Obama Green Energy Gem Tanks Two Years After Taxpayer Prop

In March 2009, the Administration of Barack Obama bypassed regular procedures designed to protect taxpayers to guarantee funding to a politically connected green energy company through a Department of Energy lending program. On Wednesday, the company announced that it must now suspend operations and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to green energy market conditions.

Solyndra LLC, an American manufacturer of cylindrical solar systems, was given a guarantee of $535 million in Department of Energy funding as a part of the Administration’s heavily publicized effort to create green jobs and alternative energy sources.

iWatch News reported questionable finances within the company in May after the Department of Energy disclosed it was being forced to restructure Solyndra’s loan package. Questions also arose about the company’s investor relationships with the President. One major investor was George Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire who acquired between $50,000 and $100,000 for Obama during the 2008 election.

A press release on the Department of Energy website posted the same day as Solyndra bankruptcy announcement read:

Solar panel manufacturing is a growing international market, with increasingly intense competition from Chinese manufacturers who are supported in many cases by interest free government financing that is much more generous than what the U.S. provides.  The price for solar cells has fallen 42 percent since the beginning of the year — even as European countries, currently the largest market for solar panels, are facing economic turmoil and have greatly reduced subsidies for solar power.  The changing economics have affected a number of solar manufacturers in recent months, including unfortunately, Solyndra, a once very promising company that has increased its sales revenue by 2000 percent in three years and sold more than 1000 installations in 20 countries.  As a result, Solyndra now plans to suspend its manufacturing operations and file for bankruptcy protection.

Next, a statement that seemingly sought to take the heat off the Obama Administration and the Department of Energy for their risky loan guarantees:

This loan guarantee was pursued by both the Bush and Obama Administrations.  Private sector investors – who put more than $1 billion of their own money on the line – also saw great potential in the company.

Solyndra placed the blame elsewhere in its announcement:

…global economic and solar industry market conditions have forced the Company to suspend its manufacturing operations.

And as for the green jobs:

As a result of the suspension of operations approximately 1,100 full-time and temporary employees are being laid off effective immediately.

The Government Accountability Office had been critical of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program (even in instances unlike Solyndra where due process was carried out), alleging that some beneficiaries of guarantees had received preferential treatment because of political ties. A July report from the agency said that the Department of Energy had in relation to the loans, “…broadly indicated the program’s direction but has not developed all the tools necessary to assess progress.” A request was made that the Department improve its ability to evaluate the implementation of loan guarantees with regards to job creation, projected business success and profitability.

 

 

Justice Department Cracks Down On Free Speech Regarding Free Choice

Abortion advocates have championed President Barack Obama’s  Justice Department for using a 1994 law — the Freedom of Access to Clinics Law (FACE) — to ramp up civil lawsuits against protestors outside abortion clinics.

A report from NPR, said the department has filed eight civil cases against abortion protestors outside clinics during Obama’s Administration compared to one during Bush’s two-term Presidency. According to the news agency, the increase has led to less violence near abortion clinics.

“There’s been a substantial difference between this administration and the one immediately prior,” Ellen Gertzog, director of security for Planned Parenthood, told the news agency. “From where we sit, there’s currently much greater willingness to carefully assess incidents when they occur and to proceed with legal action when appropriate.”

Planned Parenthood is an organization that advocates the rights of women to choose to have an abortion. Its website states: “Abortions are very common. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old…” and, “If you are pregnant, you have three options to think about — abortion, adoption, and parenting.”

Providing options is just what Dick Retta, a Washington, D.C., resident interviewed by NPR, said he was trying to do when the Justice Department slapped him with a lawsuit in July. According to the Justice Department, the man violated FACE by blocking a clinic entrance as he asked a patron not to enter before weighing other options.

Among the allegations in the lawsuit are:

“…he stood directly in front of the patient and escorts with his back towards the Clinic entrance.”

“Defendant shouted at the escorts and yelled to the patient, ‘Don’t go in there. Don’t let them kill your baby.'”

“The patient’s ultimate access to the Clinic, and the escorts’ ability to facilitate the patient’s entrance into the Clinic, were rendered unreasonably difficult and hazardous as a result of the obstruction.”

The suit asks that Retta be fined $10,000 and pay three alleged victims that complained about his being at the clinic $5,000; the defendant will also be prohibited from being within 20 feet of the clinic if the ruling falls in favor of the government.

