Friday, December 07, 2012

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

The Fiscal Cliff
 
This week, I had the honor of joining a bipartisan group of governors to meet with President Obama about the fiscal challenges facing our federal government.
 
For more than a decade, the federal government has been spending a lot more money than it has been taking in. Because critical debt benchmarks were surpassed, in the near future, our nation is facing what is often referred to as the fiscal cliff. If our federal government fails to take action to avert the fiscal cliff, we could experience a massive economic downturn, which would affect states all across the nation.

I joined other governors, three Democrats and two other Republicans, to discuss what the impact on states would be if the federal government continues down the path of massive deficits and increasing debt. As we look to the federal government in the coming months, I hope we will receive the flexibility necessary to not only help solve the federal deficit, but also provide relief to the states. Beyond this discussion, I gave the President and the other governors an update on Wisconsin’s budget. We turned a $3.6 billion budget deficit into a surplus and, for the first time ever, deposited money into the state’s rainy day fund in two consecutive years.

I am hopeful politicians in D.C. will be able to solve the fiscal problems facing our federal government, so the next generation is not buried under a mountain of debt. I appreciate having the opportunity to speak directly with President Obama on this important issue.  
UW Flexible Option
 
Earlier this year, I joined University of Wisconsin System President Kevin P. Reilly and UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross to announce a competency-based degree model that will transform higher education in Wisconsin. Last week, the first UW Flexible Degree option programs were rolled out. 

Using a competency-based degree model, coupled with online testing, could potentially revolutionize higher education. Today’s announcement is the next step in that direction. There is a need for skilled workers in a number of high demand areas such as manufacturing, information technologies, and healthcare. We can help bridge the skills gap by allowing individuals who have learned skills from their employment, from military service, or from other areas to work toward a degree at their own pace.

Beginning next fall, UW-Milwaukee will begin offering flexible degrees in Nursing, Health Sciences, Information Science & Technology, and more. UW also expects to open a few slots this year in select pilot courses to ensure the new degrees will run smoothly and be of high quality. Additionally, students can use the Flexible Option to complete the general education requirements toward any four-year degree. This new development will allow busy adults to complete a portion of their degree from home by earning top-quality credits that will transfer to any four-year UW campus. 
 
I would like to especially thank President Kevin Reilly and Chancellor Ray Cross for the work they have done, and will continue to do, to support new methods of learning through programs like this.

For more information on UW’s Flexible Option, please visit www.flex.wisconsin.edu.
Responding to the Drought
 
Last week, I held a follow-up meeting to assess the impact of and continuing response to the 2012 Drought. Currently, a majority of Wisconsin remains abnormally dry or in moderate drought, and soil moisture levels are below normal for this time of year.

We are working hard to provide drought relief at the state level. The first thing we did was declare a drought emergency, which expedited the permitting process for farmers who need to utilize additional water sources for irrigation. Then, we increased weight limits for hauling hay—making it easier for dairy farmers to obtain feed for their herds. We also opened up 11,500 acres of state managed land so farmers can harvest its hay. We were recently notified that the United States Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, granted our request for natural disaster designations due to either the early spring-late frost in March or the drought this summer. Additional information regarding this disaster designation can be accessed by clicking here.

Beyond these announcements, I received an update on the Farmer-to-Farmer Network, which connects buyers and sellers of different types of forages. This network couples farmers who were less affected by the dry conditions with other farmers who were severely affected by the drought. There were more than 185 listings on the network. At least 75 of them have been removed because the farmers bought or sold the majority of their listing. An estimated 10,000 tons of products were bought or sold on the network.

I would like to thank Chancellor Ray Cross and John Shutske of the University of Wisconsin-Extension for operating the Farmer-to-Farmer Network. Because of our combined efforts to raise awareness of this resource, dairy farmers were able to find feed, which allowed them to avoid sending significant portions of their herd to slaughter. If dairy farmers had slaughtered their herds, Wisconsin’s agricultural production would have been negatively impacted for many years into the future.

Additional information about the Farmer-to-Farmer network can be accessed by clicking here.
Get to Know a Cabinet Member: Ben Brancel

As Governor, one of the most important tasks I have is to appoint and communicate with leaders in each state agency. These leaders, called secretaries, ensure agencies run smoothly and efficiently as they operate state government and implement government reforms. For a few weeks, in lieu of the “Just Ask the Governor” section, I will be highlighting a cabinet secretary and providing a brief overview of the department he or she oversees. I hope these updates will provide you with practical information about state government operations, especially as we head into the next budget cycle.

When I was elected Governor, I knew I wanted Ben Brancel in my cabinet. Ben is a long-time dairy farmer, he served in the Wisconsin State Assembly and worked for the UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ben is known and respected in Wisconsin’s agriculture industry. He even previously served as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) under Governor Tommy Thompson.

