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House GOP Shuts Down Failed TARP Mortgage Programs – HUMAN EVENTS | Emily Miller

Posted in U.S. House of Representatives by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

The Republican House terminated a mortgage refinancing program established by President Obama and rescinded $8 billion in TARP funds designated for it. The “Federal Housing Administration Refinance Program Termination Act” passed the House on Thursday by a vote of 256-171, with 18 Democrats voting in favor of it. The unspent money will go toward reducing the U.S. debt, which is currently more than $14 trillion.

“I’m pleased the House has voted to save taxpayers billions of dollars by beginning to shut down the TARP bailout program. The American people understand we can’t continue spending money we don’t have, especially on things that don’t work,” Speaker of the House John Boehner (R.-Ohio) said in a statement. “I hope the Senate will give these spending cuts the consideration they deserve.”

The “FHA Refinance Program Termination Act,” which was sponsored by Rep. Robert Dold (R.-Ill.), will still need to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The White House announced on Wednesday that President Obama will veto the bill because he believes that “continuation of the FHA refinancing programs is vital to the nation’s sustained economic recovery.”

The Obama administration established the FHA Refinance Program a year ago and directed $8.12 billion in TARP funds to finance it. The program, run by the Federal Housing Administration, uses federal dollars to allow homeowners who are under water on their mortgages to refinance.

“The money from this program doesn’t go to the homeowner, it goes to the lender, it goes to the banks. And who pays for it? The taxpayers and ultimately our children and grandchildren, because the federal government borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R.-Ala.).

When the Obama administration created the program, it claimed that it would help between 500,000 and 1.5 million homeowners. Since it went into effect in September, however, the program has wasted millions of dollars on only 44 homeowners.

“This program is already allocated $50 million and has helped only 44 people. Do the math,” said Bachus during the floor debate.

Also this week, the committee passed two bills that end other ineffective and costly government housing programs and save $30 billion. The bills, which passed the committee on Wednesday, would terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The bills will be voted on by the House next week.

“All who investigate, analyze, or survey this program conclude that it is an epic failure.  The government is offering false hope to hundreds of thousands of Americans, and it just can’t deliver,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R.-N.C.), who sponsored the bill to end HAMP.

HAMP was announced by the Obama administration in February 2009 and cost $30 billion in TARP funds.  In the past two years, only $840 million of the funds have been spent for the ineffective program, so the remaining $29 billion in TARP funds will be rescinded.

At the time it was established, the administration claimed that HAMP would help 4 million homeowners, but instead the program has put many people in worse financial shape.  The program has modified only 521,630 loans, and the re-default rate is high, according to the committee.

NSP was established by the Obama administration in 2008 to supposedly help homeowners avoid foreclosure.  Instead, the program has only helped mortgage lenders and real estate speculators, who have used it to get rid of foreclosed properties at taxpayers’ expense.

Originally funded with $1 billion from the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act,” NSP has run out of money twice in two years.  The formerly Democratic Congress gave the program new funding of $1 billion and then $2 billion from the stimulus spending.  The committee bill closes the failed program and refuses to add another round of funding.

“We have little to show for the nearly $6 billion of the taxpayers’ money that was spent on this ineffective program.  NSP was inefficient and it did not target resources to those areas with the most need.  Even worse, there was no requirement for repayment of the allocated funds,” said Rep. Gary Miller (R.-Calif.), sponsor of the bill to end the program.

The bills this week that rescind billions of dollars in TARP funding and terminate wasteful programs are part of a larger effort by House Republicans to stop the out-of-control government spending from the years in which Democrats controlled Congress.

“Democrats and Republicans alike know that we must stop wasting money on ineffective government programs and instead focus on improving the conditions for jobs and income growth,” Dold stated after passage of his bill.

via House GOP Shuts Down Failed TARP Mortgage Programs – HUMAN EVENTS.

Texas Exes | UT Professor, Alum Premiere “Incendiary” Documentary at SXSW (Watch)

Posted in Austin TX by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

Not long ago, a UT professor and his student had a challenging conversation. They’d read a story about Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man who was executed for setting a fire that killed his three daughters.

But scientific research — and doubt — had emerged on the case. Had Willingham actually committed the crime, professor Steve Mims and student Joe Bailey Jr. wondered?

Unlike the millions of professor-student conversations that provoke thought and float away, Mims and Bailey made a movie exploring the question.

