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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The REAL State of Our Union

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
click image for larger view


McConnell Moves to Bring Health Care Repeal to Senate

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday night, just hours before the president's State of the Union address, began the legislative process of forcing the House-passed health care repeal bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

Using a particular Senate rule typically reserved for the leaders, McConnell bypassed committee action and put the bill directly before the members, even without the support of the Majority Leader who, for the most part, controls the legislative calendar. It is a procedure that takes a couple of days to ripen before any vote can occur, though even then it could be a fight.

McConnell's Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid of Nevada, has vowed that no such repeal vote will occur, but the Kentucky Republican has stuck to his guns, telling Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday, "The Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn't want a vote on this bill, but I assure you we will."

McConnell has a crack floor staff who cannot be underestimated in finding creative ways to get this vote.

Republican Response to State of the Union






The Daily News: January 25, 2011


TONIGHT: GOP Address to the Nation LIVE on Facebook Following the State of the Union


Be sure to catch Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) as he delivers the Republican Address to the Nation tonight immediately following President Obama’s State of the Union message. You can watch Chairman Ryan LIVE online and discuss his remarks with others at Facebook.com/OfficeofSpeakerBoehner/:

>> CLICK HERE TONIGHT TO WATCH THE GOP ADDRESS TO THE NATION <<
 
Mr. Ryan will call for an end to Washington’s job-crushing spending binge, and will outline the need to cut federal spending and remove government barriers that are preventing job growth. 


The Office of the Speaker is working with UStream and Facebook to stream the event online. Be sure to:
  • “Like” the Office of Speaker Boehner Facebook Page;
  • Share news of the event and make sure your friends and family know to tune in too;
  • Stay tuned to the Speaker Blog throughout the day as we preview Chairman Ryan’s address and provide real-time fact-checking of the president’s remarks;
  • Let us know what you think in the comments below; and
  • Tune in tonight on Facebook after the State of the Union message.

Preview of Chairman Paul Ryan's Republican Address to the Nation

You can also watch Paul Ryan's address to the nation here.

Obama Fakes Right

The country will be treated to yet another orgasmic reaction by the once-mainstream media upon the conclusion of President Obama's State of the Union speech. On the right, pundits such as Peggy Noonan are swooning once again and offering advice to the president on how to follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton and move to the right with facile rhetoric and symbolic actions.

The majority of the current Ruling Class will fall prey to the Obama cult of personality, as they will measure success not by what he does, but by how he says almost anything. The media elites, living in a fantasy world wherein they choose which history will be repeated, will in fact move heaven and earth to assure that Obama will be reelected as was Bill Clinton in 1996. Clinton won a major reelection victory after having suffered a significant blow in the 1992 midterms, as did Obama. There are, however, innumerable differences between 1996 and 2012. Just how similar are the circumstances between 1994-1996 and 2010-2012?

Culture of Corruption: Not so fast there, Carol Browner

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 24, 2011 10:00 PM

The Obama Culture of Corruption won’t be the same without her. But the question is: While lying, eco-radical czar Carol Browner may be stepping down (Politico has the scoop), does it really mean she’s stepping out of the inner circle?

Word has it she may have lost out to health care czar Nancy DeParle for the coveted deputy chief of staff position (As I’ve previously reported, DeParle’s got her own set of baggage).

In any case, it’s a Pyrrhic victory unless the Republicans are able to hold her accountable for all her dirty green deeds.

My archives are stuffed with Browner’s power-grabbing, transparency-undermining, science-distorting antics that stretch across two Democratic administrations. She and her energy lobbyist husband Thomas Downey are immovable Beltway fixtures — and it looks like she has no plans to leave D.C.

Kermit Gosnell Drugged, Tied Up Woman Before Forced Abortion

Women victimized by abortions done at the filthy and poorly-run abortion center owned and operated by Kermit Gosnell are coming forward to talk about their experiences and how they were injured by abortion.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticides that involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

Davida Johnson is also speaking out about the abortion Gosnell did and she said the abortion facility he ran was filthy — with women sitting on blood-stained recliners. She told the Associated press she had a change of heart about the abortion but was forced to continue the abortion.

“I said, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ and he smacked me. They tied my hands and arms down and gave me more medication,” she told AP.

