Question for Bob

Dear Bob,

In the past you have recommended investing in a Swiss Annuity. Is this still a good idea? If so, how would I go about it?

A: Yes. It is still a great way for you to protect your wealth in the face of a collapsing dollar.

A Swiss Annuity is a bank account in everything but name only. It is considered an insurance policy so it is not reportable to the IRS. Your investment accumulates interest tax-free until withdrawal. You can purchase them using foreign currency — Swiss francs for instance — and your investments can also gain as the dollar falls against the currency you used to purchased it. Call 1-800-331-0996. Clearly and slowly leave your name and mailing address for information.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Immigration Law Experts Believe Republican House Leaders Will Push For Enforcement, Not Reform

Immigration law experts believe Republican House leaders will push for enforcement, not reformSome immigration experts believe that the new Republican-led House of Representatives will be more focused on enforcing immigration law, rather than pushing through a comprehensive reform of the currently broken system.

According to The Epoch Times, Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of law at Cornell University, expects comprehensive immigration reform to be placed on the back burner in the next congressional session. Yale-Loehr, who is the co-author of a 20-volume immigration law treatise, said that key leaders on immigration and Homeland Security subcommittees will likely concentrate more on drafting stricter laws for illegal immigrants who are already living in the United States.

Aziz Rana, who is also a law professor at Cornell, told the news provider that the economic situation does not bode well for immigration reform. Rana added that reform has historically been unpopular during economic downturns.

Some groups, however, are optimistic about future reform legislation under the GOP leadership. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said that the results of midterm elections reflected the public's feelings on broken immigration policies.

"FAIR urges the leadership of the next Congress to embrace the agenda of the American people and transform our immigration policy to place their interests first," said Dan Stein, the organization's president. "The American people want our immigration laws enforced and overall levels of immigration reduced."

The group noted that several reform proposals have already garnered bipartisan support, including mandatory work eligibility verification, enhanced security along the nation's borders and elimination of the visa lottery program. 

Boehner Gets GOP Lawmakers’ Unanimous Endorsement For Speaker Of The House On His Birthday

Boehner gets GOP lawmakers' unanimous endorsement for Speaker of the House on his birthdayHouse Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has officially been nominated to serve as the next Speaker of the House when Republicans gain majority in January.

On the same day that Boehner turned 61 years old, the veteran of Congress was unanimously voted by his peers from the GOP to take over the post currently held by Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was elected by Democrats to become the minority leader in the next congressional session.

Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.) nominated Boehner, and Representatives Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) gave speeches to support his appointment.

"Since his first days in Congress, John Boehner has stood up to Washington and stood up for the American people," said Camp, quoted by Politico.com. "As a leader of the reform-minded Gang of Seven that closed the House Bank (in the early 1990s), John refused to accept business as usual."

Camp was referring to the group of freshman Representatives who were elected in 1989, and who later condemned the chamber for allowing its members to overdraw their checking accounts without being penalized.

In other GOP voting on Nov. 17, Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was elected as the majority leader and Tim Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the majority whip.

While Republicans scored sweeping victories on Election Day, many voters are not optimistic that a shift in power will result in significant changes in the way Washington works. A Rasmussen Reports national survey that was conducted earlier this month reveals that 59 percent of voters said it is somewhat likely that Americans will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress by 2012.

Murkowski Camp Celebrates Victory In Alaska Senate Race

Murkowski camp celebrates victory in Alaska Senate raceMore than two weeks after votes were cast in the midterm elections, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has declared that she was re-elected to another term in Congress.

Murkowski, who is the first write-in candidate to win a Senate election since 1954, declared victory over Tea Party candidate Joe Miller, who had defeated Murkowski in the Republican primary in August. Hours before her victory speech, The Associated Press declared Murkowski the winner with about 700 votes left to count.

"Alaskans have spoken, and they've written it out, as well. It's pretty historic," said Murkowski, quoted by CBS News.

As of Nov. 18, Miller had yet to concede the race. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Miller called Alaska's voting system "suspect" and pledged to make sure the vote-counting process was fair.

Murkowski's victory came in the home state of Tea Party unofficial leader Sarah Palin, who is considering a run for president in 2012 and backed Miller's Senate campaign. Earlier this week, Murkowski said that Palin does not have the leadership qualities needed to become president, according to media reports.

The incumbent added that she believes Palin did not enjoy "[getting] down into the policy" while she was the governor of Alaska. 

The Advantages Of Storing Dehydrated Foods

The next step in our food storage plan is for you to make a list of the foods that your family eats on a regular basis and purchase enough food for a three-month supply. As we talked about in a previous article, Food Storage 101: Where do I begin?, one of the best ways to stockpile food is in the dried form. It is lightweight and can be reconstituted to its original form by adding water.

I tell people to start with everything to make soup and simple breads. My philosophy is that you can live on just soup and bread.

Soups are easy to make, and if you are in a time of stress you want something that is simple to prepare. Dehydrated vegetables are easy to use when making soup. Grains such as barley, quinoa and rice can also be added to soup to make it more filling. Dehydrated vegetables, bouillons and grains will store for a lot longer than wet pack soups.

Studies have been done on the shelf life of dehydrated foods and, surprisingly, the food has been lasting longer than originally expected, which was between five and 20 years. Wet pack foods only last two to three years after being canned.

A good rule of thumb is to rotate any dried dairy products within five to seven years. All dried fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes should be rotated within seven to 10 years and all grains within 20 to 30 years. Wheat will last the longest.

