Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban

Lawmakers: Afghan leader threatens to join Taliban
Apr 5 11:34 AM US/Eastern
By AMIR SHAH and CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
Associated Press Writer
KABUL (AP) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting Saturday with selected lawmakers—just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year’s disputed elections.

Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president—who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government—is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.

“He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.

“He said rebelling would change to resistance,” Marenai said—apparently suggesting that the militant movement would then be redefined as one of resistance against a foreign occupation rather than a rebellion against an elected government.

Marenai said Karzai appeared nervous and repeatedly demanded to know why parliament last week had rejected legal reforms that would have strengthened the president’s authority over the country’s electoral institutions.

Two other lawmakers said Karzai twice raised the threat to join the insurgency.

The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of political repercussions, said Karzai also dismissed concerns over possible damage his comments had caused to relations with the United States. He told them he had already explained himself in a telephone conversation Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that came after the White House described his comments last week as troubling.

The lawmakers said they felt Karzai was pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament and had no real intention of joining the insurgency.

Nor does the Afghan leader appear concerned that the U.S. might abandon him, having said numerous times that the U.S. would not leave Afghanistan because it perceives a presence here to be in its national interest.

Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar’s phone was turned off and another number for him rang unanswered Monday. Deputy spokesman Hamed Elmi’s phone rang unanswered.

The comments come against the background of continuing insurgent violence as the U.S. moves to boost troop levels in a push against Taliban strongholds in the south.

NATO forces said they killed 10 militants in a joint U.S.-Afghan raid on a compound in Nangarhar province’s Khogyani district near the Pakistani border early Monday, while gunmen seriously wounded an Afghan provincial councilwoman in a drive-by shooting in the country’s increasingly violent north.

NATO also confirmed that international troops were responsible for the deaths of five civilians, including three women, on Feb. 12 in Gardez, south of Kabul.

A NATO statement said a joint international-Afghan patrol fired on two men mistakenly believed to be insurgents. It said the three women were “accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men.”

International force officials will discuss the results of the investigation with family of those killed, apologize and provide compensation, he said.

The two men killed in the Gardez raid had been long-serving government loyalists and opponents of al-Qaida and the Taliban, one serving as provincial district attorney and the other as police chief in Paktia’s Zurmat district.

Their brother, who also lost his wife and a sister, said he learned of the investigation result from the Internet, but had yet to receive formal notice.

Mohammad Sabar said the family’s only demand was that the informant who passed on the faulty information about militant activity be tried and publicly executed.

“Please, please, please, our desire, our demand is that this spy be executed in front of the people to ensure that such bad things don’t happen again,” Sabar said.

In the latest of a series of targeted assassination attempts blamed on militants, Baghlan provincial council member Nida Khyani was struck by gunfire in the leg and abdomen in Pul-e Khumri, capital of the northern province, said Salim Rasouli, head of the provincial health department. Khyani’s bodyguard was also slightly injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, although suspicion immediately fell on Taliban fighters who often target people working with the Afghan government and their Western backers.

One month ago, a member of the Afghan national parliament escaped injury when her convoy was attacked by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Female government officials regularly report receiving threats to their safety. Some women leaders, including a prominent policewoman, have been assassinated.

The Taliban rigidly oppose education for girls and women’s participation in public affairs, citing their narrow interpretation of conservative Islam and tribal traditions. Militants, who are strongest in the south and east, carry out beatings and other punishments for perceived women’s crimes from immodesty to leaving home unaccompanied by a male relative.

Also Monday, the organizer of a national reconciliation conference—known as a jirga—scheduled for early May said it would not include insurgent groups such as the Taliban. There has also been indications it would include discussion of the withdrawal of 120,000 foreign troops in the country.

Ghulam Farooq Wardak, the minister of education who is organizing the conference, said it will focus on outlining ways to reach peace with the insurgents and the framework for possible discussions.

