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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Caught on Tape: Spectators Injured by Falling Tree During Marine Helicopter Demo

(NY1) - Witnesses at the scene tell NY1 the wind force of an Osprey aircraft doing a demonstration knocked over part of a tree in Clove Lakes Park. A total of 10 people suffered minor injuries. One person was taken to Richmond University Medical Center.

Belgium: 2 'adopt' grave of Stokes man

(By Lisa O'Donnell, Winston-Salem Journal) - Sometime over the weekend, Dennis and Gerda Hermsen walked among the thousands of graves in Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium and laid flowers at the foot of a white cross that marks the grave of Leonard Leake.

Leake was a Stokes County native who was killed on Feb. 2, 1945, by small-arms fire while leading a group of soldiers in the waning days of World War II.

In the 62 years since his body was permanently interred at the cemetery, just one of his family members has been able to make the journey to his grave. The cemetery is one of 24 American cemeteries on foreign soil.

Honoring the Dead

(By Lisa O'Donnell, Winston-Salem Journal) - Ken Brown is a keeper of the flame for the war dead of Stokes County.

From Marklan Mabe's death in the Civil War in 1861 to Phillip Nixon's fatal wound in Honduras in 1991, Brown has documented the deaths of hundreds of Stokes County soldiers on his website, www.kenbrown.info/stokes.

Brown, who is retired from the Navy, has spent much of the past 10 years digging through archives, traveling to cemeteries and talking with family members about their loved ones.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Parish President: President Obama 'Chewed Me Out'

GRAND ISLE, La. (Political Punch) - Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish whose frustrations about the federal government response have been featured prominently on TV in the past few weeks, told ABC News that in the private meeting the president had with local leaders here today, President Obama "chewed me out."

Nungesser, a Republican, told ABC News that President Obama "told me that we need to communicate."

He said that he told President Obama that after his first visit to the region a few weeks ago, "We got the jack-up boats done cause of you. And you spent more time with us than any other president. But since then, it was a bottleneck. Things weren't getting done. All of it was sitting in the marsh."

Rep. Michele Bachmann Blasts House Dems for Voting to Allow Another Federal Pay Raise

(The Hill) - The House voted 227-183 to table a motion to recommit a defense authorization bill to kill a 1.4 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees proposed by the Obama administration. The cuts were picked under the GOP's "YouCut" initiative, and was offered by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). Republicans said the cuts would have saved $30 billion over 10 years.

Charles Krauthammer Names the Big Winner & Loser in Oil Spill Fallout

"Incompetent and incontinent behavior."

Obama’s Faith Advisor Says It’s Wrong to Question Faith But Then Rants ‘Is Libertarianism Christian?’

"Well I say that's un-Christian that point of view."

Friday, May 28, 2010

As Harvard Law Dean, Elena Kagan Did Not Require Study of U.S. Constitutional Law But Did Require Study of International and Foreign Law

(CNSNews.com) – Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, is best known for moving Harvard Law School away from the 100-year old “case-law method” of legal study.

But in the process, critics say, she moved the nation’s premier law school away from requiring the study of U.S. constitutional law towards the study of the laws of foreign nations and international law.

As dean, Kagan won approval from the faculty in 2006 to make major changes to the Harvard Law's curriculum.

Sec. Kathleen Sebelius: Rationing Advocate is ‘Absolutely Right Leader At This Time’ to Run Medicare

(CNSNews.com) - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday that Dr. Donald Berwick, an advocate of health-care rationing nominated by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, is “absolutely the right leader at this time” to run the government’s largest health-care entitlement programs.

Under the health-care reform law signed by President Obama in March, hundreds of billions of dollars will be cut from the Medicare program over the next decade. Berwick is nominated to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees Medicare.

'Press Wouldn't Cover Sestak Story If Rahm Announced It On Pennsylvania Area In A Speedo'

(Eyeblast.tv) - On 'Morning Joe', Joe Scarborough said the MSM is so reluctant to cover the Sestak job-bribe story that they wouldn't do so if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo.

Video Of Deaf Baby Boy Hearing For The First Time Goes Viral

(By Colby Hall, Mediaite) - A cochlear implant is a surgical procedure that helps the hearing impaired or deaf hear for the first time. The following video is of a little baby boy named Jonathan who is hearing his mother’s voice and laughter for the very first time. Not much to say here except that after watching the clip, one’s spirit may, in fact, soar (cynics beware!)

ABC News Reporter Upsets Author Living Next to Palin by Knocking on His Door

"I am going to have to call the Wasilla police. Get off my property, now."

Was He Joking? Fox News Host Calls Himself Wrong Name Twice

"I'm Steve Doocy..."

Rush Limbaugh: 10 Questions I Would Have Asked Obama

"Do you prefer golf or basketball when avoiding the hard work of being President?"

Former Child Star Gary Coleman Dead at 42

(FOXNews.com) - Former child TV star Gary Coleman died Friday after doctors took him off life support, Fox News confirms. The "Diff'rent Strokes" star had slipped into a coma and was placed on life support after suffering an intracranial hemorrhage at his home Wednesday. He was 42.

