Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Freedom Flag

I posted recently about the Freedom Flag to the website page where you can order a flag for yourself, sponsor a flag for a school, or order a lapel pin.

I also have a link to learn more about the Foundation, but thought I would provide some information here:

The Freedom Flag Foundation was first envisioned in November of 2001. This was a direct result of a recognized interest in the flag by the educational community. It became apparent that the Freedom Flag had a significant visceral effect on teachers who viewed it and requested copies of there own for use in their classrooms. This recognized acceptance and popularity of the Freedom Flag allowed Richard Melito, the flag's designer, to expand on his purpose for the flag. By December 2001 it seemed obvious that the flag would need a vehicle through which its purpose could be directed. Groundwork began in January of 2002 for the formation of a non-profit foundation with an appropriate mission statement and goals to support its mission. The Freedom Flag Foundation was registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia in May of 2002 and received its initial status as a 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service in November of 2002. It currently operates out of Richmond, Virginia. Four Richmond area residents serve on the Board of Trustees.

The Foundation generates revenue through sponsorship fees it receives for the Freedom Flag Project. Funds are used by the Foundation to purchase inventory, produce print materials, and offset some operational expenses. With increased participation in the school sponsorship program the Freedom Flag Foundation will establish a fully operational office with a staff whose purpose shall be the promotion and distribution of the Freedom Flag, the creation of teaching resource materials that can be used on future September 11ths, and an interactive website that will offer free educational resources to help teach students to honor, remember, revisit, and learn from those catastrophic events of September 11, 2001.

Please, go to website, learn what it is all about, and buy a flag or sponsorship, or a lapel pin.

Just do it. You know you want to.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yes, Palin Did Stop That Bridge
September 10, 2008; Page A15

"But, you know, when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up." -- Barack Obama, Sept. 6, 2008

In politics, words are cheap. What really counts are actions. Democrats and Republicans have talked about fiscal responsibility for years. In reality, both parties have a shameful record of wasting hundreds of billions of tax dollars on pork-barrel projects.

My Senate colleague Barack Obama is now attacking Gov. Sarah Palin over earmarks. Having worked with both John McCain and Mr. Obama on earmarks, and as a recovering earmarker myself, I can tell you that Mrs. Palin's leadership and record of reform stands well above that of Mr. Obama.

Let's compare.

Mrs. Palin used her veto pen to slash more local projects than any other governor in the state's history. She cut nearly 10% of Alaska's budget this year, saving state residents $268 million. This included vetoing a $30,000 van for Campfire USA and $200,000 for a tennis court irrigation system. She succinctly justified these cuts by saying they were "not a state responsibility."

Meanwhile in Washington, Mr. Obama voted for numerous wasteful earmarks last year, including: $12 million for bicycle paths, $450,000 for the International Peace Museum, $500,000 for a baseball stadium and $392,000 for a visitor's center in Louisiana.

Mrs. Palin cut Alaska's federal earmark requests in half last year, one of the strongest moves against earmarks by any governor. It took real leadership to buck Alaska's decades-long earmark addiction.

Mr. Obama delivered over $100 million in earmarks to Illinois last year and has requested nearly a billion dollars in pet projects since 2005. His running mate, Joe Biden, is still indulging in earmarks, securing over $90 million worth this year.

Mrs. Palin also killed the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in her own state. Yes, she once supported the project: But after witnessing the problems created by earmarks for her state and for the nation's budget, she did what others like me have done: She changed her position and saved taxpayers millions. Even the Alaska Democratic Party credits her with killing the bridge.

When the Senate had its chance to stop the Bridge to Nowhere and transfer the money to Katrina rebuilding, Messrs. Obama and Biden voted for the $223 million earmark, siding with the old boys' club in the Senate. And to date, they still have not publicly renounced their support for the infamous earmark.

Mrs. Palin has proven courageous by taking on big spenders in her own party. In March of this year, the Anchorage Daily News reported that, "Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is aggravated about what he sees as Gov. Sarah Palin's antagonism toward the earmarks he uses to steer federal money to the state."

Mr. Obama had a chance to take on his party when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered a sham ethics bill, which was widely criticized by watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste for shielding earmarks from public scrutiny. But instead of standing with taxpayers, Mr. Obama voted for the bill. Today, he claims he helped write the bill that failed to clean up Washington.

Mr. Obama has shown little restraint on earmarks until this year, when he decided to co-sponsor an earmark moratorium authored by Mr. McCain and myself. Mr. Obama is vulnerable on this issue, and he knows it. That is why he is lashing out at Mrs. Palin and trying to hide his own record.

Mrs. Palin is one of the strongest antiearmark governors in America. If more governors around the country would do what she has done, we would be much closer to fixing our nation's fiscal problems than we are.

Mrs. Palin's record here is solid and inspiring. She will help Mr. McCain shut down the congressional favor factory, and she has a record to prove it. Actions mean something. You can't just make stuff up.

Mr. DeMint, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from South Carolina.

The Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal


There is nothing wrong with changing one's mind about something. Yes, you can be for something and then against it. Good might remember a little disturbance called the Civil War. One of the things that caused it was slavery. Luckily we had people who were enlightened enough to understand that although it was a part of daily life in the American South to own slaves, it was not acceptable to own other human beings. If minds had not changed, if the Civil War had not been fought, we could still have slaves in the United States today.   

Have you never changed your mind about something? Don't you remember a time when something seemed like a good idea, and then you got more information or just realized it wasn't the dream it was presented to be? 

The only time I object to someone changing their mind is when they do it at the drop of a hat...changing their opinion to agree with the last person they talked to, or the group they are about to address because it will get them votes.

A person who never changes their mind, or changes with the wind, is a person I don't want in office. 

Consider this:

A convicted murderer is being prepared for execution. It's only minutes before the lethal cocktail will be injected. The Lt. Governor, the state's Attorney General, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney coming running into the Governor's office and announce, "We have video tape proving that the defendant was meeting with the Pope at the time of the murder. We've also discovered security tape showing the real murderer committing the crime. We have a signed confession and the murderer right here to verify the facts of the confession. We have to stop the execution! That's an innocent person!" The governor says, "Nah...I can't stop the execution just because there's new evidence proving innocence of one and the guilt of the other. It might make me look bad if I change my mind." 

Extreme? Perhaps, but this is what happens when people refuse to change their minds when presented with new information. There are certainly times when you don't change your mind, and that's okay. But, when you have new information that changes the picture, you need to carefully review all the facts and then decide to continue on the same course or to, dare I say it? change your mind and do something different. A person of good moral character will do what's right, not what makes them look good.

Let's take into consideration the reasons why a person might change their mind before we condemn that they did. You may not agree with their decision, but you have to respect that they made a decision based on the facts, even new facts or information. You might want the same consideration someday. 

Yes, Senator Obama, words mean something. And sometimes you have to say "No, thank you, I've changed my mind."
Rangel's Taxes
Editorial of The New York Sun | September 11, 2008

In March of 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt sent a letter to his commissioner of internal revenue, Guy Helvering. "My dear Commissioner Helvering," the letter began, "I am enclosing my income tax return for the calendar year 1937, together with my check for $15,000. I am wholly unable to figure out the amount of the tax ..." In the letter, which is reproduced in Amity Shlaes's book "The Forgotten Man," the president asks the Internal Revenue Service to answer the "problem in higher math" on its own, and send him a bill for the remainder.

Well, the tax code hasn't gotten any simpler since then. On the contrary, it has grown radically more complex. And the latest public official to find himself flabbergasted by the complexities of the laws is none other than the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee itself, Rep. Charles Rangel. To sort out his taxes it took the New York Times, which has worked itself up into a lather on the matter even bigger than the one it worked itself up into over Mr. Rangel's rent-stabilized apartment and his efforts to help City College.

According to a "fact sheet" offered up yesterday on Capitol Hill, Mr. Rangel's villa at the Punta Cana Resort and Yacht Club "was considered an investment rather than a vacation home, entitling him to deduct depreciation and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit in the United States for income taxes withheld and paid in the Dominican Republic," which, the "fact sheet" goes on to say, are imposed at a rate of "around 25% - 30%."

Got that? If it isn't clear enough, consider that New York City and state have different rules than the federal government do, and that Dominican Republic income taxes "are not credited in state and city taxes as they are in federal taxes." All of which tends to support the point that if Mr. Rangel wanted a vacation home, he should have made like the Clintons and borrowed one, or made like Senator Moynihan and had one upstate, or made like Senator Dole and bought a condominium in Miami.


Or — and here is where this editorial is going — else use his position to adjust the tax laws so that they are simpler for those many Americans less sophisticated than Mr. Rangel to understand and comply with. For if not even the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee can get his taxes right, what hope is there for the rest of us? This is a serious policy point. The right move for Mr. Rangel is to get on the phone with Steve Forbes, the leading advocate of the reform of the flat tax, and the two of them have lunch. It will not only illuminate for the man who is likely to be steering the tax-writing committee in Congress for years to come the principles and virtues of the flat tax. But it will underscore a point that Mr. Rangel can appreciate on a personal level. He actually thinks deeply about the tax code — we learned that over breakfast with him — and his friends on the left want little but to make him look like the crook that he isn't, while the activists on the right want a tax code that is simpler, fairer, and allows the operation of incentives that provide growth.


I'm of two minds here. Either Senator Rangel is completely cornfuzzled by the Income Tax laws - which he himself helped write - or, he's trying to bamboozle someone into thinking he didn't understand what he was doing. Or rather, wasn't doing. Is he confused or trying to evade paying taxes? A sitting US Senator? The Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee?

Perhaps it's time, since Senator Rangel claims to not understand the very laws he is writing, for him to step down from the chairmanship. Perhaps it's time that we admit that if the tax laws are this confusing, it's time to scrap the system and start off fresh with something easier to understand. Like the Fair Tax.

