Saturday, December 1, 2012

Judge Jeanine Pirro Tackles the Latest BenghaziGate news



Judge Jeanine is back on the Benghazi murder case, zeroing in on Susan Rice who she sees as someone hiding behind her race and gender. - Nice Deb

“Ambassador Rice, YOU dug your heels in right after the President of Libya said, there was no doubt that the attack was pre-planned, and even the talking points said that al Qaeda was involved. We just want to know now, who took out the words, al Qaeda, and why did you agree to go on television, when when you admittedly knew nothing about Benghazi? Might it have been to mislead the American people in the run up to the election, and even worse, when the administration admitted it was a pre-planned attack, you never came out and said, ‘You know, I was wrong’ – you WAIT until after the election.”

But of course: Nancy Pelosi supports giving Obama unilateral debt ceiling authority



This isn’t a surprise at all, especially considering that Pelosi not only believes there shouldn’t be a debt ceiling (during Democratic administrations only), but that having a debt limit is unconstitutional. - Doub Powers/Michelle Malkin

The national debt went up over $5 trillion during Pelosi’s speakership, and she’s eagerly looking forward to a time when congress doesn’t have to operate under those kinds of ridiculously tight constraints...

Fiscal Cliff: Where Are Your Spending Cuts, Mr. President?

link - Emily Goff/Heritage

The fiscal cliff debate has centered on talk of raising taxes on high-income Americans. The silence on spending cuts has been deafening.

On Monday, as if on cue, came investor Warren Buffett’s rehashed—albeit flat-out wrong—proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy. Even though the Obama Administration has said both sides must make tough choices and put everything on the table, it has embarked on a photo-op-studded campaign for tax hikes. The irony is befuddling.

Washington has a spending problem, not a tax revenue problem. Spending is well above its historical average level and is projected to remain high over the next decade. It gets worse thereafter, as entitlement programs and net interest costs send total spending soaring to 43 percent of the economy, up from 23 percent today. Meanwhile, tax revenues are projected to return to their historical level as the economy recovers and more Americans return to work.

The Obama proposal to reduce the deficit by taxing the wealthy would kick the legs out from under a struggling economy by hurting the very job creators and investors that the economy needs most right now. According to a study by Ernst and Young, 710,000 fewer jobs would be created in the long run—that on top of the 12.3 million Americans out of work today.

Taxing the wealthy to solve the fiscal cliff crisis and reduce the deficit just won’t work. Trying to close the 2035 deficit through the top two tax rates, for example, would mean raising those rates to 159 percent and 166 percent. Setting aside the economic damage that would ensue, notice anything odd? That’s right: Those rates are mathematically impossible. (continues below chart)


Because that policy is unworkable, taxes would necessarily have to be raised across the board and kept high in perpetuity to pay for the projected increases in federal spending. That translates into a more than twofold increase of all tax rates, not just the highest one. (continues below chart)


...No amount of tax increases can pay for the projected entitlement program spending increases. Entitlement program reforms must be on the table if we are to ever get our debt and deficits under control. It is time to reframe the fiscal cliff debate and focus on how to cut spending. More at the link

Finding Hispanic Votes

Republicans have no choice but to start looking for them again. - Peter Hannaford/American Spectator 11.29.12

Beginning in 2000, the Republican National Committee embarked on an outreach program among Hispanic voters. It did surveys and trained speakers to go out into communities to make contact with voters. Many of them spoke Spanish. The program was tailored to Hispanic/Latino groups from various ethnic origins. It paid off. The party's share of this vote went from 21 percent in 1996 to 44 percent in 2004. (It helped that then-President George W. Bush speaks Spanish.)

By 2008, Sen. John McCain still got 33 percent of the Latino vote to Obama's 67 percent. This time, however, the president's vote climbed to 71 percent and Romney's dropped to 29 percent.

Why the steady slippage? Partly inattention, partly rhetoric, and partly negatively perceived policy positions.

The easiest to solve is the first. The RNC should replicate its careful work of 1999 and 2000, surveying attitudes among Hispanic populations, training speakers and community liaison workers to reach out to these groups. It might even consider setting up community offices in some cities.

The rhetoric and policy positions will be much more difficult to turn around. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida began to draft legislation to allow college-age undocumented aliens a chance to enroll or enter the armed services if they had come to the U.S. as infants. When the Obama Administration got wind of it, they trumped it with their "Dream" Act. A similar bill was put to a vote in California. Not a single Republican legislator voted for it. How's that for compassion and understanding?

Negatively perceived rhetoric and policy positions are often coupled. For example, in 1994, California's Governor Pete Wilson campaigned in support of a ballot issue to deny illegal aliens any public services. It passed. This was widely understood by people of Mexican descent as a slap at all of them -- legal or illegal. As a result, California's Republican Party was from then on seen as unfriendly to people of Latino/Hispanic descent. It remains so to this day.

Many conservatives raised demands for the federal government to complete the authorized border "fence" (in its various forms) to put a stop to illegal immigrant inflow. Some, particularly office holders, said, in effect, "Do this first, then let's discuss what to do about the approximately 11 million already here." Many Hispanics were skeptical, worried that once the fence was completed, the rest of the discussion would not take place. Such is the state of trust.

Illegal immigration has declined in recent years, partly a result of the U.S. recession, partly because of better border security, and partly thanks to improved economic conditions in Mexico which have created more jobs.

Looking to a day when the border is fully secure, the big question remains: What to do about the 11 million undocumented aliens here already? Many have been here for several years at least. Some critics contend that since "they broke the law coming here, they should go to the back of the line for legal immigration." Sounds tidy, but in reality if all 11 million did that and all 336,000 annual green card quotas were assigned to them (most unlikely), it would take 30 years for all of them to be processed!

Some Republican lawmakers are beginning to talk openly about comprehensive reform. Mr. Obama talked about it four years ago, but did nothing. Such reform might involve issuing a work permit parallel to a green card, to those who met certain defined standards. This would neither grant nor imply "a path to citizenship." Thus the "third rail" presented by the word "Amnesty" would have its electricity cut off.

Republicans in Congress should seize the initiative and present legislation. The next step would be for some of our bright new Hispanic/Latino stars to fan out on speaking tours. Sen. Rubio, Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez come to mind to mount this effort.

All of this can be done. The question is, will Republicans summon the will to act?
______________
About the Author: Peter Hannaford was closely associated for a number of years with the late President Reagan, beginning in the California Governor's office. His latest book is Presidential Retreats.

WikiLeaks attempts to redress the imbalance of power.

Assange: Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule - RT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says all the necessary physical infrastructure for absolute totalitarianism through the internet is ready. He told RT that the question now is whether the turnkey process that already started will go all the way.

...whoever physically controls this controls the realm of our ideas and communications. And whoever is able to sit on those communications channels, can intercept entire nations, and that’s the new game in town, as far as state spying is concerned – intercepting entire nations, not individuals.

...'it is cheaper to intercept every individual rather that it is to pick particular people to spy upon'...

Do you know what you were thinking one year, two days, three months ago? No, you don’t know, but Google knows, it remembers.

The National Security Agency who intercepts the request if it flowed over the US border, it knows.

So by just communicating to our friends, by emailing each other, by updating Facebook profiles, we are informing on our friends.

'by updating Facebook profiles, we are informing on our friends...'

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear GOP: when negotiating with imbeciles, sometimes it's best just to shut the whole Twinkie factory down.

Newt Gingrich: A long speech, but WELL worth the watch.

NORQUIST: NEW, LARGER 'TEA PARTY SECOND WAVE' COMING



link - Breitbart TV

"We are about to have a Tea Party second wave that will dwarf the first wave and that is because while 'spend too much' brought the Tea Party into existence, we're about to walk into 'spend too much, regulate too much, and tax too much,' all together. It's going to be a perfect storm of annoying government behavior, which is devastating to the economy, and I think the small business community which is particularly hit by Obama's tax increases are going to lead the fight bigger, stronger, tougher than the last Tea Party."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivered the following response to President Obama today, urging the administration to work with Republicans on a balanced approach to resolving the fiscal cliff that includes serious spending cuts and pro-growth tax reforms needed to address the debt and help the economy grow.