Dehydrated Foods

We use dehydrated foods every day, whether we know it or not. They are called “convenience foods,” and include things like Rice-A-Roni, Hamburger Helper, Bisquick®, macaroni and cheese, Pasta Roni®, Tuna Helper, potatoes au gratin, instant oatmeal, instant soups like Lipton Onion Soup and Cup of Noodles, powdered milk, gravy mixes and anything you “just add water” to.

Dehydrated foods are second only to fresh foods. They are processed under a high vacuum and low drying temperature that removes most of the water. The product is more brittle and hard rather than leathery like dried fruits such as raisins, figs, prunes, pineapple, apricots, etc.

Dehydrated foods, when harvested and preserved properly, will retain their vitamins, minerals and enzymes because the food has not been cooked or canned, processes that kill the enzymes that are so vital to the digestive process. So dehydrated food is “live food.”

Dehydrated food is lower in weight and is much easier to store than wet pack food. It fits in cans and buckets and when reconstituted will yield at least double or triple its weight.  And dehydrated food is less expensive than wet pack food because you aren’t paying for all the water.

Food packed in No. 10 cans fit six cans per box and stack nicely on top of each other. If you label the boxes as to what is in them, you can see at a glance what you have.

Dehydrated food can be rehydrated to restore it to its natural state. The taste is still great and the food value is excellent. Dehydrated food stores well for long periods of time if properly canned. Most items keep for seven to 30 years.

Any product that has powdered milk or dried eggs in it has a shorter shelf life. Rotate these items before the expiration date is up. The suggested shelf life of dairy products is five to seven years.

I have been asked many times what the difference is between dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. Dehydrated foods are dried until the product is dry and leathery and most of the moisture is out of the food.

Freeze-dried foods are flash-frozen and then the water is extracted out of the product using a special evaporation process. It retains its original shape and is much lighter in weight.

Freeze-dried foods are ideal for backpacking. Freeze-dried foods are more expensive than dehydrated food, but the flavor is wonderful.

You may recognize the name Mountain House Foods®. These foods are already in a pouch and ready to eat. You just add water and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. They are nice to have in your 72-hour grab-and-go pack in case of emergency. However, the cost is prohibitive for use for extended periods of time, especially if you are on a budget and trying to get enough food storage to sustain your family for at least a 3-month period.

Reconstituting Guidelines
A good rule of thumb for reconstituting fruits, vegetables and meats is to add about three times the amount of boiling water to the product. Then let it set for at least 20 minutes. If cold water is used, the product must sit in the refrigerator for about four hours or overnight.

If you have added too much water, you can drain it and use it in cooking. If your food  looks like it needs more water, then add more. To speed up the reconstitution process, add the dried product directly to soup and cook as usual.

Dehydration causes the cell walls of the food to collapse. Some products, like tomatoes, cannot be reconstituted to the texture that they were before. However, they can be used in seasonings or in recipes such as tomato sauce or soups. It’s very easy to reconstitute food; you just “add water.”

A company that I recommend for fast, easy, nutritious gourmet meals that will store for up to 15 years is eFoods Global. How does chicken veggie alfredo pasta, chili with cornmeal dumplings or white cheddar pasta shells sound?  How about beef stroganoff, tortilla soup or, my favorite, cheesy chicken rice casserole.

 

Some of the features of eFoods Global are:

  • Dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.
  • No genetically modified foods (GMOs).
  • No added MSG.
  • No imports from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • No hydrogenated oil.

This is a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use. If you would like to try the same six meals that I received, simply go to http://peggylayton.myefoods.com, watch the three-minute video and then click on the WIN button. After you receive your six meals for $9.95, you can order a shipment of food to be delivered to you once per month. This is more cost-effective, and over a few month’s time you will have enough good-tasting nutritious meals stored for an emergency. 

On my website you can purchase many different varieties of dehydrated foods already packaged for long-term storage. They come in No. 10 gallon-sized cans. When the product is reconstituted it yields about three to four times the amount in the can.

These packs contain dehydrated fruits like apples, banana chips, pineapple, strawberries and peaches. They have dried vegetables like carrots, onions, corn, peas, bell pepper, tomato flakes and potato slices, dices, flakes and hash browns. They also contain powdered milk and dairy products like cheddar cheese powder, dried eggs, butter powder, buttermilk powder, plus shortening powder, meat substitutes, soup mixes, rice and other grains, popcorn, spaghetti and egg noodles, six- and nine-grain cereals, rolled oats and granola.

The beans include pinto, small red, white navy, split pea, lentils and refried. The packs also include drink mixes like peach and apple drink, as well as chocolate milk mix.  There is salt, baking soda, sugar cookie mix and white bread mix.

The packs also include five-gallon buckets of wheat, flour, cornmeal and sugar. And you get one of my cookbooks for free.

There are premium year-supply packs that include entrees that are ready to eat. This includes some Mountain House freeze dried meals. Some of the meals are beef stew, beef stroganoff, beef teriyaki with rice, chicken ala-king, chicken and rice, chicken and noodles, spaghetti and meat sauce, vegetable stew, chili mac, lasagna with meat sauce, wild rice and mushroom pilaf and mac and cheese, fried rice, chili, scrambled eggs with ham or bacon and granola with blueberries.

These foods come in three-month, six-month and one-year variety packs. I have personally worked with all these foods and have chosen the ones that I recommend. If you are interested in any of these packs, you can go to my website and order them.

I also recommend my new, updated cookbook, Cookin’ With Home Storage. It has more than 550 recipes for using storable foods like dehydrated, freeze-dried and pantry food items. It also has charts on what food to store, how much food to store and how to store it. There are also historical tips and information on how the pioneers really lived.

This book teaches how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. It also contains Grandma’s home remedies, emergency baby food and recipes for pet food free of all the additives that are found in commercial baby food and pet food.

This is my No. 1 selling book.

The next best selling book I have is Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.

These books, along with many others, including Food storage 101, “Where Do I Begin?” can be purchased on my website, www.peggylayton.com
You can also contact me via email or by phone: 435-835-0311.

In my next article I will cover how to store bulk foods.

California Supreme Court Says Illegal Aliens Can Receive In-State Tuition Rates

California Supreme Court says illegal aliens can receive in-state tuition ratesIllegal immigrants in California are eligible to pay lower college tuition than documented out-of-state students, according to a ruling by the state's highest court.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Supreme Court has reversed a lower state court decision that struck down a law that provided reduced tuition rates for illegal aliens. Nine other states also have laws that allow undocumented students to receive financial benefits.

The news provider reports that about 400 in-state students at the University of California (UC) are illegal immigrants, while other state colleges say that they do not monitor students' citizenship status.

The New American reports that the the UC in-state fee is approximately $12,000 per year, compared to about $35,000 each year for out-of-state students.

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a nonpartisan organization, has condemned the court's decision and hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the ruling.

"Our infrastructure is crumbling in an overpopulated, financially-strapped California, and the legislature provides an additional $23,000 per year to each illegal, foreign student — a gift that is not available to U. S. citizens in other states," said Marilyn DeYoung, Chairman of the Board of CAPS.

World War III With Fiat!

Let’s talk about a new definition of war.

If you sat in the brain trust of the inner sanctum of the World Order, how would you plan and create war? You would first move in the exoteric (the visible). You would create a shooting war with all the trappings of the propaganda of “terrorism” and conventional war hardware such as men, guns, tanks, airplanes and so on, ad infinitum. Sort of like what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Your soldiers, guns and equipment are expendable because they only cost fiat, which costs you nothing. But you would program all the accountants and the talking heads about how outrageous the cost of war is, and they would transfer this thought to the people. You absolutely don’t want the people to know that you create war with fiat. They just might liquidate their paper money in favor of gold.

We just must have a “national debt” to mask the printing press and the truth that Ponzi finance is fraud from its inception, and there is never any intention to pay anybody.

Historically, fiat is a confidence game. But if handled perfectly, the people never know — at least not until the last stages when paper money collapses — and the middle class is impoverished and greed is at its apex. All this is becoming visible now to some people.

This is the exoteric, the visible.

Now the esoteric: This is the hidden war.

What about a war on the whole world? An invisible war that not one in 10 million could discern. Certainly no nation would blow the whistle lest they get the economic slats pulled from under them. Yes, this is war for economic gain… for trillions of dollars. This is the finale! This war is invisible and super-secret.

The Iraq war and the Afghanistan war are decoys. They are the wooden ducks.

The fact is, if the ruling powers revealed what they are doing, just a very few would understand, and most wouldn’t care as long as they could have their six-pack and TV so they could watch their football game or American Idol.

What we have here is the perfect crime to cap off the worldwide fiat system.

The purpose of this secret war is the plan for the flow of wealth from the people of the United States and the people of the world to the elite owners and rulers of the world — the money creators. The method and mechanism of the transfer is organized depreciation of the purchasing power of paper money. Has tribute ever had an equal?

A 100-year foundation of confidence in paper money is the platform for the final and greatest deception — the rip-off!

Depreciation of the currency is direct war on all dollar holders worldwide. No soldiers, no guns, no tanks, no budgets, no charges of crime, no fear of the press, no public outcry. The fox is in charge of the henhouse but the hens are unaware. In fact, they are unaware that they are unaware.

Oh, the foxes, they don’t talk about printing money. They call it “quantitative easing.” They are “easing” millions of people into poverty.

This final world war will leave millions and millions destitute and in poverty. Only a few will know what happened. The rest will slink about in their misery, trying to eke out a living or find a morsel of bread.

Is there anybody out there who doesn’t understand that if you keep pouring water in the milk, you finally have all water? This is how fiat finally destroys all savings and purchasing power.

All that is necessary is to keep printing new money and call it “quantitative easing.” The more paper money spewed out, the more worthless each one of those paper dollars in your pocket, or your mattress, or your “bank account,” or your retirement funds. What do we call this? A cruel hoax.

Yes, the modern alchemists have taken nothing, multiplied to infinity and transferred to themselves the wealth of the world.

False Flag Terror And TSA Totalitarianism

A suspected bomb was found on a Munich-bound flight Thursday, a convenient coincidence in light of the growing revolt over the Transportation Security Administration porn show/grope fest going on at American airports.

For a little history, after 9/11 — where a bunch of Middle-Eastern cave dwellers are reported to have commandeered aircraft with box cutters and expertly flown them into the Twin Towers, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania after taking a couple of flying lessons — airport security was ramped up, nail clippers were banned and white-haired little old ladies were singled out for extra screening if their artificial hips set off the metal detector.

After Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) set his sneakers on fire after he was allowed on a plane that took off in Paris — despite raising red flags over his appearance, the fact that he had no luggage and failed to adequately answer the questions of French National Police interrogators — American travelers were forced to remove their shoes and open their carry-ons for inspection, and business travelers, men in wheel chairs and little old ladies were singled out for extra scrutiny that included, at times, a pat down.

After Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab set his own crotch on fire on a plane he boarded in Amsterdam — despite being on the U.S. State Department’s no-fly list and not having a passport, but with the assistance of an Indian secret operative with ties to the Israeli Mossad and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency — American passengers were denied the ability to take liquids on planes and children, the handicapped and infirm were singled out and humiliated with increasingly intrusive searches.

Conveniently, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s new company just happened to be selling naked body scanners at the time, and the U.S. government snapped some of them up and began deploying them in U.S. airports. We were assured the dose of radiation received was harmless and that certainly they wouldn’t save the nude photographs that had TSA watchers all atwitter. We’ve since learned the radiation is harmful and the images can indeed be both saved and transmitted via the Internet.

After another false flag terror operation involving printer cartridges on a passenger-less cargo plane that departed from Yemen — in which investigators first said no explosives were found and then, a day after President Barack Obama announced there were indeed explosives, investigators changed their minds and began finding explosives everywhere they looked — the TSA announced it was buying $300 million more of the radiating naked body scanners and were henceforth going to treat all American travelers as common criminals, grab their private parts (children included) and squeeze the breasts of women and young girls. Refuse the groping and open yourself up to TSA investigation, as John Tyner has learned.

Meanwhile, we get reports that TSA agents are having fun at the public’s expense. One agent was fired for planting a bag of white powder in passengers’ bags and telling them he found drugs. Others pulled down a woman’s blouse, exposing her breasts, and laughed at her embarrassment. Agents forced a woman with a pacemaker to go through the scanners, despite the woman’s protests. Agents have made crippled, wheelchair-bound children get out of the chair and drag themselves through metal detectors. One agent made a mother drink the breast milk she had reserved for her baby. Another woman was removed from line and made to throw away her child’s sippy cup. One agent was recently recorded telling a passenger he gave up his rights when he bought an airline ticket. The stories of TSA stupidity go on and on.

Finally, finally the traveling public has had enough. They’re revolting, despite the mainstream media’s attempts at soothing the growing furor and downplaying the totalitarianism that has grown out of the TSA. Even R. Emmett Tyrrell, the founder of The American Spectator, has — disappointingly — joined in the chorus of those in government and the mainstream media who blame the Drudge Report for stoking a fire that, they believe, should not be stoked.

The fascists in charge of “airport security” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA head John Pistole — are digging in despite the growing revolt by everyday Americans who value their health (they don’t want another dose of radiation) and their privacy (they don’t want photos of their naked bodies ogled by a bunch of TSA perverts in the airport or a bunch of panting juveniles on the Internet, and they don’t want to be touched in places reserved for lovers and doctors). Americans certainly don’t want their children subjected to such nonsense.

In a sign of government elitist hubris and arrogance, Napolitano this week went so far as to say that if Americans won’t submit to the TSA procedures they can find another way to travel. Now the fascists are deciding how you should travel.

Thankfully there are people who are willing to resist. A National Opt-Out Day is set for Nov. 24. Travelers are encouraged to opt out of the naked body scanners, forcing time-consuming enhanced pat downs. The goal is to shut down the system. Others are filing lawsuits over TSA abuses.

Some in government have gotten the message and taken up the cause. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), the only statesman still in Congress today, has introduce a bill that establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person.

Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) said from the floor of the House that the scanners violate the 4th Amendment. Representative John Mica (R-Fla.) recently reminded airports they aren’t required to keep the TSA in charge of their screening and can employ a private company instead. The Orlando Sanford International Airport says that’s what it’s going to do.

The district attorneys of several states are now saying they’re going to investigate any complaints they get about TSA misbehavior.

Yesterday’s Munich terror scare will no doubt give the fascists more ammunition to try and increase their grip over airport security. If that doesn’t work, we’ve seen they’re not afraid to have covert operatives send another weak-minded but ineffective patsy onto a plane to try something to give the totalitarian TSA another reason to strip Americans of their rights and dignity.

This resistance has momentum, and travelers can’t waiver now. If they do, all hope is lost.

Editor’s note: If you have a story of TSA abuse you’d like to share or have recorded an audio or video of TSA agents in action, you can send them to freedomwatch@personalliberty.com. We will relay these to our readers and guarantee your anonymity. And if you participate in National Opt-Out Day, be sure you record your experience and send it to us. –Bob

Boehner Says He’ll Fly Commercial Aircraft When He Becomes Speaker

Boehner says he'll fly commercial aircraft when he becomes SpeakerA watchdog group that promotes transparency and integrity in government has praised House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) for announcing that he will fly commercial instead of using military aircraft when he becomes Speaker of the House.

Boehner is expected to become the next Speaker when Republicans take control of the chamber in January. He will replace Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been criticized by the GOP for allegedly using military aircraft to travel with her family and friends. In documents recovered by the group Judicial Watch, Pelosi's military travel is believed to have cost the United States Air Force more than $2.1 million.

In a Judicial Watch press release, the organization said it was happy that Boehner "will not follow Pelosi's corrupt example." Boehner's decision to use commercial aircraft is part of his party's attempt to reduce government spending.

"Over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft. And I'm going to continue to do that," said Boehner, quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

According to the news provider, Pelosi's aides have claimed that she often flies commercial and that she has used military aircraft less than her predecessor, Republican Dennis Hastert.

October Debt Is Third-Highest In American History

October debt is third highest in American historyThe Treasury Department says that the Federal government began the new budget year with the third-highest October deficit on record.

According to media reports, the debt accrued in October was $140.4 billion, which is nearly $36 billion lower than the imbalance in October 2009, but still likely to set the tone for the third straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits. Last year's Federal debt totaled $1.29 trillion, second only to the all-time record of $1.42 trillion in 2009.

