By the American Post-Gazette
Every man has his price. State Senator Rich Crandall’s price is about $25,000. That’s what State Senate President Steve Pierce spent out of the Republican Victory Fund (RVF) to assure Crandall beat conservative candidate, and sitting State Representative, John Fillmore in the LD 16 Republican Primary.
This is slimy at several levels. The RVF was created and presented as a campaign fund to elect Republicans against Democrats-that happens in the General Election. But instead, Pierce wants to make sure he gets re-elected as Senate President by supporting moderates (like Crandall) in the Primary-against conservatives. And the latest reports are that Pierce is not supporting candidates in hotly contested-and winnable-races in the General except for those candidates who will vote for him. Slimy isn’t descriptive enough. First, it’s not his money; he shouldn’t have control over where it’s spent. Second, he’s using it as his own personal piggy bank against other Republicans to feather his own nest, instead of what it’s meant for-defeating Democrats. Third, he’s not spending it on Republicans who need the support in the General-he’s choosing only “buddies.” Double slimy.
Steve Pierce has got to go. We have enough problems in the state and in the Legislature without having to put up with this guy’s selfish, lowlife activity.
And just what’s with Rich Crandall? He owns homes in Mesa and in Provo, Utah (where his wife and family live). He rents an apartment in Apache Junction where only his mail lives; yet we hear no complaints about it from the press or anyone? Where’s the outrage? Where’s the investigation? Where’s Laurie Roberts? (Oh, yeah; Crandall is one of her “keepers.” Move on, nothing to see here.)
This state needs some folks to step up and remove Steve Pierce from the Senate presidency. Where are you Adam Driggs, Nancy Barto, and Bob Worsley? You need to keep your integrity intact and vote against this slimily character. Moderates may not always agree with Senator Andy Biggs but they can’t question his integrity. Do the right thing and vote him in as Senate President.
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta explained that the U.S. military commander for Africa, General Carter Ham, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and himself all decided against any intervention to rescue those besieged because “we lacked a clear picture of what was happening.”
Panetta admitted that “while the drone surveillance did give us a real-time view of events on the ground, there were still some unanswered questions. First, we couldn’t be sure how many attackers were involved. Was it 50, 100? Without knowing this we couldn’t be sure how many reinforcements to send.”
“Second, the pictures from the drone couldn’t clearly establish the intent of the attackers,” Panetta continued. “We had no way of knowing they would actually kill the Ambassador. Maybe if those under attack had simply surrendered they would have been taken alive. We couldn’t risk negating this potential option.”
“There was always the chance that an attempt to rescue the Ambassador might make things worse,” Panetta added. “As it now stands, only four Americans were killed. If we had sent in troops there likely would’ve been more casualties on both sides. By declining to charge in we at least have no Libyan blood on our hands.”
The secretary brushed off reports that those under attack were desperately pleading for help. “It’s to be expected that persons in their position would have a rather narrow perspective of the situation,” he said. “It’s hard to appreciate the bigger picture when you’re in fear for your life. Those of us with broader responsibilities must maintain a calmer demeanor and balance the costs and benefits of escalating the confrontation.”
Vice-President Warns “GOP Will Cut Taxes by $500 Trillion”
Seeking to shore up his Party’s base, Vice-President Joe Biden warned that “the GOP will cut taxes by $500 trillion if we let them win this election.”
“All the investments this Administration has made to try to ensure a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth are at risk,” Biden said. “Do you think you can count on Republicans to continue to expand the ranks of those on disability or food stamps? Do you think they’ll be as supportive of green energy?”
The Vice-President insisted that “your government needs this $500 trillion to help advance the fundamental transformation of American life that we all voted for in 2008. Don’t let the forces of greed succeed in withholding this from you. A vote for the Democratic Party is a vote to put that money into your pocket.”
In related news, the Vice-President denied that “stimulus funds” that have benefited a company owned, in part, by his brother, was improper or corrupt. “Since when do we criticize a man who helps his brother?” Biden wanted to know. “I shouldn’t be pilloried for looking out for my own kin. It’s the ‘Cains’ who refuse to be their brother’s keeper that we ought to be wary of.”
Biden’s brother James is a partner in Hill International—a company that received a no-bid contract to build $1.5 billion in affordable housing in Iraq. The contract is expected to net the partners over $700 million in profits.
President’s Ad Puts the Moves on First-Time Voters
A new ad from the Obama campaign aimed at first-time voters lurched into the realm of bad taste by comparing voting to losing one’s virginity.
