Friday, August 5, 2011

Obama: “You Mean The Economy Isn’t Like Batteries, And AA Is Bigger?”

Obama: “You Mean The Economy Isn’t Like Batteries, And AA Is Bigger?” - The Other McCain

'No risk' the US will lose its top credit rating, says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

John Kerry: Media Has "Responsibility" To "Not Give Equal Time" To Tea Party

John Kerry: Media Has "Responsibility" To "Not Give Equal Time" To Tea PartyKerry blames Tea Party for downgrade - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner
“I believe that this is without question the Tea Party downgrade,” Sen John Kerry, D-Mass., told David Gregory this morning on Meet the Press. “This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal to do $4.7 trillion, $4 trillion, [that had] a mix of reductions and reforms in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, but also recognize that we needed to do some revenue,” Kerry finished.
Obama won’t escape blame for credit downgrade - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner

Gingrich: Obama "Most Effective Food Stamp President In History"

Gingrich: Obama "Most Effective Food Stamp President In History"

Carney: "The White House Doesn't Create Jobs"

Carney: "The White House Doesn't Create Jobs" - Real Clear Politics

'The White House doesn't create jobs' - Hayley Peterson - Carney/Washington Examiner

Who really creates jobs, anyway? - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner

Obama proposes job program for veterans - Hayley Peterson/Washington Examiner

Thursday, August 4, 2011

White House says it ‘forced Republicans to back down’ in debt fight - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

White House says it ‘forced Republicans to back down’ in debt fight - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Who Will Be the Double-Dip Scapegoat?

Who Will Be the Double-Dip Scapegoat?

US Stocks: Dow Sinks 500, Worst Day Since Dec. 2008

Stocks plunged sharply Thursday, with the Dow down more than 500 points, in its worst one-day drop since December 2008.

All three major averages tumbled into negative territory for the year as investors were rattled over an intensifying global economic slowdown and ahead of the widely-followed monthly unemployment report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 512.76 points, or 4.31 percent, to close at 11,383.68, led by Alcoa [AA 12.79 -0.15 (-1.16%) and BofA [BAC 8.17 -0.66 (-7.47%) The last time the Dow dropped more than 500 points in a single session was in Dec. 2008.

The S&P 500 sank 60.27 points, or 4.78 percent, to end at 1,200.07.

The Nasdaq plunged 136.68 points, or 5.08 percent, to finish at 2556.39.

The major indexes are firmly in negative territory for the year. In addition, all three averages fell into "correction territory," defined by a drop of 10 percent from its peak from its intraday high in Apr. 29.

The bus tour cannot escape Obama’s Catch-2012

The only way for Obama to stimulate the enormous private sector job growth needed to ensure Obama’s reelection is for Obama to announce he is not running for reelection, which would unleash a wave of investment and economic activity not seen since the Great Depression.
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Assembly Republicans Ask Attorney General to Weigh In On Democrat Shift of Sales Tax Dollars Away from Local Schools

Say Majority Party May Have Shortchanged Schools in Budget Scheme

Assembly Republicans today sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking her office to issue a legal ruling on whether provisions in the Democrat majority vote budget enacted in June to shield sales tax dollars for other purposes illegally shortchanged funding for public education required by Proposition 98.

"Paying for our children’s education should be the state’s top priority, unfortunately the final budget package restored welfare grants for welfare recipients who have been on welfare for five, ten or even more than 15 years while cutting school funding below the constitutional guarantee," said Assembly Republican Caucus Chair Brian Nestande, of Palm Desert.

Specifically, Assembly Republicans ask in their letter to Attorney General Harris for an opinion on two key provisions related to the education funding provisions of the Democrat majority vote budget plan signed into law by Governor Brown:

Whether the Legislature violated the Constitution in excluding a portion of state sales tax revenue from the calculation of the Proposition 98 funding guarantee for public schools.
Whether the Legislature can legally approve a budget plan that shortchanges the Proposition 98 funding guarantee by $2.1 billion as a result of this scheme.
The Democrat majority vote budget plan diverts 1.06 percent of General Fund sales tax dollars to fund local programs and specifically states that these dollars should not be used to calculate the Proposition 98 guarantee. Republicans have argued that this is, in effect, Democrats suspending the constitutional funding guarantee without the required two-thirds vote of the Legislature, and passing a budget that shortchanges the funding guarantee by $2.1 billion in violation of Proposition 98. The Attorney General opinion will help clarify whether the Legislature can divert these dollars and suspend the Proposition 98 guarantee on a majority vote.

"Assembly Republicans made it clear that we would not vote for any budget plan that suspended the Proposition 98 educational funding guarantee," said Assembly Budget Committee Vice Chair Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber. "Thwarted in their efforts to raise taxes, it appears that Democrats used budget trickery to circumvent the will of the people in shortchanging our schools. It is essential that Attorney General Harris weigh in on this important question as to whether Democrats violated the Constitution in their reckless budget plan."

