Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity

____________________________________

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

The Vail Spot's Amazon Store

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Six Months to Go Until The Largest Tax Hikes in History

By  Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, July 7, 2010 5:27 PM


In just six months, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1, 2011:


 (N.B. This version of the document contains even more tax hikes than the original version did) 

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors, small business owners, and families. These will all expire on January 1, 2011:

Personal income tax rates will rise. The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:
  • The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
  • The 25% bracket rises to 28%
  • The 28% bracket rises to 31%
  • The 33% bracket rises to 36%
  • The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%
Higher taxes on marriage and family. The “marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return from the first dollar of income. The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples relative to the single level. The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
The return of the Death Tax. This year, there is no death tax. For those dying on or after January 1 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.
Higher tax rates on savers and investors. The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in 2011. These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.
Second Wave: Obamacare
There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:
The Tanning Tax. This went into effect on July 1st of this year. It imposes a new, 10% excise tax on getting a tan at a tanning salon. There is no exemption for tanners making less than $250,000 per year.
The “Medicine Cabinet Tax” Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin).
The HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike. This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Brand Name Drug Tax. Starting next year, there will be a multi-billion dollar tax assessment imposed on name-brand drug manufacturers. This tax, like all excise taxes, will raise the price of medicine, hurting everyone.

Economic Substance Doctrine. The IRS is now empowered to disallow perfectly-legal tax deductions and maneuvers merely because it judges that the deduction or action lacks “economic substance.” This is obviously an arbitrary empowerment of IRS agents.

Employer Reporting of Health Insurance Costs on a W-2. This will start for W-2s in the 2011 tax year. While not a tax increase in itself, it makes it very easy for Congress to tax employer-provided healthcare benefits later.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have expired. These major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last year. According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear. Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or “depreciate”) equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can expense half of their purchases of equipment. In January of 2011, all of it will have to be “depreciated.”

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited. Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual “required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Can Sharks Go Exinct?

The apex species certainly can...here's video from the Discovery Channel.

Border Fence: 68% Voters Support It, 67% Political Class Oppose it...

Rasmussen Reports new poll on illegal immigration shows that 68% of likely voters support the continued building of a secure border barrier along the Mexican border.  Just as predictably, while more than 3/4ths voters (76%)  want Congress to build a secure border, only 67% of the "political class" (our ostensible rulers) oppose just such a barrier...and just a predictably, CBS News, is reporting that there is no violence along the border.  They soft soap report below shows.  This is what our political elite believes, yet, voters are strongly opposed.  This is yet another example of the "political elite" flouting the will of the people.



However, a large majority of voters are opposed the the DoJ's lawsuit against Arizona's recent law requiring police to check the immigration status of those they arrest for other crimes.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters nationwide oppose the Justice Department’s decision to challenge the Arizona law, and 61% favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state.


Fifty-four percent (54%) say the Justice Department instead should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Even more think the federal government should cut off funds to these “sanctuary cities.”

Most voters ages 40 and older say it is possible for the United States to end illegal immigration. Republicans by better than two-to-one are more confident than Democrats that it’s possible. Voters not affiliated with either party are more closely divided on the question.

Most members of the Political Class, however, say it can’t be done. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Mainstream voters say it is possible to stop illegal immigration, but 58% of the Political Class disagree.
But, here's the money statistic, and this is how highly Congress, and our political leadership are held on this as well as many other matters: 
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters say the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think anyway.
That just goes to show that it's way past time, regarless of party, to vote them ALL OUT IN NOVEMBER!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don't Buy This Stamp

While not all Muslims are terrorists...this stamp was issued at the instructions of Mr. Obama to commemorate the Muslim Eid...



REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. (the mastermind of this terrorist attack was recently released due to "terminal illness" who shows no signs of dying any time soon and who was welcomed home in Libya to a hero's welcome.)
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon. (in which a number of my friends were killed, none of whom were able, under the ROE, carry loaded weapons)
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Military Barracks in Saudi Arabia.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE.
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001.  (The worst attack on American civilians in our history)
REMEMBER all the hundreds of Americans who lost their lives that were lost in those MUSLIM terrorist attacks.

Remember, that when you go to the USPS to purchase stamps, merely say "No thank you, I don't want that stamp."  To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those Americans who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.

Democrats Keep Door Open to Dangerous Lame Duck Session

I received this from a retire journalist...one of the old  school kind who thinks that JourOLIST types are wrongheaded in their approach to his profession.
Washington, Jul 29 - Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement after offering a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives calling on Congress not to hold a lame duck session after Election Day for the purpose of passing hugely unpopular legislation like a national energy tax, enormous deficit spending bills, and the kickback to Big Labor known as “Card Check.”

“Americans are sick and tired of their elected leaders making backroom deals to ram through unpopular, 2000-page bills that no one has read,” said Chairman Price. “They are sick of out-of-touch politicians, and they are tired of being ignored. A number of Democrats, including members of their leadership, have recently expressed a desire to ignore the public will and use a lame duck session to pass liberal legislation Americans do not want. Today I gave my Democrat colleagues an opportunity to show they are finally ready to listen to the American people.

“Our system of government rests upon the consent of the governed, but it is quite clear that Democrats no longer have Americans’ consent. The public’s trust in this Congress has been repeatedly broken. Voting for a national energy tax and other items on the liberal wish list in a lame duck session would shatter it beyond repair. Republicans are fully prepared to do what is necessary to restore Americans’ trust in their elected representatives. We know it will be a long road, but it is one well worth traveling.”

Note: Instead of taking a clear stand on this issue, House Democrats chose to delay a vote on the Price resolution. The text of the resolution is available here.
Therein is the point...I've come to the conclusion that it won't be a lame duck session, but rather will be an attempt to ram through an insanely upopular Mad Duck session, that will further inflame the  anger of the electorate at the Democratic Party and end up doing damage to the party that this country cannot afford to have.  This is the course of political self destruction such as the country hasn't seen in almost 200 years...when the Federalist Party collapsed in the 1810-20 period.

Waiting For Obama's Statue

Giving Right of Way to Emergency Vehicles! IT IS THE LAW



I have lived in several states, visited many states and traveled through many states but I am in awe when it comes to the driver’s in the State of Maryland. Never have I ever seen such disrespect for the traffic laws than I have in this state.
I understand the importance of having to be at a specific place at a specific time; we wouldn’t be driving our cars in the first place if we didn’t. I also understand that generally, time is of the essence; as to the final destination, more than likely we should have been there “yesterday”.
In today’s world where the demand for things that usually involve time, we forget to add any extra time for the occasional things like rush hour, having to get gas because you forgot to look at the gas gauge on the way home the last time you drove and of course traffic accidents. So, this leaves everyone in hurry and with a huge disregard for traffic laws.
I would put forth that pulling over and stopping for an emergency vehicle has to be the one of many important traffic laws I have never seen enforced. I have seen police cars sitting at intersections as emergency vehicles have tried to get through them with difficulty and have them do nothing. I have seen police cars watch emergency vehicles on a call and have passenger cars (non-emergency vehicles) continue to drive at “posted speeds”, following too closely, not pull over and or attempt to pass the emergency vehicle.

