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National Issues

Devolve Transportation Spending to States

From RedState:

One of the numerous legislative deadlines that Congress will be forced to confront this session is the expiration of the 8th short-term extension of the 2005 surface transportation authorization law (SAFETEA-LU).  With federal transportation spending growing beyond its revenue source, an imbalance between donor and recipient states, inefficient and superfluous construction projects popping up all over the country, and burdensome mass transit mandates on states, it is time to inject some federalism into transportation spending.

Throughout the presidential campaign, many of the candidates have expressed broad views of state’s rights, while decrying the expansion of the federal government.  In doing so, some of the candidates have expressed the conviction that states have the right to implement tyranny or pick winners and losers, as long as the federal government stays out of it.  Romneycare and state subsidies for green energy are good examples.  The reality is that states don’t have rights; they certainly don’t have the power to impose tyranny on citizens by forcing them to buy health insurance or regulating the water in their toilet bowels – to name a few.  They do, however, reserve powers under our federalist system of governance to implement legitimate functions of government.  A quintessential example of such a legitimate power is control over transportation and infrastructure spending.

The Highway Trust Fund was established in 1956 to fund the Interstate Highway System (IHS).  The fund, which is administered by the DOT’s Federal Highway Administration, has been purveyed by the federal gasoline tax, which now stands at 18.4 cents per gallon (24.4 for diesel fuel).  Beginning in 1983, Congress began siphoning off some of the gas tax revenue for the great liberal sacred cow; the urban mass transit system.  Today, mass transit receives $10.2 billion in annual appropriations, accounting for a whopping 20% of transportation spending.  Additionally, the DOT mandates that states use as much as 10% of their funding for all sorts of local pork projects, such as bike paths and roadside flowers.

As a result of the inefficiencies and wasteful mandates of our top-down approach to transportation spending, trust fund outlays have exceeded its revenue source by an average of $12 billion per year, even though the IHS – the catalyst for the gasoline tax – has been completed for 20 years.  In 2008, the phantom trust fund was bailed out with $35 billion in general revenue, and has been running a deficit for the past few years.  Congress has not passed a 6-year reauthorization bill since 2005, relying on a slew of short-term extensions, the last of which is scheduled to expire on March 31.

Short-term funding is no way to plan for long-term infrastructure projects.  In their alacrity to gobble up the short-term money before it runs out, state and local governments tend to use the funds on small time and indivisible projects, such as incessant road repaving, instead of better planned long-term projects.

It’s time for a long-term solution, one which will inject much-needed federalism and free-market solutions into our inefficient and expensive transportation policy.

Read the rest at RedState.

Landmark Supreme Court Ruling on Technology and the Fourth Amendment

From The Heritage Foundation:

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued an important ruling on the subject of surveillance in light of today’s technologies. Its opinion in United States v. Jones makes the rules for surveillance much less clear, which perhaps is not surprising given the rapid technological change and the need for further legislative and judicial action to address these complex new issues.

Law enforcement long has used surveillance to track the comings and goings of suspects, probationers, and parolees as well as suspected spies, terrorists, and the like. Surveillance was oftentimes necessary and always valuable to make a case. Surveillance also helps law enforcement learn when a crime is about to occur so that the police can prevent it or catch the perpetrators. The actual conduct of surveillance traditionally involves “shoe leather,” binoculars, cars, and cameras, with a team of cops following a suspect as he travels about.

Traditional surveillance did not raise many novel legal issues. Over 50 years, the Supreme Court had repeatedly ruled that what a person exposes to the public—e.g., his location on city streets—is public information that the government may freely use for any lawful purpose.

Monday’s decision changes that rule. Because the federal government suspected Antoine Jones of drug trafficking, it attached a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device to the undercarriage of his wife’s car, tracked his whereabouts for about 30 days, and used that evidence against him at trial. The Supreme Court decided that attachment and use of that device to monitor Jones’s movements constituted a “search” for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. Placement and use of a GPS device on Jones’s car was a trespass on his property by the government, the Court reasoned, which amounts to a “search.”