Ben has done a great job overseeing DATCP’s diverse responsibilities. From monitoring fair business practices to educating consumers to ensuring proper use of agricultural resources, Ben and his staff work to guarantee healthy plants and animals, food safety, and the vitality of Wisconsin agriculture, which is a $59 billion industry in the state.

One of Ben’s priorities is updating the agency’s technology to an online system, which will improve customer service and be more efficient. His team is also working with Wisconsin businesses to provide the tools needed to succeed in the international marketplace. During the first three quarters of 2012, the state’s agricultural exports reached $2.2 billion, a four percent increase over the same period in 2011.

Earlier this year, I announced the Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 Initiative, which was developed by Ben and dairy industry leaders. Through this initiative, we hope to grow the state’s milk production to 30-billion pounds by 2020. Grow Wisconsin Dairy 30x20 is the result of listening to what the state’s dairy industry leaders had to say about the supply and demand for fresh Wisconsin milk. The initiative underscores the need for fresh, quality milk production and processing in Wisconsin and our commitment to the future of America’s Dairyland.

Ben and his wife, Gail, continue to live on his family’s farm in Marquette County, which is owned by his son and daughter-in-law, Tod and Sondra, the sixth consecutive generation to farm the land. His family now raises registered Angus and Hereford beef cattle.

It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker

Rand Paul: Explanation of NDAA Vote

I have noticed that many are confused by my vote for NDAA. Please allow me to explain.

First, we should be clear about what the bill is. NDAA is the yearly defense authorization bill. It’s primary function is to specify which programs can and can't be funded within the Pentagon and throughout the military. It is not the bill that spends the money—that comes later in an appropriations bill.

Because I think we should spend less, I will offer amendments to cut spending. I will likely vote against the final spending bill. This wasn't it.

This bill also isn’t about indefinite detention. This year's bill did not contain the authorization for indefinite detention.

That provision was in last year's NDAA bill.

The bill this year contained the amendment I supported which sharply limited the detention power, and eliminated it entirely for American citizens in the US. While it is only a partial victory, it was a big victory. Particularly compared to what passed last year. Even so, I will continue to fight to protect anyone who could possibly be indefinitely detained.

I would never vote for any bill, anywhere, that I believed enhanced the government's power to abridge your rights and detain people. This goes against every principle I hold dear and the Constitution I took an oath to uphold and protect.

Government power and the many associated abuses have been piling up for years. We will not win all our liberties back at once. But we did win one battle this year, and we should be pleased that we did while also realizing the fight is really just getting started.

I hope you will keep fighting alongside me.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/rand-paul/explanation-of-ndaa-vote/10151450781088054

Marines Gangnam Style! "Here Comes Santa Claus"

Way Up North: December 7, 1941: Remembering

Way Up North: December 7, 1941: Remembering: A couple of years ago, we toured Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, and the Punchbowl National Cemetery. I promised myself I wouldn't...

Coast Guard - PHOTO UPDATE: Coast Guard cutter returns to homeport following $55 million drug bust

News Release

PHOTO UPDATE: Coast Guard cutter returns to homeport following $55 million drug bust

http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=1845476
http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=1845470 http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=1845473
 
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Portsmouth-based Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returned home Friday following a 51-day counterdrug patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

The crew of the Tampa departed Portsmouth on Oct. 17.
Tampa's patrol highlights include:
The Coast Guard's counterdrug patrols supported Operation Martillo, an international, interagency, counterdrug trafficking effort focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies.
The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, along with the service's 26 other medium endurance cutters, i slated to be replaced by a new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters that will have the endurance to operate more than 50 miles offshore to carry out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety missions. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interagency interoperability. Its advanced technical features include modern sensors and enhanced surveillance capabilities necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.
###
Date: Dec 7, 2012

GOA News: Bob Costas Digs Himself in Deeper on the O'Reilly Factor

Gun Owners of America

Bob Costas Digs Himself in Deeper
on the O'Reilly Factor
By Erich Pratt
December 6, 2012
Bob Costas appeared on the O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night in an effort to explain his ill-informed comments about guns that he made over the weekend.
 
 
Using one of Sunday’s football games as a platform to express his views on guns, Costas (who was quoting a sports writer) said that the Kansas City linebacker who killed himself and his girlfriend this past weekend would still be alive today “if Javon Belcher didn’t possess a gun.”
 
 
 
 
Because Costas’ remarks have stoked a nation-wide controversy, O’Reilly invited Costas onto his show to clear away the “confusion.” Taking his cue, Costas led off the interview saying that he knows Americans have a right to bear arms and that he never intended to enter the political debate surrounding this issue.
 
 
He emphasized several times that he never used the words “gun control,” and that he is not looking to repeal the Second Amendment.
 
