BREAKING UP WITH BARACK OBAMA/A LETTER FROM MAGGIE

This one needs no introduction …

Dear Prez Obama,

It was really cool to get to vote for u and all, but I really dont think this is gonna work. I dont like politics but I thought u were cool so I went to one of ur rallies on campus and all my friends and I had ur bumper stickers on our notebooks. But Im like really really mad about this oil spill. I mean its like our environment! Ya know? I love to going beach to get tanned and now I wont be able to if there is oil there. OMG. And there are other things like my dad still doesnt have a job. That sucks because my parents stopped sending me money every month, so when my friends wanna go out and drink and whatever, I cant go. Major bummer. Ya know? So I was like really really bummed because whenever I go to the student union, they are always have the TVs on MSNBC and even THEY say they dont like you anymore. And since I dont really like politics, I gotta believe that the TV people are right. So yeah .. I dont know if I am going to vote again. When is the next time you are running for Prez??

Luv Alwayz,

Maggie

Tea Party Coalition Wants Sponsors to Pull Ads from ‘Hardball’

By Chris Ariens

A coalition of Tea Party groups is calling on advertisers to pull their commercials from “Hardball” over host Chris Matthews’ new documentary “The Rise of the New Right.” The doc, which debuted last night at 7pmET and came in second in its timeslot (behind FNC) as well as being MSNBC’s second-most watched show of the night (behind Countdown), is being called a “left-wing propaganda hit piece” by the Tea Party groups, reports The Daily Caller.

“Chris Matthews and MSNBC have just delivered one of the most dishonest pieces of propaganda posing as journalism in American broadcast and cable television history,” said National Tea Party Coalition co-founder Michael Patrick Leahy.

Activists say Matthews selectively portrayed groups and individuals in the program in a bad light. “The Tea Party movement I know looks nothing like the one portrayed on MSNBC,” said FreedomWorks grassroots director Brendan Steinhauser. “It is made up of good, hardworking, honest, smart people who love their country. It is a movement that reflects the best in America.”

Now, the National Tea Party Federation is calling for supporters to contact sponsors of “Hardball” and ask them to pull their ads.

As an interesting side note, The Daily Caller is run by Matthews’ former MSNBC colleague Tucker Carlson

United States rallies to tie Slovenia

The United States rallied from two goals down at halftime to salvage a 2-2 draw with Slovenia on Friday in Group C.

Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan scored in the second half as the United States denied the Slovenian’s a win that would have made them the first team to advance to the knockout round.

“This team still understands how to fight for 90 minutes,” United States coach Bob Bradley said. “This is something we’ve seen time and time again.”

Valter Birsa scored in the 13th minute and Zlatan Ljubijankic doubled the score for Slovenia in the 42nd.

The result at a cold and blustery Ellis Park left Group C wide open, with the last round of group stage matches to decide which teams move on.

Bradley scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute from Jozy Altidore’s header. Altidore nudged it forward and Bradley, running at full speed, caught up to it just in front of the goal and tapped it up and over Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic’s head for the equalizer.

United States substitute Maurice Edu volleyed Donovan’s free kick into the net in the 86th but the goal was disallowed as the referee called a foul on Edu.

“I still don’t know why the goal was disallowed,” Bradley said. “Nobody knows at this moment.”

Donovan gave the Americans hope at the start of the second half. Picking up a long pass from Steve Cherundolo, he broke in from the right flank and blasted a right-footer into the top of the net from a tight angle. It was Donovan’s 43rd goal for the United States.

“I’m a little gutted to be honest,” Donovan said. “I don’t know how they stole that last goal from us… I’m not sure what the call was. He (the referee) wouldn’t tell us what the call was.”

Birsa scored from 25 yards, stunning United States goalkeeper Tim Howard, who stood frozen on the goal line and watched the shot drift into his upper left corner.

The Slovenian winger was left unchallenged by a passive American defense and had ample time to adjust his aim before curling the shot perfectly with his left foot.

