Monthly Archives: April 2011

Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 33)(Part 24, The Movie “The Conspirator,” John Wilkes Booth)

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at cutspending@pryor.senate.gov and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself at 11pm CST on April 30, 2011.

Senator Rand Paul on Feb 7, 2011 wrote the article “A Modest $500 Billion Proposal: My spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security,” Wall Street Journal and he observed:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third consecutive year in which the federal government is running a deficit near or greater than $1 trillion. The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis must begin by cutting spending in all areas, particularly in those that can be better run at the state or local level.

Here are some of his specific suggestions:

 

Legislative Branch

Agency/Program Funding Level Savings % Decrease

Legislative Branch $4.296 B $1.283 B 23%

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third year in a row in which the U.S. Government runs a budget deficit near – or greater-than $1 trillion. These deficits are far greater than what is economically sustainable, and far outpaces the political duty to produce budgets that are economically responsible. The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis needs to begin by cutting spending at the heart of the problem – right here, on Capitol Hill.

This proposal would be to cut the Legislative Branch by 23 percent or $1.283 billion in FY 2011.

Consistent with many of the spending cuts included in this proposal, the Legislative Branch is taken back to FY2008 levels, and includes the elimination of an outdated agency, the Government Printing Office [GPO].

Government Printing Office: Eliminated

The advancement in technology and innovation has brought about the electronic age, an era that includes very little reason for the government to continue printing large amounts of documents, most of which can be found and read on the internet. In addition, the waste at GPO is incessant. In 2010 alone, GPO spent nearly $30 million in taxpayer dollars to provide Congressional offices with the rarely read Congressional Record, and in September they released their first-ever comic book, “Squeaks Discovers Type,” meant to teach children “why printing is important.”

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Lincoln Assassination Witness appears on I’ve Got a Secret

Samuel James Seymour (March 28, 1860–April 12, 1956) was the last surviving person who had been present in Ford’s Theater the night of the assassination of U.S. PresidentAbraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. He was from Maryland and lived in Arlington, Virginia in his later years.

At age five, Seymour’s godmother, Mrs. George S. Goldsboro, had taken him to see Our American Cousin. He claimed the two sat in the balcony on the side opposite Lincoln’s box. Seymour reported that ” I complained tearfully that I couldn’t get out of the coach because his shirt was torn-anything to delay the dread moment-but Sarah (nurse Sarah Cook) dug into her bag and found a big safety pin .”, I shook so hard from fright (earlier seen men with guns and seemed they were all pointed at him) (in Washington), it caused Sarah to accidentally stab him with the pin. he hollered “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!”.[citation needed] once in the theater Seymour settled down, saw the President across the balcony as he was waving and smiling at people, Seymour said ” I began to get over the scared feeling I’d had ever since we arrived in Washington, but that was something I never should have done. all of a sudden a shot rang out-a shot that always will be remembered-and someone in the Presidents box screamed. I saw Lincoln slumped forward in his seat”. Seymour did not actually see the assassination but did witness Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth jump off the balcony and break his leg. In fact, he revealed that because he did not know Lincoln was shot or that Booth had shot him, his real concern was for Booth breaking his leg.(Fact|date=February 7, 1954 American weekly Magazine Section-New York Journal-American)

Two months before his death at age 96, he appeared on the CBS TV quiz show I’ve Got a Secret as a mystery subject, in an episode in which Lucille Ball made an unusual appearance as a guest panelist. Seymour died ninety-one years to the day of Lincoln’s assassination. Died at the home of Mrs. Irene (Horn)Hendley, his daughter in Arlington, Va. He had been in failing health since February when he fell in a New York City hotel while preparing to appear on I’ve Got A Secret. He came on the show with his left eye swollen. Gary Moore had suggested he not appear, but Seymour insisted.

I really did like Robert Redford’s movie “The Conspirator” and I have enjoyed looking that the historical figures pictured in the movie.

John Wilkes Booth

By ADAM WHITE Friday, Jul. 09, 2010
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS – DIGITAL VE / SCIENCE FACTION / CORBIS
  • The first man to kill an American President was chased with all the wrath of a wounded nation. After the April 14, 1865, assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Booth left Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., via the stage door — appropriate for an actor — and then fled south on horseback through Maryland, assisted by accomplices along the road. Troops flooded the state’s swamps in search of Booth, who secretly crossed the Potomac into Virginia on April 21, the same day the funeral train bearing Lincoln’s body left Washington for its westward procession. Thanks to intelligence tip-offs and the confessions of accomplices, Booth was tracked to the Virginia farm of Richard H. Garrett, and on April 26 he was shot and killed by Union soldiers who had set the barn he was in on fire. Booth died on the farmhouse porch, defending his actions to the last.
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Kate Middleton and Prince William: Marriage made in Heaven? (Part 2)

Adrian Rogers – [1/3] A Magnificent Marriage

The Save Your sex Summit took place in Chicago featuring author and Speaker, Josh McDowell. Teenagers and youth groups came from all over the city to hear him speak on the Importance of Saving sex til Marriage. (Part 1)

I wish Kate and William the best of luck in their marriage. However, the fact that they lived together in college and about a year ago openly moved in together is not the best way to go as far as statistics go. You may notice the last paragraph in the article below which may apply to Kate and William. 

I am starting a series today that will look at this issue of living together. It is based on the article “Should We Live Together? What Young Adults Need to Know about Cohabitation before Marriage,” by Josh McDowell. Here is a portion of the article below:

“How Living Together Before Marriage May Contribute To Marital Failure”

“The vast majority of young women today want to marry and have children.  And many of these women and most young men see cohabitation as a way to test marital compatibility and improve the chances of long-lasting marriage.  Their reasoning is as follows: Given the high levels of divorce, why be in a hurry to marry?  Why not test marital compatibility by sharing a bed and a bathroom with for a year or even longer?   If it doesn’t work out, one can simply move out.   According to this reasoning, cohabitation weeds out unsuitable partners through a process of natural de-selection.   Over time, perhaps after several living-together relationships, a person will eventually find a marriageable mate.”

“The social science evidence challenges this idea that cohabiting ensures greater marital compatibility and thereby promotes stronger and more enduring marriages. Cohabitation does not reduce the likelihood of eventual divorce; in fact, it may lead to a higher divorce risk.  Although the association was stronger a decade or two ago and has diminished in the younger generations, virtually all research on the topic has determined that the chances of divorce ending a marriage preceded by cohabitation are significantly greater than for a marriage not preceded by cohabitation. A 1992 study of 3,300 cases, for example, based on the 1987 National Survey of Families and Households, found that in their marriages prior cohabitors ‘are estimated to have a hazard of dissolution that is about 46% higher than for noncohabitors.’  The authors of this study concluded, after reviewing all previous studies, that the enhanced risk of marital disruption following cohabitation ‘is beginning to take on the status of an empirical generalization.’”5

“More in question within the research community is why the striking statistical association between cohabitation and divorce should exist.  Perhaps the most obvious explanation is that those people willing to cohabit are more unconventional than others and less committed to the institution of marriage.  These are the same people then, who more easily will leave a marriage if it becomes troublesome.  By this explanation, cohabitation doesn’t cause divorce but is merely associated with it because the same type of people is involved in both phenomena.”