President Barack Obama's administration has predicted that the 2011 deficit will be around $1.42 trillion, although many economists believe it will be slightly lower, The Associated Press reports.

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, the co-chairmen of Obama's deficit-cutting panel, released a proposal on Nov. 10 that called for major changes in government spending and tax policies. Some of the recommendations included raising the gasoline tax, cutting Medicare costs, raising the retirement age and reducing the defense budget.

The Wall Street Journal reports that many Republicans have voiced their support for the preliminary proposal, which would reduce the national deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. During an interview on CNBC, Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called it "a step in the right direction."

Many Democrats have denounced the draft because of the proposed squeeze on Social Security benefits. Some Republican lawmakers have criticized its tax increases, which account for 25 percent of the deficit reduction, the news provider reports.

Lame Ducks, Marco Rubio, Illiterates And Lindsey Graham

*Why they’re called lame ducks. The phrase “lame duck” was first used in the 18th century on the London Stock Exchange. It referred to a broker who defaulted on his debts. The first written mention occurred in 1761, when Horace Walpole wrote Sir Horace Mann and asked, “Do you know what a Bull and Bear and a Lame Duck are?” It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to a politician who had been defeated for re-election but had not yet been replaced in office.

*A rising star in Florida. I was a proud supporter of Marco Rubio long before his success forced Charlie Crist to drop out of the Republican primary. During the campaign Rubio said a lot I liked. But this election-night comment deserves to be cast in concrete: “We make a great mistake if we believe that these results tonight are somehow an embrace of the Republican Party. What they are is a second chance, a second chance for Republicans to be what they said they were going to be not so long ago.”

*Winning thanks to illiterate vote. Am I the only person who sees something ironic in the fact that Lisa Murkowski won a write-in contest for her Senate seat in Alaska thanks to the votes of thousands of people who couldn’t spell her name correctly? If the lady was insufferable before (and she was), she’s really going to be impossible now. Do we really want a Republican Senator who is more arrogant than Barack Obama?

*I’m not so sure about this one. I have friends in South Carolina who insist that their senior Senator “got the message” from this year’s elections. “Lindsay Graham will start voting Republican,” they promise. I’ll have to see it to believe it. Meantime, though, I’m absolutely delighted that Jim DeMint’s star is rising. He defied a lot of establishment Republicans to support numerous Tea Party candidates. Good for him.

–Chip Wood

Veteran Congressman Rangel Found Guilty Of Corruption

Veteran Congressman Rangel found guilty of corruptionA House ethics subcommittee found Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) guilty of 11 counts of corruption charges on Nov. 16.

According to USA Today, the eight-member committee concluded that Rangel, who has served his congressional district since 1971, violated House ethics rules by soliciting millions of dollars in donations, housing a campaign office in a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan, and failing to disclose assets and pay some taxes.

The case will now be brought to a full ethics committee, which will recommend a punishment for Rangel.

On Nov. 15, Rangel requested a delay for the hearing because he claimed he did not have enough time to hire a new legal team, but that motion was denied by the subcommittee. According to media reports, Rangel said that he wasn't being treated fairly and that he deserved to have a lawyer before the trial commenced.

After Rangel walked out of the proceedings, members of the subcommittee moved to a closed session and decided that the trial would continue without the congressman's presence. In a written statement, Rangel condemned the panel's decision to proceed and called it a violation of "the most basic rights … guaranteed to every person under the Constitution," quoted by CNN

Majority Of Americans Say Republican-Led House Is Good For Nation

Majority of Americans say Republican-led House is good for nationMore than half of Americans believe the upcoming shift in Congressional power will be good for the country, a recent survey reveals.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey that was released on Nov. 15, approximately 52 percent of people questioned said that GOP majority in the House of Representatives, which takes effect in January, will be positive for the United States. Nearly 40 percent said it will be bad for the country.

Although the majority of those surveyed are optimistic about the change in leadership, about 44 percent said that there won't be much of a difference in the job performance between a Republican- or Democrat-led chamber. About 33 percent believe that Republicans will do a better job than their predecessors.

The survey also found that President Barack Obama's approval rating has increased to 48 percent, which is six points higher than in the CNN poll released in September. Roughly 50 percent of respondents said they disapprove, with 38 percent of those people claiming that Obama is too liberal and 9 percent saying he is not liberal enough.

A Gallup poll released last week reveals that the current Congressional session has a 17 percent approval rating among Americans, which is down from 21 percent from before the midterm elections.

Watch Out For Those Lame Ducks!

More than 100 members of Congress who will be looking for work in January are back at their desks on Capitol Hill this week. What can we expect from this bunch of lame ducks?

Probably nothing good. The more important question is: How much bad will they do before they go home?

I keep hearing rumors that the union bosses who bought (stole?) Harry Reid’s re-election in Nevada are demanding that card check be passed before Congress heads home for Christmas. In case you’re not familiar with this dishonestly named bit of legislative chicanery, it would mean the end of the secret ballot in union elections.

Believe it or not, the bill’s supporters in Congress actually had the nerve to call this odious piece of legislation “The Employee Free Choice Act.” Of course it is nothing of the sort. Passage would mean an end to free choice for those workers unfortunate enough to become the victims of it.

And speaking of the unions in this country, did you realize that they were the single biggest spenders in this year’s elections? Not only did they force their members to cough up $100 million dollars for some of the slimiest negative advertising we’ve ever seen, the union bosses actually borrowed another $20 million or so to buy more ads in critical areas.

