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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, October 31, 2011

Amazing Time-Lapse Video Shows Lake Emptied After Dam Removal

(By Christopher Santarelli, The Blaze) - For 98 years, the 2-story hydro-power Condit Dam on White Salmon River helped power thousands of homes in the Pacific Northwest while creating a serene lake. The dam was dramatically breached Wednesday to allow an increased flow of water to restore the river to fish and other aquatic organisms, and National Geographic has posted an amazing time-lapse video of the lake’s draining:

Miami Cop Leads Florida Trooper on 120 MPH High-Speed Chase

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - What happens when a police officer is caught speeding? How about caught speeding in his patrol car? And how about when he’s caught by a state trooper? You’re about to find out.

A local Miami police officer was arrested earlier this month after he led a Florida State Trooper on a high speed chase that hit 120 MPH. The ordeal was caught on the trooper’s dash camera, and shows just how serious she took the incident: when she finally gets the patrol car to pull over, she approaches with her gun drawn while barking out signals:

Stunning Video: Canadian Police Open Fire on Runaway Cow

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - I grew up in the farm country of Wisconsin and have seen my fair share of animals having to be put down with a gun in order to spare them pain (I’ve even had to do it myself). But I have to say, I’ve never seen anything quite like this. Warning, what you are about to witness may be disturbing.

Police officers in Gatineau, Quebec tried on Thursday to corral two runaway cows that had escaped on the way to slaughter. “Tried” is the key word. See, they weren’t able to capture the cows. After determining the animals were a danger to local residents and officers (they were charging and acting erratically), the police open fired on one of the cows about 10 times.

The incident was captured on video by some local residents who go from chuckles to disbelief in a matter of seconds:

[Content warning for language and graphic images]

Bizarre Video Montage of Perry Speech Has Critics Wondering: Was He Drunk?

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - Critics are abuzz after Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a curious — some say bizarre — speech in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday night.

In an address that the Huffington Post called “unusually expressive,” the governor surprised many of his audience members.

Perry, who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, was speaking at Cornerstone Action’s Annual Fundraising Dinner.*

Following the speech, a YouTuber with the username CharlieJohnson1986 spliced together some of the strangest portions of the 25-minute speech to create a montage of odd moments. Most agree, though, that the video was made to make Perry look bad.

Steven Tyler Says He Wasn't Drunk or High When He Fell in Shower

(Fox News) - Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler said that the Paraguay shower fall that knocked his teeth out and cut his face was caused by food poisoning not a drug relapse, in a TV interview Thursday.

The veteran rocker, who has spoken openly about his drug and alcohol problems in the past, told NBC's "Today" show that he blacked out in an Asuncion hotel shower because he was suffering "Montezuma's revenge" not because he had fallen off the wagon.

"Quite frankly I just passed out," he said during a phone interview from Buenos Aires. "I was on the shower and I got nauseous and I started to get sick and I fell on my face, passed out, and woke up with the water running over me wondering where the hell I was."

The 63-year-old singer and "American Idol" judge was hospitalized following Tuesday's fall and had to have dental implants and four stitches to his eye.

La Russa retires as Cardinals manager

ST. LOUIS (STLtoday.com) - The Cardinals announced this morning that manager Tony La Russa has retired after 16 seasons with the Cardinals.

"Tony leaves behind a legacy of success that will always be remembered as one of the most successful eras in Cardinals history," chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said at the announcement.

"I knew this day would come. I just hoped that it wouldn't."

La Russa said he told owner Bill DeWitt and the players Sunday evening of his decision. He said he actually made his decision to retire in August, and informed general manager John Mozeliak at the time.

"There isn't one (factor) that dominates (my decision)," La Russa said at the news conference. "They all just come together telling you your time is over.

Cain: “I was falsely accused” of sexual harassment at trade group

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Herman Cain acted swiftly to put an end to speculation over the story about sexual-harassment claims during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association. After a few hours of confused response, Cain admitted that he had been accused, but falsely, of inappropriate conduct. He claimed that an investigation of those accusations showed at the time that they were “baseless,” and he seemed surprised by the news that the trade group settled the claims. “I hope it wasn’t for much,” Cain told Fox News, “because nothing happened”:

“I have never sexually harassed anyone, but yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association,” he said.

He added that he does not know that a settlement was paid out against the two complainants, and said “If more allegations come, I assure you that people will simply make them up.”

“The only other allegations will be trumped up allegations,” he said.

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Video: Chris Wallace wonders when Mitt Romney will show up

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Yesterday’s Fox News Sunday closed on a puzzling note. Chris Wallace concluded an interview with Governor Rick Perry by noting that FNS has now interviewed every Republican presidential candidate in the field, except for one — and that one holdout is rather surprising:

Chris Wallace: With Governor Perry’s appearance, we have interviewed all the major Republican candidates in our 2012 101 series — except Mitt Romney. He has not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Gov. Romney again this week, but his campaign says he’s still not ready to sit down for an interview.

Perry defends tax plan: ‘There’s nothing wrong with lower revenue’

(By Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) defended his flat tax plan on Fox News Sunday, pushing back on questions from host Chris Wallace about the proposal’s economic consequences.

“There’s nothing wrong with lower revenue,” the presidential candidate said of his flat tax’s lower returns. “I don’t want more revenue in Washington D.C.’s hands.”

Perry argued that under his plan, the dynamic economic growth spurred by his tax cuts would more than offset the lower revenue, leading to a balanced budget by 2020. (The Perry campaign has deflected questions on its growth projections, which are far above the Congressional Budget Office baseline.)

Cain denies sexual-harassment claims

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - There are many headlines that strike fear in the hearts of presidential campaigns — and this one from Politico is probably right near the worst of them. Last night, they ran a story that the National Restaurant Association had to settle two sexual-harassment claims against Herman Cain when he chaired the trade group in the 1990s:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

Obama: Nancy Pelosi “was one of the best speakers of the House this country ever had”

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - Well, sure, the president would think so: Nancy Pelosi proved extremely effective at forcing through 'his' agenda. The American people clearly disagreed: In the 2010 midterm elections, they handed Republicans the largest majority they’ve enjoyed in the House since 1946. The loss was the greatest either party experienced since 1938.

Yet, the president remains optimistic that the electorate wants Pelosi to hold the Speaker’s gavel once again. Speaking at a gala of the National Italian American Foundation, Obama not only praised Pelosi as “one of the best speakers of the House this country ever had” — he also predicted she’ll be speaker again in 2013.

Old landmark's modern following

Jane Priddy Charleville, seen with her mother, Patricia Priddy, is the third generation of her family to run the 123-year-old general store in Stokes. Lots of film fans link the store with its brief but important role in "Cabin Fever," a cult horror film from 2002.

DANBURY (By Lisa O'donnell, Winston-Salem Journal) - At Priddy's General Store, a pale yellow clapboard building trimmed with wooden benches, hand-painted signs, pumpkins and mums, you can find fried pies, orange Nehi and double-dipped chocolate peanuts.

But poison lemonade, a flesh-eating virus or a half-baked, bushy-bearded proprietor? Nothing of the sinister sort exists at Priddy's, a Stokes County landmark that exudes so much early American charm you almost expect Pa Kettle to pull up in a horse and buggy.

