Friday, July 30, 2010

Listen to C-SPAN Radio on Any Phone, Anytime

Good news for C-SPAN junkies like me! 

C-SPAN's new partnership with AudioNow allows any mobile phone users to listen to C-SPAN Radio without downloads or the need to access data services. By dialing 202-626-8888, you can access the station's audio live on your phone. Hear C-SPAN's signature programming, including House and Senate proceedings, viewer and listener call-in programs, historical and documentary programs, and Book TV on the weekends. (Calling charges and plan charges may apply. Check with your telecom provider.)

Quick Question...

If the Federal Government can't even operate and maintain a military cemetery (read "Panel: Arlington Cemetery errors could be iceberg's tip"), how the heck is it going to run our Nation's health care system???!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

AG Cuccinelli Featured In This Sunday's Washington Post Magazine

Just learned that this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine will feature an in-depth look at Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. 

This article is a result of months of in depth research - it's an extensive look at Cuccinelli, his family, and what has made him a national leader in the fight for liberty and protecting the Constitution. The on-line version is now available and worth a read. 

As long-time RC Blog readers already know, we have strongly supported Cuccinelli and worked on all of his campaigns dating back to his first Virginia State Senate race in 2002.  Considering the years of ultra-negative articles, editorials, and letters printed in the Post over the years, this feature article is rather tame and should leave the average Post reader with a better impression of Cuccinelli (hopefully...).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Only In California...

From the Nation's Capital of the Left, sunny California, comes another story that both boggles the mind and helps us understand a little more clearly why they are broke.  Just when you think the "Crazies on the West Coast" who run the state and its municipalities couldn't get any crazier in terms of fiscal irresponsibility, they hit another home run -- Bell, California's city manager made $800K a year!  Fortunately, the city manager and other overpaid officials have resigned and only now the California AG is outraged over the whole issue. 

Here's is an excellent post on the issue from Tim Daniel at Left Coast Rebel:

Ringing the bell at the top: Paging Chris Christie

Consider Bell. A diverse, poor offshoot of Los Angeles, Bell’s population in 2000 stood at 37,000 and its median per year household income clocked in at $29,000. But according to a blitz of media reports, city manager Robert Rizzo’s yearly salary clocks in close to $800,000.

Rizzo thinks he’s worth every penny recently claiming:

“If that’s a number people choke on, maybe I’m in the wrong business. I could go into private business and make that money. This council has compensated me for the job I’ve done.”

No kidding. But that’s not where the buck stops.

Investor’s Business Daily has the city manager’s yearly retirement pension at a cool $600,000, starting at age 50. Such sweetheart scenarios were written by lawmakers during the Davis administration, exemplifying the unison of politicians, powerful unions, and the corruptocrat state attorneys at home in Sacramento.

In addition to Rizzo’s sub $800,000 salary, Bell police chief netted over $456,000 and assistant city manager Angela Spaccia earned $376,000. The Los Angeles Times reported today that all three of these high-income earners got the boot today. We’ll see if they “go into private business and make that money” as the Bell city manager claimed.

The local issue of overpaid, zealous administrators in Bell, California, demonstrates a far more troubling macro picture for both the state and the nation a whole. California’s pension system alone now comes with a price tag that dwarfs the estimates of 10 years ago. This is due mostly to the 1999 California enacted pension ‘reform’ based on ludicrous investment gambles that assumed (among many other things) that the Dow Jones Industrial average would be trading at 25,000 by 2009. And with the ongoing recession and business/entrepreneur exodus – it will only get worse.

California may break records in fiscal insanity and union largess but the issue is not unique to this state alone. A story today out of Ann Arbor, Michigan highlights city officials who saw it fit to use taxpayer dollars to purchase an $800,000 piece of art despite the city’s current fiscal distress. The city also hired an art-coordinator and while doing so fired the city administrator that oversees trash collection efforts.

Talk about taking out the trash.

Going forward, the nation may not only face public outrage but civic unrest, when the taxpayers who foot the bill for perpetual government sector magnanimity come to full grips with the situation we are facing.

Perhaps we need hundreds of clones of a certain large, Italian, former prosecutor at every level of state and federal government to clean up this mess.

Paging Chris Christie.

Obama, Reagan, and the Economy

Great opinion piece by Frank Donatelli, GOPAC Chairman, in this morning's Politico...

It’s easy to understand why President Barack Obama’s friends don’t want to acknowledge that July represents 17 months since Congress passed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill — the president’s signature measure to jump-start the economy and fight unemployment.

Obama says the economy is headed in the right direction; jobs are being created, not lost, and he is doing everything possible to revive the “worst economy since the Great Depression.” Most of the national press has been remarkably accepting of this narrative — even if the president has been vague, at best, about when we might finally see an uptick in economic growth and job creation.

But in another economic time, President Ronald Reagan’s economic recovery program took 17 months to take hold. It took from the time Congress passed his tax cuts, in August 1981, until the recession he inherited finally ended in January 1983.

Unemployment hit a high of 10.8 percent in December 1982. But then economic growth spiked, and the unemployment rate began a long, steady decline throughout the 1980s. It was obvious the program was working when people stopped calling it “Reaganomics.”

Tax cuts were a part of Reagan’s effort to cut the size and scope of government to fight economic stagnation. “Government is not the solution,” Reagan said in his remarkably clear inaugural address. “It is the problem.”

In addition to tax cuts, Reagan reduced domestic discretionary spending and streamlined regulations to make them less of a burden on businesses seeking to create jobs. He believed that government should give individuals and businesses the proper incentives to grow and expand and not inhibit the private sector with high taxes and cumbersome regulations.

Reagan faced obstacles that Obama did not. The House he had to work with was always controlled by Democrats. More ominously, inflation was running at double-digit rates, and it took nearly a year for the Federal Reserve to squeeze those pressures out of the system.

