic with a Dixie Cup. And it would start next year, conveniently after the elections. Freezing spending is the right idea, but this freeze falls short of real action.
His calls for new nuclear power, offshore oil and gas exploration, and other new energy technologies are certainly welcome. The problem is that his program of subsidies, special tax treatment, and government support will not work. While government programs can create jobs in specific sectors, the President ignores the evidence that these programs end up killing more jobs than they create. Spain has already gone down this road, and its experience should give the President caution. Between 2000 and 2008, the Spanish government spent $36 billion in taxpayers' money on wind, solar, and mini-hydro development. Each green job created cost on average $758,471.
Many around the world have expressed concern that a U.S. administration so focused on domestic priorities and troubles as the current one will be too inward-looking to be deeply engaged in the world. Judging by its placement in his list of priorities, foreign affairs did seem like an afterthought, briefly addressed. In Afghanistan, allied nations are hardly coming together to support the President's surge -- indeed French President Nicolas Sarkozy very publicly stated this week that he would not be contributing any more troops to the endeavor, this on the eve of the Afghanistan conference in London.
And the fight on terrorism has not, as stated, been advanced by the Obama administration -- quite the reverse as the nation has become more vulnerable. Nor has the administration distinguished itself by its support for human rights in Iran -- in fact it missed a critical moment to get involved during last summer's uprisings against the Iranian regime. As for the President's aspiration to control nuclear materials around the world, a goal to be reached through an international conference -- that horse left the barn a long time ago.
In Government's End, Jonathan Rauch writes: "Economic thinkers have recognized for generations that every person has two ways to become wealthier. One is to produce more, the other is to capture more of what others produce....Washington looks increasingly like a public-works jobs program for lawyers and lobbyists, a profit center for professionals who are in business for themselves." From complicated new tax credits that small business owners don't have the time or expertise to take advantage of, to new energy, financial and trade regulations that only large corporations have the lawyers and lobbyists to take advantage of, every policy proposal in Obama's speech last night is a boon for the lawyer/lobbyist economy in Washington and a hindrance to wealth-creating Americans everywhere. This was a speech only the entrenched interests in Washington could love.
Voter Views on State-of-the-Union Points
During his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama touched on a number of topics that Rasmussen Reports has current polling data on measuring the attitudes of the American people.
In his speech, for example, the president called for taxing banks to repay bailouts. Most Americans like the general idea of a tax on large banks to help repay the bailout money. Voters think that only banks that received the bailout should pay the tax though, and 72% believe that other financial institutions like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should also pay the tax.
The president presented the $787-billion economic stimulus package as a success story. However, just 35% of voters believe the stimulus plan has helped the economy, while 31% believe it hurt. At this time, 39% are concerned the government will do too little to deal with the economy while 49% fear it will do too much.
Obama said the unpopular bailouts saved the economy. He’s right that they’re unpopular. By a two-to-one margin, voters still believe they were a bad idea. Voters are evenly divided as to whether they helped or hurt the economy in the short-term. However, voters overwhelmingly believe the bailouts are bad for the long-term health of the economy.
The president spoke about small business issues at a time when just 29% of small business owners say conditions for their businesses are getting better. That’s up seven points from a month ago, but 43% still say conditions for their business are getting worse.
On the housing front, just 55% now say buying a home is the best investment a family can make. That’s down from 79% in 2008. The public was way ahead of Treasury officials on dealing with the reality of the mortgage crisis
The president asked Congress to counter the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance. However, public reaction is mixed: 26% agree with the decision, 34% oppose it, and 41% are not sure. Sixty-five percent (65%) also say corporations and unions should be allowed to buy ads to let people know how politicians voted on issues.
Voters still say deficit reduction is the most important priority laid out by the president last February. They also believe it is the presidential priority least likely to be achieved.
The president referenced the Congressional Budget Office analysis that suggested his health care plan would reduce the deficit. However, most Americans don’t believe the numbers. Voters overwhelmingly think the plan's costs will be higher than projected, and 81% say passage of the plan will likely lead to higher middle class taxes. Sixty-eight percent (68%) say it will increase the deficit
Most voters continue to oppose the proposed health care plan.
Sixty-one percent (61%) now want Congress to drop health care and focus on jobs.
On Afghanistan, the president reaffirmed the strategy he outlined a couple of months ago. Most voters agree with his plan to send more troops in, and a slightly smaller number support his plan to begin withdrawal in 2011. However, few agree with both aspects of the plan.
On Haiti, 74% of voters say the government response has been good or excellent.
Obama said he has cut taxes for 95% of Americans, but nearly half the nation’s voters expect their taxes will go up during the Obama years. Hardly anybody expects their taxes to be cut.
Americans strongly believe that cutting taxes is the best way to create jobs. However, few expect the nation’s elected politicians to follow that route.
The president said he has never been more hopeful about the nation’s future. However, a solid plurality of voters believe that the nation’s best days have come and gone.
Medicare & Medicaid Melting Down in Michigan [John R. Graham]
Another day, another report in the local newspaper about the shortage of doctors, driven by the policies and pay under which government programs expect physicians to labor.
The latest is Michigan's South Bend Tribune, which reports that several thousand physicians have stopped practicing in the state. The Michigan State Medical Society assigns primary blame to a recent 8 percent cut in Medicare and Medicaid fees.
These government programs are nothing short of miraculous: Per capita spending on both Medicare and Medicaid have increased one third more than private health spending, from 1970 through 2008. Nevertheless, their dependents are rapidly losing access to medical services, because reimbursements are too low. Only government could have a track record like that, and keep proposing their expansion.
Instead of fixing these broken programs, the health "reform" proposes to decimate Medicare Advantage, a program which reduces Medicare's hidden tax on private plans, and provides better care to beneficiaries than the traditional Medicare monopoly.
If the government succeeds, the flow of patients escaping government-rationed care across the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor (Ontario) and Detroit might well reverse itself.
— John R. Graham is director of Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute.
Election 2010: Nevada Senate
2010 Nevada Senate: Reid’s Support Falls Even Lower
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/nevada/election_2010_nevada_senate Support among Nevada voters for embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s reelection has fallen even further following disclosure in a new book of remarks he made about Barack Obama during Election 2008.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Nevada finds Reid earning just 36% of the vote against his two top Republican challengers. That’s a seven-point drop from 43% a month ago.
Reid, who is seeking a fifth term, received 61% of the final vote in 2004.
But the poll shows that neither of the Republicans - Sue Lowden, ex-chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, and businessman Danny Tarkanian – gained any ground in the new survey, highlighting the fact that the race continues to be a referendum on Reid rather than an outpouring of support for either of the top GOP hopefuls.
“Reid’s difficulties stem directly from the fact that he is the Majority Leader of the United States Senate,” according to Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “His responsibilities as leader of the Senate Democrats have placed him in a very visible position promoting an agenda that is viewed with some skepticism by Nevada voters.”
Some have speculated that Reid like other longtime Senate incumbents Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota may ultimately decide to retire rather than face an increasingly hostile electorate.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Nevada voters say they have followed news reports about Reid’s comments about Obama, including 55% who have followed very closely. But his bigger problem appears to be his championing of a health care plan that remains unpopular in his home state.
Reid is out front pushing the national health care plan crafted by President Obama and congressional Democrats, but just 39% of Nevada voters support that plan. Fifty-four percent (54%) oppose it. Those numbers include just 21% who Strongly Favor it while more than twice as many, 45%, Strongly Oppose the plan. These numbers are comparable to the overall feelings about the health care plan nationwide.
Among those who Strongly Oppose the plan, anywhere from 80% to 89% support any of the Republican candidates who oppose Reid. The incumbent earns slightly less support from the smaller group that Strongly Favor the plan.
In a match-up with Reid, the GOP’s Lowden now earns 48% of the vote while Tarkanian picks up 50% of the Nevada vote against Reid. . In December, both had 49% support.