Ironically, lots of film fans link Priddy's with its brief but important role in "Cabin Fever," a cult horror film that has grossed more than $30 million worldwide since it was released in 2002.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Don’t Blame Rick Perry Or Even Trump For Keeping The Birther Controversy Alive. Blame The Media.

(By Dan Abrams, Mediaite) - The entire first block of Anderson Cooper‘s program last night was devoted to keeping Rick Perry “honest” on his comments, or more accurately non-comments, about President Obama’s birth certificate. The previous night, his 10pm competitor Greta Van Susteren interviewed Donald Trump on his current view of Obama’s birth certificate. Trump (somewhat disingenuously) suggested that they “shouldn’t be talking about it” and even mocked her for posing it as the first question (he then proceeded into la la land with comments like “I am not a fan” and “not a believer” in the validity of it). In fact, in the two weeks before Rick Perry’s interview in Parade Magazine came out, the fake controversy surrounding Obama’s birth certificate earned barely a mention on cable news. According to the television transcript database TV Eyes, the terms “birther” and “birth certificate” was only mentioned 8 times across all of cable news. But since Friday, the terms “birther” and birth certificate were referenced 180 times; Fox News mentioned both 29 times, CNN 48, and MSNBC led with 103 mentions.

Hillary Clinton Commits The Crime Of Wearing A Scrunchie

(By Justin Fenner, Styleite) - Sometimes, when you’re busy, all you really want to do is keep your hair out of your eyes. So we can appreciate that Secy. of State Hillary Clinton swept her hair behind her head and corralled it into a ponytail during a meeting with Peruvian Prime Minister Salomon Lerner. Only one problem: she did it with a scrunchie.

Is Rick Perry His Own Biggest Problem in His Campaign?

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan condemns killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi

(By Ryan Haggerty, Chicago Tribune) - Controversial Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan condemned the killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Tuesday, warning that America and other Western powers will soon face severe consequences for their support of the uprising that led to the dictator's death.

"I know something of the good of Moammar Gadhafi that made me to love him as a brother and to feel a great sense of loss at his assassination," Farrakhan said during a two-hour interview with radio host Cliff Kelley on WVON-AM.

Later in the show, he said: "Gadhafi died in honor, fighting for the Libya that he believed in."

ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in 'Occupy' Movement

(By Jana Winter, FoxNews.com) - The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell FoxNews.com.

The former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC). That organization was created in late 2009 when some ACORN offices disbanded and reorganized under new names after undercover video exposes prompted Congress to cut off federal funds.

NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.

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Cartoon Chris Matthews: GOP Wants to 'Get Rid' of Cops, 'Cause Cruel Pain'

(By Scott Whitlock, NewsBusters.org) - MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday reiterated his cartoon view of the Republican Party as a political organization that wants to cause "cruel pain on people" and intends to "get rid" of cops and firefighters.

Highlighting a couple of isolated outbursts at GOP debates, Matthews frothed, "They want more people to fry. They love executions. They want people that don't have insurance to die on the gurney in the hospital bed."

Nurse Making $270K on California’s OT Binge

(By Michael B. Marois, Bloomberg) - Jean Keller earned $269,810 last year working as a nurse at a men’s prison on California’s central coast by tripling her regular pay with overtime hours.

Keller got more overtime in 2010 than any other state employee. In all, California’s public workers collected $1.7 billion of extra pay last year, more than half of it in overtime, state payroll data show. The rest was for unused vacation and union-negotiated benefits such as clothing allowances, physical-fitness incentives and special compensation in recognition of a “complex work load.”

“It’s outrageous,” said 29-year-old Gilbert Ramirez, one of about 30,000 teachers fired in California since 2007 because of budget cuts. “It boils my blood that I’m out of work and they claim they don’t have enough money to pay me.”

Unitary executive proclaims student-loan regulation relaxations

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - As widely expected, Barack Obama has acted unilaterally again to 'heal' this economy — 'heal' it, I say — by proclamation.  This time, the Emperor — excuse me, 'President' — has focused on student loans to ease our economic suffering, relaxing repayment regulations.  But is that enough?

The Obama administration is set to announce relaxations in student loan repayments on Wednesday, a third in a series of executive orders issued as part of the “we can’t wait” campaign to boost the economy without the help of Congress.

The amount of student loan debt Americans hold surpasses credit card debt, a fact that drove Congress to act in 2007 and create a “pay as you earn” program that allows former students to repay loans at a rate equal to 15 percent of their income. The new measure lowers that to 10 percent, but it is unclear whether the effort will be effective. The White House reports that only 450,000 students—out of an estimated 36 million borrowers—took advantage of the 2007 rule.

The problem here is that Obama can only relax repayment schedules for 'direct' loans, where the federal government loaned the money directly to students. Until last year, most loans came from the private sector, guaranteed by the federal government but still managed by the private lenders. Obama and a Democratic Congress eliminated the guarantees in their “reform” of the student-loan industry, a reform that wipes out the “industry” entirely and forces students to deal directly with government instead. Without getting Congress involved, Obama can’t do anything about the private-sector loans.

New Perry ad: “Creating jobs”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Rick Perry has decided to focus on job creation in his new ad, a 30-second TV spot that will get hefty play in Iowa, where polling shows him deep in the second tier at the moment. Matt Lewis has the script for the ad, which highlights Perry’s best narrative as a public-sector executive that knows how to shape a political environment for explosive job creation:

It’s an effective ad, concise while covering the broad strokes of Perry’s economic platform. In fact, it’s so good that it prompts the question of why Perry didn’t start off his campaign running ads like these and sticking to this narrative, rather than go negative so early against Mitt Romney.

State Department buys $70,000 worth of Obama books

(By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times) - The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams From My Father” more than a decade after its release.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show.

About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”

One month later, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records show.

FBI Saw Dark Side of Rep. John Murtha

Agency Suspected Lawmaker in Scheme Funneling Funds to Benefit Friends, Ex-Staffers

(By Paul Singer, Roll Call) -
Last week’s release of FBI documents finally put in writing what nobody had ever said on the record: The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.

Bits and pieces of this story were kicked around for years before Murtha died in February 2010. The Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, the Washington Post and others had documented the odd appearance of earmarks for tiny defense contractors that just happened to open an office in western Pennsylvania and just happened to hire one of the lobbying firms close to Murtha and just happened to begin making campaign donations to Murtha and other Members of Congress close to him.

Reporters could do little but assemble the coincidences and couldn’t prove there was anything wrong with the bigger picture.

But it turns out the FBI was reading the stories and was very interested — interested enough that the Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into Murtha and some of the lobbyists in his orbit, a fact that never leaked while Murtha was alive.

Michael Moore Refuses To Admit He Is Part Of The 1% To Piers Morgan

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who spends much of his time traveling the promote his political ideals. Given his background, Piers Morgan seemed skeptical of Moore’s claims that he, too, was the famed 99% behind the Occupy Wall Street protests. Before a studio audience in a special edition of 'Piers Morgan Tonight', the host pressed Moore to explain just how he wasn’t a part of the nation’s economic elite, and got little clarification other than Moore’s desire the corporation that pays him “rue the day” they ever gave him money.

Rick Perry Admits Debate Mistakes To Bill O’Reilly, Addresses Mitt Romney Feud

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - It took a precipitous drop in national polls and several perilously shaky debate performances, but Rick Perry is finally taking Bill O’Reilly‘s media advice and came on the 'Factor'. Perry discussed his new tax plan, his relationship with Mitt Romney (“I don’t know whether there’s strain, but…”), and admitted that calling Republicans “heartless” for opposing his stance on immigration was probably a bad move.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Union Officials Teach for 1 Day, Qualify for Million Dollar Pensions

(Fox News Insider) - David Piccioli, Steven Preckwinkle, both union officials in Illinois, took advantage of legislation that allowed them to substitute teach for one day and then count their years as union employees toward a state teachers’ pension. The two potentially stand to collect more than a million dollars each in pension money in their lifetimes.

Kyle Olson, founder and CEO of the Education Action Group, joined Fox and Friends and said that “the reason that this is happening is because you’ve got unions that are electing politicians and then the politicians are turning around and setting policy for the union.”

He went on to say, “What we’ve got to do is figure out who knew what, who knew when and try and reverse this but I think that will be very difficult to do.”

Wild at Waffle House: Patrons Body Slam Each Other, Throw Chairs in Ala. Brawl

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - It seems like not a month goes by where a wild restaurant brawl doesn’t hit the internet and go viral. Last week it was a McDonald’s employee bashing a customer in the head with a metal rod. This weeks it’s a melee at Waffle House.

The latest shows what appears to be two rival groups squaring off at what the video says is a Waffle House in Tuscaloosa, AL. It starts “innocent” enough, with the cameraman taking some footage of some verbal sparring. But the verbal jabs soon give way to physical ones and all hell breaks loose. Soon, multiple fights break out inside and outside the restaurant. The camera catches multiple chairs being used as weapons and even one man body slamming another on a table. And after it all, the “winning” side can be seen high-fiveing and chest bumping.

You can watch it below, but note that there is a CONTENT WARNING for graphic and offensive language:

Perry readies assault on Romney

(By Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, POLITICO.com) - The Rick Perry relaunch has finally arrived.

After weeks battling questions about how he plans to salvage his listing presidential bid, the Texas governor has finally started spelling out an answer. It involves opening his $15 million campaign war chest, hitting Mitt Romney harder and moving to reclaim the role of the populist conservative outsider in the race.

Perry will deliver a policy address Tuesday in South Carolina outlining his support for a national flat tax — a proposal that for the first time extends beyond his record in Texas. His campaign has reserved statewide television airtime in Iowa to start as early as this week.

Perhaps most important, Perry has brought on board a new group of media consultants known for their brass-knuckled tactics and sharp read on the GOP base. Joe Allbaugh, a former top aide to President George W. Bush, added major national heft to the Perry team by signing on as a senior adviser.

It all adds up to a course correction that may give Perry his best shot at getting back into contention with Romney, the sometime GOP front-runner whom Perry attacked forcefully in last week’s Nevada GOP debate.

Expect plenty more where that came from, say strategists familiar with Perry’s growing team.

Romney refuses to defend Kasich on PEU reform?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Perhaps it all comes down to the definition of “endorse.” Mitt Romney traveled to Ohio today, where Republicans are hoping to hold off a referendum that would overturn Governor John Kasich’s reform of public-employee union bargaining, one that went farther than a similar effort in Wisconsin earlier this year. The trip included a stop and an appearance at the center where organizing to defend the PEU reforms is taking place. Romney then told the crowd and the press that he wasn’t there to take a position on any ballot measure, leaving many to assume that he wouldn’t defend Kasich. State GOP chair Kevin DeWine defended Romney by saying he didn’t invite Romney to Ohio to endorse the measure, but will that take the heat off of Romney for taking a pass?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Steve Wynn Blasts Obama: I'm 'Frightened to Death' for Future of U.S. Business

Mitt Romney's Top 5 Contradicting Comments

(By AMY BINGHAM, ABC News) - As a two-time GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has been in the national spotlight longer than most of his GOP rivals. And as the country has changed over the 17 years since Romney launched his first campaign, a bid for one of Massachusetts' Senate seats, so too have some of his policy positions.

Whether it is his conflicting comments about Massachusetts health care legislation or his shifting statements on abortion, Romney's rival White House hopefuls have blasted the former Massachusetts governor for changing his tune.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for example, has launched two ads attacking Romney for being "misleading" and having "flip-flopped on so many issues." And Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann blasted Romney, although not by name, over his stance on abortion, saying in June that it was "not the time for Republicans to put up a candidate who is weak on this issue and has a history of flip-flopping on this issue."

Rick Perry: It’s ‘Fun’ To Poke Barack Obama About His Birth Certificate

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - Rick Perry, man. Bless his heart. The GOP presidential hopeful just seemingly refuses to filter or censor himself for the media, which results in such gems as Perry telling CNBC that it’s “fun” to keep the so-called birther controversy over Barack Obama‘s country of origin going.

“I mean, I get it,” he admitted. “I’m really not worried about the President’s birth certificate. It’s fun to poke at him a little bit and say, ‘Hey, how about it. Let’s see your grades and your birth certificate,’” referencing, of course, the speculation by some that Obama did not do as well at his Ivy League schools as others would have America believe.

N.C. Zoo Says Privatization Could Free It From Fiscal Captivity

Officials cite uncertainty of state funding, lack of capital improvements as reasons

ASHEBORO (By Dan Way, Carolina Journal Online) —
A partial privatization plan being explored by the North Carolina Zoo could increase donations, enhance attractions, and speed up needed repairs, its operators say. Free-market advocates hail the move as a step in the right direction, and a consultant says the trend has been prudent policy elsewhere.

“Basically, what we’re looking at is a public-private partnership, which 75 percent of the accredited zoos and aquariums in the country now have,” said Zoo Chief of Staff Mary Joan Pugh.

The state would retain ownership of the zoo, but the more than 250 employees now on the payroll of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources would work for the private operator, the North Carolina Zoological Society. The nonprofit society already operates gift shops, sells memberships, and does some fundraising for the zoo.

Herman Cain’s New Ad Will Blow You Away… With Cigarette Smoke

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - “We’ve run a campaign like nobody’s ever seen,” says Mark Block, Herman Cain chief of staff and protagonist of his latest ad, which dropped today online. He may be right, because it has been quite a while, if ever, since we’ve seen an ad like this. A close up of Block speaking takes up most of the time, giving the impression that this is a normal campaign spot, until he concludes that “together we can do this. Together we can take this country back.” Then things get weird.

My Tax and Spending Reform Plan

Individuals will have the option of paying a 20% flat-rate income tax and I'll cap spending at 18% of GDP.

(By Rick Perry, WSJ.com) -
The folks in Washington might not like to hear it, but the plain truth is the U.S. government spends too much. Taxes are too high, too complex, and too riddled with special interest loopholes. And our expensive entitlement system is unsustainable in the long run.

