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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Charged With Gun Smuggling, Former Mayor Seeks New Career With ATF

Evidently not all weapons being smuggled into Mexico are coming from the ATF and its infamous Gunrunner program.

The former mayor of a New Mexico border town pleaded guilty to gun smuggling charges four months after he was arrested in a federal sting.

On Tuesday, Eddie Espinoza, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of making false statements, and three counts of smuggling firearms from the United States.

Turns out, this guilty plea could land the former mayor in federal prison for up to 50 years. Also implicated in the crime is the Chief of Police and the Village Trustee.

Federal documents state the group smuggled more than 200 guns from New Mexico to the streets of Cíudad Juárez and Palomas, Chihuahua. The documents further state that at times the group used unmarked police cars registered to Columbus to smuggle the guns across the border. Agents had been following the illegal operation for more than a year.

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives connected some of the guns to at least eight murders in those cities.

Odd that the ATF would be so interested in assisting in the prosecution of individuals making false statements, smuggling firearms from the United States and conspiracy, when the Bureau has been actively engaging in this type of stuff for quite some time.

The question that remains unanswered, well many questions remain unanswered, is who came up with the bright idea to smuggle weapons into Mexico in the first place, how many federal agencies are involved, who will be the fall guy and will any end up in prison for facilitating the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jamie Zapata along with many innocent Mexican civilians.

Bob Owens, blogging at Confederate Yankee calls it "Watergate, with a body count". Others have described it as Iran/Contra, redux and it is already reaching the upper echelon of the Department of Justice and potentially the White House.

Eric Holder has already lied to Congress, that seems equal parts cover up and CYA, when in May of this year he state that he "probably" learned about his agencies involvement in gun running only "in the last few months". This statement however, is preceded with a speech Mr. Holder gave in Mexico where he referenced the program by name. "My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 10o days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner, DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. DHS is making similar commitments, as Secretary Napolitano will detail."

Statements like that would seem to implicate all sorts of departments and their leadership, including Janet Napolitano, the head of Homeland Security and previous Governor of Arizona.

President Obama, for his part, told Univision that his administration had nothing to do with distributing arms to Mexican cartels.

"I did not authorize it; Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. He's been very clear that our policy is to catch gun-runners and put them into jail," Obama said.

Obama said that he would hold someone responsible if, indeed, a mistake was made.
"We have to make sure that we're enforcing the kinds of measures that will stop the flow of guns and cash down south that is helping to fuel these transnational drug cartels," he said.
"There may be a situation here in which a serious mistake was made," he said. "If that's the case, then we'll find out and we''ll hold someone accountable."

That's all well and good, but it is hard then to justify funding of the program to the tune of $10 million dollars allocated in the President's stimulus bill. Or the $12 million the White House has requested to fund the program for fiscal year 2011.

That kind of cash will buy a lot of guns!

This week Investors Business Daily published an editorial adding an additional White House connection.

A 2-year-old video shows a high Justice official saying "the president has directed us," including the attorney general, to speed up Project Gunrunner and the offshoot that got a border agent killed.


This tape has no 18-minute gap, and while it does not feature the president himself, the March 24, 2009, video may rival the tape that turned a "third-rate burglary" into a presidential resignation. No one died at Watergate. Agent Brian Terry lost his life in the administration's obsessive pursuit of gun control.

It seems Mayor Eddie Espinoza and his cabal used the wrong middle man in their dealings. How could they have known then that if you wanted to sell weapons to drug runners for cash all you needed to do was contact the feds.

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Albanian Town Unveils Statue of George W. Bush

It doesn't get much cooler than this:
The 43rd US President visited the town, which lies close to Mother Teresa International Airport, to discuss a US-funded microloan programme with a baker, a barber, a tailor and a shepherd.

The 2.85-meter statue of Bush was unveiled on Wednesday, his 65 birthday, in a ceremony attended by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and US embassy officials.

“Albanians and the citizens of Fushe Kruja welcomed President Bush as the leader of a country that we are more connected to than any other place in the planet,” said Berisha in a speech in front of a cheering crowd of locals gathered in the town square festooned with Albanian and American flags.

“Albanians are proud of their pro-Americanism and always will be,” Berisha added.

Bush was the first US President to visit Albania, and received a warm welcome. He is credited with sponsoring Albania’s successful bid to join NATO in 2009, and unequivocally supporting Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia one year earlier.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Internal WH Emails: Bret Baier is a 'Stupid Lunatic,' Fox News Must be "Excluded"

Though the Obama Administration has denied any bias against Fox News, new internal emails between high ranking officials in the President's inner circle show that to be a lie.

In just one example, Jennifer Psaki, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Communications Director, complained to Jake Seiwert, Press Secretary under President Clinton and current adviser to Timothy Geithner, about Fox News (click for better quality):
In another, Psaki angrily wrote of Fox correspondent Bret Baier's reports on the White House's attempts to exclude Fox from stories:
In another, Jenni LeCompte, then-Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, emailed Psaki regarding interviews.  Ms. LeCompte noted Psaki's anti-Fox leanings and specifically asked if she would have a problem including Fox:
Psaki replied only three minutes later by telling LeCompte to skip Fox:
In another email, written by Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, he specifically states that the White House is trying to "exclude Fox" from any significant story or interview from the White House.  However, he is quick to pat himself on the back:
What these revelations mean, particularly because they are so high in the White House, remains to be unseen.  However, it officially and conclusively refutes the Administration's story that they do not have an anti-Fox bias.

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Watch Obama Press Conference on Debt Ceiling Live, July 15, 2011

Streaming live video by Ustream

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Doing the Important Things: Obama Changes Twitter Picture

You may be struggling with debt, working long shifts at your job, and wondering how to pay for your children's education. And you may expect the President to be working hard at fixing our broken spend-happy economic system. Bah!

He's doing much more important things, like tweeting about re-election and updating his twitter picture:

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Isn't That Special: Obama Sets Arbitrary Deadline for US Debt Deal

President Obama is aware that he has no authority to... oh screw it, he doesn't care:
President Barack Obama on Thursday gave congressional leaders a weekend deadline to find a way to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, but a divide over spending and taxes remained a huge hurdle to a deficit-cutting deal.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's added pressure to the debate, warning the risk that the United States would lose its top-notch credit rating in the next three months had risen considerably, even if lawmakers reach an agreement to raise the ceiling on borrowing later this month.

S&P's warning came after China, the United States' biggest foreign creditor with more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt, pressed Washington to adopt responsible policies to protect investor interests.

Against that backdrop, Obama and lawmakers held their fifth set of talks this week without significant progress.

Republicans continued to reject tax hikes, even when Obama offered to pair them with the extension of a payroll tax cut to boost the struggling economy.

Time is running short for a deal.

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New Revenue Proposal: A Cat Tax

From NBC:
Should cats be treated like dogs, when it comes to licensing and immunization requirements?

The San Diego city auditor's office recommends doing just that -- for the sake of health, safety and "cost recovery" for taxpayers.

According to formulas used by the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated 373,000 cats in San Diego.

If just 5 percent had been registered at $25 a head, the auditor's office says the city could have saved $536,000 over the past three fiscal years.

Cat owners say the idea defies logic and accounting principles.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Exclusive: Pataki to Announce Presidential Campaign in August

Albany, New York - Mr. K and Thomas Ferdousi reporting.

Pundit Press has just learned from a high-ranking source within the New York State Republican Party that former Governor George Pataki will announce his campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination next month in South Carolina.

Our source shared a dinner with the former three-term Governor only days before meeting with us last night at a political event in Upstate, New York. He indicated that Governor Pataki will raise money with his new No American Debt organization for the primaries, which will be his "pot of gold."

