North Archives - October 19, 2010
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By Robert Mayanrd
Recent revelations on the
part of some media outlets have pulled the curtain back ever so slightly
on the influence of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, or VPIRG,
on Vermont’s Politics. The revelation centers around an $8000 donation
to Peter Shumlin by big time donor and VPIRG board member David Bilttersdorf,
Shumlin’s appointment of Bilttersdorf to the Clean Energy Development Board,
and Bilttersdorf’s company ultimately receiving $4.3 million tax credits
from that very board. The company in question is an energy related company
that deals in wind power. It should come as no surprise that it was same
Peter Sumlin who is leading the charge to shut down David Blittersdorf’s
number one business competitor, Vermont Yankee.
Dubie Posts Video of Shumlin's Unannounced Visit to his Campaign HQ's on
By Kelly Bartlett
Peter Shumlin led a small group of business
owners and TV
cameras to Lt. Governor Brian Dubie’s campaign headquarters
in Williston on Wednesday morning, 45 minutes before a scheduled televised
debate. Dubie’s staff used the coverage to make its points about Shumlin’s
campaign promises with no valid plans to pay for them.
Grilled: The Democrat
candidate for governor, Shumlin said he wanted to talk with his opponent
about health care. Apparently he just couldn’t wait the 45 minutes for
the debate to begin. Instead of surprising Dubie, Shumlin was caught off
guard by the grilling he got from Dubie’s spokesperson, Kate Duffy.
Liquid Metal Health Care Plan
By John McClaughry
Schwarzenegger's nemesis in Terminator II: Judgment Day is a humanoid robot
called T-1000, sent back from the future to destroy the human destined
to overthrow robot rule. Every time Arnold knocks the stuffing out of T-1000,
it reassembles from a pool of shiny liquid metal into the original menace.
The T-1000 of Vermont politics
is single payer health care. From 1990 to the present, liberal legislators
have voted millions of dollars for study and design projects to bring the
wonders of single payer health care to the people of Vermont.
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we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the
Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the
capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was
beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still
the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation
to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity
for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess
that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our
lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves."
# # #
—Ronald Reagan - October
Weekly News Round-Up
The Sky Is Not Falling
Politics by Emerson Lynn,
Vermont Tiger, October
When passengers walk through
airport security at Burlington’s International Airport, they are scanned
by x-rays and the amount of radiation is about 0.015 millirem. Our bodies
naturally receive about 360 millirems annually. It’s so small we don’t
think about it.
But when Vermont Yankee Friday
announced that it had detected tritium levels of 1,040 picocuries per liter,
Vermont’s political world broke into a panic. Peter Shumlin, the Democratic
nominee for governor, said: "This is the worst man-made environmental disaster,
in my judgment, in the history of this state." Brian Dubie, the Republican
nominee for governor, said he wants new assurances from the state and the
federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the plant is safe to operate....
For perspective, that 1,040
picocuries per liter level contains less than one-tenth the amount of radiation
we receive in that round-trip airline ride.
It is 100 times less than
the dose you get with x-rays at the dentist’s office.
It is 10,000 times less than
the radiation you get when you go to the hospital for a CT scan.
Caledonia Record Editorial,
October 12 2010
One of the pillars of Peter
Shumlin's platform is to provide universal preschool education to all of
Vermont's 3- and 4-year-olds. He claims this huge expansion of public education
services and cost is necessary. Here is his rationale in his own words:
"It will provide our children with the tools they need to succeed in school
and as adults. Children enrolled in early education score higher in math
and reading and are more likely to get jobs and become successful, productive
members of society. Universal access to pre-K education will go a long
way towards erasing the achievement gap for low-socioeconomic students
and students who learn differently, and put all of our children on a more
level playing field. In fact, for every dollar spent on early childhood
education, there is a 7 to 16 dollar return."
Shumlin's whole argument
is pure educational bunkum. It is based on a research project that dealt
with only 58 poor minority children with IQs between 70 and 85 (the average
IQ in America is 100). It lasted only three years, and that was 50 years
ago. Most, if not all, of Shumlin's claims are based on this woefully inadequate
Tale of Two Utilities
From the Vermont Tiger,
October 14 2010
In Vermont, these are probably
neither the best of times nor the worst of times. But it can surely
be said that they are confusing times. Consider how the state's
political and opinion-making class views and treats two conspicuous utilities:
Burlington Telecom & Vermont Yankee....
Perhaps, then, for those
who believe that there is a compelling need to keep Vermont Yankee up and
running, there is a solution. Turn it into a non-profit that loses
a lot of money, hides its financials from public view, and fails to deliver
on promised services.
Then, almost for sure, Vermont
Progressives would show Yankee some love.
for VT Gov. Share Similar Focus
From Fox 44 News, October
Republican Brian Dubie and
Democrat Peter Shumlin remain focused on winning the Vermont governor's
race and the same issue, the economy.
Dubie on Thursday launched
another jobs-related tour around the state. He stopped at women-owned businesses
including Rehab Gym in Williston.
Sanders Slush Fund
From the Vermont Tiger,
October 5 2010
As of now, there will be
COLA increase in Social Security payments in 2011.
This is because there has been no increase in the cost of living.
Social Security is supposed to operate more or less independently of the
whims of Congress and the passions of an election year. Senator Sanders
is, of course, outraged and has
... announced that he
will press for passage when Congress returns in November of a one-time,
$250 payment to seniors and disabled persons facing the second straight
year without a cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security.
Tight Governor's Race, Four Counties Could Be Seesaw
By Terri Hallenbeck and
Nancy Remsen, The Burlington Free Press, October 17 2010
Every vote in every town
and city across Vermont will count in what appears to be a snug-tight race,
but what happens in a few politically muddled medium-sized communities
will be a key indicator of how the race comes out, predicted Eric Davis,
a retired Middlebury College political science professor
who is watching the election closely.
He pointed to Colchester,
Barre, Randolph, Morristown and Bennington as places where the race rides
on which way teetering voters land.
# # #
Global War on Terrorism
Founders and the Principles of Foreign Policy: Sovereign Independence,
National Interests, and the Cause of Liberty in the World
By Matthew Spalding, Ph.D.,
Heritage Foundation, October 15 2010
America’s Founders sought
to define a national good that transcended local interests and prejudices.
The national good included the common benefits of self-defense and prosperity
that all Americans would realize by participating in a large, commercial
nation able to hold its own in an often hostile world. But it was only
with the constitutional rule of law that the higher purpose, or true national
interest, of America could be realized. That purpose was to demonstrate
to all mankind the feasibility of self-government and the suitability of
justice as the proper and sustainable ground for relations among nations
and peoples. The honor of striving for domestic and international justice
would give moral purpose to the American character. The United States would
support, defend, and advance the cause of freedom everywhere. It would
be a refuge for the sober, industrious, and virtuous of the world, as well
as for victims of persecution. By sympathy and appropriate action, Americans
would show themselves to be true friends of humanity.
By Kenneth R. Weinstein,
Hudson Institute, October 13 2010
The news from France is always
interesting, especially under President Nicolas Sarkozy. He is the most
pro-American French leader since the days of the Fourth Republic and last
year returned his country to NATO's military command structure. On the
world stage, only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been more
articulate in warning of the profound global threat posed by Iran's nuclear
All this makes it only more
astonishing that Mr. Sarkozy is at the same time cozying up to Russia.
On Monday he will host President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor
Angela Merkel for a summit in the Normandy beach resort of Deauville. Particularly
worrisome is the meeting's focus on a new security architecture that would,
as the Kremlin noted, allow the three nations to "develop their partnership
for forming a common European security and cooperation space."
Hezbollah and Iran: An Alliance in Flux
By Reva Bhalla, Strategic
Forecasters, October 11 2010
Rather than getting caught
up in the drama surrounding the Iranian president’s visit, we want to take
the opportunity provided by all the media coverage to probe into a deeper
topic, one that has been occupying the minds of Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah
officials for some time. This topic is the durability of the Iran-Hezbollah-Syria
alliance, which STRATFOR believes has been under great stress in recent
months. More precisely, the question is: What are Syria’s current intentions
World with Victor Davis Hanson: Chapter 2 of 5
By A. Millar National Review
Online, October 12 2010
Victor Davis Hanson outlines
some possible futures for Asia, and the dangers therein.
Brotherhood Supreme Guide: 'The U.S. Is Now Experiencing the Beginning
of Its End'; Improvement and Change in the Muslim World 'Can Only Be Attained
Through Jihad and Sacrifice'
From the Middle East Research
In one of his recent weekly
sermons, titled "How Islam Confronts the Oppression and Tyranny [against
the Muslims]," Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi' accused
the Arab and Muslim regimes of employing tyranny against their peoples,
of avoiding confrontation with the Muslims' real enemies – the Zionist
entity and the U.S. – and of disregarding Allah's commandment to wage jihad
against the infidels.
