Seventy-six percent not only tuned out the Zimmerman story, they didn’t even come close to buying the media’s phony racial narrative. A new poll now proves the media have lost the battle to smear “Stand Your Ground Laws.” By a ratio of 53% to 40%, voters still favor the law, despite weeks of attacks by Obama, Democrats, and their allies in the mainstream media:
A majority of Americans back so-called “stand your ground” laws, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, though their views differ sharply by race.
Voters support “stand your ground,” which allows individuals to act in self-defense during a conflict without attempting to retreat, by 53 percent to 40 percent…
by P.J. O’Rourke
The individual is the wellspring of conservatism. The purpose of conservative politics is to defend the liberty of the individual and – lest individualism run riot – insist upon individual responsibility.
The great religions (and conservatives are known for approving of God) teach salvation as an individual matter. There are no group discounts in the Ten Commandments, Christ was not a committee, and Allah does not welcome believers into Paradise saying, “You weren’t much good yourself, but you were standing near some good people.” That we are individuals – unique, disparate and willful – is something we understand instinctively from an early age. No child ever wrote to Santa: “Bring me – and a bunch of kids I’ve never met – a pony, and we’ll share.”
Virtue is famously lonely. Also vice, as anyone can testify who ever told his mother, “All the other guys were doing it.” We experience pleasure separately; Ethan Hawke may go out on any number of wild dates, but I’m able to sleep through them. And, although we may be sorry for people who suffer, we only “feel their pain” when we’re full of baloney and running for office.
The individual and the state
The first question of political science is – or should be: “What is good for everyone?” And, by “everyone” we must mean “all individuals.”
The question can’t be: “What is good for a single individual?” That’s megalomania, which is, like a New Hampshire presidential primary, the art of politics, not political science.
And the question can’t be: “What is good for some individuals?” Or even: “What is good for the majority of individuals?” That’s partisan politics, which, at best, leads to Newt Gingrich or Pat Schroeder and, at worst, leads to Lebanon or Rwanda.
Finally, the question can’t be: “What is good for individuals as a whole?” There’s no such thing. Individuals are only available individually.
By observing the progress of mankind, we can see that the things that are good for everyone are the things that have increased the accountability of the individual, the respect for the individual and the power of the individual to master his own fate. Judaism gave us laws before which all men, no matter their rank, stood as equals. Christianity taught us that each person has intrinsic worth, Newt Gingrich and Pat Schroeder included. The rise of private enterprise and trade provided a means of achieving wealth and autonomy other than by killing people with broadswords. And the industrial revolution allowed millions of ordinary folks an opportunity to obtain decent houses, food and clothes (albeit with some unfortunate side effects, such as environmental damage and Albert Gore).
In order to build a political system that is good for everyone, that ensures a free society based upon the independence, prestige and self-rule of individuals, we have to ask what all these individuals want. And be told to shut up, because there’s no way to know the myriad wants of diverse people. They may not know themselves. And who asked us to stick our nose in, anyway?
The Bill of Rights tries to protect our freedom not only from bad people and bad laws but also from the vast nets and gooey webs of rules and regulations that even the best governments produce. The Constitution attempts to leave as much of life as possible to common sense, or at least to local option. The Ninth Amendment states: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Continues the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
It is these suit-yourself, you’re-a-big-boy-now, it’s-a-free-country powers that conservatism seeks to conserve.
But what about the old, the poor, the disabled, the helpless, the hopeless, the addled and the daft?
Conservatism is sometimes confused with Social Darwinism or other such me-first dogmas. Sometimes the confusion is deliberate. When those who are against conservative policies don’t have sufficient opposition arguments, they call love of freedom “selfish. ” Of course it is – in the sense that breathing is selfish. But because you want to breathe doesn’t mean you want to suck the breath out of every person you encounter. Conservatives do not believe in the triumph of the large and powerful over the weak and useless. (Although most conservatives would make an exception to see a fistfight between Norman Schwartzkopf and George Stephanopoulos. If all people are free, George Stephanopoulos must be allowed to run loose, too, however annoying this may be.)
But some people cannot enjoy the benefits of freedom without assistance from their fellows. This may be a temporary condition – such as childhood or being me when I say I can drive home from a bar, just fine, thank you very much, at three a.m. – or, due to infirmity or affliction, the condition may be permanent. Because conservatives do not generally propose huge government programs to combat the effects of old age, illness, being a kid or drinking 10 martinis on an empty stomach, conservatives are said to be “mean-spirited.”
