Saturday, July 9, 2011

Reaction: Saturday Negotiations:

Saturday Night at Negotiations: White House Takes a Walk on Leadership - Kathryn Jean Lopez/National Review Online
John Boehner’s update on talks with the White House, provided by his office after the Speaker had a phone conversation with the president tonight: “Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes. I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.”

Behind the scenes, according to those close to the negotiations, Boehner has been pushing the president for the better part of the year for a dramatic deal — one that would include entitlement and other reforms. That the White House would even discuss such a thing, of course, sent the Left wild when it hit the news this week...

How about this? Small deal for now and new president — with a House and maybe even Senate that will work with him — in 2012.
Boehner abandons efforts to reach comprehensive debt-reduction deal - Washington Post
Ironically, it was Boehner who cajoled Obama into pushing for the big deal. His Saturday night announcement capped a whirlwind courtship between the two men, beginning with a casual round of golf at Andrews Air Force Base on June 18.

A series of secret meetings followed, culminating in a decision to push for a landmark debt-reduction deal. Both leaders believed that divided government — with Republicans in charge of the House and Democrats holding the Senate and the presidency — might provide an opportunity to demonstrate that bipartisan cooperation was still possible on a grand scale.

A deal to slice more than $4 trillion in borrowing over 10 years would be, by far, the largest debt-reduction package in at least two decades. The plan would have struck at all the major drivers of government spending, from Social Security and Medicare to the Pentagon.
Is Obama getting ready to snooker Boehner on taxes? - Reuters
The media accounts of the tax reform deal being cooked up by President Obama and House Speaker Boehner aren’t all that clear. But it is looking like a big tax increase
Boehner's Obama Gamble - A tax increase now for the promise of tax reform later won't fly. - Wall St. Journal
President Obama wants Congress to raise the $14.3 trillion national debt limit, which means he needs House Republican votes. Yet Mr. Obama and the Washington chorus are insisting that in return for doing him the favor of voting to raise that limit, Republicans must also do him another favor by raising taxes.
Boehner walks away from $1 trillion in tax increases; Update: WH “upped the ante on taxes,” backed off entitlement reform - HotAir
Tellingly, the White House rushed to assure people that the grand compromise wasn’t dead yet... The rapid response at the White House shows the weakness of Obama’s position.

"We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money."

Light motif - Mark Steyn/National Review Online
I wonder if Secretary Chu has any idea how stupid this argument sounds from an administration that has wasted more of other people’s money than anybody else on the planet. Secretary Chu and his colleagues took a trillion dollars of “stimulus” and, for all the stimulating it did, might as well have given it in large bills to Charlie Sheen to snort coke off his hookers’ bellies with.

The Sugar Daddy Has Run Out of Sugar

Now We Need New Leaders - Sarah Palin
This debt ceiling debate is the perfect time to do what must be done. We must cut. Yes, I’m for a balanced budget amendment and for enforceable spending caps. But first and foremost we must cut spending, not “strike a deal” that allows politicians to raise more debt! See, Washington is addicted to OPM – Other People’s Money. And like any junkie, they will lie, steal, and cheat to fund their addiction. We must cut them off and cut government down to size... first and foremost we must tackle our debt. We don’t have the luxury of playing politics as usual. We need real leaders who will put aside their own political self-interest to do what is right for the nation. And if they don’t emerge… well, America has a do-over in November 2012.

Betty Ford, Dancer, R.I.P.

Robert Stacy McCain at The Other McCain writes, “‘Dancer’ is probably not the first thing you think of when you think of Betty Ford…” But for me, it actually is—for obvious reasons. It was probably the first thing I ever learned about her, and it endeared her to me. - neoneocon
Betty Ford, Dancer, R.I.P. -

If you wonder what's wonderful and awful about California, there are few better places to start than the north coast, where magnificent scenery contrasts with absurd public policy.

Land deals protect fake threats -
As I took the nearly six-hour drive recently from the Sacramento area, past Ukiah and up to Eureka, through the heart of California's redwood-forested north coast, I was reminded of the spectacular beauty of California. Driving through Mendocino and Humboldt counties also reminded me of the spectacular ways the state government wastes taxpayer dollars even at a time when officials are crying poormouth.

Deep in this remote country, enveloped by state and federal parks and public forests where so much of the land is off-limits from development, the state of California is spending tens of millions of dollars buying up land (for conservation easements) to protect it from development threats that are even more remote than the landscape.

