Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday , March 31, 2008
By John R. Lott, Jr.
During the 2000 election, with Bill Clinton as president, the economy was viewed through rose-colored glasses. According to polls, voters didn’t realize that the country was in a recession. Although the economy started shrinking in July 2000, most Americans through the entire year thought that the economy was fine.
But over the last half-year, the media and politicians have said we were in a recession even while the economy was still growing.
Gas prices are going up. The economy is slowing. Talk of recession is seemingly everywhere. While the majority of people rate their personal finances positively, consumer confidence in the economy has plunged to a 16-year low, well below what it was during the last year of the Clinton administration when we were in a recession.
A Google search on news stories during the three-month period from July 2000 through September 2000 using the keywords “economy recession US” produces 1,610. By contrast, the same search over just the last month finds 50,763. Or, even more telling, take the three months from July through September last year, when the GDP was growing at a phenomenal 4.9 percent. The same type of Google search shows 7,310 news stories.
Over 4.5 times more negative news stories discussed a recession when the economy under a Republican was soaring than occurred under a Democrat when the economy was shrinking.
A little perspective on the economy would be helpful. The average unemployment rate during President Clinton was 5.2 percent. The average under President George W. Bush is just slightly below 5.2. The current unemployment rate is4.8 percent, almost half a percentage point lower than these averages.
The average inflation rate under Clinton was 2.6 percent, under Bush it is 2.7 percent. Indeed, one has to go back to the Kennedy administration to find a lower average rate. True the inflation rate over the last year has gone up to 4 percent, but that is still lower than the average inflation rate under all the presidents from Nixon through Bush’s father.
Gas prices are indeed up 33 percent over the last year, but to get an average of 4 percent means that lots of other prices must have stayed the same or gone down. On other fronts, seasonally adjusted civilian employment is 650,000 people greater than it was a year ago. Personal income grew at a strong half of one percent in just February.
Despite all that, this last week, Barack Obama proclaimed “As most experts know, our economy is in a recession.” Hillary Clinton made similar staements last fall. Yet, as any economist knows, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth, and we haven’t even had one single quarter of negative growth reported. The economy slowed down significantly during the end of last year, but that was after a sizzling annual GDP growth rate of 4.9 percent in the third quarter.
Housing has obviously been a big drag on the economy, but many other sectors of the economy, such as exports, have been doing well, some extremely well. For example, aerospace exports increased by over 13 percent last year.
The media’s focus on the negative side of everything surely helps explain people’s pessimism. In a recent interview Fox’s Neil Cavuto claimed this bias “is all part of the media’s plan to get a Democrat in the White House.”
Indeed, research has indicated that media bias is real. Kevin Hassett and I looked at 12,620 newspaper and wire service headlines from 1985 through 2004 for stories on the release of official government releasing numbers on the unemployment rate, number of people employed, gross domestic product (GDP), retail sales, and durable goods.
Even after accounting for how well the economy was doing (e.g., what the unemployment rate was and whether it was going up or down), there was still a big difference in how positive or negative the headlines were. Democratic presidents got about 15 percent more positive headlines than Republicans for the same economic news.
Yet, the hysteria created by this coverage can have another cost. It creates pressure for government to “do something,” even if that rush to do something actually ends up hurting the economy. For example, Obama's promises last week “to amend our bankruptcy laws so families aren't forced to stick to the terms of a home loan” will only further drive down the value of mortgage-backed securities, making any unstable financial institutions that hold them even more likely to fail. In the long term, who is going to want to loan money when the contract can be rewritten at a later date?
The news media have generated a lot of fear. Ben Stein has a point when he says “The actual economic conditions are not that bad. I think if we have a recession, if we have a serious recession, a great deal will lie at the media’s feet.” Hopefully a little perspective will enter the picture before even more harm is done.
John Lott is the author of Freedomnomics and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland.
Oh facts are funny things aren't they?
Evidently despite what we are being spoon fed on a daily basis by the liberal media machine, the sky hasn't fallen
But then isn't it always been a liberal tactic to create fear and problems so they can "rescue" us with big government programs funded by our tax dollars?
And its also true that perception is half the battle
So even if the facts don't support a recession if people think we are in one they will act according and help to fullfill the perception
Fear producing false perceptions, yup that's liberalism
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday , March 25, 2008
By John R. Lott, Jr.
How is it possible that some blacks actually believe that the U.S. government invented AIDS and supplies dangerous drugs to blacks with the intent of killing them?
How is it possible to say that the persecution of blacks by whites in the U.S. today corresponds to the white Europeans (Romans) who killed Jesus (said to be black, not Semitic)?
These dispirited views are obviously disappointing, but how can large numbers of people believe these things? What is the impact of the feelings that others are out to get them on people’s desire to improve themselves?
In a truly courageous act, Larry Elder's book "Stupid Black Men" rips into the festering sore of what passes as discussions these days about race. Elder confronts the "I-am-a-victim" attitude that corrupts people's sense of self-confidence and causes them to interpret the everyday difficulties people face in life through a prism of racial animosity.
People get so wrapped up in past traumas of what they are owed that they can't focus on the opportunities available.Elder's family did not escape discrimination.
His book has some jaw dropping stories of relatives who were forced to buy clothes in a store if their skin accidentally touched them, a truly weird twist on the old saying if you break it you buy it. His attitude is summarized early in the book: "Work hard, make sacrifices, focus on education, delay gratifications, avoid bad moral mistakes, and maintain optimism."
These days everything from the higher default rates of blacks on mortgages to the supposedly high rate that blacks receive the death penalty are attributed to discrimination. But, Elder seems to be right that "racism provides a convenient way of avoiding serious examination of issues."
The sad thing that Elder discusses is how locked into this cycle of victimhood blacks are.
According to Elder, so many have so much invested in portraying themselves as victims, that they turn on other blacks who don't support this message. If enough blacks reject this view, it makes it difficult for other blacks to make claims of being victims.
Elder has plenty of examples, but I have seen this first hand in academia, where in practice affirmative action represents little more than a proxy for job candidates political views.
When black job candidates don't have the desired sufficiently liberal political views, there is opposition to them counting as minority hires. One of the rare public looks into this bias was shown by the Wall Street Journal in 1995.
When Maria Hylton’s candidacy generated opposition from others at the Northwestern Law School because she’s "mildly conservative by academic standards, centrist-conservative Democrat by political standards" and black students need black teachers who “validate” their experience as blacks. The Faculty Appointments committee had been “unanimous on the merits” of Hylton’s case.
When I was at the Wharton Business School in the 1990s there was a push to hire economist Glenn Loury, but other black professors objected because of his moderate political views meant that he was not a "true black."
