Ponder This:

Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Disappearing Private-Sector Jobs By ROBERT HIGGS

Posted at Investors Business Daily 01/20/2010 06:52 PM ET
Unless private employment growth resumes soon, the United States risks falling into the same long-term economic sclerosis that has plagued the welfare states of Western Europe for decades.

Large, frequent and unsettling changes in government policies already have made private planning, especially for long-term investment, too risky for many private investors to bear. The results have been devastating.

Mindful that both the public and policymakers place heavy emphasis on "jobs," I have been reviewing the Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment data. At this point, most everyone knows that the official rate of unemployment has risen greatly since 2007 and lately has been stuck in the neighborhood of 10%.

Total nonfarm employment peaked in 2007 at 137.6 million, fell slightly in 2008 and then dropped precipitously in 2009 to 132 million, for a two-year loss of 5.6 million jobs. In 2009, total employment was approximately equal to its level in 2001, though the labor force had grown substantially in the interim, making the 2000-2009 period America's second "lost decade" (the first being the 1930s during the Great Depression).

The sharp decline in nonfarm employment, which normally increases from year to year along with the labor force, has been bad enough. But when the components of aggregate employment are examined, we discover even worse news.

We find that the loss of employment has occurred entirely in the private sector, where employment fell from 115.4 million in 2007 to 109.5 million in 2009, a decline that took private employment back to its level at the end of the 1990s.
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Sat Jan 30, 2010: Is the Water Crisis over? & Three Victories by The Man over the Taxpayer--Grrrr

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN, on
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Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
Fred Starrh, operates a family farm in the southern part of the Central Valley, in Kern County.  He sits on the Kern County Water Agency and he will give us an update on the Water Crisis in the Central Valley.

On Monday, January 25th, Republican Members of Congress hosted a Water Forum in Fresno, CA, addressing the San Joaquin Valley water crisis. Secretary Salazar turned down an invitation to participate in this forum or to send a representative from the Department of the Interior.

Hundreds of farmers and residents from throughout the Central Valley also attended a rare congressional hearing on water, in Los Angeles, also held on Jan 25th.  Secretary Salazar skipped that hearing too but the next day Salazar announced additional steps to assist The Central Valley Project water users. "To assist farmers in the short term, Secretary Salazar announced that 350,000 to 400,000 acre-feet of water will be made available for West Side farmers by March 1, the beginning of the contract water year."

Only problem is that the "additional water allocation" is not a real additional water allocation, but is in fact a carryover of water, farmers paid for and never received, last year. The spin flies. Many in the State of CA and throughout the nation think the problem is solved, but the truth is far from it. The truth is dire for the people in the Central Valley where unemployment is upward of 16%. Families have lost their homes, jobs, and businesses. Their way of life is drying up.

Fred was on the Jan 25th water panel in Fresno, along with Congressman Tom McClintock. The key point in his presentation: There was legislation introduced in Congress last year, to lift the restrictions put in place by the Endangered Species Act. Both Senators Boxer and Feinstein, voted against it, even though they voted for a similar legislation in New Mexico. The most eye opening statement Fred made was that his family paid over $1.6 million dollars for water last year, for water that they did not receive.

When farms and cities in Kern County have to pay $100 million dollars for water they do not receive, it robs the county of probably $500 million in economic activity including lost jobs, property taxes, and sales taxes.  Some projections now are that farmers, despite the rainfall this year are being told they will get little more than 10 percent of their normal allocations.

On Dec. 15, the Kern County Water Agency's water resource managers stated that if 2010 is a normal water year in the state and all the existing restrictions remain in place, we could receive as little as a 20 percent water allocation. If the restrictions are removed, we could see as much as a 70 percent water allocation.

Richard Rider, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Taxpayer Hero of the Year for 2009, joins me to talk about these three setbacks for taxpayers this week, including a victory by the Public Employee Unions over the taxpayers in Oregon. The WSJ called it a "Taxpayer Ambush in Oregon." The public employee unions in CA see this as a game changing strategy that will work to convince voters in CA to say yes to raising taxes, and support their power, spending, unsustainable pensions, and benefits.

Is Schwarzenegger back to reigning in the public employee unions and the unsustainable spending they push and cause in CA? Will this new old Arnold help or hurt The Citizen Power Campaign?

Obama has given CA the rope it needs to hang itself. Jon Coupal says "Obama's decision to give California's controversial High Speed Rail project a $2.25 billion boost could also be called Cash For Clunkers, Part Deux."

