“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What I was trying to say... but said much better!

I just posted a blog about the stimulus package and why it doesn't matter whether we like it or not.... it's going through. This article (tweet link courtesy of @ZanP) outlines very clearly why Mr. Obama and the Dems are so fired up about passing this thing.

The Truth About the Obama Agenda, Part I
By Wayne Allen Root
I have been asked by radio talk show hosts across the country to talk about President Obama’s possible – if not probable — nationalization of the banking system. But there’s more to the story than just banks.

This issue ties in with every aspect of the Obama Socialist Agenda — bailouts, handouts, economic stimulus packages, giving too much power to the Federal Reserve … and let’s not forget tax cuts to people who don’t pay taxes.

The Obama agenda isn’t about saving the American economy. Rather, it is about putting Big Brother in control of our lives. It’s about the Nanny State — big government intrusion into every aspect of our lives in order to “protect” us. It’s about destroying capitalism and tearing down the U.S. economy to build a new economic system based on rewarding the “right kind” of Americans — those who support Obama and his agenda.
http://blog.robertringer.com/2009/01/31/the-truth-about-the-obama-agenda-part-i/

It doesn't matter if 100% of public doesn't want the anti-stimulati package

It struck me, as I was listening to a discussion on the non-economy stimulating package, that it really doesn't matter if none of us in voter land don't want it.

Once the Dems get this package through, and they will, our world will change. They'll be sitting pretty and whether we like it or not, we'll be stuck with them forever.

Think about all the things that are included in the trillion dollar future-killer.

Money for the poor. Those receiving the money will vote for who??? Of course they're going to vote for the ones who hand them their livelihood. They will be dependent.

Money for groups like ACORN. So much for fair votes, balanced votes, honest votes.

While Congress is stuffing this bill down our throats Mr. Obama is taking action to increase the power of the Unions. Where are they going to funnel money when the next election cycle rolls around?

Obama and the Democrats are building an army of dependent voters. They're killing the free market. Eventually they'll kill the incentive to work and get ahead, excel.

In the near future they're going to implement the un-"Fairness Doctrine" which will put an end to talk radio. They won't stop there.

If you look at all that is in the "stimulus" package it's nothing but payback and pay forward with a few jobs thrown in to sweeten the pot (or cover up the stink).

Once they get this passed, it's not going to matter one bit whether we liked it or whether we like anything they do in the future. They'll be elected by those who owe them, and those who owe their existence to the current group in the majority.

If there's any way we can stop this boondoggle, we need to do it!

Go to http://www.nostimulus.com/ and http://www.readthestimulus.org/. Write, call, fax and scream! It's not just the waste of money, it's the future of everything we believe in as freedom loving Americans.

"The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money" - Margaret Thatcher

Video - Mitch McConnell on the Stick-it-to-us Plan

McConnell gives the weekly Republican Address. Well worth five minutes of your time.



Tx to @seanhackbarth for sharing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3sNqNGyDng

Friday, January 30, 2009

Two GOP Senators May Defect on Stimulus

Net Right Daily: Two GOP Senators May Defect on Stimulus: Earlier, Fox News reported that Moveon.org would be targeting five Republican Senators on the upcoming vote for the Stimulus Package that passed the House last night. Even though House Republicans were united on killing the package, the toughest battle is yet to come in the Senate.

---

The ad will target Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; Judd Gregg, R-N.H.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

McConnell on the fixing our economy, SCHIP

Fixing our economy requires innovative ideas, commonsense solutions, cooperation from the Office of Senator Mitch McConnell
Thursday, January 29, 2009

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the SCHIP legislation and previewed trillion-dollar spending bill debate that will begin next week:

“Republicans have had an opportunity this week to highlight many of our better ideas related to ensuring low-income children receive quality health care.

“We’ll continue to offer our plans to improve this program, and possibly finish up the SCHIP bill today, which lets us turn to the economy next week.

“The economy is clearly the top issue on the minds of all Americans. I think we all agree that we need to act to strengthen our economy and create jobs.

“The bill produced by the Democratic Congress falls short on a number of important fronts.
“First, it doesn’t fix the main problem, which is housing.

“We need to address that, and my colleagues will have better ideas to stimulate homeownership.
“Next, we need to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn.

“And, finally, we should not be spending taxpayer dollars we don’t have on programs we don’t need.

“We’ve seen a lot of reports recently on what’s in the bill – everything from buying cars for federal employees to beautifying ATV trails to spiffing up the headquarters building at the Department of Commerce.

“In a time of a trillion-dollar deficit we cannot afford Washington business as usual. We must insist on the highest standards. Are these projects necessary? Will they stimulate the economy? Will they create jobs? Should we ask the American taxpayer to foot the bill?

“Republicans believe that letting individuals and businesses keep more of what they earn will have a quicker stimulative effect than having the government spend it on projects, particularly ones that are likely to be delayed for three to four years.

“We look forward to offering amendments to improve this critical legislation, and move it back to the package President Obama originally proposed – 40 percent tax relief, no wasteful spending, and a bipartisan approach.

“Republicans have better ideas to dramatically improve this bill that will go at the problem, create jobs, and stimulate the economy.

“We have better ideas to address the housing crisis, which is where this problem originated.
“But in order to pass these, and other commonsense amendments, we need support from our friends across the aisle.

“Fixing our economy requires innovative ideas, commonsense solutions and bipartisan cooperation.

“It’s clear from last night’s vote in the House, that the only thing bipartisan about this bill is the opposition to it. It simply doesn’t meet the standard for bipartisan cooperation set by President Obama and welcomed by Republicans in Congress.

“Republicans stand ready to work with our friends across the aisle to create bipartisan legislation which will actually stimulate the economy and create jobs.

“We’re ready to start now.”

Anticipated House Floor Schedule for Week of Feb. 2nd

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2009:
On Monday, the House will meet in Pro Forma session at 2:00 p.m.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009:
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 12:30 p.m. for Morning Hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m.

Suspensions (7 Bills)
1) H.R. __ - Campus Safety Act of 2009 (Rep. Scott (VA) – Judiciary)
2) H.R. __ - Deaths in Custody Reporting Act of 2009 (Rep. Scott (VA) – Judiciary)
3) H.Res. 82 - Raising Awareness and Encouraging Prevention of Stalking by Establishing January 2009 as National Stalking Awareness Month (Rep. Poe – Judiciary)
4) H.Res. __ - Supporting the goals and ideals of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week’ (Rep. Lewis (GA) – Judiciary)
5) H.R. 553 - Reducing Over-Classification Act (Rep. Harman - Homeland)
6) H.R. 559 - Fair, Accurate, Secure, and Timely Redress Act (Rep. Clarke - Homeland)
7) H.R. __ - National Bombing Prevention Act (Rep. King – Homeland)

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4; THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5; FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2009:
On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 p.m. for legislative business.
On Thursday, no votes are expected in the House.
On Friday, no votes are expected in the House.
Last Vote: Wednesday p.m.

S. 352 – The DTV Delay Act (Sen. Rockefeller – Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule)

Senate Amendment to H.R. 2 - The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (Rep. Pallone – Energy and Commerce) (Subject to a Rule)

H.R. __ - Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Rep. Obey – Appropriations)

* Conference Reports may be brought up at any time.
* Motions to go to Conference should they become available.
* Possible Motions to Instruct Conferees.

Catholic Vote on NBC Bumping NBC Ad

Letter from Catholic Vote:

We broke this news yesterday, but wanted to make sure you have the full story - NBC has slammed the door on running our ad during the Super Bowl!

After several days of negotiations, a representative in Chicago told us that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political candidates or issues.’

We were in the midst of raising the money needed, and had confirmed interest from several very generous pro-life benefactors. Airing the ad would have been very expensive, and a 'Super' opportunity.

But NBC’s rejection is calling even more attention to the ad. We have been appearing on radio programs across the country for the past two days, and NBC’s New York affiliate (imagine the irony), is covering the controversy. Bill O’Reilly of the FOX News Channel featured the ad on his program Wednesday night calling it “brilliant” and “genius.” His show alone reached nearly 4 million people.

All of this is driving more traffic to the commercial online. We reached almost 1 million online views in less than two weeks!

So why did NBC reject the ad?

The network claims that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements during the Super Bowl, but that’s simply not true.

The network was willing to air an ad by PETA, which is definitely an advocacy group, if PETA would tone down their ad’s sexual suggestiveness.

Also, the first ad scheduled to run during the Super Bowl is a creative spot about Pedigree’s pet adoption drive. The ad ends with the line: “Help us help dogs.”

