Friday Digest

Digest

Mar. 23, 2012

The Foundation

“There is a just God who presides over the destines of nations … who will raise up friends to fight our battle for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. … Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” –Patrick Henry on this day, 1775

Government & Politics

Getting Serious About the Debt Bomb

How's this for a comparison?

George W. Bush was a spendthrift president whose budgets drove up the national debt to unprecedented levels. Over his two terms in office, federal debt increased by $4.899 trillion. But Bush is a piker compared to Barack Obama. In just a little more than three years in office, Obama’s fiscal recklessness raised the national debt by an astonishing $4.939 trillion – already more than Bush’s eight years. Of even graver concern, our national debt is approaching $16 trillion and now exceeds 100 percent of gross domestic product.

While on the campaign trail in 2008, Obama called Bush’s spending “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” Where does that put him?

The Congressional Budget Office recently scored Obama’s latest budget as adding $3.5 trillion to annual deficits over the next 10 years, contrary to administration claims that it would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion. Math is hard. Of Obama’s spending, CBO said that “the resulting deficits will push federal debt to unsupportable levels.” In fact, when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was asked how much the debt ceiling would need to be increased to cover all current and future obligations, he actually admitted, “It would be a lot. It would make you uncomfortable.”

Enter Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee. The Wisconsin Republican released version two of his Path to Prosperity budget blueprint this week, and it provides a more viable way forward. It’s not perfect, as we will see, but it’s a responsible start. Naturally, that means Democrats will fight it tooth and nail.

Ryan’s plan is primarily pro-growth, meaning he focuses on tax reform and targeted spending cuts to enable the economy finally, after four years of malaise, to get off the ground again. He calls for eliminating the current six tax brackets in favor of just two – 10 percent and 25 percent – though he’s not specific on where the income break would be. Many deductions also would be eliminated, though, once again, specifics are absent. He would reduce the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, which is far more competitive with the rest of the world. Without action, it will be the highest in the world when Japan’s cut takes effect on April 1.

CBO’s static scoring shows that Ryan’s tax cuts would reduce federal revenue by $4 trillion over the next decade, but that’s unrealistic given that a healthier economy would yield more revenue. Also according to that scoring, Ryan’s plan would cut spending by $5.3 trillion compared to Obama’s budget, though it would shield the military from cuts laid out in last year’s debt ceiling deal. CBO also says the budget won’t be balanced under the plan until 2040, but Ryan rightly contends that it would take just 10 years under “more reasonable projections of the economy.”

Ryan would repeal ObamaCare and tackle Medicare. His Medicare reforms would leave it untouched for people 55 and over, contrary to Democrat ads depicting him literally dumping grandma off a cliff, the “Mediscare” metaphor they have used since Newt Gingrich proposed mild reforms in 1995. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who has a penchant for overstating things, declared, “The Romney-Ryan budget would be devastating to seniors and older Americans. It is a Republican path to poverty that would pass like a tornado through America’s nursing homes.” It would be funny were it not so disingenuous.

For those younger than 55, Ryan puts forward a premium-support model, which would offer a fixed amount from the government to recipients each year that they would use to pick from various insurance options, including one public fee-for-service option. National Review’s Yuval Levin offers more details on proposed Medicare changes.

There are shortcomings to Ryan’s plan. For example, he took a pass on Social Security, which is already becoming a major driver of public debt – not to mention massive wealth redistribution. Even his reductions to federal spending leave levels too high, and, more important, countless unconstitutional expenditures remain. In general, it doesn’t go far enough, and definitely not as far as the plan recently released by five Tea Party senators to balance the budget in five years with spending cuts of $11 trillion.

On balance, though, Ryan’s plan is a bold and much-needed way to defuse Obama’s debt bomb, and it is the plan that could gain the best traction. Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer summed up the Democrats' plan by saying, “The fact is, you don’t need a budget.” We’ll give him one thing: To call anything proposed by Obama and the Democrats a “budget” is an insult to the English language.

Post your opinion on the Ryan plan.

On Cross-Examination

Barack Obama has taken to promoting his so-called “Buffett Rule.” Named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the rule says that no millionaire should pay less than 30 percent in income taxes. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) dutifully drafted legislation to make it so, and the Joint Committee on Taxation analyzed it to see what the revenue result would be. To call it underwhelming would be an understatement. Best case scenario, the Buffett Rule would increase federal revenue by just $1.1 billion this year, or one-tenth of one percent of Obama’s budget deficit. Of course, Obama’s proposal is nothing more than class warfare rhetoric for the campaign stump, but his real tax plan includes increasing taxes on everyone – not just Warren Buffett, but his poor secretary, too.

Hope ‘n’ Change: More ObamaCare Mandates

The White House used last week’s regularly scheduled Friday afternoon document dump to double down on its plan to offer free contraception for all women regardless of conscience issues. The “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” lists a number of ways that ObamaCare will provide all women free access to contraceptives, sterilization procedures and drugs that induce early abortion. It also specifically states that all student health plans must cover these so-called preventive services free of charge. This is the administration’s latest response to outrage over ObamaCare’s trampling of religious freedom with its contraception mandate. It doesn’t address concerns of conscience for religious organizations or private employers; instead it retrenches the administration’s position that those organizations supposedly won’t have to pay for “preventive” coverage, because the cost will be pushed onto insurance companies. Unfortunately, those insurance companies will simply raise their premiums, forcing everyone to pay for “free” contraception anyway.

Barack Obama celebrated the announcement by taking his family to church. The Obamas are not regular churchgoers, but their attendance at St. John’s Episcopal Church, the “Church of the Presidents,” was noteworthy – St. John’s has publicly supported the ObamaCare mandate and has denounced Roman Catholic bishops and others who oppose it.

This Week’s ‘Braying Jenny’ Award

“After 100 years of trying, finally we passed health care for all Americans as a right for all – not just a privilege for a few. It honored the vows of our Founders: Of life, a healthier life; liberty; the freedom to pursue our own happinesses. … We knew that … this bill was ironclad constitutionally.” –House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on ObamaCare

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on ObamaCare beginning Monday.

Campaign Trail: Romney Wins; Top Aide Shoots Him in Foot

Mitt Romney enjoyed a good week on the campaign trail, handily winning the Illinois and Puerto Rico primaries. His double-digit win in Illinois over second-place finisher Rick Santorum pushed Romney’s delegate total to 563, almost half way to the magic 1,144 needed to secure the Republican nomination. Santorum has settled into a distant second place with 263 delegates, although his campaign advisers maintain that the spread between Santorum and Romney is tighter than reported. Santorum might have performed better in Illinois if he hadn’t wasted two days campaigning in Puerto Rico, which Romney won with more than 70 percent. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, with 135 and 50 delegates respectively, plan to continue their campaigns, but both candidates are drifting into obscurity. Louisiana’s primary is Saturday.

The trouble for Romney came Wednesday, when his chief adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, set off a whirlwind of mockery with his comments about the difference between the primary and general election campaigns. “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign,” he said. “Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

This, of course, was already the prevailing perception of Romney – an Etch a Sketch that changes with every shake. Romney’s rivals certainly picked up on the theme, and it will be hard for him to erase. He did his best, explaining that the comment was about strategy, not the candidate or campaign themes, but the damage was done. Romney is very likely to be the nominee, but episodes like this one don’t inspire confidence.

(Read Mark Alexander’s essay, Who Will Elect the Next President?, on the role of women voters.)

From the Left: Obama Struggles to Raise Money

The Obama re-election campaign is rolling in the bucks, but not nearly at the pace necessary to meet its billion-dollar boast. Obama is raising more total cash than any of the Republican candidates and has more than 1.4 million donors, but most of those are small donors who have pledged as little as $2. Mitt Romney has more donors above $2,000 than Obama, though, and the president’s fundraising totals are lower than at this time in his 2008 campaign or George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election bid, despite the fact that he has held more than twice the number of fundraisers as his predecessor. The Obama campaign remains publicly optimistic, and advisers have claimed that part of the reason for not meeting fundraising expectations may be due to the poor economy. This may be a fair admission, but it undermines the reason Obama claims he deserves to be re-elected – namely that the economy is improving.

