Nine States File Lawsuit To Support Arizona Immigration Law

Nine States File Lawsuit To Support Arizona Immigration LawSeveral major cities have voted to boycott Arizona to protest the state’s controversial new immigration law, which is scheduled to go into effect at the end of the month.

On Wednesday, however, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and eight other state AG’s filed a friend-of-the-court legal brief to support the statute and endorse Arizona’s right to secure its borders.

Attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia all agreed to sign the brief, which was filed in the same U.S. District Court that will rule on the Obama administration’s federal lawsuit, USA Today reports.

"Arizona, Michigan and every other state have the authority to enforce immigration laws, and it is appalling to see President Obama use taxpayer dollars to stop a state’s efforts to protect its own borders," said Cox, a Republican who is currently running for governor in Michigan.

Earlier in the year, Cox and several other attorneys general came together to challenge the healthcare reform bill authored by President Obama and other prominent Democrats, according to the Associated Press.

Cox, whose parents immigrated from Europe, said that carrying identification is "part of daily modern life," noting that his mother kept her green card on her at all times.

Lawmakers, LGBT Advocates Meet To Discuss Immigration Reform

Lawmakers, LGBT Advocates Meet To Discuss Immigration ReformIn the context of the ongoing debate about immigration reform, some lawmakers highlighted a little-discussed aspect of the issue earlier this week, namely the rights of bi-national families.

A group of Congress members, which included the Hispanic Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus, Progressive Caucus and the LGBT Equality Caucus, joined advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on Capitol Hill to call for measures in the future bill that would end discrimination against the LGBT community.

Specifically, they pressed for inclusion of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) and the Reuniting Families Act (RFA) in the future package. The two acts allow United States citizens who are a member of the LGBT community to sponsor their foreign-born partners for permanent residency.

“Our out-dated immigration system contains laws that discriminate against LGBT families and hinder our economy, our diversity, and our status as a beacon of hope and liberty to people across the world,” said Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

According to Immigration Equality, a coalition of organizations that includes Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Watch and People For the American Way, an estimated 17,000 American children are being raised by LGBT parents in bi-national families, and without proper immigration provisions they risk losing a parent or having to leave their home country.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19894899-ADNFCR

NAACP Passes Resolution Accusing Tea Party Of Racism

NAACP Passes Resolution Accusing Tea Party Of RacismOfficials with the NAACP passed a resolution last week accusing the Tea Party of tolerating bigotry and failing to condemn the racist statements of some of its followers.

"We take no issue with the Tea Party," said Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP. "We believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy."

However, he added, "we take issue with the Tea Party’s continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements. The time has come for them to accept the responsibility that comes with influence and make clear there is no space for racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in their movement."

Authorities with the oldest civil rights organization accused the conservative group of failing to discourage acts of racism and prejudice, citing allegations that Tea Party activists spat on Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.), a noted civil rights activist, and called Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) the "N-word" during their protest of healthcare reform legislation, according to

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, also claims that a Tea Party member called Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who is openly gay, an "F-word."

The resolution and accusations were quickly rebuked my leaders of the conservative group. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a Tea Party favorite, defended the anti-big government organization on her Facebook page on July 13, according to CBS News.

"The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand," said Palin.

Weather And Foods Can Trigger Headaches

Did you know that the weather can trigger your most excruciating headaches or migraines? Other triggers include red wine, perfume and food allergies. But according to a study in Neurology, every five-degree increase in the temperature increases hospital-related headache visits by 7.5 percent.

Keeping a headache diary to track your individual occurrences may prove helpful. Record your food intake, beverages, medications and activities for the week, plus the time your headache begins and ends. You may be able to see a pattern in your headaches and be prepared to help prevent them.

Drinking Cherry Juice May Help Insomniacs Sleep Better

Drinking Cherry Juice May Help Insomniacs Sleep BetterIndividuals who are having trouble sleeping and who are not interested in taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications may want to consider consuming cherry juice on a regular basis, according to a new study.

American researchers have reportedly found that drinking tart cherry juice every day may help people reduce the severity of insomnia and allow them to incur fewer sleep interruptions throughout the evening.

For the study, a research team from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Rochester and the VA Center of Canandaigua enrolled 15 adults who were suffering from various degrees of insomnia, and assigned them to drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice every morning and evening for a period of two weeks. Afterwards, participants were given a placebo juice drink that did not contain cherry extract.

Following another two weeks, the respondents were asked to record the effects that each beverage had on sleep habits.

