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Thursday, May 31, 2012

John Edwards Trial: Acquitted On One Count, Hung Jury On Five Counts, Mistrial Declared

By Susan Duclos

ABC News:

A North Carolina jury found former Sen. John Edwards not guilty today on one of six counts in a campaign-finance trial, and declared itself hopelessly deadlocked on the remaining charges, leading the judge to declare a mistrial on those counts.

Edwards, a two-time presidential candidate, accused of soliciting nearly $1 million from wealthy backers to finance a cover up of his illicit affair and illegitimate child during his 2008 bid for the White House, was found not guilty on Count 3 of the six-part indictment.

That count pertained only to whether Edwards illegally received several hundred thousand dollars in donations from wealthy heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon to cover up the affair in 2008.

After nine days of deliberations, three times as long as the defense took to put on its case, the courtroom here was thrown into confusion when it briefly appeared the jury had reached on a verdict on all counts.
The jury informed the judge it had not reached a verdict and was charged again to go back to deliberating.
The other counts pertained to Mellon's donations in 2007, donations in 2007 and 2008 from another wealthy donor, Fred Baron, and a conspiracy charge.

Less than an hour after the judge sent them back to deliberate, the jury returned and declared itself hung on those five outstanding counts.

No word on whether prosecutors will attempt to retry the case.

More at Washington Post and MSNBC.

Wisconsin Union Membership Plunges Ahead Of Recall

By Susan Duclos

Next Tuesday is the Wisconsin recall election where Tom Barrett, Democrats, liberals and unions are trying to unseat Governor Scott Walker. Recent polling has Walker up by 7.

Polling averages in May have Walker ahead of Barrett by a 6.6 percent margin. (Numbers at link change as new polling data becomes available)

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers, fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011.

Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.

A provision of the Walker law that eliminated automatic dues collection hurt union membership. When a public-sector contract expires the state now stops collecting dues from the affected workers' paychecks unless they say they want the dues taken out, said Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

In many cases, Afscme dropped members from its rolls after it failed to get them to affirm they want dues collected, said a labor official familiar with Afscme's figures. In a smaller number of cases, membership losses were due to worker layoffs.

Those keeping an eye on the recall election in Wisconsin might remember that in mid-May, unions suffered a blow when a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that unions cannot automatically deduct dues from members' paychecks by offering those members the opt-out option but the members must  opt-in before unions could take their deductions.

Despite claims to the contrary by liberals and unions in Wisconsin, Walker's controversial budget reform bill (Act 10) did not harm union members but did attempt to level the playing field, so to speak, between private sector employees and public sector employees. A study just released shows that salaries for the two sets of employees are more equal now but compensation is still excessive for public employees in comparison to private sector employees.

We find that state and local government employees receive salaries roughly equal to those paid to private sector Wisconsin employees with similar education and experience or working in jobs with similar skill requirements.

However, even following Act 10, pension benefits for Wisconsin public employees are roughly 4.5 times more valuable than private sector levels while health benefits are about twice as generous as those paid by larger private sector Wisconsin employers. This difference results in a combined salary-benefits compensation premium of around 22 percent for state workers over private sector workers, with varying but often larger pay advantages for local government employees.

In November 2010, according to the former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle's administration, Wisconsin was on track for a $3 billion deficit for the state.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration on Friday told Republican Governor-elect Scott Walker that he would have to cope with a $2.2 billion deficit in the state's upcoming two-year budget, but this brighter-than-expected forecast contained more than $1 billion in hidden pain.

To arrive at the favorable estimate, the Doyle administration's estimate assumed that Walker and lawmakers would make spending cuts that have yet to actually happen - two more years of state employee furloughs, no pay raises, a virtual hiring freeze and belt tightening in state health programs. Without that $1.1 billion in savings, the state's projected shortfall rises to $3.3 billion - a significant increase over previous estimates that put the gap at between $2.7 billion and $3.1 billion.

Now it is 2012, Walker's controversial budget reform was passed and resulted in a  projected surplus for the state.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated in February the state would finish the two-year budget period that ends June 30, 2013, with a $143 million deficit.

But the state Department of Revenue now estimates that the state will take in about $265 million more than the bureau expected, which should translate to a $275.1 million surplus on June 30, 2012, and a $154.5 million surplus on June 30, 2013, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a letter to Walker.

Huebsch said revenue officials based the projections on larger-than-anticipated tax collections through April and revised federal Bureau of Economic Analysis forecasts showing better-than-expected personal income growth in 2011.

Had the recall election happened before the results of Walker's policies became a clear success, Barrett possibly would have been performing better in the polls, but the initial accusations against Walker that his budget reform bill would harm Wisconsin's economy have been dis-proven by the actual results.

National Implications

With five days until the recall election, Democrats are now throwing everything they have behind Barrett, including sending Bill Clinton to the state to campaign against Walker. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has stated she considers the recall election a "dry run" for Obama.

The RNC has also stated their belief that the recall election has long term implications and a Walker win would improve the chances for Republicans in November 2012  of putting Wisconsin "in the red column for the first time since 1984."

Is It Possible To Question Islam?

By Findalis

What an interesting question?  Can one question the history of Islam?  Did Muhammad actually exist?  Was he really illiterate?  Creeping Sharia asks those and other questions.

The question really should be whether it is possible to question Islam and not be threatened, injured or killed, slandered, or arrested. Robert Spencer via PJ Media » Is It Still Possible to Question Islam?.

Is it “Islamophobic” to question whether or not the standard picture of Muhammad as depicted in Muslim texts is historically accurate?

