Tags: Solutions | for | America

Gingrich's Group Offers 12 Solutions for America

By    |   Sunday, 14 June 2009 07:11 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Rep. Jane Harman: Shut Down Satellite Surveillance
2. Gingrich's Group Offers 12 Solutions for America
3. Rove Calls N.Y. Times' Dowd 'Deranged'
4. Katie Couric Decries 'Nastiness' — and Gets Nasty
5. CNN Co-founder Blames 'Desire to Detest' for Fox's Ratings
6. We Heard: Liz Cheney, Bob Smith, Joe Sestak, Conrad Black

1. Rep. Jane Harman: Shut Down Satellite Surveillance

Democratic Rep. Jane Harman has submitted legislation that would in effect prevent the Department of Homeland Security from using space-based satellite imagery for domestic surveillance.

The California congresswoman, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee's intelligence and terrorism risk assessment subcommittee, praised the use of military and intelligence satellites to aid American troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But she raised concerns that satellite surveillance could infringe on civil liberties when used at home.

"Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like if one of these satellites were directed on your neighborhood or home, a school or place of worship — and without an adequate legal framework or operating procedures in place for regulating their use," Rep. Harman said.

"I daresay the reaction might be that Big Brother has finally arrived and the black helicopters can't be far behind."

Space-based satellites have been used to monitor volcanic activity, hurricanes, floods and environmental changes, but "the leadership at DHS envisioned additional homeland security and law enforcement benefits," Government Security News reported.

DHS requested funding for the National Applications Office (NAO), which coordinates the use of satellite imagery for domestic surveillance. Harman's bill would bar DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano from "obligating or expending funds for the National Applications Office."

Harman has also submitted a bill that would direct Napolitano to close the NAO. In a speech in the House on June 4, she said: "The Appropriations Committee has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the need for the NAO."

But Charlie Allen, then the Under Secretary of DHS for Intelligence & Analysis, wrote last year that the NAO would operate "with a solid framework to protect privacy, civil rights and civil liberties."

Editor's Note:

2. Gingrich's Group Offers 12 Solutions for America

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's political organization is offering 12 steps America should take to get the nation "back on the path to prosperity."

Gingrich is general chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future, which he founded in 2007. The group has taken out a full-page ad in USA Today headlined "12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity."

The ad, signed by hundreds of people from around the country, criticizes the "failed Washington model of bailouts, deficit spending and a bloated federal bureaucracy," and calls on President Obama and Congress to act immediately on these 12 measures:

  • Create a payroll tax credit to help workers and small businesses.
  • Cut the 25 percent marginal tax rate to 15 percent.
  • Reduce the business tax rate.
  • Stabilize housing prices by providing tax credits so responsible home buyers can avoid foreclosures.
  • Control federal spending and move to a balanced budget.
  • End Medicare fraud by requiring states to adopt anti-theft and anti-fraud measures.
  • Develop more American energy.
  • Abolish taxes on capital gains.
  • Protect workers' right to vote in a secret ballot before being forced to join a union.
  • Replace the Sarbanes-Oxley law regulating corporations' accounting practices.
  • Abolish the death tax.
  • Invest in infrastructure, including a new electric grid.

Editor's Note:

3. Rove Calls N.Y. Times' Dowd 'Deranged'

Former White House adviser Karl Rove went on the attack against New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, calling her a "nasty, snarky person."

"I think Maureen Dowd is a bitter, twisted, deranged columnist for the New York Times who misses no opportunity to show her disdain for the conservative side of the aisle," Rove said on Fox News Channel on Wednesday.

"This is a dour, downbeat liberal."

Rove's remarks came in response to a column Dowd wrote about President Barack Obama's leisure activities since entering the White House, including his recent trip to New York with his wife Michelle.

"Some respite from the pressure is clearly a healthy thing," Dowd wrote.

"Not as much respite as [President George W. Bush] took, bicycling and vacationing through all the disasters that President Obama is now stuck fixing — spending a total of 490 days in the tumbleweed isolation of Crawford and rarely deigning to sightsee as he traveled the world."

Rove called the shot at Bush "typical of Maureen Dowd's twisted, bitter little heart. I admire her writing, but she is a very nasty, snarky person."

Editor's Note:

4. Katie Couric Decries 'Nastiness' — and Gets Nasty

CBS News anchor Katie Couric told Princeton University's graduating class they should avoid "nastiness" — and tossed some nasty barbs at several conservatives.

Speaking at Princeton's annual "Class Day" event the day before graduation, Couric warned:

"Don't be a hater . . . You really must guard against the cynicism and nastiness that are so pervasive today, particularly on the Internet. It can be a wonderful, powerful and equalizing tool, but it's also populated by haters and trolls . . .

"Don't get sucked in. Rise above the collegial nastiness."