The defendant maintains his innocence, telling NPR: “We don’t block women from coming in. That’s not our policy,” he said. “I teach it. I teach what I’m doing … and I say one thing: Never block the women from going in. Never.”

 

 

Bachmann Ignores New Hampshire

Following Michele Bachmann’s Ames Straw Poll victory in Iowa last month, many of the candidate’s New Hampshire supporters are asking: Where is she?

Politico reported on Thursday that Bachmann’s campaign has put very little effort in campaigning in the Nation’s first Presidential primary state.

Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain and Ron Paul — the rest of the serious contenders for the White House — have all made stops in the State, but Bachmann has not returned since she kicked off her campaign two months ago. Reportedly, a scheduled stop in New Hampshire was cancelled after the candidate’s victory in the Ames Straw Poll.

“Iowa is our main focus right now, secondly is South Carolina,” Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart said in an email to Politico. “We do plan to build on our efforts in New Hampshire in due time.”

Former New Hampshire GOP chairman Fergus Cullen wrote a column in the Union Leader last weekend addressing the candidate’s refusal to acknowledge the State as an important political stopover.

“Once New Hampshire voters perceive that a candidate isn’t competing to win the primary, it becomes that much harder to earn support. Local activists are reluctant to sign up with a campaign that seems half-committed. Just ask Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson,” he wrote. “Bachmann is already paying a price for her lack of presence here. Not one of the more than 300 Republican state legislators has publicly endorsed Bachmann. For comparison, Ron Paul has 10 state reps and a senator on board. Mitt Romney’s supporters include three state senators.”

Bachmann has campaigned heavily in Iowa since the Ames Straw Poll, and she has campaigned in Florida and South Carolina this week; meanwhile, New Hampshire residents wait.

“Candidates demonstrate what they think is important by how they use their time. Iowa and South Carolina are important to Bachmann. New Hampshire, not so much,” concluded Cullen in his column.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Schedules Jobs Speech During GOP Debate

According to CBS News , President Barack Obama’s request to address a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7, the same evening a Republican Presidential debate in California is scheduled to take place, has caused many people to speculate that the President did so in an attempt to overshadow the GOP.

“Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs,” Obama wrote in a formal letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requesting to address both chambers, reports CBS News.

Boehner reportedly joked that Congress needs a plan, not more discussion about the economy. The President’s planned jobs speech during the session has been lampooned as the same ongoing rhetoric about unseen job growth that has been promised for more than a year; criticism was heightened after Obama embarked on his “rural economic bus tour” earlier in the month.

White House spokesman Jay Carney reportedly said the GOP debate, “one of many,” was not something the President should have to consider in scheduling a speech and suggested the debate be scheduled later to give candidates an opportunity to respond to Obama’s remarks.

According to The Washington Times, Boehner later responded to the President’s request in a letter suggesting that the address be scheduled for the following day:

…as the Majority Leader announced more than a month ago, the House will not be in session until Wednesday, September 7, with votes at 6:30 that evening. With the significant amount of time—typically more than three hours—that is required to allow for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President, it is my recommendation that your address be held on the following evening, when we can be sure that there will be no parliamentary or logistical impediments that might retract from your remarks.

 

 

 

Teaching The Birds And The Bees Along With ABCs

According to Shanghai Daily, a sexual education textbook will be issued to Chinese students in the city following a similar move in Beijing. The textbook, which depicts the sexual organs on illustrated children and images of sexual intercourse between tadpoles, will be issued to first and second grade students.

“Kindergarten children have a vague idea about gender difference,” said Xu Dianfang, an official with the Shanghai Education Commission, in the article. “Local primary schools are required to launch gender education among grade one and grade two students.”

Chinese officials allegedly called for sex education at a very early age because educators in the country reported through studies that many parents did not truthfully answer questions about where babies come from.

Similar movements in the U.S. have been suggested by more liberal-minded educators citing studies such as a 2009 report in the Children and Youth Services Review , which provides evidence of sexual activities among children as young as 8. While most school districts in the country still have control over the method and nature of their sex education programs, with some general mandates in place, organizations such as the Sexuality Information and Education Council have pushed in recent years to add requirements and to ban some forms of sex education altogether (i.e. abstinence-only programs.)

