From the Hill:
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on Friday became the 27th senator to sign on to a letter opposing passage of the Law of the Sea Treaty, leaving opponents just seven votes shy of the 34 votes opponents need to doom passage of the UN maritime convention.
“We are writing to let you know that we believe this Convention reflects political, economic, and ideological assumptions which are inconsistent with American values and sovereignty,” reads the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
The full text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr. Leader,
We understand that Chairman Kerry has renewed his efforts to pursue Senate ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We are writing to let you know that we believe this Convention reflects political, economic, and ideological assumptions which are inconsistent with American values and sovereignty.
By its current terms, the Law of the Sea Convention encompasses economic and technology interests in the deep sea, redistribution of wealth from developed to undeveloped nations, freedom of navigation in the deep sea and exclusive economic zones which may impact maritime security, and environmental regulation over virtually all sources of pollution.
To effect the treaty’s broad regime of governance, we are particularly concerned that United States sovereignty could be subjugated in many areas to a supranational government that is chartered by the United Nations under the 1982 Convention. Further, we are troubled that compulsory dispute resolution could pertain to public and private activities including law enforcement, maritime security, business operations, and nonmilitary activities performed aboard military vessels.
If this treaty comes to the floor, we will oppose its ratification.
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
Pat Roberts (R-Kansas)
David Vitter (R-La.)
Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
John Boozman (R-Ark.)
Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Jim Risch (R-Idaho)
Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
John Thune (R-S.D.)
Richard Burr (R-N.C.)
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)
Dan Coats (R-Ind.)
John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)
Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Jim Moran (R-Kansas)
Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
From The Republic.com:
LAS VEGAS — Republicans are hitting Democratic U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley with new allegations of misconduct.
Washoe County Republican Party Chairman David Buell says he filed a federal ethics complaint on Friday against Berkley and the Nevada Democratic Party for coordinating on her U.S. Senate campaign.
Buell says Berkley is running against four little-known candidates in the Democratic primary, but Nevada Democrats are already spending money to help her.
Washoe County Republican Party Chairman David Buell told The Associated Press he filed a federal ethics complaint on Friday against Berkley and the Nevada Democratic Party for coordinating on her U.S. Senate campaign.
Update: This post was originally posted with the word “Slut” in the title, for that, we apologize (even though Meghan has referred to herself as “strictly-dickly”) we don’t condone the use of that language.
Our good friend Jessica Cybulski penned and sent us the following:
John McCain is a war hero, and he is the son of another war hero. As a conservative and a patriotic American, I’m required to display appropriate reverence for the sacrifices McCain and his father have made for my freedom. By my upbringing, I am also obliged to show some deference to the elder statesman from Arizona, despite his recurrent and perpetual stands that weaken the conservative movement. And though I sometimes wonder if five terms in the US Senate and a presidential nomination are enough restitution for the sacrifices John McCain made in Vietnam, I maintain a respectful bearing when speaking of him. For as long as he lives, we conservatives will tolerate his maverick-y proclivities because of his service record. However, the same cannot be said of his daughter.
Meghan McCain is a barely-literate, tubby trollop who denigrates the English language and American culture with every vapid tweet, every semi-conscious observation and every labored, sweaty exhalation she emits into MSNBC’s unwatched airwaves. Based on the McCain family’s longevity, I may have to endure another twenty years of John McCain’s pliantly-principled palaver. But Meghan McCain is my age. I’ll be damned if I’m going to suffer another sixty years of strictly-dickly, double-chinned insights from her increasingly cavernous orifices.
On Thursday evening, our fleshy heroine was a guest on MSNBC’s “Politics Nation,” an awkwardly-named show that I’ve never watched or heard of until this morning. Apparently it’s hosted by nauseating race-baiter Al Sharpton. Amidst their elevated discourse, McCain donned her victim’s cap and sniffled over the plight of moderate Republicans. After trumpeting her own courageous stand for gay rights, Meghan’s sililoquy crescendoed when she blamed the late Andrew Breitbart for creating a climate of hate, ultimately labeling him an “extremist.”