 
But rather than set the record straight, Costas only made things worse with several bone-headed or factually inaccurate statements. Rather than clear up the matter, Costas adopted the talking points of several anti-gun “Brady Bunch” organizations by saying Americans are worse off owning guns, that they don’t typically use them in self-defense, and that Americans need to do something about our dangerous “gun culture.”
 
 
Here are just some of most egregious examples (although one comes from Bill O’Reilly):
 
 
1. Myth: Guns do more harm than good.
 
 
“Even if one has the right to have the gun -- you got this many guns out there -- far more often, bad things happen (including unintentional things) than things where the presence of a gun diminishes or averts danger.” – Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
Not true. Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year -- or about 6,850 times a day. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.(1)
 
 
Even anti-gun researchers have conceded that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense. According to the Clinton Justice Department, there were as many as 1.5 million cases of self-defense with a firearm every year. The National Institute of Justice published this figure in 1997 as part of “Guns in America” -- a study which was authored by noted anti-gun criminologists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig.(2)
 
 
So where does the guns-are-more-likely-to-harm-you theory come from? Well, it first appeared in the 1980s with a “study” performed by Dr. Arthur Kellermann, who concluded that a gun in the home is supposedly more likely -- far more likely, he claimed -- to kill the owner than to be used in self-defense.
 
 
Interestingly, Kellermann refused to release the data behind his conclusions for years.(3) But subsequently, the nation discovered why Kellermann stonewalled for so long:
 
 
* All available data now indicates that the “home gun homicide victims [in Kellermann’s study] were killed using guns not kept in the victim’s home,” researcher Don Kates writes. In other words, the victims were NOT murdered with their own guns! They were killed “by intruders who brought their own guns to the victim’s household.”(4)
 
 
* In retrospect, Kates found, it was not the ownership of firearms that put these victims at high risk. Rather, it was the victim’s “high-risk life-styles [such as criminal associations] that caused them to own guns at higher rates than the members of the supposedly comparable control group.”(5)
 
 
Even using the conservative figures issued by the Clinton Justice Department, Americans are 50 times more likely to use a gun in self-defense than to be killed by a firearm.
 
 
The fact is, guns save far more lives … far more often than they take a life.
 
 
 
 
2. Myth: More gun control needed.
 
 
“I believe there should be more comprehensive and effective controls on the sale of guns.” – Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
Bob Costas says he never used the words “gun control” in discussing the Belcher murder-suicide. While technically true, he did admit to Bill O’Reilly that he favors greater gun restrictions: more background checks, mandatory training for those who purchase firearms, and bans on “military-style” firearms -- saying that only the military and police should have them.
 
 
“None of that impinges on someone’s Second Amendment rights or their right to protect their home and their family,” Costas said.
 
 
Well, if gun bans and background checks are consistent with Second Amendment rights -- never mind the words “shall not be infringed” -- then perhaps Mr. Costas won’t mind similar restrictions on his right to speak in front of a microphone?
 
 
After all, his comments have caused severe angst on the part of many Americans this week. And not only his comments, but one could make an argument that, in general, the media incites people to anger and violence on a semi-regular basis.
 
 
Therefore, if we were to curb (or ban) most or all of the media’s broadcasts, then one could argue that we would live in a far safer environment:
 
 
* Remember the environmentalist wacko who, in 2010, held several people hostage in the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring Maryland? James J. Lee confessed he had an “awakening” after watching Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth -- an “awakening” which convinced him the planet would be better off without humans and which drove him to take hostages in order to protest the Discovery Channel’s programming.(6)
 
 
* Or what about the Los Angeles riots of 1992? Rioters began their circuit of death and destruction, only after the media reported the jury verdict which cleared the police officers who had beaten Rodney King. Fifty-three people were killed during the riots and thousands more were injured.
 
 
* Or what about Timothy McVeigh, who was driven to blow up the federal Murrah Building in Oklahoma City after watching the media’s coverage of tanks assaulting the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas?
 
 
In all of the above cases, the media played a significant role in stoking people’s anger. Thus, it could be argued with some cogency, that gagging the media would result in less violence and bloodshed.
 
Of course, this is not the kind of society we want to live in. But if we are going to use pragmatic arguments for restricting the Second Amendment, then don’t be surprised when that same standard gets used to infringe upon the freedoms protected by the First Amendment.
 
 
In truth, however, the problem is not that there are too many guns or too few restrictions on them. The fact is, we have more guns than ever in this country and crime rates are dropping -- as evidenced by the fact that during the first decade of this century, 40 million new guns were manufactured for sale inside the U.S., even while the murder rate dropped 14%.(7)
 
 
And this just underscores the undeniable truth that “Guns Save Lives.”
 