Certainly many people think so, notably the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC is a fifty-six nation body (plus the Palestinian Authority) that, since the demise of the Soviet Union, comprises the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. It has been working for years to compel the UN to criminalize “Islamophobia.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a closed-door meeting with the OIC in December 2011, apparently to facilitate just that and figure out ways to circumvent the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of speech.

Journalist Claire Berlinski notes that “the neologism ‘Islamophobia’ did not simply emerge ex nihilo”:
It was invented, deliberately, by a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, which is based in Northern Virginia. … Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the IIIT who has renounced the group in disgust, was an eyewitness to the creation of the word. “This loathsome term,” he writes, “is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.”
Yet the mainstream media has for the most part bought into this perspective, treating all investigation of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism as “Islamophobic,” however useful it might be to understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the U.S. and Western civilization. Into this atmosphere comes my book Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins, which doesn’t touch directly on terror issues at all, but does demonstrate that Islam was political, supremacist, and violent before it was religious — a fact with considerable implications for today’s political scene.

In broad outline, the accepted story of Islam’s origins is well known. It begins with an Arabian merchant of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, known to the world as Muhammad, a name that means the “praised one.” He rejected the polytheism of his tribe and was given to frequent prayer in the hills and caves outside Mecca. In the year 610, when he was forty, he was praying in a cave on Mount Hira, about two miles from Mecca, when he was suddenly confronted by the angel Gabriel, who commanded him to recite.

For the next twenty-three years, until his death in 632, Muhammad did just that: He recited the messages he received from Gabriel, presenting them to his followers as the pure and unadulterated word of the supreme and only God. Many of his followers memorized portions. The Arabia in which Islam was born was an oral culture that respected poetic achievement, and thus the prodigious feats of memory required to memorize lengthy suras were not so unusual. After Muhammad’s death, the revelations he had received were collected together into the Qur’an, or “Recitation,” from the accounts of those who had memorized them or written them down.
Muslims around the globe are not the only ones who take this account for granted; even non-Muslims generally accept the broad contours of this narrative, which has been told and retold for centuries. However, virtually none of that standard account stands up to historical scrutiny, for several key reasons:
  • No record of Muhammad’s reported death in 632 appears until more than a century after that date.
  • The early accounts written by the people the Arabs conquered never mention Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an. They call the conquerors “Ishmaelites,” “Saracens,”“Muha- jirun,” and “Hagarians,” but never “Muslims.”
  • The Arab conquerors, in their coins and inscriptions, don’t mention Islam or the Qur’an for the first six decades of their conquests. Mentions of “Muhammad” are non-specific and on at least two occasions are accompanied by a cross. The word can be used not only as a proper name but also as an honorific.
  • The Qur’an, even by the canonical Muslim account, was not distributed in its present form until the 650s. Contradicting that standard account is the fact that neither the Arabians nor the Christians and Jews in the region mention the Qur’an until the early eighth century.
  • During the reign of the caliph Muawiya (661–680), the Arabs constructed at least one public building whose inscription was headed by a cross – a symbol abhorrent to Islam.
The lack of confirming detail in the historical record, the late development of biographical material about the Islamic prophet, the atmosphere of political and religious factionalism in which that material developed, and much more suggest that the Muhammad of Islamic tradition did not exist, or if he did, he was substantially different from how that tradition portrays him.

Unmistakably historical, however, are the Arab conquests and the empire they produced. Every empire of the day was anchored in a political theology. The Eastern Roman Empire was Christian; the Persian Empire was Zoroastrian. The realm of political theology offers the most plausible explanation for the creation of Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an. The Arab Empire controlled and needed to unify huge expanses of territory where different religions predominated. Islam began as an umbrella monotheistic movement that presented itself as encompassing the true forms of the two great previous monotheistic movements, Judaism and Christianity.

Historical records make clear that toward the end of the seventh century and the beginning of the eighth, the Umayyad leaders of the Arab domains began to speak much more specifically than anyone had before about Islam, its prophet, and eventually its book. Muhammad, if he did not exist, or if his actual deeds were not known, would certainly have been politically useful to the new Arab Empire as a legendary hero. The empire was growing quickly, soon rivaling the Byzantine and Persian Empires in size and power. It needed a common religion—a political theology that would provide the foundation for the empire’s unity and would secure allegiance to the state.

In any case, the late appearance of the biographical material about Muhammad, the fact that no one had heard of or spoken of Muhammad for decades after the Arab conquests began, the changes in the religion of the Arab Empire, the inconsistencies in the Qur’an—all of this needed to be explained. But is attempting to do so “Islamophobic?” Or can disinterested historical investigation still be carried out in the free West?
It is most interesting that the book Did Muhammad Exist? has been greeted with silence or opprobrium. Yet now, more than ever before, historical investigators have the opportunity—in fact, the responsibility—to usher Islam’s origins out of the shadows and into the light, and the responsibility not to be cowed by Islamic supremacist intimidation in doing so. Were they not to discharge that responsibility fully or properly, we will all be the poorer.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.
What an interesting question?  Can one question the history of Islam?  Did Muhammad actually exist?  Was he really illiterate?  Creeping Sharia asks those and other questions.

Romney Clinches GOP Nomination- The Race Is On: CO, IA, and Nevada Deadlocked

By Susan Duclos

On Tuesday, with the Texas GOP primary, Mitt Romney officially clinched the Republican nomination as he bypasses the 1,144 delegates needed to win and the initial polling for three states Barack Obama flipped from red to blue in 2008, via NBC News/Marist polling, show a deadlocked race for 2012.

The margin of error in the poll is plus-or-minus 3 percentage points.

