Charlie Sheen a Birther?

 Now I'm not sure how much of this is a joke, or heroin talking, but it appears that Charlie Sheen may... be a birther. We already know that he 'doubts' the official 9/11 report, whatever that means and that he's personal friends with radio host Alex Jones.

 Now we have word from one of his stops on his tour. When asked about running for President and a gag poll that placed him behind President Obama, he said:

"Is that the craziest f— idea ever?" Sheen asked the friendly crowd, who cheered in support of a potential presidential bid by the longtime (and recently deposed) star of "Two and a Half Men."

"For starters, I was f—king born here, how about that? And I got proof! Nothing photoshopped about my birth certificate."

"I know I promised this wouldn't be political, but look where we f— are, man!"
 What? He also called Sarah Palin a 'lunatic.' Not really sure if anything's going on up there, if anything?

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Gov't Eyeing Selling GM Stock by Summer

 The United States government spent over $25 billion bailing out General Motors and Chrysler. Ford rejected the government money and has since seen profits. GM, meanwhile, has attempted to stake its comeback on the Chevy Volt, which has seen lackluster success.

Now there is word that the federal government is looking at dumping its GM stocks. This comes after thousands of company shares were sold to the public several months ago. The word is not great for taxpayers-- as it appears that you and I will lose $11 billion on the transaction:

To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece. GM closed off 27 cents a share at $29.97 in 4 p.m. trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting a new low since its $33-a-share November initial public offering. 
 Furthermore, the word of the potential sell-off has hurt GM's shares on the market. The value declined as the rumor set in:

After the Wall Street Journal reported a government sale could come within the next six months, GM's shares fell by nearly 1.3 percent to end at $29.59.
The government sale would "almost certainly" mean that US taxpayers would take a loss from a politically controversial $50 billion rescue of the auto giant in 2009, according to the paper.

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Gold Price Cracks $1,500/Oz.

 The price of gold has soared over the last decade, usually heading up in times of higher oil prices or unrest. While the price of the precious metal dipped in late 2008, it has come back stronger and has recently hit some record highs.

The last several days have seen Standard and Poor's place the American government in higher risk of default while oil remains over $100 a barrel. Enter in both the gold and silver prices shooting up.

As of 10:37pm today:
Gold: $1,496.91/oz
Silver: $44.11/oz

Gold skirted over $1500 an ounce today. Meanwhile, the big under-the-radar story has been silver, which has nearly doubled in the last half year. It has nearly quadrupled in the last two and the price per ounce was under $5 in the 1990s.
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Video- New Dem Ad: Elderly Men will Become Strippers if Republican Budget Passes

This is real.  Democrats are pulling out all the stops to smear Republicans.  They've rolled out a new ad in which an elderly man tries to find ways to supplement his income because of the so-called lapses in Paul Ryan's new budget.  See the entire video below:

First the video shows some numbers:
Then an elderly man says to a group of screaming women, "Did someone call the fire department, because it's about to get hot in here!"


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Obama to Replace Joe Biden? I Doubt It

The "Barack Obama is going to replace Joe Biden next year" meme is once again circulating around the blogosphere, and this time the speculated replacement is not Hillary Clinton, but New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Besides from the obvious truth that regular voters are not looking forward to a Presidency and Vice-Presidency dominated by corrupt politics, politicians and political machines, does anyone remember the last time one of our President's replaced their number two before the election for whatever political reason?


Almost four decades ago, when Conservative activists were agitated over the Republican President's administration, Gerald Ford replaced his hand selected Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller with Kansas Senator Bob Dole, which made absolutely no difference in the soon-to-be-held election that Jimmy Carter won with relative ease because of the unpopular pardoning of Richard Nixon.

Ever since Ford's decision, which he later regretted, pundits have been obsessed with incumbents "dumping" their problematic number two for somebody else. I can recall at least three victims of this dumb political speculation: Dan Quayle in 1992; Dick Cheney in 2004 and now Joe Biden in 2012.

This same old, usually wrong, song will always be sung.

Until proven otherwise, Biden will be the Democrat number two next year.

What say you?

The Search for 100 Followers

 If you've been reading Pundit Press for a while you probably like the site. If that's the case-- lend us a hand and consider 'following' the site. Just take a look at the widget on the left-hand sidebar. We're stuck at ninety and were wondering if there were 10 readers that would be willing to get us to an even 100.

You can follow with Yahoo, Google, Blogger, AIM, OpenID, Twitter, and other sources. Just click 'follow' and read the directions from there. Pundit Press thanks you.

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Obama Reaches New Low in WP Poll

Barack Obama is not so popular lately. With increasing debt and higher gas prices, the shades of Jimmy Carter appear to be showing up more and more in his presidency. Now we see his poll numbers sliding, even in friendly media outlets.

Take this Washington Post-ABC News poll. ABC News has been notoriously friendly to the President, even before the 2008 election. if you peruse their poll results, Obama is usually running a good 3-5% higher than other sources. is this a mistake? Call it a sampling error.

Sampling error or bias aside, the President's numbers are still falling. If we take a look at the latest numbers released today, it becomes clear that many are not satisfied with his leadership.

Approve: 47%
Disapprove: 50%
Other/dk: 3%

Take into consideration that this poll has a 10% sampling bias towards Democrats. In other words, they sampled 33% of their sample as Democrats with only 23% as Republicans.

The numbers are further biased, showing Obama consistently leading potential Republican opponents, despite his low approval numbers. If we take a look at whether people would actually vote for him, we get different numbers:

33. As you may know, Obama has announced that he is running for re-election in 2012. Would you say you will definitely vote for him, you’ll consider voting for him, or you definitely will not vote for him?

Definitely     Will     Definitely     No 
               will      consider    will not    opinion
4/17/11         28          25          45          2
12/12/10*       26          30          43          2
11/23/09**      24          31          41          4

 So we see some of the dynamics of next year's race opening up, even as the President's numbers are falling.