Johnson was 21-years-old and had a 3-year-old daughter at the time of the forced abortion. She had originally gone to a Planned Parenthood abortion center but chose Gosnell for the abortion after seeing pro-life advocates at the center. She told AP she paid $400 for the abortion and was told that pro-life advocates would not be present at Gosnell’s abortion center because Gosnell routinely did abortions during hours when his center was supposedly closed.

Johnson indicates she began having psychological issues following the forced abortion and she blames Gosnell for a mental illness she now suffers from and says she has had four miscarriages following the abortion.

She also told AP she doesn’t know if Gosnell killed her child in the abortion or in the snipping technique he used to kill babies shortly after birth.

Paul Ryan Is Republican Point Man

House Budget Chairman Will Deliver Rebuttal to Obama, Craft Spending Cuts

When Rep. Paul Ryan delivers the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, many viewers will get their first look at a man whom GOP leaders are trusting to manage a central policy issue—how to cut the federal budget—that could shape the party's image for years.

While unknown to most Americans, Mr. Ryan, 40 years old, has established himself as a leading conservative thinker on federal spending, shaped in part by his early work for supply-side icon Jack Kemp.

Congressman Paul Ryan
Now, Republicans not only have made Mr. Ryan chairman of the House Budget Committee, but on Tuesday the House is expected to vote to give him unprecedented powers to force spending cuts for the current fiscal year. That authority will allow Mr. Ryan to act unilaterally in setting an overall spending level for the rest of the year, a job usually handled by his full panel.

Hours later, Mr. Ryan will speak to the nation in a televised address following Mr. Obama's remarks to a joint session of Congress. He was chosen for the role by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

In elevating Mr. Ryan, Republican leaders are taking what Democrats believe is a political risk. He has written an anti-deficit plan that includes politically explosive ideas—replacing Medicare with vouchers and allowing some workers to invest Social Security taxes in private accounts—that go beyond what even many Republicans are prepared to embrace.

But conservatives counter that the 2010 election outcome showed he is precisely the kind of political figure to put forth as the face of the Republican Party.

Illinois court throws Emanuel off Chicago ballot

This story broke yesterday. The shocking part of the story is that there is a court in Illinois that is actually trying to obey, uphold and enforce the law! What the heck? Unfortunately, I don't think it will last. The Illinois Supreme Court will undoubtedly correct the appellate court and ignore the law so Emanuel can be the next King of Chicago.  -  Reggie

CHICAGO – Just days ago, Rahm Emanuel seemed to be steamrolling the entire field of candidates for Chicago mayor. He had millions in the bank, a huge lead in the polls and abundant opportunities to show off his influence, including a meeting with the visiting Chinese president.

But on Monday, the former White House chief of staff was waging a desperate bid to keep his campaign alive after an Illinois appeals court kicked him off the ballot for not meeting a residency requirement. The surprise decision threw the race into disarray with less than a month to go.

Emanuel's lawyers quickly sought help from the Illinois Supreme Court, asking the justices to stop the appellate ruling and to hear an appeal as soon as possible. But time was running short, since the Chicago Board of Elections planned to begin printing ballots without Emanuel's name within days.

About the Departure of Keith Olbermann from MS-NBC





For those that are not aware, Keith Olbermann left MS-NBC on January 21st. His announcement of that departure is below.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Michele Bachmann Talks About State of the Union Response

The Daily News: January 24, 2011


Israel IQ at UCLA - With Comedian Mark Schiff

Watch the video below to see the depth of knowledge these UCLA students have. Shocking. - Reggie

Info from YouTube:

StandWithUs investigates what some UCLA Students know about Israel and the middle-east. See what comedian Mark Schiff discovers when asking some tough and some not-so-tough questions. More info and the right answers at www.Standwithus.com

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Washington Post and ‘Progressive’ Weathermen for Obama

This is the most recent installment of exclusive interviews with Dr. Paul Kengor on his book revealing how communists, from Moscow to New York to Chicago, have long manipulated America’s liberals/progressives. Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century is based on an unprecedented volume of declassified materials from Soviet archives, FBI files, and more. Fred Barnes calls Dupes “an incredibly important book.” Big Peace’s own Peter Schweizer calls it the “21st century equivalent” to Whittaker Chambers’ classic Witness.

Big Peace: Professor Kengor, the Washington Post last weekend opened its “Outlook” section to Mark Rudd, who appeared in several previous “Big Dupes” (click here and here). Remind us, who is Mark Rudd, and what’s his political relevance today?


