The Accelerating Economic Death Spiral

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wants to change the materials used to make coins and replace paper money with digits on the computer (electronic transactions).

According to Geithner, it now costs 2.4 cents to make a penny and 11.2 cents to make a nickel because rising commodity prices have driven up production costs.

Why are commodity prices rising? Because of inflation created by the Federal Reserve’s money printing. According to an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, the Fed bought 61 percent of the total debt issued by the Treasury Department last year.

“The Fed is in effect subsidizing U.S. government spending and borrowing via expansion of its balance sheet and massive purchases of Treasury bonds. This keeps Treasury interest rates abnormally low, camouflaging the true size of the budget deficit,” former Treasury official Lawrence Goodman wrote.

So Fed policies of moving debt around, paying debt with more debt and money printing gives Congress (and Americans) a sense that — even though the deficit is tremendous — it’s not as bad as it really is. Inflation has gotten out of hand and it’s driving up the cost of the money Americans use, so Geithner believes it’s time to steer America into a cashless economy, under the guise of saving what has become a piddling $75 million.

Don’t buy into Geithner’s lie. The goal is to eliminate the underground cash economy and make a way of tracking all purchases in order to collect more taxes.

The elites in government won’t be content until they have stolen every penny possible from every American. The underground cash economy can’t be tracked and, therefore, can’t be taxed. It’s yet another effort to stave off the economic collapse they’ve set in motion.

And, if all purchases become electronic, government will know what everyone is doing. As Gary North writes in his Tea Party Economist blog: “The ATM is our friend. No matter how hard the government tries to stamp out paper currency, people will use it. They buy freedom with it. They buy privacy.”

These Billionaires Wasted Millions Of Dollars

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Texas billionaire Harold Simmons should find a better way to spend their money.

So far this campaign season, the two men and their families have contributed more than $35 million to various Republican political-action groups — the so-called “Super PACs.” Most of that money has been spent running negative ads about some Republican candidate for President on another candidate’s behalf.

Is this any way to save our country?

Of the two, Adelson has gotten by far the worse results for his money. Reportedly, he and his wife Miriam have contributed $16 million to Winning Our Future, the super-PAC formed to support Newt Gingrich’s run for the White House. His daughter, Shelley Adelson, contributed $500,000. The Adelson family was definitely the elephant in the house, contributing 87 percent of the $18.8 million the Super PAC has raised.

But with Gingrich falling further and further behind, contributions have pretty much dried up. While Gingrich insists he’s in the race to the bitter end, I don’t think anyone except his wife expects him to stage another miraculous comeback.  It doesn’t appear that he’ll win enough delegates to throw his considerable weight around at the Republican convention. Yes, he’ll get a major speaking slot. But don’t look for him on the ballot — or to have much say on who is.

Unlike his fellow billionaire, Harold Simmons hasn’t put nearly as much money behind a single candidate. The pro-Rick Santorum Red, White and Blue Fund received $1.2 million from Simmons. He gave $1.1 million to the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future and to the pro-Rick Perry Restoring Prosperity Fund (formerly Americans For Rick Perry). Thus far, Simmons has given $800,000 to the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future, although I expect that to change after Romney gets the nomination.

The biggest beneficiary of Simmons’ generosity has been American Crossroads, the Super PAC founded by Karl Rove and other former top Republicans. Thus far in this election cycle, it has received some $14.5 million from Simmons and his wife.

You have to admire Simmons’ objective here. “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “Obama is the most dangerous American alive… because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.”

Eight years ago, Simmons was a key contributor to the Swift Boat veterans’ attack ads against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. In the 2008 Presidential campaign, he helped finance ads stressing the ties between Barack Obama and Bill Ayers, co-founder of the radical Weather Underground. Today, he regrets not spending more on them. “If we had run more ads,” he says, “we could have killed Obama.”

If Simmons has his way, that’s not going to happen this year. So you can expect that he’ll be writing a lot of checks between now and November.

And I’m happy to report that not all of them will go into the Presidential race. He promises to spend a ton of money on Congressional races. “Getting control of Congress is almost as important as beating the president,” he said. Simmons hopes to help Republicans gain control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House. If that happens, he says, “we can block” Democratic efforts to over-regulate business.