The source added that Pataki looked significantly aged from the time he left office in 2007. Pataki has had contact with the official over the years.

Governor Pataki's presidential chances are undoubtedly low, but so were his odds in 1994 of defeating New York political powerhouse and then three-term governor Andrew Cuomo straight from the State Senate. He won by only 100,000 votes out of over five million cast.

Although his planned platform isn't yet known, the source said that it would be based around repealing President Obama's health care law and stopping the ever-growing mountain of debt that is drowning America's economy in uncertainty.

Pataki's statements come as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani hinted at a possible run himself.

UPDATE, 10:52pm:

Just about an hour before our story broke, we have some apparent waves coming from the Washington Times that match up with a run. Pataki is concerned about the current field's "electability" and shifts towards a move himself:

“I think it’s very important not just that we choose a nominee who has the right vision but choose a nominee who has the ability to win the election,” Mr. Pataki said. “It’s wonderful to make a philosophical statement, but our country is at the point where we need a real change in direction and that’s what it comes down to.”

Referring to his three gubernatorial wins in strongly Democratic New York, he said, “I look back with pride on my ability to get conservatives, Republicans, independents and enlightened Democrats to vote for me.”
“I don’t have a deadline, but obviously there isn’t a great deal of additional time,” he said. “My family and I are doing a personal assessment as to the best way to change this country for the better, and we’ll make that decision sometime in the near future.

“I certainly don’t intend to just enjoy the private-sector life and not be involved in some capacity.”

Mr. Pataki said he would be speaking at several venues in Iowa Thursday and Friday next week. Meanwhile, his nonprofit outfit, “No American Debt,” has been airing a television ad in New Hampshire, the other early nomination battleground state.

Emphasis ours.

Roger Clemens Mistrial

This is breaking for the sports world. The judge in the Roger Clemens perjury trial has declared a mistrial.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton scolded prosecutors for twice violating his orders not to reveal certain evidence to the jury and said it could put the whole case at risk. He took a recess Thursday morning to consider how to rule on a motion for a mistrial from Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin.

Prosecutors suggested the problem could be fixed with an instruction to the jury to disregard the evidence, but Walton seemed skeptical. He said he could never know what impact the evidence would have during the jury's deliberations "when we've got a man's liberty at interest."

"I don't see how I un-ring the bell," he said

Walton interrupted the prosecution's playing of a video from Clemens' 2008 testimony before Congress and had the jury removed from the courtroom. Clemens is accused of lying during that testimony when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 24-season career in the major leagues.

One of the chief pieces of evidence against Clemens is testimony from his former teammate and close friend, Andy Pettitte, who says Clemens told him in 1999 or 2000 that he used human growth hormone. Clemens has said that Pettitte misheard him. Pettitte also also says he told his wife, Laura, about the conversation the same day it happened.
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New RNC Ad: Change Direction

A pretty good ad from the RNC:

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The Debt Debate: The Facts

Before the two political parties can deal on the debt ceiling - both sides need to understand that they are missing the real view of what this debate even means, or how to resolve the situation by the beginning of August.

Democrats: The debt situation in America has reached critical mass, which is why we must cut trillions from our federal budget and work towards balancing our budget before we out spend our ability to pay said debt off. Look at Greece, Ireland and Portugal for our future if circumstances do not change.

Republicans: The debt situation in America has reached critical mass, which is why we cannot allow August to roll around without raising the debt ceiling. We cannot prioritize spending when we would have to cut 40% of government spending in just one month. That approach is absolutely impossible.

This debate is bigger than politics; its simple economics.

When one has massive debts - caused by unsustainable spending - one usually cuts back on the root problem; not look for new income to justify their lavish lifestyle. The federal government should, and honestly, must do the same.

What say you?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday Bush-a-thon

Consider this an open thread.

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Why Won’t Israel make Peace?

