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Sunday, March 18, 2012

C-SPAN Founder to Step Down as Chief Executive

Brian Lamb, who created the revolutionary nonprofit cable television network C-SPAN in the late 1970s and has been its public face ever since, is handing it over to two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain.

Effective April 1, they will become the co-chief executives of C-SPAN and Mr. Lamb will become the executive chairman, formalizing a management change that has been years in the making. Mr. Lamb will continue to host “Q&A,” his Sunday night interview program, and will pursue other interests, like teaching.

Brian Lamb
The announcement will come on Monday, 33 years to the day that C-SPAN — short for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network — came onto cable television, predating CNN and ESPN.

C-SPAN’s commitment to carry every minute of the proceedings of the United States House of Representatives without commercials is taken for granted now, but it was an extraordinary act at the time, since most Americans then saw of Congress only what was reported on the nightly news and in newspapers.

C-SPAN, and later C-SPAN2 for the United States Senate and C-SPAN3 for other hearings and events, foreshadowed an era of media when primary source material like testimonies before Congress would be widely available on TV and on the Internet.

Mr. Lamb, 70, said in an interview that Mr. Kennedy and Ms. Swain would “continue the mission” of televising the nation’s affairs. They have worked at C-SPAN since the 1980s and have been the presidents and co-chief operating officers since 2006. “They’re ready,” Mr. Lamb said.

Read the full story

A little trivia: Congressman Al Gore (yes, that Al Gore) was the first congressman to speak when C-SPAN debuted.

Wired: March 19, 1979: House Proceedings Air Live on C-SPAN

Belgistan: Sharia Showdown Looms in Brussels

Wake up! This is a very sobering report from CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network). These maniacal Muslims are deadly serious about instituting Sharia worldwide - yes, that means here in America. - Reggie

CBN News report. The graffiti on a building in Belgium says it all: "Welcome to 'Belgistan." In fact, some are now calling it the Muslim capital of Europe.

Another Brick Removed

Legal Insurrection
Our Bill of Rights is the foundation of our protections from government intrusion, a bastion of liberty unknown in most of the world. The essence of the Bill of Rights, what defines us as a nation and a citizenry, is captured by the First Amendment – freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

This defensive fortification is under constant assault and must be protected at all costs or tyranny will reign. Without much fanfare, a law has been enacted that will greatly impact one’s ability to exercise many of their First Amendment rights and, thus, lose rights that many in this world only dream of having.

HR 347 was recently signed into law by President Obama. This statute had wide support amongst both parties of Congress. In essence, it criminalizes disruptive behavior upon government grounds, at specially designated national events (Super Bowl, nominating conventions, etc.) and anywhere that Secret Service is protecting “any” person. Obviously, the goal of this law is to enhance the ability of the Secret Service to protect those persons it is charged to do so; but in extending this power, this law eviscerates the citizens’ rights to assemble and petition under the First Amendment.

The major flaw in this law is it vests too much discretion with the executive branch – Secret Service – in cordoning off public venues in order to carry out their protective services function. Ignore their dictates and become a criminal. This expanded authority will eventually run afoul of the First Amendment; the question remains if the First Amendment will be protected by the courts.

Although this new law will most assuredly allow the Secret Service to disrupt those people intent on causing harm, the law will also impact those who are peaceably protesting and that is the major problem with the law, it casts to broad a net. When we are dealing with fundamental rights such as those guaranteed in the First Amendment, in order for the government to regulate this conduct, the law must be narrowly tailored for a compelling reason (strict scrutiny). Most laws in this area fail because not only does it outlaw the illegal behavior (think obscenity) but it also impacts constitutionally protected activity (think of art work such as nude paintings). HR 347 will impact people’s right to protest.

Frances Fox Piven: ‘Time for Another Surge From the Bottom’

After predicting earlier this month that “we’ll see action” from the Occupy Wall Street movement in the spring, leftist professor and activist Frances Fox Piven said it’s “time for another surge from the bottom.”

Piven, making her comments in a video for the left-leaning magazine The Nation, said soaring inequality has always been the “default position” in America.

Friday night news dump: Administration to move forward with and expand contraception mandate

March 16, 2012

The administration this afternoon released its “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on preventive services policy.” Translation: President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are moving forward with their controversial contraception mandate, which requires even religiously affiliated employers to provide their employees with insurance that covers contraception — even if those employers object to contraception on religious grounds.

But don’t worry: Secretary Sebelius says your religious liberty is assured, so it is assured.

“The President’s policy respects religious liberty and makes free preventive services available to women,” she said. ”Today’s announcement is the next step toward fulfilling that commitment.”

Never mind that, by drawing a distinction between actual churches and church-operated businesses like hospitals and schools, the administration effectively appropriated for itself the power to determine what constitutes ministry. Also, last I checked, there was no such thing as “free preventive services.”

