About Those Tax Cuts For The Richest Americans…

The following is from The Blog Prof:

“The rich in this country pay far more than their fair share. And not only does bottom 47% of taxpayers pay no federal income tax, but the bottom 40% GET MONEY BACK! The top 5% pay about 60% of the federal tax bill. It’s now gotten so bad, so unfair, that the top 1% pay more in federal taxes than the bottom 95%”

This was President Obama’s comment during the State of the Union Speech:

“And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.”

President Obama continues to punish success and then wonder why there is not more of it, as illustrated by the chart below.


Red Herrings As We Search For Peace And Stability In The Middle East

John Podhoretz posted an article on the New York Post website yesterday with an interesting perspective on the unrest in the Middle East.  Mr. Podhoretz points out that the Obama Administration has said that the key to peace in the Middle East is a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over territory and the creation of a Palestinian state. 

Mr. Podhoretz reminds us that during the first twenty years of Israel’s existence, all of its Arab neighbors were at war with her.  During the past forty years, that situation has changed. 

The article states:

“Jordan effectively quit the fight after Israel’s triumph in the 1967 war cut Jordan in half.  So too did the Arab states that did not share a border with Israel.  The bloody toll of the ’73 war then led Egypt and Syria to surrender their ambitious military efforts to drive Israel into the sea.”

Recently, the problems in Israel have been with terrorists claiming to represent Palestinian interests based either in the West Bank, Gaza, or southern Lebanon.  None of this is related to what is going on in Egypt. Jordan, or any other Arab state experiencing protests.

The rulers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Jordan have all been in place for a minimum of thirty years (Mubarak has been in power for thirty years, the others longer).  These are not democracies and all have severe economic inequities.  Israel (and America) have been used as scapegoats to take the blame off of the totalitarian regimes.  Why then are we surprised when the protesters are yelling, “Death to Israel and Death to America?”  It is highly unlikely that thirty plus years of blaming Israel and America will give us a pro-western government. Unfortunately, a democracy in Egypt may bring us another Iran.

Another Voyage Into The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Yesterday Mark Impomeni at the Daily Caller posted an interesting article about President Obama’s State of the Union Speech.  As you remember, this was the first State of the Union Speech where Democrats and Republicans sat together rather than on separate side of the chamber (described by some as Prom Dates). 

The stated purpose of the seating was to show unity after the attack on Representative Giffords.  Those of us who tend to be a little cynical felt that the change in seating was so that the extent of the Democrat loss in the November elections would be less obvious. 

Mr. Impomeni observes:

“The seating arrangement contributed to an uncharacteristically restrained audience for the speech, which when combined with a lackluster performance from the president, ended up killing one of President Obama’s best chances to make the case for his agenda.”

Last year’s State of the Union Speech (with Congressmen and Congresswomen in their respective ‘corners’) was interrupted by applause more than 100 times.  This year there were only 70 interruptions.  It may have been more civil (fewer standing ovations, interruptions by applause, etc.), but it was a whole lot less fun.

Who Is The Muslim Brotherhood ?

According to Wikipedia, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by the Islamic scholar and Sufi schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna.  (I don’t generally like Wikipedia as a source, but you can usually get basic information there).

The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak.

Jeff Goldberg in The Atlantic posted several statements by the new Supreme Guide of the Brotherhood, Mohammad Badi, (courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute):

“Today the Muslims desperately need a mentality of honor and means of power [that will enable them] to confront global Zionism. [This movement] knows nothing but the language of force, so [the Muslims] must meet iron with iron, and winds with [even more powerful] storms. They crucially need to understand that the improvement and change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life.”

Mr. Goldberg cites further statements:

“The Soviet Union fell dramatically, but the factors that will lead to the collapse of the U.S. are much more powerful than those that led to the collapse of the Soviet empire – for a nation that does not champion moral and human values cannot lead humanity, and its wealth will not avail it once Allah has had His say, as happened with [powerful] nations in the past. The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise…”


“Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. The peoples know well who is [carrying out] resistance and who has sold out the [Palestinian] cause and bargained over it. We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you…”

The thing to consider here is that America is considered a target for revolution.  As the news reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is reaching out to Mohamed El Baradei during the unrest, America needs to realize that El Baradei is not good news for either America or Israel.  What is happening in Egypt is a subtle part of the war against the west.  At some point America needs to realize that terrorism is a world-wide phenomenon and that we need to look at the entire picture–not just pieces of that picture.