Politicians constantly make righting the wrongs of discrimination the central core of their message to black voters. Elder says that Democrats need black people to be angry and constantly feel aggrieved to keep 90 percent of them voting for Democrats.
Republicans are actually more in-sync with black views on issues from vouchers for schooling, crime, abortion, illegal immigration, but many blacks would never vote for Republicans because of their perception of rampant racism by Republicans.
Yet, as Elder shows, the irony is that Republicans are eight percentage points more likely than Democrats to vote for a black or a woman or a Mormon or a 72-year-old for president.
In a book that often seems clairvoyant given the events involving the Obama campaign and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright during the last couple of weeks, the double standard seems to be everywhere.
For example, Elder points out that Obama was the only presidential candidate last year to call for Don Imus to be fired for his stupid comment about “nappy headed ho's.” To Obama, Imus “didn’t just cross the line. He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America” and that if Imus worked for Obama he would be fired. There was no discussion that these were just a few off the cuff stupid words in a long career.
Elder’s book helps me understand why Obama would join Wright’s church with its emphasis on black liberation theology to help protect him from blacks who could feel that he would challenge the victimization culture and the view that government is necessary to rescue blacks.
Obama at times is given credit for saying “don’t expect government to solve all their problems,” though it is hard to actually find an issue where that old approach doesn’t apply.
As someone who knew Obama for a little while — we were both at the University of Chicago — it has been hard to recognize the person that I knew from the one portrayed in the campaign. The person that I knew was not one who sought to build bridges with those he disagreed.
Academia is overwhelmingly filled with liberals and many even to the left of that, but most liberal academics enjoy arguing with those whom they disagree with. Debate and discussion over lunch and in the halls is what makes academia a fun place to be.
But Obama was not like that.
Possibly it was his anger over our differences over the gun issue or a broader anger with those with whom he disagreed, but attempts to engage in discussions ended with a stern looks and a turned back. That was true whether I met him at school or someplace else. There was anger there.
Like Larry Elder’s family, many blacks can point to experiences that they could let consume them with anger, real or imagined, but that obsession only harms themselves and those blacks who are trying to make their lives better.
Hopefully, Elder’s book can get across the message that the vast majority of people really want them to succeed.
*John Lott, is the author of "Freedomnomics" and a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland.
The observations of Larry Elder are confirmed by Clarence Thomas in his autobiography, My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir. http://www.amazon.com/My-Grandfathers-Son-Clarence-Thomas/dp/0060565551
Blacks were expected to hold certain liberal views or they were considered, 'Uncle Tom's". Honest discussion about different points of view were simply not allowed, dismissed as "being white"
Sadly, race relations will not improve until blacks can admit their own forms of racism, not only against whites but their fellow blacks and entertain different solutions than what has "always been done"
As quite obviously, what has "always been done" isn't working
Thursday, March 20, 2008
By Ed Kaitz
"The anger is real. It is powerful, and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races." - Barack Obama
Back in the late 1980s I was on a plane flying out of New Orleans and sitting next to me was a rather interesting and, according to Barack Obama, unusual black man. Friendly, gregarious, and wise beyond his years, we immediately hit it off.
I had been working on Vietnamese commercial fishing boats for a few years based in southern Louisiana. The boats were owned by the recent wave of Vietnamese refugees who flooded into the familiar tropical environment after the war. Floating in calm seas out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, I would hear tearful songs and tales from ex-paratroopers about losing brothers, sisters, parents, children, lovers, and beautiful Vietnam itself to the communists.
In Bayou country I lived on boats and in doublewide trailers, and like the rest of the Vietnamese refugees, I shopped at Wal-Mart and ate a lot of rice. When they arrived in Louisiana the refugees had no money (the money that they had was used to bribe their way out of Vietnam and into refugee camps in Thailand), few friends, and a mostly unfriendly and suspicious local population. They did however have strong families, a strong work ethic, and the "Audacity of Hope." Within a generation, with little or no knowledge of English, the Vietnamese had achieved dominance in the fishing industry there and their children were already achieving the top SAT scores in the state.
While I had been fishing my new black friend had been working as a prison psychologist in Missouri, and he was pursuing a higher degree in psychology. He was interested in my story, and after about an hour getting to know each other I asked him point blank why these Vietnamese refugees, with no money, friends, or knowledge of the language could be, within a generation, so successful. I also asked him why it was so difficult to convince young black men to abandon the streets and take advantage of the same kinds of opportunities that the Vietnamese had recently embraced. His answer, only a few words, not only floored me but became sort of a razor that has allowed me ever since to slice through all of the rhetoric regarding race relations that Democrats shovel our way during election season:
"We're owed and they aren't."
In short, he concluded, "they're hungry and we think we're owed. It's crushing us, and as long as we think we're owed we're going nowhere."
A good test case for this theory is Katrina. Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and assorted white apologists continue to express anger and outrage over the federal response to the Katrina disaster. But where were the Vietnamese "leaders" expressing their "anger?"
The Vietnamese comprise a substantial part of the New Orleans population, and yet are absent was any report claiming that the Vietnamese were "owed" anything. This is not to say that the federal response was an adequate one, but we need to take this as a sign that maybe the problem has very little to do with racism and a lot to with a mindset.
The mindset that one is "owed" something in life has not only affected black mobility in business but black mobility in education as well. Remember Ward Churchill? About fifteen years ago he was my boss. After leaving the fishing boats, I attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I managed to get a job on campus teaching expository writing to minority students who had been accepted provisionally into the university on an affirmative action program. And although I never met him, Ward Churchill, in addition to teaching in the ethnic studies department, helped to develop and organize the minority writing program.
The job paid most of my bills, but what I witnessed there was absolutely horrifying. The students were encouraged to write essays attacking the white establishment from every conceivable angle and in addition to defend affirmative action and other government programs. Of the hundreds of papers that I read, there was not one original contribution to the problem of black mobility that strayed from the party line.
The irony of it all however is that the "white establishment" managed to get them into the college and pay their entire tuition. Instead of being encouraged to study international affairs, classical or modern languages, philosophy or art, most of these students became ethnic studies or sociology majors because it allowed them to remain in disciplines whose orientation justified their existence at the university. In short, it became a vicious cycle.
There was a student there I'll never forget. He was plucked out of the projects in Denver and given a free ride to the university. One day in my office he told me that his mother had said the following to him: "M.J., they owe you this. White people at that university owe you this." M.J.'s experience at the university was a glorious fulfillment of his mother's angst.
