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Congress Launches Investigation into Planned Parenthood

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

LifeNews:

A Congressional committee has taken the first steps in investigating the Planned Parenthood abortion business over abuses ranging from financial disparities to its compliance with federal regulations on taxpayer funding to concerns that it is covering up cases of sex trafficking.

In a September 15 letter LifeNews.com obtained, Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, writes to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.

“Pursuant to Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, the Committee on Energy and Commerce is examining the institutional practices and policies of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, and its handing of federal funding,” Stearns writes. “That Committee has questions about the politics in place and actions undertaken by PPFA and its affiliates relating to its use of federal funding and its compliance with federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.”

The letter asks Richards to comply with current federal regulations and legal obligations by providing Congress with a wide range of documents within two weeks of the date of the letter.

More at the link. Planned Parenthood receives about $350 million in taxpayer funds per year. Lila Rose has done tremendous work exposing Planned Parenthood for a variety of abuses from covering up underage rape to sex trafficking, in several states. A national investigation of the group’s practices is long overdue.

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PJM’s Every Single One series about DOJ on Fox News

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Christian Adams

Quin Hillyer appears on Fox News to discuss PJM’s Every Single One series.  Make sure to read David Steinberg’s wrap up of the series.

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The Save Obama Bill is So Critical to the Nation’s Future that the Senate Will Get Right On It. After Vacation.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Eh, it’s not like President Obama really wants his Son of Stimulus bill to pass anyway. It’s not a real jobs bill, just a set-up so he can run against Congress. Harry Reid is playing his part dutifully.

President Obama still is pressing Congress to pass his jobs stimulus bill immediately, but his own party leaders in the Senate, where Democrats have a majority, have pushed that vote off yet again.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Monday night that when the Senate returns from a weeklong vacation, the chamber will work instead on a bill that would push to label China a currency manipulator, which would make retaliatory steps in order.

“I don’t think there’s anything more important for a jobs measure than China trade,” Mr. Reid said.

Democrats to America: Our jobs are more important than yours.

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Ari Fleischer: It’s Too Late for Chris Christie to Run Anyway

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Frankly, I’ll be happy once we get past the will-they-or-won’t-they shuffle with Chris Christie and Sarah Palin. But here’s today’s look at the run that Chris Christie won’t take up this year.

The reason Mitt Romney is faring well so far in the campaign is that he has run for president before, making him a better candidate with a national structure in place to support him. The reason Rick Perry has hit a speed bump is that he’s new to running nationally, and by getting in at the buzzer, he didn’t leave himself much time or space for error. If Christie were to get in now, he would be swamped by the instant expectations of success, instant demands for access, and instant need to build a campaign apparatus that takes several months to properly create.

The fact his boosters seem to miss is that the difficulties of running nationally are exponentially greater than running in one state. And that’s why it’s too late for him to run — at least to run and win.

Let’s say he declares his candidacy this weekend, on October 1 — a mere four and a half months before the New Hampshire primary, a contest where a northeastern governor like Christie has to win or come in a close second if his candidacy is to have a chance. He and his supporters will immediately be hit by the cold, harsh slap of political reality, and they will realize there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish what they need.

Fleischer goes on to list six factors that hurt late entry candidates once the excitement of their getting into the race wears off, and they’re worth taking a look at. Especially, the fact that a new entrant will attract fresh media scrutiny and that their lack of staff in the early days can lead to supporters feeling like they’re getting slighted when there just is no one on staff to return their calls yet. I’m fairly sure that has happened with the Perry campaign since he entered. To me, the biggest factor is simply the experience of having run a national campaign before. Statewide campaigns are the best scale analogs to national runs, but even they are not quite enough. The number one reason that Mitt Romney was the early frontrunner and is doing as well as he is is simply the fact that he has run before and is a competent enough manager to have improved over the 2008 campaign. His flaws are known knowns. Everyone else’s flaws are NEW! and SHOCKING! (except Gingrich’s, who has fallen from the national stage before), and they don’t quite have the staff or systems in place to handle hits and attacks.

 

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The Tenth Amendment is Fine the Way It Is

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Dan Miller

Here is a good article from The Ohio Farmer, quoting James Madison in the Federalist Papers:

The powers delegated by the proposed constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.… The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

Shortly before announcing his presidential candidacy, Governor Perry said,

Our friends in New York passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what?  That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me.  That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.

Then,

Discussing abortion with some journalists a few days later, he reiterated, “You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t.  You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, ‘We’d rather not have states decide that.’” By the time Perry announced his presidential candidacy he had come to discover theretofore hidden wisdom in the adage that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. After being criticized by groups opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion, he declared himself  in favor of amending the Constitution to prohibit the former and restrict the latter.  (emphasis added)

I agree with Governor Perry’s interpretation of the Constitution. It is perverse for the federal government to violate the Constitution by doing things for which it lacks constitutional authority. With an express authorizing amendment, there is no such violation and that problem at least does not arise. The Constitution could be amended to do many things, some good, some stupid and some bad. Until that happens, the federal government’s powers are appropriately limited by the Constitution as it is.  As the author notes,

It would be very useful to have a rule drawing a bright line between where the states’ proper authority ends and the federal government’s begins.  The 10th Amendment – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” – is probably not that rule. Court decisions and legal scholars have, for the most part, treated the amendment as a tautology, one stipulating that the federal government must not do that which the federal government must not do.

Even if conservatives can’t find or draw the bright line that makes sense of federalism, however, they do not have to think of federal power on the principle of the Cole Porter song that became popular during the New Deal – “Anything Goes.” The New Deal sensibility viewed the involvement of the federal government as the preferred and almost automatic option for addressing any social problem, placing the burden of proof on those who opposed each new expansion of the federal authority to show, specifically, how it exceeded the federal government’s proper sphere.

The Constitution was written to make constitutional amendments very difficult. That is a good thing.  While the difficulty in writing a definitive amendment defining marriage or prohibiting abortion would be relatively minimal, ratification would be more difficult.

