Thursday, April 30, 2009
The proposed Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787), which has no House bill number yet, will give the Corps and EPA control over your property and water.
The Real Goal of the Clean Water Restoration Act (S787) is to give the Corps of Engineers and EPA Control over your water and all of your watersheds. That means National Land Use Controls as well as control over all of your water and land. That's because all land is in a watershed.
It will redefine what the term "wetlands" means in the law. It will eliminate the requirement that the Corps and EPA limit their jurisdiction to"Navigable" waters and give those agencies control over any water or "activities" affecting water, thus reversing two Supreme Court Decisions, the Rapanos and SWANCC Supreme Court Decisions of 2006 and 2001.
The bill is a double whammy: It expands the definition of waters and gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Corps of Engineers (Corps) and other Federal agencies control over activities that affect waters. That means any land use activities.
Besides private property, the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA) (S787) threatens businesses, agriculture, small communities, grazing, forestry, mining and many other uses on private and Federal land. It will affect many kinds of manufacturing companies and businesses.
The Clean Water Restoration Act is a massive land and water grab.
Call your congressman and senators and tell them that you will hold them responsible for this power grab come election day. You can call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121.
$410 billion in spending on a fiscal year 2009 omnibus package.
$3.6 trillion 2010 budget that would raise taxes on the very job-producing small businesses our economy needs right now.
$9 trillion added to the national debt. To understand just how profound this is, it took 200 years for America to accumulate the $10 trillion in national debt that Obama inherited. He will double it to $20 trillion in just ten years! This debt will hang over the heads of our children and grandchildren and leave them indebted to China and countries in the Middle East for generations to come.
$100 million cabinet meeting scam in which the President called for his cabinet to cut government spending across the board by a paltry $100 million. As the Washington Post stated, it was “like trying to deal with a $5,000 credit card debt by forgoing a pack of gum.” It was the equivalent of a family finding a way to save $6 in an annual spending budget of $60,000. Any third-grader could do it. Clearly it was nothing more than a smokescreen and photo-op designed to divert attention from the most free-spending president in U.S. history.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Ethanol Bubble Pops in Iowa
More evidence the fuel makes little economic sense.
By MAX SCHULZ
In September, ethanol giant VeraSun Energy opened a refinery on the outskirts of this eastern Iowa community. Among the largest biofuels facilities in the country, the Dyersville plant could process 39 million bushels of corn and produce 110 million gallons of ethanol annually. VeraSun boasted the plant could run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the demand for home-grown energy.
But the only thing happening 24-7 at the Dyersville plant these days is nothing at all. Its doors are shut and corn deliveries are turned away. Touring the facility recently, I saw dozens of rail cars sitting idle. They've been there through the long, bleak winter. Two months after Dyersville opened, VeraSun filed for bankruptcy, closing many of its 14 plants and laying off hundreds of employees. VeraSun lost $476 million in the third quarter last year.
A town of 4,000, Dyersville is best known as the location of the 1989 film "Field of Dreams." In the film, a voice urges Kevin Costner to create a baseball diamond in a cornfield and the ghosts of baseball past emerge from the ether to play ball. Audiences suspended disbelief as they were charmed by a story that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality.
That's pretty much the story of ethanol. Consumers were asked to suspend disbelief as policy makers blurred the lines between economic reality and a business model built on fantasies of a better environment and energy independence through ethanol.
Notwithstanding federal subsidies and mandates that force-feed the biofuel to the driving public, ethanol is proving to be a bust.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, Aventine Renewable Energy, a large ethanol producer, lost $37 million despite selling a company record 278 million gallons of the biofuel. Last week it filed for bankruptcy. California's Pacific Ethanol lost $146 million last year and has defaulted on $250 million in loans. It recently told regulators that it will likely run out of cash by April 30.
How could this be? The federal government gives ethanol producers a generous 51-cent-a-gallon tax credit and mandates that a massive amount of their fuel be blended into the nation's gasoline supplies. And those mandates increase every year. This year the mandate is 11 billion gallons and is on its way to 36 billion gallons in 2022.
To meet this political demand, VeraSun, Pacific Ethanol, Aventine Renewable Energy and others rushed to build ethanol mills. The industry produced just four billion gallons of ethanol in 2005, so it had to add a lot of capacity in a short period of time.
Three years ago, ethanol producers made $2.30 per gallon. But with the global economic slowdown, along with a glut of ethanol on the market, by the end of 2008 ethanol producers were making a mere 25 cents per gallon. That drop forced Dyersville and other facilities to be shuttered. The industry cut more than 20% of its capacity in a few months last year.
What's more, as ethanol producers sucked in a vast amount of corn, prices of milk, eggs and other foods soared. The price of corn shot up, as did the price of products from animals -- chickens and cows -- that eat feed corn.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry reacted by standing with the cattlemen in his state to ask the Environmental Protection Agency last year to suspend part of the ethanol mandates (which it has the power to do under the 2007 energy bill). The EPA turned him down flat. The Consumer Price Index later revealed that retail food prices in 2008 were up 10% over 2006. In Mexico, rising prices led to riots over the cost of tortillas in 2007. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and other international organizations issued reports last year criticizing biofuels for a spike in food prices.
Ethanol is also bad for the environment. Science magazine published an article last year by Timothy Searchinger of Princeton University, among others, that concluded that biofuels cause deforestation, which speeds climate change. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration noted in July 2007 that the ethanol boom rapidly increased the amount of fertilizer polluting the Mississippi River. And this week, University of Minnesota researchers Yi-Wen Chiu, Sangwon Suh and Brian Walseth released a study showing that in California -- a state with a water shortage -- it can take more than 1,000 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol. They warned that "energy security is being secured at the expense of water security."
For all the pain ethanol has caused, it displaced a mere 3% of our oil usage last year. Even if we plowed under all other crops and dedicated the country's 300 million acres of cropland to ethanol, James Jordan and James Powell of the Polytechnic University of New York estimate we would displace just 15% of our oil demand with biofuels.
But President Barack Obama, an ethanol fan, is leaving current policy in place and has set $6 billion aside in his stimulus package for federal loan guarantees for companies developing innovative energy technologies, including biofuels. It's part of his push to create "green jobs." Archer Daniels Midland and oil refiner Valero are already scavenging the husks of shuttered ethanol plants, looking for facilities on the cheap. One such facility may be the plant in Dyersville, which is for sale. Before we're through, we'll likely see another ethanol bubble.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington , DC 20500
Dear Mr. Obama:
I have had it with you and your administration, sir. Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally.
You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America . You are responsible to the citizens of the United States . You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.
I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe ? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century?
Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States ? This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?
Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia . You don’t show Great Britain , our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia . How dare you, sir! How dare you!
You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey . You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?
I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.
You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I seriously doubt it.
What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely didn’t!
Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that's $45 million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie executives have already been awarded $51 million – not a bad take. Who authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right now.
I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.
Every Real American
'My good man,' the fairy said, 'I've been sent here by President Obama and told to grant you three wishes, since you just arrived in the United States with your wife and three children.'
The man told the fairy, 'Well, where I come from we don't have good teeth, so I want new teeth, maybe a lot of gold in them.'
The fairy looked at the man's almost toothless grin and - PING ! -- He had a brand new shining set of gold teeth in his mouth!
