What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
Gov. Sam Brownback Narrowly Survives High School Student's Mean-Spirited Tweet
by Dennis DiClaudio
November 25, 2011
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is, by all accounts, safe and relatively unharmed following a harrowing Twitter attack from an 18-year-old high school student last week. Luckily, Brownback has a brave and astute staff ready to snap into action at the first sign of an online trolling…
Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, was in Topeka on Monday as part of Kansas Youth in Government, a program for students interested in politics and government. During the session [....]
Obama Leaves God Out of Thanksgiving Address
by Todd Starnes
November 24, 2011
President Obama did not include any reference to God during his weekly address titled, “On Thanksgiving, Grateful for the Men and Women Who Defend Our Country.” His remarks were void of any religious references although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God. The president said his family was “reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.”
For many Americans, though, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on how blessed and thankful they are. The president said the “most American of blessings” is the “chance to determine our own destiny.” He called the very first Thanksgiving a “celebration of community”
“We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay,” he said. “This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special.” The president said that belief [....]
Cowboys cheerleader knocked over by Witten forced off Twitter
by Chris Chase
November 26, 2011
Cheerleader Melissa Kellerman was barely into the middle part of her 15 minutes of fame when the Dallas Cowboys pulled the plug. Kellerman, a 22-year-old student in her fourth year with the team, became a national sensation on Thanksgiving when she was accidentally tackled on the sideline by Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. CNBC's Darren Rovell reported that Kellerman was forced to delete her [....]
The Best Cyber Monday Deals
by Kali Geldis and Danielle Kost
November 25, 2011
Reports of Black Friday violence and pepper-spraying may have made some holiday shoppers wary of hitting the mall this year. Luckily, there are some great Cyber Monday deals that don't require you to leave the house. Like many of the brick-and-mortar retailers offering Black Friday sales this year, many Cyber Monday retailers are allowing customers to shop the deals early before the actual online shopping holiday. Others, however, are staying tight-lipped about their deals until the day before, so MainStreet rounded up some of the best Cyber Monday sales that retailers are pushing in 2011.
The world's largest retailer tried to lure consumers to its doors first by kicking off Black Friday sales on Thursday. Its Cyber Monday sales are also beginning a day early. Wal-Mart will begin its "Cyber Week" sales with deals on gadgets, toys and home goods. Shoppers will be able to scoop up 32-inch Toshiba LCD HDTVs for $249 and Xbox holiday gamer bundles for $319. Tramontina Dutch ovens will be offered for $35 and Hot Wheels Mega Garage Playsets will be $25. The site will offer free shipping on orders of more than $45, on qualifying products.
Toys "R" Us
The toy superstore plans to roll out discounts on thousands of items on its website, starting at 6 p.m. Sunday. Shoppers will be able to get 60% off the cost of certain [....]
6 Rags-to-Riches Millionaires
by Andrea N. Brown, John Miley,
Susannah Snider, Michael Stratford
November 15, 2011From Oprah Winfrey to Steve Jobs to J.K. Rowling, entrepreneurial success stories are the stuff from which American dreams are made. Much like these famous names, the six self-made millionaires we’re profiling have one thing in common: Thanks to hard work, determination and sound advice from mentors, friends and family, they’ve been able to build thriving businesses from the ground up.
The rise to the top can be bumpy. In fact, some of the entrepreneurs we talked to were homeless during the early years of their companies. That’s why they all agree that it’s important to help others in need. All, including Radio One’s Catherine L. Hughes and Life is good co-founder Bert Jacobs, give back to the community by volunteering time, donating to charitable organizations or running their own charities. Learn how these six diverse entrepreneurs -- from a t-shirt designer to a media mogul -- turned meager beginnings into multimillion-dollar success and [....]
‘Going Galt’: Hedge Broker Shuts Down Firm With Chilling Letter About the Market
by Jonathon M. Seidl
November 18, 2011
Ann Barnhardt describes herself as a an “an old-school commercial hedge broker specializing in CATTLE and GRAIN.” And she just shut down her business by delivering a passionate and chilling open letter posted on her website. “I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not,” she writes. And then she unloads: Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all [....]
Earn more without giving up your whole life
By Ruth Mantell,
November 15, 2011
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Do you work to live or live to work? You may have to do both to be a top performer who still manages to have a personal life. Most workers aren’t top performers, but smart choices and near-term sacrifice can put them on the road to greater salary gains, experts say. The key is an ability to think long-term: setting goals that allow you to vary how much effort you put in at work, cutting back on leisure and family time when necessary. There are real rewards for a company’s best workers. Top performers received average base-pay increases of 4.4% this year, compared with 2.8% for average performers, and 0.4% for the lowest performers, according to Mercer, a human-resources-services provider. Read more about growing pay gap between workers. Further, with most employers seeking to increase performance-based pay differentiation, even greater rewards could be in store for top performers. In many industries, working long hours is expected -- for top performers and others, too. “If you choose to go [....]
Europe's Crisis: Beyond Finance
by George Friedman
stratfor.comNovember 15, 2011
Everyone is wondering about the next disaster to befall Europe. Italy is one focus; Spain is also a possibility. But these crises are already under way. Instead, the next crisis will be political, not in the sense of what conventional politician is going to become prime minister, but in the deeper sense of whether Europe’s political elite can retain power, or whether new political forces are going to emerge that will completely reshape the European political landscape. If this happens, it will be by far the most important consequence of the European financial crisis. Thus far we have seen some changes in personalities in the countries at the center of the crisis. In Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou stepped aside, while in Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi now has resigned. Though these resignations have represented a formal change of government, they have not represented a formal policy change. In fact, Papandreou and Berlusconi both stepped down on the condition that their respective governments adopt the austerity policies proposed during their respective tenures.
Europeanists dominate the coalitions that have replaced them. They come from the generation and class that are deeply intellectually and emotionally committed to the idea of Europe. For them, the European Union is not merely a useful tool for achieving national goals. Rather, it is an alternative to nationalism and the horrors that nationalism has brought to Europe. It is a vision of a single Continent drawn together in a common enterprise — prosperity — that abolishes the dangers of a European war, creates a cooperative economic project and, least discussed but not trivial, returns Europe to its rightful place at the heart of the international political system. For the generation of leadership born just after World War II that came to political maturity in the last 20 years, the European project was an ideological given and an institutional reality. These leaders formed an international web of European leaders who for the most part all shared this vision. This leadership extended beyond the political sphere: Most European elites were committed to Europe (there were, of course, exceptions).
Greece and the Struggle of the European Elite
Now we are seeing this elite struggle to preserve its vision. When Papandreou called for a referendum on austerity, the European elite put tremendous pressure on him to abandon his initiative. Given the importance of the austerity agreements to the future of Greece, the idea of a referendum made perfect sense. A referendum would allow the Greek government to claim its actions enjoyed the support of the majority of the Greek people. Obviously, it is not clear that the Greeks would have approved the agreement. Led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, [....]
First-time Homebuyers Tax Credit Shows Government Can’t Fix Housing
by David C. John
November 14, 2011
Government programs cannot stop the decline in housing prices. The latest evidence of this comes from a study of first-time homebuyers who took advantage of an $8,000 tax credit available between 2009 and September 2010. According to a new study, housing prices in 110 of 157 studied cities have dropped more than the value of the $8,000 tax credit since June 2010. Home prices in six of the 157 cities increased. In short, not only did the $26 billion program fail to stabilize housing prices, but those who took advantage of the program have seen the value of their houses drop by more than the value of the tax credit that they received. Nationwide, the average price of a home has dropped by about $15,000 since 2009. Of course, the housing market is really a collection of individual local markets, not a national market. The fact that houses are cheap in Detroit does no good to a potential homebuyer in New York. As with other proposed housing “fixes,” such as the several attempts to structure the Housing Affordable Refinance Program, the net result of government intervention [....]
Federal Government Swindles Native Americans Again
by John Ransom
November 16, 2011You knew it would take a little while, but federal government over-reach has gone so far now as to try to regulate the affairs of other, sovereign nations. With the growing poverty problem in the United States and 25 percent of the American public either un-banked or under-banked there’s a great benefit to the financial products that are being offered by the sovereign nations in Indian Country, who understand better the needs of the customers for their products than the fat cat Senators in DC who will leave the town richer than when they arrived. This week the Senate Banking committee held hearings under the spine-chilling name Opportunities and Challenges for Economic Development in Indian Country.
“Opportunities” for whom?
“Economic Development” that benefits whom?