“It is the right moment for our country to pass the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act,” said Monica Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States in a March press release. “The focus of government this year needs to be on increasing the health and well-being of our nation’s young people by smartly investing in health education programs that work and eliminating wasteful programs that don’t serve any purpose but to line the pockets of special interests. Eliminating the failed and ineffective Title V abstinence-only programs so we can concentrate on bringing real, comprehensive sexuality education to young people is a good step in achieving these goals.”

Many conservatives in the country argue that sex education should begin at home and be left out of the hands of schools altogether. In October 2010, Texas Governor and 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry turned down $4.4 million in Federal funding for pregnancy prevention programs opting to continue the State-funded abstinence program. Time published an article Wednesday calling Perry’s assertion that abstinence works “weird science” and also calling into question the Governor’s stance of an array of health issues from requiring HPV vaccines for school-aged girls to his support of stem cell research.

 

Obama’s Approval Rating Only 19 Percent

On Wednesday, the newest results from a Rasmussen telephone poll show President Barack Obama’s approval rating at only 19 percent and Congressional approval at only 6 percent, as the public, according to the organization, focuses heavily on the economy.

Related to the dismal economic outlook, another report by Rasmussen that focused on hiring trends found that only 17 percent of those polled — the lowest number this year — reported strong hiring trends in their areas and 24 percent predicted further layoffs from their employers.

The polls also suggest that 62 percent of citizens have little faith in the government to use funds correctly in undertaking government projects aimed at stimulating the economy through infrastructure improvement. Earlier this week Obama appointed Alan Krueger, a proponent of government intervention and project growth as a tool for job implementation, as the head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. According to Bloomberg, Krueger predicted a slow-moving economy over the long term and advocated growth in government spending on infrastructure last July.

“The recovery does just take time,” he said in the July 1 interview. “There are some things the government can do that would also help, like investing in infrastructure. That would help to reduce unemployment among construction workers and could lead to an increase in consumption and possible [sic] raise confidence and would raise productivity in the future.”

While the U.S. national debt hovers around $14.7 trillion, and could nearly double over the next four years if it continues to follow current trends, an article published in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday, reports that most Americans have simply lost faith in the ability of government to reverse economic trends.

According to the Conference Board’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence deteriorated “sharply” this month, bringing consumer confidence to its lowest point in two years.

 

Obama Appoints New Economic Adviser

As the U.S. economy continues to be burdened by high numbers of unemployed, a public debt that has surpassed gross domestic product and economic policy that is dangerously close to causing an inflation crisis, President Barrack Obama has appointed a new economic adviser. Alan B. Krueger, an Ivy League-educated economist, will lead Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) if he is confirmed by the Senate.

“I am pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. As one of this country’s leading economists, Alan has been a key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades,” said Obama in a press release. “Alan understands the difficult challenges our country faces, and I have confidence that he will help us meet those challenges as one of the leaders on my economic team.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Krueger has supported Keynesian policy like massive government spending projects to stimulate economic growth and economic gambles at taxpayer expense.

“What you’re likely to see is, he does believe the federal government can do more to help in this economy,” Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist and former CEA member, said of Krueger. “He will be a voice for more investments.”

Krueger replaces Austan Goolsbee, who announced his resignation in June to return to teaching at the University of Chicago. He will be the third CEA chair of the Obama Administration, after Christina Romer, who returned to academia in 2010, and Goolsbee.

Krueger served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury during Obama’s first two years and as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor under former President Bill Clinton.

According to reports, Krueger has been involved in many if the government’s ploys to reinvigorate the economy at the expense of already debt-ridden taxpayers. Some of the programs he helped to plan included: “cash for clunkers,” a program that reconciled mortgage loans for certain qualifying homeowners facing default and hiring incentives that have created little job growth.

 

 

 

Ron Paul Again Attacks Obama Foreign Policy

In a statement issued by 2012 GOP contender Representative Ron Paul of Texas earlier this week, Paul attacked the Administration of President Barack Obama for its seemingly expanding imperialistic foreign policy in the Middle East following the announcement of a victory in Libya.

“The Obama administration attacked Libya without a constitutional declaration of war, without congressional authorization, without meaningful consultation with Congress — and without a dollar being authorized from the House or Senate. It was a war started by a president who turned to the United Nations for its authority and ignored the authority of the US Congress,” Paul said in his weekly Texas Straight Talk address.