How much easier could the tax system be under the FairTax? You purchase something new and pay tax. You purchased used, such as a house or car, and pay no tax. You control the taxes you pay by the purchases you make.

No Federal payroll taxes taken from your paycheck, no forms to file, no records to keep. And you get a deposit into your bank account to pay the amount of tax (up to the poverty level) you would pay. You keep more of your paycheck, you don't file any paperwork, and you get a check to help pay some of your taxes.

And, all entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are fully funded. There will probably be enough to fund a heck of a universal health care system. Our economy would be booming, and we'd be the envy of the world.

What could be better? It would certainly be easier for Senator Rangel to understand. Senator Rangel? What say you?
The Dollar: Why Judge Poe is Right and Ron Paul is Wrong
By Louis R. Woodhill

Our unstable dollar is the biggest single problem facing the U.S. economy. Congressman Ron Paul (R, TX-14) has been speaking and writing about the dollar issue since at least 1981. However, on July 31, Congressman "Judge" Ted Poe (TX-02) did something that Ron Paul has not done in all of these years. He introduced a bill, H.R. 6690, that would actually solve the problem. It is illuminating to compare Judge Poe's approach with the reforms advocated by Ron Paul.

Ron Paul advocates replacing our current "fiat" (paper) currency with gold coins and eliminating our existing "fractional reserve" banking system. A few simple calculations expose the impracticality of this idea.

The U.S. government currently owns about 215 million ounces of gold. At the current market price of gold ($752/oz), this is worth about $162 billion. If we emptied Fort Knox and converted all of our gold reserves to the gold coins that Ron Paul advocates, this would provide enough gold "dollars" to replace just under 19% of the paper dollars currently in circulation (i.e., the monetary base). If we took Ron Paul's proposal one step farther and went to 100% reserve banking, we would suddenly have less than one eighth as many "dollars" as we have now.

Of course, we wouldn't have to use today's market price of gold. At a higher gold price, the same amount of gold would allow us to make more "dollars" of gold coins. However, to replace all of our dollars of paper currency with our available gold would require a gold price of $4050/oz. The gold price would have to be pegged at $6500/oz to replace all of the "dollars" of M1, which is what we would have to do in order to implement 100% reserve banking.

Given that Ron Paul (correctly) points to today's $752/oz gold price as evidence of inflation, it is a strange idea that raising the price to $6500/oz would solve the problem.

In many of Ron Paul's writings, he advocates going to a gold coin standard and simply letting prices fall to make up the difference. Since Paul believes that it was a mistake to depart from the original $20.67/oz conversion price in 1933, let's look at what would happen if we went back to that.

After we replaced M1 with gold coins at $20.67/oz, the general price level would fall. Ron Paul points out that because all wages and prices would fall by the same percentage, this would not matter. However, take the case of a family with a $150,000 mortgage that watched its income fall from $100,000/year to $317/year. It's not clear that this family would believe that they were better off, even though they would now be receiving their pay in gold coins.

These calculations show that Ron Paul's gold coin standard fails for the same reason that the classic gold standard failed-there isn't enough gold in the world to prevent it from being wildly deflationary. Because all America has known for almost 70 years is inflation, many people have forgotten that deflation is much, much worse. The Great Depression was caused by deflation. People want stable money, but they aren't willing to starve to get it.

Fortunately, it is possible to stabilize the dollar and create an economic boom at the same time. Judge Poe's bill, H.R. 6690, would do this. It would require the Federal Reserve to use its Open Market operations to bring the COMEX price of gold down to $500/oz and keep it there. H.R. 6690 would also give the economy a powerful supply-side stimulus in the form of "first year expensing" of all capital investment.

H.R. 6690 defines the value of the dollar in terms of the market value of gold, but does not use gold as money. In this way, Judge Poe's bill would not create a new and potentially unlimited source of demand for a scarce commodity. This is the key difference between H.R. 6690 and both Ron Paul's approach and the classic gold standard.

Ron Paul believes that governments should not have the power to create money. However, the U.S. Constitution gives the Federal government exactly that power. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution provides that: "The Congress shall have Power...To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures..."

Ron Paul argues that paper currency amounts to "bills of credit" and that the Constitution prohibits the Federal government from issuing these, and from making them "legal tender". However, the only place in the Constitution where these issues are mentioned is Article I, Section 10, which merely denies these powers to the States. Ron Paul believes that the Framers should have denied these powers to Congress as well, but they did not.

As it happens, it is a very good thing that Congress has the power to issue paper money. It would be impossible to "regulate" the dollar to a stable value if it were not possible to adjust the supply of dollars to meet market demand. The lack of this ability is the flaw in both Ron Paul's proposed gold coin standard and the classic gold standard.

The flaw in our current monetary regime is that Congress has abdicated its responsibility under the Constitution to "...regulate the Value..." of the dollar. H.R. 6690 corrects this problem by defining the value of the dollar as being equal to the market value of 1/500th of an ounce of gold. It also ensures that the Federal Reserve will supply the market with all of the paper dollars it wants at this price.

It is likely that the market demand for the stable "H.R. 6690 dollar" would be huge. The financial markets yearn for a single, stable, world currency, and the now-regulated dollar would quickly become this. Fortunately, H.R. 6690 places no limit on the number of dollars that the Fed can create. It merely requires that each dollar always be worth as much as 1/500th of an ounce of gold. The Fed would likely find itself in the position of having to buy up billions of dollars worth of Treasury bonds to meet the increased market demand for the U.S. monetary base, but this is something it can easily do.

In directing the Fed to maintain the real value of the dollar, H.R. 6690 will force the Fed to stop trying to control interest rates. This will be a good thing. Interest rates are the price of capital, which represents the right to control real resources for a period of time. Interest rates should be set by the market. That is to say, interest rates should be set by the interaction of savers, who supply real resources and investors, who put those resources to productive use.

The Fed cannot create real resources. All it can do is to print money and use that money to commandeer real resources. This process causes inflation, and it is therefore a good thing that H.R. 6690 will prevent the Fed from doing this.

Judge Poe's bill, H.R. 6690, takes the Constitution at face value and uses the powers granted to Congress to solve the biggest single problem facing the U.S. economy. Unlike Ron Paul's gold coin standard idea, H.R. 6690 would actually work.

Louis R. Woodhill, an engineer and software entrepreneur, is on the Leadership Council of the Club for Growth. He can be reached at

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Case You Didn't Know

  • For too long, our nation's leaders have talked about reforming health care. Now it is time to act. John McCain believes we can and must provide access to better health care, at lower cost, for every American. The key to achieving this health care reform is to return more control to the patients themselves.
  • John McCain will reform the tax code to offer more health care choices by providing refundable tax credits ($2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families) to offset the cost of insurance. John McCain will encourage and expand the benefits of Health Savings Accounts for families. In this era of increasing global economic integration, Senator McCain understands that American workers are switching jobs more and more frequently. As president, John McCain will ease the burden on American wo rkers by making insurance more portable so that their insurance follows them from one job to the next.
  • John McCain has a comprehensive health care plan that will reduce costs, make health care more accessible, and improve the quality of medical care. Senator Barack Obama's plan to socialize the American health care system will have disastrous consequences on the timeliness and quality of health care services. Barack Obama's plan will also force American families to pay drastically higher taxes to pay for health care. At a time when there needs to be more competition in the health care sector, Senator Obama is pushing for less.
Freedom Flag

I was listening to the Glenn Beck show on CNN this evening and first learned about the Freedom Flag.

Glenn had a gentleman on whose mission is to have the flag in half of the schools by September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of that horrible and tragic day when so many innocent lives were lost to Islamic extremists bent on destroying the United States.

The guest, whose name I didn't get, gave the history of the flag. A restaurant owner in Virginia, where the Pentagon is located, designed the flag and displayed it in his restaurant so that his patrons would have a visual reminder of what happened.

The flag symbols are described as:
  • Blue Background: all Americans united together for freedom
  • White Star: all who lived and died for freedom
  • Five White Bars: the Pentagon and the organized protection of our freedom
  • Top Red Stripe: the bloodshed of those who perished at the Pentagon and the crew and passengers on American Airlines Flight 77
  • Two Broad Red Stripes: the Twin Towers and the bloodshed of the people who perished at the World Trade Center and on American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175
  • Bottom Red Stripe: the bloodshed of the crew and passengers who perished on United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania
  • Three White Stripes: the rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, Port Authority employees, and others who worked tirelessly during and after the terrorist attacks"
The Twin Towers symbolism is of course more obvious when the flag is hanging vertically.

This is something we need to remind us that there are still people out there who want to destroy us and our way of life. We should need nothing to remind us, but being human, the longer we go without another "incident", we will forget until we're reminded of it.

The guest mentioned that there is a website for the Freedom Flag but when I went to it (while he was still talking about it), and found some of the information I heard on Glenn Beck. Please, go and read both sites. 

From the Virginia Freedom Flag site:

"The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates officially designated the Freedom Flag as the Commonwealth's official symbol of remembrance during the 2003 General Assembly session. Gov. Mark Warner issued an executive order on Feb. 24 proclaiming the Freedom Flag as Virginia's official symbol of remembrance for September 11, 2001."

Businessman and Richmond, Virginia resident Richard Nicholas Melito drew a sketch on a napkin of the first Freedom Flag on the evening of September 20, 2001.

Glenn's guest said that other states have adopted the flag. I haven't had a chance to look into that yet.

Does anyone know what other states may have adopted it?

I wonder if we can't get the flag in ALL schools by September 11, 2011.

I don't see why it can't be done.

Do you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ObamaTax 3.0
September 9, 2008; (WSJ) Page A24

The good news is that Barack Obama said on ABC Sunday that he might not go through with his plans to increase taxes.

The bad news is that the economy has to be mired in recession to avoid the largest tax increase in the nation's history.

