Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann top Mitt Romney in fundraising

Michele Bachmann tops Mitt Romney in fundraising - Politico
Michele Bachmann became the queen of 2011 fundraising this quarter, bringing in a combined $2.2 million for the quarter – bigger than the $1.9 million that frontrunner Mitt Romney reported bringing in, officials confirmed for POLITICO.

Bachmann raised $1.7 million for her congressional committee, and another $500,000 for her leadership PAC, Bachmann adviser Andy Parrish said.

he numbers are sure to roil the early presidential-watching, as the Minnesota congresswoman gears up for a likely run for the White House in 2012.

Much of her donations are reportedly small checks.
Exclusive: Ron Paul's $3M pot of gold
Ron Paul raked in roughly $3 million during the first quarter through his various political organizations, POLITICO has learned.

Though not all of that money can be transferred to a potential presidential campaign, the big haul demonstrates Paul’s continuing force as a grassroots-powered online fundraiser.

The Texas congressman raised $1 million through his federal PAC and $2 million through Campaign for Liberty, a 501C(4) which cannot transfer funds directly to political organizations. Paul’s fundraising documents, to be filed later Thursday with the FEC, will also show he has $1.7 million on hand in his congressional campaign account.

“Dr. Paul's fundraising comes almost exclusively from individuals, not special interests,” LibertyPAC director Jesse Benton told POLITICO. “He received contributions from all 50 states, and his average gift this quarter was under $70, demonstrating his broad grassroots support.

“Dr. Paul's grassroots fundraising prowess is unmatched, and any 2012 political endeavor on which he embarks will have the financial backing it takes to win,” Benton added.

Obama is expected to raise a billion for his re-election campaign.

Obama '12 launch likely next week

Obama '12 launch likely next week - Politico via Drudge
President Barack Obama plans to announce his reelection campaign early next week in an electronic message to grassroots supporters, Democratic sources tell POLITICO.

Obama launches with a recovering economy and a weak, fractured Republican field, but with chaos in the Middle East that adds unpredictability to an environment that points to likely reelection. Obama’s campaign, which could raise $1 billion or more, will be based in Chicago, just a few blocks from the headquarters of his historic 2008 race.

The most likely day for the campaign to file registration papers with the Federal Election Commission is Monday, but officials are not committing to a specific date in case some transcendent event in the world would overshadow the kickoff. Obama aides want to tell their supporters first, and so are not encouraging preview stories by the press.

Newsmax reports: Democratic donors are being told that the announcement will coincide with a Democratic National Committee fundraiser set for April 14 in Chicago, which Obama will attend.

The campaign could use the video to begin soliciting donations, according to National Journal.

Eat the rich

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bush: Stay in Afghanistan for women’s sake

Bush says women's rights are worth American lives. Bravo. Now where are the Dems on this? - Femisex
Bush: Stay in Afghanistan for women’s sake - Politico

Baby American bald eagles about to hatch - watch it live on webcam

Free video streaming by Ustream

Night vision as well as daytime camera

Barack Obama: Losing $84 billion big success

Barack Obama: Losing $84 billion big success - Washington Times
Barack Obama has some 'splaining to do about taxpayers' profitable "investment" in General Motors. It turns out the president is imagining things.

Though Democrats tout the auto bailout as a success, recent reports illustrate the taxpayer cost of the GM auto bailout was substantially larger than the Obama administration and a Congressional Oversight report has owned up to.

"American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM,” President Obama said, according to a piece in USA Today last November. Steven Rattner, former head of the Treasury's auto task force agreed, telling CNN in November: “Recent progress at GM gives reason for optimism that it may be possible for taxpayers to get every penny back.”

In fact, Investor's Business Daily reported that even the White House’s Director of the National Economic Council remarked that the Treasury Department Department had a good chance in "recovering most, if not all, of its investment in" GM.

However, a March 16 Congressional Oversight report, tells a different story. It estimates taxpayers will be out of $25 billion. Additionally, the report points out that “full repayment will not be possible unless the government is able to sell its remaining shares at a far higher price.”

That's only the beginning.

Conservative 100: Most Popular Conservative Websites

Conservative 100: Most Popular Conservative Websites, March 2011 - DBKP

Tea Party presses GOP to get tough on budget cuts

Tea Party presses GOP to get tough on budget cuts - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner
As Tea Party activists rallied across the street from the Capitol, Republican leaders pledged they would fight to include $61 billion in budget cuts in a funding deal needed to prevent a government shutdown.
The latest negotiations between Democrats and Republicans are centered around a compromise that would cut just $33 billion from this year's budget, which runs through September. But that number is not sitting well with many in the GOP, who pledged during last year's campaign to cut deeper.

Fiscally conservative Republicans, including dozens of freshmen backed by the Tea Party, have signaled they do not want to accept a budget deal with less than the $61 billion in cuts passed earlier by the House and they are pressuring House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to hold out for more.

"We want to be as bold as we can," said Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., a conservative freshman and Tea Party activist. "There is a strong sentiment that this fight is not inconsequential. Everybody I'm talking to on this side of the aisle is saying we are ready to have a fight on that number - $61 billion."

Uncovered: New $2 billion bailout in Obamacare

Uncovered: New $2 billion bailout in Obamacare
- ByronYork/Washington Examiner (◼ @ByronYork)
Investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee have discovered that a little-known provision in the national health care law has allowed the federal government to pay nearly $2 billion to unions, state public employee systems, and big corporations to subsidize health coverage costs for early retirees. At the current rate of payment, the $5 billion appropriated for the program could be exhausted well before it is set to expire.

...The program began making payouts on June 1, 2010. Between that date and the end of 2010, it paid out about $535 million dollars. But according to the new report, the rate of spending has since increased dramatically, to about $1.3 billion just for the first two and a half months of this year. At that rate, it could burn through the entire $5 billion appropriation as early as 2012.

...the biggest single recipient of an early-retiree bailout is the United Auto Workers, which has so far received $206,798,086. Other big recipients include AT&T, which received $140,022,949, and Verizon, which received $91,702,538. General Electric, in the news recently for not paying any U.S. taxes last year, received $36,607,818. General Motors, recipient of a massive government bailout, received $19,002,669.

The program also paid large sums of money to state governments. The Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio received $70,557,764; the Teacher Retirement System of Texas received $68,074,118; the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS, received $57,834,267; the Georgia Department of Community Health received $57,936,127; and the state of New York received $47,869,044. Other states received lesser but still substantial sums.

But payments to individual states were dwarfed by the payout to the auto workers union, which received more than the states of New York, California, and Texas combined. Other unions also received government funds, including the United Food and Commercial Workers, the United Mine Workers, and the Teamsters....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states

GOP says 5,000 non-citizens voting in Colorado a 'wake-up call' for states - The Hill
...Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler, a Republican, told the panel that his department’s study identified nearly 12,000 people who were not citizens but were still registered to vote in Colorado.
Of those non-citizen registered voters, nearly 5,000 took part in the 2010 general election in which Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet narrowly defeated Republican John Buck.

Colorado conducted the study by comparing the state’s voter registration database with driver’s license records.

“We know we have a problem here. We don’t know the size of it,” Gessler said in testimony to Administration’s Elections subcommittee....

Bachmann Unloads: Obama’s a Hypocrite—Dems Plan to Shut Down Govt

Congresswoman and tea party leader Michele Bachmann tells Newsmax she will flat-out refuse to support any budget bill that does not include the defunding of President Obama’s healthcare reform plan.

Read more on Angry Bachmann Unloads: Obama’s a Hypocrite—Dems Plan to Shut Down Govt
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

...New York Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday said on an open microphone that his caucus had told him to label the tea party as “extreme” at every opportunity. Republicans said that indicated Democrats are more interested in playing political games, and perhaps even forcing a shutdown of the government.

Former National Democratic Chairman Howard Dean and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have expressed sentiments similar to Schumer’s in recent days.

“Between Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Howard Dean, they let the cat out of the bag,” Bachmann says.

“That is that the Democrats’ political plan is to shut down government because they think they will benefit from doing that. Now we know that if the government shuts down it’s not the tea party’s fault, it’s the Democrats’ fault, because they’ve made a decision they’re not interested in compromise. They just want to see the government shut down.

“They aren’t interested in a practical solution, and I think people all across the United States are tired of political games.”

REPORT: Obama sends in CIA teams to find out who rebels are...

In Libya, CIA is gathering intelligence on rebels
NATO Rules Out Arming Rebels - NATO Assumes Control of All Air Operations Over Libya; Rebels Retreat

"No choice but do a public boycott of your business"

Dawn Bobo shows the sign that she put in the front window of herstore, in Union Grove, Wednesday March 30, 2011. Her store is one of numerous Union Grove businesses threatened with "public boycotts" by the American Federation of State,  County and Municipal Employees union. According to the letter businesses received Tuesday, they will be targeted for declining to display a sign stating, "This business supports workers rights," with an AFSCME logo. / Photo: Mark Hertzberg

Numerous Union Grove shops threatened with union boycott -

Wisconsin Businesses ‘Just Say No’ to Union Thugs & Left-Wing Bullies - Gateway Pundit

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Redistricting Reform, California Style

Redistricting Reform, California Style
Peter Hannaford for the American Spectator 3.28.11

In November 2008 California voters passed Proposition 11, which took away from the state legislature the power to reapportion itself every 10 years and gave it to a new citizen commission. In a state where no incumbent had lost in the last decade and where the legislature's approval rating was stuck at 16 percent, this seemed like manna from heaven. It did not seem so to the special interests -- particularly the state's public employee unions -- who depend upon a pliant legislature to keep the money trough full.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission, which will also redraw congressional districts, was chosen through a multi-step screening process of several thousand applications until 14 finalists were chosen by the State Auditor: 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 independents or members of other parties. Their charge was to make all districts more or less equal in population and to avoid the tortured gerrymandering practiced by the majority Democrats in the legislature over the last two census cycles.

A new day of competitive legislative races was about to dawn. Or was it? Someone must draw the actual maps for the many districts and the commission called for bids. The winning bid went to Q2, a small firm based in Berkeley that had what Sacramento Bee political writer Dan Walters called "indirect, but unmistakable ties to Democrats." The head of the firm, Karin MacDonald, also is the head of the Statewide Database, the data bank used for redistricting. It, in turn, was created by one Professor Bruce Cain in 1981 when he worked as a consultant to the State Assembly's Democrats. Cain is a co-owner of Q2.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fact Check: How Obama's Libya Claims Fit Facts


Wisconsin Update

RedState Interview: Gov. Scott Walker. - Red State
Wisconsin Stops Withholding Unions Dues - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
"The One Opinion Piece the New York Times Didn’t Want You to Read" - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has posted on his website an Op-Ed The NY Times declined to run.
Wisconsin Publishes Budget Repair Bill Despite TRO - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Gov. Walker's administration stops collecting union dues, starts charging for health care - cubachi

Headlines re: Libya

Jihadis who killed Americans get U.S. support in Libya
Byron York/Washington Examiner
There's no question that the rebels Americans are currently fighting for in Libya include in their ranks jihadis who in recent years traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill Americans. The only question is whether that worries you or not.
Obama: Libya intervention limited, necessary
Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner
President Obama on Monday sought to define for a skeptical American public the U.S. military mission in Libya, predicting that President Moammar Gadhafi would surrender power even while insisting that the United States would not help overthrow Gadhafi militarily.
Al Qaeda leader foresaw chance to capitalize on Arab uprisings
Sara Carter/Washington Examiner
A year before the Middle East uprisings that have shaken regimes across the region, a top al Qaeda operative from Libya was predicting that U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq would destabilize governments in the Muslim world and he outlined ways in which al Qaeda could capitalize on the chaos.

NYT: WH set Libya speech time to avoid interrupting 'Dancing With The Stars'

Before Libya, White House Must Negotiate With ABC -
"Fundraiser in Chief" Obama heads off to $31,000-per-plate fundraiser... - washingtonpost
Inflation worries push consumer confidence lower... - washingtonexaminer
Home prices STILL falling in cities... -
h/t: drudge

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. Coordinates Dem Budget Attack on GOP

Schumer Coordinates Dem Budget Attack on GOP
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, got on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning without realizing the reporters were already listening in. Schumer thought he was on a private line with four Democratic senators who were to talk with reporters about the current budget stalemate.

Schumer instructed the group, made up of Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.

He told the group to make sure they label the GOP spending cuts as "extreme."

"I always use extreme, Schumer said. "That is what the caucus instructed me to use."

The four senators came on the call after Schumer abruptly went silent and followed Schumer's script closely.
Barbara Boxer (D)
Hart Senate Office Building
Room 112
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3553
San Francisco: (415) 403-0100 Fax: (415) 956-6701 (contact via webform)

Shutdown looms as budget talks stall - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner
Talks have stalled between congressional Democrats and Republicans trying to negotiate a federal budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, escalating the chances that the government could at least partially shut down next month.
Schumer: who is “in the box”? - Roger L. Simon

Sen. Marco Rubio: "I am not running for president in 2012"

ABC News Exclusive: Sen. Marco Rubio's First National Television Interview

Chris Crawford R.I.P.

Community mourns death of businessman, activist Chris Crawford; former Eureka Chamber of Commerce president dies at 58
Community members from all walks of life are mourning the death of Chris Crawford, a local businessman who helped connect Humboldt County to the digital world. Crawford, 58, died Saturday after a brief battle with cancer.

A board member of the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce and the Humboldt Business Council, Crawford was also a founding member of the Redwood Technology Consortium and served as a board member for the Humboldt No. 1 Fire Protection District. According to his obituary, local fire stations flew their flags at half-staff Saturday to honor Crawford.

The family is holding a memorial service at the Arkley Center on April 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Reactions to Obama's speech on Libya

Some before, some after:
Obama's Libya Speech In One Sentence Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Jihadis who fought U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan now enjoy American support in Libya Byron York/Washington Examiner
Barack Obama, Community Organizer? - NOQuarter
Update: It’s over and it was less than inspiring. Patterico
There is no attempt to explain why he could wait for the U.N. but not Congress. There is no attempt to explain why this is different than bombing Iran (which he said Bush couldn’t do, without Congess’ consent). And on one hand he tells us that we should be proud to have led the international community (except we didn’t), but don’t worry we won’t be leading it much longer.
Obama’s Flowery Words Present Path To Certain Failure strata-sphere
Obama’s speech tonight illustrated exactly why we have checks and balances to contain the egos of our Presidents and force them to only act with the support of the nation. Obama’s speech was incoherent and intellectually insulting. In the crude fig-leaf language of protecting Libyan citizens, we are bombing the crap out of those Libyan tribes and citizens aligned with Qadaffi. It is such a brutal and ugly farce it rips at the concepts of honor and truth.
President Obama’s Ten Libyan Paradoxes Victor Davis Hanson
Drunkblogging Obama’s Libya Speech Stephen Green

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Remarks on Libya

Transcript of President Obama’s speech on Libya

Good evening. Tonight, I'd like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya – what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

Jerry Brown's Dilemma

At first it looked as if Jerry Brown had devised a no-fault way to cover California's expected $26.6 billion deficit. He would ask the legislature to mount a special election in June so the voters could agree to a five-year extension of several taxes about to expire. If they didn't, draconian program cuts would ensue, but they would know in advance what these would be (the usual suspects such as home health care for the indisposed; child welfare; education).