Incendiary: The Willingham Case premieres at SXSW Film on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. There are 1,300 seats at the Paramount Theatre, and the film will be shown twice more next week.

You read the wave-making New Yorker story on the Willingham case. Did you think movie right away, or when did that come?

Mims: I just thought it was a great story, really long, really well-written, and kind of shocking. Joe was in my film production class, and we had a conversation about it.

Bailey: I sent Steve a link to the David Grant story, and he said we should make a film out of it.

Mims: But it was an epic story — a story that’s been going on for 20 years now. Plus documentaries are hard — you have to collect so much information and at the end hope there’s a story there. There is tons of travel, and untold hours of editing. You can’t casually commit to that — but I sort of did.

Is Cameron Todd Willingham the protagonist, even though he was executed in 2004?

Bailey: I think if anyone emerges as the protagonist, it’s probably science.

Does the film focus more on science or more on the law?

Bailey: I think it’s heavier on the science. The only role of law in the film is asking how the two intersect, how they’re allowed to intersect. That’s something courts have been grappling with for a long time.

Mims: The mystery is what actually did happen rather than what the evidence shows. That’s why it’s grown into a controversial case even 20 years later. We have many voices in the film from both sides to help you think what might be true and why people are saying what they’re saying. We don’t have a narrator in the film — we want the people to speak for themselves.

You say it’s surprisingly funny. Is that blasphemy?

Mims: Absolutely not. There are many places where people are going to laugh out loud, and it’s organic. It’s full of macabre humor that unfolds out of the context of the film. It’s entertaining, but it’s not even depressing. It’s about a tragedy, but we in many ways tried to avoid the emotional characterization of the story. In the end it’s like a puzzle — it’s like a mystery. Even today as we sit here there is ambiguity in it. People may end the film, have one impression, sleep on it, and wake up with another impression.

Bailey: Just to explain the humor, we interview a lot of professionals. If you’re a doctor or scientist, you still have lightness when you talk about your job, and you can make funny observations about things that wouldn’t be. We didn’t inject any comedy into it, but it definitely emerged. We weren’t trying to make a wear-the-issue on your sleeve advocacy film.

Mims: We tried not to be political. We tried to represent the content faithfully, not make it a left or right issue. It’s not a film about the death penalty. It’s more productive to talk about what happened.

What did you learn about arson?

Bailey: We tried to illustrate the fundamentals of fire dynamics in a beautiful way. I was at first really shocked at the history of fire investigation. It arose out of insurance investigation. Fire marshals didn’t exist until they were lobbied into existence by insurance companies. People who undertook these investigations had no science background, and they didn’t necessarily have a forensic background, either. It was hard for scientists to penetrate the field of fire investigation because investigators thought you had to be up to your neck in ashes.

The Fire Marshal’s office still sits within the department of insurance, and that speaks to the history of the field. It’s not a malicious thing — investigators strive for the best — but it’s unfortunate that they didn’t have a scientific base to work with until very recently, so they had very folkloric methods. So you can have correlation but not causation.

Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Bailey: You could wrestle with that for the rest of your life, because all the eyewitnesses perished in the fire. But the way that he was convicted is enough to shake your confidence in our justice system and our investigatory system. Apolitically, as Texans we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, fix what’s broken, and not worry about the political implications.

On a lighter note, how did UT resources help enable this film?

Mims: John Pierson — a former producer’s rep for Spike Lee, Rick Linklater, and others — teaches a film production class. His fall class adopted our film and gave us feedback, and it’s been terrific. The spring class has been working on marketing, public relations, and distribution issues for the film — without them, it wouldn’t have progressed as quickly as it has. What happened to us might not have happened anywhere else — it’s part of the ethos of the department and the place.

How does it feel to be premiering Incendiary at SXSW?

Bailey: There isn’t a better place to premiere this than at the Paramount. It’s our favorite theatre and it’s right near the Capitol, in the heart of Austin. And SXSW has become arguably the leading film festival in the world. In every possible way it’s been a blessing for us.

You say it’s surprisingly funny. Is that blasphemy?

Mims: Absolutely not. There are many places where people are going to laugh out loud, and it’s organic. It’s full of macabre humor that unfolds out of the context of the film. It’s entertaining, but it’s not even depressing. It’s about a tragedy, but we in many ways tried to avoid the emotional characterization of the story. In the end it’s like a puzzle — it’s like a mystery. Even today as we sit here there is ambiguity in it. People may end the film, have one impression, sleep on it, and wake up with another impression.