'What else?' asked the fairy, 'two more to go.'
The refugee claimant now got bolder.
'I need a big house with a three car garage in Annapolis on the water with eight bedrooms for my family and the rest of my relatives who still live in my country. I want to bring them all over here.
PING ! - In the distance there could be seen a beautiful mansion with a three car garage, a long driveway, a walkout patio with a BBQ in an upscale neighborhood overlooking the bay.
'One more wish', said the fairy, waving her wand.
'Yes, one more wish. I want to be like an American with American clothes instead of these tore cloths, and a baseball cap instead of this turban. And I want to have white skin like Americans.
PING ! - The man was transformed, wearing worn out jeans, a Baltimore Orioles T-shirt and a baseball cap. He had his bad teeth back and the mansion had disappeared from the horizon.
'What happened to my new teeth?' he wailed.
'Where is my new house?'
'Tough luck, Mac, the Fairy said.
'Now that you are a White American, you have to fend for yourself.'
And she disappeared.
By Dick Morris
April 28, 2009
When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. While Americans are careful not to consign a presidency they desperately need to succeed to the dustbin of history, the fact is that this president has moved -- on issue after issue -- in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do.
Right now, Obama's ratings must be pleasing to his eye. Voters like him and his wife immensely and approve of his activism in the face of the economic crisis. While polls show big doubts about what he is doing, the overwhelming sense is to let him have his way and pray that it works.
But beneath this superficial support, Obama's specific policies run afoul of the very deeply felt convictions of American voters. For example, the most recent Rasmussen Poll asked voters if they wanted an economic system of complete free enterprise or preferred more government involvement in managing the economy. By 77-19, they voted against a government role, up seven points from last month.
And in the Fox News poll -- the very same survey that gave Obama a 62 percent approval rating and reported that 68 percent of voters are "satisfied" with his first hundred days -- voters, by 50-38, supported a smaller government that offered fewer services over a larger government that provided more.
By 42-8, the Fox News poll (conducted on April 22-23) found that voters felt Obama had expanded government rather than contracted it (42 percent said it was the same size) and, by 46-30, reported believing that big government was more of a danger to the nation than big business. (By 50-23, they said Obama felt big business was more dangerous.)
By 62-20, they said government spending, under Obama, was "out of control."So if voters differ so fundamentally with the president on the very essence of his program, why do they accord him high ratings? They are like the recently married bride who took her vows 100 days ago. It would be a disaster for her life if she decides that she really doesn't like her husband. But she keeps noticing things about him that she can't stand. It will be a while before she walks out the door or even comes to terms with her own doubts, but it is probably inevitable that she will.
For Americans to conclude that they disapprove of their president in the midst of an earth-shaking crisis is very difficult. But as Obama's daily line moves from "I inherited this mess" to "There are faint signs of light," the clock starts ticking. If there is no recovery for the next six months -- and I don't think there will be -- Obama will inevitably become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
And then will come his heavy lifting.
He has yet to raise taxes, regiment healthcare or provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. He hasn't closed down the car companies he now runs and he has not yet forced a 50 percent hike in utility bills with his cap-and-trade legislation. These are all the goodies he has in store for us all.
Obama's very activism these days arrogates to himself the blame for the success or failure of his policies. Their outcome will determine his outcome, and there is no way it will be positive. Why?
• You can't borrow as much as he will need to without raising interest rates that hurt the economy;
• The massive amount of spending will trigger runaway inflation once the economy starts to recover;
• His overhaul of the tax code (still in the planning phases) and his intervention in corporate management will create such business uncertainty that nobody will invest in anything until they see the lay of the land;
• His bank program is designed to help banks, but not to catalyze consumer lending.
And his proposal for securitization of consumer loans won't work and is just what got us into this situation.
So Mr. Obama should enjoy his poll numbers while he may.
Barack's in the Basement
April 28, 2009
President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.
According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton, who got off to a notoriously bad start after trying to force homosexuals on the military and a federal raid in Waco, Texas, that killed 86. Mr. Obama's current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.
As the attached chart shows, five presidents rated higher than Mr. Obama after 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan topped the charts in April 1981 with 67 percent approval. Following the Gipper, in order of popularity, were: Jimmy Carter with 63 percent in 1977; George W. Bush with 62 percent in 2001; Richard Nixon with 61 percent in 1969; and George H.W. Bush with 58 percent in 1989.
It's no surprise the liberal media aren't anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued. USA Today's front page touted the April poll results as positive, with the headline: "Public thinks highly of Obama." The current cover of Newsweek magazine ponders "The Secret of His Success." The comparison with previous presidents is useful because they are usually popular during their first few months in office - and most presidents have been more popular than Mr. Obama.
The explanation for Mr. Obama's low approval is that he ran as a moderate but has governed from the far left. The fawning and self-deceiving press won't go there. On Sunday's "Meet the Press," host David Gregory asked a panel about critics who "would say one of the things that he's done in 100 days already is expand the role of government, the size of government." Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin claimed, "That's what he ran for the presidency in the first place for."
Perplexed about complaints over Mr. Obama's expansion of government, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham asked: "does no one listen during campaigns?"
It was these pundits who weren't paying attention during last year's campaign. In all three presidential debates, Mr. Obama promised to cut government spending and reduce the size of the deficit. He blamed the economic crisis on excessive deficits. At no time did candidate Barack Obama say that more deficit-spending was the solution.
Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon.
Monday, April 27, 2009
What an ego!
The only gift you have is the gift that keeps on giving: shared poverty for all Americans...
WASHINGTON -- Everyone knows President Barack Obama can deliver a great speech, including the president himself, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The paperback version of Reid's book, "The Good Fight," is coming out May 5 with an epilogue called "The Obama Era." Reid said he was impressed when Obama, then a freshman senator from Illinois, delivered a speech about President George W. Bush's war policy.
Reid, D-Nev., writes: "'That speech was phenomenal, Barack,' I told him. And I will never forget his response. Without the barest hint of braggadocio or conceit, and with what I would describe as deep humility, he said quietly: 'I have a gift, Harry.'"
A copy of the book's 15-page epilogue was provided to The Associated Press.
Reid said he talked to Obama in 2006 about running for president, and that Obama expressed doubts about his ability to win.
"I was resolved to stay neutral in the coming campaign, but I told him that in my view the stars could align for him. 'If you want to be president, you can be president now,' I said. 'I don't know, Harry,' he said. 'I don't think so.'"
© 2009 Associated Press.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Democrats Refuse to Allow Skeptic to Testify Alongside Gore At Congressional Hearing
By Marc Marano
Washington, DC -- UK's Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed House Democrats have refused to allow him to appear alongside former Vice President Al Gore at a high profile global warming hearing on Friday April 24, 2009 at 10am in Washington.
Monckton told Climate Depot that the Democrats rescinded his scheduled joint appearance at the House Energy and Commerce hearing on Friday. Monckton said he was informed that he would not be allowed to testify alongside Gore when his plane landed from England Thursday afternoon.
“The House Democrats don't want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face,” Monckton told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview. “They are cowards.”
According to Monckton, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Ranking Member on the Energy & Commerce Committee, had invited him to go head to head with Gore and testify at the hearing on Capitol Hill Friday. But Monckton now says that when his airplane from London landed in the U.S. on Thursday, he was informed that the former Vice-President had “chickened out” and there would be no joint appearance.
