Whitewashing Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer

From michellemalkin.com -If it’s Tuesday (or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, etc., etc.), it’s Political Correctness Run Amok Day in America’s education establishment. The latest salvo? A publishing house will release p.c.-policed versions of both The Adventures of Huck Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with the words “nigger” and “Injun” deleted. The tiresome war on Mark Twain’s novels is older than Al Sharpton’s hair grease. I’m reprinting a piece I wrote about the whitewashers’ attempt to expunge the word “nigger” from Huck Finn in 2001. America’s schoolchildren have been robbed by ignorant censors who are too busy counting Twain’s words to understand them and feckless educators too lazy to teach them. More here

Russians: START Covers Antimissile Defense Systems

From gatewaypundit.com - They Told Us the START Treaty Could Not Wait – It Had to Be Signed Before Christmas– The Obama Administration insisted that passing the START Treaty would not impact the US antimissile defense systems. They were wrong. The Russian Parliament announced this week that the START Treaty includes limitations on the US antimissile defense systems. The State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) plans to confirm the link between the reduction of the strategic offensive arms and the restriction of antimissile defense systems’ deployment in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), signed between the US and Russia, Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs says. More here

NYC Blizzard: Feds Open Criminal Probe

From nydailynews.com -Federal prosecutors have opened a criminal probe of allegations that public employees conspired to paralyze the city in last week's blizzard, sources said Tuesday. The investigation by the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney's public integrity unit was prompted by Queens Councilman Dan Halloran's revelation that guilt-wracked sanitation and transportation workers had confessed an alleged work slowdown to him. If the claim is true, the feds could examine whether wire or mail fraud statutes were violated by workers pocketing overtime pay during an illegal job action, sources said.  More here

ACLU Sues South Dakota for Not Allowing Non-U.S. Citizens to Carry Concealed Firearms

From weaselzippers.com - Since when did the ACLU become a staunch defender of the Second Amendment? (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed in Sioux Falls alleges that the state’s concealed weapons law is discriminatory because it requires the permit holder to be a United States citizen. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of Wayne S. Smith, a Minnehaha County resident who has lived in the U.S. for 30 years after emigrating from the United Kingdom.The lawsuit says he was denied a concealed weapon permit last July solely because he’s not a U.S. citizen.

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Public Park Cross Unconstitutional

From weaselzippers.com - Perverters of the Constitution: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A war memorial cross in a San Diego public park is unconstitutional because it conveys a message of government endorsement of religion, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in a two decade old case. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the unanimous decision in the dispute over the 29-foot cross, which was dedicated in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans. The court said modifications could be made to make it constitutional, but it didn’t specify what those changes would be. “In no way is this decision meant to undermine the importance of honoring our veterans,” the three judges said in their ruling. “Indeed, there are countless ways that we can and should honor them, but without the imprimatur of state-endorsed religion.”

The 10 Most Underreported Stories of 2010

From bigjournalism.com -I’ve said before that the media is so invested in this administration because their very survival depends upon its success. The only people who consume mainstream media anymore are the people who are part of the ideology that the MSM blatantly supports. They’ve bet all their chips on the success of the Progressocrats, the new amalgam of socialists and Democrats which saw the progressive caucus bubble up within the DNC before eating it away from the inside.  You won’t see the stories below in the pages of the NYT or on the screens of NBC. You won’t hear them discussed at the water cooler. They’re the stories that show without any doubt the cards held by those who wish to enslave the masses to the god of government. A theocracy, to be sure, but one that holds up the state above all else. Each of these stories have been chronicled across the Bigs sites over the past year. These stories are what progressives are trying desperately to erase from the annals of history, an effort that the new penny press, new media, refuses to allow:  More here

Martinez Calls for Spaceport Spending "Accountability"

Las Cruces Sun-News - LAS CRUCES - Former Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, was one of Spaceport America's biggest supporters, spearheading the project early on and heavily backing it throughout his eight-year tenure. His successor, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, spent much of her 2009 campaign taking aim at Richardson and his initiatives. Does that mean Martinez, a Dona Ana County resident who took office Saturday, is a spaceport opponent? "The citizens of Dona Ana County and Sierra County have spoken. They're the ones who voted on whether or not they wanted to have their tax dollars spent on spaceport," Martinez said during an interview Thursday before her sendoff gala. "We're going to respect that." But Martinez said she wants to "make sure that the spending is in the best way." "We can't just agree to give tax dollars and then not be accountable to the taxpayers," she said. Read full story here:

Words to Live By

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally.
Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." - Senator Barack Obama 2006. Read full story here:


Only Public Sector Layoffs are "Cynical"