In recent years, some Super Bowl advertisements have caused controversy. But there’s nothing objectionable about our positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We don’t attack Barack Obama, but focus on him becoming the first African-American President. We simply ask people to imagine the potential of each human life.

What now?

We’re not intimidated by NBC. We plan on getting this ad out so that many millions of Americans can imagine the potential of each human life. Here are some things you can do:

We are preparing a virtual protest of NBC’s decision. We want other networks to know that hundreds of thousands of people want to see this ad aired, and we will not give up easily. Stay tuned for our plan on this in the next few days.

The Catholic television station EWTN will be airing the commercial before, during and after the Super Bowl. Feel free to turn your channel to EWTN during halftime and watch our ad there.
You can still share the commercial with friends and family. Tell them to go to CatholicVote.org and watch the ad NBC doesn’t want them to see! Heck, show it at your Super Bowl party!

We’ve been humbled by the donations we’ve received to help get this ad out. We are especially grateful to the group of very generous benefactors that agreed to help if we got air time for the Super Bowl.

We aren’t certain they will still help, but we will use any funds we receive from you and others to air the ad in the most prominent and cost-effective venues available.

Perhaps the ad should run during the Academy Awards or maybe American Idol, which is popular with the youth. Maybe we should run it following President Obama’s first State of the Union address?

If you have ideas, tell us what you think.

Brian Burch
CatholicVote.org

Few Obama articles and blogs of interest

Just reading the titles gives you a good snapshot of the latest happenings. Scary, isn't it?

Senate Passes Health Insurance Bill for Children
Washington Post - United States
President Barack Obama walks with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, right, during a visit to the Pentagon, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009, in Washington.

Senate Passes Health Insurance Bill for Children: Immigrant Clause Opens Rift (By Ceci Connolly)

AP: Lobbyists Get Around Obama's Earmark Ban (January 28)

System to Verify Worker Legality Is Delayed Again (By Spencer S. Hsu)

Guantanamo Judge Denies Obama's Request for Delay (By Peter Finn)

Obama Stocks White House With Prominent Lawyers
Washington Post - United States... while the office also will employ a research director who previously conducted opposition research for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. ...

Obama Selects Pastor, 26, to Head Faith Office (By Michelle Boorstein and Michael D. Shear)

A Warning to the President
The cost of abdicating to Nancy Pelosi.

Obama Signs Equal Pay Legislation
MSNBC - USA... struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing a part of each month's paycheck, to simple discrimination," said President Barack Obama. ...

Kathleen Parker
Barack W. Obama
Stylistically, there's only about a smirk's difference between the new president and the old one.

Barack Obama, Russia’s Putin and China’s Premier Lash Out At “Excesses” of US Capitalism…
Posted: 29 Jan 2009 09:33 PM CST
Somewhere in Moscow and Beijing, Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao are smiling. For the first time in history, within a space of 24 hours, the US President and his Chinese and Russian counterparts all spoke against the free enterprise system upon which the US economy is built. Here are Obama’s wise words: NYT President Obama fired a [...]

On Energy Use… Obama’s Hypocritical Position is- America, do as I say, don’t do as I do…
Posted: 29 Jan 2009 05:09 PM CST
Amazing…Here is Barack Obama in May when he was campaigning for President: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said. “That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” [...]

Robert G. Kaiser
Stuck in the Revolving Door
Obama's new lobbying rules won't have much effect on Washington culture.

Charles Krauthammer
Outreach, Yes. Apology, No.
Obama's wrong to suggest America has been disrespectful to Muslims.

Obama, Congress seek deal on economic stimulus
Reuters - USA
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Republicans in the US Senate accepted on Thursday President Barack Obama's offer to search for a compromise ...

Dan Froomkin
Where's Obama the Populist?
He campaigned as a champion of the little guy. What happened?

SGP: Obama tries to back door Republicans

Good read as always. The SGP blog is a "must-follow":

President Obama Tries to Back Door Republicans in the Senate
posted by Stacy at Smart Girl Politics - 25 minutes ago
In the November elections, the Democrats fell just short of their goal to have a filibuster proof majority. The still undecided race in Minnesota has left them one vote short of passing some of the most r...

Voter ID Success in November

Had to share this with you because Hans is an old Georgia friend via the Coverdell Leadership Institute. Great guy, and he is so, so smart. I now watch him from afar as he's up there in D.C. making waves...

Hans von Spakovsky: Voter ID Was a Success in November
Turnout was higher in states that took a simple step to prevent fraud.

Remember the storm that arose on the political left after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Indiana's voter ID law last April? According to the left, voter ID was a dastardly Republican plot to prevent Democrats from winning elections by suppressing the votes of minorities, particularly African-Americans.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327839569631609.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Westmoreland: Stimulus adds debt, not jobs

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland today voted against the $825 billion stimulus package, which passed the Democratic House 244-188 with no Republican votes.

“There is wide bipartisan agreement that we need a job-creating stimulus package but there’s equally wide disagreement about how best to do that,” Westmoreland said, adding that Democrats blocked out Republican input. “I want to see taxpayers keep more of their own money, I want to see the spending more focused on building things such as roads and bridges, and I want to see the price tag brought down dramatically because I don’t see how we can pay this back.”

Westmoreland said the Democratic leadership is using this bill as a vehicle to fulfill all of their bottled-up wishes from the past four decades.

“This legislation expends millions and more often than not billions on programs that won’t create one job,” Westmoreland said. “If this bill creates all the jobs that its authors promise – 3 to 4 million -- the cost comes out to about $275,000 per job. In Georgia, we’d consider that inefficient. Projects include $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $150 million for the Smithsonian museums, $16 billion for Pell grants. Nearly 10 percent of the bill – a stunning $89 billion -- gives more money to Medicaid. All of those might be great projects that might enjoy strong support from Americans and members of Congress, but they DO NOT create jobs and that’s supposed to be the focus here.

“I believe that the bill needs to put more focus on transportation infrastructure. First, that creates real jobs in our ailing construction industry. Second, transportation ranks near the top of our needs in Georgia, particularly in the 3rd Congressional District in places such as Henry, Fayette, Coweta and Douglas counties. But transportation funding accounts for only 5 percent of this bill. I think that’s ridiculous.”

Westmoreland fears that many supporters of the bill are ignoring the implications of adding another $825 billion to the debt when we’re already running a trillion dollar deficit.

“Where is all this money going to come from?” Westmoreland asked. “We were living on borrowed money even during the high times. We’ve maxed out the credit card and our debt load is going to scare off our creditors. President Obama has vowed that he’s not going to put off the tough decisions, but spending like this today is going to make situation tomorrow even worse. Members of the House who vote yes today aren’t just costing taxpayers the price tag on the bill. It will cost $247 billion over the next 10 years to pay the interest on this deficit spending – that’s money wasted that won’t pay for future students’ Pell grants or poor families’ Medicaid bills.”

ALG Condemns the House for Voting for $819 Billion “Boondoggle”

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today strongly condemned Congress for voting in favor of the $819 billion spending bill, H.R. 1, in the House of Representatives “that is certain to consign future generations to permanent debt to foreign creditors.”

“Congress is only adding to the national debt, now totaling $10.7 trillion,” said Wilson. “And they do so knowing full well that the money to pay for their extravagant spending spree needs to be borrowed from elsewhere.”

The national debt of $10.7 trillion includes $4.3 trillion owed in the form of unfunded obligations to Social Security, Medicare, and other commitments, and $6.4 trillion held privately, $3 trillion of which is held overseas.

Forty percent of the debt held privately comes due this year, and most economists agree that the only way for the government to pay it is to borrow more money.

“The problems with the economy started in large part because of government excesses: too much credit, too much borrowing, too much spending, and too much debt,” Wilson said. “Only a madman would now suggest that borrowed money on this sort of scale—which needs to be paid back—would provide any long-term economic stimulus,” Wilson added.

“Instead, because of this $819 billion boondoggle, paying down the national debt will eat up an ever-larger share of the overall economy in the years to come, diverting capital from creating new jobs and enterprises,” Wilson explained.

“And, instead of fixing the problems government created, the House has now voted to make things worse by adding another $1.2 trillion to the debt when interest and other considerations are calculated,” Wilson noted.

The House voted 244 in favor, and 188 against.

Wilson believes that extraordinary government interventions to date have discouraged savings, investment, and capital creation. According to the Congressional Budget Office, even without the $819 billion spending bill, the federal deficit will rise to $1.2 trillion, or 8.3 percent of GDP, in 2009, an all-time high.

“Markets will not recover any time soon unless the government generates a real plan to pay off the debt and get rid of wasteful spending,” said Wilson.