"Californians have made it clear to the Legislature that providing a good quality education for our kids should always be a top budget priority," said Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee). "That’s why they passed Proposition 98, to guarantee in the State Constitution that our schools should have the adequate funding they need every year to prepare our kids for a bright future. It is disappointing that Democrats may have gone around the Constitution to take money that should have gone to our schools to fund lesser priorities."

The text of the letter, signed by Nielsen, Nestande and Jones, can be viewed at:
# # #

Obama: "We're Not Even Halfway There Yet"

Obama: "We're Not Even Halfway There Yet"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shoot Not The Messenger: Rather, Laugh

Shoot Not The Messenger: Rather, Laugh

U S debt tops GDP

A deeply perceptive analysis of the liberals' dilemma, by a liberal

The Top 150 Conservative Websites

Using Alexa's traffic rankings, the following represents a tabular view of the top 150 conservatively focused news and blog sites. - Doug Ross

Mitt Romney taunts Obama over Chicago’s woes -

Mitt Romney taunts Obama over Chicago’s woes -

President Obama Headed to Chicago for Birthday-Themed Fundraiser - Political Punch

President Obama Headed to Chicago for Birthday-Themed Fundraiser - Political Punch

Deficit reduction committee is only as good as its weakest GOP link

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Marco Rubio: "This Debate Will Continue."

Why I believe Sarah Palin is running for president

Why I believe Sarah Palin is running for president

The Rapid Collapse of Liberal Presidents

The Rapid Collapse of Liberal Presidents

Debt drama takes political toll on Obama

Debt drama takes political toll on Obama

I … See … Crazy People

I … See … Crazy People

The crippling truth of the Obama presidency is the pessimism of the man, the low expectations he has for this republic. He had not come forth to awaken this country to its stirring first principles, but to manage its decline at home and abroad.

Barack Obama the Pessimist - His lack of faith in American exceptionalism has dashed any hope of a 'transformational' presidency/ - Wall Street Journal

His economic program—the vaunted stimulus, the bailout of the automobile industry, the determination to overhaul the entire health-care system—gave away a bureaucratic vision: It was rule by emergency decree, as it were. No Reaganesque faith in the society for this leader.

South Carolina may go rogue in GOP presidential primary

Since 1980, the Republican presidential nominee has won every contested South Carolina GOP primary — a record that has given the Palmetto State’s vote a kingmaker aura.... Why? In part, because S.C. Republican primary voters always have backed the GOP’s establishment candidate.... But that could change this year.

Bachmann and Palin outraged at Biden’s Tea Party ‘terrorist’ jab - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Bachmann and Palin outraged at Biden’s Tea Party ‘terrorist’ jab - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

As Senate Votes, McConnell Declares Tea Party 'Won,' Reid says Tea Party 'Disconcerting' - The Note

As Senate Votes, McConnell Declares Tea Party 'Won,' Reid says Tea Party 'Disconcerting' - The Note

Obama Reflects On Debt Fight: Didn't Need This "Manufactured Crisis"

Obama Reflects On Debt Fight: Didn't Need This "Manufactured Crisis"

Fiscal Conservatives Barred from Supercommittee (Updated) | The Weekly Standard

Fiscal Conservatives Barred from Supercommittee (Updated) | The Weekly Standard
Real story of the debt deal is not the triumph of the Tea Party, but the death of the socialist left - Telegraph

After debt deal, economy in deeper peril

If the Senate Tuesday approves an 11th-hour budget deal to lift the debt ceiling, as expected, and head off a national default, forget those high-five photo ops and victorious press conferences. The spectacle of partisan bickering by a dysfunctional government will continue to weigh on consumers, investors and business for months to come.
- msnbc

Compromise Passes House: $2.4 Trillion More In Debt

Compromise Passes House: $2.4 Trillion More In Debt

Republican states balancing their budgets

Their success should be a model for overspenders in Washington - Frank Donatelli -The Washington Times

At a time when Washington continues to struggle to trim deficits that approach $1.5 trillion annually, Republican-led states, along with a few Democratic officials, continue to take the tough steps necessary to balance their state budgets without tax increases. Here are a few of those states and the policies they have put in place to achieve these impressive results:

In Virginia, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell stood firm against tax increases last year and balanced his state’s two-year budget. Virginia taxpayers were rewarded when Mr. McDonnell recently announced a surplus of $311 million for the fiscal year just completed because of higher-than-expected tax receipts....

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal and the first Republican legislative majority since Reconstruction passed a $25 billion budget that closed a $1.5 billion hole without tax increases.....

Missouri’s Republican-dominated legislature adopted a 2012 state spending plan of $23.2 billion - $500 million lower than last year. This figure includes an additional $170 million of cuts implemented by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, making Missouri an example of bipartisan cooperation in spending restraint....

At least two states saw no such bipartisan cooperation, yet in both cases, small-government forces triumphed. In North Carolina, the first Republican legislative majority since the 19th century enacted a balanced-budget plan that closed a $2.5 billion deficit (12 percent of the total budget) and allowed “temporary” sales and income tax increases enacted by the Democratic majority in 2009 to expire....

In Minnesota, the Republican majority faced off against the very liberal Gov. Mark Dayton. Mr. Dayton, of course, proposed to increase taxes on the “wealthy.” The Legislature stood firm against any tax increases, resulting in a shutdown of state government for nearly three weeks. The final agreement closed a $5 billion deficit without raising taxes... MORE at the link

Monday, August 1, 2011

The debt-ceiling deal: Winners and losers

The political stakes for this fight were massive — and it produced a number of winners and losers. - Chris Cillizza/Washington Post

Winners: Mitch McConnell, Tea party, President Obama, Congressional Budget Office, Grover Norquist, David Wu

Losers: Congress, Gang of Six, Commissions, Liberals Read the reasons why...

How the Tea Party ‘hobbits’ won the debt fight - Marc A. Thiessen
/Washington Post

Did Obama capitulate — or is this a cagey move? - Washington Post

California: Teacher pension system on dangerous path to insolvency

STATE LAWMAKERS have pushed the California teacher pension fund toward a financial cliff and are now standing on the side of the road, apparently hoping divine intervention will stop the ensuing plunge off the edge. -
While most pension systems in California -- including the largest, the California Public Employees' Retirement System -- are irresponsibly manipulated with unrealistic actuarial assumptions, at least they are making small efforts to reduce their debts in the coming decades. They aren't talking about insolvency.
That's because they control their destinies -- they have authority to require more contributions from employers and workers to correct for financial shortfalls. The teachers' retirement system does not.

It's at the mercy of state legislators and the governor, who set the contribution rates. So the funding of the second largest public employee retirement system in the nation, which provides pensions for California's public school teachers and community college instructors, relies on political whim rather than actuarial calculations.

For a decade now, state lawmakers have underfunded the system, failing to ensure it receives the money actuaries say is needed to cover newly earned benefits and pay off mounting debt. In 2009-10, teachers, school districts and the state -- the three sources of contributions to CalSTRS -- paid only 55 percent of what was required.

The underfunding since 2001-02, increases in benefits just before the turn of the century, and major investment losses during the dot-com bust and the Great Recession have left the teacher retirement system, by its own calculations, only 71 percent funded and $56 billion in debt -- or about $4,450 for every household in the state.

Actually, it's worse than that because the system relies on overly optimistic estimates of its future investment returns, in part because its board has rejected its own staff's advice to lower expectations. If the system used more conservative investment projections, its liabilities would be worse.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rep. Kristi Noem: The Debt Plan Is a Win for Tea Party Freshmen

Herman Cain wins Western Conservative Summit Straw Poll; Rick Perry Second

Presidential candidate Herman Cain won the straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this weekend with 48 percent of the votes, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry. - ABC News

On Saturday, Cain placed second in the Smart Girls Conference straw poll, losing to Rep. Michele Bachmann by only 4 votes.

Rick Perry, who is considering a presidential run, placed second receiving 67 votes after delivering a speech to the group Friday night.

Fed up with debt limit talks, Pottawattamie GOP chair to endorse Herman Cain -
News: Herman Cain Beats Rick Perry and I Just Bought My Ticket to Des Moines - The Other McCain

The President's remarks on The Debt Deal

A Debt Deal Has Been Reached

Deal reached on raising debt ceiling - middletownpress

WASHINGTON—Racing the clock to avoid a government default, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders reached historic agreement Sunday night on a compromise to permit vital U.S. borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts.

Officials said Speaker John Boehner telephoned Obama at mid-evening to say the agreement had been struck.
No votes were expected in either house of Congress until Monday at the earliest, to give rank and file lawmakers to review the package.

Factbox: Key elements of U.S. debt deal - Reuters

GOP on verge of huge, unprecedented political victory

it apppears the GOP is on the verge of pulling off a political victory that may be unprecedented in American history. Republicans may succeed in using the threat of a potential outcome that they themselves acknowledged would lead to national catastrophe as leverage to extract enormous concessions from Democrats, without giving up anything of any significance in return - Washington Post

Not only that, but Republicans — in perhaps the most remarkable example of political up-is-downism in recent memory — cast their willingness to dangle the threat of national crisis as a brave and heroic effort they’d undertaken on behalf of the national interest. Only the threat of national crisis could force the immediate spending cuts supposedly necessary to prevent a far more epic crisis later.

