Saturday, February 28, 2009

Romney Wins CPAC Straw Poll For 2012 Race

At the annual CPAC convention this weekend, an event which host conservatives from all over the nation in Washington DC, the annual straw poll of which Republican would garnish the most support in the next presidential election foudn Mitt Romney to be the winner with 20 percent of the vote.

Following Romney was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 14 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 13 percent, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 10 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent. Others on the ballot included South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by these results. I was always a fan of Romney. I do like Sarah Palin but even I have my doubts if she will be able to effectively convince the unconvinced that she can do the job.

I think these results also illustrate that the Republican party may be stepping back a bit from the personal and social issues of the country and taking a stand on the more economic issues facing us. That is something that I am thrilled about.

The Tea Party Festivities

Here are a couple of select videos from yesterday's strings of "Tea Party" Protests across the nation:

First off we have Atlanta:

Next we have Chicago:

St. Louis:



Santa Monica:


And Finally... DC!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wisconsin Teenager Arrested For Texting During Class

The disorderly conduct charge is seeing a lot of use these days, as it seems to be the catch-all charge filed against those whose behavior may technically be legal, but is found upsetting by some.

At Wauwatosa East High School, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a 14-year-old girl was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct — for texting messages during math class.

According to the police report, the teacher demanded the female student stop texting in class and asked for the phone — the student refused. Two other students said the girl did indeed have the phone out, hiding it under her desk as she used it.

The school’s liaison officer was called and he escorted the student to the principal’s office. Officer Jeffrey Griffin observed the student sliding an object up the sleeve of her sweatshirt as they walked through the halls. Upon questioning, the girl denied having any phone and says she was only looking down, not texting on a phone. The sweatshirt was removed — no phone.

Officer Griffin placed the girl under arrest, telling her, “disruption in class with the phone out, the refusal to obey the teacher, and her not telling us the truth is what got her arrested.” A female officer was called in and a full body search revealed the phone was down the girl’s pants.

The result: a disorderly conduct charge against a juvenile based on lying, disobedience, and disrupting a class by using a phone.

Are lying, disobedience, and disruption worthy of criminal charges?

I do not condone the bad behavior. I wouldn’t tolerate it in my classroom. Students are in school ostensibly to pay attention and learn — at great cost to taxpayers. But I probably would have had little trouble in ending such behavior — without calling in the police and having the girl arrested.

Behavioral problems, acting out, disobedience, and even rude and offensive behavior are surely commonplace in today’s government school system. Walk through one at any given time — it’s a real eye-opener.

Surely there has to be a huge difference between an infraction being seriously disruptive — one that causes harm, or threatens harm or physical violence — and one that is just plain bad behavior. Not every violation of school rules or policy gives cause for criminal prosecution.

Some common sense is needed here. We shouldn’t allow police involvement as a method of dealing with a disobedient, deceitful 14-year-old. There should be detention, demerits, extra assignments, removal of privileges, or temporary expulsion — this one works wonders because mom and dad have to be available to be supervisor for little junior for the length of the expulsion, and with most parents working these days, just the inconvenience is enough to straighten weak backbones in parents.

We continue to see the stretching of the disorderly conduct charge to cover a multitude of bad behaviors — and legal behavior that is often politically incorrect — that aren’t serious disturbances by definition. Using it as a punishment for school behavioral problems is just plain crazy — unless the object is a total police state.

Note from author of GOPForLiberty:
What What?!?!?! This kind of authoritarian approach to normal teenage behavior is ludicrious! The system has taken this way too far. Since when has disobeying your teacher gone from a couple of days detention to a misdemeanor??

I have obtained the address and phone number for the Wauwatosa Police Department. Contact them by phone, letter or Contact Form and let them know that the charges should be dropped against this young woman. She has rights and we will not let them forget that.

Wauwatosa Police Department
7725 W. North Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Phone: (414) 479-8900

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fact Checking Obama's Address To Congress

Originally published by AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama knows Americans are unhappy that their taxes will be used to rescue people who bought mansions beyond their means.

But his assurance Tuesday night that only the deserving will get help rang hollow.

Even officials in his administration, many supporters of the plan in Congress and the Federal Reserve chairman expect some of that money will go to people who used lousy judgment.

The president skipped over several complex economic circumstances in his speech to Congress — and may have started an international debate among trivia lovers and auto buffs over what country invented the car.

A look at some of his assertions:

OBAMA: "We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It's a plan that won't help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values."

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn't said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it's important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

"I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed."

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it's not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn't afford.

"I think it's just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans," Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.


OBAMA: "And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany's Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.


OBAMA: "We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before."

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.


OBAMA: "We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade."

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don't mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won't be 10 years from now.


OBAMA: "Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day."

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn't only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.


OBAMA: "In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas."

THE FACTS: First, his budget does not accomplish any of that. It only proposes those steps. That's all a president can do, because control over spending rests with Congress. Obama's proposals here are a wish list and some items, including corporate tax increases and cuts in agricultural aid, will be a tough sale in Congress.

Second, waste, fraud and abuse are routinely targeted by presidents who later find that the savings realized seldom amount to significant sums. Programs that a president might consider wasteful have staunch defenders in Congress who have fought off similar efforts in the past.


OBAMA: "Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years."

THE FACTS: While the president's stimulus package includes billions in aid for renewable energy and conservation, his goal is unlikely to be achieved through the recovery plan alone.

In 2007, the U.S. produced 8.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydroelectric dams, solar panels and windmills. Under the status quo, the Energy Department says, it will take more than two decades to boost that figure to 12.5 percent.

If Obama is to achieve his much more ambitious goal, Congress would need to mandate it. That is the thrust of an energy bill that is expected to be introduced in coming weeks.


OBAMA: "Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs."

THE FACTS: This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.

The president's own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, "It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error."

Beyond that, it's unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it's clear when jobs are abolished, there's no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of how many jobs would be lost without the stimulus.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Philadelphia Tea Party Is On!!

I'm getting details on the Philadelphia location for the nationwide tea party protest on Friday.

The event in Philly will start at 12pm at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. We are expecting a big crowd. We have been getting a lot of interest so far. Please visit our Facebook event page to RSVP or just show up on Friday. Although an RSVP would be appreciated.

