The CBO Downgrades Obama’s $825 Bil Stimulus Bill

Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse. Remember what Newt Gingrich and Amity Schleas said about the CBO.

Investors Business Daily:

Recovery: After nearly all the stimulus money has been spent, the Congressional Budget Office now admits it cost more than advertised, did less to boost growth and will hurt the economy in the long run.

In its latest quarterly report on the economic effects of the Obama stimulus, the CBO sharply lowered its “worst case” scenario while trimming many of its upper-bound estimates for stimulus-fueled growth and employment.

The new report finds, for example, that the stimulus may have added as little as 0.7% to GDP growth in 2010 — when spending was at its peak — and created as few as 700,000 new jobs.

Both are down significantly from the CBO’s previous worst-case scenario.

The report also lowered the best-case estimate for added growth in 2010 to 4.1% from 4.2%.

In addition, the CBO says the extra infrastructure money didn’t boost growth as much as it previously claimed, because states reacted by spending less out of their own budgets on highways.

So in other words, the CBO now says it’s possible that the stimulus had virtually no meaningful effect on growth and employment despite its massive price tag.

All this comes after the CBO increased that price tag to $825 billion from its initial $787 billion — a 5% hike.

Adding insult to injury, the new report also says the stimulus will hurt economic growth in the long run because of “the resulting increase in government debt.” Each dollar of additional debt, it reports, “crowds out about a third of a dollar’s worth of private domestic capital.”

In our view, even the CBO’s downgraded estimates are too high, because they’re still based entirely on Keynesian economic models that simply assume extra government spending results in added economic growth.

You don’t have to look very hard to see this isn’t what happened.

While Obama promised the massive stimulus would “ignite spending by businesses and consumers,” unleash “a new wave of innovation, activity and construction,” and keep unemployment under 8%, what we actually got was the worst recovery since the Great Depression.

[All emphasis ours – Political Arena Editor]

Of course we cannot forget how the government likes to define “Jobs”. It can include one day jobs and short term temps as jobs created as well. Littering can creates a “job” because someone has to pick it up.

Obama Talking Point on Energy Policy Debunked.

This is a talking point we are going to see a great deal of in coming months. It is a slick talking point with high propaganda value because it utilizes the careful omission of key facts to paint a false picture. Ed has a lefty blog and over the years has attempted to spar with me a few times, but the outcome was always the same.

Ed Darrell (edarrell@sbcglobal.net) writes my old college blog

But here in December 2011, we find that drill rig counts are through the roof — about double the equal period of the Bush 8 years, and equal to the total Bush 8 years — domestic oil production has increased each of the three years of the Obama administration, in stark contrast to the previous 7 straight years of decline, and in February 2011 the U.S. became an oil exporting nation again.

Gas didn’t hit $4 a gallon, and is declining now.

Would you like to join the Obama campaign?


Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton responds:  

No we would not like to join, because we do not join liars. Domestic production in total is up because of permits approved under the Bush Administration. As Democrats always say, we should not drill for new oil because it takes five to ten years to get oil production going once it is approved.

Obama’s illegal offshore drilling ban has Gulf Oil production down by over 13%. He stopped the Canada pipeline project. He used a loophole in the EPA regs to shut down an oil field in Alaska causing Shell Oil to lose $5 billion. Obama is also yanking coal permits arbitrarily and is pushing to have power plants and refineries closed with regulatory catch 22’s.

Obama is also using some lizard as an excuse to shut down new oil finds in Texas.

Nice try Ed, but as usual, I am more informed and just plain more honest than you.

Amity Schlaes: How the CBO Works & How it is Easily Manipulated

[Originally posted on my old college blog in April 2010, Newt Gingrich says that the CBO is next to useless and needs to go. It would seem that he is correct – Editor]

Amity Schlaes is perhaps the greatest living economic historian.

I like how Schlaes describes how the CBO works, they are asked to score what is placed in their box and that includes the assumptions they are asked to make in the request.

For example Ann Coulter once made the following analogy. If Congress proposed a new “green energy bill” that assumed that there was a car that ran on grass and got 1000 miles per gallon of grass the CBO would tell us that our dependency on foreign oil would drop significantly.

Bloomberg News Amity Schlaes:

The question is how can lawmakers get away with their misrepresentation? One answer lies in the structure of the Congressional Budget Office, the government’s official accountant. Its job is to establish an honest price: to tell legislators and voters what a policy will cost in the short, medium and long terms. That CBO work is important because Americans rightly sense that the politicians’ math is rigged.

Amity Shlaes
Amity Shlaes

“Nobody told me you were cheating.

Aww, it’s just a feeling I had.”

Flawed Assumptions

The CBO’s rules make it hard for the group to fulfill its own mandate. You’d think, for example, that the CBO would use its own parameters when it crunches numbers. Instead, the CBO must use the same mathematical assumptions supplied by the very lawmakers who wrote the bill the group is evaluating. No matter how improbable those formulas are.

Former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, writing in the New York Times, described the group’s process as “fantasy in, fantasy out.”

CBO rules often preclude common sense. Its forecasters can’t take into account any other legislation when studying the price tag of a proposed bill. That enabled the forecasters costing out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s bill to overlook this fact: Medicare spending increases will force tax increases, which in turn will hurt growth.

Political Salesmen

This dynamic is permitted because the answers the CBO supplies make it easier for politicians to sell their bills. They’re happy. And so, for the moment, are voters who are painfully aware that the U.S. federal budget can’t cover new entitlements, yet accept such legislation as a balm for that pain.

“So if I’m right, you got to lie to me

Then I won’t feel so bad.”

The CBO’s structural failure benefits the Democrats this week. Indeed, Pelosi is teaching Republicans something: the bigger the misrepresentation, the greater the credibility with voters. Croon to them a tune about entitlement, and they forget that you’re clearing a path for a tripling of the tax on dividends.

The CBO’s rules are bipartisan — they hold for whatever legislation lands in its in box. Congressman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, recently put forward a new blueprint for the federal budget. Ryan’s plan is less questionable than Pelosi’s because it’s relatively honest about costs. Ryan points out that the current unfunded part of the Medicare liability is in the trillions.

Gen. William Shelton: Obama Administration pressured me to change testimony to favor donor

Welcome to yet another episode if Chicago style machine politics brought to DC by the Daley Machine Obama Administration. Lately we have seen one “Solyndra” after another.

General William Shelton
General William Shelton

Fox News (video at the link):

Gen. William Shelton, commander of the Air Force Space Command,

told House members in a classified briefing earlier this month that he was pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in a way that would favor a large company funded by Philip Falcone, a major Democratic donor, congressional sources told Fox News.

Republicans have raised questions about whether the project pursued by the company, LightSquared, is being unduly expedited by the Obama administration, which has pushed for national wireless network upgrades.

 

Mediaite:

Solyndra II? At a classified briefing, head of the Air Force Space Command Gen. William Shelton informed House members that he had been pressured to change prepared congressional testimony in order to better compliment a Virginia-based satellite and communications company funded by major Democratic donor Philip Falcone. The GOP has been wondering for some time now whether work done by that company, LightSquared, has been “unduly expedited” by the Obama administration in its push for nation-wide wireless network upgrades.

As Shelton sees it, the company’s plans for its national 4G phone network would seriously compromise the effectiveness of high-precision GPS receiver systems used by the military, given that its spectrum would be about 5 billion times stronger than the military’s GPS system.

Appearing before the House Armed Services subcommittee yesterday, Shelton alleged that he’d repeatedly been pressured to say that “the interference problems could be mitigated” and that he’d been “asked to say things I didn’t agree with.”