Kengor: It’s critical that someone provide that answer on relevance today, given that the Post, predictably, ignored or concealed it.

Rudd burst onto the scene in the 1960s as head of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Columbia, where he shut down the campus in the spring of 1968. This was a fitting culmination of what John Dewey and Corliss Lamont and other progressives, comrades, communists, and Soviet fellow travelers had been germinating at Columbia since the 1920s. That’s a sordid tale I detail in Dupes, and will spare you the agony here.

Rudd came to find SDS not far-left enough. He became a founder of the Weather Underground, and a literal fugitive and “wanted man” by the FBI. That was likewise true of Rudd’s colleagues, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, two domestic terrorists who recently achieved renewed notoriety because of their friendship and political support of Barack Obama. We’ve noted this in previous “Big Dupes,” including last week, where we covered how Obama, as a foundation chair in Chicago, funded Ayers’ “Small Schools” initiatives.

All of these people were not only ‘60s radicals, and, in some cases, literal bomb-throwers—or, at least, bomb-planters and planners—but were hardened communists. Bear in mind, they despised Democrats of their generation, like JFK, and sabotaged the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  

Read the rest of the article

U.N. funding an early target for House Republicans

A key House Republican is quickly pressing forward with her goals to scale back U.S. funding for the United Nations. 

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Hill that oversight would be a key function of the panel, particularly funding to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) that is "a waste of taxpayer dollars."

"I'd like to make sure that we once and for all kill all U.S. funding for that beast," she said last month. "Because I don't think that it advances U.S. interests, I don't think that that's a pro-democracy group, it's a rogue's gallery, pariah states, they belong there because they don't want to be sanctioned."
Supporters of continued U.S. support of and participation on the HRC say that it's essential that Washington have leverage on the panel, renowned for including countries that have their own records of human-rights violations.

On Tuesday, Ros-Lehtinen will host a panel of U.N. critics and advocates that was originally scheduled for the week that the House suspended most activity in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

The 10 a.m. briefing before the full committee is titled, "The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action."

NEA Gave More Than $13 Million to Advocacy Groups

Conservative union members, please read the post below, carefully. This is what unions do with your hard earned money. They give it away. As if that isn't bad enough, in many cases, they give it away to leftist groups that work against your personal beliefs, your values and interests. Oh, and they do all of this without your permission. Why do you belong to a union? - Reggie

An Education Intelligence Agency analysis of NEA’s financial disclosure report for the 2009-10 fiscal year reveals the national union contributed more than $13 million to a wide variety of advocacy groups and charities. The total was about half the amount disbursed in the previous year, though more than in 2007-08.

The expenditures fall into broad categories of community outreach grants, charitable contributions, and payments for services rendered. In this list, EIA has deliberately omitted spending such as media buys, or payments to pollsters or consultants that have no obvious ideological component. The grants range from $2.125 million to a California ballot initiative campaign, down to smaller grants to organizations such as People for the American Way, Media Matters and Netroots Nation.

Read the full post at Hot Air

Eric Cantor Outlines the "Cut and Grow Agenda"

As I watched this interview I noticed David Gregory's open hostility toward Congressman Cantor. I do not understand why Republicans agree to go on these Sunday chat shows knowing they will be belittled, mocked and attacked by the media they talk to. It's time to wise up, Republicans, and "just say no!" to these Sunday invitations. - Reggie

Muslims Threaten Children With Violence & Rape Outside School Daily

So subjugated are the Brits that they cannot even bring themselves to utter the name of the invading colonizers; instead, they say Asian (though my definition of Asian is infinitely different from those whom they are describing, Muslims).

Read the full post at Atlas Shrugs.

Obama to Push for Massive Spending Cuts in State of the Union Speech

Sorry, did I say cuts? I meant increases, but you probably already figured that out:
President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.
Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said.

And then there's this from Senate GOPs Twitter account...

How Free is America's Economy?

Allegory of the Cave of the Mama Grizzly

It was my online friend narciso, the pen name of a brilliant commenter on the day's events, who first summed up this week's folderol over Sarah Palin. "One is struck," he noted, " by how much Plato's 'Tale of the Cave' seems to fit this paradigm ... Those that only follow the networks, or the Times or USA Today, even, are always 'unexpectedly surprised,' when reality doesn't match the paradigm they've assimilated by osmosis."

