Dead Cats: Hagel2, 02/01/13, (8)13: James Brody

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CONTENTS: Hillary runs; IMMIGRATION – Krauthammer, Lowry, Erickson, Adams;  Mixed gender HS; We can win; Phillips – conservatism crisis; Impeach BO in Texas; Henninger Thunderdome; Glick – Hagel classic; Mike’s memo; E15 gas; Delay, repeal, replace; OCare $20K; Kessler – Ocare promised; Rates to rise; Corbett’s liquor plan; Yawns about privatization; Santelli –Europe; Guns ih Chicago; ISR to hit Syria again;  Announcements

“Dominican prostitute: Senator Bob Menendez ‘likes the youngest and newest girls’”

Gabby Giffords: “There are too many children being killed.” No mention of 50 million babie killed by physicians and mothers.

Immigration: Black caller from Los Angeles reported: Mexican gangs chase the blacks from neighborhoods, drive up entitlement costs, and compete for entry level jobs. And Democrats ignore the problem. (on Bill Bennett’s program, 1/31/2013)

February 1st

1790: The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time, in New York City.

1861: Texas seceded from the Union.

1960: Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.

2003: The space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry, killing all seven crew members. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)

CBS/DC: Clinton – “Benghazi Won’t Affect Whether I Run For President”

OMG, I feel so much better . . .

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is leaving office with a slap at critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. She told The Associated Press that critics of the administration’s handling of the attack don’t live in an “evidence-based world” and their refusal to “accept the facts” is unfortunate and regrettable for the political system.

“In her last one-on-one interview before she steps down on Friday, Clinton told the AP that the attack in Benghazi was the low point of her time as America’s top diplomat. But she suggested that the furor over the assault would not affect whether she runs for president in 2016. . .”

For Hillary: “Suicide bombing at US Embassy, 2 dead”

“ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital on Friday, killing himself and one other person, officials said.”

Ron Fournier, National Journal: “What I Learned Covering Hillary Clinton”

“.  .  . if you don’t think she wants to be president, you don’t know her. If you don’t think she’s a determined policy wonk and public servant, you haven’t been paying attention. And if you don’t think she has what it takes to win, you haven’t met Tom McRae.

Clinton is a survivor. She has weathered more peaks and valleys than the Alps: Her culturally disparaging remarks during the 1992 presidential race; Whitewater, health care reform, and the Monica Lewinsky affair in the White House; as a U.S. senator, respect and popularity; in her 2008 presidential campaign, failure and family intrigue; and at the State Department, global acclaim, soaring approval ratings and, tragically, Benghazi.

“. . . Never bet against Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Charles Krauthammer, NRO: “Immigration – Getting it right”

“Immigration reform is coming. Let’s get it right. What counts as getting it wrong? The 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli Act, signed by President Reagan. It granted amnesty to the nation’s 3 million illegal immigrants and promised border enforcement.

“Amnesty came. Enforcement never did. Reagan was swindled.

“Americans are a generous people. They don’t want 11 million souls living in fear among them. They would willingly, indeed overwhelmingly, support amnesty — as long as it is the last. They don’t want another Simpson-Mazzoli, another bait-and-switch that lets in another 11 million illegal immigrants — and brings us back where we began.

“There is an obvious solution: enforcement first. . .”

Rich Lowry, NRO: “Marco Rubio’s Bad Deal

“. . . The Gang of Eight on immigration is here to tell us that we have succeeded in not enforcing the law so persistently and thoroughly that now we have to give up all pretense.

“The Gang of Eight, headlined by conservative star Marco Rubio, wants to amnesty the 11 million immigrants who are already here as a product of past non-enforcement, in exchange for a promise of future enforcement.

“Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform resolutely refuse to say the word ‘amnesty.’ They contend that the proposed package is not an amnesty because illegal immigrants have to go to the back of the line for a green card. But before that happens, they get ‘probationary legal status.’ As a practical matter, this is the amnesty.