Out of the jirga will come the “powerful voice of the Afghan people,” Wardak said. “By fighting, you cannot restore security. The only way to bring peace is through negotiation

Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

Morning Bell: Red Tape Rising

Posted By Conn Carroll On April 5, 2010 @ 9:40 am In Enterprise and Free Markets | No Comments

Just three days after President Barack Obama’s health plan was signed into law, AT&T announced [1] that due to an obscure tax change in the bill, the nation’s largest telephone company would take a $1 billion hit to its bottom line this quarter. According to health benefits analysts [2] this tax law modification would shave as much as $14 billion from U.S. corporate profits. While it would have been better had these tax losses been made more public before Congress voted, at least these tax charges are transparent and easily quantifiable enough to get noticed by the American people. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the hundreds of new regulations that the federal government will enforce as it tries to implement Obama’s redistributionist health agenda [3].

In addition to the federal government’s explicit taxes and spending, Americans are also burdened with a slew of hidden taxes imposed by an ever-increasing number of regulations. More than 50 agencies have a hand in federal regulatory policy, enforcing more than 150,000 pages of rules. Many of these regulations provide needed benefits. Most Americans would agree on the need for security regulations to protect citizens from terrorist attacks, although the extent and scope of those rules may be subject to debate. But each regulation comes at a cost–a “regulatory tax” imposed on all Americans. According to a 2005 study [4] commissioned by the Small Business Administration, the cost of all regulations then on the books was some $1.1 trillion per year.

Worse than the existing size of our country’s regulatory burden, is the pace at which it has been growing. Contrary to what most liberals and media elites would have you believe, President George Bush had a decidedly mixed record on regulation. While he should be praised for strengthening the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in screening new regulations, by every objectively measurable metric the size and scope of the regulatory state grew significantly under his tenure [5]. And President Bush’s last years in office were his worst. In 2008 36 major regulations were enacted by the Bush administration, and in 2009 some $15 billion [6] in new regulatory costs were imposed on the American people.

President Bush doesn’t deserve all the blame for that $15 billion in new costs for 2009. About $4.4 billion is attributable to regulations approved by the Obama administration. While that may seem like a significant decrease, it is actually an ominous sign when put in context. Regulatory activity always increases near the end of a presidency and is slower at the beginning. So in President Bush’s first year, he enacted only one major rule and he was in his third year in office before the new regulatory costs he inflicted on the American people hit President Obama’s one-year $4 billion mark [6]. And that $4 billion does not yet include all the regulations for Obamacare. Or all of the regulations Obama’s EPA wants to pass under the Clean Air Act. Or any of the new financial regulations that Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) want to inflict on the American people.

There are some things Congress can do now to help better manage the onslaught of federal regulations. First the authority and scope of OIRA should be protected. Establishing a sunset date for all new regulations would also help. But ultimately things will not change for the better until policymakers exercise the will and resolve to guard against the deluge. As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asked [7] last week: “If Congress can’t control what a few mortgage finance bureaucrats do with your dollars, why would anyone trust Congress to control what tens of thousands of bureaucrats will do with your health? … Should unchecked centralized government be allowed to grow and grow in power … or should its powers be limited and returned to the people?”

Quick Hits:

  • According to economists, our nation’s 9.7% unemployment rate is likely to be driven higher [8] as more people look for work as the economy finally recovers.
  • After spending $700 billion bailing out Wall Street, the Obama administration plans to start a $21 million [9] pilot program to help small businesses.
  • After one week of the White House campaign to sell Obamacare, support for the bill has decreased in the CBS News poll [10] from 48% – 37% against to 53% – 32% against.
  • Speaking about the Obama administration’s signature education policy initiative, Race to the Top, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) said: “It was like the Olympic Games, and we were an American skater with a Soviet judge from the 1980s.”
  • According to a new Gallup poll [11] of self-proclaimed Tea Party supporters, the age, educational background, employment status, and race of the Tea Party movement is “quite representative of the public at large.”

Chicago Law School faculty hated Obama “because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool”

Chicago Law School faculty hated Obama “because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool”

The smartest genius President evah is nothing more than a carboard cutout. A fraud. Doesn’t exist. We don’t even know how he did in school because to this day his transcripts are sealed. Turns out now that when he was an instructor at the Chicago, his colleagues who were actual Professors didn’t like him and didn’t want him. Obama’s position was obtained through political channels. From Doug Ross: To be (a lawyer) or not to be…

Is the President’s resume accurate when it comes to his career and qualifications? I can corroborate that Obama’s “teaching career” at Chicago was, to put it kindly, a sham.