In fact, charity is an axiom of conservatism. Charity is one of the great responsibilities of freedom. But, in order for us to be responsible – and therefore free – that responsibility must be personal.
Not all needful acts of charity can be accomplished by one person, of course. To the extent that responsibility should be shared and merged, in a free society it should be shared and merged on the same basis as political power, which means starting with the individual. Responsibility must proceed from the bottom up – never from the top down, with the individual as the squeezed cream filling of the giant Twinkie that is the state.
The foul stench of deep personal anti-Libertarian HATRED, combined with a twisted, rage-filled anti-Conservative bigotry, threatens to poison the already questionable reputation of Lincoln biographer Rich Lowry.
Abe’s predictable leftist sympathies, bummed-out personality, grievance-nursing temperament, and lack of any discernible talent make him extraordinarily well-suited for lasting success in the Obama era.
A few highlights from a recent episode:
Here’s Abe passionately defending the criminal youths who mugged him.
“Those kids have no other recourse in this system!”
Here’s Abe romanticizing violent revolution and expressing his contempt for law enforcement.
Abe: “This is a f#&!@king police state! And we’re gonna have to fight, okay? They did it in Prague, they did it in Paris, and believe it or not, we’re gonna have to do it here, too!”
Peggy: “But that doesn’t mean protecting criminals”
Abe: “It’s fascinating, the attitudes I’m encountering! But why would you side with the cops?”
Abe’s revolutionary sentiments and unrealized destructive urges point clearly to his true direction in life. Left-Wing Radical, welfare recipient, possible drug addict, failed writer, violent Weather Underground member and Bill Ayers associate, Viet Nam War protestor, and eventually, bomb-making terrorist, fugitive from justice, Federal prisoner, University professor, book author, ghost-writer, informal White House policy advisor, and celebrated cultural icon.
Any one of Abe’s speeches are just minor variations on one theme: “Stick it to the Man”. Even if Peggy–the loyal, patient, ghetto-apartment-building-owning-girlfriend— is “The Man”.
Peggy, the Madison Avenue advertising copywriter who’s been supporting Abe’s sorry ass, while he writes a column for an underground newspaper. Abe glamorizes his heroic role, as the tolerant and enlightened minority advocate in their crime-plagued ghetto neighborhood. When attacked and beaten by neighborhood youths, Abe spouts guilty-white-liberal excuses for the disadvantaged and downtrodden, nobly defending the gang who just smashed their apartment window. Making Peggy’s domestic life a hellish nightmare.
As it turns out, Peggy sticks it to Abe, when trying to defend herself from a perceived late-night threat from neighborhood gangs, in their dark apartment, only to get spooked and injure Abe, accidentally knifing him in the belly with an improvised home-defense weapon (what appears to be a kitchen knife duct-taped to a broomstick) giving Abe an opportunity to see her–literally–as the enemy. And in the ambulance, on the way to the emergency room, he tells her. Revealing his bottled-up resentments, accusing Peggy of symbolizing everything he detests in our unjust society, Abe breaks up with her. All we can say is…lucky her.
Now that he’s exiting Peggy’s life, as she prepares to sell off the apartment building, and dissolve their unholy union, where will Abe Drexler end up? And further down the road, long after the 1960s Mad-Men era is over, what becomes of a radical dude like Abe? What does his future look like?
Abe’s predictable leftist sympathies, pro-revolution tendencies, bummed-out personality, grievance-nursing temperament, and lack of any discernible talent, make him extraordinarily well-suited for lasting success in the Obama era.
As a civil rights activist, future-welfare-check-cashing malcontent, stringer for The East Village Other, or part-time writer for Rolling Stone, then acid-dropping vagabond, war-protesting, pipe-bomb-making cop-killing terrorist, and fugitive, Abe can look forward to being a book author, lecturer, gray-haired OWC organizer-advocate, on-air correspondent, or maybe even a Mainstream Network News Director. Or perhaps even a post-Federal-prison-sentence-serving Columbia University professor.
He may not know it yet, but Abe could have a very promising future.
