Friday, March 16, 2012

The Final Five: March 16, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 16, 2012

Featured Article
Obama’s Oil Flimflam
Charles Krauthammer at his best describing Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy...except for all of the drilling projects he has rejected.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
Fourth Grader Pens Epic Letter to Local Meteorologist
After a meteorologist visited a fourth grade classroom to teach a lesson on the weather, the students were assigned to write a thank-you letter to him. According to the meteorologist, one letter stood out. Perhaps it was: "Some day when I become supreme ultra-lord of the universe I will not make you a slave, you will live in my 200 story castle where unicorn servants will feed you doughnuts off their horns" complete with a drawing. See the whole letter and the drawing at The Blaze.

Topic One: Gas Prices
Krauthammer on the impact of gas prices on Obama: "An oil crisis looms, prices are spiking — and our president is extolling algae. After Solyndra, Keystone and promises of seaweed in their gas tanks, Americans sense a president so ideologically antipathetic to fossil fuels — which we possess in staggering abundance — that he is utterly unserious about the real world of oil in which the rest of us live. High gasoline prices are a major political problem for Obama. They are not just a pain at the pump, however. They are a constant reminder of three years of a rigid, fatuous, fantasy-driven energy policy that has rendered us scandalously dependent and excessively vulnerable."

Are gas prices tripping up Obama's campaign? "Once upon a time, Obama was a critic of drilling and had a jolly good time ridiculing those who advocated it. Now he’s giving speeches in which he’s taking great pride in the drilling that’s occurring in America. What he won’t tell you is that the increase in drilling is happening on private, not public, lands, and that it’s happening in spite of Obama’s efforts, not because of them. The president knows all this. He’s not a stupid man; he’s just a thoroughly cynical one. And so Obama is doing the best he can to pretend (a) he and his administration didn’t hold views they clearly did and (b) mislead people to think he’s responsible for things he has no legitimate claim to."

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"President Obama said he's set up a task force to look into high gas prices. He'd look into it himself, but he's busy working on those NCAA tournament brackets."
-Jay Leno

Topic Two: Unemployment
The unemployment reports from the last few months should be good news for the President. Unemployment has fallen almost a full percentage point from its high last year, and job creation is beginning to pick up. The problem is not the unemployment rate, but the employment quality. On top of the 8.3% of Americans who are classified by the BLS as unemployed, how many people are not even searching for a job because of months of discouragement? We know that the labor force participation rate is dropping, but we do not know the specific reason for people dropping out. How many people have begun getting income from other sources (food stamps, disability, etc.) because their unemployment benefits have run out? How many people have taken a part-time job or a minimum wage job that does not allows them to make ends meet but is better than nothing?

The New York Times is admitting this problem: "The decline in the jobless rate, from 9.1 percent last summer to 8.3 percent in February, is cause for only modest celebration. As we wrote in one of our Wednesday editorials, “at least 40 percent of the new private sector jobs fall into low-paying categories.” People are finding work at bars and restaurants and in retail. By and large they’re not getting hired as teachers, librarians or road workers (better-paid, more secure positions.)"

However, the Times suggests the wrong solution: "Or, instead of trying to re-create the 20th century economy, we could work with what we have—meaning we could work to improve the lot of service-industry personnel – or even better allow them to help themselves. A job at a Michigan car factory is not inherently better than a job at a clothing store or a restaurant; it’s more desirable because it pays better, and it pays better because a few generations ago the Detroit labor force unionized. A job at Walmart with a pension upon retirement doesn’t sound too bad. It could happen through collective bargaining."

Once again, the liberal establishment (including those at the New York Times) fail to understand the consequences of their actions. Sure, collective bargaining rights for Walmart employees sound good for employees, but what about the consumers? If Walmart employees unionize and demand greater wages and benefits, prices at Walmart stores would rise. This would hurt not only the middle class Americans who shop at Walmart, but also the employees who are also likely to make their purchases in Walmart's stores. What good is a $5 per hour raise ($200 per week for a 40-hour week) be if that money is eaten up with increases in grocery and clothing prices?

Debt Watch:
(As of Wednesday, March 14, 2012 )

Change: +$48,359,946,184.29
Your share as a citizen: $49,832.22
Share per household: $136,251.36
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,937,932,842,854.89

Topic Three: Afghanistan
Do we need a new strategy in Afghanistan? "The uncertainty in Afghanistan has put Obama in a bind that he must find particularly uncomfortable in an election year. His critics on the left were never happy with the slow pace of the pullout. Now critics on the right have joined the chorus, and the president finds himself defending the extension of a long and costly war he never much liked. Obama is right, of course, to warn against a "rush for the exits." The United States still has interests in Afghanistan, beginning with the need to prevent Al Qaeda from rebuilding. But "stay the course" isn't an adequate response either. Both Americans and Afghans need a clearer sense of what their troops can realistically accomplish between now and 2014, and after."

Oliver North says that we must not withdraw: "Obama still claims he is "confident that we can continue the work of meeting our objectives" and "accomplish the mission" while implementing his "exit strategy." But then he says his goal is to "responsibly wind down this war" and "bring our troops home." This isn't a "strategy," and it's not a valid reason to send young Americans into harm's way in one of the most difficult and dangerous places on earth. The commander in chief we hired nearly four years ago still hasn't learned that the only "responsible" way to end a war is to win it. On the day Taliban leaders announced they were pulling out of any further talks, I was visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. While I was there, the mother of a severely wounded Marine said to me, "I hope my son's sacrifice was not in vain." I share her hope. We all should -- even our ambivalent commander in chief."

Afghanistan was a war we had to fight: we could not sit idly and allow nations to protect terrorists as they plot strikes against America. We were successful in defeating the Taliban, in disrupting Al Qaeda, and ultimately, in finding and killing the mastermind of 9/11 in the neighboring nation. However, we have learned that democracy and freedom is only successful in nations that want it. Iraq has been moderately successful because the people accepted American ideals; recent events in Afghanistan have shown that the people are unwilling to accept similar ideals. While it would be great to create a thriving democracy, recent events show that is unlikely. We have accomplished our objectives for entering Afghanistan; if the people have shown us that they do not want us there, then it is probably time for us to leave.