 

Many cases of more of the same. Of course another aspect of this story is that it is the view of this editor that the military’s reliance on GPS is a mistake. GPS jamming technology is cheap and easy to make or buy. In fact. most anyone with a little electronics and ham radio training could make one with ease. It is almost a certainty that potential targets of US missiles and smart bombs such as Iran have installed these jamming devices around their country.

Occupy Movement Peaceful?

The elite media would have you believe that the TEA Party is a mob of violent racists in spite of the fact that not a single TEA Party activist has ever been arrested at an event.

Yet look at the pro anarchist/Marxists occupy protesters and ask yourself why the elite media doesn’t show you this.  Also notice that these groups are very small, usually composing of a few dozen people to about two thousand (many of whom are paid by unions to be there  – LINK). At a single Glenn Beck TEA Party event about 1.5 million people showed up and nothing was trashed, there was no mess, and no one was arrested.

Allen West Piles Up Campaign Cash, So Florida GOP Tries to Gerrymander Him Out

Congressman Allen West
Congressman Allen West

There is a reason why the GOP is called “the stupid party”.

Local GOP machines are often circular firing squads rife with clique’s and personality wars. Many of the best GOP candidates try to have nothing to do with their local machine. I cannot say for a fact that this is the case in Florida but GOP operatives are very aware that this is a nationwide problem.

Remember what I said about stupid?

Washington Post:

And, in Florida the Republican-drawn map, which has to adhere to a new fair redistricting law, makes a tough reelection fight for Rep. Allen West (R) even tougher. His seat goes from one Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would have won 48 percent to one in which the 2008 GOP nominee would have won just 44 percent.

While it’s just a first draft, the Republicans’ decision to weaken West doesn’t bode well for his chances under the final GOP plan.

Freshmen are generally more vulnerable in redistricting, lacking the senority [sic – Look a spelling error in the WashPo – Editor] to fight for safer seats. Outspoken tea party [Tea Party is supposed to be capitalized  or can also be spelled TEA Party as TEA is an acronym – Editor] conservatives are in even more danger, because even in GOP-controlled states, establishment politicians are usually the ones drawing the maps.

This would move Florida 22 from a D+1 district to a D +5 which is almost impossible to win.

Allen West is a GOP fund-raising machine. 

Crowley Political Report:

Good lord? Really? Crowley Political Report does not shock easily but Florida Republican Congressman Allen West raised a stunning amount of campaign cash during the three months ending Sept. 30.

$1.9 million.  Yup. $1.9 million.

Consider this – Democratic U.S.  Sen. Bill Nelson raised nearly $2 million. Let’s call it a tie.

There are two Democrats hoping to win West’s District 22 seat – former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and Broward County businessman Patrick Murphy.

Frankel says she raised $415,000. Murphy raised $313,000. That would be a combined $728,000 for the two Democrats compared to West’s $1.9 million.

Should Frankel and Murphy just go home?

Frankel has raised a total of $1.1 million since starting her campaign. Murphy has raised $1.2 million.

West has raised  $3.9 million.

Fun with math – Two Democrats total – $2.3 million. West – $3.9 million.

Fun fact – Much of the money Frankel and Murphy raised will have to be spent in the Democratic primary. West does not have, and is not like to have, a serious primary opponent.

Nope, West is just going to keep raking in the dough. A few more million for West and the DCCC may take West off their target list.

No matter how much Democrats would like to get that seat back, Frankel and Murphy are going to need a whole lot more cash to pull it off.

Unless of course the Florida GOP does the work for the Democrats. Take this seriously folks, there are many “establishment” GOP types who would rather see a Democrat elected than principled conservative. We have seen it in NY special elections, we have seen it with David Brooks and David Frum, and as Rush Limbaugh and so many others have pointed out for years, there are some in the GOP who believe that we are better off as a minority party in the US House. One of the reasons for that is because there are many in the GOP who talk conservatism but whose bread is buttered by government largess.

Florida Republicans need to start demanding some new party leadership and/or start opening your wallets and start funding challengers (or at least threatening to). They will tell you that “the rules are making us gerrymander him out”. Don’t you buy that for a minute.

Medal of Honor Winner Sues Defense Contractor for Smears After He Objected to High-Tech Sales to Pakistan

Update: Company settles the lawsuit with Dakota Meyer – LINK

Yahoo/ABC News:

In September, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s most prestigious military award, to Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the marine who saved 36 of his comrades during an ambush in Afghanistan.

Obama called Meyer one of the most “down-to-earth guys that you will ever meet.”

But today Meyer, 23, is having trouble getting a job because of allegations by defense contractor BAE Systems that he has a drinking problem and is mentally unstable. Meyer filed legal papers Monday claiming the allegations were in retaliation for objections he raised about BAE’s alleged decision to sell high-tech sniper scopes to the Pakistani military.

After leaving active duty in May 2010, Meyer worked at Ausgar Technologies, a service-disabled veteran-owned small business in California, until April 2011.

“He exhibited a maturity for his age and an insightful capability to get the job done and provide recommendations to improve on what we are doing. I was very impressed while he was working for us. He was an outstanding employee,” Tom Grant, a retired military naval officer and a senior program manager at Ausgar Technologies, told ABC News.

When asked about the allegations of mental instability and a drinking problem, Grant said, “While Meyer was working for me, I never saw evidence of either of those issues.”

Family that raised Sgt. Meyer say that he doesn’t drink.

BAE Systems has been in big trouble before

Defense Talk:

BAE Systems plc (BAES) pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to conspiring to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding its lawful functions, to make false statements about its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program, and to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), announced Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler.

BAES was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates to pay a $400 million criminal fine, one of the largest criminal fines in the history of DOJ’s ongoing effort to combat overseas corruption in international business and enforce U.S. export control laws.

“Today, BAE Systems pleaded guilty to knowingly and willfully making false statements to U.S. government agencies. The actions of BAE Systems impeded U.S. efforts to ensure international trade is free of corruption and to maintain control over sensitive U.S. technology,” said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler.

Florida Times-Union:

BAE Systems has agreed to pay about $16 million in penalties in response to federal charges involving bribes paid by Jacksonville-based Armor Holdings to secure international business.

BAE bought the company in 2007, after the incidents took place, but still operates a facility at the Jacksonville International Tradeport, employing about 350 people manufacturing body armor and forensics-related products.

The fines include $10.3 million to the U.S. Department of Justice and $5.7 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BAE accepted responsibility for an Armor Holdings payment of more than $200,000 to a sales agent who it knew would pass a portion on to a United Nations official. In return, Armor received $7.1 million worth of contracts for a profit of $1.6 million, according to the SEC.

The company also admitted that $4.4 million in bribes were kept off its books.

UK Daily Mail:

In two separate announcements, BAE was fined £256million by the U.S. department of justice after pleading guilty to conspiring to make false statements to its government.

This fine relates to a claim that payments were made to a Saudi official in a £40billion contract to supply military equipment, including Tornado fighter jets, to Saudi Arabia.

The Americans were furious because the cash had been funnelled through U.S. banks.

They also wanted to make it clear to BAE that such tactics are not acceptable in the U.S.  –  where it is now a major player.

In Britain, BAE must fork out £30million. It reached an agreement with the Serious Fraud Office that it will plead guilty to a lesser offence under the Companies Act 1985 of failing to keep reasonably accurate accounting records for its activities in Tanzania.

This relates to an £88million contract in 1999 to supply a radar system to the country, which had no real use for such a state of the art system. A former marketing adviser in Tanzania is said to have pocketed payments of almost £8million.

UK Guardian:

BAE Systems has agreed to pay fines of up to $79m (£48.7m) to the US government for breaking military export rules, drawing a line under corruption investigations into the British company on both sides of the Atlantic.

Europe’s biggest defence company and a major supplier to the US military said on Tuesday that the latest penalties formed part of a civil settlement with the US state department. The decision comes after BAE, which makes around half of its revenues in the US, last year admitted making false statements over the sale of fighter planes to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The latest penalty comes on top of $450m in fines from the US and Britain revealed by BAE last year, following long-running corruption investigations into defence deals in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Hank Paulsen, the Goldman Sachs Men, & Insider Information

I have said before that President Bush was ill-served by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen. This news about mass insider trading on government information by members of Congress and other officials detailed in Peter Schweitzer’s new book “Throw Them All Out” is merely the latest example of the degree of reform that is needed in Washington and the incredible influence that Goldman Sachs seems to have with administration after administration.

For readers not familiar with insider trading you can read up on it HERE. Make no mistake. If you or I had engaged in this behavior it could very well result in incarceration.

Bloomberg News:

How Paulson Gave Hedge Funds Advance Word

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting. Four months earlier, Bear Stearns Cos. had sold itself for just $10 a share to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Now, amid tumbling home prices and near-record foreclosures, attention was focused on a new source of contagion: Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac, which together had more than $5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and other debt outstanding, Bloomberg Markets reports in its January issue.

Paulson had been pushing a plan in Congress to open lines of credit to the two struggling firms and to grant authority for the Treasury Department to buy equity in them. Yet he had told reporters on July 13 that the firms must remain shareholder owned and had testified at a Senate hearing two days later that giving the government new power to intervene made actual intervention improbable.

“If you have a bazooka, and people know you have it, you’re not likely to take it out,” he said.

On the morning of July 21, before the Eton Park meeting, Paulson had spoken to New York Times reporters and editors, according to his Treasury Department schedule. A Times article the next day said the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were inspecting Fannie and Freddie’s books and cited Paulson as saying he expected their examination would give a signal of confidence to the markets.

A Different Message

At the Eton Park meeting, he sent a different message, according to a fund manager who attended. Over sandwiches and pasta salad, he delivered that information to a group of men capable of profiting from any disclosure.

Around the conference room table were a dozen or so hedge- fund managers and other Wall Street executives — at least five of them alumni of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), of which Paulson was chief executive officer and chairman from 1999 to 2006. In addition to Eton Park founder Eric Mindich, they included such boldface names as Lone Pine Capital LLC founder Stephen Mandel, Dinakar Singh of TPG-Axon Capital Management LP and Daniel Och of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC.

After a perfunctory discussion of the market turmoil, the fund manager says, the discussion turned to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Paulson said he had erred by not punishing Bear Stearns shareholders more severely. The secretary, then 62, went on to describe a possible scenario for placing Fannie and Freddie into “conservatorship” — a government seizure designed to allow the firms to continue operations despite heavy losses in the mortgage markets.

Stock Wipeout

Paulson explained that under this scenario, the common stock of the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, would be effectively wiped out. So too would the various classes of preferred stock, he said.

The fund manager says he was shocked that Paulson would furnish such specific information — to his mind, leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information.

There’s no evidence that they did so after the meeting; tracking firm-specific short stock sales isn’t possible using public documents.

And law professors say that Paulson himself broke no law by disclosing what amounted to inside information.

Rampant Rumors

At the time, rumors about Fannie and Freddie were tearing through the markets. The government-chartered firms’ mandate, which continues today, is to buy mortgages from banks and repackage them into securities either for their own portfolios or to sell to others. The banks can then use the proceeds from those transactions to write new mortgages.

By mid-2008, delinquencies and foreclosures were soaring, and the GSEs set aside billions of dollars against future losses. In the first six months of 2008, they racked up net losses of $5.46 billion as they slashed dividends and marked down the values of their huge inventories of mortgage-backed securities.

On Wall Street, confusion reigned. UBS AG analyst Eric Wasserstrom on July 10 cut his share price target on Freddie to $10 from $28. The next day, Citigroup Inc. (C) analyst Bradley Ball reiterated a “buy” recommendation on the two GSEs. On July 12, the Times of London, without citing a source, reported that Paulson was contemplating a $15 billion capital injection into the firms.

Shares Rally

At the time Paulson privately addressed the fund managers at Eton Park, he had given the market some positive signals — and the GSEs’ shares were rallying, with Fannie Mae’s nearly doubling in four days.

William Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, can’t understand why Paulson felt impelled to share the Treasury Department’s plan with the fund managers.

“You just never ever do that as a government regulator — transmit nonpublic market information to market participants,” says Black, who’s a former general counsel at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. “There were no legitimate reasons for those disclosures.”

Janet Tavakoli, founder of Chicago-based financial consulting firm Tavakoli Structured Finance Inc., says the meeting fits a pattern.

“What is this but crony capitalism?” she asks. “Most people have had their fill of it.”

 

If you can stomach it, you may read the rest at Bloomberg News.

 

 

 

Newt Gingrich To Obama: Let’s Debate, You Can Use Your Teleprompter

Video Courtesy the Shark Tank:

[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0BQ6I4bdzGQ]

“I already said that if he wants to use a teleprompter, then it would be fine with me. It has to be fair. If you [were] to defend ObamaCare, wouldn’t you want a teleprompter?” Gingrich asked.

“Now, just for a second I’m going to go in the detour and I’ll try to explain why I’ve been and he’ll say yes. There are two reasons. The first, is ego. Can you imagine him looking in the mirror? Graduate from Columbia, Harvard Law, editor of the Law Review journal, the greatest articulator in a Democratic Party?”

“How is he going to say that he’s afraid to be on the same podium as a West Georgia College student?”

Herman Cain, it is time to get some staff that can get passed amateur hour

by Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton

You have got to be kidding:

Cain, who last week stumbled over questions about what he would do in Libya, seemed to know little about Cuba. His campaign kept reporters at bay, and when asked about the Cuban Adjustment Act and the so-called wet-foot, dry-foot policy, Cain seemed stumped.  The policy allows Cuban immigrants who have made it to US soil to stay.

“Wet foot, dry foot policy?” Cain asked. His press handlers interrupted as Cain diverted his course and ducked back into the building. Later, when he emerged, he was asked again by another reporter. Cain wouldn’t answer. …

Cain, though, wouldn’t talk to reporters there, either. A FOX reporter asked Cain what he thought of President Obama’s easing of travel restrictions to Cuba. Cain said that was a “gotcha question.”

Miami Herald video of the question:

[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDvEU788MG4]

I realize that I am a politics junkie as are most readers of Political Arena, so it is perfectly understandable that we know what Clinton’s Castro hugging “wet feet, dry feet” policy is. What is not understandable is how Cain’s staff let him go to South Florida without being up to speed on Cuban policy from the last 20 years? I can make this one pretty easy for our friends in Herman Cain’s staff. The policy stinks. The very notion that someone who risked their life to flee Marxist tyranny should be sent home because they were found by our Coast Guard is not just immoral on it’s face, but costs lives. People making that perilous journey in what ever boat they can make or find should not be but in further peril by trying to avoid the United States Coast Guard. Herman Cain talks about putting a solid team together when he gets to the White House. This does not inspire confidence.

Schlafly: Americas Decline, Candidates Just Don’t Get It.

