Melanie Morgan

Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

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  • A Life Lived in Denial

    DSK's long-suffering wife Anne Sinclair
    finally leaves him as former IMF boss
    is kicked out of their Paris home

     

       Original Article

    The long-suffering wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn has finally left him, it was confirmed last night. After months of loyal support in the face of seedy vice allegations, Anne Sinclair kicked the former International Monetary Fund boss out of their Paris home. The split happened a month ago but Ms Sinclair, a 64-year-old art heiress and internet journalist, initially managed to keep it quiet. But as the now unemployed Mr Strauss-Kahn, 63, prepared for further court appearances, he confirmed the separation. ‘They are no longer living as man and wife,’ said a source close to Mr Sinclair, who at one stage
  • Liberal Spin

    Obama Wins the Battle,
    Roberts Wins the War

    Original Article
     
    There were two battles being fought in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts—and Justice Anthony Kennedy—delivered victory to the right in the one that mattered. Yes, Roberts voted to uphold the individual mandate, joining the court's liberal wing to give President Obama a 5-4 victory on his signature piece of legislation. Right-wing partisans are crying treason; left-wing partisans saw their predictions of a bitter, party-line defeat undone. But the health care law was, ultimately, a pretext. This was a test case for the long-standing—but previously fringe—campaign to rewrite Congress' regulatory powers under the Commerce Clause.
  • Congratulations, Mr. President

    The Supreme Court Ruling today upholding the majority of Obamacare has certainly caused a round of celebration for Democrats and the Presidency. but the bottom line is that you need to be careful of what you wish for: Obama may have just guaranteed a Republican Senate and handed Romney the Presidency.

    Way to go.

     

  • Carville: The Tea Party's Over

    Original Article

    James Carville, one of Bill Clinton’s top political consultants, sent a fundraising e-mail yesterday proclaiming that “The Tea Party is Over,” according to the New York Observer. The letter, written to solicit fundraising money for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), says if Democrats like Slaughter are elected, the Tea Party movement will be over, even though Carville concedes that getting rid of the Tea Party will not be easy. “These Tea Party Republicans have worn out their welcome. But I’m telling you — getting rid of ‘em won’t be easy.

  • Ashes to Ashes

    A Man Tries to Take His Grandfather's Ashes Home . . . And a TSA Agent Spills Them On the Floor

    A Man Tries to Take His Grandfather's Ashes Home . . . And a TSA Agent Spills Them On the Floor

    Wednesday June 27, 2012 - The TSA isn't just harassing and violating living people anymore . . . now they're desecrating the DEAD too. Last week, a man tried to take his grandfather's ashes from Orlando to Indianapolis . . . but a TSA screener opened the jar and accidentally spilled the ashes on the floor. TSA policy bans opening containers of human remains after they pass the X-ray, so a spokesman says they're investigating.

    Read more...

  • Bankruptcy Coming to a City Near You?

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    In opting to become the nation's largest city to seek federal bankruptcy protection, this river port of 290,000 took a rare financial step of last resort after struggling with the economic downturn, soaring pension costs and contractual obligations.

    Thirteen cities, counties and other government entities filed for bankruptcy protection last year — the highest annual level in nearly two decades. Stockton was the seventh U.S. municipality to file this year and the first California city since Vallejo, which sought protection in 2008, according to James Spiotto, a Chicago bankruptcy attorney who tracks municipal bankruptcies.

    "Filing bankruptcy is time-consuming, expensive and complicated," said Spiotto, noting that Vallejo spent millions of dollars alone on attorneys and other bankruptcy professionals. "And you never get the results you desire."

    That's why experts are divided on whether other financially struggling cities, towns and other government entities will follow Stockton to bankruptcy court. Spiotto said it will be hard and expensive for Stockton to obtain financing.

  • A Petulant President

    Today the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Arizona law enforcement has the right to check the immigration status of persons under arrest for other crimes. It is important to note that no one of any culture or race can simply be stopped and asked to "show their papers." In fact, the Court struck down much of the Arizona law, but the retention of this one provision has provoked a series of responses that reveal the true colors of our petulant, power-hungry despot-in-chief. Within minutes of the Court's ruling, the Administration declared that they would no longer cooperate with Arizona in any matter pertaining to this law. Obama's minions went further and set up a hot line for folks who feel mistreated by this law.