Tweet of the Day:
@ThisGirlisRight: Univ of Calif study has found the stimulus didn’t increase economic output or private-sector employment, it boosted public-sector employment

Topic Four: Defeating Obama
Is the only way to defeat Obama to vet him like Breitbart planned: "America must Breitbart Barack; it's the only way he can be defeated. The left will scream. It will be called negative campaigning, racist, and worse. Knowing Barack Obama and his minions -- as we now do -- it will be called both. Conservatism will become synonymous with "negative racism" -- at least in the written press, televised news, and progressive blogosphere. Yet if the right wages a polite and dignified campaign, eschewing negativity and "in your face" advertising, the Republican candidate still will be labeled negative and racist."

The article goes on to say: "Until now, the right has been forced to play defense on progressive terms, fighting not to lose, instead of to win -- politically, leading from behind. It's the way John McCain campaigned, and it will guarantee a loss in November. There is no room for civility in this election battle. This is not a game -- we are fighting for our children and the future of America, the last, best hope for humanity. Obama the Great will not play nice; he will be brutal and negative -- he's never been anything but negative. Should he choose to pretend he is not, lackeys on the left will take up the slack."

For some food for thought, John Hawkins has a fifteen question quiz to determine if you should vote for Obama in 2012.

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"In the supposed state of nature, all men are equally bound by the laws of nature, or to speak more properly, the laws of the Creator."
-Samuel Adams

Topic Five: ObamaCare
Will Scalia be the swing vote for ObamaCare on the Supreme Court: "As the nation fast approaches the Supreme Court’s deliberations on the fate of ObamaCare (oral arguments scheduled for the 26th, 27th, and 28th of this month), the Obama Administration is pumping up a campaign to hoist the Court on the petard of conservative justice Antonin Scalia’s words. In a 2005 case, Scalia wrote a concurring opinion supporting the Court’s 6-3 decision decreeing that Congress may ban a medical-marijuana patient from growing cannabis for personal use in California where it’s legal. The Obama Justice Department mentioned the case 10 times in its Supreme Court brief on ObamaCare and Scalia’s concurring opinion specifically five times."

The administration's lie machine continues, as Sibelius says that Congress weighed its authority on ObamaCare, despite the fact that no one could explain exactly how the Constitution gave Congress power to mandate insurance. Meanwhile, another administration lie on the cost of ObamaCare is coming to light. (Who would have seen that coming? Oh, that's right...every conservative voice.)

Finally, there has been discussion recently on the idea of a partial repeal of ObamaCare. Erick Erickson explains why this is a poor idea. "If the GOP will not commit to repeated votes on full repeal with the American people so clearly on their side, prepare to be nickeled and dimed into an even more costly form of Obamacare where all the stuff both sides agree they hate (the stuff that typically was designed to keep costs down) goes away and all the stuff the Democrats love stays because squishy Republicans are too scared to vote with the rest of their party for repeal. Republicans have never shown the will to lose for the cause that Democrats have shown. The Democrats were prepared to lose Congress to pass Obamacare. They did both. Republicans will not ever be so brave or so bold. The only way to get the GOP to fight for repeal is to push them to repeal the whole without ever letting the Democrats fix the bad parts. Full repeal is the only time the public will be absolutely with the GOP and the GOP will only proceed with the public’s support."

Tomorrow in History
March 17, 1854 - Worcester, Massachusetts, purchases land to form the first public park.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

Food pantry loses federal support over prayer

What killed Brittanica?

Review of Energy Department loan guarantees omits Solyndra

Tony Katz says the D-word (Debate)

Obama criticizes his energy-plan critics

Duncan proposes $65,000-$150,000 salaries for teachers

A lesson from Yahoo

Can the Secret Service take away your rights? Vote for the craziest Obama policy

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D.C. Daily: March 16, 2012

Yesterday's Action:
The Senate passed three measures during morning business: H.R. 473, the "HALE Scouts Act", H.R. 886, the "United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act", and S. Res. 398, recognizing the 191st anniversary of the independence of Greece and celebrating Greek and American democracy.

The Senate then moved to consider H.R. 3606, the "Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act". Amendments were proposed, and an agreement was reached to hold further consideration of the bill at 4:30 PM on Monday, March 19.

The Senate then voted to confirm two nominations: Gina Marie Groh to be District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, by a vote of 95-2, and Michael Walter Fitzgerald to be District Judge for the Central District of California, by a vote of 91-6.

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will not meet today. The next scheduled meeting of the Senate is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Monday, March 19.

Yesterday's Action:
The House was not in session yesterday.

Today's Schedule:
The House will meet today at 2:00 PM for a pro forma session.

All information is taken from the Congressional Register.

Government Hard at Work Solving Today's Important Problems

Our nation is going bankrupt, unemployment is still high, Iran is attempting to build a nuclear weapon, gas prices are skyrocketing, and public school students are exposing their underwear.

From FOX News:
A [Tennessee] House subcommittee on Wednesday approved Memphis Democrat Joe Towns' proposal that would prohibit any students from showing their underwear in the way they dress. WPLN radio reported the measure would require female student athletes to wear shirts over sports bras.

Knoxville Republican Bill Dunn agreed, saying he is shocked by how some female athletes dress. The bill was sent on to the House Education Committee. It hasn't moved in the Senate.

Dress codes have traditionally been left up to local school districts.

As an employee of a public school district, I enforce a dress code which includes the provisions of this Tennessee bill. However, this is a matter best left to the school district, not to the state government. Tennessee legislators need work on solving more important problems in the state and leave undergarment display issues to school principals.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Final Five: March 15, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 15, 2012

Featured Article
Wisconsin’s Reforms Are Working
John Steele Gordon analyzes how the reforms instituted by Governor Walker are turning out for the state.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
Student Holds Sign as Punishment for Bad Grades
A middle school student in South Florida spent his spring break on the street corner holding a sign detailing his problems in school. One side said, "Hey, I want to be a class clown. Is it wrong?" while the other side stated, "I'm in the 7th grade and got 3 F's. Blow your horn if there's something wrong with that."