Not for Native Americans, that’s for sure. Hey, there may be a recession on but a US Senator still has to make a buck. Native Americans, without federal assistance, are already providing valuable banking services for those Americans who are otherwise neglected by traditional financial institutions. For example the types of loans that tribes offer help people with immediate short term needs like car repairs, utility bills, or child care. But not content with the disaster that they have created in the rest of the country, the Senate, still under Democrat control, is now making a land-grab to regulate banking operations in Indian Country too, while denying them the basic tools for self-sufficiency like municipal bond offerings. It doesn’t matter to Senators that under the constitution, various laws, court decisions and, oh yeah, treaty obligations the US has with sovereign Indian nations, that the federal government does not have the authority to interfere in Native American affairs.
“The United States has both a moral duty and a legal obligation to the tribes,” says Senator Jonathan Windy Boy, a Democrat state senator from Montana and former Chippewa Cree Tribe Vice-Chairman. “It’s unconstitutional and violates long-standing treaties that allow us to govern our own affairs.” Since when has a little formality like the law stopped this round of Senate Democrats from doing anything they like? But where the law has been unsuccessful in keeping government hands off Native banking, perhaps public opinion might work.
Zogby today released a poll that shows that 55 percent of adults “say that, in general, they feel the federal government already has too many regulations, while a quarter (25%) say there is just the right amount.” Democrats still haven’t heard that message despite huge- and I mean really freaking big- electoral defeats they have suffered in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Colorado. The Zogby survey also showed that 88 percent of adults think the “U.S. Government should keep its word and honor Native American treaties it has made with the nation’s Indian tribes.” Instead of looking to try to regulate existing [....]
Occupy camp in upstate NY marks Thanksgiving
November 24, 2011
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Scores of Occupy Rochester protesters have tucked into turkey at their 35-tent camp on a sunny but bracing Thanksgiving Day at an upstate New York park. Well-wishers dropped by Washington Square Park in Rochester Thursday with turkey, pies and assorted side dishes. The protesters have been gathering for the last five weeks in the park — about the size of a city block across from the Xerox Corp. tower. As the crowd ate, a guitarist played "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead at the foot of a Civil War monument [....]
Our Tax System Stinks
by Chip Wood,
Personal Liberty Digest
November 25, 2011
$14 billion in profits, zero in taxes. If you invest in General Electric, congratulations. Your company made $14 billion in profits last year and didn’t pay a penny in taxes. How was that possible? Well, $5 billion in profits in the United States were zeroed out because of a multitude of tax credits (think green energy) and other deductions. And $9 billion was earned and kept overseas, so no taxes were due on that money, either. If this makes you think our tax system stinks, you’re right. Now, what are we going to do about it? And speaking of a government program that stinks. There are several landfills in and around Dallas where companies can dump garbage. But only one is owned by the city. The McCommas Bluff Landfill in South Dallas charges $21.50 per ton of trash. The private landfills in north Dallas charge $17 to $18 per ton. So the city has decided to order [....]
Saving the American Idea: Rejecting Fear, Envy, and the Politics of Division
by The Honorable Paul Ryan
November 15, 2011
Abstract: The American commitment to equality of opportunity, economic liberty, and upward mobility is not tried in days of prosperity. It is tested when times are tough—when fear and envy are used to divide Americans and further the interests of politicians and their cronies. In this major address at The Heritage Foundation, Congressman Paul Ryan dissects the real class warfare—a class of governing elites, exploiting the politics of division to pick winners and losers in our economy and determine our destinies for us—and outlines a principled, pro-growth alternative to this path of debt, doubt and decline.
We’re here today to explore the American Idea, and I can’t think of a better venue for this topic. The mission of The Heritage Foundation is to promote the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. These are the principles that define [....]
School changes homecoming rules so female kicker can win
By Cameron Smith
November 25, 2011
When Henry County (Ga.) Community Christian School was naming its homecoming court, Katie Davidson knew she wouldn't be a part of it. After all, the sophomore place kicker wouldn't even be eligible; Community Christian school rules dictate that all potential female members of the homecoming court wear a dress to the annual homecoming game. Davidson couldn't fulfill that court demand, for a good reason: She's the starting place kicker on the Community Christian 8-man (8-person?) football team. Yet when Davidson was nominated for the court, the school thought so much of the [....]
Secret Service Secrets
by WildBill for America
July 2, 2011
What the Secret Service agents say about past and present Presidents[....]