Without significant change quickly, our nation will go the way of some in Europe: mired in debt and unable to pay our bills. President Obama and many in Washington seem unable or unwilling to tackle these issues, either out of fear of alienating the left or because they want Americans to be dependent on big government.

On Tuesday I will announce my "Cut, Balance and Grow" plan to scrap the current tax code, lower and simplify tax rates, cut spending and balance the federal budget, reform entitlements, and grow jobs and economic opportunity.

Fareed Zakaria: Americans should give half of inheritance to government

(By Alex Pappas, The Daily Caller) - Time magazine columnist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria says Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” tax reform plan is “sloppy and, in parts, bizarre.”

So he offered his own version of a tax reform plan in his weekly column in Time. In it, Zakaria argues that Americans should give the federal government half of what they inherit.

“I would enact a 50 percent inheritance tax, because nothing is more un-American than an inherited elite that perpetuates itself,” Zakaria wrote for the magazine.

The columnist, however, didn’t attack Cain’s plan — which throws out the current tax system in favor of a 9 percent corporate tax, a 9 percent income tax and a new 9 percent national sales tax — with the ferocity others have.

Charles Krauthammer Slams Obama Mortgage Plan: 'He Knows That This Is A Farce'

Monday, October 24, 2011

Perry beefs up national campaign staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - His campaign struggling, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is beefing up his campaign staff with veterans of presidential elections and is ready to start running his first television ads in must-win Iowa.

Campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said the additions have been planned for weeks and represent "a natural progression as we head towards election days" in the early states.

David Carney will continue as Perry's top strategist, Sullivan said. But veteran pollster and campaign hand Tony Fabrizio will also take on a senior strategic role, "not to replace Carney, but work with him," said a Republican familiar with the move who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

Additional staff will focus on campaign ads, Sullivan said.

NBC Admits Obama Mortgage Plan Won't Work, But Cheers it As Good Politics

(By Kyle Drennen, NewsBusters.org) - At the top of Monday's NBC 'Today', co-host Matt Lauer touted a new plan to address the housing crisis: "After a series of foreign policy victories, President Obama is hitting the road to sell his plan to help turn around the struggling economy and today the focus is on the housing market." Lauer later wondered to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd if the plan would, "help politically?"

Todd declared: "Well, it could....emphasize the fact that they can't get anything done through Congress, right? That Republicans won't do anything....Mitt Romney said of the housing crisis, 'You know what? We're not allowing foreclosures to happen fast enough.' So this is a two-fer, as far as the White House is concerned. They feel like they can talk about housing but also make the Republicans look like they're out of touch on that."

However, Lauer began his discussion with Todd by pointing out criticism of the plan: "...it says that it will help make it easier for them to refinance those mortgages. Already critics say it won't work." Todd acknowledged a major flaw: "...it's similar to the plan the President unveiled over two years ago....The problem is, with the plan initially and with this one, is Matt, you cannot force the banks to do this."

Scarborough Denounces Mika's Double Standard On Biden 'Rape' Fear-Mongering

(By Mark Finkelstein, NewsBusters.org) - A notable moment on Morning Joe today, as Joe Scarborough called out Mika Brzezinski on her double standard when it comes to criticizing politicians for their over-the-top remarks.

Setting Scarborough off was Brzezinski's defense of Joe Biden's allegation that crime, including rape, would increase if Republicans don't vote for President Obama's latest tax-raising stimulus plan. Joe claimed Mika would surely condemn a Republican, such as Michelle Bachmann, employing similar fear-mongering tactics.

Former Democrat Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Scolds NBC's Andrea Mitchell for Defending Obama on 'Meet the Press'

(By Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters.org) - During the roundtable segment on Sunday's 'Meet the Press', NBC's Andrea Mitchell typically acted as Barack Obama's press secretary defending the President from any and all criticism lodged by other panelists.

Apparently having witnessed enough shameless advocacy from a so-called journalist, when Mitchell used the Occupy Wall Street movement to defend Obama's economic policies, former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. replied, "He's the President. Democrats can't criticize Republicans for catering to the Tea Party and not be, and not say to our Democratic Party you got to look beyond Occupy and be willing to do what's in the best interest of the country":

Obama to bypass Congress on housing

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Barack Obama wants to pose as a man of action on the economy, the New York Times reports today, and so he will announce a series of executive actions on housing and education. Obama hopes that these actions will contrast himself with Congress, where even Democrats have balked at passing his American Jobs Act either in whole or piecemeal:

With his jobs plan stymied in Congress by Republican opposition, President Obama on Monday will begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: “We can’t wait” for lawmakers to act.

According to an administration official, Mr. Obama will kick off his new offensive in Las Vegas, ground zero of the housing bust, by promoting new rules for federally guaranteed mortgages so that more homeowners, those with little or no equity in their homes, can refinance and avert foreclosure.

And Wednesday in Denver, the official said, Mr. Obama will announce policy changes to ease college graduates’ repayment of federal loans, seeking to alleviate the financial concerns of students considering college at a time when states are raising tuition.

Will restructuring student-loan debt really help the economy? It sounds more like a ploy to pander to the Occupy Movement, which in its occasionally coherent moments demands free higher education and complete forgiveness of tuition debt. States are raising tuitions, though, in response to demand created by cheap student loans, which Obama proposes to make even cheaper.

RomneyCare subsidized care for illegal immigrants?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - The Los Angeles Times dropped a political bombshell on Mitt Romney today with its report on a key component of RomneyCare and its use by illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer-subsidized care. Romney has attacked Rick Perry for providing a “magnet” for illegal immigration with tuition breaks for some students of illegal immigrants in Texas, so this has the potential for substantial backfire in the presidential race:

The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.

Uninsured, poor immigrants can walk into a health clinic or hospital in the state and get publicly subsidized care at virtually no cost to them, regardless of their immigration status.

The program, widely supported in Massachusetts, drew little attention when Romney signed the trailblazing healthcare law. But now it could prove problematic for the Republican presidential hopeful, who has been attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for supporting educational aid for children of undocumented immigrants in Texas.

“We have to turn off the magnet of extraordinary government benefits,” Romney said at the recent Fox News-Google debate in Florida.

Rick Perry gets Steve Forbes endorsement

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Call this post “the good, the bad, and the ugly” for Rick Perry today to start off a new week for his campaign. He clearly wanted to start with a boost, and had fiscal-conservative icon Steve Forbes on Fox News yesterday with an endorsement of the Texas governor, tied to the upcoming release of Perry’s economic recovery plan based on the Flat Tax that Forbes himself championed in the 1990s:

On Tuesday, Rick Perry will unveil his economic plan which includes measures to drastically reform the tax code and lower the corporate tax rate. It will also, he says, provide generous exemptions for “adults and for children.” Unlike Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan, however, Perry’s plan will not include a sales tax. Forbes asserts that this small but significant difference, coupled with the governor’s “firm leadership,” are reasons why he is endorsing Perry’s candidacy.

NASA rock sting terrifies woman...

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The elaborate mission to recover a moon rock led NASA agents to one of the most down-to-earth places: a Denny's restaurant in Riverside County.

