Saturday, June 27, 2009

PHLASHBACK: President & Mrs. Reagan Award Michael Jackson

Remarks at a White House Ceremony Marking Progress Made in the Campaign Against Drunk Driving


May 14, 1984

The President. Well, isn't this a thriller? [Laughter] I'm delighted to see all of you here today. We haven't seen this many people since we left China. And just think, you all came to see me. [Laughter]

No, I know why you're here, and with good reason -- to see one of the most talented, most popular, and most exciting superstars in the music world today -- Michael Jackson.

And, Michael, welcome to the White House. I hope you'll forgive me, but we have quite a few young folks in the White House who all wanted me to give you the same message. They said to tell Michael, ``Please give some TLC to the PYTs.'' [Laughter] Now, I know that sounds a little off-the-wall, but you know what I mean. [Laughter]

And, Michael, I have another message from our fans in the Washington, DC, area. They said, we want you back. So, when you begin your greatly awaited crosscountry tour, will you please be sure to drop off here in the Nation's Capital?

Well, down to business. We're gathered here to mark the progress of a shared endeavor and to commit ourselves to an even greater national effort, as Elizabeth told you. On April 14th of 1982, I created a Presidential Commission on Drunk Driving. And since that date, real progress has been made. States have passed tougher laws, arrests and enforcement have been stepped up, and citizens across our country are taking a stronger stand against the tragedies caused by drinking and driving.

Another milestone resulted in the Commission's work -- the creation of a National Public Service Campaign to make more Americans aware of solutions to this national problem. Our campaign will marshal the power of the media, with the help, as you've been told, of the Advertising Council, our Private Sector Initiatives Office, and the Department of Transportation, under the strong leadership of Secretary Elizabeth Dole. This private sector-government partnership brings a message to young people that will touch many lives and change them for the better.

Today we recognize all these fine efforts of voluntarism by the Commission members as well as those of the Ad Council. Helping one another for the good of this country and its citizens and without concern for reward or payment, this is the heart of America -- strong, good, and true.

I want to recognize another volunteer effort made for the good of our country, especially our nation's youth, and it is, as you've been told, none other than Michael Jackson's effort.

At this stage of his career, when it would seem he's achieved everything a musical performer could hope for, Michael Jackson is taking time to help lead the fight against alcohol and drug abuse.

Michael, you've made it possible for us to warn millions of young Americans about the dangers of drinking and driving. You've done this with your music you've provided to the public service messages as well as through your own personal example. And thanks to your help, Michael, young people from virtually every family in America will hear these messages on television and radio. And they will hear them at one of the most criticial times of the year, when graduations and vacations are fast approaching. Thanks to your help, lives will be saved. And no one can put a dollar value on the precious life of one boy or girl.

Michael Jackson is proof of what a person can accomplish through a lifestyle free of alcohol or drug abuse. People young and old respect that. And if Americans follow his example, then we can face up to the problem of drinking and driving, and we can, in Michael's words, beat it.

Nancy spends a great deal of her time with young people talking about the problems of drug and alcohol abuse, so I speak for both of us when I say, thank you, Michael, for the example that you're giving to millions of young Americans who look up to you.

And let me just say as one who spent a certain part of his life in the entertainment business, what Michael Jackson has achieved is a tribute to 20 years of hard work, energy, tireless dedication, and a wealth of talent that keeps on growing. Your success is an American dream come true.

And now, if you'd permit me, I would like to present you with this award. And I would like to read what it says: ``To Michael Jackson, with appreciation for the outstanding example you have set for the youth of America and the world. Your historic record-breaking achievements and your preeminence in popular music are a tribute to your creativity, dedication, and great ability. The generous contribution of your time and talent to the National Campaign Against Teen-age Drunk Driving will help millions of young Americans learn that drinking and driving can kill a friendship.''

Michael Jackson. I'm very, very honored. Thank you very much, Mr. President and Mrs. Reagan.

Note: The President spoke at 11:01 a.m. on the South Lawn of the White House.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Fiscal Policy: The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an anti-stimulus package that in the name of saving the earth will destroy the American economy. Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump.

Read More: Global Warming | Business & Regulation

Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.

The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.

It's what Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, might call a "man-caused disaster," a phrase she coined to replace the politically incorrect "terrorist attack." But no terrorist could ever dream of inflicting as much damage as this bill.

Its centerpiece is a "cap and trade" provision that has been rightfully derided as "cap and tax." It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide.

It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase.

It's a political bill that could come to a vote now that a deal was struck with farm-state legislators concerned about the taxation of even bovine flatulence.