“Senator Chuck Schumer states it with admirable clarity: ‘On Day One of our bill, the people without status [i.e., illegal immigrants] who are not criminals or security risks will be able to live and work here legally.’ You can’t get more direct than that. . .”

Erick Erickson, Red State:

“As Ben Domenech noted:

‘The McCain-Graham+Rubio/Flake reworked proposal released yesterday is another example of wrongheadedness: The senators would increase the scope of government instead of liberty, make normalization contingent upon border security (which just sets up another fight between interest groups on the border — Republican says it’s not secure, Democrat says it is, etc.), and create employer provisions which 1) forces employers to prove a negative and 2) turns them into criminals if they can’t. Oh, I’m sure that won’t result in any profiling at all.’

“On the specific plan, for lack of legislation, it is clearly written by a group of men who seemingly love government, but do not love free markets, small businesses, or individuals. It is a plan based on faith in government, not free enterprise or the American people.

“The plan creates several policy fictions to hide behind.

“The first policy fiction is a secure border. The White House will claim the border is secure. The Republicans will claim it is not. The border will never be made impenetrable and we will proceed down this distracting, argumentative line to no end.

“The second policy fiction is premised on the “jobs Americans won’t do” which is more accurately described as “jobs Americans won’t do at that price point.” Employers must prove that no American could be found to do the job the illegal alien would otherwise do. This is impossible, absurd, and turns employers to liars in the pursuit of running their business. The aggrieved can turn on the employers and potentially cost them all sorts of civil and criminal penalties.

“The most significant policy fiction is premised on the idea of reform. The plan does nothing to address the black market for unskilled, low cost migrant work. It does nothing to deal with the long delays in the present immigration system. It does nothing to actually solve our immigration problems, but hides behind the construct of “comprehensive” reform. Along the way, it potentially adds more people to already overwhelmed entitlement programs, but then that too is another kicked can. . . “

“Also:  Ben Domenech, Cesar Chavez’s Immigration Legacy

“The Obama administration has, to this point, done nothing to improve current immigration realities in a permanent sense. Instead, it’s been a servant of organized labor in an economy with stagnant job opportunities. Deportations are at record highs; ICE audits of employers are at record highs; and the border is more militarized than it’s been in almost a century. These steps all serve to incentivize behavior which keeps unskilled migrant labor in the shadows. It is far easier to cross the border, hop a train near El Paso, be in the Midwest within two days, and send money back home as an individual male than it is as a family — so the current approach makes that the most appealing and least dangerous path.

“The truth is that government policy forces the demand for unskilled migrant labor to fill its needs through a black market. With the political forces arrayed as they currently are, nothing will likely come out of the current debate which addresses the real need for labor market reform. It’s high time we focused on the real cause of the vast majority of illegal immigration and allow for a regular legal pathway for unskilled migrant labor. Until we do, Chavez’s policy inheritance will persist, and it will continue to incentivize law-breaking by employers and workers alike.”

J. Christian Adams, PJM: Marco Rubio Better Answer Some Questions First

“Republicans who support granting amnesty to foreign nationals residing in the United States illegally better answer some questions first.

“I have previously argued that warm and fuzzy feelings toward the GOP will not grow in minority communities simply because some Republicans accept as lawful what was once lawless. The racial interest groups such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and LULAC have such a stranglehold in these communities that no GOP compromise will break it.

“Racially polarized voting patterns among blacks and Hispanics are the fruits of their labors over decades.

“Republicans who think these groups will allow goodwill toward the GOP to blossom once immigration reform passes are naïve. After any concessions, they will be back to job number one: ensuring continued racially polarized voting that will eventually lead to the demise of the Republican Party, especially with millions of new voters. . .”

Eric Owens, Daily Caller: “New research suggests mixed-gender high schools perpetuate gender gap”

“Two economics professors at the University of California, Davis have published a paper arguing that mixed-gender high schools are at least partially to blame for the persistent gender gap in the salaries of men and women.

“In a working paper published by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research, economists Massimo Anelli and Giovanni Peri demonstrate that students who attended all-boys or all-girls high schools are considerably more likely to embrace college majors associated with high-paying jobs, such as medicine or engineering.

“Also, women who attended a high school with a notably large percentage of other females are more likely to go on to choose the kinds of majors that tend to lead to high-paying jobs, the researchers found.

“On the other hand, female students who attended ordinary mixed-gender schools are more likely to choose stereotypical majors that will likely lead to lower short-run earnings, lower long-run earnings and limited overall career potential.

Ned Ryun, Red State: “Political Gravity” – “We Can Win (If We Start Doing the Right Things)”

“Crowds everywhere are marked by feminine characteristics. . .” Le Bon (1885, 13) So are liberals (Copley 2012)

“Voter Gravity, the database technology tool developed with the great Political Gravity guys and American Majority Action, got some love from techPresident, but since the article is behind a paywall, I thought I’d highlight a few blurbs about Voter Gravity and the future of campaign technology.

“Gravity was a novelty on the right: It was a mobile interface into voter data designed for grassroots advocates. . . .A smattering of other right-wing groups, including FreedomWorks, enjoyed the benefits of this new tool. While its deployment was limited and it had its own share of bugs, the software is a sign that there’s still technological life among conservatives.”

But as I mention in the article, the use of tools like Voter Gravity were not widespread enough to have a significant national impact—that’s one huge reason Romney lost. When it was used, and used right (as in going to targeted doors on a smart phone device to have live conversations with voters), it had the desired outcomes:

“Not all of the campaigns that used Political Gravity were involved in small-bore local contests. Local Tea Party activists used Political Gravity to touch about 28,000 doors in Chester County, Pennsylvania, which went for Barack Obama by over 9 percentage points in 2008 but was carried by Mitt Romney very narrowly this November. Advocates point to similar bumps in some Wisconsin and Ohio counties where, even if Democrats held on statewide (as they did in Pennsylvania), Republicans were much more competitive than four years ago.”

“All that being said, Voter Gravity 1.o was a good start, but unless we acknowledge on the Right that there is an “arms race” in political data and technology, we will continue to fall behind and lose to liberals like Barack Obama. . .”

Le Bon, Gustave (1895/2002) The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Mineola, NY: Dover.

Copley, Gregory (2012) Uncivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos. Washington, D. C.: The International Strategic Studies Association.

Melanie Phillips: “The crisis of conservatism on both sides of the pond”

“. . . The root of the error was to misunderstand both why the Tories lost power in 1997 and the appeal of Tony Blair. They looked at Blair– young, telegenic, hip, with his jeans and his guitar and his ‘hey man’ and his ‘I feel your pain’ — and they were torn between thinking he was a cynical charlatan and alternatively that he won power because he was in tune with Britain’s shift towards a more caring, sharing, emoting, tolerant, liberal society.

“Wrong on all counts. Blair won above all because the Tories had made themselves unelectable. The government of John Major, which took over after the reginacide of Margaret Thatcher, had become a national joke, an embarrassment, a synonym for sleaze, arrogance and supreme incompetence.  Moreover, a number of Tory MPs just looked … well, totally weird. The whole lot of them were viewed as totally beneath contempt and wholly unfit for government.

“Blair saw his opportunity – but having concluded about his own party that its left-wing positions had made it unelectable, he took a leaf out his friend Bill Clinton’s book and triangulated his message. While remaining committed under the radar to extreme, indeed revolutionary left-wing positions – the erosion of sovereignty by closer union with the EU, mass third world immigration, multiculturalism, gay rights — he sent out the (misleading) message that he was instinctively on the side of Middle Britain and would put right what worried them most. This was above all intolerable levels of crime and disorder and poor education standards, which in turn stood proxy for a feeling that society was breaking down.

