Compromise & Ice Ages

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Sources tell me that  budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget.  That’s $23 billion dollars more than Democrats have previously agreed to in short-term continuing resolutions, and $28 billion less than Republicans previously passed in the House. (ABC)

WUSS!!!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

April 23rd: Easter Sunday.

Time for the “The Spring Egg Hunt.” 🙂

The Spring Bunny lays eggs.

Nice stinky Liberal ones.

Comment on Brooklyn Heights blog on their hunt:

David on Middagh : I think it’s because “Easter” derives from the name of a pagan goddess. I’m sure that not all who might wish to participate are pagans.
<<Barf bag on standby>>
Another Comment: I find PC Euphemisms far more offensive than “Easter” or “Christmas” In fact I find the whole “PC” mindset thoroughly nauseating.
AMEN!!
************
NEW ICE AGE
On the heels of the pronouncement by one of the gurus of global warming that any decrease in the earth’s temperature could be a thousand years away, another scientist has stepped forward with the warning that a new Ice Age could be right around the corner. Professor Tim Flannery, the head of Australia’s Climate Change Commission, sparked the latest scandal in the global warming community when he recently declared, “If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow, the average temperature of the planet’s not going to drop for several hundred years, perhaps over 1000 years.” As reported previously for The New American, Prof. Flannery has endeavored to ameliorate the effects of his comment by claiming that temperatures would begin to drop by the end of the century, but his millenarian prognostications served to highlight the ineffectiveness — even insignificance — of the proposed draconian reductions in the world’s industrial activity.However, if George Kukla is correct, the cooling which Flannery and his cohorts desire may be coming in spades. Kukla, a retired professor of paleoclimatology at Columbia University, believes the Earth is no overdue for an Ice Age. An article by Terrence Aym (“Prepare for new Ice Age now says top paleoclimatologist”) at Helium.com sets forth some of Kukla’s argument:

The “Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages dating back millions of years. Cold, glacial periods affecting the polar to mid-latitudes persist for about 100,000 years, punctuated by briefer, warmer periods called interglacials,” Kukla says.
Co-author of an important section of the book “Natural Climate Variability on Decade to Century Time Scales,” Kukla asserts all Ice Ages strat [sic] with a period of global warming. They are the the harbingers of new Ice Ages. Actually, he explains, warming is good. Ice Ages are deadly and may even kill millions.
Can Mankind stop it? No. Just as humanity cannot affect the long term climate of the planet, neither can it stop an Ice Age from happening. The climate is primarly [sic] driven by the sun.

Kukla has been warning of the possibility of new Ice Age for some time, and the cycle which he and other scientists believe may drive the process of climate change has been observed since at least the 1920s. Eleven years ago, Kukla gave a brief summary of his view on the cause of climate change for an article published by the Columbia University News:

In fact, the geologic record reveals that Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages dating back millions of years. Cold, glacial periods affecting the polar to mid-latitudes persist for about 100,000 years, punctuated by briefer, warmer periods called interglacials. The Holocene is just another interglacial that is more than half over, Kukla said.
It turns out that this ongoing cycle of glaciation closely matches cyclic variations in Earth’s orbit around the sun, leading many researchers to conclude that orbit drives glaciation. This correspondence between orbit and climate is called the Milankovich cycle, after the scientist who analyzed and popularized it in the 1920s.
“I feel we’re on pretty solid ground in interpreting orbit around the sun as the primary driving force behind ice-age glaciation. The relationship is just too clear and consistent to allow reasonable doubt,” Kukla said. “It’s either that, or climate drives orbit, and that just doesn’t make sense.”

Kukla claims that 116,000 years have passed since the last Ice Age; therefore, if the theory is correct, Earth would be overdue for global cooling.

Of course, Kukla is not the only advocate of a theory of a new Ice Age; the difference between him and some very prominent promoters of the theory is that his model does not recognize any connection between such an event and human activity. Obama’s science ‘czar,’ John Holdren, coauthored a book with Paul Ehrlich in 1971 predicting that “global over-population was heading the Earth to a new ice age unless the government mandated urgent measures to control population, including the possibility of involuntary birth control measures such as forced sterilization.” Now, the doom and gloom crowd have completely reversed their assessment of the disaster which they claim will soon befall the human race, but the “solution” remains the same: Devastate the human species.

As the global warming theory has withered under public scrutiny in the aftermath of the Climategate and Glaciergate scandals, the theory’s proponents have been dashing around looking for a way to push their agenda. Last year, Holdren tried to adjust the language of the climate change debate by promoting a new terminology of “global climate disruption.” The cultivated ambiguity of Holdren’s new phraseology permits virtually any anomalous weather activity to constitute “proof” of their theory—rendering the theory incapable of being falsified, which is usually a fine indicator of pseudoscience.

Thus, Kukla’s theory of a new Ice Age is utterly different from the Holdren/Ehrlich’s “new Ice Age” of the 1970s, or the “global warming” scare which has predominated in the circles of scientific apocalypticism in recent decades. If Kukla is right, the Ice Age will come according to its own schedule, and there’s nothing that the human race can do about it—except, of course, for enjoying the brief warming that precedes the big chill. (New American)

Remember, in 1975 the whackos who are screaming about Global Warming were talking about a coming Ice Age, until they decided it wasn’t working so they switched tacts.

But at least we have Spring Egg Hunts and Winter Festival Trees and Republican who can stick to their convictions… 😦

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

The Blame Game

The Capitol Hill rhetoric reached new levels of ugliness Tuesday as negotiations over some semblance of a federal budget gave way to finger-pointing, with Democrats blaming Tea Party freshmen for a potential government shutdown and Republicans calling those claims a fantasy.

Over the past few days, Democrats have pounded the argument that Congress would have been able to work out a budget deal long ago if not for the extreme demands of Tea Party-aligned lawmakers.

Sen. “Up-Chuck” Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, got on a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning without realizing the reporters were already listening in. Schumer thought he was on a private line with four Democratic senators who were to talk with reporters about the current budget stalemate.

Schumer instructed the group, made up of Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Tom Carper of Delaware, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, to tell reporters that the GOP is refusing to negotiate.

He told the group to make sure they label the GOP spending cuts as “extreme.”

“I always use extreme, Schumer said. “That is what the caucus instructed me to use.”

Someone must have finally told Schumer that the media were listening and he stopped talking midsentence.

Here’s a bit more of what he said about House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, according to my notes.

“The main thrust is basically that we want to negotiate and we want to come up with a compromise but the Tea Party is pulling Boehner too far over to the right and so far over that there is no more fruitful negotiations,” Schumer said on the call. “The only way we can avoid a shutdown is for Boehner to come up with a reasonable compromise and not just listen to what the Tea Party wants. “

Schumer described Boehner as “in a box,” over the budget negotiations.

“Unfortunately, there are a number of new people in the Congress who think that a compromise is a sellout,” House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday. He said there’s still room for compromise, but accused the “perfectionist caucus” — his latest term for the Tea Partiers — of dragging down the Republican leadership. Hoyer said he put the odds of a shutdown at “five or six” on a scale of 10.

“While Chuck Schumer and the Democratic caucus have been busy in a backroom crafting their ‘blame the Tea Party’ talking points, according to Rasmussen, 69 percent of Americans remain ‘angry’ or ‘very angry’ with the government,” said Mark Meckler, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots.

“Why? It’s not that complicated, and it’s definitely not because the American public thinks the government isn’t spending enough money,” he added. “It’s because the majority of the American voters sent a clear message to Washington D.C. in November to get their fiscal house in order, and to make the cuts that will put this country on a sustainable path. Clearly people like Chuck Schumer didn’t listen.” (Washington Examiner and Fox)

It’s not that they did listen. They don’t care. It’s all politics. It’s all about 2012. It’s all about getting their power back so that they can continue their self-serving, monetary drug-addict behavior.

It’s all very arrogant, and very much about THEM.

The petulant drug addicts don’t want to change their ways. Period.

So they are kicking a screaming and whining like children.

And plotting who’s going to take the fall for what they don’t want to do.

Make no mistake — THE DEMOCRATS ARE CHEERLEADING A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.

They remember how they pinned it on the Republicans the last time so they went back to that playbook.

And the Ministry of Truth Media will be more than happy to do 24/7 blame the Republicans broadcasts. They are probably writing and producing them now.

Be clear — THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOT INTERESTED IN ANY FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY OF ANY KIND.

And the Republicans are still too timid (Much like Obama’s foreign policy) to stand up to it.

The Tea Party is less timid, so that’s why they are the big target.

So since you can’t or won’t get anything done, time to point fingers and blame someone else!

“Make no mistake, if the government ends up shutting down, it will be because Senate Democrats refused to offer a real proposal that cuts spending and because the White House flatly refused to lead,” House Republican Leader Eric Cantor’s office said in a memo Tuesday.

As talks sour, both sides claim they can’t be held accountable since neither has a complete majority in Washington.

“It’s self-evident we don’t control Washington, or we wouldn’t be having this problem,” Hoyer said, arguing that Democrats would not be to blame if the government shuts down.

So it’s not their fault, so it must be The American People’s fault for wanting them to cut spending and live with their means.

We are the truly evil ones.

We want to make the monetary drug-addicts to something about their addiction.

And that’s just too hard for them. They just can’t do it.

So it’s our fault for wanting them to. 😦

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

God Has Spoken…

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Sorry, time-limited, scope-limited military action.Kinetically even! 🙂

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” Obama said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

…At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice.  Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people.  He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment.  In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day.  Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city.  We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”–President Obama Last night.

Gee, in 2009 when the student revolution against Ahmadinejad came and went when it was crushed BRUTALLY he did nothing. No outrage.

Darfur, in the Sudan must be next. That’s a genocide.

Then there’s North Korea.

China, people are sent to gulags and imprisoned or just “disappear” all the time.

How about Cuba, Venezuela, Ethopia, Zimbabwe…

Oh that’s right, Liberals hate having their shortcomings pointed out to them. They were righteous and we just let them be righteous and bask in their superiority.

And “feel good” liberalism.

They are all puffed up with a sense of greatness right now. The fact that they are ridiculously hypocritical, yet again, is not the be mentioned.

Especially, the “Gadhafi must go” and now he has he ruled out targeting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake.

So what is the end game here then?

And the rebels are now being supported by Al-Qaeda, and who’s supporting the Rebels, we are!

So that’s why I secretly think he wants the “rebels” to do it for him. Because if Gadhafi stays in power he will slaughter his enemies. That’s a given and Obama knows this. But his “superior morality” won’t extend to doing in war what you are supposed to do in war.

Win.

That’s dirty George Bush “unilateral” “cowboy” stuff.

Of course, since this is a tribal war, the rebels will undoubtedly slaughter the pro-Gadhafi forces if they win.