As part of the agreement reached Tuesday night and announced by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, agricultural oversight for cap-and-trade was transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers hope the USDA will be less intrusive. The EPA has been tasked by a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from your nostrils to your lawn mower. This even covers the emissions of barnyard animals, including the methane from cows.

The American Farm Bureau warns that cap and trade would cost the average farmer $175 on every dairy cow and $80 for beef cattle. So farm-state politics trumped climate change.

We all know about farmers paid not to grow food. But now, American taxpayers apparently will be paying companies not to chop down trees. The Washington Times reports that as part of the legislation, the House will also be voting Friday on a plan to pay domestic and international companies around the world not to cut down trees.

Such offsets "would be a transfer of wealth overseas," said William Kovacs, vice president for environmental affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So if a tree falls in a Brazilian forest, does a U.S. taxpayer make a sound?

As we've said before, capping emissions is capping economic growth. An analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Heritage Foundation projects that by 2035 it would reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $7.4 trillion. In an average year, 844,000 jobs would be destroyed, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by almost 2 million (see charts below).

Consumers would pay through the nose as electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, as President Obama once put it, by 90% adjusted for inflation. Inflation-adjusted gasoline prices would rise 74%, residential natural gas prices by 55% and the average family's annual energy bill by $1,500.

Hit hardest by all this would be the "95% of working families" Obama keeps mentioning as being protected from increased taxation. They are protected, that is, unless they use energy. Then they'll be hit by this draconian energy tax.

And what would we get for all this pain? According to an analysis by Chip Knappenberger, administrator of the World Climate Report, the reduction of U.S. CO2 emissions to 83% below 2005 levels by 2050 — the goal of the Waxman-Markey bill — would reduce global temperature in 2050 by a mere 0.05 degree Celsius.

President Obama has called on the U.S. to "lead by example" on global warming. During the campaign, he said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

Soon we may not be able to. Other countries can just sit back and watch us destroy ourselves. Where will you be when the lights go out?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

GOP National Radio Address featuring Mitch Daniels


May 30, 2009

Gov. Daniels delivered the national GOP radio address today. He spoke out against Democrat’s cap and trade scheme. Have a listen:

This is Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana.

The role of the loyal opposition is important in our democracy. It imposes a duty to wish for the nation’s success, to express not just disagreements, but agreements where they exist, and to leave partisanship at the water's edge.

I do wish President Obama well. I support his education reform ideas, anti-fraud initiative in social programs, and the great example he and his family are setting for families across America. And I endorse wholeheartedly his stated commitment to ‘government that works.’

One policy being pushed by the President and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is, I regret to say, a poster child for government that cannot work. The scheme to radically change the sources and the cost of American energy through a system known as ‘cap and trade’ may be well intentioned, but it will cost us dearly in jobs and income, and it stands no chance of achieving its objective of a cooler earth.

The national energy tax imposed by Speaker Pelosi's climate change bill would double electric bills here in Indiana, working a severe hardship on low-income families, but that's only where the damage starts. In a state where we like to make things, like steel and autos and RVs, it would cost us countless jobs, many of them heading off-shore to China and India. Our farmers and livestock producers would see their costs skyrocket. And our coal miners would be looking for new work, while we leave affordable, homegrown energy idle in the ground.

And all for what? Even if one believes the Administration's own computer models, which they claim can predict temperatures fifty years away, the CO2 reductions from their bill will not budge the world thermometer by a tenth of a degree.

It's become clear that the Pelosi bill has little to do with a cooler planet and everything to do with raising money for the out-of-control federal spending now underway in Washington. Please excuse us Midwesterners for feeling a bit like the targets of an imperialistic policy, devised in places like California, New York, and Massachusetts for their benefit, at our expense.

We have here a classic example of unwise government: The costs for all Americans will be certain, huge, and immediate. Any benefits are extremely uncertain, miniscule, and decades distant. Surely there is a better way.

Here in Indiana, we are active in pursuing a better energy future and proving that we can protect the environment, lower energy costs, and create jobs at the same time – all without raising taxes. We have rocketed to national leadership in biofuels. We are the nation's leader in the new technology that can use coal more cleanly. We are serious about major advances in conservation; the best way to reduce both pollution and CO2 is to use less energy in the first place. And last year, we were the fastest growing state in wind power.

There is tremendous risk in being pushed into an unfair and ultimately counterproductive national energy tax that will cost us dollars today and jobs tomorrow. Let's take a breath, slow down, and work together on conservation, the infrastructure to bring on more wind and alternative energy, and the new technology that will let us use our abundant homegrown coal in ways we can all support. That, Mr. President, would be ‘government that works.’

Thank you for listening.

