Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

2011 is the Ronald Reagan Centenary Celebration Year!

It's already 2011 on the other side of the International Date line...
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Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during a pyrotechnic show to celebrate the New Year January 1, 2011.

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Rose Parade Kicks off Reagan Centenary Celebrations

Thanks to Always on Watch for alerting me to the first ever presidential float in the Rose Parade scheduled for New Year's Day. A float showing great moments in Ronald Reagan's history will be among those in the parade. Carol's Blog has a video with the artist explaining how the images on the float were constructed using onion and poppy seeds and rice. There's even a replica of the statue of Reagan which stands in the U.S. Capitol made out of flax seeds (photo).

Cast your vote for the Reagan float on parade day by visiting here. It's float number 52.

A Yearlong Reagan Remembrance

 The float kicks off a yearlong celebration of Reagan's life to mark the one hundredth anniversary of his birth on Feb. 6, 1911. The Reagan Library in California will be hosting a series of events. If you plan to visit Washington, DC in 2011, stop by the National Archives for their special exhibit which includes many rare artifacts from Reagan's Presidency.

For those not traveling to either destination, other events will be announced across the country. Or you can visit the Reagan archives online and browse through the photo collections for a walk down memory lane.

In 2006, readers here contributed their own Reagan remembrances to mark the 25th anniversary of his first inauguration as President of the United States. Page down the January 2006 archives past the half way point to view. My own personal recollections of Reagan, including a newspaper article I published shortly after his death describing my experiences in Reagan's White House is here.

Happy 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Govt. Employees Wreck Car in Snow Plow Mishap

And Dems want government to run health care?
Warning: strong language!

If there was one government job that should be "shovel ready" it should be snow removal. But even here, we see the bungling, incompetent and STUPID hand of government at work.

New York City Sanitation workers, all UNION employees, mangle two cars while trying to free a stuck front end loader that was attempting (badly) to clear the streets of snow following the December blizzard.

Imagine what will happen when they put guys like these (more union employees) in charge of our health care!

UPDATE: Slow NYC Cleanup Caused by Union Action. Deaths Result

Then there is this news: The cleanup chaos in New York City was caused in large part by a union organized protest of Sanitation workers. The New York Post has the story. Guilt ridden Sanitation workers confessed that they delayed cleanup on orders. The Post also has a photo of a union sanitation worker asleep in his vehicle.

Commuters were stuck and there was some obvious damage to vehicles by sanitation workers as seen above. But that's not all. Ambulances could not get to people in need. In another story, a newborn child died after his mother waited nine hours for an ambulance to arrive.

Unions and Obama: Two Peas in a Pod

Labor unions are holding large cities like New York hostage. Even in non-critical functions like the theater, unions for stage hands manage to get over $290,000 a year for their members. And who pays for this? We all do. Either in taxes or fees. Union greed is one key factor that is driving cities and some states (mostly blue states run entirely by Democrats in case you had not noticed) into bankruptcy. And guess who is going to be forced to bail out these greedy unions? YOU are!

Meanwhile, the most frequent visitor to the Obama White House in the first year was SEIU chief Andy Stern. In early 2010 Stern went on to represent Obama on the deficit reduction commission. Clearly he was there to defend union greed!

Remember that old song: "Look for the Union Label?" Read between the lines on one of those labels these days and you'll see greed, chaos and death brought to you by Obama's favorite pals!

Reader Note: Transitioning to New Comment System

Cross your fingers and hope things don't screw up too badly.

I've decided to dump the current Echo commenting system that I have used the past year. It was never as good as the free Haloscan system it replaced and there are other options.

An effort is being made to save past comments and export them to the new platform; but that's where the tricky part comes in.

Meanwhile, feel free to continue commenting using the link at the bottom of each post but if for some reason the comment disappears, please don't take it personally. Just try again later.

Thanks for your patience!

And as always, I appreciate any contribution you would care to make:

Donate using GPal

Global Warming Loonies Shoveling Something Other Than Snow in December Blizzard

Too much snow? global warming! Not enough snow? Global warming!

It was just last February that I titled a piece with a headline similar to the tag line above. And guess what, ten months later the global warming fanatics are at it again. Trying to insist that this week's mega blizzard which dropped snow all the way from South Carolina to Maine is yet more proof that man is screwing up the climate and unless we all turn over our money and remaining freedom to the government and the United Nations we'll all freeze to death in winter and burn up in summer.

In that February post, I cited the number of examples of global warming alarmists, both politicians and U.N. powergrabbers warning that a lack of snow experienced in earlier years was proof of global warming. One reference I failed to include was a story in a British newspaper from earlier this decade in which they worried that a white Christmas in England might be a thing of the past. Tell that to the millions stranded in British airports this month because of snow.

But global warming alarmists and U.N. power grabbers need not fear... the global warming brigade is coming to your rescue. Take for example this ridiculous op-ed in the New York Times titled "Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming." Now we are told that snow and colder winters are actually a sign that global warming is real. It doesn't seem to dawn on the alarmists that this is the exact opposite of what they were saying a few short years ago when winters were milder.

Alarmists Making It Up As They Go

And to toss more frozen egg on the faces of these global warming loons, not one of the so-called "scientists" who push this hoo-ha ever predicted that the current cold might be a byproduct of global warming.

As Amanda Carey at the Daily Caller reports:
“You can make up any analogy you want, but the fact is that computer models don’t show that change,” Pat Michaels, a climatologist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute told The Daily Caller. “If you can’t model it, you don’t have any evidence for it.” It is, said Michaels, the “core problem of climatology:” “It is attempting to explain everything even when everything becomes contradictory.”

“They make this stuff up as they go along,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “If this theory is true, a necessary consequence is that there will be less severe winter storms because arctic air masses will not be as cold.”

According to Ebell, if the Arctic was getting warmer, the air rushing south would also be warm. This would reduce the difference between the two meeting pressure systems, leading to less severe winter weather. This hasn’t happened.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/12/21/severe-winter-weather-caused-by-global-warming/#ixzz19Np8kYAl
Climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr writes:
“This failure to skillfully predict any of the extreme weather patterns we have seen in the past should be a wake-up call to policymakers and the public that the climate science community is overselling the prediction skill that is possible.”
"Overselling" their predictions? That's putting it mildly. Especially when you consider that nearly ALL of the alarmists predictions HAVE BEEN WRONG! And this idea that reality should be a "wake-up call to policymakers" is only possible if these same policy makers were unbiased in this whole issue which we know they are not.