There was a lot of sage stuff online trying to explain what happened and why to Sarah Palin this week, and although I'll mention some of the best analysis I found, my own belief is that the vicious treatment of her stems as much as anything from the discordant feelings she inspires as she takes media prisoners out of their mental cave and into the bright sun and exposes the puppeteers as fools and knaves.

I'm sure you all studied at one time in your lives Plato's Allegory of the Cave, but to refresh your memory: prisoners in a dark cave are forced by their bindings to look only straight ahead to the wall in front of them, on which puppeteers project images of things and people. These projections form the only reality the prisoners know. Only when a prisoner is released from his bonds does he see the sleight of hand -- the puppeteers and all their paraphernalia. As he climbs out of the cave into the bright sunlight he is temporarily blinded, his eyes having for so long been accustomed to the dark. The ex-prisoner is understandably frightened and bewildered by this new world. And he must learn to see what is around him without the puppeteers' filtering. But it is only then, after this uncomfortable journey into the bright and unfamiliar world around him, that the prisoner finally can think and understand, that he can appreciate what is real and true from that which is artificial and contrived.

In my view, the media tarring of Sarah Palin respecting the Tucson tragedy is an event which -- perhaps not this week, but soon enough -- will be remembered for having exposed the political class and cultural elites as the puppeteers projecting their own ignorance and violent hatred of Sarah onto her. Those who uncritically followed the media will come to see that they have spent too much time in the cave and need to get out into the sunshine and face some realities.

Agenda 21 Part II: Globalist Totalitarian Dictatorship Invading a Town near You–With Your Permission

Part I traced the sustainable development movement to longstanding U.N. environmental and population initiatives with unmistakably Marxist goals. They talk about saving the environment, but most of the fine print refers to “equity,” “social justice,” “fair distribution” and other Marxist terms. “Global warming” is the latest scare tactic, but population control never left the scene. The U.N.’s answer: free condoms.

As I said before, these people are nuts.

The discredited work of Dr. Paul Ehrlich, population prophet of doom, and Obama’s lunatic Science Czar, John Holdren, are referred to in U.N. population studies, and Ehrlich was cited in Agenda 21’s Biodiversity Assessment Report under “Gender Perspectives.” That’s right; the feminists have a special perspective on global warming too.

So the pretext doesn’t matter. They will always find one, because in their minds the solution to everything, poverty, overpopulation, environmental degradation, or even who should win Dancing with the Stars, is Socialism. And the way they get there is by creating a crisis.

To promote their socialist nightmare, Marxists must use deceptive language and tactics. In “Sustainable Development” they have found a magic mantra. It has allowed them to insinuate all their socialist fantasies into our legal code, under our noses, with little or no fanfare, scant public debate and graveyard noises from our treacherously AWOL mass media, right down to the local level – with our permission. Agenda 21, a UN initiative that was never endorsed by the U.S. Senate, as all international agreements must be, has penetrated into the ordinances of county and city governments all over America.


ICLEI Website

They have accomplished this through a little-known (to us) vehicle called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Cell Phone Pictures Come With Hidden Danger

Pictures uploaded to social media sites come embedded with users GSP location

Obama recalls Roe v. Wade, backs abortion rights

Normally, I would not post President Obama's remarks concerning his desire to continue the practice of slaughtering innocent children in the womb. However, I was stunned at the hypocrisy of the statement below that I have emphasized. This is the same man that spent two years forcing ObamaCare down our collective throats - the ultimate government intrusion in private family matters!! Are the mainstream media going to point this out? Of course not. Absolutely unbelievable! - Reggie

President Obama echoed his support for abortion rights today, the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's pro-choice decision in Roe v. Wade.

"Government should not intrude on private family matters," Obama said in a statement, adding that he also supports policies to prevented "unintended pregnancies."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Philadelphia Horror: How mass murder gets a pass

By Michelle Malkin • January 21, 2011 12:00 AM



The “fetal material”-stuffed freezer at Philadelphia’s “Women’s Medical Society”

The mainstream news reports about Philadelphia’s serial baby-killer Kermit Gosnell and his abortion clinic death squad only scratch the surface of his barbaric enterprise. You must, must, must read the entire, graphic, 281-page grand jury report (embedded after my column below) to fully fathom the systematic execution of hundreds of (not just seven) healthy, living, breathing, squirming, viable babies — along with an untold number of mothers who may have lost their lives in his sick, grimy chamber of horrors as well. It is explicit. It is enraging. It will haunt you.

