Due to surgery no posts for at least a few days

Nothing too horrible, but I will be out of commission for at least four days. Thanks.


Concealed carry permit holder stops armed robbery

From the Press-Register in Mobile, Alabama:

MOBILE, Alabama -- A Mobile man remains in the Mobile County Metro Jail charged with robbing a man walking out of the Church’s Chicken restaurant on Michigan Avenue late Wednesday night, police said today.
Randall Ford, 46, has been charged with the first-degree robbery, Officer Christopher Levy said. Levy said that police received a call to the Church’s Chicken in the 1200 block of Michigan Avenue about 10:52 p.m. Wednesday.
Levy said that a 32-year-old man was exiting the restaurant when a man police identified as Ford walked up to him. The robber, armed with a box cutter, threatened to rob the man, he said.
The victim took out a handgun and shot the robber in the neck, Levy said. Ford was taken to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where he was treated for his injury. He was arrested later. . . . .

Thanks to Robert Jordan for the link.

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NPR all upset about possible spending cut

The Debt Commission "cuts" are often pretend cuts. For example, does anyone take seriously the notion that 40 years from now the government will increase the retirement age by one year? But there seems to be one small cut that they are proposing that makes sense: the elimination of the $500 million currently going to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR claimed just a couple weeks ago that it gets virtually none of its money from the Federal government:

"We do apply for competitive grants from the likes of the Ford Foundation and the Knight Foundation. As a result, some money from CPB does come to us when we win grants. Depending on the year, it represents just 1 to 3 percent of our total budget," she's said.

NPR apologist Norah O'Donnell also tossed out the 1 percent to 3 percent range, and AP reporter Brett Zongker reported, "Federal grants provide less than 2 percent – or $3.3 million – of NPR's $166 million annual budget." . . .

For another reference at MSNBC see here.

Federal grants provide less than 2 percent — or $3.3 million — of NPR's $166 million annual budget. It is funded primarily by its affiliates, corporate sponsors and major donors. . . .

So what does one make of this response to the debt commission proposal today from NPR:

The National Commission’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public media would have a profound and detrimental impact on all Americans. Public radio is the last remaining source of independent, noncommercial and thought-provoking broadcast media in the country — and in some small towns and communities, is the only remaining source of free, accessible local, national and international news and information, music and cultural programming. Public radio stations are located in nearly every major city and small town delivering vital and highly trusted news and information to 37 million Americans each week — reaching more citizens than the circulation of the top 120 national newspapers combined.
In a time of media decline, especially in local, international and investigative reporting, public radio’s role in fostering an informed society has never been as critical as it is today. The public radio audience is one of the few in media that has consistently grown — doubling in the past decade alone.
Federal funding has been a central component of public radio stations’ ability to serve audiences across the country. It’s imperative for funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy survives and thrives well into the future. . . .

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Greed in the Public Sector

High paid government employees find inventive ways around salary caps. Gov. Christie takes them to task here.


Google and Facebook explain why the other company is a bad citizen in taking advantage of people on the internet

Here is an article where Google and Facebook show how each other behave unethically.

It should make us nervous when two of America's most important Web companies resort to sniping through the media over which service really has our best interests at heart.
If you enjoy a good catfight in your tech news arena but can't be bothered to figure out what the hell Larry Ellison and Ray Lane are talking about, we present Google vs. Facebook: No, I'm More Trustworthy. Long headed for a collision, Google and Facebook are currently exchanging blows over which company is a better steward of personal information stored on the Web. . . .



UK government ties work directly to welfare benefits

The British are clearly going in the opposite direction from us.

The government unveiled a radical shake-up of the welfare state Thursday, saying it would withhold benefit payments for up to three years from those who refuse to take jobs.
Prime Minister David Cameron's government wants to introduce a sliding scale of penalties for those who either decline a job offer, fail to apply for a job they are advised to or do not turn up for mandatory four-week work placements.
The weekly 65 pound unemployment benefit will be withheld for three months from those who violate any of the three conditions.
That would rise to six months for a second violation and three years for a third, aides said.
The announcement came as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith prepared to give details of the universal credit, a single welfare payment which officials say will simplify the current complex benefits system and make two and a half million people better off.
Cameron's coalition government, which took power in May, describes the plans as the most radical since the wide-ranging welfare state was put in place just after World War II.
Welfare now accounts for roughly a third of government spending. . . .

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A theory of changes in media bias

So people watch the media that fits their views. But the intensity that different groups of people follow the news will vary systematically over time, just as there are midterm elections that tend to go against the party in power. From Politico:

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press delivers data that puts last week’s huge election night ratings win for Fox News into some context:

While Republicans followed campaign news more closely than Democrats throughout much of 2010, partisans tracked the outcome at similar levels. Fully 57 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats say they followed the election results very closely. Roughly four-in-ten independents (41 percent) say the same. However, Republicans (61 percent) are more likely than Democrats (42 percent) and independents (39 percent) to say the election is the story they followed most closely.
Four years ago, when Democrats tallied large gains, Democrats tracked the midterm results more closely than Republicans or independents. At that time, nearly six-in-ten Democrats (58 percent) said they followed news about the election outcome very closely, compared with 47 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of independents.

