Thursday, December 31, 2009

13 Republican Attorneys General Threaten Lawsuit Over Health Care

Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska's political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday. "We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed," South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision," they wrote. The letter was signed by top prosecutors in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state. All are Republicans, and McMaster and the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are running for governor in their respective more

Tea Parties: one of the greatest things in 2010

One of my favorite writers, Warner Todd Huston, wrote his Dec 28, 2009 article, "Tea Parties: the biggest mistake we'll make in 2010". I offer the following response to my friend Mr. Huston: I say the biggest mistake we conservatives can make in 2010 is to continue worrying about how we appear to the left, John McCain style, as we have been doing for so many years past. We must to stop appeasing the leftists, we must stop caring what they think, we must have the courage of our convictions and the pride to voice it without shame. No more bipartisanship. We need partisanship and plenty of it. The election of Barack Hussein Obama caused the awakening of the sleeping conservatives, the Tea Party movement arose, but not through spontaneity and not by "all sorts of different groups," but rather, through the work of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News and several others, but more directly, Glenn Beck. The Tea Party movement doesn't need to be organized, we are already organized. We are an "organism" like a colony of ants or even better, like the "Borg" on "Star Trek: the Next Generation." We communicate with each other and act as one, toward a common goal, and just like the Borg, "Resistance is futile — you will be assimilated." We don't need a leader. We lead each other. We just so happen to have a few louder voices with further reach among us. We don't care that it raises the blood pressure of the leftists to hear the term "Tea Parties," we don't care that it "fills them with disgust." Conservatives get disgusted when we hear "Al Gore," "global warming," "cap and trade," "health care reform"... do the LEFTISTS care what WE think? Why should I care what THEY think? I want them to get their blood pressure more

Conservative Activists Furious at GOP Consultants Hijacking Tea Party Name

Would a true Tea Party patriot drop nearly $1,600 in donor money for a small meal at a fancy steakhouse? Robin Stublen says no, and he's mad as hell about the profligate expenditures of a GOP political organization that has glommed on to his grassroots movement. Stublen is the organizer of the Punta Gorda, Florida, Tea Party and a member of Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots organization that has no offices, no president, raises virtually no money, operates largely on volunteer efforts, and, most importantly, doesn't endorse candidates. But unbeknownst to many, there's another outfit claiming ownership of this conservative movement. It's called the Tea Party Express, and it has dominated Fox News coverage over the past year with its multi-state bus tours and political rallies. Behind it is a well-established Republican political action committee that has raked in tons of money fundraising under the "Tea Party" banner -- and it has also spent a lot of that money in a fashion unbecoming a supposedly grassroots more

Official: Liberals Use 'Totally Bogus Story' Against Tea Party Express

What's disgusting about the TPM Muckracker hit on us is that it's a totally bogus story - and the author knows it. The $800,000 they cite was NOT paid to Russo Marsh + Associates. The vast majority of that money was to reimburse Russo Marsh + Associates for the efforts where we fronted the money in our capacity as the organizers of the Tea Party Express. To explain...The monies that were paid to Russo Marsh + Associates was mostly to pay for subvendors such as Newsmax, Human Events, Southwest Airlines, the companies that did the "wrap" of the Tea Party Express buses, the Nevada TV and radio stations where we've aired our "Defeat Harry Reid" ad campaign, Fox News & CNN where we've run our national Tea Party Express ads. And, Zachary Roth, the author of the TPM piece knew this information - and he acknowledged it with his line: "The services for which Russo, Marsh was paid appear to be legitimate campaign needs." But instead they decided to run with the headline and spin that the money was PAID to a GOP Firm. To most every person reading that story the perception would be that Russo Marsh + Associates pocketed $857,000 of the Tea Party Express money. That simply is not true. Not even close. And then Rachel Maddow of MSNBC last night (and the CBS blog, and dozens of other liberal blogs) have run with the more

Republicans deserve blame for Democratic excesses

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken won his seat by 312 votes out of nearly 3 million cast, which means that if just 157 Franken voters had chosen Republican Norm Coleman instead, Franken would not be in the Senate. What if that had happened? Or what if the Bush Justice Department had not wrongly prosecuted Republican Sen. Ted Stevens on corruption charges, leading to his conviction just days before voters went to the polls? Or what if a conservative third-party candidate had not funneled thousands of votes away from Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith? If any one of those races had turned out differently, there would be one more Republican in the Senate, and we might not be facing a far-reaching, coercive and cripplingly expensive makeover of the nation's health care system. But the close ones went the Democrats' way, which -- along with the defection of former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter -- gave Democrats the 60 votes needed to stop GOP filibusters all by themselves. Every time Democrats have their way on a controversial bill -- stimulus, budget, health care -- Republicans mutter, "Elections have consequences." And then some of them quietly blame themselves. They know the GOP created the conditions that set in motion the electoral swings of 2006 and 2008, leading to the overwhelming majorities that allow Democrats to pass legislation the public doesn't want. They know the combination of disaster in Iraq in 2006, plus what might be called the Republican governance deficit -- a combination of the response to Hurricane Katrina, the abandonment of fiscal discipline and ethical lapses -- destroyed the public's faith in Republicans' ability to govern. So when the next crisis came around -- the economic meltdown, smack in the middle of the 2008 campaign -- voters had no confidence that Republicans could handle more