And if indeed, Al-Qaeda is supplying the rebels and the Muslim Brotherhood is behind the coming elections in Egypt, Obama may have just created the biggest, nastiest mess for the US in generations that could last generations.

But his heart was in the right place.

He had the best of intentions.

So cut him a break.

Sorry, NO!

The road to hell is pave with liberalism’s “good intentions”.

All thanks to our Dear Leader. 🙂

Victor David Hanson: President Obama just gave a weird speech. Part George W. Bush, part trademark Obama — filled with his characteristic split-the-difference, straw-man (“some say, others say”), false-choice tropes…

His dithering and confusing Orwellian  need to be a COMMUNITY ORIGINIZER, perhaps.

“Um, I think we’re all beginning to lose sight of the real issue here, which is “What are we going to call ourselves?” um, and I think it comes down to a choice between `The League Against Salivating Monsters’ or my own personal preference, which is `The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society’. Um, one drawback with that… the abbreviation is `CLITORIS’.- Red Dwarf episode “Polymorph”.

So that’s why he waited a month and up to the point where the resurgent Gadhafi was about to crush the rebels with superior firepower.

I think somewhere a flock of ducks just went lame.

So it’s up to his superior morality to decide who is being slaughtered and whose not.

He’s God. The decision of who lives and who dies is in his hands.

Gee, that sounds like ObamaCare. 🙂

And as for the liberal harp count on how much Iraq and Afghanistan cost (in just 6 days):

One week after an international military coalition intervened in Libya, the cost to U.S. taxpayers has reached at least $600 million, according figures provided by the Pentagon.

U.S. ships and submarines in the Mediterranean have unleashed at least 191 Tomahawk cruise missiles from their arsenals to the tune of $268.8 million, the Pentagon said.

U.S. warplanes have dropped 455 precision guided bombs, costing tens of thousands of dollars each.

downed Air Force F-15E fighter jet will cost more than $60 million to replace.

And operation of the war craft, guzzling ever-expensive fuel to maintain their positions off the Libyan coast and in the skies above, could reach millions of dollars a week, experts say.

In 6 days, God made $600 million dollars that we don’t have disappear. So how long before we need a “stimulus” or a “quantitative easing” to borrow more money for the Chinese for this war that isn’t war because Liberals don’t even recognize the word exists when they start one.

In 6 Days God made a mountain of debt, again!

But damn if they don’t “feel good” about themselves and puffed up their superior moral selves!

And how dare you poke holes in their superiority!

How dare you question GOD himself!

Charles Krauthammer: President Obama is proud of how he put together the Libyan operation. A model of international cooperation. All the necessary paperwork. Arab League backing. A Security Council resolution. (Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States, a minor inconvenience for a citizen of the world.) It’s war as designed by an Ivy League professor.

True, it took three weeks to put this together, during which time Moammar Qaddafi went from besieged, delusional (remember those youthful protesters on “hallucinogenic pills”) thug losing support by the hour — to resurgent tyrant who marshaled his forces, marched them to the gates of Benghazi, and had the U.S. director of national intelligence predicting that “the regime will prevail.”

But what is military initiative and opportunity compared with paper?

Well, let’s see how that paper multilateralism is doing. The Arab League is already reversing itself, criticizing the use of force it just authorized. Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, is shocked — shocked! — to find that people are being killed by allied airstrikes. This reaction was dubbed mystifying by one commentator, apparently born yesterday and thus unaware that the Arab League has forever been a collection of cynical, warring, unreliable dictatorships of ever-shifting loyalties. A British soccer mob has more unity and moral purpose. Yet Obama deemed it a great diplomatic success that the League deigned to permit others to fight and die to save fellow Arabs for whom 19 of 21 Arab states have yet to lift a finger.

And what about that brilliant U.N. resolution?

● Russia’s Vladimir Putin is already calling the Libya operation a medieval crusade.

● China is calling for a cease-fire to be put in place — which would completely undermine the allied effort by leaving Qaddafi in power, his people at his mercy, and the country partitioned and condemned to ongoing civil war.

● Brazil joined China in that call for a cease-fire. This just hours after Obama ended his fawning two-day Brazil visit. Another triumph of presidential personal diplomacy.

And how about NATO? Let’s see. As of this writing, Britain wanted the operation to be led by NATO. France adamantly disagreed, citing Arab sensibilities. Germany wanted no part of anything, going so far as to pull four of its ships from NATO command in the Mediterranean. France and Germany walked out of a NATO meeting on Monday, while Norway had planes in Crete ready to go but refused to let them fly until it had some idea who the hell is running the operation. And Turkey, whose prime minister four months ago proudly accepted the Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, has been particularly resistant to the Libya operation from the beginning.

And as for the United States, who knows what American policy is. Administration officials insist we are not trying to bring down Qaddafi, even as the president insists that he must go. Although on Tuesday Obama did add “unless he changes his approach.” Approach, mind you.

In any case, for Obama, military objectives take a back seat to diplomatic appearances. The president is obsessed with pretending that we are not running the operation — a dismaying expression of Obama’s view that his country is so tainted by its various sins that it lacks the moral legitimacy to . . . what? Save Third World people from massacre?

Obama seems equally obsessed with handing off the lead role. Hand off to whom? NATO? Quarreling amid Turkish resistance (see above), NATO still can’t agree on taking over command of the airstrike campaign, which is what has kept the Libyan rebels alive.

This confusion is purely the result of Obama’s decision to get America into the war and then immediately relinquish American command. Never modest about himself, Obama is supremely modest about his country. America should be merely “one of the partners among many,” he said Monday. No primus inter pares for him. Even the Clinton administration spoke of America as the indispensable nation. And it remains so. Yet at a time when the world is hungry for America to lead — no one has anything near our capabilities, experience, and resources — America is led by a man determined that it should not.