Bailey: Just to explain the humor, we interview a lot of professionals. If you’re a doctor or scientist, you still have lightness when you talk about your job, and you can make funny observations about things that wouldn’t be. We didn’t inject any comedy into it, but it definitely emerged. We weren’t trying to make a wear-the-issue on your sleeve advocacy film.

Mims: We tried not to be political. We tried to represent the content faithfully, not make it a left or right issue. It’s not a film about the death penalty. It’s more productive to talk about what happened.

What did you learn about arson?

Bailey: We tried to illustrate the fundamentals of fire dynamics in a beautiful way. I was at first really shocked at the history of fire investigation. It arose out of insurance investigation. Fire marshals didn’t exist until they were lobbied into existence by insurance companies. People who undertook these investigations had no science background, and they didn’t necessarily have a forensic background, either. It was hard for scientists to penetrate the field of fire investigation because investigators thought you had to be up to your neck in ashes.

The Fire Marshal’s office still sits within the department of insurance, and that speaks to the history of the field. It’s not a malicious thing — investigators strive for the best — but it’s unfortunate that they didn’t have a scientific base to work with until very recently, so they had very folkloric methods. So you can have correlation but not causation.

Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Bailey: You could wrestle with that for the rest of your life, because all the eyewitnesses perished in the fire. But the way that he was convicted is enough to shake your confidence in our justice system and our investigatory system. Apolitically, as Texans we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, fix what’s broken, and not worry about the political implications.

On a lighter note, how did UT resources help enable this film?

Mims: John Pierson — a former producer’s rep for Spike Lee, Rick Linklater, and others — teaches a film production class. His fall class adopted our film and gave us feedback, and it’s been terrific. The spring class has been working on marketing, public relations, and distribution issues for the film — without them, it wouldn’t have progressed as quickly as it has. What happened to us might not have happened anywhere else — it’s part of the ethos of the department and the place.

How does it feel to be premiering Incendiary at SXSW?

Bailey: There isn’t a better place to premiere this than at the Paramount. It’s our favorite theatre and it’s right near the Capitol, in the heart of Austin. And SXSW has become arguably the leading film festival in the world. In every possible way it’s been a blessing for us.

<iframe title=”YouTube video player” width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/P8Psb5t7RTI&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>via Texas Exes | UT Professor, Alum Premiere “Incendiary” Documentary at SXSW (Watch).

Madison Protestors “Misinformed” on Che Guevara | The Americano

Posted in Wisconsin U.S. by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

 

In 1962 Che got a chance to do more than cheer from the sidelines. "Cuban militia units commanded by Russian officers employed flame-throwers to burn the palm-thatched cottages in the Cuban countryside, “reads a report from the USIA of the time. “The peasant occupants were accused of feeding the counterrevolutionaries and bandits."

By Humberto Fontova. 

A union protestor in Madison Wisconsin was caught on camera saying he wants to vote for Fidel Castro and clone Che Guevara.

Tom Morello of the rock group Rage Against the Machine (who honors Che Guevara as his honorary “fifth band member”) was in Madison last week denouncing Gov. Scott Walker as “ the Mubarak of the Midwest!”

The union members cursed by fate to live under the regime co-founded by Che Guevara might like a word with these protestors. In fact the first, the most militant, and the most widespread opposition groups to the Stalinism Che Guevara and Fidel Castro imposed on Cuba came from Cuban labor organizations.

And who can blame them? Here’s a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) report on Cuba circa 1957: “One feature of the Cuban social structure is a large middle class,” it starts. “Cuban workers are more unionized (proportional to the population) than U.S. workers. The average wage for an 8-hour day in Cuba in 1957 is higher than for workers in Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany. Cuban labor receives 66.6 percent of gross national income. In the U.S. the figure is 70 percent, in Switzerland 64 percent. 44 percent of Cubans are covered by Social legislation, a higher percentage than in the U.S.”

In 1958, Cuba had a higher per capita income than Austria or Japan and Cuban industrial workers had the eighth-highest wages in the world. In the 1950s, Cuban stevedores earned more per hour than their counterparts in New Orleans and San Francisco.

Then in a TV speech on June 26, 1961, when Che Guevara was Cuba’s “Minister of Industries,” he proclaimed: “The Cuban workers have to adjust to a collectivist social order–and by no means can they go on strike!”

And why should they? After all, at Soviet gunpoint, all of Cuba’s unions had become departments of the Stalinist regime, hence owned “by the people”—hence “public.”

