Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tax Cut Rally Draws Hundreds To Capitol In The Cold Rain

A few hundred hardy fiscal conservatives braved a cold, wind-driven rain to hear former presidential candidate Herman Cain and more than a dozen other speakers rip state and federal taxes and spending during the annual Tax Cut Rally on the state Capitol mall on Saturday, April 28. For more than three hours, they cheered as speaker after speaker drove home the same message: cut spending and stop raising taxes. Cain, the folksy former Georgia restaurant executive, praised the drenched crowd for turning out despite the elements. "You are here because you are the real patriots that's going to take back this country," he said. It was a relatively small crowd for the 14th annual anti-tax rally. Previous gatherings have attracted thousands. But given the bad weather, the turnout was "amazing," said Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, which co-sponsored the event with Americans for Prosperity Minnesota. "There are a lot of crazy Minnesotans that are ready to endure anything and everything to come out here and have their voices heard," Krinkie said. Before dropping out of the presidential race in December, Cain captured conservatives' attention with his "9-9-9 plan" to scrap the federal tax code and replace it with 9 percent taxes on individuals, businesses and sales. He reiterated that theme Saturday. "We don't want to hear about reforming the tax code. We want to hear about replacing the tax code," he told the cheering crowd.
Without mentioning Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, he told the disappointed conservatives who backed other candidates to "keep your eye on the mission. The mission is to defeat Barack Obama in November." The rally also was a showcase for three candidates seeking the Republican endorsement to challenge U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar this fall. Afghanistan war veteran Pete Hegseth of Stillwater told the crowd he would lead a charge to bring down the national debt. "It's not time to decrease the increases in spending. It is time to make cuts," he said. "We are heading off of a fiscal cliff, and we have to turn that around. That's why we're here. That's why I'm running." State Rep. Kurt Bills, a Rosemount High School economics teacher, also condemned the spiraling national debt and pledged to fight for free enterprise and the private sector. "I hope you can get behind me and bring Economics 101 to Washington this coming November," he said. Sounding the same theme as Cain, former state Rep. Dan Severson of Sauk Rapids told the crowd, "We need a new tax system." He advocated replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax called the "fair tax." Severson also said he has signed a pledge to vote against any tax increases, and he challenged his two rivals to do the same.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"If I Wanted America To Fail"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

NJ Administrative Law Judge Says Obama Need Not Prove Eligibility

In the latest Obama eligibility challenge, an Administrative Law Judge cleared Obama for the New Jersey Democratic Primary. The two men who objected to Obama's nominating petition vowed to appeal. Nick Purpura of Wall Township, Monmouth Co., and Ted Moran of Toms River, Ocean Co., filed their objection Thursday with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Lawyer Mario Apuzzo of Jamesberg, delivered the brief and spoke directly to Robert Giles, Director of Elections. Apuzzo argued Purpura and Moran's case yesterday (Tuesday, April 10) at the Office of Administrative Law in Mercerville. The Elections Division notified the Obama campaign at once, and they sent their own lawyer, Alexandra Hill, to appear. Administrative Law Judge (and Associate Director of the OAL) Jeff S. Masin presided. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two grounds: No one knows exactly who Barack H. Obama is, because he has had three different names in life. Furthermore, he has never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the Secretary of State. So no one can be sure that Obama was born in the United States. Obama's father was a British colonial subject. He not only was not a naturalized citizen on the alleged date of Obama's birth, but indeed never sought naturalization. Therefore Obama could never be a natural-born citizen no matter where he was born. Ms. Hill offered no evidence, but spent her time objecting to the entire case, to every witness whom Apuzzo called, and every document he tried to introduce. In every specific case, she said that the documents were neither originals nor certified copies. More generally, she said repeatedly that New Jersey law did not obligate Obama in any way to prove that he was eligible to the office of President. The only grounds for challenging a nominating petition, said Hill, were whether the petitions were in the proper form, all who signed were registered voters, no voter signed more than one petition, whether the campaign gathered enough signatures, etc. Apuzzo countered that the New Jersey Constitution and at least one case on point (Strother, 6 NJ @ 565), obliged the Secretary of State to find affirmatively whether a given candidate was qualified for the office he or she sought, or not.
A surprise admission

