Happy Easter

Rabbit Stew

By Chef Robert Irvine

2006 Robert Irvine, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:

Cook Time:
2 hr 20 min

Level:
Intermediate

Serves:
6 servings

Ingredients

3 pounds rabbit, cut into stew sized pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup celery, diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 onions, finely diced
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
6 cups water
4 cups red wine
4 medium-sized potatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced sauteed mushrooms

Directions

Using half the flour (3/4 cup) coat the pieces of rabbit, shaking off any excess. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and brown the floured rabbit on all sides. Add the celery, carrots, onions, salt, pepper, bay leaves, 6 cups water and red wine, and stew for about 2 hours. Add the potatoes 45 minutes into the stewing process. Once the rabbit and all the vegetables are cooked, use some water to form a paste with the remaining 3/4 cup flour. Stir the flour mixture into the pot as a thickener. Add the already sauteed mushrooms to the stew and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary, and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_35846_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

Cartoon of the Day

I Have a Nightmare

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A black lawmaker didn’t break any legislative rules when writing an email referring to a white

constituent’s ancestors as incestuous slave owners, the Alabama House leader said Tuesday.
Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard of Auburn said Thursday that neither he nor most other legislators share the views that Democratic Rep. Joseph Mitchell of Mobile expressed in the email to a Jefferson County man. He said the response from most legislators was, “I can’t believe he would put out something like that.”

But Hubbard said Mitchell has free speech rights.

“There is nothing in our rules that prevents someone from sending an email that has his personal opinions in it,” Hubbard said.

Mitchell and many other members of the Legislature got an email from Eddie Maxwell of Jefferson County asking them not to pass gun control laws and saying that he would consider any legislation a violation of the state’s
constitution.

Mitchell sent back an email, referring to the man’s “slave-holding, murdering, adulterous, baby-raping, incestuous kin folk.”

That’s just “free speech”. Good thing he was a Liberal… 🙂

But if you say that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman and that’s it, then man, you’re going to hell because you’re a massive bigot.

Isn’t The Politically Correct Left hilarious!

A pediatric neurosurgeon who has become the darling of conservatives since speaking against nationalized healthcare is now under fire for comments he made about same-sex marriage.

Dr. Benjamin Carson told MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” on Friday that he would be willing to step down as commencement speaker at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine after faculty and students signed petitions asking that he not speak.

The petitions began after Carson told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, “My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition.” One of the petitions, quoted by The Hill newspaper, reads: “We retain the highest respect for Dr. Carson’s achievements and value his right to publicly voice political views. Nevertheless, we feel that these expressed values are incongruous with the values of Johns Hopkins and deeply offensive to a large proportion of our student body.”

The Left can say the most outrageously offensive things and no one bats any eye but let a non-liberal say anything that isn’t politically correct and they are a racist, mysognist, homophobic bigot of the grandest order.

Orwell would be so proud.

The full text of Leftist: http://newsone.com/2312809/joseph-mitchell-eddie-maxwell-alabama/

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alaska Rep. Don Young issued an apology Friday for using the term “wetbacks” when discussing migrant works, acknowledging it is an “insensitive term” that he says should have been left behind with the last century.

The apology came after House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican Party leaders denounced Young on Friday for using the term.

The 79-year-old Young, the second-most senior Republican in the House, had issued a statement late Thursday saying he “meant no disrespect” in using the derogatory term to describe the workers on his father’s farm in central California, where he grew up.

But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made clear Friday they did not find the explanation acceptable.

One’s “free speech” the other is “offensive”. 🙂

Guess which one is which!

Now for the fun part.

I just happened to be out grocery shopping when I heard this one:

You know, ABC has a show in primetime called Wife Swap (aka polyamory).  They do.  They have a program called Wife Swap, and last night they swap a Tea Party activist with a polyamorous family.  I’m not kidding you. The Tea Partiers are painted as the Bible-thumping freaks, and the polyamorous family portrayed as the open-minded, full of love, and sympathetic bunch.  The wives are Gina Loudon, a San Diego Tea Party activist and a New York polyamorous wife, Angela Envy, and here is how the program opened.

ANNOUNCER: (dramatic music) Tonight on Wife Swap.  Two very different wives. (gunshot) A gun-toting Tea Party activist.

GINA LOUDON:  You can’t defend your rights, then you don’t have any rights.

The Tea Party activist is a fuddy-duddy, Bible-thumping, closed-minded bigot. The wife that’s in the polyamorous relationship is loooooving, open-miiiiinded (giggles), and loves both of her partners.

ANNOUNCER:  Meet Gina Loudon from San Diego, California. (Me:The Agents of the Devil himself! Don’t let the normalcy look fool you they are pure evil!!!!)

Did ABCs Wife Swap Really Make a Polyamorous Family Look More Reasonable & Loving Than a Tea Party Family?

GINA LOUDON:  You take Hitler. You take Mussolini. You take Pol Pot. They were all liberals.  Let’s not forget that.

ANNOUNCER:  Gina is a journalist, author, political pundit, and staunch supporter of the Tea Party movement.

GINA LOUDON:  Faith is the cornerstone of the Loudon family.

MR. LOUDON:  “He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the Lord.”

GINA LOUDON:  My family is grounded in God.  We are Christians.  We believe in Jesus Christ. (gunshot) I don’t think the government should regulate how many guns I own.  People are afraid of the guns, so they just want to throw ’em all away.

Now the Polyamorous “Couple”: (no Irony in their last name now is there?) 🙂

ANNOUNCER:  In New York is the nonpolitical and polyamorous Envy family.

(Non-political is good, kiddies… Everything is completely normal….)

Did ABCs Wife Swap Really Make a Polyamorous Family Look More Reasonable & Loving Than a Tea Party Family?

ANGELA ENVY:  Me and Chris have been married eight years now, and Ashley is our girlfriend.

ASHLEY:  Chris, Angela, and I have, like, a very passionate, loving relationship.  I’ve just become part of the whole family.

CHRIS ENVY:  I had no idea that it was gonna develop into an actual relationship, but I’m happy it did.

ANGELA ENVY:  Ashley fits into the family perfectly.

ASHLEY:  I was hanging out with them more as friends in the beginning and just turned into more.  I went from being a college girl to living in a house with four children.

ENVY:  The trio all live together with Chris and Angela’s children.

ANNOUNCER:  And a polyamorous wife who lives with her husband and their girlfriend.

Aww, aren’t they just the sweetest,cutest, cuddliest family ever! 🙂

Polyamory, the next big Liberal “Civil Rights” push. Well, when you have non morals anything goes.

And that’s good. At least you’re not a hard-nosed, insensitive bigoted, misogynist racist Right Wing Christian Tea Party BIGOT! 🙂

So can Polygamy, Child Marriage, and Bestiality be far behind???

After all, who are we to judge.

Unless you say something the Left doesn’t like that is….

Then you are the spawn of evil and must be struck down fast, hard and with no mercy for the wicked!!!!!

<<<maniacal laughter!!>>

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Freedom of Choice

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

http://embraceeconomicfreedom.com/?p=673

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University has released their third biennial freedom index ranking, Freedom in the 50 States 2013. The economic freedom component of the index offers some valuable comparisons into the various tax, spending, and regulatory burdens imposed at the state level.

The overall freedom ranking is a combination of personal and economic freedoms.

Interesting: The Dakotas were #1 & #2.

Arizona: #11

New York: #50. And has been since 2001!!

California: #49  (never higher than #48 since 2001)

The two most Liberal states. Fascinating 🙂

California not only taxes and regulates its economy more than most other states, but also aggressively interferes in the personal lives of its citizens.

Government consumption (at 11.0 percent of personal income) and employment (at 12.8 percent of private-sector employment) are about average, but debt is high (at 25.8 percent of income).

New York is by far the least free state in the Union. It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9.0 percent of the state’s 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.1

New York has, by a wide margin, the highest taxes in the country: 14.0 percent of income, three and a half standard deviations above the national mean. New York is also the most indebted state, setting its own record high in FY 2010 at 33.2 percent of income.

 

Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states.

The freest state overall, the researchers concluded, was North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The least free state by far was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

The study also compared its measures of economic and personal freedom to population shifts and income growth, and found that freer states tend to do better on both scores than those less free.

For example, it found a strong correlation between a state’s freedom ranking and migration, which means that Americans are gravitating toward states that have less-intrusive governments.

Escape From New York, L.A.

New York, for example, saw a net migration of -9.2% between 2000 and 2011, and California’s was -4.2%. In contrast, Tennessee gained 4.4%, and Oklahoma gained 1.3%.

An IBD analysis of the data found that “red” states — those voting for Republican presidential candidates in the past two elections — saw an overall net migration of 2.2%, while “blue” states saw an overall average net migration of -0.3%.

“People are voting for places with greater freedom,” said William Ruger, a political scientist at Texas State University and one of the co-authors of the study. That was true, he said, even after controlling for things like weather and amenities that might attract people to states independent of these freedom measures.

The study also found that states with more freedom tended to see stronger income growth. This was particularly true in states with more regulatory freedom.

“Adam Smith was right,” Ruger said. “If you have economic freedom, you will have economic growth.”

IBD has previously reported that red states saw stronger job growth, lower unemployment and bigger gains in per capita income than blue states during the economic recovery. For example, IBD found that in the first three years of the recovery, red states saw 1.9% job growth compared with 1.2% for blue states.

The Mercatus study also found that blue states have generally become less free over the past decade, while red states have tended to gain additional levels of freedom. The states with the biggest declines in freedom were Wyoming, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Kansas. Those with the biggest gains were Oklahoma, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah and New Mexico.

And contrary to conventional wisdom, the researchers found that conservative states are just as likely as liberal ones to score well on measures of personal freedom, which looked at laws covering marijuana use, gambling, marriage rights, alcohol and tobacco use, gun control, victimless crimes and the like.

“Personal freedom does not relate straightforwardly to the left-right spectrum at all,” the study noted.

The study’s findings also call into question claims made repeatedly by President Obama during last year’s campaign that tax cuts and deregulation won’t produce growth and prosperity.

“They tell us,” he said in one speech, that “if we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger.”

“Here’s the problem,” he said. “It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”

But if anything, the data show precisely the opposite.

So the Democrats will make up the gaps with Illegal Alien Amnesty. 🙂
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne
Or the Muslim Brotherhood.
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Minimum Effort

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says the minimum wage should be $22 an hour. As is always the case, the urge to help will create more problems than it alleviates.

The usual response to such nonsense is that if government can make lives better by establishing a minimum wage of $X per hour, then why not double or even triple that rate? Why not make the minimum wage $50 per hour? Or $100?

This makes sense. The point is, government does not have the knowledge to decree wage levels.

Nor does it have the moral authority to force private companies to pay what it deems to be a proper wage — though lawmakers have ignored this for generations and employers have complied without resistance.

Proponents of raising the minimum wage historically ignore the downside of their plans. They seem to think that employers have unlimited funds and can pay whatever they, the supporters, think is fair.

But it doesn’t work that way. It can’t work that way. There are costs. Setting a minimum wage takes a toll.

While benefiting a few — those fortunate workers who gain from lawmakers’ generosity with someone else’s money — minimum wage laws hurt many more by reducing employment among low- and unskilled workers, the very people they’re supposed to help. Minimum wage is a tax on hiring from this sector of the workforce.

The scholarly literature supports the opponents’ position. University of California-Irvine economist David Neumark has looked at more than 100 academic studies that assessed the impact of lawmakers setting wages.

His conclusion: About 85% of the studies reported that there is indeed “a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.”

Why is this group hit so hard? Economist Milton Friedman explained it clearly.

“What you are doing is to assure that people whose skills are not sufficient to justify that kind of wage will not be employed,” he said.

“Minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying employers must discriminate against people who have low skills.”

During President Obama’s State of the Union speech, he called for an increase in the national minimum wage. His proposal was much less ambitious than Warren’s: He wants to move it to $9 an hour from the current $7.25.

If fact, in comparison, he looks like a miser.

But his plan still has problems. For one thing, it’s a 24% increase in the minimum wage, a big jump.

Think of it this way: A company’s bottom line allows it to employ 100 low-skilled workers at $7 an hour and it needs all 100 to run its business at peak efficiency.

But because the national minimum wage forces it to pay $7.25 an hour, it can employ only 96. If Obama’s proposal becomes law, it can afford only 77.

Some studies say that minimum wage laws don’t generally cause lost jobs. But one of those, “Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics,” out of Texas A&M University, says that even though minimum wage laws don’t toss workers off the payrolls in large numbers, they do depress job creation.

So let’s take that same company and say it wants to expand to 100 employees from its current 75 because its business is growing and it wants to maximize its opportunities.

Under Obama’s plan, that business can only hire 21 workers rather than the 25 it needs. Under Warren’s plan, it could add only two.