This “no strike” provision was unacceptable to Cuban laborers. Thousands of these took up arms against Che Guevara. The MRP (Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo) was among these Cuban resistance groups of mostly laborers. Here’s how the FBI and CIA described them: “Heavily weighted labor membership, with socialistic leanings. Aimed for Castro overthrow from within; advocated nationalization of economy, agrarian reform, utopian social reforms.”

Cuba’s enraged campesinos also rose in arms by the thousands when Castro and Che started stealing their land to build Soviet Kolkhozes. Alarmed by the insurgency, Castro and Che sent a special emissary named Flavio Bravo to Khruschev. “We are on a crusade against kulaks like you were in 1930,” pleaded this old–line Cuban Communist party member.

In short order, Soviet agricultural and military “advisors,” still flush from their success against their own campesinos in the Ukrainian Holocaust were rushed to Cuba. This anti-Stalinist rebellion, involving ten times the number of rebels, ten times the number of casualties, and lasting twice as long as the puerile skirmish against Batista, found no reporter anywhere near Cuba’s hills. The Cuban farmers and laborers’ desperate, bloody and lonely rebellion against their enslavement spread to the towns and cities and lasted from late 1959 to 1966. Castro himself admitted that his troops, militia and Soviet advisors were up against 179 different “bands of bandits” as they labeled these freedom-fighting rednecks and working men. Tens of thousands of troops, scores of Soviet advisors, and squadrons of Soviet tanks, helicopters and flame-throwers finally extinguished the lonely Cuban freedom-fight. Elsewhere they call this “an insurgency,” and reporters flock in to “embed” and report.

In 1962 the Kennedy-Khrushchev swindle that “solved” the Missile Crisis — not only starved these Cuban freedom-fighters of the measly aid they’d been getting from Cuban-exile freebooters (who were rounded up for violating U.S. neutrality laws) — it also sanctioned the 44,000 Soviet troops in Cuba. Elsewhere they call this “foreign occupation,” and liberals wail in anguish.

Che had a very bloody (and typically cowardly) hand in this slaughter, one of the major anti-insurgency wars on this continent. Eighty percent of these anti-communist guerrillas were executed on the spot upon capture, a Che specialty. “We fought with the fury of cornered beasts,” is how one of the lucky few who escaped described this desperate freedom fight against the Soviet occupation of Cuba through their proxies Fidel and Che.

In 1956 when Che linked up with Fidel, Raul, and their Cuban chums in Mexico city, one of them (now in exile) recalls Che railing against the Hungarian freedom-fighters as “Fascists!” and cheering their extermination by Soviet tanks.

In 1962 Che got a chance to do more than cheer from the sidelines. “Cuban militia units commanded by Russian officers employed flame-throwers to burn the palm-thatched cottages in the Cuban countryside, “reads a report from the USIA of the time. “The peasant occupants were accused of feeding the counterrevolutionaries and bandits.” At one point in 1962, one of every 18 Cubans was a political prisoner. Fidel himself admits that they faced 179 bands of  ”counter-revolutionaries” and “bandits.”

Mass murder was the order in Cuba’s countryside. It was the only way to decimate so many rebels, mostly farmers and laborers. In a relocation and concentration campaign that shamed anything the Brits did to the Boers, the Castroites, under Soviet tutelage, ripped hundreds of thousands of Cubans from their ancestral homes and herded them into concentration camps on the opposite side of the island Cuba.

This ferocious guerrilla war, waged 90 miles from America’s shores, might have taken place on the planet Pluto for all you’ll read about it in the MSM and all you’ll learn about it from The History Channel or NPR. To get an idea of the odds faced by those rural rebels and laborers, the desperation of their battle and the damage they wrought, you might revisit Tony Montana during the last 15 minutes of “Scarface.”

Humberto Fontova is the author of four books, including Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant and Exposing the Real Che Guevara. Visit hfontova.com

via Madison Protestors “Misinformed” on Che Guevara | The Americano.

How Fast Can We Turn Things Around? – Newt.org | Newt Gingrich

Posted in Republican Party by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

The jobs report from February was, on balance, good news for the American people.

Two hundred and twenty two thousand private sector jobs were created and the unemployment rate dropped below 9% for the first time in 22 months.

While this is not an extraordinary amount of jobs created, it is solid, and is certainly an improvement from the tepid growth that has characterized the Obama administration’s stimulus-fueled “recovery.”