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tea party movement grows - Efforts could shake up 2010 elections

It could be the birth of a party. Fueled by anger at politicians and distrust of the government, the rapidly growing tea party movement could upend the political establishment in the 2010 elections -- ultimately becoming a permanent, game-changing force in American politics. Or, it could fizzle. Even supporters aren't sure. Joyce Kaufman, a talk-show host on WFTL, AM 850, thinks the answer will come in the November elections. "If nothing happens in 2010, it falls apart," she said. But she doesn't see that happening. "It's going to be a huge dynamic. I don't think it's going to be easily defused. I think what you're going to see is an energized voice. What they will do is come out and vote. The tea party movement is going to make a difference," Kaufman said. From its start in February with an on-air rant by CNBC analyst Rick Santelli, who said he was organizing a "Tea Party" for those opposed to the president's proposed homeowner bailout plan, the tea party brand has become formidable. Protesters turned out for tea party demonstrations in cities across the country on April 15, then again to voice their opposition to health care legislation at town hall meetings throughout the summer. Now, tea party supporters and related groups have picked up where the demonstrations left off. They are active throughout the United States and in South Florida, where they're holding regular protests, preparing to register voters and recruiting more and more more

"Tea Party Movie" Gives Comprehensive End-of-Year Review of the Largest Political Movement of 2009

The tea party movement has taken on new gravity with recent polls revealing its nationwide appeal as a near front runner in a hypothetical race between the major political parties and a fictitious “tea party”. The principles-based movement of fiscal conservatism, Constitutionally limited government and free markets continues to resonate with Mainstream America amid ever increasing Federal budgets, the specter of unpopular government controlled healthcare, recent climate change scandals and a anti-climactic Copenhagen Summit. Senator John Kerry and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently admitted the legitimacy of the movement warning of its potential impact in a fundraising letter to activists. TEA PARTY: The Documentary Film entered the tea party movement as a momentum building force early in November with over 200 grassroots-led screening parties around the country showing a portion of the film and an online sneak peek event held during more

Tea Party movement could hold 2010 key

Is the Tea Party movement with the Republicans or against them? That could be the most important question of the 2010 House, Senate and gubernatorial elections. The anti-tax, smaller-government movement, which built momentum in town-hall meetings all across the country in 2009, is already backing candidates in top-shelf Senate races from Florida to Nevada, and is actively seeking others. “You will see it all across the country,” predicted Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesman for the Tea Party movement. “It won’t be in every race. But there is a lot of difference between the Republican Party and the Tea Party.” But if their candidates do not win Republican primaries, will Tea Party activists support their own third-party candidates in the fall elections, prompting what Republican strategist Bill McInturff conceded would be a “disaster” for the GOP? Will their supporters simply not vote? Or could their movement, born of concern over government spending even when Republicans were in control, end up taking down incumbents of all political stripes? “Right now the Tea Party movement has higher favorables (in polls) than either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. “Eleven months from now, the enemy could be all of us.” more

Nanny of the Year 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Obama gives foreign cops new police powers in U.S.

Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945. By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests. In light of what we know and can observe, it is our logical conclusion that President Obama's Executive Order amending President Ronald Reagans' 1983 EO 12425 and placing INTERPOL above the United States Constitution and beyond the legal reach of our own top law enforcement is a precursor to more damaging moves. The pre-requisite conditions regarding the Iraq withdrawal and the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility closure will continue their course. meanwhile, the next move from President Obama is likely an attempt to dissolve the agreements made between President Bush and other states preventing them from turning over American military forces to the ICC (via INTERPOL) for war crimes or any other prosecutions. When the paths on the road map converge - Iraq withdrawal, Guantánamo closure, perceived American image improved internationally, and an empowered INTERPOL in the United States - it is probable that President Barack Obama will once again make America a signatory to the International Criminal Court. It will be a move that surrenders American sovereignty to an international body whose INTERPOL enforcement arm has already been elevated above the Constitution and American domestic law enforcement. For an added and disturbing wrinkle, INTERPOL's central operations office in the United States is within our own Justice Department offices. They are American law enforcement officers working under the aegis of INTERPOL within our own Justice Department. That they now operate with full diplomatic immunity and with "inviolable archives" from within our own buildings should send red flags soaring into the more

Also see coverage at World Net Daily.

Taxpayer-Funded Wind Farms Prompt Concern; Jobs for China?

Wind-power projects funded in part by the $787-billion Recovery Act (stimulus law) are coming under scrutiny at a time when President Obama and other Democrats have promoted alternative forms of energy production. Two New York Democrats – Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Eric Massa – are among the lawmakers criticizing specific wind-power projects that are getting hundreds of millions in taxpayer subsidies. A “definitive agreement” was reached on one of those projects two weeks ago, according to a Dec. 20 news release from the Austin, Texas-based Cielo Wind Power. The deal is between Cielo, U.S. Renewable Energy Group and China-based Shenyang Power Group. The $1.5 billion project – which is getting $450 million in stimulus funds – is supposed to create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. The problem is, most of those jobs will be in China, Sen. Schumer said, because that’s where the wind turbines will be constructed. Another 300 temporary jobs will be created in more

CRS report: ACORN didn't break law, filmmakers may have

A Congressional Research Service report commissioned by the House Judiciary Committee says ACORN hasn’t violated any federal regulations the past five years. The report, released by Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers’s (D-Mich.) staff Tuesday evening, also reports that the undercover filmmakers that allegedly caught employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now breaking the law may have violated state law in their filming operation. Separately on Tuesday, a New York federal judge rejected a motion from the Justice Department to reconsider a decision that ruled a bill that stopped funding for ACORN as an unconstitutional bill of attainder. The CRS report is part of a slew of government inquests into the group, which was swept up in a number of embarrassing situations in the past several months. The Government Accountability Office recently opened its own report, and Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Steve King of Iowa have led the charge in demanding more investigations and hearings into the more

Government Expands Fannie and Freddie Bailout and Lavishes Money on their CEOs

On Christmas Eve, when it hoped no one would notice, the Obama administration lifted the $400-billion limit on bailouts for government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and showered their executives with $42 million at taxpayer expense. (Earlier, Freddie Mac’s CFO received $5.5 million). Under the Bush administration, federal regulators took over Fannie and Freddie in the name of stopping their risky practices. But the Obama administration has increased their purchases of risky mortgages in a vain attempt to inflate the economy. Worse, it forced them to run up to tens of billions in losses to bail out deadbeat and at-risk mortgage borrowers, and then tried to conceal those losses, in conduct reminiscent of Enron. Banks will now be pressured to make even more risky, low-income loans. Obama has sent to Congress his proposal to create a politically correct entity called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, tasked with enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act. Government pressure on banks to make low-income loans was a key reason for the mortgage meltdown and the financial crisis. Yet Obama’s proposals would empower the new agency to enforce the Community Reinvestment Act, which was a key contributor to the financial crisis, without regard for banks’ financial safety and more

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ten Things That Will Make You Sick about Harry Reid’s Health Care Bill

(Rep. John Shadegg) – Everywhere I go people tell me that Democrats say Republicans are misrepresenting the health care bills and claiming they are worse than they really are. They don’t believe this legislation could be as bad as some are saying. One person recently argued my criticism was “over the top.” Others ask to know, specifically, the worst things the bill will do. Well, here’s a starting list and you can decide if Republicans are crying wolf. 1. Premiums Skyrocket: Under the Senate health bill, 90% of Americans will continue to see their premiums skyrocket or get even worse. 2. Bailout for Insurance Companies: Americans will be forced to fork over up to 8% of their salary to insurance companies with the IRS enforcing a $1500 penalty on your family if you don’t buy their product. 3. Free Care for Illegals, Penalties for Americans: Allows illegal aliens to receive free care in emergency rooms, but punishes Americans with a fine from the IRS for failing to buy government-approved more

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mexico weighs options as lawlessness continues to grip Ciudad Juarez

Senior Mexican officials have begun a sweeping review of the military's two-year occupation of this dangerous border city, concluding that the U.S.-backed deployment of thousands of soldiers against drug traffickers has failed to control the violence and crime, according to officials in both countries. The multi-agency review, which has not been made public, represents a "serious reassessment" of President Felipe Calderón's anti-narcotics strategy and reflects growing alarm that Juarez, across from El Paso, has descended into lawlessness, U.S. officials familiar with the process said. The war on Mexico's powerful drug cartels has been the defining policy of Calderón's administration, involving unprecedented cooperation with American political and law enforcement authorities. Failure in a high-profile battleground such as Ciudad Juarez would represent a major defeat for Calderón and for U.S. officials determined to curb the multibillion dollar flow of drugs across the border. But criminal outfits fighting over Juarez have overwhelmed even military authorities in this crucial port of entry into the world's largest market for illegal narcotics. With more than 2,500 homicides, Juarez accounts for more than one-third of the 6,000 drug-related murders in Mexico this year; since April, when a surge of federal troops brought a brief lull in the death toll, the city has resumed a pace of eight to 10 murders a day. The violence has also spilled over into the suburban neighborhoods of El Paso. In a macabre daily ritual, assassins now appear to time their killings so that they get play on the afternoon and evening television news shows, according to Jaime Torres, a spokesman on public security for the Juarez government and former news director. The city estimates that the violence has created 7,000 orphans and displaced 100,000 people, many of whom have fled across the Rio Grande to Texas. Most of the members of the business and political elite of Juarez, including the mayor, now either sleep or maintain a second home in El Paso. The chief human rights advocate also retreated across the river. more