The investigators found that patients reported significant reductions in the severity of their insomnia and improvements in the efficiency of their sleep patterns when they drank cherry juice. Consumption of the control drink showed no such benefits.

"When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep," said Russel Reiter, one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, an active ingredient in cherries. "And because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits."

Lawsuit Seeks Redress For U.S. Residents Put On "No-Fly List"

In an effort to combat the threat of terrorism the Federal government has resorted to controversial tactics such as electronic surveillance and a no-fly list. However, a major civil rights organization has recently filed a lawsuit alleging that officials have abused the list and caused innocent Americans to be banned from planes.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit at the end of June on behalf of 10 individuals—all of whom are United States citizens or lawful residents—who it says were put on the no-fly list without an explanation or a chance to clear their names.

Among the plaintiffs are Raymond Earl Knaeble, a U.S. citizen and Army veteran who has not been able to fly back to the U.S. from Colombia, as well as Steven Washburn, another citizen and veteran, who, after being prevented from flying from Europe to the U.S., crossed the border by land escorted by U.S. and Mexican officials, according to the ACLU.

“More and more Americans who have done nothing wrong find themselves unable to fly, and in some cases unable to return to the U.S., without any explanation whatsoever from the government,” said Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project.

“A secret list that deprives people of the right to fly and places them into effective exile without any opportunity to object is both un-American and unconstitutional,” he added.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19893118-ADNFCR

Immigration Debate Reveals Philosophical Gap In Congress

Immigration Debate Reveals Philosophical Gap In CongressDuring a heated debate in Congress about immigration reform, lawmakers took to citing Biblical passages to justify both anti-immigration views as well as approaches that would open a path to citizenship to undocumented aliens.

The development took place during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing that included religious leaders such as Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention and Bishop Gerald Kicanas from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to media reports.

While some of the speakers tried to frame the discussion in terms of basic human rights and dignity, lawmakers such as Texas Representative Lamar Smith cited passages that he said justify a stronger crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Among them was the passage from Romans 13, which states that it is God’s will that individuals should follow the laws set out by governing authorities.

"The Bible contains numerous passages that support the rule of law," Smith said. "The scriptures clearly indicate that God charges civil authorities with preserving order, protecting citizens and punishing wrongdoers."

However, Land and other religious representatives used the scriptures to motivate their support for a comprehensive reform. According to Land, the Bible also teaches us “to care for ‘the least of these among us’ (Matthew 25:34-40), to care for the ‘strangers’ who reside in our land (Leviticus 19:34; Hebrews 13:2) and to act justly and mercifully (Micah 6:8)," quoted by The Denver Post.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19893168-ADNFCR

Tea Consumption May Help Stave Off Cognitive Decline

Tea consumption may help stave off cognitive declineWhile the results of several studies have suggested a link between regular caffeine consumption and a reduced risk of cognitive decline, few have been able to quantify the beneficial effects that the compound has on brain function.

However, recent findings presented at last weekend’s International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease imply that individuals can significantly slow the development of cognitive decline by routinely consuming tea.

For the study, lead author Lenore Arab and her colleagues from the University of California Los Angeles recruited more than 4,800 men and women over the age of 65 and had them complete dietary questionnaires.

The participants were then followed for as many as 14 years, and were asked to routinely complete a Mini-Mental State Examination to measure their naturally-occurring levels of cognitive decline. On average, people scored 1.7 points lower on the exam each year.

However, after analyzing the dietary questions, and taking into account various risk factors, the researchers found that tea drinkers experienced 17 to 37 percent less cognitive decline over the course of the study, compared to non-tea drinkers. The more tea a person drank, the more stable their brain function remained.

Beware The Lame Duck

Faced with mounting criticism over his handling of the Federal debt, President Barack Obama did what every brave elitist of the elected class has done before him: he appointed a commission.

Commissions, you see, give the brave elected class cover to do the “hard work.” No, not raising taxes and cutting spending. That’s easy for them. The hard work is in justifying the increased taxes listening to what they see as a sniveling constituency unhappy that they just lost more of their money and freedom at the hands of a fascist regime.

If the appointed commission—which surely has only the best interests of the country in mind—says that taxes need to be raised then so be it, Congress can say, we had no choice, the commission made us do it. End of story.

So the elitist fascist president took two elitist fascists from the political class, told them to assemble a group of like-minded individuals and charged them with coming up with a plan to reduce the total Federal debt, which is expected to exceed $14 trillion—$14,000,000,000,000—next year. That equals to about $47,000 for each resident of the United States.

