March 25, 2009

Web Reconnaissance for 03/25/2009

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

A Soldier's Mind: What The Heck Is Happening To America? - This morning I returned to work, following a few vacation days and was horrified after reading an article in my email box. So much so, that I felt compelled to write about it. I’m extremely disillusioned and honestly, quite appalled about the things that we as Americans consider important. Things have definitely changed since I was raising my children as well as the way I was raised. Have we forgotten about the ideals that this country was founded upon? Have we forgot about why the United States of America is the greatest place on earth to live? If what occurred on a recent commercial flight is any indication, then we as Americans have our priorities all screwed up! On the flight in question, a flight attendant posed a challenge to the passengers. What was the challenge you ask? To name just 1 of the 5 people who have been awarded the Medal of Honor since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have begun. I’ve featured stories about each of them, here at A Soldier’s Mind. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: About That Progress Report Mr. President - President Obama gave another press conference tonight, and he now claims that he sees signs of progress on the economy. Funny thing about that. It has absolutely nothing to do with his porkfest or spending initiatives. Nothing whatsoever. It doesn't have anything to do with his homeowner mortgage assistance program either, since they're barely off the drawing board. None of his ideas have made their way from paper to implementation. The tax adjustments made - reducing withholding by $13 per week ($400-$600 per year) is just taking effect now. That doesn't explain why housing figures improved. They improved without his homeowner bailout because prices continue dropping making homes more affordable at a time when the Fed keeps the interest rates at near historic lows. (READ MORE)

The Barnyard: Obama Supporters Are Canvassing For Loyalty Pledges - This is just plain creepy and certainly fits in the "cult of personality" that has been brought up many times in the last year or so. Why would any sane person pledge loyalty to a politician that is clearly incapable of doing the job he was elected do let alone his economic plans and budget that will bankrupt America. I support this country and its Constitution not individual politicians and I want it and everyone in it to thrive not become slaves to the state. Obama's budget is 3.5 TRILLION dollars with deficits pushing 2 TRILLION for as far as the eye can see and that's if the economy turns around. We can't just crank up the Reserve printing presses and print money Zimbabwe style to get us out of this mess. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: The Teleprompter Is Gonna Be Angry... - I caught the last half of The One's presser last night. What a crock! I had to sit on my hands to keep from throwing things at the TV - of course that was in between nodding off to his rambling talking point answers. I loved the fact that Ebony and Politico got to ask questions especially Ebony's question about the "homeless kids". I remarked to my friends, while The One was bloviating about the tragedy of the homeless, that next up was a comment about all the homeless "vets" and once again The One proved me right. Those homeless need to just get in line to get tickets to the next appearance of The One and ask for a new home. That's how Henrietta did it - You know, ask and you shall receive. And about that Porkulus Plan to "save or create 3.5 million jobs" - ask the employees at Catepillar and Gulfstream how that is working out for them? And let's not forget Ann Compton's token "race" question. Can we have ONE PRESSER without someone throwing out the race card? (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Obama's Press Conference in a Nutshell - Capitalism is a systemic virus that we cannot hope to kill, and as distasteful as that thought is to my Administration, it is something that we can hope to control if you give us unprecedented power. We need to institute cap-and-trade so that we move from real, but pollution-causing energy sources to environmentally-friendly solutions that presently, err, do not exist. And sure, my budget will most likely bankrupt the United States if we're off even a little bit, but if we don't spend hundreds of billions to institute a bunch of vague, wide-ranging, and ideologically-driven policy prescriptions, then we might end up broke anyway because of impossible—hey look, a bunny! (READ MORE)

Don Surber: AIG’s $1-a-year slaves - The politicians demonized the very people who were working up to 14 hours a day to untangle a $170 billion disaster. They are victims of a rich hunt. When politicians today get in trouble, they often blame the victim. Last week’s braying about A.I.G. bonuses was all about scapegoating — scapegoating enabled by those demigods of demagoguery on cable TV and in the newspapers. A few of us were intellectually honest enough to stand up for the Rule of Law — a contract is a contract — and the Constitution — bills of attainder are forbidden. Now the truth comes out. The people who received those bonuses were slaves. There is no other description for someone who is paid $1 a year. None. (READ MORE)

Chuck Z: Restrictions on rights - One of the interesting things about Heller v. DC is that the Court, in passing, found there was no problem in requiring that an individual right secured by the Constitution be subjected to a permitting process before being exercised. So, in light of this ruling, I am asking every politician in the Congress to please introduce the following: The Journalism Licensing and Record of Publishing Act of 2009 is introduced to amend the First Amendment by prescribing stringent requirements for license applications, issuance, and renewals. It prohibits a person from publishing an article unless they’ve been issued a license under the new Act, and forces journalists to report directly to the Attorney General regarding plagiarism or change of address. Every five years, journalists have to go through the complete renewal process for each article they publish, and failure to do so authorizes government searches without warrant. (READ MORE)

Gateway Pundit: Obama's Hitler Youth Will Not Be Allowed to Express Religious Beliefs - The House passed the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act on Monday. The bill includes language indicating young people will be forced to participate in mandatory national service programs. The bill also states that "service learning" will be a mandatory part of the youth curriculum. That doesn't sound much like "volunteerism" does it? The mandatory youth plan requires America's youth to participate in mandatory service youth programs. But that's not all. The mandatory youth plan also forbids members from attending religious services and forbids youth from witnessing their religious beliefs. (READ MORE)

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay: On Liberty and Tyranny, Part II - Yes, I know I covered the book yesterday, and I thank Professor Reynolds again for the link. However, I seemed to have generated a bit of a buzz in the comments yesterday and I'd like to address them. Their points were more than valid, and deserve a response. But the rebellion I see isn't one using guns. I see us using what we use best, which is our minds, our intellect, and our general intelligence. The old conservative axiom that we win the war of ideas is true. All the Statist has to offer are the same failed ideas that history is replete with. “The problem is, the intended audience doesn't know the Statist's ideas are failures, because the Statists who control the educational system have spent years telling them that the Statist's ideas are the only way to success. I see no peaceful way for the truth to win when it's faced by such a Brobdignagian wall of lies.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Card Check: a cautionary tale - Mitt Romney has become an outspoken advocate against Card Check, the proposal that would strip employees and employers of the secret ballot in union organizing elections. He puts pen to paper today for the Washington Times to tell a “cautionary tale” of how Card Check worked in Massachusetts. The big target for unions in the Commonwealth wasn’t a sweatshop or even Wal-Mart, but in co-opting a threat to one of the most active unions in public works — charter schools. Deval Patrick signed the Card Check bill that Romney had vetoed in the previous administration, and the union went to work: “With this powerful new tool, for the first time ever in Massachusetts, a charter school was unionized. One reason so many parents want their children in charter schools is precisely because they operate free of union contracts, so that when administrators want to try something new, they can implement it quickly. For this, charter schools are fiercely resented by teachers unions as a competitor to failing public schools.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: To GIVE and to SERVE: The $6 billion National Service boondoggle - Maybe it’s just me, but I find federal legislation titled “The GIVE Act” and “The SERVE Act” downright creepy. Even more troubling: The $6 billion price tag on these bipartisan bills to expand government-funded national service efforts. Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies, and left-wing slush funds. The House passed the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act” – or the GIVE Act – last week. The Senate took up the companion “SERVE Act” Tuesday afternoon. According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate bill, S. 277, the bill would cost “$418 million in 2010 and about $5.7 billion over the 2010-2014 period.” And like most federal programs, these would be sure to grow over time. (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: Congressional haste makes Congressional waste - Tim Geithner is trying to reassure us that now there will be more oversight of the indescribably huge amounts of money Congress has been thowing at bailed-out companies courtesy of the American taxpayer. Whatever we might think of that prospect, and of the government’s ability to oversee much of anything, it reminds us—as if we needed a reminder—that rushing complex and important bills through Congress is ordinarily a recipe for catastrophe rather than a remedy for disaster. And yet the Obama administration, with the help of Pelosi and Reid, has taken the bad example of Stimulus One, passed hastily and almost unthinkingly by Congress back in the waning days of the Bush administration, as a model for their budget bill rather than a cautionary tale. Most of us on the Right think this is not due to stupidity, but is strategically necessary for them. They have a need for haste, to ram this thing home before the American people know what hit them, when it will be too late. (READ MORE)

Political Pistachio: Obama Presidential News Conference Notes - Today Barack Obama held his second Presidential News Conference. More than any other president during the early part of the presidency. I think it is because he sure loves that camera. During the news conference the questions, and his responses, focused primarily on economic issues. He seemed to be more concerned with domestic issues than anything abroad. There were no questions regarding Iraq or Afghanistan. I was quick to notice that an American Flag lapel pin was present. . . Early on in his speech Obama made the comment that he wished to make his presidency a change from a borrow and spend mentality. That caused a slight chuckle with me. He is not only continuing the borrow and spend habits of George W. Bush, but at a highly increased level. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: Crony Capitalism in America - Lets imagine that last year we borrowed $500,000 for a house we couldn't really afford. Now, the house is maybe worth ~$400,000 (if we can find a buyer), we haven't paid our mortgage for the last six months, and the bank is threatening foreclosure. We could put up (picking a round number) $25,000, have the government put up another $25,000 and guarantee tan additional $300,000 and buy the mortgage for $350,000. We would now have taken the house off the bank's balance sheet and moved it onto the government's tab. If we turn around and sell the house for $375,000 (now the house is a bargain!) and we split the profit with the government, we will have made a nice %50 profit on the transaction. If the house doesn't move, we can simply bail on the deal, we're out $25,000 and the government is on the hook for the rest. If two deals work out of every three,we are doing pretty well; if we price the houses aggressively, and we have no reason not to, they will sell and we will make out like proverbial bandits! (READ MORE)

HughS: President Obama Is Simply Not Believable - Having proposed in his own budget a level of spending that sends deficits to record levels, President Obama told the nation tonight that he desires to move the country from an era of borrowing and spending to an era of saving and investment. When pressed on how he plans to get to the saving and investment era given the record spending and borrowing he has proposed, the President invoked his proposed health care savings. However he's proposing record health care spending so how will the borrowing and spending produce savings via record health care spending? The President's answer was to ask viewers to not pay attention to the out year budget projections and to give his proposals time. OK, what about the near term projections of record deficits? Well, those were (surprise)...inherited. But how do we get from here to the promised land? Trust him, he says. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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