CONTENTS: Truth for Occupiers; Congress Insiders judge self; Politico dives; Sowell – principles; Krauthammer – Mitt/Newt; Newt by Tapscott & Cupp; Federal Black Friday; Esler about Pileggi; Guzzardi – Hack Leach; Heritage – Obama’s tax hikes; BO to Scranton; BO needs PA votes; Earmarks slide on; Solar prices collapse; Sanitizing Barney; Egypt’s elections (3 stories); Votes against Holder
Announcements at p.9 and at http://www.deadcatsandclippings.com/?page_id=3984
“…Every conservative has thus to ask himself two questions: Who is more likely to prevent that second term? And who, if elected, is less likely to unpleasantly surprise?” Charles Krauthammer, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/284652/mitt-vs-newt-charles-krauthammer
“…for many people, moral intuitions are unsupported by articulate moral principles…” Roger Kimball, http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2011/11/30/is-utilitarianism-useful/
Gingrich 38, Romney 17 … Rasmussen
Nick Schulz, LA Times: Three Inconvenient Truths for Occupiers
“Occupy Wall Street needs to recognize some realities about what drives income inequality.
“Occupy Wall Street supporters are claiming credit for at least one political accomplishment: elevating the issue of income inequality to the top of the national conversation.
“The Occupiers are right about American incomes: They’ve definitely grown more unequal. But this fact presents three inconvenient truths for the Occupy Wall Street movement…”
Peter Schweizer, Fox: Congress Insiders Judge Themselves
“…Some of the individuals I have cited as having engaged in stock deals serve on the very committees who will be conducting the hearings. That’s a little like asking a defendant to also be a juror at their own trial — an absurdity that could only happen in Washington…
“Still, these hearings will give citizens and journalists a rare opportunity to see just how serious members of Congress truly are about cleaning up the cronyism and corruption rampant in Washington. It’s a pivotal moment that will hold electoral consequences…
“– Two members of this committee were featured in “Throw Them All Out.” Sen. Claire McCaskill bought half a million dollars of Berkshire Hathaway stock just as the bailout was signed. Berkshire was a huge recipient of bailout money, $90 billion. Another member of the committee is Sen. Tom Carper, who also sits on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Carper was the point man on passing Obamacare in 2009. He bought health care stocks that would benefit as he was pushing the bill, as I disclose in the book. Will Sen. McCaskill explain what prompted her critically timed trade of $500,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock?…”
Josh Peterson, Daily Caller: Politico Dives
“Internet traffic and Web search measurement tools from several sources indicate that despite massive promotion efforts on MSNBC and in other venues, Politico.com is rapidly losing readers, especially outside of Washington, D.C.
“Measurements of U.S. Web traffic provided to The Daily Caller by Compete, Inc. indicate that the number of total monthly visits to Politico.com dropped by 31.8 percent during the 18-month period that ended on October 31.
“During that same period, and perhaps not coincidentally, Politico has come under sustained criticism from many observers, including Fox News Channel anchors and several prominent radio hosts, for exhibiting liberal bias in its news stories…”
Thomas Sowell, NRO: Principles or Centrism?
The secular west teaches us that values and families are secondary to profits. Islam does not compromise and leads billions of people who make children and are educated mostly about Islam. “Justice,” however, is every man’s search and may save us from our wallets. Sowell takes on centrist Michael Medved…
“Being all things to all people is not a winning platform….”
“ …Candidates should certainly reach out to a broad electorate. But the question is whether they reach out by promoting their own principles to others or by trying to be all things to all people.”
David Swindle, PJM: Centrism?
“…those who most rely on the “Left,” “Right,” and “Center” lens to interpret the political landscape are actually the ones who claim to be above ideological purity: the “pragmatic,” “reasonable,” “grown-up” so-called RINOs who now sneer at those who doubt the electability of their White Knight Mitt Romney.
“This column in The Wall Street Journal by talk radio host Michael Medved is a perfect example. Medved’s Zombie-like devotion to Right/Left/Center thinking yields a column filled from beginning to end with lifeless arguments responding to made-up opponents. (And they get worse as the column goes on.)