    At first glance, this seems to smack of election-year pandering for Hispanic votes. While this is true, the insidious nature of this response to our legal process unmasks a nefarious agenda that reaches well beyond a few swing-state votes. What we are observing are the strategies and tactics of statism, practiced by totalitarians for more than a century. At the heart of the Obama Administration is contempt for the average citizen and the genuine belief that they know what is best for the masses. The strategy is to mobilize the disaffected that believe in more federal largesse and cultural elites that desire maximal private excess. When a leader unites these two groups and has a few business folks in her or his pocket, the stage is set for dictatorial rule. Contempt for the Constitution, the rule of law, traditional virtues, private enterprise and conservative religious traditions (except Islam) are all part of the package and provide direct parallels with another era: one dominated by the evil twin towers of Hitler and Stalin.

    Add to these offenses the Imperial cloak of "executive privilege" for concealing needed documents and buying off cronies and the stage is set for the end of the American experiment in virtue-based liberty.

    In foreign policy, the offenses are even more destructive for the forces of liberty and truth. The Arab Spring has devolved into the Islamicist winter, threatening any sparks of democracy and the very existence of Israel. Obama's strategy of outreach to Islamic groups and networks is more than failure - it has opened the door for aggrandizement by the radicals that lurk just beneath the surface of so many cultural and economic networks.

    The upcoming election is the most important moment in American political history since Abraham Lincoln assumed the presidency. Lincoln faced a divided Union and the consequences of the founders failure concerning slavery. Today we have a nation unable to engage in civil debate, with fortunes made through victimhood, wealthy power-brokers appearing to care for the poor they never encounter and disdain for the checks and balances of our great Constitution.

    Our petulant President deserves defeat in November. But the key to our future is more than the current occupant of the White House. "We the People" must be a civil, infomed citizenry taking responsiblity for our nation's future.

  • Democrats Out of Cash!

    Democrats are considering canceling their political convention’s kick-off event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, as party planners grapple with a roughly $27 million fundraising deficit, according to two people familiar with matter.

    Convention and campaign officials will make a final decision later this week after Steve Kerrigan, the chief executive officer of the Charlotte, North Carolina convention committee, discusses the matter with President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, based in Chicago, said the two people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal party politics.

  • Presidential Polling, Hispanics Going for Obama

    Mitt Romney had better come up with a better sound bite on immigration...because the polling shows that Obama's Dream Act announcement giving illegal immigrant children citizenship is a winning issue.

    From Real Clear Politics:

    PollDateSampleMoEObama (D)Romney (R)Spread
    RCP Average 6/1 - 6/24 -- -- 46.8 44.2 Obama +2.6
    Rasmussen Tracking 6/22 - 6/24 1500 LV 3.0 45 47 Romney +2
    Gallup Tracking 6/18 - 6/24 3050 RV 2.0 45 46 Romney +1
    Bloomberg 6/15 - 6/18 734 LV 3.6 53 40 Obama +13
    Associated Press/GfK 6/14 - 6/18 878 RV 4.2 47 44 Obama +3
    Pew Research 6/7 - 6/17 1563 RV 2.9 50 46 Obama +4
    Reuters/Ipsos 6/7 - 6/11 848 RV 3.4 45 44 Obama +1
    Monmouth/SurveyUSA/Braun 6/4 - 6/6 1152 LV 2.9 47 46 Obama +1
    FOX News 6/3 - 6/5 907 RV 3.0 43 43 Tie
    IBD/CSM/TIPP 6/1 - 6/8 841 RV 3.5 46 42 Obama +4

    See All General Election: Romney vs. Obama Polling Data

  • Is Eric Holder on His Way Out?

    Bait-and-switch? Or breath-taking chutzpah? Either way, Eric Holder is in big trouble.

    The embattled attorney general destroyed what little is left of his credibility yesterday afternoon when he failed to turn over 1,300 subpoenaed and unredacted documents in the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal to House investigators led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).

    How did the Justice Department come to OK an operation that handed massive firepower to Mexico’s drug lords, with no hope of tracing the guns and without a word to the Mexican government? Still no good answers, some 18 months after one of those guns was found at the site of the murder of a US Border Patrol agent, while countless others have been used to kill innocent Mexicans.

    Getty Images
    Eric Holder
     

    Nor has Justice handed over more than a token number of the duly subpoenaed documents that might help explain the disaster.

    Instead, in a 20-minute meeting that Holder himself had requested to stave off today’s planned contempt citation vote in Issa’s committee, he merely offered to “brief” Issa on their contents.

    Holder’s insulting, 11th-hour offer came after he’d already missed a morning deadline to turn over the documents — a small percentage of the total number that Congress has demanded as it tries to get to the bottom of the scandal.

    Issa surely feels like Charlie Brown charging the football, with Holder as Lucy. For over a year, he’s been trying to pin down the slippery AG, issuing one “last chance” after another, dragging Holder in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (on top of Senate appearances) and firing off angry letter after angry letter.

    Each time, Holder has scampered off, meeting Issa’s legitimate demands with contempt — for the congressman, the Congress itself and the rule of law.

    He tried it again yesterday after his offer was rebuffed, calling Issa’s demands “political gamesmanship” and cracking, “The ball’s in their court.”

    Um . . . no, Mr. Attorney General. The ball’s in yourcourt — and has been ever since Justice took the extraordinary step of formally “withdrawing” a Feb. 4, 2011 letter from assistant AG Ron Weich — who announced last week that he’s leaving Justice to become dean of the University of Baltimore law school.

    Weich is just the latest F&F figure to jump ship, after ex-US Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke and former acting head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Ken Melson.

    Weich’s letter definitively denied allegations that the ATF, which supervised the F&F operation, “knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons” to straw buyers acting on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.

    Oops. In December, Holder told Congress that Weich’s letter was now inoperable, then promptly clammed up again, making it clear he has something — something big — to hide from Congress and the American people.

    Which is why — unless he produces the documents before 10 a.m. this morning — Holder is looking at a House committee vote on contempt of Congress charges; once the full House goes along, he’ll be only the 11th official to be so cited since 1975.

    Then what? Technically, the citation goes to the US attorney for DC to present to a grand jury. Usually, lawyers for the White House and Congress huddle and work out some accommodation — but relations may be too poisonous for that now.

    Holder also has the option to simply not prosecute himself — which would surely set off a firestorm, as would any attempt by him or the president to assert executive privilege at this late date.

    The last thing President Obama needs heading into the election is even more controversy over his hyper-politicized chief law-enforcement officer — especially with some in Congress already calling for a special prosecutor to investigate intelligence leaks emanating from the administration.

    So Holder’s in a pickle, looking at up to a year in jail should he be convicted. And convictions do happen — just ask former EPA official Rita Lavelle, convicted of lying to Congress back in 1983.

    Even should the AG finally come across with the documents, Issa must not let up. Holder has thumbed his nose at Congress and the country for too long. It’s time for the truth.

  • 52% of American Workers Do NOT Look Forward to Retirement.

    Forget sandy beaches, long cruises and plenty of time for the garden and the grandkids.

    About half of Americans aren’t looking forward to retirement, at least in part because they fear they won’t have enough money, a new survey finds.

    The survey, conducted in March on behalf of TD Ameritrade, found that only 52 percent of working adults agreed with the statement, “I am looking forward to retirement.”

    The remaining 48 percent were either neutral or disagreed.

    TD Ameritrade then asked the people who had disagreed with the statement why they weren’t looking forward to retirement.

    The most common reason was that they didn’t have enough money saved, although a similar number of people said they were too young or retirement was too far away.

    Other popular responses included that they like their work or feared being bored.

    Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, were most likely to be looking forward to retirement. Older workers born from 1930 to 1945 were most likely to feel negatively about retirement, perhaps because at their age it seems they might never retire.

    The responses were from a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults.

    The recession has had a varied effect on workers’ retirementplans. Some older people are working longer than they expectedbecause they can no longer afford to retire. Others have been forced into early retirementbecause they lost a job and couldn’t find a new one.

    The average age at which Americans expect to retire has been gradually creeping up. A recent Gallup poll found that it has risen to  67.

  • Rasmussen Polling: Romney UP 3+

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows Mitt Romney attracting 47% of the vote, while President Obama earns 44%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and another five percent (5%) are undecided.

    his is the 10th straight day that Romney has held a modest advantage over the president. See tracking history.

    With a decision coming any day now, most voters want the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the president’s health care law.  Just 21% believe the government has the constitutional authority to require the purchase of health insurance. Earlier this year, a column by Scott Rasmussen argued that the health care law is doomed regardless of what the court decides. 

    Consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest level in five months.  Confidence is now barely above the lowest levels of 2012. In his latest syndicated newspaper column, Scott Rasmussen notes that “consumers rate their personal finances the same as they did on the day President Obama was inaugurated. If that doesn't improve by November, there's likely to be a new president in January.”

  • Man Sues State for Deer Attack

    A Bolinas man who says he was attacked by a deer has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Fish and Game, claiming it "mismanaged" the animal.

    Tadeusz Wyrzykowski, in a handwritten court filing, says the deer jumped into his fenced yard last spring and "attacked me (twice) on a narrow path."

    "I fell into a window pane," he wrote. "A shred of glass imbeded [sic] in my right foot."

    Wyrzykowski, who lives on Aspen Road, said the wildlife department "owns that animal, manages it and is responsible for the diversified use of it."

    "CDFG mismanaged negligently its animal its claims & duties," he said. "As a direct result, I suffered trauma, pain and lasting injury, compromising my health

    till present."

    Wyrzykowski, 58, seeks unspecified damages. A case management conference was set for Oct. 19 before Judge Roy Chernus in Marin Superior Court

  • "Reforms" in California Guarantee Higher Taxes

    SACRAMENTO – God help California from its current crop of wealthy "moderates" who believe that the only thing that will save our state is a dose of higher taxes. They continue to embrace electoral rule changes that ultimately will undermine the Republicans' supposedly hard line against tax hikes.

    June 5 saw was the first election to use the "top two" primary system, a form of open primary designed specifically to elect more candidates who resemble former state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two politicians most responsible for its implementation. These are two of the least-effective and least-principled Republicans to attain higher office in recent years, so let this serve as a warning about what is to come.

    The election also took place utilizing new electoral districts drawn according to a supposedly apolitical redistricting system.

    After the smoke cleared, we find these results: "Top two" has obliterated minor parties and assured that the ideas they could bring to the general election will not get a fair hearing. In many legislative races, the general election will pit two members of the same party against each other, which is part of the system's design. Top two was supposed to promote greater choice, but voters will have fewer choices.

    Top two is supposed to reduce the influence of big money, but record amounts were spent in the primary cycle. This system will only increase the power of moneyed interests. Now winning candidates will need to run in two open, general elections, rather than in a narrow primary, then in a general election for what was typically a safe seat. That takes a lot more money. Who do you think will provide it?

    Redistricting was supposed to take the politics out of politics, but media reports showed that Republicans improperly vetted the redistricting commission members, allowing agenda-driven lefties on the panel.

    Between the two "reforms," it's clear what will happen after November. Democrats are likely to gain a rock-solid two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature, where they then can raise taxes at will.

    Another "moderate" reform has also gone into effect – the elimination of the two-thirds vote requirement to pass state budgets. We can already see what has happened as a result of that change. In this cycle, Republicans don't have any say in the process, because Democrats, who already have sizable majorities in both houses, no longer need GOP votes to pass their budgets.

    I'm not sure I see anything moderate about giving one party and its most extreme elements unalloyed power to pass budgets.

    Fortunately, these political reformers were unsuccessful in creating a state constitutional convention that would have enabled the liberals who dominate our political process to cast aside many of the taxpayer protections in the California Constitution. But some of them are eager to see the initiative, recall and referendum process hobbled, so as to make average folks more dependent than ever on the Legislature.

    These good-government types argue that Democrats and Republicans are too partisan (true), that liberals are too focused on insanity such as banning foie gras and imposing regulations on tanning salons (also true), and that conservatives are too focused on social issues such as gay marriage (yet again, true). But their solutions miss the mark by more than a country mile.

  • Are Stay-At-Home Dad's Satisfied with their Choice?

    What was most striking about an in-depth study of 33 dads, by the Boston College Center for Work and Family, was its conclusion: Despite the challenges and stigmas, the snooty moms and questioning relatives, the fathers surveyed were intent on staying home, satisfied with their choices. “What struck me was how thoughtful they were about parenting,” the center’s executive director, Brad Harrington, told me. “How it had changed them as individuals, how it had changed their perceptions of what a father should be.” Which is why he ended the study with a pointed recommendation: That we break from the “conflict/burden paradigm” that describes so much of the chatter about parenthood today.

