As noted here recently ("Lame and Lamer: Media excuses for ignoring a surging Ron Paul"), Rep. Ron Paul has undeniably eclipsed many of the GOP presidential candidates formerly accorded "top tier" status by the major "lamestream" media, according to an August 24 Gallup Poll. The new survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents shows Paul with 13 percent support, barely trailing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (17 percent), with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who only recently announced his candidacy, strongly in first place, with 29 percent. This puts Ron Paul three points ahead of Rep. Michele Bachmann (10 percent), who narrowly beat Paul (by less than 1 percent) in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll on August 13. The other contestants, some of whom have been touted as "top tier" in the past, fade into the distance in the new Gallup Poll: Herman Cain, 4 percent; Newt Gingrich, 4 percent; Rick Santorum, 3 percent; Jon Huntsman, 1 percent; Tim Pawlenty, zero percent (he dropped out).
As reported here yesterday ("Lame & Lamer: Media Excuses for Ignoring a Surging Ron Paul") the "lamestream" media appear to be making efforts to salvage a modicum of credibility by giving some coverage to Rep. Ron Paul's presidential race, after a severe media shellacking by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart went viral last week. Stewart's satirical rant effectively used clips of various media takes on the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll to expose the uniform policy of the major media to treat Ron Paul with unique contempt by simply pretending he doesn't exist. The blatant media blackout of Ron Paul is eerily similar to the Stalinist technique of obliterating all mention of those who have been declared to be non-persons, as chillingly documented by David King in The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia. King's 1997 book demonstrates the power of Soviet censorship under Stalin, showing example after example of famous Communist leaders who had once been considered heroes of the revolution but then, sometimes virtually overnight, disappeared. Not only were they arrested, tortured, and killed, but even their images were removed from all photographs and their names expunged from all documents, news stories, and history books.
Burdened with economic uncertainty, high unemployment, and a volatile investors’ market, young Americans are desperately seeking job security — while anxiously chasing the "American Dream." The economy simply isn’t what it was when they first entered the job market, or when they were finishing high school or working for their college degrees. The entire economic, financial, and social class system has changed. Indeed, the entire country has changed. They’re not Generation X, or Generation Y. According to the Los Angeles Times, they’re "Generation Vexed" — a struggling generation of "young Americans [aged 20 to 29] who are downsizing expectations in the face of an economic future that is anything but certain." As a result, "Career plans are being altered, marriages put off and dreams shelved." Young Americans are trapped under a stagnant economic umbrella, and, lamentably, they are left with no foreseeable escape.
A recent article in the Washington Post posited that the obstruction by the Congress of presidential recess appointments is unconstitutional. This debate emerged in light of the fact that currently, there is a backlog of presidential appointments. There are two explanations for this. First, President Obama has yet to nominate people to fill various executive and judicial branch openings. For example, a new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers has yet to be named and there are two empty seats on the Federal Reserve board. The second reason behind the logjam is the Senate’s reluctance to confirm those nominees already submitted by the President for that body’s approval. There is, however, a third less obvious factor slowing the appointment process. Using a potent parliamentary tactic, the House of Representatives has acted to keep both houses of the legislative branch in “pro forma” session throughout the August break in order to prevent President Obama from bypassing the advice and consent of the Senate by making what is known as recess appointments.
It is hard not to be amazed by the blackout of media coverage of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Had Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, or any second-tier candidate been performing remotely as well as Paul has, he would no longer be regarded as a “second-tier” candidate. To the credit of such left-leaning outlets as Jon Stewarts' The Daily Show and The Huffington Post, this phenomenon has not gone unnoticed by everyone. Let’s think about this. In spite of the extent to which Paul has been ignored by the establishment media in both of its leftist and rightist varieties, he unfailingly elicits explosive applause in every GOP presidential primary debate in which he has participated. A Fox News poll, of all places, shows that the overwhelming majority of its respondents hold that Ron Paul achieved a decisive victory over all of the other candidates in the most recent debate in Iowa. Of 7,991 “active” cities nationwide that participated in the poll, and 43,293 total votes, 27,459 people thought that Paul won the debate. Newt Gingrich came in second place — with 5, 906 votes.