Sandra Fluke should be happy, though. The administration made a final decision about whether it will require colleges to provide  students with insurance that covers contraception, as well. Take one wild guess as to what their decision was. Yep, that’s right:

Administration officials also released a final rule governing student health plans.  Under the final rule, students will gain the same consumer protections other people with individual market insurance have, like a prohibition on lifetime limits and coverage of preventive services without cost sharing.  In the same way that religious colleges and universities will not have to pay, arrange or refer for contraceptive coverage for their employees, they will not have to do so for their students who will get such coverage directly and separately from their insurer.

The Vetting - Holder 1995: We Must 'Brainwash' People on Guns has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to "really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way."

Holder was addressing the Woman's National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to "change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC" about guns.

"What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes."

Holder added that he had asked advertising agencies in the nation's capital to assist by making anti-gun ads rather than commercials "that make me buy things that I don't really need." He had also approached local newspapers and television stations, he said, asking them to devote prime space and time, respectively, to his anti-gun campaign.

Growing Regulation

From Glenn Beck's March 15th show

Hilda Solis is introducing new regulations about children working on farms

And this is from Glenn Beck's radio program the same day

The New York Times Islamophobia

Ezra Levant & Pamela Geller On The New York Times Islamophobia

Worse Than a Powder Keg

Andrew McCarthy
Our troops should be out of Afghanistan. Yesterday.

We have met the enemy and we are they. That is certainly the message the Obama administration has conveyed to the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan this week.

Our troops have been the target of serial sneak attacks by the Afghans with whom they are forced to “partner.” Nevertheless, our Marines were ordered to disarm before being admitted into the presence of Obama’s defense secretary, Leon Panetta. Yes, you read that correctly: Our Marines were stripped of their arms.

Panetta was at Camp Leatherneck on a “surprise” visit, hoping to calm the disastrous situation in the combat theater. Turns out not to have been much of a surprise: One of our Afghan “partners” — a contract interpreter hired to help our armed forces in deadly Helmand province — seamlessly converted to Islamist suicide assassin. His contacts clued him in on the surprise, so much so that he managed to speed a stolen truck toward the runway, just as Panetta’s hush-hush flight was about to land. He just missed smashing the contingent of Marines waiting to receive the secretary — that is to say, to whisk the secretary away to safer quarters, if there is any longer such a thing in this hell-hole, where 90,000 American troops are now stationed, compared with the 5,200 who conclusively routed al-Qaeda a decade ago, which you may recall as the mission they were sent to accomplish.

“We don’t know what his intent was,” the American commander, Army Lieutenant General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, said of the assassin. No, of course not. After all, we wouldn’t want to speculate that perhaps our cherished partnership with the Afghans is an abject failure — over 99 percent of the population being Muslim, steeped in the Wahhabist tradition that inculcates abhorrence of infidel occupiers.

The situation might be called a “powder keg,” except that is what one says in anticipation of a future explosion. In Afghanistan, the explosions are already happening, their pace and ferocity on the rise. Afghans went on a murderous rampage after some Korans were accidentally burned, Korans that jihadists had used to incite each other by adding handwritten messages reaffirming hatred of Americans. Among nearly three dozen killed when the mayhem began were two American soldiers, murdered by a treacherous Afghan “soldier” they were training.

Soon after, two more U.S. officers were shot in the back of the head by Afghan “security” personnel at the interior ministry in Kabul. A few days later, two more American soldiers were killed by Afghan “soldiers” at a base in Kandahar. In fact, our “partners” have turned their guns on scores of our troops in the last five years, killing 70, wounding many more. Those are just the U.S. casualty figures. British forces and other NATO personnel are also being assassinated with regularity.

Still, our forces are expected to trust these faithless partners. Trust them and, at the premeditated cost of American lives, protect Afghan civilians — tribal Islamists rife with Taliban and other terrorist sympathizers. There is a reason al-Qaeda was so comfortable in Afghanistan: It is nigh impossible to know who is a civilian. The Taliban, the Haqqani terror network, and assorted other jihadists do not wear uniforms — the better to blend into the population after doing their bloody business. Yet our troops operate under stifling rules of engagement that quite intentionally prioritize the prevention of civilian casualties over force protection. When under attack, they are denied adequate air cover out of concern, again, about the possibility of harming Afghans.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!

UPDATE: Since I posted this last night, Twitter is on fire about this Executive Order. We need to call our Congressman and both of our Senators tomorrow and tell them it is past time to stop this President's usurpation of authority. We can not continue to ignore his unprecedented power grab!

UPDATE II: Hot Air seems to have a different take on this and they are saying this is business as usual and just an update to a previous EO. Really? I'm still going to contact my representatives but just like Fox News - We report, you decide.

Hot Air: “National Defense Resources Preparedness” executive order: Power grab or mere update?

This Executive Order was posted on the  web site on Friday, March 16, 2012, under the name National Defense Resources Preparedness.  In a nutshell, it’s the blueprint for Peacetime Martial Law and it gives the president the power to take just about anything deemed necessary for “National Defense”, whatever they decide that is.    It’s peacetime, because as the title of the order says, it’s for “Preparedness”.  A copy of the entire order follows the end of this story.