Make sure to bring signs and your enthusiasm!

If you have any questions at all, e-mail me at

The Official Nationwide Tea Party Has Been Organized

Looks like these protests are turning into more than just a couple organized in a few cities. They are going to be popping up all over the place. here is the official webpage for the nation-wide Chicago Tea Party. Visit the website and find what is being organized closest to you. And then get your butt there on the 27th.

Thanks to Rick Santelli for motivating so many people to get up and get out.

Fellow Pennsylvanian's, be on the lookout for the organization of the Philadelphia Tea Party Protest also. I am currently working withDevon Generally, A Philadelphia Republican who is hoping to make a run for the U.S senate in 2010, to organize the Philadelphia event.

I will bring you details of the Philadelphia protest as they emerge.

Another Tax Protest Popping up. This time in Atlanta

YES!! I love seeing conservatives getting so involved in the political process! On top of the Washington Monumnet protest, scheduled for this Friday the 27th in DC, there is another protest popping up on the same day.

This one is in Atlanta.

This one with 376 confirmed guests.

This is getting big people. Real big.

For more information visit The Atlanta Protest Blog

Monday, February 23, 2009

Washington Tea Party Scheduled in D.C Friday February 27th!

There seems to be a huge protest being formed at the Washington Monument in Washington D.C to oppose the stimulus this Friday February 27, 2009. This protest is just the latest in a string of protests that seem to be springing up across the country about the stimulus package that President Obama signed into law last Monday.

The protest should have a good turnout as many conservatives will be in D.C for the annual CPAC convention. The protest seems to be organizing on Facebook and so far there are 193 confirmed attendees. To get more details and confirm your attendance if at all possible visit the Facebook group page.

And remember that this blogger would love some pictures and descriptions of the event to post on the 28th.

"Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected And Palin Was Targeted" Released

A chiding documentary by John Ziegler that targets the media about it's blatant biasedness during the 2008 election cycle.

I've seen parts of it, and let me tell you. It's good!!

Here is one of my favorite scenes so far that I have seen

My favorite part is Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC and her obvious disdain for having to hear the truth and potentially embarrass the golden boys.3

You can visit Zeigler's website and purchase your copy of the documentary here

Friday, February 20, 2009

ACORN Breaking Into Foreclosed Homes

From WJZ TV in Baltimore:

A community organization breaks into a foreclosed home in what they are calling an act of civil disobedience.

The group wants to train homeowners facing eviction on peaceful ways they can remain in their homes.

Derek Valcourt reports their actions are not without controversy.

Near Patterson Park, the padlock on the door and the sign in the window tell part of Donna Hanks foreclosure story.

"The mortgage went up $300 in one month," said Hanks, former homeowner.

She says the bank refused to modify her loan and foreclosed, kicking her out of the house in September.

The community group ACORN calls Hanks a victim of predatory lending.

"This is our house now," said Louis Beverly, ACORN.

And on Thursday afternoon, they literally broke the foreclosure padlock right off the front door and then broke into the house, letting Hanks back in for the first time in months.

"We are actually trespassing, and so this is a way of civil disobedience to try to stay in the house," said Beverly. "Legally it's wrong, but homesteading is the only means that she has left to stay in her house. And we feel as though this is the right thing to do at this particular time to save this family."

Inside, there's spray paint on the walls and evidence that someone has possibly been remodeling.

The group says it was staging similar demonstrations in six other cities nationwide while urging a moratorium on foreclosures. They want that until President Obama's stimulus plan begins on March 4. The plan is designed to help threatened homeowners.

"As you all can see, Donna is reclaiming her home, and she's putting a lock on her door at this time," said Beverly.

But that padlock won't stay there for long.

The current property managers told Eyewitness News they were unaware of ACORN's actions Thursday and were contacting the police and their lawyers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Three Democrat Pennsylvania Judges Plead Guilty In Kickback Scheme

Three judges have plead guilty on corruption charges in PA.

Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella, Michael Conahan and William Sharkey, all democrats, pleaded guilty last week to fraud charges after prosecutors accused them of taking kickbacks to send juvenile offenders to private detention centers.

All three men face up to 10 years in prison.

From The ABA Journal:
"Prosecutors said the kickback scheme began in December 2002, when the judges shut down the county juvenile detention center on the ground it was in bad shape and said juveniles should be housed at two private centers, according to the Times account.

Ciavarella says he only sentenced juveniles to detention centers if they deserved it, but his record is tougher than the norm, the Times story says. He sent one-fourth of juvenile defendants to detention from 2002 to 2006, compared with a state average of 1 out of 10, the story says.

Juveniles have a constitutional right to counsel, but about half the juveniles appearing before Ciavarella had waived that right, the Times says. Only Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina require representation for juveniles.

The case has spurred the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to review all juvenile cases decided in Luzerne County in the last five years and all appointments by the judges in the last seven years.

Former Luzerne County Judge Ann Lokuta attended the hearing. She has said she reported improper conduct by the judges to the FBI, according to the Legal Intelligencer article. The state’s judicial discipline body banned Lokuta from the bench in December based on findings that she belittled her staff, used court personnel to clean her home and created a warlike atmosphere with other judges."

What you will find missing from the ABA Article along with just about every other news source that is running this story is the political affiliations of the judges. All of which are Democrats.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Putin Warns The US About The Dangers Of Socialism

During a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Vladimir Putin, in what could be a direct poke at the new administration and congress, gave the US warning about the dangers of socialism.

Putin warned about “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

Sounding more like Barry Goldwater than the former head of the KGB, Putin said, “Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.”

Putin also cautioned the US against using military Keynesianism to lift its economy out of recession, saying, “in the longer run, militarization won’t solve the problem but will rather quell it temporarily. What it will do is squeeze huge financial and other resources from the economy instead of finding better and wiser uses for them.”

Putin also echoed the words of conservative maverick Ron Paul when he said, “we must assess the real situation and write off all hopeless debts and ‘bad’ assets. True, this will be an extremely painful and unpleasant process. Far from everyone can accept such measures, fearing for their capitalization, bonuses, or reputation. However, we would ‘conserve’ and prolong the crisis, unless we clean up our balance sheets.”