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Incoming House Speaker John Boehner will continue using commercial flights to fly home

From Politico:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday he intends to take commercial flights home when he moves up to speaker in the new Congress.

“Over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft, and I am going to continue to do that,” he told reporters.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, took heat in 2007 when she started flying an Air Force jet that could go nonstop back to her congressional district in California.

Her Republican predecessor from Illinois, Denny Hastert, had begun using an Air Force jet as speaker because of the increased security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. . . .


Deficit Commission wimps out on Social Security Reform

A one year increase in retirement age to occur in 2050 is simply not credible. Obama's appointed commission has to do something more to deal with the $110 trillion unfunded liability facing Social Security.

The co-chairmen of the panel appointed by President Obama to cut the U.S. deficit recommend raising the retirement age to 68. It is currently 67 years old for full benefits. The pane leaders also propose reducing the annual cost-of-living increases in Social Security.

Reuters reports that the increase to age 68 would be implemented by 2050 and then would increase again to 69 by 2075, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters. A "hardship exception" would be provided for members if certain occupations where older retirement would be unrealistic, Reuters reported. . . .


Homeowner defensive gun use story

This defensive gun use seems to have gotten more coverage than normal. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
City police are investigating the death of a St. Louis County man who apparently was shot while burglarizing a home in north St. Louis overnight.
About midnight Tuesday, Deandre Robinson was shot at a home being renovated in the 5900 block of Astra Avenue. The area is near Riverview Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue, about a block west of Calvary Cemetery.
Robinson, 26, lived in the 1200 block of Blue Grass Drive in north St. Louis County.
A 27-year-old man told police he heard someone trying to break into the back of his home on Astra. He saw Robinson in the house and shot him several times, police said.
Robinson tried to escape, but collapsed outside. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Police aren't releasing the name of the man who fired the shots. They say he was cooperating with police and wasn't arrested. . . .

Here is another piece on the story.


"More federal workers' pay tops $150,000"

From USA Today:

The number of federal workers earning $150,000 or more a year has soared tenfold in the past five years and doubled since President Obama took office, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
The fast-growing pay of federal employees has captured the attention of fiscally conservative Republicans who won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in last week's elections. Already, some lawmakers are planning to use the lame-duck session that starts Monday to challenge the president's plan to give a 1.4% across-the-board pay raise to 2.1 million federal workers. . . .


My son Roger has another op-ed on liberalism on Campus

Roger's newest piece can be seen here.



Why is the government giving any money to NPR?

There are so many options for alternative formats, why is the government giving money to NPR or Public TV? But there is another reason for defunding, and that is getting government money biases those who receive the money. If your income depends on the government, do you think that it might impact how you stand on cutting taxes? The head of NPR though is starting the campaign to make sure that they keep getting government money.

Speaking at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington Sunday on the “Future of Journalism,” National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller said she takes calls for defunding NPR “very seriously,” while stressing how important government funding is for public broadcasting, especially for NPR’s member stations. She also recognized there’s a possibility that, with the new GOP majority in the House, those calls for defunding might be renewed.

“If defunding to public broadcasting were to occur, it would be devastating to public broadcasting. That’s a fact,” Schiller said. . . .

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Update on Soros' State Secretary of State process

So how is Soros doing in getting State Secretary of States who are sympathetic to groups such as ACORN doing? See here.



"Obama acknowledges decline of US dominance"

Does Obama understand what angers many people about him? Rather than talking about America's best days still being ahead of us, he talks about America being in decline.

Implicitly acknowledging the decline of American dominance, Barack Obama on Sunday said the US was no longer in a position to "meet the rest of the world economically on our terms".

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Mumbai, he said, "I do think that one of the challenges that we are going face in the US, at a time when we are still recovering from the financial crisis is, how do we respond to some of the challenges of globalisation? The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I'll turn 50 next year - the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms. And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition." . . .


Sarah Palin shows that she is smarter than a WSJ reporter who was trying to attack her intelligence

Palin is a lot smarter than those on the left believe and it is a big mistake that they will make at their own expense. See the discussion here.

The WSJ editorial page has this:

The former Alaskan Governor showed sound political and economic instincts by inveighing forcefully against the Federal Reserve's latest round of quantitative easing. According to the prepared text of remarks that she released to National Review online, Mrs. Palin also exhibited a more sophisticated knowledge of monetary policy than any major Republican this side of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Stressing the risks of Fed "pump priming," Mrs. Palin zeroed in on the connection between a "weak dollar—a direct result of the Fed's decision to dump more dollars onto the market"—and rising oil and food prices. She also noted the rising world alarm about the Fed's actions, which by now includes blunt comments by Germany, Brazil, China and most of Asia, among many others.

"We don't want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings," the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee said. "We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track." . . .



So the Obama Administration thinks that the Labor market is getting better?

President Obama thinks that the new labor market new for October is "encouraging." Data source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov).

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Brits no longer let soldiers carry rifles in parades for fear it would "upset" onlookers

What drives members of the public to complain about soldiers carrying guns while on parade?

