Saturday, August 27, 2011

Citing Spike in Red Tape, Speaker Boehner Seeks Info from White House on Job-Threatening Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC (Aug 26) - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) sent the following letter to the White House today noting that the number of planned Obama Administration regulatory actions with a significant impact on jobs and the economy has spiked by nearly 15 percent since last year. In the letter, Boehner requests that President Obama identify for Congress which of these regulations have an estimated economic impact of more than $1 billion. See below for a copy of the letter and click here for the PDF:

Dear Mr. President:

Last year, on August 16, 2010, I wrote to you about my concern that the Administration’s published regulatory agenda included a total of 191 planned new regulations, each of which had an estimated annual cost of $100 million or more, with some involving billions of dollars annually. In my letter, I noted that at public forums, private sector job creators were citing this regulatory agenda as one of the primary impediments to job creation, especially for small businesses. I asked that your Administration identify for Congress all of your planned new rules that would have an estimated economic impact of more than $1 billion. Unfortunately, that requested information was not provided to Congress nor to the American people.

This year the Administration’s current regulatory agenda identifies 219 planned new regulations that have estimated annual costs in excess of $100 million each. That’s almost a 15 percent increase over last year, and appears to contradict public suggestions by the Administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back. All of this information is publicly available at

I was startled to learn that the EPA estimates that at least one of its proposed rules will cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year. The Administration has not disclosed how many of the other 218 planned rules will cost more than $1 billion, nor identified these rules. This information is of great relevance to the American people, who face so much uncertainty about these new regulatory costs, and to the Congress, where we continue to aim to work with you in relieving unnecessary burdens and helping employers move forward to create jobs.

I am again asking that your Administration provide a list of all pending and planned rulemakings with a projected impact on our economy in excess of $1 billion. I ask that you provide this information by the time Congress reconvenes, so that the information will be available as the House considers legislation requiring a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy as we continue our efforts to remove impediments to job creation and economic growth for the American people.

Thank you for your attention to this request, and for our continuing dialogue on job creation.

John Boehner

The ugly protest at Wisconsin’s Messmer Catholic School over Walker visit

It got ugly on the street outside the facility, which is no surprise, since Messmer is a “choice school” — an alternative to the union-gripped public school system. - HotAir

It’s an alternative that sends 85% of its high-school graduates to college. It’s also no surprise that “choice schools” threaten the union’s power in the state, which gave them extra added incentive to protest Walker’s visit … and to attempt to intimidate Messmer staff while doing so. The video provides a jarring disconnect between the well-behaved students on the inside and Brother Bob’s explanation of teaching positive discipline and self-control to the self-indulgent nastiness taking place on the sidewalk outside.

DEL BECCARO: GOP test: Move fast and lead or get run over

Thomas Del Beccaro
America is in what could be called theDivided Era. Partisanship is at a modern high, with much of the nation divided evenly along party lines. - Thomas Del Beccaro, chairman of the California Republican Party in The Washington Times

...In America today, impatience and anger among voters on both sides of the spectrum is high, and the pace of that impatience is picking up steam.

On the other hand, politicians whose comfort is being threatened by the uprising belittle voters and suggest they can “go straight to hell.”

If Republicans want to win a mandate next year, they will need to get out in front of this dynamic in order to avoid falling victim to it.

They can do that, in part, by offering reforms that reduce the scope and reach of government rather than temporarily cutting spending.

Given the ever-increasing pace of change, there is no time like the present to offer those reforms.

Obama’s Enablers - Meet the mainstream media.

As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama. - Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard
Discussion at Lucianne

Friday, August 26, 2011

Gallup: Perry Now Leads Bachmann, Romney by 21 Points Among Tea Party Supporters

Republicans ask Obama for a list of all planned federal regulations with an economic impact of more than $1 billion.

It's the same request Boehner made of Obama a year ago -- to no avail.... - USA Today

In his letter, Boehner says the number of planned regulations with a cost of $100 million or more has spiked since last year, from 191 to 219.

"That's almost a 15% increase over last year and appears to contradict public suggestions by the administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back," Boehner says. He goes on:
I was startled to learn that the EPA estimates that at least one of its proposed rules will cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year. The administration has not disclosed how many of the other 218 planned rules will cost more than $1 billion, nor identified these rules. This information is of great relevance to the American people, who face so much uncertainty about these new regulatory costs, and to the Congress, where we continue to aim to work with you in relieving unnecessary burdens and helping employers move forward to create jobs.

I am again asking that your administration provide a list of all pending and planned rulemakings with a projected impact on our economy in excess of $1 billion. I ask that you provide this information by the time Congress reconvenes, so that the information will be available as the House considers legislation requiring a congressional review and approval of any proposed federal government regulation that will have a significant impact on the economy as we continue our efforts to remove impediments to job creation and economic growth for the American people.

Barack Obama​’s misadventures in Martha’s Vineyard are some of the stranger unforced public-relations errors in recent memory.

How Obama Spent His Summer Vacation - The strangest PR debacle of a weird presidency. - John Hayward at Human Events

The media launched a desperate effort to describe the Martha’s Vineyard misadventure as a “working vacation.” They’ve even tried congratulating him for “working in golf during his working vacation.” Photos of him looking serious while meeting with aides and taking phone calls proliferated. Try Googling the phrase “Obama working vacation” to get an idea of how earnest this effort at image control has been.