“The time for enlightenment has come. We must calmly, and without gloating, assess the root causes of this situation and try to peek into the future.”

Mesa Arizona's Stimulus Protest

Check out Michelle Makin's write up for more information and pictures about this wonderful protest!

Rahm Emmanuel's Rent Is Only Part Of His Ethical Debacle

Yet another chink in the armor of the democratic party's integrity. This is just another scandal piled on to the heap of Democratic scandals that have abounded lately.

NEWS broke last week that White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel lived rent- free for years in the home of Rep. Rosa De Lauro (D-Conn.). Emmanuel failed to disclose the gift, as congressional ethics rules mandate.

According to Dick Morris and Eileen McGann at The New York Post:
Emanuel is a multimillionaire, but lived for the last five years for free in the tony Capitol Hill townhouse owned by De Lauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

During that time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - which gave Greenberg huge polling contracts. It paid Greenberg's firm $239,996 in 2006 and $317,775 in 2008. (Emanuel's own campaign committee has also paid Greenberg more than $50,000 since 2004.)

Emmanuel never disclosed his gift of a living space on his financial disclosure reports. He and De Lauro claim that it was just allowable "hospitality" between colleagues. Many argue that this housing should count as taxable income. The estimated worth of his housing was $100,000.

Then there is also the question of Rahm Emmanuel's service on the board of Freddie Mac. Emanuel served on the Freddie Mac board of directors during the time that the government-backed lender lied about its earnings, a leading contributor to the current economic meltdown.

The Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Agency later singled out the Freddie Mac board as contributing to the fraud in 2000 and 2001 for "failing in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." In other words, board members ignored the red flags waving in their faces.

The SEC later fined Freddie $50 million for its deliberate fraud in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seattle's President's Day Pork Protest

Pics from the protest:

Thanks to blogger Liberty Belle, Republicans, Libertarians and maybe even a few opposing Democrats gathered in Seattle yesterday to protest Obama's impending signature of the nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill.

This is the latest in a rash of public outcries about the bill that is deemed to be wasteful and full of pork by just about 50% of the American public.

Organizers are also planning a protest in Denver today at noon. GOP For Liberty will be updating you on that event tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Roland Burris Changes His Story. More Democrat Culture of Corruption and Lies

From Associated Content
Senator Roland Burris conceded Saturday that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's brother, Rodney Blagojevich, tried to shake him down three times for campaign contributions. This was during the time that Burris was among candidates for appointment to the Illinois Senate seat that became vacant when Barack Obama was elected president.

The Roland Burris revelation adds evidence to allegations that Rod Blagojevich pursued a fraudulent and illegal pay-to-play strategy for the Senate seat. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says he already has evidence on tape, regarding not only the Senate seat but regarding state funds for everything from toll booths to a children's hospital.

Roland Burris also suffers a credibility lapse, because he previously had testified that there were no pay-to-play offers made by Rod Blagojevich or his political team.

A twist of this story is that while Senate Democrats initially tried to fight Rod Blagojevich's appointment of Roland Burris, they needed Burris' vote to pass the $789billion economic stimulus package with a filibuster-proof minimum threshhold of 60 votes. As it was, the Democrats needed to call Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown back to Washington from Brown's home state, where he was attending his mother's wake, of all things. The next option would have been to try to pull Teddy Kennedy from his sick bed.

In other words, Rod Blagojevich apparently was one of the key actors for passage of the economic stimulus package. Is that ironic, or what?

Roland Burris gave testimony in January to a Blagojevich impeachment hearing in the Illinois Senate. Burris testified that he never had pay-to-play conversations, which would have regarded an effort to raise money for Blagojevich in exchange for the U.S. Senate appointment. Patrick Fitzgerald has asserted that Rod Blagojevich, on a taped wiretap, mentioned a desire of sums of $500,000 and $1 million, although Blagojevich did not mention Burris by name.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Honoring Abraham Lincoln On His Birthday

I thought it would be an excellent idea if today we remember Abraham Lincoln as the great president that history has known him to be. There really isn't much more I can say about that, so today I leave you with some of my favorite Lincoln quotes. I feel that these quotes speak to me about what The United States of America is and about the rights and freedoms that we deserve and should never think twice about giving up.

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others" (April 6, 1859), p. 376.

"The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Speech on the Sub-Treasury" (in the Illinois House of Representatives, December 26, 1839), p. 178.

"The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity." Lincoln's Temperance Address, Springfield, Illinois, February 22, 1842.

"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland" (April 18, 1864), p. 301-302.

"Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Speech at Peoria, Illinois" (October 16, 1854), p. 273.

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Capitulation, Not a Compromise: Thanks To Three Senators, Republicans Have Lost An Opportunity.

By Pat Toomey.

Note from author of Gop For Liberty:
Pat Toomey, a Republican with libertarian leanings, is currently seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for the Pennsylvania Governor's Race In 2010.

The three Republican senators who struck a deal with the Democrats are touting the Senate’s stimulus bill as a bipartisan compromise. In yesterday’s Washington Post, Sen. Arlen Specter even labeled the $838 billion package cobbled together late last week the “moderates’ compromise.”

But the surrender of three liberal Republicans does not make a bill a compromise. Dig into the details of the Senate bill, and it’s obvious that this isn’t a compromise but a capitulation.

Sens. Specter, Collins, and Snowe tout the spending cuts they were able to wrangle from the Democrats, but they neglect to mention all the additional spending that has been added over the past week through amendments. The ink on the House bill was not yet dry when Senator Specter himself introduced an amendment to add $6 billion in spending for the National Institutes of Health. The bill is stuffed with pork projects and spending programs that don’t even pretend to be about economic growth. One has to wonder how the “moderates” can defend $1.5 billion for carbon-capture projects, $1.3 billion for NASA, and $75 million for the Smithsonian Institution, among many other earmarks, as “stimulus.” In the end, the so-called compromise bill actually costs $18.7 billion more than the bill passed by the House.

And while the moderates croon about the bill’s tax cuts, very few of those cuts are pro-growth measures that will encourage Americans to invest and produce. In fact, some are only refundable tax credits—meaning checks issued to people who don’t pay federal income taxes. There is a more accurate term for this kind of tax cut: spending.

