"You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick." -Gov. Sarah Palin-

"The media are not above the daily test of any free institution." -Barry M. Goldwater-

"America's first interest must be to punish our enemies, then, if possible, please our friends." -Zell Miller-

"One single object...[will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." -President Thomas Jefferson-

"Don't get stuck on stupid!" -Lt. Gen. Russel Honore-

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." -Isaiah 5:20-

Petition For The FairTax

GOP Bloggers Blog Directory & Search engine Blog Sweet Blog Directory

Directory of Politics Blogs My Zimbio

Righty Blogs Of Virginia

Coalition For A Conservative Majority

A REASON TO TRY available from Barnes & Noble
A REASON TO TRY available from Borders
A REASON TO TRY available from Books-A-Million
A REASON TO TRY available from SeekBooks New Zealand
A REASON TO TRY available from SeekBooks Australia
A REASON TO TRY available from Chapters.indigo.ca Canada's Online Bookstore
A REASON TO TRY available from Amazon.com
A REASON TO TRY available from Amazon UK
A REASON TO TRY available from Amazon Canada

Friday, November 28, 2008

Voter's Remorse: Did Pro-Life Catholics (Especially Douglas Kmiec) Get Punked By Obama?

I think it is pretty clear that the answer is "Yes." Obama lied to them and they believed it. Now, many pro-life Catholics are heading into Advent wondering why they had been so eaily led astray by the charismatic Obama and wondering how they had been convinced to support a man who has almost no Christian values in his life at all.

They were lead astray by people like Doug Kmiec who wrote, "While no papal instruction will ever condone the "right to choose," the church does ask for a consistent and realistic defense of life that actually takes steps to reduce the incidence of the practice, not just condemns it. ... Beyond life issues, an audaciously hope-filled Democrat like Obama is a Catholic natural."

Unfortunately, Doug forgets that he is not a member of the body that makes policy for the Catholic Church in the United States. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops does that. And in their meeting in Baltimore, Maryland in early November, the Bishops drew a line in the sand concerning abortion, Catholic Hospitals and the Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA).

You see, Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign FOCA into law first thing after taking office, the moment it hits his desk. Among the provisions of this law are: Forcing Catholic Hospitals into doing abortions and completely removing any requirment for informed consent (i.e. disclosing possible complications of the procedures) and any parental notification. (Without parental notification or informed consent, it would be entirely possible that a teen-aged girl could get an abortion and develop complications as a result of the procedure but her parents would never find out who or what caused them and they would not be able to seek compensation from those responsible.)

Right now, there are freedom-of-conscious laws in 46 states that prohibit the government from forcing Catholic Hospitals to perform morally objectionable prcedures. Doug Kmiec and other pro-life Catholics who supported Obama were betting on Barack Obama and the Democrats being respectful of those laws. It was a sucker's bet.

As the general public begins to gain access to more information that the news outlets deliberately suppressed during the campaign, people like Doug Kmiec are going to be made to look like fools. It is already showing at Slate with one of Doug's peers, Melinda Henneberger who writes:

I have high hopes for President Obama, I was so looking forward to dancing at this party. Yet, although abortion was not a major issue in the race, the pro-life argument that he was the candidate most likely to decrease the need for—and number of—abortions did make it easier for many Catholics to cast their votes for him. I think we should hold him to that commitment now.

At the very moment when Obama and his party have won the trust of so many Catholics who favor at least some limits on abortion, I hope he does not prove them wrong. I hope he does not make a fool out of that nice Doug Kmiec, who led the pro-life charge on his behalf. I hope he does not spit on the rest of us—though I don't take him for the spitting sort—on his way in the door. I hope that his appointment of Ellen Moran, formerly of EMILY's List, as his communications director is followed by the appointment of some equally good Democrats who hold pro-life views. By supporting and signing the current version of FOCA, Obama would reignite the culture war he so deftly sidestepped throughout this campaign. This is a fight he just doesn't need at a moment when there is no shortage of other crises to manage.

As noted above, Doug Kmiec led his flock (i.e. his pro-life readers) astray and the Catholic Bishops are exposing him and others like him by openly calling into question Barack Obama's stance on forcing Catholic Hospitals to perform morally objectionable procedures.

Henneberger's column also shows how Barack Obama and the Dems in general have no respect at all for anyone who thinks outside of the leftist philosophy of the Democratic National Committee. Not one ounce of respect, even if those people cast votes in the Dem column.

Those pro-lifers who listened to people like Doug Kmiec and voted for Obama got punked. And they are starting to realize the hard truth about it. I can only guess at how much it hurts them to see that truth. But no amount of confession or penance can ever allow them to go back and change their vote.

You can access Henneberger's complete column on-line here:

Lose-Lose On Abortion
Melinda Henneberger
November 24, 2008

A Heart-Warming Story To Begin The Holidays: Outnumbered Almost 10 To 1, Marines Make Terrorists Pay Dearly

Here is a story that you will not read in the uber-liberal Washington Post or New York Times. You will also not see it broadcast on NBC, ABC, CBS or CNN as all of these news outlets have made it clear that they will never report on the good news or the victories we are seeing in the War on Terror. These news outlets have also made it clear that they will only report on that which will embolden the enemy.

Thus, it falls to bloggers like me to make sure that stories like this get out to the public and the truth about how we have been winning the War On Terror becomes known.

In the city of Shewan, Afghanistan, 30 United States Marines went up against 250 terrorists and sent the terrorists packing minus a good number who were killed in the battle. No Marines were lost.

From Military.com, Marine Corps News:

Shewan had been a thorn in the side of Task Force 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan throughout the Marines’ deployment here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, because it controls an important supply route into the Bala Baluk district. Opening the route was key to continuing combat operations in the area.

“The day started out with a 10-kilometer patrol with elements mounted and dismounted, so by the time we got to Shewan, we were pretty beat,” said a designated marksman who requested to remain unidentified. “Our vehicles came under a barrage of enemy RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and machine gun fire. One of our ‘humvees’ was disabled from RPG fire, and the Marines inside dismounted and laid down suppression fire so they could evacuate a Marine who was knocked unconscious from the blast.”

The vicious attack that left the humvee destroyed and several of the Marines pinned down in the kill zone sparked an intense eight-hour battle as the platoon desperately fought to recover their comrades. After recovering the Marines trapped in the kill zone, another platoon sergeant personally led numerous attacks on enemy fortified positions while the platoon fought house to house and trench to trench in order to clear through the enemy ambush site.

“The biggest thing to take from that day is what Marines can accomplish when they’re given the opportunity to fight,” the sniper said. “A small group of Marines met a numerically superior force and embarrassed them in their own backyard. The insurgents told the townspeople that they were stronger than the Americans, and that day we showed them they were wrong.”

And here is how it all turned out:

After calling for close-air support, the small group of Marines pushed forward and broke the enemies’ spirit as many of them dropped their weapons and fled the battlefield. At the end of the battle, the Marines had reduced an enemy stronghold, killed more than 50 insurgents and wounded several more.

Now, why wouldn't the major news networks report this story? Because it makes America look good and makes us proud of our troops in the field.

All I can say is: "OOH-RAH! GET SOME!"

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Marines Make Insurgents Pay The Price
Cpl. James M. Mercure
Marine Corps News via Military.com
November 18, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some FairTax Food For Thought

We all know what income tax is as most of us actually pay it. We also know the headaches it causes and how easily the IRS can abuse it's power when investigating and auditing private citizens. But where did this monstrosity come from?

In The Federalist #21, Alexander Hamilton argued for the Federal Government to have the power to levy taxes.

To the People of the State of New York:

HAVING in the three last numbers taken a summary review of the principal circumstances and events which have depicted the genius and fate of other confederate governments, I shall now proceed in the enumeration of the most important of those defects which have hitherto disappointed our hopes from the system established among ourselves. To form a safe and satisfactory judgment of the proper remedy, it is absolutely necessary that we should be well acquainted with the extent and malignity of the disease.