Speaking of earnest, White House spokesman John Earnest tried to wave off criticism of the Obama vacation as “cable chatter,” saying the President knows “this is a job that he’s responsible for doing wherever he is, whether he’s sitting in the Oval office, or whether he’s caught on the golf course when an emerging action takes place.”

Pool updates: President Obama's Martha's Vineyard vacation ends - The Martha's Vineyard Times

President Obama and the entire White House entourage left Blue Heron Farm and traveled by long motorcade to the Martha's Vineyard Airport. The pool did not see the president. Helicopters lifted off about 9:25 pm bound for U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, where the Mr. Obama will board Air Force One for the his return to the White House.

The Martha's Vineyard vacation is over.

Perry bills feds $349M for incarcerating illegals

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for nearly $350 million to cover the costs he says Texas has incurred incarcerating illegal immigrants in state prisons and county jails. - AP

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Perry reiterated a claim he's often leveled against the federal government: that it's not doing enough to secure the border with Mexico and as a result, has allowed illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. and use taxpayer-funded resources, including the prison system.

Newt talks Job Creation and Energy Development on Hannity

The Best and the Rightest

A new generation of conservative women is stepping forward to dis feminists and cheer low taxes, guns, and motherhood. Nina Burleigh reports on how these “Baby Palins” are going to reshape the 2012 presidential election - Elle Magazine

Behold the new face of conservative womanhood. Young ­women like the Gileses are the unintended, some might say ungrateful, daughters of feminism—and their numbers, by some measures, are growing. The sisters are just two of thousands of young women in cocktail dresses who professed their love for guns, low taxes, and red meat at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2011, an annual gathering of 10,000 political activists, more than half of whom are college-age, nearly all of whom are white. CPAC attracts a spectrum of conservatives, from what used to be called country club Republicans to single-issue pro-lifers to libertarians to the neo­fascist fringe.

‘Elle’ gets fashion right, conservative women wrong - The Hill

Ron Paul says, Mobs In Europe A Sign Of Things Coming

Locks superglued prior to protests of Governor Walker at local school

"Some of these folks super glued our front doors at the prep school," said Br. Bob Smith, OFM, the president of Messmer Catholic Schools, about the school on the corner of North Fratney and East Burleigh Streets.

Br. Smith said that, in his opinion, the Republican governor's visit to read to students there on Friday was not about political overtones connected to protests that have been happening all year in the state regarding the rollback of collective bargaining rights for many public workers.

"People ought to start acting like adults," said Br. Smith.

"You've got little kids who have no clue what you're even talking about, and you make something political when it isn't, that's just flat-out wrong."

GOP Field is Set ... For the Reagan Library Debate

Eight Republican presidential candidates will debate on September 7 at the famed Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. - Human Events

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is currently at the front in many national polls, will join Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Ron Paul on stage.

NBC News and POLITICO will moderate the debate, and it will be co-hosted by NBC Nighlty News anchor Brian Williams and POLITICO's editor-in-chief John Harris.

The debate will be significant because it is Perry's debut on the national debating stage. Even more so, it is first debate in which someone other than Romney will most likely be the leader in the polls.

This dynamic can impact debate strategy in a number of ways.

EDITORIAL: Irene is Obama’s punishment Too much regulation isn’t enough for radical greens

Before Hurricane Irene made landfall, environmental extremists were spouting off three certainties about the storm: It is catastrophic; it was caused by global warming; and it is all President Obama’s fault. - The Washington Times

The American people in their wisdom have begun to tune out the climate-change noise. Global warming ranked last on a March 2011 Gallup poll of the environmental concerns of Americans. In an open-ended June 2011 CBS News/New York Times poll asking what Americans think is “the most important problem facing this country today,” the environment did not even make the list.

Hard-core enviros blame Mr. Obama for failing to lead on this issue. Despite pushing through the most radical pro-green regulatory framework in history, liberals say he hasn’t done enough and Irene is his punishment. No matter, the storm won’t be a total write-off for the left. The White House will at least have another natural disaster to blame for America’s economic woes.

“Business has always had a bad rap. Throughout almost all of history, business has been despised by the intellectuals, it’s been heavily regulated by governments, it’s one of the reasons the world didn’t make much progress…as little as 200 years ago, 85 percent of people on planet Earth lived on less than a dollar a day, 85 percent, we’re down to 20 percent now.”

Whole Foods Co-Founder Defends the Morality of Capitalism

TIME Magazine on Ron Paul

The Prophet - TIME (note: bulk of article is behind a paywall)

AP Poll: Most Republicans now satisfied with GOP field

Sixty-four percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they are satisfied with their options in candidates to face off against President Obama next fall. That represents an increase since June, when just half of Republicans said they were pleased with the candidates in the field. - HotAir


Two-Headed State Department?

Two-Headed State Department? - Peter Hannaford for The American Spectator

Arkadi Gontmakher, a Ukraine-born American had been buying crabs in Russia for the U.S. market for years when, one day in 2007, he was arrested in Moscow and charged with poaching, money laundering and organizing a "criminal community." He'd been dealing with boat owners whose captains routinely offloaded over-quota catches in a South Korean port.

He languished in jail for nearly three years until his case came to trial. It is widely believed that inspectors and border guards are bribed in the Russian crab business; however, Gontmakher had not engaged in this and said he was under no obligation to determine from boat owners the legality of their catches.

