UPenn Professor: Cops are pigs, conservatives are schmucks, America is a perverse place, we need useful Marxist concepts….

And you think this is unusual? This is what a majority of college professors either fully endorse or are very sympathetic to.

When The Wall fell in 1989 a few hundred million communists did not suddenly become libertarians. They had to go somewhere.

The Blaze:

There has been no shortage of partisan teaching in the news lately, but Professor Philippe Bourgois of The University of Pennsylvania may have just brought proselytizing from the lectern to a new low.

Bourgois, a Professor of Anthropology at Penn, gave a public lecture recently slandering police officers, conservatives, doctors and America itself, all while encouraging and complimenting the teachings of Karl Marx. The rant took place in front of students on the campus of Bryn Mawr College, located west of Philadelphia. The talk was a panel discussion entitled ‘The Transformation of Poverty Governance’ and revolved around how America is handling it’s welfare state.

See the video HERE.

Caught on film: School officials abusing special needs student

This will turn your stomach:

Via The Blaze:

Not long after a New Jersey father filmed a number of teachers brutally mocking his autistic son, footage from South Carolina’s St. John’s Elementary is showing the school‘s behavioral manager and a teacher’s aide slapping, shoving, and demeaning a 10-year old special needs student on a school bus.

Seemingly trying to put on his safety harness, the first woman literally throws the device on top of the child’s face.  Unable to speak, according to reports, he sits there calmly.

Next, the boy holds his arms out so the woman can put on the device properly, and she shoves his head forward so that his whole upper-body bends.

As her rough-handling continues, the child starts whimpering and crying.

“Hush! Hush!” the other woman can be heard saying, as she slaps him across the face.

Then the women, identified as Tomeka Self and Rosanna Dudley, both start shoving and rough-handling the student to get the harness, shoving him forward and to the side with excessive force as he cries.

Here is the clip:

According to reports, the bus driver found the incident so appalling that he turned the bus’s footage over to school authorities, who put the women on administrative leave without pay before notifying the police.

After the cops began investigating the matter, the women were arrested and charged with simple assault and battery.  They are due to appear in court on May 9th.

“This behavior is unacceptable, especially coming from adults who have been entrusted with the care of our children,” Dr. Rainey Knight, superintendent of the district, said in a release. “We do not condone this behavior anywhere in our district for any child.” [After they got caught… – Editor]

Western Journalism Center: Obama’s List of Firsts

Granted Western Journalism is a conservative outfit, but nonetheless the firsts that appear in this list are true.

Western Journalism Center:

First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.

First President to violate the War Powers Act.

First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party, a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

First President to recommend changing our National Anthem as it portrays and promotes violence and is warlike in its theme.

First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer Breakfast and activities.

First President to initiate a Cash for Clunkers Program to clean up exhaust that adds to global warming, then extended it because it was so popular — wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

First President to bypass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.

First President to demand a company hand over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space.

First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke out on the reasons for their rate increases.

First President to tell a major manufacturing company which state they are allowed to locate a factory in.

First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

First President to fire an inspector general of Americorps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.

First President to pledge complete transparency while campaigning, then hide his medical, educational,and travel records.

First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.

First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

First President to repeat the Holy Qur’an and tells us that the early morning Islamic call to worship is the most beautiful sound on earth.

Ayn Rand on why collectivism is not about equality.

This is so good. Collectivists say that it is about equality, but in practice the collectivist makes it about everyone else and YOU sacrifice. YOU give up your labor, your money, your time, your livelihood…..for “others”…. you know… so it can be good for “everyone else”.  If you want to keep most of your money, your labor, your rights than YOU are selfish and amoral. Everyone is “entitled” and “equal” except you because you produce so you must sacrifice. It is no equality at all.

Of course the only ones who truly benefit in a collectivist society are the oligarchs.

Ayn Rand:

The social theory of ethics substitutes “society” for God—and although it claims that its chief concern is life on earth, it is not the life of man, not the life of an individual, but the life of a disembodied entity, the collective, which, in relation to every individual, consists of everybody except himself. As far as the individual is concerned, his ethical duty is to be the selfless, voiceless, rightless slave of any need, claim or demand asserted by others. The motto “dog eat dog”—which is not applicable to capitalism nor to dogs—is applicable to the social theory of ethics. The existential monuments to this theory are Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. – “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 34

Chillingly Accurate: The Political Predictions of Robert Welch 1958 (video)

No matter what you may think of the John Birch Society, credit based on merit should be given when it is due and in this case Robert Welch was beyond prophetic. You may agree or disagree with the solutions Welch offers, but it cannot be denied that what he predicted happened.

I have mixed views on JBS myself. Some of them are wonderful people, some of them are nuts.

Legendary Kate Smith Introduces God Bless America in 1938 /w a Special Appearance of President Reagan! (video)

Warning! I f you are the kind of far left pinhead who screeches ”Xenophobe!” at the slightest display of national pride, this video will make blood shoot right from your eyes.