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"Obama's Leitmotif"--Quote of the Day WSJ Political Diary, Jan 29, 2010

"Obama's leitmotif is: Washington is disappointing, Washington is annoying, Washington is dysfunctional, Washington is corrupt, verily Washington is toxic -- yet Washington should conscript a substantially larger share of GDP, and Washington should exercise vast new controls over health care, energy, K-12 education, etc. Talk about a divided brain" -- Washington Post George F. Will on President Obama's State of the Union address on Wednesday night.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arthur Laffer: Obama's 'Train Wreck' Ahead by Donald Lambro, Human Events, 01/27/2010

Arthur Laffer, creator of the Laffer Curve that showed how low tax rates boost economic growth, is warning anyone who will listen that the economy is headed for a “train wreck” in 2011 that will make the current recession look tame by comparison.

The famed economist, whose supply-side, tax-cutting policies enacted by President Reagan in 1981 put the economy on a record-breaking, 25-year economic trajectory of growth and prosperity, is telling Americans not to be lulled by sporadic signs of growth this year, because the economy is headed for a sharper decline next year when tax rates are expected to jump sharply, sending the economy into a new tailspin.

“It will make the decline in U.S. output from 2010 to 2011 worse than the decline in output in 2008 and 2009 which will catastrophic,” Laffer said in an interview with HUMAN EVENTS.

In a wide-ranging discussion about where the economy is headed, and the fiscal, tax and monetary reasons why, Laffer gives a bleak forecast of where President Obama and his administration are taking the country in the next three years -- which he predicts will end with Obama’s defeat in 2012.

“Obama is a fine, very impressive person. He really is. Unfortunately, everything that he is doing in economics is exactly wrong. He is a crappy president,” Laffer said.

“Whenever a country is in the throes of spending too much and raising taxes, it’s a fiscal catastrophe in the making and this is what is happening now,” he said.

The economy in the short-term this year “will continue to improve, growing by more than 4 percent. By the end of 2010 the unemployment rate could fall to as low as 7 percent and the Obama administration will be busting with pride and conceit,” Laffer told his clients in his latest economic outlook for the year ahead.

But don’t be fooled into thinking the economy is actually coming out of one of the worst recessions of the post-war era, because this year will be a false recovery, he adds. The downturn will begin again when “2011 will enter center stage, followed quickly by an economic catastrophe. All the factors that will make 2010 (and have already made the last half of 2009) look so good will reverse direction, and 2011 will be a train wreck,” he said in his forecast.Click here to read the rest of the story

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Will it Ever be Cool to Have Thrifty Folks in the White House? The staggering cost of the First Lady's staff...

Michelle Obama’s personnel staff cost taxpayers $1.75 million per year
The White House is open for business and as such the first lady, Michelle, has hired roughly 25 staff members that report directly to her. This is a break from the previous two first ladies’; Hillary Clinton managed three employees, while Laura Bush had just one employee.

The magnitude of the first lady’s staff comes at a staggering taxpayer cost of $1.75 million per year. This number doesn’t include federal benefits, this cost is undisclosed.

The salaries rage from $172,200 at the high end to $36,000 on the low end. While most Americans suffer from the global-sized recession, the White House doesn’t seem to be too frugal with its spending practices.

For the link to the White House employee list; www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Annual-Report-to-Congress-on-White-House-Staff-2009/

The following are the names and salaries of Michele Obama’s staff
1. $172,200 - Sher, Susan (Chief Of Staff)
2. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C. (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G. (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary)
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady)
5. $102,000 Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
6. $90,000 - Medina, David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady)
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady)
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady)
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
11. $65,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary)
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator for the First Lady)
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Director of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady)
14. $60,000 - Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady)
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary to the First Lady)
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide to the First Lady)
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
18. $45,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office)
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady)
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary)
21. $36,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant)
22. $36,000 - Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)
24. Ingrid Grimes-Miles (Makeup artist)

25. Johnny Wright (First Hairstylist)

For the official White House list; www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Annual-Report-to-Congress-on-White-House-Staff-2009/
To read more click here

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sat Jan 23, 2010: DeVore, Chuck Devore--Barbara Boxer should be quaking in her flats. And other developments on the Political Scene.

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN Digital Talk Radio, on

CRNtalk.com CRN 1Call in number: 1-800-336-2225
On Tuesday, Jan 19th, the SF Chronicle reported, Tight Massachusetts race alarms CA Dems. San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom said "Regardless of the outcome ... this should be a gigantic wake-up call to the Democratic Party - that we're not connecting with the needs, the aspirations and the desires of real people right now."

How rattled were the CA Democrats? On Wednesday, the next day after the Massachusetts Tea Party, the Democrat Majority Legislature resurrected and passed out of committee, a state version of Universal Health Care, including the equivalent of the public option. California is reeling from an 11 percent unemployment, the highest taxes in the country next to NYC, its own version of Cap and Trade, regulatory power crazed agencies that wield and exercise crippling power, a public employee pension crisis that is on the verge of exploding the budgets of countless cities and counties throughout the State, a deficit that is over $20 billion dollars and a $42 billion dollar debt.

Barbara 'call me senator' Boxer is looking vulnerable, although the Dems in CA still don't get it, and the political class in CA is still looking at the race for U.S. Senate through the old paradigm.

GOP strategist Dan Schnur, who directs the University of Southern California's Unruh Institute of Politics, said DeVore is the GOP contender most likely to attract the Tea Party-generated "money bombs" like those that buoyed Brown.
Some believe Boxer in November would rather run against DeVore — an arch-conservative less likely to attract independent and crossover voters — than the wealthier Fiorina or the more socially moderate and experienced Campbell, although Schnur said each candidate has strengths.

A Rasmussen Reports poll of 500 likely voters conducted last week showed Boxer leading Fiorina by three percentage points; leading Campbell by four; and leading DeVore by six in head-to-head matchups. But sources said Wednesday that a forthcoming Field Poll will show Boxer with a 10-point lead over Campbell, and wider leads over Fiorina and DeVore.
Mercury News, Jan 20, 2010

"Arch conservative?" Tea Party movement members have demonstrated their numbers and power in CA already, this past May 19th, when they soundly defeated Prop 1A, a tax initiative on the ballot in a special statewide election, that would have increased taxes another $16 Billion. The political class was stunned.

Will the Tea Party activists voters, and the independents pull a Scott Brown in CA in November, and stick it to The Man?   Will DeVore be their choice to fight against the machine? How does the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday, to strike down McCain-Feingold, impact the prospects for this race?

Join me for a conversation with Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, Barbara "call me Senator" Boxer's very own Scott Brown. He doesn't have an underwear photo spread in Cosmo, but he is a Renaissance, James Bond, Dos X like man.  He is the one candidate who fits the bill for the independents and Tea Party Activist voters who are rebelling against the Political Machine.

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A Free Speech Landmark: Campaign-finance reform meets the Constitution.

Freedom has had its best week in many years. On Tuesday, Massachusetts put a Senate check on a reckless Congress, and yesterday the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision supporting free political speech by overturning some of Congress's more intrusive limits on election spending.

In a season of marauding government, the Constitution rides to the rescue one more time.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote yesterday's 5-4 majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which considered whether the government could ban a 90-minute documentary called "Hillary: the Movie" that was set to run on cable channels during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Because it was funded by an incorporated group and was less than complimentary of then-Senator Hillary Clinton, the film became a target of campaign-finance limits.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Delusional? Who's delusional? Keith Olbermann on the day before Scott Brown's Election to the Senate. SNL can't do better parody of this real life pompous ass.

Published in the WSJ's PD on Tuesday Jan 19, 2010:   "In Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, Tea Bagging supporter of violence against women, and against politicians with whom he disagrees. In any other time in our history, this man would have been laughed off the stage as an unqualified and a disaster in the making by the most conservative of conservatives. Instead, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is close to sending this bad joke to the Senate of the United States" -- MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, venting frustration with the likely results of today's special election for the U.S. Senate.

A year ago, SNL parodied Olbermann, but it doesn't come close to the real pompous delusional ass he is in real life . Click here to see SNL skit on Olbermann.

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Nancy Pelosi, Who's seat do you think you fill? Your actions are even louder than your words: Elitest Pompous Statist

This is Nancy Pelosi's New Jet! Remember that the next time the Democrats and their media arm talk about Sarah's dresses.
Pelosi wasn't happy with the small USAF C-20B jet, Gulfstream III, that comes with the Speaker's job. She was aggravated that this little jet had to stop to refuel, so she ordered a commercial size, 200-seat, USAF C-32, Boeing 757 jet that could get her back to California without stopping, because she's not an ordinary person. She's "muy importante." I understand that a former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, flew commericial most of the time.

