Downsides of Abandoning America's Manned Space Program

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly news video update for April 14 - 20, 2014.

Congress: Hands Off State Con-Con Rescissions

Has Michigan triggered a congressional call for an Article V convention?

Another Step Toward UN Arms Treaty Enforcement

The UN Arms Trade Treaty is advancing steadily and secretly toward enforcement.

Obama, Froman Use Ukraine to Push U.S.-EU Merger

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman calls for TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Inve...

UN, Obama, Gates Globalizing Education Via Common Core

Common Core is more than just nationalization of education, it is the next step toward tru...

  • Downsides of Abandoning America's Manned Space Program

    Monday, April 14 2014 14:21

    Published in News

  • Congress: Hands Off State Con-Con Rescissions

    Saturday, April 12 2014 15:25

    Published in Legislation

  • Another Step Toward UN Arms Treaty Enforcement

    Thursday, April 10 2014 09:41

    Published in News

  • Obama, Froman Use Ukraine to Push U.S.-EU Merger

    Wednesday, April 02 2014 08:31

    Published in News

  • UN, Obama, Gates Globalizing Education Via Common Core

    Thursday, March 27 2014 08:52

    Published in News

The John Birch Society
Developments relating to the Solyndra debacle continue to surface as newly-surfaced internal government emails reveal that an Obama administration appointee at the Department of Energy (DOE) — and major Obama fundraiser — pushed to expedite a $535-million loan guarantee to the now-defunct solar firm. The emails expose "a disturbingly close relationship" among the White House, top campaign donors, and prominent Solyndra investors, according to a senior congressional Republican. Steve Spinner, an adviser to the Department of Energy, actively endorsed the loan after agreeing to avoid any "active participation" in the application process, because his wife, Allison, was working for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm which represented Solyndra. Due to his wife’s association with the company, the DOE had ensured that Spinner would refrain from engaging in "any discussions" relating to the loan details because of a "conflict of interest." In a September 23, 2009 email to a DOE ethics officer, Steve Spinner described active participation as "solicitation, due diligence, [and] negotiations." Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera affirmed that Spinner was "authorized [only] to oversee and monitor the progress of applications, ensure that the program met its deadlines and milestones, and coordinate possible public announcements," because of his wife’s relations with Solyndra.
Europeans are more concerned about climate change than they are about their financial affairs, according to a new Eurobarometer poll conducted on behalf of the Climate Change Programme of the European Commission (EC). More than two-thirds of the public believe climate change is a serious problem, and nearly 80 percent say that tackling it will boost the economy and create jobs. Pollsters tallied responses from almost 27,000 residents of the 27 European Union countries. They found that most Europeans view climate change as second only to poverty, hunger, and lack of drinking water (counted as a single concern) in terms of serious problems facing today's world. The global economic recession placed third on the list. In addition, 68 percent of respondents support the idea of taxing people based on energy use. EU policy makers are jubilant, especially because these numbers are all up from a similar survey in 2009. "The fact that more than 3 out of 4 Europeans see improving energy efficiency as a way to create new jobs is a strong signal to Europe's decision makers," said Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. "I see this poll very much as an encouragement also for us in the Commission to continue fighting for ambitious and concrete climate action in Europe."
On Monday morning Sentier Research announced the results of its new study showing changes in household income since the year 2000 and how those incomes have fared both during the recent recession and since the recovery that began in June, 2009. Not only did household income (which counts all incomes of all members of the household, including wages, Social Security payments, interest, dividends, welfare checks, retirement income, unemployment benefits, and veterans’ benefits, all adjusted for inflation) decline during the recession by 3.2 percent, it fell another 6.7 percent during the recovery. The household income index (HHI) — created by two former Census Bureau analysts, Gordon Green and John Coder — has declined by almost 10 percent since the start of the recession, marking “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.” And the decline has been steady, month after month since January 2000, with only nine months out of the 138 months since then showing any improvement.   As noted by Robert Pear in the New York Times, this explains “why Americans’ attitudes toward the economy, the country’s direction and its political leaders have continued to sour even as the economy has been growing.” And even the assumption that the economy really is growing is still unclear. Henry Farber, a Princeton University economist, observed, “As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended.  
Within the last few years, a phenomenon emerged to become among the most formidable forces in contemporary American politics. It goes by the name of “the Tea Party movement.” Supposedly, the Tea Party movement is not affiliated with either of our two national political parties. Rather, it is composed of millions of ordinary Americans who, jealous as they are of the liberties bequeathed to them by their progeny, find intolerable the gargantuan proportions to which the federal government has grown. This, at any rate, is the conventional account of the genesis and character of the Tea Party movement. I once endorsed it.  Sadly, I no longer can. It is my considered judgment — a judgment, mind you, from which I derive not the slightest satisfaction — that the Tea Party movement, like the so-called “conservative media” of Fox News and talk radio, has become, if it hasn’t always been, an organ of the GOP.