Thanks to Specter, Collins, and Snowe, the Republican party lost the opportunity to pass a true compromise bill that would have encouraged economic growth. By unanimously voting against the stimulus bill, House Republicans empowered Senate Republicans to demand substantive, pro-growth amendments. After all, without 60 votes in the Senate, President Obama would not have been able to pass any bill, good or bad.

If Senate Republicans had united as their counterparts in the House did, President Obama would have had no choice but to include Republican proposals to cut income-tax rates, along with taxes on businesses and investment. These measures would have encouraged workers to be more productive, freed American businesses currently laboring under one of the highest corporate-tax rates in the world, and encouraged investors to support our ailing financial markets.

To be sure, Republicans would have been forced to accept a large dose of spending, but Democrats would have been similarly forced to accept tax cuts they refused to include in the current bill. That is what a real bipartisan compromise would have looked like—not this $800 billion–plus spending spree that tosses a couple of crumbs to Specter, Collins, and Snowe.

The Senate’s compromise bill is as fundamentally flawed as the original version. While its supporters claim it will create millions of jobs, they neglect to mention all the jobs it will destroy. The money for the bill has to come from somewhere—and that will be straight out of the private sector, where it could have been invested far more efficiently and productively, creating jobs in the process. The subsidies for “green jobs” will, perversely, end up destroying jobs as the country is forced to waste money producing overpriced, inefficient energy.

Whether we are talking about the original House bill, the original Senate bill, or the so-called compromise bill, the stimulus is based on the backward and discredited idea that the country can spend itself out of a recession. It didn’t work for the United States during the Great Depression, it didn’t work for Japan during the 1990s, and it won’t work now.

President Obama’s own economists admit that many of the programs in the bill will do little to stimulate the economy, and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, confessed that Democrats are using the stimulus to check off their Christmas shopping list. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Emanuel said. “And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Even the Democrat-controlled Congressional Budget Office predicts the stimulus bill will actually hurt the U.S. economy in the long run. According to the CBO, the massive amount of new debt will crowd out private investment in the future and hamper economic growth.

Senator Specter cites John F. Kennedy, who said: “In politics, nobody gets everything, nobody gets nothing, and everybody gets something.” In this case, the Democrats get almost everything, and the American taxpayers get to look forward to generations of debt. We have three “moderate” Republicans to thank for that crowning achievement. Let’s remember who they are.

—Pat Toomey is the president of the Club for Growth.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Arizona Rancher Who Stopped Illegal Immigrants Trespassing On His Own Ranch Now Fighting $32 Million Lawsuit

From The Washington Times:
An Arizona man who has waged a 10-year campaign to stop a flood of illegal immigrants from crossing his property is being sued by 16 Mexican nationals who accuse him of conspiring to violate their civil rights when he stopped them at gunpoint on his ranch on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Roger Barnett, 64, began rounding up illegal immigrants in 1998 and turning them over to the U.S. Border Patrol, he said, after they destroyed his property, killed his calves and broke into his home.

His Cross Rail Ranch near Douglas, Ariz., is known by federal and county law enforcement authorities as "the avenue of choice" for immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.

Trial continues Monday in the federal lawsuit, which seeks $32 million in actual and punitive damages for civil rights violations, the infliction of emotional distress and other crimes. Also named are Mr. Barnett's wife, Barbara, his brother, Donald, and Larry Dever, sheriff in Cochise County, Ariz., where the Barnetts live. The civil trial is expected to continue until Friday.

The lawsuit is based on a March 7, 2004, incident in a dry wash on the 22,000-acre ranch, when he approached a group of illegal immigrants while carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog.

Attorneys for the immigrants - five women and 11 men who were trying to cross illegally into the United States - have accused Mr. Barnett of holding the group captive at gunpoint, threatening to turn his dog loose on them and saying he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.

The immigrants are represented at trial by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which also charged that Sheriff Dever did nothing to prevent Mr. Barnett from holding their clients at "gunpoint, yelling obscenities at them and kicking one of the women."

In the lawsuit, MALDEF said Mr. Barnett approached the group as the immigrants moved through his property, and that he was carrying a pistol and threatening them in English and Spanish. At one point, it said, Mr. Barnett's dog barked at several of the women and he yelled at them in Spanish, "My dog is hungry and he's hungry for buttocks."

The lawsuit said he then called his wife and two Border Patrol agents arrived at the site. It also said Mr. Barnett acknowledged that he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

In March, U.S. District Judge John Roll rejected a motion by Mr. Barnett to have the charges dropped, ruling there was sufficient evidence to allow the matter to be presented to a jury. Mr. Barnett's attorney, David Hardy, had argued that illegal immigrants did not have the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Mr. Barnett told The Washington Times in a 2002 interview that he began rounding up illegal immigrants after they started to vandalize his property, northeast of Douglas along Arizona Highway 80. He said the immigrants tore up water pumps, killed calves, destroyed fences and gates, stole trucks and broke into his home.

Some of his cattle died from ingesting the plastic bottles left behind by the immigrants, he said, adding that he installed a faucet on an 8,000-gallon water tank so the immigrants would stop damaging the tank to get water.

Mr. Barnett said some of the ranch´s established immigrant trails were littered with trash 10 inches deep, including human waste, used toilet paper, soiled diapers, cigarette packs, clothes, backpacks, empty 1-gallon water bottles, chewing-gum wrappers and aluminum foil - which supposedly is used to pack the drugs the immigrant smugglers give their "clients" to keep them running.

He said he carried a pistol during his searches for the immigrants and had a rifle in his truck "for protection" against immigrant and drug smugglers, who often are armed.

ASSOCIATED PRESS DEFENDANT: Roger Barnett said he had turned over 12,000 illegal immigrants to the Border Patrol since 1998.

A former Cochise County sheriff´s deputy who later was successful in the towing and propane business, Mr. Barnett spent $30,000 on electronic sensors, which he has hidden along established trails on his ranch. He searches the ranch for illegal immigrants in a pickup truck, dressed in a green shirt and camouflage hat, with his handgun and rifle, high-powered binoculars and a walkie-talkie.