But at the end of the sting operation, agents were left holding a speck of lunar dust smaller than a grain of rice and a 74-year-old suspect who was terrified by armed officials.

Five months after NASA investigators and local agents swooped into the restaurant and hailed their operation as a cautionary tale for anyone trying to sell national treasure, no charges have been filed, NASA isn't talking and the case appears stalled.

IndyCar Community Has Dan Wheldon Memorial

(Breitbart.tv) - The IndyCar community shed tears and shared laughs Sunday in tribute to two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, who was killed in a multi-car crash last week at Las Vegas. The 87-minute public memorial service was held in Indianapolis.

Charles Krauthammer On Herman Cain’s Incoherent Abortion Stance: ‘He’s Winging It’

(By Frances Martel, Mediaite) - Herman Cain‘s stance on abortion seems to have confused everyone into anger this week: pro-choice people, because he insists he is “100% pro life”; pro-life people, because he says abortion isn’t the government’s business; and Charles Krauthammer, who thinks is a sign that Herman Cain doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is just wasting everyone’s time.

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MSNBC Guest Richard Kim: Tea Party People Think Government Does Too Much For Black People

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - In a discussion Sunday on MSNBC’s 'Up With Chris Hayes', 'The Nation'‘s Richard Kim disputed that the Occupy Wall Street movement and the tea party shared reciprocal goals. Kim argued that one of the major differences between the two groups was that that the tea party didn’t want the government supporting African-Americans. “One of the key polling points around that is that when you poll tea party people, they think government does too much for black people, and that’s one of the markers of whether you are in the tea party or not in how you respond to that question.”

George Will On Mitt Romney: The Republicans Have Found Their Michael Dukakis

(By James Crugnale, Mediaite) - In a stinging comparison that is sure to leave a mark, on Sunday’s 'This Week With Christiane Amanpour', George Will said the rise of Herman Cain had a lot to do with Republicans coming to the realization that Mitt Romney is 'their' Michael Dukakis. “A technocratic Massachusetts governor running on competence, not ideology,” Will observed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Obama Solicits Designers to Work - Unpaid - on ... Jobs Poster!

(By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone) - The Obama campaign has more than $60 million cash on hand. In an economy this bad, you'd think a presidential campaign that flush would be happy to pay good money for a talented designer to create a campaign poster.

But the folks at Obama campaign have taken a page from the Arianna Huffington book of economic exploitation and called on "artists across the country" to create a poster ... for free.

And here's the kicker. It's a 'jobs' poster.

The Horserace for October 20, 2011

(By Erick Erickson, RedState) - It’s a turning point on the campaign trail. No one has knocked Herman Cain from his perch yet, but there is a growing consensus among both Democrat and Republican consultants that this is still a race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

Why aren’t they taking Herman Cain seriously? Why is this a Romney v. Perry race? And what about Michele Bachman? Intentional or not, she seems ready to embrace the role of spoiler for Mitt Romney.

Conservatives are starting to get antsy. Consolidation of the field is not happening. And things are starting to get ugly. Will Newt be the next guy to try to consolidate the field? We’ll get into it all in this week’s Horserace.

RNC: Can You Believe Joe Biden’s Scare Tactics?

(By Jim Geraghty, The Campaign Spot) - Here’s how you know your argument may be flawed: When the opposition party starts putting the spotlight on it, as the RNC is doing with Joe Biden’s “rape and murder will rise unless we pass Obama’s jobs bill” argument:

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Video: Qaddafi’s last moments

NBC's Chuck Todd Admonishes Andrea Mitchell for Lame Attempt to Play Race Card on Rick Perry

(By Geoffrey Dickens, NewsBusters.org) - Andrea Mitchell's attempt to imply Rick Perry was being racially insensitive, for calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "brother," during Tuesday's Republican debate, was so lame even her NBC colleague Chuck Todd wasn't buying it. Mitchell, on Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, dredged up the N-Head controversy on Perry as she scolded: "If I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the 'brother' stuff, over and over again."

Todd then tried to rein in his NBC colleague as he admonished: "Just very quickly on the 'brother' thing. That's a Southern cultural thing," and reminded her that their "late friend Mr. [Tim] Russert" was also fond of using that term in a friendly way, "He loved to refer to all of us as brother." Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza came to Perry's defense as he agreed with Todd and offered: "It sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying, 'brother.'"

See the ‘Brutal’ Anti-Perry Attack Ad the Romney Campaign Mysteriously Pulled

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - There‘s an interesting story brewing after Mitt Romney’s campaign posted an attack advertisement on YouTube and then later removed it.

The ad, which focuses on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is characterized by Gawker’s Max Read as “personal and direct” — an accurate description to say the least.

Charlotte Cops Preparing For Potential Riots Ahead of Dem. Convention

(By Becket Adams, The Blaze) - Police forces in Charlotte, NC, are preparing for unruly crowds when the 2012 Democratic National Convention comes to town, according to recent reports.

“Charlotte’s police department is already stocking up on riot gear and training officers in riot-control techniques in preparation for the event,” Newser reports.

Although the city already has a few hundred trained riot police, they have decided to recruit 'almost every one' of them for intensive riot training—just in case.

Whoa: ’87 Matthew Perry Sitcom Correctly Predicted The Year Of Gaddafi’s Death

(By Jon Bershad, Mediaite) - Well, it appears that Muammar Gaddafi’s reign of terror is at an end. For decades he’s ruled over Libya with an iron fist. For perspective, realize that, a joke about him dying in a sitcom made all the way back in 1987 got a thunderous applause from the audience. Pretty crazy, huh? What’s even crazier though, is that that sitcom actually predicted his death as happening in…you guessed it…2011.

For some reason, 2011 was a good futuristic year for the entertainment world to set predictions in. And the strange thing is some of them have come true.

Jason Mattera to Joe Biden: So you’re really going to sell this jobs bill by talking about rape, huh?

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - All of our readers know who Mattera is, I take it, including/especially the HA old-schoolers. Here’s his tete-a-tete with Biden today; the look on Greasy Joe’s face as he walks away made me laugh out loud, just because it’s so wonderfully clear that he really does think this is super-smart salesmanship. Since he’s taking this “you’re either with us or you’re with the rapists” logic seriously, I have to ask again: How did he and The One decide on the optimal amount of money for first responders in the new jobs bill, or as I’m now calling it, The Federal Rape Prevention Act of 2011? According to Tapper, they want $5 billion for cops (and firefighters) and … $30 billion for teachers. Important jobs all, but if we’re forced to choose between smaller class sizes in public schools and 'less rape', I’m thinking most of us want more money for the latter than for the former. How come Obama and Biden don’t agree? Are they really just pitiful stooges for the teachers’ unions? Or are they just soft on rape?

The very first question at the next Solyndra hearing should be, “How many rapes could Democrats have prevented by giving that $535 million to cops instead?”

Herman Cain Tells Piers Morgan That He Is Anti-Abortion, Yet Pro-Choice?

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - [Last night], Herman Cain sat down with CNN’s Piers Morgan to discuss his stance on a variety of issues. And it would appear that, where abortion is concerned, Cain is “anti-abortion in all cases,” yet “pro-choice.” Interesting, yes?