  • Is Today the Day that Obamacare is Struck Down?

    The Folly of Obamacare
    Original Article
     
    We pay our presidents for judgment, and President Obama committed a colossal error of judgment in making health-care “reform” a centerpiece of his first term. Ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — and regardless of how the court decides — it’s clear that Obama overreached. His attempt to achieve universal health insurance coverage is a massive feat of social engineering that, by its sweeping nature, weakens the economic recovery and antagonizes millions of Americans. Let’s review why the ACA (“Obamacare”) is dreadful public policy: (1) It increases uncertainty and decreases confidence
  • Focus Group Polling Shows Independants Sour on Obama

    They backed him last time, but now say they see the president as a weak leader. Five months from Election Day, can the White House hear the harsh message pollsters are sending?

    How tough an uphill climb does President Obama face with independent voters?

    Obama

    President Barack Obama speaks at Cuyahoga Community College, Thursday, June 14, in Cleveland. (Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo)

    If the findings of a focus group conducted this week are any indication, a steep one indeed.

    Nine of the 12 people gathered in Denver on Tuesday voted for Obama in ’08, but only three lean toward him at this point. They are a cross-section of America, working in real estate, health care, IT, and sales, and they’re torn between a president whose performance they say has been underwhelming and who doesn’t deserve reelection, and a challenger they know very little about beyond the fact that he’s a rich and successful businessman.

    When Democratic pollster Peter Hart probed for their thoughts about Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that Mitt Romney headed, nine of the group opted out, saying they didn’t know enough to talk about it. Of the three who ventured they knew “a little,” one said “Mitt ran it,” while another said “He did well,” three words that sum up the Obama campaign’s challenge as they try to tarnish what Hart has called Romney’s “halo effect” on the economy. They aren’t biting on Bain.

    Listening to these voters for over two hours, it was clear that their assessment of the economy is not as bleak as one would suppose, given their disaffection from Obama. They generally agree that the economy is improving, but Obama doesn’t get credit for a recovery that, while slow, is moving in the right direction—the core of his message for a second term. A few cited what they called “little things” Obama has done for the economy, like reining in credit-card companies, but no one could cite major accomplishments that would measure up to the expectations aroused by Obama as a candidate who promised to bring about transformative change.

    This Denver group was sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and Hart’s findings add to a growing chorus of concern among Democrats not directly aligned with the Obama campaign that the president is not connecting with the voters he needs to win. Asked if he was feeling the heat from his allies in the Obama camp, Hart told The Daily Beast, “They know who I am, and that I’m a straight-shooter, and I’m totally in their corner. Sometimes being in their corner means telling them the truth.”
    “The whole platform was hope—I don’t feel any more hope today.”

    Whether it’s a failure of policy or of communications is debatable, but the sense of disillusionment with Obama’s performance is real. “He set up expectations that began 46 months ago, and they only grew over time,” says Hart. He singled out Jeffrey, a 31-year-old Web designer and home remodeler, as the voter Obama most needs and might not get. Jeffrey voted for Obama last time.

    “The whole platform was hope—I don’t feel any more hope today,” he said. Pressed by Hart as to which candidate he was leaning toward, Jeffrey said the tenor of the campaign turned him off, that he felt like he was in the middle of a weird argument between a husband and wife, and all he wanted to do was leave the room. “I don’t even know if I’m going to vote this time,” he said glumly.
    The crux of Obama’s challenge is to win back enough of the voters who have lost confidence in him, and in his ability to make government work for them. “Does that person even vote?” Hart later wondered. In his view, the young, bearded Web designer should be in Obama’s corner, and the fact that he isn’t is emblematic of the president’s problems.

    While the results of this focus group forecast trouble for Obama, they also point to an opening, which is to “get beyond the rat-a-tat of the present and take it to the future,” says Hart, a process begun by Obama with his economic speech in Cleveland Thursday. A sustained effort, and not just a one-stop speech, could reframe the race.

    There’s an opening, too, for Romney if he can build on the general impression voters have of him as a good businessman, and “make voters feel comfortable that he’s not going to dismantle everything we have,” says Hart, when it comes to health care and other social support programs.

