"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Senator Tom Coburn on Morning Joe

Found the link on Twitter for Joe Scarborough of Dr. Tom Coburn's interview on Morning Joe this morning which is very enlightening on what is happening in the Senate. This is a must see video and one that will make your blood boil.  For starters the US Government is spending $51,000 per child on 16 military bases in this country who still have schools. Dr. Coburn tried to submit an amendment to end this $1B gambit and send $12,000 per student to the public schools closing schools on stateside military basis.  The amendment was never heard as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) refused to hear that amendment or any other amendment. The Senate is locked in a standstill. Problem also is on the Republican side where they cannot even get a majority to stand for smaller government.

Oklahoma has done its part in sending Senators Coburn and Inhofe to the Senate who are no nonsense types; now time for some other states to do the same. Noted the fact that Joe and Dr. Tom talked about how they had to confront Newt with some other members of Congress because Gingrich was not a small government conservative and wanted to spend, spend, spend. The truth is coming out on Gingrich more and more that he is not a fiscal conservative or small government person.

We agree with Joe Scarborough in his last remarks on football -- Go Sooners -- Beat the Pokes and send Alabama to the National Championship and add send the Sooners to The Fiesta Bowl.

Twitter Feed from Joe Scarborough:
JoeNBCJoe Scarborough

My friend Sen. Tom Coburn told us today he thinks Congress needs a new set of people to take on the country's problems.  http://t.co/C8y4RJtz

Joe Scarborough: Who is the real RINO?

Started chuckling when I read this article by Scarborough because for the most part he said what I have been thinking and saying about the word 'RINO' which is way overused.  When a conservative who might not even be a Republican doesn't agree with a Republican office holder, out comes the term RINO (Republican in Name Only).  Think Dr. Coburn, the Republican Senator from Oklahoma, who doesn't always go along to get along (understatement) which was the reason we elected him -- go to DC and shake things up like our other Senator Jim Inhofe.  So many times I have seen third party people use that term which irritates a lot of us to no end the way it is thrown around.

We thought this was an interesting challenge, but was not surprised by the outcome for Romney and Gingrich who appear to be conservative when it suits them.  Judging from the fact that Scarborough served in the House when Gingrich was the Speaker speaks volumes about his view of Gingrich not being very conservative which matches mine.  No way Romney is conservative as he flip flops his way across the landscape of the Republican Primary trying to convince voters what he said before doesn't matter as he is now conservative.  If you believe that, I have swampland for sale in Arizona right in the middle of the desert.  The outcome for Huntsman does not match many of his statements today which are listed below the article making him moderate not a conservative.
Who is the real RINO?

By JOE SCARBOROUGH | 11/28/11 2:52 PM EST 
The insult du jour for Republican candidates this election cycle is being labeled a RINO, a Republican in Name Only. Unfortunately, the insult has been so overused lately it’s been rendered meaningless. The insult is even emptier because it is so detached from actual statements, campaign promises and voting records. 
A candidate like Newt Gingrich can get away with supporting the biggest socialist scheme in American government over the past 30 years because he says nasty things about the press and calls Barack Obama a Marxist. Jon Huntsman, on the other hand, can have a stellar conservative record as Utah’s governor, be anti-abortion and adored by the NRA. But if he refuses to spit out angry screeds against Obama, he’s dismissed as a RINO, the facts be damned. 
So as a public service to POLITICO readers, I, your humble conservative servant, have put together a “Who is the Real RINO?” test. based on voting records, candidate quotes and facts! (Shocking, I know.) 
Good luck! 
2. Who bragged about being a moderate with this comment, “There is a new synthesis evolving with the classic moderate wing of the party, where as a former Rockefeller state chairman, I’ve spent most of my life”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
3. Who starred in a 2007 global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi that was sponsored by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
4. Who once famously said, “I don’t line up with the NRA”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
5. Who was paid $312,000 by ethanol interests and then said ethanol is good for national security and for the economy?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
6. Which candidate bragged about not being a Republican during the Reagan presidency and promised that if elected he would not “return to Reagan-Bush policies”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
7. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported state funding of abortion?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
8. Which candidate has consistently supported the type of individual mandates for health insurance that conservatives are trying to overturn through court challenges to Obamacare? (Trick question: Two of three are correct answers.)
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
9. Which candidate went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and called Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan “radical” and “right-wing social engineering”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
10. Which candidate is the only GOP presidential contender to come out in full support of the Ryan plan?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
11. Which candidate bragged to CNN that he’s “the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
12. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported the “substance” of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
13. Which candidate said of the Medicare prescription drug plan that was the largest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society, “Every conservative member of Congress should vote for this Medicare bill. Obstructionist conservatives can always find reasons to vote no”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
14. Which candidate attacked Steve Largent, Tom Coburn and other conservatives as “the Perfectionist Caucus,” while giving his last speech as speaker in support of Dick Gephardt and Dave Obey’s colossal Omnibus Bill of 1998?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
15. Which candidate was ranked by Cato Institute in 2008 one of the most fiscally conservative governors in America?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
16. Which candidate was cited by the Pew Center for running the “best-managed” state, hailed by Forbes magazine as the “most fiscally fit” and ranked first in the country for job creation?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
17. Whose economic plan does The Wall Street Journal consider the most impressive and conservative of the Republican presidential field?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 

A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
19. Which candidate was praised in a Club for Growth report for reforming health care with “no individual mandate, no employer mandate and no provision for a massive expansion of subsidized care unlike Obamacare or Romney’s plan”?
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
20. Who are the real RINOs here? (Feel free to circle two.)
A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman 
Answers: 1) A; 2) B; 3) B; 4) A; 5) B; 6) A; 7) A; 8) A and B; 9) B; 10) C; 11) B; 12) A; 13) B; 14) B; 15) C; 16) C; 17) C; 18) C; 19) C; 20) you decide. 
A guest columnist for POLITICO, Joe Scarborough hosts “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and represented Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001.

