Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Krauthammer: If you subsidize apples, you get more apples. If you subsidize unemployment

Hotair ^ | 01/07/2014 | Erika Johnsen 

It seems to be a truth only very selectively acknowledged that, when you tax something, you’ll end up with less of it (the corollary being that, if you subsidize something, you’ll get more of it). Progressives seem perfectly capable of recognizing this truth in the context of sin taxes and green-energy subsidies, yet when it comes to things like the extension of unemployment benefits that is making its way through the Senate at the moment, they seem to think that such policies are immune from the most basic of economics. That’s the point that Charles Krauthammer made last night, pointing out that the White House and the Democrats are touting the full-blown awesomeness of their ongoing economic “recovery” and the accompanying job creation out of one side of their mouths while grandstanding about the need for further unemployment benefits out of the other — but the reality is that today’s unemployment rate of around seven percent actually looks a lot more like eleven percent if you use the same labor force participation rate of just a few years ago, and the Democrats keep approaching the systemic problem with the same old-and-tired non-solutions that are practically good for little else than browbeating Republicans. Via RCP:

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE VIDEO




The core issue is creating an entitlement. This has never been considered an entitlement. And you go down this road, Sperling says now is not the time. Four and a half years into a recovery, at least as defined by the administration itself, is not the time? If not now, then when? I mean, what we’re going to end up with is an European level of unemployment, chronic unemployment subsidized. And the fact is, if you subsidize apples, you get more apples; if you subsidize unemployment, you get more of it. And that’s what the economics study shows. It’s not that people are lazy. It shows that if you have unemployment insurance, then you can make choices which would allow you to turn down a job that perhaps isn’t exactly what you want. The vast majority of the unemployed want a job, and the problem is the state of the economy.

Republicans could really win it all in 2014, if …

Hotair ^ | 01/07/2014 | Ed Morrissey 

This should be a huge midterm election for Republicans, especially for the Senate, where they need six seats to seize control of the upper chamber and send Harry Reid back to the business end of his filibuster reform. After all, it just took a little overreach and arrogance for Barack Obama and the Democrats to end up in the 2010 shredder, losing the House in the first midterms for Obama. After lying for five years with the “you can keep your plan” promise and the skyrocketing costs for health insurance set to hammer the middle class, 2014 should make 2010 look like a picnic … right? Larry Sabato thinks so, assuming Republicans don’t blow the opportunity:
I’d argue that three factors are paramount: the president, the economy and the election playing field. And, at least preliminarily, those three factors seem to be pointing toward Republican gains in both houses in the 2014 midterms.
Why?
1. The president. His job approval numbers are perhaps the best indicator of the public’s overall political orientation at any given time, a kind of summary statistic that takes everything at the national level into account. In a large majority of cases, the president’s party does poorly in midterms, especially the second midterm of a two-term administration. …
As 2014 begins, the environment for the Democrats in this election year is not good. The botched, chaotic rollout of the Affordable Care Act is the obvious cause, but it is broader than that: the typical sixth-year unease that produces a “send-them-a-message” election. Fortunately for Democrats, the GOP-initiated shutdown of the federal government in October has tempered the public’s desire for a shift to the Republican side, too. “None of the above” might win a few races in November if voters had the choice.
As long as Republicans keep the focus on ObamaCare, the incompetence of its administration, and the falsehoods used to sell it, they should do well against Democrats forced to defend it. Sabato notes that “this year’s Senate slate strongly favors the Republicans,” and that will remain true as long as Republicans keep aiming at Democrats.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of effort at aiming at Republicans, especially in what would be otherwise safe Senate seats. In my column today for The Week, I point out the stakes involved in this midterm election and agree with Gov. Scott Walker that we risk disaster by redirecting our aim internally rather than externally:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sees the same danger. In an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley, the potential presidential contender warned activists that, while their energy and frustration are appreciated, their target selection is way off. Those unhappy with budget compromises need to aim at Senate Democrats rather than sitting Republicans, Walker explained, so that Republicans gain rather than lose leverage. “[G]o to Louisiana or go to Arkansas or go to North Carolina or Alaska, where there are senators facing real elections as Democrats,” Walker advised, “and go and help in those elections and elect new Republicans to come because a year from now, things will be much different if Republicans hold the United States Senate.”
That’s good advice. Thanks to Harry Reid’s dismantling of the filibuster, just standing pat in the Senate for the final two years of Obama’s presidency won’t be enough for Republicans. The GOP needs the majority to force Obama into compromises on appointments as well as to control the floor agenda on legislation. That will still put Republicans in opposition to Obama, but they can set the table themselves in Congress and force Obama to deal with them directly, rather than have Reid running interference. The GOP will also need to take as many Senate seats in 2014, because the 2016 class of the Senate will be tougher on Republicans.
This isn’t to say that the grassroots activists have no legitimate reasons for their anger with Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, or to suggest that primary challenges are a bad practice. In 2014, though, the opportunity to finally sideline Reid and take command of Capitol Hill is too good to pass up. This last chance to use both chambers of Congress to slow down the Obama administration should have the Tea Party pointing their rhetorical and activist guns outward rather than inward.
In this case, we’re better off getting Republicans elected rather than spending this election in a purification effort. Right now, the majority has got to be the priority.