 
3. Myth: America needs to curb its “easy access to guns.”
 
 
“If we’re looking for perspective on this, we’re going to have [a serious discussion about] domestic violence, about the culture of the game itself, about the easy access to guns ... and in the future we will soon do that.” – Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
Costas drinks the “Brady Bunch” Kool-Aid here, arguing that the availability of firearms is one of the main causes of violence. But “easy access” to guns is NOT the problem. In fact, the places in this country where guns were restricted the most have been the places where citizens lived in the greatest danger.
 
 
Consider, for example, the nation’s capital in the United States. In 1976, Washington, DC made it virtually impossible for anyone to legally obtain a firearm. If a homeowner did get a gun to defend himself, and the police found out, then the gun owner could go to jail.
 
 
These restrictions discouraged homeowners from obtaining firearms and, not surprisingly, the city’s murder rate skyrocketed -- so much so, the city was frequently ranked as the nation’s “Murder Capital.”(8) This held true for several decades, until the Supreme Court struck down Washington’s gun ban in 2008.(9) That year, gun ownership once again became legal in the District, and residents began purchasing thousands of firearms.
 
 
Not surprisingly, gun control advocates predicted that the murder rate in the nation’s capital would spike as a result of legal guns entering the city. But what was the reality? Murders in the nation’s capital immediately dropped to a 45-year low.(10)
 
 
People are less safe when they enter a “gun free zone,” but have a better chance of protecting themselves when they can easily access a firearm and use it for protection.
 
 
Consider El Paso, Texas, which was ranked by CQ Press as America’s safest big city in 2010.(11) Residents there can carry concealed firearms (and live quite peacefully) despite being located across from Juarez City, Mexico -- a town with very stringent gun control laws and one of the highest murder rates in the world.
 
 
In Juarez, people are disarmed, they live in fear, and criminals still manage to get a hold of firearms. In El Paso, average citizens can carry firearms -- they have “easy access” to them -- and they live in peace.
 
 
The verdict? Easy access to guns keeps people much safer than the alternative.
 
 
 
 
4. Myth: Citizens can’t be trusted with guns, but police can.

 
“In that situation [in the Aurora theater] -- in the dark, in the confusion -- I think it’s highly more likely that there would be additional carnage. Bullets would be flying wildly all over the place.” -- Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
These are the talking points one frequently hears from the Brady Bunch. They love to portray law-abiding citizens as the ones who, not only can’t be trusted to defend themselves but, will accidentally harm others -- even when trying to do the right thing.
 
 
However, if we’re going to use the “bullets flying wildly” standard as a basis for denying gun ownership to private citizens, then you might as well start disarming the police. After all, it was the New York City police (not law-abiding citizens) who accidentally shot nine bystanders in August outside the Empire State Building.
 
 
And while that’s just one anecdotal case, readers of Newsweek learned that while “only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal, the ‘error rate’ for the police [is] more than five times as high.”(12)
 
 
The fact is, civilians do an amazing job of protecting themselves and others -- even in crowded surroundings. Take Jeanne Assam, who saved the lives of hundreds of worshippers in 2007, when she shot an armed thug in the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado -- a gigantic church which boasts a membership of thousands.
 
 
Matthew Murray, intent on killing as many innocent victims as he could, entered the building with a thousand rounds of ammunition and several firearms.
 
 
However, he was only able to shoot two sisters in the parking lot because, once he entered the building, he was met by a woman with a gun. Assam shot him repeatedly until he fell incapacitated. He then took his own life. No innocent bystanders were shot or killed inside the New Life Church.
 
 
5. Myth: Guns are only used to harm athletes, not protect them.
 
 
“I cannot think of a single instance, involving a professional athlete, whereby that athlete having a gun averted or diminished a dangerous situation. But I can give you a long list of tragedies that came about because guys were packing.” -- Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
The DC Examiner exposed the outright lie -- or lazy scholarship -- that is central to Costas’ statement here. For example, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corry Fuller (in 2004) and Houston Astros outfielder Luke Scott (in 2005) are just two notable athletes who have used guns in self-defense in recent years.(13)
 
 
But beyond Costas’ ignorance (or deception), this argument is just foolish. One could make an argument for banning all kinds of items under this reasoning. Just try inserting the word “barbell” everywhere Costas mentions guns.
 
 
Truly, no one’s life has ever been saved because of a barbell or dumbbell, and yet, in recent months, there have been some gruesome murders committed with these blunt objects:
 
 
* A Florida woman was on trial this year for the torture/murder of her husband which included beating him barbells and slicing his eyes with a utility knife.(14)
 
 
* A Virginia man is also facing charges for the strangulation/beating murder of a woman which involved a 15-pound dumbbell.(15)
 
 
Heck, if Costas really wants to press the issue, there are more student deaths related to high school football than to guns.(16) Has football ever saved anyone’s life? No.
 