Nevada was one of them. Union leaders considered it absolutely essential to keep their pet lapdog, Harry Reid, as Senate Majority Leader. To the sorrow of all of us who care about constitutional government, they succeeded. Now the question is: Will Reid deliver on his debt to them?

Frankly, I think all of you right-to-work supporters can relax. There’s about as much chance of Reid ramming card check through Congress as there is of Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) proposal to get us out of the United Nations being approved. Or even Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and that one has a majority of the present House members as co-sponsors.

Yes, this lame duck session of Congress is important. Maybe even pivotal. But not because Harry Reid and his counterpart in the House — the incredibly nasty, vindictive, but soon-to-be-ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi — are going to ram through another bunch of bad bills. Granted, these people don’t care a whit about decency, honesty or what’s permitted by the Constitution.

But I do know one thing they care about — their hides. And I suspect they realize what would happen to them if they treated us all like the hapless serfs they wish we actually were. The “million man march” would become many millions. And the marchers wouldn’t be anywhere near as nice as the last bunch. Heck, they probably wouldn’t even stop to clean the blood off the Capitol steps.

(Let’s pause a moment for a joke. I received an email warning a few days ago, purportedly from the Department of Homeland Security. The subject line said, “Warning! Dangerous email!” The message inside said whatever you do, do not open an email that promises to include a naked photo of Nancy Pelosi. The reason? Because it actually does contain a naked photo of her.)

Back to reality, which is sometimes just as unpleasant. What in fact can we expect this lame duck session to do? (If you’re wondering about the origination of the phrase “lame duck,” check out Chip Shots at the bottom of this page).

How about passing a budget?

With all the hullabaloo over the midterm elections, you may not have caught the news that our beloved Congress hasn’t passed a budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

I kid you not. Congress went racing home in September without taking a vote on any of the one dozen spending bills that were needed to finance the Federal government for the coming year. Instead, in their awesome wisdom, they approved a stopgap “continuing resolution” that temporarily extended current spending levels through Dec. 2.

Why a dozen different spending bills, you might ask? For a couple of reasons. One, some of the brighter minds in D.C. argued that it would be easier to sort through 12 separate bills that divided government programs into 12 different piles than to have one gargantuan monster that no one would read and few could comprehend.

I don’t know why this should be a problem. It certainly wasn’t with the single most important piece of legislation that Congress has foisted on us in the past 50 years — Obamacare. Here was a bill that no one had read (it wasn’t put together until a few hours before the vote) and that no one fully understands even now. Remember, it was Pelosi who said, “We have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it.” Is that a crazy way to make legislation or what?

I have to admit, the second reason for not combining all spending proposals into one bill does make sense: There wasn’t a single member of the House or Senate who would put his or her name on legislation calling for more than a trillion dollars in Federal spending in one year.

As I said, the 435 members of the House running for re-election were scared to death of this monstrosity. And who could blame them? So — surprise, surprise — they elected to take the cowardly way out and pass a temporary measure, then race for the doors.

Now the jig is up. How are they going to fund our gargantuan government after Dec. 2? Stay tuned; it’s about to get very interesting.

And speaking of spending, let’s turn that coin over and look at the other side. Where are they going to get the money they are so eager to spend? Quantitative easing (remember, that’s creating money out of thin air) can take them only so far; in addition to Uncle Sam monetizing debt, he actually has to collect some money from those of us who still work for a living.

The name of this game is taxes, folks. And the goal is to see how many feathers you can pluck from the goose before he begins to squawk. Or worse yet, succumbs to being stark naked in the cold.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly insisted that there will be no tax breaks for the rich. A “tax break,” when our spender-in-chief uses the phrase, means allowing some of you to keep some of the money you earn. Remember, the mindset of our leaders is that government deserves every dollar you make, because they will spend it all so much more “fairly” than you would. If they allow you to keep any of your earnings, why, they’re just being magnanimous.

So there you have two of the biggest issues that this lame duck Congress must address. They can’t waddle (or at least not much). They can’t delay (or at least not for long).

All that’s at stake here is government spending and taxation — two of the most important issues of our lifetime. So it’s rather scary to realize that their fate is in the hands of a hundred politicos who have already been fired by the voters back home.

Who was it who said that neither your money nor your property is safe when Congress is in session? He got that right.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Republican-dominated Texas Legislature Seeks Tough Immigration Law

Republican-dominated Texas legislature seeks tough immigration lawFollowing big victories in the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers in Texas are gunning for Arizona-type immigration laws.  

The Dallas Morning News reports that similar bills have been squashed by Democratic maneuvers in past sessions, but the newly acquired supermajorities for Texas Republicans suggest that strict immigration reform will be adopted in the Lone Star State. The new session begins on Jan. 11.

The Republican agenda resembles the one in Arizona, which has the toughest immigration laws in the United States. According to the news provider, Texas lawmakers are pushing bills that would allow law enforcement to inquire about the suspects' citizenship status and allow the arrest of those who are in the U.S. illegally.

Republicans have also proposed statutes that would require students at public schools to show proof of citizenship, so the state could eliminate education funding for illegal immigrants.

"[Texans] are fed up with political correctness," said Representative Debbie Riddle (R-Tomball), quoted by the news provider.

Across the country, Wisconsin legislator Don Pridemore (R-Hartford) said that he plans to introduce an Arizona-type immigration law in 2011, when Republicans gain majority of the House, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Among other provisions, the bill would repeal an ordinance that allows residents to receive social service benefits without proving their citizenship. 

The Missing Story

The biggest story about the midterm elections is one that seems to have escaped most conservatives, to wit:

While it’s true that slightly more than half of those who voted sent a signal to Washington that they want government to drastically decrease spending, taxes and regulation, the painful reality is that slightly less than half of the voters cast their ballots in favor of Democratic candidates who, with just a few notable exceptions, want to increase spending, taxes and regulation.

I would thus caution overly exuberant Republicans that reports of the death of the progressive movement in this country have been grossly exaggerated. Many Republican victories, such as John Kasich’s win over George Strickland and Pat Toomey’s victory over Joe Sestak, were by razor-thin margins. Even where a race was won by as much as 15 points, that still translated into more than 40 percent of the voters giving their stamp of approval to President Barack Obama’s ultra-progressive agenda.

So, what does this all mean? First, and most obvious, it means that if those people (especially the shameless swing voters, most of whom are driven by that great human defect known as instant gratification) who voted for winning Republican candidates are disappointed by what happens in Washington over the next two years, many of them might very well vote for the hope-and-change stuff again in 2012. Hmm… seems I once read something about what happens to those who do not remember the lessons of history.

I get concerned whenever I hear media talking heads blather about the need for the two parties to "come together" and show a willingness to compromise so they can "get something done." Talk about not getting it. The true Tea Partiers don’t want Republicans to "come together" with their Democratic counterparts who want bigger government, more spending, more taxes, more regulation  —  and less liberty.

They don’t want the people they just voted into office to slow the growth of government spending; they want government spending drastically cut. They don’t want the "Bush tax cuts" extended; they want more tax cuts. They don’t want closer oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency; they want the EPA defunded — or, better yet, eliminated. No need to go on… you get the idea.

But won’t this kind of attitude on the part of Republicans cause gridlock? Yes! It will cause beautiful, progressive-stifling, liberty-protecting gridlock. Those who propelled Tea Party candidates into office don’t want the government to "get something done" if that means enacting more laws and finding new and more devious ways to increase taxes (e.g., Cap-and-Trade and huge increases in the money supply).

The only thing they want politicians to do is repeal all unConstitutional laws already on the books, get out of the way of entrepreneurs and the private sector and focus on protecting the lives and property of all United States citizens. Whether a citizen happens to be "rich" or "poor" is irrelevant — and, quite frankly, none of the government’s business. While the concern of some politicians for the perceived hardship of any particular group may make for an interesting sociological or philosophical discussion, it does not give them the right to forcibly redistribute the assets of others.

Keeping all this in mind, I have to give credit to establishment Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who demonstrated that he understood perfectly the message of the electorate when he said that his party’s number-one objective is to make Obama a one-term President. This, of course, brought about feigned indignation from the left.

But McConnell stuck to his guns in a speech to a Heritage Foundation audience when he said, "… if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things."

Why in the world wouldn’t your number-one objective be to get rid of the big dog who’s calling the progressive shots from the White House? It’s an over-arching objective that should begin immediately and continue, in full-court-press fashion, over the next two years.

In the meantime, as part of this over-arching objective, quick passage of a bill to repeal Obamacare should be front and center, followed by an all-out war against the Cap-and-Trade scam. And let’s not forget Representative Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) main focus: "I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another, and expose all the nonsense that has gone on." As I have previously written, I interpret her word nonsense to be a euphemism for blatant criminal activity.

Those who would argue that investigating congressional wrongdoing over the past two years is a waste of taxpayer money are wrong. If there are no consequences to criminal activity in government, felonious politicians have no incentive to change their ways. It’s very important that there be a bloodletting that politicians will remember for decades to come.

I could go on and on, but, in the end, what the midterm elections were really all about was freedom. Clearly, though I doubt most people realize it, freedom is what underlies most of the economic problems that dominate the daily news. And if a staunch Marxist is allowed to hold the reins of power much longer, Americans might just lose forever what’s left of their rapidly shrinking supply of that most precious of all commodities.

That said, McConnell is right. Let’s all make a commitment to bring to an end the hope-and-change nonsense in 2012.

–Robert Ringer

General Motors Predicts First Profitable Year Since 2004

General Motors predicts first profitable year since 2004The largest American automaker has predicted that it will enjoy its first profitable year since 2004.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, General Motors (GM) announced on Nov. 9 that it recorded a $2 billion profit for the third quarter, which is up 50 percent from the company's second quarter figures. Ford posted a $1.7 billion profit in the third quarter, while Chrysler reported a net loss of $84 million.

GM, which is set to begin trading its stock publicly on Nov. 18, has accrued $4.2 billion in year-to-date earnings after taxes and interest. A year after filing for bankruptcy, GM's third quarter results are expected to help the company pay back the Federal government, which approved $17.4 billion in emergency bailout funds for automakers in 2008.

In former President George W. Bush's memoirs Decision Points, he defends his decision to sign the bailout by saying he "had to safeguard American workers and families."

"I told Barack Obama that I wouldn't let the automakers fail," wrote Bush, quoted by The Detroit News. "I won't dump this mess on him."

Bush blames the auto industry's near collapse on decades of poor management, which was slow to recognize changes in the market. The former commander-in-chief said that lackluster leadership led GM, Ford and Chrysler to be "outcompeted" by foreign manufacturers.

Staying Warm

Winter is just around the corner, and that should be a reminder to all that staying warm in an emergency situation is a key to survival.

People stay warm by generating and retaining heat and/or gaining it from an outside source. Heat is lost through radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation.

Proper clothing is essential to minimizing the effects of heat loss. Most thick outer garments, such as heavy coats or layers of lighter-weight clothing, minimize radiation loss. Radiant barriers constructed of shiny material and sandwiched with nonconductive layers will reflect body heat inward.