Gore is scheduled to testify on Friday to the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment's fourth day of hearings on the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The hearing will be held in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
According to Monckton, House Democrats told the Republican committee staff earlier this week that they would be putting forward an unnamed 'celebrity' as their star witness Friday at a multi-panel climate hearing examining the House global warming bill. The "celebrity" witness turned out to be Gore.
Monckton said the GOP replied they would respond to the Democrats' "celebrity" with an unnamed "celebrity" of their own. But Monckton claims that when the Democrats were told who the GOP witness would be, they refused to allow him to testify alongside Gore.
[ Update: 1:55 PM EST: A GOP House source told Climate Depot that the Democrats on the Committee said “absolutely not” to allowing Monckton to appear during today's Gore hearing. The GOP committee “pushed at multiple levels” to bring Monckton in to testify but the Democrats “refused,” according to the GOP source. Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich was called in to testify after Monckton was rejected by the committee Democrats, according to the Congressional source.]
“The Democrats have a lot to learn about the right of free speech under the US Constitution. Congress Henry Waxman's (D-CA) refusal to expose Al Gore's sci-fi comedy-horror testimony to proper, independent scrutiny by the House minority reeks of naked fear,” Monckton said from the airport Thursday evening.
“Waxman knows there has been no 'global warming' for at least a decade. Waxman knows there has been seven and a half years' global cooling. Waxman knows that, in the words of the UK High Court judge who condemned Gore's mawkish movie as materially, seriously, serially inaccurate, 'the Armageddon scenario that he depicts is not based on any scientific view,'” Monckton explained.
Monckton has previously testified before the House Committee in March. (See: Monckton: Have the courage to do nothing...US Congress told climate change is not real ) Monckton has also publicly challenged Gore to a debate. (See: Al Gore Challenged to International TV Debate on Global Warming By Lord Monckton - March 19, 2007 )
A call to the Democratic office of the House Energy and Commerce Committee seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday night.
Don't these class envy idiots ever think about the downside of such rhetoric? Who do they think are the taxpayers? The employers? Hint: It ain't the poor...
Fancy Office Address? Not in this Economy!
New York Observor
April 21, 2009
Choosing his words carefully, John Powers, chairman of the tri-state region for CB Richard Ellis, told a room full of reporters on April 8 that “conspicuous consumption is no longer socially in.” His delicacy was understandable, representative, as he is, of countless landlords with conspicuously ostentatious buildings.
“It is happening,” said one prominent broker, who asked to remain anonymous so as not to upset his tenants. “I have a client who’s on Park Avenue and wants to get off Park. They feel that it has too much cachet and it sends the wrong signal to their shareholders and to people in general. … People are more cognizant of how they look.”
The anti-ostentatious trend has trickled down to the brokerages themselves.
Every year, CB Richard Ellis holds an annual conference at some balmy location to recognize its top employees. This year, the firm had booked 225 vacation packages at the opulent Hilton Cabo San Lucas Beach and Golf Resort, whose Web site boasts of world-famous game fishing, hiking, horseback riding and, perhaps most importantly for the real estate set, proximity to the Jack Nicklaus–designed Cabo del Sol golf course and the 27-hole Palmilla course, also a Nicklaus design.
“Given the state of the economy … we felt it was inappropriate to have that type of event given some of the other measures being taken and constraints on the other areas of the business,” said Mitch Rudin, CBRE’s president and CEO for the tri-state region.
The firm decided the 225 three-day vacation packages should instead go to dozens of charities, like the Wounded Warrior Project. A move that’s both PR-friendly, and, dare we say, rather nice.
He tells the rancher, 'I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.'
The old rancher says, 'Okay, but do not go in that field over there' as he points out the location.
The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, 'Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.'
Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the farmer.
'See this badge?This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish...on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?'
The old rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased close behind by the rancher's prize bull.
With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get "horned" before he reaches safety.
The officer is clearly terrified.
The old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs, 'Your badge! Show him your badge!!!!'
Swine Flu Hits Mexico
MEXICO CITY/GENEVA (Reuters) - A new flu strain that has killed up to 68 people in Mexico could become a pandemic, the World Health Organization warned on Saturday, as health experts tried to track the disease's spread.
Hospitals tested patients with flu symptoms for the never-before-seen virus, which has also infected eight people in the United States. No further deaths had come to light since Friday afternoon, but officials warned the person-to-person infections meant there was a risk of a major outbreak.
"It has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in Geneva.
"However, we cannot say on the basis of currently available laboratory, epidemiological and clinical evidence whether or not it will indeed cause a pandemic."
The new flu strain -- a mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses -- is still poorly understood and the situation is evolving quickly, Chan said.
Mexico city's health secretary, Armando Ahued, said no new flu deaths had been reported since Friday, when Mexico gave the death toll as 20 confirmed and 48 other possible deaths. In all, 1,004 suspected cases have been reported nationwide.
Mexico has shut schools, cinemas and museums and canceled public events in its sprawling, overcrowded capital of 20 million people to try to prevent further infections. Weekend soccer matches were played in empty stadiums and people on the street wore face masks.
April 25, 2009
Jan. 22: Obama orders the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison within a year and declares that the United States will not engage in torture.
Jan 23: Obama lifts ban on federal funding for international organizations that perform or provide information on abortions.
Jan. 27: Obama gives first formal television interview as president to Arab television station, telling Muslims, "Americans are not your enemy."
Jan. 29: Obama signs first bill into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for workers to sue for pay discrimination.
Feb. 3: Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., withdraws as Obama's nominee for secretary of health and human services.
Feb. 9: Obama holds first prime-time news conference, calling on Congress to enact his economic stimulus plan.
Feb. 12: Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., withdraws as Obama's nominee for secretary of commerce.
Feb. 13: Congress completes action on a $787 billion economic stimulus package of tax cuts and new spending, intended to jolt the country out of the worst recession in 50 years.
Feb. 17: Obama signs the stimulus measure into law.
Feb. 19: Obama makes his first visit to a foreign country as president, meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a seven-hour visit to Ottawa.
Feb. 22: Obama hosts governors in his first formal dinner at the White House.
Feb. 23: Obama holds a fiscal responsibility summit at the White House, signaling his intention to tackle health care, the budget and Social Security.
Feb. 24: Obama addresses a joint session of Congress for the first time, focusing on economic issues.
Feb. 26: Obama unveils a $3.6 trillion federal budget for 2010 and estimates that the federal deficit for 2009 will balloon to $1.75 trillion.
Feb. 27: Obama announces withdrawal of all American combat forces from Iraq by August 2010, but says the U.S. will leave tens of thousand support troops behind.
March 5: Obama hosts daylong White House summit on health care.
March 9: Obama reverses President George W. Bush's ban on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, and declares that all federal scientific research will be walled off from political influences.
March 11: Obama signs a $410 billion spending bill to keep the government running for the rest of the 2009 budget year. He calls the measure "imperfect" because it includes money for special projects set aside by members of Congress, a practice he pledged to end during the 2008 campaign.
March 16: Obama declares he will stop insurer American International Group Inc. from paying out millions in executive bonuses after receiving billions in federal bailout funds.