The public is financing land deals that are causing consternation to timber companies that operate along the north coast. Before you ask, "What would you expect from self-interested despoilers of the environment?" consider that these are companies with a long history of environmental sensitivity. They operate in an environment hostile to their existence and must maintain public support for their efforts as well as protect the land for their future business.
Read the rest
h/t: Colleen

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA): Weekly Republican Address

“They don’t know what to do.” And it shows. An experienced conservative communications guru surmised that “they knew they had to have him say something... because if they didn’t they’d have gotten creamed." UPDATED

What was the point of that Rose Garden speech? - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post
...It is then not so much a lack of “message discipline,”as the punditocracy likes to obsess over, but rather the failure, complete and glaring, of the economic policies of this president that is the problem. Until the White House figures out how to fix its economic agenda it should keep the president inside and under wraps. He does himself no good by revealing that he’s got no clue what to do about the dreadful economy.
The Rose Garden collapse - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post
The White House dished out the spin that suddenly the Tea Party crowd had nixed a deal. In reality, the White House had upped the ante on taxes. A Republican House aide told me that the White House “started to backpedal on entitlement reforms too.” He explained, “They [the White House] had started to go back on some of the Medicare and Medicaid reforms they had previously said they were ok with.” In other words, either the White House never intended to present a viable grand bargain, or, if Obama did, the left got to him...

The endless loop of spend and borrow, spend and borrow has brought us to the current situation: The economy skids, the deficit balloons, unemployment rises and tax revenue declines. So naturally, the liberals’ answer is to keep “investing,” make no fundamental change in the primary drivers of the debt, hike taxes on the rich and slash defense.

Unfortunately for the administration, both the Republicans in Congress and the country at large aren’t buying this formula. They know the problem is out-of-control spending. The know that hiking taxes while the job market deteriorates is ludicrous. Now all that remains is for Republicans to craft a deal that adheres to those principles.

Think tank to Obama: Defense budget not your domestic ATM

The reality is that even after paying for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, Washington spends twice as much on entitlement programs than on defense. -Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner
Defense Spending Has Declined While Entitlement Spending Has Increased - Heritage Foundation (image source)
Think tank to Obama: Defense budget not your domestic ATM - The Hill
“Contrary to Obama’s belief, the defense budget is not an ATM from which he can pull cash to pay for other projects. And he certainly can’t do it without causing ... damage to U.S. military readiness.

“Contrary to his wildly exaggerated statement, a 1 percent reduction to the Pentagon’s proposed fiscal year 2012 base budget would be $5.5 billion—or 7 percent of the Department of Education’s proposed FY 2012 budget,” wrote Brownfield.

“The president’s accounting failures aside, there’s an even bigger problem at work,” Brownfield wrote. “Obama is of the belief that, for starters, $400 billion can be cut from the defense budget over the next 10 years without putting the military at risk” on top of cuts already made to the Pentagon budget in recent budget cycles, he added.

The Heritage writer faults Obama for wanting to “take those dollars and apply them to pay for his pet projects at home,” adding that it appears “the President is proposing those cuts irrespective of the military’s needs.”

"Every Republican has been clear as crystal: No tax hikes," says a Boehner spokesman. "Tax hikes destroy jobs and they cannot, and will not, pass the House."

Boehner: No, GOP won't 'cave' in budget talks - Byron York/Washington Examiner
◼ Doubt abounds: Bill Kristol predicts GOP ‘to cave in a pretty big way’ on debt ceiling negotiations - Daily Caller
“So great, we have a Republican House, and they are going to agree to the huge defense cuts, tax increases, phony spending cuts and increased debt,” Kristol said. “I think there will be a huge rebellion among conservatives in the country if Republicans sign on to this deal.”
Obama, GOP inching toward debt deal - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

Dem budget: $2 trillion in new tax hikes, 'sharp cuts at Pentagon'... - Washington Post via Drudge
Republicans dismissed the Democratic blueprint, saying higher taxes would be devastating to an economy already weighed down by a 9.2 percent unemployment rate. In their spending plan, House Republicans proposed to save $4 trillion entirely through spending cuts; they would also eliminate Medicare as an open-ended entitlement after 2021.