It is Memorial Day and we pay tribute to the fallen.

[Editor’s Note: The legendary Pat O’Brien, Knute Rockne All American (1940), appears at 2:59 and President Ronald Reagan, who also starred in Knute Rockne All American, appears at 4:21.]

President Obama Keeps Donations From Bain Capital…

Then why keep the money? Why is one of Obama’s campaign chairs an exec at Bain?

Politicker:

Though the Obama campaign has repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney for his career at Bain Capital, President Obama still accepted $7,500 in campaign contributions from two Bain executives. His campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt told The Politicker the president has no intention of giving the money back.

“No one aside from Mitt Romney is running for President highlighting their tenure as a corporate buyout specialist as one of job creation, when in fact, his goal was profit maximization,” said Mr. LaBolt.  ”The President has support from business leaders across industries who have seen him pull the economy back from the brink of another depression, manufacturing and the auto industry revived, and support his agenda to build an economy that lasts where America outinnovates and outeducates the rest of the world and economic security for the middle class is restored.”

On Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden defended the attacks on Mr. Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. Though he insisted he wasn’t “criticizing private equity firms,” Mr. Biden said there were many examples of Mr. Romney and his Bain colleagues causing tremendous harm.

“You hear all these stories about his partners buying companies … where they load up with a tremendous amount of debt. The companies go under, everybody loses their job, the community is devastated, but they make money,” said Mr. Biden. “They make money even when a company goes bankrupt, when workers lose their jobs.”

New Obama slogan “Forward” Also Title of Several European Communist Publications

Considering that Dad was an outspoken Communist, mom was a “Critical Theorist” (that’s Marxism on steroids folks), his childhood mentor Frank Marshall Davis wrote for CPUSA publications, as did David Axelrod’s parents, and considering his long time affiliation with communist bomber Bill Ayers and self proclaimed Marxist Jeremiah Wright; I am sure that this just just a coincidence.

Washington Times:

The Obama campaign apparently didn’t look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, “Forward” — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name “Forward!” or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called “Forward (generic name of socialist publications).”

“The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications,” the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan “Forward!” reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word “Forward” with the “O” having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign’s official beginning.

There have been at least two radical-left publications named “Vorwaerts” (the German word for “Forward”). One was the daily newspaper of the Social Democratic Party of Germany whose writers included Friedrich Engels and Leon Trotsky. It still publishes as the organ of Germany’s SDP, though that party has changed considerably since World War II. Another was the 1844 biweekly reader of the Communist League. Karl Marx, Engels and Mikhail Bakunin are among the names associated with that publication.

East Germany named its Army soccer club ASK Vorwaerts Berlin (later FC Vorwaerts Frankfort).

Vladimir Lenin founded the publication “Vpered” (the Russian word for “forward”) in 1905. Soviet propaganda film-maker Dziga Vertov made a documentary whose title is sometimes translated as “Forward, Soviet” (though also and more literally as “Stride, Soviet”).

Conservative critics of the Obama administration have noted numerous ties to radicalism and socialists throughout Mr. Obama’s history, from his first political campaign being launched from the living room of two former Weather Underground members, to appointing as green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist.

Florida poll: Quarter of voters less inclined to back Obama over gay marriage issue

The very Obama friendly Politico reports:

President Obama’s same-sex marriage endorsement makes a full quarter of Florida voters less likely to cast their ballots for him, according to a poll released Monday.

Quinnipac’s latest poll of the Sunshine State finds that 25 percent of voters say Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage makes them less likely to vote for him. On the other hand, 11 percent say that it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Among independents, 23 percent say that they’re less likely to vote for Obama over same sex marriage. Older voters (55 and older), born-again evangelical Christians, lower income voters and military veterans are all more likely than other demographic groups to say that Obama’s backing of same-sex marriage will sway them towards Romney.

On the whole, Romney beats President Obama by six points in Florida, leading 47 to 41 percent over the incumbent president.

Muslim soldier found guilty in plot to blow up Texas restaurant…

Fox News:

WACO, Texas –  A federal jury on Thursday convicted a Muslim soldier on six charges in connection with a failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood troops, his religious mission to get “justice” for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jurors in U.S. District Court in Waco deliberated a little more than an hour before finding Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of U.S. officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon in furtherance of a federal crime of violence.

Abdo, 22, did not stand with his attorneys when jurors and the judge entered the room, and he showed no emotion when each of the six guilty verdicts was read by the court clerk. Abdo, who’s been accused of spitting blood on authorities escorting him and a jailer, wore a mask covering his nose and mouth throughout the trial.

He faces up to life in prison. U.S. District Judge Walter Smith is set to sentence Abdo in July.