March 19: Obama becomes the first sitting president to appear on the "Tonight" show.
March 20: Obama releases video message to people of Iran in celebration of Nowruz, the Persian new year and the first day of spring.
March 26: Obama holds "Open for Questions", the first virtual town hall meeting at the White House.
March 27: Obama announces comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the deployment of 4,000 additional military trainers to Afghanistan.
March 30: Obama asserted unprecedented government control over the auto industry, rejecting turnaround plans by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, and engineering the ouster of GM's chief executive, Rick Wagoner.
March 31: Obama travels to London, the first stop on an eight-day, six country tour of Europe and the Middle East.
April 1: Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and announces start of negotiations on new strategic arms-control treaty.
April 1: Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have a private audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
April 2: Obama attends the Group of 20 economic summit in London, where leaders agree to bail out developing countries, stimulate world trade and regulate financial firms more stringently.
April 3: Obama speaks and takes questions from crowd of mostly French and German citizens at a Town Hall meeting in Strasbourg, France.
April 4: Obama attends NATO summit in Strasbourg but gets commitment from allies to send up to 5,000 more military trainers and police to Afghanistan.
April 5: Obama launches an effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them during a speech in Prague "the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War."
April 6: Obama speaks to Turkey's parliament, declaring that "the United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam."
April 7: Obama pays a surprise visit to Iraq, meeting with U.S. troops and Iraqi leaders.
April 9: Obama sends a request to Congress for $83.4 billion for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
April 10: Obama says the economy is showing "glimmers of hope" after meeting with top economic officials.
April 12: Obama authorizes a military rescue of an American sea captain taken hostage by pirates in the waters off Somalia. The rescue results in the deaths of three pirates and the capture of the fourth, and frees Capt. Richard Phillips.
April 13: The administration announces that Cuban-Americans will be permitted to make unlimited transfers of money and visits to relatives in Cuba. The decision also clears away most regulations that had stopped American companies from bringing high-tech services and information to Cuba.
April 14: The Obamas introduce their new puppy, Bo, in a photo session on the White House lawn.
April 16: Obama meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon on his first trip to Mexico and Latin America. The leaders agree to cooperate on combating drug violence along the U.S.-Mexican border.
April 17: Obama releases memos from Bush administration authorizing harsh interrogation techniques but says no CIA employees who followed the memos will be prosecuted.
April 17: Obama travels to Trinidad and Tobago for the 34-nation Summit of the Americas and declares that he "seeks a new beginning with Cuba."
April 18: At the summit, Obama shakes hands with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, the leftist, anti-American leader who had called Bush a devil.
April 19: Obama calls on Cuba to release political prisoners as a way to improve relations with the U.S.
April 20: Obama holds the first formal Cabinet meeting of his administration, ordering department heads to slice spending by $100 million, a tiny fraction of the $3.6 trillion federal budget he proposed a month earlier.
April 21: Obama leaves the door open for prosecution of federal lawyers who wrote harsh interrogation memos during Bush administration and says if there's an investigation, it should be done by an independent commission.
April 22: Obama makes his first visit as president to Iowa, the state where his 2008 Democratic caucus victory launched him toward the presidency.
April 23: Obama tells congressional leaders he will not support creation of an independent commission to investigate the Bush administration's harsh interrogation techniques.
April 24: Obama promotes his idea for the government to stop backing private loans to college students and replace them with direct government loans to young people. He also declines to brand the early 20th century massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey a "genocide," breaking a campaign promise.
© 2009 Associated Press.
ABOVE ARE SOME OF THE AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES ON THAT DAY.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
April 23, 2009
Inhofe: Cap and Trade Will Cost U.S. 800,000 Jobs
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Newsmax that the Obama administration’s plans to curb carbon emissions would immediately cost the U.S. 800,000 jobs and actually lead to a net increase in worldwide emissions.
Sen. Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, also said an Environmental Protection Agency proposal would raise taxes by $400 billion a year — and charged that Obama is “gutting” the military.
Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella pointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “endangerment finding” — once the EPA makes a finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act, it could issue regulations covering nearly every facet of the American economy, without Congressional approval. He asked for Sen. Inhofe’s view on the subject.
“About seven years ago I was all alone on this issue,” Inhofe responded.
“That was back when they decided how much it was going to cost us if we had complied with the Kyoto Treaty. The range was between $300 and $330 billion a year as a tax.
“Now you fast forward to the current time. We have defeated every effort on the floor of the Senate for them to have a mandatory cap and trade or a greenhouse gas emissions tax. And now what they’re trying to do, Obama is trying to do in the White House, is what they’ve been unable to do through the legislative process.
“In fact, they only have 39 votes and they need 60 votes in the United States Senate. So they’re talking about an endangerment hearing … and if they’re successful in doing it this would open the door to lawsuits all over America. They could say if I’m cooking on my patio in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it could eventually get to the polar bear and all these silly things.
“So they’re really going to attempt to do this, and we just have to keep telling everyone they can’t do it legislatively so they’re trying to do everything from the White House. We can’t let it happen. This thing would be close to $400 billion a year as a tax increase.”
Martella noted that some Republicans have said cap and trade will add at least $3,000 a year to every American’s energy bill, and asked what would be the result if it is rammed through Congress.
“The $3,000 comes as a fairly accurate figure,” Inhofe said. It depends on what part of the country you’re from. It’s greater in the central part of the country than it is on both coasts.
“It would be huge and what it would amount to is something that would have no effect on reducing CO2.
“First of all, their assumption is that science agrees that CO2 causes global warming. Everyone thought that was true about seven years ago, but over the last seven years we found that hundreds of scientists have said it really isn’t true.
“If people want to see this, we have a Web site, inhofe.senate.gov. You can look that up and see the names of over 700 scientists that used to believe that CO2 caused global warming and now don’t believe it.
“For those people out there who still believe that CO2 [and other gases] are causing global warming, then ask yourself the question: What good does it do for us in the United States to unilaterally restrict and tax emissions if other countries don’t do it?
“It’s estimated by the Heritage Foundation that if they are successful in their endangerment findings in the White House, it will cost us 800,000 jobs almost immediately. The jobs, where would they go? They would go China, India, Mexico. They’d go to places where they don’t have any emissions restrictions.
“Consequently we would have a net increase worldwide in CO2, so it just doesn’t make any sense. But when you’re dealing with the Hollywood elitists, the extremist environmentalists, you don’t have to make sense.”
Martella asked if Republicans can mount an effective filibuster against cap and trade.
“We can beat it, but what we can’t beat is if they want to do it unilaterally through the Clean Air Act, through regulations,” Inhofe said. “That doesn’t take legislation.
“What we want to do is not be intimidated into going ahead and saying we can pass something less onerous than having it regulated from the White House under the Clean Air Act. I won’t do that. I won’t play that game with them. I want them to assume full responsibility so when the people of America find out it’s costing every taxpaying family $3,000 a year and they don’t get anything for it, I want it to be the White House’s fault and not ours.”
Regarding the Obama administration’s cuts in the Pentagon budget, Martella asked the senator — who also serves on the Armed Services Committee — what he views as the worst cuts.
Inhofe: “Let’s look at a few of the programs that he’s cutting. The F-22. That’s the only fifth generation fighter that we have. We have a total of 187 of them. We’re supposed to go up to 750. He’s stopping the assembly line now.