“If they’re calling for $2 trillion in tax hikes in the middle of a jobs crisis, it’s little wonder that it’s been 800 days since Senate Democrats passed a budget,” said McConnell spokesman Don Stewart.
An Establishment in Panic - Pat Buchanan/Real Clear Politics
The Establishment is in a panic. It has been jolted awake to the realization that the GOP House, if it can summon the courage to use it, is holding a weapon that could enable it to bridle forever the federal monster that consumes 25 percent of gross domestic product.

For all of President Obama's talk about ending special interest favors and "turning government into a game only [the wealthy] can play," it's the libertarians -- not the Obamaites -- calling to end corporate welfare here. In fact, ramping up Ex-Im activity is one of Obama's stated goals.

A call to end a corporate welfare agency - Timothy Carney/Washington Examiner

Perry testing the Iowa waters?

Rick Perry has started calling Iowa Republicans and a former RNC finance chairman is helping to convene a meeting of national donors later this month in Austin to discuss financing a potential 2012 campaign — signs that the Texas governor and his allies are stepping up their exploratory efforts. - HotAir

The Audacity of Indifference

If nothing is done to cut Mr. Obama’s Visa card in half, the total U.S. debt, now at $14.3 trillion, will rise to $20 trillion by 2020. As Peter Ferrara notes in his new book, “America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb,” “more debt will be run up in one term under President Obama than under all the presidents in history - from George Washington to George W. Bush - combined.”

Obama’s assault on the rule of law - Robert Knight -The Washington Times

Success story: Wisconsin schools buck union to cut health costs

link - Byron York/Washington Examiner
The Hartland-Lakeside School District, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee in tiny Hartland, Wis., had a problem in its collective bargaining contract with the local teachers union.
The contract required the school district to purchase health insurance from a company called WEA Trust. The creation of Wisconsin's largest teachers union -- "WEA" stands for Wisconsin Education Association -- WEA Trust made money when union officials used collective bargaining agreements to steer profitable business its way.

The problem for Hartland-Lakeside was that WEA Trust was charging significantly higher rates than the school district could find on the open market....

That's where Wisconsin's new budget law came in. The law, bitterly opposed by organized labor in the state and across the nation, limits the collective bargaining powers of some public employees. And it just happens that the Hartland-Lakeside teachers' collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30. So now, freed from the expensive WEA Trust deal, the school district has changed insurers.

"It's going to save us about $690,000 in 2011-2012," says Schilling. Insurance costs that had been about $2.5 million a year will now be around $1.8 million. What union leaders said would be a catastrophe will in fact be a boon to teachers and students.

But the effect of weakening collective bargaining goes beyond money. It also has the potential to reshape the adversarial culture that often afflicts public education. In Hartland-Lakeside, there's been no war between union-busting bureaucrats on one side and impassioned teachers on the other; Schilling speaks with great collegiality toward the teachers and says with pride that they've been able to work together on big issues. But there has been a deep division between the school district and top union executives....

Friday, July 8, 2011

9.2% Unemployment

Unemployment rate rises to 9.2 percent as U.S. adds only 18,000 jobs in June - Washington Post
Grim jobs report casts shadow over debt talks - APnews
The endgame on the debt talks was approaching as the Labor Department reported hiring slowed to a near-standstill in June. Employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose for the third month in a row, climbing to its highest point this year.

That gave Republicans fresh ammunition to attack Obama's handling of the economy even as the shape of an agreement remained in doubt. All the while the nation is moving closer to an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the government's debt ceiling or face an unprecedented default on U.S. obligations that the administration warns could add a perilous new crisis on top of the already quavering economy.
Obama’s reaction to jobs report: More of the same deflection - HotAir (Image source, Drudge)

Real Unemployment Rises to 16.2% in June -- 25.3 Million People -

Project Gunrunner Got Stimulus Money. We need to know who was responsible for this.

The Stimulation Of Murder - Investors Business Daily
Eric Holder took Gunrunner credit for himself and the rest of the Obama administration.
In the text of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the “Obama stimulus...” an earmark of ten million dollars for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives was rolled into the bill. - John Hayward/Human Events
Part of that earmark came from House Resolution 495, the Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009. This bill explicitly included $15,000 in funding for Project Gunrunner.

That funding did indeed make it into the Obama stimulus act:

Gunrunner II: Source claims ATF's Tampa SAC walked guns to HONDURAS! Part of Operation Castaway?