In both races, the number of those who prefer some other candidate and are undecided remain in single digits.
In September, Lowden led Reid by 10 percentage points, 50% to 40%, while Tarkanian bested him 50% to 43%.
A third Republican contender, former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, now beats Reid 44% to 40%, with 10% opting for another candidate and seven percent (7%) undecided. In the previous survey, Angle bested Reid 47% to 43% in December, while seven percent (7%) liked another candidate and three percent (3%) weren’t sure.
Men continue to overwhelmingly prefer any of the Republican candidates to Reid, while women are almost evenly divided.
Those who have a very unfavorable opinion of Reid now outnumber those with a very favorable view of the longtime senator by two-to-one – 47% to 23%. This marks virtually no change from December.
Lowden is viewed very favorably by eight percent (8%) and very unfavorably by nine percent (9%). For Tarkanian, very favorables add up to 20% percent and very unfavorables 10%. Seven percent (7%) have a very favorable view of Angle, while 13% regard her very unfavorably.
At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
In common with voters around the country, most Nevada voters (54%) say cost is the biggest problem with health care. Eighteen percent (18%) say the quality of care is the bigger problem, while 15% list the lack of universal coverage. For three percent (3%), it’s the inconvenience of scheduling.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) in Nevada oppose the creation of a single-payer health care system, comparable to views nationally. Fifty-two percent (52%) believe states should have the right to opt out if a national health care plan is passed, but 34% disagree. This is slightly higher support for opting out than is found nationally.
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Nevada voters say the United States and its allies are winning the war on terror, but 36% believe the terrorists are winning. Twenty-one percent (21%) say it’s a draw. This is a slightly more pessimistic view than is found nationally.
Forty percent (40%) rate the president’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan as good or excellent, while 29% say he is doing a poor job. Forty-two percent (42%) expect the situation there to worsen in the next six months. Twenty-two percent (22%) say it will get better, and 26% think the situation will stay the same. These findings mirror national attitudes on these questions.
Forty-one percent (41%) believe the U.S. legal system worries too much about protecting individual rights in cases involving national security. Eighteen percent (18%) say the system worries too much about protecting national security, and 31% say the balance is about right. This is comparable to national views on this question.
Obama carried Nevada over John McCain with 55% of the vote in November 2008, but just 49% of voters in the state now approve of the president’s job performance, including 29% who strongly approve. This is roughly comparable to Obama’s national job approval ratings in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
"The e-mail Bag"
A new law was recently passed in Tennessee. When a couple gets a divorce they're still brother and sister.
Best bar pick-up line in Kentucky: "Hey, you don't sweat much for a fat broad."
How do you know when your staying in an Arkansas hotel?
When you call the front desk and say "I've gotta leak in my sink" and the person at the front desk says "go ahead."
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails." -- John Maxwell
"I learned that success and happiness are not values to pursue; they are values to develop." -- Jim Rohn
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -- Leonardo da Vinci
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
I have a plan for the whole earth, for My mighty power reaches throughout the world. (Isaiah 14:26)
Submitting to God's sovereignty can be compared to putting together a billion-piece picture puzzle. History is like that giant picture. Only by looking at the photograph on the box cover can you see what everything will look like once all the pieces are in place.
Now imagine that you are given one piece of the puzzle. This is where you fit into God's great plan for the universe. What can you do with this piece? You have never seen the picture on the outside of the box. All you know is that your piece has a little dark color here and a few bright spots there.
So you run around trying to match what you are doing with someone else's puzzle piece. The chance of finding one other person who has a piece that matches yours is almost zero. There is no way you could ever understand what the completed picture will look like.
From a human standpoint, it is impossible to understand the many puzzles in life. But if you let God direct you, He will help you place your puzzle piece in the right place. He is not only big enough to see the whole picture, He created it.
We can see part of the picture of where God is taking history by reading the Bible. God gives us clues as to what His purposes are for us. In His sovereignty, He will fulfill His purposes and all He has promised in His Word.
Your View of God Really Matters …
Submit, by faith and trust, to God's sovereign plan for the world and for you. Worship Him today for His sovereignty, love, and grace.
"The Patriot Post"
"He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing." -- Benjamin Franklin, writings, 1758
"A penny saved is twopence clear." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1737
Climate Change: Back to the future?
By Mark Alexander
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." -- John Adams
My father phoned from the Florida Keys this week. At 86, he likes warmer climates in winter, but there has been nothing warm in Florida lately -- it was zero degrees Celsius the morning he called.
Three decades ago, scientists coldly calculated that another ice age was imminent. (See AccuWeather's analysis of these predictions.) But, no longer. Today, they are prophesying that ice caps will melt within the next hundred years and swamp coastal lowlands. That is unless, and only unless, an international governing authority is established posthaste to control economic/industrial development that is blamed for global warming.
What is the truth?
Earth's climate is changing. It always has, and it always will. Mean global temperatures might, in fact, have trended upward, though recently, many climatologists are now suggesting that the planet might be in a 10-30 year cooling trend.
If anthropogenic (manmade) CO2 really has been responsible for a global warming trend over the last two decades, then why, with more man-caused CO2 today than at any other time in history, would the climate be cooling now? CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are estimated to have increased from 280 parts per million before 1750 (industrialization) to 387ppm today -- a 38 percent increase, so the ice age hype of the 1970s notwithstanding, how could a warming trend be interrupted?
The Obama administration and their Leftmedia minions are double-talking this apparent contradiction, claiming that global warming is responsible for global cooling, and the lemmings are buying it wholesale.
Moreover, why would those scientists who insist they can predict the temperature 100 years from now, fail to predict the current cooling trend?
There are many factors influencing climate. Variations in solar cycles, solar radiation deflection/absorption, the earth's core, ocean currents, complicated climate cycles, urban islands, rain forest depletion in some regions, reforestation in other regions and volcanic eruptions are just a few. The influence and interaction of all these factors and many more are much too complex to model precisely enough to draw conclusions about temperature rises and drops next month, much less next century.
According to the best scientific evidence available, much of our planet has been buried under ice for most of the last million years. The duration of the ice ages was about 100,000 years, the most recent beginning approximately 114,000 years ago when global temperatures abruptly plummeted. Just as suddenly, about 10,000 years ago the planet warmed and glaciers receded.
I checked, and there were no coal-burning fuel plants or SUVs in 8000 BC, but that will, of course, not deter the climate alarmists and their cult following.
The most recent effort at establishing an international economic/industrial regulatory body, ostensibly to control CO2 production, was the December '09 confab in Copenhagen. Representatives from 200 nations gathered an effort to draft a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the last attempt at controlling CO2 output of industrialized countries.
Kyoto called for the reduction by 2010 of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to a level that was 5.2 percent less than their 1990 output, an average 29 percent cut of current emissions levels.
The accords failed at Kyoto and Copenhagen, primarily because the biggest growth in CO2 production is from China, India and other developing economies. These nations are not about to submit to international agreements to suppress or depress their industrial output.
Despite scandals involving global warming alarmists -- most recently the suppression of contradictory evidence by climatologists at the University of East Anglia -- and Albert Gore's outright lies at Copenhagen, it is important to understand that there is a relationship between CO2 levels and global temperature -- the "greenhouse effect."
Though 99 percent of our atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78 percent by volume) and oxygen (21 percent by volume), without greenhouse gasses, primarily in the form of water vapor, in the remaining one percent of air, the mean temperature of earths climate might be as much as 40C degrees lower.
However, the overriding question is not whether the climate is changing -- it is -- but why is the climate changing? Answering that question requires steady, rational analysis and conclusions, not hyped-up fear mongering driven by political agendas and bolstered by phony so-called "carbon credit" scams.
Though we mere mortals have a natural desire to predict the future and be the arbiters of our own destiny and that of our planet, when it comes to our ability to control global climate, the fact is we probably have less control than a butterfly has in a tornado.