The co-chairs of the national debt commission are Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson. They were chosen—one representing each of the two main political parties—to give the commission an air of bipartisanship.

Bowles sports an MBA from Columbia Business School and had a career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley before he became involved in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Clinton rewarded Bowles by appointing him to head up the Small Business Administration and later naming him deputy chief of staff.

Bowles left the Clinton administration to found his own investment bank but was later called back to work for “Slick Willy” as chief of staff in late 1996. In 1997 he worked on Clinton’s behalf to craft a balanced budget bill along with the Republican majority.

Since then Bowles failed in his two attempts to win a Senate seat in North Carolina and then served as president of the University of North Carolina system for four and half years before retiring in February.

Simpson, on the other hand, sports a law degree he obtained from the University of Wyoming and is a career politician. He spent 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1978, where he served until his retirement 1996.  Since then he has taught politics at places like the John F. Kennedy School of Government and has made a career of poking fun at himself and other politicians on the talk show circuit.

His claim to fame was serving as GOP whip in 1990 where he helped round up votes to raise taxes for George H.W. Bush’s budget bill that broke the 41st President’s “Read my lips. No new taxes” pledge.

In other words, both Bowles and Simpson are of government and from government and any solutions their commission reaches will benefit government. As Bowles said after being appointed, “the president looked Senator Simpson and me in the eye and he said, ‘Everything is on the table.’ So we are going to look at every single way to right this fiscal ship.”

That includes cutting “sacred cows” and raising revenue, Bowles said. Everything is on the table, including a value-added tax (VAT), letting the Bush tax cuts expire (which it appears Democrats intend to do), raising other taxes (elitists call them revenue enhancements), plundering the retirement funds of individuals and cutting entitlements (though the prospect of this, on the heals of the rammed-through passage of Obamacare, is laughable).

And what exactly are some of the solutions being bandied about to solve the debt crisis? Instituting a VAT is one key component being considered. A VAT adds a tax to a product on all levels of production. It would reap billions for the government but would devastate the economy and increase the cost of all goods and services and disproportionally affect the poor.

It would also break Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000; er, $225,000; er, $200,000; or whatever the Obama truth happens to be today. Of course, what’s one more broken Obama pledge? For Democrats, history starts today.

Raising taxes on corporations is another solution under consideration. Those who don’t understand the way the world works, who fail to understand that businesses don’t really pay taxes, love the idea of corporations paying higher taxes.

But in the end, corporations don’t pay taxes. Their taxes are figured into the costs of doing business and are passed along to the consumer in the form of higher prices. No matter what, businesses must maintain a certain profit margin or they will eventually fail.

But regardless of whether the taxes are paid by businesses or people, raising taxes in a depressed economy is a bad idea. More and more economists are already predicting a double-dip recession, and some are forecasting a drop in the Dow of 40 percent to 50 percent within the next year—a prospect that seems more and more likely by the day.

Coincidentally, the commission is supposed to have its report on Obama’s desk by Dec. 1. That would give Congress a few weeks to ram the commission’s recommendations through before the new Congress takes over in January—during a lame duck session.

And that prospect is on the agenda, according to Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), president of the Senate Budget Committee.

In fact, as The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund wrote July 9, Democrat party leaders are acknowledging they are poised to lose the House of Representatives and realize their hold on the Senate will be tenuous at best. So they are holding off passing some major legislation before the election that they think they can ram through in a lame duck session after the Nov. 6 election.

“I’ve got a lot of things I want to do” in a lame duck session, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told reporters in June. And all of them are bad for Americans.

Among them are card check (which would change how unions are allowed to organize workers and effectively end private voting on unionization), a Cap and Trade energy bill or something similar to provide a sop for the environmentalists (more taxes and higher energy bills), ratification of a New Start nuclear treaty, a Federally mandated universal voter registration system and a budget resolution to lock in increased agency spending.

And, Fund writes, then there is pork. Senate aides say that with some of the biggest porkers of all leaving office—Senators Arlen Spector (R to D-Pa.) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah) among them—it would be their last chance to feed at the trough.

In other words, the Democrats are planning a “stick-it-to-the-little-people” session to get back at the Tea Partiers and others who have decided they’ve had enough and are ready to vote the fascist elitists out of office. They’re saying, essentially, “I don’t care what you want (smaller government, less spending, lower taxes). It’s what we want (more money and power) that counts.”

But isn’t that what they said last spring when they passed Obamacare over the objections of as much as 60 percent of the electorate?

