Archive for November, 2009

Obama Admin Approves New ACORN Funding

November 28, 2009

Shocker.  From Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit:

ACORN is the largest radical leftist group in America today.
This radical group worked closely with the Obama camp during the election. But, the community organizing group was not open about this. The photo below was scrubbed from the ACORN website before the election:

One of Barack Obama’s first big “community organizer” jobs involved ACORN in 1992. He has been working along side ACORN since before he became an elected official. Obama also trained ACORN employees. He represented ACORN in court. Obama worked with and protested with ACORN. His campaign donated $800,000 to ACORN in 2008 for voter registration efforts.
And, ACORN even canvassed for Obama last year.

Earlier this year Obama promoted a top ACORN operative, Patrick Gaspard, who’s oranization was fined $775,000 for election violations, to a top post in the White House. Gespard is helping shape domestic policy.

Obama’s ACORN group was banned from receiving federal funds in September after the group was busted on tape promoting the child sex slave trade.

But, today it was announced that ACORN will be paid with taxpayer funds after all.
The New York Times reported:

The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group Acorn for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing funds to the group.

The department’s conclusion, laid out in a recently disclosed five-page memorandum from David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, adds a new wrinkle to a sharp political debate over the antipoverty group’s activities and recent efforts to distance the government from it.

Since 1994, Acorn, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has received about $53 million in federal aid, much of it grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for providing various services related to affordable housing.

But the group has become a prime target for conservative critics, and on Oct. 1, President Obama signed into law a spending bill that included a provision that said no taxpayer funds — including funds authorized by previous legislation — could be “provided to” the group or its affiliates.

Obviously, considering Obama’s history with ACORN, this latest news surprises no one.

Obama’s long history with ACORN can be viewed here.

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Obama’s Science Czar Part of Climategate Scandal

November 27, 2009

Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, has been found to be part of the Climategate Scandal.  Holdren was also part of the “Global Cooling” movement during the 1970’s. 

From Gateway Pundit:

So, will the state-run media be bold enough to hide this, too?
Obama’s socialist Science Czar John Holdren, who once said that forced abortions were needed to save the planet, is also involved in the Climategate Scandal.
holdren
Holdren, another socialist in the White House, was pushing global cooling before he was pushing man-made global warming.

NewsBusters and Canada Free Press are doing the work the state-run media would rather ignore and hide:

New Climategate revelations made by the Canada Free Press about a White House connection to the scandal will soon make it much more difficult (and ridiculous) for the networks to ignore.

Canada Free Press editor Judi McLeod and Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball reveal the involvement of White House Science Czar John Holdren (photo) in the Climategate Scandal. The picture presented of Holdren is not a pretty one:

Lift up a rock and another snake comes slithering out from the ongoing University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal, now riding as “Climategate”.

Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRU’s unfolding Climategate scandal. In fact, according to files released by a CEU hacker or whistleblower, Holdren is involved in what Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball terms “a truculent and nasty manner that provides a brief demonstration of his lack of understanding, commitment on faith and willingness to ridicule and bully people”.

Read the rest here.
Hat Tip Michael T.

Meanwhile, the leftwing Lancet is the latest global hoax enabler. They are also trying to keep this damning information under wraps.

By the way… John Holdren is on record in 1971 saying, “A new ice age is likely.”

Reid’s Healthcare Bill: Uninsured Americans Pay Penalty Tax, But Uninsured Illegal Aliens Do Not

November 23, 2009

From Keith Hennessey:

Under Leader Reid’s amendment, in the year 2019 about 16 million U.S. citizens would be uninsured and be forced to pay a penalty tax of almost $800 per year.  About eight million illegal aliens would be uninsured and would owe no penalty tax.  Both groups would get their health care through a combination of out-of-pocket spending and use of uncompensated care in emergency rooms and free health clinics.

View the entire article here:

New ACORN Video from Los Angeles

November 20, 2009

ACORN is back in the news again, courtesy of Hotair.com.  The latest video is from Los Angeles and deals with money laundering for a pimp and underaged girls.  This organization needs its doors shut asap.

Obama’s ties to ACORN can be found here.

A Taste of What’s to Come: Liver Cancer Drug Deemed “Too Expensive” in Britain

November 19, 2009

If Government Healthcare passes, here’s another taste of what’s to come. (click here for a similar story)

A liver cancer drug that can extend the life of patients with severe liver cancer was deemed too expensive for use in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (NICE) 

Make no mistake. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is a government entity that made the decision to NOT extend the lives of those patients with severe liver disease.  The decision was NOT made by the patient but by a government panel instead.  Those suffering with severe liver cancer were not allowed to choose and essentially told that their lives weren’t worth the cost of the drug.  This is Government Healthcare.