Coleman, was conscious and lucid until midday Thursday, when his condition worsened and he slipped into unconsciousness. Coleman was then placed on life support before doctors took him off.

Coleman has had continuing ill health from a kidney disease he suffered as a child. He had at least two kidney transplants and had ongoing dialysis.

Tiger Woods’ Attorneys: Hold Off On Horndogging Until Divorce Is Finalized

(By Dan Fogarty, SportsGrid) - USMagazine.com is reporting that Tiger Woods’ attorneys have put a moratorium on Woods seeing other women until after his divorce from wife Elin is finalized.

This sounds like solid legal advising, considering she’s reportedly seeking $750 million in a rumored divorce settlement. But if the reports are true, Woods may have some ’splaining to do.

From HuffPo Sports:

Woods may need to explain why he was reportedly spotted with a mysterious blonde last week. After all, he has allegedly cavorted with multiple porn stars, and his sex fantasies have been called “not normal” (and possibly orgy-filled).

Woods is set to return to golf at the Memorial Open next week, after withdrawing from the Player’s Championship due to a neck injury.

White House asked Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about Senate run

(The Plum Line) - Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation.

But the White House maintains that the Clinton-Sestak discussions were informal, according to the sources. The White House, under pressure to divulge the specifics of its interactions with Sestak, will release a formal statement later today outlining their version of events, including Clinton's involvement.

According to the sources, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel asked Clinton and his longtime adviser, lawyer Doug Band, to talk to Sestak about the race. It's unclear right now whether the White House will say that Clinton was asked to suggest specific administration positions for Sestak, whether Clinton floated positions on his own, whether Clinton discussed other options not related to the adminstration, or whether employment even came up at all in the talks.

Related Material...

Why did the White House contact Joe Sestak’s brother?

(By Michelle Malkin) - Is Bob “The Silencer” Bauer hard at work fixing the Sestak scandal for Boss Obama?


'Roll Call' reports that somebody at the White House dialed up Joe Sestak’s brother and campaign manager, Richard, yesterday in preparation for the “official statement” that the president promised would be released soon...

Louisiana Congressman Breaks Down During Hearing About Oil Spill

"Everything that I know and love is at risk."

Hillary Clinton: Rich ‘Not Paying Their Fair Share’ in Taxes

"The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues (the United States is), whether it's individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are."

Obama’s Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children."

Rush Limbaugh: I know I'll be destroyed eventually

Radio giant fears not only for his life, but also his wealth, accomplishments

(By Joe Kovacs, World Net Daily) - He's the most-listened-to personality in the history of U.S. radio, but Rush Limbaugh feared for his life recently and said he knows he faces destruction at some point, to the delight of some of the American public.

In an e-mail sent to Zev Chafets, author of the new book "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," Limbaugh admitted, "I know I am a target and I know I will be destroyed eventually. I fear that all I have accomplished and all the wealth I have accumulated will be taken from me, to the cheers of the crowd. I know I am hated and despised by the American Left."

The message was sent the day after President Obama laughed at comedian Wanda Sykes' joke about Limbaugh's death during last year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Ann Coulter on attorneys who allegedly exposed CIA interrogators

FMR CBO Director - The True Cost of Health Care

(infohwyguy) — Former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director, Douglas Holt-Eakin, summarizes to Fox News his analysis of the true cost of the new health care law. Quoting from the American Action Forum, which conducted the analysis; "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC) will have profound implications for U.S. labor markets. The PPAC is fiscally dangerous, raising the risk of higher labor (and other) taxes at a time when the job market is struggling." Aired on 5/28/2010.

NASA Satellites Capture Growing Oil Spill

(NASA Television) — NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites have captured images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began April 20, 2010, with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil rig. In time lapse, the video reveals a space-based view of the evolution of the oil spill through May 24. The oil slick appears greyish-beige in the image.

Tavis Smiley: Many More Examples of Christians Than Muslims Blowing People Up in U.S.

"Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is - I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians - and I happen to be a Christian. That's back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Legitimate

Rush Limbaugh: Vice President Joe Biden's continual foot-in-mouth routine is usually good for a few laughs. But there's no humor to be had in his recent statement in Brussels, Belgium.

Here's Biden's quote: "Some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the 'capital of the free world.' But it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title."

Uh... Excuse me, Mr. VP -- was it the Belgian army that rescued Europe from Adolf Hitler and the fascist axis powers? Was it Belgium that provided the military forces that kept Europe free during the era of the Iron Curtain? Was it Belgium whose leader said, "Tear down this wall," or stood toe-to-toe with the "Evil Empire," or kept the Soviet Union from swallowing western Europe? And who funds NATO, anyway? Who funds Belgium?

When Europe was still ruled by monarchs and in the grip of feudalism, was it Belgium's founding fathers who risked everything to establish the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence? Principles that later spread to Europe? Or was it America?