GUNWALKER: LAYING IT ALL OUT. - citing Ann Barnhardt
Two big developments have emerged in Gunwalker..... ATF Director Kenneth Melson has indeed spilled his guts and testified on July 4th before Congressional investigators. Gunwalker goes all the way to Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and... Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett. Further, Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea over at Sipsey Street Irregulars (claim) that Holder/Clinton/Obama-Jarrett also were walking guns out of Florida into Honduras.

Here’s the money quote: “There are emails in existence where (Special Agent in Charge Virginia) O’Brien has advised those involved that Tampa does not have to report their walked guns because Tampa FD is not a part of Southwest Border or Project Gunrunner.”

Rick Santelli: "If not now, when? Now is the time."

"The answer is easy. Spend less."

Democrats incensed with White House over Social Security, Medicare

“There’s been very little conversation between the White House and the Senate about this, and I think they’re making a grievous mistake if they think they can just present anything to us and assume that because we’re Democrats, we’ll go along with what the president has capitulated to,” ( Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said. - Washington Post

Warren Buffett: I Could End the Deficit in 5 Minutes

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.” - Michelle Malkin

Buffett Says U.S. Credit Is Good, Will Pay Debt Obligations - SFGate
"Our credit is good. It's not like if we don't pay we can't pay. We have the right to print our own money. The U.S. is a very special place."

Warren Buffett’s Worst Investment - National Review Online
Barack Obama must be the worst investment Warren Buffett has ever made. The billionaire investor famously supported Barack Obama, who in turn used Buffett as his amulet of normalcy: What, me radical? Tell it to this rich white guy from Omaha....

Obama's debt plan fails the truth test

President Barack Obama wants us to issue him another credit card while he keeps spending as if the bills will never come due. - Detroit News
Obama has no credibility in the current showdown over raising the debt ceiling because he's pitching a bundle of fibs to cover the reality that he doesn't believe government spending is a problem.

His says he's put on the table a balanced approach to reducing the deficit that combines nominal spending cuts with taxes on the rich. There's nothing balanced about a plan that trims just 10 percent from the $1 trillion in new spending Obama added to the budget, while raising taxes to preserve the bulk of that bigger government. Hitting high incomes with punishing taxes won't erase the deficit; the real purpose is to fulfill Obama's campaign promise to spread the wealth.

Setting the record straight on voter ID laws

A number of editorial boards (including The Washington Post’s and USA Today’s) have been misled by “studies” on voter ID by groups with leftist political objectives, but there is ample evidence that there is a need for voter ID laws to promote fairness and integrity at the ballot box. Here are some facts to set the record straight on voter ID. - Daily Caller
◼ Voter fraud is real and has impacted elections...
◼ Turnout would not be decreased by voter ID laws...
◼ There is reason to doubt the statistics from leftist groups like the Brennan Center for Justice, which makes the outrageous claim of being nonpartisan...

Most Americans recognize the need for voter ID laws. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 75% of total voters “believe voters should be required to show photo identification, such as a driver’s license, before being allowed to vote.” According to the poll, 85% of Republicans and 63% of Democrats support photo voter ID. Groups like the Brennan Center and the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute are far more liberal than most Democrats when it comes to voter ID. With three-fourths of the electorate supporting voter ID, and so much research behind it, voter ID should be the law. More at the link

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Obama administration official who was the principal architect behind the federal government's bailout of General Motors Corp. in 2008 may have lied to Congress, lawmakers charged

Congress asks Obama official to clarify testimony on unions - LA Times
(Re: Ron Bloom, former senior advisor to the Treasury secretary and now assistant to the president for Manufacturing Policy): Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Burton wrote a letter to Bloom stating: "It appears that either a respected reporter and your former boss in the Obama Administration have both given inaccurate accounts of your comments to the public, or your testimony was not completely truthful."
Obama administration favored union worker pensions in GM bailout, House Republicans say - LA Times
The administration gave union employees of auto parts supplier Delphi Corp. preferential treatment over nonunion, salaried employees when the U.S. took over Delphi's pension plan, GOP representatives say....

Republicans proceeded to criticize Bloom for his role in what they called "politically motivated" actions. Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) attacked Bloom's credentials, going as far as to say that Bloom, a longtime champion of unions, didn't believe in the free market.

Even union representatives have sided with the nonunion employees. Ron Gettelfinger, former president of UAW, has said that the government's actions constituted a "grave injustice."


The Undefeated Teaser Trailer from Dain Valverde on Vimeo.

Breitbart Exclusive: Exclusive: ‘The Undefeated’ Trailer – Daughter. Wife. Mother. Warrior. via Drudge

To find a theater near you, try this website. ◼ Enter your zipcode and opening date, 7/15.