Naturally, the administration is attempting to take credit for the good news. But in doing so, they are hoping the American people will overlook a few facts and avoid asking some obvious follow-up questions.

What changed?

It has been 25 months since the Obama stimulus was signed into law.

During this time we have lost a net of 2.1 million jobs.

1.96 million of those jobs were in the private sector.

That’s why the uptick in the number of private sector jobs created in February is good news. It shows that businesses are hiring again and willing to invest in their companies.

This begs the question, though, what changed? After so many months of stagnation and job loss, what was it that sparked the private sector job creation?

Liberal Democrats aren’t going to like the answer.

The last significant economic policy enacted by President Obama was the extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts through 2013. Finally, businesses and investors were given some tax certainty and knew they would have extra money for the next two years with which to create jobs.

President Obama is certainly entitled to share in the credit for passing this extension. But he should be asked a few follow-up questions.

If he’s willing to take credit for the job creation spurred by keeping taxes low, why does he want to raise taxes again in 2013? Why does he want to put small business owners and investors in the same position they were in throughout 2010 – facing a looming tax increase – in 2012? How will that help the recovery? And what does the success of keeping taxes low mean for the rest of his agenda?

How fast can we turn things around?

The real issue that President Obama can’t avoid is as simple as 2+2=4.

Job killing policies kill jobs.

And the fact is that until signing the tax cut extension, he was pursuing job killing policies like an energy tax, the health care bill, and wasteful stimulus spending.

I remain hopeful that President Obama will recognize the tax cut extension worked and that the rates deserve to be permanent (and that this realization would force the president to reevaluate his entire big government agenda).

However, it is far more likely that he will remain committed to his left-wing, secular-socialist ideology and keep trying to raise taxes.

This leads us to a simple question.

If President Obama is not willing to do what is right, what could the next president do on his first day in office to help reverse the left wing policies of this administration?

What could the next president do on day one to start the turnaround as rapidly as possible?

Executive Orders

To be clear, I do not think America’s problems can be fixed from the White House.   The country is simply too big and too complicated.

As I have written many times in this newsletter, there are 513,000 elected officials in the United States.  That’s why it will take a genuine grassroots movement at all levels of government to achieve the level of real change this country needs in its policies to remain safe, prosperous and free in the 21st century.

This is not to say, however, that the President of the United States does not have real power to significantly affect people’s lives.

Take the power of executive orders.

Executive orders are directives from the president to employees of the Executive Branch.  These orders cannot make new laws, but seek to clarify or direct the implementation of laws passed by Congress in executive branch agencies.

George Washington was the first president to issue an executive order, and his successors in the White House have relied on these as a useful tool since then.  Many landmark reforms in our history, from Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to Reagan’s ending of price controls on gasoline, have been put into effect by executive orders.

A “Day One” Executive Order Project

If President Obama refuses to reverse course on his radical agenda, we will need a bold plan for the next president to use his executive order power on “day one” to reverse as many of the left-wing policies enacted over the previous four years as possible, as rapidly as possible.

At a speech Monday night to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, I suggested four executive orders that would immediately protect the sanctity of human life and protect religious liberty in America.

1.    Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that no federal funds shall be expended for any abortion, except in the case of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

2.    Reauthorize President Ronald Reagan’s policy – also known as the “Mexico City Policy”— to stop the federal funding of any non-governmental agencies or charities that perform or promote abortions in foreign countries.

3.    Respect the beliefs and integrity of healthcare workers by making sure that no American working in a medical environment should be forced to perform any action or procedure that he or she finds morally or ethically objectionable. This protection should include, but not be limited to, abortion and sterilization procedures.  Existing conscience clause protections need to be strengthened.

4.    Respect each sovereign nation’s choice of its capital by instructing the U.S. State Department to respect the choice of capital of each sovereign nation and place the American embassy in that capital. (This would apply specifically to Israel, where the United States refuses to locate our embassy in Jerusalem).

You can listen to my speech here.

Share Your Ideas

These are just four examples of executive orders to help reverse the left wing policies of the Obama administration.  There are many more.

For instance, there could be an executive order to halt all federal government activities to ration health care services on the grounds that the government has decided the costs are not worth the benefits to the patient.

Another executive order could instruct the EPA that it is not the policy of the United States government to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act unless Congress expressly passes a law amending the act to grant that authority.

Another could repeal President Obama’s ban on offshore drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, allowing America’s energy companies the freedom to produce more oil to lower prices.

