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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Health-Care Law will add $340 Billion to Deficit, New Study Finds

President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.

The study is set to be released Tuesday by Charles Blahous, a conservative policy analyst whom Obama approved in 2010 as the GOP trustee for Medicare and Social Security. His analysis challenges the conventional wisdom that the health-care law, which calls for an expensive expansion of coverage for the uninsured beginning in 2014, will nonetheless reduce deficits by raising taxes and cutting payments to Medicare providers.

The 2010 law does generate both savings and revenue. But much of that money will flow into the Medicare hospitalization trust fund — and, under law, the money must be used to pay years of additional benefits to those who are already insured. That means those savings would not be available to pay for expanding coverage for the uninsured.

“Does the health-care act worsen the deficit? The answer, I think, is clearly that it does,” Blahous, a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, said in an interview. “If one asserts that this law extends the solvency of Medicare, then one is affirming that this law adds to the deficit. Because the expansion of the Medicare trust fund and the creation of the new subsidies together create more spending than existed under prior law.”

Administration officials dismissed the study, arguing that it departs from bipartisan budget rules used to measure every major deficit-reduction effort for the past four decades — including the blueprint offered last month by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“Opponents of reform are using ‘new math’ while they attempt to refight the political battles of the past,” a White House budget official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the report was not publicly available. “The fact of the matter is, the Congressional Budget Office and independent experts concluded that the health-reform law will reduce the deficit. That was true the day the bill was signed into law, and it’s true today.”

No, Mr. Carville, the Supreme Defeat of ObamaCare will Hurt Democrats

What a difference a Supreme Court hearing makes. Before the recent hearing, the Left told the world that ObamaCare was most certainly constitutional. They even mused that Justice Scalia would uphold the law.

The hearings, however, sent an arrow through their balloon and the spinmeisters into full action. James Carville went so far as to suggest that ObamaCare’s demise would be the greatest thing ever to happen to the Democrat Party. Carville couldn’t be more wrong.

ObamaCare, keep in mind, is Obama’s self-proclaimed signature achievement. More than the Stimulus plan or Cap & Trade, it was to be Obama’s mark on the American system. Its demise, however, will be celebrated, not missed.

The only comparable striking down of a signature Presidential program by the Supreme Court related to FDR’s first New Deal. In a series of cases decided in 1935 and 1936, key aspects of the first New Deal were declared unconstitutional. During that process, FDR was every bit as arrogant about his efforts as Obama.

After his legal losses, FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court to get around, “the nine old men,” and declared that “we cannot seriously be alarmed when they cry ‘unconstitutional’ at every effort to better the condition of our people.” FDR asserted that “We will no longer be permitted to sacrifice each generation in turn while the law catches up with life.”

Such language can be found in the arrogance of unchecked power.

Largesse for Losers

Thomas Sowell
Translating the Left’s rhetoric, and other random thoughts.

How long do politicians have to keep on promising heaven and delivering hell before people catch on and stop getting swept away by rhetoric?

Why should being in a professional sport exempt anyone from prosecution for advocating deliberate violence? Recent revelations of such advocacy of violence by an NFL coach should lead to his banishment for life by the NFL, and criminal prosecution by the authorities. If you are serious about reducing violence, you have to be serious about punishing those who advocate it.

Have you noticed that what modest economic improvements we have seen occurred during the much-lamented “gridlock” in Washington? Nor is this unusual. If you check back through history, doing nothing has a far better track record than politicians’ intervening in the economy.

With all the talk about people paying their “fair share” of income taxes, why do nearly half the people in this country pay no income taxes at all? Is that their “fair share”? Or is creating more recipients of government handouts, at no cost to themselves, simply a strategy to gain more votes?

Some people are puzzled by the fact that so much that is said and done by politicians seems remote from reality. But reality is not what gets politicians elected. Appearances, rhetoric, and emotions are what get them elected. Reality is what the voters and taxpayers are left to deal with as a result of electing them.

Instead of following the tired old formula of having politicians and bureaucrats give college commencement speeches, in which they say how superior a career as a politician or bureaucrat — “public service” — is to other careers, why not invite someone like John Stossel to tell the graduates how much better it is to go into the private sector, where they can supply what people want, instead of imposing the government’s will on them?

$494 Billion Tax Increase to Hit in 2013

It will be up to Washington to save the country from what the Washington Post has dubbed Taxmageddon” — the looming tax increase set to hit Americans on Jan. 1.

Curtis Dubay, a senior analyst in Tax Policy at the Heritage Foundation, has chronicled the taxes set to hit if Congress and the administration do not make adjustments.

According to Dubay, Americans will see a $494 billion tax increase at the beginning of 2013.

“[The tax increase] is hitting because of expiring tax policies and the beginning of five taxes in Obamacare,” Dubay told The Daily Caller.

