The End of 2012: The Forgotten

I’m still not sure the Mayans were wrong, just that Non-Myans got the date wrong. :0

The US National Debt as of this moment:$16,329,089,300,000

But since we borrow $57,870.37 every second by the time you read this it won’t be. 🙂

But just remember, cutting spending is evil and “unfair”. Raising Taxes is not.

And that sums up 2012 pretty well, don’t you think. 🙂

What  was interesting, according to WordPress the most commented on blog of 2012 occured on May 11,2012 when I blogged about the US Forest Service screwing over the City of Tombstone,AZ.

Bitch Fight at The OK Corral

Update, 3 Days ago: The 9th Circuit denied the city of Tombstone, Ariz., a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Forest Service, which refuses to allow bulldozers access to a federal wilderness area to repair springs damaged by mudslides.
     In December 2011, the Tombstone, an old frontier town east of Tucson, sought a preliminary injunction that would allow the city to take bulldozers into a federal wilderness area to repair 25 springs that were damaged in a wildfire and subsequent mudslides.
     The loss of these springs allegedly caused a water shortage in the town, but a district judge found that the town’s claims of a water emergency were “overstated and speculative.”
     On appeal, Tombstone argued that the U.S. Forest Service issued the city a special use permit in 1962, which “allows the city to have access to these wells and perhaps also to construct facilities, and pipes and so forth, to take the water.”
     It also claimed that maintaining the city’s water supply is an essential governmental function and the federal government’s interference with the city’s duty to its citizens violates the 10th amendment.
     In opposition, the Justice Department acknowledged that the special use permit “allows [Tombstone] to maintain the water system, but it doesn’t say anything about motorized vehicles,” and maintained that the city needs permission from the Forest Service to make the desired repairs.

Justice Department attorney David Shilton contended that the 1962 special use permit does not explicitly allow Tombstone to brings “bulldozers or dump trucks” into the national forest.
     “The special use permit allows [Tombstone] to maintain the water system, but it doesn’t say anything about motorized vehicles,” Shilton said. “It does say that if they want to do reconstruction they have to get permission. Then you have the Wilderness Act, which comes along in 1984, and so after that if the city wants to use motorized vehicles, they have to go to the Forest Service for permission.”
     The Forest Service granted the city permission to repair two of the springs, but the other 23 requests remain pending. The Forest Service has “ignored” the city’s application for access to the 23 other springs for more than a year, Dranias said.

The Justice Department lawyer said the Forest Service allowed it to do work with motorized equipment where that was appropriate, where the city had appropriately applied and told the Forest Service what it wanted to do.”

Now that’s not Bureaucratic at all! Do it my way or F*ck off! We don’t think it is a vital as you claim.

Now imagine ObamaCare with that attitude. Afraid yet? 🙂
     A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling, finding that “Tombstone failed to raise serious questions going to the merits of its Tenth Amendment challenge and we do not reach whether the City has satisfied the other requirements for a preliminary injunction. Assuming without deciding that the Tenth Amendment constrains the Forest Service’s authority to regulate Tombstone’s activities under the Property Clause, no unlawful commandeering has been shown.”
     The unpublished opinion continued: “It is the Supreme Court’s prerogative alone to overrule its precedents. We therefore have no authority to apply the traditional or integral governmental functions test Tombstone has urged.”

And I’ll say it again, why do people want people like this running their health care, their retirement, and more??

The Most Popular image of 2012 on this blog was a good choice: The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man

It’s an Urban Myth attributed to Bill Gates, but the real author is discussed here- The Real Authorship. I loved this that a friend sent me because there is truth here. Truth no liberal wants to here.

11 things they did not and will not learn in school.

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes; learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. (anything with “Housewives” in the title is not normal).

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

I would add: The Universe doesn’t give a crap whether you like it or not, The Truth is the Truth regardless.

And the truth is, America voted to destroy itself this year, so I want to close with the oft-quoted line by Senator Padme Amidala:

“So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.”

“Forward” to cliff diving down a bureaucratic black hole for 2013…

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Welcome to the Dawn of 2013- Lies & SEP

Have you ever asked yourself why the people who want to actually cut spending (not just “cut” the rate of growth and call it a “cut”) and want to actually cut the size and scope of government intervention in our lives are portrayed as violent, ignorant, and/or extremists??

I do. Every day.

And I still think it comes down to drug addiction. But it goes deeper.

The people are addicted to the “free” stuff that isn’t free. And politicians are addicted to themselves and their own power. The Politicians are the dealers. The people are the enablers and the addicts buying from the dealers. And the Dealers are addicts to selling the drugs.

So they are incestuously addicted to each other.

The politicians keep giving the people “free” drugs – entitlements, class warfare, etc. and the people keep electing people who will give it to them.

And the sane ones who say that we have to stop this behavior are hated by everyone. The responsible one in the room is the last person anyone wants to listen to.

The Republicans aren’t happy with the Tea Party. Happy they got elected in 2010. But not happy that they keep getting reminded why they were elected which goes against this grain. And they aren’t prepared to fight the fight that is required to stop or wean off the addiction because they are in fact, addicts themselves.

And the Democrats and the Media that portray anyone who isn’t on board with them as “extremists” , “obstructionists”, “unfair”, “racists”, none more than the “domestic terrorists” known as The Tea Party.

Not loved by anyone.

Funny that.

Because in the end we will be forced to grow up. The longer we wait the harder and more painful it will be for us and for the future.

The Truth will come. That’s inevitable. It WILL come regardless. It is the real wolf at the door.

But like a petulant child, we refuse.

We want our candy and presents. We want Santa Claus/Obama Claus to come along and bring all of us more toys and tell us it was mean old Scrooge’s fault and that the Tea Party is the Grinch who wants to steal their Christmas.

The People of Whoville don’t want to know the truth.

There is is no joy in Whoville when it comes to the Truth about The Debt, The Deficit, Entitlements, Taxes, and Foreign Policy Threats like Al-Qaeda.

The People of Whoville want to be told sweet little lies because the Truth is too much too bear. And they are at fault and they can’t face it.

The Political Class just see an opportunity to use this to gain more power for themselves. But it’s a trap too.

Now they are addicted to lying. They can’t tell the truth anymore. And anyone who tries will be summarily crushed.

Divide and Conquer has no softer side. Authoritarians have non softer side.

And they are addicted to the power to control everyone and everything. The authoritarian modern liberal more so than the weak Republicans.

So the politicians are addicted to the power money brings them and the people are addicted to the money the government brings them.

What  a viciously incestuous cycle.

And the sane ones who want this to stop are the bad guys.

Well, a drug intervention is never anything but messy.

But 315 million addicts is a lot of messy.

The addict’s judgment is clouded due to their substance of abuse making it tough for them to see or think clearly.

And the Ministry of Truth is there to feed them sweet lies and to calm their fears. 🙂

That’s the Comfort Zone.

(with apologies to Fleetwood Mac)

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
(Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Oh, no, no you can disguise
(We want you to disguise, you can disguise)
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

Although I’m not making plans
I hope that you understand
There’s a reason why
Close your, close your, close your eyes…

But I couldn’t find a way
So I’ll settle for one day
To believe in you
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

It’s someone elses’ fault other than our own and we don’t want to take the medicine to get it better.

Somebody Else’s Problem (also known as Someone Else’s Problem or SEP) is a condition where individuals/populations of individuals choose to decentralize themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance at an individualistic level. Author Douglas Adams‘ description of the condition, which he ascribes to a physical “SEP field,” has helped make it a generally recognized phenomenon.

Where multiple individuals simultaneously experience the same stimulus, diffusion of responsibility and/or the bystander effect may release individuals from the need to act, and if no-one from the group is seen to act, each individual may be further inhibited by conformity.

“Somebody Else’s Problem”, an effectively-magical field that obscures things you think aren’t relevant to you, such that even though you see them (or hear them or read them) you don’t actually *notice*, and quickly forget.

More generally, the phenomenon that causes people to ignore issues that they know about but think of as either not something they can do anything about, or not personally relevant to them right now. This can result in something that’s very important to a group of people being ignored by every individual member of that group.

Popularized by Douglas Adams in the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” series, in which Ford Prefect describes it as:

“An SEP is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem…. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won’t see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye.”

When individuals are exposed to a multitude of messages about pressing matters of concern- information overload (now also known as Information Fatigue Syndrome) may be a result.

In Joseph Ruff’s article “Information Overload: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions” Ruff states, “Once capacity is surpassed additional information becomes noise and results in a decrease in information processing and decision quality”.

The 24/7/365 News cycle anyone? 🙂

The virulent “I don’t wanna know” reaction , mixed with deeply cynical fear and racist power politics equals the 2012 election anyone?

Vote for Me, the Other Guy’s asshole!!! It’s HIS Fault!!

And the Politicians and The Ministry of Truth can herd these willfully ignorant sheep to use to satisfy their own addictions.

Thus the cycle continues.

There may also be a tendency to argue that since a proposed solution does not fit a problem entirely then the entire solution should be discarded. This is an example of a perfect solution fallacy. “This fallacy is often employed by those who believe no action should be taken on a particular issue and use the fallacy to argue against any proposed action”.

The nirvana fallacy is the informal fallacy of comparing actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives. It can also refer to the tendency to assume that there is a perfect solution to a particular problem. A closely related concept is the perfect solution fallacy.

By creating a false dichotomy that presents one option which is obviously advantageous—while at the same time being completely implausible—a person using the nirvana fallacy can attack any opposing idea because it is imperfect. The choice is not between real world solutions and utopia; it is, rather, a choice between one realistic possibility and another which is merely better.

The perfect solution fallacy is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument assumes that a perfect solution exists and/or that a solution should be rejected because some part of the problem would still exist after it were implemented.

It’s Not “fair”!  🙂

It is common for arguments which commit this fallacy to omit any specifics about exactly how, or how badly, a proposed solution is claimed to fall short of acceptability, expressing the rejection in vague terms only. Alternatively, it may be combined with the fallacy of misleading vividness, when a specific example of a solution’s failure is described in emotionally powerful detail but base rates are ignored.

Misleading vividness is a term that can be applied to anecdotal evidence[1] describing an occurrence, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, with sufficient detail to permit hasty generalizations about the occurrence (e.g., to convince someone that the occurrence is a widespread problem). Although misleading vividness does little to support an argument logically, it can have a very strong psychological effect because of a cognitive heuristic called the availability heuristic.

The availability heuristic is a mental shortcut that occurs when people make judgments about the probability of events by the ease with which examples come to mind. The availability heuristic operates on the notion that, “if you can think of it, it must be important.” The availability of consequences associated with an action is positively related to perceptions of the magnitude of the consequences of that action. In other words, the easier it is to recall the consequences of something, the greater we perceive these consequences to be.

Short circuit logic with emotion and keep it simplistic. Sound like Obama and the Democrats?

Never let a Crisis Go to Waste! 

Create new ones daily. Crisis Mode prevents a lot of actual critical thinking.

And the anti-nirvana heuristic solution  is to do something substantive and real. Hence, The Tea Party is against nirvana, utopia, mom and apple pie so they are the ultimate evil and must be destroyed. 🙂

The ones who truly want people to face the truth and fix the problem are seen as the problem. 😮

Welcome to the dawn of 2013 where doing the responsible thing makes you the Grinch, the enemy, the bad guy…

Well, Isn’t that Special? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

Happy Tax Increases Everyone!