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Obama Annoyedly Tells Reporter: "Let me finish my answers the next time"

President Barack Obama got into an annoyed confrontation with Texas's WFAA TV reporter Brad Watson after being asked serious questions for the length of an interview.

At the end of the sit down, which included Mr. Watson interrupting Mr. Obama several times, the President took Mr. Watson to the side and said, "Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?"

WFAA, also known as News 8, is a television station out of Texas, a state that Mr. Obama lost in 2008.  According to CNN, Watson was self-absorbed and more interested in himself.  According to Watson's own article, the President was self-absorbed and more interested in himself.
Mr. Obama:  Doesn't like "challenging questions"
For example, this quote from CNN's article:
"We lost by a few percentage points in Texas," [Obama] started before Watson corrected him, saying, "Well, you lost by about 10."
In contrast with Watson's article:
"We lost by a few percentage points in Texas," Obama said. That was followed by a gentle reminder that the figure was closer to 10 percent.
Mr. Watson also interpreted Obama's statement directly to him differently that CNN. His take:
After the interview, Obama pointed out that he doesn't like an interviewer challenging his comments. 
"Let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?" he said.
And CNN's:
President Barack Obama got into a somewhat tense exchange with a Dallas TV reporter during an interview Monday at the White House. 
After the interview was over, Obama advised WFAA-TV's Brad Watson to "let me finish my answers the next time we do an interview, all right?"
"Advise" is much different than "doesn't like an interviewer challenging his comments."  Likewise, "corrected" is much more forceful than "gentle reminder."

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Syria Protesters Call for 'Jihad' After Civilians Massacred

World Threats reported last night that the Assad regime appeared to be gearing up to attack protesters in the city of Homs. This took place after hundreds if not thousands of demonstrators took over a central square n the city.

From an earlier protest in the city
 Now it appears that there was such an attack-- and it was deadly. The BBC is carrying testimony from an eyewitness:
At around 11 in the morning, the police on Damascus Road announced that they were there to protect the officers' club.

My brother left the square 15 minutes before the shooting.  His mobile phone's battery had gone down and he went home to recharge.

All of a sudden there was shooting. Completely unprovoked.

We don't know how many people died.

Furthermore, there's word that the shooting has changed the mood of the protests. As a matter of fact, the lack of support from Western sources appear to be changing the dynamic among the protesters.

The attack was like a declaration of war. People are furious. There's murder in their eyes. They want revenge.

My home village is not religious - there's alcohol smuggling and consumption. Yet last night, for the first time in my life, I heard people calling for jihad.
Yikes. It is interesting to note that both Iran and Hezbollah are working against these protesters. It would likely be safe to say the same about Hamas. So who would come to the aid of a jihad in Syria?

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Breaking: Fidel Castro Steps Down/ Resigns from Head of Communist Party

BREAKING:  Fidel Castro has resigned from the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party.  We will provide more information as it emerges.
Update- More from Bloomberg News:
Former Cuban President Fidel Castro said he had resigned from the Communist Party’s leadership and called on a new generation of leaders to change the island’s economy as officials gathered to debate ways to revive growth.

“Raul knew that at this time I wouldn’t accept any role in the party,” Castro wrote in a column published on Cuba Debate, a state-run website.

Castro began transferring control to his brother Raul in July 2006, when he underwent intestinal surgery, and officially stepped down as president in 2008.

In an earlier column posted on the same website, Castro said new leaders are well-prepared intellectually for a task that would be more difficult than the challenges faced by his generation when they took power in 1959. Castro said he wrote the comments after listening to debates during a Communist Party summit that started April 16.

“There is no margin for error in this moment in human history,” Castro, 84, said in the first column. “The new generation is being called upon to rectify and change without hesitation everything that should be rectified and changed.”
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45% Pay No Income Taxes

 With all of the debate in Washington about tax policy, we are looking at a fiscal cliff. With almost half of our federal budget this year being deficit spending, it's important to take a look at the factors that have gotten us to this point.

First-- should those that earn income and file tax returns have to pay income tax?

Well, 45% of the country is not right now, near a record high. As successive administrations keep lowering taxes for the lowest brackets-- we now have this dilemma.

There are so many breaks that 45 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax for 2010, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

"It's the fact that we are using the tax code both to collect revenue, which is its primary purpose, and to deliver these spending benefits that we run into the situation where so many people are paying no taxes," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the center, which generated the estimate of people who pay no income taxes.


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Former Duke Accuser Charged with Murder

 Crystal Magnum (yes, that's her real name) made national headlines years ago by accusing some Duke lacrosse players of raping her. The false accusation ruined the team's year:

The scandal, however, forced the cancellation of the men's lacrosse season that year and the resignation of team coach Mike Pressler. It also led to widespread criticism of then-Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was eventually disbarred for his handling of the case.
Now Ms. Magnum has been charged with murder after her boyfriend died of wounds she inflicted upon him. He died of stab wounds five days ago.

Crystal Mangum, 32, was charged Monday with murder, five days after her boyfriend succumbed to stabbing-related injuries at a Durham, North Carolina, hospital, according to Candy Clark, a spokeswoman for the Durham County District Attorney's Office. She also is now facing two felony charges of larceny.


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AZ Governor Brewer Vetoes Campus Gun Bill

 Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona made some headlines by vetoing Arizona's 'natural born citizen' bill requiring Presidential contenders to give proof of birth in order to run. Making smaller waves is the bill which the Republican vetoed that would have allowed guns to be brought on campuses.

Brewer cited that the bill was 'poorly written:'

Brewer said in a written statement announcing the veto that the bill didn't adequately define the "public right of way" where guns could be carried on public university and community college campuses, and gun laws must be "crystal clear so that gun owners don't become lawbreakers by accident."