Let’s delve into the nuts and bolts of his beliefs...

Herman Cain: "No, it comes down to is, it’s not the government’s role — or anybody else’s role — to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that big a number. So what I’m saying is, it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president. Not some politician. Not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t try to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive decision."

Nine Deer Killed in Randolph Co. Test Negative for Disease

Online petition balloons to 18,000 signatures

Nine deer shot and killed on a rehabilitation farm last month to be tested for a disease never found in the state have tested negative.

Wildlife officials said in a news release Tuesday none of the deer taken from Wayne Kinley's farm in Asheboro tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

Seven fallow deer and two white-tailed deer were taken from Kinley's farm on Hoover Hill Road on Sept. 20. Kinley was charged with operating an illegal captive deer farm and is awaiting a court appearance.

Gaddafi killed as Libya's revolt claims hometown

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said.

His killing, which came swiftly after his capture near Sirte, is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Economist Who Helped Cain Craft 9-9-9 Plan Backs Away From Sales Tax

(By Judson Berger, FoxNews.com) - One of the key economists who helped presidential candidate Herman Cain draft his 9-9-9 tax plan is backing away from the most controversial component of it, warning that the criticism Cain endured at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate shows his proposed 9 percent national sales tax might have to go.

"It was such a dart board," economist Stephen Moore said Wednesday of the proposal.

Cain weathered a storm of complaints over his tax plan at the Republican debate in Las Vegas. Virtually every candidate took turns accusing the businessman of pushing a scheme that would introduce new streams of revenue and hit the middle class hardest.

Harry Reid signals government jobs must take priority over private-sector jobs

(By Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.

"It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about," Reid said on the Senate floor.

Couple Married 72 Years Dies Holding Hands

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI Des Moines) - An Iowa couple who was married for 72 years died one hour apart last week in the hospital as they held hands.

Family said the story of Gordon, 94, and Norma Yeager, 90, is a real-life love story.

Another Failed Political Assassination

(By Art Pope, National Review Online) - Last November, as part of the Republican wave sweeping the nation, North Carolina voters elected Republican majorities to both chambers of our state legislature for the first time since 1870.

The day after the election, a self-proclaimed “progressive” blogger in Chapel Hill — angry about the Republican victories — fantasized about assassinating me. “I’m a trained killer you know, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers, and it would be easy as pie to take [Art Pope] out.”

After cooling off a bit, he then backed off: “Don’t worry Mr. Pope,” he wrote. “You’re not worth dying for, not to me anyway.” But he vowed to do “whatever was necessary to stop Art Pope from buying our democracy.”

Obama's bus tour costing taxpayers thousands

(By Mark Knoller, CBS News) - If Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain or any of the other presidential challengers were to embark on a three-day bus trip like the one now underway by President Obama, it would cost their campaigns tens of thousands of dollars. Perhaps more.

They would have to pay a variety of expenses, including:

- air travel to their first destination
- leasing of one or more buses appropriate to the journey
- rental for halls or meeting rooms for their candidates' appearances
- the cost of lodging and meals for their candidate and staff

But not the Obama campaign. The White House declared that Mr. Obama's three-day trip through North Carolina and Virginia are official events and not campaign appearances, even though the two states are known to be political objectives of his re-election bid.

So Mr. Obama's expenses are borne by taxpayers, including:

- the pro-rated costs of his flights aboard Marine One and Air Force One that brought him to his first stop yesterday in Asheville, NC
- the two buses used by him and his staff, owned and operated by the United States Secret Service
- costs associated with setting up speech sites including microphones, speakers, amplifiers, teleprompters and TV lights
- lodging and meals for the president and his political staff

It's an advantage enjoyed by every incumbent president seeking re-election -- and a disadvantage endured by his challengers. And though the White House has said the trip is not political, Mr. Obama has repeatedly used his speeches to take Republicans to task for opposing the provisions of his jobs bill.

Herman Cain Remains Staunchly Conservative Despite His Church’s Very Liberal Leanings

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - As Herman Cain’s popularity grows, he’s beginning to surge in the polls. Naturally, as a result, the media are beginning to place increased attention on his beliefs, background and record. This morning, CNN’s Belief Blog published an in-depth piece about his faith and church background.

Considering Cain’s conservative inclinations, some may find his house of worship choice somewhat odd. But when it comes to roots, his family’s are deep in Antioch Baptist Church North. The church, which has historical significance, has been heavily involved in liberal activism and holds many political views that stand in contradiction to Cain’s.

Want to See a Black Bear Cub Ransack a Grocery Store Produce Section?

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Some shoppers in Ketchikan got treated to Alaska’s version of a bear market last weekend.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports a small black bear cub walked in the front door of Tatsuda’s IGA. The scared animal found its way to a produce cooler, where it made a mess.

Police Hunt for Lions, Bears & Cheetahs After Mass Escape From an Ohio Farm

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (The Blaze/AP) — Schools closed and motorists were warned to stay in their vehicles as officers with assault rifles patrolled a rural area in eastern Ohio Wednesday, a day after police killed dozens of escaped animals from a wild-animal preserve, where the owner was found dead.

As authorities warned that more animals still were on the loose, three school districts in the region and some private and special schools canceled classes as the remaining bears, big cats and other beasts from the Muskingum County Animal Farm were hunted down.

Flashing signs along area highways told motorists, “Caution exotic animals” and “Stay in vehicle.”

Authorities wouldn‘t say how the farm’s owner Terry Thompson died, but said it wasn’t suspicious.* However, several aggressive animals were near his body when deputies arrived and had to be shot. Thompson, who lived on the property, had orangutans and chimps in his home, but those were still in their cages.

Obama: Taxpayer-Funded Bus ‘Decked Out Pretty Good’

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama boasted about his taxpayer-funded bus during a stop in Jamestown, N.C. on Tuesday as part of the three-day American Jobs Act tour that some critics say resembles a campaign tour.

“Now, you may have heard we’re taking a little road trip this week. It’s a chance to get out of Washington,” the president said to laughter from the crowd. “I must admit I’m traveling not in the usual RV. The bus we got parked outside is -- Secret Service did a full going over, so it's decked out pretty good. But it's a wonderful opportunity to get out of Washington and hit the road.”

When Obama took a similar taxpayer trip through Midwestern battleground states in August, the Associated Press reported that the Secret Service purchased a bus for the trip at a cost of $1.1 million.

Charles Krauthammer: Obama's Re-Election Strategy

(Fox Nation) - Charles Krauthammer says president has to demonize opposition in order to win in 2012.

In fifth debate, Perry finally shows up

(By Byron York, Campaign 2012) - Twenty-four hours before the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, an adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Perry would try a new strategy after a series of lackluster debate performances. "We're going to pay a little less attention to the rules," the adviser, who asked to remain anonymous, said. "They have rarely been enforced, and we're not going to pay much attention to them." In previous debates, the adviser explained, Perry had tried to abide by time limits, leading some observers to say he seemed passive and withdrawn. Perry intended to make sure that didn't happen in Las Vegas.