I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool. According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement).

Consider this: 1. President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a “lawyer”. He surrendered his license back in 2008 possibly to escape charges that he “fibbed” on his bar application. …

4. A senior lecturer is one thing. A fully ranked law professor is another. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Obama did NOT ‘hold the title’ of a University of Chicago law school professor”. Barack Obama was NOT a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago.

5. The University of Chicago released a statement in March, 2008 saying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “served as a professor” in the law school, but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed in 2008.

6. “He did not hold the title of professor of law,” said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago School of Law.

7. The former Constitutional senior lecturer cited the U.S. Constitution recently during his State of the Union Address. Unfortunately, the quote he cited was from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

Here was that video that I posted back in January (Video: Former Constitutional Law Professor Obama makes up quotes in SOTU not found in the Constitution):

10. By the way, the promises are not a notion, our founders named them unalienable rights. The document is our Declaration of Independence and it reads: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

11. And this is the same guy who lectured the Supreme Court moments later in the same speech?

When you are a phony it’s hard to keep facts straight.

For a constitutional senior lecturer, it’s also noteworthy that Obama doesn’t know what car insurance covers

UPDATE: Doug Ross updates with this: Most Transparent President Ever Has Bar Records Redacted This Week, Leaving Only Traces of His Existence Some Betamax Videos and a Fraternity Pin

President Obama’s Occidental College transcripts have never been released. His Columbia transcripts are, likewise, AWOL. And his Harvard Law transcripts also haven’t been made public. Finally, it’s reported, he never published any articles while at Harvard, yet somehow served as Editor of Law Review. That would make him unique among editors, according to insiders.

Even John “D Student” Kerry was guilt-tripped into releasing his transcripts.

Curiously, since I relayed a report of Obama’s “teaching career” at Chicago (he was apparently never a law professor, as some have claimed), the Illinois Bar has decided to partially redact what little public information it had available on its website related to the President’s legal status.

UPDATE #2: Another from Doug Ross: Rub a dub dub, how many IDs does one profile need?

An anonymous tipster points out that the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois has gone through some amazing contortions maintaining a single database record for a retired attorney named Barack Obama

“The Biggest Hustle In Human History”: Investigation Reveals Numerous Bogus Claims On Obama’s Resume – “The President Of The United States Is A Complete Fraud”

“The Biggest Hustle In Human History”: Investigation Reveals Numerous Bogus Claims On Obama’s Resume – “The President Of The United States Is A Complete Fraud”

April 4th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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The Examiner:

In what is being called ‘the biggest hustle in human history,‘ a special investigation has discovered numerous bogus claims on Barack Obama’s resume, including the outright lie that he was a ‘Constitutional scholar and professor.’

The claim turns out to be false.

As investigators delve further into the background of Barack Obama, a disturbing picture is emerging of a man who is not who he claims to be. The information the public has been told concerning Obama is turning out to be false–fabrications and inventions of a man and an unseen force behind him that had clear ulterior motives for seeking the highest office in the land.

According to a special report issued by ‘the Blogging Professor,’ the Chicago Law School faculty hated Obama. The report states that Obama was unqualified, that he was never a ‘constitutional professor and scholar,’ and that he never served as editor of the Harvard Law Review while a student at the school.

The real truth is that Barack Obama was merely an ‘instructor’ at Chicago Law School, not a professor. Commonly, instructors are non-tenure-track teachers hired by colleges and universities to teach certain courses for a salary that is well below that of Associate Professors or full Professors.

In the hierarchy of higher education, the status of instructors is below that of associate professors and professors because they lack the credentials.

In fact, it can be safely concluded that the claims of Barack Obama concerning his educational credentials and work history in higher education are a complete sham. The President of the United States is a complete fraud.

According to Doug Ross:

I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about “Barry.” Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn’t even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn’t have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool. According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement).

Thus, the question arises, was the claim that Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review a ‘put-up job’ as well, allowing the student to claim he held this prestigious position without having the qualifications or meeting the requirements of holding that position? And why?

Further,

Consider this: 1. President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a “lawyer”. He surrendered his license back in 2008 possibly to escape charges that he “fibbed” on his bar application.