There was certainly enough cash to produce a 17-minute puff piece about Obama’s first term. “The Road We’ve Traveled” features narration by Hollywood lefty Tom Hanks and revisits the story of Obama’s mother, who, he claimed in the 2008 campaign, died of cancer due to trouble with insurance companies. However, this was not the case – the insurance dispute Ann Dunham was fighting on her deathbed was over disability coverage, not health insurance, which in fact covered much of her treatment. The White House didn’t deny the reported correction, but the campaign video continues to push Obama’s original and disingenuous claim.

The hagiographic film, which was directed by another Hollywood lefty, Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim, misleads viewers in other areas, too, including its claim that the bailed-out auto companies have “repaid their loans.” Nor is there a word about Obama’s broken promises, such as the job-producing claims of his massive stimulus, or his now-laughable promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. “And the Oscar for Most Shamelessly Lavish and Long-Winded Political Campaign Ad goes to…”

New & Notable Legislation

The House voted 223-181 Thursday to repeal a small part of ObamaCare by abolishing the Independent Payment Advisory Board, the 15-member panel of “experts” that would have the power to cut Medicare payments independently of Congress. It was what Sarah Palin infamously and rather accurately described as a “death panel,” as its job would be to ration care. Obviously, the repeal won’t go any further until Republicans retake the Senate and the White House.

Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, S. 2213 – their version of the House concealed carry reciprocity bill. The Thune-Vitter bill is superior to another bill introduced in the Senate by Democrats Mark Begich (AK), Joe Manchin (WV) and Max Baucus (MT) because it allows carry reciprocity for all citizens, not just those who live in states that actually issue permits. Some states allow “constitutional carry,” which requires no permit.

The Senate passed the JOBS Act Thursday 73-26, finally doing something with the numerous bills geared toward job creation passed by the House. Senators made one change to the House bill, making it easier to fund small businesses through social media and the like. The bill now goes back to the House for reconciliation.

Gun-Tracking Suspect Catch-and-Release

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, one of the precious few Leftmedia reporters to do any actual investigation on Operation Fast and Furious, reports on a new development: “The prime suspect in the botched gun trafficking investigation known as ‘Fast and Furious’ – Manuel Acosta – was taken into custody and might have been stopped from trafficking weapons to Mexico’s killer drug cartel early on. But the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) let him go, according to new documents obtained by CBS News.” Terrific. The one time the operation might have done some good, and ATF took a pass.

Acosta was stopped on May 29, 2010, and investigators found an “AK type, high capacity drum magazine loaded with 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire.” The Border Patrol found that he was already under investigation in Fast and Furious, so they contacted ATF Agent Hope MacAllister, who questioned Acosta and sought cooperation from him in exchange for his release. When he agreed, he was released. Shockingly, despite having written her contact information on a $10 bill for him with instructions “not to participate in any illegal activity unless under her direction,” Acosta didn’t call her the next morning and continued to engage in illegal activity. He was arrested eight months later after some 2,000 weapons walked across the border to Mexican drug cartels. ATF had no comment.

Some enlightenment regarding Fast and Furious, as well as the Obama administration’s incomprehensible actions, comes from a 1995 quote from now-Attorney General Eric Holder, who said he was on a campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.” That does explain a lot.

Economy

Gas Prices and November’s Election

If there’s one thing that seems to take a chunk out of Barack Obama’s approval ratings, it’s the price of gasoline. As average pump prices edge closer to $4 per gallon (exceeding that in many areas), the pressure is on for Obama to “do something.” While the administration has repeatedly claimed that there’s no “silver bullet” solution, that doesn’t mean Obama won’t take advantage of photo-ops or beat up oil companies to create the desired narrative.

The president visited Cushing, Oklahoma, this week to promote his decision to “expedite” the approval of the southernmost part of the Keystone XL pipeline. While the planned stretch from Oklahoma to refineries on the Gulf Coast will be helpful, it leaves us 1,179 miles short of tapping Canadian supplies.