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

As part of the fiscal cliff, the top tax rate on dividends is scheduled to nearly triple in 2013.  Here are some questions you might have:

What is a dividend?  A dividend is a cash payment that a company makes to shareholders.
What type of people receive dividends?  Almost everyone benefits from dividends.  If you are covered by a traditional pension or 401(k) plan at work, you almost certainly own dividend-paying stocks and mutual funds that own dividend-paying stocks.  Ditto for your IRA or Roth IRA.  Additionally, the IRS data cited above shows that over 25 million American families choose to receive dividends directly.

Traditional pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs are accounts for middle class Americans, not rich people.  That’s where many dividends end up.  Additionally, nearly 23 million out of the 25 million American families that get paid dividends directly earn less than $200,000 per year.  Over 40 percent of all taxable dividends are earned in these households.

Not just evil “rich” “angry white guys” or “evil” Corporate America. 🙂

Obamacare contains twenty new or higher taxes. Five of the taxes hit for the first time on January 1.  In total, for the years 2013-2022, Americans face a net $1 trillion tax hike for the years 2013-2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The five major Obamacare taxes taking effect on January are as follows:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax:  Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year.  In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive.

The Obamacare Flex Account Tax: The 30-35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the ten years. (Currently, the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap.)

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income:

Capital Gains   Dividends  Other*2012
    
15%                     15%             35%2013+ (current law)
    

23.8%                43.4%       43.4%

The table above also incorporates the scheduled hike in the capital gains rate from 15 to 20 percent, and the scheduled hike in dividends rate from 15 to 39.6 percent.

The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans.  This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.

The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:  The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits.  Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead. This is a direct marginal income tax hike on small business owners, who are liable for self-employment tax in most cases. The table below compares current law vs. the Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike:
 
First $200,000                 All Remaining Wages
($250,000 Married)        Employer/Employee  
Employer/Employee    
                       
Current Law
1.45%/1.45%                       1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed           2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike
   
1.45%/1.45%                       1.45%/2.35%
2.9% self-employed           3.8% self-employed

2012 CBO Report on Revenue Effects of Obamacare
Tax Hike
2013-2022

Tax Penalty Payments by Uninsured Individuals $55 billion

Tax Penalty Payments by Employers $106 billion

Excise Tax on High-Premium Insurance Plans $111 billion

Associated Effects of Coverage Provisions
on Tax Revenues $216 billion

Reinsurance and Risk Adjustment Collections $184 billion

Fees on Manufacturers and Insurers $165 billion

Additional Hospital Insurance Tax $318 billion

Other Revenue Provisions $87 billion

Courtesy of ATR

This won’t hurt everyone, the economy and job “growth” now will it!

But don’t worry,it’s still Bush’s Fault!! That will keep you warm by the fire, until they ban it (bad for the environment, you know) or tax it that is…

Happy New Year. Happy New Tax Increases EVERYONE…. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Throttle “Forward”

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Social Security ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012, drawing in even less than it paid out last year, with just 1.67 workers supporting each retiree. But instead of confronting the truth, the left still denies reality.

According to official Social Security Administration data this week, the program’s incoming cash from the working population and their employers came to $725 billion in fiscal 2012 while it paid out $773 billion in cash and overhead.

That’s as the number of retirees and disabled using the system grow 10,000 a day to more than 57 million people currently, according to research by CNS News editor Terence P. Jeffrey.

And the trust fund? With so many new beneficiaries, the Social Security trustees say it’s fallen to just $2.7 trillion and is set to run out in 2033 — not 2036 as projected just last year.

Since 2007, Social Security has moved from an $81 billion surplus to a $58 billion deficit — a swing of $139 billion into red ink, according to a news report by IBD’s own Jed Graham. Over the next 20 years, Social Security deficits alone will hike total U.S. debt by 18% of GDP.

That means only 75% of promised benefits can be paid out from the trust fund through 2086, and that’s after a legally mandated 22% cut in benefits. So like France and other western nations with similar shortfalls, either taxes must rise or benefits must be cut further.

That’s a picture of unsustainability. But with millions of Americans depending on the program, it also ought to raise fiscal alarms in any responsible government.

Incredibly, under President Obama, it’s not. The left has created a cottage industry of opposing any meaningful effort to end the rapidly accelerating slide downward, with all sorts of denialist arguments against basic math.

The AFL-CIO, which runs various activist operations dedicated to halting any reform of Social Security, basically denies there’s any crisis. It insists the trust fund — which is loaded with government IOUs, not money — is enough, and refers to any call to fix the broken system as “sky is falling Social Security coverage.”

The union claims that interest earned on government IOUs in the trust fund will be sufficient to finance the mess and advocates tax hikes until eternity to the extent the trust fund fails. “Flash! Social Security Is Not Doomed,” its website blares.

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum has a more subtle argument — that in the past, Social Security taxes were purposely too high. This benefited the rich, he argues, who got lower income taxes as a result.

Coming tax hikes will shrink the Social Security deficit and benefit beneficiaries — yet the money will come from the federal government anyway.

But these are just end-runs around reality as we approach what should be called the Social Security cliff.

Republicans — most recently presidential candidate Mitt Romney — have put forward proposals to fix the system. Unfortunately, they only included cutting benefits and raising the retirement age — the sort of “austerity” that triggered riots in Greece, France and Spain.

So what should they do? The biggest arrow in the GOP quiver has always been privatization, a bold “Chilean model” proposal similar to the ones unveiled by candidates Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

In them, Social Security would be converted to a system of private accounts, something pioneered by the city of Galveston, Texas decades ago and later by the entire nation of Chile in 1980, both to spectacular results.

Today, neither Chile nor Galveston have pension debt weighing their economies down. And retirees pull in hefty pensions from investment funds that showed average returns of 7% to 10% over 30 years.

But private accounts require political will — made all the harder in the U.S. by two failed efforts to enact such a change by Presidents Clinton and Bush in the 1990s, when the transition would have been easier, but the political recognition of the problem was much lower.

Though politically challenging, privatization would still be the best solution for younger workers. Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan put this in his original fiscal road map. He should consider reviving the idea as the fiscal picture grows uglier, as it no doubt will.

Social Security has been seen as the most soluble of the entitlement programs, but the fact that it will soon add another 2.4% of GDP to the U.S.’ already massive deficits means it can’t be ignored. It’s time for serious solutions to be put back on the table. (IBD)

But if you do you’re a heartless, grannie-over-the-cliff, capitalist meanie white guy!
Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

When David Letterman asked Obama about the size of the national debt, Obama couldn’t even make a guess. It seemed to be the furthest thing from his mind.

But Obama’s cynicism about the debt doesn’t change the fact that it is a looming national crisis. It’s undeniable that our entitlement obligations are growing at an unsustainable pace and that our national debt and the annual mandatory interest payments on it are reaching alarming heights.

The budget debates essentially boil down to the Republicans’ desire to return the nation to financial health vs. Obama’s desire to use the government’s taxing and spending powers as tools to remake America in his image rather than to facilitate economic growth or balance the budget.

Before you write off my comments as unfairly partisan, I ask you to ponder Obama’s major negotiating demands. He is insistent, is he not, on increasing tax rates and reducing deductions for higher-income earners, even though it’s an objective fact that Obama’s plan to raise taxes on just a small percentage of Americans would not generate enough revenue to make a significant dent in our nation’s deficits or debt. He has to be demanding this change, then, for other reasons. I can think of none, other than his idea of fairness, by which he means punishing the rich, even if it won’t improve the economy or our fiscal picture.

Further, he has stubbornly resisted meaningful spending cuts and has absolutely continued to dig his heels in over GOP efforts to reform entitlements to avoid our nation’s impending financial meltdown.

On top of all this, Obama wants $80 billion more in “stimulus” spending. Can you believe this? In budget negotiations that are supposed to be about fiscal sanity, he’s wedded to yet more federal spending of money we don’t have. Finally, he is demanding that Republicans surrender their authority to set limits on future spending through budget ceilings.

As you can see, Obama’s goal of fundamentally remaking America happens to be nearly incompatible with economic growth and national solvency.

Don’t you see? There is no way Obama can do what he was born to do — remake America in his image — unless he continues to implement the very policies that drove us toward this cliff in the first place. Obama’s ideology compels him to keep spending borrowed money and increase growth-suppressing tax rates on the very people whose productivity is imperative for economic growth. Maybe Obama cares some about economic growth and our national deficits and debt. Maybe not. Either way, he’s tied to policies that harm both. (David Limbaugh)

But at least you can warm yourself by the fires of hate that it was all Bush’s fault and still is to this day. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Disable the Throttle

The Social Security program ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012 as the program brought in $725.429 billion in cash and paid $773.247 for benefits and overhead expenses, according to official data published by Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Administration also released new data revealing that the number of workers collecting disability benefits hit a record 8,827,795 in December–up from 8,805,353 in November.

The overall number of Social Security program beneficiaries—including retired workers, dependent family members and survivors and disabled workers and their dependent family members—also hit a record in December, climbing from 56,658,978 in November to 56,758,185 in December.

In 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was an average of 112.556 million full-time workers in the United States, of whom 17.806 million worked full-time for local, state or federal government. That left an average of only 94.750 million full-time private sector workers in the country.

That means that for every 1.67 Americans who worked full-time in the private sector in 2011, there is now 1 person collecting benefits from the Social Security administration.

Despite its fiscal 2012 “net cash flow” deficit, as SSA describes it, the agency was able to book an on-paper “increase” of $64.580 billion in the Social Security Trust Funds. That, SSA says, is because the U.S. Treasury “paid” the trust funds $112.398 in “interest” in fiscal 2012 on the historial surpluses in Social Security taxes that the Treasury siphoned off to cover other spending by the federal government.

As of the end of calendar year 2011, according to SSA, the Social Security Trust Fund equaled approximately $2.678 trillion.

The last time the Social Security program ran a “net cash flow” surplus was in fiscal 2009. In that year, Social Security’s revenues exceeded its benefit and overhead payments by $19.358 billion. In fiscal 2010, Social Security ran a $36.8 billion deficit; and, in fiscal 2011, it ran a $47.975 deficit.

There are two Social Security Trust Funds: the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund. The OASI Trust Fund covers benefits to retired workers and their families and deceased workers families. The DI Trust fund covers benefits to disabled workers and their families. The trust funds are required by law to hand over all surplus revenues to the Treasury and the Treasury then provides “special issue” non-marketable bonds—essentially electronic IOUs—to the trust funds in return for the cash. These “IOUs” become part of the national debt. When the Treasury pays “interest” that increases the value of the Social Security Trust Funds it does so by increasing the number of IOUs it owes the trust funds.

When the Social Security program runs a net cash flow deficit, as it has in the last three fiscal years, the Treasury needs to borrow cash from the “public” to keep the program funded. As of Dec. 21, the federal government’s debt was $16.336 trillion. (CNS)

Bur don’t worry, everything is fine, that Cliff we are going over is no big deal. We just have to spend even more and tax rich people more and everything will be fine.

Enjoy your ObamaCare taxes…. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

That After Christmas Meal

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

A Few facts for that After Christmas meal to digest. It’s a good thing that he has the Ministry of Truth to cover all this up and blame it on someone else and a Republican party that will gladly fall on his sword for it. 🙂

Economy: “The economy’s getting stronger … confidence is growing.” The media and Obama repeated these like a mantra. But as IBD reported earlier, real weekly earnings for American workers have fallen 3.5% since Obama took over, a declining trend that has continued post-election.

How about other signs of well-being? The Census Bureau reported after the election that the number of Americans in poverty grew by 712,000 people in 2011. A far-more bullish report issued in September said it had fallen by 96,000. Oh yes, and a record 47 million people today are on food stamps — up 47% since Obama took over.

Meanwhile, we also heard that consumer confidence was strengthening — and that would lead to a spurt of new economic activity in the new year. But in December, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index tumbled to 72.9, its lowest reading since June, from 82.7 in November.

For small businesses, whom Obama regularly claimed to be helping while on the stump, the picture’s no better. The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index fell 5.6 points in December to 87.5 — one of its lowest readings ever.

“Between the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ the promise of higher health care costs and the endless onslaught of new regulations, owners have found themselves in a state of pessimism,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. Remember: Small businesses create 80% to 85% of all jobs.

Employment: Yes, unemployment has dropped to 7.7%. But only because hundreds of thousands of Americans have left the workforce. In September and October, nonpayroll farm jobs were reported as rising 148,000 and 171,000, respectively, solid gains. The mainstream media played it up as a major turnaround for the economy, giving Obama a boost.In early December, a new government jobs report highlighted that job growth was a 146,000 in November, less than the 151,000 average since the start of the year. And it revised September and October job growth down by 49,000.

Yes, the total number of people with private-sector jobs has grown by 2 million over the last year, as the White House proudly trumpets — and did on the campaign trail. But what never gets reported is that 2.4 million people have left the workforce entirely over the same stretch — so there is no net real job growth.

And we have more college graduates who also get out there and find nothing so they move back in with Mom and Dad. But at least ObamaCare gives them health care until they are 26 on Mom & Dad’s dime… 🙂

• Regulations: President Obama stayed virtually mum on the topic of regulation during his campaign. Smart move. The EPA is set to release a tidal wave of new rules to slash CO2 that will close as many as 332 energy plants, while costing the U.S. economy $700 billion, according to the Manhattan Institute. The rules will hit Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia — states that voted for Obama — especially hard. Think they might have liked to know that before voting?

• Budget: Obama promised a “balanced” approach to taxes and spending. But data from the CBO and OMB show spending will surge 55% over the next 10 years under Obama — nearly $2 trillion in added spending — swamping Obama’s promised “cuts” of $880 billion.

• Taxes: Remember how Obama and his Democratic surrogates taunted Republicans repeatedly, saying they wanted to raise taxes only on “millionaires and billionaires” while cutting taxes for the middle class?

When Republicans tried to do just that, Obama said no thanks. In fact, he has major tax hikes in store for middle-class Americans — starting with ObamaCare’s 18 or so new taxes, and ending with the admission of key Democrats such as former presidential candidate Howard Dean that taxes on everyone must rise dramatically to pay for the Democrats’ spending orgy.

• Benghazi: The White House described the early- September attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a reaction to an anti-Muslim film clip that appeared on the Internet.

In recent weeks, we’ve found that the film played no role at all — and that Obama and his national security staff did nothing to save the lives of those under attack, even though they knew the attack was ongoing.

• War On Terror: Obama claimed the war against al-Qaida was basically over. Now we find out that isn’t true. Governments friendly to al-Qaida, if not its aims, have taken over in Libya and Egypt. Syria may be next.

For those who think the fight’s done, think again. Quietly, Obama is sending troops back to Iraq to help stabilize the country. And he plans to send Army teams to as many as 35 countries in Africa to battle growing terrorist threats — mainly from al-Qaida.

So were Americans duped? (IBD)

Yep. Do they seem to care??  Nope.

And that is the saddest truth of all.

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Christmas Day Sing Along

I'll be Broke Fro Christmas


Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town

You better not work
You better not try
Get your hand out
I’m telling you why
Source: LYBIO.net

Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town

If you’re a success
I’m taxin’ you twice
Gonna reverse who’s naughty and nice

Hey!
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
I’ll pay you just for sleeping
Don’t work, stay home and play
You will care if you’re bad or good
‘Cause if you’re bad you get more cake

So, Republicans watch out
I’m lookin’ real fly
Media shouts ‘We elected our guy’

Hey!
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town
Baracka Claus is comin’ to town

The market’s goin’ down
Why do you have a frown?

Baracka Claus is comin’ to town

Now the Christmas Sermon….
The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. Never
    under any circumstances admit that your own failure may be owing to your own weakness, or that the failure of anyone else may be due to his own defects – his laziness, incompetence, improvidence, or stupidity.”

American economist and philosopher Henry Hazlitt wrote the above.  Hazlitt understood Socialism and its evil foundations.

As we read, “Hate the man who is better off than you are,” our thoughts turn toward President Barack Obama.  Obama’s 2012 Presidential campaign was heavily focused on creating envy and hatred for those who have high incomes and wealth.  Obama promised his supporters that he would reward them by punishing “the rich,” whom he characterized as those in the upper 2% income bracket.

Saul Alinsky said of his book Rules for Radicals,

    “The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”

Obama promised a “balanced” approach to taxes and spending. But data from the CBO and OMB show spending will surge 55% over the next 10 years under Obama — nearly $2 trillion in added spending — swamping Obama’s promised “cuts” of $880 billion.

And remember he borrows $5 Billion dollars A DAY. 🙂

Merry Christmas. Enjoy it while you’re allowed to.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Christmas Eve 2012

CNN’s Don Lemon discusses the possibility of profiling white men in an attempt to prevent gun violence and decrease the amount of mass shootings. Lemon argues that white males between the ages of 18 and 25 were behind nearly all recent mass killings.

MSNBC: People Against Gun Control Are Scared Of “Black And Brown People” Rising Up To Get Them…

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

D-Oh!  Never saw that coming…

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. (Abe Lincoln)

Imagine the man who spoke those words coming before his country in a time of distress and blaming a rival political party for all the nation’s ills; it’s impossible. Obama is a well-known admirer of the Lincoln biography “Team of Rivals,” but while he’s talking to the other side, he seems unwilling to listen. Apparently, he’s content with laying blame and saving face at the expense of the nation’s financial health. (Katie Hicks)

D’oh!  Never saw that coming…

After all, he gets a “get out of Blame” card for free. What else could want for Christmas…. 🙂

 

The  students at Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Ark., were invited on a class field trip to see a performance of the show this month but unfortunately were blocked from seeing the Christmas classic by atheist groups that felt the children’s classic since time immemorial was ‘religious’ and therefore was banned under a separation of church and state.

The school naturally caved to the atheist groups, rather than fight a prolonged and expensive court battle to defend the matter.

The problem is, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has nothing to do with the teaching of religion, and is more about caring for each other and respecting one another’s differences—something the atheists like to exclaim they represent when defending their own viewpoint of the universe.

While Charles Schultz wanted a definitive religious experience for the viewer he was well aware of the problems of inserting anything religious into a television special, even as early as 1964. Executives at CBS originally balked at the special, so Schultz tempered the message. Schultz explained why Linus makes a speech from the Gospel of Luke:

“If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?” – Charles Schultz, on “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

The point Schultz was trying to make was that Christmas is not about religion so much as it is about the birth of Jesus Christ, who was as much an  historical figure as he was a religious figure. Jesus of Nazareth existed, and whether or not you believe he was the Son of God (a matter of religious conjecture and faith), billions of people worldwide follow his simple teaching of treating others as you would treat yourself.

The message of Jesus is fundamentally simple and non-religious in its content.  As such, it is supremely important that children understand and are taught the significance of the holiday—to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the simple message that much of world tries to live by daily. The message of loving one another as equally as we love ourselves is hardly one that is unique to Christianity or any other religion for that matter, yet it was unique at the time of the Roman Empire when it was first delivered.

The Charlie Brown Christmas special does not delve into the religious aspects of Christianity, nor does it try to. The show merely expounds upon the message of loving each other equally, and does so in an equanimous manner. Charlie is castigated for his simple view of Christmas while the other children are focused on the commercial aspects of Christmas. They eventually come to the realization that all aspects of Man are wonderful, if given the love and equal treatment we all deserve. This is not a religious message; it is a universal message of unity, charity and love.  Most importantly, this is a message that almost certainly any atheist would agree with; love and charity and kindness to one another are hardly exclusive to religion.

The speech delivered by Linus is the only reference of in the special to any religious aspect, and even that is a simple Biblical description of the historical event of the birth of Jesus:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.'” Luke 2:7-14, from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Linus

Despite what the atheists argue, this is the sole reason for the existence of Christmas, the birth of Jesus and his birth being recognized as the birth of a Savior. That is a matter of historical fact, and the reason why children need this explained to them. (Thomas Purcell)

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

linus

And now a message from those fun-loving guys and gals, The Atheists:

Crush a Creche, Keep Christmas Free from Christianity: War on Christmas & Christmas Symbols

Christian Nationalists aren’t moved by the principle of treating adherents of other religions with respect — they sincerely believe that they deserve special privileges from the government. (atheism.about.com)

Unlike Liberals… 🙂

So, why is Christmas singled out? In essence, because Christianity is being singled out.

Not to say that other faiths, specifically Judaism, don’t have to fight against religious prejudices; however lambasting Christianity has become a social norm in American culture. People, who would have once been revered for a strong commitment to their faith, are now treated as second-class citizens.

In addition to personal attacks, Christianity has also come under fire from schools and the government. Like the six year-old girl from Marion, North Carolina who was forced by school administrators to remove the word “God” from a Veterans Day poem. Or the restaurant in Pennsylvania that was mandated by government officials to offer its “10% church pamphlet discount” to customers of all faiths — including atheists. Both of which sparked mass controversy, and opened a discussion concerning the freedoms of speech and religion.

Cities and individuals have also been forced to remove Christian symbols that were seen as offensive. For instance, Buhler, Kansas and Steubenville, Ohio both removed the depiction of the cross within their city logos, after being threatened by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) with a lawsuit. Or Patrick Racaniello, who was forced to remove the cross he posted in his front yard, because local officials claimed that it violated a city ordinance concerning the attraction of public attention.

Not to mention the Obamacare mandate that forces Catholic employers to provide contraceptives to their employees — a mandate strongly opposed by the Catholic faith.

Although revving-up around Christmas, religious freedom continues to be a year round struggle — with the preceding examples only being a small snippet of the full realm. Whether in the spirit of inclusion or in the sentiment of “separation of church and state” — a notion that cannot be found within the Constitution — the war on Christianity does not appear to be receding anytime soon.

Furthermore, the main point missed by opponents of Christianity is that it’s because of our Judeo-Christian founding that America has remained so diverse, not despite it. With Christmas being a yearly reminder of the occasion and the opportunity to celebrate faith, family and life, no matter your religious beliefs — because it’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. (Policymic)

And I’m not even an actual Christian, mind you…MERRY CHRISTMAS

I will say it while I still can. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Happy Happy, Joy,Joy… To the World

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Charles Payne: Four years ago, there was a sense that America was clearing its last hurdle on race and ideological animosity. There was pride in electing the first black president, even by those that didn’t cast their vote for Barack Obama. Fast forward to even before Friday’s massacre, and there was a malaise hanging over the nation ripping it apart on so many levels. Americans pitted against fellow Americans. It’s not good enough to lose elections anymore, there has to be complete demonization and the absence of any compromise.

God is under attack, traditional values are being abandoned, and capitalism is considered heartless as many romanticized the notion there is a form of socialism that could be nicer. Then last week something happened that, like the election four years ago, could have galvanized the nation, but instead threatens to rip it apart even more. The first line in Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” speaks volumes about where America is these days.