It would be very difficult to frame an amendment defining adequately, for all times and beyond the ample clarity of the Tenth Amendment, what precise limits the Constitution must place on the exercise of federal power.   Referring to the quote provided above from the Federalist Papers, the article suggests:

The challenge, then, is not to come up with a clear, simple rule [by constitutional amendment] that fixes the federal-state boundary. It is to reestablish the pre-New Deal presumption that the logic of the Constitution places the high burden of proof on those who advocate, rather than those who oppose, federal government activism.  In the absence of a compelling case that protecting the lives, liberty, and property of the people requires such activism, constitutional conservatives will seek to forge a consensus against it, in courthouses, legislative chambers, coffee shops… and polling booths.

My personal views — and those of judges — on abortion and on what should constitute marriage should be irrelevant in interpreting what the Constitution presently means about them. They are, however, highly pertinent in deciding for which candidates I should vote.  The best way to get the federal government out of state business is via the federal electoral process. Constitutional amendments should be a last resort, to be proposed only reluctantly and very carefully.

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Ford Gets Calls from the White House, Pulls Anti-Bailout TV Ad

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Consider this mild dissent crushed. Sure enough, the official ad is gone from YouTube.

The ad came under fire earlier this month when various media outlets began to point out Ford’s apparent hypocricy, noting that while the automaker did not receive a government bailout, CEO Alan Mulally urged Congress to aid the industry and accepted various federal loans.

The Dearborn-based automaker is not commenting on the decision to pull the ad, but Daniel Howes of The Detroit News reports that “individuals within the White House” called Ford and questioned whether the spot criticized the policy Mulally had repeatedly supported.

An industry source said White House did not pressure Ford to remove the ad, but Howes suggested it was pulled in response to the call.

The White House didn’t have to exert any overt pressure. The call alone is enough. Nice company ya got there…be a shame if you have to deal with a labor strike in this economy…

Update: More here. We’ve had, in the space of a day, news of the White House coming down on a mildly dissenting private corporation, and a Democratic governor calling for the suspension of elections. The left’s desperation to cling to power is becoming dangerous.


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Sheila Jackson Lee on the Jobs Bill

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Clarice Feldman

Sheila Jackson Lee (B.A. Yale; J.D.  U of Va.)  tells conservative bloggers to “shut up”, accusing them of playing racial politics” and  then offers up these words of wisdom on Obama’s planned jobs bill, words that should certainly aid its passage whenever he and Congress get around to actually considering one.

 ”[B]uy American should be “buy African American.”

She also said that if Obama’s jobs bill is passed, that contractors who “do not look like” her need to make sure that if they get federal money, their workforce “better be reflective of those suffering double-digit unemployment.”

“I don’t consider it discrimination, I don’t consider it affirmative action,” she added.

 

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The Brawl at Turtle Bay

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Claudia Rosett

In matters of the Middle East, peace is something the UN can’t even manage on its own premises. As the PLO’s Mahmoud Abbas began his speech to the General Assembly in New York last Friday, Turkish and UN security were brawling in the halls. Reporter Colum Lynch has the latest.

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Windows into the Progressive Mind: In Their Own Words

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Film maker and proud Democrat Michael Moore, Communist theocrat:

Morgan asked Moore about his opposition to capitalism, especially given Moore’s  financial success as a filmmaker. When asked if his movie-making amounted to a capitalist endeavor, Moore replied “Is it really?” He then noted that “the only reason I do well is because people want to see my movies,” before indicting the modern financial system as a corruption of capitalism, a “shell game.”

As Moore concluded his remarks on capitalism, he said that “it’s not American.” Additionally, he said “it’s not Christian or Jewish,” after citing 46 million poor people that Moore believes the capitalist economic system neglects. “None of the major religions, in fact they all,” Moore said, “say it’s one of the worst sins you could commit, is to take such a large piece of the pie while others suffer.”

Progressive and former Obama economic adviser Peter Orszag wants to de-democratize America to avoid “polarization“:

To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

Proposals abound for expanding this type of process. In the late ’90s, economist Alan Blinder proposed shifting responsibility for tax policy to a Fed-like institution of experts. Stephen Flynn of the Center for National Policy has proposed a similar process for infrastructure decisions—and, indeed, creating an infrastructure bank, as President Obama has proposed, would accomplish much the same goal. Such a bank would be empowered to select individual infrastructure projects, thereby removing some decision-making power from Congress.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of this idea is the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created as part of the recent health care reform legislation. The IPAB will be an independent panel of medical experts tasked with devising changes to Medicare’s payment system. In each year that Medicare’s per capita costs exceed a certain threshold, the ipab is responsible for making proposals to reduce projected cost growth. The proposals take effect automatically unless Congress specifically passes legislation blocking them and the president signs that legislation.

Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren doesn’t think much of entrepreneurs:

 There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you.

But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory.

Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

Putting these together, if you succeed, even despite the left’s anti-business laws, you should be grateful and be a good little leftist anyway.  Capitalism is good until it enriches actual capitalists. Theocracy is bad except when a Progressive can use it to shame a conservative into becoming a Progressive. Democracy is good until non-leftists win, at which time “polarization” demands non-democratic rule by Progressive experts.

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Despite MSM’s Wishes, Those Whacky Citizens Won’t Let “Fast & Furious” Go Away

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh, those uppity Americans.

The Canyon Del Oro High School auditorium in Tucson, Ariz. was packed full of at least 500 people last night as anxious tea party members waited to hear from ATF whistleblower Vince Cefalu, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar about the Obama Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious. The theme of the night? Accountability.

As this story has the potential to completely destroy the Obama administration, it’s largely being ignored by the usual suspects in the MSM who are busy clamoring for time on the president’s lap. Fortunately, the crazy, fringe Tea Party types have become accustomed to not letting the press or their alleged betters in Washington run roughshod over them.

What happened in Tucson last night might be something other local Tea Party groups might want to consider to keep the momentum going with “Fast and Furious” coverage. The interest level in non-border states may not be as strong as it is in Tucson (where border violence issues have been problematic for decades-it’s my hometown, I know). Then again, it might.