The danger here is that Egypt will end its peace treaty with Israel and will align with the forces of Iran, Lebanon, and Syria in attempting to destroy Israel.  Since Israel is armed with nuclear weapons that it will use as a last resort, an attack on Israel by a new Arab coalition would be a disaster for both the Middle East and the world.

Sad News At The Justice Department

On Friday, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about the results of the Civil Rights Commission’s inquiry into the Justice Department’s handing of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case.  The Civil Rights Commission released their final report on the case Thursday.

The article quotes Civil Rights Commissioner Todd Gaziano:

“After a year of DOJ’s intransigence and baseless refusals to comply with our subpoenas, two Department attorneys bravely defied orders to testify before the Commission: the former Civil Rights Division Voting Section chief, Christopher Coates, and a lead trial attorney in the NBPP case, J. Christian Adams. Their testimony and the sworn affidavits from former DOJ staff portray a pervasive culture of hostility to race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws in the Civil Rights Division. The detailed allegations include: a former section chief who doctored a memo to try to prevent a meritorious case from being filed against black defendants, racially offensive statements by several supervisors and staff, and repeated instances of harassment and intimidation directed against anyone willing to work on lawsuits against minority defendants.”

The video of the voter intimidation incident can be found at You Tube.  Based on that video, it seemed like an easy case, but that’s not the way it was handled. 

The article quotes part of Commissioner Gail Heriot’s statement on the case:

“[T]he actual activities of the Voting Section have been consistent with the policy statements Ms. Fernandes is alleged to have made and not with Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez’ efforts to assure the Commission that the Division operates race neutrally (made long before Adams’s and Coates’s whistle-blowing testimony). The New Black Panther Party case was indeed disposed of over the vociferous objections of the line attorneys who had worked on the case and against the advice of career attorneys in the appellate section. This is exactly what one would expert if the allegations against Ms. Fernandes [i.e., that the Obama Justice Department enforces the law in a racist manner] were true. No further voter intimidation cases (whether brought under Section 11(b) or the more commonly used Section 2) have been filed against African American defendants–again, exactly as one would expect.”

I have no idea what action will be taken as a result of this report, but it is very troubling to me that the Justice Department has lost its objectivity in supporting voting rights.

Hang On To Your Hat–It’s Going To Be Interesting

My Way news (Associated Press) reported yesterday that the Muslim Brotherhood has stated that the unrest in the Middle East will spread until all pro-western governments are overthrown. 

There were protests in Jordan recently demanding the ousting of Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Rifai.  The thing to be noted in the Jordanian protests is that the protests have been done by the Bedouins, not by the Palestinian population.  Jordan is ruled by Hashemites, although the majority of its population is Palestinian.  Transjordan was orginally created out of the territory the British had promised to Israel.  The county was established with the Hashemites in charge as a reward for the role the Arabs had played in World War I (it was later discovered that their role had been exaggerated).  The fact that the Bedouins are protesting means that there is unrest in the police force and military.  This is not good. 

The preceeding paragraph contradicts the news story, but is based on the comments of a former member of the Israeli defense services.  His prediction is that Egypt will fall, followed by other countries in the area falling like dominoes.

According to the article, Hammam Saeed, the leader of Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood, has stated:

“…Arabs have grown disgruntled with U.S. domination of their oil wealth, military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and its support for “totalitarian” leaders in the region.

“”The Americans and (President Barack) Obama must be losing sleep over the popular revolt in Egypt,” he said. “Now, Obama must understand that the people have woken up and are ready to unseat the tyrant leaders who remained in power because of U.S. backing.””

I understand that the Arabs may want to unseat their tyrant leaders, I just don’t believe that the Muslim Brotherhood would be a move toward freedom.  I think it will mean more human rights violations, just different violations than we currently have.  I think the country to watch as this unfolds is Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia is not a democratic society and is as vulnerable to public unrest as the countries currently experiencing such unrest.

The stategic move that America needs to make right now is to quickly increase its output of domestic oil resources.  Unfortunately, that is opposite of the direction of the current administration.  Unless we develop our own carbon resources very quickly, we will be paying upwards of $5 a gallon for gasoline in the near future.