Obama: ‘Long-term unemployed are not lazy’ (The only other explanation then, no jobs)

msnbc ^ | 1/7/2014 | Aliyah Frumin 

Shortly after the Senate narrowly cleared the first procedural hurdle to temporarily extend federal benefits to the unemployed, President Obama urged Congress to pass the bill and laid out the moral case to help poor and struggling Americans.
“I just want everybody to understand this is not an abstraction,” said Obama, who was flanked by several who lost their benefits on Dec. 28 after Congress failed to act before leaving for the holidays. “…These are your neighbors, your friends, your family members, it could at some point be any of us. That’s why we set up a system of unemployment insurance. The notion was everybody is making a contribution because you don’t know when the business cycle or an economic crisis might make any of us vulnerable.”
Obama at the White House added, “We are not a people who say you’re on your own. We’re people who believe that we’re all in it together.”
The bill advanced by a 60-37 vote after six Republicans joined the Democratic majority. Democrats needed at least 60 votes to push the legislation forward and begin debate.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.com ...

Owning Up to the Obamacare Lies: Admitting, quietly, that conservatives were right all along!

The National Review ^ | January 7, 2014 | Charles C. W. Cooke 

Those who have elected to keep close tabs on the reactions to Obamacare’s blotchy rollout will presumably have noticed that it has been marked by admissions of guilt. The latest such confession comes from The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber, who bluntly conceded yesterday that “Obamacare actually paves the way toward single payer.” Pushing back against Michael Moore’s unsettling criticisms of the law, Schreiber tweeted:
Noam Scheiber @noamscheiber
Dear liberals bummed about Obamacare: Don't sweat it.
It's going to get us to a single-payer system before long.
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116105/obamacare-will-lead-single-payer-michael-moore …
11:42 AM - 6 Jan 2014
26 Retweets 12 favorites
This, Scheiber made sure to explain, was not an accident, and nor was it merely a dose of post hoc optimism. Obamacare, he claimed, is in fact “a deceptively sneaky way to get the health care system both of us really want” — that is, single payer. And “Republicans are in some sense playing into the trap Obamacare laid for them.”
I honestly do not know whether Scheiber’s prediction is correct. When government wishes to expand itself, it is tough for people to resist, and the instances are legion of people who wanted a little change but were subjected instead to a lot. Still, I suspect that this will not be the case with Obamacare. For a start, the rollicking disaster that has been the law’s launch will now be projected into every home each and every time an expansion of government is suggested. And, disappointingly for the movement that spawned the change, Americans appear to be reacting to it by concluding that government should henceforth have less — not more — to do with health care. Either way, whatever happens in the future, I do know this: When Republicans have written their own version of Scheiber’s column, complaining that Obamacare is but a “deceptively sneaky way to get” to single payer, they have been immediately denounced for hysteria and mendacity and invited to remove the tin foil.
Accusing its opponents of lying has been the Left’s modus operandi since the first shots of the health-care debate were fired. Insofar as there was any at all, the ostensible theory was that, unable to muster any serious criticisms, almost certainly motivated by money and by racism, and tainted forever for having supposedly endorsed the scheme in the 1990s, conservatives were reduced to fabrications and to hyperbole — in other words, into scaring the public by telling them things that weren’t true. In the meantime, the law’s architects tripped over themselves to bend the truth — but that was fine because they were spreading “noble lies,” as the perpetually melting-down Brian Beutler now terms these tales.