Prosecutors said Abdo had already started making a bomb when he was detained at a Killeen motel last July after going AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky. Authorities also found numerous bomb-making components, a loaded gun, 143 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun and other items in his backpack and motel room.

In a recorded police interview, Abdo said he was planning to pull off an attack in the Fort Hood area “because I don’t appreciate what my unit did in Afghanistan.”

He told authorities he planned to put the bomb in a busy restaurant filled with soldiers, wait outside and shoot anyone who survived — and become a martyr after police killed him. Abdo told an investigator that he didn’t plan an attack inside Fort Hood because he didn’t believe he would be able to get through security at the gates, according to testimony.

California tops states in teen unemployment. Students with jobs hits 20 year low.

The Union:

As summer break approaches and school seasons conclude, teens in California will have a more difficult time finding a job than their demographic counterparts in every other state, according to Census Bureau data released by the Employment Policies Institute.

With 36.2 percent of its teens unable to find employment, California leads all other states in teen unemployment — only the District of Columbia, with its 51.7 percent teen unemployment rate, surpasses the Golden State.

Overall, teen unemployment rose in 17 states and Washington, D.C., between April 2011 and April 2012, and fell in 32 states.

Nationally, the teen unemployment rate stands at 24.9 percent, and has averaged above 20 percent for over 40 months. The number of employed teens fell by 14,000 from March to April 2012.

1) California 36.2%
2) South Carolina 31.2%
3) Rhode Island 29.8%
4) Washington 29.0%
5) Arizona 29.0%
6) Nevada 28.8%
7) Idaho 28.4%
8) North Carolina 28.2%
9) Missouri 27.7%
10) Louisiana 27.6%
** District of Columbia 51.7%

 

Washington Times:

Did somebody say McJobless?

The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

In 1990, 32 percent of high school students held jobs, versus just 16 percent now. Blame their elders.

Sectors that traditionally have offered teens their first paying gig — fast-food chains, movie theaters, malls and big-box retailers — have now become the last resorts for out-of-work college graduates or older Americans forced back into the labor force out of sheer financial necessity. The resulting squeeze has left students on the outside looking in.

“By definition, teenage workers get the jobs that are left over,” said Charles Hirschman, a sociology professor at the University of Washington who has studied and written about student employment. “When you can’t find someone else to bag your groceries or work construction, often teenagers are the labor force you can count on to pick up that slack for a low wage. But now, with the recession, everybody has moved down. Those jobs aren’t going to teenagers.”

Barack Obama and the Communist Party

This is a partial long list of the long ties with active and dedicated communists Barack Obama has had since he was a boy. The interesting thing is that much of this information is in Obama’s own books, but the elite media doesn’t wish to report it.

Follow the link below:

http://keywiki.org/index.php/Barack_Obama_and_the_Communist_Party

 

Girl Defends Disabled Students From Bullying, School Labels Girl as Bully…

So typical. It is a story we have heard time and time again. The bullying is reported over and over and the school refuses to lift a finger to stop it. Finally either a hero or the victim raises a big enough stink about it,  so the school bureaucrats rush in to punish and silence the victim or the one reporting it. After all if no one reports it than technically they have a bully free school!

This is why school administrators have protected bullies for years and continue to do so. Occasionally a victim snaps and kills the bully or kills themselves, and that is when the school starts scrubbing records and labels everyone who new the bullying was happening a liar.

Stormy Rich
Stormy Rich, hero who stood up to bullies.

We have said it many, many times, by and large it seems that only the most incompetent people manage to get jobs as school administrators.  This story is example 2, 348, 812 of why this is true.

The Daily Commercial (Umatilla, Florida) :

THERESA CAMPBELL | Staff Writer

theresacampbell@dailycommercial.com

“Caution: This campus is 100 percent against bullying. Speak out,” reads a sign outside Umatilla High School, and one senior said she did speak out and has been punished for doing so.

Stormy Rich, 18, thought she was doing the right thing in reporting bullying incidents she witnessed against a mentally-challenged middle school girl by a group of girls on morning bus rides to school.

“I’m a very outspoken person,” Rich said. “I stick up for what I feel is right. In the school code of conduct handbook, it is clearly stated that bullying is a non-tolerable offense.”

Rich was riding that middle school bus because she earned enough credits to avoid having to take a first-period high school class and an earlier high school bus. The two schools are only a few blocks away.

Rich — who said she felt compelled to speak out because the girl couldn’t even comprehend she was being pick on — first complained to the bus driver but the bullying continued. She then complained to a high school official, who said he would contact the middle school, but nothing changed.

“I would sit on the bus every single day and see the bullying was still going on and nothing was being done,” Rich said. “It was aggravating.”

The senior demanded the bullies stop, which worked for a while. She said they then began threatening her, even though she complained about this to school personnel on almost a daily basis for about two weeks. The mother and daughter even contacted police.

“Enough is enough,” Rich said in her written complaint. “Something should be done.”