It is most likely that the Supreme Court found troubling the government’s ability to keep track of anyone and everyone through use of modern-day technology, particularly a GPS device. The Court mentioned the fact that the police in the Jones case used visual surveillance and a fixed camera as part of the investigation, and the Court did not criticize the use of those longstanding techniques. The reason may be due in part to their inherent limitations, not just because they do not involve a trespass. There has always been a practical limit on the number of police officers that could be assigned to a particular surveillance operation, the number of cameras that can be installed in public areas, and the amount of time that a person would expose himself to public surveillance. Those practical limitations create less public and judicial angst when the police use those surveillance practices, which affects how the public and courts feel about their use without prior judicial authorization.

Modern-day electronic surveillance devices, however, explode those limitations. The difference between using shoe leather or a Crown Vic to follow a suspect and a GPS device for surveillance is a difference in kind, not degree (or, if it is a difference in degree, it’s like the difference between a body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and one of 28.6 degrees). The problem is that technology has so enhanced the ability of law enforcement to track someone—whether through security cameras spread throughout a city; bank deposits and withdrawals; credit card transactions; vehicle, school, employment, and financial databases; facial recognition software; and so forth—that the old paradigm no longer may apply. From here on out, whenever the government overcomes the physical limitations on human observation by using any newfangled contraption, the claim will be made that use of the device is a “search.”

That much is certain. How the Fourth Amendment regulates surveillance after Jones, however, is an open question. The Court limited its decision to both the GPS device used on Jones’s car and the narrow legal issue raised by his case. The implications of what the Court held, however, are far broader than the case itself. Does Jones require that traditional surveillance techniques also be treated as a search? Must the police obtain a search warrant before using a GPS device? And what rule applies when the government uses such equipment to watch suspected terrorists (or spies) rather than street thugs? Expect to see a flurry of litigation over these types of questions in the months to come.

Hypocrisy Watch: Obama’s office staff owe $834K in back taxes

From RedState:

Note the term ‘office’ staff: I’m comfortable in assuming that the general White House staff – the cleaners, cooks, gardeners, handymen, and whatnot – are all careful to make sure that their taxes are paid up. If only because the President clearly won’t protect them. Anyway, Andrew Malcolm has the summary: 36 office staff members owe $833,900 in back taxes. Which, by the way, is only moderately more scandalous on a fiscal level than the fact that, in an economy where everybody else is forced to cut back on jobs, the White House staff has increased to be larger than George W Bush’s, in both personnel and budget terms.

It constantly amazes me – honestly, even after four* years of watching this – how incredibly tin-eared the President is when it comes to this sort of thing. Considering what we did to this administration over tax evasion in 2009… there should be a large sign above every entry security checkpoint in the White House (angled so that it can be only seen from the inside) saying PAY YOUR TAXES, YOU FOOLS. And if Barack Obama had the ability to find and keep a competent Chief of Staff, there might have been. Alas, he does not, and so there is not… and fish rot from the head down.

Read the rest at RedState.

Santorum: ‘The Constitution Is There to Do One Thing: Protect God-Given Rights’

From The Blaze:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum had several crowd pleasing remarks during Thursday’s GOP debate from Jacksonville on CNN, a strong performance which many speculated was a must for the former Pennsylvania Senator to keep pace in the Florida primary race as Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have begun to separate themselves in the polls.

When an audience member asked the candidates how their religious beliefs would affect their decisions as President, Santorum turned to the nation’s founding documents to reference the relationship between faith and governance.

“The Constitution is there to do one thing, protect God-given rights,” said Santorum. “That’s what makes America different than every other country in the world.”

“When you say ‘faith has nothing to do with it’– faith has everything to do with it,” Santorum went on to say over applause. “If our President believes that rights come to us from the state, everything government gives you, it can take away.

“The role of the government is to protect rights that cannot be taken away.”

 

USA Today notes that Texas Rep. Ron Paul answered the question by saying that his beliefs affect the way he treats people, and the only thing that affects him, as a congressman or president, is his oath of office. NPR reports that Romney concurred with Paul, but adds that he “would also seek the guidance of providence in making decisions.”