Regardless, in the end, Reagan’s program worked. The turnaround began 17 months later.

Fast-forward to today. The Obama administration says that government-directed investment, via huge spending increases, can revive the economy. It’s now stimulus plus 17. Is there a turnaround in sight?

Apparently not. Obama’s own budget estimates, released just last week, project trillion-dollar deficits, anemic economic growth coming out of a recession and unemployment near 9 percent for 2011 and 8 percent for 2012.

You have to go back to the 1930s to find a period in which unemployment has been so high for so long. This economic record would make former President Jimmy Carter blush.

Yet Obama continues to get a pass on his version of recent economic events. He has said that he inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression. He didn’t. The economies inherited by both President Gerald Ford in 1974 and Reagan in 1981 were far worse.

Obama has said the stimulus has saved 3 million jobs. It hasn’t. We have nearly that many fewer jobs than before the stimulus was passed in February 2009, and the unemployment rate is 1½ percentage points higher than what he claimed would be the high point once his program was enacted.

Obama has said he is doing all he can to revive the economy. Actually, he’s doing too much. The economic uncertainty that his “historic” health care and budget bills have created is doing more to hold back economic growth than anything else. Companies are hoarding cash rather than invest in Obama’s uncertain economic climate.

As a result, the recovery is anemic by historic standards.

So we have two historic presidents. Both inherited bad economies. One cut spending and taxes, and then, 17 months later, the economy boomed. The other increased taxes and spending. It’s now 17 months later.

Mr. President, we’re waiting.

Frank Donatelli is chairman of GOPAC, which helps and advises young Republican leaders.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exposing the Dangers of Overcriminalization

America is in the throes of overcriminalization.  As former AG and Heritage Foundation Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Ed Meese noted in a recent documentary on the topic, "We are making and enforcing far too many criminal laws that create traps for the innocent but unwary -- and threaten to turn otherwise respectable, law-abiding citizens into criminals."  There are now more than 4,000 federal criminal offenses scattered throughout the 50 titles of the U.S. Code, and it's estimated that federal prosecutors could use the criminal process to enforce as many as 300,000 federal regulations.

Thousands of these laws criminalize socially and economically beneficial activities that few of us would imagine are illegal.  Worse, many offenses lack the criminal intent requirement that protects innocent Americans from prosecution and punishment.

The Heritage Foundation is tacking this legal issue head-on with its new book -- One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty.  The book exposes this growing threat to freedom and makes the case for returning U.S. criminal law to its proper role in society: to ensure the public's safety from truly wrongful conduct and protect the innocent.

One Nation Under Arrest brings this problem to life through riveting first-hand accounts of actual victims of overcriminalization -- citizens whose lives were upended because they were charged as criminals for honest mistakes.  Examples include an inventor who spent two years in federal prison after the FBI arrested him for failing to put the proper sticker on his otherwise lawful UPS package and a cancer-ridden grandmother arrested and criminally charged for allowing her hedges to grow too tall.

The book also details specific laws inspired by politics rather than justice or safety, as well as judicial activists who use the federal code as an ideological weapon.  Thankfully, the Heritage Foundation is following this issue closely and will continue to expose the dangers of overcriminalization.  "Taking the steps necessary to ensure that American criminal law once again routinely exemplifies the right principles and purposes will require much work," Meese points out, "but the alternative is to distort the American criminal justice system and jeopardize the American people."

For more information, visit to learn more, watch interviews with victims, and to sign up to receive updates on legislation and case studies that show the growing abuse of our criminal justice system.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Primer on the 2010 House Midterm

Nice piece by Jay Cost on RealClearPolitics this morning....

A Primer on the 2010 House Midterm

What I'd like to do in this piece is offer you a sense of how voters will come to their congressional vote choices in November, and in so doing give you an impression of how various factors will affect the outcome.

This is not necessarily the best way to look at midterm elections, and it is certainly not the only way. But I'll say this: I've spent the last few years soaking up as much popular and scholarly commentary on congressional midterms as I could, and this is the framework I've put together for myself.

Here's the basic system. While the Framers of the Constitution figured that Congress would be the center of American political life, practically speaking the President has been the focal point of attention. So, we have to frame a voter's decision as whether or not to support the candidate of the President's party or the candidate of the opposition party.

I like to think of the vote choice as the product of four ordered questions. Every time a voter answers "Yes," the more likely he or she is to vote for the opposition. Also, I'm not directly factoring partisanship into this equation, but it does matter. Partisanship influences every answer given, and its influence has grown in recent cycles

Question 1. Am I upset with the current state of the country?

The first question is pretty straightforward, and the current results are not good for the 44th President.

Less than one out of three Americans sees the country as heading in the right direction. And even on this first question, partisanship has a great deal of influence. Rasmussen recently found that 54% of Democrats and just 11% of Republicans thought the country was heading in the right direction. On the other hand, back in October 2007, when he found roughly similar aggregate opinion (24% said the country was heading in the right track, versus 31% now) - he found 43% of Republicans saying the country was on the right track versus just 6% of Democrats.

Question 2. Do I blame the President for the bad times?

Most Americans think times are bad, and right now there is about an equal split on this second question.

Gallup can give some historical perspective on what a marginally negative answer to this question means. In the last sixty years, five Presidents have gone into a midterm congressional election with their net approval at or below sea level: George W. Bush in 2006, Bill Clinton in 1994, Ronald Reagan in 1982, Lyndon Johnson in 1966, and Harry Truman in 1946. All five midterms were "wave" elections in which the opposition party picked up a large enough number of House seats to affect substantially the policymaking process in Washington, D.C.

House elections really turn on how the President is viewed in 435 diverse districts. So, it is not simply President Obama's national job approval that matters, but also how it is distributed.

Of course, nobody is polling each of the 435 House districts, but we can still get a sense of where he stands. For instance, the RCP average currently shows the President at a net job approval of -0.8 points. By comparison, he beat John McCain by 7.3 points on Election Day. So, we can derive a rough estimate of the President's current job approval by subtracting 8.1 points off his victory margin in each House district.