BELOW IS A THE SECTION FROM THE MARYLAND DRIVER’S HANDBOOK ON GIVING “RIGHT-OF-WAY”. This is a mandatory read to get your driver’s license. The only altercations to the segment below are that I added the numbers and made it fit to the page for easier reading.

Right-of-Way
Laws govern the right-of-way, but never put these laws ahead of safety. The right-of-way means the right of one vehicle or pedestrian to proceed in a lawful manner on a highway in preference to another vehicle or pedestrian. If you have the right-of-way and others yield it to you, proceed immediately.
1. You must, of course, obey stop signs; yield signs and traffic signals at intersections.
2. If you enter the intersection after another vehicle, you must yield the right-of- way.
3. If you are about to turn left at an intersection or into an alley, private road or driveway, you must yield the right-of-way to other pedestrians and vehicles until it is safe to turn.
4. If you are entering a public street or highway from a private road or driveway, you must stop and yield to all approaching vehicles and pedestrians.
5. If a traffic light turns green for you, you must still yield to pedestrians and vehicles in the intersection. Be on the lookout for red light runners.

Authorized emergency vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances and fire engines, have the right-of-way when they are giving a signal, either audible (siren) or visual (flashing light). When you hear or see a vehicle approach, you should immediately drive to the curb and stop, remaining stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed. Do not follow any fire apparatus closer than 500 feet when it is responding to an emergency.

“Maryland’s Driver Handbook”

I have touched on some personal observations and some legal ones (according to Maryland’s Driver Handbook) now to put a touch on the ethical and maybe some morality issues that one might bring up.
The section I am providing below is from a book called, “The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living” By: Joseph Telushkin. Although it is from a book based on Jewish values, I would hope that one would consider the actual thought behind what was written.

“The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living”
By: Joseph Telushkin

Week 1, Day 1
Sunday
On Hearing a Siren
What is your reaction when you are talking with a friend and your conversation is suddenly interrupted by the piercing wail of an ambulance siren? Is it pure sympathy for the person inside -- or about to be picked up by -- the ambulance, or do you feel some measure of annoyance? Similarly, how do you react when you are awakened from a deep sleep by a series of clanging fire trucks or the wail of a police car?
I am embarrassed to admit that, along with many others, my initial reaction to such noises is often impatience and annoyance rather than empathy. My friend Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, known throughout the Jewish world as "Reb Zalman," suggests that whenever we hear the sound of a passing ambulance we offer a prayer that the ambulance arrive in time. Similarly, whenever our sense of calm is interrupted by fire trucks, we should pray to God that the trucks arrive in time to save the endangered people and home. We should also pray that no firefighter be injured. And when we hear police sirens, we should implore God that the police respond in time to the emergency.
Reb Zalman's suggestion is profound. By accustoming ourselves to uttering a prayer at the very moment we feel unjustly annoyed, we become better, more loving people. The very act of praying motivates us to empathize with those who are suffering and in need of our prayers. Furthermore, imagine how encouraging it would be for those being rushed to a hospital to know that hundreds of people who hear the ambulance sirens are praying for their recovery.
Speaking to a Jewish group once in Baltimore, I shared Reb Zalman's suggestion. After my talk, several people commented on how moved they were by this idea, but one woman seemed particularly emotional when she spoke of this suggestion. When she was ten, she told me, she had been awakened from a deep sleep by passing fire trucks. It was almost one in the morning, and now, twenty-five years later, she still remembered her first response: it was so unfair that her sleep had been ruined.
The next morning she learned that her closest friend, a girl who lived only a few blocks away, had died in the fire. Ever since, she told me, whenever she hears fire trucks go by, she prays that they arrive at their destination in time.
Loving one's neighbor is usually carried out through tangible acts, by giving money or food to those in need, by stepping in and offering assistance to a neighbor who is ill, or by bringing guests into one's home. But sometimes loving is expressed through a prayer that connects us to our neighbor, even when we have no way of knowing just who our neighbor is.

The first time I read this, I thought to myself, this is so very true. When YOU hear the siren is your first reaction to either hurry up, move and get out of the way or is it a bother and you continue about your business as usual?And as we choose one or the other and most of the time it is most likely the latter of the two choices. But when it involves YOU personally it is completely different.
We all expect for an emergency vehicle to get there in an expeditious manor if we are the ones placing the call. We stand around and anxiously look at our watches or phones and ask ourselves why it is taking so long for them to get there. But when we are not the ones placing that call, for most of us we will find that allowing the emergency vehicles to do their jobs is just “getting in the way” of what our current priorities are at the time.
This is what everyone needs to remember, when they hear or see an emergency vehicle: slow down, look around, turn down or better yet turn off the radio, get off the phone and pay attention because the very person’s life that they are saving could be someone you love or care about very much.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Protesting Overpaid Civil Servants in Bell, California

The people of Bell, California protesting rediculously high municipal salaries...

Ruling Class Disease...

Recently the NY Post reported on Barney Frank's acting out when he was denied a senior citizen's discount because he didn't have the requisite county issued senior's ID card. 
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank caused a scene when he demanded a $1 senior discount on his ferry fare to Fire Island's popular gay haunt, The Pines, last Friday. Frank was turned down by ticket clerks at the dock in Sayville because he didn't have the required Suffolk County Senior Citizens ID. A witness reports, "Frank made such a drama over the senior rate that I contemplated offering him the dollar to cool down the situation." Frank made news last year when he was spotted looking uncomfortable around a bevy of topless, well-built men at the Pines Annual Ascension Beach Party. Frank's spokesperson confirmed to Page Six that his partner, James Ready, asked the ticket office for a regular ticket for himself and a senior ticket for Frank, "but was turned down because Frank didn't have a resident ID."

It seems that our "ruling elite" has become so wrapped up in their perq's that they get irate when the little people deny what they believe is their "right."   They get so wrapped upn in the belief that they "are important, and you're and ignorant swine for not recognizing me."  When you include many politicians avoiding taxes (John Kerry's yacht, Tim Geithner's tax avoidance until appointed to high office...) a patter begins to emerge.  In the article America's Ruling Class -- And the Perils of Revolution Angelo M. Codevilla says,
Never has there been so little diversity within America's upper crust...until our own time America's upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter...Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct.
There's a great deal of truth in that passage and therein lies the problem.  Those who now run the country in Washington, have forgotten what is important to "flyover country"...and those issues aren't the ones that are important in the capital. 

I have a very good friend who is intimately involved in politics.  While he is a great admirer of the Tea Party movement, he does, often, decry the "amatuerishness" of many of the first time candidates.  An excellent example of this is the GOP nominee in Nevada who seems hell bent on losing the race BECAUSE she's not a professional politician.  For many of us who are only now becoming actively involved in politics, this isn't necessarily a drawback.  Too many of the "political class" have begun to demand privileges for "serving us."  Forgetting that they SERVE us...not we them.

For this reason, I have come to the conclusion that regularly changing our Congressmen and Senators is an excellent idea.  I'm not certain that term limits are the answer either, because they would  raise the importance of the "professional staffers" of the various committees as well as the congressional office  staff.  However, I'm not opposed to a constitutional amendment limiting duration of office tenures either.  After all, we limit the number of consecutive terms a President may serve,
Amendment 22 - Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951

  1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President, when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.
  2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.
Though, I think that limiting the number of terms in a lifetime isn't the answer here.  I think it would have been better to have worded it to say "two consecutive terms...".  So, perhaps we should so limit the amount of time any particular Congressman or Senator may serve in Washington...but that might not stop the problem either...so...what are your suggestions, please feel free to comment and offer up suggestions.

The National Tax System Is Failing

Falling tax revenues, sharply rising costs of Social Security, Medicaid, as well as the impending huge increase in federal spending for ObamaCare, the present recession has begun to expose the major weaknesses the American system of taxation. The millstone of entitlement programs will eventually strangle our government and cause our government to fall into bankruptcy. Several states are already on the verge of the abyss, California, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are those nearest to the edge.
What all these states, as well as the federal government have in common are a "progressive" income tax system wherein the wealthy pay much, much higher rates than those in lower income brackets. In the instance of the federal tax system, almost half pays no income tax at all...what's fair about that? The Democratic Party has been demanding dramatic increases in the tax structure with the Mr. Obama making increasingly strident calls that the wealthy pay "their fair share." At the present time, the Republican Party in particular and conservatives in general have vehemently opposed any possible hikes in taxes, but that hasn't prevented them from supporting increased spending...something that must be accomplished in order to balance the budget and end deficit spending.

In the case of those states that have, in the past several years, significantly raised their higher rates, or have instituted "millionaire's" taxes, those who can afford to do so, fled the states in droves. Maryland past such a tax that would cover roughly 300,000 people. In the very next year, 100,000 people fewer reported incomes in the requisite income bracket. California and New Jersey have passed similar taxes and are experiencing similar flight of higher income populations.

There are two possible solutions to this dilemma, both would require a massive overhaul of the present tax system. The first alternative would be to pass a flat income tax rate applicable to ALL people and businesses, such as that which then candidate Steve Forbes proposed ten years ago during the 2000 presidential campaign. If that route is chosen, then almost certainly an exception would have to be made for those below the poverty level...but then, no other possible exceptions should then be made. This would dramatically raise the funds available to the federal government.

The other alternative would be to institute a Value Added Tax. A VAT works like this
A farmer grows wheat and sells it to the miller. A tax is paid by the farmer on the sale price of the wheat and is included in the price. When the miller sells the flour made from the wheat, a tax is assessed on that sale as well. But the miller subtracts the tax he paid when he bought the wheat. When the baker buys the flour, he pays the tax included by the miller, which also includes the tax paid by the farmer. When the baker sells bread made from the flour, the tax is assessed once again. But as in earlier cases, the baker gets credit for all the previous taxes paid.

In each case, an invoice trail shows the taxes paid at each step. Those at each stage of production and distribution have an incentive to pay the tax so that they will get credit for the taxes they paid when they purchased goods from other businesses. Thus the tax is only assessed on value added--the difference between what a producer paid for inputs and what he was able to sell that was made from those inputs.
However, that wouldn't balance the budget, nor would it end the hemorrhaging of deficit spending. The only possible solution to that would be to seriously cut spending that isn't necessary to the maintenance of the government. Only by reigning in spending will we be able to begin to reduce the monumental size of our debt. One way to control that would be a constitutional amendment that requires spending cuts in one area, spending rises in other areas. There are even some novel ideas being bandied about how to do this
There are even more new ideas (and political and economic benefits) to go along with this new (and superior) tax policy.

Why aren’t we talking about increasingly popular ideas like constitutional spending caps? Why aren’t we lauding the replacement of the the bureaucratic entitlement state with a yearly stipend for every American (see Fair Tax rebate or Charles Murray)?

Instead of fighting against a welfare state that most Americans still support (Soc. Sec., “health care reform,” and public education), why aren’t we framing our ideas as the “individualization” of government assistance through retirement accounts, health savings accounts, and scholarships and education savings accounts?
The real worry is that, as a nation, we are too far gone to recover from the stupidity of our politicians of the past 80 or so years. Our government cannot continue to spend money that we don't have. If I write a check, and don't have the necessary funds in my account, I can go to jail...so we are sentencing our children to several generations of severe austerity in order to pay for our lifestyle. The time has come to pay the bills, and not leave them for the future.

Port of Call, Pt 2

Here are some photographs I took of 2 ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force here in Baltimore's Inner Harbour.


Here's a bow on shot of the DDG

Close up of the  Bridge and forcastle

Both vessels...DDG on the right and an FFG (the Japanese class it as a Destroyer Escourt [DE])





DD-125 Sawayuki (it's the equivalent of an FFG)



Otobreda 76 mm guns

quad Harpoon SSM launcher mounted above a
Type 68 triple 324 mm (12.8 in) torpedo tubes



ASROC anti-submarine rocket octuple launcher mounted on the stern of the FFG





JounoList = SociaList

You can find an excellent breakdown of 106 members of the JournoList and their professional and political affiliations here.  With the passage of time, it's becoming more and more obvious that JournoList was more than just a place "progressives" could go for like minded conversations.  It was a place for the "unofficial campaign" to control the media message for Barack Obama to congregate and plan strategy for the 2008 election camapaign.    Since then, it had been used as a clearing house for talking points and plotting strategy for the Obama Agenda.

Deficit Commission to Call for Massive Tax Hikes

It looks like Obama's Deficit Commission (officially National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform) will recommend dramatically huge hikes in taxes to cover the tremendous increase in spending since the Democrats took control of the budget process in 2007.  A token member of the "bipartisan comission," Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, on ABC News,, has hinted that the debt commission will recommend an unprecedented $26.7 trillion tax increase.   He said,
"Everything has to be on the table - there's no question about that... Erskine Bowles, one of the co-chairmen of the commission, has suggested a 75-25 split -- 75 percent of the savings being in spending, and 25 percent in revenues... I think it's likely that there will have to be a revenue component, but it should be significantly, dramatically -- and a 3-1 ratio is pretty dramatic -- dramatically less than the initiatives in the spending side of the ledger."
 I suspect that this is so much bull shit, my self.  What I think will occur is while cuts in spending will be suggested, no such cuts will occur.  Neither the Democrats or the Republicans have ever really cut spending in the past.  Nor have they ever actually cut programs.  The GOP has a history of continuing spending while cutting taxes (Reagans tax cuts of the 1980's)...which has hurt the country nearly as much as the gigantic increases under the Democrats in the past 3 years. 