“Instead, the House voted to increase the deficit, increase all of our children’s and grandchildren’s financial burden, increase future interest rates and taxes, and once again shackle the American taxpayer to a mountain of debt,” Wilson concluded.
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Americans for Limited Government is a non- partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms, private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please call us at 703-383-0880 or visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.

FRC: GOP Loses Standoff, Wins Respect

President Obama came to the Republican mountain, but he didn't manage to move it. In his much-anticipated meeting with the House minority, the new leader tried to soften opposition to the $1.1. trillion stimulus package. Obama did concede on one of the Republicans' largest complaints--the hundreds of millions of dollars in contraception. He stripped that provision, along with a beautification project for the National Mall, but neither compromise did much to ease Republicans' minds. Like us, they see the "recovery package" not as stimulus but as a major pork-and-payoff bill that quietly authorizes the most controversial pieces of Obama's social agenda.

Although the legislation passed this evening 244-188, the GOP did set in motion a new era of opposition, voting unanimously against a bill that would take government into the final frontiers of universal health care and federalized education. In the face of the most popular incoming President since JFK, Republicans stood together in statement of solidarity. We applaud them for showing real backbone against unprecedented government expansion.

As the veil begins to drop from the shady elements of the stimulus, more people are beginning to understand what's at stake. Today's New York Times reads, "Stimulus Offers Road to Retooling Social Policy" with "little notice and no public hearings." We thumbed through the 1,588 page H.R. 1 and found plenty of waste. Obama offers: $600 million to buy "green" cars for government workers; $400 million to help NASA conduct climate change research (which ranks dead last on Americans' priorities, according to a new Pew poll); $4.1 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities," for which ACORN (the Democrats' get-out-the-vote machinery) would be eligible; and even $227 million to oversee the pork spending in the stimulus (Page 11). Medicaid would expand for the poor, the uninsured, and the unemployed, opening the doors to universal health care. And the bill would more than double the Department of Education's current budget.

Swimming against the liberal tide isn't easy, and House Republicans need your encouragement to stay motivated for the work ahead. Please call the leader in your district today and thank them for refusing to back down on H.R. 1.

Family Research Council, www.frc.org

Additional Resources
FRC Blog: Not Quite a Stimulus: Speaker Pelosi's Payoffs and Pork Bill

Floor update, oink, oink package

We are concluding debate on the substitute amendment. After debate, we expect our final series of votes at approximately 4:30 – 4:45 p.m.:

1) Neugebauer (R-TX) Amendment (15 Minutes)
2) Flake (R-AZ) Amendment (5 Minutes)
3) Camp (R-MI)/Cantor (R-VA) Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (5 Minutes)

Up to ten minutes of debate on the Motion to Recommit…

4) Motion to Recommit (15 Minutes)
5) Final Passage of H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (5 Minutes)

We expect these to be the final votes of the day and week.

Voting now on Stimulus

We are VOTING NOW:

1) Adoption of the Rule to provide consideration for H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (15 Minutes)
2) S. 328 – To delay the Digital Television Transition until June 13, 2009, as amended (5 Minutes)

Following votes, we expect to proceed with up to one hour of general debate on H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We then expect to begin up to ten minutes of debate on each of the ten amendments made in order under the Rule and up to sixty minutes of debate on the substitute amendment offered by Mr. Camp (R-MI) and Mr. Cantor (R-VA). After debate, we expect our final series of votes.

Last Vote: 7:00 p.m.

Floor update on Pork Stimulus

I'll try to post these as they come across today. You can sign up on John Boehner's site for floor updates.

We are VOTING NOW:

1) Question of Consideration on the second Rule to H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (15 Minutes)

Following votes, we expect to begin up to one hour of debate on the Rule to provide consideration for H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We then expect our first series of votes at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Following votes, we expect to proceed with up to one hour of general debate on H.R. 1 – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. We then expect to begin up to ten minutes of debate on each of the ten amendments made in order under the Rule and up to sixty minutes of debate on the substitute amendment offered by Mr. Camp (R-MI) and Mr. Cantor (R-VA). After debate, we expect our second and final series of votes.

Last Vote: 6:00 p.m.

Great blog on Dots for Dummies re: Geithner

Just passing this one along 'cause it's good:

Good, Bad, and Just Plain Ugly Leadership
In the world of journalism, this is an old story, but in the real world (or what used to be the real world), it's a story that never grows old. A story that grows not right but ripe with time . . .

Geitner, President Obama's choice to head the Department of the Treasury, is a known tax evader. Note the adverb in that sentence: he is a known tax evader, not a convicted tax evader. There's a difference. A big, huge difference.

Geitner chose not to pay some taxes he was legally required to pay - taxes any of us would be legally required to pay. On the eve of his confirmation, Geitner paid those taxes - well, some of those taxes - and when the IRS said "Don't worry about the interest and penalty, Mr. Soon-To-Be-Boss, Geitner smiled and left, maybe adding a well-deserved "Thank you" on his way out.
http://dotsfordummies.blogspot.com/2009/01/good-bad-and-just-plain-ugly-leadership.html

Geithner - Do as I say, not as I do...

I don't even think comments are necessary on this one... Just take a look at these two stories, both today:

Geithner names ex-lobbyist as Treasury chief of staff
Updated
By Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner picked a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist as a top aide Tuesday, the same day he announced rules aimed at reducing the role of lobbyists in agency decisions.
Mark Patterson will serve as Geithner's chief of staff at Treasury, which oversees the government's $700 billion financial bailout program. Goldman Sachs received $10 billion of that money.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-01-27-lobbyist_N.htm?csp=34

Geithner puts limits on bailout lobbying
Treasury's rules unclear on financial firms' efforts to apply for public funds Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issued new guidelines yesterday aimed at eliminating the influence of lobbyists on the $700 billion financial bailout program by restricting their contact with officials who are reviewing applications for money and deciding how to disburse it.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nation/politics/bal-te.lobbying28jan28,0,2739106.story?track=rss

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Now I KNOW I'm living in Bizarro World: Obama chooses Arab network for first TV interview

Obama chooses Arab network for first TV interview
President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy."

The interview underscored Obama's commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration.

The president expressed an intention to engage the Middle East immediately and his new envoy to the region, former Sen. George J. Mitchell, was expected to arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for a visit that will also take him to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090127/D95VFH581.html

Obama called for a new partnership with the Muslim world "based on mutual respect and mutual interest."

Uncovered: Democrats Seek to Use Stimulus to Kick Start Government-Run Health Care

Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement regarding the inclusion of 1.1 billion dollars for Comparative Effectiveness Research in the Democrats’ misnamed “stimulus” package. The provision provides the cornerstone for a national government-run health care system.

“Congressional Democrats are seeking to use an economic crisis to advance their goal of a massive federal health care bureaucracy,” said Chairman Price. “There should be no confusion: Comparative Effectiveness Research funding is the first step to creating a national bureaucratic health care system. Producing a uniform standard for national health care means health care decisions will be made by the government, not doctors and patients. We must fight for patient-centered care and ensure that those most affected by health care decisions continue to be allowed to make them.”

Next week the House of Representatives will consider the Democrat so-called “stimulus” bill that will, among other provisions, establish a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). This new health board will establish a permanent government rationing organization prescribing care in place of doctors and patients. The draft report language accompanying the appropriations health portion of the bill clearly lays out the Democrats’ plan for their new CER board:

“By knowing what works best and presenting this information more broadly to patients and healthcare professionals, those items, procedures, and interventions that are most effective to prevent, control, and treat health conditions will be utilized, while those that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed.”
Learn more here.

Key Democrat rips stimulus, predicts more bailouts

Maybe there's some hope... We're going to need some Democratic and Independent help if we're going to squash the stick-it-to-us-stimulus package.

Key Democrat rips stimulus, predicts more bailouts
By Bob Cusack
Posted: 01/27/09 01:22 PM [ET]
A key Democrat on Tuesday lambasted the economic stimulus bill that is headed to the House floor, claiming it was put together too quickly and won’t help the economy in the short term. Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), who chairs the Financial Services subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, said on C-SPAN that Democrats have "lost our way" and "shouldn't be pressed by silly deadlines" of getting the bill into law by the Presidents Day recess...
http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/key-democrat-rips-stimulus-predicts-more-bailouts-2009-01-27.html

Building a Better Stimulus Bill

From Heritage.org:
With the recession entering its second year, President Obama has called for a large stimulus package that contains a mixture of tax cuts, new public works projects, and increased government spending on existing programs. House Democrats have already increased the size of the stimulus plan from $775 billion to $825 billion while cutting the amount allocated to tax cuts from $300 billion to $275 billion. While the House leadership may have many reasons for reducing the tax component of the stimulus package, no doubt one reason is the ineffectiveness of the rebates of 2001 and 2008 enacted under President George W. Bush.
http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm2247.cfm
by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. and Ryan Tang

Building up steam for a stop the stimulus rant...