Many voters have been saying that the people will be able to right the ship of state come November. But if that happens, Democrats have made it clear they plan to poke the electorate in the eye with a sharp stick, and then pass legislation mandating you thank them for the poke.

Americans Unhappy With Obama's Handling Of The Economy

Americans Unhappy With Obama's Handling Of The EconomySeveral recent polls have shown that the majority of the American people are disappointed with President Obama’s handling of the Afghanistan war and his overall job performance. Adding to this bleak picture, a new survey has found that most people don’t trust the president on the economy, either.

He may have assumed office in the middle of a global recession and a near-financial meltdown at home, but U.S. voters still give Obama poor marks on the economy, with 68 percent saying they disapprove of the job he’s doing on that front, according to a Harris Interactive Poll.

By contrast, only 32 percent give him positive marks.

Moreover, the survey found that the negative views are growing, as last month 64 percent were disappointed, while 35 percent supported the president’s strategy. In addition, while almost all Republicans surveyed (95 percent) opposed the government’s economic performance, nearly 2 in 5 Democrats held the same view (38 percent).ADNFCR-1961-ID-19890846-ADNFCR

Let Us Pray!

Move along. No praying here. It’s against the law.

That’s the message a United States Supreme Court officer gave to a group from an Arizona Christian school as they stopped for a moment of prayer outside the Supreme Court building May 5.

While taking an educational tour of the Supreme Court, Wickenburg Christian Academy teacher Maureen Rigo, her students and a few adults stood off to the side of the Oval Plaza steps, bowed their heads and quietly prayed. Even though they weren’t obstructing traffic, were not demonstrating and were not praying in loud voice so as to draw attention to themselves, a police officer told the group they were not allowed to pray there because it was against the law.

Last week the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) sent a letter to U.S. Supreme Court officials urging them to stop their police officers from prohibiting people from quietly praying outside the court building. The letter threatens legal action against Supreme Court police if Rigo is not allowed to return and pray there without fear of punishment.

ADF notes a U.S. code that makes it “unlawful to parade, stand, or move in processions or assemblages in the Supreme Court Building or grounds, or to display in the Building and grounds a flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice a party, organization or movement.”

In its letter the ADF says that code did not apply to Rigo and her group. Small groups are not hindered from stopping and carrying on conversations in the area Rigo and her group were in, so the officer was obviously singling out Rigo and her group simply because they were praying, according to the ADF.

This is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment rights of Rigo and her group. In addition to violating their rights to freedom of speech and freedom to exercise their religion, it violates their equal protection and due process rights as well.

Hopefully the Supreme Court police will correct this error quickly. Otherwise the Supreme Court will one day be deciding whether a small group can pray outside while inside it opens its session with a crier saying, “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

Moderate Physical Activity May Lower Alzheimer's Disease Risk Among The Elderly

Moderate physical activity may lower Alzheimer's disease risk among the elderlyThe results of a long-term study that was recently presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease in Hawaii may give hope to those who are looking for a natural way to help prevent the debilitating condition as well as other forms of cognitive decline.

For the study, a research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital assessed the 24-hour physical activity level of 1,200 elderly patients between the ages of 71 and 81, and followed them for as many as 20 years.

Over the study period a total of 242 patients had developed cognitive decline, including 193 who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Lead author Zaldy Tan and her colleagues found that patients who reported performing moderate to heavy levels of activity were 45 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, compared to those who exercised the least.

While earlier research identified a link between physical activity and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease among the elderly, the current study’s findings may speak the loudest.

"This is the first study to follow a large group of individuals for this long a period of time," Tan said. "It suggests that lowering the risk for dementia may be one additional benefit of maintaining at least moderate physical activity, even into the eighth decade of life."

Tea Party Activists Blast Lindsey Graham's Comments

Tea Party Activists Blast Lindsey Graham's CommentsAfter a string of late spring primaries in which many Tea Party candidates gained nominations, some prominent conservatives have criticized the movement for what they see as its extreme agenda that threatens to turn off moderate voters in November.

In recent comments to The New York Times, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that the movement is “unsustainable” and will “die out” because it does not have a long-term coherent vision. Graham also expressed his concern that the GOP has moved too far to the right.

The senator, who is a known moderate, stated that “everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party movement’s at.”

These comments have upset representatives of the National Tea Party Federation, who called on Graham to apologize for what they see as insulting comments.

Mark Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg, Va. Tea Party, said that the South Carolina Senator’s words demonstrate that he is out of touch with regular Americans who are becoming ever more engaged politically.