Of course, all the hyperbole about climate change is not so much about global warming or cooling as it is about centralization of the global economy and usurpation of national sovereignty by supranational governing entities.
As Alexander Hamilton warned, "Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants."
Though the climate may be cooling or warming, Leftists never let facts impede their power grabbing agenda, and such is the case with Obama's "cap and trade" tax legislation.
After usurping the banking, investment, insurance and auto industries and attempting to slice up the national health care sector, the Obama administration will be redoubling its efforts to enact CO2 legislation in order to control the industrial sector of our economy.
The bottom line is this: Human activity does affect the climate. Every time you exhale CO2, you increase the concentration of that minuscule greenhouse gas in the atmosphere -- but if you want to make a positive impact upon the environment, don't hold your breath. Roll up your sleeves and promote liberty, because, per capita, it is the free nations of the world that have the cleanest environments.
Conservation is not a bad word -- it even shares the same root word as "conservative." Indeed, our family makes every effort to use energy and resources wisely. The "waste not, want not" principle is good economic practice.
But make no mistake; those who are attempting to enact global mandates are advancing, first and foremost, socialist economic agendas under the guise of concern for the global climate. The implication for liberty, in those few pockets of the world where it still exists, is ominous.
Liberty Counsel Report Documents Obama’s Radical Nominees and Appointments
Liberty Counsel released a 72-page report today detailing information on each of the nominations and appointments of President Barack Obama. This report documents the beliefs, words and actions of more than 100 radicals that Obama has hand-picked to "change" our nation. The list includes more than 850 citations to articles, websites and cases regarding these individuals, and took weeks to compile.
President Obama has chosen the most radical group of ideologues ever assembled by an American President. This report exposes the activities of radical activists like Kevin Jennings, Obama’s pick for “safe schools.” As founder and former executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, Jennings oversaw more than five years of student-workshops filled with outrageously immoral propaganda. We provided details of Jenning's work in our report.
Obama also chose former ACLU employee and NARAL legal director Dawn Johnsen, who is overzealously pro-abortion. She said the idea of making abortion rare is "nonsensical" and claims that abortion restrictions "reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers."
These nominations are neither moderate nor merely left of center. They can best be described as radical. They are clearly out of touch with all but a radical fringe. Obama's pattern of choosing radical ideologues raises serious concern about the competency of the government.
Read our 72-page special report about Obama's radical nominees and appointees. (This report is in PDF format and you can download a free PDF viewer here.]
Please make a donation to support Liberty Counsel so that we can continue to provide the public with useful information like this special report.
Read our News Release for more details.
Receive our Liberty Alerts via RSS
Follow us on and
Forward this Liberty Alert to your entire e-mail list of family and friends, and encourage them to subscribe.
Liberty Counsel does not charge clients for representation, so we depend on individuals, groups and churches that care about advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Liberty Counsel is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that accepts tax-deductible donations. Donate or order resources from the Liberty Counsel online store.
CNN's Cafferty On Pelosi
SEIU Exec VP: Reforming Immigration Could Add 8 Million Democratic Votes
'Women's groups' protest plans to air Tebow pro-life ad during Super Bowl
Matt Philbin - Guest Columnist
Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
While Tebow is wildly popular with Gator fans and a broad swath of college football fans in general, he's predictably garnered critics on the left. Huffington Post's own Mark Axelrod wrote last month: "So, am I to believe that Florida beat Oklahoma because Tim Tebow had John 3:16 painted beneath his eyes?"
Tebow's Christianity was bad enough, but an ad countering the secular left's pro-abortion orthodoxy was sure to mobilize the activists. And it has. The Huffington Post article quoted Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women's Media Center, as saying: "An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together."
Each year, the Super Bowl broadcast is almost as anticipated for its ads as for the game itself. Many of them tastelessly use sex and the objectification of the female body to attract attention. You'd think "women's groups" might have something to say about that. But they reserve their censorship calls for what they really care about.
CBS has reportedly approved the ad's script, and doesn't appear to be backing off. And that's to its credit, especially in light of NBC's refusal to air an inoffensive pro-life ad last year.
Fox News Bests CNN As "Most Trusted Name In News"
By: Rich Noyes
After years of CNN touting itself as "the most trusted name in news," a survey released Tuesday from Public Policy Polling (PPP) discovers that among major news sources, only the Fox News Channel enjoys a plurality of respondents (49%) saying they "trust" the network (vs. 37% who disagree). For CNN, only 39% trust the network's news product, vs. 41% who do not, and the distrust is even higher when the public is asked about the broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC.
And, as Time media writer James Poniewozik notes in a January 26 item “PPP, in fact, is a mainly Democratic-affiliated polling firm.” The survey included 1,151 registered voters and was conducted between January 18 and January 19. PPP is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Excerpts from the January 26 Public Policy Polling release:
A new poll asking Americans whether they trust each of the major television news operations in the country finds that the only one getting a positive review is Fox News. CNN does next best followed by NBC News, then CBS News, and finally ABC News.
49% of Americans say they trust Fox News to 37% who disagree. Predictably there is a large party split on this with 74% of Republicans but only 30% of Democrats saying they trust the right leaning network.
CNN does next best because it is the second most trusted of Democrats, Republicans, and independents. 39% say they trust it compared to 41% who do not, with 59% of Democrats, 33% of independents and 23% of Republicans saying it carries credibility with them.
The major networks all have the majority trust of Democrats but less than 20% from Republicans. NBC, perhaps because of the ideological bent of MSNBC, does the best among Democrats at 62%. Overall 35% of voters trust it to 44% who do not. CBS does the worst among Republicans, with 69% distrusting it. A plurality of independents express distrust of all five outlets we tested.
—Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center.
Obama’s First Two Years Will Boast Two Biggest Deficits Since World War II, Says CBO
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief
President Barack Obama at a townhall style meeting in Elyria, Ohio, Jan. 22, 2010 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak).
(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama’s first two years in office will boast the two biggest annual federal budget deficits since World War II, when measured as a share of GDP, says the Congressional Budget Office.
“Last year’s deficit was the largest as a share of GDP since the end of World War II, and the deficit expected for 2010 would be the second largest,” said CBO.
“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that if current laws and policies remained unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.35 trillion for fiscal year 2010,” said CBO. “At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit would be slightly smaller than the shortfall of 9.9 percent of GDP posted in 2009.”
“Last year’s deficit was the largest as a share of GDP since the end of World War II, and the deficit expected for 2010 would be the second largest,” said CBO.
The estimates were included in the CBO report, "The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020," which was released today.
The federal deficit in 2009 was also the largest ever in sheer dollar amount. “The budget deficit surged to $1.4 trillion in 2009, the largest shortfall on record in dollar terms and nearly $1 trillion greater than the deficit recorded the previous year,” said CBO.
The CBO’s new estimate also indicates that if current federal tax and spending laws are maintained, the U.S. Treasury will need to borrow an additional $6 trillion between 2011 and 2020 to cover expected federal spending.
“Under current law, the federal fiscal outlook beyond this year is daunting,” said the CBO report. “Projected deficits average about $600 billion per year over the 2011–2020 period.”
This estimate that the government will borrow an additional $6 trillion from 2011-2020 is based on the assumption that the tax cuts enacted under President Bush in 2001 and 2003 will be allowed to expire, thus raising income tax rates and that Congress will not enact temporary fixes—as it has in the past—to stop the Alternative Minimum Tax from hitting the incomes of middle-class Americans.
Obama Administration Earns an 'F' on Stopping WMD Attacks
By: David A. Patten
The national WMD commission established by Congress has given the Obama administration an "F" for failing to protect America from nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks.
"Nearly a decade after 9/11, one year after our original report, and one month after the Christmas Day bombing attempt, the United States is failing to address several urgent threats, especially bioterrorism," stated former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., chairman of the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.
