What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
Political Cartoon of the Week
Stupidity Laws Could Have Stopped Obama
by John Ransom
May 22, 2012 Democrats have been crying for the last few weeks because the official bank of the Obama administration, JPMorgan Chase, lost $2 billion dollars in a hedging strategy that will likely get a few more folks fired from the firm. Democrats have used their deepest Vox Populi to decry loose bank regulations that allowed this outrage to happen. Their argument would be especially good if the bank regulations they are criticizing weren’t the result of large Democrat majorities and signed into law by President Occupy Wall Street himself just as the Democrat majorities unwound.
As Reuters notes “The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law was enacted in response to the financial crisis includes the Volcker rule, which bans banks from making speculative bets with company money. But it includes an exemption for trades done to hedge risk.” Nice loophole there guys; must have raised a ton on money for Democrat campaigns on that exemption. House Republicans meanwhile are taking a more pragmatic and ultimately correct position that these losses are best left to shareholders and board of directors to figure out. "There's no law against stupidity. No law against stupid trades," said House Speak John Boehner. Because here’s where Democrat logic really falls apart: If [....]
Stopping the Largest Tax Hike in History
by Mike Brownfield
May 11, 2012
The largest tax hike in history is due to strike the United States on January 1, 2013. Known as “Taxmageddon,” it would impose $494 billion in higher taxes on the American people in the first year. So terrible would be its impact that yesterday Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Senate Democrats that the country is headed toward a “fiscal cliff” and that Congress must deal with the impending tax nightmare.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that his chamber will take up the issue before the November election. Knowing Washington’s general reluctance to do anything of substance in an election year, Boehner’s announcement [....]
Obama’s Sneaky Treaties
by Dick Morris
February 8, 2012
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over — or seeking ratification of — five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions. Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures. And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts. Those who wish to preserve our sovereignty and democratic control over our future must rally to block these treaties, either by pressing Obama and Clinton not to sign them or by blocking their ratification.
• International Criminal Court — Clinton has reversed George W. Bush’s policy and entered into negotiations over U.S. participation in the court. Specifically, the leftists who are sponsoring the court wish to create a new crime of “aggression,” which is essentially going to war without the approval of the United Nations. If we submit to the court’s jurisdiction, our [....]
Morning Bell: President Me
by Rory Cooper
May 16, 2012
Reflecting on his two terms in office, President George W. Bush said in 2010, “You realize you’re not it. You’re a part of something bigger than yourself.”
This is a sentiment President Barack Obama did not inherit from his predecessor. Over the past month we have witnessed several displays of arrogant power emanating from our White House, emphasizing fealty to a person over the integrity of an American institution. Some are more serious than others.
First, this week it was discovered that White House staff had edited the biographies of many past presidents on whitehouse.gov to include a bullet point or two inserting President Obama into each historical narrative. For example, while President Calvin Coolidge had been the first president to make a public radio address, President Obama is on LinkedIn; and while Social Security was introduced by President Roosevelt, under President Obama it still exists. But in a far more egregious example [....]
Hopeless Change: Young Americans getting the worst of Obama's Economy
by Bob Beauprez
May 17, 2012
In 2008, Obama inspired legions of young Americans who bought into his "Change you can believe in" campaign message. According to the Pew Research Center, voters under the age of 30 supported Obama over John McCain 66:31 – by far the largest disparity between young voters and other age groups in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972. In addition to the critical vote totals, Obama attracted thousands of high energy campaign volunteers that brought unbridled enthusiasm to his campaign of Hope-and-Change.
Sadly, three years later, it is more like Hopeless Change that millions of young Americans face. In exchange for that 2:1 vote of confidence they gave Obama in 2008, the 18-29 year-olds are feeling the brunt of the economic stagnation – often by twice the degree of all other age groups. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The U.S. labor market is in a malaise, but young adults are in crisis."
Maybe you hadn't noticed, but the recession supposedly ended [....]
Hornell's Bill Pullman again a president in new NBC comedy
‘1600 Penn’ joins lineup in 2013
by Andy Thompson
The Evening Tribune
May 24, 2012
Hornell, N.Y. — Once a president, it seems, always a president. But this time Bill Pullman won’t have pesky aliens bent on world destruction to worry about. Turning from the dramatic to situation comedy, Pullman has been cast as the nation’s leader in the new NBC comedy “1600 Penn,” titled for the address of the real-life White House.