. . . There is no method of steering clear of this inconvenience, but by authorizing the national government to raise its own revenues in its own way. Imposts, excises, and, in general, all duties upon articles of consumption, may be compared to a fluid, which will, in time, find its level with the means of paying them. The amount to be contributed by each citizen will in a degree be at his own option, and can be regulated by an attention to his resources. The rich may be extravagant, the poor can be frugal; and private oppression may always be avoided by a judicious selection of objects proper for such impositions. If inequalities should arise in some States from duties on particular objects, these will, in all probability, be counterbalanced by proportional inequalities in other States, from the duties on other objects. In the course of time and things, an equilibrium, as far as it is attainable in so complicated a subject, will be established everywhere. Or, if inequalities should still exist, they would neither be so great in their degree, so uniform in their operation, nor so odious in their appearance, as those which would necessarily spring from quotas, upon any scale that can possibly be devised.

It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption, that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is, an extension of the revenue.

But, neither Mr. Hamilton nor any of the Founding Fathers ever imagined the beast that would be created a little more than a century later.

Origins of the Income Tax

The federal income tax was established in 1913. It actually required an amendment to the United States Constitution to make it legal. Why? Our Founding Fathers believed that taxing individuals on their private income was economic folly. They were right. The absence of an income tax, a tax on productivity, allowed our economy to grow and individuals to prosper for 124 years.

The original income tax legislation affected only individuals earning $4,000 or more per year, at a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans earned far less. The 16th Amendment was eventually ratified and added to the Constitution, and a national income tax was born.

That 16th Amendment was simply worded, the tax return consisted of only one page, and the entire tax code itself consisted of only 14 pages. No one could have imagined the vast impact it would have on the lives of their children, grandchildren, and future generations of Americans.

Since then, the federal income tax system has become so complex that it requires tens of millions of Americans to seek professional help to comply with it, not to mention the enormous, expensive federal bureaucracy required to enforce and administer the tax. The Internal Revenue Service employs more investigative agents than the FBI and the CIA combined, and with 144,000 employees, employs more people than all but the 36 largest corporations in the United States.

In addition to the $10 billion needed to operate the IRS, at least $265 billion (that is $900 for every man, woman, and child in this country) must be added to account for the cost of complying with the tax code. Massive amounts of our national wealth are consumed merely by measuring, tracking, sheltering, documenting, and filing our annual income.

There have been many efforts at tax reform over the past twenty years, but all of them failed to produce the desired results. Here are three end-goals that any tax reform plan must have in order to be viable:

1) The plan must remove from the IRS any power to intrude on the private lives of American citizens.
2) The plan must remove from the K Street lobbyists any power to influence Congressional votes.
3) The plan must not allow hidden taxes to be passed along to the consumer at any time.

There is only one tax reform plan that addresses all three of these end-goals:


What is the FairTax plan?

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment. This nonpartisan legislation (HR 25/S 1025) abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax -- administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities. The IRS is disbanded and defunded. The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

Americans take home their whole paychecks.

Not only do more Americans have jobs, but they also take home 100 percent of their paychecks (except where state income taxes apply). No federal income taxes or payroll taxes are withheld from paychecks, pensions, or Social Security checks.

The prebate makes the FairTax progressive.

To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the FairTax Plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate (prebate) for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This, along with several other features, is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, lowers the tax burden on most, while making the overall rate progressive. However, the FairTax is progressive based on lifestyle/spending choices, rather than simply punishing those taxpayers who are successful. Do you see how much freer life is with the FairTax instead of the income tax?

No tax on used goods. The amount you pay to fund the government is totally visible.

With the FairTax you are only taxed once on any good or service. If you choose to buy used goods − used car, used home, used appliances − you do not pay the FairTax. If, as a business owner or farmer, you buy something for strictly business purposes (not for personal consumption), you pay no consumption tax. The FairTax is charged just as state sales taxes are today. When you decide what to buy and how much to spend, you see exactly how much you are contributing to the government with each purchase.

Retail prices no longer hide corporate taxes or their compliance costs, which drive up costs for those who can least afford to pay.

Did you know that income taxes and the cost of complying with them currently make up 20 percent or more of all retail prices? It’s true. According to Dr. Dale Jorgenson of Harvard University, hidden income taxes are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for everything you buy. If competition does not allow prices to rise, corporations lower labor costs, again hurting those who can least afford to lose their jobs. Finally, if prices are as high as competition allows and labor costs are as low as practical, profits/dividends to shareholders are driven down, thereby hurting retirement savings for moms-and-pops and pension funds invested in Corporate America. With the FairTax, the sham of corporate taxation ends, competition drives prices down, more people in America have jobs, and retirement/pension funds see improved performance.

The income tax exports our jobs, rather than our products. The FairTax brings jobs home.

Most importantly, the FairTax does not burden U.S. exports the way the current income tax system does. The FairTax removes the cost of corporate taxes and compliance costs from the cost of U.S. exports, putting U.S. exports on a level playing field with foreign competitors. Lower prices sharply increase demand for U.S. exports, thereby increasing job creation in U.S. manufacturing sectors. At home, imports are subject to the same FairTax rate as domestically produced goods. Not only does the FairTax put U.S. products sold here on the same tax footing as foreign imports, but the dramatic lowering of compliance costs in comparison to other countries’ value-added taxes also gives U.S. products a definitive pricing advantage which foreign tax systems cannot match.

The FairTax strategy is revenue neutrality: Neither raise nor lower taxes so consumer costs remain stable.

The FairTax pays for all current government operations, including Social Security and Medicare. Government revenues are more stable and predictable than with the federal income tax because consumption is a more constant revenue base than is income.

If you were in a 23-percent income tax bracket, the federal government would take $23 out of your paycheck for every $100 you made. With the FairTax, if the federal government gets $23 out of every $100 spent in America, the same total revenue is delivered to the federal government. This is revenue neutrality. So, instead of paycheck-earning Americans paying 7.65 percent of their paychecks in Social Security/Medicare payroll taxes, plus an average of 18 percent of their paychecks in federal income tax, for a total of about 25.65 percent, consumers in America pay only $23 out of every $100. Or about 30 percent at the cash register when they elect to spend on new goods or services for their own personal consumption. And this tax is collected only on spending above the federal poverty level, providing important progressivity.

Tax criminals don’t make criminals out of honest taxpayers.

Today, the IRS will admit to 16 percent noncompliance with the code. FairTax.org will be generous and simply take the position that this is likely a conservative estimate of the underground economy. However, this does not take into account the criminal/drug/porn economy, which equally conservative estimates put at one trillion dollars of untaxed activity. The FairTax does tax this -- criminals love to flash that cash at retail -- while continuing to provide the federal penalties so effective in bringing such miscreants to justice. The substantial decrease in points of compliance -- from every wage earner, investor, and retiree, down to only retailers -- also allows enforcement to concentrate on following the money to criminal activity, rather than making potential criminals out of every taxpayer struggling to decipher the current code.

Can you decipher the current code? Find out! The following link goes to the Table of Contents of our current tax code (26 USC). Not the full code, just the Table of Contents:

Internal Revenue Code (26 USC) (Warning! If you are on a 56k modem, it would not be a good idea to click this link unless you plan on waiting a while just to view this Table of Contents!)

That's some list, is it not? 9,833 sections long! You could read the novel War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy before getting through 26 USC.

So, what should we do about it? There really is only one answer. Scrap the entire system and rebuild it from the ground up. I support the FairTax to replace our current tax system. You can get additional information, including research papers prepared by economists from the nation's leading colleges and universities, by visiting the following website:

Americans For Fair Taxation

Can You Pass The American Civics Quiz?