“You want your first time to be something you can always remember,” said Lena Dunham, creator and star of the HBO series Girls. “Voting for Romney would be like doing it with that Boy Scout your parents are always complimenting and hoping you will go out with. Voting for Obama would be like doing it with the boy they’re trying to keep you from seeing. Is there any question about who you really want to be your first?”
Dunham suggested that “Romney is like an ‘A student,’ too straight-laced’ to be much fun. Obama is mysterious and alluring. He may not be paying much attention in class, but he hangs out with the cool kids getting high and cracking jokes. You know he knows how to do it right.”
Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter defended the ad despite robust criticism from what she characterized as “the boring opponents of women’s sexual freedom. We think the contrast is legitimate. For a young woman, voting for Romney would be like voting for her father. Voting for President Obama is like voting for adventure. Is there really any doubt which appeals more to a teen-aged female?”
Skimpy Benghazi Security a “Strategic Decision”
Emerging evidence that both Ambassador Stephens and Secretary of State Clinton had requested increased security in Benghazi prior to the September 11 attack pushes blame upstream to the White House. Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney made an effort to expound upon the Administration’s thinking.
“The determination not to beef up security for our embassy and consulate in Libya was a strategic decision,” Carney asserted. “I know that in hindsight it looks bad, but there were cogent reasons for the decision.”
“The president felt that a heavy contingent of armed guards would send the wrong message to our Muslim friends in Libya and around the world,” Carney explained. “It would’ve been a way of saying ‘we don’t trust you.’ Building trust was and is a key goal of this Administration.”
Carney contended that “the focus on the Ambassador’s request for more security is one-sided. More security could’ve been interpreted as an insult to the Libyan Government. It might’ve undermined the good will we earned by helping overthrow Gaddafi.”
“The important thing is that we not let this one tragedy undermine our long-term strategy for recasting our country’s relationship with Islamic nations around the globe,” Carney urged. “Undoing the mistakes of previous Administrations isn’t easy and is not without risk. We think Ambassador Stephens understood this and would be appalled to see his death used to criticize the policies of a President he heartily supported while he lived.”
Virginia AG Declines to Prosecute Moran
Patrick Moran, the son of Representative Jim Moran (D-Va), was caught on tape advising an undercover reporter on ways to fake IDs so invalid votes could be cast. Nevertheless, Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) declined to press charges.
“Look, this type of thing is pretty standard for how Democrats try to manipulate elections in this state,” Cuccinelli observed. “If I filed a case every time they try to commit vote fraud I wouldn’t have the resources to pursue more serious crimes.”
Cuccinelli also argued that “trying to take this kind of offense through the courts may not be the most effective way of dealing with it anyway. The process is long and drawn out. The penalties are inadequate. It may be a case of too little, too late.”
“Publicity may be the best remedy,” Cuccinelli concluded. “Getting caught right before election day may help voters understand their choices better at a time when they can more effectively punish these crooks by denying them the fruits of their fraudulent schemes.”
Lavish Entertainment at White House Called “Unavoidable”
Reports that the cost of entertainment at the White House have soared during President Obama’s term were called “unavoidable” by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Barack is no ordinary president,” Michelle contended. “He is a Nobel Prize winner. He is tremendously popular all over the world. Polls show that if everyone in the world could vote for the President of the United States he’d win with over 70% of the votes. So, naturally, it’s going to cost more.”
The “rock star” status enjoyed by President Obama “boosts both the frequency and expense necessary to entertain visitors at the White House,” Michelle argued. “There’s just so many more people who want to be with Barack than wanted to be with Bush or Clinton. On top of this, people expect an urbane and sophisticated experience. We’re not hosting the kind of hillbilly or cowboy clientele that dominated previous administrations.”
The highest cost event during the Obama Administration was a state dinner for the president of Mexico at a price of around $4700 per attendee. In comparison, the highest cost event during the Clinton Administration cost around $400 per attendee.
In related news, the First Lady advised supporters to “vote early because you may find your toilet overflowing on election day.”
Obama’s Trouble with Math a Plus, Axelrod Says
President Obama’s admission to talk show host Jay Leno that “my math expertise tops out at the 7th grade level” isn’t a handicap as Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod sees it.
“Some are going to jump to the conclusion that a person like Mitt Romney with his financial experience in multimillion dollar business investments would be a better person to manage the government in a time of fiscal crisis,” Axelrod said. “But we don’t agree.”
“We think the vast majority of voters will identify with the president’s aversion to math,” Axelrod pointed out. “Most people find math to be hard and distasteful. They are, in a sense, in sync with the President. They understand his struggle to cope with the severely complex issues of debt and taxes.”