It’s very difficult to think or discuss investing and politics in light of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I haven’t felt so empty since 9-11, when unstoppable tears strolled down my face as I tried to navigate crowded roads to reach the schools of my children, all the time looking to the sky wondering when the next plane would crash into a building or fall from the sky. Sadly, what happens next will be another battle that rips apart the nation. While there will be no debate over better mental health testing and surveillance, the idea of going after gun owners is going to be ugly.

Most will agree on changes to so-called assault weapons, but warranted suspicions of ulterior motives will make certain registrations and other legislation is a battle. I don’t own a gun, but I think people have the right to own them and to protect themselves, their families, and businesses. In the meantime, a media onslaught has already begun, painting gun owners and folks that visit gun ranges as bad people. Already, I despise how moderately successful people are being painted as greedy and mean-spirited, worthy of scorn and higher taxes; now, more ordinary citizens will be painted as villains.

We are an unhappy country that will only grow sadder. We need help, leadership that finds a way to inspire everyone to do things they may not like but understand it’s for a greater good. In the meantime, we can never forget those children in Newtown, Connecticut. How we honor their deaths remains to be seen. This could move us closer as a nation, or this just might move us further apart.

‘Leave truth to the police and us; we know the Good;
We build the Perfect City time shall never alter;
Our law shall guard you always like a circle of mountains,
Your ignorance keep off evil like a dangerous sea;
You shall be consummated in the general will,
Your children innocent and charming as the beast’
W.H. Auden

The Never-Ending War

Since the inception of this nation, there has been a never-ending battle for the right balance between a giant central government and smaller local government. and it rages like a wildfire today. The Newtown massacre will fuel that debate just as the fiscal cliff has been its central battlefield. Lost on Friday was an olive branch from Speaker Boehner that was immediately rejected by democrats and hated by conservatives. The offer included higher taxes for those at $1.0 million and pushing the debt ceiling debate off a year.

I must say republicans mishandled this thing from the start, but Boehner has been more than accommodative. Even though there are polls that suggest a vast majority of Americas want give and take, the narrative has been the GOP comes out as the bad guys if we go over the cliff. I would suggest they forget the polls. If the will of almost half of Americans are trampled completely then at this point so be it. I get why President Obama keeps waiting and snubbing the GOP, Boehner keeps negotiating with himself, giving away more and more and still losing his grip.

Ever notice that Liberals are happiest when they are screwing everyone else over?

Feeding the Beast

The American public has given up so much over the last five years even as government spending continues to run amok. I keep hearing politicians talk about how much it costs to run the government, but its rings hollow to people that have made real sacrifices. Outside of student loans, Americans have cut back during the Great Recession. Our government simply will not.

Where to Put Your Money

I mentioned on Friday there is a strange chance that the stock market might be the only game in town for those seeking growth. I think a lot of money will find its way into the housing market, but it’s still a long way from being robust as mostly investors are stirring the action. If all the possible taxes go into effect, there is no reason to invest in “safe” dividend stocks. At some point, the bond market will implode and while gold should be in everyone’s portfolio the Fed will find a way to manipulate official inflation readings.

 

Of course, there is the question of how the market and society at large handles yet another impasse in Washington. I think the nation will sink deeper into a depression, mental not economic, although that becomes the risk as well.

In the long run, being part owner of great American companies might be the only economic salvation but, for now, there are a lot of questions.

The only thing we don’t have to question is that our unhappy family is unhappy in every way.

But unhappy is good, Citizen. Unhappy serves the Government Beast. Unhappy fuels Crisis. And Never let a Crisis go to Waste… 🙂

President Barack Obama says he is “ready and willing” to get a big package done to deal with the “fiscal cliff” and says there’s no reason not to protect middle-class Americans from tax increases.

Only, he just wants it to go to hell and the Republicans to take the blame they so richly have earned for themselves.

And ObamaCare is a Tax after all… The Supreme Court said so. 🙂

Funny That.

Ho Ho Ho! Merry TAXmas…

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Merry Christmas From The Left

12-22-12

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

The U.S. Treasury is giving up $14 billion in tax revenue because of a sweetheart deal it’s giving General Motors.The automaker is expected to post its first profitable year since 2004 when it reports fourth-quarter results on Thursday. But GM won’t have to worry about being hit with a big tax bill because billions in previous losses will provide shelter for years to come.

That break will reduce GM’s U.S. tax bill by an estimated $14 billion in the coming years, and its global taxes by close to $19 billion, according to a company filing.

Companies typically get a break on future taxes because of past losses. But in most cases they lose that tax break during bankruptcy, because the losses are offset by the “income” the company receives from shedding its debt.

One reason the government might have let General Motors claim the loss, was to reduce the perceived cost of the bailout, said Linus Wilson, finance professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

By allowing GM to carry over its losses, the reduced tax collections from the company were unlikely to be counted under most accountings.

Also, the fact that GM kept the tax breaks made its stock more attractive at the time of its initial public offering last November, Wilson said.

I thought companies were evil when they got deals like this? It’s not very “fair”. 🙂

Oh, right, this a liberal darling so crony capitalism is perfectly acceptable.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

It’s the holiday season — a time of joy, giving and, of course, parents outraged about the prospect of religious symbolism appearing at the elementary school their children attend.

A different kind of Bullying Tactic…

When you hear “Silent Night,” do you feel bullied? At the Chief Charlo Elementary School in Missoula, Montana, a group of parents wrote a letter to the school, threatening to sue over the Christmas concert if the kids sing songs with religious connotations, like “Joy to the World.” But it wasn’t just “separation of church and state.” They have a new twist: they claim that since there are Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist students, having them sing Christmas songs that refer to Christ is a form of bullying. I bet if Christians kids were taught a Jewish song for Hanukkah or a Muslim prayer for Ramadan, they’d consider it “diversity.” If just hearing “Joy to the World” makes you feel bullied, then your world must be truly terrifying. (Mike Huckabee)

A group of Montana parents are saying that the sound of the angelic voices of children singing Christmas carols is NOT a joyful noise.

They have accused the Chief Charlo Elementary School in Missoula, Montana of creating an environment that allows bullying by including yuletide tunes that reference Jesus Christ at a school holiday concert.

The protesting parents say their children are ‘forced to be reformed to what is seen as the majority’ by singing the holiday melodies and claimed their children would be ‘singled out’ and ‘targeted’ if they did not join in with the caroling.

An anonymous letter was sent to the school superintendent last week, expressing outrage at the repertoire of holiday tunes.

‘We pay the taxes for this school. It is a public school. I have no problem with children having personal religious practices at school but to choose one religion and make it part of the curriculum is wrong,’

‘My children are crying because they don’t want to be singled out but what they are doing in school directly conflicts with their faith,’ the parent continued, claiming students would be ‘targeted’ if they expressed discomfort at singing a religious carol.

‘Bullying is such a hot topic, yet that seems to be what is occurring here,’ the parent wrote, adding that the students were being ‘forced to be reformed to what is seen as the majority.’

But the school denied that the selection of holiday songs was creating antagonism among the students, according to John Combs, the fine arts director for the school district who oversaw the musical selection.

‘If I thought students were being bullied we would take measures to ensure that wasn’t happening,’ he told the MailOnline.

According to Combs, the musical offerings try ‘to strike a balance’ between the different traditions of the holidays.

‘We want the students to be exposed to a number of things. There will be some years where there will be no sacred music and some years there is.’

‘Every year we get comments from one side or the other. Either the concert is too religious or it’s not religious enough.’

‘It doesn’t create a constitutional crisis to sing Christmas songs at Christmastime,’ David Cortman,
senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), told the MailOnline.

Mr Cortman noted the educational importance of the concert as a ‘truncated view of our culture and of music in general.’

‘If every time there was a piece of art or classical musical with a religious theme, we censored it – we would be eliminating much from the students’ education.’

Mr Cortman added there is no ‘basis for a legal challenge’ in the complaint from the Montana parents, who have yet to identify themselves. 

He noted another example that occurred in late October, when an atheist group complained that students at the Terry Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas were invited to a local church to see a performance of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas.’

Though the trip was voluntary and the program not religious in nature, a statement from the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers said, ‘The problem is that it’s got religious content and it’s being performed in a religious venue and that doesn’t just blur the line between church and state, it oversteps it entirely.’ (Daily Mail)

Wish people a Merry Christmas, say it to annoy a Liberal while you can. 🙂

Obama's Bullet Points on Health Care

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Are you sure the Mayans Weren’t Correct?

“Jar Jar” Boehner’s Plan “B” “compromise” fails…

Boehner’s speech to the group was short and curt: He said his plan didn’t have enough support, and that the House would adjourn until after Christmas, perhaps even later. But it was Boehner’s tone and body language that caught most Republicans off guard. The speaker looked defeated, unhappy, and exhausted after hours of wrangling. He didn’t want to fight. There was no name-calling. As a devout Roman Catholic, Boehner wanted to pray. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he told the crowd, according to attendees.

There were audible gasps of surprise, especially from freshman lawmakers who didn’t see the meltdown coming. Boehner’s friends were shocked, and voiced their disappointment so the speaker’s foes could hear. “My buddies and I said the same thing to each other,” a Boehner ally told me later. “We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and just groaned. This is a disaster.” (NRO)

So they get the blame, and they do nothing  and hand the Democrats and the Ministry of Truth all the Nukes they need to blow holes in them.

Way to go Jar Jar.

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

President Obama says he wants a “balanced” approach to the fiscal cliff. But critics argue the real problem is spending, which has far outstripped rising tax revenue as well as economic growth.

Federal government revenue rose from $1.7 trillion to $2.4 trillion from fiscal 1998 to 2012, slightly exceeding inflation. Revenue growth averaged 2.9% annually, despite two recessions, bear markets — and tax cuts.

But federal spending rose nearly twice as fast — 5.7% per year — surging from $1.6 trillion to $3.5 trillion over that same span.

The spending spike also exceeds growth in the population.

Some of the spending surge came during the Bush administration — the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, increases in non-defense discretionary spending and the creation of the Medicare prescription drug entitlement.

But spending accelerated under Obama. While he inherited a budget increase from Bush in fiscal 2009, an omnibus bill he signed plus his stimulus package helped boost spending $535 billion in his first year, hiking total spending from $2.9 trillion in 2008 to $3.5 trillion in 2009. Spending has never returned to the already-high 2008 level even after controlling for inflation. (IBD)

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, These three programs will account for about 50% of the budget by 2020.

ObamaCare Update: Coming to a city near you….

As politicians, the Democratic members of the Wilmington, Del., City Council were early and enthusiastic supporters of Obamacare.

As employers, they are suffering from sticker shock after learning Obamacare for one employee could cost as much as $17,500 per year. They say they do not want to pay it.

The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance for anyone who works more than 30 hours a week. Some city employees who work more than 30 hours a week are considered part-time and do not receive benefits such as health insurance.

Now that city leaders have read the Obamacare bill and know what is in it, that could change.

Wilmington is a predominantly black city with a high crime rate that supported Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections by wide margins.

But no one thought about the cost of Obamacare – other than to pooh-pooh any notion that Obamacare could cause any economic dislocation.

Not until now: City leaders want to avoid the extra expense of Obamacare for city employees – many of whom work as school crossing guards and for the city’s park system in the summer – reducing their hours and changing their status to part-time. (KFYI)

Are you sure the Mayans weren’t right, just not about the date?

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

 Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

You Mean it wasn’t a Film That Did It?!

YOU MEAN IT WASN’T A FILM’s FAULT!? 🙂

Obama Sept 12th, 2012: And Obama said that despite the inflammatory movie, the violence was unwarranted.