Under this order the heads of these cabinet level positions; Agriculture, Energy, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Defense and Commerce can take food, livestock, fertilizer, farm equipment, all forms of energy, water resources, all forms of civil transporation (meaning any vehicles, boats, planes),  and any other materials, including construction materials from wherever they are available.  This is probably why the government has been visiting farms with GPS devices, so they know exactly where to go when they turn this one on.

Specifically, the government is allowed to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate.  They decide what necessary or appropriate means.

What happens if the government decides it needs all these things to be prepared, even if there is no war?   You likely won’t be able to walk into a store to purchase virtually anything because it will all be requisitioned, “rationed” and controlled by the government. 

Construction materials, food like meat, butter and sugar, anything imported, parts, tires and fuel for vehicles, clothing, etc. will likely become unobtainable, or at least very scarce.  How many things are even made here in the USA any more?

A bit of history…  During WWII, price stabilization didn’t begin until May of 1942, which froze prices on nearly all every day goods and rationing started in 1943.  Why would the government want to control everything before a war?

Obama’s History Lesson

Mark Steyn
Future generations will laugh at us for taking him seriously.

Our lesson for today comes from George and Ira Gershwin:

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus

When he said the world was round

They all laughed when Edison recorded sound

They all laughed at Wilbur and his brother

When they said that man could fly

They told Marconi wireless was a phony . . . 

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sang it in the film Shall We Dance? (1937). Seventy-five years on, the president revived it to tap dance around his rising gas prices and falling approval numbers. Delivering his big speech on energy at Prince George’s Community College, he insisted the American economy will be going gangbusters again just as soon as we start running it on algae and windmills. He noted that, as with Wilbur and his brother, there were those inclined to titter:

Let me tell you something. If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail — [Laughter] — they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society. [Laughter.] They would not have believed that the world was round. [Applause.] We’ve heard these folks in the past. They probably would have agreed with one of the pioneers of the radio who said, “Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan.” [Laughter.] One of Henry Ford’s advisers was quoted as saying, “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a fad.” [Laughter.]

The crowd loved it. But President Algy Solyndra wasn’t done:

There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, “It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?” [Laughter.] That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore — [laughter and applause] — because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forwards. [Applause.] He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.

It fell to Nan Card of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Ohio to inform the website Talking Points Memo that the quotation was apocryphal. Hayes had the first telephone in the White House, and the first typewriter, and Edison visited him to demonstrate the phonograph.

But obviously Rutherford B. Hayes isn’t as “forward-looking” as a 21st-century president who believes in Jimmy Carter malaise, 1970s Eurostatist industrial policy, 1940s British health-care reforms, 1930s New Deal–sized entitlements premised on mid-20th-century birth rates and life expectancy, and all paid for by a budget with more zeroes than anybody’s seen since the Weimar Republic. If that’s not a shoo-in for Mount Rushmore, I don’t know what is.

I was interested in the rest of Obama’s yukfest of history’s biggest idiots. Considering that he is (in the words of historian Michael Beschloss) “the smartest guy ever to become president,” the entire passage sounded as if it was plucked straight from one of those “Top Twenty Useful Quotes for Forward-Looking Inspirational Speakers” websites. And whaddayaknow? Rutherford B. Hayes, the TV flash in the pan, the horse is here to stay — they’re all at the Wikiquote page on “Incorrect Predictions.” Fancy that! You can also find his selected examples at the web page “Some Really Really Bad Predictions About the Future” and a bazillion others.

Given that the ol’ Hayes telephone sidesplitter turned out to be a bust, I wondered about the others. The line about television being a “flash in the pan” is generally attributed to “Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948.” She was a New Zealand–born lass who while at Oxford wrote to the newly founded BBC with some ideas on using radio in schools. By the Seventies, the educational programming she had invented and developed was used in 90 percent of U.K. schools, and across the British Commonwealth from the Caribbean to Africa to the Pacific. She apparently used the flash-in-the-pan line in a private conversation recounted some years after her death by her fellow BBC executive, Grace Wyndham Goldie, a lady I knew very slightly. It was in the context of why she was pessimistic about early attempts at educational television. Mary Somerville would not have been surprised by American Idol or Desperate Housewives, but she thought TV’s possibilities for scholarly study were limited. If you remember Leonard Bernstein giving live illustrated music lectures on Beethoven on CBS in the Fifties, and you’ve lived long enough to see “quality public television” on PBS dwindle down to dreary boomer nostalgia, lousy Brit sitcoms, Laurence Welk reruns, and therapeutic infomercials, you might be inclined to agree that as an educational tool TV certainly proved “a flash in the pan.” And that’s before your grandkid gets home from school and complains he’s had to sit through Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth again.

Top 10 Examples of the War on Religion

Don’t let the secularists tell you otherwise: There has been a war against religion being waged for decades by activist judges, artists, academia, liberal groups and the mainstream media. Judges have misinterpreted the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and have tried to force religion from the public square, while a culture that is becoming increasingly decadent does all it can to denigrate, mock and sneer at people of faith. Find that hard to believe? Here is the evidence:

1. Public prayer ban

Ever since the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1962 Engel v. Vitale case, prayer has been disallowed in public schools. That precedent has spread to include banning prayers at graduation ceremonies and before high school football games. This out-of-control assault on public prayer reached the height of absurdity last year when a federal judge in San Antonio ruled that graduating high school seniors couldn’t even say “amen, the word prayer,” or ask the audience to bow their heads. And we thought the First Amendment had a free-speech clause.

