Friday, September 30, 2011

The Final Five: September 30, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
September 30, 2011

Tonight's Crazy Story
What happens when an ice cream store owner sends an employee out to stand on the corner in an ice cream outfit? You hope that it brings in more business. Unfortunately, one store owner found that her ice cream cone outfit looked too much like a KKK robe. See the pictures on The Blaze.

Tonight's Final Five:

Clifford Orwin from the Hoover Institute provides an explanation for the fall of the Bush's "compassionate conservativism."

Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine returns (yet again) to the Final Five with another great article. He says that President Obama always tries to portray himself as the opposite of what he is, and the end result is a President engaging in childhood-like fantasies.

Taking a break...
To laugh a little
" The Obama campaign is offering a chance to win dinner with the president for $3. This would explain his new campaign slogan: “Hey, I’m cheaper than Arby’s.” "
-Conan O'Brien, 9/29/11

"Now, they’ve dropped the price from $5 to $3. It’s the first presidential groupon."
-Jimmy Kimmel, 9/29/11

Now Back to The Final Five

Victor Davis Hansen explains why job growth declined to zero in August. The administration has created a policy that alienates employers.

Keith Hennessey responds to three stimulus arguments that he hears frequently.

While residency is the only real qualification for being elected to public office, perhaps the voters need to enforce more than just that qualification when voting for a candidate.

Tomorrow in History: October 1
October 1, 1957 - The words "In God We Trust" appears on American paper currency for the first time.

Food For Thought - A Bedtime Snack
" The citizens of the U.S. are responsible for the greatest trust ever confided to a political society. "
-James Madison

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Joe Biden: Saying the Things Obama Won't Say

"We inherited a bad economy" has been a constant economic talking point of this administration. However, Joe Biden admitted in a radio interview yesterday that the administration "owns" the economy.
"There’s a lot of people in Florida that have good reason to be upset because they’ve lost jobs. Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is we’re in charge. And right now we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough. And in states like Florida, it’s even been more stagnant because of the real estate market. And so I don’t blame them for being mad. We’re in charge."

If you think this is crazy, just wait until the White House has to spin it.

A Public Service Announcement

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Final Five: September 29, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
September 29, 2011

Tonight's Crazy Story

The US Census Bureau is asking employees to stop sleeping on the job, saying that it is "not acceptable behavior."

Tonight's Final Five:

Moe Lane provides analysis of FactCheck's claim that teachers pay more taxes than the President.

Jonah Goldberg explains why one incorrect execution should not mean that the death penalty should be eliminated.

Taking a break...
To laugh a little
" Herman Cain won the Republican straw poll in Florida. Cain has had more wins in Florida this year than the Miami Dolphins. "
-Jay Leno, 9/27/11

Now Back to The Final Five

The future for the American economy is not in green jobs, it is in brown jobs. Joel Kotkin explains this argument for New Geography.

The Democratic Party, with Obama as its leading figure, has undergone a dramatic shift in its positions during the past three years. Now, Peter Ferrara says in an American Spectator column that the party will be held responsible.

Barney Frank has suggested eliminating the voting power of regional Fed Presidents on the Federal Reserve Board because three of them dared to disagree with the rest of the board. George Will analyzes Frank's suggestion for Investors Business Daily.

Tomorrow in History: September 30
September 30, 1968 - Boeing introduces its 747 to public viewing for the first time.

Food For Thought - A Bedtime Snack
" Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves. "
-William Pitt

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Final Five: September 28, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
September 28, 2011

Tonight's Crazy Story

USA Today collects photos of funny signs.

Tonight's Final Five:

After you earn money and pay taxes, you have two choices: spend it or invest it. If you invest it, you become subject to a myriad of taxes. If you spend it, you avoid taxes (with the exception of sales taxes in some places.) The CATO Institute explains this concept with a flowchart.

Peter Wehner argues that we have too high expectations for Presidential candidates. Can anyone meet our expectations when held to the intense spotlight of a Presidential campaign?

Taking a break...
To laugh a little
" We create more jobs in Los Angeles than anywhere else in the country: Eye jobs, nose jobs, etc. "
-Jimmy Kimmel, 9/26/11

Now Back to The Final Five

Robert Spencer at Human Events argues that even if Palestinians get their own state, there will be no peace. If they really wanted a two-state solution, history teaches us that they could have had it a long time ago.

The story of the founding of Facebook stands as the antithesis of everything President Obama stands for. Dan McLaughlin at RedState explains why Zuckerberg created jobs, and Obama hasn't.

The Hoover Institute's Richard Epstein argues that the American Jobs Act will make our economy worse by tightening the regulatory environment for companies. See why reading the bill might actually make you weep.