“Utterly failing to understand any of this, the Conservative party promptly fell apart. . .”

Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters: “67 Percent of Texas Republicans Want Obama Impeached”

“If Democrats are serious about trying to turn Texas blue, they should get a gander at a just-released poll of Lone Star State voters that found 67 percent of Republican respondents support the impeachment of President Obama.

“Of greater concern for liberals: the poll was conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling.

“As a whole, Texans opposed impeachment 50 percent to 39 percent.

“But in the crosstabs, PPP broke this down by party affiliation with Democrats opposed 83 percent to 12 percent, Republicans in favor 67 percent to 18 percent, and Independents opposed 54 percent to 32 percent.

“Amazing that even 12 percent of Democrats support impeachment.

“Also interesting was the racial breakdown concerning this issue with Whites supporting impeachment 48 percent to 41 percent, Blacks opposed 80 percent to 15 percent, and Hispanics opposed 58 percent to 30 percent. . .”

Bill Gertz, Washington Times: “Inside the Ring – New al Qaeda threat”

“A jihadist website posted a new threat by al Qaeda this week that promises to conduct “shocking” attacks on the United States and the West.

The posting appeared on the Ansar al Mujahidin network Sunday and carried the headline, ‘Map of al Qaeda and its future strikes.’

“The message, in Arabic, asks: ‘Where will the next strike by al Qaeda be?’ A translation was obtained by Inside the Ring.

“‘The answer for it, in short: The coming strikes by al Qaeda, with God’s Might, will be in the heart of the land of nonbelief, America, and in France, Denmark, other countries in Europe, in the countries that helped and are helping France, and in other places that shall be named by al Qaeda at other times,’ the threat states.

The attacks will be “strong, serious, alarming, earth-shattering, shocking and terrifying.”


Daniel Henninger, WSJ: “Obama’s Thunderdome Strategy”

The president’s goal is to make Republican ideas intolerable.

“. . . Better late than never, Speaker Boehner now sees that Barack Obama’s notion of political competition is Mad Max inside the Thunderdome: “Two men enter, one man leaves.”

“Last week during the president’s second inaugural address, if one can employ that hallowed phrase to describe this speech, Mr. Obama used the occasion to defend entitlement programs by whacking his defeated presidential opponent: “They do not make us a nation of takers.”

“This was the second time Mr. Obama used a traditionally elevated forum to take down his opposition. His 2010 State of the Union speech will be remembered in history for nothing other than an attack on members of the Supreme Court seated before him. Justice Samuel Alito’s whispered “Not true” would prove a prophetic comment on the Obama modus operandi.

“Subsequent targets of the president’s contempt have included the members of Congress’s deficit-reduction supercommittee, the Ryan budget (“antithetical to our entire history”), repeated attacks on the ‘well off’ and bankers, and famously a $100 million dump-truck of vilification on Mitt Romney.

“When he won, the rationalization was that it was all a shrewd if brutal campaign strategy. But it kept coming. What is striking about the Obama technique is that it’s not so much criticism as something closer to political obliteration, driving his opposition out of the political arena altogether.  .  .”

LEADS .  .  .

Hagel (from Matt Drudge, 2/1/13)

HAGEL: Iran 'elected, legitimate government'...
Stumbles on 'containment'...
'Hearing a disaster'...
CNN: Senators 'shocked' how ill-prepared Hagel was...
Rubio comes out against...

Caroline Glick: “Classic Hagel”

“I think it is pretty amazing that AIPAC is keeping mum on the fact that Obama has nominated a Jew hater and Israel basher to serve as the next Defense Secretary. As I’ve said before, Hagel’s appointment is a far greater threat to the US military than it is to Israel. But still, it is pretty obscene that Obama is getting away with appointing this character to serve as the Pentagon chief.