The report charges the administration "is simply not paying consistent and urgent attention to the means of responding quickly and effectively so that [WMD attacks] no longer constitute a threat of mass destruction."
Surprisingly, the Commission concluded there still exists "no national plan to coordinate federal, state, and local efforts following a bioterror attack, and the United States lacks the technical and operational capabilities required for an adequate response."
An outgrowth of the 9/11 Commission report, the WMD Commission is charged with evaluating U.S. defenses against WMD attacks. The report issued Tuesday examines 17 areas deemed vital to defending against WMD.
The Commission gave the administration an F for not improving the nation's ability to respond rapidly to a biological attack inflicting mass casualties, and an F for poor implementation of the education and training programs needed to train national-security experts.
It also awarded Congress an F for poor oversight.
The vice-chairman of the Commission, former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., stated: "We are also enormously frustrated about the failure of Congress to reform homeland security oversight. The department can't do its job, if it is responding to more than 80 congressional committees and sub-committees.
This fragmentation guarantees that much of what Congress does is duplicative and disjointed.
Jena Baker McNeill, Homeland security policy analyst for The Heritage Foundation, joined the Commission's criticism of Congress. "Congressional oversight chaos is one of the No. 1 obstacles to good policy-making on Homeland Security. It's out of control," McNeill tells Newsmax.
In another category, government oversight of high-containment labs, the administration received a D+. It said a presidential directive could be used to tighten supervision over dangerous pathogens held in these facilities.
And while the report conceded the administration had made progress in countering weapons proliferation in Pakistan, it said so much remains to be done that it could grade the item only as "incomplete."
By no means was the report one-sided against the administration, however.
In fact, team Obama was awarded an A for helping to secure dangerous pathogens, and an A for developing a national strategy for advancing the analysis biological substances.
The report also gave the administration an A- for designating a special presidential adviser on WMD proliferation. The Commission also awarded an A- to the administration for creating more efficient councils for coordination of policy.
Overall, the report rapped the Obama administration for being slow to recognize and respond to the threat of bioterrorism. While conceding that previous administrations have made the same mistake, Graham said: "We no longer have the luxury of a slow learning curve, when we know al-Qaida is interested in bioweapons."
In the report card, the Commission reiterated its December 2008 warning that, "Unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013. That weapon is more likely to be biological than nuclear."
Officials must assume a WMD attack "will occur" unless the proper steps are taken, the report says.
The report cites several recent incidents that suggest the nation is inadequately able to defend against a WMD attack. Among them:
The H1N1 flu scare. The H1N1 pandemic revealed detection of the mass onset of disease, which is known as "domestic disease surveillance" is inadequate. Although the administration had several months warning about the flu threat, the epidemic peaked before most Americans had access to the vaccine. The slow response showed the United States is "woefully behind in its capability to rapidly produce vaccines and therapeutics…." While the virus may not have been as lethal as some doctors had predicted, a bioattack would strike without warning. The report says the lack of preparedness "is a symptom of a failure of the U.S. government to grasp the threat of biological weapons" although it notes the administration has done a much better job of responding to the nuclear threat. Although the Heritage Foundation's McNeill says the administration did a good job of communicating with the public about H1N1, she adds: "We've still got significant information-sharing problems on this topic. We've got to … figure out much faster what the trends are."
The Christmas Day attack. The foiled attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day suggests al-Qaida is expanding its international partnerships. While that attack failed, "the United States cannot count on such good fortune," according to the report.
The nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Along with the political instability in nuclear-armed Pakistan, Iran and North Korea are cited as grave concerns. The report says the United States "must strengthen the nonproliferation regime, develop more effective policies to eliminate terrorist havens in Pakistan, and galvanize allies to stop the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programs."
Among the Commission's recommendations: Congress should consolidate the unwieldy number of committees and subcommittees sharing responsibility for homeland security oversight.
Also, the government must get better at early detection and diagnosis of diseases.
The Commission adds that the administration must fix what it calls the "fundamental failure" to address "a growing shortfall in our national security workforce." It states the nation needs more experts to help ward off a WMD attack.
According to author and noted correspondent Judith Miller, defenders of the president's anti-WMD policies respond that Obama's second presidential security directive was to construct a roadmap on defending the nation against biological-warfare attacks. Miller's sources say the administration intends to seek future funding increases for non-proliferation and bio-defense programs.
McNeill says improving U.S. capabilities against WMD will require much better cooperation among federal agencies.
"If the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security can't work out their problems," she tells Newsmax, "it's difficult to see how there's going to be any capable federal response to something big, which could inflict mass casualties.
McDonald Gun-Rights Case: Round One Goes to the NRA
by Ken Klukowski
There is growing tension between the pro-gun parties to the upcoming Supreme Court gun-rights case. Perhaps concerned about the direction this case was going, the Court has taken the unusual step of granting the NRA’s motion to be given separate time to speak during oral arguments. Round One in this historic fight for the right to bear arms goes to the NRA.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on March 2 in McDonald v. City of Chicago, presenting the question of whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is only enforceable against the federal government, or whether it is also a right against city and state governments. This lawsuit challenges Chicago’s gun ban, which is essentially identical to the federal ban in D.C. that the Supreme Court struck down in 2008.
The lawyers for Otis McDonald and his co-plaintiffs are libertarian activists, who are pushing an aggressive and potentially risky constitutional theory to the Court. Without getting too much in the legal weeds, McDonald is arguing that the Court should extend gun rights to the states through the little-known Fourteenth Amendment Privileges or Immunities Clause, and overrule a venerable precedent from 1873 called the Slaughter-House Cases, which protects state sovereignty by limiting the reach of Congress and the courts. The Slaughter-House Cases is only one step removed from Marbury v. Madison as one of the most important cases in American history.
The libertarian activists behind McDonald openly explain that the reason they are pushing the Court to overrule Slaughter-House has nothing to do with guns. Instead, they want to advance a libertarian economic agenda, where federal judges could sit in judgment of state and local laws involving labor, employment, business regulations and other economic issues. Although the Constitution is silent on these matters, these activists want the courts to start declaring constitutional rights against such things, and using the power of the federal judiciary to strike down laws of this sort that the judges don’t like.
The problem is that this approach could endanger gun rights. The narrower your focus when arguing a case, the easier it is to get a court to go along with you. The broader your argument, the steeper the hill you must climb.
In a case like McDonald v. Chicago, where the stakes are sky-high and the impact could be huge, the Court will be inclined to move very carefully. It’s quite a horse pill to swallow under the best of circumstances. In a situation such as this, where the narrowest argument you can make is still a broad one with serious ramifications, pushing a much larger agenda than necessary starts to run the risk that the Court will choke on the whole thing.
For that reason, the National Rifle Association is working hard to keep the focus of this case where it belongs, on gun rights. Whether the Second Amendment gives 300 million Americans a right against state or local laws that ban guns is a monumentally-important issue for personal liberty, and so the NRA’s argument presents only that issue before the justices.
The NRA’s argument therefore stresses that the Court should apply (or “incorporate”) the Second Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause. Although this approach is beset with problems from a conservative legal perspective, it’s nonetheless how the Court has always tackled these issues and so it becomes the safest route for extending gun rights to the states.
Accordingly, the NRA has committed the resources to retain one of the best Supreme Court lawyers in the country, former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, to represent them in the McDonald case. Clement filed a motion requesting for the NRA to be granted some of the argument time on March 2 to make their case.
While it’s not surprising that McDonald’s lawyers opposed this motion, they took the surprising step of also offering that they would not object to the Court instead giving some of McDonald’s time to James Ho, the well-respected and very capable Texas Solicitor General who had also filed a motion requesting divided argument on behalf of 38 states that filed a separate brief in this lawsuit.