Late last week GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released the names of his foreign policy and national security advisors just in time for his Friday address on America’s foreign policy. He effused over his selection: I am deeply honored to have the counsel of this extraordinary group of diplomats, experts and statesmen. Their remarkable experience, wisdom and depth of knowledge will be critical to ensuring that the 21st Century is another American Century. His campaign continues to be plagued with an increasing chorus of doubters about his conservative posture. His claim to have balanced the budget of Massachusetts without raising taxes was found to be false. In a widely-seen interview with Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press in 2008, Russert nailed Romney:  
The military regime ruling Egypt is under fire after it responded to weekend protests by Coptic Christians in Cairo with deadly force, leaving hundreds wounded and dozens dead. An official investigation is ongoing. Following another church attack last week blamed on Islamist extremists, Christian activists marched to the state-run TV station headquarters in the capital. The demonstrators were demanding government protection from Muslim attacks and the resignation or firing of a provincial governor. “Down, down, Field Marshal Tantawi!” the protesters were also reportedly chanting, calling for the Egyptian regime’s chief to step down. Then the situation spiraled out of control. According to news reports, thugs in civilian clothing unleashed a wave of violence against the Christians using swords, clubs, and other weapons. The government then sent armored personnel carriers and mowed down dozens of protesters. At least 25 were killed, probably more — some crushed under tanks, others shot.
President Obama has created a secret death panel to decide which American citizens should be killed without trial by our own military, and he approved a secret legal memorandum from the Office of Legal Council (OLC) that tries to justify the killings, according to Reuters and the New York Times, respectively. Of the death panel, Reuters reported October 5, There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate. The Obama administration has refused to comment officially or publicly on the existence of the death panel. New York Times reporter Charlie Savage described the legal memorandum in detail after lengthy, perhaps administration-approved, conversations with anonymous Obama administration officials. Savage describes the document as "a roughly 50-page memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, completed around June 2010," which means that it was drawn up about six months after the assassination list already existed. Savage continued:  
Before 1980 there was no U.S. Department of Education. Before 1964 there was relatively little federal involvement in education at all. But let a few Republican presidential candidates suggest that maybe Washington’s role in schooling ought to be scaled back somewhat, and the New York Times, reliable barometer of establishment opinion, finds cause for concern. Why, “even Mitt Romney,” the paper frets, “now says, ‘We need to get the federal government out of education.’” “For a generation,” the Times writes, “there has been loose bipartisan agreement in Washington that the federal government has a necessary role to play in the nation’s 13,600 school districts, primarily by using money to compel states to raise standards.” Of course, many observers note that the bipartisan consensus on any subject can be — and usually is — wrong. Constitutionalists point out that there is also a bipartisan consensus in favor of Social Security, Medicare, and an interventionist foreign policy — all of which, like federal involvement in education, are both unconstitutional and unwise. There is no shame, they say, in challenging Beltway orthodoxy.
Three months after a change to its denominational constitution went into effect, the Presbyterian Church-USA (PCUSA) ordained its first openly homosexual minister. Scott Anderson, 56, who had left the Presbyterian ministry back in 1990 after revealing to his California congregation that he was homosexual, “was welcomed back into the church leadership [October 9] as its first openly gay ordained minister,” reported the Associated Press. Hundreds of friends and supporters gathered at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, to witness the occasion. “To the thousands of Presbyterians who have worked and prayed for almost 40 years for this day, I give thanks,” Anderson told the crowd. “And I give thanks for those who disagree with what we’re doing today, yet who know that we are one in Jesus Christ.” Anderson selected the Rev. Mark Achtemeier to deliver the sermon at his ordination. “Achtemeier used to be one of the most vocal opponents of gay ordination,” reported the AP, “but he announced a complete turnaround after friendships with gay Christians prompted him to re-evaluate scriptural teachings about homosexuality.”
Following a full-tilt campaign by a coalition of pro-family, anti-porn, and decency organizations, NBC made the decision to pull the plug on its highly promoted fall drama The Playboy Club. In its first cancellation of the season, the network made its move “less than 24 hours after the new series drew only 3.5 million people for its third episode,” reported Access Hollywood. The industry insider report noted that the ill-advised series “started weak, with 5 million viewers for its first episode, and didn’t improve.” Even before its debut, reported by The New American, the show had come under an intense assault from a group called the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography, which charged that the show was little more than prime-time porn that should never be aired. The coalition was made up of such groups as Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association, among others, whose leaders issued a stern condemnation, declaring that “NBC is contributing to the sexual objectification and exploitation of women and encouraging greater acceptance of pornography with its soon-to-be-aired series.”
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