Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties - Dumb Crap: Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten's plan to curb crime: ban hoodies and baseball hats - Mitt Romney’s misfire on the national anthem - Michael Savage: Clint Eastwood was wrong - Thomas Sowell gives 'safety net' Romney a lesson in minimum-wage economics

Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties

By David S. Fallis, Published: February 6

A U.S. senator from Alabama directed more than $100 million in federal earmarks to renovate downtown Tuscaloosa near his own commercial office building. A congressman from Georgia secured $6.3 million in taxpayer funds to replenish the beach about 900 feet from his island vacation cottage. A representative from Michigan earmarked $486,000 to add a bike lane to a bridge within walking distance of her home. Thirty-three members of Congress have directed more than $300 million in earmarks and other spending provisions to dozens of public projects that are next to or within about two miles of the lawmakers’ own property, according to a Washington Post investigation.

Mitt Romney’s misfire on the national anthem
“We are the only people on the earth that put our hand over our heart during the playing of the national anthem. It was FDR who asked us to do that, in honor of the blood that was being shed by our sons and daughters in far-off places.”
— Mitt Romney, Feb. 2, 2012
This is a strange one.
Kudos to Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed for first spotting this claim, though it turns out that the former Massachusetts governor also said this at least once before, during a stump speech in Iowa in December. (Update: a colleague reports this line has been a regular staple of Romney’s stump speech.)
The first part of this statement is simply wrong. As Kaczynski noted, Romney ran the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics and surely should have noticed the many athletes with their hands on their hearts during the playing of their national anthems.
We randomly searched YouTube for the playing of the national anthem for various countries and quickly found several examples, such as Japan and Brazil, that disprove Romney’s claim of American exceptionalism.
Examples at site


Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten's plan to curb crime: ban hoodies and baseball hats - The Pitch
 Here is an epically stupid idea. Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten has told the City Council that he thinks it should ban baseball hats and hoodies. Topeka's law enforcement officers, like they do in every city, rely on surveillance cameras to help nab criminals. But sometimes, people wear clothing that makes it difficult to identify them on camera. So, Bunten argues, the city should just ban them altogether when security cameras are present.
Bunten told the council that Police Chief Ron Miller suggested the idea. The mayor says other cities have reduced crime with similar bans and outlawing the clothing would be good for Topeka. "Anything we can do to lower crime and make it safer for people who work in businesses, I think that's a positive," he told the Council.
Local media, however, didn't have a hard time finding people who thought the idea sucked. One downtown business owner told KSNT-TV, "Seems very socialist, very communist. I think we would lose a lot of customers over this. I know that in a downtown area, unlike a mall, when you have on your outdoor attire you're not going to leave it in the car." And The Capital-Journal quoted council member Andrew Gray as saying, "Ironically, I wore a hoodie all day today at work."

 The Catholic Church is in open revolt against the Obama Administration. 

My Catholic priest, Father Larry Swink, delivered a homily on Sunday that I told him would make headlines. In the toughest sermon I have ever heard from a pulpit, he attacked the Obama Administration as evil, even demonic, and warned of religious persecution ahead. What was also newsworthy about the sermon was that he cited The Washington Post in agreement—not on the subject of the Obama Administration being evil, but on the matter of its abridgment of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
What is happening is extraordinary and unprecedented. The Catholic Church is in open revolt against the Obama Administration, with Fr. Swink noting from the pulpit that priests across the archdiocese were joining the call on Sunday to rally Catholics to resistance against the U.S. Government. He said we are entering a time of religious persecution and that Catholics and others will have to make a final decision about which side they are on.
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The Audacity of Obama's Secularism - The American Spectator  

God has no rights in a culture dominated by fashionable bigots. 
The secularists of the French Revolution regarded the Roman Catholic Church as the last obstacle to atheism's final triumph. Blurting this out, the French dilettante Denis Diderot proposed to his fellow revolutionaries that they strangle the last priest with the "guts of the last king."

