Treasuries, Steinbrenner, Pelosi And Ceding Arizona

*What “flight to safety?” Investors around the globe snatched up every single note the United States Treasury offered in its last auction—at record low interest rates. Thirty-eight billion dollars in two-year notes were auctioned at a yield of 0.665 percent. That’s less than 70 cents for every $100 you loan ‘em, folks. And that’s for an entire year. When inflation is taken into account, those nervous Nellies are earning a negative 0.57 percent a year. Plus, they’re guaranteed that the dollars they do receive in two years will be worth less than they are today. That’s safety?

*George Steinbrenner saves his family a bundle. One of baseball’s most colorful characters passed away two weeks ago. You’ve heard a lot of stories about Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. But did you know that by dying this year—and not in 2009 or 2011—George saved his family about $335 million in death taxes? I suspect he’d enjoy a good chuckle over that.

*Nancy Pelosi gives aid and comfort to our enemies. Pity Colombia. It’s trying to do everything right—fighting its communist terrorists, the FARC, to a standstill; promoting freedom and free enterprise at home; and working hard to be a friend to the United States. So why does the Speaker of the House block approval of a Colombia-U.S. free trade agreement? And even more despicable, why does she welcome FARC’s most notorious ally in Colombia’s Senate to her congressional chambers? My guess is it’s because Madame Speaker likes our enemies better than our friends. What’s yours?

*Obama cedes a chunk of Arizona. This is amazing. While President Obama claims that only the Federal government can be allowed to “solve” the immigration crisis in Arizona, his government has ceded control of more than 3,500 acres of the state to drug smugglers and other criminals. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has posted signs reading, “Danger—Public Warning. Travel Not Recommended” at the entrances to the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. “Good air” indeed; what we’re getting instead is a lot of bad baloney.

—Chip Wood

Obama Blasts Republicans For Opposing Campaign Finance Reform Bill

Obama Blasts Republicans For Opposing Campaign Finance Reform BillOn Monday, President Obama criticized Republicans in the Senate for blocking the passage of a campaign finance bill designed to force unions, corporations and other organizations to disclose their sponsorship of political advertisements.

The measure, which was narrowly passed in the House last month, was crafted by Democrats to reduce the influence that special interest groups have in elections. If passed, the bill would no longer allow the majority of organizations to run advertisement campaigns without publicly taking responsibility for them.

"You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue," said Obama.

Many Republicans in the Senate have publicly opposed the legislation because they feel that it infringes on First Amendment rights by attempting to silence critics of the administration and its supporters.

The GOP has also criticized the bill because it exempts organizations that have existed for more than 10 years and that have at least 500,000 dues-paying members, according to CNN. This loophole allows nonprofits such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the AARP to continue to run political ads without full disclosure.

"Citizens who are members of other grassroots groups will be muzzled by this legislation for no reason other than that they belong to a group without the financial and lobbying muscle to exempt itself from this bill," said David Bossie, president of Citizens United, an organization dedicated to restoring the government to the control of Americans.

"This bill is nothing more than incumbent protection in its worst and most cynical form," he added.

Reinstituting Slavery In America

I suppose you thought the idea of American slavery ended in 1865. A United States Congressman wants to reinstate it.

Ethically-challenged Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y) last week introduced in the Armed Services Committee H.R. 5741, also known as the National Service Act. The bill would require two-years of mandatory government service—either in the military or some as-yet undefined civilian service that promotes national or homeland security—to everyone between the ages of 18 and 42 if the President declares a national emergency.

No choice. No way out. You’ve got to do it if the President declares a national emergency.

Rangel, who opposes the excursions in Afghanistan and Iraq because he believes blacks and the poor are doing the majority of the fighting and dying, has long sought to institute a draft. In the past he has stated, in effect, that by instituting a draft Americans would be less likely to support wars.

That may be. But forced labor at the point of a gun is no different from what blacks suffered under the hands of slave masters for most of a couple of hundred years in America.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the Federal government or a plantation owner, forced labor is slavery. Giving it a fancy name doesn’t change that.

And one other thing: with growing disenchantment over the fascist bent of the current administration and its assault on the rule of law, this country is likely to soon see a popular uprising. That would be the perfect excuse for the President to make his emergency declaration.

And if you’re thinking that you might resist the “draft” remember, President Barack Obama fancies himself as another Lincoln. Well, just look at what Lincoln did during the draft riots in New York.

He ordered five regiments of troops fresh from the battlefield at Gettysburg to quell the riots. The troops shot somewhere between 300 and 1,000 civilians.

Don’t Believe This Liberal Lie

Well, that resolution didn’t last long.

Last week I wrote in this space that it was a waste of time to argue with liberals and I wasn’t going to do it anymore. But three comments from readers have forced me to reevaluate that position.

The first came from a reader who chastised me for giving up on anyone.

“Remember Saul of Tarsus,” he told me. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”

The Lord sets an awfully high bar here, doesn’t He? I confess; I’m more likely to curse an enemy than pray for him. But it’s good to be reminded of the higher road.

The second constructive criticism came from an old friend who didn’t like my use of the word “liberal” to describe our opponents on the left. “We are the true liberals,” he told me, referring to the traditional meaning of the word. “We shouldn’t let them steal this noble concept from us. Please join me in taking it back.”

That’s easy to say, but not so easy to do. If you want to be clearly understood, it’s probably better to use words as they are understood today, not what they meant a century or two ago. N’est-ce pas? (Yes, I agree; using foreign words or phrases is another phony affectation of pretentious intellectuals. I won’t do it again.)