“Today, the estimable Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon reported another classic Hagelian anti-Israel slur and libel. Back in 2003 he gave an interview to his hometown paper saying that Israel “keep[s] the Palestinians caged up like animals.”

“And of course, this is only one of countless examples of Hagel’s animus towards the Jewish state and its Jewish supporters in the US. But AIPAC is silent.

“As I wrote before, I understand that AIPAC doesn’t want to fight a fight it can’t win. But what fights will it be able to win with a president so hostile to Israel that he appointed the most outspoken anti-Israel senator since Chuck Percy to serve as Defense Secretary? “What do they think they will be able to get? A cut-off in aid to the PLO? A cut-off in F-16 and M1A1 Abrams tanks transfers to Egypt? Further ineffective sanctions against Iran? More military assistance to the IDF?

“Israel is better off expanding its own defense industries than depending on Hagel for spare parts. . .”

Bill Straub, PJM: “No Significant Dem Opposition as Hagel Heads into Nomination Hearing

“Since Democrats outnumber Republicans 14-12 on the committee, the nomination of the Vietnam War veteran from Nebraska is likely headed to the Senate floor for final confirmation barring circumstances like a filibuster.

“Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, is considered the likeliest Democrat to break from the party. He has acknowledged in interviews that while he respects the right of the president to select his cabinet he does not feel comfortable with some of the positions Hagel has staked out – primarily involving Iraq and Israel – and has refused to make a public commitment. But Blumenthal has said he ultimately expects Hagel to be confirmed.

“Hagel, 66, scheduled for an appearance before the committee this morning, hasn’t picked up much support from his fellow Republicans. Thus far, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) stands as the lone GOP lawmaker to acknowledge his endorsement. Meanwhile, a growing number on what once was Hagel’s side of the aisle have made their opposition clear. . .”

Mike Folmer, Mike’s Memo

“Tax Me More Bill Reintroduced
“For Pennsylvanians who believe the state does not spend or tax enough, I have reintroduced my Tax Me More Bill, Senate Bill 322, which would allow individuals to make voluntary financial contributions to the State Treasury. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.

“Healthy PA Reintroduced
“I have reintroduced components of Healthy PA, my legislative package which provides alternatives to various so-called government run health care solutions. The goal of Healthy PA is to reduce health care costs while maintaining quality of care by empowering consumers with choice and autonomy over their healthcare decisions. Legislation includes:

Senate Bill 342 – promotes Health Savings Accounts (HSA);

Senate Bill 343 – establishes an HSA option for government employees;

Senate Bill 344 – sunset (not eliminate) existing health care mandates unless reauthorized by law;

Senate Bill 345 – lifts mandates from HSA;

Senate Bill 346 – increases competition among health insurers;

Senate Bill 347 – establishes tax deductions/credits for those who pay for healthcare;

Senate Bill 348 – establishes a state High Risk Pool for those with pre-existing conditions;

Senate Bill 349 – phases out MCARE; and

Senate Bill 350 – exempts Pennsylvania from federal healthcare law mandates.

“School Emergency Plans, Security to be Focus of Hearing
“School emergency plans and security measures designed to ensure student safety and increase school-to-parent communication during an emergency will receive an in-depth review by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Senator Lisa Baker, and the Education Committee, which I chair. The hearing begins 9 a.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in the Capitol’s North Office Building, Hearing Room 1.

“Among the strategies to be discussed is a proposal by Senator Joe Scarnati to dramatically increase the amount of funding available for grants which schools could utilize for school safety and violence prevention initiatives, including training and hiring armed guards to protect their students, teachers and administrators. Click here to listen.”

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: “API Study: New E15 gas can ruin auto engines”

“The key points from the API report are below:

“The additional E15 testing, completed this month, has identified an elevated incidence of fuel pump failures, fuel system component swelling, and impairment of fuel measurement systems in some of the vehicles tested. E15 could cause erratic and misleading fuel gauge readings or cause faulty check engine light illuminations. It also could cause critical components to break and stop fuel flow to the engine. Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways. Fuel system component problems did not develop in the CRC tests when either E10 or E0 was used. It is difficult to precisely calculate how many vehicles E15 could harm. That depends on how widely it is used and other factors. But, given the kinds of vehicles tested, it is safe to say that millions could be impacted.