Friday, December 25, 2009

Beltway Christmas: Cash for Corruptocrats

The Democrats are right. Sleazy bribes and pork payoffs didn’t start with their government health care takeover bill. They’ve been doling out taxpayer-funded goodies for votes all year. Harry Reid’s latest Cash for Cloture deals are the culmination of Washington’s 2009 shopping spree at our expense. Go back to January and February. The multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill was the mother of all legislative Christmas trees. The ruling party used the economic downturn to redistribute wealth from struggling Americans to favored congressional districts, phantom districts and special interests from golf-cart makers to fly-by-night beauty salons. According to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Democratic districts have raked in nearly twice as much porkulus money as GOP districts—without regard to the actual economic suffering and job loss in those districts. In fact, the researchers found that far more stimulus money went to higher-income areas than to lower-income areas. That includes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s backyard—where a $54 million no-bid contract was awarded to a firm with little experience to relocate a luxury Bay Area wine train due to flood more

Dependence Day

Remember the $246 billion that Democrats were going to take out of Medicare to keep the program solvent as well as help fund their health care reform schemes? Turns out it was just a fantasy. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Democrats double-counted funds in their health care plans, drawing the savings for Medicare and financing for the new medical programs outlined in the Senate bill from the same source. The legislation, says the nonpartisan CBO, will increase the deficit, not reduce it as its supporters claimed. The $246 billion was to come from a cut in Medicare benefits. This would supposedly delay that program's inevitable insolvency — now projected to be 2017— by as much as nine years. But CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said Wednesday that "the improvement in Medicare's finances would not be matched by a corresponding improvement in the federal government's overall finances." The key point, according to Elmendorf, is that the Medicare savings "would be received by the government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs." Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama, who asked for the CBO analysis that revealed the chicanery, called the letter from Elmendorf a "game changer." more

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Tea Parties We Trust

For Democrats like Harry Reid, who called them “evil-mongers,” and Nancy Pelosi, who called them “un-American,” the NBC News poll must have hit like a sucker punch at a Georgetown wine-and-cheese. The Tea Party movement, those folks rallying against spending last spring and Obamacare in the summer town halls, are viewed more favorably than the Democratic Party. Forty-one percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, to 35 percent for Obama’s party. Only 24 percent view Tea Party activists unfavorably, while 45 percent hold a negative view of the Democrats. While Tea Party types played a role in the GOP’s comeback — helping take down Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey and turning a John McCain deficit of 6 points in the Old Dominion into a 17-point victory for Bob McDonnell — the movement is no subsidiary of the GOP. For it played a major role in routing liberal Republican “Dede” Scozzafava in New York’s 23rd and came within a point of electing a third-party conservative. As Congressional elections are 10 months off, though primaries begin in the spring, where do Tea Party types find the battles to keep them in fighting trim? Copenhagen may have provided an answer. While Obama came home with a nothing-burger, Hillary stole the show. Without authorization of Congress, she committed the United States to lead a campaign to transfer, beginning in 2020, $100 billion a year “to address climate change needs in developing countries.” The fund would start at $10 billion and grow by 1,000 percent in a more

7 State AG's Probing Health Care Deal; GOP Forces Vote On Constitutionality In Senate

The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina's attorney general said Tuesday. Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and his counterparts in Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas and Washington state — all Republicans — are jointly taking a look at the deal they've dubbed the "Nebraska compromise." "The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said. McMaster's move comes at the request of Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South more

The Senate on Wednesday will have to take an unplanned vote on whether the Democratic health care proposal is constitutional. Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and John Ensign, R-Nev., on Tuesday raised a point of order against the legislation on behalf of a caucus of conservative senators. Ensign said the bill violates individual freedom of choice by requiring people to purchase health insurance or be subjected to fines and penalties. "Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” Senator DeMint said. "This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance." more

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Health Care Links

Concessions lawmakers won in the health bill

Get Ready for the Other Shoe to Drop: Volcker Commission Tax Hikes for Healthcare

Senate Health Bill Now Contains Seven Tax Hikes on Families Making Less than $250,000

