Friday, December 30, 2011

What No One is Saying About Mitt Romney as President

By Nicholas Contompasis

Flipflop, RomneyCare, Wishy Washy and on and on are the descriptive words for Mitt Romney. Yes, guilty as charged, but you need to look a little closer at Mitt.
Rest assured with a Tea Party led House of Representatives and a Republican majority in the Senate Mr. Romney will do the right thing by going along to get along.
That's just the kind of guy he is. He did it in Massachusetts with a Democrat majority and he'll tow the line as President with the Tea Party winds pushing him all the way.
He'll be a rubber stamp for the Tea Party and wont stray from the fold. And they said the Tea Party was dead!!!
The Tea Party will be the most influential force in American politics since the Silent Majority.
So, don't worry about your vote for Mitt Romney, he'll do what's right for our country. The Tea Party will make sure of that!!! is Running Out of Money

By Nicholas Contompasis

I just got this crazy email from asking for money. The email has been sent to every school teacher in California and many states throughout the country.
This is of course a George Soros organization that does everything in its power to undermine American values. After receiving Michelle's email asking for more money for her husbands campaign I thought it appropriate you should see this mooching of America. Five dollars here, three dollars there, these people have no shame after fleecing the American taxpayer for billions they actually have the unmitigated gull to ask the people that don't have it, for contributions.

From: Justin Ruben, Political Action
Sent: December 30, 2011
Subject: Disappearing MoveOn?

Dear MoveOn member,

Between work or school, and paying the bills, and taking out the trash, and checking out that new XBox/trash set, you probably don't think about MoveOn too much.
When you do, you probably think we send you too much email. Almost everyone thinks we do (except my mother-in-law, God bless her).
But you're probably also glad for the work that gets done thanks to all those emails. Glad that whenever the Republicans come after working Americans, MoveOn members are there fighting back. That whenever a proud progressive like Elizabeth Warren comes under attack, we stick up for them. That every day, MoveOn is a channel for millions of people to speak truth to the powerful—Republican OR Democrat.
Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, we're a rapid response progressive political alarm system. Sure, sometimes you just click delete. But imagine if MoveOn disappeared and the work so many people do through MoveOn stopped happening altogether.
Not to get technical, but it would be bad.
To avoid that—to keep MoveOn going and growing—costs money, even though we keep our staff small and work from home to keep overhead low. Right now, to make ends meet, we need to raise $400,000 by the end of the year.
That's not a lot—in fact if every MoveOn member gave just 5 cents, we'd be all set. If every MoveOn member gave a few dollars, it would cover our budget for years.
Sadly though, not everyone can. Too many MoveOn members are unemployed, or have seen their hours or benefits cut, or are having health problems—and really truly can't afford anything.
So if you're blessed enough this holiday season to have a few bucks in your pocket, please chip in to keep MoveOn fighting hard for the issues we all care about. And if you can afford it, kick in a couple extra to cover some folks who are hurting.
I'll contribute $5.
At the end of the day, MoveOn is its members—we're a platform for millions of people from all walks of life who take time out of busy lives to fight for what's right. Please donate $5 so we can keep being there for every important fight in 2012.
Thanks for all you do,

–Justin and the rest of the team

Michelle Obama Threatens Gun Owners

Michelle Obama’s warning to gun owners

By Chris Cox
Nearly three years into President Obama’s first term in office, Michelle Obama finally said something with which I can agree.
At a recent fundraiser for President Obama’s re-election campaign in Providence, Rhode Island, the first lady told her audience:
“We stand at a fundamental crossroads for our country. You’re here because you know that in just 13 months, we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come … let’s not forget what it meant when my husband appointed those two brilliant Supreme Court justices … let’s not forget the impact that their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come.”
This was music to the ears of the small, affluent crowd of admirers who cheered and applauded. But to gun owners, Michelle Obama’s remarks should sound like a warning bell, alerting us to the danger ahead should Barack Obama win re-election and get the opportunity to alter the current make-up of the Supreme Court.
When Americans flock to the polls in 13 months, we will not simply decide which direction our country should take over the next four years. Rather, we will decide whether or not our fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms will survive over the next several decades.
Currently, the Second Amendment clings to a 5-4 pro-freedom majority on the Supreme Court. Just one vote is all that stands between the America our Founding Fathers established and a radically different America that Barack Obama and his supporters envision.
If you want to read something scary, take another look at the minority opinions in the Supreme Court’s landmark Heller and McDonald decisions that struck down Washington, D.C.’s and Chicago’s unconstitutional gun bans. In the Heller dissent, four justices concluded that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to own a firearm, nor does it protect our right to defend ourselves, our families, or our property. In McDonald, the same four justices argued that the 5-4 Heller decision should be reversed.
If these four justices had just one more vote on their side, their opinion — that the Second Amendment should not exist in today’s modern society — would be the law of the land today. And assuredly, the anti-gun activist wing of the court knows how close they are to gaining the upper hand. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a Harvard Club audience in 2009, she looks forward to the day when a “future, wiser court” overturns 5-4 decisions like Heller.
Praying for the health of five justices is not a sound legal strategy for ensuring that our Second Amendment freedoms survive the relentless legal assault that gun-ban groups are waging in courtrooms across America. We need a president who will nominate sound, originalist nominees to the high court — nominees who will preserve the freedoms our Founding Fathers enshrined in our Constitution.
If President Obama gets the opportunity to tilt the balance of the Supreme Court in his favor, we’re unlikely to see another pro-gun victory at the Court in our lifetime. Even worse, the 5-4 majorities in Heller and McDonald will be in serious jeopardy of being reversed, effectively eliminating the Second Amendment.
NRA members, gun owners and all freedom-loving Americans should heed Michelle Obama’s warning. We must spend the next 13 months working to make sure her husband doesn’t get four more years to destroy American freedom for generations to come.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Big Government

By Nicholas Contompasis

Big government means more government employees to mess with your life. It's just that simple!
Big government means less freedoms, because it forces you to think twice and three times before doing, saying, writing or thinking something.
Example, what do you think the 16,000 new IRS auditors authorized by ObamaCare are going to do, sit around and twiddle their thumbs? Now, multiply that by a thousand and you'll have a good idea how you're going to be screwed with. That's because there are hundreds of other federal agencies with thousands of new liberal hires that are doing the same thing. You will pay for sure, money wise! Fines are right now being increased for any minor infraction you make. These fines will crush the small man in America into a grabbling serf.
With computers one government employee can monitor thousands of American citizens.
That's what big government will mean to you and it's happening right now. Nice huh???

Ron Paul

The scary thing about Ron Paul is not necessarily what he's saying, but what he's not saying!!!

You and Your Kids are Being Brainwashed

By Nicholas Contompasis

Over the past ten years the cost of going to the movies has gone up 37%.
Over the past ten years the total domestic movie sales has gone up 10%.
As the average American continues to stop going to the movies Hollywood continues to raise that ticket price.
With flat domestic movie sales, the moviegoers that continue to pay ever growing ticket prices now finally have the power to muzzle the Hollywood Liberals and their subliminal messaging by simply not going until they clean up their act. You can have better movies if you demand it. You can stop the one sided political messaging in your movies if you demand it. So, demand it!!!

Jewish Victim Theme Turns Off American Moviegoers?

By Nicholas Contompasis

Is the poor box-office showing of the new movie with the star studded cast "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" a sign that Americans are tired of the Jewish victim theme? Does this point to a growing anti-semitic movement in America?

A Bad Year for Obama's Green Dream

From The Heritage Foundation

For President Barack Obama, 2011 began with a bang -- a bold pronouncement that his green dream for America would bring forth a jobs explosion and a new economy fueled by alternative energy, a vision he likened to President John F. Kennedy's "moon shot" in the 1960s. Much to Obama's chagrin, the year has ended in a whimper with his green energy "sun shot" sputtering to the ground before it even took off.

The President set the bar awfully high in his State of the Union Address last January, hailing alternative clean energy as "our generation's Sputnik moment" and claiming that it would be "an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people." The President said, "Already, we're seeing the promise of renewable energy." Unfortunately, what the President predicted is much different than what the rest of the country experienced in the ensuing year. The jobs that the President promised didn't materialize, and his green energy investments are careening into the ground, not shooting to the moon.

That news was sealed in The Washington Post this week with a story that didn't see much light of day, published as it was on Christmas Day. The Post reported that politics, not policy, has been largely behind the President's green jobs program:
Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama's green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

Of course, central to the story is solar energy company Solyndra, which received a $535 million taxpayer-funded loan guarantee. President Obama spoke at the company's newly unveiled factory in May of last year, bragging that "[W]e can see the positive impacts [of the stimulus] right here at Solyndra." Despite the President's boosterism, Solyndra went bankrupt last summer, leaving 1,100 people out of work. The jobs the President promised didn't stick around long, and they came at a heavy price.

The Post took a look at the Solyndra story and found that senior officials "pushed career bureaucrats to rush their decision" on the solar energy company's taxpayer-backed loan guarantee in order to coincide with a visit by Vice President Joe Biden. And it reported that politics, "optics," and political theater were at the top of the Administration's mind, with one Obama staffer writing that "a meltdown" at Solyndra "would likely be very embarrassing for DOE and the Administration."

The Post also found that the White House granted "easy access to venture capitalists with stakes in some of the companies backed by the administration," many of whom were Obama campaign donors. And others were given jobs in the Administration and "helped manage the clean-energy program."