Among the alleged falsehoods on which conservative opposition relied were that the scheme was effectively a “takeover” that would leave the president with capricious control over the nation’s health-care system; that insurance premiums would inevitably increase for some; that the president’s oft-repeated promise that all Americans could keep their health care if they liked it was obviously untrue; and that government was almost certainly unsuited to run a project of this magnitude and importance. Also claimed to be mendacious was the Right’s characterization of the measure as a severe departure from the status quo. Thus were we treated to a standard by which Joe Biden was able to call passage a “big f***ing deal” and the president was allowed to boast about his newest place in history with nary a squeak, but Republicans doing the same thing were accused of blowing a “moderate” and “modest” proposal out of all proportion.
Post-launch, however, these conservative “lies” are looking more and more like wisdom, historical literacy, and political foresight. The sheer number of canceled plans may have shocked “some on the Left,” but it certainly didn’t shock the law’s opponents — many of whom had been predicting it for years. Likewise, while the sheer audacity of the president’s unilateral changes have surprised nearly everyone, the fact that the law has dangerously conferred upon the executive branch an almost unlimited power to shape the regulations and the insurance market as it sees fit has not. This, as was observed ad nauseam during the debate, is not so much a law as it is an enabling act.
It has not simply been that time has vindicated many of the conservative complaints. On the contrary: The Left has started to admit that much of what Obamacare’s critics said was true all along — even going so far as to unashamedly incorporate the grievances into their apologies. Earlier in the year, Jonathan Chait, Jonathan Cohn, and Ezra Klein — the administration’s golden trio — all of a sudden switched tactics and came clean. As reports of increased premiums started to flood in from across the country, the group tutted impatiently, rolled its eyes, and, with a how-stupid-are-you tone, explained that obviously one couldn’t cover a whole host of new people withoutsome premiums’ being raised. In other words, once Obamacare’s launch was imminent, the Left admitted that conservatives’ key critique — which the president and Nancy Pelosi had promised over and over and over again was but a lie — had been correct all along.
So habitually has the administration insisted that the troubles with Obamacare are the fault of wreckers and traitors that it has occasionally lost touch with reality. As Mediaite’s Noah Rothman noted, on the last day of last year a White House health-care adviser named Phil Schiliro took to MSNBC to claim that that the CBO enrollment projections that the White House and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius had been touting as a target all year had nothing to do with the administration. George Orwell’s name is rather overused in modern political journalism, but this really was a deception worthy of IngSoc, and its shifting, mutating truths the sign of deep dysfunction. Over and over, Sebelius had made it abundantly clear that the government wanted 3 million sign-ups by January, and 7 million by the end of March. But when the government only got 2 by the New Year, it simply pretended that the target had never existed. Have we always been at war with Eastasia?
Nonsense on both sides has been rife from the outset. That’s politics. And around the edges, some conservatives did indeed scream bloody murder — weakening their case with frivolous allegations and careless language. But where it really mattered, the Right’s barbs hit their target. Whether Obamacare was a stalking horse for something much worse, and whether it will succeed in metastasizing into a nightmare for liberty, remains to be seen. Still, at this early stage, one thing seems certain: By the time we find out what happens in Chapter 2, an awful lot more of the “lies” that were told about the law will — as quietly as possible, without an apology in sight, and only when it is safe for them to do so — have somehow, magically come true.

Surrounded by Victims of His Economic Destruction, Prez Says Paying People Not to Work Creates Jobs!

Rushlimbaugh.com ^ | January 7, 2014 | Rush Limbaugh 

RUSH: All right. So the Washington soap opera is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen. The president's been speaking for the last 20 minutes, 25, 30, whatever on the morality and the economics of extending emergency unemployment benefits, anything to get Obamacare off the front page and get Obamacare off the radar. Now we've got to extend unemployment benefits. It's nothing more than the news agenda being recycled. It's just flat-out amazing. If what he just said is true, we ought to just stop anybody working and put everybody on unemployment, and that's how to get a recovery.

Hey, folks, Rush Limbaugh, great to be here. It's only Tuesday. Already rocking and rolling here. Telephone number, you want to be on the program, is 800-282-2882. The e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.

This guy is an absolute economic idiot. He's sitting here, he's touting the benefits of unemployment insurance for the last 20 minutes. And the first thing that comes to my mind is, wait a minute, I thought we had this great economic recovery going because of him and because of his astute, brilliant policies. I thought the president had given us an economic recovery and we're starting to come back here. They're reporting fourth quarter growth at 4%. Did you hear that?

By the way, they're using new metrics to measure. It's nowhere near growing at 4%. But that's what they're saying. And, in the midst of all of this economic growth and all of this economic rebound, the most important thing is avoiding another government shutdown and extending unemployment benefits. The president just said that unemployment benefits actually create new jobs. Now, stop and think about that for a second. Unemployment benefits create new jobs. What is unemployment insurance? It is paying people not to work.

Let's change the term. Let's get rid of "unemployment insurance" and let's call it "paying people not to work." The president of the United States just said to resounding applause -- well, I'm not sure that got applause. The only thing that's really gotten any applause in the White House, he's got all kinds of people standing behind him, is when he said we can't dare have another government shutdown. That got a standing ovation. So it tells you the kind of people in the room.

Anyway, paying people not to work can grow the economy. Paying people not to work can create jobs. And he explained how, by the way. You want to hear that? Well, here's what he said. There's somebody in the room named Kathy. I guess she's the chosen one today. Somehow she's being totally mistreated by this unfair, immoral, unjust country. She's being mistreated by this unfair, immoral, unjust economy (that's all his). She's being mistreated, she's being forgotten, she's being left out by this uncaring, unfeeling country (which he has been running now for five years). He keeps pointing to Kathy, saying if we extend Kathy's unemployment benefits, we are going to actually create jobs. And here's how.

The additional money that Kathy will have will enable her to turn the thermostat up, and turning the thermostat up when it's an ice bowl out there will allow the utility company to maybe hire more workers, because they are deriving more income because Kathy's turning up her thermostat. Did you know it works that way? So everybody out there, turn your thermostat up, because that will create jobs at your local utility. That's how it works.

Then, after Kathy turns up her thermostat with the money she has left over from her unemployment check, she can then go to the grocery store and buy maybe an additional dozen eggs, or maybe another loaf of bread. And when she does that, the grocery store might hire a new worker, and, in fact, might even hire Kathy. This is the kind of drivel that we are getting from the president of the United States, and this is the kind of drivel that low-information voters apparently are just scarfing up.

Nancy Pelosi got all this started. For every dollar of unemployment benefits, we create two dollars of economic activity or some such thing as that. But the real overriding question is, if we are in the midst of this massive, growing economy, and this just once in a lifetime, thrilling recovery, then what's the emergency? Thirty minutes on this. Thirty minutes. And it's all part of the soap opera, folks. It's nothing more than a distraction. It is the playing of the race card. It's the playing of class envy. It's got every liberal Democrat, slash, socialist agenda item wrapped up in it.