Why Border Security Is Important

The U. K. Daily Mail reported yesterday that U. S. border guards arrested Said Jaziri, a Muslim cleric, trying to sneak into the United States in the trunk of a Mexican BMW.

According to the article:

“Said Jaziri, who called for the death of a Danish cartoonist that drew pictures of the prophet Mohammed, was being smuggled into California when he was arrested, along with his driver Kenneth Robert Lawler.”

It would be interesting to know exactly where he was headed.  According to the story, Mr. Jaziri had paid a Tijuana-based smuggling cartel $5,000 to take him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a ‘safe place anywhere in the U.S.’

Mr. Jaziri was deported from Canada to Tunisia in 2007 after it was discovered that he had lied on his refugee application about having served time in jail in France.

It would be interesting to know who else is attempting to sneak across the southern border of the United States.

Some Disturbing News From Egypt

Stratfor Global Intelligence is reporting today that their sources in Hamas have given them the information in italics below.  They also point out that Hamas has an interest in exaggerating its role in the crisis in Egypt and also exaggerating its coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The website reports the following unconfirmed, but important information:

“The Egyptian police are no longer patrolling the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. Hamas armed men are entering into Egypt and are closely collaborating with the MB. The MB has fully engaged itself in the demonstrations, and they are unsatisfied with the dismissal of the Cabinet. They are insisting on a new Cabinet that does not include members of the ruling National Democratic Party.

“Security forces in plainclothes are engaged in destroying public property in order to give the impression that many protesters represent a public menace. The MB is meanwhile forming people’s committees to protect public property and also to coordinate demonstrators’ activities, including supplying them with food, beverages and first aid.”

I am simply not optimistic about what is happening in Egypt.  Frankly I don’t think it will matter to the United States or Israel whether or not the current government stands.  I think we are entering a very dangerous period in the entire Middle East–with problems in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as Egypt–that is going to last for a while and have a very uncertain outcome.  Until a group of democracies and free countries forms to help spread freedom and to deal with those who deny freedom to their citizens, freedom will not expand. I believe that was the original intention of the United Nations, but somewhere along the way they got lost.  The outcome of what is happening in Egypt is much more likely to be in tune with Iran than with America.

There Is Little Hope Of A Pro-Western Government After The Dust Clears In Egypt

As I write this, the internet is shut down in Egypt, so there is very limited information available on what is going on there.  There is, however, some good perspective from people who have studied the country for years. 

Yesterday, Caroline Glick posted an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post on the situtation in Egypt.  She points out that Mohamed El Baradei is participating in the anti-government demonstrations (although at one point he was under house arrest), and is seen as the ‘presidential hopeful’ amid the chaos.  Mohamed El Baradei was the man who looked the other way as Iran developed its nuclear program.  He is not a moderate Muslim. 

Ms. Glick points out:

“His actions won him the support of the Iranian regime which he continues to defend. Just last week he dismissed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, telling the Austrian News Agency, “There’s a lot of hype in this debate,” and asserting that the discredited 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that claimed Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 remains accurate.

“Elbaradei’s support for the Iranian ayatollahs is matched by his support for the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is an international group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Case in 2004.  The documents uncovered in that case revealed that the .
agenda to be carried out by these groups in the United States in reality had little to do with the organizations’ publicly-proclaimed goals, such as protecting the civil rights of Muslims. Rather, the true goal is to destroy the United States from the inside and work to establish a global Islamist society.

John Waage at CBN News posted an article yesterday stating that:

“Egypt’s next leader might be inclined to embrace Hamas and press harder for an end to Israel’s naval embargo of the Gaza Strip.

“The Egyptian populace is solidly anti-American and anti-Israel. One political party wants to abrogate Egypt’s 1977 peace treaty with Israel. The next leader may need to play to those sentiments to solidify power.

“Also, if freer and fairer elections take place there, they could well produce a similar result as the Palestinian elections in 2006, when the citizens handily elected Hamas.”

Meanwhile, the peace accord struck between Israel and Egypt that resulted in Israel’s giving up the Sinai Peninsula also paved the way for America to arm Egypt to the teeth. 

Ms. Glick reminds us:

“Owing to that US (military) aid, the Egyptian military today makes the military Israel barely defeated in 1973 look like a gang of cavemen. Egypt has nearly 300 F-16s. Its main battle tank is the M1A1 which it produces in Egypt. Its navy is the largest in the region. Its army is twice the size of the IDF. Its air defense force constitutes a massive threat to the IAF. And of course, the ballistic missiles and chemical weapons it has purchased from the likes of North Korea and China give it a significant stand-off massdestruction capability.”