“In contrast, we think voters will see Romney as a member of an elite minority that easily comprehends high finance and, as such, fails to understand how the average person lives,” Axelrod conjectured. “They won’t vote for the nerd who’s a math whiz. They’ll vote for the guy who’s like them, the guy they can trust to be on their side.”
Poll of Obama Voters Show Majority Hope for Change in Second Term
A recent poll of people saying they will vote for Obama’s reelection yielded confusing implications.
Only 4% said they wanted a second term to be like the first. Over 60% said they hoped a second term would be “significantly different.” The rest said they didn’t know enough about the first term to decide.
“Nothing seems to have gone right the past four years,” said one of the 60%. “I still haven’t got a job. I had to move back in with my parents.” As for why he’s still voting to reelect Obama, he said “I believe a person learns from his mistakes. The president has made so many that he must have learned a lot.”
In contrast, a member of the 4% argued that “the president isn’t getting the credit he deserves. I got disability for my drug habit and with the Social Security and food stamps I’m getting life is a lot less stressful than it was under Bush. I’d say President Obama has delivered on his promise to transform America.”
Former President Clinton Calls Voters “Impatient”
As polls continue to indicate a shift in favor of Romney, former President Bill Clinton castigated voters for their impatience.
“Four years isn’t that much time,” Clinton complained. “In the 1930s voters easily reelected President Roosevelt even though his policies were even less effective in dealing with the economy than President Obama’s have been. Unemployment was twice as high as it is now. Businesses everywhere were shuttered. People stood in soup lines in every city. Stock prices were a fraction of what they are now. It was, from every perspective a disaster. Yet, FDR was reelected by a huge margin.”
Clinton speculated that “changes in communications may account for the difference. Back then the FCC could turn the screws on radio stations that openly criticized the president. Today, anyone can pretty much say anything they want about him.”
“Then there’s the Internet,” Clinton continued. “Anyone with a keyboard and an opinion can quickly and inexpensively reach millions of voters. There’s no effective way to monitor and filter what voters see or hear.”
While admitting that he was “not optimistic that President Obama will be able to withstand the onslaught of unscreened criticisms of his policies,” Clinton said he hoped that “reforms can be put into place that would give the government a firmer grip on these unregulated avenues of communication before worse damage is done.”
Secretary Rebuffs Welfare Critique
Revelations that the federal government spends over $60,000 per year per poverty household were labeled “misleading” by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“Just looking at this one number makes it appear like these poor families are receiving middle class incomes from the federal government,” Sebelius complained. “A more accurate figure would show that these families are receiving only about a third of that amount. The other $40,000 goes to cover the cost of administering the programs.”
While an “overhead” administrative cost of double the amount of benefits to the poor might seem a bit steep, Sebelius justified it as “a jobs program for people trained as social workers. If government doesn’t employ graduates with degrees in sociology who will? Or do we just let these talents go to waste?”
Sebelius also compared the $60,000 per household cost with “the much larger sums handed out to corporations under the ‘stimulus’ and ‘green energy’ programs. A lot of those recipients simply squandered the money they received on ill-conceived and inefficient products. At least our handouts enabled families to put food on their tables.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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Mike Sunnucks, of the Phoenix Business Journal, reports a new poll from Rasmussen Reports and KPHO-TV Channel 5 gives Republican Mitt Romney a 52-44 percent lead over President Barack Obama in that race, and Jeff Flake a 50-44 percent lead over Richard Carmona in their U.S. Senate battle.
Other surveys have shown a tight race between Flake, a Republican congressman from Mesa, and Carmona, a Democrat and former U.S. surgeon general. Democrats are running plenty of Senate ads in the Flake-Carmona race. Obama is not contesting Arizona, traditionally a red state, as he and Romney are neck-and-neck for the White House.
The Rasmussen-KPHO poll surveyed 500 likely voters Oct. 21.
Several days a Rocky Mountain poll showed Obama leading Romney in Arizona, 44-42. But Rocky Mountain’s reliability is obviously questionable.
A new poll of 569 Arizonans puts Republican Jonathan Paton in the driver’s seat in his race for Congress against former Congressman Ann Kirkpatrick, according to an email from Max Fose.
Respondents (37% Republican; 32% Democrat; 31% Independent)
Obama installed Ambassador Stevens to supply weapons to Al Quaida
By Frank Gaffney, Jr.
Center for Security Policy
President Obama’s once-seemingly-unstoppable march towards reelection hit what he might call “bumps in the road” in Benghazi, Libya late on September 11, 2012. It might be more accurate to describe the effect of the well-planned and -executed, military-style attack on a diplomatic facility there as the political equivalent of a devastating improvised explosive device on the myth of the unassailability of the Obama record as Commander-in-Chief.
