Green Pigs Don’t Fly

Green Pigs Don’t Fly

By Jeffrey
Folks

Reportedly, Obama’s jobs speech will focus on
infrastructure spending, and much of that spending will undoubtedly be tied to
the creation of “green jobs.”  The problem is, what he has already spent has not
created jobs.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it may well have
cost
jobs
.  It has, however, enriched some of his wealthiest political
contributors.  And that seems to be the real motive behind the president’s
infrastructure spending.  Not green jobs, but green pork.

That appears to be the case with Obama’s $535-million
loan guarantees to Solyndra Inc.  During a 2010 visit to Solyndra’s plant in
Fremont, California, Obama insisted that the solar panel company would create
“one thousand long-term jobs.”  Solyndra has since declared bankruptcy, and it
seems unlikely that the taxpayer will recover any of the $535 million in
loans.

The half-billion that Obama threw away on Solyndra is
only a small part of $60 billion earmarked for alternative energy in Obama’s
2009 stimulus bill, and that $60 billion is only a fraction of the $100 billion
that Energy Secretary Stephen Chu envisions “investing” in alternative energy.
Solyndra is not the only green jobs company to receive stimulus funding —
hundreds of them did.  And dozens of them have gone bankrupt already, including
Evergreen Solar, taking billions of taxpayer money with them.

The GAO’s Franklin Rusco has raised questions
about the transparency and rigor of the approval process for the Solyndra loan
guarantees.  It has been suggested that the White House took a special interest
in Solyndra during the loan guarantee application process, monitoring the
process, and perhaps communicating with officials in charge.

That should be a question for congressional
investigations, and thankfully the investigations have begun.  The House
Committee on Energy and Commerce is seeking White House documents regarding
Obama’s role in obtaining the loan guarantees for Solyndra.  So far, the White
House has stonewalled, refusing to supply the requested
documents.

Reportedly, Solyndra CEO Christian M. Gronet, who
received ten
million
stock options on the same day the $535-million loan
guarantee was approved, donated to “Friends of Barbara Boxer” in 2009/2010.
According to other reports, Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a
prominent Obama campaign contributor and bundler, was a major Solyndra investor
as well.  It is an open question as to whether political contributions from
Solyndra executives and investors influenced the administration’s decision to
back the loans.

The latest green power company to receive federal loan
guarantees is SoloPower Inc., which just this month revived a $197-million loan
guarantee to build a solar film factory in Oregon.  The initial phase of the
project, funded with the help of the federal loans, along with $40 million in
loans and tax credits from the state of Oregon, is expected to create
170
new jobs
,
according to company projections.  By my calculation, that is $1.4 million per
job — not exactly a bargain for taxpayers who will then also have to pay higher
fuel bills as a result of green energy mandates.

Before coming to SoloPower, CEO Tim Harris was a
successful executive at Seagate Technology, where he is credited with setting up
an operation creating 15,000 jobs.  Those jobs were not in America, however;
they were in Malaysia, the same country where First Solar, another major
recipient of Obama loan guarantees, has located most of its new
jobs.

In fact, Obama’s green energy stimulus has done more
for job-creation in Malaysia and China than it will ever do in the U.S.  Under
Obama’s massive loan guarantee program, the American taxpayer has footed a
$60-billion bill largely for Asian job creation.

Ironically — or perversely — the president is doing
everything possible to kill off the one industry that is producing jobs that
cannot be exported to Asia.  America possesses vast new reserves of oil and gas
that can be developed only with American labor.  If only the administration
would rescind unnecessary regulation, those jobs would double virtually
overnight.  Not only that, but federal and state royalty collections would
double as well, and the U.S. trade balance would stabilize as less oil and gas
was imported.  But so far, the president continues to press for more taxes on
conventional energy companies.  And never at any time has it occurred to him
that it might be in the national interest to support energy independence by
making it easier for American energy companies to drill right here in
America.

The White House continues to insist that the $60
billion in alternative energy funding, along with tens of billions approved in
other legislation, was a wise “investment.”  Most real investors,
having lost billions on alternative energy, would shy away from solar and wind
projects.  But Obama continues to throw money away.  In September alone, the
president approved an additional $622 million in loan guarantees for solar
companies.  Even Democrats like Senator Jeff Bingaman admit
that Obama’s loan guarantees “have not worked.”  Yet Bingaman himself introduced
a bill to fund a “clean-energy bank” to make more loans to the same kind of
companies.  Apparently, Bingaman’s logic is, “It doesn’t work, so let’s do it
again.”