When we do that, we find President Obama at or near net negative approval in about 70 Democratic-controlled House districts. This estimate seems fairly reasonable. As my colleague Sean Trende has noted, the median partisan voting index score for the House is Republican +2. With Obama at sea level in his nationwide job approval, we should expect that more than half of the 435 districts disapprove of him.

The actual number might even be higher than 70. This analysis assumes a uniform drop-off in net approval among all 435 districts, but this is unlikely. Obama's decline among soft partisans is probably greater than among strongly partisan Republicans, who never really supported him at all. This means that his decline relative to 2008 is probably tilted toward districts that went more strongly for him.

In fact, comparing Gallup's recent 50-state report on Obama's job approval to his 2008 election results shows little drop-off in almost all of the deep red states - Alabama, Idaho, Nebraska, South Carolina, etc. The only heavily Republican state to show a big Obama decline is West Virginia, but on a sub-presidential level the Mountain State remains heavily Democratic. Most of his big declines were in either solidly Democratic bastions where the 2008 vote went heavily Democratic (e.g., Vermont, which gave him 67% of the vote but just 54% job approval today) or swing states that went heavily for the President (e.g., Wisconsin, which gave him 56% of the vote but just 48% job approval).

On a district level, it stands to reason that Obama's approval ratings have moved similarly. I expect that he has declined relatively little in very conservative districts, where he wasn't very popular to begin with. Also, I'd expect very little drop-off in majority-minority districts, as his African-American support has remained fairly constant. Most of his drop-off is probably concentrated in majority white Democratic districts, where he should still be comfortably above 50%, and in politically balanced districts that swung his way in 2008, where is probably now below 50%.

So, all in all, we can figure that a plurality of voters in 60 to 80 Democratic-held districts now answer Question #2 in the affirmative.

Question 3. Is my incumbent party candidate indistinguishable from the President?

If you think the state of the country is not good, and you've identified the President as a cause of that, your next question is whether the local incumbent party candidate should be lumped in with the Commander-in-Chief. This is the context in which congressional races are waged. The national mood and evaluations of the President set the general outline, then ultimately it is up to local candidates to angle for the best possible position in light of the broader framework.

In a year when Questions 1 and 2 are answered in the negative, many factors matter when it comes to evaluating the local incumbent party candidate:

a. Is he/she already a member of Congress? If not, and it's an open seat race, it'll be a tougher election for the incumbent party, as the race typically reflects national dynamics. Challengers are never as well known as incumbents, and so voters inevitably rely more on the party labels to make a decision. In a bad year for the incumbent party, that can be a decisive factor.

This is where the Democratic party's relatively few open seats will be an asset.

b. Does the incumbent have a history of independent thinking? Swing voters everywhere tend to prize independent thinking. They are the ideological descendants of George Washington, who generally hated factionalism. Even if they are upset with Obama this year, they are going to be at least somewhat partial to Democrats who have shown a willingness to defy their party leadership. This can make a difference for Democrats in at least a few districts, although the returning members will more often than not be the kind that the Daily Kos crowd hates, the reviled "ConservaDems."

Regardless of how outsized the GOP "wave" is this year, it is highly unlikely that it will overwhelm Gene Taylor in Mississippi's Fourth Congressional District. Based solely on structural factors, this comes as quite a surprise. The counties that make up his district were some of the first in the Deep South to swing to the GOP. They elected Trent Lott to the House in 1972, and they have consistently voted for Republican Presidents since 1980. Despite all this, Taylor is likely going to be a member in the upcoming Congress because nobody doubts that he is independent of his party's leadership. A similar effect helped Delaware's Mike Castle, a Republican, pull 61% of the vote in 2008 even as McCain won only 37% statewide. Polling suggests that Delaware remains generally supportive of President Obama, yet Castle is the odds-on favor to win Joe Biden's old Senate seat, in part because of his solid statewide reputation for independence.

Still, Taylor and Castle are outliers in a Congress that, in recent sessions, has seen an uptick in party line voting. Most Democrats in districts that are now tipped against the President are going to have a somewhat uphill battle in convincing their constituents that they should not be lumped in with Obama. Ultimately, it will depend on how they voted on key items like cap-and-trade and especially health care. Guys like Gene Taylor, an iconoclast with a reputation of defying his leadership when the district asks him to, are going to be much better positioned than guys like Tom Perriello (D-VA), a freshman from a Republican-leaning district who took a high-profile vote in favor of health care. The GOP is not going to take down every "Tom Perriello," but it is going to defeat quite a number of them.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, they have a large number of freshman and sophomore members who do not have much of a reputation for anything. This is a big reason why they have so few open seats to defend - freshmen and sophomores are unlikely to retire! - and it is a real liability for them.

c. Is the incumbent well liked? Some incumbents just never click with their constituents, and sometimes what was once a passionate love affair flames out. In a bad year for the incumbent party, these types tend to get cleaned out. Several such candidates went down to defeat in 2006 - most notable among them being Curt Weldon of PA-7, John Hostettler of IN-8 and Charles Taylor of NC-11. In 2004, they underperformed George W. Bush's share of the vote. Unsurprisingly, they lost by wide margins in 2006. Wave elections have a habit of taking down the weakest links in the party chain, which is bad news this year for Paul Kanjorski of PA-11.

Question 4. Is my district's opposition party candidate a marginally better alternative?

This question and the previous one are essentially answered simultaneously, and they blend together in many respects: a better opposition candidate means more money, which means a sharper criticism of the incumbent party in the district. But this is still a somewhat distinct query. You can't beat something with nothing, at least not most of the time.

