Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Sunday 'Report;' 12/02/2012 [Part 2]

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
obama's Plan Is Worse Than Fiscal Cliff
by Daniel J. Mitchell,
November 17, 2012
I took part today in a nine-person debate on the fiscal cliff for U.S. News & World Report. We were all asked, “Is Going Over the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Necessarily the Worst Outcome?”
I said “no” because there are worse options, and I specifically explained that Obama’s class warfare agenda is even more destructive.
Readers are allowed to vote up or down on each presentation, so I’ll be curious about the outcome.
Here are some of the key excerpts from my contribution to the debate, including a defense of the sequester and a very important point at the end about the Laffer Curve.
America actually will fall off two fiscal cliffs in January, but only one of them is bad. The good fiscal cliff is the so-called sequester, which is the inside-the-beltway term for automatic spending cuts. …anything that restrains the [....]

 WashPost Hails Patty Murray as Gaffe Beneficiary;
Forgets Her 2002 Whopper Praising Osama bin Laden
by Tim Graham,
November 24, 2012
    Saturday’s Washington Post devoted the left-hand corner of the front page to hailing liberal Sen. Patty Murray, the new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “In a Congress of hot tempers and sharp tongues, Murray doesn’t favor over-the-top rhetoric,” oozed Post reporter Rosalind Helderman. Sen. Harry Reid added: “Everyone takes Senator Murray seriously because she does not bluster.”
    She doesn’t? While the Post noted Murray had the “luck” of "intemperate" Republican gaffes on abortion and rape in the last election cycle, nobody in the media wants to remember Murray’s 2002 whopper praising that humanitarian Osama bin Laden:  As
Brent Bozell reported at the time, in a casual chat with honor students at a Vancouver, Washington high school on December 18, 2002, when this Democrat unleashed a series of real whoppers about Osama bin Laden. "Why are people so supportive of him in many countries?" she asked. "He has been in many countries that are riddled with poverty...He's been out in these countries for decades building roads, building schools, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful."
    Murray added: "We have not done that. We haven't been out in many of these countries helping them build infrastructure. How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that, rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?" [....]
The obamaKare Debacle
The plan epitomizes the president we’ve reelected.
by Michael Tanner,
November 15, 2012
If one wanted to sum up the consequences of the entire 2012 election in a single issue, look no farther than Obamacare.
The new health-care law is generally regarded as the signature achievement of the president’s first term. It’s certainly emblematic of Obama’s entire approach to government and what we can expect from his second-term initiatives.
The president promised a great deal of benefits from health-care reform: lower premiums, better care, universal coverage. He reassured Americans: If you had health insurance, and you liked it, you could keep it. The bill’s gross ten-year cost would be less than $1 trillion, and the legislation would actually reduce the deficit in the long run. The rich and some big businesses might have to pay a bit more in taxes, but the middle class would be better off.
But as with so many other policies of this administration, the results never matched the rhetoric. The pretty promises turned out to be “just words.” [....]

Cleared Of Ethics Charges, Maxine Watters Ready To Write Bank Laws
by John Ransom,
November 24, 2012
The last time we met “This Old Socialist,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters, (D-Delusional), she was being probed for “ethics violations,” which is fed-speak for “things for which you and I go to jail, but which is legal for congress.”
Waters, then, was gamely trying to vie for a leadership position on the Financial Services Committee despite a dogged investigation regarding her finances and influence peddling that had dragged out for months. She was doing so in the wake of the announcement that the committee’s ranking Democrat, Barney Frank (D-Dope) (pun intended) was leaving congress to fulfill his lifelong dream of getting married to a surfer/marijuana dealer. Or was that a marijuana dealer/surfer?
Anyway, Frank had already realized one dream when he covered the banking and financial industry with a fresh layer of federally-subsidized, regulatory dirt that we call the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (ha!), the newest regulatory scheme that has screwed up a good country.
But as Frank goes off to greener pastures, now imagine this: the Dodd-Frank and…Waters Wall Street Shakedown and Consumer Ruination Act.
Because gone are the days when it seemed [....]

obama faces huge challenge in setting up health insurance exchanges
by Elise Viebeck,
November 25, 2012
The Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems.
The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on
Sixteen states — most of them governed by Republicans — have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead.
Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships.
It's a situation no one anticipated when [....]

When Warren Went Left:
The Ideological Seduction Of Warren Buffett
by Jerry Bowyer,
November 30, 2012
Warren Buffett has released his annual encyclical on the need to raise taxes for the wealthy, from theNew York Times, the de facto cathedral of the Church of Enlightened Envy. As usual the arguments make no sense, and conservatives have issued the usual challenges: Capital gains taxes are a second layer of taxation, so it’s irrational to compare that only to a middle class person’s total tax rate; capital gains tax rates are lower because capital is at risk from speculative losses, unlike wage and salary income; capital gains rates are lower because most capital gains are long term, and those are subject to false gains due to inflation, which is not accounted for in capital gains calculations. Buffett’s periodically proposed tax hikes do nothing to deal with the issue of large foundations, like Buffett’s, which shield vast amounts of income from any ‘Buffett Rule.’
Every year he says the rich pay too little, and less than the middle class. Every year conservative think tanks and pundits go to work tearing the reasoning to pieces, and every year Mr. Buffett ignores their reasoning.
Maybe it’s time for us to consider [....]

obama Set to Discover Inheriting Your Own Mess Is Hard
by Elisabeth Meinecke,
November 23, 2012
From Afghanistan to the economy, the to-do list facing the president of the United States is extensive and overwhelming. Townhall breaks down the challenges Obama inherited ... from himself.

For four years, President Obama and his team never failed to remind Americans of the state of the country he inherited from his Oval Office predecessor. The mess left at the end of Obama’s first term, however, makes the George W. Bush years look gift-wrapped. From the debt to entitlements to health care and education, the next four years promise a gauntlet of challenges the White House must address sooner rather than later.
Challenges Abroad
The Eurozone and the Global Economy: On January 20, the president faces an even more questionable global economic outlook than previous administrations. Balance of global economic power has been shifting away from Europe toward Asia and South America. As the Financial Times pointed out, this is due in part to the growing clout of emerging nations, such as Brazil and India, but the change has been accelerated by the difficulties “advanced economies” have experienced in rebounding from the global economic meltdown.
With Europe, [....]

obama’s 'Horrific' Preliminary Gun Ban List Revealed...
by Alan Korwin,
November 29, 2012
    Here it is, folks, and it is bad news. The framework for legislation is already laid, and the Democrats have the votes to pass anything they want to impose upon us. They really do not believe you need anything more than a brick to defend your home and family. Look at the list and see how many you own. Remember, it is registration, then confiscation. It has happened in the UK, in Australia, in Europe, in China, and what they have found is that for some reason the criminals do not turn in their weapons, but will know that you did.
Remember, the first step in establishing a dictatorship is to disarm the citizens.

"The Democrats current gun-ban-list proposal (final list will be worse)"
by Alan Korwin, Author,
Gun Laws of America
    Slipping below the radar (or under the short-term memory cap), the Democrats have already leaked a gun-ban list, even under the Bush administration when they knew full well it had no chance of passage (HR 1022, 110th Congress). It serves as a framework for the new list the Brady’s plan to introduce shortly.
    I have an outline of the Brady’s current plans and targets of opportunity. It’s horrific. They’re going after the courts, regulatory agencies, firearms dealers and statutes in an all out effort to restrict we the people. They’ve made little mention of criminals.

Now more than ever, attention to the entire Bill of Rights is critical. Gun bans will impact our freedoms under search and seizure, due process, confiscated property, states’ rights, free speech, right to assemble and more, in addition to the Second Amendment. [....-huge list of potentially banned guns!]

An Overdue Book
Stephen Moore exposes the fallacy of “tax the rich.”
By Dr Thomas Sowell
November 28, 2012
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.
The point here is not to say, “Where was Stephen Moore when we needed him?” A more apt question might be, “Where was the whole economics profession when we needed them?” Where were the media? For that matter, where were the Republicans?
Since Who’s the Fairest of Them All? was published in October, there was little chance that it would affect this year’s election. But 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 that constitute the liberal vision of the economy.
Yet that vision [....]

Laffer Curve Warning about the Economy and Tax Revenue for President Obama and other Class Warriors
by Daniel J. Mitchell,
November 29, 2012
Being a thoughtful and kind person, I offered some advice last year to Barack Obama. I cited some powerful IRS data from the 1980s to demonstrate that there is not a simplistic linear relationship between tax rates and tax revenue.
In other words, just as a restaurant owner knows that a 20-percent increase in prices doesn’t translate into a 20-percent increase in revenue because of lost sales, politicians should understand that higher tax rates don’t mean an automatic and concomitant increase in tax revenue.
This is the infamous Laffer Curve, and it’s simply the common-sense recognition that you should include changes in taxable income in your calculations when trying to measure the impact of higher or lower tax rates on tax revenues.
No, it doesn’t mean [....]

Notes On Benghazi And Susan Rice
by Jonah Goldberg,
November 28, 2012
A few points in no particular order:
I find the effort to claim that criticism of Susan Rice is racist or sexist to be offensive, ridiculous and damn near lunatic. According to this theory, Republican racists waited in the tall grass until Rice had a shot to be the fifth non-white-male Secretary of State in a row and then decided to pounce. That even the Washington Post editorial board has succumbed to this idiocy, and in such a cowardly way, is almost as sad as it is infuriating.
In an editorial that is full of assertion and scant on facts or persuasive argument, the Post concludes:
Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy. You’d think that before launching their broadside, members of Congress would have taken care not to propagate any falsehoods of their own.
I’d expect this kind of [....]

Re: Benghazi, Rice and the ‘Consulate’
by Andrew McCarthy,
November 28, 2012
Jonah, those are all excellent points — and I especially agree that Steve has long been right (as have you) in pointing out the White House’s propensity to downplay terror attacks (I’d call them “jihadist” attacks if we were still allowed to say “jihad”). I just want to react to two things you cover, not to disagree but to make a couple of points worth making.
I do think Benghazi could be an impeachable scandal, and I don’t think this is an extreme position. Impeachment is a political remedy for gross abuses or power (including derelictions of duty). We do not yet have the answers about what happened on September 11 — most significantly, when did the commander-in-chief learn of the terrorist attack on the compound and what action did he take to defend Americans who were besieged for over seven hours under circumstances where there were U.S. military assets an hour away? We also do not know [....]

Gaza, Catalonia and Romantic Nationalism
by George Friedman,
November 27, 2012
Last week was spent obsessed with Gaza. In the end, nothing changed. A war was fought without an Israeli ground assault but with massive air and rocket attacks on both sides. Israel did not have the appetite and perhaps the power to crush Hamas. Hamas did not have the power to compel Israel to change its policies but wanted to achieve a symbolic victory against Israel. Both decided that continued fighting made little sense and allowed the Americans and Egyptians to bless a settlement. Everyone from Iran to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood played a role, and then the curtain on this act went down. It will come up again. It was not trivial for those who lived through the conflict, but in the end it changed little.
In this context, focusing on [....]
Gaza, Catalonia and Romantic Nationalism | Stratfor

Who Was Jovan Belcher
by Randy Turner,
The Turner Report
December 1, 2012
Seven video reports from several Kansas City news outlets.
Part 3 MAY follow...



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