On January 25, the Court surprised everyone by granting the NRA’s motion but denying Texas’ motion. In other words, when McDonald encouraged the Court to allow Texas to argue but to shut out the NRA, the Court said no on both counts, allowing Clement to present the NRA’s argument. In doing so, the Court sends a signal that both routes for applying the Second Amendment to the states (one being Privileges or Immunities and the other being Due Process) would not be fully studied without allowing the NRA to the microphone. (It’s also likely that the Court’s decision reflects its deep respect for Paul Clement, as it’s less likely the motion would’ve been granted to a less-accomplished lawyer.)
It must be noted that these activists do not speak for all libertarians, many of whom join conservatives in opposing the idea that the Court should overrule the Slaughter-House Cases. That’s why the brief I wrote in this case for the American Civil Rights Union, arguing how the Court could incorporate the Second Amendment through the Privileges or Immunities Clause without overruling the Slaughter-House Cases, was joined both by the Committee for Justice (led by libertarian lawyer Curt Levey) and conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council.
But today’s court order, taking some of McDonald’s argument time and giving it to the NRA, shows the deep divisions between gun-rights advocates in this case. The Court did the right thing by bringing the National Rifle Association to the table, increasing the odds that this case will be about the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, which is exactly as it should be.
"The e-mail Bag"
What do you get when you have 32 Tennesseeians in the same room?
A full set of teeth.
Why did O.J. Simpson want to move the Tennessee?
Everyone there has the same DNA.
Did you hear that the Governors mansion in Tennessee burned down?
Almost took out the whole trailer park.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Promoting "God's Holy Values and American Freedoms"!
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." -- Dr. Dale Turner
"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do." -- Helen Keller
"Daily Devotions" (KJV and/or NLT)
He was lost, but now he is found." (Luke 15:24)
John Newton's mother was a devoted Christian, but she died when he was a child. As a young man, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, an English sea captain. He joined the British Royal Navy but was discharged for unruly behavior. He moved to the western coast of Africa and worked for a slave trader. He eventually became captain of a slave ship, treating the slaves despicably. What a loathsome man he had become!
On one voyage, a fierce storm severely battered his ship. Fearing for his life, he surrendered himself to God. Over the next few years as he became convinced that slavery was abhorrent, he gave up slave trading and crusaded against slavery. His life changed so much that he even studied to become a minister. Soon, he became known as the "old converted sea captain" all because he had personally encountered the living God. Eventually, he wrote one of the most famous hymns in the English language, Amazing Grace. In it, he describes his own transformation:
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see."
Who else but almighty God could change a calloused slave trader into a compassionate minister and anti-slavery crusader? Have you experienced this change? If He could change John Newton, he can certainly change you.
For more than fifty years, I have walked and talked with our loving heavenly Father. The more I get to know Him, the more peace, joy, love, and excitement I experience. It has been my greatest adventure. He has proven to be my best friend, someone I can trust in every situation.
Your View of God Really Matters …
If you have experienced the marvelous revelation of God's amazing grace, think of one significant way it has affected your life. Then ask God to show you one person who needs to hear your story.
"The Patriot Post"
"The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men." -- Samuel Adams
Race bait: "[Harry Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately." --excerpt from the book "Game Change," by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
But back then: "If you tell ethnic jokes in the back room, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play." --Harry Reid in 2002 after Trent Lott's resignation from leadership after similar racially insensitive remarks
Circling the wagons: "I don't know why people are making such a fuss about this. What is the big fuss about the word 'Negro'? I support the United Negro College Fund. I support the National Council of Negro Women. We still use those two terms because they have been a part of our history for a long time. So I don't know what all this fuss is about." --Rep. James Clyburn, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and current House Majority Whip
"Senator Reid's record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities -- most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the Health Bill now under consideration." --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
More deep thoughts: "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." --Bill Clinton in 2008, as reported in "Game Change"
The BIG Lie:
"The Senate thinks [their health care bill] is fairer. We think ours is. We'll see which mirror cracks. But we will proceed in a way that is fair to the American people." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has anything but fairness to the American people on her mind
You don't say: "This is far from a perfect piece of legislation." -- Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) on the health care bill
Hope 'n' Change: "The jobs numbers are reminder that the road to recovery is never straight." --Barack Obama (The road has been straight ... down. The U.S. lost another 85,000 jobs in December.)
Too much information: "I'm not worried about them touching my private parts." -- Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on airport screening procedures
Race bait: "[Harry Reid] was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,' as he said privately." -- excerpt from the book "Game Change," by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
But back then: "If you tell ethnic jokes in the back room, it's that much easier to say ethnic things publicly. I've always practiced how I play." -- Harry Reid in 2002 after Trent Lott's resignation from leadership after similar racially insensitive remarks
Circling the wagons: "I don't know why people are making such a fuss about this. What is the big fuss about the word 'Negro'? I support the United Negro College Fund. I support the National Council of Negro Women. We still use those two terms because they have been a part of our history for a long time. So I don't know what all this fuss is about." -- Rep. James Clyburn, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and current House Majority Whip
"Senator Reid's record provides a stark contrast to actions of Republicans to block legislation that would benefit poor and minority communities -- most recently reflected in Republican opposition to the Health Bill now under consideration." --Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
More deep thoughts: "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." -- Bill Clinton in 2008, as reported in "Game Change"
The BIG Lie: "The Senate thinks [their health care bill] is fairer. We think ours is. We'll see which mirror cracks. But we will proceed in a way that is fair to the American people." -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has anything but fairness to the American people on her mind
You don't say: "This is far from a perfect piece of legislation." -- Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) on the health care bill
Hope 'n' Change: "The jobs numbers are reminder that the road to recovery is never straight." -- Barack Obama (The road has been straight ... down. The U.S. lost another 85,000 jobs in December.)
Too much information: "I'm not worried about them touching my private parts." -- Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) on airport screening procedures
"White liberals have built a political culture that is little different from the plantations of another generation. African-Americans are given just enough to help them survive, but not opportunity which will allow them to escape and become independent of government programs." -- columnist Cal Thomas
"We know two thousand pages of 'gov-speak' is one of the largest compendiums of bribes, favors and pork ever devised. We know that in all two thousand pages, there's not a single word about tort reform because the Democratic party is owned by the trial lawyers. We know the overwhelming majority of Congress won't even bother to read the bill before voting on it. And above all, we know the very same people who are foisting this boondoggle on the rest of us will never be subjected to its mandates, because they have their own Rolls Royce health care coverage. ... 2010 can't come soon enough." -- columnist Arnold Ahlert
"The special deals and payoffs are incidental to the [health care] bill in one sense; if they were all removed it would still be a bad bill. But in another sense, they reveal something essential about a government takeover of health care: it is all about looting, about how one group of people can tax and regulate others in an attempt to get something for nothing. All statist programs are rife with this kind of scheming, and they have to be, because whenever wealth is seized by force, there is a battle among the looters over how to divide the spoils." -- columnist Robert Tracinski
"The White House is ... being completely dismissive ... concerning legitimate questions about the constitutionality of Obamacare. Consider this: No fewer than 13 state attorneys general signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, expressing their 'grave concern' over the constitutionality of one provision of the bill. This provision would cause the federal government to grant special favors to Nebraska (subsidizing its Medicaid costs) pursuant to the Democrats' bribe to secure Sen. Ben Nelson's support. ... How did the White House respond when asked about this letter? Well, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, after admitting he hadn't even read the letter, said, 'I do not believe that anybody has legitimate constitutional concerns about the legislation.' That settles it then. Chief Justice Gibbs has spoken." --c olumnist David Limbaugh
"The most startling news since Barack Obama's colossal victory over Hillary Clinton in Iowa was the Democratic poll in Massachusetts the other day showing the little-known Republican Scott Brown beating the state's attorney general, Martha Coakley, in the special contest for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat by a point. A subsequent poll by the Boston Globe had the Democrat winning by 15. Somebody is very wrong here, obviously, and we won't know until next Tuesday's election which poll got the Massachusetts electorate right. But if the Democratic poll is closer to the truth, and if Coakley can't come up with something to pull Brown's numbers down over the next week, she is going to lose and a Republican is going to win an ineffable symbolic victory against Barack Obama and especially against health care." -- columnist John Podhoretz
"We owe these blessings, under Heaven, to the Constitution and Government ... bequeathed to us by our fathers, and which it is our sacred duty to transmit ... to our children." --President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874)
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." --American industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947)
"If at first you don't succeed, then quit! There's no use being a stupid fool about it!" --American comedian and writer W. C. Fields (1880-1946)
"President Obama ordered airport passenger scanners upgraded Thursday. It's all tied in with health care reform. If you don't have a personal physician you just fly somewhere and the TSA screener will tell you if your gall bladder looks all right." -- comedian Argus Hamilton
"In an effort to calm people after the latest security problems, the White House said it is working even harder to find Osama bin Laden. The frustrating part is that we almost had him. Earlier this year, he snuck into the White House state dinner." -- comedian Jay Leno
"Thus, one of the most unsavory troikas in the history of American politics -- Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama -- are cobbling together a take-it-or-leave-it takeover of one-sixth of the American economy. Moe, Larry and Curly couldn't have done a better job of mocking transparent government." -- columnist Arnold Ahlert
"How do you explain why anyone in a theoretically free society would willingly surrender his brain to Soviet-like thought control? The best answer I can come up with is that there's a herd instinct among human beings that's akin to the one that governs the behavior of cattle, sheep and lemmings. To think like a liberal, a conservative merely needs to get down on all fours and then bang his head on a wall until he's managed to knock 50 points off his IQ." -- columnist Burt Prelutsky
Tim Tebow to Star in Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad
Former star quarterback Tim Tebow used to rack up points for the University of Florida, but now he is scoring big with a pro-family message.