Paying $56 Million to Borrow $4 Million: School District Capital Appreciation Bonds in Humboldt County

California school districts face huge debt on risky bonds

About 200 districts have borrowed billions of dollars using so-called capital appreciation bonds. Districts may have to pay 10 to 20 times the amount borrowed.

Two hundred school districts across California have borrowed billions of dollars using a costly and risky form of financing that has saddled them with staggering debt, according to a Times analysis.

Schools and community colleges have turned increasingly to so-called capital appreciation bonds in the economic downturn, which depressed property values and made it harder for districts to raise money for new classrooms, auditoriums and sports facilities.

Unlike conventional shorter-term bonds that require payments to begin immediately, this type of borrowing lets districts postpone the start of payments for decades. Some districts are gambling the economic picture will improve in the decades ahead, with local tax collections increasingly enough to repay the notes.

CABs, as the bonds are known, allow schools to borrow large sums without violating state or locally imposed caps on property taxes, at least in the short term. But the lengthy delays in repayment increase interest expenses, in some cases to as much as 10 or 20 times the amount borrowed.

link - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost

“The school boards and staffs that approved of these bonds should be voted out of office and fired,” California Treasurer Bill Lockyer told the LA Times.

What of Humboldt County? The Times includes a searchable database of all school districts in California that have issued capital appreciation bonds. Six Humboldt County school districts make the list:


The case of the McKinleyville Union School District is especially striking. In 2008, residents of the district just barely approved Measure C, which authorized the district’s board of trustees to offer up to $14 million in bonds. (The measure required a 55 percent yes vote to pass.) Of that, the board elected to offer $4.2 million in the form of capital appreciation bonds. Since that debt was structured over a 40-year period, with interest accruing all the while, taxpayers in the district will eventually be on the hook for over 13 times that amount — a stunning $57 million in total.

Leno: 'Very Dangerous to White House If Journalists Suddenly Start Asking Real Questions'...



Indeed it is, Jay. Indeed it is. - Noel Sheppard/Newsbusters

Here We Go, The Left Now Calling 401k Plans ‘Subsidies’

The call by progressives to end 401K plans is growing. Now they’re trying a different tack – these plans that workers contribute to out of their paychecks with some matching funds by employers are being called “subsidies” by the left because the funds aren’t taxed until retirement. - The Lonely Conservative

The progressive leftists have different ideas floating around out there about what to do with our savings. The main message here is that anyone who worked and saved for what they have didn’t earn it. Your earnings, in their minds, belong to someone else. You may not be rich by anyone’s standards, but if you worked and saved for your whole life, in their minds you’re fair game, because there’s someone out there who didn’t work and save. And now somehow that’s your problem. This is the Obama world. Maybe you worked and saved for your entire life as a middle class American. If the money you saved pushes you into the “rich” category by their standards you now must be punished.

Romney Strategist Fails to Grasp Media Bias

Stuart Stevens was undoubtedly one of the advisers who told Romney that he should avoid criticizing the press. We reported on this fact, noting Romney’s comments during the campaign that he had no plans to challenge liberal media bias and that he would get out his message through ads and other means. - Cliff Kincaid/Trevor Loudon

Media Realism: How the GOP should handle increasingly biased journalists April 6, 2009 - Ed Gillespie/National Review

◼ “…the media will play the role of attack dog for Democrats, but not for Republicans. The media will stay on a negative story for days and continue pressing for answers when it involves a Republican.”

◼ The Left “perfected the cycle” of attack: “A blog posts an attack on a Republican candidate one day, the local daily paper runs a story two days later based on the blog account, and two days after that, a national Democratic campaign committee launches a “ripped from the headlines” attack ad citing the dailies. No Republican should be caught off-guard by this phenomenon again.”

◼ “…be willing to call out the media on instances of blatant bias….Reminding voters that the media often have their own agenda can help offset bias.”

◼ “…go around the traditional news outlets.”

1860: Republicans Established the Transcontinental Railroad


The 1860 Republican National Convention, in its platform, called for building a railroad to the Pacific.

In 1862, the Republican-controlled 37th Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, establishing the transcontinental railroad. The bill, written by U.S. Representative Samuel Curtis (R-IA), was signed into law later that day by Republican President Abraham Lincoln.

The man honored with driving the golden spike to complete the railroad was former Republican governor of California, Leland Stanford. In 1856, Stanford had co-founded the California Republican Party. He would later serve in the U.S. Senate and found Stanford University.

GOP History

TWITTER: #FF (FollowFriday)

◼ Heather R. Higgins @TheHRH, ◼ Tammy Bruce @HeyTammyBruce,
◼ Monica Crowley @MonicaCrowley, ◼ Jeanine Pirro @JudgeJeanine, ◼ Jedediah Bila @JedediahBila, ◼ Dana Loesch @DLoesch, ◼ Michelle Malkin @michellemalkin - and, of course, ◼ HRWF @HRWF

Republicans can say: We think this is a bad idea, but Obama won the election and the media are poised to blame us for whatever happens next, so let’s give his plan a whirl and see how the country likes it

Make the Democrats own the Obama economy - Ann Coulter/Daily Caller

Republicans need to get absolute, 100 percent intellectual clarity on who bears responsibility for the next big recession. It is more important to win back the Senate in two years than it is to save the Democrats from their own idiotic tax plan. Unless Republicans give them an out, Democrats won’t be able to hide from what they’ve done.

Even Democrats might back away from that deal.

Sen. Sessions: Geithner 'Secret' Offer a 'Fantasy'... Obama seeks new power to raise debt limit...


The Obama administration's opening bid on Thursday in negotiations to avert a year-end fiscal crunch included a demand for new stimulus spending and authority to unilaterally raise the U.S. borrowing ceiling, a Republican congressional aide said. - Reuters

The proposal, made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to congressional Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, was seen as offering little the Republicans could agree to and was greeted with laughter, the aide said.

"We can't move any closer to them because they're not even on our planet," the aide said. "It was not a serious proposal."

McConnell 'Burst Into Laughter' as Geithner Outlined Obama's Plan - Fred Barnes/Weekly Standard

This Unserious White House: The president makes the GOP a fiscal-cliff offer he knows they will refuse. - Kimberley Strassel/Wall St. Journal

The White House this week finally explained just how serious it is about averting a fiscal cliff that could throw the country back into a recession. The answer: not serious at all.


The White House this week finally explained just how serious it is about averting a fiscal cliff that could throw the country back into a recession. The answer: not serious at all.

The markets and the media in recent days have been operating on an optimistic belief that the administration simply will not let the country fall off the fiscal cliff. They'd best rethink. On Thursday, the president dispatched Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors to Congress to finally outline the White House's offer to avert the coming tax hikes and sequester.

It was something out of Wonderland and Oz combined.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Editorial: State not-so-golden for many

New measure tags California as poorest state. - OD Register

New census data, which takes into account geographical differences in its "Supplemental Poverty Measure," ranks California as the poorest state in the nation. "The supplemental measure uses new poverty thresholds that represent a dollar amount spent on a basic set of goods adjusted to reflect geographic differences in housing costs. The official poverty thresholds are the same no matter where you live," said Kathleen Short, the report's author.

...California is a heavily blue state – marked by a harmful tax-and-spend culture. One way to reduce additional outmigration and further erosion of the tax base would be to do away with the state's income tax structure and replace it with a flat tax, which ensures individuals are less likely to underreport income and that Californians aren't punished disproportionally when income rises.

