Transparency Rides Again

More of that famous Democrat Party “transparency” on display. 🙂

Reporters covering the House Democrats’ retreat in Philadelphia this week are having a much different experience than when they’re on their home turf on Capitol Hill. 

Reporters are being escorted to and from the restroom and lobby and are being barred from entering the hotel outside of scheduled events, even if they’ve been invited by a member of Congress. 

During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby. The filing center for reporters was at a separate hotel from where the retreat was taking place, so access was limited to members of Congress specifically made available to the press.

“It was a police state. It was absurd how heavy handed the capitol police and Democratic staff were in trying to control everywhere the press went,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said in an interview.

Peters said at one point he was also barred from entering the hotel where the retreat was taking place, despite the fact he had an invitation to eat breakfast with a member of Congress.

“I was an invited guest into this hotel, into the restaurant of the hotel. The staff from the Democratic caucus refused to let me into the hotel, and the Capitol Police told me to leave, even after the congressman went to them and said ‘no, he is my invited guest,'” Peters said. 

Peters said he was told by a staffer they were being escorted to prevent them from talking to members of Congress.

OMG! NOT THAT ANYTHING BUT THAT! THAT WOULD LEAD TO THE END OF THE WORLD FOR SURE!!

At a press conference with Democratic leadership, Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said they were not aware reporters were being followed.

“We were not aware they were following you. We had to have the security in the hotel that we were in because it was expected by Capitol Police that we would be secure. This hotel, where the press was located, we did not have those types of requirements. If you want to give me some names, I’m willing to talk to them. That was not at the direction of the caucus,” Becerra said.

The incident is reminiscent of the Clinton Global Initiative conference in September, where reporters were being escorted by staff right up to the bathroom stall. (Politico)

And what’s ultimately hilarious about this is that this is the Press that has been bending over backwards to kiss The Left’s ass and cover up all their dirty laundry for years.

The Lapdog is put on lease and sent to the doghouse.

Now, that’s funny. 🙂

Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats that, “To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country.”

“And they’ve been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel]. They’ve been really tough for our party. And together we made some really, really tough decisions — decisions that weren’t at all popular, hard to explain,” said Biden.

So they didn’t bother to explain them, they just crammed them down your throat and had the Press call you “racist” or “extremist”  if you objected (and the Press obliged willingly).

Only in Amerika! 🙂  God Bless, Crazy Uncle Joe…

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

A Stale Cuban

Soon after President Obama announced plans to normalize relations with Cuba, Sen. Marco Rubio called him the worst negotiator since Jimmy Carter. Cuban officials are now proving Rubio right.

As soon as Obama made his announcement, it became clear he’d pretty much given up the store and gotten nothing in return.

Cuba didn’t have to make any concessions on freedom of speech, democratic elections, a market economy. It didn’t have to turn over U.S. fugitives, including a convicted cop killer, whom it’s been protecting for years.

Indeed, as we noted in this space after Obama’s announcement, Raul Castro was soon bragging about how he’d struck a deal with Obama “without a single sacrifice of our principles.”

Castro apparently feels no need to do so in the future, either. After the opening round of talks, Cuban diplomat Josefina Vidal told the AP that “changes in Cuba aren’t negotiable.”

Now, to add insult to injury, Castro has started issuing his own set of demands.

In a speech at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit in Costa Rica on Wednesday, he said there’d be no normalization of relations unless the U.S. ends the trade embargo, closes the naval base at Guantanamo Bay and takes Cuba off the list of state sponsors of terror.

Oh, and he also wants the U.S. to stop allowing Cubans to stay in this country just because they manage to set foot on American soil. That’s been causing a brain drain from the island, you see.

Castro has even told Obama what to do, saying in his speech the president should “use with resolve his broad executive powers to substantially change the scope of the blockade, even without the Congress’ decision.”

Why shouldn’t Castro be so brazen? Obama has already shown his hand. So Castro knows he can keep upping the bid, assuming — most likely correctly — that Obama will do anything to keep the normalization process from folding.

If this were the only time Obama has miserably failed at the bargaining table, it would be bad enough. But it’s just the latest in an continuing and ominous pattern — from his dealings with Iran, his prisoner exchange with the Taliban, his phony “red line” in Syria, his “reset” with Russia, etc.

Come to think of it, saying Obama is the worst negotiator since Jimmy Carter is actually an insult to Carter.

Carter also at least pretended to not be anti-Semitic. 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

A Message to Global Warming Alarmists

I was laughing my ass of by the end of this one. 🙂

Got this message yesterday from a very concerned climate change alarmist:

Hi Matt, I read you sometimes but I generally find you to be an assh*le. Just being honest. I also think you have a reputation (or you’d like to think you have a reputation) as someone who isn’t afraid to “tell it like it is,” but I think you haven’t earned that. Actually you are very afraid to challenge any republican talking point so you stick to the script on everything. I guess it’s more important to be invited to the parties than to tell the truth.

I’m wondering if you have the guts to address something and actually force your right wing readers to think for themselves. I’m getting really tired of seeing these idiots on Facebook who every time it gets cold or snows start gloating about how it “proves” there is no climate change. You’ve never outed yourself as a climate denier, and I know you like to consider yourself a logical person, so I’m hoping this is one area where you differ from your cohorts. These morons need to be put in their place. Colder temperatures and blizzards ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE SCIENTIFIC MODEL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE. This is why I could never be a republican. I can’t be a part of a group of anti-science climate deniers who would kill this planet if they were given free reign. Prove you’re really “controversial,” Matt, and call your people to task here.

-JM

Hi JM,

I agree with you. Honestly, I never addressed it because I never knew it was such a pervasive problem. But now that you’ve called my attention to it, allow me to be the first to say that climate deniers are lunatics. I’ll take it a step further than you even did, JM, and submit that climate deniers should be banned from teaching, voted out of office, and probably fired from any other job they might hold. Seriously, I can’t hardly believe that anyone could be so foolish and so delusional as to be a climate denier.

I mean, to deny the existence of the climate? That’s madness. The word “climate” means “the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region.” The word “deny” means “to refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow; repudiate.” Anyone who rejects or repudiates the existence of weather conditions ought to be scolded and shunned and possibly institutionalized. We all must stand up against these menaces!

Luckily, upon closer inspection, I see that no such view actually exists anywhere in our society. This is just a label you people fabricated because left wing environmentalists are reflexively disingenuous about everything. “Climate denier” may in fact be the most ludicrous assemblage of two words ever concocted by mankind. But it’s not much better than the slightly more specific “climate change denier,” (used in a sentence: “liberal college professors think climate change deniers should be put in prison“) because, despite these marvelous straw men left wingers take so much time building, nobody in the world denies the fact of climate change. If anyone is a climate change denier — that is, someone who denies that climates change — I’d agree that he is an imbecile and probably mentally unstable.

Yet that view doesn’t exist because we all know the climate changes. Of course the climate changes. It’s a climate. That’s what climates do. They change. It gets colder, it gets hotter, it rains, it snows, it does all kinds of things. I don’t deny that, and although I’m not a Republican and I take great exception to that accusation, I feel safe in speaking for them when I say that they neither deny the fact of the climate, nor the fact that the climate changes. Progressives use labels like “climate denier” or “climate skeptic” (for the people who are willing to believe that there might be a climate, but are still a little iffy on the whole thing) because they are not interested in an honest discussion. You either buy in to their environmental dogma one hundred percent, or you will be painted as an idiot, an infidel, and a maniac.

Now, why might a person be skeptical about the theory that humans are causing dramatic shifts to the climate, and that these shifts will eventually kill us all? Have you ever thought about why someone might have these reservations, JM? Have you really taken the time to consider the reasons for this skepticism? Yeah, they’re morons, right, I get it, but have you determined that they’re morons because the media and people on Twitter told you they’re morons, or because you gave their case a fair hearing and came away with the impression that they have absolutely nothing even slightly coherent to say? I’m guessing it’s more the former, which makes you not necessarily a moron yourself, but an intellectually lazy chump who can be easily herded and exploited.

But since you broached the subject, I’m hoping today will be perhaps the first day in your life when you listen to a point of view before deciding to disqualify it.

So, why do so many people have trouble falling in line with the Climate Change Doomsday Cult (CCDC)? Let’s start with history. Just going back through the past few decades, according to left wing environmentalists we should all be dead from an Ice Age, and after that it was a nuclear winter, and after that it was overpopulation. Sprinkle in the various fits of hysteria about how we’re going to run out of oil and end up back living in caves, or run out of rain forest and suffocate to death, or run out of food, or run out of water, or run out of ozone, and you see how people might grow wary of the CCDC’s constant hand wringing about some kind of apocalypse (side note: “Some Kind of Apocalypse” would be a great name for a band). We should have perished 12 times over at this point. There were at least three different global annihilations that should have arrived before the year 2000, and another several since then. We should be starving, sick with radiation poisoning, unable to breathe, freezing from the sub zero temperatures, melting from the scorching heat, and causing entire landmasses to literally tip over due to the excess population. But we’re still here.

Some of these theories, like overpopulation and the Ice Age, have been thoroughly debunked and disproved. Others have simply been abandoned for trendier causes. But in all of these cases, the prophets of doom reaped profits from the doom, while slimy politicians used the hysteria as a means to tax, regulate, and control. Excuse us, JM, but are you really saying that after so many failed and erroneous predictions, we shouldn’t even raise an eyebrow when the very same people come back with yet another one?

Left Wing Environmentalists: Watch out everyone, this is going to kill you!

Everyone: Oh no! What do we do?

LWE: Quick pay more taxes!

Everyone: OK, here you go!

LWE: Just kidding. That probably won’t kill you, but this will!

Everyone: AHHHH!

LWE: No, OK, not that. But this!

Everyone: Dear Lord, help us!

LWE: Alright, never mind, we dodged that bullet. But this new thing will definitely wipe us out!

Everyone: We’re so afraid!

LWE: Scratch that. It’s this. This will do it!

Everyone: Uh, OK, we’re starting to get a little skeptical –

LWE: WHY DO YOU HATE SCIENCE?

How many times do they have to be wrong before our skepticism might be considered reasonable? Because that’s what this is about. Skepticism. You’re saying, just as most progressives say, that it’s “anti-science” to even be skeptical of climate alarmism, which is to say that the prevailing climate theory of the day should be believed regardless of how believable it is. This is the very definition of an unscientific attitude. It’s religious zealotry. Nothing more, nothing less.