That something was a letter sent to Rich’s mother, Brenda, on May 4, saying her daughter was kicked off the middle school bus. A district school official said Rich displayed bullying behavior in her comments.

“She said what I did made me the bully, with me telling the kids that if they didn’t stop, and if the school didn’t do anything, that I would have to handle it,” Rich said. “To me, it was just going too far.”

According to Christopher Patton, communications officer for Lake County Schools, a courtesy had been extended to Rich to ride the middle school bus.

“Due to circumstances on the bus, the privileges were revoked,” he said.

Patton said he could not discuss the bullying complaints filed by Rich or her mother. He also could not say if any action was taken about those complaints.

“I can’t comment about student discipline, unfortunately,” Patton said. “I think you’re heading down a dangerous path because you’ve got one side of the story. … There are other parents that are involved in this.”

Asked if the district had additional complaints on the issue, Patton replied: “Just this one parent.”

“My daughter was punished incorrectly,” said Brenda Rich. “Stormy was standing up for a child with emotionally challenged disabilities that should not have been bullied. The district’s policy clearly states that anybody in good faith files a report on bullying will not face any repercussions and she is.”

Brenda Rich said she has met the bullied student and the young girl does not comprehend sarcasm or even understand what “hate” means. She views everybody as her “friend.”

“Just because she doesn’t understand what people are doing to her is wrong, it doesn’t mean its OK,” said Brenda Rich, who questions if the schools’ anti-bullying policies are really working.

“…This child doesn’t have the ability to stand up for herself, she has no voice. Stormy was her voice, even more so than the girl herself.”

Her daughter won’t have school transportation issues much longer.

Stormy Rich will graduate next week with a 3.67 GPA and has been awarded scholarships. She strives to continue to help others and plans to start nursing studies at Daytona State College.

Notre Dame and Dozens of Catholic Orgs Sue Obama – Elite Media Blackout!

Media Research Center:

Alexandria, VA – Fury over the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts’ continued refusal to report the lawsuits Catholic entities have filed against the Obama administration has spread beyond the Media Research Center watchdog group and Catholic leaders to 10 additional Christian leaders equally concerned about this decision to deliberately not report national news. Below are statements released by FRC’s Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer of American Values and 8 more leaders.

For the third night in a row the broadcast networks have refused to cover this correctly.

This momentum is fueled by CBS Evening News’ outrageous decision not only to spike the Catholic lawsuits but instead to lead the news with yet another story about the Catholic sex abuse scandal. The broadcast devoted two minutes and 31 seconds to the accused abusers and allegations that occurred decades ago. That’s roughly eight times more coverage than CBS Evening News gave the historic lawsuit on Monday.

“Those fleeting 19 seconds remain the only evening news coverage of the damning anti-Obama lawsuit in 72 hours since the unprecedented suing by one of the largest institutions in the country,” stated Media Research Center President Brent Bozell. “Make no mistake – CBS intentionally resurrected the decade-old scandal last night while ignoring the lawsuit to throw salt on the wound of America’s 60 million Catholics. The media are holding this historic news hostage from the American people. At least CBS has heard of the word ‘Catholic.’ ABC and NBC are behaving like the Catholic Church — and one out of every four Americans — don’t exist.”

Statements:

“This week Catholic leaders filed lawsuits responding to an unprecedented federal government intrusion into the church. Several major networks have chosen to ignore the stand that these Catholic organizations have taken in defense of our most fundament freedom. However, thousands of priests, pastors, and rabbis will continue to speak out and refuse to surrender their most fundamental right to live and exercise faith without compromise. The church will not allow itself to be conscripted to advance anyone’s liberal political agenda.”

Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council

Female Democrat Senators Pay Female Staffers Less than Men…. Much Less!

Washington Beacon:

A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.

Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.

Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.

That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent.

A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.

Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent.

The Free Beacon used publicly available salary data from the transparency website Legistorm to calculate the figures, and considered only current full-time staff members who were employed for the entirety of fiscal year 2011.

The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers.

Senators elected in 2010—Joe Manchin, Chris Coons, and Richard Blumenthal—were not considered due to incomplete salary data.

Women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more.

While the gap is significant, it is slightly smaller than that of the White House, which pays men about $10,000, or 13 percent, more on average, according to a previous Free Beacon analysis.

The pay differential is quite striking in some cases, especially among leading Democrats. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who runs the Senate Democratic messaging operation, paid men $19,454 more on average, a 36 percent difference.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.

Other notable Senators whose “gender pay gap” was larger than 23 percent:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—47.6 percent
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.)—40 percent
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.)—34.2 percent
  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)—31.5 percent
  • Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)—30.4 percent
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)–29.7 percent
  • Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.)–29.2 percent
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)—26.5 percent
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore)—26.4 percent
  • Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa)—23.2 percent

Sen. Sanders, who is an avowed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, has the worst gender gap by far. He employed more men (14) than women (10), and his chief of staff is male. Like many of his fellow partisans, he has previously accused Republicans of “trying to roll back the clock on women’s rights.”

