Tuesday, January 25, 2011 Open Thread

As promised, an open thread for all of you to use as you see fit. You can post a new topic, continue a conversation that you were having on the last thread (because I know that it becomes a pain to continue scrolling down to resume the conversation and it also slows way down in loading the longer the thread gets), or even write an article that you want to post. Once I have recovered from my surgery I will be back at writing all the things that either delight or infuriate you! In the mean time you will just have to infuriate each other! But remember to keep it fairly civil as we discuss our differences with respect. I am also going to add a cartoon or two each day. These have no other purpose than to chuckle at. They are nothing more than cartoons that I saw at some point and never used.



  1. Posting for the very likely “state of the union” comments sure to follow. 🙂

    • Truthseeker says:

      Are Presidents allowed to “Lie” or I mean “misspeak” or “leave out the actual truth” during one of these events? Has a President in recent history come out telling the actual truth and that the “State of our Union” is not strong at all?

      I really think the “State of the Union” is more about fluff and pulling whool over everybodies eyes instead of the POTUS putting out the actual truth. I really like how the UK parlaiment does it!

      • Yea, I would like to see truth in advertising laws applied to elected officials, especially for Constitutionally mandated speeches like the SOTUA.

      • Time for a pop quiz:

        If he came out and said: “the state of the union is that we are in a world of hurt” then proceeded to list out the ways that we’re screwed, what would happen?

        From the left:
        A) They would applaud his honesty and back his agenda
        B) They would.. ah, let’s face it A is the only real option here.

        From the middle:
        A) They would applaud his honesty
        B) They would panic and demand he fix all the issues simultaneously without raising taxes or lowering benefits, then punish him in the next election for failing to meet their impossible demands
        C) They would back serious measures to legitimately address the issues.

        From the right:
        A) They would applaud his honesty
        B) They would rail against him for being down on America
        C) They would call for an investigation to find out why he hates America and/or accuse him of fear mongering while denying all of his concerns except for the debt which they will claim can only be addressed with tax cuts and by cutting tiny liberal programs like the parks service and the national endowment for the arts but not the 800-pound gorilla that is the Defense Department or social security.
        D) They would use his statements in their campaign against him in 2012 – frequently out of context.
        E) They would address in a serious way the issues and, putting partisanship aside, would work with Democrats to make America stronger
        F) B, C, and D. But claim they’re doing A and E.

        (Correct answers are 1. A, 2. B, 3. F)

        • Maybe Kathy was right:)

          • I agree with V. I don’t think Kathy would call Matt a SOS..now me? I’d have no problem calling him that :)…Mornin’ Matt!

            • Morning, Anita!

              I do think she was calling me a sack of shit – she was very heated. I didn’t take it personally, and to be honesty, I don’t care much either way. I’ve been called far worse, but I did think that SUFA was beyond that.

              However, I do think she owes bags of fertilizer an apology for the comparison. They probably found that statement very offensive.

              • Well then let’s see if we can settle it! I’ll be the judge.

                Kathy? Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?

                (assumes Kathy says yes)

                Kathy, when you used Sack of Shit in your reply yesterday, were you using that as an analogy or do you really think Matt is a Sack of Shit? Or could have possibly meant that Matt is full of shit?

              • … Looks like she’s pleading the 5th …

              • I think Kathy was very emotional and should get a mulligan. Matt, you were full of shit 😆

              • G-Man,

                I am not full of shit.

                I am full of intestines.

                My intestines are full of shit.

              • His intestines may be full of it…but he is not a sack of it…

              • Just kiddin Matt, Your a good hearted young man. Confused at times, but, hell, who isn’t.

              • I am the captain of the Pinafore, and a right good liberal too!

              • You are the captian of a sleeveless garment?

                A pinafore (colloquially pinny in British English) is a sleeveless garment worn as an apron.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          The economic auto-didacts can explain the role of confidence I’d presume.

          Danger lurks for when the Chief Executive who simply says “we are soooooo screwed”.

        • I would say that is a very astute analysis. And yes, it is not significantly different than any previous administration in my lifetime, with the possible exception of W, the difference with his speech was that he also used a lot so-called “words” that didn’t really exist.

          Can you be honest if you are using made-up words? I don’t know if that is possible…

    • My guess is that he will deliver the speech in total campaign mode.

    • Good Morning, Jon. There is no need to waste my time tonight. Everyone knows where he is going to come from and everyon knows that he is going to “misspeak”. One of the things that helped me decide was this charade of sitting together to promote harmony. What a joke. So, I am going out to dainner and dancing.

      • dainner=dinner (Damned keyboard still can’t spell)

      • Bottom Line says:

        D13 – “There is no need to waste my time tonight.”

        – “What a joke.”

        BL – My sentiments exactly.

        • Good Morning, BL. A raise of the glass of Zin to you this evening. HOw are you sir?

          • Bottom Line says:

            Mornin’ Colonel,

            Cheers to you as well, sir.

            I’m doing okay, all is relatively copacetic. Just pinching pennies, surviving winter.

            How ’bout you?

            • Doing ok….cold here in the Republic of Texas….trying to get some warm weather to crank up. Hope things are well for you and yours.

      • the one thing I read about them sitting together is that it will be good propaganda for Obama because you won’t be able to tell when people are not standing and clapping at any “misspeak”

      • Sounds like a good plan, basically that is what I was going to do, I will leave others to sit through the speech…
        Actually, I am working tonight, but its karaoke, so its not really work. But it is music and dancing and singing and drinking and not watching Speeches. 🙂

    • The best part will be after the speech, as the camera’s point to Chris Mathews, he yells “OOOHHHHH that was good”, and for the first time in TV history, the world will have witnessed a live on-air wet dream. 😆

    • My kids love those quarter machines at the local eatery. One is a crane, at .50c a pop, there is no limit on how many times they will try to get that prize, until mom & dad give a firm No. Every time tonight that Obama says “we must invest”, think about those quarter machines and say to the TV, young man, we gave you your stimulus, if you already spent it all, tough! No more of our money will be given to your union buddies to buy your re-election.
      (for a quarter, I’ll tell ya’ll how I really feel)LOL


      Lost in the spin however are the progressive elements, most notably massive “investment” by the federal government in education, innovation, and green jobs. Under the cover of supposedly increasing the competitiveness of the USA and creating jobs, the philosophy that only big government can achieve it is there for all to see.

  2. Going to watch it to see if Joe Wilson has anything to say. Of course Obama is going to lie, that is the only consistent thing he does.

    Also very sad to see Carol Browner go away, but I’m sure there are more eco-terrorists who will take her place and keep us out of work in the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Yes. Obama is going to lie. That is a given.

      In addition to outright lies, there will be:
      blind patriotism
      sidestepped issues
      distortions of truth
      deliberate omissions
      appeals for more bipartisanship
      at least one boycotting SCOTUS judge
      reference to random “ordinary” people
      over-inflated claims for his successes
      flat jokes that will get riotous laughter anyway
      far more applause thank the speech should justify
      an outburst from the peanut gallery (or Joe Wilson)
      several Republicans childishly sitting on their hands
      commentary afterward from the left which is entirely partisan
      commentary afterward from the right which is entirely partisan

      Did I miss anything?

      Oh, and this is exactly as it was under Bush Jr.

      Oh, and that was exactly how it was under Clinton.

      Oh, and that was exactly how it was under Bush Sr.

      And so on, and so on.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        You missed one thing – there will also be statements of actual truth interlaced throughout the lies, distortions, omissions, obfuscations, etc. etc. etc.

        Just as there were statements of actual truth from Dubya, Clinton, Bush, etc. etc. etc.

        • That’s true, he will probably refer to this country as “America”, “United States”, and “United States of America”. All those will be the true. /sarcasm

        • True, but nobody ever gets credit for telling the truth..

      • Very true Matt, just the way the game is played I guess. At least we still have some debate going on, so everyone isn’t forced to be on the same side. So America isn’t dead yet.

      • At least we won’t have to watch Weaker Pelosi jump up and clap like a seal every 15 seconds!! I wonder if Boehner will cry?

  3. For my left leaning friends on SUFA.

    Question..(Been watching a debate on C Span on the health care plan)….there has been a question asked that has not been answered yet by anyone on the left side of things.

    “If Obama Care is so great and provides so much and is going to do everything that the left is saying it is going to do, why have the premiums jumped an average of 25% AND why is there a need to give, so far, 284 waivers to large companines to opt out of Obama Care?” and a follow up question….”Why has the government employees Union and the government workers been exempted?”

    Inquiring minds wish to know……thank you and have a nice day.

  4. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I will bring forward this political test for anyone who would like to try it out and has not yet done so. So far we have 1 liberal, 1 disaffected, and 6 enterprisers even though they only make up 9% or 10% of the population.


  5. 🙂

  6. Judy Sabatini says:

    I took it yesterday & it came up Enterpriser for me as well.

    Hope all is doing well today.

  7. With the abortion topic waning, here’s a look at what some of the Left Wing Greeny Weenies are saying.

    Environmentalists are promoting a new historical hero in the fight against global warming, none other than Mongol warlord Genghis Khan, with the Carnegie Institution touting the emperor’s green credentials because his empire slaughtered no less than 40 million people – an act that helped lower carbon emissions and keep the planet cool.

    No, this isn’t a spoof or a satire, the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology has actually released a report that cites Khan’s exemplary environmental record as a suitable yardstick for future “land-use decisions”.

    “Genghis Khan’s Mongol invasion in the 13th and 14th centuries was so vast that it may have been the first instance in history of a single culture causing man-made climate change, according to new research out of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology,” reports Mother Nature Network.

    “Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.”

    – In his new book, author and environmentalist Keith Farnish called for acts of sabotage and environmental terrorism in blowing up dams and demolishing cities in order to return the planet to pre-industrial society. Prominent NASA global warming alarmist and Al Gore ally Dr. James Hansen endorsed Farnish’s book.

