Thursday, January 28, 2010
From Politico 44:
Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday morning after the State of the Union that Republicans could benefit in the 2010 races if they continue to be the "party of no" and alienate voters...."They may very well reap immediate political benefit by turning off so many voters that the people who want to see change give up and don't show up. I guess that's part of their strategy," Biden said on NBC's "Today" show. "Just because it's a loss for the Democrats' agenda, it doesn't mean it's a win for them, but they seem to think of it that way. And that's what the president's talking about. Everybody has to take some responsibility here."...Biden cautioned Democrats not to "overreact" to their party's defeat in last week's special Senate election in Massachusetts.
Read Here:POLITICO 44: Biden on 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Democrats are looking for someone to blame for their electoral woes — and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez is working hard to make sure it’s not him....Showing that they’ve learned the lesson of Massachusetts, Menendez and his staff will distribute a memo Tuesday advising Democratic campaign managers to frame their opponents early — and to drive a wedge between moderate voters and tea-party-style conservatives....“Given the pressure Republican candidates feel from the extreme right in their party, there is a critical — yet time-sensitive — opportunity for Democratic candidates,” the DSCC writes. “We have a finite window when Republicans candidates will feel susceptible to the extremists in their party. Given the urgent nature of this dynamic, we suggest an aggressive effort to get your opponents on the record.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31991.html#ixzz0doxyTn6A
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:59 AM
Monday, January 25, 2010
Two men were stopped boarding US-bound planes at Heathrow days before Britain's terror threat was raised to "severe"....News of the incidents came hours after Home Secretary Alan Johnson lifted the threat level amid fears that al-Qaeda is planning an attack....The new level, which means an attack is reckoned "highly likely", is second only to "critical"....Security sources say an Egyptian was stopped last Saturday as he tried to board an American Airlines flight to Miami. A man from Saudi Arabia was banned from boarding a United Airlines flight to Chicago the next day and sent back to Saudi....The incidents and the raised threat level follow the failed Christmas Day bombing on a plane over Detroit...Anti-terror officials said the past week had seen an "unusually high" number of people on their no-fly list trying to board US-bound planes...Security is being tightened in Britain ahead of high-level meetings which will see world leaders including Hillary Clinton heading to Britain this week. The US Secretary of State and other leading foreign ministers will be in London on Wednesday and Thursday for summits on Yemen - thought to be a terror haven - and Afghanistan.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:11 AM
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Yeah right! Dem lawmaker: Congress could pass health reform if men were 'sent home' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
"A female Democratic lawmaker in footage released Sunday said that Congress could pass healthcare reform if female lawmakers 'sent the men home.'...Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) said that both Republican and Democratic women members of Congress understand how to care for relatives and thus want the healthcare system to change. ...'We go to the ladies room and the Republican women and the Democratic women and we just roll our eyes,' she said. 'And the Republican women said when we were fighting over the healthcare bill, if we sent the men home...' at which point she was interrupted by loud applause....'You know why? I'm not trying to diss the men but I'm telling you it's the truth that every single woman there has been responsible for taking care of a [relatives] and so we think we can find a common ground there,' she said"
not the conservative women politicians I know
"White House advisers appearing on the Sunday talk shows gave three different estimates of how many jobs could be credited to President Obama’s Recovery Act...The discrepancy was pointed out by a Republican official in an email to reporters noting that “Three presidential advisers on three different programs [gave] three different descriptions of the trillion-dollar stimulus bill.”"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:34 PM
"Osama bin Laden's word choice in the latest audio message attributed to him is seen as a 'possible indicator' of an upcoming attack by his Al-Qaeda network, a US monitoring group warned Sunday....IntelCenter, a US group that monitors Islamist websites, also said that manner of the release and the content of the message showed it was 'credible' that it was a new release from the Saudi extremist....'The Osama bin Laden audio message released to Al-Jazeera on 24 January 2010 contains specific language used by bin Laden in his statements in advance of attacks,' IntelCenter said in a statement.
The group said it considered the language 'a possible indicator of an upcoming attack' in the next 12 months.
'This phrase, 'Peace be upon those who follow guidance,' appears at the beginning and end of messages released in advance of attacks that are designed to provide warning to Al-Qaeda's enemies that they need to change their ways or they will be attacked,' the group said."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:09 PM
When Failing, just start Campaigning Again: White House Toughens Tone After Difficult Week - WSJ.com
"Coming off one of the most difficult weeks of his presidency, Barack Obama has beefed up his political staff and is expected to deliver an uncompromising State of the Union address. But aides said Sunday that the White House wasn't making any abrupt policy shifts, even as the message was retooled to focus more sharply on job creation...If anything, an unfinished agenda from 2009 will grow larger as, in addition to tackling health care and unemployment, the president presses for a bipartisan commission to tackle the budget deficit against resistance from Republicans....White House officials said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe will be brought on as a political consultant as the White House gears up for the midterm elections. The president's party is facing a stiff headwind from an electorate angry about high unemployment and what they see as ineffectual government, White House officials say. Republican Scott Brown's victory for the Massachusetts Senate seat Tuesday was a first shot in what Democrats worry will be hard-fought contests in November"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:07 PM
"At the end of Barack Obama’s worst week since taking power a year ago, the US president’s fortunes look set only to deteriorate over the coming days. Following the shock defeat of the Democratic candidate in Massachusetts on Tuesday, a move that deprived the president of his 60-seat super-majority in the Senate and left his legislative agenda in tatters, Mr Obama has just four days to reboot the system.
The US president had originally delayed next week’s State of the Union address to Congress in the hope he would get his signature healthcare reform bill enacted in time. That prospect, already waning, was killed dead by the voters in Massachusetts. A growing number of Democrats believe the nine-month effort could collapse altogether."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:03 PM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
John C. Watkins
Senate of Virginia
January 21, 2010
Challenging 2010 Session Begins
This is the first of several communications I will be sending to provide some background and perspective on the 2010 legislative session of the General Assembly. We are now in the second week with a new Governor, and we are beginning to sort through the volumes of legislation that have been or will be introduced. Needless to say, this is going to be one of the most challenging budget sessions we have ever faced. Certainly none of us in the legislature today has seen a recession like this or the effects it is having on business and government.
During the coming weeks I will probably dwell more on some of the parts of this budget as it gets played out in Senate Finance. I invite those of you who are interested to look at the General Assembly web page, specifically with Senate Finance concerning the staff summary at http://sfc.state.va.us/index.shtml.
Several pieces of legislation I have introduced deal with balancing the use of General Fund dollars against permit fees. These are some attempts on my part to retain the General Fund dollars for education, public safety and health and welfare.
Senate Bills 233 and 234 both raise per ton fees for permits for hazardous waste disposal and solid waste disposal. Over the years the costs of these permits have risen, and the General Fund is being called upon to subsidize these permits. I am also making an effort to ensure the use of these fee dollars is efficient and less time consuming.
Another piece of legislation deals with the Virginia Retirement System to conform retirement eligibility for individuals hired after July 1, 2010, with the age requirements of Social Security.
A couple of other pieces of legislation I have introduced have already made it to the floor of the Senate. One of these bills provides that an active duty member of the armed services, who is a Virginia resident home on leave, will not be required to obtain a temporary fishing license if he or she can present orders authorizing the leave.
I introduced this bill because a father in Powhatan wanted to take his son, on leave from the Army, fishing in a state park. The law now requires that, in order to fish, military persons must buy at least a five-day license for $11. I feel that this bill is a little something we can do for our military people serving our United States.
Another bill already on the Senate floor deals with some technical amendments to the group health insurance for small employers. It makes sure that certain cancer screenings remain a part of any offered group insurance policy.
There has been much interest created by House Bill 10, which is the Health Care Freedom Act, sponsored by Delegate Robert Marshall. This legislation, as introduced, would prohibit any plan from interfering with the right of a person or entity to pay for lawful medical services to preserve life or health. It also stipulates that no law shall impose a penalty or fine on anyone who declines or does not want to purchase a health insurance plan, with the exception of one required by court where an individual or entity is a named party in a judicial dispute.
I generally support this legislation as it is currently written and interpreted. I do reserve some judgment with the potential for changes that may be made as it moves through the House of Delegates and later as it is before the Senate. This legislation is an attempt to ensure some degree of sovereignty with regard to individual rights and the ability of states to appropriately govern without federal intervention.
This is the beginning of a two-month session that will see much activity. Thank you for the honor and privilege of representing this region of our state in the Senate of Virginia.
John C. Watkins
Senate of Virginia
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
BREAKING VIDEO......DNC CHAIRMAN TIM KAINE REACTS TO REPUBLICAN SENATE VICTORY IN MASS. SPECIAL ELECTION
Posted by MAXIMUS
H/T United Conservatives http://unitedconservatives.blogspot.com/2010/01/he-probably-failed-lunch.html
Scott Brown has turned this town upside down....Usually, the tendency among political reporters and operatives alike is to overreact and overinterpret elections...And there are caveats to the stunner in Massachusetts. Yes, this was a special election, which often produces unusual results. Yes, Democrat Martha Coakley ran a timid, sometimes terrible, campaign for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. And it’s true that Massachusetts is not as liberal as many people assumed....But none of that counters the stunning reality of an election where breathtaking results more than justify breathless analysis. Here’s why:The lock is broken...There is no way for Democrats to spin an upside to losing their 60th vote in the Senate.
Read Here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31717.html
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:50 PM
Republicans, Conservatives and, Tea Parties Oh My!
With the election of Scott Brown yesterday in Massachusetts we can take solace in at least three truths: 1. Conservative beliefs still ring true in America and to Americans, 2. The Republican Party is not as dead as has been reported and 3. The Tea party movement is a conservative movement and can help Republican candidates if they genuinely tap into those voters. For our country to work as intended the masses must force change in our government and be the vigilant watchdog that is always alert against those that trespass on the liberty and freedom afforded us by our Constitution. The upside of the Tea party movement has been that the silent majority. in this great country, has reached a boiling point that must be addressed by local, state and national politicians; the downside is that since the majority of the movement has, rightly, focused on the national scene we need to make sure we also focus on the local and state political climate so we’re heard at all levels of government. The grassroots are only as strong and each blade of grass and we must always make sure that we are pointed down the same road and for the same purpose. The conservative movement, no matter if it is established or new, must always keep true to conservative ideals and at it heart be inclusive and not exclusive of any one issue for the sake of the movement as a whole (i.e. fiscal conservatives vs. social) since we have more in common than those policies we all now fight against….conservatism IS bigger than any one issue.
What the conservative movement now needs to do is once again show the people (as we did in 1979/1980 and again in 1994) that we live center to right lives in the United States and that we need to vote in accordance with how we live (whether it’s the GOP, GOOH, Tea Party or Third-party.) The rebirth of the Conservative movement needs is to start from the ground up and rebuild itself by using these 10 things as a guide along with the core beliefs we still hold dear:
1. Education - Educate young people on the long term benefits of fiscal conservative policy in more detail than bullet points and sound bites…..kids today can disseminate loads of information quickly and in a detailed manner due to Internet browsing skills and we must give them all the information they need to make decisions quickly. On the opposite side of the coin we must educate on the long term fallacy of socialistic policy and how no economy can sustain itself, in the long term, under a non free enterprise system.
2. New Blood - We need new blood – In the Republican Party especially and also in the conservative movement we need a dedicated effort to get the under 40’s and more importantly under 30’s involved in campaigning and running for office. Also minority outreach, our belief system comes from minds of abolitionists, making those who are disenfranchised self reliant and that racial equality strengthens our country. We need to return to those basic principles to show minorities that the conservative movement contains those deep rooted beliefs that minority communities hold dear and that the "nanny" state of socialist governments actually hurts the people they profess to help by keeping them in a constant state of need.
3. Ethics - Cut those politicians that do wrong off and send them packing with no second changes and no defense-we need a clean slate of principled politicians that can debate the issues without any side problems.
4. Resources - Use all resources available to us more effectively to get our message out there to the masses – Movies, Radio, T.V, Internet, interactive media need to be used more effectively and more proactively 365 days a year, every year.
5. Fiscal Conservatism – Fiscal Conservatism needs to lead the way in the rebuilding of the conservative movement. We need to show people that lower taxes, tax incentives for small businesses, the advocacy of lower governmental spending practices and a lower federal debt; the benefits of smaller government, less federal spending, fewer earmarks and entitlement programs, and lower general taxes on all Americans.
6. Self Definition – We conservative need to less identify ourselves as Republicans and more stringently identify ourselves as conservatives. Then as a voting block separate from party affiliation we can dictate policy that will best benefit America. As with racial identify or gender identity we can not afford to be taken for granted by the party we most closely relate to but we need to show the value we hold as a voting block ad them be proactive I the policies we deem necessary.
7. We care too - Stress the belief that conservatives care about the ills of society and work to fix those problems but do not feel it falls to a government body to resolve them but all of us to resolve it. Stress the belief that conservatism and empathy complement each other, particularly in opposition to common conservative party platform planks such as advocating laissez-faire economic policies. A conservative should see the social problems of the United States, such as health care or immigration, as issues that are better solved through cooperation with private companies, charities and religious institutions rather than directly through government departments….we are not heartless, but believe private enterprise (non-governmental) is better equipped to tacked the ever changing needs of the worlds social problems.
8. Big Government is Bad Government - We must also stress that with everything government gives you, they in turn (by either by design, nature or purpose) will take something away such as freedoms or rights. Citizen’s rights and the constitution should be paramount in the sustaining democracy of America and should not be susceptible to a changing administration of current philosophy; we should always stress that the constitution is not a “living” documents but contains the core tenants of this country’s foundation.
9. A Strong Defense Helps Peace in a non-peaceful World - A strong national defense should always be a key to our foreign policy and protects our democracy and should be used to protect fledgling democracies around the world as well our way of life.
10. 2nd Amendment protects us from ourselves - The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is not negotiable and should be sacred in that it protects our citizens from a government that over steps its power and influence, the second amendment should never be modified as long as such possession does not threaten national security(the importance of the second amendment should be taught as a measure to fight off governmental tyranny and not as a hunting or protection of home invasion measure)
The 10 things should be combined with the below tradition conservative views to empower Americans and re-establish the conservative movement:
Checking change on tradition
A strong national defense
Economic allocative efficiency (as opposed to popular equity)
Stronger law enforcement and anti-crime laws, including the death penalty
Parents, rather than school teachers, educating children about sex
Choice in education
Private medical care and retirement plans
Weakening or cancellation of failed social support programs
Prohibition or limitation of abortion (partial-birth abortion ban)
Support enforcement of current laws regarding immigration
Support tightening of border security
Respect for our military... past and present
Low taxes for everyone
Opening foreign markets to U.S. products
Less power for the federal government and more for local and state governments
This is a reposted article from 11/07/2007 about the election in my county of Virginia (Chesterfield) and how it seemed similar to the Mass. election yesterday (more in the way the winners won) and how it should be a blueprint for any Republican, Democrat or third party candidate that wants to win in the coming years....Jody
One thing that Tuesday’s election taught us is that the voters will be heard one way or another. With only one supervisor (Art Warren) remaining on the board, the incoming four should take heed that a new time in Chesterfield is dawning and it is the voters that are taking the lead. The is a great recap on how we got here on Alter of Freedom http://alteroffreedom.blogspot.com/ so I won’t go into it here but we conservatives (and Republicans to a lesser degree) need to take this as a warning that the community of Chesterfield county is 1.) Changing in outlook and demographic 2.) Wants results on important issues even if they have to vote for independents or for the opposing party 3.) The old guard, keeping a few in power paradigm, will need to change, 4.) Need to use new ways to get the conservative message out to voters and then stick with those principles once in office and 5.) Transparency to the voters needs to be on the top of every local politicians list daily. Dorothy A. Jaeckle’s brilliantly run campaign shows that this was not a mandate against Republicans or a local reaction to national trends but the gut reaction to overcrowded roads, unmanaged growth and the perceived notion of not updated the county comprehensive plan to accommodate the growth not adapt it after the fact to provide band-aid solutions. Dorothy’s “common sense” campaign of fiscal responsibility approach of building infrastructure at the initial portion of development projects and not after development, Community Development Authorities (CDAs) for funding, Initiating a rollback in the tax rate and working with developers to see the bigger picture are true conservative standards and resonated with voters strongly.