Our check of the Dow Jones Factiva database suggests that other than viewers of ABC's "This Week," only three or four newspapers carried an account of Senator Obama's amended tax plan. While it's possible that the story of a deferred tax increase could shock the media into paralysis, we take it as an encouraging sign. The education of Barack Obama continues apace.

For the record, here is what he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Mr. Stephanopoulos: "So even if we're in a recession next January, you come into office, you'll still go through with your tax increases?"

Senator Obama: "No, no, no, no, no. What I've said, George, is that even if we're still in a recession, I'm going to go through with my tax cuts. That's my priority."

Mr. Stephanopoulos: "But not the increases?"

Senator Obama: "I think we've got to take a look and see where the economy is. The economy is weak right now. The news with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, I think, along with the unemployment numbers indicates that we're fragile. I want to accelerate those tax cuts through a second stimulus package, get more money into the pockets of ordinary Americans, see if we can stabilize the housing market, and then we're going to have to reevaluate at the beginning of the year to see what kind of hole we're in."

* * *

Even individuals staring down the barrel of Mr. Obama's tax increases should not wish for an economic recession to give them a reprieve. The relevant point is that it was early last year, when the "Bush economy" was still humming, that Senator Obama first proposed pushing taxes sharply upward on "the wealthy," while giving what he calls "tax cuts" (actually they are credits, not rate reductions) to "the middle class."

At the time, Mr. Obama was the long shot in the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes, and it made some political sense to reassure the party's intensely liberal primary voters with class-war boilerplate on taxes.

Under ObamaTax 1.0, he would have repealed all the Bush tax cuts, lifted the cap on wages subject to the payroll tax, put the top marginal rate up to 39.8% and raised the rate on capital gains and dividends to at least 25% from 15% now. The official campaign line was that tax rates really don't matter to economic growth.

Summer arrived, the Clinton challenge was history and with the general election ahead came ObamaTax 2.0. It posited that the top rate on capital gains now would be 20%, described on this page August 14 by economic advisers Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee1 as "almost a third lower than the rate President Reagan set in 1986." This was progress.

Now with the big vote less than 60 days off and John McCain pounding him as a tax-raiser and pulling ahead in some polls, the Democratic nominee has decided to release ObamaTax 3.0, the most interesting upgrade so far. If the economy is still weak in January, a President Obama might defer all of the planned increases.

Several interpretations of this shift are possible, none of which reflect badly on Senator Obama's political learning curve.

At the bloodless level of simply wishing to win, the Obama camp may have concluded that in the sprint to November it is a losing strategy to be the election's only doctrinaire tax raiser. A tight race tends to focus political minds, and none forget Walter Mondale's catastrophic promise in his 1984 acceptance speech: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did."

Beyond this lies the economic reality of jacking up income, investment and payroll taxes on "the wealthy" amid a flat or falling economy. In the standard narrative, these taxpayers exist as fat cats atop hedge funds, banks and megacorporations. Let's toss into the vat the top-tier managers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Beltway's own fat-cat sinecure.

The reality is that the creators of new jobs in the economy are more likely to be rising entrepreneurs or filers under Subchapter S, who typically pay taxes at individual rates. Hanging three or four tax millstones around their productive necks in January if the economy is weak will likely produce unimpressive growth and job numbers in the first year of the new Obama Presidency, and likely beyond. That in turn could drag down the Democrats in Congress who will get credit for voting these higher taxes into law.

Thus Mr. Obama's unambiguous answer Sunday to whether he'd insist on his tax increases if the economy is in an official recession: "No, no, no, no, no." It seems Mr. McCain is right that taxes do matter.

Mr. Obama's most ardent primary supporters may not like it, but we'll take the five "Nos" as evidence that Senator Obama may be learning the difference between liberal doctrine and sensible governance.
We'll Protect Taxpayers From More Bailouts
September 9, 2008; (WSJ) Page A25

The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another outrageous, but sadly necessary, step for these two institutions. Given the long-term mismanagement and flawed structure of these two companies, this was the only short-term alternative for ensuring that hard-working Americans have access to affordable mortgages during this difficult economic period.

We are strong advocates for the permanent reform of Fannie and Freddie. For years, Congress failed to act and it is deeply troubling that what we are now seeing is an exercise in crisis management rather than sound planning, and at great cost to taxpayers.

We promise the American people that our administration will be different. We have long records of standing up to special interests and providing the leadership to change government and make it more accountable to the American taxpayer. In our administration, every agency and department will undergo rigorous oversight and review. We will require the highest standards of accounting, reporting and transparency ever demanded in government.

Enduring reform of Fannie and Freddie is a key first step. We will make sure that they are permanently restructured and downsized, and no longer use taxpayer backing to serve lobbyists, management, boards and shareholders.

Treasury has broadly followed the McCain plan, outlined months ago, and gets at the short-term heart of the problem. That plan reinforces the federal commitment to meet our obligations and get this mess behind us. It replaces management and board members. It requires that shareholders take losses first. It puts taxpayers first in line for any repayments. And it terminates future lobbying, which was one of the primary contributors to this great debacle.