While I'm stoking the fire and trying to get my thoughts into some kind of coherent patter here's a tidbit of interest from Hugh Hewitt on the stimulus spending spree:

GOP House Leader Boehner On The (Non)-Stimulus, The Alternative, and Rush
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 9:03 AM
Here's the transcript of my conversation with John Boehner from yesterday's program.
The House GOP is firming up its opposition to the Pelosi package of payoffs and political gestures, and there is no way that the House bill should get more than a handful of GOP votes as those who do vote for it will be signaling a complete indifference to core principles of the party. I also asked the House GOP's leader about the president's shot at Rush Limbaugh:

On an anti-Geithner bender...

I feel like the base of our country is being chipped at from all sides. Sooner or later they're going to chip just enough off the bottom and the country will topple. Where are the American people of character and principle? Tell me we haven't crossed the line yet, that there are enough people involved and concerned who are willing to fight? who understand the importance of taking time to learn what's happening outside their own little nest? Arrggg... can you tell I am FRUSTRATED!

But take heart, I'm getting close to getting it out of my system. Maybe.

Wait until you read my next posts on the stupid-stimulus package if you think I'm over the top on Geithner. Geithner being voted in is nothing compared to what's getting ready to happen with the bailout / stimulus package. That one isn't a chip and chisel, it's a bulldozer.

Here's a batch of articles from P.U.M.A. Great stuff.

Tax Evader, Tim “Turbo-Tax” Geithner Sworn In As Treasury Secretary…
Posted: 26 Jan 2009 10:17 PM CST
It’s official… We have our first self-confessed tax-evader as Treasury Secretary. I wonder how the IRS is going to treat people who make “innocent mistakes” and choose not to pay their taxes under his watch… What is amazing is not that Obama nominated him, it is that even those who should be opposed to such ethically [...]

Is there any common sense left in Washington?
Posted: 26 Jan 2009 09:52 PM CST
Won’t say I agree with everything here, but I really don’t like what is going on in Washington, and this article makes tons of sense… RS The Senate is now falling all over itself to confirm all of President Obama’s nominees. My personal favorite is Timothy Geithner, admitted tax evader, who is set to earn “widespread [...]

Here’s a List of The Senators Who Voted To Confirm Tim Geithner…
Posted: 26 Jan 2009 08:36 PM CST
If you’ve been wondering which Senators voted to confirm a self-confessed tax cheat as the Treasury Secretary, wonder no more. I just have to wonder what Obama promised some of them in exchange for their vote. It baffles me that people entrusted to look after the Republic would put political expediency before principle. Anyway, here’s the Roll [...]

Senator Susan Collins opposes Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary…
Posted: 26 Jan 2009 02:50 PM CST
I hope more Senators take a principled stand… The vote is at 6pm EST tonight. It makes no sense to put a tax cheat in charge of the treasury… PRN U.S. Senator Susan Collins today announced that she will oppose the confirmation of Timothy Geithner, who was nominated to be U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. [...]

More on Republicans voting for Geithner

I am frustrated even more after reading some info posted on Michelle Malkin's site. She has comments from some of the Republicans who jumped ship. This was in committee, prior to the big vote last night.

Senate Finance Committee Geithner vote 18-5: Meet your B.O. Republicans
By Michelle Malkin
I’m in between flights home after a quick NYC trip. The Geithner Senate Finance Committee vote is over. He sailed through despite his “tax goofs” and legal “trivialities.”
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/22/senate-finance-committee-geithner-vote-18-5-meet-your-bo-republicans/
“I’m not sure he comes from where I come from, but he’s the president’s nominee,” said Senator Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho.

Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, said he was sure Mr. Geithner was “a person of great integrity, even though he’s made these mistakes,” an allusion to the back-taxes issue. Mr. Hatch praised Mr. Geithner as “non-ideological, which to me is very important.”

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said he was “willing to give Mr. Geithner the benefit of the doubt” on his tax mistakes. But, he added pointedly, he was not willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the so-called “masters of the universe,” apparently meaning the once-mighty Wall Street figures who have borne much of the blame for the current economic troubles.

I have heard this same rhetoric from Democrats when they try to cover for someone with questionable ethics. I was truly surprised to see some of the names on the Republican yes list. Some, like Snowe, didn't surprise me at all.

The Republicans who voted for Geithner

I'm going to "assume" that the ten Republicans who voted to approve tax-cheat Geithner made a stand on some kind of principle. I can't imagine which principle would trump ethics, common sense, character and ability to lead with pride, but that's just li'l ol me way down here in voter land.

Here's the list:

Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Ensign (R-NV)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Voinovich (R-OH)

Here are some Democrats and an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats I'd like to commend for standing on principles:

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa
Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia
Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin
Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont

Those four voted against Geithner.

The vote was 60 - 34. One of our Republicans missed the vote but would have voted no. If the Republicans had all voted no it wouldn't have changed the vote. Assuming that the one Republican and three Democrats who didn't vote still didn't vote, it would have been 44 nays against 50 yippie-yi-yays.

But you know, I'd have just felt better about our Republican caucus.

We need to watch carefully to see who's voting for what in these next few days and months. Let's get some people in there with backbone and principles.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nationalization of banks around the corner?

Yesterday Nancy Pelosi publicly indicated nationalization was on the table (Nancy Pelosi - Nationalization of Banks a Good Idea? Yep.).
“Well, whatever you want to call it,” said Pelosi. “If we are strengthening them [banks], then the American people should get some of the upside of that strengthening. Some people call that nationalization."

Today I received the following article link in my daily round up of news that I torture myself with each morning:
Nationalization Gets a New, Serious Look
Only five days into the Obama presidency, members of the new administration and Democratic leaders in Congress are already dancing around one of the most politically delicate questions about the financial bailout: Is the president prepared to nationalize a huge swath of the nation’s banking system?
Privately, most members of the Obama economic team concede that the rapid deterioration of the country’s biggest banks, notably Bank of America and Citigroup, is bound to require far larger investments of taxpayer money, atop the more than $300 billion of taxpayer money already poured into those two financial institutions and hundreds of others, The New York Times’s David E. Sanger reports.
http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/nationalization-gets-a-new-serious-look/

At first read, surprisingly for a New York Times article, it seemed fairly balanced. However, as I re-read it I came away with the feeling that the author was laying the groundwork, i.e., Obama really doesn't want to nationalize the banks, but the situation is worse than he thought so he'll be forced to take this drastic step.
“I would guess that sometime in the next few weeks, President Obama and Tim Geithner,” he said, referring to the nominee for Treasury secretary, “will have to come out and say, ‘It’s much worse than we thought,’ and just bite the bullet.”

There is a suggestion that IF Obama does go down the nationalization path it may only be for a few banks and that it may only be for a short time.
The argument in favor of nationalization, even a brief nationalization of a
few months or years, is straightforward: It might be the only way to pull
America’s largest financial institutions out of the downward spiral that makes
it enormously difficult to raise the capital they need to keep operating.


It's that old slippery slope. Look at history. Once government gets involved their tentacles tighten, they don't release their prey. Using another, hopefully less plausible, comparison dictators and the like often start out as saviors. They make this little change here, that change there and the next thing the citizens of their country realize, the dictator's new government has a stranglehold on everything.

The article did present a lot of good arguments as to why the Obama administration might be trying to steer clear of going the nationalization route. It seemed to me though, that the arguments were just included so we'd understand that it must be really, really bad if Obama is forced to make the horrible decision to nationalize banks given all the negatives. It set the stage for the masses to applaud Obama and friends for being forced to do this for the good of the country -- if it occurs.

In another article from Bloomberg (see link below) the author again seemed to be trying to state both sides of the issue while setting the stage for the inevitability of nationalization:

William K. Black, former lawyer at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Office of Thrift Supervision, said the Treasury could do better by assuming control of the companies and removing existing management altogether. By trying to avoid nationalizing the institutions, the government is wasting money, he said.
"It's insane to leave it in the control of the people who have every incentive to cover up the scale of the losses," said Black, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. "You're deliberately negotiating a bad deal for the American people by not getting an appropriate return for the risk you're taking."

and...

"If you took a nationalization policy, you would at least create some degree of certainty because now you know the government is going to stand behind these institutions," said Jacques, 49, who was an economist with the Treasury
Department for 14 years before becoming a finance professor at Baldwin-Wallace
College in Berea, Ohio.
And now? "It's almost like some kind of weird partial nationalization," he said.