“Medved is not a stupid man at all and he remains a gifted defender of free societies. But Ideology — the political word’s theology — kills brain activity and makes automatons of otherwise thoughtful human beings. Instead of thinking about a question for ourselves we just go with the “common sense notion” of our peer group, regardless of whether the political culture still sustains it. This is why Dennis Prager — who comes before Medved on KRLA here in Los Angeles — insists on the importance of thinking a second time…”
Charles Krauthammer, WaPo: “Mitt vs. Newt”
“Two ideologically problematic finalists: One is a man of center-right temperament who has of late adopted a conservative agenda. The other is a man more conservative by nature but possessed of an unbounded need for grand display that has already led him to unconservative places even he is at a loss to explain, and that as president would leave him in constant search of the out-of-box experience — the confoundedly brilliant Nixon-to-China flipperoo regarding his fancy of the day, be it health care, taxes, energy, foreign policy, whatever.
“The second, more obvious, Gingrich vulnerability is electability. Given his considerable service to the movement, many conservatives seem quite prepared to overlook his baggage, ideological and otherwise. This is understandable. But the independents and disaffected Democrats upon whom the general election will hinge will not be so forgiving…”
Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner: Consider Newt Twice Over…
“Gingrich’s wonkish delight in industrially rationed health care may come as a shock to some on the Right, but it is entirely consistent with his long-standing enthusiasm for individual mandates in health care. In his 2005 book, “Winning the Future,” Gingrich put it this way: ‘We need some significant changes to ensure that every American is insured, but we should make it clear that a 21st Century Intelligent System requires everyone to participate in the insurance system.’”
“Gingrich’s most frequently repeated claim to the mantle of conservative leadership, of course, is the Contract with America and the Republican revolution of 1994. But Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., made a strong case in his 2003 book, ‘Breach of Trust,’ that Gingrich’s affinity for the trappings of power led him to undermine the momentum for fundamental change. As Coburn described it, the fervor of the freshmen lawmakers of 1994 quickly put them at odds with the first Republican House Speaker in four decades: “Gingrich would receive our input, but he rarely took it seriously … We were from the outside and wet behind the ears in terms of politics and we obviously didn’t know as much about history as he did. It would not take long for us to become ‘the conservatives’ to him.”
“More recently, as The Examiner’s Byron York noted yesterday, Gingrich has been seen as an ultimate Washington insider, as exemplified in that $1.6 million he was paid to represent Fannie and Freddie, and his work with Nancy Pelosi on behalf of cap-and-trade. Such facts make it difficult not to view Gingrich as an exemplar of Washington’s professional Republican politicians…”
S. E. Cupp: Newt Blew It
“Today, authoress and political commentator, S.E. Cupp wishes Palin would endorse Romney and says that she doesn’t trust Gingrich…”
Iain Murray, American Spectator: “A Federal Black Friday”
“…Black Friday this year was a roaring success. I have heard it said that it is called Black Friday not because it inspires black tempers among shoppers, but because it’s the day on which businesses get out of the red and into the black. The federal government, of course, is deeply in the red. It could get, if not into the black, closer to it with a few well-placed sales of its own…”
Lisa Esler: About State Senator Pileggi
He also has nice suits and a wonderful tan…
“Senator Pileggi has said he is considering run for United States Senate. With his track record in the State Senate, we cannot let this happen. The information below should go viral so we can warn PA about him. Please send this email to everyone you know. Let’s stop him before he gets started!!! Together we can make this happen. Pay it forward to your list!!!!
AND NOW HE WANTS TO RUN FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE????
State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi:
The entire PA Legislature is now controlled by Republicans and you can no longer blame Governor Rendell — What is your excuse now?
• Why is there NO ACTION on the major issues in Harrisburg?
• Will ANYTHING SUBSTANTIAL get accomplished under your leadership?
• Do you represent the taxpayers of the State or the Unions?
Pension Reform: PA’s State Employee Pension Fund is billions of dollars in the RED, putting taxpayers at risk of higher taxes to bail it out. Most private companies have already converted to a 401k, knowing that pension obligations are unsustainable. PA Government needs to do the same and spare the taxpayers further burdens.