If one pays attention to J Street, or Michael Lerner, or the editorial writers of certain newspapers, or to any of the numerous persons who believe it their solemn responsibility to disparage, dishonor, and defame the Jewish state, it is the “right wing” government of Israel that stands in the way of a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. As a lie, this one is a whopper.

As Joseph Goebbels said “ If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. Lies about Israel certainly fall into this category. They are repeated often, and by persons who should know better, so that even the most fervent advocates of Israel begin to wonder whether there may not be some truth to it.

Recently one of my readers expressed annoyance with my criticism of President Obama for his recommendation that Israel begin negotiations by returning to the 1949 cease fire lines. His email to me read “Nothing so far has worked. Obama is trying something new. You could at least give him credit for that. Since you are critical of him, what are your alternative suggestions?”

Sounds reasonable, except that it is based on a false premise and lack of understanding of what is required to achieve peace in that conflict.

First, this is not “something new”. In fact, Obama’s suggestion means returning to the status quo that existed from 1949 to 1967. At that time the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was in Arab hands. The Western Wall was off limits to Jews. But most importantly, there was no occupation that the Palestinians could point to. There were no Jewish settlements serving as “an impediment” to peace. And yet, for some reason, there was no peace.

The cease fire lines of 1949 set up suicidal and indefensible borders. Terrorists continually crossed these lines to kill Israelis. Syrians shot down on the farming communities of the Galilee from the Golan heights. , And Israel’s neighbors were emboldened to make war, with the single goal of extirpating the Jewish state. Is this what our President expects Israel to go back to?

Secondly, with respect to alternative recommendations. It is never possible to resolve a dispute between two parties if one of them does not want it resolved. The Palestinian Arabs have come up with a never-ending series of excuses to avoid a peace deal. They have made it clear that the only thing that will satisfy them will be a complete disappearance of the Jewish state. The only thing negotiable is whether this happens all at once or in stages.

Let’s look at the record. Attempts at peace have been made repeatedly. Recently Flame published an article outlining the many failed attempts to make peace, and outlining why intransigence by the Arabs has made peace impossible.

Even before the modern state of Israel was born, in 1947 the United Nations proposed a two state solution. The Jews accepted it, while the Arabs rejected it and started a war that resulted in the deaths of one of every 100 Israelis.

From 1949 to 1967, Egypt and Jordan controlled Gaza and the West Bank. There was absolutely no talk of a Palestinians state at that time, though the Palestine Liberation Organization came into being during this time.. (What were they planning to liberate?)

After Israel’s victory in the Six Day War of 1967, Israel offered peace to her neighbors. The Arabs responded; “No Peace, No Negotiation, and No Recognition of Israel”. Under the direction of President Bill Clinton, a series of negotiations occurred in 2000, in which Israel offered to withdraw from 97% of the West Bank and all of Gaza. Yassir Arafat turned this down, did not offer a counter proposal, but started a war. Further peace offers were made by Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, and in 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, turning it over to the Palestinians.

None of this led to peace. Why? Because the Arabs have stated repeatedly, right up to the present, that they will never accept a Jewish state in the Middle East. They fully expect to be able to destroy the existing “Zionist entity”, and will not enter an agreement that will forgo the possibility of continuing the conflict.

Over the last two year, matters have gotten worse. The Palestinians, encouraged by the behavior of the Obama administration, are demanding that the US force Israel into an untenable situation which they are hoping will lead to the destruction of the Jewish state. Unfortunately President Obama has obliged them, making demands on Israel, some of which are simply suicidal, while demanding nothing of the other side. This a formula that tells the Arabs they need not negotiate, the US will do it for them. In other words, no negotiated settlement can ever happen

Many well-meaning people have asked why Israel does not simply end the occupation, and remove the settlements as a way to achieve peace. Again, this has been tried.