About the U.S., he said that
it is immoral and therefore doomed to collapse, and that it is "experiencing
the beginning of its end and is heading towards its demise."
Seen in Afghan Surge
and changing sides, military says
By Rowan ScarboroughThe
Washington Times, October 11 2010
The U.S. military is starting
to see signs that the troop surge in Afghanistan is working on a timetable
similar to the Iraq reinforcement campaign in 2007, according to an outside
adviser and military sources.
"There are already some early
signs of a beginning of a momentum shift in our favor," retired Army Gen.
Jack Keane told The Washington Times.
Gen. Keane just returned
from a two-week tour of the battlefield, where the focus is on ousting
the Taliban from Kandahar, its birthplace, as well as from Helmand province
and other southern and eastern areas.
# # #
2010 Index of Dependence on Government
By William Beach and Patrick
Tyrrell, The Heritage Foundation, October 14 2010
The number of Americans who
taxes continues to shrink—and the United States is close to the point at
which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits
they receive. In 2009, 64.3 million Americans depended on the government
(read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health
care. Starting in 2015, the Social Security program will not receive enough
taxes to pay all the promised benefits—which will be hard for all job-holders,
but devastating for roughly half the American workforce that has no other
retirement program. Add in last year’s preposterously named American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act, spiraling academic grants, flat-out farm socialism,
the swelling ranks of Americans who believe themselves entitled to "free"
government benefits—and now the government takeover of the nation’s health
care system—and the very nature of this country’s republican form of government
is called into question. Like they have been doing since 2002, Heritage
Foundation policy experts lay out the increasingly gloomy facts. Can Americans
pull back from the brink of complete dependence on government?
Plan To End Failed Federal Programs
By Rep. Darrell Issa, Investor’s
Business Daily, October 13 2010
The appropriate role of the
federal government will continue to be a subject of partisan debate, and
it should. But in the meantime, members of both parties should agree on
the need for more accountability for federal spending. This accountability
is only possible through identifying failure and ensuring that it has consequences.
One method of establishing
consequences for failure would be a federal program sunset commission,
composed of a bipartisan group of outside experts empowered to review every
federal program and make recommendations to Congress concerning the improvement,
consolidation or elimination of those programs that do not deliver sufficient
results to the American people.
An independent commission
would foster objectivity without playing favorites among political constituencies.
Within one year of a commission review, a failing program would be abolished
automatically unless reauthorized by Congress.
President's Nun: Obamacare Scranton Scandal Explodes
By Jeffrey Lord,The American
Spectator, October 11 2010
A mushrooming political battle
over ObamaCare involving the White House, two incumbent Pennsylvania congressmen,
three Catholic hospitals and a nun has just exploded in, of all places,
Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charges from the Scranton medical community of
intimidation by the Obama White House and its allies are filling the air.
All of this just as Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Scranton today
to raise money for one of the participants. There are two issues at the
core of the controversy.
1. ObamaCare and the sale
of three Scranton-area Catholic hospitals.
2. The re-election prospects
of the two House members, Democrats Paul Kanjorski and Chris Carney, both
of whom cast key votes to pass ObamaCare.
Related Article: Obama’s
Healthcare Rules Will Shut Down Catholic Hospitals Nationwide
Year of Trillion-Dollar Deficits
From The Heritage Foundation,
October 15 2010
from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that Washington ran a $1.291
trillion deficit in 2010, just slightly less than last year’s $1.416 trillion.
To put these figures in perspective,
the annual budget deficit between 1789 and 2008 never reached $500 billion.
As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), the past two years’
deficits of 10.0 and 8.9 dwarf all other deficits since World War II.
Democratic Candidates Dump Big Labor
By Connie Hair, Human Events,
October 8 2010
Big Labor’s push to pass
its top legislative agenda item during a lame duck session of Congress
was dealt another severe blow this week when two Democratic candidates
-- one a sitting Senator -- voiced new opposition to the "card check" bill.
Both are trailing in the
Democratic Senate hopefuls
Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Co.) on Monday came
out in opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) which seeks to,
among other noxious elements, strip employees of the right to a secret
ballot when voting whether or not to unionize their workplace.
Admission Inspires GOP
By Scott Wong, Politico,
October 13 2010
Senate Republicans on Wednesday
seized on President Barack Obama’s admission to The New York Times that
"there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects," an acknowledgement they
say suggests the administration’s $814 billion economic stimulus plan is
"As the trillion-dollar stimulus
fails to fulfill promises, President Obama is separating himself from his
own sales pitch on shovel-ready projects," read the headline of a news
release from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
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