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SEC to S&P: Nice Ratings Agency Ya Got There…

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Alternative headline: SEC seeks to kill the messenger:

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering recommending civil legal action against the Standard & Poor’s debt ratings agency over its rating of a 2007 collateralized debt offering.

Collateralized debt obligations[cnbc explains], also known as CDOs, are securities tied to multiple underlying mortgage loans. The CDO generally gains value if borrowers repay. But if borrowers default, CDO investors lose money. Soured CDOs have been blamed for making the 2008 financial crisis worse. Ratings agencies have been accused of being lax in rating CDOs.

The SEC staff said it may recommend that the commission seek civil money penalties, disgorgement of fees or other actions.

S&P has been under fire for its recent downgrade of U.S. debt, as well as several bad calls it made leading up to the financial crisis and economic meltdown that began in 2008. The unit’s president stepped down last month.

It’s fair to say that, after nearly three years in office, we have an established modus operandi for President Obama. He talks a moderate game when it suits him, and he talks a more fierce leftist game when he thinks it helps or he can get away with it, he has no lasting interest in legislation and therefore doesn’t work well with Congress, but uses his executive powers to push every federal agency toward his pet causes. The NLRB and National Mediation Board are helping Big Labor, and the Department of Labor itself seems to have taken up that cause too with its latest rule regarding business lawyers and client confidentiality. The EPA has gone after the energy sector in a big way to force the nation to change over to “green” energy, and the stimulus money has been used to put huge piles of taxpayer money at risk to prop these green companies up.

And when his economic transformation schemes run afoul of real world economics and an agency downgrades US credit — well, then, Obama’s SEC goes after that agency both to shut them up and warn others away from following S&P’s lead.

As for why Obama doesn’t care much for the legislative process, I can think of two explanations easily enough. One, he just isn’t a detail oriented person. His flighty career prior to the presidency strongly suggests that he gets bored easily and isn’t one to personally invest too much in any single effort. And two, he does understands better than most that his ideas are off on the far left and aren’t popular. Backing legislation that promotes his ideas openly would not only get him nowhere, but would expose his true radical nature. It’s far easier to just use personnel as policy and stock the executive branch agencies with fellow leftist travelers who will pursue the left’s agenda. So that’s what he’s doing.

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Report: Fast and Furious Was a Taxpayer Funded Operation

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The latest:

Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel — the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared.

This disclosure, revealed in documents obtained by Fox News, could undermine the Department of Justice’s previous defense that Operation Fast and Furious was a “botched” operation where agents simply “lost track” of weapons as they were transferred from one illegal buyer to another. Instead, it heightens the culpability of the federal government as Mexico, according to sources, has opened two criminal investigations into the operation that flooded their country with illegal weapons.

Just what was our government up to?

According to documents obtained by Fox News, Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy six semi-automatic Draco pistols — two of those were purchased at the Lone Wolf gun store in Peoria, Ariz. An unusual sale, Dodson was sent to the store with a letter of approval from David Voth, an ATF group supervisor.

Dodson then sold the weapons to known illegal buyers, while fellow agents watched from their cars nearby.

This was not a “buy-bust” or a sting operation, where police sell to a buyer and then arrest them immediately afterward. In this case, agents were “ordered” to let the sale go through and follow the weapons to a stash house.

According to sources directly involved in the case, Dodson felt strongly that the weapons should not be abandoned and the stash house should remain under 24-hour surveillance. However, Voth disagreed and ordered the surveillance team to return to the office. Dodson refused, and for six days in the desert heat kept the house under watch, defying direct orders from Voth.

A week later, a second vehicle showed up to transfer the weapons. Dodson called for an interdiction team to move in, make the arrest and seize the weapons. Voth refused and the guns disappeared with no surveillance.

According to a story posted Sunday on a website dedicated to covering Fast and Furious, Voth gave Dodson the assignment to “dirty him up,” since Dodson had become the most vocal critic of the operation.

“I think Dodson demanded the letter from Voth to cover both himself and the FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee). He didn’t want to be hung out to dry by Voth,” a source told the website “Sipsey Street Irregulars.”

Dodson would later blow the whistle on the operation, after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. At least three guns used in the murder have been tied to Fast and Furious. FnF guns have been tied to about 200 murders in Mexico and as many as 11 in the United States. So far.

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Actually, It’s Pretty Easy Being Green

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Christopher Horner

Just a reminder that, as PJ Media wrote here, here and here among other places, the Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, at the time the Solyndra boondoggle was being rushed through around due diligence and other practices, was headed up by Cathy Zoi.

You know the one, who another FOIA revealed was the driving force behind DoE publishing an unprecedented (according to internal emails) ‘report’ trying to smear the Spanish study warning of what Obama’s policies would lead to, what with Obama having cited disastrous Spain as his model? Then, DoE worked with the American Wind Energy Association as their ‘cutout’ liaison with the Center for American Progress, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, to derail the attention being given to the expose’ which has been proved out by the Spanish government’s own internal documents to have been correct.

After developing quite a record of controversy she is now back in the private sector working for George Soros’s ‘green’ investment venture. Huh.

Just a little history to keep in mind as DoE’s deadline looms to comply with my September 2 request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking:

any and all record(s), defined here as correspondence and any memoranda, analysis, other communications cited therein or attached, which were created, received and/or held by DoE’s Office of Congressional & Intergovernmental Affairs, or Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which were sent to or from any of the following:
1) the office(s) of Congressman Fortney “Pete” Stark [integral at the time to President Obama's push to get the touchy penalty/tax issue finessed in the House, in whose district Solyndra's utterly unnecessary 'Fabrication 2" facility was built despite Fab 1...hey, there's got to be some explanation for why this happened, and it's not like votes weren't being, ah, courted, particularly among influential legislation-writing chairmen];
2) the company Solyndra;
3) [enumerated individuals and entities identified in public records as being paid representatives of and advocates for Solyndra before the federal government]

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Charles Kuralt’s Father, Liberal Fascist

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Charles Kuralt anchored CBS Sunday Morning for just about forever. He brought a kind of aw-shucks demeanor to the show, which tended to be a quiet meditation on the news of the week. Still is, I guess — I haven’t seen the show in years. But I used to catch Kuralt on the air when I could. He seemed to be the opposite of overbearing and ideological, a persona that concealed a lot.

