Commissioner Coletta: Allow Debate, Discussion, and Agreed Time | James Pat Guerréro

As parochial as it may be, one conservative in District 5 requests the following of Commissioner Jim Coletta in full agreement with Commissioner Georgia Hiller in Collier County, Florida:

  1. Allow debate among Commissioners according to some agreed timeframe.
  2. Allow consent items to be discussed.
  3. Allow agenda items to be reviewed by the public in enough advance.

These items are reasonable.

Read More: Can we all get along? Collier commissioners talk about being more civil to each other » Naples Daily News.

Humala y Fujimori al frente de las encuestas en Perú | The Americano

El candidato izquierdista Ollanta Humala, del partido Gana Perú, y la congresista conservadora Keiko Fujimori, del partido Fuerza 2011 van al frente de las últimas encuestas publicadas antes de la primera vuelta de la elección presidencial a celebrarse el domingo en Perú.

De acuerdo a los resultados en la encuestadora Ipsos-Apoyo – la última medida antes de los comicios – Humala quedaría en primer lugar entre los cinco candidatos con el 27,2 por ciento del voto, mientas que Fujimori, hija del ex presidente Alberto Fujimori, hoy encarcelado por abuso a los derechos humanos durante su mandato, quedaría en segundo lugar con el 21,4 por ciento del voto.

Tanto Humala como Fujimori han aumentado su puntuación en esta encuesta.

Mientras, y de acuerdo a Reuters, el ex mandatario Alejandro Toledo y el economista Pedro Pablo Kuczynki sacarían poco más del 18 por ciento del voto.

Reuters agrega que otra encuesta realizada por la Compañía de Estudios de Mercados (CPI) daba resultados parecidos, aunque en esta, el margen entre Humala y Fujimori es un poco mayor que el de la encuesta realizada por Ipsos-Apoyo. El estudio de CPI ubicó tercero a Kuczynski con un 19,3 por ciento y a Toledo de cuarto con un 15 por ciento, agregaron las fuentes.

El director de la encuestadora Ipsos Apoyo, Alfredo Torres dijo en una conferencia de prensa para periodistas extranjeros que Fujimori tiene la mayor opción de llegar segunda en las elecciones del domingo en Perú y pasar a disputar la presidencia del país con el actual favorito Humala.

Por su parte, el director de la encuestadora CPI, Manuel Saavedra, dijo que las tendencia en las encuestas muestran como un hecho que Humala pasará al balotaje; mientras que el ex mandatario Toledo se aleja de esa opción en las elecciones presidenciales.

Humala, ha moderado su discurso izquierdista desde que aspirara y perdiera los comicios del 2006 ante el actual presidente Alan García, pero aún habla de redistribución de la riqueza y de una mayor justicia social, un discurso que le ha funcionado muy bien, pues comenzó con cifras muy bajas de popularidad y ahora saca una clara distancia a todos los demás.

Muchos de los analistas peruanos dicen que dado a la similitud en sus posiciones políticas, cualquiera de los candidatos que quede en segundo lugar debe poder vencer a Humala en la segunda vuelta.

via Humala y Fujimori al frente de las encuestas en Perú | The Americano.

Results and Takeaways from Peru’s Presidential Election | The Americano

As many of you know, Peru held its presidential elections yesterday in a very democratic fashion and without incident. The results are less than celebratory for many as Hugo Chavez’ handpicked candidate, Ollanta Humala moved forward to a runoff and at the top of the list with an almost 8% point advantage. Along with him, daughter of imprisoned former president Alberto Fujimori, Keiko Fujimori will attempt to follow her father’s footsteps and obtain the presidential seat for the next 5 years.

via Results and Takeaways from Peru’s Presidential Election | The Americano.

Obama’s Liberal Programs–ObamaCare, White House Czars, EPA–Cut in Spending Deal – HUMAN EVENTS | Emily Miller

The final budget deal for this year’s government spending specifically cuts some of President Obama’s most cherished liberal programs. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R.-Ohio) brokered the deal for Republicans to cut spending by $39.9 billion from 2010 levels, which includes the elimination of ObamaCare programs and White House czars. Boehner struck the final deal with Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) one hour before the government was set to shut down on Friday.

“Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation. The near-$40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R.-Ky.) after releasing the legislation early Tuesday morning. The Appropriations Committee drafted the legislation over the weekend after the late-night Friday deal.

The final Continuing Resolution (CR) cuts this year’s projected budget deficit of $1.5 trillion by approximately 2.6%. The House will vote on the bill on Wednesday, and then it will need Senate passage and Obama’s signature to fund the government for the remaining six months of Fiscal Year 2011.

The specific cuts in the final budget target liberal or fiscally irresponsible programs targeted by Republicans. The bill also mandates an across-the-board spending cut of .2% for all non-defense programs, which is on top of the line items listed below in the programs’ cuts.

ObamaCare: President Obama’s health care law, known as ObamaCare, is scaled back with the termination of two programs—the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and the Free Choice Voucher programs. Also, the deal includes a policy rider demanding that the Democrat-controlled Senate hold a vote on repealing ObamaCare.

White House Czars: Four of the nine Obama administration’s “czars” are eliminated. The czars are in federal positions in his administration, but not confirmed by Congress.

The CR defunds both the salaries and office expenses for the “health care czar” (director, White House Office of Health Reform), the “climate change czar” (assistant to the President for energy and climate change), the “car czar” (senior adviser to the secretary of the treasury assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and senior counselor for manufacturing policy), and the “urban affairs czar” (White House director of urban affairs). The urban affairs and climate change czars have never been filled.

EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has one of the biggest cuts of all government agencies. The EPA’s budget is reduced by $1.6 billion, which is a 16% decrease from the 2010 level. The specific cuts to EPA programs include $49 million (-13%) from the climate change funding bill and $149 million (-33%) from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Congressional Republicans have been fighting to block the EPA from enacting cap-and-trade policies though its own regulations.

TARP: While the Troubled Asset Relief Program has already been fully funded, so no new spending will be allocated for the program, the bill increases funding for oversight of billions remaining in TARP programs. The legislation gives the Office of the Inspector General for TARP an extra $13 million to continue to oversee the billions in TARP assets. Special Inspector General for TARP Neil Barofsky has testified before Congress on the failure of several of Obama’s TARP mortgage programs and recommended terminating the programs.

State Department and United Nations (UN): The State Department and Foreign Operations are reduced by $504 million, which includes cutting $377 million from U.S. contributions to the UN. The bill also cuts funding for the UN Population Fund to 2008 spending levels.

Congress’ Own Budget: The Republican House, which drafted the CR, cut its own funding by $55 million, which will be taken by reducing every congressional office’s budget by 5%. The Appropriations Committee, which determined the specific cuts in this legislation, cut its own budget by 9%, taking a larger hit than anyone else. The Legislative Branch budget, as a whole, is reduced by $103 million.

Public Funding for the Arts: The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are cut a combined $25 million.

High-Speed Rail: The controversial program gets slashed by $2.9 billion this year. The bill cuts out new funding for building in the mass transportation program and rescinds $400 million in previous year funds. (In total, Transportation Department programs are cut by $12.3 billion.)

Food Safety and Inspection: The CR cuts the Food Safety and Inspection Service program by $10 million, while continuing inspection activities of meat, poultry, and egg products. In total, Agricultural Department programs are cut by $3 billion.

Overall, the final CR budget cuts spending by $39.9 billion from the 2010 enacted spending levels. The government is still being funded at bloated 2010 levels because the Democratic Congress did not pass a budget or any appropriations bills last year. As a result, six, short-term CRs have been passed to keep the government open since the this current fiscal year began on Oct. 1.

Speaker Boehner has demanded that each short-term CR that has passed since Republicans took control of the House this year cut spending by $2 billion a week.  By the time the final budget is signed into law on Thursday, the Republicans will have already cut $12 billion in government spending, so $26.5 billion in cuts will be taken through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30.

“My committee went line-by-line through agency budgets this weekend to negotiate and craft deep but responsible reductions in virtually all areas of government,” said Chairman Rogers.  “Our bill targets wasteful and duplicative spending, makes strides to rein in out-of-control federal bureaucracies, and will help bring our nation one step closer to eliminating our job-crushing level of debt.”

via Obama’s Liberal Programs–ObamaCare, White House Czars, EPA–Cut in Spending Deal – HUMAN EVENTS.

