Monday, December 31, 2012

The Sunday 'Report;' 12/30/2012 [Part 2]

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
Thousands of Federal Retirees Receive $100,000 a Year Pensions…
Author Unknown,
January 22, 2012
    United States government pension plans pay out more than $70 billion a year to about 1.8 million retired federal workers. But not all government retirees are created equal. According to data acquired by Bloomberg News through the Freedom of Information Act, almost 15,000 retired federal workers earn more than $100,000 a year. This includes 9.3% of former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
     Leading the list is Irving K. Jordan Jr., former president of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., who collects $375,900. He is followed by Maxey D. Love Jr., former president of a farm credit union, at $322,272 a year.  Lawmakers and cabinet officials don’t do too badly either. Members of Congress can begin collecting their pensions at 62 if [....]

Senate Approves Indefinite Military Detention of U.S. Citizens in U.S.
by Noel Brinkerhoff,
December 26, 2012
    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was used two years ago to allow the government to indefinitely detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, has been approved again by the U.S. Senate. This time, however, lawmakers had the chance to add protections for Americans accused of terrorist ties, and decided against it.

     A group of Democrats and Republicans pushed for an amendment to the NDAA that would have prohibited the military from detaining American citizens on U.S. soil. But then a House-Senate conference committee led by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) removed the provision from the bill.  Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) blasted McCain and others [....]

Revenue Effects of Major Tax Bills
Updated Tables for all 2010 Bills
by Jerry Tempalski,
Department of the Treasury
June 6, 2011 (Charts)
     Since 1940 many major tax bills have been enacted. OTA Working Paper 81 (Revised September 2006) uses revenue estimates of each bill to create consistent measures of the relative size of the several dozen major tax bill enacted between 1940 and 2006. This document updates the tables through 2010. Further information about the methodology used in the tables can be found in the working paper.
    OTA Papers is an occasional series of reports on the research, models and datasets developed to inform and improve Treasury’s tax policy analysis. The papers are works in progress and subject to revision. Views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent official Treasury positions or policy. OTA Papers are distributed in order to document OTA analytic methods and data and to invite discussion and suggestions for revision and improvement. Comments are welcome and should be directed to the authors. OTA Papers may be quoted without additional permission. [....]

The Geopolitics Of Shale
by Robert D. Kaplan,
December 19, 2012
    According to the elite newspapers and journals of opinion, the future of foreign affairs mainly rests on ideas: the moral impetus for humanitarian intervention, the various theories governing exchange rates and debt rebalancing necessary to fix Europe, the rise of cosmopolitanism alongside the stubborn vibrancy of nationalism in East Asia and so on. In other words, the world of the future can be engineered and defined based on doctoral theses. And to a certain extent this may be true. As the 20th century showed us, ideologies -- whether communism, fascism or humanism -- matter and matter greatly.
    But there is another truth: The reality of large, impersonal forces like geography and the environment that also help to determine the future of human events. Africa has historically been poor largely because of few good natural harbors and few navigable rivers from the interior to the coast. Russia is paranoid because its land mass is exposed to invasion with few natural barriers. The Persian Gulf sheikhdoms are fabulously wealthy not because of ideas but because of large energy deposits underground. You get the point. Intellectuals concentrate on what they can change, but we are helpless to change much of what happens.
    Enter shale, a sedimentary rock within which natural gas can be trapped. Shale gas constitutes a [....]
The Geopolitics of Shale | Stratfor

Chuck Hagel's Jewish Problem
by Bret Stephens,
The Wall Street Journal
December 17, 2012
    Prejudice—like cooking, wine-tasting and other consummations—has an olfactory element. When Chuck Hagel, the former GOP senator from Nebraska who is now a front-runner to be the next secretary of Defense, carries on about how "the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here," the odor is especially ripe.
    Ripe because a "Jewish lobby," as far as I'm aware, doesn't exist. No lesser authorities on the subject than John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby," have insisted the term Jewish lobby is "inaccurate and misleading, both because the [Israel] lobby includes non-Jews like Christian Zionists and because many Jewish Americans do not support the hard-line policies favored by its most powerful elements."
    Ripe because, whatever other political pressures Mr. Hagel might have had to endure during his years representing the Cornhusker state, winning over the state's Jewish voters—there are an estimated 6,100 Jewish Nebraskans in a state of 1.8 million people—was probably not a major political concern for Mr. Hagel compared to, say, the ethanol lobby. [....]

 Unions Defend the Worst of the Worst
Not a firing offense: drinking, smoking pot, endangering old people, abusing children..
By Jillian Kay Melchior,
December 19, 2012
    When hundreds of Connecticut nursing-home workers went on strike this summer, some committed “alarming, malicious events of apparent sabotage . . . that placed the health of many residents in immediate danger,” according to legal testimony to the United States District Court of Connecticut.
Some of the workers even endangered the lives of elderly patients, but now, their union allies are fighting to get them their old jobs back. This case is no exception: In both the private and the public sector, unions protect the jobs of all their members, even those who have done something wrong, inappropriate, dangerous, or criminal.
    The trouble in Connecticut began [....]

The New Racial-Derangement Syndrome
What happened to Obama’s post-racial America?
by Victor Davis Hanson,
December 20, 2012
There is a different sort of racialist derangement spreading in the country — and it is getting ugly.
Here is actor Jamie Foxx joking recently about his new movie role:
“I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that?”
Reverse white and black in the relevant ways and even a comedian would hear national outrage. Instead, his hip Saturday Night Live audience even gave Foxx applause.
Race-obsessed comedian Chris Rock tweeted on the Fourth of July,
“Happy white peoples [sic] independence day . . . ”
 Actor Samuel L. Jackson, in a recent interview, sounded about as unapologetically reactionary as you can get:
“I voted for Barack because he was black. . . . I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years.”
No one in Hollywood used to be more admired than Morgan Freeman, who once lectured interviewers on the need to transcend race. Not now, in the new age of racial regression. Freeman has accused Obama critics and the Tea Party of being racists. He went on to editorialize on Obama’s racial bloodlines:
“Barack had a mama, and she was white . . . very white, American, Kansas, middle of America . . . America’s first black president hasn’t arisen yet.”
Freeman’s racial-purity obsessions were echoed [....]
{Don't blame Mr Hanson, "cards" added by the blogger!}

"Right-To-Work" Wins In Michigan
by Chip Wood,
Personal Liberty Digest
December 21, 2012
    Union bosses in Michigan thought they had pulled off a real coup when they managed to get a measure on the November ballot that would have enshrined their power in the State constitution. Imagine their shock when voters overwhelmingly rejected the amendment.  That was just the beginning of the bad news for the maestros of compulsory unionism. Emboldened by the measure’s defeat, Republicans in the State Legislature promptly introduced legislation that would make Michigan the 24th “right-to-work” State in the Nation.
    Union activists called on their supporters to march on the State capital to protest the proposal. Thousands of supporters showed up in Lansing in response. All of them were pretty noisy; a few were actually amusing, including the ones who put up four giant inflatable rats on the Capitol lawn bearing the names of Governor Rick Snyder and three Republican legislators.  But all was definitely not fun and games. A hospitality tent put up by Americans for Prosperity, one of the groups supporting the measure, was attacked [....]
Until Next Sunday....



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