Monday, November 19, 2012

White House Changed CIA Talking Points (The Truth Comes Out)

Washington Free Beacon ^ | November 19, 2012 | Bill Gertz

“The intelligence community had it right, and they had it right early,” said chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.).
The CIA “talking points” on Benghazi initially identified the attackers as al Qaeda or al Qaeda-linked terrorists but senior administration officials removed the reference, Rogers said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Meanwhile, White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with the president on Saturday that the White House made only minor changes in the first comments by a White House official on the Benghazi security scandal.
“We were provided with points by the intelligence community that represented their assessment,” Rhodes said on Air Force One en route to Asia. “The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility.”
Rhodes insisted that the word “consulate” was changed to “diplomatic facility” to reflect the fact that the compound was not involved in traditional consular activities.
“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community,” he said. “So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made.”
Rogers said the talking points were reviewed by a “deputies committee” of senior officials that is “populated by appointees from the administration. That’s where the narrative changed.”
Rogers was commenting on closed-door testimony Friday by former CIA Director David Petraeus who revealed the talking points were changed, apparently to play down the terrorist connection. Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), an intelligence committee member, first disclosed this information shortly after the Petraeus hearing.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in five Sunday talk show interviews used the altered talking points that emphasized falsely that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muslim video.
The attack resulted in the death of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Chambliss (R., Ga.) also said on Fox News Sunday that Petraeus said the initial talking points were altered and that senior intelligence and security officials did not know who was behind the changes.
“At the hearing we had on Thursday and Friday, we had every leader of the intelligence community there, including folks from the State Department, the FBI, everybody there was asked, do you know who made these changes? And nobody knew,” Chambliss said.
“The only entity that reviewed the talking points that was not there was the White House. I don’t know whether what they said yesterday is exactly right or not. But, what I do know is that every member of the intelligence community says that references to al Qaeda were removed by somebody and they don’t know who. And references to attacks versus demonstrations were removed by somebody.”
Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) disagreed with Rogers and said allegations the White House changed the talking points were false. “So there was only one thing that was changed and I’ve checked into this, I believe it to be absolute fact and that was the word ‘consulate’ was changed to ‘mission,’” she said on the same program.
“That’s the only change that anyone in the White House made and I have checked this out,” she said.
But Rogers, a former FBI agent, insisted the White House was behind the change.
“What was said and as I conclude the course of that investigation was that at some point those so-called talking points, in other words, the narrative of how we would call this event, went up to what’s called the ‘deputies’ meeting,” he said. “When asked, there was no one in the professional intelligence community could tell us who changed what. So there goes the disconnect. So the intelligence community said this was a terrorist act.”
Rogers’ comments also bolster statements made by U.S. intelligence officials to the Free Beacon in early October that intelligence indicating an al Qaeda link to the attack was deliberately cut out by senior administration officials.
One intelligence official said the reason for the omission of the information on al Qaeda was that the intelligence contradicted President Barack Obama’s statement at the Democratic National Convention weeks earlier that al Qaeda was “on the path to defeat.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) agreed on Sunday, saying on Meet the Press that he believes the intelligence indicating an al Qaeda link to the Benghazi attack was removed for political reasons.
“I think one of the reasons that Susan Rice told the story she did, if the truth came out a few weeks before the election that our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had been overrun by an al Qaeda-sponsored or -affiliated militia, that destroys the narrative we’ve been hearing for months that al Qaeda has been dismantled, bin Laden’s dead, we’re safer,” Graham said on Meet the Press.
“And Susan Rice just did not say it was the results of a mob spawned by a video like Cairo,” he said. “She actually said on Face the Nation, I want to remind the American people, this president promised to go after bin Laden, refocus on al Qaeda. He got bin Laden, al Qaeda’s been dismantled, and the truth of the matter is nothing could have been further from the truth, and the story she told reinforced a political narrative helpful to the president.”
Asked if there was a “cover up” on Benghazi, Rogers said, “Well, this is what I know: I know the narrative was wrong, and the intelligence was right. Now, getting between here and there, I think you have to be careful about making those accusations. I think you should have to prove it. As an old FBI agent, you should prove it first.”
Rogers defended the intelligence assessment from the time of the attack as identifying the strike as “an act of terrorism.”
“There were some policy decisions made based on the narrative that was not consistent with the intelligence that we had,” he said. “That’s my concern and we need to say hey, we need to figure out how that happened and let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Feinstein said she did not believe there was a cover up.
The Benghazi attack received little attention by major news media outlets prior to Nov. 6. The New York Times carried few stories about the attack and devoted few resources to covering the story in what critics say was an apparent effort to play down a major security failure by the Obama administration.
Rogers said the failure to provide adequate protection for diplomats and intelligence personnel in Benghazi was “a catastrophic failure in recognizing that threat posture clearly on that day.”
On the sex scandal that led to Petreaus’ resignation and has also ensnared the current U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen, Rogers said Petraeus “did the right thing” in stepping down.
A new CIA officer that failed to disclose an extramarital affair would be fired, he said. “Why? Because it’s a counterintelligence threat to someone who has very sensitive and classified information,” Rogers said.
Rogers also said he is “not sure” Obama was not informed of the FBI investigation of Petraeus before the Nov. 6 election. The president insisted he did not know until after the election.
Rogers said that the issue needs to be investigated.
Feinstein said she believed the president was kept out of the loop on the Petraeus probe which began with an investigation of cyber harassment of Tampa socialite Jill Kelley.
“I spoke to the attorney general,” she said. “He explained the process that the FBI carried out and there’s a reason for that. And the reason for not disclosing it [to the president] is so that there is no manipulation; that there is an ability to move ahead without any political weighing in on any side.”

Stalin would be proud of the St. Lucie County Board of Elections; they’re his kind of crooks ^ | Nov. 19, 2012 | Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer

As reports flood the web about massive voter fraud in the presidential election, a statewide appeal in Florida is going out today to all Tea Party members, conservatives, and independents to contact Governor Rick Scott to urge him to NOT certify election results in tomorrow's deadline.
Florida's U.S.18th Congressional Race is still up for grabs because reportedly the Golden Gate Precinct #93, a mobile home park on the border with St. Lucie and Martin counties, had some 900 votes cast with only SEVEN people registered to vote!
An over- night flash Email is stating that "In St. Lucie County, FL, there were 175,574 registered eligible voters but 247,713 votes cast."
Volunteer recount watchers yesterday were upset when the delayed canvassing board recount missed the noon Sunday deadline, and Patrick Murphy was named winner.
Keep in mind that the recount was suspended late Saturday night and started up again with an over one hour delay on Sunday morning, almost insuring the missed deadline. A run the clock maneuver which may or may not have been a backroom political game play just was not being accepted by the volunteers.
A publicly announced "The Alarm goes off" if we continue to count given by election officials didn't go down well with observers many of whom traveled hundreds of miles to watch what was going on.
As shouts of "Count the Vote" rang out in the Orange Blossom Mall retab room, volunteers were warned that extra police re enforcements were being called in before anything official could be announced.
But they knew from Twitter and Facebook tweets and postings that the thing was going back to Murphy as the senior member of his legal team smiled broadly in the hall outside of this room…..
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TEA Party to Gee-O-Pee Establishment:

'Yeah, It's a War- and You're Going to Lose It'

Ghandi: 'First they ignore you...