2. Hollywood’s jihad

From Martin Scorsese’s 1988 The Last Temptation of Christ—with its depiction of Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalene in a dream—to the 2009 The DaVinci Code—showing a conniving Catholic hierarchy—Hollywood is rarely kind to religious sensibilities. Indeed, characters of faith in movies are invariably portrayed as wild-eyed-fanatics, immoral preachers or judgmental creeps.

3. Violating religious conscience

President Obama’s attempt to force religious institutions to provide contraceptive services with their employees’ health care benefits justifiably caused a considerable uproar. It wasn’t the first time that people of faith have been forced to abandon their conscience or face dire consequences. Pro-lifers have had to fight to enact “conscience clauses,” which permit pharmacists and physicians to opt out of giving services that violate their religious faith, such as providing contraception and performing abortions.

4. Crèches censored

The Supreme Court ruled in the 1984 Lynch v. Donnelly case that crèches could be placed in public places only if accompanied by secular holiday symbols. That bizarre ruling was further muddied by the court’s 1989 stance in Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, which stated that including a crèche on public property violated the Constitution, while displaying a menorah on the same spot was fine. Still unsettled is exactly how many reindeers, snowmen and Santa Clauses are needed to make a crèche scene legal.

5. Media mocking

The Washington Post once called evangelicals, “poor, uneducated, and easy to lead.” That pretty much sums up the media elite’s view of religious conservatives. Most any daily newspaper reader can confirm: conservative Christians remain one of the few groups who can be treated with disdain. The sophisticates in New York and Washington newsrooms are much too enlightened to be duped by the opiate of the masses.

Decision 2012: Above the Fray with Michael Barone

YouTube description: This week, on Uncommon Knowledge, Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute fellow, author, and senior political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, explains where the Republicans are headed, how Obama operates, and what's at stake in the 2012 election.

Romney the Opportunist

First, I have to disagree with the opening sentence in the op-ed below. Mitt Romney did not "sell out" his "conservative principles" in Puerto Rico. He doesn't possess any conservative principles and I'm really beginning to believe he does not possess any principles. He is an opportunist and will say anything if he believes it will help to elect him POTUS.

I am perplexed as people continue to vote for him because they believe he is the only candidate that can beat Barack Obama. That is propaganda put out by the Republican Establishment/Progressives early and often in this campaign in order to manipulate the primary voter. They deserve credit for this approach because it is working.

May I suggest that you do some research into Romney's record and ask yourself why he didn't run for re-election in Massachusetts and why his campaign is one of scorched earth against his opponents. Why isn't he running on his record as governor? For the same reason Obama is not running on his record as President.

If Romney is the nominee we will have to choose between two men that cannot run on their previous records, two men that believe in socialized medicine for all (RomneyCare does equal ObamaCare) and two men that will have to campaign negatively throughout the fall.

In the end, America will have a Progressive President in the White House for another four (possibly eight) years. Don't you see? This is the reason the Republican Establishment wants Romney as the nominee. It won't matter who the winner is at the end of the day because the Progressive agenda will continue to be implemented. If Obama is re-elected, we will go down the road to our destruction at warp speed and if Romney is elected, we will travel down the same road at a slower pace. ObamaCare will be implemented to our detriment and we will watch what remains of our freedom completely disappear. Is that what you want? I sincerely hope it is not.


Romney in Puerto Rico: A Case Study in Political Pandering

In Puerto Rico, for the price of 20 delegates, Mitt Romney sold out his conservative principles.

There is a long history of Congress requiring English to be the language of government and schools for territories seeking to be admitted to the Union — e.g., Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma. For all of the territories that had large non-English speaking populations, Congress announced before the territories voted on the question of statehood that a change in language policy would be a prerequisite for statehood. In the case of Puerto Rico, where according to the latest Census only 15% of residents are fluent in English, the English language requirement is common sense. Puerto Rico operates its government, courts and public schools in Spanish, which sets it apart from the 50 existing states.

On Thursday, Romney called a radio station in San Juan (Noti-Uno) for an interview with a local reporter. When asked if he would support requiring that English became the principal language of government as part of a petition for statehood, Romney said no. When asked if he thought the legislature should have English as the principal language, once again Romney said no. He even opposed requiring English in the courts and public schools.

In Louisiana and Alabama, Mitt Romney is for English as the official language of the United States. In 2008, when Romney sought the GOP nomination, he was upfront about his opposition to bilingual education and his support for ending it in Massachusetts. But in Puerto Rico, he is a strong advocate of bilingualism and opposes requiring the state to make English the principal language of the legislature, courts and public schools. This only makes sense in the Romney World of Flip Flops.

