Thursday, March 7, 2013

Contrary To What Jimmy Carter Says, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez Was No Friend Of The Poor

Investor's Business Daily ^ | 7 March 2013 | Editorial

Socialism: The left is out in force, bleating its praise for deceased Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez as a champion of the poor. It's a big lie. Fact is, Chavez hurt the poor, not just in Venezuela, but all over the world.

Chavez's death from cancer Tuesday set off a chorus of wailing from the left's politicos, media and movie stars, hailing Chavez as a friend of the poor.

"President Chavez cared deeply about the poor," declared Citizens Energy President Joe Kennedy, who's made it his business to distribute Chavez's oil handouts to the poor to help the dictator's political ends.

"His legacy in his nation, and in the hemisphere," said Rep. Jose Serrano, a Bronx Democrat, will be "a better life for the poor and downtrodden."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama administration struggles to illustrate pain from sequester

CBS News ^ | March 6, 2013, 6:03 AM | Brian Montopoli

The Obama administration has overreached three times in the past ten days in attempting to illustrate the negative impact of the sequester spending cuts in the short term, giving fodder to those seeking to play down the impact of the cuts.
On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters that major airports had seen lines ballooning to 150-200 percent their normal size. The Transportation Security Administration later clarified that it was not yet seeing longer-than-normal checkpoint lines, though Customs and Border Protection told CBS News there had been increased wait times at two airports due to reduced staffing. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, however, that “officials representing a dozen major airports said there were few if any unusual flight delays or lines at security or customs checkpoints.” That included an official at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, which is one of the two airports that had been specifically cited by Customs and Border Protection.
On Friday, meanwhile, President Obama said that janitors at the U.S. Capitol would receive a pay cut due to the sequester cuts. Carlos Elias, the superintendent of the U.S. Capitol building and the Capitol Visitors Center, quickly emailed employees to say “This is NOT TRUE,” adding that “The pay and benefits of EACH of our employees WILL NOT be impacted.” The prior Sunday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan had said on CBS’ Face the Nation that “There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.” He later acknowledged that he “misspoke” after fact checkers found no evidence for the claim. …
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Why Did America’s Economy Boom When Reagan and Clinton Reduced the Burden of Spending? ^ | March 7, 2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Triggered by an appearance on Canadian TV, I asked yesterday why we should believe anti-sequester Keynesians. They want us to think that a very modest reduction in the growth of government spending will hurt the economy, yet Canada enjoyed rapid growth in the mid-1990s during a period of substantial budget restraint.
I make a similar point in this debate with Robert Reich, noting that the burden of government spending was reduced as a share of economic output during the relatively prosperous Reagan years and Clinton years.Dan Mitchell Debating Robert Reich on Keynesian Sequester Hysteria
Being a magnanimous person, I even told Robert he should take credit for the Clinton years since he was in the cabinet as Labor Secretary. Amazingly, he didn’t take me up on my offer.
Anyhow, these two charts show the stark contrast between the fiscal policy of Reagan and Clinton compared to Bush..
Reagan-Clinton-Bush Domestic Spending
And there’s lots of additional information comparing the fiscal performance of various presidents here, here, and here.
For more information on Reagan and Clinton, this video has the details.Spending Restraint, Part I: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton
Which brings us back to the original issue.
The Keynesians fear that a modest reduction in the growth of government (under the sequester, the federal government will grow $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years rather than $2.5 trillion) will somehow hurt the economy.
But government spending grew much slower under Reagan and Clinton than it has during the Bush-Obama years, yet I don’t think anybody would claim the economy in recent years has been more robust than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.
And if somebody does make that claim, just show them this remarkable chart (if they want to laugh, this Michael Ramirez cartoon makes the same point).
So perhaps the only logical conclusion to reach is that government is too big and that Keynesian economics is wrong.
I don’t think I’ll ever convince Robert Reich, but hopefully the rest of the world can be persuaded by real-world evidence.

Rand Paul’s filibuster shows the GOP what leadership looks like!