Where was I? Oh yes, readers who disagree with me. If you scroll down to the end of my columns and read the comments section below, you’ll see some doozies. Don’t do it right away; wait until the middle of the following week, when they’ve had a chance to respond to each other. As you’ll soon see, some of them really enjoy hurling a good insult at an opponent… and are mighty good at it.

It wasn’t an insult that got me riled up this week, however, but a blatant falsehood delivered as though it were a carved-in-stone truth.

“This is why there is a separation of church and state in the constitution,” someone calling himself J. M. proclaimed. “To keep religion out of politics.” Then he added, “Some folks just don’t get it. Next thing you know, the Republicans will bring back the Inquisition.”

I confess that I cleaned up his spelling, punctuation and grammar a bit. I didn’t want you to be distracted by his lack of literacy. Instead, I wanted to focus on the Big Lie of his original comment.

There is absolutely nothing in the United States Constitution that requires—or even justifies—the so-called separation of church and state.

I’ll go even further. Our Founding Fathers never wanted to see any such thing. And they would be appalled to see how the courts in this country have deliberately twisted, distorted and abused the wonderful document they created to strip all vestiges of religious belief from our public life.

Allowing the left to get away with this is one of the greatest tragedies that’s taken place in my lifetime. In case any of you reading this have also swallowed the liberal lie about “separation of church and state,” bear with me for a few moments while we cover some very important (but often suppressed) history.

What The Constitution Actually Says
What is the most important sentence in the U.S. Constitution?

I would submit that it’s the very first one. Do you remember how this marvelous document starts? Our Founding Fathers set the tone for everything they believed, and everything that would follow, in Article I, Section 1, sentence one. It reads, “All legislative powers herein granted are vested in Congress….”

A friend of mine who has lectured widely on the Constitution likes to stop at this point and ask: “Are there any math students present? Okay, maybe you can help me out. If ‘all’ lawmaking power resides in Congress, how much is in the Supreme Court? Right, none! How about the Executive Branch? Right, none again. Thanks for your help.”

There’s a very important principle here—one that has been deliberately obfuscated over the past 50 years. A Supreme Court decision isn’t supposed to be “the law of the land.” The Court has no Constitutional right to make law. All it is supposed to do is to decide “the law of the case.” Its decision should be binding on the plaintiff and the defendant and no one else.

Instead, for most of my lifetime, layer upon layer of additional government has been sanctioned and even initiated by the black-robed justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The men and women who took an oath swearing to uphold the Constitution—like every member of Congress—regularly and repeatedly violate that pledge. They knowingly and deliberately, with malice aforethought, ignore the very first sentence of the document they promised to uphold.

And let me digress for a moment to note that the very same principle applies to the Executive Branch. What lawmaking powers does the Constitution bestow on the President and all of the cabinets, agencies and commissions he oversees? Again, the answer is none. Yet we get Executive Orders, Presidential decrees and all sorts of new rules and regulations, all having the force of law. This is another serious violation of the Constitution’s first sentence.

With that as background, let’s turn to the First Amendment (the one used to justify all of the arguments for “the separation of church and state”) and see what it actually says. Here is how it begins:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? “Congress shall make no law,” either promoting a religion or prohibiting one.

According to the Constitution, what are the states allowed to do when it comes to religion (or just about anything else)? The answer is, pretty much whatever they want.

Could a state require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every courthouse? Sure it could.

Could a city or county government install a crèche on its lawn every Christmas? Absolutely.

Could a governor encourage the citizens of his state to call on the Almighty to alleviate drought or do other good works? Without a doubt.

The framers of our Constitution expected the citizens of each state to decide for themselves how state and local affairs would be conducted. Would every state decide the same thing? Absolutely not. Our Founding Fathers expected differences to emerge between states. Some would be minor, some major. If one state passed laws you felt were onerous, you could vote to change them—or move to another state.

The idea that every law and every rule in every state should be exactly the same as the ones in every other state would strike our Founding Fathers as the height of absurdity. They believed that differences were good; that competition would reward good policy and punish bad.

The system worked pretty well for more than 150 years. It could work even better today, thanks to the vastly improved flow of information and transportation. If we choose we can learn a lot about policies and procedures in other states. And if we like what we learn we can get there a lot easier than our forefathers did. Or, like the flood of affluent folks who have been fleeing California, head for a state that doesn’t try to tax you to death.

What will it take to restore Constitutional government to this country? The short answer is, electing members of the House and Senate who will settle for nothing less. That presupposes, of course, getting candidates who actually understand what constitutional government is all about. Does yours?

We can’t expect total victory in one election or, frankly, even one decade. It took a cabal of socialist schemers more than 150 years to bring us to this point. I hope it won’t take that long win back all of our freedoms. But victory won’t come quickly. Or easily.

You’ve heard the expression; the longest journey begins with a single step. Let’s make sure that this November we take one step closer to the sort of system we used to have. The one that made us the envy of the world—when we were the freest, most productive and most prosperous nation on earth. I still believe we can do it.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

—Chip Wood

Discharged Gay Soldier Vows To Continue To Fight For Marriage Equality

Discharged Gay Soldier Vows To Continue To Fight For Marriage EqualityLieutenant Dan Choi came out publicly as a homosexual in early 2009, and last week the military announced that it was giving him an honorable discharge. However, the Iraq war veteran has promised to fight for the rights for other soldiers who are forced to hide their sexual orientation.

Choi’s dismissal was mandated under the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which the Obama administration has promised to repeal. However, this initiative is now on hold, pending a review of the attitudes in the military that is being conducted by the Pentagon and expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Choi has promised to push for a quick overturn of the law that bans openly homosexual individuals from serving in the military, telling CNN that “there are a lot of people who are suffering, and my oath, my commitment to them, doesn’t end.”

Choi is a 2003 West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq and is a fluent Arabic speaker.

According to Service Members Legal Defense Network, more than 13,500 soldiers have been discharged under the law since it was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19909781-ADNFCR

Children With Celiac Disease May Need Nutritional Supplements

Children With Celiac Disease May Need Nutritional SupplementsChildren who are diagnosed with celiac disease may want to consider taking nutritional supplements to help prevent low bone density and osteoporosis, according to a new Canadian study.

Lead investigator Diana Mager and her colleagues from the University of Alberta examined 43 children who were recently diagnosed with the autoimmune disease. They discovered that the majority of the children had very low bone density, putting them at a high risk of suffering bone fractures and developing osteoporosis later in life.

After analyzing the patients’ dieting habits, the researchers found that, on average, the children received less than 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins D and K—two nutrients that are crucial for bone development. This may be due to the restrictive diet that celiac disease patients must follow.

Mager recommended that children with the condition carefully monitor their dietary intake of both vitamins as well as increase their level of outdoor physical activity to improve bone strength and naturally absorb vitamin D.

"Enjoying activities such as walking and running outdoors when there is more sunshine is a great way to contribute to healthy bones," she said.

Judge Strikes Down Several Aspects Of Arizona’s Immigration Law

Judge Strikes Down Several Aspects Of Arizona's Immigration LawOn Wednesday afternoon—just hours before Arizona’s controversial new immigration law was to go into effect—a Federal judge issued an injunction to block several of the most contentiously debated portions of the measure.

United States District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling will prevent Arizona from requiring its law enforcement personnel to ask for identification from individuals who they "reasonably suspect" of being an illegal immigrant.

"By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the Federal government has the authority to impose," Bolton wrote in her ruling.

"Preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by Federal law to be enforced," she added.

Furthermore, Bolton sided with the Federal government by striking down a section of the law that would require immigrants to carry their registration papers at all times. She also blocked the provision that would have made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for or perform work in the state.

Several sections of the law still went into effect on Thursday, including one making it illegal to pick up and transport day laborers.

In response to the ruling, Governor Jan Brewer said the "fight is far from over" and that Arizona is willing to take the case "all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary."

Court Decision On Immigration Law Stirs Emotions

Court Decision On Immigration Law Stirs EmotionsIn a last-minute ruling on Wednesday, a Federal judge in Arizona struck down parts of the controversial immigration law—which was to take full effect the next day—sending policy advocates and commentators abuzz.

The ruling, which stops law enforcement officers from asking individuals for identification and blocks the requirement for non-United States citizens to carry their documents with them at all times, was praised by Latino Policy Coalition and United Steelworkers.

The former called it “a major blow to the fanatic fringe that supports racial profiling of Latinos,” as well as a victory “for everyone who has faith in the U.S. Constitution.”

However, Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch said his organization was disappointed with the decision. He also vowed to support the bill’s author, State Senator Russell Pearce, in defending the law in the courts.

Fitton furthermore stressed that “The Obama administration is oblivious to the lawlessness and danger to the public safety caused by its failure to secure the borders and enforce the law.”

Meanwhile, The Federation for American Immigration Reform—which has supported SB 1070—has chosen to look on the bright side. Its representatives said that although several provisions were struck down, some of the important ones remained. They stressed that Judge Bolton’s ruling rejected the administration’s claim that immigration enforcement is solely a Federal matter.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19913411-ADNFCR

Marijuana Compound May Help Treat Pain Linked To Sickle Cell Disease

Marijuana Compound May Help Treat Pain Linked To Sickle Cell DiseaseResults of a recent University of Minnesota Medical School study suggest that a marijuana compound may be an alternative treatment option for patients suffering from the chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease.

Using an animal model, lead investigator Kalpna Gupta and his colleagues monitored the neural pathways of subjects that were experiencing musculoskeletal pain and temperature sensitivity, two of the more prominent symptoms often experienced by sickle cell disease patients.

The research team then treated the animals with opioids—the traditional pain remedy for sickle cell disease—or cannabinoids, a synthetic marijuana compound.

They discovered that not only did cannabinoids lessen pain with the same effectiveness as conventional medication, it did so in much smaller doses.

"This paper provides proof that we can use other classifications of drugs to treat pain in patients with sickle cell disease," said Gupta. "Cannabinoids offer great promise in the treatment of chronic and acute pain, and they’re effective in much lower amounts than opioids—the only currently approved treatment for this disease."

He added that opioids have been known to adversely affect a patient’s kidneys and blood vessels when taken in the doses necessary to treat the chronic pain associated with sickle cell disease.

Obama To Raise Taxes On The Rich

Obama To Raise Taxes On The RichPlagued with a ballooning deficit and national debt, the Obama administration is planning to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire next year, the Treasury Secretary has said.

Appearing on weekend TV programs, Timothy Geithner announced that those who make more than $250,000—which amounts to between 2 percent and 3 percent of the United States population—will see their taxes go up when the current breaks expire in 2011.

“We think that’s the responsible thing to do because we need to make sure we can show the world” that America is “willing as a country to start to make some progress bringing down our long-term deficits,” the secretary told This Week on ABC.

Geithner also signalled that the administration would like to see last year’s tax breaks for those making less than $250,000 continue. Meanwhile, opponents of greater taxation of the highest-earning Americans—such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—said it may push the economy back into recession. According to the government’s own predictions, the unemployment rate will likely stay above 9 percent until next year.

In this context, some commentators have warned about possible consequences for the Democrats this November, since President Obama’s popularity has already suffered as an increasing number of Americans have given him poor marks for his handling of the economy.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19907983-ADNFCR

Leaving Las Vegas

Put a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters and you’re probably won’t get Hamlet. Put a couple hundred wingnuts at a couple hundred laptops and you’re lucky if they don’t fling feces.

Last weekend those wingnuts invaded Sin City for Netroots Nation, a conference for wired liberals who secured permission to escape their parents’ basements for a couple of days. They gathered to do precisely what they do at home (albeit, without parental supervision): hate conservatives.

Netroots is the annual summit of what was the far-left fringe of the Democrat party and is now the captain of the Democrat ship. The roster of sponsors is a who’s who of party stalwarts (including):, whose founder Markos Moulitsas openly celebrated the murder and dismemberment of Americans by islamofacist terrorists, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which provides the muscle when Democrats want to get literally tough with taxpayers, and the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which have done more to retard national intellectual growth than anyone.

If the sponsors list was a rogue’s gallery of liberal groups, the featured speakers were a veritable carnival side show. Among those stars was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who fired off an entirely predictable litany of leftist talking points, all with the core lesson of: the GOP = evil.

Pelosi also kissed a little baby-lib booty, telling the kiddies how gratified she was to see the assemblage of youth in the audience. She neglected to mention the same demographic includes Paris Hilton, kids who wear trucker hats and people who think vampires are cool.

Pelosi’s rant also included some new whoppers to go along with the usual bravo sierra: “We now represent the middle class.” Um… Madam Speaker… you’re a San Francisco society matron/ political heiress whose net worth is just shy of $13 million. Remember when the Dems clamored about George H.W. Bush not knowing the price of a gallon of milk? Which one of Pelosi’s domestic servants keeps track of the soy latte budget?

Maybe Pelosi is too far removed from the middle class—and middle age—to connect with the kiddies on their level. What about erstwhile comedian-turned Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)? Franken served as the Netroots keynote speaker. Along with some unfunny icebreakers I’m hoping he didn’t pay someone else to write, Franken scared the Birkenstocks off his audience: “Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is planning to double his staff…” Issa, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, wasn’t there to point out—the majority party always gets double the staff at the Oversight Committee. Astoundingly, his speech made no mention of convicted felon voters.

Those two heroes of hypocrisy bookended the usual self-congratulatory blather. Netroots patrons managed to absolve Obama and the Democrats of every broken promise of the past 18 months. A video of Obama’s so-called accomplishments was presented by Keith Olbermann’s mini-me, Rachel Maddow. Among the unmentionables were double-digit unemployment, and the continuation of both of the wars Obama pledged to end.

One of the fundamental tenets of the left is that consensus based on anecdotal evidence is the equivalent of proof, e.g.: so-called anthropogenic global warming. The problem, on display at Netroots Nation this past weekend, is that a consensus of people who think the earth is flat… is a consensus of morons. A hotel filled with people who echo each other’s sentiments, from the silly: “Obama is a great President” to the demonstrably untrue: “all supporters of Arizona’s SB1070 are racist” isn’t likely to put together anything substantive—substance having skipped Vegas for Atlantic City.

Netroots is self-important liberals discussing their consensus that conservatives are stupid/ ignorant, without considering the possibility that they could be WRONG. Netroots is a tinfoil hat brigadier who thinks George W. Bush bombed the levees in the Lower 9th Ward, and then saying he got his proof from the guy in the matching straitjacket.

Left-wingnuts hate the Tea Party, immigration reform, talk radio and (of course) Sarah Palin. They needed to go to Vegas for that?

Leave Vegas to those of us who are going there to get tanked and spend our money before Obama pinches it and gives it to you. Vegas lost cool points when they made it “family friendly.” Remember when you thought it couldn’t get worse than being in the room next to Floyd and Janice from Wisconsin and their five screaming kids?

Imagine it now, only instead of Floyd and Janice, it’s Nancy and Dianne from California, and instead of five shrieking tykes, they brought 500 shrieking idiots.

Obama Is No Statesman

America’s Southern border continues under attack and there is no evidence the administration of President Barack Obama even cares.

Two American ranches in Laredo, Texas were seized by the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas on July 23, according to the Laredo Police Department. The ranch owners escaped.

Laredo police have asked for help from the Federal government to regain control of the ranches.

Incursions by drug cartels, human traffickers and Mexican paramilitary have become commonplace along the American-Mexican border. The Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona is under the control of drug smugglers and human traffickers and has been declared off limits by the United States government.

Southwest governors have asked for help and Obama responded by sending 1,200 National Guard troops to assist U.S. Border Patrol. But that’s not nearly enough to do the job.

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman,” said John Adams.

Clearly, Obama is no statesman.

Rangel To Face Trial For Ethics Violations

Rangel To Face Trial For Ethics ViolationsFollowing a near two-year investigation, a House subcommittee announced last week that it will publicly try Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) for multiple ethics violations.

Several media outlets are reporting that the ethics committee decided to move forward with the trial after negotiations to settle the case privately had fallen apart. A source close to Rangel told The Washington Post that the embattled congressman could have avoided the trial had he accepted the charges and publicly apologized for any wrongdoings.

While the committee said it would not detail the specific charges against Rangel until today, many believe they will revolve around his alleged failure to pay taxes on undisclosed personal assets and his attempts to raise money for a private building named in his honor using congressional stationary.

Furthermore, Rangel was stripped of his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee in March after the ethics committee ruled that he knowingly accepted two trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by private interests.