Paul contends that the ousting of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi — once referred to as the “mad dog” of the Middle East by former President Ronald Reagan — has done little more than offer the country up for grabs by al-Qaida and other militant Islamic groups. Paul referenced the U.S. “victory” in Iraq several years ago as an example of the unintended negative consequences of meddling in Mideast affairs.

“Disturbingly, we see a pattern of relatively secular leaders in the Arab world being targeted for regime change with the resulting power vacuum being filled by much more radical elements,” Paul said. “Iraq, post-Saddam, is certainly far closer to Iran than before the US invasion. Will Libya be any different?”

Iran is are determined to ascertain the rights to nuclear holdings, and Iranian officials say any U.S. and/or NATO intervention in the matter will result in bitter stalemates such as those witnessed in Afghanistan over the past decade.

“[The] nuclear issue is just an excuse for the West to put pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran and if it is resolved, the US and its allies would impose more sanctions against Iran under the pretext of human rights violations,” said Iranian Atomic Energy Director Fereydoun Abbasi in a report from The Islamic Republic News Agency on Monday.

As mainstream media and mainstream Presidential candidates call for tougher sanctions on Iran, the Iranian and Middle Eastern attitude toward Western intervention — as witnessed in the aforementioned quote from Islamic media — is very bitter. Currently, Iran is working with Russia to develop a “step by step” plan regarding the country’s nuclear issue. Though, Iranian officials continue to assert that any agreement must recognize Tehran’s nuclear rights.

As Middle Eastern leaders promise NATO aggressors bitter stalemates, faceless enemies, military occupations that can neither be won nor ended and “economic Jihad,” Paul calls for an end to American interventionism and a focus on national security and economic recovery at home.

“Neo-conservatives continue to dominate our foreign policy, regardless of the administration in power. They do not care that we are bankrupt, as they are too blinded by their desire for empire and their affection for the entangling alliances we have been rightly counseled to avoid,” said the candidate in his statement.

Paul considers Syria to be the next target of the Obama Administration, U.S. neoconservatives and their NATO counterparts:

“They have set their sights next on Syria, where the U.S. moves steadily toward intervention in another domestic conflict that has nothing to do with the U.S.  Already the U.S. president has called for ‘regime change’ in Syria, while adding new sanctions against the Syrian regime. Are U.S. bombers far behind?”

Some people see any military advancement by the U.S. in Syria as a step toward an inevitable military occupation of Iran under the current foreign policy norm, considering the close foreign relations between the countries since the beginnings of the Islamic Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Appoints New Economic Adviser

As the U.S. economy continues to be burdened by high numbers of unemployed, a public debt that has surpassed gross domestic product and economic policy that is dangerously close to causing an inflation crisis, President Barrack Obama has appointed a new economic adviser. Alan B. Krueger, an Ivy League-educated economist, will lead Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) if he is confirmed by the Senate.

“I am pleased to nominate Alan Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers. As one of this country’s leading economists, Alan has been a key voice on a vast array of economic issues for more than two decades,” said Obama in a press release. “Alan understands the difficult challenges our country faces, and I have confidence that he will help us meet those challenges as one of the leaders on my economic team.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that Krueger has supported Keynesian policy like massive government spending projects to stimulate economic growth and economic gambles at taxpayer expense.

“What you’re likely to see is, he does believe the federal government can do more to help in this economy,” Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist and former CEA member, said of Krueger. “He will be a voice for more investments.”

Krueger replaces Austan Goolsbee, who announced his resignation in June to return to teaching at the University of Chicago. He will be the third CEA chair of the Obama Administration, after Christina Romer, who returned to academia in 2010, and Goolsbee.

Krueger served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury during Obama’s first two years and as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor under former President Bill Clinton.

According to reports, Krueger has been involved in many if the government’s ploys to reinvigorate the economy at the expense of already debt-ridden taxpayers. Some of the programs he helped to plan included: “cash for clunkers,” a program that reconciled mortgage loans for certain qualifying homeowners facing default and hiring incentives that have created little job growth.

 

 

 

Rhetoric About Disaster Abounds

Following the weather and geological events that surprised residents along the East Coast last week and gave mainstream media a topic to inundate the public with for several days, ideas about links between natural phenomena and humanity are surfacing everywhere.

First, former Vice President, current millionaire, filmmaker and amateur climatologist Al Gore (who also claimed in 1999 that he invented the Internet while in Congress) spoke out on climate change last Friday.