- Mad Men, “The Better Half” (avclub.com)
- Mad Men: The King Assassination (rr.com)
- Peggy Olson Stabs Her Self-Righteous Lover (adpulp.com)
- Internet Freaks Out Over Megan Draper’s T-Shirt (huffingtonpost.com)
- 5Takeaways from Mad Men, The Better Half (5takeaways.wordpress.com)
- ‘Mad Men’ Recap: Season 6, Episode 9 (usnews.com)
“After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time. Everyone not with us is against us and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay. Congress won’t be a problem for us this time. No election to worry about after this is over and we have two judges ready to go…”
- Valerie Jarrett: After we win this election, it’s our turn, payback time… (righttruth.typepad.com)
- The Real POTUS Speaks (maxredline.typepad.com)
- BOLSHEVIK Iranian Valerie Jarrett: ‘If Obama Wins Election, There’ll Be “Hell To Pay” For Those That Opposed Him’ (themadjewess.com)
- White House allegedly plotting revenge on Wall Street . As Germany demands answers to the status of its gold at the NY Fed and countries like Ecuador actually pull their gold from the Central Banks – does the WH if Obama wins pull the sheet off the gold (fredw-catharsisours.blogspot.com)
Why Was There No October Surprise? Because Every Freakin’ Day for the Last Four Years Has Been an October SurprisePosted: November 3, 2012 | |
Good item from Zombie
Where was the October Surprise?
Almost everyone anticipated this year’s “October Surprise” — some last-minute, unexpected, shocking scandal to rock the presidential election and derail one of the candidates. But it never appeared. In an era of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gutterball politics, this mysterious absence of any major scandal was itself noteworthy. How could nothing have happened?
Sure, there was Hurricane Sandy. But that doesn’t count. Sandy was a natural disaster that dominated the headlines for a few days, but it wasn’t a scandal. And yes, there was Benghazi. But that happened in early September, and it wasn’t so much a political scandal uncovered by partisan operatives as it was the umpteenth example of Obama’s incompetence. Whatever Benghazi blowback he’s gotten damaging his election chances are entirely his own responsibility for bungling an international crisis. So, no, neither one of those counted as an October Surprise.
Which left many people scratching their heads. Why wasn’t there one? For either candidate?
In Mitt Romney’s case, the answer is pretty obvious: He’s squeaky clean. His entire adult life has been like a boring treatise on Mormon moral rectitude. His political career has long been an open book — moderate, bipartisan, essentially uneventful. The Democrats have tried to squeeze some droplets of outrage over Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, but those attacks came earlier in the summer and turned out to be extremely slim pickin’s. There are no skeletons in Romney’s closet, otherwise we would have heard about them.
But in Barack Obama’s case, the situation is reversed: Everything he’s ever done is scandalous. The reason there was no October Surprise for Obama is that we’re all scandaled out. Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe. Almost every single thing Obama has done since he’s been in the national spotlight could have been and should have been a career-ending October Surprise. But the mainstream media, as we all know, has devoted itself to protecting him.
Not a day has gone by since Obama took office when I didn’t learn of some fresh outrage and say Oh. My. God. But we’ve been traumatized so often that over time the scandals have all blurred together and fused into a single red-hot thought: Please let this nightmare end.
A complete recounting of Obama’s shoulda-been October Surprises would fill a book, an encyclopedia, an entire library. But I think this is a good time to initiate a crowd-sourced list of everything Obama has done since 2008 (and every fact about his earlier life that emerged since 2008) which you thought was scandalous, shocking or outrageous. Just for the record, let’s remind the world that every freakin’ day for the last four years has been an October Surprise.
I’ll get the ball rolling with a few scandalous deeds and facts which occur to me at the moment, but this list will primarily come from you, the readers. In the comments section below, mention anything and everything that you believe should have ruined Obama politically (if the media had been doing its job). From the big to the small, from the recent to the distant, dig deep in your memory and just let it all out, like political primal scream therapy.
I’ll continuously update the list as best as I can to include whatever gets mentioned by the commenters.
Ready? Let the collective scream begin!
The Complete List of Barack Obama’s Scandals, Misdeeds, Crimes and Blunders
• $6 trillion in new national debt under Obama…after he promised to decrease the deficit.
• Obamacare — A massive and incredibly convoluted bill which exponentially increases the federal government’s control over our personal lives…which neither Obama nor a single Democrat even read before passing, and which will likely bankrupt the nation.