Dubay’s study of the looming $494 billion tax increase highlights the policies set to expire. These include the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cut, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch, the tax cuts in the 2009 stimulus, tax extenders, the estate tax adjustment, and 100 percent business investment expensing.

Additionally, Durbay points out, that five of the eighteen tax increases in Obamacare will begin next year.

“Seventy percent of the tax hike falls directly on middle and low income families,” Dubay said. “That might surprise some people because you’ve heard for the last 12 years that the Bush tax cuts were just tax cuts for the rich, which is simply not true.”

"Sixty percent of the tax cuts in the Bush tax cuts are direct cuts for middle and low income families,” he explained. “The payroll tax cut is a middle and low income family tax cut, and the AMT patch, the whole purpose of it is to prevent a tax hike on middle and low income families. So when you add it all up 70 percent of that [nearly] $500 billion figure is a direct tax increase on middle and low income families.”

Dubay added that the increases are just a part of the cost set to result if Congress and the administration do not deal with the coming changes.

“That is just the direct part,” he explained. “The rest of the taxes fall on job creators, businesses that pay their taxes under the individual tax code, investors, entrepreneurs, other businesses. So the indirect effect hit Americans at all income levels, including middle and low income because the economy will slow, job creation will slow, and wages will not grow as fast.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned the House Financial Services Committee of the potential tax onslaught in February.

“Under current law, on Jan. 1, 2013, there’s going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases,” he said of the expiration of the Bush tax, the expiration of a payroll tax cut and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, according to The Hill. “I hope that Congress will look at that and figure out ways to achieve the same long-run fiscal improvement without having it all happen at one date.”

Congressman Paul Ryan vs. President Obama

from this morning

YouTube description: Chairman of the House Budget Committee Congressman Paul Ryan on what the GOP needs to focus on in the 2012 presidential election to win back the White House. From his keynote address at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Tax Policies for 4% Growth conference at the New-York Historical Society.

George W. Bush: Tax Policies For 4% Growth

from this morning

YouTube description: President George W. Bush gives his opening remarks about tax policy and economic growth for the "Tax Policies For 4% Growth" Conference at the New York Historical Society.

Huckabee Show Opens With Staged Caller

I have never liked Mike Huckabee and this makes me like him even less. - Reggie

What did Huckabee know about planted call from Cumulus VP that attacked Rush Limbaugh?

Wow.

As we often say here: you just can't make it up.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee took his first phone call of his new talk radio call-in show yesterday. From "Mike in San Francisco." Remember: the show is being positioned by the Cumulus Media Network as the conservative show with "more conversation, less confrontation." Or, as it is certainly being pushed in the anti-Rush Limbaugh media, the show for moderate Republicans that will Take Rush Out. RINO Radio, as we noted here last week.

But there seemed to be something slightly out of whack.

That something?

The very first phone call, arriving some fifty minutes into the show. To anyone with an ear for talk radio it had a startling quality.

Why?

No one seemed to remember to give the call-in number to the audience until the very last few seconds of those first fifty minutes. But yet… presto!... within seconds, Mike Huckabee did in fact have a caller on the line! Without ever questioning how that caller could have gotten on that line in less time than it takes Obama to blame Bush for anything!

The caller…"Mike from San Francisco"… was in fact not just your average Mike.

Huckabee began this way:
"Alright, we're going to go to the phone lines and we've got a call from Mike in San Francisco. Welcome to the Mike Huckabee Show, Mike."
What did "Mike" have on his mind? He started this way:
"Well Governor, let me start by saying it's great to have a different opinion and a different person on the radio and I'm very, very happy that you're doing this radio show. One of the reasons why I want to listen to your program every day is because you ran for office and you've been a politician, you have a different perspective I think."
Catch that? "Mike from San Francisco" begins by saying in supposedly unprompted fashion that (bold emphasis mine) "… it's great to have a different opinion and a different person on the radio…"

Different opinion? Different person? Different from whom? Why, Rush Limbaugh, of course.

Rick Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

Monday, April 9, 2012

Uncommon Knowledge: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

YouTube description: This week on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell discusses why the glacial pace of deliberations and decisions in the Senate is a feature, not a bug.

"Once it was clear the president was going to try to turn us into a Western European country as rapidly as he could, about the only strategy you have left when your opposition has a forty-seat majority in the House. . . . We knew we couldn't stop the agenda. But we thought we had a chance of creating a national debate about whether all of this excess was appropriate. And the key to having a debate, frankly and candidly, was to deny the president, if possible, the opportunity to have any of these things be considered bipartisan."

Persecution on the Peninsula

The War on Christianity is spreading throughout the world as darkness encompasses the globe. We must be prepared as this war advances in the United States. - Reggie

Saudi cleric issues fatwa to demolish Christian Churches in Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim leader recently issued a religious decree calling for all Christian churches on the Arabian peninsula to be demolished, a move that elicited protests from the U.S. government and undermines recent efforts in the kingdom to promote interfaith tolerance.

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Shaikh issued the fatwa, or Muslim religious decree, on March 11, although government-controlled media in the country so far have not reported it.

A U.S. official said the mufti’s fatwa is causing embarrassment for King Abdullah because al-Shaikh is said to be closely aligned to the king and ruling royal family.

Some observers note that the fatwa could put the mufti at odds with the monarch.

Also, King Abdullah recently sought to develop interfaith dialogue centers in Europe. The anti-Christian edict is undermining those efforts.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the issue of the fatwa during a meeting with the king March 30.

A State Dept. official declined to comment when asked if the fatwa was raised during the meetings, but said “issues of religious freedom and tolerance were raised in the secretary’s bilateral meetings in Riyadh.”

According to State Department officials who briefed reporters on the March 30 meeting between Clinton and the king, Clinton discussed the plight of women in Saudi Arabia during her 1 hour and 40 minute talk.

The meetings included discussion of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear defiance, Syria’s revolution, Yemen, oil, and “reform in the Kingdom, including the role of women,” a senior State Department official said after the meeting.

According to Arabic press reports, the mufti made the comments to members of Kuwait’s parliament, stating that building any new churches in the Arabian Peninsula is forbidden under Islamic law. He then went on to state that all existing churches in the region should be demolished, according to Kuwait’s Arabic newspaper Al-Anba.

The comments followed a Kuwaiti government official’s call for ban on construction of new churches.

The Muslim cleric’s edict is likely to cause a further rupture with the West, which widely views Saudi Arabia as a breeding ground for Muslim terrorists. Fifteen of the 19 suicide aircraft hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks were Saudi nationals.

According to reports from the region, Christian leaders in Europe have condemned the fatwa and called on Riyadh to explain the religious ruling.

White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law

The implementation of ObamaCare should never have begun until the court challenges to the law had been ruled upon. However, POTUS and HHS are trying to embed this monstrosity as quickly as they can hoping Americans will riot in the streets if SCOTUS throws out this unconstitutional law. Obama is nothing less than a tyrant. God help us, all. - Reggie

The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.

The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.

Republican lawmakers have tried to cut off funding to implement the healthcare law, at least until after the Supreme Court decides whether to strike it down. That ruling is expected by June, and oral arguments last week indicated the justices might well overturn at least the individual mandate, if not the whole law.

“While President Obama and his Senate allies continue to spend more tax dollars implementing an unpopular and unworkable law that may very well be struck down as unconstitutional in a matter of months, I’ll continue to stand with the American people who want to repeal this law and replace it with something that will actually address the cost of healthcare,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee for healthcare and is in a closely contested Senate race this year.

The Obama administration has plowed ahead despite the legal and political challenges.

It has moved aggressively to get important policies in place. And, according to a review of budget documents and figures provided by congressional staff, the administration is also burning through implementation funding provided in the healthcare law.

Tebow to Easter Crowd: ‘It's OK to Be Outspoken About Your Faith’

GEORGETOWN, Texas (AP) - Tim Tebow drew a crowd of about 15,000 to an outdoor Easter church service Sunday, telling the gathering it's important to be outspoken about faith while admonishing athletes to be better role models.

"In Christianity, it's the Pope and Tebow right now," Celebration Church pastor Joe Champion he said. "We didn't have enough room to handle the Pope."

Tebow -- devout Christian, backup NFL quarterback and cultural phenomenon -- has a flock of admirers drawn as much to his religious leanings as his Heisman Trophy skills.

Tebow told them he welcomed the attention on his convictions as well as the "Tebowing" prayer pose he often strikes on the field because it puts his faith and prayer in the public conversation.

"It's being talked about," he said. "That's exciting."

Some at the "Easter on the Hill" morning service under sunny skies about 20 miles north of Austin drove more 100 miles to hear Tebow speak. The service took on the feel of a rock concert with more than a 100 school buses shuttling people to the sprawling mega-church campus from local shopping centers and the nearby college.

The service was peppered with lively Christian rock songs and Tebow took the large stage to cheers from those who could see him while others toward the back watched on massive video screens. He sat for a 20-minute interview with Champion to talk about his faith and its role in his public life.

"It's OK to be outspoken about your faith," Tebow said.

Why We Need Voter-ID Laws Now

John Fund
Voter fraud is a scandal, and the attorney general can’t look away anymore.

Attorney General Eric Holder is a staunch opponent of laws requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls to improve ballot security. He calls them “unnecessary” and has blocked their implementation in Texas and South Carolina, citing the fear they would discriminate against minorities.

I wonder what Holder will think when he learns just how easy it was for someone to be offered his ballot just by mentioning his name in a Washington, D.C., polling place in Tuesday’s primaries.

Holder’s opposition to ID laws comes in spite of the Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision in 2008, authored by liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, that upheld the constitutionality of Indiana’s tough ID requirement. When groups sue to block photo-ID laws in court, they can’t seem to produce real-world examples of people who have actually been denied the right to vote. According to opinion polls, over 75 percent of Americans — including majorities of Hispanics and African-Americans — routinely support such laws.

One reason is that people know you can’t function in the modern world without showing ID — you can’t cash a check, travel by plane or even train, or rent a video without being asked for one. In fact, PJ Media recently proved that you can’t even enter the Justice Department in Washington without showing a photo ID. Average voters understand that it’s only common sense to require ID because of how easy it is for people to pretend they are someone else

Filmmaker James O’Keefe demonstrated just how easy it is on Tuesday when he dispatched an assistant to the Nebraska Avenue polling place in Washington where Attorney General Holder has been registered for the last 29 years. O’Keefe specializes in the same use of hidden cameras that was pioneered by the recently deceased Mike Wallace, who used the technique to devastating effect in exposing fraud in Medicare claims and consumer products on 60 Minutes. O’Keefe’s efforts helped expose the fraud-prone voter-registration group ACORN with his video stings, and has had great success demonstrating this year in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Minnesota just how easy it is to obtain a ballot by giving the name of a dead person who is still on the rolls. Indeed, a new study by the Pew Research Center found at least 1.8 million dead people are still registered to vote. They aren’t likely to complain if someone votes in their place.

In Washington, it was child’s play for O’Keefe to beat the system. O’Keefe’s assistant used a hidden camera to document his encounter with the election worker at Holder’s polling place:

Man: “Do you have an Eric Holder, 50th Street?

Poll worker: “Let me see here.”

Man: Xxxx 50th Street.

Poll Worker: Let’s see, Holder, Hol-t-e-r, or Hold-d-e-r?

Man: H-o-l-d-e-r.

Poll Worker: D-e-r. Okay.

Man: That’s the name.

Poll Worker: I do. Xxxx 50th Street NW. Okay. [Puts check next to name, indicating someone has shown up to vote.] Will you sign there . . .

Man: I actually forgot my ID.

Poll Worker: You don’t need it; it’s all right.

Man: I left it in the car.

Poll Worker: As long as you’re in here, and you’re on our list and that’s who you say you are, we’re okay.

Man: I would feel more comfortable if I go get my ID, is it all right if I go get it?

Poll Worker: Sure, go ahead.

Man: I’ll be back faster than you can say furious!

Poll Worker: We’re not going anywhere.

Note that O’Keefe’s assistant never identified himself as Eric Holder, so he was not illegally impersonating him.

Nor did he attempt to vote using the ballot that was offered him, or even to accept it. O’Keefe has been accused by liberals of committing voter fraud in his effort to expose just how slipshod the election systems of various no-ID-required states are, but lawyers say his methods avoid that issue. Moreover, he has only taped his encounters with election officials in jurisdictions that allow videotaping someone in public with only one party’s knowledge.

President Obama Treated Former Colleague as ‘Evil’

Economist John Lott, noted for his academic advocacy of gun rights, says that when Barack Obama was his colleague at the University of Chicago, the future president treated him as if he were “evil.”

Lott relates his interactions with Obama in his new book, co-authored with Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist, “Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We can Do Now to Regain Our Future.”

“The book relates a couple out of the dozen-and-a-half conversations that I had with him,” Lott told The Daily Caller. ”But they were all very short, cut off by Obama turning his back on me and walking away.”

“He wouldn’t shake hands. It was very clear that Obama disagreed on the gun issue and acted as if he believed that people who he disagreed with were not just wrong, but evil. Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama simply showed disdain.”

Lott and Obama were colleagues at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s.

The book’s main focus is Obama’s economic policies, which the authors contend have exacerbated America’s economic woes.

“We wanted to put together a book that explained how the stimulus [the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009] made the economy worse, provide evidence for that claim, and explain what could be done to increase growth,” said Lott, a Fox News contributor who has held teaching and research positions at elite universities including Yale and Stanford.

TheDC’s interview with Lott explored how he believes President Obama has mishandled the economy, what policies he believes should be implemented to spark an economic recovery, the seriousness of our looming entitlement crisis and much more.

Why did you decide to write the book?

People know that Obama’s repeated promises to grow the economy have been broken time and time again. People know that Obama promised the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent, but what is missing is an explanation for why the stimulus raised unemployment and made this the worst recovery on record.

There is always some excuse. That they made these predictions before they knew how bad the economy really was (false). That the Japanese earthquake or economic problems in Europe were at fault. The economy had already slowed down long before then and it can’t explain why other countries from Germany to Canada, countries that didn’t follow Obama’s Keynesian policies have done so much better. The list of claims is quite long.

We wanted to put together a book that explained how the stimulus made the economy worse, provide evidence for that claim, and explain what could be done to increase growth.

You knew Obama somewhat when you were both professors at the University of Chicago. What was your interaction with him like?

Obama and I overlapped for four years at the University of Chicago Law School, though he was rarely around. When Obama joined the school as a part-time lecturer, it was made quite clear to everyone that he was going to use the job to run for public office. Being a part-time lecturer with no research responsibilities left him with the opportunity to spend almost all of his week to go out and campaign for office.

The book relates a couple out of the dozen-and-a-half conversations that I had with him. But they were all very short, cut off by Obama turning his back on me and walking away. He wouldn’t shake hands. It was very clear that Obama disagreed on the gun issue and acted as if he believed that people who he disagreed with were not just wrong, but evil. Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama simply showed disdain.

Gingrich: Romney will 'most likely' be Republican nominee

Well, I guess the time has come to conclude Romney will be the GOP nominee for POTUS. The Republican Establishment/Progressives will once again get their desired candidate and I truly believe he will lose the election. There is not a dime's worth of difference between Romney and Obama so the Progressive agenda to destroy America will go forward. The worst is yet to come. - Reggie

Interview from yesterday's Fox News Sunday.

US Attorney General Eric Holder's Ballot to Vote Offered to Total Stranger

More proof that Eric Holder's Justice Department fights state voter i.d. laws in order for Democrats to have the ability to steal elections. Voter fraud and a Progressive GOP nominee may be the only way Obama can "win" re-election. The Chicago Way. - Reggie

Read the full story at Breitbart.

YouTube description: Poll Workers on Primary Day in Washington, DC offer US Attorney General Eric H Holder's ballot to vote... to a complete Stranger. Other voting locations in Washington, DC offer to sign for ballots. Eric Holder has said multiple times there exists no evidence of Voter Fraud.

Obama 2012: From 'Hope' to Hypocrisy

New RNC ad

YouTube description: In 2008, Candidate Obama promised "hope" and "change." Four years later, we know it was all an act, and since President Obama has no record to run on, he's resorted to using the same negative scare tactics he once claimed to be against. Join us at http://www.GOP.com

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Political Word Games

Thomas Sowell
The media that exposed Nixon is covering for Obama.

One of the highly developed talents of President Barack Obama is the ability to say things that are demonstrably false, and make them sound not only plausible but inspiring.

That talent was displayed just this week when he was asked whether he thought the Supreme Court would uphold Obamacare as constitutional or strike it down as unconstitutional.

He replied: “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

But how unprecedented would it actually be if the Supreme Court declared a law unconstitutional if it was passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress”?

The Supreme Court has been doing precisely that for 209 years!

Nor is it likely that Barack Obama has never heard of it. He has a degree from Harvard Law School and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. In what must be one of the most famous Supreme Court cases in history — Marbury v. Madison in 1803 — Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that the Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress null and void if these acts violate the Constitution.

They have been doing so for more than two centuries. It is the foundation of American constitutional law. There is no way that Barack Obama has never heard of it or really believes it to be “unprecedented” after two centuries of countless precedents.

In short, he is simply lying.

Now there are different kinds of liars. If we must have lying presidents of the United States, I prefer that they be like Richard Nixon. You could just look at him and tell that he was lying.

But Obama is much smoother. On this and on many other issues, you would have to know what the facts are to know that he is lying. He is obviously counting on the fact that, in this era of dumbed-down education, many people have no clue as to what the facts are.

He is also counting on something else — namely, that the pro-Obama media will not expose his lies.

One of the many ways of lying smoothly is to simply redefine words. Barack Obama is a master at that as well.

In the comment on the case pending before the Supreme Court, President Obama said that he wanted to remind “conservative commentators” that they have complained about “judicial activism” — which he redefines as the idea that “an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.”

Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light dead at 54

Palin Vindicated As Obama Pals Around With Terrorists

Talk about a "War on Women": this past week, the White House welcomed members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamist organization whose Freedom and Justice Party won the largest number of seats in that country's parliamentary elections and which may take the Egyptian presidency as well.

The Brotherhood remains staunchly anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Christian, anti-Jew -- and anti-woman. In an interview posted today by Kerry Picket of the Washington Times, a member of the Brotherhood's delegation confirmed that sharia, or Islamic law, would guide all lawmaking in Egypt under his party's rule.

Since its origins in Egypt in the 1950, the Muslim Brotherhood has established branches throughout the Middle East, and contacts in the West as well. It has carried out and supported countless acts of terror and murder, and spread the radical Islamist ideology that sustains public support for terrorism.

Al Qaeda itself was inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders. The current leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, began his terrorist career in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood. There are alarming connections between the party taking over in Egypt  and the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

Yet President Barack Obama has decided that the United States should "engage" the Brotherhood, apparently believing that doing so will deter the Brotherhood from its radical course, and grant the United States a voice in the new Egyptian government--as it once had in the dictatorial regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, the man Obama abandoned during the so-called Arab Spring. This wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision; Obama was always pro-Muslim Brotherhood, going out of his way in February 2009 to finagle invitations for them to his Cairo speech.