Ask yourself why you are not hearing about which root causes and whose rhetoric are to blame for this four-decades-long massacre — just the tip of a blood-soaked iceberg defended by the predators of Planned Parenthood. You know the answer: If it doesn’t help the Left criminalize conservatism, it’s not worth discussing.

From the conclusion of the grand jury report: “It is not our job to say who should be fired or demoted. We believe, however, that anyone responsible for permitting Gosnell to operate as he did should face strong disciplinary action up to and including termination. This includes not only the people who failed to do the inspecting, the prosecuting, and the protecting, but also those at the top who obviously tolerated, or even encouraged, the inaction. The Department of State literally licensed Gosnell’s criminally dangerous behavior. DOH gave its stamp of approval to his facility. These agencies do not deserve the public’s trust. The fate of Karnamaya Mongar and countless babies with severed spinal cords is proof that people at those departments were not doing their jobs. Those charged with protecting the public must do better.”

Over to you, eugenics-inspired, eco-freak Obama science czar John Holdren

***

Read the full column

The Daily Caller has an article about this horrific story here.

Also, have you seen this story reported on local, network or cable news? Where's the outrage?

Obama uses normally-neutral board to pay back unions

We have a tyrant in the White House and he is spreading tyranny throughout our nation. Soon, the rule of law will be a memory. - Reggie


President Barack Obama’s administration continues its private sector unionization efforts, this time with the historically “politically neutral” National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A newly proposed rule from the NLRB would require private sector companies to post employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act, the legislation that gives employees the “right” to unionize, in their workplaces.

Former Department of Labor Solicitor Greg Jacob told The Daily Caller these unionization efforts are a misuse of the NLRB’s power, especially because there is no legal basis whatsoever for what that board is trying to do. (emphasis mine - Reggie)

“We’re all familiar with posting requirements of various other federal agencies. The EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] has postings, the Wage and Hour division have postings about your wage and hour rights, but all of those are provided for in law,” Jacob said in a phone interview. “Here, there is no such provision the NLRA saying any kind of posting like this should be required.”

G20 officer tells Candian: 'This ain't Canada right now'

A police oversight body is probing the comments of a police officer who was caught on YouTube telling a man who refused to be searched during the G20 summit, "This ain't Canada right now."

The video shows a verbal confrontation between Paul Figueiras and York Regional Police officers working summit duty in downtown Toronto, about a block from the security perimeter.

One officer tells Figueiras that police need to search his backpack, but he refuses.

"You haven't opened up your bag, so take off," the officer says to the man.

When the man refers to being in Canada, the officer replies: "This ain't Canada right now."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why buying coffee with your iPhone matters

Starbucks app

Cash, credit or gadget?

For years, payment geeks have promised that cell phones would soon replace the jingle of pocket change, ushering in a utopian world where consumers could buy candy bars from a vending machine with a phone call. Just dial a number on the machine, and -- BANG -- your Juicy Fruits or Fritos drop into the tray.

Those promises never materialized, but worse yet, the value proposition never materialized. More than one analyst has called mobile phone payments a solution in search of a problem. After all, when would dialing a phone number be easier than pulling out a piece of plastic?

All that may have changed this week, as Starbucks announced that it had begun accepting payments made with iPhones and BlackBerrys at most stores. A major retailer leaping into this world with both feet could send a 120-amp charge into electronic wallets -- particularly because the Starbucks "Mobile Card" e-payments is fun, easy, relatively safe and gives consumers a reason to whip out their gadget instead of their wallet.

First, I'll tell you why I was pleasantly surprised with the Starbucks experience. Then I'll tell you why the credit card industry has a lot to fear from mobile payments, and most specifically from Apple.

Regular readers of this column know I like to try everything, but I’m often unimpressed and concerned that gadget-makers regularly ignore practical consumer needs and security issues. I've tried mobile airplane boarding passes, for example, then been embarrassed as haggard TSA agents tried in vain to scan my iPod Touch at the airport security line, causing substantial backups. I expected much the same experience at Starbucks on Wednesday morning, when I took my iPod Touch into a store just hours after the announcement. I fully anticipated I'd be late for work while untrained employees argued with each other about how to use the system.

I was wrong. It was simple.

Idaho GOP gets ready to nullify health care reform

BOISE, Idaho – After leading the nation last year in passing a law to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul, Idaho's Republican-dominated Legislature now plans to use an obscure 18th century doctrine to declare President Barack Obama's signature bill null and void.