• In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Obama campaign purposely disabled the credit card verification system for its Web site donations, allowing anyone from any foreign country to donate with no limit and no proof of identity; in both elections it was demonstrated that people overseas and people with obviously false identities were able to donate to Obama campaign, in direct violation of several laws. To this day it is not known what percentage of Obama’s campaign funds are illegally obtained, since there is no documentation.
• Billions of taxpayer dollars gambled on “green” companies like Solyndra, NextEra, Ener1, Solar Trust and many others — all of which went bankrupt.
• An intentional refusal to enforce federal immigration laws.
• Unemployment at or above 8% for almost his entire term in office (which was actually closer to 15% actual unemployment).
• Operation Fast & Furious — a government-sponsored illegal gun-running scheme designed to purposely go awry so as to induce public outcry for gun control.
Great moment when Colmes asks Coulter “have you ever been wrong about anything?”
Hearing Ann argue her case–any case–is always entertaining. Her sense of humor and perspective is unshakable. Even her off-handed comebacks display confidence, virtuosity, and of course, salesmanship. When Coulter’s got a book out, she’ll pop up just about anywhere. When she’s writing a book, she disappears for months at a time. Good to have her out stirring things up.
The clip is audio only, but it’s worth a few minutes. She’s making Colmes sweat. He refers to the offending word as the “R-word”. Priceless.
On October 2, the day before the first debate, Mitt Romney trailed Barack Obama in the Real Clear Politics poll average by 3.3 percentage points. Today, just before the second debate, Romney led by 0.4 points—almost a 4-point swing in two weeks. What now?
Probably, not much for the next few days. Obama may have stopped Romney’s momentum, but its hard to believe he reversed it. So were likely to have a dead-even race going into the third and final debate Monday night. That potentially decisive debate is on foreign policy. So, after all the talk about how this election was inevitably and only going to be about the economy, foreign policy could well be the tie breaker.
Foreign policy isnt Romneys natural subject. Its not his comfort zone. And its always more difficult for the challenger. Good. Romney will have to rise to the occasion. He should be able to make the case against Obamas foreign policy, and for his alternative. It isn’t unreasonable that he be asked to. After all, within months after being sworn in Romney or Obama will have to make important decisions on Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran.
So if Romney cant win the foreign policy debate, he probably wont win. If he can, if he rises to the challenge, hell deserve victory, and hell probably achieve it.
Good item by Kathy Shaidle
Mugged and Ann Coulter Derangement Syndrome, Part 2:
Arguing with Coulter-haters is futile because their reaction to her is visceral, not logical
Like all her books, this one is difficult to write about in a thousand words or less.
They’re always packed with quotable quotes, shocking discoveries from MSM archives, little-known historical nuggets — and infuriating stylistic tics like speed-bumping serious arguments with sarcastic, and sometimes obtuse, jokes.
So I’m back with more about Mugged, along with an investigation into what I call Coulter Derangement Syndrome, or CDS.
You know what I mean:Ann Coulter’s very existence sets millions of folks off.
Some of those people even call themselves conservative.
What’s that about?
And how does CDS impact the reception for, and potential impact of, Mugged?
via PJ Lifestyle
- Ann Coulter Interview Part III: ‘I Don’t Know Any Racists Other Than the Ones Hosting Shows on MSNBC’ (newsbusters.org)
- Video: Whoopi cusses out Ann Coulter (wnd.com)
- Ann Coulter And Bill Maher Duke It Out Over Racism, Obama, And Romney Flip-Flopping (mediaite.com)
- Microsoft Accidentally Tweets Anti-Ann Coulter Message to Nearly 300,000 Followers (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
…STOP WITH THE SMIRKING ALREADY: “We’re about thirty minutes into the debate and already Vide President Joe Biden is receiving pretty tough reviews for his bizarre smiling and smirking as debate moderator Martha Raddatz talks about issues as serious as Iran getting a nuclear weapon,” John Nolte writes at Big Journalism, with several Tweets from non-official representatives of the Obama campaign quoted.