An Investor's Business Daily editorial which ran the week before the December blizzard nailed it:
No matter what the weather, it's all due to warming. This isn't science; it's a kind of faith. Scientists go along and even stifle dissent because, frankly, hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants are at stake. But for the believers, global warming is the god that failed.

Why do we continue to listen to warmists when they're so wrong? Maybe it's because their real agenda has nothing to do with climate change at all. Earlier this month, attendees of a global warming summit in Cancun, Mexico, concluded, with virtually no economic or real scientific support, that by 2020 rich nations need to transfer $100 billion a year to poor nations to help them "mitigate" the adverse impacts of warming.

This is what global warming is really about — wealth redistribution by people whose beliefs are basically socialist. It has little or nothing to do with climate.
But let's not forget the school of thought that suggests that we should go along with the alarmists just in case they are right. Mark Landsbaum writing in the OC Register takes that one on:
But what the heck, why not implement a bunch of costly rules and regulations and taxes and penalties to curb greenhouse gas emissions by microscopic margins even though they probably have nothing to do with temperature increases and even if temperature increases aren’t threatening?

What’s the worst that can happen? Wreck the economy?
The global warming scare is a massive shakedown intended to force people to pay more for energy with the money going to government, The U.N. and approved "green" industries who just happen to be closely connected to government officials. How do you think former V.P. Al Gore got so rich?

So while Al Gore and his rich friends may have had their private jets grounded by the snows that weren't supposed to happen, they know they can just keep lying no matter what the weather does and gullible people will continue to shell out billions to fund their lavish lifestyles.

And why should Al Gore worry if it snows instead? He can hire teams of illegal aliens to dig out his driveway! How do you say "snow shovel" in Spanish?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to ALL My Readers!

And many, MANY thanks for all the contributions you have made to this page throughout the year!

2009 was a tough year for many Americans but one in which we saw the first glimmers of hope. 2010 was another tough year but one which led to a triumph at the end. But as we continue to celebrate that event, let us rededicate ourselves to another tough year in 2011 leading up to victory in the struggle in 2012.

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The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. This year's tree, a 67-foot Engelmann spruce, came from Wyomings Bridger-Teton National Forest.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Silent Night:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TSA Misses Loaded Gun on Plane and Punishes Pilot Who Points Out Idiotic Lapses in Security

But they still find time to frisk three year old kids and nuns!

First there is the story of the man who forgot he had a loaded gun in his carry on luggage and was surprised that TSA didn't catch it. I guess we shouldn't be surprised because according to the government's own study TSA misses up to 70% of the bombs, guns and knives federal agents plant to test the system.

Next, there's the pilot who posted You Tube videos pointing that while TSA agents are busy frisking nuns and three year old kids, airport ground workers pass into secure flight areas by just swiping a card. There's no one to check them for weapons even if the checks were effective.

To repay that pilot for his critical views, Federal agents raided the man's home and confiscated the gun which he is permitted to carry on flights and are threatening additional action.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are being subjected to intrusive searches or asked to have naked scans taken of their body. As Ann Coulter said recently:
I feel so much more confident that the TSA's nude photos of airline passengers will never be released now that I know the government couldn't even prevent half a million classified national security documents from being posted on WikiLeaks.

Just as a reminder, TSA hasn't caught ONE terrorist trying to board a plane. Yet, it seems they spend a fair amount of their time harassing the general public and anyone who dares to complain.


We're just lucky we haven't been hit again by terrorists and one day that luck will run out. What a shame no one in the Obama Administration seems to take this threat seriously enough to actually do something EFFECTIVE!

Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago? Worst Congress in My Lifetime FINALLY Leaves Town!

Four years of Democrat rule in the U.S. House have been a disgrace and damaging to our nation!

Remember how Democrats partied it up after winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives four years ago? Nancy Pelosi giddily promised that under Democrat control the House would be "most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history?” What a joke that was. Huge bills introduced in the middle of the night with votes scheduled hours later and we're told "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it?"

What about Pelosi's promises to "drain the swamp" of House members ethical misconduct or "break the link between lobbyists and legislation?" Democrat Charlie Rangel violates the honor of his office and breaks House rules and federal tax law and gets a slap on the wrist while Democrat Maxine Waters still hasn't been punished for corruption. And lobbyists? Drug company lobbyists practically wrote whole sections of the reviled health care bill.

Then of course there was this whopper: Pelosi promised to pay as they go with no new deficit spending no matter what. Yet four years of Democrat rule has seen exploding deficits. Combine that with Democrats efforts to derail Bush policies to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which caused the ensuing financial meltdown with massive unemployment and record home foreclosures. Toss in the massively wasteful $trillion in stimulus spending, auto, insurance, banking takeovers and  bailouts. And of course Cash for Clunkers and an orgy of other wasteful spending and liberal do goodism run amok! While we are at it let's not forget sky high gasoline prices resulting from Democrat's refusal to allow drilling for American petroleum resources. Altogether we can safely say that the legacy of Nancy Pelosi and Democrat control of congress shall go down as a black mark on our history.

Voters wanted change in 2006 and 2008 without any care as to what kind of change they would get. From the resounding rejection of Democrat policies in 2010 it would appear they have learned their lesson. Let's hope so. The damage done by Democrats in the last four years will be difficult to repair. But one thing is certain: we can't afford another mistake like the last four years!

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Thank God the adults are returning to control the House starting in January. Now, if we can only do something about the Senate and the White House in 2012!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Bad News for Dems: Census to Shift More Congressional Districts/Electoral Votes to GOP

And with the huge wave in GOP state elections, redistricting will greatly benefit GOP!

Just when Obama is trying to get his mojo back more bad news for the Dems reminding them of the consequences of their disastrous policies both nationally and on the state level.