While being interviewed by Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky, Gore linked climate change denial to blatant racism and ignorance, according to Huffington Post. In discussing why environmentalists must win the conversation about global warming, the activist told a story:

I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me. My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, “Whoa! How gross and evil is that?” My generation asked old people, “Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?” And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.

There came a time when friends or people you work with or people you were in clubs with — you’re much younger than me so you didn’t have to go through this personally — but there came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Then there came a time when people would say, “Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.” That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.

The former Vice President went on to suggest that industrial agriculture and the consumption of meat is to blame for climate change and natural disaster, according to FOX News.

Then, over the weekend, GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann suggested to a group of about 1,000 people in Sarasota, Fla., that God was addressing politicians directly with Hurricane Irene and the earthquake, reported the St. Petersburg Times.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending,” said Bachmann.

Analysts at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University have also weighed in, claiming that climate change — whether man-made, created by God or just a naturally occurring global phenomenon — increases the likelihood of civil war conflicts in coastal countries, according to the International Business Times. The theory comes from a study recently published in the science journal Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhetoric About Disaster Abounds

Following the weather and geological events that surprised residents along the East Coast last week and gave mainstream media a topic to inundate the public with for several days, ideas about links between natural phenomena and humanity are surfacing everywhere.

First, former Vice President, current millionaire, filmmaker and amateur climatologist Al Gore (who also claimed in 1999 that he invented the Internet while in Congress) spoke out on climate change last Friday.

While being interviewed by Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky, Gore linked climate change denial to blatant racism and ignorance, according to Huffington Post. In discussing why environmentalists must win the conversation about global warming, the activist told a story:

I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me. My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, “Whoa! How gross and evil is that?” My generation asked old people, “Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?” And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.

There came a time when friends or people you work with or people you were in clubs with — you’re much younger than me so you didn’t have to go through this personally — but there came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Then there came a time when people would say, “Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.” That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.

The former Vice President went on to suggest that industrial agriculture and the consumption of meat is to blame for climate change and natural disaster, according to FOX News.

Then, over the weekend, GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann suggested to a group of about 1,000 people in Sarasota, Fla., that God was addressing politicians directly with Hurricane Irene and the earthquake, reported the St. Petersburg Times.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending,” said Bachmann.

Analysts at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University have also weighed in, claiming that climate change — whether man-made, created by God or just a naturally occurring global phenomenon — increases the likelihood of civil war conflicts in coastal countries, according to the International Business Times. The theory comes from a study recently published in the science journal Nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pew: Hurricane Top Media Story, Economy Coverage Minimal

According to a report compiled by Journalism.org, a division of the Pew Research Center, last week’s biggest newsmaker on television was Hurricane Irene, amassing about 30 percent of all coverage. Only about 6 percent of coverage was devoted to the economy. Coverage measured for all media outlets combined put Mideast unrest at the top of the list with about 26 percent of coverage, followed by Hurricane Irene with 21 percent, East Coast earthquakes with 9 percent, the economy with 8 percent, and the 2012 Presidential election with 5 percent of the whole.

The report last week differs from preceding Pew reports that put the economic crises at the top of the list two weeks ago, followed by the 2012 Presidential election, Mideast unrest, the European economy and the immigration debate. Economic coverage, following the debt ceiling mess last month, was the top story at the beginning of the month with nearly half of all coverage being economy related.

ATF Director And Arizona U.S. Attorney Replaced Following Scandal Involving Arming Cartels

The acting director of the Bureau of Alchohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was sacked Tuesday over the ill-fated “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal that led to illegal weapons crossing the United States-Mexican border and the murder of a Border Patrol agent.

Fox News reports that Director Kenneth Melson has been reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney for Arizona — where much of the agency’s activity of providing Mexican drug cartels with weapons occurred — was also pushed out Tuesday.

The operation involved ATF agents allowing weapons purchased by straw purchasers to cross the border in order to track them to Mexican drug cartels, ostensibly to help facilitate a crackdown on the cartels. But many of the weapons were lost once they crossed the border and were later linked to crimes both in the U.S. and in Mexico, including the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on Dec. 14, 2010.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota B. Todd Jones stepped in as director of the ATF on Tuesday, per an announcement by the Department of Justice.