There were black student organizations and other clubs that "facilitated" the minority student's experience on the majority white and "racist" campus, in addition to a plethora of faculty members, both white and black, who encouraged the same animus toward the white establishment. While adding to their own bona fides as part of the trendy Left, these "facilitators" supplied M.J. with everything he needed to quench his and his mother's anger, but nothing in the way of advice about how to succeed in college. No one, in short, had told M.J. that he needed to study. But since he was "owed" everything, why put out any effort on his own?
In a fit of despair after failing most of his classes, M.J. wandered into my office one Friday afternoon in the middle of the semester and asked if I could help him out. I asked M.J. about his plans that evening, and he told me that he usually attended parties on Friday and Saturday nights. I told him that if he agreed to meet me in front of the university library at 6:00pm I would buy him dinner. At 6pm M.J. showed up, and for the next twenty minutes we wandered silently through the stacks, lounges, and study areas of the library. When we arrived back at the entrance I asked M.J. if he noticed anything interesting. As we headed up the hill to a popular burger joint, M.J. turned to me and said:
"They were all Asian. Everyone in there was Asian, and it was Friday night."
Nothing I could do, say, or show him, however, could match the fire power of his support system favoring anger. I was sad to hear of M.J. dropping out of school the following semester.During my time teaching in the writing program, I watched Asians get transformed via leftist doublespeak from "minorities" to "model minorities" to "they're not minorities" in precise rhythm to their fortunes in business and education. Asians were "minorities" when they were struggling in this country, but they became "model minorities" when they achieved success. Keep in mind "model minority" did not mean what most of us think it means, i.e., something to emulate. "Model minority" meant that Asians had certain cultural advantages, such as a strong family tradition and a culture of scholarship that the black community lacked. To suggest that intact families and a philosophy of self-reliance could be the ticket to success would have undermined the entire angst establishment.
Because of this it was improper to use Asian success as a model. The contortions the left exercised in order to defend this ridiculous thesis helped to pave the way for the elimination of Asians altogether from the status of "minority." This whole process took only a few years.
Eric Hoffer said:
"...you do not win the weak by sharing your wealth with them; it will but infect them with greed and resentment. You can win the weak only by sharing your pride, hope or hatred with them."
We now know that Barack Obama really has no interest in the "audacity of hope." With his race speech, Obama became a peddler of angst, resentment and despair. Too bad he doesn't direct that angst at the liberal establishment that has sold black people a bill of goods since the 1960s.
What Obama seems angry about is America itself and what it stands for; the same America that has provided fabulous opportunities for what my black friend called "hungry" minorities. Strong families, self-reliance, and a spirit of entrepreneurship should be held up as ideals for all races to emulate.
In the end, we should be very suspicious about Obama's anger and the recent frothings of his close friend Reverend Wright.
Says Eric Hoffer:
The fact seems to be that we are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about. Vehemence is the expression of a blind effort to support and uphold something that can never stand on its own.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Tuesday , March 18, 2008
By Lee Ross
WASHINGTON — The nine justices of the highest court in the land will meet Tuesday to hear arguments on who the Founding Fathers intended when they called for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms: a well regulated militia or all individuals.
Tuesday's arguments in front of the Supreme Court — the focal point for gun rights advocates and foes alike — will be the first significant Second Amendment case in front of the high court since 1939. Supporters and opponents are equally excited and concerned by the prospect of what the court’s ruling — expected by June — could mean for individuals seeking clearer laws on the right to bear arms.
Washington, D.C., the nation's capital and one party to the case, argues its handgun ban “is a governmental duty of the highest order.” The contrary argument claims the city's law is “draconian” in its infringement of Second Amendment rights, which states, "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
In its pre-argument briefs to the Supreme Court the parties to this case seem to have been writing to convince today’s nine foremost grammarians or historians. Much of the presentations to the Supreme Court focus on the grammatical meaning of the 27-word amendment.
The agitator at the center of this case is Dick Heller, a police officer for the federal government who in his job patrolling federal buildings carries a handgun. But D.C. law prohibits him and nearly every other resident from registering a handgun for personal use.
Heller contends the handgun is necessary to defend himself at his home. The city’s law, on the books for more than three decades and one of the most stringent in the country, was passed to prevent violent and accidental gun violence. It’s a law the city and its supporters say is necessary and successful.
Heller’s lawsuit against the city was initially dismissed but the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a landmark 2-1 decision, overturned that ruling. It declared that the Second Amendment guarantees all individuals the right to keep and bear arms.
That ruling contravened decades of jurisprudence that held the Second Amendment right was exclusive to militias. The D.C. government appealed that ruling and in November the Supreme Court announced it would take the case.
The D.C. government presents three overarching arguments to the Court. First, the city contends the D.C. Circuit erred in its basic interpretation of the law.
“The text and history of the Second Amendment conclusively refute the notion that it entitles individuals to have guns for their own private purposes,” reads the appeal by the city to the high court. Specifically, it points to the language of the Second Amendment and argues both clauses taken individually or in concert can only be read to suggest its application to militias and not individuals.
As for its historical argument, the city concludes, “There is no suggestion that the need to protect private uses of weapons against federal intrusion ever animated the adoption of the Second Amendment.”
The city's attorneys detail the debate that preceded the enactment of the law as part of the Bill of Rights. In so doing, the city draws upon the works of William Blackstone, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and similarly worded legislation passed in the late 18th century. It argues the Founders’ “efforts surely were purposeful, and should not be ignored two centuries later.”
The city’s second argument is that the Second Amendment does not apply to District-specific legislation. It is a curious argument, at least politically, for a government keen on seeking equal representation in Congress.
“The Framers created a federal enclave to ensure federal protection of federal interests. They could not have intended the Second Amendment to prevent Congress from establishing such gun-control measures as it deemed necessary to protect itself, the president and this court.”
Its final argument rests on an analysis of the D.C. statute which the city says should be done on a “proper reasonableness” standard. The city argues its law “represent(s) the District’s reasoned judgment about how best to meet its duty to protect the public. Because that predictive judgment about how best to reduce gun violence was reasonable and is entitled to substantial deference, it should be upheld.”
In response, attorneys for Heller roundly disagree with the District’s positions with its most fundamental argument being that the lower court was correct in its judgment that the Second Amendment does in fact guarantee an individual the right to keep and bear arms.
They contend the D.C. gun ban is a “draconian infringement” of the Second Amendment. And they too present their grammatical and historical interpretation of the law writing there cannot be “doubts or ambiguities” about the meaning of the second clause or its relationship with the first.
“The words cannot be rendered meaningless by resort to their preamble. Any preamble-based interpretive rationale demanding an advanced degree in linguistics for its explication is especially suspect in this context,” the attorneys argue.