A man who dithers over parchment. Who starts a war from which he wants out right away. Good God. If you go to take Vienna, take Vienna. If you’re not prepared to do so, better then to stay home and do nothing.

And on the 7th day, God went and played another round of golf while dreaming of being a sports analyst on ESPN… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Government Awesomeness

This is one of the single funniest videos EVER:

 

My Prediction on Obama’s Speech tonight: Orwell says “Mission Accomplished” 🙂

I won’t see the speech. I will be working to pay my bills and the bills of the 48% of people who don’t pay any. 😦

Not that the word “war” will pass his lips, most likely. In press briefings last week, our Libyan campaign was euphemized into a “kinetic military action” and a “time-limited, scope-limited military action.” (The online parodies were merciless: “Make love, not time-limited, scope-limited military actions!” “Let slip the muzzled canine unit of kinetic military action!”) Advertising tonight’s address, the White House opted for “the situation in Libya,” which sounds less like a military intervention than a spin-off vehicle for the famous musclehead from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” (Ross Douthat)

Gotta love Orwellian gibberish. 🙂

President Obama is proud of how he put together the Libyan operation. A model of international cooperation. All the necessary paperwork. Arab League backing. A Security Council resolution. (Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States, a minor inconvenience for a citizen of the world.)

It’s war as designed by an Ivy League professor. True, it took three weeks to put this together, during which time Moammar Gadhafi went from besieged, delusional thug losing support by the hour to resurgent tyrant who marshaled his forces, marched them to the gates of Benghazi and had the U.S. director of national intelligence predicting that “the regime will prevail.” (Charles Krauthammer).

They will protect civilians by not going after the guy who will kill them, Qaddafi! 🙂

And the reports that Al-Qaeda is supporting “the rebels”. No big deal. Qaddafi is evil. We just won’t do anything about him.

Obama is hoping the rebels will kill him so he doesn’t have to do it himself. But the rebels wouldn’t have this opportunity without the air strikes authored by him.

So now that NATO (which primarily US) has taken over, “Mission Accomplished”!!

Ta Da! Isn’t he awesome! 🙂

NEW TAX IDEA: Tax Driving!

Not feeling Taxed enough. You’re a Liberal who wants to stick it to the people. Well, the CBO has a new tax scheme for you.

And, of course, most importantly, it’s “fair”! 🙂

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has a suggestion for raising money to fix the nation’s highways: tax drivers based on how many miles they drive each year.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this week released a report that said taxing people based on how many miles they drive is a possible option for raising new revenues and that these taxes could be used to offset the costs of highway maintenance at a time when federal funds are short.

The report discussed the proposal in great detail, including the development of technology that would allow total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to be tracked, reported and taxed, as well as the pros and cons of mandating the installation of this technology in all vehicles.

CBO’s report stressed it was making no recommendations but seemed to support a VMT tax as a more accurate way of having drivers pay for the costs of highway maintenance. The report said miles driven is a larger factor in highway repairs than fuel consumption and suggested that having drivers pay for the real costs of highways “would involve imposing a combination of fuel taxes and per-mile charges.”

“About 25 percent of the nation’s highways, which carry about 85 percent of all road traffic, are paid for in part by the federal government….” reads the opening line of the paper. In other words, why should the federal government, already so strapped for cash, keeping paying so much for the highway while those who use them get a free ride?
The rest of the lead paragraph is just as baneful:
Federal spending on highways is funded primarily by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, but those and other taxes paid by highway users do not yield enough revenue to support either current federal spending on highways or the higher levels of spending that have been proposed by some observers. Although raising those taxes would bring in a larger amount of revenue, a more fundamental issue would remain: By themselves, fuel taxes cannot provide a strong incentive for people to avoid overusing highways — that is, to forgo trips for which the costs to themselves and others exceed the benefits. This study examines broad alternatives for federal funding of highways, focusing on fuel taxes and on taxes that could be assessed on the basis of the number of miles that vehicles travel.
As usual, the bureaucrats’ tactic is to create a problem (too many people “overusing highways”) then propose a solution (higher fuel taxes and taxes “assessed on the basis of the number of miles that vehicles travel”).
Just to be fair, the CBO assures the Senate that it (the CBO) isn’t alone in reckoning that taxing drivers for miles traveled is the most equitable method of closing the highway funding gap. They’ve got an impressive chorus backing up their taxing tune.
A consensus view of many transportation experts and economists is that a system of taxes on vehicle-miles traveled should be viewed as the leading alternative to fuel taxes as a source of funding for highways.
See? Lots of people (a “consensus”) agrees with the plan so it can’t be all bad.
And we all know it’s important to have “consensus” of “experts” before it crammed up your ass and down your throat for “your own good”.
It will be “fair”. 🙂
One possibility discusses by the CBO is the “pay at the pump” option for collecting the tax.
Implementation costs of a VMT system would depend heavily on its scope and scale but also would be affected by some choices about specific technologies. For example, initial capital costs might be higher but operational costs might be lower if the VMT taxes were collected “at the pump,” the method tested in the Portland pilot study and already used for collecting fuel taxes, rather than through periodic invoicing from a central office to individual users, the approach tested in the Puget Sound study. If VMT taxes were collected at the pump, each time fuel was purchased, information would be sent from a device in the vehicle to a device at the filling station. The data would identify the accumulated charges themselves or list miles traveled (identified if necessary by times and locations) since the previous purchase. The appropriate amount of taxes would be collected as part of the fuel- purchasing transaction.
Basically, “a device in the vehicle” would send data to the gas station, then onto, one assumes, the appropriate taxing agency, and the cost per gallon would be increased according to the VMT data collected.
Check your mail for the time and place of your appointment to have your car retrofitted with the government-approved VMT monitor.
Just Like ObamaCare, it’s for your own good!
To be fair (equitable), if you want smooth roads and you want to do the right thing and pay your fair share of the maintenance,  then the least you can do is surrender your privacy and let the government strap a VMT measuring device on your car. It’s the right thing. (New American-KFYI)
Now don’t you feel better. 🙂
Don’t worry about the trucking industry and all those goods that are transported across the country. It won’t impact your grocery bill and other products at all!
And will this go for jet fuel next? Imagine those thousands of gallons…
THE BORDER HAS NEVER BEEN SAFER
So with that Big Sis, Homeland Insecurity Secretary Janet Napalitano:
The Obama Administration has dedicated historic levels of manpower, technology, and infrastructure to the Southwest border to ensure the safety of border communities, and these resources have made a significant impact. Some of America’s safest communities are in the Southwest border region, with border city crime rates staying steady or dropping over the past decade. 