Charles Kuralt, CBS’s folksy “On the Road” correspondent, spent years exploring America’s out-of-the-way places in search of oddball stories. But the best story may have been the one he never told.

For 29 years, until his death in 1997, he apparently kept a mistress and maintained a second family. The celebrated journalist was, in effect, husband and father to them, as well as breadwinner, friend and hero.

While his wife remained at their home in the concrete canyons of New York City, he nurtured his secret life along a rushing trout stream in Montana.

None of this would come out, however, until after his death, when his mistress, Patricia Elizabeth Shannon, sued to get a Montana retreat he promised her. Montana’s Supreme Court ruled last month that the woman is entitled to a trial on her claim.

Double lives seem to run in the Kuralt family. His dad, Wallace Kuralt, was a Progressive monster.

Compassionate. Visionary. A champion of women and the poor.

That’s the reputation that Wallace Kuralt built as Mecklenburg County’s welfare director from 1945 to 1972. Today, the building where Charlotte’s poor come for help bears his name – a name made even more prominent when his newscaster son, Charles Kuralt, rose to fame.

But as architect of Mecklenburg’s program of eugenic sterilization – state-ordered surgery to stop the poor and disabled from bearing children – Kuralt helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history.

The Charlotte Observer has obtained records sealed by the state that tell the stories of 403 Mecklenburg residents ordered sterilized by the N.C. Eugenics Board at the behest of Kuralt’s welfare department.

It’s a number that dwarfs the total from any other county, in a state that ran one of the nation’s most active efforts to sterilize the mentally ill, mentally retarded and epileptic.

Race played a major role. Of course. Kuralt was a strong Progressive eugenicist.

In 1960, just under 25 percent of Mecklenburg residents were African-American.

But blacks made up more than 80 percent of the people ordered sterilized at the request of the Welfare Department between 1955 and 1966. In 1957, the peak year for Mecklenburg, the state approved sterilizations of 52 blacks and five whites.

Dozens of black women were sent to surgeons at Good Samaritan Hospital, Charlotte’s segregated black facility.

Thereasea Elder, a retired public health nurse who is African-American, recalls a stream of hysterectomies and tubal ligations when she worked there in surgery.

“I never knew the reason why they did so many hysterectomies,” said Elder, 84. “We thought they were diseased. We were never told the reason for the sterilizations.”

The Eugenics Board records reflect the racial attitudes of the times. A 17-year-old white boy with an IQ of 47 was ordered sterilized in 1963. The report notes that he lived in a low-income, racially mixed neighborhood, and “his interest in Negro girls” is one reason cited to stop him from having children.

More about the role of race in Kuralt’s career, here. Eugenics eventually fell out of favor with the public, but not with the senior Kuralt, who died in 1994.

Writer Mary Snead Boger interviewed him for her 1972 book “Charlotte 23,” a collection of profiles of the city’s most important residents. He told her planned parenthood for the poor was his most significant accomplishment.

“I suppose,” he said, “no comparable population in the world has ever received more eugenic sterilizations.”

Frankly, I’m shocked that the Observer worked the phrase “planned parenthood” into this piece, but good on them for that. It’s an entirely appropriate turn of phrase.

(h/t Jonah Goldberg)

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Perry Ad: Mitt Romney’s Race to the Flop

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The latest ad from the Rick Perry camp nails Mitt Romney on a charge that has haunted him during his entire political career; namely, flip-flopping and being inconsistent on issues depending on who he happened to be talking to at any given moment. Take a look.


The Romney camp tries explaining the flip by changing the subject, which they have been able to do fairly successfully throughout the campaign so far. But The flip-flopper charge is probably the most damaging to Romney because it gets at the level of trust and character, and whether voters can trust him to do what he says he will do if elected president. For instance, Romney says now that he is a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, but he has flipped on that issue in a big way. He has flipped on abortion, and even on whether Ronald Reagan was good for the country. The governor who signed RomneyCare into law now says he would issue an executive order undoing ObamaCare on his first day in office, but what is there in his record that provides any sense that he would actually follow through with that? Mainly, a record of being on more than one side of a whole lot of issues.

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Perry’s “Race to the Flop” ad drops a new bucket down the well of Romney’s flip-flopping record. And that’s a very deep well.

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China Beats US for Federalism, Business Savvy Says CEO of…Coke

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Coca-Cola is the all-American brand. In fact, Coke is among the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world. In dissing the US in favor of China, Coke CEO Muhtar Kent isn’t doing a Tom Friedman and wishing for an enlightened dictator to sort everything out. He just wants an American business climate that encourages competition and makes sense.

“They’re learning very fast, these countries,” he said. “In the west, we’re forgetting what really worked 20 years ago. In China and other markets around the world, you see the kind of attention to detail about how business works and how business creates employment.”

Mr Kent argued that US states did not compete enough with each other to attract businesses while Chinese provinces were clamouring to draw investment from international companies. Meanwhile, he said, China’s budget discipline and rapid economic growth made it an appealing place to set up operations.

I don’t read this as Kent saying China is perfect, just that we’re becoming too screwed up for our own good.

Mr Kent said that US tax burdens and political polarisation were creating uncertainty for businesses and hurting investment.

“I believe the US owes itself to create a 21st century tax policy for individuals as well as businesses,” he said.

Mr Kent, speaking on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative conference, hit out specifically at US provisions that tax companies for repatriating cash earned overseas. Coke does not disclose how much cash it holds overseas.