Famous Talk Show Host Irv Homer Dies

Famous Talk Show Host Irv Homer Dies

June 25th, 2009 - 8:40 pm ICT by GD

At an unfortunate moment, Irv homer, famous talk show host, died on Wednesday. It was only past 10 minutes of his introductory remarks at the program on an author in Eastern University, that Irving collapsed and was taken to the Bryn Mawr Hospital where the doctor declared him to be dead saying that he had a heart attack. The program was canceled when homer became ill. Homer, who was born and brought up in Philadelphia, initially owned three bars in the region. There listening to different shows over the radio made him almost a talk show freak that later initiated him to trace a career out of his passion. He has worked for a charity foundation called Sunshine Foundation in his hometown that caters to the wishes of chronically ill children and their parents.

Up till recently, He had hosted a internet show on Wednesday.Many of his fans found “Evil Irv”, as he was jokingly nicknamed,to be bombastic and full of energy while his colleagues find him to be an extremely good human being. To his boss at WBCB, Merrill Reese, Irv was one of the most likable man that he had ever met in his life.

86 year old Irv Homer was associated with WWDB since 1975 hosting talk shows over the radio. In an age where listening to radio has almost gone to the backdrop, legend like Irv still inspired all through his words.He will always be known as a person who using simple casual language used to bring out a story out of any issue.

Talk show host Irv Homer dies

Talk show host Irv Homer dies

By Michael Klein

Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted on June 25, 2009

Longtime talk-show host Irv Homer died last night at Bryn Mawr Hospital after he was stricken during an appearance at Eastern University in St. Davids. His age is being reported at 86, but public records say he was 85.

Mr. Homer, who lived in Feasterville, had been a longtime talk show host on WWDB from 1975 until its format was flipped in 2000. After that, he joined WBCB in Levittown, hired by Merrill Reese, and did the odd shift on WPHT. Homer hosted an Internet show as recently as Wednesday, and was a contributor to 6ABC's Sunday public-affairs show Inside Story.

A man who relished his nickname as "Evil Irv," he got into the business as a bar owner who liked calling in to talk shows back in the 1960s. He was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame and in 1972 ran for vice president as a Libertarian.

His pet project was the Sunshine Foundation, which grants the wishes of terminally and chronically ill children and their families. He was a national vice president.

WBCB Remembers Irv Homer

WBCB Remembers Irv Homer

WBCB’s beloved talk show host Irv Homer passed away Wednesday evening while giving a speech at Eastern University. He was 86 years old. A true radio icon Irv had a long career at WWDB, WPHT, Channel 6 and here at WBCB.

Irv Homer was born and raised in Philadelphia and never planned to become the popular, controversial top rated talk-show host he turned out to be. Irv originally owned three bars in the Philadelphia area and spent a lot of time listening to and calling different talk-show hosts in the area and even described himself as a talk-show freak.

Irv began his talk show career in the 1960's when he and some of his friends bought some air time at WXUR. Irv’s show took off at WXUR and Irv moved forward to WEEZ in Chester . He had been calling the station so much to debate the moderators that the program director decided he liked Irv's style and called him to offer him a chance to go on the air. The audience loved him and the station hired Irv.

In March of 1975 Irv was hired and became part of the family at WWDB then known as "The Talk Station in Philadelphia ". When WWDB changed formats in the late 90’s Irv found a new home at WBCB, where he broadcast until the day he died. Along the way Irv has been involved in many community and national projects. He has been awarded many times over for his generosity.

Irv is probably most well known for his work with the Philadelphia-based Sunshine Foundation. The Sunshine Foundation grants the wishes of terminally and chronically ill children and their families by paying for vacations, trips or any special requests the children have. Irv was the national Vice-President of the Foundation emeritus.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and fans of Irv Homer.

America The Shameful?


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Leadership: The president's tardiness in condemning Iran is obviously tied to his wish for an unlikely deal on Tehran's nuclear program. But does he also believe America has too much to apologize for?

Read More: Iran

It may have been the most dangerous period in U.S. history.  President Jimmy Carter's foreign policy philosophy three-quarters of the way through the American Century was one of American Impotence.

Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, once infamously described it this way: "The world is changing under the influence of forces no government can control."

Faced with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, Carter told reporters, "Certainly we have no desire or ability to intrude massive forces into Iran or any other country."

He added that "this is something that we have no intention of ever doing in another country. We've tried this once in Vietnam. It didn't work, as you well know."

Repeatedly signaling that year that the U.S. had neither the ability nor the will to influence events abroad not only led to our ally the Shah being overthrown by an Islamofascist terror regime whose nuclear ambitions now make it the biggest threat on the face of the globe. It also led before year-end to the Soviets invading Afghanistan.

Carter's response: an Olympic boycott, a grain embargo and the curtailment of Russian fishing privileges in U.S. waters.

Behind it all was a deep shame for the United States of America. What business did the country that invaded Vietnam, staged a 1953 coup in Iran (saving it from Communist dominance, it should be recalled) and incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki have trying to exert moral authority?

President Barack Obama seems driven by a similar philosophy. Three decades later, with Tehran slaughtering innocent protesters on the streets, his statement to reporters that "the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran's affairs" sounds an awful lot like Carter's tepid response to the Islamist revolution.

Obama quickly added that "we must also bear witness to the courage and the dignity of the Iranian people." But it insults their courage, as they brave bullets and batons in repeatedly defying the illegitimate "sovereignty of the Islamic Republic" by taking to the streets, for the U.S. not to make a bold effort on their behalf.

Contrast Ronald Reagan's reaction to the Soviet-backed crackdown in Poland and the massive street protests that resulted in late 1981. Fox News' Sean Hannity this week showed video from Reagan's Christmastime statement that year.

"The courageous Polish people . . . have been betrayed by their own government," Reagan said, adding that "brute force may intimidate, but it cannot form the basis of an enduring society, and the ailing Polish economy cannot be rebuilt with terror tactics."

And he issued a warning: "Make no mistake, their crime will cost them dearly in their future dealings with America and free peoples everywhere. I do not make this statement lightly or without serious reflection."

Reagan made it clear that the series of harsh economic sanctions he was authorizing were "not directed against the Polish people." He announced that "on Christmas Eve a lighted candle will burn in the White House window as a small but certain beacon of our solidarity with the Polish people."

And he urged all Americans "to do the same tomorrow night, on Christmas Eve, as a personal statement of your commitment to the steps we're taking to support the brave people of Poland in their time of troubles."

That is real presidential leadership that helped lead to the end of tyranny in long-suffering Poland. 

Imagine Americans rallying in support of a Muslim people with some similar symbolic gesture at the behest of a president whose father was Muslim, and who bears a Muslim name. America's moral leadership harnessed in such a way could move mountains in the Middle East.

But Barack Hussein Obama is apparently too busy apologizing for the U.S.A. to consider it.

White House War On Science


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Science: The president's Council on Bioethics is summarily dismissed when it disagrees on the need for more federally funded embryonic stem cell research. The scientific method doesn't include firing those who disagree with you.

Read More: Science & Technology

Inspectors general are apparently not the only ones to pay for annoying the White House by doing their job. The 18-member council existed to provide the president with advice on the moral and ethical implications of the rapid advances in science and medical research. It exists no more.

The council existed to ponder whether we should do something just because we can. Apparently President Obama wanted not advice but agreement on such matters, particularly with regard to one of the panel's areas of interest, embryonic stem cell research. So he has fired them.

In March, 10 members of this panel, created by President Bush in November 2001, issued a public letter saying the decision to expand federal funding for ESCR was "a step backward" because it ignored the moral and ethical reservations still held by the American public.

Reid Cherlin, a White House press officer, told the New York Times that Obama saw the panel as "a philosophically leaning advisory group" handpicked by the Bush administration, and that he wanted to appoint a new bioethics commission that instead offered "practical policy options."

The council's mandate expired last September, so Obama could have just continued to ignore them. But he apparently didn't want them around to comment on new guidelines for ESCR to be issued by the National Institutes of Health on July 7. The guidelines were requested by Obama when he lifted restrictions imposed by Bush.

The president's executive order overturned restrictions put in place by Bush and permitting federally funded ESCR research only on 21 stem cell lines already in existence. For that decision, which did not stop such research funded privately, he was said to have declared war on science. Critics ignored the fact that Bush was the first president to fund ESCR research at all. President Clinton had spent nothing.

Dr. Peter Lawler, chairman of the department of governmental and international studies at Berry College, was one of those terminated by Obama — via a note saying he would no longer be a member of the council by the end of the next business day.

Writing in the Weekly Standard, Lawler said the council was not a rubber stamp for Bush's pro-life views, but in fact was a diverse group "full of experts who disagreed on what the science says about who we are."

On one side you had the likes of Princeton's Robert George, who talked of the latest studies showing embryos were genetically unique and identifiable human beings no different from the adults they would become.

On the other side, you had people like our nation's leading neuroscientist, Michael Gazzaniga, who argued that being human meant having a heart and a brain, of which an embryo had neither.

They certainly did not ignore, as the administration apparently has, the very real scientific progress being made by non-embryonic adult stem cells. This research has resulted in real treatments and therapies that have helped real people. Adult stem cells also leave behind the moral and ethical dilemmas of using embryonic stem cells.

We have chronicled these adult stem cell success stories, and the future looks even more promising.