His sprawling ranch became an illegal-immigration highway when the Border Patrol diverted its attention to several border towns in an effort to take control of the established ports of entry. That effort moved the illegal immigrants to the remote areas of the border, including the Cross Rail Ranch.

"This is my land. I´m the victim here," Mr. Barnett said. "When someone´s home and loved ones are in jeopardy and the government seemingly can´t do anything about it, I feel justified in taking matters into my own hands. And I always watch my back."

Not From GOP For Liberty Author:
We have obtained the mailing addresses and phone numbers for both the Defending Attorney and the Judge presiding over this lawsuit. Please contact them and let them know how you feel about American's rights to protect their own property:
The Lawyer:

David T. Hardy
8987 E. Tanque Verde
PMB 265
Tucson AZ 85749
(520) 749-0241
SBN: 4288
Attorney for Defendants

The Judge:

Roll, John M.
United States District Court
Evo A. DeConcini U.S. Courthouse
405 West Congress Street, Suite 5190
Tucson, AZ 85701-5053
Clerk's Office

Scary Big Brotherish Health Care Provisions Slipped Into Stimulus Package Unnoticed By Public.

From bloomberg:
Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department. Daschle has sinced dropped out of cotention for questions about his failure to pay some taxes.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.

New Penalties

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

Elderly Hardest Hit

Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.

Hidden Provisions

If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.

The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).

Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

More Scrutiny Needed

On Friday, President Obama called it “inexcusable and irresponsible” for senators to delay passing the stimulus bill. In truth, this bill needs more scrutiny.

The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Libertarian Republican Meg Whitman Starts Run For Governor Of California

Self described "Libertarian" and registered Republican, Meg Whitman former CEO and President of eBay Inc, announced today February 9, that she has formed an exploratory committee for a campaign to win the Republican nomination for California governor in 2010.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson, who lead California through an eight year economic recovery through his terms, will be campaign chairman. The co-chairs of the exploratory committee are Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), chief deputy Republican whip, and fellow Republican representative Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs), along with state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego), Republican whip, and former State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner of Lancaster.

“After careful consideration and with tremendous loyalty to our Golden State, I have formed an exploratory committee, the first step in the process of running for governor in 2010,” Whitman said. “California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history — a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit. California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail. Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California.”

Whitman, 52, retired from eBay, which has grown to be a cultural free market phenomenon, in March 2008 after a decade with the company. During Meg's time with eBay the company grew from a start up with 30 employees, 300,000 users and $4.7 million in revenue, to a global behemoth with operations in 38 countries, more than 15,000 employees, almost $8 billion in revenue and more than 300 million registered users, including more than 12 million eBay users in California alone.

Whitman, in the coming weeks, through speeches in Silicon Valley, Orange County and at the California Republican Party Convention in Sacramento, will offer a vision for the Golden State, she said.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Americans Should Learn A Lesson From Britain's Mistakes

This video was forwarded to me from Steve MacIntosh of St. Ives Cornwall.

It depicts what has happened to Britain since the rise and control of Britain's Labour Party. The Labour Party in Britain is pretty much Britains version of the Democrat party skewed more left than us Americans are accustomed to, but nonetheless a political ideology that is not very far off if the USA continues down the path it is headed on. Wikipedia outlines the platforms of the Labour Party, also known as the Democratic Socialist as public ownership of key industries, government intervention in the economy, redistribution of wealth, increased rights for workers and trade unions, and a belief in the welfare state as well as publicly funded health care and education.

Please watch this video and take heed to what path we may be headed on

Essay The Meaning Of Sarah Palin Hits The Nail On The Head

In an essay written by Yuval Levin of the ring-wing Commentary Magazine, he describes Sarah Palin in the terms of the cultural phenomenon she has become. He also explains a bit why the left fears her so. There is also some very good insight as to how the media and lefties twisted Palin's image into that of a monster on social issues when her Governing style in Alaska has never even shown the slightest inking of the social tyranny we were led to believe existed.

I find the essay to be very insightful and Levin has, once again, hit the nail directly on the head.

Here is the essay in it's entirety:
Two political figures dominated the final months of the 2008 presidential campaign. One was the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. The other had been unknown to all but 670,000 Americans only a few minutes before she was first introduced by the Republican nominee, John McCain, at a rally in Ohio on the Friday before the Republican National Convention, only 66 days before the November election.

By the close of that first weekend, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska had become a national sensation. Two days after that, she delivered her debut address at the Republican National Convention as the party’s vice-presidential nominee—a dazzling stemwinder, it was all but universally acknowledged. McCain’s dramatic and unexpected bet appeared to have paid off in spades.

But by November 4, the day of the election, Sarah Palin had been transformed into one of the most divisive figures in recent American history. There was almost no middle ground between those who had come to adore her and those who believed she represented just about every dark and dangerous element of contemporary American politics. In choosing Palin, McCain had hoped to shake up the race; but the fault lines exposed by the Palin earthquake were not the ones he had thought they might be. He had wanted to run against the Washington status quo as a reformer with an independent streak. He believed he was picking a fellow reformist politician with a history of taking on the leadership of her own party, and that Palin would prove acceptable to the Republican base because of her social conservatism. Instead, Palin became an instant cultural and political magnet, attracting some and repelling others and dragging a helpless McCain into a culture war for which he had little stomach. Indeed, the overheated response to Palin’s presence on the national stage, from both friend and foe, was oddly disconnected from Palin’s actual actions, statements, and record. It was a turn of events no one could have anticipated, and one that has much to teach us about American political life in our day.


Before her elevation, Palin had not been known as a combatant in the cultural battles of recent years. She had been serving as the popular chief executive of a geographically vast, sparsely populated, and economically vital state. She held conventionally conservative Republican views—pro-gun, anti-tax, and pro-life. She had risen to prominence by taking on Alaska’s corrupt and profligate Republican establishment. In running for and winning the governorship in 2006, she had promised (and had begun to deliver) reforms of the state’s relationship with Washington and with the oil companies that dominated its economy.

In all these respects, Palin was an uncanny match for John McCain. Her political style and priorities resembled McCain’s in a way that no other senior Republican elected official’s did. Her conservatism, like McCain’s, was more an attitude than an ideology: it was a kind of moralistic anti-corruptionism, obsessed with honest dealing and powerfully allergic to excess and waste. Palin did not, of course, share McCain’s foreign-policy expertise or his heroic biography, but she shared what he often stressed most about himself, and what he most wanted to run on: she was, as the public would soon be informed ad nauseam, a reforming maverick.

Palin’s social conservatism had never been the core of her political identity in Alaska. She always expressed general support for traditionalist views in interviews and debates, and it was widely known that she had also chosen to proceed with her fifth pregnancy after discovering the child had Down syndrome—a discovery that in about nine of ten cases leads parents to opt for abortion. But Palin never went out of her way to raise abortion or other social or cultural issues, and in her first two years as governor had not sought to change state policies in these areas. She was a good-government reformer with social conservative leanings, not the other way around.


But this was not how Palin was received on the national scene. Instead, her views on matters of cultural and social controversy very quickly became the chief focus of media attention, liberal criticism, and pundit analysis. Palin was assigned every view and position the Left considered unenlightened, and the response to her brought into the light all manner of implicit liberal assumptions about cultural conservatives. We were told that Palin was opposed to contraception, advocated teaching creationism in schools, and was inclined to ban books she disagreed with. She was described as a religious zealot, an anti-abortion extremist, a blind champion of abstinence-only sex education. She was said to have sought to make rape victims pay for their own medical exams, to have Alaska secede from the Union, and to get Pat Buchanan elected President. She was reported to believe that the Iraq war was mandated by God, that the end-times prophesied in the Book of Revelation were nearing and only Alaska would survive, and that global warming was purely a myth. None of this was true.

Her personal life came under withering assault as well. Palin’s capacity to function as a senior elected official while raising five children was repeatedly questioned by liberal pundits who would never dare to express such views about a female candidate whose opinions were more congenial to them. Her teenage daughter’s pregnancy was splattered all over the front pages (garnering three New York Times stories in a single day on September 2). Some bloggers even suggested her youngest child had not issued from her, but from her daughter instead, and that she had participated in a bizarre cover-up. I attended a gathering in Washington at which a prominent columnist wondered aloud how Palin could pursue her career when her religious beliefs denied women the right to work outside the home.

Palin became the embodiment of every dark fantasy the Left had ever held about the views of evangelical Christians and women who do not associate themselves with contemporary feminism, and all concern for clarity and truthfulness was left at the door.

To be sure, some criticisms of Palin were entirely appropriate. She had no experience in foreign or defense policy and very little expertise in or command of either. In a time of war, with a seventy-two-year-old presidential candidate who had already survived one bout with cancer, this was a cause for very real concern. And Palin did perform dreadfully in some early interviews. Some of her more level-headed critics did make their case on these grounds. But the more common visceral hostility toward her seemed to have little to do with these objections. Rather, the entire episode had the feel of a kind of manic outburst; it was triggered by a false understanding of who Palin was, and once it began, there was no stopping or controlling it.

The reaction to Palin revealed a deep and intense cultural paranoia on the Left: an inclination to see retrograde reaction around every corner, and to respond to it with vile anger. A confident, happy, and politically effective woman who was also a social conservative was evidently too much to bear. The response of liberal feminists was in this respect particularly telling, and especially unpleasant.

“Her greatest hypocrisy is her pretense that she is a woman,” wrote Wendy Doniger, a professor at the University of Chicago. “Having someone who looks like you and behaves like them,” said Gloria Steinem, “who looks like a friend but behaves like an adversary, is worse than having no one.”

This preposterous effort to excommunicate Palin from her gender suggests that the kind of new-order feminism she represents—a feminism that embraces cultural traditionalism and workplace egalitarianism at the same time—is especially frightening to those on the feminist Left because they recognize its power and appeal. The attempt to destroy Sarah Palin by rushing to paint her as a backwoods extremist was not a show of strength, but rather a sign of desperation.


Meanwhile, on the Right, Palin was the cause of a manic episode of a different sort. The governor’s touching life story, her folksy way of speaking, and her gut-level appeal to the culture of the lower middle class exercised tremendous power over many conservatives, which inclined them to fill the sizable blanks in Palin’s political profile with their own wishful assumptions, and to make flustered excuses for her shortcomings.

There was a strong case to be made in her defense. Palin had as much foreign-policy experience as most governors do, and Americans have been willing time and again to overlook such inexperience in their hunger for proven executive acumen in Washington. (Four of the last five Presidents had been governors, after all, and Palin was running for Vice President with a foreign-policy expert at the top of the ticket.) And while Palin seemed out of her depth in several television interviews, she was extraordinarily effective on the stump, was a quick study, and proved to be at least an even match for Joe Biden, a six-term senator, in the vice-presidential debate.

Yet, for all these defenses, there could be no denying Palin’s real deficiencies. Nonetheless, Palin was embraced practically without reservation in many conservative circles. The very heat of the Left’s campaign against her made her all the more a darling of the Right. She became the 2008 poster child for the longstanding conservative grudge against the mainstream media. And, of course, having warmly accepted her unborn child with Down syndrome and having supported and encouraged her teenage daughter’s decision to bring to term an unplanned pregnancy and to marry the baby’s father, Palin instantly became an icon of the pro-life cause.

It seemed to matter not a whit that Palin had never taken any action on abortion in her time as governor, and rarely had much to say on the subject. Indeed, even as she campaigned before captivated audiences, drawing tens of thousands of proud conservatives to rallies in a display of rock-star popularity no vice-presidential candidate had ever earned, Palin barely spoke about abortion or social issues.
Palin did not merit her instantaneous conversion into the Joan of Arc of the American Right, just as she did not deserve the opprobrium that was heaped upon her by the Left.

So why did it happen? What was the Palin episode really about? The answer has much to do with the age-old tension between populism and elitism in our public life, which is to say, between the notion that we are best governed by the views, needs, and interests of the many and the conviction that power can only be managed wisely by a select few.