Heller’s lawyers also present its Founders-era evidence by quoting from George Mason, Blackstone and Madison. They also quote lawyer John Adams during his successful defense of British soldiers in the aftermath of the Boston Massacre.
In that trial Adams conceded that “here every private person is authorized to arm himself, and on the strength of this authority, I do not deny the inhabitants had a right to arm themselves at that time for their defense, not for offense."
They also dismiss as spurious the city’s argument that the Second Amendment does not have the effect of law in the District of Columbia. They acknowledge that Congress (and now the D.C. government under Home Rule) has the ability to make gun laws but must do so in accordance with the Constitution. Heller's lawyers draw a parallel with Congress’s power to run the city’s schools which they note cannot then be segregated or otherwise be operated contrary to Constitutional holdings.
Finally, they dismiss the city’s argument that the handgun ban is legal under a “proper reasonableness” standard. Instead they offer a “strict scrutiny” guideline for imposing restrictions on gun ownership.
“As our nation continues to face the scourges of crime and terrorism, no provision of the Bill of Rights would be immune from demands that perceived governmental necessity overwhelm the very standard by which enumerated rights are secured. Exorbitant claims of authority to deny basic constitutional rights are not unknown. Demoting the Second Amendment to some lower tier of enumerate rights is unwarranted. The Second Amendment has the distinction of securing the most fundamental rights of all — enabling the preservation of one’s life and guaranteeing our liberty. These are not second-class concerns.”
It is common for the Supreme Court to ask for the official position of the United States government. In this case, Solicitor General Paul Clement has been given 15 minutes to argue before the court. Lawyers for the District of Columbia and Heller will each have 30 minutes.
His brief, however, surprised many when it argued against a definitive ruling on the merits of the case. Instead the brief counsels the justices that the “better course” would be to remand the case back to the lower courts for further review. In so doing, Clement urges the court to acknowledge the “plain text” of the Second Amendment and recognize that the law does guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms. He says such an interpretation “reinforces the most natural reading of the amendment’s text.”
Clement asks the court to remand the case out of fear that an outright affirmation of the lower court’s ruling could “cast doubt” on all existing federal firearms legislation.
“The Second Amendment, properly construed, allows for reasonable regulation of firearms.” Within that framework Clement offers to the court what he describes as an intermediate or heightened level of judicial review. He says the court’s handling of legally similar cases by remanding them for further proceedings represent a due diligence that should be followed in this case.
Of the more than 65 friend-of-the-court briefs filed on this case, one drew immediate attention for its dismissal of the solicitor general’s remand argument and because the lead name attached to it is that of Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney, in his position as president of the Senate, joined a brief with 55 senators and 250 House members to support Heller asking the court to fully affirm the lower court ruling. It created the most unusual circumstance of the vice president — not to mention majorities of both chambers of Congress — in opposition to the official position of the U.S. government.
“This court should give due deference to the repeated findings over different historical epochs by Congress, a co-equal branch of government, that the amendment guarantees the personal right to possess firearms. ... No purpose would be served by remanding this case for further fact finding or other proceedings.”
The members of Congress who joined the brief are mostly Republicans, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain. A healthy number of gun-rights Democrats also joined in the brief.
Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, did not make their positions known to the court.
Another brief by 17 other House members—all Democrats—and the non-voting delegate to the House from Washington, D.C. asked the court to uphold the city’s handgun ban.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
“Tonight, too many in Congress embraced the earmark favor factory and proved why we have the lowest approval rating in history,” said Senator DeMint. “Earmarks represent the worst of wasteful Washington spending. The big spenders in Congress may still desperately cling to their pork, but our presidential candidates have made it clear the current system is unacceptable. Americans want the bridges to nowhere and earmark scandals to stop.”
“I’m proud of the twenty-nine brave senators who stood up for Americans and against pork-barrel politics. Taxpayer dollars should be spent based on merit, not political influence.”
The bipartisan amendment would have forced an earmark moratorium for Fiscal Year 2009. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Hillary Clinton (D-New York), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), Mel Martinez (R-Florida), Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma).
The amendment was also supported by:
• Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
• National Taxpayers Union
• Americans for Prosperity
• Americans for Tax Reform
• American Conservative Union
• Club for Growth
• Grassfire Alliance
29 in favor of the proposal, 71 opposed
Here are the Senators who voted AGAINST the pork moratorium:
Dorgan (D-ND) Durbin (D-IL)
Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE)
Thursday, March 13, 2008
By Thomas Sowell
March 12, 2008
What was he thinking of? That was the first question that came to mind when the story of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's involvement with a prostitution ring was reported in the media.
It was also the first question that came to mind when star quarterback Michael Vick ruined his career and lost his freedom over his involvement in illegal dog fighting. It is a question that arises when other very fortunate people risk everything for some trivial satisfaction.
Many in the media refer to Eliot Spitzer as some moral hero who fell from grace. Spitzer was never a moral hero. He was an unscrupulous prosecutor who threw his power around to ruin people, even when he didn't have any case with which to convict them of anything.
Because he was using his overbearing power against businesses, the anti-business left idolized him, just as they idolized Ralph Nader before him as some sort of secular saint because he attacked General Motors.
What Eliot Spitzer did was not out of character. It was completely in character for someone with the hubris that comes with the ability to misuse his power to make or break innocent people.
After John Whitehead, former head of Goldman Sachs, wrote an op-ed column in the Wall Street Journal, criticizing Attorney General Spitzer's handling of a case involving Maurice Greenberg, Spitzer was quoted by Whitehead as saying: "I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done."
When you start thinking of yourself as a little tin god, able to throw your weight around to bully people into silence, it is a sign of a sense of being exempt from the laws and social rules that apply to other people.
For someone with this kind of hubris to risk his whole political career for a fling with a prostitute is no more surprising than for Michael Vick to throw away millions to indulge his taste for dog fighting or for Leona Helmsley to avoid paying taxes -- not because she couldn't easily afford to pay taxes and still have more money left than she could ever spend -- but because she felt above the rules that apply to "the little people."
What is almost as scary as having someone like Eliot Spitzer holding power is having so many pundits talking as if this is just a "personal" flaw in Governor Spitzer that should not disqualify him for public office.
Spitzer himself spoke of his "personal" failing as if it had nothing to do with his being governor of New York.
In this age, when it is considered the height of sophistication to be "non-judgmental," one of the corollaries is that "personal" failings have no relevance to the performance of official duties.
What that amounts to, ultimately, is that character doesn't matter. In reality, character matters enormously, more so than most things that can be seen, measured or documented.
Character is what we have to depend on when we entrust power over ourselves, our children and our society to government officials.
We cannot risk all that for the sake of the fashionable affectation of being more non-judgmental than thou.