Pullman, a Hornell native who returns often to visit family and his farm in Hartsville, plays the head of a somewhat dysfunctional family that includes first lady Jenna Elfman, who is also step-mother to his children, Martha MacIsaac as his college graduate daughter, and Josh Gad as his trouble-prone son. Producing is co-creator John Lovett, who once had job writing for a real president, Barack Obama. It’s a long [....]
Big Lies in Politics
by Dr Thomas Sowell
May 22, 2012
The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run. Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.
There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on "the rich" and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that "the rich" are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise. After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921. Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were [....]
Americans with Disabilities Act covers ‘bashful bladder syndrome,’ could cost employers billions
by Taylor Bigler, Entertainment Editor
The Daily Caller
May 10, 2012
It could cost U.S. employers between $2 billion and $4 billion to comply with an obscure Americans with Disabilities Act regulation meant to protect workers who are gun-shy in public restrooms. According to an informal discussion letter the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued in August 2011, “paruresis” — more commonly known as “shy bladder syndrome” — qualifies as a disability under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.
The International Paruresis Association defines the odd affliction as the “inability to urinate with others present.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard of psychiatrists, categorizes it as a social phobia that affects roughly seven percent of the population — approximately 17 million Americans. The Association alleges that thousands of people who are afflicted by paruresis have been unfairly fired because of their inability to urinate in a public restroom during random drug screening tests. And while the EEOC suggests that providing alternative drug-testing methods is one way to accommodate these sufferers, the next frontier could be the claim that they are entitled to pee in privacy during the normal course of daily work. If every employer large enough to be subject to the ADA were to [....]
The 2012 Tax Policy Two-Step: Taxmageddon, Then Tax Reform
by J.D. Foster, Ph.D.
May 9, 2012
The nation faces an unprecedented tidal wave of tax hikes on January 1, 2013. Aptly called “Taxmageddon,” at nearly $500 billion the tax hike is so massive that it has accomplished what many regarded as impossible: consensus. There is broad agreement that at least most of this tax hike must be prevented. The debate is really only about how much and when. At the same time, there is a growing consensus in favor of tax reform. Both President Obama and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have called for reducing corporate income tax rates substantially. With such an obvious need, many Members of Congress, echoing their constituents’ views, are frustrated with the lack of progress on tax reform. Many also express a reluctance to prevent Taxmageddon without tax reform, suggesting that doing so smacks of once again “kicking the can down the road.” While these frustrations are understandable, nevertheless as matters stand, the correct two-step sequencing Members should embrace is to prevent all tax hikes now while working on and for tax reform in 2013.
Step One: Preventing Taxmageddon
On January 1, 2013, among other unfortunate tax consequences: [....]
43 Organizations Sue over HHS Mandate
by Sarah Torre
May 21, 2012
Twelve separate lawsuits were filed today in district courts around the country on behalf of 43 separate religious organizations against the Obamacare anti-conscience mandate. The complaints demand relief from the mandate that will force almost all employers to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization regardless of the employers’ moral or religious objections.
The lawsuits span from the dioceses of Washington, D.C., and Joilet, Illinois, to Catholic Charities of Jackson, Mississippi, and the Michigan Catholic Conference. The range of the 43 institutions that have joined the dozen suits highlights the variety of Good Samaritan groups harmed by the mandate. These ministries serve inner-city children, the elderly, deaf, developmentally disabled, HIV/AIDS patients, and homeless—among many others. Catholic outreach, like many other religious groups in America, seeks to serve those most in need. As Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, explained this morning: [....]
5 Ways Obama Is A Dictator
May 10, 2012
When power is placed in the hands of a usurper like Barack Obama,all thought of accepting authority from the other branches of government as delegated by the Constitution is rejected. Three years in office,we have seen Obama use the various agencies of the executive branch to break countless federal statutes,rob states of their legislative prerogatives,and flout the authority of Congress and the courts.
Obama’s Department of Justice has actively prevented South Carolina,Arizona,Texas,and other states from implementing voter ID laws designed to prevent the widespread incidents of fraud so instrumental to the success of the Democrat Party in elections for the past 50 years. The Department has filed suit in federal court to prevent implementation of those state laws in spite of a 2008 Supreme Court ruling which found Constitutional an Indiana voter ID law whose various requirements were mirrored in the Texas and Arizona legislation.