• Colorado- Obama 46 percent, Romney 45 percent.
In 2008, Obama beat John McCain by 8.6 percentage points.

• Iowa- Obama 44 percent, Romney 44 percent.
In 2008, Obama beat McCain by  9.3 percentage points.

• Obama 48 percent, Romney 46 percent.
In 2008, Obama beat McCain by 12.4 percentage points.

Via National Journal:

The states -- Colorado, Iowa and Nevada -- are relatively small, but each is an important and symbolic bellwether. In each state, voters overwhelmingly say the economy will be the most important issue in this year's election, but Obama either trails Romney on this issue or, at best, ties him.
There is good news and bad news for each candidate within this poll, and Morrissey from Hot Air points to supporter enthusiasm, which favors Romney in Iowa and Colorado by 8 percent and 11 percent respectively and which favors Obama by 2 percent in Nevada.

  • Colorado – “A majority of Romney’s supporters — 52% — are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot in the fall while 41% of Obama’s supporters have a similar level of enthusiasm.”
  • Iowa – “46% of Romney’s supporters are very enthusiastic about going to the polls in November. This compares with 38% of Obama’s backers who have a similar degree of enthusiasm.”
  • Nevada – “53% of voters who support the president are very enthusiastic about going to the polls in the fall while a similar 51% of Romney backers say the same.”

Read the full Iowa poll
Read the full Colorado poll
Read the full Nevada poll

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

White House Spokesman Misses Key Differences Between Obama's Gambling Problem And Bain Capital

By Susan Duclos

Yesterday we noted some key differences between Obama's gambling with taxpayer's money and what Bain Capital does with investors money.

Investors willingly put their money into Bain and Bain makes them money, while Obama gambles with taxpayer's money, investing much of it into his own donors' ventures, many of which have failed, gone bankrupt, laid off workers and in the case of Solyndra, is being investigated by Congress.

Both Mitt Romney and American Crossroads have produced web ads that address different aspects of Obama's gambling problem. (Both videos found HERE)

I said yesterday:

Obama talks about fairness to all, redistribution of wealth by taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor, yet his actions have taken money from middle class families and put it into the pockets of his rich donors.

The Daily Caller today offers up a video of White House Spokeman, Jay Carney, attempting to "explain" the difference between what Obama did with Solyndra and what Bain does with the companies they invest in and attempt to turnaround and make them into successful investments.

The response from Carney is described as incoherent.


Reporter: Last thing. If that’s the argument, how is that different from Romney’s argument on Bain Capital, which is that many succeeded and a few failed?

Carney: Look, there, there, there is the… the difference in that… your overall view of what your responsibilities are as president, and what your view of the economic future is. And, and the president believes, as he’s made clear, that a president’s responsibility is not just to, uh… those who win, but those who, for an example, in a company where there have been layoffs or a company that has gone bankrupt, that, you know, we have to make sure that those folks have the means to find other employment, that they have the ability to train for other kinds of work, and that’s part of the overall responsibility the president has.

 Melissa Clouthier offers up another difference when she tweets "Difference between Bain and Solyndra: Romney's enterprises made investors money. Obama's lost taxpayer money."

Doug Powers over at Michelle Malkin's site, offers up a bonus video of  Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter explaining that Solyndra was a "strategic investment."

His assessment:

 Apparently Bain execs didn’t do their homework as diligently as Steven Chu. Cutter also claims that President Obama was making investments “for the country” — not all selfish and greedy like Romney did it:

Click over to see that video.

Heritage adds more:

For the duration of his Administration, President Obama has dished out billions of dollars to politically favored companies in pursuit of job creation and a new “green” economy. It’s taxpayer-funded crony capitalism that has neither created new jobs nor produced the green-energy payout that the president was looking for. In fact, it’s a policy that has failed miserably, leading to bankruptcy after bankruptcy. Yet despite all the failures — and zero successes — the president and his Administration are defending the indefensible and standing by a policy that has squandered taxpayer money.

In one instance, President Obama committed $465 million of taxpayer money to Tesla, which was founded by a campaign mega-donor and the 63rd richest man in the world, Elon Musk, to build a $130,000 battery-powered sports car that becomes permanently inoperable if left uncharged for 30 days.

It’s gotten so bad that Congress is launching probes of federal green energy programs, including the Energy Department loan program, over concerns that lawmakers fast-tracked approval for politically connected companies. Heritage’s Lachlan Markay reports that according to a Republican aide on the Senate Budget Committee, “Politically favored, and often connected, renewable energy plans [receive] less rigorous review than traditional energy projects.” In one program, of the $20.5 billion in loans granted, $16.4 billion went to companies linked to donors who contributed to Obama and the Democratic Party.

At the same time the president is defending his taxpayer-funded failures, he’s attacking free enterprise, including in private equity and venture capitalism — enterprises in which investors voluntarily put up their own money to invest in new ideas and rescue existing companies. Sometimes those ventures fail, sometimes their inevitable failure is delayed but temporarily saves jobs amid restructuring, but many times they succeed — generating profits and producing new jobs.

When Carney was asked to justify the president’s defense of one, but criticism of the other, he just couldn’t do it. That’s no surprise, in that the two positions are logically inconsistent.

The bottom line here is Obama picked this fight with his attacks against Romney over his tenure with Bain Capital which is a private equity company....... how could he not know that his own gambling losses of taxpayer money wouldn't be addressed and delved into once he did that?

 How could his campaign and Obama himself be so woefully unprepared for the obvious response from Romney and conservatives and even the media now?

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Suffers Another Decline Under Obamanomics

By Susan Duclos

The The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index official press release is here.