Is it such a big F-ing deal to be proud of your own country, Mr. Biden? I mean, you, sir, are a total embarrassment to your nation and to our history. There's no other way to say it: You're an idiot! And you have a legitimate claim on that title -- all to yourself.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• FOXNews: Biden Says Brussels Could Be 'Capital of the Free World'

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Obama: You Never Heard Me Say ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’

"The fact that oil companies now have to go a mile under water and then drill another three miles below that in order to hit oil tells us something about the direction of the oil industry. Extraction is more expensive and it is going to be inherently more risky. And so that's part of the reason you never heard me say, 'Drill, baby, drill!'"

Obama Refuses to Condemn Arizona Boycott

"I'm the President of the United States. I don't endorse boycotts or not endorse boycotts."

Obama Says Administration Will Respond to Rep. Joe Sestak Allegation ‘Soon’

"I can assure the public that nothing improper took place."

‘Did You Plug the Hole Yet, Daddy?

“When I woke up this morning and I’m shaving, and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she says, 'Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'”

John Kerry: Voters Who Are Angry at Washington Are Stupid

(Weasel Zippers) - Times are tough, especially among those still looking for good jobs, but Sen. John Kerry doesn’t think Washington’s to blame. In fact the former Democratic presidential candidate, concerned with the anger voters are aiming at Washington, says that his party and President Obama are doing a ship-shape job.

“We’ve come back,” he says of the nation, Wall Street, and the economy. “This is an amazing resurgence.”

It wasn’t a slam at the Tea Party movement and those upset at Washington as much as a frustration he feels that Congress and the president aren’t getting the credit he thinks they deserve for pulling the country out of a second depression.

“I think there’s a comprehension gap,” said Kerry. His point: While people may not be feeling the benefits of the bailouts and healthcare reform yet, Congress has been working with Obama to right the economic ship. Still, he sounded sympathetic to those kicked around by the economy. “There’s a sense of some things unraveling” to them, said Kerry.

But he said that the D.C.-directed attacks are hypocritical, since many of those attacking Washington spending presumably want to keep their Social Security and Medicare and want Washington to play a big role in the Gulf Oil cleanup. “There’s a huge contradiction on a daily basis,” he said."

Art Laffer on How Taxes Impact Economy

(Fox Business Network) — "Return to Prosperity" author Art Laffer explains the theory behind the Laffer Curve.

Art Laffer: I'm Concerned Long Run About Inflation

(Fox Business Network) — "Return to Prosperity" author Art Laffer argues inflation will return in the next few years.

Arlen Specter's Revenge

(By Benjamin Sarlin, The Daily Beast) - Friends tell 'The Daily Beast' that the departing senator, injured by Obama's failure to show last-minute support, may well shift right on key votes from Kagan to financial reform.

The Sound of Silence

(Fox News Channel) — Why are both Rep. Joe Sestak and the White House withholding information on job offer claim?

Newt Gingrich: 'Dereliction of Duty' By Obama

(Fox News Channel) — Former Speaker of House assesses president's handling of Gulf oil disaster.

John Stossel: Dont Rely on Gov't to Clean Up Oil Spill

(Fox Business Network) — FBN's John Stossel argues we shouldn't rely on the government to clean up the oil spill because the private sector is more capable and efficient.

Senate Leader Reid: Some Republicans Call Unemployed Americans ‘Bums’ and ‘Hobos’

(CNSNews.com) - As the unemployment rate in the United States approaches 10 percent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that some “on the Republican side” have called out-of-work Americans “bums” and “hobos.” He also said the unemployed are people who legitimately “cannot find work for long periods of time,” and he disagreed with those who suggest that unemployment is a “never-ending issue.”

“You have two Senators here, the Reid cousins,” Harry Reid told reporters during a Wednesday press conference about defense spending with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). “We have tremendous unemployment in our states. We’re vying [for] who has the highest unemployment--it’s nothing you want to win but we’ve got problems in our states. We have huge unemployment. We can’t leave here unless we address that issue.”

Obama Judicial Nominee Says Sexual Sadists Deserve Lighter Sentences

(NewsBusters) - President Obama's nominee to the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Robert N. Chatigny, holds a disturbing fringe opinion that sexual sadism should be a legal mitigating factor. In fact, Chatigny put this belief in action while presiding over the case against the "Roadside Strangler" where he did everything in his power to keep serial rapist and killer Michael Ross from getting the death penalty.

Bill O’Reilly To Marc Lamont Hill: ‘You Kind Of Look Like A Cocaine Dealer’

(Mediaite) - While posing a hypothetical, Bill O’Reilly said to his guest “Say you’re a cocaine dealer, and you kind of look like one a little bit,” to which Marc Lamont Hill quipped “You know, you actually look like a cocaine user.”

Presidential Visit Means No Pay for Some CA Construction Workers

"It's with no pay and we have no choice. We have to take a day off and come back Thursday. We don't get to meet the President. We're the workers and we don't get to see him."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Never Works!

