President Obama is venturing to charm American voters this week during an East Coast bus tour that will intersect parts of North Carolina and Virginia. Beginning Monday, the three-day junket will traverse through suburbs, rural towns, and several cities, as the trip spans two key electoral states that could prove essential for Obama’s 2012 campaign pursuits. In considering the tour’s seemingly strategic route and voter-targeted audiences, observers contend that the East Coast excursion is clearly an attempt to resurrect the President’s waning support support in two southern states that Republicans controlled before the 2008 election.

The tour’s supposed objective is for the President to promote job creation measures by urging voters to pressure Congress to pass a series of job-creation bills. But Obama’s jobs package has yet to win congressional approval, as Senate Republicans blocked the proposal last week, requesting separate votes on specific provisions in the bill over the next few weeks.

In a seemingly direct ploy for political gain, the President accused Senate Republicans on Monday of voting against putting teachers back to work and ignoring the employment needs of military veterans. Further, he derided a Republican jobs proposal which seeks to eliminate ObamaCare and abolish financial and environmental regulations that hinder American businesses from creating jobs. The GOP package calls for "dirtier air, dirtier water and less people with health insurance," Obama declared.

Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) unveiled a balanced budget proposal, Plan to Restore America, October 17 that would cut nearly $1 trillion — $981 billion — from the President's budget proposal in the single fiscal year of 2013 and eliminate the annual deficits completely two years later.

No other presidential candidate has revealed a balanced budget in any number of years, including the incumbent President Barack Obama. And no sitting congressman or senator has proposed a budget plan that would balance the budget in less than 30 years other than Congressman Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (whose proposal would balance the budget within five years).

 

Forbes magazine's Richard Miniter claimed Congressman Ron Paul has the Fifth Amendment wrong on Obama's assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, but the example of George Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion reveals that it's Ron Paul who got it right.

Congressman Paul condemned the September 30 drone strike ordered by the Obama White House against Awlaki and fellow U.S. citizen Samir Khan, noting that the Fifth Amendment says that the U.S. government can't allow persons to "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Paul added in comments the day of the killing: "I think what would people have said about [Oklahoma City bomber] Timothy McVeigh? We didn't assassinate him, who we were pretty certain ... had done it. Went and put through the courts then executed him. To start assassinating American citizens without charges, we should think very seriously about this."

Miniter claimed in his October 13 article that Ron Paul's argument "contains a lot of pernicious nonsense" and that "While seemingly sensible, more due process is actually a dangerous and unconstitutional idea. President Obama, a former constitutional law lecturer at the University of Chicago, actually got the balance right." Miniter admitted,

Among the eight or so GOP presidential candidates, Mitt Romney is “the frontrunner,” the establishment darling whom the media has all but assured us will be Barack Obama’s rival come next year. 

Considering that the rubbing together of two wet stones stands a better chance of generating sparks than does Romney’s candidacy, it is indeed fascinating that, from the outset, it is this former Governor of “the bluest” state in the Union that has garnered greatest support from Republicans. After all, just ask yourself: Outside of the circle of establishment talking heads on Fox News and elsewhere, when do you recall encountering so much as a hint of enthusiasm for Mitt Romney?

Let us be honest with ourselves: Politically speaking, Romney hasn’t a conservative or libertarian instinct in his body. But the situation for genuine conservatives and libertarians is actually much worse than this. It would be bad enough if Romney were just a committed leftist; in truth, though, it is clear with all eyes to see that he is actually a leftist conspicuously lacking in conviction. The regularity with which he undergoes political conversions, to say nothing of their timing, makes this verdict all but impossible to circumvent. 

JBS CEO Art Thompson's weekly video news update for October 17-23, 2011.

Talk about Big Nanny government running amok! All across the country, children are being told that their lemonade stands are against the law. And not just lemonade stands, but sales of Girl Scout cookies and Japanese green tea have also been declared enemies of the State.

I kid you not. In community after community, these budding entrepreneurs are being told to pack it up and scoot before they’re charged with various violations. In some instances, in fact, fines have been levied.

I’m beholden to the Freedom Center of Missouri, a relatively new public policy group in the Show Me state, for documenting the following list of outrages. Please note that all of these occurred this year. Such crackdowns are becoming more and more common.