“There is some empirical support for this position.  Yet even when this “selection effect” is carefully controlled statistically a negative effect of cohabitation on later marriage stability still remains.6  And no positive contribution of cohabitation to marriage has been ever been found.”

The reasons for cohabitation’s negative effect are not fully understood. One may be that while marriages are held together largely by a strong ethic of commitment, cohabiting relationships by their very nature tend to undercut this ethic. Although cohabiting relationships are like marriages in many ways-shared dwelling, economic union (at least in part), sexual intimacy, often even children-they typically differ in the levels of commitment and autonomy involved.  According to recent studies cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples in their dedication to the continuation of the relationship and reluctance to terminate it, and they are more oriented toward their own personal autonomy.7  It is reasonable to speculate, based on these studies, that once this low-commitment, high-autonomy pattern of relating is learned, it becomes hard to unlearn.”

“The results of several studies suggest that cohabitation may change partners’ attitudes toward the institution of marriage, contributing to either making marriage less likely, or if marriage takes place, less successful.  A 1997 longitudinal study conducted by demographers at Pennsylvania State University concluded, for example, “cohabitation increased young people’s acceptance of divorce, but other independent living experiences did not.” And ‘the more months of exposure to cohabitation that young people experienced, the less enthusiastic they were toward marriage and childbearing.’”8

“Particularly problematic is serial cohabitation.  One study determined that the effect of cohabitation on later marital instability is found only when one or both partners had previously cohabited with someone other than their spouse.9   A reason for this could be that the experience of dissolving one cohabiting relationship generates a greater willingness to dissolve later relationships.  People’s tolerance for unhappiness is diminished, and they will scrap a marriage that might otherwise be salvaged. This may be similar to the attitudinal effects of divorce; going through a divorce makes one more tolerant of divorce.”

“If the conclusions of these studies hold up under further investigation, they may hold the answer to the question of why premarital cohabitation should effect the stability of a later marriage.  The act of cohabitation generates changes in people’s attitudes toward marriage that make the stability of marriage less likely.  Society wide, therefore, the growth of cohabitation will tend to further weaken marriage as an institution.”

“An important caveat must be inserted here.  There is a growing understanding among researchers that different types and life-patterns of cohabitation must be distinguished clearly from each other.  Cohabitation that is an immediate prelude to marriage, or prenuptial cohabitation-both partners plan to marry each other in the near future-is different from cohabitation that is an alternative to marriage. There is some evidence to support the proposition that living together for a short period of time with the person one intends to marry has no adverse effects on the subsequent marriage. Cohabitation in this case appears to be very similar to marriage; it merely takes place during the engagement period.10  This proposition would appear to be less true, however, when one or both of the partners has had prior experience with cohabitation, or brings children into the relationship.”


5.  Alfred DeMaris and K. Vaninadha Rao. 1992. “Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability in the United States: A Reassessment.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54: 178-190.

6.  See: Alfred DeMaris and William MacDonald. 1993. “Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability: A Test of the Unconventional Hypothesis.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55: 399-407; William J. Axinn and Arland Thornton. 1992. “The Relationship Between Cohabitation
and Divorce: Selectivity or Causal Influence.” Demography 29-3:357-374; Robert Schoen. 1992. “First Unions and the Stability of First Marriages.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:281-284; Elizabeth Thomson and Ugo Colella. 1992. “Cohabitation and Marital Stability: Quality or Commitment?” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:259-267; Lee A Lillard, Michael J. Brien, and Linda J. Waite. 1995. “Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Dissolution: A Matter of Self-Selection?” Demography, Vol. 32-3:437-457;  David R. Hall and John Z. Zhao. 1995. “Cohabitation and Divorce in Canada: Testing the Selectivity Hypothesis.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 57:421-427; Marin Clarkberg, Ross M. Stolzenberg, and Linda Waite. 1995. “Attitudes, Values, and Entrance into Cohabitational versus Marital Unions.” Socia
Forces 74-2:609-634;  Stephen L. Nock. 1995. “Spouse Preferences of Never-Married, Divorced, and Cohabiting Americans.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 24-3/4:91-108.
7.  Stephen L. Nock. 1995. “A Comparison of Marriages and Cohabiting Relationships.” Journal of Family Issues 16-1:53-76. See also: Robert Schoen and Robin M Weinick. 1993. “Partner Choice in Marriages and Cohabitations.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:408-414.

8.  William G. Axinn and Jennifer S. Barber. 1997. “Living Arrangements and Family Formation Attitudes in Early Adulthood.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 59:595-611. See also Axinn and Thornton. 1992. op.cit., and Elizabeth Thomson and Ugo Colella. 1992. op. cit.

9.  DeMaris and McDonald. 1993. op. cit.; Jan E. Stets. 1993. “The Link Between Past and Present Intimate Relationships.” Journal of Family Issues 14-2:236-260.

10.  Susan L. Brown. “Cohabitation as Marriage Prelude Versus Marriage Alternative: The Significance for Psychological Well-Being.” Unpublished paper presented at the 1998 annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. Author is at Bowling Green State University, Ohio;  Susan L. Brown and Alan Booth. 1996. “Cohabitation Versus Marriage: A Comparison of Relationship Quality.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58:668-678.


“The National Marriage Project”

“The National Marriage Project is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian and interdisciplinary initiative supported by private foundations and affiliated with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.”

“The Project’s mission is to provide research and analysis on the state of marriage in America and to educate the public on the social, economic and cultural conditions affecting marital success and wellbeing.”

“The National Marriage Project has five immediate goals: (1) publish The State of Our Unions, an annual index of the health of marriage and marital relationships in America; (2) investigate and report on younger adults’ attitudes toward marriage; (3) examine the popular media’s portrait of  marriage; (4) serve as a clearinghouse source of research and expertise on marriage; and (5) bring together marriage and family experts to develop strategies for revitalizing marriage.”

For more information or additional copies of this publication, contact:

The National Marriage Project Rutgers
The State University of New Jersey
25 Bishop Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1181
(732) 932-2722
marriage@rci.rutgers.edu


Newly Married Couple

Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand outside of Westminster Abbey after their Royal Wedding. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria arrive for royal wedding. (April 29)

Is Mallett goofy and clueless or sharp?

.Jason Cole reported for Yahoo Sports:

NEW YORK – The New England Patriots’ selection of Ryan Mallett in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft on Friday may have made sense in a lot of ways, but it did beg one big question: Is coach Bill Belichick focused on what he has left of the Tom Brady(notes) era or is he setting up for the 2014 season?

The Patriots rescued Mallett from his draft freefall, nabbing him with the No. 74 overall pick. It was a stunning drop for a quarterback at one time considered a strong first-round candidate. Mallett has what many scouts consider the strongest arm of all the quarterbacks in this draft, is very accurate and has excellent size at 6-foot-7, 248 pounds.

However, for a team that many people believe needed an injection of youth and talent in their defensive front seven, New England didn’t do anything to fix what appears to ail them the most. Rather, it added depth at a position that could be considered a luxury with the presence of Brady.

The downside is that Mallett is seen as an immature guy who has a history of making bad decisions at critical times. Beyond that, rumors about drug use in college have haunted him for months. Mallett said Friday that much of the information out there on him was “false,” but then declined to elaborate. His decision not to address the rumors publicly has been seen as a sign of immaturity by several NFL team executives.