Rush Limbaugh: According to the New York Times, Europeans are "suddenly" worried that the economic crisis is threatening their liberal benefits. I mean, it's downright hilarious.

Listen to this: "Across Western Europe -- the 'lifestyle superpower' -- the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt." My heart bleeds. The Times goes on to say their deficit crisis has "undermined the sustainability of the European standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II."

Worse, Europeans have "boasted" for years about their generous vacations, early retirements, national health care programs, cradle-to-grave welfare benefits while sneering at the "comparative harshness of American capitalism." And yet now... they're broke.

Nowhere in this tale of woe does the Times or any of the quoted Euro-libs address why Europe's falling apart. Namely, that socialist welfare states "built by left-leaning governments" are doomed!

These people will never understand they are the problem. And what's "harsh"? Capitalism? Or the socialist nightmare of waking up to find your pension is worthless, and your government is collapsing? All because you wanted eight-week vacations, luxurious benefits, never-ending strikes, and the ability to walk around with a holier-than-thou, pompous attitude, sneering at Americans for working hard!

It's the Ponzi model, the Madoff model, the Obama, Nancy, and Harry model: Party now with money you don't have, and figure someone else will pay for it -- when you're dead. It doesn't work. It's never worked. And it never will work -- not over there... and certainly not over here.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• New York Times: Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Safe Landing Ends Atlantis' Final Flight

(NASA Television) — STS-132 Commander Ken Ham and his five crewmates: Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Steve Bowen, Mike Good and Piers Sellers are safely back on Earth after space shuttle Atlantis glided to a picture-perfect landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Wednesday morning, May 26. It was Atlantis' 32nd and final flight, traveling a total of more than 120 million miles. The 12-day, STS-132 mission delivered the Russian Mini Research Module-1, Rassvet ("dawn") to the International Space Station.

Indonesian Toddler Smokes 40 Cigarettes a Day

(Metro) - Ardi got his first taste for tobacco when his father Mohammed, a 30-year-old fishmonger, gave him a cigarette when he was a year and a half old - and now he throws tantrums if he can't doesn't get his 40 cigarettes a day.

13-Story Mosque to Be Built Near Ground Zero

(NY Post) - Angry relatives of 9/11 victims last night clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan. After four hours of public debate, members of Community Board 1 finally voted 29-1 in support of the project. Nine members abstained, arguing that they wanted to table the issue and vote at a later date.

Gov. Chris Christie to Teacher: If You Don't Like My Education Budget, Find a New Job

RUTHERFORD (NorthJersey.com) - Governor Christie on Tuesday told a borough teacher to find another job if she did not feel she was compensated enough as he defended his state budget cuts and promoted a plan to cap annual growth in property tax collections.

He also told an 89-year-old former mayor she'd have to wait until next spring for a rebate she'd been getting for more than a decade in the late summer. And he told a parent that cuts to services, including the local library, are needed because "we are out of money."

A largely friendly crowd of about 150 people turned out in a church gymnasium to hear Christie deliver a half-hour talk that trashed greedy public employee unions and state laws that handcuff local officials trying to control spending.

He then opened the floor to questions. A few were softballs, including the declaration by Clara Nebot of Bergenfield that Christie is "a god" to her relatives in Florida.

But borough teacher Rita Wilson, a Kearny resident, argued that if she were paid $3 an hour for the 30 children in her class, she’d be earning $83,000, and she makes nothing near that.

"You’re getting more than that if you include the cost of your benefits," Christie interrupted.

When Wilson, who has a master’s degree, said she was not being compensated for her education and experience, Christie said:

"Well, you know then that you don’t have to do it." Some in the audience applauded.

Christie said he would not have had to impose cuts to education if the teachers union had agreed to his call for a one-year salary freeze and a 1.5 percent increase in employee benefit contributions.

"Your union said that is the greatest assault on public education in the history of the state," Christie said. "That’s why the union has no credibility, stupid statements like that."

Sen. Gregg: Financial Reform Bill Is A ‘Disaster’

"The bill is a disaster because it doesn’t address the fundamental underlining causes of the economic issue, which were real estate and underwriting."

Reporter Reveals: Robert Gibbs Privately Scolded Press for Asking Too Many BP Questions

"In a sign of defensiveness..."

Dr. Charles Krauthammer Offers to Write Obama Rx for Valium

(Politico) - "The more he [President Obama] talked [with Senate Republicans in a closed-door meeting Tuesday], the more he got upset," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said. “He needs to take a valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans and just calm down, and don’t take anything so seriously. If you disagree with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re attacking their motives — and he takes it that way and tends then to lecture and then gets upset.”

Joy Behar: BP Oil Spill ‘Can Be Laid at [Dick] Cheney’s Feet’

(NewsBusters) - This time, and just like other times in the past, "The View" co-host and host of her own HLN show, Joy Behar used the BP oil spill to attack the Bush administration, specifically former Vice President Dick Cheney by suggesting he was really behind the oil spill. Her source - it was an outspoken critic of the Bush administration and aid to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson.