    – James Lovelock, top environmentalist and creator of the Gaia hypothesis, told the Guardian last year that “democracy must be put on hold” to combat global warming and that “a few people with authority” should be allowed to run the planet.

    – During a speech to the Texas Academy of Science in March 2006, biologist Dr. Eric R. Pianka advocated the need to exterminate 90% of the world’s population through the airborne ebola virus. The reaction from scores of top scientists and professors in attendance was not one of shock or revulsion – they stood and applauded Pianka’s call for mass genocide.

    – Professor David Shearman, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide, who worked as an assessor for the United Nations IPCC, recently called for democracy to be replaced with an eco-dictatorship where enslaved masses are ruled over by an “elite warrior leadership” and forced to adhere to a new green religion. Shearman has also demanded that Americans pay a carbon tax of more than $18,000 dollars for each child they have.

    – Finnish environmentalist guru and global warming alarmist Pentti Linkola has publicly called for climate change deniers to be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state, with people forcibly sterilized, cars confiscated and travel restricted to members of the elite. Linkola wants the last 100 years of human progress to be “destroyed”.

    – The current White House science czar John P. Holdren also advocates the most obscenely dictatorial, eco-fascist, and inhumane practices in the name of environmentalism. In his 1977 Ecoscience textbook, Holdren calls for a “planetary regime” to carry out forced abortions and mandatory sterilization procedures, as well as drugging the water supply, in an effort to cull the human surplus.

    – Top environmentalist organization 10:10, which is funded by massive corporations as well as the British government, produced an ad campaign last year in which children who disagreed with taking steps to lower their CO2 output were murdered in an orgy of blood and guts.

    – Another environmentalist organization funded by oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell, recently produced an ad that depicted a future eco-fascist hell where car use will be heavily restricted, CO2 emissions will be rationed, meat will be considered a rare delicacy, the state will decide your career, and only the mega-rich elitists enforcing all these new rules and regulations will be exempt from them. The campaign promoted a future world in which people who resist the state controlling every aspect of their existence will be forced to live in squalid ghettos while the rest of the population will be tightly controlled in high-tech prison cities.

    In a May 2009 confab in London, a gaggle of rich “philanthropists,” including David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and George Soros met to discuss ways of “solving overpopulation”.

    – In his new book, author and environmentalist Keith Farnish called for acts of sabotage and environmental terrorism in blowing up dams and demolishing cities in order to return the planet to pre-industrial society. Prominent NASA global warming alarmist and Al Gore ally Dr. James Hansen endorsed Farnish’s book.

    – James Lovelock, top environmentalist and creator of the Gaia hypothesis, told the Guardian last year that “democracy must be put on hold” to combat global warming and that “a few people with authority” should be allowed to run the planet.

    – During a speech to the Texas Academy of Science in March 2006, biologist Dr. Eric R. Pianka advocated the need to exterminate 90% of the world’s population through the airborne ebola virus. The reaction from scores of top scientists and professors in attendance was not one of shock or revulsion – they stood and applauded Pianka’s call for mass genocide.

    – Professor David Shearman, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide, who worked as an assessor for the United Nations IPCC, recently called for democracy to be replaced with an eco-dictatorship where enslaved masses are ruled over by an “elite warrior leadership” and forced to adhere to a new green religion. Shearman has also demanded that Americans pay a carbon tax of more than $18,000 dollars for each child they have.

    – Finnish environmentalist guru and global warming alarmist Pentti Linkola has publicly called for climate change deniers to be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state, with people forcibly sterilized, cars confiscated and travel restricted to members of the elite. Linkola wants the last 100 years of human progress to be “destroyed”.

    – The current White House science czar John P. Holdren also advocates the most obscenely dictatorial, eco-fascist, and inhumane practices in the name of environmentalism. In his 1977 Ecoscience textbook, Holdren calls for a “planetary regime” to carry out forced abortions and mandatory sterilization procedures, as well as drugging the water supply, in an effort to cull the human surplus.

    – Top environmentalist organization 10:10, which is funded by massive corporations as well as the British government, produced an ad campaign last year in which children who disagreed with taking steps to lower their CO2 output were murdered in an orgy of blood and guts.

    – Another environmentalist organization funded by oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell, recently produced an ad that depicted a future eco-fascist hell where car use will be heavily restricted, CO2 emissions will be rationed, meat will be considered a rare delicacy, the state will decide your career, and only the mega-rich elitists enforcing all these new rules and regulations will be exempt from them. The campaign promoted a future world in which people who resist the state controlling every aspect of their existence will be forced to live in squalid ghettos while the rest of the population will be tightly controlled in high-tech prison cities.

    In a May 2009 confab in London, a gaggle of rich “philanthropists,” including David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and George Soros met to discuss ways of “solving overpopulation”.


    • WOW don’t forget the contributions of Hitler, Mao-tze Tung and Saddam Hussein. These guys were just trying to save the planet. Nobel’s all around!!

  8. Matt, Buck,

    Have found NY safest section. If you don’t live their, you might want to re-locate. PS, this is a trap.

    10312 ZIP code, which cover’s Staten Island’s Annadale, Arden Heights and Eltingville sections.

    The 123rd Precinct has seen a 27 percent decrease in major crimes over the past 10 years, and there were just two homicides there in 2009 and 2010. . . .

  9. I see that Rham made the best of his crisis…he is now allowed to run. Judges decision overturned by a higher court. I am sure that was the correct decision…NOT!!!

  10. Dread Pirate Mathius says:

    I lift things up and put them down.

  11. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is suing the TSA and Homeland Security for humiliating and ‘offensive’ pat-down procedures he’s been subjected to during airport security checks that included ‘warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of his body.’ Ventura, who had a hip replacement procedure in 2008, says he was unduly targeted due to his disability. His lawsuit, filed yesterday in Minnesota, claims the pat-downs violated his privacy, his 4th Amendment right and legally meet ‘the definition for an unlawful sexual assault’.”

    It’s about time somebody of note took them to court. The TSA needs shut down.

  12. More comic relief: I suggest we get some guys with striped shirts and whistles to throw the BULLSHIT flag where appropriate.

    • Try posting THAT on foxnews.com

    • The Obamabots are gathering with anticipation. The Liberal/Progressive Messiah is going to speak, Mathews is raedy to fawn over every word, Maddow is going to announce her new name is Richard after her upcoming medical leave and Pelosi and Reid are going to propose a new holiday to commemmorate this occasion, this day will now be celebrated as “Riding the Jackass Day”.

      Harsh, yep, but all Obama will say is much the same that has been said by every President in the past two or more decades. Invest in education (that’s working real well), save my healthcare takeover, and make some lame concession to help the “deficit” while not mentioning the 14 trillion dollar Federal debt or any ideas on how to lower that. The way our resident Libs view killing babies, the “death panel” suggestion don’t seem far off. (I know, that was rough speak).

      I haven’t decided if I will watch Obama lie the us again (on both sides), but it is a fine example of “just another politician, he just wears a different colored shirt” statement is so true. Someone should put a whoopie cushion on Pelolsi’s seat, it would fit the occasion and resonate his speech accurately. I could be wrong…..doubt it! 🙂

  13. missingtexas says:

    A copy of the State of the Union Speech as posted by The National Journal.

    Insisting bipartisanship and national unity is essential to America’s future, President Obama will propose a plan for economic growth, according to a draft of the speech obtained by National Journal.

    “The rules have changed,” says the draft of the president’s speech, obtained this evening by the National Journal.

    Declaring “we do big things…That’s how we win the future,” Obama extolled compromise and American exceptionalism while offering an agenda aimed at restoring the nation’s economic competitiveness.

    Among the proposals Obama offered was tax simplification, eliminating taxpayer subsidies for oil companies and extending wireless coverage to 98 percent of Americans.

    Touting unity to a diverse nation, Obama said: “We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything’s possible. No matter who you are. No matter where you come from.”

    Obama referenced the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and the political soul-searching it prompted, saying the tragedy brought Americans together. “What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow,” Obama said.

    Here is the full text of the speech draft, obtained by National Journal: from a Democratic insider who who declined to be identified because the source would be violating the White House’s embargo:

    Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

    It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

    But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

    We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

    That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

    Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

    I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

    At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.

    We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

    But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

    That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

    We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

    But we have more work to do. The steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession – but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

    Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.

    That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

    They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an internet connection.

    Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.

    So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.

    What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

    The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

    Now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.

    The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.

    None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

    Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.

    Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

    Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

    This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

    Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.

    Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.”

    That’s what Americans have done for over two hundred years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

    At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

    We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

    Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

    Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

    Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.

    That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

    Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

    Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.

    You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

    Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

    Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

    In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

    Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American. That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.

    Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today’s fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America’s community colleges. Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she’s earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. As Kathy said, “I hope it tells them to never give up.”

    If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they’re born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

    One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

    Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.

    The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

    Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a “D.”

    We have to do better. America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system. The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.

    Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

    We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.

    Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

    Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn’t just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.

    All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure – will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.

    Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.

    So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years – without adding to our deficit.

    To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 – because the more we export, the more jobs we create at home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats and Republicans, and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

    Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.

    To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it’s why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.

    Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.

    What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.

    Now, the final step – a critical step – in winning the future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.

    We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.

    But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.

    So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

    This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we have frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.

    I recognize that some in this Chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let’s make sure that we’re not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let’s make sure what we’re cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.

    Now, most of the cuts and savings I’ve proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12% of our budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won’t.

    The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.

    This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

    To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. And we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.

    And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.

    It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.

    In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed interest in doing this, and I am prepared to join them.

    So now is the time to act. Now is the time for both sides and both houses of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – to forge a principled compromise that gets the job done. If we make the hard choices now to rein in our deficits, we can make the investments we need to win the future.

    Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a government of the past.

    We live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white TV. There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.

    Now, we have made great strides over the last two years in using technology and getting rid of waste. Veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. We’re selling acres of federal office space that hasn’t been used in years, and we will cut through red tape to get rid of more. But we need to think bigger. In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it passed.