“He’s not my type of guy, I’ll just put it to you that way,” an NFL general manager said earlier this month. “I can’t see him standing up in front of a team and being taken seriously when he spoke.”

While the attitude of executives and coaches from around the league was negative, there is no denying the physical skills.

“He can flat-out throw,” an NFC assistant coach said. “Any throw you can draw, he can do it. Deep outs, post, intermediate stuff between the linebackers and the safeties, tight spots, whatever. Pretty throwing motion, quick release and even pretty good footwork for a slow guy.”

But …

Mallett’s arm wasn’t enough to make teams overlook the red flags.
(Getty Images)

“Just an odd kid. You talk to him and you get this feeling like he just doesn’t understand what this is all about. Nice enough kid, but just kind of clueless and goofy. It’s like he’s in his own world,” the assistant coach said.

In that respect, New England might be the best place for him, where he will be in a vice grip of expectation between Belichick and three-time Super Bowl winner Brady.

“I’m so happy for him, that’s a great situation,” Super Bowl-winning coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said after the third round concluded. “I like the kid and there’s going to be pressure on him to get better. Anytime you have Belichick around you, you have pressure.

“But yeah, he won’t have to play right away. He can sit and learn and see what happens.”

Belichick had success last year dealing with tight end Aaron Hernandez(notes), who reportedly failed multiple drug tests at Florida, grabbing him in the fourth round when many considered him a first- or second-round talent.

After taking Mallett, Belichick said it was simply a matter of getting good value in the draft.

“We just felt like he was a good player,” Belichick said. “He’s had a lot of production. He’s won everywhere he’s been: high school, college. He did a good job at Michigan. They came in and changed offenses and that was definitely beyond his control. … He’s an impressive guy to talk to.”

At the same time, this pick is slightly curious. At 33, Brady would appear to have at least three good years ahead of him after leading the Patriots to a 14-2 record last season. If Brady, who the Patriots obviously tried to help by selecting offensive tackle Nate Solder(notes) in the first round and running backs Shane Vereen(notes) and Stefan Ridley in the second and third rounds, respectively, can stay healthy, there’s a good chance Mallett may never play for the Patriots.

Brady was sacked 25 times in 2010.
(US Presswire)

Brady has had an assortment of injuries and surgeries over the past three years. There was the missed 2008 season with the knee injury. He had foot surgery after last season and dealt with broken ribs, a broken finger and a sports hernia over the past three seasons. He’s generally one of the most-hit quarterbacks in the league each season because of his willingness to stand in the pocket against pressure.

In other words, Mallett isn’t a bad way to hedge a bet. For example, the Patriots turned former seventh-round pick Matt Cassel(notes) into a second-round pick after he played most of the 2008 season. In short, there are far worse ways than taking quarterbacks if you’re looking for a future return on a draft pick. In all, Belichick saw this as a solid gamble.

“I think you have to take some of those things into consideration and certainly I think you have to look at the situation of how high you can take on at that position,” Belichick said. “You get into the situation like San Diego did a few years ago where they took [Philip] Rivers and had to get rid of [Drew] Brees – or had to get rid of somebody. I think when you do that in the first round, it’s a little bit of a different scenario. Once you get past that first round, I think it changes a little bit. We felt – I mean, look, I don’t think you can have too much depth at that position. We’ve all seen what can happen there. We got by last year – or really the last two years – with basically just two guys. And you put your whole team at risk if you don’t have a quarterback that can run it, so it’s good to have depth at that position.”

While all of that makes sense, what also would have made sense was to get a pass rusher or two for a defense that pales in comparison to what New England had during its run of three titles. Instead of selecting one of the dozen defensive linemen in the first round, the Patriots took Solder and then traded out of the first round with their other pick.

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It is my view that Mallet must be very sharp because he played for Bobby Petrino. Enough said. When the story of Arkansas football is finally written, I think that Bobby Petrino will go down as the most famous Arkansas Football Coach of all time. 

The #1 Alabama Crimson Tide traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas looking to extend their winning streak in SEC openers to 19 games. Standing in their way was Ryan Mallett and the #10 Arkansas Razorbacks. The game was a shootout with both teams gaining over 400 yards of total offense. In the end, it was the Crimson Tide – overcoming a 20-7 third quarter deficit – who came out on top by the score of 24-20.


Kate Middleton and Prince William: Marriage made in Heaven? (Part 1)

Notice the little girl with the frown. No doubt after reading this article you may think that my attitude is much like her’s. That would not be true. I really do hope they have a great marriage. This series of posts that I am starting today is more about how people can best plan for a marriage where both will live “happily ever after.”

I will do some more research but at this point it appears that Kate moved in with Prince William in college and about a year ago they again moved in together.

I have been married for over 25 years now and my three sisters have all been married for almost that same amount of time. However, many things have changed over the last few decades and one of those is the old fashioned view that people should not live together before marriage.

I am a conservative republican which indicates my views concerning our liberal president Obama. Nevertheless, I really do respect the effort he gives to be a good father and husband.

Prince William and Kate moved in together about a year ago. Take a look at this clip.

In this clip above the commentator  suggested that maybe Prince Charles and Princess Diana would not have divorced if they had lived together before marriage. Actually Diana was a virgin, and it was Charles’ uncle (Louis Mountbatten) that suggested to him that he seek to marry a virgin.

I am starting a series today that will look at this issue of living together. It is based on the article “Should We Live Together? What Young Adults Need to Know about Cohabitation before Marriage,” by Josh McDowell. Here is a portion of the article below:

“Living together before marriage is one of America’s most significant and unexpected family trends.  By simple definition, living together-or unmarried cohabitation–is the status of couples who are sexual partners, not married to each other, and sharing a household. By 1997, the total number of unmarried couples in America topped 4 million, up from less than half a million in 1960.1  It is estimated that about a quarter of unmarried women between the ages of 25 and 39 are currently living with a partner and about half have lived at some time with an unmarried partner (the data are typically reported for women but not for men).  Over half of all first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation, compared to virtually none earlier in the century.”2

“What makes cohabitation so significant is not only its prevalence but also its widespread popular acceptance.  In recent representative national surveys nearly 60% of high school seniors indicated that they ‘agreed’ or ‘mostly agreed’ with the statement ‘it is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.’ And nearly three quarters of the students, slightly more girls than boys, stated that ‘a man and a woman who live together without being married’ are either ‘experimenting with a worthwhile alternative lifestyle’ or ‘doing their own thing and not affecting anyone else.’”3

“Unlike divorce or unwed childbearing, the trend toward cohabitation has inspired virtually no public comment or criticism.  It is hard to believe that across America, only thirty years ago, living together for unmarried, heterosexual couples was against the law.4   And it was considered immoral–living in sin–or at the very least highly improper.  Women who provided sexual and housekeeping services to a man without the benefits of marriage were regarded as fools at best and morally loose at worst.  A double standard existed, but cohabiting men were certainly not regarded with approbation”

“Today, the old view of cohabitation seems yet another example of the repressive Victorian norms.  The new view is that cohabitation represents a more progressive approach to intimate relationships.  How much healthier women are to be free of social pressure to marry and stigma when they don’t.  How much better off people are today to be able to exercise choice in their sexual and domestic arrangements.  How much better off marriage can be, and how many divorces can be avoided, when sexual relationships start with a trial period.”