But Romney took it a step further. He stated that a simple majority of 50% + 1 was enough for him to aggressively support statehood for Puerto Rico. As Rick Santorum said during his trip to Puerto Rico, “We need a significant majority supporting statehood before it’s considered. Why would we want a state where nearly half of its residents do not want to be part of the Union?”

Santorum should be commended for staying true to his conservative principles even when it was not politically convenient. Santorum could have pandered to the pro-statehood governor of Puerto Rico in order to get the 20 delegates at stake, but instead the former senator spoke the truth and told Puerto Rican voters a reality they needed to hear. Immediately after, Romney’s campaign started attacking Santorum and maliciously twisting his comments, telling voters that the former senator was advocating “English-only” and was against Spanish.

Let’s be clear: No one is talking about forcing people to speak English at home, or at their businesses or in church. The idea is that English should be the common language of the entire country and the key institutions of government should have English as their principal language. Currently, if an English-speaking American goes to a state government agency in Puerto Rico, or to a court proceeding or a public school, she will need a translator, because everything is run in Spanish. Puerto Rico even receives an exemption from the English testing requirements of federal education law. If Puerto Rico’s residents want Puerto Rico to become the 51st state in the Union, local elected officials must begin the transition to having English as the common language.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Netanyahu is Preparing Israeli Public Opinion for a War on Iran

In response to Netanyahu's AIPAC speech, Haaretz's editor-in-chief says that what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war.

Since his return from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mainly been preoccupied with one thing: Preparing public opinion for war against Iran.

Netanyahu is attempting to convince the Israeli public that the Iranian threat is a tangible and existential one, and that there is only one effective way to stop it and prevent a "second Holocaust": An Israeli military attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, which is buried deep underground.

In his speech before the Knesset on Wednesday, Netanyahu urged his colleagues to reject claims that Israel is too weak to go it alone in a war against a regional power such as Iran and therefore needs to rely on the United States, which has much greater military capabilities, to do the job and remove the threat.

According to polls published last week, this is the position of most of the Israeli public, which supports a U.S. strike on Iran, but is wary of sending the IDF to the task without the backing of the friendly superpower.

Netanyahu presented three examples in which his predecessors broke the American directive and made crucial decisions regarding the future of Israel: the declaration of independence in 1948, starting the Six Day War in 1967 and the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981.

The lesson was clear: Just as David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol and Menachem Begin said "no" to the White House, Netanyahu also needs not be alarmed by President Obama's opposition to an attack on Iran. Netanyahu believes that, as in the previous incidents, the U.S. may grumble at first, but will then quickly adopt the Israeli position and provide Israel with support and backing in the international community.

If Netanyahu had submitted his speech as a term paper to his father the history professor, he would have received a very poor grade. In 1948, the U.S. State Department, headed by George Marshall, opposed the declaration of independence and supported a United Nations trusteeship for Palestine. But President Truman had other considerations.

Like Obama today, Truman was also a democratic president contending for his reelection, who needed the support of the Jewish voters and donors. Under those circumstances, Truman rejected Marshall's advice, and listened to his political adviser Clark Clifford, who pressured him to recognize the Zionist state. And indeed, Truman sent a telegram with an official recognition of Israel just 11 minutes after Ben-Gurion finished reading the Scroll of Independence. The U.S. opposition to the recognition of Israel was halted at the desk of the president, who repelled the explanations by the Secretary of State and the "Arabists" in his office.

Scarce Oil? U.S. Has 60 Times More Than Obama Claims

When he was running for the Oval Office four years ago amid $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, then-Sen. Barack Obama dismissed the idea of expanded oil production as a way to relieve the pain at the pump.

"Even if you opened up every square inch of our land and our coasts to drilling," he said. "America still has only 3% of the world's oil reserves." Which meant, he said, that the U.S. couldn't affect global oil prices.

It's the same rhetoric President Obama is using now, as gas prices hit $4 again, except now he puts the figure at 2%.

"With only 2% of the world's oil reserves, we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," he said. "Not when we consume 20% of the world's oil."

The claim makes it appear as though the U.S. is an oil-barren nation, perpetually dependent on foreign oil and high prices unless we can cut our own use and develop alternative energy sources like algae.

U.S. Awash In Oil

But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country's oil needs for hundreds of years.

The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world's proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves "are a small subset of recoverable resources," because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska's North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

Then, there's the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it's heated.

Breitbart Is Here

Sarah Palin & Andrew Breitbart
by Sarah Palin

There is a new street art poster that’s being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you. It’s a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”

Those three words express the instant connection many of us feel for our fallen friend. They express our identification with him, and our need to continue his fight for the good of our republic.

With the death of Breitbart, the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General – we lost an entire Special Forces Division. But he didn’t leave us without the tools and the knowledge we need to fight. This website – Breitbart 2.0 – is the culmination of his study of the technology and aesthetics of new media. The team Breitbart assembled under the leadership of Steve Bannon, Larry Solov, and Joel Pollak will advance his mission with courage and integrity.

Breitbart’s most immediate mission was the belated vetting of Barack Obama. This obviously is an issue very near and dear to my heart.