She also warned that the bill could have mistakenly included K-12 schools, "where federal and state laws generally prohibit weapons."

Wonder if it will have a second go-around.

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Prosser Victory Speech Video

And how sweet it is:

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Obama Income Down 69% in One Year As Popularity Wanes

Looks like President Barack Obama is seeing his income dip too.  From 2009 to 2010, the President's income has dipped 68.6% as his popularity and "rock star" appearance to the nation's uninformed has waned.

In 2009, the Obamas made $5,505,409, as Mr. Obama's book sales boomed over his election and inauguration.  That year, the Obama family paid $1.8 million in taxes.

A year later, the President made less than what he paid in taxes a year before.  Embroiled in nearly constant controversy and plummeting popularity, President Obama and his wife made $1,728,096 last year.  That total was mainly from the sale of Mr. Obama's books.

As a result, the Obamas paid $453,770 in taxes in 2010.

Specifically, the blame for Obama's fall in book sales (and thus income) is falling on his extremely unpopular stance on his Health Care bill.  Going against the majority of Americans, the President pushed through a massive reform to the United States' health care system.  Doubling the problem, Mr. Obama refused to take on the US's crippling debt or overall economy while he concentrated on things the American people regarded as much less important.
Americans aren't buying it
CNN continues:
Obama said in a speech last week that top earners -- himself included -- should pay higher taxes. 
"I don't need another tax cut," he said. "Warren Buffett doesn't need another tax cut." 
Also released was the return of Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife, Jill. Their adjusted gross income was $379,178, on which they paid federal taxes of $86,626.

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Condi Rice for VP?

I have a question for the faithful readers of Pundit Press: what do you think of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as the Republican Party's nominee for Vice-President in next year's Presidential election?

The thought has been kicking around my head for a couple of days, but I wasn't sure whether folks would react positively to the thought, even though Secretary Rice is loved and well respected within the Conservative movement.

She would bring valuable foreign policy/national defense experience to a ticket and campaign likely to be dominated by domestic affairs, while giving the voters a reason to care about the Vice-Presidency after four years of basic irrelevance.

I'm all for the idea.

What say you?

Obama Trump Poll

 There has been a lot of speculation out there about Donald Trump's viability in the Presidential race. On the one hand, he's very well-known and a lot of people already have an opinion about him. However, his ego may not let him enter into a race that he would lose.

That's where this new poll from Rasmussen comes into play. Trump has been making waves for about a month now, plus has high name recognition. When placed against Obama in a one-to-one match, the results are...interesting.

Obama (D): 49%
Trump (R): 34%

Notice that Obama doesn't crack the 50% barrier, which is very important for an incumbent. However, he has a 15% lead on Trump. Usually having an opponent below 40% while not surpassing 50% is a sign that the opponent is not well-known. And we know that this is not the case for Donald Trump.

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Trump Is No Conservative

Conservatives across the country have caught Trump 2012 fever, and some are actually calling him one of us, even though the entertainer has quite the record to the contrary. The Club for Growth has especially hit him hard on his support of protectionist trade policies that will hurt American business.

Donald Trump is no Conservative.
  1. No Conservative would ever support Canadian styled health care.
  2. No Conservative would ever support taxing Chinese imports 25%.
  3. No Conservative would ever support plundering Iraq's oil reserve.
  4. No Conservative would ever demand payments from South Korea.
I can go on and on.

This man is nothing more than an arrogant, self-promoting, yellow bellied son of a bitch. Conservatives should have nothing to with this liberal showman.

I wonder if fellow Conservatives know of his immoral use of eminent domain.

What say you?

Video: Liberal Protesters Boo the National Anthem at Pro-Union Rally

Go figure, liberals booing the national anthem.  Here's the video:

So, let me set the scene for you: hundreds of liberals are gathered together at a rally in Wisconsin. Dozens of signs can be seen, including ones that read "Walker: Your Pink Slip is Coming" and "Palin's true color'$ (sic):"
Over the murmur of the crowd, the Star Spangled Banner can be heard, song by a woman, but only for a moment. Quickly, a chorus of boos from the progressives in attendance drown out our national anthem. This continues for almost the entirety of the rendition; finally, near the end, the boos dissipate. Annoyingly, the end of the song is cut off by whoever edited the video, which likely showed less outright disdain for our anthem.

However, the overall disrespect is apparent. As the old argument goes: if liberals are so displeased with this nation, why don't they just leave? If they find it necessary to boo the national anthem at a rally, why don't they try protesting in Libya or Syria? The answer is obvious: because they would not and could not. For some reason, they are booing the very country that gives them the right to boo.

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A Libertarian Republican review of Atlas Shrugged

by Eric Dondero

On Sunday I joined a group of 8 Libertarians from the Libertarian Party of Arkansas to view Atlas Shrugged. We went to a megaplex in west Little Rock. Rodger Paxson, Chairman of the LPA and his lovely wife organized the event.

There have been many reviews of Atlas in the last few days. Predictably, to a man (and woman) leftists like Roger Ebert and Maureen Dowd have hammered the movie. Righty reviewers are all over the map. P.J. O'Rourke wasn't impressed. But Ed Morrisey of HotAir.com, and Matt Welch of Reason loved it.

Ed wrote:

to my surprise, Atlas Shrugged Part I turned into an intriguing, stylish film that did not water down the Randian message in the least. In fact, the film format seems to free the characters in some sense from the limitations of Rand’s prose and give more clarity and purpose to the story, while keeping its message firmly at the film’s center... It’s surprisingly well-paced, surprisingly intelligent, surprisingly well-acted, and surprisingly entertaining.
My take? (Drum roll please...)

Perhaps the greatest movie ever made.

I put it up there with Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler's List.

The characters were superb. The casting was right on. Of course, Henry Reardon (Grant Bowler) and Dagney Taggart (Taylor Schilling) played their roles to perfection. Like Ed says in his review, the film was amazingly stylish. And the story stayed meticulously in line with the novel.