This is a solid piece by Phyllis Schlafly, the matriarch of the conservative movement, where she makes what is perhaps the most important point in the campaign. The American people feel the nation’s decline and most people can feel the change in the national consciousness. Having recently finished a new degree I can tell you that even most students feel it. Talk radio has talked about how Obama is presiding over the nations decline and President Obama is telling is that American exceptionalism is no better than Greek exceptionalism. We are not getting this message with moral clarity and boldness from our candidates, or at least that is how it seems in the elite media.

For those of us who have been paying close attention though, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has been saying these things. He is the only candidate who calls out President Obama, and many in his staff, as the Saul Alinsky radicals they certainly are. The media does not like reporting it, but it is there and will be unavoidable if Newt is the nominee. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, while not a candidate, has been calling out Obama and his friends as Saul Alinsky neo-Marxist radicals since 2008. Mayor Giuliani is very falimiar with the violent radical left and their front groups such as SEIU and ACORN.

Phyllis Schlafly:

Despite the inordinate quantity of press coverage about next year’s presidential election and attention to TV debates, plus the consuming desire of the media to predict who will win in 2012, the polls show that no candidate in either party is reaching 50 percent public support.

Meanwhile, the NBC News/WallStreetJournal poll, conducted jointly by Democrats and Republicans, reports that 74 percent of Americans think our government is taking us in the wrong direction, and only 17 percent think we are on the right track.  Other polls are similar, with Gallup reporting 85 percent dissatisfied with the way our country is headed, and only 13 percent satisfied.

The locals are restless, the grassroots are demanding change, and the Tea Partiers are expecting results, but Congress is stalemated and President Obama spends his time fundraising and campaigning for his own reelection.  Why hasn’t any candidate been able to ride citizen dissatisfaction into majority support?

I recommend that every presidential candidate read three books to understand why they don’t get it.  First, they should read the best book about Barack Obama, Radical-in-Chief, which explains how he became a Socialist while attending Columbia University.

Nobody knew anything about what was called the “lost chapter” of Obama’s life until a real scholar, Stanley Kurtz, did the original research. The highlight was a 1985 Socialist Scholars Conference addressed by Frances Fox Piven, known for advocating the Cloward-Piven strategy of killing capitalism by loading more and more people on welfare.

The presidential candidates should then read two books that explain in depressing detail why grassroots Americans are convinced that our government is taking us in the wrong direction and over a cliff before our children and grandchildren will ever achieve the American dream.  Those two new books are Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? by Patrick J. Buchanan and After America: Get Ready for Armageddon by Mark Steyn.

Those books will help the candidates understand, and maybe even develop some empathy for the Americans whose votes they seek and must have if they are to win.

Buchanan explains how the America most adults grew up in is fast disappearing.  Americans resent the dictatorial, undemocratic way that elitists in the media, academia, the bureaucracy, and the courts have spit on the foundations of our culture.

Those elite opinion sources have carried on a war against our Judeo-Christian faith, traditional marriage, and our patriotic belief that America is exceptional and should be militarily superior.  They have trashed and tried to abolish symbols we cherish such as the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, and a cross erected in a public place to honor our veterans.

Those same elitists, using the power of government, have destroyed the economic stability of the family by legalizing unilateral divorce, giving enormous taxpayer subsidies to single moms which discriminate against marriage, adopting so-called free-trade policies that shipped millions of good jobs overseas, importing millions of foreigners from Third World countries to take the remaining jobs away from Americans, and enforcing so-called affirmative action policies that discriminate against white men.  They are replacing e pluribus unum with what Theodore Roosevelt warned against: unrestrained immigration that will make us “a ‘polyglot boarding house‘ for the world.”

Buchanan is eloquent in describing the coordinated attack on Christian America and its replacement with the new religion of diversity, using the language of political correctness.  Equality, a French-Revolution word that does not appear in any of America’s founding documents, has been elevated to become our national goal instead of liberty.

Buchanan cherishes the hope that our political leaders will, in time, recognize that enough Americans still want to remain one nation under God and one people united by history, heritage and language.  He gives specific suggestions for how we can avoid driving off the cliff into national suicide.

Mark Steyn’s book delivers the same message, but in his uniquely different and delightful style.  As Ann Coulter said, “Only Mark Steyn can write about the decline of America and leave you laughing.”

Steyn is particularly critical of the failure of our educational system.  In 1940, a majority of Americans were schooled only from grade one to grade eight, and they grew up to be the greatest generation.

Now the plan is to keep kids in school from pre-Kindergarten until their mid or late twenties, laden with debt and coached to accept dependence rather than liberty.  And worse, it isn’t clear they have learned anything useful.

Steyn puts it to us bluntly: we can rediscover the animating principles of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the freedom to exploit our talents, or we can join the rest of the world in terminal decline.  His message is, “if you want a happy ending, it’s up to you.  Your call, America.”

Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say

School indoctrination doesn’t have much staying power when students graduate and are faced with reality.

Daily Caller:

A very large proportion of recent university graduates have soured on President Barack Obama, and many will vote GOP or stay at home in the 2012 election, according to two new surveys of younger voters.

“These rock-solid Obama constituents are free-agents,” said Kellyanne Conway, president of The Polling Company, based in Washington, D.C. She recently completed a large survey of college grads, and “they’re shopping around, considering their options, [and] a fair number will stay at home and sit it out,” she said.

The scope of this disengagement from Obama is suggested by an informal survey of 500 post-grads by Joe Maddalone, founder of Maddalone Global Strategies. Of his sample, 93 percent are aged between 22 and 28, 67 percent are male and 83 percent voted for Obama in 2008. But only 27 percent are committed to voting for Obama again, and 80 percent said they would consider voting for a Republican, said New York-based Maddalone.

That’s a drop of almost 60 points in support for Obama among this influential class of younger post-grad voters, who Maddalone recruited at conferences held at New York University and Thomson-Reuters’ New York headquarters.

The bad news for Obama was underlined May 19 with a report by a job-firm Adecco that roughly 60 percent of recent college-grads have not been able to find a full-time job in their preferred area. One-in-five graduates have taken jobs far from their training, one-in-six are dependent on their parents, and one-in-four say they’re in debt, according to the firm’s data.

Overall, roughly one-third of young voters have some college education, and one-half have college degrees, said Conway. Many are underemployed or unemployed, they’re worried about their debts and economic trends, and they’re worried about the value of their educations, she said. In 2012, she said, “I suspect a fair number will return to Obama, but maybe not enough, and not in the [swing] states where he needs them,” she said.

Those states include Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Indiana, Virginia and Iowa, she said. All were won by Obama in 2008, and all were lost in state-wide elections to GOP candidates in 2010, she said.

The GOP is making some progress towards earning their votes, Maddalone said. For example, 38 percent of his respondents said the GOP is “doing a good job addressing and engaging with young professionals,” and 58 percent said they would consider voting for the GOP “if you felt that Republicans were doing a good job addressing and engaging with young professionals.”

 

 

NYT: Students lose enthusiasm for Obama

 

New York Times News Service:

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — For much of the presidential election of 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign was Emma Guerrero’s life. She was one of a dozen volunteers who showed up at an Obama campaign office here every night, taking time from her studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to be part of what she still remembers as the most exciting period of her life.

It was largely because of Guerrero — and hundreds of other college students like her across the country — that Obama assembled a formidable machine that helped him roll to victory in 2008, a triumph that included putting Nevada into the Democratic column for the first time in 12 years.

“We did everything,” she said. “We went canvassing. Phone banking. Cleaning the offices. Taking out my bosses’ dry cleaning. Whatever they needed. It was such an amazing time because we all believed and wanted him to get elected.”

Guerrero said that she did not blame Obama for the 13.4 percent unemployment rate that has gripped this state, and that she was still likely to vote for him. But as she looks to graduation this June and her job hunt ahead, the emotion she feels is fear, and she cannot imagine having the time or spirit to work for Obama.

“I don’t think I could do it anymore,” she said. “That campaign was an amazing experience. But I don’t think I’m in the same mind-set anymore. He hasn’t really addressed the young people, and we helped him to get elected.”

Across this state — and in others where young voters were the fuel of the Obama organization, voting for him 2-to-1 over John McCain — the enthusiastic engine of the 2008 campaign has run up against the reality of a deadened job market for college students.

Interviews here and across the country suggest that most of his college supporters of 2008 are still inclined to vote for him. But the Obama ground army of 2008 is hardly ready to jump back into the trenches, potentially depriving Obama of what had been an important force in his victory.

Obama’s advisers, while acknowledging the shift, said they were confident that the loss of these workers would be negated by an influx of new students who have turned of voting age since 2008. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, said there had been 8 million voters ages 18 to 21 registered since the last election, most of whom were Democrats.

“Their brothers and sisters started it, and they are going to finish it,” Messina said Monday. “They are storming into our office. Our volunteer numbers are up from where we thought they would be.”

Yet even Obama’s supporters say it seems unlikely that the president — given the difficulties of these past three years and the mood of the electorate of all ages — will ever be able to replicate the youthful energy that became such a defining hallmark of his campaign.

In the last election, Sandra Allen hosted a group of fellow Brown University students at her home to call voters in North Carolina and Indiana on Election Day, a common practice in the Obama campaign. Obama won those states to the shock of Republicans.

Asked if she would be doing similar work for Obama this time, Allen responded: “Not now. And I will not be streaking across the main green of any campus with hundreds of thrilled people were he to be re-elected next year.”

Allen graduated last year and, after surveying the job market, decided to take refuge in graduate school to wait things out.

“I’m not optimistic,” she said.

Jason Tieg, 22, a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho, voted for Obama with great enthusiasm in 2008. But now, struggling to find a part-time job to help him through school, he is not even sure he would do that again.

“I got a job in July as a custodian on campus, but I lost it again when they needed to cut down,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll support him next year.”

It is hard to find a state that more vividly illustrates the danger to Obama from declining enthusiasm among young voters than Nevada. Few parts of the country have been harder hit by this recession, with stubborn double-digit unemployment, an unending wave of mortgage foreclosures and huge numbers of homeless. And there are few states where young voters were so crucial to Obama’s victory.

Mark Triola, who was president of Young Democrats of Nevada in 2008, said at the time, the Democratic organization at UNLV was about three times as big as the Republican organization. By last year, he said, they were about equal, a trend that students there say has not changed this year.

(For his part, Triola graduated in the spring and found a job in the communications industry — “ideally probably not what I was looking for, but I don’t have any room to complain given what’s going on,” he said.)

Jolie Glaser, a gung-ho supporter of Obama in 2008 when she attended college here, has taken to doing volunteer work for a golf charity as she looks for a job in the nonprofit sector. Her enthusiasm for the president has dampened.

“It’s hard to be a passionate follower of him,” she said. “It’s easier to be a thoughtful supporter.”

 

EU Government and 21 Scientists: Drinking Water Does Not Hydrate

You cannot make this stuff up folks. The European Union Government after a three year study by 21 appointed scientists concluded that labels on drinking water saying that drinking water can help prevent dehydration was a false claim and have banned the claim with with penalty of jail time:

A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.

Just when you think you have seen it all…

UK Telegraph:

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was   no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and   will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into   force in the UK next month.

Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common   sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.

“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.

“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

NHS health guidelines state clearly that drinking water helps avoid dehydration, and that Britons should drink at least 1.2 litres per day.

The Department for Health disputed the wisdom of the new law. A spokesman said: “Of course water hydrates. While we support the EU in preventing false claims about products, we need to exercise common sense as far as possible.”

German professors Dr Andreas Hahn and Dr Moritz Hagenmeyer, who advise food manufacturers on how to advertise their products, asked the European Commission if the claim could be made on labels.

They compiled what they assumed was an uncontroversial statement in order to test new laws which allow products to claim they can reduce the risk of disease, subject to EU approval.

They applied for the right to state that “regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration” as well as preventing a decrease in performance.

However, last February, the European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) refused to approve the statement.

A meeting of 21 scientists in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.

Now the EFSA verdict has been turned into an EU directive which was issued on Wednesday.

Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall said the ruling made the “bendy banana law” look “positively sane”.

He said: “I had to read this four or five times before I believed it. It is a perfect example of what Brussels does best. Spend three years, with 20 separate pieces of correspondence before summoning 21 professors to Parma where they decide with great solemnity that drinking water cannot be sold as a way to combat dehydration.

“Then they make this judgment law and make it clear that if anybody dares sell water claiming that it is effective against dehydration they could get into   serious legal bother.

EU regulations, which aim to uphold food standards across member states, are frequently criticised.

Rules banning bent bananas and curved cucumbers were scrapped in 2008 after causing international ridicule.

Prof Hahn, from the Institute for Food Science and Human Nutrition at Hanover Leibniz University, said the European Commission had made another mistake with its latest ruling.

“What is our reaction to the outcome? Let us put it this way: We are neither surprised nor delighted.

“The European Commission is wrong; it should have authorised the claim. That should be more than clear to anyone who has consumed water in the past, and ho has not? We fear there is something wrong in the state of Europe.”

Prof Brian Ratcliffe, spokesman for the Nutrition Society, said dehydration was usually caused by a clinical condition and that one could remain adequately hydrated without drinking water [Stop drinking water or cut your fliud intake in half and see how fast you start to feel the effects of dehydration – Political Arena Editor].

He said: “The EU is saying that this does not reduce the risk of dehydration and that is correct.

“This claim is trying to imply that there is something special about bottled water which is not a reasonable claim.”

Nothing “special about bottled water” except that it has water in it you pinheads. Of course these scientists and government appointees know that water hydrates. What this is about is an assault on the free market. If they have the power to put you in jail for claiming that water hydrates they can do anything. These are the kinds of people who want to run your health care.

Professor Gary Wolfram: ‘Occupy’ College Students Blind to Benefits of Capitalism

By Gary Wolfram William Simon Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College

 

Whenever  I watch media coverage of another Occupy Wall Street event I am reminded of an  exchange between Jewish protesters in the 1979 Monte Python movie Life  of Brian. One of the protesters asks another what the Romans have brought  to the area and the conversation goes like this:

Question: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us? Answer: Brought peace? Response: Oh, peace – shut up!

The  point is that the Roman institutions brought a good deal to the area that was being overlooked by the protesters. The Wall Street  protesters, in their hatred of capitalism, overlook things including the  fact that over the last 100 years capitalism has reduced poverty more and  increased life expectancy more than in the 100,000 years prior.

Every semester  I ask my students: “What would you rather be? King of England in 1263  or you?” Turns out, students would rather be themselves. They enjoy using their iPhone, indoor plumbing, central heating,  refrigerators and electric lighting. All of these things are available  to the average person in America today and none of them were available to the  aristocracy when the West operated under the feudal system.

How  is it that for thousands of years mankind made very little progress in  increasing the standard of living and yet today half of the goods and  services you use in the next week did not exist when I was born? It wasn’t that there  was some change in the DNA such that we got smarter. The Greeks knew  how to make a steam engine 3,000 years ago and never made one. The difference  is in how we organize our economic system. The advent of market  capitalism in the mid 18th century made all of the difference.