With the GOP calling for his resignation, Rangel held firm, stating the he welcomes the trial and the opportunity to clear his name, CBS News reports.

"This couldn’t have happened at a better time for me, whatever it is, because it gives me an opportunity to respond to my friends and constituents that have been supporting me for close to 40 years," he said.

DOJ Exonerates Bush Officials Of Criminal Intent In Attorneys’ Firing

DOJ Exonerates Bush Officials Of Criminal Intent In Attorneys’ FiringOne of the longest-running political controversies surrounding the Bush administration appears to be coming to an end as an internal Justice Department investigation (DOJ) revealed that the firing of nine United States attorneys in 2006 was not criminal.

However, the DOJ panel, headed by Nora Dannehy, an assistant U.S. attorney from Connecticut, concluded that the actions were “inappropriate” and politically motivated, casting a shadow on the administration’s legacy.

"Evidence did not demonstrate that any prosecutable criminal offense was committed with regard to the removal of [the prosecutors]," the DOJ letter to lawmakers stated.

However, it made a reference to "an undue sensitivity to politics on the part of DOJ officials who should answer not to partisan politics but to principles of fairness and justice.”

The scandal, which began with the firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who was accused by the head of New Mexico’s Republican Party of being too lenient about voter fraud, led to the resignation of the then U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

In an interview with CNN after the announcement, Gonzales said he was satisfied with the decision, but also angry that he and his family had to go through this process.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19907987-ADNFCR

The Glass House

In the wake of the Georgia (where I reside) primary on July 20, I was going to cobble together some salient thoughts about the American system of electoral politics and the inevitable nastiness that goes foot-in-mouth along with it.

And then web content impresario Andrew Breitbart dove headfirst into seriously hot water last week. Breitbart evidently doctored a video tape of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) official Shirley Sherrod to make her seem racist. At the time, Sherrod was speaking to the NAACP, so many conservatives assumed she was as racially mistuned as her audience.

Liberal outrage over Breitbart’s shameful (alleged) misdeeds turned the story into a national headline. But while liberals nationwide howled with rage, another story broke the same day. And this one was a real Daisy Cutter: The Daily Caller (DC) broke the news that the mainstream media (MSM) was playing dirty for Barack Obama.

The DC piece included predictably self-important journalists brazenly discussing the best methods to protect poor Obama from evil right-wing bastards. Thus did my musings on choosing between “least stomach-churningly awful” candidates at the ballot box get shuffled into my computer’s hard drive next to the “gourmet meals you can make in the microwave” recipes.

To whit:

During the 2008 Presidential campaign we were introduced to a fine Chicago clergyman named Jeremiah Wright. Rev. Wright presided over a fine congregation in a fine Midwestern city. Among his fine congregants was a fine U.S. Senator named Barack Obama. Fine. Except that Rev. Wright doesn’t feel fine about many of us. In fact, Rev. Wright has a rather poor opinion of:

  • Jews.
  • Republicans.
  • The LAPD (groundbreaking, I know).
  • “Uncle” Clarence Thomas (and the “closeted Klan court”).
  • Condoleeza Rice (he called her “Condoskeezer—not sure what that means, but I doubt it’s a compliment.)
  • The War on Terror.
  • Pretty much every president since Hoover.
  • The outcome of WWII (Really? Really.)

But the DC revealed the MSM literally planned a pass for poor Barack. After all, they reassured us, he couldn’t possibly have known everything Wright was saying—he was busy. The facts that Obama had been a member of Wright’s church for two decades and had even donated $20,000 to the cause were glossed over. Only a racist would continue to look under Obama’s Chicago stones (pay no attention to Bill Ayers, there).

Flash forward to 2010. Obama is firmly ensconced in the people’s digs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And to quote the erstwhile pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ: “…the chickens have come home to roost…”

And how.

DC’s investigation unearthed scores of documents revealing a concerted effort on the part of the MSM to drive a stake into the heart of Wright-gate in specific and criticism of Obama in general. Journalists at outlets major and minor are named in the DC’s trove of notes, offering shocking invective—including suggestions on how to falsely smear conservatives with the “racist” label in an effort to “change the subject,” tips on how to kill any negative stories on Obama, plans to convince a potential Obama administration to pull Fox News‘ FCC license (they can’t), and my personal favorite—NPR contributor Sara Spitz (your tax dollars at work, kiddies!) describing her laughter at the hoped-for death of Rush Limbaugh in lurid detail.

Imagine the outrage should Fred Barnes (the subject of one of the “let’s call him a racist even though he isn’t” plans) attend Sunday services at the 1st Church of the White Devil Slave Master. Even if he was simply there to observe, his career would be cooked like the slowest turkey on Thanksgiving.

If Limbaugh were to suggest the eye-popping expiration of the uber-shrill Julianne Malveaux, the left would howl with indignation—the gals at Malveaux’s Bennett College for Women might even suspend afternoon interpretive dance and pottery classes!

To satisfy my own curiosity I took a peek at a couple of MSM offerings while researching this piece. Surely, with The Washington Post’s ombudsman Andrew Alexander publicly admitting his paper had fumbled the snap on the New Black Panther Party story, the revelation by DC of an actual liberal media conspiracy would result in at least marginal introspection from the MSM amidst indignant shrieks over Breitbart’s actions—or so I thought. Instead:

  • CNN: Their top story was a thought-provoking analysis of Mel Gibson. At least, I assume it was thought-provoking. They also featured some story about Lindsay Lohan, which puts them in the lofty company of The National Enquirer.
  • The New York Times: Hillary Clinton announced new sanctions against North Korea. That actually marks a departure from the policies of her husband, who gave billions to the wobbly leg of the Axis of Evil.
  • The Washington Independent: WI’s Spencer Ackermann was among the most vocal of the DC-identified conspirators. I expected at least a mild disavowal. Nope. They’re upset about nuclear power plants. I was excited for a moment, until I realized they’re against them. Foreign oil interests indeed.
  • The Huffington Post: Their lead story is about Republicans smoking cigars or some other feigned outrage. The response to DC story merely claims that DC employees were also on the “Journo-list.” So, they’re admitting they showed a copy of their plan to the bad guys. Brilliant.
  • MSNBC: Ask their “viewer.” I’m sure he/she would relish the attention.

All of the aforementioned covered the Breitbart/Sherrod tale with the kind of breathlessness that fogs the windows of teenagers’ cars.

What we’re really seeing is the confirmation of something most of us already knew: the so-called MSM will lie down in traffic (or at least hurl what’s left of their ethics into the road) for Obama. While you’re scratching your heads in bewilderment as libs lose their cookies over Breitbart’s “cooking” of the Sherrod tape—all the while managing to ignore far-left hack Keith Olbermann’s cut-n-splice assault on Limbaugh from last week, I have a question for the class: Why?

The same media flacks who participated directly or indirectly with the now in-their-own-words-established pro-Obama charade told us back in 2008 that electing Obama was akin to welcoming the Savior. There was going to be Hope and Change. They even told us that we were racist if we dared ask what Hope and Change might mean.

Obama was brighter, cooler, more astute and even better-looking than the rest of us. His victory in November was going to end war (oops), restore the economy (oops), bring transparency to government (oops), and reach out to the opposition to bring us all together under the Big Tent of Democracy (oops). He fired the CEO of GM and none of us even got a cool new Camaro like the one in Transformers: The Movie.

So why does Obama need the help? This is a guy who won a Nobel Peace Prize on spec. He was a community organizer. He’s BLACK (-ish..cablinasian, maybe?) That last fact alone was supposed to usher in at least what the MSM called a “post-racial presidency.”

Instead, the hate-spewing left merely slapped the paintbrush of accused bigotry on anyone who opposed the Obama agenda. We now know they even discussed it in advance.

But this isn’t just about the revelation of a concerted effort to protect Obama from reasonable scrutiny with defamatory finger-pointing. My July 22 column: A Light in the Darkness examined part of this controversy. But the fallout from the “Journo-list” exchanges is something new: incontrovertible evidence, in the words of the offenders themselves, that you simply cannot trust the MSM any further than you can pick them up and throw them (with the exception of George Stephanopolous, whom I’m fairly certain I could heave a good distance).

There’s a part of me that hopes these guys are all just morons. Charlie Gibson said he didn’t know about ACORN, he was on vacation. Bob Schieffer said the same thing about the NBPP scandal. Stephanopolous thinks Obama isn’t getting enough credit for dealing with terrorism.

Last week the NAACP, fresh from demonstrations on behalf of cop-killer Troy Davis, issued a statement calling the Tea Party racist. The statement went unaccompanied by equally strong condemnations of the New Black Panther Party, John Lewis (“they shouted epithets and spat! I swear!”) or people who murder police officers.

The NAACP’s lack of condemnation of the utterly condemnable was itself unaccompanied by comment by the MSM. They were too busy describing Michelle Obama’s fetching ensemble while she intimated that childhood obesity might be caused by (shocker) racism.

I have no trouble condemning Breitbart’s allegedly dastardly acts. You get caught acting the rat, you have to take the cheese. But Breitbart is one rodent. The Main Stream Media is infested, and no one seems to be calling for the exterminator.

—Ben Crystal

Green Lies About Oil Sands Put America’s Energy Future At Risk

Alberta’s oil sands are back on the Green’s hit list. And this time the Greens are playing dirty.

A couple of weeks ago the San Francisco based environmental group, Corporate Ethics International—which has few ethics and works closely with the Sierra Club and Greenpeace—spent $50,000 erecting billboards in Denver, Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis that deride Alberta as home to "the other oil disaster.” The campaign urges tourists not to go there.

The billboards—which may be coming to a city near you even if you live in Europe—showcase a dead duck found in a Syncrude tailings pond and an oil-soaked pelican in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now I have been to Alberta’s oil sands on a couple of occasions and I can tell you that the land is scarred. Squeezing oil out of shale is a tough and dirty business and the waste ponds there do kill ducks, although hardly enough to create a frenzy over. In fact fewer ducks die from being soaked in tailings ponds in the oil sands than are killed by flying into wind power turbines.

I need to make one more point: Canada produces 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions and the oil sands account for about 5 percent of that total. So while the Fort McMurray area is tarnished, it has a smaller carbon footprint on the world than a handful of Chinese coal-fired power plants. Still I can’t remember Greenpeace damning people that went to the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

I can also tell you that the last time I was up in the Fort McMurray area where Alberta’s giant oil sands are located was October, 2001. I took this trip in the wake of blown-up buildings and murdered Americans—Americans killed by Arabs, most of them Saudis, whose oil production American Greens don’t seem to have a problem with.

At that time I told my subscribers to Outstanding Investments that if I had to choose between energy security and some scarred land I would choose energy security. I also told them that if I had to choose between ducks and people; I would choose people every time.

My real outrage over this slander by the Greens against Alberta is that it is full of lies and it doesn’t even target what the environmentalists consider to be the problem—the oil sands themselves. Instead, it goes after an entire province and its tourist industry.

It was a topic of conversation here in Calgary last week at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Summit. I was on hand and heard as people in business and government on both sides of the United States/Canada border condemned the latest smear tactics.