“In 2010 and 2011, EPA gave the green light to use E15 – the 15 percent ethanol gasoline blend – in model-year-2001-and-later cars and some other vehicles. EPA’s action was irresponsible. EPA knew E15 vehicle testing was ongoing but decided not to wait for the results. Why did EPA move forward prematurely? Part of the answer may be the need to raise the permissible concentration level of ethanol so that greater volumes could be used, as required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Most gasoline sold today is an E10 blend, but rising volume requirements under the law can’t be met much longer without going to higher blends. When Congress passed the law, it could not know it was creating this problem. Today we know. The answer is to repeal the RFS before it puts millions of vehicles and many motorists at risk.”

Capretta & Anderson, WeeklyStandard: “Delay, Repeal, Replace”

“The Obamacare fight has just begun .

“Watching Congress take the final steps to pass Obamacare in March 2010 was a bitterly disappointing moment for the law’s opponents. They didn’t have to be told that what was being rammed through the House and Senate was the largest power grab by the federal government in at least a generation, with immense consequences for the nation’s economic vitality and political health. Opponents understandably redoubled their efforts to see the law repealed and replaced, and Republicans rode the popular revolt against the excesses of Obamacare all the way to a landslide midterm victory.

“Unfortunately, the two best opportunities to stop the law in its tracks were missed. At the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts twisted himself into a pretzel to conclude that the law’s centerpiece, the individual mandate, was constitutional (but only as a “tax”), and President Obama beat back the campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, securing a second term. As a consequence, outright repeal is off the table for at least four years.

“Disappointing as these events were, they do not remotely constitute the end of the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare. Indeed, this is a fight conservatives couldn’t walk away from even if they wanted to, because health policy is absolutely central to the struggle over the size and scope of governmental power. . .”


Matt Cover, CNS: “IRS – Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 per Family”

“( – In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

“Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

“The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

“The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan. . .”

Daniel Kessler, WSJ: “ObamaCare’s Broken Promises”

“Every one of the main claims made for the law is turning out to be false.

As the federal government moves forward to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services is slated to spend millions of dollars promoting the unpopular legislation. In the face of this publicity blitz, it is worth remembering that the law was originally sold largely on four grounds—all of which have become increasingly implausible.

“• Lower health-care costs, • Smaller deficits, • Preservation of existing insurance, • Increased productivity. . .

“In 2009, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers concluded that health reform would reduce unemployment, raise labor supply, and improve the functioning of labor markets. According to its reasoning, expanding insurance coverage would reduce absenteeism, disability and mortality, thereby encouraging and enabling work.  .

Dan Weil, NewsMax: “Harvard Economist Feldstein Warns of Rate Hikes and Housing, Market Falls”

Thx Ted,

“At some point, the Federal Reserve will finally have to raise interest rates, and the results won’t be pretty for the economy and the housing and financial markets, says Harvard economist Martin Feldstein.
“The Fed has said it plans to lift its federal funds rate target — now at zero to 0.25 percent — when the jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent. In December, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.
“Right now, with the 10-year Treasury yield at 2.02 percent, the inflation-adjusted yield is really negative, notes Feldstein, who was chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers.  .  .”

Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Corbett divides, hopes to conquer union opposition of liquor store proposal”

‘Scuse me, Gov … we  need smarter kids, the ones that most of us didn’t have, instead of more expensive hatcheries  for this generation of self-lovers, one  that admires its own brilliance but can’t compete on an achievement test. . .

“HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday unveiled a plan to privatize Pennsylvania’s  monopoly liquor store system, simultaneously executing a deft political move intended to accomplish a goal of his administration while undercutting some of his loudest critics.