Lawmakers in six other states — Maine, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming — are also mulling "nullification" bills, which contend states, not the U.S. Supreme Court, are the ultimate arbiter of when Congress and the president run amok.

It's a concept that's won favor among many tea party adherents who believe Washington, D.C., is out of control.

Though a 1958 U.S. Supreme Court decision reaffirmed that federal laws "shall be the supreme law of the land," Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is promoting the idea, too. In his January 10 State of the State speech, he told Idaho residents "we are actively exploring all our options — including nullification."

Texting is Hazardous in the Mall

This story is simple insanity. Is this what America has come to? Is it now customary for one to sue when one does something stupid? She should be laughing with the rest of us. Actually, she did find it hard not to laugh at herself as she tried to plead her case. - Reggie

Who or Hu?

Glenn, Stu and Pat with an updated version of Who's on first?



The original with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

The Daily News: January 21, 2011


Thursday, January 20, 2011

US college students don't learn core skills: study

Perfect. This study confirms the suspicion that American colleges and universities are social laboratories that cost a fortune financially, indoctrinate generations of young people and leave our nation in peril with no educated leaders graduating from them. 
- Reggie

A large number of US university students fail to develop critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills because of easy classes and too little time spent studying, a study found Wednesday.

The study of 3,000 students at 29 four-year universities found that 45 percent "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning" during their first two years in college as measured by a standardized test.

After the full four years, 36 percent had shown no development in critical thinking, reasoning and writing, according to the study, which forms the basis of the new book "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses."

"Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent," according to an excerpt of the book published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"These findings are sobering and should be a cause for concern."

Green Follies Escalate in the Face of Failure

Those widely heralded compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) turn out to be a bit of dud in the real world.

For years, we have seen traditional light bulbs vanishing from shelves of hardware stores and Home Depots across America. They have been replaced by those screw-shaped things that bespeak the future -- a future of dull lights, money flowing overseas, Americans jobs being terminated, and promised energy savings going up in smoke.


California's utilities are spending $548 million over seven years to subsidize consumer purchases of compact fluorescent lamps. But the benefits are turning out to be less than expected.

One reason is that bulbs have gotten so cheap that Californians buy more than they need and sock them away for future use. Another reason is that the bulbs are burning out faster than expected.

California led the way, as it often does with damaging fads, especially those beloved by environmentalists and green energy schemers.  The Golden State has been wonderful for job creation -- in Arizona and New Mexico, as businesses flee from high energy costs and move to states with sensible energy -- and tax, and regulatory -- policies.
No state has done more to promote compact fluorescent lamps than California. On Jan. 1, the state began phasing out sales of incandescent bulbs, one year ahead of the rest of the nation. A federal law that takes effect in January 2012 requires a 28% improvement in lighting efficiency for conventional bulbs in standard wattages. Compact fluorescent lamps are the logical substitute for traditional incandescent light bulbs, which won't be available in stores after 2014.

California utilities have used ratepayer funds to subsidize sales of more than 100 million of the bulbs since 2006.  Most of them are made in China. It is part of a comprehensive state effort to use energy-efficiency techniques as a substitute for power production. Subsidized bulbs cost an average of $1.30 in California versus $4 for bulbs not carrying utility subsidies.

Anxious to see what ratepayers got for their money, state utility regulators have devoted millions of dollars in the past three years for evaluation reports and field studies. What California has learned, in a nutshell, is that it is hard to accurately predict and tricky to measure energy savings.  It is also difficult to design incentive plans that reward-but don't overly reward-utilities for their promotional efforts.There are additional problems since it seems the state may have over-rewarded utilities with taxpayer money to promote a program that has failed to live up to the green dreams of its proponents.

There are additional problems, since it seems the state may have over-rewarded utilities with taxpayer money to promote a program that has failed to live up to the green dreams of its proponents. 

Civility at Work



Palin Putting Out Presidential Feelers in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has tasked her aides with quietly gauging her level of support for a potential presidential campaign by making inquiries to a select pool of likely allies and grassroots activists in Iowa, RealClearPolitics has learned.

Key Republican officials and operatives in the nation's first voting state had begun to assume that Palin would not run for president in 2012 since most of them have not heard a word from her or from her small circle of aides, even as other likely candidates have begun jockeying more forcefully behind the scenes. But a Palin adviser confirmed that although the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee's footprint has not been as heavy as that of other possible candidates, her political action committee has indeed been taking discreet steps in Iowa that would help her build a credible campaign here if she decided to launch one.