Thanks to intrepid investigative reporting – notably by Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge at Fox News, Aaron Klein at WND.com and Claire Lopez at RadicalIslam.org – and information developed by congressional investigators, the mystery is beginning to unravel with regard to what happened that night and the reason for the subsequent, clumsy official cover-up now known as “Benghazigate.”
The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have now taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, the leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Once Qaddafi was overthrown, Chris Stevens was appointed as the ambassador to the new Libya run by Belhadj and his friends. Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amounts of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution.
One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi. It now appears that Amb. Stevens was there – on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now-copiously-documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates – for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria. As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.
Fox News has chronicled (http://video.foxnews.com/v/1913235018001/) how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on September 6th in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms – including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles – apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria.
What cries out for further investigation – and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election – is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison?
Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported (http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/this-is-what-benghazi-consulate-really-was/) that the “consulate in Benghazi” actually was no such thing. He observes that, while administration officials have done nothing to correct that oft-repeated characterization of the facility where the murderous attack on Amb. Stevens and his colleagues was launched, instead they call it a “mission.” And what Klein describes as a “shabby, nondescript building” which lacked any “major public security presence” was, according to an unnamed Middle Eastern security official, “routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.”
We know that Stevens’ last official act was to hold such a meeting with an unidentified “Turkish diplomat.” Presumably, the conversation involved additional arms shipments to al Qaeda and its allies in Syria. But it may also have involved getting more jihadi fighters there. After all, Klein reported last month (http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/sources-slain-u-s-ambassador-recruited-jihadists/) that, according to sources in Egyptian security, our ambassador was playing a “central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”
It gets worse. Last week, Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow and former career CIA officer Clare Lopez observed (http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/arms-flow-syria-may-be-behind-beghazi-cover) that there were two large warehouse-type buildings associated with the so-called “consulate” whose purpose has yet to be disclosed. As their contents were raided in the course of the attack, we may never know for sure whether they housed – and were known by the local jihadis to house – arms, perhaps administered by the two former SEALS killed along with Amb. Stevens.
What we do know is that the New York Times – one of the most slavishly pro-Obama publications in the country – reported on October 14, 2012 article that, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”
In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale. The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies, as well. That would explain his administration’s desperate, and now-failing, bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.
Peter Ferrarra, Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, explains just how Obama lied repeatedly in the debates and the Democrat world yawned through the lies. This piece appears on The American Spectator.
It has come to the point where history will remember Obama as “the Liar President.” We can see this in the debates. In the second debate, he told the American people with a straight face that he had confessed the very next day in the Rose Garden that the murder of the Libyan ambassador and four other Americans in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.
Obama has repeatedly bragged that under his leadership America has increased production of oil and natural gas to record levels, while “we’ve cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades.” But Romney pointed out that the oil and gas production gains had nothing to do with Obama’s energy policies, which had aimed at just the opposite results. Those gains all came on state and local lands, where Obama’s policies could not stop them.
The real problem is not President Obama. It is his supporters and contributors who are willing to blindly support this dishonesty, after four years of accelerating decline and failure, which will only continue in the second term. Obama is Marxist royalty by heritage, born and bred. Check the public record. Under his leadership, the Democrat party has become a Marxist party as well. Is that what a majority of Americans want? Despite the lies, so well supported by the Democrat-controlled media, the American people seem to be waking from their dangerous slumber.
Remember, Alinskyites are trained to lie and deceive. We’ve been watching this for a long as Obama has been in Washington. And we’ve been urging Americans to believe the opposite of what Obama says.
Read the entire post in The Liar President
The Heritage Foundation
It is no secret that President Obama’s and green-energy supporters’ (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.
The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.
So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.
The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
1.Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
3.Solyndra ($535 million)*
4.Beacon Power ($69 million)*
5.AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
6.Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
7.SunPower ($1.5 billion)
8.First Solar ($1.46 billion)
9.Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
10.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
11.Amonix ($5.9 million)
12.National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
13.Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
14.Abound Solar ($374 million)*
15.A123 Systems ($279 million)*
16.Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
17.Johnson Controls ($299 million)
18.Schneider Electric ($86 million)
19.Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
20.ECOtality ($126.2 million)
21.Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
22.Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
23.Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
24.Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
25.Range Fuels ($80 million)*
26.Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
27.Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
28.LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
29.UniSolar ($100 million)*
30.Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
32.Vestas ($50 million)
33.LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
34.Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
35.Navistar ($10 million)
36.Satcon ($3 million)*
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.
The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.
UPDATE: Some of the companies on this list received money from government agencies other than or in addition to the Department of Energy. We are updating the numbers to reflect the most accurate figures available.