“I voted with my feet, I’m here (in Calgary),” said David Jacobson, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. “To tell you the truth I think that ad campaign makes about as much sense for people not to come to Alberta to vacation because of the oil sands as it does for people not to visit Chicago because Illinois has coal.”

As an American who was born and now lives in Alberta, I can tell you it is a majestic place to visit. I have not seen greater beauty anywhere in the world than the Rocky Mountains that flank Calgary.

You might think that the Corporate Ethics group would understand that propaganda doesn’t work when the truth is allowed to get out.

Even the infamous liar, Supreme leader Kim Jong-il, has a better understanding of propaganda writes the Montreal Gazette: “The North Koreans don’t let their citizens travel. That is why Corporate Ethics International would like Alberta to be as isolated as Albania.”

There is just another tiny problem with the Alberta attack ads—they are filled without outright lies. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is particularly angry at the anti-Alberta ads, calling them a "propaganda campaign that is full of lies.”

Stelmach pointed out that claims about the size of the oil sands development, as well as the damage to water and air, are all grossly wrong.

Corporate Ethics International claims that Alberta’s oil sands are “twice the size of England.”

Not even close says Travis Davies, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum. "There is a massive difference between 260,000 square kilometres and the reality of the Alberta oil sands, which is 600 sq. km. impacted and 65 sq. km. reclaimed." So much for truth in advertising.

Still, Alberta’s oil sands might seem like an easy target for the environmentalists, even in an age where radicals in the Middle East are targeting the U.S. That doesn’t mean that the Greens are being honest about the utility of Alberta’s oil sands.

“The environmental risks of the oil sands have been greatly exaggerated and overblown by activist organizations that have different agendas,” says Hal Kvisle, the former CEO of TransCanada, a North American pipeline giant. “These parties, such as Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace, make statements about the oil sands that mostly aren’t true.”

America Needs Alberta’s Blue-Eyed Sheiks
I have some other news for the Greens—if they want to count on Arab oil—some of it from places where extremists continue to plot death and destruction on America—Alberta has plenty of other buyers. In fact China must be tickled pink at the Greens’ attack on Alberta because they are plowing plenty of money into Alberta’s oil sands so that they can secure their energy future in America’s backyard.

As for the U.S., it is on track to import as much as 3 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta’s oil sands by the end of this decade. Right now the U.S. consumes almost 1 million barrels per day of Canadian oil sands. Yet there are Greens in the Obama administration and in the Democrat party that want to derail oil sands imports in pursuit of more expensive green energy technologies—technologies that frankly do not yet exist and may not exist for years or even generations.

The politics of Green are blissfully ignorant that Canada has one of the largest stable oil deposits in the world just a scant distance from America’s borders.

If the Greens get their way and reduce or shut down the flow of Canadian oil, the U.S. will be more vulnerable, paying higher energy prices; in some cases for oil held by maniacal mullahs. And inevitably, China, America’s major competitor, will be enriched and empowered. If you ask me, it is a pretty stiff price to pay over some dead ducks.

Action To Take
Could Alberta’s oil sands do a better job of cleaning up the mess they are making? You bet. Meanwhile there is too much at stake for the U.S. to turn its back on this rich and secure energy source. As a result oil sands stocks will continue to prosper. I recommend you buy Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE, SU, $30.82) and Canadian Oil Sands Trust (TSX: COS-UN.TO, C$27.52).

In fact just last week the Oil & Gas Journal wrote: “The blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and resulting ban on deepwater drilling in U.S. waters may prove a boon for Canadian oil producers,” including oil sands stocks. I couldn’t agree more.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Senators In Swing States May Be Hurt By Support For Elena Kagan

Senators In Swing States May Be Hurt By Support For Elena KaganAs the full Senate prepares to vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination for the Supreme Court, a new poll has found that lawmakers from swing states may be punished during the upcoming midterm elections for their support of the controversial jurist.

Judicial Crisis Network released results last week of a series of surveys that showed that voters in Arkansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska are significantly opposed to President Obama’s nominee. The polls also revealed that this disapproval may affect the way they vote this November.

For example, respondents in Arkansas were asked how they would vote if Senator Blanche Lincoln, a conservative Democrat, supported Kagan, and nearly 50 percent said they would be less likely to reelect her. Only 22 percent expressed the opposite view.

“Senators need to understand that their constituents equate a vote for Elena Kagan as support for all of Obama’s radical liberal agenda,” said Gary Marx, executive director of The Judicial Crisis Network.

Meanwhile, Carrie Severino, the organization’s policy director, stressed that the polls showed that the more potential voters learn about Kagan’s experience and her actions vis-a-vis military recruiters at Harvard Law School, the more opposed they are to her ascension to the nation’s highest court.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19904019-ADNFCR

World War I And The World Stock Exchanges

The outbreak of World War I 96 years ago this month had a devastating effect on the world’s stock markets. Early in the morning of Friday, July 31, 1914, the London Stock Exchange announced that it would suspend trading until further notice—the first time the venerable center had done so in its century-long history. Stock exchanges in Vienna, Rome and Berlin were already closed.

There was panic on U.S. markets, where blue chip stocks had fallen some 20 percent the day before on record volume. Before the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opened on the morning of July 31, there were so many orders to “sell at any price” that the board’s governors decided not to ring the opening bell.

This marked only the second time in U.S. history that the NYSE failed to open on time. It did not reopen until almost a year later, in April, 1915. U.S. banks decided to remain open and a rush by depositors to exchange currency for gold (something that was allowed back then) wiped out many of them. Between July 27 and Aug. 7, 1914, some $73 million worth of gold was withdrawn from New York City banks alone.