I actually disagree with Simmons on that point. I think getting more good Constitutionalists elected to Congress is more important than putting another establishment Republican in the White House. Sure, we would enjoy a wonderful psychological victory if Barack Obama were sent packing this November. But our enjoyment wouldn’t last very long if we got another George Bush I or II to succeed him. Thus far, I haven’t seen much evidence that Romney will fight very hard for the principles I hold dear — or, for that matter, that he even understands what they are. Have you?

I am going to be very selective this year in deciding who gets any of my money. I hope we’ll have a chance to elect a few more Rand Pauls and Pat Toomeys to the Senate. And a whole bunch of tough-minded, non-compromising conservatives in the House.

Remember, if Congress won’t approve it, the Administration can’t spend it. So even if we don’t defeat Obama this November or have enough votes to override his vetoes in 2013, we can sure throw a bunch of sand in the Democrats’ gears simply by taking away their money.

You don’t have to be a billionaire for your efforts to make a big difference in what happens this November. I hope you’ll pick some good guys and gals to support this fall. Put your money and your mouth behind them. Use the comments section below to let me know whom you like and why. Who knows? You may persuade several of our readers to support them as well.

I’ve already sent a few bucks to FreedomWorks, Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund; a couple of Tea Party groups; and my all-time favorite behind-the-scenes group, The Leadership Institute. What are you doing to make a difference?

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Boehner Seeking Answers After Obama’s Blunder

Over the past few days, the President has worked himself into a corner that even the most experienced contortionist would not be able to get out of. On Monday, Barack Obama told Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to relay a message to Medvedev’s successor, Vladimir Putin, that he would “have more flexibility” in regard to missile defense in Europe after the November election. Apparently, Obama forgot that the mic was on. It was the whisper heard ’round the world.

The next day, Obama answered the inevitable criticism by saying he simply meant that the current election environment is not conducive to a discussion of the issue.

“The only way I get this stuff done is if I’m consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I’ve got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations,” Obama said.

Obama’s answer wasn’t enough for House Speaker John Boehner. He wants a real response.

Boehner wrote in a letter on Wednesday:

Dear Mr. President:

I was alarmed to learn of the message you sent to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin while in South Korea Monday.

America’s missile defense program is critical to our homeland security and the collective security of our NATO partners, and it has clear implications for the security of our allies in the Middle East.  I and other Members of the House have previously expressed concern about your administration’s apparent willingness to make unilateral concessions to Russia that undermine our missile defense capabilities.  Your comments reinforce those worries.

The Russian government has not lived up to its obligations to support the world community in reining in the rogue nations of Iran, Syria, and North Korea.  On the contrary, Russia has at times offered support for these dangerous regimes.  And it is increasingly evident that Russia is intent on expanding its boundaries and power through hostile acts – including invading a neighboring American ally.  It is troubling that you would suggest to Russian leaders that their reckless ambition would be rewarded with greater “flexibility” on our missile defense program after the upcoming election.  That has significant implications for the security of our homeland, sends a terrible signal to our allies around the world, and calls into question the effectiveness of your “reset” policy with the Russian government.

Your message also implies you understand such concessions would not be supported by the American people or the Congress.  As you know, the House has passed legislation prohibiting the administration from making any agreements to diminish our missile defense capacity absent congressional authorization or treaty.  This is an imperative upon which we continue to insist.

Your immediate clarification provided little clarity and instead sought to conflate the issue of missile defense – the focus of your words – with the separate matter of Russia’s nuclear weapons program.  I ask that you explain what greater “flexibility” on missile defense you were suggesting Mr. Putin could expect in a second term.  With Congress’ expressed interest in this matter and America’s objective of preventing rogue states from launching missile strikes, it is important to know what changes you are contemplating or offering. Further, what actions does your administration believe the Russians have taken that warrant any change in our missile defense policy?

Given the specter you have raised of shifting positions, it would be appropriate that you state publicly and clearly that no unilateral concessions will be made to the Russians, before or after the election.  Or, if your administration is planning any concessions to the Russians on missile defense, I request that you report on them and consult immediately with the congressional committees of jurisdiction.  A misguided missile defense policy would have far-reaching consequences, and any concessions you may have under consideration require an open and thorough justification.  A post-election surprise on this critical issue would not be welcomed by the American people, the Congress, or the world community.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

John A. Boehner

Hide Your Valuables, The Feds Are Coming

The Administration of Barack Obama recently released the details of an executive order (National Defense Resource Preparedness) that has led some Americans to believe that the President is working to put the final mechanisms in place to enact martial law in the United States.

