Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Law, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Taxes, The Constitution | Tags: Another Administration Scandal, Breaking the Rules, Internal Revenue Service
The IRS in the infamous Friday Night News Dump admitted that it had targeted conservative organizations —specifically Tea Party groups, or any group that has words like “Patriot,” “Constitution,”or “Declaration of Independence” in their materials. The IRS also admitted that they improperly demanded donor lists from some of these organizations. This is playing politics with tax records, and an appalling violation of the bedrock principle of American democracy that the coercive powers of government are never to be used for partisan purposes. But groups with “progressive” or “progress” in their names were not similarly targeted.
So why are they admitting this late on a Spring Friday just before Mothers’ Day when the public is supposedly out buying flowers for their moms? That’s what you do when you hope no one will notice. It seems that a report is due out this next week from the IRS Inspector General. By next week, maybe it will all be old news and no one will pay attention. The Agency even use the timeless passive phrase designed to absolve any actual humans. “Mistakes Were Made.”
It is disturbing that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has not apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation. Nor had President Obama. It was only low-level people in Cleveland who didn’t know any better.
The chairman of a House subcommittee is demanding more information from the IRS about its practice of searching the emails of suspected tax fraudsters. Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) of the Ways and Means Committee according to an April article in The Hill, asked the IRS to provide information about whether it mines Facebook, Twitter or other social media without a warrant, and what searches it has conducted since 2010. The ACLU released documents in which the agency claimed that it does not need a warrant to access emails, text messages and other electronic communications.
At Powerline, John Hinderaker notes that “this is not the first time the Obama administration has abused the IRS. In August 2010, Austin Goolsbee, who directed Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and later chaired his Council of Economic Advisers gave a press briefing in which he discussed corporate income taxes. In that briefing, he suggested that he had access to confidential IRS data, and falsely accused the administration’s beta noire, Koch Industries of not paying corporate income taxes.”
The claim was false, but how would an administration official have access to records that show how much a corporation pays in taxes.? Such access would be illegal.
Last month it was reported that dozens of IRS employees claim to be unemployed in order to receive welfare, housing allowances and food stamps. Twenty-four current and former IRS employees have been charged with stealing government benefits. They were indicted on charges that they illegally received more than $250,000 in benefits.
It is going to be very interesting to find out what the IRS Inspector General has to say, in his report next week.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Health Care, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Obama's False Claims, Obamacare, Unaffordable and Unworkable
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law what he billed as a triumphant reform of America’s health care system. Two days later in a speech at the University of Iowa, the president declared:
From this day forward, all of the cynics, all the naysayers — they’re going to have to confront the reality of what this reform is and what it isn’t. … They’ll see that if Americans like their doctor, they’ll be keeping their doctor. You like your plan? You’ll be keeping your plan. No one is taking that away from you. … It wasn’t Armageddon.”
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, History, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: How Did This Happen?, It's the Teleprompter's Fault, Results Don't Measure Up
When Barack Obama first ran in 2008, he claimed his economic policies would “foster economic growth from the bottom up and not just from the top down.” He promised “an immediate rescue plan for the middle class” and would end the “tired, worn-out trickle-down ideologies we’ve been seeing for so many years.”
With a Democrat controlled Senate and a Democrat controlled House, Obama got everything he wanted in his first two years in the White House. He got a massive stimulus, a bailout for the auto industry, temporary tax cuts for the middle class, vast new regulations on business and capped it all off with ObamaCare, the first big step to socialized medicine, the program that is working so well in the United Kingdom.
Didn’t work. Not any of it. Twenty million people cannot find work. Many workers are being cut back to less than 30 hours a week, the ObamaCare cutoff point. More people on food stamps than ever in history, more people on Disability than ever in history. That tired, worn-out trickle-down ideology we’ve been seeing for so many years never had results like this.
The actual results of Obamanomics — the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer!
A new Pew report using Census data on net worth found that from 2009 to 2011, the richest seven percent of Americans found their average net worth climb by $697,651 — a 28% gain.
The rest of you poor souls? The other ninety-three percent of us saw our average net worth drop by an average $6,079 — equal to a 4% loss. Since Obama took office, the average income of the poorest twenty percent of households fell nearly 8% to levels last seen in the Reagan era. The Gini index, which measures income inequality has climbed steadily under Obama, after remaining flat during the Bush administration.