Wisconsin isn’t over

The first recall election is July 12, but most are on July 19. - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Wisconsin isn’t over folks. Democrats challenging Republicans in recall elections are doing better at fundraising, and Nancy Pelosi is headlining a fundraiser as well.

Obama says we can't avoid tough problems -- too bad he's been doing just that

In a familiar choice of phrasing, Obama said, "I don’t think the people sent us here to avoid tough problems." - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
Yet this is a president who for two years with overwhelming majorities in Congress, drove up deficits without any serious attempt to reduce long-term debt. Then, after Republicans took over the House of Representatives this year, he released a budget in February that did nothing to reform entitlements. That budget was eventually scrapped in April, when Obama delivered a new framework on deficit reduction -- but one that was short of specifics that could actually be evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office. As CBO director Doug Elmendorf put it in recent testimony before the House Budget Committee, "We don't estimate speeches." Instead, Obama has helped lead an effort to demonize Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal and launch class warfare attacks that are irrelevant to our budget problems (such as on corporate jets).

Meanwhile, after spending months warning against default and initially supporting a clean vote on a hike in the debt limit, Obama today rejected the idea of any short-term deal to avert default, saying the parties needed to agree on a longer-term deficit reduction plan because we can't kick the can down the road anymore.

But if a failure to raise the debt limit is so dire, why wouldn't he support a short-term deal? Is he suddenly more concerned with raising taxes than avoiding default?...
Obama steps into high-stakes debt-limit talks - Jim Kuhnhenn/Washington Examiner

Marco Rubio: 'We Don't Need New Taxes. We Need New Taxpayers'

Rubio's speech in the Senate - Weekly Standard
We don't need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. Then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. That's what we should be focused on, and that's what we're not focused on.
Tax hikes won't balance the budget, but spending cuts will - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner

Racial quotas, speech codes and the thought police

Racial quotas, speech codes and the thought police - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
Sharpton Claims Herman Cain's Too Racially Obsessed - Newsbusters
"That's Racist" as a Punch Line - Jonah Goldberg/Real Clear Politics

Until Republicans make some fundamental changes to their party platform, the left is prepared to accept from the Democratic Party many generations of abuse and depression.

How the Tea Party can win the left - Daily Caller
The left cannot field a challenge to what increasingly strikes good-faith liberals as the rule of a corporatist police state. The Green Party is a husk. The radicals are a rump. Outside the right, there is now no viable political alternative to Obamaism — the greatest partisan disappointment in generations....

The ultimate insight unleashed by the Tea Party is that political liberty must return, whatever the economic implications, because the alternative will destroy itself — at a literally incalculable cost. The return of liberty will not usher in the new dark age of suffering and superstition that liberals fear most. Rather, it will oblige individuals to be better neighbors, better citizens and better human beings — not through the dictates of law, but the realities of everyday life.

Major Garrett: Town hall a sign of ‘anxiety’ at Obama reelection HQ

as it stands right now, Obama’s failing to connect and Garrett cited his so-called Twitter town hall meeting as an attempt almost in desperation to resurrect the messaging success the president in his prior election. - Daily Caller
“[I]f people aren’t listening to you on that core message, it doesn’t matter what you say anymore,” he said. “And I think the president is dangerously close to losing that connection with the American people on what he knows about the economy and what he can predict about the economy. And presidents who can’t lead on the economy tend to be replaced. And I think today’s Twitter town hall is evidence of a low-level degree of anxiety bordering on panic within the Chicago reelection headquarters because back in 2008 and 2007, I watched this develop on the ground. There was a sense that ‘oh social media created the energy.’ No, social media harnessed and built it out. It made it exponential. But it didn’t create it in the first place and you see a lot of sort of feverish attempts to engage social media as if that’s the means by which to create energy. No – you create energy by what you do, what you say and how you lead, especially if you’re seeking reelection and it’s at that level that I think the energy pool is much more shallow for President Obama than the campaign would like it to be.”

Reince Priebus Makes it Official: The Grand Old Party is Conservative

an exclusive interview with HUMAN EVENTS
(C)hairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince (pronounced 'Ray-ince,") Priebus insists that the Republican Party is "part of the conservative movement" and that he has the "responsibility of creating an army of grassroots volunteers" from conservative Republicans.