I look forward to hearing your ideas on what should be included in a Day One Executive Order Project.

Your friend,

Newt

Newt’s Quick Links

  • You can watch my interview on the Shalom TV show, where I discussed the executive order respecting a nation’s choice for capital cities amongst other topics, here.
  • A new poll shows strong support for drilling. Read more at American Solutions. Click here.
  • In his piece on Renewing American Leadership, Michael Baruzzini asks: Who Are You Calling “Anti-Science?” You can read the article here.
  • At ReAL Action, listen to how AIG is promoting Sharia Law and Islam. You can listen to the podcast here.

via How Fast Can We Turn Things Around? | Newt.org.

Suspend The Gas Tax

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

SUSPEND THE GAS TAX

By DICK MORRIS

Published on TheHill.com on March 8, 2011

Printer-Friendly Version

Republicans should demand the immediate suspension of the 18.4-cent federal gasoline tax and, at the state level throughout the nation, the suspension of the additional 30-cent average local tax. When gas prices drop again — likely not for several years — the taxes should resume.

All told, federal, state and local excise and sales taxes account for almost 50 cents of the price of gasoline at the pump. Republicans should seize on the current crisis to promote a smaller-government solution: suspension of the tax.

Want To Slash Your Electricity Bill By 80%? Click Here For a Video. There is no better way to force Obama and the Democrats to battle for higher taxes than to raise the issue now and push it home. As gas prices rise to $4, $5 and possibly $6 a gallon, their intransigence on the issue will work massively to their political discomfort and disadvantage.

Obama will likely release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but the extra oil will be a drop in the bucket (pardon the pun) and a short-lived remedy. With over 90 million barrels a day of global oil production, the release of even a million extra barrels a day will have only a marginal and temporary impact.

The reserve, which now stands at 727 million barrels, has only been tapped twice, once for 17 million barrels by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 at the time of the Gulf War and again in 2005 by George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina for 11 million.

With American oil consumption running upward of 17 million barrels a day, tapping the reserve again is, at best, a limited remedy.

But suspending the gas tax and encouraging states to do so would be a more dramatic and effective solution.

Oil prices are going to rise ever further as the instability spreads throughout the Middle East. The Saudi monarchy is clearly in danger. The king is 86 years old and in very poor health. He recently returned after several months of treatment abroad. The two heirs are each over 80 and both also ill.

The Saudis produce 9 million barrels a day and have the capacity for 3 million more. If their monarchy succumbs to the spreading movement for popular government, the disruption will send massive shockwaves throughout the world.

The oil increase comes at the same time food prices are soaring. Wheat and corn have doubled and soybeans are up 50 percent. Health insurance premiums are rising by an average of almost 20 percent due to ObamaCare. And interest rates are likely to go up as the Fed brings its QE-2 printing of money to a close.

These increases are going to trigger significant inflation at a time when consumers can’t and won’t pay higher prices. But the fixed costs will remain and will force prices ever higher. The resulting stagflation will do much to imperil Obama’s reelection hopes.

Compare the increase in gas prices with the 2 percent reduction in tax withholding Obama is heralding as an economic stimulant. The cut in withholding, negotiated as part of the extension of the Bush tax cuts this past December, will save the average American family (median income of $50,000) about $1,000 a year.

The average American, by contrast, consumes 500 gallons of gasoline annually. A one-dollar increase in gas prices would eat up half of the Obama tax break. When you add in the other inflationary pressures, the economic stimulus of the cut in withholding will vanish.

By focusing on the gasoline tax, Republicans can pose a direct challenge to stagflation and Obama is sure to rise to the bait of refusing to go along. He will speak about the impact of cutting road construction on jobs, but America has long ago realized that increased government spending and taxing is not the way to create jobs.

Want To Slash Your Electricity Bill By 80%? Click Here For a Video.

Rove: Political Campaigns Go Viral – WSJ.com

Posted in Republican Party by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

By KARL ROVE

Since 1952—when New York ad man Rosser Reeves convinced GOP presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower to run television ads with a snappy jingle, “You like Ike, I like Ike, Everybody likes Ike”—campaigns have spent most of their budgets on TV and radio.

But in the year ahead, smart campaigns will devote a good deal less money to running 30- second TV ads and a good deal more to using the Internet to organize, persuade, motivate and raise funds.