First, in 2000 Israeli forces vacated their buffer zone in South Lebanon with the express purpose of ending any conflict with Hezbollah; six years later, they got a war with Hezbollah anyway, a war in which thousands of missiles were fired into Israel. And now Hezbollah, massively armed, controls all of Lebanon, and threatens Israel with another war.

Secondly, in 2005, hoping again for peace, Israel pulled all its forces and settlements out of Gaza, to allow the Palestinians to develop their own autonomous state. What was the result? A major war with Hamas in 2008-9. The kidnapping Of Gilad Shalit, held for over 5 years with no Red Cross visits in violation of international law. Numerous cross border raids., Thousands of rockets and mortars that have killed and maimed civilians. Recently an anti-tank missile was fired at a school bus killing a child. This is not the hoped for peace.
Not long ago, Israel had planned to vacate the West Bank. Now that it has seen Gaza and South Lebanon turned into heavily armed staging areas, filled with terrorists dedicated to killing Jews, withdrawal from the West Bank does not seem like a wise move.

So what should Israel do? Israel cannot bring about a solution of the conflict unless the other side wants it. Hopefully, over time, a new generation of Palestinian Arabs, exposed to the internet, well- educated, and economically advanced, will see the enormous advantages of peace with Israel. Until then, Israel must remain strong, must ignore those who tell her what she must do “for her own good”, and must not bend to the whims of the New York Times or Barack Obama, would-be experts who have no idea about the historic and current realities in that part of the world.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CA-36 Special Election Results

-- UPDATE (7:38 AM):

Here are the official final results:

Hahn (D) - 41,585 - 54.6%
Huey (R) - 34,636 - 45.4%

This is the closest election result in this district in decades. Good job by Craig Huey - you made what should have been a Democratic walk - a real choice.

--UPDATE (11:44 PM):

California's website hasn't updated the results for almost twenty minutes and I'm growing restless because I have work tomorrow morning.

So here is the official 36th district results page.

--UPDATE (11:16 PM):

Hahn (D) - 21,365 - 54.2%
Huey (R) - 18,025 - 45.8%

2.7% of precincts reporting.

--Original Post--

The special election in California's 36th district between Democrat Janice Hahn and Republican Craig Huey is complete. Stay tuned for results.

Video: Alan Grayson is Back

Some bad news for the anti-crazies in the crowd. Former Congressman Alan Grayson announced-- where else?-- on MSNBC that he is running to regain the seat he lost last year.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Feds Refuse to Prosecute Muslim Army Recruiting Center Shooter

The Department of Justice under Eric Holder is refusing to prosecute Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, who opened fire on an Arkansas recruiting center two years ago. This comes as Muhammad has admitted that he is an Islamic radical and has implicated himself for the murder. Despite this, the Federal government will not take the case.

On the positive side, the state of Arkansas has agreed to do so-- and this will likely mean that Muhammad will face the death penalty for the fatal shooting.

Muhammad is an American convert whose middle name even means 'one that fights jihad.' In 2009 he opened fire on a military recruiting center, killing one. This comes after he spent time in a Yemeni jail and possibly underwent terror training there.

Muhammad, born Carlos Bledsoe, has not been ambiguous about his role:

Muhammad, who says he is affiliated with several terrorist organizations, has written jailhouse letters to Pulaski County Judge Herbert Wright demanding a federal trial. "In my eyes it's a sham trial [in Little Rock] set up only to make sure I'm handed down a death sentence," he wrote May 10.

Ten days later, he wrote again: "The facility where the shooting took place was a federal building. The army recruiters outside that federal building were federal employees. I was under federal investigation at the time of the shooting by the FBI. Why then is this a state case in state court, which the state seeks my execution? Injustice!"

Muhammad's 'defense' is similar to other Islamic terrorists-- that the United States is truly the cause of their heinous actions:

Police said he told them he was "mad at the U.S. military because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." He said his "intent was to kill as many people in the Army as he could."

Still, the FBI and the DOJ refused to bring up the case in federal court. Perhaps this was to prevent embarrassment or perhaps to allow Arkansas to bring Muhammad up on charges. This would increase the chances that Muhammad would be executed for his attack. But it still doesn't sit well for the Feds:

"That's unquestionably embarrassing for the FBI," said Brian Gallini, a University of Arkansas criminal law professor. "I can't come up with a comparable example of a mistake the feds would want to admit to."

Still, I can't complain too much if Arkansas puts him in the chair.

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France Withdrawing 1,000 Forces from Afghanistan

Following the United States' lead, France has announced that it is withdrawing a large portion of its forces in Afghanistan. This comes after word has leaked that France is trying to end the Libya conflict as well.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today and announced that the country would take out 1,000 troops out of the approximately 4,000 present. This comes after the United States announced its own withdrawal plan.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France's withdrawal would be limited to the Surobi region, east of Kabul. "We believe this region is now secure and the time has come to pass the baton to the Afghan troops," he told France Info radio.

Sarkozy's visit followed a trip by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the weekend and came two days before France's "Bastille Day" national day, which marks the start of the 1789 revolution and will this year honor troops on foreign missions.

Too bad-- it's coming at a time when al Qaeda and the Taliban is hard hit.

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Obama Uses Fear to Try and Force Budget Deal; "Cannot Guarantee Social Security Checks will go Out"

What a shocker.  Really.  No, really... Really:
President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

The Obama administration and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the United States does not raise the amount it is legally allowed to borrow by August 2.

Lawmakers from both parties want to use the threat of that deadline to work out a broader package on long-term deficit reduction, with Republicans looking to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending, while Democrats are pushing for a more "balanced approach," which would include both spending cuts and increased revenue through taxes.
By the way, I was being sarcastic.

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California's 36th District Votes

The voters of California's 36th district will be heading to the polls through out today to finally replace Jane Harman, who resigned five months ago to head a progressive think tank, and all the early indications point to a very, very close election.

Democratic L.A. Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Republican businessman Craig Huey have engaged in one of the nastiest congressional special elections I have seen in my life, but voters have not shifted to one side or the other with only one hour until the election is held, which is interesting since voters usually break by now.

So who will win?

Political analysts naturally predict Ms. Hahn will win, due to the 36th district's Democrat leanings, but early voting has the two candidates nearly tied and late polling has Ms. Hahn leading by a thin margin. This is her election to lose.

I personally believe Mr. Huey's pro-national defense and pro-Israel stances, which are similar to Harman's foreign policy viewpoints, will bode well for him in the military minded district.

We shall see what happens.

What say you?

Video- Obama: Time to "Eat our Peas"

Personally, I hate peas:

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76% of Small Business Report that they Will Either Not Hire or Will Cut Jobs

ObamaNomics at their finest:
The U.S. labor market could stay sluggish for a while, with small-business executives reluctant to hire amid the murky economic outlook.

Almost two-thirds—64%—of small-business executives surveyed said they weren't expecting to add to their payrolls in the next year and another 12% planned to cut jobs, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report to be released Monday. Just 19% said they would expand their work forces.

This comes after a Labor Department report Friday showed employers added few jobs in June, and unemployment rose to 9.2%. The bleak figures joined other data showing the recovery losing momentum in recent months, which has caused many analysts and policy makers to lower their forecasts for economic growth in the second half of the year.

The Small Business Administration says small businesses, defined as companies with fewer than 500 workers, employ about half of the workers in the private sector. In the Chamber's survey of 1,409 executives, conducted by Harris Interactive, small businesses were defined as firms with revenue of $25 million or less.

More than half of the small-business executives in the June 27-30 survey cited economic uncertainty as the main reason for holding back on hiring. About a third blamed lack of sales, while just 7% pointed to problems getting credit.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Vote Huey!

The citizenry of California's 36th district only need to know one thing about tomorrow's (or today's, pending on what time you read this) special election: vote Craig Huey for the House of Representatives, and you will not regret it.