It didn't. The Las Vegas debate was Perry's fifth, but the first one in which Perry really showed up to play. That doesn't mean he won, doesn't mean he was particularly likable, doesn't mean he always had cogent answers. But it does mean that Perry, on the verge of being completely written off as a candidate, gave himself a chance to get back in the game.

And Perry, for the first time in any GOP debate, rattled former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He did it by bringing up a 2007 charge that Romney hired illegal immigrants to do lawn work at his Massachusetts home. Jobs are the magnet for illegal immigrants, Perry said. "And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you're strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy."

VP Joe Biden: Wish Those Who Oppose Stimulus Knew What It Was Like To Be Robbed Or Raped

(YouTube) - In Philadelphia, PA, Vice President Biden wishes those who oppose the American Jobs Act knew what it was liked to be robbed at gunpoint or raped.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

While Not Campaigning in N.C., Obama Talks About 2012 Convention, Election

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama, on a bus trip the White House says is not part of his re-election campaign, is wooing voters in North Carolina and Virginia, two Republican-leaning states he won in 2008--and hopes to win again.

"Somebody asked me--we had a wonderful reporter come here, Dave Wagner from Charlotte, and he asked me, ‘Well, people tell me this is kind of a Republican area, so why would you come here instead of going to where there are a whole lot of Democrats?' Obama said Monday evening at West Wilkes High School in Miller Creek, N.C. "I said, look, this is an American Jobs Act. It's not the Democratic jobs act. It's not the Republican jobs act. It's the American Jobs Act."

The White House says Obama is making the three-day, taxpayer-funded trip to promote his jobs plan, which failed last week in the Democrat-led Senate. Obama is now pushing Democrats to pass the legislation piecemeal.

In Racing, Can Fast Become Too Fast?

(FoxNews.com) - When Dan Wheldon entered turn two of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval for the 10th time this past Sunday, he was driving one of the safest cars on the planet.

The Dallara IR-05 was built specifically to be driven in excess of 230 mph and protect its driver in the event of an accident at those speeds. Its carbon fiber chassis was designed to break apart during a collision and absorb the forces of a series of massive impacts while keeping the cockpit surrounding the driver intact.

Since its introduction in 2005, only one driver, Paul Dana, had died behind the wheel of the Dallara before Sunday. In a freak accident during practice for the 2006 season opener in Homestead, Fla., Dana lost control of his car and hit a damaged vehicle that had come to a stop on the track in front of him head-on, at an estimated speed of 176 mph. Dan Wheldon went on to win that race. Since then, the cars had been used in 100 races and covered more than 500,000 miles in competition without any loss of life, and few major injuries.

Oklahoma Mother Reportedly Refused Cancer Treatment So Child Could Survive

(FoxNews.com) - Stacie Crimm made the ultimate sacrifice -- and she got her dying wish. As doctors and nurses wearing protective gear looked on last month, the 41-year-old mom got to hold her newborn daughter.

Three days later, Crimm died. But her baby girl, Dottie Mae, is alive, because her mom refused the cancer-fighting treatments that might have saved her life -- and killed her unborn child.

Crimm, of Ryan, Okla., "laughed and cried all at once" when she discovered in March that she was pregnant, because she had been told she would never be able to have children, her brother Ray Phillips told NewsOK.com.

Wall Street to Dems: you can't have it both ways

(POLITICO.com) - After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent a recent email urging supporters to sign a petition backing the wave of Occupy Wall Street protests, phones at the party committee started ringing.

Banking executives personally called the offices of DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and DCCC Finance Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last week demanding answers, three financial services lobbyists told POLITICO.

“They were livid,” said one Democratic lobbyist with banking clients.

Oregon Coach Chip Kelly: Shut Up, You Guys, I’m Talking To Erin Andrews

Byron York: If Perry doesn't attack Romney, Obama will

(By Byron York, Campaign 2012) - In the past week, Barack Obama has run a more effective campaign against Mitt Romney than any of Romney's opponents for the Republican presidential nomination. Top Obama strategist David Axelrod hit the former Massachusetts governor hard with charges of flip-flopping on abortion, health care, the environment and other issues. "We're having this call because Gov. Romney has been so brazen in his switches of position," Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters last week. "You get the feeling that there is no principle too large for him to throw over in pursuit of political office," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Axelrod has nothing good to say about the GOP field's efforts to take on Romney. Assessing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Axelrod said simply, "He hasn't exactly gotten the gun out of the holster."

Axelrod's critique irritates many Republicans, but he's doing them a favor. For all his strengths, if Romney becomes the GOP nominee, he will bring significant weaknesses to the race. And so far, at least, Romney's Republican rivals have not effectively exploited those weaknesses. The Obama campaign will.

Video: Rick Perry, still America’s jobs governor

(By Tina Korbe, Hot Air) - Right now, Rick Perry’s poll numbers are anything but pretty. Yet, to judge by the release of this little web video, his campaign is anything but daunted. Maybe his newly detailed jobs plan will, ahem, energize him in the debate tonight.

Some Dems won't join Obama in swing through Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Don't look for Democrats in fiercely contested Virginia legislative elections to join President Barack Obama as he brings his campaign-style American Jobs Act bus tour to three cities there.

For that matter, don't expect Tim Kaine, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and Virginia's governor two years ago, to join his old ally either.

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Did North Carolina Town Give a Special Rent Break to ‘Occupy’ Protest?

(By Christopher Santarelli, The Blaze) - As the “Occupy” movement goes international and spreads to more and more cities, local governments have been forced to commit increased resources to the protest’s demands. Despite chanting “The banks got bailed out, we got sold out,“ the ”Occupy Greensboro” group had no issue orchestrating an alleged behind-closed-doors discount for renting Festival Park from the Greensboro city government for their protest Saturday. An alleged discount, that other political organizations in the area are furious about.

Jodi Riddlederger, co-founder of Conservatives for Guilford County, told the Blaze Monday that city administrators in Greensboro were hostile towards her group, and “would not budge” with a $700 per day rental fee when the group attempted to host a Restoring Courage event in Greensboro last month at the same park that was “occupied” Saturday.

“The city didn’t work with us at all,” said Riddleberger. “We had to move (the event) to a different city an hour-and-a-half away.”

Because of this, Riddleberger was not pleased to see the event Saturday where she said the city “bent over backwards for this group,” and was even more frustrated when finding out about the sweet deal Occupy Greensboro negotiated for renting the space.

Obama: Republicans Want ‘Dirtier Air, Dirtier Water’

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said the Republican jobs proposal, released last week, would mean “dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.”

John McCain: Obama's Traveling Around On an Ugly Canadian Bus Attacking GOP on Taxpayers' Dime

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain – a politician who has seen his share of campaign buses – had harsh words Monday for Pres. Barack Obama's choice of election transportation.

"I must say again I have never seen an uglier bus than a Canadian one," the Arizona senator said in a speech on the Senate floor Monday. "He is traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs."

Thieves steal truck with President's equipment

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – NBC12 has uncovered one of those stories that makes you think: "How in the world does that happen?!" A truck filled with President Obama's podiums and audio equipment was stolen in Henrico just days before his visit to Chesterfield.