 
So how can Costas support a game that claims more student lives than guns?
 
 
 
 
6. Myth: Americans hold to a dangerous Wild West, Dirty Harry gun culture.
 
 
“[Americans] may feel that it’s part of a romanticized culture. There’s an aspect of this -- a kind of Wild West, cowboy, Dirty Harry aspect. There’s also an aspect that’s influenced by some of what we see in the inner cities. There’s some of what may be glamorized in Gangsa Rap videos. Whatever it may be, it plays itself out in different ways [and] in different demographics.” -- Bob Costas to Bill O’Reilly
 
 
Costas says he was shocked to hear that, when Tony Dungy was coaching the Indianapolis Colts, there were 60 out of 80 players in training camp who admitted to owning guns. Costas conceded, somewhat dismissively, that they may feel they need these guns for protection.
 
 
But more than that, he says, it’s the dangerous gun culture which is fueling this supposed fascination with guns.
 
 
Of course, inherent in his statement is the assumption that guns are inherently bad. Notice that Costas is not concerned about the “football culture” which results in more deaths than guns at the high school level.(17) Nor is he concerned about the “Playboy culture” which, arguably, has resulted in higher levels of rape and incest.(18)
 
 
But no, it’s just the “gun culture” he’s concerned about -- never mind that this freedom is enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
 
 
So how about if we turn the tables: What if many Americans are concerned about Bob Costas’ views on gun control? Would that justify limiting his right to free speech?
 
 
It may sound like a preposterous question, but there are Congressmen who favor LIMITING the free speech rights of law-abiding Americans. Just consider the DISCLOSE Act and “Hush Rush” bills that Congress has put forward in years past.(19)(20)
 
 
Or, take Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), who told an audience recently that millionaires are “stealing your government” because they have the money to get people elected. (Never mind there are campaign finance laws which limit the amount of money they can give to candidates.)
 
 
So what’s the solution, according to the congressman? “We need a constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights” of these rich folks, says Johnson.(21)
 
Really? Our First Amendment rights are now “so-called” freedoms?
 
 
You see, once you let the “Congress-needs-to-change-the-culture” genie out of the bottle, then all the Bill of Rights will be up for debate.
 
 
7. Myth: The Founding Fathers gave us our Second Amendment right to bear arms
 
 
“Gun control in America is an emotional issue because it is clear that the Founding Fathers gave the right to bear arms for two reasons.” -- Bill O’Reilly to Bob Costas
 
 
In case, you missed it -- notice the flip-flop in the order of the names. This myth came from Bill O’Reilly’s lips.
 
Yes, O’Reilly had some good things to say on Wednesday night. But he also staked out a position in favor of some gun control, while totally ignoring the “shall not be infringed” language of the Second Amendment.
 
So just to be clear. The Founders did NOT give us our rights, nor did they believe they were granting us rights.
 
 
The Declaration of Independence states that “All men are created equal [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Our rights come from God himself, and this is the reason our rights cannot -- and should not -- be infringed in any way, shape or form (unless someone has committed a violent crime and, thus, forfeited his rights).
 
 
Now, O’Reilly did give two good reasons for the right to keep and bear arms: Defense against tyranny and self-defense against both natural and human predators.
 
But the reason that he supports gun control stems from the fact that he does not hold a principled view of rights. If O’Reilly believed our rights came from God, then he could not consistently hold the gun control position that he advocates. Same for Bob Costas.
 
 
In fact, Mr. Costas should dust off his copy of the Declaration next time he tries to wax eloquent on a civil rights issue during a football game. Or better yet, maybe he should just stick to sportscasting.
 
Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots lobbying organization with 300,000 members.

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RSC Update: Obama's Fiscal Cliff "Offer" Is a Joke

 
 
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | View Online


RSC Update: Obama’s Fiscal Cliff “Offer” Is a Joke


From the Chairman

The House of Representatives voted months ago to avoid the fiscal cliff by making sensible spending cuts and stopping big tax increases scheduled to take effect in January. This already-passed plan would simultaneously help our economy and serve as a down payment on the big reforms needed to truly defeat the debt.

President Obama finally made his opening proposal last week – and it’s a joke. He wants:

1. Unlimited power to raise the debt ceiling

2. A $1.6 trillion tax hike on top of the $1 trillion ObamaCare tax hike already in place

3. $4.71 in higher taxes for every $1 in spending cuts

4. Even more “stimulus” spending

If you know anything about America’s financial situation, President Obama just insulted your intelligence. Tax increases cannot solve Uncle Sam’s spending problem. If we want more jobs and a more prosperous future for our country, we need to cut spending.

God Bless,

Congressman Jim Jordan
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

 
RSC Media Activity – RSC members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. Visit our Media Center for more.

· Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49): New STEM Visa Law Could Transform U.S. Economy; U-T San Diego, November 28.

· Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) with Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): Senate Should Pass Hydropower Improvements; Politico, November 28.

· Rep. James Lankford (OK-05): Rep. Lankford Speaks Tax Reform on Fox Business; Fox Business, November 29.

· Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05): Defending Medicare for Future Generations; The Hill, November 29.

· Rep. Eric Cantor (VA-07): Why Do We Educate Foreigners and Force Them To Go Back Home?; McClatchy-Tribune News Service, November 30.

· Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-52): Secure the U.S.-Mexico Border First; U-T San Diego, December 1.

· Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01): The True Meaning of 'Fair Share'; Breitbart, December 3.

RSC Member Activity RSC members make it a priority to introduce productive, conservative solutions for America’s future.

· Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Steve Pearce (NM-02) urged colleagues to consider greater energy development as a way to increase revenues without raising taxes.

· Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) introduced legislation to advance domestic energy production.

· Rep. Tom Price (GA-06) introduced legislation opposing the establishment of a financial transaction tax.

House Floor Activity – The following key legislation came through the House of Representatives recently.

· On November 30, the House passed H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act, which would prioritize visas for foreign graduates of American universities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Outlook – A quick look at what’s on the horizon.

· On Thursday and Friday, no votes are expected in the House while negotiations continue on the fiscal cliff.

· This Friday is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

· On Saturday, Hanukkah begins at sundown.

RSC Reports

· RSC Updates are now online! Looking for one of our recently released charts and graphs? Click here.

· Stay up to date on budget and spending news with reports from the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force.

· Check out the RSC Sunset Caucus’ work to shrink the size of government and the Repeal Task Force’s work to eliminate bad laws and regulations.

· House rules now require sponsors of legislation to provide a Constitutional Authority Statement that explains how Congress has the constitutionally-derived authority to enact their proposals. Click here to see liberals’ highly questionable attempts.

· Read the RSC Money Monitor to track how bills passed by the House affect budget authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

###






House Republican Study Committee
Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman

Paul Teller, Executive Director
Brad Watson, Policy Director

Joe Murray, Professional Policy Staff
Curtis Rhyne, Professional Policy Staff

Ja’Ron Smith, Professional Policy Staff

Derek Khanna, Professional Policy Staff

Brian Straessle, Communications Director

Michael Tate, Deputy Communications Director
Wesley Goodman, Director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach

Yong Choe, Director of Business Outreach and Member Services

Rick Eberstadt, Research Assistant

1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 226-9717

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Federal Government Loses Big in Supreme Court Property Rights Case

Federal Government Loses Big in Supreme Court Property Rights Case

Business Insider: Top Republican Senator Blasts John Boehner's Fiscal Cliff Plan


Army-Navy Game: Taking it to the Next Level

USS George H.W. Bush Departs Shipyard on Time Naval Today

USS George H.W. Bush Departs Shipyard on Time Naval Today

RIA Novosti: FSB Opens $250,000 Arctic Uniform Tender

RIA NovostiArcticFSB Opens $250,000 Arctic Uniform Tender
18:28 03/12/2012 Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has opened a tender for the design and manufacture of special clothing and footwear for its Arctic frontier guards.>>

Monday, December 03, 2012

Cyn-Seer-ly Yours: As Goes Nevada, So Goes the Country!Nevada GOP Mo...

Cyn-Seer-ly Yours: As Goes Nevada, So Goes the Country!
Nevada GOP Mo...
: As Goes Nevada, So Goes the Country! Nevada GOP Moves Forward with Two Resounding Resolutions November 6 th was a lackluster date for m...

STRATFOR: Syrian Regime Losing Ground

Spain Requests Bailout for Banking Sector

Spain Requests Bailout for Banking Sector

USS Enterprise Inactivated; Navy Suspends Enlisted Early Transition Program

OSCE discusses Caspian Sea maritime security in Ashgabat - Trend.Az

OSCE discusses Caspian Sea maritime security in Ashgabat - Trend.Az

Marines Affected by Financial Security Breach

Army-Navy Game: Our Ship is Bigger

HMS Bulwark Returns to Plymouth, UK Naval Today

HMS Bulwark Returns to Plymouth, UK Naval Today

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne dies during law enforcement mission

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne dies during law enforcement mission

News Release
Date: Dec. 03, 2012

Contact:

PHOTOS AVAILABLE: Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne dies during law enforcement mission


LOS ANGELES - Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne, a Boatswain Mate onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut, died early in the morning of Dec. 2, 2012 from injuries sustained during law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz Island, Calif.

121203-G-XX000-001

The Halibut was investigating a panga-type vessel suspected of illicit activities. 
 