From the BBC:

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said the cost of Nexavar – about £3,000 a month – was “simply too high”.

But Macmillan Cancer Support said the decision was “a scandal”.

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year in the UK and their prognosis is generally poor.

Only about 20% of patients are alive one year after diagnosis, dropping to just 5% after five years.

‘Disappointed’

Campaigner Kate Spall, who won the right to have two months of treatment for her mother, Pamela Northcott, in 2007, said it had prolonged her life by four-and-a-half “precious” months.

It had allowed her 58-year-old mother, from Dyserth in Denbighshire, “closure” and “peace”, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“The problem in Mum’s case is it took a year for me to fight for the treatment, so we’ll never know how well she could have done,” she said.

Prof Jonathan Waxman: “I’m very unhappy about the way these decisions are made”

“We had extra time, which was very precious to us all, her symptoms were helped greatly. And, more importantly, for Mum it was a case of getting some closure and peace.

“The psychological feeling when a group of people decide that you cannot have a treatment that can help you is really devastating.”

Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician Peter Johnson said the decision was “enormously frustrating” because there was no doubt about the drug’s effectiveness.

He said: “There’s no alternative treatment and there are no other places for people to go. It is expensive, but the only issue is cost and the number of patients affected are quite few – there’s probably only six or seven hundred patients a year.”

Nexavar – also known as sorafenib – had already been rejected in Scotland, despite studies showing it could extend the life of a liver cancer patient by up to six months.

‘Devastating disease’

The Scottish Medicines Consortium ruled that “the manufacturer’s justification of the treatment’s cost in relation to its benefit was not sufficient to gain acceptance”.

Andrew Dillon, chief executive of NICE, agreed: “The price being asked by [the manufacturer] Bayer is simply too high to justify using NHS money which could be spent on better value cancer treatments.”

And the group’s clinical and public health director, Peter Littlejohns, added the drug was considered “just too expensive” by its advisory committees.

 ‘NICE, on behalf of the the NHS, has to look at the cost-effectiveness of care.’

Nexavar is routinely offered to cancer patients elsewhere in the world, and Mike Hobday, head of campaigns at Macmillan Cancer Support, said he was “extremely disappointed” at NICE’s decision.

“It is a scandal that the only licensed drug proven to significantly prolong the lives of people with this devastating disease has been rejected, leaving them with no treatment options,” he said.

Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: “The decision to reject a treatment for advanced liver cancer is a huge blow for patients.  There has to be a point when the NHS says no. It’s sadly but simply unrealistic.

“This is a treatment to extend life for people where all other options have run out.

“It is particularly hard for people with liver cancer given that treatments for many other advanced cancers have been given the green light by NICE.

“People with liver disease often face stigma and discrimination and sadly this decision feels like a further disadvantage to them.”

Earlier this year, a government review of end-of-life treatment said NICE should give extra weight to drugs that could extend a patient’s life.

The Department of Health said NICE was not ignoring that recommendation, but the NHS could not just pay for any drug at any cost.

Did CAIR Fail to Report Proceeds to the IRS?

November 19, 2009

From Frank Gaffney at Biggovernment.com:

On November 17, 2009, a prominent Senator and five leading Members of Congress sent a letter to the IRS asking for an investigation of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) concerning their possible violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act which limits the expenditures a non-profit can spend on lobbying  If CAIR has exceeded the limits of that law, they risk losing their non-profit status.  Other penalties may be more severe:  if the Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives determines that CAIR should have registered and find “a knowing violation by a preponderance of the evidence,” CAIR could be “subject to a civil fine of not more than $200,000, depending on the extent and gravity of the violation,”  and if CAIR “knowingly and corruptly failed to comply,” they could be subject to imprisonment up to 5 years.    Our separate analysis of CAIR tax returns, compared to audio evidence recorded in 2006, reveals another potential issue for IRS investigators – more on that follows below…

The November 17 letter to the IRS was signed by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), Ranking Member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.    The members of Congress signing the letter also have extensive experience in intelligence, counter-terrorism and investigations:

  • Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), Deputy Whip, founder of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, who also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who serves on the Judiciary Committee and the Armed Services Committee
  • Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), who serves on the United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment
  • Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), who serves on the  Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who serves on the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Our own investigation revealed another problem CAIR may have with the IRS.

 Their most recent publicly available tax return, from 2006, reports gross receipts for their annual fundraiser that are significantly less than they announced at the event itself.  On that 2006 990 form, they reported that they had raised $89,775, but left blank (or zeroed) several key fields:

CAIR 2006 IRS 990 statement3

But our investigative team attended that 2006 annual CAIR event and recorded the fundraiser Master of Ceremonies, Rodwan Saleh of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, announcing that they raised much more than $89,775 – at least $250,000, and possibly as much as $600,000 due to a matching grant.  Below is a partial transcript and the audio:

Partial Transcription:

RODWAN SALEH: We are now at $250,000. Takbir.