Along with the commitment of taxpayers' dollars, we should make market reforms to help ensure that we do not face this problem again. We will make sure the marketplace understands its obligations. Homeowners must be able to understand the terms and obligations of their mortgages. In return, they have an obligation to provide truthful financial information, and should be subject to penalty if they do not. Policies must be in place to ensure that homeowners provide a responsible down payment of equity in the initial purchase of a loan. In the future, Fannie, Freddie or any government organization should never insure a loan when the homeowner doesn't have enough of his or her own capital in the investment.

Lenders who initiate loans will be held accountable for the quality and performance of those loans, and strict standards must be required in the lending process. Every lender must be required to meet the highest standards of ethical behavior, with recourse if they do not perform.

Reforms are necessary now to make mortgage lending and banking organizations more transparent. We will require greater disclosure, so that complex derivative instruments and excessive leverage can't put the marketplace, and the financial security of your home, at risk.

We will push the nation's top mortgage lenders to provide maximum support to help cash-strapped, but credit-worthy customers. Lenders should do everything possible to keep families in their homes and business growing.

Fixing Fannie and Freddie, and reforming our mortgage and financial markets, is critical to getting the housing market and the entire economy moving again. A great deal of the savings and wealth of American families is wrapped up in the value of their homes. A house has traditionally been the wealth-building course to retirement. The housing industry employs millions of Americans. One of us, John McCain, said over two years ago, "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose."

Fannie and Freddie's lobbyists succeeded and Congress failed. Under our administration this will not happen again.

In the first 100 days of our administration, we will look at every agency and department and expenditure of the federal government and ask this simple question: Is it serving the needs of the taxpayer? If it is not, we will reform it or shut it down, and we will spend money only on what is truly in the interest of the American people.

Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin are, respectively, the Republican candidates for president and vice president.

found here
In Case You Didn't Know

  • Entrepreneurs are at the heart of American innovation, growth and prosperity. John McCain believes that entrepreneurs should not be taxed into submission.
  • He will preserve low taxes for small business and create more jobs. On the other hand, Senator Obama's proposal is to lift the payroll tax income cap, which would result in the largest Tax increase in American history. Senator Obama will raise taxes on three million small business owners.
  • John McCain's economic plan will help small businesses grow by providing investment incentives. His proposal would allow businesses to immediately deduct the cost of equipment investment, providing a valuable pro-growth investment incentive. Meanwhile, Senator Obama will impose across the board tax increases which will leave small business owners with fewer resources to invest in their businesses.
  • The bottom line is that across this country, millions of American families are hurting. They are concerned about the prospect of losing a job or a home and need help from our nation's leaders. As president, John McCain will act quickly and decisively to meet today's economy challenges. He will implement the reforms needed to promote the country's economic growth. Senator Obama's plan for the economy is about raising taxes, increasing government spending and isolating America from the benefits of the global economy.
Pork in the Presidential Race
Posted on August 28, 2008 by Alexa Moutevelis

CCAGW’s 2007 Congressional Ratings came out yesterday and you may be wondering how the presidential nominees did.

• Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) 2007 rating was 10 percent, making his lifetime score 18 percent. The 2008 Congressional Pig Book contained 53 earmarks worth $97.4 million for Sen. Obama, including $1,648,850 for the Shedd Aquarium.

• Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) received the worst possible rating in 2007 with 0 percent, while his lifetime rating is 22 percent. According to the Pig Book, Sen. Biden had 70 earmarks for a total of $119.7 million in fiscal year 2008, including $246,100 for the Grand Opera House in Wilmington.

• Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) received a score of 100* percent and has a lifetime rating of 88, has never requested nor received a single earmark, and has pledged to veto any spending bill that contains any earmarks.

*Sen. McCain was only present for 11 of the 35 Senate votes that CCAGW tallied. Therefore, he was not eligible for the Taxpayer Super Hero Award

found here
In Case You Didn't Know

  • John McCain has a comprehensive "all of the above" energy plan -- the Lexington Project -- that provides Americans with much needed relief at the pump while utilizing every source to move toward energy independence. John McCain believes we need to aggressively develop new advanced alternative energies while developing more existing energies here at home like nuclear power, clean coal technology and offshore drilling.
  • Barack Obama believes that we can achieve energy independence without using and increasing these existing resources, which once again underscores the fact that Barack Obama lacks the judgment and experience to effectively tackle the challenges that America is facing.
  • Senator Obama continues to oppose off-shore drilling and oppose the use of nuclear power. These misguided policies would result in higher energy costs for American families and businesses and increased dependence on foreign oil.
S.C. Dem chair: Palin primary qualification is she hasn't had an abortion

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate " whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Palin is an opponent of abortion rights and gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, earlier this year after finding out during her pregnancy that the baby had Down syndrome.

Fowler told my colleague Alex Burns in an interview that the selection of an opponent of abortion rights would not boost McCain among many women.

“Among Democratic women and even among independent women, I don’t think it helped him,” she said.