But it’s all the fault of those dastardly Republicans. Not sure how that works, but that’s what Obama keeps saying when he isn’t claiming the opposite of reality.
In the meantime — Ain’t we got fun!
Filed under: Art, Fun n Games, Global Warming, Middle East, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Terrorism
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged two men living in Canada with conspiracy to carry out a terrorist attack against a VIA Rail passenger train inside Canada. The RCMP said the two men planned to carry out an “al Qaeda-supported” terror attack to derail a train, which was also aimed at harming the economy.
The Police said, at a news conference, that the two men were receiving guidance and direction from al Qaeda related elements in Iran. The men are not Canadian citizens. There was no imminent threat to the public, but had the terror project come to fruiting, innocent people would have been killed or injured.
The Obama administration has gone out of their way to make light of the threat from terrorism, but the evidence merely points out the presidents state of denial about the rising threat. CNN’s homeland security analyst, Juliette Kayyem asserted “We have not had (even) a small-scale terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.”
We have suffered a number of major attacks, and most of them have taken place on Obama’s watch. Since 2009, terrorists have attacked our military bases, assassinated our diplomats, burned our embassies and murdered innocent spectators at a sporting event and ambushed and shot police officers.
— June 1, 2009: Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed a military recruiter and wounded another at a Little Rock Arkansas recruiting station. A convert to Islam, Muhammad identified with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
— September 2008: Afghan native Najibullah Zazi was arrested before he could blow up the New York City Subway.
— September 2009: Police nabbed Jordanian Hosam Maher Husein Smadi before he could plant a bomb in a Dallas skyscraper.
— November 5, 2009: Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood Texas, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 29. He was advised by al Qaeda operative Anwar Awlaki. Homeland Security has defined this as a workplace incident.
— December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was tackled by passengers before he could detonate explosives sewn into his underwear. He was trained in Yemen by al Qaeda.
— March 4, 2010: John Patrick Bedell, a Muslim convert, shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a checkpoint in the Pentagon station of Washington Metro in Arlington, VA.
— May 2010: A massive bomb was planted by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan failed to explode in an SUV parked in Times Square. He was trained and funded by the Taliban.
— October 2010: Chicago synagogues discovered explosives packed inside two printer cartridges shipped by cargo planes from al Qaeda in Yemen. The attack failed.
— Sept. 11, 2012: On the anniversary of 9/11, al Qaeda operatives attacked the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The armed assault targeted the consulate compound, and a nearby CIA annex. The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was killed along with three others and ten others were wounded in a 7 hour gunfight.
— April 15, 2013: Two Muslim jihadists set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring 183. The terrorists shot two police officers, killed one, and injured several others. One of the brothers is dead, the other in custody.
The administration continues to downplay Islamist terrorism, and proposes talks with the Taliban and with Iran.
The “Arab Spring” was mistakenly assumed to be a movement for democracy in Arab North Africa. The movement was perhaps inspired by televised shots of Iraqis, male and female, proudly voting in free elections. That was considered the equivalent of an earthquake in the Arab Middle East, where oppressive dictatorship was the norm. But Arabs had no experience of Democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to step in.
No terrorism here, nothing to see. Just move along.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Law, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear | Tags: Newtown Parents, President Barack Obama, Turning Parents Into Lobbyists
The President has gone to great lengths to distract American attention with a focus on his gun ban, wringing all of the pathos he possibly can from the dead children of Sandy Hook. He used Air Force One to import a group of Sandy Hook parents specifically to lobby Congress to pass his gun bill. This is wrong, if not illegal. He has given over his “weekly address” to one of the Sandy Hook mothers to beg Congress for action on “gun violence.” There are apparently no limits on this president’s choice to demagogue and play on peoples emotions to get his own way.
It is particularly ugly to pretend to bereaved parents that any gun bill devised by Congress cam make a difference. It cannot. The ACLU long term campaign against anyone being detained in a mental health facility against their will might help if it were removed, but it is difficult for even the most skilled mental health professional to know what is in the mind of a patient, and when someone might turn to violence as a solution.
A survey of 15,000 law enforcement personnel found that the overall attitude of law enforcement is strongly anti-gun legislation and pro-gun rights, with a strong belief that an armed citizenry is effective in stopping crime. Here are some interesting gun statistics. We would do more good by banning hammers, knives and fists. I know that doesn’t appeal to the “do something” bunch, but bad things sometimes happen to good people, and sometimes it cannot be prevented.