So am I just over-sensitive to the potential subtleties in these articles? Is the media partnering with Obama in the softening of the American mind? Is nationalization of banks around the corner? Is the current economic downturn going to lead to the country embracing a change in our fundamental beliefs with open arms?

I guess we'll find out in one of our tomorrows.

Treasury's demands on banks seen as nationalization
(Bloomberg News Feed)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. government's decision to pledge billions of additional dollars with strings attached to Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. may be nationalization by another name, according to former bankers and regulators.
Faced with pressure from lawmakers, banks have shaken up management, eliminated executive bonuses and staff and canceled conventions. They'll be forced to do monthly reports on how they've boosted lending while slashing quarterly dividends to 1 cent a share for three years.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Nancy Pelosi - Nationalization of Banks a Good Idea? Yep.

Nancy Pelosi was on ABC this morning with George Stephanopoulos. The entire interview was a dance and dodge performance, but even with all the flowery non-answers there were some whoppers that should have fiscally conservative, anti-socialistic, freedom loving Americans up in arms.

In this small snippet George asks Pelosi about nationalizing banks:
STEPHANOPOULOS: And many analysts have looked at it and said the only way to really deal with it, these banks are so close to insolvency, dealing with so many toxic assets, that the only way to deal with it fairly without giving a big boon to shareholders, is to have nationalization or partial nationalization of the banks.

Good idea?

PELOSI: Well, whatever you want to call it. There has to be - if we are going to put money into the banks we certainly want equity for the American people.

In other words, if we are strengthening them then the American people should get some of the upside of that strengthening. Some people call that nationalization. I'm not talking about total ownership but we're just saying.

Now how big that investment becomes is - would we have ever thought we would see the day when we'd be using that terminology? Nationalization of the banks.

You see the impact it has on the stock market. Just terrible in terms of the bank stocks going down. Because if you're a shareholder and you see what would be a dilution of your investment because now the federal government - if we're putting - if the taxpayer is putting money up, the taxpayer should have equity.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it might be necessary?

PELOSI: Well, not by the terminology that you use but some increased investment. Change has to happen in terms of what is done, what the transparency of it is, what the accountability of it is. Only then would be able to pass any additional funding.

In this segment Pelosi explains why funding family planning services (i.e. abortion advocates, social engineering) stimulates the economy:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

Did you shake your head like I shook mine? Say what? I suppose that by giving away contraceptives the government is helping to decrease the birth rate and thereby is helping the would-be mother from buying diapers, etc., etc. Ya know, that's kind of a stretch.

We are headed in a direction that we do not want to go. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of people with their hands out. We're not willing to suffer a bit of hardship to maintain the freedoms that make us the best country ever. Ever.

We're giving our future away all so we can have multiple televisions, two or more cars in the garage and a house that's way above our means.

History is going to show that this was the time where we lost our way in America. Although, if we're heading down the path of socialism, chances are the history books of the future will reflect what the regime in power wants them to promote.

Here's the link to the full transcript: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/story?id=6725512&page=1 I watched it this morning, had to go find the transcript to see if I heard her correctly. Unfortunately, I did.

Want to know more about what's in the stimulus package? Check out "Read the Stimulus" (www.readthestimulus.org).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The politics of inclusion and compromise

The following comment was left on one of my earlier blogs. The anonymous contributor wrote this regarding an ad I posted that a group ran on Inauguration day (I'd have to go back and look to see which group and what was in it as I've posted a lot of info on my blogs this past week!).
Wow! In content and tone this ad is SO reminiscent of the negative campaign ads that ran for months before Obama was elected. (Do you think that there's a correlation between the two?) Come on! Inclusion is the name of the game. United we stand. And united we'd better stand...because believe it our not, there is a world of challenges inside and issues outside of the US and Alaska.... (The economy is a global one, remember?) At least give him credit for picking people who will not continue to torture our enemies as the last administration did. That's returning to the Constitution.

I found the comment funny. Not ha ha funny, but scratch your head funny.

For the past eight years (at least) conservatives have been bombarded with attacks, slurs, and slander from the left. We've endured the media twisting of information, misinformation in the media, and the list goes on. If George W. Bush said it, then the press and liberals attacked. Viciously.

Pleas to Democrats to unite, to work together, went unheeded. Attempts to compromise were scoffed at by those on the other side of the aisle. A war was waged in the media and on the Internet against conservative values and conservatives in general. It's still being waged.

Now that Obama, Pelosi, Reid and friends are in power and working to cram their agendas down the throats of the country, all of a sudden Republicans are supposed to roll over, toss our principles into the trash can and swallow our values? Maybe we should just act like the liberals have been acting for oh so many years.

Uniting would mean welcoming abortion.
Uniting would mean believing a pork package is going to save our economy.
Uniting would mean sending our tax dollars to fund abortions around the world.
Uniting would mean trying to smother those who have sworn to destroy us with peace, love and hugs.
Uniting would mean the un-"Fairness Doctrine" which is the beginning of the end of free speech.
Uniting would mean trashing our work ethics and voting rights to satisfy Union bosses.

Somehow I don't see conservatives giving up on the Constitution, giving up on free speech, the right to life, voting rights, protecting our country and self responsibility.

Where's the middle ground? Only kill some babies in the womb? Only give up some of our voting rights? Stop a few from exercising their right to free speech? Just hug the terrorists who's name begins with an H?

Why should conservatives handle things any differently than the liberals, progressives, Democrats or whatever label is pc at the moment? I don't expect to see conservatives stooping to the tactics used by many liberals. However, we will fight for our country and we won't compromise our principles.

I don't know how to solve the problems of this country or the world. I don't see a middle ground in many of the issues. It does seem to be a battle that will continue for many years to come. It's possible that having lost this past election that we will find we've lost the country. I hope not. I'm not giving up and I intend to cling to my guns and Bible (although I don't actually own a gun ;-) as long as I possibly can.

Oh, one more short comment to the anonymous comment poster --- give it up on the torture stuff. I won't even bore my intelligent readers with delving into that talking point.

Ah, and I can't resist another little shot --- if the economy is such an important issue (and I believe it is), how come Mr. Obama just decided to send millions of dollars out of the country to fund abortion clinics? Take a look at the "stimulus" package he's pushing. It's not a stimulus package, it's a pork package with a lot of money stuck in there for social engineering and other things that will have zippo affect on the economy.

And, finally, to end my long post... I'm not about to start a comment war or blogging war with progressives, liberals, Democrats, etc. so don't expect me to do this again! I'd been thinking about writing on the topic and that post comment just fell into my lap at the right time so I decided to use it.

Obama: I Could Lose Re-election....

Great post on Smart Girl Politics blog, had to share:

Obama: I Could Lose Re-election....
Stacy
President Barack Obama met today in a private meeting with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the economic stimulus package and planned tax increases on the rich. After a debate over tax policy, President Obama announced that his plan would triumph because as he puts it, "I won."
http://smartgirlpolitics.blogspot.com/2009/01/obama-i-could-lose-re-election.html

Beware of Google; "Google ready to pursue its agenda in Washington"

Yes, this blog is hosted by Blogger, which is owned by Google. I'm not sure how long they're going to put up with me writing about their Obama love fest before they blacklist this blog... I'm hoping someone will come up with a conservative alternative that is as easy to manage. WordPress is nice enough, but it doesn't seem to have a lot of the same capabilities. On the other hand, WordPress has a lot to offer that Blogger doesn't.

Can't say I blame Google for doing whatever possible to promote their business growth, it's the capitalistic way. However, given Obama's tactics, the Fairness Doctrine, etc. and growing concerns with YouTube (owned by Google), Blogger and Google search blacklisting conservative entries, it's wise to be cautious, and to try and stay ahead of the game.

Anyway, I digress. Here's an article I just found that highlights again just how close Google and Obama are connected. Please read the entire article, it's worth the effort:

Google ready to pursue its agenda in Washington
Its employees supported Obama, and four Googlers served on his transition team. Now the Internet giant hopes to win support for network neutrality and expanding high-speed Internet access.
By Jim Puzzanghera and Jessica Guynn
January 24, 2009
Reporting from Washington -- Another inauguration took place in Washington this week -- Google Inc. officially became a political power player. In October, Google was only hours from being sued by the Justice Department as a Web-search monopolist. Today, less than three years after it made its first Washington hire, the Internet giant is poised to capitalize on its backing of President Obama and pursue its agenda in the nation's capital...
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-fi-google24-2009jan24,0,4126493.story

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bloomberg Article Draws Questionable Conclusions re: Republicans

In a Bloomberg article posted today by Heidi Przybyla titled Republican Battle for Party Chief Pits Leaders, Przybyla writes, "They [Republicans] also want party leaders to cooperate with President Barack Obama, according to surveys."
Republican Battle for Party Chief Pits Leaders, Base (Update1)
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Republican leaders’ efforts to select a new national party chairman are stirring concerns among a vital constituency: Republican voters. Rank-and-file Republicans are telling their leaders they want more ethnic, gender and age diversity in a party that is dominated by white males. They also want party leaders to cooperate with President Barack Obama, according to surveys.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aN5z7TvAtZoQ&refer=us

I found that hard to swallow, especially given the amount of energy coming from all factions of the Republican Party these days. It seems to me that the majority feel that the reason we're where we are today is because our elected "leaders" compromised on Republican values and principles.