Topic One: Gas Prices
Are green energy vehicles the transportation of the future? According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, most people do not think so. Only six percent of people surveyed say that they will purchase an energy efficient or hybrid vehicle to combat rising fuel prices. This could spell bad news for energy efficient cars like the Chevy Volt.

During a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Rand Paul had some hard questions for Energy Secretary Chu: "Are you concerned about the propriety of giving money, $500 million, to a billionaire [Kaiser] you know and then sort of changing the rules some so he gets to -- maybe gets a better deal than the taxpayers do?" Of course, Chu denied the claim (just like he denied that he wants gas to reach the price in Europe).

Is the real problem the price of oil or the devaluing of the dollar? "It’s fun watching the Obama Administration’s insincere contortions over gasoline pump prices, since Obama’s claims that he wants lower pump prices so palpably fly in the face of his latent “energy-prices-will-necessarily-skyrocket” philosophy, not to mention discrete decisions like blocking Keystone. But perhaps Obama’s economic advisers are telling him (assuming that he listens to them—there is much evidence that he doesn’t) that gasoline prices could well abort the fragile recovery and send the U.S. economy back into a recession."

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"Newt Gingrich has promised to cut the price of gas to $2.50 a gallon. It's not catching on with voters. How bad a candidate are you that people are willing to pay higher gas prices just to keep you out of office?"
-Jay Leno

Topic Two: Wisconsin Recall
The dates for the recall elections have now been finalized: Democratic primaries on May 8 and the official recall on June 5. In the unlikely event that there are no primaries, the recall would be on May 8. Governor Walker, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four state senators will all be up for recall during these elections. Currently, Walker's approval rating is slightly below disapproval, but he is ahead of all his main competitors.

Walker has two things going for him. First, Walker's opponents claim that he ignored collective bargaining during the campaign and then made it his main issue once elected, something that the Washington Examiner showed was false. "Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that one of the Democrats hoping to challenge Walker, Kathleen Falk, "repeatedly accused Walker of being dishonest during his 2010 campaign, citing as a prime example his decision to all but eliminate collective bargaining for most public workers even though he didn't talk about it during his run for office." Yet an August 2010 Sentinel article, written in the heat of Walker's run for governor, explored his reform plans. Even back then, unions were already signaling their overwhelming opposition."

Besides the fact that he campaigned on repairing the budget with collective bargaining limitations, the reforms he instituted are working. "For the first time in decades, school administrations are now actually able to administer their districts without union interference, and the savings have been huge. The MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin think tank, reports that of the 108 school districts that completed contracts with employees, 74 of them, with 319,000 students, have reported savings of no less than $162 million. If this is extrapolated out to all districts, it would amount to savings of nearly $448 million. The biggest area of savings have been in health insurance. The teachers union insisted that districts use the union’s own health insurance company to provide coverage. No longer forced to use a monopoly provider, districts have either switched providers or used the threat of switching to force the union health insurance company to dramatically lower premiums. Savings have averaged $730,000 in districts that have switched providers or forced competitive bidding."

Debt Watch:
(As of Wednesday, March 14, 2012 )

Change from March 12, 2012: -$7,727,903,905.90
Your share as a citizen: $49,677.39
Share per household: $135,829.30
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,889,572,896,670.60

Topic Three: Debt
Mitch Daniels issued a strong warning on the national debt yesterday during a conference call with the No Labels group. Daniels said, "Whether one believes in a large, very active government or something more limited, mathematically, the amount of debt we already have and the terrifying rate at which it is accumulating will lead to national ruin." For too long, we have accepted debt as the norm. We have allowed ourselves to become addicted to deficit spending, and this addiction--like any other--will eventually destroy us if left unchecked. With the $15 trillion we have accumulated in debt, we are already facing the daunting task of taking decades, if not centuries, just to pay it off. Furthermore, despite the rhetoric on both sides of the aisle about doing something to reduce the deficit, nobody seems interested in taking action.

Michael Reagan on California's plight: "It's hard for me to believe how things have deteriorated in California since the late 1960s. I can remember when Ronald Reagan was governor. We had a surplus. He actually gave money back to the people of California. The state once was famous for having the best education system, the best business climate, the best roads and infrastructure in America. It was a growing, dynamic paradise where people came to pursue their dreams and hopes. Now California's a wreck that people and businesses are leaving in droves. And Gov. Brown and his gang are offering us more of the same this fall -- higher income and sales taxes and a bullet train no one wants but them."

Unfortunately, the fate of nations like Greece and states like California will soon be the plight of our nation if nothing is done to curb our exploding debt.

Tweet of the Day:
George Jarkesy (@jarkesy): Conservative ideas don't just sound good. They actually work. That's the secret of our success. –Bobby Jindal #Conservative #news #america

Topic Four: ObamaCare
Is ObamaCare living up to its initial CBO predictions? Not even close. "The Congressional Budget Office has extended its cost estimates for President Obama's health care law out to 2022, taking in more years of full implementation, and showing that the bill is substantially more expensive -- twice as much as the original $900 billion price tag. In a largely overlooked segment of the CBO's update to the budget outlook released Tuesday, the independent arm of Congress found that the bill will cost $1.76 trillion between now and 2022. That only counts the cost of coverage, not implementation costs and other changes."

On top of that, the CBO's predictions also show that four million fewer people will be covered under the new legislation. (If you like your insurance, you can keep it...if your employer still offers it, of course!) "The estimate is a vast increase from the CBO prediction just a year ago that 1 million would no longer obtain coverage from their employers. And it raises substantial questions about the veracity of one of Obama’s key pledges in selling the health care law – that everyone who wants to keep their current health insurance plan and doctor could do it. It’s not clear how many of the 4 million would be forced out as a result of employers dropping coverage. But it can be assumed that many will indeed lose their insurance and have to seek it elsewhere, since few people would seem likely to intentionally abandon coverage provided by an employer. And many employers have already indicated that they would rather drop coverage and incur fees from the government than continue to provide it.

Fewer people covered and rising costs sounds exactly opposite of what Obama promised when he signed the legislation. But should we be surprised that we were lied to?