AUDIENCE: Allahu Akbar.

SALEH: Takbir.

AUDIENCE: Allahu Akbar.

SALEH: Now, listen carefully [unclear] requirements. There is a family, there is a family that says if we all now can put this amount of money from 250 to 300, they will match the 300. You understand what I’m saying? Now, so we need now to make sure that we get $50,000 in no time because if we can make 300 this family will put another 300 [unclear]. Did you hear me?

So here are two more questions for IRS investigators:   Did CAIR raise only $89,775 at the fundraiser and if so, what happened to the rest of the $250,000 (or $300,000 0r $600,000)?  Or did CAIR raise the larger amount, and if so, why did they report less to the IRS?

On November 3, 2009, we called CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad for comment on this apparent discrepancy.  Mr. Awad said he would look into the matter and get back to us, but so far he has failed to do so.

CAIR’s supporters include foreign businesses and members of various Middle Eastern royal families, and at the 2006 annual fundraiser in question, tables were assigned to the embassies of Malaysia, Pakistan, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Interests Section of Iran.   The Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial documents, along with numerous Arab and English news articles, show CAIR receiving foreign contributions and pledges ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.  During 2005 and 2006, CAIR had additional capital to purchase properties valued at over $10 million, as detailed in the investigative best-seller book Muslim Mafia.

Yet in 2006 their membership dues from actual Muslim Americans were only $41,383 –  one percent of their total reported revenues of over $2.7 million.

One percent from Muslim Americans’ dues.  And just $89,775 gross receipts from the annual fundraiser, partially reported to the IRS.

And 99% from…somewhere else.

Incidentally, we were able to obtain copies of the 2007 990 tax forms for fifteen CAIR chapters, and the 2008 990 tax forms for five CAIR chapters, but the CAIR national office has still not made public their 2007 and 2008 tax returns.

A key question for both the IRS and the Department of Justice: Is CAIR really an organization representing Muslim Americans, or is it representing the interests of foreign principals?

To be continued….

Sarah Palin’s Book Tour Dates Released

November 19, 2009

Courtesy of Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit.

Sarah Palin released the cities and dates of her “Going Rogue” book tour tonight.

going rogue flyer

Sarah Palin added this about her Fort Hood visit:

I’m especially looking forward to meeting our brave men and women in uniform at Fort Hood. I’m joining the efforts of many others by donating my royalties from the book sales during our stop at Fort Hood to the families of the victims whose lives have been forever changed by the tragic events of November 5th. I am humbled to be able to join the larger effort called “Community Response to 11/5,” which was established by the Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the US Army (AUSA). You can read more about their great efforts here: http://www.forthoodausa.org/.

Union Threatens Legal Action Over Boy Scout Cleanup Effort

November 18, 2009

The Allentown, Pennsylvania chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is under fire after its chapter president threatened legal action after learning of a volunteer cleanup effort of a local park by Boy Scouts. 

From Foxnews.com:

Nick Balzano, president of the Service Employees International Union’s Allentown chapter, said last week that the union might file a grievance against the city for allowing 17-year-old Kevin Anderson to clear the hiking trail, instead of paying some of the 39 recently laid-off SEIU members to do the work.

Balzano’s office did not return messages left by FoxNews.com, but the Morning Call quoted him as telling the city council that the union would be “looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails … There’s to be no volunteers.”

SEIU spokesman Matt Nerzig called Balzano’s comments “completely unauthorized and insensitive” and said the union was “not at all” considering a grievance in this case.

“Not sure if it was out of context or just a bad moment, but we’ve got no intention of doing anything like that,” Nerzig told FoxNews.com. “Not sure where he got the idea but he certainly doesn’t have the authority to do so.”

Anderson, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 301 of Center Valley, spent more than 200 hours creating the 1000-foot path in Kimmets Lock Park along with fellow scouts, friends and parents.

The junior at Southern Lehigh High School said he took on the project in an effort to earn an Eagle Scout badge and allow others to walk along the river while avoiding the busy road nearby.

In the process, he said, he and his team also transformed what was once a run-down section of the park into something residents and visitors can enjoy.

“The volunteers and I removed trash, many old tires and recyclables from this former illegal dump-site,” Anderson told FoxNews.com.

“My trail will become a part of the 165-mile Delaware and Lehigh (D&L) Heritage corridor,” he added.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said Anderson’s work was a “great service to the community.”