Last December he was acquitted in a court in Kamchatka on Russia's Pacific coast. While still in the courtroom, he was rearrested on the same charges. Because he had been having heart trouble he was taken to a hospital instead of jail. It could not treat his ailment so he was allowed to fly to Moscow where an operation for arrhythmia was proposed. He declined for fear commercial rivals would arrange for him to be killed on the operating table.

The U.S. Embassy asked for his release on humanitarian grounds to fly to the U.S. for an operation. There had been no action by the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Munich early this February. She raised the matter in their meeting. On February 20, Gontmakher was suddenly released, put on a plane and was home with his family in Bellevue, Washington, the next day.

That is how the State Department can work when it puts its collective mind to something. Compare it to Zack Shahin's case in Dubai. A Lebanon-born American, Shahin was an Ohio businessman who spent several years working for PepsiCo in the Middle East when opportunities in Dubai beckoned. The emirate had embarked on a major development program to build hotels, office buildings, apartments, marinas -- part of a plan to become a regional financial center.

In 2002, Shahin was a founder of Deyaar Realty, a property development company. By 2008 it had become the second largest in Dubai. On March 23 that year, police raided his home and arrested him. He was held incommunicado for two weeks, then forced to sign documents he could not read. He was told that if he did not, his wife would be arrested and his children taken by the state.

Thirteen months later he was finally charged with embezzling $100,000 from his company. The chairman and board of directors had approved that transaction as a bonus. This was verified by Ernst & Young, the company's Certified Public Accountants.

Shahin has sought to post bail pending his trial, to no avail. His health has declined steadily. He has high blood pressure and cholesterol, a stomach ulcer and a slipped disk. In 2009 he underwent knee surgery for injuries received during his first two weeks of incarceration (when, he claims, he was tortured). A neck injury and heart issues required operations, as well. The doctor wanted him to stay in the hospital for six weeks of recuperation and physical therapy. When he agreed, security agents moved into his room, with the television on continuously and talking loudly. When he complained, he was told this would stop if he went back to jail. He did so without completing the recovery process.

He is one of several expatriate executives who have been arrested in Dubai on dubious charges. It may be no coincidence that the arrests occurred after Dubai's government investment fund realized it had made several bad investments and was losing money. Hints have been made to Shahin representatives that a large amount of cash could smooth the way to his release. Meanwhile, no trial date has been set.

Letters by Shahin's U.S. Senators and Representatives on his behalf have been ignored by Dubai. So have three State Department diplomatic notes. A meeting to see Shahin by our ambassador was canceled by Dubai authorities. It's clear that the difference in the outcomes to date in the two cases is the personal involvement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She considered Gontmakher's plight to be important enough to risk a setback in the U.S.-Russia relations "re-set," but has not yet been willing to risk offending the UAE by making Shahin an issue.

Russia, for all its flaws, has a record on democracy that compares favorably to that of the UAE, an undisguised authoritarian operation. While the UAE's energy resources are worthy of respect, they can't compare with Russia's, which also has the world's only nuclear arsenal comparable to that of the U.S. Mrs. Clinton took a chance in raising the Gontmakher case and got the right result. Therefore, nothing should stop her from publicly insisting on Shahin's release on humanitarian grounds. The only risk is that some UAE noses might temporarily get bent out of shape. It's worth it.

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.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The spots include a Colorado farmer and a Wisconsin truck driver discussing the impact of high fuel prices and calling for stepped-up drilling. Others show people from Gulf of Mexico businesses linked to the oil industry.

Oil industry group's ads target Obama on Gulf drilling in key battleground states

An oil industry group is launching TV and online ads Thursday in political battleground states that claim the Obama administration’s Gulf of Mexico drilling policies are hurting the economy nationwide.

In California: Gov. Jerry Brown to propose California corporate tax changes

The request was part of Brown's original budget plan that was rejected by lawmakers. What's new is how Brown wants to spend the roughly $1 billion that the tax tweak would generate. Instead of using the money for general state spending, Brown wants to give new tax credits to companies that employ people in California. - LA Times

Roger L. Simon: Is Rick Perry a Dope?

Despite being the longest serving governor of one of our most populous states, a state currently generating more jobs than the rest of the country combined (or close), Rick Perry is supposed to be a dummy. At least, that’s what some of the lefty blogs and pundits would have us believe — you know, brainy types like Ed Schultz. - Roger L. Simon at Pajamas Media

Unfortunately, however, the jig is up. As of the last few days “Rick Perry and His Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America” has been making the rapid rounds on ◼ Kindle (#2 in “politics and current events”). This download is actually a longish chapter excerpted from a work-in-progress by Sasha Issenberg — ◼ “The Victory Lab” — about new, scientifically-based campaign techniques said to be transforming the American electoral process.

The chief architect of Perry’s strategies — and central figure in the chapter — is Dave Carney, a hulking three hundred pound, six foot four political pro from New Hampshire who once worked for George H. W. Bush. Said to be camera shy, if Perry wins, or even if he is nominated, Carney is likely to become as much of a household political name as Karl Rove or David Axelrod.

Nevada Dem Accidentally Sends Out Internal Notes Detailing How Faking Support For Israel A “Useful” Ploy For A Democratic Candidate

Suspicions confirmed. - WeaselZippers
Nevadans were treated to a look inside the campaign of congressional candidate Kate Marshall on Wednesday when her staff sent out a press release that contained internal notes detailing why it would be “useful” for the Democrat to support Israel. - Politico

The section alludes to the fact that Republicans are generally supporters of Israel, noting that Marshall could gain by siding with Israel “in an R district.”