In addition to a whole raft of new taxes that stem from ObamaCare and the proposed new "fees" and "penalties" in Cap & Trade, we'll see steep increases in capital gains (which will strangle business investment) as well as a sharp increase in income tax rates across the board.  That won't touch the unfunded liabilities that are inherent in Social Security or Medicare. 
Bowles and Gregg can only be talking about cutting $3 in promised Social Security and Medicare benefits in exchange for $1 in tax increases. In other words, 1/4 of the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare would be paid for with tax hikes. So how big is that? According to the 2009 Social Security and Medicare Actuaries' Report, the long-run insolvency of the Social Security and Medicare systems is $106.8 trillion (with a "t") over the infinite horizon. To close this gap with one-quarter tax hikes is, therefore, to raise taxes by $26.7 trillion.


All of this will give the Democrats cover (as well as  the GOP for that matter) to enact a Value Added Tax, which the Dem's have been covetting since the 1960's...so the Mad Duck session of Congress in December should be wildly entertaining at the least.

Bugs Bunny Turns 70....

Bugs turned 70 yesterday...but I missed it.  Here's his 51 1/2 spectacular from 1991.

had the video...but it's bugged. hit the link for the video.

Green Eggs & Scam

by Anonymous


I do not like this Uncle Sam,

I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks,
or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan ,
I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'.

I do not like this spending spree---
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.

I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.

I do not like this kind of hope.
I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!

Go green - recycle Congress in 2010!

Hillary Clinton Was Right: Obama Is Not Ready For This Job



Here's a new ad:
Barack Obama's presidency has been a disaster. He is either unwilling to or incapable of doing his job. The economy is in shambles, the government is failing, and Americans are losing hope. Barack Obama was not ready to be President. He's not the solution. You are.


You have the opportunity to turn our economy, our government, and our country around by electing Republicans and restoring your voice in Washington. But to win this fall, we must start today. It's up to you to save your country. Are you ready? Because November starts now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Port Of Call, Part 1

Two Vessels of the (formerly Imperial Japanese Navy) Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force are on an official port of call...here are a couple of really bad cell phone photographs.  I'll take some more when I go and do the tour upon the morrow.

FFG (JMSDF defines this as a DE)

Nice Bow Shot

JMSDF Naval Jack

Murder in Palm Beach, Florida

From the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel...a report of a murder of a friend.  If you have any possible information please contact the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office.

John Lauseng always carried a gun to work at his gold store in suburban West Palm Beach. But the Boynton Beach man didn't get a chance to pull it out and defend himself before he was shot dead Monday morning outside the store.


Two masked men surprised Lauseng around 8:30 a.m. as he opened West Palm Coin & Jewelry Exchange at 1784 N. Congress Ave., according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

The men, who were dressed in black and armed with semi-automatic guns, followed Lauseng into the store, said PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera. It is unclear what happened inside the store, Barbera said, but the men shot Lauseng, 44, as he managed to get outside and tried to run away from the apparent robbery. He staggered across the street, where he collapsed in the Circle K parking lot with one bullet in his torso and another in his arm, Barbera said. Lauseng later died at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Deputies are searching for the two shooters, who were seen driving north in a dark green van with tinted windows.One is described as being around 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds. The other is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.

A third person was likely driving the getaway van, Barbera said.

Lauseng leaves behind a wife, Tina, two sons, 23 and 20, and a 5-year-old daughter.

"He had a very dangerous job, but I never thought this would happen," said Tina Lauseng, his wife of 24 years.

She said her husband carried a gun to work every day but had never been robbed.

John Lauseng owned several jewelry businesses and moved with his wife to South Florida from Michigan nine years ago. He was supposed to catch a flight Monday to meet her back in their home state to visit family. Instead, she will fly back to Florida to bury him.

Tina Lauseng said her husband was a generous man, the kind of guy who gave money to panhandlers and hired homeless workers.

"He believed in people when no one else would," she said.

The family is still in shock, she said, and their children are just starting to deal with losing their father. She plans to take over the store, as her husband would have wanted, she said.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-8477.

This is New York

This is what is in store for America...should we allow it. The photographs following were taken on Madison Avenue in New York City...not in the Middle east, or South Asia, but here in the heart of America.










In many cities in Europe, the rule of law has been suspended as the police no longer enter muslim enclaves. Every summer in France, [muslim] "youth's" riot for the official enactment of Sharia Law...now, in New York City, a Saudi Arabian financed group wants to build a 15 story most within a block or two the where the World Trade Center Towers once stood. Buildings that were destroyed by Muslims.

The proposed name of this mosque is of great consequence, though few in the West and especially in America where European history is not as widely known: The Cordoba House. What is incendiary about this seemingly innocuous title? Cordoba was the capital of Al Andulus which is what the Berber/Arabs called the portion of the Iberian Peninsula, which is now known as the Kingdom of Spain. Muslims, have never recognized that the Kingdoms of Castile and Leon after the reconquest of Grenada, the last Muslim enclave on the Iberian Peninsula.

Thus, even in Muslim publications, this proposed name is understood for what it means. It means that the Saudi financiers mean to begin to speed the religious conquest of the Americas. They are staking a claim to "Ground Zero" in New York City as a religious site holy to those "martyrs" (we call them terrorists) who gave their lives to initiate this jihad against our country
The project by Muslims to build a mosque in the United States, close to the place where the 9/11 attack took place, is causing quite a stir. It is worth noting that the name chosen for the mosque is confrontational and provocative. The first Cordoba mosque was built in that Spanish city in the aftermath of the Muslim conquest of Christian Spain. This Islamic “Conquista” was followed by the killings of men, and the enslavement of women, many of whom were carried away to the Arab lands to work as servants and concubines for their Muslim masters. For both Arabs and Muslims, the history of their conquests remains as a symbol of their past glory, and power. They have no thoughts of remorse or shame, when they recall those heinous crimes that accompanied the colonization of Spain!


Nowadays, some Muslims in America dream of repeating that ugly history of Islamic imperialism. In fact, I submit that the very choice of “Cordoba” as the name for the projected mosque was not an innocent one. On the contrary, it indicated a longing for the resumption of Islamic futuhat (conquests) throughout the world.