Senate Health Care Bill 'Ugly, Partisan and Dangerous,' Conservatives Say

Socialism Creeps In As America Sleeps

Democrats on the take and in the dead of night pass an execrable piece of legislation that they haven't read, the public doesn't want and only socialists could love. What has happened to this country? If we hadn't stayed up past midnight Sunday, we wouldn't have known what was going on. Here we thought a vote on the proposed health care overhaul wasn't going to take place until Thursday night — Christmas Eve. But there they were, the United States Senate, at 1 a.m. Monday, rushing to vote in the middle of a snowstorm to close debate on the most important piece of legislation of our time — the nationalization of the U.S. health care system. And we've been scrambling ever since to make sense of it. Let's see if we have this right: • This was a vote on a Democrat-concocted scheme that Americans have rejected every time it's been proposed for 100 years and that is opposed again, by 54% to 41% by the public at large, by 2-to-1 by practicing physicians and by every last member on the Republican side of the aisle. • The vote was taken without any members having read the main 2,074-page bill, let alone the 383 pages of amendments that were tacked on at the last minute to buy off senators, including Nebraska's Ben Nelson, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu and Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders. • Despite growing public opposition, Democratic members had the nerve to call those who questioned their monstrosity "obstructionists" and worse. Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse called health care bill foes "birthers," "fanatics" and "people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups." Is this what Democrats meant when they said they seek bipartisan solutions to the nation's problems? • The bill contains at last count 18 new taxes totaling an estimated $406 billion — including significant new levies on those earning less than $250,000, a major breach of Obama's pledge not to raise taxes by "one penny" on those in that income more

Louisiana Purchase And Omaha Stakes

Sen. Mary Landrieu was the new "Louisiana Purchase." Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up his state's future Medicaid tab. Maybe we should just put Senate votes up on eBay. Nelson, the 60th vote in the middle-of-the-night Senate party line vote on health care reform, will go down in American political history as the inventor of the permanent earmark. His seemingly principled stand against including federal funding for abortion evaporated like the morning dew as he decided to take what was behind door No. 1. The deal for Nelson includes special Medicaid funding for Nebraska, along with Vermont and Massachusetts, which has a special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy coming up in January. Under the Senate bill every state is equal, but some are more equal than others. The other states and their taxpayers — that means you — will pick up this more

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus

Few people understand the real significance of Climategate, the now-famous hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Most see the contents as demonstrating some arbitrary manipulating of various climate data sources in order to fit preconceived hypotheses (true), or as stonewalling and requesting colleagues to destroy emails to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the face of potential or actual Freedom of Information requests (also true). But there's something much, much worse going on—a silencing of climate scientists, akin to filtering what goes in the bible, that will have consequences for public policy, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent categorization of carbon dioxide as a "pollutant." The bible I'm referring to, of course, is the refereed scientific literature. It's our canon, and it's all we have really had to go on in climate science (until the Internet has so rudely interrupted). When scientists make putative compendia of that literature, such as is done by the U.N. climate change panel every six years, the writers assume that the peer-reviewed literature is a true and unbiased sample of the state of climate science. That can no longer be the case. The alliance of scientists at East Anglia, Penn State and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, Colo.) has done its best to bias more

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obama hails 60th Senate vote for health care

Jubilant Democrats locked in Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson as the 60th and decisive vote for historic health care legislation Saturday, putting President Barack Obama's signature issue firmly on a path for Christmas Eve passage. At the White House, Obama swiftly welcomed the breakthrough, saying, "After a nearly century-long struggle, we are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality in the United States of America." In the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid smiled broadly when asked if Nelson's decision gave him the 60-vote majority necessary to overcome solid Republican opposition. "Seems that way," he said. The Nevada Democrat agreed to a series of concessions on abortion and other issues demanded by Nelson in daylong talks on Friday, then informed Obama of the agreement in a late night phone call as the president flew home from climate talks in more

Does the Second Amendment Apply in Chicago?

Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller definitively settled the fact that the Second Amendment secures an individual right—not a collective one—to keep and bear arms. Yet that ruling applied only to the federal government (which oversees Washington, D.C.). Does the Second Amendment apply against state and local governments as well? Through a series of legal decisions handed down over the past century, the Supreme Court has gradually held that most of the protections in the Bill of Rights apply to the states via the 14th Amendment, which declares, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Second Amendment, however, has been glaringly absent from this process, leaving state and local governments free to systematically violate gun rights. Until now. Later this term, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a case that centers on whether the Windy City’s notorious handgun ban violates the 14th Amendment. As we’ll see, it most certainly does. The text of the 14th Amendment, the historical events leading to its adoption, the goals of its framers, and the statements of purpose made both by its supporters and by those who ratified it, all point in the exact same direction: The amendment was designed to secure individual rights—including the right of armed self-defense—against abusive state and local more

Friday, December 18, 2009

Setting the bar for political wannabes

Newt Gingrich created a stir in April when he warned of a third party in 2012. "If the Republicans can't break out of being the right-wing party of big government, then I think you would see a third-party movement in 2012," he said. Eight months later, that dreadful prospect seems real. We got here because governing became all about power and not about Republican principles, leading to out-of-control government spending, deficits, earmarks and finally bailouts during the George W. Bush administration. It also became all about "winning elections," not about advancing the conservative agenda. But this is not because conservatism is unpopular. On the contrary, conservatism is "the dominant ideological group" in 2009, at 40 percent according to Gallup, outnumbering moderates for the first time since 2004 and twice the number who claim to be liberal. Much of the growth in self-identified conservatives is among independents, 35 percent now compared with 29 percent in 2008. This opened the door for the "tea party" movement. We are seeing one of the rare truly spontaneous grass-roots movements in our nation's history. It is overwhelmingly conservative and has a much higher favorable rating than the Republican more

