Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thomas Jefferson still shows the way

A "little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical," is one of the better-known quotes of Thomas Jefferson, who was born this day in 1743. It's not hard to imagine which side he would take in today's battles over the increased centralization of power in government.

Were he alive today, would Jefferson support the Tea Party movement and others who object to President Barack Obama's health care bill, stimulus programs and increased spending and debt? "Yes," Jack Pitney told us. He's a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College. "Jefferson was deeply suspicious of the centralization of power. He was also suspicious of elites, even though he belonged to the educated and social elite of his time."

Mr. Pitney added that Jefferson was "sometimes prone to populist rhetoric. And by today's standards, his opponents would accuse him of inciting violence" – as shown by the quote at the beginning of this editorial.

Jefferson – the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president – also is relevant to another controversy of our times: nullification, in which states say they won't follow federal laws. Although sometimes identified solely with the antebellum South and South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun, nullification also was practiced by Northern states objecting to the U.S. government using fugitive slave laws to capture slaves.

And today, nullification is a major issue right here in progressive California. In 1996, voters passed Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana in this state, setting off a continuing battle with the federal government, which doesn't recognize the legality of medical marijuana. The nullification issue could intensify in November if voters pass a new initiative to decriminalize marijuana for any purpose, not just as medicine.

In 1798, during the administration of President John Adams, Jefferson took the lead in opposing the new Alien and Sedition Acts, which made illegal criticism of the federal government. Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions, which stipulated, "[B]ut, where powers are assumed [by the federal government] which have not been delegated [by the Constitution], a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact ... to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others within their limits."

Jefferson "believed that as soon as government went beyond the delegated powers listed in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, government would essentially become a vehicle for legalized plunder," Thomas DiLorenzo told us; he's an economics professor at Loyola University Maryland and author most recently of "Hamilton's Curse," a book critical of Jefferson's arch-nemesis, Alexander Hamilton.

Jefferson, Mr. DiLorenzo added, "was the founding father of the states' rights philosophies of nullification and secession as remedies to tyrannical government." And, he said, Jefferson "opposed Hamilton's Bank of the United States and corporate welfare." So it's not hard to see what position Jefferson would take in the ongoing federal bailouts of large banks.

Jefferson also would have collapsed if someone would have told him that the federal government he headed from 1801-09 would, by 2010, have run up a current national debt, according to the National Debt Clock (, of $12,838,257,257,768.56, as of Monday.

Our wise founder warned, "Loading up the nation with debt and leaving it for the following generations to pay is morally irresponsible. Excessive debt is a means by which governments oppress the people and waste their substance."

But, despite our departure from Jefferson's counsel, we have his wisdom to guide America back to fiscal and political health. As he showed during the bloody years of the Revolution and the difficult years that followed, it just takes his immortal principles of liberty – and the bravery to fight for them.

Mass Insanity as the Bay State Institutes Health Insurance Rationing

By Dave Cribbin

If I told you a story of how one of the bluest of the blue states, Massachusetts, would of its own accord institute health insurance rationing three months after electing a Republican to the Senate to stop ObamaCare, that would normally be considered satire. That is unless the story was true, then we would just call it irony!

Ironically, it is very true that Massachusetts, with what is essentially it's own ObamaCare program, has started to ration health insurance. Surely that wasn't Governor Patrick's intent when he rejected the insurance companies' request for premium increases. Like all politicians, he just wanted to get re-elected, and being tough on insurance companies is a very popular stance among Democrats these days.

Nevertheless, rationing is precisely what the outcome has been. The insurance companies did what any business does when faced with a money-losing product: they declined to sell any more of that money-losing product. As a result you can't buy health insurance in Massachusetts, even though it is against the law not to! Ain't that a catch-22?

This is always the result when politicians dictate how businesses must operate; they always do what is politically expedient instead of what makes economic sense. Politicians constantly prove that they are checkers players in the chess match of business, unable to see even one move ahead. As a result, they compound their initial mistakes with additional ones, as the unintended consequences of the laws they've just passed undo what they were supposed to have accomplished.