Nancy's Big Fat Jet costs us, the hard working American tax payers, literally thousands of gallons of fuel every week.
Since she only works 3 days a week, this gas guzzling jet gets fueled and she flies home to California every Friday and returns every Monday, at a cost to the taxpayers (YOU and ME are those taxpayers!) of about $60,000, one way!
..."unfortunately we have to pay to bring her back on Monday night and that costs us another $60,000!" Taxpayers, that is $480,000 per month and that is an annual cost to us of $5,760,000!!!
No wonder she complains about the cost of this war ... it might cramp her style and she is styling on my back and yours. I think of the military families in this country doing without, and this woman, who heads up the most economically and politically destructive Congress in the history of our country, keeps fueling that jet while we make do with less and less.
Pelosi wants you and me to conserve our carbon footprint. She wants us to buy smaller cars and Obama wants us to get a bicycle pump and air up our tires. Their motto is ... Don't do as I do ... JUST DO AS I SAY!
Keep in mind the figures above do NOT include the cost of plane or crew ... just the fuel!!! One has to wonder what the total package costs us?
(adopted and adapted from an email in circulation. Facts all check out.)
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Tight Massachusetts race alarms California Dems--Carla Marinucci, Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Political Writers Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The possible loss of a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts has Democrats on edge 3,000 miles away in California, where party activists fear a GOP upset today could trigger a conservative wave and swamp health care reform and the 2010 midterm elections.

"Regardless of the outcome ... this should be a gigantic wake-up call to the Democratic Party - that we're not connecting with the needs, the aspirations and the desires of real people right now," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

With Republican Scott Brown poised to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts race to succeed the late Edward Kennedy, Democrats at the annual Martin Luther King community breakfast in San Francisco were buzzing about the impacts of such an upset: an end to the party's 60-vote supermajority and a possible mortal blow to the health care legislation championed by President Obama.

Ripple effects

But Democrats also considered the ripple effects on coming elections in the nation's most populous state.

"We better get our act together - and quickly," Newsom said. Voters "are so angry. They don't feel that we're paying attention to their needs, in terms of their jobs, and what's going on at the grassroots, in their neighborhoods."

With just 10 months until the 2010 midterm election, the mayor's remarks underscore how the Brown-Coakley race has set off alarms in Democratic-leaning California, which is holding two high-profile elections this cycle.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a three-term Democrat, faces a re-election challenge - with three Republicans vying to defeat her: former Rep. Tom Campbell, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine.

Boxer polled no more than 46 percent of the vote against any of the three in a Rasmussen Poll released Friday.

And with GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger termed out, former two-term Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will face one of two wealthy GOP challengers: former eBay CEO Meg Whitman or state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
Worse than a canary

For Boxer, a favorite Republican target, a GOP win in Massachusetts would be a particularly dark sign representing "not just the canary in the coal mine," said Wade Randlett, a leading Silicon Valley fundraiser for Obama. "It's the flock of dead ravens landing on the lawn."

But Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters Monday, expressed confidence in Boxer - and in Democrats' prospects in California. She insisted that - whatever the outcome - the results today will in no way represent a repudiation of the Obama administration, especially on the matter of health care reform.

"Certainly the dynamics will change depending on what happens in Massachusetts," she said. "But it doesn't mean we won't have a health care bill."

Click here to read more.

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Boston Tea Party Massachusetts voters tell Democrats to shelve ObamaCare.

"It is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights."

—Thomas Jefferson to Richard Price, January 8, 1789.

Two hundred and twenty-one years later, the sage of Monticello has been proven right again. Aroused and well-informed by a year of watching a liberal majority go very far wrong, Massachusetts voters handed a Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy for 47 years to Republican Scott Brown, a little known state senator from Wrenthem.

The resounding five-point victory in one of America's most liberal states is an upset heard 'round Washington—and one that ought to force Democrats to rethink their entire agenda, national health care in particular. Despite an 11th-hour intervention by President Obama in a state he carried with ease only 14 months ago, state Attorney General Martha Coakley was routed even in such unlikely tea-party outposts as Andover (58%) and amid a large turnout for a midwinter special election.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Sat Jan 16, 2010: Lee Kurisko, MD, Author of Health Reform--The End of the American Revolution?

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN Digital Talk Radio, on
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Lee Kurisko M.D. was born and raised in Canada and worked for 13 years in its health care system, first as a family practice and emergency room physician before beginning his career as a Diagnostic Radiologist.

Kurisko was an advocate of universal health care for most of his life, until he became aware of the economic, logistical and even moral limitations of providing health care under the heavy weight of a government-controlled, single payer system. In 2001, he moved with his wife and two children to the United States to practice medicine in a market-based system where doctors can make life-saving and long-term care decisions based on patient need, and personal freedom is respected. We'll talk with Kurisko about why this battle is so monumentally important.
CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Golden no Longer by George Will

 Excerpt of an outstanding, hard hitting and eye popping piece:
It took years for liberalism’s redistributive itch to create an income tax so steeply progressive that it prompts the flight from the state of wealth-creators: “Between 1990 and 2007,” Voegeli writes, “some 3.4 million more Americans moved from California to one of the other 49 states than moved to California from another state.”