It does get a little Science Fiction-ey in parts.

If I had one criticism, it's that the movie is very fast paced, and skips around a great deal. I can see where someone not familiar with the story might get a little confused, and maybe even frustrated. It really is made for at least 2 to 3 viewings.

Our movie theater was about 60% full for the matinee show. There was a bit of a standing ovation at the end from attendees.

Certainly, the row of us Libertarians in the back stood up and cheered.

It really is that good. Go see it, once, twice or even more times.

Eric Dondero is publisher of LibertarianRepublican.net

Finland Election Results

Finland's leading national conservative party, National Coalition, has won the country's 2011 parliamentary election in both total number of votes and seats received in yesterday's quadrennial vote that millions participated in.

National Coalition - 20.4% - 44 seats
Social Democrats  - 19.1% - 42 seats
True Finns               - 19.0% - 39 seats
Centre Party           - 15.8% - 35 seats

Jyrki Katainen, National Coalition's party leader, is likely to become Finland's next Prime Minister in the soon to be formed governing coalition.

True Finns gained 35 seats and 440,000 votes, while Centre Party lost 16 seats.

What say you?

Rule 5 Sunday

Please check out these links this Sunday morning. And just to make sure you are paying attention...
Salma says:  Check out these links!
Jammie Wearing Fool details Bernie Madoff... teaching an ethics class.

Reaganite Republican has plenty of Sunday Funnies.

The Lonely Conservative has a nice, new layout.

Mean ol' Meany discusses "da newz."

High Plains Pundit talks about the Weekly War of Words about the budget.

Pirate's Cove details a global warming nut-job.

That Mr. Guy discusses Obama's "policies" in Libya.

Libertarian Republican writes North Dakota taxes.

Director Blue has plenty of links.

World Threats covers our tracking of Osama bin Laden. 

Innominatus has "WH tweets" from South America.

IowaHawk is awesome, as always.

And so is Manhattan Infidel.

Not Another New England Sports Blog discusses the "Kinetic Military Action" in Libya.

Pundit and Pundette asks why politicians don't understand that we're broke.

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Election 2011: National Coalition Leads in Finland

Early election results are indicating that Finland's Conservative party, National Coalition, is currently leading with over 20% of the vote. The Social Democrats and True Finns are right behind with just over 19%.

The National Coalition is pro-American, pro-West and fiscally conservative.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Obama Approval Plummets to 41%

Remember the line that the Main Stream Media was pushing around Christmas?  That the President was "back" because, why, he is just so wonderful.  For example, this fluff piece from the NY Daily News:
In a swift and improbable political turnaround, the lame-duck Congress has revived a dead-duck President, pols and pundits believe.

"There was nothing lame about this Congress," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) quipped about the flurry of bills passed in the final days of the postelection session.

Well, good news people who can think on their own:  the President's approval rating is back down in the doldrums.   41% approval to be precise, according to Gallup.
President Obama
In fact, according to every poll but one that Real Clear Politics monitors, more people disapprove of the job the President is doing than approve.  The odd poll out?  Ironically, Fox News.

And with the President's awful handling of... everything, there seems to be no end in sight for his dropping ratings.

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Indiana Sixth-Grader Handcuffed over Spilled Milk

Talk about something escalating from almost nothing.

A 12-year-old attendee of Ben Franklin Middle School in Valparaiso, Indiana dropped some milk this past Thursday.  He refused to clean it up.  The boy then refused to sit down and wait for other students to leave so that the lunch attendant could deal with him individually.

Instead, he got up and began to run around the school, and did not want to listen.  So the school called the police.  When the police caught him, he "attempted to get away," so they handcuffed him.

The Post-Tribute finishes their story:  "The student was released to a parent."
This is all your fault!
Odd wording because they didn't say "his parent(s)" but "a parent."  Either way, I hope that parent had a key for the cuffs.

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Election 2011: Finland Votes Today

UPDATE (9:43 PM):

National Coalition - 20.4%/44 seats; Social Democrats - 19.1%/42 seats; True Finns - 19.0%/39 seats and Centre Party - 15.8%/35 seats.

UPDATE (2:33 PM):

National Coalition - 20.1%; Social Democrats - 19.5%; True Finns - 18.6% and Centre Party - 17.4%. Slightly more than 38% of ballots have been counted.

UPDATE (2:00 PM):

National Coalition - 20%; Social Democrats - 19% and True Finns - 19%. No word yet on the Centre Party.

---Original article---

Millions of Finnish voters are heading to the polls this afternoon to elect their new government. Governments all across Europe will be watching the results very closely to see how popular the anti-European Union True Finns party is.

Pundit Press will be following this election through out the day.

Creepy Video of Dennis Kucinich: Ventriloquist

And I thought I saw everything.  Apparently Dennis Kucinich is not only a trained ventriloquist, but is an incredibly creepy trained ventriloquist:

Let me set the scene for you in words (which makes it even stranger sounding):

Man-  Do you know [Kucinich] is a trained ventriloquist?

Interviewer-  What?

[Cuts to Dennis Kucinich holding a creepy puppet with a straw hat and checkered outfit]

Puppet-  (Singing)  God bless America.  Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect!

Interviewer-  How?  How do you keep winning elections?

Puppet-  You're going to have to ask Dennis.

I may never sleep with the lights off again.

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Remember to Subscribe!

 If you enjoy Pundit Press' coverage of the political and geopolitical world, remember to subscribe to our site. One of the best ways to keep track is to follow us on Twitter or to 'follow' our site. You can do both by looking at the left-hand column and clicking 'follow.' You can do so with your Google, Blogger, Twitter, AIM, or Yahoo accounts! Enter in your email address on the left to get our articles straight to your inbox!

And make sure to let your friends know about us!