Canada Free Press ^ | Mar. 7, 2013 | Robert Laurie

Paul focused on the administration’s bizarre unwillingness to declare the drone-murder of U.S. citizens, on U.S. soil, unconstitutional and he tore into Eric Holder’s dodgy answers about limits on Presidential power.
He did this again, and again, and again.
In eight hours, he’d done more to fight for the Constitution than Senators like McCain and Graham have in their entire political careers. …and the effort was catching fire.
Conservatives were, as Ted Cruz put it, “blowing up” Twitter, but it wasn’t just the right wingers who were offering their support. Already, the filibuster had become bipartisan when it was joined by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. Left-wing stalwart and Daily Show host John Stewart voiced support during his show. Hacker group Anonymous tweeted their support. The hashtags #StandWithRand, #RandPaul, and #Constitution were trending globally.
The world was watching ...and cheering.
Still, most of the GOP membership was silent. Yes, Cruz and Rubio were on hand to help, but the majority of the Republican Party was, as usual, determined to squander an opportunity. While more “prominent” GOPers were dining with the President, Paul unwrapped a candy bar and kept going.
A few more hours passed and, if you were watching on C-Span, you started to notice more and more faces appear. They should have been there from the beginning but the Republicans had, finally, gotten the message that something amazing was happening. The Johnny-come-latelys, recognizing a PR opportunity, filed in and offered Paul their belated, heartfelt, support.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

White House Cancels Tours, White House Visitors Director Gets Raise!

Political Realities ^ | 03/07/13 | LD Jackson
Today's story has to be at least on the borderline of pettiness. The White House announced Tuesday that it would be canceling all tours after this coming Saturday. This announcement came because of the sequester spending cuts that began to take effect on March 1. A lot of people visit the White House every year, so I have no doubt it is being done to shape public opinion. President Obama and his administration is doing their best to let the spending cuts do damage where they will do the most good. That's plain to see for anyone who is paying attention.
What a lot of people probably do not know is how much money the people who direct, coordinate, and oversee White House operations are paid. This includes the director of the White House Visitors Office, Ellie S. Schafer. Not only do they make a lot of money, they also get pay raises. Let's look at the details.
(The Daily Caller) The annual salary for the director of the White House Visitors Office, Ellie S. Schafer, went from $70,000 in 2009 to $100,000 in 2012. According to annual reports to Congress on White House staff salaries, Schafer was paid $70,000 in 2009, $71,400 in 2010, $80,000 in 2011 and $100,000 in 2012.
Schafer is listed by the White House on each report as the director of the Visitors Office for each year, but was also named a special assistant to the president in 2012. Special assistants to the president are the lowest rung of commissioned White House officers, and enjoy significant perks that lower-level staffers do not, such as mess privileges and better parking.
I am not writing this to disparage Ms. Schafer. Instead, my intent is to highlight, once again, just how bloated the federal government of the United States has become. She is the Director of the White House Visitors Office. She helps arrange and coordinate visitor tours, the White House Easter egg roll, tee-ball tournaments, and other exciting things for children and families to do on the White House grounds. Her starting salary in 2009 was $70,000. Since that time, she has received a pay increase of over 42%, putting her at $100,000 for 2012. No offense to Ms. Schafer, but doesn't that sound like a pretty good salary for someone in her position? If that isn't enough bloat for you, take a look at the report on the White House staff for 2012. It gives the names, positions, and salaries of all White House employees, all 468 of them. Of those employees, 138 receive an annual salary of $100,000 or above. I don't have time to run through the calculations, but if they only make $100,000 annually, that's almost $14 million. Many of them make well above the $100,000 threshold. As you can see, the Obama administration pays its employees very well.
If you look at the background of Ellie S. Schafer, it becomes clear she is in her current position because she was with the advance team of the first Obama for President campaign. I don't necessarily have a problem with that and I am relatively sure that this is standard operating procedure for most, if not all Presidents in modern times. Where I move from passing speculation to open criticism is when we see these people being paid six-figure salaries, when much of the rest of America is hurting from lower wages, higher prices, and higher taxes. And all the while, President Obama is going around the country, campaigning against the sequester that has supposedly caused visitor tours of the White House to be shut down, indefinitely. Not only is that hypocritical, it should also be considered unethical. When he starts complaining about spending and waste in our government, he needs to gather his White House staff around him and look in a big mirror.

Sen. Ted Cruz: Defund 'Obamacare' until economy improves!

The Washington Times ^ | 7 March 2013 | Tom Howell, Jr.

Outspoken freshman Sen. Ted Cruz intends to offer an amendment to the stopgap spending plan under debate in Congress this week that would defund President Obama’s health care law until the nation’s economy grows at a rate in line with historical averages.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Will Los Angeles Join Detroit As a Fiscal Zombie City?