Our history lesson isn’t over. Not long ago, nobody talked about climate change — instead it was global warming. If you can recall the year 2007, way back in the distant past, you might remember when Al Gore received a Nobel Peace prize for narrating a science fiction documentary and mentioned in his acceptance speech that the North Polar ice cap would completely melt by the year 2013. But then the year 2013 rolled around, and the Arctic had actually increased in mass by about 60 percent. Man, that’s embarrassing.

Indeed, you wouldn’t expect global warming to melt the ice caps considering the globe hasn’t warmed since about 1997. In other words, by the time Gore jumped on the global warming gravy train, global warming hadn’t been a thing for about a decade. Today, we’re about 219 months and counting since the last time the aggregate temperatures on Earth rose by any statistically significant amount.

What happened next? Well, the same thing that always happens. Progressives repackaged, rebranded, renamed, and came up with a few new marketing tricks. Suddenly, global warming became climate change, and man made climate change is as undeniable as man made global warming, even though global warming didn’t exist.

It was a smart move, though. Progressives realized that global warming — like the Ice Age, or overpopulation, or a nuclear winter — is just too specific. They needed something that could never be truly debunked because, no matter what happens, whatever happens proves them right. Hence, climate change.

“The climate is changing because of people!”

How do you know?

“Because it’s changing!”

Yeah, but–

“Look! It just changed again!”

They came up with a theory that can be validated by any turn of events, which means it can’t be validated by any turn of events. They’ve formulated not that one plus one equals two, or even that one plus one equals four, but that one plus one equals infinity.

Want to see something funny? Here’s a National Geographic headline from September of 2014:

Human-Caused Climate Change Worsened Heat Waves in 2013

Now, here’s one from yesterday:

Blizzard of Nor’Easters No Surprise, Thanks to Climate Change

One theory, two opposite results, both proof of the theory. Does that make sense, JM? Can you, at a minimum, understand why some of us look at that and think “hmmmm”?

On a related note, the subheading under that blizzard article is pretty hysterical: “More extreme storms are expected to fall on the Northeast as climate changes.”

Oh, as the climate changes sometimes snow happens, you say? Yes, it’s called winter in the north east. It’s been this way for a while now, National Geographic. Why are you so surprised that it snowed in Buffalo in January? Aren’t you people supposed to be nature experts?

Want more from Matt Walsh?

It’s all so ridiculous, JM. And we haven’t even really gotten to dissecting the actual science here.

As far as that goes, I admit I’m not a scientist, though I suspect neither are you, and neither are most of the people who participate in this debate on either side. Still, even us lowly citizens can know a few things. For instance, we can know that the climate on this planet has changed wildly over the course of its existence. It’s had tropical periods and icy periods and everything in between, and the vast majority of all of that came before the Industrial Age. In fact, human beings have only been industrialized for a tiny fraction of human history, and we’ve been driving cars for an even tinier fraction. We can know, therefore, that temperatures and weather conditions have swung dramatically from one side of the spectrum to the other and back again, and, from a historical perspective, when comparing 200 years of industrialization to the 4 billion years the Earth’s been around, almost all of the warming and cooling happened before any factory was ever built.

We can also know that our CO2 emmissions are dwarfed by the immense amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by natural (and evil, likely Republican) sources like oceans and vegetation.

We can further know that the Sun — which is big enough to eat a million Earths, and hot enough to make you burst into flames from millions of miles away — really calls the shots in our solar system. If we’re searching for “global warming” culprits, we might want to look at that 27,000,000 degree ball of gas in the sky.

And we can even more confidently know that if human CO2 emissions are a primary driver of global temperatures, it wouldn’t make sense for temperatures to drop or stay stagnate while humanity only continues to increase its CO2 output. But that’s exactly what’s happened. I can know that, and I can know that something doesn’t make sense here. And I can know all of that without being a “scientist.”

Speaking of scientists, it’s probably not worth mentioning at this point that there isn’t any real 97 percent consensus on climate change in the scientific community. That oft-cited figure is based on faulty methodology, cherry picked findings, misleading questions, and misinterpreted results. What do scientists really think? Well, a good number of them are just as skeptical as me check  here, and here, and here for example. .

Even the people who believe in man made climate change don’t really believe it. That’s why so few of you folks are actively adjusting your lifestyle in any substantive way. I mean, if you think that the Earth itself is on the verge of a destruction brought upon by human beings and our technology, wouldn’t you clothe yourself in a loin cloth stitched from foliage and run off into the wilderness, living in a hollowed-out tree and subsisting on wild edibles? If you possess the conviction that the planet itself will die if humanity does not make dramatic changes, wouldn’t you begin by making those dramatic changes yourself? But you don’t. Maybe you buy a hybrid, maybe you put a “Save the Earth” bumper sticker on it, maybe you turn your heat down at night, but when it comes down to it, leftwing environmentalists continue on living the same way we all do. They drive around, buy things, watch TV, fly on airplanes, eat at restaurants. They sermonize about the end times but that’s all it is — a sermon. At least other religious cults put their money where their mouth is. You guys use a lot of dramatic language, but do nothing.

So where does that leave us? With, you might say, a few reasons to be have some doubt. But I realize this isn’t about “reasons” for you, it’s about faith. And far be it for me to attack your religion.

Thanks for writing.

-Matt

(Matt Walsh)

AMEN! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

CBO Projections

Health Reform: The Congressional Budget Office now says ObamaCare will push 10 million off employer-based coverage, a tenfold increase from its initial projection. The “keep your plan” lie just gets bigger and bigger.

The latest CBO report is supposed to be a big win for the Obama administration because the projected costs are 20% below what the CBO first projected in 2010.

But the CBO report also shows that ObamaCare will be far more disruptive to the employer-based insurance market, while being far less effective at cutting the ranks of the uninsured, than promised.

Thanks to ObamaCare, the CBO now expects that 10 million workers will lose their employer-based coverage by 2021.

This finding stands in sharp contrast to earlier CBO projections, which at one point suggested ObamaCare would increase the number of people getting coverage through work, at least in its early years.

The budget office has, in fact, increased the number it says will lose workplace coverage every year since 2011.

The latest CBO finding also thoroughly debunks the many promises ObamaCare backers made when selling the law — about how those with work-based coverage had nothing to worry about.

Well, since they lied about everything else, why would this be a surprise?

ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber, for example, said the law was specifically designed “to leave those who are happy with their employer-sponsored insurance alone.”

Then Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein reassured readers that “for most companies … there’s little reason to expect their behavior will change.”

The White House insisted that “respected independent analysts have concluded that the number of Americans who get their health insurance at work will not change in a significant way.”

Obama endlessly repeated his iron-clad guarantee that those who liked their plans could keep them.

And those who suggested at the time that employers might take advantage of ObamaCare to offload their health costs onto taxpayers by dumping workers into the government exchanges were told to read those now-discredited CBO reports.

At the same time CBO was upping ObamaCare’s impact on work-based insurance, it’s been downgrading the impact on the uninsured.

The CBO now says ObamaCare will leave 31 million uninsured after more than a decade, up from its 23 million forecast made in 2011.

Put another way, the CBO promised that ObamaCare would cover 60% of the uninsured.

Now it says the program will cover less than half, despite spending $2 trillion to subsidize premiums and expand Medicaid.

Does anyone really believe that if Obama announced a plan to spend $2 trillion on a program that would leave 31 million uninsured and force 10 million workers off their employer-based insurance, that even Democrats would have voted for it?

Yes, they would because the end justifies the means and the Agenda is The Agenda. Period.

They’d just lie about it. Oh right, that’s how they did it the last time… 🙂

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

$50,000 Boondoggle-Surprise!

It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.

The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook. 

The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

The numbers are daunting: It will take $1.993 trillion, a number that looks like $1,993,000,000,000, to provide insurance subsidies to poor and middle-class Americans, and to pay for a massive expansion of Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) costs.

Offsetting that massive outlay will be $643 billion in new taxes, penalties and fees related to the Obamacare law.

That revenue includes quickly escalating penalties – or ‘taxes,’ as the U.S. Supreme Court described them – on people who resist Washington’s command to buy medical insurance.

It also includes income from a controversial medical device tax, which some Republicans predict will be eliminated in the next two years.

If they’re right, Obamacare’s per-person cost would be even higher.

President Barack Obama pledged to members of Congress in 2009, as his signature insurance overhaul law was being hotly debated, that ‘the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over 10 years.’

He lied. Gee, what a shock that is!!

It would be a significant discount if the White House could return to that number today.

In that same speech, Obama claimed that there were ‘more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.’

$900 billion spent on those people would equate to no more than $30,000 each – less than two-thirds of what the CBO now says the program will cost when the dust settles. 

The CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, a group of members from both houses of Congress, prepared Monday’s report on the overall direction of the federal budget.

They estimated that ‘the net costs of the coverage provisions of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will rise sharply as the effects of the act phase in from 2015 through 2017.’

Those costs will ‘rise steadily through 2022′ before leveling off for three years, the groups’ economists determined. But even at that point, the Obamacare program will cost the governemnt ‘about $145 billion’ each year.

That number doesn’t include the insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs paid by Americans – only the government’s role in implementing the law and paying for its guarantees.

And the law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance, says the CBO.

See, the scam worked. They got socialized medicine and it do anyone any good but it made THEM feel good and they got to control your life! What could be better? 🙂

(Mission Impossible TV Theme): “Good morning Mr. Gruber.  Your mission, should you decide/choose to accept it is to lie your ass off about ObamaCare’s costs and to make sure the CBO gives us a favorable rating no matter what… As always, should you or any of your team be caught or have their lies revealed; the Ministry of Truth will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self destruct in 5/10 seconds. Good luck Jonathan.”

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel


A Twist in The Usual Tale

Now this is a little twist in the usual Gay Rights Mafia story…

DENVER (AP) — A dispute over a cake in Colorado raises a new question about gay rights and religious freedom: If bakers can be fined for refusing to serve married gay couples, can they also be punished for declining to make a cake with anti-gay statements?

A baker in suburban Denver who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding is fighting a legal order requiring him to serve gay couples even though he argued that would violate his religious beliefs.