Bust: California named worst-run state in the nation - HotAir

It should also be noted, the promise of maybe closing this year’s deficit is predicated on whether “lawmakers can resist more spending and the economy continues to improve.” I present to you, a supermajority Democratic legislature. Also, this delicious paragraph from the L.A. Times:
The election wasn’t even over Tuesday when state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s phone started ringing. Activists of all stripes had the same message for him: With voters apparently poised to approve billions of dollars in tax hikes, it was time to spend more money.

“They had to be reminded the money has already been spent,” Lockyer said.

Editorial: Prop. 30's pension boost

Taxes advertised for schools could go elsewhere. - OC Register

It took less than two weeks to confirm what we suspected: Much of the money from the Proposition 30 tax increases approved by voters is not going to go to schools, as advertised, but to teachers' pensions.

According to CalPensions.com, "More money for the underfunded California State Teachers Retirement System may be considered by the Legislature next year, thanks to new attention from lawmakers and a state budget deficit narrowed by a voter-approved tax increase this month."

...Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, "wanted to keep quiet about CalSTRS' problems during the election. Now they're not being so quiet."

Video: Feds shut down 100-year-old oyster company, destroy some lives and dreams



Please take 20 minutes to watch this video, a mini-documentary on how the federal government can bully a conscientious, small business into non-existence. - Mary Katharine Ham/HotAir

Hey, no bigs. It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.

Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar decided todaythe farm’s lease will not be renewed, despite some support for it from from Sen. Dianne Feinstein and serious questions raised by scientists about the research used to impugn the Lunnys....

CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson tries to untangle twisted trail of Benghazi talking points

The seemingly simple question at hand: what or who prompted Rice to tell the nation that a YouTube video was to blame for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11? - Twitchy



The mainstream news networks took their time covering the story, but CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson is making up for lost time by compiling today’s events in a series of tweets. It’s been difficult following the ball as it has been passed back and forth among the White House, State Department, CIA and FBI, but Attkisson’s tweets are a good primer.

White House opening bid in fiscal cliff negotiations includes $1.6 trillion in taxes, $50 billion in stimulus

link - Twitchy





__________________
It does pay to get on Twitter. Every voice counts. And yes, Twitter is a political battlespace. Get on it. - Michelle Malkin
Granny’s Guide to Twitter - Dan Collins at Twitchy, A GREAT Tutorial if you are thinking of getting your feet wet.

Krauthammer’s Take: Geithner Deal ‘Insulting,’ GOP Should Walk Away



On tonight’s edition of Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said that the fiscal cliff deal proposed earlier today by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is “insulting” and that “Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox.” Democrats, he says, are asking Republicans for “unconditional surrender,” because there are no cuts – and spending increases – in the current deal. Republicans, says Krauthammer, “ought to simply walk away.” - Eliana Johnson/National Review

Gingrich: House Republicans should stop negotiating with President Obama - Alexis Levinson/Daily Caller

“One of the things I would say to House Republicans is to get a grip,” Gingrich said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

“They are the majority. They’re not the minority,” he said, enunciating the words as if explaining the concept to someone who did not understand it. “They don’t need to cave in to Obama; they don’t need to form a ‘Surrender Caucus.’”

“So my number one bit of advice to the congressional Republicans is simple: Back out of all of this negotiating with Obama. The president is overwhelmingly dominant in the news media. You start setting up the definition of success finding an agreement with Obama, you just gave Obama the ability to say to you, ‘Not good enough,’” Gingrich said.

The onetime presidential hopeful ridiculed the idea of the fiscal cliff, saying it was a manufactured crisis. (RELATED: Boehner: Democrats ‘yet to get serious about real spending cuts’ [VIDEO])

“There is no fiscal cliff. It’s absolute, total, nonsense,” Gingrich said....

“I give Obama great credit for this. I have never seen anybody better at finding trivial distractions in order to avoid responsibility,” Gingrich said.

We don't have a revenue problem - we have a spending problem. $142,000 Debt per taxpayer. Washington must stop over spending. #My142K


President Obama is trying to pressue congress to raise taxes using a newly launched Twitter Hashtag – #My2K – asking citizens to post what they would use the approximately $2,000 they will pay if the let the tax increases become law. But what the President and many in Congress do not understand is that raising taxes will not solve this problem. We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Let’s use Twitter to get the word out to cut overspending. - teapartypatriots.org

Not Particularly Concerned?

Obama’s chief propagandist Jay Carney says that the White House “isn’t particularly concerned” about whether or not Susan Rice misled the public on Benghazi. Oh, isn’t that special? But actually, I believe that. This is a White House that has raised misleading the American people to an art form. - Neal Boortz

...So of COURSE Obama isn’t “particularly concerned” that Rice misled the public on Benghazi. She was sent out do to exactly that! Why should the White House be concerned when everything goes exactly the way they planned it!

I’m guessing that the White House isn’t “particularly concerned” that Dear Ruler himself also went to the United Nations and mentioned the YouTube video a dozen times while never mentioning al Qaeda?

The White House may not be “particularly concerned” about any of these things … but we damned well should be.

We should be concerned about the fact that the creator of that YouTube video is still sitting in jail while whomever is responsible for the attack is still roaming free.
We should be concerned about the fact that Dear Ruler went to sleep without knowing the status of our ambassador or our citizens at that consulate.

We should be concerned that Dear Ruler jetted to a campaign event in Las Vegas just hours after radical Islamists attacked and killed American citizens.

We should be concerned that the administration is not concerned about the idea of being truthful with the American people.

We should be .. but we’re not. Obama engaged in one of the biggest cover-ups of all time – much bigger than Watergate – and this was a cover-up where four Americans DIED....

A sordid tale of Chicago politics that reveals how Obama got his start

Ah, Chicago and its politics. There's no other American city quite like it. Fortunately.

It's a beautiful city from the outside. And a political cesspool inside, a seeping source of conniving and corruption that spawned Barack Obama and his top aide Valerie Jarrett and is now ruled by the president's ex-chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Another amazing chapter in the Windy City's sordid politics began unfolding Wednesday, one whose lineage can actually be traced back to the very beginnings of Obama's political career, which now has an extended expiry date of Jan. 20, 2017....

From Watergate to Benghazi, where are Bernstein and Woodward when we need them

The Benghazi coverup makes Watergate look like child's play. The White House is refuting testimony by former CIA Director David Petraeus to Congress saying the administration didn’t make any changes in its early talking points about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to downplay the role of terrorists.

This sounds something akin to the Watergate cover-up in 1970s, but there is one notable difference: In Benghazi we have four murdered Americans.

The Watergate scandal was a political scandal in the 1970s, the result of a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. What started as a "third-rate burglary" launched an investigation that led to the highest levels of the Nixon Administration, which attempted a cover-up of its involvement.

The scandal eventually led to the trial, conviction, and incarceration of 43 people, including dozens of top Nixon Administration aids and Attorney General John Mitchell, and culminated in the resignation of President

We seem to be experiencing a similar furious game of cover-up, lies and damn lies in the investigation into the real story of who knew what, and when, about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, and the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans....

Where there's a coverup, there's something wrong. Now we need a Woodward and a Bernstein to dig it up, and someone with enough honor and disgust in the administration to help them do it.
But most of all, the four Americans who were murdered must not be forgotten. Their sacrifice demands the truth. If we're worthy of the sacrifices of the men and women who serve us in dangerous places around the world, we'll demand that the truth be revealed.

Democrats Are After Your 401(k)

link - RUSH: By the way, TIME Magazine headline. Snerdley listen to this. Man, when I'm prescient, I am prescient. I did not know this. Six hours ago, TIME Magazine headline: "Fiscal Cliff: Why Congress Might Have to Mess with the 401(k)." Now, I want to take you back. It was October 28th of 2008. It was before the 2008 election on this program. It was an economist from the New School, Teresa Ghilarducci, who first suggested to Congress the idea going after 401(k)s....