Then they mock you...

Then they fight you...


The New Normal: Baby Boomer Tribal Communities - Obama's vision for your retirement!

Trib Total Media ^ | September 17, 2012 | Craig Smith

A generation of Americans who embraced communal living in the 1960s is again considering that concept and other ways to coexist as they near retirement.
This time, they’ve traded peace signs for dollar signs.
“By force of sheer volume, the (baby boomers) who in 1968 thought they would change the world by 2028 actually will,” said Andrew Carle, founding director of the Program in Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Over the next three decades, one in five U.S. citizens will turn 65 or older, Carle said. They’ll control more than half of the discretionary income, influencing entertainment, travel, food, retail, technology and housing.
Even now, seniors are redefining their living arrangements through cohousing communities, cooperative households and niche communities, experts said.
Read more: Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

All Eyez on Him [GQ Interview with Marco Rubio...and the man is GOOD]

GQ [link only!] | December 2012 issue | Michael Hainey

Senator Denies Possibility that Regulations Could Cost Jobs

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 16 Nov 2012 | John Semmens

Encouraged by the recent election results, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) boasted that “the Republicans’ contention that excessive government regulation causes increased unemployment has been convincingly refuted by voters.”
“Of course, the GOP’s arguments were ludicrous from the beginning,” Reid maintained. “If we pass new regulations the government has to hire more people to enforce them. That means more jobs. Companies have to hire more people to ensure they comply with the regulations. That means more jobs. The regulations are kind of like a scissors cutting into unemployment from both sides.”
The possibility that more regulations could boost the cost of doing business and, thereby, lead to cuts in the number of persons employed was derided by Reid. “The cost of the regulations are just passed on to the customers,” Reid explained. “They don’t come out of the employers’ pockets. So how could it hurt?”
That passed on higher costs might deter customers from purchasing products was similarly disposed of by the Majority Leader. “If consumers really need a product they will buy it no matter what the cost,” Reid said. “If a slightly higher price dissuades them from buying it means that they don’t really need it. To the extent that we are eliminating the purchase of unneeded products we are improving the true efficiency of our economy.”
As Reid sees it, “money that isn’t spent on unneeded products could be better used on infrastructure projects like roads and bridges, or to invest in education or green energy. There’s no shortage of ways in which the government could more effectively deploy our nation’s resources.”

Yes, Constitutional Conservatives Need to Change. Into War Paint!

It has been steadily dawning on me this past weekend just how severe is the state of our disunion. Much of it precipitated by the battles of the valiant Allen West in his District 18 race in Florida. Western Journalism's account of the day's activities yesterday is mind blowing. It is a microcosm of what we are facing as constitutional conservatives in this country and the forces that arrayed against us. (Be sure to skip to the “How bad is it?” section below if you want to cut to the chase.

In Allen West, you have a true conservative who not only is knowledgeable and articulate on the issues, but who takes away the standard excuses many on "our side" have as to why we don't win. You wanted Rubio for VP (despite the fact he is constitutionally ineligible)? Allen is bad ass, dark skinned brother who grew up deep in the south where (supposedly) racism is on a daily rampage. He doesn't have the lack the articulate "coolness" or maturity decried as missing from Angle and O'Donnell. And, he even voted for the budget ceiling debacle and NDAA proving he isn't a "purist" to the Libertarian-hating elements of the Elephant party.

The Grand Old Plantation

So surely this rising star would be embraced as a Reagan figure by the establishment and TEA forces alike, right? Yeah - JUST like Reagan, the GOP Establishment tried to undercut and weaken him at ever juncture. In fact the Rubio/Jeb Bush GOP influences in Florida redistricted him in such a way that he would have to battle severely just to stay in office. So much for that "Republicans were the original party of the black man" crap we tried to delude ourselves with. Yes, I'm saying it. The Republican Establishment INTENTIONALLY tried to subvert Allen West because of his race. And his conservatism. He is a danger to them because he is principled. And black. And they know he has the ear of the TEA party. It took them 10 years to put the Reagan renegades back on the party plantation. Just look how they treated Gingrich who actually INCREASED the Republican and conservative identity from the Gipper’s and sabotaged a coup_d'état so that they could start enslaving our children to ever increasing debt again.

Remember Senator Trent Lott’s declaration that they would “co-opt” any TEA candidates and that the American people have BETTER JUDGEMENT than to elect them? (Maybe those Jesse Helms accusations of racism weren’t so far off after all.) Our sunless-tanning House Speaker (aka Banana Boat Boehner) tried to finish off the movement saying not only was there no TEA Party caucus in the House (much to the surprise of those in it), but that in 2010 it was a GOP statist movement that swept them back into power.

I’d laugh, but it turns out the TEA candidates didn’t control spending that much better than the elitists. Were they co-opted? Or was Boehner right. Were they never that principled to begin with?

But back to Allen West. Did you see Republicans running to microphones on election night bringing attention to – and battling against – the 4,000 swing that happened in 35 minutes in the middle of the night?

Nope. Eventually Reince put out a note of support and the GOP Congressional delegation came to observe, but you don’t hear “boo” from the party make a big stink out of the fact that 893 people were able to vote who weren’t even registered in precinct 93.

And this has been documented and repeated across the country in such overwhelming testimony that every TRUE conservative and conservative media outlet has embraced it demanded justice, right? Uh. Not so much. As I wrote this weekend, the Erick Erickson’s of the world don’t want to face the prospect (or even look at the data) and would rather be chicken little’s decrying the turnout of the white Republican.

The Conservative Media

Why should we be surprised when Erickson, FOX and even Limbaugh and Hannity won’t even properly cover a conclusive law enforcement investigation PROVING that Barack Hussein Obama forged MULTPLE official documents to obscure his nationality, his eligibility and even his criminality? You’ll hear them allude to it or make jokes – hell, FOX even put it on their website – but concerted 24/7 coverage like what they are giving Benghazi? Nope.

FOX’s Michael Barone amplifies the notion that the TEA Party is a bunch of nuts and weirdoes. Ann Coulter STILL apologies for Judas Christie and Bill O’Reilly still believes that a birth announcement in a paper suffices for “proof” of citizenship.