2. Michelle Obama “voluntarily surrendered” her law license in 1993.

3. So, we have the President and First Lady – who don’t actually have licenses to practice law. Facts.

4. A senior lecturer is one thing. A fully ranked law professor is another. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Obama did NOT ‘hold the title’ of a University of Chicago law school professor”. Barack Obama was NOT a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago.

5. The University of Chicago released a statement in March, 2008 saying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) “served as a professor” in the law school, but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed in 2008.

These are highly disturbing facts, verified facts from the people who know at the Chicago Law School.

There is more from Ross, however:

6. “He did not hold the title of professor of law,” said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago School of Law.

7. The former Constitutional senior lecturer cited the U.S. Constitution recently during his State of the Union Address. Unfortunately, the quote he cited was from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

8. The B-Cast posted the video.

9. In the State of the Union Address, President Obama said: “We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in ourConstitution: the notion that we are all created equal.”

10. By the way, the promises are not a notion, our founders named them unalienable rights. The document is our Declaration of Independence and it reads: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

11. And this is the same guy who lectured the Supreme Court moments later in the same speech?

When you are a phony it’s hard to keep facts straight.

Obama has made sure that all of his records are sealed tight. And apart from the courageous souls at the various educational institutions who dared to speak the truth, the schools Obama claimed to attend unanimously refuse to release transcripts, records, or other bits of evidence concerning Obama’s presence in their institutions.

BREAKING DEVELOPMENT–just as these disturbing facts come to light about Barack Obama, the White House is busy making deals with numerous ‘journalists,’ promising unprecedented access to the President in exchange for refraining from reporting certain information ‘they may discover.’

Survey: 40% Of Tea Party Members Are Democrats Or Independents

Survey: 40% Of Tea Party Members Are Democrats Or Independents

April 4th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Tea Party Rally

The Hill:

Four in 10 Tea Party members are either Democrats or Independents, according to a new national survey.

The findings provide one of the most detailed portraits to date of the grassroots movement that started last year.

The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal.

The Winston Group conducted three national telephone surveys of 1,000 registered voters between December and February. Of those polled, 17 percent – more than 500 people — said they were “part of the Tea Party movement.”

“It’s a good sample size,” said David Winston, the polling firm’s director. “It will certainly give us an initial base to follow where these folks are.”

The group is united around two issues – the economy/jobs and reducing the deficit. They believe that cutting spending is the key to job creation and favor tax cuts as the best way to stimulate the economy. That said 61 percent of Tea Party members believe infrastructure spending creates jobs. Moreover, given the choice Tea Party members favor 63-32 reducing unemployment to 5 percent over balancing the budget.

It isn’t a “purely homogeneous” group, said Winston.

The group has a favorable view of Republicans generally but that drops from 71 to 57 percent if they’re asked about Congressional Republicans. Congressional Democrats are viewed very unfavorably by 75 percent of Tea Party members – a uniquely strong antipathy. An overwhelming 95 percent said “Democrats are taxing, spending, and borrowing too much.”

The group also vehemently dislikes President Barack Obama – even more so than those who called themselves Republicans in the survey. Over 80 percent of Tea Party members disapprove of the job he’s doing as president, whereas 77 percent of Republican respondents said they disapprove of Obama. The Tea Party members are also strongly opposed to the Democrats’ healthcare plan, with 82 percent saying they oppose it — only 48 percent of respondents overall were opposed.

Tea Party members are more likely to be male, slightly older and middle income. Almost half the members of the group reported getting their news about national issues from Fox News, 10 percent of respondents said that talk radio is one of their top two sources, which is seven-points higher than average voter.

Rasmussen: 63% Of Mainstream Americans Say Their Views Are Closer To The Tea Parties’ Than To Obama’s

Rasmussen: 63% Of Mainstream Americans Say Their Views Are Closer To The Tea Parties’ Than To Obama’s

April 5th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Tea Party Rally

Rasmussen:

On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.

Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.

The partisan divide is similar to that found in the President’s Job Approval Ratings and on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

“Unaffiliated voters are continuing the pattern they established in 2006 and 2008 of opposing the party in power,” notes Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. In his new book, Scott makes the case that “the American people don’t want to be governed from the left, the right, or the center. They want to govern themselves.” In Search of Self-Governance has received positive reviews from across the political spectrum and is available at Rasmussen Reports and Amazon.com.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of those in the Political Class say their views are closer to the president. The Obama Administration has created a significantly larger government and political role in the economy.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Mainstream Americans say their views are closer to the Tea Party.