“As a seasoned prosecutor and former military judge advocate, U.S. Attorney Jones is a demonstrated leader who brings a wealth of experience to this position,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a press release.  “I have great confidence that he will be a strong and steady influence guiding ATF in fulfilling its mission of combating violent crime by enforcing federal criminal laws and regulations in the firearms and explosives industries.”

Many people believe the initial goal of Fast and Furious was to create a higher number of unregistered gun crimes in an attempt to require extensive paperwork for firearm related purchases made by law-abiding citizens, according to World Net Daily.

Despite the agency’s attempts to clean up its image in the eyes of the public, a Los Angeles Times story earlier this month reported that three key Fast and Furious supervisors were promoted — or, in the agency’s  language, “laterally transferred” — to positions in Washington.

Federal and Congressional investigations into the program are ongoing.

 

 

 

 

 

Government Intervention Causes Market Volatility

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that current volatility in the stock market is related to constant government manipulation and creation of a false sense of security among investors who are looking forward to more bailouts. A phenomenon, referred to as moral hazard, sparked sharp increases and then sharp drops in stock prices as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech on Friday.

Though no immediate third round of quantitative easing (QE3) — or money printing — was announced by Bernanke on Friday, his speech noted that many of the economic problems in the United States are beyond the control of central bank intervention. The chairman also noted subtly that the actions that the central bank has taken will have definite and irreversible effects on the economy in the long term.

“Normally, monetary or fiscal policies aimed primarily at promoting a faster pace of economic recovery in the near term would not be expected to significantly affect the longer-term performance of the economy. However, current circumstances may be an exception to that standard view…” said Bernanke during his speech. “Our economy is suffering today from an extraordinarily high level of long-term unemployment, with nearly half of the unemployed having been out of work for more than six months. Under these unusual circumstances, policies that promote a stronger recovery in the near term may serve longer-term objectives as well.”

Bernanke seemingly advocated political policy that would further grow the number of jobs in the public sector. More government jobs will require the government to take on more debt, and require more quantitative easing, eventually. The liberal view of exciting economic growth through government intervention, the same government intervention that creates market volatility on a daily basis, creates worries among many free-market economists.

The argument against what has been dubbed the broken-window fallacy (i.e. disaster, war, widespread panic, social unrest and things of the like create government jobs) is that this creates an incentive for government to create these problems in order to drive the market. The suggestion of liberal economist Paul Krugman’s Aug.14 suggestion that a fake alien invasion would bring the economy out of its slump is an example of this economic fallacy.

Following the Jackson Hole address last week, economists who have based their economic principles on the Keynesian model have cried for more quantitative easing and more government intervention to create jobs. Krugman is among their ranks.

 

FEMA Cleanup Begins After Weaker-Than-Expected Irene

As Tropical Storm Irene makes its way across northeastern Canada, many headlines throughout the U.S. say New York City escaped what might have been a major disaster.

Though reports and rolling coverage of what many people thought would be a near-apocalyptic event for the Eastern Seaboard dominated most of the mainstream media over the weekend, the storm hit with far less intensity than originally predicted. Some of the worst-hit areas like Vermont and North Carolina have experienced heavy flooding and large-scale power outages. Tornado spinoffs from the storm also caused some structural damage along the East Coast.

In an interview with the BBC, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont said on Monday: “We prepared for the worst and we got the worst in central and southern Vermont. We have extraordinary infrastructure damage.”

The Christian Science Monitor reports that though the disaster was not as widespread as originally predicted, the cost of cleanup will be about $7 billion. President Barrack Obama, in a Sunday speech, praised government for its efforts leading up to the storm and warned that cleanup will be a long and costly process.

“The impacts of this storm will be felt for some time. And the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer,” he said.

Presidential hopeful Ron Paul disagreed that this cleanup process should be a Federal responsibility — especially, he said, at a time when the government has no extra money. In a speech to constituents in Galveston, Texas — an area frequently pummeled by hurricanes — the Congressman discredited the work of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), calling it a hindrance to individual disaster relief efforts.

“FEMA is not a good friend of most people in Texas because they only come in and tell you what you can and can’t do… they hinder the local people,” he said. “They contribute to deficit financing and, quite frankly, they don’t have a penny in the bank.”

Obama declared a state of emergency in Vermont on Monday, giving FEMA full authority to enter and begin work in the State. Over the weekend, FEMA was also dispatched to Virginia, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Delaware, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, D.C. as a result of presidentially declared disaster.