George Miller was told by this babe, the government's losing $80 billion by allowing you to deduct from your gross income, your taxable income, whatever you contribute to your 401(k), and they wanted to take that away. They had a hearing. They actually had a hearing on this back in 2008 where they heard from this professor. She appeared and she said, "I've got a better plan.

"What we want to do, we want to take your 401(k) at its August level, before the crash. We'll give you that equivalent and put it in your Social Security account, essentially, and we're going to invest that money that we take from your retirement account, your 401(k), at its August level. We're going to buy government bonds with it, which will guarantee you 3% -- and then we will require that you put 5% of your pay into your 401(k) although it's not yours anymore.

"The government owns it. They will manage it. They will take care of it, and then when your retirement day comes you'll get your Social Security check and part of your check will be whatever your 401(k) monthly payout is, after 3% of growth every year under the stewardship of the government." That was the deal. People went nuts over it. They went nuts over it, just as they went nuts over losing the deductibility of their credit card interest back in '86. Just as they're gonna go nuts when they lose the deductibility of their mortgage.

Well, that's gonna happen.

You mark my words.

That's already being floated out there as being on the table as part of the cliff deal. Not this year. Not this year. There will be a second part of the cliff deal in the first quarter of 2013. They're floating the idea of reducing the mortgage interest deduction for just the very poor, eliminating it not for everybody but just the very poor. But this 401(k) plan, TIME Magazine's out now with a headline six hours ago saying (summarized), "Oh, it's just such a shame. It's just such a shame. The government might have to look at your 401(k). They might have to mess with it," and it's this plan that was introduced four years ago....

"R-r-r-r-ight Away!" With a dire fiscal crisis bearing down on the nation and the need for closed-door negotiations and face-saving compromises for squeezed members of Congress never more apparent, President Barack Obama has embarked on yet another political campaign.

Obama’s Perpetual Campaign: When Will The Nation Tire Of Not Having An Executive In The White House? - Noah Rothman/Mediaite

This time, he is agitating for public support for increased tax rates on the nation’s high-income earners as part of a comprehensive resolution to the fiscal cliff. But higher tax rates is the only policy prescription the president campaigned on in 2012 – if he has any mandate whatsoever from his victory, it is for higher taxes. Why then does Obama have to mount yet another campaign? For one, the path of stump speeches and pushing hash tags on Twitter is far easier than acting as a sober and authoritative executive behind closed doors.

Obama’s perpetual campaign has begun to assume some familiar characteristics. The president has already mobilized a tread worn social media campaign and will hit the road to stump Philadelphia and it’s collar counties in Pennsylvania. Surely, the president hopes those rallies will dominate the airwaves and increase public pressure on Republicans....

Republicans have signaled their willingness to compromise by increasing tax rates on high earners and Democrats have begun to see the light on the need for dramatic reforms to entitlement programs. But the willingness to compromise does not automatically translate into a forthcoming bargain. The president seems set on making the political environment toxic and to make compromise less likely in order to secure the notion that he won a mandate in November.

Obama may yet achieve an advantageous compromise or even complete capitulation from Republicans, though the president’s endless appeals for public support for his various legislative priorities redounded to the Republican’s benefit during his first term. But regardless of who “wins,” political comity in Washington and nationally must suffer from Obama’s perpetual campaign.

15-Year-Old Afghan Girl Beheaded For Rejecting Marriage Proposal

Afghan police arrest two men for allegedly beheading a 15-year-old girl after her father turned down a marriage proposal. - CBS

“Our investigation shows those who killed her were people who wanted to marry her,” a Kunduz province police official told the BBC.

The father did not want his daughter to get married because she was “too young to be engaged.”

CNN reports the girl was killed near her family’s home while bringing back water.

From the comments: "And now, an commentary from the National Organization for Women:
::crickets::"

The social issues, whatever your position, are best dealt with outside the governmental realm.

I realize this is an unattainable goal and that government will always intrude in our private lives to some degree, but we must fight against it as much as possible for several reasons. - Roger L. Simon/PJM

To begin with, social conservatives will be vastly more successful at having their views accepted if they make their case extrinsic of government.

Don’t believe me? Well, most of us remember “Mind your own beeswax!” from grammar school. That made an impression for a reason. People resent intrusion in their private lives to the extent that they often will do just the opposite of what was sought or recommended. Generally, people don’t want anonymous others, folks they barely know, the government most of all, telling them what to do about matters that are extremely personal. They would prefer to hear that from close friends, family, clergy and healthcare professionals they know and respect. Wouldn’t you?

This is a great part of the explanation for why the Republican/conservative side lost in the election, although the popularity of the pro-life position has grown considerably since the 1970s. Democrats may hold the nanny state prize for our economic lives, but Republicans were given the nanny state prize for our private lives. We are the busybodies.

Unfair? Sure, considering the idiotic intrusions of the likes of Michael Bloomberg who wants to tell us how much soda pop we can drink. Also, because we’re really not, at least not most of us.

But the perception is real, especially among women. The rise of the bogus women’s issues during the campaign around such absurdities as free contraception (how about free cigars?) were made possible by this same perception.

Republicans have been losing the (majority) women’s vote for years and it is only going to get worse if we don’t take the social issues off the table and put them back where they belong — at home.

Obamas plan 20-day, $4 million vacation...

In a matter of weeks, Kailua residents will see the familiar street barricades fronted by U.S. Secret Service agents and Navy Seals and the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in canal and ocean waters. - hawaiireporter.com

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Put Millions of Taxpayers Into ‘AMT Shock’

One of the key questions lurking in the "fiscal cliff" talks — though well below the public's radar — is what happens to the alternative minimum tax, or AMT. - CNBC

Implemented in 1969 to make sure upper-income Americans pay their share of taxes, the AMT has increasingly snared more middle-income Americans over the years because it was never indexed for inflation.

During the 2011 tax year for example, the AMT hit single taxpayers with incomes as low as $48,450 and joint filers making only $74,450.

But millions more Americans could be subject to the AMT in their 2012 returns if Congress fails to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff before year-end. That's because the AMT is currently scheduled to hit individuals making as little as $33,750 a year and joint filers making $45,000.

To keep middle-income people from being unfairly hit by the AMT, Congress has enacted temporary relief during each of the past several years — so-called patches — that raises the income levels. But so far there is no patch for 2012.

The alarm bells over the patch — or lack of one — have reached the point where the acting commissioner of the IRS sent a letter to Congress this month saying the tax collection agency would need to tell some 60 million taxpayers that they may not file their 2012 tax returns or receive a refund until the IRS makes changes to its system (a patch) and that "they might not be able to file returns until late March of 2013."

The Bush-era tax cuts — set to expire at the end of the year as a part of the fiscal cliff — where a boon to some but actually pushed more people into the AMT, after they figured out which tax bill was higher.

More than half of AMT revenue in 2010 came from households with incomes over $200,000, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But as AMT rates are not indexed to inflation, more upper middle incomes are hit by the tax than the targeted high end incomes.

"If you're income is high enough you get moved out of the AMT. It really effects the $300,000 to $500,000 income levels, and states like California and New Jersey where people can't deduct children or state income taxes," LaBrecque added.... More at the link.

Senator Blasts 'Secret' Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

In remarks on the Senate floor today, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions blasted President Barack Obama and congressional leadership for holding "secret" fiscal cliff negotiations. - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard

"I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff negotiations that are currently underway," said Sessions. "Over the last two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that skips from one crisis to the next. Everything has been tried but the open production of a 10-year budget plan as required by law and open discussions of the difficult choices."

Sessions, the highest Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, saved most of his criticism for the president. "President Obama campaigned on a tax increase of ‘only’ $800 billion," said Sessions. "But now the White House is demanding $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Don’t the American people have a right to see these taxes and where they will fall? Shouldn’t the President of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose."

The Alabama senator insisted Obama is not serious about cutting spending--or cutting government waste.