The order calls for government acquisition of resources and the ability of the government to “foster cooperation between the defense and commercial sectors for research and development and for acquisition of materials, services, components, and equipment to enhance industrial base efficiency and responsiveness” if it is deemed vital to national security interests.

The blog Lonestar Watchdog, in a recent post, raises new concerns about the President’s executive order: Can it be used to confiscate American citizens’ gold, silver and other valuables?

The author writes:

To speak hypothetically of a possible scenario that I would not put past Obama to try to pull. We can see again that the government is going to run out of money. This time congress is less reluctant to give in to the President’s wishes this time around. The dollar might fully collapse at a time they did not plan for in their timetable. It can be a fabricated crisis. Congress can refuse to raise the debt ceiling this time due to public pressure. Anything the President perceives as a national emergency, or does he need the money to fund the wars. He can enact the powers of these executive orders to go after anything.

We can see a phony crisis being concocted to go after the American’s people gold, maybe even silver. He will order people like back when FDR was President to seize all safety deposit boxes and demand American to turn in their gold and silver coins, jewelry and would not surprise me if that be a couple’s wedding rings now required to be surrendered this time around.

It is unknown whether the author is correct in being concerned that the Federal government will use such measures in an outright effort to confiscate individuals’ physical gold and silver investments. What is known is that the elite have been quietly confiscating wealth from hardworking Americans via currency debasement and wealth-redistributing social welfare programs for decades. Bob Livingston has been warning his readers about this for more than 40 years with newsletters (The Bob Livingston Letter™), books and websites. If you are interested in finding out how you can protect your wealth from the Federal government and the elite banksters, you can find a collection of Livingston’s most informative titles here.

Trash Talking

That’s some sure valuable trash. Here’s a stat that will blow you away. At least it did me. In the United States, we dispose of several million cellphones a year. One million cellphones contain more than 35,000 pounds of copper, 770 pounds of gold, 75 pounds of silver and 33 pounds of palladium. By the way, a computer’s circuit board contains four times as much gold and twice as much copper as a cellphone.

Someone should thank the guy. Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s top adviser, sure caught a lot of flak for his Etch A Sketch comment. Personally, I didn’t see much reason for the Twitter-fueled media frenzy over the remark. But one group of people should thank him for it: investors who own shares in the Ohio Art Co. The stock price more than doubled, thanks to all the publicity the comment got.

This is an “affordable” light bulb? Last year, the Federal government awarded a $10 million prize for the production of a new, energy-efficient light bulb. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the prize would spur industry to make LED lights that are “affordable for American families.” The winning light bulbs cost a not-so-reasonable $50 each.

And speaking of Washington wasting money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment in Washington, D.C., has increased by 8 percent since 2009, despite a ton of new Federal grants, loans, contracts, tax benefits and entitlements. In fact, despite receiving $900 million in stimulus money in the past three years, Washington, D.C., can’t account for a single new job that has been produced as a result. Your tax dollars at work, folks.

–Chip Wood

Amish-On-Amish Crime

The supporters of Trayvon Martin are not the only ones in the news seeking justice and revenge for an alleged wrongdoing. Sixteen Amish have been charged with what prosecutors are calling a hate crime in Ohio.

Last year, a church feud prompted some of the Amish in the community to cut the beards of men and the hair of women — an act considered to be the epitome of disrespect. Men are required to let their beards grow after marriage, and women are expected to have long hair.

Four new defendants have been added to the list: Lovina Miller, Kathryn Miller, Emma Miller and Elizabeth Miller. The new charges allege that the defendants concealed and destroyed evidence including a bag of hair and a disposable camera used to take pictures of the victims.

Scissors, battery-powered clippers and horse shears were used in the events.

Sam Mullet Jr., the supposed leader of the hair hackers, says that he is not responsible but that the attacks were carried out in an effort to send a message to rebellious members of the community.

Scalia Makes Obamacare Jokes

If his quips during the oral arguments over the Constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan are any indicator, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia likely thinks the whole thing is a ridiculous mess.

In discussions about how the Court could decide which portions of the 2,700-page healthcare document couldn’t stand up to the test of Constitutionality, Scalia told Obama lawyer Edwin Kneedler that making the Justices read the entire document would violate their 8th Amendment rights.

Scalia said, “Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to — to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?”