During the ’08 campaign, the same media that reported breathlessly about an old used tanning bed I purchased to get some sun during the dark Alaskan winter, couldn’t be bothered to investigate Barack Obama’s associations, statements or even his voting record as a state senator. Suntans and what I wore on the campaign trail were more important than Obama’s political background. Unbelievable.

But when you come to think of it, the media didn’t investigate either of our actual political records very closely.

Barack Obama and I both served in political office in states with a serious corruption problem. Though there is a big difference between serving as the CEO of a city, then a state, and regulating domestic energy resources, and being a liberal Community Organizer, bear with me on the comparison. The difference between my record and Barack Obama’s is that I fought the corrupt political machine my entire career (and I have twenty years of scars to prove it) on the local, state, and national level. But Obama didn’t fight the corruption he encountered. He went along with it to advance his career. Graft, cronyism, and quid pro quo are the methods of the Chicago political machine from which he emerged.

You would think the media – those watchdogs of the public trust – would be interested in this. But they refused to vet Barack Obama. With tingles up their legs, they shielded him.

Read the full op-ed

House Budget Trailer: America Deserves A Better Path

NewsMax Interviews Congressman Allen West

Supreme Court Refuses to Televise ObamaCare Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court rejected requests from news organizations Friday for live, televised coverage of this month's historic arguments on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul but agreed to release audio recordings of the proceedings on the same day.

The court will post audio files and transcripts on its website ( within two hours of the end of the proceedings on each of the three days set aside for argument, March 26-28.

The C-SPAN cable network said it would play back the arguments on a broadcast channel and on radio as soon as they are available.

The justices have never allowed cameras inside the courtroom and decided not to make an exception for the health care case despite what the court called "extraordinary public interest."

A statement issued by the court's public information office and a letter from Chief Justice John Roberts to C-SPAN did not say anything about cameras or live coverage, even though many news organizations, including The Associated Press, and several members of Congress had asked the court to permit cameras into the courtroom to cover the proceedings.

Read the full article

And there is this...

C-SPAN Response To Supreme Court Announcement of Same-Day Audio Release Of Health Care Case Oral Arguments:

(Washington, DC; March 16, 2012)

We appreciate that the Supreme Court has taken steps to expedite the release of audio recordings of the oral arguments in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases on March 26, 27, and 28. C-SPAN will provide same-day airing of these arguments on C-SPAN3, C-SPAN Radio and as soon as they are released. At the same time, we are  disappointed that the Court has rejected C-SPAN’s request for TV camera coverage of the oral arguments in this landmark case. We continue to believe allowing video coverage of Supreme Court oral arguments is in the public’s best interest.

Rush and the New Blacklist

Pat Buchanan
by Pat Buchanan

The original "Hollywood blacklist" dates back to 1947, when 10 members of the Communist Party, present or former, invoked the Fifth Amendment before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

The party was then a wholly owned subsidiary of the Comintern of Joseph Stalin, whose victims had surpassed in number those of Adolf Hitler.

In a 346-17 vote, the Hollywood Ten were charged with contempt of Congress and suspended or fired.

The blacklist had begun. Directors, producers and writers who had been or were members of the party and refused to recant lost their jobs.

Politically, the blacklist was a victory of the American right.

In those first years of the Cold War, anti-communism and Christianity were mighty social, political and cultural forces. Hollywood acknowledged their power in what it produced.

Rhett Butler's departing words to Scarlett O'Hara -- "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" -- were the most shocking heard on screen.

Catholicism was idealistically portrayed in "Going My Way" and "The Song of Bernadette." Priest roles were played by Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck.

But over a half century, the left captured and now controls the culture.

The Legion of Decency is dead. The Filthy Speech Movement from Berkeley 1964 has triumphed. The "seven filthy words" of comedians like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin are regular fare in films and steadily creeping into prime-time.

Movies show sexually explicit scenes that make Howard Hughes' 1944 condemned film, "The Outlaw," starring Jane Russell, look like "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm."

Where Ingrid Bergman of "Casablanca" fame had to flee the country in 1950 after an adulterous affair with director Roberto Rossellini, the media today happily provide all the salacious details of every "relationship" that Hollywood stars enter into and exit.

All of this testifies to the cultural ascendancy of the left.

Yet every establishment has its own orthodoxy, its own taboos, and its own blacklist. And, despite its pretensions to be open to all ideas, our cultural establishment is no different.

While the Hollywood Ten have been rehabilitated and heroized, it is Christians and conservatives who are in cultural cross hairs now.

Traditional Catholic morality is mocked, as are Southern evangelical Christians. And the new cultural establishment has erected a new regime called Political Correctness. It writes the hate-crimes laws that citizens must obey and the campus speech codes students must follow.

Shock: George Clooney and Father Arrested

At the moment of his arrest outside of Sudan’s embassy in Washington, D.C., Oscar-winning actor George Clooney told The Daily Caller that he did not discuss the planned protest during his Thursday meeting with President Obama, and said that he was most “concerned” about his father who was also in handcuffs.

TheDC asked Clooney, the co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project, if he accomplished what he had hoped for at the protest.

“We’ll find out, won’t we? Sorry officer. It’s a long process so we’ll see,” said Clooney, in handcuffs.

“I’m concerned with my father, making sure he’s okay right now, you know. He’s 78 years old and never been arrested before.”

TheDC also asked if he talked about the protest on the property of the Embassy of Sudan with Obama. Clooney responded, “No, no, this was something completely different.”

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Confronting Anti-Israel Propaganda on a University Campus

Talking with Palestinian and Muslim students after my lecture at the University of South Florida in Tampa on March 8th, I was pained (but not surprised) to hear their version of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. For them, history had no bearing on the present, Muslim terrorism was not a serious culprit, and it was Israel that was the evil force in the region.

I had been invited to the university by a campus group in order to counter the presentations that would be made during an upcoming Israeli Apartheid Week. This event is now in its 8th year and is held on campuses across America and around the world with its stated purposes being “to educate people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a growing global BDS movement.”

Despite the fact that Israeli Apartheid Week does not aim for balance, I suggested to the campus group that invited me (called Ner Tamid) that we hold a debate on the relevant issues, allowing students to hear both points of view. Unfortunately, Ner Tamid was unable to find anyone willing to debate me, even though they ran a full-page ad in the student newspaper for one week, asking, “Who Will Debate the Israel-Palestine Issues?” The ad stated that, “Both sides will be able to present their viewpoints honestly and in a mutually respectful way,” also noting that, “We believe that with both sides represented fairly, everyone in attendance will receive a more complete understanding of the issues!” Still, there was no response.

I then proposed that my lecture be followed by an open mike Q & A, but the night of the debate, I learned that university security was concerned with that format, meaning that we had to take written questions from the audience rather than have open mike interaction. So, when I finished my talk on, “Israel: An Evil Occupier?” I asked the audience to allow me to speak first with those who disagreed with me so we could interact face to face. The interaction was intense, though respectful, and quite enlightening.

Read More>>

Thursday, March 15, 2012

President Obama's Priorities

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Social Security by Choice

Three Texas counties have a model for reform that proves personal retirement accounts are more than just a conservative pipe dream.

Stock market volatility remains one of the primary objections to switching from the current pay-as-you-go method of funding Social Security benefits to a system of prefunded personal retirement accounts. However, three Texas counties that opted out of Social Security 30 years ago have solved the risk problem.

Galveston County opted out of Social Security in 1981, and Matagorda and Brazoria counties followed suit in 1982. County employees have since seen their retirement savings grow every year, including during the recent recession. Today, county workers retire with more money, and have better supplemental benefits in case of disability or early death. Moreover, the counties face no long-term unfunded pension liabilities.

If state and local governments -- and Congress -- are really looking for a path to long-term sustainable entitlement reform, they might consider what is known as the "Alternate Plan."

A Different Model
The Alternate Plan does not follow either of the traditional defined-benefit or defined-contribution models. Rather, employee and employer retirement contributions are pooled and actively managed by a financial planner -- in this case, First Financial Benefits, Inc., of Houston, which originated the plan and has managed it since inception.

Like Social Security, employees contribute 6.2 percent of their incomes, which the counties match. (Galveston has chosen to provide a slightly larger share.) Once the county makes its contribution, its financial obligation is finished. As a result, there are no long-term unfunded liabilities.

Guaranteed Interest
Unlike a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, which account holders can actively manage, the contributions are pooled, like deposits to a bank savings account, and top-rated financial institutions bid on the money.

Those institutions guarantee a base interest rate -- usually about 3.75 percent -- which can increase if the market does well. Over the last decade, the accounts have earned between 3.75 percent and 5.75 percent every year, with an average of around 5 percent. The 1990s often saw even higher interest rates, 6.5 percent to 7 percent. Thus, when the market goes up, employees make more; but when the market goes down, employees still make something. This virtually eliminates the risk that a major drop in the market will cause workers to delay retirement.

Death and Disability
Social Security is not just a retirement fund, but a social insurance program that provides death, disability and survivors benefits. When financial planner Rick Gornto devised the Alternate Plan for Galveston County, he wanted it to be a complete substitute for Social Security. Thus, part of the employer contribution provides each worker a term life insurance policy, which pays four times the employee's salary, tax free, up to a maximum of $215,000. That's nearly 850 times Social Security's death benefit of $255.

If a worker participating in Social Security dies before retirement, he loses his contributions (though part of that money might go to surviving minor children or a spouse who never worked). A worker in the Alternate Plan owns his account, so the entire account belongs to his estate. There is also a disability benefit that pays immediately upon injury. Social Security's comparable benefit comes with a six-month wait, and includes other restrictions.

More Retirement Income

Alternate Plan retirees do much better than those who retire under Social Security. According to First Financial's calculations, based on 40 years of contributions (see the figure):

• A lower-middle income worker making about $26,000 at retirement would get about $1,007 a month under Social Security, but $1,826 under the Alternate Plan.