Michelle Malkin and David Limbaugh (among others) pushed a constitutionally ineligible candidate whose own constituents (and target demographic) were repulsed at claiming either as a conservative or a man of principle. Even supposed religiously righteous social conservative media were willing to lie, deceive and mislead.

Yes, even with our media influence better than we had during the Reagan era – we still suck.

Which leads us to…

The State of Conservatives

I posted the link to Ron Paul’s final speech on the PolitiJim Facebook Page and was shocked at the pure hatred and animus for the Libertarian leaning Texas Congressman. Have we sunk so far that we can’t “give honor to whom honor is due” even if we disagree with those who share a common enemy? I think Paul and his devotees are historically ignorant of assuming we can survive as a country without preemptive diplomacy and aggressive military strength. I’m unsure about surrendering the drug war but even their adamant activism has woken me up to how it’s become an excuse for tyranny. (Today the police have a right to do just about anything against the 4th Amendment by claiming they have a suspicion about drugs.)

But as I stated in my FB post debate with readers, Gary Johnson’s votes which ensure Obama’s wins in Ohio and Pennsylvania PROVE divided we fall, without the Paulbot. And whether they like it or not, the GOP needs the social conservatives. And whether the Santorum-groupies realize it or not, they will NEVER EVER pass another anti-abortion/pro-marriage without marijuana-loving Libertarians putting them into a majority in both houses of Congress AND the White House. Sarah Palin had that one right.

But as the primaries proved, when we start going BEYOND the central message of fiscal responsibility, getting into contraception discourse, drug war doctrine, illegal immigration policy purity and gay marriage – we lose. And we lose BIG.

I’m NOT saying that we don’t address these. They are important. But while we might not take them to the family barbeque, we’ve got to learn to ALL learn to find a constitutionally conservative candidate who is charismatic enough to EMOTE while being uncompromising on cutting taxes and spending to invigorate our economy. Reagan got elected ONLY because of two reasons. He had a BIG economic plan that people were willing to try to escape the Peanut farmer polity, and he was likeable and “safe” to the uneducated independent. He WASN’T elected because he was prolife. He wasn’t elected because he wanted to cut government programs. Those were minor issues to the majority who voted for him. And we had better start realizing very quickly that we are NOT going to fight effectively unless we find, recruit, volunteer for and elect conservatives who are focused (and disciplined) on the BIG issues.

I volunteered (and crow about) the Ted Cruz victory. But it is clear that he benefited from demographic politics. Even the Soros-funded liberal blog Think Progress admitted that Cruz out performed Romney, even while they tried to make the point that the majority voted for the Democrat.

And then we have REAL GOP rank and file, politicians and their surrounding facilitators who still think this is a 1950’s bridge game. The amazing Ulsterman Report has carried a series from Wall Street and Washington “Insiders” who have been uncanny in disclosing how the REAL world of power and politics work. They now have a “Republican Insider” that is symptomatic of the squishy and spineless silliness that folds in the face of the Democrats forceful tactics. Ulsterman posted a new interview and despite obvious Venezuela-style voting fraud, assassinations of Ambassadors, and tyrannical executive orders by a criminally corrupt President this idiot is all caught up in being “civil.” Here was my comment the post earlier today:
It is interesting that the VERY FIRST issue the Stupid Party insider wanted to discuss was Ulsterman's discourse using "STFU" to the Romney ragging Governors like (unconstitutionally ineligible) Jindal. This is THE problem with the Republican party. Let's worry how we are PERCEIVED rather than realizing this a g***dam STREET FIGHT for the very survival of our country.

"I won't talk bad about another Republican?" WTF is that?

I'll tell you what it is. The sound of generations of our children being forever enslaved to a much more aggressive and uncompromising opponent that want to permanently destroy this country.

These are the guys who SIGNED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE Democrat Party to NEVER try and engage in voter integrity initiatives. (link)
Yes, I understand we don’t have the luxury to build a Franken-Reagan for every race. And yes, I understand unlike the Democrats, OUR charismatic, intelligent and fearless warriors are either enlisted in the military or ensuring a future for their families and employees in business. But smart TEA activists like Jamie Radtke, who were totally thwarted by likes of RedState in lieu of GOP Establishment losers like George Macaca, have got to be protected not just by the peons like us, but by those we can embarrass into submission in the conservative media.

It is NOT an understatement to say the American civilization is in danger of permanent incapacitation.

So How Bad Is It?
  • The mainstream conservative media (much less the GOP) STILL won’t raise the alarm bells on how Obama stole this election. (Mind you, without fighting now we not only lose the 2014 elections where they are emboldened – we might not even have an honest chance to win in 2016.)
  • The GOP Leadership covered up for the Obama Administration.
  • The GOP Leadership cancelled a press conference to expose Obama the week prior to the election, but held it AFTER he was elected.
  • The GOP and conservative media refuse to embrace and expose a LAW ENFORCEMENT investigation proving that the President of the United States forged a birth certificate, a Selective Service record and IS CURRENTLY committing identity fraud.
  • The GOP continually refuses to “go to the mattresses” over OBVIOUS voter fraud that not only sabotages their own candidates, but ends up enslaving the entire country to tyrannical legislation like ObamaCare.
  • Conservative media continues to selectively want to talk about the Constitution, ignoring it where they want it to benefit them (like non-natural born citizens Rubio, Jindal and Santorum and Barack Hussein Obama), but will be shocked when their appointments like the treasonous conservative traitor Justice John Roberts continuously subvert it in their rulings. Do you realize the Supreme Court has now given Congress the ability to force you to “BUY THINGS” you don’t want? THAT is the current law of our “free” country.
  • The TSA is authorized to use ANY MEANS necessary to humiliate and detain you although they have NO law enforcement authority and are sitting with millions of rounds of Geneva Convention-illegal hollow point ammunition.
  • The GOP (including Paul Ryan and – unbelievably - Allen West) voted in 2011 to abrogate their responsibility to stop the wanton spending waste and not only raised the debt ceiling, but also cut a deal that could rot our military readiness. (Not like that’s an issue of course with Iran bombing Israel and al-Queda and Muslim Brotherhood operatives freely crossing into our country.)
  • The Cloward Piven model is full force, doing what the Soviets could not do in the wildest dreams. Illegals are essentially INVITED to come across the border, and Homeland SECURITY (that's right) has a welcome packet on how to become dependent on government.
Even of these (and the dozens you will undoubtedly post below), the voting problem is by FAR the worse. It is one thing to have the need to stop bad policy and remove bad politicians. It is quite another to realize that you don’t even have the POWER to change it through the political process because the system is rigged.

When Allen West discovered a 13,000% voter turnout in one precinct you would think that would have been the subject of EVERY Sunday news show right?

Whether it is a combination of illegals voting, absentee voting abuse, voting machine hacks and corrupt voting precinct captains and election supervisors – the bottom line is that Castro and Chavez would NEVER win an honest election in their countries.