Source:  Politico
Agree with Scarborough on two of the outcomes (Romney and Gingrich) but I also do not think that in recent years that Jon Huntsman is much of a conservative.  He also flip flopped on his support of healthcare mandates:
In 2004, Huntsman promised to reform Utah's health care system. He vowed to fix a system that had left thousands of Utah residents without health insurance, even telling the incoming executive director of Utah's Department of Health that his goal was to insure everyone. During his first term, Huntsman became smitten with Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Health Connector plan, which included a mandate.

Huntsman and his administration went on to support a 2007 United Way of Salt Lake City plan which called for a mandate. That same year, his cabinet and others pushed draft legislation that mirrored the Massachusetts model and the United Way plan and included a mandate. When the Utah legislature balked at such a mandate, it was taken off the table. Instead, in 2008, Huntsman passed a reform bill that established a health care exchange for small businesses known as the Utah Health Exchange that left uninsured individuals unaddressed. Huntsman has denied that he ever supported a mandate.

Source: Huffington Post, "Individual Mandate" , Jun 17, 2011 
Then there are these snippets about the 'moderate' Jon Huntsman:
Jon Huntsman stands apart from the other Republican presidential candidates. He’s comparatively moderate on gay rights (he supports civil unions), evolution (he believes in it) and immigration (a border fence would be an American “embarrassment.”) 
Jon Huntsman had a strong showing in tonight’s debate if you consider it from the perspective of appeal to moderate voters. If anyone from the pack of Republicans has a chance of appealing to both moderate Republicans and Democrats, it is probably Huntsman. Of course this means he has no chance to win the Republican nomination. 
Why is Jon Huntsman running to the political middle? 
GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is making statements that appeal to moderate Republicans. Is this a good idea during the primary season? 
Jon Huntsman is going GOP rogue - by being moderate. 
The former Utah governor and US ambassador to China has used his Twitter feed, his appearance on ABC’s Sunday political talk show “This Week,” and a profile in Vogue magazine to take shots at the rest of the GOP presidential primary field. 
That’s nothing new for the GOP primary field. What’s unique is that he’s hitting his opponents from the political middle. 
It’s telling that the Democratic National Committee blasted out a sort of “greatest hits” e-mail of Huntsman’s ABC interview to supporters, including these nuggets:
  • The minute the Republican Party becomes the party, the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people, who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012 when we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, we take a position that basically runs counter to what” many climate scientists have argued. 
 Read More at:  CS Monitor
There you have a few examples of the 'moderate' Jon Huntsman who seems to be honest about where he stands today in his wanting to attract moderate Republicans (establishment) and Democrats disenchanted with Obama.  The question is this honesty or a ploy as is he running to the middle to set himself apart from the other candidates?  The jury is still out on that question. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Endorses Rick Perry

Email received this afternoon from the Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
They call me America’s Toughest Sheriff. I don’t tolerate illegal activity. I don’t coddle criminals. And I refuse to sit idly by while Washington turns a blind eye towards illegal immigration and border security. 
As Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, I know that our porous southern border puts all of America at risk. 
It’s time we had a president who knew that, too. 
That’s why I support Rick Perry for president, and I hope you will join me.

Unlike other candidates, Rick Perry has never been the choice of the political establishment, never been a paid lobbyist and never served in Congress or an Administration. He is the true outsider… the right man to bring desperately needed change to Washington.

No candidate has done more to secure the border than Rick Perry. As governor, he directed nearly $400 million in state tax dollars to secure the border with more boots on the ground.\\ 
As president, Rick Perry will stop illegal immigration and drug smugglers with a massive increase in manpower, including National Guard troops and thousands of new Border Patrol agents. 
He will deploy new technology like predator drones, order federal officials to build more strategic fencing and end the dangerous Obama catch-and-release policy that allows thousands of illegal aliens to be released on American streets. 
With Rick Perry as president, we can secure the border in just one year. 
If you agree that America needs a president with the courage to stand up to the status quo in Washington, and a commitment to keeping America safe, I hope you will join me in supporting Rick Perry for president. 
Take it from a tough conservative – Rick Perry is the real deal.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County, Arizona
Agree 100% that Rick Perry is the real deal and why I personally have supported him since we moved to Texas in 1990 and he was running for Agriculture Commissioner.  You will not find a candidate who will work harder for America then Rick Perry who may not win the title of best debater but wins the title of the best man for America with the most experience to be President.  If I wanted a debater, I would be choosing a candidate who I think would not make the best President.

While Romney was honing his debating skills for the last five years, Rick Perry was running the State of Texas very successfully and doing the job of the federal government on illegal immigration.  I will take the Texas Governor hands down over someone who didn't see the need to get a job since he left as MA Governor where he oversaw RomneyCare which has been a disaster for healthcare in MA.  Just remember that Romney, the man who is building a $12M mansion, is unemployed according to what he tells the voters.  My recommendation is to keep him unemployed!

There is only ONE candidate in the Presidential race who understands what it takes to secure the border with Mexico and that is Rick Perry.  He understands that building a fence along the whole border is not feasible unlike some of our candidates who have never even been to places like Del Rio or Big Bend.

We are BACK with the Latest!

Took the week off with Family visiting for Thanksgiving. Now ready to start bringing you snippets of the latest on what is happening in the political world:

 Received great news today that Joe Allbaugh, the political guru from Oklahoma, is going to be the new Campaign Manager for Governor Perry. Cannot think of a better person than Allbaugh who also helped put the Bush 43 campaign together. He is the best. IMHO he beats Rove by a mile -- now Rove has a real opponent in Allbaugh if he continues to want to tank Perry for Romney.

Herman Cain has another woman accusing him -- this time about a 13-year affair.  Word is out that he is considering leaving the race if his wife wants him to do that.  Wouldn't want to be in his home with this latest coming out.  His wife should take him to the cleaners after he had her give a press interview.  For the first time  Republicans are beginning to call for him to leave the race except for Morris of Fox News who thinks he should stay.  Better for Romney if he does as he is taking Romney and his lack of being conservative off the front page.

Former Senator Rick Santorum blasts Gingrich abortion stance as 'inconsistent' which is no shock.  Gingrich already traveled the country with Pelosi on Global Warming and worked with Hillary on Universal Healthcare plus has made millions off of being a lobbyist so not being that conservative on social issues would go along with his arrogance in thinking he can fool conservatives.  He sure didn't fool Santorum or a lot of us who know Gingrich core values on many issues are lacking.

Poll:  Gingrich would pick up Cain Supporters makes sense.  Both men, Cain and Gingrich, have had affairs and their core values are suspect.  That must be the part of the Republican Party who sees nothing wrong with the fact that Gingrich was having an affair at the same time he was going after Clinton on Monicagate and had to resign as Speaker.  As some conservatives like to say, "Clinton lied under oath and Newt didn't," but you can put me in the category of not going to vote for someone who had an affair on wife #1 when she had cancer and wife #2 when he was Speaker of the House which makes him not fit to be President IMHO.  We had a womanizer in Clinton and don't need another one.

Huntsman hits Romney as status quo candidate, in pocket of Wall Street -- finally something I agree with Huntsman -- he nails Romney in this article.  Most of the campaign donations for Romney that don't come from Mormon businessmen and individuals is coming from Wall Street.  Reminder if you hold a state office, the most you can take from the financial sector is $300 but if you are a federal office holder or a private citizen, you can take the full amount -- Romney is taking full advantage.  This person does not want someone as President who is in the back pocket of Wall Street as we already have one in the White House.

Sen. Pat Toomey says Dems torpedoed debt panel to protect Obama excerpt:

Supercommittee member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) accused Democrats on Monday of torpedoing the deficit supercommittee because a success would have “stepped on” President Obama’s campaign narrative. 
Speaking Monday on CNBC’s "Squawk Box," Toomey said there’s “something to” suggestions that Democrats had an incentive to see the supercommittee fail. 
“That goes to the asymmetry of the incentives and I think there was something to that,” Toomey said. “The president’s fundamental campaign message was to run against Congress — never mind the fact that half of Congress is controlled by the Democrats, but that’s his purpose, and certainly an agreement in this committee would have stepped on that narrative for the president.”  
That is one bet that I would taken -- Democrats would negotiate in bad faith to protect Obama.  That is why the Super Committee was doomed to failure from the beginning.  Now what happens to the Defense Department?  Stay tuned to see if they can work out a deal on that -- wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an agreement.

We cannot forget that Climate Gate blew up big time in the last week:

Climategate–The Political Scam, Investment Fraud, and Science Scandal of The Century Exposed–The Progressive Radical Socialist’s Big Lie And Con That Man Is The Cause Of Global Warming Was In Fact Nothing More Than Politicians, Investment Bankers, and Government Scientists Creating Climate Crisis!
This had to put a smile on Senator Inhofe's (R-OK) face as once again he is being proved right that Global Warming is junk science.  Hats off to the Senator for his willingness to take a stand against the Global Warming crowd and not waiver.  In the end, Inhofe is standing tall, and the Global Warming crowd led by Al Gore have been shown to be nothing more than a scam.  Gotta love it that Senator Inhofe was right all along but we are not expecting members of the media to acknowledge how right he has been.

Wanted to post a snippet of a few happenings over the last week -- hope you and yours had a Happy Thanksgiving and survived Black Friday if you chose to go shopping or cold, rainy college football games on Saturday.  The temps were not that cold (low 50's) at Owen Field here in Norman for the Sooners game but that wind was brutal which was swirling around the field sometimes at 30+ mph along with an occasional snow flurry and really cold drizzle.  Took some time to warm up after the game!  Watching several pro games saw the same kind of weather on Sunday -- miserable!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Securing the American Dream (Marcus’ Story)

Posted on November 23rd, 2011

As we give thanks, remember our brave men and women fighting overseas to preserve our freedoms and to secure the American dream.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Perry Campaign Releases New TV Ad: “Outsider”

Perry Campaign Releases New TV Ad: “Outsider”

Posted on November 19th, 2011

AUSTIN – The Perry campaign today released a 30-second television advertisement entitled “Outsider,” which is airing over national cable and Iowa broadcast and cable.

“We need a real outsider to overhaul Washington and cut the taxes, regulation and spending strangling our economy and of the GOP candidates Rick Perry is the only real Washington outsider in the race for the White House,” said Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan. “Rick Perry is not the darling of the establishment, has never served in Congress and has never professionally lobbied Congress or the White House. Gov. Perry is the only candidate Americans can trust to truly overhaul Washington and jump-start job creation.”

"Just Give us the Facts" -- Lawsuits targeted board, Cain over retirement fund

How would you like to have been pressured into investing in your company's stock and then find out this:
The utility (Aquila Inc) eventually agreed in a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to pay $26.5 million over claims that two of its subsidiaries manipulated natural gas prices by providing false prices and other financial details to trade publications.
That $26.5M used to pay a settlement on manipulation could have been used to pay into employee's retirement funds when the stock went from $37.50 a share in 2001 to $5 a share in 2008. The company also paid $10.5 million it paid to settle claims it failed to protect the retirement savings of its employees.  Earlier the company had opened up stock options that an employee could purchase $10,000 of stock a month at an 'advantageous' rate and pressured employees to buy their stock.   My question would be if the employees and board of Aquila Inc. drove up the stock prices with their purchase of company stock.  Enron's collapse seems to get the blame a lot and Aquila Inc. is no different.  Convenient to blame everything on Enron and not take responsibility.

You have to give it to Cain as he is saying that the board kept the company from going bankrupt.  He loves to throw the word bankrupt around like he was the savior of Godfather and now with Aquila Inc.  He did it with Godfather's Pizza saying they were on the verge of bankruptcy when he took over but that wasn't true:
Thus, in the middle of 1985, days before one of the largest Food companies in America, Pillsbury, bought the company, ten months before Cain took over, analysts were mixed about if Godfather’s would return to profitability in 1985. At this point, Godfather’s had been profitable every year since its inception in 1973 through 1984. There was simply no talk of bankruptcy.
That was another company that profits plummeted after the Cain group took over and closed over half the pizzerias.  Don't think Mr. Cain is a very good businessman but he can spin a tale of how everything was done right and he was the reason.  Facts don't match his rhetoric.
An article published in Bloomberg Businessweek by Tim Jones got the story right. It came out on June 6, 2011[7], the same week that PolitiFact published its article. It noted that he closed 20 percent of the company’s 640 restaurants and fired 300 to 400 people. Jones perceptively wrote, “He is a politician, just one who hasn’t held office. And like most politicians’ log cabin stories, Cain’s oft-told tale of how he rescued Godfather’s is kind to its hero and notable for what it leaves out.” He notes that Cain “has not released details of the company’s performance under his leadership” and ends by correctly stating:
The bottom line: Though Cain says he would revive the economy as he did Godfather’s Pizza, it’s not clear the chain improved much when he was CEO.
Politifact which is supposed to fact check politicians did not do a thorough job on Cain and his time at Godfather Pizza doing more of a puff piece as of October 18, 2011, but even then found Cain was lying or stretching the truth:
As of Oct 18, 2011, PolitiFact had checked out 19 statements by Herman Cain. It judged him telling the truth zero times, “mostly true” 3 times, “half truth” 4 times, “mostly false” 3 times, “false” 7 times, and “pants on fire” 2 times.” That’s 16 out of 19 half truths or worse, which means 84% of Cain’s statements have been judged half truths or worse. Politifacts is obviously willing to call Cain out when he lies. 
That is why it is so disappointing in this case, where PolitiFact should have exposed the fact that Cain wasn’t telling the truth when he talked about his success as manager of Godfather’s. If they had dug a little deeper and understood the situation more clearly, that is what I am sure they would have done.
Even in what turned out to be a puff piece on Cain which was more about style then substance, they found 84% of Cain's statements were half truths or worse and yet he is running for President?  What is with some of these conservative sites pushing Cain?  If he was white, I do not believe that all of this would be ignored in order to prop up Cain.

Conservative pundits/writers seem have the same disease that afflicted liberal pundits on Obama -- afraid to tell the truth and be labeled a racist.  How about telling the truth ignoring what someone may label you?  What some of the  conservative radio pundits like Rush and Hannity are doing is flat out wrong to prop up Cain and blame the media.

Rush went way over the top when he likened Bialek's (Cain accuser) 13-year old son to a Nazi storm trooper.  Rush's attacks on the women who came forward have been demeaning to women so that a lot of women will never listen to him again but his attack on a 13-year old boy was so far over the top that I cannot believe he is still on the air.  Shows that Clear Channel who is owned by Bain Capital (Romney's company) could care less about content or he would have been suspended for his attacks.  Read into it what you want but it smells!

Democrats blame the right wing conspiracy and Republicans blame the liberal media.  The blame game should end today but then pundits and reporters from both sides would be faced with giving us the facts instead of using attack politics when they don't like what someone said or to cover for a candidate.  The day this country becomes color blind is the day that pundits from both sides don't prop up a candidate because of the color of their skin and candidates quit blaming attackers for being racist.  It cuts both ways.  If Weiner or Foley would have been black would they have been forced to resign from the Congress? It is a legitimate question because look what happened to the black Congressman Charles Rangel, Democrat from NYC who had all those ethics complaints, but he only received a slap on the hand.

All the voters want is the facts not some narrative that the media and pundits from both sides want to spin.  I was looking for the origin of 'Just the Facts' and found this gem:
Dragnet, and later Badge 714, always opened with a view of Los Angeles, with Jack Webb narrating the intro with the words, "This is the city. . .my name's Friday, Joe Friday; I'm a cop." Friday's famous line when interviewing witnesses to a crime was always, "Give me the facts--just the facts."
I remember Joe Friday using those words and that is what voters need to tell the candidates: "Give us the facts -- just the facts" of where you stand on issues and your background to be President.  Stop the lies, spin, and flip flops and be honest for a change.  If you make a mistake, admit to the fact don't spin.  Some Republican candidates are lying, spinning, and flip flopping more than I can remember seeing in the Republican Party primary for President.

Voters are also tired of Fox News trying to choose the Republican candidate with their spin as much as football fans are tired of ESPN trying to pick the College Football National Champion and the Heisman winner.  Too much narrative not substance is inflicting the talking class from politics to sports.