According to Christian ministry Focus on the Family, the Heisman Trophy winner and his mother will be featured in a Pro-Life television commercial scheduled to run during the Super Bowl on CBS-TV on Sunday, Feb. 7.
"Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive," Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., said in a statement. "They live what we see every day - that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation."
Daly says the generous gifts of donors, not funds from the ministry's general budget, have paid for the pricey TV spot.
Tebow fans may not know that Tim's mother was urged to abort Tebow during a troubled pregnancy and chose not to.
In 1985 Pam Tebow and her husband were Christian missionaries in the Philippines. Wanting to expand their family, they prayed for "Timmy" by name before she became pregnant. Pam fell into a coma just prior to the pregnancy after contracting amoebic dysentery, a bacteria transmitted through contaminated drinking water, and took a series of strong medications to treat her illness. Doctors later found those medications caused the fetus to be "irreversibly" damaged. They strongly urged Pam to abort her fifth child.
Declining the advice of her doctors, Pam gave birth August 14, 1987 to a healthy son without the devastating disabilities her physicians predicted. Pam cites her Christian faith as the reason for going through her pregnancy.
While Focus on the Family won't confirm the content of the ad, they do say the Florida Gators star quarterback and his mother will share "a personal story" centered on the pro-life theme of "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life."
"The Tebows said they agreed to appear in the commercial because the issue of life is one they feel very strongly about," according to a Focus on the Family statement.
Focus on the Family is paying an estimated $2.8 million for the prime time spot. They join an elite lineup of advertisers where CBS estimates over 90 million viewers will watch. Advertising Age reports CBS is nearly sold-out for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV. CBS is getting between $2.5 million and $3 million for a 30-second ad.
According to a report in Advertising Age in 2005, half of those who watch the Super Bowl in the US tune in specifically for the TV commercials.
The survey also said nearly six in 10 Super Bowl viewers claim they talked about the commercials at work the day after the game, while fewer said they discussed the actual game.
"We are excited about the opportunity to have a commercial in the Super Bowl," said Gary Schneeberger, Vice President of Ministry Communications for Focus on the Family. "This is a great chance to get out a pro-family message in front of a large audience."
While Focus on the Family will be rubbing shoulders with corporate media giants in the spot rotation, Schneeberger says its success is measured differently.
"One important point is that we are not trying to sell America a car, or a soft drink or a website. We aren't trying to sell anything," said Schneeberger. "Our goal is different. Success for us is in how many people we can introduce the kind of help we have to offer."
But whether it's on a football field or attracting viewers to watch a TV spot during a Super Bowl, it seems Tebow was destine to be an evangelist yet while he was in his mother's womb. And only people of faith truly understand that God ordained destiny.
It is no secret that Tebow has been outspoken about his Christian faith. In fact, he's so passionate that during his football career he used eye-black markings as a way to share the Gospel with on-lookers.
John 16:33 and Hebrews 12:1-2 were just a few of the Scriptures he sported during a game.
In his final game as a college quarterback, Tebow's eye-black message beneath his eyes during the Sugar Bowl was "EPH 2:8-10," which reads, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Tebow's eye-black represents how something seemingly insignificant can have a huge impact. Google reports the keywords "Tebow's eye-black" has generated 94 million searches.
The Tebow campaign announcement comes as many participate in Sanctity of Human Life Week Jan. 17 - 24. The event observes the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which effectively legalized abortion in the United States.
"It is good any time we can see a positive Pro-Life message and get down to the reality," said Olivia Gans, spokesperson for the National Right to Life Committee. "It is critical to get out the truth behind the rhetoric."
Gans says Tebow's authenticity is refreshing and that the average American is impressed with his kind of character.
"In this case we are talking about a remarkable young man and obviously a very brave mother," Gans said. "It is important that we put this type of face on abortion."
Insiders from publications like Sporting News believe the commercial is a gutsy call for Tebow - especially for a quarterback who has yet to take his first snap as a professional football player. Most pro-lifers, however, are doing the "wave" in regards to the move and believe it will be a huge boost to the pro-family message.
Whether you support Tebow or not, it is clear advocates are tossing a Hail Mary on Super Bowl Sunday going for a big pro-life win.
Democrats propose $1.9T increase in debt limit
By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed allowing the federal government to borrow an additional $1.9 trillion to pay its bills, a record increase that would permit the national debt to reach $14.3 trillion.
The unpopular legislation is needed to allow the federal government to issue bonds to fund programs and prevent a first-time default on obligations. It promises to be a challenging debate for Democrats, who, as the party in power, hold the responsibility for passing the legislation.
It's hardly the debate Democrats want or need in the wake of Sen.-elect Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts. Arguing over the debt limit provides a forum for Republicans to blame Democrats for rising deficits and spiraling debt, even though responsibility for the government's financial straits can be shared by both political parties.
The measure came to the floor under rules requiring 60 votes to pass. That's an unprecedented step that could mean that every Democrat, no matter how politically endangered, may have to vote for it next week before Brown takes office and Democrats lose their 60-vote majority.
Democratic leaders are also worried that Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who opposed the debt limit increase approved last month, will vote against the measure.
The record increase in the so-called debt limit is required because the budget deficit has spiraled out of control in the wake of a recession that cut tax revenues, the Wall Street bailout, and increased spending by the Democratic-controlled Congress. Last year's deficit hit a phenomenal $1.4 trillion, and the current year's deficit promises to be as high or higher.
Congress has never failed to increase the borrowing limit.
"We have gone to the restaurant. We have eaten the meal. Now the only question is whether we will pay the check," said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. "We simply must do so."
A White House policy statement said the increase "is critically important to make sure that financing of federal government operations can continue without interruption and that the creditworthiness of the United States is not called into question."
Less than a decade ago, $1.9 trillion would have been enough to finance the operations and programs of the federal government for an entire year. Now, it's only enough to make sure Democrats can avoid another vote before Election Day.
Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota immediately offered an amendment to end the bank and Wall Street bailout, officially known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Thune would prohibit further expenditure of TARP funds and would require that all funds paid back be used to retire debt.
The latest increase comes on top of a stopgap $290 billion measure that cleared the Senate on Christmas Eve. Given the country's finances, that measure would last only about six weeks, lawmakers said, requiring the far larger measure that's pending.
