Archive for August, 2011
August 31st, 2011 at 4:51 pm
Obama Administration Sues to Block AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Killing Jobs By Suing Those Who Create Them
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This defines cognitive dissonance.  The Obama Administration continues to scratch its collective head, wondering why its record deficit spending “stimulus” and big government onslaught has failed to create jobs.  Meanwhile, its own Department of Justice sues an iconic American company that creates them.

Just today, AT&T announced that it is relocating thousands of jobs from overseas back to American shores.  But also today, the Obama Department of Justice – you know, the one ultimately behind the disastrous “Operation Fast and Furious” – sued to block the proposed private merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.  Ponder that irony for a moment.  The Obama Administration, which has done so much to interfere with job creation since the recession officially ended all the way back in June 2009, is suing an employer that at this very moment is orchestrating the return of thousands of jobs to the United States.

Perhaps we shouldn’t find this surprising.  After all, the Obama Administration is also in the process of persecuting Boeing, America’s largest exporter, simply for electing to locate a manufacturing plant in South Carolina.  But that doesn’t make its behavior any less despicable or destructive.  If Obama truly wants to prove to the electorate that he seeks economic recovery, he must reverse this policy course within his administration.  Immediately.

August 30th, 2011 at 5:10 pm
Obama Returns to the “Blame Bush” Game
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Even for Barack Obama’s supporters, this has to be getting old.

Today, responding to a question about an American economy still struggling after almost three years of deficit-driven Obama “stimulation,” he went back to the “Bush Card” with radio host Tom Joyner:

George Bush left us with a $1 trillion deficit, so it’s a lot harder to climb out of this hole when we don’t have a lot of money in the federal coffers.”

There are several problems with President Alibi’s rationalization.  Among other things, (1) the recession officially ended all the way back in June 2009, (2) the money in those “federal coffers” to which he refers actually reached an all-time high under Bush in 2007 (several years after the Bush tax cuts and well into the Iraq and Afghan wars that Obama now scapegoats) and (3) nothing seems to have stopped him so far from spending trillions of dollars that we don’t have.

But forget about those realities for a moment.  On a more basic moral level, what does it say about Obama as a man that this is what he continues to offer the nation to justify his performance and his request for a job extension?

August 30th, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Can You Spell “F-A-L-L G-U-Y?”

So the acting head of the ATF has been given a parachute. As night follows day, he’ll now take ALL the blame for unspecified “mistakes in implementation” of the Fast/Furious gun-running scandal, after which the administration will announce that all has now been taken care of, nothing more to see here, keep on walking, keep on walking, nothing to look at, everything is peachy-keen and the problem (what problem?) has been fixed……

August 30th, 2011 at 9:54 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Hurricane Obamanomics
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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.

August 29th, 2011 at 1:28 pm
Irony: Gallup Poll Shows Tech Industry Rated Highest, Federal Gov’t That Keeps Regulating It Rated Lowest
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According to a new poll from Gallup, Americans rate the “Computer Industry” most positively among 25 business and government entities, with the “Internet Industry” close behind.  That’s no surprise – few innovations in human history have transformed our lives as rapidly and profoundly as the tech sector.

But here’s an irony.  The federal government, which constantly interferes with tech sector innovation via such bureaucratic assaults as so-called “Net Neutrality” and interference with the private proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, is rated least favorably by Americans.  Only 17% of Americans rate the federal government positively, which 63% rate it negatively.  In contrast, the computer industry is rated positively by a 72% to 10% margin, and the Internet industry is rated positively by a 56% to 16% ratio.

Perhaps we’d all be better off if the tech sector began monitoring the federal government, rather than the converse.  It certainly appears that most Americans would agree.

August 29th, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Cheney and Libby Stood Tall; Powell and Armitage Cowered

As she has done several times in the past, Jennifer Rubin got to a story before me, to say exactly what I wanted to say, with meticulously documented and explained research backing up her conclusions. In this case, she eviscerates Colin Powell for continuing his cowardly, pass-the-buck, point-the-fingers-elsewhere behavior with regard to the infamous “leak” of the CIA status of Valerie Plame, wife of former Ambassador and loudmouth Joe Wilson. The upshot of his cowardice, and that of his top aide Richard Armitage, was a years-long investigation that wrongly ensnared the honest and loyal Scooter Libby for perjury he did not even commit, along with a deeply dishonest movie that further besmirched Libby’s name.  It also wrongly blamed our entry into the Gulf War on supposed reliance on bad intelligence — intelligence that wasn’t bad and that wasn’t actually the basis of our entry into the war. The truth is that Libby should have been pardoned.

Anyway, Rubin explains:

Recall how all of this played out. Armitage and Powell allowed the entire country and troops in the field to believe a lie, namely that the White House had “outed” Plame. This, aside from the galling display of moral cowardice, also put the president’s reelection in jeopardy since Democrats were all too intent on making this into a huge scandal.

The extent of the dishonesty is quite stunning. In a Cabinet meeting on October 7, 2003, the White House press corps bombarded President George W. Bush with questions about who the leaker was. Bush said he didn’t know, but there would be an investigation to get to the bottom of it. Powell, who had been told by Armitage just days earlier that Armitage was the leaker, sat there next to the president, stone silent. Not very loyal or honest, was it?

Finally, it is worth noting that Libby voluntarily testified and cooperated in every way, sometimes without an attorney even parsing his words. Libby never once acted like a man with anything to hide. Powell and Armitage, however, hid what they knew, and what Armitage did, for two years. Now THAT’s shameful.

August 29th, 2011 at 9:00 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Epicenter of Fault
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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.

August 28th, 2011 at 5:42 pm
Gore is Vermin

Okay, I’m sorry, but comparing those who don’t believe in the utterly unproved, disputed, theoretical idea of major man-caused global warming to Bull Connor-type racists is going way beyond the pale. Oh, wait, can we say “pale” without being accused of being racists? It might be a dark day when we can’t even use wor…. oh, no, did I say “dark”? Is that racist?

This whole, sick, twisted habit of raising the specter of racism at every opportunity is a cheap, tawdry strategem for those who can’t actually argue the facts.

Methinks people who falsely cry “racism” should be put in a “lockbox.”

Oh — and by the way, there is no such thing as major man-caused global warming. So there.

August 26th, 2011 at 7:12 pm
Arizona Sues Feds Over Voting Rights Act

With its tough anti-illegal immigration law headed to the Supreme Court, the State of Arizona is opening up another legal front in its 10th Amendment tussle with Eric Holder’s Justice Department.  NBC News reports that the issue this time is the Voting Rights Act:

Arizona is challenging the law’s requirement that the state seek Justice Department approval for any changes in how elections are conducted. Many states are subject to the law’s pre-clearance requirement, generally to remedy past restrictions that discouraged minority voting.

“Arizona is still penalized for archaic violations that were corrected with the implementation of bilingual ballots prior to the 1974 elections,” said the state’s Attorney General Tom Horne. He noted that in 1974, Arizona became the second state to elect a Hispanic governor.

In his response, Attorney General Holder showed how tone deaf he is to any claim of federal overreach:

Vowing to fight the challenge, Holder said the provisions challenged in this case, including the pre-clearance requirement, “were reauthorized by Congress in 2006 with overwhelming and bipartisan support. The Justice Department will continue to enforce the Voting Rights Act, including each of the provisions challenged today,” he said.

So, a law is constitutional because Congress reauthorized it with “overwhelming and bipartisan support”?  There isn’t a justice on the Supreme Court who has let that kind of vapid thinking dissuade him or her from overturning a law.

If that’s the best defense Holder can muster, Arizona may have found the perfect foil to (unwittingly) help it downsize the federal government.

August 26th, 2011 at 6:47 pm
No, America, You Can’t Keep Your Health Plan

Remember when in June 2009 President Barack Obama promised that under his health care reform bill, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.  If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.  No one will take it away, no matter what”?

Byron York makes this contradictory observation:

On the one hand, the new law orders the establishment of health care “exchanges” through which anyone can purchase government-subsidized coverage. On the other hand, the law levies fines on employers who fail to offer coverage to their employees — but sets the fine far below the cost of coverage. In 2010, the average employer paid $4,150 to cover a single employee and $9,773 for family coverage. (Both figures are about double what they were in 2000.) The new law sets fines for employers who don’t cover their workers at $2,000.

So when it takes effect in 2014, the law will give employers a choice: Continue to offer increasingly expensive health coverage, or pay a relatively small fine, save a lot of money, and let employees buy their own subsidized coverage on the exchange. The incentive seems pretty clear.

So too does the bold-faced lie Obama told (yet again) in the health care reform debate.  Whichever GOP candidate gets nominated for president should make this issue one of the main talking points of the general election.

August 26th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
Boehner Calls Obama on the Carpet for Regulatory Bloat
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Republican control of the House of Representatives may have stifled the Obama Administration’s grand statist designs in Congress, but the White House continues to push costly, job-killing regulation through the rulemaking power of the administrative state. Because new regulations enjoy nowhere near the media scrutiny of new legislation, however, the public often remains unaware of their role as silent predators on America’s economy. That’s why credit is due to House Speaker John Boehner for calling Obama to account for this economic poison. From Politico:

In a letter that will be sent to President Barack Obama on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner charges that planned regulations have jumped nearly 15 percent over the past year and he calls on the administration to calculate and publicize their economic impact.

“This year, the administration’s current regulatory agenda identifies 219 planned new regulations that have estimated annual costs in excess of $100 million each. That’s almost a 15 percent increase over last year and appears to contradict public suggestions by the administration this week that the regulatory burden on American job creators is being scaled back,” Boehner wrote.

“I was startled to learn that the EPA estimates that at least one of its proposed rules will cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year. The administration has not disclosed how many of the other 218 planned rules will cost more than $1 billion, nor identified these rules,” he noted.

If Obama is serious about “pivoting to jobs” (a promise we seem to hear on a quarterly basis), there’s no way he can ignore the costs of federal regulations, which are de facto tax increases. According to the Small Business Administration, the annual cost of federal regulation alone amounts to $1.75 trillion dollars. That’s nearly 12 percent of America’s GDP gone every year because of the Washington bureaucracy.

A failure to repeal many of these draconian monstrosities is economic malpractice. But a failure to simply reveal their costs is a dereliction of duty.

August 26th, 2011 at 1:52 pm
Against Identity Politics and Cultural Reverse Snobbism

Conservatives have a serious problem today. They tend to circle the wagons around people for the wrong reasons, namely because candidates seem “one of us,” culturally speaking, even if the candidates aren’t very impressive or very accomplished. I could name a few Senate candidates from recent years, but won’t. But it really is absurd to think that just because the “establishment” attacks somebody, that the person is therefore worth going to the mat for. It is just not true that the adversary of my adversary is my friend. In truth, the adversary of my adversary can be friend, foe, or something on a wide spectrum in between. An attack by the known adversary on somebody who merely seems to share one’s cultural characteristics is not a good reason to make the attacked person into a hero. It’s illogical to do so.

Hence, I really like Jonah Goldberg’s column today — not because I have any idea yet whether Rick Perry is a great choice for president, but because the attacks against him do not define him, or at least should not. What matters is record, character, philosophy, and competence. Anyway, read Jonah’s piece by clicking this link. Good stuff.