    In the coming year, we will also work to rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government. Because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history. Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online. And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

    A 21st century government that’s open and competent. A government that lives within its means. An economy that’s driven by new skills and ideas. Our success in this new and changing world will require reform, responsibility, and innovation. It will also require us to approach that world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.

    Just as jobs and businesses can now race across borders, so can new threats and new challenges. No single wall separates East and West; no one rival superpower is aligned against us.

    And so we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are, and build coalitions that cut across lines of region and race and religion. America’s moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom, justice, and dignity. And because we have begun this work, tonight we can say that American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing has been restored.

    Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high; where American combat patrols have ended; violence has come down; and a new government has been formed. This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq. America’s commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end.

    Of course, as we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us. Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies. And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family.

    We have also taken the fight to al Qaeda and their allies abroad. In Afghanistan, our troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan Security Forces. Our purpose is clear – by preventing the Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we will deny al Qaeda the safe-haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11.

    Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home.

    In Pakistan, al Qaeda’s leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking. And we have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.

    American leadership can also be seen in the effort to secure the worst weapons of war. Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New START Treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed. Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

    Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before. And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons.

    This is just a part of how we are shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity. With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India. This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas. Around the globe, we are standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers grow more food; supporting doctors who care for the sick; and combating the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity.

    Recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be our power – it must be the purpose behind it. In South Sudan – with our assistance – the people were finally able to vote for independence after years of war. Thousands lined up before dawn. People danced in the streets. One man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the scene around him: “This was a battlefield for most of my life. Now we want to be free.”

    We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

    We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country.

    Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families. Let us serve them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.

    Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.

    We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. Reforming our schools; changing the way we use energy; reducing our deficit – none of this is easy. All of it will take time. And it will be harder because we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of every law.

    Of course, some countries don’t have this problem. If the central government wants a railroad, they get a railroad – no matter how many homes are bulldozed. If they don’t want a bad story in the newspaper, it doesn’t get written.

    And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.

    We may have differences in policy, but we all believe in the rights enshrined in our Constitution. We may have different opinions, but we believe in the same promise that says this is a place where you can make it if you try. We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything’s possible. No matter who you are. No matter where you come from.

    That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.

    That dream – that American Dream – is what drove the Allen Brothers to reinvent their roofing company for a new era. It’s what drove those students at Forsyth Tech to learn a new skill and work towards the future. And that dream is the story of a small business owner named Brandon Fisher.

    Brandon started a company in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. One day last summer, he saw the news that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine, and no one knew how to save them.

    But Brandon thought his company could help. And so he designed a rescue that would come to be known as Plan B. His employees worked around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment. And Brandon left for Chile.

    Along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the ground, working three or four days at a time with no sleep. Thirty-seven days later, Plan B succeeded, and the miners were rescued. But because he didn’t want all of the attention, Brandon wasn’t there when the miners emerged. He had already gone home, back to work on his next project.

    Later, one of his employees said of the rescue, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”

    We do big things.

    From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

    We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

    We do big things.

    The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

    Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.

    • I’ll deal with the words later, when I’m more awake. But, Obama is a great public speaker, which is why he is the Prez. Tonight, I felt he lacked conviction and his normal confidence. The speech, despite the BS in it, was well written, but BO’s presentation lacked in the emotional appeal it was designed to acheive. Not a good sign for the country.

    • My gut reaction is light on substance and heavy on rhetoric. About half of the suggestions are there to steal thunder from the Repubs, i.e., a move to the right to get out in front of the stampede. He promised to veto all bills with earmarks – I hope he does but will not hold my breath. He wants immigration reform and our laws enforced – enforcement is his job and has been for 2 years. Action is required. He wants the 1099 blizzard corrected – he could have stopped that at its origins. He wants to reduce overlap in government – name the departments and subdepartments to be eliminated. Just reassigning the staff to a different department is not enough. Blow up some boxes. He wants high speed rail – is there a prfitable rail line in the US?

      Not mentioned: SS, gas prices, inflation,…

    • Buck the Wala says:

      First impression — it was a good speech, but not great in the slightest. Overall the speech ran a bit flat. Obama did a pretty good job on the rhetoric — looking towards the future and mentioning items to be addressed, but came up short on substance (as T-Ray notes as well). He could have done a much better job outlining his own proposals. On the issue of reducing overlap he did indicate he would be sending a proposal to Congress in the coming weeks so I’m curious to see what he comes up with. On taxes he did indicate a need to close corporate (and individual) tax loopholes and lower the corporate rate – a nod to business – but also indicated the need to end tax cuts for the wealthy. What was missing was any concrete plan or idea to get us to where he wants to go. The best moment in my opinion, was at the beginning of the speech and his talk on looking forward to the future and the importance/need of a government role for American innovation, the ‘sputnik moment’ as it is being called in the blogosphere.

      Initial reaction on Ryan – not a good speech at all. Admittedly I had a hard time getting over the juxtaposition of Ryan’s looking backwards (Obama did X,Y,Z which hasn’t helped us…) to Obama’s looking forward and wasn’t paying attention to much of what was actually being said. I need to spend some time reading his speech to come to a more fair and realistic conclusion.

      Initial reaction on Bachman – bah, who can stand her? Didn’t listen to her speech at all.

      • The best two parts of Obama’s speech were just before it began, and immediately after it completed…he still does not get the fact that the Federal Government is too big and spends too much. Political speak for spend is invest. He sure wants to “invest” in a lot of baloney…green initiatives that have been dismal at best…infrastructure…wasn’t that supposed to be done with the “Stimulus” bill? He is an empty suit, has no idea what the majority of Americans want to see, and will continue to push his liberal/progressive agenda…allbeit with a slight move to the right, only because he thinks it will help in reelection. Bottom line, this is the WORST president ever…just to clear up my position.

      • Buck, and anyone else,

        The one thing we can agree on is that Obama was “flat”. Obama is normally an energetic, forcefull speaker, but seemed as if he did not want to be there and had something weighing on his mind. What’s your opinion?

  14. missingtexas says:

    Excerpts from Chairman Paul Ryan’s Republican Address to the Nation
    As Prepared for Delivery
    January 25, 2011

    WASHINGTON – Tonight, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will deliver the Republican Address following the President’s State of the Union message. Chairman Ryan will address the nation from the House Budget Committee hearing room, where the Democrats’ spending spree will end and the Republicans’ push for a fiscally responsible budget that cuts spending will begin. Following are excerpts from Chairman Ryan’s address:

    REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS: “President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber.”


    SPENDING: “In one of our first acts in the new majority, House Republicans voted to cut Congress’s own budget. And just today, the House voted to restore the spending discipline that Washington sorely needs. The reason is simple. A few years ago, reducing spending was important. Today, it’s imperative. Here’s why. We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead. On this current path, when my three children – who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old – are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay. No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country. Frankly, it’s one of my greatest concerns as a parent – and I know many of you feel the same way.”


    BUDGET: “Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified – especially when it comes to spending. So hold all of us accountable. In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget. Last year – in an unprecedented failure – Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked. We owe you a better choice and a different vision. Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you – to show you how we intend to do things differently, how we will cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs.”


    FISCAL CHALLENGE AHEAD: “Our nation is approaching a tipping point. We are at a moment, where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency. Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked – and it won’t work now. We need to chart a new course.”


    “STIMULUS”: “The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. All of this new government spending was sold as ‘investment.’ Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.”


    HEALTH CARE: “What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees. Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama Administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree – and we think his health care law would be a great place to start. Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.”


    DEBT LIMIT: “Whether sold as ‘stimulus’ or repackaged as ‘investment,’ their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much. And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten – along with record deficits and debt – to the point where the President is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit. We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first.”


    ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: “We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense; to secure our borders; to protect innocent life; to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights; to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity; and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government. Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn’t do any of them very well. It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.”


    LIMITED GOVERNMENT: “We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That’s the real secret to job creation – not borrowing and spending more money in Washington. Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth.


  15. Bachmann: Good evening. My name is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota’s 6th District.

    I want to thank the Tea Party Express and Tea Party HD for inviting me to speak this evening. I’m here at their request and not to compete with the official Republican remarks.

    The Tea Party is a dynamic force for good in our national conversation, and it’s an honor for me to speak with you.

    Two years ago, when Barack Obama became our president, unemployment was 7.8%, and our national debt stood at what seemed like a staggering $10.6 trillion. We wondered whether the president would cut spending, reduce the deficit and implement real job-creating policies.

    Unfortunately, the president’s strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money. The White House promised us that all the spending would keep unemployment under 8%. Not only did that plan fail to deliver, but within three months, the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4%. It hasn’t been lower for 20 straight months. While the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs.

    Let me show you a chart. Here are unemployment rates over the past 10 years. In October of 2001, our national unemployment rate was at 5.3%. In 2008, it was at 6.6%. But just eight months after President Obama promised lower unemployment, that rate spiked to a staggering 10.1%. Today, unemployment is at 9.4% with about 400,000 new claims every week.

    After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money that we don’t have. But instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt. It was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in the history of the country.

    Well, deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama’s direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion.

    Well, what did we buy? Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that now tells us which lightbulbs to buy and which may put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s health care bill. Obamacare mandates and penalties may even force many job-creators to just stop offering health insurance altogether, unless, of course, yours is one of the more than 222 privileged companies, or unions, that’s already received a government waiver under Obamacare.

    In the end, unless we fully repeal Obamacare, a nation that currently enjoys the world’s finest health care might be forced to rely on government-run coverage. That could have a devastating impact on our national debt for even generations to come.

    For two years, President Obama made promises, just like the ones we heard him make this evening, yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices, and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing.

    Well, here’s a few suggestions for fixing our economy. The president could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system. The president could support a balanced budget amendment. The president could agree to an energy policy that increases American energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

    The president could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more. And the president should repeal Obamacare and support free-market solutions, like medical malpractice reform and allowing all Americans to buy any health care policy they like anywhere in the United States.

    We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on job-creators. America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Think about that. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.

    But thanks to you, there’s reason for all of us to have hope that real spending cuts are coming, because last November, you went to the polls, and you voted out the big-spending politicians and you put in their place great men and women with a commitment to follow our Constitution and cut the size of government. I believe that we’re in the very early days of a history-making turn in America.

    Please know how important your calls, visits and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. Because of you, Congress is responding, and we’re just beginning to start to undo the damage that’s been done the last few years, because we believe in lower taxes, we believe in a limited view of government and exceptionalism in America. And I believe that America is the indispensable nation of the world.

    Just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. Who can say that we won’t see a miracle again? The perilous battle that was fought during World War II in the Pacific at Iwo Jima was a battle against all odds, and yet this picture immortalizes the victory of young GIs over the incursion against the Japanese. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor.

    Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. But we can do this. That’s our hope. We will push forward. We will proclaim liberty throughout the land. And we will do so because we, the people, will never give up on this great nation.

    So God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

  16. I love this:

  17. D13 (The Colonel) says:

    Sorry for the name change, folks but someone has usurped the D13 moniker and that someone is really off the wall..

    Dinner and dancing got preempted for dinner at home and watching a comedy and going to bed early. I had a severe case of tired and the sig other did as well and it was cold. So, we stayed in…made some dinner, watched a comedy named King Ralph, and went to bed after that. Did not listen to news nor watch TV last night at all.

    So, this is what I have gleaned this morning watching, on purpose, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and the local news. Fox said: “The President’s speech was flat and uninspiring. Ryans rebuttal was excellent, and the Bachman was ineffective. CNN said: “The President was great and outlined a great future for America, Ryan was stupid, and Bachman should have stayed home. MSNBC said: “The President was excellent, Ryan was a talking point, and Bachman was dumb and very inarticulate. The local news said: “There is a traffic jam on I 30 at Riverside and the back up is horrible.”

    What was unanimous in their commentary was that the bi partisan seating arrangements were a flop. They all said that when the democrat talking points were mentioned…the democrats all stood up. When the Republican talking point was mentioned….the Republicans all stood up. So it was easy to see whom was sitting next to whom.

    CNN seemed very perplexed why no one stood up for the first 22 minutes. They iterated that the Dems would look around to see who would stand up first when it finally happened. MSNBC mentioned that Obama would give the “pregnant pause” and when no one stood up or clapped he got a funny look on his face. (I had to look up the journalistic term pregnant pause to see what it meant).

    Anyway, the home made dinner was great, the movie funny, and I got some great sleep having missed nothing it appears.

    • That about tells the story. One side is still drinking the kool-aid and the other isn’t. I think the kool-aid is about the same as that in Jonestown.

  18. Good morning all…my comment is awaiting moderation…I promise I said nothing offensive. 🙂

    • It could be that I changed my handle to D13(The Colonel)….there is someone on another blog that has usurped my handle and is not a nice person.

      • Good Morning Sir,

        Seems you have an evil twin 🙂

        • A tough looking biker was riding his Harley when he sees a girl about to jump off a bridge so he stops.

          “What are you doing?” he asks.

          “I’m going to commit a suicide,” she says.

          While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn’t want to miss an
          opportunity he asked “Well, before you jump, why don’t you give me a

          So, she does.

          After she’s finished, the biker says, “Wow! That was the best Kiss I have ever had. That’s a real talent you are wasting. You could be famous! Why are you committing suicide?”

          “My parents don’t like me dressing up like a girl……”

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:


        Let’s go slash his tires!

        Nobody messes with the colonel!


      • Sorry Colonel…. I was slaving away all day at work. I finally approved your comment and it did automatically go to moderation because of the name change.

        This usurper didn’t post here at SUFA, correct? Just wanted to make sure to catch it if it is happening here!

        Hope you are having a wonderful day!

        • No sir…not on this site at all. I should have changed the name back but tried to post before I saw it. Sorry.

  19. Buck

    I read both your posts referring to differences in scientific thought on the beginning of life-I find that what scientist are actually doing IMO is taking the facts(if they are facts) of how LIFE developes to claim it isn’t life. But I am going to post the first (2) scientific views in the article-so people can read them and give their opinions if they want to. If any interest is shown-I’ll post the next one. I will say that even if you agree that this is an appropriate way to define life-the first three out of the four-would allow abortions upto 3 maybe 4 weeks of pregnancy. I have never heard of anyone even knowing they were pregnant before 6 weeks.

    Metabolic View:

    The metabolic view takes the stance that a single developmental moment marking the beginning of human life does not exist. Both the sperm and egg cells should individually be considered to be units of life in the same respect as any other single or multicellular organism. Thus, neither the union of two gametes nor any developmental point thereafter should be designated as the beginning of new life.

    Another slightly different though similar position maintains that the argument over when a new human life begins is irrelevant because the development of a child is a smoothly continuous process. Discrete marking points such as the fourteen day dividing line between a zygote and an embryo are entirely artificial constructions of biologists and doctors in order to better categorize development for academic purposes. This position is supported by recent research that has revealed that fertilization itself is not even an instantaneous event, but rather a process that takes 20-22 hours between the time the sperm penetrates the outermost layers of the egg and the formation of a diploid cell (Kuhse 1988).
    Genetic View:

    The genetic view takes the position that the creation of a genetically unique individual is the moment at which life begins. This event is often described as taking place at fertilization, thus fertilization marks the beginning of human life. During this developmental event, the genes originating from two sources combine to form a single individual with a different and unique set of genes. One of the most popular arguments for fertilization as the beginning of human life is that at fertilization a new combination of genetic material is created for the first time; thus, the zygote is an individual, unique from all others.

    Although the opinion that life begins at fertilization is the most popular view among the public, many scientists no longer support this position, as an increasing number of scientific discoveries seem to contradict it. One such discovery in the last twenty years is that research has shown that there is no “moment of fertilization” at all. Scientists now choose to view fertilization as a process that occurs over a period of 12-24 hours. After sperm are released they must remain in the female reproductive tract for seven hours before they are capable of fertilizing the egg. Approximately ten hours are required for the sperm to travel up to the fallopian tube where they find the egg. The meeting of the egg and the sperm itself is not even an instantaneous process, but rather a complex biochemical interaction through which the sperm ultimately reaches the inner portion of the egg. Following fertilization, the chromosomes contained within the sperm and the chromosomes of the egg meet to form a diploid organism, now called a zygote, over a period of 24 hours. (Shannon and Wolter 1990). Thus, even if one were to argue that life begins at fertilization, fertilization is not a moment, but rather a continuous process lasting 12-24 hours, with an additional 24 hours required to complete the formation of a diploid individual.

    The most popular argument against the idea that life begins at the moment of fertilization has been dubbed the “twinning argument.” The main point of this argument is that although a zygote is genetically unique from its parents from the moment a diploid organism is formed; it is possible for that zygote to split into two or more zygotes up until 14 or 15 days after fertilization. Even though the chances of twinning are not very great, as long as there is the potential for it to occur the zygote has not completed the process of individuation and is not an ontological individual.

    Proponents of this view often propose the following hypothetical situation: Suppose that an egg is fertilized. At that moment a new life begins; the zygote gains a “soul,” in the Catholic line of thought, or “personhood” in a secular line of thought. Then suppose that the zygote splits to form twins. Does the soul of the zygote split as well? No, this is impossible. Yet no one would argue that twins share the same “soul” or the same “personhood.” Thus, supporters of this view maintain that the quality of “soul” or “personhood” must be conferred after there is no longer any potential for twinning. (Shannon and Wolter 1990)

    The argument that human life begins at the moment that chromosomes of the sperm meet the chromosomes of the egg to form a genetically unique individual is also endangered by the twinning argument because genetic uniqueness is not a requirement for an individual human life. “Genetic uniqueness” can be shared by multiple individuals, particularly indentical twins. Thus, this argument continues, the moment at which a unique individual human forms is the not the moment when its genetic code is determined, but rather the moment when the zygote can no longer split into multiple individuals.

    In addition to twinning, there are other complexities that further confound the idea of the moment of conception. Just as it is possible for a zygote to form two or more individuals before it is implanted in the uterus, it is also possible for it to not continue to develop at all, but rather just become a part of the placenta. (Shannon and Wolter 1990). It is estimated that more than 50% of fertilized eggs abort spontaneously and never become children (Gilbert 2002). Or, if the zygote splits into multiple zygotes, it is also possible for these to recombine before implantation. All of these possibilities are examples of the ways in which the individuation of the zygote is incomplete until it has been implanted in the uterus.

    • I would be interested in the other report.

      • Embryological View:

        In contrast to the genetic view, the embryological view states that human life originates not at fertilization but rather at gastrulation. Human embryos are capable of splitting into identical twins as late as 12 days after fertilization resulting in the development of separate individuals with unique personalities and different souls, according to the religious view. Therefore, properties governing individuality are not set until after gastrulation. This view is endorsed by a host of contemporary scientists such as Renfree (1982), Grobstein (1988) and McLaren. This view of when life begins has also been adopted as the official position of the British government. The implications of a belief in this view include giving support to controversial forms of contraception including the “morning after” pill and contragestational agents as long as they are administered during the first two weeks of pregnancy.

        One of the most popular positions among philosophers is the perspective that life begins at the point of gastrulation — that point at which the zygote is an ontological individual and can no longer become two individuals. Gastrulation commences at the beginning of the third week of pregnancy, when the zygote, now known as an embryo, is implanted into the uterus of the mother. The cells are now differentiated into three categories that will give rise to the different types of body tissue. (Shannon and Wolter 1990). After gastrulation the zygote is destined to form no more than one human being.

        The philosophers who support this position argue that there exists a difference between a human individual and a human person. A zygote is both human and numerically single and thus a human individual. However, because individuality is not certain until implantation is complete, and because individuality is a necessary condition of personhood, the zygote is not yet a human person. (Ford 1988; Shannon and Wolter 1990; McCormick 1991). Catholic scholars Shannon and Wolter (1990) describe this eloquently saying, “An individual is not an individual, and therefore not a person, until the process of restriction is complete and determination of particular cells has occurred. Then, and only then, it is clear that another individual cannot come from the cells of this embryo.”