“We would hope that the well-intentioned efforts of an Eagle Scout candidate would not be challenged by the union,” he told the Morning Call.

View the entire article here.

Quote of the Day, Courtesy of Barack Obama

November 18, 2009

 From The One’s interview yesterday with Major Garrett of Fox News.

“I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.”  Barack Obama

Ya think?

EPA Silences Employees Not in Favor of Cap and Trade Bill

November 18, 2009

Apparently the EPA doesn’t believe in freedom of speech, especially for its employees who aren’t in favor of the current Cap and Trade legislation backed by Obama’s administration. 

From Foxnews.com:

Laurie Williams and husband Alan Zabel worked as lawyers for the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, in its San Francisco office for more than 20 years, and they know more about climate change than most politicians. But when the couple released a video on the Internet expressing their concerns over the Obama administration’s plans to use cap-and-trade legislation to fight climate change, they were told to keep it to themselves. Williams and Zabel oppose cap and trade — a controversial government allowance program in which companies are issued emissions limits, or caps, which they can then trade — as a means to fight climate change.

On their own time, Williams and Zabel made a video expressing these opinions.   

 “Cap-and-trade with offsets provides a false sense of progress and puts money in the pockets of investors,” Zabel said in the video. “We think that these restrictions might not be constitutional,” he said.

 Their bosses in San Francisco approved the effort by Williams and Zabel to release the tape, but after an editorial they wrote appeared in the Washington Post, EPA Director Lisa Jackson ordered the pair to remove the video or face disciplinary action. 

 Specifically, the administration’s chief environmental official did not want Williams or Zabel mentioning their four decades with the EPA — time spent studying cap and trade.  

 “The people who understand the problems with the cap and trade with offsets bill are not being heard,” Williams told Fox News.

 The EPA issued a statement saying it welcomes free expression provided employees adhere to ethics rules. The agency reportedly doesn’t object to the content of the video but requires Williams and Zabel to make it clearer that they are speaking for themselves and not the EPA.

 But some Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee want an investigation into what – if any — regulations Zabel and Williams violated.   

 Critics argue the action contradicts the president’s support for open government.   

 “It’s censorship,” Jeff Ruch, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, told Fox News.

 “If the Obama administration believes in transparency it is precisely in these cases they need to prove it.”

 

A Taste of What’s to Come: Federal Panel Recommends Mammogram Screening Begin at Age 50 Instead of 40

November 17, 2009

Here’s the 1st of many cost-cutting measures if Government Healthcare passes.  Cost-cutting at the expense of patients, that is.  A Federal panel yesterday recommended women begin mammogram testing at age 50 instead of 40.  The American Cancer Society immediately issued a statement standing by their recommendation that mammogram testing begin at 40.  

From Washingtonpost.com:

Women in their 40s should stop routinely having annual mammograms and older women should cut back to one scheduled exam every other year, an influential federal task force has concluded, challenging the use of one of the most common medical tests.

In its first reevaluation of breast cancer screening since 2002, the independent government-appointed panel recommended the changes, citing evidence that the potential harm to women having annual exams beginning at age 40 outweighs the benefit.

Coming amid a highly charged national debate over health-care reform and simmering suspicions about the possibility of rationing medical services, the recommendations immediately became enveloped in controversy.

“We’re not saying women shouldn’t get screened. Screening does saves lives,” said Diana B. Petitti, vice chairman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released the recommendations Monday in a paper being published in Tuesday’s Annals of Internal Medicine. “But we are recommending against routine screening. There are important and serious negatives or harms that need to be considered carefully.”

Several patient advocacy groups and many breast cancer experts welcomed the new guidelines, saying they represent a growing recognition that more testing, exams and treatment are not always beneficial and, in fact, can harm patients. Mammograms produce false-positive results in about 10 percent of cases, causing anxiety and often prompting women to undergo unnecessary follow-up tests, sometimes-disfiguring biopsies and unneeded treatment, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

But the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology and other experts condemned the change, saying the benefits of routine mammography have been clearly demonstrated and play a key role in reducing the number of mastectomies and the death toll from one of the most common cancers.

Tens of thousands of lives are being saved by mammography screening, and these idiots want to do away with it,” said Daniel B. Kopans, a radiology professor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s crazy — unethical, really.

View the full story here.

Lindsey Graham Losing Support in SC

November 15, 2009

From Fitsnews.com:

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s public support is collapsing in South Carolina – driven by a wholesale revolt among the GOP electorate and a steady erosion of his support amongst independents.

Already consistently loathed by a solid third of GOP voters, Graham’s recent leftward bent – including his co-authoring of a controversial “Cap & Tax” proposal supported by President Barack Obama and liberal Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) – has him locked in a “terminal free fall,” according one prominent Republican consultant.