The trend toward Internet-centric campaigns is being driven by changes in where people get election information. According to the Pew Research Center, in the last presidential race 26% said they received most of their election news from the Internet, while 28% cited newspapers. In 2012, the Web will likely eclipse newspapers and close in on TV as the principal source of election news.

The Internet makes it likely that more campaigns will be self-directed from the grass roots. The tea party movement, for example, would have been impossible to organize and coordinate without email and the Web. Thus campaign managers will have to rely less on activity in centralized headquarters and more on volunteers—working at their pace and in their way—to reach voters on their laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Cutting-edge campaigns have quickly grasped how the Web makes it easier and less expensive to transmit information. But campaigns are only starting to understand how to use the Web and social-networking tools to make video and other data go viral—moving not just to those on a campaign’s email list but to the broader public.

Take New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. His political operation has made videos of him into YouTube favorites viewed millions of times. Or consider the original “Obama Girl” video, which was viewed 21 million times. Its sequel, “Super Obama Girl,” was viewed 37 million times.

A YouTube clip of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaking about Social Security reform.

Then there’s fund raising. A powerful, and some might say strident, message can quickly generate lots of cash. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann raised an astounding $13.2 million for her last race, much of it through Internet appeals. In the closing days of his special election in January 2010, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown raised more money from the Internet than he could spend.The speed with which political efforts can come together will also accelerate. Nimble candidates and causes will take advantage of brief moments in the spotlight to increase awareness, organize and raise money virtually overnight. When gas prices spiked in late spring 2008, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Drill Here, Drill Now” effort corralled 300,000 Internet petition signers in just two weeks, and about a million in only two months. Three years later, the list has grown to 1.6 million advocates who write letters to the editor, buttonhole congressmen, and promote the issue.

Not everything that comes from this trend will be good. Relying more on the Internet for political information means we will come to trust sources that won’t always be vetted and edited for accuracy. Witness the widespread Internet distribution of a fake Kenyan birth certificate for President Barack Obama, and the video of Mr. Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech edited to appear as though the president is admitting he’s a Muslim. The latter was so cleverly edited that even otherwise sensible people are taken in. How to minimize and discredit anonymous Web smears is a real challenge.

In addition, there are likely to be many more political organizations that spring up quickly and then dwindle away once the intensity of the moment passes. They may siphon money from more worthy but less known or less edgy groups.

An influence gap could also emerge between more passive and more active voters. There’s always been a disparity in influence between voters with checkbooks and voters without. But that difference could be trivial compared to the gap between those who are activated by the Internet and those who are not. Some politicians may bend to the minority that’s Web-energized while ignoring the wishes of the majority that’s not.

It took decades for the changes inaugurated by the “We Like Ike” TV ads to fully take hold. It will likewise take time for political practitioners to figure out what works and what doesn’t work on the Internet. But we are seeing a version of Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” fundamentally alter the landscape of American politics. It will have huge implications on how campaigns are run, who we elect, and what kind of country we become.

Mr. Rove, the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, is the author of “Courage and Consequence” (Threshold Editions, 2010).

via Rove: Political Campaigns Go Viral – WSJ.com.

Capitol Chaos: Lawmakers Get Death Threats | Newsradio 620 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Talk, Sports, Weather | Local Headlines

Posted in Wisconsin U.S. by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

MADISON – The State Department of Justice confirms that it is investigating several death threats against a number of lawmakers in response to the legislature’s move to strip employees of many collective bargaining rights.

Among the threats the Justice Department is investigationg is one that was emailed to Republican Senators Wednesday night.  Newsradio 620 WTMJ has obtained that email.

The following is the unedited email:

Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
Reply Reply to all Forward

Read More: Capitol Chaos: Lawmakers Get Death Threats | Newsradio 620 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin News, Talk, Sports, Weather | Local Headlines.

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Tired of Rising Gas Prices?

Posted in Tradition by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

Speaker of the House John Boehner
Dear Friend:

Americans want Washington to get out of the way so we can produce more American energy, lower gas prices, and help small business begin hiring again. To answer that call, Republicans today announced the American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to increase production of American energy to help lower costs and create jobs, promote an “all of the above” energy strategy, and stop Washington from driving up fuel prices. To get information on our proposals and track our progress, please visit and “Like” the American Energy Initiative Facebook page.

AMERICAN ENERGY INITIATIVE

The American Energy Initiative has three goals:

  • Stopping government policies that are driving up gas prices;
  • Expanding American energy production to lower costs & create more jobs; and
  • Promoting an “all of the above” strategy to increase all forms of American energy.