        Some supporters of the fertilization position find fault in this argument by claiming that the potential of twinning is a technicality and not strong enough to support the claim that human life does not begin until gastrulation. Alan Holland puts forth the view that just because a zygote has the possibility to divide into multiple individuals does not mean that it is not an individual before it divides. As an analogy, he presents the case of the worm that is clearly a single individual worm until it is cut into two when it becomes two individual worms. (Holland 1990).

        Some would also argue that in the discussion of when human life begins the question of whether a zygote will eventually become one individual or multiple individuals is irrelevant. The key point is that at least one human life may begin as the result of the zygote, and thus human life began at the creation of the zygote, fourteen days before gastrulation.
        Neurological view:

        Although most cultures identify the qualities of humanity as different from other living organisms, there is also a universal view that all forms of life on earth are finite. Implicit in the later view is the reality that all life has both a beginning and an end, usually identified as some form of death. The debate surrounding the exact moment marking the beginning of a human life contrasts the certainty and consistency with which the instant of death is described. Contemporary American (and Japanese) society defines death as the loss of the pattern produced by a cerebral electroencephalogram (EEG). If life and death are based upon the same standard of measurement, then the beginning of human life should be recognized as the time when a fetus acquires a recognizable EEG pattern. This acquisition occurs approximately 24- 27 weeks after the conception of the fetus and is the basis for the neurological view of the beginning of human life.

        These principles of the neurological view of the beginning of human life are presented in The Facts of Life, a book written by Harold Morowitz and James Trefil in 1992 concerning the abortion controversy. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a simple medical procedure in which electrodes are attached to different locations on a patient’s head and the voltage difference over time is measured between the two points. The voltage data is plotted against time to produce “brain waves” with up and down voltage oscillations that are representative of the organized electrical activity of the brain (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). Medical professionals use a patient’s EEG pattern to identify a broad spectrum of mental states. Although EEGs are often used as a diagnostic tool, the exact mechanism behind how an EEG pattern is linked to an individual’s cerebral neuron activity remains a mystery (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).

        Despite lacking a precise explanation for the connection between the EEG and neural activity, there is a strong argument that the unique and highly recognizable EEG pattern produced by a mature brain is a defining characteristic of humanity (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). Therefore, the moment that a developing fetus first exhibits an EEG pattern consistent with that of a mature brain is indicative of the beginning of human life. It is from this point and onward during development that the fetus is capable of the type of mental activity associated with humanity (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).

        Because the state of modern technology still prohibits EEGs in utero, brain activity data for humans at various stages of development has been gathered using premature infants. Observations to date have led to the conclusion that 25 weeks of gestation is required for the formation of synapses needed for recognizable neural activity. At this point in development, the recognizable signals exist only as intermittent bursts that interrupt periods of random activity (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). This conclusion is summarized by Donald Scott who in his book Understanding the EEG wrote, “Attempts have been made to record cerebral activity of premature infants and they have succeeded (only) if the gestational age was 25 weeks or more (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).” Such claims, as well as arguments that endorse an opposite argument, are for many the foundation for any dispute over defining the inception of human life. Consequently, the principles of the neurological view are tenets in the debate over another controversial subject: abortion.

        Champions for a fetus’s right to life often claim that the brain of a human fetus begins to show electrical activity at a remarkably early age. A key moment in the history of the abortion debate is the production and release of “The Silent Scream,” an influential abortion film that graphically depicts the fetal response to its termination. The video accompanies the abortion of a 12-week-old fetus with the words “Now this little person at twelve weeks is a fully formed absolutely identifiable human being. He has had brain waves for at least six weeks…” (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). Although such arguments appeal to both the emotion by depicting an infant, though still developing, in a moment of pain and crisis and the intellect by presenting a scientific line of reasoning, the position presented by the film conflicts widely accepted developmental theory. For instance, the film contends that a fetus has brain waves after 12 weeks and suggests, even in the title “The Silent Scream,” that it reacts to its termination with fear and pain. These contentions contradict scientific evidence that indicates neural connections in the cerebral cortex have yet to develop in a 12-week-old fetus. Lacking these basic neural networks, the developing fetus is incapable of feeling the emotions recognized as fear or pain (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). The film’s position is further contrasted by evidence that suggests a 12-week-old fetus is not yet capable to take direct actions in response to a thought. The developing fetus is therefore incapable of recognizing potential danger and unable to either be fearful of it or actively evade it through movement or any other willful activity (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).

        (For information concerning how photographs of the embryo are often misrepresented on anti-abortion literature and websites, see Images of Embryos Used by Anti-Abortion Activists.)

        In addition to presenting 25 weeks as a critical developmental landmark, other proponents of the neurological view believe that events of the eighth week of human gestation represent the key moments marking the beginning of human life. Contemporary philosophical arguments for designating week 8 as the beginning of human life proceed in accordance with the following format: humanness requires rational thought and rational thought requires a brain and a nervous system. Philosophers who present such arguments contest that an embryo is not a human being until it has a rudimentary nervous system. At week 8, the embryo has completed organogenesis, meaning it has simple, undeveloped versions of all the basic organ systems, including the nervous system (Shannon and Wolter 1990). Philosophers who subscribe to this perspective pay close attention to the progressively increasing complexity of the nervous system or the first weeks and months of pregnancy. At week 5 the first neurons begin to appear, at week 6 “the first synapses … can be recognized,” and at 7.5 weeks the embryo displays its first reflexes in response to stimulus (Shannon and Wolter 1990). Thus around week 8 the embryo has a basic three-neuron circuit, the foundation of a nervous system necessary for rational thought. (Shannon and Wolter 1990).

        It should come as no surprise that this contemporary philosophical debate also consists of a second argument, which is in direct opposition to the aforementioned position. There are philosophers who believe that the capacity for rational thought is indeed a prerequisite of humanness, but that an 8-week-old embryo does not have the capacity for rational thought. At 8 weeks an embryo displays reflexes that are the result of its budding nervous system, but it does not yet have the structures necessary to engage in true rational activity in contrast to mere reflex motivated movement (Shannon and Wolter 1990).

        A third developmental landmark presented by proponents of the neurological view occurs at 20 weeks. Some advocates of the philosophy that a prerequisite for humanness is the capacity for rational thought believe that the existence of a primitive nervous system after 8 weeks, with the ability to respond by reflex to stimulation, does not amount to rational thought. The embryological landmark of 20 weeks marks the completion of the development of the thalamus, a region of the brain, which enables the integration of the nervous system. Philosophers who support this view therefore believe that only after 20 weeks of gestation can the embryo be said to have the capacity for rational thought.

        The precept at the heart of the neurological view of the beginning of human life is the significant development of neural pathways that are critical for characteristic human brain activity. The formation of these neural connections is often viewed to culminate in the acquisition of humanness, a stage during the third trimester of human gestation when the overwhelming majority of neural pathways in the cerebral cortex are established (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). The contemporary concept of the acquisition of humanness was developed and elaborated during the later half of the twentieth century by theological and biological leaders who emphasized the importance of the cerebral cortex in characterizing humanness. The Jesuit scholar and anthropologist scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin presented his belief that the transcendence of humanity was dependant upon the successful maturation of the cerebral cortex. Bernard Haring, a prominent Catholic theologian of the 1970s argued that individuality and the uniqueness of personal characteristics and activities originated from the cerebral cortex. A decade later, the anatomist Paul Glees argued “the (cerebral cortex) represents the signature of a genetically unique person” (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).

        The contemporary idea of the acquisition of humanness is based on the contemporary theories of developmental embryology. Cerebral nerve cells accumulate in number and continually differentiate through the end of the second trimester of human pregnancy (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). However, it is not until the seventh month of gestation that a significant number of connections between the newly amassed neurons begin to take form. It is only after the neurons are linked via synapse connections that the fetus is thought to acquire humanness. Just as a pile of unconnected microchips is incapable of functioning and is therefore not called a computer, the unconnected neurons of the pre 24-week fetal brain lack the capacity to function, thus the developing fetus has yet to acquire humanness (Morowitz and Trefil 1992).
        Ecological / Technological view:

        Advocates of the neurological view contend that human life begins when a developing fetus acquires humanness, a point designated by brain activity that can be described as characteristically human. But if this developing fetus is separated from its mother at an early stage, regardless of the state of neural development, the fetus will be unable to sustain life on its own. The total dependence of the developing fetus for the majority of gestation catalyzed the formation of another view of when human life begins. The ecological/technological view of when human life begins designates the point when an individual can exist separately from the environment in which it was dependent for development (i.e., its mother’s womb).

        Under most circumstances, the limiting factor for human viability is not the development of neural connections but the maturation of the lungs. However, advances in medical science permit a premature fetus to breathe after only 25 weeks of gestation, a stage in its development prior to the complete formation of functioning lungs (Gilbert 2002). Legislation using the ecological/technological view of when human life begins includes decrees of when a fetus can legally be aborted, mandating that after a fetus is determined to be independent its life can no longer be terminated (Gilbert 2002).

    • I would like to bring up one thing that I have just totally grasped in the last couple days. I have always thought that the main argument was between was the baby alive or not alive-that is certainly my arguement. But the pro-abortion arguement seems to be saying that life does not matter it is only the point of developement which matters. Do you agree with my understanding of the arguement. Does the fact that the baby is alive and growing matter?

      • To someone who wants to kill and get rid of their pregnancy, any excuse will do.

      • VH…I am afraid that you are not going to get too much out of me because I am still sorting through things. My sig other feels as you do…she is a conception believer. Viability is important to me. So, to answer your question, I can agree that I understand your argument and hers. I have read and understand the arguments on viability…when is life…. etc. I really do understand your point and your argument. I just do not know where I stand in total. I lean to choice when a mother’s life is at stake. I think that the life of a mother trumps that of an unborn. I lean towards TRUE cases of rape…and true cases of incest that the mental and physical aspects outweigh the unborn…..BUT…I also believe that there is a line to be drawn as well. So, when I see scientists, biologists, and doctors that cannot agree on when life actually occurs….then I lean towards viability…which is not exact either. Heartbeats, pain issues, etc…..are all relative and occur at different times. However, Ray made a statement that hearing the heartbeat changed a lot of things and I understand thoroughly. I have two children and two grandchildren….they are joys and abortion was never a thought and was not going to be so I am no expert but I am not cut and dried on it either. What a perplexing dilemma and I avoid arguments on whether abortion is right or wrong. My sig other argues that rape and incest and the health of the mother is not a factor and should not be a factor so you can see where we leave it alone.

        I understand the filth and the brutality of late term abortions. And when I see an example of this jerk from Philly…well, hanging by his gonads and left to the buzzards is not good enough. So…long answer to a short question.

    • Okay, this EEG thing-If someone is dead they do not have an EEG reading-no brain activity-brain dead. Now they are saying that we should use this method of confirming death of the brain to determine life of a baby in the womb. Now the reason they declare someone dead is the rather documented proof that when one is brain dead these functions do not come back. So if I had any idea that these brain functions could come back I would be in no hurry to bury this person. Anymore than we should be in a hurry to kill a living, growing baby, within a time frame, that’s only purpose is to stop this living, growing person from reaching the point where his brain does function.

      I also have a problem with the way they write this information. Maybe someone has further information to clear this up for me.

      They write-“Despite lacking a precise explanation for the connection between the EEG and neural activity, there is a strong argument that the unique and highly recognizable EEG pattern produced by a mature brain is a defining characteristic of humanity (Morowitz and Trefil 1992). Therefore, the moment that a developing fetus first exhibits an EEG pattern consistent with that of a mature brain is indicative of the beginning of human life.”

      Now does this mean there is no brain activity or that possibly there is but it isn’t consistent with that of a mature brain?

      • V.H.

        It means that at some point in fetal development the fetus will produce an EEG “pattern” that is similar to a “mature brain”.

        That does not mean that is is exactly the same nor must be the same. It is the “pattern” that does not change beyond that point.

        I do not know precisely what that pattern is but I have seen several EEG’s. Looks something like those graphs you see of earthquake Richter Scale.

        Your first paragraph is twisting the thinking they are presenting and creating a false argument at the same time. When you say “you would be in no hurry” you are moving from their presentation of various “start” points to your view that the potential for life should not be interrupted.

        This does not make your view invalid. I am only saying you can’t use theirs to argue for yours.

        I think you hit on a big key in all the various arguments in your comment above.

        You use the term “life” quite a bit. Others use “human life”, others use “human being” or “person”. Each of these can carry different meaning based on their definitions.

        For example, I just looked up Montana statutes regarding crimes and murder. The law defines a “human being” as a human that has been born and is alive.

        This of course is one reason that pro-life folks across the country are trying to redefine “person” in various state statutes.

        • Okay, let’s keep this simple 🙂 Does the absence of this pattern similar or otherwise prove that there is no brain activity?

          I really don’t understand your objection to my statement-I was trying to make a point-If their definition of the beginning of life is “the moment that a developing fetus first exhibits an EEG pattern consistent with that of a mature brain is indicative of the beginning of human life.” Than my response is that one cannot apply the information provided by an EEG that is based on a person who was alive and died, to say a new life with is still developing is not alive. It is a completely different situation. The brain function is one is dead-in the other it is developing.

          And yes there seems to be a big difference in the terms life or human life. One says abortion is murder-the other says life is irrelevant.

          • V.H.

            The science in this matter is on purpose. The Govt. funds studies A, B, C, and D, set up the perameters of the study and get the best scientific explaination based on the perameters. It is solely designed to justify their actions, by making the answer unanswerable. Science, in our age, is mostly perverted for political and financial reasons, and has little to do with real science, as AGW science has proven. Abortion is a moral issue, not a scientific issue. Stick to your convictions, and don’t bother with those who use junk science to guide them morally, as you are wasting your time.


            • I have every intention of standing on my convictions 🙂 but if I am wasting my time-than the discussions we have on this site are also a waste of time. You never know when a comment will change someones mind. And with an issue as important as the destruction of our children-it is imperative that those of us who believe this is murder to stand against it.

              • Sorry, I shouldn’t have said your wasting your time, because your really not. I should have said that you are debating something, with some, who are not likely to change their mind. I do this all the time. And mostly with the same result. you can medicate the mentally ill, but…..

              • Here’s an example of how politics is so profound in this issue.: Memos in Obama appointed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s own handwriting indicate she altered evidence in a case before the Supreme Court and coerced witnesses to change their testimony.

                The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, (ACOG), commissioned an expert panel of scientists to examine the partial birth abortion issue. The panel report stated the ACOG ““could identify no circumstances under which this procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”

                Upon receiving this information, Kagan, then acting as the attorney defending Partial Birth Abortion (PBA) for the Clinton Administration, issued the following memo in her own handwriting which noted, “This, of course, would be disaster,” and a handwritten list of “suggested options” that the administration should pursue to pressure the ACOG to replace the original damning statement. Among that handwritten list of “options” is the revised report findings statement on partial-birth abortion, stating PBA “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

                Original Report:
                The ACOG “could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, (partial birth abortion), . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.”

                Kagan Revised:
                PBA (partial-birth abortion) “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

                ACOG’s panel of scientists never read nor approved Kagan’s “revision”; yet it was this misleading statement, completely opposite the meaning of the ACOG scientists’ findings, that was presented to the Supreme Court. And it was this false statement that led the Supreme Court to overturn Nebraska’s Partial Birth Abortion ban and 29 other state laws where We the People forbid this evil, torturous practice of delivering all but a baby’s head, killing the child, then completing the birth of the murdered infant’s corpse.

                The evidence is irrefutable; Elena Kagan clearly defrauded the Supreme Court into ruling against the will of the People and in accordance with the wishes of the death-dealing Abortion lobby.

                As I said, It’s political far above our level.

              • It is a sad state of affairs, one doesn’t know what to believe anymore . But Hope Springs Eternal.

                What’s that old saying “Keep on keeping on” 🙂

              • Keep on keepin on 🙂 I’ve taken a method of winning the little fights first, weaken the enemy, and hit them when they are the weakest. Then hit them straight on and hope my flanks are covered. I just don’t want you letting this get the best of you and causing unneeded health issues, cuz stress sucks 😆

              • We all have our methods 🙂 but stressed out I’m not-irritated to the point of screaming sometimes, yea-but I release any stress by having my own, usually private ranting moment.

                I Like these words-

                Keep On Keeping On

                Everybody gather round and listen to my song
                I’ve only got one

                We who are young, should now take a stand
                Don’t run from the burdens of women and men
                Continue to give, continue to live
                For what you know is right

                Most of your life can be out of sight
                Withdraw from the darkness and look to the light
                Where everyone’s free
                At least that’s the way it’s supposed to be

                We just keep on keeping on
                We just keep on keeping on

                Many think that we have blown it
                But they too will soon admit
                That there’s still a lot of love among us

                And there’s still a lot of faith and warmth and trust
                When we keep on keeping on

                Before we dismiss, one thing I insist
                When you have your young, remember this song
                And our world surroundings, its leaps and bounds
                Ups and downs, is reality

                Teach them to be strong, and when they are grown
                They can proudly imply that we were an alright guy
                For all the wrong now is right
                This nation’s people are now united as one

                And we just keep on keeping on
                We just keep on keeping on

                Many think that we have blown it
                But they too will soon admit
                That there’s still a lot of love among us

                And there’s still a lot of faith, warmth, and trust
                When we keep on keeping on

                Keep on keeping on, ya’ll
                Keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on
                Keep on, keeping on
                (Keep on, keeping on)

                We got to move on up, ya’ll
                (We got to move on up)
                Keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on

                Some years back I remember
                Still in my mind so well
                My mama made this [Incomprehensible]
                And I found it never fails

                Never worry too long
                (Worry too long)
                About what goes on
                (About what goes on)
                Today it’s sorrow
                (Today it’s sorrow)
                Look like joy tomorrow
                (Look like joy tomorrow)

                Keep on keeping on
                (Keep on keeping on)
                Keep on, keep on
                (Keep on, keep on)

                We just keep on keeping on
                We just keep on keeping on

                Many think that we have blown it
                But they too will soon admit
                That there’s still a lot of love among us

                And there’s still a lot of faith, warmth, and trust
                When we keep on keeping on

                Ooh ooh ooh ooh
                (Ooh ooh ooh ooh)

                We’re gonna move on up
                (We’re gonna move on up)

                Keep on keeping on
                (Keep on keeping on)
                Move on, move now
                (Move on, move now)
                Keep on keeping on
                (Keep on keeping on)

            • Actually, irritated isn’t the right word-Frustrated that’s the word.

              • I know! That’s the reason for my posts to you. Gotta look out for each other 🙂

              • Thank you, but I am fine. 🙂 Hope you are too.

              • Your welcome, and I’m sure you are fine (I’ve heard that before). I’m OK, holding my own and looking forward to Spring! It’s been unusually cold this winter, El-Nina at her finest. Stay warm and safe! 🙂

          • V.H.

            As I understand their discussion the absence of the pattern does NOT indicate absence of brain activity. It indicates absence of that type of activity associated with a being that there is no dispute is a “person” or a “living human”.

            The objection I have is your logic and nothing else. Your conclusion does not fit the argument presented by you.

            A better, and more logical, argument would go something like this. While an EEG with this pattern can detect brain activity accepted as that of a human being, the absence of such a pattern does not prove that a human being does not exist.

            It only proves the obvious and undisputed. It does not deal adequately with the disputed and unknown.

            I am curious V., have you ever pondered on the fact that mankind has been struggling with this question for thousands of years and across many cultures. If it was truly so obvious and simple, as some would like to claim, then how is it that we can’t seem to find an acceptable answer?