The security of our border communities strengthens the prosperity of the region. From San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas, hundreds of billions of dollars of commerce come across the border each year, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Thanks in part to the administration’s major investments to improve border infrastructure at our land ports of entry, the value of the trade crossing the Southwest border increased 22 percent in fiscal year 2010 alone.

Yet, local leaders in border communities say misinformation about the safety of the Southwest border is hurting their communities, driving potential visitors away and hurting local businesses.

The reality is that the Southwest border is open for business. El Paso, Texas is one of the best examples. Not only have crime statistics shown it to be one of the safest big cities in the country, but the value of imports crossing into the United States through El Paso has risen 40 percent just in the last year.

In fact, today I was in El Paso to meet with local officials and business leaders to discuss ways that we can help strengthen trade and travel in the region and help set the record straight about the safety and economic opportunities in their communities.

We all agree that the challenges at the border are real – but so is the progress we’ve made over the last two years. I’m proud to join with our border communities in spreading the word that the Southwest border is, indeed, open for business.

Janet Napolitano (DHS website)

Now is that special! 🙂
I know I feel better about government.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – forever.”– George Orwell

Black Gold, Texas Tea…

This was a bit of ObamaCare fun: http://www.askheritage.org/operation-obamacare/?utm_source=HeritageSpotlight&utm_medium=TextLink&utm_content=OperationObamacare&utm_campaign=2011AskHeritage

President Barack Obama says that Americans are “tired of talk” when it comes to rising gas prices. Unfortunately his administration continues to say one thing and do another on this critical economic front – ignoring opportunities to increase our oil supply while at the same time taking credit for production gains that he is actively seeking to dismantle.

Such doublespeak is obviously nothing new from Mr. Obama – although there is clearly a sense of urgency underlying his latest deception.

According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of gas in America reached $3.55 last week. That’s up 43 cents from a month ago – the second-fastest spike on record.

All told, gas prices have increased by 67 percent since Mr. Obama took office – and as the global economy grapples with a nuclear crisis in Japan, a sovereign debt crisis in Europe and war in the Middle East there is growing concern that further price hikes could put the brakes on a sluggish economic “recovery.”

In an effort to mollify these concerns, on March 8 the Obama administration released data showing that domestic oil production – at least in the Gulf of Mexico – had risen to its highest level in seven years.

“From 2008 to 2010, oil production from the Outer Continental Shelf increased more than a third – from 446 million barrels in 2008 to an more than 600 million barrels of estimated production in 2010,” White House climate change czar Heather Zichal said.

These figures – obtained from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – were trumpeted by Mr. Obama at a press conference four days later.

“Any notion that my administration has shut down oil production might make for a good political sound bite, but it doesn’t match up with reality,” Mr. Obama said. “We are encouraging offshore exploration and production.”

What the Obama administration neglects to point out, however, is that this expanded production is the result of policies implemented during the administration of former president George W. Bush. And while Mr. Obama announced a modest expansion of offshore drilling a year ago – he reversed course and imposed a six-month moratorium on new leases in the wake of the BP oil spill last summer. Also, earlier this month U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar told reporters that the “Obama moratorium” would be extended to cover the duration of the president’s first term in office.

So much for supporting expanded “exploration and production.”

He also failed to point out that domestic oil production remains 20 percent below its mid-1990 levels.

It’s down but it’s up. That’s normal Orwellian speak for him.

Not only that, leaked documents from the U.S. Department of Interior show that the Obama administration is considering closing off huge swaths of the Western United States to energy exploration – without Congressional approval or the consent of local authorities. (Townhall)

I guess this would be his near undeclared war that he’ll leave Congress out of the loop. After all, it’s for “good”, right?

The only thing expanding are job losses and the environmentalist LEFT’s need to be living in the 19th Century.

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago is nearly 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. But like many other communities across the country, it is suffering the consequences of his Administration’s anti-drilling agenda.

Illinois accounted for $376.2 million in shallow-water drilling expenditures over the past three years, according to an analysis by 14 oil and gas companies that spend money on vendors and subcontractors. The bulk of that money—$242.2 million—was spent in the Chicago district represented by Representative Danny Davis (D–IL).

