Both incumbent Democrats facing recall elections on August 16 managed to hold their Wisconsin state Senate seats, leaving Republicans with a narrow 17-to-16 majority following the largest string of recall campaigns in American history. Democratic state Sen. Jim Holperin survived the election with about 55 percent of the vote against first-time Republican candidate Kim Simac, a Tea Party activist and mother of nine. GOP contender Jonathan Steitz, an attorney, garnered about 42 percent against incumbent Democrat Bob Wirch. Last week, six Republican state Senators were also forced to defend their seats. Democrats needed to win at least three of those races to gain control of the state Senate, but succeeded in taking only two from vulnerable incumbents — one of whom was facing a scandal. In July, another Democrat held on to his office as well.  
Warren Buffett, better known as the Oracle of Omaha, earned $40 million last year and paid $7 million of it in taxes. But in his editorial in the New York Times on Sunday, he claimed that he doesn’t think he’s paying enough, and neither are his friends. So he’s asking the SuperCommittee to stop “coddling” him and his friends, and raise their taxes as part of the deficit reduction scheme they are hatching. He began by suggesting that government leaders have called for “shared sacrifice” but that he didn’t get the call. “I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.” Unfortunately, facts are not only stubborn, they are different. In his editorial, Buffet notes that incomes of the top 400 taxpayers (many of them his friends) had grown from $16.9 billion in 1992 to $90.9 billion in 2008, but that their actual tax rate over that period had declined.
Is President Barack Obama working on a proposal to keep Uncle Sam deeply involved in the mortgage business and taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in home loans? The White House says no, the President is merely examining his options. Meanwhile, the Washington Post, based on leaks from anonymous officials, reports that he is indeed looking to maintain the federal government’s outsized role in guaranteeing mortgages. Most sound observers of the mortgage crisis say that to maintain the status quo would be incredibly foolish. They have concluded that federal guarantees of subprime mortgages via “government-sponsored enterprises” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with other federal policies encouraging banks to issue loans to less-than-creditworthy borrowers, were one of the major causes — if not the major cause — of the mortgage meltdown. Fannie and Freddie, since taken over fully by the government, have thus far cost taxpayers over $150 billion in bailouts, an amount that is expected to reach $259 billion by the time all is said and done. Who in his right mind, analysts ask, would want to continue down such a disastrous path?
The bad news from the European Union is growing almost daily. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, had almost no economic growth at all in the last quarter The entire 17-nation European Union grew at the miniscule rate of .2 percent from the prior quarter. The prior quarter’s eurozone economic growth had been .8 percent, larger than last quarter but still far short of what is required to create confidence that the sovereign debt crisis can actually be managed. That represents the slowest economic growth since late 2009. The French economy also stalled during the quarter and the Italian economy grew only .3 percent. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met to discuss how to address the sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece and Ireland, quickly spread to Spain and Portugal, and now threatens to produce tremendous stress on the European Union. Furthermore, the recently announced Italian plan for a combination of austerity and tax increases may not work. Sarkozy has called for a "new economic government" for Europe that would meet at least twice a year with European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.
Someone at long last has had the courage to tell the plain, honest truth about race. After mobs of young blacks rampaged through Philadelphia committing violence — as similar mobs have rampaged through Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, and other places — Philadelphia's black mayor, Michael A. Nutter, ordered a police crackdown and lashed out at the whole lifestyle of those who did such things. "Pull up your pants and buy a belt 'cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt," he said. "If you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy," the mayor said. He added: "You have damaged your own race."
People are beginning to compare Barack Obama's administration to the failed administration of Jimmy Carter, but a better comparison is to the Roosevelt administration of the 1930s and '40s. Let's look at it with the help of a publication from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Foundation for Economic Education titled "Great Myths of the Great Depression," by Dr. Lawrence Reed. During the first year of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, he called for increasing federal spending to $10 billion while revenues were only $3 billion. Between 1933 and 1936, government expenditures rose by more than 83 percent. Federal debt skyrocketed by 73 percent. Roosevelt signed off on legislation that raised the top income tax rate to 79 percent and then later to 90 percent. Hillsdale College economics historian and professor Burt Folsom, author of "New Deal or Raw Deal?", notes that in 1941, Roosevelt even proposed a 99.5 percent marginal tax rate on all incomes more than $100,000. When a top adviser questioned the idea, Roosevelt replied, "Why not?"
Most voters today no longer remember a time when the tenets of “progressive education” were not part of their everyday lives. It no longer seems strange to the average parent, for example, that what once gave America its cohesiveness, as well as its economic and cultural “edge” over other countries, is largely missing from the school environment and curriculum. The parents of the Baby Boomers reacted too late once they started noticing the disappearance of “a common body of knowledge … that common group of heroes and villains, images and values, of which national spirit is born,” as the late historian Henry Steele Commager described it. In its place came a leftist mix of progressivism and psychology, eventually marketed as “functional literacy.” Today, this psychologized progressivism has impacted every facet of society. Having been institutionalized in classrooms, and passed along to society via newspapers and newscasts, popular magazines, entertainment, and the arts, it is taking on new life in the voting booth.
This is the sixth segment in a series on K-12 education.  Although John Dewey, the originator of “progressive education,” defied most of the cultural, moral, and economic norms of his era, his message nevertheless somehow mainstreamed its way into K-12 schools nationwide. Dewey characterized himself as a “democratic socialist.” Over the years, his writings increasingly underscored an aversion to the free-market system; an abhorrence of religion, especially Christianity; a distaste for educational basics such as reading and writing; and finally, in 1928, an admiration for Soviet schooling — for the creation of what he called a “collectivistic mentality.” Given the traditionalistic norms of the 1920s and 30s, the likelihood of his affecting a sea change in education seemed about as likely as the United States replacing the Constitution with Shariah law. Then again, strange things happen, and not usually by chance. Throughout Dewey’s voluminous writings, two themes recur: that education and learning are interactive processes, which had some basis, and that the school itself is a social institution through which social reform can and should take place, which paved the way for political opportunists.
The U.S. Air Force has cancelled a course entitled “Christian Just War Theory” that was required for all nuclear missile launch officers, reported the Associated Press. The course, which has been taught for the past 20 years by military chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is being revised following complaints by some participants that Scripture was used by teachers to show that war can be a moral endeavor, explained David Smith, a spokesman for the Air Force Air Education and Training Command. While the Air Force once felt the Bible-based training was necessary “because of the nature of the job” missile officers might be called upon to do, Smith said, it is now considered inappropriate in a society that has become increasingly pluralistic. According to CNN, the Air Force suspended the ethics class “after 31 missile launch officers reported the religious nature of the briefing to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,” a secular watchdog group that targets faith in the armed forces. Mikey Weinstein, a spokesman for the organization, said that there were several things the missile officers “found disgusting. The first was the fact that there is actually a slide that makes it clear that they’re trying to teach that, under fundamentalist Christian doctrine, war is a good thing.”
Just three days after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the ObamaCare individual mandate unconstitutional, President Barack Obama insisted that the mandate “should not be controversial” — despite having opposed an individual mandate during his run for President. On Monday, during the first stop of his three-day Midwestern bus tour, Obama took time to explain why he believes “the individual mandate’s important.” Speaking to an audience in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, the President framed the matter thus: Here’s the problem: If an insurance company has to take you, has to insure you, even if you’re sick, but you don’t have an individual mandate, then what would everybody do? They would wait till they get sick and then you’d buy health insurance, right?
JBS Facebook JBS Twitter JBS YouTube JBS RSS Feed