Those who fancy themselves as sophisticated thinkers might consider our examples too simple. And we admit little in life is as straightforward as the scenarios that we laid out.

Yet they make an inescapable point, one so clear that even lawmakers should be able to grasp it: Force the cost of anything to rise beyond its market-clearing price, and people will demand less of it. That’s not an opinion, but an iron rule of economics.(IBD)

But it “feels” so good. and “Social Justice” demands it. And besides, it’s good for Class Warfare and THE AGENDA…

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Laying Down The Law

claims

Insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32 percent more for medical claims on individual health policies under President Barack Obama’s overhaul, the nation’s leading group of financial risk analysts has estimated.

That’s likely to increase premiums for at least some Americans buying individual plans.

The report by the Society of Actuaries could turn into a big headache for the Obama administration at a time when many parts of the country remain skeptical about the Affordable Care Act.

While some states will see medical claims costs per person decline, the report concluded the overwhelming majority will see double-digit increases in their individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers.

The disparities are striking. By 2017, the estimated increase would be 62 percent for California, about 80 percent for Ohio, more than 20 percent for Florida and 67 percent for Maryland. Much of the reason for the higher claims costs is that sicker people are expected to join the pool, the report said.

The report did not make similar estimates for employer plans, the mainstay for workers and their families. That’s because the primary impact of Obama’s law is on people who don’t have coverage through their jobs.

Like many poor people and the unemployed. The targets of ObamaCare. 🙂

And if you think, well I’m not one of those people so it won’t effect me…

WRONG!!

Insurance is a shared pool of risk. Everyone is in the pool and if Barack and Nancy are peeing in the pool you’ll get splashed with it.

Insurance companies uses the “Law of Large Numbers” and probability to determine the chance of an event occurring.  If the chance of someone having a car accident is one in one hundred, then insurance companies collect premiums from 100 people to pay the claim that one driver will incur. This is called “spreading the risk”. It is important for insurance companies to adequately gauge the hazards (items that increase the chance of loss) of a risk before insuring it.  If they don’t research and know a business or the habits of an individual and they guess wrong in predicting the chance of something happen the insurance company could lose money.  If they do this often enough then the company suffers.

Of course it is still up to chance but past experience is a good indicator of the future.

http://www.learninsurance.org/Content/LEARNING-INSURANCE/What-is-Insurance/Law-of-Large-Numbers.aspx

What you don’t understand will hurt you.

The purpose of insurance is to protect against loss. If there is no potential for a loss to occur or if there is potential for the person to profit or gain, insurance usually cannot be purchased.

It is not your personal bank and it is not a stock market and definitely NOT FREE MONEY!!! with no consequences.

While loss of property is certainly serious, an even greater potential for loss
exists when a person or family becomes legally obligated to someone else. The main difference between liability and property loss exposures, is that while the amount of a potential loss to property can rather easily be estimated prior to the loss, the amount of a claim for liability is not determined until after something has happened. Even then, it is difficult to predict what a judge or jury might determine a person must pay to another as compensation for damage or injuries.

Many people fail to recognize one of the most significant loss exposures they face—risk of losing their health and being unable to earn income. One of the biggest assets any person has is their potential earning capacity. If that potential is interrupted by ill health, disability, or death, there is a significant loss, not only to that person, but to others who are dependent upon them.

Property, liability, and human losses can be expensive. In addition to the financial impact, or direct loss, there may also be other costs that are not as obvious.

So now do you want the government bureaucrats involved in your Insurance? 🙂

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said some of what passes for health insurance today is so skimpy it can’t be compared to the comprehensive coverage available under the law. “Some of these folks have very high catastrophic plans that don’t pay for anything unless you get hit by a bus,” she said. “They’re really mortgage protection, not health insurance.”

See above. Do you think they understand? Do they understand risk management??

A prominent national expert, recently retired Medicare chief actuary Rick Foster, said the report does “a credible job” of estimating potential enrollment and costs under the law, “without trying to tilt the answers in any particular direction.”

Unlike 1-directional Liberals and progressives. 🙂

Kristi Bohn, an actuary who worked on the study, acknowledged it did not attempt to estimate the effect of subsidies, insurer competition and other factors that could mitigate cost increases. She said the goal was to look at the underlying cost of medical care.

“Claims cost is the most important driver of health care premiums,” she said.

The more claims, the more risk, the higher the premium. That’s NOT rocket science.

Oh, and those “subsidies” from government are what? SPENDING. So if the subsidies have to increase to hide the cost then the SPENDING will have to increase. And where does the spending come from?

Tax Payers! 🙂

Congratulations. You get to fun yet another self-bloating bureaucratic nightmare!

Aren’t you happy!!!!

Bohn said the study overall presents a mixed picture.

Millions of now-uninsured people will be covered as the market for directly purchased insurance more than doubles with the help of government subsidies. The study found that market will grow to more than 25 million people. But costs will rise because spending on sicker people and other high-cost groups will overwhelm an influx of younger, healthier people into the program.

Especially, when you are not allowed to manage your risks by Adverse Selection.

Some of the higher-cost cases will come from existing state high-risk insurance pools. Those people will now be able to get coverage in the individual insurance market, since insurance companies will no longer be able to turn them down. Other people will end up buying their own plans because their employers cancel coverage. While some of these individuals might save money for themselves, they will end up raising costs for others. (Yahoo)

But in a Me-Centered Universe isn’t that a win? 🙂

Go Me! It’s all about ME! ME ME! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

The Path

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Facing a billion-dollar budget shortfall, the Chicago Public Schools’ plan to close 54 schools, mostly in black and low-income neighborhoods, forces many students to cross gang boundaries to get a mediocre education.

Shuffling children around like so many deck chairs on a sinking ship, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the closings as a cost-cutting move, with CPS officials arguing that money being spent to keep underutilized schools open could be better used to educate students elsewhere as the district deals with a $1 billion budget deficit.

About 30,000 students will be affected by the plan, with about half that number moving into the remaining schools. CPS claimed the plan could “save the district $560 million over 10 years in capital costs and an additional $43 million per year in operating costs.”

That’s about 100 million a year. The debt is a billion a year. Fascinating liberal math as always…

Yet the suddenly cost-conscious CPS caved to the Chicago Teachers Union’s demands in a recent strike.

John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute notes Chicago’s unemployment rate is just under 11% and that the average Chicagoan makes just $30,203 compared to the average teacher’s salary of $71,000, even before benefits are included.

So your average teacher makes MORE THAN twice what the average worker makes. Gee, are they “the rich”? 🙂

And unlike parents who go to work each day to be judged on their productivity fearing each day might be their last, dismissing a bad teacher is harder than spinning straw into gold.

The Associated Press notes, “many of the schools identified for closure are in high-crime areas where gang violence contributed to a marked increase in Chicago’s homicide rate last year.” These schools are in “overwhelmingly black and in low-income neighborhoods.”

Wait a minute. Weren’t cold-hearted budget-cutting Republicans supposed to be the mortal enemies of the poor, minorities and children? How could this be happening in the heart of liberal progressivism, President Obama’s hometown run by his former White House chief of staff, Mayor Rahm Emanuel?

This is not the hope and change we were promised, lament local residents, who say the planned closings smack of racism. “I don’t see any Caucasians being moved, bussed or murdered in the streets as they travel along gang lines, or stand on the steps of a CPS school,” said activist Wendy Matil Pearson as opponents of the school closing plans protested outside a school in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

Such complaints and concerns are well-founded.

Recently Janay McFarlane, 18, was killed just hours after her younger sister was among a group of teens who were onstage as President Barack Obama gave a speech in Chicago on gun violence. Destini McFarlane, 14, sat just feet away as the president spoke of a similar murder of Hadiya Pendleton.

Chicago’s murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 people looks nothing like the American 4.2, the Midwest’s 4.5 or Illinois’ 5.6 murder rates, despite the strictest gun regulations in the country. Up to 80% of Chicago’s murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police. By one estimate, the city has 68,000 gang members, four times the number of cops.

Yet Mayor Emanuel preaches even stricter gun control over gang control, including “universal” background checks to which Chicago gangs won’t submit. He opposes Illinois’ imminent concealed carry law, which would allow Chicago parents to protect themselves and their children from such thugs.

Emanuel also opposes genuine school choice even while saying he doesn’t want Chicago kids trapped in failing and dangerous schools.

He opposes giving parents a voucher allowing their children to escape such schools and the gang violence that often surrounds them.

Such are the fruits of liberal progressivism in Chicago.

Budgets are balanced on the backs of poor and minority children in a town in which gangs run rampant while its mayor puts the blame on inanimate objects called guns. Some in Chicago are calling it racism.

Or how about incompetence,greed, and political failure. All the hallmarks of a liberal 🙂
Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Immigration reform depends on a secure border. Nearly every lawmaker pushing reform, and certainly every Republican, stresses that the border must be proved secure before millions of currently illegal immigrants can be placed on a path to citizenship.But how do you measure border security? For years, the government estimated the number of miles of the border that were under “operational control” and came up with various ways to define what that meant.

Then the Department of Homeland Security threw out the concept of operational control, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano called “archaic.” The administration promised to create something called the Border Condition Index, or BCI, which would be a “holistic” (and a far better) measure of border security.

Time passed, with no BCI. “Nearly three years later, the department has not produced this measure, so at this hearing, we will be asking for a status of the BCI, what measures it will take into account and when it might be ready,” subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican, said before Wednesday’s testimony. Getting BCI up and running is particularly important now, Miller added, because comprehensive immigration reform cannot happen without a reliable way to assess border security.

So imagine everyone’s surprise when Mark Borkowski, a top Homeland Security technology official, told Miller that not only was BCI not ready, but that it won’t measure border security and was never meant to.

“I don’t believe that we intend, at least at this point, that the BCI would be a tool for the measurement that you’re suggesting,” Borkowski told Miller. “The BCI is part of a set of information that advises us on where we are and, most importantly, what the trends are … It is not our intent, at least not immediately, that it would be the measure you are talking about.”

Miller appeared stunned and practically begged Borkowski, along with two other Homeland Security officials who were testifying, to tell her what she wanted to hear. “I’m just trying to let this all digest” she said. “We’re sort of sitting here, as a Congress … At what point will you be able to give us something?”

She never got an answer.

Even Democrats who oppose tying immigration reform to border security realized they were being played. “I would say to the department, you’ve got to get in the game,” said a frustrated-sounding Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. “At some point, we’re going to have to have DHS work with us more concretely about the confidence of the security of the border.”

Rep. Ron Barber, the Democrat who replaced Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, noted, “The Border Patrol rolled out last May a new strategy that didn’t have goals, didn’t have metrics, didn’t have a process for evaluation”. That’s not really a plan, is it?

Miller, the chairwoman, reminded the officials that the Department of Homeland Security could end up being the “stumbling block” to immigration reform. But the hearing ended with no hint that any answers might come soon.

A related issue: As reform supporters often point out, a large number of illegal immigrants — more than 40 percent — did not cross the border illegally. Rather, they came legally, with a visa, and then never left. Members of the Senate “Gang of Eight” are promising tough new measures to deal with so-called visa overstays.

But like the case of border security, Congress has passed law after law, going back to 1996, requiring the executive branch to crack down on overstays. The promised enforcement has never happened.

Among the measures: The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996; the Immigration and Naturalization Service Data Management Improvement Act of 2000; the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001; the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002; and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. All directed the executive branch to stop visa overstays, but the problem remains.

A look at the recent House hearing, as well as at the long-standing overstay problem, highlights a major obstacle to comprehensive immigration reform. The executive branch has the authority to enforce border and visa security. But these days, it appears the executive branch, particularly the Department of Homeland Security, doesn’t want to do the job.

Why would passing a new comprehensive immigration reform measure change that? (Townhall)

It won’t. But THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA and the Agenda says they must do have Amnesty for all those new Democrats.

ALSO…

Fifteen members of Congress have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding to know why the federal agency is buying so many rounds of ammunition. We’d like to know too.

A good portion of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition are being purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second-largest criminal investigative agency. Yes that’s the same ICE that is releasing detained criminal illegal aliens onto our streets because of sequestration cuts.

Jonathan Lasher, the Social Security Administration’s assistant inspector general for external relations, explained the purchase of 174,000 hollow-point bullets by saying they were for the Social Security inspector general’s office, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes.

When they say they’re cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse, they apparently mean it.

However, as former Marine Richard Mason told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania recently, hollow-point bullets (which make up the majority of the DHS purchases) are not used for training because they are more expensive than standard firing range rounds .

“We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire 4-1/2 years in the Marine Corps,” Mason said.

LaMalfa offers one theory that’s less sinister than some: The federal government is simply trying to corner the market on ammo and restrict what’s available to the American people as part of its gun control efforts.