“If you talk about an American company doing business in the world today with its Chinese, Russian, European or Japanese counterparts, of course we’re disadvantaged,” Mr Kent said. “A Chinese or Swiss company can do whatever its wants with those funds [earned overseas]. When we want to bring them back, we are faced with a very large tax burden.”

Mr Kent said that US lawmakers, who have become stuck in political gridlock, need to be held more accountable as they debate ways to fix the economy.

Political polarization was much less of an issue before we elected a president who wanted to spread the wealth around and fundamentally transform America.

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Open Thread: Redskins vs Cowboys on Monday Night Football

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Tonight it’s the 15th meeting between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football — each team has won 7 coming into this one. The 1-1 Cowboys enjoy their first home game of the 2011 campaign, but they’re banged up and the defense, while led by coordinator Rex Ryan, is ferocious but questionable. The Boys D does lead the league in sacks, but has also given up a lot of points in its first two games. QB Tony Romo is nursing a fractured rib, WR Miles Austin is out.

The Skins are 2-0 but this is their first road game of the season. Are they for real? Are either of these teams for real?* We’ll find out tonight.

I’ve had some good Texas barbecue and I’m ready for some football.

*I’ll believe the Cowboys are for real when they’re deep in the playoffs.

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Genius President Obama Thinks Abe Lincoln Built the ‘Intercontinential Railroad’

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

You can’t really call this a gaffe, since President Obama keeps repeating this “intercontinental railroad” line over and over, across several months. It must be what he really thinks Lincoln built. It doesn’t help that his top adviser thinks the same dumb thing.

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Intercontinental =/= transcontinental. The latter is what Lincoln built. No wonder the president needs an audience full of plants these days.

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Sign Up On AttackWatch, Get Guilt Tripped and Groupthinked into Giving Money to Obama

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

I got an email very similar to this one, which a California reader received, earlier today. The reader says they signed up on AttackWatch just to see what the folks behind the site would send out. This is what they got.

Friend –

Here’s something you don’t have in common with 117,552 other supporters of this movement who tell us they live in California.

That many of your neighbors have decided to own a piece of this campaign by making a donation of whatever they could afford. For some, that meant just $5. For others, it meant $100 or more. But each had their own personal reason for giving.

Our records show that you aren’t one of the 117,552 people in your state who have stepped up for 2012. Now’s your chance to change that.

Make a donation of $3 or more today to support the campaign before the critical September 30th deadline.

Here’s why you should join your neighbors in supporting this campaign: We’ve been running the numbers, and with hundreds of thousands of individual donors across the country — we are now well on our way to a million people.

In the 2008 campaign, it took us more than a year to reach that milestone. This time around, we could cross it as soon as October — just six months after the launch of the campaign.

Between now and then, we have an important fundraising deadline.

Our opponents have significant operations on the ground in key battleground states, full-time candidates without day jobs, and a lot of media attention to fuel their campaigns.

That line about candidates “without day jobs”…should a president nursing 9.1% unemployment, who prior to his current job never really held down a real job for a decent length of time, even bring that up? And let’s go over some GOP candidate resumes –

Current governor — current representative (x2) — former governor (x4)  — former corporate CEO (x2) — former speaker of the House — former senator. Not a bad group if you’re going by their credentials. Romney gets counted twice, by the way, on former governor and former CEO. The fourth former governor is Buddy Roemer, who is still running (I think).

President Obama has you. And when you’re building a grassroots organization from the bottom up, the first person gets the next one involved. And the first 117,552 provide the foundation and inspiration for the next 117,552.

Support the campaign before the deadline, and bring us closer to one million donors — give $3 today:

https://donate.barackobama.com/One-in-a-Million

Thank you,

Messina

Fightin’ Messina’s email  comes off with a whiff of groupthink as one might expect of the Obama Progressive Collective. Your neighbors gave us money, our records show that you didn’t, so if you don’t want your neighbors to find out you’re a closet Teabagger at our next meetup down the street from your house, you know what to do.

I wonder, would it be possible to get emails from all 50 states and see just how many donors the Obama campaign claim to have?

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Dennis Miller Endorses Herman Cain for President

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by The Tatler

Nationally syndicated talk show host and former Saturday Night Live comedian Dennis Miller has endorsed Herman Cain for the Republican nomination for president.

Miller, who mentioned his support for the Cain campaign on his national radio show, will headline a fundraiser for Cain in Los Angeles and has donated to the campaign, a Cain spokeswoman confirmed.

“I’d like to thank [Miller] for his support,” Cain said in a statement on his campaign Twitter feed. “I look forward to working with him as we continue our journey to the White House!”

Miller has been supportive of Cain for months–his website directed readers to the Georgia businessman’s campaign site in July–but had not formally endorsed him until today.

Miller has come up with the slogan of the campaign for the Georgia businessman if he were to run against Obama: “Cain Versus Not Able.”

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Today’s Tease: Friend Says Chris Christie Might Run for President

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

We seem to get some variation on this story every day, to the point that I don’t bother posting most of them. But here’s today’s:

Former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who has known Chris Christie since he was a teenager and remains an informal adviser, tells National Review Online that the governor is “very seriously” considering a presidential bid.

“It’s real,” Kean says. “He’s giving it a lot of thought. I think the odds are a lot better now than they were a couple weeks ago.”

Christie remains undecided, Kean says, but is listening closely to pleas from party leaders. The chance for a “Jersey guy” to rise, Kean says, is not something Christie has sought. But now, with the field up for grabs, he is actively mulling a late entry.

This contradicts the story from, er, earlier today, in which Christie’s aides said no still means no, he isn’t running. Even though he’s heading out on an interesting fundraising tour.

Even if he runs, I doubt Christie can win the nomination despite the electorate’s unsatisfied hunger for a leader to emerge in the primary. His assaults on the NJ teachers unions are legendary, but apart from those he’s to the left of the party on a whole lot of issues. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is a notch above the national average, so there isn’t a jobs record for Christie to point to. So what does he run on — being slightly more liberal than Romney, but actually meaning it?

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Carbon Credit Outrage: Carbon Offset Pushers Push Africans Off Their Land

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The green economy has villagers seeing red in Uganda:

Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.

But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.

The story later says that the residents have been on the land for decades, and some were given the land by previous governments.

The company involved, New Forests Company, grows forests in African countries with the purpose of selling credits from the carbon-dioxide its trees soak up to polluters abroad. Its investors include the World Bank, through its private investment arm, and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC.

In 2005, the Ugandan government granted New Forests a 50-year license to grow pine and eucalyptus forests in three districts, and the company has applied to the United Nations to trade under the mechanism. The company expects that it could earn up to $1.8 million a year.

But there was just one problem: people were living on the land where the company wanted to plant trees. Indeed, they had been there a while.

Fast forward a bit:

Tensions brewed. The company and government said the residents were living illegally in a forest. Residents said they had rights. Community members took the company to court in 2009 and a temporary injunction was issued, barring evictions. Nevertheless, Oxfam and residents say, evictions continued.

Residents were given until Feb. 28, 2010, to vacate company premises while soldiers and the police kept surveillance. Company officials visited, too. From time to time a house would be burnt down, villagers said. Then came Feb. 28, a Sunday.

“We were in church,” recalled Jean-Marie Tushabe, 26, a father of two. “I heard bullets being shot into the air.”

Villagers allege that New Forest beat people, burnt their houses and may even have murdered an 8-year-old child.

It’s appropriate to approach this story with a dash of skepticism, but, given how the left in full power has historically treated its opponents — famine in the Soviet Union, cultural revolution in China, massacres in Cambodia — this kind of totalitarian behavior in the name of the “greater good” (which is actually evil) is not out of historical character. It’s right in the hard left’s wheelhouse. President Obama gave us a little glimpse of the left’s inhumanity regarding the Texas wildfires today. If your house burned down in the Bastrop fire, it’s your own fault for being such a carbon pig, and it’s your governor’s fault, just because.

Perhaps now he and Al Gore will issue a joint statement saying that New Forest was just helping Ugandan villagers reduce their carbon footprints.

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Infographic: How the Texas Economy Stacks Up Nationally

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Consider this an answer to some lackluster debate performances, and evidence that a certain governor’s jobs plan seems to be working just fine.

It’s somewhat amusing to see the Texas that has been hailed as a conservative success story over the past few years suddenly bashed for political purposes because its governor is running for president. Whatever you want to say about the Lone Star State’s record, it isn’t all hat and no cattle.

More: The idea that Perry has been dealt “four aces” and all he had to do was get out of the way is false, and undermines the conservative argument for leading by keeping government small, regulations fair and predictable, and keeping the tax burden low.

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EPA’s Extreme Rulemaking Even Worries Other Agencies

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

From the WSJ today:

The Environmental Protection Agency claims that the critics of its campaign to remake U.S. electricity are partisans, but it turns out that they include other regulators and even some in the Obama Administration. In particular, a trove of documents uncovered by Congressional investigators reveals that these internal critics think the EPA is undermining the security and reliability of the U.S. electric power supply.

With its unprecedented wave of rules, the EPA is abusing traditional air-quality laws to force a large share of the coal-fired fleet to shut down. Amid these sacrifices on the anticarbon altar, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and several House committees have been asking, well, what happens after as much as 8% of U.S. generating capacity is taken off the grid?

A special focus of their inquiry has been the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which since 2005 has been charged with ensuring that the (compact florescent) lights stay on. That 8% figure comes from FERC itself in a confidential 2010 assessment of the EPA’s regulatory bender—or about 81 gigawatts that FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability estimated is “very likely” or “likely” to enter involuntary retirement over the next several years. FERC disclosed the estimate in August in response to Senator Murkowski’s questions, along with a slew of memos and emails.

FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, a Democrat, has since disavowed the study as nothing more than back-of-the-envelope scribblings that are now “irrelevant,” as he told a recent House hearing.

OK, but then could FERC come up with a relevant number? Since he made the study public, Mr. Wellinghoff has disowned responsibility for scrutinizing the EPA rules and now says that FERC will only protect electric reliability ex post facto once the rules are permanent, somehow.

This abdication is all the more striking because the documents show that EPA’s blandishments about reliability can’t be trusted. In its initial 2010 analysis—a rigorous document—FERC notes in a “next steps” section that the reliability office and industry must “assess the reliability and adequacy impacts of retirement of at risk units.” In part, this was because the office believed the EPA analyses to be deficient. One undated memo specifies multiple weaknesses in EPA reliability modelling.

The EPA answers to the president. If President Obama had a problem with any of rulemaking, he would stop it. Maine Sen. Susan Collins, not exactly a hard right firebrand, is calling for a regulatory time-out to let the economy get back on its feet. That’s a good start, but leaves open the possibility that we get the economy growing again, only to body slam it with a slew of extreme regulations anyway. I like Herman Cain’s idea quite a bit better.

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Google Goes Bipartisan

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Is Google becoming 50% less evil? Or just growing up?

It’s long been the left-leaning search engine that believed in supporting the Democrats and ignoring the right-wingers.

But now Google is entering a ‘bipartisan phase’ as it recruits Republican operatives and donates to GOP groups, reported the Huffington Post.

It has given money to the Republican Attorneys General Association and co-sponsored a GOP presidential debate with Fox News last week.
Google has also donated to other GOP groups such as the Republican Governors Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee.

They probably fear that anti-trust action will hurt them. Google may also have figured out that the Obama economy, while ideologically satisfying from a leftwing point of view, is hurting businesses across the board, and they less money businesses have to spend on advertising, the less money Google stands to rake in.

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CNN Post-Debate Poll Still Has Perry On Top

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Stephen Kruiser

So much for the media reviews, kids.

After Thursday night’s debate, there was much discussion in the media lounge about how much Perry’s performance may or may not have hurt him. A few of us agreed that it probably wasn’t a game-changer. Why? Because even in this campaign of heightened awareness and activism, the reality is that it’s still really only the hardcore political junkies who are paying close attention. So, if there are missteps to get out of the way, this is the time to do have them happen. A perfect example of that is the fact that Newt Gingrich is at ten percent in this poll and he got there with a campaign that everyone claimed was dead a couple of months ago.