I am not sure there is a good outcome to the protests in Egypt.  The current leadership does not support freedom, but the potential new leadership will not support freedom either and will be more dangerous to the supporters of freedom around the world.  At some point the world is going to have to take a really good look at the goal of some of the militant Muslims to set up a world-wide caliphate. The countries who support freedom will have to decide how to unify against that goal.  I don’t think we are there yet.  I am not even sure we are truly aware of the problem.

To look at the documents presented in the Holy Land Foundation Case that detailed the intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood, you can go to Justice.gov, the website of the United States Justice Department.

The Hazards Of Being A Jihadist

Wired.com reported yesterday that a would-be suicide bomber was killed in Russia on New Year’s Eve when her wireless carrier sent her an SMS (Short Message Service) text wishing her a Happy New Year.  The message set off the explosives in the safe house where she was preparing for the attack, killing her. 

The article reports:

“The authorities suspect the female bomber was part of the same Jihadist group that is suspected of hitting Moscow’s airport on Monday with a suicide bomb attack that killed 35.”

This is not all that unusual or new.  There is a very old book called THE GANG THAT COULDN’T SHOOT STRAIGHT about wars between the organized crime families in New York City during the 1960’s that had a similar incident where a ‘family’ member was carrying a bomb with a remote control device in order to place it under a gang rival’s car.  Someone made a call on some sort of short wave radio and that was the end of the bomb and the bomb placer.

Another Reason Ethanol Is Not The Answer

The Hill‘s Energy and Environmental Blog is reporting today that a draft Environmental Protection Agency report “concludes that expanded production of renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel carries an array of ecological risks in the U.S. and other nations, and calls for improved policies to mitigate these harms.”

Wouldn’t it be easier just to develop our nation’s carbon energy resources and be done with it?  (The devil you know, etc.) 

A 2007 energy law includes a requirement that a new analysis of the ecological effects of expanding the development of biofuels be done.  The article reports:

“The report comes as ethanol is already under attack from some environmentalists, and lawmakers seeking to strip tax subsidies. But renewable fuels are valued as a way to displace oil reliance and boost rural economies, and retain powerful political support on Capitol Hill.

“Elsewhere, the report addresses effects on wildlife and habitat. “Increased cultivation of feedstocks for biofuel could significantly affect biodiversity through habitat alteration when uncultivated land is put into production,” it states, also noting risks of plant and animal exposure to pesticides, nutrient runoff into waters and other effects.”

This is another journey into the world of unintended consequences.  There will come a day when America can be weaned from her dependence on carbon fuel.  However, that day will come as a result of a free market and the removal of some of the choking federal regulations that impact businesses.  In the past, an idea was not generally successful the first time it was attempted, but inventors and companies understood the rewards of trying something until they achieved success.  When the government overtaxes and overregulates, creativity decreases.  Government subsidies do not create inventions and innovations, they inhibit them. 

Something I Hadn’t Even Considered

I am not a particularly mechanical person.  My children are impressed that I finally learned how to work the VCR.  Now I find out that VCR’s are no longer sold–you have to get DVD players.  This could be a problem.

Anyway, I never considered some of the unexpected consequences of the electric or hybrid car.  I don’t own a hybrid (Ford doesn’t seem to make the Mustang in hybrid), so I was somewhat surprised when I read the article in today’s Washington Post about the effects of cold weather on battery-operated or hybrid cars. 

The article quotes another article at the car electric:

“All batteries deliver their power via a chemical reaction inside the battery that releases electrons. When the temperature drops the chemical reactions happen more slowly and the battery cannot produce the same current that it can at room temperature. A change of ten degrees can sap 50% of a battery’s output. In some situations the chemical reactions will happen so slowly and give so little power that the battery will appear to be dead when in fact if it is warmed up it will go right back to normal output. . . . “

That doesn’t sound like something that would work extremely well in New England or northern Minnesota.  Why, then, is the government pushing hybrid or electric cars? 

The Washington Post reports in its article:

“In his address Tuesday, the president reiterated his goal of putting 1 million plug-in hybrids and all-electrics on the road by 2015 and insisted that Congress spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars to achieve it. At present, fewer than 5,000 electrics are out there, so auto companies would have to make and sell about a quarter of a million vehicles annually between now and 2015 to meet his target.”