Americans are fleeing states run by Democrats and pouring into low tax, high growth states like Texas. The 2010 Census, which today released the report which decides how congressional districts are reapportioned on the basis of population shifts is bad news for Democrats:

Texas will gain four new House seats, and Florida will gain two. Gaining one each are Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

Ohio and New York will lose two House seats each. Losing one House seat are Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Florida will now have as many U.S. House members as New York: 27. California will still have 53 seats, and Texas will climb to 36.

In 2008, President Barack Obama lost in Texas and most of the other states that are gaining House seats. He carried most of the states that are losing House seats, including Ohio and Pennsylvania. Each House district represents an electoral vote in the presidential election process, meaning the political map for the 2012 election will tilt somewhat more Republican.

For the first time in its history, Democratic-leaning California will not gain a House seat after a census.
A map showing state by state changes is available at the offical U.S. Census web site.

The reapportionment of these seats to red states is a likely win for the GOP as they control many of the state houses and legislative bodies that will draw the boundaries for new congressional districts to favor the GOP.

Electoral Map Shifts in GOP Favor

And with each new congressional district comes an electoral vote that makes Obama's chances of re-election slightly more difficult:

Ultimately, states voting against Obama in 2012 gained eight electoral votes while states supporting him in 2008 lost eight — a total shift of 16 electoral votes. With what political observers see as a likely tightening of the electoral college map from the 365-173 vote victory Obama had over John McCain in 2008.
Of course these electoral shifts are the least of Obama's problems. The huge swing to the GOP in the Great Lakes states, particularly Ohio and Indiana, combined with the likely 2012 loss in North Carolina which basically tied in 2008 and other potential states like Florida make Obama's re-election an uphilll fight.

But before we get complacent and sit back expecting another big GOP win in 2012, keep in mind that structural deficiencies in GOP grass roots efforts have yet to be addressed. Don't expect Obama and the Dems to give up their advantage in this area in key states!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Barack and Michelle Not on Guest List for Royal Wedding

Could it be that all Obama's snubs to Britain are being returned?

Latest news from the United Kingdom on the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th is that a preliminary invite list excludes the Obamas:

The decision to exclude the American premier and his wife Michelle from the celebrations marks a break from tradition.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana invited then-American president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy to their 1981 ceremony – though she came alone because the president was too ill to travel following an assassination attempt on him.

A senior courtier said: ‘It is certainly not the case that all foreign heads of state will be excluded. The guest list is still being drawn up and could change, but as things stand it’s right (to say Mr Obama will not be invited).’

A St James’s Palace spokesman said: ‘The wedding will not be a formal state occasion since Prince William is neither the sovereign nor the heir to the throne.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339315/President-Obama-snubbed-sources-reveal-invited-Prince-Williams-wedding.html#ixzz18Wk586gJ
Imagine that! The biggest, most glamorous event of the year with worldwide media coverage and the Obama's won't be able to strut their stuff? Something tells me that urgent diplomatic cables will be sent from Washington to our Ambassador in London ordering him to plead for an invite. This is one case in which I wish there was a Wiki Leak!

Maybe Kate and William remember when Michelle blew into town on Air Force Three in June of 2009 and tourists in Westminster Abbey were ordered up against the wall to make way for her and her entourage. Who wants that kind of behavior on their wedding day?

Good Samaritans Fined for Helping to Save Deer in Distress

With government, few good deeds go unpunished!

[Greetings Jammie Wearing Fool and Twitter fans... have a look around while you are here. There is so much more to Mike's America!]

Here's the story: Thursday night a group of strangers near Baltimore Maryland noticed a deer trapped in the icy waters of the Patapsco River. They banded together to rescue the deer using a raft.

But a natural resources police officer who appeared on the scene did not come to help. Instead, he wrote tickets for the two men on the raft fining them $90 each for not wearing life vests even though they were over the age where such vests are mandatory.

Video from WJZ Baltimore:



Isn't this exactly the kind of bureaucratic insanity so much on display in nearly every level of government that Americans are rebelling against?

Want to make a bet which party the guy who wrote the ticket belongs to?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rahm Emanuel Shows Once Again that Dems will Turn Law on It's Head to Get Their Way

What good is the purpose of election law if Democrats can rewrite it whenever it suits them?

We all remember how hanging chads and dimpled ballots became votes for Al Gore in 2000 even though the Democrats who controlled the election board in Palm Beach County had rules on the books prohibiting that from happening.

Many readers will recall when Democrats in New Jersey switched senate candidates at the last minute, well past the deadline in state law, to replace scandal plagued Bob Torricelli with Frank Lautenberg.

Now, Rahm Emanuel is arguing that it was his "intention" to be a resident of Chicago despite the fact that Chicago election law requires candidates for mayor to have lived in the city for the year prior to the election; a time when Emanuel was living and working in Washington, D.C. as Obama's White House Chief of Staff.

As proof that Emanuel "intended" to meet the cities requirement he cites that his car remained registered in Chicago and that he voted absentee. And now, he claims that because he left boxes at the house he rented out to another Chicago couple it proves his intention.

Other candidates for the mayor's job  have objected to Emanuel's slick revision of the rules. Among these candidates is Rob Halpin, the tenant of Emanuel's House. A hearing is currently underway in Chicago to determine whether Emanuel is eligible to run.

***Photos of Boxes in Emanuel's Crawl Space***

As part of Emanuel's defense, he sent attorney's to his former residence who took photos of boxes purportedly left behind by Emanuel in the crawl space of the house. Apparently this shows Emanuel's intention to return but how that could be construed as fulfilling the residency requirement is another matter.

If Emanuel is successful in his latest shenanigan's bank robbers would have a new defense. They could simply say it was their "intention" to take out a loan!

Dems Surrender on $1.3 Trillion Spending Spree... What's Next?

But watch to see what other tricks they have up their sleeves!

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) officially withdrew the nearly 2,000 page Omnibus spending bill that was introduced on Tuesday and caused such an uproar for it's spending and earmarks. That bill is now officially dead but Congress must pass a resolution allowing the government to continue operating after funding authorities expire on Saturday.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell introduced the following one page resolution which will allow the government to continue operating until the new Congress can be seated in January and give fuller consideration to an appropriate spending bill.