The cutter deployed its small boat which made an approach on the suspect vessel. When the Coast Guard small boat approached with its blue law enforcement light energized, the suspect vessel, identified to be a profile Mexican style panga, maneuvered at a high rate of speed directly towards the Coast Guard small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene.
 
121202-G-XX000-002

Two Coast Guard members were thrown from the boat into the water, and both members were immediately recovered by the Coast Guard small boat. Upon recovery it appeared that Chief Horne had sustained a traumatic head injury and the other had minor injuries.

The incident remains under investigation.

Coast Guard Member Killed During Southern California Law Enforcement Operations | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

Coast Guard Member Killed During Southern California Law Enforcement Operations | Maritime News | Maritime Executive Magazine

STRATFOR: Russia's Demographic Challenge

The NSA Tells Congress What to Think And Say About the NSA: Checks and Balances in Action

The NSA Tells Congress What to Think And Say About the NSA: Checks and Balances in Action

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Way Up North: PATRIOTISM: The American Way

Way Up North: PATRIOTISM: The American Way: I go...

Reason.tv: "I escaped a North Korean prison camp" - Shin Dong-hyuk's Survivor Story

Real Clear Politics: Yes, Romney Was the Problem

Yes, Romney Was the Problem

Ditto for the Ron Paul movement. It was outrageous how the Romney team refused to sit a number of pro-Ron Paul state delegations at the convention, all because they didn’t want Ron Paul to be nominated so that Romney could enjoy an unanimous nomination. The stupidity of this move was astounding. Romney already had the votes to win the nomination overwhelmingly but his team was so fixated on the appearance of a perfect nominating convention that they decided to disenfranchise the entire Ron Paul movement. Romney lost tens of thousands of Ron Paul supporters for that action alone.
 

read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/11/27/yes_romney_was_the_problem_116245.html


h/t:  The Daily Paul

Obama Using “Endangered” Species to Kill Economy, Push Extreme Agenda

Obama Using “Endangered” Species to Kill Economy, Push Extreme Agenda

USS Harry S. Truman Receives Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator

U.S. Navy: Shipbuilders Remember the Construction of USS Enterprise

Sen. Ron Johnson: Weekly Update from Washington, D.C.

November 30, 2012

Chart of the Week


Senator Johnson Announces Staff Mobile Office Hours

This week, I announced that my staff would be available for mobile office hours at the dates and locations listed below. These office hours allow constituents to meet with my staff to request assistance with a federal agency, or regarding other federal matters.

Monday, December 3rd, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Owen City Hall
219 North Pine Street, Owen, WI 54460


Monday, December 3rd, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Hawkins Area Library
709 Main Street, Hawkins, WI 54530


Monday, December 3rd, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Radisson Village Hall
10598 West Railroad Avenue, Radisson, WI 54967


Tuesday, December 4th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Oliver Village Hall
2125 East State Street, Superior, WI 54880


Tuesday, December 4th, 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Adams County Public Library, Room 123
569 North Cedar Street Suite 1, Adams, WI 53910


Tuesday, December 4th, 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Camp Douglas Village Hall, Gymnasium
304 Center Street, Camp Douglas, WI 54618


Tuesday, December 4th, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
City of Greenfield Library, Community Room
5310 West Layton Avenue, Greenfield, WI 53220


Tuesday, December 4th, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Stetsonville Public Library, Conference Room
105 North Gershwin Street, Stetsonville, WI 54480


Wednesday, December 5th, 9:45 am - 10:45 am
Lohrville Village Hall
123 Park Road, Redgranite, WI 54970


Wednesday, December 5th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Oxford Village Hall
129 South Franklin Avenue, Oxford, WI 53952

Native Americans and Northern Europeans More Closely Related Than Previously Thought

Native Americans and Northern Europeans More Closely Related Than Previously Thought

First Operational F-35 Squadron Honored in Historic Ceremony

U.S. Army: Overdue Recognition

Reason.tv: Texas Schools Track Students with RFID Chips! (Nanny of the Month, Nov '12)

Feinstein-Lee NDAA Amendment Passes, But Is It Enough?

Feinstein-Lee NDAA Amendment Passes, But Is It Enough?

RIA Novosti: New Kalashnikov Initial Testing ‘Complete’

RIA NovostiAK-12 assault rifleNew Kalashnikov Initial Testing ‘Complete’

19:43 30/11/2012 The latest version of Russia's world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifle, the AK-12, has completed a set of preliminary tests, the weapons-making agency responsible for trials of the new gun said on Friday.>>

Rome Reports: Meet Australia's new ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy

U.S. Navy Week In Review Nov. 17 - 30, 2012

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker
One of the most important duties I have serving as your Governor is to provide you directly with updates related to the operation of our state government. I also frequently provide updates on Facebook (Governor Scott Walker) and Twitter (@govwalker). Please feel free to share this update with your family, friends, and others who may be interested in state government operations.