In his pursuit of choosing winners and losers in the American economy, President Obama has chosen the manufacturers of electric cars as winners.  As usual, the free market is ignored and this will become another federal boondoggle.  Buying an electric car in the northern part of the country is not something that is without problems.  The President’s intentions may be noble, but, as usual, there are unintended consequences.

Jim DeMint Introduces Repeal Of Healthcare Reform In Senate

This story is based on two sources–the first is a press release by Senator DeMint and an article at wltx.com.

Senator Jim DeMint has introduced legislation to repeal fully the healthcare reform bill that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010.  There are thirty-four Republican cosponsors for the bill to repeal. 

These are the reasons Senator DeMint lists for repealing the bill:

    • Leading Economists project that ObamaCare will add roughly $500 billion in new health care taxes, passing those costs to patients and will raise the federal budget deficit by more than $500 billion over the next 10 years and by nearly $1.5 trillion in the following decade.
    • According to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare will increase health care costs to families by $2,100 per year.
    • The Heritage Foundation estimates that the economy will lose 670,000 jobs under the new law, many of them in the health care industry.
    • An American Action Forum study finds that employers will be forced to drop employer-sponsored health care coverage for as many as 35 million Americans.
    • An analysis from HSA Consulting Services concludes the new law restricts the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and reduces the amount of money that can be contributed to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs).
    • As of Dec. 3, 2010, 222 waivers from ObamaCare’s annual limit requirements had been granted to businesses, labor unions, and insurers, affecting 1.5 million enrollees.
    • On Dec. 13, 2010, a U.S. district court ruled that it is unconstitutional for the government to impose an individual mandate to buy health insurance.

At this point, I would like to mention that the number of waivers as of December 30 was 729. 

The article at wtlx points out:

“Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, has said he will work to put the House repeal measure on the Senate voting calendar.
The DeMint bill is meant as a backup in case the House bill fails. Democrats outnumber Republicans 51-47 in the Senate, and two independent members vote with Democrats.

“DeMint’s measure is almost certain to fail, but it will put each senator’s vote on the record. That could be used against Democrats when they come up for re-election.

“If DeMint brings his bill to the floor, Democrats are prepared to offer measures that would force Republicans to vote on some of the law’s most popular provisions, such as one barring insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions, Reid’s office said. Votes to repeal such provisions could come back to haunt Republicans in the next election.”

Obamacare is a very bad bill.  The House Republicans have already begun working on replacement bills that would solve some of the problems in our healthcare system without creating a massive government bureaucracy.  The Senate Democrats’ plan to list the good points in Obamacare may not work if the Republicans have proposed alternatives the the dramatic increase in government spending and authority.  It really is time for everyone to take an honest look at what is best for the counrty.  The problem here is a basic difference of philosophy.  If you believe the government makes better decisions than you and your doctor, support Obamacare.  If you believe that your medical needs are best met by you and your doctor, and not by the government, support repeal.  Remember, the government brought us the Postal Service and the IRS.  Do we really want them controlling medical care? 

The Number Of Waivers For Obamacare Climbs Dramatically

I reported on Tuesday (rightwinggranny.com) that 222 business, unions, organizations, etc., had been granted waivers from Obamacare.  Well, Hot Air reported yesterday that the number has grown to 729 through the end of December. 

The article reports:

“I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest that OCIIO (Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight) was asked to hold this development until after the SOTU. Indeed the latest waiver approved in the list is from December 30th. There is an addendum at the bottom of the page noting that four states-Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee-have applied for waivers covering another 93,000 people. The addendum is dated 1/21/11, but I can assure you it was not there on 1/21 or even Monday.”

If Obamacare is so great, why do we have waivers covering 2.2 million people?  Why are these people getting waivers?  Why aren’t you and I getting waivers?

The Unemployment Rate Is Above 9 Percent And The Obama Administration Is Eliminating Jobs

Yahoo News posted an Associated Press story yesterday about the new regulations the Obama Administration is placing on the coal industry.  According to the administration’s own experts, the new rules will cost thousands of jobs and slash production across the country.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is replacing the Bush-era rules which set up buffer zones around streams and were aimed mainly at mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. 