Gingrich answered the question in three parts, saying that “anyone who is president is faced with decisions so enormous they should go to God,” and that faith isn’t just an hour on Sundays. Gingrich closed with a popular argument that he has made before, saying that one of the reasons he is running is because “there has been a war on religion, particularly on Christianity in this country.”

“I frankly believe it’s important to have leadership that says, enough, we are given the right for religious freedom, not religious oppression by the state.”

The Tea Party Is Not Dead

From Big Government:

Contrary to what some may believe, the Tea Party, aka main-stream America, did not evaporate after their big victory in the 2010 mid-term elections. This year, members of Tea Party groups across the nation are focusing on other activities that are necessary to grass roots organizations: training future activists, working to support the election of more conservatives to Congress and state legislatures, and assisting in teaching young Americans about their Constitution and why they need to defend it.

In addition, Tea Party Patriots has its own response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

 

Members of the Tea Party know that true change is not just about political rhetoric and big rallies. Unlike President Obama, and the liberal elites in Washington, who apparently believe that governance by fiat and authoritarian control of the electorate assure them of prolonged periods of power, the Tea Party knows that true power comes from within the hearts and minds of Americans. Like a stealth fighter, the Tea Party is doing the essential work, even if not the center of attention.

Obama Administration Gave Electric Car Battery Maker $118 Million Grant, Company Now Bankrupt

From Big Government:

The latest taxpayer-funded boondoggle to emerge from the Obama Administration’s infamous Energy Department grant and loan program has cost taxpayers $118.5 million, new bankruptcy filings by electric battery maker Ener1 reveal.

From Bloomberg News:

The company listed assets of $73.9 million and debt of $90.5 million as of Dec. 31 in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Ener1 has been affected by competing battery developers in China and South Korea, “which generally have a lower cost manufacturing base” and lower labor and raw material costs, interim Chief Executive Officer Alex Sorokin said in the petition.

Like Solyndra, Ener1 was a company touted by President Obama as being a shining example of his vision for taxpayer-subsidized clean energy.

Read the rest at Big Government.

NLRB Wants to Force Companies to Turn Over Employee Contact Info

From The Blaze:

Peter Schaumber appeared on Fox’s Your World with Neil Cavuto to discuss a troubling new development within the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Board Chair Mark Pearce is introducing a series of new regulations. One of these regulations, if passed, would require businesses to surrender their employee’s personal contact information to campaigning union heads.

“If the National Labor Relations Board gets its way, companies could be forced to hand over your contact information, whether you like it or not, to union leaders,” Fox host Neil Cavuto said. “Union leaders having access to your phone number, your email address?”

Schaumber, himself a former NLRB chairman, joined Cavuto to discuss his great fear: that unions will use that information to harass people not in a union.

“I think it’s terrible. Workers have a right to be left alone,” Schaumber said.

“They have a right not to be harassed during a union organizing campaign. If a worker has given his or her employer their home phone, their personal email address, their cell phone, it was in the expectation that it wasn’t going to be given to third parties but was going to be used by the employer for the purposes of what it was intended to be given for. And in most instances that’s to contact the employee under emergency situations.”

See the Cavuto interview:

Read the rest at The Blaze.

My “State of the Union” Response

Here’s my response to the last State of the Union speech from Barack Hussein Obama:

(see my comments in BOLD.)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.

We’ve abandoned Iraq to be overrun by radical Islam, and soon, we’ll do the same with Afghanistan.

These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

The American Military ALWAYS exceeds expectations.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people.

That might happen if we flush the socialist/Marxist professors from our colleges.

An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs.

That requires a business environment where entrepreneurs can invest in technology without government obstruction in the form of the EPA, IRS, and multiple other Federal agencies, as well as the highest corporate taxes in the world.

A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world.

DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW!  Start in my back yard.

An economy built to last, where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.

Impossible while taxing the crap out of hard work.

We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton’s Army, got the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned out the best products on Earth.

In a taxation and regulatory environment that we haven’t had since.

The two of them shared the optimism of a Nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share – the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.

It was still possible back then.

The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important.

Comment here.

We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by.

Class warfare 101.  The reality is that when the ‘rich’ do well, so does everyone else.

Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

Not likely to happen in an Administration that rejected the Keystone XL pipeline because Warren Buffet’s BNSF Railroad would suffer from the loss of the oil cargo.  “Fair-share” is Democrat-speak for class warfare and “soak the rich”.

What’s at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.

True.  That’s why we need to elect a President who cares about American values.

Let’s remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores.

True.  The Democrat Congress of 2006 started the changes that led to the decline.

Technology made businesses more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete.

Efficiency creates jobs…someone has to tend the machines.

Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren’t, and personal debt that kept piling up.

More class warfare.

In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn’t afford or understand them. Banks had made huge bets and bonuses with other people’s money. Regulators had looked the other way, or didn’t have the authority to stop the bad behavior.

Democrats TOLD banks to write mortgages to people who didn’t meet the criteria, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac underwrited them.

It was wrong. It was irresponsible.  And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and left innocent, hard-working Americans holding the bag. In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly four million jobs. And we lost another four million before our policies were in full effect.

Yep, it was wrong.  Yep, it was irresponsible.  And yep, it tanked the economy.

Those are the facts. But so are these. In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.

True on job creation, but not for the reasons you think. 

Together, we’ve agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion.

Give me a break.  You have created incredible debt.

And we’ve put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.

Rules that help the big stay big, and kill the small. Good job (not.)

The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we’ve come too far to turn back now.

Barely.  You’re holding it back.

As long as I’m President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum.

Progressives and Democrats only, please.

But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.

Anything put forward by Republicans.

No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits.

We haven’t left that economy:

  • Outsourcing will continue as long as its cheaper to make things in China and pay to ship them here than it is to make things here in the first place.
  • Obama has run up more debt that all of the previous Presidents combined.
  • Democrat pressure on banks and underwriting by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac caused banks to write mortgages to anyone with a pulse.

Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.

You’ve done more to destroy that environment than I can imagine.

This blueprint begins with American manufacturing.

On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die.

Yes, we should have.

With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen.

The jobs wouldn’t have been lost…the companies that acquire assets in a bankruptcy continue to operate those assets.  The hole in the market created by the loss of GM and Chrysler would have been quickly refilled.

In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences.

By giving half of the companies to the unions.

We got the industry to retool and restructure.

By forcing plant closures and making the remaining plant work three shifts, whether they needed to or not.

Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number one automaker.

Because Toyota got earthquaked/tsunamied.

Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company.

As a unit of Fiat.

Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories.

Ford is able to do this because they saw the crash coming, and prepared.

And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs. We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.

Back, on life support.

What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can’t bring back every job that’s left our shores.

Not as long as we keep taxing the hell out of American business.

But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China.

Because China is beginning to regulate things, but not nearly as tight as America.

Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.

Master Lock is an exception to the rule.

So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed.

  • Cut corporate taxes
  • Dissolve the EPA
  • Repeal Dodd-Frank

We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it.

True.  Now fix it by lowering corporate taxes.

So let’s change it. First, if you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it. That money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.

Taking away tax deductions = raising taxes.  Wrong direction.

Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax. And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here.

More taxation…

Third, if you’re an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you’re a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.

Tax cuts = good…Government loans with strings attached = bad.

My message is simple. It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I’ll sign them right away.

No thanks.

We’re also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements I signed into law, we are on track to meet that goal – ahead of schedule. Soon, there will be millions of new customers for American goods in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Soon, there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit, and Toledo, and Chicago.

That only the upper-crust can afford, due to the cost of American products overseas.

I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.

Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.

More regulations…yippee.  And if you think that we’re going to slap China around…remember who holds most of our debt.

I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can’t find workers with the right skills. Growing industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that – openings at a time when millions of Americans are looking for work.

Our broken schools aren’t turning out enough good high school students.

That’s inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.

Really…

Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and robotics training. It paid Jackie’s tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant.

