Posts Tagged ‘elections’


February 2, 2012

The Florida Smear Campaign


Thomas Sowell(Thomas Sowell) – The Republican establishment is pulling out all the stops to try to keep Newt Gingrich from becoming the party’s nominee for president of the United States — and some are not letting the facts get in their way.

Among the claims going out through the mass media in Florida, on the eve of that state’s primary election, is that Newt Gingrich “resigned in disgrace” as speaker of the House of Representatives as a result of unethical conduct involving the diversion of tax-exempt money. Mitt Romney is calling on Gingrich to release “all of the records” from the congressional investigation.

Advertisement But the Wall Street Journal of January 28, 2012, reported that these records — 1,280 pages of them — are already publicly available online. Although Speaker Gingrich decided not to take on the task of fighting the charge from his political enemies in 1997, the Internal Revenue Service conducted its own investigation which, two years later, exonerated Gingrich from the charges. His resignation was not due to those charges and occurred much later.

Do the Romney camp and the Republican establishment not know this, a dozen years later? Or are they far less concerned with whether the charges will stand up than they are about smearing Gingrich on the eve of the Florida primaries?

There are also charges made about what Congressman Gingrich said about Ronald Reagan on March 21, 1986. But this too is a matter of public record, since his remarks are available in the Congressional Record of that date, so it is remarkable that there should be any controversy about it at this late date.

On that date, Gingrich praised Reagan’s grasp of the foreign-policy issues of the day but later questioned whether the way the actual policies of the Reagan administration were being carried out was likely to succeed. Gingrich was not alone in making this point, which such conservative stalwarts as George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and others made at the time.

Since a column of my own back in the 1980s suggested that the administration’s policies seemed to be to “speak loudly and carry a little stick,” I can well understand the misgivings of others. But that is wholly different from saying that all who expressed misgivings were enemies of Ronald Reagan.

One can of course lift things out of context. But if you want to read the whole context, simply go online and get the Congressional Record for March 21, 1986. Among the other places where the smears are exposed are the Wall Street Journal of January 29, Jeffrey Lord’s article on the American Spectator’s blog of January 27, and an article by Heather Higgins on of January 29.

Unfortunately, there are likely to be far more people who will see the smears than will have time to get the facts. But, if nothing else, there needs to be some understanding of the reckless accusations that have become part of the all-out attempt to destroy Newt Gingrich, as so many other political figures have been destroyed, by non-stop smears in the media.

Gingrich is by no means above criticism. He has been criticized in this column before over the years, including during the current primary season, and he will probably be criticized here again.

But the poisonous practice of irresponsible smears is an issue that is bigger than Gingrich, Romney, or any other candidate of either party.

There have long been reports of people who decline to be nominated for federal judicial appointments because that means going before the Senate Judiciary Committee to have lies about their past spread nationwide, and the good reputation built up over a lifetime destroyed by politicians who could not care less about the truth.

The same practices may well have something to do with the public’s dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates in this year’s primaries — and in previous years’ primaries. Character assassination is just another form of voter fraud.

There is no law against it, so it is up to the voters, not only in Florida but in other states, to punish it at the ballot box — the only place where punishment is likely to stop the practice.


Who is killing the JOB MARKET?

January 17, 2012

President Obama says his healthcare “reform” will be good for business.

Business has learned the truth.

Three successful businessmen explained to me how Obamacare is a reason that unemployment stays high. Its length and complexity make businessmen wary of expanding.

Mike Whalen, CEO of Heart of America Group, which runs hotels and restaurants, said that when he asked his company’s health insurance experts to summarize the impact of Obamacare, “the three of them kind of looked at each other and said, ‘We’ve gone to seminar after seminar, and, Mike, we can’t tell you.’ I think that just kind of sums up the uncertainty.”

Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, added that Obamacare makes it impossible to achieve even basic certainty about future personnel costs:
“If I was trying to get you to fund a new business I had started and you asked me what my payroll was going to be three years from now per employee, if I went to the deepest specialist in the industry, he can’t tell me what it’s actually going to cost, let alone what I’m going to be responsible for.”

You would think a piece of legislation more than a thousand pages long would at least be clear about the specifics. But a lot of those pages say: “The secretary will determine . . . ” That means the secretary of health and human services will announce the rules sometime in the future.
How can a business make plans in such a fog?

John Allison, former CEO of BB&T, the 12th biggest bank in America, pointed out how Obamacare encourages employers not to insure their employees. Under the law, an employer would be fined for that. But the penalty at present — about $2,000 — is lower than the cost of a policy.

“What that means is in theory every company ought to dump their plan on the government plan and pay the penalty,” he said. “So you don’t really know what the cost is because it’s designed to fail.”

Of course, then every employee would turn to the government-subsidized health insurance. Maybe that was the central planners’ intention all along.

An owner of 12 IHOPS told me that he can’t expand his business because he can’t afford the burden of Obamacare. Many of his waitresses work part time or change jobs every few months.

He hadn’t been insuring them, but Obamacare requires him to. He says he can’t make money paying a $2,000 penalty for every waitress, so he’s cancelled his plans to expand. It’s one more reason why job growth hasn’t picked up post-recession.

Of course, we were told that government health care would increase hiring. After all, European companies don’t have to pay for their employees’ health insurance.

If every American employer paid the $2,000 penalty and their workers turned to government for insurance, American companies would be better able to compete with European ones. They might save $10,000 per employee.

That sounded good, but like so many politicians’ promises, it leaves out the hidden costs. When countries move to a government-funded system, taxes rise to crushing levels, as they have in Europe.

Whalen sees Obamacare as a crossing of the Rubicon.

“We’ve had an agreement in this country, kind of unwritten, for the last 50 years, that we would spend about 18 to 19 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) on the federal government. This is a tipping point. This takes us to 25 to 30 percent. And that money comes out of the private sector. That means fewer jobs. This is a game-changer.”

He means it’s a game-changer because of the cost. But the law’s impenetrable complication does almost as much damage.

Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute is right: If you wonder why businesspeople are not investing and reviving the economy, the answer lies in all the question marks that Obamacare and other new regulations confront them with.

Higgs calls this “regime uncertainty.” It’s also what prolonged the Great Depression.

No one who understands the nature of government as the wielder of force — as opposed to the peaceful persuasion of the free market — is surprised by this.

John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “Give Me a Break” and of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.”

Read more on Fog of Obamacare Clouds Business Planning
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama’s Re-Election? Vote Here Now!


January 12, 2012

Notice how Mitt is not in the loop.

3 billionaires who’ll drag out the race By: Kenneth P. Vogel January 12, 2012 04:42 AM EST

Meet the three billionaires who could drag out the GOP presidential primary, bloody up front-runner Mitt Romney and weaken the odds of defeating President Barack Obama: Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and Jon Huntsman, Sr.

The three men are contributing millions of dollars to a trio of outside groups flooding the airwaves in early voting states with brutal ads attacking Romney and ads backing the candidates they would prefer to win the Republican nomination.

Adelson, a Las Vegas casino mogul, has written a $5 million check — and has considered giving much more — to a so-called super PAC backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.

Huntsman, Sr., who made his fortune at the helm of an eponymous chemical and manufacturing company, reportedly has invested millions in a super PAC supporting the presidential bid of his son, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr.

And Friess, a Wyoming mutual fund master, acknowledged to POLITICO that he is a major financial backer of a super PAC supporting Rick Santorum called the Red, White and Blue Fund and is preparing to give more, but declined to say how much he has given or plans to give.

Operatives say that without the super PAC air cover funded by these deep-pocketed political patrons and their associates, their favored candidates would have a tough time keeping their bare-bones campaigns going as long as they have — let alone beyond the next couple of contests in South Carolina and Florida.

The prospect that these candidates could carry on is a testament to the new world of campaign money ushered in by a pair of federal court rulings in 2010: A single wealthy donor can now prop up a presidential campaign with unlimited cash, even if the candidate is getting little traction with voters.

“I guess if Newt’s got $5 million, it makes sense that Rick [Santorum] should have a little bit,” said Friess, who has known Santorum since the 1990s and shares his conservative views on social and foreign policy issues. He became among the first major donors to the Red, White and Blue Fund because, he said, “I believe that Rick Santorum is the most electable candidate. And I’m just thrilled to be able to have played a role so far.”