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Yikes: Nicolas Cage Arrested in New Orleans (With Mugshot/Arrest Photo)

Movie star Nicolas Cage has been arrested in New Orleans today on charges of domestic abuse battery and disturbing the peace.
More from Yahoo:
The Orleans Parish Sheriff's office says Cage was booked into the Orleans Parish Prison at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Cage has been a frequent visitor to New Orleans, where he has owned property and shot movies in the past.

New Orleans police did not immediately disclose details about his arrest. An agent for Cage did not immediately return a phone call Saturday.

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Royal Wedding Disgrace

I am absolutely sick and tired of hearing about this "Royal Wedding" between England's Prince Williams and Kate Middleton.

After two-hundred and thirty-five years of our Independence, we are reduced to continuous media coverage of an insufferable royal attempting to keep alive the world's most disgraceful institution - monarchy, figurehead or otherwise by merrying his beloved.

We fought the brutality of King George II to relieve ourselves of this monarch bull, but now toe head anchors on Fox News are obsessed with the whole affair as if they were still under his tyrannical rule. Can you believe this?


What say you?

FactCheck.org on Obama Speech: He Lied and Lied A Lot

Not that anyone would need a third-party to check on the President's clearly laughable speech this past Wednesday, but it's nice to see that someone other than conservatives is monitoring President Obama.  Enter FactCheck.org, which analyzed the President's speech.  Their conclusion:
"President Barack Obama misrepresented the House Republicans’ budget plan... and exaggerated its impact on U.S. residents during an April 13 speech on deficit reduction."
That's their opening sentence.  Probably not what the President wanted to hear, especially when he is trying to fool his audience.  But wait, there's more.
What about Obama's claim that Paul Ryan's bill would "leave seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry?"  Well, according to FactCheck:
That’s an exaggeration. Nothing would change for those 55 and older. Those younger would get federal subsidies to buy private insurance from a Medicare exchange set up by the government.
What about the President's claim that Mr. Ryan's bill either specifically aims to lower benefits for "disabled children" or will intentionally lower funding for "autistic children?"  Again, according to FactCheck:
That, too, is an exaggeration. The GOP says states would have "freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations." It doesn’t bar states from covering those children.
What about Mr. Obama's claim that he is saving the United States $1,000,000,000,000 with his health care bill over the next decade?  According to FactCheck:
He repeated a deceptive talking point that the new health care law will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion. That’s the Democrats’ own estimate over a 20-year period. The Congressional Budget Office pegged the deficit savings at $210 billion over 10 years and warned that estimates beyond a decade are "more and more uncertain." 
What about Obama's claim that taxes for the "rich" are the lowest in "50 years?"  Well:
But the most recent nonpartisan congressional analysis showed that the average federal tax rate for high-income taxpayers was lower in 1986.
I think you get the idea.  The President lied his mouth off this past Wednesday.  So, have you seen this report on the Main Stream Media?

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How to Solve Medicare and Medicaid in One Fell Swoop

 Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin should be proud of himself. He presented a well-articulated, fiscally responsible, and intelligent plan. This would help solve the entitlement crisis that our country will face in about twenty years. However, the chances of this plan being adopted anytime soon are relatively low.

As our debt increases dramatically and entitlement spending increasing beyond our means, something has to be done. President Obama is content to play the race card in an attempt to gain a second term. His plan to "fix" the spending problem in this country is not a viable long-term solution.

Medicare and Medicaid are much, much more expensive than originally slated. President Johnson signed the act creating these services claimed that they would be efficient and relatively cheap. Let's take a look at the estimates and reality:

Medicare (hospital insurance). In 1965, as Congress considered legislation to establish a national Medicare program, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance portion of the program, Part A, would cost about $9 billion annually by 1990.v Actual Part A spending in 1990 was $67 billion. The actuary who provided the original cost estimates acknowledged in 1994 that, even after conservatively discounting for the unexpectedly high inflation rates of the early ‘70s and other factors, “the actual [Part A] experience was 165% higher than the estimate.”
Medicare (entire program). In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that the new Medicare program, launched the previous year, would cost about $12 billion in 1990. Actual Medicare spending in 1990 was $110 billion—off by nearly a factor of 10.

Ronald Reagan said about the system: “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” When you look at the debt being accumulated by future generations, this is beginning to ring more and more true.

The country is facing a structural debt crisis. As the aging population grows in proportion relative to those who are able-bodied and working, there is a severe problem. Without swift action, we are in severe trouble.

Let's take a look at Federal spending last fiscal year:

Medicare and Medicaid combined equal 23% of our total budget, or approximately half of our deficit. This is larger than our entire defense budget. Also keep an eye on the yellow bloc, which represents the interest on our existing debt. This is now greater than the entire budget deficit in 2007-- when George W. Bush was President.

If you then take a look at where the program is headed as the Baby Boomers are retiring, we have a horrible outlook:

If we look at the structural debt problem form this angle, it becomes clear that something has to be done. However, Democrats in Congress will instead shriek that any attempt to reform or change the system would wind up "destroying" the problems.

So let's take a look at some of the problems facing the programs today:

  • Medicare and Medicaid both increased the cost of medicine in this country. As people went to the doctor more and more for non-essential services, the cost of treating them has increased. The medical rate of increased costs well outpaces that of the inflation rate. Much of that is because of the artificial forces of the two programs.
  • Medicare and Medicaid fraud is a constant concern. This cost New York State alone over $1 billion last year and the federal government of $54 billion!
  • Non-citizens are able to draw from the Medicaid pool.
  • With the Baby Boomers retiring, we have drastic changes to the demographics of the country. Today we have almost four workers paying in for every Medicare beneficiary. Within twenty years that number will drop by over one-third. Today, we have about 13% of the country 65 years and over, or about 38 million people. This number is expected to increase greatly the next twenty years.
So what can be done to help? We have several different points of view on the subject. One is to mandate health insurance, such as RomneyCare in Massachusetts and ObamaCare on the Federal level. Legitimate Constitutionality questions aside, these two programs would be excessively expensive. Another is single-payer insurance, such as is used in Canada.