Mitch McConnell's One Page Continuing Resolution

No word on whether Democrats will accept McConnell's alternative.

Thanks McConnell!

Senator McConnell has been extraordinarily successful in uniting GOP members of the Senate and helping them to realize that in unity, they have power. If each were to go his own way, they would never succeed. On a whole range of key issues the GOP in the Senate has remained a potent force despite their few numbers. The GOP Leader deserves our thanks for all the work he has done during the past two years!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have Dems NO Shame? Dems Put Forward Monster Spending Bill Right Before Christmas and Stick Taxpayers w/ Bill

So much for their concern about the deficit!

Remember all the warbling coming from Democrats in the past week demanding that we must raise taxes because of their concern about the deficit? Funny, but the same people expressing that point of view never seem to be concerned about the deficit when it comes to spending.

This week, the usual suspects in Congress have lined up with their Christmas (oops, can't use that word) holiday wish list for all their favorite big government programs and are attempting to ram through yet another massive 2,000 page spending bill loaded with wasteful pork barrel spending and earmarks costing well over $1 TRILLION.

No doubt we'll be told that there is no time to read the bill and as outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said about the health care law: "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

This may be the last gasp of a lame duck Democrat congress, but it's another perfect illustration of what is wrong with the legislative branch, particularly when it is controlled by Democrats.

In the Senate, where this monster bill is currently under consideration, Republican leaders who recently pushed a ban on earmarks are outraged:

“It’s completely inappropriate; I’m vigorously in opposition to it,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In a floor speech condemning the bill he went on to say:

MCCONNELL: [Y]esterday, Democrats unveiled a 2,000 page spending bill that repeats all the mistakes voters demanded that we put an end to on Election Day.

“Americans told Democrats last month to stop what they’ve been doing: bigger government, 2,000-page bills jammed through on Christmas Eve, wasteful spending.
“This bill is a monument to all three.

“It includes more than $1billion to fund the Democrat health care bill. For those of us who’ve vowed to repeal it, this alone is reason to oppose to Omnibus.

“It’s being dropped on us with just a few days to go before the Christmas break, ensuring that no one in Congress has a chance to examine it thoroughly before the vote.

“And ensuring that Americans don’t have a chance to see what’s in it either.
“This too is reason enough to oppose it.

“For two years, Republicans have railed against the Democrats for rushing legislation through Congress. But this is, without doubt, one of the worst abuses of the process yet.

“The voters made an unambiguous statement last month: they don’t like the wasteful spending, they don’t want the Democrat health care bill, and they don’t want lawmakers rushing staggeringly complex, staggeringly expensive bills through Congress without any time for people to study what’s buried in the details.

“This bill is a legislative slap in the face to all those voters who rejected these things.

“For the first time in the modern era, Congress hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill.

“Democrats have been too focused on their own left-wing wing wish to take care of the basics.
McConnell warns that the government officially runs out of spending authority on Saturday and suggests the better solution would be to extend the continuing resolution which keeps spending levels steady without adding new spending. Then, after the new congress takes office in January, they can take their time and do this thing right.

But as we know from the intemperate remarks of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who openly wished to create a crisis on unemployment benefits right before Christmas eve, Democrats are willing to use such disgusting tactics to try and get their way.

Meanwhile, Americans waiting for a resolution of the tax issue and the expiration of unemployment benefits continue to be held hostage to the greed and mad power grabs of a dying Democrat lame duck!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Playing Politics with Unemployed at Christmas: Rep. Ellison (D-MN) Suggests Creating Crisis

Did you really need more proof that Democrats use the unemployed as a political football?

During a radio interview with Minnesota public radio, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), said this:


ELLISON: “I think that we need to create a real crisis here so that the Republicans will have to answer for denying Americans unemployment benefits on the eve of the Christmas holiday.”
Unemployment benefits for those out of work the longest expired WEEKS ago and Republicans have agreed to extend those benefits in the deal currently before Congress. Yet, DEMOCRATS like Ellison would hold those families hostage to his political agenda.

This is just another extension of Rahm Emanuel's dictum to never let a crisis go to waste. Now they have been exposed wishing to CREATE a crisis. We've seen the fingerprints of Dems who sat by and watched as the Fannie Mae financial crisis took on global proportions but we didn't have a Dem on tape admitting their desire to create the crisis.

Will we now see stories written about Democrats being "The Grinch" or "Scrooge?" Don't bet on it. The usual suspects in the "news" media will just wink and nod at what Dems are doing and continue on with their unprincipled attacks on the GOP just as soon as it suits them!

First Nail in the Coffin of Obama Care: Fed Judge Calls Ind. Mandate Unconstitutional!

Soon, the argument will move to the Supreme Court!

Forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Those who opposed the individual mandate in Obama Care have always said so and today, a Federal Judge in Virginia agreed. In the lawsuit brought by VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli the Judge ruled:
Judge Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia, said the individual mandate "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."

He added: "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

"An individual's personal decision to purchase -- or decline purchase -- (of) health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the U.S. Constitution," Hudson wrote. "No specifically constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance."

"Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative health care regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds," Hudson added. "Salutatory goals and creative drafting have never been sufficient to offset an absence of enumerated powers."
PDF of the full opinion is here.

Judge Hudson did not block the continued implementation of Obama Care. That job will be left to the incoming Republicans in the House of Representatives and sensible members of the U.S. Senate. But the ruling is a key step to unraveling the entire Obama Care facade. Without the mandate forcing people to buy insurance the financial house of cards on which the whole thing is founded collapses.

In related news, the latest ABC News poll shows the lowest level of support EVER for Obama Care!

Update: Best Constitutional Explanation

Michael Cannon, writing at Cato@Liberty sums up the issue very well in few words. This short column is a must read for those wishing to understand the issue. Here's an excerpt:

ObamaCare has always hung by an absurdity.  ObamaCare supporters claim that the Constitution’s words “Congress shall have the Power…To regulate Commerce…among the several States” somehow give Congress the power to compel Americans to engage in commerce.  This ruling exposes that absurdity, and exposes as desperate political spin the Obama administration’s claims that these lawsuits are frivolous.
...
The centerpiece of ObamaCare is a three-legged stool, comprised of the individual mandate, the government price controls that compress health insurance premiums, and the massive new subsidies to help Americans comply with the mandate. Knock out any of those three legs, and whole endeavor falls.