We confirmed an investigation with the U.S. Defense Department. There are still a lot of questions. The biggest one being did the thieves intentionally target the President's truck or did they take advantage of a crime of opportunity and give a big "uh-oh" when they saw what was inside.

When you see President Obama speak, there is a pretty typical setup including the presidential seal on a podium, the see-thru Teleprompter and a portable sound system.

Thieves saw the truck carrying that equipment and couldn't resist the target.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Obama opposes repeal of healthcare program suspended last week

(By Julian Pecquet, The Hill) - President Obama is against repealing the health law's long-term care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government's announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.

"We do not support repeal," the official said Monday. "Repealing the CLASS Act isn't necessary or productive. What we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country."

Over the weekend, The Hill has learned, an administration official called CLASS Act advocates to reassure them that Obama is still committed to making the program work. That official also told advocates that widespread media reports on the program's demise were wrong, leaving advocates scratching their heads.

MSNBC Expert Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski Calls for a List of the Rich to Pressure Them to ‘Give Back’

(By Mike Opelka, The Blaze) - Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former National Security Advisor to President Carter and a frequent guest on his daughter Mika’s MSNBC program, made a series of strange statements during his segment on “Morning Joe” earlier today.

Talking with the MSNBC crew about the concentration of wealth in America as motivation for “Occupy Wall Street,” Dr. Brzezinski seems to believe that publishing the names of people who make a lot of money would be helpful in redistributing wealth:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Liberal Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Calls Abortion a ‘Needed Action’ & Refers to Fetal Heartbeats as ‘Sounds’

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) took to the House floor last week to state her views on the Protect Life Act. Despite her opposition to the anti-abortion bill, it passed in the House of Representatives, with 15 Democrats joining 236 Republicans in supporting it.

The measure amends the Democrats’ health care law (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) to prohibit federal monies from being spent on health plans that cover abortion services. Additionally, it protects health care workers who oppose the procedure.

Lee’s comments about abortion during her address were somewhat odd, considering that she referred to the controversial medical procedure as a “needed action.” Additionally, she dubbed the heartbeats of fetuses as mere “sounds.”

Harry Belafonte Falls Asleep During Live TV Interview

(By Billy Hallowell, The Blaze) - Perhaps Harry Belafonte is exhausted from continuously inserting himself into America’s political battles — or maybe the famed singer and actor hasn’t been getting enough sleep. Either way, on Friday morning, the scene was nothing short of hilarious when he fell asleep — literally — on the KBAK-KBFX morning show (Bakersfield, California).

After Belafonte was introduced by anchor Leyla Santiago (he appeared via satellite from New York), viewers could see him sitting in a chair with his arms crossed. Upon closer examination, it was clear that he was fast asleep.

Looking stunned, Santiago said, “Harry, wake up! Harry? Wake up, wake up!” After silence from the slumbering crooner followed, the anchor attempted to make the situation somewhat less awkward, so she quipped, “This is your wake-up call.”

Roy Williams Dances, And It’s One Of The Best “Old White Guy” Dances Ever

(By Dan Fogarty, SportsGrid) - [Friday] night during UNC’s midnight madness, head coach Roy Williams was somehow coaxed into dancing by his basketball team. The resulting shimmy was the Tar Heel version of Elaine Benes’ famed 1996 dance at the J. Peterman company party. Tyler Zeller didn’t do himself any favors either. Also: life jackets? Whatever the hell was going on at Chapel Hill [Friday] night kind of looked like the most fun ever.

Melissa Harris Perry: Pointing Out Only 53% Pay Federal Taxes Is "Racism"

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(Real Clear Politics) - MSNBC race relations commentator extraordinare Melissa Harris Perry explains it is racist when Michele Bachmann points out only 53% of Americans pay federal income tax and says we all need to pay.

"What that is meant to imply is that there is a whole group that is dependent," Harris Perry analyzed.

Harris Perry says that 53% talk is just codeword for the "2011 version of the welfare queen."

Harris Perry also has this interesting theory that some words appear less overtly racialized because those words have been effectively racialized. For example, according to Harris Perry, when someone says "crime" they really mean black people.

Perry, as well as being an expert on race, is a columnist for The Nation.

George Will: Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Plank’ Of Debt Repudiation ‘About To Go Mainstream’

(By Josh Feldman, Mediaite) - George Will credited Occupy Wall Street for adopting the idea of debt repudiation, a theory which has been touted by some economists, which he he fully expects to be embraced by the mainstream soon enough.

Christiane Amanpour brought up concerns by some business leaders about the Obama administration’s economic policies. Will pointed to high percentages of unemployed Americans, and then credited the OWS movement for embracing the idea of debt repudiation, essentially the refusal to pay back one’s debt.

George Will: “I think there’s one potential plank, if you can call it that, of Occupy Wall Street that’s about to go mainstream, and that’s debt repudiation. You see it now from some of the mainstream economists. These are the same geniuses, by the way, who said if we passed the stimulus, we would have unemployment at 8 percent or less. And that is… your mainstream economists say, we need just a little bit of inflation, and a narrow band, 4 to 6 percent, just for a little while.”

Herman Cain: The Goal Of Liberals Is To Economically Destroy The United States

(By Josh Feldman, Mediaite) - On 'Meet the Press' [yesterday], Herman Cain explained to David Gregory why he believes that liberals in the United States are invested in seeing the country fail and would do anything to see its destruction.

Cain argued that if the economic situation was to get any worse, “it would destroy our economic capability,” and from that the United States would have to look at making cuts in defense spending, which Cain seemed to imply were not on the table for him. Gregory asked the candidate to clarify if he truly meant liberals would be implicit in the destruction of America, rather than just pure mismanagement. Cain continue to stick by his comments, saying, “They do not believe in a stronger America, in my opinion.”

Will Mitt Romney hire Obama’s climate-change guru Holdren?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Conservatives know well that Mitt Romney has so far refused to back away from his contention that anthropogenic global warming is real, and yet the former Massachusetts governor continues to lead the Republican race for the presidential nomination.  In seven debates, none  of Romney’s competitors have challenged him on this position.  This week, however, the blog Moonbattery found a very interesting memo from Romney’s office in 2005 announcing tough new regulations on emissions — and noting a partnership with a familiar conservative bête noire in this administration (via Sundries Shack):

Governor Mitt Romney today announced that Massachusetts will take another major step in meeting its commitment to protecting air quality when strict state limitations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants take effect on January 1, 2006. …

Massachusetts is the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants. The limits, which target the six largest and oldest power plants in the state, are the toughest in the nation…

In addition to reaffirming existing stringent CO2 limits, the draft regulations announced today, which will be filed next week, contain protections against excessive price increases for businesses and consumers. They allow power generation companies to implement CO2 reductions at their own facilities or fund other reduction projects off-site through a greenhouse gas offset and credits program.

Devastating: HHS abandons part of ObamaCare as fiscally unworkable

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - A total debacle. And the punchline is, everyone saw it coming — including the Democrats who went ahead and voted anyway to bring this Frankenstein to life.

Congrats to the mad scientists responsible for choosing late Friday afternoon to break the news.

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a longstanding priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home, or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout…

“Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time,” Sebelius said in a letter to congressional leaders.