Still, it’s never good news when a candidate is in a free-fall in the polls, no matter how early it is. Michele Bachmann finds herself in need of a parachute at this point, falling to just four percent in this poll.

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Obama, Fundraiser in Chief, Plays to His Gaga Base

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

And bully for them!

Lady Gaga was among the guests at a $35,800 per couple Obama fundraiser tonight at the home of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and David Goldberg in Atherton, Calif.

At the event, which took place under a tent in Sandberg’s yard, Gaga reportedly wore a black dress scalloped high plunge back and high heels. Her blond hair was upswept, with black flowers and black veil sweeping down back of hair.

According to a source present in the tent fundraiser, Gaga asked a question during the Q&A. She first thanked the president for what he’s accomplished, then read from what she said was a letter from a fan about the suicide of another fan who had been subjected to bullying.

Bullying is bad, but is it really a presidential issue? When we have an economy in trauma and we face a global jihad, while our neighbor to the south across an unsecured border slips deeper into civil war?

And once again, we see that the president who loves to attack the rich doesn’t mind taking piles of money from them. Those tickets that that one fundraiser cost more than many Americans make in an entire year. Lady Gaga and $35k dinner tickets — a real man of the people we have here.

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Obama Blames Texas Wildfires on Rick Perry and Climate Change, or Something

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

As if we needed a reminder that Obama is hateful hack.

Obama’s remarks at a California fundraiser were part of a broader attack on the GOP’s 2012 field.

“Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republicans but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party, are puzzled by what’s happening to that party. I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately? You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change,” Obama said in San Jose.

Once again, Barack Obama has shown that he is unworthy of the office he holds. Droughts are just part of nature. They happen, no matter what mankind does. This year Texans have had 1,500 homes burn, thousands of acres torched, livestock and crops and even lives lost, and Obama turns that into a craven partisan hit on the state’s governor. What an idiot. What a partisan jacksnipe.

Whatever we do and whoever we nominate, that man must be replaced.

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Martha Zoller Launches Bid For Congress

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

I’m a big fan of Martha Zoller. She is a conservative’s conservative and a real light in the world of talk radio. So I’m ecstatic that she is running for Congress in Georgia’s 9th District. From her press release:

Martha Zoller, the popular radio talk show host from Gainesville, filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission today to run for the newly created 9thCongressional District covering northeast Georgia.

Zoller, a long time conservative voice, is wildly popular with grassroots Republicans and Tea Party leaders across Georgia. A formal campaign kick off event will be announced soon for later in September.  A temporary campaign website has been launched at www.MarthaForCongress.com.

Martha laid out a clear vision for why she is running in saying: “I have been involved in radio for 15 years now, not just giving my opinion, but helping my listeners analyze the critical issues of the day. Most importantly, I have given people a chance to be heard.”

“Talk radio has given me incredible opportunities to see the greatness of America.  I have broadcast everywhere from Georgia to Washington, DC, to Iraq, talking with people from all walks of life.  Everywhere I go I hear the same thing – people are fed up with the political games in Washington and the professional politicians who pay lip service to their constituents.”

“I know the games the politicians in both parties are playing.  The games that have us $14 Trillion in debt, with 9% unemployment, and our country threatened all around.  The games of telling us what we want to hear at election time and just ramming more of the same down our throats once they’re in power.”

“I am not running to just speak for myself.  I am running to give a voice to all the moms and dads and hardworking American tax payers who are saying loud and clear – enough is enough!”

“I am running for Congress to be north Georgia’s conservative voice in Congress.  It’s time for Washington to hear us!  It’s time that we make them listen!”

Martha Zoller is the real deal, a strong and courageous conservative who would change Washington for the better. She is both principled and media savvy, a combination that will make her a potent force. Georgians would do very well to send her to Congress.

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Maxine Waters Wonders Why Obama Speaks So Harshly to Black Voters

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Because…he’s raaacist? Wait…

Rep. Maxine Waters says she’s not sure who President Barack Obama was talking to when he told black Americans to quit complaining and follow him into the battle for jobs and opportunity.

The California Democrat, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she found the president’s language “a bit curious.” She says Obama didn’t address Hispanics in such a blunt manner and would never use that language in a speech to a gathering of gays or Jews.

She has a point. When Obama addressed Hispanic voters, he told them to “punish their enemies.” And last time he mentioned Jewish voters, well, it was at best a gaffe.

If the lightworker’s magic act is even wearing thin on the Maxine Waters’ of the world…

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Herman Cain to Morgan Freeman: Sorry You’re So Ignorant

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

The Hermanator is on fiyah. Actor Morgan Freeman accused the Tea Party of being racist, becoming approximately the 4000th major public figure to do so:

The Oscar-winning star of Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption told CNN talk show host Piers Morgan on Friday that the Republican offshoot’s determination to avoid a second term under Obama was fuelled by prejudice towards the colour of the president’s skin.

“Stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term,” he said. “What … underlines that? Screw the country. We’re going to do whatever we do to get this black man … outta here.”

Freeman added: “It just shows the weak, dark, underside of America. We’re supposed to be better than that. We really are. That’s, that’s why all those people were in tears when Obama was elected president. ‘Ah, look at what we are. Look at how, this is America.’ You know? And then it just sort of started turning because these people surfaced like stirring up muddy water.”

Herman Cain, fresh from a resounding victory in the Florida Presidency 5 stray poll, calls out Freeman’s ignorance.

“Well, first of all, I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who’s a great actor, has ever been to a Tea Party. Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties… about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party.”

“I just think that it’s sad that they’re so short-sighted understanding what the Tea Party citizen movement is all about. I’m not offended by it, because it doesn’t slow down my momentum. It doesn’t slow down the reaction I get from people.”