Ottawa scientists have identified a protein that increases production of adult stem cells in muscle, boosting the body's ability to repair muscle tissue. Rod McInnes, scientific director of the Institute of Genetics at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, says the discovery "brings us a step closer, in the long run, to using muscle stem cells in cell replacement therapy for muscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy."

How's that for a "practical policy option"? And just who is making war on science?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford


June 24, 2009

Editor’s note: S.C. first lady Jenny Sanford issued the following statement through the governor’s office hours after Gov. Mark Sanford’s news conference during which he admitted to having had an affair:


Contact: Meg Milne

Statement from First Lady Jenny Sanford

I would like to start by saying I love my husband and I believe I have put forth every effort possible to be the best wife I can be during our almost twenty years of marriage. As well, for the last fifteen years my husband has been fully engaged in public service to the citizens and taxpayers of this state and I have faithfully supported him in those efforts to the best of my ability. I have been and remain proud of his accomplishments and his service to this state.

I personally believe that the greatest legacy I will leave behind in this world is not the job I held on Wall Street, or the campaigns I managed for Mark, or the work I have done as First Lady or even the philanthropic activities in which I have been routinely engaged. Instead, the greatest legacy I will leave in this world is the character of the children I, or we, leave behind. It is for that reason that I deeply regret the recent actions of my husband Mark, and their potential damage to our children.

I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.

This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week.

I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal. I believe Mark has earned a chance to resurrect our marriage.

Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance.

This is a very painful time for us and I would humbly request now that members of the media respect the privacy of my boys and me as we struggle together to continue on with our lives and as I seek the wisdom of Solomon, the strength and patience of Job and the grace of God in helping to heal my family.


Indiana Says 'No Thanks' to Cap and Trade: No honest person thinks this will make a dent in climate change. By Mitch Daniels


MAY 15, 2009

This week Congress is set to release the details of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill that purports to combat global warming by setting strict limits on carbon emissions. I'm not a candidate for any office -- now or ever again -- and I've approached the "climate change" debate with an open-mind. But it's clear to me that the nation, and in particular Indiana, my home state, will be terribly disserved by this cap-and-trade policy on the verge of passage in the House.

The largest scientific and economic questions are being addressed by others, so I will confine myself to reporting about how all this looks from the receiving end of the taxes, restrictions and mandates Congress is now proposing.

Quite simply, it looks like imperialism. This bill would impose enormous taxes and restrictions on free commerce by wealthy but faltering powers -- California, Massachusetts and New York -- seeking to exploit politically weaker colonies in order to prop up their own decaying economies. Because proceeds from their new taxes, levied mostly on us, will be spent on their social programs while negatively impacting our economy, we Hoosiers decline to submit meekly.

The Waxman-Markey legislation would more than double electricity bills in Indiana. Years of reform in taxation, regulation and infrastructure-building would be largely erased at a stroke. In recent years, Indiana has led the nation in capturing international investment, repatriating dollars spent on foreign goods or oil and employing Americans with them. Waxman-Markey seems designed to reverse that flow. "Closed: Gone to China" signs would cover Indiana's stores and factories.

Our state's share of national income has been slipping for decades, but it is offset in part by living costs some 8% lower than the national average. Doubled utility bills for low-income Hoosiers would be an especially cruel consequence of the Waxman bill. Forgive us for not being impressed at danglings of welfare-like repayments to some of those still employed, with some fraction of the dollars extracted from our state.

And for what? No honest estimate pretends to suggest that a U.S. cap-and-trade regime will move the world's thermometer by so much as a tenth of a degree a half century from now. My fellow citizens are being ordered to accept impoverishment for a policy that won't save a single polar bear.

We are told that although China, India and others show no signs of joining in this dismal process, we will eventually induce their participation by "setting an example." Watching the impending indigence of the Midwest, and the flow of jobs from our shores to theirs, our friends in Asia and the Third World are far more likely to choose any other path but ours.

Politicians in Washington speak of a reawakened appreciation for manufacturing and American competitiveness. But under their policy, those who make real products will suffer. Already we observe the piranha swarm of green lobbyists wangling special exemptions, subsidies and side deals. The ordinary Hoosier was not invited to this party, and can expect at most only table scraps at the service entrance.

No one in Indiana is arguing for the status quo: Hoosiers have been eager to pursue a new energy future. We rocketed from nowhere to national leadership in biofuels production in the last four years. We were the No. 1 state in the growth of wind power in 2008. And we have embarked on an aggressive energy-conservation program, indubitably the most cost-effective means of limiting CO2.

Most importantly, we are out to be the world leader in making clean coal -- including the potential for carbon capture and sequestration. The world's first commercial-scale clean coal power plant is under construction in our state, and the first modern coal-to-natural gas plant is coming right behind it. We eagerly accept the responsibility to develop alternatives to the punitive, inequitable taxation of cap and trade.