Told of McCain's boost in the new ABC/Washington Post among white women following the Palin pick, Fowler said: "Just anecdotally, I believe that those white women are Republican women anyway."


from here

What an incredibly sexist, not to mention stupid, moronic remark this is, especially since it's from a woman. How appalling that a woman would say something so demeaning as to completely dismiss Governor Palin's accomplishments as a wife, mother, PTA member, mayor, governor, and now Vice Presidential candidate. 

I could make remarks about Ms. Fowler, but I don't know her and would never lower myself to that level. I will say that it sounds like she's running scared and saying something that she already regrets saying. Fox News has been trying to contact her and she's reportedly out of the country and unreachable. Uh, huh and I have a oceanfront property in Missouri for sale. Unreachable? In this day and age? Sorry, that dog won't hunt.

Could she be running scared and saying whatever she happens to think that might hurt Governor Palin? Governor Palin is an accomplished young woman who has, not just a good, but brilliant, political future before her. She's still young enough that she be a considerable force in politics for years to come.

Obama will come out and rightly condemn this incredibly stupid, foolish statement. I have no doubt that it is Ms. Fowler's opinion and not that of Obama or the Democratic Party in general. But, considering that Ms. Fowler is the chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, it is an incredibly inflamatory thing to say. If this is the thinking of the Democratic Woman, I'm happier than ever that I had the good sense to leave the Democratic party years ago.

My suggestion to Ms. Fowler is to step down from the chair before the SCDP dumps you. Which they should do if she doesn't voluntarily step down. You don't need women in her position spewing such stupid, witless, thoughtless remarks. Everyone says stupid things. Believe me, I am the Queen of Making Stupid Remarks, but I am not the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party. The sad part is, Ms. Fowler may have been a wonderful chairman, but she's wrecked her own credibility. I hope she hasn't damaged her husband as well.

Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark will blow over. I have a feeling that this will be a much harder issue to overcome.
Palin's a Tough, Smart Conservative Woman: Deal With It!
By David Limbaugh
September 9, 2008

Liberals excel in blinding themselves to their own biases and hypocrisy and blaming conservatives for their own sins, all of which they are showcasing in their frantic reaction to the Sarah Palin nomination.

Not only are they trying to destroy Palin. They are straight-facedly denying it and accusing Republicans of manufacturing this charge to exhibit phony sympathy for women.

Conservatives, after all, couldn't possibly be supportive of female Palin based on merit; it's just a political ploy to purloin Hillary voters. Liberal captives of identity politics just can't comprehend that neither gender nor race matters to conservatives. It's all about the candidate's political philosophy, approach to governance and qualifications to serve-- not those artificial constructs that liberals have exploited through the years.

Don't get me wrong. Palin's beauty and tough-as-nails femininity are refreshing icing on a delicious cake for conservatives, but if she were not demonstrably conservative, they'd be depressed -- not energized.

But you'll never convince the liberal press, which sees everything through the lens of gender and race consciousness and indiscriminately projects that propensity onto conservatives.

Thus, Newsweek's Anna Quindlen is reduced to grousing about the "hypocrisy" of conservatives in honoring the Palins for bringing a baby with Down syndrome to term rather than scolding them with "pursed-lip accusations of promiscuity."

Conservatives, said Quindlen, have "inveighed against affirmative action" yet celebrate the affirmative action that "undoubtedly played a part in" the Palin selection. And how can conservatives credibly complain about personal attacks against Palin, when "the wingnuts of their own party elevated such attacks to a fine art by accusing Hillary Rodham Clinton of fictitious misdeeds from treason to murder"?

Like many liberals, poor Anna can't seem to distinguish between hating the sin and hating the sinner. Nor does she grasp the difference between government-mandated race- or gender-based preferences and the private selection of individuals for public service who happen to be in "minority" categories. She is also confused on the distinction between dozens of legitimate charges against the Clintons and the trumped-up slanders against Sarah Palin. When you've caught Bill Clinton red-handed in multiple felonies and Hillary in gross improprieties on which she got a complete media pass -- such as the cattle futures and missing law firm billing records -- who needs the more sensational allegations of treason and murder?

But despite her best efforts, Quindlen's obtuseness doesn't hold a candle to that of MSNBC's Chris Matthews. On "Hardball," Matthews derisively mocked Pat Buchanan for defending Palin against media attacks, accusing him of "a 1950s version of chivalry," false "sensitivity," "political cross-dressing" and assuming the role of Dr. Phil.

Revealing the narrowly calibrated liberal mind, Matthews wrongly assumes that conservatives are cynically playing the gender card in defending Palin and, in the process, demeaning women and hurting their cause. "This courtesy that you expect people to show her is debasing her potential as a leader of this country."

Nice try, Chris. But conservatives are defending Palin not out of chivalry, but against false charges. Our invocation of gender is solely to point out liberal hypocrisy for engaging in the sexism they pretend to decry. For example, consider their condemnation of Palin as an unfit mother for working a demanding job while having young children at home.

Matthews, saying Palin is ducking press scrutiny, started a bogus altercation with Buchanan over the public's "right" to have candidates submit to "tough questions" from an "objective" journalist.