But now a separate case puts a twist in the debate over discrimination in public businesses, and it underscores the tensions that can arise when religious freedom intersects with a growing acceptance of gay couples.

Marjorie Silva, owner of Denver’s Azucar Bakery, is facing a complaint from a customer alleging she discriminated against his religious beliefs.

According to Silva, the man who visited last year wanted a Bible-shaped cake, which she agreed to make. Just as they were getting ready to complete the order, Silva said the man showed her a piece of paper with hateful words about gays that he wanted written on the cake. He also wanted the cake to have two men holding hands and an X on top of them, Silva said.

She said she would make the cake, but declined to write his suggested messages on the cake, telling him she would give him icing and a pastry bag so he could write the words himself. Silva said the customer didn’t want that.

“It’s just horrible. It doesn’t matter if, you know, if you’re Catholic, or Jewish, or Christian, if I’m gay or not gay or whatever,” said Silva, 40, adding that she has made cakes regularly for all religious occasions. “We should all be loving each other. I mean there’s no reason to discriminate.”

Discrimination complaints to Colorado’s Civil Rights Division, which is reviewing the matter, are confidential. Silva said she would honor the division’s policy and would not share the correspondence she has received from state officials on the case. KUSA-TV reported the complainant is Bill Jack of Castle Rock, a bedroom community south of Denver.

In a statement to the television station, Jack said he believes he “was discriminated against by the bakery based on my creed.”

“As a result, I filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. Out of respect for the process, I will wait for the director to release his findings before making further comments.”

Jack did not respond to emails from The Associated Press seeking comment. No one answered the door at the address listed for Jack in Castle Rock.

The case comes as Republicans in Colorado’s Legislature talk about changing the state law requiring that businesses serve gays in the wake of a series of incidents where religious business owners rejected orders to celebrate gay weddings. Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg said the new case shows a “clash of values” and argued Colorado’s public accommodation law is not working.

“The state shouldn’t come in and say to the individual businessman, ‘You must violate your religious — and I’ll say religious-slash-moral convictions. This baker (Silva), thought that was a violation of their moral convictions. The other baker, which we all know very well because of all the stories, clearly that was a violation of their religious convictions,” Lundberg said.

But gay rights advocates say there is a significant difference in the cases. Silva refused to put specific words on a cake while Jack Phillips, the baker who turned away the gay couple, refused to make any wedding cake for them in principle.

“There’s no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it,” said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado.

Phillips’ attorneys had argued in court that requiring him to prepare a gay marriage cake would be akin to forcing a black baker to prepare a cake with a white supremacist message. But administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer disagreed, writing that business owners can refuse a specific message, but not service.

“In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse,” administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said.

Phillips’ attorney, Nicolle Martin, said she has sympathy for Silva, arguing she is in the same category as her client. “I absolutely support her right to decline,” Martin said. “I support her right as an American to pick and choose the messages she will express.”

Silva said she remains shaken up by the incident. “I really think I should be the one putting the complaint against him, because he has a very discriminating message,” she said.

So I’ll give the final word to a couple of Leftist commenters: You pathetic, fear-based conservatives are absurdly ignorant. You should all return to the caves of Neanderthals and live out your pathetic lives with each other, trembling in fear, alone, apart and away from those of us progressing in the light of truth and wisdom.

Christian people are the most negative and racist people I know!!!!!

And that folks is “enlightenment”. 🙂

 

 

Swiss Cheese

Far be it for us to criticize those who create great wealth, but we’re probably not alone in our disgust at the preening and pontificating by billionaires who think they should tell us how to live.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual confab at Davos, Switzerland, 5,120 feet up in the Swiss Alps, presumably high enough to give the 40 heads of state and 2,500 billionaires, businessmen, CEOs, rock stars, assorted royals and politicians at least a metaphorical view of the whole world.

Are you sure we shouldn’t add an “r” in that city name and just call it Davros (as in the creator of the Daleks in “Doctor Who”). 🙂

Davos was once a semi-serious event dedicated to business executives gathering to talk about common problems and how to solve them.

But it’s turned into a preachy, weeklong exercise in excess, during which the same people who flew 1,700 private jets to attend — yes, someone counted them — lecture the rest of us about the importance of cutting back on our carbon footprints and other things.

“Decision makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner and lower-carbon economies,” Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

“The purpose,” said former vice president and climate-change entrepreneur Al Gore, standing with hip-hop star Pharrell Williams, “is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now.”

You mean billion dollar voices! 🙂 The little guy who’s going to be screwed by you doesn’t matter. AS billion here a billion there… 🙂

OK, so how about you flying commercial, for a start?

Well, they are too important for that. After all, they are not peasants.

This year’s ration of ridiculousness and hypocrisy is so prominent, even the media have noticed.

It’s pretty obvious that people who can pay $40,000 to attend Davos and fork over $43 for a hot dog, $47 for a burger or $55 for a Caesar salad — all actual prices at this year’s World Economic Forum — would seem to be in a poor position to lecture the rest of us.

Only $47 for a burger, gee, I would have thought with all the high end ingredients I’m sure they had that’s a bargain. 🙂

A London restaurant claims to have created the world’s most expensive burger, embellished with gold leaf, lobster and caviar. The wagyu beef and venison dish, priced at £1,100 (Google).

Now that’s a burger for an elitist!

Even so, Bloomberg highlights remarks by subprime mortgage billionaire Jeffrey Greene that “America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence. We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

Greene, according to Bloomberg, “flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week.” How’s that for “less things”? His remarks are more than a little ironic, given one of the main themes of Davos this year: “Income inequality,” or getting the rich to pay their “fair share.”

So these billionaires will share their wealth right? 🙂

Then there’s that pesky gender gap, another major topic — at a conference where women make up just 17% of all attendees.

Increasingly, it seems, some think their wealth entitles them to run our lives instead of their businesses.

Well, if their Liberals as well as billionaires…god help us all!

Here’s some modest advice for the CEOs at Davos: Have fun and, by all means, learn something. But, please, get off your moral soapboxes. You’ll do far more for the economy and benefit far more people by building strong, innovative businesses with growing profits than by attending a thousand Swiss soirees. (IBD)

But that doesn’t “feel” as good and we know that for Liberals it’s all about “feelings”.


Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Liberal Gas

Hilarious Video:

This shows the mindset of Leftists so well! Please can I play the Race Card!! I need to play the race card even when it doesn’t exist! I am addicted to it. I must have my “racial justice” fix!

Hilarious!

Gas prices in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest levels in years and the great debate over the federal gas tax has resurfaced. As the Washington Post recently concluded, at $2 a gallon “now is the best time Washington has seen in years to raise the federal gas tax.” If Republicans raise the federal gas tax, they will destroy the political capital accumulated in the aftermath of last year’s Democrat-crushing elections. That destruction, of course, may be one of the hidden motives behind the Washington’s Post‘s call for higher taxes.

Well, people have more more money to spend, so they should spend it on taxes so Washington can Spend Even More!!

Makes sense, right? 🙂

Small businesses, soccer moms, truck drivers, and commuters nationwide can take some comfort in knowing that House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan aren’t taking the bait. Despite pressure from some of their Republican colleagues, as well as spending special interests, they have resoundingly ruled out raising the gas tax as a means for increased spending on transportation projects. Republican legislators in state capitols nationwide should follow suit.

 

While the federal gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon has not been increased since 1993, the average state gas tax stands at 29.9 cents per gallon, yielding 48.3 cents for the government per gallon of gasoline purchased. Consumers in California pay a combined 63.8 cents per gallon, New York 63.5 cents, and Pennsylvania 68.9 cents according to the American Petroleum Institute. At an average price of $2.39 per gallon in Pennsylvania, the government’s cut is 29 percent. And some state lawmakers think that’s not enough.

A legislative report in Georgia is calling for up to $5.4 billion in new spending on transportation, nearly all of which relies on a combination of gas and sales tax hikes. This astronomical figure would represent a 20 percent increase in the total state budget. Less than 3 years ago, Georgia voters overwhelmingly rejected a sales tax hike designed to fund more transportation investments by a margin of 63-37. Atlanta-region voters, who experience the worst congestion in the state and some of the worst congestion in the nation shot down the tax hike because even they agreed that tax hikes weren’t the answer to bad traffic.

Iowa’s long-serving Governor Terry Branstad has also hinted at being open to a gas tax hike this year. He recently suggested that legislation could be voted on that would include a referendum for a 1 percent sales tax hike on gasoline. Republicans in Michigan put a constitutional referendum on the ballot this May that would raise 1.6 billion in higher taxes, including a 10-cent gas tax hike. Both of these proposals are the types of solutions that failed in Georgia in 2012.

 

Bills in South Dakota, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Utah will also be considered this year that raise the gas tax by as much as 12 cents per gallon. It’s clear that as Congress ponders a gas tax hike, state legislators are also attempting to take advantage of declining gas prices in the meantime.

While a majority of voters support more funding for roads and bridges, two-thirds  oppose increasing the gas tax, according to a recent poll by SKDKnickerbocker and Benson Strategy Group. This signals that people believe transportation projects should be funded with the historically high revenues that the federal and state governments are already extracting from taxpayers. Even more, voters may not be as enthusiastic as labor unions and bureaucrats to fund boondoggle light rail and rail transit projects like the one in California that is costing taxpayers at least $68 billion. If the federal government stopped forcing taxpayers nationwide to subsidize projects like this, the federal Highway Trust Fund would actually be in balance, according to Cato’s Chris Edwards. (DC)

Ever notice the solution to every contrived “problem” is for us to have more money stolen from us?

Never Let a Crisis go to Waste! Or a windfall….

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

529 Surprise!

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

For all his mellifluous talk about championing people who “work hard” and making college “more affordable,” President Obama has a little surprise for such people, buried under a mountain of euphemisms in his State of the Union address: Tax hikes for educational savers.

Remember, he wants to “help” the middle class… 🙂

So never mind about making higher college costs lower, and to heck with people who save for future education instead of spending now — the White House is attempting to raise taxes on contributions to 529 college savings plans in order to finance more government spending.  (As if $9 Trillion in new debt in 6 years wasn’t enough??)

The hike would affect 1 million people. Obama’s minions claim that they want the savings cash to “pay for” a $2,500 tax credit, presumably for savers and non-savers alike.