Aug. 6: Massachusetts State police shut down the stand of a 12-year-old refugee from Fukushima, Japan, who was selling green tea he brought with him when he and his family evacuated after the tsunami.

Aug. 1: Police officers in Coralville, Iowa, ordered at least three sets of children to quit selling lemonade during the "Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa" unless they first got a vendor’s permit and a health inspection. This is the first known example of a coordinated set of shutdowns at a single time.

With the recent decline in the polls of the candidacies of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, Tea Party members have two top-tier candidates to consider as an alternative to the liberal Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney: Herman Cain and Ron Paul.  But how do these two Tea Party favorites stack up on economic issues? Here's a quick survey on their differences:

TARP Bailout

One of the biggest issues leading to the formation of the Tea Party movement was -— after the burgeoning deficit -— reaction against the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) law. Many Americans joined the Tea Party to stop what was obviously political favoritism being sold by fear-mongering government leaders, and it resulted in a number of pro-TARP Republican veterans losing their primaries and anti-TARP Republicans winning the November 2010 general election.

During the housing bubble, profits were privatized. But once "too big to fail" Wall Street banks saw major losses on risky bets made in the real estate market, they came crying to Washington and demanded taxpayers pick up the shortfall. Establishment politicians in Washington obliged, selling the bailout package with a heaping helping of fear. Mitt Romney said "all the jobs" in America would be gone if the trust funds of the super-rich were not bailed out using the tips of cab drivers and waitresses.

Terrence Jeffreys of CNSNews reports, "In yet another stunning attack on freedom of religion, President Barack Obama's Justice Department asked the Supreme Court last week to give the federal government the power to tell a church who its ministers will be."

The case involves the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Michigan, which in 1999 signed a one-year contract with Cheryl Perich to teach fourth grade at the church school. As well as teaching secular subjects, she taught religious subjects and was a lay minister of the church. In 2004, Perich developed the sleep disorder narcolepsy, which in the eyes of church and school officials made her unable to continue teaching, and she was terminated.

As reported here, Perich complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which in turn has alleged that she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was dismissed by the federal district court in Michigan in which the action was filed, with the judge citing the “ministerial exception” in that federal law, which is intended to prevent the federal government from interfering with church affairs. The federal appellate court, however, reversed that ruling.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s popularity in numerous polls is increasing daily, and while the founder and former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza may portray himself as a principled conservative, an analysis of his campaign positions, especially his most controversial flat tax proposal, reveals serious concerns with Cain’s commitment to fiscal conservatism.

Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan calls for a complete overhaul of the current federal tax code, and it would replace the code, eventually and only temporarily, with three taxes — a 9 percent income tax, a 9 percent business transactions tax, and a 9 percent federal sales tax. On paper, the first two look like cuts, because payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare (now nearly 15 percent, including corporate contributions) would be repealed. The sales tax would be new, on top of existing state sales taxes.

The most notorious critique of Cain’s 9-9-9 plan came from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in Tuesday’s debate. “One thing I would say is, when you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down," Bachmann said, "I think the devil's in the details." The Republican presidential hopeful added that Cain’s plan merely creates another federal tax (in the form of a Value Added Tax), and does little to address the need to reduce the national deficit. “The 9-9-9 plan isn't a jobs plan, it's a tax plan," Bachmann started.

By now, no supporter of Ron Paul’s will find himself surprised by the glaring inconsistencies, outright distortions, and, frankly, boldfaced lies to which Republican-friendly media figures will descend in their efforts to marginalize his presidential candidacy. Still, so unabashed is their illogic, so overt the dishonesty, it is nevertheless difficult not to be amazed, even mesmerized, by the audaciousness with which Paul’s critics subject him to one injustice after the other. 

For as ugly as it is, though, this phenomenon is not without its value. That is, it supplies us with a classic textbook illustration of what many of us have always known: it is indeed politicians and their cohorts in the media, and not voters, who select candidates.

Joseph A. Schumpeter was a conservative theorist who was also among the most distinguished and erudite of social scientists of the first half of the twentieth century. In his Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, he debunks what he characterizes as “the classical doctrine of democracy.” According to this doctrine, it is “the people itself” that settle “issues through the election of individuals who are to assemble in order to carry out its will.” In reality, though, “the will of the people is the product and not the motive power of the political process.” [Emphasis added.]

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