The governor thought that by standing up to the greedy insurance companies he could portray himself as a hero in the fight against the high cost of health insurance. This is an awfully thin argument, considering that three of the four largest insurers in Mass are non-profits, as noted by the Wall Street Journal in a recent article.

Those high costs, I might add, were imposed by the state on its residents when it mandated coverage for all, instituted community rating and eliminated the insurance companies' ability to refuse coverage to people with preexisting conditions. I'm sure it came as quite a shock to him that his savvy political skills had instead of making insurance more affordable to his constituents made it unobtainable.

After all, who could have possibly foreseen this would be the result of his actions? I'll tell you who! Any businessman worth his salt would have seen that one coming a mile away, but that's because they are in the business of making economic decisions, not political decisions. Business owners understand that they are in business to make a profit and those who don't , don't hang around all that long.

The mass insanity that is playing out now in the Bay State is what's in store for the rest of us if ObamaCare remains the law of the land. The government will mandate greater coverages for the insurance companies to provide while denying them the ability to recoup their cost through increased premiums.

When insurers are prohibited from selling their products at anything but a loss they will be forced to stop selling them. It will then be time for more regulation to fix the problems the previous laws created. On it will go until it reaches it's inevitable conclusion: the government controlling healthcare cost through the rationing of healthcare. That's when being politically connected will literally be a matter of life or death.

Dave Cribbin, President of Tailwind Capital, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

Dodd Never Goes Against the Family

By Bill Wilson

Putting Chris Dodd in charge of writing the financial "reform" bill is like calling in Don Corleone to write an anti-crime bill. To expect anything but a whitewash that protects the real criminals is naïve at best.

In brief, Dodd is without a doubt the most corrupt individual to ever sit in the U.S. Senate, and that's saying something. Not only did he craft a bailout for Countrywide Financial after receiving generous mortgages through a VIP program, he was the top recipient of campaign donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac employees and political action committees while he repeatedly stood in the way of attempts to rein in the failing mortgage giants.

To even let Dodd have the power to put a period in this bill — which purports to solve the financial crisis that he helped to cause — is disgusting.

But in many ways, Dodd's role in Congress' latest takeover of the financial system is fitting, since the "reform" bill itself does nothing to hold accountable the actual culprits of the financial crisis, including members of Congress:

1) It does not repeal the failed social policy to put people into homes they could not afford, in particular Clinton era regulations executing the Community Reinvestment Act that strong-armed banks into giving loans to low-income Americans;

2) It fails to rein in the Federal Reserve, whose easy money policies and lower-than-justified interest rates accommodated the housing bubble as it blew up, and then when it popped bailed it out with a $1.25 trillion bailout to investors who bought mortgage-backed securities;

3) It leaves the federal government in complete control of the GSE's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who through the securitization of $4.7 trillion in mortgages and the mislabeling of Alt-A and subprime mortgages as prime spread the crisis like plague rats throughout the entire world.

In short, the Dodd bill does nothing at all to address the root causes of the crisis, all of which government created, as ALG News has previously reported. What it does instead merely amounts to a distraction from the real crimes that took place at considerable cost to taxpayers.

Although the system has been described as too-big-to-fail, in many ways it was designed to fail. And Chris Dodd now wants to institutionalize that failure — by leaving in place the government institutions, regulations, and policies that caused it.

Commenting on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The way to solve this problem is to let the people who make the mistakes pay for them." Amen.

That would naturally include eliminating Fannie and Freddie as GSE's and selling them off piece by piece. It would also mean being honest about the true taxpayer exposure posed by the government's guarantee of the GSE's debts. It would mean discontinuing the social policy of pushing home ownership on those without the means to pay for it.

And it would mean putting more restrictions in place on the use of monetary policy to advance such ill-conceived social policies in the first place, and bringing more transparency to the Federal Reserve's balance sheet.

And finally, to echo Senator McConnell's call, it would mean bringing an end to "too big to fail."