 
Budgeting For the Next Generation
 
Last week, the Department of Administration released revenue projections and provided an update on the current state budget. The State of Wisconsin is projected to start fiscal year 2013 with a $342.1 million balance, which is the largest opening balance since fiscal year 2001.

On top of the positive opening balance, we are projected to deposit $125 million into the state’s rainy day fund. For the first time in history, Wisconsin will deposit funds into the rainy day fund in two consecutive fiscal years.

Heading into the next budget, we are in the unique position of having anticipated surpluses, increased revenue, and projected economic growth. I’m excited about the opportunities we have to build a better Wisconsin for the next generation.


 
Reducing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
 
Earlier this week, the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Elimination Task Force issued its third quarterly report of 2012. It includes citizen suggestions and highlights state actions that have helped save money and make government more efficient.

Each quarter, the Task Force will issue a report highlighting these suggestions and other efforts to curb government waste. To view the new report, please click here.

Anyone can submit suggestions to make government operate more efficiently by clicking here.



National Adoption Month
 
November marks National Adoption Month, which recognizes and honors those outstanding adoptive parents who have welcomed a child into their home. It’s important to remember the positive impact these adoptive families have in our communities.
At a ceremony in the State Capitol earlier this week, the Department of Children and Families recognized four amazing families with the 2012 Governor’s Outstanding Adoptive Parent award and honored four adoption advocates with the 2012 Governor’s Champion of Adoption award.

The four families chosen provide just a glimpse of the adoption picture in Wisconsin. Hundreds of families step forward to provide a home for over 700 children each year. I cannot say enough about how much we appreciate the dedication of our adoptive parents, as well as those who work tirelessly with the families throughout the adoption process.

All children deserve a loving and nurturing family and a stable home. Adoption is a great way to share something offering tremendous rewards for both the child and the adoptive parents. Children who are adopted have a sense of belonging and feel more secure which improves their self-esteem. Adoption provides a child with the greatest gift of all—a family.
For their remarkable commitment to the children and families of Wisconsin, the 2012 Governor’s Outstanding Adoptive Parents are: Amy and Ben Selenske of Madison, Dale and Lisa Bowser of Wisconsin Dells, Arletta Frazier-Tucker of Racine, and Joel and Kaia Beyer of Union Grove.

Receiving the 2012 Governor's Champions of Adoption awards were Theresa Roetter of Madison, an adoption attorney selected as a 2012 Angels in Adoption; Judge Chad Kerkman of Kenosha, who started Adoption Day in Kenosha County; Mary Grossnickle, who founded “Speaking of Adoption” and wrote the children’s book A Place in My Heart; and Julie and Bill Ryno, who founded UMOJA – A Black Heritage Experience, a heritage camp for families that adopt a child from a different culture.




 
Get to Know a Cabinet Member: Eloise Anderson
As Governor, one of the most important tasks I have is to appoint and communicate with leaders in each state agency. These leaders, called secretaries, ensure agencies run smoothly and efficiently as they operate state government and implement government reforms. For a few weeks, in lieu of the “Just Ask the Governor” section, I will be highlighting a cabinet secretary and providing a brief overview of the department he or she oversees. I hope these updates will provide you with practical information about state government operations, especially as we head into the next budget cycle.

Bringing Secretary Eloise Anderson to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) was great for Wisconsin! Eloise began her career in Milwaukee as a social worker before joining state government. She has more than 20 years of experience in public service, including playing an instrumental role in the creation of the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program.

Under Eloise’s leadership, DCF has focused on connecting low income individuals with jobs; providing families access to high-quality affordable early care and education; ensuring that children have financial support from both their parents; protecting the safety and well-being of children; and cracking down on fraud in the Wisconsin Shares subsidized child care program. DCF has approximately 700 employees and a billion dollar annual budget.

Eloise has focused on developing structures to ensure family stability and publicly elevated the role of involved fatherhood, which supports fathers as nurturing providers. She deeply shares my goal to have every child in Wisconsin reading at, or above, grade level when they come out of elementary school. DCF is a key partner in supporting my “Read to Lead” initiative, which recognizes quality early childhood education and is critical to ensuring the future leaders of our state are given the educational foundation they need to achieve success.

Eloise has two adult children and two grandsons. She lives in Marshall with her husband, Patrick. She is an avid golfer and enjoys Wisconsin’s beautiful golf courses whenever she can. Eloise’s personal philosophy is we should all be lifelong learners and she exemplifies this belief by taking piano lessons.



It has been a pleasure communicating with you. It is an honor to serve as your Governor and represent the residents of Wisconsin.
Sincerely,

Governor Scott Walker