Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars

Russia diversifies into Canadian dollars

By Peter Garnham

Published: January 20 2010 16:46 | Last updated: January 20 2010 16:46

Russia’s central bank announced on Wednesday that it had started buying Canadian dollars and securities in a bid to diversify its foreign exchange reserves.

Analysts said the move could be a sign of increased diversification of emerging market central bank assets away from the dollar and into investments denominated in other commodity-linked currencies, such as the Australian dollar.

Adam Cole at RBC Capital Markets said if taken in isolation, Russia’s announcement that it was buying Canadian dollars was not significant, but if it was part of a broader trend, then it was an important step.

“If it is a barometer for the activity of other central banks, then its is structurally positive for the currencies of countries like Canada and Australia that have a commodity bias in their economies,” he said.

Although not officially confirmed, traders said that other emerging market central banks, including some in Asia which hold large foreign exchange reserves, have also been active in the foreign exchange market in recent weeks buying both Canadian dollars and Australian dollars.

Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank, said that it would invest in Canadian dollar-denominated deposits and bonds.

“The Canadian financial market is not very deep, so we can invest in deposits in significant volumes, while the bond market is limited,” he said.

Although the central bank did not specify how much of its reserves it was allocating to assets denominated in the Canadian dollar, analysts estimated that the central bank could put up to $9bn, or 2 per cent, of its foreign exchange reserves into the currency.

Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, the world’s third largest, stood at $439bn at the end of December. These stockpiles have grown by 14 per cent since the start of the rally on global asset markets in March as rising commodity prices have boosted mineral-rich Russia’s coffers.

Ahead of Wednesday’s announcement, Russia’s foreign exchange reserves were evenly split between dollar and euros.

Alarmed at the plummeting value of the dollars in its holdings, Russia has been at the vanguard of countries calling for the US authorities to stem the fall of its currency. Last year, along with China, Russia urged the creation of a new supra-national currency to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

The dollar has fallen more than 12 per cent on a trade-weighted basis since March. Commodity-linked currencies have rallied strongly, however, with the Canadian dollar up 24 per cent against the US dollar over that period and the Australian dollar 40 per cent higher.

This has prompted Russia to diversify its holdings. Indeed, in addition to its plans to buy Canadian dollars, Sergei Ignatiev, chairman of the Russia’s central bank, said last month that its was “discussing the possibility” of buying Australian dollars.

But some analysts warned that emerging market central banks might be in danger of buying commodity-linked currencies at the top of the market.

“In the long run it makes perfect sense for emerging market countries to diversify into commodity linked currencies,” said Simon Derrick at Bank of New York Mellon.

“But in the short-term, I would urge caution given that many commodity-linked currencies currently stand at extremely high levels on a historical basis.”

Massachusetts to Obama: ‘No, You Can’t!’

Massachusetts to Obama: ‘No, You Can’t!’

Posted By Larry Elder On January 21, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 11 Comments


“Let me be as clear as I can. There is no way in hell we’re going to elect a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s seat. Period.”

So said the man who finished second in the Democratic Massachusetts primary held to fill the seat occupied for 47 years by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. State Attorney General Martha Coakley won the primary. Republican state Sen. Scott Brown once trailed her by 30 points in the polls.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010, Brown defeated Coakley by 5 points. This astonishing Republican win in Massachusetts is a flat-out repudiation of President Barack Obama.

This is now strike five. In 2008, Obama carried New Jersey and Virginia. Last year, he unsuccessfully stumped in both states for Democrats in gubernatorial races. Democrats previously held those seats. He twice flew to Copenhagen, once to lobby for the Chicago Olympics and later to get a meaningful international deal on “climate change.” Both times, he came home empty-handed. Now comes Massachusetts. Try to explain that one away.

Massachusetts had not elected a Republican senator since 1972. Its 10-seat House delegation is wall-to-wall Democrats. Obama, in 2008, carried the state by 26 points. Registered Democrats in Massachusetts outnumber registered Republicans by more than 3 to 1.

What happened? One, Obama. Two, the Democratic filibuster-proof Senate supermajority. Three, a party led by like-minded lefties.

But ObamaCare is ground zero. Brown campaigned against it and promised he’d try to stop it. The unpopular legislation would mandate that everyone carry health insurance. It would force insurance companies to accept those with pre-existing illnesses. It would tax — or, if you prefer, fine — employers for not providing health insurance and individuals for not having it. It would exempt union members from a tax on their employer-provided plans but force nonunion members with similar plans to pay it. Nebraska would get its new Medicaid costs exempted in perpetuity. Louisiana would receive $300 million in goodies.

ObamaCare, according to Obama, promises both deficit neutrality and eventual cost savings. Right. And the legislation ignores the fact that most Americans have and like their current health insurance.

The Democrats misread the country’s mood. They misunderstood why they won in ‘08. They thought that Obama’s election and their gains in Congress meant not just receptiveness, but an eagerness to embrace a New Enlightenment. They believed that people really want to tax “the rich,” to redistribute wealth, to punish success.

So Obama set sail to grow government — to use tax dollars to create “green jobs,” to tackle “climate change” with onerous regulations on businesses.

He showed the world his un-Bushness by apologizing for America’s alleged past arrogance and by employing a kinder, gentler approach to what we once called the War on Terror.

He called the passage of the partisan “stimulus” bill necessary to prevent unemployment from reaching 8 percent. It is now 10 percent. The bill promised to “create or save” millions of jobs. Instead, it created embarrassing headlines about money going to nonexistent ZIP codes and about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per “created or saved” job. Brown called for tax cuts and criticized Obama’s stimulus plan.

The Obamacrats bailed out insurance companies, car companies and banks. Bank bailout recipients rang up huge profits, repaid the government ahead of schedule and then dealt themselves big bonuses. People looked at all the Wall Streeters in and/or advising the administration and wondered, “Why did they need our money in the first place?”

The Boston Massacre dooms ObamaCare — at the very least its current incarnation. It pulls the country back from the brink of this costly, irreversible leap into collectivism. Oh, sure, Democrats have procedural maneuvers to pull it off. But after this wake-up call, let them try. Gone are “cap and trade” and a second spendthrift ‘’stimulus package,” as well as an attempt at “immigration reform” — even as our borders remain scarily porous. With Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the federal debt on automatic pilot, ObamaCare was a pillow pressed over the face of the country.

Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean, representing the left-left wing of the left-wing party, says Massachusetts means that Democrats should turn further left. Does he know that only 26 percent of Massachusetts voters think RomneyCare, their own version of ObamaCare, is effective?

Dean thinks Democrats wussed out on providing a health insurance “public option” and calls the bill a sop to greedy “special interests.” Dean is obtuse. Other Democrats will trade ideology for self-preservation. They will reflect and redirect or suffer the consequences.

As for the late Sen. Kennedy, his death opened a seat that guarantees the defeat of ObamaCare 1.0. Kennedy’s death, therefore, stopped this wide-ranging health care “reform.”

And America now has a new lease on life.

Nevada Senate: Obama to Appear with Reid Next Month Worked Great in Mass.

Nevada Senate: Obama to Appear with Reid Next Month

January 20, 2010 by senatus

President Obama “will appear with politically embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in Las Vegas next month, according to a White House official,” Congressional Quarterly reports.

While it is not clear whether the appearance will be overtly political, any appearance by the president in Reid’s home state is likely to be seen as an effort to buck up Reid’s re-election effort.

Reid faces a difficult race and trails potential Republican challengers in some recent polls.

CQ Politics rates the general election race as a Tossup.


Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rise

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rise

New jobless claims unexpectedly rise, more people receive extended benefits


Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer, On Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:23 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A surprising jump in first-time claims for unemployment benefits is a painful reminder that jobs remain scarce six months into the economic recovery.

The increase deflated hopes among some analysts that the economy would produce a net gain in jobs in January.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose last week by 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 482,000. Wall Street economists expected a small drop, according to Thomson Reuters.

The four-week average, which smooths fluctuations, rose for the first time since August, to 448,250.

A Labor Department analyst said that much of the increase last week was due to administrative backlogs leftover from the winter holidays in the state agencies that process the claims.

Still, that would indicate that claims totals in previous weeks were articifically low, many economists said. Those drops had raised hopes that layoffs were ending and that employers would add a modest number of jobs in January.

The January employment report will be issued Feb. 5. But the surveys that are used to compile that report were conducted last week, so economists pay are paying close attention to the jobless claims figures from that week.

“The trend in the data is still discouraging,” Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial, wrote in a note to clients. “Hopes for a positive employment number in January … are rapidly dimming.”

The stock market fell in morning trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 170 points by late morning, while broader indexes also declined.

A separate report that seeks to forecast future economic activity was positive: The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators jumped 1.1 percent in December, suggesting that economic growth could pick up this spring.

Eight of the 10 components in the index showed improvement, with the strongest gains in the so-called interest rate spread and building permits, which are a signal of future home construction.

The interest rate spread is the difference between the cost of borrowing money for 10 years and borrowing overnight.

In jobs market, initial claims for unemployment benefits had dropped steadily since last fall, as companies cut fewer jobs. First-time claims have dropped by 50,000, or almost 10 percent, since late October.

Still, employers are reluctant to hire. The Labor Department said earlier this month that employers cut 85,000 jobs in December, after adding 4,000 in November. November’s increase was the first in nearly two years. The unemployment rate was 10 percent, unchanged from November.

Many economists say the four week average of claims will need to fall to below 425,000 to signal that the economy is close to generating net job gains.

The economy is growing, but not quickly enough to bring down widespread joblessness. Most economists estimate that the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy’s output, grew at about a 4 percent clip in last year’s fourth quarter. That followed 2.2 percent growth in the July-September period.

Meanwhile, the number of people continuing to claim regular benefits dropped slightly to just under 4.6 million. The continuing claims data lags initial claims by a week.

But the so-called continuing claims do not include millions of people who have used up the regular 26 weeks of benefits customarily provided by states and are now receiving extended benefits for up to 73 additional weeks, paid for by the federal government.

More than 5.9 million are receiving extended benefits in the week ending Jan. 2, the latest data available, an increase of more than 600,000 from the previous week. The data for emergency benefits lags initial claims by two weeks.

The increasing number of people claiming extended unemployment insurance indicates that even as layoffs are declining, hiring hasn’t picked up. That leaves people out of work for longer and longer periods of time.

Among the states, California saw the largest increase in claims, with 16,160. Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and Georgia saw the next largest increases. The state data lags the initial claims data by a week.

Oregon saw the biggest drop in claims, of 5,784, followed by Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan and Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain-Feingold


January 21, 2010 10:45 AM

SCOTUS Knocks Down McCain-Feingold
By Daniel Foster

Updated: 11:18 A.M. 

The Supreme Court today struck down key elements of McCain-Feingold legislation in a decision that could radically alter campaign finance.

In a broad 5-4 decision in Citizens United vs. FEC, the Court found unconstitutional provisions in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act that prevented corporate and labor union money from funding some kinds of political communication. Under the ruling these groups may now fund political advertisements out of their general treasuries.

The decision overturns Austin vs. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and part of McConnell vs. FEC, which separated individual and collective campaign contributions into two legal classes and restricted the latter. But it upholds restrictions on direct contributions by corporate bodies to candidates, as well as requirements that the funding sources of political advertisements be disclosed to the public.

The case does not affect political action committees (PACs), which pool voluntary donations from individuals for direct contributions to candidates.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Tohmas. Associate Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the dissent.

The majority saw the Austin and McConnell cases as significant departures from “ancient” First Amendment case law, compelling them to overturn the more recent precedents.

“We…hold that stare decisis does not compel the continued acceptance of Austin. The Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether,” Kennedy says in his decision.

In his dissent, Justice Stevens warned that “The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”

When the case was first heard last march, at issue was whether campaign finance laws that cap corporate spending on political activities applied to Hillary: The Movie, a scathing documentary about Hillary Clinton financed by a non-profit group.

But the case was given an unusual re-hearing, with new players in the form of Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Obama Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and this time it focused on the much broader question of whether corporate spending limits were themselves constitutional.

In an unconventional line of argument, Kagan seemed prepared to grant that non-profits like Citizens United, which produced the critical Clinton documentary, were not subject to the restrictions of 2002’s McCain-Feingold bill, so long as restrictions for for-profit corporations remained in place.

In response to the suggestion by Chief Justice John Roberts as to whether she — and by extension the government — had decided to strategically “give up” the particulars of the case to preserve the broader impact of McCain-Feingold, Kagan responded:

“If you are asking me, Mr. Chief Justice, as to whether the government has a position as to the way it loses, if it has to lose, the answer is yes.”

Ride the Tide with Commonsense Candidates!

Ride the Tide with Commonsense Candidates!
 Yesterday at 6:00am
I want to again thank the good people of Massachusetts for propelling a commonsense, independent agenda forward! May the working man and woman feel empowered now more than ever to get involved in their government, and let’s put this great country on the right track.

The past year continues to offer the promise of commonsense government in so many areas. There are steps we can all take to get there, one of which is to support candidates who promise to fight for the people and against politics as usual. I’m excited to get out and help elect candidates who will bring those principles to our nation’s towns, state houses, and directly to Washington D.C. We are already making plans to support the candidates our nation needs to make a difference and speak for everyday Americans.

I look forward to helping Governors like Rick Perry in Texas, Representatives like Michele Bachmann in Minnesota, and heroes and statesmen like Senator John McCain. We will support these candidates and others so that they can continue to fight for our American values.

The special election yesterday in Massachusetts was truly amazing. It is a clear indication of things to come and a demonstration of the momentum we all share in the fight for the values and policies that will get our country back to work. The commonsense conservative principles of liberty and fiscal responsibility are on the rise, and that’s why I’m going out and campaigning as hard as I can to make a difference. I can’t wait to join all of you in supporting these great candidates and many more over the coming months.

In the meantime, visit the websites of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and John McCain. And join us as we embark on America’s journey to November!

– Sarah Palin

Mr. Brown goes to Washington: A recommended itinerary

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

Mr. Brown goes to Washington: A recommended itinerary

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 21, 2010 09:24 AM

Scroll for updates…

GOP Sen.-elect Scott Brown of the People’s Seat of Massachusetts heads to D.C. today.

He mentioned wanting to play basketball with Barack Obama and has mentioned looking forward to meeting with John McCain. He will also meet with Harry Reid.

Here is my hope: I hope that he will reach out as aggressively to conservative Republican senators as he is to Democrats and moooooderate Republicans.

I hope he will meet with GOP Sen. Jim DeMint and GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions, who can share their Constitution-rooted insights on everything from health care to homeland security.

I hope he will meet with GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, a font of knowledge about the cap-and-trade scam, global warming cultists, and Climategate shenanigans.

I hope he will meet with GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, one of the most vigilant spending watchdogs in Congress.

And I hope his door will be open to the best free-market, pro-taxpayer think tanks and resources in town — Heritage, Cato, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, and Judicial Watch, for starters.

Sen. Brown is no longer a parochial state legislator in a teeny-tiny minority. He’s a national figure coming to the Beltway, where there’s a robust ideological and intellectual infrastructure to support the low-tax, limited-government agenda he campaigned on in the Bay State.

Use it!


Update 11:10am. Awwwwkward. Fox News just showed John Kerry and Scott Brown talking to the press. Kerry looked stiffer than a frozen meat slab. He showed signs of passive-aggressive syndrome — ostensibly praising Brown while prefacing every Demcare talking point with “and I would think that Scott wouldn’t want” puppies and children to die, etc. Lurch couldn’t wait to get the event over with…his face looked ready to melt.

Obama’s First Year: Defeat, Disarray, Disillusionment

Obama’s First Year: Defeat, Disarray, Disillusionment

January 21st, 2010

By Jim Meyers, Newsmax

Exactly one year ago today, President Barack Obama swept into the White House on winds of promised change. But a Newsmax look back at his first 365 days in office finds far fewer highlights than lowlights.

Lowlights include:

Within days of taking office, Obama broke his pledge not to raise any taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year by imposing a tax hike of 61 cents on a pack of cigarettes. Measures the president supports would hike taxes by $2.1 trillion over 10 years, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

Just weeks after moving into the White House, Obama signed an executive order to shut down the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay and ordered it closed within a year. Nearly a year after he signed the order, the facility remains open.

The administration decided to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other 9/11 terrorists in a civilian court in New York rather than in a military court, prompting critics to predict a “public show trial.”

Obama traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, in an effort to convince Olympics officials to stage the 2016 games in Chicago. They chose Rio de Janeiro instead.

Obama also traveled to Copenhagen for the much-ballyhooed climate change conference, but the bid to forge a broad alliance against global warming fell short, and the Obama-favored cap-and-trade legislation appears to be dead in Congress.

The president dithered for months before finally agreeing to send additional troops to Afghanistan, then drew criticism for setting a date for U.S. withdrawal. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that less than half of respondents approve of Obama’s handling of the war overall.

Obama said he would end the war in Iraq. During the year since he took office, 473 more soldiers have died there and elsewhere, and troops remain in Iraq.

Read More:

1st Year Report Card for Barack Obama

1st Year Report Card for Barack Obama

January 21st, 2010

Memo for the Movement

“…as noted in the December issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter no other President in the past half-century has seen his Gallup job-approval rating drop as far as Obama’s has in his first year (down 21 points), and no president in that same half century has seen his approval rating go up, even as much as 1 point, between the end of his first year and the eve of his first midterm election”

–Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report, January 16, 2010

RE: President Obama gave himself a B+ grade for his first year in office. The American people—represented by the citizens of Virginia, New Jersey and just yesterday Massachusetts– have given him an “F”.

ACTION: President Obama needs to repeat his first year and pay more attention to all Americans, not just Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid and Chief of Staff Emanuel before he can be considered for promotion.


Reading: “F”

Comments: President Obama’s attempt to pass the individual healthcare mandate, his legislating by executive order and through “czars”, and his lack of awareness of the president’s role as “the commander-in chief” are all very concerning. He also does not appear to be reading closely the guest list of invitees to State Dinners at The White House (see Tareq & Michaele Salahi and Carlos Allen).

Writing: “F”

Comments: A 2,000-page bill imposing government run healthcare on the American people is not an acceptable length for an essay assignment. In addition, President Obama needs to show greater independence from the teleprompter. He has repeatedly failed to dot “i’s” and cross “t’s” in such legislation as the stimulus bill.

Arithmetic: “F”

Comments: President Obama has shown he has difficulty dealing with numbers. He routinely spends three dollars for every two dollars that he receives in revenue. Moreover, on his website––he has reported job creation in congressional districts that do not exist. He should review his addition and subtraction, along with multiplication tables.

Introductory Economics: “F”

Comments: President Obama has struggled greatly with his ability to count, find, and maintain jobs. When the stimulus was passed, the rationale was that the unemployment rate could reach as high as 8% without such legislation. The rate is now 10%. The hiring of a personal tutor (Tim Geithner) who was unable to do his own income taxes or sell his own house demonstrated an inability to self correct.

History: “F”

Comments: President Obama has failed the standardized Constitution test multiple times and should review the 10th Amendment, 2nd Amendment, and Articles I and II of the Constitution in great detail. He should also familiarize himself with the Reagan & Kennedy tax cuts, as well as the Hyde Amendment when it comes to taxpayer funding for abortion.

Deportment: “F”

Comments: President Obama has not shown a great deal of honesty with fellow students. For example, he has hidden away healthcare negotiations from the public despite his campaign promise to have these events televised on C-SPAN. Also, he has demonstrated a propensity for discarding friends after showering praise on them—Tom Daschle, Van Jones, Gregory Craig.

Playing well with others: “F”

Comments: President Obama’s extreme partisan political agenda, his boycotting of Fox News, his snubbing of traditional allies and his shameless attempt over the summer recess to appease an Irish-American police officer by offering him alcohol on school grounds have not won him many friends. 

Attendance: “Needs Improvement”

Comments: Hawaii, Copenhagen, Oslo, Basketball and Golf are not recommended study assignments during the worst economic crisis to impact the United States since the 1930’s. Also spending so much time (22 private White House meetings) with SEIU union boss & ACORN ally Andy Stern has raised quite a few eyebrows with the American taxpayers.

Note to Guardian: We recommend that President Obama not advance to the next grade


New Paul Revere rides in Boston

New Paul Revere rides in Boston

January 21st, 2010

By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, Expose Obama

 Once again the fires of liberty begin in Massachusetts

During the War for Independence from the British rule, Massachusetts led the colonies. Tuesday night, with the victory of Republican Scott Brown, the revolutionary fires of Boston once again were reignited. The message is as clear Paul Revere’s – but will the forces of socialistic big government hear the message?

The Democratic Party turned the funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy into a rally for big government and government-run health care. Their rallying cry became “Do it for Teddy.” Now the U.S. Senate seat Kennedy controlled for nearly half a century has been turned over by the voters to Republican Scott Brown, who has pledged to fight much of the Kennedy agenda. Those pesky voters have messed things up again. Robert Gibbs described President Obama as “surprised and frustrated” and “not pleased.”

What happened in the months after the British March to the Lexington Bridge is history. What happens during the historic weeks ahead is still unfolding. There are four crucial groups who will make decisions in the days ahead, deciding the outcome of this battle for the future of America.

The first group we call the liberal royalists. These are the hard-left politicians who have sworn allegiance on the altar of big government. This team is headed by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. For the past year, while reveling in their power, they rammed the notice down our throats that big government is the solution to every problem facing America.

This group is in total control of two branches of the government. Their goal is an aggressive agenda to remake the U.S. in the image of a European socialist democracy. Thus they have spent $787 billion on stimulus programs and bailouts for big businesses run by their allies in large labor unions and internationalist banks. General Motors and Chrysler were nationalized. Citibank, Bank of America and AIG are all mammoth financial firms bailed out and now largely controlled by the government.

In addition to these grabs for the reigns of private business, they are attempting to take over the health-care system via nationalization of health-care regulation and insurance.

They also want to exploit environmental regulations and taxes under the guise of fighting global warming. This will slap iron government-made shackles on the utility, oil and energy sectors of the economy.

Here is the decision these liberal royalists must make. They can listen to the voters and trim the sails of their agenda, thus moving to the center. Since gaining hegemonic power a year ago, they have made no moves toward compromise; they have ruled as a one-party dictatorship. The second option for the liberal royalists is to circle the wagons and damn the torpedoes. They can try to manipulate the U.S. Senate rules to pass health care with less than 60 votes and try to use the EPA to write rules essentially bypassing the legislative branch, instituting cap-and-trade by edict.

The second group with a big decision to make is the so-called Blue Dog Democrats. Until this point, they have followed President Obama and the liberal royalists like dutiful pups. They supported Obamacare. They voted in mass for cap-and-trade in the House of Representatives. The huge government bailouts of big banks and the stimulus plans were only made possible with their votes.

In the elections of 2010, this group is extremely vulnerable. They are Democrats representing mostly Republican states. If they want to have a prayer for re-election, they must abandon Obama’s agenda or face losing their jobs and perks.

The Republican establishment is the third group with big decisions. They won the victory in Massachusetts not because of their own prowess. They are still not loved by the American people, and distrust of Republicans runs deep. This is the group that got us in this mess by supporting big government solutions to problems while running for office as small-government Reagan Republicans. Scott Brown as a left-leaning, pro-abortion Republican is one of their own. But Scott Brown won because of the activism on the ground of the tea-party movement and the conservative insurgency rallying against Obama.

The establishment Republicans now can see a path to victory. It is a road that brings them in unison with the tea parties and the small-government, anti-tax movements. It requires them to fight harder in Washington against the Obama agenda using the filibuster and every procedural tool at their disposal. To date, they have provided ineffective resistance to the president’s agenda.

The final group with decisions to make is the tea-party activists. Will tea-party activists be accepted by the Republican Party as candidates, or will they become just a tool of the establishment similar to pro-life and social conservatives? To stay an independent and viable entity, they may in the future face battles with the Republican establishment in primaries and even in the battlefield of Congress. They must not shrink from this challenge.

Remember, Paul Revere started the ball rolling toward America’s independence. Now, in our battle to save America, we must “pack on snow” and add momentum to the ball started by Scott Brown’s victory.