Time and again President Obama has told us how he intends to solve our health care problems: spend money on pilot programs and other experiments; find out what works and then go copy it. He's also repeatedly said the same thing about education. The only difference: in education we've already been following this approach with no success for 25 years.
This approach to “merit pay” seems to be the equivalent of a t-ball game in which everybody gets a hit and scores a run. If nearly every teacher is receiving “merit pay,” then it ceases to be actual merit pay, and instead becomes a kind of generic bonus that won’t motivate anybody.
The proposal involves the creation of a "European Monetary Fund" and it will require changes to the Maastricht Treaty. Paul Krugman does not like the austerity measures and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet had to eat his words regarding defaults and acceptance of defaulted bonds as collateral. German taxpayers may potentially be screwed big time on this bailout.
“I’m afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States,” he said. “Those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the president.”
After campaigning for “equality” (which is something certain persons believe they secure only by being “married” to someone of the same sex), homosexual activists in New York were ecstatic to see New York legislators fabricate same-sex “marriage” on June 24.
In a great victory for religious liberty and equal treatment under the law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overturned a federal district court’s ruling which barred Centro Familiar Cristiano Buenos Nuevas Christian Church from occupying and holding worship services in its own building in downtown Yuma, Ariz.
Say The New York Post hired Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's daughter to denounce several U.S. legislators and a former U.S. President as "insane"-- but described this apparatchik for a terror-sponsor innocently as a "columnist" and "Teheran-based news analyst." Might the disclosure of her employment and pedigree merit media mention?
There has been a frenzy of drummed up controversy about Marcus Bachmann, the psychologist husband of a Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). His “scandal?” A counselor in a practice run by Dr. Bachmann offered a client the service he requested.
Dodd-Frank, the 2,300-page financial "reform" monstrosity spearheaded by Capitol Hill corruptocrats, turned 1 this week. It made too-big banks bigger. It made too-risky incentives riskier. It made a lousy economy lousier. Billed as a "consumer protection" act, Dodd-Frank has succeeded phenomenally -- in protecting and stimulating the business-stifling business of government.
Every political movement has its rhetorical strengths and weaknesses. The right can wax poetic about liberty and freedom, the left about the nobility of the poor and downtrodden. Nowhere do these differences come across more starkly than on the subject of taxation.
The vaunted budget plan from the "Gang of Six" is said to be growing in popularity, but all you need to know to oppose the plan is that a "gang" is behind it. Also, President Obama and Sen. Dick Durbin both support it. But let's not stop there.
Free medicine! That's what Obamacare has brought you -- or should bring you, at least according to CNN. The story's opening sentence set the tone: "Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health reform law, a new report recommends."
They were called "terrorists," "fanatics" and "unpatriotic." Yet the principled resistance of the Tea Party Caucus in the House has put their leader right across the table from Barack Obama to negotiate the final terms of armistice in the debt-ceiling battle of 2011.
The granddaddy speculation of them all is the possibility Merkel might drop her opposition to common Euro bonds. That is the "nanny state" option I have written about many times recently. Fearing the common bond nanny state possibility, Otmar Issing, former ECB president issued a statement called the backers of common bonds "Euro Gravediggers".
Today marks one year since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was signed into law. One year since Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and former Senator Chris Dodd (R-CT) chose to ignore our concerns that this bill would stifle the recovery, harm job creation and crush Main Street America.
"Taxing American energy companies would actually increase the debt and deficit. It would also have the unintended consequence of forcing these companies to relocate to more hospitable tax climates overseas, taking American jobs with them."
Syria does not sit atop an ocean of oil, as does Saudi Arabia. It does not have a huge population as does Egypt. It does not wield economic and military clout like Turkey. But under the oppressive rule of Bashar al-Assad, Syria has been the primary agent of Iran’s ruling jihadis within the Arab world.
For those who voted for President Barack Obama expecting him to bridge America's "racial divide," a question: "How's that working for you?"
Gambling has proliferated in America in recent years, and it's not about to stop. The Illinois legislature has approved a bill authorizing more casinos as well as slot machines at race tracks. Ohio has four new casinos in the pipeline. Maine voters approved a new one last year. Massachusetts lawmakers plan to consider a gambling expansion this fall.
For some strange reason, some union activists prefer their organizations be referred to as “associations,” as opposed to unions. That's odd, given that the National Education Association has grabbed the union mantle with both hands, and the American Federation of Teachers adopted the slogan "A union of professionals."
Let's face facts: People have congregated around the water cooler since Mr. Dithers chased Dagwood around his desk. Still, I suppose the same management no-nos could make sense when you're chatting the boss up by the espresso machine or the ozone generator. Let's take a closer look and decide.
Once again the BLS does not ask directly ask people if they are employed. Rather the BLS determines that answer with a set of questions that likely produce a far different, and higher answer. Like do you have been paid for any work you did last week? If you answered yes, congratulations, you're employed!