“The extraordinary level of ammunition purchases made by Homeland Security seems to have, in states such as my own, created an extreme shortage of ammunition to the point where many gun owners are unable to purchase any,” LaMalfa wrote in the letter.

While lower-level officials talk to the press, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano apparently doesn’t want to tell Congress herself the reasons for these purchases.

“They have no answer for that question. They refuse answer that,” Congressman Timothy Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told reporters recently, adding, “They refuse to let us know what is going on, so I don’t really have an answer for that. Multiple members of Congress are asking those questions.”

Homeland Security has acquired a number of Mine Resistant Armored Protection (MRAP) vehicles which have been retrofitted for possible service on the streets of the U.S. They were formerly used for counterinsurgency in Iraq. These vehicles are specifically designed to resist mines and ambush attacks.

As we noted in a recent editorial, DHS is also seeking to acquire 7,000 5.56-by-45-millimeter NATO “personal defense weapons” — also known as “assault weapons” when owned by civilians.

If there are plausible explanations for all this, some congressmen would like to hear them.

Maybe DHS can answer Congress’ questions in a series of bullet points. (IBD)

🙂

Or maybe their Mexican Drug Cartel buddies will know…
Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden
Political Cartoons by Henry Payne
Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

More Fun By Liberals

The UK:

TEACHERS are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs.

Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.

Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.

She added: “I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together.

“They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they’re learning to deal with it.”

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans.

He said: “I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.

“I don’t see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives.” The Campaign for Real Education, which wants more parental choice in state education, said the “ridiculous” policy was robbing children of their childhood.

Spokesman Chris McGovern added: “Children take things very seriously and if you tell them they can’t have a best friend it can be seriously damaging to them. They need to learn about relationships.” (The Sun)

But the only relationship they are supposed to have is a Love for The State, isn’t it? 🙂

Children have made and lost friends for at least as long as children have had leisure time to play with one another — and probably before that. Those who learn to cope with imperfect friendships early in life are better equipped to handle the imperfect friendships that inevitably come later. (Besides, what friendship is perfect?) Does that mean I wish for every child to experience a falling out with a friend? Not necessarily — but it should be noted that fights often bring friends closer together in the end. Also, a life artificially sanitized of all friend-related disappointment sounds a little, well, artificially sanitized. And who wants that? (hot air)

Individualism must die. Long live the Collective!!

You don’t need any friends other than The State!!!  Now do you… 🙂

Wait!  It gets better….

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, schools across America are tightening security, putting up fences, installing video surveillance equipment and hiring security guards  (and the liberals are doing what they do best– hysterically over-react). The horrific shooting has created an overwhelming uneasiness at schools and some districts, like one in southern Maryland, are looking beyond basic security to make sure they’re doing everything possible to protect their students from harm.

Administrators at St. Mary’s County School District have introduced a long list of new policies meant to create a safer environment for students at its 17 public elementary schools. Many of these rules, such as background checks for non-parent volunteers, are standard and make sense—but one of them, a restriction on hugging, has some people wondering if the district’s staff and community are taking things too far?

Yes, horrible things happen in the world and many people are untrustworthy, but is it so bad that we can no longer allow hugs at school?  Don’t kids need more, not fewer, hugs?

St. Mary’s new policy allows parents to hug their own children but parents and volunteers are forbidden from hugging or touching children who aren’t their own. A parent who is attending lunch recess can’t push a kid who isn’t her own in a swing or help a kid who scraped her knee put on a Band-Aid. If you’re a parent who volunteers at your kids’ elementary school, you know this could be tough, especially when that weepy kindergarten runs up to you and gives you a huge hug because someone just swiped her lunch bag in the cafeteria. But rules are rules, and at St. Mary’s schools you’d have to tell that little girl to step away.

So no chance for a BFF at all because you aren’t allowed to touch another human being!

You touch me and you’re in BIG Trouble! 🙂

“The fact is that we want to make certain our teachers and our staff are trained in what’s defined as the appropriate touching of a student versus inappropriate touch of a student,” Superintendent Michael Martirano told NBC News.

Mind you this is really is not all THAT new. Back when I was in Education in the early 90’s this discussion/warning about touching a child at any point that could end your career in seconds. Taking a child to the bathroom had to have practically a lawyer, legal witness and a Document signed in triplicate.

It’s no wonder discipline in schools has gone to hell.

The majority of the guidelines are meant to put restrictions around visiting parents and volunteers. Parents are prohibited from bringing younger siblings into school when it’s in session and from approaching teachers for a conference while visiting, according to the SoMdNews.com. District staff wants parents to schedule conferences ahead of time.

So if you’re mad at a teacher, Make an appointment so they can dodge it.

Parents who want to attend recess aren’t allowed to play with students other than their own. All school visitors are now required to check in at the front office and have their picture taken by a computer camera. Any volunteer who isn’t a parent must have a background check.

Homemade treats are forbidden because many kids have allergies and parents can now only serve store-bought goodies with clear ingredient lists to students other than their own. Birthday invites can’t be passed out at schools because those students who aren’t invited to a party might feel left out.

“We think it’s the right balance between safety and parental involvement,” Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools and Title I, told SoMdNews.com.

We have the right level of hysterical over-reaction.

Most teachers encourage their students to only pass out invitations in class if everyone in the room is invited. And many schools have restrictions around treats brought in from the outside due to the increasing number of kids with allergies.

Because excluding people is bad. 🙂

We are all one. We should all be one. And if you can’t include everyone, don’t do it!

The Collective must be maintained!

Michele Zip over at Cafe Mom wisely points out, “…a hugging ban isn’t going to prevent someone from doing something sinister … if that’s what this is about. Evil doesn’t follow rules.” (SFGate)

Especially silly Liberal ones.

And for the Coup de grace for today…

A Texas mom is furious after discovering that her son’s school is teaching students that the United States is partly to blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people.

Kara Sands, of Corpus Christi, Texas, took to her Facebook and posted photos of the test administered by Flour Bluff Intermediate School. The test reportedly covered content in a video fifth-grade students watched in class.

Of all the questions about the 9/11 attacks, Sands was most disturbed by question three:

“Why might the United States be a target for terrorism?” The answer? “Decisions we made in the United States have had negative effects on people elsewhere.”

Unsurprisingly, the stunningly controversial lesson plan is part of the CSCOPE curriculum system that has come under fire recently. The same system includes lessons asking students to design a flag for a “new socialist nation” and dubs the Boston Tea Party as an “act of terrorism.”

“I’m not going to justify radical terrorists by saying we did anything to deserve that — over 3,000 people died,” Sands told KRIS-TV.

The irate mother immediately contacted her son’s principal and teacher and set up meetings with them. The school then reached out to the video’s distributor, Safari Montage.

“Representatives say they stand behind the video, but have already changed the corresponding quiz that may have caused confusion,” according to the report.

Another worksheet on the Bill of Rights apparently names food and medicine as “rights,” not a personal responsibility, according to Sands. She said her son’s answer was falsely marked wrong because he labeled food and medicine as the latter.

As a Texas parent, Sands said she is very concerned about what CSCOPE is teaching children. But the Flour Bluff Independent School District released a statement defending the use of CSCOPE.

Several parents are reportedly planning to bring the issue up during the next school board meeting on March 28 and Sands is encouraging more parents to get involved.

“When I teach my children that you have to work hard and you have to earn a living and they go to school and learn something different I absolutely take issue with that,” she added.

“When I teach my children that you have to work hard and you have to earn a living and they go to school and learn something different I absolutely take issue with that,” she added. (The Blaze)
Addendum: Since reporting the Maryland  story, the district has issued a statement softening their new guidelines. In a letter to parents, Superintendent of Schools Michael Marirano writes that “local, Washington and Baltimore, national, online media and social networks” have sensationalized the new policies and “St. Mary’s County Public Schools is not banning hugging and homemade treats.” “However,” he adds, “we are raising the awareness of safety issues and the need to provide more guidance and training to our parents and volunteers.”Geez, don’t over-react to our over-reactions!!

Because it wasn’t Maryland wasn’t the same state where a nine-year-old was suspended because his half eaten pop-tart was shaped like a gun.  OMG!!!! 🙂

In case you needed more arguments for homeschooling, there you have it.

You’re welcome. 🙂

Happy Anniversary, ObamaCare

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Just over three years ago, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously quipped about ObamaCare that “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

But only now, as ObamaCare’s third anniversary approaches — President Obama signed it into law on March 23, 2010 — is the country starting to find out what the sweeping health care overhaul will actually do.

ObamaCare backers typically tout popular features that went into effect almost immediately. The law expanded Medicare’s drug coverage, for example, and let children stay on their parents’ plans until they turned 26.

So why does “Obamacare” (officially known as the “Affordable Care Act”) remain so irresistible for so many of our fellow Americans? Because at its core Obamacare is not about health care, so much as it is about the redistribution of wealth, and for those who are on the receiving end of the redistribution the agenda is completely irresistible.

When the federal government doles-out cash, it’s difficult to say “no.”

But the bulk of ObamaCare doesn’t take effect until next year. That’s when the so-called insurance exchanges are supposed to be up and running, when the mandate on individuals and businesses kicks in, and when the avalanche of regulations on the insurance industry hits.

As this start date draws near, evidence is piling up that ObamaCare will:

Boost insurance costs. Officially the “Affordable Care Act,” ObamaCare promised to lower premiums for families. But regulators decided to impose a 3.5% surcharge on insurance plans sold through federally run exchanges. There’s also a $63 fee for every person covered by employers. And the law adds a “premium tax” that will require insurers to pay more than $100 billion over the next decade. The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation expects insurers to simply pass this tax onto individuals and small businesses, boosting premiums another 2.5%.

Push millions off employer coverage. In February, the Congressional Budget Office said that 7 million will likely lose their employer coverage thanks to ObamaCare — nearly twice its previous estimate. That number could be as high as 20 million, the CBO says.

Cause premiums to skyrocket. In December, state insurance commissioners warned Obama administration officials that the law’s market regulations would likely cause “rate shocks,” particularly for younger, healthier people forced by ObamaCare to subsidize premiums for those who are older and sicker.

“We are very concerned about what will happen if essentially there is so much rate shock for young people that they’re bound not to purchase (health insurance) at all,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

That same month, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said ObamaCare will likely cause premiums to double for some small businesses and individuals.

And a more recent survey of insurers in five major cities by the American Action Forum found they expect premiums to climb an average 169%.

Cost people their jobs. The Federal Reserve’s March beige book on economic activity noted that businesses “cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”

Around the same time, Gallup reported a surge in part-time work in advance of ObamaCare’s employer mandate. It found that part-timers accounted for almost 21% of the labor force, up from 19% three years ago.

Meanwhile, human resources consulting firm Adecco found that half of the small businesses it surveyed in January either plan to cut their workforce, not hire new workers, or shift to part-time or temporary help because of ObamaCare.

Tax the middle class. IBD reported in February that much of the $800 billion in tax hikes imposed by ObamaCare will end up hitting the middle class, including $45 billion in mandate penalties, $19 billion raised by limiting medical expense deductions, $24 billion through strict limits on flexible spending accounts, plus another $5 billion because ObamaCare bans using FSAs to buy over-the-counter drugs.

Add to the deficit. The Government Accountability Office reported in January that Obama-Care will likely add $6.2 trillion in red ink over 75 years if independent experts are right and several of its cost control measures don’t work as advertised.

Cost more than promised. The Congressional Budget Office now says ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies will cost $233 billion more over the next decade than it thought last year.

Be a bureaucratic nightmare. Consumers got their first glimpse of life under ObamaCare when the Health and Human Services Department released a draft insurance application form. It runs 21 pages. “Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes,” the AP concluded after reviewing the form.

Exacerbate doctor shortages. Last summer, a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than its needs by 2015, thanks in large part to ObamaCare. At the same time, a survey of 13,000 doctors by the Physicians Foundation found that almost 60% of doctors say ObamaCare has made them less optimistic about the future of health care and they would retire today if they could.

Leave millions uninsured. After 10 years, ObamaCare will still leave 30 million without coverage, according to the CBO. As IBD reported, that figure could be much higher if the law causes premiums to spike and encourages people to drop coverage despite the law’s mandate.

Corporate Welfare. That thing that liberals supposedly hate.

But with Obamacare, the “customer service” element has become more of a “corporate welfare” element. Companies, careers, and personal fortunes are being made by people who are the states, as firms bill the individual states millions of taxpayer dollars for the website and call center set-ups (and the Obama administration frequently offers to reimburse the states for the set-up costs).

Take for example a company called Leavitt Partners, LLC. Founded by the former Republican Governor of Utah (and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services) Michael Leavitt, the company describes itself as a “healthcare intelligence business,” and is focused solely on state-by-state Obamacare compliance (they have already completed Utah’s insurance exchange start-up).