This is where Harry Reid's strategy for victory becomes interesting. If public opinion polling is to believed, Nevadans have answered the first three questions in this way: Yes, Yes, and Oh Hell Yes. So, Reid's sole hope of electoral victory is to make Sharron Angle completely and totally unelectable. This also explains why the President has sharpened his already-sharp criticism of Republicans, and Democrats are apparently trolling around for dirt on the GOP in an unprecedented manner.

Will this work? In a few races here and there, it will probably save the hide of some Democratic incumbents. One of the consequences of party primaries is that occasionally they can produce candidates who are simply too far outside the mainstream. But, on balance, this is only going to mitigate what will be serious losses.  There are two big reasons:

a. Mainstream Democrats see mainstream Republicans as extremists, and vice-versa. The problem that the Democrats have this year, however, is that the battle for the House is largely going to be fought in Republican-leaning neighborhoods. After all, George W. Bush - that neo-con arch-extremist! - still managed to beat John Kerry in 255 congressional districts. So, Democrats are going to label some Republicans as extremists who are not so in the eyes of their conservative-leaning electorates.

b. It can be difficult to tag challengers as extremists. How do you find the smoking gun? Barring some ridiculous comment, it's hard. The best Republican challengers will usually be state legislators or leaders in the local business community. State government usually does not deal with issues that force true extremists to out themselves as such, and extremism is just plain bad for private business.

This is why Barack Obama was able to skate past the kind of treatment that John Kerry received. Though they are both probably equally liberal, Kerry had a twenty-year congressional record that the GOP could comb through to find evidence that he was outside the mainstream. Obama, on the other hand, had a four-year record, two of which he was actively campaigning for the White House and the other two he was preparing to. There was very little there. In 2008, vagueness was the ally of the Democrats. In 2010, it will be the ally of the Republicans.

Beyond the issue of extremism, what will matter above all else is how much money these Republican challengers raise. Money raised is probably the best metric of candidate quality, and we can put down the following marker: Democratic incumbents in conservative leaning districts with challengers who raise close to or more than $1 million will have an enormous challenge on their hands. I would not be surprised to see some Republicans who raise quite a bit less than $1 million still manage to defeat their Democratic opponents.


Right now, we can conclude that most voters in most House districts have answered Questions 1 and 2 in the affirmative. That's what most of the polls - national and statewide - have indicated pretty clearly, so it is not hard to extend that to House districts.

But the campaign for the House has not yet begun in earnest, which means that Questions 3 and 4 have yet to be answered, and we probably will not have a solid grasp of the public's answers until the leaves are falling from the trees.

If history is any guide, voters in at least two-dozen districts will agree that their local Democratic candidate is "part of the problem" and that the Republicans have fielded at least a slightly better alternative. But the Republicans need at least 40 districts to make a change. Will that happen?

That remains to be seen, and that's not a trite equivocation. Congressional elections are a strange brew of national and local forces, which means that each is a unique world unto itself. The national forces have sorted themselves out pretty well, but strong Democratic performances on the local level could very well result in the party holding its House majority, albeit it by a slim margin.

The best case scenario for Democrats at this point is a nominal majority where the median member is not a terribly reliable ally of the party's liberal leadership. Something similar is set to occur in the Senate, where a Republican gain of at least five seats will push the filibuster to more conservative ground, from Brown/Collins/Snowe to Alexander/Cochran/Murkowski. Barack Obama ran for and won the Presidency in 2008 based upon a pledge to pursue bipartisanship, and the results in 2010 are effectively going to force him to do just that, at long last.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fox News Fingerpointing Proved Wrong In Sherrod Incident

Kudos to Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post for setting the record straight on Fox News' involvement in this week's Shirley Sherrod uproar.  Ms. Sherrod is owed an apology by a large number of individuals and media outlets (including the RC Blog!) for just running with the condensed version of the speech.  However, Ms. Sherrod's immediately reaction to blame Fox News for her firing, has now proven incorrect.  Boy, does the Left hate Fox News....

Finger-pointing at Fox in Shirley Sherrod firing
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 22, 2010

The White House spokesman and the agriculture secretary weren't the only ones offering regrets Wednesday to the USDA official abruptly fired over a videotape excerpt that turned out to be totally misleading. Bill O'Reilly apologized to Shirley Sherrod as well.

But for all the chatter -- some of it from Sherrod herself -- that she was done in by Fox News, the network didn't touch the story until her forced resignation was made public Monday evening, with the exception of brief comments by O'Reilly. After a news meeting Monday afternoon, an e-mail directive was sent to the news staff in which Fox Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said: "Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right."

Sherrod may be the only official ever dismissed because of the fear that Fox host Glenn Beck might go after her. As Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tried to pressure her into resigning, Sherrod says Deputy Undersecretary Cheryl Cook called her Monday to say "do it, because you're going to be on 'Glenn Beck' tonight." And for all the focus on Fox, much of the mainstream media ran with a fragmentary story that painted an obscure 62-year-old Georgian as an unrepentant racist.

On Monday night, O'Reilly played the clip posted by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart on his site He led his Wednesday program by criticizing some of Sherrod's language but acknowledging his own mistake: "I owe Ms. Sherrod an apology for not doing my homework . . . and for not putting her remarks into proper context." While the excerpt showed Sherrod, an African American, telling the NAACP in a speech that she had discriminated against a white farmer as a nonprofit aid officer 24 years ago, the full speech made clear she was saying she had overcome that race-based bias and learned an important lesson.

In his Monday comments, O'Reilly credited Breitbart with posting the excerpt and concluded that her remarks were "simply unacceptable. And Ms. Sherrod must resign immediately." O'Reilly taped the show at 5 p.m., and by the time it aired about 8:50, USDA had announced Sherrod's resignation (as Fox noted on the screen). Fox executives say O'Reilly's staff, which is not part of the news division, sought comment from USDA throughout the day.

Breitbart has worked closely with Fox opinion hosts in the past, most notably when he posted videos of two young activists ostensibly posing as a pimp and prostitute and seeking help from ACORN offices. Breitbart promoted those tapes on Sean Hannity's Fox program and the network gave them heavy play.