About two-thirds of the way through the hearing, Hill admitted in open court something that no lawyer for the Obama campaign has ever admitted. Obama never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the New Jersey Secretary of State. Furthermore, the PDF file that the White House has served to the Internet since April 27, 2012, is not relevant to the case in any way. Hill conceded this point after Apuzzo tried to call Brian Wilcox, an expert document analyst. He was ready to show that no one could rely on the PDF file as a substitute for a hard-copy long-form birth certificate. But Judge Masin said at once that neither he nor Secretary of State Kim Guadagno had ever seen a birth certificate, whether on paper, as a PDF file, or on the Internet. He told Apuzzo that calling Wilcox would be "premature." Then Masin turned to Hill and asked her directly: Is it your legal position that the document on the Internet is irrelevant to this case? Hill replied, "Yes." Masin then asked: And indeed you concede that Mr. Obama has not produced an alleged birth certificate to the Secretary of State. Hill at first said, "It has been released nationally," but then admitted that she did not know personally that Obama had given any such document to the Secretary of State, nor did she intend giving such a document to the court today. But she also argued, after Judge Masin asked her repeatedly, that Obama need not produce any evidence at all. Apuzzo told this Examiner during a recess in the hearing that this was the most stunning thing that any lawyer for Obama had ever admitted, in an Obama eligibility case or in any other case. When the hearing finally adjourned at 12:30 p.m., Apuzzo was confident of prevailing on this point. He observed that Hill, after objecting to everything that Apuzzo tried to introduce into evidence, offered no evidence on her own behalf and even admitted that the infamous PDF document was legally worthless.
A shocking turnabout

But the judge shocked Apuzzo when, at 6:26 p.m., Apuzzo opened his e-mail to find a message from Masin saying that the Obama campaign had prevailed on both points. Said the judge, in so many words: As far as I'm concerned, Obama was born in Hawaii. In fact, the initial decision says that Barack Obama had not failed in any obligation to prove to theSecretary of State that he is qualified to hold the Presidency and that he is a “naturalborn Citizen” of the United States of America, as required by the United StatesConstitution. Apuzzo could not explain how Judge Masin could rule that way, after observing in open court that neither Obama nor his surrogates had shown that he was born in Hawaii. Within two hours, according to a deadline that Masin gave him, Apuzzo filed an exception to Masin's ruling. Apuzzo took exception to the following: Judge Masin ruled that Obama was born in Hawaii with no evidence on record, after acknowledging that fact during the hearing. Judge Masin ruled that Obama need not comply with statute to show that he is eligible, solely because he need not "consent" to someone circulating a nominating petition for him. The judge suggested that Obama might have to show eligibility later. He laid no basis for such a ruling. The judge misread the precedents and gave short shrift to the historical evidence that the Framers of the Constitution defined "natural-born citizen" as one born in-country to two citizen parents. Apuzzo devoted half of his 30-page exception to this analysis alone. Apuzzo plans to appeal directly to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. He earlier told this Examiner that he was ready to argue before the State and even United States Supreme Courts if he had to.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Iranian-Backed Terror Groups Expanding Reach In South America, Warns General

Iranian-backed terror groups are strengthening their ties to transnational criminal groups in South America and are working to expand their influence in the region, according to a top U.S. general. “Iran is very engaged in the region,” Southern Command chief Gen. Douglas Fraser told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Iranian terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are involved in a number of “illicit activities” likely tied to the regional drug trade, according to Fraser. “We do see evidence of international terrorist groups benefitting from ... illicit trafficking and money laundering” in South America, he said in a written statement to the panel. Specifically, both groups regularly look to South America to finance their operations in the Middle East through “licit avenues such as charitable donations, and illicit means, including trafficking in drugs, counterfeit and pirated goods,” according to Fraser.Iran’s recent diplomatic push into South America could help Hamas and Hezbollah expand their foothold in the region. Iran “sees an opportunity” in South America, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visiting the region six times over the past six years, according to Fraser. Tehran has expanded its network of embassies and cultural centers in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua during that time, he added. Iran’s increased engagement with its South American allies is one way Tehran can get around the raft of economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies, the four-star commander said. As Iran grows its official presence in the region, there could be a “natural coming together” of that effort and those led by radical Islamist groups, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) warned.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Minnesota Judge Cancels Child Care Union Election

A Ramsey County judge has permanently canceled a unionization vote by home-based child care workers that Gov. Mark Dayton tried to call late last year. Judge Dale Lindman ruled Friday that Dayton "exceeded his authority" in trying to set the union vote. Lindman says for a vote to happen, the Legislature must pass a bill allowing a union election for child care providers. He says Dayton violated constitutional separation of powers.Several public employee unions had long pursuing collective bargaining rights for child-care workers who get state subsidies. But Dayton's attempt to order the election prompted a lawsuit from several child care providers opposed to unionization, who were backed by conservative groups. A spokeswoman says Dayton disagrees with Lindman's decision but respects it. She says the administration is reviewing the order.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

San Francisco Subways Drop $5 Footlongs

Hungry San Francisco residents looking to get Subway’s highly-advertised $5 footlong deal are out of luck. San Francisco shops are not participating in the nation-wide promotion of various 12-inch sandwiches for $5 because of the “high cost of doing business,” reports the SF Weekly. In 2003, San Franciscans passed a proposition that forces the city to increase the minimum wage each year. Last year the city became the first in the nation to have an above-$10 minimum wage -- $10.24.One San Francisco Subway manager told FOX Business, “the cost of living here is very high, that’s why we will no longer be offering $5 footlongs.” Calls for comment from the sandwich shop’s corporate headquarters were not immediately returned. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for sandwiches lovers seeking a deal; the SF Weekly reports the “sub of the month” was still being offered for $5 -- you just have to like tuna.