Last week, Rasmussen Reports released data showing that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress. Only 26% felt closer to Congress.

The new polling found that just 33% believe their views are closer to the average member of a Labor Union than to Congress. In fact, a plurality of voters were undecided when asked about that comparison. While 48% of Democrats said their own views were closer to the average union member, most Republicans and unaffiliated voters could not choose between the two.

In a head-to-head comparison, 45% felt closer to the average Tea Party Member while 35% felt closer to the average union member.

Fifty-three percent (53%) believe their views are closer to the average school teacher than to Congress. Teachers scored six points higher than the Tea Party members when compared to Congress.

In a head-to-head match-up, 47% said they felt closer to the average school teacher while 41% said they felt closer to the average Tea Party member. Once again, the results betray a heavy partisan difference. Democrats prefer the school teachers, Republicans are closer to the Tea Party, and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.

Earlier polling found that just 16% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party Movement. However, views of the Tea Party remain more positive than negative among voters. Just 11% believe Congress is doing a good or an excellent job.

Judge says threats to confiscate children may be coercion

Judge says threats to confiscate children may be coercion

Homeschool family’s case against sheriff’s office, social services advanced



Posted: April 04, 2010
6:00 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

An Arizona homeschool family’s constitutional lawsuit against authorities – including sheriff’s deputies, social service workers and even an assistant attorney general – has been advanced by a judge who ruled that a threat to take the family’s children into custody could have been perceived as coercion.

It was the second straight strike against authorities who went to the home of John and Tiffany Loudermilk in 2006. WND has previously reported on the case, including when a judge ruled social workers must respect the U.S. Constitution regarding privacy and parental rights.

The court decisions have focused on arguments by deputies and social workers, who contend they shouldn’t be held liable for their actions.

Earlier, the court ruled that social workers, accompanied by Maricopa County deputy sheriffs, made unsupported threats to place a family’s children in custody and arrest the parents if they were not allowed to make what ended up being an allegedly illegal search of the family’s home.

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U.S. District Judge Earl H. Carroll at that point ordered that a lawsuit by the family against the social workers and sheriff would be allowed to continue, because the social workers’ concerns were based on “an anonymous tip that the … Loudermilk children were being neglected and that plaintiffs’ home was uninhabitable.”

However, the judge said that under federal law, an anonymous tip, “without more, does not constitute probable cause.”

The Loudermilk’s are members of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a Virginia-based organization leading their defense.

“Social workers and sheriff’s deputies had come to the home … demanding entry based on a six-week-old anonymous tip that the newly constructed home was unsafe for children,” the organization said.

Now in a ruling this week, the judge in the case denied a state motion for summary judgment, stating, “The disputed questions of fact on these [consent] issues … preclude summary judgment.”

The ruling means a jury must decide whether the Loudermilks were coerced into allowing social workers and deputies into their home.

The lawsuit dates to March 3, 2006, and the state was trying, according to the HSLDA, to convince the judge that the social workers and deputies were immune from litigation because the family “voluntarily” allowed the investigators into the home.

The HSLDA said, however, that “assertion … ignores the fact the social worker had said the Loudermilk children would be removed for 72 hours if the parents did not permit entry.”

“We are grateful that the judge is taking this matter seriously and making sure that a family’s right to be together is protected,” said Darren Jones, staff attorney with HSLDA. “The Loudermilks are doing a service to all families by their willingness to stand up against unjustified state intervention, not just at the initial contact, but for the four years this case has been going on.”

A 2008 analysis of the arguments by HSLDA noted the confrontation between social service agency staff members and the family developed when authorities went to the family’s home and demanded entry.

Their reason was a six-week-old anonymous tip that the brand new home was unsafe for children.

The HSDLA analysis then said, “After an escalating confrontation at the front door that lasted 40 minutes, the social workers, backed by no fewer than four deputies, threatened to take the Loudermilks’ children into custody and place them in foster care if the Loudermilks continued to deny them entry into their home. An assistant attorney general repeated this threat to HSLDA Attorney Thomas Schmidt, who was assisting the Loudermilks by phone during the confrontation.