In fact, the President is giving speeches calling for even more spending. On Tuesday, he gave a speech in which he said he wants to use the tax hikes to ‘invest in training, education, science, and research.’ Investment, of course, is just code for spending....More at the link.

Can We Admit Now That The Bush Tax Cuts Weren’t Ever Just For The Rich?

Going back a few years, when Democrats talked about the Bush tax cuts, they described them as though it were tax policy that only benefited the richest Americans. The “tax cuts for the rich” was their refrain, over and over again. - Say Anything

But things have changed. In the context of the current “fiscal cliff” combat, suddenly Democrats are being forced to admit that the Bush tax cuts weren’t just for the rich. The Bush tax cuts actually reduced tax burdens quite a bit for people who are not rich at all.

Case in point, this CBS report about President Obama’s new social media campaign in support of his proposed tax increases:
Mr. Obama is promoting the hashtag #My2K to continue to the conversation about a potential tax increase on the middle class if Bush-era tax cuts are allowed to expire. The keyword #My2K was chosen specifically because, according to the White House, a middle class family of four could see a tax increase of about $2,220.

As the debate around tax reform grows more heated, broker-dealers and other companies that service retirement plans offered by employers are increasingly concerned that the tax benefits of 401(k) plans are on the chopping block.

401(k) servicing industry sounds alarm over tax changes - Reuters

An industry group that normally works behind the scenes, the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, on Monday launched a media campaign intended to educate U.S. employers and workers that the federal government might consider changing the tax benefits of retirement savings accounts.

That worries the ASPPA because Americans might end up saving less, and some smaller employers might eventually decide to discontinue their own 401(k) plans.

The "Save My 401(k)" campaign includes a website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and even an online videogame. The budget is undisclosed but is in the six figures, according to the ASPPA's chief executive, Brian Graff.

The goal of the media campaign, said Graff, is to raise awareness among employers and employees that they may be in danger of losing some of the tax breaks surrounding their 401(k) plans.

‘Save My 401(k)’ - Larry Doyle, Sense on Cents/Business Insider

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1 Percent of Households Will Pay 50 Percent of California’s Income Taxes

This is a problem that can only be solved with higher taxes, union ownership of government and illegal immigration. And by solved, I mean empty the state of everyone who earns a living without working for the government and speaks English which will turn California into a place that Greece favorably compares itself to. - Daniel Greenfield/Front Page Magazine
As of 2010, the state relied upon 144,000 households, 1 percent of taxpayers, for 50 percent of total state income tax… [With Proposition 30's passage,] the top 10 percent of earners would be responsible for over 80% of the projected income generated – a fact that Gov. Brown and other advocates of the bill readily acknowledge.
What the left has forgotten is that California and America were built by people who decided that they could do better somewhere else. And by “do better”, I don’t mean pump the well dry of free stuff, but have the freedom to build things, start families and live their lives.

People will go on doing that. There will be just less and less of them doing it in California. New lands of opportunity keep opening up, even as an old land of opportunity turns into a place that King George III would have said was too repressive and tax-hungry.

When your economy is based on unsustainable spending on the backs of the middle class, then the middle class will shrink through attrition or escape through the moving van. Either way the ObamaPhone economy loses.

The Flat Earth Society ignores evidence of the fiscal cliff - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Two-thirds of millionaires disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p top rate of tax, figures have disclosed. - Telegraph

Bill Clinton asks for help with Hillary’s $73,000 2008 campaign debt

Amid speculation that Hillary Clinton might make a run for the presidency in 2016, her husband is taking another swing at shrinking her lingering 2008 campaign debt, which totals $73,000 as of Sept. 30. - Bobby Carvantes/Politico

This little gem of a book exposes, in plain language and with easily understood facts, the whole house of cards of assumptions, fallacies and falsehoods which constitute the liberal vision of the economy

If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore's new book, "Who's The Fairest of Them All?", Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide. - Thomas Sowell/Real Clear Politics

...Unlike the Republicans today, John F. Kennedy had an answer when critics tried to portray his tax cut proposal as just a "tax cut for the rich." President Kennedy argued that it was a tax cut for the economy, that changed incentives meant a faster growing economy and that "A rising tide lifts all boats."

If Republicans today cannot seem to come up with their own answer when critics cry out "tax cuts for the rich," maybe they can just go back and read John F. Kennedy's answer.

A truly optimistic person might even hope that media pundits would go back and check out the facts before arguing as if the only way to reduce the deficit is to raise tax rates on "the rich."

If they are afraid that they would be stigmatized as conservatives if they favored cuts in tax rates, they might take heart from the fact that not only John F. Kennedy, but even John Maynard Keynes as well, argued that cutting tax rates could increase tax revenues and thereby help reduce the deficit.

Because so few people bother to check the facts, Barack Obama can get away with statements about how "tax cuts for the rich" have "cost" the government money that now needs to be recouped. Such statements not only promote class warfare, to Obama's benefit on election day, they also distract attention from his own runaway spending behind unprecedented trillion dollar deficits.

Who's the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America - at Amazon

Krauthammer’s Take: Any Republican Who Caves on Entitlements ‘Is a Fool’



On tonight’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer argued that, having in essence conceded on the tax issue, Republicans should not cave on the issue of entitlement reform. - Eliana Johnson/national Review

If they do, he says, President Obama will play them for fools. “Now, [the president] says, after Republicans give up their one issue on taxes, ‘I’ll discuss a bargain next year,’” Krauthammer said. “Of course he wants that, because that’ll be at a time when Republicans are defrocked, disrobed, and disarmed, they will have nothing to bargain with…any Republican who buys this is a fool.”

Krauthammer insisted that Republicans have more bargaining power in this process than meets the eye, because President Obama “wants a successful second term” and “if it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession, two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term.”

Krauthammer advises GOP to take Obama to the fiscal cliff with threat of ‘second recession’ [VIDEO] - Jeff Poor/Daily Caller
rauthammer said the Republicans actually hold a substantial amount of leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations, despite losing big on Election Day.

“Now, I understand why Democrats are doing this,” Krauthammer said. “They imagine that the Republicans have no bargaining power today. I say: It’s true that if Republicans resist, they will take the blame. And that will help the Democrats in the Congress. But Obama is never running again. He doesn’t care who gets the blame. He is going to be the president. He’s a lame duck. He wants a successful second term. If it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession — two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term. That is the leverage that Republicans have over Obama. And they ought to use it ,and not cave in in the face of a demand that I think is utterly unacceptable.”

TOM MCCLINTOCK: Common Sense After a Close Election

Remarks to Northern Division Republican Women, Rancho Cordova, California, November 17, 2012 - tommcclintock.com

"Now let's pull up our socks, wipe our noses and get back in this fight."

After listening to ten days of hand wringing and doom saying from the usual suspects that Republicans must abandon our principles if we are to survive, we need a little of Mark Twain's common sense. I suggest we all take it to heart.

He said, "We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it -- and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again -- and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."

So it is in that spirit that I will begin with three incontrovertible truths about this election.

First, the same election that returned Barack Obama to the White House also returned the second largest House Republican majority since World War II - bigger than anything Newt Gingrich ever had.

Action Alert: Make calls NOW!


Well, by this time you have all been watching the kabuki dance going on in Washington. I have decided that I want the Republican leadership as my opponents in a poker game. I would clean up.

Seriously, Republicans appear to be unable to play hard ball. Democrats lose elections but that does not seem to bother them. They proceed as if they won and set up as many obstacles as possible to any Republican plans. Why on earth do we care if the press says Obama has a mandate? We must move on with our own agenda.

Given what and where the negotiations are right now in D.C. the American taxpayer is going to suffer.

If you are so Inclined, you might call the Republican leadership in D.C. and state your opinions as to what is going on.