He went on to say that the rise of the Tea Party movement is "invaluable to the conservative cause" and, in order to maintain the movement's support for the GOP, Republicans in Congress had to be "workhorses and not show horses" on reining in government spending....

Discussion at Lucianne

“It was never my goal for Washington to decide what type of light bulbs Americans should use," Upton said in a statement to The Hill. "The public response on this issue is a clear signal that markets – not governments – should be driving technological advancements. I will join my colleagues to vote yes on a bill to protect consumer choice and guard against federal overreach.”

Upton’s support for the bill represents a change of tune for the Energy panel chairman. He supported the 2007 (light bulb ban) light-bulb efficiency law, much to the chagrin of his fellow Republicans. - The Hill

But Upton now says the law limits consumers' choices.
Net Right Daily

Co. Of Humboldt: Redistricting 2011 - Weigh In!

Humboldt County is required to redistrict, or adjust, supervisorial boundaries every ten years following the U.S. Census. The new boundaries must be drawn to balance the County’s population.

The 2010 Census data show that the total population of Humboldt County is 134,623, an increase of 8,105 over the last 10 years. This increase and the distribution of the County’s population as counted by the Census will require adjustments in the supervisorial district boundaries.

Guidelines (62Kb pdf)
◼ Maps and Redistricting Worksheet
Communities of Interest (53Kb pdf)
Community Workshop Schedule (Check for updates; two meetings have been held; 5 to go; next meeting is July 13, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00p.m., Agricultural Center, 5630 South Broadway, Eureka
Public Hearing Schedule (38Kb pdf)

Maps and Redistricting Worksheet
Interested parties can access the county linkGIS maps to view supervisorial district boundaries as they currently exist. A Redistricting Worksheet (excel format) is also provided with precinct names and population totals by precinct.
Community Workshop Schedule
Any community expecting to be impacted by district boundary changes will be considered for a redistricting workshop. Please contact the Redistricting Committee at
(37Kb pdf)◼ Redistricting Workshop Schedule

Contact Information
Email inquires or proposals to: All communications with the Redistricting Committee and the Elections Department are public record.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Republicans, U.S. Chamber ‘crash’ Obama Twitter Town Hall

Republicans, U.S. Chamber ‘crash’ Obama Twitter Town Hall - Yahoo
Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who posted dozens of questions for Obama on his page.
"After embarking on a record spending binge that left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?" Boehner asked.

Obama chuckled, and called Boehner's question "slightly skewed."

Through a spokesman, the Speaker fired back: "'Where are the jobs?' isn't a 'skewed question' to the millions of Americans who lost jobs since President Obama's failed 'stimulus' spending binge began," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck told Politico.

You can catch video highlights of the Twitter Town Hall here.
(Though the coverage there is a bit 'skewed.'

Gunrunner Bombshell: ATF Director Secretly Testifies That DOJ Lied to Congress and Obstructed Its Investigation

Gunrunner Bombshell: ATF Director Secretly Testifies That DOJ Lied to Congress and Obstructed Its Investigation Doug Ross
ATF Director Ken Melson secretly testified Monday before the House Oversight Committee concerning Project Gunwalker -- without the knowledge of either the Justice Department or the ATF. Most importantly, he directly refuted the official "party line" coming from Washington regarding "Operation Fast and Furious":

• Contrary to denials by the DOJ, Melson said agents had witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns further
Gunwalker: The ATF’s Kenneth Melson Blows the Whistle on the Justice Department - Pajamas Media
This morning, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley released a copy of a letter they sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on July 5 about Melson’s testimony. Melson’s revelations raise even more serious issues not only about the operation itself, but about apparent attempts by the Justice Department to mislead Congress on the details of the operation....

The details of Operation Fast & Furious just keep getting worse from the standpoint of prosecutorial ineptitude and incompetence. But with Melson’s testimony, it is also appears that the Justice Department and specifically Deputy Attorney General James Cole have been obstructing Congress and engaging in a cover-up to prevent Congress and the public from finding out just how much the leadership of the Justice Department was involved in this expanding scandal.
Letter to Eric Holder -
The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.
Fast and Furious update: Ken Melson’s secret testimony. - Redstate
Agenda Behind Fast & Furious Gunrunner Program (image source:

Change Direction

Got Twitter? #AskObama

The ◼ @townhall is today! ◼ #AskObama your Question throughout the webcast (don't forget the hashtag) it starts @ 2pm ET ◼

The Twitterer in Chief, who just started tweeting himself a few weeks ago, will host the first presidential Twitter town hall at the White House this afternoon. - Jake Tapper/ABC

President Obama is conducting a Twitter town hall today. He will answer questions that are tweeted by the public at #AskObama. You can follow the event live at ◼ Townhall beginning at 2:00 this afternoon (Eastern).