    Asked which candidate these voters would like to attend a baseball game with, nobody wanted to go with Romney except to have him pick up the tab, giving Obama a substantial edge in likability. Both candidates came up short on a more subtle leadership exercise. Asked how each would perform if they were lost in the forest with nine friends, the group concluded Romney would use his super-duper expensive phone to call for help, with Donald Trump and wife Ann Romney topping the call list, while Obama would give a pep talk and then retreat to the sidelines. There’s the campaign in a microcosm.

    For Obama, this was a devastating departure from how voters responded to a similar question four years ago, when they said then candidate Obama would work with you, reason with you, and bring out the best in you. This time, says Hart, there was “no sense of leadership.” These are hard-nosed assessments five months out from the election, and the Obama campaign ignores them at its peril. Hart is a highly respected pollster with four decades of experience. Soft-spoken and generally cautious in his conclusions, people pay attention when he sounds the alarm.

  • It's Raining in Sunny California

    As of last year, CalPRS has $525 billion in unfunded liabilities.  But that was based on a return on equity of 7.75%.  Instead the return was a NEGATIVE 4.8%–a difference of 12%.

    That 12% will be added to the unfunded liabilities—$11 billion more of unfunded liabilities.

    “The fund’s value declined to $226.1 billion as of June 8, down from $237.5 billion at the start of its fiscal year July 1. As recently as March 31, the fund was up 1.9 percent for the first nine months. Since May 1, the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index of stocks declined 5.8 percent. Half of Calpers’s money is invested in equities.”

    California is in a Depression.  At a minimum the new deficit is $61 billion or as much as $75 billion. Totally unsustainable—as is the government pension systems.  The State will have a fiscal collapse the first quarter of 2013.  The pension systems are not far behind.

    Why isn’t this a front page story in the Times, Bee or Chron?  A 12% loss is gigantic, but not enough to make the back pages of mainstream media.

  • Crazy Reaches New level

    
    Every word used to describe Obama is now RACIST.  Including "cool", "Christian" and
    "Educated"
    
    
    by Joel Gehrke 
    Commentary Staff Writer
    
    Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that
    President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated
    opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.
    
    "This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during
    CSPAN's Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is
    because he's black. You know, whether it's questioning his intellect or whether or
    not he's Ivy League. It's always either he's not educated enough or he's too
    educated; or he's too black or he's not black enough; he's too Christian or not
    Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine
    line to even be successful."
    
    She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use
    of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS superPAC.
    
    "There's an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too
    cool? And there's this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the
    blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his
    sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren't
    asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that's the number one person
    they'd love to have a beer with. So, if that's not cool I dont know what is.
    
    She added that "even 'cool,' the term 'cool,' could in some ways be deemed racial
    [in this instance]."
    
    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/cbc-staff-opposition-obama-racist/592346
  • The Private Sector is "Fine"

    President Obama's claim Friday that "the private sector is doing fine" sparked a firestorm of attacks from Republicans and prompted a quick retraction, of sorts, from Obama, who later said "it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine."

    But what has gone largely unnoticed was Obama's complaint that it's the government that's hurting these days. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy," he said Friday, "have to do with state and local government."

    Even when he tried to walk back his comment later that day, Obama said that the private sector is showing "some good momentum" but the bigger problem is state and local government cutbacks.

    And over the weekend, Obama's top adviser, David Axelrod, argued that the private sector is "certainly doing better than the public sector."

    But a review of data from several government sources paints a different picture. State and local government spending and revenues are up, and while state and local government jobs are down slightly, these losses pale in comparison with the damage done to private-sector jobs over the past four years.

    Here's a rundown:

    State spending: Despite the deep recession and the slow recovery, annual state spending overall hasn't dropped once. In fact, by fiscal 2011, total outlays at the state level were 14% higher than they were in 2008, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. (See nearby chart.)

    State general-fund spending: Meanwhile, states' spending from their general funds — which is more than a third of total state spending — climbed in 2011 and is expected to climb again in 2012. While still not back to 2008 levels, general-fund spending in 2012 will be slightly higher than 2007, NASBO reports.

    Midyear state budget cuts: Another sign of the improving health of state governments is the fact that the number of states making cuts to their budgets in the middle of the year has declined sharply. Last year, just 19 states did. So far this year, only two have.

    Combined state and local spending: Annualized state and local current expenditures were almost 10% higher in Q1 2012 than just before the Great Recession started, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    State and local tax revenues: According to the Census Bureau, state and local tax revenues climbed 4.5% in 2011 — a year when the overall economy grew just 1.7%. Tax revenues are now above their previous peak of 2008.