“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” he said. “But there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence — none.” (CNN)

An independent panel’s sharply critical report on the Sept. 11 attacks on the Benghazi consulate blames “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies within two bureaus of the State Department” for the post’s inability to defend itself. 

The report details the events that unfolded on Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya, when the Special Mission post was overrun by militants who used rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine-gun fire, according to the 39-page report. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

The report’s findings fall largely into two categories: staffing and the physical security of the Benghazi post. Staff was, according to the report, talented but relatively inexperienced. Personnel there spent about 40 days on assignment, resulting in “diminished institutional knowledge.” 

In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she accepts the report’s recommendations. The independent review board was formed at her request and was chaired by former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Tom Pickering. 

YOU MEAN IT WASN’T A FILM!

Ramirez.jpeg

But the truly sad thing is, a President was impeached for WaterGate and removed from office.

A President was impeached but not removed from office for having sex in the Oval Orifice and lying his ass off about it.

But this, nothing substantive will actually happen. Neither Obama or Hilary are seriously threatened by this politically. They are too busy with their shiny new “crisis” to waste time on this old thing.

And that’s the sad part.

But that’s the reality of Amerika today. The truly guilty can get away with anything as long as they are Democrats.

And the American people, in general, are too sheepish and stupid to care.

Hey, look “American Idol” is going to be on again…WOW!  Now that matters!  🙂

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

ROTFL!

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Over the Cliff

More from “Jar Jar Binks” Boehner:

Under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio), the 112th House of Representatives has thus far approved legislation that has increased the debt of the federal government by approximately $18,944 for per American household.

The 112th House of Representatives has achieved this in a little more than 20 months time—and it may not be done yet enacting laws to approve new federal borrowing and spending.

On March 1, 2011, Boehner and President Barack Obama cut their first short-term federal spending deal. That deal took effect on March 4, 2011. Since then all new borrowing and spending by the federal government has been approved in laws enacted by Boehner’s House consistent with its constitutional power to control the borrowing and spending by the federal government. (KFYI)

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

AP
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): There’s a lot of talk right now about an impending fiscal cliff. But we already went over a cliff economically in this country a long time ago.The current debate over tax hikes is an empty one built upon a false premise. The debate is whether raising tax rates will address our current crisis. The premise is that it is a lack of taxation that has led to the crisis. Both are hopelessly wrong.President Obama’s proposed tax increases on the top 2% of earners would fund the federal government for about eight days. Even if we taxed Americans earning over $1 million on 100% of their income, we would raise only about $600 billion in revenue.

Taxing citizens at this level is a tyranny even Europe hasn’t reached, and still it would only address about one-third of our deficit.

If one actually does the math, “taxing the rich” turns out to be no real solution at all, only fantasyland rhetoric.

Every dollar the government takes is another dollar used unproductively. Every dollar removed from the private sector and wasted in the hands of bureaucrats is a dollar that will not be used to purchase goods, to pay for services or to meet a payroll.

Every dollar the government ever takes — today, tomorrow and forever — is an attack on jobs and the economy.

Instead of sitting around trying to think of new ways to vote away someone else’s money, Washington leaders should finally begin to address the real crisis that has threatened us long before the current handwringing: spending.

With a $16 trillion national debt and well over $1 trillion annually in deficits, we barreled over the edge of fiscal insolvency long before this month.

Why do we lurch from deadline to deadline with no apparent action on our nation’s problems until the next deadline approaches? I presented Social Security and Medicare reform to the Senate over a year ago. I directly spoke to the president and vice president about my plan. And their response? Absolutely nothing!

Is it any wonder people are fed up with their government? The president announces we have no time for spending reforms, but when the deadline passes I predict not one committee will step into the breach to begin the process of reform.

Why? Because Democratic leadership still insists that Social Security and Medicare are just fine. Meanwhile, Social Security actuaries tell us that Social Security this year will spend $165 billion more than it receives. Medicare will spend $3 for every $1 it collects. Yet, the president says he doesn’t have time for entitlement reform.

The “fiscal cliff” scenario has come and gone. The only question now is: How do we recover?

The only solution is to cut spending. It’s no secret to anyone, except perhaps Washington leaders, that our current levels of spending are not only unsustainable, but the main culprit in our fiscal crisis.

Opponents of spending reductions — whether Democrats who insist on maintaining and expanding current domestic spending, or Republicans who insist on maintaining and expanding current Pentagon spending — make the case that any cuts to their preferred parts of government would be “Draconian” or “devastating.”

Like tax hikes, this too is a false narrative. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nominal spending in 2008 was $2.5 trillion. The outlays for the 2013 budget are an estimated $3.5 trillion.

This means the federal government plans on spending $1 trillion more next year than it did four years ago. By any measure, this is a significant and dramatic growth in spending.

Estimated revenue for 2013 is $2.9 trillion if the Bush tax cuts expire. Our 2012 revenues were $2.4 trillion, which included the Bush tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts would only make a difference of $500 billion this year — about one third of our entire deficit — but would also further harm our economy due to the job market decline that always accompanies any rise in taxes. History has proved this point time and again.

But if we spent only at 2008 levels combined with the revenues of 2012, next year we would have a deficit as small as $89 billion. An $89 billion deficit would represent less than 1% of GDP. The 2012 deficit was as high as 7.3% of GDP.

Did anyone think the size of government we had in 2008 was somehow not enough government? This is how drastically spending has increased in just the last four years.

Those who argue we can’t cut spending are basically saying that our federal government was far too small when Barack Obama entered the White House and that now we can survive only if government continues to spend at its current level. I know few if any Americans who honestly believe this, Republican or Democrat.

It’s also hard to imagine reasonable people actually believing that our government spending this obscene amount of money is somehow what makes our economy tick.

A real plan would extend the tax rates we’ve had for 12 years, reform entitlements and examine any and every way to significantly cut spending. Right now, House GOP leadership seems to want Republicans to be the party that raises taxes just a little less than the Democrats. This will not do.

Republicans are supposed to be the party of limited government and low taxes. These are our most core and basic principles. I don’t think it’s time to change who we are or what we stand for. It will not help our economy. It will also defeat the purpose of even having a Republican Party.

And that’s what Sith Lord Obama wants, By the way… “Those are not the Spending Cuts you are looking for…”:)
Sith Apprentice Harry Reid: “Now is the time to show leadership, not kick the can down the road,” Reid said. “Speaker Boehner should focus his energy on forging a large-scale deficit reduction agreement. It would be a shame if Republicans abandoned productive negotiations due to pressure from the tea party, as they have time and again.” (NBC)
But nothing the Democrats propose actually cuts spending or the deficit in anyway that is actually meaningful. But that’s the trick.
Make the stupid people think that it is meaningful and the Republicans are getting in the way so they take the fall for it when it fails miserably.
It’s tactical. not practical.
Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals: Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have.
“The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”
According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”
So Boehner Proposes and Obama and Reid Dispose, even if it’s a plan that essentially mimics on their own it still is “protecting the rich” and is not “good enough”.
Simple. 🙂

“He (President Barack Obama) is not willing to accept a deal that doesn’t ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. “The president is hopeful that both sides can work out remaining differences and reach a solution so we don’t miss the opportunity in front of us today.”

Boehner’s spokesman said: “The White House’s position defies common sense.”

“After spending months saying we must ask for more from millionaires and billionaires, how can they reject a plan that does exactly that?” spokesman Brendan Buck said. “By once again moving the goal posts, the president is threatening every American family with higher taxes.”

Because that isn’t the goal, Jar Jar. This is Chess not Poker. Simple, really. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

The Sith Lord Strikes

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

I told you Boehner and the Republicans had no balls and were cowards and that they’d cave into the Democrats. Which is why Obama wasn’t actually “negotiating” because the Republicans are too weak minded for his Sith Lord Mind Tricks.

“These are not the Spending Cuts you’re looking for…”

“Move along…Move along…”

“You don’t need Spending Cuts…”

The source said Obama sees the offer made on Friday by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner as a sign of progress, but simply believes it is not enough and there is much more to be worked out before Obama can reciprocate.

Translation: He has caved, but not completely and that is what he needs to convert him to the Dark Side and forgo all his previous beliefs and mark him for all time so he may be destroyed.

“Stimulus is not a bad thing….It’s Fair…”

After all, the Chancellor leading the Rebellion against the Separatist is a Sith Lord also, Chancellor Palapatine.

So we have The Dark Lord of The Sith, Barack Obama.

And Speaker Boehner who is now Jar Jar Binks (who started the war by being manipulated into it because he’s a simpleton).

“So This is How Liberty Dies : With Thunderous Applause” – Padme Amidala

Or an election….

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

In this season of giving, no one’s been more generous than John Boehner. Three times in fiscal cliff talks, he has offered Democrats more — only to get nothing in return. He really gives till it hurts.

Once again, the Republicans play Santa Claus to the Democrats’ Grinch — although, frankly, the GOP’s generosity is fueled by panic over being blamed for the U.S. going over the Democrat-created fiscal cliff.

In the latest round of concessions to President Obama, House Speaker Boehner is offering to put off the fight over the current $16.4 trillion federal debt limit for an entire year — one of the few bits of leverage the Republicans still have in negotiations.

That’s not all. He’s also surrendering on taxes, saying he’ll support tax hikes on millionaires to generate $460 billion in new revenues over the next decade. Coupled with the elimination of many tax deductions, that would give Obama some $1 trillion in new revenues to spend over the next 10 years.

In all fairness, Boehner is also proposing spending cuts of about $1 trillion. So that makes for $2 trillion in total potential deficit reduction by 2022.

How does that match up to fiscal reality?

Despite compromising on all the GOP’s principles, Boehner’s offer is chump change compared with $47 trillion in spending and $8.6 trillion in deficits forecast over the next decade. It only postpones disaster.

Obama, unlike Boehner, has offered no compromise we’re aware of — no more cuts, no deals on tax hikes, no entitlement or tax reform, nothing. Take it or leave it.

Boehner has said his offer is contingent on Obama making cuts in entitlements. But as we’ve found before — under President Reagan and both Presidents Bush — even when Democrats promise cuts, they don’t deliver.

Boehner isn’t just giving away the store. He’s giving away the whole mall.

We’re told that tax hikes on those with high incomes — most of whom receive income from small businesses whose profits are reported on their personal taxes — are needed for a “deal” with recalcitrant Democrats and Obama to avoid the fiscal cliff.

But a deal implies a quid pro quo.

Boehner has three times offered compromise with the Democrats: First, when he put “tax revenues” on the table in talks; second, when he offered to cap deductions; and now as he caves on the GOP principle of not raising tax rates by offering to do just that on millionaires.

In a recent Rasmussen poll, 73% of Americans said they want spending cuts, not increases. By disregarding this, Boehner has damaged his party’s brand with voters and fiscal conservatives for nothing in return.

Yes, it’s better to give than receive. But this isn’t a gift exchange. It’s a budget negotiation. Better to walk away than deliver more gifts to ungrateful recipients.

Welcome to One-Party Rule, unfortunately for you it’s Authoritarian Progressive Socialism.

Congrats. You are now officially European/China/Russia. It sure as hell ain’t America anymore.
Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

 Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

The Pork Sleighs Me

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Some Christmas Pork over the Crony Barrel:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned.

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”

Matt Mayer of the conservative Heritage Foundation slammed the request as an “enormous Christmas gift worth of stuff.”