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
-Alexander Hamilton

Topic Five: Is Obama Backfiring?
Is Obama's strategy of running against Republicans in general backfiring? "I want to propose another possibility for Obama’s troubles: His political and tactical strategy for 2012 may be backfiring on him. He has decided, for obvious reasons, to do what he can to highlight the differences between him and the Republicans at every turn, most notably in the recent “contraceptive health” debate. He’s trying to polarize the debate (while making it seem the GOP is doing it), to draw sharp lines of distinction between him and the Republicans; it’s a classic strategy when you can’t run a good-news campaign. And yet this may be the worst possible time for such an effort. Time and again during the past year, Obama has decided to go to the American people with this story to tell: I can’t work with these lunatics. And every time he does—during and after the debt-ceiling debacle in particular—he and his supporters are surprised to find the public assigns him a considerable portion of the blame for the inability to strike deals and move forward."

I would contend that this is only part of the larger problem for Obama. After over three years in office, the President still has only two major policy achievements: the killing of Osama bin Laden and the ending the Iraq war. Neither of these items can be attributed entirely to Obama. The Iraq war was ended on a timetable laid out by the Bush administration, and despite Obama's promise to expedite the process, it ended basically along Bush's schedule. The killing of bin Laden was due to the work of our intelligence community and military. Obama gets the credit for being Commander-in-Chief when it happened, but it would have happened under McCain's watch as well. Furthermore, neither of these events directly impact the lives of most Americans like the poor economy, high unemployment, and gas prices. Most Americans are intelligent enough to realize that if Bush was to blame for the problems during his administration, then Obama should be held responsible for the problems during his presidency.

Tomorrow in History
March 16, 1802 - The Army Corp of Engineers is established.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

The sponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act on the bill

Blago moves to his new home

Racial quota fallout

Orlando evicts the TSA

UN Human Rights panel praises Qaddafi's record

Did Obama politicize his NCAA bracket?

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Move Along...Nothing to See Here

It seems that one of the curses of being a liberal is the inability to make simple connections between events. One such example took place yesterday.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is speaking out about the attempted attack on an Afghan base as his plane was about to land Wednesday, saying he doesn't believe he was the target.

"I have absolutely no reason to believe that this was directed at me," Panetta said in a news conference. "This is a war area and we're going to get these kind of incidents," AFP quoted him as saying.

Panetta was meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday.

In the strange incident, an Afghan man stole a truck, drove it toward the runway at Camp Bastion in Helmand as Panetta's plane was due to land, then crashed and exited the truck in flames.

Is Panetta really serious about this? Someone steals a truck and drives it down the runway as his plane is supposed to land, but there is "absolutely no" reason to believe that it was directed at him? What would the man have to do in order to give him reason to believe that it was directed at him? Drive down the runway while screaming "Death to Panetta" with a bullhorn?

It is possible that the man was unaware that it was Secretary Panetta on the plane, but an attack like this should not be tolerated regardless of the passengers on board. However, it is absolutely ridiculous for Panetta to say that there is no reason to believe it was directed at him. It was obviously directed at someone, and whether or not the Defense Secretary's presence on board the plane was known by the attacker, it turned out that he was in the cross hairs.

D.C. Daily: March 15, 2012

Friday's Action:
After consideration of the remaining amendments, the Senate passed S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century" by a vote of 74-22. The Senate also agreed to S. Res. 396, supporting the goals and ideals of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. The Senate then reached agreements for the consideration of the nominations of Gina Marie Groh and Michael Walter Fitzgerald and H.R. 3606, the "Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act".

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM today for morning business, followed by consideration of H.R. 3606, the "Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act". The Senate will then move to consider the nomination of Gina Marie Groh to be District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia, and Michael Walter Fitzgerald to be District Judge for the Central District of California.

Yesterday's Action:
The House was not in session yesterday.

Today's Schedule:
The House will not be in session today. The next scheduled meeting of the House is set for 10:00 AM on Friday, March 16.

All information is taken from the Congressional Register.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Final Five: March 14, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 14, 2012

Featured Article
Holder's Department of Injustice
Eric Holder has turned the Department of Justice into the Department of Injustice. From utilizing the Voting Rights Act to block voter ID laws to dropping cases against the New Black Panthers, Holder has used his office to advance the Democratic party.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
Wyoming Town with Population of 1 Heads to Auction
Want to buy a whole town. Buford, Wyoming (population: 1) will head to auction on April 5.

Topic One: Afghanistan
Anthony Cordesman on the Afghanistan crisis: "The United States needs to look beyond the latest incident and focus on the broader patterns in U.S. and Afghan relations. It needs to realize that its current strategy is becoming a fa├žade that can only make things worse, and it needs to make a hard choice: Admit that the United States is headed toward an exit strategy or recast current U.S. efforts in cooperation with our allies so that we provide a real transition strategy based on credible goals, credible resources, and doing things the Afghan way. We need to face the fact that the tragic killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. solider only highlights the growing problem the United States faces in creating any kind of strategy for Afghanistan that can survive engagement with reality."

Max Boot on the growing support for pulling out of Afghanistan: "It is little wonder under such circumstances that support for the war effort is falling precipitously among Republicans. Newt Gingrich has already said that we should leave because victory is unobtainable under current conditions; Rick Santorum seems to be moving in the same direction. Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, remains stalwart, but Republican voters, who have been staunchly supportive of the war effort for years, are now evenly split over whether the war is worth fighting and doubts are evident among Republican lawmakers in Washington. More and more Republicans no doubt figure that, if President Obama isn’t serious about winning the war, then why risk more American lives? It is an understandable impulse and one that the White House will find itself increasingly unable to dispel because it seems more determined to leave than to attain an acceptable outcome. This scuttle for the exits is covered in fig-leafs labeled “Special Operations,” “advisory teams,” and “peace talks.” But none of these options can possibly succeed if we pull out the bulk of our troops before they have done more to stabilize the south and east where the Taliban and Haqqani Network are the strongest–and that now appears to be all but certain."