McCain’s comments were shocking. As a member of Right Pride, I’m aware of Andrew Breitbart’s efforts to welcome gay republicans at CPAC. He was a hero for many reasons, and he made extraordinary efforts to include gay conservatives in the limited government movement. I wasn’t shocked by Meghan McCain’s ignorance. Her ignorance is expected and should always be presumed. What was shocking was her tone of victimhood. This heiress, this millionaire, this achievement-free, corpulent twit who – during a recession – is paid enormous sums to share her fanciful babble on television, believes that she is being dealt short shrift? Does no one in her circle of acquaintance have an ounce of perspective? For the good of her pitiful soul, someone needs to slap this poor little rich girl and keep slapping her until she understands how cosmically privileged she is.
At least Kim Kardashian is easy on the eyes. At least Paris Hilton can make a cute purse. Among the famous-for-being-famous set, Meghan McCain is a miracle. She’s untalented, unaccomplished, unpretty, unskinny, unprincipled and often unintelligible. She’s also uninteresting, which should be the coup de grace of her nascent celebrity, but that would negate the very reason that she’s on television in the first place: to parody Republicans.
Yes, as offensive as she is to the senses and the intellect, Meghan McCain is likely oblivious to the most egregious of her sins. Her ostensible purpose on MSNBC is to represent the views of young Republicans for the 2-3% of America dumb enough to watch that network. She doesn’t. Meghan McCain’s asinine analyses represent the views of rotund, ignorant heiresses, fortunate daughters who eat too many twinkies. It’s a small, apolitical club that doesn’t meet regularly. More importantly, MSNBC management knows that Meghan has no constituency. To them, MSNBC is a liberal matador, and Meghan is their target bull – guileless, defenseless and fat.
Thought-crime is an Orwellian construct in which an all-powerful government punishes citizens for critical thinking, but I’d like to introduce a new definition: the avoidance of substantive debate by employing incapable, inarticulate, intellectual derelicts to represent a chosen side. MSNBC is guilty of that brand of thought-crime. Oddly enough, the progressive network is prohibitting progress because they are substituting legitimate debate with the fun of lampooning Republicans via Meghan McCain.
I blame Meghan a little. She should have the humility to recognize that she doesn’t speak for anyone but herself. (Then again, I may be assuming too much awareness from her.) Either way, I blame her parents more. Every good parent should tell their children that they can do anything they put their minds to, but, at some point, it becomes the responsibility of the parents to limit the failure of their more limited children.
Abdul: What is your name?
Father O’Malley: William O’Malley.
Abdul: I did not call you.
Father O’Malley: You called for all the Jews. I’m Jewish, just like Jesus Christ. You take one, you gotta take us all.
If you are at all aware of the existence of the Right Side of the Blogosphere you should know today has been dubbed: ” Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin day”
This was coined by Lee Stranahan in response to the forced repatriation of Robert Stacy McCain, writer for the American Spectator, Reporter for 30+ years, member of the Axis of Fedora, and lean mean blogging machine who say the story of the attempt to silence blogger Aaron Worthing, immediately recognized it as newsworthy and pursued it to the point where it has been necessary for Mr. McCain to relocate himself and his family out of his home and out of his state for their own protection.
With the aid of the Ray Kroc Memorial Media Centers nationwide Mr. McCain has continued to tell this story stressing that it is Mr. Kimberlin, his violent past, his lawfare against conservative writers and sites and the hundreds of thousands of dollars that left has showered him with that is the story.
Mr. Stranahan has helpfully provided excellent resources to research Mr. Kimberlin and I expect at least dozens if not hundreds of bloggers to participate. This is no small thing as the aforementioned Breitbart blogger Lee Stranahan has on his own site (but curiously not crossposted at Breitbart) noted the following:
In political blogging, we often toss around highly charged words with great abandon. We say politicians we don’t like are scary and crazy and dangerous.