I scored a 93.94%. I missed two questions, one about Roe v. Wade and one about policy to stimulate a sagging economy. But, that means I got thirty-one questions right, which is apparently better than most Americans who took this test and scored and average of 49% and most college educators who scored 55%.

Here are some other results from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Seventy-one percent of Americans fail the test, with an overall average score of 49%.

  • Liberals score 49%; conservatives score 48%. Republicans score 52%; Democrats score 45%.
  • Fewer than half of all Americans can name all three branches of government, a minimal requirement for understanding America’s constitutional system.


ISI examined whether other factors add to or subtract from civic literacy and how they compare with the impact of college. The survey revealed that in today’s technological age, all else remaining equal, a person’s test score drops in proportion to the time he or she spends using certain types of passive electronic media. Talking on the phone, watching owned or rented movies, and monitoring TV news broadcasts and documentaries diminish a respondent’s civic literacy.

In contrast to these negative influences, the civic knowledge gained from the inexpensive combination of engaging in frequent conversations about public affairs, reading about current events and history, and participating in more involved civic activities is greater than the gain from an expensive bachelor’s degree alone.

One of the ways to remain engaged in a frequent conversations about public affairs, current events and history is to maintain a blog. It helped me a great deal in passing this quiz.

You can take the quiz on-line at the following website. There is no need to register or give any personal information. Just answer the 33 questions as best you can and see where you stand.

Civics Quiz
Intercollegiate Studies Institute American Civil Literacy Program

And here are my final thoughts on this:

Reform needs to start in elementary school and middle school. I and my classmates knew what the Bill Of Rights was back in the fourth grade. We also knew that our government was tri-lateral and our legislature was bi-cameral. By the eighth grade, we could recite the Preamble (Thank you School House Rock!) and we knew how many Senators came from each state and how the proportion of Representatives was determined. We learned all of this before we took a complete Civics class in the 9th grade.

Why the schools stopped teaching these things is beyond comprehension.

But what we need more than anything else is parents who care about what their children are being taught. That means parents who will take an active role in their children's education and be willing to stand up to the teachers and administrators in their public schools. Anything else will be doomed to failure.

If you think you need to be better informed about our Government and how it is supposed to work, a good place to start is to read the Constitution of the United States of America. You can access it on-line here:

The United States Constitution
Founding Fathers of the United States of America
September 17, 1787

  • George Washington - President and deputy from Virginia
  • New Hampshire - John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman
  • Massachusetts - Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King
  • Connecticut - William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman
  • New York - Alexander Hamilton
  • New Jersey - William Livingston, David Brearley, Williamm Paterson, Jonathan Dayton
  • Pensylvania - Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas FitzSimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouv Morris
  • Delaware - Geo. Read, Gunning Bedford jun, John Dickinson, Richard Bassett, Jaco. Broom
  • Maryland - James McHenry, Dan of St Tho Jenifer, Danl Carroll
  • Virginia - John Blair, James Madison Jr.
  • North Carolina - Wm Blount, Richd Dobbs Spaight, Hu Williamson
  • South Carolina - J. Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler
  • Georgia - William Few, Abr Baldwin
  • Attest: William Jackson, Secretary

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Should Congress Get A Pay Raise Next Year? I Say: No!!!

Congress should not get a pay raise until we, the people, say it should be so. This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, it is an ethical issue.

Right now, the economy is such that workers are not getting very big raises and the cost-of-living has gone up for all of us. As such, Congress, should show some solidarity with the American people and not only refuse a pay raise but should also give up many of the costly perks they take for themselves (taxpayer funded health care, taxpayer funded retirement plan, taxpayer funded travel, etc.) while leaving Joe and Jane Average American to fend for themselves.

The following is a letter penned by Kristina Rasmussen of the National Taxpayer's Union. Please feel free to copy it and send it to everyone you know.

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I urge you to cosponsor bipartisan legislation (H.R. 5087 or H.R. 6417) that would prevent an automatic pay increase for Members of Congress in 2009. Rank-and-file Members of Congress currently make an annual salary of $169,300 (more than double the median household income of $78,978 for the Washington, D.C. metro area, including wealthy suburbs). This sum doesn't include taxpayer funds used for lavish pensions, health plans, and generous allowances for travel, staff, and office expenses. In light of mixed economic indicators, Congress should reject an automatic pay hike that would pad a sizeable Congressional compensation package.

How did this auto-pilot pay raise system come about? As explained by Pete Sepp in the NTU Foundation Policy Paper "Congressional Perks: How the Trappings of Office Trap Taxpayers," it didn’t start out this way:

According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, compensation paid to Members of Congress "shall be ascertained by law." The Founding Fathers intended Congress to set its own pay through the appropriations process, on the supposition that Members would be guided by their own sense of honor. In fact, lawmakers lived without a yearly salary up until 1854, having contented themselves prior to that time with a per-diem system that paid a flat rate for each day Congress was in session.

But thanks to a series of post-war measures, culminating in a 1989 "ethics" law, Members of Congress have sought to avoid accountability for salary hikes. Annual pay raises are now tied to the Labor Department’s Employment Cost Index:

COLAs [Cost of Living Adjustments] now take effect once the TTHUD bill becomes law, although taxpayers would never be able to identify any language in the bill that appears to authorize these pay grabs. Members of Congress would need to specifically vote on, or insert, language blocking the raise if they do not want the increase to occur.

Taxpayers are thus condemned to fight a bizarre annual battle over a COLA whose existence is only recognized when Congress opts to block it.

Even though Members of Congress received automatic pay increases each year between 2000 and 2006, taxpayers were enthused to see the House reject a pay hike for 2007. Our members strongly believe this action should be repeated in 2008. We're counting on you to make a stand against automatic Congressional pay increases by cosponsoring H.R. 5087 (or H.R. 6417) and directing the resulting savings toward reducing the deficit.


Kristina Rasmussen
Director of Government Affairs

I know that Congress is going to accept the pay raise even though they don't deserve it. But we need to be aware that they are doing it and that they are screwing us in the process. We need to put pressure on them to act responsibly.

How can they criticize corporate executives for have golden parachutes when Congress has platinum parachutes?

To read more about H.R. 6417, click the following link:

To Prevent Members Of Congress From Receiving The Automatic Pay Adjustment Scheduled To Take Effect In 2009
Washington Watch

The last activity on this bill is that it was referred to committee, most likely to let it die.

You can access the original letter on-line here:

Stop Congress's Automatic Pay Hike
National Taxpayers Union
February 01, 2008

Video: Obama Supporters Interviewed, Show Extremely Limited Knowledge Of Their Candidate

The liberals are not happy about John Ziegler's video and what is being portrayed on it. Twelve Obama supporters were interviewed right after they voted in order to see how Old Media influenced their vote and whether or not they had gotten the full and correct story. It does not paint the libs in a very good light at all.

But that isn't the full story. An even bigger part of the story is the telephone poll conducted by Zogby which showed how voters knew almost nothing about the Obama/Biden ticket but were more often able to answer correctly the questions about the McCain/Palin ticket, specifically questions which dealt with those stories that Old Media pushed out about the Republicans. the questions that the Obama supporters were not able to answer dealt with issues that Old Media deliberately held back. Things like William Ayers and such.

Here are the results of that poll:

512 Obama Voters 11/13/08-11/15/08 MOE +/- 4.4 points

97.1% High School Graduate or higher, 55% College Graduates

Results to 12 simple Multiple Choice Questions

57.4% could NOT correctly say which party controls congress (50/50 shot just by guessing)

71.8% could NOT correctly say Joe Biden quit a previous campaign because of plagiarism (25% chance by guessing)

82.6% could NOT correctly say that Barack Obama won his first election by getting opponents kicked off the ballot (25% chance by guessing)

88.4% could NOT correctly say that Obama said his policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry and make energy rates skyrocket (25% chance by guessing)

56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing).