Actually, New York City has already several Sunni and Shi’ite mosques. It is a known fact that the Irhabi ideology has infiltrated many of the Sunni centers; while some Shi’ite mosques have allowed Iranian Intelligence services to operate freely within them.
We, as a people must not allow this mosque to be built.  Islam, has a long history of preempting historic and religious sites of other cultures as it's own by establishing either mosques on those site, or simply destroying them.  Look at the giant statues of Buddha in Bamyan that stood in Afghanistan for more than 15 centuries...only to be destroyed by the Taliban less than a decade ago despite world wide protests.  Following the conquest of Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, in order to forstall Jewish claims, Caliph Umar, built the Al Aqsa Mosque, a site that still causes unrest in Isreal today.  In Constantinople, following it's conquest by the Turks in 1453, they converted the Cathedral of Haggia Sophia into a mosque.  In India, many religious sites such as,
Ram Janmabhoomi refers to a tract of land in the North Indian city of Ayodhya which is the birthplace of Lord Rama. Archeological Survey of India, after conducting excavations at the site reported that prior to 1528, a temple stood at this site but with the arrival of Mughals the temple was demolished and replaced with Babri Mosque.[11] many other temples were also demolished and replaced with mosques.


The 1986 edition of the Encyclop√¶dia Britannica stated that "Rama’s birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Moghul emperor Babar in 1528 on the site claimed of an earlier temple".[12]
These are merely the most famous examples of preemption by Muslims.  We must stop this now, before it's too late.  Either that, or prepare for dhimmitude...and be ready to pay a tax and face 2nd class citizenship for being a non-believer.  IT CAN HAPPEN HERE!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Deficit Projections $150 Billion Low

It' looks like the Obama Administration for the 2nd straight year has lowballed it's projections on the deficit.  In Feb, 2010, when it was trying to get it's budget for FY2011 through Congress, the Obama Administration provided figures that have proven to be as much as 10% lower than what is actually coming to pass.  Imagine that, the goverment projections of debt are proving to be much higher than anticipated.




Sen. Judd Greg on the new numbers: 
It should come as no surprise that after five months of unchecked spending by the Democratic Congress, our fiscal situation is getting worse, not better,” said Senator Gregg. “Deficits in the coming years will be astronomical, for as far as economists are able to project. We knew the outlook was dire earlier in the year, but that didn’t stand in the way of the Democrat’s $2.5 trillion health care package or the $34 billion in new mandatory spending that the President has proposed since he put his budget out in February.

Furthermore, the Mid-Session Review applauds the Administration’s Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act as a fiscal discipline tool enacted since the Budget was sent to Congress in February this year. What it fails to mention is that the Democrats have abandoned fiscal responsibility by excluding $69 billion of deficit spending from the official Pay-Go ledger.
What this portends is that the Obama Deficit Commission will present a case that since tax revenues are down, and there are no "viable recommendations to reduce spending" in order to pay for more government, we'll just have to raise taxes.  Just what we need in the midst of a deep recession...raise taxes and guarantee that there will be far more government intervention.

Additionally, this should come as no suprise since most of those in the "business of government" are far more interested in regulating and controlling the economy while the great mass of the people vastly prefer a free market economy. 
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely Voters prefer free markets over a government managed economy. Just 14% think a government managed economy is better while 11% are not sure. These figures have changed little since December...[however] America’s Political Class is far less enamored with the virtues of a free market. In fact, Political Class voters narrowly prefer a government managed economy over free markets by a 44% to 37% margin. However, among Mainstream voters, 90% prefer the free market.

So the chances of Congress, as it is presently constituted, actually reducing the size and scope of government are right up there with "slim and none."

UK Plans To Close Down National Health Care

After 52 years of disservice, the United Kingdom has decided to close down it's nationalized health care system. Of course, the present American administration has instituted ObamaCare modeled closely after the UK's system.  From Sarah Lyall and the NY Times:  
Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.  The plan would also shrink the bureaucratic apparatus, in keeping with the government’s goal to effect $30 billion in “efficiency savings” in the health budget by 2014 and to reduce administrative costs by 45 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost because layers of bureaucracy would be abolished.   In a document, or white paper, outlining the plan, the government admitted that the changes would “cause significant disruption and loss of jobs.” But it said: “The current architecture of the health system has developed piecemeal, involves duplication and is unwieldy. Liberating the N.H.S., and putting power in the hands of patients and clinicians, means we will be able to effect a radical simplification, and remove layers of management.”
This is pretty much the system that is being emplaced under ObamaCare...a federalized bureaucracy in which government employees make life and death decisions for the proletarian masses...while Congress and government employees are covered under a much better system.  After decades of missuse and mismanagement, the British have finally decided to do away with much of their dreaded system.

Friday, July 23, 2010

John Kerry, Hypocrit...bails on Massachusetts Taxes

The hypocrisy of the liberal left can be breath taking at times.  Take for example, United States Senator and former Presidential candidate John Kerry (now the senior Senator from Massachusetts).  He, and his family's (i.e. his very wealthy wife's trust) have saved $500,000.00 in taxes by docking their yacht in Rhode Island, rather than in the state they live, Massachusetts. 
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.  Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.  But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.
Mr. Kerry is from a state that is deeply in debt, and still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax as well as an excise tax on yachts.  According to sources Mr. Kerry's boat, the Isabel sold for nearly $7 million.  This means that Mr. Kerry  and his family saved roughly, $437,500 in sales tax as well as avoiding the annual excise tax of about $70,000.  This is a man who could have been President of the United States, yet he, like many in the present cabinet of President Obama, have managed to avoid paying taxes that the rest of us are forced to pay.  It must be nice to be wealthy...or to marry those who are. 

Same As It Ever Was

Us vs Them

By
JP Bender

An age old proven method, to attain and control the political agenda of arrogant, elite, propagandists in their pursuit to control a nation.


In dictatorships like Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Benito Mussolini, Kim Jong Il, Fidel Castro, etc., the Us vs. Them philosophy was used to demonize those not in the inner circle and to sway the citizens into a frenzy for hypnotic support.

It has always been an effective way to seize power in dictatorships. Blame others for past problems, constantly hammer away that we know better than the common man and we will make your life better from the cradle to the grave. Once in power the common man is quickly forgotten and is no longer a factor.

Now the Us vs. Them approach has gained a newfound foothold, not in a dictatorship in a foreign country but in a democracy – right here in America.

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, along with a host of whore “journalists,” have successfully convinced America that it is Us vs. Them.

The mantra that it was all ‘George W. Bush’s fault’ started the demonizing within hours of Obama’s swearing in ceremony. You remember that day – when millions of Americans were told that hope and change was now a reality. That mantra continues to this day and if you don’t hear it five times a week you must be in the Antarctica.

We were assured that the new administration would be open and transparent and would operate on a bipartisan basis, after all this was a new dawn and Americans would come first.

We quickly were told, by Pelosi and Reid, that bipartisanship was not possible because the president had a congress with a majority to stop filibusters and he didn’t need minority support. The republicans were obstructionists because they wouldn’t support the White House’s agenda.