Spending, not entitlements, created huge deficit

The bottom line is that with baby boomers aging, entitlements will one day be a major budget problem. But today's deficit crisis is not one of entitlements. It was created by out-of-control spending on everything other than entitlements. The recent debt-ceiling agreement is supposed to put the brakes on that kind of spending, but leaders have so far been maddeningly vague on how they'll do it. - Byron York/Washington Examiner

BofA and Buffett’s Obama pigout

Buffett’s Obama pigout - NY Post
Will Buffett cash in on a $91 billion bailout? - Don Surber
Berkshire Hathaway Invests $5 Billion in Bank of America - CNBC

"The president and Mr Buffett discussed the overall outlook on the economy and the reaction to the headwinds we've experienced over the last couple of months," Earnest said.

"They talked a little bit about some possible measures that would spur investment and increase economic growth. And they also talked about some measures that could address the long-term fiscal situation in this country."

Buffett to host high-profile fundraiser for Obama - CNN Money

Warren Buffett to Host ‘Please Raise Our Taxes’ Fundraiser for Obama - Michelle Malkin

“First, the debate over the alleged Texas miracle is not over whether Texas is in fact a miserable failure,” Krugman writes. “All the critics need to show is that Texas is not in fact the miracle Perry claims. And it isn’t.”

Krugman’s miraculous deception on Texas wages - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner

To start, it’s pretty absurd to set up a standard wherein critics only need to show that Texas’s economic performance can’t be likened to an act of divine intervention....

(C)ost of living data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, a division of the state’s department of economic development. Texas ranked second behind Oklahoma as the lowest cost state for the second quarter of 2011, when looking at the composite cost index for groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, health care and other “miscellaneous goods and services.” By contrast New Jersey was 44th, California was 45th, New York was 46th and Massachusetts was 49th. That is, the four states Krugman cites are not only more expensive than Texas, but among the costliest states in the country.

Rick Perry and The Political Jobs Numbers - politicalmathblog

We can see that Texas has grown the fastest, having increased jobs by 2.2% since the recession started. I want to take a moment and point out that second place is held by North Dakota. I added North Dakota to my list of states to show something very important. North Dakota currently has the lowest unemployment rate of any state at 3.2%. And yet Texas is adding jobs at a faster rate than North Dakota. How can this be?

The reason is that people are flocking to Texas in massive numbers. Starting at the beginning of the recession (December 2007), let's look at how this set of states have grown in their labor force.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Obama still faces daunting challenges in Libya

The overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi's compound Tuesday by rebel forces was widely seen as validation of President Obama's much-criticized intervention into a country ruled by Gadahfi for 40 years. - Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner
Libya's deadliest weapons not yet corralled - AP

No one can be sure who controls the Libyan government's weapons stockpiles, a stew of deadly chemicals, raw nuclear material and some 30,000 shoulder-fired rockets that officials fear could fall into terrorists' hands in the chaos of Moammar Gadhafi's downfall or afterward.

One immediate worry, U.S. intelligence and military officials say, is that Gadhafi might use the weapons to make a last stand. But officials also face the troubling prospect that the material, which was left under Gadhafi's control by a U.S.-backed disarmament pact, could be obtained by al-Qaida or other militants even after a rebel victory is secured.

The main stockpile of mustard gas and other chemicals, stored in corroding drums, is at a site southeast of Tripoli. Mustard gas can cause severe blistering and death. A cache of hundreds of tons of raw uranium yellowcake is stored at a small nuclear facility east of the capital.

Nuclear experts warn of Libya "dirty bomb" material - Reuters

A research center near Tripoli has stocks of nuclear material that could be used to make a "dirty bomb," a former senior U.N. inspector said on Wednesday, warning of possible looting during turmoil in Libya.

‘Herman Cain Stands With Us’

A pretty effective 90-second video - The Other McCain

California: Plunges to bottom in new business creation - lost 4,632 businesses from the prior year

From 2001 to 2009, it ranked first or second. But last year it lost 4,600 businesses. - LA Times

From 2001 to 2009, California ranked either first or second in the nation in creating businesses. But last year, the state plummeted to 50th as it lost 4,600 businesses, according to a study by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc....

Three years ago, California ranked first, with 32,829 net new businesses established. Though the number sank to 12,529 during the worst of the recession two years ago, the state still ranked first, ESMI said.

But last year, amid continuing high unemployment, California lost 4,632 businesses from the prior year, the study found. Only Michigan, among the states and the District of Columbia, ranked worse.

The Donkey Whisperer

Roger Williams for Congress

Obama team to Texas Democrats: It’s time to start attacking Rick Perry

Yes, they really do have an online form just for this on Obama’s campaign site. - HotAir

I’m intrigued by the fact that they’re not content to rely on standard oppo research in this case but want man-on-the-street grumbling from Texas liberals instead. Is that because they’re deeply (and understandably) worried about voters being dazzled by Texas’s record on jobs and think that only “eyewitness testimony” from the locals disputing it will be effective? Or is it because Perry has a huge, obvious populist advantage over President Spock such that only fellow salt-of-the-earth southerners might be able to counter it? The “Rick Perry is the liberal antichrist” message will only go so far; to reach undecided voters, they need to start casting doubt on his heartland authenticity too. Rank-and-file Texas Democrats can help.

The online form - Have fun.