We’re talking here about Michael Leavitt, the former Utah Governor who last year endorsed and campaigned on behalf of Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate who pledged to “end” Obamacare. Yes, that Michael Leavitt is making millions advising the states on how to comply with the monstrosity that his pal Mitt wanted to eliminate.

How much money is in play for these companies? Consider that last fall representatives from Leavitt’s company traveled north and proposed to build an exchange for their tiny nieghboring state of Idaho, a state with a population of less than 1.7 million people. Once the Leavitt representatives unveiled their proposed price tag to build an exchange – $70 million-an incredulous member of Idaho’s state insurance task force asked “does Governor Leavitt really believe that this is a good idea?”

Company associate Brett Graham replied with the nuanced explanation that “Governor Leavitt doesn’t like the feds dictating to the states,” however, the Governor also believes that the states should “stand inside the circle with the feds rather than stand outside of it”- which was an artful way of saying “yes, Governor Leavitt likes this and wants to get paid to show you how to do it.”

Leavitt’s proposal was not the most expensive that the sparsely populated Idaho received. The global accounting and consulting firm KPMG weighed-in with a price tag of $77 million, and when a state official asked what the residents of Idaho would get in return for such a large expenditure, KPMG representative Andrew Gottschalk was vague: “It’s hard to explain exactly what you get…It’s hardware, it’s software, there’s infrastructure, there’s people and staffing” he stated. “There would likely be a call center. It’s all kinds of things… there’s a lot of stuff….but it’s hard to be specific.”

States spending millions of taxpayer dollars, and receiving “all kinds of things” and “a lot of stuff” in return. That’s our present-day reality with Obamacare. Along with Leavitt Partners and KPMG, global consulting firms Maximus and Mercer are also cashing-in. These firms employ well educated, highly skilled professionals with JD’s, MBA’s, and advanced degrees in information systems and healthcare management, most of whom would undoubtedly reject the idea that they are welfare recipients. As the Maximus corporate website states, “we leverage our extensive experience and strong commitment to ethics to provide high quality services and solutions.”

Along with the Obamacare cash that’s flowing in to private consultants’ accounts, there’s the money that’s being handed-out to state and county governments under the auspice of Medicaid expansion. A key component of Obamacare was to have mandated that the individual states reduce eligibility requirements for Medicaid, and expand the number of participants in their respective programs. However, the United States Supreme Court overturned that component of the Obamacare law, so expansion of Medicaid is an elective choice for each of the states.

But not to worry, the President has made the expansion of the federal Medicaid welfare program irresistible, as the Administration is offering to pay 100% of the expansion costs for the first three years, for states that agree to the expansion this year. That’s why, for example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has refused to allow an Obamacare insurance exchange in his state, nonetheless agreed to the Medicaid expansion – when you can get the fed’s to pay for people’s “free” healthcare, that alleviates the state and county agencies from paying for it. It creates an addiction to federal spending, but if you’re in charge of a state or federal agency, it makes sense on some level.

This is the reality of Obamacare. It’s wildly unpopular for the masses, but irresistible for those on the receiving end of the money grab.

And isn’t that just exactly what Liberals purportedly hate? The rich get richer off the poor and the poor get the shaft.

Fascinating birthday present. 🙂

A Specimen

So by one Vote the Senate finally passes a budget after over 1,400 days largely because 1 person, a democrat, “missed” 🙂 the vote.

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

The Murray budget contains $975 billion in spending cuts, including $275 billion in new cuts to Medicare and Medicaid spending. But it also turns off $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts scheduled over nine years. Factoring that in, the budget does not constitute a net spending cut.

“Now that the Senate majority has written a plan we can finally begin this conversation: Do we balance the budget and grow the economy for all Americans? Or do we continue to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people?” Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said after the budget passed.

Well, since the Democrats want even bigger government I guess we know which one they favor? 🙂

“This budget is a rehash of the extreme policies that continue to hobble the economy and crush the middle class,” Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “The only good news is that the fiscal path the Democrats laid out in their Budget Resolution won’t become law.”

Passage of the budget at approximately 5 a.m. came after a marathon “vote-a-rama” on the floor during which leaders tried to tackle 562 filed amendments.

So there was no lack of trying to kill it. And what came out was basically a liberal spend fest anyhow.
So after 4 years of incontinence (and incompetence) they pooped it out and it still stinks.
Reconciling the budgets would bring order to the annual appropriations process for 2014 by settling the top-line spending number.

In practice, the Murray and Ryan budgets are so different, there is little chance they can be reconciled. Ryan’s budget cuts spending by $5.7 trillion compared to the Congressional Budget Office baseline, an amount Democrats say would destroy government services and severely harm the poor.

4 years of high unemployment, higher taxes, and inflation have hurt “the poor” more, dearie.
Key amendment votes put the Senate on record—by a vote of 79 to 20–supporting the repeal of a 2.3 percent medical device tax that passed as part of Obama’s healthcare reform…

You know the “You have to pass it  to find out what’s in it” 2,700 page bill they didn’t read 3 years ago to begin with!
Another amendment backed construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The 62-37 vote gives supporters another argument with which to pressure the Obama administration to approve the Canada-to-Gulf pipe, which is opposed by environmentalists.

🙂
The Senate went on record against imposing taxes on industrial carbon emissions in a pair of symbolic votes Friday, providing clear evidence that major climate change legislation lacks political traction.

Lawmakers voted 41-58 to reject Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) proposal to ensure that revenue from any carbon tax be returned to the U.S. public through deficit reduction, reducing other rates and other “direct” benefits.

The Rhode Island Democrat suggested the new Pope would be on his side.

“We have a new Pope, Pope Francis, who said last week that our relation with God’s creation is not very good right now,” Whitehouse said.

“God’s creation runs by laws — the laws of nature, the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry, and God gave us the power of reason to understand those laws,” added Whitehouse, who speaks often on the floor about the dangers of climate change.

“But they are not negotiable, they are not subject to amendment or appeal, and the arrogance of our thinking that they are is an offence to his creation,” he said.

Blunt countered Whitehouse’s analysis of the Pope.

“I know the Pope also mentioned — more times that he mentioned carbon tax — helping the poor,” said Blunt.

So have the Democrats. 🙂

He said carbon taxes would hurt the economy and struggling families, noting, “the most vulnerable among us are the most impacted by this.”

Blunt also said a carbon tax would hurt manufacturing. “Energy intensive jobs are the first to go when utility prices get uncompetitive,” he said later in the debate. (The Hill)

The amendments may not be binding and symbolic so they’ll be ignored by the Left- except for re-election purposes, but they can still be used for fodder.
Speaking of “the poor”:

The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. That’s more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas.

“I think we have an outdated perception of where poverty is and who it is affecting,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of the research. “We tend to think of it as a very urban and a very rural phenomenon, but it is increasingly suburban.”

The rate of poverty among single mothers actually improved dramatically through the 1990s, thanks to a strong economy, more favorable tax breaks and the success of so-called welfare-to-work programs. But two recessions and years of high unemployment erased many of those gains. (CNBC)

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


 

Food For the Sowell VII

Thomas Sowell: The main thing wrong with the term limits movement is the “s” at the end of the word “limit.”

What are advocates of term limits trying to accomplish? If they are trying to keep government from being run by career politicians, whose top priority is getting themselves reelected, then term limits on given jobs fail to do that.

When someone reaches the limit of how long one can spend as a county supervisor, then it is just a question of finding another political office to run for, such as a member of the state legislature. And when the limit on terms there is reached, it is time to look around for another political job — perhaps as a mayor or a member of Congress.

Instead of always making reelection in an existing political post the top priority, in the last term in a given office the top priority will be doing things that will make it easier to get elected or appointed to the next political post. But in no term is doing what is right for the people likely to be the top priority.

Those who favor term limits are right to try to stop the same old politicians from staying in the same old offices for decades. But having the same career politicians circulating around in the same set of offices, like musical chairs, is not very different.

In either case, we can expect the same short-sighted policies, looking no further than the next election, and the same cynical arts of deception and log-rolling to get reelected at all costs.

There are undoubtedly some high-minded people who go into politics to serve their community or the nation. But, in the corrupting atmosphere of politics, there are too many who “came to do good and stayed to do well” — especially if they stayed too long.

Recently, California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein gave a graphic demonstration of what can happen when you have been in office too long.

During a discussion of Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation on gun control, Texas’ freshman Senator Ted Cruz quietly and politely asked “the senior Senator from California” whether she would treat the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment the same way her gun control bill was treating the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

Senator Feinstein never addressed that question. Instead, she became testy and told Senator Cruz how long she had been in Congress and how much she knew. Watching her get up on her high horse to put him in his place, recalled the words of Cromwell to Members of Parliament: “You have sat too long for any good that you have been doing lately. … In the name of God, go!”
Those who oppose term limits express fears of having government run by amateurs, rather than by people with long experience in politics. But this country was created by people who were not career politicians, but who put aside their own private careers to serve in office during a critical time.

When President George Washington was told by one of his advisors that an action he planned to take might prevent him from being reelected, he exploded in anger, telling his advisor that he didn’t come here to get reelected.

As for the loss of experience and expertise if there were no career politicians, much — if not most — of that is experience and expertise in the arts of evasion, effrontery, deceit and chicanery. None of that serves the interest of the people.

If we want term limits to achieve their goals, we have to make the limit one term, with a long interval prescribed before the same person can hold any government office again. In short, we need to make political careers virtually impossible.

There are many patriotic Americans who would put aside their own private careers to serve in office, if the cost to them and their families were not ruinous, and if they had some realistic hope of advancing the interests of the country and its people without being obstructed by career politicians.

Is any of this likely today? No!

But neither the Reagan revolution nor the New Deal under FDR would have seemed likely three years before it happened. The whole point of presenting new ideas is to start a process that can make their realization possible in later years.

We have to break the cycle somehow.

condi

democracy-republicPolitical Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

 

Notice

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Dems Vote to Punish School Children

On pretty much a party line vote, Democrats rejected Senator Coburn’s proposal to shift other national heritage funding so as to restore White House tours for taxpayers — the people who, in fact, subsidize the operation of what is supposedly “the people’s house.” (http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/20/senate-poised-vote-forcing-wh-resume-tours/).  Had the positions of the parties been reversed, no doubt most of the MSM would be trumpeting headlines like that above.

Complete with crying children, angry parents and self-servicing and self-righteous Congressman promising vengeance. 🙂

The GOP should be trumpeting that fact to everyone who will listen.  Every time Democrats do this, we should be asking why there seems to be money, for example, for the President to throw swanky St. Patrick’s Day parties for the elite and connected — like Chris Matthews ( http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-parties-with-chris-matthews-for-st.-patricks-day/article/2524864) — but no Democrat can seem to find a way to let school children into The White House.

If Republicans are serious about improving their standing with normal Americans, it’s a good time to start pointing out that the party of Big, powerful government is the party that fosters exactly the kind of cronyism and insider dealing that should be anathema to a free people.  Democrats loooove to talk about insider dealing on Wall Street — but we have an alphabet soup of agencies designed to inhibit and punish that kind of self-dealing.  In contrast, at the moment, there seems to be no Democrat in the Senate who is at all disturbed at the patent self-dealing practiced by the government class at the expense of the people.

Now that’s a message to take to the country. (Townhall)

I agree, but are the Republican man enough to shout back at the Ministry of Truth and stand up to the bully??

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Democrats’ sequester tower of terror continues to collapse, floor by floor.  Amidst the media fact checks and stomach-turning posturing, Republican members of Congress are using hearings to hold bureaucrats’ feet to the fire over the claims and actions of their departments.  Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) blew the cover off of the administration’s duplicity on supposed cuts to pediatric vaccinations a few weeks ago; yesterday, it was South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy’s turn at bat.  Watch as he grills a Department of DHSHomeland Security Under Secretary as to why his team released ten “level 1” aggravated felons from federal custody,  (And he pretends he doesn’t even know what one is!!) supposedly due to sequester cuts:

GOWDY: “There was nothing else [you] could do as a cost savings measure. Is that your testimony?”

BORRAS: “No, that is not my testimony.”

My personal favorite exchange was the bit where Gowdy “asks” Borras how long the department had to prepare for sequestration, knowing exactly what the correct response would be: More than a year and a half.  And yet they were hoping the American people would simply accept the notion that they couldn’t spare $1,200 bucks to keep violent felons locked up, ostensibly because of small across-the-board federal spending reductions.  Not cuts, reductions in the rate of growth.  Remember, the president proposed and signed this law, then attempted to pawn off its supposed ill-effects onto Republicans — hoping to count on the credulous media the spread the distortions.  When the GOP wouldn’t cave, the administration mobilized to set the vast apparatus of the federal government to work against the interests and well being of the American people in order to justify their hysterical predictions of widespread misery.  I’ll leave you with the infamous quote that sums up this deeply cynical and reckless approach to governance: “It is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” (Guy Benson)

the administration had approved $37 million in foreign aid for Pakistan at the expense of a tuition assistance program for veterans. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, plans to introduce a bill that will stop foreign aid funding until military tuition is restored:

“Why are we funding education programs for [Pakistan] when we can’t fund — or don’t fund — the education for our military? And to Pakistan of all places, where hatred for America is at its highest. Washington should watch its spending and prioritize.”

Poe went on to defend the program, claiming that:

“The cost of the program is .1 percent of the Defense Department’s budget, and one that has helped graduate 50,000 individuals. The Marines spent roughly $47 million from the program last year”.

Yeah, and sequestration was a 2% cut in an increase in spending and supposedly it was the end of the world!!! 🙂

Veteran unemployment already hovers around 9.4%, almost two points above the national average. And despite the president’s assurance last year that “no one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job”, the elimination of this program tells a contradicting story. Various departments have already made multiple cuts to make Americans feel the effects of the sequester, though as previously reported, the reasoning is purely political. (townhall)

Now the punchline:

The public by nearly 2-1, 61-33 percent, supports cutting the overall budget along the lines of the sequester that took effect last Friday. But by nearly an identical margin, Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll oppose an eight percent across-the-board cut in military spending.

Whoops! The Ministry of Truth has a Lot of work to do!

In a similar vein, Matt Yglesias over at Slate calls this poll “deeply misleading,” on the grounds that people tend to favor overall cuts, but when it comes down to deciding what specific areas TO cut, they’re more cautious. In other words, he feels that if the individual programs had been extended beyond simply military cuts, people would have said they were opposed to those, too.

Long story short, public opinion on budgetary matters is poorly structured and there isn’t a clear and internally consistent policy agenda that you can read from the polls. So if you constructed any ABC-style poll where you first ask about spending cuts and then ask about one particular program, you’d get the ABC result that people want big spending cuts but also want to exempt Program X from the cuts. But that’s just a kind of cheap trick. Relative to other programs, cuts to military spending are among the least-unpopular cuts around.

So he takes issue with the idea that Americans want cuts, but not from the military—of course, as he says himself, it’s hard to read the data and find a coherent policy mandate regarding any cuts.

To that end, then, it remains to be seen if the cuts that are about to take effect are as palpably felt—or objected to—as the administration has said they will be. Despite claims that airport lines would double and teachers would be immediately laid off, neither has happened (or in the case of the teachers, certainly not as a result of sequestration).

For all the hype about a 5% budget cut, it’s a pretty small amount compared to the deficit. Who knows? We may find that talking about cuts is more painful than actually executing them. And so long as your airport waiting time isn’t abnormally long, who’s to say you’ll notice? (Townhall)

So you can cut them but not Me!

I see that all day everyday at work. It’s called Narcissism (or NOT IN MY BACK POCKET). And we have generations of them now. From the elderly who created them to their great grand kids who were raised to expect it.

But I support across the board cuts. Even if my Ox gets gored.

But I’m an exception.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

We are From The Government

And we want to know EVERYTHING.

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”-President Reagan

Number Six: Where am I?
Number Two: In the Village.  (it Takes a Village you know!) 🙂
Number Six: What do you want?
Number Two: Information.
Number Six: Whose side are you on?
Number Two: That would be telling. We want information… information… in formation.
Number Six: You won’t get it.
Number Two: By hook or by crook, we will.
Number Six: Who are you?
Number Two: The new Number Two.
Number Six: Who is Number One?
Number Two: You are Number Six.
Number Six: I am not a number! I am a free man!
Number Two: [laughs]  (The Prisoner)

So, drunk on this power and addicted to all this intimate, private information of law-abiding citizens, the government could no longer get its fix just every 10 years, as required by the Constitution to maintain congressional districts of equal populations.

The government’s own version of a tell-all reality show, only it’s you they want to star in it whether you want to or not.

Welcome to, YOU THE PEOPLE, WE THE GOVERNMENT.

We want to know everything. You get to tell us everything. Then we can control everything. 🙂

Deal?

So, these sicko data voyeurs turned it into a never-ending annual habit — forever snooping, demanding, collecting and massaging data. And then forever slapping down the nation’s hard workers and taking their earnings to give away to those they deem to be the losers who cannot be winners without the “helping hand” of the federal government.

Like all Orwellian schemes, this diabolical obsession comes with a harmless-sounding name — American Community Survey — as if it is nothing more than the local Girl Scout troop stopping by to offer you little boxes of sweet, crunchy goodness — all for a good cause!

It’s for the Children/Poor/Grandma…

The feds want to know exactly who you are and the color of your skin.

“Race is key to implementing any number of federal laws and is a critical factor in the basic research behind numerous policies,” the Census Bureau explains, without a hint of irony. “Race data are required by federal programs promoting equal employment opportunity and are needed to assess racial disparities.”

Yes, Martin Luther King Jr. is scratching his head on that one.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Not in Liberal America you won’t!!

And they want to know your “relationships” with all the people in your house. And they want to know of any “disabilities” and — ominously — what time you leave for and return from work everyday.

The Better to eat…serve…you my dear, said the Wolf…

These creepos even want to know how many bedrooms you have and all about your plumbing and even your “fertility.” Related to the “virginity test” now popular in Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood, the federal fertility probe is crucial, they tell us, as “a basic planning tool for agencies of the government.” What?

Forget data addiction, these people should be forced to register as sex offenders.

And, of course, they want to know exactly how much you are making, including wages, tips and even that loan you got from your grandmother. Why?

“We ask these questions to get key statistics used to determine poverty levels, measure economic well-being, and gauge the need for economic assistance,” the bureau explains.

How can I help myself to you (with your money).

In other words, they need the information to determine the winners and losers so that government bureaucrats thousands of miles away can pick new winners and losers.

After staging a rare, genuine filibuster on the Senate floor, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, last week introduced Senate Bill 530 to remove the criminal penalty for those who refuse to take part in this annual federal creep-fest that is not even required by the Constitution. You can add this legislation to the growing nationwide mantra of “Stand with Rand.”

President Reagan: “Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”

From the ACS website:

Administrative

Including: Name, contact information, number of people at address, and date

Basic (Population)

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Hispanic Origin
  • Race
  • Relationship

Social (Population)

  • Ancestry
  • Citizenship Status
  • Disability
  • Educational Attainment
  • Fertility
  • Grandparents as Caregivers
  • Language Spoken at Home
  • Marital History
  • Marital Status
  • Period of Military Service
  • Place of Birth
  • School Enrollment
  • Residence 1 Year Ago
  • Undergraduate Field of Degree
  • Veteran Status
  • VA Service Connected Disability Rating
  • Year of Entry

Economic (Population and Housing)

  • Class of Worker
  • Food Stamps Benefit
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Income
  • Vehicles Available
  • Work Status Last Year
  • Industry
  • Journey to Work
  • Occupation
  • Place of Work
  • Labor Force Status

Financial (Housing)

  • Business or Medical Office on Property
  • Cost of Utilities
  • Condominium Fee
  • Insurance
  • Mobile Home Costs
  • Mortgage
  • Real Estate Taxes
  • Rent
  • Tenure
  • Value of Property

Physical (Housing)

  • Acreage
  • Agricultural Sales
  • Bedrooms
  • Computer and Internet Use
  • House Heating Fuel
  • Kitchen Facilities
  • Plumbing Facilities
  • Telephone Service Available
  • Rooms
  • Units in Structure
  • Vehicles Available
  • Year Moved Into Unit
  • Year Structure Built

Thank you for your time and effort. It makes a difference!

🙂

What is the legal authority behind the American Community Survey?

Your obligation to answer – and our commitment to confidentiality – are both in Title 13 of the U.S. Code.

Thank you for your time and effort. It makes a difference!

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” 🙂

But at least it will be “fair” and it we’ll all be “equal. 🙂

We are from the Government and we are here to help you… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Petulance of Command

Spend More or the Bunny Gets it!

The memo — which doesn’t actually say the White House is nixing the bunny fest, but just that it might do so at some point during the next couple of weeks — warns ticket-holders that the nation’s financial woes may affect the 135th Easter Egg role slated for April 1. (Note: this is not an April’s Fools Day joke.)

“Finally, by using these tickets, guests are acknowledging that this event is subject to cancellation due to funding uncertainty surrounding the Executive Office of the President and other federal agencies,” it reads. “If cancelled, the event will not be re-scheduled.  We will notify you if there are any modifications to this event.” (WP)

2. Yes, to Salmonella, No to Food Stamps for Illegals!

Salmonella outbreaks. E. coli outbreaks. Millions of dollars in economic losses. 

These are among the scenarios the Obama administration warned about last month as it claimed the sequester would force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to furlough meat inspectors. 

But while the administration prepares to take that step, it continues to pursue a “partnership” with the Mexican government to “raise awareness” about food stamps among immigrants from that country. When a top Senate Republican proposed cutting off funds for that program last week — in the form of an amendment to a budget resolution — Democrats on the Budget Committee shot it down. 

“We have uncovered extensive evidence that federal authorities have — during the Bush and Obama administrations — aggressively undermined a core legal tenet of immigration policy: that those granted admission should be self-sufficient and contribute to the economic health of the nation,” Sessions said. “It is amazing that Budget Committee Democrats would unanimously vote to continue funding these costly promotions, especially when our debt is causing such profound economic harm.”

The initiative is one of several the agency has “to promote awareness of nutrition assistance among those who need benefits and meet all program requirements under current law,” Vilsack told Sessions in the 24-page letter.

However, his letter indicates the number of legal, noncitizens participating in the program — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has increased from 425,000 to 1.23 million between 2001 and 2010. (Sen Jeff Session & Fox)

3. Q    All right.  I wanted to follow up on this young woman’s question about the high unemployment out in places like Colorado, all around the country, especially in the minority communities — exceptionally high unemployment.  And when there is government workers who may be furloughed, millions of Americans unemployed, and family budgets that have been cut, how does the President justify lavish vacations and a golf trip to Florida at taxpayer expense?  And does he plan to cut back on his travel?     MR. CARNEY:  I can tell you that this President is focused every day on policies that create economic growth and help advance job creation.  We have presided over the past three years over an economy that’s produced over 6.3 million private sector jobs, and we have more work to do.  And this President’s number-one priority is growth and job creation.  When you come to —

     Q    But it’s not working in the minority communities.

So that’s why the U6 has gone up and the unemployment rate hasn’t been below 7.7% in 4+ years because he’s created jobs!! So get off his back! 🙂

B0y could they get more dishonest….

Yes, But now it’s the Food Police’s Future Turn.

BOSTON (CBS) – We’ve all heard the saying, ‘you are what you eat’, and now some believe food choices may actually contribute to anger and violent behavior. Jeff Resnick believes it; he even knows what sets him off. “I can get irritable, absolutely, when I’ve had too much of the carbs,” he said.

Nutritionist Nicolette Pace says carbs can make you feel good, but it doesn’t last. “They don’t give your body what you need to cope with day-to-day stresses,” she said. Pace agrees that there is a connection between anger and food. “Deficiencies in nutrients, magnesium or manganese, vitamin C, or some B vitamins may make a person hyperactive towards a stressor, a short fuse so to speak,” she explained.

So Next up, Carb Controls, for your own good. We have to relieve the anger of the public. It will prevent shootings too! 🙂

Just wait for it…

Who the hell is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to presume that he has a say in what I or any other American chooses to drink? Of course, the answer for any self-respecting citizen is that he has no such say, and the proper response to him and his legion of petty fascist fan boys is the suggestion that they pucker up – and I will politely decline to identify what they should kiss.

It’s a sad commentary that the once boisterous, independent, take-no-guff New Yorker of the past has been replaced by a gutless, cowardly supplicant eager to obey the commands of whatever pint—sized potentate occupies Gracie Mansion. Back in the day, a real New Yorker would look that tiny troll in the mayor’s office in his beady little eyes and laugh, “Hey Mikey, I got your Big Gulp right here.”

These bossy snobs are getting out of hand, and it’s time to push back – hard. Besides being the American thing to do, resistance to this creeping liberal totalitarianism is a huge opportunity for conservatives.

Obedience to arbitrary authority is counter to everything that America stands for. We didn’t reluctantly cede a tiny bit of our personal sovereignty to the government so a bunch of know-it-all twerps could tell us what to eat, what to smoke, what to do and how to live. We did it to allow them the ability to keep order, which they have manifestly failed to do, and to perform a few basic governmental functions, which they have likewise failed to do.

So, a government that has failed to adequately perform the few discrete tasks which it should be performing now wishes to do a bunch of other things which it has no business doing in the first place, and which it will inevitably do badly and thereby cause even more problems than existed in the first place.

It’s time to say “No,” and our rejection of this obnoxious governmental overreach has the potential to create a new coalition that could up-end the status quo.