Republicans are mean and evil and don't care about people. Washington has not been working hard enough. The president said, "We can do this if we just work together." And the place erupted in applause at that. I forgot. If we can just work together. There's obviously applause signs in the East Room of the White House where this is taking place.

So here we have Kathy unemployed because this country's unfair, unjust, and immoral, despite the fact he's been president for five years. We're in the midst of this rebounding recovery, this growing economy, got fourth quarter growth at 4%, and yet the most pressing item in America is extending unemployment benefits, which, if we do it, will create even more jobs and create even more economic growth because, again, just to review, when Kathy gets her unemployment check, she will turn up her thermostat and make her home warmer.

By the way, coming up, ladies and gentlemen, the lessons from Diane Sawyer on how to stay warm in the cold. I got it right here. Diane Sawyer on ABC News, and it involves wearing a scarf. Make sure you wear a scarf. Also coming up on the program today, audio sound bites from Anderson Cooper on how water freezes when it gets cold. A demonstration, in fact. He's got a glass of water. He throws the water in the glass up in the air, and it turns to snow in a demonstration of how water freezes in cold weather. Yeah, it's a big day out there. I mean the news is rocking and rolling. Anyway, Kathy -- (interruption) what? What's the question? Hm-hm. We've had emergency unemployment benefits since 2008.

We do it every year! That's what I mean about this being recycled. This is nothing new. This is a Democrat Party policy agenda. This is not based in reality. This is all based on advancing their agenda. It has nothing to do with the reality of life in the country. We have been paying people not to work in record numbers. We got 91 million people not working in this country and they're all eating. This has been my point. We're paying people not to work. We ought to have full employment by now, if what the president said is true.

We ought to have economic growth like the world's never seen before, 'cause we've been doing it now since 2008. Here's the AP story on this. Shutdown -- or showdown. Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to say shutdown. That scares people. Oh, jeez, I didn't mean it, folks. It was a faux pas. "Showdown Set on Unemployment Bill in Senate." They had a test vote today and it passed, and it's just the next step and the first step.

It's our old buddy David Espo at AP. "The new year looks a lot like the old one in the Senate..." This year looks like last year, looks like the year before that and the year before that. Nothing's changed and everything's getting worse. Yeah, I'm mad. I really am mad. I tell you, what makes me mad about this is that it sells. What really worries me is if this works, it's a testament to the degree of ignorance that exists in this country.

It's gotta be laughed out of the White House with this today. This is the fifth consecutive year that he's trotted this out there in January, after getting back from Hawaii, and started tugging at heartstrings. "Oh, how horrible this country is. How woefully horrible the economy is, and it's because of how bad Bush was." He's been in charge five years but he hasn't got any responsibility for anything that's happened. He's still working hard to fix this.

Now we learn that an unemployment check to Kathy will make her turn up her thermostat, which is gonna increase hiring at her local utility. But then when the environmentalist wackos find out about this they're gonna storm Kathy's house and they're gonna break her thermostat so that she can't turn it up 'cause that's gonna lead to global warming. Then Kathy is gonna take whatever she has and spend it on raising the thermostat.

She's gonna go to the grocery store. She's gonna buy high cholesterol food, eggs and milk, and she's gonna get sick, maybe get clogged arteries. That's gonna put additional pressure, price pressure on the health care system. So the Food Nazis will be after her for that, the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "You bought an additional dozen eggs? What, are you crazy? Why didn't you buy some arugula!"

After she spends what she hasn't spent on the thermostat, she's gonna go to the grocery store and buy high-cholesterol bread and eggs. The grocery store (probably, what, Whole Foods?) is gonna go out and hire somebody, maybe even Kathy. You know how that works is, they see Kathy walk in, and they know she's gonna spend some additional money she didn't have 'cause she got her unemployment check. She's gonna buy maybe a little bit more than she would have.