How are conservative pundits going to spin this one for Cain today?
Lawsuits targeted board, Cain over retirement fund
ATLANTA (AP) — Republican Herman Cain served on the board of a Midwest utility company that paid $10.5 million to settle claims it failed to protect the retirement savings of its employees and paid another $26.5 million over claims it manipulated gas prices, potentially embarrassing episodes for a candidate running for president on his business experience. 
Cain sat on the board of directors for Aquila Inc., a Kansas City-based utility, from 1992 until it was acquired in 2008 by Great Plains Energy Inc. Employees alleged in a class-action lawsuit that they were pressured into investing their retirement funds and other savings into company stock. Cain has been forced to answer questions on the campaign trail about the lawsuit, which was reported by Mother Jones magazine in May. 
Those employees said Cain and other company officials should have warned their employees that the stock was becoming increasingly risky as the firm floundered financially. The workers said the company's stock should have been eliminated as an investment option in the retirement fund. While Cain sat on the board, Aquila's stock price dropped from roughly $37.50 in 2001 to less than $5 before the company was acquired seven years later. 
Cain denies any wrongdoing and takes credit for helping stave off a corporate bankruptcy.
"There's a degree of risk in all investments in all companies," Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said. "The actions that the board took saved the company." 
Cain shared responsibility for the company's overall direction as a member of the board. But attorney Fred Isquith, who represented eight workers who started the class-action lawsuit over the employees' retirement fund, said he was unaware of any evidence showing Cain was more culpable than others on the board. He said the utility was effectively run by members of the Green family, which founded it. 
"Could the board have done something? Sure," Isquith said. "Was it run on a day-to-day basis by the Green family? Absolutely. It was the board's responsibility collectively, and Mr. Cain was a member of the board." 
Federal records show Isquith has made thousands of dollars in political donations, predominantly to the Democratic Party and its candidates. He said he does not have a preference for a candidate in the Republican presidential primary.
Lawyers for the workers said Aquila started out as a relatively conservative investment. As a traditional utility, the company produced predictable — though not necessarily large — returns and offered a dependable dividend payment. 
And the company encouraged its employees to invest. Workers enrolled in the company's investment plan could buy Aquila stock, among other options. It matched employee contributions into the plan fund with company stock. It granted stock options to nearly all its employees and allowed them to purchase up to $10,000 monthly in stock at advantageous prices. Workers could also use their dividend payments to buy even more Aquila stock at a discount. 
The lawsuit alleged that the company sent internal publications and set up meetings where employees were encouraged to invest even more. Starting in 1994, the company's annual report listed workers whose stock in the firm was worth at least twice their annual pay.
By the middle of 2001, Aquila stock accounted for two-thirds of the retirement plan's value, lawyers said. 
The root of the company's trouble came when it decided to expand into the energy trading business. The utility, then called UtiliCorp United Inc., started the process of spinning off its trading arm, called Aquila, into a separately traded stock. The timing couldn't have been worse.
A major blow came with the 2001 collapse of Enron, a major energy trader, in one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history. It led to investigations of shady energy trading practices that, according to federal authorities, included parts of Aquila. 
The utility eventually agreed in a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to pay $26.5 million over claims that two of its subsidiaries manipulated natural gas prices by providing false prices and other financial details to trade publications. The parent company was the sole or majority owner of those subsidiaries for most of their existence. 
A report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission identified Aquila as one of several firms that had manipulated energy prices in Western states. A wholly owned subsidiary of Aquila later agreed to pay nearly $76,000 to settle related complaints. The company denied wrongdoing and said it paid to avoid the cost of litigation.   
Excerpt:  Read More at Yahoo News

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Study Exposes Flaws in "Green Chemistry" Movement

You have to admit that the members of the green environmentalist agenda are persistent if nothing else.  Their latest it to push "Green Chemistry which would force a lot of healthy foods off the shelves.  The environmental movement is so far out of control that it is mind boggling.  What they cannot seems to get through their heads is if they pushed their green agenda in a common sense manner, there are a lot of products that people would buy.

In fact I use green cleaners around the house when they do the same or better job than others.  Some of the green cleaners like those from Clorox do a better job.  Guess it goes back to the days before we had all the chemicals in window spray and other cleaners.  These people need to be supporting the 'green' portion that works instead of being radical and turning people off.  I bought green cleaning products because I trust Clorox -- figured it was worth a try and the trial was a success.  Over the years perfumed products have become worse and worse which causes reactions in allergy sufferers which green products eliminate.

A happy medium fueled by common sense would be nice instead of a leftist agenda which goes way too far and harms companies and costs the taxpayers big dollars.  Over regulation is a real problem when there should be a regulation on full disclosure that is large enough to read and not require a magnifying glass and then let the customer decide.

This "Green Chemistry" movement is scary and their agenda needs defeated in Congress.
New Study Exposes Flaws in "Green Chemistry" Movement
Authors Urge Lawmakers Not to Advance Risk-Averse Agenda
By Nicole CiandellaNovember 16, 2011 
Washington D.C., November 16, 2011 -- This holiday season, most Americans will be happily taking advantage of the comforts and conveniences of the modern world. But not everyone is thankful for the industrial processes that allow us to eat, travel, and shop the way we do. Environmentalist groups are currently pushing “green chemistry” reforms that could force many safe products off our shelves---and unfortunately, many state governments are buying into the propaganda that these anti-chemical groups are selling. 
Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a new study that outlines the real risks and benefits of the products now under attack. In “Green Chemistry’s March of the Ostriches,” CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini and Contributing Scholar Daniel J. Murphy document the long history of unfounded claims by the anti-chemical movement and urge lawmakers to let facts---not fears---shape the future of regulation. 
“When it comes to chemical regulation, precautionary policies are based on potential and often worst-case ‘hazards’ posed by products rather than the actual risks associated with realistic exposures,” the study explains. “For example, cyanide is certainly a hazardous substance to humans, but trace levels of cyanide naturally occur in healthy foods, such as almonds and lima beans, with no adverse consequence to human health. If the precautionary principle and ‘green chemistry’ regulations applied to these foods, we might have to ban them.” 
The authors conclude: “With action proceeding on chemicals in so many states, we have begun to overturn one of our cherished principles by giving government the authority to clog scientific inquiry without convincing evidence.” 
>> Read the full study: “Green Chemistry’s March of the Ostriches.” 
 Source:  CEI

Rep Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) Calls for Passage of Balanced Budget Amendment