“Surprisingly, much of the accumulating social science research suggests otherwise.  What most cohabiting couples don’t know, and what in fact few people know, are the conclusions of many recent studies on unmarried cohabitation and its implications for young people and for society.  Living together before marriage may seem like a harmless or even a progressive family trend until one takes a careful look at the evidence.”

The Save Your sex Summit took place in Chicago featuring author and Speaker, Josh McDowell. Teenagers and youth groups came from all over the city to hear him speak on the Importance of Saving sex til Marriage.

For more information or additional copies of this publication, contact:

The National Marriage Project Rutgers
The State University of New Jersey
25 Bishop Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1181
(732) 932-2722
marriage@rci.rutgers.edu

 January, 1999
 
1.  U. S. Bureau of the Census. 1998. Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March, 1997.

2.  Larry Bumpass and Hsien-Hen Lu. 1998. “Trends in Cohabitation and Implications for Children’s Family Contexts.” Unpublished manuscript, Madison, WI: Center for Demography, University of Wisconsin. The most likely to cohabit are people aged 20 to 24.

3.  J. G. Bachman, L. D. Johnston and P. M. O’Malley. 1997. Monitoring the Future: Questionnaire Responses  from the Nation’s High School Seniors, 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan.

4.  The state statutes prohibiting “adultery” and “fornication,” which included cohabitation, were not often enforced.

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Prince William has arrived at Westminster Abbey with his best man, brother Prince Harry, for his wedding to Kate Middleton. Thousands of people lined the street to watch the procession. (April 29)

Wedding in Progress

In this image taken from video, Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton stand at the alter at Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/APTN)
Prince William and Prince Harry leave Clarence House for the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Kate Middleton is led by her father Michael Middleton along the aisle at Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski, Pool)

Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 32)(Brummett: Pryor not interested in getting hands dirty on deficit reduction)(Royal Wedding Part 21)

 Reuters reported today:

Before a flawless exchange of vows, a veiled Middleton wearing a laced dress with a long train, the first “commoner” to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne in more than 350 years, walked slowly through the 1,900-strong congregation.

As they met at the altar William, second in line to the throne, whispered to her, prompting a smile. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams declared the couple married with the words: “I pronounce that they be man and wife together.”

Tens of thousands of people thronging the streets outside cheered when they heard the words, and again as the newlyweds left the abbey in a 1902 open-topped state landau carriage bound for Buckingham Palace, the queen’s London residence.

Prince William marries Kate in glittering ceremony

Britain?s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, kiss as they stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after their wedding in Westminster Abbey, in central London
_________________________________________

Huge cheering crowds strained to catch a glimpse of the beaming couple as well as the military bands in black bearskin hats and cavalrymen in shining breastplates who escorted them to the palace where they were expected to kiss on the balcony.

Middleton’s dress, the subject of fevered speculation for months in the fashion press, was a traditional ivory silk and satin outfit with a lace applique and train.

It was designed by Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen label, named after the British designer who committed suicide.

The bride wore a tiara loaned by the queen and the diamond and sapphire engagement ring that belonged to William’s mother Princess Diana, who was divorced from Prince Charles in 1996, a year before her death in a car crash in Paris aged just 36.

Middleton, the 29-year-old whose mother’s family had coal mining roots, is a breath of fresh air for the monarchy, which has in the past been accused of being disconnected from ordinary Britons. She is seen as having the common touch.

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at cutspending@pryor.senate.gov and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself at 8 am CST on April 29, 2011.

John Brummett in his article “Pryor’s words drift in gentle breeze,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 24, 2011 asserted:

By offering the momentary illusion of substance, U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor gave a vintage performance the other day at the Political Animals Club.

The first report I came across declared that Pryor had said he would not vote to raise the federal government’s debt ceiling unless that action was accompanied by real and significant spending cuts.

That sounded like the senator only to a limited extent, that being the extent to which he often propounds as much like a Republican as a Democrat and can be flat wrong…

Indeed, the next report I came across clarified the matter. Pryor had not declared that he would insist on real and meaningful spending cuts before he voted to raise the debt ceiling. He had declared only that he would insist on a real and meaningful “commitment” to debt reduction.

Commitment is not an empirical thing. It is of the heart, mind and soul, thus not visible to the naked eye. Pryor was not making his debt-limit vote contingent on actual reductions in spending. He was making the vote contingent on reading the minds of his colleagues.

That was more like the Pryor we know…

If he wanted to get his hands dirty on these issues, he might join the so-called Gang of Six, meaning three Democratic senators and three Republican ones who have been meeting privately to talk about real deficit-reduction by which each side would embrace some measure of that which it historically resists — cuts in entitlement spending for Democrats and tax increases for Republicans.

But Pryor’s style is to detach from such efforts and applaud them abstractly, pledging to give every serious due consideration to whatever might eventually get proposed.

_____________________________________________

I do not agree with Brummett’s observations. It is obvious that federal spending is out of control and we must reduce it drastically. I do think that Senator Pryor sees the numbers that we all see. I recently heard Congressman Tim Griffin give a 45 minute talk on the problem of the national debt at a townhall meeting at the Shannon Hills City Hall. 

Representative Griffin started off the meeting with this simple statement: 

“We have a debt crisis facing our nation. We have a debt crisis because Washington spends too much, not because Washington taxes too little. The spending is driven by retirement and health security programs. The cost of doing nothing is unacceptable…Our nation’s debt is $14.1 trillion and that is $45,484 for every man, woman and child or $142,819 for the average American family.”   
 
Congressman Griffin pointed out that because of growth of entitlement spending our discretionary side was of the federal budget has slipped from 58% in 1970 to 38% in 2011.
 
Rep. Griffin compared this to our household budgets. The fixed payments like rent have to be paid every month. However, the discretionary part of your budget may be changed from month to month. The problem with the federal budget is that fixed part of the budget is growing too rapidly. If nothing is done about entitlement spending then we will never balance the budget, and our country will go bankrupt eventually. 
 
The chart “Deficits Under Obama Budgets” was the most alarming that Rep. Griffin presented. President Bush’s last three budgets produced budget deficits of 161 billion, 239 billion and 407 billion.  President Obama’s first budget produced a budget deficit of 1.1 trillion dollars in 2010 and estimates for 2011 are around 1.65 trillion.
 
The last payment on September 30, 2008 that the Bush Administration made on the interest on the debt was $451 billion on the total amount of debt of $10,024,724,896,912.49. Now just two and half years later our debt is over 14 billion.

In my past posts I could have been accused of giving just general ideas of where to cut. Now I am starting in with specifics that are taken from the article “Federal Spending by the numbers, Heritage Foundation, June 1, 2010 by Brian Riedl. He notes:  

Immediately before the current recession, Washington spent $24,800 per household. Simply returning to that level (adjusted for inflation) would likely balance the budget by 2019 without any tax hikes.

Nick Gillespie wrote the article “How to Balance the Budget Without Raising Taxes or Cutting Essential Services” in the March 2011 issue of Reason Magazine. Here is a portion of that article:

There’s a 19 percent solution to our debt and deficit problems.