Tomorrow in History: September 29
September 29, 2005 - The Senate confirms the appointment of John Roberts as the seventeenth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Food For Thought - A Bedtime Snack
" The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference they deserve a place of honor with all that is good. "
-George Washington

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Congressional Update: September 28, 2011

This update is taken from the e-mail newsletter of Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY). If you would like to receive his e-mail updates, you may sign up here.

Last Week on the House Floor
Last week, the House was in session Tuesday through Friday, during which the following bills passed the House:
H.R. 2944, United States Parole Commission Extension Act of 2011
H.R. 2189, Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2011
H.R. 2943, Short-Term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Extension Act
H.R. 2646, Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011
S. 846, To designate the United States courthouse located at 80 Lafayette Street in Jefferson City, Missouri, as the Christopher S. Bond United States Courthouse
H.R. 2608, Small Business Program Extension and Reform Act of 2011
H.R. 2883, Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act
H.R. 2401, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts to the Nation (TRAIN) Act

Anticipated Action on the House Floor This Week
This week, the House will be in recess for a Constituent Work Week. The House will reconvene on Monday, October 3rd.

You can read bills, summaries by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service and keep up-to-date on their progress as they move through the legislative process by visiting and typing in the bill number.

Did She Really Say That?

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue suggested that we abolish the 2012 elections so that politicians can solve the economic crisis without politics. While she now claims that it was a joke, says that "her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.

We have had congressional elections every two years for 222 years, including during wars and rebellions, but an economic crisis is enough to delay an election. Our politicians have been throwing away the Constitution for so long, I guess the only thing left to trash is our elections.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Final Five: September 27, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
September 27, 2011

Tonight's Crazy Story

Tom Pappalardo writes about how Apple and other tech companies have hurt comic strip writers.

Tonight's Final Five:

John Steele Gordon provides a history lesson on the income tax at the Wall Street Journal.

Obama has misread the situation in the Middle East and as a result, will likely have to make some tough choices in the days ahead. Lee Smith analyzes the situation for The Weekly Standard.

Taking a break...
To laugh a little
" Obama says he will be reforming No Child Left Behind. That’s not to be confused with Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity campaign, “No Child Left With a Big Behind.” "
-Jay Leno, 9/26/11

Now Back to The Final Five

RedState's Erick Erickson explains Herman Cain's straw poll victory: he's running on a specific plan, not against another candidate.

While the President is attempting to portray Republicans as the ones focused on the next election, it is the President himself who is campaigning with his politics. Peter Wehner describes this and two other myths for Commentary Magazine.

Do millionaires really pay less in taxes? Are millionaires really rich? John Steele Gordon states five myths about millionaires.

Tomorrow in History: September 28
September 28, 1951 - CBS releases the first color televisions to the public, but the new product is discontinued a month later.

Food For Thought - A Bedtime Snack
" You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe. "
-John Adams

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Ignorance of Capitalism

In an article on Wired, Jonah Lehrer argues that the events with Solyndra are not a scandal at all, but are only a byproduct of the government investing in risks that the private sector will not take. His argument seems to center around this one point, "...there’s good evidence that scientific funding programs with a bigger appetite for risk (and thus a higher tolerance for failure) are also better at producing major breakthroughs."

Lehrer's argument shows an ignorance for capitalism. The problem is not too much risk for investment in Solyndra; the problem is the lack of a solid business model. Investors do not look only at risk; they also consider the likelihood of the possible reward. When great risk is expected for the possibility of a great reward, there will be the possibility of investment. However, when great risk comes with a limited possibility of any reward at all, private investment dries up.

Solyndra was ignored by investors because its business model provided great risk with an unlikely reward. The federal government's blindness in its push to support "green jobs" caused it to overlook the fact that Solyndra was a poor investment. The reason that private investors ignored Solyndra should have caused the government to take a second look as well. Unfortunately, the Obama administration went ahead with a poor decision that did not work out.

Lehrer presents an argument comparing two medical research funds: The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The NIH funds traditional research, while the HHMI attempts to fund more "groundbreaking" research. The article points to the fact that HHMI has produced more highly-cited research articles but has also produced more failed research articles. However, his argument does not apply here because neither organization is fully taxpayer-funded.

When an organization relies on donations, they must be able to show that they are a good investment. Failed investments will happen, but too many failed investments without successful investments will cause donations to dry up. When government is the investor, donations cannot dry up because they are required of all citizens.

Lehrer closes the article with the statement, "...the only way to get major innovation is to make bets that might not pay off." I wholeheartedly agree. However, government is not the one responsible for making those bets. It is time for our government to get out of the way and let investors determine which companies and investments are actually worthy of funding.

This Message Brought to You Courtesy of Dodd-Frank

I received a notice from my bank last week stating that there would be changes in the fees for my checking account. Instead of getting free checking, I will now be forced to pay $4/month unless I change my banking habits. Today, I found out that I am not alone.

Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform bill, specifically the last-minute Durbin amendment, the banks receive less money when I swipe my card. However, no reasonable person can believe that the banks would just roll over and take less money. That's why they are adjusting their rules in order to compensate for the lost money. I would be fine with this change if it was a move by the bank's choice. However, when this move comes from a decision made by bureaucrats and politicians who have no interest in the bank's success, then I have a problem with it.

"Would You Please Raise My Taxes?"

At a recent event, a millionaire from Silicon Valley asked the President, "Would you please raise my taxes?" Instead of asking the President to raise taxes on everyone in his income range, maybe this "anonymous" man should just start writing a bigger check. I don't think anyone would complain.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Final Five: September 26, 2011

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
September 26, 2011

Tonight's Crazy Story

The new "We the People" petition site was launched last week, and one petition already reached the 5000 signature threshold to merit an official response. While the idea of the site is not crazy, the response is. Of the eight petitions received almost immediately, three dealt with legalization of marijuana, a forth petitioned for legalization of industrial hemp, and another petition requested government recognition of extra terrestrials. The remaining three petitions dealt with online poker, spaying/neutering of pets, and the case of Sholom Rubashkin.

Tonight's Final Five:

Obama is expected to veto any Palestinian attempt at statehood. However, that does not mean that Israel has found a renewed ally in the U.S. Jonathan Tobin argues at Commentary Magazine that following the veto, Obama will likely return to his old policy of bowing to Palestinian interests while putting pressure on Israel.

While China may be able to secure its own economic security in this time of crisis, China's growth will be unable to help the rest of the world improve its security. Newsmax's Emily Kaiser explains why China will not lead the world out of the recession.

Taking a break...
To laugh a little
" Pakistan warned the United States to stop the rhetoric against their country or “they will lose an ally.” Pakistan could become an enemy harboring terrorists — as opposed to an ally harboring terrorists. "
-Jay Leno, 9/23/11

Now Back to The Final Five

Romney has promised to grant an Obamacare waiver to all 50 states if elected President. However, given his previous record on health care, would he really work to see Obamacare to its death? The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein explains why he thinks the answer is "no."

First, it was the border fence; then, it was HPV mandates. Now, the latest "Perry attack" talking point seems to be in-state tuition for illegals. Brad Jackson writes on RedState why Perry's decision is the right one.

Currency devaluation has weakened an already weak economy. John Tamny argues in a column on Forbes that the price of gold always travels the opposite of the economy.

Tomorrow in History: September 27
September 27, 1777 - After fleeing Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress held a one-day meeting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, making that city the U.S. Capitol for one day.

Food For Thought - A Bedtime Snack
" Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands? "
-Patrick Henry

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Hikers Using Platform to Criticize US

Joshua Fattal and Shane Bauer, the two American hikers recently freed from Iran, have turned their fame into an opportunity to criticize US policy. They stated that whenever they would complain about their conditions, they would be reminded of the conditions Iranians face in prisons like Guantanamo Bay. They went on to state, "We do not believe such human rights violations on the part of our government justify what has been done to us. Not for a moment. However, we do believe these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran to act in kind."
(h/t: The Blaze)

I do not doubt the fact that Guantanamo Bay was brought up as an excuse for the treatment of the three hikers. However, just because that was the excuse used by the Iranians does not mean the policy is wrong. It is difficult to find much in common with the nation that calls you "The Great Satan," so I find it hard to believe that simple changes in US policy would immediately cause Iran to like America. While I am glad that they have been freed, I hope that they will use this opportunity to do something better than just criticize US policy in the Middle East.

Diversity Bake Sale

Politico is reporting on a planned bake sale by the University of California Berkeley Campus Republicans organization. The pricing structure varies from $2.00 for white men all the way down to free for Native American women. The reaction on campus has been mixed: some people think it is over the line, and others think it is a great way to point out the problems of affirmative action.

While this is a way to point out the hypocrisy of affirmative action, it is not a new idea. This has been tried several times on other campuses (some of which are mentioned in the linked article.) While the group should be commended for taking a stand on something that will certainly not be popular on campus, it might have been more effective if they tried a new approach.

Bad News for Obama

Rasmussen has a new poll out that could mean bad news for the President. Among undecided voters, Obama has only a 34% approval rating. Furthermore, among these undecided voters, only 9% say they plan to vote for a Democrat for Congress, while 43% say they will vote for the Republican. With the polling data for the President continually weakening, I find it interesting that there is no one currently interested in challenging the President for the Democratic nomination. Whether or not this happens, it will certainly make for an interesting election season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Weekend Report: September 25, 2011

Editor's Note: The following post contains exaggerations and parodies intended for humorous effect only.