RCM ^ | 03/06/2013 | Steve Malanga

Few people should have been surprised when Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said last week that he was beginning a state takeover of insolvent Detroit. After all, the city's schools have been operating under state control since 2009, while Detroit government itself has been running an accumulated deficit since 2005 and papering over its finances with borrowing.
No one would mistake Los Angeles for Detroit, however, and not just because of the weather. Los Angeles is not a fading rustbelt metropolis but a global city, a center of entertainment, finance and trade. But at a forum for mayoral candidates last month, one journalist on the panel of questioners asked the contenders whether they thought Los Angeles faced a real prospect of bankruptcy, and at least two of the candidates agreed it did.
The question didn't come out of nowhere. Last April, the city's administrative officer issued a report on Los Angeles' deteriorating finances and its long-term structural imbalance, which is budget talk for the fact that the city's projected revenues and spending don't match up over the coming years. Just to ensure that readers didn't miss his point, the CAO, Miguel Santana, started his report by recounting the path to insolvency trod by another California city, Stockton, and observed that in that case, "Getting to the doorstep of bankruptcy did not happen overnight."
Since then, Los Angeles' political leadership has engineered small changes in its budget, such as less expensive pensions for new workers, but that won't generate substantial savings for years. Now a new report issued last week by a budget watchdog group, California Common Sense, says that Los Angeles' current workforce retirement costs alone are so great that reforming then is essential to ‘avoiding insolvency' in the nation's third largest city. Pension costs have gone in 10 years from 3 percent of the city's budget to 18 percent, and even with the increased contributions by the city, its pension debt is growing larger.
Los Angeles represents the new model of urban distress. That is so because it isn't coming face-to-face with its crisis after decades of decline spurred by job losses in its single most important industry, as Detroit did with the auto makers. For all of the shortcomings of Los Angeles' civic leadership, the city also hasn't endured the political follies of Detroit during its economic decline, like the tenure of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, dubbed "America's hip-hop mayor," who went to jail for obstruction of justice after lying about an extramarital affair in a sex-and texting scandal with a city employee, and who still faces federal charges for extortion, bribery and fraud.

Sausages And Bacon Linked To Premature Death

Business Insider ^ | 03/07/2013 | Jennifer Welsh

If you love sausages, hot dogs, and brats, you might be in for a shorter life, a new study suggests.
The study analyzed data from half a million men and women, as a part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. It was published in the journal BMC Medicine [PDF]. They found a link between "processed" meat — which includes all meat products, including ham, bacon, sausages; small part of minced meat that has been bought as a ready-to-eat product — and cardiovascular disease and cancer, they report.
Also, they found that the more processed meat you eat the more likely you are to die early (of anything). A previous study of just red meat came to a similar conclusion.
The researchers think the increased cancer risk could be due to the presence of preservatives like the salt, smoke and nitrate. Also, the high levels of fat in these meats. "Risks of dying earlier from cancer and cardiovascular disease also increased with the amount of processed meat eaten," study researcher Sabine Rohrmann, from the University of Zurich, said in a statement [PDF].
"Overall, we estimate that 3 percent of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20g processed meat per day."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Could the Truth About Obama's Past Be Top Secret?

 by ComtedeMaistre

There has been a lot of speculation on Obama's past, most of which is unknown. American historians living 100 years from today, may tell us the full truth about what Obama did with his life from 1961-2004, before he was elected to the US Senate. Obama's autobiography focuses too much on his opinions on various issues, but gives us very few details on what he actually did with his life since he graduated from high school in 1979. His autobiography was more like a campaign brochure to market himself to the American left.

What is obvious is that establishment Republicans are not interested in talking about Obama's past, which indicates that the decision to keep it secret is a bipartisan decision made by the American establishment. The American establishment could not have entrusted the Presidency to someone with the meagre credentials that Obama has, which means that he must have done some things over the decades, in order to win the trust of the powerful people who control the American system.