We should not take the change in the Board as a change in the political values on Chesterfield County but as a mandate that the ways to achieve those ideals is changing in this county. We need to look to all resources available here and not just a few who have been involved in the political scene for countless years. If the conservative movement and the Republican Party is the thinking person’s party, which I would argue it is, we need to expand our discourse to find the ideas that both push our community forward and still are vetted against the structure of the conservative ideal. The challenge has been laid down at our feet, through this past election, and it is how we complete the task that will truly show Chesterfield what conservatives are made of.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:41 AM
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
US accused of 'occupying' Haiti as troops flood in - Telegraph: "France accused the US of 'occupying' Haiti on Monday as thousands of American troops flooded into the country to take charge of aid efforts and security."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 5:52 PM
"U.S. troops landed on the lawn of Haiti's shattered presidential palace to the cheers of quake victims on Tuesday, and the U.N. said it would throw more police and soldiers into the sluggish global effort to aid the devastated country...The U.N. forces are aimed at quelling the outbursts of violence that have slowed distribution of supplies, leaving many Haitians still without help a week after the magnitude-7.0 quake killed an estimated 200,000 people."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 5:47 PM
"15. Eric Cantor (-)
Congressman for Virginia
A youthful 46, Cantor is routinely – and accurately - described as a rising star, becoming Minority Whip a year ago after eight years in the House of Representatives. The only Jewish Republican in Congress, he advocates a strong US-Israeli alliance and led a Republican congressional delegation to the Middle East in August to rouse support for Israeli settlements that he felt the White House overlooked."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 5:29 PM
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ are inscribed on high-powered rifle sights provided to the United States military by a Michigan company, an ABC News investigation has found....More PhotosThe sights are used by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the training of Iraqi and Afghan soldiers. The maker of the sights, Trijicon, has a $660 million multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 sights to the Marine Corps, and additional contracts to provide sights to the U.S. Army....U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious "Crusade" in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents
Read Here:U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes - ABC News
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:31 PM
A top adviser to President Barack Obama says Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown ran a "very clever campaign" in Massachusetts...But in a talk with reporters with voting under way Tuesday, David Axelrod also said he doesn't believe the Republican Party is the right option for people frustrated with the economy and a host of other issues, including the Washington power culture....Axelrod agreed that "there's an awful lot of axiety among middle-class Americans." But he also said he didn't want to start any election post-mortems while voting is still under way. He did say he thought Brown ran a very good campaign, saying that "as a practitioner, my hat's off to him."
Read Here: Obama aide says Brown ran good race for Senate
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:25 PM
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:16 PM
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 11:40 AM
From the AP:
13 million—Number of people 16 and older unemployed as of January 2009.
14.7 million—Number of people 16 and older unemployed as of December 2009.
7.7 percent—Unemployment rate January 2009
10.0 percent—Unemployment rate December 2009
$787 billion—Cost of economic stimulus approved by Congress.
$10.6 trillion—Outstanding public debt Jan. 20, 2009.
$12.3 trillion—Outstanding public debt Jan. 14, 2009.
$296.4 billion—Federal spending from the financial crisis bailout fund before Jan. 20, 2009.
$173 billion—Federal spending from the financial crisis bailout fund after Jan. 20, 2009.
$165 billion—Amount of bailout funds repaid by banks and automakers.
139—Bank failures between Jan. 20, 2009, and Jan. 14, 2010
Read Here: A by-the-numbers look at Obama's first year
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:13 AM
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Massachusetts's top election official says it could take weeks to certify the results of the upcoming U.S. Senate special election. That delay could let President Barack Obama preserve a key 60th vote for his health care overhaul even if the Republican who has vowed to kill it wins Democrat Edward M. Kennedy's former seat....Secretary of State William F. Galvin, citing state law, says city and town clerks must wait at least 10 days for absentee ballots to arrive before they certify the results of the Jan. 19 election. They then have five more days to file the returns with his office....Galvin bypassed the provision in 2007 so his fellow Democrats could gain a House vote they needed to override a veto of then-Republican President George W. Bush, but the secretary says U.S. Senate rules would preclude a similar rush today....The potential delay has become a rallying point for the GOP, which argues Democrats have been twisting the rules to pass the health care bill despite public opposition. It's also prompted criticism from government watchdogs
Read Here: Seating Mass. Senate winner could be delayed
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 12:10 PM
From The Hill.com:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) proclaimed Wednesday morning after meeting with his conference that "this healthcare bill can be defeated."...The second-ranking House Republican uttered those words as key Democratic leaders met with President Barack Obama at the White House in order to salvage what remains of House and Senate negotiations on a final healthcare bill.
Read Here:Cantor: 'This health bill can be defeated' - TheHill.com
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 8:13 AM
Doesn't the President realize that taxing banks will only increase the rates and fees that the American consumer pays to the bank as that cost is past along to bank customer. This is not really a tax on banks but yet another tax increase on the American citizen. Having a President that understood how business works w...ould be nice..businesses don't pay taxes the customer of that business does since the tax is past down in the cost of the product. This is yet another proposal that will hamper the economic recovery, consumer confidence and customer spending....
From the AP:
Mindful of soaring deficits and an anti-Wall Street mood, President Barack Obama wants a new 10-year tax on the country's largest banks to cover a projected $117 billion shortfall in the government's financial crisis bailout fund....The president planned to propose Thursday a levy of 15 basis points, or 0.15 percent, on the liabilities of large financial institutions to make sure every dollar spent from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to rescue Wall Street firms, auto companies and mortgage holders is either repaid or paid for. Congress would have to approve the tax....A senior administration official said the tax, which officials are calling a "financial crisis responsibility fee," would apply only to financial companies with assets of more than $50 billion. Those firms - estimated to amount to about 50 institutions - would have to pay the fee even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most others already paid back their government infusions.
Read Here: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100114/D9D7FIMG0.html
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
From The Hill:
IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman does not file his own taxes in part because he believes the tax code is complex....During an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program that aired on Sunday, Shulman said he uses a tax preparer for his own returns...."I've used one for years. I find it convenient. I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer," Shulman said....Pressed on how he would make the tax code simpler, Shulman responded, "I don't write the tax laws. Congress writes the tax laws so that's a whole different discussion."...The IRS this month announced it will be scrutinizing the tax preparer industry. Shulman said the IRS is looking to set "a minimal level of competence in the preparer community."
Read Here:IRS commissioner doesn't file his own taxes - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:56 PM
From Fox NY:
A New Jersey woman is in court Wednesday for a disorderly conduct charge after she cursed out a middle school principal.Cindy Schwalb says a boy pulled down her 13-year-old daughter's sweatpants in front of other students at Hasbrouck Heights Middle School.Schwalb says she went to a school board seminar about bullying and got upset when her daughter's case wasn't given the attention she felt it deserved.
Read Here: Mother Arrested For Cursing At Principal
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:54 PM
From the Boston Herald:
Bay State Attorney General Martha Coakley blamed GOP “stalkers” today for triggering tensions outside a Washington, D.C., fund-raiser last night where a Weekly Standard reporter said he was roughed up by a Coakley campaign worker....Coakley, a Democrat, is in a red-hot race for U.S. Senate against GOP rival Scott Brown, where a poll out today places the two only 2 points apart closing in on the Jan. 19 special election. The post-fundraiser fury has now sent both camps scrambling....Coakley said she is not “privy” to the facts surrounding the incident involving reporter John McCormack last night, who wrote about the episode outside the Sonoma restaurant in an online dispatch titled: “We Report, We Get Pushed.” McCormack wrote he was pushed to the ground by a man he says is linked to Coakley’s campaign while he was asking her questions.
Read Here:Coakley cites GOP ‘stalkers’ in D.C. dust-up
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:50 PM
From Big Hollywood/Breir Bart:
So I saw Avatar. I dug the CGI and thought the 3D was cool. As always, James Cameron delivers with the action sequences. Sam Worthington is really likable. Sigourney Weaver is good as always. Michelle Rodriguez kicks ass, which is pretty much what she does....As I left the theater however, I found myself quite disappointed. Not because my conservative “propaganda sensor” was going into overdrive. No, I pretty much knew what to expect based on Cameron’s resume and the synopsis of the film I read eight or ten years ago. I was disappointed because the film, with it’s cheesy, hippie message left me feeling empty and unaffected. I thought about all the films I’ve seen, films that cost a fraction of Avatar’s budget, that were so much more effective emotionally. Even if I didn’t agree with the political message.
Read Here:REVIEW: ‘Avatar’ Proves James Cameron’s a Secret Conservative
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:42 PM
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I think this still holds true repost from 11/16/2007
Great article http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2007/11/08/libertarian-voters-hiding-in-the-post-poll by CATO Institute’s David Boaz about libertarians and conservative ideas versus liberals and anti-libertarians ideas that are present in America according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. The answers of the questions asked in the poll clearly show a contemporary conservative mindset being expressed (as well as more liberal opinions) by those participating and should be seen as a good sign for the future of America. This poll really shows that political views in American cannot always be easily categorized.
Two of the more interesting finds in the article are the answers to the questions: “Generally speaking, would you say you favor smaller government with fewer services, or larger government with more services?” Smaller government won by 50 to 44 percent, but the Post noted that that was a much smaller margin than previous surveys had shown, indicating the damage the Bush administration and the congressional Republicans have done to the “smaller government” brand. Still, a six-point margin is better than Bush achieved in his two elections, and 50 percent is better than Bill Clinton ever did.” And “Do you think homosexual couples should or should not be allowed to form legally recognized civil unions, giving them the legal rights of married couples in areas such as health insurance, inheritance and pension coverage?” Respondents said they should, by 55 to 42 percent, up from earlier surveys.” These answers clearly so that there is a beginning of a shift in the more tradition conservative movement that will include some social progressive ideas coupled with fiscal conservative thoughts. Do we embrace these voters and recruit them to vote Republican and expand are traditional platform or is this the rumblings of a formidable third party that will finally have a stake in national and local politics?
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 2:33 PM
originally posted 11/12/2007...I think we should always keep this in mind..
As the recent elections here in Virginia has show, there is no safe place for the conservatives if they are not steadfast in following the conservative ideal in their daily actions and that there is a shift in the paradigm of conservative politics. Although some of the change in our state Senate can be attributed cyclical politics and influx of liberals in Northern Virginia, it a symptom of a greater problem that the Virginia GOP and the GOP nationally is facing; which is not only talking the talk of the conservative but walking the walk once they are in power. The Virginia GOP and the GOP as a hole should always use an approach of inclusiveness for both moderates and conservatives but the conservative values of lower taxes; free enterprise, strong state government and fiscal responsibility should always be at the forefront of our platform. There is a difference in standing up for the values that you deem sacred, compromise and rigidness and this is the balance that the conservative needs to constantly remind themselves of when making decisions contrary to their instinctive feeling. Senator Warner is stirring the pot here in Virginia as other moderates stir it up nationally by criticizing the GOP for their perceived intolerant and rigid stance as the reason for the Democratic pickup in the State Senate as others have criticized the GOP nationally. Compromise isn’t a bad thing but making deals with the devil just too past, at best, lukewarm legislation by always being the one moving to the left is lacking in integrity to the Republican motto and conservative principles. With a Presidential election fast approaching and all the candidates trying to take the “Reagan” mantel it will be interesting to see which Republican candidate morphs into a total package Conservative candidate and then see what that candidate does in office if they are elected are next Presidents. The American public today lives a conservative lifestyle whether they vote republican or democrat and the candidate tapping into this ideal will do far better than the liberal media would have us believe. The “common-sense” approach inherent in the principles of lower-taxes, managed spending, strong defense, securing the borders, strong local government are the most efficient ways to achieve what every American wants, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The majority of American do not think that it is the job of the federal government is to take care of each citizen from cradle to grave…we are self reliant and expect others to be so as well. With that being said, most understand that we should help those less fortunate and are not against programs that accomplish this through acts of kindness, efficiently run government programs, and donations to those non-profit groups that do so much to help those around us. “Absolutes” in today’s society and strict ideological rhetoric don’t always work and we should work to ensure that the solution that is implemented is fair, cost efficient and not duplicated else where. The American people understand that every program the government enacts is funded by our tax dollars and that the government should be more careful stewards of our money (and not boast that America can’t afford them as President) than they have been in the past since they are representing us with every vote they cast.
originally posted 11/05/2007
Have you met some one that you agreed with but they still wanted to argue with you about whatever you were talking about? When discussing this issue or that issue, most people want to be “right” more than trying to come up with the best solution to fix the given problem. The attitude of “rightness” is, in part, what has caused the influx of mean politics and an “us versus them” mentality that divides people that would otherwise get along famously with. The division between the right and the left in this country is undoubtedly widening and seems to be getting meaner as illustrated by the Blogosphere, a tool that at its core lends itself to conflict. Have you ever read comments on a blog site and after five posts realize that Anonymous is not schizophrenic and arguing with itself but that there are many anonymous arguing with other anonymous (and I’m convinced the irony of this is most definitely lost on those commenting) and confusing everyone. When they start with “I wasn’t talking to THAT anonymous but THAT anonymous, you know the conversation is going to go down hill from there. Blogs are what is right and what is wrong about America, the internet and the underutilization of tools we have at our disposal to reach real solutions and not simplistic rhetoric to appease those that believe as you do. If you ever want to cause a ruckus on DailyKOS or any other liberal blog, just bring up that fact that Hillary Clinton voted to authorize the war in Iraq or that true pro-choice would include the choice to NOT to have one or it really isn’t pro-choice or that abstinence is the best tool to use to prevent pregnancy. The vile retribution that will descend upon you will at first take you aback, then scare you, then make you mad and finally leave you depressed that you cannot use an awesome tool like the internet to discuss volatile issues of the day.
As Americans, we need to constantly realize that our beliefs are bound, even in the extremes, by the framing of the Constitution and that we all, at the core, want to make the world and America a better place. We also need to realize that we, as Americans, have more in common than we do differences and that common ground is where we can effect change and accomplish the goals of our society. The squeaky wheel gets the oil in the US and we need to constantly stay vigil to the point that most US citizens don’t live in those extremes and just want our government out of our lives so we can live the American dream. I will debate forever that the Contemporary Conservative way is the best and most efficient way to govern a society, but I will never threaten or personally attack another person who has a differing opinion. Because in invalidating their opinion, I am invalidating the discourse that was, in effect, the catalyst for the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of America, three of the greatest documents ever created by man for man. A constant civil debate on how to implement these documents (whether a Republican, Independent or Democrat) in today’s United states is what we need to strive for and not close minded taunts that only create warring factions that never resolve the actual issue at hand.
reposted from 9/10/09 http://www.thecontemporaryconservative.blogspot.com We have entered an era where the commentary of the POTUS (started with JFK) and the interpretation of his words are more expansive than the actual actions taken. The rabid frenzy that the left had (and has) towards 'W' is know shifted to the rights feelings toward Obama as his every word is deciphered for "actual" and hidden meaning......if is a legitimate concern or just a growing resentment toward the divide between the emerging "ruling" class and the public? I actually think it is the latter. When government stops listening to the people and does what they want no matter what political party they belong too, then we stop being a free society and start being ruled by a ruling class Aristocracy and we all loose. From Politico:
President Barack Obama on Wednesday night tried to portray health care reform – potentially the most sweeping overhaul to American society in some 40 years – as something as nonthreatening as buying auto insurance.....Obama laid out his requirement that all Americans own health insurance, covering their doctor bills the way they would pay for a car accident. A government-run health insurance option would be akin to the way private colleges battle with state universities for students....And a government takeover of health care? Hardly, said Obama. Only 5 percent of Americans would use the public option even if it existed....But behind that rhetoric, Obama was laying out massive changes to the health insurance system that have raised concerns that one high-stakes speech to Congress seem unlikely to quiet – and highlighting divisions in his own party that seem certain to continue....He set out to speak with average Americans and call for a new era of civility, but he also laced his speech with jabs at Republicans and lines directed at a handful of lawmakers sitting in the House chamber....And in the end, a speech meant to reset the health care debate ended up sounding in large parts like speeches Obama gave before, raising the question of whether the public heard anything Wednesday night to calm their nerves. But they would have had to listen closely to what Obama was really saying, so here’s the POLITICO translation:...What he said: This is the plan I’m proposing. It’s a plan that incorporates ideas from many of the people in this room tonight – Democrats and Republicans. And I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open. ..What he meant: Hey, Republicans – you know I won’t bite on your version of reform. So I’m not exactly worried about a GOP stampede to the Oval. But that doesn’t mean I won’t call my plan bipartisan. . . I’m extending my hand, and I’ll include a few GOP-sounding ideas here and there, like medical malpractice fixes. Voila, it’s bipartisan!....Obama is trying to argue that the process can be considered bipartisan even though no GOP lawmakers voted for the bills in committee, and it’s possible none will support it on final passage (except maybe Olympia Snowe of Maine). Some Democrats, particularly those in GOP—heavy districts, are dreading the prospect of a party-line vote, because it would play in to the Republican argument that Obama is ramming it through. So Obama is determined to call his bill bipartisan, whether it truly is or not....What he said: But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it....What he meant: I can pass this bill with 51 votes in the Senate, and don’t think I won’t do it....This is a lesson learned from the economic stimulus fight. The White House publicized its hopes of winning significant Republican support, only to be spurned. Obama is willing to talk with Republicans, and dial up Olympia Snowe or Chuck Grassley when necessary, but he will not allow their tepid support to scare him away from passing a bill this year. And he certainly doesn’t plan to take the advice of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to start the process from scratch. He is moving ahead – even if it means using reconciliation, a last-ditch procedural maneuver that allows him to pass legislation with a simple majority rather than a filibuster-proof majority....What he said: That is why we cannot fail.....What he meant: Did I say we? That is why I cannot fail. I saw what happened to the last guy who dropped the ball on health care – President Clinton, meet Speaker GingrichRead Here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/26969.html
FED estimated net losses on its $700 billion bailout program at $68.5 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009.
The Treasury estimated net losses on its $700 billion bailout program at $68.5 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009...The December report for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, showed that the fiscal 2009 net loss included estimated losses of $30.4 billion for AIG and $30.4 billion for automakers, with $27.1 billion in losses from the Home Affordable Modification Program....These were much larger than a $15 billion profit registered from the Capital Purchase Program for banks and $4.4 billion in profits from other bank investments, asset guarantee and lending programs.Read Here:http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60A4XU20100111
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 12:46 PM
From the Watertown Daily Times :
Federal health care reform will require most Northern New Yorkers — but not all, it turns out — to carry health insurance or risk a fine....Hundreds of Amish families in the region are likely to be free from that requirement....The Amish, as well as some other religious sects, are covered by a "religious conscience" exemption, which allows people with religious objections to insurance to opt out of the mandate. It is in both the House and Senate versions of the bill, making its appearance in the final version routine unless there are last-minute objections....Although the Amish consist of several branches, some more conservative than others, they generally rely upon a community ethic that disdains government assistance. Families rely upon one another, and communities pitch in to help neighbors pay health care expenses.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:29 AM
Monday, January 11, 2010
From the AP:
A former Federal Emergency Management Agency employee and her cousin are being accused of stealing more than $721,000 in Hurricane Katrina relief money. Former FEMA worker Lashonda Booker and her cousin, Peggy Hilton, have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in Mississippi....Booker had no comment when contacted Monday and wouldn't say if the women have lawyers. Hilton could not immediately be reached.
Read Here:Ex-FEMA worker charged in $721K in Katrina fraud
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:31 PM
Health care reform is "hanging on by a thread," and one or two votes could determine the outcome of the heavily-debated bill, Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd told CNBC Monday... "Everyone feels, I guess, to some degree who have been for this, that they would have liked something different, and that's not uncommon when you're considering an issue of this magnitude," Dodd said...Some progressives, for example, are disappointed that the Senate bill, unlike the House version, does not include a public option, he said. Senators Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas are two people who voted for the bill in its original form and are now carefully watching what changes are being made.
Read Here: http://www.cnbc.com/id/34804315
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 1:43 PM
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Read Here: Unused Swine Flu Vaccine:
"After months of fear, media coverage and government warnings there wasn't as much demand for the swine flu vaccine in New York state as expected.Truckloads of swine flu vaccines are being returned by counties that say the expected demand for the shots never happened.When the state's H1N1 vaccination program kicked off in the fall there were fears that there wouldn't be enough of the new vaccine to go around.The flu strain has not spread as wide as feared and some people were also unsure of pumping a quickly developed vaccine into their bodies.On January 1, state health officials urged people who haven't been vaccinated to get a shot.'When it's in a shortage, everyone clamors for it,' said Dr. Richard Daines, commissioner of the state Department of Health. 'Now that it's abundant, people don't think they need to fight for it.'"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 1:30 PM
"MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the leading academic defenders of health care reform, is taking heat for failing to disclose consistently that he was under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services while he was
touting the Democrats' health proposals in the media. Gruber, according to federal government documents, is under a $297,600 contract until next month to provide 'technical assistance' in evaluating health care reform proposals. He
was under a $95,000 HHS contract before that. But while he was being paid to provide his services to HHS, he was also fending off health care reform critics in the media. Gruber was one of the prominent analysts to rebut an insurance
industry report from PricewaterhouseCoopers in October saying premiums would shoot up if a health care bill passes. And he has recently written columns defending specific provisions in the House and Senate bills, particularly the 'Cadillac tax' on high-cost insurance plans."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 1:21 PM
"Canadian police said Friday that it was wrong for one of their officers to whisk Halle Berry, her model boyfriend and baby through airport security at Montreal's Trudeau airport. A constable at the airport decided to let the couple pass a long line after a spur-of-the-moment request on Monday by Gabriel Aubry, a Quebec model who is Berry's boyfriend and father of her 22-month-old daughter, Nahla. 'The (boyfriend) of Ms. Berry asked if they could go faster through the line because they were late and they had the baby,' said Insp. Jimmy Cacchione, who heads the 36-member unit that patrols the Montreal airport.
'The officer took the personal initiative to allow them to go through the line faster, but that's not something the Montreal police supports.'"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 1:20 PM
"He says 'the buck stops with me,' but nearly a year into office, President
Barack Obama is still blaming a lot of the nation's troubles — the economy,
terrorism, health care — on George W. Bush.
Over and over, Obama keeps
reminding Americans of the mess he inherited and all he's doing to fix it. A
sharper, give-me-some-credit tone has emerged in his language as he bemoans
people's fleeting memory about what life was like way back in 2008, particularly
on the economy."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 1:18 PM
Thursday, January 7, 2010
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A....
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them socialism would also fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed…
Could not be any simpler than that…
H/T to Joe
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:22 AM
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
From Thw Washington Times:
While two Senate Democrats already have seen the handwriting on the wall and bailed out of re-election races, five others trail Republicans in states whereRead Here:Dodd, Dorgan, 5 other Senate Dems vulnerable - Washington Times
President Obama and his trillion-dollar health-care-reform plan are increasingly unpopular. From Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trails badly, to Arkansas, where Sen. Blanche Lincoln is polling at just 40 percent in head-to-head matchups with four possible Republican challengers, opposition to
the health-care bill is reverberating.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 10:19 AM
Monday, January 4, 2010
No comment....From ABC News:
President Obama recently named Amanda Simpson to be a Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department. In a statement, Simpson, a member of the National Center for Transgender Equality's board of directors, said that "as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others." While Simpson is clearly one of the first transgender presidential appointees, Democratic officials say they're unsure if she is the very first one. The White House had no comment on her appointment. A 2004 YWCA "Woman on the Move," Simpson recently served as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.
At Raytheon, Simpson -- a former test pilot who had worked for the company for more than a generation -- transitioned from male to female and was instrumental in convincing the military contractor to add gender identity and expression to its equal employment opportunity policy. She later ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona House of Representatives and was a delegate for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
Read Here: President Obama Names Transgender Appointee to Commerce Department - Political Punch
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:42 PM
AP: Leading Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo went on trial on subversion charges Wednesday, in a case criticised by rights groups and the West as politically motivated. The 53-year-old Liu,a writer who was previously jailed over the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy protests, has been charged with "inciting subversion of state power" after co-authoring a bold call for political reform last year. Profile: Liu Xiaobo
Read Here: China tries leading dissident on subversion charge
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:54 AM
From the AP:
A radical Yemeni cleric who was in contact with the suspected US army base shooter may also have ties to the failed attack on a US-bound plane at Christmas, a top White House aide said Sunday. ...US Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan accused the cleric, Anwar al-Awlaqi, of trying to "instigate terrorism" due to his alleged links to the two events...."I think what we areRead Here: WH aide cites Yemen cleric's ties to two attacks
clear about is that Mr Awlaqi was in touch with (alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal) Hasan... and there are indications that he had contact, direct contact, with (alleged Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk) Abdulmutallab," Brennan said on CNN.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:52 AM
From the AP:
US President Barack Obama Monday swapsRead Here: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4200d10bdf7555aa5ec63a3ff22d40a2.711&show_article=1
his Hawaiian vacation hideaway for Washington,
with resurgent fears of airborne terror and Iran's nuclear
defiance darkening his already daunting agenda....Challenges facing the White House
in 2009 -- including the worst economic meltdown in 70 years -- look if anything
likely to be trumped by the building crises threatening to rage through
2010....Hyper-partisan politics will get even more nasty, with Republicans
targeting gains in mid-term elections in November -- which normally wound
first-term presidents -- and Democrats defending their grip on Congress at all
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:49 AM
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Read Here: www.politico.com: "The British government joined the United States in closing its embassy in Yemen on Sunday, AP reported. Shutting an embassy is a rare and dire step, dramatizing the Arab nation's emergence as one of the world's premier terrorist havens.
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:19 PM
Read This: Windows Live Hotmail: "All travelers flying into the U.S. from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and 100 percent of passengers from seven terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched, the Obama administration was notifying airlines on Sunday. The more stringent Transportation Security Administration rules, to take effect at midnight, follow the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner headed into Detroit from Amsterdam.
For more information...http://www.politico.com
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 3:17 PM
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Spy chiefs turn on President Obama after seven CIA agents are slaughtered in Afghanistan | Mail Online
"Barack Obama was accused of double standards yesterday in his treatment of the
CIA.The President paid tribute to secret agents after seven of them were killed
by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.In a statement, he said the CIA had been
‘tested as never before’ and that agents had ‘served on the front lines in
directly confronting the dangers of the 21st century’.He lauded the victims as
‘part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow
citizens and for our way of life’. Yet the previous day he had blasted ‘systemic
failures’ in the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to prevent
the Christmas Day syringe bomb attack"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:47 PM
"The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for
efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at
one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too
little....More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s
largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to
continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of
Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley
called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona,
Florida and Minnesota....Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester,
Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the
highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop
Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped
accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the
American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:46 PM
"Taxpayer losses from supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will top $400
billion, according to Peter Wallison, a former general counsel at the Treasury
who is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute....“The situation is
they are losing gobs of money, up to $400 billion in mortgages,” Wallison said
in a Bloomberg Television interview. The Treasury Department recognized last
week that losses will be more than $400 billion when it raised its limit on
federal support for the two government-sponsored enterprises, he said....The
U.S. seized the two mortgage financiers in 2008 as the government struggled to
prevent a meltdown of the financial system. The debt of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac
and the Federal Home Loan Banks grew an average of $184 billion annually from
1998 to 2008, helping fuel a bubble that drove home prices up by 107 percent
between 2000 and mid-2006, according to the S&P/Case- Shiller home-price
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:45 PM
"Democrats have lost yet another touted recruit, this time in Kansas....State
Sen. Laura Kelly (D) just announced her withdrawal from the race to face Rep.
Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.). She becomes the fifth formidable recruit to bow out in
recent weeks....“I have been forced to make a decision between honoring the
pledge I made to the people in my Senate district and my firm conviction that
the people of the 2nd congressional district deserve a truly independent voice
in Congress,' Kelly said in a statement. ...“This has been a very hard decision,
but it is the right one.”
Kelly joins several recent dropouts, including
businessman Jack McDonald, a well-funded challenger to Rep. Michael McCaul
(R-Texas) who announced last week that he wouldn't run. The others are Ohio
state Rep. Todd Book, who was running against Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio); former
Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula Flowers, who was running for
Rep. Zach Wamp's (R-Tenn.) seat; and Solana Beach City Councilman Dave Roberts,
who was running against Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.)."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:44 PM
"Reporting from Roswell, N.M. - After losing the White House and nearly 70
congressional seats in the last two elections, Republicans are poised for a
strong comeback in 2010, with significant gains likely in the House and a good
chance of boosting their numbers in the Senate and statehouses across the
country....The results could hamper President Obama's legislative efforts as he
prepares to seek reelection and reshape the political landscape for a decade
beyond, as lawmakers redraw congressional and state political boundaries to
reflect the next census....All 435 House seats, 36 in the Senate and the
governorships of 37 states will be on the ballot in November. Democrats are
favored to retain the Massachusetts seat of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in a
special election Jan. 19."
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:43 PM
"The Transportation Security Administration on Thursday dropped its subpoenas
it had issued to two Internet writers in its effort to find the leaker of an
airline security directive.
The subpoenas were criticized by a leading
journalism organization...The TSA said the investigation is 'nearing a
successful conclusion and the subpoenas are no longer in effect.' ...The
security directive, which ordered extra measures after a Christmas Day attack on
a Detroit-bound airliner, quickly became known to passengers at screening lines
and aboard their flights. Nonetheless, the passenger screening agency said it
'takes any breach in security very seriously.'"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:42 PM
"The White House nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration gave
Congress misleading information about incidents in which he inappropriately
accessed a federal database, possibly in violation of privacy laws, documents
obtained by The Washington Post show. ..The disclosure comes as pressure builds
from Democrats on Capitol Hill for quick January confirmation of Erroll
Southers, whose nomination has been held up by GOP opponents. In the aftermath
of an attempted airline bombing on Christmas Day, calls have intensified for
lawmakers to install permanent leadership at the TSA, a critical agency in
enforcing airline security"
Posted by Jody L. Wilcox at 9:41 PM