That seems to be the rationale for Obama’s latest
green jobs initiative.  Bingaman is asking for $10 billion for his clean-energy
bank.  I’m sure Obama will top that by a couple hundred billion.  That funding,
if approved, will disappear into the pockets of Democratic Party supporters,
just as surely as it has in the past, though much of it will be passed along to
Democratic candidates in the 2012 elections.  If that sounds like “pay to play,”
you can draw your own conclusions.

After all, the guiding principle behind Obama’s green
jobs initiative all along has been how much it will contribute to his own
reelection.  The fantasy of green jobs presented him with a unique opportunity
to please environmentalist supporters while at the same time rewarding wealthy
contributors who also happen to be investors and executives in alternative
energy companies.

It is unlikely that Obama will ever desert this
winning combination, even as his scandalous relationship with one bankrupt
company after another comes to light.  No matter how many billions end up being
wasted, the president will continue to insist, as did an official at the
Department of Energy just last week, that the green jobs program “is on pace to
create thousands of jobs.”  Already Obama has spent as much as $10 million each
for the thousands of green jobs, he claims to have created.  Is there no limit,
and no shame?

Actually, there is not.  Because more important than
actual green jobs is green pork.  Obama is relying on green pork, along with
union pork and trial lawyer pork, to get him reelected.  Green jobs are at the
heart of his domestic agenda because green pork results in donations to the
Democratic Party.  Whether it results in any jobs, to say nothing of “long-term”
jobs, is irrelevant.  It’s his own job that Obama is focused on
saving.

Jeffrey Folks is author of many
books and articles on American culture, most recently
Heartland of the
Imagination

(2011).

Stop the Democrats’Plan for Electoral Chaos

Jan Ting,FloydReports.com

During the 2000 presidential election,Al Gore won the popular vote but George
W. Bush won the presidency by winning the majority of votes in the Electoral
College. Since then,a predictable but misguided
effort has been underway to try to make the popular vote determinative of
presidential elections
,instead of relying on the Electoral College as
provided in the Constitution and as traditionally counted.

Recognizing that such a proposal could never command the support of
three-quarters of the states required for a constitutional amendment,proponents
have instead proposed an interstate compact by which states commanding a
majority of votes in the Electoral College agree to cast all their votes for the
winner of the national popular vote in a presidential election. States would
legally bind themselves to cast their electoral votes for the national popular
vote winner regardless of the actual vote in that state. And by mutual
agreement,the legislation in each state would become effective as soon as states
commanding a majority of the electoral votes enact the same legislation.

The flaw in the proposal is the possibility of a close result in the national
popular vote. Under the current system,a close vote in the Electoral College
could trigger a recount and protracted litigation in a single state,as we
experienced in Florida in 2000,or at worst in a couple of states where the close
popular vote could affect the electoral votes.

But under the national popular vote proposal,a close national vote could
result in recounts and protracted litigation in all 50 states and in the
District of Columbia,because….

Read
more
.

Biden At AFL-CIO Rally: “You Are The Only Folks Keeping The Barbarians From the Gates”

Biden At AFL-CIO Rally: “You Are The Only
Folks Keeping The Barbarians From the Gates” (Video)

http://www.hapblog.com/2011/09/biden-at-afl-cio-rally-you-are-only.html

The
opposition is called “son of a bitches” at one Labor rally and “barbarians” at
another rally. Here’s an angry Joe Biden at the AFL-CIO rally in Cincinnati just
a short time ago

Obama Admin Wants to Widen Government’s Gay Indoctrination

Obama Admin Wants to Widen Government’s Gay
Indoctrination

June 17th, 2011

Rowan Scarborough, The Washington Times

U.S. Department of Agriculture activists want to impose their intense brand
of homosexual sensitivity training government-wide. If accepted by the Obama
administration, that move could mean more
sessions for military service members
already undergoing
gay-sensitivity indoctrination
.

Critics fear additional gay-oriented training would be an unnecessary added
burden for combat troops and encourage some to leave.

USDA officials have asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which
oversees all federal worker policies, to impose its gay-awareness programs on
all federal departments, according to an internal newsletter…

The push for the training is coming from Agriculture Secretary Thomas J.
Vilsack, former Democratic governor of Iowa. He has launched a department-wide
“Cultural Transformation” that includes the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
[LGBT] Special Emphasis Program.”

The USDA’s senior training coordinator, Bill Scaggs, has developed a
sensitivity program far more extensive than the Pentagon’s training for the
anticipated lifting of the ban on open homosexuals in the ranks…

The Agriculture Department described its program in an internal newsletter,
“My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA’s Cultural
Transformation”…

The newsletter adds: “Future collaborations with OPM are planned, with the
ultimate goal of having LGBT Special Emphasis Programs across the federal
government”…

Mr. Scaggs‘ briefing for USDA employees is titled “Including Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity in Diversity”…

One slide on gender
identity
states: “Individuals are conscious of [sexual identify] between the
ages of 18 months and 3 years. Most people develop a gender
identity
that matches their biological sex. For some, gender
identity is different from biological sex (transsexuals)
.”

On attempts to change someone from gay to straight, the briefing says:
“Usually doesn’t work and may even be harmful. Can produce feelings of
depression, hopelessness, shame and anxiety. Some people become suicidal”…

The briefing defines “heterosexism” as an
” ‘ism’ like sexism or racism where one is considered better than others.” It
gives as examples the ban on
gays
serving openly in the military
and laws
that define marriage
as a union
between one man and one woman
.

Read
more
.

The Hate Speech Inquisition

Lead Story

The Hate Speech Inquisition

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 19, 2011 08:36 AM


Tucson massacre + Red Queen politics = Hate Speech Inquisition.

I noticed a new game the blamestream media is playing this week. It’s the same game they played with Sarah Palin last week: Blame the victim. After a slew of Democrat leaders issued open threats against talk radio, conservative radio hosts rose up to defend themselves. And now, the BSM is deriding those who work in talk radio for inserting themselves into the Tucson massacre story and for having a “persecution complex.”  No, really.

This week’s column also spotlights the repeated attempts by Red Queen open-borders radicals to insert themselves into the Tucson shooting rampage that had no more to do with illegal immigration than it did with talk radio.

On a related note: The worst sheriff in America is still mugging for the cameras.

***

The Hate Speech Inquisition
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

There isn’t a shred of evidence that deranged Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner ever listened to talk radio or cared about illegal immigration. Indeed, after 300 exhaustive interviews, the feds “remain stumped” about his motives, according to Tuesday’s Washington Post. But that hasn’t stopped a coalition of power-grabbing politicians, progressive activists and open-borders lobbyists from plying their quack cure for the American body politic: government-sponsored speech suppression.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting rampage, Democratic leaders mused openly about reintroducing the Orwellian “Fairness Doctrine” – a legislative sledgehammer targeting conservative viewpoints on public airwaves. New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter assailed the Federal Communications Commission for failing to police broadcast content and vowed to “look into” more aggressive language monitoring. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey blamed “incendiary rhetoric” for triggering “unstable individuals to take violent action.” In his own manifesto calling for resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, Democratic Rep. James Clyburn pressed public officials to “rethink parameters on free speech.”

This week’s fashionable new media meme is to deride talk radio hosts for taking these speech-squelching threats seriously. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jay Bookman sneered at the “persecution complex” of conservative broadcasters who reacted to Slaughter and company. Politico’s Keach Hagey dismissed concerns about the Democrats’ chilling campaign against right-leaning media outlets and knocked conservative talkers’ “defensive posture.” (Sound familiar? This is the same tactic they used against Sarah Palin and all those on the right falsely accused of being accessories to the Tucson massacre: Attack ‘em. Attack ‘em for responding. Accuse the smear victims of playing the victim card. Repeat.)

Make no mistake: The Hate Speech Inquisition is real. And it’s being fought on all fronts. Last week, using the non-radio-inspired Tucson massacre as fuel, the National Hispanic Media Coalition called on the FCC to gather evidence for the left’s preconceived conclusion that conservative talk radio “hate speech” causes violence. It’s Red Queen science — sentence first, research validation later.