Brett Kimberlin is actually dangerous.
Full stop. No metaphor. No exaggeration. Brett Kimberlin is dangerous. As in — he blew up bombs and police suspected he did it to cover up a murder. People in Indiana tell me that witnesses disappeared during the trial. Worse, Kimberlin has shown no remorse for the bombings and went to great lengths to make the lives of his victims miserable.
Please, do not lose sight of this. This isn’t a time for loose rhetoric. This is real. It’s real and it’s serious in a way that many ‘political stories’ frankly are not. In that sense, this story is way beyond politics.
And that doesn’t even take into account the legal/financial risks involved.
Yet bloggers are going to be writing about Mr. Kimberlin anyway declaring: “I am Breitbart“, “I am Robert Stacy McCain” and repeating those words of Fr. O’Malley: “You take one, you gotta take us all.”
With all due deference to Stacy McCain and Lee I immediately recognize this as newsworthy and the bloggers inaction and the MSM’s inaction are the story today, much more than Brett Kimberlin himself. Think about it:
An American Reporter living in America has been forced to relocate himself and his family for their own safety and nobody wants to cover it except conservative bloggers despite great physical & financial risk.
It’s as if the entire right side of the blogosphere has become Pam Geller & Robert Spencer for a day.
To me this is story #1. It goes beyond political considerations. The Story of Stacy McCain’s flight, like the Molly Norris story, is a tale that has never failed to outrage the average American when I tell them face to face and would outrage the nation, yet thanks to the MSM inaction nobody has heard it.
To be sure there are other questions worth asking after today:[list type="arrow"] [li]
- Will the organizations of the left that have funded Mr. Kimberlin continue to do so?
- Will the online left back Mr. Kimberlin?
- Will Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog continue to work with him?
- And just how many bloggers will participate (and will there be any conspicuous by their absence)?
These stories are all newsworthy but none of them in my mind surpass what I am about to type:
At the start of the Memorial day weekend, when we celebrate and remember those who have died to protect our constitutional freedoms as elaborated in the Bill of Rights, an American Journalist and his family are in hiding for their own safety for daring to exercising those rights the men and women we honor died for.
That’s the bottom line.
A final irony. This Memorial Day weekend marks the anniversary of the breaking of the Anthony Weiner story, a story that Robert Stacy McCain immediately recognized as newsworthy but the mainstream media did not, instead along with the online left, they attempted to use it to attack Andrew Breitbart believing his lies right up until the point when he confessed them. As Stacy McCain said at the time:
This story is what we call “news.” No matter how unseemly or inconsequential the story may superficially appear to be, it is entirely legitimate and potentially significant, and it is therefore a dereliction of journalistic duty to ignore or dismiss it.
That decision to ignore this story by the MSM led to an op-ed in the NY Post and an appearance on Fox 25 for me. I wonder who will be the blogger that gets the same due to the MSM’s inaction this time?
Update: Two important questions from yesterday Valley of the Shadow:
Why has the Major Media ignored this domestic Terrorist, Brett Kimberlin and the damage he has done to people? And why is KPFK still a 501c3 when they campaign for Progressives throughout most of the day?
and an Ex Con’s view:
Apathy or Courage? What you Choose Today Will Affect Our Nation
Nowadays, Kimberlin targets conservative bloggers like Aaron Worthing and Robert Stacy McCain in Maryland, and Patrick Frey of Patterico’s Pontifications in California. Why? For publishing facts about Kimberlin’s criminal record.
Kimberlin harasses his targets by, among many other ways, filing false charges in courts that require expensive, time-consuming litigation, disrupting his targets’ workplaces, and dropping dark hints about spouses and kids.
The first leak in the dam.
Update 3: A lot of people are writing about Brett Kimberlin but one blogger in particular is telling a story that the others may not know:
In the last radio interview Andrew Breitbart ever gave, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Breitbart talked about a new ruthless tactic used by thugs against political opponents:
[O]ne of the things they’ve done to people who have worked with me in the past, including an L.A. prosecutor, is to “SWAT.” That means that they’re spoofing phones, pretending to be somebody else’s phone, calling 911, and saying “I killed somebody” and then the person’s home is met with the guns drawn, the SWAT and the helicopters, in a horrifying act. It’s happened twice: once in New Jersey, once in Los Angeles, with an L.A. County . . . prosecutor who [is] associated with me.”
I am that L.A. County prosecutor. And in this post, you’ll hear the hoax call that sent police to my house, pointing loaded guns at me.
THE NIGHT I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED BECAUSE OF MY BLOGGING
This is the phony 911 call that caused it:
Read the whole thing and think about it for a second. We are talking an LA County prosecutor almost shot by police because of this call. And he is not the only one:
Listen to the voice on the calls, they sound the same Patterico again:
Although I am an L.A. County Deputy D.A., it is certain that I was “swatted” because of my blog and not because of my job. As Andrew Breitbart noted, this happened to two people within the course of a single week: a man in New Jersey and myself. Both of us had had contact with Andrew Breitbart. Both of us were writing about the same story. And both of us received email threats days before we were swatted. The threat to me said, in part: “Please think about your family. This story is not worth it. I can assure you that.”
Read his entire post and marvel. Those behind this and enabling this are simply evil, there is no other adjective to describe it.
This is happening to Americans in America. If we as Americans let this go on then we are dishonoring those who we remember this weekend who died to preserve our rights.
Which side are you on? It’s time to make your choice.
Update 4: One other point from the Patterico story that is worth repeating in case it wasn’t clear from the excepts above
I met personally with the nationwide experts on swatting in December 2011: the FBI office in Dallas, Texas. They told me that swatting is an extreme form of harassment — and that swatters typically combine swatting with other forms of harassment, including: complaining to the victim’s workplace, defaming the victim online, “Googlebombing” the victim, publishing the victim’s address online, filing phony reports of criminal activity by the victim, and so forth.
All of these things have happened to me and other critics of Brett Kimberlin since July 2011. The harassment has been relentless and has occurred almost every day. It would literally take a book to catalogue it all. What you read in this post, incredibly, is only part of it.
Why target me? Well, I first wrote about Brett Kimberlin in October 2010, after getting a call from Andrew Breitbart. Andrew told me that his site was going to publish a post about a domestic terrorist named Brett Kimberlin. The story sounded interesting, and I published a post about Kimberlin shortly after the Breitbart post (penned by Mandy Nagy aka Liberty Chick) was published.
Are we as Americans going to allow this?
Update 5: Smitty links and provides a hilarious Naked Gun reference and the Blaze writes about the story. Look at the comments from those on the left at the Blaze. To my readers on the left I ask: Are you going to stay silent on this or not?
Update 6: Here is an example of an “Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin day” from: No one of Any Import:
I’m only making light of my own confusion. The way this guy likes to destroy lives is no laughing matter.
The details of how he came to be entangled with Patrick Frey (Patterico), Aaron Walker (Worthing), Mandy Nagy (Liberty Chick) and a dude named Socrates, well they are making my eyes swim. And I haven’t even gotten to Walker’s megapost yet!
So I’m going to defer to these people at these links, if you would like to see a bigger picture. I will stick to enumerating why I call Brett Kimberlin a Very Bad Actor. Then I’ll sit back and see if he tries to sue me or some such.
[list type="arrow"] [li]1. Bombing
3. Serial suing
5. Making a living off progressive donations for bad music composition. Or maybe I should thank him for that.
Now as a military wife I think she is very important myself but a question. If She can find this with simple google searches etc, how is it the MSM or even the leftist trolls at the Blaze can’t? Is this willful ignorance, or deliberate silence?