Forget about whether Fast and Furious will ever be properly prosecuted for a moment. At this moment, we don’t even have TRUE REPRESENTATION over our own TAXATION. (That’s kind of catchy. Might make for a good cry for independence from a tyrannical government.)


PolitiJim never likes to curse the darkness without suggesting a fiery flame or two to dispel it. So we have two options.

Option 1: Sit back and “take it” while our largely corrupt GOP representatives continue to compromise with the devil, always waiting for the magical “tomorrow.” We TEA Party types (and sympathizers) merely wait for the next outrageous event to happen, wait for a conservative talk show host to fan our flames – and we strike out to (again) try to find a candidate to save us.

Option 2: We do what we have a God-given responsibility to do and don’t wait for the “perfect storm” of political candidates to do what Sarah Palin did up in Alaska. We simultaneously declare “war” on the Republican party and refuse to let either our advertising rich conservative media celebrities, or our local GOP establishments, get away with continuing to run the Reagan brand into the ground.

2A: A continual, all out email/phone assault on the power holders in the GOP to start SCREAMING about vote fraud.

2B: We take over a major state (Texas is fine) to finally establish TRUE conservative principles and start ENFORCING the 10th Amendment rights that other states can follow. No, Rick Perry is not the guy to do that despite his well funded branding. He’s better than most but he does not have the conservative core to lead the charge as witness his DREAM ACT debate debacle. I’m not even against secession, but it would be no good with the current corruption in the GOP here. (And it will never happen with Joe Strauss as a the RINO Speaker who appoints more liberals than conservatives to key positions and subverts conservative legislation CONTINUALLY.)

in battle, it is a common technique to “regroup” an re-concentrate your forces so that you aren’t picked off one by one. Clearly, unless the GOP Congress, Florida Governor Rick Scott and the GOP celebrities like Marco Rubio start not only bringing light to the systemic voting corruption but also start filing lawsuits, offering legislation and refusing to seat Congressmen like Murphy and Franken who have illegitimately won through fraud – our conservative power is too easy to pick off.

I like Texas because we have the right to secede in our charter, we have the right to hold off law enforcement from 4th Amendment incursions and of course, because i wouldn’t have to move. But it is one of the few states that could be self-supporting if it were to secede.

But a REAL revolution won’t happen without the core of us having geographic proximity to one another against the suspension of freedoms that inevitably will be expanded under the “man who calls himself Obama.”

C’mon down y’all. We already have started.

OMG! Susan Rice As Secretary Of State And John "Swift Boat" Kerry At Defense?

True Conservatives on Twitter ^ | November 19, 3012

Leadership: Two of the most important national security positions may be soon held by a diplomat who helped perpetrate a Benghazi-gate lie and a senator who has voted against every major defense system in the last 25 years.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Australia on Tuesday before a summit about deepening defense links between Australia and the U.S. as our dwindling forces pivot to the Pacific Rim. Of course, Wednesday hearings on Benghazi have nothing to do with her getting as far from Washington, D.C., as possible.
She'll be conveniently unavailable to testify on the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi and has been deafeningly silent on why and how real-time emails and video plus a claim of responsibility by the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar al-Sharia led her to promote the big lie that it was all caused by an obscure Internet video.
Clinton will soon be our former secretary of state, having successfully kicked the Benghazi can far enough down the political road to get her boss, President Obama, re-elected and proving to be the loyal foot soldier as she prepares her own presidential run in 2016.
Her replacement is said to be U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who went on five Sunday news shows on Sept. 16 to claim the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous action by a mob inflamed by the video "Innocence of Muslims."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Let’s go over the fiscal cliff (Give the Democrats what they want)

Washington Post ^ | 11/17/2012 | Marc Thiessen

Here’s an idea for how to start the New Year in a bipartisan fashion: Let’s go over the fiscal cliff!
Today, the only ones in Washington who advocate fiscal cliff-diving are liberal Democrats. It’s time for conservatives to join them. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will strengthen the GOP’s hand in tax negotiations next year, and it may be the only way Republicans can force President Obama and Senate Democrats to agree to fundamental tax reform.
Right now, Democrats believe they have the upper hand in the fiscal standoff. Patty Murray (Wash.) — the fourth-ranking Senate Democrat and the leading champion on Capitol Hill for going over the fiscal cliff — says that Republicans are “in a real box” because “if they do nothing, those increased taxes [they oppose] will take place.” If Republicans dig in, says Murray, all Democrats need to do is “go past the December 31st deadline” and let the tax increases happen automatically.
There’s one problem with her scenario: While the Bush tax cuts expire on Dec. 31, so do a lot of tax policies the Democrats support. For example:
* The 10 percent income tax bracket would disappear, so the lowest tax rate would be 15 percent.
* The employee share of the Social Security payroll tax would rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent.
* An estimated 33 million taxpayers — many in high-tax blue states — would be required to pay the alternative minimum tax, up from 4 million who owed it in 2011.
* The child tax credit would be cut in half, from $1,000 today to $500, and would no longer be refundable for most.
* Tax preferences for alternative fuels, community development and other Democratic priorities would go away.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Got Yer 'Plan B' for Gaza Right Here, Bibi

Enough is enough already...

The Israeli Defense Force's Caterpillar D9R military bulldozer -known affectionately as the 'Teddy Bear' in Israel- is best known (in the west) for scraping the West Bank clean of terrorist nests, etc. The armored behemoth weighs over 56 tons, and is considered a front-line tool in the battle against terrorism.

The CAT D9R rescues damaged AFVs, detonates IEDs, clears paths, neutralizes booby-traps, demolishes terrorist structures and infrastructure (even under fire), and regularly provides cover for IDF soldiers.

Some major terrorists have even been directly killed by them (such as Muhammed Tawalbe in Jenin and Case Adwan - the plotter of the Passover Massacre in Netanya 2002) after a D9R toppled their house over on their evil head, promptly ending yet another heinous career.

But did you know that the decrepit, terrorist-infested Gaza strip is only 25 miles long and varies 5-7 mi. wide?

Considering that the IDF's D9R armored 'dozer is 14.7 ft. wide, that means it would only take 359/mile to place the side-to-side, blade-to-blade along the full 25 mi. length of the troublesome enclave... then scrape the entire hornet's nest right into the sea-

I hearby present Operation Blub-Blub: that's 359 x 25 mi L = 8975 bulldozers: since they start at a quarter-million bucks each, such a large order could likely bring down the cost of an 8000 'dozer order to something like 2 billion dollars... really not that bad compared to the ongoing, bleeding drain of living with Hamas as a neighbor. As for the civilian population, they overwhelmingly voted for the Islamists... so now they can take a swim with them.

At $2B, cost should be no object- no ammo either, just fuel. The second thing to like is it solves the problem, guaranteed.