            Why does mankind even consider the possibility that there is a difference between life, human life and human being? What caused us to ever consider such a separation? You certainly can’t argue it is Roe v Wade and all the abortionists. Because these questions have existed long before.

            Figured since you were feeling frustrated you might as well have something good to chew on instead of the standard old arguments.

            Happy Thinking.

  20. Absolutely one of the best photo shopped political photos, designed to make a particular point, that I have seen.


  21. Inquiring minds want to know….since I did not watch….did Matthews have his political orgasm?

    • I have read, that Mathews had an Obamagasm! I didn’t watch MSNBC, can’t stomach it.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Did Matthews have his political orgasm? Come on, does the pope shit in the woods?

      • Good morning, my liberal barrister friend…hope today finds you well and on the road to conservative recovery…..

        Hmmmm…I am not on personal relations with either Matthews nor the pope….but I would surmise that if the pope was in the woods and the urge was dire, that he probably would…..however, not being of papal design I would not know.

        Likewise with the journalistic non talent of today, I wonder if political orgasmic tremor is possible. ( I use the term non talent generically and equally to all sides because there is no journalistic talent any longer )…just as in politics there are no statesmen/women left.

        I do hope today finds you in good heath and prosperity.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Can’t complain so far — received a few inches of snow, supposed to turn to rain and then sleet and then more snow. Hoping for a real storm to get the day off tomorrow. Not looking likely at this point though…

          How are things in your neck of the woods?

          • Actually, our temperature range this time of year is clearly designed to throw all plants, animals, and humans into turmoil. The temp this am was 29 to a high today of 62…same ranges for tomorrow except the high will go to 64 and on Fri/Sat highs could get to 68. But the mornings and evenings are cold. Then snow in the forecast for next week…..of course, this is the time for flu, upper respiratory infections and sinuses…..because we do not know whether to wear coats or shorts.

            Oh well….other than that, things are going well. Thank you for asking.

      • if the pope goes camping he does.

        • Nate…meaning no disrespect to the Catholic Community….but the mental picture of a man walking through the woods in flowing garments and a pointy hat carrying a rifle does not compute well. I get this I/O error in my brain.

  22. Just hours after delivering his second State of the Union address, President Obama was headed to Wisconsin Wednesday to sell the five “pillars” of change he espoused as the foundation for the second half of his term.

    The message of innovation, education, infrastructure, deficit reduction and government reform are also likely themes behind the president’s 2012 re-election campaign.

    With the lengthy speech to Congress behind him, the president begins his “White House to Main Street” tour with his seventh trip to the critical swing state since taking office. In the Badger State, Obama will visit Orion Energy Systems, a manufacturing company in Manitowoc, Wis., that designs and creates energy efficient lighting and renewable solar technology for American businesses. Obama will tour the site and deliver remarks to its employees.

    Innovations in technology and clean energy were major themes of the president’s remarks Tuesday night. In his address, Obama pivoted his administration from focusing on stopping the economic decline to recovery through reinvention. He urged Congress to set a goal of providing 80 percent of America’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035,

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/26/obama-launches-campaign-post-state-union-trip-wisconsin/#ixzz1CAQvMBIx

    • In tonight’s State of the Union speech, President Obama called for massive new “investments” in renewable energy. By that he means that he wants to transfer billions of dollars to the renewable energy industry via subsidies, while also accomplishing his previously expressed goal of making “electricity prices necessarily skyrocket.”

      Apparently White House speechwriters are confident that Americans — and American journalists — do not read the foreign press. Au contraire. And today we were particularly drawn to a disturbing headline in Germany’s Focus Magazine exposing the recklessness of Mr. Obama’s vow to follow Germany’s lead: “Es vir dunkel in Deutschland” (Translated: “It gets dark in Germany”).

      The article quotes German lawmakers who are warning of blackouts and deriding the failed policy of forcing uneconomic, intermittent energy technology from a century ago onto the German economy. According to the summary provided by UK think tank OpenEurope:

      Focus Magazine reports that the German Ministry of Economic Affairs has warned that Germany may in the future experience energy blackouts, as the country doesn’t have the capacity to cope with the EU’s renewable energy targets, which oblige member states to source 20% of energy from renewables by 2020. Liberal MEP Holger Krahmer is quoted saying, “this shouldn’t surprise anybody given the irrational energy policies of excessive reliance on renewables.”

      Daily Caller readers by now are aware that President Obama boasted on no fewer than eight occasions that Spain was his model for a “clean energy economy.” That practice abruptly ended as soon as the disaster that was Spain’s bursting “green” bubble was exposed, first by a Madrid professor of economics, and not long thereafter by reality.

      Citing the Gulf oil spill as his impetus, Obama then took to the Oval Office to re-emphasize his demands for a windmill- and solar panel-based economy. He was wise to avoid the risk of claiming any other success story as his model.

      He then again dared to venture into specifics by citing Germany, a bad example also already exposed by economists and academics. According to the old-line, state-funded think tank RWI-Essen:

      [A]lthough Germany’s promotion of renewable energies is commonly portrayed in the media as setting a “shining example in providing a harvest for the world” (The Guardian 2007), we would instead regard the country’s experience as a cautionary tale of a massively expensive environmental and energy policy that is devoid of economic and environmental benefits . . .

      The truth is that Germany’s solar speculators and its entire renewabubble industry are hoping for a bailout from American taxpayers, which would only delay the industry’s demise by mere months, possibly a few short years. But the industry’s demise is inevitable, as it was for Spain’s renewabubble industry, which similarly sought a U.S. bailout.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/25/obama-calls-for-u-s-to-follow-germanys-path-to-blackouts/#ixzz1CASYBuDp

    • President Obama” version of government reform………..

      President Barack Obama’s administration is using new “environmental standards” to force independent owner-operator truckers into becoming part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that gave more than $2 million to Democrats in the last two election cycles.

      By increasing the number of “green” requirements truckers have to comply with in order to get into some major United States ports — like Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland — the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are helping push previously independent truckers into companies, which then makes them vulnerable to unionization or, in many cases, forced to join a union. As these aren’t administrative laws from the EPA per se, trucks that don’t fit this new “green” standard, which is meeting at least 2007 EPA emissions levels, are still allowed to operate throughout the country. But each of the major port authorities won’t let them in if they don’t fit the new environmental regulations, which would force many independent truckers out of business if they resist since many truckers depend on business from the ports to survive.

      Alex Cherin, an attorney who represents a trucker advocacy group opposed to these forced unionization attempts, told The Daily Caller the Teamsters have been trying to get independent truckers classified as employees of a company for years because “under federal labor law, they [the Teamsters] cannot unionize independent contractors.”

      “They [the Teamsters] see this as their window of opportunity,” Cherin said in a phone interview. “They know that most drivers want to stay independent contractors to keep their freedom, but that many can’t afford these new ‘green trucks.’ They want to piggyback their agenda onto an environmental initiative.”

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/26/obama-uses-green-emissions-standards-to-push-truckers-into-teamsters-union/#ixzz1CATwkKlw

    • Just a coincidence? Five pillars of change, sounds alot like five pillars of Islam.

      • Irks me that our campaigner-in-chief can make all these generalized statements on issues, and the media act like it’s a concrete proposals.
        “Invest in education” means payoffs for teachers unions. Has he reversed himself on vouchers or anything that will improve education?

        “Invest in green energy” means payoffs for GE and other major campaign donors. Even with it being shown wind and solar is not economical, he will continue destroying the economy and employment, while running up the debt.

        Deficit reduction means he wants taxes on the rich, and to increase entitlement spending.

        And I bet he still wants 16,000 new IRS agents to assist with his “government reform”. Wonder if they will be issued Glock .40’s like the EPA?

        • I’m with ya LOI,

          To me, the scariest statement was this:

          Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a government of the past.

          I don’t like the thought of a future government from his point of view.

          • Words have a different meaning to him.

            “a government that’s more affordable.” = More government agencies and employee’s, paid for with taxes on the wealthy only.

            We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. = Agencies like DoJ, EPA, Nat. Labor board, that advance his agenda without worrying if it’s legal or ethical.

            We cannot win the future with a government of the past. = CONTROL

    • Fair and Balanced, posting MM on SOTU


      Right-wing media have embraced Rep. Paul Ryan’s GOP State of the Union response as a “candid, adult-like conversation with the American people” and a “Home Run.” But economists have disagreed with several of the claims made by Ryan in his speech, including that the stimulus “failed” and that the health care reform law does not reduce the deficit.

      from AP/John Lott

      THE FACTS: The idea that Obama’s health care law saves money for the government is based on some arguable assumptions.
      To be sure, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will slightly reduce red ink over 10 years. But the office’s analysis assumes that steep cuts in Medicare spending, as called for in the law, will actually take place. Others in the government have concluded it is unrealistic to expect such savings from Medicare.
      In recent years, for example, Congress has repeatedly overridden a law that would save the treasury billions by cutting deeply into Medicare pay for doctors. Just last month, the government once again put off the scheduled cuts for another year, at a cost of $19 billion. That money is being taken out of the health care overhaul. Congress has shown itself sensitive to pressure from seniors and their doctors, and there’s little reason to think that will change. . .

  23. A story that will not go away :roll;

    Veteran reporter Mike Evans has described in a radio interview how Hawaii Governor and close friend Neil Abercrombie was shocked at his failure to discover Obama’s birth certificate after using his power to search hospital records, an outcome that could seriously impact President Obama’s re-election campaign.

    Evans’ revelations contradict official claims that Abercrombie abandoned his search for birth records relating to Obama because of privacy laws that bar him from disclosing an individual’s birth documentation without the person’s consent.

    The birth certificate issue has rocketed back into the public limelight in recent weeks as a result of World Net Daily and specifically New York Times best selling author Jerome Corsi’s continuing investigation into the controversy, reports that have been afforded ample coverage by the hugely popular Drudge Report website.