Our president has commendably committed himself to "government that works." But his imperial climate-change policy is government that cannot work, and we humble colonials out here in the provinces have no choice but to petition for relief from the Crown's impositions.

Mr. Daniels, a Republican, is the governor of Indiana.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Veteran CBS newsman Walter Cronkite reportedly ill

Veteran CBS newsman Walter Cronkite reportedly ill

By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer Fri Jun 19, 9:35 pm ET

NEW YORK – CBS isn't commenting on reports that veteran newsman Walter Cronkite is gravely ill. The 92-year-old former anchor of "The CBS Evening News," who has been ailing for some time, has reportedly taken a turn for the worse, according to TVNewser and other online sites. CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco had no comment on Friday.

Bob Schieffer said, "All of us are praying for the best, and our thoughts are with Walter's family." The host of CBS' "Face the Nation" and a longtime Cronkite colleague, Schieffer noted that he had no current news on Cronkite's condition.

The face of CBS News for more than two decades, Cronkite was named "the most trusted man in America" in a 1972 "trust index" survey, and he ended each broadcast with the reassuring signoff, "And that's the way it is."

He left the "Evening News" anchor desk in 1981, but after that kept a busy schedule both in journalistic and other activities.

For 24 years, he served as onsite host for New Year's Day telecasts by the Vienna Philharmonic until ill health forced him to bow out earlier this year.


CBS is owned by CBS Corp.


On the Net:

`Tonight' sidekick Ed McMahon dies in LA at 86

`Tonight' sidekick Ed McMahon dies in LA at 86

By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer Tue Jun 23, 6:00 AM PDT Ed McMahon, the loyal "Tonight Show" sidekick who bolstered boss Johnny Carson with guffaws and a resounding "H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" for 30 years, died early Tuesday. He was 86.

McMahon died shortly after midnight at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center surrounded by his wife, Pam, and other family members, said his publicist, Howard Bragman.

Bragman didn't give a cause of death, saying only that McMahon had a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

McMahon had bone cancer, among other illnesses, according to a person close to the entertainer, and had been hospitalized for several weeks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

McMahon broke his neck in a fall in March 2007, and battled a series of financial problems as his injuries preventing him from working.

McMahon and Carson had worked together for nearly five years on the game show "Who Do You Trust?" when Carson took over NBC's late-night show from Jack Paar in October 1962. McMahon played second banana on "Tonight" until Carson retired in 1992.

"You can't imagine hooking up with a guy like Carson," McMahon said an interview with The Associated Press in 1993. "There's the old phrase, hook your wagon to a star. I hitched my wagon to a great star."

McMahon, who never failed to laugh at his Carson's quips, kept his supporting role in perspective.

"It's like a pitcher who has a favorite catcher," he said. "The pitcher gets a little help from the catcher, but the pitcher's got to throw the ball. Well, Johnny Carson had to throw the ball, but I could give him a little help."

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Saving The Raptor


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Defense: By a narrow margin, a House subcommittee has voted to keep open the F-22 Raptor production line. The future of American air dominance and the fate of the world's most capable fighter hang in the balance.

Read More: Military & Defense

On May 30, with North Korea huffing and puffing about nuclear war, the first of 12 high-tech U.S. F-22 Raptor fighter jets landed at Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. It was just days after North Korea unnerved the region by detonating a nuclear device.

There were reasons the F-22 was deployed to Japan. The stealthy, radar-evading fighter jet is quite simply the best aircraft of its kind in the world. It can slice through enemy air defenses and clear the skies of enemy planes virtually undetected. So why aren't we building more than we have?

That was the question asked last week when the House Armed Services Air and Land Forces Subcommittee voted 31-30 to add $369 million for the production of an additional 12 F-22s to keep assembly lines open while a debate over the need for the jet reopens.

Subcommittee Chairman Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat from Hawaii, which might be the target of a North Korean Taepodong-2 missile on or about July 4, thinks we should buy at least 20 more.

The Japanese wanted to buy 200 F-22s to counter the North Korean and Chinese threats. The Air Force's original plans were for 750 F-22 Raptors to replace an aging F-15 Eagle fleet that was recently grounded after one disintegrated from old age in flight. Now the Japanese will get none, and we will get no more.

Production of the Raptor was capped at 187 in the defense cuts slated for the 2010 budget, with the last aircraft to be delivered in late 2011 or early 2012 from the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, Ga.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates argues we can't afford to build the F-22 and the F-35 Joint Strike fighter and that we have all the F-22s we need. So he's dumping the F-22 in favor of the cheaper F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, although it's vastly inferior in air-to-air combat and ground defense penetration.