Friess did not shy away from the characterization that the $537,000 spent by the Red, White and Blue Fund in Iowa — which dwarfed the $22,000 spent by Santorum’s campaign on ads in the state — helped propel Santorum to a close second to Romney in the state’s caucuses. But Friess laughed off a story on the liberal Daily Kos headlined “Meet Foster Friess, Billionaire Who Bought Iowa for Santorum.”

“I told my wife ‘Wow, I got a bargain,’” he said, noting that the super PACs and campaigns supporting Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent far more and asserting that such a headline “completely discounts that Rick Santorum went to 381 town halls” in the run-up to the caucuses.


Friess conceded that Santorum lacks a big donor network that can compete with “the cadre of pals like Perry or Romney” has, who have filled the coffers of super PACs backing their respective campaigns.

The propping up of super PACs by Adelson, Friess and Huntsman, Sr., has some establishment Republicans grumbling privately that the men may be hurting the party by setting the stage for a long and damaging primary battle that won’t block Romney from winning the nomination but will leave him limping into a general election tilt.

Some have even made veiled threats of retribution, if the men don’t back off.

But allies of Gingrich, Santorum and Huntsman dismiss the concerns about a long and damaging primary as self-serving efforts to align big donors behind Romney. And they point to the protracted and bitter 2008 Democratic presidential primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to prove that such battles can actually help the party.

The idea that a competitive primary should be avoided “goes back forever and it’s a specious argument that has no basis in fact,” said Rick Tyler, a former Gingrich aide who’s now running the Adelson-backed pro-Gingrich super PAC, which is called Winning Our Future.

In fact, Obama’s allies have at times seemed to be working in tandem with Romney’s Republican foes, particularly the pro-Gingrich super PAC backed by Adelson, which is called Winning Our Future. It’s spending millions of dollars in South Carolina airing hard-hitting ads derived from a half-hour documentary that depicts Romney as a cold-hearted vulture for his days heading an investment firm called Bain Capital.

Adelson hasn’t seen the documentary or the ads, said a spokesman, who declined to comment Wednesday on the hand-wringing by Republicans worried about the impact of his super PAC giving.

But last month, when he was talking with operatives about opening his checkbook wide to Winning Our Future, Adelson told POLITICO that his political efforts were motivated by his support for Gingrich, rather than antipathy toward any other candidate.

“I’m a guy who practices loyalty,” said Adelson, a 78-year-old worth upward of $20 billion, who’s been friendly with Gingrich since the mid-1990s, when the former Georgia congressman was speaker of the House. They’ve bonded over a shared enmity for labor unions and support for Israel, and Adelson was the biggest donor — giving $7.7 million — to Gingrich’s main political vehicle over the past few years, the now-defunct fundraising juggernaut American Solutions for Winning the Future.

“I wouldn’t step away from Gingrich because I think another candidate is the best. I think that Gingrich is the best candidate and he’ll make the best president,” Adelson said in a telephone interview. “That doesn’t mean that the other guys would make lousy presidents, OK? But on a scale of one to 10, I got to make a priority of who I think will make the best president.” If Gingrich doesn’t win the nomination, Adelson said, “I would certainly support the Republican candidate. The idea is to avoid another four years of Obama, because this won’t be the same country.”

While Adelson described himself as “the kind of guy that would prefer to stay under the radar,” both Friess and the elder Huntsman have taken more public roles in the campaigns of their beneficiaries.

Friess campaigned with Santorum in the days before the Iowa caucuses, speaking on behalf of the former Pennsylvania senator at a local event, then scoring a prime spot on stage behind the candidate during his triumphant speech after his second-place caucus finish.

A longtime donor to social conservative causes dear to Santorum, Friess and his wife Lynn, both 71, built a $15.7 billion investment management firm. He told POLITICO that he is putting together a challenge grant to encourage other wealthy donors to give to the Red, White and Blue Fund, which he said received a $1 million check Wednesday.

The group intends to announce Thursday that it has bought $600,000 more in ad time in South Carolina, bringing its total buy to about $800,000 in the state, which is considered fertile ground for Santorum’s socially conservative message. The ads — combined with a Santorum campaign buy in the Palmetto State fueled by a post-Iowa fundraising surge — offer a distinctly different feel for a campaign that has scraped to get by.


The Red, White and Blue Fund’s ads have been positive, pro-Santorum messages to date, and, though Friess conceded “negative ads are more impactful five to one,” he said he’s told the operatives running the super PAC that “any money that I’m connected to, I want the ads to be dignified, and I want them to be honest. I’m fine with contrast ads, but I’m very, very adverse to some of the ads that I think are destructive.”

Suggesting he was uncomfortable with Winning Our Future’s attacks on Romney, he praised Santorum for being “the only competitor who didn’t jump on that bandwagon to stomp on Romney.”

Jon Huntsman, Sr., has been a presence throughout the campaign of his son, and they appeared most recently together on stage at a Manchester, N.H., restaurant during a Tuesday night party celebrating the son’s third-place finish in the Granite State.

Our Destiny PAC, the super PAC supporting Huntsman, aired more than $2 million worth of ads in New Hampshire supporting Huntsman and ripping Romney. And while Huntsman has declared himself “mighty thankful” for the “air cover,” he also has said he and his father do not discuss Our Destiny or campaign strategy — communications prohibited under election rules barring coordination between campaigns and super PACs.

The elder Huntsman “communicates daily with his son” and “continue[s] to be a major contributor” to Our Destiny, said Fred Davis, a veteran GOP adman who is a key adviser to the super PAC.

But the father has “no official role” and “no unofficial role” with the super PAC, Davis said, adding that neither Huntsman, Sr., nor any of the other donors have any input in the PAC’s decisions.

“Only the board [has],” he said. The donors are told only “that they are helping the candidacy of Jon Huntsman. They trust the organization and professionals to spend the money wisely,” Davis said.

As for concerns raised like those raised by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that the flow of unlimited cash to outside groups “will lead to corruption and scandals,” both Adelson and Friess said they neither want, nor expect anything in return for their support of Gingrich and Santorum, respectively, though Friess cracked that he might want to be ambassador to Zimbabwe.


But Romney allies and others in the conservative establishment in recent days have suggested that the super PACs supporting Huntsman and Gingrich could be vulnerable to Federal Election Commission complaints alleging violations of the coordination rules.

Friess called the FEC rules “goofy government regulations” but said he’s not worried about being targeted by a coordination complaint, explaining he neither knows “what the [Santorum] campaign is doing” nor tells Santorum “what I’m doing or what I’m thinking” about the super PAC. Nor is he worried about scrutiny from Santorum opponents, he said, proclaiming “so far, I’m getting a big kick out of” the attention brought by his donations to the pro-Santorum super PAC.

But Adelson’s camp seemed less amused when asked about recent comments by a top Romney surrogate, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who seemed to signal the possibility of retribution from Romney supporters.

“Does he think people don’t remember when you attack them and pay for the attacks in the primary? Especially when one of the parties receiving that attack is the same investment community that he likes to go to to finance his expansions,” Sununu railed on Fox News. “There’s just no common sense in this process, and you kind of feel sorry for people that aren’t that bright.”

While Adelson spokesman Ron Reese said his boss is “no more concerned about” heightened scrutiny resulting from his super PAC donations “than he is about having his iced tea in the afternoon,” he did take a swipe at Sununu.

“Mr. Adelson is one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the wealthiest people on the planet,” said Reese, “so apparently there’s still some hope for the ‘not so bright’.”



Best on point teaoartt event in NH for vets.

January 9, 2012

Evan Vucci/AP

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Evan Vucci/AP

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Talk with Tea Party leaders here in South Carolina and you quickly realize that the toughest job in the Mitt Romney campaign would be the assignment of doing outreach to these activists. Maybe not a mission impossible, but close.

They really want no part of Romney. And there appears to be little he could say  or do between now and Jan. 21, the date of the South Carolina primary, to change that.

The Massachusetts health law Romney enacted as governor with its individual mandate called Romneycare by critics is just one of several reasons they give for their animus.

There are Romney’s policy-position switches that some have less charitably called flip flops. And there’s Romney’s failure, at least in Tea Party activists’ eyes, to reach out to them directly.

“There’s no Tea Partier that I talk to in the state or nationally that would want to promote Romney,” said Karen Martin, who leads the Spartanburg Tea Party.  “Other than the people that have come out publicly and endorsed Mitt Romney and the people left over from his 2008 campaign, I do not personally know anyone that does not despise Mitt Romney and doesn’t hate the idea of him being our nominee…”

The Massachusetts health program with its individual mandate is both hated in its own right but also as a symbol of what, to Tea Party activists, is one of Romney’s greatest weaknesses, Martin said.

“Using that as a measurement of people’s distaste for him, it’s just the constant spinning that he’s had to do because of so many positions he’s held over the years and it’s really hard to pin him down on any core convictions,” Martin said.

“I think there’s one Tea Party member in Columbia who likes him,” meaning Romney, said Allen Olson, formerly the leader of the Columbia Tea Party who left to work on Newt Gingrich’s campaign. “But throughout the state, the rest of the Tea Party leaders, there’s not one who was seriously looking at him.”

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who came to power in 2010 partly on the energy of her Tea Party supporters, endorsed Romney. That apparently has not done much to change anything except the way Tea Partiers view Haley.

“We definitely feel betrayed by that,” Martin said.

“Mitt Romney, he’s a moderate, he’s actually not conservative,” said Dianne Belsom, president and founder of Laurens County Tea Party. I think most Tea Party people find that he doesn’t really represent our values.

“And he’s never made any effort, at least to my knowledge or in my personal experience, to reach out to the Tea Party in any way. Newt has done that. He’s actually been aboard the Tea Party since the beginning,” Belsom said. She added that in 2009 he was the keynote speaker in New York at one of the first Tea Party rallies in New York. Also, two years ago, Gingrich reached out and met with Tea Party leaders nationwide, Belsom included.

Another example. South Carolina’s Tea Party groups will hold their convention in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 16. It just so happens that a Republican presidential debate will take place in the same city that Monday.

Gingrich and Rick Santorum are scheduled to speak at the convention. Michele Bachmann was on the schedule, too, but now that she has exited the race, there would appear to be no reason for her to appear. All the candidates were invited, Belsom said.

Partly for his receptivity to the Tea Party movement, Belsom’s group endorsed Gingrich in the South Carolina primary race. Belsom and other Tea Party leaders in the Palmetto State say that  despite his difficulties in Iowa and national polls, Gingrich still has a very good chance of beating Romney in their state.

If Gingrich, who many view as the ultimate Washington insider, seems like an improbable figure for the very anti-establishment Tea Party to rally behind, consider this: some Tea Partiers now view Gingrich as an honorary outsider because of how thoroughly Washington insiders have been trying to politically destroy him.

“He was run out (of his speakership) by the Republican establishment, so to speak, the insiders,” Olson said. “Right now, everybody who’s coming out against him are Republican insiders. (John) Sununu, others who supposedly were working under him (as House speaker) who were part of forcing him out. So, in a sense it put Newt, even though he’s an insider, it put him on the outside, if that makes sense.”

If Gingrich or some other not-Romney fail to win the nomination, Tea Partiers say they will support Romney. (Some backed Bachmann before she bailed out.)

Their main goal is to limit President Obama to one term. But if they have to vote for the former Massachusetts governor, it will only be grudgingly.

No job, no money, no more BS. We need a new President

January 6, 2012

Not since at least 1960 has the US standard of living fallen so fast for so long. The average American has $1,315 less in annual disposable income now than at the onset of the Great Recession.
A long, steep drop for Americans’ standard of living
Some Americans still “Don’t Get It” and they probably never will unless they do some research. Information is POWER.  It’s not that difficult to VOTE SMART if you ignore the Political Party and concentrate on the qualifications of the candidate’s resume.  Voting is not a Right or a Duty, it’s more your  Responsibilty to honor the millions of American troops who gave their lives to PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS. Please honor our troops and VOTE SMART.

Bold Act my ass, it’s a pure act of tyranny

January 5, 2012

Washington Post scribes David Nakamura and Felicia Sonmez dutifully set out  today to paint President Obama as the hero of the masses for his “bold  act of political defiance” in naming “Richard Cordray as head a new consumer  watchdog agency Wednesday, bypassing Republican opposition in the Senate that  derailed his nomination last month.”

Nakamura and Sonmez waited until the 10th paragraph in their 33-paragraph  page A1 story to get to the Republican side of the argument, that “precedent,  over the past two decades, has been that no president can make such an  appointment during a recess of less than 10 days.”

Nakamura and Sonmez omitted, however, that the actual minimal threshold of  inactivity to constitute a Senate “recess” has been considered, since the days  of the Clinton Department of Justice, a length of at least three  days.

From “frequently  asked questions” brief published on December 12, 2011 by Henry Hogue of the  nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (emphases mine):

The Constitution does not specify the length of time that the Senate must  be in recess before the President may make a recess appointment. Over time, the  Department of Justice has offered differing views on this question, and no  settled understanding appears to exist. In 1993, however, a Department  of Justice brief implied that the President may make a recess appointment during  a recess of more than three days. In doing so, the brief linked the  minimum recess length with Article I, Section 5, clause 4 of the U.S.  Constitution. This “Adjournments Clause” provides that “Neither House, during  the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for  more than three days ….” Arguing that the recess during which the appointment  at issue in the case was made was of sufficient length, the brief stated:

If the recess here at issue were of three days or less,  a closer question would be presented. The Constitution restricts the Senate’s  ability to adjourn its session for more than three days without obtaining the  consent of the House of Representatives. … It might be argued that  this means that the Framers did not consider one, two and three day recesses to  be constitutionally significant. …

Apart from the three-day requirement noted above, the  Constitution provides no basis for limiting the recess to a specific number of  days. Whatever number of days is deemed required, that number would of necessity  be completely arbitrary.

The logic of the argument laid out in this brief appears to underlie  congressional practices, intended to block recess appointments, that were first  implemented during the 110th Congress.

In other words, President Obama is pushing the limits of his executive  recess appointment-making authority even further than the Clinton administration  dreamed possible.

Also left out of the consideration of the Post staff writers was the  concerns that Republican legislators and conservative critics have about the  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) itself, namely that it puts too much  authority into one person’s hands and that it’s not sufficiently accountable to  congressional oversight, as Diane  Katz of the conservative Heritage Foundation explained in April 2011  (emphasis mine):

Creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ranks among the  most contentious provisions of the vast Dodd–Frank financial regulation statute.  Largely unaccountable to Congress and imbued with sweeping powers, the agency is  the epitome of regulatory excess.

Legislation introduced last month by Representative Spencer Bachus (R–AL)  seeks to tame the CFPB by replacing its directorship with a bipartisan  commission. Although well-intended, the proposal falls short of the reforms  necessary to rein in the bureau.


Under current law, the CFPB is to be run by a single director,  nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, with a term of five  years. (The director may be removed by the President for cause.) While  more than 100 employees have been hired during the past five months, the White  House has not formally named a director. Instead, President Obama appointed  Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren to manage start-up of the bureau as his “special advisor” (read czar) given the long odds of her winning  confirmation.

Whether Warren or someone else takes the helm when the agency officially  opens on July 21, the director will exert enormous power: consolidated  and expanded regulatory authority over credit cards, mortgages, and a host of  other consumer financial products previously wielded by seven federal  agencies.

In place of a lone director, H.R.1121 would establish a five-member  commission, also nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, for  staggered five-year terms. No more than three commissioners could  represent a single political party, and a commission chairman would be appointed  by the President. A similar structure exists at the Federal Trade  Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Securities and  Exchange Commission.


Because the bureau is ensconced within the Federal Reserve, its  budget is not subject to congressional control. Instead, CFPB  funding is set by law at a fixed percentage of the Fed’s 2009 operating  budget—increasing from 10 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2013. (The bureau may  also request up to $200 million in additional funds from Congress.) This budgetary independence limits congressional oversight of the  agency. The CFPB’s status within the Fed also effectively precludes  presidential oversight, while the Federal Reserve is statutorily prohibited from “intervening” in bureau affairs.

Yet Nakamura and Sonmez noted simply that “Republican leaders” have “vowed  to dismantle” the CFPB. In the paragraphs immediately following, the Post  staffers published incendiary rhetoric from retiring Rep. Barney Frank  (D-Mass.), who compared Republican critics of the Obama recess appointment to  “arsonists” who would object to people “us[ing] the fire door to escape a  burning building.”

Read more:

United We Stand Divided We Fall

December 6, 2011

The message they sent you was:
Victory or Death? Pls share. This video is outstanding! Over 2.8 million views

government wConsidering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.aste, debt, dnc, newt, elections

November 30, 2011

Considering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.