Roger Ailes: Obama Is ‘Lazy,’ Biden ‘Dumb As an Ashtray’

Newsmax ^ | Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 03:02 PM | Bill Hoffmann

Fox News chief Roger Ailes says President Barack Obama is “lazy” and claims the commander-in-chief “never worked a day in his life,” a controversial new book claims.
Ailes also takes shots at Vice President Joe Biden, saying, “he’s as dumb as an ashtray,” and at Newt Gingrich, who he says is a “sore loser.”
In his upcoming biography, “Roger Ailes: Off Camera,” author Zev Chavets writes that Ailes reacted to a crack by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen that Ann Romney, wife of last year’s Republican presidential candidate, “never worked a day in her life,” with his own blunt opinion of the president. …
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Even Democrats Say Obama ‘Overhyped’ Sequester

Newsmax ^ | Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 04:08 PM | Dan Weil

Just like Republicans, Democrats say President Barack Obama has overhyped the effects of the automatic spending cuts and offered a confusing message about it.
Initially the White House was full of doom and gloom, warning of interminable lines at airports, widespread firings of teachers, and quick, huge job losses in the private sector as government contracts were canceled. That was going overboard, says former Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell. …
A top Democratic congressional aide scolded Obama for strategic incompetence. … Even Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, who basically agrees with Obama on the sequester, told MSNBC, “Maybe at times there’s been an overstatement.” …
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Look what drones over America can do now! ^ | March 6, 2013 | Bob Unruh

Units can track individuals by cell phones, identify by guns, put in bull's-eye

A reporter from ABC News recently speculated that drones could become such a routine part of life in the United States that they would be the tool of choice to find lost dogs or cats.
Finding pets is not what’s worrying civil rights advocates and others who are paying attention to just what is being done now with drones.
They are alarmed by the idea that a drone could track you through your cell phone, identify you by the handgun you have in your pocket, pepper you with rubber bullets to intimidate you or just blast you off the face of the Earth with live ammunition.
It is for these reasons that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and several others today staged a filibuster in the U.S. Senate against the nomination by Barack Obama of John Brennan, his national security adviser, to be director of the CIA.
It is under Brennan’s watch that Obama’s use of drones has mushroomed overseas, and individuals, including American citizens, have had a bull’s-eye painted on their back. Multitudes have been killed through the program.
Now, a part of the impetus for Paul’s filibuster was that Attorney General Eric Holder wrote under the Obama drone strategy it is not impossible that a drone attack would be ordered on a U.S. citizen on American soil.
On the Senate floor, Paul said, “If our country is a battlefield, if our country is a war zone, what is left? What are we fighting for it we are not going to fight for our rights at home?”
Drones long have played a major role for the U.S. in its Middle East conflicts. Run from computer centers in the
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Any GOP Senator Not Standing w/ Rand on That Senate Floor Just Half a Man As Far As I'm Concerned...

Reaganite Republican ^ | 06 March 2013 | Reaganite Republican

'If there were an ounce of courage in this body
I would be joined by other senators…
saying they will not tolerate this'

Along the way on rookie Senator Rand Paul's epic -and ongoing- filibuster, he had a little help from his friends...

-with such patriots as Ted Cruz asking lengthy questions in order to give the man's voice a break. I think my favorite part was were Senator Paul said we'll have no notice, no warning if the President decides you're one he needs to dispose of- all you'll hear is the buzz of the plane before it sends a Hellfire up your rear-end: Paul: "Is this what we want from government?"

As for progress, the White House hasn't had a word to say on whether they think it's legal for Dear Leader to assassinate US citizens with drones... and won't even answer the phone. Unsurprisingly, the American MSM has pretty much buried the story, save Fox.

'I have allowed the president to pick his political appointees… but I will not sit quietly and
let him shred the Constitution.'

But shamefully, twelve Senators collaborationists were in-fact having dinner with Obama at a nearby restaurant while Rand Paul made a brave and principled stand -on the 177th anniversary of the Alamo... these are people NOT on the side of Liberty, my friends:
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Tom Coburn
  • John McCain
  • Kelly Ayotte
  • Pat Toomey (joined filibuster on floor afterwards)
  • Bob Corker
  • Ron Johnson
  • Saxby Chambliss
  • John Hoeven
  • Dan Coats
  • Richard Burr
  • Mike Johanns.
As with the 'fiscal cliff' deal where the RINOs came out for a public grazing, NOW you know who they are- pretty much a list of what's wrong with this party, don't you think?

Desperate measures

I never said...

Bouncing along

New Energy Secretary

Global Warming?

The Old Days

Good Things Happen

Good News

This is Hell?


Stupid Question

The DoDo Bird