Update 7: Stacy gives an important shoutout to the National Bloggers Club
The National Bloggers Club has been a valuable ally in supporting and defending bloggers targeted by harassment and intimidation. Today is “Everybody Blog Brett Kimberlin Day.” I join with National Bloggers Club president Ali Akbar in sincerely requesting that readers concerned about defending First Amendment rights online visit the club’s special site, KimberlinFiles.org, and please give generously. Fellow bloggers can help by including the image and link in their coverage of the Kimberlin case.
Why do I want to know?
He has threatened my friend Robert Stacy McCain “The Other McCain”. His latest target is Stacy McCain, who has abandoned his home and taken his family to a safe haven.
Andrew warned the world about this guy six months before he died on Hugh Hewitt.
Follow the money, The funding of Kimberlin’s projects — tens of thousands of dollars from the George Soros-connected Tides Foundation, as well as foundations associated with Barbra Streisand and Sen. John Kerry’s wife — thus supported all of Kimberlin’s activities, including his effort to have O’Keefe and Giles prosecuted for their ACORN takedown.
Barbara is not a Sicilian but although she lives in Arizona she remains a Texan. If Mr. Kimberlin chooses to go after any blogger the choice least conducive to his continued health and well being would be Barbara.
Update 8: Lady Liberty 1885 writes a letter to Babs:
I want to ask you a question. Do you know who Brett Kimberlin really is? Maybe you should find out and think about a little stricter vetting of you who give grants to.
BTW there are going to be a lot of bloggers that I don’t list simply due to time, that doesn’t change my admiration for you all.
Meanwhile Ladd Ehlinger who has been on this story from the start doesn’t mince words
I’m worried for Mike Stack (who was also swatted), because Brietbart.com is currently being run by a nutless wonder who has refused to cover this story. Stack has felt abandoned to fend for himself — and for some reason, now thinks Ron Brynaert is on his side.
I know it’s difficult for people in the media to understand how the subject of a story can feel abandoned. “Geez! We’re a news-media-expose place! We’re not friends!”
No, sorry. When regular people in flyover country are suddenly thrust into the spotlight because of stuff you do and write, and suddenly have their lives threatened because of your work, you and your news-media-outlet have a moral obligation to them to at least cover the story.
That means you cover the story if their lives have been threatened. “Swatting” is news-worthy even in an ivory tower, and there’s no excuse for being quiet on it. Unless you’re a nutless coward.
You hear me, Joel Pollack?
Better late than never.
Update 11: I’d like to give a special shoutout to a person not involved in “Everybody blog about Brett Kimberlin day a young man on the left named Dominic Nanni. Although we disagree on most things here is our exchange on this subject when I tweeted him the Patterico link:
I’m proud of this young man, he will make no friends with his fellows on the left for this tweet but he saw something wrong and will not support it.
He deserves the notoriety. So do his financial backers: Barbra Streisand, George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry are among the left’s leaders who fund this convicted perjurer, convicted bomber and career criminal.
I wonder if the MSM will ask those questions before we do?
Update 13: The Lonely Conservative says this:
Kimberlin poked a bees nest, and the bees are really going to start swarming today. Just wait until he sees the next Google alert. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall for that?
Thanks to his liberal benefactors Kimberlin has the resources to take on a handful of bloggers. But what’s he going to do now that so many of us are weighing in? It’s like trying to take down an angry swarm of wasps with a fly swatter.
Patterico’s chilling account of harassment
If you’ve ever wondered why I sacrifice credibility and validity by blogging under a silly pseudonym, well, it’s not only because I’d rather not embarrass my children with my [ahem] profound political and cultural observations.
If you don’t get why this is important, now hopefully you do.