Alabama’s Tough Immigration Law Put On One-Month Hold

U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Ala., issued a two-page order on Monday barring enforcement of the State’s embattled immigration law for at least one month.

According to The Huntsville Times, the judge decided more time was necessary to determine whether parts or all of the provisions in the far-reaching law are Constitutional. Alabama’s Catholic, Episcopal and United Methodist churches have joined an array of civil rights groups to file suit to block the law, which offers a host of criminal and civil penalties for illegal aliens and for any citizens who harbor, transport, rent to, employ or enter contracts with them.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has consistently endorsed the law, which was passed by the Alabama Legislature this spring and has been touted as the “strongest immigration law in the country.”

The Governor, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) all said that given the merits of the case, they were interested in seeing how the judge would rule.

“I look forward to the Judge ruling on the merits. We have long needed a tough law against illegal immigration in this state, and we now have one. I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges,” said Bentley in a Monday press release.

 

Alabama’s Tough Immigration Law Put On One-Month Hold

U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn in Birmingham, Ala., issued a two-page order on Monday barring enforcement of the State’s embattled immigration law for at least one month.

According to The Huntsville Times, the judge decided more time was necessary to determine whether parts or all of the provisions in the far-reaching law are Constitutional. Alabama’s Catholic, Episcopal and United Methodist churches have joined an array of civil rights groups to file suit to block the law, which offers a host of criminal and civil penalties for illegal aliens and for any citizens who harbor, transport, rent to, employ or enter contracts with them.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has consistently endorsed the law, which was passed by the Alabama Legislature this spring and has been touted as the “strongest immigration law in the country.”

The Governor, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) all said that given the merits of the case, they were interested in seeing how the judge would rule.

“I look forward to the Judge ruling on the merits. We have long needed a tough law against illegal immigration in this state, and we now have one. I will continue to fight at every turn to defend this law against any and all challenges,” said Bentley in a Monday press release.

 

President’s Uncle, Illegal Alien, Onyango Obama Arrested

The Washington Times reports that President Barrack Obama’s uncle whom he writes about in his 1995 book, Dreams of My Father, has been charged with DUI and immigration violations.

In the book, the President writes of Onyango Obama, whom he called Uncle Omar:

…the uncle who had left for America 25 years ago and had never come back.

Unless immigration lawyer Margaret Wong, who successfully defended Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango against deportation several years ago, can help, Onyango Obama faces deportation by order of an outstanding warrant issued by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Examiner reports Onyango Obama was approached by authorities near the Chicken Bone Saloon located in Framingham, Mass., after nearly hitting a police patrol car. Police said Onyango Obama’s Mitsubishi 4X4 almost hit the police car when he rolled through a stop sign and then suddenly made a turn at about 7 p.m. on Aug. 24. According to reports, the President’s uncle registered a blood alcohol level of 0.14mg per 100ml of blood, which is substantially higher than Massachusetts’ legal limit of 0.08mg.

Reports said officials are confident the man is the President’s uncle because his name, birth date of June 3, 1944, and Boston location match previously reported information about “Uncle Omar” and coincide with facts in the President’s book. Boston is also the location where Zeituni Onyango was previously found and threatened with deportation. Another link to the President is that when the man was asked by authorities in Massachusetts if he wanted to make a phone call, he allegedly said he wanted to call the White House.

 

Chicago Court Issues Sport Filming Rules While Chabot Confiscates Cameras At Town Hall

A Chicago-area Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that schools in Wisconsin have the right to reserve privileges to film local high school sporting events to paying video production companies, reports The Associated Press.  Many people believe that because the schools are heavily funded by taxpayer money, this is an assault on the 1st Amendment.

Local newspapers in small towns throughout Wisconsin will no longer have the right to provide video streams of local sports to their subscribers because of the ruling in the case, Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, and American-HiFi, Inc., v. Gannett Co., Inc., and Wisconsin Newspaper Association, which began in 2008.

The athletic association sued The Post-Crescent, an Appleton, Wis., newspaper, for streaming live coverage of its high school football playoff games, despite anger from many fans who rely on local papers for sports coverage. Bob Dreps, the attorney representing Gannett and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, discussed the court’s ruling with the AP.

“We’re disappointed in the decision’s failure to distinguish taxpayer-funded high school sports from professional sports in any meaningful way. These are government-sponsored events,” Dreps said.