He taketh away and then he “generously” redistributes it back. Ah, isn’t he wonderful? 🙂

So in other words, the White House not only wants to bribe people with their own money, it wants to tax them to do it. Alexis de Tocqueville, call your office. (IBD)

According to the Investment Company Institute (the trade association for the mutual fund industry), there was $245 billion accumulated in 529 plans in 2014. With just south of 12 million accounts open, that means there’s an average balance of about $21,000 in these plans. This is not a mechanism for rich Democrats like the Kennedys or the Gates to shelter wealth. (Forbes)

I also like how OBAMA proposes to tax wealth (not just income) because it is more magnanimous to redistribute my wealth than for me to save for my kids college education, save for retirement, save up for a down payment on a house, save for a rainy day, or pay off my debts.

Well, the Agenda is The Agenda! 🙂

In his State of the Union address, the president proposed more than $320 billion in tax hikes on the American people – including a new tax on families saving for their children’s college education through a 529 savings plan. 

Currently, families are encouraged to invest in their children’s future by saving away in a tax-free account called a 529 plan.   According to the College Savings Foundation, there are more than 12 million accounts used by families who invest their hard-earned money in a tax-free account for their children’s education.  And, currently over one million middle-class students are enrolled in college and benefiting from 529s. 

Not only will the president’s proposal increase taxes on these plans, it will only increase the student-loan debt burden on middle-class families

Chair of the College Savings Foundation, Mary Morris, says the President’s plan would, “have a chilling effect on contributions by middle-income Americans.”   And current 529 savings plans are “helping millions to attend college, and reducing the amount of student loan debt students must incur.”

Betty Lochner, head of the College Savings Plans Network, adds, “Most families who use 529 plans to save for college are middle-income.  The loss of the tax benefits could lead more families to turn to loans to cover college costs.” (Speaker Boehner, yes Jar Jar’s Office)

And guess who owns the Student Loan industry, lock, stock and the barrel of the gun to your head?

The US Government!!!

Surprise! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

38% Correct

Spike that climate change football! The mainstream media has spent the past few days doing a victory dance in the endzone because of the announcement that 2014 was the hottest year on record based on instrument observations that the earth’s temperature might have increased by a factor of two-hundreths of a degree centrigrade with a margin of error of a tenth of a degree centigrade….meaning that a decrease in temperature was also well within the margin of error. However, that fact did not diminish the triumphal certitude of the temperature increase “fact” by many MSM outets such as the New York Times as chronicled by Newsbusters’ Clay Waters or General Electric Vox which flat out declared, It’s official: 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded.

The Agenda is The Agenda and the truth doesn’t matter!

Actually, a much more accurate Vox title would be, “It’s official: 62% chance 2014 not the hottest year ever recorded.” Why? Because the NASA scientists who were cited in the reports now claim they are only 38% sure which is another way of saying they were probably wrong. The U.K. Daily Mail tossed the cold water upon the numerous MSM happy dances about 2014 being the hottest year on record with this sobering reality check report.
   DailyMail: Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond. Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, drawn from ten times as many measuring stations as GISS, concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount.
Its report said: ‘Numerically, our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty.

‘Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year… the Earth’s average temperature for the past decade has changed very little.’

SO WE ARE NOT ALL GOING TO DIE IN A FIERY MAN MADE HELL BY 2040! 🙂

Climate sceptics insisted that the new figures showed the warming ‘pause’ had continued. Dr David Whitehouse, of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said ‘there has been no statistically significant warming trend since 1997’ – because the entire increase over this period was smaller than the error margin.

NB: It turns out there is only a 38% chance that this latest global warming (later change to “climate change” when the preceding didn’t materialize) “fact”  is true which means probably wrong. Here is the sad truth for the MSM global warming triumphalists as reported by the Daily Mail:

    The Nasa climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

    In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.

    The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa admits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.

    Yet the Nasa press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

WAAAAH! I want my global warming delusions back!

If it makes you feel better, one of the NASA scientists is trying to ease your pain:

    As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted NASA thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond.

Exit question: What is the probability that all those MSM outlets that reported as a flat out fact that 2014 as the hottest year on record will soon cite the fact that they were probably 62% wrong according to the NASA scientists? 38%? Nil? None? (NB)

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!!

Anything else,especially the truth, is a Thoughtcrime!

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

F*ck YOU (SOTU)

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Mr. Obama issued a broad call for “a better politics” that began with common principles, and said his agenda isn’t political, pointing out “I have no more campaigns to run.”

Excuse me a moment…

BARF!

Sorry, couldn’t find a barf bag big enough to hold that in.

Being “civil” and “better politics” just means “kiss my ass more” and do as I want, for I am King.

That drew rousing applause from the GOP side of the aisle, which had sat on its hands as Mr. Obama had ticked off partisan proposals he wanted to see, and threatened vetoes of bipartisan bills Republicans are trying to pass.

I didn’t watch it. “Hotel Impossible” was much more entertaining than watch The King spout off about how great he his and how “fair” and wonderful things would be if everyone just did as they were told every second of every day forever more.

Class Warfare.

“fairness”

“Soak the Rich” ( rob from the rich and allegedly give to the poor) Wealth Redistribution.

Illegals are people too. Kiss…Kiss..

Corporate America is Evil.

The Middle Class (that he’s destroying).

Global Warming.

Republicans will just pass “partisan” bills that he will veto.

And “violent extremists” are bad, but they aren’t Islamic (or maybe he’ll just ignore that all together and hope no one notices).

Blah blah blah Blah Agenda Agenda Agenda…

Am I close? 🙂

The applause was too much for Mr. Obama, who punctuated his declaration that his campaigns are over by saying, “I know, because I won both of them.”

Nah, nah, nah nah!! <sticks tongue out> “I won” <nuggie Boehner>

Yeah, it helps when the Liberal Media studiously and with great effort hides all the bad stuff under the rug or just flat out lies for you 24/7.

Mr. Obama’s two separate veto threats in his speech this year is tied for the most in any State of the Union going back at least a century. President George W. Bush also issued two veto threats in 2008, and President Clinton issued two in 1996.

But Mr. Obama’s threat may have been the broadest, with one of his threats covering everything from immigration to tweaking Obamacare to revamping the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. (WT)

Basically, if you pass anything that is NOT on MY AGENDA, I will veto it, meaning basically everything for the next 2 years.

I have a mighty Pen to go with my Mighty Ego and thou shalt bow down before your Almighty King!

Stossel:

President Obama sure is consistent. His State of the Union address sounded like his other speeches: What I’ve done is great! America is in a much better position. We’ve created a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs. More oil is produced at home. I cut deficits in half!

Give me a break. The deficit is lower now not because of any prudence on Obama’s part but merely because the $800 billion stimulus spending blowout didn’t continue. All the president does is increase spending: free community college, free Obamaphones, free birth control, etc. Yes, our annual deficit is lower, but it’s still $488 billion! Our $18 trillion national debt increases by $3 million every minute!

Yes, more oil is produced at home, but that’s in spite of the administration. Oil production is down on public land.

Yes, the manufacturing sector added jobs, but that’s mostly because of cheaper natural gas created by fracking, which Obama’s cronies opposed. Also, America is finally recovering from recession. Obama’s policies probably slowed that recovery.

Does the President delude himself when he takes credit for oil production, lower deficits, etc.? Or does he mislead on purpose? I don’t know.

More recently he bragged, “I created the lowest unemployment rate in years.” He created it? He must know it’s “low” only compared to the 10 percent reached during the recession — and because millions have simply given up looking for work. This recovery is the slowest in 70 years.

If Obama gave the State of the Union address I’d like to hear, he’d say this:

I heard you, voters, in November when you took control of the Senate away from my party. I get it. I overreached. I was arrogant. I imposed Obamacare on a nation that was deeply divided about it. I ruled through executive orders instead of legislation. I threw money at “green” nonsense. I’ll give up the payments to the “green energy” industry if the Republicans stop coddling defense contractors.

I’ve been in government for years now. I know how badly it works. The last thing I should try to do is make it bigger. In fact, with Republicans now in control of Congress, it’s time I worked with them to shrink government. If we shrink it, we might even dig our way out of the debt hole we’re in. Heck, if we just slow the growth of government to 2 percent a year, we’d be in better shape.

But I didn’t even try to accomplish that. I pretended taxing the rich would solve our financial problems. But there aren’t enough rich people to tax. I got drunk on the idea of promising voters “free” stuff such as low down-payment mortgages and guaranteed paid family leave. I told them that all good things come from government. That’s nonsense.

We should put an end to all bailouts. Businesses that screw up should accept the consequences, just like ordinary people who spend recklessly. Main Street should never again be forced to rescue Wall Street.

Instead of expanding government control of health care, we should phase it out. That includes Medicare. I know Medicare is popular, but it is unsustainable. Let current retirees receive their benefits as promised, but younger people should pay for their own health care.

People criticize the economic distortion created by welfare, but Medicare and Social Security are almost as bad. Both redistribute money away from the young and struggling toward those of us who have had decades to invest and save up.

To make these challenges a little easier to deal with, let’s make America richer by abolishing most regulations. They strangle opportunity.

The more I think about it, the more Congress and I could transform America for the better just by getting out of America’s way. The state of our union will be truly strong if the state — by which I mean government — is strictly limited.

But government is a 18 billion ton drug addict with full access to it’s own self-sustaining drug supply. 😦

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 

 

 

Trolling Along

Politically, President Obama has never been weaker, after losing both House and Senate. At the same time, he has never talked tougher. There is a connection between the two.

Obama recently told Democratic lawmakers that he’s going to “play offense” in coming months. Coming from a man with a history of occasional trash talk — “I’m LeBron, baby” — it’s tempting to dismiss this as just more chatter. What is Obama doing, going on offense after his party suffered such a resounding defeat in November?

Conservative writers John Podhoretz and Jonah Goldberg argue the president just can’t resist trolling Republicans. Liberal Paul Waldman essentially agrees, admiring Obama’s ability to “come up with a new idea every couple of weeks to drive [the GOP] up a wall.”

It’s true the president seems to take real pleasure in annoying his adversaries. But there’s a serious strategy behind it.