Solyndra to Cost You Another $14.3 Million
by Ben Johnson
The White House Watch,
November 22, 2011
The Solyndra loan debacle has already cost American taxpayers more than half-a-billion dollars, but it is about to cost them millions more. Each of the company’s 1,100 former employees will receive a package of federally funded benefits worth approximately $13,000 in Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), increasing the Solyndra bill by $14.3 million. TAA assists workers who have lost their jobs because of trade imbalances due to increased foreign imports or outsourcing. The Labor Department announced the award on November 18, the day after Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified before Congress that the loan guarantee was apolitical and made entirely on the merits. Chu specifically declined to apologize for the growing scandal. The newest payout some Republicans outraged. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT, said, “The failure was blamed on China, but if you cannot even out-compete U.S. companies, it wasn’t foreign competition that ruined your business; it was simply a failed business model.” Hatch’s spokeswoman Julia Lawless (whose surname best describes the Obama administration) added [....]
Syria, Iran and the Balance of Power in the Middle East
by George Friedman
November 22, 2011
U.S. troops are in the process of completing their withdrawal from Iraq by the end-of-2011 deadline. We are now moving toward a reckoning with the consequences. The reckoning concerns the potential for a massive shift in the balance of power in the region, with Iran moving from a fairly marginal power to potentially a dominant power. As the process unfolds, the United States and Israel are making countermoves. We have discussed all of this extensively. Questions remain whether these countermoves will stabilize the region and whether or how far Iran will go in its response. Iran has been preparing for the U.S. withdrawal. While it is unreasonable simply to [....]
The Plot To Make Hillary President
by Chip Wood,
Personal Liberty Digest,
November 25, 2011
Democratic leaders Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen wrote an opinion piece detailing why Barack Obama should withdraw from the 2012 race.Here’s some news that could turn the entire election upside down. Leading Democrats are urging Barack Hussein Obama to withdraw as a candidate for re-election in 2012, as Lyndon Baines Johnson did almost 50 years ago.
The campaign to get Obama to quit the race kicked into high gear on Monday, when influential Democratic leaders Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen wrote a lengthy piece for The Wall Street Journal on why Obama should withdraw. Here’s part of what they said: “[Obama] should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments.”
Who would they have run instead? Get ready for their totally predictable pitch: “He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.” I’ll spare you the hundreds of words that follow as the two Democratic pollsters make their case “as patriots and Democrats.” Let me go directly [....]
The Mexican Drug Cartel Threat in Central America
by Karen Hooper
November 17, 2011
Guatemalan President-elect Otto Perez Molina told Mexican newspaper El Universal on Nov. 9 that he plans to engage drug cartels in a “full frontal assault” when he takes office in 2012. The former general said he will use Guatemala’s elite military forces, known as Los Kaibiles, to take on the drug cartels in a strategy similar to that of the Mexican government; he has asked for U.S. assistance in this struggle.
The statements signal a shifting political landscape in already violent Central America. The region is experiencing increasing levels of crime and the prospect of heightened competition from Mexican drug cartels in its territory. The institutional weakness and security vulnerabilities of Guatemala and other Central American states mean that combating these trends will require significant help, most likely from the United States.
From Sideshow to Center Stage
Central America has seen a remarkable rise in its importance as a transshipment point for cocaine and other contraband bound for the United States. Meanwhile, Mexican organized crime has expanded its activities in Mexico and [....]
US Should Follow Leftist Canada- and Cap Spending
by Daniel J. Mitchell
November 15, 2011
Since I’ve written before about Canada’s remarkable period of fiscal restraint during the 1990s, I am very pleased to see that the establishment press is finally giving some attention to what our northern neighbors did to reduce the burden of government spending. "Everyone wants to know how we did it,” said political economist Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Ottawa-based think tank Macdonald-Laurier Institute, who has examined the lessons of the 1990s. But to win its budget wars, Canada first had to realize how dire its situation was and then dramatically shrink the size of government rather than just limit the pace of spending growth. It would eventually oversee the biggest reduction in Canadian government spending since demobilization after World War Two. …The turnaround began with Chretien’s arrival as prime minister in November 1993, when his Liberal Party – in some ways Canada’s equivalent of the Democrats in the U.S. – swept to victory with a strong majority. The new government [....]
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's Son Becomes Rhodes Scholar
The Hollywood Reporter
November 21, 2011
Ronan Farrow, the biological son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, is one of 32 Rhodes Scholars representing the United States, as announced by the Rhodes Trust over the weekend. Farrow, 23, graduated from Yale Law School and works as a State Department special adviser on global youth issues. Farrow, a former child prodigy, graduated [....]
Until Next Sunday....