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) new budget plan cuts $500 billion from the federal budget this year. Paul proposes cutting defense spending by 6.5 percent, saving $47 billion. But will his fellow Republicans go along?

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) put forth a budget plan with $32 billion in spending cuts for fiscal 2011 last week, but even that plan let security spending grow.

Congressional Republicans say they’ll get around to holding a vote for the 2011 budget (the fiscal year started Oct. 1, 2010) during the week of Feb. 14. But as President Barack Obama and Congress start wrangling over raising the debt ceiling and hashing out budgets for 2011 and 2012, there’s really only one figure you need to keep in mind if you care about restoring the federal balance sheet to some semblance of sanity.

That figure is 19, which is the percentage of total economic activity or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that the federal government can realistically plan on in terms of revenue.

Any budget plan that is predicated on the government raising more than 19 percent of GDP will only guarantee continuing annual deficits and out-of-control debt levels.

Federal debt held by the public, the amount the government owes to foreign and domestic creditors, has surged to $9 trillion, or roughly $29,000 per person. That amount doesn’t include the money the federal government has borrowed from other government accounts like Social Security or Medicare (that’s another $5 trillion). The speed of the debt increase is as dazzling as it is the product of bipartisanship. As George W. Bush took office, gross debt was $5.9 trillion and by the end of 2008, it was $10.6 trillion.

The mounting debt stems from massive spending increases and minimal tax receipts. In fiscal year 2010, which ended last September, the government spent $3.6 trillion while collecting $2.1 trillion, resulting in a $1.5 trillion deficit. As a percentage of the overall economy, spending equaled 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and the deficit came to 10 percent of GDP, figures not seen since World War II.

These trends are unsustainable and threaten to destroy not only any sort of near-term recovery but the long-term economic growth that increases standards of living.

What’s needed is a multi-year framework that will allow the government, taxpayers, and creditors alike to feel confident that change is both possible and deliverable.

As a first step, the president and Congress should consider a 10-year plan that will balance the budget in 2020 without raising taxes from their current rates, give representatives and taxpayers a say in what outlays should be cut, and still keep government outlays slightly higher as a percentage of GDP than they were in Bill Clinton’s last year in office.

There’s no secret to balancing a budget: You simply can’t spend more than you take in. Since 1950, revenue from all sources has averaged just below 18 percent of GDP. There are years where the number is higher — in 2000, revenues reached 20.6 percent of GDP — and years when it is lower — in 2010, revenues only amounted to 14.5 percent of GDP — but the average is tightly clustered around 18 percent of GDP. This level has been maintained despite all sorts of attempts to radically increase and decrease tax rates and other revenue mechanisms. Unfortunately, federal spending since 1950 has averaged just below 20 percent of GDP, which explains why our cumulative debt continues to grow.

The CBO projects that, if the current Bush tax rates, fixes for the alternative minimum tax, and other measures are kept in place, federal revenues will reach about 19 percent of GDP in a few years and then remain at that level. While that figure is a bit higher than the historical average, it is well within the bounds of reasonable expectations.

The CBO estimates that if spending isn’t cut, the federal budget will grow from $3.7 trillion this year to over $5 trillion in 2020 (all numbers are adjusted for inflation). However, the CBO says that total GDP in 2020 will be $19.5 trillion. That means that if the government wants to spend 19 percent of GDP, it should only spend about $3.8 trillion. So if we want to balance the budget in 2020, we need to cut about $1.3 trillion in projected spending (due to rounding, some of the figures don’t add up perfectly). If you spread that amount over 10 budgets, it comes to trims of $130 billion in each year of the next decade from projected spending increases (not from current spending levels).

For illustrative purposes, the following table spreads those cuts equally on a percentage basis over the six largest categories of federal spending. However, the cuts do not have to be spread across the board. Some categories could increase, while others are subjected to larger cuts. The table also shows what the total projected federal budgets would look if spending restraints are enacted.

2011-02-07-Untitled2.jpg
Another appealing aspect of this plan — apart from its simplicity — is that it makes it very easy to design budget rules around it. The road is clear and Congress can adopt strict and credible budget caps for the next ten years that can’t be overridden without serious consequences.

David Osborne, the former head of Vice President Al Gore’s “Reinventing Government” task force, is a believer in what he calls “budgeting for outcomes.” As an advisor to various cash-strapped state and local governments, Osborne pursues a two-step strategy to fixing out-of-whack budgets. First, and most importantly, you set “the price of government.” That is, you figure out how much money you can spend in a given year. When it comes to the federal government, we have a strong sense of how much revenue will be available based on the past 60 years of experience and the CBO’s projection: It will be around 19 percent of GDP.

The next step is to clearly establish the top priorities of the government. In rank order, what are the most important things that the federal government needs to be doing and what are the things it can pull back from? For example, Sen. Rand Paul’s plan cuts federal education spending by 83 percent while cutting defense 6.5 percent. Do taxpayers share those priorities? The strength of Osborne’s approach is that it builds consensus even as it makes government decision-making more transparent.

Once the cost of government and its rank-ordered priorities are established, spending decisions become much easier both to make and to defend before a voting public. And the public isn’t shrinking from the conversation. Indeed, a January poll from CBS News found that 77 percent of Americans favor balancing the budget by cutting spending, compared to 9 percent who wanted to raise taxes. Majorities say they in favor of means-testing Social Security, reducing farm subsidies, and cutting defense spending. It’s time to those sentiments to the test. If we don’t, we’ll be facing higher taxes, higher spending, higher debt, and almost certainly higher interest rates and dollars that are worth less and less.

It’s well past time that the same elected officials who got us into the budget mess not only join but lead the conversation on restraining spending. As they pursue a 19 percent solution to the nation’s budget problems, they can always point out that in 2000, a year most Americans remember fondly, the federal government was spending just 18 percent of GDP.

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of Reason.tv and Reason.com. Veronique de Rugy is an economist at The Mercatus Center at George Mason University. A version of this article will appear in the upcoming March issue of Reason magazine.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton, the new duke and duchess of Cambridge, kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the wedding.

Guests at Wedding

Guests wait inside Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry. (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski/Pool)

Will Huckabee step down from Fox and run for Presidential nomimation? Brawner says no, Brantley and Tolbert say it sounds like he will (Royal Wedding Part 20)

Huckabee and Barton discuss the framers of the Constitution and what has been lost through revisionism.

In his article “Huckabee isn’t running,” April 24, 2011, Arkansas News Bureau, Steve Brawner observed:

Would you build the house of your dreams if you didn’t plan to live in it?
I wouldn’t, either. But that’s exactly what would be happening if Mike Huckabee had any serious plans of running for president.

Huckabee, for whom I worked as a communications aide in 1997-99, is constructing a $2.2 million, 11,000-square-foot oceanfront mansion in Florida, according to a front page story in last Sunday’s statewide daily. That would seem to be a huge waste of money if he also were planning on spending the last half of this year and all of next slogging through Iowa, New Hampshire, and the rest of the country, and then the next eight years living in the White House…

Huckabee, by contrast, has too many reasons not to want it. Since leaving the Governor’s Mansion and running unsuccessfully for president in 2008, he has parlayed his likable media personality into lucrative book, TV and radio deals. He’s getting rich playing to his strengths.