- Biden looks to avenge Obama in VP debate (metronews.ca)
- Can Joe Biden Save Barack Obama? (slate.com)
- ACLU pressuring vice presidential debate moderator to emphasize GOP ‘War on Women’
- Romney’s War on Contraception
- David Cameron declares ‘war on unfairness, injustice and bureaucracy‘
- Romney’s ‘War on Public TV’
- Don’t Get Sidetracked by the Phoney ‘War on Women‘
- PETA wages ‘War on Pokemon’
- (and my favorite…) Rabbis step up ‘War on Smartphones’
This is too good not to reproduce in full. If this is just a sampling of Amy’s intended skirmishes, I look forward to seeing more of the battle plan. I’d go into oncoming fire with Amy Luntz anytime, with this list scribbled on my palm…
I was unaware that, as a Republican, I had declared a “war” on children, Sesame Street, the poor, etc. I’m still confused how I, as a woman, am declaring a war on my own gender, but I digress. However, since declaring a fictional “war” is the thing to do, I’m making a declaration here and now. I’m firing the first shots in what I’ve dubbed the “War on Political Correctness.” A sampling of my intended skirmishes is below.
- Climate Change (n): A term used to explain any sort of weather phenomenon that can be exploited by Al Gore. Government regulation usually follows. (Synonym: Global Warming.)
- Workplace Violence (n): Term used to label any sort of violence perpetrated by Islamic extremists shouting “Allahu Akbar.” These episodes are not affiliated with extreme religious sentiments; rather, they are secular and rare. (Synonym: Act of Terror)
- Undocumented (adj): The name for people from other countries, who through no fault of their own, were “crossed” by the border. Saying “they crossed the border” or “they broke the law” is racist. (Synonym: Illegal)
- Holiday (n): A secular celebration designed to preserve the feelings of progressive atheists while maintaining every American’s “right” not to be offended. (Synonyms: Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan)
- Tolerance (n,v): The acceptance of all left-leaning ideas regardless of any hint of radicalsim or moral corruption. Right-leaning ideas, however, are not to be tolerated. Rather, conservatism is labeled as “bigoted.” (Synonym: Intolerance)
- Social Justice: A touchy-feely term designed to act as a chameleon on our psyches. It means what you want it to mean. Often is synonymous with redistribution of wealth. (Synonym: Marxism)
- Reproductive Right (n): An imaginary right invented by liberal feminists like to ensure that abortion is universally available. Also serves as Sandra Fluke’s excuse to beg for free birth control. (Synonym: Social Liberalism)
- Economic Patriotism (n): No definition provided. Used to make tax hikes sound warm and fuzzy. (Synonym: Whatever the heck Barack Obama wants it to mean.)
- Pro-Choice: The right to choose to murder your unborn child. Not applicable in cases of diet nannyism. (Synonym: Pro-Abortion)
- Fair Share: The amount of money paid by wealthy job creators designed to punish them for their success. Often used alongside “class warfare.” (Synonym: Whatever those in power determine as “fair.”)
I’m throwing out the dictionary of liberal “politically correct” terms. In my newly declared War on Political Correctness, my weapon of choice is rhetoric; accurate, forceful rhetoric. The influx of political correctness into our daily lives has taken the teeth out of the English Language. Instead, we’ve become a nation so afraid of offending someone else that our language has become more vanilla than Ned Flanders. We cannot progress without an accurate exchange of ideas and if we’re allowing the left to determine our narrative with their own language, we’re bound to lose. Thus, I urge you to put the backbone back in our language. Rhetorical cowardice is not becoming.
Before running for political office, Barack Obama was a stubborn dreamer with a literary bent. Mostly he dreamed of living a better life story, even if that meant scrubbing away the blemishes of reality. Part of his appeal was the way he emerged from adversity unsullied. He was better than that. And with his help, we could be too.
That was Obama’s pitch to America. He would allow all of us to escape the mundane reality of politics, to live that better story with him, and erase the messiness of the past and present—just as he had done for himself. In Dreams from My Father, Obama’s 1995 book about his itinerant childhood and work as a community organizer in Chicago, the pre-presidential candidate recalls his grandfather’s habit of rewriting uncomfortable truths about his own history in order to produce a better future. Obama, who as a child lived with his grandparents for many years, admits to picking up the habit himself: “It was this desire of his to obliterate the past,” he writes, “this confidence in the possibility of remaking the world from whole cloth, that proved to be his most lasting patrimony.”
Obama applied that very American tradition to politics. His campaigns would be about making the world a better place—more personable, less racially charged, more united in goals and respectful in temperament—more true, in other words, to the story we all wanted to believe about America. The ugliness of politics past would lose its grip on the reimagined future.