“The funding here should be focused on helping the community and the people, not replacing federal assets or federal items,” he said.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste! 🙂

Mark Steyn:

A few years ago, my small local hospital asked a Senate staffer if she could assist them in obtaining federal money for a new building. So she did, expediting the process by which that particular corner of northern New Hampshire was deemed to be “under-served” and thus eligible for the fed gravy. At the ribbon-cutting, she was an honored guest, and they were abundant in their praise. Alas, in the fullness of time, the political pendulum swung, her senator departed the scene, and she was obliged to take a job out of state.

Last summer, she returned to the old neighborhood and thought she’d look for a doctor. The sweet old guy with the tweed jacket in the neatly painted cape on Main Street had taken down his shingle and retired. Most towns in the North Country now have fewer doctors than they did in the 19th century, and the smaller towns have none. The Yellow Pages lists more health insurers than physicians, which would not seem to be an obvious business model. So she wound up going to the health center she’d endowed so lavishly with your tax dollars just a few years earlier.

They gave her the usual form to fill in, full of perceptive inquiries on her medical condition: Do you wear a seat belt? Do you own a gun? How many bisexual men are you now having sex with? These would be interesting questions if one were signing up for eHarmony.com and looking to date gun-owning bisexuals who don’t wear seat belts, but they were not immediately relevant to her medical needs. Nevertheless, she complied with the diktats of the Bureau of Compliance, and had her medical records transferred, and waited . . . and waited. That was August. She has now been informed that she has an appointment with a nurse-practitioner at the end of January. My friend pays $15,000 a year for health insurance. In northern New Hampshire, that and meeting the minimum-entry requirement of bisexual sex partners will get you an appointment with a nurse-practitioner in six months’ time.

Why is it taking so long? Well, because everything in America now takes long, and longer still. But beyond that malign trend are more specific innovations, such as the “Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology,” which slipped through all but unnoticed in Subtitle A Part One Section 3001 of the 2009 Obama stimulus bill. Under the Supreme National Coordinator, the United States government is setting up a national database for everybody’s medical records, so that if a Texan hiker falls off Mount Katahdin after walking the Appalachian Trail, Maine’s first responders will be able to know exactly how many bisexual gun-owners she’s slept with, and afford her the necessary care.

This great medical advance is supposed to be fully implemented by 2014, so the federal government is providing incentives for doctors to comply. Under the EHR Incentive Program, if a physician makes “meaningful use” of electronic health records, he’s eligible for “bonuses” from the feds — a mere $44,000 from Medicare, for example, but up to $63,750 from Medicaid. If you have a practice at 27 Elm Street and you’re treating the elderly widow from 22 Elm Street, she’s unlikely to meet the federally mandated bi-guy requirement, but you can still qualify for bonuses by filing her smoking status with Washington. For medical facilities in upscale suburbs, EHR is costly and time-consuming, and, along with a multitude of other Obamacare regulatory burdens, helping drive doctors to opt out entirely: My comrade Michelle Malkin noted the other day that her own general practitioner has now switched over to “concierge care,” under which all third parties (whether private insurers or government) are dumped and a patient contracts with his doctor solely through his checkbook. Some concierge docs will even make house calls: Everything old is new again! (For as long as the new federal commissars permit it.)

But in the broken-down rural hinterlands, EHR and other novelties make it more lucrative for surviving medical centers to prioritize federal paperwork over patient care. For example, there’s a lot of prescription-drug abuse in this country, and so the feds award “meaningful use” bonuses for providing records that will assist them in determining whether a guy with a prescription for painkillers in New Hampshire also has a prescription for painkillers with another doctor over the Connecticut River in Vermont. So in practice every new patient in this part of the world now undergoes a background check before getting anywhere near a doctor. It doesn’t do much for your health, but it does wonders for an ever more sclerotic bureaucracy.

Hence the decay of so many “medical” appointments into robot-voiced box-checking. At the doctor’s a couple of months back, the nurse was out to lunch, and so the receptionist-practitioner rattled through the form. In the waiting room. “Are you sexually active?” she asked. “You first,” I replied. I hope I didn’t cost her the federal bonus.

But don’t worry, it’s totally secure. Carl Smith Jr. was the first physician in Harlan County, Kentucky to introduce EHR. “Because of this technology,” Dr. Smith says, “we can send the patient’s prescription electronically by secure e-mail to pharmacies.” Wow! “Secure e-mail”: What a concept! It’s a good thing the e-mail is secure at American pharmacies because nothing else is. Last Christmas, while guest-hosting at Fox News in New York, I had a spot of ill health and went to pick up a prescription at Duane Reade on Sixth Avenue. The woman ahead of me was having some difficulties. She was a stylish lady d’un certain age, and she caught my wandering eye. After prolonged consultation with the computer, the “pharmacist” informed her (and the rest of us within earshot) that her insurer had approved her Ortho but denied her Valtrex. I was thinking of asking her for cocktails at the Plaza, when I noticed the other women in line tittering. It seems that Ortho is a birth-control pill, and Valtrex is a herpes medication.

So good luck retaining any meaningful doctor-patient confidentiality in a system in which more people — insurers, employers, government commissars, TSA Obergropinführers, federal incentive-program auditors — will be able to access your medical records than in any other nation on earth.

No foreigner can even understand the American “health care” debate, which seems to any tourist casually surfing the news channels to involve everything but health care. Since the Second World War, government medical systems have taken hold in almost every developed nation, but only in America does the introduction of governmentalized health care impact small-business hiring practices and religious liberty, and require 16,500 new IRS agents and federal bonuses for contributing to a national database of seat-belt wearers. Thus, Big Government American-style: Byzantine, legalistic, whimsical, coercive, heavy on the paperwork, and lacking the one consolation of statism — the great clarifying simplicity of universal mediocrity.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, Obamacare governmentalizes one-sixth of the U.S. economy — or the equivalent of the entire French economy. No one has ever attempted that before, not even the French. In parts of rural America it will quickly achieve a Platonic perfection: There will be untold legions of regulators, administrators, and IRS collection agents, but not a doctor or nurse in sight.

Michelle Malkin: Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is “vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet” the program’s quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy “has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited,” the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

But not doing it, or doing it more rationally of course, is, you guessed it “racist” “sexist” “bigotry” and “trying to kill grandma.”

America in the 21st Century, what a Kingdom of Bureaucracy. The Bureaucrat is King and you’re just a smelly, nasty, demanding little serf who just wants to annoy them.

Congrats. It’s what you voted for Amerika. 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Agenda Lives on

Hilary says she will testify on Benghazi next week.

They start talking about her running in 2016.

Suddenly, she’s not able to testify.

Fascinating how that happened.

And who is the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was going to hold the hearing. Former Democratic Presidential Candidate, John Kerry.

Kerry is seen as the frontrunner to replace Clinton following U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s withdrawal (due to “racism”) from contention Dec. 13.

And, yes, the Ministry of Truth not only counts on your being that stupid it knows you are that stupid.

And Just so you know…Just like in Benghazi….

Before Connecticut tragedy, administration eliminated emergency preparedness program,let school violence prevention programs lapse.

The “school funding” President everyone. Of course, the funding is most concerned with is the Teacher’s Unions because they are one of the biggest contributors to the Democrats. 🙂

Remember “Race to the Top” (aka Grab the money):  2009- President Obama today announced the steps states must take to compete for their cut of an unprecedented $4.35 billion in discretionary federal stimulus funding for education.

Secreatary of Education Arne Duncan: “We have as a country, I think, have lost our way educationally. We have to educate our way to a better economy. To me, education is the civil rights issue of our generation,” he said.

This is a fight for social justice,” he added, “and we want to work with those states that are literally going to lead the country where we need to go.”

“It’s $5 billion, which sounds like a whole lot of money,” the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Smarick said. “There’s about $100 billion in the whole stimulus plan for education. This is just a small chunk, so we really have to manage our expectations about what it’s going to be able to accomplish.”(ABC)

But yet, quietly, they cut security in schools…Hmmm…

Beneath the expressions of grief, sorrow and disbelief over the Connecticut school massacre lies an uneasy truth in Washington: over the last few years the Obama administration and Congress quietly let federal funding for several key school security programs lapse in the name of budget savings.

Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren’t renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, the administration eliminated funding in 2011-12 for a separate Education Department program that gave money to schools to prepare for mass tragedies, the officials said.

A nationally recognized school security expert said those funds had been critical for years in helping schools continue to enhance protections against growing threats of violence. But they simply dried up with little notice as the Columbine and Virginia Tech school shooting tragedies faded from memory and many Americans and political leaders had their attentions diverted to elections, a weak economy and overseas dramas.

“Our hearts are broken today,” President Barack Obama said, wiping a tear from his eyes as he reacted to the tragedy. “As a country we have been through this too many times.

“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” the president added.

But last year, his administration took a less muted tone as it submitted its 2012 Education Department budget to Congress that eliminated the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) funding, which for years provided between $20 million and $30 million in annual grants to help schools create emergency and crisis preparation and prevention plans for tragedies just like the one that unfolded Friday.

The Education Department’s Web site says it last made REMS grants in 2011.

The funding was cut off even though the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, warned in 2007 that many “many school district officials said that they experience challenges in planning for emergencies due to a lack of equipment, training for staff, and expertise and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents.”

Likewise, the Justice Department over the last 12 years distributed nearly $1 billion in funding to help schools hire police resource officers, install metal detectors and take other countermeasures to prevent tragedies like the Columbine massacre.

The town of Newtown, Conn., in fact, took advantage of one of these programs in 2000 when it got $125,000 in funds from the COPS in Schools program, Justice Department records show.

But Justice Department officials said the key programs that provided money directly to schools in the aftermath of Columbine have been phased out as of 2012, the last after the 2011 budget year.

For instance, the Secure Our Schools program provided more than $110 million in funding to law enforcement agencies to partner with schools for the purchase of crime prevention equipment, staff and student training between 2002 and 2011, officials said. It was ended this year.

Likewise, the School Safety Initiative provided more than $53 million between 1998 and 2010 in grants to help state and local agencies with delinquency prevention, community planning and development, and school safety resources – all aimed at preventing violence. The program ended in 2011.

Justice Department spokesman Corey Ray said Friday night that the SSI and SOS programs had been funded primarily by congressional earmarks for the last decade and the administration did not seek additional funding to continue the efforts after lawmakers essentially banned most earmarks in 2010.

“They were funded through congressionally designated funding (earmarks). They ended in 2010 or 2011 when that process of funding ceased,” he said.

The biggest funding program for school violence was the COPS in Schools program, which Ray said provided $811 millions to communities to hire resource officers who worked inside the schools. The targeted funding for schools was ended in 2005 but police are still allowed to apply for broader police hiring money from the general COPS program and then use it to hire school resource officers if they want, Ray said.

“As the economy changed, we had agencies asking for all types of positions including school resource officers,” Ray explained. “So we gave our main hiring program the flexibility to include SROs and other positions. So no COPS In Schools, but still some options to hire for those positions.”

Some liberal groups have increasingly voiced concerns about the increased spending on police and security at schools. For instance, the Justice Policy Institute, a think tank, wrote a report in 2011 entitled “Education Under Arrest” that concluded that “schools do not need school resource officers to be safe.”

White House officials did not return repeated calls and emails Friday night seeking comment on the administration’s rationale for letting the programs lapse.

With funding for K-12 schools and law enforcement agencies evaporating, police and schools have partnered in an effort to ensure safety by creating makeshift programs that target at-risk schools.

Programs like SOS and DARE are “nice to have,” but aren’t necessarily a “need to have.” (Washington guardian)

So the teacher’s union got there infusion of cash from the Stimulus and the fake-out “race to the to” but Security was sacrificed for politics and it was very “transparent”.

Gee, that doesn’t sound like Benghazi at all.