Real conservatives detest the idea of a government so big and intrusive that it feels free to interfere with such basic liberties as choosing what to eat. And they also hate the idea of a government so big and intrusive that it feels that it is within its rights to, say, blow up American citizens within the United States because it, well, thinks blowing them up is a good idea.

It’s all part of the same unearned hubris. The notion that some government functionary can tell you what you can drink or not drink based on his notion of what’s good for society is not so far from the notion that he can decide who lives or who dies based on his notion of what’s good for society.

Sadly, the enablers of these uppity functionaries aren’t just the usual liberal nanny-staters. You have putative Republicans conceding that “Well, I guess sugar is really bad…”, as if it matters whether high fructose corn syrup is the devil’s brew or an elixir from the Fountain of Youth. They should never reach the question of whether sugar is good, bad or indifferent; the mere posing of the question is antithetical to everything a real conservative believes. It’s none of their damn business.

Moreover, the appalling argument that “Well, we all have to pay for obesity” itself accepts the flawed premise that “we all” have any business paying for anyone’s health care. I’ve researched the Constitution pretty thoroughly and have been unable to find anything about me shelling out my dough to subsidize some couch-dwelling slacker’s doctor visits.

Maybe the enumerated power to do so is dwelling behind some penumbra or emanation, but it seems like making that argument accepts the idea that government ought to be in the health care business in the first place. And if the fact that the Constitution says nothing about doing so isn’t enough to show why it shouldn’t be, the idea that because the government does so gives it the right to micromanage our lives is itself ample reason to reject that hateful notion.

The specter of pseudo-cons like Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham fussing about Senator Rand Paul making a stink about the fact that the President’s progressive Mini-Me Eric Holder refused to give a straight answer about whether The One could ice folks in the U.S.A. on a whim demonstrates the problem. Too many sort of-cons sort of like the idea of unlimited governmental power.

And you know who else besides real conservatives has some real questions about governmental overreach? Well, a lot of them are folks we conservatives have been simply unable to reach. In fact, we hardly even tried, mostly because we are just as suspicious of them as they are of us.

There is a whole group of potential allies out there – the Millennials who grew up familiar with technology but chafing at their helicopter parents and the politically correct hypocrisy of the education establishment. Many of them think of themselves as “liberal,” but they have little use for bums who want to lay about sponging off producers. Their liberalism is more about affectation and cultural posturing than about political positions – they reject the idea of the anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-sex conservative boogeyman they’ve been taught in the media, not conservatism itself.

These young folks have bought into the notion that conservatives are somehow obsessed with other people’s sex lives, which is false – conservatives are obsessed with their own sex lives, as the CPAC meat market demonstrates. But the wacky notion that some conservative is going to climb in their bedroom window to interrupt their trysting by making them pray has convinced this huge demographic to support an ideology that leaves them burdened with student debt and living in their parents’ homes – and thus unlikely to ever have sex to begin with.

The key to defeating this residual cultural affinity is twofold. First, conservatives need to avoid feeding old stereotypes with boneheaded maneuvers like making idiotic pronouncements about rape and writing jerktastic articles about how being a gay conservative is the result of a Marxist conspiracy. Remember, these young people grew up being taught to be tolerant. They’ll be tolerant of anyone – including hardcore Christians – who are themselves tolerant. We don’t have to accept anything we consider immoral – we just have to not be jerks about it.

Second, conservatives need to emphasize the pro-freedom agenda that both demographics share. Millenials have no desire to be dictated to about their snack options or hellfired by some drone either. Nor do they want to get arrested for jailbreaking their iPhone or sued for a $100,000 for downloading the latest terrible Mumford & Sons song. And for the few who have found jobs in the Obama economy, the tax bite on their pay stubs is just as unwelcome.

Call it the Coalition of the Unwilling to Be Bossed Around.

A pro-liberty coalition is a huge threat to the progressive project, as it steals from the progressive base while building on the conservative one. But we need to understand that we may be called on to give in order to get. The young demographic has huge doubts about the drug war and is largely pro-gay rights and gay marriage. Of course, they need to accept the fact that they don’t get to be little dictators either – the Boy Scouts get to choose their membership and doctors who understand the Hippocratic oath as excluding killing their unborn patients get to exercise their conscience.

We need to understand that the freedom sometimes means people make choices we don’t like and, where appropriate, compromise. I’m certainly ready to accept a few stoners bogarting doobs and some gay dudes exchanging vows if it means a smaller government so constrained and neutered that it wouldn’t dare try to tell me how to live out my faith or how many bullets I can keep in my M4, much less how many ounces of Mountain Dew I can pour into my Styrofoam cup.

It’s time to put aside a few policy disagreements to build a new alliance of citizens who believe that government has gotten too big for its britches and needs to be reined in. We may not agree on all the specifics, but we can build a majority of Americans who can stand together for liberty and, as one, offer the proper response to these tin pot dictators of liberalism: “Bite me.” Kurt Schlichter

🙂

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

 Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 

It’s Good to Be The King

Once, only nobles were granted an audience with the King.

In America, we’ve prided ourselves on abandoning those privileges of class some 237 years ago, following that little uprising in the 13 colonies.

And we again congratulated ourselves at 12:01 pm Eastern Time on January 20, 2009, just moments after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and as he committed to making his administration the most transparent and open in history.

But more than four years later it is time to ask questions. The most transparent administration ever? The most transparently political, yes. The most open government? If you have the money to buy access, yes.

Since last weekend, Mr and Mrs Regular Citizen have been denied the access people used to be granted to tour the White House, purportedly because of the clampdown on federal spending since the “sequester” that imposed cuts across the board.

These tours, most recently guided by volunteers though monitored by paid Secret Service staff, have been an American tradition since John and Abigail Adams, the first White House residents, personally hosted receptions for the public.

And their cancellation is an austerity measure that saves a pittance, while more frivolous taxpayer funding for items like the White House dog walker continues.

Meanwhile, noble Americans can buy time with the president for a suggested donation of $500,000 to his new campaign group, Organising for Action.

Yes, the announcement offering access to the president for cold, hard cash was made openly and with total transparency. But it was also made without shame.

It’s the third version of Obama’s original monster campaign machine, Obama for America, which then morphed into a re-election campaign machine, Organising for America, on the third day of his first term.

It has now re-launched again as Organising for Action (OFA) – a non-profit, tax-exempt group headed by his former campaign advisers. Apparently no longer “for America”, the group might just as well be called Organising for Obama’s Agenda.

Its mission: to support the president in his attempt to achieve enactment of gun control, environmental policies and immigration reform.

At the two-day kick-off event last week for the new OFA’s founding summit, attended by 75 folks for the “bargain” rate of just $50,000, Obama at least acknowledged the concerns raised by others about the funding, purpose and influence of the organisation.

However, he brushed them aside. With greater humility than new Pope Francis, Obama said he prided himself on feeling no obligation in the past to the interests of the generous donors who made his election and re-election possible. Though paradoxically he also said he wanted “to make sure the voices of the people are actually heard in the debates that are going to be taking place”. So, he’ll take money to listen to the voices of the privileged, but not do their bidding?

May I humbly suggest he could hear more voices, more clearly if he mingled with the public he serves? Perhaps the White House could hold open tours for the public! Why has no one in his administration thought of that? And volunteers could manage those tours, to keep costs down!

But, of course, those are what have just been cancelled. Meanwhile, three calligraphers reportedly remain on staff. I suppose their services are needed for the special hand-lettered, gold-foiled invitations sent to the nobles who are willing to pay for an audience with the King.

OFA is a legal, tax-exempt advocacy organisation, established as a social welfare group under the rules of both the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Elections Commission. It can accept unlimited contributions, so long as it promotes the common good and does not primarily engage in electoral politics.

As it is not required to publicly disclose donors, OFA is actually one of those “shadowy” organisations Obama railed against as a candidate when he supported campaign finance reform.

In 2010 the Supreme Court made a controversial ruling known as Citizens United that allowed unlimited corporate and individual donations to so-called “super political action committees”, which at least have to disclose their donors, and to social welfare organisations, which do not.

At the time, Obama loudly criticised the decision, saying: “That’s one of the reasons I ran for president: because I believe so strongly that the voices of ordinary Americans were being drowned out by the clamour of a privileged few in Washington.”

But then he reversed course, giving his blessing to a super PAC supporting his 2012 re-election, and now to OFA. What has changed?

Obama is looking to his legacy. And his eye is on the 2014 Congressional elections. If he can maintain his appeal among the masses and help Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives, while maintaining control of the Senate, there will be no stopping his agenda.

He explained the “grassroots” purpose of OFA like this: “If you have a senator or a congressman in a swing district who is prepared to take a tough vote… I want to make sure they feel supported and they know there are constituencies of theirs that agree with them, even if they may be getting a lot of pushback in that district.”

Engaging voters is always a good thing. But the president should not charge for the privilege. If he will look out the Oval Office window beyond his own reflection, King Barack I will see the public he is meant to serve. He ought to invite them in. (UK Telegraph)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Hi Froggie!

According to the Martin-Niemöller-Foundation the text is as follows:[2]

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

In the United States, the quotation is more commonly known as:

First they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller was a German pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. Niemöller was an anti-communist and supported Hitler’s rise to power at first. But when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler.

He was arrested in 1937 for his crime was “not being enthusiastic enough about the Nazi movement”. He was in a concentration camp until the end of World War II.

First, they came for the smokers.

No one would argue smoking is good for you. But it’s legal; growing tobacco is even subsidized by the government. Yet, when governments started limiting the right of people to smoke in places public and private, non-smokers did nothing. They didn’t like smoke; they’d heard second-hand smoke was dangerous. Why should they allow owners of private establishments to choose whether those establishments allowed people to engage in a legal – in fact, subsidized — activity?

Then, they came to “clean up” the healthcare mess. They would take the sick and poor off our hands. We would no longer have to join together as a community to provide for those who can’t provide for themselves; dear, benevolent government would do this for us. First, with Medicare for the old. Then, with Medicaid for the poor. Then, the definition of poor would expand … and expand … and expand … and nobody would speak up because who wants to come out against the old, the sick and the poor?

And then it wasn’t just the poor. It also was the uninsured. Some were uninsured because they were unemployed. Others because their income level didn’t permit them to buy health insurance. Can’t be for allowing them to just hang there. No convincing evidence they were dying in the streets or were significantly underserved by the healthcare system regardless of their health insurance status. And plenty had the money to buy health insurance and chose not to.

But hey, when you’re a Progressive, and you’ve tried for a half-century to take over health care, who are you to let minor details such as this stand in the way? And when you get your chance – so much disaffection with a spendthrift Republican president that Democrats could grab control of both houses of Congress and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, you grab that chance and you pass the most sweeping Progressive legislation since the New Deal – Obamacare.

And when the rest of us find we can’t afford our health insurance because of all the new requirements placed on it by our Progressive friends and their enlightened legislation, nobody can do much more than complain. Who defends greedy insurance companies? Who defends faceless corporations when costs finally reach the point where they drop their plans, forcing their employers into the Obamacare system where Progressives have wanted them all along, or even drop their employees?

The secret is the impact is felt gradually. It’s like a boa constrictor. By the time you realize you’re in trouble, it’s too late.

Or the old adage about if you throw a frog in boiling water he’ll jump out immediately. But put him in warm water and turn it up you’ll soon have boiled frog…Yum! 🙂

Hi, Froggie! How’s the Jacuzzi! 🙂

Now, they come for our guns. It’s for our own good. Otherwise, we’ll have more school shootings, such as the terrible incident in Connecticut. Never mind the guns used that day were stolen. We hear about the need Newtown illustrates to limit weapons and ammunition clips that can fire several rounds per minute. We are never reminded the killer at Newtown shot 24 people in 22 minutes. Speed or power of the weapon was not an issue. One person somewhere in that school with a weapon would’ve saved many lives.

But most of us don’t think of those details, and we don’t own guns … particularly the geniuses in Washington who make these decisions. So we don’t complain sufficiently, and the Progressive agenda advances.

They also have come for the rich people. I’m not rich; what do I care if the rich get taxed a little more? Never mind that I might like to be rich one day or that almost certainly a rich person pays my salary. Never mind what it might mean to him paying salaries that his taxes keep going up. He is indefensible. He’s taken more than his fair share. Tax him. And tax him some more. And when that’s not enough, tax the rest of us … but do it in a way we don’t really see it. Not income taxes. Payroll taxes. They’re gone before we even get our checks.

If there’s one thing progressives love it’s a power grab in the name of “doing good,” and the “good” they most often wrap themselves in is “for the children.” When they eventually discover the “good” they sought to accomplish by quashing a little piece of our personal liberty did not come to pass, they never reverse course and retract their government intrusion. Instead, they offer a solution that seizes a little bit more. It’s a never-ending cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies, a Yellow Brick Road that leads to an Emerald Prison of mini-tyrannies populated by a disconnected people who stood by doing nothing because the power government was exerting did not affect them.