  • How's That Hope and Change Thing Workin' Out?

    Nearly four years after enthusiastic younger voters poured into polling booths to help push Barack Obama over the finish line and into the Oval Office, their hope has turned to fear and pollster John Zogby says that they are ready to give up on politics.

    “I truly am worried about today's twenty-somethings,” he frets. “They are our global generation and I have seen them move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment. We can't afford to lose them,” he adds.

  • Freefall

    American Families Lose 40 % of Net Worth in 3 Years.

    The biggest drops occurred among middle-income Americans, whose wealth was inextricably linked to the housing market boom and bust. Meanwhile, the wealthiest families actually saw their median income rise slightly.

    The data represents one of the most detailed looks so far how Americans’ finances have weathered the economic downturn. It underscores both the depth of the wounds of the financial crisis and how far many families remain from healing.

    “It’s hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “We were in freefall.”

  • Lefties Admit OWS A Failure

    The Occupy Wall Street movement was first proposed by the leftwing Canadian magazine, Adbusters. However, now even they are forced to admit the obvious about the failure of their creation which you can read in their sad OWS obituary:

    Burned out, out of money, out of ideas… seduced by salaries, comfy offices, book deals, old lefty cash and minor celebrity status, some of the most prominent early heroes of our leaderless uprising are losing the edge that catalyzed last year’s one thousand encampments. Bit by bit, Occupy’s first generation is succumbing to an insidious institutionalization and ossification that could be fatal to our young spiritual insurrection unless we leap over it right now. Putting our movement back on track will take nothing short of a revolution within Occupy.

    Your humble correspondent begs your pardon for this comparison but does the preceding Adbusters quote not sound eerily similar to this declaration by Bela Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff in that epic film, Bride of the Monster?

    Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, Living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    And what is the Adbusters version of "a race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world?" An equally unrealistic solution as called "flash encampments" as Adbusters explains:

    The next big bang to capture the world’s imagination could come not from a thousand encampments but from a hundred thousand ephemeral jams… a global cascade of flash encampments may well be what this hot Summer will look like.

    And here is their "glowing example" of a flash encampment:

    ...The new tone was set on Earth Day, April 22, in a suburb bordering Berkeley, California when a dozen occupiers quietly marched a small crowd to a tract of endangered urban agricultural land, cut through the locked fence and set up tents, kitchens and a people’s assembly. Acting autonomously under the banner of Occupy, without waiting for approval from any preexisting General Assembly, Occupy The Farm was notable for its sophisticated preplanning and careful execution — they even brought chickens — that offered a positive vision for the future and engendered broad community support. While encampments across the world were unable to re-establish themselves on May Day, this small cadre of farm occupiers boldly maintained their inspiring occupation for nearly four weeks.

    What Adbusters doesn't tell you was this "flash encampment" turned out to be yet another dopey counterproductive idea as reported by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson:

  • Urgent! Vote on Holder Contempt of Congress

    (CBS News) CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It's the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

    This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious "gunwalking" investigation.

    The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

    However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents. Those include materials created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department wrote a letter to Congress saying no gunwalking had occurred. The Justice Department later retracted the denial.

    "The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics," Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.

    Read the memo and draft version of contempt report (PDF)

  • Heartbreaker Alert!

    A Dog Sits Perfectly Still at a Rest Stop For Two Full Days Until His Owner Comes Back and Finds Him

    Thursday June 7, 2012 - Last Friday, a truck driver stopped at a rest stop in Missouri, and his Yorkie accidentally got free. The driver didn't realize it until he was three hours away, and if he turned around, he would lose his job. Finally, after two days of phone calls, the police gave him good news . . . the dog had just been sitting perfectly still at the rest stop for TWO DAYS waiting for him to come back. They've been reunited.

    Read more...

  • The Other Union story from Tuesday

    In the midst of the various celebrations taking place following Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall election, it’s understandable if most of us missed another story which broke on the same day involving the relationship between government, taxpayers and public sector unions. This one takes place in Arizona, and long time readers will already be familiar with the efforts of the Goldwater Institute there to battle union abuse of public funds. I’ll provide some links at the bottom to our previous coverage, but the short recap goes something like this:

    The City of Phoenix has been locked into some crippling contracts with various public worker unions for longer than anyone can remember. Such a sweet deal had been cut for the unions – and let’s be clear here… it’s for the unions and their officers, not the workers – that the city was laying out millions of dollars for “release time” where union officials would receive pay for doing “union work.” This included officials who were payed full time wages – including mandatory overtime – for doing zero work for the public in their supposed regular jobs, instead working full time on union activities.