If that story weren't enough bad news for one week, on Tuesday another headline landed like with a thud on the White House's doorstep. The Wall Street Journal reported that "Dark Times Fall on Solar Sector" and that "Bankruptcies, plummeting stock prices and crushing debt loads are calling into question the viability of an industry that since the 1970s has been counted on to advance the U.S.--and the world--into a new energy age."

But wait, there's more! The notoriously liberal New York Times printed a harsh assessment of the "green" economy in August and concluded that the President's promise to create five million green jobs over 10 years is nothing more than "a pipe dream." Case in point? The Times pointed to California's Bay Area, where "green" jobs have actually been lost, not gained. And farther up the West coast, a $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization programs was a total failure. reported that "only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program." Their conclusion: "Seattle's 'green jobs' program a bust."

The White House, though, tries to tell a different story. On its website, you can find headlines like "Fastest Growing Industry in the U.S. -- Solar Energy," "Now Is Not the Time to Wave the White Flag on Clean Energy Jobs," and "Investing in America's New Energy Frontier" -- all of which lead to stories that promote alternative energy as America's brave new future. But as this year has shown, that is more fiction than fact, as much as President Obama would tell you otherwise.

Meanwhile, the President has flat out turned his back on real jobs and tangible energy sources by postponing a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline--a project that would directly create 20,000 truly shovel-ready jobs and an estimated 179,000 American jobs by 2035, bring with it a $20 billion private-infrastructure investment in the United States, and also promote energy independence. It seems that when it comes to jobs, energy, and investment, this is a President who prefers to choose fantasy over reality.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Whatever the Role of Fannie and Freddie in the Financial Crisis, They Need to Go

By Mark A. Calabria

Recent actions against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also produced the standard reaction by GSE apologists.  The New York Times’ Joe Nocera was quick to denounce the SEC, arguing that Fannie and Freddie were late to subprime.  While I agree that the SEC case is likely a weak one, that, however, is for the opposite reason than Joe supposes.  The reason the case is weak is that anyone with half a brain could read Fannie’s financial disclosures and determine they were doing subprime.  Contra to Joe’s false claim that  “Fannie and Freddie got into subprime mortgages, with great trepidation, only in 2005 and 2006,”  the companies were both clear before then that they were involved in subprime.  Since fact-checking doesn’t seem to be very important with Joe, you can start with my analysis.

The disagreements between Nocera and AEI’s Peter Wallison focus on the GSEs’ mandated housing goals.  This is unfortunate and, even more importantly, besides the point.  While I find the evidence that the housing goals helped to increase GSE credit risk convincing, I would be the first to say that such evidence is far from conclusive.  But so what.  Being leveraged over 200-to-1, as was the GSE guarantee business, is a recipe for disaster regardless of credit quality.  As even Democrat Phil Angelides admits in today’s WSJ, Fannie and Freddie “had a flawed business model in which profits were privatized and losses socialized.”  That’s the real problem.  If Nocera wants to argue that Fannie Mae was no worse than Bear Stearns, then I can live with that as long as we also apply the fate of Bear to Fannie. 

One has to give Nocera some credit.  By painting the narrative as Fannie vs. Wall Street, when instead they were close partners, he has helped to preserve the current GSE model.  By focusing on “the role of government” in housing, he moves the debate away from the reckless immoral behavior of Fannie and Freddie.  He can claim this is about social policy and paint himself as a caring progressive, despite the massive regressive theft that Fannie and Freddie have actually been.

While I agree that having a better picture of the role of the GSE housing goals would be helpful, such an analysis should not delay the obvious:  the hybrid GSE model is a failure.  Let’s either have them be part of the government or truly be private (and suffer the fate of private failures).   Whether Fannie and Freddie rank in one’s top 5 or top 20 causes of the crisis, they should have been ended a long time ago.

What Obama Did to Education This Year

Top 10 Education Stories of 2011

From The Heritage Foundation

There was no lack of education news in 2011. From an explosion in school choice options to the Obama Administration's executive overreach, the top stories included the high and low lights when it came to issues affecting America's schools.

10. Obama Administration orchestrates for-profit university witch hunt. On June 2, the Department of Education issued restrictive new regulations targeting "for-profit" higher education institutions. The new "gainful employment" regulation restricts access to student loans for students attending for-profit institutions (like Capella University or the University of Phoenix, for instance) if the school's average debt-to-earnings ratio exceeds 12 percent of a graduate's income. The net result? De-facto government price controls on a sector meeting the needs of students historically underserved by traditional universities.

9. Obama forgives student loans. In November, President Obama traveled to the University of Colorado-Boulder to announce his plan to forgive federal student loans -- a demand made, notably, by the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Students cannot be required to pay more than 10 percent of their discretionary income on loan payments, all of which will be forgiven after 20 years. Sadly, this executive overreach shifts the burden of paying for college from the students who are directly benefiting from having attended college, to the nearly three-quarters of Americans who did not graduate from college.

8. Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) sees action. Federal education policy watchers were surprised to see the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee pass a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), today known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). As bureaucratic and heavy-handed as NCLB is currently, the Senate HELP Committee's proposal was 1,000 pages of even more Washington-style education "reform." Instead of taking a cue from conservatives in Congress who have put forward proposals to allow states to completely opt-out of the bureaucratic law, the HELP committee put a stamp of approval on a proposal to reinforce the status-quo. Hopefully the Senate committee's solo action will remain a 2011 relic, and approaches to allow states to opt-out completely will be considered in the new year.

7. House Education and the Workforce Committee moves to reduce federal role in education. This year, the House Education and the Workforce Committee put forward some major proposals to begin the important work of reducing the federal role in education. Two important proposals were introduced: one, by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), would trim the number of programs under NCLB from around 80 down to 43. Another by Chairman John Kline (R-MN), would allow states more flexibility to spend federal education dollars in a way that best meets the needs of local students. Both are good first steps to returning more power to state and local leaders, and reducing Washington's bloated role in education.

6. Online learning growth accelerates. In 2011, a growing number of families decided to take advantage of the online learning options now available for K-12 students across the country. According to Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning, there are now 30 states with full-time online learning schools, open to students from districts across the state. Forty states offer state-run virtual schools, online charter schools are proliferating, and many more families are taking advantage of private online learning providers. Across the country, students are taking millions of courses online, customizing their educational experiences.

5. Administration continues national standards push. One of the more concerning education developments in 2011 was the Obama Administration's continued push for states to adopt national standards and tests. The Common Core national standards, created by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, have been backed by the Obama administration with $4.35 billion in Race to the Top money (grants were conditioned on states adopting common standards), through the forthcoming No Child Left Behind waivers, and in the Department of Education's "blueprint" for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. National standards are a significant Washington overreach into what is taught in local schools, and would further remove parents for the educational decision-making process.

4. Obama Administration issues No Child Left Behind waivers. Despite Congressional deliberations over NCLB's future and thoughtful alternatives to the law put forward by the House Education and the Workforce Committee and others, the Obama Administration decided in the fall of 2011 that time was up and began an end-run around Congress. The Administration began the process of issuing waivers to states for NCLB, conditioning access to the waivers on whether a state was willing to adopt the Administration's preferred education policies -- basically re-writing policy from the White House. The waivers are another executive overreach from the Obama Administration, and state leaders should reject them in 2012 and demand genuine relief from NCLB.

3. States limit collective bargaining. Education unions have long been a roadblock to reform. But in a bold move in early 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker limited the power of public sector collective bargaining in his state. Most importantly, Gov. Walker gave teachers a choice: Public school teachers can now choose whether or not to join a union. Other states like Idaho followed suit and successfully curtailed the excessive power of education unions this year. But the fight isn't over. Gov. Walker faces a potential recall, which will move forward if 540,000 signatures are collected by January 17, 2012.

2. Congress reauthorizes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. In 2009 and 2010, families of low-income children receiving vouchers through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program were reeling with uncertainty. The program was on its way to extinction due to language inserted in a 2009 spending bill by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). But in early 2011, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) made it his personal mission to see that the voucher program was restored and expanded, and he successfully fought for the reauthorization of the D.C. OSP. It was a welcome and well-deserved victory for D.C. families, who had fought so hard to ensure educational opportunity for their children.

1.  Year of School Choice. The most exciting educational development of the last year was captured by a Wall Street Journal editorial headline crowning 2011 "The Year of School Choice." In 2011, more families than ever before gained access to school choice options, freeing them from assignment-by-zip code policies that often relegate families to the public school closest to their home, regardless of whether it meet their child's needs. Now, more families have access to school choice options such as vouchers, tax credits, homeschooling, online learning, and even education savings accounts, restoring their control over their child's education. In all, 12 states and the District of Columbia either enacted or expanded school choice options in 2011.

- Lindsey Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as a senior policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Faith in America

From the Heritage Foundation

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time," Thomas Jefferson once wrote. "The hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them." Among the American Founders, there was a profound sense that faith and freedom were deeply intertwined.

Nowadays, we are often told that religion is divisive and ought to kept away from politics for the sake of liberty. Religion somehow is opposed to liberty, and so liberty requires a diminution of religion in the public square.

The view long consistent with our historical practice, though, is that of America's Founders, who advanced religious liberty so as to strengthen religious faith and its influence on American self-government. All had a natural right to worship God as they chose, according to the dictates of their consciences. At the same time, the Founders upheld religion and morality--to paraphrase Washington's Farewell Address--as indispensable supports of good habits, the firmest props of the duties of citizens, and the great pillars of human happiness.