Speaker of the House (OH) John Boehner
Phone: (202) 225-6205 FAX: (202) 225-0704

Majority Leader (VA) Eric Cantor
(202) 225-2815 FAX: (202) 225-0011

(CA) Kevin McCarthy
Phone: (202) 225-2915 FAX: (202) 225-2908

Senate Minority Leader (KY) Mitch McConnell
Phone: (202) 224-2541 FAX: (202) 224-2499

(AZ) John McCain
Phone: (202) 224-2235 FAX: (202) 228-2862

(AL) Jeff Sessions
Phone: (202) 224-4124 FAX: (202) 224-3149

(UT) Orrin Hatch
Phone: (202) 224-5251 FAX: (202) 224-6331

We are in very difficult times. Now is not the time to be silent. Republicans at all levels must be ready to fight.

Thank you for your work.

Edelweiss Geary
Legislative Issues Chair
Northern Division - CFRW
www.cfrwnd.org

Conservatives Must Learn the Dark Arts of Image Manipulation

Okay, we’ve had the End of the Republic, the degenerate electorate thesis, and the ritual beating of Mitt Romney. I hope everybody has had their catharsis, because it’s time to get serious.

...Punishment is also useful. Every time a leftist media figure employs a degrading stereotype, or insults an innocent party, or suggests that a political figure be assaulted or killed, they need to be punished. The social networks, Twitter and Facebook being the leading examples, comprise perfect weapons for such an effort. Thousands of tweets or emails will send the heads of the network execs spinning, with calls sent out for Larry or Ed or Rachel to drop by the office before they go the studio. Make them pay a price — now they pay no price whatsoever. All it would take is a little organization.

Another method would be to turn around the stereotypes and begin ridiculing the left on the same level — not as individuals, but as clowns. This has become known in recent years as Alinskyite ridicule, though it goes back eons before Hammurabi. Calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” merely generated sympathy for her. Turning her into a clown uncertain what to do with a condom if one was handed to her would have shut the whole campaign down in short order. (How about the Facebook “Sandra Fluke Condom Support Group”?) This kind of thing works, doesn’t take much in the way of effort, and we can be sure the left will provide plenty of ammunition.

The same tools can be used to create more friendly stereotypes, to project the image we want to project. In this election Mitt Romney’s essential decency and humanity were totally lost. Next to no effort was made to put them across. (Romney himself was forbidden to toot his own horn by his religious convictions.) A few years ago, the National Rifle Association, after decades of fumble-figured PR (“We’re only hunters! Honest!”), hit on the “I am the NRA” campaign, featuring attractive NRA members of all sexes, races, and ethnic backgrounds. The campaign worked well, humanizing gun owners and turning back concerted left-wing attempts to characterize the organization as something along the lines of a Jared Laughner fan club. Similar campaigns featuring conservatives or Republicans is not difficult to envisage.

Such efforts are long overdue. The tools are at hand. We need to learn all there is to know about image generation, narrative strategies, propaganda, and the tricks of the media.

The first difficulty will involve members of our own team. A change of attitude is necessary. We shouldn’t expect much from the Northeastern cons — they’re too eager to surrender, and many of them are only nominally conservative at this date. (They probably feel rather flattered by Colbert’s portrayal in any case.)

But the new conservative activists, often dismissed as the Tea Parties, are another story. They are the ones who can remake the conservative image into something that will attract rather than repel. The 2012 election has clearly revealed how high the stakes are. This is a knock-down, drag-out battle, a battle that the movement has so far declined to accept. We must stop refusing to play the game as it has to be played — refusing to learn, refusing to move into a new era, refusing to step beyond the stereotypes.

Above all, we need to stop walking into sucker punches, playing the game the way the left wants us to play it. The world will never respect anyone who allows that to be done to him. The image of the simpering twit is the first one we need to shed....

A Must read. Too much to repost here.

Conservatives need to support their arguments with creative storytelling. - Lee Habeeb & Mike Leven/National Review

...We’ve invested billions in our great think tanks but little in the task of translating that work into stories the average American will care about. Yes, we have Fox News and political talk radio — important outlets, but outlets that narrowcast to the conservative base and are driven by politics and opinion, not storytelling.

What we don’t have is an alternative to NPR. Or The Daily Show. Or 60 Minutes. Or The Charlie Rose Show. Or Frontline. Or Ken Burns. Content that doesn’t scream its politics at the audience but that lures America in with great storylines, not lectures.

Conservatives have a profound storytelling deficit, yet all we do is whine and complain about it. It’s part of our DNA, our whining about the culture, as if we’re incapable of reverse-engineering the Left’s success.

In 1980, Ted Turner launched CNN. It struggled for years to find an audience and became a player thanks to the first Gulf War — and to the spread of cable TV. In 1996, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes launched a news network that leaned right, offering the public a counterpoint to the left-leaning CNN. It didn’t take Fox News long to beat CNN.

So much for that 16-year head start!

You’d think our wealthiest conservatives would want to mimic that accomplishment in other areas of our culture. Why not create an alternative to NPR? It reaches 33 million people with its feigned neutrality. Or The Daily Show? Ridicule is a powerful weapon, and the Left offers Americans much to laugh about....

NFRW: What You Need to Know About the Looming Fiscal Cliff

January 1, 2013 will be the start of a new year that brings increased taxes and spending cuts. Ben Bernanke first used the term "fiscal cliff" when appearing before Congress in February of 2011. Many people seem to throw the term around without really knowing what they are talking about. Here are some quick specifics about the fiscal cliff:
◼ To end the debt ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Budget Control Act on August 2, 2011. The bill was signed into law the day before the purported crisis was supposed to hit, on August 3rd, which would have resulted in the U.S. credit going into default.

◼ Sequestration, which will cause $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, was a tactic pushed by the Obama administration when the Budget Control Act was being drafted as an incentive for Congress to find other ways to cut spending and/or raise taxes. A sequestration is a legal procedure that triggers automatic spending cuts. Congress never agreed on spending cuts, so the sequester will trigger defense cuts in 2013.

◼ The fiscal cliff also brings a $494 billion tax increase to Americans, which will cost the average American household an additional $3,800 just next year, according to the Heritage Foundation. This $494 billion tax increase is the largest ever to hit Americans in one year.

◼ The 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts are coming to an end, which accounts for almost 34% of the tax increases taking effect next year; the Alternative Minimum Tax will hit more of the middle class next year.The Heritage Foundation calls these collective tax increases "Taxmageddon."

◼ The payroll tax cut will expire next year, which will result in a 2% tax increase for workers. This tax increase accounts for 25% of all the tax increases taking effect next year.

◼ The rest of the tax increases come from Obamacare. Those making over $250,000 will incur a 3.8% hospital insurance surtax; this is one of the several Obamacare taxes taking effect next year.

◼ Estate taxes will be raised, affecting smaller estates.

◼ Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office reported that if Congress extends the tax cuts, 1.8 million jobs could be created.

◼ This fiscal cliff and uncertainty could all have been averted if Congress had followed the law and passed a budget. Congress needs to abandon these ad hoc measures to handle impending fiscal doom and control spending long-term by making a budget resolution.
To read more about the fiscal cliff, read the Taxmageddon factsheet and Fiscal Cliff: What Congress Should Do from the Heritage Foundation.

Geithner Calls For Eliminating the Debt Ceiling Entirely

While the rest of Washington is anxious about the coming fiscal cliff, CNSNews reported Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner telling Bloomberg TV that Congress should raise the debt limit "to infinity." Geithner argued that in order for American credit not to be threatened with default, Congress should eliminate the debt ceiling entirely. To get rid of the debt ceiling to avoid default is not solving the problem of American credit decline but rather skirting the real issue of unsustainable spending--and even making it worse by allowing Congress to ignore any limits on spending.

The debt ceiling was increased in August 2011 by $2.4 trillion, and as of last week the Treasury Department still had $154.3 billion left in borrowing power, which means another debt ceiling crisis at the end of the year unless Congress decides to raise the debt ceiling again. Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) promised that when it comes to the debt ceiling, "If it has to be raised, we'll raise it."

KRAUTHAMMER: OBAMA TRYING TO DESTROY GOP, NOT FIX ECONOMY



"Why are Republicans allowing the entire debate to be about taxes and about the war among Republicans over holding the line on the Norquist pledge or not, when what Obama is proposing on raising the rates on the 2% is a triviality? It will reduce the deficit from 1.10 trillion to 1.02 trillion, 8 cents on the dollar. It is nothing. It’s lunch money, it’s a rounding error. And yet that’s all the debate that we are hearing. Obama understands this. He’s not trying to fix our fiscal issues and problems. He’s trying to destroy the Republicans by insisting that there is a split among the Republicans on this issue which has held them together, the same way it destroyed President Bush Senior when he went back on the pledge he made. This is a political attack on the Republicans. There is no evidence right now that he has any interest in the real fiscal issue because he would have to talk about spending and entitlements and he isn’t." - Breitbart

Massive Cairo protests threaten Muslim Brotherhood rule

Angry chants filled Tahrir Square as people protested a recent decree issued by President Mohammed Morsi granting him sweeping powers. - Sarah Lynch, Special for USA TODAY

The protesters waved Egypt's red-white-and-black flag and chanted slogans against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which took power in Egypt's first elections since the overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The demonstrators joined several hundred people who had been camping out in the square since Friday demanding the decree be revoked.

"I'm against the constitution and the dictatorship of Mr. Morsi," says Horeya Naguib, whose first name in Arabic means freedom. "He is selling his own country and looks out for the interests of his group, not the people of Egypt."

Republicans say raising tax rates alone will hardly put dent in budget, deficit

Republican congressional leaders, in their battle to extend the current low tax rates for all Americans, drive home Tuesday their argument that ending those rates for families earning more than $250,000 a year would produce only enough money to run the government for less than nine days. - FOX

“Eight days only,” Price continued Tuesday. “It's not a real solution. I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested in raising tack rates than in gaining economic vitality.”

The theory that the cuts would run the federal government for less than nine days is based on the daily operating cost being $9.69 billion – which would mean the $82.3 billion in cuts would cover only that period.

The president has a goal of cutting $4.4 trillion from the budget over the next 10 years.

Republicans over the past few days have agreed that additional revenue is needed to check the deficit, which has consistently topped $1 trillion in recent years. But they also criticize Democrats for not saying which specific cuts they will agree to.

“Republicans understand that we must avert the fiscal cliff and have laid out a framework to do so that is consistent with the ‘balanced’ approach the president says he wants,” Mike Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said Tuesday. “In contrast, Democrats in Congress have downplayed the danger of going over the cliff and continue to rule out sensible spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement to reduce the deficit.”

Reporters accuse Obama of staging ‘photo-ops’ and ‘killing time’ ahead of fiscal cliff

“Why not stay in town and just hammer it out and get a deal done,” said Fox News’ James Rosen. “Why is everyone jumping on their airplane for photo-ops outside of the Beltway?” - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

President Obama is scheduled to fly to Pennsylvania on Friday to speak about the expiring tax cuts and reports have surfaced that Speaker John Boehner and Republicans are planning public events with small business owners.

Carney suggested that he found those comments “disparaging” as Obama’s event was intended to “continue the conversation with the American people.”

“Isn’t everybody just killing time?” asked Chuck Todd disparagingly.

“No!” Carney exclaimed....

Warren Buffett Doesn't Tell You About How He's A Master Of Tax Avoidance

In a NYT Op-Ed today, Warren Buffett argued that the rich should pay a certain minimum tax, and he explained to activist Grover Norquist that it's preposterous to think that businessmen would forgo profitable deals merely because the rate of tax on the profits would go up.... - Joe Weisenthal/Business Insider
A Master of Tax Avoidance - Greg Mankiw has a short post talking about Buffett as a master of "tax avoidance," wherein he lists four things Buffett does to avoid paying taxes.

REPUBLICANS LEAD THE BEST-RUN STATES IN AMERICA, DEMOCRATS DOMINATE THE WORST

The annual Best and Worst Run States in America survey by 24/7 Wall St. came out today, revealing that the top 5 states are led by Republicans while the bottom five are dominated by Democrats. - Glenn Hall/The Blaze

The list is based on a review of data for financial health, standard of living and government services. While noting that current situations may stem from decisions made years ago and that external factors like weather can be as much to blame as poor governance, 24/7 Wall St. also points out that all of the high-ranking states have “well-managed budgets” and the worst states have “high debt relative to both income and expenditure.”

Here’s how it breaks down at the top and bottom of the list cross-referenced with details on party control based on this map from Americans for Tax Reform:

THE TOP 5 STATES:
1. North Dakota
Governor: Jack Dalrymple, Republican
State Senate: Republican control
State House of Representatives: Republican control

2. Wyoming
Governor: Matt Mead, Republican
State Senate: Republican control
State House of Representatives: Republican control

3. Nebraska
Governor: Dave Heineman, Republican
State Legislature: Republican control

4. Utah
Governor: Gary Herbert, Republican
State Senate: Republican control
State House of Representatives: Republican control

5. Iowa
Governor: Terry Branstad, Republican
State Senate: Republican control
State House of Representatives: Republican control
THE BOTTOM 5 STATES:
46. New Jersey
Governor: Chris Christie, Republican
State Senate: Democrat control
State House of Representatives: Democrat control

47. Arizona
Governor: Jan Brewer, Republican
State Senate: Republican control
State House of Representatives: Republican control

48. Illinois
Governor: Pat Quinn, Democrat
State Senate: Democrat control
State House of Representatives: Democrat control

49. Rhode Island
Governor: Lincoln Chafee, Republican
State Senate: Democrat control
State House of Representatives: Democrat control

50. California
Governor: Jerry Brown, Democrat
State Senate: Democrat control
State House of Representatives: Democrat control

California is 24/7 Wall St.’s “Worst Run State” for the second year in a row. Due to high levels of debt, the state’s S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody’s credit rating is the second-worst. Much of California’s fiscal woes involve the economic downturn. Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three. The state’s foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively. But efforts to get finances on track are moving forward. State voters passed a ballot initiative to raise sales taxes as well as income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 a year. While median income is the 10th-highest in the country, the state also has one of the highest tax burdens on income. According to the Tax Foundation, the state also has the third-worst business tax climate in the country.

More details, like Debt per capita, Budget deficit, Unemployment rate, Median household income: $57,287, and Pct. below poverty line breakdowns, at the link.


The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50
- Wall St. Journal
The best-run states have certain characteristics in common, as do the worst run. The high-ranking states all have well-managed budgets. Each of the top ten has a perfect, or near-perfect, credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, or both. Of the ten worst-ranked, only three received top scores from one agency, and none from both. California is currently the only state rated A- by S&P, the lowest score given to any state. These poor-ranked states have high debt relative to both income and expenditure.
◼ And, Click here to see how all of the states do with 24/7 Wall St.’s new interactive state tool.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Take the correct course and America will thank you for saving us from the coming disaster, or take the wrong course and co-own the disaster while being exposed as fraudulent to your constituents.

ForAmerica’s Bozell calls out GOP leadership on Fiscal Cliff

Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, Majority Leader Cantor, and Minority Whip Cornyn,
The 2012 election is over and now is the time to focus on delivering on the promises you made to the country during the campaign.

With the so-called “fiscal cliff” rapidly approaching, both sides are making opening gambits and the talk so far is alarming. You led the Republican Party for two years claiming emphatically that the tax increase on “the wealthy” that Barack Obama is determined to enact is really a devastating tax hike on small business owners that would kill jobs and decimate any kind of economic recovery. Now conservatives see daily stories asserting that the GOP agrees with the President that “revenues are on the table” and GOP elite are all over the airwaves asking if the Tea Party will care if “a few multi-millionaires pay more in taxes.” That talk is only embolding liberals to demand even higher taxes. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and others are openly calling for a return to taxing Americans in the top rate at 91 percent. Yes that’s ludicrous, but liberals feel comfortable making such outlandish proposals because they feel you are weak enough that you will continue to surrender to evermore higher taxes having capitulated once already. They will never be satisfied. You know that.

Conservatives have one question to ask: If you now claim a tax increase on small business is the correct course of action, were you lying all along when you claimed this tax increase would decimate the economy? Because if you were not lying, you will now be willing participants in the destruction of American jobs in a time of economic crisis. This is the question you must answer, given the posturing of many Republicans in the immediate aftermath of the election.

However, if the GOP wakes up and decides that the principles they fought for during the campaign were more than empty political posturing, there is another option. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report which makes clear that if the fiscal cliff is ignored, once again punting the ball away, federal public debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – currently at a 60-year high of 70 percent – would skyrocket to a catastrophic 90 percent. The CBO report provides options for reforming the biggest drivers of our long term debt – entitlements – and to no one’s surprise two of the biggest steps that Congress can take toward getting our fiscal house in order are: repealing ObamaCare’s gigantic insurance subsidies and repealing the individual mandate. According to the CBO, repealing ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies would save $150 billion in 2020 alone. Similarly, repealing the individual mandate would save $40 billion in 2020 alone.

If the GOP is really serious about doing something about out-of-control spending and about honoring their commitments to the American people, then here is the path to follow. It’s a path laid out by independent experts which reins in spending, prevents us from going over the fiscal cliff, and undoes the largest federal power-grab in American history. It’s what you promised the American people.

Either Republicans are serious about honoring their commitments, in which case they will accomplish this through the power of the purse, or Republicans are not serious about their promises, and will ignore the solution. Either/or, no other options. No more excuses, no more rhetoric. No more meaningless half measures. Take the correct course and America will thank you for saving us from the coming disaster, or take the wrong course and co-own the disaster while being exposed as fraudulent to your constituents.

Sincerely,

L. Brent Bozell III
Chairman, ForAmerica

Naked protest in John Boehner’s office not as interesting as you’d think



There’s nothing prurient here but since boobage is periodically displayed, here’s your official content warning. Exit question via ABC: Why were the topless women arrested but not the men? It’s legal in D.C., you know. - HotAir

Republican Headquarters office hours:

WEEK OF 11/26-30:
Wednesday11/28
10 am-1 pm
Thursday 11/29
10 am-1 pm
Friday 11/30
1-4 pm

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way.

Obama's Soviet Mistake - Xavier Lerma/Pravda

...President Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents. Obama has bailed out those businesses that voted for him and increased the debt to over 16 trillion with an ever increasing unemployment rate especially among blacks and other minorities. All the while promoting his agenda....

Let's give American voters the benefit of the doubt and say it was all voter fraud and not ignorance or stupidity in electing a man who does not even know what to do and refuses help from Russia when there was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead we'll say it's true that the Communists usage of electronic voting was just a plan to manipulate the vote. Soros and his ownership of the company that counts the US votes in Spain helped put their puppet in power in the White House. According to the Huffington Post, residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the Unites States. We'll say that these Americans are hostages to the Communists in power. How long will their government reign tyranny upon them?

Russia lost its' civil war with the Reds and millions suffered torture and death for almost 75 years under the tyranny of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Russians survived with a new and stronger faith in God and ever growing Christian Church. The question is how long will the once "Land of the Free" remain the United Socialist States of America? Their suffering has only begun. Bye bye Miss American Pie! You know the song you hippies. Sing it! Don't you remember? The 1971 hit song by American song writer Don McLean...

LAURA INGRAHAM TO LEAVE TALK RADIO … FOR NOW


She said Tuesday that she’s leaving her distributor, Talk Radio Network, after more than nine years because her contract is up. Ingraham said she is in discussions with other distributors about her show, which currently airs on 325 stations nationally. - The Blaze

In the meantime, she said she’ll keep her opinions flowing on her website, on Twitter, and during Fox News Channel appearances.

Senator Kelly Ayotte: “I’m More Troubled Now” After Meeting with Ambassador Rice



Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) spoke with reporters after she met with Ambassador Susan Rice this morning. Ayotte said she’s more troubled today after the meeting than she was before they met. - Gateway Pundit

“I’m more troubled today… It’s certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to Al-Qaeda were involved in the attack on the embassy. And, clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the American people was wrong and in fact Ambassador Rice said today that Absolutely it was wrong… They have not cleared this up with the American people to date.”

"[T]here was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi." Susan Rice concedes untruth of her remarks. Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, November 27, 2012

GOP senators: We’re “more disturbed” after meeting with Amb. Rice than we were before - Erika Johnsen/HotAir

In a nutshell, it seems like the meeting helped to get to the bottom of approximately nothing, except to confirm that the “spontaneous protest” line that Amb. Rice peddled was very clearly incorrect and we’re no closer to getting the basic answers about who changed the talking points. So, kind of back to square one — as Sen. Graham wondered again, why did she have to definitively say anything about the attacks? Why not just say, ‘We don’t have enough information to be sure, here are the possibilities, and we’ll keep you updated’?

The senators didn’t explicitly say that they were still committed to blocking her potential nomination to Secretary of State, saying that they’d need more information — I’m sure they’d like to leave themselves some wiggle room on that one — but they’re clearly not satisfied with Susan Rice’s side of the story.

During a meeting on Capitol Hill that lasted for more than an hour, Rice acknowledged "there was no protest" at the Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 and said that talking points she relied on for making that claim were wrong. - The Hill

On Twitter:

RED FRIDAY: Treasury Borrowed $24.3 BILLION on Day After Thanksgiving...$211.69 Per Household...

The U.S. Treasury increased the net debt of the United States $24,327,048,384.38 on the day after Thanksgiving, which equals approximately $211.69 for each of the nation’s 114,916,000 households. - CNS

At the close of business last Wednesday, according to the Treasury, the national debt was $16,283,161,895,179.85. On Thanksgiving, the Treasury took the day off and did no borrowing. But on Friday, the Treasury increased the debt of the United States to $16,307,488,943,564.23. That was a one-day increase of $24,327,048,384.38.

The Census Bureau estimated that as of September there were approximately 114,916,000 households in the United States. So, the $24,327,048,384.38 that the Treasury borrowed on Friday equaled about $211.69 per household.

Egyptian Businessman: President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood ‘Are a Thousand Times Worse Than Mubarak’



“You’re making a new Iran out of Egypt,” Ash said, pleading with President Obama to stop supporting Morsi. He said Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have no experience with economic issues and the country’s economy is being crushed because of it. Ash also pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood has shut down newspapers and private TV stations, which he said “even Mubarak didn’t dare to do.” - FOX

NEW AT THE REPUBLICAN LENDING LIBRARY

Five Washington, D.C. Thrillers -- novels by Two Authors

Karna Small Bodman (highest ranking woman on the Reagan National Security Council staff):
Gambit
Final Finesse
Castle Bravo







Chet Nagle (former Navy Intelligence officer in the Middle East)
Iran Covenant
The Woolsorters’ Plague








A novel of contemporary politics:

Brad Hennenfent
Anthem Against Obama










Non-fiction

If Not Us, Who? David Frisk’s new biogrpahy of William Rusher, long-time publisher of Naional Review and conservative activist

Reagan: A Life in Letters. Collection of hundreds of Ronald Reagan’s letters, edited by Kiron Skinner and Martin and Annelise Anderson

Ronald Reagan’s Call to Action (with Charles D. Hobbs) - Reagan’s manifesto for America, written in 1976.

The New Conservative Paradigm, by California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro

After America, commentator Mark Steyn’s incisive and biting look into the future.
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