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Archive for April, 2011

What an amazing package is the Congressman from Wisconsin’s 1st District. Paul Ryan not only is a master of detail, he gets the Big Picture, too. Although he’s one of the sharpest minds on the Hill, he explains things so clearly that even those of us who don’t know the difference between a 401k and a 401(c)3 can understand. He’s as serious as death about the economic trainwreck we’re heading toward — yet radiates the optimism of the little engine that could.

Paul Ryan, unlike so many in Washington, is a grown-up. What’s more, he has enough respect for his fellow citizens to treat us as grown-ups, too: of course we’ll be wanting all the facts, however unpleasant they may be; of course we want to face our problems and deal with them intelligently.

Here he is in action. It would be a brilliant performance from anybody else — but for Paul Ryan, it’s just a brief interlude in another day’s work.

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Don’t get me wrong. I recycle every kind of paper, metal, glass and plastic; I take my own reusable canvas tote bags with me to the grocery store; I purchase from local and/or organic farmers as much as possible. I believe in good stewardship of the earth God has given us. What’s changed is my attitude toward “environmentalist” advocacy groups.

I joined the Sierra Club in 1982 because at that time I bought the establishment-media line that Reagan’s Interior Secretary, James Watt, was evil incarnate and had to be stopped. I joined Audubon because I love birds. I joined World Wildlife Fund because I was concerned about the rate at which tropical rainforest was disappearing.

Well, I still love birds, trees and everything else God created besides us humans — but I quit all three of the above organizations quite a few years back because they crossed the line from love of animals to hostility toward humans; all of them, especially Sierra Club, vigorously promote population control — which always comes down to abortion. It’s bad enough I’m forced to pay for abortions with my tax dollars; I’ll be darned if I’m going to donate to abortion promoters of my own free will.

Nevertheless, all through the ’90s, I continued to support two watchdog groups, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Silent on the population issue, they instead focused on making sure that laws already on the books were enforced, and that governments and businesses were held accountable. I saw a place — and still do — for watchdogs. After all, when I was living in Texas in the ’80s, I myself had fought — and rightly so, I believe — to get the State of Texas to enforce its own regulations on several uranium mill-tailings dumps. The uranium mills not only were out of compliance, but were continuing to operate despite the fact that their licenses had long since expired.

NRDC and EDF were not involved with our effort on that front, but I’d always seen their mission as similar. Somewhere along the line, though, these groups came to represent, whether intentionally or not, an agenda that is less about holding corporations accountable than it is about destroying the free-market system altogether.

Of course, nowadays, these groups (which I no longer support) are largely redundant, since the Environmental Protection Agency itself has become the most radical anti-business entity of all  Case in point:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.  [emphasis added]

Got that? The EPA wants Shell to flush its $4 billion investment down the drain because of carbon dioxide emissions from a ship! (What does the EPA have to say about the carbon dioxide being emitted by every one of those 245 natives every time they exhale?) The world’s main institutions dealing with “climate change” (NASA, IPCC, CRU, et al.) have been shown to have engaged in scandalous fraud — egregious enough that the whole theory of man-caused climate change has been thrown into doubt, if not substantially disproven — and yet, the Obama administration persists in acting as if ClimateGate never happened!

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil. That’s how much the U. S. Geological Survey believes is in the U.S. portion of the Arctic Ocean. For perspective, that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history. That pipeline is getting dangerously low on oil. At 660,000 barrels a day, it’s carrying only one-third its capacity.

Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down.

“It’s driving investment and production overseas,” said Alaska’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”

The EPA did not return repeated calls and e-mails. The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.  [emphasis added]

Environmental “watchdogs”? No, they’ve become attack dogs — and they’re going for the jugular of the free-market system that keeps you and me and other human beings clothed, sheltered and fed.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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I just love grassroots, outside-the-box political activism.

Here’s something we all can do — and all you need is some post-it notes!








A Facebook page has been set up for this campaign. The people behind it are encouraging people to send in photos of their own like the ones above.

To borrow a line from an old leftie, “…and, friends, they’ll think it’s a movement!”

By the way, I like the emphasis on food and gasoline, since  the official Consumer Price Index does not include — are you ready for this? — food and energy!

Grocery prices increased 6.5% in March from early January, an annualized increase of 26%, according to a report from Consumer Growth Partners. The group called the rise the “sharpest in a generation.”

…A 25% increase in gasoline prices this year combines with higher food costs to take $18 billion out of monthly household spending on discretionary items… Consumer Growth said in its report, which compiles data from Target, Walmart and Aldi stores in four U.S. states.

No word on whether the price of sticky notes has gone up significantly. If we all do our part, however, demand should skyrocket!

Hat tip: Doug Ross

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Wow. This video reminds me once again why so many of us have such high hopes for Allen West. The way his mind works, the way he holds himself, the way he expresses things — all are amazing to behold.

Via Weasel Zippers, a clip from the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

Out of all the dignitaries in that room, which one exudes the most self-possession and strength? Which one inspires the most confidence?

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I am very distressed by Allen West’s giving even the slightest bit of consideration to Donald Trump as a serious candidate, much less a serious Republican candidate. West recently said that he’d consider being Donald Trump’s running mate if it were offered, and Trump and West shared the stage at a South Florida Tax Day Tea Party rally. This is both puzzling and disturbing.

The Conservative Diva sums up my own feelings about Trump pretty well:

From my friend Stephen Maloney, just learned of Poll Insider’s little refresher on the man who, for reasons not  yet fully known (is he really running for president or is this just a publicity ploy?) has transformed himself from Obama lover to Tea Party advocate. While some conservatives rhapsodize over what feels like an endless media blitz over Obama’s birth certificate, others like Poll Insiderare actually pointing out some inconvenient truths about The Donald.

On Abortion: Donald Trump Then: “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.” From his 2000 book. “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors” – When he last considered running for President in 2009. Donald Trump Now: “As you know, I’m pro-life…  I’m forming an opinion, I’m forming a very strong opinion but I’ll let you know in about three or four weeks if I decided to.” That’s comforting, he will let us know in 3 or 4 weeks what his reformed views on abortion are.

On Healthcare: “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs.”

On Taxation: Forget raising taxes, Trump wanted to tax, at 14.25% the net wealth of “the evil rich.” Money that was already taxed. Of course, he played the “I’m raising taxes on myself” card to prove his selflessness. (Ironic given his inability to settle his own debts…) His 1999 plan:

  • Raise $5.7 trillion to erase the nation’s debt and save $200 billion in annual interest payments
  • Use the savings to save Social Security and slash taxes for the middle class
  • Increase his personal tax bill by at least $725 million.

Political Donations (and no, I don’t accept the “he did it for business reasons” excuse. Has George Soros ever donated to a conservative politician in the interest of business and against his dearly held lefty ideology?):

Charlie Rangel (D-NY): 2006 – $10,000 Yes, he of corruption, tax evasion, and mass liberalism

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $12,000 Total, $2,000 in 2006

Re-election Harry Reid: Donated $4,800 in 2010 to Reid to defeat Sharon Angle. $10,400 to Reid overall

Chuck Schumer: Donated $4,000 during 2010 Election Cycle

Kirsten Gillibrand: $5,800 over past 2 cycles

Ted Kennedy: $7,000

John Kerry $5,500 ($2,000 in 2004 Pres race, which he also gave Bush $2,000. How bi-partisan!)

Democratic Senatorial Committee: $116,000 (versus $30K to GOP equivalent)

My question for conservatives — especially those who’ve declared Sarah Palin unelectable: Do we no longer care about a candidate’s past record, associations, donations to lefty candidates and stance on important issues? Or are you so thrilled by his constant drum-beating over Obama’s birth certificate you are willing to overlook everything else? By the way, here’s what he had to say about Obama in 2008:

Update 2: 2008 Trump Blasts Bush, Praises Obama, Says he Can Save the World: “I think he has a chance to go down as a great president. Now, if he’s not a great president, this country is in serious trouble,” said Trump. “I think [Obama’s] going to lead through consensus,” continued Trump. “It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”

My own issues with President Bush aside, I’m not taking a gamble (so to speak) on Donald Trump. The more I learn, the more I want to recant my statement about voting for him if it comes down to Trump vs. a GOP Establishment type. Let the voter beware. UPDATE: Since one of the comments in the thread accuses me of being unfair in not stating that Trump has also donated to Republicans (he has), here’s an addendum from Open Secrets.org:

In all, Trump has contributed to 96 candidates running for federal political office since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Only 48 of the recipients — exactly half — were Republicans at the time they received their contribution, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who both of whom received their Trump contributions as Republicans.

Since the 1990 election cycle, the top 10 recipients of Trump’s political contributions number six Democrats and four Republicans. Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was censured last year by his U.S. House colleagues, has received the most Trump money, totaling $24,750. The most recent contribution from Trump to Rangel was a $10,000 gift during the 2006 election cycle.

In the most recent election cycle, Trump doled out $22,500 to political candidates, of which $16,200 benefited Democrats.

The top Republican recipient of Trump’s money is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who has collected $13,600 from the billionaire magnate, the second most of any politician. Trump did not contribute to McCain during the 2010 election cycle, during which the former presidential candidate was facing re-election.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is the recipient of $12,000 in Trump contributions, including $10,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has received the fourth-largest amount of Trump’s contributions, including $4,800 in the successful 2010 campaign against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. In total Trump has contributed $10,400 to Reid.

In 2010, Trump also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who easily won re-election. Schumer has received $8,900 from Trump since the 1996 election cycle. Trump has also been generous to New York’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s received $5,850 in Trump money.

After McCain, the Republican with the largest amount of Trump’s contributions is former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left office in disgrace in 2006 when his online solicitation of male House pages became known. Trump contributed $9,500 to Foley between the 1996 and 2006 election cycles.

Trump has also supported other notable politicians, including:

• $7,000 to former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), the “liberal lion of the Senate”
• $7,500 to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R)
• $5,500 to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) including $2,000 during his 2004 presidential run
• $5,000 to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
• $4,000 to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.)
• $2,000 to former President George W. Bush (R)
• $1,000 to then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)

Like most conservatives who happen to be registered Republicans, I know all too well that “Republican” does not equal “Tea Party conservative”. Therefore, I take no comfort in his donations to RINOs like Charlie Crist, whom the NRSC rushed to endorse a year-and-a-half before the primary in their zeal to take out Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio. As for Trump’s support of Harry “This war is lost!” Reid, John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry, Teddy “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy and all of the other progressive Dems on the list…well, that’s just a little too much for this voter to ignore. So yes, I did my homework — and once again, the hyperlinks to my sources are embedded in the post. Everyone is free to support whomever they’d like; I am simply expressing my opinion backed up with facts as to why I will not support Donald Trump.

I would only add to Conservative Diva’s comments my own fears that Trump is doing and is likely to do three things:

1.  Expose Republicans to ridicule by pounding away on the birth certificate issue.

2.  Distract attention from serious, legitimate Republican candidates; and maybe fracture the party.

3.  Lose the GOP nomination, run as an Independent, and draw away enough GOP votes to hand the election to Obama. (Which may be the real agenda all along.)

Maybe Allen West knows something we don’t know — but at this point in time, it looks to me like poor judgment on West’s part. I think the number one quality a chief executive needs — other than the obvious ones such as integrity, intelligence and a good work ethic — is the ability to pick good people. No executive can do his or her job without advisers and department heads, so good judgment of character is absolutely crucial. Let’s just say I have my doubts.

Rather than President, I’m leaning toward West as VP, Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser. I think he’d be magnificent in any of these positions — for someone other than Trump!

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Barack Obama seems to think that attending a Passover seder once a year will fool Jews into thinking he likes them.

Forget that he gave massive financial support — not to mention weekly attendance — to a church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright, delivers anti-Semitic jabs on a regular basis. Forget that his first phone call from the Oval Office after his inauguration was to Mahmoud Abbas, and that his first formal TV interview as President was with al-Arabiya. Forget that one of his top advisers is Samantha Power, an inveterate Israel-hater who recently said that the U.S. should be prepared to send in our military to subjugate the Jewish state and facilitate its takeover by the Arabs. Forget that whereas Obama bowed to the Saudi king, he treated Prime Minister Netanyahu like something the cat dragged in.

We’re supposed to forget Obama’s unrelenting disparagement and undermining of the Jewish state because… he attends a Passover seder. That, he supposes, will make everything okay. To quote the man himself, “Do you think we’re stupid?”

From Israel National News:

Passover recalls the bondage and suffering of Jews in Egypt and the miracle of the Exodus, but U.S. President Barack Obama says its message is reflected in Muslim uprisings.

In his annual message, prior to his third straight participation in the Passover Seder, President Obama stated, “The story of Passover…instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. This year that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Did you notice the conspicuous omission? No, Barry, the haggadah doesn’t “instruct each generation to remember its past.” It instructs each generation of Jews to remember its past. And it’s not just about “the beauty of freedom,” but rather, it’s about deliverance of the Jews by God so that He could make His covenant with them at Mt. Sinai, establishing them as the Chosen People.

Unfortunately for the Jews, for thousands of years, the idea that God would choose one particular people to be His instrument of blessing to the world has really bothered a lot of non-Jews — and it’s bothered them enough to attempt genocide time and time again.

All over the Middle East and North Africa right now, radical jihadists are on the move. The Muslim Brotherhood — which is calling for war against Israel — has largely shut down the secular freedom movement in Egypt. Al-Qaeda is gaining territory in Libya. Thanks to all the unrest, anti-terrorist efforts and cooperation with U.S. intelligence have been disrupted and/or shut down all over the Middle East and North Africa.

It’s bad enough for Barack Obama to be celebrating these developments. But to celebrate them on Passover — the central, defining event of Jewish history — is beyond despicable.

Hat tip: Atlas Shrugs

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Many conservatives have been deeply disappointed by House Speaker John Boehner’s spending compromise late in the night of April 8 with Sen. Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. But, as Michael Barone points out in his piece for the Washington Examiner, the deal ain’t all bad:

Speaker John Boehner was criticized by some on the right for not pressing for deeper and more permanent cuts in spending than the $38 billion he claimed. But the deal nonetheless passed both houses by wide margins, and it contains some details that threaten to undermine the policies of the Obama Democrats in the future.

Most important, it requires the General Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the waivers from the Democrats’ health care bill that are being issued in large numbers by the secretary of Health and Human Services Department.

This will raise an uncomfortable question. If Obamacare is so great, why are so many trying to get out from under it? And, more specifically, why are so many Democratic groups trying to get out from under it?

The fact is that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted more than 1,000 waivers from Obamacare. Many have been granted to labor unions. Some have been granted to giant corporations like McDonald’s. One was granted to the entire state of Maine.

By what criteria is this relief being granted? That’s unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to call the Obama regime "gangster government" -- and has led the way in exposing and fighting against Obamacare.

If so, what we’re looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.

The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to.

And there will be an audit of the comparative effectiveness bureaucracy established in the 2009 stimulus package. Comparative effectiveness is supposedly an objective study of which medical techniques are most effective. But anyone who looks closely finds that the experts are constantly changing their minds, which suggests that this is more alchemy than science — and maybe political favoritism as well.

Not to mention that those “experts” — unelected Obama/Sebelius appointees unconfirmed by Congress and unaccountable to us citizens — will be tasked with cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare expenditures. Meaning: Bye-bye, grandma, take two Tylenols and shove off.

The audits that are mandated in the Boehner compromise could prove to be a very powerful weapon for us in the battle to take down Obamacare.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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