Update on SEIU’s “Contract Campaign Manual”: Exploring the Roots of Corporate Campaigns

SEIU Contract Campaign Manual (pdf) - Pressuring The Employer -
Labor’s new strategy: Intimidation for dummies - Pressure manual advocates bullying of employers and their families - VINCENT VERNUCCIO/Washington Times
In the past decade, unions have become increasingly desperate to obtain new dues-paying members. An example of how desperate can be found in a 70-plus-page intimidation manual from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which only recently came to light in a pending court case.

Dick Cheney's new book: “There are gonna be heads exploding all over Washington"

When former Vice President Dick Cheney releases his memoir early next week, it may cause the second earthquake in Washington, D.C., this month. - MSNBC
In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir at Amazon

Wisconsin: Oshkosh schools look to save millions

The district could realize millions of dollars in immediate savings by seeking a new provider. Appleton schools stuck with WEA Trust but saved $3.1 million by stirring up competition. The Kimberly school district dropped WEA Trust and saved $821,000. - The Northwestern

Illinois: Loses Most Jobs in the Nation

Policy Chart: Illinois Loses Most Jobs in the Nation - Illinois Policy Institute
It’s too early to know conclusively the full impact of the tax hikes on the Illinois economy. Nevertheless, Illinois’s employment numbers serve as a good reminder that public policies have dramatic consequences for the daily lives of Illinoisans. A combination of high taxes, overspending and red tape do nothing but chase away job creators and leave too many citizens without jobs.

Perry Zooms to Front of Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination

Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans' current favorite for their party's 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%. - Gallup

According to Berkshire Hathaway’s own annual report — see Note 15 on pp. 54-56 — the company has been in a years-long dispute over its federal tax bills

Warren Buffett’s taxing hypocrisy - Net Right Daily

◼ Buffett's Op-Ed Stop Coddling the Super-Rich in the New York Times
Charles G. Koch Responds to Buffett’s Call for Tax Hikes - National Review
◼ Harvey Golub's Response: My Response To Buffett And Obama in The Wall St. Journal.
Before you ask for more tax money from me, raise the $2.2 trillion you already collect each year more fairly and spend it more wisely.

Joe Biden’s China Walkback

Vice President Joe Biden’s office is making one of the most desperate and hilarious walkback attempts in recent history, claiming that his remarks in support of China’s forced abortion policy actually meant the exact opposite of what he actually said. - John Hayward at Human Events

Here’s what Biden said in his address to Sichuan University: "But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand - I’m not second-guessing - of one child per family."

Now: Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff says, "The vice president believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the one-child policy to a Chinese audience," Barkoff added.

WH: Biden finds China one-child policy 'repugnant' - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner

Speaker of the House John Boehner issued a statement asking Biden to clarify his words.

GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney followed up with their own statements criticizing the Vice-President's remarks.

Jon Huntsman's campaign also followed up with a statement: "As an adoptive father, whose daughter was abandoned by her parents in China, Gov. Huntsman is intimately familiar with the impact of China's 'one-child' policy. As someone who is firmly pro-life, he feels the policy runs counter to the fundamental value of human life and is heartbroken by the destructive nature of the policy that has cost millions of lives."

Navy SEAL’s Dog Stands Watch One Last Time

Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, one of the Navy SEALS killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan on August 6th, was laid to rest over the weekend, and his dog, Hawkeye, wouldn’t leave his casket during the funeral.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Marco Rubio - live at Reagan Library

An Interview with Rubio: from the Reagan Foundation

In Wisconsin: Ever since the union stranglehold on government was broken, schools went from bankrupt to flush with funds, which means they can spend more on teaching.

Wisconsin Unions Can’t Support Themselves - Strata-sphere
◼ The story: Negotiating (Lobbying) No More

The Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin, after hours of debate, the union’s members voted not to seek state certification to continue to act as a collective bargaining agent.

Union leaders said that they couldn’t function well if they had to effectively be in a perpetual organizing drive for the annual union votes, and also if they had to pay annual fees to be certified. "Our membership was keenly aware of the sort of resources and energy it would take in order to hold on," said Adrienne Pagac, co-president of the union and a doctoral student in sociology at Madison.

In California: Teacher Pension Fund $56 BILLION Short

Teacher pension fund joins California auditor's risk list - Mercury News
CA Teacher Pension Fund Shortfall Grows To $56 Billion - CBS LA


19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -26 Rasmussen
Gallup Approval Down to 38% Gallup

Gallup: Obama job approval at lowest ever - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

Obama Rings up Warren Buffet and Ford CEO Alan Mulally for Economic Advice

— But Why Them? - Bryan Preston/Pajamas Media
Obama gets advice on jobs plan - UPI
Josh Earnest told The Hill the president took time from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard Monday to talk with Buffett about possible measures that "would spur investment and increase economic growth." ..."They also talked about some measures that could address the long-term fiscal situation," Earnest said.

“Each of the proposals seems to be efficient, technical changes, but it doesn’t make any impact on the overall regulatory burdens that exist on the business community”

White House to Scale Back Regulations on Businesses - Wall St. Journal

“White House to Scale Back Regulations on Businesses” - Protein Wisdom

Question: does anyone believe this is being done to help businesses? Or is it as obvious to everyone else as it is to me that this is being done specifically so that this kind of story can be written — in which Obama and his regulatory agencies can be framed as pro-business, and in fact, practically Reaganesque in their desire to see government get out of the way of the private sector? ...The cynicism is astounding. And the willingness of the press to lap it up, staggering. read the rest

Obama sets record: $4,247,000,000,000 debt in just 945 days...