It’s called Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”. 🙂

And Jar Jar is very good at being the one who’s leg is pulled or had his head nuggied then doing something stupid that they can exploit.

With no real political clout on Capitol Hill and a job approval rating that has stayed mostly below 50 percent for a long time, Obama is trying to leverage the power he has left to force his agenda on the Republican majority. His big talk, executive actions, and outlandish proposals are the best ways he has to control the debate in Washington.

And get his media machine to talk about HIM, not them.

“The reason he is being aggressive is that he knows he can generate a response,” says a well-connected Republican strategist. “When he does an executive order, what he is trying to do is generate a response so that the entire conversation is about what he did — so that he has defined the agenda.”

Likewise, when Obama, facing a newly-empowered conservative Congress, uses his State of the Union speech to propose a tax plan the liberal columnist E.J. Dionne calls “genuinely redistributive,” he is trying to dictate the terms of the debate with a powerful adversary. Of course Obama knows his plan is anathema to Republicans, but if they debate the president on his terms, he makes progress.

And RINOs do.

“It works if we let it work,” says the Republican strategist. “When Obama says something, the question is: Is that the most important thing we should be talking about now, or should we be setting the agenda? Is it something that we have to immediately engage and begin talking about? Which means he has set the agenda.”

HIS Agenda is the Agenda.

Obama’s tax proposals, on the whole, have less than zero chance of success on Capitol Hill. But with the State of the Union as a launch platform, with Air Force One to fly him around the country promoting the idea, with a press to take Obama’s gambit seriously, the president can multiply his strengths, which right now are the core constitutional powers of the presidency and the bully pulpit.

If anyone doubts Obama’s intentions, just listen to senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer explaining the president’s economic proposals on “Meet the Press.” “Some of them are going to be legislative proposals Republicans may not love, but we’ll push them on them,” Pfeiffer said. “Some of them will be executive actions.” In any event, Pfeiffer pledged the White House will use “every lever we can” to get what Obama wants.

And the RINOs will “compromise”.

Republicans should take such a strategy very seriously. In the 2006 midterm elections, the lame duck George W. Bush lost the House and Senate. If there was any message from the election, it was that Americans were sick and tired of the Iraq war, which was going very badly. And yet somehow Bush shaped the political conversation in early 2007 to focus on how big a surge of troops was needed in Iraq. Bush leveraged his fundamental constitutional powers as commander-in-chief and his White House megaphone to frustrate the new Democratic majority.

That doesn’t have to happen this time. Republicans have the mojo and the momentum. They just got elected, have fresh faces in their new majority, and have several ready-to-go agenda items that had been bottled up in the Senate under now-former Majority Leader Harry Reid. If they are united, and if they are smart, Republicans can push Obama into a defensive crouch.

But the GOP should always beware the president. Even a weak, lame duck chief executive has the power to make things happen in Washington. Obama appears ready to use his to the fullest. (Byron York)

And make the Republican Majority look like it isn’t even there.

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 

The Penalty Tax Cometh

Those Americans who didn’t get health insurance last year could be in for a rude awakening when the IRS asks them to fork over their Obamacare penalty — and it could be a lot more than the $95 many of them may be expecting.

The Affordable Care Act requires those who didn’t have insurance last year and didn’t qualify for one of the exemptions to pay a tax penalty, which was widely cited as $95 the first year. But the $95 is actually a minimum, and middle- and upper-income families will actually end up paying 1 percent of their household income as their penalty.

TurboTax, an online tax service, estimated that the average penalty for lacking health insurance in 2014 will be $301.

“People would hear the $95, quit listening, and make an assumption that that was what their penalty was going to be,” said Chuck Lovelace, vice president of affordable care for Liberty Tax Service. “I think that a lot of people will be surprised when they get in there and find out that their penalty is [based] on their household income.”

Well, as Gruber said, they were depending on the stupidity of the American People! 🙂

The penalty is designed to prod Americans to buy insurance and the penalty for not having it is scheduled to rise considerably: to a $325 minimum or 2 percent of income in 2015, and to a $695 minimum or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.

Tax experts said those stung by a higher penalty the first year may buy plans to escape the penalty the next go-around.

“We will be showing them what the penalty is,” said Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at The Tax Institute at H&R Block, said of this year’s customers. “But we will also be telling them, ‘How do we not go down this road next year?’”

The tax industry and government officials have been trying to prepare filers for the changes since the Affordable Care Act was signed in 2010, but tax preparers still expect to get strange looks when they inquire about their customers’ health insurance.

“You might think it’s a question that a tax preparer shouldn’t be asking, but we have to ask that,” Ms. Perlman said.

Tax experts said mixing Obamacare with the annual tax filing season is a major adjustment, and it comes even as the IRS, blaming budget cuts, says it won’t be able to even answer a majority of help calls, and those who do get through will have to wait an average of 30 minutes.

Gearing up for the challenge, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell spoke to more than 100 volunteer tax preparers Friday.

Most taxpayers will only have to check a box asserting they had their own insurance, usually through their employer. But those who bought insurance on the Obamacare exchanges with the help of federal subsidies will have to reconcile their payments with their income level.

Some people will get money back, although those who failed to report raises or bonuses to their respective health exchanges will pay back some amount of subsidy.

HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange that serves 37 states, started to mail out 1095-A forms to customers last week, and state-run exchanges say they will meet the end-of-month deadline to postmark theirs.

But the subsidies were paid directly to insurers, and not the Obamacare customer, so filers might not remember them or realize they need the form.

It’s a short wait for the 1095-A — about two weeks — but tax experts fear some taxpayers, looking to get a jump on the process and with a W-2 already in hand from their employers, will file without waiting for the Obamacare form, causing problems and delaying their refund.

“Hopefully, we’ve communicated that to our customers,” Mr. Lovelace said. “But as a general rule, I’m not sure that the population out there is understanding it.”

Filers who ignored the exchanges, or couldn’t get insured through government programs or a job, may qualify for an exemption from the individual mandate and avoid penalties.

Some of the exemptions are baked into the law — ones for prisoners, members of Indian tribes or the Amish, for example — while others may qualify for far-reaching “hardship exemptions” from the Obama administration.

Or you could be Harry Reid and exempt yourself and your entire staff from the law you crammed down everyone’s throat! 🙂

Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, noted that filers can only apply for certain exemptions on their actual tax forms, making it one of the trickier aspects to navigate under Obamacare.

Someone who doesn’t take advantage of an exemption will end up paying more than they should.

“I would say the exemption area is one opportunity for missteps,” Mr. Steber said, “both by a taxpayer or a tax preparer.” (WP)

 

The Melted Pot

America’s days as a melting pot are over. There once was an American culture that assimilated the best parts of all cultures people brought with them to this country, and in turn those immigrants assimilated to the larger American culture. But that day is done. The pot of “out of many, one” is now a series of chafing dishes. And each of those chafing dishes is being conditioned to boil over on command.

We’re now a nation of the 1 percent against the 99 percent, this race being victimized by that race, men against women, old against the young, and so on. Everyone is special without having to do anything to earn that distinction and, as such, entitled to special treatment and consideration.

Divide and Conquer, isn’t that special…

Ivan Pavlov showed the world the power of conditioning, how any creature with a brain can be trained to react how someone wants them to with minimal effort. Although he’s known for his work with dogs, modern times show how his research easily translates to humans. And nowhere is that research being applied more than on college campuses.

Combined that with Orwell and you lost generations of people who have no clue how reality actually works.

There was a time, or so I’m told, when the college campus was a place of discovery and experimentation. The place people went to expand their minds and expose themselves to all manner of ideas. It was where people “found themselves” and figured out what they wanted to do with their lives. Now it’s a place where young minds are conditioned to “identify” with various groups and learn to be victims.

But you can propose to have a University want to have a “Call to Prayer for Muslims” because that’s ‘inclusive’ but kick Chik-Fil-A off campus because they are discriminatory “Christians”.

Does this make any sense? Of course not. But when you are trained to think with only your emotions and what “feels good” you lose out on reality and common sense which require some brain power.

Facebook now offers more than 50 “gender” options for people to “identify” themselves, dozens of ways for people to segregate themselves from others, which presents countless opportunities for victimhood. It’s martyrdom at $400 per credit hour.

I’m a victim of Progressive Liberalism. 🙂

But the problem with telling everyone they’re a victim is even the people who don’t buy into it become numb to the charge. If everyone is a victim, no one is a victim. Genuine cries of victimhood are drowned out by a chorus of bogus cries of the same.

This isn’t news, and it isn’t new. Al Sharpton’s cacophony of corruption allows him to hammer checks, but the cause he and his ilk claim they’re helping is his greatest victim.

The real charges of racism, sexism, etc., etc., are reaching a level of meaninglessness because they’re becoming as common as “hello.” Your cup of water means the world to you when you’re thirsty, but its insignificance cannot be overstated when you dump it in a lake.

Clemson University is in the midst of one of the chafing dishes boiling over. The new Pavlovian instincts of martyrdom have manifested themselves in a group called “See the Stripes.” STS is very upset over a fraternity party held last month under the theme “Crip-mas,” a combination of the Crip gang and Christmas. It sounds stupid, but college is supposed to be the place where you can try and do stupid things. At least it was. Now it’s a hate crime.

STS saw “Crip-mas” as racist. Its members saw the Crips as a black gang, which may have been the case at the start but isn’t true anymore. It’s actually more telling of STS and its Pavlovian conditioning that its members hear the name and think race. But college students are now trained to find offense, to seek it out. Or, if it can’t be found, to manufacture it.

Much like a child throwing a temper tantrum, STS is demanding “action” by the school to make members whole from an event that had no impact on their lives. And just like a child demanding a toy, STS is insisting Clemson punish students for having unapproved fun.

Among the grievances listed by STS is “underrepresented” students don’t have a “safe” place to meet and discuss how they’re oppressed. In other words, STS is demanding re-segregation under the guise of diversity. It also has done a pigment headcount of the faculty and say it should “at least, be comparable to the percentage of students of color.”

Among the “demands” members have made to right the egregious wrong done to them by people they probably don’t know through an event they probably didn’t witness is that the university “prosecute criminally predatory behaviors and defamatory speech committed by members of the Clemson University community (including, but not limited to, those facilitated by usage of social media).”

Nothing remedies a temper tantrum like a little fascism, am I right?