Ljubijankic doubled the score on a counterattack, set up by attacking partner Milivoje Novakovic. Howard rushed out to stop him but Ljubijankic kept his cool and slotted the ball inside the far post.

Arizona Governor Vows to Fight Any Federal Lawsuit Over Immigration Law

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 3, 2010, after a private meeting with President Barack Obama. (AP)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer expressed outrage Thursday over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments that the Obama administration will sue over Arizona’s controversial immigration law — and Brewer said she’s ready for a fight.

Clinton said in an interview with a TV station
in Ecuador that the Obama administration “will be bringing” suit against Arizona for its immigration law, though the Justice Department for weeks has said that the issue is still under review.

“What a disappointment,” Brewer told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, saying she was shocked the administration would make such an announcement on foreign TV without giving Arizona officials the news first. Her office hadn’t heard from the administration as of Thursday evening.

“We are not going to back away from this issue,” Brewer said. “We are going to pursue it, we’re going to be very aggressive,” Brewer said. “We’ll meet them in court … And we will win.”

She added: “The population of America agrees with Arizona.”

In a clip of the interview posted on a conservative blog, Clinton was asked how the Obama administration was handling the debate over the law.

“President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act,” the secretary of state responded, before calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have both criticized the Arizona law, but the administration has maintained that its attorneys are reviewing the legislation
to determine the next step.

Clinton was in Latin America last week for the general assembly of the Organization of American States in Peru.

Despite the release of the interview, a Justice spokesman said Thursday that the department “continues to review the law.”

Another Justice official could not confirm whether the White House directed the department to sue, but said the White House would be within its rights to do so.

“It would not be inappropriate for the White House to tell us to sue. It’s not a criminal matter,” the official said.

On April 23, Brewer, a Republican, signed what is considered the toughest legislation in the nation targeting illegal immigrants. It is set to go into effect July 29 pending multiple legal challenges and the Justice Department’s review.

The law requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” they’re in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state’s streets.

The law’s stated intention is to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and discourage them from coming in the first place. It has outraged civil rights groups, drawn criticism from Obama and led to marches and protests organized by people on both sides of the issue.

The law’s backers say Congress isn’t doing anything meaningful about illegal immigration, so it’s the state’s duty to address the issue.

A State Department spokesman said the department would defer to the Justice Department “on what legal steps are available.”

“The president and Secretary (Clinton) have said clearly that the administration opposes the Arizona law,” spokesman Andy Laine said. “A number of leaders in the region have raised the issue with the United States. It came up during her recent trip to South America. As the secretary said, a better solution is comprehensive immigration reform.”

EXCLUSIVE: Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base

By Jana Winter

A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members of the Afghan military who have gone AWOL from an Air Force base in Texas where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, FoxNews.com has learned.

The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, “Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.],” written by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas and obtained by FoxNews.com.

The Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) bulletin was distributed to local and federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday night.

The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The DLI program teaches English to military pilot candidates and other air force prospects from foreign countries allied with the U.S.

“I can confirm that 17 have gone missing from the Defense Language Institute,” said Gary Emery, Chief of Public Affairs, 37th Training Wing, at Lackland AFB. “They disappeared over the course of the last two years, and none in the last three months.”

The most recent Afghan to disappear from Lackland was First Lt. Javed Aryan, who went AWOL in January 2010, Emery told FoxNews.com. The others listed in the NCIS report disappeared at various times last year.

Each of the missing Afghans was issued a Department of Defense Common Access Card, an identification card used to gain access to secure military installations, with which they “could attempt to enter DOD installations,” according to the bulletin. Base security officers were encouraged to disseminate the bulletin to their personnel.

“The visas issued to these personnel have been revoked, or are in the process of being revoked. Lookouts have been placed in TECS,” it reads.

Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), which is shared by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is a computer-based database used to identify people suspected of violating federal law.

Afghans are not the only foreign military who have gone AWOL from Lackland, Emery said.