And yet.....

Only 13.7% failed to identify Sarah Palin as the person on which their party spent $150,000 in clothes

Only 6.2% failed to identify Palin as the one with a pregnant teenage daughter

And to show exactly how badly Old Media screwed the pooch in trying to get Obama elected:

And 86.9 % thought that Palin said that she could see Russia from her "house."

Sarah Palin never said that. Tina Fey said it on Saturday Night Live, but Old Media, either because they were so in the tank for Obama or because they are incompetant and don't know how to do proper research, simply allowed the story to go without trying to correct it.

And here is John Ziegler's interview on Fox News with some elements of his video as portrayed on Hannity & Colmes:

How The Media Helped Obama Get Elected
Fox News
November 19, 2008

Media Malpractice. How Obama Supporters Knew Very Little About The Election
Fox News
November 17, 2008

Sean Hannity is absolutely correct. The year 2008 will go down in history as the year in which journalistic integrity died.

You can access the complete web entry on-line here:

How Obama Got Elected
John Ziegler

Monday, November 24, 2008

Detroit Doesn't Understand Why The Automaker Bailout Must Not Happen

The bailout for the Big Three Automakers is still being dicussed in Congress even though the bill itself is on life-support. This isn't because it's a good idea (it isn't), rather it is because the Democrats have to pay back the support they got from the United Auto Workers and they want Main Street America to pony up the money.

Running alongside this argument is a spotlight that illuminates what is going on in Detroit and why the Big Three Automakers are in trouble. Unfortunately for the UAW, these revelations don't make them look good.

From Dan Calabrese of the North Star Writers Group:

To survive in business, you have to make a profit. Period. Nothing else matters. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler don’t do that, so they deserve to die.

But if you want to understand why they don’t make a profit, all you need to do is look at two schemes concocted along with the United Auto Workers – the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) and the UAW Jobs Bank. The two entities work in different ways, but they have one devastating fact in common. Both require the automakers to pay billions to people who don’t do any work for them.

The VEBA, which is actually being hailed by Detroit media and civic leadership as a positive measure, is in reality a way for the UAW to protect its retirees from losing their health benefits in the event of an automaker bankruptcy. Negotiated by GM in 2007, it requires the UAW to administer retiree health benefits beginning in January 2010. That’s the part the industry’s defenders keep pointing to – the notion that it offloads retiree benefits onto the union, as if the union was going to pay these benefits out of its own pocket.

In fact, GM is required to continue spending $1.8 billion a year through the end of 2009 on retiree health benefits, while also bankrolling the VEBA to the tune of an astounding $24.1 billion so the funds are ready for the UAW to begin administering on January 1, 2010.

And that’s not all. GM will be required to make up to 20 additional annual payments of $165 million apiece in order to guarantee that retiree health benefits for UAW members are not reduced at all for 25 years. This is what the Big Three would have us believe amounts to legacy cost relief.

But even that is not as outrageous as the Jobs Bank. Established in 1984, the original purpose of the Jobs Bank was to keep workers available during temporary layoffs when the emerging technology of the time was causing short-term displacement of workers. A worker would receive 95 percent of his or her wage for up to two years – again, through a fund administered by the UAW but funded by the Big Three – until a new job opened up.

As long as the Big Three are throwing money away on these outrageous expenditures on the unions, they will not be able to make money and therefore will not be able to remain competitive in the market. The Big Three need to go into Chapter 11 to break these wasteful contracts.

But, what of the union leadership?

Read on:

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, who is predictably coming under fire from all quarters for clinging to these perks, held an astounding news conference late last week in which he insisted that none of this has caused the problem. Again citing the struggling economy and the consumer credit crunch, Gettelfinger began howling, “It’s not our fault! It’s not our fault!

It was an eye-opening scene, and surely illustrative for anyone who is just now getting introduced to economic thinking, Detroit-style. If my eight-year-old talked like that, I would send him to his room. In Detroit, this passes for community leadership.

Gettelfinger knows where the groceries are coming from and he knows who is paying for them. As long as he and his union management cronies are making bank off of these deals, they want to keep them in place, even if it means having Joe and Jane Average American pay for it with higher taxes.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

No, Detroit, It’s You Who Doesn’t Understand
Dan Calabrese
North Star Writers Group
November 24, 2008

Environmental Groups Exposed: ‘Every Dollar Spent Has Been Aimed At Helping Democrats’

This is for those of you out there who still believe that radical environmental groups are actually non-partisan. An ongoing investigation into the finances of these groups reveal their true agendas.

On Setember 28, 2008, Greenwire reported how environmental groups are really nothing more than an advocacy arm of the Democrats.

Inhofe blog excerpts the Greenwire report:

With the 2008 campaign in the homestretch, major environmental groups are spending money and time on a half-dozen or so congressional candidates who figure to play prominent roles in future Capitol Hill energy and conservation debates. The charge is being led by the League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club. While the three have endorsed dozens of congressional candidates, each has focused on just a couple of contests. The environmentalists have spent more than $3 million in congressional races on "independent expenditures" -- essentially campaigns the groups are running to assist or attack a particular candidate, campaign finance records show. That amount does not include campaign contributions given directly to the candidates, though those dollars tend to represent only a small percentage of the amount the organizations actually spend in a typical election year. And while environmental groups have endorsed a number of Republican candidates, since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.


One other contest that has crept onto the radar of at least one environmental group is the Minnesota Senate race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and comedian and talk show host Al Franken (D). Environment America has in the last week spent roughly $200,000 on mailings there. The other contests in which environmentalists have spent money in recent weeks, though not in overwhelming amounts: the Oregon Senate race between Sen. Gordon Smith (R) and former state House Speaker Jeff Merkley (D), the North Carolina Senate race between Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) and state Sen. Kay Hagan (D), the Alaska House race between Rep. Don Young (R) and former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz (D), and the contest for the New Mexico 1st District seat currently held by Rep. Heather Wilson (R). In every instance, the environmental groups are backing the Democrat.

According to Federal Election Commission records, the groups have spent just over $2 million on that contest. LCV leads the pack, with over $730,000 spent on the presidential race, with the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife trailing -- each having spent more than $500,000. Environment America has also spent about $140,000. The Sierra Club is the only one of those major environmental groups that has actually spent more money -- in fact, the overwhelming majority of it -- on the presidential race rather than congressional contests. And campaign finance records show that in many instances the environmentalists' efforts in the White House contest overlap with their efforts in the congressional races, as much of their money has been spent in the states of Colorado, New Mexico and New Hampshire -- all three have been considered battlegrounds.


Indeed, the only Republican to see any support this year in the form of independent expenditures is Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, who lost his bid to fend off a primary challenge. Much of the environmentalists' activity has been centered on Colorado and New Mexico, where the groups have spent heavily on both the Senate contests and one House race in each state. In fact, the two Colorado races are currently the top targets for environmentalists' money, and they appear poised to stay that way through the election. The League of Conservation Voters has poured roughly $1 million into the Senate race between Rep. Mark Udall (D) and former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R), with more than a third of that money having been spent just since Labor Day. A couple of other groups have dropped a small amount of money into the contest, but their spending pales in comparison to LCV's. The Colorado Senate race has been ground zero for outside group spending, as not only environmentalists but also business groups and other organizations have poured millions into the contest.


Oddly enough, the other race that has received the most money is not a high-profile Senate race or even one of the more closely watched House races. Defenders of Wildlife has poured roughly $1 million into their effort to topple Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R), whose 4th District covers much of the eastern half of the state.

The group had long ago announced that it would launch a campaign effort to beat Musgrave akin to the one it used two years ago topple former House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), a three-term incumbent (E&E Daily, July 9).

Musgrave has not been particularly visible on environmental issues during her time in Congress, having focused much of her effort on social policy. But environmentalists have said that because of the nature of her district, it was important to replace what they view as a staunchly anti-conservationist vote with a pro-conservationist one.