The EPA imposed water quality rules in Florida which would have led to “…billions of dollars in compliance costs,significant spikes in utility bills and the loss of thousands of jobs.” In February,the Florida Attorney General prevailed in a lawsuit against the EPA in which the presiding judge found “…the EPA’s rules were not based on sound science…” Moreover,the judge declared the EPA had even failed to prove its scheme would prevent any harm to the environment.
Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threatened suit against South Carolina “for guaranteeing a secret ballot in union elections.” The NLRB eventually backed down,but then turned its attention to the Boeing Company,telling Boeing it could not relocate its plants. Once again,the Board backed down “but only after the company and the union worked through an agreement.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demanded [....]
Barack Obama: The Spending King
by Rush Limbaugh (on 'The Rush Limbaugh Show')www.rushlimbaugh.com
May 24, 2012
RUSH: I had that story yesterday. In fact, I saw that stupid story yesterday and I sent it to everybody I know. And I said, "We're gonna have to deal with this. This has come out of left field. It's come out of the blue. We're gonna have to deal with this." And then I didn't get to it yesterday. I put it so far down in the Stack. It's this story about how Obama's not really spending all that much money. Obama's probably the most fiscally responsible president we've had in 25 or 30 administrations. I mean, that's the story. Some guy named Nutting at MarketWatch. I thought MarketWatch used to be CBS. Now it's Wall Street Journal. This guy Nutting goes back and forth. He's got this big story out there that it's a myth that Obama's a big spender.
The way he does it is to say that all the spending in 2009, which would include the stimulus, was Bush's because the budget for 2009 was Bush's, done in September of 2008. So Obama's first year is actually Bush's last budget. But Bush didn't budget the Porkulus. Bush didn't budget the second Porkulus. It's a trillion dollars of spending that this guy Nutting lops on to Bush and doesn't give to Obama. But that doesn't even cover what's going on here. I sent it around to everybody, I said, "You better look out for this." And what's happened now, Obama has taken the bait on this. Obama's running around like everybody else [....]
The False Obama Spending Math
by Yossi Gestetner,
The American Thinker
May 23, 2012
Columnist Rex Nutting over at Market Watch has a story with the headline "Obama spending binge never happened." In it he argues "of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree."
Nutting notes that Federal Spending from Fiscal Year 2008 to FY 2009 (Bush's last official budget) rose by 17% to $3.52 trillion, yet the 2013 Obama budget is only 1.4% larger than 2009; the smallest increase in sixty years. The reason, he claims, why people have it "wrong" about Obama's budgets is because they don't know that a budget in a President's first year gets shaped by the Congress and previous president months before the election. Therefore, almost all of the 2009 spending is Bush's increase.
Here is why his headline and actual story is [....]
Why It Doesn’t Pay To Cooperate With Police
by Bob Livingston,
Personal Liberty Digest
May 21, 2012
Keep your car free from clutter and conceal everything that you want to keep private.Police officers are trained manipulators. They take classes to learn how to read people’s body language and how to ask open-ended and innocent-sounding questions in order to surreptitiously obtain information they can use against you. They also have a knowledge of the laws that you don’t possess — and laws differ from State to State, and even from one jurisdiction in a State to another. Police have also been known to invent “laws,” place “evidence” that can be linked to you and twist your words into meaning something you did not intend. For that reason you should never consent to a police search of your vehicle and never volunteer information when being questioned. Of course, not consenting doesn’t mean you won’t be subjected to an unConstitutional and illegal search, as Nancy Genovese learned.
But two recent cases drive home the point of why it doesn’t pay to cooperate with police: that of Army Lt. Augustine Kim and that of Diane Avera. Before being deployed to Afghanistan, Kim left his gun collection with his parents in New Jersey. In the summer of 2010, Kim was back in the United States after being injured in a vehicle crash in Afghanistan. He had a medical appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and decided to work a trip from his South Carolina home to his parent’s New Jersey home around the medical center appointment. He loaded his guns plus some spare parts in the trunk of his Honda Civic and headed to his medical appointment. He [....]
What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls
May 26, 2012
The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer for many Americans, and it’s a good time to take stock of where the nation’s at. First, there’s the size of government. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Likely U.S. Voters prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes over one with more services and higher taxes. That's consistent with findings in regular surveys for years. Just 25% prefer a government with more services and higher taxes. Most voters also continue to believe tax cuts are good for the economy and that more government spending has a negative impact. In spite of these core beliefs, [....]