The article reports:

“”Neither the environmental impact statement nor the administrative record that OSM has developed over 30-plus year of regulation … justify the sweeping changes that they’re proposing to make,” West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection official Thomas Clarke told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “I’ve had OSM technical people who are concerned with stream impacts and outside contractors for OSM who are subcontractors on the EIS give me their opinion that the whole thing’s a bunch of junk.””

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, has said that he will do everything he can to block these new regulations.

The article reports:

“Manchin already plans to introduce legislation to curb the powers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which recently vetoed a permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had long ago issued for Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County.”

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal.  To shut down or increase restrictions on the coal industry is not a wise move for the American economy, particularly during a recession.   This is another example of the government picking economic winners and losers–which is not the job of the government.

I’ve Heard Rumors That Las Vegas Is Taking Bets On This

There are two sources for this article, an article by Ed Morrissey posted at Hot Air yesterday and an article posted at Yahoo News yesterday.

Rham Emanuel’s name has been put back on the ballot for Mayor of Chicago due to a stay issued by the Illinois Supreme Court. 

Mr. Morrissey at Hot Air reports:

“The Illinois Supreme Court has granted Rahm Emanuel’s stay. Which means he’s back on the ballot.

“Earlier today Emanuel’s spokesman Ben Labolt said the mayoral candidate had plans to turn to the U.S. Supreme Court if he didn’t receive a favorable ruling from the state.”

Yahoo News reports:

“Illinois’ highest court agreed Tuesday to decide whether Rahm Emanuel can run for Chicago Mayor, and justices ordered election officials not to print any ballots without his name until they rule on the case.

“The action bought valuable time for the former White House chief of staff, who a day earlier was kicked off the ballot by an appeals court. The state Supreme Court said it would expedite the matter but gave no specific time frame.

“With less than a week to go before the first early ballots are cast, a number of potential scenarios loomed, including the possibility that Emanuel would have to resort to a write-in campaign or wage a desperate bid to take the matter to federal court.”

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but this is Chicago and Illinois politics.  I can’t imagine Rham Emanuel being barred from running even if he were a little green man from Mars.  He is part of the political machine in Chicago, regardless of whether or not he has lived there during the past two years.  This may be a very interesting case to follow.  I think it may be safe to say, even at this point, that Rham Emanuel will be the next Mayor of Chicago.  I have no idea how that will happen, I just believe it will.

Did He Say That ?

Chris Field at Townhall.com posted an interesting comment on the President’s State of the Union Speech.  Mr. Field quotes the President as saying:

“We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.”

Mr. Field points out that in the above statement “the president made the Right’s case for eliminating the Death Tax.”  If the American dream is to pass on your wealth to your children, why are the Democrats so intent on taking that wealth away from you when you die?  How many family farms or small businesses had to be sold to pay the death tax because the wealth of the business was not in liquid assets?  President Obama, if you understand that the American dream is a better life for our children, why are you trying to take that dream away from us?

General Electric And The Obama Administration

One of the major problems with the Obama Administration is that they seem to make a habit of using the government to pick winners and losers.  For example, the unions were the winners in the Chrysler bailout, the stockholders were the losers.  They ignored existing bankruptcy laws when they did that.  They have picked the American energy producers as losers–the development and use of America’s energy resources has been either serverly cut back or stopped by this administration.  One of the winners they have picked is General Electric.  Now General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt is to lead the President’s new jobs council.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about what the federal government and General Electric have in common.

President Obama has stated that he wants to economy to grow.  The article at the Wall Street Journal points out:

“Step back for a minute from the day to day policy fights and consider how an economy can grow faster. One way is to get people to work harder or longer. The government can contribute here with policies that reward work and investment, such as lower taxes.

“A second route to faster growth is innovation, which means inventions or new processes that increase productivity. Government can help with money for basic research, but private investment, human ingenuity and luck are the main drivers.

“The third way is through the more efficient use of capital, both human and monetary. These resources are scarce in any economy, and growth will be fastest if they are allowed to find their highest return. If resources are allocated to less productive uses or create asset bubbles due to bad policy, then overall growth will be slower than it should be.”

The article focuses on the use of capital, both human and monetary.  The Federal Reserve pumped money into the financial industry and real estate, and that bubble burst.  When that happened, the government responded by expanding the federal government. 

The article describes what has happened in the current economy:

“One reason the current recovery has been so lackluster is that it takes time for an economy to retool from these mistakes. Money that went to build now-empty condos on the Vegas Strip–or to government transfer payments–can’t be reclaimed to rebuild American manufacturing and technology.”