IBD explains:

Analysts had predicted the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index would climb to 70 in May. Instead it dropped more than four points to 64.9, the biggest drop since last fall.

It's the latest in another round of disappointing numbers. Just a few weeks ago, new jobs came in "unexpectedly" low. And before that, GDP data disappointed.

Underperforming economic indicators have been so common under Obama that the only mystery is why the experts keep getting caught off guard.

In the case of the Consumer Confidence Index, the current number — bad as it is — doesn't even tell the whole story.

First, it's worth noting the index has fallen for three months. Even if it had hit forecasts, it would still be well below 90, which signals a healthy economy.

The current reading is worse when you realize that under President Bush — you know, the guy who Obama says ruined the economy — confidence averaged 88.

That's despite two recessions, a terrorist massacre and two long wars. Throughout Obama's "recovery," the index has averaged 57.

Those that believed Obama's pretty promises of hope and change probably didn't expect this is what he meant by "change", but there you have it.

'Ignorance, Lack of Knowledge' Leads Obama To Offensive Mistake He Now Will Apologize To Poland For

By Susan Duclos

ABC News explains the mistake:

Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage today at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp” — as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.

“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted.  Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”

Sikorski also tonight tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped Barack Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”

The prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, demanded an immediate explanation and said "We always react in the same way to ignorance, lack of knowledge and ill will which lead to the distortion of history. Such phrases are especially painful for Poland - Europe’s most affected country by World War II ." (PM's site- source for quote)

Full statement below:

The words uttered yesterday by the President of the United States Barack Obama concerning “Polish death camps” touched all Poles. We always react in the same way when ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions lead to such a distortion of history, so painful for us here in Poland, in a country which suffered like no other in Europe during World War II.

For Poland and for our country, but also for all our fellow citizens, this is something that we cannot ignore. Here, in Poland, we cannot accept such words even if they are spoken by the leader of a friendly power - or perhaps especially in such situations - since we expect diligence, care, and respect from our friends on issues of such importance as World War II remembrance. In Polish-American relations, in friendly relations, respect vis-à-vis the smaller partner should be the most recognizable sign of such relations.

But this is not only an issue of justified sensitivity when it comes to Nazi German concentration camps which were placed on Polish soil in order to murder Jews, but also Poles and other nations. Today this is first and foremost the problem of America’s reputation. We expect Americans to become involved - in particular in relation to this statement - in our efforts, in our measures which will enable us to eliminate, once and for all, these false phrasings, so immensely unfair for Poland.

Perhaps this is paradoxically a very good occasion for the U.S. administration, for Americans, and for the President of the United States to support Poland in its efforts towards historical truth, towards the correct phrasings, the right assessment of what happened during World War II on Polish territory and throughout Europe. This is also important for the United States, since American soldiers, too, died during World War II. If these were “Polish death camps,” then at whose hands did American soldiers die? If these were “Polish death camps,” then from whose hands did the uncle of the President of the United States liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp? When someone says “Polish death camps,” it is as if there were no Nazis, no German responsibility, as if there was no Hitler - that is why our Polish sensitivity in these situations is so much more than just simply a feeling of national pride.

This truth about World War II is important and must also have importance for every other nation. I am convinced that today, our American friends are capable of a stronger reaction - a clearer one, and one which perhaps eliminates, once and for all, these types of mistakes - than just the correction itself and the regret which we heard from the White House spokesperson. We take note of these words, but it seems that it would be even more important for the United States than for Poland to end this with class. That is how one acts with regard to tried-and-tested friends, but this is also how one acts in your own, well-defined interest. I believe our allies are capable of such behaviour. Thank you very much.

Reaction, via Twitter, videos from Polish news and more, over at Buzz Feed.

Offering Obama's regrets National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement "We regret this misstatement, which should not detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and those brave citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny."

It was an amateurish, ignorant and no one is suggesting Obama intended to insult and offend 38 million Poles, nevertheless, a simple statement by his spokesman will not suffice to repair the damage Obama's ignorance has caused with a country allied with the U.S. 

Democrats' Legislative Snuff Film

By Guest Writer, Greg Lewis

Given what used to be called the unintended consequences of so many Democratic legislative initiatives, we have to ask if in fact it might be Democrats' intention to kill as many Americans as they can through “legal” means. You know, American car manufacturers create new models of very light automobiles to satisfy congressionally mandated CAFE mileage standards and kill tens of thousands of Americans who bought these automotive equivalents of ultra-light aircraft and discovered the hard way that they provide no protection at all in a crash. Leftist legislation has essentially legalized murder in so many cases that you have to wonder if they're not surreptitiously carrying out the homicidal intent of their ideological forbears, tyrants like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong.

In fact, so determined have those on the left been to kill off as many Americans as they can that watching the consequences of the Democratic Party's legislative initiatives unfold over the past several decades has been a lot like watching a snuff film in Super Slow Motion. If you were to play back this movie at full speed, you'd see tens of thousands of quick cuts to the drivers of tiny cars weighing less than 2,000 pounds being pulled lifeless from their ultra-light automobiles after they'd been crushed in highway accidents with normal sized autos.

These images would be intercut with shots of hospital operating rooms where fetus after fetus was delivered lifeless after abortions. As our film approached the present time, we would see more and more shots of third trimester babies being aborted, with some of them surviving and being discarded to die alone. In states such as Illinois, it was until recently against the law to provide medical assistance to a viable baby who survived an abortion. The scenes described by nurses present at late term abortions which babies survived are heart-wrenching: the tiniest of infants abandoned in hospital laundry rooms to die alone, or the nurses themselves, unable to bear the thought of leaving the babies, swaddling them and comforting them by holding them in their arms as the helpless children died.