Private investment in employees…excellent.

I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did. Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. My Administration has already lined up more companies that want to help. Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, Orlando, and Louisville are up and running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers – places that teach people skills that local businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing.

Government spending in colleges…not good.

And I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people like Jackie have one program, one website, and one place to go for all the information and help they need. It’s time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work.

One place, controlled by government.

These reforms will help people get jobs that are open today. But to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and education has to start earlier.

For less than one percent of what our Nation spends on education each year, we’ve convinced nearly every State in the country to raise their standards for teaching and learning – the first time that’s happened in a generation.

Spending more money on education doesn’t improve education.

But challenges remain. And we know how to solve them.

At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers. We know a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies – just to make a difference.

Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let’s offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn.

Get the hell out of education, dissolve the Department of Education, and just watch the flexibility.

We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.

Graduating is great, and everyone should do it.  But, there are sometimes kids who can’t finish school, for various reasons.

When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college. At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves middle-class families thousands of dollars.

Good moves.

And give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years.

How?  You can’t artificially create jobs.

Of course, it’s not enough for us to increase student aid. We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we’ll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down. Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who’ve done just that. Some schools re-design courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology. The point is, it’s possible. So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can’t be a luxury – it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.

This chatter is getting dangerously close to a ‘right to college’…right out of the Communist Manifesto.

Let’s also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: The fact that they aren’t yet American citizens.

Then why are they here in our colleges??

Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every day with the threat of deportation.

And they should be deported.  Look up Operation Wetback for reference.

Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.

If they are here illegally, send them home.  If they came here on an education visa, they were always going to go home.

That doesn’t make sense.

Makes sense to me.

I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That’s why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That’s why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.

Fewer that we know about through the non-fenced border.

The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.

Get to the back of the line like everyone else.

You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.

I support every CITIZEN. All others are not eligible.

After all, innovation is what America has always been about. Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let’s pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas. So put them in a bill, and get it on my desk this year.

These bills always get mired down with pork and other stupid things that we can’t allow.

Innovation also demands basic research. Today, the discoveries taking place in our federally-financed labs and universities could lead to new treatments that kill cancer cells but leave healthy ones untouched. New lightweight vests for cops and soldiers that can stop any bullet. Don’t gut these investments in our budget. Don’t let other countries win the race for the future. Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.

Private enterprise can support these things without government assistance.

Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I’m directing my Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.

We’ve heard that before…right before the Gulf Oil Spill and total moratorium on drilling…how convenient.

Right now, American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right – eight years. Not only that – last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past sixteen years.

The high price of oil is driving this, despite government blocking the path.

But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.

Grossly underestimated.  The oil’s there.  We have plenty of time to allow private development of other energy sources.

This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.

DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW!

We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. And I’m requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk.

More regulations.

The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy. And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of thirty years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock – reminding us that Government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.

It would have happened, with or without government.

What’s true for natural gas is true for clean energy.

No, it’s not.  Clean energy is expensive.

In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.

Federal spending on boondoggle projects that will never be self-supporting.

When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it’s hiring workers like Bryan, who said, “I’m proud to be working in the industry of the future.”

What’s wrong with luxury yachts?  Oh yeah, you’re trying to destroy the rich, and then they won’t be able to buy yachts.

Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don’t always come right away.

Or ever.

Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail.

Like Solyndra…even after massive Federal spending.

But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy.

Oh, joy.

I will not walk away from workers like Bryan.

Bryan could still be making yachts.

I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That’s long enough. It’s time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that’s rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs.

More boondoggle spending on projects that will NEVER be profitable.

We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives. The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change.

Here we go…should I show you the emails from England?

But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven’t acted. Well tonight, I will. I’m directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes.

More boondoggle spending on projects that will NEVER be profitable.

And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

Energy that’s more expensive that conventional sources.

Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here’s another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, and more jobs for construction workers who need them. Send me a bill that creates these jobs.

More Federal spending.  Companies can do this without government.  Just get out of the way.

Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America’s infrastructure.

Here comes the stimulus package…

So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got crumbling roads and bridges.

Didn’t we just fix them all with the previous stimulus?

A power grid that wastes too much energy.

Huh?  How?

An incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.

Satellite broadband is available everywhere…where’s the problem?

During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our States with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.

In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.

Ah, there’s the stimulus…I knew it was here somewhere.

There’s never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing bubble burst. Of course, construction workers weren’t the only ones hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who’ve seen their home values decline.

Back to where prices should have been all along.  The bubble was created by the same forces that caused the financial meltdown.

And while Government can’t fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.

That’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.

More regulation and taxation.

Let’s never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a Government and a financial system that do the same.

Rules for the government are in the Constitution…you should try reading it.  The financial system would be fine if failure were allowed.  The free market will cause the financial system to self-regulate.  You destroyed that with the Community Reinvestment Act and by pressuring banks to make bad loans.

It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.

You have been the most class-divisive President in history.  Fat chance of this happening.

An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.

No, an America built to last insists on INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY.  There’s a difference.

We’ve all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn’t afford them.

…a situation caused by the Community Reinvestment Act, and pressure from Democrats to make those loans.

That’s why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Rules to prevent financial fraud, or toxic dumping, or faulty medical devices, don’t destroy the free market. They make the free market work better.

Regulation NEVER make the free market work better.  Need a definition of the word ‘FREE’?

There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly.

True.  I’d say ‘most’.

In fact, I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.

That’s because he was a big-government progressive too.

I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. We got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill – because milk was somehow classified as an oil.

Good, but not nearly enough.

With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk.

Ba-dum-tshhhh….first joke…ha ha.

I’m confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder.

Yes, they can.

But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago.

BP wouldn’t have been exploring in 5000 feet of water if your policies regarding off-shore drilling hadn’t pushed it there.

I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean.

Good things, but the States can handle it.

I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.

How about allowing insurance companies to sell their products across state lines?  Then, the market will cause them to improve their terms.

And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules. The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system’s core purpose: Getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas, and getting loans to responsible families who want to buy a home, start a business, or send a kid to college.

More rules NEVER encourage more business.

So if you’re a big bank or financial institution, you are no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers’ deposits. You’re required to write out a “living will” that details exactly how you’ll pay the bills if you fail – because the rest of us aren’t bailing you out ever again.

Uh-huh.  What about Dodd-Frank?  It’s a perpetual bailout.

And if you’re a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can’t afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices are over. Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog in Richard Cordray with one job: To look out for them.

By heading an unconstitutional arm of the Federal Reserve, and by imposing more rules and regulations?  This will simply STOP credit, not regulate it.

We will also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments. Some financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there’s no real penalty for being a repeat offender. That’s bad for consumers, and it’s bad for the vast majority of bankers and financial service professionals who do the right thing. So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.

So, what about allowing MF Global to raid the accounts of its smaller customers to pay off JP Morgan Chase?  An unbelieveable violation of trust.

And tonight, I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.

Again, clamping down on credit will simply STOP credit.  Who would take the chance of extending credit when the Feds are knocking on the door?

A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt and invest in our future.

‘Fair play’ and ‘shared responsibility’ are code words for socialism.  How about a ‘fair shot’ and individual responsibility’?

Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let’s agree right here, right now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay.

Yes, and stop the Democrats from attaching unacceptable provisions to the bill.

When it comes to the deficit, we’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings.

After creating more debt than all of the prior Presidents.

But we need to do more, and that means making choices. Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

How about a flat tax?  Or the FairTax?…didn’t think so.

Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else – like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.

Repeal Obamacare, and we could do both.

The American people know what the right choice is.

Anybody but YOU in November.

So do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors.

Kill Medicaid and return the money to the States.  Phase out Medicare and Social Security.  Problem solved.

But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of Members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes.

More class warfare.  Here it comes.

Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you’re earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn’t get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn’t go up. You’re the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You’re the ones who need relief.

Yep, thought so. 

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want.

I do.

But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.