Matthews needs shock treatments if he thinks the liberal media are objective. Would someone buy him a mirror -- or tapes of his own program? Even his own bosses dumped him as convention anchor because of his overt bias. Indeed, a Rasmussen poll indicates that 51 percent believe the press is trying to hurt Palin.

Buchanan was simply saying the candidates can make their own decisions concerning media access and pointing out that voters will be free to draw their own conclusions from those decisions.

Liberals are accusing Palin of avoiding the media to create the impression she has a reason to hide from them. She was just nominated, for crying out loud. Take a breath. She has already agreed to an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, and there will be plenty more.

But while we're on this subject, have the media talked about Obama's incompetence without a teleprompter or his flip-flop on agreeing to unscripted town hall meetings with McCain? Have "objective" journalists asked Joe Biden about his plagiarism or his autocratic plan to divide Iraq into three separate nations whether Iraqis like it or not? Did they ever demand to see John Kerry's medical records?

The more liberals mistreat Palin and act like transparent 2-year-olds in projecting onto conservatives their own patronizing proclivities the more their true colors will be apparent. So please keep it up.


David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His book "Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party" was released recently in paperback. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his Web site at



Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.

found here
Lipstick on a Pig

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said to an outbreak of laughter, shouts and raucous applause from his audience, clearly drawing a connection to Palin's joke even if it's not what Obama meant. "It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

I think it's clear that I'm a huge Palin fan. I think that Palin is the best thing that's come into the Republican spotlight in many years. John McCain made an inspired choice when he chose Governor Sarah as his running mate.

Now, admitting my admiration of and for Governor Sarah, I just don't think this was a swipe at her. I heard the clip and read the words and believe Barack Obama was referring to McCain's platform. Obama believes that McCain is simply trying to re-brand Bush policies. The fact that his audience saw it as a reference to Governor Sarah is something else. He saw the reaction and probably realized what he just said. He even chuckled when he saw and heard the audience reaction. I think he realized that the comment would link to Governor Sarah, but you know, the words were out there and he couldn't take it back.

All that being said, hearing the clip and reading the words, it may have been an unfortunate choice to use the word "lipstick" since Sarah herself used the word "lipstick" during her acceptance speech comparing hockey moms to woverines. "Putting lipstick on a pig" is an old saying meaning to make something pretty that is dirty and/or ugly.

Should he apologize? Well, if he's the man he says he is, he will bow to voter perception and offer an apology of sorts. Perhaps something along the lines that it wasn't intended to be a slam at Palin, but at the McCain platform. He really needs to address it and get it off the radar. Of course, since I'm a Palin fan, I'd rather he kept quiet about it and let it remain as a topic of conversation. Let it boil and roil until it costs him a lot of votes.

It's a communications issue. Perception is everything. Most people just don't get that when they say something, they know what they mean, but the other person may not. Oh, we hear the words, but maybe not in the way you meant. Everyone hears the words, but they are defined by not only by the actual definition, but by each person's own life experiences, attitudes, their perceptions of the candidate, their personal stand on issues, and yes, even their mood at the time.

Obama is a great speaker, especially when reading from a script. That's why he does so well speaking to huge groups. McCain speaks better "shooting from the hip" and does very well in speaking in town hall type events. Their supporters are going to hear what the candidate has to say in context of their support for and admiration of the candidate. The candidates can say the same thing in different words and I'd bet that the Obama supporters would berate McCain and McCain supporters would berate Obama.

Recently my work group was subjected to a verbal tongue lashing by one of our supervisors. It started when the supervisor perceived that one of us wasn't paying attention. In reality, he was. The supervisor asked the group member to repeat what the supervisor had just said and I'm happy to say that he was able to do so. The supervisor went on to berate the entire group for not paying attention. Some may have been insulted at the perception that they weren't paying attention. I wasn't as I knew it didn't apply to me. Of the people I spoke to about what happened, all were of the same mind as I was: What was that all about? None of us took it personally, but we were perplexed as to where it had come from. This supervisor is known for going off on things most of us know nothing about, so we just figured it more of the same.

So, getting back to perception in campaign remarks, some people are going to hear statements made by all the candidates and take them in ways that the candidate may not have meant. This is going to happen especially when the candidate is speaking in an off-the-cuff, shoot from the hip, unscripted event. When the candidates are making scripted appearances, speaking from written speeches, this is isn't as likely to happen. When this kind of remark is made during a written speech, it's usually done to make a point. Speeches are reviewed specifically to make sure that the candidate's points are made and that as few voters as possible are offended.

That's a big thing in politics. Don't offend the voters! Speeches and unscripted appearances are meant to attract as many voters as possible. No candidate deliberately offends the voters. Especially the all-important ones - the ones you might be able to swing to your side.

No, I'm not an Obama supporter and if I could use this to yank the legs out from under his campaign, I would. But in this case, I don't think he meant to say Governor Sarah Palin is a pig.

If he did, then perhaps he needs to change the shade of lipstick he wears.