But the power to imagine is not the power to accomplish. Vague, high-minded goals get sullied when translated into specific, practical policies. Nearly a full term of a moribund economy has turned the words hope and change into bitter punch lines. As time passes, the suspicion grows that the same narrative gift that made Obama so interesting and fresh in the mid-1990s contained the seeds of his failure as a president. Storytelling, it turns out, is no substitute for governance, and nothing ruins a promising writer faster than the practice of wielding power. As the allure of Obama’s dreams wears off, so has the allure of his presidency. Obama promised to change politics; instead, politics changed him…
- Swing-state stunner: ‘Dreams’ mailed to 2.7 million (wnd.com)
- Dreaming of a Father: (brothersjuddblog.com)
- Obama didn’t join Wright’s church to follow Jesus (wnd.com)
- 10 Dates to Remember from Barack Obama’s Amazing First Term (conservativeread.com)
- Obama, Who’s Your Daddy? (americanthinker.com)
That was fast: Before the debate, Mark Halperin said the press corps was itching to write the Romney comeback story. It turns out what they were really itching to write was the Obama-comeback-from-the-Romney-comeback story. You know, something like “How Obama reset his campaign.” … Glenn Thrush of Politico has, in fact, already written it: There’s already a “new narrative.” A “whipsaw transformation.” Obama “was radically different Thursday—not just calm but buoyant, loose, focused.” He gripped the podium with a fresh intensity! “That’s what he does when he’s really into it,” a “top” Obama adviser revealed.
…The Romney revival lasted, what, 12 hours? What appeared to be a neutral press yearning for a good horse race is looking more like the screenwriter’s need to throw some minimal obstacles in the hero’s path in order to make his ultimate triumph all the more satisfying…
via >> The Daily Caller
If President Obama wins reelection by three or four Electoral College votes next month, the reason may be simple: noncitizens, mostly immigrants, who don’t have the right to vote. No, I’m not talking about his immigration policy or his popularity with Latinos. Nor does this have anything to do with voter fraud. Rather, an Obama victory could hinge on a quirk in the Constitution that gives noncitizens, a group that includes illegal immigrants and legal permanent residents, a say in electing the president of the United States…
via >> The Washington Post
“…All Americans value liberty, but libertarians seem to value it more. For social conservatives, liberty is often a means to the end of rolling back the welfare state, with its lax morals and redistributive taxation, so liberty can be infringed in the bedroom. For liberals, liberty is a way to extend rights to groups perceived to be oppressed, so liberty can be infringed in the boardroom. But for libertarians, liberty is an end in itself, trumping all other moral values…”
In a recently published paper, Ravi Iyer from the University of Southern California, together with Dr. Haidt and other researchers at the data-collection platform YourMorals.org, dissect the personalities of those who describe themselves as libertarian…
- Libertarians Do Too Have Morals: Just Different (Better) Ones From Those of Liberals and Conservatives (reason.com)
- Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death: The Libertarian Case for Euthanasia (txwclp.org)
- Poll Shows Romney Winning High Water Mark for Libertarian Vote (cato-at-liberty.org)
This video of an Obama supporter bragging about having an “Obama phone” has gone viral on the web, but where do these “free cell phones” come from?
The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984 was originally created to subside landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.
In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones which quickly escalated the cost of the program. In 2008 the program cost $772 million, but by 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.
A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Several websites have been created to promote “free” government cell phones, including the”The Obama Cell Phone” website at Obamaphone.net.
Rep. Tim Griffin R-Ark. has proposed a bill to eliminate federal subsidies for free cell phones and has produced a great YouTube video highlighting the runaway cost of the program. The program has also been highlighted for reform by Senator Claire McCaskill D-Mo.
Pressure to reform the program led the FCC to announce an effort in February to “reduce the potential for fraud while cutting red tape for consumers and providers” by the end of 2013.
Via >> WashingtonExaminer.com.
…Conversely, how much do taxpayers save by eliminating one federal bureaucrat position?
When politicians claim that they will save money by “in-sourcing” federal functions from contractors, or will respond to some new need by expanding the federal workforce, that has a cost to taxpayers.
How much is that cost?
Read on, via >> Americans for Tax Reform …
…in its own special New York way…
CBO CONCLUDES: OBAMA’S CRONY VENTURE SOCIALISM A FAILURE
”The CBO has concluded that electric cars are not a “smart” choice for consumers. From the report:
Because of differences in vehicle design and technology, electric vehicles cost thousands of dollars more to purchase than conventional vehicles of comparable size and performance.