The only survey cited in the Bloomberg article (that I could find) was from a joint NBC/Wall Street Journal survey. I followed the link Przybyla provided to the article the WSJ wrote regarding the survey.

Hmmm, it seems that according to their author, the question only referred to one, 1, ONE, specific area, the stimulus proposals.
Obama, Stimulus Proposals Enjoy Broad Backing in Poll
Asked about the economic-stimulus package, now estimated to cost $850 billion over two years, ...Even Republicans and independents think GOP lawmakers should work to move the legislation forward. Asked whether Republicans in Congress should do everything to stand firm for their party's principles and oppose the legislation, or look to compromise with the Obama administration, 68% of Republicans and independents chose compromise, with 20% picking standing firm.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123196999580982953.html

Still curious, still wanting to make sure that Ms. Pzybyla hadn't found another broader based question, I took a look at the actual survey.
The actual Wall Street Survey question:

(ASK ONLY OF RESPONDENTS WHO SAY INDEPENDENT, REPUBLICAN, OTHER, OR NOT SURE IN Q.F4a.)

F4b. In thinking about the economic stimulus legislation, which of these statements comes closer to your point of view about what the Republicans in Congress should do over the course of the next several months:

Statement A: Republicans in Congress should do everything to stand firm for their party's economic positions and oppose legislation proposed by the Obama administration even if it means there may be stalemate on some elements of the legislation.

Statement B: Republicans in Congress should look to compromise with the Obama administration to ensure that legislation is passed and to avoid stalemate even if it means compromising on some of their party's economic positions.
[334]
Statement A: Should stand firm....... 20
Statement B: Should compromise... 68
Depends (VOL) ................................ 5
Not sure............................................ 7
http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/documents/WSJ_Poll_011409.pdf

The only other question I found that vaguely related to relations between Democrats and Republicans in Congress:
15. Looking ahead, do you feel that in 2009 the country will find the Democrats and Republicans in Congress in a period of unity by working together and reaching consensus, or will it be a period of division where the parties hold fast to their positions and show little willingness to compromise? [208]

1/09** 12/08 12/04
Period of unity/working together ................................ 48 52 27
Period of division/little willingness to compromise.... 45 42 65
Depends (VOL)......................................................... 4 3 4
Not sure..................................................................... 3 3 4
** Asked of one-half the respondents (FORM B).

Ms. Przybyla seems to have over-stated her case, at a minimum. It appears we have a case of typical media twisting and shaping of facts to fit a preconceived premise. Or maybe it's just a case of simply seeing what you want and ignoring the rest. Or possibly there's an agenda behind the writing of the article and it was deliberately misleading.

I sent a very nice email to Ms. Przybyla asking her to cite her survey sources since she uses the plural rather than singular.

I'll let you know if she responds.

In the meantime, I'd toss the Bloomberg article into the trashcan where it belongs.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Red State: Call your Senator to oppose Tim Geithner

From Red State:

Call your Senator right now at 202-224-3121 and tell him to oppose Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary.

Yesterday, Tim Geithner lied to the Senate Finance Committee telling them that the tax program Turbo Tax was to blame for his failure to pay taxes. Prior to that time, Geithner said he simply forgot. At the time he failed to pay his taxes, Geithner signed a statement saying that he would pay his taxes.

If Tim Geithner cannot be honest with the United States Senate with his money, how can he be honest with our money?

Call your Senator right now at 202-224-3121 and tell him to oppose Tim Geithner for Treasury Secretary.

Sincerely yours,
Erick Erickson
Editor, RedState.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Leon Panetta's Daughter a problem in confirmation?

Thus far it seems that no matter what is turned up about Obama's cabinet picks, they're going to sail through the confirmation hearings with only mini-waves of dissent. I've been working on compiling a listing of all the things being discovered about BHO's choices. I couldn't wait on this one... if we were looking at a Bush appointee, this would be enough to kill it and would be front page headlines. Hat tip to P.U.M.A., and to Political Warfare...

Linda Panetta- Anti-Us Agitator, Leon Panetta- CIA Director Nominee… Is there anything wrong with this picture?
By PUMA Pundit
January 18, 2009
While I don’t think it is reasonable to expect Leon to control his grown daughter’s actions, I question the wisdom in appointing as the head of the CIA a man who:
1) Has no intelligence background (although we’ve been informed he is a consumer of intelligence )
2) Has a daughter who is actively lecturing about the negative “implications of US foreign policy and the realities of war.” and who hangs out with enemies of the United States.

CompaƱera Panetta, with Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega
If the adult daughter of a CIA Director-designate hangs out with sworn enemies of the United States, it's a matter for the United States Senate to probe aggressively. And so the Senate really has to ask some very pointed questions about Linda Panetta, daughter of President-Elect Obama's pick to lead the CIA, and her ties to Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
http://jmw.typepad.com/political_warfare/2009/01/daughter-of-next-cia-director-pals-with-chavez-and-ortega.html

Ripped Wright Returns... to adulation

The much-ripped Reverend Wright returned to Washington this past weekend and it was all about the love... He didn't damn our country, he kept it all about The One... oh, and God, of course.

According to Wright it seems now that Obama is to assume the office, America is once again a land of possibilities (sorry immigrants), a land that will be saved (sorry all of you who spent this weekend worshipping) and a land where all of a sudden self-reliance is the way to go (uh, sorry about that pilgrims... and all of you out there who pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps). It was all peaches and cream.
Wright went back and forth from Obama to a passage from the Gospel of John about people who overcome sickness and challenges. "No more seeing ourselves through the eyes of people who don't look like us!" he said. "How does God see us?"

In the impassioned oratory for which he is known, Wright said Obama was able, "as the Lord stepped into his story," to envision himself doing anything -- heading the Harvard Law Review, taking a U.S. Senate seat, even winning the presidency.

I would bet the Rev. Wright was crowing internally as he stepped back into his "rightful" pulpit... straight from his life of luxury... the un-repentant son coming back to preach of things non-controversial (to some) while the media spotlight still shines on him and the chosen candidate has taken the White House.

I wonder what the right Reverend Wright thinks about the fact that Obama and family haven't been going to church these past few months? Even if BHO didn't go because of his concern for church members, you'd think he would have set up a regular prayer session or private church session at his home. I bet the ministers would line up for the opportunity to pray with the President-elect and family once a week.

Ya think maybe some of the pundits were correct when they said Obama chose Wright's church because it was a good political move? Ya think maybe it bit him on the behind and almost cost him the election? Or do you think in hind-sight that the Wright issue brought out so much white-guilt that it helped him to win? I don't really want to rehash the past, so don't feel obligated to comment... we got what we got and while it's important to learn from our mistakes, I don't think this set of circumstances could ever happen again in a million years. I was just musing in type.

Big Turnout For Obama's Former Pastor
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 19, 2009;
Page A09
A year after then-candidate Barack Obama distanced himself from his controversial longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright thrilled thousands of churchgoers yesterday morning in Washington, giving a sermon holding up Obama as a spiritual symbol of possibility.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/18/AR2009011801725.html?hpid=sec-religion

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sneak Peak: New Ad Takes Obama to Task on Inauguration Day

Thanks to Lyn Sue on Facebook for posting this one! Busy night... lots of info coming my way! I just joined America Coast 2 Coast and wow, what a busy group! Between C2C and Team Sarah my inbox is a buzzin'.

This is an audio preview of TV ad that will highlight Barack Obama's missteps. The ad will debut on Obama's inauguration day - Tuesday, January 20th.



It's on YouTube, at least for now! YouTube has a way of making things disappear that irritate Mr. Obama.

Chris Matthews... arrrggghhhh....

Went to check out Eyeblast (like it) and found this video on the front page. Chris Matthews is wacky. He is so far out there he deserves his own planet (somewhere on the other side of Pluto).

I was flabbergasted that anyone could lay claim to a modicum of intelligence and say the things Chris Matthews said. He no more knows George W. Bush's reasoning and though process than I know what goes through Obama's mind. That tingle he felt in his leg when he fell in love with Obama was brain tremors...

I can't believe any rational being listens to his show if this is the kind of drivel he shares with the world.




If the video doesn't work, here's a link: http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=yduzIrIrnz

Tired of YouTube? How about a conservative alternative?

We all know that Google, YouTube, Blogger and friends are in the "other court". I've been looking for alternatives to many of these groups that someday may ascribe to the un-Fairness Doctrine and try to shut us all down.

We ran experiments during the election with Google and Blogger... we'd start up a new blog, do a Google Alert on the content or some of the words in the title.

The conservative leaning blogs rarely, if ever, made it onto the searches. Those that had to do with benign topics or politics without a right-leaning slant showed up just fine. We couldn't say it was the number of readers and links, cause we monitored those, too. High readership and incoming links counted zippo.

So, although it wasn't a huge sampling and I wouldn't go to the bank with our loose findings, it convinced me that I needed to find a way to move my blogs to a more conservative medium, one where the founder didn't get choked up about Obama's election ... and blogs didn't get shut down for days until the review crew could look at them...

Today I received a forwarded email from my friend Steve Maloney (a great conservative and a valiant fighter for Sarah Palin). In it Rebekah (I won't use her last name 'cause I don't have permission) shared some alternatives to YouTube. Thank you, thank you.

Here's a portion of her email:
Here are some other sites if I can get my buddies off of Youtube. This is a conservative website for videos Heritage New Media Partners, Inc.- NMA TV, http://www.nmatv.com/. The next is Eyeblast TV http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/Default.aspx. The is another called NING, http://www.ning.com/.

YT keeps suspending our accounts because of anti-obama videos (regarding issues), pro Bush, McCain or Palin videos. Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDiG8WV03cI.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Ning. That's the group where Team Sarah has their site, America Coast 2 Coast, Real USA and others have set up shop. It's more of a social network than a video site I think, but then again, I haven't been to the main page, only to the various social networks.

I did go check out www.hmatv.com. It's pretty cool. After I finish this blog I'm hopping over to Eyeblast to see what it's like. I may have a hard time weaning myself completely away from YouTube if I don't find a lot of music on Eyeblast! I like to pull up YouTube and go to my personal account with all my favorite music. No strain on space on the computer and it's a hodgepodge of music to fit my mood. Guess I'll have to consider Rhapsody or one of those other music stations if Eyeblast doesn't fit the bill.

Here are Steve Maloney's blogs if you'd like to read and follow:
DraftPalin2012
SteveMaloneyGOP

Friday, January 16, 2009

Check these out...

So much news, so little brain space left to process it with...

Here's some things you may have missed:

-- Cool website - www.howobamagotelected.com. I signed up for their mailing list. If you're a Sarah Palin supporter, you've probably already found it and I'm woefully behind!

-- Git-R-Done brought Jose Serrano's 1/6/09 attempt to amend the Constitution to my attention (along with a lot of others). Here's a blog about it: Amendment to Constitution to repeal 22nd Article: Remove Presidential term limits

-- Sarah is going to be a guest on Glenn Beck's new Fox News program on Monday at 5 p.m.

-- More Magazine: Palin is a plus for women
posted by Josh Painter at Sarah Palin for President
More magazine - which bills itself as "celebrating women 40+" - will have no less than three articles about Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska in its next issue. Each one addresses the question, "Is Sarah Pali...

-- Are you a Reagan Conservative?
Posted by Angela at Domestic Divapalooza
Kathryn Tyler has published a petition that is calling up all of your Reagan Conservatives out there. It’s a petition that demands true conservative leadership. Why has this petition been established? Beca...

-- Al Jazeera Signs Deal to Air Throughout U.S.
Friday, January 16, 2009 7:17 AM
NEW YORK - The Al Jazeera Network plans to announce on Thursday that it has signed a deal to run its news on Worldfocus, a syndicated nightly news program produced in New York and distributed throughout the United States.
http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/al_jazeera_air_us/2009/01/16/172035.html?s=al&promo_code=77D1-1

-- Michelle Obama's "Job" Eliminated
posted by Admin1/obamanation at An Obama Nation.Net
Ace of Spades HQ reports: Michelle Obama's $300,000 "Job" at a Hospital Obama Got Earmarks for So Scary-Important It's Eliminated As She Departs, With No Replacement Sought Get the story. Chicago Daily O...

-- Times Watch (watching the New York Times)

Inauguration Hypocrisy: NYT Chided Bush Gala, but Obamans Free to Party
What happened to the paper's 2005 anti-Bush criticism of a "lavish inaugural celebration in a time of war"?
Neil MacFarquhar, Still Taking Sides in the Middle East
Reporter Neil MacFarquhar sneaks in his trademark Palestinian advocacy in a story about Susan Rice's Senate confirmation hearings.
Guantanamo Bay's "Seemingly Endless Supply of Embarrassments"
Jumping on remarks by a Pentagon official regarding Guantanamo Bay, reporter William Glaberson takes a broad view of "torture" and dismisses as "public relations" the idea that detainees released from the prison return to fight against the U.S.

-- Two articles on Obama & Same-Sex Marriage (one a link, the other posted fully as it came in a Family Research Council newsletter without link to actual article)

Obama Backs Same-Sex "Marriage". By Peter Sprigg
In recent weeks, there has been a spate of stories suggesting that Barack Obama has begun moving to the center. On issues ranging from the Iraq war to terrorist surveillance to gun control, Obama has been moderating some of his previous liberal positions. http://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=WX08H01

The Truth Comes Out--Obama Backed Homosexual Marriage
When Barack Obama was running for president, he said he opposed same-sex "marriage," favoring civil unions instead. But in 1996, when he first ran for the Illinois state senate, a Chicago "gay" newspaper reported that Obama supported same-sex "marriage." This week a successor paper, the Windy City Times, published specific documentation regarding Obama's earlier stance. A candidate questionnaire by IMPACT, a homosexual political action group, proposed a resolution that "the state should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights responsibilities and commitment of civil marriage." Obama wrote, apparently in his own hand, "I would support such a resolution." A month later, Obama sent to Outlines a typed letter, over his own signature, stating, "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." Obama's professed opposition to redefining marriage was never very credible, given his much stronger opposition to every effort to defend marriage. If American voters had understood Obama's real views, his candidacy for president might have gone the way of other open supporters of same-sex "marriage"--like Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich. Does concealing one's real beliefs to gain political advantage represent "change we can believe in?"

Calling on Obama

Literally. Yep, you can call on Obama, personally. Well, it's actually not the real Obama, it's just a Mi-Obama.
The catch? You have to live in Kenya. Not sure if this little treasure will work in the USA, but if you're an Obama-freak, maybe a Hollywood type, you can probably figure out a way to get one and make it work here.

I wonder if they licensed the logo? Where's the money going if they did? Just curious.

This is marketed in Asia and Africa only. For now. You know that given the way the Obama hysteria is sweeping certain segments of our society (non-Republican ;-), it's not going to be long before we see 'em here whether it's by the Mi group or some other U.S. company. Maybe without the logo.
Don't you think that any company making things for-profit with Obama's name, logo, etc. on them should be donating the money to fight global warming, saving the owls or something? Better yet, maybe they should donate all profits to defray the cost of the bailout and / or the economic recovery plan Obama's wanting to implement.
Let all the rest of us work, make money, spend and do it the good ol' capitalistic American way.

Barack Obama phone launched - not in the US, but in Kenya
The first ever Obama-branded mobile phone is called Mi-Obama and it was recently launched, not in the US, how people would’ve expected, but in Kenya – the country where Obama’s father was born.... http://www.unwiredview.com/2009/01/15/barack-obama-phone-launched-not-in-the-us-but-in-kenya/


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Start counting your change, Obama's car on e-Bay

Obama's Old Car Selling on eBay for $1 Million
The Chrysler sedan that once belonged to President-elect Obama is being sold on eBay for a cool million. The listing says the car, a blue 2005 Chrysler 300c, can be bought immediately for $1 million or won in an auction. The starting bid is $100,000. Obama owned it from 2004 through 2007 and only put 20,801 miles on it. It's still under the manufacturer's warranty and has an eight-cylinder engine, a sunroof and leather seats...
http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/01/14/obamas-old-car-selling-on-ebay-for-1-million/

True American entrepreneurship! You find out you have a hot item and you try to make a buck.

Well now, in the spirit of spreading the wealth around, I think Natasha Brown, the seller, should donate the money to help fight global warming or to defray the cost of the Inauguration or to feed the homeless. I mean it WAS Obama's car.