“Under this duress, Mr. and Mrs. Loudermilk allowed the social workers and sheriff’s deputies inside. Within five minutes, the social workers determined that the anonymous tip was false and left,” the analysis said.

The family’s subsequent lawsuit filed by the HSLDA alleged violations of the Fourth and 14th Amendments.

The lawsuit names Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, deputies Joshua Ray, Joseph Sousa, Richard Gagnon and Michael Danner, social workers Rhonda Cash and Jenna Cramer, and Assistant Attorney General Julie Rhodes.

The judge, in handing authorities their previous courtroom loss, noted that the social workers misrepresented that they had a court order for an inspection of the home. He also noted the deputies were uncooperative, refusing to provide their cell phone number so the HSLDA attorney could talk to them.

The judge ruled then verbal threats generally are not actionable in a federal civil rights proceeding, but in this case, “courts have held that a threat constitutes an actionable constitutional violation in certain circumstances, including ‘when the threat is so brutal or wantonly cruel as to shock the conscience.'”

Sen. Kyl fires first shot in battle over next Supreme Court nominee

The battle over the next Supreme Court justice is already under way, as the No. 2 Republican in the Senate on Sunday would not rule out blocking a successor to Justice John Paul Stevens — who said in interviews published this weekend his retirement is on the horizon.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” warned President Obama not to try nominating anyone “overly ideological” to replace Stevens, who is known as the leader of the liberal wing of the court.

He suggested the party did not want anyone so outspoken as Sonia Sotomayor, who was picked to replace former Justice David Souter last year, and said the decision on whether the GOP will filibuster will “all depend” on who the next nominee is.

Full story: FOXNews.com – Sen. Kyl Fires First Shot in Battle Over Next Supreme Court Nominee

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/04/04/sen-kyl-fires-first-shot-in-battle-over-next-supreme-court-nominee/print/#ixzz0kEPuuCG1

Obamacare vs. Jobs

The Public Policy

Obamacare vs. Jobs

By on 4.5.10 @ 6:08AM

Now that Obamacare has been enacted, we definitely won’t be knocking any new archways through the wall at our restaurant and expanding into the empty storefront next door.

With a waiting line on weekends, we could use the additional seats. The adjacent space could also be turned into a party room with seating for 50, perfect for communions, business meetings, and showers.

But there will be no sawing and hammering or reducing the neighborhood’s unemployment rate because we already have 42 employees and it’s at 50 workers that the hefty new fines, mandates and penalties kick in under Obamacare.

As the National Federation of Independent Business explains: “Businesses with 50 or more workers will now have to pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker if they do not offer health-care coverage and have workers who access the exchanges. This penalty has nothing to do with affordability and everything to do with punishing businesses for something the government has decided businesses should be forced to provide. Worse, with new mandates like these, what incentive is there for a firm to grow any bigger than 49 employees when it means employers may face such stiff fines? This approach is the exact opposite of a recipe for incentivizing job growth.

In our case, we already offer a health insurance program to our current employees. I don’t know if that program meets the requirements of Obamacare, or if it will meet the requirements of future upgrades that might be mandated by politicians who enjoy playing Santa Claus with other people’s money. But none of that matters if we forget about expansion and stay under 50 workers.

I also don’t know if the workers in the added space could generate enough revenue to provide the level of health coverage for themselves that Obamacare demands. The average profit in the U.S. restaurant industry on $1 million in sales is $47,000 — so even if we did an extra million dollars in annual sales in the new room, it’s unlikely that there’d be enough new revenue to provide full health-care coverage for the additional staff.

In the above scenario, what we get from the government for our additional risk-taking, investing, expansion and job creation is more bureaucratic interference, higher levels of regulation and a good chance of being fined.

Our reward, more specifically, for creating 12 new jobs might well turn out to be a fine of $2,000 for each of 54 employees, or $108,000, if we don’t jump well enough through all the new hoops that the central planners in D.C. come up with for firms with 50 employees or more.

The spin on the White House’s website paints a different picture, one that’s simultaneously simple and false. Under the “I am a small business owner” and “Find out what health insurance reform would mean for you” sections, there’s this question and answer: “Question: Will I be required to provide coverage that I can’t afford? The President’s answer: No.”

It’s like going to the website of Kim Jong Il.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, none of whom ever ran anything in the private sector as complicated as a good lemonade stand, would come up with a top-down plan during a recession that delivers penalties for job creation.

Obama might say that his priority is “jobs, jobs, ,” but what he’s largely delivered is an anti-business, anti-jobs climate of uncertainty and the statist idea that job creation is defined as ten guys standing around a pothole instead of six. As Investor’s Business Daily reports: “Since the start of last year, the federal government added 81,000 jobs. By contrast, private-sector payrolls have shed 4.71 million.”

Over jobs the past decade, small businesses created three-quarters of the nation’s net new jobs. They do that the best when they’re not tied up in red tape or drained of capital via excessive taxation, fines and political intrusions.

Obama’s call for the unionization of these small firms via card check represents a clear attack on the nation’s most successful job creators and a fundamental disrespect for the very essence of the nation’s independent businesses. “Independent” means that we didn’t go into business to please politicians or to meet with grievance chairs the first thing in the morning.

The death tax, additionally, returns next year with only a $1 million exemption and a full 55 percent rate of confiscating assets, creating further disincentives to growth. Why knock through the dining room wall if the IRS is just going to increase the business value by $1 million and come after my kids at the funeral for $550,000?

Rep. Henry Waxman, seemingly unable to tolerate this kind of talk, wants to haul CEOs into hearings to defend their public comments regarding the price of Obamacare to their firms. Maybe he should call me in too, because I’m saying that Obamacare killed a dozen or so jobs that I could easily have created and that Obama and Waxman can multiply that by the millions of small business firms in order to get some idea of the real price of their flawed health care reform.

Letter to the Editor

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University and a columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Dressing Up Standards, Dumbing Down Schools

Dressing Up Standards, Dumbing Down Schools

Posted By Terrence Moore On April 4, 2010 @ 12:23 pm In Culture, Education | 87 Comments

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, Homer teaches us, something every school child used to know. Beware of politicians and expert educators bearing standards, the last seventy years or more of Progressive education should have taught us. But we are slow to learn.

Dunce-Cap

We have been given almost a month to digest the hundreds of pages of the new National Governors Association’s Common Core State Standards that could well become national standards pressed in some way upon every child who attends a public school in America. So we had better read, write, and think fast. Pundits and educationists, even some stalwarts of education reform, are beginning to praise these new standards as being more comprehensive than any before, far better than what the diverse and unreliable states are providing. Schools will now be held accountable to “higher standards”; teachers will know what they are responsible for teaching; students will be swept up in “the vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century,” which, we must surmise, is very different from what it meant to be literate in, say, the eighteenth century, when the likes of Thomas Jefferson read Latin and Greek for fun. It all sounds wonderful. At least it does until sensible people realize that these standards, which are only the best of the worst of the existing state standards, have absolutely nothing to do with sound education. It will be a mistake to get bogged down in a discussion of whether these standards are better than the various state standards since the whole enterprise is just a diversion hiding what truly ails public schools. The reason is obvious to anyone who has ever listened to some of these so-called experts drone on about standards without ever making a literary reference or drawing a lesson from history or even talking about a book.

Let us imagine an author at his craft, say, Herman Melville while writing Moby Dick, or Jane Austen working on Pride and Prejudice. Now assuredly what these literary artists hoped above all else was that a century or two from their own time students in high schools would be using their great works not better to understand love or honor or revenge or nobility or happiness, but to “analyze how multiple themes or central ideas in a text interact, build on, and, in some cases, conflict with one another”; as well as to “analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).” We know that this sort of innocuous thing is what the authors had in mind because that is what our teachers told us in school. We remember the drill: the plot graphs—rising action, climax, falling action (or denouement)—the cast lists of main characters and outlines of “main ideas,” the possible literary techniques—foreshadowing, alliteration, onomatopoeia. What we do not remember is one dad-gum thing about these stories: what insight they gave us into the human condition, what they portray as heroism, villainy, love, or self-deception. We do not remember any of these life-ennobling themes because those matters never came up in our English (what are now called our “Language Arts”) classes.

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