Memeorandum is fast filling up with links, headed up by a shocking story posted at Patterico’s blog. Yet, that’s only one chilling tale from Kimberlin’s long and still growing list of crimes and misdeeds, including felonies, from the record and rap sheet of Brett Kimberlin, a man embraced by some of the most powerful Progressives and their institutions in American politics.
Shame on them for embracing and empowering such a small, evil man, all this time ignoring his pathetic and pathological actions, only because he assisted them in moving their ideological and political objectives forward.
Will this be another huge story the MSM ignores and the left ducks on Memorial day weekend?
Have the “Blog About Brett Kimberlin” brigades figured out the legal risks of the enterprise? Are dozens of tweeters and bloggers, with no support networks, going to start fighting off lawsuits? Right now their allies include The Washington Examiner’s op-ed page, Red State, Michelle Malkin, and the Breitbart network. So, we’ll see.
Breitbart network? I didn’t see a post there on the subject but it’s interesting to note Weigel’s post at Slate went up 3+ hours ago with only one comment.
Watch for the comments at these sites, they should be revealing.
As controversy continues to build around Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, and Warren continues to refuse to release any records related to her academic career, it’s becoming more clear why that might be. In a front page story today, the Boston Globe details how over at least six straight years either Warren or Harvard Law School officials – or both – falsely promoted her as a Native American minority in federally mandated diversity statistics that are filed with the Department of Labor. The Globe notes that this came at a time when “the school was under intense pressure to diversify its faculty.” Notably, as has been the case for the last four weeks as this controversy has been building, “the Warren campaign declined Thursday to answer the Globe’s specific questions about the documents.”
The Globe’s revelations come one day after a combative press conference that an angry and defensive Warren held with the Boston media at her campaign event in Brookline on Thursday. As NPR Boston reported – “Warren Continues Sidestepping Questions About Why Harvard Called Her A Minority.”
Here’s just part of Warren’s exchange with the Boston press corps yesterday.
Filings add to questions on Warren’s ethnic claims
From the Boston Globe:
US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago.
But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.
In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.
The documents suggest for the first time that either Warren or a Harvard administrator classified her repeatedly as Native American in papers prepared for the government in a way that apparently did not adhere to federal diversity guidelines. They raise further questions about Warren’s statements that she was unaware Harvard was promoting her as Native American.
The Warren campaign declined Thursday to answer the Globe’s specific questions about the documents. In a statement, Warren’s spokeswoman, Alethea Harney, said that “over the past month Elizabeth has answered countless questions openly while the people who recruited her have made it clear it was because of her extraordinary skill as a teacher and a groundbreaking scholar.’’
‘Over the past month, Elizabeth has answered countless questions openly.’
In recent weeks, Warren has repeatedly said that her race was not a factor in her hiring at Harvard or elsewhere, a point that several colleagues and supervisors at the schools have publicly supported. There is nothing in the federally required documents that contradicts those statements.
Michael McConnell, former federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, weighs in on the liberal attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court on the ObamaCare case.
From the WSJ:
“If liberal supporters of the health-care law were as confident of the merits of their position as they claim to be, they would offer actual legal arguments, based on text, history, structure and precedent, instead of labeling justices with whom they disagree as hypocrites and partisans. … The drafters and defenders of the health-care law have only themselves to blame for this mess. With a filibuster-proof Senate and total domination of the House, they did not trouble to build the consensus necessary for transformative legislation of this scope. More importantly, they did not take seriously their obligation to legislate within the limits set by the Constitution. Indeed, when a reporter asked in October 2009 what the constitutional basis was for the statute, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissively responded, ‘Are you serious?’”
From the Algemeiner Journal:
Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), the liberal Democrat Senate candidate trying to unseat Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) in November, is a gung-ho supporter of labor unions who highlights her tight relationship with Big Labor in her fights for office.