Meanwhile, running for president means having to overcome his weaknesses, chief among them his inability to raise money. That will be a huge problem in an election cycle when even the losing major party candidate will raise and spend a billion dollars.

Moreover, Huckabee’s record as governor won’t play as well in 2012, when he would start the race as a contender, as it did in 2008, when he never really threatened to win it. In Arkansas, he raised taxes, created a big government-run health care program called ARKids First, and helped release a lot of convicts from prison, including two really bad guys, Wayne Dumond and Maurice Clemmons, who went on to kill people.

That’s not exactly a record that will win the support of the TEA Party – or of big business types who will back candidates like Romney…

Huckabee isn’t lying when he says that he won’t decide until this summer. There is still a part of him that hasn’t shut the door. But he’s leaning strongly enough against the idea that he is comfortable with building this big house.

Jason Tolbert reported yesterday:

KATV’s Scott Inman sat down for an extended segment with Gov. Huckabee today on which aired tonight in central Arkansas.  In it, he sounds like he is inching closer to a decision to run.

Max Brantley in March noted:

I think Mike Huckabee is going to run for president, but I think he’s going to finesse the decision as long as possible to hang onto the money he makes as a non-candidate with his radio show (now on 560 stations) and his show on Fox News, which recently booted two commentators who’ve made not much more presidential noise than Huckabee.

Where do I stand on this? I think Huckabee will probably not run. I earlier thought that he would run and I knew that he could always come back to Fox later and get his job back.However, I heard John Fund of the Wall Street Journal speak the other day and he commented that when people like the liberal President Obama are in control, it makes his job so much more easy. The subjects for the articles are handed to him on a platter by Obama everyday. I think the same is true for Huckabee and his show. In other words, Huckabee is having too good of a time making fun of Obama and he knows he is serving the conservative cause by getting the truth out there on the air every week. Ronald Reagan said that liberalism has always failed whenever it is tried, and Huckabee has an abundance of Obama’s mistakes to make fun of everyday on his show. The comedy material is just too much to say no to!!!!

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Taking a Rest

Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, London, during their wedding service. (AP Photo/Anthony Devlin, Pool)

British Prince William unexpectedly took a moment to speak to excited royal fans outside Clarence House in London on Thursday night, on the eve of his wedding to Kate Middleton. (April 28)

Balanced Budget Amendment the answer? Boozman says yes, Pryor no (Part 19, Milton Friedman’s view is yes)(Royal Wedding Part 19)

Milton Friedman on Phil Donahue Show in 1980 provides a direct and to-the-point defense of capitalism and free trade. He explains how governmental regulations, no matter how well-intended, are inevitably infiltrated by business interests which use governmental power to stifle competition

Photo detail

Steve Brawner in his article “Safer roads and balanced budgets,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 13, 2011, noted:

The disagreement is over the solutions — on what spending to cut; what taxes to raise (basically none ever, according to Boozman); whether or not to enact a balanced budget amendment (Boozman says yes; Pryor no); and on what policies would promote the kind of economic growth that would make this a little easier.

In Feb of 1983 Milton Friedman wrote the article “Washington:Less Red Ink (An argument that the balanced-budget amendent would be a rare merging of public and private interests),” and here is a portion of that article:

Here, for their consideration, are my answers to the principal objections to the proposed amendment that I have come across, other than those that arise from a desire to have a still-bigger government: 

**5. The amendment will be ineffective because (a) it requires estimates of receipts and outlays which can be fudged; (b) its language is fuzzy; (c) the Congress can find loopholes to evade it; (d) it contains no specific provisions for enforcement.** 

(a) It will be possible to evade the amendment by overestimating receipts–but only once, for the first year the amendment is effective. Thereafter, section 2 of the amendment limits each year’s statement receipts to the prior year’s statement receipts plus the prior rate of increase of national income. No further estimates of budget receipts are called for. This is one of the overlooked subtleties in the amendment. 

Any further fudging would have to be of the national-income estimates. That is possible but both unlikely and not easy. What matters is not the level of national income but the percentage change in national income. Alterations of the definition of national income that affect levels are likely to have far less effect on percentage changes. Moreover, making the change in income artificially high in one year will tend to make it artificially low the next. All in all, I do not believe that this is a serious problem. 

(b) The language is not fuzzy. The only undefined technical term is “national income.” The amendment also refers to “receipts” and “outlays,” terms of long-standing usage in government accounting; in section 4, total receipts and total outlays are defined explicitly. 

Nor is the amendment a hastily drawn gimmick designed to provide a fig leaf to hide Congress’s sins. On the contrary, it is a sophisticated product, developed over a period of years, that reflects the combined wisdom of the many persons who participated in its development. 

(c) Loopholes are a more serious problem. One obvious loophole–off-budget outlays–has been closed by phrasing the amendment in terms of total outlays and defining them to include “all outlays of the United States except those for repayment of debt principal.” But other, less obvious, loopholes have not been closed. Two are particularly worrisome: government credit guarantees, and mandating private expenditures for public purposes (e. g., antipollution devices on automobiles). These loopholes now exist and are now being resorted to. I wish there were some way to close them. No doubt the amendment would provide an incentive to make greater use of them. Yet I find it hard to believe that they are such attractive alternatives to direct government spending that they would render the amendment useless. 

(d) No constitutional provision will be enforced unless it has widespread public support. That has certainly been demonstrated. However, if a provision does have widespread support–as public-opinion polls have clearly shown that this one does–legislators are not likely to flout it, which brings us back to the loopholes. 

Equally important, legislators will find it in their own interest to confer an aura of inviolability on the amendment. This point has been impressed on me by the experience of legislators in states that have adopted amendments limiting state spending. Prior to the amendments, they had no effective defense against lobbyists urging spending programs–all of them, of course, for good purposes. Now they do. They can say: Your program is an excellent one; I would like to support it, but the total amount we can spend is fixed. To get funds for your program, we shall have to cut elsewhere. Where should we cut?” The effect is to force lobbyists to compete against one another rather than form a coalition against the general taxpayer. 

That is the purpose of constitutional rules: to establish arrangements under which private interest coincides with the public interest. This amendment passes that test with flying colors.

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The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey

Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice

Princess Eugenie of York (L) and Princess Beatrice of York arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Senator Pryor asks for Spending Cut Suggestions! Here are a few!(Part 31)(Brummett suggests we have wasted our time listening to Pryor’s pledge to cut spending)

Senator Mark Pryor wants our ideas on how to cut federal spending. Take a look at this video clip below:

Senator Pryor has asked us to send our ideas to him at cutspending@pryor.senate.gov and I have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Here are a few more I just emailed to him myself at 7:29 pm cst  on April 28, 2011.

John Brummett in his article “Pryor’s words drift in gentle breeze,” Arkansas News Bureau, April 24, 2011 noted:

Pryor had not declared that he would insist on real and meaningful spending cuts before he voted to raise the debt ceiling. He had declared only that he would insist on a real and meaningful “commitment” to debt reduction.

Commitment is not an empirical thing. It is of the heart, mind and soul, thus not visible to the naked eye. Pryor was not making his debt-limit vote contingent on actual reductions in spending. He was making the vote contingent on reading the minds of his colleagues.

That was more like the Pryor we know.