Army cadets have been left ‘bitterly disappointed’ after being banned from carrying rifles on a Remembrance Day parade - amid fears the weapons might 'upset' onlookers.
The young cadets have proudly marched with rifles for decades and around 100 had spent months fine-tuning the drill where they would showcase their skills.
But the cadets were left 'gutted' just days before the big event when military top brass cut the rifles from the display following complaints from members of the public.
They were warned the rifle display during the march in Plymouth, Devon, could be deemed as 'glamorising' weapons.
Cadets were left 'bitterly disappointed' by the late change, which organisers today branded 'political correctness gone mad'. . . . .

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More on what Republicans can do to control Obama care

While Republicans will try to defund the 150+ new health care regulatory bureaus, there are real limits to what they can do:

The Republican in line to lead the House Budget Committee acknowledged Sunday that the GOP is unlikely to get a repeal of a Democratic-backed health care law because President Obama can veto it, but said House Republicans will move forward on a vote anyway.

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said Republicans have some opportunities to slow the advance of the Democratic plan by defunding actual rollouts, but acknowledged the president would have to sign that legislation.

Cognizant of missing a presidential signature, Republicans are still looking at court challenges and other congressional maneuvers to stop enactment of elements of the law. . . .

The NY Times has this:

But [Republicans] said they hoped to use the power of the purse to challenge main elements of the law, forcing Democrats — especially those in the Senate who will be up for re-election in 2012 — into a series of votes to defend it.

Republican lawmakers said, for example, that they would propose limiting the money and personnel available to the Internal Revenue Service, so the agency could not aggressively enforce provisions that require people to obtain health insurance and employers to help pay for it. Under the law, individuals and employers who flout the requirements will face tax penalties.

Moreover, Republican leaders said, they plan to use spending bills to block federal insurance regulations to which they object. And they will try to limit access to government-subsidized private health plans that include coverage of abortion — one of the most contentious issues in Congressional debate over the legislation.

Those are just a few examples of the ways in which newly empowered House Republicans plan to use spending bills to pressure Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats to accept changes in the law.

Given their slim majority, Senate Democrats must stick together if they want to avoid sending Mr. Obama spending bills and other legislation that he would feel compelled to veto, setting up the prospect of a broader deadlock and, in an extreme situation, a government shutdown. . . .

States might also have to get involved because the federal government is imposing such a burden on them. Texas might be leading the way. (Notice the editorializing in what passes as a "news" story in the NY Times.") This is indeed a tough step, but it shows how really bad the federal system has gotten. Texans would still be forced to pay massive federal Medicaid taxes, but then wouldn't get any of the benefits.

Some Republican lawmakers — still reveling in Tuesday’s statewide election sweep — are proposing an unprecedented solution to the state’s estimated $25 billion budget shortfall: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program.

Far-right conservatives are offering that possibility in impassioned news conferences. Moderate Republicans are studying it behind closed doors. And the party’s advisers on health care policy say it is being discussed more seriously than ever, though they admit it may be as much a huge in-your-face to Washington as anything else.

“With Obamacare mandates coming down, we have a situation where we cannot reduce benefits or change eligibility” to cut costs, said State Representative Warren Chisum, Republican of Pampa, the veteran conservative lawmaker who recently entered the race for speaker of the House. “This system is bankrupting our state,” he said. “We need to get out of it. And with the budget shortfall we’re anticipating, we may have to act this year.”

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization, estimates Texas could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019 by opting out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, dropping coverage for acute care but continuing to finance long-term care services. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which has 3.6 million children, people with disabilities and impoverished Texans enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, will release its own study on the effect of ending the state’s participation in the federal match program at some point between now and January. . . .


Did Harry Reid's campaign engage in illegal activity?

Hans von Spakovsky has this:

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have beaten back challenger Sharron Angle and retained his post as the majority leader, but his campaign and one of his biggest supporters may have violated federal law to do so.
As National Review reported earlier this week, the Reid campaign sent a desperate e-mail to the senior vice president for government relations at Harrah's Casinos asking the company to pressure its employees to get out and vote for Reid. The campaign even offered to have Reid call Harrah's executives to help give "the backing" needed to get the company working on this.
The Reid staffer involved told Harrah's it needed to "put a headlock" on its supervisors "to get them to follow through."
This plea was distributed to senior executives throughout the company by a Harrah's vice president, Marybel Batjer. Batjer demanded that those executives "do whatever we need to do to get the supervisors to know that there is NOTHING more important than to get employees out to vote. Waking up to a defeat of Harry Reid Nov 3rd will be devastating for our industry's future."
Harrah's did just that, getting headcounts and insisting that supervisors explain why their employees had not yet voted. They also coordinated with employee unions to get buses and shuttles to take the employees to the polls. . . .
Both the Reid campaign and Harrah's may have violated federal campaign finance law that prohibits in-kind corporate and union contributions to, and coordination with, political campaigns. Corporations and unions may spend money to run ads in support of or opposing a candidate, but they are not allowed to make direct or in-kind contributions to federal candidates. . . .

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