The administration's concern about Beck stems in part from his campaign last year that prompted the resignation of White House environmental official Van Jones over divisive remarks -- a controversy that some news organizations acknowledged they were too slow to cover. Ironically, Beck defended Sherrod on Tuesday, saying that "context matters" and he would have objected if someone had shown a video of him at an AA meeting saying he used to pass out from drinking but omitting the part where he says he found Jesus and gave up alcohol.

Breitbart told "Good Morning America" he had "no second thoughts" about posting the excerpt, which he says he did not edit, and sought to justify it by noting that the NAACP recently passed a resolution urging the tea party to disassociate itself from racism. "The video shows racism, and when the NAACP is going to charge the tea party with racism . . . I'm going to show you it happens on the other side," Breitbart said. On the same program, Eric Boehlert of the liberal advocacy group Media Matters told George Stephanopoulos: "Andrew had no idea what the context of the comments were, but that didn't stop him from launching the smear campaign."

Breitbart did not say how he obtained the tape he posted Monday morning but told CNN's John King he got it in March, when Sherrod appeared before the NAACP. He told MSNBC that "I feel sorry that they made this about her" and that the media have "misconstrued the intention behind this."

Sherrod ripped Fox in an interview Wednesday with Media Matters, saying the network would "love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."

Clemente, the Fox executive, said in an interview that Sherrod "certainly could be forgiven for being confused." As for other critics, he said that blaming Fox is "a comfortable reflex for some people."

Even the NAACP, which had initially criticized Sherrod, beat an embarrassing retreat after viewing the full tape -- and complaining that it had been "snookered" by Fox and Breitbart. Clemente said he never heard from the group's president, Benjamin Jealous, despite a recent lunch in which he says they agreed to get in touch when disputes arise. Fox says the NAACP did not respond to messages left by Clemente on Tuesday.

Once Sherrod's resignation was confirmed, it was obviously a significant news story that media outlets were entitled to chase. But they did so on the basis of one misleading clip before the NAACP made the full video available Tuesday.

There were signs of enterprising hustle, however. On Tuesday, CNN snagged interviews with Sherrod, Breitbart and Eloise Spooner, wife of the Georgia farmer whom Sherrod had aided and was the subject of her anecdote. "She gave enough that it helped save our farm," Spooner said.

With Vilsack now offering Sherrod a job and the media looking like they abetted the insta-tragedy, even many on the right were siding with the previously vilified Sherrod. "Her full speech is heartfelt and moving," wrote National Review Editor Rich Lowry. "It's the tale of someone overcoming hatred and rancor when she had every reason not to. Her saga over the last couple of days is a lesson in how the culture of offense often works in contemporary America -- chewing people up and spitting them out before they even have a chance to defend themselves."

Story goes viral

The MSM are primarily interesting in blaming the administration (although Keith Olbermann included his own network in criticizing the media's handling of the mess).

"The Obama administration issued an extraordinary public apology Wednesday and offered to reinstate a federal official who was fired after she appeared to make racial comments on a misleading snippet of video," the L.A Times reports.

"The events came as an embarrassment to Obama administration officials, who have sought to depict themselves as immune to the blogosphere and demands of the news cycle."

The New York Times includes this section on the media:

"Mr. Vilsack's late-afternoon appearance capped a humiliating and fast-paced few days not only for the White House, but also for the N.A.A.C.P. and the national news media, especially the Fox News Channel and its hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, all of whom played a role in promoting the story about Ms. Sherrod.

"The controversy illustrates the influence of right-wing Web sites like the one run by Andrew Breitbart, the blogger who initially posted the misleading and highly edited video, which he later said had been sent to him already edited. (Similarly, Mr. Breitbart used edited videos to go after Acorn, the community organizing group.) Politically charged stories often take root online before being shared with a much wider audience on Fox. The television coverage, in turn, puts pressure on other news media outlets to follow up."

That may be true generally, but the problem with the chronology in this case is that by the time the O'Reilly and Hannity comments aired Monday night, Sherrod had already been cashiered.

The White House wanted Wednesday to be about the president signing the financial regulation bill. But the Sherrod fiasco dominated the Robert Gibbs briefing.

Politico's Ben Smith, looking at recent racial dustups, concludes that "the conversation just got dumber."

"The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America. Obama's own, sole foray into the issue of race involved calling a police officer 'stupid,' and regretting his own words. Conservative leaders and the NAACP, the venerable civil-rights group, recently engaged in a round of bitter name-calling that left both groups wounded and crying foul. Political correctness continues to reign in parts of the left, and now has a match in the belligerent grievance of conservatives demanding that hair-trigger allegations of racism be proven."

Atlantic's Marc Ambinder deconstructs the administration's handling of the mess:

"The executive branch realizes that the White House is extremely sensitive to the charge that Obama is using his presidency to advance the cause of black people. It's a tremendously silly charge, and maybe the White House shouldn't be so sensitive to it, but it's a real sensibility. One suspects that the moment that the specter of reverse racism was raised, the USDA's political appointees reacted almost unconsciously because they assumed the White House would blanch when the videotape was played. . . .

"The NAACP wasn't snookered. Vilsack was snookered. It doesn't matter why he was snookered, but he was. If he doesn't reinstate her, he'll look like a jerk who refused to admit he made a mistake. If he reinstates her, he might look like a wimp to some who object to Sherrod's economic inequality argument, or who refuse to acknowledge that Andrew Breitbart selectively edited a tape, but he'll also look like a guy who made a rash decision and had the judgment to reverse it.

"The White House is loath to touch anything resembling a racial thing, but this isn't a racial thing: it's a judgment thing. It's about thinking before speaking. It's about slowing down, it's about gathering evidence before making decisions, it's about doing the right thing."