For instance, Berkley spoke at a rally in Las Vegas where the Teamsters Local 631 hosted the “2006 Change Wal-Mart, Change America bus tour.” The gathering featured a giant cardboard pledge pressing the retail giant to provide health insurance to all its employees. Berkley took to the stage to call for an all-female Democratic slate in Nevada’s House, referring to herself and two other candidates as the “three amigas.” Also at the event, Paul Blank, campaign director for the union-funded Wake Up Wal-Mart group that organized the tour, “said 54 percent of Wal-Mart employees are not covered by a company health plan” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Blank added that for a corporation that made $11.2 billion the previous year, “that’s just not fair.”
Approaching November’s Senate race, too, Berkley is trading heavily on her support for – and from–labor unions.
But, according to public disclosure forms Berkley submitted last month to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, her financial records show a trust belonging to her husband owns over $33,000 worth of stock in Wal-Mart as of May 21, 2008. (Yes, that same retail giant that was condemned for its supposedly paltry provision of healthcare to workers when Berkley peddled her “three amigas” shtick back in 2006. That same retail giant struggling to maintain its wholesome image after last month’s New York Times expose on its largest foreign subsidiary’s alleged bribery of Mexican officials so it could rapidly expand South of the Border). Aye yai yai, Shelley!
The stock may not technically be Berkley’s, but she considered her assets and those of the Lawrence Lehrner Family Trust connected enough as a household that she included them in personal financial disclosure forms submitted as part of an investigation, launched in March by the House Ethics Committee, into alleged conflicts of interest in her dealings regarding kidney care providers, including her efforts to keep open a kidney transplant program with which her husband’s nephrology practice had a contract.
Contacted this week for comment on the matter of the Lehrner’s Trust’s Wal-Mart stock, Berkley’s office responded with a note citing the policy of Morgan Stanley, the outfit that manages the Trust: “”Per a previous agreement, all investments related to the stock portfolio are made solely at the discretion of the investment manager.”
Does that mean Berkley and her husband just don’t scrutinize what Morgan Stanley is doing with the Lehrner Trust all that closely? Who can blame them? Life in Vegas can be pretty darn exciting. Who in their right mind would scrutinize boring stock portfolios when they can be taking in the shows and throwing the dice? On the other hand, it can be useful to go to rallies that condemn those capitalist pigs who are trampling workers’ rights.
Heritage’s new chart series, “Medicare at Risk: Visualizing the Need for Reform,” shows that, without the necessary structural reform, Medicare’s finances will have devastating consequences on the federal budget, not to mention taxpayers and seniors alike.
Medicare’s Impact on the Budget. Medicare spending is rising faster than any other part of the federal budget, and it’s a major driver of runaway deficit spending in the not-so-distant future. Retiring baby boomers and rising health care costs will cause Medicare’s shortfall to contribute to 81 percent of federal deficits by 2040. Clearly, the federal deficit cannot be contained without addressing Medicare’s structural problems.
Medicare’s Impact on Seniors. Obamacare did nothing to improve Medicare’s fiscal crisis. Even though Medicare spending falls by $421 billion under the health care law, the savings offset the cost of other provisions in Obamacare instead of shoring up Medicare’s deficits. Worse yet, Obamacare’s flawed method of controlling Medicare’s costs by cutting provider payments will significantly reduce seniors’ access to care. As the charts show, these profound cuts put 40 percent of providers in danger of closing their doors by 2050. As the number of beneficiaries rise, the number of providers cannot decrease without causing serious access issues.
Medicare reform is vital if the program is going to be ready to handle what’s to come. Explore the charts now >>
Initially reported by Human Events and the Drudge Report, on Sunday, June 3, Edward Klein’s must-read biography of President Obama, The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House (Regnery Publishing), will debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller List. Klein has released three hours of audio of his exclusive interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright in which Wright revealed exclusively and on-the-record to Klein that close Obama friend Eric Whitaker offered Wright a $150,000 bribe to remain silent in the months leading up the 2008 presidential election. Neither Wright nor Whitaker have denied this story, even though the tapes were first aired over a week ago on the Sean Hannity Show. Their silence suggests there is truth to the story, which begs the larger question about whether or not then candidate (and future President) Barack Obama was aware of the bribery attempt. To interview Klein about his bestselling book, or to obtain the full audio of his interview with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 703-683-5004 ext.159. Of note:
On Wright, Byron York, Washington Examiner: http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/article/new-allegation-rev-wright-needs-answer/555561
“Is Wright’s version of the story correct? Did Whitaker actually make the offer Wright says he did? If so, did Obama know about it? And where would the money have come from? All are questions that deserve answers.
