Rick Santorum says he understands from experience the hard times faced by ordinary Americans. For example, he is underwater on his mortgage, which is certainly a dilemma for many voters caught in the real estate bust.
But, but. While hyperbole is expected from politicians, this statement is a bit…rich. The home in question carried a $2 million pricetag and is located on 5 acres in pricey northern Virgina. Moreover, Santorum financed it through a family trust, deliciously named the Creamcup Trust. Not exactly the financing vehicle available to the average steelworker!
Read more at:
The Washington Examiner.
As many of you are now aware, Bill Maher (as well as a host of other commentators on the left) has a long history of making sexist, uncivil comments with regard to conservatives, and conservative women in particular. In fact, Maher’s misogyny has gotten so out of hand, that now many noted liberal columnists, such as Kirsten Powers, are finally calling him (and some other progressive pundits) out on his egregious behavior.
However, this past Friday evening Bill Maher–who is now well aware that even those on his own side of the aisle have grown weary of his misogyny–decided to move on from picking on women to picking on poor people. Maher sent Alexandra Pelosi (the daughter of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) to rural Mississippi to supposedly interview prospective Republican voters about the upcoming Mississippi primary. While Ms. Pelosi’s video aired during Maher’s show, he, Jon Hamm and some other liberals on his panel sneered at the poor, barely literate people in the video (see the video below). Francis Martel of Mediate implied that Maher and his panel were elitist when she wrote that they were “mocking rural Mississippi residents from a smug Hollywood perch”. While I agree with Ms. Martel that elitism was definitely on display here, something else more sinister was afoot.
First of all, Ms. Pelosi issued a disclaimer that these were the only sort of people that she could find in the entire state of Mississippi. I gotta call BS on that! I grew up in Mobile, AL and had a roommate in college that was from Biloxi, MS (who I went home with on the weekends frequently). I have driven through and been to MS numerous times–I have NEVER seen or come into contact with people like the ones featured in the above video. Furthermore, my mother-in-law is from rural MS and she was valedictorian of her high school, got a Master’s degree in statistics from Tulane University and spent her career teaching advance placement mathematics in Texas high schools. Furthermore, her mother was one of the first women ever to graduate from Vanderbilt University with a degree in physics. Heck, Eli Manning was the quarterback for Ole Miss and still managed to graduate with a 3.44 GPA! Why didn’t Ms. Pelosi drive through Biloxi and Ole Miss’s campus and chat with the people there? (That would have been a heck of a lot simpler that traipsing through backwoods MS in order to talk to people with no education and no teeth.) The answer is simple–Ms. Pelosi didn’t want to talk to people that sounded like my mother-in-law or looked like Eli Manning. People like them would not have fit the narrative that she wanted to create–that narrative being that all MS Republican voters are illiterate, racist and toothless. Bottom line, Pelosi and Maher are being highly disingenuous when they try to pass the people in the above video off as the typical southern/MS Republican Primary voter.
Second of all, is it just me or was there a certain cruelty in mocking the people in the above video (even the stupid white supremacist)? It made me a tad queasy to see the daughter of the former Speaker of the House, Bill Maher (a guy who just gave President Obama a million dollar check) and Jon Hamm (one of the five best looking people in America IMHO) laugh at poor, semi-literate people, a senile old man, and a homeless guy (he was living in a hovel) who seemed somewhat mentally challenged and was lacking many of his front teeth. The people in the above video are poor, they are powerless and some are literally toothless! (My heart went out to them, and would have if they had said ridiculous things about George W. Bush instead of Barack Obama. Oh, and if anyone thinks that most of these people in the above video actually vote, then I have a blind bird dog and some underwater real-estate to sell you.) Whereas, Alexandra Pelosi, Bill Maher and Jon Ham are rich and quite powerful when it comes to shaping public opinion. I am reminded of what it says in the book of Luke:
“To whom much is given, of him much will be required.”
I mean, these people on Maher’s panel were given so much (looks, wealth, fame, power) and they then decide to pick on the powerless and the toothless?! That is not good satire–any great satirist, like say Oscar Wilde, knows to only pick on the powerful. This is just pure meanness.
And finally, to Bill Maher I say the following:
Dude, really???!! Your idea of cutting edge comedy and satire is to call conservative women misogynistic four letter words and to imply that all southern conservatives are “toothless hicks”? Yawn! That is not only tired, cliche’ and totally played out, it is the last bastion of the intellectually lazy. Jon Stewart would never stoop to that level. It is definitely time to hire some new writers and bring in some fresh blood because you, yourself, have become a cliche’–that of the angry, hypocritical liberal elitist who thinks that he is for the women and the little guy, but in reality has absolutely no tolerance or compassion for anyone–rich or poor, male or female–who does not think exactly like him.
By Scott W. Gaylord and Thomas J. Molony
The next wave of abortion regulation has arrived. With the Virginia governor’s approval of a controversial ultrasound bill last week, twenty-three States now have laws regulating—and in some cases requiring—the use of ultrasounds in connection with abortion procedures. Ten other States are considering similar ultrasound legislation, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.