From the right, David Frum unloads on the proprietor of

"On the phone on the evening of July 20, a friend asked me: 'Can Breitbart possibly survive?' I could only laugh incredulously. I answered: 'Of course he'll survive, and undamaged. The incident won't matter at all.'

"There will be no apology or statement of regret for distributing a doctored tape to defame and destroy someone. There will be not even a flutter of interest among conservatives in discussing Breitbart's role. By the morning of July 21, the Fox & Friends morning show could devote a segment to the Sherrod case without so much as a mention of Breitbart's role. The central fact of the Sherrod story has been edited out of the conservative narrative, just as it was edited out of the tape itself.

"When people talk of the 'closing of the conservative mind' this is what they mean: not that conservatives are more narrow-minded than other people -- everybody can be narrow minded -- but that conservatives have a unique capacity to ignore unwelcome fact.

"When Dan Rather succumbed to the forged Bush war record hoax in 2004, CBS forced him into retirement. Breitbart is the conservative Dan Rather, but there will be no discredit, no resignation for him."

Jonah Goldberg delivers more of a rap on the knuckles:

"I think she's owed apologies from pretty much everyone, including my good friend Andrew Breitbart. I generally think Andrew is on the side of the angels and a great champion of the cause. He says he received the video in its edited form and I believe him. But the relevant question is, Would he have done the same thing over again if he had seen the full video from the outset? I'd like to think he wouldn't have. Because to knowingly turn this woman into a racist in order to fight fire with fire with the NAACP is unacceptable. When it seemed that Sherrod was a racist who abused her power, exposing her and the NAACP's hypocrisy was perfectly fair game. But now that we have the benefit of knowing the facts, the equation is completely different."

From the left, Washington Monthly's Steve Benen takes issue with Breitbart saying that "I feel sorry that they made this about her":

"Breitbart pushed a deliberately misleading video that went after Shirley Sherrod for no reason. He proceeded to label her a 'racist' who 'racially discriminates against a white farmer,' and demanded that the NAACP 'denounce the racism in the video.' That, of course, would be the racism that didn't exist when listening to the remarks in context.

"Breitbart's racially-motivated media stunt cost Sherrod her job, at least for now. But he regrets that 'they went after her'?"

Still, one fact is indisputable: It was Vilsack, not Breitbart, who kicked Sherrod out of her job.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 Now Available on Facebook and Twitter!

Finally got some time to put the RC Blog's presence on Twitter and Facebook (we're a little slow at these things...)!  Please sign up!!!!



Less Than Six Months Until the Largest Tax Hikes In History

"No family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase."
-- Barrack Obama, September 12, 2008

In just under six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

- The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
- The 25% bracket rises to 28%
- The 28% bracket rises to 31%
- The 33% bracket rises to 36%
- The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.

The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave: Obamacare

There are over 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).

The “Special Needs Kids Tax” This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts (FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education.

The HSA withdrawal tax hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired.

The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax benefits for education and teaching reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

(Prepared by Americans for Tax Reform)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

USDA Official Featured In Previous Post Fired and Ignored by Media

On Monday, Andrew Breitbart, on his blog Big Government, revealed video of a Department of Agriculture official making racially charged comments at an NAACP meeting in March. While the media were quick to jump on the civil rights organization accusing the tea party of racism last week, they have failed to provide any coverage of this controversy.

The comments were made by the USDA's Georgia Director of Rural Development Shirley Sherrod at a NAACP Freedom Fund dinner in Georgia on March 27 (see post below). As the video clearly shows, Sherrod's description of discriminating against white farmers was well received by the audience. The comments, which were reported throughout the day Monday on Fox News, stirred so much controversy that Sherrod resigned Monday night and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was forced to issue a statement on the matter: "“There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person.”

As NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard earlier reported, none of the network evening news broadcasts touched the story on Monday . On Tuesday, the CBS Early Show, NBC's Today, and ABC's Good Morning America were all silent on the controversy and resignation. However, all three morning shows did manage to focus on a recent verbal gaffe made by Sarah Palin.

— Courtesy of Kyle Drennen, Media Research Center

NAACP Bigotry In Their Ranks

While the "civil rights" leadership and Mainstream Media continue to denounce Tea Partiers as racists and bigots, no evidence is ever produced to prove their point.  This was most noticable when the Left tried going after those who publicly opposed the passage of ObamaCare earlier this year.  Member after member reported that they were spit upon and cursed enroute to the final vote, yet no one as ever produced one trace of evidence in audio or video form.  Every major television network was there plus everyone with their cell phones, BlackBerries, and iPhones, which could have captured all the hatred spewed toward African American members of the House and Senate. 

Take a look at the video below of obvious racism and see how much television coverage this incident will receive -- hypocracy at the highest level!  Someday all Americans, regardless of race, are going to say, "enough is enough!" and stop supporting and giving in to advocacy groups like the NAACP, which spends more time, money, and energy supressing the black community and inciting racial tensions than doing good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Washington Post Finally Admits to Ignoring Black Panther Story

Thumbs up to the gutsy Ombudsman of the Washington Post, Andrew Alexander, for owning up to the obvious -- the Post did not give proper attention to shanagans going on at the Justice Department regarding the lawsuit related to the New Black Panther Party 2008 election day incidents in Philadelphia.  Here is Mr. Alexander's piece from yesterday's Post:

Why the silence from The Post on Black Panther Party story?

By Andrew Alexander
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thursday's Post reported about a growing controversy over the Justice Department's decision to scale down a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. The story succinctly summarized the issues but left many readers with a question: What took you so long?

For months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn't been covering the case. The calls increased recently after competitors such as the New York Times and the Associated Press wrote stories. Fox News and right-wing bloggers have been pumping the story. Liberal bloggers have countered, accusing them of trying to manufacture a scandal.

But The Post has been virtually silent.