Special elections require approval of two-thirds of the legislature. This means he would need a few Republican votes. Most balked. They said the voters turned down tax increases on the 2008 ballot. Nevertheless, a few began to negotiate with the governor's staff, thinking they could wring out of him a concession to reform the state's wildly generous public employee pension scheme. This hasn't happened and the deadline for a June ballot is fast approaching.

Brown has options, none of them quite what he wanted. He can get the Democratic majority in the legislature to use some fancy footwork to circumvent the two-thirds rule and activate the election without any Republican votes. This would probably face legal challenges and, thus, delays.

Alternatively, he can ask his organized labor friends to mount a signature drive to get an initiative proposal on the November ballot. They have the money and person-power to do it, but it also would give opponents six months in which to mount a campaign. Historically, California initiatives involving tax increases decline in support the closer they come to election day.

The Dems in the legislature claim they have already made about $14 billion worth of cuts in Brown's proposed budget. No one has seen the fine print, so it's impossible to know how many of these are bait to popularize the special election idea, how many are illusory, and how many are real. If all are in the last category, there would still need to be about $12 billion to be made up by way of voter approval in the special election.

Joining the muddied waters are two new statewide polls. The Field Poll reports that 56 percent of Californians favor extension of the taxes to avoid the big cuts. The Public Policy Institute of California, on the other hand, reports that only 46 percent of Californians favor it, down eight percent from January. Two polls can, of course, get different results depending upon how their questions are framed. Also, both polls in the past have sometimes oversampled Democrats.

Whichever route the issue takes, Brown hopes the voters will approve the tax extension and thus he could take the credit for "saving" all those programs, each of which has a large constituency. If they turn down the extension, all he needs to do is blame the Republicans for causing the deep cuts that would follow.

It's all part the Democrats' Grand Plan in action: Steadily increase the number of people dependent upon government largesse, then announce cuts if need be and watch the demonstrations begun until the cuts are rescinded and government grows yet again. One way or another, taxpayers will pay for all this. In California at least they regularly tell pollsters they want balanced budgets, but don't want programs cut.

As the saying goes, go figure.

Jerry Brown's Dilemma
Peter Hannaford

Peter was closely associated with the late President Ronald Reagan for a number of years, beginning in the 1970s. He was vice chairman of the Governor’s Consumer Fraud Task Force, then the governor’s sole public appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board, then Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs in the Governor’s Office, Sacramento.

When Mr. Reagan’s second term expired, Peter and another senioir aide, Michael Deaver, founded a public affairs/public relations firm in Los Angeles (Deaver & Hannaford, Inc.) and Mr. Reagan became their lead client. They managed his public program until his election as president. In his 1976 campaign for the presidential nomination, Peter was his co-director of issues and research. In the 1980 campaign he was senior communications consultant to Mr. Reagan.

With the Reagan victory in November 1980, both men could not go into the White House. Mike Deaver did, as deputy chief of staff, while Peter continued with the company to manage it. He movedits headquarters to Washington, D.C. During the Reagan years he was involved in a number of volunteer activities including membership on the United States Information Agency’s Public Relations Advisory Committee, the board of trustees of the White House Preservation Fund, consultant to the President’s Privatization Commission and active in the President’s Private Sector Initiatives program.

After nearly three decades in Washington, Peter returned to his native state of California in 2006.
He remains a member of the board of directors of the Washington-based Committee on the Present Danger and a senior counselor of APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs/strategic communications firm. Currently, he is chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Party and lives in Eureka.

He is the author of 11 books (most of them about U.S. presidents) and a frequent contributor to opinion magazines and their online editions.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


“A soldier’s pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner’s chains.”
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States (1953)