Conduction can be prevented by separating two extremes — the cold air outside from the warm air near your body — with an insulative layer. Most coats, natural and synthetic, offer resistance to conduction through air pockets in the insulation.

Convection transfers heat via air currents. Convection is experienced when one opens his jacket, allowing the heated air from the body to escape through the opening.

Heat loss also occurs when water evaporates. Our bodies continually give off moisture in the form of perspiration. If our clothes become damp with perspiration or from another source, evaporation quickly removes heat from our bodies.

In an emergency situation, try not to work so hard your clothes become wet with perspiration. Remove layers and work more slowly.

If it’s raining, avoid the chore that would put you in the rain, if possible, or don a raincoat or poncho and do all you can to avoid getting wet.

Finally, starting a fire can help both physically and emotionally. Keep some strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof container, or be sure you have some other fire starter handy. Good choices are butane lighters, flint and steel, 9-volt battery and steel wool or a magnesium fire starter.

It’s also a good idea to have some type of tinder in a waterproof container. Cotton impregnated with petroleum jelly and kept in a 35-mm film canister is a great tool.

Source: Emergency Essentials’ Tips For Preparedness, edited by Larry Barkdull.

The Lucky Man

The opening lines of Keith Koffler’s recent effort in Politico just missed the mark:

“President Barack Obama, fresh from his drubbing in the 2010 midterms, is trying to revive his fortunes by pursuing a path toward the middle.”

At least he got the “drubbing” part right. But Obama is about as likely to steer toward the so-called “middle” as Paul Krugman is to admit that Obamacare will require death panels. (Oops. Spoke too soon.)

Koffler’s piece, entitled “Freudian Slips May Haunt Obama” is actually a marginally astute examination of Barack Obama — Unplugged, and the routinely unfortunate circumstances he creates for his liberal accomplices through unscripted revelations of his true nature.

Koffler actually does a bit of a soft-shoe on Obama’s tendency toward verbal diarrhea. But his recounting of the lowlights of Obama’s lamentable tenure in the White House does spell out in black and white this revelation:

He may be shrewd, even clever; but Barack Obama is no more intellectually supercharged than Joe Biden’s hair plugs.

For all the port-side travelers who took such delight in mocking the brainpower of George W. Bush, chew on this: Obama is far from brilliant. He’s a manufactured genius, a fictional savior, cut from whole cloth. He’s a talking haircut, a speech-making savant. The liberally reviled Bush is a Jeffersonian polymath compared to this mendacious marionette.

Despite the best efforts of Obama’s handlers, his occasional ventures off script have not only required a universal liberal whitewash, they’ve also given us an unedited glimpse at the real Barack Obama.

This is the Alinsky-ite babbler who thinks that his political opponents are “enemies” whom he exhorts his liberal acolytes to fear far more than the illegal aliens, Islamofacists and outright communists he works so hard to appease.

He’s the lout who derides his fellow Americans who “cling to their guns and religion.” Of course, only reactionary psychopaths openly celebrate that pesky Bill of Rights.

He’s the “shovel-ready” leftist shaman who’s obviously as familiar with hard work as Charlie Rangel is with Jenny Craig.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, he encountered Samuel Joseph “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, to whom he proclaimed:

“I think when you spread the wealth around…it’s good for everybody.”

That’s Das Kapital for Dummies. Liberals reacted to the exchange by crucifying Wurzelbacker. Few noted that the economic battle of wits between Joe and Barack was like the New York Giants squaring off with the local junior high school… cheerleaders.

I could continue to recount examples of tragicomic ineptitude which has become the stock in trade for Obama, but I have to take the President’s advice and find a seat in “the back of the bus” with my “Slurpee.”

Koffler notes what he calls Obama’s “cool opaqueness” and suggested he might be an “elitist.” Obama is not opaque, he’s vacuous. Whether he’s calling the majority of Arizonans racist — and ratting them out to the United Nations like a 5-year-old tattling to mommy — or bowing down to some America-hating tin-pot, his actions suggest a nearly comprehensive lack of awareness.

And he’s no elitist. His gourmet meals with Oprah, plush sojourns to the Subcontinent and endless tee times may make us yearn for Bush’s brush-clearing misadventures; but his lavish lifestyle in the face of economic hard times for his constituents suggests he’s an elitist wannabe.

The Kennedys are elitists. Having personally trod the perfectly manicured grounds of their palatial Hyannis Port homestead, I can assure you that — despite their “people of the people” act — the Kennedys only allow folks like Obama through the gates to re-line the tennis courts and fish campaign volunteers out from under the bridge at Edgartown. Overtly public displays of excess are so gauche.

Let’s be honest; if Jack Ryan had kept his hands to himself (or been a Democrat, where that sort of behavior amongst Senators is acceptable), Obama would probably be helping ACORN teach Chi-town hookers how to qualify for Clintoncare.

Obama is part Chauncey Gardner in Being There — unintentionally blessed by incredible serendipity; and part Tom Grunick in Broadcast News — a creepy savant, able to regurgitate impressive talking points without seeming comprehension of their depth or consequence. He can mime emotional reaction, but only in the rote manner employed by Asperger’s sufferers.

But the White House is not a back lot at one of Obama’s Hollywood pals’ studios. And our national plight, clearly beyond the meager capabilities of our Commander-in-Chief, is no cinematic epic. Sadly, at the end of the Obama version of Being There, the clueless hero doesn’t walk on water — he falls in.

And we all drown.