Obama trotted out the tired refrain, “With only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil.” This is true if one counts only proven reserves, or oil for which drilling is currently under way, but he disingenuously ignores trillions of barrels of recoverable reserves in areas he has placed off limits. In fact, if only permitted to access it, the U.S. has enough oil to provide for its needs for centuries.

Blame won’t fill a gas tank, though, so minimizing the damage by headlining, as CNN Money did this week, “Rising gas prices aren’t as bad as you think,” is another weapon in the Obama propaganda arsenal. Meanwhile, back in the real world, prices of everything are affected by surging gas prices, and this may be the summer of our discontent.

This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award

“[D]o not tell me that we’re not drilling. We’re drilling all over this country. I mean, I guess there’s some – there are a few spots where we’re not drilling. We’re not drilling in the national mall. We’re not drilling at your house. I guess we could try to have like, you know, 200 oil rigs in the middle of Chesapeake Bay.” –Barack Obama

Share your thoughts: What should Obama do about gas prices?

Income Redistribution: The Joys of Alternative Energy

We have all heard Obama’s speeches on the evils of corporate America, but our fearless leader has never been shy about funneling money into corporations that fit his “green” agenda. For example, First Solar is an Arizona-based solar panel manufacturer. After receiving nearly $40 million in government subsidies, the company was approved for an additional $455.7 million loan to sell their panels to two Canadian wind farms. Yet both farms are wholly owned First Solar subsidiaries, so in other words the company is being given federal money to sell products to itself. Who approved the loan? None other than the Export-Import Bank, better known perhaps for its similar funding of the ill-fated Enron.

Recently, the administration was saved from a faux pas involving another funneling operation. Daniella Gibbs Léger may not be a household name, but as the director of White House messaging events, she may be the hardest working person in DC. The White House was considering seating executives from Solyndra with First Lady Michelle Obama during the State of the Union address until Léger pointed out that, due to Solyndra’s “issues,” this might not be the best idea. The Department of Energy was in the process of restructuring Solyndra’s $535 million government loan; these negotiations resulted in the company receiving an additional $75 million subsidy. The bump was approved after the State of Union, demonstrating once again this administration’s willingness to thumb its nose at taxpayers as long as they think they can get away with it.

To cover his backside, Obama did what he does best – shift blame. “This was not our program, per se,” he said of Solyndra. “Congress – Democrats and Republicans – put together [that] loan guarantee program.” Gee, here we thought they were a “do-nothing Congress.” Up until it failed, Obama was glad to take credit.

The news is not all bad, however. In a related story, the seven windmills constructed in Reno, Nevada, have already begun saving taxpayers money. Built in 2010 as part of an energy-saving package, they have saved the city of Reno a whopping $2,785. The downside is they cost $1 million to build. But hey, we’re creating a “sustainable” future, right? According to estimates, that future will arrive when the windmills have finally paid for themselves – in the year 2551.

Regulatory Commissars: Hotels Receive a Stay

Trial lawyers will have to lick their chops a little longer. Last week, the Justice Department allowed hotels and other places of accommodation 60 more days before a rule goes into effect mandating their pools or spas have two accessible means of entry – with one being a ramp or wheelchair lift. Chair lifts can cost up to $6,000, but the hotel industry, which boasts roughly 51,000 facilities with at least one pool or other “water feature,” had the choice of forking out the money for the lifts, paying stiff penalties, or waiting for the inevitable lawsuits from trial lawyers who specialize in lawsuits over the Americans With Disabilities Act – and who just happen to be big Democrat supporters.

As Investor’s Business Daily writes, “Regulation supporters will argue that every paying customer has an equal right to hotel pool access. But such a right requires the violation of the hotel owners' right to the money they have earned in peaceful, voluntary transactions.”

The deadline was set based on a 2010 expansion of the original 1991 ADA regulations, and while South Carolina Republican senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham were trying to write legislation to lift the mandates, it wasn’t completed before the original deadline. DeMint promised to keep working on the bill, which a spokesman said would provide the “flexibility to work directly with people with disabilities.” That’s more flexibility than the government is generally known for.