Said McConnell, "We won't solve this problem until the biggest banks are allowed to fail."

Sounds simple enough for the American people to understand. Those institutions that made bad bets do not deserve one cent of taxpayer money. Unless financial institutions are allowed to fail, the ones that make the worst mistakes will be perpetuated — only to make the same mistakes again.

But this requires an honest playing field in the first place — without government coercion. Unless these designed-to-fail government policies are repealed, the same mistakes will keep on being made by the institutions forced to participate in their folly.

And the real criminals will get away with it.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

DeMint Hold on Legal Contortionist's Nomination is Right

By Rick Manning

Obama D.C. Superior Court nominee Marisa Demeo is one of those uniquely liberal creations — someone with the philosophical flexibility to oppose a Hispanic nominee to the U.S. District Court of Appeals because he didn't meet an affirmative action litmus test.

Yes, that's right. Demeo as a regional counsel for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund actually argued against the placement of a Hispanic onto the federal court that has proved to be a stepping stone to the Supreme Court because she feared that this particular Hispanic, Miguel Estrada, opposed creating forced guidelines for appointing other Hispanics.

It is this exact kind of tortured logic that Senator Jim DeMint is seeking to keep off the bench through placing a hold on her nomination. After all, Demeo supports affirmative action for Hispanics, but opposes extraordinarily qualified Hispanics from advancing on their own merits without the benefit of quotas.

Even more importantly, Demeo clearly wants to drown out the voices of conservative Hispanics, much like liberal black leaders fear the voices of Justice Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and J.C. Watts, Jr.

Senator DeMint is to be commended for his efforts to prevent this ideologue from a permanent, lifetime spot on the federal bench.

After all, if Demeo did not find Estrada suitable, then she should certainly be held to the same standards.

Remember Miguel Estrada came to his nomination with one of those compelling American success stories that make most people feel like they can overcome any obstacle. Born in Honduras, Estrada came to the United States at the age of seventeen, not knowing a word of English. He learned the language almost instantly, and within a few years was graduating with honors from Columbia University and heading off to Harvard Law School. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, was a prosecutor in New York, and worked at the Justice Department in Washington before entering private practice.

Yet, Mr. Estrada was not good enough for Demeo as he didn't pass her litmus test for what a Hispanic should think and say.

Now, Obama wants the Senate to confirm Demeo, and hopefully, her meager background as a Hard Left advocate will be subjected to the same scrutiny that she felt appropriate for Mr. Estrada. Of course, those same Democratic Senators who decried Mr. Estrada's nomination stalling it until it died, are now fulminating about unnecessary delays imposed by Senator DeMint's hold on Demeo's nomination.

Ironic, isn't it?

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government.

Good Riddance, Andy Stern

By Adam Bitely

Andy Stern, the most frequent visitor to the Obama White House, may now have a reason to stop visiting Barack Obama.

It was announced late Monday night that Andy Stern would be stepping down as President of the SEIU. This is a victory for the entire nation.

The announcement was sudden. But, with evidence exposing that Stern was in violation of Federal lobbying, registration and disclosure requirements, as ALG News previously reported. One can hardly see his resignation as a surprise. Stern may have finally committed a crime that he was not going to get away with.

Since Stern has become the head of the SEIU, he has got away with a fair bit of scandal. From destroying the SIUE members' pension funds, running the organization into a great deal of debt, and embroiling the SEIU in a Federal investigation on illegal lobbying activities at the White House, Stern has been at the center of many scandals that he seems to get away with.

Stern may have seen the writing on the wall and realized that his many missteps in the past are catching up with him. Or, perhaps he is trying to get out of the spotlight while he is still at the top of Big Labor. More likely is that he knows that his time is running short, and that he will soon be embroiled in a lawsuit the size and scope of which has not been seen since Jack Abramoff was in Court.

As Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government, said of Stern's resignation, "Perhaps Andy Stern, who has done so much to drag the U.S. economy into the socialist abyss will be retiring to a spiritual home in Havana." In truth, after looking at what Stern has done to the U.S. economy, Cuba may refuse to even let him in. From Stern's support of ObamaCare to the unsustainable debt, Stern has proven that he has no sense of how to run an honest organization.

As far as we know, Stern will continue to hold his position on Obama's Deficit Reduction commission. And will probably continue to hold his spot as the White House's number one visitor. Maybe now that he is free from his duties at the SEIU, he can register as the lobbyist that he is.

Adam Bitely is the New Media Director at Americans for Limited Government.

New Couple Alert: Cameron Diaz and Alex Rodriguez?

Why not!? They’ve both dated everyone else in Hollywood!

Cameron Diaz and Alex Rodriguez raised eyebrows when they flirted at the Creative Artists Agency Super Bowl party in Miami and now their relationship has developed into much more, an insider close to the New York Yankees slugger tells Life & Style. “A-Rod’s with Cameron,” the insider reveals to Life & Style. “They’ve been keeping it quiet, but they’re totally together.”

When the photographers weren’t around, “they were all over each other at the CAA party,” says an onlooker. “Cameron had her hands all over Alex’s back, and they were dancing together. They also left the party together that night.” As long as they’re enjoying themselves, Cam and her man are in no rush to acknowledge their relationship. “Alex recently arranged to fly Cameron to Miami,” a second insider tells Life & Style. “He used to fly Kate Hudson there all the time, and no one knew they were dating for a long while. Alex is very discreet.”

Two distinct classes in the “Fundamentally Transformed *america”

This one writes itself:

Income tax day, April 15, 2010, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes: those who pay for the services provided by government and the freeloaders. The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47 percent.

The bottom 40 percent not only pay no income tax, but the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.

The top 10 percent pay 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

“We are going to fundamentally transform America.” Barack Obama, 03NOV08

NJ Fashion Show Canceled Over Cross-Dressing Concerns

by Erin Rook

South Jersey elementary school has canceled a Women’s History Month fashion show after parents expressed fears their sons would be required to wear women’s clothing.

According to NBC Philadelphia, students at Maude Wilkins Elementary School were told to wear outfits from a particular time period to show how women’s fashion had changed over history.

But one mother protested when her son told her he was afraid of being bullied for his participation in the pageant.

“His exact words were ‘Please, please mommy, don’t make me do this,’” mother Janine Giandomenico said.

School officials, however, said the whole thing is a misunderstanding. In a handout sent home to parents, administrators said students were not expected to cross dress, just to highlight and explain some type of period fashion.

“If your child is a young man, he does not have to wear a dress or skirt, as there are many time periods where women wore jeans, pants and trousers,” a letter to parents said.

Giandomenico took her outrage to the Internet, where friends and strangers joined her in questioning the validity of the school project.

Wilkins principal Beth Norcia wrote a letter to parents Monday, notifying them that the fashion show had been canceled and that it was “never our intention to have boys dress as women.”

Meanwhile, girl students across the country are attending school in pants and studying the works of Shakespeare, whose plays were historically performed by all-male casts with men “cross-dressing” to act out female roles.

Philly Drug Kingpin Convicted of Hiring Hitman to Kill FBI Informant

By Allan Lengel

A federal jury in Philly convicted drug kingpin Maurice Phillips on Tuesday of hiring a hitman to kill a woman who was cooperating with the FBI in a case against him, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Phillips, 38, who ran a multimillion-dollar cocaine-distribution network stretching from Texas to New York, could get the death penalty when jurors return Monday to hear the penalty phase, the Inquirer reported. He was also convicted of drug trafficking charges.

During trial, hitman Bryant Phillips testified that Maurice Phillips, his cousin, hired him to kill the cooperating witness Chineta Glanville in 2002 because he suspected she was talking to the FBI, the Inquirer reported.

Bryant Phillips testified that he pumped two bullets into the back of Glanville’s head in her suburban home and turned to her godson who was visiting and killed him, the paper reported.

Bryant Phillips has pleaded guilty to murder charges in hopes of getting a break on his sentence, the Inquirer reported.