Under this spirit, the forces of secularism picked up speed in the 18th and 19th century, went into overdrive in the 20th, and now floor it in the 21st. Barack Obama is the one these revolutionaries have been "waiting for." He is the stealth radical, soft in temperament but hard in thought, who seeks to use religiosity without religion to purge all traces of God from public life.

Not wanting to repeat John Kerry's electoral debacle -- which even Nancy Pelosi attributed to the leaden senator's undisguised secularism -- Obama worked hard to con the religious into voting for him in 2008. He "valued" religion, particularly the votes of the religious. On his campaign web page, "people of faith" enjoyed their own special slot, a mere two tabs down from the "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community."
Obama cast himself as a "post-partisan" politician on matters of the spirit. He found fawning dupes in the religious community to provide him with pulpits and platforms for faux-pensive addresses on his newly conceived "connection between politics and religion." This pretentious throat clearing amounted to nothing more than Alinskyite advice to his fellow Democrats that they exploit religion for secularist and socialist purposes.


Michael Savage: Clint Eastwood was wrong - WND

U.S. taxpayers lost $1.3 billion on Chrysler bailout 
Michael Savage is a big fan of Eastwood, but when the legendary actor appeared in a Super Bowl ad that held up the government’s bailout of Chrysler as a pillar on which to build the country’s economic recovery, the talk-radio host called a foul.
Eastwood’s much-discussed commercial, “It’s Halftime in America,” strikes a somber tone, noting “people are out of work” but pointing to the aftermath of the $12.5 billion bailout of the auto giant as a sign of hope.
“The people in Detroit know something about this,” Eastwood says of the harsh economic conditions of the past several years. “They almost lost everything. But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.”

But Savage told his listeners that while most Americans believe that Chrysler repaid the loan, “if you read the fine print, Chrysler ran off with $1.3 billion.”
“It was astonishing for a man who allegedly is somewhat conservative … to be talking about bailing out the auto industry,” Savage said of Eastwood.
Savage traced the $12.5 billion that the Treasury Department gave Chrysler in 2009. Last year, the Italian automaker Fiat bought the government’s 6 percent stake in Chrysler, which closed the books on the feds’ involvement.
In the end, taxpayers were out $1.3 billion.
Another reason Mitt's no conservative - WND
Thomas Sowell gives 'safety net' Romney a lesson in minimum-wage economics 
Gov. Mitt Romney’s statement about not worrying about the poor has been treated as a gaffe in much of the media, and those in the Republican establishment who have been rushing toward endorsing his coronation as the GOP’s nominee for president – with 90 percent of the delegates still not yet chosen – have been trying to sweep his statement under the rug.
But Romney’s statement about not worrying about the poor – because they “have a very ample safety net” – was followed by a statement that was not just a slip of the tongue, and should be a defining moment in telling us about this man’s qualifications as a conservative and, more important, as a potential president of the United States.

Mitt Romney has come out in support of indexing the minimum-wage law, to have it rise automatically to keep pace with inflation. To many people, that would seem like a small thing that can be left for economists or statisticians to deal with.
But to people who call themselves conservatives, and aspire to public office, there is no excuse for not being aware of what a major social disaster the minimum-wage law has been for the young, the poor and especially for young and poor blacks.

It is not written in the stars that young black males must have astronomical rates of unemployment. It is written implicitly in the minimum-wage laws.

We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30 or 40 percent for black teenage males that it might come as a shock to many people to learn that the unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old black males was just under 10 percent back in 1948. Moreover, it was slightly lower than the unemployment rate for white males of the same age.

How could this be?

The economic reason is quite plain. The inflation of the 1940s had pushed money wages for even unskilled, entry-level labor above the level specified in the minimum-wage law passed 10 years earlier. In other words, there was in practical effect no national minimum-wage law in the late 1940s.

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