Religious liberty neither settles nor dismisses the claims of reason and revelation to teach the most important things for human beings to know. But it does create a practical solution--after thousands of years of failed attempts--at the level of politics and political morality. It established a form of government that is sanctioned by human nature and open to moral reasoning, the legitimacy of which does not depend on the truth of any particular religious denomination.

This solution is possible because the American Founders recognized general moral precepts that are understandable by human reason and no less agreeable to faith in the form of a general revelation of creation. This morality common to both natural reason and divine revelation, usually termed natural law, is the philosophical ground of the American Founding.

We can see this agreement of reason and revelation in the Declaration of Independence. The liberties recognized in it are deduced from a higher law to which all human laws are answerable and by which they are limited. This higher law can be understood by man's practical reason--the truths of the Declaration are held to be "self-evident"--but also by the revealed word of God. There are four references to God in the document: to "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God"; to all men being "created equal" and "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights"; to "the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions"; and to "the protection of divine Providence." The first term suggests a deity that is knowable by human reason, but the others--God as creator, as judge, and as providence--are more biblical, and add (and were assuredly intended to add) a theological context to the document.

From the perspective of religious faith, the basic principles of the Founding, at the level of political principles, were understood to be in essential agreement with the core precepts of the Bible. That this is the case can be seen throughout the many church sermons published from the founding era.  While we have never been and should not try to become a nation defined by a particular or official religious denomination, we must never forget that, as the Supreme Court said in 1952 (and reiterated in 1963, and again in 1984), "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being."

The health and strength of liberty depend on the principles, standards, and morals shared by nearly all religions.  What the "separation of church and state" does is liberate America's religions--in respect to their moral forms and teachings--to exercise unprecedented influence over private and public opinion by shaping citizens' mores, cultivating their virtues, and in general, providing a pure and independent source of moral reasoning and authority. This is what Alexis de Tocqueville meant when he observed that even though religion "never mixes directly in the government of society," it nevertheless determines the "habits of the heart" and is "the first of their political institutions."

As we gather with our families to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, let us remember that our greatest blessing as Americans is the freedom to pursue our eternal duties to God and of religion to pursue freely its divine mission among men on earth.

As George Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport in 1790, so all of us at The Heritage Foundation proclaim to our friends and fellow citizens: "May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy."

Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., is Vice President of American Studies and Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jewish Fundraisers Still Support Obama


Despite a loss of support for President Barack Obama among Jewish voters due to his Middle East policies, top-level Jewish fundraisers from his 2008 campaign are staying with the president in 2012.
But their level of success in raising money remains to be seen.
In the last presidential election campaign, Obama’s elite “bundlers” — fundraisers who collected more than $500,000 each for his campaign — included many prominent Jews.
With the exception of those who hold government jobs and are barred from political fundraising, all of them have returned on the 2012 campaign’s list of volunteer bundlers, or are confirmed to be fundraising for the campaign, the Jewish publication Forward reports.
Several new prominent Jewish bundlers have joined the group as well.
Republican-affiliated groups including the Emergency Committee for Israel and the Republican Jewish Coalition have sought to weaken Obama’s support among American Jews due to his policies on Israel and Iran. Remarking on Obama’s Jewish fundraisers, RJC executive director Matthew Brooks told Forward: “These people are the committed of the committed. The question is what success do these people have when they go to their Rolodex and try to get contributions?”
And American Council for World Jewry Chairman Jack Rosen, who hosted a fundraiser attended by the president in November, admitted, “I think it’s a challenging time to do fundraising. In the Jewish community, it may not only be the fact that many Jews are concerned about the U.S.-Israel relationship, but also the economy. I can’t say that it wasn’t difficult getting people to contribute.”
Republicans have accused Obama of coddling Iran and being more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the Israelis.
A Gallup poll in September showed Obama’s support among Jews at 54 percent, and a survey by the American Jewish Council that month put the figure at just 45 percent.
In 2008, 78 percent of Jewish voters supported Obama against John McCain.

Europe Now Only Three-Quarters Christian


A century ago almost all Europeans were Christians, but today just three-quarters of the population identify themselves with that faith — and Europe is no longer the epicenter of Christianity.
A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found that the proportion of Europeans who are Christian has fallen from 95 percent in 1910 to 76 percent in 2010. In the Americas, the percentage has dropped from 96 percent to 86 percent.
In 1910, two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe. Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe, while 37 percent live in the Americas, 24 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa, and 13 percent live in Asia and the Pacific.
In raw numbers, the United States’ population of Christians grew by 190 percent over the past 100 years, from 85 million to 247 million, while Europe’s population grew by just 39 percent, from 406 million to 566 million, according to the study results released in “A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population.”
Christianity has seen an explosion of new members over the past century in sub-Saharan Africa, with the share of the population that is Christian soaring from 9 percent in 1910 to 63 percent in 2010.
The study also disclosed that about half of the world’s Christians are Catholic; Protestants make up 37 percent; Orthodox Christians comprise 12 percent; other Christians, including Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, make up 1 percent.
The United States leads all countries with nearly 247 million Christians, followed by Brazil (176 million), Mexico (108 million), Russia (105 million), and Philippines (87 million).
Rounding out the top 10 are Nigeria (81 million), China (67 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (63 million), Germany (58 million), and Ethiopia (53 million).
Other interesting disclosures from the new report: Nigeria has more than twice as many Protestants as Germany, the birthplace of the Reformation; Brazil has more than twice as many Catholics as Italy; and just 4 percent of the population in the Middle East and North Africa are Christians.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Poll Says "Merry Christmas"

By Nicholas Contompasis

There are only two real holidays at the end of December and that is of course Christmas and Hanukkah. Since Jews make up 2% of the U.S. population there's only a 2% chance you would exclude a Jew from your comment "Merry Christmas."
If you know a person is celebrating Hanukkah, simply say "Happy Hanukkah."
Remember, by saying, by mistake "Merry Christmas" to a Jew you're only reminding them of what a great religion you have!!!
How hard does this have to be????

Poll - 12/24/11
"Fifty-six percent of North-easterners and 57% of West Coasters said "Merry Christmas" was their greeting of choice. In the Midwest, 70% chose "Merry Christmas," and in the South 69% felt the same.
Older generations were also more likely to choose "Merry Christmas," while 50% of millennials (people ages 18-30) preferred to make merry with "Happy Holidays."
Americans over 65 overwhelming chose "Merry Christmas" over "Happy Holidays," 74% to 22%."

Merry Christmas - Here's a Fun Video

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Problem with Both Payroll Bills House Chamber, Washington, D.C. December 20, 2011

Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) today delivered the following remarks on the House floor regarding the payroll tax legislation debate:
The Problem with Both Payroll Bills
House Chamber, Washington, D.C.
December 20, 2011
Mr. Speaker:
            In all this debate, I fear both parties have missed a critical point.  
            Both versions of this bill impose a permanent new tax on every mortgage backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
            To pay for an additional two months of tax relief under the Senate version or 12 months under the House version, more than $3,000 of new taxes will be imposed on every $150,000 mortgage backed by Fannie or Freddie.
  A family taking out a $250,000 mortgage will pay $5,000 more in taxes –
directly and solely because of this bill – hidden in their future mortgage payments.
This is atrocious public policy.  It shifts the burden for this bill to future homebuyers, kicks the housing market when it’s already down, makes it that much more expensive for home buyers to re-enter that market, and adds to the pressures that have chronically depressed everyone’s home values.
            That’s the reason that both the Senate and the House versions need to go back for major revision.

Obama - Dangerous Obsessions

By Nicholas Contompasis

Does Exxon-Mobil run its corporation like our government? For that matter, does Apple run its corporation like our government? What about IBM, McDonalds, Walmart, Boeing, Dupont, Procter and Gamble, Caterpillar or Microsoft?
Of course not, otherwise they'd be grappling for Federal bailout monies to save themselves!
Now, does Citigroup run its corporation like our government? For that matter, does Bank of America run its corporation like our government? What about Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide, Wachovia, General Motors, U.S. Postal Service, ConRail, AmTrack, state run university systems, local school systems and you know I could go on? Of course they do, because politicians have done a good job of destroying them with policies, regulations and operatives from both domestic and international interest groups.
A line in the sand is now drawn between these two types of corporations. Capitalism is now under a full frontal assault by the very government that for decades has promoted its virtues. How can any corporation or people defend themselves from their very own government without being crushed morally and spiritually?
The old saying "You can't fight city hall" comes to mind when examining this battle royal. The insidious tentacles of now proven corrupted politicians and their thousands of ensnaring laws and regulations have made a nightmare for companies that have been the backbone of job creation and innovation in our country for over a hundred years.
Unfortunately, this diabolical cancerous growth is not only affecting our overwhelmingly successful economic system but our Constitution and Bill of Rights which have been the glue that keeps our society together.
America has reached a precipice of its own making by allowing our elected officials to place themselves above the laws of the land, to immorally enrich themselves by the manipulation of these laws and to ultimately destroy a once efficient and great nation.
If the remaining viable U.S. multinational corporations succumb to the destroyers of what is good about our country, we most assuredly will lose our position as leader of the free world and run the risk of being enslaved and split up by tyrannical foreign interests.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Muslim Spiderweb Gets Wider - Look for Islamic Censorship on Twitter

By Nicholas Contompasis

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (the man that helped Obama into Harvard Law and who now is on trial in Spain for rape) and his investment company said Monday they are investing a combined $300 million into Twitter.

You Don't Have To Use Twitter To Invest $300M In Twitter

By Dave Copeland

The $300 million secondary investment Twitter confirmed Monday morning comes from a key figure in a region where Twitter is experiencing some of its fastest growth.
Never mind that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi investor whose Kingdom Holding investment firm has stakes in Apple, Citigroup, and now, 3% ownership of Twitter, isn't a big user of the service himself (Prince Alwaleed follows just 25 users with his account - including Fox News and Barack Obama - and he hasn't tweeted since Oct. 6 when he sent out RIP condolences to Steve Jobs).
Arabic is the fastest growing language used on Twitter and the company has gotten credit for playing a role in the Arab Spring uprisings in Northern Africa and the Middle East earlier this year, and that makes Prince Alwaleed's investment significant.
"Kingdom realizes the importance of social networks like Twitter and their future growth prospects, and decided to benefit from this trend," Samer Darwiche, an analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai, told Bloomberg News.
The investment was confirmed by a Twitter spokesman, but the company declined to give further details.
Twitter, which remains a private company, was valued at $8 billion in August. A series of recent management shakeups and staff departures has had some speculating that the company is growing through some growing pains, but other see it as an attempt to solidify its engineering talent and prep the company for more growth and, perhaps, an initial public stock offering.

George Soros Update - One Evil Human

From Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes

This is very interesting material. Glen Beck has been developing material to show all the ties that Soros has through the nation and world along with his goals.This article is written by Steve Kroft from 60 Minutes. It begins to piece together the rise of Obama and his behavior in leading the nation along with many members of Congress (in particular the Democrats, such as the election of Pelosi as the minority leader in Congress)
If you have wondered where Obama came from and just how he quickly moved from obscurity to President, or why the media is "selective" in what we are told, here is the man who most probably put him there and is responsible. He controls President Obama's every move. Think this is absurd? Invest a few minutes and read this. You won't regret it.
Who is Obama? Obama is a puppet and here is the explanation of the man or demon that pulls his strings. Its not by chance that Obama can manipulate the world. I don't think he knows how to tie his shoe laces. After reading this and Obama's reluctance to accept help on the oil spill you wonder if the spill is part of the plan to destroy the US ?"In history, nothing happens by accident. If it happened, you can bet someone planned it."- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Who Is George Soros? He brought the market down in 2 days. Here is what CBS' Mr. Steve Kroft's research has turned up. It's a bit of a read, and it took 4 months to put it together. "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States."- George Soros
George Soros is an evil man. He'santi-God, anti-family, anti-American, and anti-good." He killed and robbed his own Jewish people. What we have in Soros, is a multi-billionaire atheist,with skewed moral values, and a sociopath's lack of conscience. He considers himself to be an elitist World class philosopher, despises the American way, and just loves to do social engineering and change cultures.
Gyrgy Schwartz, better known to the world as George Soros, was born August 12, 1930 in Hungary. Soros' father, Tivadar,was a fervent practitioner of the Esperanto language invented in 1887, and designed to be the first global language, free of any national identity. The Schwartz's, who were non-practicing Jews, changed the family name to Soros, in order to facilitate assimilation into the Gentile population, as the Nazis spread into Hungary during the 1930s
When Hitler's henchman Adolf Eichmann arrived in Hungary , to oversee the murder of that country's Jews, George Sorosended up with a man whose job was confiscating property from the Jewish population. Soros went with him on his rounds.
Soros has repeatedly called 1944"the best year of his life." 70% of Mr. Soros's fellow Jews in Hungary, nearly a half-million human beings, were annihilated in that year, yet he gives no sign that this put any damper on his elation, either at the time or indeed in retrospect" During an interview with "Sixty Minute's"Steve Kroft, Soros was asked about his "best year."

KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson. SOROS: Yes. Yes.

KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from your fellow Jews, friends and neighbors.SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.

KROFT: I mean, that sounds like anexperience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many, years. Was it difficult?

SOROS: No, not at all. Not at all, I rather enjoyed it.

KROFT: No feelings of guilt?

SOROS: No, only feelings of absolute power.

In his article, Muravchik describeshow Soros has admitted to having carried some rather "potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in trouble." Be that as it may. After WWII, Soros attended the London School of Economics, where he fell under the thrall of fellow atheist and Hungarian, Karl Popper, one of his professors. Popper was a mentor to Soros until Popper's death in 1994. Two of Popper's most influential teachings concerned "the open society," and Fallibilism.
Fallibilism is the philosophical doctrine that all claims of knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken. (Then again, I could be wrong about that.) The "open society" basically refers to a "test and evaluate" approach to social engineering.Regarding "open society" Roy Childs writes, "Since the Second World War, most of the Western democracies have followed Popper's advice about piecemeal social engineering and democratic social reform, and it has gotten them into a grand mess."
In 1956 Soros moved to New York City , where he worked on Wall Street, and started amassing his fortune. He specialized in hedge funds and currency speculation. Soros is absolutely ruthless, amoral, and clever in his business dealings, and quickly made his fortune. By the 1980s he was well on his way to becoming the global powerhouse that he is today.
In an article Kyle-Anne Shiver wrotefor "The American Thinker" she says, "Soros made his first billion in 1992 by shorting the British pound with leveraged billions in financial bets, and became known as the man who broke the Bank of England . He broke it on the backs of hard-working British citizens who immediately saw their homes severely devalued and their life savings cut drastically, almost overnight."
In 1994 Soros crowed in "The New Republic ," that "the former Soviet Empire is now called the Soros Empire." The Russia-gate scandal in 1999, which almost collapsed the Russian economy, was labeled by Rep. Jim Leach, then head of the House Banking Committee, to be "one of the greatest social robberies in human history."The "Soros Empire" indeed. In 1997 Soros almost destroyed the economies of Thailand and Malaysia. At the time, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad, called Soros "a = villain, and a moron." Thai activist Weng Tojirakarn said, "We regard George Soros as a kind of Dracula. He sucks the blood from the people."

The website Greek National Pride reports, "Soros was part of the full court press that dismantled Yugoslavia and caused trouble in Georgia , Ukraine and Myanmar [Burma] Calling himself a philanthropist, Soros' role is to tighten the ideological stranglehold of globalization and the New World Order while promoting his own financial gain. He is without conscience; a capitalist who functions with absolute amorality."
France has upheld an earlier conviction against Soros, for felony insider trading. Soros was fined 2.9 million dollars. Recently, his native Hungary fined Soros 2.2 million dollars for "illegal market manipulation."Elizabeth Crum writes that the Hungarian economy has been in a state of transition as the country seeks to become more financially stable and westernized. Soros deliberately driving down the share price of its largest bank put Hungary's economy into a wicked tailspin, one from which it is still trying to recover.
My point here is that Soros is a planetary parasite. His grasp, greed, and gluttony have a global reach. But what about America? Soros told Australia's national newspaper "The Australian." " America , as the centre of the globalised financial markets, was sucking up the savings of the world. This is now over. The game is out," he said, adding that the time has come for "a very serious adjustment" in American's consumption habits. He implied that he was the one with the power to bring this about."

Soros: "World financial crisis was "stimulating" and "in a way, the culmination of my life's work."

Obama has recently promised 10 billion of our tax dollars to Brazil, in order to give them a leg-up in expanding their offshore oil fields. Obama's largesse towards Brazil came shortly after his political financial backer, George Soros, invested heavily in Brazilian oil (Pet rob ras).
Tait Trussel writes, "The Pet robras loan may be a windfall for Soros and Brazil , but it is a bad deal forthe U. S. The American Petroleum Institute estimates that oil exploration in the U S could create 160,000 new, well-paying jobs, as well as $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state, and local governments, all while fostering greater energy security and independence."
A blog you might want to keep an eyeon is SorosWatch. com. Their mission: "This blog is dedicated to all who have suffered due to the ruthless financial pursuits of George Soros. Your stories are many and varied, but the theme is the same: the destructive power of greed without conscience. We pledge to tirelessly watch Soros wherever he goes and to print the truth in the hope that he will one day be made to stop preying upon the world's poor, that justice will be served."
Back to America .. Soros has been actively working to destroy America from the inside out for some years now. People have been warning us. Two years ago, news sources reported that "Soros [is] an extremist who wants open borders, a one-world foreign policy, legalized drugs, euthanasia, and on and on. This is off-the-chart dangerous."  In 1997 Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote,"Soros uses his philanthropy to change or more accurately deconstruct the moral values and attitudes of the Western world, and particularly of the American people. His "open society" is not about freedom; it is about license. His vision rejects the notion of ordered liberty, in favor of a PROGRESSIVE ideology of rights and entitlements."