Now, there are glitches in this plan that cannot be overlooked. The biggest is the harsher treatment of capital gains. In a CNBC interview on Tuesday, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told me that the investment tax rate would rise to 20 percent from 15 percent. This is a black mark. It's anti-growth. Coburn, however, also told me that the tax treatment of IRAs and 401(k)s would not change in this plan. That's good.
When governments want to encourage what they believe is beneficial behavior, they subsidize it. Sounds like good public policy. But there can be problems. Behavior that is beneficial for most people may not be so for everybody. And government subsidies can go too far.
In December 1996, a Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, who sounded suspiciously like union goons, claimed to have inadvertently tapped into a phone conversation between then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and House Republican leadership.
It's not exactly news that Obama is determined to go to unprecedented lengths to mollify, appease and otherwise pander to the "Muslim world." But at what point do these efforts cross the line from a misbegotten policy to one that is downright anti-American?
I'm working the refreshment tent this week at the music festival in my hometown, putting in my volunteer hours for our children's school, when I realize I am not shocked by the tattoo-covered, fifty-something woman walking toward me in Daisy Duke shorts and midriff-baring bustier.
Every dollar of the $3.7 trillion dollars that the Federal government is scheduled to spend before September 30, 2011 has got a patron - someone who believes that dollar is not just a good and necessary expenditure; but better and more crucial than any other of the dollars the government is scheduled to spend.
Immediately after President Obama took office, his Hollywood benefactors clamored for the creation of a "Secretary of Culture." Tinseltown was disappointed with the administration's crony arts czar choice (Chicago lawyer Kareem Dale), but left-wing artists and entertainers have now been mollified.
Herman Cain has an impressive record in the business world. He was a successful vice president at Pillsbury and Burger King, then he turned around the failing Godfather's Pizza. Is that the kind of person the country needs as president? Cain thinks so.
The president, we are told, is a pragmatist for wanting a "fair and balanced" budget deal. What that means is tax increases must accompany spending cuts. Any significant spending cuts would be way in the future. The tax increases would begin right after Obama is re-elected.
Senator Mitch McConnell’s original suggestion for solving the nation’s debt ceiling dilemma outraged many of his fellow conservatives and would, if enacted in its initial form, have probably produced deep disgust in the public at large
For those who couldn't tell from my name, I'm a Jew. Not only am I Jew, I'm an Orthodox Jew. I pray three times a day to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I keep kosher. I wear phylacteries in the morning, and I say the Shema at night. And I love Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response."
It should surprise no one that a government that will not adequately enforce the immigration laws within its own Energy Department facilities will not adequately enforce them anywhere else.
Remember that the president's last tangible stab at a "responsible choice" was a budget that would have added $9 trillion of debt over the next 10 years. This was months before he realized the debt ceiling debate and "economic Armageddon" could bring about political opportunity.
Once when George W. Bush looked to be in steep political trouble, his mother Barbara famously said that she'd seen this movie before and didn't like how it ended.
Consider this an obituary for a newspaper. The suddenly late News of the World succumbed at 168 this month to a fatal case of shame aggravated by financial calculation. Its chronic hubris became acute under its latest owner, who has not been free of that malady himself.
Only in Washington, D.C., would Mitch McConnell's Rube Goldbergian plan to capitulate on the national debt limit without admitting it be taken seriously. The Senate minority leader's "Plan B" is Exhibit A in the case against Congress, which dodges responsibility with the alacrity of a roach dodging a shoe.
As Greek 2-year debt yields hit 39.15% the bond market finally forced the ECB's hand, and the Trichet group comes out looking foolish, not only on his "we say no to default" stance, even temporary defaults, but also on his ridiculous bluff repeated for the nth time just 2 days ago regarding the acceptance of Greek bonds as collateral.
Obama and his friends have seriously miscalculated the public’s desire to have federal government intrude into their life. And the GOP will miscalculate if they think that the type of deal they cut in the spring to raise the debt limit will satisfy the base this time around.
I know your heart is in the right place, but I don’t want you to fall into the American trap of thinking he’ll be happy if he has a Wii or you take expensive vacations every year. It sounds to me like he’s coming straight out of a big mess.
From the time we are children until our dying day, we will find ourselves subjected to ridicule and hate when we dare to stand for what is right. And when it happens, we also painfully discover that decent bystanders are often silenced by fear.
Child custody and support laws have become more onerous over the last 50 years due to fewer parents staying together and women becoming equally as capable as men at earning a living outside the home.
Like Douglas Adams' description of space, the economic issues in this country have become quite big. In fact, most people are, in a very real way, unable to comprehend how "vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big" our problems have become.
There is an overarching reason we can't move toward a balanced budget, which underscores why we face ongoing stalemates over debt ceilings and continuing resolutions: President Obama doesn't want to balance the budget.
If your disgust over America's crushing debt and the irresponsible leaders who refuse to reduce unnecessary spending has reached the fed-up point, there is an easy solution beyond whatever compromise might be reached in the current standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans. Vote Republican in 2012.