They're gonna say, "You know what? You'd make a great employee. You're hired!" That's what the president said. That's how it all works. That's how paying people not to work creates jobs and grows the economy. Well, by that measure, nobody ought to be working. Everybody ought to be on unemployment insurance. We ought to be paying everybody not to work -- and we're working on it. We got 91 million Americans not working, while the unemployment rate miraculously is plunging.

It's just... I'm telling you, folks, it just ticks me off. Well, 25 years of this. Twenty-five years of putting up with this drivel from these people. Twenty-five and now we're into 26 years, and there were many years before that. That's just the years of this program. Anyway, back to this AP story. "The new year looks a lot like the old one in the Senate, with Democrats scratching for votes to pass an agenda they share with President Barack Obama, and Republicans decidedly unenthusiastic about supporting legislation without changes."

So the president's filled with big-hearted compassion, and the Republicans with steely, cold eyes are saying to the people of the country, "No! Suffer!" Here's the point: The only concession that the Republicans... I want you to remember this. You may not remember this, but I'm gonna remind you of it. The only concession the Republicans got for giving Obama an unlimited debt ceiling... Remember the last debt ceiling that they gave him was an unlimited debt ceiling with a condition.

The condition, the concession that they got from Obama was that the Democrats would not push to extend federal unemployment benefits. Well, here we are. The one concession the Republicans got has now been blown to smithereens, and you see what a good deal that was for the Republicans. As always, the AP here studiously fails to note that these federal benefits, "emergency unemployment insurance," was implemented back in 2008. This is simply a renewal.

The president, though, is relying on the fact that you've forgotten that, and this is the first time we're doing it, and this will put us over the hump. "We're almost there, folks! This economy is really roaring back. This recovery is going full bore. But there's still some people hurting, and we need to extend unemployment benefits." They want you to think that this is the first time and the only time. We've done it every year since 2008. Emergency? How do you think we up to 99 weeks of unemployment compensation?

How do you think we got to 99 weeks of paying people not to work? It's taken us five years to do it. In 2008, it started as an emergency. It was a one-time boost at the height of the recession. It's all part of the stimulus argument in 2008, and then Obama was inaugurated in 2009. Meanwhile, these "one-time benefits," as they were promised us back in 2008, have been extended every year since in a flimflam ceremony exactly like this, every year for five years.

Never mind the recession officially ended in July of 2009, which is 4-1/2 years ago now.

No, we still need to give people 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, and now what this vote today in the Senate is about is making it permanent. That's what is being voted on in the Senate is making paying people for 99 weeks not to work permanent. In the AP story it even says, the Democrats want to do this "to demonstrate sympathy." Translation: Buy votes. Never mind that it has been Obama and the Democrats who have prolonged this recession, and have given us the worst economic recovery in the history of this country -- and it is. It is the worst economic recovery in the history of this country. The pope could have done better. I just threw that in, I mean, just 'cause I gotta go to a break.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: It is so cold out there, folks, the Democrats today have their hands in their own pockets. You know, this is actually is frustrating. It's maddening. If a $1 trillion "stimulus" program did not create any jobs, would somebody explain to me how in the heck a $6 billion extension of unemployment insurance is going to do it? We've done it every year for the past five years. If it didn't create jobs in the past five years, how is it going to do it now? But, see, none of that matters.

All that matters is the president gets to show that he cares, that he has compassion, that his party has compassion and the Republicans don't. The people of this country, I trust the vast majority of them still want jobs. They want to work. They want prosperity. There isn't any prosperity with unemployment benefits. There's no hope of prosperity with unemployment benefits.

There's no future. Unemployment benefits... Can you imagine, "Son, someday I'm gonna die, and I'm gonna leave you everything I've got. I'm gonna set you up. I'm gonna leave you my unemployment benefits. I have saved every penny of every unemployment check, and I'm gonna leave it to you." "Big whoop, Dad." They passed a $1 trillion stimulus when Obama took office.