Indeed, the group appears to have backed up its promises with cash, spending heavily on both advertising and direct voter outreach methods.

Musgrave was already viewed as exceedingly vulnerable heading into the election, having received the lowest vote percentage of any winning candidate in the 2006 campaign. And most recent polls show her trailing Betsy Markey, a former State Department employee and aide to Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.).

There are other races in which environmentalists have spent tens of thousands of dollars, though none reach the level of spending in the two Colorado contests.

Since Labor Day, environmentalists have dropped roughly $80,000 into the New Mexico Senate race between Rep. Tom Udall (D) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R). The groups spent heavily there over the summer, but their spending has tailed off in recent weeks as Udall has moved out to a comfortable lead, with polls showing the Democrat holding a lead of 15 percent or more.

Additionally, environmental groups -- both LCV and the Sierra Club -- have in recent weeks started spending significant amounts in New Hampshire's Senate race on behalf of former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D), who is making a bid to topple Sen. John Sununu (R). In September and October, the groups have spent roughly $80,000 on various door-to-door efforts as well as phone banks and direct mail. Shaheen has consistently led in the polls in that contest, though recent polling has shown that the race has tightened slightly.


Presidential spending

Though environmentalists have also remained active in the presidential contest between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, as of this week, their overall spending in that race trails what they have spent in the congressional races.

Since these groups are being so partisan, they should lose any tax exempt status they hold.

You can access the complete areticle on-line here:

Environmental Groups Exposed: ‘Every Dollar Spent Has Been Aimed At Helping Democrats’
Marc Morano
Inhofe EPW Press Blog
October 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Al Franken Lawyered Up And Ready To Steal Minnesota Senate Seat

This is going to be the most closely watched recount in the history of the United States. And it is starting to look like the most blatent attempt to steal an election ever made by either party. Of course, I am referring to Al Franken's Democrats.

He is all lawyered up and ready to steal the Minnesota Senate Seat by getting disqualified votes counted.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

[W]ho needs to worry about votes discovered in a car when the Franken campaign is now suing in court to steal the election?

Minnesota this week began its official statewide recount, and Mr. Franken isn't hanging on the outcome. Instead, he's trying to conjure up enough other, previously disqualified, ballots to overturn Mr. Coleman's 215-vote lead. The Democrat needs to invent votes because he knows it will be tough to win a normal recount. Minnesota uses optical scanning machines, which are far more accurate than the punchcard paper ballots of the 2000 Florida recount. Prior recounts in Minnesota have resulted in few vote changes.

So off to court he goes, with Mr. Franken demanding that the state canvassing board delay certifying the initial election results. His campaign claims that absentee votes may have been wrongly rejected by election judges. Team Franken filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County (the state's second largest, and an area Mr. Franken won decisively) demanding a list of these absentee voters, so that the Democrat can contact them, get them to declare their ex post facto preference, and, presto, he wins.

How many legitimate votes are going to be negated because of legal chicanery like this? One negated vote will be one too many.

The gubernatorial race in Washington State back in 2004 set a very bad precedent when the Democrats kept going back to the courts until enough votes had been "found" for Gregoire to win. The Minnesota Senate election is starting to look eerily similar and you can bet that once the Democrats have perfected this little scheme for stealing elections, it will happen alot more often on a much larger scale.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Al Franken's Minnesota
Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook
November 21, 2008

Big Surprise: Unions Want A Bailout Deal For Detroit

And now, the shoe is on the other foot. It should come as no surprise that the UAW is now putting pressure on Congressional Democrats to support a bailout of Detroit. After all, if the Big Three go into Chapter 11, all of those union contracts will be torn up and would have to be renegotiated, assuming whomever comes in to replace the Big Three want to negotiate at all.

Thus, the union bosses like Ron Gettelfinger would lose their large salaries and would have to come up with really good explanations about things like why the new owners have to pay workers for not working.

David Goldman at CNN notes:

The UAW called on Congress to provide a low-interest bridge loan to get the companies through the end of the Bush administration until President-elect Barack Obama can put in place a bigger bailout package that will help restore General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to solvency.

But the UAW is a major reason why Detroit is in such bad shape. The unions have bled so much capital away from the companies that there is no money left for modernizing or improving the productions lines. Further, the union negotiated contracts have artificially inflated the prices of American autos to the point that now foreign carmakers have the majority of the market share.

If the unions are for a bailout of Detroit, then those of us living on Main Street U.S.A. should be against it.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

UAW To Congress: Get A Deal Done
David Goldman
November 20, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kathleen Parker Admits Her Own Religious Bigotry While Barack Obama Searches For A New Church

Kathleen Parker has become one of the biggest blemishes in the Conservative movement to date. I understand why her columns are still carried at the uber-liberal Washington Post but am wondering why she is still covered by the Conservative website Town Hall. Her latest column was nothing more than hateful, spiteful religious bigotry and that sort of attitude has no place among true Conservatives.

Writing for National Review, Jonah Goldberg takes her to task and expresses the sentiments that most Conservatives would like to express to Parker's face. From his blog post:

I don't know what's more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren't special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren't a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You're just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page. Perhaps the typical Washington Post reader (or editor) doesn't understand that. But you should, and most conservatives familiar with these issues can see through what you're doing.

These are very strong words considering the fact that Jonah Goldberg is Jewish.

And for the record, Parker really did use the words "low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types" in her column to describe Christians. You'll have to go and research that on your own as I will not give her any more recognition with a link to her work. She doesn't deserve that.

But you can read an excerpt from her column and Jonah's comments on-line here:

Quit It Kathleen
Jonah Goldberg
National Review Online
November 19, 2008

And according to CBN, Barack Obama is looking for a new church to attend in Washington, D.C.

In just over two months, the Obama family will make the White House their new home. But they'll also be looking for a new church home.

Since the Obamas left Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy, they haven't had a church home.

President-elect Barack Obama has been spending his Sunday mornings at the gym. Some DC churches hope that'll change once the Obamas hit town.

It shouldn't be too hard for him to find one. There are several all-black churches in Washington D.C. that preach hatred of white people. Given that Barack Obama spent twenty years attending and listening to the racist sermons of Jeremiah Wright (despite his claims to the contrary), he'll fit right in.

But, I do find it ironic that the libs who criticized President Bush for his faith are praising Obama for his faith. Double-standard anyone?

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Obama Searches For New Church Home
Paul Strand
November 19, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Zogby Poll: Obama Supporters Didn't Know Their Candidate

This poll has been the subject of a great deal of controversy, not for what it contains, but more for the fact that it was actually conducted.

According to Zogby:

Just 2% of voters who supported Barack Obama on Election Day obtained perfect or near-perfect scores on a post election test which gauged their knowledge of statements and scandals associated with the presidential tickets during the campaign, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

When the controversy broke, Zogby stood by the results:

Zogby Statement On Ziegler Poll

More on the poll and its results:

Only 54% of Obama voters were able to answer at least half or more of the questions correctly.

The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President–Elect Joe Biden. The telephone survey of 512 Obama voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.

It seems those who took the poll knew more about the McCain/Palin ticket than they knew about their own ticket:

Ninety-four percent of Obama voters correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter, 86% correctly identified Palin as the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe purchased by her political party, and 81% chose McCain as the candidate who was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. When asked which candidate said they could "see Russia from their house," 87% chose Palin, although the quote actually is attributed to Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey during her portrayal of Palin during the campaign. An answer of "none" or "Palin" was counted as a correct answer on the test, given that the statement was associated with a characterization of Palin.

Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden -- 83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and 88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry. Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of Obama voters did not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who had to quit a previous campaign for President because he was found to have plagiarized a speech, and nearly half (47%) did not know that Biden was the one who predicted Obama would be tested by a generated international crisis during his first six months as President.

Should this concern us? Absolutely. It shows how an uninformed American electorate can be manipulated.

It also shows how the MSM did the entire nation a huge disservice by not vetting Barack Obama and wasting so much time trying to dig up useless dirt on Sarah Palin.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Zogby Poll: Almost No Obama Voters Ace Election Test
Zogby International
November 18, 2008

To view the survey results:

Survey Results

Rupert Murdoch To The Mass Media: "You Dug Yourself A Huge Hole"

In recent years, newspapers all across the United States have seen their circulation numbers fall sharply and the value of their stocks decline at least as much. Magazines are hurting too as evidenced by Time which has asked for 82 volunteers to take a contract buyout in order to reduce the magazine's payroll expenditure.

We bloggers have known for a few years now why this has been happening. And now, Rupert Murdoch has said it publically to his peers.

Charles Cooper at CNET, reporting on a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation, quotes Murdoch:

"The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception."

The 77-year-old Murdoch, recalling a long career in newspapers that began when his father's death forced him to take over the Adelaide News in 1952, said the profession has failed to creatively respond to changes wrought by technology.

"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news--and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened," Murdoch said. "Today, editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren't satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog, and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven't always responded well when the public calls them to account."

And to drive the point home, Murdoch points to the first major victory we bloggers had over the MSM:

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a 60 Minutes report by former CBS anchor Dan Rather that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively," Murdoch said. "During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. 60 Minutes, he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' Eventually, it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Rather and his producer to resign."

Remember that not one single major news outlet ever called Dan Rather to task for his attempted deception. It was only after the story had been broken and uncovered by the blogosphere that any of the MSM even bothered to mention it.

And one very telling fact shows why we bloggers have been gaining in popularity and readership:

Murdoch continued: "Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone. A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."

Excellent article.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Murdoch To Media: You Dug Yourself A Huge Hole
Charles Cooper
November 16, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Look At What's In Store For Us If We Adopt Socialized Medicine

Hundreds of horror stories about the absurdities and inadequacies of socialized health care are coming out of the United Kingdom and Canada. Well, we can add one more to the list.

This comes from David Altaner and Bruce Rule at Bloomberg:

Jack Rosser's doctor says taking Pfizer Inc.'s Sutent cancer drug may keep him alive long enough to see his 1-year-old daughter, Emma, enter primary school. The U.K.'s National Health Service says that's not worth the expense.

If you read that right, then you know that under a nationalized health care system like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton envisioned, doctor's would not be making decisions but government bureaucrats would. The above shows exactly how heartless such a nationalized system really is.

More :

The NHS, which provides health care to all Britons and is funded by tax revenue, is spending about 100 billion pounds this fiscal year, or more than double what it spent a decade ago, as the cost of treatments increase and the population ages. The higher costs are forcing the NHS to choose between buying expensive drugs for terminal patients and providing more services for a wider number of people.

About 800 of 3,000 cancer patients lose their appeals for regulator-approved drugs each year because of cost, Canterbury- based charity Rarer Cancers Forum said. The U.K. is considering whether to make permanent a preliminary ruling that four medicines, including Sutent, are too expensive to be part of the government-funded treatment of advanced kidney cancer.

There is a reason why the U.K. is in last place among the industrialized nations for cancer survival rates. Delayed detection and delayed treatment of various diseases and conditions are part and parcel to a socialized health care system. Government run health care offers too little too late.

And this telling fact illustrates what people in the U.K. really feel about the NHS:

South Gloucestershire, the trust that includes Rosser's home, accepts applications for Sutent funding only for exceptional cases, said Ann Jarvis, director of commissioning at the trust, in an e-mail. "Unfortunately for very expensive drugs, if they are proven to only provide a small benefit we have to prioritize other treatments."

The people joke, "We don't have socialized health care, we have rationed health care."

Yes, they do. And we do not want it over here. It is a disaster.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Cancer Patients Lose Shot At Longer Life In U.K. Cuts
David Altaner and Bruce Rule
November 18, 2008

And there is more information at the following website:

Big Government Health

And learn some not-so-well known facts about government run health care:

Learn The Facts

Another Reason For Opposing A Bailout Of The Big Three Automakers

Jobs bank programs. I doubt anyone can give one good reason why we should pay people not to work. But that is what is happening up in Detroit and one of the many reasons why the American automakers are failing.

The following excerpt comes from a story first published by the Detroit News back in 2005. It should have been a clear warning sign to anyone who read it.

Ken Pool is making good money. On weekdays, he shows up at 7 a.m. at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, signs in, and then starts working -- on a crossword puzzle. Pool hates the monotony, but the pay is good: more than $31 an hour, plus benefits.

"We just go in and play crossword puzzles, watch videos that someone brings in or read the newspaper," he says. "Otherwise, I've just sat."

Pool is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers and Delphi Corp. as part of an extraordinary job security agreement with the United Auto Workers union.

"Extraordinary" doesn't even begin to cover it. I doubt that other workers in the United States get such a sweetheart of a deal. But, it is the rest of the United States that pays for this program in the form of higher priced cars.


Detroit automakers declined to discuss the programs in detail or say exactly how much they are spending, but the four-year labor contracts they signed with the UAW in 2003 established contribution caps that give a good idea of the size of the expense.

According to those documents, GM agreed to contribute up to $2.1 billion over four years. DaimlerChrysler set aside $451 million for its program, along with another $50 million for salaried employees covered under the contract. Ford, which also maintained responsibility for Visteon Corp.'s UAW employees, agreed to contribute $944 million.

Delphi pledged to contribute $630 million. In August, however, Delphi Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert S. "Steve" Miller said the company spent more than $100 million on its jobs bank program in the second quarter alone.

"Can we keep losing $400 million a year paying for workers in the jobs bank and $400 million a year on operations? No, we cannot deal with that indefinitely," Miller said in a recent interview with The Detroit News. "We can't wait until 2007."

Steve Miller got it right. Has Detroit learned any lessons from this? Maybe some small ones. The jobs bank was cut in 2007 under a collective bargaining agreement with GM, but it was not done away with.

Given that the Big Three are going to the Feds begging for a bailout, it was obviously too little, too late.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Jobs Bank Programs -- 12,000 Paid Not To Work
Bryce G. Hoffman
The Detroit News
October 17, 2005

No Bailout For The Big Three Automakers

Most of us were pretty adamant that we did not want our tax money going to bailout failing financial institutions on Wall Street, especially since those same institutions were failing due to government regulations that forced them into bad business practices. Here we are several weeks later and it is looking like that bailout is going to go down in history as a huge, $905 billion failure.

Now, Congress is talking about bailing out the Big Three automakers, General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. I am against this bailout for essentially the same reasons as being opposed to the Wall Street bailout: bad business practices being forced upon the automakers, not by government, but by the United Auto Workers Union.

Plain and simple, because of the lunacy of the union negotiated contracts, American automakers cannot compete with foreign automakers and produce a quality car for the same low price. Thus, Detroit is in big trouble with no way out.

Investor's Business Daily, giving credit to former Clinton Administration official Robert Riech, goes through the issues that the union brings to American automakers and why those issues prevent Detroit from competing in the world market.

Reich says that if a bailout is to be given, then the unions must be willing to give back many of their contract perks. I say that these same issues show exactly why no bailout should be given at all and the Big Three should be allowed to go into Chapter 11.

From the IBD editorial page:

[T]he companies' poisonous contracts with the United Auto Workers union have to be torn up. The problem is that the UAW, under President Ron Gettelfinger, remains adamant: No givebacks. This is financial lunacy.

Thanks in part to managerial incompetence, but mostly due to pricey union contracts, it costs American carmakers too much to build cars here; they can't compete. When you fold in health care, pensions, hourly pay, vacations and the rest, average total compensation for a Big Three autoworker is $73.21 an hour, according to data cited by University of Michigan economist Mark Perry.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan pay a still-generous $44.20 an hour in total compensation — a cost edge of nearly 40%. Is it any wonder that Ford, GM and Chrysler can't compete? Or that, after paying their workers, they never have enough cash left to retool?