Third... with the D9R's top speed of 7.3 mph (and the Strip only 7 mi at the widest from Israel to the coast), this comprehensive improvement project for Gaza should be over and done in just an hour or two.

OK- anybody else got a better plan? I think they've already tried everything else...

Taxing the Rich doesn't cost you anything... Really?

The Growth Stock Wire ^ | Nov. 19, 2012 | Jeff Clark

A Shocking Story About Greed and Taxes

By Jeff Clark

Monday, November 19, 2012

Raising taxes on the rich raises taxes on everyone.

My home state of California just passed Proposition 30, which increases income taxes on residents who make $250,000 a year or more. The top marginal tax rate is now 13.3%, the highest of any state.

Proposition 30 was sold to the voters as "this won't cost you a dime, but it'll make the rich pay their fair share to put our schools back in shape."

Since so many voters thought they were excluded from the tax, and so many voters have no understanding of economics, the lower wage earners were able to vote to take money away from the higher wage earners.

But… they'll get hit just the same.

I was having this discussion a few weeks ago with the gentleman who pays me $4,300 per month to rent my old house. His kids attend public school – the cost of which is paid for through property taxes. Since I own the property he lives in, I pay the taxes. So he believed he could vote to raise taxes to improve the schools and it wouldn't cost him a dime – since he doesn't pay the taxes.

I had to explain to him that the amount I charge for rent is based on my ability to earn a profit on my investment (the home). That means I have to charge him enough to pay all the taxes and insurance on the property and generate a higher income than I could receive on an alternative investment.

If my property tax payment goes up, I would have to increase his rent by a similar amount. So while he doesn't pay the property taxes directly, his vote to increase my taxes would be a vote to increase his rent.

He was shocked… SHOCKED… that I would be so greedy as to force him to shoulder the burden of the increased cost of my investment. I explained to him the alternative if I was unable to earn a fair return on investment was to sell the house and move my money elsewhere – which would leave him and his family without a home.

Again, he expressed shock at my greed.

Funny, though… he didn't seem to mind it so much when he thought he was voting to take my money to spend on his daughters' education.

This is an educated man who is an executive at a large corporation… Yet he has no understanding of the basic laws of economics.

Is there any wonder we are in the mess we're in?

Prop 30 imposes an extra income tax, so it gets around the property tax issue. But the economic argument is the same. By imposing extra taxes on the "rich," the rich then need to raise prices in their businesses to make up for it… or else take measures to avoid the tax completely. That means everyone pays.

Best regards and good trading,

Jeff Clark

Critical questions for ABC-NBC-CBS-PBS-NPR-AP-NYT-WASHPO-LAT ^ | November 19, 2012 | Shawn Mitchell

Wake up and smell the cappuccino, conservatives. This election offers devastating proof we must embrace immigration reform now. It’s our only hope! Not as the pandering stunt some Beltway geniuses argue will trick liberal minorities into voting conservative. Someone’s gotta be inhaling Colorado’s special herbs to think that’ll work.
No, we need immigration reform so Univision can hire more hard-working reporters to do the dirty jobs their American counterparts won’t, like, ask a few tough questions.
Imagine a press conference going like this:
Mr. President, it’s reported your Attorney General knew your FBI was investigating your Director of Central Intelligence about issues that eventually forced his resignation. Yet Mr. Holder reportedly didn’t tell you for months the CIA could be compromised. Shouldn’t you fire him for keeping you in the dark?
Mr. President, on the campaign trail, you proudly declared Al Qaeda is on the run, war is retreating, and peace is breaking out. Yet, with the hit on an American ambassador, Libya nearly a failed state, Syria tottering on the brink, war erupting between Hamas and Israel, and Egypt crouching to jump, isn’t the opposite more accurate: Al Qaeda is resurgent, war is breaking out, and peace is on the run?
A follow up, sir? Did your words and actions encouraging the Arab uprisings contribute to the direction events took? Has your heavy use of drone attacks and their collateral damage to civilians created the kind of anti-American “blowback” your predecessor was criticized for?
Mr. President, this week you strongly rejected criticism of Susan Rice for misleading the public. You say it’s not fair to attack her because she didn’t have anything to do with Benghazi; you’re the one who asked her to go on the talk shows and spread the Administration’s disinformation about a video protest.
That raises a few questions, sir. Secretary Clinton was very involved in the relevant events. Why wasn’t she the one to report to the media and the American people? Why did you put Ambassador Rice in the position of relaying false information? Does that affect her credibility on the national and world stage? If she couldn’t see you were setting her up, how can she hope to tango with the likes of Putin and Ahmadinewhat’shisname?
Mr. President, you’re so cool and dreamy! giggle I’ve never seen you lose! How can you stand to deal with those hideous, wrinkly Republicans? Oh…I’m so sorry! I thought this was the American media press conference. I’ll go wait in the other room. We’re just salivating and waiting to slobber on you! Hey, if things don’t work out with Michelle…
Moving to the economy, Mr. President, you famously said if you couldn’t fix things in three years, there’d be “a one term proposition.” But most the leading indicators, like jobs, the deficit, the national debt, consumer confidence, are staying bad or getting worse.
As we look into what is now an eight-year proposition, what are your goals for successful benchmarks? What kind of employment numbers, job creation, deficit reduction, pay-down on the debt can the American people hope for under your leadership?
Mr. President, in the second debate with Governor Romney, you said the biggest misperception about you is that you actually believe the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known. Would you clarify your position? Is business development that’s planned and directed from Washington the same thing as free enterprise?
If there’s a difference, can you name two or three actions you’ve taken--or plan to take--to facilitate free enterprise, as opposed to government-directed enterprise?
In that same debate, Mr. President, you touted America’s increased domestic oil and gas production. There was some disagreement with the governor about whether that resulted from your policies or whether it came mostly from private lands in spite of your policies.
Can you elaborate? What actions have you taken or will you take to encourage increased oil and gas production on public lands? Is that consistent with your post election order substantially cutting the scope of public leases?
Are there severe restrictions on fracking in the works?
Finally Mr. President, Los Yanquis in the other room loudly and consistently declare Republicans are obstructionist; they won’t work with you. Their only aim was to make you a one-term president. Ha. They lost, you won; elections have consequences! Felicitaciones!
But, that sounds familiar, Mr. President. In fact, isn’t that exactly what you told Paul Ryan at the beginning of your term when he tried to share ideas for getting the economy moving again? Isn’t that when the tone was set?
Wasn’t that tone loud and clear in the Stimulus, drafted by Reid and Pelosi with no Republican input accepted? And your signature health care law—not negotiated on CSPAN-- but in fact drafted behind closed doors and crammed down everyone’s throat, against the public will?
Isn’t it you who governed as a unilateral partisan from the start? And the only reason the public thinks otherwise is because the Alphabet Soup of professional cheerleaders in the other room are a relentless pack of chupamedias who haven’t held you accountable for a single thing in four years?
Wait, Mr. President, wait! That’s my green card you’re using to light your cigar!