There are risks to life. Hurricanes happen, they are weather events, and no matter how much the greens try to eliminate SUVs and the carbon dioxide they imagine as the cause of global warming, events like the storm surge in New York and New Jersey happen. Maybe some gates to prevent storm surge could sometime help, but CO2 does not cause weather events, and global warming does not cause hurricanes. There are “Black Swan” events.
“Doing something” may make you feel better, but, unfortunately, it’s useless.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: No Setting an Example, Profligate Spending, The Sequester Game
The Sequester has famously deprived school children from their hopes of touring the White House, although 1). Sequester cuts are in the upcoming budget, not the current one, and 2). The White House tours are conducted by volunteers. The Sequester, you see, is about drastic cuts to the federal budget engineered by tightwad Republicans, although it was designed by the White House as a trap for Republicans.
Republicans recognized it for what it was, spat it out and said fine, let’s sequester.
Obama is a fierce competitor, and decided to embark on a war of politicized public relations. He would show those nasty Republicans by making the public feel the pain of Republicans’ lack of consideration for his spending habits.
This president is a waster, a spendthrift, a scattergood. He likes the perks of the office, and it doesn’t occur to him how his extravagance appears to the millions of people who are suffering without a paycheck and out of a job. He is President of the United States and he doesn’t want you to forget it for a minute and he is entitled to the good things.
So he flew his 747 jumbo jet Air Force One on a four-hour round trip to Chicago as Andrew Malcolm notes “at a cost of $182,000 per flight hour for a 15 minute teleprompter speech that could have been delivered from anywhere on the subject of —wait for it— reducing our use of oil.”
Joe Biden flew to London in February with an unusually large entourage for an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency for $459,388.65. Then on to Paris for a single night at the Hotel Intercontinental Paris Le Grande for $585,000.50. Must have been a good-sized entourage. I haven’t had occasion to stay in a hotel for a while, but this is ridiculous.
The royal daughters are spending their spring break in the Bahamas. There is enough money in President Obama’s FY 2013 federal budget to provide Secret Service protection for his daughters, but not enough to keep the White House open for school children’s tours given by unpaid volunteers. It’s “the optics,” an annoying phrase that has displaced “the way it looks.”
The president made a big deal about the potential closing of restrooms in our National Parks, and not having rangers available to conduct tours, perhaps even shutting down some facilities. So today he found it possible to commit the federal government to acquiring five new national monuments. Just coincidental, I’m sure, but all five are located in blue states that voted for Mr. Obama’s re-election.
Doc Hastings (R-WA) said “this is the government spending money it doesn’t have on properties it doesn’t own.” The new monuments are in Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio and Washington State. The President managed this by using the Antiquities Act to circumvent Congress. He must have had some glimmer that “the optics” weren’t too good because they chose to bar the press from the signing ceremony.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: Blame the Republicans, Economic Ignorance, Sequester Spitefullness
From our excellent neighbor to the North, Small Dead Animals, a juxtaposition:
USAF Announcement: The implementation of across-the-board cuts in federal spending has caused the curtailment of the Thunderbirds 2013 show schedule. Effective April 1, all of the team’s performances have been cancelled.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced Sunday that the United States would provide $250 million in assistance to Egypt after Egypt’s president promised to move ahead with negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over economic reforms.
P.S. Here’s what it costs to keep the Thunderbirds flying annually.
Be sure to click on the links. Mr. Obama does want to be sure that the public feels
his real pain. His strategy is completely obvious, and so small and spiteful.
Here in the Seattle Area our big summer festival is Seafair, which is centered around the hydroplane races and the Blue Angels performance, but includes everything from the milk carton derby, the usual queen and princesses, pirates, parade, street performances, Navy visit and ship tours — plus all the usual and unusual summer festival stuff.
One of the highlights for me is when the Blue Angels pass right over my house in formation. Scares the hell out of the cats, but I love it. Sound of Freedom! So that is going away too. If the choice is to get to see the Blue Angels or fuel our aircraft carriers, I can live without the Blue Angels.
But that is not the choice. The choice is between an arrogant president’s belief that he cannot under any circumstances cut back on government waste, sell empty government buildings, dump programs that don’t work, discontinue unnecessary duplicate programs, or stop subsidizing cronies who supported his campaigns. Instead, he wants more money to spend to influence voters. He wants to win back control of the House in the next election so he can put the rest of his misguided agenda into effect.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Liberalism, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics, Progressivism, Statism | Tags: Bill Whittle, How to Lie Convincingly, The Pain! The Pain!
Automatic federal cuts are bringing staffers to the brink of starvation, claimed Debbie Wasserman Schultz,. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) said he may be forced to lay off a staffer.
As Bill Whittle says, correctly, the sequester cuts barely 2% from increases in the federal budget, not the current budget. They have orders to proclaim the pain, and they are doing their best to lie plausibly— or not so plausibly. Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s staffers earn between $60,000 and $160,000 a year. Surely they could bring peanut butter and jelly from home.
Maybe they are among the federal employees who collectively owe enough in back taxes to the IRS, that if they paid up, it would take care of the sequester.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Progressivism, Capitalism | Tags: Bureau of Labor Statistics, No Longer in the Work Force, Not Really Getting Better
The unemployment rate for February has dropped to 7.7%, down from 7.9% last month. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, which sounds good until you realize it’s not far from the same as it was in February 2012, when it was 271,000— a little higher. Not exactly progress.
Those who are unemployed and are not looking for work are designated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as “no longer in the work force” has climbed to a record high at 89,304,000 up from 89,008,000 in January.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for whites 6.8 percent declined. The rate for adult men 7.1 percent, adult women 7.0 percent, Hispanics 9.6 percent, Blacks 13.8 percent, and teenagers 25.1 percent.
In February multiple jobholders rose by a record, as full-timers dropped, part-timers increased. The number of multiple job holders increased by 340K. This is undoubtedly a result of ObamaCare rules which are forcing many businesses to shift their workers to part-time. These workers attempt to recover by holding a second job.
The Federal Reserve Beige Book, a report issued eight times a year, details economic activity. Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff. Three different Federal Reserve regions have directly linked ObamaCare to slower hiring.
Just saw yesterday that J.C. Penney is laying off 200,000 employees, and that didn’t even make it into the numbers.
Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge points out that $1.2 trillion in debt buys the United State about 61 percent of the jobs created a year ago. And lest you get excited about the record Dow Jones , every “record” Dow Jones point costs $200 million in federal debt.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Conservatism, Military, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Capitalism | Tags: Cutting Back on Spending, House Speaker John Boehner, Congressional Travel
House Speaker John A. Boehner announced last Wednesday that members will no longer be allowed to travel by military aircraft on Congressional delegation trips.
The Ohio Republican told members that because of the spending cuts mandated by the sequester, he will cut the costs of the taxpayer-funded trips by suspending the standard military aircraft and making members fly commercial. The airfare costs are still paid by the government, but commercial flights are less expensive than it is to commission a military plane.
“The Speaker believes this is the prudent and responsible course of action, and it goes above and beyond the spending cuts the House will be implementing.,” said a GOP aide. Good example too.
Mr. Boehner has steadily been a proponent of commercial travel. He has long flown commercial between Washington and his home district in Ohio.
Filed under: Economy, Energy, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Democrat Corruption, Capitalism, Statism | Tags: Joblessness Is Top Problem, It's The Government's Fault, Misguided Policy
Robert J. Samuelson has a column today at Investors, titled “Joblessness is Top Problem, But No One Has An Answer,” Columnists usually don’t write their own titles, but the title reflects the content.
The official jobless rate is 7.9%, but it would be 14.4% if it included part-timers who’d like full-time work and discouraged workers who have stopped looking, notes Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board.
Scarce jobs are the nation’s first, second and third most important economic and social problem.
What’s especially disheartening and mystifying is that, until now, job creation was considered an inherent strength of the American economy.
Well, it’s obviously just “The New Normal.” Samuelson is a lefty, but usually a somewhat sensible one. I expected better.
Individual businessmen, small business owners, manufacturers, economists, business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and others have all been quite vocal about what is keeping them from creating jobs, growing and expanding. It’s the federal government.
Obama has, through the Interior Department and through Fish and Wildlife and through the EPA destroyed whole businesses, robbed people of their livelihoods. SWAT teams are sent in to terrorize innocent people. And above all, the implementation of ObamaCare is forcing companies to let workers go, or to shift full-time workers to part-time, because of the absolute unworkable mess of a law, and the hugely increasing costs on business. If you increase the cost of doing business, businesses are forced to hire fewer people.