The head of the NHMC is Alex Nogales, who has filed more than 50 petitions to deny broadcast licenses and has led anti-corporate crusades to “force” broadcast stations across the country “to hire Latino reporters and anchors” and adopt “diversity initiatives.” Grabbing the Tucson shooting limelight, Nogales told Broadcasting and Cable magazine last week:

“We can’t stand there with our arms crossed and make like there isn’t a reason why this is happening. … We started this dialog(ue) in the last immigration debate four years ago. We could see that it was just out of control. It started with just an issue of immigration, then every pundit on radio and TV who wanted an audience started talking about it and started using the worst of language, and now it has spilled out into mainstream.”

Loughner’s wild Internet rants and creepy campus meltdowns clearly demonstrate that crazy doesn’t need a motive. But progressive censors need their bogeymen, and Nogales isn’t about to give them up for reality’s sake. The NHMC first filed a petition in October 2009 demanding that the FCC collect data, seek public comment and “explore options” for combating “hate speech” from staunch critics of illegal immigration. The petition followed on National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia’s call for media outlets to keep immigration enforcement proponents off the airwaves “even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights.”

Nogales’ group is part of a larger “media justice” coalition dedicated to curtailing and redistributing conservatives’ political speech under the guise of diversity and decency. As left-wing philanthropists at the Media Justice Fund put it: The movement “is grounded in the belief that social and economic justice will not be realized without the equitable redistribution and control of media and communication technologies.” But, hey, we better just ignore these communications control freaks lest we be accused of suffering a “persecution complex.”

The Praetorian Guards of civility keep telling us that “words matter.” Threats should be taken seriously, they insist. Except, of course, when those words and threats are uttered by those hell-bent on regulating their opponents’ discourse out of existence.

Media Knew Killer Probably Wasn’t Politically Motivated

Media Knew Killer Probably Wasn’t Politically Motivated

January 11th, 2011

Ben Johnson, FloydReports.com

The Left has gone out of its way to blame Saturday’s tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on anyone to the Right of the Mensheviks. Among the first to pile on the blood libel was New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who pinned the shooting on an alleged conservative “climate of hate.” Most of us countered that the murderer, Jared Lee Loughner, clearly seemed mentally ill, addicted to mind-altering drugs, or perhaps the victim of an LSD-induced psychosis. Krugman should read his own newspaper — and I rarely make that suggestion. The NYT reported yesterday that most assassins are unhinged, not politically motivated, and any intelligent American should have known that was the likely motive. That means those accusing Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and the Tea Party of facilitating this crime are either unintelligent or transparently politically motivated (or both).

The New York Times reported yesterday, “A 1999 study of assassins and attackers found few common threads. Many had delusional ideas, but few heard voices; still fewer abused drugs or belonged to militant groups.” (Emphasis added.)

To make matters clearer, many of those who appear to kill for a political cause are merely demonstrating symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. Forensic psychologist Dr. Michael Stone told the Times the paranoid mind…

Read more.

Morning Bell: “We’ve Come to Take Our Government Back”

Morning Bell: “We’ve Come to Take Our Government Back”

Posted By Michael Franc On May 19, 2010 @ 8:57 am In Ongoing Priorities | No Comments

[1]

Last month the Pew Research Center reported [2] that only 22% of Americans trusted the government to do the right thing always or most of the time. And that was the good news for incumbents:

Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.

Significantly, a majority of Americans (52%) see the members of Congress themselves as the source of their dissatisfaction. Only 38% attribute their frustration to “a broken political system.”

Last night’s election results in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas seem to bear that out:

  • In Kentucky, political newcomer Rand Paul trounced Secretary of State Trey Grayson. As a proxy for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Grayson had inadvertently become the Washington insider in the race despite never having been elected to federal office. And, as the son of libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, the younger Paul was also a proxy of sorts. He came to embody the desire of voters in the Bluegrass State to send the ultimate outsider to Washington. His mission? Shrink the federal behemoth, balance the budget and reduce the federal debt while exhibiting some long overdue humility from our public servants.
  • In Pennsylvania, given the opportunity to oust a five-term incumbent Senator with plenty of inside-the-Beltway clout, Democratic primary voters cheerfully complied. They dumped Arlen Specter in favor of a relative newcomer, second-term Rep. Joe Sestak. In his victory speech, Sestak struck a defiant populist tone, characterizing his victory as a “win for the people” over “the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C.”
  • In Arkansas, Democratic primary challengers from both the right and left squeezed incumbent Senator Blanche Lincoln into a run-off against the state’s leftist Lt. Governor, Bill Halter. While Halter galvanized Arkansas’ Democratic base on the political left, businessman D. C. Morrison ran to Lincoln’s right as a conservative, Reagan-loving Democrat. Morrison cast his vote for Ron Paul in 2008 and spent considerable time railing against Obamacare, bailouts, the stimulus bill and mounting government debt, Morrison pulled a not insignificant 13% of the Democratic vote.

Seniority on the most powerful congressional committees and endorsements from Washington’s most powerful insiders, including President Obama, were liabilities last night.

So, what explains the outcome in the special House election to replace recently deceased Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)? An aide to Murtha, Mark Critz, handily defeated Republican businessman Tim Burns in a contest many pundits felt would serve as an early barometer of Republican prospects in November. As one political consultant noted last night: “I think us pundits in Washington are going to have to revise our thinking about whether this is a wave election year for Republicans.”

Ron Brownstein, the brainy political expert at National Journal, argues that to regain control of the House, Republicans must prevail in seats such as this one. Districts where there is little racial diversity (i.e., where whites comprise 90% or more of the electorate) and few attended college. Murtha’s seat, Pennsylvania-12, fits this profile to a tee.

Get ready for an outpouring of new analyses spouting a new conventional wisdom, one that dismisses the power of the Tea Party movement, and questions whether 2010 will be a watershed election after all.

But, if Critz’s victory is to serve as some sort of a blueprint for Democrats, it will require some serious triangulation. Critz, after all, campaigned (rhetorically, at least) to the right of most Washington Democrats. “I opposed the health care bill,” he insisted during a debate, and then added for good measure that “I’m pro-life and pro-gun. That’s not liberal.” As with the outcomes in those Senate primaries, Washington’s Democratic establishment cannot draw much solace from this development.

There is an overriding lesson for conservatives from last night’s results as well.

Many are prematurely confident that November will be one of those rare “wave” elections that upend the Washington power structure and realign our politics. Maybe. But the early warning signs have been there for everyone to see for awhile now, at least since Sen. Scott Brown’s (R-MA) historic election in January. Savvy liberal political strategists and worried Democratic primary voters, moreover, have had ample time to adapt to the demands of an angry and increasingly conservative electorate. Few Democrats in swing or conservative districts will run as Pelosi or Obama liberals. Instead, expect their rhetoric to morph the populism of Joe Sestak into the conservatism of Mark Critz. As Rand Paul said [3] last night:

I have a message, a message from the Tea Party. A message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We’ve come to take our government back.

Quick Hits:

Democrats and Vote Fraud: On the Road to Rigged Elections

Democrats and Vote Fraud: On the Road to Rigged Elections

By Scott Swett

Lest we forget, Democrats were not given a mandate in 2008 to nationalize General Motors, the insurance industry, and health care. Most Americans want government to be less expensive, less intrusive, and more accountable. Yet despite the looming prospect of electoral dismemberment in November, the Democrats continue pushing a radical agenda: piling up debt and creating new entitlements, with crushing tax increases inevitably to follow. Why the evident lack of concern?
Perhaps they intend to cheat.
Examples of vote fraud by Democrats have not been widely publicized, thanks to the symbiotic relationship between the party and most of the media. In 2000, major TV networks wrongly projected Al Gore as the winner in Florida before the polls even closed in the state’s heavily Republican Panhandle. Many prospective voters stepped out of line and went home. Later studies estimated that the error had reduced President Bush’s margin by 8,000 to 11,500 votes.
In his book Stealing Elections, writer John Fund suggests that another 15,000+ Bush votes were destroyed in Democrat-controlled Palm Beach County. Palm Beach reported 19,120 “over votes” — ballots marked for more than one candidate — representing nearly ten times the error rate for the rest of the state. Former law enforcement officials told Fund that stacks of paper ballots had been altered by pushing a thin prod through the Gore column, invalidating votes for Bush while leaving those for Gore intact. National Democrats hired a telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls to Palm Beach County on Election Day, urging residents to say they were “confused” by the ballot. 
Statistician John Lott and others asked for the suspect Palm Beach ballots to be examined when media teams conducted their own Florida recount the following year. The request was ignored.
Motor Voter: opening the door to fraud
In 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the “Motor Voter” law, which requires motor vehicle departments, welfare offices, and other government agencies to provide forms and register voters. Motor Voter made it illegal to check the IDs of applicants and ordered the states to allow registration by mail.
Motor Voter opened the door to a massive increase in fraudulent registrations. For example, the number of registered voters in Philadelphia increased by 24% from 1995 to 2004, even as the city’s population declined by 13%. By 2009, an independent study estimated that America’s voter registration rolls included more than 16 million invalid voters. This provides fertile ground for ACORN and other groups that seek to turn phony registrations into votes.
Democrats have consistently attacked anti-fraud proposals, claiming that they violate voters’ civil rights. In particular, they oppose requiring voters to show identification. A recent poll found that 82% of Americans think a photo ID should be required to vote. However, only 25 states check any form of voter identification, and a photo ID is required by just seven.
A PowerPoint presentation available at ElectionCenter.org describes new election legislation proposed by congressional Democrats. They intend to nationalize voter registration and force the states to eliminate voter ID checks, provide absentee ballots to all voters, register voters on Election Day, and permit felons (who overwhelmingly support Democrats) to vote. Each of these measures would create new opportunities for fraud. 
Voting early and often — the risks of early and absentee voting
In 2001, the bipartisan National Commission on Election Reform reported that the increasing use of absentee ballots and early voting is inconsistent with five key objectives of fair elections:
  • 1. Assure the privacy of the secret ballot and protection against coerced voting
  • 2. Verify that only duly registered voters cast ballots
  • 3. Safeguard ballots against loss or alteration
  • 4. Assure their prompt counting
  • 5. Foster the communal aspects of citizens voting together
Nevertheless, these trends have continued unabated. “No excuses” early voting (voting early without having to provide a reason) is now allowed by 36 states, starting as early as 45 days before the actual election. Large-scale absentee voting also creates delays in deciding elections — delays that offer additional opportunities for fraud.
Non-citizens who vote
Many non-citizens use easily-obtained voter registrations to acquire other documents identifying them as U.S. citizens, along with other benefits such as Social Security and even government jobs. According to a recent Heritage Foundation study,
There is no systematic review of voter registration rolls by states to find non-citizens, and the relevant federal agencies — in direct violation of federal law — refuse to cooperate with state election officials seeking to verify the citizenship status of registered voters.