When the one-year earmark moratorium was announced for fiscal year (FY) 2012, seasoned observers anticipated that earmarks would not disappear, but merely change shape.  Judging by the 15 appropriations bills that CAGW has analyzed thus far, this viewpoint has been corroborated.  Eleven of these bills contain earmarks, totaling 248 projects worth $9.5 billion.  While the number has substantially decreased compared to prior years, any earmark violates the moratorium.  Leading the way is the Department of Defense (DOD) bill, in which the Senate included 49 earmarks worth $2.9 billion and the House added 72 earmarks worth $3.9 billion.

The six Senate bills scrutinized by CAGW thus far have contained 142 earmarks worth $4.4 billion.  In addition to the bill funding the DOD, the Senate included $748.2 million in earmarks in the Energy and Water bill, $439 million in the Labor, Health and Human Services bill, $224.6 million in the Transportation bill, $115.4 million in the Agriculture bill, and $16.4 million in the Military Construction bill.

Five of the nine appropriations bills produced by the House have a total of 106 earmarks worth $5.1 billion.  In addition to the House DOD bill, the House earmarked $436.1 million in the Energy and Water bill, $368.4 million in the Commerce bill, $321.6 million in the Interior bill, and $56.8 million in the Agriculture bill.

In addition to continuing to fund earmarks, members of Congress have drastically reduced transparency.  Prior to FY 2008, most earmarks were contained in a single table, which usually included the account that was to fund the earmark and the city or state where the project was located.  From FYs 2008-2010, members were also required to attach their names to their earmark requests, and submit accompanying certification letters.  This period marked the zenith of earmark transparency.

Unfortunately, members of Congress have now reached the nadir of earmark information in FY 2012.  Senators and representatives no longer attach their names to earmarks.  In fact, the projects are no longer contained in a separate location apart from the text of the bill.  Many bills analyzed by CAGW do not contain tables at all.  Unearthing earmarks requires reading the bill line-by-line to identify projects where the House or Senate has appropriated money for a project that was not requested by the administration, where funding represents a substantial increase over the budget request, or which meets another of CAGW’s seven-point criteria.  Needless to say, this has dramatically lengthened the time necessary for detailed analysis of appropriations bills. 

It is clear that many members of Congress never took the earmark moratorium seriously.  In fact, members have reversed the progress of recent years by removing the methodology that previously provided a semblance of transparency.  Under the new rules, appropriations bills have undeniably become more opaque. 

Over the years, earmarks became the currency of re-election, and most observers predicted that the earmark moratorium would not last long.  After having witnessed earmarks continue during the moratorium, one wonders if members might not prefer the current system, where they still channel funding for earmarks, but without the cumbersome transparency of previous years.  As usual, the cynical view of Washington has proven correct.  Of course, if there were no earmarks and members really abided by the moratorium, this article would not have had to be published.


Is voting a Right or a Privilege

November 19, 2011

the argument that voting is not a privilege.

Voting in political elections is not a right, nor is it a privilege. Then what is it? I contend that it is a grave responsibility. Those that do not agree, should not be allowed to vote. Those that do agree, should be allowed to vote. They should strive hard to make ‘informed’ decisions which are best for them in the long-term.




Many factors should be considered and researched before you vote. The 2012 elections could be the most important decisions Americans have ever faced.  Don’t be a robot programned to vote   for a Party, exercise your choices. Vote for a President-Commander In -Chief who, in your opinion, will best serve “We ThePeople”. In the past many Americans have voted solely on “how much of the pie they  can expect to get with candidate X”. Please remember FREEDOM IS NOT FREE and keep in mind that we all have a huge  RESPONSIBILITY  to honor the millions of American troops who gave their lives to KEEP AMERICA FREE!   Begin your research on all of the candidates today, be very selective,  compare their qualifications.  Take some notes on each, it’s easy thanks to the net.  A good place to start is I think Newt Gingrich is Top Gun.


God help us

Freedom Is Not Free

November 16, 2011 “Senate Defense Bill” has 49 EARMARKS worth 2.9 Billion. That’s insane! America is broke. Wake up Americans, un-elect them.