We need not just  rely on historical data. Look at cross-section evidence. I try another experiment with my students. I tell them they are about to be born and  they can choose whatever country in the world they would like to be born  in. The only caveat is they will be the poorest person in that country.  Every student picks a country that is primarily organized in a market  capitalist system. No one picks a centrally planned state. No one says, “I want to  be the poorest person in North Korea, Cuba, or Zimbabwe,” countries which are at the bottom of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic  Freedom.

What does it mean to be poor in our capitalist society that the Occupy Wall Street crowd so hates? Robert Rector of the  Heritage Foundation has several studies of those classified as poor by  the U.S. Census Bureau. He found that 80 percent of poor persons in the  United States in 2010 had air conditioning, nearly three quarters of  them had a car or truck, nearly two-thirds had satellite or cable television, half  had a personal computer and more than two-thirds had at least two rooms  per person.

Contrast this with what it means to be poor in Mumbai,  India, a country that is moving rapidly towards market capitalism but was burdened for decades with a socialist system. A recent story in The  Economist described Dharavi, a slum in Mumbai, where for many families  half of the family members must sleep on their sides in order for the entire  family to squeeze into its living space.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has shown a lack of understanding of how the market capitalist  system works. They appear to think that the cell phones they use, food  they eat, hotels they stay in, cars they drive, gasoline that powers the cars  they drive and all the myriad goods and services they consume every day  would be there under a different system, perhaps in more abundance.

But  there is no evidence this could be or ever has been the case. The  reason is that only market capitalism solves the two major problems that face  any economy-how to provide an incentive to innovate and how to solve the problem of decentralized information. The reason there is so much  innovation in a market system compared to socialism or other forms of  central planning is that profit provides the incentive for innovators to take  the risk needed to come up with new products.

My mother never once complained that we did not have access to the latest Soviet washing  machine. We never desired a new Soviet car. The socialist system relies  on what Adam Smith referred to as the benevolent butcher and while there  will undoubtedly be benevolent butchers out there, clearly a system that provides monetary rewards for innovators is much more dynamic and  successful. The profit that the Occupy Wall Street protesters decry is  the reason the world has access to clean water and anti-viral drugs.

The  other major problem that must be solved by any economic system is how to  deal with the fact that information is so decentralized. There is no way for a  central planner to know how many hot dogs 300 million Americans are  going to want at every moment in time. A central planner cannot know the relative  value of resources in the production of various goods and services.  Market capitalism solves that problem through the price system. If there are  too few hot dogs, the price of hot dogs will rise and more hot dogs will  be produced. If too many hot dogs are produced, the price of hot dogs will  fall and fewer will be produced.

Market capitalism is the key to the wealth of the masses. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in his 1920 book,  Socialism, only market capitalism can make the poor wealthy. Nobel  Laureate Friedrich Hayek in his famous 1945 paper, The Use of Knowledge in  Society, showed that only the price system in capitalism can create the  spontaneous order that ensures that goods will be allocated in a way that ensures  consumers determine the use of resources. The Occupy Wall Street  movement would make best use of its time and energy in protesting the encroachment of  the centrally planned state that led to the disaster of the Soviet  Union, fascist Germany, and dictatorial North Korea.

More People Struggling: Number of ‘Near Poor’ Startles Census

New York Times:

WASHINGTON — They drive cars, but seldom new ones. They earn paychecks, but not big ones. Many own homes. Most pay taxes. Half are married, and nearly half live in the suburbs. None are poor, but many describe themselves as barely scraping by.

Down but not quite out, these Americans form a diverse group sometimes called “near poor” and sometimes simply overlooked — and a new count suggests they are far more numerous than previously understood.

When the Census Bureau this month released a new measure of poverty, meant to better count disposable income, it began altering the portrait of national need. Perhaps the most startling differences between the old measure and the new involves data the government has not yet published, showing 51 million people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. That number of Americans is 76 percent higher than the official account, published in September. All told, that places 100 million people — one in three Americans — either in poverty or in the fretful zone just above it.

After a lost decade of flat wages [We have not had a lost decade of stagnant wages, the economy was doing reasonably well until the mortgage bubble popped. That editorial comment was designed rewrite economic history of the Bush Administration – Editor] and the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the findings can be thought of as putting numbers to the bleak national mood — quantifying the expressions of unease erupting in protests and political swings. They convey levels of economic stress sharply felt but until now hard to measure.

The Census Bureau, which published the poverty data two weeks ago, produced the analysis of those with somewhat higher income at the request of The New York Times. The size of the near-poor population took even the bureau’s number crunchers by surprise.

“These numbers are higher than we anticipated,” said Trudi J. Renwick, the bureau’s chief poverty statistician. “There are more people struggling than the official numbers show.”

Outside the bureau, skeptics of the new measure warned that the phrase “near poor” — a common term, but not one the government officially uses — may suggest more hardship than most families in this income level experience. A family of four can fall into this range, adjusted for regional living costs, with an income of up to $25,500 in rural North Dakota or $51,000 in Silicon Valley.

But most economists called the new measure better than the old, and many said the findings, while disturbing, comported with what was previously known about stagnant wages.

“It’s very consistent with everything we’ve been hearing in the last few years about families’ struggle, earnings not keeping up for the bottom half,” said Sheila Zedlewski, a researcher at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social research group.

Patched together a half-century ago, the official poverty measure has long been seen as flawed. It ignores hundreds of billions the needy receive in food stamps, tax credits and other programs, and the similarly large sums paid in taxes, medical care and work expenses. The new method, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, counts all those factors and adjusts for differences in the cost of living, which the official measure ignores.

CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats’ support for Obama drops

These kind of polls are not altogether uncommon at thgis time in the election season. There are lots of voters called “cross pressured voters” who stray shortly before the general election campaign, but usually 70% plus of those voters return back to their party once they are reminded of why they vote for that party in the first place. Of course strong pocketbook or emergency issues can supersede that rule as happened in the 1980 and 1984 elections. However this does indicate a wedge between rank and file Democrats who mostly vote on envy issues vs. the more radical Saul Alinsky inspired elitists.

CNN:

Washington (CNN) – Although President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating remains steady, his standing among Democrats, and in particular among blue-collar Democrats, appears to have dropped, according to a new national survey.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday, 44% of Americans say they approve of the job the president’s doing in the White House, with 54% saying they disapprove of how Obama is handling his duties. The president’s approval rating has hovered in the same mid-40’s range since June in CNN surveys. Full results (pdf)

But the poll indicates that there has been some change when Democrats are asked whether they want to see their party renominate Obama, with 26% of Democrats saying that they would prefer the party to nominate another Democrat for president next year, up from 18% in October.

Wild Bill: Secret Service Talks About Obama

Wild Bill is a former U.S. Marshall and Sheriff. He is retired and now he writes and does video commentary. Listen to what he says about how the presidents treated the Secret Service.

As far as what Wild Bill says about Reagan, this is well known and has been written about in several books. As is what has been said about Hillary Clinton by former FBI Agent Gary Aldrich and some of the White House staff.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to:

“recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Did the White House Shut Down NBC’s ‘The Playboy Club’?


“DVD sales are easy money and so are internet sales. While the first three episodes of The Playboy Club are on Hulu, the other seven episodes will not be made available on any internet service or DVD. The networks are not in the business of turning away easy money…”

Cast of 'Playboy Club' on NBC
Cast of ‘The Playboy Club’ on NBC

One might wonder why we would ask such a question, but by the end of this article you will not be so uncertain.

Sometimes television can reflect history, but sometimes it can be recreated too perfectly as is the case with NBC’s The Playboy Club.

NBC’s local affiliate said it well:

Old Man Daley and The Playboy Club

The new TV show The Playboy Club takes place in early 1960s Chicago. And if you’re going to do a series about Chicago, you have to include a political angle, right? As the saying goes, Chicago is to politics as Paris is to romance. The Playboy Club, of course, wants to be about both.

So one of the main characters is a young lawyer named Nick Dalton, who wants to leave his past as an Outfit mouthpiece behind and become Cook County State’s Attorney. The Outfit, though, doesn’t want to leave Dalton behind. Dalton constantly hounded by the son of crime boss Bruno Bianchi, who reminds him that the mob can help him get ahead in politics.

In 1964 Chicago, only one man could help you get elected state’s attorney: Mayor Richard J. Daley, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party Central Committee.

Among local offices, state’s attorney was second only in importance to the mayor. It was important to have a Regular in there, who wouldn’t prosecute the Machine. In 1960, Daley handpicked Daniel Ward, who looked clean because he was the dean of the DePaul University Law School, to run against Republican incumbent Benjamin Adamowski. Adamowski had to go because he was investigating city workers for taking bribes to allow a trucking company to short-weight construction supplies. Legend has it that Daley stole the 1960 election for John F. Kennedy. But he stole just as many votes for Ward, who won by 25,000.

Given Daley’s concern with looking proper, it’s impossible to imagine him slating an ex-Mob lawyer. Daley wasn’t mentioned on The Playboy Club, but he’s an interesting part of the story, and not just because of his power to elect a state’s attorney.

The New York Times wrote about the political impact of the show:

Crime, Sex, Politics and Regular Folks

In the world of prime-time television, Chicago is home to rough-and-tumble politics, street-smart cops and robbers, and the sexiest nightclub of its time, as well as to plenty of down-to-earth folks who make you wonder how that nightclub arose in their midst.

That may not be the way Chicagoans see themselves, but it describes the city’s image as viewed through the lens of modern-day television. Most Americans get their idea of the nation’s cities from what they see on TV.

And that, Political Arena readers, is why ‘The Playboy Club’ had to go.

Indeed in one episode Hugh Hefner’s lawyer pays off the Daley machine with a “donation” of a Jaguar.

This administration has been rife with “pay to play: Chicago style corruption scandals such as Solyndra, BrightSource, and BP; the Goldman Sachs and lobbyist revolving door in the administration, the picking of winners and losers, the illegal offshore drilling ban, the shutdown “green energy competition” such as the Keystone Canadian Oil Pipeline, the yanking of perfectly valid coal mining permits, EPA regulatory shutdown of American power plants, the steering of stimulus funds to Democrat donors and political districts,  the favors handed out to White House allies in ObamaCare, the huge political payoffs to get the votes of a few resistant Democrats for key votes, the closing of GM dealerships owned by Republican political donors, the list can go on to fill the page.

A little Chicago style persuasion is nothing new for this administration.

Remember the Ford commercial with the average Joe who said that one of the reasons he bought a Ford was because it didn’t take bail-out funds? It struck a chord with many people and received a great deal of attention.

National Review:

On Tuesday, Detroit News reporter Daniel Howes reported that White House officials leaned on Ford Motor Company to yank a popular TV and Internet ad critical of competitors who took federal bailout money. According to Howes, “Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House” questioned the firm’s CEO Alan Mulally (who had earlier supported the bailout despite his company’s refusal to participate). Howes concluded: “You’re not allowed, in Obama’s America, to disparage the auto bailout, or — indirectly — Obama. Especially during the election cycle.”

Both Ford and the White House officially deny any political pressure received or applied. But White House press flack Dan Pfeiffer refused to answer when I asked him whether anyone at the White House had ever contacted anyone at Ford to complain about the bailout ad.

So the Washington Post comes to the administration’s defense:

A left-wing Washington Post writer immediately scoffed at concerns about the administration’s heavy hand because the Ford fiasco “is being denied by the parties on both sides.” Must be nice to mainline White House talking points for a living. For the rest of us, reality intrudes.

But the Post spoke too soon because they were the next target:

The Washington Post this morning ran an excellent piece about how President Obama has come up way short on his promises to help the housing market.

And so . . .

Today, Obama will travel to Las Vegas where he will outline new steps to help borrowers refinance. The White House leaked the story to the Post’s chief competitors on the national newspaper scene, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as Reuters.

But not the Post.

The White House launched a profanity laced tirade against CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson for her very responsible coverage of the Justice Department Gun Running Scandal:

CBS has been caving and is making Atkisson “unavailable”. She will be lucky to have a job after this is over:

Today, I called CBS News in an attempt to interview Attkisson. I was told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say.

I’ve also heard from a producer at another media outlet that has previously booked Attkisson that they tried to book her since she made news with the Laura Ingraham interview yesterday. They were also told that she would be unavailable.

Recall what Attkisson told Ingraham yesterday: [The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I’m the only reporter–as they told me–that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.

The White House banned a reporter from the press pool because she covered some citizens who were protesting President Obama. When called on this as the obvious intimidation that it was, the White House denied yanking her passes,  yet every reporter in the pool knows darn well that the reporter was banned.  SF Gate:

In a pants-on-fire moment, the White House press office today denied anyone there had issued threats to remove Carla Marinucci and possibly other Hearst reporters from the press pool covering the President in the Bay Area.

Chronicle editor Ward Bushee called the press office on its fib:

Sadly, we expected the White House to respond in this manner based on our experiences yesterday. It is not a truthful response. It follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter, then threatened retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban, and then recanted to say our reporter might not be removed after all.

The Chronicle’s report is accurate.

If the White House has indeed decided not to ban our reporter, we

would like an on-the-record notice that she will remain the San Francisco print pool reporter.

The White House froze out the Boston Herald for a time because the administration was offended that it ran an op-ed from Mitt Romney.

The White House has threatened to use regulatory action to punish insurance companies, health care providers etc to keep them from telling their customers about how ObamaCare and other Democrat legislation is going to raise proces and interfere with care:

Michael Barone: Gangster government stifles criticism of ObamaCare – LINK

Welcome to gangster government… – LINK

OPPRESSION: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAYS “SHUT UP” – THREATENS HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR POLITICAL FREE SPEECH! – LINK

THUGOCRACY – OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THREATENS INSURANCE COMPANIES TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS DUE TO LEGISLATION OR ELSE – LINK

Democrats attacked Deere, Caterpillar, and AT&T for publishing in government mandated reports how ObamaCare was going to impact them. Democrat Congressman Henry Waxman threatened to have congressional hearings to trash them.

And how can we forget Gibson Guitar, who has been raided twice by federal agents with no charges filed. Gibson Guitar is suing to get its property back. The Administration said that it believed that Gibson Guitar was using tropical woods harvested improperly, but Gibson’s competition uses the same woods and construction methods. Gibson also has environmental watch groups that inspect operations.  There is one difference between Gibson Guitar and competition, Gibson donates to Republicans.

There are some, and I suspect many, Democrat operatives in the elite media who are all for this kind of behavior, so long as they are not the victim of it. CNN political analyst Roland Martin advocated that Obama Go “Chigaco-Style Al Capone Gangsta” on political opponents:

Obama’s critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes. Let ‘em know that if they aren’t with you, they are against you, and will pay the price.

Of course how can we forget what the Democrats did to ABC. I wrote this piece for my college blog in 2006:

Democrats Threaten Broadcast License of ABC Over Path to 9/11 Film

Democrats have issued a thinly veiled threat against ABC’s broadcast license over their 9/11 miniseries, The Path to 9/11, set to air last Saturday night, in a press release issued by the Office of the Senate Democratic Leader last Thursday. Bill Clinton contacted ABC CEO Robert Iger in an effort to yank the film. Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer and producer of the film, said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity that political pressure from Democrats is causing edits to the film.

So partisan Democrats I have a question for you. Where is all the squawking about oppressing free speech now? Allow me to refresh your memory. When The Department of Defense issued a press release saying that they were hiring a public relations team to help counter enemy propaganda it was called an “assault on free speech.”

When the Justice Department investigated a series of classified leaks from the CIA to the New York Times it was called a “witch hunt” and a violation of the free speech rights of the Times. The leaker, Mary O’Neil, was appointed to Clinton’s National Security Council by former NSC Chief Sandy Berger, who later went to work for the Inspector General’s office in the CIA. Her job was to find leakers. Democrat talking heads in the media said that it would violate O’Neil’s free speech rights if she were prosecuted for leaking classified information….. no kidding. Let us not forget that Sandy Berger pleaded guilty to stealing and altering secret documents from the National Security Archive in preparation for the 9/11 Commission’s investigation.

The film was made in consultation with 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, “which praised the film’s ‘commitment to accuracy’ and ‘sincere respect for the subject’ ‘I worked closely with the filmmakers and the network to ensure the mini-series accurately reflects both the facts and the spirit of the Commission’s findings,’ wrote Kean” (http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060908-045948-7634r).

Clinton attorney Bruce R. Lindsey, who runs Clinton’s foundation, “wrote Kean last night that he was ‘shocked’ by the former New Jersey governor’s role, saying: ‘Your defense of the outright lies in this film is destroying the bipartisan aura of the 9/11 Commission and tarnishing the hard work of your fellow commissioners.’”

“Kean said the filmmakers have made changes — in one case, re-shooting an entire scene — based in part on his recommendations. ‘The suggestion that this is some right-wing group in Hollywood is absurd,’ he said” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/07/AR2006090701454.html).

So it boils down to this, who are we to believe: Bill Clinton, whose propensity to tell lies has not only been proven, but is renown in the American political lexicon; Sandy Berger, who stands convicted of stealing and altering documents from the National Security Archive to “prepare” for the 9/11 Commission investigation; or Thomas Kean, the Chairman of the 9/11 Commission? Even an NEA lobbyist knows the answer to this.

Be sure to read the rest of the piece HERE. ABC cowed to political pressure from  the Democrats and edited out parts of the film that were confirmed as accurate. Not only were members of the 9/11 Commission on hand during production to insure accuracy, Dr. Michael Sheuer, the former head of the CIA’s “Bin Laden Unit” was also consulting. Dr. Sheuer wrote a book bashing President Bush so one cannot say that it was a “right-wing hit job” with any credibility.

The naked will to censor the film by the Democratic leadership inspired the production of a new documentary film called Blocking the Path to 9/11. Ironically those who produced The Path to 9/11 said that they expected to be on the receiving end of political heat from Republicans. Some things you just have to see for yourself:

NBC’s cable news channel also jumped on the anti-Path to 9/11 bandwagon.

ABC, in spite of high demand, refuses to release The Path to 9/11 on DVD. DVD sales are easy money and so are internet sales such as Netflix and Hulu. While the first three episodes of  The Playboy Club are on Hulu, the other seven episodes will not be made available on any internet service or DVD. The networks are not in the business of turning away easy money.

Like NBC, ABC sure has learned its lesson about airing anything that Democrats might not approve of:

ABC does an infomercial for ObamaCare yet refuses health care ads from Republicans – LINK (2)

ABC Calling Sarah Palin “Barbie” – LINK

ABC saying that “Limbaugh has a history of making racially offensive comments” – but offered no proof  – LINK

ABC: If you oppose Obama on policy, your racist – LINK

ABC cut out key substantive portions of the Palin interview (the parts that showed how knowledgeable she was) – LINK (More on that interview HERE and HERE)

Another ABC interview of Sarah Palin where substantive parts of her answers are edited out – LINK

ABC questions asked to Republicans vs Democrats – LINK

ABC’s Sawyer: ‘Protesters Roaming’ DC, ‘Increasingly Emotional, Yelling Slurs and Epithets’ – again no proof in the video – LINK

ABC Gushes Over Patrick Kennedy and Ted’s Fight for Health Care: ‘Dad’s Final Wish’ Came True – LINK

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Argues With McCain on Health Care: ‘What Would You Say’ to Ted Kennedy? – LINK

ABC’s Cokie Roberts: Glenn Beck ‘Corrupting’ Democracy, a ‘Traitor’ to American Values – LINK

Glenn Beck blasts ABC for doctoring clips in smear piece – LINK

ABC Casts Democrats as Profiles in Courage, Republicans as Grief-Exploiting Meanies – LINK

ABC News engages in blatant misrepresentation in anti- TEA Party hit piece – LINK

ABC News Managing Editor: I didn’t even know about the ACORN story – LINK

‘Liberal’ ABC Radio Boss Firing Profitable Conservative Hosts, Hannity Leaves ABC Syndicator – LINK

Howard Kurtz Blasts ABC for Dumping Andrew Breitbart from Election Coverage Because of “Newsroom Uprising” – LINK

Connecticut: Five Years in Jail for Teeth Whitening

Why? Because the State Dental Association used it’s political muscle to get a law passed to criminalize the competition. This is what government does when it gets too powerful and the money gets too fast and loose.  So the Institute for Justice is suing in federal court. They made this video to mock the state for this boneheaded maneuver:

Big Government.com:

Lisa Martinez was forced to shut down her businesses or face five years in prison.   Her crime?   Teeth whitening.

In 2008, Lisa opened Connecticut White Smile in the Crystal Mall in Waterford, Conn., where she sold an over-the-counter whitening product and provided a clean, comfortable place for customers to apply the product to their own teeth, just as they would at home.

As it turns out, teeth-whitening services are popular and increasingly available at spas, salons and shopping malls all across the country. People are so eager to use these services because they provide great results at a fraction of the cost that dentists charge.

As Lisa puts it:

My customers loved my convenient location and affordable prices.  Owning my own business gave me a flexible schedule that allowed me to spend more time with my family.

Unfortunately, as happens all too often, happy customers + happy entrepreneurs = unhappy special interests.

In June, the Connecticut Dental Commission decided to clamp down on teeth whitening.  The commission ruled that offering teeth-whitening services is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison or $25,000 in civil penalties for anyone but a licensed dentist.

The ruling even applies to businesses like Lisa’s Connecticut Smile White, where customers apply the product to their own teeth.  Some people may be wondering:  What’s the difference between whitening my teeth at home with a product I buy online and whitening my teeth at a shopping mall or salon with an identical product? Remarkably, in Connecticut the difference is that the shopping mall and salon entrepreneurs can be thrown in prison for five years.

Thankfully, economic-liberty expert Paul Sherman of the Institute for Justice has teamed up with Lisa and other Connecticut entrepreneurs to change that.   This week IJ filed a federal lawsuit to end Connecticut’s government-enforced teeth-whitening cartel.  Paul explains:

The Dental Commission’s new teeth-whitening law has nothing to do with public health or safety and everything to do with protecting licensed dentists from honest competition.  Rather than trying to compete by lowering prices or improving their services, the dental cartel is using government power to put their competition out of business. That’s unconstitutional.  And that’s why we’re taking the dental cartel to federal court.