The article compares what has happened to the federal budget to what has happened to General Electric in recent years.  During the build up to the economic bubble, GE Capital was the most successful part of General Electric.  The article states,”Yet without federal loan guarantees for debt issuance, among other government aid during the crisis, GE Capital might well have taken the entire company down.”  

The article points out:

“Along with Mr. Obama, Mr. Immelt is now preaching the virtues of U.S. manufacturing and innovation. A glance at the GE homepage invites readers to “watch the rebirth of rails,” of all things. GE also wants to produce more in the U.S., even though its domestic employment fell by about 34,000 from 2000 to 2009. These are laudable intentions.”

The article concludes:

“But even if you believe that such spending (tarp, stimulus, etc.) prevented a depression, it makes no economic sense to keep those resources under political sway now that the recovery is underway. Would you rather have Congress allocating that 4% of GDP, or millions of individuals deciding among Apple, Gilead Sciences, or the next great idea?

“The path back to faster growth, more jobs and a more competitive U.S. economy does not travel through more political mediation. Nor does it lie in endlessly easy Fed policy in a misguided attempt to refloat the housing bubble or revive the financial boom. A better economy requires policies that reward work and innovation, while letting capital flow to the companies and individuals with the best ideas. They might even be GE’s.”

If the economy is to grow, we need to get the government out of our pockets and out of business.  Let business run business.  The winners and losers will emerge in the free market without government intervention.

Fact Checking The State Of The Union Speech

Last night Yahoo Finance posted its fact check on President Obama’s State of the Union Speech.  These are some of the issues they found:

1.  STATEMENT:  Healthcare reform is one way to stop the growth of the deficit.  FACT:  There are some very arguable assumptions that go into the statement that the healthcare reform bill will save taxpayers (or consumers) money.

2.  STATEMENT:  The President promised to veto any bill that contains earmarks.  FACT:  Republicans have taken the lead in battling earmarks while Obama signed plenty of earmark-laden spending bills when Democrats controlled both houses.

3.  STATEMENT:  The President stated, “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”  FACT:  This has been suggested by the Republicans in the past and gone nowhere.  The problem is that trial lawyers are a major part of the Democrat Party’s funding.

4.  STATEMENT:  The President praised the bipartisan fiscal commission that gave its report last year.  FACT:  The President has not endorsed any of the ideas put forth by the commission.

5.  STATEMENT:  The President claimed that his diplomatic efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons has been successful.  He cited the fact that Iran “faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before.”  FACT:  He neglected to mention that although the sanctions have supposedly gotten tougher, they have not been effective. 

The President doesn’t seem to be aware of either the results of the November election or the danger that the growing deficit creates for our country.  He needs to allow America to develop her own energy resources for a start.  That will create jobs, provide affordable gasoline prices, help with the trade deficit, and stop the American funding of terrorism.  None of that was in the speech.  This man simply does not see the economic danger his budgets for the past two years have created.  The best thing that can happen for America is a 2012 election when a President who is actually willing to allow the economy to grow can be elected.

A New Dimension In Thoughtlessness

Today’s Daily Caller posted an article stating that California Democrat Representative  Loretta Sanchez has requested that Representative Gabrielle Giffords be taken off of the House Armed Services Committee until she recovers from the injuries she sustained in Tucson.

These are the same Democrats who put Representative Hank Johnson on the House Armed Services Committee where he made the following statement to a military officer during a briefing about troop increases on Guam, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,”   I think they can wait for Representative Giffords to get back to Washington.  I hope and pray that her recovery will continue to go as well as it has.

Representative Sanchez said that since every vote on the committee was critical, she felt Representative Giffords should be replaced at least temporarily. 

The article reports:

“A spokesman for Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon told TheDC that he does not support Sanchez’s call to have someone fill in for Giffords.”

Someone needs to explain to Representative Sanchez that it’s not always about votes–sometimes it’s about compassion.

Who Owns The Democrat Party ?

Today, Mark Tapscot at the Washington Examiner is beginning a series of reports on the Democrat Party.  The reports deal with the influence of special interest groups within the party and the impact they have on the party.  In his initial article today, he reminds us of the Howard Dean statement as to why tort reform was not in the healthcare reform bill even though it was needed. 