Related stories: US determined to stick to exit strategy || Eugene Robinson: Bring the troops home now

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"I actually tried to grow my own food but I can't find any Twinkie seeds."
-Craig Ferguson

Topic Two: The Election
Santorum was named the big winner from last night, but Romney actually won six more delegates than Santorum thanks to his victories in Hawaii and American Samoa. The AP estimates the delegate totals at: Romney 495, Santorum 252, Gingrich 131, Paul 48. Romney is less than half-way to clinching the nomination. While Romney is still the obvious front-runner, he failed to "close the deal" last night.

Much has been made out of the supposed lack of interest in the election, but WaPo columnist Aaron Blake suggests that the feeling may transcend party. "A review of the states that have also held Democratic contests this year shows turnout is down sharply from the last time a Democratic president was running largely unopposed for renomination — 1996. Democratic turnout is down significantly in five of eight states that held similar contests in 1996 and 2012 (and where data are available), and six of eight overall, compared to Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign. Turnout in Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Oklahoma and Tennessee is down at least 29 percent from 16 years ago, and in Massachusetts, it was down 8 percent, according to a Fix review."

Ultimately, I think this race comes down more to the state of the nation in November than a particular candidate. Poll numbers for Obama/Romney, Obama/Santorum, and Obama/Gingrich have varied from poll-to-poll, but the results tend to move together. When one Republican moves up, they all tend to move up. When one drops, they all tend to drop. I believe that all three Republican candidates (Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich) are electable against a weak Obama position, and all three are not electable against a strong Obama position.

Debt Watch:
(As of Tuesday, March 13, 2012 )

Change from March 12, 2012: +$5,036,973,558.82
Your share as a citizen: $49,702.13
Share per household: $135,895.68
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,897,300,800,576.54

Topic Three: Voter ID
Holder's department of injustice: "It takes indefatigable persistence to follow the unrelenting number of departures from the protections of equal justice taken by this Department of Justice and the Obama administration in general. Eric Holder no longer attempts, assuming he ever had before, to disguise the blatant favoritism for Democrat voting blocs in his rulings -- even while he applies selective enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the instances of Texas and South Carolina, the DoJ has elected to cite Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act as grounds for overruling the new state laws. Under this provision of the Act, the Justice Department or the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia must "preclear" any state laws that may create voting disenfranchisement for groups based upon ethnicity or color. Holder and his lawyers have seized upon this section to essentially nullify the will of the voters of those states as expressed through their legislative and executive branch representatives. Relying upon an arguably flawed provision of the Act, Holder places the burden of proof on the covered jurisdiction to establish that the proposed change does not have a retrogressive purpose."

Now, the NAACP wants to take this issue to the UN. Ken Blackwell explains the hypocrisy of this move: "Let’s give the NAACP credit; they went to the undisputed experts on this subject. They’ve taken this issue of ballot-box integrity to nations that know all about voter fraud and rigging elections, because they do it all the time. Maybe these nations could even provide pointers, as Vladimir Putin’s “election” makes crystal-clear that some of those nations have written the book when it comes to subverting the democratic process."

Ultimately the choice comes down to this: do you want your vote to count less than other people's vote (due to electoral fraud) or do you want everyone who follows straightforward and well-publicized procedures to have a single vote in the process? If this was about stopping people from voting, changes would be made in secret. In every case, the changes have been well-publicized, and it is now up to the person to make sure that they have the necessary identification to cast a ballot. Similar ID is required to vote in union elections, purchase alcohol or tobacco, and even to get through the doors at Eric Holder's own justice department. Why should a person not be required to prove who they are when showing up at a polling place?

Tweet of the Day:
@OrwellForce: Fact: $1 Trillion would have been a steal but $2T is still a good price for a program that only causes a 9% increase in health ins. costs

Topic Four: Overregulation
$46 billion per year. That's the additional cost placed on Americans due to the regulations enacted by the Obama administration. For comparison, the estimated impact of Bush regulations was a mere $8.1 billion, and he had over twice as long to come up with those regulations. Imagine the effect that putting $46 billion back into the economy could have had: it would certainly be better than the shovel-ready not-quite-as-shovel-ready-as-we-thought stimulus package.

John Stossel says we need simple laws: "We have 160,000 pages of rules from the feds alone. States and localities have probably doubled that. We have so many rules that legal specialists can't keep up. Criminal lawyers call the rules "incomprehensible." They are. They are also "uncountable." Congress has created so many criminal offenses that the American Bar Association says it would be futile to even attempt to estimate the total. So what do the politicians and bureaucrats of the permanent government do? They pass more rules. That's not good. It paralyzes life. Politicians sometimes say they understand the problem. They promise to "simplify." But they rarely do. Mostly, they come up with new rules."

Is the problem that we have become too complacent with government interference in our lives? "Americans have become compliant in nation-crippling ways. Over the past several years, gasoline prices have been shooting through the roof, but not to worry. President Barack Obama's current secretary of energy, Steven Chu, said in December 2008, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." That translates to $8 or $9 a gallon. During a recent hearing on the Department of Energy's budget, Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., asked Secretary Chu whether it is the DOE's "overall goal" to lower gasoline prices. "No," Chu responded. "The overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy." Because Americans are so compliant and willing to suffer silently at the gasoline pump, the Obama administration is willing to press on as handmaidens of environmental extremists who want to halt the exploration of our country's vast oil supplies, which are estimated to be triple those of Saudi Arabia."

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."
-Thomas Jefferson

Topic Five: Gas Prices
Speaking of gas prices, we now have a new excuse for the price: talk of war with Iran. He apparently has no idea that if we were drilling our own oil, Iran could do whatever it wanted to do and it would not affect the price at the pump.

Jonah Goldberg: "As gasoline prices climb, President Obama's poll numbers plummet. In February, a Washington Post/ABC poll had Obama up 6 points against Mitt Romney. Monday's poll has him down 2. According to the polls, gas prices are a huge part of the story, particularly given how the last 30 days or so have not exactly been great for the GOP. No wonder Obama is desperate to get out in front of the issue. The dilemma is that he's invested so much of his prestige in his energy policies that he can't admit those policies have been an abject failure. But he also can't have people thinking his policies are responsible for the energy price Americans care about most: gasoline."

Tomorrow in History
March 15, 1985 - becomes the first registered domain name in internet history.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

Jobs coming back, but slowly

Wind turbines bad for bald eagles

"Long shot" bill would cut congressional pay without a budget

Gingrich on liberals and NASCAR

Last chance for postal reform?

Three ways to cope with Obama bumper stickers

Happy Pi Day!

Summing up Obama's presidency

Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books

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Mid-Week Media: Liberalism, Gas Prices, March Madness, Green Teleprompters, and Redistribution of Legos

It's Wednesday, so that means it is time to take a look at some of the best media from the past week!

Alfonso Rachel explains why it is impossible to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative:

Stuart Varney explains high gas prices:

This is the real March Madness bracket most families are dealing with:

Obama might as well be doing this with his budget:

Uh oh! Obama's new "green" teleprompter doesn't seem to be working out so well:

And finally, Obama has a message for a hard-working schoolgirl:

D.C. Daily: March 14, 2012

Friday's Action:
The Senate resumed consideration of S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". Six amendments were adopted and eight amendments were rejected, with three still pending. Agreements were reached regarding further consideration of S. 1813 and also the nomination of Gina Marie Groh.

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM today for morning business, followed by further consideration of S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". Three votes--including a vote for final passage--are expected to occur around 11:30 AM. The Senate will then move to consider the nomination of Gina Marie Groh to District Judge for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Yesterday's Action:
The House met for a brief pro forma session yesterday.

Today's Schedule:
The House will not be in session today. The next scheduled meeting of the House is set for 10:00 AM on Friday, March 16.

All information is taken from the Congressional Register.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Final Five: March 13, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 13, 2012

Featured Article
Social Networking Sites and Politics
Pew publishes the results of a study on political tolerance. It is certainly a long, in-depth read, but worth the time to ponder. One of the biggest finds: liberals are more likely to be intolerant of others' views on social networking sites.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
Driver in Hurry to Get to Court for Meth Possession Charge Gets 3 Speeding Tickets
Being in a hurry to get to court for your meth possession charge is not an excuse for speeding. One driver found that out the hard way...three times. However, he learned his lesson after the third ticket; a sting operation set up down the road clocked him at 65 mph.

Topic One: Voter ID
The Justice Department announced yesterday that it is blocking another voter ID law--in this case, Texas. The administration said that Texas could not demonstrate that the law is not discriminatory by design against Hispanic voters. The administration just needs to announce that it is blocking voter ID laws in all states, because that seems to be its intention. Plus, the Holder Justice Department seems interested in injecting race into every discussion. (More on this in topic three.)

Rich Lowry on Holder's identity problem: "Wherever he goes, people are required to show identification. When cashing a check. When signing up for a library card. When boarding a plane. When entering certain office buildings. When checking into hotels. When (in the case of the youthful-looking) buying a beer or cigarettes, or entering a bar. The tyranny of the photo ID is so all-encompassing that people can’t enter Holder’s own Justice Department without showing one. Holder is outraged that in a nation where requests for photo ID are ubiquitous, more and more states are requiring that people show them when they vote. In a speech last year, Holder characterized these voter-ID laws as an assault on the voting rights that Congressman John Lewis — the hero of Edmund Pettus Bridge — fought for in the mid-1960s. Back then, blacks in the South had to fear for their safety if they showed up at the courthouse to try to register to vote. Now, states are merely asking everyone, regardless of race, to show identification that is readily available to all, regardless of race."

Related stories: Dead voters in Vermont || Obama throws common sense out the window || The war on voter integrity

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"President Obama today released his NCAA bracket. He is a huge basketball fan. But privately, White House aides are worried that if he spends so much time on this, it could affect his golf game."
-Jay Leno

Topic Two: Exploding Debt
The US is on track for another $1 trillion deficit. However, in good news, we are on track to come in (slightly) below last year's deficit. With all the discussion about the unacceptability of deficit spending, one would assume that the government would actually be working to reduce the deficit. In a government that terms an increase in spending "spending cuts", discussion of deficit reduction does not necessarily translate into actual deficit reduction.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced a plan for a balanced budget: "Senator Paul and his colleagues are highlighting the fact that the plan generates a balanced budget in just five years. That’s a good outcome, but it should be a secondary selling point. All the good results in the plan – including the reduction in red ink and the flat tax – are made possible because the overall burden of federal spending is lowered. That should be the main selling point. This doesn’t mean that Senator Paul is in any danger of winning a Bob Dole Award, but it’s nonetheless unfortunate since a focus on deficits gives an opening for leftists to claim that they can achieve the same outcome with tax increases. This is why sponsors should focus on the importance of spending restraint, and then add explanations of how this eliminates red ink."

Debt Watch:
(As of Monday, March 12, 2012 )

Change from March 9, 2012: +$2,089,151,781.92
Your share as a citizen: $49,686.01
Share per household: $135,851.58
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,892,263,827,017.72

Topic Three: The Big Hoax
Thomas Sowell speaks on the hoax in discipline statistics: "According to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, this disparity in punishment [punishing African American males more than other groups] violates the "promise" of "equity." Just who made this promise remains unclear, and why equity should mean equal outcomes despite differences in behavior is even more unclear. This crusade by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is only the latest in a long line of fraudulent arguments based on statistics. If black males get punished more often than Asian American females, does that mean that it is somebody else's fault? That it is impossible that black males are behaving differently from Asian American females? Nobody in his right mind believes that. But that is the unspoken premise, without which the punishment statistics prove nothing about "equity."

Once again, this administration is interjecting racial overtones into a story where they do not exist. There is no consideration given to the possibility that African American males are disciplined more in schools because the African American males in those schools have worse behavior. If there were a disparity in punishment for similar crimes, then it would be possible to make a racial argument. However, to insinuate that school administrators are racist simply because they punish one group more than another is outrageous.

Tweet of the Day:
@4aFreeUSA: If Islam was held to the same standards as every other philosophy was it would not be tolerated in USA.. Time to be consistent

Topic Four: Tolerance
Is the group that preaches about "tolerance" actually the more intolerant group. From Pew: "Only 1% of moderates would block or shut out someone who dared to disagree with them, compared to 11% of liberals, whose rate was nearly three times that of conservatives. The same 11% of liberals would block or unfriend people who offended them by daring to argue about political issues, vs 6% and 7% for other political views."

Thomas Lifson has analysis: "The delightful title of the piece sums it all up: "Online, liberals far less tolerant than normal people" This confirms my life experience, as someone who was born into a liberal family, spent decades in higher education, and lives in Berkeley, California. There is a characteristic set responses from many liberals when they encounter someone (me) able to seriously discuss political issues and point out the flaws in liberal policies. ... There are a lot of people whose self-concept as a good person is validated by their advocacy of what they think of as enlightened and compassionate liberalism. If politics makes them a good person, it frees up their consciences when dealing with others in real life. Very convenient. But if an annoying conservative (me) challenges the morality of the very policies that make them moral persons, they suffer painful cognitive dissonance."

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all."
-George Washington

Topic Five: Who Is Happy?
Dennis Prager, author and lecturer on the subject of happiness, has an article at Real Clear Politics titled "Who Is Happy?" While I have never been a person to subscribe to all of the "self-help" garbage being published in the world today, his points are simple, clear, and make sense, and many of them are worth a thought in light of government policy today. Here is his list of what makes a person happy:

1) People who control themselves.
2) People who are given little and earn what they have.
3) People who do not see themselves or their group as victims.
4) People who rarely complain.
5) People who have close friends.
6) People who are in a good marriage.
7) People who act happy.
8) People who aren't envious.
9) People who don't have high self-esteem.
10) People who have few expectations.
11) People who are grateful.

Tomorrow in History
March 14, 1900 - The Gold Standard Act is ratified, placing the United States on the gold standard.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

School choice increases student safety

Obama stumbles on secrets for job creation

What if Dubya did that?

You're an adult, now act like it!

GOP deserves credit for jobs recovery

Drilling slowdown hurts gulf coast

Drunk driving illegal alien's killing of an American does not justify allowing immigration checks?

The real entitlement mentality

Fitting: Obama to appear on Cartoon Network

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D.C. Daily: March 13, 2012

Friday's Action:
The Senate passed two measures by unanimous consent: S. Res. 310, designating 2012 as the "Year of the Girl" and congratulating Girl Scouts of the USA on its 100th anniversary, and S. Res. 394, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Italian Unification and the beginning of warm and abiding relations between the people of the United States and Italy. The Senate then resumed consideration of S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". An agreement was reached regarding consideration of amendments.

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will meet today at 10:00 AM for morning business, followed by further consideration of amendments to S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". There are no committee meeting scheduled for today.

Yesterday's Action:
The House was not in session yesterday.

Today's Schedule:
The House will meet today at 10:00 AM for a pro forma session.

All information is taken from the Congressional Register.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Final Five: March 12, 2012

The Final Five: Bedtime Stories for Conservatives
March 12, 2012

Featured Article
The Fluke Charade
Mark Steyn explains the real issue in the contraception debate. It is not religious liberty, general liberty, privacy, the entitlement culture, or these mandates in light of the national debt. It is that the media is fully supporting and defending an entitled middle-age schoolgirl's demand that the government mandate free contraception to be used in her activities at a college associated with a Christian church.

Tonight's Crazy Story:
#Fail: German Grandpa Uses iPad As Chopping Board
That's not a cutting board! That's an iPad! A comedy sketch shows an older man using the tablet as a cutting board, washing it, and then placing it in the dishwasher while a woman looks on in horror.

Topic One: Green Energy
Who's up for a $50 light bulb? Apparently, the Obama administration. "DOE announced in August, 2011, that Philips Lighting North America has won the first award under the Department's Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize ("L" Prize) competition. Philips received a $10 million cash prize as well as "L" Prize partner promotions and incentives. The new light bulb was demonstrated at the LightFair trade show in Philadelphia this week, and will go on sale next year. All of that is well and good (if you can call awarding a $10 million cash prize "good"). But there is one slight problem with the winning light bulb -- it costs $50, and that's not a typo. That price seems a bit high, considering that the bulb it was designed to replace costs about 25¢. Similar LED bulbs that did not win the "L" Prize are less than half the cost."

Just to make sure we have the facts straight: 1) The government is sponsoring an award to create an "affordable" green light bulb, 2) The winner (Philips, in this case) received a $10 million prize from the government, 3) The winning bulb is produced and marketed at a cost of $50, 4) This is 200 times the price we currently pay for a bulb, and it is twice the cost of other similar "green" bulbs, 5) the bulb turns out to be more expensive over its lifetime (including energy usage) than the incandescent bulb.

Green energy blows through the most green: "One of the favorite talking points of the environmental left (but I repeat . . . oh never mind) is that fossil fuels get lots of subsidies and tax breaks, and as such renewable energy should get them, too. Fair point on the surface, which leads to the following proposition—let’s get rid of subsidies for all of them. Of course, wind and solar would collapse overnight without them, while oil, gas, and coal production would continue with little impact, except ironically on smaller firms that require favorable tax treatment for their business model to work in some cases. That’s why these subsidies are so politically popular in Congress. Exxon-Mobil and Chevron would barely notice if you took their subsidies away. Most greenies don’t know that, and would ruin their day to find out."

Related stories: The predestined failure of Obama's energy policy || The year solar goes bankrupt || Wind farms: worse than we thought?

There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"The latest polls show President Obama's approval rating among women has risen by 10 percent. Many people believe this increase is due to Obama's new campaign slogan: "Tell me about your day."
-Conan O'Brien

Topic Two: Contraception
Mark Steyn on the real issue in the contraception debate: "No, the most basic issue here is not religious morality, individual liberty, or fiscal responsibility. It’s that a society in which middle-aged children of privilege testify before the most powerful figures in the land to demand state-enforced funding for their sex lives at a time when their government owes more money than anyone has ever owed in the history of the planet is quite simply nuts. ... Insane as this scenario is, the Democrat-media complex insists that everyone take it seriously."

Allysia Finley asks what else constitutes an "essential" benefit? "Now, thanks to you, we'll enjoy free and universal access to preventative care just like workers do in Cuba. Even so, there are still many essential benefits that the government must mandate to make the U.S. the freest country in the world." What are some of those benefits? Fitness club memberships, massages, yoga classes, coffee, and salads. Finley concludes, "I'm sure Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and your political adviser David Axelrod could produce a legal memorandum explaining why they are necessary and proper to promote our general welfare (and of course, your re-election). Besides, if you can justify a mandate on individuals to buy health insurance, this should be a piece of cake."

Related stories: The erosion of public discourse || Disingenuous stories in the debate

Debt Watch:
(As of Friday, March 9, 2012 )

Change from March 8, 2012: -$742,918,162.30
Your share as a citizen: $49,679.32
Share per household: $135,833.29
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,890,174,675,235.80

Topic Three: Gas Prices
During the George Bush administration, speculation was dismissed as a cause of high gas prices, and the President was expected to shoulder the blame. However, times have changed, and according to the media, the President is now an innocent bystander, watching helplessly as speculators drive up oil prices.

This problem did not develop overnight, nor did it start with Obama. Over ten years ago (while Obama was still an Illinois state senator), Democrats began killing drilling in ANWR, and one of the reasons was that the oil would not hit the market for ten years. It is now ten years later; one would expect that the ANWR oil would now be driving down gas prices. However, Obama has not helped the situation by waiting over one year to waiting over one year to issue the first post-Deepwater Horizon drilling permits for the gulf and refusing to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Add oil supplies from these sources, and gas would certainly be much lower.

Tweet of the Day:
Paul Combs (@PAC43): Your Wallet: The One Place Democrats Are Willing to Drill

Topic Four: Iran and Israel
Could Iran save America? "More probable, the Israelis will attack and Barack will abandon them, too afraid, too post-American, to do what is best for the nation, unable to offer support, even if only rhetorically. In doing so he will lose America, and the election, and the future of the nation will dramatically improve with his disappearance. Or...his support will be tepid and flaccid, unable and unintended to affect the situation, designed for legacy media consumption and support. While he is willing to forgo the survival of the Jewish state, he doesn't want to lose the Jewish vote. As the conflict expands, 'leading is from behind' will be seen as an absence of policy and Barack Obama will reap its repercussions in November. True leaders are created in trying times -- or at least revealed. Our President has created the emergency that will expose him as the false leader he is and always has been."

This would be a plausible scenario if it were not for media bias. Israel will attack when necessary, and if it happens before the election, it will probably not come much before election day. Obama will likely give a speech condemning the specific action of Israel (because it circumvented "talks") while still expressing his (supposedly) unwavering support for Israel. The media will then pick up on the theme and push Obama as the peaceful leader who was on the way to negotiating peace but was circumvented by a trigger-happy Israel. Rather than exposing Obama as a poor leader, the media will portray Obama as a sensible leader.

What does "pro-Israel" mean? "One of the standard arguments currently being employed against supporters of the State of Israel is that the true friends of the Jewish state are those who are doing their best to undermine its democratically-elected government and force it to submit to foreign pressure to make concessions to the Palestinians."

Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"In the formation of our constitution the wisdom of all ages is collected--the legislators are antiquity are consulted, as well as the opinions and interests of the millions who are concerned. It short, it is an empire of reason."
-Noah Webster

Topic Five: Fixing Entitlements
Why are we going broke? "In the United States, the national debt now equals 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and is still growing. With the retirement of the baby boomer generation, 78 million additional people will turn to the federal government for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits — roughly $40,000 per beneficiary per year, on the average. If we continue on the current course, the federal government will need to more than double the tax revenues it now collects by the time we reach midcentury, according to the Congressional Budget Office. At the same time the government prepares to take more of our income, it is also making it increasingly harder to earn that income. Additional taxes and regulations are raising the cost of labor, reducing the rewards for working and making the economy less productive than it could be."

Michael Tanner says we need reform now: "Yet, Congress's ability to preserve Social Security through higher taxes and lower benefits should not distract from the more fundamental problem that the program's Ponzi-like structure makes it unable to pay currently promised levels of benefits with current levels of taxation. In short, the program is facing insolvency without fundamental reform. Instead of just making a bad deal worse, that reform should fundamentally restructure Social Security. It should remove the Ponzi-like aspects of the program and allow younger workers to save a portion of their payroll taxes through privately invested personal accounts."

Is ObamaCare headed for a similar fate? "Sadly, I have had first-hand knowledge of the impact of "free" medicine. My family is from England, and over the years I have watched grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends wait years for what we Americans consider routine health services. My dear aunt, whose cataracts were so severe that she could hardly see, finally got surgery eight years after being diagnosed. An uncle exhibiting classic heart attack symptoms was told by a local doctor to take an aspirin and go to bed. He died before morning. In America, hip and knee replacements have become a rite of passage for those of us over 60, but not in the UK, where you can wait years for such treatment -- if you qualify at all. The UK's National Health Service (NHS) and other "free medicine" countries typically treat patients with pills, potions and waiting lists." While some would argue that Britain's system is different from ObamaCare, do not forget that Obama advocated for a single-payer system on multiple occasions, and he believed that the Affordable Care Act was only a transition step toward that system.

Tomorrow in History
March 13, 1925 - Tennessee passes a law prohibiting the teaching of evolution. This law would become the subject of the much-publicized Scopes trial.

Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening

Why the Dept. of Education is unnecessary

Santorum wins Kansas, Romney wins islands

Lobbying ban means more administration corruption

Administration desires your cell phone data...without a warrant

Boehner hits the nail on the head with this one

Have a better bracket than the President? Get your name on his site

When the government says they have no plans for something, that usually means they are considering it

Obama's control-freak side

Would an amendment convention be good for America?

Planned Parenthood faking claims?

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D.C. Daily: March 12, 2012

Friday's Action:
The Senate was not in session on Friday.

Today's Schedule:
The Senate will meet today at 2:00 PM for morning business, followed by further consideration of S. 1813, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century". There are no committee meeting scheduled for today.

Friday's Action:
The House met for a brief pro forma session on Friday.

Today's Schedule:
The House will not meet today. The next scheduled meeting of the House is set for 2:00 PM on Tuesday, March 13.

All information is taken from the Congressional Register.