Currently, various facts are belatedly beginning to leak out that give us clues to the character of Barack Obama. But to report these facts is being characterized as a "personal" attack.
Barack Obama's personal and financial association with a man under criminal indictment in Illinois is not just a "personal" matter. Nor is his 20 years of going to a church whose pastor has praised Louis Farrakhan and condemned the United States in both sweeping terms and with obscene language.
The Obama camp likens mentioning such things to criticizing him because of what members of his family might have said or done. But it was said, long ago, that you can pick your friends but not your relatives.
Obama chose to be part of that church for 20 years. He was not born into it. His "personal" character matters, just as Eliot Spitzer's "personal" character matters -- and just as Hillary Clinton's character would matter if she had any.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
March 11, 2008
By Jerry Seper and Jim McElhatton - A major medical equipment supplier, whose owners have spent millions of dollars helping elect Democrats nationwide, is under criminal investigation for its foreign sale of medical devices after already being tied to a kickback scheme involving U.S. doctors, public records show.
A subsidiary of Stryker Corp. of Kalamazoo, Mich., last year signed an agreement to avoid prosecution and cooperate in the probe involving consulting contracts, trips and gifts to U.S. doctors.
But it recently informed investors in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that the Justice Department's Criminal Division is investigating the company for "possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act." That law prohibits U.S. companies from paying bribes overseas.
The company, founded in 1941 by Dr. Homer Stryker, an orthopedic surgeon, is partly owned by his three grandchildren, Jon, Pat and Rhonda Stryker. Not including other stock holdings, the siblings control a trust that owns nearly one-fourth of the $6 billion company.
Jon Stryker alone has given at least $6 million to federal and state political campaigns since 2004. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, he and his sister, Pat, rank among the nation's top individual donors by giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to "soft money" special interest political groups in 2006 on top of their donations to candidates and political parties.
For instance, Pat Stryker separately contributed $500,000 to the Michigan Coalition for Progress, which successfully helped return Democrats to control of the state legislature in the last election.
Stryker Corp. officials said that while the company is partly owned by the Stryker siblings, the family has no hand in running the daily affairs of the business.
"They are owners of the company, but they do not have management experience," said Stryker Corp. spokesman J. Patrick Anderson, adding that any contributions by the company's executives and the Stryker siblings are made independently. "There would be no direct ties at all."
In 2006, the company found itself in the cross hairs of Republican state leaders in Colorado and Michigan, where Jon Stryker, who founded the Michigan Coalition, and Pat Stryker have donated millions of dollars to help Democratic candidates and causes.
"Jon Stryker bought a legislative majority in the statehouse for the Democrats in 2006," said Bill Nowling, director of communications and research for the state's Republican Party.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Stryker declined to comment, saying only that his political activities have no relationship to the company.
Stryker Corp. owned one of five companies that agreed last year to settle a criminal investigation by U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie in New Jersey that focused on their payments to U.S. surgeons.
Stryker Orthopedics Inc., the Mahwah, N.J., subsidiary of the Stryker Corp.; Zimmer Holdings Inc.; Depuy Orthopaedics Inc.; Biomet Inc.; and Smith & Nephew Inc. together supplied nearly 95 percent of the lucrative worldwide market in hip and knee surgical implants.
According to a report last month from Sen. Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Democrat and chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, the five companies together spent $230 million on payments to physicians. He accused the companies and physicians of putting their financial interests ahead of patients.
"These types of unethical payments are not anecdotal, but rather have been pervasive and industrywide for far too long," Mr. Kohl said. "The physicians who take their money are equal participants and equally culpable."
Stryker Corp. disclosed the Justice Department investigation in its annual report, filed with the SEC last month. The company said the department requested documents from Jan. 1, 2000, to the present, regarding possible violations of federal criminal and antitrust laws.
Prosecutors said financial inducements were offered to the U.S. physicians in the form of consulting agreements and were entered into with hundreds of surgeons, who did little or no work in return but did agree to exclusively use the paying company's products.
The physicians, prosecutors said, also failed to disclose the existence of the relationships with the companies to the hospitals where the surgeries were performed and to the patients they treated. More than 700,000 hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, about two-thirds of which are for patients covered by Medicare.
Mr. Christie's decision to appoint his former boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, as the compliance monitor for one of the companies, Zimmer Holdings, has made him of target of Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate "if political or personal favoritism played a role" in the selection of the monitors.
The House Judiciary subcommittee on commercial and administrative law meets today to discuss the settlements in the Christie investigation and whether the appointment of the monitors was appropriate.
Questions to Mr. Conyers' office were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which referred inquiries to the subcommittee on commercial and administrative law, which referred questions to the subcommittee's chairman, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, California Democrat, whose chief of staff did not return calls.
Mr. Christie is not scheduled to testify, although the Justice Department will be represented by David Nahmias, U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. Mr. Ashcroft agreed to testify after Mr. Conyers said the committee would consider issuing a subpoena.
The hearing was prompted, in part, by complaints from two New Jersey Democratic congressmen, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. and Bill Pascrell Jr., after Mr. Christie awarded the $27 million, no-bid contract to Mr. Ashcroft.
Mr. Ashcroft is expected to tell the committee his goal as a monitor will be to "ensure that the alleged illegal kickbacks to health care professionals would be eradicated industry-wide, saving American taxpayers millions of dollars," according to a copy of his testimony.
"Physicians who make decisions about which hip or knee replacement is implanted in patients should make those decisions solely based on what is in the best interests of those patients," he said. "A surgeon who makes decisions based on the receipt of illegal kickbacks violates his responsibility to patients, breaches the public trust, and breaks the law."
Mr. Ashcroft also will note that 100 percent of the fees paid to the monitors comes from the companies, adding that the system "has been designed to place the cost of compliance onto the defendant company rather than further burdening American taxpayers with the cost of rectifying any improper, fraudulent or illegal activity."
Mr. Stryker, said by Forbes magazine in October to be worth an estimated $2.1 billion, gave $4.6 million to the Michigan Coalition and Pat Stryker, whose financial fortune was set by Forbes at $1.8 billion, donated an additional $500,000.
Since 2003, Mr. Stryker has given $40,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and more than $180,000 to the Democratic National Committee. He also has contributed to three members of the House Judiciary Committee, according to the Federal Election Commission.
That includes $2,100 to Mr. Conyers; $23,000 to Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Democrat, to her campaign and her political action committee, the People's House PAC; and $2,100 to Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat.
The Stryker family also has donated millions to other causes, including the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund; against state constitutional amendments against same-sex marriages; People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group; Emily's List, which supports pro-choice female candidates; initiatives calling for increases on cigarette taxes; and various environmental issues.
