The hint given to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein by their mysterious informant “Deep Throat” regarding President Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal was: “Follow the money.” If the same counsel is followed today with regard to President Obama’s fundraising, the discoveries are disturbing. With the Solyndra controversy still unraveling, President Obama has moved undauntedly on to the next suspicious entanglement with corporate beneficiaries of federal largesse. It is being reported that in a couple of weeks President Obama will be the benefactor of a fundraiser being organized by a Missouri businessman “whose company benefited from a $107-million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.” The name of this Friend of Barack is well-known in the Show Me State and in Democratic Party circles. Tom Carnahan is the 42-year-old son of the former Governor of Missouri Mel Carnahan and former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan. The younger Carnahan was an attorney and is the founder of Wind Capital Group.
In keeping with his governing style, that is, rule by decree, "President" Chávez recently nationalized Venezuela’s gold mining industry. With its expropriation, the dictator continues his campaign of “21st-century Socialism.” Over the past decade, Hugo Chávez has radically altered Venezuela’s economic landscape. Executing a pernicious, politically driven, nationalization program, the government has systematically taken over key sectors. In doing so, Chávez stripped private industry, its investors — not to mention political opponents — of infrastructure, private property, and profits. Since 2002, almost 1,000 companies have been seized. For socialists and statists the world over, this is something of a guide, a graduate seminar in confiscation and class warfare. But for the rest of us, it remains a lesson in economic decay and failed leadership. The takeover of gold mining operations should surprise no one. With gold commanding upwards of $1,600 dollars an ounce, the industry is highly profitable. And it is the profit of private enterprise that Chávez endeavors to exploit for his ends. As the dictator himself once said, “We can't have socialism if the state doesn't have control over its resources!"
In what many say is political correctness run amok, British schools have banned black witch hats for children, claiming that they are "racist." So-called diversity and equality experts in the United Kingdom assert that because the wicked witch appears in a black hat, while fairies — typically associated with sweetness and light — are often clad in pale, glistening colors, children are being indoctrinated to believe that all things light or white in color are by nature “good,” while those that are black are inherently “bad.” The Blaze reports, Now, to combat that perceived threat, primary school teachers in Britain are allegedly being encouraged by equality advocates to censor fictional children’s characters, eliminating witches’ black pointed hats in favor of white ones, while dressing fairies in dark colors. Proponents of this technique can claim the method will eliminate "racism" in children as young as two. Unsurprisingly, other innocuous items are also coming under fire. Take for example writing paper. The Telegraph reports:
The eighth annual "40 Days for Life" campaign to end abortion launches September 28 at an unprecedented 301 locations worldwide. Local volunteers are set to begin constant 24-hour prayer vigils outside abortion clinics in their respective cities from September 28 until November 6. Participants have also pledged to fast and pray privately during the crusade and to take part in community outreach programs as well. The campaign website explains 40 Days for Life "takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families." Forty-eight new locations have been added to this year's international event, including cities in Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Germany. Campaign organizers boast phenomenal success in the past, and they have high hopes for this year's substantially larger crusade. Campaign director Shawn Carney observed, "I often go back to those wonderful numbers — 4,313 lives saved from abortion, 53 clinic workers who've left the abortion industry, and 16 abortion centers that have gone out of business after 40 Days for Life's peaceful prayer vigils were held in the public right-of-way outside their doors." He anticipates tens of thousands will participate this year.
A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare appears to be headed for the Supreme Court, which could end up ruling on the case in 2012, just as President Barack Obama is running for reelection. In August a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Florida judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. (The panel overturned his finding that the entire law is unconstitutional, however.) The Obama administration — the defendant in the case brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business — had the option of requesting a hearing by the entire 11th Circuit Court; but it chose not to do so by the September 26 deadline, which indicates that it is probably going to appeal directly to the Supreme Court. “If the court accepts the case before January,” observes Politico, “it is likely to be put on the calendar to be heard in the spring. A decision would likely be postponed until June.” That would, of course, put it smack in the middle of an election year in which the prime architect of the law is one of the candidates, raising the question of why the administration chose not to seek a ruling by the full 11th Circuit, which probably would have delayed a Supreme Court ruling until 2013.
Apparently the Federal Reserve is not the only entity threatened by gold. Central banks in Europe are restricting the sales of precious metals, presumably threatened by the fact that citizens are increasingly abandoning the devalued paper currencies and preserving their wealth by purchasing gold and silver. Most countries in Europe — with the exceptions of Germany and Switzerland — have already mandated that residents may acquire gold only by purchasing it directly from local bank branches. Banks have justified the new policies by claiming that they are intended to prevent money laundering.
The Federal Reserve is seeking contractors to build a tool that will monitor and analyze blogs, news reports, and social-media chatter about the central bank and its policies, with a goal of being able to use “public relations” strategies to counter the growing barrage of negative publicity. But critics quickly added to the institution’s troubled image as the news spread by lambasting the half-baked scheme as “Orwellian” spying and “intimidation.” The Fed’s “Request for Proposal” explains that the institution needs a platform to “monitor billions of conversations” and “identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers.” Information collected will be used to measure the effectiveness of the central bank’s “public relations” and “communication strategies” — known in laymen’s terms as propaganda operations. “There is need for the Communications Group to be timely and proactively aware of the reactions and opinions expressed by the general public as it relates to the Federal Reserve and its actions on a variety of subjects,” the document states. News outlets, Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, YouTube, and other social media platforms will all be targeted.
Drop what you’re doing. I mean it. Stop whatever it is that you’re doing and go online to find out when the next showing is. Take a friend, go alone, doesn’t matter. Moneyball isn’t about baseball. No way. This is about taking a chance, taking a risk, putting it all on the line. This is what it feels like to try to (and succeed in) overthrowing the existing order of things. It’s about finding out not only who your friends are, but how it feels to be alone. I don’t even like baseball. And I don’t particularly care much for Brad Pitt. You probably don’t, either. Doesn’t matter. In this movie he is Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland Athletics, which just lost the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees in 2001. No wonder. The Yankees had a $114 million salary budget to finance their race for the pennant, compared to the A’s $39 million.
The federal government was again just days away from a potential shutdown when the Senate passed another spending bill which critics say is strewn with far too much spending. The legislation includes money for victims of Hurricane Irene and the summer tornados, and funds the federal government at the start of the new budget year, which begins on Saturday. The resolution was approved by the Senate after a series of behind-the-scenes discussions which ultimately ended the latest round of vicious debates between Democrats and Republicans over items such as spending, cuts, and taxes. According to The Blaze, those disputes have “rattled financial markets and coincided with polls showing congressional approval ratings at historically low levels.” The bill passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote of 79-12. The measure is now on its way to the House of Representatives for a vote, though there is little doubt it will pass there, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has already indicated that it is acceptable. “I think it’s a reasonable way to keep the government operational,” he commented.
For the so-called “old media,” it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Last week the Pew Research Center for The People and The Press released a survey whose results indicate that 43 percent of Americans now claim to get most of their news from Internet sources. This figure represents a record number of respondents citing the web as their primary provider of information on issues of national and international importance. Television news is declining as Internet news is rising. The number of Americans polled by the Pew group that identified television as their first choice for news is at a record low. Sixty-six percent still claimed to look to TV for their news. For 20 years the Pew organization has been asking Americans: “How do you get most of your news about national and international issues?” According to a synopsis of the survey: