Archive for September, 2010
September 23rd, 2010 at 5:10 pm
New Survey: Overwhelming Majority Pleased with Internet, Oppose Federal Regulation
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Today provided welcome re-confirmation that the American public isn’t buying “Net Neutrality” proponents’ campaign in favor of federal regulation of the Internet.  According to a new poll conducted by Hart Research Associates and reported by Broadband for America, a pleasantly surprising 75% of respondents state that “the Internet is currently working well.”  Moreover, fully 57% responded “no” when asked whether the federal government should regulate the Internet “at all,” and two-thirds of the 31% who would accept the idea of regulation would accept it only insofar as it related to privacy, online safety, or protecting children.  America isn’t being fooled by the big-government “Net Neutrality” agenda.

September 22nd, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(Un)Happy Semi-Anniversary, ObamaCare!
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Happy semi-anniversary, ObamaCare!  Just six months ago, your proud papa proclaimed you the vehicle for lasting American voter compliance, errrr, contentment.  Your Uncle Joe Biden elegantly pronounced that you were “a big f***ing deal.” Don’t let the fact that you’re now sinking their party’s majority get you down, though.  To celebrate, why don’t we go out and deny private health insurers the requested premium increases that they’ll need to accommodate their collective new costs of feeding your voracious appetite?  Making them run their businesses at a loss will be great for celebratory laughs!

September 22nd, 2010 at 1:15 am
Hate to Say We Told You So (Not Really)
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Over the weekend, we pointed out how the nomination of Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell in Delaware isn’t enough to dash Republican hopes for a takeover of the Senate even if she goes down to defeat. The reason? The Senate races in Connecticut and West Virginia — under-reported by the mainstream media — are presenting unforeseen pickup opportunities for the GOP.

Only a few days later, Public Policy Polling is reporting that Republican John Raese enjoys a three-point lead (46-43) over popular Democratic Governor Joe Manchin in West Virginia. Check out these truly astonishing results:

Manchin is the second most popular Governor PPP has polled on all year, behind only Bobby Jindal, with a 59/32 approval spread. He breaks almost even with Republicans as 42% of them approve of the job he’s doing with just 44% disapproving. In a highly polarized political climate the list of politicians with that kind of crossover popularity is very short.

At the same time West Virginians couldn’t be much more down on national Democrats. Barack Obama’s approval rating in the state is just 30% with 64% of voters disapproving of him. Even within his own party barely half of voters, at 51%, like the job he’s doing. Support from Republicans (91% disapproval) and independents (73% disapproval) is pretty much nonexistent.

Given the President’s high degree of unpopularity it’s no surprise that 54% of voters in the state want Republicans to control the next Congress with just 37% wanting the Democrats to stay in charge. GOP voters (91-3) and independents (66-21) are pretty universal in their desire for a Republican majority and even 25% of Democrats say they’d like to see a change.

September 21st, 2010 at 11:07 am
Lisa Murkowski to CNN: Save the Earmarks!
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Many have already chronicled the supreme selfishness and sense of entitlement exhibited by current Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed to her seat but recently defeated in the Republican primary by West Point and Yale Law School graduate and war veteran Joe Miller.

As if striving to degrade herself even further, Murkowski offered one of the strangest rationales for her vindictive write-in candidacy:  defense of earmarks.  Yes, earmarks, those symbols of what is wrong with our irresponsible tax-and-borrow-and-spend ruling class in Washington, D.C.  Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Murkowski accused Mr. Miller of supporting what she called “some pretty radical things,” including earmarks:

He is suggesting to us … some pretty radical things.  You know, we dump Social Security.  No more Medicare.  Let’s get rid of the Department of Education.  Elimination of all earmarks.”

Senator Murkowski’s obvious sense of personal entitlement is unsavory enough.  The same goes for her defense of a a Department of Education that has only witnessed a deterioration in American scholastic achievement during its existence.  But really, Senator Murkowski?  A defense of earmarks?

September 21st, 2010 at 1:03 am
The Navy Pays Tribute to the Gipper
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We’re only a few months away from the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. And the crew of the USS Ronald Reagan is already beginning to celebrate. A touching tribute from the men and women of our armed forces — those who Reagan loved and who loved him in return:

From the Deck of the USS Ronald Reagan

From the Deck of the USS Ronald Reagan

September 20th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
TODAY’S LINEUP: CFIF’s Renee Giachino Hosts “Your Turn” On 1330 AM WEBY
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Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. CDT (5:00 to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her show “Your Turn.”  Today’s star guest lineup includes:

4:00    Meghan Roth — Lone Survivor Foundation
4:30    Troy Senik — CFIF’s
5:00    FL State Rep. Will Weatherford — Class Size Amendment
5:30    Author Joel Rosenberg — The Twelfth Imam

Please share your comments, thoughts and questions at (850) 623-1330, or listen via the Internet by clicking here.  You won’t want to miss this!

September 20th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Economists’ Study: Cash for Clunkers a Failure, Not an “Overwhelming Success”
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Over and over again, President Obama and other defenders of trickle-up stimulus labeled 2009’s “Cash for Clunkers” a positive example of federal spending and market manipulation.  Obama himself eagerly called it an “overwhelming success,” and Nancy Pelosi curiously professed that it “has been successful beyond our wildest dreams.”

Economists’ verdict?  Not so much.

Writing for the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Amir Sufi from the University of Chicago and Atif Mian of the University of California Berkeley report that Cash for Clunkers had no substantive net positive effect:

A key rationale for fiscal stimulus is to boost consumption when aggregate demand is perceived to be inefficiently low. We examine the ability of the government to increase consumption by evaluating the impact of the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program on short and medium run auto purchases. Our empirical strategy exploits variation across U.S. cities in ex-ante exposure to the program as measured by the number of “clunkers” in the city as of the summer of 2008. We find that the program induced the purchase of an additional 360,000 cars in July and August of 2009. However, almost all of the additional purchases under the program were pulled forward from the very near future; the effect of the program on auto purchases is almost completely reversed by as early as March 2010 – only seven months after the program ended. The effect of the program on auto purchases was significantly more short-lived than previously suggested. We also find no evidence of an effect on employment, house prices, or household default rates in cities with higher exposure to the program.”

This is Obamanomics and “stimulus” policy in a nutshell:  Billions in spending, but no positive effect.  Future generations forced to pay for it will not be retrospectively amused.

September 18th, 2010 at 5:37 pm
Pundits Can’t See the Tea Party Forest for the O’Donnell Trees
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It’s nearly a week later, but on this Sunday talk show-eve we can be guaranteed that tomorrow’s beltway chatter will be dominated by talk of Christine O’Donnell’s upset of Mike Castle in the GOP senate primary in Delaware. To save you the pain of sitting through Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday and CNN’s State of the Union, here are the basic talking points you’re going to hear all morning: O’Donnell’s win proves that Tea Party radicals are taking over the GOP, ruining their chances for a majority this year and imperiling the long-term existence of the party.

Put aside the obvious bias of these remarks (remember how two years ago the GOP was imperiled because it was losing? Now apparently it’s imperiled because it’s winning). The truth is a lot more complicated.

It’s undoubtedly true that O’Donnell’s nomination makes it much likelier that Democrats will retain the Delaware seat that used to be held by Joe Biden. Delaware is a solidly blue state and O’Donnell’s deep Republican red — regardless of her virtues or vices — is never going to play as well as Castle’s fuschia statewide.

The Tea Party’s stated goal, however — moving the Republican party closer to the principles of small government — is on track for success in most of its other contested senate races throughout the country. Ken Buck in Colorado, Mike Lee in Utah, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, and Marco Rubio in Florida are among the Tea Party-backed candidates who appear on track for victory. Joe Miller in Alaska is a strong bet too, though Lisa Murkowski’s misbeggoten attempt at a write-in candidacy may tighten that race. Only Nevada’s Sharron Angle presents similar difficulties to O’Donnell, but on a far narrower basis. As of this writing, she’s polling essentially even with Harry Reid.

But there’s an even bigger misperception at work here. Since pundits only discovered a few weeks ago that Republicans had a shot at taking over the senate, they were able to put their Prozac back in the medicine cabinet with the O’Donnell win. This is a mistake. For while Delaware may have just slipped out of reach, two seats that were not previously part of the electoral calcuation are now in play.

The first is in Connecticut, where former WWE CEO Linda McMahon has pulled within five points of the supposedly invincible Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The second is West Virginia, where the seat formerly held by Robert Byrd was expected to be an easy win for Democratic Governor Joe Manchin. However, industrial executive John Raese has closed the gap to within five points as well. Given the strong conservative turnout expected this year, these could both be sleepers come election night.

Don’t despair, conservative America. We’re just getting started.

September 17th, 2010 at 7:53 pm
Online Sales Tax Already on the Books in Most States

Interesting reading from explains that 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, already have internet sales taxes on the books.  However, most businesses with an online presence either don’t know or don’t pay.  In many circumstances the sales tax (as it’s called when the seller collects and reports the tax) is turned into a use tax (i.e. shifting collection and reporting to the buyer.)

The State of Alabama is apparently sending out notices for residents to pay up – for purchases over the last three years.

Here’s a list of states considering more direct legislation in order to recoup the estimated $8.6 billion in lost “revenue.”

‘Amazon laws’

States that are currently considering requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on online transactions:

• California
• Connecticut
• Illinois
• Iowa
• Maryland
• Minnesota
• New Mexico
• South Carolina
• Tennessee
• Vermont
• Virginia
• Wisconsin

Oh, joy.

September 17th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Alaska’s Murkowski is the Last Frontier’s Charlie Crist

Where’s the party unity?  Florida’s Charlie Crist morphed into an Independent when it became clear Marco Rubio would be the Republican Senate nominee.  To date, Delaware’s Mike Castle hasn’t called to pledge his support to GOP nominee Christine O’Donnell.  (Though he did find time to take phone calls from both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.)

And today, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski announced she would reject the judgment of her fellow Republicans and run as a write-in candidate after losing her reelection primary to Joe Miller.

Here we go again.  While the conservatives always fall in line, it’s the Republican Party’s moderates that are refusing to put their own political interests at the service of party unity.

Wake me up when it’s November…

September 17th, 2010 at 3:39 pm
Washington, D.C. Gets Three Times National Average in “Stimulus” Dollars
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Last month, we highlighted the obscene self-serving nature of big government’s growth.  In “Why We’re Boiling Over:  Federal Salaries Now Twice That of Private Sector,” we detailed how federal workers earn double their private sector counterparts, and how incomes fell throughout America last year except in cities with higher concentrations of federal jobs.

Now, a Wall Street Journal study entitled “Washington Firms Soak Up Stimulus” reports that President Obama’s failed $814 billion “stimulus” package has awarded nearly $2,000 dollars per every Washington, D.C. resident.  That’s three times the national average of $695.95 per person across the rest of the country.  It’s not by coincidence, then, that D.C.’s unemployment rate of 6.3% is over three percentage points lower than the nation’s overall 9.6% rate.

Why is the nation’s fed-up electorate boiling over?  The federal “stimulus” trough provides yet another reason.

September 17th, 2010 at 2:11 pm
Manager for Dukakis Campaign Says It’s Time to Get Serious About Politics

File Susan Estrich’s column calling for the ouster of all unqualified candidates from political office in the “Now, She Tells Us” folder.  Writing in a tone that betrays not only her antipathy for grassroots conservatives, but also a strong disrespect for basic moral sentiments, Estrich implies that the Constitution’s qualifications for federal office aren’t sufficient anymore:

In the long run, a healthy democracy needs qualified and able people of every party to function effectively. The tea party movement’s failure to support candidates who meet that standard may help Democrats avert disaster, but it’s hardly a recipe for a strong political system.

Maybe it’s time to put a “strong political system” on the back burner in favor of “a healthy fiscal system;” especially if a strong political system translates into a fondness for complexity, nuance and compromises that maintain the status quo.

Though I doubt Estrich would have voted for the urbane, highly educated William F. Buckley for any public office, it’s worth remembering that the most famous phrase he ever penned wasn’t a penetrating insight into technocratic policy.  It was a description of National Review as a conservative publication “standing athwart history, yelling STOP…

Protests from his intellectual descendants notwithstanding, I’d wager that WFB would deeply appreciate the clarity – and the seriousness – with which Tea Party-backed candidates articulate their opposition the federal leviathan.

September 17th, 2010 at 1:45 pm
David Ignatius Misses the Point

See if you can spot the missing detail in Washington Post columnist David Ignatius’s profile of former congressman Lee Hamilton (D-IN).

Lee Hamilton remembers that when he came to Washington 45 years ago as a freshman Democrat from Indiana, he made a dumb parliamentary error that would have scuttled the bill he was advocating. The House Republican leader at the time, Gerald Ford, sent over one of his colleagues to help Hamilton fix the mistake.

The story sounds almost unbelievable in today’s bitterly partisan climate, and Hamilton smiles and shakes his head as he tells it. Was there really a time like that, when party interests were subordinate to making the country work? And how could the America of 2010, a nation with an increasingly dysfunctional political system, ever get back to that Arcadia?

If you’re wondering which bill Hamilton gaffed, you’re on the right track.  Ignatius conveniently glosses over the fact that a freshman in Congress is more likely than any other member to get a pass – or in Hamilton’s case, an assist – when he botches procedure.  Why?  Because a freshman member of Congress won’t be within a 100 miles of steering important legislation.

Hamilton’s vignette shouldn’t be the jumping off point that it is for reeling Democrats like Ignatius to pine for the days when people got the benefit of the doubt, so long as they’re trying to “make the country work.”  If that’s really Ignatius’s position, then I look forward to his next profile of any of the U.S. Senate Tea Party candidates who are trying to “make the country work” by getting the federal budget balanced and reducing taxes.

September 17th, 2010 at 1:18 pm
$111 Million in Stimulus for Jobs, But Not One Penny for Business?

The Los Angeles Times reports that after receiving $111 million in federal stimulus money the City of Angels has only created 55 jobs.  Officials counter that whenever they get around to spending taxpayers cash the total jobs created will be 264.


With California losing citizens and jobs to other states in record numbers, why not allow cities like L.A. to give $1 million to any business that promises to move into city limits and employ a domestic workforce?  Better yet, give 111 businesses $1 million in tax breaks to set up shop and revive the local economy.

American taxpayers can’t afford to spend millions of dollars for dozens of jobs.  (And government jobs at that!)  Since we need a much higher return on investment to get the economy growing again, why not direct money and incentives to businesses?  After all, they – unlike bureaucracies – can create jobs without perpetual government handouts.

September 17th, 2010 at 12:45 pm
New Dem Logo Copies Right Network

The folks at Right Network – the new conservative-themed entertainment site – responded to the Democrat Party’s not so subtle homage to RN’s logo:

Here’s the open letter RN sent to the Dems:


Dear DNC,

We saw your new logo and we were flattered. Honestly touched.

But we also felt bad. We couldn’t help thinking about you guys, probably all sitting around in black tees and cool sneaks, sweating to come up with a new logo that lives up to the whole “change” concept you’ve been pedaling.

Aack, it makes our stomachs hurt just to imagine.

Then someone over there must have had the good sense to use that old cure for creative block – copy stuff…and hope no one notices.

Next time guys, just call. Our sneaks aren’t as cool, but we got the logo thing down.

Your friends at,


PS “Change that MATTERS”? Wow, that ups the ante.

September 17th, 2010 at 12:29 pm
The Tea Party as the Movement of ‘No More Spending’

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan gives one of the best descriptions of the motivation behind the Tea Party movement to date.

For conservatives on the ground, it has often felt as if Democrats (and moderate Republicans) were always saying, “We should spend a trillion dollars,” and the Republican Party would respond, “No, too costly. How about $700 billion?” Conservatives on the ground are thinking, “How about nothing? How about we don’t spend more money but finally start cutting.”

That laser-like focus, to Noonan, is what connects all Tea Party-backed candidates this election cycle:

That is the context. Local tea parties seem—so far—not to be falling in love with the particular talents or background of their candidates. It’s more detached than that. They don’t say their candidates will be reflective, skilled in negotiations, a great senator, a Paul Douglas or Pat Moynihan or a sturdy Scoop Jackson. These qualities are not what they think are urgently needed. What they want is someone who will walk in, put her foot on the conservative end of the yardstick, and make everything slip down in that direction.

A vast swath of the American people understand the danger our country’s finances – and by extension, our experiment in self-rule – face.  The Tea Party movement is an important element in righting the ship of state before it’s too late.  Hopefully, congressional members owing the movement their election victories will display the fortitude necessary to say no to more spending.

September 17th, 2010 at 12:06 pm
White House Retreats on ‘Climate Change’

But that doesn’t mean it’s changed its position.  Escalating the war on words that began by replacing ‘Global War on Terror’ with ‘Overseas Contingency Operation’ and ‘acts of terror’ with ‘man-made disasters,’ President Barack Obama’s advisors are once again going Orwellian.  Now, instead of ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’ the president’s top climate czar John Holdren wants Americans to start saying ‘Global Climate Disruption.’

Not everyone is convinced the re-branding scheme will work:

“They’re trying to come up with more politically palatable ways to sell some of this stuff,” said Republican pollster Adam Geller, noting that Democrats also rolled out a new logo and now refer to the Bush tax cuts as “middle-class tax cuts.”

He said the climate change change-up likely derives from flagging public support for their bill to regulate emissions. He said the term “global warming” makes the cause easy to ridicule whenever there’s a snowstorm.

“Every time we’re digging our cars out — what global warming?” he said. “(Global climate disruption is) more of a sort of generic blanket term, I guess, that can apply in all weather conditions.”

Ostensibly, the name change is designed to make people take climate change more seriously.  More likely, it’ll have the opposite effect.

September 17th, 2010 at 11:34 am
This Week’s Liberty Update
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September 17th, 2010 at 10:08 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Tea Party Message to the GOP
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 17th, 2010 at 9:05 am
“It’s the Spending, Stupid”: WSJ’s Daniel Henninger Should Like CFIF’s “One More Vote” Initiative
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In his weekly Wonder Land column entitled “It’s the Spending, Stupid,” The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henninger describes how “concern” over out-of-control federal spending has reached the boiling point:

They, the voters, are not ‘concerned’ about Uncle Sam’s spending floating toward the moon.  They are enraged, furious, crazed and desperate.”

Heninger rightfully points out that it won’t be enough for voters to simply return Republicans to House and Senate majorities this November.  Rather, something more lasting, tangible, and assuring is needed:

If voters give control of the House to the GOP, the party desperately needs to establish credibility on spending.  Absent that, little else is possible.  Independent voters now know that the national Democratic Party, hopelessly joined to the public-sector unions, will never stabilize public outlays.  In a sense, the GOP’s impending victory is meaningless, a win by default.  If the Republican rookies entering Congress next year don’t do something identifiably real to stop the federal spending balloon, voters two years from now will start throwing the GOP under the bus.”

Enter CFIF’s new “One More Vote” citizen activist campaign.  “One More Vote” refers to the fact that Congress fell just one vote short in the 1990s of passing a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, and sending it to the states for ratification.  Echoing Daniel Henninger’s commentary this week, the “One More Vote” homepage states that, “Currently, there are several worthy ideas proposed in Congress.  But we need more than ideas.  We need a solution.”  Accordingly, “One More Vote” proposes a Constitutional amendment requiring (1) a federal balanced budget annually, (2) a 60% majority of both houses of Congress to raise the debt ceiling, and (3) a 60% vote of both houses of Congress to increase or create new taxes.

It’s precisely the type of real, lasting and tangible change that enraged American voters described by Henninger demand.  Click on “One More Vote” now, and join the movement.  This time, let’s make sure the change is real.