It’s fresh evidence that Obama’s anti-drilling agenda is having a ripple effect across America since last year’s oil spill, claiming jobs not just in Louisiana and Texas but also in communities far removed from the shipyards in the Gulf of Mexico.

The study from the Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition paints a picture of the nationwide economic ramifications. Obama can’t even be blamed for playing politics. Five of the states that benefit most from shallow-water drilling backed him as a candidate in 2008. And Democrats represent many of the congressional districts that stand to lose millions.

The cost in jobs is startling. A new analysis by Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason projects national job losses at 19,000 from the drilling moratorium, with wage losses at $1.1 billion. About one-third of those jobs are located outside the Gulf region.

Nearly a year after imposing his anti-drilling agenda, it’s quite clear that Obama is carrying out misguided policies causing widespread harm.

And job losses aren’t the only consequence. The Obama Administration’s deliberate delay in issuing permits for both deepwater and shallow-water drilling has led to a sharp decline in oil production for the Gulf of Mexico this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration puts the figure at 240,000 fewer barrels every day.

With gas prices hovering around $3.56 per gallon nationwide, now is not the time to lower production. The only way to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil is to produce more of it here at home.

The recent approval of new drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico is a welcome and long overdue move by the Administration, but it’s nothing to celebrate. The pace of permitting is far below the historical average, and there’s no indication that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has any desire to return production to a pre-spill level.

Until that happens, expect more grim news like the unfortunate circumstances facing Seahawk Drilling, which was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a direct result of the bureaucratic delays at BOEMRE. Seahawk’s president and chief executive Randy Stilley, writing in The Washington Post, painted a dire picture:

The government’s drastic slowdown in the issuance of permits for shallow-water drilling operations—in which companies work in familiar geological formations, typically in less than 500 feet of water, mostly seeking to produce natural gas—has all but crippled the industry. The survivors (for now) like Hercules are staying afloat largely thanks to revenue from operations outside U.S. waters. Put another way, a once-proud industry born in the gulf during the Truman administration can no longer survive on operations in its own back yard.

Unless things change soon, Seahawk Drilling won’t be alone. Businesses located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, and New York—top recipients of shallow-water drilling spending—will all face economic consequences as well.

It’s time for lawmakers to take notice. Representative John Sullivan (R–OK), who represents a district with $87.2 million in shallow-water expenditures over the past three years, recognizes the impact. He told us: “Continuing to keep American sources of energy under lock and key by failing to issue drilling permits only serves to place American jobs at risk, drives up costs at the pump and deepens our dependence on foreign oil.”

Things don’t have to be this way. The House of Representatives must continue to conduct rigorous oversight of the Obama Administration, challenging the Administration’s excuses and applying pressure when necessary. America’s energy future depends on it. (Heritage Foundation)

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Freeloading America

This was just marvelous watching some elitist get skewered by Sen. Ran Paul over low-flow toilets, mercury-filled light bulbs and free choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAn1FWInBi0&feature=player_embedded

John Stossel: Some Americans actually make a living … begging for money. Professional panhandlers, they’re called, sometimes making more than $100 in a day. I tried it in Manhattan, and made over $11 in one hour—that would be $23,000 a year—tax free!

It’s a small example of why some said that  the USA is turning into a nation of freeloaders. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald says that beggars she’s encountered “have the most deep-seated sense of entitlement that I’ve ever come across.”

From those defaulting on their home mortgages, to those who see lawsuits as a lottery ticket, many Americans live off the hard work of others.

Which is why I am a “heartless” right-winger when I ignore them on the streets.

Then there are Million and Billion Dollar Liberals or Government Apparatchiks. Like “Job Creation Czar” Jeffrey Immelt.

General Electric CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt is super-close to President Obama. The president named Immelt chairman of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Before that, Immelt was on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He’s a regular companion when Obama travels abroad to hawk American exports.

GE, run by Immelt, just made Billion Dollars in the US, tax free. Why?

They paid no taxes at all!

2010 was the second year in a row that GE recorded billions in profits and paid no taxes.

The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefits.

In a statement, General Electric said that it “pays what it owes under the law and is scrupulous about its compliance with tax obligations in all jurisdictions.” The company claims that its zero-dollar tax bill is largely a result of losses at its financial arm, GE Capital, due to the Wall Street meltdown. (ABCNews)

“So for GE, in many ways the environmental movement has turned out to be profitable for our investors,” Immelt said Thursday night at a fundraiser at the College of Charleston. (P&C)

But I guarantee very little ire towards an ally from the Press and the Class Warfare Liberals.

They gamed the system and freeloaded. Just like the begger on the corner.

After all, they are “entitled”.

But the class warfare liberal will rail against “corporate” america and CEO’s and  how evil “rich” people are.

They’ll rail endlessly about Exxon, but not GE.

Exxon is EVIL! 😡

Today, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the president is “bothered” by the idea that a U.S. company could pay no taxes, but he wouldn’t talk about GE specifically. Carney was also quick to say that Immelt’s council advises the president on job growth and not on tax policy.

“It is part of the problem of the corporate tax structure that companies hire, you know, armies of tax lawyers to understand how it works and to take advantage of the various loopholes that exist, that are legal in order to reduce their tax burden,” Carney said.

When President Obama announced his decision to appoint Immelt to the unpaid advisory role on job creation in January, some critics wondered whether the move was appropriate. Under his leadership, GE laid off 21,000 American workers and closed 20 factories between 2007 and 2009. More than half of GE’s workforce is now outside the United States. (ABC News)

Overall, the Times notes, the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009. (CBS)

And guess who has to make up for it? 🙂

But he’s a Buds with the Prez ( Lobbyist!), and they will cover for him.

“Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries,” he said. “Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense. It has to change.”–President Obama in yet another I said it but I sure as hell never actually meant it or believed it, but damn it sounded good moment last January.

Carney was asked why, if the president wants corporate tax reform, he appointed “to the head of the Competitiveness and Jobs Council a person who is now the poster child for abusing the system to get out of paying taxes.”

“The jobs and competitiveness council is designed for just that,” Carney responded. “And he has brought together a lot of voices on that. And he wants to hear the opinions of every member of that council. And we have said, with regard to questions about other members who have been appointed, that the president obviously doesn’t want a council of people who agree with him on every issue; he wants to hear diversity of opinion.” (CBSNews)

Blah, blah,blah,blah,blah…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Face it. He’s buds with the Prez. They both have a “Green” agenda. Immelt’s is just greenbacks!

The Prez gives Billions for Brazil to drill for oil to benefit Billionaire Socialist George Soros but has a virtual moratorium in this country.

George Soros is likely the #1 Democrat $$$ contributor.

Money Leads to Power and more Power leads to More Money.

Just look at the Public Sector Unions!

Illegal Immigrants!

But don’t worry, THEY ARE ENTITLED. 🙂

Everyone is entitled (except “racist” white male Europeans that is).

It’s just matter of much entitlement you feel and how much you can grab. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Skin in the Game

Today, a record number of Americans—52 million, or 36 percent of all filers—have no direct connection with the basic cost of government because they pay no income taxes. If we add this group to the people who have some income but don’t file a tax return, the ranks of American households outside the income tax system rise to 48 percent.

It gets worse, just keep reading. And remember the liberal mantra that evil Rich people don’t pay any taxes!

Tax Expenditures and Progressivity

There is a common belief that because so many tax expenditures benefit upper-income taxpayers, the “rich” are not paying their fair share of taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, because of the expansion of tax benefits aimed at low- and middle-income households, the OECD finds that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system of any industrialized country. What that means is that the top 10 percent of U.S. taxpayers pay a larger share of the income tax burden than do the wealthiest decile in any other industrialized country, including traditionally “high-tax” countries such as France, Italy, and Sweden.

Meanwhile, because of the generosity of such preferences as the EITC and child credit, low-income Americans have the lowest income tax burden of any OECD nation. Indeed, the study reports that while most countries rely more on cash transfers than taxes to redistribute income, the U.S. stands out as “achieving greater redistribution through the tax system than through cash transfers.”

The share of the income tax burden borne by America’s wealthiest taxpayers has been growing steadily for more than two decades. Figure 4 compares the share of income taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers to the share paid by the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers.

The chart shows that, as of 2008, the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 38 percent of all income taxes, while the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers paid just 30 percent of the income tax burden. By any measure, this is the sign of a very progressive tax system.

Indeed, many of these 52 million tax filers now look to the IRS as a source of income thanks to the more than $100 billion in refundable tax credits paid to people who have no income tax liability.

As a result of removing millions of people from the bottom of the tax rolls, we have dramatically reduced the number of people with “skin in the game.” Indeed, the top 1 percent of taxpayers now pays a greater share of the income tax burden than the bottom 90 percent combined.

Sadly, individuals are not the only taxpayers looking to the IRS as a source of income. The proliferation of tax credits aimed at promoting technologies such as renewable energy and fuel-efficient products has addicted many companies and industries to IRS handouts. In a recent case, one-third of the profits of a major appliance company were attributable to energy production credits.

Ironically, but perhaps not surprisingly, the sectors suffering the biggest financial crises today—health care, housing, and state and local governments—all receive the most subsidies through the tax code.  The cure for what ails these industries is to be weaned off the tax code, not given more subsidies through such things as the First Time Homebuyer’s Credit, Premium Assistance credits, or more tax-free bonds.

Washington can actually do more for the American people by doing less. The solution lies in fundamental tax reform. Indeed, as the plan authored by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson (co-chairmen of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform), demonstrated, Americans could enjoy much lower tax rates, and the government could raise the same amount of revenue if most—if not all—tax expenditures were eliminated.

That said, the primary goal of fundamental tax reform should not be raising more money for government. The primary goal should be improving the nation’s long-term economic growth and lifting living standards.

Economists at the OECD have determined that high corporate and personal income tax rates are the most harmful taxes for long-term economic growth. Unfortunately, the U.S. has one of the highest corporate income taxes among industrialized nations and one of the most progressive personal income tax systems.

Cutting these rates while broadening the tax base would greatly improve the nation’s prospects for long-term GDP growth. The benefits of higher economic growth will accrue to taxpayers and Uncle Sam alike.

To be sure, many people improperly view the forgone revenue from tax expenditures as “the government’s money.” By this view, what the tax code allows taxpayers to keep through tax preferences has thus been “spent” in the same manner as a government program.

But there is a very real moral and functional difference between the government taking $1,000 from a taxpayer and giving it to the Department of Energy for switch grass research, and a tax preference which allows that taxpayer to keep $1,000 of his own money because he purchased new windows for his home. The tax credit may be poor tax policy, but the transaction is clearly one that the taxpayer chose of his own accord. The government did not actively take his money and give it to Home Depot for the new windows.