NATIONAL DEBT RISES BY $3 MILLION EACH MINUTE...even during his vacation - Andrew Malcolm/LA Times via Drudge

Monday, August 22, 2011

The race was widely viewed as a sleepy sideshow — a mere formality that would put David I. Weprin, a Democratic state assemblyman and heir to a Queens political dynasty, into a seat known for its deep blue hue.

NYT Shocked, SHOCKED To Find Voter Anger At Obama In Weiner’s Heavily Democratic District… - Weasel Zippers

Instead, the race has become something far more unsettling to Democrats: a referendum on the president and his party that is highlighting the surprisingly raw emotions of the electorate.

In the Race to Succeed Weiner, a Surprising Anger at Obama - NYT
Of all the places to hear fulminations against President Obama, one of the least expected is the corner of 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard, in the heart of a Congressional district that propelled Democrats like Geraldine A. Ferraro, Charles E. Schumer and Anthony D. Weiner to Washington.
The race to replace Anthony Weiner in NY-09 has taken a disturbing turn for Democrats. Bob Turner, who lost in 2010 by a wide margin to the disgraced former Congressman, only narrowly trails David Weprin in what had been considered a safe district in the Big Apple. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir

Paul Ryan Not Running for President

Ryan, who began seriously considering a bid in late May after Indiana governor Mitch Daniels took himself out of the race, had consulted with top Republicans, including Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, as he contemplated his political future. And though many of those he talked with told him he would be a viable candidate in such a fluid race, even as a late entry, Ryan ultimately decided to continue his focus on debt and entitlement reform as chairman of the House Budget Committee. - Weekly Standard

Ryan has said publicly he is concerned that those currently running for the GOP nomination are not addressing long-term fiscal and economic issues in a way that makes clear the magnitude of the challenges. He told Milwaukee talk radio host Charlie Sykes on August 12 that he was disappointed in the presidential debate in Iowa and thought the field needed a candidate who could articulate the need for limited government.

According to, the U.S. government's official website related to Recovery Act spending, the project created 1.72 permanent jobs. In addition, the Nevada state Division of Forestry reported the federal grant generated one full-time temporary job and 11 short-term project-oriented jobs.

Federal Stimulus Funds for Nevada's Green-Industry Grows Trees, But Few Jobs - FOX

Washington Examiner Sunday

Gay marriage a tricky issue for Obama, GOP - Michael Barone
The Republicans' problem with the same-sex marriage issue is young voters. Huge majorities of them favor same-sex marriage, and for most of them it's simply a no-brainer. They must have been turned off if they were watching the Republican presidential candidates vie with each other in opposing it in the Fox News-Washington Examiner debate in Iowa...
Hispanics still wary of Obama over deportations - Hayley Peterson
Facing an election-year backlash from Hispanic voters, President Obama put on hold the deportation of up to 300,000 illegal immigrants who have been rounded up by local police and turned over to the federal government under a program Obama instituted.

Obama called for individual reviews of 300,000 deportation cases and ordered that any cases involving children or immigrants who had not committed violent crimes -- the original target of his immigration enforcement program -- be suspended.

The administration's announcement follows increasing criticism from the Hispanic community of the president's aggressive deportation policies, which led to the removal of nearly 1 million immigrants over the last two years. No other president has overseen that many deportations.
VIDEO: Byron York on Fox: Green jobs falling flat - Charlie Spiering
PPP: Dems' enthusiasm gap is back - David Freddoso
Democratic pollster PPP, whose very accurate surveys of the recent races in Wisconsin have won it plaudits, poses a new problem to the Democrats -- or rather, an old problem that's back.
Obama told farmer to call wrong agency - Conn Carroll
Politico had a fun little item yesterday following up on President Obama's suggestion to an Illinois farmer to call the Department of Agriculutre about possible new dust regulations.... But when Politio called the USDA, this is what they found: "When this POLITICO reporter decided to take the president's advice and call the USDA for an answer to the Atkinson town hall attendee's question, I found myself in a bureaucratic equivalent of hot potato — getting bounced from the feds to Illinois state agriculture officials to the state farm bureau. ... So, still no answer to the farmer’s question."

So is the farmer's fears unfounded? Nope. There is a very real threat that farmers could face new dust regulations. The problem is Obama told the farmer to call the wrong federal agency.
Executive experience matters - Philip Klein
John McCormack argues that Rep. Paul Ryan’s vulnerabilities in a presidential election wouldn’t be any worse than the rest of the Republican field. I wanted to respond specifically to McCormack’s dismissal of the importance of executive experience.
VIDEO: Bruce Bartlett: Rick Perry is an idiot - Charlie Spiering
Former Republican Treasury official Bruce Bartlett is not a fan of Texas governor Rick Perry's statements on the Fed.
Where have all the millionaires gone? - Barbara Hollingsworth
Newsalert has posted a chart from a Wall Street Journal blog titled “Recession and the Rich.” The chart, based on 2009 IRS figures, shows that the number of taxpayers reporting annual income over $1 million fell 39 percent between 2007 and 2009; the number of super-wealthy individuals making over $10 million annually plunged 55 percent.
Paul Ryan on knife's edge of running for president - Michael Barone


Texas Governor Rick Perry emerged as the winner of the Republican Presidential Straw Poll at the Humboldt County Fair which included 10 declared candidates. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) was second and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, third.