    On Monday, Corsi reported how, “Former Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams has now signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Barack Obama Jr. in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities.”


    Let me say that I hope that Obama is a natural born citizen and this will all go away. I would not want this country being a laughing stock to the rest of the world if this were true and I really don’t want VP Biden taking the reigns (Did anyone notice last night how Biden resembles Jeff Dunhams puppet “Walter”?).

  24. Hey Bob! Tell me again about how great healthcare is in the UK & France? What happens when the governments run out of other people’s money?LOL


    Calling all Merry Men: Sherwood Forest on the market
    By Alyssa Moody – The Daily Caller | Published: 2:01 PM 01/26/2011

    Ever dreamed of frolicking around Sherwood Forest like Robin Hood and his Merry Men? Well, pack your sword and green tights, because you can now own a portion of folklore’s most iconic landscape. The British government is selling areas of the woods to cover their massive national debt, reports The Los Angeles Times. Locals are furious at the thought of developers or corporations invading their beloved forest, but the offer remains amidst their objection. As several European nations struggle to balance the books, other iconic, government-owned properties are also facing the auction block.

    France and Italy join Britain in selling historic properties to cover debt. The French landmark, Hotel de Seignelay, the former headquarters of the French Navy, is among the properties up for sale. Similarly, the Italian government has put 12,000 properties on the market, ranging from luxurious villas to historic monasteries. The combined value of the government’s real estate is roughly $3 billion dollars.

    Each nation plans to use a significant portion of the profits towards easing their massive debts. The governments now face the daunting task of finding buyers willing to purchase such extravagant properties in these tight economic times. Sure, you can live in legendary Sherwood Forest, where Robin Hood faced off with the sheriff of Nottingham, but it will cost you a pretty penny.

  25. Buck the Wala, calling Buck the Wala

    The Constitution: Does Congress really have authority to regulate campaign finance?
    Written by Rob Natelson on 23 January 2011

    The Constitution granted Congress only enumerated powers. Did those powers include measures of “campaign finance reform?”

    Congress justifies campaign regulation as flowing from its constitutional power to regulate the “Time, Place and Manner of holding” elections for the House of Representatives and the “Time . . . and Manner of holding Elections” for the Senate. (Article I, Section 4, Clause 1.) The Supreme Court has assumed that when the Founders wrote “Manner of holding Elections” they included campaign rules, but there has been astonishingly little published research on the subject, either by the Court or by other legal writers. When the Court hears campaign finance cases, it focuses mostly on the First Amendment rather than seriously investigating whether the Constitution granted Congress the power in the first place.

    I’ve just published the first article to examine the subject in depth — i.e., exactly what the Founders meant when they granted Congress power to regulate the “Manner of holding Elections.” The article appears in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. It relies on a plethora of Founding Era writings, debates, election laws, and other contemporaneous sources.

    It turns out “Manner of holding Elections” referred to election-day mechanics, such as how votes are cast and counted and whether the winner needs a majority or only a plurality vote. It included primary as well as general elections, but not campaign regulation.

    Except for election day bribery, campaign regulation was to be governed by state criminal law and state defamation law. Founders supporting the Constitution strongly represented that such matters were to be reserved almost exclusively to the states.

    So under the Constitution as originally understood, campaign governance was a primarily a state, not a federal, concern.

    Sometimes plain language is just that, plain language. Now how did anyone ever figure there was ambiguity in the phrase determine the “time, place and manner”?

  26. Woooooeeeeeeee….big fight brewing in Texas,,,,heheheheheh……..In education, there are many things on the chopping block and it is about time. Free breakfast programs, free lunch programs, and free after school dinner programs is the big argument right now. Opponents of the programs say that the schools should not be doing what parents should be doing and that is feeding their children. Proponents say that low income and poor children do not have adequate nutritional food to attend school. The argument is that the families on government subsidy are able to feed their children just fine….they just need to do it instead of selling their food stamps for drug or booze money or money for their cell phones and WiFI. It is estimated that the food stamp program in Texas is only 65% effective and that the abuse of the program is 35% of the recipients. It is very easy to get food stamps and then sell them for cash money as there is no oversight or followup. The result of the harranguing is on the budget. School systems in Texas have the option of dropping out of Federal funding which requires following Federal Guidelines. Several of the largest school districts in Texas are considering just that because of the requirment for matching funds from the State.

    School busing is another hot spot this week. Proponents of change are saying to design specific routes for children to get to school and quit utilizing buses and drivers that sometimes only pick up one student and take them to school. Rural routes in Texas have been using the designated routes for years and it works out fine. So, it is time to bring the cities into the same realm, so to speak. Parents have the responsibility to get their children to the route origin and pick them up there. Opponents claim that children walking three or four blocks to a designated route puts them in greater danger. (Hmmm…seems I remember riding a bicycle to school quite a bit). The end result is that there are less buses, less fuel burned, less drivers….less costs and environmental friendly. Proponents of change say it is far cheaper to supply the school chilren with a bicycle than it is to provide street to street curb service.

    Parents share the cost of summer programs. There is a recommendation to institutue a cost sharing by families that utilize the summer school programs (swimming, zoos, museums…etc. In other words, baby sitting in the name of education). The proposals are to share the costs equally…50/50.

    Total estimated 2 year savings….4.1 billion out of an estimated cut of 6.7 billion over the next two years.

    Districts that opt out of the Federal money are also not under Federal Guidleines. This means that Alumni funding can take a greater role without government intervention on how the money is spent…it is a school board issue.

    And the fight continues….

    • Good Morning Sir,

      With State and local government debts about to explode in everyones faces, it’s good that Texas is taking small steps like this to reign in abuse. I can’t imagine what States like Cali and Jersey are going to do, as they are much worse shape than Texas. At some point, many states are going to go in one of two directions, huge tax increases or stop giving out cookies. Both of which are bad.

      Have a great day!

      • Good morning, sir….yes. Since we have a balanced budget in our constitution, there is no choice. And we are meeting our deficit without tax increases.

    • It is a part of most peoples makeup to want to help children-the government prays on this emotional, compassionate desire to help its self grow. We already give people money to feed their children but instead of looking at these programs and what the people receiving them are doing with the money(Is it enough? or is it being wasted?)-they try to form new social programs which doesn’t fix any problem within the system, it just makes more abuse of the system possible. I personally think the free lunch program is a good idea but there needs to be a correlating cut in benefits to pay for it.

      • VH says: I personally think the free lunch program is a good idea but there needs to be a correlating cut in benefits to pay for it.

        D13 says: Nothing is free, VH. The money comes from somewhere. “Free” lunches is an entitlement program.

        • I understand that D-but it comes out of the welfare programs-we cannot, I think you will agree-just stop all welfare at this moment in time-So I am just saying that making sure a child has eaten a decent lunch so that they can learn-is a much better use of those welfare funds.

          • Hmmmmm…Cannot stop all welfare at this point….ok I agree….but the same children that are getting the free lunches are already on the welfare program through their parents….so, while it is painful and budgets must be reached….waste is the first target. But the lunch program has been expanded to breakfast and now dinner.

            • I’m not saying don’t cut the budget. I’m saying that the lunch program(and only the lunch program) is a good idea-instead of throwing out a program that is actually set up where the money actually is being used to do what it is supposed to-cut the welfare checks that go to the parents. So they cannot use that money for another purpose. Maybe doing this is cost prohibitive-Maybe federal control makes this impossible-I don’t know-but I like the idea of controlling how this “not free” money is spent.

  27. @ Buck…. This may interest you…and then again it may not….but this legislature and Republican dominated house and senate, it appears that the Right To work will become a State Constitutional addition and not just a statute.

    Currently:Texas is a right-to-work state. This means that under the Texas Labor Code, a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or other labor organization. Tex. Labor Code Ann. §§ 101.001, et al. Texas laws protect employees from threats, force, intimidation, or coercion for choosing to either participate or not participate in a union. In other words, the choice of whether to join a labor union is yours; you may not be required to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment, nor may you be denied employment because you have joined a union.

    If your employer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with a union which requires employees to make payments to, or on behalf of, a labor union under the agreement as a condition of employment, (often referred to as a “union security clause”), your employer may be in violation of Texas right-to-work laws. If you do not wish to participate in union membership or contributions, but feel that you are required to do so, or that you will be disciplined or lose your job if you do not comply, you can report the situation under Texas right-to-work laws by emailing public.information@oag.state.tx.us.

    There is a strong…very strong push to add it to the State Constitution. Texas is a Right to Work State…..period. There can still be unions, but organizing will be much harder to do and the penalties for heavy handed union thuggery would be substantial.

    Also, there is a challenge being brought forward by Texas on the new pending requirement from Obama Czars to post on the walls of employers a notice like that of the EEOC or Fair Labor Standards Act that it is a legal right of employees to join unions. There is big money pouring in from closed shop states to fight the addition to the State Constitution fearing that if any State puts in its consitution the absolute right to work, that it would be detrimental to the union shops states. Should be interesting.

  28. Last but not least in the redistricting fight in Texas. I do not know if many of you remember the last redistricting fight a decade ago…When the Republicnas had the majority and redistricting became an issue, the Texas Democrats all went to Ardmore Oklahoma to prevent a quorum in the legislature. Meaning there were enough democrats to affect the resdistricting.

    NOW….democrats only hold 49 seats of the 150 seat legislature….not enough to prevent a quorum. Redistricting is inevitable barring intervention from Washington. Governor Perry told the legislature that Washington hasno business in State affairs and he would fight through the Attorney General any attempt at intervention.

    Six guns are being oiled.

    • Has the Federal government tried to interfere in the past? Or are they now? a bell went off when I read JAC post about the government power to regulate elections. Seems like redistricting could fall under this as far as national elections-if you wanted to interpret it that way.

      • To my limited knowledge, there has been no fed interference in state resdistricting in Texas….I do not know about other states but would doubt it at this point. However, we have never had a….a…..a…..ummmmm….errrr…..hmmmmm……President quite like this one. (I pledge to be civil for a brief moment).

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