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November 2011

Adopt solutions that will empower the people

To Whom It May Concern:

Whether you choose to believe it or not necessity is, and always will be, the mother of invention.  Out of necessity for freedom, the United States of America was formed and has become the most powerful, industrialized, free nation on the face of the earth. We have the ability and technological might to design, engineer, and manufacture the most advanced military defense system known to man, the capability to transplant vital organs from one individual to another and to travel far into space or to the depths of the oceans. How then can you say we haven’t the ability, nor the technology, to economically design, engineer, and manufacture machinery necessary for harvesting fragile produce from our fields, vines and orchards, thus eliminating the ‘so-called’ need for illegal labor and creating good paying manufacturing jobs for millions of Americans in the process?  

In the same light, how can you in good conscience say that our United States hasn’t the ability, nor the technology, to safely and economically extract and use all of our own natural resources, including nuclear, while developing at the private unsubsidized level, alternatives like solar, wind, and bio fuels to not only become energy independent, but to empower the invisible hand of the free market with what is necessary for creating the millions of jobs that will ultimately turn our economy around. 

We have the technology, and we have the ability, and because of Capitalism, Free Markets, and the American Entrepreneurial Spirit we will design, we will engineer, and we will manufacture what is necessary to succeed and in doing so, we will create real jobs, the kind of jobs that build families and make for a safer, stronger, Iowa and America.  

We do not need or want socialist/Marxist policies! Nor do we need or want a progressive big government! What we require is leadership, real leadership, the kind of leadership that will embrace The Constitution of The United States, and adopt solutions that will empower the people, descendents of our founding fathers, with the promise to pursue, and live, the American dream! 

Steve Rathje
Conservative for Congress

There's no such thing as a perfect Republican Conservative, quit pretending there is and focus instead on Obama

"Could the people ostensibly on our side of things start focusing on Obama rather than trying to find the perfect Republican conservative?  I'm telling you: With his numbers eight points below Carter's, with half the country afraid to spend money on Christmas presents, with people out of their homes, no jobs and no outlook, would somebody please explain to me where it is automatic that the incumbent wins?" - Rush Limbaugh

President Obama just doesn't like Great Britain

The President screwed up when talking to the press today about the Iranian protesters who stormed the British Embassy in Tehran.  He called it "The English Embassy" instead of the British Embassy.  

This guy just doesn't like Great Britain, our greatist ally...   Obama  returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the Brits when he took office, gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown a DVD box set of movies as a diplomatic gift,  then he gave the Queen the *gift* of an iPod with his speeches loaded on it, and now this slap.....

Um, Mr. President, politically speaking here.....  England is a segment of Great Britain.  Scotland and Wales also make up part of that island.  And those territories are just part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.  Don't forget to have your staffers brief you about Northern Ireland and several other smaller islands that also make up Great Britain.    

MSNBC's Ed Schultz guilty of yet another factual manipulation

Ed Shultz of the 'Ed Show' on MSNBC, made what I contend to be yet another intentional misstatement on his show tonight, he wasn't joking, he said it, he meant it, he let it hang out there for his audience to absorb. So here's an open letter, sent to Ed the manipulator himself.
Why do you manipulate the truth and fabricate so much?  On tonight's show you mentioned that Rush Limbaugh took the day off today, implying that in light of the Herman Cain affair scandal, Rush didn't want to be on air to talk about it.
Rush told his audience yesterday afternoon at the close of his show that he was taking today off to travel, that announcement came LONG before the news of the Cain/White affair broke.
If you knew he took the day off, then you (or your staff) also knew he announced it.  
That's just one fabrication of many you make.  I know you'll keep doing this low road crap, not caring what your staff feeds you, but I'll keep documenting it.  You're developing quite a thick record, Mr. "One of the least influential people in America!"
Gee, could your intentional manipulations and fabrications be a REASON for that?  Hmmmmm......
And Steve Deace was wrong, conservatives don't come on your show because of the above, not because they're afraid of intellectually honest debate.  There's no honor in much of what you spew and your audience reflects that. 
Mike Thayer
Publisher, Coralville Courier

What does it look like when an economy collapses?

Europe's financial crisis has now reached a point where many economists worry the continent's economy could collapse in weeks, if not days, unless political leaders can agree on a bailout package for economies groaning under unmanageable debt loads.

But what would an economic crash look like when the crash is only metaphorical, so there's no actual rubble or twisted metal strewn about? And how much time would pass before we knew it happened?

Paul_weller"There would be immediate financial chaos," said Paul Weller, a professor of finance at the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business. "Europe would be plunged into a deep recession and the real economic effects would come into play quite quickly."

Most worst-case scenarios that have been playing out in recent days involve a default by Italy's government on its sovereign debt, a scenario Weller believes is unlikely, but "is more likely than it was a few weeks ago." The country would need billions of Euros from the European Central Bank to relieve its staggering $2.5 trillion debt, but leaders in other Eurozone countries are balking at such a large amount. They want Italy, Greece, and other struggling countries to put more effort into reforming their economies first, and there's political resistance in Germany because the country's still-strong economy would likely bear most of the costs of any bailout.

Weller said the triggering event of an all-out economic collapse would be an announcement that "Italy has begun an orderly debt restructuring, which is really a euphemism for default."

After that, he says the first immediate visible sign that the economy has collapsed would be runs on banks, leading to long lines at banks and ATMs and people spending lots of time online trying to get their money out of failing banks. This would begin on the day of the default in Italy if not earlier, then quickly spread to the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain), other Eurozone countries with massive debt and fragile economies that are also in danger of default. Eventually, he said banks in other parts of Europe, in particular France and Germany, would feel the effects, and then banks in other countries.

With no cash, many banks go out of business and those that survive stop lending. Credit dries up, leaving even healthy businesses with no cash to pay their bills or short-term debt and no choice but to close their doors. Workers are laid off within weeks and unemployment shoots up. A default also likely leads to the break-up of the Eurozone and the collapse of the European Union as an economic entity, leading to more economic and political chaos.

Governments fall and in a matter of months, Europe is in a deep recession with high unemployment and unstable, austerity-wrecked governments unable to provide assistance or stimulus.

Weller says the U.S. economy would take a hit because American banks own huge amounts of European debt and credit default swaps written on that debt. With Europe's economy plunging off a cliff, those banks are forced to swallow a loss on most if not all of that debt.

He says the current European scenario is similar to what happened when the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Bros. collapsed in 2008, causing a credit freeze among other lenders and investment banks that sent the U.S. economy into recession within a quarter. The damage was so sudden and so traumatic that the Federal Reserve immediately took action to minimize the fallout and spent billions of dollars to prop up other weakened financial services companies, while Congress passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Weller said the EU scenario is similar, with Italy in the role of Lehman Bros. and the European Central Bank as the Fed. But he is cautiously optimistic that the collapse that would have occurred in 2008 without Fed intervention won't play out because he thinks Europe's political leaders will eventually agree on a bailout plan for Italy and other beleaguered eurozone economies. It might not happen until the eleventh hour, but Weller said a collapse would be so catastrophic that politicians, especially in Germany, will do all within their power to sell a bailout to voters as a least-bad option.

"When people stare into the abyss, they often decide other options are worth pursuing," he says.

Reelection Misery Index: Obama job approval rating lower than Carter's

After serving 1,041 days in office, President Obama's job approval rating is lower than that of Jimmy Carter after his first 1,041 days in office.   In fact, Obama's rating at this point in a term is lower than any president since that time.  The following is taken from Gallup Poll data and presidential job approval history.

President Approval Rating
Jimmy Carter 51%
Ronald Reagan 54%
George H.W. Bush 52%
Bill Clinton 51%
George W. Bush 55%
Barack Obama 43%



Americans For Tax Reform: Stop Regulatory "Card Check"

Once again, the National Labor Relations Board is rewriting union election rules to disenfranchise workers, silence employers, and aid Big Labor. After an intentionally hastened rulemaking process, the two Democrat NLRB appointees are trying to ram through the dangerous Ambush Election rule.

The proposed ambush election rule would shorten the amount of time between when a union calls an election, and when that election is actually held. Employers are currently afforded, on average, 31 days to educate their employees about the pros and cons of unionization. Effectively silencing an employer, the NLRB rule would allow the NLRB to hold an election only ten days after the union informs the employer of intent to unionize.

More importantly, this will give workers an insufficient amount of time to consider joining a union. When workers cast their ballot, they will do so having heard one side of the story—the unions.

In order to overturn this unprecedented change in election law, House Republicans have introduced the aptly named Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act. Tomorrow, the House will vote to overturn the ambush election rule and restore long held election practices.

Tell your Representative to support the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act.


Grover Norquist to debate Ross Douthat

Watch ATR President Grover Norquist Debate New York Times Columnist Ross Douthat on the Taxpayer Protection Pledge Live Tonight (Tuesday, Nov 29) at the American Enterprise Institute via live stream.  The event begins at 5:30pm ET.

In the next American Enterprise Debate, Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, will argue that the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is an effective bulwark against tax increases. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat will counter with his claim that the tax pledge has created political gridlock that threatens to derail serious tax reform and deficit reduction. AEI research fellow and former chief economist to the House Ways and Means Committee Alex Brill will moderate.

To watch the livestream of the event, click here.

Report: Herman Cain ‘Reassessing’ Whether To Stay In GOP Race

According to a report by National Review reporter Robert Costa this morning, Republican candidate Herman Cain is considering dropping out of the race in light of the Ginger White affair scandal.

Costa reports:  In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race. He told them he will make his final decision “over the next several days.”

Good Riddance, "Subprime" Barney Frank

"If there is a name singularly attached to this economic collapse via the subprime fiasco, it's Barney Frank -- along with Chris Dodd, as well and most elements of the Democrat Party back in the Clinton years." - Rush Limbaugh
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