Duncan did not offer clear specifics on how the Department of Education would monitor how the money was being spent, but promised “unparalleled transparency.”

And we all know what that means with Obama. Secrets, and lots of them.

This being one.

And what did he spend the money on, Likely “Green Energy” bankruptcies and borrowing $5 Billion dollars a day from China mostly.

A man has to have his priorities after all….

Derek Hunter: I’ve said before how progressives will exploit anyone and anything to advance their agenda, but I’d always thought there was a line, somewhere, of decency they wouldn’t cross. I was wrong.

He may have thought there was a line, but as I have stated many times I know there isn’t one they won’t cross and this just proves I’m right, saddly. 😦

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents portions of New York City, said he was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon that the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 young children, requires “meaningful action” by Congress, but hopes those words turn into concrete legislation.

“These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” Mr. Nadler said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz.

Mr. Nadler was asked whether the Newtown tragedy could be the turning point in many Democrats’ longstanding struggle to enact stronger gun laws.

I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next” incident, Mr. Nadler said.

To stop an action like that which we witnessed yesterday you would have to eliminate the existence of guns, and we’ve all seen the figures on how well that works. (Townhall)

Yeah, 20 Schoolchildren were hurt when a crazed Chinese man broke into their school room with a knife. China bans private ownership of guns.

Liberals who hear this say, “well, they aren’t dead” now are they are.

Completely missing the point.

No motive was given for the stabbings, which echo a string of similar assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent such attack took place in August, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.

Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.

In one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship. (ABC)

That’s right, KILLED.

But the Agenda is the The Agenda….

With the blood of the victims still wet, progressives began their call for gun control. They had no idea if the guns were purchased legally (they were, and stolen from the first murder victim, the killer’s mother), what kind of guns they were (they were pistols, not “assault weapons,” though a semi-automatic rifle was found, unused, in the killer’s car), or even if the killer was in custody or dead (there were stories of a hunt for a second shooter) before they succumbed to the siren call of their agenda.

Michael Moore, noted tragedy profiteer, took to Twitter with “Only minutes away from pundits & politicians say, “This isn’t the time to talk about gun control.” Really? When is that moment?”

A short time later he followed up with “The NRA hates freedom. They don’t want you to have the freedom to send your children to school & expect them to come home alive.”

No fiction writer could do the sickness of that man justice.

But Moore wasn’t alone, David Frum was his usual self and joined a chorus of his fellow progressives that included Piers Morgan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and nearly the entire homepage of The Huffington Post in calling for more gun control.

Actress Rashida Jones tweeted, “Gun control is our only road to freedom. Freedom from the fear of senselessly losing children. I’m so saddened. WE NEED LAWS NOW.”

The stupidity of these people is self-evident. States with the most freedom to own and carry guns have the lowest crime rates. Meanwhile, cities such as Chicago, where it’s illegal to own a gun, have the most gun violence.

But although the side of liberty has the statistics, progressives play on emotion. Facts don’t matter in a world of crying children, and progressives know it. A complicated issue is offered a simple solution that appeals to the feeling of helplessness and promises to alleviate it. It’s a tactic used by despots throughout history.

Since we have a media that functions as the ground troops for the progressive movement, that they would line up to offer their megaphone surprised no one. A manufactured protest of anti-Second Amendment progressive activists that attracted only a couple-dozen people (there were more reporrters there than protesters) received more coverage from the Democratic Media Complex than all the huge Tea Party protests. The event came together as if it were an Ikea desk sitting in the corner just waiting for the opportunity to be assembled.

All three major networks ran hour-long specials Friday night reiterating the limited information they had and featuring literal guesses as to what must’ve happened. Facts don’t matter when trying to scare people.

The most despicable part of the media coverage was the interviews. Children as young as these vultures could find had cameras in their faces seeking any sound bite they could milk for ratings. But those children wouldn’t be there were their parents not feet away giving permission and granting their own interviews about their person relief.

No one can blame a parent for an immeasurable sense of relief over finding their child unharmed, but they can be blamed for sticking themselves and their child in front of television cameras to spread that relief to a grieving community. Has the allure of “fame,” no matter how fleeting, overruled our sense of decency?

The president was reserved and presidential in his remarks, and the White House said this is not the time to press an agenda (we’ll see how long that lasts). But their allies would have none of it. Progressive activists and their fellow travellers in the media have a storied history of dancing on graves to advance their agenda, but rarely have they danced so gleefully on such tiny graves yet to be dug. Time will tell which argument wins the day, but I have my suspicions. As President Obama’s former chief of staff once famously said, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste.”

And finale to this, from the Huffington Post Comment section:

What do all these mass murderers have in common? They are White Ignorant Conservative Uneducated Redneck Republican Hicks

So what line won’t they cross for their agenda…None.

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

Giving People What they Ask For…

In the middle of massive tragedy in Connecticut where another little cherub of joy has killed people what I want to focus on is from the truly horrible to the truly silly  bureaucracy that Liberals (and the American People by their vote) are so fond of. So fond of it in fact that you want even more of it, and you want it for your Health Care Overlord. Congrats.

So I give you, the TSA. Bureaucratic Brainless Monkeys in Uniform. Keeping you safe. Maybe we should have them in schools. 🙂

A 12-year-old girl who suffers from a bone disorder and uses a wheelchair was detained for nearly an hour at DFW International Airport after TSA agents said they found explosive residue on her hands.

Shelbi Walser was traveling to Florida for medical treatment with her mother when the incident occurred last weekend.

Her mother, Tammy Daniels, says that TSA agents pulled her to the side after a test revealed explosives residue on the girls hands. However, Daniels believes that TSA agents never used common sense during the ordeal.

At one point, agents called a supervisor in to deal with Daniels, who is very angry about the way she was treated.

“Never once did I lose my composure with them,” said Daniels. “I never screamed at them – nothing. And the lady had the audacity to call who she called and tell them I was being hostile, which I find funny.”

Shelbi and her mother were released after a bomb expert showed up and found nothing hazardous.

“I understand other people’s concerns that they are just providing a safety for everyone who flies – I understand that,” said Daniels. “But that was not the case here.”

They NEEDED A BOMB EXPERT to tell them the wheelchair wasn’t going to explode! ARE YOU SERIOUS!

I bet this wouldn’t have happen if she was wearing a Burka or looked Muslim… 🙂

So how long before we find out some bureaucrat mental health person screwed the pooch on our little Connecticut Cherub, Hmmm??

“We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels.  We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes.”

This has been a recording if you’d like to leave a message Press 1 now…

Oh then there was little ditty:

According to the Public Religion Research Institute poll, released Wednesday, 55 percent of respondents who identified themselves as many members supported allowing people to carry guns to church. This contrasted with 38 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents, and 9 percent of Democrats.

So all Tea Partiers are gun toting whackos…. 🙂

So has the our Connecticut cutie been ID’d as a Tea Partier yet?

Townhall: Parents today are neglecting their children, and when things don’t go well, rushing to get divorced instead of trying to work things out first. Children suffer emotionally when their parents fight or split up. Parents are ignoring their children so much they don’t even see the warning signs that something might be wrong. The New York Times study found that 63 of 100 rampage killers had made threats of violence before the event.

Parents are no longer taking their children to church, where they would learn stability and morals. Fewer than 20% of Americans now regularly attend church. Every year there are 3000 fewer churches across the U.S, even though the population is growing. God and morality have been taken out of the public schools and replaced with political correctness and non-judgmentalism. “Public virtues” are no longer taught in today’s schools. People who do not attend church are more likely than churchgoers to have stress and to be less optimistic about the future. When parents split up and there is no father to take the children regularly to church, the children are much less likely to become regular churchgoers than if their mother regularly takes them.

The New York Times study found that at least half the killers in 100 rampage attacks showed signs of serious mental health problems. 48 killers were formally diagnosed with mental illness, often schizophrenia. The mentally ill used to be kept in hospitals, where they were not a danger to others. Beginning in the 1950s in California, the ACLU successfully filed lawsuits to take the mentally ill out of hospitals, known as “deinstitutionalization.” By the 1980s, most state-run mental health hospitals had closed.

Now, most of the mentally ill are out on the streets or in prison. The laws have been changed to state that the mentally ill cannot be hospitalized until they’ve already attacked someone. As a result, more mentally ill people are incarcerated than in hospitals, with the seriously mentally ill three times more likely to end up behind bars than hospitalized. More than half of all people in prison report that they have mental health problems, and more than 40 percent of the seriously mentally ill have been in jail or prison. A study at the University of South Florida found that the highest users of criminal justice and mental health services were 97 people who had been arrested 2,200 times. It is ludicrous that those 97 people are not contained for their safety and others in mental health hospitals.

The 22-year old Oregon shopping mall gunman who killed two people earlier this week is sadly typical of the rampage murderers the decay of society has spawned. He had this written on his Facebook page, “I’m the conductor of my choo choo train. I may be young but I have lived one crazy life so far.” One of his friends said he raised himself; his mother died at childbirth, he never met his father, and he left his aunt’s home at age 14.

The left will use the high level of emotion stirred up by this past week’s two rampage killings to push through new gun control laws. Liberal New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called upon President Obama to enact tougher gun control laws immediately after Friday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Yet demanding more gun control laws will not solve anything. Gun control advocates have already increased the number of laws around the country requiring background checks, waiting periods for purchases, and tracking of firearms. Many of the rampage killers obtained guns illegally. If they can’t obtain guns, deranged individuals will find other ways to commit mass murders – by setting fires, making bombs or running people over with vehicles. One day after the shootings in Connecticut, a man in Beijing stabbed 22 primary school students with a knife.

The left should not be allowed to dominate the dialogue after these tragic events with a red herring argument for gun control, in order to sneakily distract Americans from blaming them for what they have wrought. Americans who believe in traditional values must speak up and denounce the degradation of society’s morals as the root of the problem behind these rampages, or the tragedies will continue to escalate.

But never let a crisis go to waste… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Define Rich

But first a Border Update:

El Paso, TX — Border Patrol agents will no longer serve as interpreters when local law enforcement agencies request language help; that according to a new decree issued by the department of homeland security.

From now on language assistance requests will be referred to private companies.    

Before, if another agency needed language assistance the border patrol would be called per protocol.

Immigration advocates have complained in the past Border Patrol agents ask people questions about immigration and in some cases arrest immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally.

The Problem: Border Patrol agents might actually ask questions about the Illegals Illegal status and then have to arrest them!!

OMG! The Horror!!!

“The concept of language access should be without people being questioned about their immigration status,” said Jorge Baron, executive director of the Seattle-based Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, a legal aid organization.

So, the solution, just don’t have them ask the question in the first place!!!

Now that’s doing your job! 🙂 (when your job is to NOT do your job and arrest people illegally in this country that is)

Talk about “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”!!!!! 🙂

Now, isn’t that special….

Victor Davis Hanson:Who exactly were the rich who, as the president said, were not “paying their fair share”? The rapper Jay-Z (net worth: nearly $500 million)? The actor Johnny Depp (2011 income: $50 million)? Neither seems to have heard the president’s earlier warning that “at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Could both zillionaires simply have quit making money at $10 million — and thereby given their poorer audiences a break on ticket prices?

With all the talk of raising taxes on the supposedly conservative rich who make more than $250,000 per year, why not levy a $3 surcharge on tickets for movies, concerts, and sporting events to “spread the wealth” from multimillionaires? That way, LeBron James (approximate annual earnings: $53 million) or Oliver Stone (net worth: approximately $50 million) might at last begin to “level the playing field.”

