Friday, January 11, 2013

Texas Lt. Gov. calls for gun training for teachers

KHOU ^ | January 11, 2013 | JIM VERTUNO

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has called for state-funded specialized firearms training for teachers and administrators to guard against school shootings.
Dewhurst said school districts would nominate who they wanted to carry weapons on campus. The training would be more extensive than what is currently required for Texas concealed handgun license and include how to react technically and emotionally in an active shooter situation on a school campus.
Dewhurst offered no other details of his plan, and said the amount of state funding needed would depend on the number of school districts that participate and how many people want the training.
School districts would not be required to participate.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Think Only the Rich Will Pay More Taxes After Fiscal Cliff Agreement? You're Wrong!

CNBC ^ | 01/11/2013 | Eamon Javers

You followed all of the debate over the fiscal cliff and were relieved to hear that taxes were only going up for the rich this year.

Well, you were wrong.

Because neither party wanted to defend it, the temporary payroll tax cut enacted under Obama died at the end of 2012, which means that everyone in the country will see a bigger tax bite out of their paychecks this year. So when you get your first check of the year, look at the amount charged under "FICA" – you're going to be paying more than you did in December.
How big a bite is it? For many middle class workers, it will work out to a trip to the grocery store or a tank of gas less every two weeks this year.
Here are the numbers.
For a single person making $60,000 per year who's paid bi-weekly, gross income in a paycheck is $2,307.69.
n December, you would have had to subtract from that federal withholding taxes of $403. 56. FICA taxes were $96.93. Medicare was $33.46. State withholding for a person living in Maryland was $177.35.
That gives the taxpayer net pay in one check in December of $1,596.39.
So what happens this month?
Gross pay is the same, as are the Medicare and state taxes. But FICA taxes go up sharply – to $143.08. That's a $46.15 bite from the political decision to allow the payroll tax cut to expire.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Myth of Government Default [If you think gun control is a problem, read this]

Wall Street Journal ^ | 1/11/13 | David Rivkin & Lee Casey

Three false arguments, pushed hard by the Obama administration and accepted on faith by the media and much of the political establishment, must be laid to rest if the American people are to understand the issues at stake in the federal "debt ceiling" debate. The first is that Congress's failure to raise the debt ceiling—the amount of money the federal government is authorized to borrow at any given time—will cause a default on the national debt. The second is that federal entitlement programs are constitutionally protected from spending cuts. The third is that the president can raise the debt ceiling on his own authority.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Braces for the Kids Just Got More Expensive: Obamacare Tax Hike Case Study

Americans for Tax Reform ^ | January 11, 2013

In 2013, the tax increases in Obamacare will increasingly conspire against kitchen-table family healthcare decisions.
As just one example, below are some of the taxes that will impact the purchase of dental braces:
Obamacare Medical Device Tax: As of Jan.1, Obamacare imposes a new tax of 2.3 percent on medical device manufacturers, including those who make dental braces. The tax is imposed on gross sales -- even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. While the tax will be paid to the IRS by the manufacturer, the tax will be passed along as a higher cost of the product, ultimately to be borne by the parent buying the braces for their child. With the cost of braces being as high as $7,625 this new tax could raise the cost of these braces by $175.
Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Cap: As of Jan. 1, the 30-35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new government cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) A parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces would find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars. Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.
Obamacare “Haircut” to the Medical Itemized Deduction: Faced with higher prices for braces and a reduced ability to pay for them with their FSA, parents might decide to deduct the cost of braces on their tax returns. Unfortunately, Obamacare makes this harder, too.
Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical and dental expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). As of Jan. 1, Obamacare imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.
According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 - $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here.
This is just a small example of how a simple, everyday, kitchen table decision has been fundamentally altered by the tax hikes in Obamacare. It does not even take into account the indirect effects of the rest of the tax hikes in the law, which will reduce family income and kill jobs.

It's Not the 'Doctor Shortage,' Stupid (It's a Manufactured Crisis)

American Thinker ^ | 01/11/2013 | Michael Applebaum, MD, on 07 January 2013, published an article entitled, "Doctor Shortage Becoming Crisis Under Obamacare."

The sick care industry is a repair and rescue industry. This so-called crisis is a manufactured one in the same way that there would be a "mechanic shortage" if the overwhelming preponderance of cars were so poorly built by intent that they required an obscene amount of repair.
The fundamental problems with the sick care system, for the most part, remain the quality of the protoplasm entering it, i.e., people are unfit by choice who therefore develop diseases of choice, and the combined efforts of the government and Progressive Medicine to nannify sick care, i.e., save people from themselves without allowing them the golden opportunity to truly experience the results of their behavior.
The responsible among us are forced to underwrite this last endeavor.
This is an example of the moral hazard attendant to "health insurance" and its encouragement.
Real insurance, not the pseudo-insurance of the Progressive State, works to decrease risk. Private industry creates incentives to this end.
Government and the sick care industry have no such goal. For the former, the slop in the trough from which it feeds (money separated under threat of force from some citizens) never goes dry. For the latter, it is the only game in town to receive government's aqua vitae, i.e., protection money. Cha-ching.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Another Lost Year for America's Workers! ^ | | Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - President Obama's decision to name Jacob Lew, his chief of staff and former budget director, to be his Treasury secretary sent a depressing signal that the economy and jobs won't be his highest priority in a second term.

With unemployment remaining stubbornly high in the fifth year of his presidency, the job of Treasury secretary cries out for a hard- driving, corporate chief executive with strong economic credentials.
Instead, Obama intends to pick Lew who has reigned over his big spending budgets (and five consecutive trillion dollar deficits), and more recently has run the West Wing operation as its manager in chief. The intricate details of economic policy and growth economics are not part of his portfolio.
"The selection signals that Obama's second term will not initially focus on big new ideas to create jobs," the Washington Post declared Thursday in a front page story on the president's decision to tap his liberal political soul-mate and fellow law school graduate.
If you are among the more than 12 million unemployed, or the millions more who have been forced to take a low-paying part-time job because you couldn't find good, full-time employment, this is hopeless news indeed.
Lew, a former top aide to Democratic House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill in the 1980s, has been the Obama administration's chief defender of its wildly out-of-control big spending policies. And he will play a pivotal role in the fiscal battles to come over the debt ceiling increase and budget policies that will dominate Congress's agenda over the next three months or more.
Obama's decision sadly speaks volumes about where jobs and the economy fit into his second term agenda -- on the middle-to-back burner. He hasn't been talking much about either of late, and there's no sign he intends to offer another plan to get a slowing economy moving again.
Can he get away with that? Apparently he can and thus far he has, with not a peep out of the national news media that has shamelessly covered for him, despite four painful years of an anemic economy (barely crawling along at a 2 percent growth rate) and unemployment skirting 8 percent or more.
Take, for example, last week's jobs report for the month of December from the Labor Department which reported that employment rose by 155,000, though the jobless rate remained stuck at 7.8 percent.
That's because Americans who could not find a full-time job said they stopped looking for work and thus were subtracted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the ranks of the unemployed.
This is a sorry record for a chief executive who ran on putting America back to work. But the jobs issue of late has all but vanished from the nation's conciousness and dialogue. In part, because the numbers have been sugar coated by the national news media and all but ignored by the national nightly network news.
Last week, newspapers reported that the mediocre job numbers for December "held steady" and showed that the economy was still creating jobs at a "steady pace." That's like boasting a struggling student's persistent C-minus average "held steady" despite no sign of improvement.
For example, the Washington Post focused its glowing story on the increasing jobs in the nation's construction industry (30,000), but conveniently ignored or played down that much of the weak job growth came in food services and "drinking places" (nearly 40,000) where wages are low.
Here are few examples from last Friday's BLS report that you didn't hear on the nightly network news shows:
-- "In December, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.8 million and accounted for 39.1 percent of the unemployed."
-- "Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (7.3 percent) and blacks (14 percent) edged up in December, while the rates for adult men (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent), whites (6.9 percent), and Hispanics (9.6 percent) showed little or no change."
-- "The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 7.9 million, changed little in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job."
-- "In December, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier... These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months."
Note: these 2.6 million Americans were not added to the BLS's 12.2 million jobless number "because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."
It's hard to find a hard, critical analysis that these jobs numbers demand, but James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute think tank provided one last week. It's headline: "Dismal December jobs report shows another lost year for U.S. workers." It deserves a wider audience.
December's BLS number "was the same old, same old. The increase in total nonfarm payroll employment was only a smidgen better than the average 2012 employment growth of 153,000 jobs per month," Pethokoukis writes.
"And that was exactly the same as the average monthly gain for 2011," he adds. "And at that pace, the U.S. won't return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until after 2025, according to the Jobs Gap calculated from the Hamilton Project."
And consider these stats from his devastating analysis:
-- 14.4 percent: The real unemployment rate when you add part- timers who want full-time jobs and discouraged workers who still can't find a job.
-- 10.7 percent: The unemployment rate if the declining labor force participation rate was at its higher January 2009 level.
-- 5.2 percent: The jobless rate Team Obama forecast for December 2012 if Congress passed his $800 billion job stimulus.
If you're still buying into Obama's jobs claim that "we're making progress" and "moving forward," you've made the Washington news media very happy.

It's time patriots declare Victory in the 2nd Amendment war!

Coach is Right ^ | 1/11/13 | Doug Book

Though it’s doubtful anyone will hear much about it, neither lawmakers, judges or even a president has the constitutional authority to infringe upon the inalienable right of the American people to keep and bear arms.
One hundred thirty eight years ago, the Supreme Court wrote that the right to keep and bear arms “…is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” (1)
The case was the United States v Cruikshank and the Court made it clear that the right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right, God-given and independent of any mandatory approbation by men or their laws for its force and legitimacy
The Founders were so certain as to the absolute nature of these inalienable rights in the Bill of Rights that Alexander Hamilton suggested in Federalist No. 84 that it was unnecessary even to make them a part of the written Constitution. “For why declare that...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Sheriff's offer to help arm teachers gets big response

Some Colorado Springs teachers responded eagerly Thursday to El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa’s offer to assist with firearms training and waive charges for concealed weapons permits to enhance school security.
“We’re getting calls from people who say they are a teacher and they want a concealed weapons permit,” said Lt. Jeff Kramer, El Paso County Sheriff’s spokesman. “We’re getting inquiries from teachers, administrators and representatives of local school districts.”
Maketa, who supports arming teachers and administrators in schools, told The Gazette about his ideas Wednesday. When the news hit the streets, the calls started.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper offered measured support to the idea during an interview Thursday with The Gazette’s editorial board.
Armed teachers or administrators could make schools safer as long as there was “comprehensive training” on using weapons and keeping them stored safely.
The problem is that under state and federal law, guns are not allowed on school grounds under the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act unless carried by law enforcement or security personnel.
“It all starts with the district,” Kramer said. “If they express an interest in it as a program, we will talk with them and set up a program.”
Colorado’s legislators might help Maketa.
Republican legislators in Colorado have introduced a bill to allow a school board or governing board of a charter school to adopt a policy that would allow a school employee to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds if the person holds a concealed weapons permit.
The bill is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, and Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Parker. In the House, the sponsor is Lori Saine, R-Dacono.
Renfroe said he comes at the issue from the inside, having been a school board member for eight years and serving on a charter school board presently. He was on the school board during the shooting at Columbine.
“It’s clear that what we have been doing is not working,” he said. “Gun-free zones — criminals don’t obey the law and they never will.”
He hopes to add Democrat backers to the bill, but the debate hasn’t started.
“We were very generic in getting it rolled out,” Renfroe said. “We need to look at this and be honest with ourselves. There are teachers out there who are veterans or retired police who are very qualified. The last thing I want to do is have a person like that in the school who can’t help protect the children they are teaching and themselves.”
Maketa, he said, “is doing exactly what I hoped experts like him will do.”
Maketa was out of town Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
READ MORE: Sheriff offers firearms training for teachers, administrators

The Gun Fight continues…What Would Breitbart Do?

Here is your Friday Gun Survey: (as always, Chicago Rules apply)

A crazed gunman starts firing into a crowded restaurant. You...

I was listening to Geraldo this morning on F&F as he articulated his liberal logic on guns and gun control. Essentially his position is: “I’ve got the guns I want, so you shouldn’t want anything more,” which is a variation of the basic liberal argument for regulating everything which is “I’ve got mine, so now I can regulate yours.”
Butt what really caught my ear was this comment from Geraldo, and I quote: “How could you not trust your own government?”
I think this was intended to be rhetorical, so I won’t mention all the things that the government has banned in the past to protect us from perceived harm that turned out to be perfectly harmless (e.g., cyclamates, saccharine, red dye #2, DDT - really! ).
Let’s get directly at the heart of the beast: the Second Amendment. The fact that the Second Amendment is not about hunting (that was pretty much a given back in Revolutionary America, if you wanted to eat) seems lost on today’s intellectual glitterati. Indeed, despite the intelligentsia’s inability to imagine a government that we the people might need to be protected from, that is precisely what the Founders had in mind with this amendment; an armed citizenry to protect themselves from future tyrannical leaders like the one they had just fought to free themselves from.
the smell of tyranny poster copy
Well here, let’s have somebody who knows something explain this:
The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny. Consider the words of Supreme Court justice Joseph Story — who was, it bears noting, appointed to the Court by the guy who wrote the Constitution:
The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.
“Usurpation and arbitrary power of the rulers” — not Bambi, not burglars. While your granddad’s .30-06 is a good deal more powerful than the .223 rifles that give blue-state types the howling fantods, that is not what we have a constitutional provision to protect. Liberals are forever asking: “Why would anybody need a gun like that?” And the answer is: because we are not serfs. We are a free people living under a republic of our own construction. We may consent to be governed, but we will not be ruled. (h/t Doug Ross)
Of course, that kind of thinking is so out of date, so three centuries ago. I mean, it’s not like governments ever go awry in our enlightened modern world:
holocaust“There was no such thing as the holocaust, there was no no such thing as the holocaust, there was no no such thing as the holocaust…”

stalin lenin maoCommunism has killed 100 million people: what do you say we give it another chance?
I, along with all of you, wish Breitbart was still with us, as he would have had a unique way to address this thorny issue of Big Government intrusion into our constitutional rights. Although nobody will ever fill his shoes, I feel confident I know what his position would be in this regard:
i am npt a serf poster copy

Obama should override the debt ceiling?

By Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C. Dorf, Special to CNN

Press secretary Jay Carney tells reporters the White House will not negotiate with Congress about raising the debt ceiling.
Press secretary Jay Carney tells reporters the White House will not negotiate with Congress about raising the debt ceiling.
  • Writers: Debt ceiling puts Obama in a trap; executing law means violating others
  • A president cannot authorize spending, taxing or borrowing to avoid ceiling, they say
  • Writers: He should borrow exactly enough money to implement Congress' budget
  • That move would be the least unconstitutional solution to his "trilemma," they say
Editor's note: Neil H. Buchanan is an economist and professor of law at George Washington University Law School. Michael C. Dorf, a former law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School. Their article on the president's options in the face of the debt ceiling impasse appeared in the October 2012 issue of the Columbia Law Review, with a recent follow-up appearing in the online edition of the same journal.
(CNN) -- President Barack Obama might soon find himself in a quandary in which basic arithmetic prevents him from faithfully executing all of the laws Congress has passed. The debt ceiling statute prohibits borrowing enough money to make up the difference between funds in the Treasury and legal obligations to spend.
Anything the president does would violate some law. Indeed, anything he does would be unconstitutional because all of the relevant powers -- spending, taxing and borrowing -- belong to Congress.
Michael Dorf
Michael Dorf
Neil Buchanan
Neil Buchanan
Many Washington insiders have assumed that if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, Obama could simply cut spending. But constitutional history says otherwise.
When President Richard Nixon tried to "impound" money that Congress had ordered him to spend, the courts slapped him down. During Bill Clinton's administration, the Supreme Court ruled that the president has only a limited ability to cut spending even with congressional authorization. He has no constitutional power to cut spending without such authorization.
If every action the president might plausibly take would usurp a power of Congress, what should he do? He should minimize the usurpation.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln unilaterally suspended habeas corpus. Lincoln argued that if that decision was unconstitutional, it was nonetheless necessary to avoid a greater evil: violating his constitutional oath to defend the Union. Faced with a dilemma, Lincoln chose the less unconstitutional course.

The same goes for this president from Illinois. If Congress creates a trilemma, he must choose the least unconstitutional option.
Some commentators suggest that the Treasury could generate $2 trillion for the government by minting two platinum coins, using an obscure law that was enacted for the express purpose of creating memorabilia. But doing so would be economically equivalent to borrowing $2 trillion and thus, even if technically legal, would violate the substance of the debt ceiling law.
In a constitutional crisis, analysis should rest on constitutional principles, not technicalities. The core issue is separation of powers: What course of action would minimize the executive taking over legislative authority?
The answer is violating the debt ceiling, not cutting spending or raising taxes. By borrowing exactly enough money to cover the difference between funds in the Treasury and expenditures required by law, the president would simply be implementing Congress' budget.

By contrast, a presidential decision to raise taxes or cut spending would require many policy-laden judgments: Whose taxes would be raised and by how much? What expenditures would be cut, to what degree and according to what criteria?
For the president to make these quintessentially legislative judgments on his own would usurp power on an enormous scale. Issuing debt beyond the debt ceiling would be unconstitutional but not as unconstitutional as raising taxes or cutting spending.
Despite some confusion, Obama has kept the least unconstitutional option on the table. In December, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the "administration does not believe that the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling."
That observation is beside the point. True, some scholars argue that the debt ceiling violates Section 4 of the 14th Amendment. If so, then the debt ceiling is void and the president's power to borrow money comes, not from the 14th Amendment, but from the statute authorizing the Treasury secretary to "borrow on the credit of the United States government amounts necessary for expenditures authorized by law."
Putting aside the 14th Amendment, Carney's claim at most shows that unilaterally raising the debt ceiling would override Congress' borrowing authority. But that merely states one horn of the trilemma. Unilaterally raising taxes or cutting spending would usurp more congressional authority.
Our leaders can still act responsibly by raising the debt ceiling or, better yet, by repealing it entirely. Congress can then control federal debt simply by paying attention to the gap between spending and taxes. It should not force the president to usurp one of its powers.
But if Congress leaves the president no constitutional options, he must choose the least unconstitutional one: borrowing money beyond the debt ceiling.


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Try to take it!

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Spending Problem?

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Catholics for Obama

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News Magazine

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Bad and Good

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Tape is all you need?

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Keystone Pipeline

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Ammo Ban

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Shooting Gallery

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Hillary Helmets!

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Hate-Rapper Auditions

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Ticket Home!

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Cannabis Pass

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The Three Stooges

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Fractured Leadership

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