🙂

The idea of punishing speech arbitrarily deemed inappropriate is something that is not only the antithesis of one of this country’s founding principles, it was something colleges were supposed to be safe from. Encroachment on something so sacred as freedom of speech would’ve have sent students to the street just a generation ago; now they march to demand censorship.

And they want to celebrate Martin Luther King, a man if he were alive today would be shunned by the Leftist.  Judge people on their character and not the color or their skin! Are you nuts! 🙂 The irony is very rich but no Leftist is going to see it because “they are doing good” and they “feel” good about it. 🙂

Thankfully, for every Pavlov’s dog gang of thought police roaming the countryside and quads of America, there are those who simply won’t salivate at the sound of the bell. It’s Pavlovian in its own way, an intuitive pushback against the anti-Americanism families and common sense still instill in some people.

That pushback is the last line of defense against those chafing dishes becoming all there is; they’re the last vestiges of the melting pot. But it’s not all doom and gloom. The problem with progressive self-segregation and victim status so readily available to anyone is eventually those chickens come home to roost.

The progressive all-women’s Mount Holyoke College cancelled its annual performance of The Vagina Monologs” because students worried it could alienate transgendered students. (Seriously.) And Al Sharpton is heading to liberal Hollywood to “explore why” no black actors were nominated for Oscars this year (and hammer a few checks while he’s there, undoubtedly). Frankenstein’s monster is turning on itself.

After all, “12 Years a Slave” won last year. But that was last year… 🙂

If there is to be a death of this new birth of fascism that is where it will come from: within. The thing about totalitarianism is it turns on itself, it can’t help but. If everyone is a victim then everyone else is potentially a perp, and vice versa. It can’t support its own weight after a while; the only question is when it happens. The sooner the better, the sooner the less damage there is.

That Pavlov’s dogs were trained one way means they can be trained another. Luckily, unlike a ringing bell, freedom is the natural state of man. Let’s just hope we start heading in that direction again before too many more people are bitten. (Derek Hunter)

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

 

Power

The always indispensable Donald Boudreaux of the always essential Cafe Hayek blog reminds us why our political class is so corrupt. Boudreaux, a George Mason University economics professor, recently posted a clarifying passage from Michael Huemer’s 2013 book “The Problem of Political Authority” as his Quotation of the Day . As Friedrich Hayek did before him, Huemer clearly explains why the worst among us tend to be the ones exercising political power over the rest:

“First, given the existence of a powerful government, the people who are most likely to wind up in control of that government are those who (a) have the greatest drive for power, (b) have the skills needed for seizing it (for example, the ability to intimidate or manipulate others), and (c) are unperturbed by moral compunctions about doing what is required to seize power. These individuals are not in the game for the money. They are in it for the pleasure of exercising power.” (IBD)

A political science professor I had in college (who was not a liberal) once said essentially the same thing.

If you think about it, they can and do make more money when not in office, but they continually and perpetually run to keep that office why a determination not seen anywhere else, why is that?

THE POWER.

Just look at the power Harry Reid was wielding for years under Obama. He was effectively a one-man plug that stopped anyone from doing anything the Progressive Left didn’t want.

Obama wields his power like an arrogant King.

Jar Jar Boehner does “off with their heads” move when people dared to challenge his spineless leadership.

The Left wants to control everyone one and everything at every second of every day.

That’s Power, not money.

Money facilitates Power, but Power is the ultimate goal.

And the people who usually seek that kind of power are not the kind of people the people without the power would want wielding it.

The sad irony of that has not been lost on me over the past couple of decades.

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” — Groucho Marx

Politics requires you to be cynical without losing your idealism, skeptical without giving up on problem solving, and it demands that you compromise with people who disagree with you on almost every issue. It has also become so complicated that the politicians don’t even bother to read the bills anymore. So, imagine being a young inexperienced kid who’s trying to figure out what’s going on in a world full of lying politicians, partisan hacks and slanted media.

It’s not a pretty picture.

So, with that in mind, here are some guiding principles for young Americans that will help keep them on track over a lifetime spent in the maze of American politics.

1) There is no free lunch: There is no such thing as “free” birth control, “free” community college, “free” health care or “free” anything else. Someone ALWAYS has to pay and if you’re not sure who that “someone” is, the person paying may be YOU. Even if you’re sure it’s not you this time, it may be you the next time, which is why people who work hard, play by the rules and take care of themselves run from “free” offers like a deer who catches sight of Ted Nugent off in the distance.

2) Politicians are interested in getting elected, not making your life better: There are well-meaning politicians who put the country first, but they’re about as common as professional athletes who eat dinner at McDonald’s every day. Politicians generally aren’t brave, they aren’t virtuous, they can be bought off, they often won’t do the right thing unless they’re being watched and they are not looking out for people like you. You wouldn’t leave your dog with people who think like that, but we’re trusting the fate of our nation to them.

3) Rarely does government ever “fix” problems: There’s always some politician promising to “solve” a problem, but as the great Thomas Sowell says, “There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” As a practical matter, what that means is that when politicians move to “solve” a problem, they often create new problems that are just as bad as the ones they were trying to solve. Then they move to “solve” those problems and create more problems. After you rinse and repeat enough, you end up with the government micromanaging which bathrooms people use to make sure they’re “gender inclusive” enough.

4) People respond to incentives: Ever heard someone say, “Be careful what you wish for?” Well, you REALLY better be careful what you incentivize. In a nation of 316 million, there are people, sometimes millions of them, who will do just about every sort of crazy, self-destructive thing you can imagine if they get rewarded for doing it somehow. Changes in government policy can kill industries, change the culture for the worse and lead millions of formerly independent people to become slothful and dependent. Ah, but you’re probably thinking, “If incentives can create all of those bad outcomes, then think of all the GOOD we can do with them!” Well, that might be true except that…

5) Government isn’t a good; it’s a necessary evil: Government is inherently slow, stupid, inefficient, wasteful and dangerous. Moreover, it is, was, and will always be that way, no matter who’s in charge because that is the nature of the beast. Now combine that with power-hungry politicians and dead-eyed bureaucrats who feel entitled to force you to do things at gunpoint and you should be very wary of anyone telling you about all the wonderful things government can do. Whether the government is offering Americans something “free” or pointing a gun at our heads, we’re all better off with as little of it as possible in our lives. (John Hawkins)

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.” –attributed to George Washington.

 

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

How Thoughtcrime works… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Civics

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona became the first state in the nation on Thursday to enact a law requiring high school students to pass the U.S. citizenship test on civics before graduation, giving a boost to a growing nationwide effort to boost civics education.

Full Disclosure: I have a Degree in Education from Arizona State (but I’m not a teacher-Long Story) 🙂

Both the Arizona House and Senate quickly passed the legislation on just the fourth day of the legislative session, and newly elected Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed it into law Thursday evening.

The swift action in Arizona comes as states around the country take up similar measures. Arizona’s law requires high school students to correctly answer 60 of 100 questions on the civics portion of the test new citizens must pass.

60% in my day was a fail. But I wonder how long it will be before the NEA starts screaming about this and the Liberals start whinging on about “self-esteem” of anyone who’d fail this test.

There was this test called “AIMS” that was also supposed to do this kind of thing. But the minutes someone failed the test and didn’t graduate their was much liberal whinging and lawsuits and “activists” everywhere complaining about “poor kids” (idea being that poor kids in poor schools get a poor education due to funding–no responsibility is taken by the schools, administration or the teachers for the outcomes).

2006: The William E. Morris Institute for Justice, the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and Phoenix attorney Jeremy Butler, filed a class action lawsuit, Espinoza v. State of Arizona, in the Superior Court in Maricopa County against the State of Arizona, the State Board of Education and Tom Horne, the Superintendent of Public Education. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of all students in the Class of 2006 and each succeeding senior class who have met or will meet all the requirements for graduation by the end of their senior year, except they have not passed the AIMS test. The class includes poor students, ethnic and minority students and current and previous English Language Learners.

The Class of 2006 is the first class to have to pass AIMS in order to graduate and receive a diploma. As of December 2005, approximately 10,000 students had not passed the AIMS test.

After a three week bench trial, the court ruled against plaintiffs in September 2008.

But they watered it down to mush anyways.

2013: AIMS will be replaced with the new test for third- through 10th-graders in the 2014-15 school year. An 11th-grade test should roll out the following year. One exception is for science, which will continue to use AIMS for now.

On Thursday, Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that erased AIMS as a graduation requirement.

The New one, Common Core – By King Barack Obama! 🙂

Mind you the only reason they’d fail is because the Teachers aren’t teaching properly in the first place. After all, Liberal socialist indoctrination and “entitlements” are far more important than civics. Gay Pride, Evil White People, and how wonderful socialist “equality” is, and condoms on bananas are more important than understanding Civics.

After all, if you truly understood, then you’d know badly you’re getting screwed, and we can’t have that now can we? 🙂

The test is being pushed nationally by the Arizona-based Joe Foss Institute, which has set a goal of having all 50 states adopt it by 2017, the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution. The institute says legislatures in 15 states are expected to consider it this year.

Opposed by the NEA no doubt.

The Foss Institute, whose motto is “Patriotism Matters,” has created a civics institute to promote the test to state legislatures as a way to increase the understanding of basic government by students, with the hope they will be better prepared to be engaged citizens.

But Liberals want socialist sheep to sheer.

Institute president Frank Riggs, a former California congressman who ran for Arizona governor as a Republican last year, said the testing initiative seeks “to ensure the delivery the very basics civics education that every high school graduate should have.”

Joe Foss is a former South Dakota governor and won the Medal of Honor during World War II. He died in 2003.

The North Dakota House of Representatives overwhelming approved the same measure Thursday.

The Arizona law requires students to correctly answer 60 of 100 test questions before they can earn a high school or GED diploma starting in the 2016-2017 school year.

So the NEA better start teaching to the test immediately.

Critics question whether the test, which relies on memorization, is the best way to engage students in civics education.

Well, memorization is used everywhere else, including memorizing incorrect facts about the Founding Fathers and slavery, and history in general.

It’s called “I barf it at you and you barf it back at me on the test” and we both call each other “smart”.

Ducey had urged the Legislature to make the civics test the first bill to hit his desk as governor. He said studies show that students don’t know enough about basic government to grow into effective citizens.