Obama clearly has a soft spot for the Brotherhood. When Iranians took to the streets in 2009 and nearly overthrew their government, President Obama remained on the sidelines, effectively protecting the regime. When it came to the Muslim Brotherhood, however, the Obama administration didn't hesitate in intervening in Egypt's internal power struggle, even though there is no sign that American intervention would be any more popular in Egypt than it is in Iran.

Unemployment Number Went Down Because Fewer People are in the Labor Force

Below is the full transcript from a segment of the Rush Limbaugh Show this past Friday:

RUSH: Let me just tell you about the unemployment number. You've been paying attention to this. I want to remind you, for the past two or three months, when I have been trying to explain the correlation between the shrinking labor force to the unemployment number, I have had, I can't tell you, how many people sending me notes saying, "You're wrong. You're missing this. You're using the wrong calculation. You don't know what you're talking about."

I've tried to say the reason the unemployment number can go down when they add people to the unemployment rolls is that the universe of jobs is shrinking. There are fewer jobs against which to compare those out of work, the labor force participation rate. And now not even the AP and the other State-Controlled Media can hide it. They're all admitting it now. We've got this number, there are fewer people looking for work, fewer people in the labor force. We've got an unemployment rate that fell from 8.3 to 8.2%. But if the workforce participation rate were the same as it was when Obama took office, this 8.2% rate would be 10.8 today, if the same number of jobs existed.

But that many more were not being filled because people aren't looking for them anymore. What's happened is that Obama and his team have simply erased over two million jobs from the universe of possible jobs to get. I've never understood why people argue with me about this. "You don't know what you're talking about." The obvious question, "Why do we care about job growth?" Why are we worried about creating new jobs, then? We're worried about creating new jobs because jobs are disappearing, and so are people looking for work. There are two things happening. Fewer people are looking for jobs, and there are fewer jobs to have. This is how the regime does it. You eliminate the total number of jobs from the statistical calculation altogether.

The AP has even caught onto this. The media realizes that this is not good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is claiming the unemployment rate's gone down another one tenth of 1%. But even AP has to admit that it's not because of hiring. The employment rate fell not because anybody's hiring anybody. It's only because more and more people are simply giving up looking for work. AP even admits it. They're not touting this as great news. That's how bad it is, 8.3 to 8.2, they have an open template here, if they want, to start talking about how great this recovery is, how wonderful Obama's policies are finally taking hold. But they can't because there isn't any good news here. It's only because more and more people are simply giving up looking for work. And this is the seasonally adjusted number.

I have another story here that illustrates how every month we get a revision that is never reported. The number today will be revised upward in a month, and that has happened 11 out of the last 12 months. It's the same thing with the economic growth rate. They report it, then they revise it sometime later, and it's never as strong or as good as they said it was. But all you really need to know here is this: If the workforce participation rate, the labor force participation rate were the same as it was when Obama took office, the reported unemployment rate today would be 10.9%. And that's why the workforce has to be tweaked by the Labor Department, to get to 8.2. It's very simple. If you take over two million jobs out of the universe but don't change the number of people looking, you're gonna have, obviously, a higher level of reported employment.




Please, click the link above to see the links Rush supplies to defend his argument.

Our Contemptuous President

Mark Steyn
Obama can’t be bothered with checks and balances.

As Bob Hope and Bing Crosby observed in Road to Bali:
He gets his shirts straight from Paris

Cigarettes from the Nile

He talks like a highbrow

But he plays Chicago style . . . 
I’ve no idea where President Obama gets his shirts and smokes, but he certainly talks like a highbrow, sufficiently so to persuade presidential historian Michael Beschloss to pronounce him the day after the 2008 election “the smartest president ever.” Yet, in the end, he plays Chicago style. You can take the community organizer out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the community organizer. Or as the Agence France-Presse headline put it, “Combative Obama Warns Supreme Court on Health Law.”

Headlines in which the executive “warns” the courts are usually the province of places like Balochistan, where powerful cabinet ministers are currently fuming at the chief justice’s determination to stop them kidnapping citizens and holding them for ransom — literally, that is, not merely figuratively, as in America. But, here as there, when Obama “warns” the Supreme Court “over health law,” it’s their health prospects he has in mind. He cautioned the justices — “an unelected group of people” — not to take the “unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

The eunuchs of the palace media gleefully piled on: As the New York Times sees it, were the justices to take an “unprecedented” step so unprecedented there are two centuries’ worth of precedents going back to 1803, they would be fatally damaging “the Court’s legitimacy.”

All that’s unprecedented here is the spectacle of the president of the United States, while the judges are deliberating, idly swinging his tire iron and saying, “Nice little Supreme Court you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.”