The article quotes Howard Dean:

“Here’s why tort reform is not in the bill.  When you go to pass a really enormous bill like that, the more stuff you put into it, the more enemies you make.  And the reason the tort reform is not in the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everyone else they were taking on and that is the plain and simple truth.”

Wow.  An honest answer from a political figure. 

The article lists the four gourps that currently control the Democrat party–lawyers, environmentalists, unions, and insiders.  These groups fund the party and thus control the agenda. 

Please follow the link above to read the article and see the list of upcoming articles in the series.

If They Supported The Bill, Why Are They Getting Waivers ?

Or are they getting waivers because they supported the bill?  That is the question.  What am I talking about?  Unions and healthcare reform.

CNS News reported yesterday that:

“Three local chapters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose political action committee spent $27 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, have received temporary waivers from a provision in the Obamacare law.”

Thus far, 45 out of the 222 waivers given have been given to labor unions.  The other 177 waivers have been given to businesses and charitable organizations.  One of the recipients of a waiver was the AARP, which also strongly supported the bill.

The article further states:

“A total of 1,507,418 enrollees are now included in the waivers. More than one-third — 512,315 – of the enrollees affected were insured by union health plans.”

I didn’t like the healthcare reform bill to begin with (or the way it was passed), but I really dislike its being used to repay political favors.

How Things Are Going In Afghanistan

This is a link to a three page letter written on January 25, 2011, by General Petraeus to the troops.  The letter was posted on Michael Yon‘s website. 

There are a few things in the letter that I find encouraging:

“The implementation of our stategy in 2010 was helped considerably by the deployment of additional ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces, the growth of the Afghan Army and Police, an increase in the number of our civilian partners, and the associated funding to enable it all.  Indeed, together with the establishment of additional organizations and refinements of our stategy, the additional resources enabled us this past fall to get the “inputs” right in Afghanistan for the first time”

“…In sum, 2010 was a year of significant, hard-fought accomplishments.  The year ahead is likely to be a tough one, too.  Again, though, I am confident that the combined efforts of ISAF and Afghan forces will enable further important progress in 2011.”

There are two things to note here.  Thank you to all our military troops and their families (who also serve), and thank you to General Petraeus for the job he is doing.

The State’s Rights Battle Over Obamacare

Hot Air reported Saturday that Idaho, the first state to sue the federal government over Obamacare, has now announced that it plans to use an18th century legal remedy that recognizes a state’s right to nullify any federal law that the state has deemed unconstitutional in order to prevent Obamacare from being implemented there.

According to the article:

“Idaho is not the only state considering nullification as a remedy. Six others, including Maine, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming, are also considering bills that would in essence nullify the president’s signature on the reform law.”

Wow.  The article reminds us that there are now 27 states involved in the lawsuit against Obamacare.  Stay tuned for a whole bunch of legal battles.

The Youth Factor In The Abortion Debate

Today’s Washington Post reports that the annual March for Life in Washington began today with a huge youth Mass at the Verizon Center.  This will be the 38th annual March for Life. 

According to the article:

“More than 27,000 young people secured tickets for the morning concert, pep rally and Mass, according to the Archdiocese of Washington. For the first time, a parallel event was held at the D.C. Armory to handle the overflow crowd.”

On Friday, CNS News reported that Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) will be the keynote speaker at its Rose Dinner event that marks the end of a weekend of protests and ceremonies focused on ending abortion.

The CNS News article cites two recent news stories regarding abortion:

“One report noted that 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in an abortion. That figure, twice the national average, was called “chilling” by New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who said he was “embarrassed” for the city over the high rate of abortions.

“The second major abortion story concerns a Philadelphia abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was charged with eight counts of murder after investigators discovered that one woman and seven babies died during botched abortion procedures that he reportedly performed.”

The CNS News story reminds us that:

“According to the liberal Guttmacher Institute, 1.2 million abortions take place in the United states each year.  Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a little over 52 million children have been killed by abortion in America.”

There are two things to remember here.  I have heard it commented that the reason there is still debate on abortion is that the American people never actually got to vote on it.  Up until Roe v. Wade, each state had established its own rules covering abortion rights.  Roe v. Wade simply said that the federal government controlled abortion policies–not the states.  If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will not be illegal–it will become a state issue rather than a federal issue.  At that point, each state will set up its own standards and rules regarding abortion.