Top Ten Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Running For President – HUMAN EVENTS | Tony Lee

I once laid out the reasons why Sarah Palin has a better shot of becoming president than Barack Obama did before Obama announced his candidacy during the 2008 election cycle.

And while conventional wisdom among the chattering class continues to lean against Palin mounting a presidential run, Palin has been courting the conservative base while not alienating swing voters in swing states such as Ohio, Colorado, and Florida better than any potential GOP contender.

Too often, those who cover Palin do not listen to her words or read her statements, Facebook postings, or tweets. As a result, conventional wisdom holds that Palin is setting herself up to be an entertainer, a conservative money maker, or a right-wing flame thrower who seeks only to rouse up the conservative base and get rich quick off of it. If those who proffer these theories had listened to and read her words closely, they would know that Palin has been telling everyone that she is running for president in 2012. Here are ten reasons why.

1. A pension is a promise

At an appearance before a Long Island businesses association, Palin said that a “pension is a promise” in response to a question about what to do about entitlements in an age of austerity. Her answer indicated that she does not want to anger older voters who are the most reliable subset of voters in the primary and general election.

If Palin did not have her sights on winning a potential general election, she could have taken a more extreme position and called for cuts to some programs that benefit seniors and retirees to pay down the debt.

2. Tea Partiers have to pick a party

While addressing the first Tea Party convention in Tennessee, Palin responded to a question about whether the Tea Party should become a third party by saying, “now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party.”

“Which party reflects how that smaller, smarter government steps to be taken? Which party will best fit you?,” Palin asked. “And then because the Tea Party movement is not a party, and we have a two-party system, they’re going to have to pick a party and run one or the other: ‘R’ or ‘D’”

If Palin only had intentions of being a conservative rabble rouser, she would have encouraged Tea Partiers to break away from the Republican party and go at it alone. Instead, Palin knows she can only make it to the White House if she ultimately works within the Republican party apparatus and brings independent minded Tea Party voters along with her.

3. Birtherism a distraction (wink)

Palin, speaking in Long Island, said that claims that Obama was born in Kenya or is a secret Muslim are “distractions” and “annoying,” and that Republicans should focus on the economy.

She had indicated before, though, that those who wanted to question Obama’s birthplace had every right to do so.

Last weekend on Fox News, Palin seemed to be walking that line again when she said that she believed Obama was born in Hawaii before saying, perhaps a bit sarcastically, that she’s not going to get in the way of Donald Trump’s quest to find the true origin of Obama’s birth. “More power to him,” Palin said.

By saying she thought Obama was born in Hawaii, Palin prevented anyone from calling her a birther. By not denigrating those who may find it odd that Obama has not released his long-form birth certificate, she did not alienate a group of voters who can potentially vote for her in the primary and general election.

4. The anti-Obama

From her maiden Facebook post opposing ObamaCare to her energy speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in 2009 to her stands on foreign policy issues (most recently on Libya and Egypt), Palin has emerged as the most prominent opposer-in-chief, establishing herself as Obama’s main foil.

With the GOP primary electorate staunchly against Obama, this allows Palin to cater to Republican primary voters while getting a head start on potentially becoming Obama’s main opponent in the general election.

5. The anti-McCain

If Palin learned anything from John McCain’s failed presidential campaign in 2008, it may have been that McCain probably lost the presidency because he wanted to be liked by the media, turned off conservatives who did not show up for him at the polls, and took Republican primary voters for granted by trying to run a pure general election campaign before winning the GOP primary. Palin has shown that she could care less about what the media — left, mainstream and right of center –thinks of her. In addition, in backing Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer in support of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 immigraiton law and standing behind conservative causes and candidates, such as recently elected Justice David Prosser of Wisconsin, Palin, the person who most likely could take the GOP primary base for granted, is the one who is least taking the GOP primary voters for granted.

6. Anti-establishment and Todd Palin

Palin always mentions how her husband does not belong to a poltical party and was a union member. By constantly reminding people that her husband is not a Republican, she is trying align herself not only with independent voters in the general election but also with voters who in the primary would identify themselves as conservatives before Republicans.