But during the same address, Couric took swipes at Sarah Palin, Donald Rumsfeld, and Miss California Carrie Prejean, who spoke out against same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant in April.

"Coming here was a real no brainer," Couric said. "After all, I can see New Jersey from my house."

Palin said in an interview last year that "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."

"Saturday Night Live" comic Tina Fey later mocked the remark by changing it to: "And I can see Russia from my house."

Couric likened Carrie Prejean to Anita Bryant, a popular singer decades ago who led a successful campaign in Miami to repeal a pro-homosexual ordinance, CNSNews noted.

"Hillary Clinton was the first serious female presidential candidate and made 18 million cracks in the ultimate glass ceiling," Couric said.

"And then of course there's Carrie Prejean, Miss California. No one has done more to motivate gay rights activists since Anita Bryant."

Couric also said that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is "reportedly telling President Obama there are weapons of mass destruction hidden at Rutgers."

Editor's Note:

5. CNN Co-founder Blames 'Desire to Detest' for Fox's Ratings

Fox News has been trouncing CNN in the primetime ratings since Barack Obama entered the White House — and CNN co-founder Reese Schonfeld cites hatred from the left as the reason.

As of May, CNN's primetime ratings had plunged 22 percent compared to May of last year, and they have dropped steadily since the election. MSNBC's ratings were down 2 percent, while Fox News was up 24 percent.

"Why is this happening when the country still seems about 58-42 in favor of Obama?" Schonfeld writes in the Huffington Post.

"My best guess is the passion of those who detest Democrats, liberals, and in particular, Barack Obama."

But P.J. Gladnick, writing for NewsBusters.org, wonders: "Could it be that the public is sick of the fawning coverage given to the Obama administration by most of the mainstream media and look to Fox News for providing more balanced stories?"

Schonfeld goes on to opine about Fox's ratings: "Maybe it's simply the need for an enemy. The desire to detest is greater than the power to tolerate. Maybe it's the need to blame somebody else for the bad things that are happening in our lives that drives viewers to Fox."

Again, Gladnick suggests another scenario: "Maybe the TV audience is growing weary of the [mainstream media] treating Barack Obama as sort of God and want some realistic news coverage of his administration."

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Liz won't rule out following in her father's footsteps and running for public office.

Liz Cheney, an attorney, has no "near-term plans" to run for office, according to Paul Bedard's Washington Whispers column in U.S. News & World Report.

She has been busy lately defending her father's record through numerous media appearances, at the same time she is raising five young children and helping the former vice president write his memoirs.

"But Liz, 42, is not closing the door to a House or Senate bid in Virginia," Bedard disclosed.

A close friend of Liz told Bedard about a possible run in the future: "She spent her life around politics. She is not ruling it out."

Asked in late May about talk that Cheney would run, Republican strategist Karl Rove declared: "She might!"

THAT Republican Bob Smith, who served two terms as a U.S. Senator from New Hampshire, has announced that he is running for the Senate again — this time from Florida.

Smith was defeated by John Sununu in the 2002 GOP primary in New Hampshire, and moved to Sarasota, Fla.

He will face Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and former state House Speaker Marco Rubio in the primary as they seek to replace Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who is not running for re-election.

THAT Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter could face a serious challenge from another Democrat as he seeks re-election in Pennsylvania next year — Rep. Joe Sestak is set to throw his hat in the ring.

Sestak, a former Navy admiral, hasn't formally announced his campaign, but he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "I'm there. I've made a personal decision to get into the race."

Sestak recently traveled to Pittsburgh for interviews with the Tribune-Review and met with the paper's owner, Dick Scaife.

Sestak said 19 county party chairmen have asked him to visit their counties, according to Tribune-Review reporters Salena Zito and Mike Wereschagin.

Specter has been endorsed by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. But Sestak, who won election to the House in 2006, said Pennsylvania voters don't want top officials selecting a candidate for them.

He told the Tribune-Review: "They really do believe there should be a choice."

A U.S. Supreme Court justice has rejected former newspaper magnate Conrad Black's request for bail during the court's review of his conviction for mail fraud and obstruction of justice.

Justice John Paul Stevens refused to order bail but said Black can refile his request with a federal trial judge in Chicago, the New York Post reported.

Black was convicted in 2007 for his role in the theft of $6.1 million from Hollinger Inc., and has been serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence in Florida since March 2008. The Supreme Court will consider his appeal during its 2009-2010 session, which begins in October.

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Rep. Jane Harman: Shut Down Satellite Surveillance2. Gingrich's Group Offers 12 Solutions for America3. Rove Calls N.Y. Times' Dowd 'Deranged'4. Katie Couric Decries 'Nastiness' and Gets Nasty5. CNN Co-founder Blames 'Desire...
Sunday, 14 June 2009 07:11 PM
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