If we fast forward to a future in which the consequences of Obama's health care legislation are being realized, we see millions of our nation's elderly denied the end-of-life care -- care that America's doctors and the patients' families have always worked so diligently to provide -- because decisions about which treatments they can receive have been delegated to bureaucratic stooges who now stand between patient and physician. Oh, sure, Democrats screamed bloody murder when Sarah Palin referred to the “death panels” spelled out in their health care legislation. But the fact is that from Roe v. Wade to CAFE standards legislation to laws giving support for late term and live birth abortions to ObamaCare, the Democrats have shouted from the rooftops that they're the party of death. Millions of lives -- some 50 million to abortions alone -- have been lost unnecessarily because of leftist legislative initiatives.

To this point: Not only did President Obama sign an order providing federal funds to support research using embryonic stem cells, he withdrew federal funds from adult stem cell research, the only form of such research that has produced successful results and the only form of such research that doesn't kill a viable embryo. Plainly put, as he had in supporting legislation in the state of Illinois that required that infants who survived late term abortions not be kept alive but be abandoned and left to die, Obama has once again come out in support of unnecessary death.

Of course, we don't see all of these legislatively-mandated deaths in one sitting. They happen over time, and we become gradually inured to the idea that bad laws produce cruel and inhuman results. We lose sight of the fact that the ideology that informs the Democrats' political philosophy kills people, that focusing on such things as trying to reduce the amount of carbon we release in the atmosphere so we can “save our planet” means, not only are we pursuing an absurd and scientifically unsupportable agenda, we're causing conscientious people who have the misfortune to believe the lies and disinformation the left spreads to support its “causes” to put themselves at risk.

In warfare it's called “collateral damage,” and it's something Democrats won't tolerate on the battlefield. In order to reduce it, they're willing to tie the hands of our military and put our troops in harm's way to a greater degree than necessary in order to prevent deaths of our enemies in the countries in which we're fighting. In Afghanistan, for instance, Obama's new rules-of-engagement policy has translated into requiring that our troops only fire at enemy combatants who have weapons in their hands. This meant, in the liberation of Marjah, that Taliban soldiers would fire from within buildings at our troops, then put down their weapons and walk out casually. Our troops had to stand by, knowing they were restrained from killing someone who, moments earlier, had been trying to kill them.

We need to understand that, for Democrats, these are intended consequences, something they are unwilling to acknowledge, certainly not to correct. From Barack Obama on down, the death of innocents is the desired outcome of many Democratic legislative and policy initiatives.

The Democrats are the party of death, and the blood of deceived Americans is on the hands of a president and complicit lawmakers who are, at bottom, the executive producers of America's legislative snuff film 

Greg Lewis Ph.D. is the author of The Politics of Anger, which systematically lays out the communist/socialist foundations of the liberal political agenda by examining the important writings of leftist thinkers of the past 75 years.

Lewis also co-authored "End Your Addiction Now : The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free."Greg

© 2012 by Greg Lewis
First Rights Only

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Conservative Blogger Arrested For Blogging Or Taking Kimberlin’s iPad? Update: Incitement

By Susan Duclos

[Update- 5/30/12] Finally a little clarification from those more familiar with legal issues and what went on yesterday which led to the arrest of Aaron Walker because of a "technologically illiterate" Maryland judge who violated Mr. Walker's First Amendment rights.

David Hogberg at IBD and Patterico's Pontifications both have excellent analysis, explaining what happened yesterday.

Discussions: protein wisdom, Dedicated Tenther, Villainous Company, LEE STRANAHAN dot COM, Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion, Cold Fury, Truth Before Dishonor, That Innocuous Girl, The Volokh Conspiracy, Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, National Review, hogewash,, The Daley Gator, Pink Flamingo Bar,, Datechguy's Blog, American Power, Examiner, The Lonely Conservative, Atlas Shrugs, Instapundit, SOOPERMEXICAN, Michelle Malkin and Nice Deb

  Patterico's Pontifications, Flap's Blog, Simple Justice, LEE STRANAHAN dot COM, EBL, Sister Toldjah, The Other McCain, Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion, Munsey's Technosnarl, American Glob, Truth Before Dishonor, Conservative Commune, The Jawa Report, hogewash, Popehat, American Power, The Camp Of The Saints and Thoughts and Rantings

Original post below-

(Headline changed to reflect The Blaze's report) 

McCain- UPDATE 6:25 p.m. ET: Sources say that blogger Aaron Walker has been released from custody in Rockville, Maryland. He was charged with “incitement,” but released on his own recognizance. Readers are encouraged to donate to the National Bloggers Club to help support Aaron’s defense against Brett Kimberlin.

Updated thought- Blogging the facts about a convicted terrorist and his harassment of bloggers is now considered incitement? Bad precedent and no question this will be appealed and overturned when a judge who actually understands what blogging and social media actually is.

[Update] The Blaze spoke to a clerk at the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County who confirmed that Aaron Walker was in fact arrested following his hearing with Brett Kimberlin. He was arrested on second degree assault charges that were filed by Kimberlin when Walker, following a separate court hearing, took and held at bay Kimberlin’s iPad.
(Note- The Blaze said clerk was wrong and offers a correction- "The clerk’s account turned out to be incorrect, however, as the incitement charge indicates.")

If this was meant to intimidate bloggers from talking about Kimberlin... FAIL.

From a previous post, I repeat- ABC News, where are you? CBS News, where are you? NBC, Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Fox..... where the hell are you guys?

Friday, May 25, 2012, hundreds of conservative bloggers united together in defense of free speech and wrote about convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, better known as the "Speedway Bomber". A crime he was convicted and sentenced for.