It’s apples and oranges.  I would bet that in Dollars, Warren Buffet paid far more in taxes than his secretary.

We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it.

coughBULL$%#^!cough

When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich.

Wrong…you created this environment.  Thanks for Occupy, you idiot.

It’s because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don’t need and the country can’t afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet.

We are making up the difference for the incredibly wasteful spending you have created, not your tax break.  Others receive the tax breaks and use them to create jobs.

That’s not right. Americans know it’s not right.

Damn straight.

They know that this generation’s success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to their country’s future, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That’s how we’ll reduce our deficit. That’s an America built to last.

WRONG! Again, INDIVIDUAL responsibility creates an America built to last.

I recognize that people watching tonight have differing views about taxes and debt; energy and health care. But no matter what party they belong to, I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing right now: Nothing will get done this year, or next year, or maybe even the year after that, because Washington is broken.

Get out of the way so we can fix it.

Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical?

The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn’t come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not. Who benefited from that fiasco?

No one, because Boehner caved in.

I’ve talked tonight about the deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street. But the divide between this city and the rest of the country is at least as bad – and it seems to get worse every year.

We don’t trust you, and you think we’re stupid.

Some of this has to do with the corrosive influence of money in politics. So together, let’s take some steps to fix that. Send me a bill that bans insider trading by Members of Congress, and I will sign it tomorrow. Let’s limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries they impact.

Good idea…fat chance it’ll pass the self-serving Congress.

Let’s make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa – an idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.

I challenge you to reject your ‘bundled’ money….didn’t think so.

Some of what’s broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough to get anything – even routine business – passed through the Senate. Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.

I seem to remember a similar request from a Republican President to a Democrat Congress several years ago…

The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote. That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.

And you promise not to abuse it?…Riiiiight…NO MORE POWER FOR YOU!

Finally, none of these reforms can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town. We need to end the notion that the two parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction; that politics is about clinging to rigid ideologies instead of building consensus around common sense ideas.

Then please grow some common sense, and stop destroying America.

I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.

You think we are too stupid to do anything…now what?

That’s why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States.

How about eliminating the Department of Education, and returning it ALL to the States?

That’s why we’re getting rid of regulations that don’t work.

Just clearing the way for new regulations that ‘do’.

That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program.

Obamacare relies on KILLING the private market, so government can own the market.

On the other hand, even my Republican friends who complain the most about Government spending have supported federally-financed roads, and clean energy projects, and federal offices for the folks back home.

And I’ll call them out for it as well.

The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective Government.

How about SMALLER?  Sorry, I forgot who I was talking to…

And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow. But I can do a whole lot more with your help.

So, if Congress is in the way, you’ll go around them.  Nice way to pee on the Constitution.

Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can’t achieve.

True.  But, your ideology prohibits you from working with us.

That is the lesson we’ve learned from our actions abroad over the last few years.

Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can’t escape the reach of the United States of America.

Huh?  Ending the Iraq war will allow Iran to take over.

From this position of strength, we’ve begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. Ten thousand of our troops have come home. Twenty-three thousand more will leave by the end of this summer. This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.

Afghanistan is incapable of partnership.  The country will fall back into the hands of Muslim extremists.

As the tide of war recedes, a wave of change has washed across the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunis to Cairo; from Sana’a to Tripoli. A year ago, Qadhafi was one of the world’s longest-serving dictators – a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is gone. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change can’t be reversed, and that human dignity can’t be denied.

And, you have now set up the conditions that will allow the Islamic Caliphate to regenerate….nice going.  Maybe you should do some research on the Islamic effect on ‘human dignity’.

How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain.

Not really…radical Islam is taking over.

But we have a huge stake in the outcome. And while it is ultimately up to the people of the region to decide their fate, we will advocate for those values that have served our own country so well. We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings – men and women; Christians, Muslims, and Jews. We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty.

Radical Islam rejects all Western values, and believes that all non-Muslims should be KILLED.  So…will we attack them when they start killing their neighbors?

And we will safeguard America’s own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program now stands as one.