But Liberal don’t want effective citizens, they want moaning, unmotivated, brainless sheep.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an Arizona native, has supported the initiative. She’s made civics education a prime focus in recent years.

Republican Arizona Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, sponsoring the bill in his chamber, said that “requiring that students pass this test is not by any means a silver bullet, but I think is a step, a small step forward.”

“And I think we need to encourage the people of America to become more aware of the values of America,” Yarbrough said.

Wow! That’ll piss of The Democrats for sure!

A Democratic senator who opposed the bill, David Bradley, said the test would do nothing to make good citizens.

“My point now is tests don’t make citizens, citizens are tested by their actions,” Bradley said.

Nice platitude. Is that why the Democrats control NO branch of government in this state? Just sayin… 🙂

Joe Thomas of Mesa, a high school government teacher, said he was concerned that having students take a 100-question test would take up an entire class period and will not be an effective way of getting students engaged in civics. He said the test is will require rote memorization rather than something that promotes critical thinking.

Yeah, a class on how evil white people crushed the Native Americans and how evil white people run the government “unfairly” is such a better idea.

“The interest is promoting civics and we want to see students engaged,” Thomas said. “I don’t know if a test engages students.”

Yeah, let’s break out the condoms!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteness_studies

‘Nuff said?

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Deflect or Dismiss

The reaction to Islamic terrorists killing 17 people in Paris in the name of their radical creed has been greeted with a very strange perceived need to deflect or just dismiss it in liberal political and media circles.

Most journalists tried to downplay or ignore President Obama’s failure to attend the huge Sunday “unity” rally in Paris, where 40 world leaders gathered in a show of support for France. While the New York tabloids mocked Obama, most national newspapers mentioned “World leaders link arms” and barely noticed the leader of the free world had stayed home to watch football games.

Even after the White House spokesman admitted it was an error for top American officials to skip the event, obviously in reaction to national and international outrage, still some newspapers buried it inside their papers like it was no big deal.

There were other distressing signs of liberal deflection. CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour called the terrorists mere “activists” in her reporting on the shootings at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo: “On this day, these activists found their targets, and their targets were journalists.”

Amanpour was quoting one of the dead cartoonists, who said, “When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it.” Words matter, especially to journalists, and this was the wrong word. Activists write letters to the editor, join a community organization or protest, volunteer for a political campaign, man a phone bank.

Men who terrorize by slaughtering innocent men, women and children are terrorists.

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

The absence of President Obama or a senior U.S. representative in Paris Sunday at history’s largest anti-terrorism march was an instant embarrassment of major international proportions. And a snub to European allies who’ve gone along with the Democrat’s pleas for cooperation against ISIS and other causes.

But what’s emerged in subsequent hours is even more revealing of a serious ongoing problem for Obama that helps explain why in the last quarter of his presidential tenure so many Americans simply do not trust him.

To its credit, the White House almost admitted it made a mistake by not sending an American participant more important than Obama campaign bundler and Amb. Jane Hartley to march arm-in-arm with nearly four dozen world leaders. “I think,” Josh Earnest said Monday, “it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.”

That’s less a sincere statement of contrition and more a strategic admission attempting to take the wind out of the sails of a bad news story.

Press secretary Earnest declined to use the word “mistake.” He refused to say what Obama was doing during the march, just as the White House refused to reveal what Obama was doing during the long deadly night of Benghazi. And he refused publicly to name the responsible staffer.

Earnest suggested security was a concern. But Joe Biden wasn’t busy. Security was already in Paris for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder. And the Secret Service says no one ever asked about a Paris trip.

In a story that fits the familiar White House pattern of protecting the president, Politico fingered Obama’s notoriously sloppy communications staff as missing the march’s importance and failing even to ask Obama if he wanted to go. Yes, the NFL playoffs were all over weekend TV.

But if you believe the president of the United States could be unaware that nearly 50 world leaders, including David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Benjamin Netanyahu from Europe, the Middle East and Africa were gathering in Paris, then we’ve got an Intercontinental Railroad to sell you.

It’s the same “Gee, I didn’t know” cover story that Obama used when the IRS scandal broke. His attorney just four doors from the Oval Office knew agents were caught harassing Obama’s political opponents, but she never thought to tell him? Uh-huh.

And when the roll-out of the president’s namesake ObamaCare blew up, Kathleen Sebelius told CNN the president was unaware of the troubles for days. Because? SportsCenter must not have covered it.

Like Benghazi, such fictions make any passerby wonder, what in the world could Obama have been doing at those times that is so evil and/or embarrassing that the commander-in-chief would rather his countrymen see him as clueless?

Which brings us to this “radical Islam” issue. In his ostentatious oration to the Muslim world from Cairo in June of 2009 Obama described “violent extremists” in “a small but potent minority of Muslims.” But ever since, he and his crowd have gone awkwardly out of their way to avoid labeling radical Islamists as radical Islamists.

Recall the Muslim Fort Hood shooter hailing Allah as he killed 13 fellow soldiers. That was inexplicably labeled “workplace violence.” Same for the Paris killers who are “terrorists,” true as far as it goes. But being al-Qaida alums, killing Jews and hailing Allah as you fire does add another dimension that Obama ignores.

Obama has also displayed serial sympathies for radical Muslims in appointments and snuffed investigations, as this newspaper’s editorial detailed the other day. And Earnest’s tortured circumlocutions to avoid saying “radical Islam” were painful to watch Tuesday.

Obama identifies himself as Christian. But much of his father’s family was Muslim. And Obama spent most of his formative youth in a step-father’s Muslim home in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation. It would be understandable if he felt a special kinship to that faith and its members.

But that requires transparency. In his arrogance and/or insecurity Obama has never felt moved to share those feelings candidly. So even Americans prepared to like the guy are left to wonder at best or suspect at worst that he’s not being honest with them about his sympathies or leanings. Maybe, one theory goes, Obama actually disagreed with the massive Paris anti-terrorism rally altogether, and his feigned ignorance is just a cover for that.

“In order to move forward,” Obama told the Muslim world from Cairo, “we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.” It would be a really good idea if Obama did the same with his own people.

But he won’t.

The left passionately attempts to inflame the world against such slow-emerging, life-threatening crises as “catastrophic global warming” or fast-food menus without calorie counts. But when it comes to Islamic jihad, they seem oddly incapable of outrage or alarm. They just deflect or dismiss. (IBD)

The Agenda is The Agenda, and “radical islam”/”islamic jihad” is a thoughtcrime and not on the Agenda so it’s not important thus they have to dismiss it as irrelevant to them (and you) as quickly as possible.

Hey, look! FREE STUFF! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Have Your Gay Cake & Get Eaten Too!

A conservative legal firm is accusing a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of comparing a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding to “slave owners and perpetrators of the Holocaust” in a new legal brief filed with a the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Part Two, below from Canada is even funnier: Lesbian Vs. Muslim in a  “Human Rights” Grudge Match!

The Alliance Defending Freedom, the firm representing Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who created a national controversy after refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, released a statement Monday that included controversial words attributed to civil rights commissioner Diann Rice

Rice’s purported comments were uttered during a commission hearing on July 25 last year and include the central claim that religion has, many times in the past, been used to harm and impede the rights of others.

“I would also like to reiterate what we said in … the last meeting [concerning Jack Phillips]. Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust,” Rice said. “I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use – to use their religion to hurt others.”

So the Freedom Religion guaranteed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution is “discriminatory” and “despicable rhetoric”.

This is the Human Rights Education Association’s definition of slavery:

“To be a slave is to be controlled by another person or persons so that your will does not determine your life’s course, and rewards for your work and sacrifices are not yours to claim.”

Sounds like the Baker, to me. With the Gay Mafia and the Courts as the slave master.

Oh, as for that pesky Freedom of Speech & The Press, we turn to Andrea Mitchell- NBC NEWS:

“So why is it permissible to be as provocative as these anti-Muslim cartoons were?” Andrea Mitchell NBC News asked The French Ambassador about the Paris Terrorist attacks, before ominously adding, “This is a debate we’re having in the United States as well, you know.”
Yeah, why do you permit freedom of speech (offending someone) and freedom of the press? That’s debatable? Really??
These are “journalists” from the “news” Media whose freedom comes from the same place as yours does. Maybe we should debate still having it.

So let’s face it, to a Liberal The First Amendment is “offensive” and “discriminatory” and should just be gotten rid of altogether. 🙂

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY!

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement that these ideals reflect “alarming bias and hostility” toward Phillips’ religious beliefs and are specifically troubling in that they come from a member of a governmental commission that monitors how the baker can conduct his business in light of his faith.

“Commissioner Rice compared a private citizen who owns a small bakery to slaveholders and Holocaust perpetrators merely for asking that the state respect his right to free speech and free exercise of religion,” Tedesco said. ”Her comments suggest that others on the commission may share her view. This anti-religious bigotry undermines the integrity of the entire process and the commission’s order as well.”

As TheBlaze has previously reported, problems began for Phillips after he declined to make a wedding cake for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, a gay couple who approached him in 2012; they subsequently waged a complaint against Phillips, which has led to a legal battle over his refusal. 

Phillips told TheBlaze last June that he had no intention of providing confectionery services for gay and lesbian weddings even after Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission upheld a judge’s ruling that the baker was wrong to deny making the cake.

“I’m not going to make cakes for same-sex weddings,” he told TheBlaze at the time. “That violates my First Amendment speech … and my duty as a Christian abiding by my savior.”

Phillips said that he stopped taking all wedding cake orders last March, just three months after Judge Robert N. Spencer of the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts ruled against him, finding that he must serve gay couples.

In addition to making told he must not discriminate when making wedding cakes, the commission also said that he needed to “re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse same-sex marriage regardless of their religious beliefs,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom.

The ever “tolerant” Left.

Additionally, Phillips will need to file quarterly reports for a period of two years to detail which patrons were declined service along with the reason for that decision.

So now you get also (and this one makes cynical heart laugh) From Toronto, Ontario (2012) – The pinch line is at the end from 2014.

Lesbian Vs. Muslim in a  “Human Rights” Grudge Match!

So a lesbian walks into a Muslim barbershop, and asks for a “businessmen’s haircut”.

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it really happened, and now a government agency called the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario will hear her complaint.

Faith McGregor is the lesbian who doesn’t like the girly cuts that they do at a salon. She wants the boy’s hairdo.

Omar Mahrouk is the owner of the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto. He follows Shariah law, so he thinks women have cooties. As Mahrouk and the other barbers there say, they don’t believe in touching women other than their own wives.

But that’s what multiculturalism and unlimited immigration from illiberal countries means. A central pillar of many immigrant cultures is the second-class citizenship of women and gays.

So if we now believe in multiculturalism, and that our Canadian culture of tolerance isn’t any better than the Shariah culture of sex crimes and gender apartheid, who are we to complain when Omar Mahrouk takes us up on our promise that he can continue to practise his culture — lesbian haircuts be damned?

He’s not the one who passed the Multiculturalism Act, and invited in hundreds of thousands of immigrants with medieval attitudes towards women and gays and Jews, etc. We did.

Mahrouk’s view is illiberal. But in Canada we believe in property rights and freedom of association — and in this case, freedom of religion, too.

But McGregor ran to the Human Rights Tribunal and demanded that Mahrouk give her a haircut.

In the past, human rights commissions have been a great ally to gay activists. Because, traditionally, gay activists have complained against Christians. And white Christians are the one ethnic identity group that human rights commissions don’t value, and that multiculturalism doesn’t include.

In recent years, Canadian human rights commissions have weighed a complaint about a women’s-only health club that refused a pre-operative transsexual male who wanted to change in the locker rooms.

They’ve ordered bed and breakfasts owned by Christian families to take in gay couples. They’ve censored pastors and priests who have criticized gay marriage. Gays win, because it’s a test of who is most outraged and offended.

But in the case of the Muslim barbers, the gay activists have met their match. If the test is who can be the most offended or most politically correct, a lesbian’s just not going to cut it.

Oh, McGregor is politically correct. But just not politically correct enough. It’s like poker.

A white, Christian male has the lowest hand — it’s like he’s got just one high card, maybe an ace. So almost everyone trumps him.

A white woman is just a bit higher — like a pair of twos. Enough to beat a white man, but not much more.

A gay man is like having two pairs in poker.

A gay woman — a lesbian like McGregor — is like having three of a kind.

A black lesbian is a full house — pretty tough to beat.

Unless she’s also in a wheelchair, which means she’s pretty much a straight flush.

The only person who could trump that would be a royal flush. If the late Sammy Davis Jr. — who was black, Jewish and half-blind — were to convert to Islam and discover he was 1/64th Aboriginal.

So which is a better hand: A lesbian who wants a haircut or a Muslim who doesn’t want to give it to her?

I’m betting on Mahrouk. And I predict that Muslim activists — not quiet barbers like Mahrouk, but professional Muslim busybodies — will start using human rights commissions more and more to push their way into places where they have no legal right, but where the human rights commissions are more than happy to engineer things for them, if they complain loud enough.

If I were a gay activist, I’d probably want to declare victory and shut down these human rights commissions right now.

In five years time, it won’t be gay activists forcing themselves into Christian B&Bs. It’ll be Muslim activists vetoing the gay pride parade.

Well, Sharia Law dictates I believe stoning these people to death. Now that’s quite a haircut… 🙂

But at least they were Politically Correct and “Multi-culturally sensistive” 🙂

Resolution: They bought each other off.

“Both Ms. McGregor and Mr. Mahrouk signed a confidentiality agreement that bars them from sharing any details — common practice when a conflict ends in mediation instead of moving on to an actual tribunal. But both expressed relief in the process.”

So the gay mafia lost this round and they used lawyers to force everyone to shut up about it.

“I probably wasn’t as stressed out as he was because I think there was more at stake for him,” Ms. McGregor said. “The resolution we came to I think is good. I’m satisfied with it,” she said, adding that she feels the process worked.

“I’m happy with the outcome.”

She got some legal “extortion” $$$$ no doubt. 🙂

When the story hit the media, Mr. Mahrouk declined to say much, but his colleague spoke with the Toronto Star:

“We live for our values. We are people who have values and we hold on to it. I am not going to change what the faith has stated to us to do. This is not extreme — this is just a basic value that we follow,” Karim Saaden, co-owner of the Terminal Barber Shop, told the paper. (Nationalpaper.com)

Funny, The Cake Baker said the same thing, only he’s “wrong”. 🙂

Fascinating.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

New Year’s Irresolutions

President Barack Obama’s absence from the great gathering in Paris of national leaders from other countries, to show their solidarity with France in its opposition to Islamic terrorists, was another sign of the Obama administration’s continuing irresolution in the face of terror.

Even the recent courageous message of Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, calling on his fellow Muslims around the world to “revolutionize” the interpretation of Islam, to make it more compatible with peaceful relations with other peoples, put no steel in the spine of Barack Obama.

From his earliest days in the White House, our president has downplayed the terrorist threat from Islamic extremists. He declared victory as he pulled American troops out of Iraq, setting the stage for a huge defeat when ISIS moved in to create their own new government, on both Iraqi and Syrian soil — while committing atrocities against men, women and children not seen since the days of the Nazis.

Not on his Agenda, so it doesn’t matter.

Undaunted, President Obama has since reaffirmed his determination to similarly pull American troops out of Afghanistan, with a similar declaration that they are no longer needed. He proceeds as if he can declare a war over when it suits the political convenience of his administration.

But a war is not over until the enemy stops fighting. The terrorist enemies of Iraq and Afghanistan are enemies of the United States as well. ISIS has left no doubt of that by beheading Americans and spreading the videotapes of these beheadings for the enjoyment of like-minded people in the Middle East and beyond.

Not even the movement of the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism — Iran — toward building a nuclear bomb has caused the Obama administration to change its vision of the world. For Obama, the question has never been how to stop Iran from going nuclear, but how to stop Israel from stopping Iran from going nuclear.

He has accomplished that by public declarations of support for Israel, while engaging in protracted negotiations with Iran that serve only to allow Iran to fortify and proliferate the sites of its nuclear facilities, to the point where Israel’s bombers may no longer be able to destroy those facilities.

At one time, information was leaked that Israel had a secret arrangement with Azerbaijan for Israeli bombers to land there and refuel on their way back from bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

It is doubtful if anyone in the Obama administration would have dared to leak Israel’s military secrets without knowing that it was all right with the president. Since it is unlikely that very many people in the White House had this information, the leaker’s identity could hardly have remained secret from the president.

Barack Obama cannot be unaware of the consequences of these and other foreign policy decisions that undermine the security of America and America’s allies. He is not stupid, nor is there any reason to believe that he is cowardly.

Instead, there is a remarkable consistency between Obama’s domestic policies and his foreign policies on both economic and military matters. It was a sign of this consistency that he was proposing to have the taxpayers pay for free community college education while everyone else was focused on the terror attacks in Paris.

Barack Obama’s vision of the world, both at home and abroad, is one in which some people and nations are undeservedly far better off than others in many ways.

In the Obama view of the world, those who are undeservedly thriving (“You didn’t build that!”) are to be forced to pay for benefits to those who are not thriving, whether the latter are people on welfare, community college students or immigrants from poorer nations, who are to be let into the United States to take a share of Americans’ prosperity.

On the international stage, it is the same principle, where the problem is seen as Western nations being undeservedly better off than other nations, both economically and in terms of greater military power. Here too, Obama is for redistribution, even at the expense of his own country — if someone with such a “citizen of the world” viewpoint really thinks of America as his country, rather than a staging area for his world-changing, ideologically-driven crusades. (Thomas Sowell)

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

“i have a previous engagement with The San Antonio Spurs…”

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Antoinette Obama

Not on the Agenda:

The U.S. attorney general, in Paris for a terrorism summit with French President Francois Hollande , did not join world leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the march and rally that drew a million people days after 12 were shot at satirical paper Charlie Hebdo. Others such as Obama and Vice President Biden were also not in attendance.

(Around the time other world leaders and dignitaries boarded buses to get to the front of the march, Holder was taping an interview for “Meet the Press,” NBC confirmed- Got to to get the Agenda Messaging out there!)

So it doesn’t matter. Showing solidarity with our allies is meaningless to King Obama and his minions.

They don’t matter to him or them.

Even The Israelis and The Palestinians showed up TOGETHER!

But not Obama & Co. “let them eat cake!”

More than 40 heads of state came together in Paris to denounce a wave of terrorism that defiled the City of Light last week — yet there was one glaring exception: The U.S. sent only a low-level official (who happened to be an Obama Fundraiser who was given her position due to the graft).

French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and dozens of other world leaders all took part in the powerful denunciation of last week’s terror attacks that left 17 innocents dead.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas set aside their differences to march together on Boulevard Voltaire.

But the nation that stands as the symbolic face of the war on terror was nowhere in sight.

Neither President Obama nor Vice President Biden showed up — and in fact, America’s only representative was its relatively unknown and low-profile ambassador to France.

That’s like sending Crewmen #6 to the Klingon Peace Talks!

But he is the MOST ARROGANT MAN IN THE WORLD!

Obama and Biden had empty public schedules Sunday, but the White House declined to comment on why they didn’t go.

Did anyone spy him on a Golf Course or fundraising??

The natural choice — Secretary of State Kerry, a Francophile who speaks the language — was in India for a longstanding engagement with the prime minister, White House officials said.

Kerry told NBC News he believed the uproar was “quibling.”

Let’s see if a Republican President could get away with that? 🙂

“We have offered, from the first moment, our intel, our law enforcement and all of our efforts, and I really think that, you know, this is sort of quibbling a little bit,” Kerry told the network.

Now we offer the back of our hand and proud middle finger up your ass!

Let’s Play Where’s Obama (Waldo was out golfing)?

From left:  Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, France's President Francois Hollande and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. Philippe Wojazer/AP From left: Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, France’s President Francois Hollande and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

So I wonder whose fault this will be?? Some low-level scheduling staffer? Some assistant? Talk Radio? The Republicans?? 🙂

Sunday’s rally brought out the biggest crowd in Paris’ history — even bigger than Liberation Day in World War II, local police said. Hundreds of thousands held up “Je Suis Charlie” signs or carried candles and flowers. The victims’ families wept as they walked along the boulevard named for the Enlightenment figure who helped define free speech.

But the King was at home on His Throne, polishing his jewels.

There not really Muslims anyhow… 🙂