For the third major option, we can take a look at what has happened in Indiana under Republican Governor Mitch Daniels. Not wanting to play into socialism but still wanting to slice the amount that the state paid for insurance costs-- he came up with a middle ground. The Healthy Indiana Plan is a waiver system meant to not interfere in individuals' lives, but instead use very subtle methods, including waivers, to help fix the system. Daniels would balance Indiana's budget.

And you can't just get it for free-- you have to pay in additionally.

To obtain and maintain coverage, enrollees must make monthly POWER Account payments, which are scaled by family income and range from 2%-5% of income. The state (along with federal match funds) pays for the gap between enrollees’ payments and the $1,100 deductible for the POWER Account. If an enrollee misses a monthly payment, the individual loses coverage, forfeits 25% of his or her POWER Account contributions, and is barred from re-enrolling for 12 months. By obtaining state-specified preventive care, enrollees can carry over state POWER Account contributions to the next year, which helps offset required enrollee payments.
This plan wound up being budget-neutral while also cutting Medicaid expenditures. This is an improvement on the other potential plans circulating around the country. So why don't we use some of the ideas of Governor Daniels combined with a very simple enforcement policy.

The plan: create a new medical voucher program to replace both programs. Obviously they would have to be phased out, but the new idea would be devilishly simple.

Use the funds collected in payroll taxes to instead create an annual voucher to feed into an individual medical account. This account would allow people to use it as they wish-- for any medical expenses. This account would accrue interest, say, at a 2% rate or whatever else the prevailing savings rate would be. Every citizen, of any age, would receive $2,000 annually into the account. For those that would complain about 'helping' people making over $250,000 a year, even if you cut them out it would not be a great difference in spending (about $3 million annually).

This account would be good for Republicans because it would be much cheaper and simpler to use without smacks of socialism. For Democrats, the amount of money given per money earned would be disproportionately higher for seniors, the poor, and children.

Childrens' accounts would be under the jurisdiction of their parents. This way, the parents would not have to pay out of their own account to pay for health care for their children.

Those who are in good health in their teens, twenties, and thirties, would likely not use much of their account. Then the account would simply feed into itself and keep growing without interference. That way, over 30 years it would increase $60,000 (plus interest) without major withdrawals. By the time a person starts getting major medical bills in their 50s they could have $100,000 in the account. By the time a person is a senior, they will have tens of thousands of dollars to deal with increasing costs and end-of-life services. When a person dies this money would return back to the government coffers.

This system would automatically increase with the rate of inflation not the medical cost rate. This way, spending would remain constant every single year in terms of real dollars. Further, there would not be an artificial excess of money that would drive up medical costs. If people want to use the money for pointless optional procedures, then they could do it without billing the government.

This would not be a medical insurance program. The government would not mandate to buy any insurance, or for that matter, and medical care at all. People could use the money from the account to buy their own insurance from a company at market prices. They could choose to be uninsured and only use the account when they believe it necessary. This way the government would be able to leave the choice of what to do with your own account in your own hands. The poor would be benefited with a way to cover both insurance and other costs.

Many private and public employers already use health-flex plans to pay for individuals' personal medical care. This would be an extension that could be used in tandem with insurance earned from work

Now, let's take a look at the result on the individual:

At the age of 21, a person that used 1/4 of the funds in the account while earning 2% annually in interest would have (these numbers would be rated for inflation in an actual scenario):

$37,174.98 in the account at taxpayer cost of $42,000. If that person then used zero dollars in the account over the next 25 years he or she would have an amazing: $126,331.31 at the age of 46. This is at taxpayers' expense of $92,000. Then for the next nineteen years until retirement the person uses half of the annual funds. By retirement this account would have: $207,338.23 at the beginning of the golden years. This is at taxpayers' expense of $130,000. This over $200,000 could be used to buy private insurance or supplement one already earned. Furthermore, medical expenses would not have to come out of pensions or personal savings-- but instead an account specifically meant for health care.

This plan does not discriminate by income or pre-existing conditions. It would cover 100% of Americans and would not go bankrupt by an aging population. Furthermore, it would change along with inflation and only increase in costs because of a growing population. A growing population would likely have more people to pay into the system.

So with this system to total amount being paid for Medical Vouchers would be $616 billion dollars. Doesn't sound like a real improvement-- only a $177 billion savings. Twenty years from now the cost for the Voucher program would be about $700 billion (adjusted for inflation)-- a minor increase for a projected population of 350 million. However, the country would be looking at much higher amounts with the current numbers. It's unclear how much would be spent just on these two programs, but a middle-of-the-road figure would be about 10% of GDP-- or $1.4 trillion in 2011 dollars. This would mean that we would save a full 50% of costs-- and perhaps give better, more personalized service. Not to mention the money returned to the government after death.

Think of all of the claims adjusters that this country would not have to pay for. Think of the elimination of all fraud-- everyone would get the same amount. Think of the reduction of health care costs as artificial metrics are thrown out.

We have two doctors writing for the site-- let me know what you think. Would this plan work in the real world?

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Syria Protests Spread into Capital

 The protests against the dictatorship in Syria are getting more serious. Opponents of Ba'athist thug Bashar al-Assad have very bravely launched a series of demonstrations. This comes even as Syrian security forces, aided by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, have killed over 200 civilians and hesitant soliders.

Now we have word that the protests have spread in large scale in Damascus for the first time. There were sporadic reports of such demonstrations yesterday, but they appear to be growing.

In Deraa, "demonstrations came out from every mosque in the city, including the Omari mosque... The number of people is above 10,000 protesters so far," an activist said by phone.
Even Assad's token moves don't seem to be stopping the crowds:

The younger Assad's promises of reform, including a salary increase for public workers and a reconsideration of emergency rule in place for 48 years, has been dismissed by protesters hungry for change.

