Following the Senate’s rejection of President Obama’s jobs bill on Tuesday, Senate Republicans have offered their own jobs bill, The Jobs Through Growth Act, as an alternative. Presented by Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), the bill is designed to defuse the President’s charge that the Republicans had no plan of their own as well as offer different approaches to stimulating job growth. Said Paul, “We simply cannot look to the failed policies of the last two years for an example of how to grow our economy and create jobs. More government spending and excessive regulation are the problem, not the solution. We have spent too long increasing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators, instead of allowing them to operate more freely and create more jobs.” McCain said “We just thought it was time to put this all into a package. I will freely admit to you that part of it is in response to the president saying we don’t have a proposal,” while Portman called it “a pro-growth proposal to create the environment for jobs … as opposed to the short-term sweetener approach of the Obama administration that simply hasn’t worked.” According to McCain, most Senate Republicans have signed onto the bill.
Arizona is demonstrating the positive impact of pro-life laws as the state health department recently released statistics showing that the number of abortions has dropped in the state by some 30 percent. The Associated Press reported that, according to the latest figures, a total of 729 abortions were performed in September, “down nearly 31 percent from September 2010, down nearly 32 percent from August 2011 and down 39 percent from the previous 12-month average of just over 1,200.” The dramatic drop is due largely to implementation of the state’s Abortion Consent Act. While the law was passed in 2009 and signed by pro-life Governor Jan Brewer, it remained in limbo for two years as Planned Parenthood sued to have it overturned. The law finally went into effect in August of this year after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of its constitutionality. Among the law’s requirements are that minors provide a notarized parental signature of approval before receiving an abortion; that women be provided with full and accurate information about abortion by a doctor in person at least 24 hours before the procedure; that only a physician can perform an abortion; and that no medical professional can be forced to perform an abortion against his or her religious or moral convictions.
With the release on October 10, 2011, of Roland Emmerich’s controversial film on the Shakespeare authorship mystery, Anonymous, I thought it might be a very appropriate time for me to enlighten my readers with an account of my own involvement in the authorship controversy before seeing the film and passing judgment on it. As the author of The Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection, which took seven years to write, I have been very much involved in the Shakespeare authorship problem for quite a long time. Indeed, I first became aware that there was an authorship problem back in the early 1960s when Calvin Hoffman, author of The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare, came to my office at Grosset & Dunlap in New York, in the hope of getting us to publish a paperback edition of his book. Hoffman’s claim was that the actual author of the works attributed to Shakespeare was the great poet-playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was supposedly killed in a barroom brawl in 1593. But Hoffman had read all of Marlowe and all of Shakespeare and had come to the conclusion that they were all written by the same person. But the problem of Marlowe’s alleged death made that premise impossible, unless he was able to prove that Marlowe’s death was faked, and that he actually survived to continue writing plays in exile.
With the recent decline in the polls of the candidacies of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, Tea Party members have two top-tier candidates to consider as an alternative to the liberal Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney: Herman Cain and Ron Paul. But how do these two Tea Party favorites stack up on economic issues? Here's a quick survey on their differences: TARP Bailout One of the biggest issues leading to the formation of the Tea Party movement was -— after the burgeoning deficit -— reaction against the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) law. Many Americans joined the Tea Party to stop what was obviously political favoritism being sold by fear-mongering government leaders, and it resulted in a number of pro-TARP Republican veterans losing their primaries and anti-TARP Republicans winning the November 2010 general election. During the housing bubble, profits were privatized. But once "too big to fail" Wall Street banks saw major losses on risky bets made in the real estate market, they came crying to Washington and demanded taxpayers pick up the shortfall. Establishment politicians in Washington obliged, selling the bailout package with a heaping helping of fear. Mitt Romney said "all the jobs" in America would be gone if the trust funds of the super-rich were not bailed out using the tips of cab drivers and waitresses.
Terrence Jeffreys of CNSNews reports, "In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama's Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be." The case involves the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Michigan, which in 1999 signed a one-year contract with Cheryl Perich to teach fourth grade at the church school. As well as teaching secular subjects, she taught religious subjects and was a lay minister of the church. In 2004, Perich developed the sleep disorder narcolepsy, which in the eyes of church and school officials made her unable to continue teaching, and she was terminated. As reported here, Perich complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in turn has alleged that she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was dismissed by the federal district court in Michigan in which the action was filed, with the judge citing the “ministerial exception” in that federal law, which is intended to prevent the federal government from interfering with church affairs. The federal appellate court, however, reversed that ruling.
It is a classic story of Americana, with all the excitement, dreams, struggle, disappointment, ingenuity, resilience, triumph, love, loss, and enduring lessons common to the most memorable of such tales. Also common to such sagas — particularly those of the Christian sort — the most enduring impact is still uncoiling with the long passage of years and the generations. Those who knew Garman O. Kimmell, founder and builder of Oklahoma City-based Kimray, Inc., remember him best as a brilliant design engineer and a devout Christian man. He revolutionized the field of oil and gas production and made significant personal contributions to the field of heart treatment. But the technical nature of his inventions, coupled with a humble personality that eschewed personal glory, has consigned him to anonymity in previous American and even Oklahoman histories. That is the problem with history books — most of the men and women who possessed the noblest character and made the greatest contributions were too busy impacting other lives to get their own written about. An American Boy As with so many great American leaders across the fields of industry and business who were the children and grandchildren of immigrants in the 19th century, Kimmell took his cue on how to get ahead in America from his forebears. Kimmell’s father, for instance, was an imaginative capitalist.
Making Character First: Building a Culture of Character in Any Organization, by Tom Hill with Walter Jenkins, Edmond, Okla.: Character First Publishers, LLC, 2010, 188 pages, -paperback. Making Character First is the story of a flagging Oklahoma company’s about-face in a tough economy, the personal transformation of its president, and the birth of a revolutionary new business. The key to this miraculous turn-around: Making Character First. In an engaging, conversational style, author Tom Hill chronicles his discovery of the important role character plays in achieving success, and he has his company’s bottom line to prove it. His breakthrough came when he made a single but significant change in his human resources department. Hill stopped hiring employees principally for their skills and experience, and now hires and rewards individuals for their good character. This presumably counterintuitive decision has dramatically changed Hill’s business and personal life, and has since spread around the world to transform other lives and companies.
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s popularity in numerous polls is increasing daily, and while the founder and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza may portray himself as a principled conservative, an analysis of his campaign positions, especially his most controversial flat tax proposal, reveals serious concerns with Cain’s commitment to fiscal conservatism. Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan calls for a complete overhaul of the current federal tax code, and it would replace the code, eventually and only temporarily, with three taxes — a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent business transactions tax, and a 9 percent federal sales tax. On paper, the first two look like cuts, because payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare (now nearly 15 percent, including corporate contributions) would be repealed. The sales tax would be new, on top of existing state sales taxes. The most notorious critique of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan came from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in Tuesday’s debate. “One thing I would say is, when you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down," Bachmann said, "I think the devil's in the details." The Republican presidential hopeful added that Cain’s plan merely creates another federal tax (in the form of a Value Added Tax), and does little to address the need to reduce the national deficit. “The 9-9-9 plan isn't a jobs plan, it's a tax plan," Bachmann started.
By now, no supporter of Ron Paul’s will find himself surprised by the glaring inconsistencies, outright distortions, and, frankly, boldfaced lies to which Republican-friendly media figures will descend in their efforts to marginalize his presidential candidacy. Still, so unabashed is their illogic, so overt the dishonesty, it is nevertheless difficult not to be amazed, even mesmerized, by the audaciousness with which Paul’s critics subject him to one injustice after the other. For as ugly as it is, though, this phenomenon is not without its value. That is, it supplies us with a classic textbook illustration of what many of us have always known: it is indeed politicians and their cohorts in the media, and not voters, who select candidates. Joseph A. Schumpeter was a conservative theorist who was also among the most distinguished and erudite of social scientists of the first half of the twentieth century. In his Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, he debunks what he characterizes as “the classical doctrine of democracy.” According to this doctrine, it is “the people itself” that settle “issues through the election of individuals who are to assemble in order to carry out its will.” In reality, though, “the will of the people is the product and not the motive power of the political process.” [Emphasis added.]
Many observers of the political scene suspected that the creation of the congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee was just a sham to allow legislators to increase the debt ceiling while giving the appearance of being serious about long-term deficit reduction. With each bit of news that trickles out of Congress, such suspicions are being borne out. The latest development on the subject, according to Politico, is that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, “is vowing to ‘nullify’ part of a law that would impose major military cuts if the deficit panel can’t reach a deal.” In short, McCain wants to repeal the part of the debt-ceiling deal that triggers automatic cuts to defense spending if the supercommittee fails to reach agreement on its own plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. (The law also requires equivalent cuts in domestic spending, but McCain did not address that matter.) “If there is a failure on the part of the supercommittee,” McCain said during a news conference yesterday, “we will be amongst the first on the floor to nullify that provision. Congress is not bound by this. It’s something we passed. We can reverse it.”