On the policy front, Palin has often opposed fellow Republicans, most recently in her strong opposition to the temporary Continuing Resolution that Congressional Republican leaders supported last weekend.

7. On Labor Unions

Responding to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and addressing public sector union members in Wisconsin, Palin constantly discusses how union leaders are leading their members astray.

She wrote to public sector union workers in Wisconsin: “Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don’t be taken in by the union bosses.” And this seems to be Palin’s mantra when it comes to unions and their leaders.

Palin knows members of labor unions made up a big chunk of the Reagan Democrat coalition. By criticizing union leaders and not union workers, Palin is indicating a willingness to cobble together Reagan’s blue-collar coalition, particulalry in Midwestern swing states such as Ohio, for these Jacksonian Reagan Democrats have swung every election since 1980.

8. Israel and Star of David

When Palin recently visited Israel, POLITICO’s Ben Smith reported that she had arranged her travel plans through a Christian tour operator. Intentionally or not, the optics of this again showed how she is appealing to potential primary voters (Evangelicals) while simultaneously appealing to general election voters (Jewish voters in Florida who may be disaffected with Obama).

Palin has also worn a lapel pin with the American and Israeli flags together at a TIME dinner and recently was photographed wearing a Star of David necklace during her trip to Israel.

9. Foreign trips

If Palin were to run for the presidency, her greatest liability, even in a potential GOP primary that currently lacks many authorities on foreign policy, would be her perceived weakness on foreign policy. These trips are not for her to cash a paycheck. Rather, they are trips to  potentially buffer her from being tagged as weak on foreign policy in a potential GOP primary and general election. In her most recent trip to India, Palin laid out themes that could be used in a potential GOP primary without losing their shelf-life during the general election.

10. She said she can beat Obama

A week after the 2008 election, Palin told Greta Van Sustern of Fox News, “if there is an open door in ’12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.”

In an interview with Runner’s World magazine, Palin was asked if she could beat Obama in a race (running), and she responded, “betcha I’d have more endurance. What I lacked in physical strength or skill I made up for in determination and endurance. So if it were a long race that required a lot of endurance, I’d win.”

To Barbara Walters at the end of 2010, Palin said that she believed she could beat Obama in a general election.

And most recently, Palin spoke to Van Sustern in Florida upon returning from her trip to Israel, and told Van Sustern that, “I’m still wondering who the heck is going to be out there with a servant’s heart willing to serve the American people for the right reason, not for ego, not for special interests, not with obsessive partisanship.”

Palin could not hide back her desire to run for the Presidency a week after Obama won the 2008 election, she implied to Runner’s World that she could defeat Obama in a metaphorical race, and she told Walters that she could defeat Obama in a general election. And with her most recent statements to Van Sustern, Palin has set herself up as a candidate who can survey the current crop of potential GOP contenders that lacks a candidate that people are enamored with and use that as an excuse to enter the 2012 nominating contest with a “servant’s heart” despite the great sacrifice she and her family would have to endure.

It is obvious that Palin has been telling everyone who would listen that she is running in 2012. It’s just a matter of when she is going to make the announcement.

(the second part of this series tomorrow focuses on how the Republican establishment and the mainstream media have inadvertently colluded to make Palin more formidable than she would have been otherwise).

via Top Ten Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Running For President – HUMAN EVENTS.

Nick Ayers: The Big News You Might Not Have Noticed | RedState | Erick Erickson

I have done my best to ignore Tim Pawlenty. He has never struck me as the most exciting politician. His global warming position made me squeamish. He’s always had an okay record as Governor, but around the edges he struck me as not really a movement conservative.

So I haven’t paid attention to Tim Pawlenty. Then he went and hired Nick Ayers.

For those of you who do not know Nick Ayers, he just finished a very successful tenure as Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association. Wunderkind is a word typically associated with Ayers.

He is a young, principled conservative grounded in an unapologetic faith in Christ. I know him pretty well. He started out in politics and I just took him for being a bright kid in the right place at the right time for Georgia’s Republican tidal wave back in 2002. But he kept being successful. At some point, people like me who were willing to assume it had all been about being in the right place at the right time had to realize Nick Ayers is sharp.

And he is not a sell out — a trait I have more fondness for than most traits among political wunderkinds.