“Nearly 600 fairgoers voted in the poll, during the August 11-21 fair,” according to Peter Hannaford, Humboldt Republican Party chairman. The results:
  • Perry 29%
  • Bachmann 18
  • Romney 15
  • Cain 2
  • Paul 7.4
  • Gingrich 7
  • Santorum 1.4
  • Huntsman 1.3
Sarah Palin received 4.2 percent as a write-in choice. The rest consisted of scattered single votes, and spoiled ballots/

Voting was open to all registered voters, regardless of party or independent status. Sixty-two percent checked the “Republican” box. “The ballot was printed in six versions, with the names rotating to avoid bias,” Hannaford noted. This is the third Republican straw poll this summer. Bachmann won the July 4 poll at the Eureka Main Street Fair and she and Perry were tied at the Rio Dell Wildwood Days Fair, August 6-7.


The Undecided: How Long Will Sarah Palin Keep Us in Suspense?

Palin’s public statements and actions, if taken at face value, though, reveal a person who has called for a candidate to “shake things up,” but who is herself wavering on that “earth-shattering” decision. - Tony Lee/Human Events

Asked what a potential Palin campaign would look like, Palin, according to Real Clear Politics, said, "Each campaign that I’ve ever run in these 20 years of elected office has been kind of unconventional. … We’ve always been outspent two to one, 10 to one, five to one. Never won any polls heading into election night, but usually won the election.”

Palin continued: “So it would be unconventional and very grassroots. Very grassroots. And I wouldn’t be out there looking for hires out of that political bubble that seem to result in the same old ideas, the same old talking points, the things that Americans get so sick and tired of hearing and kind of suffering through.”

Palin event on Labor Day weekend not a campaign launch?; Update: Rasmussen poll shows Palin losing to Obama by 17 points

In a must-read Washington Post op-ed today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor made the connection between the present jobs crisis and the nation’s ongoing debt crisis — and pinned blame for both on President Barack Obama

Cantor: Obama administration’s actions say, “We want to make it harder to create jobs” - HotAir

Cantor also took aim at the president’s reluctance to reform entitlements in the structural way necessary to ensure solvency and reiterated Republicans’ opposition to any new tax increases, writing that tax hikes would only “exacerbate the jobs crisis for the 14 million Americans out of work.”

As Cantor writes, the president’s class warfare rhetoric belies his purported concern for cooperation and action — and his willingness to raise taxes on even non-millionaire-and-billionaire households, like individuals reporting income of more than $200,000 and families and small businesses with incomes of more than $250,000, hints at the underlying agenda of his administration, which is, quite simply, to grow government.

Removing the obstacles to economic growth - Eric Cantor/Washington Post

Fox News Sunday: Bill Burton vs. Karl Rove

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Libya: Rebels take Tripoli, Gaddafi on ice

It’s been six months since Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi gave his “I am still in charge” speech, ranted about rats and drugged-up children, and appealed to his “son” Barack Obama for help. - Michelle Malkin
Libyan Rebels Enter Tripoli, Reportedly Arrest Qaddafi's Son - FOX
Gadhafi regime appears to 'crumble' - CNN
Jubilant Rebels Control Much of Tripoli - NYT
Rebels move into central Tripoli - BBC
Al Jazeera Liveblog
A Few Caveats About Qaddafi and Libya - commentarymagazine
Hold Your Water and Fire on Libya - Larry Johnson at No Quarter
Man, the cable news folks never learn. They are almost aspirating their tongues as they struggle to lend an air of crisis and impending doom to the events unfolding in Libya. Here is what is really going on–first and foremost you are hearing and seeing a well coordinated information operation that is being carried out by the intelligence services of the United States, the UK and France. I do not know who has the lead or how the responsibility is carved up among the three. But all of the intel services are on the ground in Libya and are providing paramilitary training and trying to organize some semblance of a “rebel” leadership.

The reports that Qaddafi has fled to Algeria and one of his sons has been captured may not be true. We will just have to wait and see. There are five possible outcomes....

Obama doesn't expect another recession

President Obama insisted the U.S. was not in danger of falling into another recession, but acknowledged in a televised interview aired Sunday that his reelection would hinge on the economy. - LA Times

He criticized Republicans for recent "brinkmanship" over raising the nation's debt ceiling but said he "absolutely can do business with them." ...Obama said he would push Democrats to find "common ground and compromise." ..."And if that's happening on both sides, there's no reason why we can't solve problems," he said.

Obama Likely To Propose Job-Training Program, Tax Credits, And Infrastructure Spending - Business Insider

(Like other jobs proposals that have been reported in recent weeks, this news is presumably another White House trial balloon).

Even Dems Lose Faith In Obama's Economics

In a portentous development for President Obama's favorability, the bottom has fallen out of the base of support

Before July's 51%, until then the lowest of the president's term, though still positive, the average among Democrats giving him good grades was 59%. So this month's rating represents a 37% drop.

Every day, thousands more Americans are giving up on Barack Obama’s presidency. - Powerline

It was only three months ago that you could hardly open a newspaper without encountering columns full of growing predictions about the revolution sweeping the Middle East. Now the Arab Spring is swiftly becoming the embarrassing relative in the journalism family. The predictions as silly as crystal healing and alien visitations.