Today, of course, exchanging dollars for gold is a bit more complicated. But it’s still a good idea.

—Chip Wood

Bernanke Says Economy Still Needs Stimulus Funding

Bernanke Says Economy Still Needs Stimulus FundingFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated last week that the frail United States economy will continue to need Federal stimulus spending to fully recover from the 2008 recession.

While testifying before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke suggested that President Obama and Congress could bolster the weakened economy by extending the tax cuts passed by the previous administration, according to Bloomberg Business Week.

"In the short term I would believe that we ought to maintain a reasonable degree of fiscal support, stimulus for the economy," said Bernanke. "There are many ways to do that. This is one way."

However, just a few hours before the Fed chairman made his remarks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the Obama administration has no plans on extending the tax cuts to families that make more than $250,000 annually, Business Insider reports.

Meanwhile, Bernanke was much less bullish on the economy than he was during his last testimony back in February, noting that it will take "a significant amount of time" to restore the near 10 million jobs lost during the last two years.

"One factor underlying the committee’s somewhat weaker outlook is that financial conditions—though much improved since the depth of the financial crisis—have become less supportive of economic growth in recent months," he said.

Bernanke also defended the financial overhaul bill recently passed by Congress, calling the measure an "important step" toward closing the gaps in Wall Street’s regulatory system.

Mother's Probiotic Milk Consumption May Lower Child's Eczema Risk

Mother's Probiotic Milk Consumption May Lower Child's Eczema RiskWomen who drink probiotic milk during and after pregnancy may be able to significantly reduce their children’s risk of developing eczema, according to a new European study.

For the study, a research team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology randomly assigned 415 expectant women to receive either probiotic milk or a placebo drink from week 36 of their pregnancy until three months after the birth of their child. The children were then followed until they reached the age of two.

At the point of follow-up the researchers found that the children born to women who consumed probiotic milk were 40 percent less likely to develop eczema than those born to control group participants. Furthermore, if children in the probiotic group did develop the skin condition, it tended to be less severe than average cases.

"We can say with great certainty that it was the probiotic bacteria alone that caused the difference in the incidence of eczema between the two groups," said Torbjorn Oien, one of the scientists involved in the research.

However, the probiotic milk did not lower the children’s risk of developing allergies or asthma.

Senate Democrats Relent, Abandon Energy Reform Legislation

Senate Democrats Relent, Abandon Energy Reform LegislationCiting a lack of bipartisan support, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) announced last week that his party has abandoned its efforts to pass a comprehensive energy bill that would limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Reid and other Democrats were forced to walk away from the legislation after it became obvious that the measure would garner virtually no Republican support, a development that the senator called "terribly disappointing."

If passed, the bill would have allowed the Federal government to charge power plants and other manufacturers for the number of greenhouse gases that they emit.

The proposal has been referred to by Republicans as a "national energy tax" that would cripple the already weakened economy, Yahoo News reports. GOP leaders have argued that capping emissions would force energy providers to move their businesses overseas and, at the very least, compel them to charge consumers higher fees.

Furthermore, with the November elections only a few months away, it was still unclear how many Democrats would actually support the bill.

"Reid can hardly blame Republicans for opposing legislation that would raise energy prices on Americans, when his own party doesn’t even support the idea," Robert Dillon, GOP communications director for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told The Washington Post.

However, Senate Democrats indicated that they plan on crafting a more modest piece of legislation that would, among other things, increase the liability that oil companies have following major oil spills.

Mainstream Media And Internet Gatekeepers

Members of the mainstream media, increasingly frustrated that people are turning away from them and to alternative media for their news, are now beginning to call for regulation of the Internet.

It happened again last week on CNN as anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the Shirley Sherrod firing fiasco. In case you missed it, Sherrod was fired from her job at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) after Andrew Breitbart posted a video in which Sherrod told a story about not giving full assistance to a farmer because he was white.

The video stopped before Sherrod continued her story to demonstrate that she had learned as she worked with the man that it wasn’t a black-white issue and later became friends with the farmer and helped him to avoid foreclosure on his farm.

The controversy erupted after the NAACP issued a statement calling Tea Party members racists. Sherrod had recently spoken at a NAACP rally.

 “There’s going to have be a point in time where these people have to be held accountable,” Phillips said. “How about all these bloggers that blog anonymously? They say rotten things about people and they’re actually given credibility, which is crazy. They’re a bunch of cowards, they’re just people seeking attention.”

Phillips then asked if “there’s going to come a point where something’s going to have to be done legally" about anonymous bloggers. Roberts responded that anonymous blogging might benefit from “checks and balances.”

But in light of the Journo-list fiasco—a list serve group of mainstream media members that has been exposed by The Daily Caller and proves that the mainstream media has colluded in framing stories to further a liberal agenda—the mainstream media can’t be trusted to tell the truth either.

And their criticism that Breitbart edited the video is at the very least hypocritical. There are a number of instances of supposed legitimate news organizations—NBC News, 60 Minutes and CNN to name a few—that have edited videos and run them to frame a story in a certain way.

The difference is Breitbart makes no claims to be a journalist. He comes with a known and stated agenda.

Journalists like Phillips and Roberts claim to be non-partisan and neutral.

Internet bloggers have done the country a wonderful service in exposing information the main stream media has ignored. And anonymous writing has a storied history in our country—dating back to colonial times and the fight for independence.

The Internet doesn’t need gatekeepers. But America would benefit from a legitimate mainstream media doing its job properly and without a leftward agenda.