Is Michael Moore (net worth: approximately $50 million) a one-tenth-of-one-percenter? If so, why do mansion-living-grandee movie directors like Moore and Stone need state subsidies and tax breaks to produce their films, when most states are nearly as insolvent as the federal government?

Warren Buffett likewise did not heed the president’s advice that after 2008 it was not the time to profit. Did he pay any attention to Obama’s additional warning that, “if you own a business, you didn’t build that”? Apparently not.

Otherwise, Buffett would not think that his own expertise and hard work had built Berkshire Hathaway, or that he has the right to leave his $50 billion fortune to nonprofit institutions of his choice — thereby shorting the Internal Revenue Service billions of dollars in lost estate taxes. With a trillion-dollar-plus annual federal deficit, either the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Health and Human Services surely could use Buffett’s loot far more than the already well-endowed Gates Foundation.

If the country is going to turn redistributionist, then we might as well do so whole-hog — given that eight of the wealthiest ten counties in America voted for Obama. Why not limit mortgage-interest deductions to just one loan under $100,000 — while ending tax breaks altogether for second and third vacation houses?

Under the present system, the beleaguered 99 percent are subsidizing the abodes of Hollywood and Silicon Valley “millionaires and billionaires” — many of whom themselves have been railing against the 1 percent. Should the government provide tens of thousands of dollars in tax breaks for a blue-state 1-percenter to live in tony Palo Alto or Newport Beach when there are plenty of fine homes far cheaper and sitting empty not far away in Stockton and Bakersfield?

Blue states usually have far higher state income taxes that are used as deductions to reduce what is owed on federal income tax. Why should working folks in Nevada or Texas have to pay their fair share, while Wall Streeters get huge federal write-offs from their New York or Connecticut state income taxes?

With the new obsessions over income and net worth, we might as well also means-test all federal programs. Should anyone — do we remember Solyndra? — be eligible for federal cash loans if he makes over $250,000 per year? Why would affirmative action apply to the children of millionaires like the offspring of Eric Holder, Susan Rice, or, for that matter, Barack Obama, while excluding the destitute children of Appalachian coal miners and the poor clingers of Pennsylvania?

Remember the revolving door that Barack Obama once promised to end? The former head of his Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, used his title and insider contacts to walk right into a Citigroup fat-cat banker’s job that pays him an estimated $2 million to $3 million a year. 

Clinton administration apparatchiks such as Jamie Gorelick, James Johnson, and Franklin Raines — without much banking experience — reaped millions of dollars working at Fannie Mae as it went nearly bankrupt. If you leave government and immediately make more than $1 million, why not pay a 50 percent tax on your income for five years — given that “somebody else made that happen”? Why does Google have tax havens in the Caribbean, and why do six-figure-income college presidents have their taxes paid by their universities?

For much of 2012, Obama waged a veritable class war against conservatives, as if they were all right-wing clones of Donald Trump and the Koch brothers. But modern Democrats — Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Brian Williams, or Oprah Winfrey — are as likely to be very wealthy as are Republicans, who increasingly better represent small-business owners desperately struggling to become affluent.

Next time around, Republicans might remind us of that paradox by nominating a small-business scrapper, who — unlike millionaires such as Al Gore, John Kerry, or Barack Obama — did not go to prep school and the Ivy League. And they might find better ways for those in academia, entertainment, sports, big law, and the media to pay their fair share.

And I would add The Democrats favorite money bag- Unions.

And 7 of the Top 10 richest in Congress are Democrats.

But remember, it’s evil to be rich, but only if you’re not a Democrat. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

3 Months Later

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Three months ago today, President Obama woke up to the news that US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans had been murdered during a terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi.  The president had been informed that an active attack was underway the night before — but how actively he followed the developing raid, and what (if any) orders he issued, remains a mystery.  On September 12, the president skipped his daily intelligence briefing and flew to Las Vegas for a campaign rally.  This much we know.  The Obama campaign eventually accused Republicans of “politicizing” the massacre by asking questions about it, asserting that the “entire reason” it was a major national story was due to rank exploitation of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.  Even with the president’s re-election safely tucked away, the White House has continued to defend its UN Ambassador (and possible Secretary of State in waiting) against charges that she dissemminated false information to mislead the public about the true nature of the deadly attack.  The president and his top lieutenants have repeatedly dodged difficult questions, changed their stories, and hidden behind the dubious fig leaf of “ongoing investigations.”  Obama has vowed to track down those responsible for the atrocities and bring them to justice.  He has also stated his desire to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi that night.  The federal investigation into the attacks got off to a stupefyingly dreadful start, and three months later, justice and accountability remain in short supply:

Three months after Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a diplomat and two CIA contractors were murdered in Benghazi, there is no sign of the killers being brought to justice by the United States. The investigation into the attacks has been hampered by the reluctance of the Libyan authorities to move against the Islamist terrorists identified by the FBI as responsible for the killing, according to American officials briefing the ‘New York Times’. None of the suspects has been arrested or killed and some have fled Libya. Last month, the FBI issued a global appeal asking anyone with information about the killers to send information in an e-mail, text message or via Facebook. Stevens, the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979, diplomat Sean Smith and CIA contractors and former U.S. Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, were killed in an attack on the U.S. consultate in Benghazi on September 11. The following day, President Barack Obama vowed: ‘Make no mistake, justice will be done.’ But that promise may remain unfulfilled if there is not more cooperation from the Libyan authorities.
The White House and its allies now insist that most questions on Benghazi have already been asked and answered — a claim that even some members of the mainstream media are finding hard to swallow.  Here’s a question: Is this report accurate?

A source with personal knowledge of the security situation in Benghazi told Breitbart News that Senators who listened to closed door testimony about the Benghazi attack were shocked to learn State Department security personnel agents were not immediately armed. Additionally, agents separated from Ambassador Chris Stevens left to retrieve their M4 weapons in a separate building. Only one returned to protect the Ambassador, while the other two hunkered down in the barracks, the source relayed. “From the accounts I read, those guys were not ready. When the attack came that night, they had to go back to the other room and grab their weapons. Then the worse part about it was they never even returned to be with the Ambassador. One returned to be with the Ambassador with his rifle … There were no shots fired in return. On the embassy property, just the embassy property, none of those security agents blasted a single bullet from a single pistol or rifle at all in defense of the Ambassador—nothing.”  
We already knew that the security situation at the consulate was woefully inadequate, but this is the first we’ve heard about zero shots being fired in the ambassador’s defense (which is not to be confused with the subsequent, prolonged firefight at the CIA safehouse).  Jay Carney may not be able to think of a single question on Benghazi that hasn’t been sufficiently addressed, but I certainly can.  Here are a dozen relevant and important inquiries, just off the top of my head:

(1) Who, specifically, denied repeated requests for increased security resources and personnel from American officials on the ground in Libya?  Why were these requests shot down?

(2) A senior State Department official testified that the US had the “correct” number of security assets in Benghazi. Amb. Susan Rice stated that our security presence at the Benghazi mission was “substantial.”  Does the president stand by those assessments?  If not, why were they made in the first place?

(3)  Why were US security personnel pulled out of Libya, even as Amb. Stevens warned of heightened risks?  

(4) Why was the Benghazi consulate operating below the bare minimum standards for a US diplomatic compound, especially after our government learned that at least ten known Islamist militias were operating in the city?  

(5) Why wasn’t security beefed up after a series of attacks on western targets in Benghazi, including previous attempted bombings at the American consulate itself?

(6) Where was the president during the raid itself?  How closely did he follow what was happening, and for how long?

(7) Was the president made aware of the numerous desperate pleas for help from two former SEALs, who battled the terrorists for seven hours before being killed?  If not, why not?  If so, what was his response?

(8) Which government officials, specifically, watched the attack unfold in real time — hour after excruciating hour — via footage from an American drone?  Was that drone armed?

(9) Why were American forces and resources not deployed to help defeat the enemy, particularly while several Americans were alive and urgently seeking reinforcements?  Why was a key counterterrorism task force not convened during the attack?

(10) Who, specifically, changed Susan Rice’s public talking points by excising references to Al Qaeda, and why?  If there was a national security concern, what was it?  Where did the inaccurate “spontaneous protest” narrative originate?  Why was that story deemed more fit for publication than the accurate terrorism evidence?  And if Rice had little direct knowledge of the facts on the ground in Benghazi, why was she selected as the administration’s spokesperson on the subject?

(11) Why was the president still publicly hedging on the terrorism question several weeks after the attack, especially if a terrorist link had been established “almost immediately.”

(12) Why did it take the FBI weeks to arrive at the unsecured, bombed-out consulate after the attack?  Why were sensitive documents left in the rubble, even after they’d left?  Without jeopardizing any leads, what — if any — progress has been made in identifying, capturing, or killing those responsible for the assault?

Three months later, the American people and the families of the fallen still deserve answers. (Guy Benson)

And they categorically will not get them.

Worse than Watergate this may be, but because it’s a Liberal and the Ministry of the Truth in control nothing will be done.

Benghazi, what’s that? 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Food For the Sowell Chapter III

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for.

Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.

Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.

No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits– food stamps, housing subsidies and the like– if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent– far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

AMEN!

Vote for me, the other guy’s an asshole! 🙂

Vote Me, I will grab “free” stuff for you from evil rich bastards! 🙂

John Stossel: Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable.

I wonder how unintended they are, really…But that’s me I’m much more cynical. 🙂

Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved.

Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their congressmen, “What laws did you repeal?” It’s always, “What did you pass?”

And so they pass and pass — a thousand pages of proposed new rules each week — and for every rule, there’s an unintended consequence, or several.

It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

“Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

“The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

It’s only “fair”, right? 🙂

Such benefits appeal to workers, who don’t realize that the goodies come out of their wages. The unemployed don’t realize that such rules deter employers from hiring them in the first place.

And the media sure as hell isn’t going to tell them. Those Evil Capitalist bastards!

In Italy, some work rules kick in once a company has more than 10 employees, so companies have an incentive not to hire an 11th employee. Businesses stay small. People stay unemployed.

“European workers have the right … to gainful unemployment,” says Jolis.

Both European central planners and liberal politicians in America are clueless about what really helps workers: a free economy.

Because they want everything to be “fair” which ends up being very authoritarian. The very opposite of free.

Funny how that worked out… 🙂

The record is clear. Central planners failed, in the Soviet Union, in Cuba, at the U.S. Postal Service and in America’s public schools, and now they stifle growth in Europe and America. Central planning stops innovation.

Yet for all that failure, whenever another crisis (real or imagined) hits, the natural instinct is to say, “Politicians must do something.”

In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!

The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can’t interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales “protected” those jobs out of existence.

The benefit of government (SET ITAL) leaving us alone (END ITAL) is rarely intuitive.

Because companies just want to make a buck, it’s logical to assume that only government rules assure workers’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for factories, and OSHA officials proudly point out that workplace deaths have dropped since it opened its doors.

Thank goodness for government, right? Well, not so fast. Go back a few years before OSHA, and we find that workplace deaths were dropping just as fast.

Workers are safer today because we are richer, and richer societies care more about safety. Even greedy employers take safety precautions if only because it’s expensive to replace workers who are hurt!

Government is like the person who gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

In a free society, things get better on their own — if government will only allow it.

And this government most certainly won’t. But that’s what the American people wanted, so let them lie down in that bed of mediocrity and socialist utopias.

Maybe all the bed bugs will finally shock them, but I doubt it.

Unenlightened Narcissism has a way of blind the stupid to reality and that is surely the main focus these days.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez