Saturday, April 16, 2011

"A pension is a promise that must be kept," she added. "Scott Walker understands this. He understands that states must be solvent to keep their promises. He’s not trying to hurt union members. Hey folks, he’s trying to save your jobs."

Sarah Palin in Wisconsin - Politico
At the Tea Party rally in Madison, Wisconsin, Sarah Palin said: "I feel like I'm at home." - Althouse
Palin: Wis. gov doing the right thing with unions - Yahoo
Palin returns with feisty, anti-establishment speech - Reuters
Sarah Palin Goes Where The Battle Is - Riehl World View

Gov. Walker’s plan would put Wisconsin in best financial shape in 15 years

"It sounds to me like Gov. Walker should be commended," said Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), co-chairman of the Joint Finance Committee. "Now, our work as a Legislature is to try to take a document that looks pretty good and make it better." - Journal-Sentinel

...The Legislative Fiscal Bureau... said Walker’s plan would put the state’s finances in the best shape they’ve been in for more than 15 years.

It found the so-called structural deficit – the imbalance between spending and tax revenue as laid out in state law – for the 2013-’15 budget would be $31 million. That assumes Walker’s budget passes the Legislature without new spending increases or tax cuts that would add to the deficit.

Under its existing form, Walker’s budget leaves the state with a fraction of the structural deficits seen in the past eight budget cycles. The next lowest structural deficit in recent years was $1.5 billion, or 48 times as much as what Walker’s proposing....

If you’ve been following the debate over the House Republican budget proposed by Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, you have probably heard that it savagely cuts programs for the poor in order to fund tax cuts for the rich, that its numbers don’t add up, and that in the short run it expands the deficits. These claims, though asserted confidently, either depend on highly contestable assumptions or are demonstrably untrue.

Paul Ryan vs. the Mythmakers - Ramesh Ponnuru/National Review Online
...• David Frum writes in The Week that Ryan’s “debt reduction plan actually increases the debt over the medium term — by even more [than] President Obama’s budget would.”

The CBO’s actual projections for the Ryan plan show a debt level in 2021 that is $4.7 trillion lower than its projections for Obama’s budgets. Ryan’s plan is designed to rapidly stabilize federal debt as a share of the economy: That percentage peaks in year three and then starts falling. The CBO projections for Obama’s budgets just show the number rising higher and higher over the decade....
IMPORTANT POINTS Read the rest, there's more...
White House: When Obama said Paul Ryan is 'not on the level,' he meant Ryan is 'absolutely sincere' - Byron York/Washington Examiner
...During a question-and-answer session with press secretary Jay Carney on board Air Force One returning from Chicago to Washington Friday, a reporter noted that Obama's remarks "impl[ied] that Ryan was not serious about the deficit, he voted for two wars, that kind of thing." The reporter asked: "Does the president believe Paul Ryan is a sincere person?"

Absolutely, Carney answered. "He does believe that Chairman Ryan is absolutely sincere and that he believes that this is the right -- that that's the right path, the one he put forward is the right path for America."
Obama for status quo and despair - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
The President’s budget strategy - Keith Hennessey
GOP and Tea Party deserve kudos for overwhelming vote for Ryan budget - Philip Klein.Washington Examiner

House passes GOP budget plan for 2012

House Republicans approved a budget on Friday that would fundamentally alter Medicare and Medicaid, lower taxes on individuals and corporations and cut $4.4 trillion from the nation’s deficit over the next decade. - Washington Post

With its passing, Republicans have officially put forth their vision for reducing the nation’s debt and defining how the federal government fits into people’s lives. It’s a sharply different approach from the one outlined by President Obama on Wednesday, setting up months of clashes between the two parties over a number of critical fiscal issues.

"I thought it was the greatest thing ever," Cohen said he felt during the first months of the Obama presidency. "This fantastic orator was going to make a change in this country."

Donald Trump's Political 'Pit Bull': Meet Michael Cohen
The man behind Donald Trump's possible 2012 presidential campaign is a registered Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Not only that, but Michael Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization who doubles as Trump's chief political adviser, once volunteered for 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and worked for a Democratic member of Congress.... since Obama's election in 2008, he said he has grown disappointed with the president, so much so that he now describes himself as "offended" by the administration's agenda. America, Cohen said, has become a "third-world nation," echoing words that have become a familiar refrain of Trump's.

"I thought it was the greatest thing ever," Cohen said he felt during the first months of the Obama presidency. "This fantastic orator was going to make a change in this country. He was going to do things that Bush clearly did not do." His distaste for Obama, and Trump's professed interest in pursuing the Republican nomination in 2012, led Cohen, businessman Stewart Rahr and other supporters to create "Should Trump Run?" as a way both to spark -- and gauge -- interest in a potential Trump presidential bid.

Friday, April 15, 2011

One rider [to the bill] – Section 2262 -- de-funds certain White House adviser positions – or “czars.” The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.

Obama issues a "signing statement" saying he won't follow the part of the budget bill that he thinks violates separation of powers. - Althouse
During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama was quite critical of the Bush administration’s uses of signing statements telling the Boston Globe in 2007 that the “problem” with the Bush administration “is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation.” - ABC, Jake Tapper

"The gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and politicians who want to rule over them may be as big today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th century." He added that "The American people don't want to be governed from the left, the right, or the center. They want to govern themselves."

Scott Rasmussen - In Search of Self-Governance available at

Going Galt? '69 more firms move jobs, facilities out of California'

Well, speaking of "Atlas Shrugged," here's the latest from California's wrecker economy, at Orange County Register: - americanpowerblog
So far this year, 69 companies have moved all or part of their California work and jobs to other states or countries, reports Irvine relocation consultant Joe Vranich. It's the fastest rate of departures since Vranich started tracking the exodus in 2009, he says. There have been an average of 4.7 moves per week from Jan. 1 through April 12, compared to 3.9 moves in all of 2010. The numbers are low, Vranich says, estimating that only one in five out-of-state moves is made public. In what he calls "disinvestment events," Vranich counts companies that move jobs, facilities or headquarters out of California. He doesn't count companies that invest outside the state for growth or marketing reasons. Among the 69 are some big names: CKE Restaurants, which started in Orange County and now is based in Carpinteria; Dunn-Edwards paints in Vernon; and eBay Inc. in San Jose which will add 1,000 high-paying jobs in Austin, Tex. after receiving government incentives to locate there.
69 more firms move jobs, facilities out of California - OC Register
Why do Companies Leave California? Here Are Ten Reasons (Updated) - thebusinessrelocationcoach
Meet the companies - (Updated April 15 to Reflect New Loss) - - thebusinessrelocationcoach
The numbers are low, Vranich says, estimating that only one in five out-of-state moves is made public.” - Ed Driscoll

Entrepreneurs are fleeing heavy taxes in the state. - Wall Street Journal JANUARY 10, 2009
After more than 150 years of being a destination, California is becoming a place entrepreneurs, investment capital and the hardy workers who made it a global leader in agriculture, technological innovation and scientific research are fleeing. This exodus is the marker of something deeper than a national recession. It's a sign that the attempts by state leaders to spend their way back to prosperity are killing California.

While it has the sixth highest tax burden in the nation, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, California is facing a breathtaking $40 billion budget deficit this year. This comes on the heels of a decade-long spending spree. Last year the state budget was $131 billion, up from $56 billion in 1998.

Atlas Shrugged

After more than 50 years, Ayn Rand’s seminal novel and ode to free market capitalism “Atlas Shrugged” is finally hitting the big screen this weekend, in the first of a planned trilogy of movies. - Wall St. Journal
The relevance of the book to what’s going on today has steadily increased over time.
"Atlas Shrugged" wants to start an argument with you, to force you to (in Rand's often-repeated words) "check your premises." - NY Post Review

Hillary Clinton was completely charmed by the French president's rhetoric. She was equally accepting of the willingness of the French to "head the military operation," as the Belgian prime minister, Yves Leterme, made a point of extolling at the Paris summit in mid-March. She easily sold the concept to her boss. It was a relief to Obama who was petrified of having to assume responsibility for a war he couldn't blame on Bush.

Glory on the Cheap - George H. Wittman at the American Spectator
...Unfortunately, no one told Nicolas Sarkozy that without boots-on-the-ground there was no way the limitedly effective Anglo-French air power could keep Gaddafi's forces from filtering back across the coastal desert terrain and flanking the insurgent rag-tag "army." Everyone who remembered the war in the Western Desert in WW2 knew that the army with the most powerful mobile fighting force wins the Saharan field. Air power that does not have good ground-to-air communication and reliable forward observers can do only a limited job....

"I have to question why the Executive branch is writing legislation," said the source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about it. "This is not a proposal or white paper like the White House usually sends to Capitol Hill. This is the actual legislation."

White House draft bill expands DHS cyber responsibilities

Politicians originally sold AmeriCorps as an alternative to big government — a program to “renew the ethic of civic responsibility and the spirit of community throughout the United States.”

...across the Internet, the feds are recruiting AmeriCorps VISTA (“Volunteers in Service to America”) workers to apply for jobs as publicists for the welfare state. Their mission: to sign up as many people to federal food stamp rolls as possible. - Michelle Mslkin
Here’s a typical job ad in Boston: “AMERICORPS VISTA: FOOD STAMP COORDINATOR (INTERNSHIP) Through this project, the Elderly Commission will be able to provide information, assistance and support to senior citizens of Boston in applying for food stamps. Develop a full knowledge of the Food Stamp program and application process. Assist seniors in senior housing and community centers to fill out Food Stamp applications; assist seniors with gathering necessary proofs together for applications; follow up with the Department of Transitional Assistance to ensure seniors receive awarded benefits. Recruit volunteers to be trained on the application of the Food Stamp program.”

In New York, Philadelphia and a total of 30 sites across the country, AmeriCorps and the Department of Agriculture are funding the “National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps” to “increase access to food stamps.”

National Affairs managing editor Meghan Clyne reports that the administration is roping in left-wing churches to aggressively promote food stamps. With institutional support from first lady Michelle Obama, the FoodStampCorps will train church members to apply for food stamps after religious services; and “‘encourage eligible families to enroll their children in (government-subsidized) school meal programs’; if organizations operate day-care or after-school programs, they are advised to pursue reimbursement for meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (a federally funded, state-administered welfare program). Places of worship are asked to serve as feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program — another federally funded, state-run welfare project.”

Have the U.S. and NATO given up on Libya mess?

Have the U.S. and NATO given up on Libya mess? - Byron York.Washington Examiner
Qaddafi Taunts West; NATO Seeks More Attack Planes... - Bloomberg
...German Deputy Foreign Minister Werner Hoyer warned that NATO’s Libya operations may become “stuck in the sand” and that if Qaddafi remains in control of a divided and failed state it would be “a nightmare.”

NATO leaders “are now realizing that this is not a very short mission,” Hoyer said in an interview today. “It takes much longer, it’s much more complicated, it’s much more demanding than some had expected....”
Now it IS regime change: Cameron, Obama and Sarkozy promise to keep bombing Libya until Gaddafi is gone - Daily Mail
Too little is known about Libya's rebels and they remain too fragmented for the United States to get seriously involved in organizing or training them, let alone arming them - Reuters
Several weeks ago, President Barack Obama signed a secret order -- a "covert action finding" -- authorizing the CIA to consider a range of operations to support Gaddafi's opponents.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Obama: Republicans will make US 'Third World' nation

US President Barack Obama accused Republicans of wanting to turn the United States into a "Third World" country as he rallied support for his reelection campaign. - Breitbart
"Under their vision, we can't invest in roads and bridges and broadband and high-speed rail," Obama told a select group of the Democratic faithful at the second of three fundraising events in his hometown of Chicago.

"I mean, we would be a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought -- that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure."

Then, there's ◼ Obama's Grove Parc America - Doug Ross

BANKS FACE $3,600,000,000,000 ($3.6 Trillion) 'Wall' of Debt: IMF

Banks Face $3.6 Trillion 'Wall' of Debt: IMF - CNBC
SANYA, China (Reuters) - The BRICS group of emerging-market powers kept up the pressure on Thursday for a revamped global monetary system that relies less on the dollar and for a louder voice in international financial institutions....

Boehner’s Bargain Approved 260-167; 59 Republicans Vote ‘No,’ 81 Dems Vote ‘Yes’

Reported by Robert Costa at National Review, noting that Michelle Bachmann, Mike Pence and Allen West were among the Republican “no” votes, while the Democrats voting “yes” included Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. - The Other McCain
CR Passes, 260-167 - National Review
House Passes Boehner, White House Spending Deal; 59 Republicans Vote Against — Update: Senate Passes 81-19 - Michelle Malkin

Soros, Piven and SEIU Working to Destroy Americas Financial System to Create Revolution

Eureka TAX DAY RALLY: April 15th 11:30-2:00

Where ever you are, what ever you are doing, make an effort to find and attend a tax day rally in your area between 4/15 to 4/18. If you are in Humboldt County, California please join us:
Friday, April 15th at the County Courthouse in Eureka
11:30 am to 2 pm, for a few minutes or the entire time
Come by during your lunch hour. Listen to speakers, air your views during our open mic, and let passersby know that we are WE THE PEOPLE! It is time that we make a statement to demand fiscal responsibility, that we cannot ethically dump this enormous debt on our grandchildren, and that we demand a balanced budget for our local, state and federal government.

Believe it or not, its very empowering standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a peaceful demonstration. Our government infers that your silence is your consent. I hope that isn't true!

Bring your own sign or borrow one of ours, don't forget your camera, bring a buddy or two, and smiles are always welcomed! Come make history with us! At the very least you will have a great photo for facebook.....
Karen Brooks

Karen Brooks: April 15th – Petition our Government to Redress Fiscal Irresponsibility

April 15th -- Petition to redress fiscal irresponsibility

The Constitution’s First Amendment provides for the governed to petition their government for a redress of grievances, especially when those grievances have been inflicted to the extent of causing injury or hardship. The Constitutional Dictionary defines redress (verb) 1. To set right, remedy or rectify. 2. To make amends for.

The grievance that is crippling our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (i.e. our prosperity) is chronic fiscal irresponsibility. There is no legitimate reason for the people elected to represent their constituents to enslave them with billions of dollars of debt and nearly half a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. This April 15th patriots across the state and nation are standing together to petition our government, “We’re T.E.A. - taxed enough already!”


Welcome, new members!
Our Annual Membership Tea
12:00-2:00 TODAY April 14th
Esther Smith-Holmes' beautiful home in Westhaven is the perfect place for our Annual Tea. Sponsored by our Board of Directors, this is one of our most popular events, it gives us a chance to visit in a beautiful and informal setting, and to introduce new and prospective members while we enjoy tea, coffee and goodies.

Thanks to all who attended, it was wonderful to see you.

The Presidential Divider

Obama's toxic speech and even worse plan for deficits and debt. - Wall Street Journal
...Mr. Obama did not deign to propose an alternative to rival Mr. Ryan's plan, even as he categorically rejected all its reform ideas, repeatedly vilifying them as essentially un-American. "Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America," he said, supposedly pitting "children with autism or Down's syndrome" against "every millionaire and billionaire in our society." The President was not attempting to join the debate Mr. Ryan has started, but to close it off just as it begins and banish House GOP ideas to political Siberia.

Mr. Obama then packaged his poison in the rhetoric of bipartisanship—which "starts," he said, "by being honest about what's causing our deficit." The speech he chose to deliver was dishonest even by modern political standards....
Charles Krauthammer On Obama's Speech: "It Was A Disgrace" VIDEO - Real Clear Politics
"I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor. But we're a year and a half away from Election Day and it was supposed to be a speech about policy," syndicate columnist Dr. Charles Krauthammer said about President Obama's speech.
“Obama’s Increasing Federal Debt $1,148 Per Month Per Household—Enough to Buy a Car or Pay Tuition at State College” - Protein Wisdom

This day In History: April 14, 1865 The Lincoln Assassination...

On this day in 1865, the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. ◼ Details


Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise; Inflation Pressure Grows - CNBC
More Americans leaving workforce USAtoday
Suicide Rates in U.S. Increase as Economy Declines, CDC Researchers Find - Bloomberg
New claims for unemployment benefits rise; wholesale inflation up - USAtoday
via Drudge

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Congressman Mike Thompson coming to Napa April 25

Dear Friend,

I believe government must take a common-sense approach to spending, just like you and your family. Now more than ever, we need a realistic budget that pares down the deficit while still providing funds for veterans’ benefits, education, agriculture, infrastructure, health care, and other crucial social services. Doing nothing is not just fiscally irresponsible – it’s putting our families at risk.

On Monday, April 25, I will hold a community meeting for Napa residents on the nation’s debt crisis. The forum will focus on potential solutions to our country’s growing debt, including proposals from the Obama Administration’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. I hope you, your family, and your friends will attend this important event. Details are below:

Monday, April 25
Time: 7:00-8:00pm PST
Location: Napa City Hall (Council Chambers), 950 School Street, Napa

In Congress, I will continue to fight to put the government back on a path toward fiscal responsibility. If you have any questions or concerns about this meeting, or the national debt more generally, please contact my Napa office at (707) 226-9898.


Mike Thompson
Member of Congress
Cannon House Office Building
Room 415
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3311
317 3rd St., Suite 1
Eureka, CA 95501
Eureka phone: 269-9595 Fax: 269-9598< (contact via webform)

"It’s silly, frankly, for any of us to be parsing this speech as though these were earnest policy proposals. If he gave a shinola about deficits and long-term fiscal instability, he would have said all this a month ago when he rolled out his embarrassing 2012 budget." HotAir

Reaction to President Obama's speech: GOP - earth to Obama:

He’s only saying it now because Ryan and Boehner forced the issue with their own budget, which put him on the spot vis-a-vis independents ahead of his reelection campaign. - at HotAir
Obama’s solution to deficit: spending, ObamaCare, and tax hikes - HotAir
Obama's Budget Speech In One Sentence, I Think - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Obama's plan to cut the deficit. - "We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m president, we won’t." - Althouse
Obama outlines his deficit-reduction policy - Washington Times
...Republicans on Capitol Hill ruled the president’s tax increases out altogether.

“Any plan that starts with job-destroying tax hikes is a non-starter,” said House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. “We need to grow our economy – not our government – by creating a better environment for private sector job growth.”

Mr. Boehner said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s own 2012 budget, which would cut $6 trillion over the next decade, has “set the bar” in terms of serious proposals to tackle the nation’s fiscal woes.

Mr. Obama’s remarks come two months after the president sent a 2012 budget outline to Capitol Hill that was widely panned by both parties for failing to tackle the big deficit-driving programs such as entitlements and for using so-called gimmicks that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office rejected.

Meanwhile, the House later this week will vote on Mr. Ryan’s budget, which calls for an overhaul of entitlement programs.

His plan would convert Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, into a block grant to states, and would change Medicare so that instead of paying for care, it would pay seniors a certain amount and let them shop for the best health care plan themselves.

With Mr. Ryan sitting in the front row at Wednesday’s speech, Mr. Obama repeatedly attacked the plan, saying it wasn’t “serious” or “courageous.”...
Paul Ryan on Obama's Speech: 'Excessively Partisan, Dramatically Inaccurate, and Hopelessly Inadequate' - Weekly Standard
Republicans reject Barack Obama's deficit reduction plan - Politico

Paul Ryan on Obama's Speech: 'Excessively Partisan, Dramatically Inaccurate, and Hopelessly Inadequate'

Paul Ryan on Obama's Speech: 'Excessively Partisan, Dramatically Inaccurate, and Hopelessly Inadequate' - Weekly Standard
House Budget chairman Paul Ryan just released the following statement in response to President Obama's speech on deficit reduction:

“When the President reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch. Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; we heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.

“Last year, in the absence of a serious budget, the President created a Fiscal Commission. He then ignored its recommendations and omitted any of its major proposals from his budget, and now he wants to delegate leadership to yet another commission to solve a problem he refuses to confront.

“We need leadership, not a doubling down on the politics of the past. By failing to seriously confront the most predictable economic crisis in our history, this President’s policies are committing our children to a diminished future. We are looking for bipartisan solutions, not partisan rhetoric. When the President is ready to get serious about confronting this challenge, we'll be here.”

TRANSCRIPT: Obama’s Remarks on 4/13/11

Good afternoon. It’s great to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons I worked so hard with Democrats and Republicans to keep the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.

The Arizona Senate has approved a revised bill requiring presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens eligible to run for the office.

Democrats argued the bill exceeds the state's authority and say state officials are not fully qualified to determine the validity of a candidate's documents.

Republicans argue the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the right to determine how federal elections are conducted.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

RNC raises over $15 million under Priebus

RNC raises over $15 million under Priebus - Politico
"...Priebus’ priority has been restoring relationships with major donors who had left the committee in past cycles to bring money in the door so we can be a partner to our Republican presidential nominee," said Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC....

Pawlenty: ‘I’m running for president’ (not vice president)

Pawlenty: ‘I’m running for president’ - CNN Politics
"I'm running for president," Pawlenty said in an interview Tuesday on "Piers Morgan Tonight.” "I'm not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I'm focused on running for president."

Pawlenty was responding to a hypothetical question if he would serve as Donald Trump’s vice president if Trump received the GOP nomination in 2012.

Pawlenty, who announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee last month, told Morgan moments later that he will make a formal presidential announcement "in the coming weeks."

"I've got an exploratory committee up and running and we'll have a final or full announcement in the coming weeks here, it won't be too much longer, but everything is headed in that direction," Pawlenty said.

And his campaign said the “I’m running for president” comment was not an official announcement.

"As the governor has said many times, he is not running to be anybody's vice president," Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant told CNN. "He will have a formal announcement about running for president later this spring...."

Budget news: Deficit rockets up 16% in the first half of the year

Budget news: Deficit up nearly 16% in the first half of the year - Pajamas Media
US deficit up 15.7% in first half of fiscal 2011 - google news
Budget Deficit in US Increased to $188.2 Billion in March - Bloomberg
US budget deficit hits $188bn in March - city am
FAIL. Obama GDP Slides to 1.5% in 1st Quarter of 2011 …Update: US Budget Deficit Shot Up 15% So Far This Year - Gateway Pundit

Compromising to Win

Compromising to Win - Perhaps Speaker Boehner had Reagan's example in mind when he negotiated with Senator Reid and President Obama.
....Peter Hannaford for The American Spectator 4.12.11

Rush Limbaugh spent Monday morning carrying on about the heinous crime committed by House Republicans last Friday: settling for $38.56 billion in budget cuts with Obama and the Senate Democrats.

Once, when Ronald Reagan was running for president, he was asked by a journalist if he didn't think it was wrong to compromise. He said it was in terms of principles, not process. He made the point that when you have only some of the power, not all of it, you'll get less than everything you want. He did not add but could have that getting the most you can requires deft negotiating skills and very good timing. He had them and used an illustration of principle/process and compromise.

He recapped for that journalist his campaign to carry out a sweeping reform of California welfare law and regulations when he was governor. The state was on the road to bankruptcy because the welfare rolls were growing so fast. Eligibility rules were very loose. A team of welfare experts developed a reform plan for him. He wanted to present it to a joint session of the legislature. They turned him down. So he went up and down the state speaking to every group and microphone he could. Finally, one day the Democrat Speaker of the Assembly came into his office with his hands up in mock surrender. "Stop those cards and letters," he said. "Let's talk." They then spent several days negotiating.

The result was a welfare reform bill that greatly tightened eligibility, cut the rate of growth and actually shrunk the rolls. Meanwhile, the truly needy received an increase in grants. Of this Reagan said, "Any time I can get 70 percent of what I want from a legislature controlled by the opposition, I'll take it, figuring it will work and I can go back later for more."
Perhaps that tale was in the mind of Speaker John Boehner when he negotiated with Senate Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama. Going into the fray, the House Republicans called for $61 billion in cuts for the balance of the current fiscal year (through September 30). The Senate Democrats balked at any cuts, pooh-poohing the need. Next, they agreed to $4 billion, in exchange for a short Continuing Resolution to keep the government open. In the next round they added another $10 billion in cuts. In the final round they ended up at $38.5 billion, plus a commitment for funding the Department of Defense through September with very small cuts. Meanwhile, by keeping his own members informed every step of the way, Boehner managed to keep most of them with him.

Boehner is a good negotiator. This time, he got 60 percent of what he wanted. Considering that he has one-third of the power structure and the other two-thirds were anxious to cut nothing, it is no small accomplishment. His public statements and interviews show us a man who is confident of his ground, who speaks respectfully of his opposition without giving ground on his principles, and does not speak in hyperbolic terms.

Obama understands the importance of getting on the correct side of cost and deficit reduction. Tomorrow he will give a speech that will include much rhetoric about "getting our house in order" and "spending beyond our means." He will even talk about cost-saving reforms of Medicare and Medicaid. On analysis, the speech will prove to have been long on rhetoric aimed at centrist independent voters and very short on potential action except in one area: New taxes for the "very wealthy" (that is, anyone making $250,000 or more a year -- the people who already pay the lion's share of income taxes). What that will show us that he and Harry Reid's forces have a weak hand for the coming debate over the new fiscal year that begins October 1.

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.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mitt Romney Announces Exploratory Committee for 2012 Presidential Bid

FILE: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, are greeted in Bartlett, N.H. on March 5.
Mitt Romney Announces Exploratory Committee for 2012 Presidential Bid

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer Takes Presidential Plunge Despite Iowa 'Problem'

FILE: Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition on March 7 at the Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa.
Former Louisiana Governor Roemer Takes Presidential Plunge Despite Iowa 'Problem'
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer is running for president, but the challenge of getting Republican primary voters to recognize his name is harder for him than most since he can't campaign in Iowa.

"Iowa is a problem for me. I'd love to go," Roemer said.

The problem, Roemer told editorial staff during a 50-minute interview with Fox News on Monday, is he wants to get rid of ethanol subsidies -- and that doesn't play well in the Hawkeye State, where he had visited last month for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event.

As I write this (Sunday afternoon), one of the President's advisors has just announced that the President will give a major address this week, "…laying out an aggressive path for debt reduction." Uh-huh. He just spent the last 3 months fighting and opposing every single proposal to reduce spending or reform entitlements.

Of Shutdowns and Budgets Congressman John Campbell - D.C. "Beltway" at The Flash Report

"The Democrats’ doing nothing and spending everything approach means that we’ll have bankruptcy; the Republican reform approach means that we’ll have solvency."

Video: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) says the debate is between bankruptcy and solvency

Jerry Brown: California, Country Facing ‘Regime Crisis’ Similar To The Civil War -


The president stayed out of the long-term deficit debate in an apparent effort to see whether Republicans would move first in offering long-term deficit-reduction ideas—something House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan did with an ambitious plan last week to trim spending now and in the future.

The White House move caught Democrats in Congress off guard, according to aides, and details of the president's proposals were sketchy. Mr. Plouffe said the president will name a dollar amount for deficit reduction, although the White House wouldn't provide specifics. Introducing taxes into the discussion has the potential to complicate the resolution of coming budget fights, specifically the need to raise the debt ceiling, a move needed to prevent the U.S. defaulting on its debt....

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 Republican in the House, said in an interview that Mr. Obama had already passed up an opportunity to show seriousness about deficit reduction with his 2012 budget. "Instead of returning back to the age-old playbook of raising taxes so that spending can continue, I think maybe the White House ought to take a look at what we're talking about…which is to cut spending as well as to reform these entitlement programs."

Mr. Cantor called the debate over top personal-income-tax rates "settled" by last year's elections and the subsequent tax deal. "It was then that we all agreed it wouldn't be a good thing if we want to see job creation for taxes to go up," he said.

The plan released last week by Mr. Ryan (R., Wis.), would make permanent the tax cuts approved under President George W. Bush, close loopholes and lower tax rates. It also envisions essentially privatizing Medicare and cutting Medicaid spending by turning the program over to states to administer. The GOP plan cuts $6.2 trillion over 10 years. Mr. Obama's budget forecast a $1 trillion cut over the same period....
Soros: U.S. Could 'Absorb Some More Debt' - Real Clear Politics Video

Today’s numbers reflect the lowest level of Strong Approval yet recorded for this president. There has been a sharp decline in enthusiasm among liberal voters.
19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -20 - Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

French full veil ban goes into force

France's ban on full face veils, a first in Europe, went into force on Monday, exposing anyone who wears the Muslim niqab or burqa in public to fines of 150 euros ($216). - Reuters

Sunday, April 10, 2011

John Boehner: Next fight to be about trillions, not billions

This week, Congress is moving toward approval of an agreement on the largest spending cut in history to help begin to create a better environment for private-sector job growth.

While the president's party still controls Washington, House Republicans have dragged a reluctant Senate and White House into taking this imperfect first step toward getting spending under control. The agreement will reduce government spending by $38.5 billion over the next few months — and by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decade.

This is real money. And as Stanford University economics professor John B. Taylor observed, "Reducing discretionary spending in 2011 ... will help establish credibility and show that government can actually take needed actions, not just promise to take them."

But the agreement is far from perfect, and we need to do much more if we're serious about creating new jobs, fixing our spending-driven debt crisis, and ending the uncertainty that continues to plague our economy.

The GOP's winning streak

The Republican and tea party agenda is driving the debate over reshaping government. | AP Photos

The GOP's winning streak - Politico
Here’s the unvarnished pitch House Speaker John Boehner would love to make to his conservative critics if he could just let it fly: “You are winning, and winning decisively. So stop your whining.”

And here’s the unvarnished truth about that pitch: Boehner would be spot on.

The winners and losers of this weekend’s 11th-hour budget deal may be in dispute. But the broader trajectory of politics, stretching back to the spring of 2009, is not. The Republican — and, yes, the tea party — agenda is not only ascendant, it’s driving the debate over reshaping government at every level.

Governor Brown brings his "dog and pony" show to Riverside

Governor Brown brings his "dog and pony" show to Riverside and is greeted by a dog and pony.
Yesterday, the Governor brought his campaign to raise taxes on California to Riverside County with a stop at Arlanza Elementary School. The California Republican Party, The Republican Party of Riverside County, a dog, a pony and California Republican Party Vice Chairman Steve Baric were on hand to greet the Governor and ask the question Republicans in the State Legislature have been asking for years: Why won't the majority party accept reasonable reforms in state government so the state can provide needed services at a cost we can afford?

From The Republican Party of Riverside County:
Jerry Brown’s Dog and Pony Show Comes to Riverside - JERRY BROWN LAUNCHES HIGHER TAXES TOUR
CRP Chairman “California Speaks Out” Tour begins (April 7)
...the tour officially begins in Fresno and will criss cross the state over the next 12 months, with tour stops already being planned in Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Redding. The tour will feature CRP officials and Republican legislative leaders connecting with voters from all walks of life in an open discussion about the issues that directly affect their communities. In addition, the CRP is launching three new microsites,,, and, that will focus, respectively, on California taxpayers’ financial burden, the state’s high unemployment problem, and the volunteer efforts of Republican activists around the state.
Brown Plans California Drive to Keep Taxes as New Cuts Loom - Bloomberg

More tremors in the forcefield: George Monbiot has some doubts

More tremors in the forcefield: George Monbiot has some doubts - neoneocon

◼ From time to time, we'd like to introduce the bloggers you see in our sidebar. Neoneocon is one of the best - here's her story:
Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I’ve found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon. My friends and family don’t want to hear about my inexplicable conversion, so I started this blog to tell the tale of my political change and provide a forum for others. I have a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and my politics make me a pariah there, too. Little did I know that I moved in such politically homogeneous circles.
Follow the links, bookmark her blog, and enjoy. She has one of the best comments sections in the blogosphere, with intelligent and thoughtful people weighing in.

"an illustration of the professional politician who thinks he's the boss, when in fact he is supposed to be the elected servant"

Obama promised higher energy costs. He wasn't kidding - Examiner Editorial
What Obama didn't say to the man with 10 kids was what he said in a January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: Under his administration, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." And he said nothing about his energy secretary, Steven Chu, who told the Wall Street Journal that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." At the time, gas was selling there for $10 a gallon. That's two campaign promises Obama is well on his way to keeping.

Weekly Republican Address: Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

How to Spot An Extremist A field guide for the American taxpayer.

How to Spot An Extremist - A field guide for the American taxpayer. - John Hayward aka Doctor Zero
Since the air is buzzing with accusations that anyone who wants to reduce the size of our massive government is an “extremist,” it seemed like a good idea to prepare a field guide for spotting the real extremists, who are sometimes difficult to pinpoint through their media camouflage. Here are some signs that you are observing the behavior of a genuine extremist:
Godwin’s Law Violations:...
Assuming Listeners Are Morons:...
Comparing the Removal of a Government Subsidy to Murder:..
Equating Budget Cuts to Racial or Gender Discrimination:...
Assuming Murderous Intent From Political Opponents:...
Defending Trillion Dollar Deficits:...
Democrats cling to a weird fantasy of closing the deficit through tax increases, even though we could confiscate every dollar of income and assets, from every big corporation and every American who makes over $250,000 per year, and still not balance the budget. They have long told us their massive government is crucial to American survival… but they’re willing to shut it down in order to protect the funding for one favored corporation, whose contracts and subsidies amount to less than .01% of the total budget. That is extremism. Know it when you see it.
As always, a great read.

Spending cuts are hot in the political marketplace

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker holds a ceremonial signing of his budget repair bill at the State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin last week.-AP File
Spending cuts are hot in the political marketplace
Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
...Democratic leaders dared not ask their members to vote for the policies they favored. Despite their large majorities, they just didn't have the votes.

Obama's refusal to address entitlement issues now has a similar basis. He wants spending to continue on its upward trajectory and tax rates to be increased. There is an intellectually serious argument for this: We're an aging country that needs to spend more on health care and we'll just have to settle for less economic growth, as Europe has done.

But status quo and stagnation are not an appealing platform, especially for one who campaigned as the candidate of hope and change. Democrats are playing defense, hoping for a shift of opinion. So far it hasn't happened.
Prominent Democrat: Obama should address entitlements
Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
“However it is received, the publication of Ryan’s proposal is your moment of truth. One option will be to denounce his plan as an assault on seniors and on all that is holy. This is a play that our party knows how to run, and we could probably gain significant yardage if we do. Many outside the White House (and no doubt some inside) will be urging you to do just that. If you do, any chance of progress on basic fiscal issues before next year’s presidential election will vanish. Maybe that’s what you want; I hope not.

“Your other option, the road less travelled, is bolder and riskier....
White House: Obama to lay out spending plan
A top White House political and economic adviser says President Obama will lay out new plans this week to reduce the federal deficit....
Obama Reached Breaking Point in Talks After Tense Hour With Boehner - Bloomberg


“Despite the spread of democracy and capitalism, human nature has not changed. It is still an unpredictable mixture of good and evil.”
--Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, 1993