The story has its origins on Election Day in 2008, when two members of the New Black Panther Party stood in front of a Philadelphia polling place. YouTube video of the men, now viewed nearly 1.5 million times, shows both wearing paramilitary clothing. One carried a nightstick.

Early last year, just before the Bush administration left office, the Justice Department filed a voter-intimidation lawsuit against the men, the New Black Panther Party and its chairman. But several months later, with the government poised to win by default because the defendants didn't contest the suit, the Obama Justice Department decided the case was over-charged and narrowed it to the man with the nightstick. It secured only a narrow injunction forbidding him from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of Philadelphia polling places through 2012.

Congressional Republicans pounced. For months they stalled the confirmation of Thomas E. Perez, President Obama's pick to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, while seeking answers to why the case had been downgraded over the objections of some of the department's career lawyers. The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility launched an investigation, which is pending. The independent, eight-member Commission on Civil Rights also began what has become a yearlong probe with multiple public hearings; its report is due soon. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), a prominent lawmaker in The Post's circulation area, has been a loud and leading critic of how the case was handled. His office has "aggressively" sought to interest The Post in coverage, a spokesman said.

The controversy was elevated last month when J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department lawyer who had helped develop the case, wrote in the Washington Times that his superiors' decision to reduce its scope was "motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law." Some in the department believe "the law should not be used against black wrongdoers because of the long history of slavery and segregation," he wrote. Adams recently repeated these charges in public testimony before the commission.

The Post didn't cover it. Indeed, until Thursday's story, The Post had written no news stories about the controversy this year. In 2009, there were passing references to it in only three stories.

That's prompted many readers to accuse The Post of a double standard. Royal S. Dellinger of Olney said that if the controversy had involved Bush administration Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, "Lord, there'd have been editorials and stories, and it would go on for months."

To be sure, ideology and party politics are at play. Liberal bloggers have accused Adams of being a right-wing activist (he insisted to me Friday that his sole motivation is applying civil rights laws in a race-neutral way). Conservatives appointed during the Bush administration control a majority of the civil rights commission's board. And Fox News has used interviews with Adams to push the story. Sarah Palin has weighed in via Twitter, urging followers to watch Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's coverage because "her revelations leave Left steaming."

The Post should never base coverage decisions on ideology, nor should it feel obligated to order stories simply because of blogosphere chatter from the right or the left.

But in this case, coverage is justified because it's a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights' investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If Adams is pursuing a right-wing agenda, he should be exposed.

National Editor Kevin Merida, who termed the controversy "significant," said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said.

Better late than never. There's plenty left to explore.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walker Continues to Lead Barrett In Wisconsin Polling for Governor

Here's the latest from Real Clear Politics in terms of this year's governor race in Wisconsin.  RC Blog's favorite Scott Walker continues to lead in all the recent polls by an average of nearly nine points.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finance Reform Bill Does Everything but Reform Finance

Patrice Hill of the Washington Times wrote an excellent article on the recently passed financial reform bill (soon to be signed by the President) and all the non-financial elements it contains. It is truly remarkable that very few members of the media are reporting on this issue.

Here is a sample of what America has to look forward to:

Proxy Access Provision -- The bill includes a measure to make it easier for unions, environmental groups and other activist organizations that hold shares to put their representatives on the boards of directors of every corporation in the United States. Activist groups say they will use to try to improve oversight of corporate financial practices, has provoked a backlash from the Business Roundtable, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other major non-Wall Street business groups.

New Federal Offices – The bill creates more than 20 "offices of minority and women inclusion" at the Treasury, Federal Reserve and other government agencies, to ensure they employ more women and minorities and grant more federal contracts to more women- and minority-owned businesses. The agencies also would apply "fair employment tests" to the banks and other financial institutions they regulate, though their hiring and contracting practices had little or nothing to do with the 2008 financial crisis.

New Consumer Protection Agency – This is the centerpiece of the reform bill and would provide substantial employment opportunities and funding for Democratic and social-activist groups.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Levin: The Collapse of the Modern Welfare State

Mark Levin led off his Tuesday radio show with a great discussion of where overspending has brought America, and the choice we now face: liberty or tyranny.

Set aside some time, and listen to the first part of his show here.

(courtesy of LibertyCentral)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

'Prayer at Valley Forge' Painter, Arnold Friberg, Dead at 96

Arnold Friberg, the painter who is best known for his patriotic portrait of George Washington kneeling in prayer beside his horse in the snowy woods near Valley Forge, Pa., died on July 1 at the age of 96. 

"Prayer at Valley Forge" is one of my all-time favorite paintings.  You really get a feel for Washington's faith and the battles he was enduring.  What a great American and leader!

In order to capture the realistic setting for his 1975 painting "The Prayer at Valley Forge", Mr. Friberg studied Washington's uniform at the Smithsonian Institution and later hiked to the Pennsylvania banks of the Schuylkill River in the middle of February.

To "recall the pain, and the cold of that cruel winter," he removed his gloves and sketched the snow-covered tree limbs until his fingers froze.

"I did that to pay tribute to Washington, to portray the burden that fell upon one lonely man," Mr. Friberg told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2000. "I'm a hero worshiper. I have to respect, almost idolize, whatever I paint."

"The Prayer at Valley Forge" is among the most reproduced paintings in the world, and a copy of it was displayed in the White House during the Reagan administration. The original was recently valued at more than $12 million and is on exhibition at the first president's home at Mount Vernon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Illegal Immigration a $113 Billion a Year Drain on U.S. Taxpayers

A new study released this week by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates that illegal immigration now costs federal and local taxpayers $113 billion a year. The report, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, is the most comprehensive analysis of how much the estimated 13 million illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children cost federal, state and local governments.

The cost estimates are based on an extensive analysis of federal, state and local spending data. The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers examines dozens of government programs that are available to illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children, both legally and fraudulently. The report provides detailed analysis of the impact of illegal immigration on education, health care, law enforcement and justice, public assistance, and other government programs.