The Initiative is rooted in our Pledge to America. In it, we promised that we would help end uncertainty facing small businesses so they can create jobs. And we said Republicans will fight to increase access to American-made energy sources and oppose policies that drive up prices at the pump. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.

Learn more at the American Energy Initiative Facebook page and follow us as we fight to reduce the burden of rising gas prices.

Sincerely,

John Boehner
Speaker of the House

WEBSITE | CONTACT | PRIVACY POLICY

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Naples Tea Party Mission Statement : Naples Tea Party : Naples Blogs : Naples Daily News | Barry Willoughby

Posted in U.S. Constitution by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

After the election last November, we had a meeting which was comprised of local conservative group leaders who support the Naples Tea Party. Several individual Tea Party members were also in attendance.

Many things were discussed in order to further define the mission statement of the Naples Tea Party going into 2011, including topics concerned with elected representative accountability, education, communication and activism. In the end, it was decided to craft a new Naples Tea Party Mission Statement and a committee was formed to do just that.

Two months later, here is the finished product. I wish to thank all those involved in the process. The grassroots Tea Party movement is so diverse, with many individual free thinkers, one can imagine all the varying views producing such a statement, as it is far from being a document full of simple talking points.

We have shared it with other Tea Parties around the country and the responses have been unanimous. The Naples Tea Party Mission Statement is a comprehensive statement that advocates individual liberty that comes with personal responsibility. In other words, it is an extension of what the Founders envisioned when they labored over the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

With two Naples/Fort Myers area Tea Parties scheduled for April, the new mission statement is a source “loaded” with ideas for Tea Party signs. Share our mission statement with pride, understanding what we’ve accomplished in just two short years. Let’s keep the momentum going and finish the job in 2012.

Naples Tea Party Mission Statement

“We, the Naples Tea Party, uphold and affirm the rights of every individual, regardless of race, creed or national origin, to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness; the rights to which the founders of our nation, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

We hold that the proper role of government is to protect the rights of all citizens at the expense of none; to protect its citizenry from force, fraud, and breach of contract, thereby allowing all citizens to dispose of the products of their thoughts and labor as they see fit.

We recognize that free trade and free markets – the voluntary exchange of goods and services – are responsible for the unprecedented wealth and prosperity of our nation; and that such are both practical and morally necessary for human dignity, prosperity and enjoyment of life on earth.

While we respect the generosity of individuals who willingly give to charities and causes, we reject the premise that one person’s “need” automatically constitutes an enforceable claim on another person’s life or goods, and that such a claim can or should be fulfilled through government force or coercion.

We advocate the principles of fiscal responsibility in government policies.

We acknowledge and support all who through their courage and loyalty have served in any of the armed services of the United States of America and through their efforts have secured our country’s existence and safety for this and future generations.

To further this vision of America, we pledge to provide a common ground for civil discourse for our members and like-minded individuals and to encourage them to support candidates for – and holders of – public office whose positions are consistent with these principles.”

via Naples Tea Party Mission Statement : Naples Tea Party : Naples Blogs : Naples Daily News: Local Naples, Florida News Delivered Throughout the Day..

BBC News – Dead soldier Liam Tasker and Army dog return home

Posted in United Kingdom by James Pat Guerréro on 03/11/2011

L/Cpl Tasker's body returned to the UK, with the ashes of his dog Theo

The body of a soldier who died along with his record breaking sniffer dog in Afghanistan last week has returned home to the UK.Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, from Kirkcaldy in Fife, was shot dead while on patrol in Helmand province.

The ashes of the 26-year-old’s dog Theo were flown home on the same plane.

L/Cpl Tasker, who was called a “rising star” by Army chiefs, was shot by Taliban snipers and Theo died of a seizure shortly after his master.

The soldier and his 22-month-old dog had made 14 finds in five months while on the frontline.

The pair’s successes at uncovering so many explosives and weapons had resulted in their tour of Afghanistan being extended by a month.

Just three weeks ago, springer spaniel Theo was praised as a record breaking Army sniffer dog.

The body of L/Cpl Tasker and the ashes of Theo were flown to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire at lunchtime, before a cortege passed through Wootton Bassett, the Wiltshire town which has built up a tradition of welcoming back fallen heroes.

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Lance Corporal Liam Tasker’s body was flown to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire

via BBC News – Dead soldier Liam Tasker and Army dog return home.

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