Scalia also took on the Administration’s counsel on Tuesday, taking a moment to lecture Obama lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. about the savvy of American consumers.

The transcript of the exchange:

SCALIA: These people are not stupid. They’re going to buy insurance later. They’re young and need the money now.

VERRILLI: But that’s –

SCALIA: When they think they have a substantial risk of incurring high medical bills, they’ll buy insurance, like the rest of us.

VERRILLI: But that’s — that’s –

SCALIA: — I don’t know why you think that they’re never going to buy it.

VERRILLI: That’s the problem, Justice Scalia. That’s — and that’s exactly the experience that the States had that made the imposition of guaranteed issue and community rating not only be ineffectual but be highly counterproductive. Rates, for example, in New Jersey doubled or tripled, went from 180,000 people covered in this market down to 80,000 people covered in this market. In Kentucky, virtually every insurer left the market.

And the reason for that is because when people have that guarantee of — that they can get insurance, they’re going to make that calculation that they won’t get it until they’re sick and they need it. And so, the pool of people in the insurance market gets smaller and smaller. The rates you have to charge to cover them get higher and higher. It helps fewer and fewer — insurance covers fewer and fewer people until the system ends.

This is not a situation in which you’re conscripting — you’re forcing insurance companies to cover very large numbers of unhealthy people —

SCALIA: You could solve that problem by simply not requiring the insurance company to sell it to somebody who has a — a condition that is going to require medical treatment, or at least not – not require them to sell it to him at a rate that he sells it to healthy people. But you don’t want to do that.

According to SCOTUSblog, the Court will render a decision regarding Obamacare by June 28.

Below is the audio for the Supreme Court’s Obamacare hearings from this week:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS6Snu0qMsw&w=420&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze9k20OZc3s&w=560&h=315]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA_RLb7Si_g&w=420&h=315]

Iran Ready To Talk About Nuclear Program

BEIJING (UPI) — Iran is ready to resume negotiations with EU member states next month regarding a nuclear enrichment program, the Iranian foreign minister said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Beijing that Tehran would discuss its nuclear program without preconditions.

“I would like to announce our readiness to restart immediately the negotiations with the EU 3 (Britain, France and Germany) to resolve the issue,” he was quoted by China’s official Xinhua news agency as saying.

Mottaki, however, said Iran wasn’t ready to have direct talks with the United States because of what he described as “bad temperament.”

“Iran might resume the direct talks over its nuclear program if Washington changed its behavior,” he said.

Some governments have expressed concern that Iran is using its nuclear program as cover to develop a weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said there may be some military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.

Tehran had said it was looking to Istanbul to host April 13 talks with the Europeans.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department deferred questions to the European Union.

Rubio Endorses Romney For GOP Nomination

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination and urged the GOP to “come together” to support Romney.

Rubio’s endorsement came in an interview on Fox News Wednesday, CNN reported.

“It’s evidently and increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is going to become the Republican nominee,” Rubio said. “We have to come together behind who I think has earned the nomination, and that’s Mitt Romney.”

Rubio, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, told MSNBC Wednesday he won’t be the nominee for the post.

“I’m not going to be the vice presidential nominee but I’m always flattered when people bring it up,” he said. “I think they mean it as a compliment.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has endorsed Romney, is among those who said he hopes Rubio is picked as the vice presidential nominee.

On Fox, Rubio said a floor fight over the nomination at the Republican National Convention would hurt the GOP.

“There is no way that a floor fight at the convention in Tampa in August is a recipe for a win in November,” Rubio said. “On the contrary, I think it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Gingrich At ‘End Of His Line,’ Donor Says

LAS VEGAS (UPI) — Newt Gingrich is “at the end of his line” in his presidential campaign quest, a wealthy supporter of Gingrich’s super PAC said Wednesday.

Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and main source of funding for the Winning Our Future super PAC, made the comment Wednesday at a Jewish leadership conference in Las Vegas, The Hill said, citing a report in the Jewish Journal.

“It appears as though he’s at the end of his, at the end of his line ’cause, I mean, mathematically, he can’t get anywhere near the numbers, and there’s not — unlikely there’ll be a brokered convention,” Adelson said.

Federal Election Commission documents show Adelson and his family have donated more than $16 million to the Gingrich Super PAC, including the most recent contribution of $5.5 million in late February, The Hill said.

The newspaper said other comments by Adelson make it appear unlikely he’ll offer immediate financial support to other candidates.