In American politics, the distinction between populism and elitism is further subdivided into cultural and economic populism and elitism. And for at least the last forty years, the two parties have broken down distinctly along this double axis. The Republican party has been the party of cultural populism and economic elitism, and the Democrats have been the party of cultural elitism and economic populism. Republicans tend to identify with the traditional values, unabashedly patriotic, anti-cosmopolitan, non-nuanced Joe Sixpack, even as they pursue an economic policy that aims at elite investor-driven growth. Democrats identify with the mistreated, underpaid, overworked, crushed-by-the-corporation “people against the powerful,” but tend to look down on those people’s religion, education, and way of life. Republicans tend to believe the dynamism of the market is for the best but that cultural change can be dangerously disruptive; Democrats tend to believe dynamic social change stretches the boundaries of inclusion for the better but that economic dynamism is often ruinous and unjust.

Both economic and cultural populism are politically potent, but in America, unlike in Europe, cultural populism has always been much more powerful. Americans do not resent the success of others, but they do resent arrogance, and especially intellectual arrogance. Even the poor in our country tend to be moved more by cultural than by economic appeals. It was this sense, this feeling, that Sarah Palin channeled so effectively. Her appearance on the scene unleashed populist energies that McCain had not tapped, and she both fed them and fed off them. She spent the bulk of her time at Republican rallies assailing the cultural radicalism of Barack Obama and his latte-sipping followers, who, she occasionally suggested, were not part of the “the real America” she saw in the adoring throngs standing before her. Palin channeled these cultural energies more by what she was than by what she said or did, which contributed mightily to the odd disjunction between her professional resume and her campaign presence and impact.


Palin’s cultural populism put her at odds with the foe that did her the most serious damage: the nation’s intellectual elite, whose initial suspicion of her deepened into outright loathing as the campaign progressed. Her inability in interviews to offer coherent answers about the Bush Doctrine, regulatory reform, and the Supreme Court’s case history, together with her unexceptional academic record and the fact that she had spent almost no time abroad, were offered as evidence that Palin represented a dangerous strain of anti-intellectualism on the Right.

She was, the Left-leaning Christopher Hitchens insisted, “a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus.” The Right-leaning David Brooks called Palin “a fatal cancer to the Republican party” because her inclination “is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely.”

Palin never actually boasted of ignorance or explicitly scorned learning or ideas. Rather, the implicit charge was that Palin’s failure to speak the language and to share the common points of reference of the educated upper tier of American society essentially rendered her unfit for high office.

This form of intellectual elitism is actually fairly new in America, though it has been a dominant feature of European society since World War II. It is not as exclusive or as anti-democratic as cultural elitism is in other countries, because entry to the American intellectual elite is, in principle, open to all who pursue it. And pursuing it is not as difficult as it once was, at least for the middle class. Indeed, most of this elite’s prominent members hail from middle-class origins and not from traditional bastions of American privilege and wealth. They can speak of growing up in Scranton, even as they raise their noses at dirty coal and hunting season.

Nor is membership in the intellectual upper class determined by diplomas hanging on the wall. Palin could have gained entrance easily, despite the fact that she holds a mere degree in journalism from the University of Idaho. Although the intellectual elite is deeply shaped by our leading institutions of higher learning, belonging to it is more the result of shared assumptions and attitudes. It is more cultural than academic, more NPR than PhD. In Washington, many politicians who have not risen through the best of universities work hard for years to master the language and the suppositions of this upper tier, and to live carefully within the bounds prescribed by its view of the world.

Applied to politics, the worldview of the intellectual elite begins from an unstated assumption that governing is fundamentally an exercise of the mind: an application of the proper mix of theory, expertise, and intellectual distance that calls for knowledge and verbal fluency more than for prudence born of life’s hard lessons.

Sarah Palin embodied a very different notion of politics, in which sound instincts and valuable life experiences are considered sources of knowledge at least the equal of book learning. She is the product of an America in which explicit displays of pride in intellect are considered unseemly, and where physical prowess and moral constancy are given a higher place than intellectual achievement. She was in the habit of stressing these faculties instead—a habit that struck many in Washington as brutishness.

This is why Palin was seen as anti-intellectual when, properly speaking, she was simply non-intellectual. What she lacked was not intelligence—she is, clearly, highly intelligent—but rather the particular set of assumptions, references, and attitudes inculcated by America’s top twenty universities and transmitted by the nation’s elite cultural organs.

Many of those (including especially those on the Right) who reacted badly to Palin on intellectual grounds understand themselves to be advancing the interests of lower-middle-class families similar to Palin’s own family and to many of those in attendance at her rallies who greeted her arrival on the scene as a kind of deliverance. But it is hard to escape the conclusion that while these members of the intellectual elite want the government to serve the interests of such people first and foremost, they do not want those people to hold the levers of power. They see lower-middle-class populists like Palin and their supporters as profoundly ill-suited for governance, because they lack the accoutrements required for its employment—especially in foreign policy, which, even more than domestic affairs, is thought to be an intellectual exercise. It is for this reason that Barack Obama, who actually has far less experience in executive governance than Palin, was not dismissed as unprepared for the presidency. Palin may have been elected governor of Alaska, but his peers in Cambridge had elected Obama editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is thoroughly fluent in the parlance of the college town, and in the eyes of the new American elite, Washington is the ultimate college town.


The reaction of the intellectual elite to Sarah Palin was far more provincial than Palin herself ever has been, and those who reacted so viscerally against her evinced little or no appreciation for an essential premise of democracy: that practical wisdom matters at least as much as formal education, and that leadership can emerge from utterly unexpected places. The presumption that the only road to power passes through the Ivy League and its tributaries is neither democratic nor sensible, and is, moreover, a sharp and wrongheaded break from the American tradition of citizen governance.


And yet one must acknowledge that Palin was a problematic candidate. Charismatic and thrilling though she was at first glance, and impressive and dogged though she was throughout her 66-day run, she ended up at the center of a political and cultural vacuum of her own creation. She began by opening up a huge space for herself, and then was unable to fill it.