Moreover, the individual mandate is not the law’s only unconstitutional provision.

These lawsuits and the continuing legislative debate over ObamaCare are about more than health care. They are about whether the United States has a government of specifically enumerated powers, or whether the Constitution grants the federal government the power to do whatever the politicians please, subject only to a few specifically enumerated restraints. This ruling has pulled America back from that precipice.

Christmas Carol Puzzle

Time for a little holiday fun!

About this time of year I start noticing a bunch of people visiting Mike's America looking for the Christmas Carol Puzzle. It's fun little puzzle and easy to work out. Just look at the pictures and guess which Christmas carol each one represents. If you get stumped, the answers are here.


Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Obama Invites Clinton to Takeover and Diminishes himself

Is Obama so weak only Clinton can save him?
After the November 2nd "shellacking" pundits speculated whether Obama would "pull a Clinton" and triangulate towards the center. I don't think this is what they had in mind.

On Friday, President Obama invited former President Bill Clinton to the White House to help him save the tax deal that Obama worked out with Republicans. Democrats in the House are holding the bill hostage along with the renewal and extension of already expired unemployment benefits. Who is the Scrooge now?

But as the two men spoke at the White House podium Obama appeared visibly diminished next to Clinton. Obama eventually made a lame excuse to leave and Bill Clinton urged him to "please go" as he continued to hold the floor and answer questions.

It was a moment of classic political theatre and I half expected Clinton to say "I did not have sex with that woman" to make the scene complete.

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Bill to Barack: "Please go."
Here's the video:


Clinton's plea to Obama: "please go," is one echoed by more and more Americans. Onlyl two more years before this nightmare ends!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rep. Weiner (D-NY) Behaves Like an Ass with Fox News's Megan Kelly on Death Taxes

It's not our money, it belongs to the government even when we are dead!

Make sure to check out the behavior of this noxious arrogant ass at about the one minute mark:


Farmers who work all their lives and are land rich but cash poor are prevented from passing the farm to their children when they die because liberal asses like Weiner think they haven't paid enough in taxes!

Children who work in their families small business are out of a job because the business has to be sold to pay the death taxes.

This is what constitutes fairness in liberal land!

Prince Charles and Camilla's Car Attacked by Student Mob Protesting Tuition Increase

This is what happens when the promise of socialism meets fiscal reality!

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As the car carrying the Royal couple proceeded, windows were smashed. Neither were hurt. The Sun has the story with more photos.

But the real story is that this episode illustrates perfectly what happens when the wheels of the socialist bus start to fall off. Students who depend on the government for access to education suddenly realize that there's no more free lunch. As Margaret Thatcher once said: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

In a state where every citizen is dependent on the government for nearly every aspect of their life, there's bound to be disappointment or worse when that government can no longer meet every need. This is exactly the kind of dependent socialist culture we should do everything in our power to avoid in this country and yet it seems Obama and the Democrats are embracing it!

P.S. Has anyone ever thought that instead of increasing tuition for students that the pay of professors and school administrators should be cut?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

House Democrats Revolt! Reject Obama's Tax Deal!

And Senate Dems kill Harry Reid's Dream Act!

The Democrat meltdown on Capitol Hill accelerated Thursday as House Democrats slapped Obama in the face by rejecting the deal on tax cuts he negotiated with Senate Republicans. This squarely places House Democrats in the spotlight for endangering the deal that would have prevented a massive tax increase on ALL Americans effective January 1st. The deal would also have provided an extension of unemployment benefits for those whose checks have run out.

You can bet Dems will try and spin it the other way and claim that somehow the GOP is behind the tax increase and taking away unemployment benefits in the weeks before Christmas but it won't wash this time.

While this latest turn in the story may give Obama another opportunity to portray himself as triangulating between the parties, his failure to achieve results from his big announcement earlier this week only weakens him more.

On the other side of the Capitol it was Senate Democrats, NOT Republicans, who pulled the plug on the Dream Act which meant amnesty for younger illegal immigrants and opened the door for amnesty for all illegals.

The Dem meltdown is just beginning!

Record Low Temps Four Days in a Row at Cancun Global Warming Summit

I hope the partygoers, oops, I meant "scientists" brought along their sweaters!

Last year's Global Warming party in Copenhagen was met by a blizzard which crippled the town during the meeting. No doubt the party planners for this year's conclave of whacko environmentalists and global socialists thought they would escape any embarrassing weather by holding their meeting in Mexico.

How'd that work out?

7 Dec 10 - " With the UN Climate Change Conference underway in Cancun to discuss the dangers of Global Warming, the resort host location is experiencing its third straight day of record cold temperatures," says reader Richard Nathan.

Today the mercury fell to 53F in Cancun. The record for this date - 57F - was set in 2000.

Yesterday, the temperature in Cancun fell to 53F, a new record, and on Dec 5th it fell to 51F, yet another new record.
And on the 8th temps dropped again.

But the cold temperatures aren't stopping the delegates at this year's conclave from advancing their socialist agenda which has now come out in the open. After displaying signs that read "Time for Climate Justice" many less developed nations are demanding 1.5% of the GDP of Western nations go into a fund for the personal use of the dictators who run most of these tin pot countries.  Nowhere do these moneygrabbers seriously suggest that such a fund would make the slightest differerence in climate change.