One of the dominant issues in any discussion of tax expenditures is who benefits from them. Because the value of a tax deduction depends upon the taxpayer’s marginal tax rate, many of the largest and best known tax preferences, such as the mortgage interest deduction, do tend to benefit upper-income taxpayers. However, over the past 20 years or so, lawmakers have increasingly turned to using tax credits to benefit low- and middle-income taxpayers. This has had the unintended consequence of removing millions of taxpayers from the tax rolls altogether.

Most tax credits can only reduce the amount a taxpayer owes to zero, but the EITC and the child tax credit are also refundable, meaning that taxpayers are eligible to receive a check even if they have paid no income tax during the year. Those tax returns have become, in effect, a claim form for a subsidy delivered through the tax system in much the same way that a traditional government program sends out a welfare check or a farm support check.

In 2008, according to the most recent IRS data available, 25 million tax filers received $51.6 billion in EITC benefits. Of this amount, $50.5 billion was refundable in excess of their income tax liability. Also in 2008, some 25.3 million filers received $30.7 billion in child tax credit benefits, with more than 18 million of these filers getting $20.5 billion in refundable checks. Many families are eligible for both the EITC and the child credit. These are not refunds of overpaid tax; they are payments to people who have already gotten back everything that was withheld from their paychecks during the year.

In an important 2009 study, in order to gain a better understanding of the overall amount of redistribution that occurs through both tax and spending policies, Tax Foundation economists measured how much families at various income levels paid in taxes versus how much they received in spending benefits.  The results of this analysis show that federal tax and spending policies are very heavily tilted to the poor and middle-class, even before considering the Obama administration’s major policy initiatives such as health care reform. For 2010, the Tax Foundation report found that the bottom 60 percent of American families received more in government spending than they paid in taxes.

Not surprisingly, as Figure 5 shows, government spent $10.44 on the lowest-income families for every dollar they paid in taxes. Remarkably, families in the middle-income group received $1.15 for every dollar they paid in taxes.

By contrast, the top 40 percent of families paid more in taxes as a group than they received in government spending benefits. The highest-income families received 43 cents in government spending for every dollar they pay in taxes, even though they are assumed in this study to disproportionately benefit from public goods such as national defense.

Overall, federal tax and spending policies combined to redistribute more than $824 billion from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent of families in 2010. In other words, the entire federal fiscal system is very progressive and redistributive.

But you’ll never hear that from your anti-rich, anti-corporate Class Warfare liberal.

Why?

Because that like asking Al Sharpton to not be a Race Baiter. It’s what they do. It’s at the core of what they do.

That’s the game.

And that’s their skin in that game. Without it, they have no skin.

And speaking of snakes and skin: Rep. Anthony “The Weiner” Weiner who once boasted that ObamaCare and he were “one” now wants waivers from ObamaCare for New York City because he wants to run for Mayor some day soon.

That’s his skin in the game.

New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner toasted the one-year anniversary of Obamacare this week — and accidentally spilled his champagne glass all over the disastrous, one-size-fits-all mandate. Ostensibly one of the federal health care law’s staunchest defenders, Weiner exposed its ultimate folly by pushing for a special cost-saving regulatory exemption for New York City.

If it’s good for the city Weiner wants to be mayor of, why not for each and every individual American and American business that wants to be free of Obamacare’s shackles?

Weiner joins a bevy of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s” loudest cheerleaders — unions, foundations and left-leaning corporations — in clamoring for more waivers for favors. (The list of federal waiver recipients now tops 1,000, covering more than 2.6 million workers.) And he follows a gaggle of health care takeover-promoting Democrats maneuvering on Capitol Hill for get-out-of-Obamacare loopholes.

At a speech before the George Soros-supported Center for American Progress, as reported by Politico.com, Weiner revealed that he’s “in the process now of trying to see if we can take (President Barack Obama) up on” a favor waiver and is “taking a look at all of the money we spend in Medicaid and Medicare and maybe New York City can come up with a better plan.” Echoing all the Republican critics of Obamacare who objected to top-down rules that override local variations in health care expenditures, Weiner explained: “I’m just looking internally to whether the city can save money and have more control over its own destiny.”

More local control over taxpayers’ destiny, eh? Give that man a “Hands Off My Health Care” sign, a Gadsden flag and a tea party membership card ASAP!

I kid, of course. The ultimate agenda of many waiver-seekers is to create a wormhole path to even more radical restructuring of the health system. Weiner has brazenly called for a single-payer “public option” to replace Obamacare should it be repealed. Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon has also crusaded for more Kabuki “flexibility” in the law through a bipartisan state waiver proposal.

But as The Heritage Foundation noted, the plan “simply changes a date on an existing ‘state innovation’ provision of Obamacare from 2017 to 2014 — still well after the federal Obamacare infrastructure has been cemented in place.” And it is essentially “a back-door vehicle for progressive states to enact the ‘public option’ and speed up the establishment of a single-payer system for health care.” White House health care advisers Nancy-Ann DeParle and Stephanie Cutter further reinforced in a conference call to liberal advocates that the bill would help states implement single-payer health care plans, such as those tested in Connecticut and Vermont.

Weiner argues that the waiver process dispels “this notion that the government is shoving the bill down people’s throats.” But only the politically connected, deep-pocketed, lawyered-up and Beltway-savvy can apply. And the White House refuses to shed more light on its decision-making process. Obama’s selective favor waivers simply underscore the notion that unaccountable regulatory bureaucrats are presiding over government by the cronies, for the cronies and of the cronies.

Real control over our destinies means flexibility and choice for all. Repeal is the ultimate democratic waiver. (Michelle Malkin)

But more likely, we’ll be skinned as game!! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by Glenn Foden