Burying the Arab Spring - Daniel Greenfield/Canada Free Press

Lawsuit reform could be big in 2012

Nobody knows where Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign will go or how far, but one thing is certain: The Lone Star State has been growing new jobs faster than any other state for the past decade and, since he has occupied the governor's chair for most of that time, Perry is eager to talk about why that happened and what needs to be done to duplicate it nationally. - Washington Examiner Editorial

Experts and pundits can debate exactly how much of the credit should go to Perry, but there is little doubt that people across America are paying attention. One of the factors Perry repeatedly cites as playing a central role in the Texas economic success is lawsuit reform. Insuring equity and fairness for all defendants and plaintiffs, he argues, is essential to creating a business environment that encourages job creation and economic growth.

A widely praised lawsuit reform measure Perry signed into law earlier this year was not the state's first experience on the issue. In 2003 and 2005, Texas adopted, also with Perry's active support, medical malpractice lawsuit abuse reforms that soon thereafter began to produce remarkable results. Within three years of the reforms' enactment, medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors were reduced by 35 percent, saving physicians more than $200 million. That in turn reversed a growing doctor shortage in Texas by attracting a vast new influx of doctors fleeing other states with less enlightened laws to open up practices in Texas. That influx in its turn provided incentive for nearly three dozen insurers to offer new medical insurance products that helped drive down costs and improve services for doctors and patients alike. read the rest...

Obama appears to be running as if this is 2008, not 2012 — and as if the enormous damage of his presidency will be stuffed down a memory hole.

Obama’s Dissociative Disorder Ploy - Commentary Magazine

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal contains these two priceless paragraphs:
President Barack Obama pitched himself onto the political scene as a man who could rise above partisan politics, and despite presiding over a bitterly divided government, he is starting the 2012 campaign still casting himself as that guy.

On a three-day midwestern bus trip, Mr. Obama tried to portray himself as an outsider. “The only thing that’s holding us back right now is our politics,” he said three times at a town-hall-style meeting here on Wednesday. “That’s the message we need to send to Washington,” he said, as if he wasn’t part of Washington.
The mind reels at the brazenness of this strategy.

Campaigning as Mr. Outsider - President Obama, Touring the Midwest, Seeks to Portray Congress as the Problem - Wall St. Journal

Jon Huntsman: Trust Science on Global Warming

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman leveled criticism again Sunday against Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and his positions on evolution and climate change. - Newsmax

Huntsman said taking a position like Perry's "that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position."

Hunstman Unleashes on Fellow GOP Candidates - FOX
Dems Using Jon Huntsman’s Words to Blast Republicans - Gateway Pundit

McCain: Gadhafi Will Be Gone In a 'Matter of Hours'

“We will be rid of a guy who has practiced the worst kind of brutalities,” added McCain, one of the leading foreign policy experts in the Senate. - Newsmax

"I grieve a bit because this conflict didn't have to last this long," McCain told CBS' Norah O'Donnell. "The United States' air power could have shortened this conflict dramatically. Unfortunately we chose not to. We led from behind."

It seems that the Secretary of Education needs to repeat a course or two on research, honesty, and integrity.

Dallas Morning News: (Education Secretary Arne) Duncan flat-out lied about Texas education - HotAir

We shouldn’t hear lies come out of the mouth of the nation’s top education official... when he discusses the record of millions of students and dedicated educators....

Here’s another clue: Texas caps student-to-teacher ratios in primary and secondary education by statute at 22:1. That limitation has been in place during the entire time that Perry has been governor in Texas. The nation’s Secretary of Education apparently doesn’t know how to do research before positing claims, or — as Jones accuses — deliberately lied for political purposes.

The obvious political purpose is to attack a Republican challenger to his boss, which would put Duncan out of work. Jones offers another motive: Perry’s refusal to join Duncan’s Race to the Top. Perry balked at the program as part of his general opposition to federal interference in state jurisdiction, which Jones calls “political,” but offers it as a reason that Duncan would want to make Texas’ education efforts look deficient. This one is a MUST READ

What if Obama quit?

Nothing says that Obama has to run for a second term in office. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir

Obama’s numbers are plummeting in places Democrats can hardly afford to lose. In Pennsylvania, where Obama will top a ticket that also includes Bob Casey’s bid for a second Senate term, he’s either at 43% approval (Quinnipiac) or at 35% (Muhlenberg). Wisconsin turned Republican last year and a series of elections this year confirmed it, and Herb Kohl’s seat in the Senate is up for grabs. Obama can be expected to drag down the ticket in Virginia (James Webb’s seat is open), Florida (Bill Nelson), Ohio (Sherrod Brown), Maryland (Ben Cardin), and Michigan (Debbie Stabenow). Obama is underwater in New York and New Jersey already, two normally staunch Democratic states, both with Senate races on the line as well. If Obama runs at the top of those tickets, he might eke out victories in the two states, but his presence on the ticket will depress Democratic turnout and might endanger Kirsten Gillibrand and Robert Menendez; Democrats would almost certainly have to spend a ton of money to bolster them that they’d normally spend elsewhere.

Democrats will be looking at a massacre in the Senate, and that’s not even including already-endangered seats in Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, and New Mexico, which just elected its first Republican woman governor last year. Democrats could wind up losing enough seats to give Republicans a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate if Obama chases away the white working-class vote that he’s been alienating for the past two years on ObamaCare and now his disastrous economic performance. If unemployment starts rising and growth remains low in the next few months, Democrats may insist on Obama finding a graceful exit before the primaries.