His decision last Thursday to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of stateless Kurds, as well as announcements about lifting a ban on veiled teachers and closing Syria's sole casino, failed to prevent protests erupting the next day.
I hope that Assad's days are numbered but he runs the tightest dictatorship in the region. His regime is a near-copy of that of Saddam Hussein's, even down to the ruling party. Further, without American diplomatic or military support, Assad will not relent like Hosni Mubarak.

Cross-posted on WorldThreats.

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Interview with (Mis-) Leading Wisconsin

 Today Pundit Press is proud to present interview number 32 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Curt, the founder and editor of the site (Mis-) Leading Wisconsin. This site is from the other side of the political aisle but we're happy to have opposing viewpoints on the site.

1. When and why did you start (Mis-) Leading Wisconsin?

I started (Mis-) Leading Wisconsin earlier this year because I noticed contradictions coming from my state’s Governor and Legislature. I felt an obligation to point them out.

2. What is your reaction to the Kloppenburg-Prosser race?

What struck me most of all was the disgusting amount of outside money—on both sides-- spent on this campaign. I also believe there’s too much at stake in this election to let voting irregularities go uninvestigated—whether it’s the actuality of “unsaved” votes in Brookfield, or the claim of improper ballots in Dane County. It’s not so much anymore about who wins and who loses, it’s more about restoring the faith of voters across the state in their officials and in the voting process itself.

3. Will Governor Walker's public employee law hold up in court?

I don’t know, to be honest. From my reading, I think the committee meeting wasn’t sufficiently announced. I really don’t understand why the Senate didn’t just schedule another meeting and turn around and pass the bill into law without any question, as even Judge Sumi intimated they could do.

4. In light of the recent Supreme Court race, do you see enough energy in the state to recall the Governor next year?

It’ll be tough, but this is an administration that has sparked immediate and intense divisiveness, and I think it will make for a hell of a fight.

5. How do you rate the President's response to the actions regarding public unions this year?

I was hopeful the President would have taken an even stronger stand, especially regarding the loss of collective bargaining, but I do understand he’s got some other issues he’s dealing with.

6. As a teacher, do you have an insight on the new public employee laws?

I was surprised at the vitriol that descended upon my profession, and upon me personally, as a result of the budget bill. I think some of the measures within it will reduce the number of “best and brightest” choosing to teach, and that is what will hurt education, and especially the children, most of all.

7. Anything else you'd like to add?

A good leader isn’t one who just makes “the hard decisions.” A good leader is one who can unite the people in a positive way. I’m very hopeful we see more of that in the near future.

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Progressive Budget Fails Resoundingly

This afternoon the House of Representatives voted on "The People's Budget" that the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced last week. The proposal called for increasing taxes on small businesses; slashing U.S. military spending and introducing the socialistic public option into America's health care system.

All fiscally minded Americans should be very pleased with the results:

77 ayes (18%).
347 noes (81%).

Only seventy-seven Representatives (only Democrats) were willing to sign their names to this monstrosity. In fact, Nancy Pelosi wouldn't even touch it, and she was the House's most Progressive Speaker in America's two century old history.

The Republican budget was passed on Republican votes today, but it is thrilling to see the Progressive movement fail so resoundingly. America has definitely moved towards Conservatism since President Obama's election and we can only hope for more of the same.

Change we can all agree with!

P.S. - My Congressman, Paul Tonko, voted aye. I feel absolutely sick.

Obama: 'I am Keeping My Czars,' Even Though Required to Relinquish them by Law | Video Added

President Obama has a potentially disturbing message for Congress:  he is keeping his czars and there is nothing Congress can do about it.  That's right, despite his czars being defunded in the new budget that he signed yesterday, the President has decided to "ignore" what the law says.

In a statement released to Congress, the President wrote in regard to his requirement to get rid of his czars (emphasis mine):
"The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority.  The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. 
"Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President's ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers.  Therefore, the executive branch will construe [the law as to] not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives."
In other words, even though Congress has passed a law and he signed it, he intends to ignore it.  Let me repeat that:  he (the President) is ignoring Congress because it "violates the separation of powers."  Following that logic, no matter what the Congress passes, President Obama believes he can utterly disregard it.

And he was a Constitutional "professor?"  Even he should be ashamed to do something so illegal.
Listen to Congress and the American people?  *Ha*
No big shock:  Republicans were not impressed.  Michael Steel responded to the news:
"It's not surprising that the White House, having bypassed Congress to empower these 'Czars' is objecting to eliminating them."
Let me just say this:  if the President does not believe that he has to follow American law, that is exceedingly dangerous.  That goes without saying.

Update:  Oh, and go figure, another broken promise/lie:

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House Passes 2012 Budget Resolution

The House of Representatives has passed the Paul Ryan-inspired budget resolution.  The voting was strictly partisan, with every single Democrat voting "no."
Mr. Ryan
The bill plans to cut nearly $6,000,000,000,000 from our deficit by cutting taxes and reforming MediCare and various other government-provided programs.

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Obama in Leaked Audio: 'Just Try to Repeal ObamaCare,' I Dare You | UPDATE: With Actual Audio

President Obama is not a good negotiator or off-the-cuff speaker.  His forte is reading pre-written text on a teleprompter.  So it is no wonder that, now that audio of the President's negotiations with Republicans over the budget last
Mr. Obama
week have been leaked, Mr. Obama sounds more like an antagonistic child more than the leader of the free world.

Unfortunately for the President, closed-door meetings with Republicans and Democrats last week were accidentally "piped back" to the White House and then recorded.  In them, the President does not simply disagree with others' points:  he openly mocks and ridicules them.