Again and again, Dems drew lines in the sand that they promptly erased as the threat of default grew. A clean debt ceiling hike? Dropped. Cuts to Medicare benefits? They’ll likely be in that committee’s crosshairs. The insistence on revenue hikes? Withdrawn.

.... The road that was taken is leading to a deal in which Dems are aggreeing to take huge amounts of money out of the economy when the recovery is shaky at best. It also seems to ensure that Dems will agree to entitlements cuts heading into an election where the GOP was supposed to be deeply vulnerable over their drive to end Medicare as we know it. Dems will promise to salvage victory in the form of “smart” entitlement reform. Maybe so. For now, it appears the GOP is on the verge of a huge and unprecedented victory.

Deal watch:!/jpodhoretz/statuses/97828289514704896

Reid signs off on debt deal as negotiators get close

The White House and Republican leaders closed in Sunday on a debt ceiling deal giving President Barack Obama greater certainty in managing the Treasury’s borrowing needs while making a joint commitment to major deficit reductions without any explicit concessions by the GOP on new tax revenues. - Politico
Five Lies about the Debt Limit - Redstate

GDP Report Shatters Illusion of Jobless, Productivity-Packed Recovery

For the past two years, the Obama administration has tried to sell the American public on the notion that its economic policies created a substantial recovery. Friday’s GDP numbers, especially the revisions that impacted results for the past several years, has put an end to that illusion. Derek Thompson at The Atlantic lowers the boom on the supposed Obama recovery - HotAir
GDP Report Shatters Illusion of Jobless, Productivity-Packed Recovery - The Atlantic

It's hard to overstate how much today's GDP report blew up our understanding of the recovery. The recession was deeper than we knew, and the economy is weaker than we thought. We weren't making new jobs, because we weren't making new things, period. The economy grew less than 1% in the first half of 2011.

Yesterday, analysts thought the economy was expanding by 2.5% a year. This morning, they learned GDP grew by only 1.6% in the last four quarters. This is a remarkable discovery. It's the difference between thinking we're expanding at a decent, if disappointing, pace, and knowing we're growing around half our historical norm.

Analysts also thought, as recently as twelve hours ago, that the economy declined 6.8% and 4.9% in the quarters bisected by Obama's inauguration. It turns out the actual declines were much steeper: 8.9% and 6.7%.

Recessions compared - The Economist

The Senate’s cloture vote on Harry Reid’s debt bill just failed 50-49.

Senate blocks Reid debt plan, bipartisan deal close - Reuters
Here we go again. - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

What led to `Project Gunwalker'?

What led to `Project Gunwalker'?Pauline Arrillaga/The Associated Press at Breitbart

Ten days before Christmas, ATF agent John Dodson awoke, got his morning coffee, switched on the TV news—and heard the words he had dreaded every day of every month he had been a member of the gun-trafficking investigative team called the Group VII Strike Force.
A Border Patrol agent had been shot dead in a gun battle with suspected bandits. The agent was 40, only months older than Dodson himself, another ex-military man who chose to serve his country by working for the U.S. government....

Seven months later, Fast and Furious has fast become a political thorn for the Obama administration, prompting calls for the resignation of ATF's acting director, stirring the debate over gun control and straining relations with Mexican officials. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General to look into what happened, and Obama has vowed to take "appropriate actions."

Meanwhile, a parade of ATF agents have come forward, offering astonishing testimony in condemnation of their own employer over a probe they now call embarrassing, shameful, dumbfounding. They include some of the Group VII agents, including Dodson, Casa and Alt, but also another Phoenix-based supervisor, an ATF intelligence specialist and three Mexico-based agents.

"Put bluntly, it is inconceivable in my mind ... to allow firearms to disappear at all," Darren Gil, the former ATF attache to Mexico, testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "It is even more inconceivable that a competent ATF special agent would allow firearms to cross an international border, knowing that they are ultimately destined for the hands of the worst of the worst criminals...." (Read the rest)

EDITOR'S NOTE—This story is based on interviews with ATF agents, past and present; gun dealers who cooperated in Fast and Furious; court records in the Fast and Furious case; the testimony of current and former ATF agents before congressional committees and to congressional investigators; and a review of internal ATF emails and investigative documents assembled as part of the congressional inquiry into Fast and Furious as well as government strategy documents and reports regarding ATF's approach to gun probes.

Pauline Arrillaga, a Phoenix-based national writer for The Associated Press, can be reached at features(at)


Sunday Debt Deal said to be "Very close"

Sunday Debt Deal Watch - Michelle Malkin
Debt compromise - neo-neocon
Open thread: Senate to vote on debt bill at 1 p.m., or maybe not - Hot Air
McConnell Says ‘Very Close’ to Deal on Debt-Ceiling Agreement With Obama - The Other McCain
Top Sen. Republican: deal very close on default - AP

Texas Gov. Rick Perry woos conservatives in Denver

Latest email from the continuous Obama campaign