Just one day after officially beginning her campaign for President in neighboring Iowa, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann went to the East Coast and campaigned Tuesday in both northern New England and the deep South, speaking at rallies in the early voting states of New Hampshire and South Carolina and finding receptive crowds in both states.

The Minnesota phenomenon, who has overshadowed both former Governor Sarah Palin, the celebrity on tour from Alaska, and rival candidate former Gov. Tim Pawlenty from her own state of Minnesota, appears to be on a roll, with at least one recent poll showing her in a statistical dead heat in Iowa with perceived front runner Mitt Romney, the multi-millionaire businessman and former Governor of Massachusetts. Her verbal gaffes notwithstanding, Bachmann seems to embody the very "Yes, we can" spirit that helped carry Barack Obama to the White House, even as she lashes out against the Democratic incumbent on everything from the bombing of Libya to the ObamaCare health plan to the joblessness that has resisted the hundreds of billions of dollars of "economic stimulus," as well as the "shovel-ready" rhetoric of the President's campaign of "hope and change."

Over the past several years, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has stepped up its courtship of America's state and local officials. A growing stream of Governors, Mayors, County Commissioners, school superintendents, college presidents and university officials have been making the pilgrimage to Beijing and other Chinese "sister cities," in efforts aimed at wooing Chinese investors to their communities and in search of export opportunities to China's growing consumer market.

The austerity measures being debated in the Greek parliament are being met with resistance not only by the opposition party but by those most directly affected: Greek workers. At least 20,000 people have begun a 48-hour general strike, bringing to a halt most airlines and public transportation. Even workers at the state-owned monopoly, Public Power Corp. SA, are forcing power outages around the country.

Prime Minister George Papandreou has just barely survived a vote of confidence, 155-145, and now faces two austerity bills that must pass this week in order for his country to receive the balance of the first bailout from last year, or even to be considered for the next one needed to keep the country afloat after July. He noted at the start of negotiations, “Voting for the medium-term plan means we can close this chapter of uncertainty for the Greek people. From the brink of catastrophe we are securing … the great opportunity to change our country.”

"Under the pretext of 'equalizing burdens' and preventing 'salary discrimination,' Obamacare mandates that insurance premiums must be based on the policyholder's income level — forget the objective value of the services covered or the health liability of the individual insured," reports Richard Ralston, executive director of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. "But since the actuarial nature of insurance and the realities of long-term cost management cannot be ignored, the effect is that those with above-average incomes will be subjected to inflated premiums relative to costs."

In other words, ObamaCare is just another way for President Obama to achieve his goal of redistributing income and wealth. As candidate Obama, seeking to justify his redistributionist proposals for higher levels of government confiscation of higher incomes, made clear in 2008 to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher, "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everyone."

When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced he was leaving the negotiations over raising the debt limit on Thursday, he made it clear that he felt he was getting pressured by the Democrats to accept tax increases as part of the deal. He said:  “Each side came into these talks with certain orders, and as it stands the Democrats continue to insist that any deal must include tax increases. Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue.”

On his heels was the only other Republican involved in the negotiations, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). On Monday, the President has planned a meeting with Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to continue the negotiations.
 

Anyone who follows Orrin Hatch on Twitter has noticed a decidedly constitutionalist tone to his latest tweets. There’s a good reason for this sudden commitment to principles of limited government from a man who’s voting record is far from that of a rock-ribbed small government crusader.

The senior Senator from Utah, first elected to office in 1976, is the latest target of a Tea Party affiliated group with designs on all Republican incumbents who refuse to practice legislative parsimony.

Over the past several years, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has stepped up its courtship of America's state and local officials. A growing stream of Governors, Mayors, County Commissioners, school superintendents, college presidents and university officials have been making the pilgrimage to Beijing and other Chinese "sister cities," in efforts aimed at wooing Chinese investors to their communities and in search of export opportunities to China's growing consumer market.

The intense mutual lobbying between local U.S. and Chinese officials is expected to hit a new zenith in mid July, as our nation's state Governors gather in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA). Their Chinese counterparts will join them there at the NGA's first U.S.-China Governors Forum.

The economic projections released by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday estimated that in less than two years the unemployment rate would be down to 7 to 7 ½  percent, with the economy growing at an inflation-adjusted rate of nearly 4 percent. And in the next three to five years, the unemployment rate would likely be back to normal: between 5.2 and 5.6 percent.

This is wishful thinking. Okun’s Law (or rule of thumb) says that it’s going to take inflation-adjusted growth in the economy of at least 3 percent to make any dent at all in the unemployment rate. And even if GDP does grow at 4 percent, as the Fed projects, unemployment will likely drop by less than one half of one percent, or still well above 8 percent. Not only does that not bode well for President Obama’s reelection chances (no President since FDR has been elected to a second term when unemployment has been over 7.2 percent), it’s also bad news for those who continue their job search in a flat economy.

Britain's leading financial newspaper, the London Financial Times, now believes that the U.S. economy may be headed toward a Japanese-style "Lost Decade."

Mark your calendar! There’s a new threat to our national independence and prosperity.  It’s the U.S.-China Governors Forum scheduled for July 15-17 in Salt Lake City and held in connection with an annual conference of the National Governors Association (NGA).

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