Sweden turns to Reagan’s economic reforms and it’s working

UPDATE – Sweden to lower corporate tax rate to attract new business and investment – LINK

Investors Business Daily: 

Economics: The president (Obama) has been accused of seeking to turn the U.S. into an Americanized Western European welfare state. If he insists on imitating one particular model, we suggest he follow the Swedish paradigm.

Sweden has a reputation as the prototypical cradle-to-grave socialist European nation, and the political left has long yearned for America to be more like the Scandinavian nation.

But it’s looking through a smudged window. With little notice, Sweden has changed.

The turnaround has been driven in no small part by the election of Fredrik Reinfeldt as prime minister in 2006. He took office in October of that year and by January of 2007, tax-cutting had begun. The Reinfeldt government also cut welfare spending — a form of austerity — and began to deregulate the economy.

That doesn’t sound like the Sweden that American Democrats hold up as the standard.

But as Finance Minister Anders Borg told the Spectator, the Reinfeldt government was simply continuing the last 20 years of reform.

Far from hurting Sweden’s economy, the changes have improved it. And they’ll likely help to protect it from the 0.3% economic decline now forecast for the euro zone in 2012.

Sweden fell into recession in 2008 and 2009, as did many developed nations. But it’s pulled strongly out of the decline, posting GDP gains of 6.1% in 2010 and 3.9% last year, when it ranked at the top in Europe’s list of fastest-growing economies.

U.S. growth over those same two years under Barack Obama’s Keynesian stewardship? It was less than half of Sweden’s — 3% in 2010 and an anemic 1.7% in 2011.

While the U.S. continues to struggle with its jobs problem — unemployment is at 8.1% here — Sweden’s jobless rate has fallen to 7.5%.

Not perfect, but 7.5% is far below the euro zone average of 10.2% and significantly lower than the rates in Spain (21.7%), Portugal (12.9%) and the United Kingdom (8%), countries that Borg noted were “were arguing for large temporary stimulus.”

Under Borg, Sweden handled the downturn in the most un-European way. “While most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Borg did not. Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, his mission has been to pare back government. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut,” Fraser Nelson wrote last month in the Spectator.

Borg strongly opposed the Keynesian solution, which the left continues to advance while it inveighs against an austerity that has yet to be implemented.

He also refused to resort to the trickery of a stimulus, instead cutting the taxes that he knew were hindering entrepreneurs from giving the economy the kick it needed.

The country needed innovators and capitalists — “the source of job creation,” says Borg — and he did what he had to, to attract new ones and to keep those already there from leaving.

During Sweden’s decline into a welfare state, it became, as Borg told the Spectator, “a textbook case of European economic sclerosis” punished by “very high taxes and huge regulatory burden.”

That lasted until the 1990s, when the nation realized it had to return to the market policies that had made it rich prior to the onset of its cradle-to-grave coddling.

How much further can Borg and Reinfeldt take their reforms? Will voters ask them to come back and complete the job?

After all, it’s not over. Though it continues to fall, Sweden’s government debt as a share of GDP is still too high at 38.4%. And while it’s dipped below 45% for the first time in decades, the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio is still far too steep.

Despite this unfinished business, Sweden is still moving in the right direction.

USA Today: Real 2011 Deficit $5 Trillion

And that is not the debt folks, that is one years deficit spending.

USA Today:

The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.

A U.S. household’s median income is $49,445, the Census reports.

The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.

The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.

Deficits are a major issue in this year’s presidential campaign, but USA TODAY has calculated federal finances under accounting rules since 2004 and found no correlation between fluctuations in the deficit and which party ran Congress or the White House.

Key findings:

• Social Security had the biggest financial slide. The government would need $22.2 trillion today, set aside and earning interest, to cover benefits promised to current workers and retirees beyond what taxes will cover. That’s $9.5 trillion more than was needed in 2004.

• Deficits from 2004 to 2011 would be six times the official total of $5.6 trillion reported.

• Federal debt and retiree commitments equal $561,254 per household. By contrast, an average household owes a combined $116,057 for mortgages, car loans and other debts.

“By law, the federal government can’t tell the truth,” says accountant Sheila Weinberg of the Chicago-based Institute for Truth in Accounting.

Jim Horney, a former Senate budget staff expert now at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says retirement programs should not count as part of the deficit because, unlike a business, Congress can change what it owes by cutting benefits or lifting taxes.

“It’s not easy, but it can be done. Retirement programs are not legal obligations,” he says.

How to Answer: How Can You Justify Making So Much Money?

Brad Phillips challenged other PR pros how to answer this tough question.

It’s the single hardest media training question for spokespersons to answer.