You can be sure that most questions tweeted to the President will be softballs, but Heritage wanted to make sure that some more meaningful questions are in the mix. So it suggested these questions to be tweeted by conservatives - at the link
Saturday Night Live should satirize this - Redstate

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Don't any of you guys vote Republican," Vice President Biden said to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters convention in Las Vegas last week. "Let me put it this way: Don't come to me if you do. You're on your own, Jack!"

Labor has 'snootful' but will stick with Obama - Byron York/Washington Examiner
"Let me put it this way: Don't come to me if you do. You're on your own, Jack!"

Biden's warning, which received virtually no coverage in the press, is part of the Obama re-election campaign's 2012 strategy for organized labor. It's a two-part plan. One, use the president's executive powers to give labor all sorts of advantages that can't be achieved through legislation. And two, when labor leaders complain that they haven't gotten everything they want, tell them they have nowhere else to go.

The vice president's speech was a direct response to some very public grumbling from a top-labor leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. In recent weeks, Trumka has been accusing Republicans of taking a "wrecking ball" to workers' rights -- nothing new there -- and then warning Democrats that if they don't do everything in their power to stop Republicans, they might lose labor's support.

"I have a message for some of our 'friends,' " Trumka said at a union gathering in Washington last month -- and yes, the Teamsters' text of the speech put "friends" in quotation marks. Then he ad-libbed: "For too long, we have been left after Election Day holding a canceled check waving it about -- 'Remember us? Remember us? Remember us?' -- asking someone to pay a little attention to us. Well, I don't know about you, but I've had a snootful of that s--t."

Marco Rubio: Ready for Political Primetime

At first he didn't want to do any national media, preferring to focus on Florida issues. He didn't make his maiden speech on the Senate floor until June 14, five months after being sworn-in. - Cal Thomas at Townhall

“The Representative Assembly recommended that NEA members vote to re-elect President Barack Obama in the 2012 election” before the opposing candidate is even known...

While the rest of us were celebrating the 4th of July with BBQs and parades and recitations of the Declaration of Independence, teachers’ union “delegates” from the far left were giving Obama the thumbs up. Not coincidentally they also voted to levy a $10 tax on union teachers nationally to help support “messaging” in front of his reelection bid. - Townhall
“The Representative Assembly recommended that NEA members vote to re-elect President Barack Obama in the 2012 election” wrote Will Potter of the National Education Association. “They also voted for a $10 annual dues increase that will be dedicated to funding NEA's Crisis Fund, a program designed to put money back into the states for pro-public education outreach.”

3.2 million teachers will pay the tax – out of your tax dollars- which is expected to double the amount of money normally put into the “crisis fund.”

Maybe teachers instead should look at why they need an annual “crisis fund” in the first place
National teachers' group endorses Obama for 2nd term - Reuters

“the president’s right-hand woman”

Letting Obama Be Obama - Paul Kengor for The American Spectator
Jarrett is trying to let Obama be Obama, protecting the president from the pragmatists and moderates, from the Blue Dog Democrats and voices of sanity in foreign policy who would tug Obama from his true beliefs.
Valerie Jarrett’s Father-in-Law Worked With Obama Mentor Frank Marshall Davis - Trevor Loudon
Discover The Networks: Valerie Jarrett

Muckety: Interactive Connections Map


Hundreds of visitors to the Eureka Main Street Fourth of July Festival on Monday stopped at the Republican booth to vote in a straw poll whose ballot listed 10 declared candidates for the 2012 Republican persidential nomination. Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachman with 33 percent of the votes. Closely bunched for second, third and fourth place were former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Atlanta businessman Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, respecitvely.
The results:
Cain .........14
Paul ........ 13
Three others received a little under 4 percent each: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman . Others receiving smaller votes were gay activist Fred Karger , former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum. There were scattered write-ins for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and Alan Keyes.

Eighty-three percent of those voting were Republicans and 17 percent were non-Republicans.

The next Republican presidential straw poll will be held at the party’s booth at ◼ Wildwood Days in Rio Dell, August 6-7.