“In 2009, the Defense Language Institute English Language Center reported two other students from countries other than Afghanistan went missing,” he told FoxNews.com. “They include one Iraqi who requested asylum in Houston and one Djiboutian whose status is unknown. To date in 2010, one student from Tunisia and one from Guinea Bissau have gone AWOL in addition to the Afghani student [Aryan] who went AWOL in January.

“To put these numbers in perspective,” Emery said, “more than 3,400 international students entered training at DLI in 2009, including 228 from Afghanistan.”

A senior law enforcement official said Friday that the Afghans’ disappearance was more of an immigration violation than a security threat, saying there are no “strong indications to any terrorism nexus or impending threat.”

The official further said that an unspecified number of the 17 have been caught. “A number of these guys have already been located or accounted for by now,” the official said. “Some are in removal proceedings to be deported already. (Authorities) still need to locate the others, and that is why the bulletin went out.”

The official said the information is “kind of old” — up to two years — but added, “It is important in the sense that some people look to come to the U.S. and will take advantage of invitations to train or attend a conference or to study, etc. But their real intention is to get to the U.S. and start a new life. It is not completely rare for this to happen….

“Although we are vigilant and need to work toward not allowing this to happen,” the official said, this alert should “not necessarily” be described as “a national security threat, more of a ‘hey these guys violated our laws and we need to find them.'”

Included in the bulletin are photos of the 17 men, accompanied by their dates of birth and their TECS Lookout numbers.

Click here for the names of the 17 Afghan military members named in the alert.

The bulletin requests, “If any Afghan pictured herein is encountered, detain the subject and contact your local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, the FBI or NCIS.”

“When a DLI student goes missing,” Emery said, “officials report the incident to the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the sponsoring service branch. Invitational Travel Orders, passports, driver licenses, and airline tickets are revoked in order to hamper travel opportunities for the missing students.”

The FBI and NCIS did not respond to requests for comment. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman referred FoxNews.com to the FBI.

So What’s a Patriot to Do? Confront a Liberal Today

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

We’re at a pivotal moment in American history. Never in our lifetimes have the consequences of liberal big government been on such ubiquitous display, not only here, but everywhere we look. The socialist democracies of Western Europe stand at the precipice of complete downfall. Many of our own liberal states are facing the same bankrupt status. Our own federal debt is choking the life out of any hope for quick recovery. A president in so far over his head that he is drowning in his own useless rhetoric has become an embarrassment to the nation. And plenty of enemy states are just chomping at the bit ready to pounce at our weakness.

Many who stay conscientiously involved in politics on a daily basis seem ready to throw in the proverbial towel on America and go down in ignominious defeat like the Europeans. Just follow them off the cliff because nothing can be done to stop it. It’s too late. The socialists’ march through our institutions has gone too far; it can’t be reversed. I’ve heard and read this sentiment over and over again of late. Our grand Republic, say the defeatists, is just one step shy of the historical grave.

Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that things are very grave. But grave, as in buried? I don’t think so. And I’ll be darned if I want to be on the same team with anyone else who does think this way. Because defeatism is like a deadly virus. It spreads by word of mouth. If left unchecked, defeatism eventually chokes the very life out of human free will.

I’ve never seen — outside of real war — a moment when we Americans more needed to get back in touch with our inner Patriot.

Who were those people that risked all in their fight for liberty? They were people just like us. They had families to support. They had lived a certain way all their lives, and just like us, probably saw life continuing on in much the same way for their children.

Until it finally dawned on them that it wasn’t going to work out that way. Things were growing worse in the colonies, just as they are now nearly 300 years later. Tyranny is a beast never satiated, after all. But the colonists didn’t want to believe that any more than we have wanted to believe it, simply because once they saw the truth, they would have to choose. And that choosing inevitably meant real suffering. Real risk.