Not really.  Are you willing to bomb Iran’s nuclear program?…I didn’t think so.

The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent.

But, they still threaten to close the Straits of Hormuz…and we cancel military exercises.  Some pressure.

Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.

Really?  Will you support the use of nuclear weapons to prevent this?  I DO.

But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.

Talking with radical Islam allows them to stall for time while preparing our DEATHS.

The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper.

Are you nuts?  Running around the globe apologizing for America doesn’t make us stronger.

Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history.

I wonder if Benjamin Netanyahu feels that way…

We’ve made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope.

Burma’s reforms had nothing to do with America.

From the coalitions we’ve built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we’ve led against hunger and disease; from the blows we’ve dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.

Not really.

Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Really?  Is that why Iran is threatening an act of war?  Because we’re stronger?

That’s not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That’s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they’ve been in years. Yes, the world is changing; no, we can’t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs – and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way.

Again, by apologizing for America.

That’s why, working with our military leaders, I have proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget.

By slashing it to pieces…yea right.

To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I have already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing danger of cyber-threats.

And crippling the Internet so we can’t collaborate against your socialist activities.

Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it. As they come home, we must serve them as well as they served us. That includes giving them the care and benefits they have earned – which is why we’ve increased annual VA spending every year I’ve been President.

Agreed.  But, I’d bet that the private sector could do a better job with health care.  I’ve been in the ER of a VA hospital at 3am on Wednesday night, and it’s not pretty.

And it means enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our Nation.

With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we are providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets. Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. And tonight, I’m proposing a Veterans Job Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her.

Good idea, as long as vets are given equal consideration with everyone else.

Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

You can’t act as a cohesive unit while you are concerned that your bunkmate might be ‘checking you out’ in the shower.  It creates divisions.  Stop using the US Military as a social experiment.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.

The SEALS did their usual EXCELLENT JOB, and you get the credit…nice.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own.

And no one is tearing it down like you are.

This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.

We will be working as a team, we’ve got each others’ backs, we’re holding to the truth, we’re definitely being tried and challenged, and our mission is to replace you with a President who will RESTORE this Country, not destroy it.  We are joined in a common purpose, your retirement.  We are moving forward.  Our future IS hopeful.  Our Union will be strong again, after you’re gone.

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

Is Valerie Jarrett President Obama‘s ’Worst’ Adviser?

From The Blaze:

 The Weekly Standard’s Matthew Continetti has given a new title to Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett; ”The Worst White House Aide.” The label comes as Continetti gives his outlook on the episode described in The Obamas that has taken up the brunt of political chatter not involving the GOP nomination over the last week.

(Related: Valerie Jarrett Attacks GOP in Speech From MLK’s Church Pulpit)

The Obamas author Jodi Kantor writes that during a heated White House Staff meeting involving then press secretary Robert Gibbs and Jarrett, Gibbs dealt out expletive-laden insults to both the First Lady and White House advisor. According to Kantor, the exchange occurred on Sept. 16, 2010, right after after Gibbs had allegedly diffused a potentially explosive report that claimed Mrs. Obama told French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy that she “can’t stand“ life in the White House and that it was ”hell.”

Read the rest at The Blaze

Gingrich: Say, that gold standard looks like a pretty good idea

From Hot Air:

Could Newt Gingrich steal some of Ron Paul’s thunder to generate enough support to beat Mitt Romney in South Carolina? It might be difficult to swing Paul voters to another Republican candidate, even in the general election, but it looks like Gingrich plans to give it a try.  Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard reports on Gingrich’s decision to raise the issue of a return to “hard money” and the gold standard:

“We need to get our house in order. And we need to vaccinate ourselves against foreign contagion. The correct answer to the Euro is not to spend more American money propping up the Germans who prop up Southern Europe. The correct answer is to figure how we seal our banks off; how we make sure we protect ourselves and then say to the Europeans: you have a problem and you need to solve it.

“Part of our approach ought to be to reestablish something Ronald Reagan did in 1981 and that is to have a Commission on Gold to look at the whole concept of how do we get back to hard money.

Read the rest at Hot Air.

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