Welcome to the Weekend Report, your source for the real scoop on what's going on in the world. Let's start with the week's top headlines:

China has announced its plan to use smiling and frowning faces to grade food safety in restaurants. China has also announced that restaurants who receive frowning faces will receive sticker charts to help track improvement.

This week, strange lights were reported in the Arizona sky. Those calling to report this phenomenon were first asked if they appeared to be what are commonly known as "stars."

Two Russian media tycoons got into a fistfight on live television after a disagreement about the financial crisis. Members of the Congress began investigating whether this was a viable solution to solve gridlock on the super-committee.

Google was called before Congress to answer questions about whether it gave preference to its own products in search results. The hearing was cancelled after Google's CEO offered 17.4 million possible responses to the first question.

Bass Pro Shops has been accused by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of racial bias in hiring. Bass Pro Shops defended its hiring practices by stating, "Do you realize how hard it is to find a non-white redneck?"

More headlines follow our Video of the Week:
Steven Crowder calls the SEC to report on a Ponzi scheme: Social Security.

Now back to the headlines:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told an Islamic conference this week that Muslims should not trust the US or NATO. His speech caused Muslim trust in the US to fall from .0000001% to .00000009%.

Herman Cain told a crowd in South Carolina that he's not good at 'political correctness.' President Obama responded by stating, "My politics never seem to be correct, either.

Mexico's President called on the US to cooperate more in the war on drugs along the Mexican border, and he stated that the US is responsible for the "tragedy we are living in Mexico." Upon hearing this criticism, the White House issued a press release stating, "The tragedies in Mexico are the direct result of the failed policies of George W. Bush."

Weather forecasters have upgraded Hurricane Hilary to a category four storm. In other news, Political scientists have upgraded Secretary of State Hillary to "legitimate Presidential contender."

President Obama invited the 1985 Chicago Bears to the White House, an invitation that was not extended following their Super Bowl victory 25 years ago. A White House spokesperson said that after having to invite the Green Bay Packers earlier this year, the President looked for any reason he could find to invite his hometown team to the White House.

The NBA delayed the opening of training camps and cancelled 43 preseason games as the lockout continued. The NBA announced this in a memo addressed to "The 37 Remaining NBA Fans."

Tweet Tweet - The Top Tweets of the Week
Tweets courtesy of Politico

Fred Thompson: MD highway crew forced to clean up a 1.5 mile long manure spill. Now they know how Republicans will feel after 2012. #tcot

Steve Martin: I don't mind Obama's Buffet tax because I never eat at a buffet.

Ari Fleischer: I love the fact that Red Sox fans have 2 cheer 4 the @Yankees today. They MUST root 4 New York. Ah, the justice of it all...

Jerry Seinfeld: Wolf Blitzer beard. Grow it in. Shave it off. I don't care. Just do something. Can't take it anymore.

Wolf Blitzer: Sorry Jerry!

Andy Cohen: Who do I have to talk to to moderate a Republican debate? Roger Ailes? Bristol Palin? Get me a number!

Stephen Colbert: Why should I let sleeping dogs lie? I say, strap that snoring Schnauzer to a polygraph.

Once again, back to the top headlines:
FOX News ran a story this week titled, "12 Best Places You've Never Heard Of." However, FOX was forced to create a second web page with the title, "12 Best Places You Never Heard Of Until The First Time You Visited This Page."

A moon rock presented to the state of Arkansas was found this week among the gubernatorial papers of Bill Clinton. In a press release, Clinton denied responsibility for the missing rock stating, "It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is."

Solyndra's executives took the fifth during a Congressional investigation this week. However, Solyndra's executives did criticize Congress by saying, "At least we know when to stop spending and admit that we're broke."

A group of economists said that Obama's jobs plan would not make a huge dent in the unemployment rate. They backed up their claim with a single statement: "See previous Obama jobs plans."

A recent report shows that older Americans are having the hardest time finding a job. However, older Americans just need to learn a lesson or two from this 80-year-old entrepreneur.

Blooper of the Week:
Either someone wasn't paying attention during training on the new weather software, or they wanted to make quick work out of the anchor's promise, "You'll be seeing the weather again shortly." Either way, someone created a not-so-great way to interject the weather into the local newscast.

And finally, this week's most interesting photos:

Redditer snowy247 found these emergency instructions in the British subway system. Good luck surviving if there were an emergency!

The difference between Rick Perry and Barack Obama can't be any more clear.

And last, someone had to jump on the Gary Johnson/Rush Limbaugh comment and create this t-shirt, available here.

The Big Disconnect

While spending as a percentage of GDP continues to increase, revenue continues to decrease. No wonder we're in one of the worst financial crises.

Source: The Wall Street Journal