Security

Warfront With Jihadistan: Soldier Faces Murder Charges

The U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians last week was finally identified. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38, spent last weekend in isolation as military lawyers prepared their prosecution in a case that may carry the death penalty. Bales also met with his lawyers this week, including defense attorney John Henry Browne, who has a history with cases of multiple homicide, including those of Ted Bundy and Benjamin Ng.

While Bales supposedly turned himself in to U.S. authorities after his alleged killing spree, that story is now changing, as is the number killed. Browne says that not only did Bales not confess during their meeting, but he has no memory of the event. “He has an early memory of that evening and he has a later memory of that, but he doesn’t have memory of the evening in between,” Browne said, leaving unanswered the question of why Bales turned himself in if he didn’t remember doing anything. Browne also claims that Bales is in shock and that, “He’s fixated on the troops left on the ground and what they’re accusing him of and how that might have negative ramifications on his friends and compatriots. And he’s concerned that there would be retaliation that would be caused by what people think he’s done.”

It appears that the defense will hinge on Bales' mental state, with recent reports reflecting his family financial stress and his professional disappointment, apparently missing out on promotions after a tour in Iraq and then being sent to Afghanistan after thinking his deployments were finished.

By comparison, let us also recall that Major Nidal Malik Hasan is the sole suspect in the Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood, Texas, shooting. Hasan, a Muslim, reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“god is great”) and then opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Center killing 14 people (including an unborn child) and wounding 29 others. On Feb. 2, 2012 a military judge ruled that Hasan will stand trial on June 12, 2012. His defense attorneys have asked for another delay, making it likely that three years will have lapsed from the time of the shooting until he appears in court. In the meantime, Hasan continues to receive full military pay and benefits.

Elsewhere, General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told Congress Tuesday that the U.S. is “on track” to achieve its military goals in Afghanistan and that the capabilities of Afghan forces are “better than we thought” as they move toward securing their own country. We tend to think that the probability of a good outcome for the U.S. in Afghanistan, based on current plans, is poor at best.

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

“You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there. Do any one of you [sic] have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president? This guy is willing to do the right thing and risk losing.” –Joe Biden, on Obama’s ordering the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden

Not to take anything away from the importance of killing bin Laden, but apparently Biden has never heard of Ia Drang, Normandy, Fort Sumter or Bunker Hill, just to name but a paltry few audacious battle plans in American history.

Post your opinion: Help Joe remember a few other audacious battles.

The All-New Speedy Airport Security Line

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has introduced a new plan to help airport travelers navigate security lines quickly. For $100, passengers may register with “Precheck,” a program that allows a traveler to pass a background check and be pre-approved for boarding an airplane. No more taking off shoes, belts and jackets, no more full-body scans. So far, the program is still in pilot testing and is available at only nine airports. Fliers must meet undisclosed TSA criteria and receive an invite from participating airlines, but the TSA says it wants as many people as possible to sign up for Precheck.

On the surface, this seems to be a reasonable idea – one allowing regular people to avoid the invasive and usually unnecessary scrutiny at airport security checkpoints. But will travelers decide that it is worth $100? We are sure that it shouldn’t cost $100 to avoid having your toddler in a wheelchair subjected to a thorough TSA pat-down.

Share your thoughts on the TSA’s new idea.

About That Executive Order…

We have received a fair number of emails asking about an executive order (EO) signed by Barack Obama last Friday titled “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” However, other than the fact that it was signed and released Friday afternoon, which is the usual time for dumping bad news, there is little of note here. The EO merely updates a previous one signed by Bill Clinton in 1994, which was updated numerous times by both Clinton and George W. Bush. In fact, the original national defense resources preparedness EO dates back to 1939. Granted, we don’t trust Obama, but there doesn’t seem to be an extraordinary power grab here. For more, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey has a technical, boring and also excellent detailing of the amendments.

Culture

Village Academic Curriculum: Vetting the Opposition

A class of 8th grade students at Liberty Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia, recently received training to be Leftmedia operatives for the Obama campaign. According to the Daily Caller, “The assignment was for students to research the backgrounds and positions of each of the GOP candidates for president and find ‘weaknesses’ in them. … From there, students were to prepare a strategy paper to exploit those weaknesses and then to send their suggestions to the Obama campaign.” Predictably, “No similar assignment was given to research Obama’s history, identify his weaknesses or pass them along to the Republican candidates.”

Parents were understandably outraged. “This assignment was just creepy beyond belief – like something out of East Germany during the Cold War,” said one father. A spokesman for the school said the principal, who refused comment, admitted that students should have been given their choice of candidate from either major party. No kidding. And who knows? If given the chance, they might have found this old 1995 Obama quote: “In an environment of scarcity, where the cost of living is rising, folks begin to get angry and bitter and look for scapegoats. Historically, instead of looking at the top 5 percent of this country that controls all the wealth, we turn towards each other, and the Republicans have added to the fire.”

What do you think about this assignment?

Faith and Family: Supreme Court Rejects Religious Challenge

San Diego’s namesake may have been a Catholic Saint, but San Diego State University apparently has no problem telling students that practicing their faith is simply not permissible. Sadly, the Supreme Court has agreed. On Monday, the High Court declined to hear an appeal by two Christian groups at the school who were told their policy of accepting only Christians as members violated the school’s rules prohibiting officially recognized campus groups from discriminating on the basis of religion or sexual orientation. In 2005, the groups filed suit, saying that the school’s policy violated their First Amendment right to religious freedom. A federal appeals court disagreed, and now, by its silence, so has the Supreme Court.

As Alliance Defense Fund Attorney David Cortman notes, however, the standard is a double one: “The university did not tell the Democratic club it must be led by a Republican, or the vegetarian club it must be led by a meat-eater, but it did tell Christian groups that they must allow themselves to be led by atheists.” The university and the courts are blatantly discriminating against the Christian groups while hypocritically hiding behind the guise of “nondiscrimination.”

Don’t Feed the Homeless

Feeling charitable in New York City? Well, don’t try donating food to a homeless shelter. In his ongoing quest to eradicate the Great Satan of Salt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has instructed all government-run shelters to reject any food items lacking certain nutritional information. Bloomberg is more concerned with slashing the city’s sodium content than with feeding the hungry. As The Blaze reports, “[T]he mayor is so dedicated to the cause that his administration has produced an interagency document that specifically outlines what can and can’t be served, appropriate serving sizes, what content is permissible, fiber minimums, and condiment recommendations.”

As if running a city of eight million isn’t sufficient work, Bloomberg now wants to cook for everyone, too. And his “thanks, but no thanks” regulation has told many generous New Yorkers that their help is no longer welcome. Typical of the Left, Bloomberg puts genuine compassion and charity at the bottom of the agenda – far below its most favorite “virtue:” Rules.

And Last…

The Left may prevent people from doing good when it suits their purposes, but never let it be said that leftists lack a keen eye for “social justice.” The latest exhibit comes from the South-By-Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, where geeks and nerds of all stripes gather to see all things technical. One company, BBH Labs, made known its beta tests for experimental “homeless hot spots.” The idea was to give “MiFi” devices to homeless people, which would then transmit 4G wireless to people nearby. When people stumble across one of these homeless hot spots, they would make a donation in exchange for an access code. Homeless people on display at the conference wore T-shirts that said, “I’m a 4G hotspot.” Not everyone was pleased with the data plan, however, and the firm is putting its plans on hold after public outrage. It would never have worked, anyway. All the leftist malcontents living in tents in cities around the nation would have “occupied” the bandwidth.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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161 Comments

Todd W said:

Ryan plan, while commendable, does not go far enough. We need bold action now like what Senator Rand Paul is putting forward!

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Morning Glory said:

On gas prices, Pretender should simply SHUT UP and GET OUT OF THE WAY! Of course there is continued drilling (no thanks to him~). States (North Dakota), companies, and individuals are drilling on PRIVATE or state-owned lands--in SPITE of our current squatter's objections! What a dud!