“A chunk of the GOP has always detested him, but in the last month a dam has broken,” said the consultant, who was granted anonymity to discuss the impact of two recent polls that were conducted in South Carolina (one allegedly by Graham’s own advisors). “More Republicans now oppose Sen. Graham than support him.  Independents are also deserting him in huge numbers.”

Even more troubling for Graham is there doesn’t seem to be a way out of the box.  In fact, both polls reportedly showed that the more the national liberal establishment and local environmentalists rally to Graham’s defense, the worse things get for him.

That has sparked a heated debate within Graham’s camp as to how to best manage the situation.

“He needs positive messages desperately,” said a source familiar with the discussions. “But the only available messengers seem to be doing more harm than good.”

As reported on FITS ( here, here and here), some of the nation’s most liberal funding groups have come to Graham’s defense on the issue – while South Carolina Republicans (even moderate Coastal ones) are once again furious at another betrayal of their core beliefs.

Specific numbers were not provided to FITS, but Graham’s team was supposed to have received its poll results on Wednesday.

Sources also tell FITS that after viewing those polling numbers, Graham’s team compelled former SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson to throw Lindsey a bone earlier this week in an effort to stop the bleeding among Republican voters.

Obamacare Means Reduced Medicare Benefits

November 15, 2009

From Lori Montgomery in the Washington Post:

A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending — one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s health-care system — would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday.

The report, requested by House Republicans, found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on Nov. 7 are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.

View the entire article here.

It’s All About The O

November 14, 2009

Good read from Jeff Jacoby in Boston.com regarding Obama’s swelling ego.

PRESIDENT OBAMA was too busy to attend the celebrations in Germany this week marking the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. But he did appear by video, delivering a few brief and bloodless remarks about how the wall was “a painful barrier between family and friends’’ that symbolized “a system that denied people the freedoms that should be the right of every human being.’’ He referred to “tyranny,’’ but never identified the tyrants – he never uttered the words “Soviet Union’’ or “communism,’’ for example. He said nothing about the men and women who died trying to cross the wall. Nor did he mention Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan – or even Mikhail Gorbachev.

He did, however, talk about Barack Obama.

“Few would have foreseen,’’ declared the president, “that a united Germany would be led by a woman from [the former East German state of] Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.’’

Was there ever a president as deeply enamored of himself as Barack Obama?

The first President Bush, taught from childhood to shun what his mother called “The Great I Am,’’ regularly instructed his speechwriters not to include too many “I’s’’ in his prepared remarks. Reagan maintained that there was no limit to what someone could achieve if he didn’t mind who got the credit. George Washington, one of the most accomplished men of his day, said with characteristic modesty on becoming president that he was “peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.’’

Obama, on the other hand, positively revels in The Great I Am.

View the full article here.

The One (who bows to all)

November 14, 2009

Obama bows to Japanese Emperor Akihito. You just know what he’s thinking. “Sorry about August of ’45. We good now?”

Take a Bow

Democrat William Jefferson Receives 13-Year Jail Sentence

November 14, 2009

Disgraced Democrat William Jefferson, formerly a Representative from Louisiana, received a 13-year jail sentence yesterday after being found guilty on corruption charges. It was the harshest penalty ever for a former member of Congress.

From Story Balloon:

William Jefferson was sentenced today for quite a few federal offenses. Among them bribery. He’s most famous for having the freezer with $90,000 in cash inside.

According to Politico:

Jefferson’s sentence was the harshest ever handed out to a former lawmaker, but Justice Department officials said Jefferson warranted such a severe sanction due to the unprecedented scale of his corruption. Jefferson appeared in court Friday afternoon in a black suit and a red tie, with his five daughters, his wife and his brother.

Jefferson did not speak at his sentencing, and his attorney Robert Trout says he will appeal the conviction.

“This sentence should be a clear signal that our society will not tolerate bribery,” said U.S. Attorney Neal H. MacBride. “It’s not just a cost of doing business in government.”

Another federal prosecutor, Mark Lytle, called Jefferson’s crimes “the most extensive and pervasive pattern of corruption in the history of congress.” Click here to read more from Politico.

Continued:

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Jefferson’s seven-week trial included video and audio tapes of him meeting with a federal informant at Washington D.C. hotel restaurants. Prosecutors said he used his congressional status to concoct schemes that would help pay college tuition for his daughters. Jefferson served on a trade subcommittee and is alleged to have shaken down businessmen who came to his office seeking help with African deals.

Defense attorneys portrayed Jefferson as possibly unethical but not a criminal and said he was a victim of an over-aggressive prosecution aimed at “bagging a congressman.” They said Jefferson was entrapped by investigators who wired the informant to try to nab him. Click Here For More From The Wall St. Journal.

View the entire article here.

Obama Plans Job Summit to Address Struggling Economy

November 13, 2009

What a joke. Does he actually believe, that we believe, this will help right the economy?  Yet another rookie move.   

From Lee Cary in the American Thinker.

Obama’s planned December Jobs Summit is exactly what a community organizer would do.

Today, President Obama announced that he would host a Jobs Summit in December.  The question, he said, is – How do we add jobs and grow the economy?  It’s pretty clear to the conscious that the President hasn’t a clue how to grow the economy. And, every day more of us suspect that job growth isn’t even part of his agenda for the next few years.

It would have been heresy to publically make the following statement six months ago: Obama is intent on eroding the U.S. economy so that he can more easily transform it into a version of European socialism.

The idea of a “summit” is typical of a community organizer mentality. Convene the stakeholders, let them vent about the problem, give a shout-out to those already engaged in efforts to address the problem, get at least one member of the “establishment” that caused the trauma to attend and be contrite, define a vague action plan, stress the need for the whole community to get actively involve, break into small groups to discuss the issues, put people’s thoughts on flip chart paper, have the break-out groups’ scribes report back to the larger group, be sure everyone signs their names and contact information on a clipboard, and then schedule a few interviews with the local media to exaggerate the outcomes of the event.

As the Summit ends in December, the room will be all a-buzz with optimism and bonhomie. Then nothing will change.  It’s about feeling good, not doing good.

At Obama’s Summit, we can expect some announcement like an extension of unemployment benefits, or a commitment from an administration-friendly company to hire x-hundred more employees in an inner city, or the formation of a special blue ribbon commission of Beltway luminaries and captains of industry tasked to come up with additional solutions to make “The Turn in Ten” – how the decline in jobs will turn around in 2010 to a growth in jobs. More new government jobs.   

The administration’s effort to blame the continuing recession on Bush loses veracity by the day.  It’s already moved past the tipping point. By the January 20th anniversary of his inauguration, Obama will fully own the state of the economy, and it won’t be pretty.

The opportunity to take action to improve the economy passed earlier this year. We’re now into damage control, and some of the more powerful pumps will continue to sit idle.  

Veterans Day Fashion Statement

November 12, 2009

Courtesy of Michelle Obama via the American Thinker.  Wearing this to an Easter egg hunt, good.  To a Veterans Day Memorial, bad. Even Joe Biden knew better.

Clueless

Death Penalty as a Deterrent

November 11, 2009

From the American Thinker’s graph of the day feature for November 11, 2009. 

“The General Assembly today adopted… a moratorium on executions to be established in all States that still maintain the death penalty…”  United Nations“From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death… I feel… obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.”  Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, appointed by President Nixon and author of the Roe v Wade decision. 

“I cannot say it more eloquently than Justice Blackmun… I must act… today I am commuting the sentences of all death row inmates… I will sleep well knowing I made the right decision.”  George Ryan, former (Republican) governor of Illinois, now serving a prison sentence for corruption. 
 Sources:   US Department of Justice: executions, homicide rate.

Hoven’s Index for November 11, 2009

Number of academic studies between 2001 and 2007 showing that the death penalty is a deterrent:  12.

Number of murders deterred per execution: 3, 5, 14, or 18, depending on the study.

Number of estimated homicides resulting from four years worth of Illinois’ death penalty moratorium: 150.

Source:  CBS News, reporting in 2007 on academic studies regarding the death penalty. 

Happy Veterans Day

November 11, 2009

Thank you to all who serve and have served.

Stars and Stripes

Fed Predicts Economy to Struggle for Years

November 10, 2009

Wasn’t the Stimulus supposed to save our economy?  Weren’t we told from The One that our economy had been pulled from the brink?  From Yahoo! Finance:

Unemployment likely will remain high for the next several years because the economic recovery won’t be strong enough to spur robust hiring, Federal Reserve officials warned Tuesday.

The cautionary note struck by the presidents of regional Fed banks in San Francisco and Atlanta were the first public remarks of Fed officials since the government reported last week that the nation’s jobless rate bolted to 10.2 percent in October. It marked only the second time in the post-World War II period that the rate surpassed 10 percent.

In separate speeches, Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, warned that rising unemployment could crimp consumers, restraining the recovery. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity.

“With such a slow rebound, unemployment could well stay high for several years to come,” Yellen said. “In other words, our recovery is likely to feel like something well short of good times.”

View the full article hereHope and Change just isn’t cutting it.  But at least we’ll have healthcare.

Corruption Trial Begins for Baltimore Mayor/Obama Supporter

November 10, 2009

A corruption trial began yesterday for Sheila Dixon, the Democrat Mayor of Baltimore and avid Obama supporter.  From Gatewaypundit:

The trial began on Monday for Obama supporter and Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on corruption charges.
Dixon was a top Obama supporter during the 2008 election.
Here’s Dixon at an Obama rally in 2008 promising jobs and health care for everyone:

The New York Times reported:

Mayor Sheila Dixon went on trial on corruption charges on Monday, the result of a state inquiry started in 2006 that has cast a cloud over Ms. Dixon’s administration despite her best efforts to keep the focus on running the city.

The case involves seven counts of theft and embezzlement stemming from accusations that Ms. Dixon used $1,500 worth of gift cards intended for needy families while she was City Council president and mayor.

Ms. Dixon is also likely to face a second trial on two perjury counts in the coming months. Those charges stem from an accusation that Ms. Dixon failed to report gifts on city ethics forms — cash, travel and clothes — from Ronald H. Lipscomb, whom Ms. Dixon dated in 2003 and 2004. During those years, Mr. Lipscomb’s company received millions of dollars’ worth of city tax credits for its development projects.

Obama and Democrats: Healthcare a Priority but Economy, Jobs Are Not

November 9, 2009

Judging by Obama’s actions, or lack thereof, Healthcare is a priority for him and his administration.  Congress has spent many an hour on this topic, on legislation, on garnering votes, etc.  Obama even made an appearance on Capitol Hill on Saturday to rally the troops prior to that night’s vote.

But Healthcare isn’t at the top of the issues list with American citizens these days.  What is atop their list is a struggling economy and a skyrocketing unemployment rate.  The more Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress neglects these issues, the more the Democrats will suffer in 2010. Last Tuesday’s Governor elections in NJ and VA will hopefully be just the tip of the iceberg. 

From Nolan Finley of the Detroit News:

Americans are angry with Washington as much for what it isn’t doing as what it is.

What it isn’t doing the most is paying attention to the still-raging economic disaster.

Last week’s job numbers show unemployment nationally bumping past 10 percent and surpassing 15 percent in Michigan. Unemployment keeps climbing, even though President Barack Obama and Congress nine months ago committed $787 billion to creating jobs.

Since then, neither the White House nor Congress has spent a minute honestly analyzing whether the stimulus program is accomplishing its goal, and if not, what other approaches might work.

Instead, the administration is spinning dismal economic reports into positive news, allowing both it and Congress to ignore the economy while they pursue their ideological ends.

It ought to infuriate anyone who’s lost a job, can’t find a job, is worried about his job or lives in a community ravaged by a lack of jobs that Congress devotes nearly all of its energy to arguing about health care.

The promise of health care reform was not what got Democrats elected. Voters tossed Republicans on their fannies for ruining the economy, not because they didn’t enact wildly expensive social programs.

But while the economy tops every list of public concerns, job creation is not the hot topic in Washington.

In fact, Democratic leaders, obsessed with reworking America, have proved more than willing to sacrifice precious jobs during the worst economic climate in a half-century.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., rammed an energy-rationing bill through her Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week without a single Republican member in the room.

The bill would greatly limit America’s ability to produce the energy it needs to fuel an economic rebound. In other words, it’s a job killer.

Democrats are revealing that putting the country back to work is a lesser priority than passing their social agenda.

If that weren’t true, they wouldn’t even consider any measure that would raise taxes on job creators.

Higher taxes, particularly on business, always result in fewer jobs. Both the health care and climate change bills will trigger huge tax hikes for every taxpayer.

Democrats have learned nothing from history. During the Great Depression, each time the economy showed a spark, President Franklin Roosevelt snuffed it out with another tax increase or regulatory burden.

Obama is making the same mistake and justifying it by claiming health care and climate change are so urgent they can’t be delayed until the economy recovers, and perhaps we can afford the costs.

But one in 10 American workers are unemployed — one in seven in Michigan. Surely, that’s the most urgent priority.

If it doesn’t become so soon in Washington, the tea bags being hurled at the Capitol will turn into pitchforks.

Barney Frank At Home When Partner Arrested for Posession of Marijuana

November 7, 2009

From Foxnews.com we learn that Barney Frank was present when his partner, James Ready, was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2007.  Frank of course claims he had no idea Ready was growing marijuana in his home.

This isn’t Frank’s 1st run-in with the law either.  In the 1980s Frank admitted to paying Steve Gobie for sex and then, quite naturally, hired him as his assistant and moved him into his apartment.  Gobie was later convicted of running a prostitution ring out of Frank’s apartment, a charge to which Frank pleaded ignorance. 