Let’s say you’re a top executive from a not-for-profit association, a quasi-governmental organization, a membership group, or a utility company. You work for a group that depends on taxpayer funding, private donations, or middle-class ratepayers. You make $600,000 per year. Or $800,000 per year. Or $1.2 million per year. Here’s the killer question:

“How can you justify making $800,000 per year?

 

Several PR pros made good efforts but made mistakes in their answers that left them vulnerable to attack. Be sure to read the rest HERE.

Brad Phillips gives a great answer:

My approach borrows from pieces of the commenters above. In an ideal world, the organization that is paying high salaries uses an outside “benchmarking” firm to establish what comparable wages are. If that’s true – and if the executive is paid something close to the median, I prefer this response:

“You’re right that I’m fortunate to be paid well for my work. I agree that we owe it to our members to be fiscally responsible, which is why no executive in our company makes more than the average for other executives in comparable positions. We think the 50 percent mark is perfect – it’s high enough to attract top talent who can serve our members well, but low enough to respect the contributions generously provided by our members.”

A Definitive Guide: When to Block Someone & How to Handle a Social Media Crisis

by Chuck Norton

A social media crisis can happen to just about anyone or any organization. Sometimes they can be a result of a mistake you or your organization has made, or it can come from a mistake made by a media organization, or it can be a deliberate and planned attack.

1. In most cases do not delete the negative comments

While The first instinct is to just delete the offending comments, actually in most cases this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Your good customers and close friends are probably not stupid so an unfair attack will appear just as such to most people who matter to you.

There is ALWAYS a reason why attacks and negative critiques happen. It is NEVER for nothing so getting defensive and reacting in a knee jerk fashion is exactly the wrong thing to do. Blocking and deleting may make you feel better for a few minutes, but such actions can really hurt you in the eyes of others. Why are you facing negative comments and criticism? Find out why as fast as you can, and do so objectively with a willingness to accept fault. It is in your best interest to take critique seriously.

In the case of a real mistake made by you or someone else, something has happened to upset your customers and they are simply expressing themselves to you. Let them vent, really it is therapeutic. The more they vent the more you will learn. This reality is difficult for some to come to terms with. So before you hit DELETE, keep the following in mind:

  • It is in your best interests to have your customers or voters voice their concerns, anger, etc on your web site, Facebook page or other platform that you control.You can monitor it and keep tabs on it.  If you just delete it they will become more angry and post in places that you do not have control. I promise you this is exactly what will happen. It will happen because by blocking you are telling them that you do not care what they have to say or what their feelings are.

Posting my complaint on other blogs and publications when an injustice was done to me is how I dealt with hostile and unfair professors and administrators when I came under unfair attack at Indiana University after “in house” communications proved fruitless. Do not be so foolish as to let a situation come to that as IU did.

2. Respond the RIGHT way. 

People like to have an honest dialogue because it is a sign of respect. They recognize and appreciate the effort of being heard and understood. Show how much you care about them by taking the time to respond to each and every negative comment, concern and question (with exceptions noted in number 5 below). Someone has just vented on you and/or your company/product that you worked hard to produce. Your feelings are hurt and you are not thrilled to respond to them with a positive, understanding, human tone. GET OVER IT. This is not about your feelings rather it is about the best interests of your brand, your company, your product, your profits and about your customers. Take a deep breath and go into with the right attitude or hire someone who can speak for you.

There are seven rules to follow when giving your response:

  • Write a unique and custom response to each comment, complaint, and question. The value of a unique response cannot be stressed enough. A canned response such as “Please address your concern to me at BLAHBLAH@email.com” will be perceived as a complete fail and willmake things worse. Be smart and offer them the option of discussing the issue privately or openly however they wish. It is important to not give the impression that you have something you want to hide.

Politicians often use canned responses that do not really address the concern or genuinely answer the question. Such responses usually make things worse, not better. I have been known to make political contributions and ONE canned letter that does not seriously address my specific question means no donation from me, ever.

  • Make the response sound human, real, sympathetic and not corporate.
  • Does your response actually address the specific concern or question with a real answer? A good way to show that it does is to state the customers specific question in the letter.
  • Avoid “Escape Hatch Language“. Make certain that your answer is not so ambiguous that it can mean most anything (depending clarify your statements later), this means avoiding “escape hatch language” as it is insincere, insulting, and most people will spot it in an instant. Politicians think they are masters of this and I give examples of escape hatch language in a post on my old college blog where use of escape hatch language resulted in a huge PR disaster for President Obama  – LINK.
  • Don’t apologize before having all of the facts. You may make things worse. People will likely catch onto it and your apology will come across as rushed to shut everyone up. You may come across as incompetent because you missed a key fact or fundamental truth.
  • Do not try to hide certain facts or be less than truthful. This also means telling your PR people everything they need to know, not just selected tidbits. If you are caught doing this, in the eyes of the public you are a liar who deserves the label. Indiana University at Indianapolis made a combination of this mistake along with some of the others on this list and ended up with a nationwide PR disaster that they well deserved – LINK  – LINK.
  • When you say you’re sorry, mean it! Show a little humility and make a real apology. Reasonable people know that you are human and stuff happens. If necessary, ask for a way to get in contact with them directly so that you may continue to resolve the problem.

3. React in real-time

See what is happening on your blog or social media page? Well that is how fast you should be responding. It happens in real-time so that is when you need to respond. There’s no time to go through the layers of management and attorneys to “craft” the perfect response to be posted in a day or two because by that time the problem will have snowballed and can be a disaster. It will be too late and too much avoidable damage has already been done (besides that group of people are all too often the last ones you want writing your apology anyway). Show your customers that you care by demonstrating that you understand “the fierce urgency of now”.  You are on top of the situation. Respond to attacks, complaints and questions in real-time.

4. Let your social networking community and satisfied customers stand up for you

You have worked hard at building a relationship with your customers. They can be your best ally. Remember that your competition can likely provide your product or services at a similar price point to you, but since you have worked to have a superior relationship with the customer, client, or voter, some of them will come to your defense. Let them! You have worked hard at building those customer relationships, allow them to come to your defense and help you resolve the situation.

Although negative criticism can be hard to accept, it’s in your best interest to take it seriously, and see it as an opportunity to reconnect with your audience. By taking the time to respond and apologize, you’re showing your customers just how much you value them, and that can go an extremely long way for your brand.

5. When is it OK to delete a comment or start blocking?

There are three circumstances where deletion/blocking is the correct action to take.

  • If and when the comment is so profane and offensive that it violates social and ethical norms. Verbal abuse and threats etc go against social media policies so remove such offending remarks after you screenshot or otherwise archive them. Depending on the circumstances a good practice may be to send the offending individual a private message telling them that their comment has been deleted and why, and that you encourage them to express their point of view in a way that is sociably acceptable.
  • When the complainant is not interested in solving their problem and only wants to complain. We all have dealt with people like this. You have gone as far as reasonability will take you. It is time to move on.
  • When you are under a coordinated attack by a group of people. This happens more often than one might expect. Radical extremists use this tactic a great deal and with some effectiveness. Far left “occupiers”, anarchists, eco-extremists, and some overzealous ideologues use these tactics as a matter of course. At times other companies or even other political campaigns engage in such coordinated attacks simply because you may be a competitor.

When under such attack explain to your community why you are deleting such posts, although at times leaving a few up as an example may actually be helpful. Often times fake Facebook accounts and fake Twitter accounts will be used to make such attacks. Not only should you delete and report them, but such accounts will usually have 15 friends or less; block every one of those friends as the fake account they are posting from may be the very account used to coordinate the attack. They may make new accounts, you just keep blocking. Also, some blogs allow you to track the IP address of every comment. Check and see if the attacks are coming from the same IP address or a specific IP range, if so there are ways your IT pro or web site settings can ban any traffic coming from the offending IP addresses.

Ten “GOTCHA” Questions to Know When You Run for Office

Our friends at PR Daily have some friendly advice for those wanting to run for office:

Here are 10 questions you should be prepared to answer during your race:

1. What’s the minimum wage? The federal minimum wage is $7.25. Some states are higher. The full list is here. Candidates should also be able to answer similar questions about their state’s unemployment and home foreclosure rates. Here’s Rep. Berg’s attempt at answering the minimum wage question:

2. What’s the price of milk? Reporters ask these types of questions to gauge how much a candidate understands the struggles of “real” Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gallon costs $3.50. (A handy list of other product costs is here.)

3. What’s the price of bread? The average price of a loaf of white bread is $1.40.

4. How much Is a gallon of gas? The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas is $3.87. That’s up from $3.55 last year, $2.78 in 2010, and $1.95 in 2009. Candidates can accurately say that the price has doubled in the past three years. Also know your state/local gas price averages.

5. Why do you want to be a congressman/senator/governor? You’d be surprised how many people blow this simple question. In fact, that very question derailed Ted Kennedy’s presidential bid in 1980.

6. What mistake(s) have you made, and what have you learned from it (them)?
This question is sometimes intended as a “gotcha,” but can be a perfect opportunity for candidates to explain a position change.

7. Who Is your favorite Supreme Court Justice of all time, and why? Candidates should also be able to name a decision they agreed with and one they disagreed with. In recent years, these types of questions have tripped up both Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin.

8. When Is the last time the (local sports team) won the championship/pennant/World Series/Stanley Cup? During a Democratic debate for Massachusetts Senate late last year, four candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, couldn’t list the years their beloved Boston Red Sox had won the World Series in this century. Candidates should also have similar answers ready for local college teams, and should be able to name their favorite players, as well.