A nation can have formal “checks and balances,” but in the end free societies depend on a certain deference to the proprieties. If you’re willing to disdain those, you can drive a coach and horses through accepted norms very easily. The bit about “a democratically elected Congress” was an especially exquisite touch given Obama’s recently professed respect for the democratic process: As he assured Vladimir Putin’s sock puppet the other day, he’ll have “more flexibility” to accommodate foreign interests after he’s got his “last election” and all that tedious democracy business out of the way. His “last election,” I hasten to add, not America’s.

Aside from his contempt for judicial review and those rube voters, what other checks and balances doesn’t he have time for? Well, he makes “recess appointments” when the Senate isn’t in recess, thus circumventing the dreary business of confirmation by that “democratically elected” legislature he likes so much. But hey, it’s only members of the National Labor Relations Board and the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, so why get hung up on constitutional niceties?

By the way, have you heard of this Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? No? Don’t worry, no big deal, it’s just a new federal agency. Because we can always use another of those, right? What’s one more acronym jostling in the ever-more-crowded alphabet soup of federal regulation? CFTC, CPSC, CNPP, and now CFPB. Not to be confused with CFPB-FM, the Inuit radio station just south of the Arctic Circle in the Nunavut village of Kugaaruk, where in 1975 the world’s all-time coldest wind chill was recorded: minus 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Obama Funds the Egyptian Government

Andrew McCarthy
A Muslim Brotherhood–controlled government gets $1.5 billion.

In October 2010, on the eve of the Islamic revolution that the media fancies as “the Arab Spring,” the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood called for jihad against the United States.
You might think that this all but unnoticed bombshell would be of some importance to policymakers in Washington. It was not. It is not. This week, the Obama administration quietly released $1.5 billion in foreign aid to the new Egyptian government, now dominated by a Brotherhood-led coalition in parliament — soon to be joined by an Ikhwan (i.e., Brotherhood) luminary as president.

It is not easy to find the announcement. With the legacy media having joined the Obama reelection campaign, we must turn for such news to outlets like the Kuwait News Agency. There, we learn that, having dug our nation into a $16 trillion debt hole, President Obama has nevertheless decided to borrow more money from unfriendly powers like China so he can give it to an outfit that views the United States as an enemy to be destroyed.

This pot of gold for Islamic supremacists is the spoils of a Brotherhood charm offensive. Given the organization’s unabashed goals and hostility towards the West, it was U.S. policy, until recently, to avoid formal contacts with the Brotherhood — although agents of the intelligence community and the State Department have long engaged in off-line communications with individual MB members. By contrast, the Obama administration from its first days has embraced the Ikhwan — both the mothership, whose leaders were invited to attend Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo despite its then-status as a banned organization under Egyptian law, and the Brotherhood’s American satellites, which have been invited to advise administration policymakers despite their notorious record of championing violent jihadists and repressive sharia.

Obama has overlooked the MB’s intimate ties to Hamas, which self-identifies as the Ikhwan’s Palestinian branch and is formally designated a terrorist organization under American law. Administration officials have absurdly portrayed the Brothers as “secular” and “moderate,” although the organization, from its founding in the 1920s, has never retreated an inch from its professed mission to establish Islam’s global hegemony.

The administration further hailed the Brotherhood’s triumph in post-Mubarak legislative elections and made a point of abandoning the policy against formal MB contacts — though, in now-familiar Obama fashion, it simultaneously claimed that this “outreach” broke no new ground. And this week, the White House hosted a Brotherhood delegation to “broaden our engagement” with Egypt’s new political actors, as an administration spokesman put it. In this, Obama officials were quick to exploit the cover they’ve gotten from the transnational-progressive wing of the Republican party: The administration spokesman stressed that “Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and others have met with members of the MB during their visits to Egypt.”

The useful-idiot brigade also includes the “House Democracy Partnership,” a bipartisan cadre of congressmen that traipsed over to Egypt on its recent tour of the “Arab Spring” countries. On the agenda was a confab with Khairat el-Shater, the Brotherhood’s newly announced presidential candidate.

Shater is Washington’s new darling. That much is clear from an unintentionally hilarious dispatch from the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick, who portrays the Brotherhood as America’s “indispensable ally against Egypt’s ultraconservatives.” Sure, they may be the world’s leading exemplar of what Kirkpatrick gently calls “political Islam,” but our policy geniuses reckon the Brothers are much to be preferred over the “Salafis” — reputedly, the more hardcore Islamic supremacists. As the Times elaborates, the Obama administration is alarmed by the rise of a charismatic Salafist, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who has shot to second place in the polls. Shater, the theory goes, could overtake Ismail and lead Egypt in the Brotherhood’s more “pragmatic direction.”

Happy Resurrection Day!



Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They're singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah

Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
Christ, He will reveal it now

The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus' power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
Hallelujah

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Obama needs to 'back off' Supreme Court

Mitch McConnell
Remarks of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to the Rotary Club of Lexington | April 5, 2012

I had originally planned to come over here today to talk about the economy and jobs. But President Obama made some comments about the Supreme Court earlier this week that troubled me, and that should trouble every American, frankly, and they demand a firm response. So if you’ll allow me, I’d like to start with that.