That last paragraph shows how union contracts are holding the automakers back. The automakers cannot afford to retool because they are doing things like paying laid-off workers 90% of their salaries for not working.


These aren't temporary problems. They've been brewing for decades, as management agreed over and over to labor deals that now financially strangle the industry. Yet, UAW's Gettelfinger claims the weak economy is to blame for the industry's woes. Nonsense. As blogger (and former corporate CEO) Jim Manzi notes, American carmakers in 1960 owned 90% of the U.S. auto market. This year, for the first time ever, that share slipped below 50%.

Japan's Big Three — Honda, Nissan and Toyota — make anywhere from $900 to $1,600 in pretax profit on each car they make in North America (mostly in southeastern states, with non-union contracts). America's Big Three, by comparison, lose anywhere from $400 to $1,500.

Truth is, they're being out-hustled and out-priced in their own backyard due mainly to labor agreements that have driven up costs and become a millstone around their neck.

Chapter 11 will allow the Big Three to tear up those union contracts and start fresh. That is what is needed more than anything else.

Jack and Suzy Welch at Business Week make the case for Chapter 11 as well.

A government handout, however, isn't the way to make that happen. Washington would impose conditions and promise strict oversight, but it simply can't push through the kind of transformative change the industry needs. There would be too much political opposition, and regardless, the bailout sums being bandied about—$25 billion of taxpayer dollars, for starters—would only keep the Big Three heaving along, basically as they are. It's a life-support solution, not a cure.

That's why the boards of the automakers should take the courageous step of putting their companies into bankruptcy. Some creditors might make the case for liquidation, but given the diminished worth of the automakers' assets, that's an unattractive scenario. Instead, creditors would most likely opt for the government stepping in as the debtor-in-possession financier supporting the reorganization.

Talk about a fresh start. For more than a decade, U.S. carmakers have chipped away incrementally at massive legacy costs. But reorganization would open the doors to meaningful structural change through the renegotiation of contracts with creditors, dealers, and unions. And it would offer better odds of paying back taxpayers.

A bailout is not going to work and it certainly will not encourage the UAW to do the right thing and allow a massive reorganization of the Big Three's management and production practices.

A majority of Americans were against the Wall Street bailout and it turns out that we were right to be opposed. But the Democrats in Congress are itching to repay the UAW and other unions for their political support during the elections, and they want to repay them with our tax dollars.

We need to send another message to Congress that this bailout is not acceptable. We need to tell Congress that the interests of the American people must take precedence over the interests of a bloated and self-serving labor union.

You can access these articles on-line here:

If No Givebacks, Then No Bailout
Investor's Business Daily Editorials
November 17, 2008

GM: The Case Against A Bailout
Jack and Suzy Welch
Business Week
November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dems Still Trying To Steal Senate Seat In Minnesota

Didn't I say it would end up just like Washington State in 2004? That is how predictable leftists are. They will always go back to the same, shady, underhanded strategies that their party masters indoctrinated them with.

What happened in Washington State is now happening in Minnesota.

From The Hill:

Democrat Al Franken’s (Minn.) campaign filed a brief with Minnesota’s Board of Canvassers Monday seeking to have the organization in charge of certifying the election include some disqualified provisional and absentee ballots in the vote totals.

“There are, of course, legitimate reasons to reject absentee ballots,” said Franken spokesman Andy Barr in a conference call with reporters. “But it is clear that there are some absentee ballots that have been rejected in error. Those votes should be counted.”

The Franken campaign said they expected their campaign and the Coleman campaign to have an opportunity to present arguments before the board at 1 p.m. tomorrow, but opened the door to a federal challenge to the election results should the board decide against them.

Barr refused to give an exact estimate of how many previously excluded ballots may be added to the tally, but said he believed it to be in the “hundreds.”

Isn't it amazing how they keep "finding" votes for Al Franken? I wonder how many of those ballots were from peopl registered by ACORN.

Washington State all over again. I'll bet they will soon starting wanting to count votes from dead.

Franken Wants Disqualified Ballots To Count
The Hill
November 17, 2008

Mexican Police Officer Killed Because He Was Armed With A Toy Gun

This comes from the "Well, Duh!" Department.

From KRGV News Channel 5, Harlingen, Texas:

REYNOSA, Mexico - City officials in Reynosa say their police officers need their guns back. The Mexican military took the officers' guns away last week.

Mexican officials say one of their own was shot when he was trying to stop an armed robber. The officer pulled out a toy gun, since he did not have a real one. The suspect did not give in, and instead he allegedly shot the officer several times.

Reynosa officials say this proves unarmed police are in danger.

This also proves that the gun-control nuts who think that passing laws to disarm everyone will somehow make us all safer, are absolutely wrong. Looks like the Mexican military forgot to take the guns away from the criminals before they took them away from the police.

And how many among us believe that the criminals will voluntarily turn in their firearms just because some leftist politicians passed a law?

As for Reynosa, now that the criminals know the police can't fight back, do you think the violent crime rate will go up or down? My bet is that it is going to spike upward.

You can access the original story on-line here:

Reynosa Officer Killed After Trying To Use Toy Gun
KRGV Channel 5 News
November 15, 2008

Dr. James Hansen Gets It Wrong Again

Word is slowly getting out about the hoax of man-made global warming. As more legitimate and accurate scientific data gets out to the masses, the global alarmists are resorting to more and more propaganda, half-truths and sometimes outright lies.

Dr. James Hansen is one of those alarmists and his theories are is such a state of decline now that he is pushing bad data to shore up his ever failing reputation.

Christopher Booker at the London Telegraph has this story.

A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So, what happened? Why did Dr. Hansen decree it to be the warmest October on record? Because he used bad data. In fact, he recycled old data to make his measurements. He used Russian data from September and inserted it into October.


A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

Hmmm. Obviously, the IPCC is more interested in the politics of global warming than they are in the legitimate science.

This isn't the first time Dr. Hansen has had his claims debunked. His famous "hockey stick" model was shown to be a fraud in 2007 when it was discovered that the satellites taking the temperature readings were improperly calibrated. When the temperatures were adjusted for the proper calibration, it turns out that the hottest years on record were in the 1930's, not the 1990's.

If fact, the National Oceanographic and Atmospherics Administration (NOAA) did a better job of getting good data. Note the following map showing that temperature change across the United States was mostly "normal" or showed a cooling trend so far in 2008:

You can access the complete article on-line here:

The World Has Never Seen Such Freezing Heat
Christopher Booker
The London Telegraph
November 16, 2008

And more information on this issue here:

James Hansen's Boldest Lie To Date
Hennessy's View
November 10, 2008

Watts Up With That

Climate Audit

The Hypocritcal Violence Of Homosexuals And Lesbians

I've posted on this matter before, but the Gay and Lesbian Movement is getting even more violent. So much so, that no one can ignore it any longer.

Both Chuck Norris and Doug Giles have written essays on this topic and I'd like to excerpt both of them for your perusal.

First from Doug Giles at Town Hall:

Can you imagine what would happen if a gang of angry male Christian activists started shouting down and shoving around some nice old lesbian during a religious rally right after ripping her rainbow pride flag from her hands and waffle stomping it?

How much television coverage do you think that spat of stupidity would spawn? What kind of outrage do you think the gays would gin up over such an inexcusable and pathetic act?

I’ll tell you what would happen: We would see an irate Elton John hold a special Candle in the Wind concert on the old lesbian’s behalf, Lance Bass would host a telethon, Ellen would weep, Brad and Angelina would adopt another baby and Rosie would shave the right side of her head again and again until justice was served and those chunks of corn were convicted and sent to prison.

But, we aren't seeing that happen to the leaders of the violent mob that actually attacked Phyllis Burgess, an elderly Christain woman, in Palm Springs.

And this:

Say some dyed-in-the-wool, belligerent backwoods snake handlers sporting crosses, vicious anti-gay fliers and blarin’ Dueling Banjos on a boom box infiltrated a gay soiree, disrupted the event, disbursed their literature into the crowd, performed some hetero sex acts and then threatened those in attendance? Do you think the gay bloggers would blog it and the MSM report on it and both sectors call for the rednecks’ necks?

But we are not seeing any action being taken against the violent mob of gays and lesbians that committed just such an attack on a Christian Church in Lansing, Michigan.

Where are the people on the left who are constantly preaching "tolerance" for those who have differing viewpoints? Why are these leftists not coming out and denouncing the storm-trooper tactics of their political brothers and sisters?

Because the left is intolerant and has no business whatsoever lecturing anyone else on what tolerance means.

Chuck Norris writes the following:

What's surprising (or maybe not so) is that, even though 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor of Proposition 8, protests against black churches are virtually nonexistent. And everyone knows exactly why: Because such actions would be viewed as racist. Yet these opponents of Prop 8 can vehemently protest and shout obscenities in front of Mormon temples, without ever being accused of religious bigotry? There's a clear double standard in our society. Where are the hate-crime cops when religious conservatives need them?

Of course, activists say they are merely utilizing their political freedoms and rights, but, the fact is, I see a lot of sore losers who are intolerant of any outcome but the one they desire. Some are acting like toddlers who throw a temper tantrum until they get their way. Are they fighting for their rights or at last showing true colors of intolerance against anyone who believes contrary to them?

But here is what is really going through the minds of all those "peaceful" demonstators:

The enraged vehemence and actions being displayed by many Prop 8 opponents are the same underhand tactics bullies use in neighborhoods and school playgrounds. They reflect the ways that mobs conducted themselves in the underworld. They are methods gangs use to control their turf. They are the wiles that the KGB used to suppress their enemies. But this is the United States of America, where voting is supposed to be free from restrictions or repercussions. Revenge or retribution is not the American way. Is militant antagonism and vengeful aggression really the best Americans can offer to other Americans who oppose them?

For those who believe in the hypocritical leanings of the left, militant violence is the only way they know since they seem to have completely rejected civilized discourse.

You can access both columns on-line here:

If Democracy Doesn't Work, Try Anarchy
Chuck Norris
World Net Daily
November 17, 2008

Radical Homosexuals Trample A Cross, Harass A Granny, Crash A Church, And Threaten Joe The Plumber’s Life
Doug Giles
November 15, 2008

Three Lies Told By Barack Obama During The Campaign

First: Barack Obama claims that his relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers went no further than Ayers being "a guy who lives in my neighborhood." Well, Bill Ayers himself does not agree with Barack Obama on this.

Rex W. Huppke of the Chicago Tribune has this to say:

In a new afterword to his memoir, 1960s radical William Ayers describes himself as a "family friend" of President-elect Barack Obama ...

A "new afterward." Not an old one, but a new one. Sounds like Ayers was at least a little more than some guy who lived in the Obama's neighborhood.

Second: Barack Obama claimed that he never knew that the pastor at his church was a racist hate-monger. But back in 2004, he told a different story. According the Cybercast News Service:

[An interview was conducted] on March 27, 2004 by Chicago Sun-Times religion writer Cathleen Falsani for a story on Obama’s faith, but the interview was not released in its entirety until now.

“One of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ,” Obama said in the interview. “And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend. So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church.”

Obama began attending the church in 1988 and formally joined Trinity in 1992. Falsani asked, “Do you still attend Trinity?”

Obama answered, “Yep. Every week. 11 o’clock service. Ever been there? Good service.

Anyone care to guess why that interview was put under wraps? Probably because it would have exposed Barack Obama as a race-baiting liar.

Third: The Obama campaign claimed that they would move away from lobbyists as he brought "change" to Washington D.C. Well, that promised change was a lie.

One of the people brought on-board by Obama is Mark Gitenstein, a lobbyists who engineered a twelve million dollar contract with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and promoted Boeing and General Dynamics. More recently, he lobbied for AT&T, Merrill Lynch, KPMG and Ernst & Young. (Bailout anyone?)

Look at the other lobbyists Obama is bringing into his fold. According to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

  • Ron Klain - Joe Biden’s chief of staff, had lobbied for Fannie Mae on “regulatory matters” until 2004, when the fraud got uncovered after years of Congressional interference with regulators. Klain also lobbied for companies defending asbestos lawsuits and for ImClone, the drugmaker that faced charges of fraud.

  • John Podesta - The man running Obama’s transition spent the last few years lobbying for the far-Left group Center for American Progress.

  • Patrick Gaspard - Lobbied on health care issues on behalf of the SEIU, now associate personnel director for the transition team

Podesta has an even more interesting tie to lobbying. Bill Clinton enacted a five-year ban on former White House staffers lobbying present and future administrations in order to curtail influence peddling. However, after George Bush won in 2000, Clinton rescinded the order to help his staffers get jobs in the wake of the Republican sweep to victory. The man who helped write the revocation? John Podesta.

Once, Barack Obama spoke against lobbyists. Now, he has surrounded himself with them. And no, I don't believe he is emulating Jesus who surrounded himslef with sinners in an effort to redeem them. This Obama administration is all about power, not redemption.

You can access the stories on-line here:

Bill Ayers: Barack Obama A 'Family Friend'
Rex W. Huppke
Chicago Tribune
November 13, 2008

Despite Campaign Claim, Obama Told Paper He Attended Trinity Church ‘Every Week’
Fred Lucas
November 13, 2008

Lobbyists In Key Positions In Team Obama Transition Team
Ed Morrissey
November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sarah Palin The Fiscal Conservative Reformer

Matt Lewis over at Town Hall has done his research and put together some good quotes about Sarah Palin's true record of reform before her nomination as Vice-Presidential candidate on the GOP ticket.

Here are the quotes:

"Republican primary voters in Alaska are ready for a change and are rallying to the fiscally responsible leadership embodied by Governor Palin."

- Pat Toomey, 9/24/2007

"Palin's veto ax lops $268 million from budget"

- Achorage Daily News Headline, 5/24/2008

"(Palin) has come out and told her own congressional delegation, all Republicans, 'Stop with the earmarks! It's wrong, it's wrong! Even when it benefits us in Alaska.'"

- Michael Medved, 12/21/2007

"Palin's tough spending cuts drew criticism from Republican legislators whose pet projects were vetoed."

- Fred Barnes, 7/16/2007

"This week, it was Palin who singlehandedly killed the leading symbol of Republican spending excess in Washington: the Bridge to Nowhere."

- Patrick Ruffini, 9/29/2007

And here is Governor Palin's Fiscal Record, also before she was nominated:

July 1st, 2007 - Massive line item vetoes (lopping almost a quarter-billion dollars off of a $1.8 billion capital budget).

Dec. 11th, 2007 - Palin's proposed budget slashes earmark requests, and dramatically slows growth of government.

March 23rd, 2008 – More vetoes in the "supplemental budget". Palin also demands that legislators explain their pork projects to her personally before she signs off on any of them. This issue was particularly hilarious because the budget was for "emergency spending" and it included (among other things) the construction of batting cages and gun ranges.

May 24th, 2008 – Second consecutive year of huge line-item vetoes in the state's capital budget (over a quarter-billion dollars this time, 10% of the total capital budget).

Can you imagine having that kind of integrity, that kind of fiscal responsibility in the White House?

I think that after the four years of the socialism we are about to see, Sarah Palin's record is going to look better and better.

You can access the original blog entry on-line here:

Palin The Fiscal Conservative Reformer
Matt Lewis
November 14, 2008