The sense of potential that accompanied Palin’s introduction, and the feeling that she might really reverse the momentum of the campaign, were not illusory. For two weeks or so, the polls moved markedly in McCain’s direction, as it seemed that his running mate was something genuinely new in American politics: a lower-middle-class woman who spoke the language of the country’s ordinary voters and had a profound personal understanding of the hopes and worries of a vast swath of the public. She really did seize the attention of swing voters, as McCain’s team had hoped she might. Her convention speech, her interviews, and her debate performance drew unprecedented audiences.

But having finally gotten voters to listen, neither Palin nor McCain could think of anything to say to them. Palin’s reformism, like McCain’s, was essentially an attitude devoid of substance. Both Republican candidates told us they hated corruption and would cut excess and waste. But separately and together, they offered no overarching vision of America, no consistent view of the role of government, no clear description of what a free society should look like, and no coherent policy ideas that might actually address the concerns of American families and offer solutions to the serious problems of the moment. Palin’s populism was not her weakness, but her strength. Her weakness was that she failed to tie her populism to anything deeper. A successful conservative reformism has to draw on cultural populism, but it has also to draw on a worldview, on ideas about society and government, and on a policy agenda. This would make it more intellectual, but not necessarily less populist.

McCain’s advisers were right about Palin: she was a mirror image of John McCain. She was not a visionary politician, or a programmatic politician, but an attitude politician with an appealing biography. In the end, she was no more able than McCain to offer a coherent rationale for his presidency.

That was not her job, though; it was his. The striking thing about the last two months of the 2008 presidential race was not Palin’s inability to turn things around decisively for McCain, but her success in giving McCain a lead for even a short while. She seized the imagination of the public in a way that scared the Left, and rightly so. It is not Palin’s fault that McCain was incapable of harnessing the phenomenal response to his running mate to his own advantage.

In the end, Palin had a modest impact on the race. About 60 percent of those interviewed in the exit polls said McCain’s choice of Palin had been a factor in their vote. Of these, 56 percent voted for McCain while only 43 percent voted for Obama. In other words, she appears to have helped McCain more than she hurt him, but not by much, which is as it should be; we were voting for a President, after all. In the face of unprecedented attack, Palin succeeded where almost no vice-presidential candidate ever has before in winning sustained support for the ticket.

This suggests Palin’s potent combination of cultural populism and social conservatism might provide the roadmap a Republican politician will need in the future to make headway against the Democratic tide. But that roadmap will only take that Republican politician so far. The rest of the journey requires the articulation of a broader vision for American families, American prosperity and freedom, and American security; a vision of conservatism, not only a nimbus of populism.

There is every reason to believe Palin will try to accomplish just this in a future national election. It may be, however, that other ambitious Republicans will be better suited to the task of perfecting the formula for electoral success she introduced last fall.

Either way, the Palin moment shed a powerful light on the power, the potential, and the ultimate inadequacy of a conservatism grounded solely in cultural populism. It also exposed the vulnerability of the Left to a challenge to its most cherished claims—as the sole representative of the interests of the working class and the only legitimate path to political power for an ambitious woman.

And, perhaps even more telling, it revealed the unfortunate and unattractive propensity of the American cultural elite to treat those who are not deemed part of the elect with condescension and contumely.

Small Free Market Banks In Texas Making Profits Without TARP Funds

Originally broken by Texas newspaper

In what should be the primary argument against Barack Obama's second allocation of TARP funds and all future bailouts to come, we find that smaller operating banks are not hit by the financial crisis and are instead turning some very good profits.

Some smaller, bailout-free banks boosted lending, sometimes dramatically, during the fourth quarter of 2008, in part of a marketing plan that works by drawing business away from larger institutions and it has paid off well for them.

“People are coming to us because they’re not able to finance what they want to do at their bank,” said Jim Sturgeon, chief executive of Founders Bank in Sugar Land Texas, which reported loan growth of 31 percent from the third quarter to the fourth.

Twelve Texas banks have accepted money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program so far, but none showed the double-digit loan growth of many smaller institutions like Founders, which has one location.

“The small community banks may be the ones that save the day,” said Dan Bass, managing director of Carson Medlin, a Houston investment bank. “Right now they’re seeing the best loans they’ve seen in years.”

While government officials have called on banks to lend more, many larger institutions are reporting declines in their loan business. Dallas-based Comerica, for example, received $2.3 billion in TARP money in late October, yet its outstanding loans fell by more than 2 percent in the fourth quarter. Other large bailout recipients, such as Bank of America, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, also reported declines in their latest financial statements.

So while the government may cram their scare tactics down our throats on how the world is going to end if we do not give them all of our paychecks to "stimulate" lending, we can clearly see that under free market principles, the fall of the bigger banks leaves the playing field wide open for smaller banks to become more competitive. This growth for the smaller banks will lead stimulate the economy itself if given the time it needs. Instead the government would rather bail out the big guys and leave the little guys all alone out in right field, all the while screwing the consumer out of doing business with a competent and sound smaller company.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

TARP's Compensation Caps Could Extended To All Businesses

Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.

“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference on Tuesday, February 3.

Neil Roland of Financial Week writes:

"He also said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies.

The provision will be part of a broader package that would likely give the Federal Reserve the authority to monitor systemic risk in the economy and to shut down financial institutions that face too much exposure, Mr. Frank said."

The bill, which the committee is working on in consultation with the Obama administration, also will require financial institutions that bundle mortgages into securities to share in potential losses. This would give banks and mortgage-specialists an incentive not to make bad loans, he said. Institutions that securitize loans improperly will incur tougher penalties.

“There have been too few constraints on major financial institutions incurring far more liability than they could handle,” Mr. Frank said.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Obama's Celebrity Zombies Are Out In Full Force

I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of Obama, and to the monarchy for which it stands, one nation, under Obama, divisble without Obama, with liberty and justice for those that support Obama."

If this is really how the majority of the country feels, we are in for a frightening time ahead. To think that people should only be responsible for themselves and others when they are getting their own way is ridiculous. Why couldn't these celebrities speak out about "pitching in" when GWB was president? The celebrities in these videos look and sound like a bunch of disillusioned cultists.

It's nice to see that most of the commenters on Youtube also find this video to be highly ridiculous and borderline offensive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jim Cramer Calls Obama's Communist Policies Out

I saw this story first on The Libertarian Republican Blog.

Kudos to media personalities for finally speaking their minds!