Is it just me or does anyone else think God is laughing at the global socialists?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

69th Pearl Harbor Anniversary Reminds us of the Lesson of History

Weakness and appeasement invites war!
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
And for those readers who share my appreciation for the leadership and clarity of vision of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, here's an excerpt from his war history covering December 7th:churchill_karsh_photo
The Second World War
Volume 3: The Grand Alliance
by Winston S. Churchill
pages 606-607

No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. I could not foretell the course of events. I do not pretend to have measured accurately the martial might of Japan, but now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all. Yes, after Dunkirk; after the fall of France; after the horrible episode of Oran; after the threat of invasion, when, apart from the Air and the Navy, we were an almost unarmed people; after the deadly struggle of the U-boat war, the first Battle of the Atlantic, gained by a hand's-breadth; after seventeen months of lonely fighting and nineteen months of my responsibility in dire stress, we had won the war. England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations and the Empire would live. How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end, no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care. Once again in our long Island history we should emerge, however mauled or mutilated, sate and victorious. We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end. We might not even have to die as individuals. Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder. All the rest was merely the proper application of overwhelming force. The British Empire, the Soviet Union, and now the United States, bound together with every scrap of their life and strength, were, according to my lights, twice or even thrice the force of their antagonists. No doubt it would take a long time. I expected terrible forfeits in the East; but all this would be merely a passing phase. United we could subdue everybody else in the world. Many disasters, immeasurable cost and tribulation lay ahead, but there was no more doubt about the end.
Silly people, and there were many, not only in enemy countries, might discount the force of the United States. Some said they were soft, others that they would never be united. They would tool around at a distance. They would never come to grips. They would never stand blood-letting. Their democracy and system of recurrent elections would paralyze their war effort. They would be just a vague blur on the horizon to friend or toe. Now we should see the weakness of this numerous but remote, wealthy, and talkative people. But I had studied the American Civil War, fought out to the last desperate inch. American blood flowed in my veins. I thought of a remark which Edward Grey had made to me more than thirty years before - that the United States is like "a gigantic boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it there is no limit to the power it can generate." Being saturated and satiated with emotion and sensation, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the saved and thankful.
Churchill understood that weakness in the face of aggression did not bring peace but brought war instead. 55 million people died who might otherwise have been saved if world leaders in the 1930's had been willing to undertake the difficult job of maintaining security.

It's a lesson that needs to be understood today as we face threats from North Korea and Iran. We can't afford to make the same mistakes we made all those years ago in the run-up to Pearl Harbor!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Obama Waves the White Flag and Caves to GOP on Taxes!

And the left is going bonkers!

On Saturday, a handful of Democrats in the U.S. Senate joined a united GOP caucus in rejecting the Obama tax plan that would have raised taxes on the nation's job creators.

It didn't take long for Obama to realize the game was up and so he agreed Monday afternoon to accept a two year extension of current tax rates along with some payroll tax cuts and a new deal on death taxes.

In his remarks [video] announcing the agreement, which Democrats in both legislative chambers have yet to endorse, there was none of the usual expressions of thanks to the other side in the negotiations. It was clear that Obama resented being forced to compromise and work with Republicans, even though that was something he promised he would do during the 2008 campaign.

Frank Rich, NY Times columnist and mouthpiece for the left, suggests Obama is suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" in which Obama is being held hostage by Republicans. Moveon.org isn't happy either. They want the old Obama back. You know, the one who sounded like a moderate but acted like a liberal.

The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives as well as new incoming GOP Senators won't be sworn in until January. But already, Obama is being forced to cave on the core issues his followers care about most. Obama's move here is one of accepting reality. A rare event for him but one that does not necessarily signal he is triangulating to the center. Still, Monday's act is enough to infuriate the left. Will one of them now mount a primary challenge to Obama in 2012?

A Christmas Suprise You Don't Expect at the Mall

This puts the spirit back in the season!

Imagine if you are taking a break from your early holiday shopping and having a bite to eat at the Food Court in your local mall when all of a sudden the people sitting next to you stand up one by one and start singing....AND THEY ARE GOOD!

This is what happened at the Welland Seaway Mall in Niagra, Ontario on November 13th:


Of course if this had been done in this country the ACLU would be filing a lawsuit and suing all those involved!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Republicans United with Bipartisan Help from Dems Reject Obama's Tax Increase on Job Creators

It's the end of Obama's big taxing plans!

The last thing American's the same week unemployment rose again to 9.8% is a tax increase on the top earners who are also the top job creators. Finally it seems that message, no doubt driven home by the November 2nd election seems to have gotten through to the U.S. Senate.

On Saturday, two roll call votes were taken in an effort to approve Obama's plan to tax top earners and kill jobs. All 42 Republicans voted no and they were joined by a handful of Democrats and Independent Joe Lieberman. Sen. Joe Manchin, who took his seat early as a replacement for the late Senator Byrd curiously voted no the first roll call and yes on the second.

These two concrete votes which effectively end Obama's plan to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 comes the same week after the symbolic letter all 42 Senate Republicans signed expressing their opposition to the Democrat's tax raising plans.

Negotiations on a final solution are underway and must proceed quickly otherwise the largest tax increase in American history will automatically take place at the end of this year. Now that Dems have been solidly defeated, it's more likely they will bargain in good faith but of course there's no guarantee of that!

Once again GOP Senators are backing up words with deeds. And their opposition draws support from Dems who understand the Obama way is the wrong path for America!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dems Play Same Old Games Calling GOP "Scrooge," "Grinch" For insisting 99 Week Unemployment Extension be Paid For!

Do they really think the American people haven't caught on to that game by now?

"Never let a crisis go to waste." That was the advice of the now departed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who is having a hard time trying to convince Chicagoans he actually meets tthat city's residency requirements necessary to run as a candidate for mayor.

But Rahm's minions learned their lesson well. The expiration of previously extended unemployment benefits timed to come just weeks before Christmas gives Dems a perfect opportunity to accuse Republicans of being Scrooge.

Republicans have said they are willing to extend these already extended benefits, but only asked that the billions required be paid for without adding to the deficit. This same "pay go" process is something outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats embraced when they first took control of the House in 2007.

But suddenly, those who insist on pay go means you are for cutting off the unemployed right before Christmas. The editorials have already been written. Republicans are "Scrooge" or "The Grinch" and we're back to 1995 shortly after the last time the GOP took control of Congress and the Dems used that playbook to smear GOP efforts at fiscal responsiblity.

Are the American people really that stupid to fall for that line again? Maybe some, mostly Obama voters, but even that number is dwindling.

Only a month ago we concluded an election in which the American people rejected the game playing and big spending ploys Democrats have used during the past four years. Change is coming to Washington and there's no way those tired old lies will work again only weeks after being rejected.