"The idea that we're not in Iowa is inaccurate," SarahPAC adviser Andy Davis told RealClearPolitics.

Congressman Allen West Talks About ObamaCare Repeal

The Daily News: January 20, 2011


House GOP conservatives set to unveil $2.5 trillion in deep spending cuts

Excellent! This is a great beginning in a serious effort to cut federal spending. There is still much more that can and should be done. There are entire departments and government agencies that can be completely eliminated. I would say that 90% or more of federal regulations could be eliminated and the job growth in this country would absolutely explode!

Look at Ground Zero. Those buildings were destroyed in 2001, almost ten years ago. Why hasn't that site been rebuilt? Government regulation is a big part of the years of delay. These stifling regulations smother businesses and entrepreneurs. However, $2.5 trillion is still an excellent way to start. - Reggie

A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, will unveil the bill in a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday morning.

Jordan’s bill, which will have a companion bill introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, would impose deep and broad cuts across the federal government. It includes both budget-wide cuts on non-defense discretionary spending back to 2006 levels and proposes the elimination or drastic reduction of more than 50 government programs.

Jordan’s “Spending Reduction Act” would eliminate such things as the U.S. Agency for International Development and its $1.39 billion annual budget, the $445 million annual subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants, the $150 million subsidy for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and it would cut in half to $7.5 billion the federal travel budget.

But the program eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts. The bulk of the cuts would come from returning non-defense discretionary spending – which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year – to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.

Going back to 2006 levels would reduce spending by $2.3 trillion over ten years. It is a significantly more drastic cut than the one proposed by House Republican leadership in the Pledge to America last fall, which proposed moving non-defense, non-mandatory spending for the current fiscal year back to 2008 levels, which was $522.3 billion. Jordan’s proposal includes the recommendation from the Pledge for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.

The proposal would cut the federal work force by 15 percent and freeze automatic pay raises for government employees for five years.

The RSC boasts  a membership of 165 members out of 242 total House Republicans. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, is a member, as is House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, and Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican.

None of the three chose to comment on the proposal when asked about it through spokesmen on Wednesday.

It was not clear Wednesday whether the bill would be pushed hard by leadership, though the prospect seemed unlikely, at least for the moment. Cuts of such magnitude will undoubtedly come under heavy fire from Democrats and liberal interest groups, and Speaker John Boehner has for the most part avoided specific stands on spending cuts, seeking to minimize exposure to attacks from the opposition.

President Obama, in addition, will have the chance in next week’s State of the Union address to speak to a national audience about the country’s fiscal situation, and could point to such cuts as too costly to services for many Americans.

Even if Boehner, Ohio Republican, got behind the cuts and the House passed such legislation, it would face a steep challenge to passage in the Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats. And Obama – who has said he believes that cuts could hinder economic recovery if they are too draconian in the short term – is unlikely to support such a dramatic move to pull back on spending.

Boehner Hails Introduction of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act"


Why Sarah Palin Drives Them Wild

I wonder how many television hosts and “journalists” tuned in to Sarah Palin’s interview on “Hannity” this week, waiting with bated breath for her to say something they could try to distort. And the more she says “this isn’t about me,” the more they make it about her.

Let’s enter the world of Sarah Palin for a moment.

If she grants interviews to Oprah or Barbara Walters, she’s accused of wanting to be a celebrity. If she denies those interviews, she’s labeled a coward.

If she’s quiet when viciously attacked, she’s accused of hiding. If she speaks up, she’s described as injecting herself into the story.

If she addresses health care reform, bailouts, and QE2 via columns, Facebook, and Twitter, she’s accused of not engaging in unscripted conversations. In 2008, she was criticized by many for calling it like she saw it and going off script at campaign events.

When she resigned as Governor, she was labeled a quitter. I assure you that if she hadn’t resigned, she would have been painted by many as a self-centered hypocrite who didn’t care about Alaska. They would have argued that she prioritized the preservation of her political future over the fact that frivolous ethics charges against her were draining the resources of the governor’s office.

The truth? Many on the Left and Right are ready and willing to pounce on Sarah Palin’s every move. The question is why. And the answer is simple.