Cain, whose campaign is riding high after winning the Florida straw poll, added, “Name-calling is something that’s going to continue, because they don’t know how to stop this movement. And this movement is making a big difference in politics.”

“A lot of the traditional Democrats are moving to the center or moving over to vote for conservatives. They’re taking another look at a Herman Cain.”

What would Democrats like Freeman do if Herman Cain won the Republican nomination?

 

 

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London Bomber Freed Because He Might Face ‘Inhumane Treatment’

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

Sometimes a straight news writing approach is all that’s needed.

A fanatical terrorist has escaped being thrown out of the UK because it would breach his human rights.

Hate-filled Siraj Yassin Abdullah Ali, graded the highest possible risk to the public, was released after serving just half of his nine-year sentence for helping the July 21 bombers.

He now mingles freely among the Londoners his co-plotters tried to kill six years ago.

Government officials are desperate to deport the Islamic fundamentalist back to his native Eritrea but have been told they cannot because he could face ‘inhumane treatment or punishment’.

Ali was convicted of helping a gang of five Al Qaeda suicide bombers in their bid to repeat the carnage of the attacks of July 7, 2005, two weeks later.

Perhaps he might face “inhumane treatment or punishment” because he deserves it.

Ali isn’t the only bomber to find favor with human rights laws.

Ismail Abdurahman, 28, who hid would-be bomber Hussain Osman for three days, escaped being deported to his native Somalia after judges feared for his safety. Abdurahman is also living at a bail hostel in London despite the protests of police and Home Office officials.

The release of Ali and Abdurahman underlines the challenges faced by police, probation and MI5.  There are fears that they will be stretched to the limit as they try to monitor dozens of freed fanatics in the run-up to the Olympics next year.

Research by one think-tank found that more than 230 people have been convicted of terrorist offences since 2001, but only around 100 remain in prison.

This is how a nation commits suicide. By all means, let’s close Gitmo and put the captured terrorists there in our own civilian judicial system.

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Obama Gaffes, Says Billionaires Should Pay the Same Tax Rate ‘As A Jew’

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

And then corrects himself — “janitor” was the word he was looking for. This clip is from his speech to the Congressional Black Caucus over the weekend.

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“When you start saying, at a time when the top one-tenth of one percent have seen their incomes go up four or five times over the last twenty years, and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline, and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more? Give me a break!

“If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew — as a janitor — makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that as a badge of honor.”

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Video: Words Have Meaning

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Bryan Preston

This was the hit that Gov. Perry tried to launch during the debate on Thursday. Mitt Romney made a telling change in his book between 2010 and 2011.

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The Real Story Why Cain Won the FL Straw Poll, and What the Frontrunners Can Learn From It (Update: Romney Camp Responds)

Monday, September 26th, 2011 - by Myra Adams

The Republican Party of Florida sponsored what was essentially a fundraising event in Orlando called Presidency 5, from Thursday, September 22through Saturday, September 24.

The highlights of the three-day event were Thursday night’s Fox News/Google Republican presidential candidate debate and late Saturday afternoon’s presidential straw poll.

This straw poll was light years away from generally accepted polling practices.

Delegates eligible to vote, selected back in June, were state-wide local Republican club activists. Consider the high costs of  voting: delegate registration was $175 paid to the Republican Party of Florida, coupled with a “special” attendee hotel rate. The total with taxes was $357 for two nights.

So do the math.

Delegates shelled out a minimum of $532 to attend and that is before the $120 average registration cost of CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), which also held its first Florida event in conjunction with Presidency 5. A majority of delegates attended CPAC, which featured all the presidential candidates speaking on Friday, fresh off the Fox/Google debate the night before.

The high cost of attendance was important because delegates who eventually selected Herman Cain as the surprise winner were overwhelmingly a well- heeled, middle-aged crowd who had the time and money to attend both CPAC and Presidency 5. In other words, not necessarily your average Florida Republican voter.

From my personal experiences over the three-day event, I believe Herman Cain’s triumphal victory with 37% of the vote from 2,657 delegates was not a fluke. However, it is also not a national game changer with Cain as the new frontrunner to challenge Perry and Romney. Rather, it was a positive emotional response to Herman Cain, the man, with some “teachable moments” for the frontrunners.

Herman Cain showered the delegates with lots of love, inspiration, and political wisdom. The delegates, in turn, received his love. In fact, they were positively smitten, and rewarded Cain with their votes. This blossoming love affair unfolded slowly and built up to a frenzy right before the straw poll votes were cast.

After Thursday night’s Fox News/Google debate, Perry, who national polls showed was leading going into Florida, disappointed the audience and that sent Romney trending upwards in the minds of the delegates. This was all chronicled here the next day.

At the debate, Herman Cain made an emotional connection with the audience when he answered a question about how poorly he would have fared under ObamaCare instead of what became his miraculous triumph over stage four cancer. But by no means was Cain considered the debate winner among the delegates. That unofficial title was bestowed on Mitt Romney.

Even Rick Perry at Friday afternoon’s CPAC speech urged the audience not to nominate “the slickest candidate or the smoothest debater,” a poison dart obviously aimed at Romney’s superb performance the night before.

So what happened between Thursday night and late Saturday afternoon that enabled Cain to win over the hearts and minds of 37% of the delegates, with Perry receiving 15.4% and Romney 14%?

As one of the delegates succinctly said to me shortly after Cain’s victory was announced, “Cain is a businessman; he groomed us, he entertained us, and he closed the sale.”  Another delegate leaned first towards Perry, then after the debate towards Romney, and ended up voting for Cain, because he said “Romney ignored us” and “his organization was poor.” (This activist crowd actually grades candidates on organization, which is probably a good thing.)

If 80% of success is just showing up, as Woody Allen famously said, then Herman Cain took Woody’s advice, ran with it, and won a resounding victory.

Cain not only “showed up” the entire three days, but he did some ol’ fashioned preaching and inspiring along the way.

“Yes We Cain.”  “Cain is Able.”  “Hope and Cain.”  So read the signs and buttons.

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