“The growth in the number of conservative grassroots political organizations, including those considering themselves ‘Tea Party’ is increasing rapidly, much to his dismay, and to the dismay of his fellow Washington elites,” he stated.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19890850-ADNFCR

The October Surprise

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “October Surprise.” It’s an event or series of events occurring in the days before a November election that sway voters one way or another.

The first one—or at least the one in which that term first came into use—occurred in late October 1972 when then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger announced that peace with North Vietnam was at hand. President Richard Nixon was already leading George McGovern in the polls, but that declaration is thought to have increased Nixon’s standing with the electorate.

There have been several October incidents since that some think at least influenced United States elections.

Now, with polls showing increasing dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress—a recent poll by Democracy Corps showed that 55 percent of Americans think Obama is a socialist and only 42 percent of Americans support Democrats—there are some rumblings that an October surprise may be the only way for Obama and Democrats to retain their Congressional majority.

In fact, a former Clinton official recently suggested to the publication Financial Times that a major terrorist incident in the U.S. along the lines of 9/11 or Oklahoma City may be Obama’s only hope. As the Times reported:

“The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”

Shapiro knows a thing or two about surprises. In 1995 Clinton used the Oklahoma City bombing to bolster his political comeback. We documented here how if the government was not directly involved in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murray building, it at least fostered a cover-up.

Democrats are desperate to retain the majorities they currently hold in the House and Senate. Don’t be surprised if a false flag terrorist attack along the lines of 9/11 or Oklahoma City occurs prior to November.

Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis. But remember that the government response to every terrorist attack on U.S. soil has been to steal more of your liberty.

Danger Of A Lame Duck Congress, Obamacare And A Best President Poll

*If the right wins big this November. There are some interesting stories floating out of Washington about what could happen after this November’s elections. If the Republicans win control of the House—something many pundits are predicting—expect the Democrats to demand a lame-duck session of Congress, where they will try to get enough defeated congressman to approve several programs that look hopeless today. Would a bunch of losers actually agree to pass Cap-and-Trade, a union “card check,” and other liberal favorites? Only if they want to see a real revolt by voters afterwards.

*ObamaCare’s disastrous results. Last month an 83-page document surfaced in Washington with more bad news about the healthcare legislation Obama rammed through Congress. According to the study, more than half of all employer-provided health insurance plans will be effectively eliminated between now and 2014. The effects among small businesses will be even worse, with estimates that 66 percent or more of America’s small businesses will abandon their healthcare insurance plans. It’s no rightwing think-tank making such dire predictions, by the way. The gloomy predictions come straight from the Obama White House.

*The best president ever? A new poll of 238 “presidential scholars” at U.S. colleges and universities confirms what many of us have suspected for years: The people teaching our sons and daughters (and now our grandsons and granddaughters) are a very liberal bunch. The scholars were asked to rate the nation’s 43 chief executives on 20 attributes, ranging from legislative accomplishments to integrity and imagination. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the top spot, as he has every year since the poll was first conducted in 1982. Barack Obama shot up to the 15th slot, three ahead of Ronald Reagan. Meanwhile, George Bush came in at No. 42—second only to Warren G. Harding as the very worst president of all time. No bias here, of course.

—Chip Wood

MLB Players Condemn Arizona Immigration Law, Threaten 2011 All-Star Game Boycott

MLB players condemn Arizona Immigration Law, Threaten 2011 All-Star Game BoycottArizona’s controversial new immigration law was a major topic of conversation in the sports world earlier this week, with several prominent athletes speaking out against the statute during Major League Baseball’s All-Star game festivities.

National League pitching star Yovani Gallardo, a Mexican native, told reporters on Monday that he will boycott next year’s mid-summer classic if the game remains in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde—who was born in the Dominican Republic—told the Arizona Republic that the law is "the stupidest thing you can ever have."

"Nothing against Americans, but us Latinos have contributed so much to this country," he added "We get our hands dirty and do the work gringos don’t want to do. We’re the ones out there cleaning the streets. Americans don’t want to do that stuff."

However, not all members of the MLB community are condemning the new law, which is scheduled to go into effect on July 29.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he supports the measure, which would give Arizona law enforcement the right to ask for identification from those who they "reasonably suspect" of being an illegal alien.

"I’m actually a supporter of what Arizona’s doing," he said, quoted by Fox News. "The national government doesn’t fix your problem, and you’ve got a problem, they’ve got to take care of it themselves."

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to comment on the law or the status of next year’s All-Star game, which is still scheduled to be played in Arizona.