Abortionist faces eight counts of murder in Philadelphia; Update: How did he escape notice so long? “By design“

This may be as ghastly a story outside of the Tucson massacre as we’ll see all year … I hope.  An abortionist arrested in Philadelphia faces eight counts of murder, one for the death of a patient, and the other seven for killing babies who survived his botched abortions.  The district attorney alleges that Kermit Gosnell used a pair of scissors to sever their spinal cords:
A West Philadelphia abortion doctor, his wife and eight other suspects are now under arrest following a grand jury investigation.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, faces eight counts of murder in the deaths of a woman following a botched abortion at his office, along with the deaths of seven other babies who, prosecutors allege, were born alive following illegal late-term abortions and then were killed by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. …
Gosnell is facing Murder in the 3rd Degree for the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. Mrs. Mongar died on November 20, 2009 when she was overdosed with anesthetics prescribed by Gosnell. He is also facing seven Murder charges for the deaths of infants who were killed after being born viable and alive during the 6th, 7th and 8th month of pregnancy. Gosnell is also facing numerous other charges.
Gosnell is suspected of killing hundreds of living babies over the course of his 30 year practice. However, he is not charged because the records do not exist.
What a shock it must be to find that Gosnell didn’t keep records of his illegal abortions and outright murders.  This was no fly-by-night operation, either.  Gosnell made over $1.8 million in one year, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia reports.  Also, Gosnell is reportedly the target of a federal probe into illegal prescriptions.
The district attorney felt the need to defend his prosecution to the media, for some reason:
“I am aware that abortion is a hot-button topic,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “But as District Attorney, my job is to carry out the law. A doctor who knowingly and systematically mistreats female patients, to the point that one of them dies in his so-called care, commits murder under the law. A doctor who cuts into the necks severing the spinal cords of living, breathing babies, who would survive with proper medical attention, is committing murder under the law.”
Read the rest of this post at Hot Air

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning to defend technological freedom

Conservatives must protect the Internet from overregulation



By Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Just before Christmas, after Congress had extended tax rates and the halls of the congressional office buildings had emptied, after Air Force One was wheels-up for Hawaii, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did a remarkable thing. Four days before Christmas, it regulated the Internet.

Perhaps FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski thought no one would care - after all, relatively few members of Congress had educated themselves on the issue and raised objections. He could argue that the regulations themselves were innocuous. They are a compromise, the FCC could claim, between the telecommunications industry and federal bureaucrats. They were not nearly as onerous as they could have been.

And so, with a 3-2 vote by the short-sighted majority of commissioners, the federal government staked its regulatory claim to the freest and most productive sector of the American economy.

In recent decades, America's industrial edge has been dulled by a cocktail of anti-competitive taxes, high labor costs and endless regulation. Conservatives must not let the same thing stifle the new creative economy.

Like well-intentioned, real-world regulations of the past, the FCC's Net Neutrality will have real consequences for the consumer. Jobs will be lost, service will suffer, and technology will take longer to evolve if Internet service providers cede control to the government and are not managing the networks into which they collectively invest $60 billion.

Conservatives should find this move deeply troubling, and in part, we have ourselves to blame for letting it happen.

Too few have been engaged in technology issues. As a movement, we seem content to be dazzled and befuddled by the latest gizmos. We relish our children's ability to use them but never ask how those gizmos and what they represent will challenge our principles in the century to come.

The FCC's Net Neutrality power grab should be a rallying cry for conservatives to defend the principles of free markets, free enterprise, small government, property rights and the rule of law in an emerging arena. A new, creative economy is emerging in America. It already holds the key to our future prosperity and draws on our most valuable natural resource: the American inventor and entrepreneur.

It is this creative economy that has given birth to the plethora of tech-age consumption devices we have come to rely on every day. The iPads, iPhones, Blackberries, Droids and netbooks are our shopping carts in this great new online marketplace. It is the charge of conservatives to keep it free and functioning.

Our charge must extend beyond rolling back Net Neutrality, which House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton has rightly pledged to do. Our charge is to look at how our core values relate to the emerging and vital creative economy so we can be ready for future efforts to smother it with federal rules.

The Daily News: January 19, 2011


Vote to Repeal ObamaCare is Today

UPDATE: House passes repeal 245-189

Remember the House vote that passed ObamaCare into law? The final vote was 219 Democrats, Yea (216 was required for passage) and 212 members, Nay (178 Republicans, 34 Democrats).