Wake up America wrote about it here, here and participated in Friday's blogburst here.

In a travesty of justice, conservative blogger Aaron Worthing, who was one of many who Kimberlin has attempted to silence by filing lawsuit after lawsuit, over 100 of them, against people that wrote about his conviction and history, was arrested for "violating a peace order" by writing about Kimberlin.

Michelle Malkin's Twitchy has the story.

Malkin: In the meantime, read about what you can do to support those who have been targeted by Brett Kimberlin and to fight back against intimidation.

Robert Stacy McCain, still reporting from an undisclosed location after having to leave his home after feeling threatened by Kimberlin is updating his report on thie as the day goes on, so keep checking there. McCain urges readers to " please see my column today at The American Spectator, to catch up on the whole situation.

Reactions are starting to com in over at Memeorandum:

So far The Jawa Report, The Gateway Pundit, Nice Deb, The Spectacle Blog, Dedicated Tenther, Bob Owens, Wake up America, Truth Before Dishonor, Popehat, The Mahablog, PJ Media, Capitalist Preservation, The PJ Tatler, Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion, WorldNetDaily, FilmLadd Blogs, That Mr. G Guy's Blog and Instapundit

Twitchy thread now: Michelle Malkin, American Spectator, Allergic to Bull, Truth Before Dishonor and The Daley Gator

(List above and Memeorandum link being updated also as more reactions come out.)

SooperMexican was in the court room and offers a summary of what happened.

Twitter hashtags #IStandwithAaronWalker, #BrettKimberlin#speedwaybomber 

Reactions being added throughout the day as well.

Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at The Jawa Report says "I certainly hope something else is going on here. That Aaron Walker did something outrageous at the hearing that merited some jail time. Because if his only "crime" is one of writing about a domestic terrorist with an affinity for filing lawsuit after lawsuit, then I'm afraid that the Brave New World we are living in is not one I feel particularly safe in."

 Perhaps now the mainstream media will deign to do their jobs and research and report on Kimberlin. (Google News search- Nope, not yet)

[Update] Via Twitchy updates- linked above:

Update from McCain- linked above:

UPDATE IV: Just spoke to a source who confirms that witnesses saw Walker led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. Ali Akbar, president of the National Bloggers Club, Tweets:

The National Bloggers Club has created to help call attention to the case and to enable “supporters to make financial donations to a relief fund as a show of support.”

Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown

Bob Owens- linked above:

Judge Vaughey’s order makes the finding:
A.1. That there is clear and convincing evidence that within 30 days before the filing of the Petition, the Respondent committed the following act(s):
Placed Person Eligible for releif in fear of imminent serious bodily harm:  COUNTLESS NUMBER OF BLOGS EITHER THREATENING DEATH
2. That there is clear and convincing evidence that Respondent is likely to commit a prohibited act in the future against the Petitioner.
I’m quite convinced that the senior citizen judge is hopelessly confused about what blogs are, as Walker has never posted anything to his blog that I’ve found that could be remotely construed as a death threat.

At the very most, blog commenters– and perhaps on a different blogs apart from Walker’s  if the judge’s incomplete sentence fragment makes any sense at all–may have made comments, but the law is clear: you cannot be held responsible for comments made by others.

To a layman this is an absurd ruling, and I hope that Walker appeals this peace order and gets a judge under the age of 70 who knows what the Hell the relevant case law is.

That Mr. G Guy- linked above:

Kimberlin is going to be much bolder now that he has this small victory under his belt. He just needs to remember that a small victory doesn’t mean he’s won the war…and believe me, it’s war and it’s on now.
Yes, it is.

Thoughts and Rantings sums it up nicely in just three words "This is nuts".

Excellent piece on the legal issues at

Media reporting- Examiner. Silence from other media outlets.

Eugene Robinson, May I introduce You To Glenn Kessler. BTW, You Both Work For The Same Paper

By Susan Duclos

One would think the two men, Eugene Robinson and Glenn Kessler would know of each other, they both write for the same newspaper, Washington Post...... obviously one would be wrong.

Friday, May 25, 2012, Glenn Kessler, who writes for Washington Post's The Fact Checker, took Jay Carney to task for relying on a analysis from Market Watch, which claimed Barack Obama was not a big spender, did not go on a spending binge over the last three and half years, by providing evidence to the contrary and showing how Obama did, indeed, spend taxpayer money like a drunken sailor.

Kessler gave Carney three Pinocchios and said Carney "should do a better job of checking his facts before accusing reporters of failing to do so."

Kessler's findings were confirmed by other fact checkers, like the Associated Press, as was discussed here at Wake up America, on May 26, 2012.

Three days later, plenty of time for an op-ed writer from the very same newspaper read his own paper, Eugene Robinson fails to do so, and writes a column accusing Mitt Romney of distorting the truth of Obama's spending and Robinson uses the analysis from the very same source that Kessler and the AP already discredited three days before.

Maybe the Washington Post should have a meet-n-greet or something, introduce these two gentlemen, because had they done so, Robinson and Washington Post wouldn't have egg on their face today.

[Update] Hot Air points out the very same thing but points us to ABC News' Jake Tapper, who acknowledges that Obama's campaign is citing an item that "several fact checkers," have already found to be "severely flawed."

Videos- Obama's Gambling Problem: His Stimulus Package Used Taxpayer's Money For Bad Bets

By Susan Duclos

Lately we have seen a number of attacks from Barack Obama on private equity firms because they take risks with the intention of making their investors money, but the only difference between what Obama did with his Stimulus One package and what private equity firms do, is that the private ones have investors that willingly invest in the company, using their own money, taking a risk that the firm will invest wisely and earn them more money and Obama has used taxpayer's money, with taxpayers having no choice or voice.