Gingrich Considers 2012 Presidential Run, Calls Obama A 'Disaster'

Gingrich considers 2012 presidential run, calls Obama a 'disaster'Former United States Speaker of the House and current political analyst Newt Gingrich told the Associated Press (AP) on Monday that he is seriously considering a presidential run in 2012.

Gingrich, who said he will decide early next year whether he will run for the GOP presidential nomination, is currently campaigning for several Republican challengers in an effort to help his party retake Congress this November.

The former speaker also took the opportunity to blast President Barack Obama, who he believes to be a one-term commander-in-chief.

"I think he will replace Jimmy Carter as the worst president of modern times," Gingrich told the news source.

"He is a disaster," he added. "His principles are fundamentally wrong. The people he appoints are more radical than he is and less competent."

Whether or not he wins his party’s nomination, Gingrich predicted that Americans will turn against Obama in 2012 and vote in the Republican challenger.

Furthermore, Gingrich noted that Obama shows no signs of moving away from the far left and toward a more moderate stance.

Meanwhile, a recent Des Moines Register poll indicates that Iowa residents would be more likely to vote for potential Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin than Gingrich. The next presidential nomination process will begin with the Iowa caucus.

Farewell To The Penny Angel

Last week I used this space to say farewell to the king of pork. If you missed my piece about West Virginia’s rapacious senator, Robert Byrd, and the billions of taxpayer dollars he wrested for his state, click here to read it.

This week we’re going to lower the scale a bit. Well, actually, quite a bit. Instead of billions, I want to talk about the lowliest coin of them all—the penny. And let me start with a question: When you see one lying on the ground, do you pick it up? I certainly hope so. Bear with me as I tell one of my mother’s favorite tales; about the “Penny Angel” who showered so many rich blessings on her.

I don’t agree with much I read in The New York Times and an article about my favorite coin was no exception. The very first sentence had me shaking my head in disagreement. It read, “It is strewn around the sidewalks and gutters of America, amid the bottle caps and cigarette butts, not even worth bending over to fetch.”

Not worth bending over to fetch? I go out of my way to pick one up. And I consider myself lucky every time I find one. How about you?

In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about the lowly penny. In an essay in The New York Times, David Margolick wrote, “It languishes by cash registers in cheap plastic troughs or cardboard trays, yours to take or leave or ignore. Or it rattles around in beggars’ cups, making lots of noise but too puny, even by the handful, to swing a muffin or a hot cup of coffee.”

The main point of Margolick’s essay is that it’s time to do away with the poor, passé penny. The coin costs more to mint than its face value. It is a burden to business and an annoyance to consumers. It is, in short, more trouble than it’s worth.

But is it? My mother, who was a child of the Depression, hoarded pennies all her life. She taught me that there was a Penny Angel who went around scattering the tiny bits of copper for lucky people to discover. She believed that every coin she found was a blessing. And that if you ever ignored or rejected the Penny Angel’s gift, your good luck would soon come to an end.

A foolish fairy tale? Perhaps. But the lessons you learn as a child stay with you all of your life. I still consider myself fortunate whenever I see a penny lying in the street, just waiting for me to pick it up. It happened just a few hours ago and I was delighted to see that the Penny Angel was still leaving pennies for me to find. My wife, who finds my habit more amusing than irritating, has joined in the game. If I happen to overlook a coin in my path, she will point it out—and wait patiently while I pick it up.

How different it is for today’s sons and daughters. Even before they reach their teens, they have come to take for granted that their parents will purchase whatever Xbox, iPod, or other expensive electronic gizmo they want. They spend more on their clothes (or, more accurately, their parents do) than many families spend annually on food. Their parents surfeit them with every imaginable luxury. And the saddest thing of all is they do not look around with wonder and gratitude at the abundance they enjoy.

This is not going to become a jeremiad against the younger generation, bewailing the fact that “You don’t know how good you’ve got it!” It’s not their fault that they were born at a time and in a country with the greatest material prosperity the world has ever known.

And I’m not even going to launch a diatribe against their parents, many of whom are all too eager to shower their offspring with largesse. Even the ones who wonder if they should be stricter are often too cowardly to resist their children’s blandishments.

Instead, I’m just going to issue a small sigh of regret that something as quaint and as simple as picking up a penny—and being grateful for the gift—may soon disappear.

When it does, I’ll be the first to say, “So long, Penny Angel. But thank you for all the times you made me feel like one of the lucky ones, simply by placing a penny in my path.”

More About The Poor Penny
Maybe the Lincoln penny will soon be extinct. I doubt it. But even if it goes the way of the dodo bird or a gold-backed dollar, what a history it had. Here’s how David Margolick described its debut in the article I mentioned above:

“When it first appeared four score and 18 years ago, it was a matter of almost unimaginable curiosity, excitement, and veneration. People—mostly street urchins searching for a quick profit—lined up for blocks to buy them; in New York, mounted policemen were called in to control the roiling mobs. Editorialists praised it as the perfect tribute to a martyr, or denounced it as a trinket unworthy of him. Immigrants had a special reverence for it; to blacks, it was ‘emancipation money.’ But even to whites, there was something sacred about it. A New York man who’d committed suicide a few days after it first appeared clutched one in the palm of his hand, thinking, apparently, that it would bring him good luck in the hereafter.”

President Theodore Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Mint to design and produce the new Lincoln penny. He thought all U.S. coinage could use some sprucing up. Teddy decreed its release date to be Aug. 2, 1909, the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The Boston Globe was almost giddy with excitement: “The new Lincoln cents, it seems, will be distributed the first week of August. It is so hard to wait.”

Penny fever produced some unusual entrepreneurship. As Margolick reported, people lined up around the block to exchange their old coins for bright new pennies.

“Some people near the front of the lines sold their spots for a dollar. The more impatient and ingenious hired women, who in a still chivalrous era were not made to wait. Many in what the Tribune called ‘the penny-mad crowd’ were poor children…. The resale rate hovered around three new pennies for a nickel, though it shot up whenever supplies ran low. ‘You couldn’t walk half a dozen feet,’ the Sun reported, ‘without having a grimy hand thrust out in front of you with a pile of glittering pennies in the outstretched palm.'”

By the end of 1909 the Mint had produced more than 100 million of the new coins. More than 100 years later, the Lincoln penny is the most popular coin in history. The Mint had produced 444,039,035,418 by the end of last year. (Don’t you love the exactness of the bean counters, oops, I mean the penny counters, at the Mint? No rounding off these numbers.)

With nearly half a trillion pennies in circulation over the years, it’s no wonder my Penny Angel never ran out of treats.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Brown Makes Deal, Will Vote 'Yes' On Financial Overhaul Bill

Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) may have assured the upcoming passage of the Obama administration’s historically aggressive financial reform bill by announcing on Monday that he will support the measure when it comes up for vote this week.

Brown will join Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in backing the landmark bill, which is designed to increase government oversight on Wall Street.

"While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote," Brown said. "It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected and it is paid for without new taxes."

However, the Boston Globe reports that Brown only agreed to vote for the bill after he forced Democrats to modify its language to aid two Massachusetts-based companies, State Street Bank and MassMutual.

The senator’s change of heart has angered many conservative Massachusetts’ residents who voted for him earlier this year, including local Tea Party members.

"Scott Brown promised in the fall of 2009 to stand up for free markets and constitutional principles," said the activists, quoted by Fox News.

"A yes vote on this bill—a bill that greatly expands executive authority and reach, creates a perpetual and permanent bail-out system and fosters the creation of even more bureaucracy—defies the commitment he made to thousands of activists and donors across the nation," they added.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to call for a vote on the measure in the coming days.

The Great Pretender

The Marxmeister in the White House now says he takes full responsibility for ending the oil mess in the Gulf. He also says he wants to “know whose ass to kick,” that he “can’t suck it up with a straw,” and… well, you know… the ongoing narcissistic spiel—“I, me, my… blah, blah, blah”… day after day, week after week, ad nauseam.

Watching his recent performances on the Gulf oil disaster made me think about a monster hit The Platters had in the 50s called “The Great Pretender.” Little did they know that the champion Great Pretender wouldn’t even be born until 1961—probably in Kenya… but, then, no one is really sure about that because no one is allowed to see his birth certificate.

Everyone but (1) those on the far left, (2) Bill O’Reilly, and (3) the loons (O’Reilly’s word) who have yet to return from lunch realizes that The Great Pretender has had a Marxist agenda since even before his pot-smoking days at Columbia. Names like Wright, Ayers, Lloyd, Dunn, Sunstein, Holdren and Jones (both Jeff and Van) are well known to those who have taken the trouble to learn about The Great Pretender’s agenda.

As ever more people come to realize that the country has been hijacked by this angry young Marxist, many would argue that a better title for him might be The Great Reactor. Obama listens to the news—especially Fox News—then reacts to his critics by saying or doing whatever they accuse him of not saying or doing, or by changing his tune regarding something he’s said or done that offends too many people. Sort of humorous to watch—if the fate of an entire country were not at stake, that is.