John W. Brown, chairman of the Stryker Corp.'s board of directors, has given $72,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee since 2000. His donations included a $10,000 donation to the DSCC on Dec. 31, about three months after his company signed the nonprosecution agreement.
Despite the New Jersey investigation and the SEC probe, none of the Democrats who has received money from the Strykers has sought to return it, unlike the clamor raised over donations made by fundraiser Norman Hsu to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign.
According to its SEC filing last month, Stryker Corp. disclosed that the SEC had made an informal inquiry of the company regarding possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with the sale of medical devices in certain foreign countries and that was followed by a subpoena from the Justice Department.
The filing said Stryker "is fully cooperating" with the Justice Department and the SEC. Stryker Corp.'s most recent SEC filing shows it makes 64 percent of its money in the United States and the rest from overseas.
In the Christie agreement, Zimmer, Depuy Orthopaedics, Biomet and Smith & Nephew executed Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), which expire in 18 months if they meet all of their respective reform requirements. Criminal complaints also were filed against the four charging them with conspiring to violate the federal anti-kickback statute. The complaints will be dismissed at the conclusion of the DPAs if the companies comply with their terms.
Criminal complaints against the four companies said that beginning in 2002 and continuing through 2006 they used consulting agreements with orthopedic surgeons as inducements to use specific artificial hip and knee reconstruction and replacement products. The surgeons were paid for consulting contracts that required little or no work and were often lavished with trips and other expensive perquisites, according to prosecutors.
The four reached civil settlements with the Justice Department and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, agreeing to pay $311 million.
Stryker Orthopedics cooperated with prosecutors, signing a nonprosecution agreement that required it to implement all the reforms imposed on the other companies, including 18 months of federal monitoring. It did not enter into any civil settlement with the Justice Department or Health and Human Services, and has not been given any release from civil liability nor any release from HHS.
If you recall this is the same Jon Stryker that "founded and funded the Arcus Foundation in Kalamazoo, has provided over $40 million in grants to LGBT groups and $36 million to protecting the great apes. He has also spent thousands of dollars to fund campaigns to unseat anti-gay incumbents in Michigan.
And his actions were honored Thursday night at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference when the group presented him with the first ever Creating Change Award."
AND acorrding to sources, "According to House Democrat leadership aides, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked advisers to examine FEC and other records to determine if Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers may have steered money from an influential Michigan family to other Democrats. "
More liberal corruption exposed!
Well the news just keep getting worst for liberals as they are exposed and the war heats up for the Democrat nomination
Tuesday came the news that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, paid tens of thousands of dollars as a repeat customer of a high-priced prostitution service.
The is a man who built his political reputation on rooting out corruption.
In addition. Spitzer paid train fare for his call girl from New York to Washington opening up federal prosecition on vilation of the Mann Act. Spitzer known as "Client 9" become the object of a federal investigation when cash payments from several bank accounts when into an account operated by a call-girl ring.
Spizer, married and the father of teenage girls has had his share of problems while in office. Including an unpopular plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and a plotting to smear Republicans.
Normally one would think that a Governor caught engaging in illegal activities would be reason to step down from office. However, as I write this it seems that Spitzer may be taking a page out of the Clinton/Monica handbook.
Another Clinton "legacy."
Following on the heels of the Spitzer scandal former vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, made this statement to a California paper.
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,"
Former Democrat vice-presidential candidate Ferraro just happens to be
a member of Sen. Hillary Clinton's finance committee.
Seems as if Ferraro had a "moment" and said in public what Hillary believes in private.
Then there is the continuing saga of Michigan Democrats re-doing the Democrat Primary. Of course Hillary wants to change the rules as it would benefit her by adding more delegates to her tally. Obama wants nothing to do with it because it doesn't benefit him. Once more liberals show that the rules mean nothing.
And then there is Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick embroiled in his own sex scandal. Just the latest in a series of scandal and corruption in the Kilpatrick admistration.
Kilpatrick is refusing to step down, willing to let the citizens and the city of Detroit suffer more strife, division and local and national embarrassment.
Yes its been a busy week so far for liberals.
One can only imagine, "What next"?
However the upside to this is that liberals are imploding and exposing themselves for who they really are.
Voters are you paying attention?
Kwame Kilpatrick are you paying attention?
Saturday, March 8, 2008
By Joseph Abrams
In July 2005, the Los Angeles Police Department caught a group of men who had been robbing gas stations in the area. While investigating, police uncovered something far worse: The gas station hits were bankrolling a terrorist plot to attack National Guard facilities, synagogues, the Israeli consulate and Los Angeles International Airport.
Deputy Chief of Police Michael Downing says the group was "closer to going operational at the time than anyone since 9/11."
Thomas P. O'Brien, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, says, "An untold number of lives may have been saved when this terrorist cell was dismantled." This story is hardly unique: Since Sept. 11, authorities have disrupted more than 20 publicly known plots against domestic U.S. targets, involving dozens of arrests at home and abroad.
Some of these plots are well-known, such as Richard Reid's failed "shoe bombing" in December 2001 and the liquid explosives plot of 2006, when British investigators uncovered a plan to carry bombs on airliners bound for the U.S. Each of those incidents permanently changed airport security protocols.
Then there was the plot to kill U.S. soldiers using assault rifles and grenades at Fort Dix in New Jersey, and the so-called "Lackawanna Six," who pleaded guilty to providing support to Al Qaeda. But others have passed by with little notice from the general public, as well as critics of government efforts to protect the U.S. from homegrown terror attacks.
Take, for example, Iyman Faris, of Columbus, Ohio, who plotted to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge and was convicted of conspiracy and providing material support for Al Qaeda in 2003.
Later that year 11 men with connections to Al Qaeda were discovered training for jihad in Virginia, using paintball games to simulate battlefield situations. In 2004, James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj were convicted of planning to bomb New York's Penn Station during the Republican National Convention.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a household name for his role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, also is known to have prepared little-known strikes against America's tallest building, the Sears Tower in Chicago, as well as the Empire State Building in New York and the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles.
In contrast, Dhiren Barot may not be a familiar name, although some security experts say he should be. An Indian convert to Islam, the Pakistan-based Barot planned a series of ruinous attacks on the U.S. and U.K, including the New York Stock Exchange and the IMF building in Washington, D.C. Barot was caught by British authorities in 2004 and sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder.
Andrew McCarthy, director of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, credits much of the success in preventing terrorist attacks at home to the pursuit of enemies overseas.
"There have been days in Iraq and Afghanistan," he says, "where we have killed or captured more terrorists than we did between 1993, when the World Trade Center was attacked, and 2001, when the World Trade Center was destroyed." "But," McCarthy cautions, "once you get them over here, the rules of the justice system apply."
