Amidst all of the controversy surrounding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Obama administration attempted to paint itself as an oppositional force against the bill, threatening to veto it if it passed. Now, however, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), co-author of the bill, has said that the administration in fact heavily lobbied to have removed from the bill language that would have protected American citizens from some of the bill’s provisions, such as indefinite detention without trial. According to Levin, who is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee:
New polls released this week show near-record high fears of big government and strong support for the emergence of a credible third party to shake up Washington, D.C., largely because the Republican and Democrat parties are viewed in an increasingly unfavorable light.
According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released on December 13, around 54 percent of Americans nationwide would like to see the rise of an alternative to the two major parties. The number was 52 percent in the top 12 “battleground” states, according to a report about the poll.
The reason: The GOP and Democratic parties "do such a poor job that a third major party is needed," survey participants said. Support for a third party is even higher among moderate and liberal Republicans, as well as moderate and conservative Democrats, USA Today reported. Barely a third of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans were “enthusiastic” about voting for President in 2012, the poll found.
Meanwhile, a separate poll released by Gallup this week revealed that fear of “big government” is far more widespread than worries about “big business” or “big labor.” When asked which of the three represented the biggest threat to America, 64 percent said an overbearing government — close to the record of 65 percent reached in 1999 and 2000.
The popular and often controversial radio host Michael Savage has not cloaked his disdain for GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, as Savage has offered the former House Speaker one million dollars to drop out of the GOP race. On Monday, Savage cautioned that Gingrich as the Republican nominee would virtually guarantee a second term for the President, as Gingrich is nothing more than "a fat, old, white man" who Obama would effectively dismantle during the presidential debates.
Dr. Savage, host of "The Savage Nation" radio program, wrote on his website that the Republican presidential contest has boiled down to two contenders, Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — and only one of them has a fighting chance at capturing the White House.
"Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a chance of defeating Barack Obama," wrote Savage, "and there is nothing more important than that for future health, safety and security of the United States of America. Therefore, I am offering Newt Gingrich one million dollars to drop out of the presidential race for the sake of the nation."
Asserting that the "most pressing issue before America today" is the defeat of Barack Obama, Savage contended that Gingrich is unelectable, and that Romney — although not "as strong a conservative as many would like him to be" — is the only candidate capable of defeating Obama. Honing in on Gingrich’s personal ethics and his questionable record in public office, the San Francisco radio host laid out his case on his website (writing in all caps):
As January ushers in a new year, San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to instate a minimum wage rate of more than $10 an hour. Climbing from $9.92 to $10.24, the city’s new labor mandate will hike the city’s minimum wage more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the rate set by the federal government.
Many San Francisco workers lauded the move, particularly those residents working multiple jobs and being paid the city’s current minimum wage. "It’s a psychological boost," said David Frias, a 34-year-old movie theater usher and security guard for a crowd control firm. "It means that I’ll have more money in my wallet to pay my bills and money to spend in the city to help the economy."
Still, many city residents and community organizations say the new rate is too modest after factoring in rising inflation, cost of living increases, and San Francisco’s persistently stale economy. While Karl Kramer of the San Francisco Living Wage Coalition is happy to see that the city is raising the minimum wage, he says an adequate wage for a single, childless adult in San Francisco is $15 per hour, and double that when adding at least one child.
A United States of Europe — minus recalcitrant Great Britain — is nearly upon us; thus saith Forbes magazine. “The euro, in its old form, has fallen into crisis and the price European countries have to pay is a large loss of sovereignty,” writes Clem Chambers in the Establishment conservative magazine. Chambers continues:
Nationalists would consider this disastrous. In reality, there are not so many nationalists in Europe these days and many countries, and their populations, consider themselves European and see little problem with further integration.
Chambers is confident that zeal to maintain the eurozone will overwhelm nationalist sentiments. As a result of the current financial crisis, political power in Europe will migrate to Brussels, stripping eurozone members of their remaining economic sovereignty:
What is set to happen is that the European super state will hold the cheque book of euro member countries; or at least be able to snap it shut should any one country wish to run away with its local budget.
Money is power and once ultimate budget power is gone, political power will subsequently be drawn into the federal centre.
Emails released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests (and then lawsuits) from the Media Research Center and Judicial Watch have raised even more questions about how much then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was involved with the proposed ObamaCare legislation. At the time of now-Supreme Court Justice Kagan's Court confirmation hearings, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans asked if she had “ever been asked about [her] opinion” or “offered any view or comments” concerning “the underlying legal or constitutional issued related to any proposed health care legislation, including but not limited to Pub. L. No. 111-148 [ObamaCare], or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation.” Kagan's answer was an unqualified “no.”
The newly released emails, however, show that days before the House vote on the healthcare legislation, Kagan was indeed involved in preparing the Department of Justice response to a legal challenge of the bill. This challenge was anticipated by Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation if the bill was passed through a House procedural rule — which would have “deemed” the bill to have passed the House of Representatives, even if its members had never actually voted on its last version.
Responding to criticism of his “nay” vote on a supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Sen. John Kerry said in 2004, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” — a statement that came to define the Massachusetts Democrat, then running for President, as a flip-flopper with no convictions.
Eight years later another presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, finds himself in a similar gherkin. Gingrich, it seems, was for the ObamaCare individual mandate before he was against it; and his newfound opposition to the mandate appears to be less a matter of conviction than of political opportunism.
According to CNSNews.com, as far back as 1993 Gingrich was stumping for an individual mandate. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in October of that year, then-House Minority Whip Gingrich said: “I am for people, individuals — exactly like automobile insurance — individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.” In other words, if Gingrich had gotten his way, one of the central features of ObamaCare would have been enacted 18 years ago.
Washington gridlock may turn out to be the salvation of the Obama administration. Not only does gridlock allow the president to blame Republicans for not solving the financial crisis that his own runaway spending created, the inability to carry out as much government intervention in the economy as when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress means that the market can now recover on its own to some visible extent before the next election.
Sheriff Kelly Janke was searching for six missing cows. As he searched, he came upon three armed men, requiring the sheriff, armed with nothing but a search warrant, to come back with reinforcements. Ranches spread for thousands of acres on the wide open ranges of North Dakota. The sheriff knew that better than anyone else, and he knew that the rifle-toting resisters could be waiting for him anywhere, so he came prepared. The cavalry called in to assist Sheriff Janke consisted of highway patrolmen, a SWAT team, an explosives detonation squad, and deputies from surrounding counties.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last Thursday that 46 tribal and nonprofit organizations are being granted a combined one million dollars of taxpayer money to fund "environmental justice issues." According to the EPA, such "issues" translate as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to" the environmental decision-making process.