Excerpts from Email of Rep Hensarling, Republican Conference Chair:
On Friday the House of Representatives took a historic vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States (H.J. Res. 2), a measure that I supported. The bill fell short of the 2/3 supermajority needed for passage by a vote of 261-165.
Even though I am disappointed that today’s vote failed, we must keep up the fight for a permanent solution to our spending-driven debt crisis. Let’s save our country. Let’s amend the Constitution. Let’s balance the budget. 
Please take the time to record your opinion by participating in this brief survey by clicking here.
A little background on Rep Hensarling:
Congressman Hensarling is a co-author of the "Spending, Deficit, and Debt Control Act", a landmark budget reform bill that was heralded as the "Gold Standard" of budget enforcement legislation by a coalition of conservative groups, including the Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the National Taxpayers Union. Jeb also authored the “Spending Limit Amendment”—a Constitutional amendment that would limit spending to no more that 20% of the economy (the historic average since WWII). For his work to rein in wasteful Washington spending and put our country back on a fiscally sustainable path, National Review Online dubbed him “Rep. Budget Reform” and the Dallas Morning News called him, a “truth teller” who “has become one of the most important GOP members of Congress”.
He must be going nuts with the obstructionists Democrats on the Super Committee who want to tax our way out of the deficit which would make this Country one of the highest taxed countries in the world and make the economy worse.  Will someone please tell me why the Representatives from Middle America understand that the budget has to be trimmed and the budget balanced but 161 Democrats and 4 Republicans (Amash (MI), Dreir (CA), Gohmert (TX), and Paul Ryan(WI)) voted against the measure.  There were 25 Democrats joining the 236 Republicans who supported the Balanced Budget Amendment.  Eight members did not vote include Ron Paul.  The reason for the NO votes by the few Republicans was that this bill did not go far enough.

Under Article 5 of the Constitution, a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress—290 votes in the House and 67 votes in the Senate--to be sent to the states for ratification. It then requires ratification by three-fourths of the states--38 out of 50--to become part of the Constitution.

It is obvious why we need a Balanced Budget Amendment when most of the Democrats in Congress have no intention of cutting spending or even passing a budget.  Democrats in the Senate illustrate that point as they have not passed a budget since the fall of 2007 so what does that tell you about the majority of Democrats in Congress?  They could care less about balancing the budget and will continue to borrow and tax to get all of their agenda passed if they could even when it is bankrupting the Country.  If Republicans were not in control of the House and picked up seats in the Senate, I cannot imagine what would be happening right now as taxes would have been increased dramatically.

Out of 192 Democrats, there are only 25 Democrats who join Republicans on a routine basis like Rep Dan Boren of OK or Rep Heath Schuler of NC who understand you have to cut the deficit starting today and you need a Balanced Budget Amendment because Congress is incapable of balancing it on their own which we have seen for years.

The Balanced Budget Amendment was defeated but at least it came up for a vote and members can continue to tweak the bill to make it stronger and take it to the people.  We need more common sense people elected to the House and Senate who understand the way to getting America backs on its feet is not raising taxes on the middle class but a good start would be closing tax loopholes we have today.

Democrats talk about taxing the rich but when it comes up that closing the loopholes in the tax code e.g., those who own private jets, the Democrats balk. (Via Newsbusters, we are reminded that the corporate jet tax “loophole” – which Obama beat like a rented mule during his press conference yesterday – was actually part of Obama’s failed “stimulus” plan.) They want those loopholes left in place so even if they tax the wealthy at a higher rate, they still wont pay that much thanks to all the loopholes in the tax code put in by Democrats over the years.

Word out of the Senate is that Senator Kyl is trying to save the Pentagon from deep cuts.  When Leon Panetta says the cuts would gut the Defense Department it makes you wonder just how bad they are.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gingrich think tank collected millions from health-care industry

The health center advocated, among other things, requiring that “anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond,” a type of insurance mandate that has since become anathema to conservatives. 
The group also pushed proposals to build centralized electronic medical records and use such data to research treatment effectiveness, both central features of President Obama’s health-care reforms.
Gingrich, who has been under fire recently for his lucrative consulting business, left the health-care think tank earlier this year to run for president. But his time there exemplifies the former Georgia congressman’s post-legislative career as a well-paid consultant and policy guru, a role that earned him and his companies tens of millions of dollars over the past decade. 
His experience at the think tank also illustrates Gingrich’s past flirtations with moderate policies — on health care, the environment and other hot-button issues — that have become the subject of controversy and criticism in the presidential race. 
The Gingrich campaign referred questions about the center to the think tank. Susan Meyers, a center spokeswoman, declined to comment on the think tank’s income or staffing levels because it is a private-sector organization. She said that neither the center nor Gingrich has engaged in formal lobbying. 
Meyers called Gingrich “a health-care visionary” who was advocating far-reaching reforms “before many of these concepts in health care became mainstream.” She said the think tank’s members don’t always agree on specific issues but are working “toward a common vision of saving lives and money.” 
Gingrich has been criticized in recent days after Bloomberg News reported that he earned as much as $1.8 million in consulting fees from Freddie Mac, a quasi-public corporation that many conservatives blame for the housing crisis. After first suggesting he was hired for a short time as a “historian,” Gingrich has since acknowledged acting as a consultant for the mortgage giant “over a long period of time.” 
“I was approached to offer strategic advice; I was glad to offer strategic advice,” Gingrich told reporters in Iowa this week. “We did it for a number of companies, and Gingrich Group was very successful.” 
Excerpt:  Read More at Washington Post
Then there is the question still hanging of how much money did the Gingrich group make off of global warming in addition to healthcare when he was traveling around with Nancy Pelosi saying it was man made and buying into the environmentalist liberal agenda?  Is this all about money for Gingrich?

This is sickening that he even chose to run for President.  Does he also have a book like Cain or did he just want the attention?  Either way both men should not be running.  Since they both worked for Fox News it makes you wonder if Fox News was behind their running for President.

Lieberman, Brown Launch Probe Into Congressional Insider Trading

Today, the Early Show on CBS featured Senator Scott Brown’s Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2011 [S. 1871]. The bill would prohibit “insider trading” in Congress.