Mitch McConnell to Rand Paul: Stay out of the spotlight

"My advice to him would be to speak to the people who are going to be actually voting in this election. I think he's said quite enough for the time being in terms of national press coverage."

Irate James Carville Begs Obama: ‘Get Down Here and Take Control’

"The political stupidity of this is just unbelievable...we're about to die down here!"

James Carville on White House BP Response: Obama Has ‘Been Misled By Advisers’

"When you have a screw-up of this magnitude, somebody’s head has to roll.”

Neil Cavuto's Common Sense: Out of money, out of options

Is NYT Putting America in Danger?

(Fox News Channel) — Lt. Col. Ralph Peters blasts newspaper for revealing covert Mideast military operations.

Run for the Border

(Fox News Channel) — 'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in on president sending 1,200 troops to border.

BP Reveals 'Fundamental Mistake' on Oil Well

BP told congressional investigators that a decision to continue work on an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico after a test warned that something was wrong may have been a "fundamental mistake."

(FOXNews.com) - Oil giant BP PLC told congressional investigators that a decision to continue work on an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico after a test warned that something was wrong may have been a "fundamental mistake," according to a memo released by two lawmakers Tuesday.

The document describes a wide array of mistakes in the fateful final hours aboard the Deepwater Horizon—but the main revelation is that BP now says there was a clear warning sign of a "very large abnormality" in the well, but work proceeded anyway.

The rig exploded about two hours later.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Congress Prepares to Quadruple Oil Tax

WASHINGTON (AP) - Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

The tax is levied on oil produced in the U.S. or imported from foreign countries. The revenue goes to a fund managed by the Coast Guard to help pay to clean up spills in waterways, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

The tax increase is part of a larger bill that has grown into a nearly $200 billion grab bag of unfinished business that lawmakers hope to complete before Memorial Day. The key provisions are a one-year extension of about 50 popular tax breaks that expired at the end of last year, and expanded unemployment benefits, including subsidies for health insurance, through the end of the year.

Sam Donaldson Compares Arizona to Tiananmen Square

Fawning press now gets cold shoulder from Obama

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Will Barack Obama go an entire year without holding a formal news conference? He's getting close: The president's last full-scale session with the press was on July 22, 2009, which was 307 days ago.

When Obama last held a big news conference, there had not yet been terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, Detroit, and Times Square. Scott Brown was an unknown Massachusetts state senator. There was no national health care bill, much less national health care law. Tiger Woods appeared to be a model family man.

A lot can happen in 307 days, which is far longer than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton ever went between news conferences.

Obama Medicare Pick Promises Rationing, Smacks Free Market

(CNSNews.com) – Dr. Donald Berwick, nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that runs Medicare, published an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), advising leaders of Britain’s socialized health care system: “Please don’t put your faith in market forces.”

The article, published in the July 26, 2008 issue of the BMJ, compared the U.S. health care system unfavorably to the British system, which Berwick said he was “romantic about.”

The article included a list of 10 suggestions for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). One of these suggestions was:

“Please don’t put your faith in market forces [emphasis in original]. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I find little evidence that market forces relying on consumers choosing among an array of products, with competitors fighting it out, leads to the healthcare system you want and need. In the U.S., competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply driven, fragmented care system.”

Berwick also outlined his 10 suggestions for Britain’s National Health Service at a speech he delivered in Wembley, England, on July 1, 2008. In the speech, Berwick said that the health care choices made by “leaders” will be better than the choices that individuals make for themselves.

“I cannot believe that the individual health care consumer can enforce through choice the proper configurations of a system as massive and complex as health care. That is for leaders to do,” Berwick said.

Mass. Gov.: Obama Criticism 'Almost at the Level of Sedition'

(The Boston Globe) - Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.”

The Democratic governor, who is close to the president, made the comments at a forum at Suffolk Law School's Rappaport Center, where he was asked by an audience member about partisan battling in Congress.

Patrick said that even "on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure," he doesn't face anything like the opposition faced by the president.

"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said.

Merriam-Webster.com, the dictionary site, defines sedition as "incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.''

After the forum, Patrick explained his remarks.

“I think that the number of people in the Grand Old Party who seem to be absolutely committed to saying ‘no,' whenever he says ‘yes,’ no matter what it is, even if it’s an idea that they came up with, is just extraordinary,” the governor told reporters after the forum.

Under Fire for Oil Spill, Obama Hosting 3 Fundraisers for Sen. Barbara Boxer

Obama to Visit Bay Area to Bolster Boxer's Bid

SAN FRANCISCO (San Francisco Chronicle) - President Obama will land in the Bay Area today to raise money for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's re-election campaign as an anti-incumbent wave has Republicans in blue California convinced this is their best shot in years to oust their liberal nemesis.