While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society's moral character.
If Washington fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and default follows, the results won't mirror that of L.A.'s "Carmageddon" weekend (when Angelenos stayed home in response to a major freeway closure and then blamed the media for over-hyping the story).
One of the things that can "save" the Euro is the creation of a European Nanny State, complete with joint fiscal policy and joint government bonds. Jean-Claude Juncker, head Euro-Zone finance minister, is in favor of the idea and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet is agnostic. However, Jens Weidmann, the head of German Central Bank has ruled out the idea.
Almost two weeks after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) released a report last week that detailed evidence of cheating on the state test in the Atlanta Public School System (APS), parents are still left to wonder who will be held responsible for these appalling actions.
After the defeat of card check at the legislative ballot box, the former SEIU goon is acting creatively in order to implement portions of card check unilaterally. What would one expect from a guy appointed to his position despite his nomination being rejected by the Senate?
Talk is cheap. That's not me saying it. That's the world's three credit agencies, Moody's, Finch and now Standard & Poor's, which all have threatened that the U.S. risks losing its top-notch credit rating if it cannot fix the debt mess.
More than two years ago, the nation was told by then Illinois Senator and now President Barack Obama, that there would be a new era of openness and transparency in government consistent with promises he made to change the way business was done in Washington, D.C.
It was seven months ago that Mohammed Bouazizi, a vegetable peddler in Tunisia set himself and the Arab world on fire. The 26-year-old staged his suicidal protest on the steps of the local city hall after a municipal inspector took away his unlicensed vegetable cart thus denying him the ability to feed his family of eight.
As Washington spends the summer arguing over its spending addiction, GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has a solution to help prevent the same crisis for future generations: a balanced budget amendment.
Albus Dumbledore advised Harry Potter that “Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” As the final installment of the Harry Potter series comes to a close, it becomes clear that Harry was equal to that challenge, and that, despite great personal cost and effort, Harry consistently chose “right” over “easy”.
It's hard to keep up with all the arguments and proposals in the debt limit struggle. But what's at stake is fundamental. The bedrock issue is whether we should have a larger and more expensive federal government. Over many years, federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of gross domestic product.
Whenever I find myself in an extended argument about abortion I find that there are about six arguments I can expect to encounter before the argument has come to term, so to speak. But, fortunately, the six arguments all suffer from one fatal flaw, which makes them somewhat easy to rebut as long as the proponent of life stays focused on the central moral question of the abortion debate, which is “Are the unborn human?”
Approval rates for President Obama among whites have dropped from 56% in early 2009 after he became president to 39% now - a drop of 17 points. But over this same period, Obama’s approval rating among blacks has dropped just 8 points – 93% to 85%.
Anyone who reads articles outside the Mainstream Media is well aware of the lack of diversity of thought on college campuses today. Students with opinions outside the conventional left-wing mantra inevitably face brutal retaliation, often accompanied by administrative reprimands.
There was a time when different entities in this country issued a variety of currencies. It was economic chaos. The federal government stepping in to issue a central medium of exchange solved a lot of problems for a growing nation at the time.
Another week and another round of comments and answers from my friends, both conservative and progressive. I see Lilly and Goshawk and Odin and James. And the week wouldn't be complete if bin Leaded didn't resort to name-calling. I suppose if you are going to write 30,000 words per week on a message board, you are bound to call someone a name sooner or later.
If Obama wants some insight as to why the Republicans don't seem willing to just accept his ideas, he needs to look no further than his own record. As the two charts demonstrate, the policies implemented by the Democrats on his watch the last couple of years are an abysmal failure, having come up far short of even his own promises.
Democratic California state Sen. Loni Hancock is pushing legislation to end California's death penalty. "Capital punishment is an expensive failure and an example of the dysfunction of our prisons," she explained in a statement.
It was once suggested, as a general rule of staying alive, never to fly on an airline named after a state or the owner. As a general rule of sound government, it's also a good idea never to enact a law named after a person. Personalizing criminal law usually stems from fruitless outrage at a freakish event.
Over the last two weeks a series of seemingly unrelated events demonstrate one clear idea. Radical activists, small in number and not even representative of the homosexual community at large, are intolerant bigots, who seek to do harm not just to people with who they disagree, but to those that would be helped by the groups they disagree with.
Cubical walls are designed to be the modern equivalent of bundling boards for consenting co-workers, while corporate retreats, once hedonistic playgrounds for the executive staff, have become sedative as quilting bees, only not as much fun.
Obama offered up a fat pitch that Republicans can hit out of the park. All Republicans have to do is insist on ending collective bargaining rights of public unions and scrapping Davis-Bacon in return for very modest tax hikes. Such a deal would be well worth it. Republicans would even win if Obama rejected it.
While young Americans won’t easily relate to traditional GOP heroes, there are some appealing, contemporary characters whose personal convictions have matured to conservative creeds. I urge the following celebrities to increase their public voice in politics for America’s under-40 population.