Local officials in several states who tried to remove felons and non-citizens from the registration rolls have also been sued by leftist groups alleging civil rights violations.
SEIU International Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina advocates amnesty for non-citizens (“immigration reform”) as a way of adding 8 million new Democratic voters.
Manufacturing an election crisis
The changes that have made our election system less manageable, less accountable, and more vulnerable to fraud did not come about by accident. They are entirely consistent with the Cloward/Piven strategy, which seeks to undermine government institutions by overwhelming them with demands for services. The goal is to achieve a socialist state that will redistribute the nation’s wealth. ACORN was specifically created to execute this strategy, targeting U.S. elections through its voter mobilization arm, Project Vote. Cloward and Piven themselves were longtime proponents of the Motor Voter Act, and they appeared on the podium with President Clinton for the signing ceremony. Earlier this year, Frances Fox Piven joined the Board of Project Vote
Author Richard Poe writes:
The stated purpose of Project Vote is to … secure the rights of minority and low-income voters under the U.S. Constitution. However, Project Vote’s actions suggest that its true agenda is more radical.  Its activities appear to be aimed at overwhelming, paralyzing and discrediting the voting system through fraud, protests, propaganda and vexatious litigation.
ACORN and Project Vote have been repeatedly cited and investigated for abuses that include turning in fraudulent registrations and destroying applications by Republicans.  Nevertheless, ACORN may be slated to receive as much as $4 billion in Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. 
Barack Obama ran the Chicago branch of Project Vote in the early 1990s, an effort credited with electing leftist radical Carole Moseley-Braun to the Senate. Multiple scandals and charges of corruption followed, and Moseley-Braun served only one term.
Buying the referee
The Secretary of State Project was created in 2006 by the Democracy Alliance, a 527 non-profit funded by anti-capitalist billionaire George Soros. SOSP seeks to place Democrats in crucial Secretary of State jobs that oversee elections in swing states.  SOSP cash played a key role in electing Democrats in Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio in 2006 and in Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and West Virginia two years later.
Minnesota’s fraudulent senator
Years of leftist planning and effort came together in Minnesota in 2008, where the nation’s closest statewide contest pitted Democrat Al Franken against Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. Presiding over the election was SOSP Secretary Mark Ritchie, whose extensive ties to ACORN were predictably ignored by the media. Shortly before the election, Ritchie was asked to investigate serious problems with the registration rolls, including 261,000 duplicates and 63,000 voters who had listed non-existent addresses. He dismissed the request as an attempt “to create a cloud over an election so people don’t accept the outcome.” After the polls closed, Secretary Ritchie reported that his office “received no reports whatsoever” of fraudulent voting.
The final tally showed Coleman with a narrow 725-vote victory. It wasn’t enough. Over the next four days, his lead fell to 221 as officials “discovered” errors in the vote. Most came from three small precincts controlled by Democrats. Other irregularities included “misplaced” ballots turning up in an official’s trunk, and vote total adjustments that affected only the Senate race. The manipulation continued during the official recount, as the Minnesota Canvassing Board detected just enough “ballot errors” to put Franken over the top. John Lott later analyzed the Board’s inconsistent decisions, nearly all of which favored the Democratic candidate.
Some 17,000 more ballots were counted in the Minnesota Senate election than there were recorded voters. Mark Ritchie had dismantled the state’s ballot reconciliation program, which previously required voting districts to validate the number of votes cast against the number of ballots issued.  Outside investigators also found that 1,400 convicted felons had voted illegally.
The Secretary of State Project is supporting Ritchie once again in 2010, pleased with what the organization refers to as “a scrupulously fair and transparent election recount.”
A spark in Houston
Last fall, 35 tea party members in Houston signed up to monitor the off-year Texas elections. The new poll watchers came back appalled at the abuses they saw. Precinct judges regularly failed to check voter IDs, and some even filled out ballots to “help” people vote. Investigating further, they made a second unpleasant discovery: Voting violation reports submitted to the District Attorney’s office after the 2008 elections had yet to be processed or even reviewed. They resolved to make stopping vote fraud a top priority for 2010. 
Now rebranded as the King Street Patriots, the group is greatly expanding its efforts to recruit and train election monitors. With more than 350 already signed up, KSP is well on the way to meeting an ambitious goal — placing volunteers in each of Harris County’s 874 precincts.
Other tea party and patriot groups might consider following suit. Eternal vigilance is often described as the price of freedom, and that promises to be especially true on November 2.

The Potty Parity Act–Question: What is the House of Representatives doing as unemployment approaches 10%, the deficit exceeds 10% of GDP, the public debt grows to unprecedented size for peacetime and Iran is about to get The Bomb?

The Potty Parity Act

Randall Hoven

Question:  What is the House of Representatives doing as unemployment approaches 10%, the deficit exceeds 10% of GDP, the public debt grows to unprecedented size for peacetime and Iran is about to get The Bomb?

Answer:  Addressing unequal restroom facilities in federal buildings with the so-called Potty Parity Act.
“The fact is, it’s not a joke. Not only is it not a joke to women, it’s not a joke to men who go with the women who have to wait while they’re standing in line.  It’s also politically very popular. It’s the right thing to do and it’s catching up with the cultural lag in our society.”  Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
The Potty Parity Act is bipartisan; it is being co-sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Of course, Congress has such housekeeping chores to deal with.  But surely, the bulk of its time must be spent on serious issues.  I report, you decide.  Here is the list of House roll-call votes in the last week.
  • 258.  Supporting the goals and ideals of Peace Officers Memorial Day.
  • 257.  Honoring the life and legacy of William Earnest Ernie Harwell.
  • 256.  Expressing support for designation of the first Saturday in May as National Explosive Ordnance Disposal Day to honor those who are serving and have served in the noble and self-sacrificing profession of Explosive Ordnance Disposal in the United States Armed Forces.
  • 255.  Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.
  • 254.  Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.
  • 253.  Burgess of Texas Amendment No. 4.
  • 252.  Barton of Texas Amendment No. 2.
  • 251.  Telework Improvements Act.
  • 250.  Celebrating the role of mothers in the United States and supporting the goals and ideals of Mothers Day.
  • 249.  Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 5019) to provide for the establishment of the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program, and for other purposes

Congress sees no budget rush

Congress sees no budget rush
By: Jonathan Allen
April 12, 2010 04:16 AM EDT
Congress is poised to miss its April 15 deadline for finishing next year’s budget without even considering a draft in either chamber.

Unlike citizens’ tax-filing deadline, Congress’s mid-April benchmark is nonbinding. And members seem to be in no rush to get the process going.

Indeed, some Democratic insiders suspect that leaders will skip the budget process altogether this year — a way to avoid the political unpleasantness of voting on spending, deficits and taxes in an election year — or simply go through a few of the motions, without any real effort to complete the work.

Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), would go only so far as saying that the budget “is on a list of things that are possible for this work period” — a reference to the window that opens when members roll back into town Monday and closes when they leave around Memorial Day.

Congress has failed to adopt a final budget four times in the past 35 years — for fiscal years 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 — according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. If the House does not pass a first version of the budget resolution, it will be the first time since the implementation of the 1974 Budget Act, which governs the modern congressional budgeting process.

The practical consequences of failing to produce a federal budget for next year are about the same as they are for a family that doesn’t set a plan for income and spending: Congress doesn’t need a budget to tax or spend, but enforcing discipline is harder without one. And, like a family that misses out on efficiencies because it hasn’t taken a hard look at its finances, Congress can’t use reconciliation rules to cut the deficit if the House and the Senate don’t adopt the same budget.

But there are political consequences to the budget conundrum, too — and for Democrats, they’re of the “damned if you, damned if you don’t” variety.

Republicans are certain to castigate the majority Democrats if they fail to put a fiscal blueprint in place amid a public backlash against spending and a torrent of dire warnings from economic experts about the consequences of imbalanced federal books.

But they’ll also call Democrats on the carpet if they approve a new budget that includes more spending, higher deficits or increased taxes.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that the government’s books must be put in order through tax increases or slashing spending for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

“These choices are difficult, and it always seems easier to put them off — until the day they cannot be put off anymore,” Bernanke said.

 

Similar warnings have been issued in the past week by Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who is an adviser to President Barack Obama.

But there’s little appetite for taking on these issues in an election year and plenty of ways for the minority party to inflict pain upon anyone who tries.

In the Senate, expedited procedures allow for relatively quick consideration of a budget resolution — no filibusters need apply — but senators may offer an unlimited string of politically charged amendments culminating in a vote-a-rama certain to provide Republican challengers with fresh campaign ammunition.

Just last month, when the Senate considered a fiscal 2010 budget reconciliation bill dealing with health care, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) tried to jam Democrats by forcing them to vote against an amendment that would have prohibited sex offenders from getting drugs for erectile dysfunction through the new health care exchanges.

And in the House, rank-and-file lawmakers are showing signs of political fatigue from a series of difficult votes, including enactment of the stimulus and health care laws and passage of a controversial climate change bill last year.

All of that raises this question: Why would Democratic leaders expose themselves and their rank and file to so much political risk, particularly when there’s no guarantee that the House and Senate could come to agreement on a final version?

After all, the budget itself is nonbinding, and the process to finish it is daunting: committee action in the House and Senate, painful floor votes in both chambers, negotiations to resolve differences if there are any and a second set of tough votes on a compromise version if needed.

Still, there’s an institutional interest for the budget committees in delivering a work product every year to demonstrate their importance. Even as most of the Capitol’s budget writers were tied up calculating costs and savings in the new health care law in the first quarter of the year, preparations for the fiscal 2011 budget were under way in both the House and the Senate budget committees.

Moreover, many Democrats believe they have a responsibility to at least try to put a budget in place.

Congressional aides said that Democratic leaders will have to make a decision soon after they reconvene this week about whether they can finish a budget before Memorial Day.

What’s lost in the absence of a budget, first and foremost, is the ability to write filibuster-proof reconciliation bills, which are the best vehicles for cutting spending or raising taxes in a highly partisan Senate.

In addition to reconciliation instructions, a budget also provides spending-control mechanisms, such as the 302(a) allocation that caps appropriations for the year, and can include “reserve” funds that grant lawmakers certain flexibility in budgeting for new laws.

But even if a budget isn’t in place, appropriators have tools at their disposal to implement an overall spending cap and individual suballocations for each of the committees’ 12 annual bills.