Senate Fiddles While College Debt Explodes ^ | November 19, 2012 | Bruce Bialosky

America’s accumulated college-loan debt will surpass $1 trillion this year; what is our leadership doing about it? The Obama Administration took over the student loan market and expanded Pell Grants, but hasn’t accomplished anything to address the root cause of the crisis: exploding college fees and related costs. The only thing they’ve done is criticize innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), issued a new report calling into question the costs and performance of For-Profit universities. There are actually hundreds of these schools, perhaps the most well-known being University of Phoenix and Devry University. The report provides some damning statistics about For-Profits which should concern us all, since a large amount of free federal money (Pell Grants) is handed out to their students. Their cost of recruiting is much higher than private and public universities (the Establishment), and their four-year graduation rate 31 percent compared to 52 percent for Establishment schools.
When I read the report and its analysis, my only thought was “Wow! Is the committee staff really this dense?” Here are a few points:

1. Wouldn’t you expect the graduation rates to be lower at For-Profits? After all, how many of the best students in the country are going to University of Phoenix rather than Yale, Stanford, UCLA, or Texas? It’s obvious that they’re not attracting top-tier students, so it makes sense that their dropout rate would be higher.
2. The fact that more money is spent on recruitment also makes sense. Every high school in America has guidance counselors who direct students to Establishment colleges. Have you ever heard of a high school counselor telling a student that he should be going to Devry? The report leads one to believe that Establishment schools average a little over one staff person who does recruiting. Obviously, the people who compiled that statistic never had a kid go to college. That is just foolish.
3. The report also talks about the cost per student, but the numbers used don’t reflect the huge costs underwritten by states for public schools, or the cost to the federal treasury for tax deductions taken for “charitable” donations to Establishment schools. The comparison of costs is absolutely and totally slanted.
This is the fourth “study” done by this committee on For-Profit colleges in the last two years. And how many have been done on Establishment schools? Zero. One might come to the conclusion that someone has a vendetta against For-Profit schools. Since the Committee Chair is Senator Harkin, the finger must be pointed at him.
When I discussed the issue with Elizabeth Donovan, Deputy Press Secretary for HELP, she indicated that there had indeed been hearings on the Establishment schools and at my request kindly sent me copies of the witness statements. It struck me as strange that all of the testimony came from representatives of public schools, even though private schools (except Hillsdale College) receive substantial federal money.
I asked Ms. Donovan why representatives of private schools were not included, but she was unwilling to answer. I then asked whether there would be any similar studies released on Establishment schools. Again, she was unwilling to reply. But on September 13, 2012, the committee held a two-hour hearing on the soaring costs of Establishment schools. They concluded that costs are escalating because states are cutting their higher education budgets, and that schools are holding committee meetings and discussions in an effort to control costs. The reaction of the Senate committee was basically – that’s cool.
To its credit, the Republican minority, headed by Senator Enzi (R-Wyoming), issued a statement denouncing the For-Profit study. While acknowledging challenges in these particular schools, they asked the big question: why is so much effort being spent on For-Profit colleges, which represents 10% of the education industry, while Establishment schools, which represent 90%, are being ignored? It’s like focusing on your child’s performance in P.E. when they are failing math, English, and social studies. The minority enumerated the many reasons why the full report had been manipulated to make the industry look bad. And it questioned why Senator Harkin is unwilling to address the main issue – Establishment schools piling huge amounts of debt onto the public without a shred of accountability.
We deserve some real answers. Young adults are told that if they want to succeed, they must graduate from college. Today, parents are breaking themselves financially and their children are piling up ridiculous levels of debt. Increasingly, students are graduating with little hope of finding a job lucrative enough to pay off their debt, or with a degree that is useless for obtaining a position. And yet nobody asks why schools are issuing degrees in silly majors or why so many schools promote majors for which there is little demand for the graduates. More important, why are costs soaring way above the inflation rate, and why are the rapidly-increasing numbers of administrators getting paid so much? How about the falsehood of “not-for-profit” schools whose “one-class-a-week” professors earn salaries as high as $300,000 and college presidents earn $500,000 and up? There is nothing “not for profit” for these schools except their misleading titles.
Richard Cordray, Elizabeth Warren’s stand-in at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, broached the subject of why student loans are excluded from bankruptcy and suggested a rule change. I suspect that President Obama may in his second term run with this proposal, which means that a large portion of another $1 trillion – as well as any debt incurred in the future – will be dumped on the shoulders of American taxpayers. The Administration bemoans the debt level, but does nothing to correct the root causes. Obama’s ally in the Senate spends his time fiddling with 10% of the schools while Rome is burning.
Then again, is anyone really surprised?

Investment Falls Off a Cliff

Wall Street Journal Online ^ | 11/19/2012 | SUDEEP REDDY and SCOTT THURM

U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.
Half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.
Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software—a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector—stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined.
At the same time, exports are slowing or falling to such critical markets as China and the euro zone as the global economy downshifts, creating another drag on firms' expansion plans. Corporate executives say they are slowing or delaying big projects to protect profits amid easing demand and rising uncertainty. Uncertainty around the U.S. elections and federal budget policies also appear among the factors driving the investment pullback since midyear. It is unclear whether Washington will avert the so-called fiscal cliff, tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin Jan. 2.
Companies fear that failure to resolve the fiscal cliff will tip the economy back into recession by sapping consumer spending, damaging investor confidence and eating into corporate profits. A deal to avert the cliff could include tax-code changes, such as revamping tax breaks or rates, that hurt specific sectors.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Allen West and the Big Fix (Will Floridians allow this election to be stolen before their eyes?)