The president's two-day trip, which includes a pitch Wednesday for green jobs, underscores the high stakes for Democrats, who want to avoid a big loss this year in California, which could be a blow to the party in the 2012 presidential election.

At the same time, Republicans are eyeing Boxer's seat as a foothold toward recovering a majority in the Senate.

Dick Morris: Rep. Joe Sestak Bribery Is Impeachable Offense

WASHINGTON (By Peter Baker, The New York Times) - For three months, the White House has refused to say whether it offered a job to Representative Joe Sestak to get him to drop his challenge to Senator Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary, as Mr. Sestak has asserted.

But the White House wants everyone who suspects that something untoward, or even illegal, might have happened to rest easy: though it still will not reveal what happened, the White House is reassuring skeptics that it has examined its own actions and decided it did nothing wrong. Whatever it was that it did.

“Lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “And nothing inappropriate happened.”

Obama Redistribution Victory: Private Pay Plummets, Gov't Handouts Soar

(By Dennis Cauchon, USA Today) - Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.

At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.

Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.

Another Vacation? Obama Schedules Second Since Oil Spill...

WASHINGTON (Chicago Breaking News) - The news that President Barack Obama and his family will return to Chicago for the Memorial Day weekend has triggered a guessing game.

Where will they dine? What will they do for fun? With the Sox on the road and the Blackhawks skating into the Stanley Cup finals, might the first family ditch its predictable pastimes -- basketball, golf and tennis -- and go to the United Center for hockey?

According to a White House official, the Obamas will arrive Thursday and stay until Monday, when Obama will participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood. The veterans' cemetery is about 50 miles south of Chicago.

Related Material...

Rush Limbaugh mocks Bill O’Reilly in book

(By Christina Wilkie, The Hill) - In a new biography on sale Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh calls fellow conservative talk show host Bill O’Reilly a “Ted Baxter” — after the fictional character on the “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” who was portrayed as a vain, shallow, buffoonish TV newsman.

“Sorry but somebody’s gotta say it,” Limbaugh is quoted as saying in Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One by Zev Chafets. At press time, O’Reilly had yet to respond to the comment.

But it wasn’t just Bill-O who took grief from Big Rush. Limbaugh said he doesn’t consider any of his fellow conservative talk show hosts to be in his league.

Democrat Senator Proposes $165B Bailout for Unions as U.S. Debt Rages

(Fox News) - A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers. The bill, which would put the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation behind struggling pensions for union workers, is being introduced by Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), who says it will save jobs and help people.

John Stossel Defends Rand Paul And Business Right To Discriminate...

Laura Ingraham on Elena Kagan

(Fox Business Network) — Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham on Elena Kagan's efforts to keep the military from recruiting on Harvards campus when she was dean of the law school.

Laura Ingraham on Obama's Oil Spill Response

(Fox Business Network) — Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham on the administrations lack of a response to BPs oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rep. Joe Sestak Confirms Bribe: DNC and WH at Odds

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., repeated Sunday the White House had offered him a job if he would withdraw from the primary race against Sen. Arlen Specter.

Sestak, who defeated the five-term incumbent Specter to win the Democratic nomination in the Senate primary, was asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" if the Obama administration had offered a position in exchange for his agreeing not to run.

"Yeah," he replied. "I was asked that question months after it happened. And I felt an obligation to answer it honestly. I said, 'yes.'"

Asked what job, Sestak said: "No, no … and I said at the time, anything beyond that just gets into politics."

‘Shameful’: Rep. Patrick Kennedy Likens Arizona Law to ‘Slave Trade’

"So, this idea of, you know, racial profiling, takes us backwards and really goes to the worst character of our nation and it’s, it’s demeaning to our country that we would move in that direction."

Bill O’Reilly Offers Surprise Solution to Stop Gulf Oil Spill

"Stuff every member of NBC News in that hole."

Crowd Boos Commencement Speaker Who Criticized Arizona Law

"One reason it has instigated a boycott is because to a whole lot of people, myself included, it appears to not only invite but require the police to engage in racial profiling..."

Joe Biden: Brussels Has Legitimate Claim to 'Capital of the Free World' Title

(Eyeblast.tv) - In a speech given before the European Union on May 6th 2010 Vice President Joe Biden claimed that Brussels could be considered the capital of the free world instead of Washington DC.

Chris Matthews: 'Will Obama Eventually Get Blamed for Slow Action on Oil Spill?'

(Eyeblast.tv) - Chris Matthews asks an interesting question that elicits some equally fascinating answers given the parties involved.

Sarah Palin vs Robert Gibbs

Sam Donaldson: I'd Be Shocked If Rand Paul Becomes Kentucky's Senator

AZ immigration bill becomes hot potato in gubernatorial race in California

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - How much of a signature issue has illegal immigration become in a cycle that supposedly focused on nothing but the economy? The new law in Arizona has entered into the politics of the governor’s race … in California. GOP hopeful Steve Poizner has a new ad in the final days before the June primary in the Golden State hammering opponent Meg Whitman for her public stance against Arizona’s SB 1070. Poizner wonders whether California needs a governor who has the same opinion about the Arizona measure as Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon:

Report: Healthcare law tax credits encourage small businesses to stay small, not hire

(By Jay Heflin, The Hill) - A study by the National Center for Policy Analysis shows that tax credits in the new healthcare law could negatively impact small-business hiring decisions.