Rep. Barney Frank admitted Friday that he was sitting on the porch of his partner’s Maine home when police came to arrest his partner for marijuana possession.

Frank, responding to new reports that he was present during the Aug. 2007 arrest of James Ready, said in a statement he was unaware Ready had marijuana plants.

According to a police report obtained by MyFoxBoston, Maine police arrested and charged James Ready with marijuana possession, cultivation and use of drug paraphernalia.  He pleaded guilty to civil possession and paid a fine.  The remaining charges were dismissed last year.

Frank was not charged.

Frank is the author of a medical marijuana bill that would outlaw the prosecution of persons who use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

This is not to say that Barney Frank wasn’t truly unaware of what was going on in his home during both of these incidents.  After all, he was also asleep at the wheel  during  the initial warnings of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Cap and Trade – Look to Great Britain for Reasons NOT to Pass This Bill

November 7, 2009

Great read from Dan Whitfield, a British writer living in Arlington, VA, in The American Thinker.  Titled ‘Blackouts and Bankruptcies’, it shows how similar legislation passed in Great Britain recently and already they’re predicting blackouts across the country by 2017, mainly due to the taxes levied on coal plants.

Americans concerned about the cost of impending environmental legislation should look across the pond.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a stellar performance in the art of scare-mongering last week when he warned in a speech to the Major Economies Forum in London that the global community had fifty days to avoid a “climate catastrophe.” What Brown failed to mention is the effect his proposed green legislation would have on energy prices, which have risen dramatically in the U.K. since he became Prime Minister.

The reason for this is Cap and Trade legislation, which recently brought fresh misery to British consumers. Britain’s leading energy companies announced that energy costs are likely to increase next year despite a fall in the price of wholesale energy. While the mainstream media typically used the news to condemn big business and big oil, the reality is that rising energy costs are certain in an economy constricted by a Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (Cap and Trade).

Unlike in the United States, where a vigorous grassroots movement has held up Washington’s move toward Cap and Trade, the British Climate Change Act sailed through the U.K. parliament last year. Only three Members of Parliament voted against the bill despite the fact that it was easily the most expensive ever passed in the history of Britain’s parliamentary democracy. Government bureaucrats estimated the bill would cost around £404 billion ($662 billion) over four decades.  That translates to each U.K. household paying an extra £30,400 ($49,000) in energy costs over 40 years, a staggeringly wasteful sum. 

In capping the amount of CO2 businesses and households are allowed to emit, the government created a phony market in carbon.  Already, British energy providers are passing on the costs of trading in this market to ordinary consumers, hitting struggling businesses especially hard. Worse still, energy providers are compelled by government diktat to source a proportion of their energy from renewable sources, like wind farms, which are fabulously inefficient and are already dependent on government handouts to remain viable. Matthew Sinclair, an analyst with the London-based Taxpayers’ Alliance, estimates that 14% of energy costs are directly attributable to climate change legislation. In recessionary times, this figure represents capital that could otherwise be spent stimulating private investment and household savings.

The situation looks set to only get worse. Earlier this year, details contained in the British government’s deceptively titled Low Carbon Transition Plan revealed that ministers anticipate blackouts in Britain as early as 2017. With Britain’s coal-fired power stations restricted in the number of hours they can run so as to comply with the European Union’s draconian Large Combustible Plants directive, British consumers face an energy shortfall of 3000 megawatt-hours per year — that’s the equivalent of an area the size of Memphis being without power for a day. As a result, ministers are now conceding that Britain will be forced to import more of its energy supplies from volatile parts of the world, like Russia, thus threatening national security.

Thankfully, American consumers have launched an effective campaign to prevent a similar system being launched in the U.S. In response, UN bureaucrats and others have tried to smear ordinary Americans as part of an ugly campaign to terrify voters into backing a huge national energy tax. John Bruton, the EU Ambassador to the United States, vented his frustration when he told the Financial Times that the “the world cannot wait on the Senate’s timetable.” Michigan Senator Debbie Stebenow warned climate skeptics that Americans “… are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes,” while the Energy Secretary chided the nation last month when he compared the American public to teenage children.  “(They) aren’t acting in a way that they should act,” he said.

American consumers should look carefully at the impending crisis in Britain and its causes, as the Democrats in Washington seek to lead the nation down a similar path. The European Cap and Trade system is criminally wasteful, forcing hard-working taxpayers to fork over ever-increasing sums of cash in the name of unproven science. Unless Cap and Trade is defeated, American tax-payers will be throwing Tea Parties with the lights off.

The Cap and Tax (Trade) bill needs to be defeated.  And Lindsey Graham, a supporter of this train wreck, needs to be thrown out of office.