Fed Prosecutors Say Ex-Gov Blago Hasn’t Been Shy About Publicity

The way fed prosecutors see it, ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich can’t endlessly blab and blab on TV and then worry about being hurt by pretrial publicity.

On Tuesday, the prosecutors asked that a key document detailing evidence in their public corruption case be made public in its entirety, the Chicago Tribune reported. Blagojevich has claimed he would be hurt by the pretrial publicity.

Prosecutors say he hasn’t been publicity shy.

“Notwithstanding the recent airing of a national television show in which he repeatedly proclaimed his innocence, Rod Blagojevich now argues that he would be unfairly prejudiced by the publication of the actual evidence that will be heard at his trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Niewoehner wrote in a reference to Blagojevich’s recent appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice”, the Tribune reported.

Blago has also been a fixture on talk shows and news programs. He was charged in December 2008 with a number of allegations including selling the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

And by the way, in case you didn’t follow it, he was fired form the “Celebrity Apprentice.”

To read more click here.

FBI Investigating Police Beating on University of Maryland Campus

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON -- The FBI is investigating a police beating of an unarmed University of Maryland College student at the College Park campus on March 3 following a basketball game victory over Duke, the Washington Post reported.

Embarrassing video has been airing on nationwide tv that shows three Prince George’s County police officers in riot gear beating the student. The investigation is being handled by the Baltimore FBI office.

Criminal charges of assaulting a police officer had been filed against the student John J. McKenna, 21, but the video contradicts the charges. The charge against McKenna and another student were dropped, the Post reported.

“Once the investigation is complete, the civil rights division will review the FBI’s findings and will determine whether there was a violation of federal civil rights laws,” Alejandro Miyar, a spokesman for the Justice Department, told the Post.

The Post reported that Prince George’s County Police Chief Roberto L. Hylton said he was “outraged and disappointed” and, according to the video, the student did nothing wrong to provoke a beating or be charged criminally.

To read more click here.

Is the U.S. Killing 'Green' Jobs?

By Rebekah Rast

Video by Andrius Vaitekunas and Rebekah Rast

Solar-cell manufacturing in Frederick, Maryland, dates back to the mid-1970s. BP Solar, one such company, was so profitable it was in the middle of building a $97 million expansion to create more jobs in the solar panel industry. Now the BP Solar building is being demolished and 320 people in Maryland are unemployed.

What happened?

The answer is, the federal government got involved and destroyed the free market generated profitability of the making of solar panels. Here's how: the Obama Administration has spent billions of dollars to create "green jobs." Through his tax incentives and credits for those businesses that manufacture renewable energy products, he created a glut in the marketplace. With so many businesses now producing solar panels (most of them overseas in anticipation of a booming U.S. market), the cost of panels has been nearly cut in half, making it impossible for businesses like BP Solar to stay in business in the U.S. In an effort to create green jobs, hundreds of green jobs that had been around for 30-plus years were lost. Ironic isn't it?

Because companies like BP Solar can't survive in the U.S. anymore, due to the market being over-inflated with far too many subsidized companies creating a surplus of solar panels, they move to where business is more cost effective. Places like China, India, Mexico and Poland, where less overhead, lower labor costs and fewer taxes make for a friendlier business environment. Businesses in the U.S. pay huge corporate and property taxes, as well as absorb skyrocketing energy costs. Even if the government subsidized BP Solar, like it has done with so many other green industries, it would not have been enough.

Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government flatly states, "The market is no longer sustainable because of the glut caused by the overproduction of solar panels. This is a problem unless the government plans to subsidize these companies forever."

Not only is the U.S. hard on businesses to begin with, but by meddling in the free market, the federal government has made conditions far worse — for everyone.

"320 jobs. That is absolutely absurd," says Audrey Scott, former Secretary of Planning for the Ehrlich Administration, about the number of jobs lost at BP Solar. "In the Western part of the state jobs are a very critical issue. It's all about jobs, jobs, jobs."

You can lay some of the blame of the closing of BP Solar on the State of Maryland's laws and regulations. Other businesses have left the state and moved to Pennsylvania or elsewhere to more business-friendly environments.

"Maryland is very anti-business and that is one of our issues," Scott says. "What our government is doing here in Maryland at the present time is getting in the way of the job creation. The regulations and the horrendous atmosphere and environment for jobs and for business here in Maryland are just unacceptable."

Sound familiar? While Maryland's drop in 2007 to 47th worse business tax climate, according to a nonprofit Tax Foundation report played a big role in BP Solar's decision to close, the overall business climate in the U.S. contributed to the shutdown as well. It's not only solar panels that are being manufactured overseas, it's other renewable energies as well — even by those companies that received "help" from the federal government.

For example, of the $2 billion already spent on wind power alone, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year, nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines. And wind energy is just another industry receiving some of money spent on this "green" initiative. There are still billions more dollars being spent by the federal government on this initiative.

Obama's method of subsidizing these renewable energy companies and interfering in free market environments is not original. Spain is a good example of a country that has done exactly what Obama is trying to do. An Institute of Energy Research (IER)-commissioned study coming out of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid by Gabriel Calzada found that, for every green job created, 2.2 jobs in other sectors have been destroyed. Furthermore, Spain's government spent $758,471 to create each green job and used $36 billion in taxpayer money to invest in wind, solar, and mini-hydro from 2000-2008. The country's unemployment rate is currently at 19.4% and is nearing insolvency.

Does the U.S. really want to continue down this same path?

It is time to learn from the mistakes of others before it is too late. America is next in line to becoming insolvent, as ALG News has previously reported.

"It is lunacy to expect top-down, Soviet-style economic planning to work in America," says Wilson. "It has failed all over the world. We need to let markets work. Before the government got involved, 320 Americans were profitably building solar panels in Maryland. Now, they are unemployed."

When walking the streets of Frederick, Maryland, you sense sadness and frustration. Peoples' hopes are replaced with despair. Maybe if the federal government would have left the free market system alone, BP Solar might have had a chance and continued to produce solar panels and more jobs.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau. Andrius Vaitekunas is Video News Editor for ALG News Bureau.

Crappy Poll Numbers

ALG Editor's Note: William Warren's award-winning cartoons published at are a free service of ALG News Bureau. They may be reused and redistributed free of charge.

Obama's Appointment Failures

By Bill Wilson

Many Americans expressed surprise at the hard left turn of the Obama Administration which promised post-partisanship in their drive for the White House.

However, those who have followed the personnel decisions of the Administration are much less surprised. After all, since the Reagan Administration it has become an accepted truism that "personnel is policy."

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has just released a report titled, "Obama's Staffing Failures" which reminds us of some of the high level Obama Administration officials whom either were unable to be confirmed, were forced to resign, or in some cases, serve without Constitutional authority under the advice and consent process.

These short reminders of the Administration's top personnel blunders, embarrassments, and seeming practical jokes remind those who thought they voted for a centrist that, in reality, this Administration is filled with the most radical anti-free enterprise appointees in our nation's history.

Who can forget Obama Communications Director Anita Dunn? Her most notable achievement in office was trying to use the full weight and power of the U.S. government in a public relations campaign against FOX News because they had the audacity of accommodating views and opinions held by the substantial percentage of Americans who describe themselves as conservative.

This intimidation attempt was not only aimed at FOX, but was a powerful message aimed at any other media outlet that might dare to present dissenting opinions. This direct attack on the First Amendment was not surprising after learning that one of Dunn's favorite political philosophers is Mao Tse Tung. The same Mao Tse Tung who famously wrote, "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

As some remember, after her love affair with Mao was exposed, Dunn was forced to vacate her post in November of last year.

Unfortunately, Dunn's philosophy is not an anomaly. Those looking to discover the heart of Barack Obama need look no further than Van Jones, who may be the best personification of the connection between environmentalism and anti-capitalism. Jones, the former green jobs czar, who was removed last September after his long history of left-wing extremism came to light in the very media that Dunn tried to quiet. An avowed communist, Jones signed a 9/11 "Truther" statement that claimed former President Bush was behind the terrorist attacks. Shortly after discovery of Jones' attitudes, he left the Administration.

However, those that have left or never made it into government service are less of a concern than those who remain. There is, for example, John Holdren, the science czar, who has advocated government-mandated population control measures and ardently supports the most alarmist views on climate change.

Then there's Dawn Johnsen for the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. She withdrew her nomination after it was disclosed that she had been involved with personnel and other staffing decisions without ever being confirmed, as ALG News has previously reported. Or Errol Southers for the Transportation Security Administration, who withdrew after he would not confirm whether he would change the policy of collective bargaining within the TSA.

Both of these nominees were blocked, meaning it would have required a recorded vote, with 60 votes necessary to proceed to the nomination on the floor of the Senate.

On the labor front, Obama's recess appointment of Craig Becker along with Senate confirmation of Labor Department Solicitor Patricia Smith signals his determination that he is not going to wait on Congressional action on big labor's holy grail, the Employer Free Choice Act (EFCA) as well as an attack small business formation through forcing independent contractors into the hourly/salary employment system.

Becker, the former counsel to both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, famously wrote that much of what big labor is trying to accomplish legislatively through EFCA could be accomplished administratively through the National Labor Relations Board, which he now heads. After he failed to be confirmed in the Senate, Obama appointed him during the Easter recess.

Smith, for her part, ran the Labor Department in the state of New York, where she enlisted the help of union organizers to identify employers who should be subjected to audits by state regulators. We are already seeing this tactic employed by the U.S. Department of Labor through their "We Can Help" public service announcement campaign where workers are encouraged to call the Department of Labor if they "are not paid fairly".

And on April 16th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the nomination to the 9th Court of Appeals of soft speaking judicial extremist Goodwin Liu, who conveniently forgot to provide the Committee with 117 of his most explosively controversial writings, including a legal justification for providing a transfer of wealth from taxpayers under the guise of reparations.

Americans for Limited Government's "Appointment Watch" project clearly shows that while appointees like Van Jones and Anita Dunn have drawn the public scrutiny, they are not outliers, and their ideology is not unusual for an Obama appointee.

For those who have been paying attention to the radical views of Obama's political appointees, his dramatic tilt to the left is not a surprise, it was inevitable. ALG's new publication, "Obama Staff Failures" will serve as a valuable reminder as centrist rhetoric begins to flow from the White House as November approaches, because in politics personnel truly is policy.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

Mexico Drug Cartel War -- News Updates April 14, 2010

Mexico Death Toll In Drug War Higher Than Previously Reported -- L.A. Times

More than 22,000 have died since President Felipe Calderon launched his crackdown on drug trafficking gangs, according to news reports citing confidential government figures.

The death toll from the Mexican government's three-year war on drug cartels is far higher than previously reported -- more than 22,000, according to news reports published Tuesday that cited confidential government figures.

The figure is significantly higher than tallies assembled by Mexican media. They estimate that more than 18,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug-trafficking groups after taking office in December 2006.

Read more ....

3 kids among 4 dead in Chicago shooting; 2 wounded

CHICAGO — A gunman entered a home on Chicago's southwest side early Wednesday, fatally shooting four people — three of them children — and wounding two others, city police said.

A weapon was recovered at the scene and a suspect, who may be related to the victims, was taken into custody about 90 minutes after the 4:30 a.m. shooting, police spokesman Roderick Drew said.

Drew would not identify the suspect who was being questioned by authorities.

Police say a 7-month-old boy, a 3-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl and a woman were killed. A 13-year-old victim was listed in fair condition and an adult woman in critical condition at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, hospital officials said.

Chicago Lawn District Cmdr. John Kupczk said police were trying to determine whether the recovered weapon was used in the killings.

"This is a really bad crime scene," Kupczk said. "Something like this is pretty incomprehensible."