“In other words we’re not going to have any more fifth generation fighters. And yet Russia is cranking them out, the SU-30s, China is cranking them out. So our kids would be going into battle with F-15s and F-16s, which are not fifth generation fighters.”
He also mentioned cuts in transport planes and the missile defense system, adding: “These are things that are necessary to defend America and they’re gutting the military.”
Think about it: Bush put our country $1 Trillion in debt, and Obama is going to fix everything by putting us another $3.5 Trillion further in debt. It doesn't even make sense!
With the impending takeover of America's healthcare industry, the B.O. administration will have commandeered THREE major industries in this country in only THREE months in office. Next up: cripple ALL of American industry with "clean energy" legislation.
His goal is obviously social chaos, which historically has always preceded government intervention and takeover of industry.
Wake up, people, he is the worst kind of socialist. He is a fascist. Fascism is defined, in short, as a form of government control over business and labor called "the corporate state", and that is precisely where we are headed...
Universal Obamacare: Will It Bankrupt America?
By David Patten
April 22, 2009
A growing chorus of experts is warning the Obama administration’s plan to add 47 million people to the health-insurance rolls may kill hopes for a sustained economic recovery.
Obama’s healthcare plan would follow the $700 billion TARP bailout, the $787 billion stimulus, and a $410 billion, earmark-laden budget appropriation -- at a time when the U.S. budget deficit already exceeds $11 trillion.
Such staggering deficits are leading economists to question whether enough investment capital would be left over once the expected economic recovery takes hold. Any economic recovery could stall or be seriously limited, economists say.
Alarms over the cost of the program are sounding just as senators begin a series of roundtable discussions on health care. Democrats hope those discussions will lead to a bipartisan agreement.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are hosting those hearings. Grassley urged Tuesday that healthcare reform must be made “in a fiscally responsible way.”
Critics say Democrats’ healthcare proposals are far from fiscally responsible, however.
“What it will mostly do is bloat -- once again -- spending and borrowing,” Doug Bandow, a Cato Institute Senior Fellow, tells Newsmax.
Bandow says spending hundreds of billions more on healthcare will hurt job creation during a period of already high unemployment.
He adds that government economists have already warned the economic stimulus package will eventually reduce Gross Domestic Product by crowding out private investment. A massive healthcare bill will only make matters worse.
Bandow is not alone in his concerns.
In its January report on the budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office warned that even without the Obama health plan, the double whammy of high deficits and rising health-care costs could throttle the recovery.
“High deficits in the near term may be inevitable in the face of the financial crisis and severe economic weakness,” stated the CBO report. “However, once the nation gets past this downturn, it will still face significant fiscal challenges posed by rising healthcare costs and the aging of the population.
“Continued large deficits and the resulting increases in federal debt over time would probably constrain long-term economic growth by reducing national savings and investment, which in turn would cause productivity and wage growth to gradually slow,” the CBO concluded.
The greatest single threat to budget stability over the long run, according to the CBO: The sharp rise in Medicare and Medicaid. Such spending, the CBO reported, must be controlled “for the fiscal situation to be sustainable in future decades.”
Despite such troublesome reports, signs Democrats intend to push through health-care reform are as omnipresent as cherry blossoms in the Nation’s Capital these days. Among them:
The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee chaired by Sen. Edward Kennedy is also seeking to transform the nation’s healthcare system.
Baucus and Kennedy sent President Obama a letter Monday promising to have health care legislation ready for his review by June.
On Wednesday, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., will gavel in a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the health-insurance market.
Neither House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ruling out a special legislative maneuver, reconciliation, to fast-track healthcare reform, if Republicans refuse to play along.
Just how much will healthcare reform cost? Until the details are worked out, no one can say precisely. But if the ultimate program resembles at all the one Obama laid out during the campaign, the price tag will be staggering.
According to The Heritage Foundation, low-end estimates project a cost of $1.17 trillion over the first 10 years of the program -- far more than the $684 billion in Obama’s preliminary budgetary framework.
Another estimate pegs the cost at $1.6 trillion over the next decade. The highest estimate, which is based on a 7 percent annual inflation in medical costs, holds that the original Obama plan would cost $6 trillion over the next 10 years.
Such eye-popping numbers led former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an oft-mentioned GOP presidential contender for 2012, to tell Newsmax: “Not only is the cost like swallowing a pill the size of an elephant, even worse is that there is no indication that Obama is seriously addressing the real cost of healthcare in the United States -- chronic disease and the lack of preventive care.
“By simply adding more fuel to the raging fire of a disease-care system that fails to restructure the system,” Huckabee says, “he only accelerates our plunge into an unsustainable cost without addressing the root cause of the crisis.”
Based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, it is by no means clear how an aging America will pay for its rising healthcare costs even without universal care.
The CBO already predicts healthcare costs will swell -- from 5 percent of GDP this year to more than 6 percent in 2019, and approaching 12 percent by 2050.
Of course, rising costs are the very rationale cited by advocates of universal health care. People can’t afford insurance and medical costs are skyrocketing, they say, so the government needs to step in.
So what are the chances a system heavily regulated by the federal government will operate more efficiently? Not good, most experts agree.
“We can’t afford to have the government run anything else in our lives, because it doesn’t do it well, and it makes it much more expensive,” South Carolina GOP Sen. Jim DeMint tells Newsmax. “We need every American to have a health insurance policy that they can afford, and keep, and own -- something they have that is not from government.
“With the amount of money we’re already spending, the ability to get everyone insured,” DeMint continued, “if we’ll just develop the policies at the federal level that make it easier for people to buy insurance policies, and make insurance policies more competitive -- but the people in control make it harder and harder for individuals to have their own insurance. And now they’re saying, ‘There are uninsured people, so we need government healthcare.’ We don’t need government healthcare, that’s the last thing we need.”
Thomas P. Miller, a former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, calls the notion that the federal government can achieve net savings “political smoke.” While some savings may be generated, they will be poured back into the program to help offset costs, he says.
Indeed, Miller finds the economics of the current proposals so vague that he has labels them “faith-based initiatives.” And it is unclear, he says, how much more red ink the federal government can tolerate.
“We may have used up our reserve capacity to both borrow money, stretch the ability of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, the sustainability of the dollar as the long-standing reserve currency of the world’s economy,” he says. “All these things become harder, rather than easier, given how far we’ve either already climbed up that hill, or descended into that trench, depending on your perspective.”
The rising tab run up by the Obama administration is one reason Miller says its narrow political window for healthcare reform will only remain open through the end of the year. Congressional Democrats have cited a similar timetable.
In a sign it might compromise on elements of the plan in exchange for rapid approval, the Obama administration has suggested it might accept reforms that fall short of promises made on the campaign trail. And it is already drawing fire from the left for doing so.
Obama’s real objective, Miller says, is to “lock in” policies that transfer control of healthcare choices to politicians and technocrats in Washington. Purported cost savings, he says, are mere “rhetorical cover” for Obama’s primary political agenda.
All of which means businesses could soon be scrambling to find the capital they need, once the economic recovery begins in earnest.