He said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is “not the bold decision-maker like Newt Gingrich is” and said of former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, “I don’t want him running my country.”

Gingrich lags well behind Romney and Santorum in polls and the former House speaker’s campaign told The Hill it would lay off a third of its staff and reduce its campaign schedule to try to make it to the GOP convention in Tampa in August.

 

Zimmerman’s Father Defends Him

SANFORD, Fla. (UPI) — George Zimmerman of Sanford, Fla., shot Trayvon Martin after the black teenager threatened to kill him,, Zimmerman’s father said in an interview Thursday.

Robert Zimmerman told WOFL-TV, Orlando, his son suffered serious injuries in a fight with Martin, 17, including a broken nose and cuts on the back of his head, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

Sanford police reports also describe Zimmerman as injured after the shooting Feb. 26, but a surveillance video aired by ABC News Wednesday shows no signs of injuries as the 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer arrived at the police station. No bruises or cuts were visible on his face or the back of his head, and his shirt didn’t appear to have blood anywhere on it.

The initial police report said Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided he was OK to go to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning, ABC said.

Zimmerman’s lawyer later said his client’s nose was broken when he scuffled with Martin, 17, who was black.

Zimmerman, 28, claimed he shot the unarmed Martin in self-defense under Florida’s so-called “Stand Your Ground” law.

Robert Zimmerman of Lake Mary said he and his family are afraid for their lives and are now in hiding. He said he was shocked by the hatred and anger the shooting has inspired.

“It’s just amazing. Some people are being so hateful, and the people who are being so hateful know nothing about what happened,” he told WOFL.

In the video an officer is seen looking at the back of Zimmerman’s head. However, no abrasions or blood could be picked up by the surveillance footage.

Zimmerman did not check into the emergency room following police questioning, ABC News said.

Also apparently missing on the video were grass or grass stains on Zimmerman’s jacket, which was noted in the police report.

Martin’s family, along with prominent civil rights leaders and members of Congress, have said Zimmerman’s story doesn’t add up and demanded Zimmerman’s arrest. Thousands of supporters have turned out at rallies across the country.

Senate Keeps Oil Company Tax Breaks

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Senate ignored a last-minute push Thursday from President Obama and voted down a plan to repeal tax breaks for large oil companies.

The measure failed 51-47 in a vote that largely followed party lines, The Hill reported. Two Republicans, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, voted for the bill, while four Democrats, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, both from major oil-producing states, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jim Webb of Virginia opposed it.

Obama, in an appearance in the White House Rose Garden, said the tax breaks amount to subsidies at a time of high oil and gas prices.

“Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make: They can stand with the big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people,” the president said.

“Right now, the biggest oil companies are raking in record profits — profits that go up every time folks pull up into a gas station. But on top of these record profits, oil companies are also getting billions a year — billions a year in taxpayer subsidies — a subsidy that they’ve enjoyed year after year for the last century.”

A Message To Kim Kardashian

“California is a bankrupt, insolvent, dysfunctional mess, just like so many actors and actresses is Hollywood: broke with no future,” says Wayne Allyn Root in a commentary for Personal Liberty Digest™. The State’s tax rates for the rich are exorbitant, and millionaires are fleeing the State. Root suggests millionaire Kim Kardashian leave California for Nevada, since the Silver State won’t take her money.

 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bNFLFV3ENk?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

Trayvon Activists Force Elderly Couple Out Of Home

Thanks to a tweet by Spike Lee, an elderly Florida couple is now residing in a hotel. Lee tweeted the couple’s address as that of the home of George Zimmerman, the man who pulled the trigger in the Trayvon Martin case, to his 250,000 followers.

Since then, the couple, a 72-year-old man and 70-year-old lunch lady with a heart condition, have received death threats, hate mail and unwanted media publicity.

Apparently, the confusion stems from the fact that the woman has a son named William George Zimmerman who resided at the address in 1995.

William Zimmerman traced the original tweet back to Marcus Davonne Higgins, a man who lives in California. When Zimmerman contacted Higgins, Higgins responded with “Black power all day. No justice, no peace,” followed by an obscenity.

Bankster Cronies Censure Jackson

A battle over the Bank of the United States between President Andrew Jackson and Congress turned into a Constitutional issue when Congress sought to censure Jackson for not turning over classified documents he used in his decision to veto Congress’ vote to renew the bank’s charter.