NewsNM note - After more than two years of devastating job losses in virtually every industry in the private sector, the chickens are starting to come home to roost in the fat, bloated, and lethargic public sectors in every state. In typical fashion, editors at Progressive Magazine express the fervent desire that the least productive group of workers in society (public employees) be rendered OFF LIMITS to the same sorts of economic down cycles that damage all other participants in working society. Below is a portion of the ramblings of a Marxist dreamer. Progressive Editor Matthew Rothschild waxes eloquent on the injustice of government employees sharing the tough times like everyone else....
Matthew Rothschild
Progressive.org - The attack is cynical in so many ways. First, as McEntee noted, “The problem in the economy has not been created by public workers. It was created by Wall Street.” Second, it’s not as though any public sector workers are getting filthy rich like the Wall Street bankers who got bailed out and are now back to bathing in ridiculous bonuses. Third, the attack on public sector workers is an attack on the idea that there should be a decent middle class in this country. If everyone’s wages and benefits have to be reduced to those offered by the stingiest private sector boss, you can kiss the middle class goodbye. Read full column here:


York: Brief Moment of Power

Byron York
Townhall - As Republicans take power in the House and play a more influential role in the Senate, it's good to think back a year. As 2010 began, it was not at all clear that big Republican victories were on the way -- only that the GOP was at its lowest point in a long, long time. Roundly defeated in 2008, House Republicans were powerless to stop a huge Democratic majority from passing the national healthcare bill in November 2009.
Then, in late December of that year, Senate Republicans were just as powerless to stop a filibuster-proof majority of 60 Democrats from pushing that far-reaching and deeply unpopular piece of legislation through the Senate. With the passage of Obamacare, GOP lawmakers learned what defeat really meant. The country is still learning the full extent of the damage. A new analysis by the Washington Post shows that a provision of Obamacare dealing with high-risk patients is attracting far fewer participants than expected but still costs vastly more than projected -- a bad omen for the law's other programs. Read full column here:

The Science of Forecasting

Armstrong Williams
Townhall - The science of foretelling was apparently revered by the ancients. Examples abound of oracles divining the fates of wise men and kings. Mighty warriors, Odysseus and Agamemnon would not dare sally forth less the portents augured in their favor. The balance of chances measured in scattered bones, animal entrails or the position of the firmament still live on in today’s folklore. But in most of the Western world, fortune telling has lost its potency – that is unless the fortune teller happens to be a scientist, pollster, or economist.
Keynsian Economist
The invention of science and statistics has replaced old-school fortune telling in very insidious ways. Now, while careful to disclaim – past performance is no guarantee of future results – hucksters of all sorts try to sell us stuff by pointing to long term trends. In fact, America’s current state of economic recession was caused by a confidence born of scientific analysis. Supposedly, we all believed, housing prices would never fall. After all, they had risen steadily for over eighty years. Very few people alive and relevant today remembered the last time when the U.S. housing market went bust. Those people who lost their homes in 1933 are no longer around to delivery any cautionary tales.  Read full column here:


Governor Scott: The Axis of Unemployment

Rick Scott
Bloomberg - Rick Scott, a former health-care executive who spent a record $78 million running for Florida governor, was sworn in with promises to attack the “axis of unemployment” in a state with the fourth-highest U.S. jobless rate. The Republican political novice vowed to make Florida the “most favorable business climate in the world” by addressing what he said were three impediments to job creation: taxation, regulation and litigation. “Prosperity comes from the private sector and only from the private sector,” Scott, 58, said today in his inauguration speech in Tallahassee. The 45th governor of the fourth-most-populous state said he would sign an executive order today to create the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform to determine the impact of regulation on job creation. He reiterated campaign promises to eliminate Florida’s business tax and lower property levies by 19 percent. Read full story here:

Obamacare Stops Construction of 45 New Hospitals

From the weeklystandard.com -Under the headline, "Construction Stops at Physician Hospitals," Politico reports today that "Physician Hospitals of America says that construction had to stop at 45 hospitals nationwide or they would not be able to bill Medicare for treatments." Stopping construction at doctor-owned hospitals might not seem like the best way to boost the economy or to promote greater access and choice in health care, but that exactly what Obamacare is doing.  Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute explains, "Section 6001 of the health care law effectively bans new physician-owned hospitals (POHs) from starting up, and it keeps existing ones from expanding." Politico adds, "Friday [New Year's Eve] marked the last day physician-owned hospitals could get Medicare certification covering their new or expanded hospitals, one of the latest provisions of the reform law to go into effect."


Sheriff Paul Babeu Slams Napolitano's Afghan Trip

Sheriff Paul Babeu
 From gatewaypundit.com -Arizona Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu slammed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for visiting Afghanistan to lecture them about border security while the US border with Mexico is compromised and not secure.  It’s outrageous… Napolitano, who’s charged with the security of our country. Who’s over in foreign countries now. She’s the Homeland Security Secretary. She’s not the Secretary of State. She of anybody should be sounding the alarm and talking about security threats and she’s the one carrying out the “political speak” of the president saying this border is more secure than ever before. Meanwhile the threat that we face in Arizona and literally for our nation’s security I believe is a far greater national security threat to our nation’s security than Iraq, than Afghanistan, than any of these other places.”`   Video and more here

NM Citizen Poll: Cut Spending

Rio Grande Foundation - Recently, the Rio Grande Foundation published a policy paper outlining more than $280 million in specific spending cuts designed to help Governor Martinez and legislators close New Mexico’s budget deficit. Then, throughout December, we gave average New Mexicans a chance to weigh in on which cuts they supported and how strongly they wanted to see the cuts made. Survey respondents were asked to rank their preferred cuts on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the strongest desire to see an item cut).
More than 2,000 people took the opportunity to weigh in and the results are as follows: Saving $20 million annually by cutting the state work force by 2,000 was the most strongly supported with a rating average of 8.08; Saving $60 million annually by repealing SB 33 which increased the costs of public works projects around New Mexico followed close behind with an average rating of 7.91; Saving $6.4 million by diverting probationers and parolees who are revoked for technical violations of their supervision, not new offenses, from prison, scored 7.79; Diverting drug possession offenders from prison at a savings of $13 million garnered a score of 7.73;
Saving $30 million by capping the cost of New Mexico’s 25% reimbursement for films made in the state scored 7.34; Shutting down the Rail Runner at a savings of $20 million annually scored 6.44; and
The only budget cut items that scored below 5 were shutting down half of New Mexico’s branch campuses with a score of 4.81 and raising tuition to the national average which scored 4.71.
Read full story here:


Slowdowns? European Public Union Tactic

Kevin Hassett
Bloomberg - By Kevin Hassett - Europeans have grown accustomed to seeing government workers shut down their countries when provoked. At this time of huge deficits from Washington to the smallest towns, government workers in the U.S. also face significant cutbacks. Americans may have had their first taste of what that will mean. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Governor David Paterson are both calling for an investigation of allegations that city workers intentionally dragged out the cleanup of the Dec. 26 blizzard as a way to protest cuts in the city budget. The New York Post, citing City Councilman Dan Halloran, reported that some snow-plow drivers skipped streets on their routes or kept their plows too high to clear streets.
In October, the Bloomberg administration said it would eliminate 200 supervisory positions in the Sanitation Department and hire 100 entry-level workers to lower salary, benefit and overtime costs by about $20 million, part of an effort to close a $3.3 billion deficit in the 2011 budget. The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.


Two Californias: Coming to a State Near You

Thomas Sowell said in a recent column: Dr. Victor Davis Hanson's quietly chilling article, "Two Californias," in National Review Online, ought to be read by every American who is concerned about where this country is headed. California is leading the way, but what is happening in California is happening elsewhere-- and is a slow poison that is being largely ignored. Professor Hanson grew up on a farm in California's predominantly agricultural Central Valley. Now, as he tours that area, many years later, he finds a world as foreign to the world he knew as it is from the rest of California today-- and very different from the rest of America, either past or present. Here is the article:

ANWR Still Off Limits: Oil Approaches 27 Month High

U.S. Energy Policy
Bloomberg - Oil traded near a 27-month high in New York on signs that the economic recovery is gathering momentum and reining in excess fuel stockpiles. U.S. crude inventories probably fell a fifth week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before an Energy Department report tomorrow. Futures advanced as high as $92.58 a barrel in New York yesterday after the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index climbed to the highest in seven months. European manufacturing also grew more than estimated, powered by an export-led expansion in Germany. “The actual situation remains quite bullish after some supportive figures on the U.S. economy,” said Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Bank International AG in Vienna. “But for the next couple of weeks it will be hard for crude to move substantially higher as fears about Chinese growth exert some drag, and the euro debt crisis will be back on the table.” Crude for February delivery traded at $91.60 a barrel, up 5 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:30 a.m. London time. Read full story here:

Regulatory Runaround

WSJ - More than two months after the Obama administration lifted its ban on drilling in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico, oil companies are still waiting for approval to drill the first new oil well there. Experts now expect the wait to continue until the second half of 2011, and perhaps into 2012. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns on April 21; the spill halted deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for months. The administration says it is simply trying to enforce new safety rules adopted in the wake of the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. Environmental groups say the administration is right to take its time because the Gulf disaster exposed the risks of offshore drilling. Read full story here:

DNA Lab Equipment: Back to Albuquerque

Governor Martinez
Capitol Report New Mexico - On her first business day in office, new Gov. Susana Martinez ordered the return of all equipment from the state’s DNA lab back to Albuquerque and announced she will push for an expansion of the collection of DNA samples to include all those arrested for felony offenses in New Mexico. Back in 2007, the state legislature passed what was called “Katie’s Law,” named after Katie Sepich, a New Mexico State student who was raped and murdered. Under the provisions of that law, DNA samples in New Mexico are collected for certain types of felony arrests, predominantly those of a violent nature. Read full story here:

Heather Wilson Weighing Senate Run

Heather Wilson
Capitol Report New Mexico - Former congresswoman to the US House of Representatives Heather Wilson tells Roll Call, the online newspaper of Capitol Hill, that she’s thinking about running against Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Here’s the story: Former Rep. Heather Wilson is considering running for Senate in New Mexico, giving the GOP a potential top-flight challenger to Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman. “I am considering running for the Senate, as well as other opportunities,” Wilson told Roll Call on Monday. “A number of factors go into that. Ultimately it’s a decision about what is the best use of my talents and gifts.” Read more here: