CONTENTS: BO blocked oil production; York – Cruz stop the $; Jeffrey – Cruz stop the $; Judge cans soda ban; Rand – look’n for a hero; Boehm – pensions for crooks; Knepper – MCaid expansion; Guzzardi –Tom sinks; Guzzardi – GOP primary; Christie’s wife; NYT anti Keystone; Detroit’s crooked mayor; NJ mom lost guns; Budgets; Hanson – how to weaken economy; BO’s tax problem; No balance for BO; Ryan’s plan(s); Geller’s SF signs; Facebook tattles; CPAC fights; CPAC dress code; Announcements
I responded: ‘Yes, I guess so.’
’I don’t believe that people should own guns,’ Obama replied.
I then replied that it might be fun to have lunch and talk about that statement some time.
He simply grimaced and turned away. …
Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama showed disdain.” Ralph Benko, (THX Ted!) http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-rounds-of-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/
“Our justification for putting massive amounts of taxpayer money into public schools is that they’re supposed to teach critical thinking. But stories like these — and they’re legion — suggest that the very people who are supposed to be teaching our kids how to think are largely incapable of critical thought themselves.” Glenn Harlan Reynolds
“Govt, stay out of my refrigerator!” Sarah Palin
1639: Harvard College was named for one of its first benefactors, clergyman John Harvard.
1868: The Senate began the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson.
1928: The St. Francis Dam gave way on a reservoir 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, killing at least 450 people
1930: Clyde W. Tombaugh and fellow astronomers at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, announced the discovery of a ninth planet, later named Pluto. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Investors: “Obama Has Blocked Oil Production”
“Empty Boast: As we have noted before in our Issues & Insights pages, President Obama has taken credit for an energy boom he had nothing to do with. A government agency now confirms what many have known to be true.
“The Congressional Research Service has released a report, “U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas,” that corroborates what we’ve said.
“All of the increase (in oil and natural gas production) from FY2007 to FY2012 took place on non-federal lands, and the federal share of total U.S. crude oil production fell by about seven percentage points,” writes Marc Humphries, the government specialist in energy policy who authored the report.
“During this period, oil production on federal land fell from nearly 1.7 million barrels a day to 1.6 million. At the same time, the share of overall production on federal lands shriveled from 33% to 26%.
“The difference is found in offshore production. Onshore production actually increased modestly from 2007 to 2012, but offshore dropped from 1.4 million barrels a day to 1.3 million. . .”
Byron York, Washington Examiner: “Ted Cruz pushes for vote to stop funding for Obamacare”
“. . . Cruz has gotten a huge amount of coverage for his strong performances at hearings involving Chuck Hagel, guns and immigration. For whatever reason, some in the press have been amazed that a Princeton- and Harvard-educated lawyer, former solicitor general of Texas and winner of multiple cases before the U.S. Supreme Court would be good in a hearing room. He is.
Now Cruz is getting ready for another high-profile fight. This week, he will introduce an amendment he calls “Restore Growth First” as the Senate considers a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the year. The amendment would cut funding for the implementation of Obamacare, at least until economic growth — currently at a terrible 0.1 percent — returns to its historic average of about 3.3 percent.
“My preference is to repeal Obamacare in its entirety,” says Cruz. “But at a minimum, it doesn’t make sense to implement Obamacare now. It would kill jobs, it would have an enormous negative impact on the economy.”
Of course, actually passing such an amendment is impossible, given the Democrats’ 55-seat majority in the Senate. The question is whether Cruz, his co-sponsors Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson and James Inhofe, and fellow Republicans would be willing to jam up the continuing resolution — that is, risk a government shutdown — over Obamacare. . .”
Terence Jeffrey, CNS: “Cruz Will Use ‘Any Procedural Means Necessary’ to Force Vote on Defunding Obamacare”
“(CNSNews.com) – When the U.S. Senate this week takes up the continuing resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) will offer an amendment that will prohibit funding for the implementation of Obamacare during that period.
“I believe we will have a vote on this amendment and I have said I am willing to employ any procedural means necessary to ensure that we do get a vote on the amendment,” Cruz told reporters today. . .”
Michael Howard Saul, WSJ: “Judge Cans Soda Ban
“Ruling on Sugary Drinks Marks Rare Defeat on Health Policy for Bloomberg
“At a late afternoon news conference, Mr. Bloomberg and the city’s top lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said they believed the judge erred in his ruling and vowed to appeal. The decision was both lauded and criticized by city officials and others.
“‘It would be irresponsible not to try to do everything we can to save lives,’ said Mr. Bloomberg, who earlier in the day called for jurisdictions across the nation to follow suit.
“New York state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling declared invalid Mr. Bloomberg’s plan to prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. The ban was set to begin Tuesday.
“Judge Tingling determined that Mr. Bloomberg exceeded his authority by sidestepping the City Council and placing the issue before the city’s Board of Health, a panel whose members were each appointed by the mayor. . .”
Bob Guzzardi, “Look’n for a hero”
Jews for Sarah has this link President Paul; Rand Rising John Fund NRO 11 March 2013
“Rand Paul thrilled because he stood, dramatically and without equivocation, for Constitutional Limited Government in face of opprobrium and ridicule. This was not about Rand Paul nor about any specific issue but about limitation of government power.
John Fund writes:
“But at the annual Club for Growth meeting here in Palm Beach, it wasn’t kids in the audience who greeted Paul as a hero, giving him a standing ovation both before and after his talk last Friday. The Club for Growth is a group of sober-minded business owners and investors who have proved their political clout by helping elect tea-party-oriented senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Rand Paul himself.
Some Club members are already in Paul’s corner for 2016. “He has broadened his appeal to include three issues that 75 percent of the American people agree with,” says George Yeager, an investment counselor from New York. “He wants a balanced-budget amendment, term limits, and a questioning of mindless nation-building overseas.”
PA . . .
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: “Without changes, crime still pays a pension in PA”
HARRISBURG — State employees convicted of rape, grand theft auto and even murder can still collect lifetime pensions under Pennsylvania law.
An attempt to change that is hung up, for now, in the state House after being voted out of committee on Tuesday morning. If passed, it would allow the state to revoke pensions from any current or former state employee convicted of a number of felony offenses and violent crimes, including homicide, rape, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, sexual assault, robbery and criminal conspiracy.
A conviction of any federal crime also would trigger pension forfeiture under the proposed law.
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, chairman of the House State Government Committee, said the law was the first step in pension reform.
Leo Knepper, CAP: “Medicaid Expansion: Bad for the Poor and Bad for Taxpayers”
“Governor Corbett has been facing pressure from members of the Republican Party to expand Medicaid in Pennsylvania. The Governor has previously stated his opposition to the Medicaid expansion, but he has scheduled a meeting with US Secretary of Health and Human Services to discuss a possible change of policy.
“Proponents of the Medicaid expansion depend on two arguments in advancing their position. First, they argue that it will ‘help’ the poor and uninsured in Pennsylvania. The second argument is that the expansion will be paid for using federal funds. Both of these arguments are fundamentally wrong and ignore reality. . .”
Bob Guzzardi: Corbett Sinks
“Tom Corbett’s numbers continue to sink like the Bismarck. Bruce Castor’s numbers are trending up and a hypothetical Tom Smith challenge seems viable, too.
“Tom Corbett cannot win in 2014 and he may well take some others down with them as Democratic sharks smell blood. Of course, a Democratic Governor, particularly, a far left Allyson Schwartz will do to Pennsylvania what Barack Obama is doing to the country’s economy. More Democrats mean fewer jobs. Democrats cannot be trusted with money. Democrats are NOT the Forgotten Taxpayer’s friend.
“Corbett may have trouble even becoming the Republican candidate again. Only 37% of GOP voters say they’d like him to be their nominee in 2014, compared to 49% who say they would prefer someone else. Corbett leads Bruce Castor by 20 points in a hypothetical match, 43/23, but that’s been cut in half from what was a 40 point edge in January at 51/11. If 2012 Senate candidate Tom Smith were to challenge Corbett, the Governor would hold only a 37/33 lead.”
Bob Guzzardi: GOP Primary
PoliticsPa Post http://www.politicspa.com/corbett-castor-sniping-a-reader/46546/
The Republican Primary voter is noticing that Governor Corbett is not producing any meaningful legislation they want. The Unions are doing better.
It is expected that liquor privatization will degenerate into liquor modernization.
Pension Reform is, effectively. blocked and taxpayers face a $41 billion dollar expense.
United Commercial and Food Workers Union workers at state store got a 4 year contract with 4% increase. http://paindependent.com/2012/08/pa-liquor-store-clerk-union-contract-official-despite-looming-privatization-efforts/
State System of Higher Education gets huge increase “The contract, which covers 5,500 faculty members, provides for salary increases of 11.5 percent or 19 percent over its four-year life, with junior faculty getting the higher increases. Faculty now receives salaries ranging between $44,795 and $107,870 a year.” and an hourly rate that would impress a Wall Street CEO. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/03/state_university_faculty_overw.html
Voter ID is still stalled because of inept execution by Secretary of State and Corbett Crony Carole Aichele. Can anyone be this inept or is it intentional slow rolling of real voter reform? like the Sandusky investigation. Corbett has both ways saying he passed Voter ID and then, to help Philadelphia Unions and Democrats so they won’t roll out full bore against him, slow rolls implementation.
Debt increased $4.6 billion with a good portion going to Liberal Democratic and Union construction projects.
Unions are doing well; the Forgotten Taxpayer, not so much.
LEADS . . .
Angela Delli Santi, AP: “NJ governor praises Sandy relief fund run by wife”
“NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie on Monday defended the delay in disbursing $32 million in donations to victims of Superstorm Sandy from a charity run by his wife.
“The Asbury Park Press newspaper, of Neptune, reported Sunday that none of the relief money that came pouring in after the late October storm had reached victims; the first $1 million in grants was approved last week. . .”
NYT: Keystone XL – “When to Say No”
“The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem. . .”
Ed White, Boston Globe: “Detroit’s former mayor found guilty of corruption”
“DETROIT — Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday of corruption charges and sent to jail to await his prison sentence in yet another dramatic setback for a man who once was among the nation’s youngest big-city leaders.
Jurors convicted Kilpatrick of a raft of crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars. He was portrayed during a five-month trial as an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts, and lived far beyond his means while in office until fall 2008.
Kilpatrick wore a surprised, puzzled look at times as US District Judge Nancy Edmunds read the jury’s verdict: guilty of 24 charges, not guilty on three, and no consensus on three more. Kilpatrick declined to speak to reporters as he left the courthouse. . .”
Erica Ritz, The Blaze: “NJ Mother Pressured to Turn Over Her Guns, Charged With ‘Terroristic Threats’ After Reading the Constitution at Tax Dispute Assembly”
“- Eileen Hart objected to a state re-evaluation of her property value that would drastically increase her tax rates
“-She read the Constitution at a tax dispute forum and called one of the appraisers a “pencil-pusher”
“- One of tax officials called 911 saying Hart threatened to return with a gun, but she unequivocally denies the claim
“- Hart was charged with making ‘terroristic threats’ and told that if she didn’t turn over her weapons, her bail would be prohibitively high and it was unclear how long she would have to remain in jail . . .”
“Eileen Hart was with her husband Keith and her 7-year-old daughter on Saturday at the Gloucester Community Center to dispute a mandatory home re-evaluation that would roughly double her property value (and therefore dramatically increase her rates), objecting on multiple grounds. As an Orthodox Jew, she refused to have the inspectors in her home when her husband was away at work. As an American citizen, she objected to the seemingly arbitrary reappraisal, noting that she is not planning on selling her home and hasn’t renovated her kitchen in 30 years.
“But at the forum, Hart was allegedly told that since she didn’t let the inspectors into her home, the state has a right to ‘assume’ its value. . .”
BUDGET . . .
From NRO, 3/13/13
Victor Davis Hanson, PJM: “How to Weaken an Economy”
“But don’t despair: there are plenty of ways to slow down even an inherently strong economy. History offers plenty of examples. But as more contemporary models, take your pick of successfully ruined economies — the Venezuelan, the Cuban, the North Korean, the Greek, the Italian, the Portuguese, or pretty much any from Mediterranean Africa to the Cape of Good Hope. There are certain commonalities about why and how they fail. Let’s review some of them. . .
“Government: The state can never be too big. Ensure that it is unaccountable and intrusive, in constant need of more money and more targets to regulate. The more government, the more people are shielded from the capital-creating, free-market system . . .
“The Law: To ensure capriciousness and unpredictability for both suspect employers and investors, make the law malleable, even unpredictable from day to day, in the style of an Argentina or Venezuela. Redefine the law as what is deemed socially useful. . .
Cynicism: Don’t forget the value of cynicism in weakening an economy. It is a critical tool in sowing distrust and fatalism, as in “Why try, when it doesn’t matter anyway?” or “Why should I follow the rules, when they don’t?”
“Top Down, Not Bottom Up: Leveling must go in one direction, not two. To ensure equality, the public schools should lower standards so that all are the same. The more who need remediation upon entering college, the more likely the curriculum will have to adjust to level the playing field, and the less skilled will emerge the average graduate. . .”
Vandehei & Allen, Politico: “Missed chance: Obama’s tax problem”
President Obama faces huge, and probably insurmountable, obstacles to reviving a grand bargain — none higher and more difficult to overcome than his decision to increase taxes by $600 billion in December.
At the time, Obama claimed victory, slapping new taxes on the rich while protecting George W. Bush’s cuts for everyone else. In retrospect, it looks more like a missed opportunity than a political or policy triumph.
“Instead, it now seems likely that $600 billion in tax increases is all the new revenue Obama gets. That’s a far cry from the $1.6 trillion he wants, or even the $1 trillion-plus many Republicans were discussing in previous grand bargain talks. . .”
Vince Coglianese, Daily Caller: “White House says Obama plan won’t include balanced budget“
“Q: “When you say balanced, you don’t mean balanced …”
White House press secretary Jay Carney: “I mean a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes asking everyone to pay their share.”
Paul Ryan, WSJ: “The GOP Plan to Balance the Budget by 2023”
“The goal can be reached, with no new taxes, while increasing spending 3.4% annually instead of the current 5%.
“America’s national debt is over $16 trillion. Yet Washington can’t figure out how to cut $85 billion—or just 2% of the federal budget—without resorting to arbitrary, across-the-board cuts. Clearly, the budget process is broken. In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation’s debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.
“House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we’re introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes. How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn’t have. Historically, Americans have paid a little less than one-fifth of their income in taxes to the federal government each year. But the government has spent more.
“So our budget matches spending with income. Under our proposal, the government spends no more than it collects in revenue—or 19.1% of gross domestic product each year. As a result, we’ll spend $4.6 trillion less over the next decade. . .”
Alex Pappas, Daily Caller: “How Paul Ryan proposes to balance budget in 10 years”
“WASHINGTON — House budget chairman Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday unveiled the GOP’s budget proposal that would slash $4.6 trillion in projected government spending over the next decade in order to balance the country’s budget by 2023.
“‘We owe the country a balanced budget,’ the Republican congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee said during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.
“Ryan’s plan includes a combination of tax reform, reform of entitlements and repeal of President Obama’s health-care law. . .”
END NOTES . . .
Fox: Geller’s Bus Ads
Pamela was dropped, despite her popularity, by CPAC’s organizers. She next took out a series of ads on San Francisco buses . . . ads that quote anti-Jewish, Islamic slogans. The SF secularists tolerate nearly any off-beat practice but object to Geller’s campaign. Wait until she quotes Bob Spencer’s conclusion that Mohammed probably never existed . . .
Spencer, Robert (2007) The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion. Washington, DC: Regnery. About $8 at Amazon.
“San Francisco leaders and the local Muslim community are slamming what they call a series of anti-Islam bus ads that contain quotes attributed to terrorists.
The ads, which began appearing on at least 10 city buses Monday, contain quotes such as one attributed to the militant Islamic group Hamas that reads: “Killing Jews is worship that brings us closer to Allah.”
“San Francisco is a city that celebrates its diversity and hateful speech and discrimination against our Arab and Muslim communities will never be tolerated,” Mayor Ed Lee said according to KTVU.
Lee, District Attorney George Gascon and other elected officials joined Arab and Muslim community leaders to publicly condemn the ads Monday, calling them racist.
Bede McCarthy and Robert Cookson, FT: “Facebook reveals secrets you haven’t shared”
“In one of the biggest studies of its kind, scientists from the university’s psychometrics team and a Microsoft-funded research centre analysed data from 58,000 Facebook users to predict traits and other information that were not provided in their profiles.
“The algorithms were 88 per cent accurate in predicting male sexual orientation, 95 per cent for race and 80 per cent for religion and political leanings. Personality types and emotional stability were also predicted with accuracy ranging from 62-75 per cent.
“Facebook declined to comment. . .”
March 14-16th: CPAC 2013
Rick Moran, PJM: “CPAC the Next Battleground in the Right’s Civil War”
“This week, conservatives will descend on the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, for the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The confab will take place against the backdrop of what some political observers are calling a “civil war” on the right — the bitter dregs left over from the election of 2012 .
“Forget the finger pointing, the accusations of apostasy, extremism, and craziness. What the fight is really about is who gets to define the public face of conservatism and, more prosaically, what conservatism means.
“Is conservatism one set of principles upon which everyone on the right can agree? Is it a loose set of issues around which a broad coalition can form? Is it an ideology? A personal philosophy?
“In truth, the biggest political disadvantage from which the right suffers at the moment is incoherence. . .”
Taylor Bigler, Daily Caller: “Try not to dress like a strumpet or a slob at CPAC this year, ok?”