The new law provides a 50 percent tax credit to companies offering health coverage that have fewer than 10 workers who, on average, earn $25,000 a year. The tax credit is reduced as more employees are added to the payroll. …

Using insurance premium cost projections supplied by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the study states that the credit reaches its optimal point at 13 workers, with relief peaking at $36,400 for qualifying business.

After the 13th worker the economics surrounding the credit change, the study says.

For employers with 15 workers, taking on an additional hire will reduce the credit by $1,400. For a company looking to expand from 20 to 21 workers, the credit will shrink by $3,733. And businesses will take a $5,600 reduction on the credit when hiring the 25th worker.

The credit phases out for companies with at least 26 employees.

Time for a guilty-but-mentally-ill verdict

Michael Hayes, never punished, is getting out. That's wrong.

(CharlotteObserver.com) - We all knew this day was coming. We knew that Michael Hayes, who shot nine people, killing four, in Forsyth County in 1988, would probably go free one day.

The reason: he was pronounced not guilty by reason of insanity. The judicial system could not send him to prison, but it could commit him to a mental institution.

Ever since then Hayes has been assigned to mental institutions where professionals could keep close watch over him. But in truth, mental health officials have found no signs of psychotic behavior in Hayes for two decades. He has held jobs, fathered two children and spent much of his time away from the campus of Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, working at a convenience store or visiting his girlfriend. Last year the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled that Hayes could be released from the hospital's supervision with appropriate conditions attached.

2010 NC budget debate brings 2011 into view

RALEIGH, N.C. (StarNewsOnline.com) - Republicans complained during Senate debate last week over the chamber's $19 billion budget for next year that Democrats haven't prepared North Carolina state government for the fiscal woes facing the state in 2011.

That's when lawmakers won't have more than $1.6 billion in federal stimulus funds currently used to fill holes for increasing Medicaid costs, the public schools and universities. Temporary income and sales tax increases generating $1.3 billion annually also are set to expire. And pent-up demands from the state employee pension funds and health insurance will have to be resolved.

"This budget total ignores the $3-plus billion cliff the state is about to go over in the next fiscal year," Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said last week on the day the bill passed largely along party lines.

What is to become of Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital? Citizens can speak up at public hearing [this] week

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - Stokes County residents will have a chance to voice their opinions on what should be done with Stokes Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Danbury. A public hearing solely for that purpose will be held on Thursday, May 27, at 7 p.m. in Courtroom A at the government complex in Danbury.

To open that public hearing, Jimmy Walker, chairman of the Stokes County Board of Commissioners, will read a list of possible options for the future of the county’s hospital. Then the citizens will be given the opportunity to comment or present other options.

Mailbox thugs nabbed after chase

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - A chase by car and on foot has resulted in the arrests of six men. They have been charged with crimes relating to the destruction of 31 mailboxes in Stokes County.

On Friday morning, May 7, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Officer Jimmy Eads of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to Jackson Road in the Westfield community in reference to damaged mailboxes. While he was in the area, he received another call that someone was damaging mailboxes on Horseshoe Road in the Francisco community.

While in that area, Officer Eads came upon the suspect vehicle with six male subjects in the process of destroying a mailbox. When Officer Eads activated his blue lights, the suspects fled in the vehicle. After a chase of approximately five miles, the suspects jumped from the vehicle and fled on foot. Officer Eads was able to catch one suspect and assist him to the ground, while other officers responded to the area to look for the other suspects.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

‘Fearless Felix’ to Attempt Stratospheric Jump

(CBS News) - He's known as "Fearless Felix" to his many fans around the world, and now daredevil Felix Baumgartner is taking his amazing stunts to a new level ... literally. Baumgartner is gearing up for the most dangerous dive of his career. He is attempting to jump from a helium balloon in the Earth's stratosphere - an altitude of at least 120,000 feet.

‘Repuglicans’: New Book Turns GOP Leaders Into ‘Creature Feature’

(Washington Post) - The art work is the product of Pete Von Sholly who storyboards feature films and draws graphic novels. “I don’t have anything against conservatives or Republicans or “tea partyers” … per se,” he writes in the introduction. “But … some people will say ANYTHING in their frothing frenzy of freak out, no matter how insane.”

Steve Tatham, a comedian who describes himself as a recovering Republican, provides commentary on the public personages. He defines the term “Repuglican” thusly: “First of all, it is not synonymous with ‘Republican.’ There are 55 million Republicans in the United States. Most of them are decent, honorable people.” Tatham thinks that the Republican beliefs of limited government, state’s rights, traditional American values and a pro-business philosophy are all reasonable and worthwhile. Real Republicans and real Democrats, in his view, all want the United States to be a better place for everyone. A Repuglican, he says, “is someone who espouses conservative ideology to serve his or her own personal agenda without concern for the greater public good. A Repuglican knowingly manipulates the public, whipping them into a frenzy through not entirely true statements, in order to further his or her own career.”