August 26th, 2011 at 12:20 pm
This Week’s Liberty Update
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Center For Individual Freedom - Liberty Update

This week’s edition of the Liberty Update, CFIF’s weekly e-newsletter, is out. Below is a summary of its contents:

Hillyer:  Holder Justice: No Conservatives Need Apply
Ellis:  School Testing Scandals Require New Era of Accountability
Senik:  Green Jobs, Red Ink: The Economic Folly of Obama’s Enviro-Meddling
Lee:  Verizon and Wisconsin: Big Losses for Big Labor, Victories for Everyone Else

Freedom Minute Video:  Big Labor Takes a Holiday … from Reality
Podcast:  ObamaCare One Step Closer to Supreme Court
Jester’s Courtroom:  Coffee, Tea or a Lawsuit?

Editorial Cartoons:  Latest Cartoons of Michael Ramirez
Quiz:  Question of the Week
Notable Quotes:  Quotes of the Week

If you are not already signed up to receive CFIF’s Liberty Update by e-mail, sign up here.

August 26th, 2011 at 10:56 am
CFIF Joins Coalition Against Union “Flash Elections,” Big Labor’s Version of “Flash Mobs”
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You’ve heard of “flash mobs,” the growing phenomenon of thugs descending upon, assaulting and robbing convenience stores or vulnerable people on the street? Well, “flash elections” are Big Labor’s economic version of flash mobs.

Flash elections, or “ambush elections,” reference a proposed rule that would shorten the election window in union organizing campaigns to as little as 10 days.  Big Labor, which we noted this week elevates its own political power over American jobs and employee welfare, loves the ambush election proposal and is currently pushing it within Barack Obama’s  rogue National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Ambush elections are dangerous for many reasons, including the fact that they would drastically limit employers’ free speech window and ability to present both sides of the story to employees.  In contrast, union bosses would have many months to present their skewed arguments to employees without even allowing employers to become aware that a union organizing campaign was underway.  Moreover, ambush elections are a toxic “solution” in search of a problem, considering that the current median election time is 38 days, and 95% of elections already occur within two months, hardly an eternity.

Accordingly, CFIF is proud to announce that it has joined the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and 275 other employers and associations in petitioning the NLRB to withdraw this destructive proposal.  Big Labor and the Obama NLRB have already killed enough jobs.  We simply cannot afford to lose even more due to their ideological shenanigans.

August 26th, 2011 at 9:35 am
Podcast: ObamaCare One Step Closer to Supreme Court
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In an interview with CFIF, Anna Rittgers, senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, discusses the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which struck down as unconstitutional the individual mandate in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  Rittgers also discusses the anticipated next step for the case as it makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Listen to the interview here.

August 26th, 2011 at 8:50 am
Video: Big Labor Takes a Holiday … from Reality
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In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses how everyday American workers are being used as political pawns to advance the job-killing agenda of big labor unions.  

August 25th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?
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If the real purpose of presidential debates was to clarify the views of the candidates, then the next GOP forum would be Mitt Romney debating himself. From a report by Justin Sink in The Hill:

Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seems to be shifting his stance on climate change as he grapples with insurgent newcomer Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who has raced to the top of GOP polls.

“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that, but I think that it is,” Romney said in New Hampshire on Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

But at an earlier event in June in New Hampshire the former Massachusetts governor seemed more convinced by the possibility of global warming.

“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors,” Romney said in June. “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that.”

We can now add climate change to gun control, health care, abortion, campaign finance reform, social security reform, gay rights, immigration, stem cell research, and the capital gains tax as issues on which Governor Romney has “evolved” over the years (or, in this case, months).

On the upside, we finally have an answer to the persistent question of what Mitt Romney believes: everything.

August 25th, 2011 at 1:32 pm
Fareed Zakaria Becomes Woodrow Wilson

Whatever shred of credibility Fareed Zakaria retained as a conservative pundit from his celebrated book The Future of Freedom has now been officially lost thanks to follow-ups like The Post-American World and today’s essay “Does America Need a Prime Minister?”

In the essay, Zakaria uses the recent S&P downgrade of American sovereign debt to note that “no country with a presidential system has a triple-A rating from all three major ratings agencies.”  He then uses this to support his thesis that the United States would be better served by chucking separation-of-powers and moving to a British-style parliamentary system where the executive and legislative branches are the same.  After all, Britain still has a triune triple-A rating!

How wonderfully anti-American of the Harvard PhD.  Throughout the essay one realizes that Zakaria has wandered so far from the insights of the Founding generation that he now endorses the very system – and possibility for tyranny – that the American Revolution fought to end.  So too did another PhD-turned-constitutional-scold: Woodrow Wilson, the godfather of America’s progressive movement.

Wilson believed that government needed to be professionalized and removed from popular control so that it could act quickly and decisively to cure whatever ailed the populace.  He favored the parliamentary system because it gave enormous power to one man: the Prime Minister.

To appreciate how far Zakaria has wandered from core American principles about the proper way to construct a government, consider this passage from today’s essay:

In the American presidential system, in contrast, you have the presidency and the legislature, both of which claim to speak for the people. As a result, you always have a contest over basic legitimacy. Who is actually speaking for and representing the people?

In America today, we take this struggle to an extreme. We have one party in one house of the legislature claiming to speak for the people because theirs was the most recent electoral victory.  And you have the president who claims a broader mandate as the only person elected by all the people.  These irresolvable claims invite struggle.

There are, of course, advantages to the American system – the checks and balances have been very useful on occasion. But we’re living in a world where you need governments that are able to respond decisively and quickly.  In a fast-moving world, paralysis is dangerous. Other countries are catching up – if not overtaking – America.

Who are these other countries?  Members of the European Union with a currency and debt crisis several times worse than our own?  China with its unsustainable population demographics and monetary policy?  Arab dictatorships that are being toppled by the month?  Latin American oligarchies that nationalize industries to buy off the masses with the wealth of entrepreneurs?

The problem we are experiencing in Washington, D.C. is not America’s constitutional design of checks-and-balances and separation-of-powers.  If anything, the ability of the House GOP to slow down the liberal agenda to tax-and-spend the nation into bankruptcy is due solely to the very “paralysis” intended by our constitutional framework.

If Zakaria wants to end the paralysis in D.C., he should vote for pro-growth fiscal conservatives in 2012 and urge all of his readers to do the same.

August 25th, 2011 at 12:42 pm
Taxing the Rich Won’t Fix the Deficit

In a brilliantly written refutation of the Obama-as-Genius argument, Mortimer Zuckerman explains why even taking all the money from “rich” people and corporations won’t solve the deficit problem:

Even if the government instituted a 100% tax on both corporate profits and personal incomes above $250,000 per year, it would yield enough revenue to run the government for only six months. Why? Because under Mr. Obama’s presidency, government spending has swelled to 24% of GDP from 18%.

Spending is Obama’s original sin as president.  Unless he’s willing to repent of that folly and ratchet back on the flow of money, the American economy will stay mired in a recession.

August 25th, 2011 at 10:37 am
If Only DoJ Would Protect Sarah Palin This Way

A man shot a grizzly bear in self-defense. A real grizzly, not Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin. If it had been the latter, I have no doubt Eric Holder wouldn’t be too concerned. As it is, though, the Justice Department is prosecuting the man to the full extent of the law (or, one could argue, far beyond what the law can reasonably be interpreted to mean).  This is, in a word, sick. Demented. Twisted beyond all recognition. The DoJ’s Wendy Olson should be the one on trial for prosecutorial abuse, not the one putting the Idaho rancher on trial for protecting his own children. She also should be permanently ostracized from polite society. Sneered at, scorned, ignored, isolated, publicly disdained. And, when she no longer has Holder and President Obama around to give her a job, she should be professionally scorned as well. Maybe even asked to go live with the grizzlies — as long as she might last.