For the past year, Republicans have been in a war to get Nick Ayers. Pretty much everyone has wanted him. Instead, Nick sat on the sidelines, choosing instead to help Reince Preibus’s transition to the RNC.

Everyone assumed, given the closeness of their relationship, that Nick would be going with Haley Barbour. That Nick did not suggests to me that either Barbour is not fully invested in 2012 or he really has no shot of winning.

This is all a long way of saying that this hire forces me to pay attention to Tim Pawlenty and you should too now. Putting a twenty-something in such a position is a bold and risky move. But Nick Ayers’s track record suggests Pawlenty is suddenly a force to be reckoned with — especially for guys like me who were counting him out before he really got started.

Single staff picks are rarely, if ever, game changers. But they can be game starters. To me, that’s what this is. Tim Pawlenty is in it to win it in a way I didn’t think he really would be.

via Nick Ayers: The Big News You Might Not Have Noticed | RedState.

GOP’s Budget Dream Team | Dick Morris



Published on on April 12, 2011

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Amid a Congress of baby steps, Paul Ryan strides like a giant.

In a party of timidity, hand-wringing and hesitation, Michele Bachmann roars like a lioness.

Together, Ryan and Bachmann are the core of the new, young Republican Party in the making, rising — as Gingrich did in 1994 — from the ashes of the discredited establishment.

Is Obama Terrified of the "Secret $200 Retirement Blueprint?" Rep. Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget blueprint is a thing of beauty. Stepping boldly on the third rails of our politics, he outlines a vision for a return to free enterprise and limited government that would have made Thomas Jefferson’s heart proud. His proposal to block-grant Medicaid and turn it over to the states breathes new life into federalism and gives us back the 10th Amendment. If courageous governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Scott of Florida can wrest education from the control of the labor unions and Ryan can free Medicaid from the feds, we can have state government again in America. His proposal to let the states determine eligibility and benefits and to let them experiment with Health Savings Accounts uses the laboratory of federalism to test solutions to our healthcare crisis — the opposite of the one-size-fits-all socialism of ObamaCare. 

No less significant is Ryan’s plan to return non-defense discretionary spending to below its 2008 levels, reducing the cost and, inevitably, the power of Washington. By repealing ObamaCare, reining in the Environmental Protection Agency and rolling back the stimulus spending, he would scrub the budget clean of the scars of the Obama presidency.

His Medicare proposal repeals the $500 billion of cuts in healthcare to the elderly over the next 10 years that financed ObamaCare and implements vast savings in the program a decade hence. Any cuts in the federal budget over the next decade are, of course, conjectural. When one goes further out, it is fanciful. But Ryan shows us how to do it when we get there.

But the timidity of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in refusing to go to the mat for a full $61 billion of spending cuts shows how difficult it will be to progress toward Ryan’s goals. That’s where Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) comes in. Alone among the GOP establishment and the Republican presidential possibilities, she stood up and demanded that the Republican Party keep its campaign promises to the American people. Alone, she had the courage to say we must fight and the wisdom to predict that we would have won had we done so.

Closer to the American people than the denizens of D.C., she realized the issue would not have been whom to blame for a shutdown, but to which party should go the credit for standing up against exorbitant spending. She got it that the contest would have been between more spending and less spending and that the Republican Party would have emerged covered with glory.

But, in a larger sense, she realizes we need a hammer if we are to build a house guided by Paul Ryan’s blueprint. We won’t persuade the nails to go in, we need to pound them in. Republican plans to cut spending and reform budgeting before raising the debt-limit ceiling and to make Ryan’s budget a reality hinge on their willingness to use the one weapon they have: a government shutdown. The very essence of one-house control is the negative veto power of zero appropriations. To forswear its use is to embrace impotence.

Are we seeing a Thatcher in the making? Is this outspoken lawyer from Minnesota — with a master’s degree in tax law — the one to persuade us to return to conservative principles? In a field that includes Huckabee’s values and Gingrich’s intellect (and Romney’s flip-flops), shall we add Bachmann’s courage to the mix?

It’s too early to tell, but in the crucible of this conflict, she has certainly come through for her country and her party. Between Ryan and Bachmann, maybe there’s hope after all.

Is Obama Terrified of the “Secret $200 Retirement Blueprint?”