Our patriot ancestors didn’t just wake up one morning and preemptively realize that if they were willing, as a generation, to sacrifice the lives of about 5,000 men, agree to get another 10,000 or so wounded, let a finite number of homes be burned to the ground and so many fortunes lost, then they could usher in a fundamentally different era in the annals of civilization. No, they were just like us, suddenly so caught in a tyranny of taxation and over-bearing law they could no longer endure it.

And what did they do about it, our patriot ancestors?

The very first thing they did was to get out of their comfort zones and into their meeting places — their taverns and churches and offices and homes. There they confronted their more complacent, loyalist-bent friends, neighbors and co-workers. Our patriot ancestors did not buckle under in cowardice and shy from the verbal confrontations so necessary to change minds and hearts.

The very first rule of revolution — and of counter-revolution, which is what we are in now — is that thoughts and words must precede all other actions. The return to our American brand of common sense will come one person at a time. Discounting the impact one individual can have is the silver bullet that can kill a resistance movement with a single shot.

It is now time for all good patriots to get a grip and confront a liberal today.

We all know at least one liberal. And we all know, too, that while there are indeed a group of diehard revolutionaries running the show on the left, most — yes, most — liberals are minding their own business, going to work, raising kids, helping out at church or synagogue, leading the PTA and the myriad other things that we Americans do. Many liberals may seem brainwashed to us but most have just stopped thinking much beyond the platitudes they heard in school or from the liberal MSM, or vote Democrat because their parents did or haven’t yet hit their own heads into the brick wall of tyranny that our federal government has become.

It’s vital at this very opportune teaching moment, when the Obama they saw as a political savior is standing proverbially naked on the Gulf, to confront them with the choice they made. To call them out. To ask the hard questions: Are you sure you voted wisely? Are you happy with the change we’ve gotten? Do you still have hope in liberal big government to solve all the world’s problems?

Many conservatives now seem to believe that our liberal brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors and co-workers are simply too far round the bend to bother with. That we would only be wasting both breath and energy to try to engage with them. That we would end up on the rhetorically bloody end of a racist jab to our throats or a swastika painted on our homes. And that, after suffering such abuse, we would still have nothing whatsoever to show for the effort.

I’m well aware, perhaps more than most, of the Alinsky influence on the entirety of our civil discourse. I’ve been studying the tactic of political ridicule for a few years now, and I think we can all admit that even the most nitwit liberal follower — who hasn’t got a lick of real fact to back up a single taunt he hurls — has, at least, got ridicule down pat. Now, Alinsky may have considered ridicule to be man’s most potent weapon but he was flat-out wrong.

Ridicule only wins when its opponent bows down before it and gets just as low-down dirty, or when its opponent retreats into cowardly silence.

Contrary to the Alinsky doctrines, truth is man’s most potent weapon.

And confronting a liberal with the truth about the ineptitude of big government — no matter what “savior” is in charge — ought not be that difficult at the moment. The Gulf debacle is blowing all liberal claims of Obama’s extraordinary presidential prowess and the competency assertions of federal bureaucracy to kingdom come.

The latest Rasmussen polling, taken just before president know-nothing gave his big speech Tuesday night, shows the glow is not only off that rose, but the stink of decay is already setting in. The President got a strongly-approve rating from only 26%, while those strongly disapproving hit a whopping 46%, giving him an indexed rating of negative 20 points. The most important index to follow, in my mind, is among independents, of whom a full 52% disapprove of the way Obama is handling his whole job as president. With numbers like those, there are millions of Americans ready to be confronted.

It should not matter whether an Obama voter changes his mind on the spot, when confronted with the truth regarding the ramifications of his vote. It’s pretty much human nature for all of us to become somewhat defensive when confronted with evidence that goes against our thinking bent. But none of us can know whether the liberal so confronted, who slams back at us in defensive anger, does not go home and in privacy there, really give the matter some thought. At pivotal moments such as these, when lies are exposed as transparently as they are now, that’s the time to charge in with truth.