9. Who is your personal hero? This is a cliché question which typically elicits cliché answers. But unless Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, or Eleanor Roosevelt are truly your personal heroes, try to come up with something more original and more revealing about who you are and what moves you.

10. What newspapers do you read? After Sarah Palin’s disastrous handling of this question from Katie Couric, other candidates can expect similar questions. Be ready to name your favorite journalists, newspapers, radio stations, news programs, and websites.

White House Connected GE Pays No Tax on $14 Billion ….Again!

GE who owned MSNBC, has lucrative government contracts and whose CEO was appointed to a position in the White House utilized our 60,000 page tax code again, which is filled with cronyism and special favors.

The taxes Democrats propose to “soak the rich” always seem to miss those who they demagogue for not paying their fair share. They have been “soaking the rich” for decades and keep missing the target. Why? – LINK

The Weekly Standard:

General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn’t pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.

GE

The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. “GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions–it’s legal,” Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE’s profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn’t taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.

“I asked the GE tax officer, ‘How long was your tax form?'” Ryan said. “He said, ‘Well, we file electronically, we don’t measure in pages.'” Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.

Ken Kies, a tax lawyer who represents GE, confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD the tax return would have been 57,000 pages had it been filed on paper. The size of GE’s tax return has more than doubled in the last five years.

Related:

CNN: Obama Attacking Private Equity At 6am, Fundraising With Private Equity At 6pm (video) – LINK

Under Obama: Family Income Down. Jobless Claims High. Government Spending Up. Super Rich Getting Richer. – LINK

Wall St. Made More Money In 2.5 Years Of Obama Than 8 Years Of Bush – LINK

Top Private Banks Thriving in the Tumult – LINK

George Soros and Warren Buffet benefited from Obama Keystone Pipeline Veto – LINK

Obama Administration In Bed With Lobbyists Like Never Before – LINK

Top 20 Industry Money Recipients This Election Cycle – Who is in the back pocket of Wall Street? – LINK

Top All-Time Donors, 1989-2012 – Hint: Most goes to Democrats – LINK

Obama: Largest Wall Street Money Recipient, Hands Out Jobs to Contributors – LINK

Obama’s Swiss Banker …. Oh the Hypocrisy! – LINK

Corruption You Can Believe In: Failed Sub Primes and Mortgage Fraud Lenders Funneled Money to Dodd & Obama the Most. Fannie & Freddie Gave $200 Million to Partisans-Most Went to Democrats! Dodd, Obama Among Top Recipients. Republicans Attempted to Pass Reforms-Blocked by Democrat Leadership! – LINK

Obama’s Swiss Banker …. Oh the Hypocrisy!

Unreal….

Washington Beacon:

One of President Obama’s largest financial backers is a key executive at the largest Swiss bank in the world, complicating his criticism of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Robert Wolf is president of Swiss financial giant UBS Investment Bank and chairman of UBS Americas. He has been one of Obama’s most prolific fundraisers dating back to 2006, when the former Senator from Illinois initiated his run for the White House.

Wolf has bundled more than $500,000 for the president’s reelection, campaign records show. He is but one of many wealthy bankers Obama has turned to in an effort to win a second term.

According to campaign reporter John Heilemann, Obama and Wolf first met in December 2006 in a conference room owned by liberal billionaire George Soros, who is currently embroiled in a domestic dispute with his 31-year-old ex-girlfriend.

It was a match made for the ages, Heilemann argued—the “hope and change” candidate and the sympathetic Wall Street millionaire.

Obama eagerly courted the “A-List New York donor,” who would become the future president’s “most copious cash collector in the city by far,” raising more than $500,000 for his 2008 campaign.

Wolf’s company, UBS, gave an additional $532,000, making it the 15th largest contributor to Obama’s first presidential run.

“The way Barack has taken this nation with his rock-star status,” Wolf told Heilemann in 2007, “it’s very exciting!”

Upon taking office in early 2009, Obama appointed Wolf to the Economic Recovery Advisory Board that would help craft the controversial $787 billion stimulus package.

Shortly after Wolf was appointed, UBS admitted to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to ward off a federal investigation into its activities.

Wolf was also one of several major Democratic donors named to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He remains a close adviser and golfing partnerto the president. A recent Wall Street Journal article dubbed Wolf “a ‘fat cat’ with the president’s ear.”

In addition to his prolific efforts as a campaign bundler, Wolf has personally contributed almost $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2007, including at least $9,100 to Obama and more than $115,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

Last month, Wolf hosted a $35,800-per-plate fundraiser for the president in New York City.

Another Obama bundler, Charles Adams, also has a Swiss address, as Buzzfeed noted earlier this year; he “heads the office of the law firm Akin Gump in the Swiss capital. Adams raised more than $100,000 for Obama, according to the report.”

Despite relying so heavily on a Swiss financial institution, the Obama campaign and its Democratic allies have sought to make political hay of Romney’s Swiss bank account, which he closed in 2010.