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

David L Groves said:

Do what George W did when his gas prices rose, allow drilling on federal lands, check back and you will find that when the traders realized what would happen the prices fell at the pump

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Jill Cete said:

Here's to the people that wanted C H A N G E!When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said, ‘Praise the Lord.’ And when the young leader said, ‘I will be for change and I’ll bring you change,’ everyone yelled, ‘Viva Fidel!’But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner’s guns went silent, the people’s guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over, more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I’m back to the beginning of my story.America would never fall for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change?How will you carry it out? What will it cost America ?Would we?

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Thomas T. said:

As a 80+ mile daily commuter there is nothing more frustrating and expensive than $4.00 gallon gas. But I do what I have to do, get to work. What really infuriates me was the repeated groaning, complaining and whining of liberals during George W. Bush's presidency and high gas prices. Their constant nagging and "proof" of President Bush being in the pockets of big oil as being the reason. Where are these people now? Oh, that's right, we have Democrat Obama now and apparently $4.00 gas is ok for them.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Frozen North Jim said:

Obama, as all do all Marxist follow the two strata society model, the Elite/Worker. In this model there is no room for a middle class, only the worker drudges and the ruling elites. In fact the wondrous world of Marxist Socialism cannot come about prior to the destruction of the Middle Class. What better way to destroy the Middle Class that Obama’s Debt Bomb.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Mike McGinn in People's Republic of Maryland said:

St. John's Episcopal Church, the "Church of the Presidents," has publicly supported the ObamaCare mandate and has denounced Roman Catholic bishops and others who oppose it.Why of course it has. They wouldn't want to scare off the President by actually standing up for religious moral values and holding the President accountable to them, now would they?

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Scott in Camino, CA in Camino, California said:

What should Obama do about gas prices? First, he needs to take a huge "dose of reality" pill to correct his views on domestic oil drilling, and then he needs to, as the old saying goes, "drill, drill, drill." Open up ANWAR, open up the West Coast, re-issue old drilling permits and issue new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, open up new exploration in all Federally held areas where petroleum is suspected, and this just for a start. America needs to produce as many domestic barrels of oil as possible, not just to reduce gas prices, but to become that much less dependant on foreign sources of oil.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Joseph Mittelman said:

How about the battle of Midway where with an inferior force, we changed the course of the war by destroying Japanese superiority in both carriers and experienced airmen.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Mike said:

On gas prices, I find it amazing that when W was in office and the price of oil reached $147/bbl gas went to $3.50/gal. now with oil at $107/bbl gas is at $4.00/gal. confusing? When W "threatened" to open the oil reserves the price fell to $33/bbl. We are currently EXPORTING gasoline and the prices are climbing, doesn't that mean we have an excess? Why not ban the export of oil and gasoline, open everyplace to drilling and tell the Middle East to get lost?

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

J Powers said:

All of students in that class should be given the abridged copy of The Road to Serfdom by Prof. Hayek that is available from The Heritage Foundation. 'Nuf said.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Joseph Norton said:

Abolish Health, Education & WelfareAbolish Dept of EnergyAbolish H-U=DPut the Post Office Dept on Contract Stop passing out taxpayers money to Foreign Countries.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

evelynadele@aol.com in Florida said:

Anyone remember the Hitler Youth Movement. Just educate my children -- do not indoctrinate them.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Joe Lusardi said:

I did not see the crackdown on fraud or even a mention of it. I did not see anything in there that stops giving benefits to illegal and non- contributing people who come here and go on the government doll. It's all about cuts to the people that have and are contributing to the system. As always it is easier to punish everyone then it is to go after what is really wrong with the system.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Scott in Camino, CA in Camino, California said:

$100 for a "precheck" to avoid TSA lines? Hah!! This sounds like a blatant grab for more cash the TSA can spend on more gadgets and "security agents." It also sounds like an attempt to add yet another layer of beuracracy to an already overloaded system.

Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:53 AM