Okay, the cars cost too much. What does the government do? It subsidizes the inefficiency. It pays a cash incentive for each vehicle sold. The subsidy is based on the size of the battery; it ranges from $2,500 to $7,500. But the subsidy is still not enough to make electric cars competitive:
Given current prices for vehicles and fuel, in most cases the existing tax credits do not fully offset the higher lifetime costs of an electric vehicle compared with those of an equivalent conventional vehicle or traditional hybrid.
The tax credits would still need to be about 50 percent higher than they are now to fully offset the higher lifetime costs of an all-electric vehicle.
I know that someone is thinking that gas prices are going up, and when they do, electric cars will prove to be a smart thing. I’m not so sure. The CBO provided a breakeven on this line of thinking. If gas prices go north of $6, electric starts to make sense. When gas goes to $10, all of the vehicles break even to conventional autos. The problem I have with this line of reasoning is that if gas were to go to $8, the US economy and the rest of the world would come to an economic halt. In that environment a fellow would be grinning if he had an electric car, but he would probably be out of work, and most of the stores he would want to drive to would be closed. What good does the electric car create for him if things go very bad? Not much.
Then tell that to Obama, Steven Chu, his Energy Secretary, Tom Brokaw of NBC, and the editorial writers at the New York Times and the Washington Post, because in 2008, they all called for higher gas prices — and Chu specifically said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” which would have meant just those $9.00 gas prices — or more…
More >> via Instapundit
The press is melting; circulation and ads sales at most legacy outlets are steadily falling, and the public trusts the product less and ignores it more. In a recent Gallup poll a record 60 percent of respondents replied “not very much” or “not at all” when asked how much they trusted the news media to tell the truth fully and fairly.The public is right to be skeptical.
There are some great individual reporters —like Mary Williams Walsh who covers state pensions at the New York Times— but increasingly the good stuff is hard to find. Too much of what appears falls considerably short of what journalism at its best can be…
On Saturday night, State Department spokesperson Philipe Reines slammed CNN for its “disgusting” handling of Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ diary. The diary helped confirm, as the network reported, that Stevens had been worried about the threat of an Al Qaeda attack, and even feared his own name was included on a hit list.
The blockbuster news contradicted the line the State Department and the administration had been pushing since the horrible tragedy took place almost two weeks ago: that there was no intelligence of a coming attack. In fact, the Ambassador himself was aware of a persistent high level threat against him.
“Perhaps the real question here,” CNN responded to the State Department criticism, “Is why is the State Department now attacking the messenger.”
That is the real question, and State Department’s bizarre criticism of CNN gives clues to the answer…
…the fiasco appears to be largely — if not entirely — a State Department botch. It was the State Department that failed to provide its ambassador adequate security; it was the State Department that fled Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack, apparently failing to clear or secure the scene, leaving Stevens diary behind; and it was State that had taken the lead on the ground after the Libya intervention…
Companies are usually accountable to no one but their shareholders.Internet companies are a different breed. Because they traffic in speech — rather than, say, corn syrup or warplanes — they make decisions every day about what kind of expression is allowed where. And occasionally they come under pressure to explain how they decide, on whose laws and values they rely, and how they distinguish between toxic speech that must be taken down and that which can remain.
The storm over an incendiary anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube has stirred fresh debate on these issues..
More >> via Free Speech in the Age of YouTube – NYTimes.com…
This week, Breitbart News offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who produced the infamous 2003 tapes of Barack Obama at an event honoring Palestinian anti-Israel radical Rashid Khalidi. And today, James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times took to his keyboard today to write a diatribe defending the Times’ refusal to make public those tapes. While Rainey gives several justifications for not releasing the tape itself – guarding the source of the tape being the most prevalent – he offers no justification for why the Times refuses to offer even a complete transcript of that evening’s events…
U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High
Fewer Americans closely following political news now than in previous election years
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.
Mitt Romney’s campaign released his 2011 tax information this afternoon, as well as a notarized letter from PriceWaterhouseCoopers attesting to Romney’s tax rates from 1990-2009, and I must say: Well played, Romney campaign. Well played, indeed. The Democrats have been making a federal case of Romney’s supposed “tax secrecy,” with countless ads and speeches and the voice in Harry Reid’s head making Romney out to be a greedy, tax-evading corporate mastermind of epic proportions, but the Romney camp just let them huff and puff until they wore themselves out, and now they’re releasing the information on their terms. I’m sure the Democrats will find some stupid, populist way to continue to criticize Romney over this, but… BAZINGA:
Regarding the newly-filed 2011 Tax Return:
-In 2011, the Romneys paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951 in mostly investment income.