California Congressman Mike Thompson in The New York Times

Representative Mike Thompson grows 20 acres of sauvignon blanc
grapes at his farm north of Napa.     Jim Wilson/The New York Times 
Congress’s Man of the Vines, Including His Own - New York Times
Mike Thompson in the Times: Grape Conflict - Davis Patch
The Congressman's dual role as industry backer and grape producer has drawn criticism, according to the Times

Monday, July 4, 2011

GOP Candidates on the 4th

GOP Rivals Meet Up on the Trail - Wall St. Journal
Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman came face-to-face Monday at an Independence Day parade here, but there were no fireworks...

It was among several Independence Day appearances by Republican presidential candidates. Herman Cain was scheduled to be at a minor league baseball game in Manchester, N.H., while Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann were to participate in a July 4 parade in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Happy Fourth!

See below for local happenings...

Margaret Thatcher and Condoleezza Rice Honor Ronald Reagan at London Independence Day Tribute (Video)

Lady Thatcher was too weak to attend the ceremony today but she did send in a statement to honor her dear friend Ronald Reagan. -
Britain Holds Tribute to President Ronald Reagan - CNBC
Ronald Reagan: Britain's finest friend, America's finest president - Daniel Hannan/The Telegraph

LA Times: Renowned Irish tenor Anthony Kearns singing "God Bless America."

A citizen's required reading for July 4: The Declaration of Independence
LA Times
The United States' Declaration of Independence may well be the most cited yet least read or understood document in American history.

Some have suggested over the years that each responsible U.S. citizen should take the occasion of the mation's birthday to read that precious document every year, something like pausing at Thanksgiving to give thanks or at New Year's to ponder what's past and ahead.

The final version of the Declaration is right here (courtesy of the LA Times)


With 10 men and women having declared they are candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, the Humboldt County Republican Party will conduct a straw poll at its booth at the Eureka Main Street July 4 Festival in Old Town.

Throughout the one-day fair, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Republican voters may cast their ballots for Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. “There is even a space for write-ins, in case fans of Rick Perry or Sarah Palin want to vote,” said Peter Hannaford, county chairman.

The booth will Number 30, near the northeast corner 2nd and C Streets.

Fourth of July activitiesSpeeder Railroad Rides!

What makes America exceptional

For the last 235 years, on the Fourth of July, Americans have celebrated the birth of the United States, and the founding ideas that have made it the most powerful, wealthiest and freest nation in the history of civilization. - Victor Davis Hanson/New York Post
...There is no rational reason why a small republican experiment in 1776 grew to dominate global culture and society -- except that America is the only nation, past or present, that put trust in the individual rather than in the state and its elite bureaucracy. Such confidence in the average free citizen made America absolutely exceptional -- something we should remember more than ever on this July 4. Read the rest

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Perry Takes on Holder and the Gaza Flotilla

In his letter to Holder, the governor specifies the U. S. laws which he thinks are being violated by the American individual and corporate participants in the flotilla: - Roger L. Simon at Pajamas
The acts of funding, supporting, organizing and engaging in these efforts appears to constitute participation in a naval expedition against a people with whom the United States is at peace, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 960; the furnishing of a vessel with the intent that it be employed to commit hostilities against a people with whom the United States is at peace, in violation 18 U. S. C. 962; and the provision of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 2339. See, e.g., Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 130 S. Ct. 2705 (2010).
Last whimper from the Gaza flotilla? - HotAir Greenroom
(Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote on Thursday to urge the Obama administration to intercept and/or prosecute the American flotilla participants, citing Title 18 Section 962 of the US Code.)


Timber Heritage Association will be operating the two crew cars along 1st Street from F Street to the Adorni Center and back on Monday 4 July 2011, from 10 to 5. - Capdiamont

“We will not saddle our children and grandchildren with mounds of debts, with promises for funding levels that will not be there in the future,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. “This is debt that they can’t afford. It’s debt that we can’t afford right now.”

Minnesota Government Shuts Down... - Wall St. Journal via Drudge
Minnesota encountered its second government shutdown in six years on Friday as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers failed to reach a compromise on closing the state's $5 billion budget gap.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Iowa averted a shutdown Thursday, and several other states waited for governors to finalize their budgets.
Minnesota shuts down - HotAir
Broken deals, bitter words and a state shuts down - Star Tribune
Republicans rejected the proposal, Dayton said, because they "prefer to protect the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else."