American Thinker ^ | 11/18/2012 | Thomas Lifson

The legitimacy the electoral process in St. Lucie County, Florida is now in question, as Rep. Allen West seeks judicial intervention to prevent certification of as vote count that is indisputably incompetent, and very possibly corrupt. John Fund, the go-to expert on electoral fraud, writes in National Review Online:

Democrat Patrick Murphy, who leads West by some 2,000 votes, is trying to stop a full recount of controversial early ballots cast in St. Lucie County. His current victory margin is just large enough to avoid triggering an automatic recall of all precincts and all votes. ...Gertrude Walker, the 32-year-veteran election supervisor of St. Lucie County...has spent much of the last two weeks explaining why her office completely botched the count. She admitted that her office had acted in "haste" in issuing election results, and that "mistakes were made." Among her mistakes was failing to count 40 of the 94 precincts under her jurisdiction on Election Night - and then counting the other 54 twice. Indeed. On Friday, her office announced it had "discovered" 304 additional early votes left in a box. None had been counted

But Walker wasn't available for comment. She has been hospitalized for unknown reasons.
Even worse, Walker's office has failed to meet the legal deadline for completing the count, and now seeks to send in admittedly flawed results for certification, handing the election to Murphy.
In seeking to pull a fast one, Walker and her Democrat allies are picking on the wrong guy. Allen West is fearless, and he does not just give up, as far too many establishment Republicans are prone to do.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

In Obama's Second Term, What Will Happen to the Housing Market? ^ | November 19, 2012 | Mark Calabria

The most glaring absence during the hard-fought campaign between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was any offer of substance regarding the housing market. It was, after all, a housing bubble-driven financial crisis that helped propel Obama to victory in 2008 and recent improvements in the housing market that perhaps helped secure his re-election Tuesday night. So housing policy was always there, even if only in the background. What does the next four years likely hold for the housing market?
Well, Obama's victory means that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will keep his job, at least until the end of his term in 2014. That means the Fed's policy to hold interest rates at record lows will continue. While mortgage spreads over Treasuries have been elevated, mortgages overall will likely hover near historic lows over the next year, providing some upward pressure on housing prices.Regardless of who the election winner is, the primary driver of housing policy will be the housing market. With home prices recovering in many areas and foreclosures on a slow but steady decline— due in part to rising prices and an improving labor market — Obama is likely not to introduce new foreclosure prevention programs in his second term. With Republicans maintaining their control of the House, legislative efforts to force broad-based reductions in underwater mortgage balances are essentially dead. While re-tools of Obama's signature HAMP and HARP programs are likely, those will be modest. In many ways, I believe the White House is eager to put the foreclosure crisis behind them and move on. .author_pub2 a { float:right; margin: 10px 0 8px 8px; display:block; height: 142px; width: 110px; background: url(/people/pub_photos/calabria.jpg) no-repeat -110px 0; } .author_pub2a a { float:right; margin: 10px 0 8px 8px; display:block; height: 142px; width: 110px; background: url(/people/pub_photos/calabria.jpg) no-repeat 0 0; }

Mark A. Calabria is director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute.
More by Mark A. Calabria

With Obama's victory and modest Democrat gains in the Senate, the president will likely renew attempts to put in place key appointments. Among those are replacing Ed DeMarco, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's acting director. Not only will this appointment influence the modifications efforts (or lack thereof) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it will also give the administration a larger voice in Congressional debates over the future of the government-backed mortgage giants. Given the significant differences between House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House on reform of Fannie and Freddie, both companies will likely still be in their conservatorship limbo at the end of Obama's second term.
The Senate is also likely to act on a permanent housing commissioner to administer the Federal Housing Administration. Such an appointment will become all the more critical, as, in my opinion, FHA will require some amount of taxpayer assistance in the years ahead. If such amounts exceed $10 billion, which I believe they will, then legislative reform of FHA becomes a strong possibility with a focus on reducing taxpayer losses.
Romney repeatedly spoke of tax reform with an emphasis on reducing deductions in order to lower rates. Despite a vocal minority within progressive circles calling for reducing the mortgage interest deduction and using the money for rental assistance, an Obama victory largely guarantees the continued existence of the mortgage interest deduction in its current form. One can almost hear the Realtors breathing a sigh of relief.
With Obama's re-election comes the likely permanence of the Dodd-Frank Act and its newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Once the battles over CFPB's existence die down, I believe bipartisan attention will shift to the agency's regulation of the mortgage market. Both Dodd-Frank's Qualified Residential Mortgage and Qualified Mortgage definitions have raised concern across the political spectrum. Whether it's a concern that low-income and minority families will be denied credit due to the restrictions of QRM/QM, or that the regulations will hold back the overall mortgage/housing market, a more substantial debate will begin, ultimately resulting in a softening of the provisions of QRM/QM.
Much of what I have discussed lies on the regulatory side of housing policy. To a large extent, the real action will remain there. Whoever was going to win was going to face some stark budget realties. With little chance of wholesale entitlement reform, discretionary spending will be squeezed. Federal assisted housing programs have their peak funding (in real terms) behind them. While the overall housing market will continue to gain momentum over the next four years, that momentum will be slow. The days of real double-digit house price appreciation are years away. Obama will not be riding a housing bubble nor will he be tasked with cleaning up another bust. That will have to wait for future administrations.
This article appeared in AOL News on November 7, 2012. 

The Good Ole Days

obamacare sucks

Nightmare Scenarios for Obama's 2nd Term ^ | November 19, 2012 | Mike Shedlock

Last week I was interviewed by Constantine von Hoffman for a CBS news article on regarding economic nightmares for Obama's 2nd term.

Calculated Risk was interviewed as well. His nightmare scenario is war, specifically noting the rise of Golden Dawn.

Eight people were interviewed for the CBS article but the organization was maddening. Specifically, there is no way to see all 8 viewpoints of people interviewed at once. You have to click through pages one at a time. I was curious enough to do it, Calculated Risk gave up after the second click.

In a clear effort to generate clicks, articles like this are an extreme turn-off and actually counterproductive. That no readers emailed me with a link to this article says no one bothered clicking through all the pages.

I talked to von Hoffman about numerous things, only one was mentioned in the article. Many of my points were of the nature of things I think should happen (and would benefit to the global economy over the long run if they did), but most economists would disagree.

Mish Nightmare Scenario

  1. Not Addressing the Fiscal Cliff
  2. Breakup of the Eurozone
  3. UK exiting the EU
  4. China Growth falls to Zero Because of Rebalancing
  5. Currency Crisis in Japan
  6. Failure to address pension problems in US
  7. Rise of the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party in Greece Leads to War

I mentioned all of those things and more. The first four are things that I actually believe need to happen (and the sooner the better) to prevent a global nightmare!

Unfortunately, most economists want to kick the can down the road still more.

For a discussion of the fiscal cliff, please see Misdiagnosing the Fiscal Cliff; Shrill Voices and Economic Nonsense; Tyranny of Balanced Budgets

A breakup of the eurozone is inevitable in my opinion. For a detailed explanation why, please see Spain's Unpleasant Choice: Accept Lower Wages and Still Higher Unemployment, Leave the Euro and Default.The sooner a breakup happens the better. Delays end up like Greece.

In regards to China, please consider "China Rebalancing Has Begun"; What are the Global Implications? Michael Pettis on China Rebalancing, Chinese Price Deflation, and Spain Exit from Euro; Target 2 Revisited.

Note that can-kicking exercise in Greece has led to the rise of the Golden Dawn party. Expect the same to happen in Spain if the agony lasts long enough.

Essentially, my nightmare scenario is more can-kicking exercises until the entire global economy blows up in a currency crisis and radical parties like Golden Dawn gain prominence everywhere, fueling political as well as economic violence.