-The Romneys’ effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1%.
-The Romneys donated $4,020,772 to charity in 2011, amounting to nearly 30% of their income.
-The Romneys claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions. …
Regarding the PWC letter covering the Romneys’ tax filings over 20 years, from 1990 – 2009:
-In each year during the entire 20-year period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes.
-Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.
-Over the entire 20-year period, the lowest annual effective federal personal tax rate was 13.66%.
-Over the entire 20-year period, the Romneys gave to charity an average of 13.45% of their adjusted gross income.
-Over the entire 20-year period, the total federal and state taxes owed plus the total charitable donations deducted represented 38.49% of total AGI.
During the 20-year period covered by the PWC letter, Gov. and Mrs. Romney paid 100 percent of the taxes that they owed.
via Hot Air.
Using riots, mayhem, and murder to “protest” an asinine trailer for an anti-Mohammad video on the Internet, the Middle East’s mobs, assassins, and hostile regimes have vetoed freedom of speech in the United States. Not only did America’s overseas diplomatic officers and staff have to hunker down under siege for a week, individual citizens here at home have good reason to fear that if they criticize the wrong religion, the response could be catastrophic for themselves, for others, or both. Neither the First Amendment nor the United States government, it seems, can do much about it.
I’ve seen this sort of thing before in another context. In the wake of the Beirut Spring in 2005, when massive demonstrations forced the end of Syria’s military occupation, Lebanon had decent provisions for freedom of speech—at least by regional standards and at least on paper. The country was theoretically free. But free speech was extra-legally and extra-judicially nullified by terrorists backed by a foreign police state. A wave of car bombs targeted journalists, activists, and officials critical of Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad. Everyone needed to watch what he said. Those who didn’t might be killed.
This is the terrorist’s veto. Now it’s our turn. A week after region-wide riots started in Cairo, Hezbollah sent half a million supporters into the streets of Beirut’s southern suburbs, ostensibly to protest the trailer for the now-infamous movie on YouTube. The mob screamed the same tired slogans we’re accustomed to hearing—“Death to America” and “Death to Israel”—but Hezbollah’s secretary general Hassan Nasrallah said something new. “The U.S. should understand that if it broadcasts the film in full it will face very dangerous repercussions around the world.”
Hezbollah is technologically advanced and media-savvy. Nasrallah knows perfectly well that when an individual uploads a video to YouTube, it doesn’t count as “the United States broadcasting a film.” That’s actually his point. He’s not threatening the United States in the abstract. He’s threatening you. If you insult Hassan Nasrallah’s religion on the Internet, terrorists may come after you.
You’re kidding yourself if you think he’s bluffing or that this is just talk. He’s not and it isn’t. There are precedents…
It’s now three years since the Cairo speech. Look around. The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism. From Tunisia to Lebanon, American schools, businesses, and diplomatic facilities set ablaze. A U.S. ambassador and three others murdered in Benghazi. The black flag of Salafism, of which al-Qaeda is a prominent element, raised over our embassies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Sudan.
The administration, staggered and confused, blames it all on a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen and which may not even exist. What else can it say? Admit that its doctrinal premises were supremely naïve and its policies deeply corrosive to American influence?
Religious provocations are endless. (Ask Salman Rushdie.) Resentment about the five-century decline of the Islamic world is a constant. What’s new — the crucial variable — is the unmistakable sound of a superpower in retreat…
More via >> Charles Krauthammer…
“…Americans are not a skeptical people. But we could use a double shot of skepticism right now. Half of what experts say about this ongoing campaign makes no sense. Romney does make mistakes, does have weaknesses–but in light of recent presidential history, they are trivial. Obama is said to have great personal strengths, and he has—but not the ones he is said to have…”
via >> Power Line.
“…the real news in the census is how traditional we still are. More than two-thirds of us (67 per cent) still live in married-couple families. We still believe in getting hitched – we just put it off till later. If that’s not a vote of confidence for the most ancient and conservative of social institutions, I don’t know what is…”
More… >> The Globe and Mail