If the current owner, Natasha Brown, actually gets a million or more for the car she's selling on e-Bay, and keeps it rather than donating it all to an Obama-worthy cause, she'll then be in that nasty wealthy category. She'll find out quickly just how big a cut Uncle Sam takes from her new-found wealth. However, it is good she's selling it now, before Obama potentially implements his tax-the-horrible-capitalists-more-plans.

On a funny note, Natasha Brown said she was surprised Obama drove around in a Dodge Neon, "a little girl's car."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cornyn says GOP is wooing Crist to run for Senate

from TheHill.com: National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) on Wednesday said efforts are ongoing to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) to run for his state’s open Senate seat.
http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/cornyn-says-gop-is-wooing-crist-to-run-for-senate-2009-01-14.html
By J. Taylor Rushing
Posted: 01/14/09 04:42 PM [ET]

Whistle-blower FBI agent revealed today; ADN

Whistle-blower agent ID'd in Stevens case
The FBI agent who complained about misconduct and unethical behavior in the investigation and prosecution leading up to Sen. Ted Stevens' conviction on corruption charges is Chad Joy, court officials revealed today.

Passing along a good post from SGP

I was going to do a post along these same lines, but why bother when someone has already done it so well? From Smart Girl Politics blog:

Mr. Hope and Change Becomes President Doom and Gloom
Barack Obama campaigned for almost two years on the mantra of hope and change. The campaigns cheer leading motto was "Yes We Can". Who would have thought that this campaign full of hope and promise would then become the administration of doom and gloom and "No, We Can't"
http://smartgirlpolitics.blogspot.com/2009/01/mr-hope-and-change-becomes-president.html

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Geitner running into problems?

From the WSJ: Sen. Grassley is raising questions about the immigration status of a housekeeper that worked for Treasury-nominee Geithner and years when Geithner did not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Can facts change minds?

I have long wondered whether facts could change the mind of a die-hard liberal, or conservative for that matter. I read an article in the CS Monitor earlier today by Jonathan Zimmerman which brought the question to mind again.

He referenced a study by Drew Westen from Emory University (but didn't provide a link). I did a search and found a couple of studies by Westen on the subject (releases included below). I also found that Westen had released a book in 2007, “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation”.

In making the search I ended up on a much broader road than I'd intended. It led me to articles on why Obama attracted the minds of the masses. It took me on side paths on how the media influences the public.

It took me all over the place, but I ultimately found an answer of sorts. It was the answer I expected.

The answer is usually no, emotions overrule factual evidence by a huge margin.


As conservatives, we typically work with facts and try to convince others with rational arguments. We decry the fact that we don't seem to be able to change the minds of our left-learning friends with logic.

Facts definitely don't seem to sway the opinion of Bush-haters and Palin-haters!

One thing that I did find comforting in reading the study and the Zimmerman article, is that some minds can be changed. If I read my numbers correctly, about 15% read, study and make judgements based on facts (on the left and right!). Zimmerman says he occasionally changes a mind here and there. I've heard callers on Sean Hannity and other talk shows say they tuned in and ultimately changed their minds.

As I read articles and studies, I realized that the question asked by Westen and Zimmerman was secondary to a much bigger question we as conservatives need to answer. How do we even get the facts to liberals to change the small percentage of minds that could possibly be changed?

How many of your liberal friends would ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? watch Fox News? subscribe to a conservative magazine?

If they simply listen to the mainstream media, how are they going to hear the facts that might change their minds? If all they read is the Daily Kos or Huffington Post, how can we reach them?

For every blog a conservative turns out there's at least one being churned out by a left-leaning blogger.

Conservatives don't own many, if any, large mainstream media outlets. Even Fox News, which is routinely lambasted by the left, has a regular station with loads of liberal shows.

We have very few ways to really reach out and touch the minds of "progressives".

They think we're wrong, we think they're wrong.

I don't know the answer. How do you change someone's mind if you can't use facts? Even if facts DID work, we still have to address the question of how to get them in front of large groups of the population, Independents, Conservatives and Dems.

We can appeal on an emotional level, assuming we can infiltrate the media! But what's sexy about doing what's right? About being responsible?

How do you get conservatives to "stoop" to using emotions? It just isn't in the overall makeup of most on the right to try and package principles in a pretty package. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

Yes, I know you thought I'd come up with something profound by the time you wandered through this article! Hate to disappoint.

If anything, I suppose my "profound" suggestion would be that we keep on plugging along. We keep writing, we keep putting out the fact and we find ways to get a whole lot better at getting our side into the media.

We are making inroads via the Internet. More and more websites and blogs are popping up that promote conservative views. Twitter is becoming "the" conservative place to be thanks in large part to www.TopConservativesOnTwitter.com. More and more conservative bloggers are partnering. Emails are flying and conservative social networks are flourishing.

My final suggestion? Go forth and conquer the media before it's too late.

---

Do opinion pieces ever change your opinion?
Given the fixity of our partisan beliefs, it's a rare occurrence. Yet history shows that reason and rhetoric can win converts.
by Jonathan Zimmerman
Right on, Professor Zimmerman! Keep up the great work!
Wrong again, Professor Zimmerman! Get a real job!
Welcome to the wacky and wonderful world of op-ed writing. For the past decade, I've published two opinion pieces a month in newspapers around the country. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, meanwhile, I've received thousands of e-mail responses from my readers. And here's what I've learned: Opinion pieces rarely change opinions.

---

2005 - Emotions, Not Facts, Form Basis of Political Opinion

An Emory University study has found that when it comes to forming opinions and making judgments on hot political issues, most people don't let facts get in the way of their decision-making. The research, led by Emory psychology professor Drew Westen, tested whether people make decisions based on emotional bias or fact, and emotions won by a landslide.

"In high-stakes, emotionally charged political situations, people respond to ambiguity not by consulting the data but by consulting their emotional preferences, prejudices and predilections," Westen says. "The data suggests that perhaps the only way for any of us to make reasoned judgments about political matters is to identify and admit our own biases, maintain constant vigilance to detect and counteract them, and be particularly vigilant and circumspect when we find that ''voting our conscience' just happens to coincide with voting along party lines."

The research involved five studies that covered American political crises during the past six years. Westen looked at how people judged the issues based on both the relevant facts (cognitive constraints) and also how the subjects felt about the issues and the people involved, such as Presidents Clinton and Bush (emotional constraints).

In all five, cognitive and emotional constraints contributed in predicted ways to people's judgments. However, competing emotional pulls (such as toward the two parties, human rights and the military) accounted for much of the variance in seemingly "cold" cognitive judgments. Examples include whether or not Clinton should have been impeached, or whether the evidence produced by a soldier charged with abuses at Abu Ghraib prison crossed the threshold for allowing his lawyers to interrogate senior civilian officials.

Although about 15 percent of respondents were found to have primarily considered evidence and fact when forming their opinions, researchers could correctly predict 80 percent of the time how a person would view an issue based on their opinions of the Bush administration, the Republican or Democratic parties, the military and human-rights groups.

"If a person is paying attention enough to think about something, he or she usually has some motivational or emotional interest in it. In this sense, every act of cognition is simultaneously an act of emotion regulation. The more ambiguous the data, and the more emotionally significant the outcome, the more one can expect emotion regulation to trump information processing," Westen says.

----

2004 Political Forecasting Looks at Minds of Voters
Instead of relying on factors such as history, polling and approval ratings to forecast voter behavior, Emory psychologist Drew Westen developed a political forecasting model that looks at the role of emotions in how people make decisions about political issues and candidates.
http://www.emory.edu/news/Releases/westen1080334326.html

---

2006 - Emory study lights up the political brain
When it comes to forming opinions and making judgments on hot political issues, partisans of both parties don't let facts get in the way of their decision-making, according to a new Emory University study. The research sheds light on why staunch Democrats and Republicans can hear the same information, but walk away with opposite conclusions.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-01/euhs-esl012406.php

---

Drew Westen Opinion piece in CNN:
Commentary: Obama thinks like a professor, inspires like a preacher
A single factor never produces a complex event like the historic election of Barack Obama. But when the final post-mortem on the election of 2008 is someday written, it will no doubt include at least three.
First, John McCain started with three strikes against him. Those strikes happen to be the three strongest predictors that enter into the equations used by political scientists to predict who will win an election: an unpopular incumbent president (in this case, the most unpopular in the history of polling), an economic downturn (in this case an understatement), and an unpopular war.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/06/westen.winning/index.html
(Westen wrote a piece for the Huffington Post also, I decided not to give them any more publicity ;-)