With unemployment rising in November to 9.8% it's clear that Obamanomics hasn't worked. Rather than continue to play political games, wouldn't it be better for Democrats to finally put aside bare knuckles partisanship and work WITH Republicans to find new and better ideas to help the American people recover?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Senate GOP Stands Firm in Letter to Reid: Deal with Jobs and Taxes Before Other Business

Democrats are desperate to use their fading majority to enact liberal agenda. Will they listen?

Once again, the GOP Senate Caucus stands united!
The following is a letter signed by all 42 members of the Republican Caucus that was delivered to Senator Harry Reid earlier today. The letter states “we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities.”

Full letter to Senator Reid:
Priorities Letter 12-1-10

Don't Congratulate Ourselves Too Much for 2010 Election Win: 2012 Won't Be So Easy

Democrats well funded permanent political infrastructure gives them huge advantage over GOP/Tea Party volunteers and ad hoc organization!

I know readers are probably burnt out on election related analysis, but this subject can't wait another two years!

The good news is that the GOP victory on November 2nd was historic and stunning. That's also the bad news as it tends to make us think we did everything right and have only to replicate that plan and win just as big in 2012. It won't be so easy as that. Besides, too  much self congratulation may actually hurt our chances in 2012 by preventing us from undertaking the critical analysis of what did not go so right on November 2nd.

In the wake of the November 2nd election leaders of the Establishment GOP were pointing fingers at Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and the Tea Parties trying to make the case that their advocacy of conservatives harmed our chances of retaking the U.S. Senate. Rubbish! Except for a handful of difficult races, most of DeMint's candidates won! And without the Tea Parties we wouldn't have won half the races we did.

But, the nagging question following the election is why did some of our candidates who were ahead or tied in the polls lose? I mentioned that anomaly in an earlier post but Davis Intelligence has this chart which illustrates the matter perfectly. It compares the GOP Senate candidate's polling average  from Real Clear Politics to the actual election result and shows that GOP candidates did worse than expected in key states.

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Were all the polls wrong:? Dick Morris argues no and I agree. Morris points out that Obama did find some success in his last minute effort to motivate the Democrat base to vote. In another article he points to the power of the Democrat Labor Unions in winning a number of these close contests. This corresponds with my own post election analysis where the weakness of the GOP groundgame in get out the vote efforts in some key states was overwhelmed by the Dem's union and progressive political infrastructure.

GOP's Failure to Learn the Lesson of 2006 and 2008

Prior to 2006 the GOP's groundgame, run by Karl Rove in the White House in 2004 and with the 2000 Bush campaign was a marvelous success. In 2004 that operation was at the height of it's power as described in this fascinating New York Times Sunday Magazine feature called "Who Lost Ohio?" This article was the subject of one of my very first blog posts after starting Mike's America with my take on it that it wasn't that Dems "lost" Ohio in 2004 (though they certainly did) but that Bush WON!

In 2004 the effort that helped Bush win Ohio and re-election was a wonder of technology combined with volunteer zeal. But it's a model for victory that failed in 2006 when Dems retook Congress and was hopelessly overwhelmed by the billion dollar Obama campaign juggernaut in 2008.

In 2008 Democrats used their huge funding advantage (Obama reneged on his pledge to abide by federal campaign financing limits) to create the most aggressive grass roots organization in presidential campaign history. Here's an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal article describing that effort:
Democrats Far Outspend Republicans On Field Operations, Staff Expenditures
By T.W. FARNAM and BRAD HAYNES
The Wall Street Journal]
November 3, 2008

The national and state Democratic parties are spending far more heavily than their Republican counterparts on field operations, after years of ceding the advantage in ground-level organizing to the Republican voter-turnout machine.

Finance records show Democrats have hired five to 10 times more paid field staff in swing states than the Republicans.

Democrats have set up 770 offices nationwide, including in some of the most Republican areas of traditionally "red" states -- like one in Goshen, Ind., a manufacturing town with a population of about 30,000. It is the seat of Elkhart County, which voted for President George W. Bush in 2004 by more than 40 percentage points. By comparison, Republicans have about 370 offices nationwide.

The focus on the ground-game is a change from past election cycles, when the Democratic party's prime objective was getting as many broadcast ads on the air as possible. In recent campaigns, Democrats outsourced their ground organization to outside groups, such as labor unions and liberal activists.
...
Republicans say their volunteer-based turnout machinery from 2004 is intact and more than twice as productive as last cycle in making phone calls and house calls. "This operation is working on all eight cylinders," said Rich Beeson, the political director of the Republican National Committee and a veteran of the 2004 effort.
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Despite the best efforts of Republicans and a "volunteer based turnout machinery from 2004" that effort failed in 2008. And while we had some dramatic improvement in 2010, particularly in the Great Lakes region and Upper Midwest (compare maps of 2008 and 2010 wins) some of the wins for statewide contests were by narrow margins such as the Ohio and Florida governor's race and the Pennsylvania senate race.

Obviously the Dem 2008 political machine largely based on a permanent paid professional infrastructure failed to stem the 2010 tide of Tea Party enthusiasm in states like Wisconsin, Indiana or Missouri. But that same Democrat machine did it's job and got out the vote to save Harry Reid in the Nevada Senate race and gave Michael Bennet a big push to defeat Ken Buck in Colorado using the Labor Union-Progressive model that worked so well for Dems in 2006 and 2008.

2010: RNC Dropped the Ball

Not only did we fight the battle of 2010 with a largely outmoded get out the vote effort, but it was one in which we were certainly not "working on all eight cylinders" as Rick Beeson, Republican National Committee political director described the 2008 effort.

Recently, Republican National Committee political director Gentry Collins, the man charged with coordinating our national effort in 2010, resigned from the post with the following letter in which he lays out the shortcomings of our effort this year. The bottom line? A severe lag in overall fundraising for the RNC prevented the full implementation of even the outdated get out the vote effort and meant that we lost 21 House seats that might have been won had resources been available (see the list on page three):

RNC Gentry Collins Resignation Letter

2012: Have We Learned Our Lesson?

