Obama’s Super Tuesday Press Conference

Mar 6, 2012, 5:53 pm EDT

Hoping to steal some attention away from arguably the biggest day of the Republican presidential primary season, President Barack Obama held his first press conference in five months today, hitting on two main themes: the housing market and the use of military force.

Obama proposed two new ideas for boosting the housing market in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. One was a reduction in refinancing fees for any loan secured by the Federal Housing Administration. The other was an agreement with banks to review foreclosures of homes previously owned by members of the military since 2006, with an eye towards reimbursing anyone who wrongfully lost their home.

On the other hand, Obama attacked GOP presidential candidates who, he said, had a “casual” view of the use of military force. Read 

My Chat With Putin’s Ex-Economic Adviser

Mar 6, 2012, 6:00 am EDT

My wife, Debbie, and I were visiting West Palm Beach’s Anne Norton Sculpture Garden with fellow attendees of the Cato Institute’s February Benefactor Summit. On the tour with us was Andrei Illarionov, whose presentation I was much looking forward to hearing the next day.

Illarionov’s speech, “American Adversaries Big and Small,” alerted attendees that the word election is not used in Russia but rather selection. And the selection of a Russian president is hardly free and fair.

In 2005, Illarionov, who had assumed office as senior economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000, was the central figure in introducing the 13% flat income tax. Read 

12 Companies That Have Pulled Ads From Rush Limbaugh Show

Mar 5, 2012, 6:45 pm EDT
12 Companies That Have Pulled Ads From Rush Limbaugh Show

Monday, AOL (NYSE:AOL) became the ninth company to pull advertising from The Rush Limbaugh Show. As of Tuesday, the total number of advertisers pulling out jumped to 12. The defections come in the wake of the conservative radio host’s comments about law student Sandra Fluke, who testified in Congress about contraceptives and health coverage. On Wednesday, Limbaugh labeled Fluke as a “slut” and “prostitute,” then continued his criticism of her throughout the week. . On Saturday, Limbaugh had a change of heart, stating his “choice of words was not the best.”

Sincere or not (and Limbaugh has said his apology was sincere), it hasn’t changed Fluke’s opinion of Limbaugh, nor has it stopped the exodus of advertisers from his program — not to mention that a Hawaii radio station is dropping the program.

The following advertisers have announced that they will no longer advertise on The Rush Limbaugh Show: Read 

Letter: Air Force One Costs Go Beyond Plane

Mar 5, 2012, 5:58 pm EDT

This is but a small piece of presidential travel.  In 1996, I managed the re-election support aircraft out of Andrews AFB.  Along with AF One costs, there is the issue of the backup AF One that flies to a nearby military base such as Travis AFB, near San Francisco, and then shadows the aircraft for any other stops.

Next, we have countless C-5’s and C-17’s that fly the communication gear, limos and any other support that is needed.  I would venture to say that for every hour AF One flies, you can double for the backup aircraft and maybe 4-5 hours more in support aircraft for every hour flown by AF One.  So the cost for aircraft hours is more like $700,000.00 per AF One hour of flying.  On a campaign trip that cost is not reimbursed.  So the tax payer would be much better off just giving the president the expected take for the campaign fund raiser.

— Bob Marcott, California Read 

U.S. Has $5 Trillion Interest Bill

Mar 5, 2012, 5:41 pm EDT

Borrowing money now and paying it back later has a cost. For the United States, that cost is over $5 trillion.

That figure is the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how much money Washington will pay over the next ten years to cover interest payments on debt. That’s more than half the $11 trillion in government debt the CBO estimates the public will own in the next decade.  The estimate operates on the assumption that several key fiscal policies, including the Bush-era tax cuts, stay in place.

What does this mean practically? If the estimate holds true, 14% of all the revenue the federal government takes in will go into interest payments. Interest costs will be higher than spending on Medicaid, close to equal to spending on defense, and half of what we spend on social security. Read 

Breitbart Autopsy Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Mar 5, 2012, 8:44 am EDT
Breitbart Autopsy Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart was just 43 when he died last week. But the Breitbart autopsy has yeilded no immediate results as to the cause of death for the influential conservative activist.

Andrew Breitbart was the founder of an influential website named simply Breitbart.com and was a lightning-rod of liberal criticism. Breitbart also had a hand in helping Matt Drudge compile and publish his DrudgeReport.com news site. But all that was cut short when Andrew Breitbart died Thursday after collapsing on a sidewalk near his Los Angeles home.

Reuters reports that an autopsy was performed as “standard procedure.” The wire service goes on to report that, “Los Angeles County Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey said toxicology and microscopic tissue studies were ordered because of Breitbart’s death at the relatively young age of 43.” Read 

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