Strange Creature With Warthog’s Mouth Found in Canada

(Toronto Sun) - “No one has seen one for 40 years or so. The elders have a word for it: omajinaakoos. In English, it means ‘the ugly one’.”

Charles Krauthammer: The Administration Is Lawless

"For the executive (branch) to say that we’re going to ignore it or we’re going to un-enforce immigration in this state on account of this is lawless."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Judge paves way for Northern Beltway: He dismisses opponents' suits that stopped work since 2008

(By Wesley Young; Winston-Salem Journal) - A federal judge has given the green light for construction of the Northern Beltway around Winston-Salem, dismissing two court cases filed by opponents of the road who had sought to block it.

But Mayor Allen Joines said yesterday that the beltway may face further delays unless local officials can persuade the state to give the project priority -- and money -- in a time of tight budgets.

"We have made our case with the governor and with the secretary of transportation," Joines said. "We are working every way we can, including using our state legislators, to help push this. Because the project is big and hasn't started, it puts us down in the (priority) list."

Condemning the Wrong Law?

(Fox News Channel) — Many criticisms of the Arizona immigration measure can be found in the federal law.

Richard Blumenthal Plunging In Polls

Gov. Jan Brewer On Immigration, Calderon

Newt Gingrich On Calderon's Comments Before Congress

Rush Limbaugh Tears Into Calderon Over Having It Both Ways on Immigration Law

"Is this guy an idiot? He just undercut his entire argument. He just undercut Obama's entire argument."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Theatre

Rush Limbaugh: Well, while her husband and Mexican president Senor Wences were busy trashing Arizona as a racist state, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mexico's First Senora (Wences) took a field trip to an elementary school in Silver Spring, Maryland.

While the TV cameras rolled, a little girl looked up at Mrs. Obama and said: "My mom she says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers." To which Michelle said, "Yeah, that's something that we have to work on, right? To make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers, right?" But then the the punch line. The little girl said: "But my mom doesn't have any papers."

That's all it took for the New York Times to pompously declare that both first ladies "were unexpectedly confronted with the human face of illegal immigration" in an "encounter" that brought it home "in a direct and unusually personal way." The reporter heaved a huge sigh of relief: the Obama administration will not investigate the status of the little girl or her mother.

There are other kids who could provide the "human face of illegal immigration," but you won't see them on TV. They are the children of our slain border patrol officers, or the orphaned kids of parents killed during criminal actions by illegal immigrants.

But those kids will forever "live in the shadows." They won't have the chance to "say the darnedest thing," and end up in a masterpiece theater performance that advances the regime's agenda.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• NYT: Obama and Calderon Decry Ariz. Immigration Law

Rep. Alcee Hastings Worried That Bin Laden May Be Suggesting Budget Cuts

National Security Shakeup

(Fox News Channel) — 'All-Star' panel reacts to National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair's impending resignation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ron Paul & Rand Paul : 2010 Year of the Political Outsider

Does Mexico bear shared responsibility for border troubles?

Mexican president gets applause from Democrats for criticizing Arizona's immigration law

The Rush Limbaugh Victory

(By Zev Chafets; NYTimes.com) - There are many theories for why very conservative Republicans seem to be doing so well lately, taking their party’s Senate nominations in Florida, Kentucky and Utah, and beating Democrats head-to-head in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Some attribute this to a generalized anti-incumbent mood. Others say it reflects the tendency of parties in power to falter in midterm elections. Recently it has been fashionable to ascribe right-wing success to the Tea Party movement.

But the most obvious explanation is the one that’s been conspicuously absent from the gusher of analysis. Republican success in 2010 can be boiled down to two words: Rush Limbaugh.

Mr. Limbaugh has played an important role in elections going back to 1994, when he commanded the air war in the Republican Congressional victory. This time, however, he is more than simply the mouthpiece of the party. He is the brains and the spirit behind its resurgence.

Next year's budget sinking in deep red ink

(By Walter Alarkon; The Hill) - The chance that the majority Democrats will pass a budget this year is “fading,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Tuesday.

He is pessimistic because House Democrats don’t know whether they want to pass a resolution that would officially acknowledge the certainty of big deficits. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other Democrats have indicated that would be a tough vote in an election year.

Calderón Before Congress: AZ Immigration Law ‘Carries Great Amount of Risk’

"It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree but also introduces a terrible idea using racial profiling as the basis for law enforcement."

Republicans On Track to Snatch Defeat from Jaws of Victory

(By Ann Coulter; Townhall.com) - Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama's agenda). Thanks, Republicans!

That's what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton's impeachment. It's what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that's what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha.

Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it.