American Crossroads and the Mitt Romney campaign have both walked into the wide open door that Obama opened for them and are pointing out Obama's record of gambling with voter's money.

Romney's web ad points out that $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers. The ad also lists how much of that money were bad bets with companies like Solyndra which failed.

[WATCH: Not Even Half ]- Transcript below the below the video

Obama is spending your tax dollars to create jobs. How’s he doing?

You’ve heard of Solyndra. They took $535 million in taxpayer loan guarantees and went bankrupt. But that’s not even half the story.

Obama’s Department of Energy has handed out billions of dollars in loans and grants.

First Solar: Three billion dollars in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees. Now they’re cutting jobs and their stock is near all-time lows.

 ECOtality: Received $126 million in taxpayer money. Lost $45 million, and currently under investigation.

SunPower: More than a billion dollars in loan guarantees. Lost half a billion last year. Laying off workers.

More than $16 billion have gone to companies like Solyndra that are linked to big Obama and Democrat donors. The inspector general said contracts were steered to ‘friends and family.’ Obama is giving taxpayer money to big donors. And then watching them lose it. Good for them. Bad for us.”

The next one is from American Crossroads called "Public Equity":



Obama’s attacking private equity. But what’s his record on PUBLIC equity investing? …

Obama invested our tax dollars in Solyndra. Lost half a billion. …

Failed investment strategies. Jobs eliminated. Millions lost.

PUBLIC equity President Obama played Wall Street games with OUR money.”

Interspersed with narrators words are clips of Obama's public speeches.

Private equity investors have a choice, they can invest or they can make money elsewhere, Barack Obama uses money from American families that had no choice about how their money was being gambled away.

Obama talks about fairness to all, redistribution of wealth by taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor, yet his actions have taken money from middle class families and put it into the pockets of his rich donors.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Who Will Be President in 2013?

Cross posted from Marston Chronicles

This is a rewrite of our original article that appeared on February 11th now that we know that the candidates will be Obama and Romney.  The obvious answer to the question of who will win is that it depends upon what happens between now and then. As the 2000 presidential election reminded us, it is all about electoral votes. The electoral votes have changed since 2000 thanks to the 2010 census which transferred electoral votes from blue states to red states on the whole making it easier for a Republican to win.

First you need to forget just about everything you think you know about winning a presidential election because it is a whole new ballgame as a result of the change in electoral votes and therefore which states are battleground states. The answer to which party will control the White House comes down to a mere handful of states. You can forget about polling nationwide for which party will win the Presidency in 2012 because you only need to poll the new battleground states to know the answer.
Let's begin by looking at the revised electoral vote picture for the 2012 election.  In the original article, this table was ordered using the 2000 to 2008 average but now it is a matter of how many states Obama will lose in 2012 compared to 2008, if any.  Thus this table is now ordered by the 2008 results:
Party State 2008 Margin 2004 Margin
2000 Margin 00-08 Margin 2012 Votes Party Totals
D District of Columbia 85.74% 79.84% 76.21% 80.59% 3 3
D Hawaii 45.26% 8.75% 18.33% 24.12% 4 7
D Vermont 37.01% 20.14% 9.93% 22.36% 3 10
D Rhode Island 27.85% 20.75% 29.10% 25.90% 4 14
D New York 26.69% 18.29% 24.98% 23.32% 29 43
D Massachusetts 25.81% 25.16% 27.30% 26.09% 11 54
D Maryland 25.44% 12.98% 16.39% 18.27% 10 64
D Illinois 25.10% 10.34% 12.02% 15.82% 20 84
D Delaware 25.00% 7.60% 13.06% 15.22% 3 87
D California 24.06% 9.94% 11.08% 15.27% 55 142
 D Connecticut 22.37% 10.36% 17.47% 16.73% 7 149
D Maine 17.32% 8.99% 5.12% 10.48% 4 153
D Washington 17.18% 7.18% 5.58% 9.98% 12 165
D Michigan 16.47% 3.42% 5.13% 8.34% 16 181
D Oregon 16.35% 4.16% 0.44% 6.98% 7 188
 D New Jersey 15.57% 6.68% 15.81% 12.69% 14 202
D New Mexico 15.13% 0.79% 0.06% 4.80% 5 207
D Wisconsin 13.90% 0.38% 0.22% 4.84% 10 217
D Nevada 12.49% 2.59% 3.54% 2.12% 6 223
D Pennsylvania 10.32% 2.50% 4.17% 5.66% 20 243
D Minnesota 10.24% 3.48% 2.41% 5.38% 10 253
I New Hampshire 9.61% 1.37% 1.27% 3.24% 4 257
I Iowa 9.53% 0.67% 0.31% 3.06% 6 263
I Colorado 8.95% 4.67% 8.36% 1.36% 9 272
I Virginia 6.30% 8.20% 8.03% 3.31% 13 266
I Ohio 4.54% 2.10% 3.51% 0.36% 18 253
I Florida 2.82% 5.01% 0.01% 2.21% 29 235
R Indiana 1.03% 20.68% 15.64% 11.76% 11 206
R North Carolina 0.33% 12.44% 5.53% 5.88% 15 195
R Missouri 0.13% 7.20% 3.34% 3.56% 10 180
R Montana 2.26% 20.51% 25.08% 15.95% 3 170
R Georgia 5.21% 16.60% 11.69% 11.17% 16 167
R South Dakota 8.41% 21.47% 22.74% 17.54% 3 151
R Arizona 8.52% 10.47% 6.29% 8.43% 11 148
R North Dakota 8.63% 27.36% 27.60% 21.20% 3 137
R South Carolina 8.98% 17.08% 15.94% 14.00% 9 134
R Texas 11.77% 22.87% 21.32% 18.65% 38 125
R West Virginia 13.12% 12.86% 6.33% 10.77% 5 87
R Mississippi 13.17% 19.69% 16.92% 16.60% 6 82
R Nebraska 14.93% 33.22% 29.00% 25.72% 5 76
R Kansas 14.96% 25.38% 20.80% 20.83% 6 71
R Tennessee 15.07% 14.27% 3.87% 11.07% 11 65
R Kentucky 16.23% 19.86% 15.13% 17.07% 8 54
R Louisiana 18.63% 14.50% 7.67% 13.60% 8 46
R Arkansas 19.85% 9.76% 5.45% 11.69% 6 38
R Alaska 21.54% 25.55% 30.95% 26.01% 3 32
R Alabama 21.58% 25.62% 14.91% 20.70% 9 29
R Idaho 25.43% 38.12% 39.53% 34.36% 4 20
R Utah 28.18% 45.54% 40.49% 38.07% 6 16
R Oklahoma 31.29% 31.14% 21.88% 28.11% 7 10
R Wyoming 32.24% 39.79% 40.06% 37.36% 3 3
Presidential Elections in a Nutshell