After Massachusetts, beware political chameleons
Peter Heck - Guest Columnist
In Federalist Paper #63, the Father of the Constitution James Madison wrote: "The cool and deliberate sense of the community ought...and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers."
Last week, the voters in Massachusetts did James Madison proud.
For a full year, the people of this country have been subject to the largest attempted federal power grab since the New Deal. They have seen their votes for hope and change misread as votes for more bureaucracy and government control. They have seen their fortunes depleted, their businesses burdened, their dollars devalued, and their grandchildren spent into insurmountable debt. While the people have recognized that their country is broke, they have been forced to watch their rulers quadruple the deficit, vote multiple times to increase the already crushing national debt, and promise massive new spending projects like healthcare for every American, cap-and-trade legislation, and a second "stimulus" all to be financed with money we don't have.
In response, the people – of every political affiliation, including no affiliation at all – began to organize. They began to shout at town hall meetings, protest at Tea Parties, and bombard their lawmakers with pink slips, petitions, and phone calls. But the ruling class, in their typical arrogant fashion, ignored and disparaged those voices. In their eyes, the town halls were "staged," the Tea Parties were "astroturfed," and the petitions were nothing more than tricks from the "right-wing Republican cabal." There was no groundswell. There was no true opposition. There was no tidal wave of discontent.
How fitting that it was Massachusetts – site of the original Tea Party rebellion against out-of-control government – that shattered this haughty and condescending attitude. Had it been anywhere else, our leaders might have been so brash as to try to find some plausible excuse or explanation as to why it happened. But not Massachusetts. As Victor Davis Hanson put it: "Dream up a gargantuan backlash against Barack Obama's left-wing gospel, and you still could not invent the notion of a relatively unknown, conservative Scott Brown knocking off an Obama-endorsed, liberal, female attorney in liberal Massachusetts – in a race to fill the seat once held by Ted Kennedy."
The message was unmistakable: the people want their country back.
But there is a danger that we must be vigilant and guard against. Politicians crave power and will do virtually anything they can to hang on to it. Up until last week, many of them believed that they were in more danger of losing their power by angering their party leadership than angering the people. Scott Brown's victory obliterated that belief. And consequently, Washington is beginning to crawl with chameleons doing their best to jump on the bandwagon and swim with the rising tide of liberty-minded Americans.
Take Indiana Senator Evan Bayh for example. While most wrongly assume that Bayh is a moderate, the New York Times reported that he was most responsible for rallying the Senate Democrats to push through their version of ObamaCare. Roll Call, the newspaper on Capitol Hill, reported that Bayh, "gave a rousing speech, arguing that Democrats could not afford to let the reform effort collapse in the face of Republican attacks." It also credited Bayh with having, "crystallize[d] the situation for Democrats." In other words, it was Evan Bayh who demanded that senators ignore the wishes of the people and cram through this unpopular and unconstitutional legislation.
But amazingly, just one day after Massachusetts, Evan Bayh decided to take his second face out for a spin. He told ABC News that Democrats had pushed their agenda too far to the left. "It's why moderates and independents even in a state as Democratic as Massachusetts just aren't buying our message," he said. Right, Senator...and it's a message that you helped author and wholeheartedly endorsed. You cast your lot, and now you can deal with the consequences, sir.
Bayh later added: "They just don't believe the answers we are currently proposing are solving their problems." If there was any confusion about where Evan Bayh really stands, that clears it up perfectly. What Bayh and his ilk don't seem to get is that we don't want them to solve our problems. We merely want them to get out of the way and let us solve our problems for ourselves. Oh, and if they could stop manufacturing more problems for us, that would be nice too.
The Massachusetts election has sent shockwaves throughout Washington, and it's going to result in a lot of political posturing by incumbents who can't and shouldn't be trusted. Unless we want to go through all this again, we'd be well advised to clean house...and Senate...ensuring that every last lawmaker who has arrogantly sought to strip us of our freedom despite our wishes find new work.
And when we do, somewhere James Madison will be smiling.
US Treasury removes all but one Hamas member from terror list
Remember in April 2009, Barack Obama requested a new law that would allow U.S. funds directly to a Hamas-Fatah “government.” The latest via US Terror Blacklist Whitewashes Hamas, Enables Funding (INN.com):
The United States Treasury has taken all but one member of Hamas off the international list of terrorists, thus enabling funds from the European Union to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza.
It is an open secret that large sums of money from the EU flow into Gaza in the guise of humanitarian aid and salaries for officials, but are actually funneled into the coffers of Hamas, which controls Gaza with an iron grip. This method of transferring funds into terrorists’ hands could have been blocked by an international lawsuit, but according to journalist Avi Tarango, the United States Treasury has made this impossible by removing all but one Hamas man – Deputy Chairman of the Political Bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk – from the list of international terrorists.
The updated terrorist list, published last week, takes up 443 pages. However, according to Tarango, who went over the list, none of the tens of thousands of people who form Hamas is mentioned – other than Abu Marzuk, who resides in Damascus. The terrorist list is meant for distribution in the world banking system, where the transfer of funds to anyone on the list is prohibited.
“Musa Abu-Marzouk’s presence on the list means that whoever tries to transfer money to him personally will be rejected by the world banking system and be accused of funding terrorism, but the transfer of funds to any other Hamas man will not arouse suspicion,” he explained.
By not investigating groups like Viva Palestina and Al Maghrib who openly raise money for Hamas-controlled Gaza, the U.S. has left loopholes large enough to drive aid caravans through.
Congress Went to Denmark, You Got the Bill
Exclusive: CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson Follows the Money from Copenhagen to the U.S. Taxpayer
By Sharyl Attkisson
Play CBS Video Video Million Dollar Congressional Trip
Sharyl Attkisson has more on her report of how more than 100 members of Congress and their spouses went to the Copenhagen climate conference -- on the U.S. taxpayers tab. How much did it all cost?
Video Climate Summit Junket?
U.S. Congress members wracked up a sizeable bill at the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Sharyl Attkisson reports that U.S. tax dollars may have been put to better use.
Copenhagen Summit Turned Junket?
(CBS) Thanks to recently filed Congressional expense reports there's new light shed on the Copenhagen Climate Summit in Denmark and how much it cost taxpayers.
CBS News Investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports official filings and our own investigation show at least 106 people from the House and Senate attended - spouses, a doctor, a protocol expert and even a photographer.
Million Dollar Congressional Trip
Read the Congressional Expense Report
For 15 Democratic and 6 Republican Congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,406 tax dollars each. That's $2,200 a day - more than most Americans spend on their monthly mortgage payment.
CBS News asked members of Congress and staff about whether they're mindful that it's public tax dollars they're spending. Many said they had never even seen the bills or the expense reports.
Copenhagen Congressional Junket
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is a key climate change player. He went to Copenhagen last year. Last week, we asked him about the $2,200-a-day bill for room and food.
"I can't believe that," Rep. Waxman said. "I can't believe it, but I don't know."
But his name is in black and white in the expense reports. The group expense report was filed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. She wouldn't talk about it when our producer tried to ask.
Pelosi's office did offer an explanation for the high room charges. Those who stayed just two nights were charged a six-night minimum at the five-star Marriott. One staffer said, they strongly objected to no avail. You may ask how they'll negotiate a climate treaty, if they can't get a better deal on hotel rooms.
Total hotel, meeting rooms and "a couple" of $1,000-a-night hospitality suites topped $400,000.
Flights weren't cheap, either. Fifty-nine House and Senate staff flew commercial during the Copenhagen rush. They paid government rates -- $5-10,000 each -- totaling $408,064. Add three military jets -- $168,351 just for flight time -- and the bill tops $1.1 million dollars -- not including all the Obama administration officials who attended: well over 60.
In fairness, many attendees told us they did a lot of hard work, and the laid groundwork for a future global treaty.