We got lucky in 2010 and won a stunning victory in many ways despite these handicaps. But we can't count on luck, or the same level of Tea Party enthusiasm to carry us through to victory again. Consider also that according to one analysis of exit poll data from 2010 29 million Obama 2008 voters failed to turn out in to vote in the midterm. Can we count on them to stay home in 2012? Can we count on the fickle Independent voters who flocked to Obama in 2008 and abandoned him in 2010 to stay with us in 2012?

Still, we won a great number of advantages as a result of the 2010 election. Sean Trende writing at Real Clear Politics offers a comprehensive analysis of the trends in key states which is very encouraging as we look ahead. But, a Boyscout would remind you of his motto to "Be Prepared." It's better to prepare for the worst case and win than hope for the best and lose. We now have less than two years to correct the mistakes at the Republican National Committee and develop a better and more aggressive get out the vote machine better able to compete against our well funded and well organized adversaries.

It's time to stop celebrating our 2010 win and take a serious look at how we can do it better two years from now.

In February 2009 I published a Blue Print for the Coming GOP Revolution in which I asked "are we prepared now to meet that challenge or will we fall back on the business as usual strategies which may have worked 20 years ago but failed utterly in the last two elections?" It's clear that in some ways we are still locked in the same "this is how we've always done it" kind of thinking that no longer works as effectively as it once did.

Our opponents manage a permanent year-round political machine through Labor Unions and progressive groups. For the left, the campaign never ends. We are still conducting campaigns based largely on volunteer efforts which fold up the tent and disappear until next time. We start nearly from scratch every two years. The Dems never stop organizing and building.

In that February 2009 post I was encouraged by RNC Chairman Michael Steele's initial efforts to invite new ideas and plans to expand the use of new media and social networking as a 21st Century tool to build the parties grass roots. Unfortunately, his leadership on these issues have not produced the kind of results which must occur if we are to be fully competitive (as opposed to being lucky) in 2012. Steele's weakness in this area and his inability to raise the funds necessary for the fullest get out the vote effort in 2010 mean that big changes are necessary at the RNC.

Support Boots on the Ground and Build a PERMANENT Grass Roots Infrastructure

There is a vast reservoir of electoral support in this country that goes untapped year after year. Millions of Americans are not even registered to vote or vote only sporadically. The party which finds a way to maintain the loyalty of it's voters and add those to their roles who currently don't participate will win in 2012. Yet I don't see much of an effort by the GOP and conservative groups to build the political infrastructure, particularly at the grass roots, that has this goal. Where was the voter registration effort in 2010? If one existed, it was nearly silent.

While we fold up our tents Democrats soldier on in their union halls and progressive groups. Their fundraising and organizing never stops and nor does the effort to identify new voters and plug them into the machine that cranks out progressive voters every two years. Why don't Republicans and Tea Parties take a page from that book and do the same?

A More Personal Approach to Voters is What Grass Roots are All About!

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A September 2010 survey by Pew Research for the People and the Press found that while people still rely on television news for information that number is relatively flat. The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, the most popular cable news program, only gets about 3-4 million television viewing households out of an audience of 100 million households. And as influential as Talk Radio is (see the chart at the bottom of this report ) it still leaves the vast majority of Americans not getting the message. Where are the rest of these folks getting their information?

Get the Message Out!
To expand our voting base we must reach the people who have tuned out, or never tuned in in the first place. Consultants might help with marketing analysis to help identify some of these individuals, but nothing works better than direct person to person contact from someone in the same community or state.

In my February 2009 Blueprint for a Conservative Comeback, I stressed the need to support new media like blogs, which are a great tool that can reach out to many of the folks who might otherwise not hear our message from other sources. Note the strong upward spike in the Pew Center graph for online news.

More and more people are going online for news and information and conservative blogs will play an increasing role in getting our message to that audience. There are millions of small conservative blogs out there with a small but dedicated readership. We might not be more than fleas on the dogs tail, but when we bite in unison the dog feels the pinch.

Why not organize an advertising program to support small blogs and link it to the national GOP message? It could be easily done by giving participating conservative bloggers an ad that runs on their blog with the latest message. Bloggers would get paid based on page views that include the ad. Simple to do and you reach a multitude of small audiences through the direct personal medium of small blogs and their loyal readers.

Another thought would be to create a national blog highlighting and promoting the  postings from participating conservative blogs (those who are part of the advertising program). That would also tie those bloggers more closely to a coordinated national message. This could be easily done by a third party group with it's own financial resources.

Fund an Army of Activists!

Conservatives have a wealth of talent just waiting to be channeled and one that could benefit from some additional support for their efforts. As an example, I'm thinking of my friend Skye in Philadelphia (named Mike's America blogger of the year in 2007) who spontaneously developed a grass roots network in Pennsylvania to support conservative causes. On her own dime she travels in the state and to Washington, D.C. to organize and participate in a plethora of events. Would it be so impossible to set up a grant program to help defray the costs of activism such as  hers? I don't think so.

Activists could use help to defray the costs of attending training seminars, political meetings in state capitols and national events like CPAC. Providing them a modicum of support could pay big dividends later as they are folded into the coordinated organizational effort when 2012 approaches. The goal is to create a permanent grass roots political infrastructure on par with the Democrats.

Here's another idea: There's a waiting army of people like Skye who could help set up and conduct local phone banks in key states and districts where unregistered and infrequent voters are ripe for the plucking. In 2010 Democrats paid election workers $10 an hour to canvass neighborhoods. Would it be too much to offer our "volunteers" a similar subsidy for their time?

Some may say that it would be better to husband our limited financial resources and spend it all on one giant television ad blitz. That view is mainly put forward by media consultants with a direct financial stake in the outcome. Besides, at some point ad buys face a diminishing return as more Americans are tuning out that medium altogether. It's time for new thinking and new methods.

These are just a few of the ideas I had. There must be dozens, perhaps hundreds of other good ideas out there. It's past time where we stop talking about reaching out in new ways and act. Time is running out and the race for 2012 has already begun. We can't afford to make the same mistakes as we did in 2006, 2008 and even 2010.  Let's make sure we're not caught by surprise again.
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