First, some context. As you’re all aware, last week the Supreme Court heard arguments for and against the president’s health care law. This is the same bill Congress passed two years ago on Christmas Eve on a straight party-line vote by the slimmest of margins after some backroom deals got it over the finish line. This bill is still deeply controversial. And if you believe the polls, most Americans think it’s unconstitutional.

Well, fortunately, in matters of constitutional interpretation, we’ve got a final arbiter in this country, and that’s the Supreme Court. So I and many others brought our legal arguments to the Court last week. And after a careful study of the law and the precedents, and after weighing the arguments on both sides, the Court will make its final determination. Whether I agree with it or not, I’ll respect the decision.

But, apparently, President Obama didn’t like the tenor of some of the questions the justices asked about the health care law during last week’s hearings, questions that highlighted the unprecedented power that the administration now has over your and everybody else’s health care as a result of its passage.

So earlier this week, the president did something that as far as I know is completely unprecedented: he not only tried to publicly pressure the Court into deciding a pending case in the way he wants it decided; he also questioned its very authority under the Constitution.

And if anybody had any doubt about that, it should have been dispelled on Tuesday, when a federal appeals court ordered an administration lawyer to clarify whether the administration does, in fact, believe that the courts of the United States of America have the right to determine whether laws passed by Congress violate the Constitution. This was a clear response to the president’s comments from earlier in the week, and proof positive of the signal it sent to the judiciary.

Now, the president’s words were particularly troubling given his past treatment of the Court. Two years ago, he used a State of the Union Address to publicly chastise the Court for its decision in another case he didn’t like — with members of the Court sitting just a few feet away.

He looked at the line that wisely separates the three branches of government, and stepped right over it. But what the president did this week went even farther. With his words, he was no longer trying to embarrass the Court after a decision; rather, he tried to intimidate it before a decision has been made. And that should be intolerable to all of us.

Obama v. SCOTUS

Charles Krauthammer
Democrats were unpleasantly surprised by the strong constitutional argument against ObamaCare.

“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” — Barack Obama, on the constitutional challenge to his health care law, April 2

‘Unprecedented”? Judicial review has been the centerpiece of the American constitutional system since Marbury v. Madison in 1803. “Strong majority”? The House has 435 members. In March 2010, Democrats held a 75-seat majority. Obamacare passed by seven votes.

In his next-day walk back, the president implied that he was merely talking about the normal “restraint and deference” the courts owe the legislative branch. This concern would be touching if it weren’t coming from the leader of a party so deeply devoted to the ultimate judicial usurpation — Roe v. Wade, which struck down the abortion laws of 46 states — that fealty to it is the party’s litmus test for service on the Supreme Court.

With Obamacare remaking one-sixth of the economy, it would be unusual for the Supreme Court to overturn legislation so broad and sweeping. On the other hand, it is far more unusual to pass such a fundamentally transformative law on such a narrow, partisan basis.

Obamacare passed the Congress without a single vote from the opposition party – in contradistinction to Social Security, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, and Medicaid, similarly grand legislation, all of which enjoyed substantial bipartisan support. In the Senate, moreover, Obamacare squeaked by through a parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation that was never intended for anything so sweeping. The fundamental deviation from custom and practice is not the legal challenge to Obamacare but the very manner of its enactment.

The president’s pre-emptive attack on the Court was in direct reaction to Obamacare’s three days of oral argument. It was a shock. After years of contemptuously dismissing the very idea of a legal challenge, Democrats suddenly realized that there actually is a serious constitutional argument to be made against Obamacare — and they are losing it.

Here were highly sophisticated conservative thinkers — lawyers and justices — making the case for limited government, and liberals weren’t even prepared for the obvious constitutional question: If Congress can force the individual into a private contract by authority of the Commerce Clause, what can it not force the individual to do? Without a limiting principle, the central premise of our constitutional system — a government of enumerated powers — evaporates. What then is the limiting principle? Liberals were quick to blame the administration’s bumbling solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, for blowing the answer. But Clarence Darrow couldn’t have given it. There is none.

Justice Stephen Breyer tried to rescue the hapless Verrilli by suggesting that by virtue of being born, one enters into the “market for health care.” To which plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael Carvin devastatingly replied: If birth means entering the market, the Congress is omnipotent, authorized by the Commerce Clause to regulate “every human activity from cradle to grave.”

QED.

Having lost the argument, what to do? Bully. The New York Times loftily warned the Supreme Court that it would forfeit its legitimacy if it ruled against Obamacare, because with the “five Republican-appointed justices supporting the challenge led by 26 Republican governors, the court will mark itself as driven by politics.”

DOJ Letter: Acts of Congress 'presumptively constitutional'

Panel debates president's controversial remarks