Take for example his discussions on Republicans and ObamaCare.  Talking with an undisclosed Democrat, President Obama went on a tirade, saying:
"The notion that I'm going to let you guys undo that in a 6-month spending bill?' I said, 'You want to repeal healthcare? Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?!'"
On spending cuts and ending liberal programs, Obama continued:
"You guys want to have this debate? We're happy to have that debate. We will have the debate on the floor of the Senate or the floor of the House. Put it in a separate bill. We'll call it up. And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it."
The President even whole-heartedly said that Republicans do not have a
Speaker Boehner
vision for the United States and have no actual agenda, other than to hurt him (cough, ego-case, cough):
"This is going to be the [Republican] strategy going forward -- trying to do things they can do legislatively under the guise of cutting spending,"
Once again, the President shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not only out of touch with America, but a complete egomaniac.

Update: Here is some of the actual audio:

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Uncle Sam Plays You Pay

America is careening towards a financial Armageddon.  The president proposed a budget for 2012 that projected a deficit of 1.6 Trillion dollars.  That is trillion with a “T.”  Gone are the innocent days when one of the perpetually re-elected could quip, “A billion here and a billion there and soon we’re talking about real money.”  Now billions disappear into the federal sinkhole at the rate of 4.08 billion per day.  What does a trillion look like? If you went into business the day Jesus was born, and you lost a million dollars a day, 365 days a year, it would take you until October 2737 to lose a trillion dollars.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the budget deficit just for February 2011 hit $223 billion, which means more debt was added in just that one month than was added in all of 2007.  The personal share of the federal debt borne by every tax-paying citizen is now increasing at the rate of $50 per day seven days a week, 364 days a year.  That is an increase of $1,500 per month and $18,250 per year per tax payer.
That sounds serious.  However, it doesn’t appear as if our elected officials take it seriously at all.  The Republicans propelled into the majority by the grassroots activism, high energy and victories of the Tea Party Movement promised to cut 100 billion from the 2011 budget.  President Obama submitted that budget which spends 3.7 trillion with a deficit of 1.6 trillion dollars in 2010.  It was never passed even though the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House.  This left the door open for the Republicans to use the continuing resolutions necessary to keep the government operating as vehicles to wring spending cuts from the Democrats.  After theatrical bi-weekly dramas these cuts were in the range of ten to twelve billion dollars. 
Then finally, with the Democrats imposing an artificial deadline for the passage of a budget that was almost half expended and which they had failed to pass when they had undisputed control, the two parties of power struck what they hailed as a “Historic” compromise.  They first told us they slashed thirty eight billion from the budget.  The actual number, according to the Congressional Budget Office has since dwindled down and down until today it is estimated to be less than a billion.  The Federal Government will still increase the national debt by several trillion dollars this year and our leaders expect us to celebrate their conversion to fiscal sanity.  Isn’t the definition of insanity to continue doing the same thing and expect different results?  Just because they’re crazy doesn’t mean we have to cheerfully put on an economic straight-jacket and walk voluntarily into a padded cell at the poor house.
Representative Paul Ryan (R. WI) introduced a budget which he says takes on the sacred cows and gores the sacred bulls by cutting six trillion from the projected budgets of the next ten years.  The Democrats immediately assaulted this plan as cruel, heartless, and inadequate.  The President announces his latest plan which he assures us he meant to introduce all along once someone else had opened the debate.  In His plan Mr. Obama plans to cut the projected deficit by stopping waste and abuse in government programs and by taxing the rich. 
There are two problems with this approach: if we had all the money politicians have promised to save by stopping waste and abuse we would have a surplus, and the rich don’t have enough money.  It has been estimated that if you confiscated every dime every person who makes over one million dollars per year makes it would only generate enough money to run our debt addicted government for less than one year.  What would we do for the next year?  And the fact of the matter is that the tax increases the President wants are not confined to the rich. They would target everyone with a combined gross income above 250,000.  That group includes most small business people.  This approach will take money out of the pockets of the greatest creators of jobs: small business people.  And it still won’t generate enough money to stop the red ink.
Now the battle looms to raise the debt limit.  This is an inside-the-belt-way shell game wherein the parties of power each beat their chests and growl at each other about who is the most responsible before they both vote to increase the limit on their collective credit card.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just raise the limit on our credit cards indefinitely?  And now with the Federal Reserve buying our own debt to finance the repayment maybe we could increase the limits on all our cards so that we can pay our Visa with our MasterCard and our MasterCard with our Discover and our Discover with our Visa.  How could that ever go wrong?
The storyline we are supposed to believe now is that in exchange for raising the debt limit there must be meaningful movement towards a balanced budget amendment.  That sounds so encouraging.  If we just had a balanced budget amendment the problem will be solved.  As always there are several spare balanced budget amendments lying around in Congress waiting for enough votes or at least an opportunity to get to the floor for a debate before they are stuffed back in a committee until the next time the shopaholics on the Potomac need to convince the great unwashed in fly-over country that this time they are serious about curbing their over-spending.
But even if they were passed what good would they do?  The President and the Democrats have already shown that they think the way to solve the deficit problem is to raise taxes.  The Republicans have a plan that appears very dramatic but at the end of a decade still has not ended the deficit spending, which means the debt is still growing.
The International Monetary Fund has looked at these plans and says it appears America is not serious about dealing with its addiction to debt.  If we don’t do something soon our creditors are going to stage an intervention, and they will dictate how we must restructure our lives and our nation if we want any more credit. And we are addicted to credit.
A balanced budget amendment merely requires a balanced budget, and budgets can be balanced by increasing taxes instead of decreasing spending.  What we need instead is a spending amendment which would limit federal expenditures to a reasonable percentage of the nation’s income.  If we can’t stop the spending we will eventually destroy our credit, collapse our economy, and curtail our liberty. In other words, no matter what we the people want Uncle Sam will continue to spend, spend, spend as long as we pay, pay, pay.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens dr.owens@comcast.net  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.