The report also accounts for taxes paid by illegal aliens about $13 billion a year, resulting in a net cost to taxpayers of about $100 billion. However, the study notes that government at all levels would likely have realized significantly greater revenues if jobs held by illegal aliens had been filled by legal U.S. residents instead.

Federal spending on illegal aliens amounts to $29 billion, finds Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers. The lion’s share of the costs of illegal immigration is borne by state and local taxpayers an estimated $84.2 billion. In 18 states, expenditures on illegal aliens exceeded the size of those states’ budget deficits in FY 2009.

Among the key findings of The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers:
  • The $113 billion in outlays for services and benefits to illegal aliens and their families represents an average cost to native-headed households of $1,117 a year. Because the burdens of illegal immigration are not evenly distributed, the costs are much higher in states with large illegal alien populations.
  • Education for the children of illegal aliens represents the single largest public expenditure at an annual cost of $52 billion. Nearly all of that cost is absorbed by state and local governments.
  • The federal government recoups about one-third of its share of the costs of illegal immigration in the form of taxes collected. States, which bear a much greater share of the costs, recoup a mere 5 percent of their expenditures from taxes paid by illegal aliens.
  • Granting amnesty to illegal aliens, as President Obama and others propose, would not significantly increase tax revenues generated by current illegal aliens. However, over time, amnesty would dramatically increase public costs as newly-legalized aliens become eligible for all means-tested government programs.
  • Arizona’s annual cost of illegal immigration is $2.5 billion.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Observations from a Busy Week....

Apologies for not posting any updates last week on the many happenings that took place across the country affecting our lives and liberty.  The week was a lot busier than we had hoped, which kept us away from the posting thoughts to the RC Blog.  Anyway, enough excuses.  Here are a few thoughts on some of the bigger events of the past week:

McDonald vs. City of Chicago -- On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in favor of gun rights of individuals.  This landmark decision follows a similar ruling in the Heller case which ruled in favor of handgun ownership in the District of Columbia.  Kudos to the NRA and other organizations for helping get this long battle through the court system.   This decision has the anti-gun groups up in arms!  We must add, however, that the RC Blog is greatly disappointed in the NRA's decision to drop its fight against the Disclose Act, only after it received an exemption from the bill along with the unions.  This bill is a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights and is an example of the Left's crooked attempts to downplay the impacts of the Citizens United ruling on the upcoming November elections. The bill ultimately passed the House 216-209 in late June and awaits action in the Senate.  The NRA has traditionally being a strong supporter of both First and Second Amendment rights of Americans, but in this case it ignored the First Amendment. 

Obama Accepts Foreign Help for Oil Cleanup -- On Day 70, that's 7-0, President Obama finally accepted some help from foreign allies who have been offering their assistance since the first few days of the disaster.  This acceptance still requires all the bureaucratic hurdles that come with such assistance -- approvals from State, DOD, DHS, USCG, EPA, etc.  President Obama's has exhibited in the past month some strange tendencies of being a Globalist and a Protectionist at the same time.  We nearly gagged when he encouraged other countries to continue government-type spending in order to stop the global recession that is before us.  Is he kidding?  European countries like France are finally looking to reduce long-standing entitlements and other facets of welfare state economics, while we seem to be doing the opposite.  Who would have thought that we would see a day when France is moving toward our economic model and we are moving towards theirs.  Sad....

Kagan Hearing -- We did listen and/or watch a good amount of the Elaina Kagan confirmation hearings this week in the Senate.  Ms. Kagan was stymied by several questions, especially those posed by Senators Sessions, Hatch, and Kyl.  At one point during the questioning, Ms. Kagan wouldn't answer a question asking if the government has the right to tell Americans what they can or cannot eat.  In addition, Senator Franken fell asleep during the hearings and doodled some cartoons instead of paying attention.  Sadly, the RC Blog expects her to be confirmed as the newest member of the court.  She will be as Left as any previous judge in history.  The only good news is that she is replacing another Liberal judge, so the vote counts should not expect to change much.  We are hard pressed to believe that President Obama could not have selected a more experienced candidate for this important position.  Instead, he selected a close associate who will be sure to enforce his Leftist agenda on the highest court in the land.

The Economy -- After a brief and artificial bump in the economy over the past several months, led only by tax incentives and temporary federal hiring for the Census, the economy has begun another downward path.  We envision a major tumble in jobs, consumer spending, and the stock market.  Not only did the stock market take a major dip this week, but the employment and housing numbers released were pitiful.  How many more times will we be fooled by Keynesian economic model, which supports heavy government spending, as a solution to improve our economy!!!

Virginia's Battle for Liberty -- We did get a post in earlier this week on the results of the oral arguments made by Virginia in federal court against the Federal Government's opinion that the lawsuit against ObamaCare be thrown out.  Keep your fingers crossed for a decision in Virginia's favor in late July or early August.  As Virginia AG Cuccinelli has pointed out on several occasions, this is not a lawsuit against the health care reform; it is a lawsuit for liberty.  The exact same lawsuit would have been filed if the government was trying to force us to be crayons.

President Reagan: July 4, 1986

This is a great address, on the work and the aspirations of the Founding Fathers.  Thanks to Liberty Central for posting this address!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Virginia Argues Against ObamaCare In Federal Court Today

Virginia's argued today in federal court on its lawsuit against the federal govenment on the issue of liberty and the government's ability to force Virginians to purchase health care.  A decision on the federal government's dismissal request is expected to be made in approximately 30 days.  Here is the video of AG Cuccinelli's press conference following the oral arguments (thanks to the Family Foundation). is an independent site and is not affiliated with any official web sites, associations, or organizations associated with President Reagan. Any views expressed or content included on this site do not necessarily reflect the views, positions, or opinions of any of the organizations or individuals named, linked, or advertised.

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