We soon learned that trillions would overshadow wild spending by Bush; but it all started when Bush wasted a mythical five trillion surplus handed to him by Bill Clinton. Radical programs, unpopular with Americans, were rammed through Congress, without reading them to find faults and their true costs. Step by step, Obama is building a record of major legislation that's equal to that of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Obama has given us the most sweeping financial regulation since the Great Depression, provided the expansion of health care, which Democrats have wanted for more than six decades. A $862-billion stimulus package that locked in long-sought Democratic priorities.

Despite the fact economy remains shaky. Obama went further with a big-government, big-deficit approach than some voters wanted, notably independents, who now have turned against him. Obama has broken some of his own promises in the process thus becoming a backroom deal-making politician to get his health care reform package. But the loyal members of the liberal media don’t cover this part of the news.

Americans give the president mixed reviews. According to the latest Gallup Poll, only 44 percent approve of his performance in office, while 48% disapprove.

Obama’s biggest problem is that unemployment remains high and people are worried about their jobs, their paychecks and, if they have any, their savings.

The White House reported last week that the economic stimulus had saved or created about 3 million jobs. Some tout that success while others don’t think it is a reasonable estimate. The liberal news media accepts that finding equal to the word of God. But most don't buy hypothetical conclusions, because Obama said that unemployment would stay below 8 percent, if Congress enacted his stimulus package; instead, it jumped past 10 percent and is now hovers at 9.5percent.

Many question benefits yet from such major initiatives as healthcare, which is being phased in over several years. The price tag has already risen by $250 billion according to the Office of Management and Budget. It seems in their haste to provide data, some issues were overlooked.

The White House is preparing to launch a new summertime campaign to turn that around. This past Friday, senior White House adviser David Axelrod stressed the president's achievements, and said the political benefit would take care of itself.



"Obama’s motivation was not politics. Someone once said that good government is good politics, and it's certainly true," Axelrod said, referring to a quote from the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.



Axelrod cited the new financial regulations that will protect credit card users and mortgage borrowers, the health care law's guarantee of insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions and the student loan overhaul's expansion of aid to college students. The news media reported all of this without questioning or verifing.



If we have learned anything in the first 18 months of the Obama administration, there are two important points to remember; it is all George W. Bush’s fault and it’s Us vs. Them. What happened to the We as in We The People?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Obama's "Non-Official" Campaign...

In 2008, any one who wasn't a raving Obama supporter had some serious misgivings about the white wash coverage given to his campaign and his one sheet resume (he only  had 4 jobs prior to running for president).  Non, via the Daily Caller we're getting an insider's view of how the media was an active participant in his campaign.

Following the section of John McCain of then sitting  Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin as his running mate, there was a very serious discussion on JournoList on how to discredit her.  Michael Cohen of New America Foundation wanted to use the line that a one-term governor wasn't qualified to be president.  Jonathan Stein, of Mother Earth News retorted that the GOP would point to Mr. Obama's even thinner resume.  But the big money quote is where several member's referred to themselves as the "non-official campaign." 
Daniel Levy of the Century Foundation noted that Obama’s “non-official campaign” would need to work hard to discredit Palin. “This seems to me like an occasion when the non-official campaign has a big role to play in defining Palin, shaping the terms of the conversation and saying things that the official [Obama] campaign shouldn’t say – very hard-hitting stuff, including some of the things that people have been noting here – scare people about having this woefully inexperienced, no foreign policy/national security/right-wing christia wing-nut a heartbeat away …… bang away at McCain’s age making this unusually significant …. I think people should be replicating some of the not-so-pleasant viral email campaigns that were used against [Obama].”
Unfortunately for America, many journalists have continued this propagandistic line of attack upon Mr. Obama's opponents.  First and foremost, the members of JournoList have used the "racist" epithet on Mr. Obama's opponents...to the point where it's no longer a powerful tool of the left.  When you so label broad swaths of the electorate (see pretty much any poll of the past 6 months wherein Mr. Obama's favorable ratting has sunk below 50%), those people tend to get very very angry.  This will hurt the Democratic party dearly in this November's elections...but don't underestimate the ability of the GOP to FUBAR things up...

JournoList, It's Meaning & Logo

The ever inssightful Ed Driscoll has a great post on the fallout of just what the existence of JournoList means...and he had this:


The new unofficial, "Official JournoList Logo"...
But then, just as the JournoList is McCarthyism through a fun-house mirror, it’s also an inversion of the story that almost single-handedly (albeit with a lot of help from Hollywood) created the 1970s-1980s-era incarnation of the crusading, muckraking political journalist. But back then, the Washington Post circled the wagons to ferret out the corruption and excesses of “All the President’s Men.” (Though of course, the excesses of all of FDRs, JFKs, and LBJs men were conveniently ignored, just as the FDR-era “Brown Scare” of the 1940s was almost entirely forgotten once McCarthy made himself into such an inviting target.) But the JournoList now makes its members, and arguably the Post itself, All the President’s Men — not that there was much doubt before the existence of the JournoList was widely known. And they’ve already demonstrated that they’re willing to squelch any story, or terminate with extreme prejudice (sorry to mix movie metaphors) any competing narrative to advance the president’s career.


But Jonah Goldberg's quote is precient...
Liberals are geniuses at unleashing social panics because A) it never occurs to them that their motives are anything but pure and B) because they are almost exclusively focused on short term tactics. And yet they are invariably shocked when these moral frenzies come back to bite them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ObamaCare Adds Hidden Tax On Gold Coin Sales

Gold sales will be taxed under ObamaCare...ABC is reporting that an amendment will place an additional tax on gold coin sales.
Those already outraged by the president's health care legislation now have a new bone of contention -- a scarcely noticed tack-on provision to the law that puts gold coin buyers and sellers under closer government scrutiny.



Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will amend the Internal Revenue Code to expand the scope of Form 1099. Currently, 1099 forms are used to track and report the miscellaneous income associated with services rendered by independent contractors or self-employed individuals.

JournoList Reborn as Cabalist

The ostensibly sectret listserve JournoList has been reborn as Cabalist under the leadership of Jon Cohn of The New Republic, Michelle Goldberg, and Steven Teles.  The new cabal is only 173 member  and should probably be easier to police, though obviously it's been leaked already.  It only took a few weeks.   Jeffery Goldberg, had this to say on the new list serve
Hence, the birth of the heretofore secret Cabalist, which unlike Journolist, has only 173 members, rather than 400, but which in other ways resembles Journolist (such as in the propensity of Cabalist members to leak ostensibly private information to non-Cabalist members, including to yours truly). The 173 members are mainly veterans of Journolist, and don't ask me what happened to the other 227; perhaps they were purged after being judged splitters in secret on-line show trials.

Personally, I think that any  organization that exists in order to coordinate a control of news or to propagandize is dangerous to the republic in which we live.  I'm  just surprised that it only took a few weeks for the existence to the new listserve to surface.

It's Ok To Be Racist if You're Black

In a move that is a signal that it's ok to be a racist if you're black, Tom Vilsack the Sec of Agriculture has offered Shirley Sherrod "a unique position" in the Dept of Agriculture.
The new job offer comes after an embarrassed White House apologized to Sherrod Wednesday for ousting her over her remarks about race to an NAACP banquet in Georgia earlier this year.
So, there you have it.  You can be black and be a racist in America today.

JournoList Further Erodes Public Confidence in MSM Reporting

The revelations on Daily Caller about JournoList members colluding in attempting to bury the Revend Wright scandal in the 2008 election will further erode public confidence in the mass media.  Just the revolations that some prominent journalists were willing to work together on the "talking points" and attempting to deflect further news stories will have a negative effect.  Over at Hot Air-Green Room is an excellent synopsis of why this story of collusion will have long-term effects on the media for many years to come. 

The "fellow travelers" will, as always, continue to ignore any stories that emanate from the right, however, it's the moderate and independent voters that will take much more notice of what's being said...and more importantly, what's not being said in papers like the Washington Post (whose reporters originated the list) and the NY Times, LA Times as well as the the sagging ratings of the ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN whose viewship is hemorraging off to Fox News at a suprising rate.

The anology of the Blatant Beast is an apt one. 
In the 16th-century epic poem The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser writes of a monster called the Blatant Beast. which had “a thousand tongues of every kind and quality”, which “poured forth abuse, not caring where or when… speaking hateful things of good and bad alike, of high and low, not even sparing kings or kaisers, but either blotting them with infamy or biting them with baneful teeth.”...The mainstream media is the modern incarnation of the Blatant Beast, and its defeat calls for the same strategy by conservatives: tell it a story it can’t ignore, then hit it with a punchline it can’t help repeating. Like the Blatant Beast, the media does have a certain capacity for shame… because nothing bothers professional “journalists” more than amateurs besting them at the sacred ritual of reporting news.
And therein is the rub.  Major media outlets have been ignoring stories for most of this decade.  In the last election cycle, it was the National Enquirer who took down John Edwards for his marital infidelities, just as they took down Gary Hart in 1988.  It wasn't until photographs had been published by the NE that ANY of the other major media outlets even began to cover that story. 
The media’s power to influence the public is not limitless, as we saw during the 2004 election. The wounds of Rathergate run deeper than many journalists like to admit. The 2004 media strove mightily to drag John Kerry across the finish line, but they couldn’t quite pull it off. Kerry’s thudding lack of charisma, and the transparent cynicism of his war-hero routine, were part of the reason, but it was fascinating to watch the media try to work around them. They seemed perplexed over their inability to discredit the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by repeatedly calling them “the discredited Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” Dan Rather still doesn’t understand what happened to him.

Yet, they came close to suceeding.  In 2008, they did succeed in changing the narrative of the favoured candidate, Barack Obama, by painting first Bill Clinton, then anyone who opposed Obama as a potential racist.  Especially after the Reverend Wright story broke...the back pedalling and attempts to change the narrative were very sucessful. 
The Daily Caller has treated conservatives to the unique sensation of being shocked by revelations that don’t surprise us a bit. We’ve known this stuff was going on for years. The Reverend Wright story is one of many examples where media bias is easily detected by simply reversing the political alignment of the principles, and asking what the media coverage would be like...The discussion of false racism charges is an outrage. The American public is growing very tired of being pummeled with the racism club. The cynical plan to pick a random conservative – “who cares?” – and slander them as racists will mix with disgust at the NAACP for trying the same wretched tactic on the Tea Party movement. The once-feared Race Card is looking rather tattered around the edges. The Left has been putting a lot of effort into shuffling those cards into the deck for the 2010 and 2012 campaigns. The nitwits at JournoList just made them much more difficult to play...
All's that necessary to see how outrageous that was in 2008 is to flip the narrative around and think about if this had been the case:
It doesn’t take much effort to imagine the reaction to the discovery of John McCain’s twenty-year association with a chapter of the Klan, followed by a major speech in which McCain described the Kleagle as “an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy,” whom he could “no more disown than he could disown the white community.” If that wasn’t enough to fill newsrooms with stroke victims, the craven decision to throw the Kleagle under the bus a few days later, after one more outrageous statement, would have done the trick.
But the most damning indictment on the media is that...
A sizable segment of the “journalist” population stands revealed as sputtering extremists, who talk about killing stories and destroying people’s lives to protect their favored political candidate. Yes, these people are self-professed liberals – they’re not pretending to be “objective” reporters or news anchors – but the cross-pollination between “liberal” and “objective” journalists is a blindingly obvious matter of public knowledge, and the things they’re talking about doing are vile, underhanded, and conspiratorial.
These men and women were and are ever ready to attempt to change and coordinate what they write and broadcast both nationally, and locally in order to protect their favoured candidate and now President.  America doesn't particularly like it when they feel they're being propagandized.  After all, many people have begun to feel "voter's remorse" for their votes in 2008. 
The public is looking for ways to forget it voted for Obama. A narrative of fraud and deception is building around the 2008 election, as the polls for this disastrous presidency plummet. People who don’t want to admit they voted for Obama have an appetite for believing they were tricked into doing so. Laying blame at the feet of a media they increasingly distrust will be very attractive.
A majority of independents now say they would not vote for Mr. Obama again.  But we have to seriously worry that the media will fight an ugly battle in order to re-elect they President they help put in office.
The media effort to secure the re-election of the Nobel Prize-winning First Black President will be ferocious. The MSM’s control over the popular culture is still formidable – just look at what happened to Rush Limbaugh this week, as media outlets ran with ridiculous fake quotes posted by a few leftist bloggers, and hammered the man’s reputation hard enough to eliminate his position in the group seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams.
This influence shouldn't be overlooked.  They will wage fierce battles in their campaign to rehabilitate his sagging poll numbers...especially if the GOP secures control of both the House (expected) and the Senate (merely a possibility at this time).

Dissent Isn't Racism

On Politico.com, Ben Smith has posted a story on the "conversation on race".  But it's very difficult to have that conversation when anyone who opposes your agenda is labeled as a racist.  Here is my comment, number 412.

THere is a "conversation on race" going on, but it consists of the leftist media, and their NGO supporters labelling anyone who opposes Obama as a racist. After that, it's rather difficult to actually have any sort of conversation at all. Once you scream that, you just sort of end any ability to discuss things rationally. NAACP membership, in the Sherrod video, shows that they fully support NOT giving any assistance to someone because they are white...thus ends the conversation.