• A middle-income worker making $51,200 would get about $1,540 monthly from Social Security, but $3,600 from the Alternate Plan.

• And a high-income worker who maxed out on his Social Security contribution every year would receive about $2,500 a month from Social Security compared to $5,000 to $6,000 a month from the Alternate Plan.

It is evident that higher-income workers fare better, relative to lower-income workers. The reason is that Social Security's payout formula drops benefits for higher-income workers so that benefits for lower-income workers can be raised. The Alternate Plan makes no such transfer payments. Even so, lower-income workers still do significantly better than they do under Social Security's social insurance model.

Romney-fication of Health Care Reform

Read it and weep! This is what Mitt Romney did to Massachusetts. Trust me, he will not repeal ObamaCare because it is the offspring of his beloved RomneyCare. America, we are being played by the Republican and Democrat Progressives as we watch them dismantle and destroy our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. - Reggie

Massachusetts cost hikes could go nationwide with Obamacare

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick just exhorted legislators to overhaul the way the state pays for health care. He’s pushing for an end to the traditional arrangement of compensating doctors and hospitals for each service they provide.

It’s not yet clear what will replace this “fee-for-service” payment system. But there’s growing support for a “global budget” model, under which primary care physicians would receive annual lump sums for each of their patients - regardless of how little or how much care they needed.

The move toward global budgets highlights the failure of Massachusetts’s 2006 health reform plan to make health care more affordable. Because the Bay State’s plan served as the template for President Obama’s health reform package, the consequences of that failure could soon be felt nationwide.

A new report from researchers at the University of Minnesota details the magnitude of Massachusetts’ health reform catastrophe. They interviewed more than 3,000 state residents in 2010 and found that “Massachusetts continues to struggle with escalating health care costs, reflecting the decision to defer addressing costs in the 2006 legislation.”

The study revealed that the share of insurance premiums for family coverage paid by the average worker jumped more than 10 percent since 2006. Half of respondents said that they were spending more on health coverage in 2010 than 2009. And a quarter weren’t confident that they could afford care the following year.

About 1 in 4 respondents reported delaying treatment because of concerns about cost. That share is up from 2006. And 1 in 5 adults had problems paying medical bills - the same percentage as in 2006. “There was no sustained improvement in problems paying medical bills,” the researchers wrote.

The Bay State reform effort did expand coverage and improve access to preventative care. But the rapidly rising cost of care has counteracted these benefits. As the researchers politely put it, it’s “likely that the economic downturn and the continuing increase in health care costs … dampened any gains in coverage and affordability that might otherwise have been achieved under health reform in the state.”

The employer-sponsored insurance market in particular has suffered. That’s bad news, as it’s how most Bay Staters - and most Americans in general - get their coverage.

Between 2006 and 2010, average employer premiums increased from $1,011 to $1,200 for single coverage, and from $3,128 to $3,444 for family coverage. If premiums continue to rise at this rate, state residents will see their take-home pay dwindle even more.

Bill Maher: Obama's Million Dollar Man

Glenn Beck played this ad by ShePAC, on his show a few days ago and it clearly shows the double standard conservatives deal with daily. Be forewarned: You will see foul language on the screen once or twice.

Beijing on the Potomac

Seriously? I must say, words are beginning to fail me. - Reggie

Paper that broke Watergate partners with Chinese Communist Party

An advertising partnership between the Washington Post and a Chinese government propaganda outlet is raising questions about the propriety—and legality—of an American news outlet publishing foreign propaganda under its masthead.

At issue is the Post’s China Watch publication, a print and online advertising supplement that purports to deliver the news about China. The site hosts numerous articles and feature pieces that portray the Chinese government—particularly its human rights record—in a glowing light.

Some journalism experts and China observers say the partnership crosses ethical boundaries and misleads unassuming readers about the Chinese government’s lackluster record on a host of important issues.

The China Watch website, which features the Washington Post’s official masthead, looks like many other online news sites, containing videos, articles, and slideshows. However, a small block of text in the website’s right-hand corner offers a disclaimer: “A Paid Supplement to The Washington Post.”

Journalism experts believe that the Post should explain to readers the precise nature of its relationship with China.

“They need to address the proverbial elephant in the living room—why are you carrying a Communist government-sponsored publication?” asked Lois Boynton, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“It raises some ethical issues for the Post,” said Boynton, who criticized China Watch for intentionally obfuscating its origins.

“There are issues of transparency associated with who publishes China Watch,” she said. “The ‘about’ blurb doesn’t provide that detail. Although many people may know that China mainstream media is government-controlled, it may not be clear for all readers.”

“Readers go right through this section as if they’re moving through the hard news to the more in depth reporting, never realizing that they’re being inundated with Chinese government propaganda,” said Stephen Yates, a former national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney. “It doesn’t hit a person that they’ve arrived at an ad supplement filled with things that have passed Chinese Communist Party filters.”

China Watch’s content is chiefly produced by China Daily, an English-language newspaper that takes an uncritical look at the People’s Republic of China and toes the Communist party line on a range of issues, including the economy and politics.