In recent weeks, national attention has focused on the ultrasound laws in Texas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, which require physicians to conduct an ultrasound, display the fetal images to the woman, and explain those images before performing an abortion. Last week, USAToday ran an op-ed condemning mandatory ultrasound laws, and this week, the nationally syndicated comic Doonesbury is running a storyline that is critical of Texas’s speech-and-display law. Yet, despite all the criticism, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island have similar speech-and-display legislation pending.
Much of the criticism of speech-and-display regulations reflects a passionate disagreement with the legislative policy underlying such legislation. In its editorial, the USAToday asserted that the purpose of “such laws has nothing to do with good medicine” but “is to dissuade women from having an abortion.” Moreover, drawing on a University of California-San Francisco study, the editors suggested that these laws are ineffective because, in the study, “[n]ot one [woman] changed her mind and decided against an abortion” after viewing an ultrasound.
Whether ultrasound laws represent good policy or are effective, though, is a separate question from whether such laws are constitutional. Under the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, States have a right “to ensure that a woman apprehend the full consequences of her decision” and can require physicians to provide “truthful and not misleading” information about the abortion procedure and the development of the fetus. As the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the Texas speech-and-display statute, ultrasound images and descriptions of those images “are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information.”
Those criticizing the growing number of ultrasound laws frequently ignore the fact that the Constitution permits States to try to dissuade women from having an abortion. In Casey, the Court expressly acknowledged that a State may “further its legitimate goal of protecting the life of the unborn by enacting legislation aimed at ensuring a decision that is mature and informed, even when in so doing the State expresses a preference for childbirth over abortion.”
Moreover, recent empirical evidence indicates that speech-and-display laws are effective. According to a 2011 Quinnipiac study, “ultrasound requirement laws reduce the odds of a woman having an abortion quite substantially,” which is probably why speech-and-display regulations have elicited such powerful reactions on both sides of the abortion debate.
Under Casey, States have broad authority to pass abortion regulations that are reasonable and do not impose an undue burden on a “woman’s right to make the ultimate decision.” Given that ultrasounds routinely are used prior to an abortion (and, therefore, do not impose an undue burden on a woman’s decision), the recent court challenges to the Texas and North Carolina speech-and-display requirements have focused on the First Amendment rights of physicians. In particular, the physicians have argued that requiring them to display and describe ultrasound images violates their right to be free from compelled speech.
The Supreme Court already has considered—and rejected—this argument. In Casey, providers of abortion services claimed that physicians had a First Amendment right “not to provide information about the risks of abortion, and childbirth, in a manner mandated by the State.” While acknowledging that mandatory disclosures “implicate” physicians’ First Amendment rights, the Court held that, in the context of “the practice of medicine,” physicians were “subject to reasonable licensing and regulation by the State” and consequently could be compelled to provide disclosures about childbirth and abortion.
The criticisms of speech-and-display requirements, therefore, must be understood for what they are—critiques of the policy choices made by state legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. To the extent those critical of these policy choices seek a constitutional prohibition on mandatory ultrasounds, they actually are advocating for a return to the standard set forth in Roe v. Wade, under which virtually all abortion regulations were struck down.
But Roe is not the law. Casey is. And under Casey, States have substantial latitude to regulate abortion by requiring the disclosure of truthful, non-misleading information, such as ultrasound images of the fetus within.
(Professors Gaylord and Molony teach at the Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina. After receiving his MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Professor Gaylord graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, where he received the Dean Joseph O’Meara Award, and clerked on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Molony joined the Elon law faculty after practicing law with the Charlotte, North Carolina firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Washington & Lee University School of Law and member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.)
IMF Will Consider $37 Billion Loan to Greece;
Administration Has Unique Chance to Protect U.S. Tax Dollars
San Francisco, CA – With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board scheduled to meet on Thursday to consider a $37 billion loan to Greece as part of the latest $171 billion bailout of that country, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, called on the Obama Administration today to protect U.S. taxpayer dollars and vote “no” on the agreement. The U.S. has the power to call for a vote at the IMF Executive Board, and all decisions put to a vote require a majority to pass. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the IMF, with $165 billion at stake. The total cost of the Greek bailouts has been estimated at $500 billion.
“At this point, it should be clear that America and the IMF are throwing good money after bad, and the only real solution is for Greece and the European Union to stop their borrowing addiction, instead of papering it over,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.” In a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner last week, she noted that when the Greek bailouts began in May 2010, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 113 percent. Today, it’s 159 percent. And Greece continues to run enormous deficits. “There should be no deficits in Greece,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “There is no way for Greece to start reducing its debt burden until those deficits stop. It’s just simple math. Of course, that’s equally true for America. We’re not that far behind. Which is why we must start getting serious about protecting U.S. tax dollars and ending the ‘too big to fail to fail’ philosophy. The only thing ‘too big to fail’ is America itself.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers is the author of HR 2313, which would rescind a $100 billion line of credit to the IMF (created in 2009, and known as the “New Arrangements to Borrow”), and which is being tapped for the European bailouts. The bill has 92 cosponsors.
A compilation of the Congresswoman’s work on this issue can be found here.
Alisa Shakespeare owner of ‘Government Cluster Fudge’ shares her candy
The St Louis Business Journal has a poll out “Should KMOX cancel Rush Limbuagh’s show?”
It is not looking good for the Liberals that want to silence Rush
Steve Foley is now on the congressional ballot for California’s 47th District.
We wanted to share the good news with you, the dedicated people who make up Steve’s support network. Together, we’re now one step closer to restoring solid constitutional principles in Washington, D.C. At campaign headquarters, we’re excited about the road ahead and the opportunity to build real momentum for a return to constitutional principles in Congress.
The following press release went out to the media today, announcing Steve’s formal entrance into this key race:
Today, businessman and well-known conservative blogger Steve Foley announced his official entrance into the congressional race in California’s newly formed 47th District. Upon turning in signatures and filing the necessary paperwork, Foley took two required oaths, signifying his commitment to remain in the race and to uphold and defend the United States Constitution.
“I am fully committed to running a vigorous campaign rooted in common-sense ideas, “Foley asserted. “Bold solutions are required to confront imminent risks to our economy and freedoms. I am not only ready to propose those solutions, I look forward to carrying them all the way to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the people of the 47th District.”
The Steve Foley for Congress campaign has timed the release of a new ad with today’s announcement. The ad sets Foley apart from his competition in the primary, a field of establishment Republican candidates, who have a record of talking big about solutions while repeatedly embracing a failed status quo.
We also wanted Steve’s supporters to be among the first to see his new ad. Take a look, then pass it on to others who want to see Washington headed in a better direction.
CA-47 is a new district. In electing Steve, its constituents have the chance to send a clear message about the responsible decisions they want to see Congress make. Steve has the solutions to deliver and the commitment to see the job through.
But he needs your help.
Only with your personal investment can Steve defeat the predictable line-up of career politicians he’ll be opposing in the primary and the insanity loop they continually reinforce. Only with your personal investment will he have the opportunity to stand strong for the true policy reforms and positive change that district constituents deserve. Only with your personal investment can we hope to restore the ideals of constituionally limited government, fiscal sanity, and individual freedoms.
Please consider contributing $10, $25, $50, $100 or more to Steve’s campaign today and make the people of CA-47 leaders in the fight to take our country back.
Steve and all of us at campaign headquarters look forward to fighting the good fight with you!
It’s been available in beta for a few months, but Microsoft has now made the final version of its Robotics Developer Studio 4 toolkit available for download. More
Sometimes the fastest pathway from point A to point B is not a straight line: for example, if you’re underwater and contending with strong and shifting currents. But figuring out the best route in such settings is a monumentally complex problem — especially if you’re trying to do it not just for one underwater vehicle, but for a swarm of them moving all at once toward separate destinations. But that’s just what a team of engineers at MIT has figured out how to do, in research results to be presented in May at the annual IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. The team, led by Pierre Lermusiaux, the Doherty Associate Professor in Ocean Utilization, developed a mathematical procedure that can optimize path planning for automated underwater vehicles (AUVs), even in regions with complex shorelines and strong shifting currents. The system can provide paths optimized either for the shortest travel time or for the minimum use of energy, or to maximize the collection of data that is considered most important.
Collections of propelled AUVs and gliding AUVs (also called gliders) are now often used for mapping and oceanographic research, for military reconnaissance and harbor protection, or for deep-sea oil-well maintenance and emergency response. So far, fleets of up to 20 such AUVs have been deployed, but in the coming years far larger fleets could come into service, Lermusiaux says, making the computational task of planning optimal paths much more complex.
He adds that earlier attempts to find optimal paths for underwater vehicles were either imprecise, unable to cope with changing currents and complex topography, or required so much computational power that they couldn’t be applied to real-time control of swarms of robotic vehicles. More
Intuitive Surgical, a maker of medical robots, is expected to increase its earnings by 33% this year.
That is tantalizing growth at a time when the broad Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index is projected to see a 9% gain in operating earnings this year, versus 15% last year and 47% in 2010.
But investors might pause before buying Intuitive when they see the price: 36 times this year’s earnings forecast, compared with 13 times for the S&P 500.
Deciding whether to pay a premium for growth stocks isn’t easy. In general, investors should look for three things, says Bruce Olson, whose Wells Fargo Advantage Large Cap Growth fund has returned an average of 6.1% a year over the past five years, compared with 3.2% for its peers, according to Morningstar . They are: robust growth, sustainable growth and underappreciated growth.
Finding robust growth seems like the easiest part—just look at earnings per share. But keep in mind that any earnings growth driven by cost cutting and share repurchases might not last for long. Just as important is to look for increasing revenue, the hallmark of long-term growth. More