In Pittsburgh, Corbett said the proceeds from selling off the state liquor stores – estimated at more than $1 billion – would be used to increase funding for basic education over the next four years. The revenue could be used to enhance school safety and security and create a grant program for school districts to use for early education, individualized learning and math, science and technology courses.

“Our plan gives consumers what they want by increasing choice and convenience, and helps to secure our future by adding $1 billion in funding toward the education of our children, without raising any taxes,” Corbett said.

By linking the issues, Corbett is doing more than just moving dollars from the revenue to the spending side of the ledger. He is likely hoping to short-circuit the opposition for liquor privatization by promising a boost to schools.

Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Top GOP lawmakers aren’t buzzing over privatization plan”

Look for the union label . . .

HARRISBURG – The governor wants it, as do many consumers. Still, not everyone is sold on the idea of getting Pennsylvania out of the liquor business, including two top Republicans.

Gov. Tom Corbett hasn’t announced his liquor privatization plans, but the mere concept already has Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, and Speaker of the House Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, mulling alternatives.

Scarnati said he is willing to hear privatization proposals to sell off the state liquor system, but he supports legislation that would change how the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board does business, ultimately allowing it to make more money.

From Drudge 1/31/13

GDP -0.1%...
Santelli: 'We Are Now Europe'...
Job market booming at IRS...
Automatic Budget Cuts More Likely as Stances Harden...
Pension insurer warns of rising deficit...
Dollar at 14-Month Low vs Euro...

Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters: Santelli – “We are now Europe”

“”Hey Joe,” Santelli said, “when you act like Europe, you get growth rates like Europe, and our discussions with economists sounds like we’re in Europe. They have the same discussions constantly.”

“They’re always doing the right thing,” he continued. “They’re always thinking they know better. And this is the kind of growth. We have become Europe. We are now Europe.”

Steve Liesman pushed back, “We reduced federal spending, government spending by 15 percent. Which part of that’s not Europe don’t you get?”

“And why do we need to reduce government spending?” asked Santelli. “Because we run trillion dollar deficits for crying out loud.”


Washington Examiner: “Editorial: Why isn’t gun control working in Chicago?”

“On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in the U.S. Capitol titled “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” Mass-shooting victim and former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords testified, as did National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. But no one from the new murder capital of the United States, Chicago, was invited to testify.

“If Senate Democrats continue to push for more gun control legislation while ignoring the failure of existing, similar gun control laws in the president’s hometown, House Republicans should rectify the situation. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., should take C-SPAN’s cameras on the road and hold a field hearing in one of the few American cities where gun violence is bad and getting worse. We suggest a title that gets right to the point: “Why Isn’t Gun Control Working in Chicago?”

One question to address: If the real problem is that guns can be purchased in other jurisdictions, then why are America’s other major cities seeing such huge declines in their murder rates, despite the fact that nearly all of them are near states with relatively lax gun laws?

“If Democrats are truly interested in making Americans safer, and not just in passing feel-good laws that will do nothing to decrease gun violence, then they should welcome a closer look at what is going so horribly wrong in Obama’s hometown. . .”

From Matt Drudge (2/1/13)

Wyoming House Approves Bills Exempting State From Federal Gun-Control Measures...
Arizona follows suit...


Federman & Karam, AP: “Israel may feel need to strike Syria again”

“Israeli military officials appear to have concluded that the risks of attacking Syria are worth taking when compared to the dangers of allowing sophisticated weapons to reach Hezbollah guerrillas in neighboring Lebanon.

With Syrian President Bashar Assad’s grip on power weakening, Israeli officials fear he could soon lose control over his substantial arsenal of chemical and advanced weapons, which could slip into the hands of Hezbollah or other hostile groups. These concerns, combined with Hezbollah’s own domestic problems, mean further military action could be likely. . .”

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