This video from CBS This Morning also details how Cong Baird (D-WA), who is now retired, tried to get this bill through the House since 2004 but could only get six co-sponsors.  The best news is that Senator Brown's bill will be heard by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs which Senator Lieberman chairs.  Senator Lieberman not only has thrown his support to this bill, but plans to have his Committee investigate insider trading going on in Congress.  We found out from Senator Brown that the only people in the government with no laws or rules on insider trading are members of Congress and the Supreme Court (my highlight below):
Congress and the Supreme Court are the only two out of 975 federal entities that have no rules or laws prohibiting them from trading securities based on nonpublic information. According to a study by economist Alan J. Ziobrowski, between 1993 and 1998, the common stock investment portfolios of U.S. senators beat the market by 12% a year, on average. In sharp contrast, the common stock investment portfolios of U.S. households as a whole underperformed the market on average by 1.4% a year during the relevant period. And corporate insiders investing in their own company‘s stock only beat the market by about 6% a year on average during that period.
Members of Congress say they didn't want to be bothered by more cumbersome regulations.  That's just too bad as some members have zero ethics it seems.  Most Americans don't want to be bothered by IRS regulations either when they do taxes but have no choice.  Hard to feel sorry for members of Congress even a little that they might have to report more often when they don't think anything of putting more regulations on American business owners, states, local entities, and the American people.

This is perfect timing as Governor Perry presented his plan on Uproot and Overhaul Washington on Wednesday which included Congressional Insider Trading:
Criminalize Insider Trading by Members of Congress: 
Just as private individuals are prohibited from making stock or bond trades based on inside information, members of Congress should be banned from trading on information about how congressional laws may impact financial markets. 
A recent investigative report by 60 Minutes found that “Members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate.”15 Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff told CNBC that as many as a dozen members of Congress traded on inside information.16 One academic study found that the portfolios of lawmakers, most of whom are not professional investors or financial experts, outperformed the overall stock market by more than 6% a year. 
The Stock Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress and federal employees from profiting from nonpublic information they obtain via their official positions, has been introduced in every Congress since 2004. The act has yet to receive any consideration on either the House or Senate floor. 
A lawmaker who plans to bailout a publicly traded corporation should not be allowed to use his or her inside information to purchase or short securities that will be directly affected by congressional action. If private individuals can be jailed or fined for trading on insider information, then lawmakers and their staff should be required to live under the same laws when it comes to legislative or regulatory inside information.
Until I read Governor Perry's plan, I did not realize that the Stock Act had been introduced every year since 2004 and never passed.  Why not?  Cong Brian Baird (D-WA) couldn't get more than six sponsors at any one time as members of Congress didn't want to be bothered by cumbersome rules.  What is the difference between insider trading on Wall Street and insider trading from within the halls of Congress?  When you have information that is not public about a company, that should never be used to make money.  No wonder some members of Congress get richer after they are elected.  Would be nice to know when we elect members of Congress they are going to have ethics not to do this but the old saying 'power and money' corrupts may be just what we are seeing.

I am with Governor Perry in asking why members of Congress and their staffs are not be subject to the same laws as everyone else?  Why are Congress and the Supreme Court exempt?  Why was leadership not willing to even hear this bill in the past?  That should change now after reading how much more money members of Congress and their aides make off of stock trades then the average trader:
Georgia State University Professor Alan Ziobrowski found that senators’ stock portfolios beat the market by 12 percent annually, while those of House members were 6 percent higher. Ziobrowski called such returns abnormally high. 
Any member of Congress or their aides who are or have been involved with insider trading needs to resign.  The American people deserve no less.  This gives Congress more of a black eye then they already have.

CBS is reporting in the video above that the House version now has 18 co-sponsors which has morphed into 65 co-sponsors as of a short time ago.  Senator Brown has three co-sponsors so far:  Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] - 11/17/2011, Sen Heller, Dean [NV] - 11/17/2011, Sen Rubio, Marco [FL] - 11/15/2011 according to the Senate record on Senate Bill 1871.  This bill has now been heard twice and referred to Senator Lieberman's Committee for further action.   We are looking forward to these hearings.

In the House, the bill was introduced by Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN] and has grown from 4 original co-sponsors to 65.  Most of the co-sponsors are Democrats except for Charles Bass [R-NH2]Steven Chabot [R-OH1]Jaime Herrera Beutler [R-WA3]Walter Jones [R-NC3]Frank LoBiondo [R-NJ2]Ted Poe [R-TX2]Dennis Rehberg [R-MTDennis Ross [R-FL12]Robert Schilling [R-IL17]Allen West [R-FL22].  For a list of Democrat sponsors click here.  The House version has also been assigned to the Judiciary Committee for hearings.

We will continue to track both the House and Senate bills as they progress through the Congress.  We anticipate new laws and rules will be put in place this time with the spotlight now shining brightly on insider trading in Congress.  We expect little to happen before the second session of Congress which begins in January, but at least both bills have now made it to Committee when in the past, the Baird bills never made it past the first reading so it is a start in the right direction.  Now something is finally being done with Cong Baird's bill he has been trying to pass since 2004 as his bill is seeing the light of day.

What else this is shining the light on is that these bills are being supported in a bi-partisan manner.  This is an example what we send our members of Congress by putting their constituents first not a political party.  In this case, both sides of the aisles have been involved in the insider trading, and now both sides are coming together to fix the broken system.  We understand there is a ideological divide between liberals and conservatives when it comes to the budget which makes sense to fight light cats and dogs to get their way.  What we have not understood is on these types of bills why both sides have not been able to come together as they seem more worried about who gets the credit then getting something done.