He also told the political animals that Republicans who eschew all tax increases are wrong and that Democrats who insist that the nation’s budget problem can be solved solely by higher taxes on high incomes also are wrong.

Perhaps, then, you are waiting for his plan to reconcile these polarized views. You should feel free to keep waiting. Pryor was commenting, not advocating.

He said we need to fix this darned tax code. I would call that a euphemism except that I cannot say for what. Changing the tax code is a thousand contradictory and complex things. Pryor delved into only one of these specifics, saying he would not want to do away with the mortgage interest deduction.

“If you think you can solve this with bumper-sticker slogans, you’re wasting all of our time,” Pryor said.

He ought to know, wasting as he was about an hour that an assembly of political animals could never get back.

____________________________

I certainly do not think we have wasted our time taking time out of our busy schedules to give a US Senator suggestions concerning possible spending cuts when he personally asked for them. I have now emailed Senator Pryor on 32 occasions concerning spending cuts that should be made out of our wasteful federal spending.

I also lament the fact the federal government has grown so much in relation to the state and local governments where the people are closer to their representatives and can give more input. In 1902 the federal spending was only 2.6% of the Gross National Product (GNP), and the state and local governments’ spending made up 7.7% of GNP. Last year federal spending was 24.7% of GNP. Currently we are taxed at a rate of 14.5 % and the federal government is spending over 24.7%. That would give a budget deficit of 1.65 trillion a year!!!!!

In my past posts I could have been accused of giving just general ideas of where to cut. Now I am starting in with specifics that are taken from the article “Federal Spending by the numbers, Heritage Foundation, June 1, 2010 by Brian Riedl. He notes:

  • Lawmakers diverted $13 million from Hurricane Katrina relief spending to build a museum celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers—the agency partially responsible for the failed levees that flooded New Orleans.
  • Medicare officials recently mailed $50 million in erroneous refunds to 230,000 Medicare recipients.
  • Audits showed $34 billion worth of Department of Homeland Security contracts contained significant waste, fraud, and abuse.
  • The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses; 40 percent of this funding goes to Fortune 500 companies.
  • The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.
Sources: On file at The Heritage Foundation.
Brian M. Riedl is Grover M. Hermann Research Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
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In: Elton John

Sir Elton John received an invitation to Prince William’s wedding. Elton John was a close friend of William’s mother, Princess Diana, and the singer-songwriter performed “Candle in the Wind” at her funeral. When asked by BBC Radio 2 whether he would be performing at the royal wedding, John joked, “I probably will. I’ll probably be busking outside.”

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 The Queen’s royal lunch involved the newest member to the royal family, Kate Middleton. Mark Phillips reports.

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Gene Lyons: Tax Cuts always reduce tax revenues (Part 1)(The Conspirator Part 23)

Ep. 10 – How to Stay Free [1/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

Gene Lyons in his article “The futility of reasoning with crazy,” April 27, 2011 makes this simple straight forward statement:

Also contrary to Republican mythology, the infamous Bush tax cuts did anything but increase revenue, as tax cuts never do. As Fiscal Times columnist Bruce Bartlett shows, federal revenues dropped from 20.6 percent of GDP in 2000 to 18.5 percent in 2007.

I am starting a new series today that breaks down Lyon’s claims and take a look at the cold hard facts.

As you know the Bush Tax Cuts were fully put into effect in 2003. Below you can see the results from the CBO:

Table 1.Tax Revenues, 2003 and 2006


2003 2006
Billions of
Dollars
Percentage of
GDP
Billions of
Dollars
Percentage of
GDP

Individual Income Taxes 794 7.3 1,044 8.0
Corporate Income Taxes 132 1.2 354 2.7
Other Taxes 857 7.9 1,009 7.7
Total Revenues 1,783 16.5 2,407 18.4

Source: Congressional Budget Office.
Note: GDP = gross domestic product.

Ep. 10 – How to Stay Free [2/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

Michael Griffith in his article “The Facts about TaxCuts, Revenue and Growth notes:

Bush Tax Cuts:  President George W. Bush’s 2003 tax cuts generated a massive increase in federal tax revenue and were followed by 52 consecutive months of economic growth. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenue increased by $780 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history.  Total federal revenue from 2003 to 2007:

2003 — $1.78 trillion

2004 — $1.88 trillion

2005 — $2.15 trillion

2006 — $2.40 trillion

2007 — $2.56 trillion

Ep. 10 – How to Stay Free [3/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

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Abraham Lincoln and Allan Pinkerton

There is perhaps no name more synonymous with security than that of Allan Pinkerton. Pinkerton was an important ally of Abraham Lincoln, and actually played an important role in thwarting an assassination plot in 1861. Allan Pinkerton is pictured to the left in the image above. This photograph was taken on the Battlefield of Antietam shortly after the completion of the battle.

I really enjoyed the movie “The Conspirator” and I have been posting articles of interest on the people involved in this historical event. Of  course, Abraham Lincolin is the primary figure and below is an interesting article on him.
Monday, Jun. 27, 2005

Life Behind the Legend

From his obscure birth to his shocking death, Abraham Lincoln provided all the ingredients for a myth that grows with each passing generation. A hardworking, self-taught farm boy grows up to become President, leads the nation through a wrenching cataclysm and is killed at the moment of victory.

Behind those bare facts are many Lincolns: lawyer, master politician, storyteller, warrior, jokester and man of near constant sorrow.

General WilliamT. Sherman, no soft touch, provides one epitaph: “Of all the men I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of greatness, combined with goodness, than any other.”

CHILDHOOD

Abraham Lincoln born Feb. 12, 1809

AGE 2 Family moves a few miles for better farmland. Abe’s brother Thomas dies in infancy the next year. Abe also has an older sister, Sarah

AGE 7 Family moves to a new farm in southern Indiana

AGE 9 Lincoln’s mother Nancy dies from “milk sickness” after drinking milk from a cow that has eaten poisonous snakeroot. Lincoln would later write of sorrow coming to him with “bitterest agony” when he was young

AGE 10 Abe’s father Thomas Lincoln remarries, bringing Sarah Bush Johnston and her three children into the family. She and Abe had a warm relationship. Years later, she called him “the best boy I ever saw”

EARLY ADULTHOOD

AGE 22 Lincoln works on a river flatboat, then moves to New Salem, Ill., and works as a clerk and a surveyor. Interest in politics begins

AGE 23 Lincoln enlists in a militia during the Black Hawk War but sees no fighting. He would later joke about his time in combat: “I fought, bled, and came away … I had a good many bloody struggles with the musquetoes.”