"It was cold… I was there because I thought it was important for me to be there," Rep. Waxman said. "I didn't look at it as a pleasure trip."
But considering the size of the deficit, and the fact that that no global deal would be reached -- critics question the super-sized U.S. delegation -- more than 165 -- leaving the impression there's dollars to burn. In this case, more than a million.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Ed Markey
Rep. Charles Rangel
Rep. Bart Gordon
Rep. James Sensenbrenner
Rep. Sander Levin
Rep. Joe Barton
Rep. Fred Upton
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Jay Inslee
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito
Rep. Moore Capito husband
Rep. John Sullivan
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. GK Butterfield
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Sen. James Inhofe
Sen. John Kerry
Mary Frences Repko
31 additional unnamed Senate staff
Special Envoy Todd Stern
Secretary Hillary Clinton
Pershing Deputy U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change
Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs
Ambassador Alejandro Wolff, Deputy Permanent Rep. United States Mission to the U.N.
Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment
Lilburn Trigg Talley, Director of the office of Global Change
Sue Biniaz, Deputy Legal Adviser
William Breed, Director of Climate Change Programs USAID.
Steven Chu, Energy Secretary
Jean Chu, Spouse of the Energy Secretary
Rod O'Connor, Chief of Staff
Amy Bodette, Special Assistant to the Secretary
David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs
Rick Duke, Dep. Assistant Sec. for Policy and International Affairs
Holmes Hummel, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Policy and
Elmer Holt, Economist in the Office of Policy and International Affairs
Matt Kallman, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Policy
and International Affairs
Dan Leistikow, Director of Public Affairs
Devin Hampton, Lead Advance Representative
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Deputy Secretary David Hayes
Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland
Science Advisor Kit Batten
Senior Advisor of Global Change at USGS Tom Armstrong
USGS Director Marcia McNutt
Deputy Communications Director Matt Lee-Ashley
Jack Lynch (Security)
Dave Graham (Security)
Mike Downs (Security)
Director of Advance Tim Hartz
Security Officer # 1 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Marcus McClendon Director of Advance, Office of the Administrator
Security Officer # 2 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Jennifer Jenkins Physical Scientist, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP 15 Negotiator
Shalini Vajjhala Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs COP-15 Negotiator
Maurice LeFranc Senior Advisor, International Climate Change, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Kimberly Todd Klunich Technical Expert, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Leif Hockstad Environmental Engineer, Climate Change Division, Office of Air and Radiation COP-15 Negotiator
Seth Oster Associate Administrator, Office of Public Affairs
David McIntosh Associate Administrator, Office of Rep.ressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Michelle DePass Assistant Administrator, Office of International Affairs
Security Officer # 3 Security, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Lisa Jackson Administrator, EPA
Gina McCarthy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation
White House Executive Office staff:
From the Office of Energy and Climate Change:
From the Office of Science and Technology Policy:
From the Council on Environmental Quality:
National Security Council:
Poll: Gov. Charlie Crist losing to Marco Rubio
Gov. Charlie Crist has a large cash advantage over Marco Rubio and ample time to catch up before the Aug. 24 primary.
CHRIS O'MEARA / AP
BY MARC CAPUTO
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
For the first time, a new poll shows that Gov. Charlie Crist is losing to former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in Florida's nationally watched Republican U.S. Senate race.
Rubio leads by just three percentage points -- 47-44 -- which is well within the error margin of the Quinnipiac University poll.
Crist has a large cash advantage over Rubio and ample time to catch up before the Aug. 24 primary. Yet the trend of Rubio's rise and Crist's fall is stark and troubling for the governor, who once looked like he would waltz into the Senate.
In October, Crist led 50-35 percent. In August, Crist's lead was even bigger (55-26) and in June the race looked like Crist would blow out Rubio by 54-23 percent.
``Who would have thunk it? A former state lawmaker virtually unknown outside of his South Florida home whose challenge to an exceedingly popular sitting governor for a U.S. Senate nomination had many insiders scratching their heads. He enters the race 31 points behind and seven months later sneaks into the lead,'' said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
``And, the horse race numbers are not a fluke. Rubio also tops Crist on a number of other measurements from registered Republicans, who are the only folks who can vote in the primary,'' Brown said. ``Rubio's grass-roots campaigning among Republican activists around the state clearly has paid off.''
But it's not all Rubio's doing.
Crist has struggled as the economy nose-dived and unemployment surged. His jobs programs haven't worked. He raised taxes last year. He has to return money when his biggest contributor, Scott Rothstein, was accused in a Ponzi scheme.
Crist's biggest mistake might have been his decision to stump with Barack Obama for the stimulus package loathed by the Republican base that will decide this contest.
At the time Crist appeared onstage with Obama in February, it seemed like good politics, with the president enjoying sky-high approval ratings. A full 64 percent of Floridians approved of the job he was doing with only 23 percent disapproving, according to a February Quinnipiac poll.
Now, 49 percent of Floridians disapprove of the way Obama's handling his job, while 45 percent approve.
The big story, though, is Crist. With approval ratings that were once in the 70s, Crist looked like a shoo-in in the U.S. Senate race, which is viewed by some as a national bellwether of tea-party activists and anti-incumbent sentiment.
Washington insiders with the National Republican Senatorial Committee endorsed Crist early, even though Rubio was in the race. Crist's supporters started whispering that Rubio would drop out of the race to run for attorney general. And Crist's handpicked Republican Party of Florida chairman, Jim Greer, tried to make Crist the state party's candidate.
A number of conservatives revolted. And Rubio started to take on the qualities of the outsider in the race -- despite his history as a top Republican, former House speaker, lawyer and even registered lobbyist.
Soon, in more than a dozen nonbinding ``straw polls'' of rank-and-file Republican county committee members, Rubio began soundly defeating Crist -- even in the governor's home county of Pinellas.
The Quinnipiac survey, as well as other public and private polls, show that the votes in favor of Rubio over Crist weren't flukes.
By a 45-40 percent split, Republican voters say Rubio is more of a reflection of their values than Crist, according to the Quinnipiac poll. And by a bigger margin -- 48 to 34 percent -- Republican voters say Rubio is more consistently conservative than Crist.
In a head-to-head matchup against the leading Democrat, Kendrick Meek, Rubio has a slight edge. But Crist would beat Meek by an even bigger margin because the governor is viewed more favorably by Democrats and independents than Rubio.
Crist said those polls weren't a reflection of Republican sentiment, but he also started to take on a more negative tone in describing Rubio. Crist suggested he was winning the race.
``The only poll that matters is on Election Day,'' Crist has repeatedly said.
More and more, though, Rubio looks increasingly likely to win on Election Day as well.
From Jan. 20-24, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,618 Florida voters for the overall poll, which has an error margin of 2.4 percentage points. The survey includes 673 Republicans, so results concerning the race between Crist and Rubio have an error margin of 3.8 percentage points.
"The e-mail Bag"
You gotta love this one even if you've never lived in the South. Some of you will enjoy this more than others.. Southerners can be so polite!
Atlanta ATC: "Tower to Saudi Air 511 -- You are cleared to land eastbound on runway 9R
Saudi Air: "Thank you Atlanta ATC. Acknowledge cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R - Allah be Praised."
Atlanta ATC: "Tower to Iran Air 711 --You are cleared to land westbound on runway 9R."
Iran Air: "Thank you Atlanta ATC. We are cleared to land on infidel's runway 9R. - Allah is Great."
Saudi Air: " ATLANTA ATC - ATLANTA ATC"Atlanta ATC: "Go ahead Saudi Air 511."
Saudi Air: "YOU HAVE CLEARED BOTH OUR AIRCRAFTS FOR THE SAME RUNWAY GOING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. WE ARE ON A COLLISION COURSE.. INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE."
Atlanta ATC: "Well bless your hearts. And praise Jesus. Y'all be careful now and tell Allah "hey" for us -- "