The defendants may again appeal the decision, which was based on a 1977 case involving Hugo Zacchini, who performed a 15-second human-cannonball act at a state fair and asked a reporter not to film the routine. The reporter did so anyway, and the footage was played on the evening news. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Zacchini’s favor, saying the journalist could have complied by reporting on the event without filming.

The ruling comes only days after Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) directed police to confiscate cameras from participants at a town hall meeting. According to reports, Chabot spokesman Jamie Schwartz has said the cameras were taken to protect constituents’ privacy, and media cameras were allowed to roll because staffers expected the media to respect people’s privacy. Chabot has been in office for eight terms.

Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, has called Chabot a “moron” and a Republican Congressman who has “taken stupidity to the next level,” as Democrats “like Maxine Waters and Frederica Wilson” have.

“First, you cannot confiscate the property of a private citizen without a warrant or some other due process,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “Second, and I will type this slowly just in case Chabot is reading this so he will understand this. PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Predicts Unrest On Dobb’s Show, Gets Slammed By O’Reilly; Time Calls Him Prophetic

Early last week, Ron Paul’s base was energized in discussions about mainstream media’s utter disregard for the candidate; now, an appearance in Time Magazine, an attack by Bill O’Reilly and an interview with Lou Dobbs are among the candidate’s surfacing mentions in the mainstream media.

Time, in its article entitled “The Prophet,” gives Paul seemingly Yoda-esque status (which many people feel is appropriate given the candidate’s age, stature and visionary speeches predicting big problems directly related to big government) and paints him in a primarily favorable light. However, Prison Planet warns that the idealistic nature of the piece is yet another attempt by the mainstream media to discredit the candidate, citing a blog post from Time writer Alex Altman.

“His foreign policy of nonintervention is a nonstarter among neoconservatives. His view that social issues like abortion and gay marriage should be left up to the states causes social conservatives to blanch,” writes Altman.

An example of Paul’s demeanor toward government problems directly correlating to Time’s depiction of the man was witnessed last Wednesday in his interview with Dobbs.

“I would urge the people of this country to change what we see as the role of government,” Paul said when asked how government should reduce deficits. “We have to adjust the subject of runaway entitlements and runaway spending overseas, which is no easy chore.”

Paul said that he believes that government deficit is, in reality, worse than what has been reported to the public by officials because of debt incurred through rampant borrowing. He said the actual number is somewhere in the $5 trillion range. The candidate expressed opinions later in the interview that the cuts necessary to get the economy on a track for real recovery were likely to lead to unrest such as that seen throughout England weeks ago as the nanny state becomes far less nurturing.

O’Reilly discredited Paul on a recent broadcast of The O’Reilly Factor, saying that the candidate had been invited to appear on the show but did not show up. An analyst, Dick Morris, alleged that perhaps Paul was afraid that he could not back up his ideas regarding U.S. foreign and domestic policy in debate with the television anchor. Morris also questioned Paul’s ability to defeat Obama in the Presidential election.

“Those people who love him better love Obama, because if he ever gets the nomination they can have him for four more years,” Morris said.

Paul has not yet responded to Morris’ statements.

 

 

 

 

Census: Happy Marriages In North Dakota, Minority Babies Nearly Half Of All Born

The U.S. Census, in a first of its kind report, has named North Dakota as the top place in the country for successful marriages, reports the Daily Mail.

The article notes that States in the South and West often have higher numbers of reported marriages (19 per 1000), though a record number of those also end in divorce (10 per 1000).

“Surprisingly, the South and West, which we think of as more socially conservative, have higher rates of divorce than does the supposedly liberal East,” said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, reasoning less education and more couples marrying at a younger age was to blame.

Overall, since 1970, the median age at first marriage increased in the U.S. from 22.5 years to 28.4 for men and from 20.6 years to 26.5 for women.

According to USA Today, the Census also discovered new facts about childbirth in the country. A recent story states that babies of ethnic or racial minorities now make up just under half of the total number of children born in the U.S. Only 50.2 percent of children born are white, according to the Census, remarkably lower than the 57.6 percent 10 years ago.

Minorities have been the majority in Texas and California nurseries for more than two decades and the number of States where minorities dominate has grown from seven to 14 in the past 10 years. Steady growth in the number of young U.S. Hispanics who have more children than whites is shrinking the number of non-Hispanic whites and changing the meaning of the word minority.