The Senate, led by Jackson’s nemesis Henry Clay, passed a resolution demanding to see Jackson’s papers. When Jackson refused, Clay introduced a resolution to censure Jackson.

Clay, by the way, helped form the Whig Party, which believed in the Hamiltonian, big government, British mercantilism-style of government and was the forerunner to Abraham Lincoln’s big government Republican Party. Lincoln considered Clay a mentor.

Congress debated the censure for 10 weeks, while Jackson protested that since the Constitution did not provide for guidance regarding censure, the action was unConstitutional. Congress ignored his protests and issued its censure on March 28, 1831. It amounted to a public scolding. Congress also overrode Jackson’s veto.

The bank issue became central to Jackson’s re-election bid in 1832; and in 1836, the bank’s charter expired. In 1837, Democrats gained control of the Senate and had Jackson’s censure expunged from the record.

After his Presidency ended, Jackson was asked what things he thought he had left undone. He replied: “I didn’t shoot Henry Clay and I didn’t hang John Calhoun.”

In NYC Second Amendment Rights Sell For $340

New York City residents who challenged a policy that requires handgun owners in the city to pay a $340 residential licensing fee as unConstitutional were shot down by a Federal judge on Monday.

Federal Judge John Koeltl ruled that the lawsuit brought by citizens and gun rights advocates, including the New York Rifle & Pistol Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, was void because he believes there is no evidence that the hefty fee has stopped anyone from exercising his rights. The fee must be paid every three years, according to The Associated Press.

“The city defendants contend that the $340 fee is permissible under this standard because it is designed to defray, and does not exceed, the costs of administering New York’s handgun licensing scheme,” Koeltl wrote in his 38-page Opinion and Order. “However, the plaintiffs argue that, to be permissible, a fee must not only be designed to defray administrative costs but must also be a ‘nominal’ amount. According to the plaintiffs, the $340 fee is too high to be nominal.”

The judge cited several appellate court rulings that determined such a fee is considered nominal, according to Courthouse News Service.

“While it is possible to conceive of fees that are impermissible because they are so exorbitant as to deter the exercise of the protected activity … there is no showing that the $340 handgun licensing fee qualifies as such a fee,” Koeltl wrote. “The plaintiffs merely assert that the $340 fee is excessive, which is not sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding the permissibility of the fee.”

The residential license affords holders the right to have a handgun in their homes; it is not a carry permit.

Paul Campaign Has Organizational Muscle

The political establishment has done everything in its power to negate Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul, but he is still the first of the GOP candidates to have his name on the ballot in all 50 States.

Paul’s campaign filed to appear on the ballot in New Jersey on Tuesday after attaining double the 1,000 signatures required to appear on that State’s ballot. Paul is now the first candidate to have full ballot access throughout the Nation. Mitt Romney is expected to file in New Jersey in the coming days, making his 50-State ballot access likely.

The Paul campaign contends that the candidate’s success in being included in all States before any of the other candidates is a testament to organization and devotion among the supporters.

“Success in accessing ballots no matter a state’s requirements is a barometer for the strength of a campaign organization. Being first to appear on the ballot in all fifty states proves that Ron Paul is the only candidate with the organizational muscle, resources, and stamina to challenge Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate. “In concert with our delegate-attainment strategy, which is working well in states like Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Missouri, we’re prepared and eager to continue on the long road to Tampa.”

Though Romney is not far behind Paul in having his name listed on every State ballot, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have both failed to meet filing requirements to be on some ballots throughout the primary. Gingrich and Santorum both failed to be listed on Virginia’s ballot for the March 6 vote, and Santorum is not on the ballot for Washington, D.C., where the primary will be held on April 3.

Jane Fonda To Play Nancy Reagan

The first lady who once wanted to replace the fine china in the White House will be portrayed by one of Hollywood’s oldest actresses in an upcoming movie that has caused quite a stir among Republican moviegoers.

Many conservatives are baffled that Nancy Reagan will be played by liberal activist Jane Fonda in director Lee Daniels’ upcoming film “The Butler.” Well-known for her liberal activism as well as her opposition to the Vietnam War, Fonda is often referred to as “Hanoi Jane” because of the visits she made to the country during the conflict.

Daniels’ choice of Fonda to portray the wife of conservative icon President Ronald Reagan has caused uproar throughout conservative media. It has been noted by some people that Fonda was likely chosen in spite of her personal beliefs because her appearance is similar to that of the former first lady; others are calling the film a liberal attempt at mockery.

The movie is based on the life of Eugene Allen — the head butler of the White House who served eight Presidents. Fonda will not be the only star in the film. The flick, which is tentatively set for a summer start, may also feature Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Liam Neeson and John Cusack.

No Honor Among Liberals

Under different circumstances, I might feel bad for Solicitor General of the United States Donald Verrilli. Charged with the duty of defending the bureaucratic behemoth known as Obamacare — in front of the highest court in the land, no less — Verrilli became a mosquito with a law degree, slamming headlong into the windshield of superior Constitutional scholars.

As Verrilli stammered his way through an argument defending Obamacare’s crucial individual mandate, Justice Samuel Alito pointed out: “Today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Given the fact that Verrilli’s boss, the President, has tried to describe the individual mandate as either a tax or a penalty depending on the audience, it comes as no surprise that Verrilli tried to describe it as both a tax and a penalty. He repeatedly referred to what he termed a “tax penalty.”  Unfortunately for Verrilli, Alito was paying attention and dropped the Constitutional hammer on him while Alito’s fellow Justices — and a few onlookers — enjoyed a hearty chuckle at Verrilli’s (not to mention Obama’s) expense.

That was Monday. By Tuesday, a visibly shaken Verrilli earned some halfhearted assistance from his predecessor in the Solicitor General’s digs, Justice Elena Kagan.  Although Kagan’s intimate involvement with Obama’s reanimation of Hillarycare’s corpse ought to have spurred her recusal, she did her duty as a Democrat, offering the completely irrelevant “the subsidizers eventually become the subsidized” as an addendum to Verrilli’s non sequitur about the need for telephones (which are decidedly not required by law — yet). Despite Kagan’s help, Chief Justice Roberts wobbled Verrilli with: “Can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services?” And Justice Antonin Scalia dropped him — and Obamacare — with a solid right hook: “We’re not stupid.”

The legal arguments surrounding Obamacare are nothing new, and I suspect Obama and his accomplices considered that before they tried to force it down our gullets. Given Obama’s dim view of Constitutional standards (i.e., forcing religious organizations to pay for abortions), it should come as no surprise he sent his top lawyer into the Supreme Court without a coherent or consistent argument.  In fact, it wouldn’t stun me to learn that Obama didn’t think it would matter if they lost.

And maybe it should come as no surprise that Verrilli, who walked into court as Solicitor General, will likely be carried out on his shield. Following the justices’ smackdown of Verrilli on Tuesday, leading Democrat mouthpieces began lighting up the blogosphere. And considering the nature of their oddly coordinated message, Verrilli should probably start scouting bus stops and park benches for good 1-800-HURTNOW ad space.

Democrat sock puppet Ezra Klein of The Washington Post took to Twitter to explain why Obamacare is staggering: “Counterfactual time: Would solicitor general Elena Kagan have done a better job?” He also tweeted: “At least in public perception, this is a SCOTUS case where the quality of the oral arguments mattered hugely. And Obama’s SG lost big.”

Of course, it couldn’t have anything to do with Obama’s own duplicity in presenting a Federalization of one-sixth of the Nation’s economy. If only Obama had a better advocate than Verrilli, then nobody would notice that the arguments for Obamacare stink like an Occupy Wall Street squatters’ camp.

Meanwhile, liberal hate-speech impresario Markos Moulitsas tweeted: “… the mandate was… embraced by Romney. Ah, so it’s Romney’s fault. It’s worth noting that Moulitsas is essentially arguing that Obamacare was developed without any input from Obama while ignoring the fact that Obamacare’s defining idea — that the government can force you to do whatever they think is best for you — dates back to a time when Hillary Clinton was still the “co-President.”

At once-important CNN, Democrat super-strategist James Carville opened the hole in the middle of his head to say: “I think that this will be the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party because health care costs will escalate unbelievably.” Holy schadenfreude, Mary Matalin! Your husband just garroted himself with his own tongue!

They’ve given up, and they’re going to blame Verrilli. Verrilli chose friends like Obama and the Democrat elite; and now, close to what should be the pinnacle of his career, they’re going to nail him to the proverbial cross. The mere existence of Obamacare indicates the Democrats’ low regard for the Constitution. But if this is how they treat their friends, imagine how they’ll treat you.

–Ben Crystal