    The Goldwater Institute cried foul, claiming that such practices violated a clause of the state constitution which “prohibits gifts of public money to private individuals or corporations, requiring the government to prove it receives direct, tangible benefits from a subsidy it gives to a private entity.”

    On Tuesday, a Superior Court Judge agreed with the complaint and put a halt to the practice while the case proceeds.

    Maricopa County Superior Court Katherine Cooper ruled in favor of the Goldwater Institute Tuesday to enjoin provisions of a contract between the City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association allowing officers to perform union work on police time.

    The contract grants approximately $1 million in release time dedicated to union business, including to six police officers who perform exclusively union work and collect automatic overtime. The current contract expires on June 30. A new contract continuing release time was approved last month by a 4-4-1 vote by the Phoenix City Council, with the abstaining vote counting as a yes. The injunction applies only to the current contract, so additional legal efforts will be necessary to extend the ruling to the new contract that takes effect July 1.

    According to the ruling, release time constitutes a subsidy because the contract “does not obligate PLEA to perform any specific service or give anything in return for the receipt of $1 million for release time.”

    This case in particular was especially tough for the Goldwater Institute to take on because it deals with the police. Nobody wants to look like they are going after our first responders, but the police are still public employees who are paid by the taxpayer and their union bosses are accountable to the public and the law. I do not for one moment begrudge hard working cops the opportunity to pick up some overtime and a little extra cash in the performance of their duties.

    But the officers in their unions deserve no such sympathy from us. If they need to conduct union business as opposed to police business, they can pay for it with union money. These iron-clad contracts do nothing but rip off the taxpayers in a city which has enough trouble paying its bills as it is. This decision by the judge is a good first step, but more work will be required to make it permanent and the taxpayers deserve an alert watchdog to guard the public purse.

  • Awwww....

    The former Vice-President of the United States, Dick Cheney, got our thank-you card from Move America Forward.  And his daughter Liz Cheney tweeted this picture.

    We are so glad that he is feeling better.

  • Ca. Lawmakers Want Digital Textbooks

    Faster, please.

    "....Lawmakers in California approved two measures Wednesday that would make textbooks more affordable for the state’s college students.

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the Senate approved a bill that would create an Internet website that posts textbooks online. It would offer students the ability to read textbooks for 50 of the most popular classes for free online, as well as printed copies for $20 each.

    The second bill would create a California Open Source Digital Library that would be home to the textbooks.

    Textbooks reportedly cost an average of $1,000 a year for students at California State University, University of California and at California community colleges."

    A wave that I hope swamps the country.

  • Obama, Romney in Virtual Tie

    In 2008, three smaller states flipped to the Democratic Party, although the race had been all but decided by the time that was discovered on Election Night.  Four years later, though, the same three states look a lot less friendly to Barack Obama in the latest NBC/Marist polls.  Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa all find themselves locked in a dead heat with the incumbent well below 50% in each, according to National Journal’s recap:

    Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama in three key battleground states that Obama flipped from red to blue four years ago, according to new NBC News/Marist polls released early Thursday.

    The states – ColoradoIowa and Nevada – are relatively small, but each is an important and symbolic bellwether. In each state, voters overwhelmingly say the economy will be the most important issue in this year’s election, but Obama either trails Romney on this issue or, at best, ties him. …

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    • Obama holds only a one-point lead in Colorado, 46 percent to 45 percent, with 8 percent undecided. That is well within the poll’s margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points. Obama defeated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the state by nearly 9 points in 2008.
    • The two candidates run even in [Iowa}, tied at 44 percent apiece. Two percent support another candidate, and 10 percent of voters are undecided. Each candidate holds between 80 percent and 85 percent of the vote among their respective party, while Obama leads Romney among independents by just 4 percentage points, within the margin of error.
    • Obama won Nevada by double-digits in 2008, but today he leads Romney by just 2 points in the Silver State, 48 percent to 46 percent, the poll shows. Six percent of voters prefer another candidate or are undecided.

     

    Change.

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