Neither you nor I can take responsibility for what a liberal does with the truth we foist upon him. Only he can take accountability for that. But not knowing how our confrontation will turn out, whether for good or naught, should not deter us from our mission to save America – one voter at a time.

A single verbal confrontation, using truth as a weapon, is like one bullet fired at the enemy in war. One shot of confrontation may not kill all the liberal lies in a voter’s mind, but it may wound enough lies seriously enough that time and events will take care of the rest.

At a time such as this – when our Republic is on the line — no wise patriot can afford to be silent. A few words of truth might actually begin the chain reaction of common sense regained that’s heard around the world.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at http://www.kyleanneshiver.com.

BP Oil Spill: Against Gov. Jindal’s Wishes, Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard

59 Days Into Oil Crisis, Gulf Coast Governors Say Feds Are Failing Them

By DAVID MUIR and BRADLEY BLACKBURN

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.
Louisiana Governor Jindal frustrated over decision-making red tape.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. “Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”

Watch “World News” for David Muir’s report from Louisiana tonight.

Sixteen barges sat stationary today, although they were sucking up thousands of gallons of BP’s oil as recently as Tuesday. Workers in hazmat suits and gas masks pumped the oil out of the Louisiana waters and into steel tanks. It was a homegrown idea that seemed to be effective at collecting the thick gunk.

“These barges work. You’ve seen them work. You’ve seen them suck oil out of the water,” said Jindal.

So why stop now?

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.

“We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

Louisiana Governor Couldn’t Overrule Coast Guard

The governor said he didn’t have the authority to overrule the Coast Guard’s decision, though he said he tried to reach the White House to raise his concerns.

“They promised us they were going to get it done as quickly as possible,” he said. But “every time you talk to someone different at the Coast Guard, you get a different answer.”

After Jindal strenuously made his case, the barges finally got the go-ahead today to return to the Gulf and get back to work, after more than 24 hours of sitting idle.

Along Gulf Coast, Governors Ask, ‘Who’s In Charge?’

Fifty-nine days into the crisis, it still can be tough to figure out who is in charge in Louisiana, and the problem appears to be the same in other Gulf Coast states.

In Alabama today, Gov. Bob Riley said that he’s had problems with the Coast Guard, too.

Riley, R-Ala., asked the Coast Guard to find ocean boom tall enough to handle strong waves and protect his shoreline.

$7-a-gallon gas?

Obama: Using Gulf crisis to push unpopular cap-and-trade bill.

The folly of O’s oil-spill ‘fix’

By BEN LIEBERMAN

President Obama has a solution to the Gulf oil spill: $7-a-gallon gas.

That’s a Harvard University study’s estimate of the per-gallon price of the president’s global-warming agenda. And Obama made clear this week that this agenda is a part of his plan for addressing the Gulf mess.

So what does global-warming legislation have to do with the oil spill?

Good question, because such measures wouldn’t do a thing to clean up the oil or fix the problems that led to the leak.

The answer can be found in Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now-famous words, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

That sure was true of global-warming policy, and especially the cap-and-trade bill. Many observers thought the measure, introduced last year in the House by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), was dead: The American people didn’t seem to think that the so-called global-warming crisis justified a price-hiking, job-killing, economy-crushing redesign of our energy supply amid a fragile recovery. Passing another major piece of legislation, one every bit as unpopular as ObamaCare, appeared unlikely in an election year.

So Obama and congressional proponents of cap-and-trade spent several months rebranding it — downplaying the global-warming rationale and claiming that it was really a jobs bill (the so-called green jobs were supposed to spring from the new clean-energy economy) and an energy-independence bill (that will somehow stick it to OPEC).

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) even reportedly declined to introduce their new cap-and-trade proposal in the Senate on Earth Day, because they wanted to de-emphasize the global-warming message. Instead, Kerry called the American Power Act “a plan that creates jobs and sets us on a course toward energy independence and economic resurgence.”

But the new marketing strategy wasn’t working. Few believe the green-jobs hype — with good reason. In Spain, for example, green jobs have been an expensive bust, with each position created requiring, on average, $774,000 in government subsidies. And the logic of getting us off oil imports via a unilateral measure that punishes American coal, oil and natural gas never made any sense at all.

Now the president is repackaging cap-and-trade — again — as a long-term solution to the oil spill. But it’s the same old agenda, a huge energy tax that will raise the cost of gasoline and electricity high enough so that we’re forced to use less.

The logic linking cap-and-trade to the spill in the Gulf should frighten anyone who owns a car or truck. Such measures force up the price at the pump — Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs thinks it “may require gas prices greater than $7 a gallon by 2020” to meet Obama’s stated goal of reducing emissions 14 percent from the transportation sector.

Of course, doing so would reduce gasoline use and also raise market share for hugely expensive alternative fuels and vehicles that could never compete otherwise. Less gasoline demand means less need for drilling and thus a slightly reduced chance of a repeat of the Deepwater Horizon spill — but only slightly. Oil will still be a vital part of America’s energy mix.

Oil-spill risks should be addressed directly — such as finding out why the leak occurred and requiring new preventive measures or preparing an improved cleanup plan for the next incident. Cap-and-trade is no fix and would cause trillions of dollars in collateral economic damage along the way.

Emanuel was wrong. The administration shouldn’t view each crisis — including the oil spill — as an opportunity to be exploited, but as a problem to be addressed. And America can’t afford $7-a-gallon gas.

Ben Lieberman is senior anal yst of energy and environmental policy in The Heritage Founda tion’s Roe Institute.

New Murphy Poll Suggests Maryland Voters Willing to “Shop Around” Before November Gubernatorial Election

Crofton, Maryland – Brian Murphy, Republican Candidate for Governor of Maryland, today released polling data which confirmed the possibility of an upset victory in November. The poll, conducted by the polling companyTM, inc., whose CEO is nationally- regarded political analyst Kellyanne Conway, shows Maryland voters prefer not to settle for an Ehrlich-O’Malley rematch. The survey also found that voters would be very or somewhat likely to support a businessman over either Ehrlich or O’Malley, and that they would support a candidate who would pledge to not raise taxes. Both factors play well for Murphy’s candidacy, as Murphy is a businessman, and is the only candidate who has committed to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Given his recent entrance into statewide politics, Murphy’s name identification unsurprisingly lagged behind Ehrlich’s and O’Malley’s (27% vs. 92% vs. 96% respectively). All three candidates enjoyed net positive favorable-to-unfavorable ratings, but Ehrlich and O’Malley under-performed their favorability ratings in their ballot tests while Murphy over-performed his.

In 2006, Martin O’Malley defeated Bob Ehrlich by approximately 7 percentage points (53% to 46%), and four years earlier, Ehrlich became governor with 52% of the vote. Yet, neither O’Malley nor Ehrlich performs at or above (or within the margin of error) their past levels of victory in hypothetical ballot tests. They are both under 50%, with a comparable number of voters open to another option.

In the latest poll, O’Malley and Ehrlich were in a statistical dead-heat: 44% to 43%. However, only 28% definitely will vote for incumbent Governor O’Malley and 31% were firmly committed to former Governor, an “incumbent” once removed, Ehrlich.

In a match-up against Martin O’Malley, Brian Murphy trailed 44% to 25%, with 31% of voters undecided. The outcome is not surprising considering Murphy’s low name recognition. But the data show Murphy’s signed pledge to not raise taxes resonates with likely voters, a fact that would allow him to show vivid contrast in a general election against the fiscally unrestrained O’Malley.

The poll also showed that 46% of likely voters “wish there was someone else running to support,” and that 50% would be very or somewhat likely “to support someone for Governor of Maryland who has never held political office, but has a strong business background, over Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley.”

When given blind ballot tests (without the names attached), 51% of voters favored a candidate who pledges not to raise taxes over one who grew the government by 40% (19%) or who raised taxes to record levels (12%).

In response to this poll, Mr. Murphy made the following statement:

“We started this campaign because we knew Maryland could do better. The Ehrlich-O’Malley question was settled in 2006. As a voter, I wanted a new choice. I wanted someone who would balance our budget, without raising taxes. I wanted someone who would bring sound business principles to Annapolis to help grow our economy. And this poll shows the majority of Marylanders feel the same way.”

“Yes, our campaign must overcome low name recognition. We knew that from the beginning. But Maryland voters are hungry for leaders with vision and conviction. And if given the choice, I’d prefer having to overcome low name recognition than having to overcome Bob Ehrlich’s or Martin O’Malley’s poor record. Name recognition can be addressed. A poor record cannot.”

———–

Brian Murphy and Robert Ehrlich are running in the Republican Primary on September 14. Governor Martin O’Malley is running in the Democratic Party Primary on September 14. The winners of the respective parties’ elections will square off against each other in the November 2 General Election.

Brian Murphy is a successful Maryland businessman with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is founder of the Plimhimmon Group, whose first investment, the Smith Island Baking Company, has been featured in The Washington Post, the Wharton Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Businessweek and other publications for its principled approach to job creation in Maryland.

The live telephone poll of 508 likely voters was conducted June 8-10, 2010. Respondents were selected randomly from a list of registered voters in Maryland, and were screened to ensure registration to vote in Maryland and likeliness to participate in the upcoming general election. Sampling controls were employed to ensure proportional numbers of respondents were interviewed by demographic characteristics such as race, age, gender, party registration, and geographic region, as those characteristics are reported by the latest publicly available statistics from the State of Maryland and the United States Census data.

For more information on the Brian Murphy for Governor Campaign, see http://www.brianmurphy2010.com. To set up a press or media interview, contact Karla Graham at karla@brianmurphy2010.com or (410) 924-4577.

Obama Admin. Argues in Court That Individual Mandate Is a Tax

By Philip Klein

In order to protect the new national health care law from legal challenges, the Obama administration has been forced to argue that the individual mandate represents a tax — even though Obama himself argued the exact opposite while campaigning to pass the legislation.

Late last night, the Obama Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the Florida-based lawsuit against the health care law, arguing that the court lacks jurisdiction and that the State of Florida and fellow plaintiffs haven’t presented a claim for which the court can grant relief. To bolster its case, the DOJ cited the Anti-Injunction Act, which restricts courts from interfering with the government’s ability to collect taxes.

The Act, according to a DOJ memo supporting the motion to dismiss, says that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person, whether or not such person is the person against whom such tax was assessed.” The memo goes on to say that it makes no difference whether the disputed payment it is called a “tax” or “penalty,” because either way, it’s “assessed and collected in the same manner” by the Internal Revenue Service.

But this is a characterization that Democrats, and specifically Obama, angrily denounced during the health care debate. Most prominently, in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Obama argued that the mandate was “absolutely not a tax increase,” and he dug into his view even after being confronted with a dictionary definition:

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…

OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.

OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

At the time Obama made that statement, the Senate Finance Committee had just released its own health care bill, which clearly referred to the mandate penalty as an “excise tax.” But in later versions, the word “tax” was stripped, because it had become too much of a political liability for Democrats. The final version that Obama signed did not describe the mandate as a tax, and used the Commerce Clause — not federal taxing power — as the Constitutional justification for the mandate.

“”This is an about face from what is laid out in the law,” said Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independent Business, which joined the Florida lawsuit against ObamaCare. “In the text of the healthcare law, the findings for passing an individual mandate specifically rely on the effects of individuals on the national economy and interstate commerce. Nowhere in the findings is the mandate referred to as a tax. The Justice Department is now calling it a tax to try and convince the court not to rule on whether or not Congress exceeded their authority under the Commerce Clause by legislating that all citizens must purchase private health insurance or face a penalty.”

Put another way, the administration is now arguing in federal court that Obama signed a massive middle-class tax increase, in violation of his campaign pledge.