I had war in the Mideast with spiking oil prices as part of my nightmare scenario that I mentioned to von Hoffman. I simply forgot to mention it when I typed this post up earlier today.

Why ObamaCare Is Still No Sure Thing!

The majority of state governors are Republicans, and they have the power to disarm the health-care law.


Champions of ObamaCare want Americans to believe that the president's re-election ended the battle over the law. It did no such thing. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won't be fully repealed while Barack Obama is in office, but the administration is heavily dependent on the states for its implementation.

Republicans will hold 30 governorships starting in January, and at last week's meeting of the Republican Governors Association they made it clear that they remain highly critical of the health law. Some Republican governors—including incoming RGA Chairman Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Ohio's John Kasich, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and Maine's Paul LePage—have already said they won't do the federal government's bidding. Several Democratic governors, including Missouri's Jay Nixon and West Virginia's Earl Ray Tomblin, have also expressed serious concerns.
Talk of the law's inevitability is intended to pressure these governors into implementing it on the administration's behalf. But states still have two key choices to make that together will put them in the driver's seat: whether to create state health-insurance exchanges, and whether to expand Medicaid. They should say "no" to both.
At its core, ObamaCare is a massive entitlement expansion. Between vastly increased Medicaid eligibility and new premium subsidies, it is expected to bring 30 million more people onto the federal government's entitlement rolls. The law anticipates that the states will take on the burden of implementing the expansions, but states can opt out of both.
Running the exchanges would be an administrative nightmare for states, requiring a complicated set of rules, mandates, databases and interfaces to establish eligibility, funnel subsidies, and facilitate purchases. All of this would have to take place under broad and often incoherent statutory requirements and federal regulations that have yet to be written.

They are on opposite sides of ObamaCare, but President Obama and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal met in September in LaPlace, La., for a briefing regarding Hurricane Isaac.
The exchanges would create unsustainable pressures on each state's insurance market, treating similarly situated people differently by providing far greater subsidies for those in the exchanges than those in employer plans—yielding perverse incentives that distort consumer and employer decisions and increase costs.
States would endure all this simply to become functionaries of the federal government. The idea that creating state exchanges would give states control over their insurance markets is a fantasy. The states would be enforcing a federal law and federal regulations, with very little room for independent judgment.
Governors know this. A group of them has already indicated that they will not build the exchanges, and several more seemed ready to opt out as the administration's deadline for state decisions approached on Nov. 16. Predictably, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to head them off by extending the deadline to Dec. 14. She will try to use the extra month to twist governors' arms. They should resist.
By declining to build exchanges, the states would pass the burden and costs of the exchanges to the administration that sought this law. And it is far from clear that the administration could operate the exchanges on its own.
Congress didn't allocate money for administering federal exchanges, and the law as written seems to prohibit federally run exchanges from providing subsidies to individuals. The administration insists that it can provide those subsidies anyway. But if the courts read the plain words of the statute, then federal exchanges couldn't really function.
Thus states that refuse to create their own exchanges would effectively be repealing a large part of the law—sparing their citizens from the job-killing employer mandate and from assaults on their religious liberty. In some cases people would even be spared from the individual mandate to buy coverage, since in the absence of exchange subsidies more families would qualify for exemptions from the mandate.
The Medicaid expansion, meanwhile, would throw millions of additional Americans into a system that is already bankrupting state governments and increasing costs in the private-insurance market. Medicaid's payments for services are so low that many existing beneficiaries have trouble finding physicians and other health-care providers who will accept them as patients. Enrolling more people without reform will push the system to the point of collapse.
In refusing the Medicaid expansion, governors should notify Washington that doing so means freeing themselves of ObamaCare's "Maintenance of Effort" requirements. These would prohibit states participating in the Medicaid expansion from reforming their Medicaid systems to reduce costs.
Instead of following the Obama administration's plan, states should seek real reform. For example, they should demand that Washington transform the federal portion of Medicaid for non-disabled and non-elderly beneficiaries into a uniform block grant, with state discretion over eligibility and benefits. The goal should be to turn Medicaid into a premium-assistance program rather than government-run insurance. Medicaid could then be used to help people enroll in mainstream insurance plans. This is the way to help the low-income uninsured get the same kind of coverage as other Americans.
President Obama won re-election and Democrats maintained control of the Senate this month, but the states hold the future of ObamaCare in their hands. Knowing the harm the law would do to their citizens, to the economy and to American health care, governors should refuse to become its enablers.
Mr. Capretta is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Levin is a fellow at the EPPC and editor of National Affairs. 

Homeland Security promotes welfare to new immigrants in government ‘welcome’ materials!

Daily Caller ^ | 11/18/12 | Caroline May

Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your new country can do for you.

“Welcome to,” a website maintained by the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), bills itself as the “primary gateway for new immigrants to find basic information on how to settle in the United States” — featuring a prominent section for new immigrants about how to access government benefits.

“Depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income, you may be eligible for some federal benefit programs,” the Web page reads:

“Government assistance programs can be critically important to the well-being of some immigrants and their families. Frequently, however, there is a lack of information about how to access such benefits. Benefit programs can be complicated and you may be given misleading information about how they operate.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

How Did It Begin?

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Remember 2000?

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Needing THIS?

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My Way

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The Price!

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And they should...

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Surrender your dignity!

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Free Stuff!

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Hard to believe

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Public Money

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Made up my mind!

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Whos Fault?

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The Bottom

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Kerry Support

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Putting Gas On It?

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Minimum Wages

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You Didn't...

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Over the River and Through the Wood, aka “A New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day”

(1844) | by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather’s house we go; the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow.
Over the river, and through the wood, to Grandfather’s house away! We would not stop for doll or top, for ’tis Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood— oh, how the wind does blow! It stings the toes and bites the nose, as over the ground we go.
Over the river, and through the wood, with a clear blue winter sky. The dogs do bark and the children hark, as we go jingling by.
Over the river, and through the wood, to have a first-rate play. Hear the bells ring, “Ting a ling ding!” Hurray for Thanskgiving Day!
Over the river, and through the wood— no matter for winds that blow; or if we get the sleigh upset into a bank of snow.
Over the river, and through the wood, to see little John and Ann; we will kiss them all, and play snowball and stay as long as we can.
Over the river, and through the wood, trot fast my dapple gray! Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound! For ’tis Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through the wood and straight through the barnyard gate. We seem to go extremely slow— it is so hard to wait!
Over the river, and through the wood— old Jowler hears our bells; he shakes his paw with a loud bow-wow, and thus the news he tells.
Over the river, and through the wood— when Grandmother sees us come, she will say, “O, dear, the children are here, bring pie for everyone.”
Over the river, and through the wood— now Grandmother’s cap I spy! Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done? Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!