Over the years Senator Lieberman has gained respect of many Americans -- don't always agree with him ideologically but I join a lot of others who have tremendous respect for the man.  Now we learn he is not only hearing the bill but is launching an investigation into insider trading in Congress.  Once again as he has done over the years, Senator Lieberman throws politics out the window to work for the American people.
Lieberman, Brown Launch Probe Into Congressional Insider Trading
Thursday, 17 Nov 2011 05:17 PM
By Martin Gould

Members of Congress repeatedly blocked moves to enforce insider trading laws on themselves because they don’t want to be bothered by cumbersome rules, says retired House member Brian Baird, whose unsung efforts to stop the trading are finally getting respect. 
“What was troubling to me was not that they thought it wasn’t wrong, but they thought it was too inconvenient,” Baird told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. Baird welcomed moves finally to look at the issue that he pushed throughout his six terms in Congress, which ended with his retirement in 2010. 
“Not only is this good policy, it’s good politics,” said Baird from his home in Edmonds, Wash. “People out there think the rules should apply to Congress too. They want it to be fair and just and consistent.” 
Baird’s STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill despite four attempts to introduce it. He never got more than six colleagues to sign on as co-sponsors and the bill went nowhere.

But now, leading Republicans like Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent, are throwing their weight behind the anti-insider trading fervor. 
Brown filed a bill to prohibit insider trading in Congress, and a key Senate committee has agreed to hold a public hearing on the measure. 
The Massachusetts Republican’s bill would bar members or employees of Congress and the executive branch from using nonpublic information obtained through their public service for the purpose of investing for personal financial gain. 
Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, announced Wednesday that the committee would hold a hearing to examine how insider trading laws apply to Congress.“Insider trading by members of Congress — if it occurs — is a serious breach of the public trust,” said Lieberman.

“No one in Congress should be enriching themselves based on information to which the general public has no access,” said Lieberman. “Our hearing will set the record straight about how existing laws and ethics rules apply to Congress and whether they are sufficient to prevent unethical market trading.”

In the House, Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Tim Walz, D-Minn., who had already re-introduced the measure in March, issued a statement urging the bill to be taken up. 
The insider trading probe gained steam with the publication of a new book, “Throw Them All Out,” by conservative author Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and one-time aide to Sarah Palin, who details alleged abuses by politicians on both sides of the House and Senate.

The book was heavily featured on Sunday’s "60 Minutes" with reporter Steve Kroft going after leaders of the two parties in the House on camera. Both Speaker John Boehner and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi denied they had done anything wrong. 
For example, following a top secret briefing about the impending financial collapse in 2008, Congressman Spencer Bachus. R-AL, bought options that would rise as the market collapsed. 
That's exactly what it did. 
Boehner, during the healthcare debate in 2009, allegedly loaded up on health insurance stocks just before the “public option” was removed from the Federal healthcare reform legislation. 
Pelosi, D-Calif., was granted access to the Visa IPO back in 2008 while the House was considering credit card legislation that would hurt the credit card industry. Her initial $220,000 investment went up $100,000 in two days. 
When asked about insider trading allegations at a press conference earlier this month, Boehner said, "I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities of my account and haven’t for years. I do not do it, haven’t done it and wouldn’t do it.” 
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington blasted the content of the “60 Minutes” special, arguing that it “did a disservice” to Pelosi and Boehner and “undermined the case” for the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, which was introduced in 2006. 
Baird also appeared on the show, telling Kroft, “One line in a bill in Congress can be worth millions and millions of dollars.
"There was one night when we had a late, late night caucus and you could kind of tell how a vote was going to go the next day,” he added. “I literally walked home and I thought, ‘Man, if you ... went online and made some significant trades, you could make a lot of money on this.’”
Baird a Washington State Democrat who is now vice president for government affairs with shipbuilders Vigor Industrial, welcomed the announcement.

“It is a bipartisan problem and there should be a bipartisan solution,” he told Newsmax. “There are good people on both sides and people who stretch the limits on both sides, so it shouldn’t be a political issue.

“Even if it is my best friend and closest colleague who is using inside information to trade he should be punished.” 
Baird said that whenever he tried to push his Bill he would be stonewalled. “There is no question whatsoever that members of Congress hold and trade stocks relevant to their committees,” he said. “That should be banned. 
“Insisting on blind trusts would be the easiest way of dealing with it, but that would not solve the problem unless you ban giving information to others. For instance it is not difficult to see that it is wrong to give information to a donor that they can make money off.” 
But Congress has for years exempted itself from the very rules that have put people like domestic goddess Martha Stewart and more recently hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnan behind bars. 
“It is not explicitly stated in Congress’ ethics code,” said Baird. “And we exempted ourselves from reporting requirements that apply to hedge fund managers and corporate CEOs. They have to report within 48 hours if they make a significant trade. We have to report once a year, retroactively. In fact if you make a trade in January, it doesn’t have to be reported until the following May.” 
Baird said that at one point he changed his bill to allow for reporting to be delayed for 90 days in a bid to get more members to back him. But still they would not. “Really it should be 48 hours,” he said. 
He quoted one example of a discussion about asbestos regulations among members that was not know to the wider public. “There are times that our discussions are non-public,” he explained.
But it leaked out from a leading senator’s office and the next day trading in companies involved in the asbestos industry doubled. “If that had happened in the corporate world the SEC would have swarmed all over it,” he said. 
Georgia State University Professor Alan Ziobrowski found that senators’ stock portfolios beat the market by 12 percent annually, while those of House members were 6 percent higher. Ziobrowski called such returns abnormally high. 
Even if his STOCK Act is not passed, Baird is happy that new light has been shed on the problem. “It will have a salutary effect,” he said. “Anyone who is thinking of making a trade proximate to their work wlll think twice and anyone who has made a trade in the past should be worried. 
“Also it will open up a whole new realm for opposition researchers,” he predicted. “They should start looking into the trading records and committee assignments of incumbents.”

Read more on Newsmax.com: Lieberman, Brown Launch Probe Into Congressional Insider Trading