Muslim supremacists partner with the Lawyer Left.
by Andrew C. McCarthy,
May 12, 2012
Ismail Belghar, a 36-year-old Muslim man living in Australia, assaulted, abducted, and nearly killed his sister-in-law. The victim, a 25-year-old Moroccan named Canan Kokden, had dared to take her older sister, Mrs. B, to the beach without Belghar’s permission. This heinous effrontery was amplified, Belghar later recounted for police, when Mrs. B thereupon “displayed her body,” sustaining the shoulder sunburn that tipped him off.
To Australians, this may have been, well, just a day at the beach. For Belghar, though, it was an “abhorrent” offense against sharia, Islam’s legal code and comprehensive societal framework. The telltale burn is also starting to show on the West’s shoulders, our courts of law. Australia has not changed Belghar, but the Belghars are changing Australia. Innately, Islam is not moderate — just ask Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, who rejects as “ugly and offensive” the very term “moderate Islam.” Instead, Islam can be moderated, but only by a culture that is self-confident and self-assertive. Alas, that is no longer Western culture. So, the more Muslims immigrate, the less the West is moderating Islam. It is Islam that leaves its mark.
In the usual endearing family way, [....]
Understanding the Venture Capital Industry
By Eric Anderson
March 25, 2012
Everything that an entrepreneur wanted to know about venture capital but was afraid to ask. Or maybe you are so lost, you don’t even know what questions to ask. Term sheets? Accelerators? Convertible debt? When do you use a venture capital firm? All of these were topics completely foreign to me, until I picked up a copy of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist at the local library.
All entrepreneurs need money to start and grow their business. But how are you going to get it? Bank? Friends? Begging on the street? I first learned about Venture Deals during a panel discussion on micro-VC efforts. The presenter said this would be a good starting point, and he was right. The authors are a former lawyer (Jason Mendelson) and entrepreneur Brad Feld (@bfeld). The best part about the book is that the terms and practices are explained in a way that is easy to understand by people who have never raised money using VC firms. Most paragraphs are summarized with “The Entrepreneur’s Perspective” – a simple explanation of what was just read and how it pertains to the entrepreneur.
The book opens with an overview of venture capital: who’s involved and how to raise money. These chapters do a good job of asking entrepreneurs questions they may not have thought of before:
•How much money are you going to need?
•How do you find the right VC?
•Who’s involved in raising money?
Then the deep dive begins: the term sheet. The term sheet is the first critical element of venture capital. For clarification and understanding, the authors divide it into four sections: [....]
Understanding Venture Capital
by Mark Suster, an "Entrepreneur Turned VC"
(Undated) I’m starting a new series called “Understanding VC’s” in which I’ll try to give you a better understanding of the way venture capital firms work to give you a better understanding of what you’ll be dealing with when you need to raise money. Here are some of the topics I’ll cover (if they’re not linked I haven’t written the post yet):
1. A VC has shown me interest and taken several meetings. Am I likely to get to closure? – If you’re talking with a good VC firm and partner they’re likely talking to many companies at once. So even if they “show you the love” they probably have other deals that they’re also very interested in. In fact, most VC firms are like airports, they have a limited number of landing slots and a crowded sky of airplanes all at different points of distance and all hoping to land. Your firm may be very interesting but may still get diverted to another airport or asked to come back when weather conditions have cleared.
2. Does the size of VC fund matter? Knowing the size of the current fund, year raised, number of deals left to do and where the VC is in the stage of raising another fund all matters. Read the post to find out why.
3. Understanding the risks of VC signaling – When a VC invests in your company [....]
The Power of Cool
From Barack Obama to Mark Zuckerberg, cool buys exemption.
by Victor Davis Hanson,
May 23, 2012
When Barack Obama two years ago joked at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that potential suitors of his two daughters might have to deal with Predator drones (“But boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: Predator drones. You will never see it coming.”), the liberal crowd roared. That failed macabre joke would have earned George W. Bush a week of headline condemnation from the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Obama, in fact, has increased those judge/jury/executioner targeted assassinations tenfold during his tenure. But apparently, the combination of Obama’s postracial “cool” and the video-game nature of such airborne death — no CNN clips of charred torsos and smoldering legs, no prisoners with their ACLU lawyers in Guantanamo, no Seymour Hersh exposé on a Waziristan granny who was vaporized for being too near her terrorist-suspect grandson, no American losses for Code Pink and Moveon.org to demonstrate against — earned general exemption for that new liberal way of war. What bothered us about the Predator strikes in 2006–2008 was not the kills per se but the uncool nature of twangy Texan George Bush, who ordered them.
Last week 28-year-old, $17 billion–rich, jeans-clad Mark Zuckerberg took Wall Street for a multibillion-dollar ride, making his original buddies instant billionaires and his loyal larger circle millionaires. Note that there is no Occupy Wall Street protest at Facebook headquarters. Just as there are [....]
The Lies You’re Told
by Bob Livingston,
Personal Liberty Digest
May 14, 2012
Very intelligent people buy into lies and myths the same as the general population.The elites are masters of propaganda. They have at their beck and call an army of “journalists” who never stray from the official state line for fear of being ostracized. They eagerly and happily spread lies and half-truths in order to gain and then keep their seats near the halls of power. Those who stray from the party line (Helen Thomas) are harshly dealt with. They have learned that the more lies they tell, the more lies we believe. And the more lies we believe, the more dependent we become. Conversely, the fewer myths, lies and deceptions we succumb to, the less dependent — and, therefore, the freer — we are.
Propaganda is the science of persuasion and mind control. Its purpose is to forge allegiance to a political order or to ensure acceptance — and, therefore, consumption — of a particular product whether it is needed or beneficial. Propaganda victimizes the public by changing and controlling its belief system to the benefit of the political establishment or for the monetary gain of corporate interests and the medical establishment. I have learned the power of propaganda. I have watched as otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people have had their minds manipulated so that they acted against their own best interests as a result of propaganda. It seems that [....]
Terrorism and the Not-So-Exceptional Individual
by Scott Stewart,
May 24, 2012
In last week's Security Weekly, we used a thwarted underwear bomb plot, as well as the U.S. government's easing the rules of engagement for unmanned aerial vehicle strikes in Yemen, as an opportunity to examine the role of exceptional individuals in militant groups that conduct terrorist attacks. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP's) innovative bombmaker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, is one such individual.
Reported by AP on May 7, the news of the thwarted underwear plot overshadowed another event in Yemen that occurred May 6: a U.S. airstrike in Shabwa province that killed Fahd al-Quso, a Yemeni militant wanted for his involvement in the attack against the USS Cole in October 2000. Al-Quso appeared in a video released by AQAP's al-Malahim Media in May 2010, during which he threatened attacks against the continental United States, its embassy in Yemen and warships in the waters surrounding Yemen.
The media and the U.S. government frequently mention al-Quso's involvement in the USS Cole bombing, but they rarely discuss his precise duty the day of the attack. Al-Quso had been tasked to record the attack from [....]
Skip the dorm, buy your kid a condo
by Bill Bischoff,
May 14, 2012 Prices in many real-estate markets may be close to bottoming out. We hope. So the old adage about buying low may be something to consider if you have a kid who will soon be heading off to college. The idea is to buy a condo for the kid to live in while attending school. That way, you’ll avoid paying through the nose for a dorm room or apartment with no hope of any profit. And if you buy a condo that has some extra space, you can rent it out to your kid’s friends and offset some of the ownership cost.
Lots of parents have made good money by following this strategy for the four or five or, God forbid, six years their kids spent in college and then selling the condo after graduation. Of course, the longer you can hold onto the property, the better the odds of cashing out for a profit. The other key factor to consider is the tax benefits. Here’s what you need to know.
Deducting college condo ownership expenses
The tax rules generally prevent you from deducting losses incurred from owning and renting out a residence that’s used more than a little bit by you or a member of your immediate family. However, a favorable exception applies when you rent at market rates to a family member who uses the property as his or her principal home. In this case, you can deduct tax losses from the rental activity (subject to the passive loss rules, which I’ll explain later). This beneficial loophole is open for you if you buy a condo and rent it out to your college-going child (and roomies, if any) at market rates. You can deduct [....]
Republicans doubling down on debt-limit showdown strategy
By Lisa Mascaro,
May 20, 2012
WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress are heading into summer much the way they did last year — instigating a showdown with the White House by demanding massive federal budget cuts in exchange for what used to be the routine task of raising the nation's debt limit to pay the government's bills.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is doubling down on the strategy that ended in mixed results last year after the country came to the brink of a federal default before a deal was struck with President Obama. In that go-round, both sides saw their approval ratings with voters plummet and the nation's credit was downgraded. But Republicans are calculating [....]
Until Next Sunday....