California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a new tax plan to the state legislature Thursday that would boost levies on large corporations located outside of California. Brown’s request to state lawmakers is to revert the sales tax structure back to the formula adopted before 2009, which would require multi-state corporations, which employ few California workers, to pay higher sales taxes for goods they sell within state boundaries. These dollars would shift to California companies in the form of sales-tax exemptions, with the intent to nudge companies to manufacture products and hire people within the state. Under the 2009 budget plan, out-of-state companies were allowed to choose between two tax formulas, which the Brown administration claims left California-based businesses at a competitive disadvantage. The new plan would calculate out-of-state companies’ tax liability solely on the portion of sales they earn in California, an approach called the "single-sales factor."
Sometime in the early summer of 1497, a small caravel, the Matthew, with a crew of 18 men, spied land after weeks of perilous sailing across the dangerous, then-unknown waters of the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Captained by an Italian seaman, John Cabot, whose original name was Giovanni Caboto, the ship had departed Bristol in late May with King Henry VII’s blessing to look for new lands across the ocean. What Cabot and his men saw was a rugged coastline of deep, narrow bays, towering cliffs, and soaring headlands teeming with nesting seabirds — a landscape not unlike many portions of the coastline of Britain and Ireland. Cabot was undoubtedly inspired by the success, only a few years earlier, of fellow Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus, in discovering the islands of the Caribbean. But this was no subtropical paradise peopled with friendly natives; the seas here were rough, cold, and full of icebergs carried south from Greenland. Instead of waving palm trees, the land was forested with fir and spruce, with the more exposed headlands as barren as the Arctic tundra. John Cabot had discovered the eastermost portion of North America, the huge island that soon came to be known as Newfoundland.
Rarely does a government official call for himself — and his entire department — to be canned. But that is, in effect, what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan did in a recent webcast, according to a video and partial transcript posted at CNSNews.com. During the course of the webcast, in which Duncan answered questions submitted via Twitter, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was raised. NCLB is the 2001 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) signed into law by President George W. Bush that imposes national standards on schools and measures schools’ success in meeting those standards primarily via standardized testing. Its emphasis on testing and its lack of flexibility have caused consternation in state capitals and school districts across the country, especially since failure to meet the standards could mean a loss of federal money.
Only about one in seven obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States is willing to perform abortions, a new survey has found, down from the numbers claimed by a similar 2008 poll. LifeNews.com reported that the latest research, published in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology medical journal, “finds 97 percent of physicians surveyed say they have encountered patients wanting an abortion while only 14 percent of doctors are willing to do an abortion. That’s lower than the 22 percent of doctors who said they would do an abortion in the last poll, from 2008.” The nationwide survey of 1,144 ob-gyn physicians, conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, found female doctors more inclined to perform abortions than their male colleagues (18.6 percent versus 10.6 percent). Regarding age demographics, physicians 35 and under were the age group most likely to perform abortions (22 percent), with those 56 to 65 right behind them, and doctors between the ages of 35 and 45 the least likely to offer the procedure.
New York's Eric Schneiderman is the only Attorney General who doesn’t like the foreclosure settlement agreed to by the major banks behind the mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) and foreclosure (robo-signing and faked-documents) frauds that helped bring on the economic crisis in 2008. And he is feeling the heat. In exchange for a small fine, the settlement agreement would end the years-long investigations by New York and other states into the frauds, and would prevent them or any of the investors hurt by the frauds from ever bringing additional charges in the future. But Schneiderman’s investigation into the shady practices behind the development and sale of MBSs isn’t complete, and signing off on such an agreement now would end his efforts and forever protect the banks from further public exposure to their back office practices. Danny Kanner, a spokesman for Schneiderman, said, “The attorney general remains concerned by any attempt at a global settlement that would shut down ongoing investigations of wrongdoing related to the mortgage crisis.” And it’s the “ongoing investigations” that the banks would like to end, and they’re willing to pay a token amount to make the whole issue go away.