Perhaps the most important of these"whistle blowers" are David Horowitz and Richard Poe. Their book "The Shadow Party" outlines in detail how Soros hijacked the Democratic Party, and now owns it lock, stock, and barrel. Soros has been packing the Democratic Party with radicals, and ousting moderate Democrats for years. The Shadow Party became the Shadow Government, which recently became the Obama Administration.
Discover The Networks. org (anothergood source) writes, "By his [Soros'] own admission, he helped engineer coups in Slovakia , Croatia , Georgia, and Yugoslavia.. When Soros targets a country for "regime change," he begins bycreating a shadow government, a fully formed government-in-exile, ready to assume power when the opportunity arises. The Shadow Party he has built in America greatly resembles those he has created in other countries prior to instigating a coup."
November 2008 edition of the German magazine "Der Spiegel," in which Soros gives his opinion on what the next POTUS (President of the U. S. ) should do after taking office. "I think we need a large stimulus package." Soros thought that around 600 billion would be about right. Soros also said that "I think Obama presents us a great opportunity to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence. The U. S.needs a cap and trade system with auctioning of licenses for emissions rights."
Although Soros doesn't (yet) own theRepublican Party, like he does the Democrats, make no mistake, his tentacles are spread throughout the Republican Party as well.
Soros is a partner in the Carlyle Group where he has invested more than 100 million dollars. According to anarticle by "The Baltimore Chronicle's" Alice Cherbonnier, the Carlye Group is run by "a veritable who's who of former Republican leaders,"from CIA man Frank Carlucci, to CIA head and ex-President George Bush, Sr.
In late 2006, Soros bought about 2million shares of Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old stomping grounds. When the Democrats and Republicans held their conventions in 2000, Soros held Shadow Party conventions in the same cities, at the same time. In 2008, Soros donated $5,000,000,000 ( thats Five Billion ) to the Democratic National Committee, DNC, to insure Obama's win and wins for many other Alinsky trained Radical Rules Anti-American Socialist. George has been contributing a $ billion plus to the DNC since Clinton came on the scene.
Soros has dirtied both sides of the aisle, trust me. And if that weren't bad enough, he has long held connections with the CIA. And I mustn't forget to mention Soros' involvement with the MSM (Main Stream Media), the entertainment industry (e. g. he owns 2.6 millionshares of Time Warner), and the various political advertising organizations he funnels millions to. In short, George Soros controls or influences most of the MSM. Little wonder they ignore the TEA PARTY, Soro's NEMESIS.
As Matthew Vadum writes, "The liberal billionaire-turned-philanthropist has been buying up media properties for years in order to drive home his message to the American public that they are too materialistic, too wasteful, too selfish, and too stupid to decide for themselves how to run their own lives."
Richard Poe writes, "Soros'private philanthropy, totaling nearly $5 billion, continues undermining America 'straditional Western values. His giving has provided funding of abortion rights, atheism, drug legalization, sex education, euthanasia, feminism, gun control, globalization, mass immigration, gay marriage and other radical experiments insocial engineering."
Some of the many NGOs (Non-GovernmentOrganizations) that Soros funds with his billions are:, the ApolloAlliance, Media Matters for America, the Tides Foundation, the ACLU, ACORN, PDIA (Project on Death In America ), La Raza, and many more. For a more complete list, with brief descriptions of the NGOs, go to
Poe continues, "Through hisglobal web of Open Society Institutes and Open Society Foundations, Soros has spent 25 years recruiting, training, indoctrinating and installing a network of loyal operatives in 50 countries, placing them in positions of influence and power in media, government, finance and academia."
Without Soros' money, would the Saul Alinsky's Chicago machine still be rolling? Would SEIU, ACORN, and La Raza still be pursuing their nefarious activities? Would Big Money and lobbyists still be corrupting government? Would our college campuses still be retirement homes for 1960s radicals?
America stands at the brink of an abyss, and that fact is directly attributable to Soros. Soros has vigorously, cleverly, and insidiously planned the ruination of America and his puppet, Barack Obama is leading the way.

Above information researched by CBS Steve Kroft

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Take the Time to Watch This Important Video - U.N. - Your Freedom as Americans are Being Systematically Destroyed

Iran Broke into CIA Drone Command

Sun Dec 18, 2011

RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was downed by Iran's armed forces in the east of the country on December 4, 2011.
A report says that Iran not only cracked communications system of the RQ-170 stealth drone and forced it to land inside the country, but also broke into CIA's secret drone command center.
According to an article published by DEBKAfile military intelligence website, Iranians not only unlocked the Sentinel's secret software but also penetrated the command and control center running the drones from CIA Headquarters at Langley in McClean, Virginia. They then delved into the satellite connection between Langley and the drone.
The article pointed out that Iranian electronic experts subsequently reprogrammed the directives guiding the satellite and the RQ-170 stealth drone by falsifying the images appearing on the screens at Langley.
The drone misrepresented as complying with its original programming although it had been commandeered by Iran and was obeying its new masters.
The CIA handlers of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone did not activate the aircraft's self-destruct mechanism because they were not aware it was out of their control.
By the time it was discovered, it was too late; since the mechanism along with the rest of the drone's systems had been disconnected and passed to Iranian controllers.
The capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone by Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit occurred as the advanced US-built reconnaissance was on its very first mission over Iran. Its seizure at the moment means that Iranians were alerted in advance about the precise moment of its secret arrival.
On December 4, Iran downed with minimum damage the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was flying over the eastern city of Kashmar, some 225km (140 miles) from the Afghan border.
Iran announced that it would carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is also known as the Beast of Kandahar, and is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on December 12 that Washington has submitted a formal request to Tehran to ask for the return of the captured drone.
Following the formal US request, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, said one day later that the aircraft would remain in the country's possession as it is the asset of the Islamic Republic.
Tehran says that the US drone spy mission was a “hostile act,” and has lodged a complaint with the United Nations over the violation of its air sovereignty by the reconnaissance aircraft.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Ghost of David Kellermann - SEC Sues CEO's of Fannie and Freddie

By Nicholas Contompasis

This news is big and shouldn't be ignored by Americans. Daniel Mudd, the former chief executive officer of Fannie Mae, and Richard Syron, ex-CEO of Freddie Mac, were sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for understating by hundreds of billions of dollars the subprime loans held by the agencies.
Now, this isn't news to myself and other informed financial experts, but the fact that finally after almost two decades the fleecing of the American taxpayer is about to be investigated for civil fraud, not criminal fraud.
Keep in mind an investigation could take months and even years if done properly, which would mean that after the 2012 elections the Tea Party led Congress and most likely a Republican President could expand this investigation to criminal charges.
When that happens the net should be flung far and wide to ensnare the many Democrat Congressmen and women, including Former Senators Frank of Massachusetts and Dodd of Connecticut who have suddenly and conveniently retired.
Even if there is no change in regime this investigation will embarrass and include many elected officials now dwelling in Congress, retired and in Governors offices, New York specifically.
Most inside the beltway know who the main political players are. They took billions of taxpayer dollars and they were and are capable of anything to maintain their power.
As a financial and political analyst I've followed the many financial atrocities of these two organizations. But, on April 22, 2009 when the Dow Jones Average dipped below 8,000 and there were the beginning cries for heads at Fanny and Freddie, the acting CFO of Freddie, David Kellermann, 41, was found dead in his Vienna, Virginia home early that morning. Police said Kellermann's death was an apparent suicide. But was it?
There was talk of a note left by Kellermann and a thorough autopsy would be performed. That would take weeks! Why weeks? Also where is the note and what did it say? This information has not yet been released. Why? With only four months in office, the new President from Chicago Obama, sure didn't need a Democrat led scandal of the most massive dimensions the nation has ever seen. 
Needless to say, the timely demise of a sixteen year veteran of Freddie Mac seemed unusual to say the least. The timing of his death is still a mystery to many over these two trying financial years with no real answers. 
Maybe today's announced investigation will finally put to bed what really happened to David Kellermann.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Labor Union's Are Scamming America - See How

By Nicholas Contompasis 

Thank you Byron York for explaining what was really going on in Wisconsin. Labor unions in Wisconsin set themselves up as middlemen between taxpayer dollars and health insurance providers that serviced government employees. In other words, unions got a piece of every dollar that governments had to spend on healthcare and other employee fringe benefits therefore costing taxpayers much more money than if they went to the open market. 
This is thuggery at it's extreme. Unions set up trusts that governments have to buy insurance from, thus making a profit on both ends, from the government tax coffers and the insurance companies they resold the business to. Do you think there were any kickbacks? You betcha!!! Jimmy Hoffa would be proud. 
This is going on in many states and Wisconsin is just the beginning that can help open the eyes of taxpayers. If only America knew how bad this is, they'd stop it immediately. 
It explains why the unions in Wisconsin fought so hard and continue to fight against Governor Scott's no collective bargaining laws which now stop millions of profits from going into union bosses' pockets. 
What Mr. York hasn't mentioned is that in California and other states municipalities are started to edge their way into the utility business by setting themselves up the same way unions have in Wisconsin and other states as middlemen. 
The bottom line is that by allowing this sort of scheme to prevail it becomes a hidden tax that as usual comes out of your net pay every paycheck. 
You see governments have a hard time raising taxes to grow government in hard times, so they cook up ideas like this to get more money from you the taxpayer. 
Whether it's a union, local or state government, it's always about these politicians and union leaders that keep fleecing the naive and unsuspecting taxpayer. 