Gates and F-22 critics have acted as if the planes are interchangeable. They are not. The Raptor is designed as an air superiority fighter. The F-35, as its description implies, is designed for ground attack. It does not have Mach 1.5 supercruise capability or high-altitude vectored maneuvering.

During exercises in Alaska in 2006, 12 Raptors "downed" 108 adversaries without losing a single F-22. In a test of its ground-attack capabilities, a Raptor dropped a 1,000-pound JDAM precision guided bomb and struck a moving target 24 miles away.

Gates argues that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown the need for such high-tech weapons are over. But not every potential enemy is armed only with an AK-47 and a copy of the Quran. Some are trying to shoot ballistic missiles at us.

The F-22 is perhaps the only plane that could evade the sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile-defense system Russia has contracted to sell Iran. The S-300 is "one of the most lethal, if not the most lethal, all-altitude area defense" systems, says the International Strategy and Assessment Service, a Virginia-based think tank.

Policy analyst Michael Fumento notes "the newer S-400 system, already deployed, is far better able to detect low-signature targets at far greater distances" than the S-300. "Only the F-22 can survive in airspace defended by increasingly capable surface-to-air missiles," declared Air Force Association President Mike Dunn in December.

"In my opinion, a fleet of (only) 187 F-22s puts execution of our current national military strategy at high risk in the near to midterm," Gen. John Crowley, head of Air Combat Command, wrote in a June 9 letter to Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Republican from Georgia, where the plane undergoes final assembly.

Building the F-22 aids our economic as well as national security. Remember all those jobs President Obama wanted to create or save? At stake are America's continued air dominance and 95,000 highly paid and highly skilled jobs in 44 states.

Defending America should be job one.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dead Wait


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Reform: As Americans debate who's in control of their health care system, a lot of Britons aren't concerned about how the argument turns out. They're too busy trying to get a hospital room before it's too late.

IBD Exclusive Series: Government-Run Healthcare: A Prescription For Failure

In Great Britain, where the government's in charge of health care, as many as 1 million people are waiting to get into hospitals at any given time, says the National Center for Policy Analysis.

In Canada, another country where the government metes out care, roughly 900,000 are waiting for hospital beds, the Fraser Institute reports. The New Zealand government says that 90,000 are on hospital waiting lists there.

"Those people constitute only 1% to 2% of the population in those countries," says NCPA President John Goodman, "but keep in mind that only about 15% of the population actually enters a hospital each year. Many of the people waiting are waiting in pain. Many are risking their lives by waiting. And there is no market mechanism in these countries to get care to people who need it first."

President Obama told the American Medical Association last week that "there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well," then said that those who say that he's "trying to bring about government-run health care" are "not telling the truth."

Critics of Obama's public-option plan, in which the federal government offers taxpayer-subsidized medical insurance, believe that such a system will eventually crush the private insurance market. That would leave the federal government as the only provider of coverage and in full control of the health care system.

It'll be a while before we know who's telling the truth. But by the time the issue is settled, millions in those countries "where a single-payer system works pretty well" will have died or needlessly suffered waiting to be admitted into a hospital.

Yet we are constantly told that it's America's health care system that is substandard. A recent Reuters story that said "the U.S. system consistently ranks worse than other developed countries on many key measures" is typical of the noncritical reporting that convinces the public that American medical care is in shambles.

This is why a national columnist such as Marie Cocco can write without challenge that we have "a system that pretty much everyone believes is crumbling to the point of collapse."

The perception, though, is easily crushed by the asking of a single question: "If you needed the best health care in the world, where would you go to get it?"

The facts say:

• Survival rates in the U.S. for common cancers are higher, and in some cases much higher, than in Europe and Canada.

• Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed nations and spend less time waiting for care than Canadians and Britons.

• Americans have more access to new medical technologies than Canadians and United Kingdom residents, and are responsible for most health care innovations.

• Americans are more satisfied with their care than their counterparts in nations with socialized medicine.

The argument that American health care is lacking is usually based on rankings compiled by the World Health Organization, which places the U.S. 37th out of 191 nations in its "World Health Report." It's a mistake, though, to put much into the WHO's grades.

"They are not," says one expert, "an objective measure of the relative performance of national health care systems."

That expert, Glen Whitman, an associate professor of economics at California State University, Northridge, has looked at the WHO rankings and found that they "depend crucially on a number of underlying assumptions — some of them logically incoherent, some characterized by substantial uncertainty, and some rooted in ideological beliefs and values that not everyone shares."

No one has a right to health care. Attempts to provide such a right have produced regimes that in reality are far uglier than the American system is perceived to be. Systems will continue to grow worse until policymakers acknowledge that health care is a personal responsibility and grant patients what they should already have: full authority over the decisions that affect their health.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

PHLASHBACK: President Reagan's Veto Of Subsidized Mortgages


Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval a Fiscal Year 1982 Supplemental Appropriations Bill

June 24, 1982

To the House of Representatives:

Today I am returning to the House of Representatives, without my approval, H.R. 5922, an act providing supplemental appropriations for several Federal programs in urgent need of additional funds in Fiscal Year 1982. Unfortunately, in addition to providing the urgent supplemental appropriations requested by the Administration, the Congress has added other unrequested, non-urgent funds that would increase the 1983 deficit by $1.3 billion and would add at least $5 billion to Federal spending in the next few years. The bill also establishes a housing subsidy program that sets a bad precedent for other Federal programs. For these reasons, I cannot approve this legislation. I urge the Congress to act quickly to send me a clean bill for signature containing only those items urgently needed to continue 1982 activities.

I share the heartfelt Congressional concerns about the particular problems confronting the housing industry. But we will not promote a housing recovery by going even deeper in debt. More red ink spending will only make the housing recession worse.

It is my belief this bill will do little to increase construction of new housing; most of the aid will go for homes that would be built and purchased anyway. The bill does not increase available financing, but shifts funds to housing that would otherwise be used by, and create jobs in, other sectors of the economy. My concern also is that the bill would add to the Federal deficit and generate upward pressures on interest rates -- aggravating the very situation it seeks to help.

Furthermore, we cannot justify singling out one industry for special relief. The recession and high interest rates have created hardship and unemployment for farmers, small businesses, the thrift industry, automobile manufacturers and dealers and many others. This Government must convince a skeptical country -- the business community, taxpayers, investors and workers -- that lasting recovery is a fundamental commitment that will not be derailed by a return to excessive Federal spending and borrowing.

My Administration has taken a number of steps to remove tax, regulatory and administrative burdens on housing finance and construction. We have proposed legislation to extend Federal Housing Administration insurance to a number of innovative mortgage financing instruments to encourage private market use of these flexible instruments. We have removed regulatory restrictions limiting the use of pension funds in mortgage credit markets. We have provided an additional $3.4 billion of subsidized housing funds in 1982 to allow up to 70,000 additional units of new rental housing for low income households to begin construction this summer. We are revising our regulations on the use of tax exempt financing for housing to allow states and localities to use this financing vehicle to the full extent authorized by the Congress.

More fundamentally, we have established a long-term program designed to provide incentives and to create conditions for sustained non-inflationary economic recovery. That recovery is getting underway. Housing permits have risen in six of the last seven months and are now 31 percent above their October low. Housing starts rose by 22 percent in May and are 27 percent above their October low. The key to sustaining this upturn is lower interest rates. This, in turn, depends on public confidence that the Congress will control Federal spending and reduce Federal deficits -- thus leaving an adequate supply of funds for housing and business investment.

In addition to the housing proposal, there are several other provisions in this act that I urge the Congress to delete. The urgent supplemental legislation is the first significant spending measure in this session of Congress. It is essential that this act be a clear example of the willingness of the Congress to join with me in holding the line and establishing meaningful control over all Federal spending programs. I must ask that supplemental appropriations in excess of the proposals I have indicated to be urgent requests be pared back to the maximum extent feasible. Some of these unrequested supplemental funds include:

-- $150 million for the GNMA special assistance function (``tandem'') program;

-- $62 million for the postal service;

-- $58 million for the WIN program; and

-- other unrequested funds for Federal aid to highways, flood control programs of the Corps of Engineers, and a number of smaller HHS programs.

The bill also includes several undesirable language provisions restricting, in varying degrees, the Executive Branch from exercising its authority to allocate funds appropriated by Congress. The most notable among these are:

-- language mandating the modernization of 5,073 public housing units, extending the time period for completion of the construction of certain HUD subsidized housing projects to 24 months, and precluding HUD from applying cost containment procedures to such projects;

-- language mandating minimum spending levels for certain NASA programs that will severely disrupt two important scientific missions and lead to the waste of more than $150 million; and

-- language mandating new construction on starts for the Soil Conservation Service.

Therefore, I am returning H.R. 5922 without approval and urge the Congress to enact immediately a 1982 supplemental appropriations bill that addresses only those items I have indicated need urgent attention and excludes these objectionable additions. I look forward to prompt Congressional action on a revised bill which will assure continuity in the operations of Federal agencies and be consistent with continued progress toward economic recovery.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

June 24, 1982.

Note: On the same day, the House of Representatives reconsidered H.R. 5922, and the President's veto was sustained.