Russian Institute claims UK Scientists manipulated data they submitted, plus video

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data. The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations. The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century. The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations. On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations. IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations. The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such more

How to Stop Mass. v. EPA from Wrecking the Economy

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced today that he plans to introduce a “resolution of disapproval” to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recently finalized endangerment finding on greenhouse gases. This is huge. It means that Republicans are going to insist that climate and energy policy be made by the people’s elected representatives rather than by non-elected judges, litigators, and bureaucrats. It means that EPA regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) will be an issue in the 2010 elections. It means that citizens will be able to hold accountable — and punish at the ballot box — any Member of Congress who votes against Barton’s resolution of disapproval and in favor of the compliance burdens, rising energy costs, and litigation risks to the economy that EPA regulation of CO2 unavoidably more

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Immigration overhaul bill unveiled in House

Raising the curtain on a new round of debate over immigration reform, a group of Democratic congressional lawmakers introduced a comprehensive bill Tuesday that, among other provisions, would offer a path to legalization for the country's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. The bill, championed by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.), was decidedly more pro-immigrant than the bipartisan legislation House lawmakers debated two years ago. And the latest version drew immediate fire from the left as well as the right. Groups opposed to legalization derided it as a form of amnesty, and more-liberal factions complained that it relied too heavily on enforcement. The bill also calls for beefing up border security and overhauling the federal detention system for jailed immigrants to provide for better medical treatment and other services. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said that although Pelosi supported the bill, she wanted the Senate to act first on the issue. President Obama has said that he anticipated taking up the immigration issue after the healthcare debate is over and Congress finishes work on energy reforms and regulating financial markets -- potentially pushing the debate close to the midterm election in more

Hollywood Conservatives Say Gore Should Lose Oscar Over Climate-Gate

Just days ahead of an international climate change conference, global warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore has been hit by an inconvenient scandal -- one that's reverberated all the way back to Hollywood. Two conservative screenwriters say Gore should be stripped of his Oscar in light of the global warming questions raised by leaked e-mails out of a British research center. The former vice president earned the Oscar in 2007 for his climate change manifesto "An Inconvenient Truth." He later went on to earn a Nobel Peace Prize and become one of the world's leading authorities on global warming. But Roger Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, both members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, put out a statement Thursday calling for the Academy to take it all back in light of the controversy skeptics have dubbed Climate-Gate. "I personally call for the Academy to rescind this Oscar," Simon said. "In the history of the Academy ... not to my knowledge has an Oscar ever been rescinded. ... I think they should rescind this one." more

Monday, December 14, 2009

Climategate: Gore falsifies the record

In a recent interview Al Gore says about the leaked emails, "the most recent one is more than 10 years old" and pooh poohs their significance.

Not so says Andrew Bolt: Climategate email was from just two months ago. The most recent was sent on November 12 - just a month ago. The emails which have Tom Wigley seeming (to me) to choke on the deceit are all from this year. Phil Jones’ infamous email urging other Climategate scientists to delete emails is from last year. How closely did Gore read these emails? Did he actually read any at all? Was he lying or just terribly mistaken? What else has he got wrong?

Tea Party Leader Bill Hennessy Unveils New Book 'Zen Conservatism'

Borrowing the Zen practices of minimalism and focus, Hennessy helps conservatives channel their anger and concern into positive steps toward reclaiming liberty. "After the 2008 elections, I realized that shouting alone was useless. I also realized that we on the right were fighting too many battles at once. So I started to write myself a letter, and that letter turned into this book." Zen Conservative, the new book by St. Louis Tea Party leader Bill Hennessy, targets the millions of Americans who are fed up with government growth, regulatory intrusion, and unfathomable borrowing and spending in Washington, DC. But rather than just ratcheting up the volume, Hennessy's "Zen Conservatism" aims toward effectiveness. The book advances the 5-2-1 method Hennessy has used to help the St. Louis Tea Party stay focused, engaged, and effective in issues like the proposed takeover of healthcare, the cap and trade tax scheme, and the undue influence of Andy Stern's SEIU more

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Surprise, Surprise, Many Scientists Disagree On Global Warming

As the Climate-gate controversy continues to grow, amid charges of hiding and manipulating data, and suppressing research by academics who challenge global warming, there is one oft-repeated defense: other independent data-sets all reach the same conclusions. "I think everybody is clear on the science. I think scientists are clear on the science ... I think that this notion that there's some debate . . . on the science is kind of silly," said President Obama's Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, when asked about the president's response to the controversy on Monday. Despite the scandal, Britain's Met, the UK’s National Weather Service, claims: "we remain completely confident in the data. The three independent data sets show a strong correlation is highlighting an increase in global temperatures." But things are not so clear. It is not just the University of East Anglia data that is at question. There are about 450 academic peer-reviewed journal articles questioning the importance of man-made global warming. The sheer number of scientists rallying against a major intervention to stop carbon dioxide is remarkable. In a petition, more than 30,000 American scientists are urging the U.S. government to reject the Kyoto treaty. Thus, there is hardly the unanimity among scientists about global warming or mankind's role in producing it. But even for the sake of argument, assuming that there is significant man-made global warming, many academics argue that higher temperatures are actually good. Higher temperatures increase the amount of land to grow food, increase biological diversity, and improve people's health. Increased carbon dioxide also promotes plant growth. Let's take the issue of data. The three most relied-on data series used by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report came from the University of East Anglia, NASA, and the British Met Office. As noted in my previous piece for the Fox Forum, the problem of secretiveness is hardly limited to the University of East Anglia. NASA also refuses to give out its data. NASA further refuses to explain mysterious changes in whether the warmest years were in the 1930s or this past decade. The British Met office, too, has been unable to release its data and just announced its plans to begin a three-year investigation of its data since all of its land temperatures data were obtained from the University of East Anglia (ocean temperatures were collected separately), though there are signs that things might be speeded up. Neither the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia nor the British Met are able to provide their raw data to other research scientists because of the confidentiality agreements that Professor Phil Jones at CRU entered into. Unfortunately, Jones did not keep records of those agreements and, according to the British Met, can neither identify the countries with the confidentiality agreements nor provide the more

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional

A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.[1] This statement from a 1994 Congressional Budget Office Memorandum remains true today. Yet, all of the leading House and Senate health-care reform bills being debated in Congress require Americans to either secure or purchase health insurance with a particular threshold of coverage, estimated by CBO to cost up to $15,000 per year for a typical family.[2] This personal mandate to enter into a contract with a private health insurance company is enforced through civil and criminal tax penalties in section 501 of the House bill[3] and with a freestanding mandate and equally questionable civil tax penalties in sections 501 and 513 of the pending Senate bill.[4] more

Tea Party: The Documentary Film

Jenny Beth Martin didn't set out to become a movie star. Yet Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Center amphitheatre, the mom from Georgia was a celebrity at the big-screen premiere of a new film that features a cast of thousands. Wait -- better make that "hundreds of thousands." Martin is one of several activists featured in Tea Party: The Documentary Film, which tells the story of how a movement that began in February with a few hundred people showing up at scattered protests culminated in September's massive taxpayer march on Washington. Although the documentary (directed by Pritchett Cotton) uses Martin as one of a half-dozen featured "characters" to carry the narrative arc of the story, the true stars of the film are the hundreds of thousands of people who turned out to wave homemade signs and cheer speakers at Tea Party rallies all over the country during 2009. The amazing growth of the movement is highlighted by one of Martin's earliest on-screen appearances, showing her speaking at a Feb. 27 event in Atlanta, where a small crowd turned out on a cold rainy Friday. Martin subsequently explains that she was one of about 20 organizers on a Feb. 20 conference call that led to that first round of Tea Party gatherings, which followed commodities analyst Rick Santelli's now-famous Feb. 19 rant on the CNBC network. As the film makes clear, however, Santelli's call for a Tea Party protest tapped into a deep vein of discontent that started growing among grassroots conservatives during the Bush more

And look how our friends in the liberal media are reacting:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just Say No

Republicans and anti-statist Democrats only spread confusion when they offer amendments to the plan to wreck America's health system. What's needed, plain and simple, is opposition. When a president elected only a year ago takes his political capital to Capitol Hill to pitch the top item on his domestic agenda and members of his own party are still preventing passage, it means the whole thing is set to fall apart. So members of Congress who oppose socialized medicine should move in for the kill, not "improve" more than 2,000 pages of fundamentally flawed more

Monday, December 7, 2009

New poll shows 'Tea Party' more popular than Republican Party

A new Rasmussen poll finds that the tea party movement's popularity is growing, so much so that it garners more support than the Republican party on a generic Congressional ballot. The poll hints that the burgeoning discontent among conservatives within the GOP threatens to splinter the party at a time when the popularity of President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress are waning as we head into an election year. The tea party movement was conceived out of antipathy for President Obama's economic stimulus plan and cultivated by groups like Freedom Works and conservative commentators such as Glenn Beck. Its guiding principals are centered around opposition to tax increases and the expansion of federal government spending. The movement rose to prominence when it organized highly-publicized protest gatherings across the country on April 15th of this year. As reported by Talking Points Memo, the respondents to the Rasmussen poll were asked the following question: "Okay, suppose the Tea Party Movement organized itself as a political party. When thinking about the next election for Congress, would you vote for the Republican candidate from your district, the Democratic candidate from your district, or the Tea Party candidate from your district?" The response of all those who were polled was Democratic 36%, Tea Party 23% and Republican 18%. Further, the poll found that independents are more inclined to vote for a tea party candidate over Democratic or Republican more

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boxer, Holdren Defend Motley CRU