AGE 25 On his second try for public office, Lincoln is elected to the Illinois legislature. He would go on to serve four terms

AGE 27 After years of studying in his spare time, Lincoln gets a state law license. The next year he moves to Springfield, Ill., and begins a law partnership while living above a store

AGE 33 After a rocky courtship, Lincoln marries Mary Todd, 23, from a well-to-do Kentucky family. Their first child, Robert, is born nine months later. Mary would live to bury three of her four children

NATIONAL SCENE

AGE 37 Elected to U.S. House of Representatives. Lincoln serves only one term but remains active in party politics

AGE 40 Declines offer to become Governor of Oregon

AGE 45 Elected again to Illinois legislature but resigns to run for U.S. Senate. He loses

AGE 47 Attends first Republican Party Convention

AGE 49 Accepting the nomination to run for U.S. Senate against Stephen A. Douglas, Lincoln declares: “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” Lincoln loses the race but gains national attention

THE PRESIDENCY

AGES 51-56 Elected the 16th President of the U.S. with 40% of the vote in a four-way race. Within months, seven Southern states secede to form the Confederacy. Four more would follow. The Civil War begins

As the war drags on, political and military necessity drives Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863

Lincoln is re-elected in 1864. Five days after Robert E. Lee’s surrender, Lincoln goes to a play at Ford’s Theatre

APRIL 14, 1865

The First American Presidential Assassination

“Our cause being almost lost, something decisive and great must be done,” famous actor and Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth said. “I am sure that posterity will justify me.” During Act III, Scene II of a farce called Our American Cousin, he struck

THE SCENE President and Mrs. Lincoln were seated in a box with Major Henry Rathbone and his fiance Clara Harris. General Ulysses S. Grant and his wife had been expected but begged off at the last minute

1 – Booth, well known in the theater, enters the presidential box and bars the door behind him

2 – About 10:15 p.m., he points a derringer at the back of Lincoln’s head and fires once

3 – Rathbone tries to grab Booth, but Booth slashes him severely with a hunting knife

4 – Booth leaps to the stage, but his spur catches on a draped flag. He breaks his leg in the fall. Fleeing, Booth shouts “Sic semper tyrannis” (Thus always to tyrants), the state motto of Virginia. Some say he added, “The South is avenged”

DEATH OF A PRESIDENT Lincoln never regained consciousness and died in a house across from the theater at 7:22 the next morning

FAMILY LIFE

Marries Mary Todd …. Died 1882

Son Robert …. Died 1926

Son Eddie …. Died 1850

Son Willie …. Died 1862

Son Tad …. Died 1871

Sources: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; National Park Service; Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln (Library of America); Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman (Library of America); Lincoln by David Herbert Donald (Simon & Schuster)

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Last Picture of Abraham Lincoln

The Last Picture Taken of Abraham Lincoln

This is a dramatic portrait of Abraham Lincoln.  It was taken on April 10, 1865 . . . four days before his Assassination. It is interesting to note the look on Lincoln’s face. While four years of Civil War have had a dramatic effect on the facial features of the president, there is a sense of calm and peace on his face in this image . . . as if he knows that he has run a good race, and completed his task.

John Fund’s talk in Little Rock 4-27-11(Part 2):Arkansas is a right to work state and gets new businesses because of it, Obama does not get that, but Milton Friedman does!!!(Royal Wedding Part 18)

Ep. 8 – Who Protects the Worker [1/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

Speakers at the First Richmond Tea Party, October 8-9, 2010

John Fund
 
John Fund is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and its OpinionJournal.com and an on-air contributor to 24-hour cable news networks CNBC and MSNBC. He is the author of several best selling books and he spoke on April 27th at the Little Rock Hilton for the Conservative Luncheon Series.
 
Yesterday was the first lunch in the  “Conservative Lunch Series” presented by  KARN and Americans for Prosperity Foundation at the Little Rock Hilton on University Avenue. This monthly luncheon will be held the fourth Wednesday of every month. .
 
John Fund writes the weekly “On the Trail” column for OpinionJournal.com. He is author of “Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy” (Encounter, 2004).

John Fund commented on the Obama’s administration effort to block Boeing from moving their plant to a right to work state like South Carolina. “This decision by the court will not stick!!! Arkansas is a right to work state and businesses  come here because of it.”

Fund went on to say that this has been going on forever and the thought that the court now would somehow take away that freedom that we have is really a far left dream, but is very unlikely. He would bet every dollar he had that this court decision will not stick.

Fund commented that many times when a liberal presidential administration like President Obama’s comes into office they quickly discover that they can not function with all of their way out leftist policies in the real world that we live in. Therefore, when President Obama found out that the worst he could do in the slow economy was to raise the taxes back up at the end of 2010, he relented and let the lower taxes stay in place. However, people like Craig Becker did not get the memo on how to avoid the radical left policies and you end up with policies like this.

Ep. 8 – Who Protects the Worker [2/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

I got this article off the lonely conservative’s blog:

April 21, 2011

By Lonely Conservative 4 comments

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a complaint against Boeing for building a new plant in South Carolina, a right to work state. In the past, union strikes have cost the company billions of dollars, but in good faith they tried to negotiate with the union to build the new plant in Washington state. After the union made ridiculous demands, they decided to open a plant in South Carolina, but they haven’t closed the Washington operation. They created about 1,000 jobs in South Carolina, but the NLRB doesn’t care about workers. They disregard Congress and carry water for the unions. It’s disgusting.

The Wall Street Journal editors weighed in.

The NLRB obliged with its complaint yesterday asking an administrative law judge to stop Boeing’s South Carolina production because its executives had cited the risk of strikes as a reason for the move. Boeing acted out of “anti-union animus,” says the complaint by acting general counsel Lafe Solomon, and its decision to move had the effect of “discouraging membership in a labor organization” and thus violates federal law.

It’s hard to know which law he’s referring to. There are plentiful legal precedents that give business the right to locate operations in right-to-work states. That right has created healthy competition among states and kept tens of millions of jobs in America rather than heading overseas.

Boeing has also expanded its operations in Puget Sound while building its South Carolina presence. Ultimately, the NLRB seems to be resting its complaint on the belief that Boeing spent nearly $2 billion out of spite, which sounds less like a matter of law than of campaign 2012 politics.

Boeing says it will challenge the complaint in an NLRB hearing in June, but Big Labor also has sway at the five-member board. Recall that President Obama gave a recess appointment last year to Craig Becker, a former lawyer for the Service Employees International Union who once wrote that the NLRB could impose “card check” rules for union organizing even without an act of Congress. Even a Democratic Senate refused to confirm him.

As I write this, Neil Cavuto is reporting that South Carolina politicians are not taking this lying down. Senator Jim DeMint is on the line and he called the NLRB “thugs” and said he had thought he had seen it all. He also said the president could stop this in a second if he wanted to, and the NLRB is assuming powers it does not have.

They’re also reporting that Boeing paid millions in taxes last year, unlike some of the administration’s favorite companies.

Ep. 8 – Who Protects the Worker [3/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

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2006

For the wedding of Laura Parker Bowles and Harry Lopes, Middleton paired downy soft strands with a feathered fascinator.Loading

Kate and William Countdown: Why the Royals Still Matter

by Sara Bibel
Apr 27th, 2011 | 3:25 PM 

 

This Friday, millions of Americans will get up at the crack of dawn to watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton. England is celebrating the Royal Wedding with a national holiday. News outlets from nearly every country on earth will be broadcasting live from Westminster Abbey. Every detail of the wedding, from Kate’s dress (she allegedly has three) to the cake (it’s a fruitcake — but not the gross kind) has been covered in exhaustive detail. The average American probably knows more about Kate and William’s relationship than what the United States congress is voting on this week.

The U.S. fought the revolutionary war to avoid being ruled by the British Monarchy. The royals no longer have any real political power. The tragic life and death of Lady Diana put an end to the myth that princesses live happily ever after.