But sooner or later government will run out of other people to tax, other things to ban, other choices to regulate and, like a caged tiger, it will turn on the hand that feeds it. It’s its nature.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t want his people to be fat. So he tried to ban “sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces” but was rebuffed by a court, at least temporarily. Progressives do not quit, or get deterred, when voters reject their ideas, what chance does a court have?

He’s now going after Styrofoam containers to leave a “better” planet for the children. This will lead to higher costs to restaurants, which will lead to higher prices for customers. Customers will ignore it or blame the restaurants. There’s always another kabuki dance.

What do the non-rich care if taxes were raised on people who were not them? What do those with health insurance care if government enacts a requirement that everyone who doesn’t have it buy health insurance?

Tyranny seldom comes all at once, it comes slowing, incrementally, in small doses cloaked as something else, something good. Each thread appears innocuous and unimportant but is part of a tapestry rarely recognized as what it is until too late.

You may not care about any of the targets progressives are pursuing now or in the near future, but they will run out of things you don’t care about before they run out of will to control. Sooner or later they will come after something you like or do. If you sit by do nothing as the individual liberty of others is continually limited, you’d better hope there are enough people left able and willing to speak up when they get around to you. (Derek Hunter)

Next up your Food. Your Energy (aka “environment”) when will you Boil froggie???

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 

The Agenda

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

King Fiat I Strikes again:

According to Bloomberg media, “President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.”

Bloomberg says Obama plans to “expand the scope of a Nixon-era law,” the National Environmental Policy Act, “that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.”

It’s happening just as Obama threatened it would: If Congress won’t pass the laws he wants — in this case limits on greenhouse gas emissions — he will just make law on his own, without constitutional restraint.

At risk under such a regime are “natural gas export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads,” Bloomberg reports industry lobbyists as saying.

To that list we’d add fracking, which has produced a historic domestic energy, economic and employment boom.

Well, we can’t have that. It’s Politically incorrect so we must stop that immediately!

We only want Politically Correct, Agenda Correct Jobs.

Another example: He wants to screw Military people out of Tuition assistance but he wants to create more assistance for Illegal Aliens.

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA.

Whether Obama’s order results in delays or outright shutdowns of projects, it’s bound to have a negative economic effect. One senses yet another hang up of the Keystone Pipeline is coming, as well as countless delays in enterprises the administration doesn’t like.

The Obama economy, which is slogging through the weakest recovery in modern history, needs a jolt of commerce and industry. But the red tape made inevitable by Obama’s further appropriation of power will depress the capital that’s needed for projects that would have otherwise been started.

Rather than liberate the economy, it appears that Obama, who said Friday he wants another $2 billion from the taxpayers to pay for green vehicle technology, would rather have as many Americans as possible dependent on government — a government that he continues to expand and have greater executive power over.

It could be different.

By employing both his constitutional executive powers and his role as a leader Congress would follow, Obama could move government out of the way.

He won’t. But he should. Because the stimulus doesn’t come from more government spending. It comes from the private sector, where the action really takes place.

Keystone XL could play a role in moderating high gas prices by increasing the supply of crude oil. Millions of hardworking Americans are feeling pain at the pump and we should do everything we can to expand access to stable and affordable energy supplies.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline was subjected to a host of challenges from outside groups and multiple rounds of costly litigation delays, before Congress…

The project is more than safe. It has been the subject of extensive environmental reviews, all of which demonstrate it will follow strict safeguards to protect the public interest. This month the State Department confirmed in its exhaustive Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that the pipeline would have negligible environmental impact.

For these reasons, the project enjoys broad public support.

Despite these demonstrable benefits, the Obama administration has held up approval for four years with unfair, bureaucratic delays. Instead of approving this massive jobs and energy affordability project, the president has manufactured his own assembly line of excuses, intended more to build capital with environmental special interests than produce economic growth and lower energy prices for those who feel the squeeze of lower take-home pay. (IBD)

But again it’s not Politically Correct or Agenda Correct so it must be evil and must be stopped, tied up, demonized or made untenable until they get there way.
Pettiness and Petulance about getting only what THEY Want is a true hallmark of a Liberal.
After all, They want to Spend even More regardless of a nearly $17 Trillion Dollar debt.
Why?
Because Tax and Spend are at the core of a Liberal. They can’t do anything else.
And since they consider themselves so superior to you mere peasants everything they want they want it now and they you to want it because THEY want it.
OBAMACARE
Health care spending  (and everything touched by it-like Insurance) in this country has been growing at twice the rate of growth of our income on a real, per capita basis. Although there has been modest slowing during the Great Recession, that’s been the trend for the past 40 years and the United States is not unique. Our health care spending growth rate is in the middle of the pack among developed countries.Clearly we are on an unsustainable path. With each passing year, health care crowds out more and more other goods and services we want to consume. If it were possible to stay on the path we are on, eventually we would have nothing to eat, nothing to wear and no place to live — but we would all have really great health care.

Now even though the path is unsustainable, it is still the path we are currently on. Private health care spending, Medicare, Medicaid — the entire health care system ? is growing twice as fast as our ability to pay for its growth.

But the Obama administration, desperate to promise benefits that it knows it cannot pay for, has found a solution: making up budget numbers.

The problem begins with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Every time the administration talks about this new entitlement, they make it sound like it’s an enormous free lunch. Everyone in America has been promised affordable health insurance and the only people who are going to suffer are a few rich people.

Unwilling to raise the taxes needed to pay for this entitlement, the administration decided to fund almost half the cost by robbing Medicare. The figure is $716 billion over the next decade, but that’s just the beginning. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is set to grow only a tiny bit faster than the growth of national income — forever!

So let’s recap. Spending on the elderly and the disabled will be growing at one rate while the rest of the health care system will be growing at twice that rate. The Medicare Office of the Actuaries has included two graphs in the latest Medicare Trustees report showing what this will mean. These graphs — which have never appeared in the mainstream media or even been referred to by the mainstream media — show Medicare doctors’ fees dropping below Medicaid fees in the near future and falling progressively behind Medicaid and private sector payments, indefinitely into the future.

One out of seven hospitals will leave Medicare in the next seven years, say the actuaries, and beyond that things just get worse and worse. Access to care will become a huge issue as waiting times to see doctors and enter hospitals grows. Harvard economist Joe Newhouse foresees senior citizens seeking care where Medicaid patients and the uninsured now go — to community health centers and to the emergency rooms of safety net hospitals. From a financial point of view, seniors will be less attractive to doctors than welfare mothers.

Now if the administration had been willing to come clean about all of this, I would say that’s what leadership is all about. It’s about making tough choices. Seniors will have to have less so that younger folks can have more. But that of course, is not what the president is saying. Time and again, the president, the vice president and every leading Democrat in Congress have referred to the Medicare spending reductions as “savings” that will not harm the elderly in any way.

This is not leadership. This is not making tough choices. This is bait and switch. And if the administration won’t own up to what it has done today — when there is no obvious pain — what do you think future politicians are going to do when real seniors can’t find a doctor who will see them?

Even after robbing Medicare, the administration still did not have enough money to pay for its new entitlement. So what did it do? It pulled another bait and switch. Buried deep in the 2,700 page legislation is the little reported fact that after 2018 the subsidies for private health insurance are going to grow at the same rate as Medicare — i.e., just a tad faster than national income is growing.

Remember the Democrats’ complaint about Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan? The “premium support” seniors would get to buy private insurance would grow at a slower rate than the actual premiums — shifting more and more of the cost to seniors through time. Well, that’s exactly what the Democrats are planning to do under ObamaCare to young people. The difference is that the Ryan plan was an undeveloped concept, whereas ObamaCare is the law of the land.

Think about this for a moment. The new law will force all of us to purchase insurance whose cost is likely to grow at twice the rate of growth of our incomes. But after a few years, the subsidies will drop down to the lower growth path as we are all forced to spend more and more of our disposable income on a health plan that will become increasingly unaffordable!

And if you get insurance from your employer, there are no subsidies at all — except for the smallest firms.

If you think any of this is politically sustainable, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

If you don’t think what I am describing is sustainable, then beware that all the budget numbers coming out of Washington are wrong. The real budget crisis is much, much worse. (John C Goodman)

But THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!

And Liberals want what they want and they will force you to want them too and if you don’t they find a way to do it anyways.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Course Corrections

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

“My goal is not to chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance,” he said to ABC News. “My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we are going to be bringing in more revenue.”

Aka, screw balancing a Budget I just want more tax money to Spend!
WHEN IN DEBT SPEND EVEN MORE!

“We’re not gonna balance the budget in 10 years,”

Not after what you’ve done to it! so why bother. Let’s just raise taxes so I can spend even more!

Mr. Obama said. “If you look at what Paul Ryan does to balance the budget, it means that you have to voucher-ize Medicare, you have to slash deeply into programs like Medicaid.”

Grandma off a cliff. Grandma eating dog food. Killing Old People. Heard it all before…

Mr. Obama also said Mr. Ryan’s budget called for higher taxes on the middle class.

You’ve already done that, Mr. President.

Mr. Ryan has claimed his budget plan is balanced — and that it accomplished fiscal solvency without raising taxes.

And, of course, we can’t have that without more Class Warfare, Taxes, and More Spending!!!  Same old…Same old…

NEXT…
The “Education” president

John Harrison was halfway to a bachelor’s degree but financially strapped when Marine recruiters began calling him in 2007.

His wife, Amanda Harrison, recalls their pitches: “Hey, there’s all these different ways to finish your degree and you don’t have to go into a lot of debt to do it.”

That was perhaps true until last week, when the Marines told Sgt. Harrison, 26, that his college tuition would no longer be paid.

“I was furious,” Amanda said. “So many of us cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for our service members to go to school.”

The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard followed suit by also suspending tuition assistance to tens of thousands of active-duty troops. A Navy spokesman told Yahoo News on Wednesday that possible changes to its tuition program would be announced by the end of the week.

The plans reimburse service members $250 per semester hour, up to $4,500 a year, for off-duty college tuition.

The military immediately blamed $85 billion in sequestration spending cuts that went into effect March 1.

Well, they are psychopaths (PTSD) with guns after all… Darn that evil sequestion.
Bit at least it hasn’t deterred The President Golf Game!
“The Secret Service told us that the tours cost $74,000 a week. How much is it going to cost for the President to travel later this week to Illinois? <to play golf>” Karl (ABC News) asked.
“How much does it cost for him to go and play golf?” Karl followed up.
No answer.
Fascinating.
Meanwhile, the People (and school children) can’t tour the The White House.
It’s good to Be The King…
NEXT…

The Obama administration said Thursday it had rearrested and brought back four of the most dangerous immigrants it released from detention last month in the run-up to the budget sequestration.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton testified to Congress that his agency released 10 “level one” offenders, and has gone out and apprehended four of them. He said the other six are nonviolent.

Mr. Morton also acknowledged that overall, 2,228 immigrants were released — far more than the several hundred the agency had initially acknowledged. Of those, 629 had criminal records, though Mr. Morton said they were low-level offenders. (WT)

Gee, that makes me feel so much better… 🙂

“Today’s ICE testimony directly contradicts repeated assurances and explanations peddled by the Obama administration in the days after the mass release of illegal aliens became public knowledge,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “The American people were initially told there were hundreds, not thousands, of individuals released. We were assured they were low-level detainees of little public risk. As we now know, neither of these claims was accurate.”

Another petulant scare tactic gone wrong.

But Mr. Morton said he made the choice on his own without any input from the White House or Ms. Napolitano. Still, he was unable to give many of the exact figures members have demanded to know.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican and one of those who wrote demanding answers, said Mr. Morton didn’t clear up very much.

“Why was the secretary of Homeland Security not aware of the release of convicted criminals by her own agency? Why did she tell us it was only hundreds who were released when we now learn it was thousands?” he said. “This is evidence of serious mismanagement at DHS under Secretary Napolitano.”

Shades of Fast & Furious…Fascinating…Deniability Cover?

The agency said the decision to release immigrants from custody was partly because of sequestration, but also because it had been detaining more people in the first half of the fiscal year, and had to slow down its pace to fit within its budget.

ICE is funded to detain an average of 34,000 immigrants at any one time but had been detaining up to 36,000 in the early months of the fiscal year, which Mr. Morton said meant they were always going to have to cut the number of people they were holding. (WT)

Gee, I thought Illegal Immigration was down… 🙂
Why would detention be up? Unless those “non-violent”  “low-level” unmonitored Illegals were committing more crimes… 🙂

So if you don’t let us Tax you even more and Spend Even more Bad things will happen!

NEXT: ObamaCare

Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people. The nation’s big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc., one of the nation’s largest insurers, calls the price hikes “premium rate shock.” “We’ve done all the math, we’ve shared it with all the regulators, we’ve shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it’s a big concern,” Bertolini said during the company’s annual meeting with investors in December. To be sure, there will be no across-the-board rate hikes for everyone, and there’s no reliable national data on how many people could see increases.

But the biggest price hikes are expected to hit a group that represents a relatively small slice of the insured population. That includes some of the roughly 14 million people who buy their own insurance as opposed to being covered under employer-sponsored plans, and to a lesser extent, some employees of smaller companies. The price increases are a downside of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which is expected to expand coverage to nearly 30 million uninsured people. The massive law calls for a number of changes that could cause premiums for people who don’t have coverage through a big employer to rise next year — at a time when health care costs already are expected to grow by 5 percent or more.
Throughout the healthcare debate (and his first campaign), President Obama promised that premiums would fall by an average of $2,500 annually per family.  He also pledged that overall healthcare costs would decline, not increase. Wrong, and wrong.  There’s a reason why Republicans are still fighting like hell to repeal and defund this monstrosity.   The Associated Press runs through a few of the reasons behind the looming cost spikes:
 

— Changes to how insurers set premiums according to age and gender could cause some premiums to rise as much as 50 percent, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, an industry trade group that’s funded by insurers.

— A new tax on premiums could raise prices as much as 2.3 percent in 2014 and more in subsequent years, according to a study commissioned by AHIP. Policyholders with plans that end in 2014 probably have already seen an impact from this.

— Requirements that insurance plans in many cases cover more health care or pay a greater share of a patient’s bill than they do now also could add to premiums, depending on the extent of a person’s current coverage, according AHIP.
While we’re at it, let’s address two more shattered promises of Obamacare.  (1) Remember “if you like your plan, you can keep it?”  The Obama administration has announced it’s taking an even bigger meat cleaver to the popular Medicare Advantage program than first anticipated. Democrats attack the Republican budget for “cutting Medicare on the backs of seniors” because the proposal includes a bipartisan reform plan for future seniors.  Democrats have already sliced $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, and they’re about to slash the popular Medicare Advantage for millions of current seniors.  (2) In spite of the president’s “not a single dime” deficit pledge, the nonpartisan GAO estimates that Obamacare will add $6.2 trillion to our long term deficits.

NEXT…
On a different note: I’m genuinely surprised it took this long.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: ‘The View’ co-host fired for being too ‘right-wing,’ report says

Mrs. Hasselbeck, who continually battles the four other left-leaning women on the show, reportedly is too “right-wing” for the audience.

“The viewers they polled all said she was too extreme and right-wing,” a show insider told UsMagazine.com Friday. “People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth. So they told her yesterday her contract would not be renewed.”

It was not reported who will be taking her place.

Then Barbara Walters come out and denies it.

Miss Walters denied the report on Monday, telling viewers “we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show.” (WT)

“Having said that to all of you, [executive producer Bill Geddie] and I have always said that when one of you make the choice to leave, that’s your choice, and we will support your decision,”

Which is Showbiz for “Don’t let the Door hit you in the ass while we throw you out nicely and kill you will faint praise.” You make the decision to leap off the cliff so we don’t have to push you.

It looks better that way, darling, FOR YOU.

So it’s now just the “The View” from the Extreme Left. Gee, what took them so long. 🙂
So don’t “obstruct” us or Else it will get much worse for you! We’ll see to it!

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

The Difference

The perfect illustration of the problem between Liberals and Conservatives just happened to me yesterday.

I have a job where you have set of performance goals you HAVE TO meet. So I have a job based on my performance of THEIR goals.

And if you meet or exceed those goals every March there is a Bonus if the company was profitable and grew over the last year. (so yes, you can meet the goals and if the company is not profitable your going to get next to bubkiss).

I got my bonus yesterday.

Now a Liberal would mostly go all hardcore anti-capitalist but let’s try make this simpler than that.

Liberal: Is it “Fair” that you get a bonus and others don’t. Gee, why not lower your prices instead of giving the money to your employees so that everyone benefits in this terrible post-Bush economy.

Don’t be so greedy and selfish. Your company is just looking out for profit. 🙂

Actual Conservative: 44% Tax taken out before you even see the check. Man that sucks. Something needs to be done about that!

Liberal: 56% is plenty when you consider no one else around you gets a bonus and they have to struggle blah blah blah…

What? do you want the government to shut down and for poor people to “fend for themselves” and old people to just die in the streets because of the lack of tax money because you just want to be a greedy,selfish bastard!

Conservative: Yeah, but 44%!! Really…

See the difference. 🙂

It’s not like I’m “rich” or anything. Far From it. Solidly middle class. Actually, I make less than everyone else in my family.

But don’t worry, to a Liberal, I just want to screw the poor and the elderly because I think taxes are too high and they don’t think they are high enough.

That’s the difference.

Now “Compromise” on those polar opposites. 🙂

Senator Patty Murray, the Democratic chair of the Senate Budget Committee, finally released a budget today. Year over year, in this proposed budget, spending jumps dramatically. 

SURPRISE! 🙂

For instance, from this year’s budget to next year’s proposed budget, spending would increase by $162 billion. This year, the federal government will spend $3.599 trillion; under Murray’s budget, the federal government would be on track to spend even more.

Over the next decade, spending under Murray’s budget would increase by 62 percent. Here’s a chart from the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee detailing the increase in spending over the next decade:

As the chart shows, the budget would increase a bit each year, under the Democratic plan.

“Murray’s budget spends $2.2 trillion more in 2023 (the last year of the budget window) than the 2013 levels – a 62% increase (significantly outpacing inflation),” says a staff member on the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.

In an interview that aired earlier today, President Obama said, “[W]e don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.”

Obama has not released his own budget yet. (WS)

You’d never know that the National Debt is: $16,690,614,000,000

Would you? 🙂

Liberal: When  in Debt Tax More & Spend Even More

Actual Conservative: Cut Spending because we spend too much.

That’s the Difference.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez1,307 Days no child left a dime

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

ObamaCare Goes to The Dogs (and Cats)

Pet owners listen up: You may want to start saving more money for veterinarian care this year. The reason goes all the way back to Washington and an unintended consequence from medical reform.

We’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too!

Why the increase? Its part of a new 2.3-percent federal excise tax on certain medical devices that just went into effect. The tax will help fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, intended for people, not pets. Manufacturers pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along.

Some vets say they can’t afford it. Dr. Mike Hatcher is one of them. He explained, “I’m extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on.”

How does this work? Medical devices used only on animals are exempt. However, items including IV pumps, sterile scalpels and anesthesia equipment, which are medical devices that have a dual use, meaning they can be used on people and animals, will be taxed. Hatcher said, “Putting off an equipment purchase is something that can terribly affect our clients’ ability to have quality care.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association represents 82,000 vets. At this point, they don’t know how much this new tax will indirectly cost them. The organizations members are waiting to hear from more device makers.

Dr. Mark Lutschaunig is the director of the Governmental Relations Division of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“Congress never intended for this tax to impact veterinarian medicine and unfortunately it has, and I think that’s very unfortunate that veterinarian medicine now is subsidizing human health care,” said Dr. Lutschaunig.

Congressional sources who worked on the Affordable Care Act said lawmakers tried to exclude vets from being affected by the dual use medical devices tax, but it was too complicated.

LOL! A 2,700 page bill that no one read before passing it wasn’t too complicated!?

This was not because they wanted the “revenue” from what they thought would be an easy source and it was “too complicated” to not get the money so they did it anyways. Make you wonder what other hidden gems are in there. 🙂

Pelosi: You have to pass it to find out what is in it! 🙂

SURPRISE!  It’s another Zonk!

ObamaCare is a living God of unintended consequences. But I have to wonder how many of them were actually unintended? 🙂

“The impact this price increase is going to have on any of those families I think will be pretty devastating.”

Lori Heiselman said she worries about other families too, but she’ll find the money for her four-legged friends. “We’ll just have to cut back somewhere else.”

YOU MEAN WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY  TO PAY YOUR BILLS YOU DON’T JUST SPEND EVEN MORE LIKE CONGRESS?! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Obama, The Economy Slayer

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Last Time the US Senate passed a Budget: 1,413 days ago

The iPad wasn”t even on the Market back then!

The budget deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.4 trillion, followed by $1.3 trillion deficits in 2010 and 2011.  In fiscal year 2012 the deficit again surpassed the $1 trillion mark, the Treasury announced in October. And 2013 is expected to be just as bad.

But ask a Liberal about this and the raving pit bull slobbering with hate with try and bite your face off. It’s all those “Obstructionist” Republicans fault. They won’t pass a Budget that the Democrats like so they ignore it, pretend it never existed, and blame them for the whole problem to begin with.

If only they would just do what the Republicans want. If only every American would just do what they want, when they want them them to, because they want them too.

Simple enough, right?  Just do as you’re told when you’re told. That’s it.

Utopia, peace, and BY-Partisanship awaits you if you just do as your told without question. 🙂

If you want a sense of just how massive the nation’s debt problem is, consider this: The U.S. added $226 billion in new debt in just the 35 days since President Obama missed the legal deadline to submit his budget.

That’s more than the government will spend this year on education, homeland security, law enforcement, housing aid, energy and the environment, combined.

Do that 5 times and you have an amount equal to the OMG! The Sky is Falling decrease in the increase called the Sequester.

A 1921 law requires the president to submit his budget plan to Congress on the first Monday in February, but Obama so far hasn’t produced one, and the White House says it won’t release its plan to get the nation’s deficits and debt under control until sometime in April.

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, haven’t produced an annual budget — also required by law — since 2009. Over that time, the nation’s debt has climbed $5.5 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

But as we know, that’s all Bush’s Fault. Democrats are completely free of any responsibility for even one dime of this. 🙂

And they can’t fix it because of “Obstructionist” Republicans. 🙂

Senate Budget Committee Democrats are now promising to introduce a budget plan this week.

Believe it when I don’t see it. Can you make one out of Smoke & Mirrors?

April Fools?

Obama initially claimed the holdup on his fiscal year 2014 budget was the last-minute “fiscal cliff” deal, which required them to redo their budget figures.

That agreement let the Bush tax cuts expire for people with incomes over $400,000, while making the rest of the lower Bush tax rates permanent. It also extended unemployment insurance, put off the automatic sequester spending cuts by two months, and let the Social Security payroll tax break expire.

“Because these issues were not resolved until the American Taxpayer Relief Act was enacted on Jan. 2, 2013, the administration was forced to delay some of its FY 2014 budget preparations, which in turn will delay the budget’s submission to Congress,” Jeffrey Zients, a director at the White House Office of Management and Budget, wrote to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan in mid-January.

But the fiscal cliff deal delayed by just one day the Congressional Budget Office’s annual report, which also had to account for all those fiscal cliff changes. The CBO budget and economic outlook report came out on Feb. 5.

The budget holdup comes as Obama and Democrats try to figure out how to deal with the nation’s debt crisis while protecting their favored spending programs and claiming only to want to raise taxes on the “rich.”

As the Hill reported this week, “disputes over tax cuts, spending reductions and entitlement reform all present challenges to Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray and Majority Leader Harry Reid.”

Meanwhile, Obama has been talking up a grand bargain again with Republicans, trading entitlement reforms for more tax hikes, before releasing his own detailed plan on how he would do it.

During the 2012 campaign, Obama told voters that all America needed to get its deficits under control was to ask the rich to pay “a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way.”

After he won re-election, he talked as though the debt crisis was nearly solved. At a press conference early this year, he said the only thing left to do was “closing some additional loopholes (and) doing some additional cuts.”

But the latest CBO report makes it clear that the debt crisis is far from over, despite an intervening $620 billion tax hike on the wealthy that Obama secured as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

The CBO projects that under current law, deficits will fall for the next two years, then start climbing again. By 2023, red ink will be near $1 trillion again.

And debt as a share of the economy will start climbing as well, starting in 2018. The CBO predicts that just publicly traded federal debt will reach 77% of the economy in a decade’s time. Debt averaged just 41% of GDP from 1948 to 2008.

Entitlements Key

Obama has also said he will consider only modest changes to Medicare and Medicaid, and wants hands off Social Security. Leading congressional Democrats have vowed to fight any significant changes to entitlements.

But the CBO also makes clear that these programs must be ad dressed: “Unless the laws governing those programs are changed,” it noted, “debt will rise sharply relative to GDP after 2023.”

With Ryan promising a plan that not only cuts the deficit without more tax hikes but also produces a balanced budget in a decade, the debate over spending, taxes and the national debt is about to get very interesting.

Ancient Chinese Curse: “May you live in Interesting Times” 🙂

The Next great Crisis is coming and boy the drama, the hair pulling, the teeth nashing, Sky is Falling, Name-Calling, OMG! It’s the End of the World, grandma will be eating dog food, kids will starve,The Rich are Evil, “fairness” continues.

Situation Normal, All F*cked Up. 🙂

A.F. Branco Political Cartoon "Red Ink Express"