The first thing to notice is that even if Romney manages to take back North Carolina and Indiana which seems quite likely at this point, he only has 206 votes and he needs a minimum of 270.  That means he MUST also carry the next three states that McCain lost, namely Florida, Ohio and Virginia.  Even if does manage that feat, he still only has 266 votes as the right hand column shows.  As a general rule, a party is highly unlikely to carry a state that they previously lost to the same opponent by more than a 10 point margin.  While some optimistic Republicans still think that Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin and even New Mexico is in play, that is not what history tells us from previous election results.  Perhaps the Scott Walker recall election will show that Wisconsin is in play but the odds still are not good.

The next consideration is that President Obama made deep inroads into the Republican states so we must ask if he can repeat this feat. Therefore we need to look at the states he won that he might not be able to carry in 2012. If he won by better than a 5% margin then those states are a real problem for the Republicans. Virginia and Colorado were lost by more than that. As you look at what states might make up for Virginia, you will see that all of the states that are blue in the last column were lost by a greater margin than Virginia so if Obama carries Virginia in 2012, he wins re-election. If he carries Colorado which he won by 8.95%, he must lose New Hampshire which he carried by 9.61% or Iowa which he carried by 9.54%. Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire will decide the election because the Republicans must carry either Colorado or either Iowa or New Hampshire in addition to Virginia.

It goes without saying that Romney must also carry the other four states the Republicans lost by less than 5%. Thus polling those eight states will tell you who will win in 2012. Romney must be ahead in five of them and ahead in either Colorado, Iowa or New Hampshire. So what do we know about Romney's chances in those eight states? Here is what the 2010 House races told us in those eight states plus the next four just to make sure we are not missing any bets:
State 2008 Margin 2010 House Margin Average Margin
North Carolina 0.33%  14.44%  7.06%
Indiana 1.04%   28.20% 13.58%
Florida  2.81%   30.45% 13.82%
Ohio  4.54%    19.30%    7.38%
Virginia  6.30%   19.45% 6.58%
Colorado  8.95%  8.00% 0.48%
Iowa 9.54% 18.86% 4.66%
New Hampshire  9.61%  12.90%  1.65%
Minnesota 10.24%  2.65% 6.45%
Pennsylvania 10.32% 6.14% 2.09%
Nevada 12.50%  9.84% 2.66%
Wisconsin 13.91% 17.07% 3.16%
New Mexico 15.13%  2.50% 8.82%
If the voters repeat what they did in the 2010 House races, Obama is toast. Even if they wind up half way between what they did in 2008 and 2010, the Republicans win because they carry Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin which more than makes up for losing Colorado. If you want to know which party will control the White House in 2013, poll Colorado. If Romney is ahead of Obama, the Republicans will win 2012. If Obama is ahead in Colorado, poll Iowa and New Hampshire. If Romney is ahead in either state, the Republicans will win but if Romney is behind in both states, Obama will win. For an even cheaper answer, just poll Wisconsin. If Romney is ahead, Obama is all through. Yes, it really is that simple.

That being the case let's see what Real Clear Pollitics average of likely voter polls tell us about the current situation in these swing states. I am only keeping the polls of likely voters in the RCP averages unless there are not any because turnout means everything in this election. Even polls of registered voters are not good enough because not all registered voters turn out and Republicans always turn out better than Democrats so registered voter polls invariably are biased towards Democrats. Needless to say, polls of all adults are worthless for political purposes. As you can see, Obama wins if the election were held today because he holds Ohio and Virgina even though he loses Iowa and Colorado is a total toss-up.  Right now Romney needs to practically live in Ohio because without improving the situation there he is toast.
State Obama Romney Margin
North Carolina 44.0% 47.7% 3.7%
Indiana 40% 49% 9%
Florida 46.0% 45.0% 1%
Ohio 47.5% 43.0% 4.5%
Virginia 46.0% 45.5% 0.5%
Colorado 47% 47% Tie
Iowa 44% 46% 2%
New Hampshire 51% 42% 9%
Minnesota (RV only) 52% 38% 14%
Pennsylvania 47% 41% 6%
Nevada 52% 44% 8%
Wisconsin 48% 44.7% 3.3%
New Mexico 52% 36% 16%