Successful prosecutions are key to tackling terrorism, but they are not an easy process. Investigators prefer to wait for overwhelming evidence of a terrorist plot, and the timing is difficult. "It's more dangerous to let things play out because law enforcement is rarely, if ever, in control during these investigations," McCarthy says. Plots often are disrupted early and as a result, he says, "you don't often have well-developed cases."
But there have been successes, and the courts have been very active since Sept. 11. According to Sean Boyd, a spokesman for the Justice Department, 527 defendants have been charged in terrorism or terrorism-related cases arising from investigations primarily conducted after Sept. 11.
Those cases have resulted in 319 convictions, with an additional 176 cases pending in court. It's not a perfect record for the Justice Department, but it still is a good one, says McCarthy, who prosecuted and convicted "blind sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman, ringleader of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.
"The batting average is not as high as it was prior to Sept. 11," when most investigations focused on crimes already committed, "but that again is something that we are going to have to accept," McCarthy says.
Allison Barrie, a security and terrorism consultant and a FOXNews.com contributor, agrees on the difficulties. "The evidence [in these trials] is always at its best at the 11th hour," she says. Waiting until the last moment is dangerous, but "you've got to weigh that against actually getting that prosecution." So far, that strategy has been decisive in preventing another attack on the scale of Sept. 11. "We've just been plain lucky," Barrie says.
And intelligence work hasn't prevented smaller attacks from being carried out.
On July 4, 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian national, opened fire at the El Al ticket counter at LAX, killing two people before a security guard killed him.
That same ticket counter later would be targeted by those L.A. gas station robbers, a homegrown terrorist group with roots in a California prison.
Homegrown groups often are difficult to detect, and the California cell was not found through careful intelligence work; the LAPD stumbled on them by accident. They might never have been discovered.
"The cliché is true," Barrie says. "Terrorists only have to be lucky once, but the good guys have to be lucky every time."
List of Thwarted Terror Attacks Since Sept. 11
Thursday , March 06, 2008
By Joseph Abrams
The following is a list of known terror plots thwarted by the U.S. government since Sept. 11, 2001.
• December 2001, Richard Reid: British citizen attempted to ignite shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.
• May 2002, Jose Padilla: American citizen accused of seeking "dirty bomb," convicted of conspiracy.
• September 2002, Lackawanna Six: American citizens of Yemeni origin convicted of supporting Al Qaeda. Five of six were from Lackawanna, N.Y.
• May 2003, Iyman Faris: American citizen charged with trying to topple the Brooklyn Bridge.
• June 2003, Virginia Jihad Network: Eleven men from Alexandria, Va., trained for jihad against American soldiers, convicted of violating the Neutrality Act, conspiracy.
• August 2004, Dhiren Barot: Indian-born leader of terror cell plotted bombings on financial centers (see additional images).
• August 2004, James Elshafay and Shahawar Matin Siraj: Sought to plant bomb at New York's Penn Station during the Republican National Convention.
• August 2004, Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain: Plotted to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat on American soil.
• June 2005, Father and son Umer Hayat and Hamid Hayat: Son convicted of attending terrorist training camp in Pakistan; father convicted of customs violation.
• August 2005, Kevin James, Levar Haley Washington, Gregory Vernon Patterson and Hammad Riaz Samana: Los Angeles homegrown terrorists who plotted to attack National Guard, LAX, two synagogues and Israeli consulate.
• December 2005, Michael Reynolds: Plotted to blow up refinery in Wyoming, convicted of providing material support to terrorists.
• February 2006, Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Zand Wassim Mazloum: Accused of providing material support to terrorists, making bombs for use in Iraq.
• April 2006, Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee: Cased and videotaped the Capitol and World Bank for a terrorist organization.
• June 2006, Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Grant Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augstine: Accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower.
• July 2006, Assem Hammoud: Accused of plotting to hit New York City train tunnels.
• August 2006, Liquid Explosives Plot: Thwarted plot to explode ten airliners over the United States.
• May 2007, Fort Dix Plot: Six men accused of plotting to attack Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey.
• June 2007, JFK Plot: Four men accused of plotting to blow up fuel arteries underneath JFK Airport in New York.
• March 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: Mastermind of Sept. 11 and author of numerous plots confessed in court in March 2007 to planning to destroy skyscrapers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Why doesn't the media report on the success of the Bush Justice Department in keeping America safe? Isn't that something that American citizens would want to know, that their government is ACTIVELY pursuing terrorists who are committed to doing harm to America and Americans?
What could possibly be an explanation to not report success?
Doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that this is a success for the Bush administration and the one thing the liberal media is in conclusion with is reporting anything that could be construed as a "Bush success"
At least as far as liberals allow it to be success. Making the prosecution of terrorist as difficult as possible.
"Big Lizard" describes this much more eloquently than I on his blog
There is a reason the Bush administration has resisted, to the maximum extent possible, shifting primary responsibility for dealing with terrorists to the civilian court system... and it's not that Bush wants to shred the Constitution and imprison thousands of liberal activists in Gitmo: it's that terrorists are well-trained in using the rights and liberties of our own judicial system as a weapon against us.
They are well-versed in tying our courts into knots, playing the victim, and shifting blame to American foreign policy. And because the refutation of such lies would require revealing classified information that is vital to national security, the government is typically helpless to defend itself and its prosecution.
Alas, there is also a reason why the Democrats, to a man (and I include Hillary in that), will fight until the cows come home to roost to return the war on global hirabah to the courtrooms, as it was under President Bill Clinton: Because it's so much easier simply to charge terrorists in civilian court, then throw up one's hands at the mistrials and not-guilty verdicts and say "what can we do?" than to take on the duty oneself and actually achieve results.
Declaring that the proper way to fight terrorism is not with special forces and intelligence but subpoenas and indictments relieves a future Democratic administration from all responsibility. It takes the whole "terrorism thing" off the president's plate... allowing him or her to focus on more pleasant tasks, such as raising taxes on poor smokers in order to finance government-run health care for all middle-class children and their parents.
Friday, March 7, 2008
A shocking set of recordings was released this week that could prove disastrous for Planned Parenthood's ties with the African-American community. Lila Rose, a pro-life student and reporter at UCLA, launched an undercover investigation aimed at exposing the racism of the nation's largest abortion merchant. With the help of an actor, she contacted Planned Parenthood clinics in seven states, inquiring if they would be willing to accept a donation earmarked for the abortion of black babies. The results were jaw-dropping.