Perhaps I’m getting soft with age, but I almost feel sorry for The Great Pretender. His flipping and flopping and spinning and twisting and contradictions have become downright embarrassing. He’s Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy all rolled into one. I admit it—I’m truly embarrassed for him.

Now, of all people, Mike Huckabee—continuing his swift turnabout in an effort to make voters forget about his slobbering interview of Michelle Obama (who, he tried to convince us, wakes up every morning frantically worrying about childhood obesity)—has succeeded in making The Great Pretender look like an incompetent, arrogant boob.

Hopefully, you saw The Huckster’s show several weeks ago where he paraded out one guest after another—entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and chemists—to present remarkable solutions for cleaning up the oil in the Gulf. It truly was amazing to watch the simplicity of the methods presented, as contrasted with The Great Pretender’s spending his time talking about kicking ass, wagging his finger at everyone and bending over and picking up a lonely tar ball on the beach in his daily photo ops.

Was the oil spill really just an accident? Probably. BP America Chairman and President Lamar McKay recently said that it was caused by “a failed piece of equipment.” I’ll buy that, at least for now. But it doesn’t matter. Rahm never said that you have to create a crisis. He already knew there are crises popping up all the time. All he said was that you should never allow a good one to go to waste.

In the case of the BP oil accident, it was a slam-dunk. More to the point, it was like unlocking the door to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) cage. Obviously—surprise, surprise—offshore drilling is now out of the question, right?

So it puts a few hundred thousand people out of work (ripple effect)… so what? The progressive must do what he must do to protect “the people,” even if it means taking away their jobs and giving them higher gas prices to boot. What in the world would we do without government to protect us? (Hmm… I think John Stossel has repeatedly answered that question for us over the years.)

So, yes, the BP crisis will not be wasted if it results in an end to offshore drilling. Nevertheless, I think The Great Pretender is going to have to come up with another crisis—or two—before November to pull off a number of miracles for the Demagogic Party.

The Dems, of course, would have us believe that they can win because so-called moderates will pull away from Republican candidates affiliated with the Tea Parties. If they really believe that, it would be wonderful. But, quite frankly, I don’t think they’re that stupid.

So I, for one, I’m still thinking crisis. A manufactured crisis is much better than an unforeseen one, of course, because you can have a prefabricated “solution” prepared in advance. You don’t have to do anything that actually helps make things better for people. All you need are a few talented individuals to put the right words on your teleprompters and be good at pretending you’re making things better.

As I said in my article ”The Ghost of FDR,” Obama has been following the dictatorial Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s playbook to the T. In his 1937 inaugural address, at a time when unemployment was still rising (15 percent on inauguration day), FDR bodaciously said, “Our progress out of the depression is obvious.”

Sound familiar? It should. With the economy on the verge of total collapse, The Great Pretender continues to look his teleprompters in the eye and tell Americans how he’s saved the country from a depression and that “the worst is now behind us.”

He always sounds so darn convincing when he says these things, but I hear through the White House grapevine that on at least one occasion after slinging this kind of B.S., he was overheard singing to himself in the Oval Office:

Oh yes, I’m the great pretender,
Pretending that I’m doing well.
My need is such, I pretend too much,
I’m lonely but no one can tell.

Lacking a really great crisis, The Great Pretender, hopefully, is going to feel a lot lonelier starting next January.

—Robert Ringer

Americans Support SCOTUS Verdict On Chicago Handgun Ban, Poll Finds

Americans support SCOTUS verdict on Chicago handgun ban, poll findsAs Chicago authorities try to mitigate the impact of a recent Supreme Court decision to strike down the city’s longstanding gun ban, a new poll has found that the American people tend to support the highest court’s decision in McDonald v Chicago.

A Rasmussen telephone survey conducted earlier this month found that 67 percent of respondents believe cities do not have the right to prevent citizens from owning handguns. Only 24 percent hold the opposite view.

The poll also discovered that support for stricter gun control laws has declined to its lowest level in several years. Currently, only 35 percent of American adults say stricter gun control is necessary, while more than half (51 percent) disagree.

Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Alan Gottlieb, said that “we are witnessing a new revolution in which America is rejecting the demagoguery of gun banners like Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.”

“Court rulings and the Constitution are on our side,” he added.

Gottlieb also affirmed that his organization will continue to fight for firearm freedoms until these liberties are fully secured.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19888255-ADNFCR