And the state’s income tax — liberalism codified — intensifies the effects of business cycles on the state’s revenue stream: During booms, the stream surges and stimulates government spending; during contractions, revenues dwindle but the new government spending continues. Voegeli says that if California’s spending had grown no faster than population growth and inflation from 1992 to 2006, it would have been $65 billion less in 2006, and per capita government outlays then would have equaled not those of Somalia or Mississippi but of Oregon, which is hardly “a hellish paradigm of Social Darwinism.”

Read it in the Center-liberal Middletown Press here...
Or read it at the Conservative Townhall.com here... Either way, it's a must read if you have a vested interest in CA or in seeing what happens when Liberals politics reign supreme for 40 years, or if the current Federal Political Establishment is proving, the country can get to where CA is, in a fraction of that span of time.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Tea Party Teens By DAVID BROOKS Published: January 5, 2010

"The tea party movement is now more popular than either major party, and it may become a major force in American politics." David Brooks
A friend and fellow concerned citizen sent me this link in an email along with his suggestion that I read the comments, with particular note of the first comment, as he found them to be very telling. I loved the reading the comments and I was particularly pleased, beginning with the first, and including others, that also read along the same vein. I found great insight in those that disparaged the Tea Party-ers as well. Both pro and con are very telling.
Click here to continue

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S. | Washington Examiner

I here this man taught constitutional law, but for what country? Remember Obama's Executive Order 12425. I think of Atlas Shrugged's Directive 10-289.  This is real.  Diabolical.  Betrayal. Unbelievable. 
Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S.

Examiner Editorial December 30, 2009
No presidential statement or White House press briefing was held on it. In fact, all that can be found about it on the official White House Web site is the Dec. 17 announcement and one-paragraph text of President Obama's Executive Order 12425, with this innocuous headline: "Amending Executive Order 12425 Designating Interpol as a public international organization entitled to enjoy certain privileges, exemptions, and immunities."In fact, this new directive from Obama may be the most destructive blow ever struck against American constitutional civil liberties. No wonder the White House said as little as possible about it.

There are multiple reasons why this Obama decision is so deeply disturbing. First, the Obama order reverses a 1983 Reagan administration decision in order to grant Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, two key privileges. First, Obama has granted Interpol the ability to operate within the territorial limits of the United States without being subject to the same constitutional restraints that apply to all domestic law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. Second, Obama has exempted Interpol's domestic facilities -- including its office within the U.S. Department of Justice -- from search and seizure by U.S. authorities and from disclosure of archived documents in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by U.S. citizens. Think very carefully about what you just read: Obama has given an international law enforcement organization that is accountable to no other national authority the ability to operate as it pleases within our own borders, and he has freed it from the most basic measure of official transparency and accountability, the FOIA. Click link below to read full article:
Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S. | Washington Examiner

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

From the WSJ's Notable and Quotable: Michael Barone writing on Wednesday in the Washington Examiner:

It looks like a happy new year for you—if you're a public employee. . . .

Private-sector employment peaked at 115.8 million in December 2007, when the recession officially began. It was down to 108.5 million last November. That's a 6 percent decline.

Public-sector employment peaked at 22.6 million in August 2008. It fell a bit in 2009, then has rebounded back to 22.5 million in November. That's less than a 1 percent decline.

This is not an accident; it is the result of deliberate public policy. About one-third of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February 2009 was directed at state and local governments, which have been facing declining revenues and are, mostly, required to balance their budgets.

The policy aim, Democrats say, was to maintain public services and aid. The political aim, although Democrats don't say so, was to maintain public-sector jobs—and the flow of union dues to the public employees unions that represent almost 40 percent of public-sector workers.

Those unions in turn have contributed generously to Democrats. Services Employee International Union head Andy Stern, the most frequent nongovernment visitor to the Obama White House, has boasted that his union steered $60 million to Democrats in the 2008 cycle. The total union contribution to Democrats has been estimated at $400 million.
Click here to read more

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Sat Jan 2, 2010 CRN Digital Talk Show: Guest, Taxpayer's Hero Richard Rider

Join me on the air, Saturday at 10 AM PT on CRN Digital Talk Radio, on
CRNtalk.com CRN 1Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

To contact Richard Rider, or to request he add  you to his mailing list, you may write to him at RRider@san.rr.com

CRN Digital Talk Radio is now available in High Definition audio! Listen to CRN on your local cable or satellite provider, local radio affiliate, mobile device or at CRN! To see where CRN is available in your area click here.

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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