“Once the economy gets going and business sees a real opportunity to invest and expand again, they’re going to bump up against the fact that the feds are spending an enormous amount of money,” Bandow says. “This is just going to transform the credit marketplace, and we can’t assume the Chinese will forever be helpful in buying all of our debt. What that does to interest rates, and what that does to private investment, could be quite significant.”
April 23, 2009
President Obama showed his hand this week when The New York Times wrote that he is considering converting the stock the government owns in our country's banks from preferred stock, which it now holds, to common stock.
This seemingly insignificant change is momentous. It means that the federal government will control all of the major banks and financial institutions in the nation. It means socialism.
The Times dutifully dressed up the Obama plan as a way to avoid asking Congress for more money for failing banks. But the implications of the proposal are obvious to anyone who cares to look.
When the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) intervention was first outlined by the Bush administration, it did not call for any transfer of stock, of any sort, to the government.
The Democrats demanded, as a price for their support, that the taxpayers "get something back" for the money they were lending to the banks. House Republicans, wise to what was going on, rejected the administration's proposal and sought, instead, to provide insurance to banks, rather than outright cash.
Their plan would, of course, not involve any transfer of stock. But Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., undercut his own party's conservatives and went along with the Democratic plan, ensuring its passage.
But to avoid the issue of a potential for government control of the banks, everybody agreed that the stock the feds would take back in return for their money would be preferred stock, not common stock.
"Preferred" means that these stockholders get the first crack at dividends, but only common stockholders can actually vote on company management or policy.
Now, by changing this fundamental element of the TARP plan, Obama will give Washington a voting majority among the common stockholders of these banks and other financial institutions. The almost 500 companies receiving TARP money will be, in effect, run by Washington.
And whoever controls the banks controls the credit and, therefore, the economy.
That's called socialism.
Obama is dressing up the idea of the switch to common stock by noting that the conversion would provide the banks with capital they could use without a further taxpayer appropriation.
While this is true, it flies in the face of the fact that an increasing number of big banks and brokerage houses are clamoring to give back the TARP money. Goldman-Sachs, for example, wants to buy back its freedom, as do many banks. Even AIG is selling off assets to dig its way out from under federal control.
The reason, of course, is that company executives do not like the restrictions on executive pay and compensation that come with TARP money.
It is for this reason that Chrysler Motors refused TARP funds.
With bank profits up and financial institutions trying to give back their money, there is no need for the conversion of the government stock from preferred to common — except to advance the political socialist agenda of this administration.
Meanwhile, to keep its leverage over the economy intact, the Obama administration is refusing to let banks and other companies give back the TARP money until they pass a financial "stress test."
Nominally, the government justifies this procedure by saying that it does not want companies to become fully private prematurely and then need more help later on. But don't believe it.
They want to keep the TARP money in the banks so they can have a reason and rationale to control them.
The Times story did not influence the dialogue of the day. People were much more concerned with the death of 21 horses at a polo match.
As much as we will miss these noble animals, we will miss our economic freedom more.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:
1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behavior.
As usual with him, it's BS. So per our last email thread, I'm downgrading Obama's performance to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived.
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McCain Facing 2010 Primary
By Ben Smith
April 21, 2009
Social conservatives tolerated John McCain as the party's nominee, but never trusted him, and he now appears to be facing a serious primary from the right in Arizona next year.
Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a prominent figure in the movement to clamp down on illegal immigration, will announcing tomorrow at an event on the Mexican border that he's resigned from the group to run in the 2010 Senate primary.
From a forthcoming release:
"John McCain has failed miserably in his duty to secure this nation's borders and protect the people of Arizona from the escalating violence and lawlessness," Simcox said. "He has fought real efforts over the years at every turn, opting to hold our nation's border security hostage to his amnesty schemes. Coupled with his votes for reckless bailout spending and big government solutions to our nation's problems, John McCain is out of touch with everyday Arizonans. Enough is enough."
McCain was forced to abandon his own immigration reform legislation during last year's Republican Primary, a move that may have cost him substantial Hispanic support to which his record could have given him access.
So he's basically getting it from both sides on this one.
Simcox, with a national base and a high profile on the right, is well positioned to give McCain a serious local headache. He'll find some allies among the conservatives who recently took over the Arizona Republican Party from McCain's allies, and he has a national fundraising base.
UPDATE: Here's his campaign website, which includes a clear effort not to be a single-issue immigration candidate.
Fascists reject the individualism and self-interest of laissez-faire capitalism.
it lovingly with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop.
It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table everywhere! Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.
And others birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.
After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. So I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests
they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be....quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.
Now let's see....
Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education and allows anyone born here to be an automatic citizen.
Then the illegals came by the millions. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families; you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor; your child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English.
Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to 'press one' to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than 'Old Glory' are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Just my opinion, but maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder.
The Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service were presenting an alternative to Wyoming Wool and Sheep Grower's Association for controlling the coyote population. It seems that after years of the ranchers using the tried and true methods of shooting and/or trapping the predators, the tree-huggers had a 'more humane' solution'.
What they proposed was for the animals to be captured alive, the males would then be castrated and let loose again. Therefore, the population would be controlled.
The ranchers thought about the proposal for a couple of minutes. Finally, an old boy in the back of the conference room stood up, tipped his hat back and said, 'Son, I don't think you understand our problem. Those coyotes ain't screwin' our sheep - they're eatin' 'em!'
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt..
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.
Put these words
upon his tomb,
' Taxes drove me to my doom....'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax, Building Permit Tax, CDL license Tax, Cigarette Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Dog License Tax, Excise Taxes, Federal Income Tax, Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA), Fishing License Tax, Food License Tax, Fuel Permit Tax, Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon), Gross Receipts Tax, Hunting License Tax, Inheritance Tax, Inventory Tax, IRS Interest Charges, IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Personal Property Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service Charge Tax, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax, Sales Tax, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Taxes, Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax.
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had NO national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
The Story of a Successful Rescue (and a Democratic Administration's Attempt to Claim Credit
By Jeff Emanuel
April 12, 2009
After four days of floating at sea on a raft shared with four Somali gunmen, Richard Philips took matters into his own hands for a second time. With the small lifeboat in which he was being held captive being towed by the American missile destroyer USS Bainbridge, and Navy Special Warfare (NSWC) snipers on the fantail in position to take their shots at his captors as soon as the command was given, the captive Captain of the M.V. Maersk-Alabama took his second leap in three days into the shark-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.
This diversion gave the Navy Special Warfare operators all the opening they needed. Snipers immediately took down the three Somali pirates still on board the life raft, SEAL operators hustled down the tow line connecting the two craft to confirm the kills, and a Navy RIB plucked Philips from the water and sped him to safety aboard the Bainbridge, thus ending the four-day-and-counting hostage situation.
* * *
Philips’s first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken. The guidance from National Command Authority — the President of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.
The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed, thanks again to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel due to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington, and a mandate from the Commander in Chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.
After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on-scene commander decided he’d had enough. Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life, and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK-47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life, and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.
Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA, and Philips was safe.
* * *
There is upside, downside, and spin-side to the series of events over the last week that culminated in today’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.
Almost immediately following word of the rescue, with reports — as they still are — conflicting each other on the order of events (and on the events themselves), the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean, and declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.
Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin today’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.