During the 2008 campaign, the media began to paint anyone who opposed Obama as a racist. They did it, first to Bill Clinton, then to supporters of Hillary C., then to anyone who opposed the One. Last year, during the summer recess, when the Tea Party began to rise, everyone associated with it was labeled a racist. This has continued into this year...when the NAACP passed a resolution labeling the Tea Party Movement as racists. Thus ends the conversation...it's merely a tactic that attempts to marginalize ANYONE who opposes the agenda of Barack Obama and the Democratic Leadership in Congress.

One party media (as opposed to government supported media) that continually pushes a far left socialist agenda, has attempted to destroy anyone who opposes their narrative. It's anti-democratic and will only end up eliminating their "moral authority" to control the narrative. THis is why most (ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC & CNN) new organizations are losing their audience in droves. For much the same reason, print media has been losing subsribers. People won't watch, or buy, media sources that constantly assault their intelligence and that means roughly half of their readership/viewers...
In the present atmosphere in the national, one party media, it's just not possible to have that conversation.  Especially so, when anyone who has legitimate objections to the liberal agenda being rammed through now, is smeared as a racist.  End conversation...

Bailouts Reach $3.7 Trillion Dollars

The federal government has spent $3,700,000,000,000.00 on bail outs so far in this presidency...from Reuters,
"Indeed, the current outstanding balance of overall Federal support for the nation's financial system...has actually increased more than 23% over the past year, from approximately $3.0 trillion to $3.7 trillion -- the equivalent of a fully deployed TARP program -- largely without congressional action, even as the banking crisis has, by most measures, abated from its most acute phases," the TARP inspector general, Neil Barofsky, wrote in the report.  The total includes Federal Reserve programs and a myriad of asset guarantees, including Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protection for bank deposits.
...so much for the recovery summer.  Eventually, the government will run out of our great-great grandchildrens money and stop throwing good money after bad.  Keynesian economics doesn't work.  It didn't work during the depression, and it hasn't worked now.  By all measures, except those used by this administration, the stimulus spending has utterly failed to do what it was designed to do...and is only making matters worse.

It's time for the government, and the US Congress to stop spending money like drunken sailors.  We can't afford it, and our decendants whom will ultimately end up footing the bill can't afford it either.  Ours will be the first generation who leaves the country in significantly  worse shape than we received from ourt parents generation.  That should be enough of a reason to stop such profligracy, but I doubt it will.

White House Press Corps Diversity

Here's a great picture that shows just how diverse the White House Press Corps is...


As you can see there are lots of ... oh, wait, there's really not a lot of diversity in the White House Press Corps is there...hypocrits.

Rocket Science...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, when I was young. Very young to be exact, my father was a "rocket scientists."  As a matter of fact, he was one of the principle designers of space suits and life support systems, first for the US Air Force, then, after he retired for NASA.  He was a principle designer of the back-pack system you'll see below in the video of the Moon landing. 

When I was a kid in Connecticut, at the start of the school year, when kids would have to stand up and introduce themselves, we never had to say what our parents did.  Mostly because far too many kids would answer "I don't know, daddy's not allowed to tell us..."  But, as a "reward" astronauts would come around to the schools in the late '60's and early '70's after the viel of secrecy was raised, and kids would get to "show them off" at "show and tell".  I got to take Gene Cernan in 2nd grade.  I still have autographed photographs of ALL of the Mecury, Gemini and Apollo astronuats.

If you ever go to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, make sure that you go into the little room, next to the "rocket room" where all the missles and rockets are...you'll see 2, nearly life-size cutouts of my old man...in space suits he designed in the 1950's and very early 1960's.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why was Shirley Sherrod thrown under  the bus by the USDA so quickly?  Here are a few questions posed by the Washington Examiner:


  • Was Ms. Sherrod's USDA appointment an unspoken condition of her organization's settlement?
  • How much "debt forgiveness" is involved in USDA's settlement with New Communities?
  • Why were the Sherrods so deserving of a combined $300,000 in "pain and suffering" payments -- amounts that far exceed the average payout thus far to everyone else? ($1.15 billion divided by 16,000 is about $72,000)?
  • Given that New Communities wound down its operations so long ago (it appears that this occurred sometime during the late 1980s), what is really being done with that $13 million in settlement money?
Here are a few bigger-picture questions:
  • Did Shirley Sherrod resign so quickly because the circumstances of her hiring and the lawsuit settlement with her organization that preceded it might expose some unpleasant truths about her possible and possibly sanctioned conflicts of interest?
  • Is USDA worried about the exposure of possible waste, fraud, and abuse in its handling of Pigford?
  • Did USDA also dispatch Sherrod hastily because her continued presence, even for another day, might have gotten in the way of settling Pigford matters quickly?

 The media and the blogosphere shouldn't be so quick to forget about Shirley Sherrod.
No when you have 1.15 billion dollars in settlement money to ask questions about.  In the original lawsuit to which Mrs. Sherrod was a participant, there were roughly 27,000 black farm familes in the US...but the lawsuit of Pigford vs Vilsack has already paid out over 16,000 claims  while,
Members of Congress may approve another $1.15 billion this week to settle cases from what some estimate may be an additional 80,000 African-Americans who have also claimed to have been discriminated against by USDA staff.


Ummm...if there were 27,000 black farm famers in the US  in 1998, when the original lawsuit was filed, where did the additional 53,000 people come from?  Just a few more trying to suck off of Uncle Sam's hind tit?

JournoList Members Plotted To Control Obama Narrative During 2008 Election

When the Jeremiah Wright story emerged in February 2008, members of the Journolist plotted to control the narrative and change it to "opponents are racists"...sound familiar?  Anyone who opposed Obama was labeled a racist.
According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.


In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.  The members began collaborating on their open letter. Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones rejected an early draft, saying, “I’d say too short. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the inanity of some of [Gibson's] and [Stephanopoulos’s] questions. And it doesn’t point out their factual inaccuracies …Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.  [emphasis is mine, ed.]

Now we know what the real purpose of Journolist was/is...to protect and control the narrative of those people/candidates who are favoured on the left.  If you ever wondered why so many stories seem to have exactly the same talking points, now you know.

Andew Breibart points out that, Yes, But the Reporters at Pravda Weren’t Such Insufferable Assholes
American journalism died a long time ago; today Tucker Carlson got around to running the obituary. What The Daily Caller has unearthed proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that most media organizations are either complicit by participation in the treachery that is Journolist, or are guilty of sitting back and watching Alinsky warfare being waged against all that challenged the progressive orthodoxy. The scandal predictably involves journalists posing as professors posing as experts. But dressed down they are nothing but street thugs. They deserve the deepest levels of public consternation. We must demand that they do.
The only way that the media will recover from the horrifying discoveries found in the Journolist is to investigate and investigate until every guilty reporter, professor and institution is laid bare begging America for forgiveness. Will they do it?
Nope, the media will insist (if not outright ignore) that this sort of thing is an aberation, and couldn't possibly happen, much less be real....