There’s no doubt Whitaker is close to the president. Whitaker was with Obama during the president’s last Christmas vacation in Hawaii — and the Christmas before that and the Christmas before that and the Christmas before that. Whitaker was also with Obama last summer on Martha’s Vineyard — and the summer before that and the summer before that.”
On Valerie Jarrett – the most powerful woman no one knows about, Matt Lewis, Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/24/conservatives-preemptively-urge-courage-from-the-scotus-on-obamacare/
“According to the book, written by former New York Times Magazine editor Edward Klein, many of Obama’s most liberal and costly political mistakes stemmed from Jarrett’s advice. Jarrett reportedly hatched the idea of Obama flying to Copenhagen to ‘make a dramatic presentation to the International Olympic Committee’ for Chicago’s Olympic bid — and also encouraged Obama’s visit to ‘the Bay area solar company Solyndra’ — despite the protestations of Lawrence Summers (who in 2009 warned against the loan guarantee) and others.”
On the Obamas’ past marital problems, Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/05/book-michelle-threatened-divorce-after-barack%E2%80%99s-2000-loss/609751
“First lady Michelle Obama warned her husband not to challenge former Black Panther and four-term Rep. Bobby Rush in 2000, threatening divorce when Barack Obama got walloped in his first bid for national office, a new biography of the president claims. ‘Michelle actually had divorce papers drawn up,’ author Edward Klein wrote, quoting one of Mrs. Obama’s friends. In the unauthorized ‘The Amateur,’ Klein also said that Obama was talking divorce after the loss. ‘This was a calamitous turn of events, and during the dark days that followed his defeat, he turned to Michelle for comfort. But she was in no mood to offer him sympathy. After all, he had refused to listen to her warnings about taking on the formidable Bobby Rush. He had put his family in a precarious financial position. And he had dashed Michelle’s hopes of creating a stable and secure future. As a result, their marriage was on the rocks, and Obama confided to friends that he and Michelle were talking about divorce.’”
On Bill Clinton urging Hillary to run against Obama in 2012, Carl Campanile, New York Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/bill_blockbuster_an_amateur_XJHYdaV5LT1vpr5I39IKrN
“Bill Clinton thought so little of President Obama — mocking him as an “amateur” — that he pressed his wife last summer to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims. … The title of Klein’s explosive, unauthorized bio of Obama, ‘The Amateur’ (Regnery Publishing), was taken directly from Bill Clinton’s bombshell criticism of the president, the author said. ‘Barack Obama,’ Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, ‘is an amateur.’ Obama, Bill Clinton said, ‘doesn’t know how to be president’ and is ‘incompetent.’ But Hillary resisted the entreaties, according to two of the guests interviewed for the book. ‘Why risk everything now?’ a skeptical Hillary told her husband, emphasizing that she wanted to leave a legacy as secretary of state. ‘Because,’ Bill replied, his voice rising, ‘the country needs you!’”
“The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.”
The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household — nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.
A U.S. household’s median income is $49,445, the Census reports.
The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits. Yet companies, states and local governments must include retirement commitments in financial statements, as required by federal law and private boards that set accounting rules.
The deficit was $5 trillion last year under those rules. The official number was $1.3 trillion. Liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other retirement programs rose by $3.7 trillion in 2011, according to government actuaries, but the amount was not registered on the government’s books.