E-Verify: Unemployment in PA is now 8.2%. PASS the E-Verify bill, to ensure that potential employees are not illegal immigrants in PA.
Right-to-Work: PA workers are forced to join a union in order to get a job. 22 states no longer mandate union membership as a pre-condition for employment. PASS the Right-to-Work bill and make PA competitive.
Teacher Strikes: PA leads the Nation in Teacher Strikes. Taxpayers & children are being held hostage to the avarice of Teachers’ Union bosses! What is your solution?
Voter ID: 30 States require ALL voters to show ID before voting at the polls. PA is not one of these states!! Voter fraud steals from legitimate voters and makes a mockery of our political process. When will you pass a VOTER ID Bill?
Senator Pileggi has proven to be an ineffective leader for our Commonwealth. His reluctance to move forward while holding a majority is suspect. Why is he committed to retaining the status quo and doing nothing?
Senator Pileggi is not utilizing his powerful leadership role to benefit Pennsylvanians
It is time for NEW LEADERSHIP in Harrisburg
Call Senator Pileggi today at 717-787-4712 and ask him why he refuses to bring important legislation to a vote in the Senate
If not now, when? If not us, who?
Is Lisa running?
Bob Guzzardi: Daylin Leach “What? Me Worry? They’re not my kids.”
Sen. Piccola is experienced in ways of Harrisburg but I am hoping he is wrong and the House will not duck a vote. That would be political cowardice. Rank and File will not get away with blaming Sam ‘Computergate’ Smith and John Perzel’s former financier Mike Turzai because all of you voted for them. Republicans were elected in 2010 for a reason and the reason is NOW. FYI Note how much money leadership took from PSEA.
What about you? Do you care?
Run the Bill and Vote to Free Poorest, Most Desperate Kids from Violent and Educationally Dysfunctional Schools. Or run away from the vote or vote like Daylin Leach for the Unionized, Overpriced K-12 Government System of Career Bureaucrats.
Heritage: Obama’s Tax Hikes
“Today the Labor Department released its monthly jobs report, which showed that the U.S. economy added an anemic 39,000 jobs this month and that the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent. That marks the 19th month in a row that the unemployment has been over 9 percent, a post–World War II record.
“So how is this lame duck Congress, a Congress that was thoroughly rejected at the polls just last month, greeting this news? By raising taxes on the American people by $700 billion..”
Devin Dwyer, ABC: BO in Scranton
“President Obama‘s choice of Scranton, Pa., to talk taxes today isn’t just coincidence: it’s a strategic backdrop for a pre-election pitch aimed largely at white working-class voters in critical swing states.
“In a speech at Scranton High School — a setting identical to one used last week in Manchester, N.H. — Obama will plug his plan to extend and expand a payroll tax cut for workers and impose a new payroll tax cut for small businesses. He’ll also likely underscore Republican opposition, which has included GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.
“While today’s event is billed by the White House as official business, Obama’s campaign strategists have said their goal in states like Pennsylvania is to articulate in real, tangible terms what’s at stake for the middle class in the 2012 campaign.
“If the existing payroll tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of December, the average middle class family earning $50,000 a year would face an effective tax hike of $1,000, the White House says. In Scranton, where the median income is $34,700 according to the Census Bureau, an individual earning that amount would owe an additional $696 to the government in 2012…”
Obama Wants Votes from Us Alcoholic, Gun-Toting, Bible Readers
“Pennsylvania becomes major battleground for Obama in 2012”
By Anne E. Kornblut and David Nakamura, November 29
“The Obama campaign says it is working on an expanded electoral map in 2012, preparing for battle in so many places that it can afford to lose some of the big, traditional states he won four years ago. Pennsylvania is not one of those states…”
Kimberly Kimby, WaPo: Earmarks Slide On
“Members of the House and the Senate attempted to pack hundreds of special spending provisions into at least 10 bills in the summer and fall, less than a year after congressional leaders declared a moratorium on earmarks, congressional records show.
The moratorium, announced last November in the House and in February in the Senate, is a verbal commitment by the Republican leadership to prohibit lawmakers from directing federal funds to handpicked projects and groups in their districts. Lawmakers have tried to get around the moratorium by promising to allow other groups to compete for the funds. But the legislative language is so narrowly tailored that critics consider the practice to be earmarking by another name.
Congress’s supercommittee conceded defeat Monday in its quest to conquer a government debt that stands at a staggering $15 trillion, unable to overcome deep political divisions over taxes and spending. (Nov. 21)
The efforts to resurrect spending on pet projects reveal the tenuous nature of current reform efforts. Two senators have publicly called out their colleagues and will introduce legislation Wednesday that would ban earmarking with the force of law.
Steve Hargreaves, CNN: Solar Prices Collapse
“NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The once high-flying solar power sector is headed for tough times, as a combination of slack demand and massive oversupply is leading to plummeting prices and profits for solar panel makers.
“The past year was already grim. The Guggenheim Solar (TAN) exchange-traded fund is down 60% since January and sits even lower than it did following the crash in 2008.
“Two high profile companies have gone bankrupt in the United States — government-backed Solyndra and Evergreen — and analysts anticipate more failures ahead…”
Tim Carney, Washington Examiner: Sanitizing Barney … Part I!
“Oh, that lovable rascal, Barney Frank! He may have been opinionated (and boy did he let you know what he felt!) but he was always looking for a way to solve problems. We need more people like him in Washington.
“That’s the official liberal mainstream media line on the retiring congressman from Massachusetts, and it tells us more about the media than about Barney Frank. The encomia to the man pour forth from admiring reporters from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Slate. They almost all ignore entirely Frank’s role in subsidizing the housing bubble, his coziness with the very industry he was regulating, his million-dollar investments in an industry he worked to boost.
“And of course, the liberal mainstream ignore or gloss over the fact that Barney Frank was censured by the House of Representatives for fixing parking tickets and writing a misleading memo to Virginia probation figures. These actions were to protect the prostitute Frank had hired for sex, but then later hired for other duties, paying the prostitute under the table without paying withholding or Social Security taxes…”
Barry Rubin, PJM: Egypt; Naiveté and Wishful Thinking in the West
On behalf of the Christian Copts, thanks Hillary, Huma, Samantha, and BO
“…Who are the leaders of these factions? What is their composition? Where have they put forward alternative positions? What posts do they hold in the movement? Was there a battle among factions on choosing the Brotherhood’s parliamentary or presidential candidates? How have they reinterpreted in a more liberal way Sharia law? Do their opponents in Egypt recognize the existence of these factions? Do those who defected from the Brotherhood say that the movement they formerly thought to be irredeemably radical has changed?
“At the same time, the Brotherhood’s leadership continues to come up, without contradiction in the ranks, with the most extreme, intolerant, and bloodthirsty positions….”
Barry Rubin, PJM: “Worse than I Expected”
“Since last February I have predicted that the Muslim Brotherhood would win elections in Egypt. People have thought me very pessimistic. Now the votes are starting to come in, and … it’s much worse than I thought. My prediction that the Brotherhood and the other Islamists would gain a slight majority seems to have been fulfilled, and then some. “According to most reports, the Brotherhood is scoring at just below 40 percent all by itself.
“The results are worse than expected for two reasons:
“First: the votes we now have come from the most urban areas of the country.
If there are Facebook sophisticates, they’re going to be in Cairo and Alexandria. If the moderates do that bad in the big cities, what’s going to happen in the villages up the Nile? …”
Gavriel Queenan, IsraeliNationalNews: Brotherhood Takes Egyptian Elections
“…the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.
“Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.
“Continued success by Islamists will allow them to give Cairo’s government and constitution a decidedly Islamist character. It could also lead Cairo to shift away from the West towards the Iranian axis.
“It will also diminish the influence of Cairo’s caretaker junta, which has sought to maintain the Mubarak-era status quo and keep US foreign aid dollars – running into the billions per annum – flowing.
“Analysts say Islamists may also seek to annul the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, which could prompt Israel to seize the Sinai Peninsula for the fourth time in its history to create a strategic buffer zone…
Votes against Holder
Two senators, 52 House members, and two sitting governors…