Despite the incriminating e-mails, administration science adviser John Holdren still thinks man causes global warming. And Sen. Barbara Boxer thinks it's the whistle-blowers who should be arrested. Time was when Barbara Boxer thought it was just fine for the New York Times and Washington Post to spill national military secrets and war plans on their front pages. The people had a right to know where and how they were being led. But we are not dealing here with the Pentagon Papers, the location of terrorist prisons or the surveillance of al-Qaida and its operatives. Boxer, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, thinks those who unearthed the e-mails from Britain's Climate Research Unit should be prosecuted as common hackers, not rewarded as whistle-blowers. "This is a crime. You call it 'Climate-gate.' I call it 'e-mail-theft-gate,'" Boxer said at a committee hearing Wednesday, noting that if she were to hold a hearing on the matter as the ranking Republican has requested, it would include a criminal probe of those who revealed that global warming emperors have no clothes and the world is actually cooling as the sun grows quiet. "Part of our looking at this will be looking at criminal activity, which could have been well coordinated," Boxer said. The only coordinated criminal activity here was by CRU researchers at the University of East Anglia. Their manipulation, destruction and fudging of data were a phony justification for the Kerry-Boxer economy-killing cap-and-tax legislation Boxer is more

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cap-And-Trade Loss A Stunner In Aussie Vote

Cap-and-trade in Australia — which just a week ago was declared a certainty — is officially dead. This is the first major climate change turnaround anywhere in the Western world, with significant implications for our domestic debate. Combined with the Climate-gate e-mails revealing the data suppression and deceit underpinning "scientific consensus," the whole climate change alarmism house of cards is coming crashing down. Early last week, the leader of Australia's conservative opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that he had reached agreement with the government to implement cap-and-trade, thus binding his party to support it in parliament en bloc. The agreement was signed, sealed and delivered — cap-and-trade would become law with bipartisan support. Its passage was a certainty. The elite rejoiced. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the Senate: The Australian public woke up. The days that followed were simply stunning. An unprecedented, uncoordinated and spontaneous grass-roots campaign erupted to force the opposition to reverse course. Political offices went into meltdown, unable to cope with the torrent of phone calls, faxes and e-mails opposing what was effectively a massive tax hike. By the end of the week, 14 members of the opposition leadership had resigned in protest. As the public outcry intensified, Turnbull refused to back down, staking his entire reputation and future on his passionate support for cap-and-trade. He violently attacked true conservatives, and repeatedly cried out that to win government you must be "moderate." So on early Tuesday morning, opposition parliamentarians met and voted to replace him. For the first time since 1916, the leader of a major Australian political party was deposed on the grounds of just one policy decision: the decision to support more

A New Leviathan?

When is government too big? Americans will find out if the Senate health care bill passes. It will expand the already-huge Health and Human Services Department and give it vast new powers. Are Americans ready for this? As written, the Senate's 2,079-page health bill would make HHS, already by far the largest federal department in terms of spending, even more large and powerful. Even now, the HHS budget of more than $800 billion makes it one of the 15 largest economies in the world. It's that big. And the Senate, heedless of the old advice that bigger isn't better, is about to make it even bigger. According to Washington's scrappy, the Senate bill would grant HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sweeping new powers, "including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it." Health care analyst Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis says this is no exaggeration: "The legislation lists 1,697 times where the secretary of health and human services is given the authority to create, determine or define things in the bill." more

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

U.K. Climate Scientist Steps Down; Penn State Inquiry on Mann

The British scientist at the heart of a scandal over climate-change research temporarily stepped down Tuesday as director of a prominent research group amid an internal probe that follows the release of hacked emails involving him and other scientists. The University of East Anglia in the U.K. said Phil Jones, head of the university's Climatic Research Unit, had decided to step aside from the director's post, less than a week before world leaders are set to meet for a climate summit in Copenhagen. The two-week conference, sponsored by the United Nations, is supposed to come up with tougher policies to curb greenhouse-gas emissions and slow global warming. The need for such action has been buttressed in large part by research by Dr. Jones and his colleagues in East Anglia and around the world. But hackers recently stole emails and documents from the East Anglia center that suggested Dr. Jones and other like-minded scientists tried to squelch the views of dissenting researchers and possibly manipulated or destroyed data. The fallout from the hacked emails is spreading beyond the U.K. Also Tuesday, Penn State University confirmed that Michael Mann -- a climate scientist on its faculty who figures prominently in the emails -- is under "inquiry" by the university. Dr. Mann's work reconstructing historic global temperatures has, over the past decade, become a focal point of debate. Penn State said in a statement that its inquiry, which stems from disclosed emails written by Dr. Mann, is a preliminary step to determine whether a full investigation is more

And this from NRO:

The thing to understand about the scandal surrounding the e-mails leaked from Britain’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) is that it is actually three scandals. There is a scientific scandal, in which the leading lights of the climate-research cabal conspired to fudge data and silence skeptics. There is a media scandal, in which reporters and editors on the “climate beat” at the world’s most prominent news organizations acted as stenographers for the cabal and ignored the scandal when it broke. And there is a political scandal, in which officeholders here and abroad used the bunk science as a pretext for expanding their control of (and take from) the world’s energy markets...