What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four-day-and-counting standoff between a rag-tag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
On Friday, April 10, as the standoff reached the end of its third day, I called on President Obama to take action to free the American hostage from his Somali captors. I outlined three possible operational tactics that could be used to do so; number 1 was the following:
(1) 2 helos, 2 snipers each: pop the [pirates] in their heads, then drop a rescue swimmer to escort the hostage up to one of the choppers. This works best if the hostage is aware of what is happening and can help without getting in the way — say, by hopping overboard as the gunships near, to divert attention and get out of the line of fire.
(This was written before the USS Bainbridge tethered the life raft to its stern, an action which eliminated the need for helicopters.)
Instead of taking direct, decisive action against the rag-tag group of gunmen, the Obama administration dilly-dallied, dawdled, and eschewed any decisiveness whatsoever, even in the face of enemy fire, in hopes that the situation would somehow resolve itself without violence — thus sending a clear message to all who would threaten U.S. interests abroad that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has no idea how to respond to such situations, and no real willingness to use military force to resolve them.
Any who think they weren’t watching every minute of this are guilty — at best — of greatly underestimating our enemies.
Like the crew of the Alabama, which took swift and decisive action to take back their own ship rather than wait for help from Washington that they knew could not be counted on, Captain Philips took matters into his own hands for the second time in three days this afternoon, leaping into the water to create a diversion and allowing the NSWC team to eliminate his captors. The result, of course, was the best that could possibly be expected: three pirates dead, the captain unharmed, and a fourth Somali man who had surrendered late Saturday night in custody.
One thing that will bear watching will be what the Obama DOJ attempts to do with the captive pirate. My money is on a life of welfare checks, a plot of land (in a red state, naturally), and voting rights in Chicago, New York, and Seattle.
In all seriousness, though, who knows? Obama could decide to get tough on the last surviving participant in the first pirating of an American ship since Thomas Jefferson sent the U.S. Marine Corps to root out and destroy the Barbary Pirates.
However, given the administration’s track record to date, I won’t be holding my breath on that one.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Ex-CIA Director: Obama Compromised National Security with Memo Release
("The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer, it really did," Hayden said.)
Obama Thanks CIA for Protecting America
(After releasing Top Secret documents against the will of the newly appointed CIA Director)
Otto Reich: Obama’s Encounter With Chavez Damaged U.S. Foreign Policy
(While Chavez calls it “The greatest triumph in Venezuelan diplomacy ever.”)
Sec. Clinton Urges Release of U.S. Journalist in Iran
(She was sentenced to 8 years in jail on false charges...an obvious slap in the face to Obama who one day earlier expressed concern for her safety.)
Obama Should 'Rethink' Gitmo Closing
(Since he has no clue about where to put the 240 prisoners)
Al-Qaida's Zawahri Slams Obama Plan for Afghanistan
(Even his enemies are right: Afghanistan is Obama's Iraq)
It is so amusing to watch liberals as they make feeble attempts at meaningful budget cuts. What's more, it is truly stunning to witness the way they "talk down" to us, treating us with such cynical disdain and believing that we are nothing more than "the ignorant masses".
Mark my words, the other shoe will drop on the second Tuesday in November, 2010...
Obama calling on Cabinet to cut spending
Apr 20, 2009
By STEVEN R. HURST
WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior administration officials says President Barack Obama is ready to ask federal department and agency chiefs to find $100 million to cut from the budget when he holds his first formal Cabinet meeting.
The official previewed Topic A for Monday's Cabinet meeting on grounds of anonymity because it will be a private session. He said Obama will be reminding Cabinet members that financially-pressed families are looking to the government to spend their money wisely.
The president's first formal Cabinet meeting is being held just days after a series of "Tea Party" demonstrations across the country in which protesters challenged the administration over it's massive spending. A cut of $100 million in a multitrillion-dollar federal budget likely will be criticized by Obama's opponents as inadequate.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
april 19, 2009
By Jim Myers
The Obama administration has a "deep disdain" for traditional American values, and the recent decision to release Bush-era memos about CIA interrogation techniques is an “absolute betrayal of national security,” former Sen. Rick Santorum tells Newsmax.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella, the Pennsylvania Republican, who served as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, lashed out at what he calls President Barack Obama's antipathy toward American values.
The former senator told Martella that Obama's choice of Harold Koh to be legal adviser in the State Department is indicative of the problem.
"Legal adviser to the State Department sounds like an innocuous position, but it’s sort of the head lawyer over at the State Department,” Santorum tells Newsmax. "Harold Koh strongly believes that we should ignore the U.S. Constitution, we should ignore the traditional jurisprudence in this country, and we should look to international organizations, international law, and import that into this country.
“He is one of many nominees that we’ve seen that have a deep disdain for traditional values in America, for the traditional way of doing things in this country, for the U.S. Constitution. And it’s another example of where this administration has really separated itself from American constitutionalism, from American tradition and American values.
As for Obama: “We can look at what he’s done on the economy, we can look at what he’s done on religious liberty, a whole host of issues — including his own judicial nominations, where he’s been very very clear that he wants nominees that put their own values in place of what the Constitution is or what the law is," Santorum says. "I can’t even tell you how far away this is from the founders’ vision of America.”
Santorum saved some of his harshest criticism for Obama's decision to release CIA interrogation memos. “I’d say if I’m a terrorist I’m feeling pretty good," he says. "I am now going to know every trick in the book that if I am captured they will use to interrogate me.
“And I have nothing to be worried about, because once they start on this interrogation [a terrorist is] going say, ‘I know that trick. That’s number 16 that you’re using on me and I know what you’re going to try to do to me here.’
“You might as well not bother to interrogate them because I guarantee you they’re going to get the manuals. They’re going to be well schooled, so that if you are captured here is what [interrogators] will do, and we will get absolutely no information, no intelligence to be able to help our effort to win this war.
“This is an absolute betrayal of the national security of this country, to give away these techniques to the enemy,” Santorum charges.
Martella asked Santorum for his views on other hot-button issues including the so-called cap-and-trade plan to curb carbon emissions.
“The idea of putting ourselves under a regime that limits our economic growth by putting in a de facto huge tax on our economy, on the manufacturing sector of our economy, which is what this cap and trade would do, to put the government in charge of carbon emissions, to have the government in charge of the lifeblood of our economy, and that is energy, is very very dangerous.
“And once they get an oar in the water they’re going to steer the boat. You saw it with the auto industry, ordering the firing of the CEO. You’re seeing it with Barney Frank dictating policies with our financial institutions. Cap and trade will be the [final step] of the left taking over the American economy.”
Martella also asked Santorum what are the biggest dangers of an international court.
“You have folks from around the world dictating domestic policy here in this country,” Santorum responded.
“For example, you could have a court saying that the death penalty is unconstitutional. To have a group of people from overseas tell us, tell the state of Texas, that they can’t execute anybody is not what our founders envisioned, and not what the Constitution lays out.
“You could also go to the issue of abortion or same-sex marriage."
“One of the things that Harold Koh is in favor of is the International Criminal Court, which could haul our servicemen and women who are serving in various countries around the world before that court to judge them on their behavior in defending this country.”
Are these nations who are quick to criticize America without fault? Is there not one of these loud-mouth leaders who wouldn't prefer to be the leader of OUR country instead of their pathetic, third-world regime? Good grief! How naive...
Obama Endures Ortega Diatribe
April 18, 2009
By Major Garrett
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago -- President Obama endured a 50-minute diatribe from socialist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that lashed out at a century of what he called terroristic U.S. aggression in Central America and included a rambling denunciation of the U.S.-imposed isolation of Cuba's Communist government.
Obama sat mostly unmoved during the speech but at times jotted notes. The speech was part of the opening ceremonies at the fifth Summit of the Americas here.
Later, at a photo opportunity with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Obama held his tongue when asked what he thought about Ortega's speech.
"It was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought."
The same will happen as a result of the EPA's ruling against so-called greenhouse gases, except that there will be dramatically higher costs across virtually every sector of our economy, and they will be paid by every consumer in America. Every product manufactured, every mile driven by anyone to go anywhere, every gallon of gasoline or diesel used to deliver products, every megawatt of power generated by fossil fuels...the list goes on and on.
Worse yet, this ruling empowers any citizen or government agency to file a lawsuit against manufacturers, power generation companies, public utilities, coal mining, oil exploration, refining and distribution, automakers and dealers. They can even sue your local gas station for dispensing an illegal substance, but yet these same zealots want to legalize marijuana. The list is endless and the reasons are downright laughable.
The justification for the government's action against cigarettes was that "cigarette smoking was dangerous to your health." Sound familiar?
The only difference between the bureaucratic ruling on cigarettes and Friday's bureaucratic ruling by the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency is that the Surgeon General was right and the EPA Director is dead wrong. So-called "global warming" - which has now been conveniently renamed "climate change" because the globe isn't warming anymore - is the greatest "con" ever perpetrated upon the American people.
Stand up and fight, America! Your way of life is being dramatically altered by a group of clueless, radical, liberal ideologues!
EPA moves toward regulating greenhouse gases
April 18, 2009
Sandy Bauers and John Shiffman
Apr. 18--WASHINGTON -- In a landmark move that countered eight years of inaction by the Bush administration, the Environmental Protection Agency determined yesterday that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare because they contribute to climate change.
The ruling set the stage for the agency to regulate emissions from a spectrum of sources, including automobiles, ships, airplanes, power plants, oil refineries, steel mills, and more.
Supporters and critics agreed that the finding was a game-changer with potentially profound consequences, though opponents warned that implementing new rules would have devastating impact on the economy.
The finding, which includes carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, is subject to a period of public comment, after which the agency has no timetable and broad leeway in how to proceed.
"This finding confirms that greenhouse-gas pollution is a serious problem now and for future generations," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said yesterday.
She said the solution would "create millions of green jobs and end our country's dependence on foreign oil."
Environmentalists said the decision, though long overdue, was the only logical course of action the government could take.
" 'Duh' may not be a scientific term, but it applies here," said Emily Figdor, global-warming director of Environment America. "Today, common sense prevailed over pressure from big oil and other big polluters."
Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.), chairman of the subcommittee on clean air and nuclear safety, said: "The science about global warming is clear. The need to act is urgent. This announcement is further proof that the Obama-Biden administration is serious about addressing global warming."
Opponents have said the finding will prompt an economic train wreck and a constitutional crisis.
Sen. James Inhofe (R, Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee and a leading skeptic on global warming, said the decision would "unleash a torrent of regulations that will destroy jobs, harm consumers, and extend the agency's reach into every corner of American life."
The petroleum industry called the action "the EPA's single largest and potentially most complex assertion of authority over the U.S. economy and Americans' lifestyle."
The manufacturing industry said the ruling would "burden an ailing economy while doing little or nothing to improve the environment."
And the electricity industry predicted massive costs to the nation and its households if coal-fired generation were to diminish significantly as a result of new regulatory programs.
"A more potent anti-stimulus package would be difficult to imagine," said Marlo Lewis, senior fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
The EPA said the finding was based on "rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analysis" of six gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.
They contribute to global warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Most of the gases come from smokestacks and tailpipes.
In an annual report released Wednesday, the EPA found that emissions of the six gases had increased 17 percent from 1990 to 2007, largely because of a boost in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. Carbon dioxide represents 85.4 percent of the emissions.
Climate change affects human health and welfare in many ways, causing both more frequent droughts and heavier storms, more intense heat waves and wildfires, rises in sea level, and harm to agriculture and natural resources.
The EPA's analysis also found that climate change has "serious national-security implications" because of the potential for political and social upheaval related to food shortages, environmental refugees, and clashes over fuel, water, and other resources.
Many expect the agency to address emissions from cars and trucks first, since the EPA already is considering California's request to allow the state to require new standards for autos that would reduce emissions.
As the process moves forward, the agency will have to consider what the best available technologies are and whether they are economically feasible. This is likely where the debate between environmentalists and industry will escalate.
Meanwhile, the Senate is working on legislation addressing greenhouse gases, and many predicted that yesterday's EPA announcement would speed up the effort.
Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.), who last year introduced a climate-change bill he said was supported by labor and industry, said it would be best if Congress settled the issue with a new law rather than leaving the issue to an administrative EPA rule.
"It deserves the analysis you get with congressional hearings and floor debates," Specter said.
Environmentalists said the finding would give states the leverage to move forward with their own plans.
"The worst strategy right now is to pretend that doing nothing is the cheapest course of action," said John Hanger, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "What's needed today is what was needed yesterday. Pennsylvania needs to move forward with energy conservation, with biodiesel, with technologies that capture carbon, with the solar program."
New Jersey DEP spokeswoman Elaine Makatura said officials were "very pleased" with the EPA decision, given that the state has been "feverishly working on its greenhouse gas emissions-reduction plan" and other initiatives.
The finding also could give the nation needed credibility and leverage at international climate meetings, supporters say.
"This is going to position us for a very aggressive role" at the next major international climate meeting, scheduled to take place in December in Copenhagen, Denmark, said Robert McKinstry, a partner at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll L.L.P. who is an expert in climate-change litigation. "Basically, international progress has been stymied by the United States' lack of participation."
Yesterday's finding is a response to a Supreme Court ruling handed down after Massachusetts -- later joined by New Jersey and other states -- sued the EPA to force it to regulate carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
The court ruled in 2007 that the EPA had the authority to determine whether greenhouse gases were a danger to human health. Such an "endangerment finding" would trigger an EPA obligation to regulate greenhouse gases.
By December 2007, career and political officials had prepared a draft that declared climate change a threat to public welfare. Bush's EPA administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, approved the document and it was e-mailed to the White House.
But in a move that would cement Bush's legacy on what every former EPA administrator has said is the most critical environmental issue, White House officials refused to open the e-mail attachment. They knew what was inside and that once the attachment was opened, it would become public record.
The White House asked Johnson to reconsider. Seven months later, he issued a watered-down climate-change document that called for more study. Johnson told The Inquirer last year that he did so as part of an effort to "provide some rationality to the debate based on the best available science that keeps in mind the economic consequences as well as energy security."
Former EPA political appointee Jason Burnett, who wrote the original finding and later resigned over its rejection, applauded the agency for directly addressing the health consequences of global warming.
He said it was a good idea to include all six gases, which would lead to more flexibility in meeting the overall goal of reducing emissions.
But best of all, he said, unlike his own experience under the previous administration, this time the endangerment finding "was actually proposed."