America needs Conservative decision makers; not liberal politicians.

Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm local time and Pundit Press will follow the election results tomorrow night until someone is declared the victor.

Poll- 52% of Voters Believe President Obama More Liberal than they Are

Surprising?  Hardly:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters think President Obama is more liberal than they are. In early June, 54% felt the president was more liberal than they are. Prior to the latest survey, the number of voters who feel this way has ranged from 54% to 61%.

Just 15% feel the president is politically more conservative than they are, the highest level measured to date. Twenty-six percent (26%) believe the president’s ideology is about the same as their own.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans think the president is more liberal than they are. Among Democrats, a plurality (49%) say they share a similar ideology to the president, 26% say he is more conservative than they are, and 20% say he is more liberal. A majority (55%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party believe the president is more liberal than they are.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 5, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Political Class voters say they share the same ideology as President Obama, while 60% of mainstream voters say he is more liberal than they are.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Geithner on Economy: It will Feel "Harder than Anything" People Have "Experienced in their Lifetime"

Hardly ringing praise for his boss's (and his own) handling of the economy:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (GYT'-nur) says many Americans will face hard times for a long time to come.

He says President Barack Obama rescued the United States from a second Great Depression and will keep working to strengthen the economy. But Geithner says will be some time before many people feel like the country is recovering.

Geithner tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that it's a very tough economy. He says that for a lot of people "it's going to feel very hard, harder than anything they've experienced in their lifetime now, for a long time to come."
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Boehner Nixes Budget Compromise After Obama Pushes for $1,000,000,000,000 Tax Increase

From the Washington Times:
Speaker John A. Boehner told President Obama on Saturday night he will not agree to the president’s most ambitious plan for deficit reduction, citing the administration’s pursuit of tax increases as one of the main hurdles.

“The White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement released Saturday night. “I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.”

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer issued a statement later Saturday night repeating the president’s call for a “balanced approach” on deficit reduction and urging congressional leaders to keep negotiating with the administration on the largest possible deal.

“To back off now will not only fail to solve our fiscal challenge, it will confirm the cynicism people have about politics in Washington,” Mr. Pfeiffer said. “The President believes that now is the moment to rise above that cynicism and show the American people that we can still do big things.”

Mr. Boehner still will attend a negotiating session at the White House set for 6 p.m. Sunday, but his declaration appears to shatter Mr. Obama’s effort to pursue the largest possible deficit reduction deal of $4 trillion over 10 years by including tax hikes. Earlier talks led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had reached consensus on about $2 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts.

Conservative House Republican leaders have been wary that the administration’s pursuit of the goal of $4 trillion could include as much as $1 trillion in tax hikes by closing loopholes and other changes in the tax code.
Mr. Boehner
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Romney's Ad Men

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney might have state run health care on his record, which should probably be the death of him, but he has something even stronger in his current campaign for President: ad men sent from heaven.

Whether it be his "bump in the road," or "Allentown" advertisements that have made their rounds on both the Internet and television, his economic messaging has impressed me greatly, and has separated his voice strongly from the rest.

I think the reason for his advertising success, besides his gigantic war chest, is the fact everyone knows about Mitt Romney's background - CEO of the Winter Olympic games in 2002 and Governor of Massachusetts - so he doesn't have to introduce himself to voters like Bachmann and Pawlenty have to. Allowing him plenty of early time to focus on his economic strengths.

Regardless of how Romney's fundraising hauls go, if his team continues to design and release advertisements that dominate the airwaves and impact primary voters, his road to the nomination might be eaiser than previously thought.

What say you?

Eww: What 15 Years in the Tour de France Does to Your Legs

These veins look like they are totally fake.  Instead, they're totally creepy. Georgie Hincapie's legs after riding 15 editions of the Tour de France:
And yes, I know this has nothing to do with politics.  Still...eww.

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