Wisconsin schools buck union to cut health costs

The Hartland-Lakeside School District, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee in tiny Hartland, Wis., had a problem in its collective bargaining contract with the local teachers union.
The contract required the school district to purchase health insurance from a company called WEA Trust. The creation of Wisconsin's largest teachers union -- "WEA" stands for Wisconsin Education Association -- WEA Trust made money when union officials used collective bargaining agreements to steer profitable business its way.
The problem for Hartland-Lakeside was that WEA Trust was charging significantly higher rates than the school district could find on the open market. School officials knew that because they got a better deal from United HealthCare for coverage of nonunion employees. On more than one occasion, Superintendent Glenn Schilling asked WEA Trust why the rates were so high. "I could never get a definitive answer on that," says Schilling.
Changing to a different insurance company would save Hartland-Lakeside hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be spent on key educational priorities -- especially important since the cash-strapped state government was cutting back on education funding. But teachers union officials wouldn't allow it; the WEA Trust requirement was in the contract, and union leaders refused to let Hartland-Lakeside off the hook.
That's where Wisconsin's new budget law came in. The law, bitterly opposed by organized labor in the state and across the nation, limits the collective bargaining powers of some public employees. And it just happens that the Hartland-Lakeside teachers' collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30. So now, freed from the expensive WEA Trust deal, the school district has changed insurers.
"It's going to save us about $690,000 in 2011-2012," says Schilling. Insurance costs that had been about $2.5 million a year will now be around $1.8 million. What union leaders said would be a catastrophe will in fact be a boon to teachers and students.
But the effect of weakening collective bargaining goes beyond money. It also has the potential to reshape the adversarial culture that often afflicts public education. In Hartland-Lakeside, there's been no war between union-busting bureaucrats on one side and impassioned teachers on the other; Schilling speaks with great collegiality toward the teachers and says with pride that they've been able to work together on big issues. But there has been a deep division between the school district and top union executives.
In the health insurance talks, for example, Schilling last year began telling teachers about different insurance plans, some of which, like United HealthCare's, required a higher deductible. "We involved them, and they overwhelmingly endorsed the change to United HealthCare," he says. But even with the teachers on board, when school officials presented a change-in-coverage proposal to union officials, it was immediately rejected. The costly WEA Trust deal stayed in place.

Now, with the collective bargaining agreement gone, Schilling looks forward to working more closely with teachers. "I would say the biggest change is we have a lot more involvement with a wider scope of teachers," he says. When collective bargaining was in effect, "We dealt with a select team of teachers, a small group of three or four who were on the bargaining team, and then the union director. Any information that went to the teachers went through them. Now, we feel that we will have a direct dialogue."
It's not hard to see why union officials hate the new law so much. It not only breaks up cherished and lucrative union monopolies like high-cost health insurance; it also threatens to break through the union-built wall between teachers and administrators and allow the two sides to work together more closely. The old union go-betweens, who controlled what their members could and could not hear, will be left aside.
Hartland-Lakeside isn't the only school district that is pulling free from collective bargaining agreements that mandated WEA Trust coverage. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Pewaukee School District, not far from Hartland-Lakeside, will save $378,000 by next year by leaving WEA Trust. The Menomonee Falls School District, farther north, will reportedly save $1.3 million. Facing state cutbacks, the districts can't afford to overpay for union-affiliated coverage.
Look for the unions to fight back with everything they have. If the Wisconsin situation has shown anything, it is that organized labor views the collective bargaining fight as a life-or-death struggle. If the unions lose in Wisconsin, the clamor for change could spread to other states. What happened in Hartland-Lakeside could become a model for other schools looking for new and better ways to do business.

Byron York, The Examiner's chief political correspondent, can be contacted at

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dangerous Determination - Obama

By Nicholas Contompasis 

Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder made it perfectly clear to the American people that he will do anything to get President Obama reelected in 2012. With Fast and Furious, Obama's attempt to undermine the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) looming over his head like a gallows rope, four more years of Obama would ensure a Presidential pardon for Holder's criminal acts. 
Eric Holder announced yesterday that he would do everything in his power to block states that are trying to prevent voter fraud by tightening up on voter registration and enforcement of new photo identification laws. 
If you're wondering how Obama can disrupt the 2012 Presidential Election and swing it his way, this is how. 
As states enact more restrictions ensuring the integrity of elections, look for Eric Holder to file suits against these states under the grounds of discrimination. 
By doing so, he can in effect temporally invalidate the results of a state's election by court injunction. 
Imagine on election night 2012 Newt Gingrich wins a close election against President Obama due to one swing state or even many. Nice right? Not so fast!!! The Attorney General, Eric Holder springs into action, files suits against most states that carried Gingrich that have enforced new voter regulations.
These suits could last several years and would eventually go to the Supreme Court individually. 
It would cause a constitutional crises that would make the Bush vs Gore hanging chad issue look like a walk in the park. Holder would do everything possible to drag this constitutional disaster past Inauguration Day leaving Obama in place as President while waiting for a final decision from the courts. 
One could only imagine the anger from the vast majority of Americans who voted against Obama. In essence our government would come to a standstill with massive consequences. 
The disruption of the 2012 election would initially be subtle and would be fought in the courts. But one wonders how patient the American people will be under such a scenario. 
In 2012 our republic will face its most dangerous year since its inception.
The strength, unity and resolve of the American people must prevail or our Republic will be lost in this critical election. 

Our Favorite Criminal: Holder Announces Attack on Election Integrity Laws

By Bob Owens
The man is a menace to the Republic. No wonder President Obama won’t fire him:
Holder’s announcement will have profound partisan results in the 2012 election because of his professed unwillingness to enforce laws to prevent voter fraud.  Indeed, tonight he made clear his opposition to these laws, such as voter ID and even the requirement to register to vote in advance of an election.
Holder announced broad opposition to voter identification requirements and a ramped up effort to enforce voting registration laws in welfare agencies.  He didn’t make any announcements about enforcing Section 8 of Motor Voter to ensure dead people don’t populate the roles.  He also said that voter fraud “isn’t a huge problem,” perhaps marking the first time the nation’s chief law enforcement downplayed criminal behavior.  Of course that is in vogue in this administration, starting with the New Black Panther dismissal and now with Fast and Furious.
Holder laid down markers which will excite his base and disturb law abiding citizens.  He supported restrictions on political speech which will criminalize campaign falsehoods.  He vowed hyper-scrutiny of voter integrity laws such as voter ID and vowed to run states like Texas through a nasty gauntlet on redistricting.  If this doesn’t send a signal to Texas and South Carolina to pull their Voter ID laws out of Justice and go to court, nothing else will.
Eric Holder seems intent on corrupting the 2012 election as much as possible, which is entirely logical for a man that needs to do everything in his power to keep fellow Democrats in office so that he is not held to account for the hundreds of felonies he is actively trying to conceal in Operation Fast and furious alone.

Holders Fraudulent Attack on Voter Fraud Law

By Joel B. Pollak
Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech in Austin, Texas today in which he invoked the history of the civil rights movement in targeting state voter identification laws. His approach mirrors that of the NAACP, which considers such laws racist, and echoes Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who recently claimed that Republicans want to “literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws.”
Holder claimed that the Department of Justice would be “fair” in reviewing such laws, but also quoted a misleading charge made by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who claimed there was a “systematic attempt” to prevent minority voters from exercising their rights. Holder specifically singled out “new photo identification requirements” in Texas and South Carolina, and applauded Maine’s voters for preserving same-day registration.
The fact is that requiring voters to provide photo identification is standard practice in much of the democratic world–even, and especially, in poor countries with a history of struggle against racism and colonialism.
In South Africa, for example, where black people were denied the vote until 1994, the new democratic government requires every registered voter–black or white, rich or poor–to bring official photo ID to the polls.
India’s election commission issues a special photo identification card to voters when they register, which they must present at the polls:
The Election Commission of India has made voter identification mandatory at the time of poll. The electors have to identify themselves with either Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Commission or any other documentary proof as prescribed by the Commission.
In Europe, the official EU Handbook for Election Observation acknowledges that voters are required to show identification in many countries, and suggests that observers verify that all voters are subject to the same ID check (166). Even the Carter Center for Human Rights, which monitors democratic elections all over the world, identifies “a requirement for identification” as a “reasonable limitation” on universal suffrage.
(Update: That’s not to say international practice should govern American practice at the federal, state, or local level, but it certainly undermines the notion that photo identification is somehow motivated by a desire to keep people from exercising their rights. The opposite is true: voter ID laws are intended to protect voters’ rights against fraud and manipulation by those who would subvert their will.)
The idea that requiring American voters to show photo identification when they vote is racist is simply absurd. It’s a requirement enforced regularly by Holder’s labor union allies. It’s also a requirement demanded by federal agencies that provide welfare and other benefits. If there’s no destitute South African too poor to obtain photo ID, there is surely no American who deserves pity for failing to obtain the same in order to vote.
Holder’s attack on photo identification is crude partisanship, a fact made clear by his attack on Texas’s new congressional map. The federal government, he proudly notes, is challenging Republican-controlled Texas for failing to provide adequate representation for Hispanic voters. Yet Holder has ignored Illinois, where his fellow Democrats have cut Hispanics out of redistricting, and Republicans have tried to challenge the map in court.
Holder cited a Republican in Maryland who was convicted of trying to trick black voters into staying home. Yet there is also ample evidence of voter fraud by Democrats–such as in the 2008 primary in Indiana, or in the ongoing effort to recall Republican governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Holder’s attack on sincere attempts to stop voter fraud is itself a fraud that abuses the civil rights legacy to disenfranchise the public at large.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Would Obama Veto Job Creation?

Borrowed From the Morning Bell of The Heritage Foundation

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that would, among other things, open the door for the creation of thousands of new jobs, prevent a tax hike on American workers, and help reduce the crippling deficit. However, President Barack Obama has promised that he would bring the legislation to a halt with a veto—all because of his opposition the single measure in the bill that would create jobs.
What's so offensive that would cause the President to level a veto threat? A provision in H.R. 3630, the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011," that would provide for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring oil from Canada. Heritage's Nicolas Loris explains that it would mean "access to easy imports from our northern neighbor, the creation of thousands of jobs, and the generation of revenue for the states where the pipeline passes. Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas are collectively projected to collect $5.2 billion in property tax revenue as a result of building the pipeline."
The Keystone XL measure is just one piece of the bill introduced by Representative Dave Camp (R-MI), along with several cosponsors. Though not perfect, it includes some positive measures that could bring comfort to the millions of Americans who are struggling under the Obama economy and are looking for hope this holiday season. Camp said of the bill, "With its passage, Americans can be confident that these programs and provisions will be available next year, that they will not result in decades of debt and that they will be paid for with fiscally responsible reforms, not job-killing tax hikes."
Heritage Vice President David S. Addington has analyzed the legislation and explains that it would:
Extend for a year the employee payroll tax reduction, which "prevents a tax hike, leaving more of the people's hard-earned money in their own pockets, and therefore does not give rise to a budgetary need to 'pay for' money that is simply left where it originates";
Extend the unemployment compensation program, but with appropriate reforms to help the unemployed find jobs and to begin to tailor the overall program to changes in the economy;
Extend for two years the forestalling of sudden automatic cuts in Medicare payments to physicians that would otherwise occur under the law (often called the "doc fix");
Extend for a year the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, one of the 70 federal welfare programs in need of integrated reform;
Take some actions to reduce the increase in the federal deficit, with fees on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, additional means tests to Medicare, increasing the amount federal employees and Members of Congress must pay in to their retirement plans, and eliminating 2013 cost-of-living adjustments for federal employees and Members of Congress.
Last week, President Obama announced his intention to veto the bill when he warned, "Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut I will reject." To be perfectly clear, the only part of this bill that will significantly create jobs is the only part President Obama is threatening to veto. And this at a time when 13.3 million Americans are out of work, the unemployment rate is hovering near 9 percent as it has throughout this Presidency, and job creation is at a record low.
President Obama does not appear interested in taking real action to put Americans back to work. In an interview with 60 Minutes, the President revealed to CBS's Steve Kroft what he believes his role to be:
It is my job to put forward a vision of the country that benefits the vast majority of Americans. It is my job to make sure that my party is behind those initiatives, even if sometimes it's breaking some china and going against some of the dogmas of our party in the past. We've done that on things like education reform. And it's my job to rally the American people around that vision.
Americans, though, aren't looking for a rally, and they're not seeking out a vision—especially if it's one where the economy continues its meandering path, job creation stays stagnant, and Washington keeps erecting walls to prosperity.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Brilliance of Newt - "Invented People"

By Nicholas Contompasis

When Newt Gingrich proclaimed the fact that Palestinian people are "invented people" you could hear the cheers coming all the way from Israel. With that one short comment Newt put the Middle-east, the Liberal left and the United Nations back in the box they belong.
This is the brilliance of Newt Gingrich. No tough talk, just the facts. The facts that most in the world have conveniently forgotten.
With that one comment, Israel knew they would once again have a friend in the White House, if he were to be elected.
Also, make no mistake about it, the wondering Liberal American Jews are waking up to the lies and deceitful policy Obama has unleashed on their homeland and they're looking for a reason not to vote for him in 2012 or not vote at all.
In addition, his comment reenforced the ever growing anti-muslim sentiment that has been spreading across the country, giving it validation.
Americans will not mistake this now Catholic pro-capitalist American for a Muslim Marxist when it's time to vote in 2012.

The Muslims Are Not Happy!

They're not happy in Gaza.
They're not happy in Egypt.
They're not happy in Libya.
They're not happy in Morocco.
They're not happy in Iran.
They're not happy in Iraq.
They're not happy in Yemen.
They're not happy in Afghanistan.
They're not happy in Pakistan.
They're not happy in Syria.
They're not happy in Lebanon.

So, where are they happy?

They're happy in Australia.
They're happy in England.
They're happy in France.
They're happy in Italy.
They're happy in Germany.
They're happy in Sweden.
They're happy in the USA.
They're happy in Norway.
They're happy in every country that is not Muslim.

And who do they blame?
Not Islam.
Not their leadership.
Not themselves.

Excuse me, but how dumb can you get?

Again the Liberal Jews

By Nicholas Contompasis
Liberal Jews and multimillionaires Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream today publicly supported Occupy Wall Street demonstrations attempting to close down West coast shipping ports. They also made speeches condemning and warning of the evils of corporations of which they have benefited from for decades.
It's interesting how Liberal Jews after they get theirs, turn on the very system they benefited from in an attempt to make it harder for you to get yours. That's beyond greed!!!
I wonder how they would feel if Occupy Wall Street demonstrated in front of their loading docks while the Cherry Garcia melted in its boxes?

Iran Conducting Anti-U.S. Operations in Latin America

Borrowed from the Morning Bell of The Heritage Foundation

An attack on the British embassy in Tehran. A desperate pursuit of nuclear weapons. A plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Alone, any one of these actions by Iran's regime would be cause for alarm, but taken together they make it undeniably clear that the Iranian threat cannot be ignored. Now, there is news of another effort by Iran to take aim at the United States, this time coming from Latin America.

Heritage's Israel Ortega and James Phillips explain:
Iran is conducting anti-U.S. operations from Latin America, including military training camps in Venezuela, and expanding its reach across the border from the U.S. in Mexico, according to footage unveiled late Thursday by the largest Spanish-language network in the United States, Univision.

The documentary showed a former Iran senior official accepting a plan to launch from Mexico a cyber war on the United States, one that would cripple U.S. computer systems, including the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear plants. The official, former Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri, was shown accepting the offer from undercover Mexican university students. A trailer to the documentary can be seen on

Other revelations in the documentary include undercover Mexican students presenting plans for the cyber attack to Venezuelan officials in Mexico. Ortega and Phillips write that the Venezuelan official appeared very receptive to the plot, saying that she was close to Venezuela’s hard-leftist President Hugo Chavez and that she would love to share the information with him as soon as possible. The same happened with Cuban officials in Mexico, who were equally interested in a plot against the United States.

The documentary, called “The Iranian Threat,” claims that undercover journalists were also able to infiltrate Iranian military training camps working from mosques in Venezuela, though it showed no actual footage of the camps. Univision alleged there were links between the alleged camps and a radical Muslim implicated in the 1994 Buenos Aires bombing of a synagogue that killed 85 and wounded hundreds. The Iranian lives in Argentina, a country that also has strong ties to Chavez.

Ortega and Phillips write that the "ties between the hard line Islamist government in Tehran and the anti-American government of President Hugo Chavez have been growing for years, including a weekly secretive Cairo-Tehran flight that is of grave concerns to U.S. officials."  They also point out other disturbing findings in the report:
Undercover journalists also confirmed Iranian-backed money-laundry and drug-trafficking cartels that are used to back Islamist networks and training camps in Venezuela and elsewhere, which exist to attack U.S. interests and undermine the U.S. in Latin America.

Univision said in press release that it had “dozens of hours of secret recordings, conducted extensive interviews with people who participated in the meetings, including a former Iranian ambassador, and examined documents ranging from hand-written notes to internal federal reports and obtained unpublished video of a failed bomb attack against New York’s JFK airport. In Mexico, Univision, uncovered covert recordings of the alleged Iranian plan to cripple the computer systems of the White House, the FBI, the CIA and several nuclear power plants.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to confront threats like those that Iran poses to the United States. In August, The Heritage Foundation Counterterrorism Task Force wrote, "The President’s strategy pays insufficient attention to state-sponsored terrorism, which will increasingly be a major force to be reckoned with. Iran is one of the most prominent and aggressive state sponsors of terror and its proteges--both Hamas and Hezbollah--represent potentially grave threats. In addition, transnational criminal cartels in Mexico are increasingly taking on the character of terrorist networks."

With this latest report from Univision, we are reminded that those threats need to be identified and investigated, even in our own hemisphere. And the Obama Administration can no longer stand on the sidelines as civil liberties and democratic institutions deteriorate in Latin America, allowing for Iran and other rabid anti-American to enter, grow, and threaten the United States.

Slap-down Obama

By Nicholas Contompasis
Did you watch President Obama last might on 60 Minutes? Did you hear his smug little answers with his smug little smiles? An unsuspecting ill informed viewer could have easily been fooled by his self-assured attitude. Dangerous determination, were the only words I could think of while observing him tap-dancing atop Steve Kroft's questions. Last night's performance drove-home the stark reality that beating Obama won't be easy, and sending up a pussy-like Mitt Romney to defeat him ain't such a great idea. 
The polls that now favor Newt Gingrich over Romney are saying only one thing, the American people want this arrogant so-of-a-bitch slapped down to size publicly in a big way and Newt is the man to do it!!!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Lowdown on Fast and Furious

By Nicholas Contompasis
Has anyone put together how diabolical President Obama and Eric Holders plan was to use Fast and Furious to subvert the Second Amendment? Imagine, a sitting American President and his Attorney General, who's chief functions are to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution have conspired to purposefully undermine one of our Rights, "The right to bear arms."
By conspiring to supply arms to Mexican drug cartels, while blaming it on border state gun stores for the sole purpose of clamping down on sales to law-abiding Americans is a crime against the Constitution and a crime against the American people.
Is this not treasonous or am I missing something? Shouldn't President Obama along with his Attorney General Eric Holder be impeached and imprisoned for such an act?

Merry Christmas

Maybe You're No Longer Worthy

By Nicholas Contompasis
By voting for a candidate, you are entrusting your liberty to another.
Unfortunately, many of these now elected candidates have proven by their actions that they cannot be entrusted with this great responsibility. They now make laws that set themselves up as a ruling class. They grant special privileges to only themselves and not their constituents.
Why are you not outraged? Could it be, the liberty you've been granted, yes granted, over 200 years ago is no-longer appreciated, as you allow your freedom to float in a bubble of false security over a raging fire?
This is a lesson to all....
Never entrust your liberty to anyone but yourself!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eye Witness Says L.A. Shooter Shouted Allahu Akbar in This Video - Breaking News - Hollywood California - Yesterdays Street Killer Was Yelling Allahu Akbar

By Nicholas Contompasis

Jihad in Hollywood Yesterday!!! - Did You Hear About It??? - Of Course Not!!!
In the L.A. Times these are the stories you get on the front page.
No felony charges in Wal-Mart pepper-spray case, Clark Gable's grandson guilty of pointing laser at LAPD chopper, No complaint to FAA yet in Alec Baldwin's American Airlines dispute.
But, when a raging jihadist starts yelling "allahu Akbar" killing people in the middle of an L.A. intersection, there's no mention of it. What the hell is going on?

This article was borrowed from the much read website Atlas Shrug written by Pamela Geller

What is most disturbing about this story, apart from the obvious horror, is that not one news account reported what one witness said the shooter was screaming: "allahu akbar." Not one news account. The media is the enemy.
Check out the video here. One of the witness states that the shooter was repeatedly shouting "allahu akbar" at minute 2:42. This video is on the bottom right of the LA Times new story, but they don't mention it in their coverage -- neither does Reuters, CBS news, The Hollywood Reporter, KFAI, or any of the other news reports. I expect that this video will be removed or edited.
Hollywood shootout: Gunman calmly targeted drivers, pedestrians LA Times blog (hat tip her royal whyness)
A gunman pointed his weapon at more than a dozen people Friday as he randomly opened fire on drivers and pedestrians in Hollywood before being fatally shot by Los Angeles Police Department officers.
Video shows the gunman calmly pointing his handgun and opening fire on passing cars near Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard near the ArcLight Cinema.
A man driving a Mercedes was shot in the jaw and taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was in critical condition. He is expected to survive.
Video: Witness captures dramatic footage of shooting
The scene resembled a fast-moving Hollywood production, said some witnesses, leaving them with the sensation that they'd witnessed something surreal.
"When I heard it, I didn't react to it being real," said Greg Watkins, a student at the nearby Los Angeles Recording School who was walking on the street and had just taken off his headphones to take a call from his girlfriend when the shooting began.
"This is Hollywood, and they do film stuff all the time," he said, standing near the ArcLight Cinemas. "I honestly thought they were filming something."
Serge Durand, who said he was visiting from Atlanta, filmed the attacks from a friend's apartment above the intersection. In the video, a gray car swerves to avoid the shooter as he points what appears to be a weapon at the car.
"Is this the end?" Durand said he heard the shooter exclaim.
Emmanuel Fierro, 21, staying with a friend in another apartment above the intersection and also a student at the recording school, said, "I walk through these streets every day to go to school."
"I couldn't believe what was happening in the streets," he said, "but I guess this is Hollywood."
The attacks began about 10 a.m. south of Sunset, police said.
A young man in a white tank top was spotted walking up the street yelling and firing a handgun in the air. He then turned to firing at passing motorists who seemed to be picked at random, including the man in the Mercedes, police sources said.
The gunman was eventually shot by a detective and an off-duty officer who may have been working on a movie set nearby.
Police have so far found no motive in the shooting.
In addition to a gun, the attacker also displayed a knife during the incident. LAPD detectives have gone to the man’s home to make sure there was not a domestic incident or some other act of violence that precipitated the shooting.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,
When asked to respond to Republicans description of you as an "appeaser" you responded with - "Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who've been taken off the field whether I en-gage in appeasement - or whoever's left out there, ask them about that."
Mr. President, the "appeaser" comment relates to your overall foreign policy toward countries that play an adversarial roll, not a band of renegade Islamic radicals!
Your irrational and somewhat knee-jerk response was very telling of your sensitivity towards this accurate description of your foreign policy towards Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and socialist Central-American countries.
America will not be fooled by your cute irrelevant quip.
The Tea Party

By Nicholas Contompasis

Soros-FOO (Friend of Obama) Profits from Corzine-FOO Ponzi Scheme While Clinton-FOO Promoted the Scheme to Investors

George Soros Buys Italian Government S/T Debt, Part of ~$2 billion Purchase of European bonds formerly owned by MF Global
By Jacob Wolinsky

Investor George Soros’s family fund bought about $2 billion of European bonds formerly owned by MF Global Holdings Ltd., the very debt that helped force the securities firm to file for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31, according to people close to the matter.

Under the direction of MF Global’s former chief executive, Jon S. Corzine, the firm accumulated $6.3 billion of short-term debt issued by various European nations, mostly from Italy, in a bid to boost trading profits. Over the summer, this debt led to nervousness by investors, regulators and ratings companies, resulting in the firm’s collapse just over a month ago.

Though MF Global sold about $1.5 billion of this European debt in the days leading up to the bankruptcy filing, about $4.8 billion remained. Those leftover bonds were turned over to KPMG LLP, MF Global’s bankruptcy administrator in London.

These positions were offered to a number of big investors immediately after MF Global’s collapse, according to investors who had a chance to buy the bonds. The sales process was run by MF Global’s London clearing house, LCH Clearnet, according to a spokeswoman for KPMG.

Though a number of large investors passed on these bonds, Mr. Soros’s interest was piqued, according to people close to the matter.

Earlier this year, his firm moved a chunk of its holdings into safe, liquid investments, giving Mr. Soros the ability to write the approximately $2 billion check for MF Global’s bonds.

The 81-year old investor, together with his investment team at Soros Fund Management, purchased the bonds for below the market price at the time, in a transaction involving JP Morgan Chase & Co., according to these people. Other large investors also bought some of these European bonds once held by MF Global, according to people close to the matter. A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

Mr. Soros’s firm still holds the majority of the positions it acquired, the people said.
More can be found at the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pearl Harbor, WWII, and a Lesson for Today

By The Heritage Foundation

On this day 70 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and requested a declaration of war against Japan following the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor the day before. Roosevelt's words carried forth across the nation via radio, and the consequences of the actions America would take would be felt around the world--and across history. The lessons America learned in those fateful days should be remembered even today.

Roosevelt noted that the day of Japan's attack would be "a date which will live in infamy," and he also pledged the following:
I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounding determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

At 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, Roosevelt signed the declaration of war, and the rest is history. Through America's incredible sacrifice and determination, the United States and its allies won victory, though it came at an incredible cost.

Just as Roosevelt proclaimed that "hostilities exist" 70 years ago, those words are true today. The United States faces threats at home and abroad--as we were reminded on September 11 and with every man and woman in military who makes the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms. The hostilities we face today are different from those we may face tomorrow, and there is no telling what challenges may lie around the corner. For that reason, our military must stand ready, prepared, and adequately equipped and funded to meet all threats, foreign and domestic.

Unfortunately, the U.S. military's ability to effectively carry out its mission is in jeopardy. Today, there are those who would like America to return to an era of disengagement while also slashing military spending to dangerous levels. Under the Budget Control Act (BCA), the military budget will be cut by almost $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Those cuts come on top of successive rounds of deep cuts in defense dollars and capabilities that Congress and the Obama Administration have already implemented. In a new paper, Heritage’s Mackenzie Eaglen writes that those cuts will undermine U.S. power and influence around the world and reduce the ability of the military to meet future threats:
The military is a vital tool of U.S. foreign policy. Slashing defense spending without any reduction in U.S. foreign policy commitments around the world is not only dangerous, but also more costly in the long run than maintaining stable defense budgets. A review of roles and missions will not change U.S. foreign policy; only the President can do that. Starving the military as part of a deficit reduction plan may cost taxpayers more in the future if it makes the country less safe and increases the risk of another terrorist attack or the likelihood of U.S. forces being drawn into yet another overseas mission.

The only responsible way to fund defense is to identify the nation’s vital national interests, ask what is required to defend the nation and those interests, determine what military capabilities are required to do so, and then build a defense budget to match the foreign and defense policies of the United States.

Eaglen recommends that Congress tackle debt reduction responsibly with American security interests in mind. That means stopping the current rounds of defense cuts, budgeting responsibly for America’s foreign policy needs and objectives, and repealing the debt ceiling deal "trigger." Other actions she recommends include stabilizing the military’s modernization accounts, aggressively promoting foreign military sales and increasing cutting-edge defense exports to friends and allies, and forcing the Department of Defense to innovate even as budgets fall.

Some would have Americans believe that defense budget cuts required under the BCA would reduce only the rate of increase in the overall defense budget. While precise defense budget projections under the BCA are not possible, it is a certainty that the overall defense budget will decline under its terms. And those are reductions the military can ill afford. Since President Obama took office, more than 50 major weapons programs at a value of more than $300 billion were cut or delayed. On top of this, the Administration told the military to cut almost $600 billion more over the next 15 years. That was even before the BCA took effect.

This is no way to fund a military or to fulfill the Constitution's prescription that the primary role of the federal government is "to provide for the common defence." That duty is just as important now as it was 70 years ago when America faced one of its greatest challenges. Just as they did then, Congress and the President should ensure that the federal government carries out its responsibilities today and fully funds our military.