Rose was appalled to discover that every last clinic agreed. Not one employee objected or questioned the request, even when the actor insisted that the purpose was to "lower the number of black people" in America. When the caller phoned an Ohio branch, he was told that Planned Parenthood "will accept the money for whatever reason." Read the outrageous transcript from the Idaho clinic, which is also available with Rose's other recordings in a montage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eygv8qEkiFE
Actor: ...I really faced trouble with affirmative action, and I don't want my kids to be disadvantaged against black kids.
Planned Parenthood: Yes, absolutely.
Actor: And we don't, you know, we just think the less black kids out there the better.
Planned Parenthood: (Laughs) Understandable, understandable... This is the first time I've had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I'm excited and want to make sure I don't leave anything out.
Students at UCLA are so infuriated by the investigation that they are petitioning the university to cut all affiliation with Planned Parenthood. What few people realize is that the organization has a history of racism that has been ingrained since Planned Parenthood's earliest days, when founder Margaret Sanger advocated negative eugenics and spoke to a woman's branch of the KKK (Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography, 1938, p. 336-367). However, as is customary for Planned Parenthood, the organization has managed for decades to cover its tracks--and the facts. That task has just been made monumentally more difficult. Abortion has taken the innocent lives of over 14 million black children--a national tragedy that has begun uniting and mobilizing African-Americans across party, state, and financial lines.
Today, FRC hosted a press conference to kick off the National Black Pro-Life Gathering in Washington, D.C. which drew pastors, parents, leaders, and activists from across America to commemorate Black History Month by calling on abortion merchants like Planned Parenthood to stop preying on their community. As these abortion clinics continue to demonstrate that blood money is not colorblind, we call on Congress to de-fund and disavow Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers should not be forced to spend over $300 million on an organization whose scruples are for sale, even to those who seek racial genocide http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?c=HOME
"For whatever reason" The abortion BUSINESS Planned "Parenthood"
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
This post was made by GM Vice President Bob Lutz on the the GM Blog. I salute Mr. Lutz for his bravely in publicly denouncing man-made Global Warming for that the educated know it to be, a Crock!
I urge you to take a moment to post your support for Mr. Lutz on the GM blog here http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2008/02/talk_about_a_cr.html
Talk About a Crock…
By Bob Lutz
GM Vice Chairman
It amazes me sometimes what kinds of things seem to “catch on” out there.
An offhand comment I made recently about the concept of global warming seems to have a lot of people heated, and it’s spreading through the Internet like ragweed. But I think that the people making a big deal out of it are missing the real point. My beliefs are mine and I have a right to them, just as you have a right to yours. But among my strongest beliefs is that my job is to do what makes the most business sense for GM.
Never mind what I said, or the context in which I said it. My thoughts on what has or hasn’t been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors. My opinions on the subject — like anyone’s — are immaterial. Really. The point is not why and how did we get where we are, it’s what are we going to do to get where we’re going.
And I think that many of the people who’ve been spewing their virtual vitriol in my direction in the past week are guilty of taking the easy way out.
Instead of simply assailing me for expressing what I think, they should be looking at the big picture. What they should be doing, in earnest, is forming opinions not about me but about GM, and what this company is doing that is — and will continue to be — hugely beneficial to the very causes they so enthusiastically claim to support.
General Motors is dedicated to the removal of cars and trucks from the environmental equation, period. And, believe it or don’t: So am I! It’s the right thing to do, for us, for you and, yes, for the planet. My goal is to take the automotive industry out of the debate entirely. GM is working on just that – and we’re going to keep working on it — via E85, hybrids, hydrogen and fuel cells, and the electrification of the automobile.
The Chevrolet Volt program is occurring under my personal watch, because I -- and others in senior management -- believe in it. I fully expect that it will revolutionize the automotive industry, and I’m committed to seeing it successfully developed and in showrooms.
We're going forward with these programs because it makes good sense to do so — common sense. If it’s doable, why wouldn’t we do it? It would lead to nothing but good things: energy independence, lower emissions, and better air. Isn’t that what we all want?
As long as I am in this position at this company, GM will continue to take these initiatives and others that lessen, and eventually even eliminate, the environmental impact of the automobile. And that’s what people ought to be focusing on.
My post on the GM Blog;
Right on Mr. Lutz!
I am a GM retiree and its about time that someone has the guts to say out loud what a lot are thinking but are too afraid to voice.
Man-made Global Warming is a crock that the gullible and those who are too lazy to do their own research have swallowed hook, line and sinker. Those who have perpetuated the myth are the ones selling carbon credits and making the $$$ off the ignorant and fearful.
Unfortunately those of us who are rational and don't fall for junk science will be punished also by dacronican laws aimed at reducing something that doesn't exist!
Keep speaking the truth Mr. Lutz and by your example others will be embolden to do the same
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Will the Detroit City Council, meeting now to vote on calling for the mayor's resignation, do the right thing and rid the city of one of most corrupt and scandal ridden administration in the nation?
We will find out later today. The sad tale of corruption and scandals started almost as soon as Kwame Kilpatrick took office. Related articles can be found on the Detroit Free Press site here http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080304/NEWS01/80304028
The scandal and corruption has even cost the city of Detroit needed revenue as others by pass the city.
"About 2,500 mayors and staff members who were to converge on Detroit in April -- bringing an economic boost and national exposure to a beleaguered city -- are rerouting to New Orleans.
Asked if the decision to move the annual convention was tied to the text message scandal, Vanessa Williams, executive director of the National Conference of Black Mayors, told the Free Press, "I think anyone can look around and see what's going on." http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080301/NEWS05/803010339/0/NEWS01
Shameful that our Governor can't bring herself to even suggest that Kilpatrick step down. Evidently everyone besides our Governor, can "look around and see what going on"
"Granholm declined to say whether she believed the mayor should resign, but noted that the scandal has invited potentially damaging national exposure." http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080229/NEWS06/802290422/1003/NEWS01
Too bad Jennifer Granholm is playing politics instead of doing the right thing and encouraging Kilpatrick to step down for the good of a major Michigan city
Updated at 12:58 p.m.
The Detroit City Council has decided to postpone a vote asking for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to resign until March 18.
In a tense council chamber, and after substantial comment from the public urging the council to approve the resolution, the council decided to wait on a 6-3 vote.
Voting to delay action were Council President Ken Cockrel Jr., Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers and Councilmembers Sheila Cockrel, Barbara-Rose Collins, Martha Reeves and Alberta Tinsley-Talabi. Councilmembers JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones and Kwame Kenyatta opposed a delay.
Kilpatrick had derided the vote as meaningless, but Kilpatrick spokesman James Canning said the mayor's office is pleased the council voted to delay a vote.
What can I say?
Mayor's office is pleased = citizens of Detroit being sold down the river