No jobs. Every year we have spent $6 billion extending unemployment benefits. We haven't created any jobs. The president today says, "Oh, yeah, Kathy's gonna take that unemployment check and turn her thermostat up. By the way, the president said back on May 17th of 2008 (you'll remember this), "We can't drive our SUVs. You know, we can't eat as much as we want.

"We can't keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times, whether they're living in the desert or we're living in a tundra and just expect every other country to say, 'Okay, you know, you guys go ahead. You keep on using 25% of the world's energy.'" He said we can't keep thermostats high, we can't keep our homes cool or warm, whatever we want. The rest of the world won't accept it. But today, with unemployment compensation, you turn up your thermostat, and the utility people hire people for jobs.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, folks, technically the Senate is not voting to make these jobless benefits permanent. I was being extrapolative there. This extension is only supposed to be for another three months. But if they can't stop this now, they may as well make this permanent. They may as well make this an annual thing. It has been since 2008. The $6 billion that we're gonna spend extending unemployment benefits is for three months.

This is not an exercise in substance whatsoever. What galls me again is that the president goes into the White House today and just lies. He's just lying to people about everything he's saying here. This is not a way to grow the economy, it's not a way to create jobs. It's not gonna let somebody turn their thermostat up. It isn't gonna let 'em buy additional food that leads to the supermarket hiring somebody. It doesn't work that way.

There is no economic recovery.

It's a disaster.

It's the worst economic recovery in our history. There is no growing economy. Obamacare is an absolute disaster,and this whole thing is a distraction designed to take people's focus away from that -- and these people getting away with this is what bugs me. They get away with simply lying. We're dumbing down this country. This party, these people, these Democrats are creating a nation of ignorant people.

They're doing everything they can to create a nation of abject ignoramuses for the purposes of profiting from it, of benefiting from it. That's what distresses me. I happen to love people. I happen to want the best for people, and these people are not it. The Democrat Party is not the best thing for people. The worst thing that can happen to people is for Democrat Party policies to be implemented to thrive and survive.

They destroy people, they destroy jobs, they destroy the economy. There is no economy. They're totally wrecking the American health care system -- and all the while they're doing this, they get credited with having the big hearts, and all the compassion. Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi has claimed that extending unemployment benefits will create 600,000 jobs. I kid you not. It's just an abject lie.

I don't care whether they know it or not; I don't care whether they believe it or not. That doesn't matter. They're lying through their teeth, or they're ignoramuses. Either one, it's still bad. Again, Obama gets into office and we have the "stimulus." For all intents and purposes, it's a trillion dollars. That's 2009. He didn't create any jobs. We have 91 million Americans who are not working, 91 million human beings are not working. Every year we've extended unemployment benefits.

This time, they're asking for a three-month extension.

Big whoop!

That's nothing more than a campaign trick. It's $6 billion. So if a $1 trillion stimulus doesn't create jobs -- and, by the way, we've extended "emergency" unemployment insurance every year since 2008. If that hasn't created jobs, why is this going to create jobs? It won't. And then to have our intelligence insulted by telling us that this is how you create jobs? Paying people not to work creates jobs? The president said it! Let's go to the audio sound bites. We've got a couple of these from the ceremony. Grab sound bite 25.

Here is the president, in his own words, explaining how paying people not to work, helps the economy.

OBAMA: Independent economists have shown that extending emergency unemployment insurance actually helps the economy, actually creates new jobs. When folks like Katherine have a little more to spend, to turn up the heat in her house or buy a few extra groceries, that means more spending with businesses in her local community, which in turn may expire that person to hire one more person.

RUSH: There, you heard it. You heard it straight from the horse's mouth. I told you he said it, but you just heard him say it. Independent economists? What the hell is an independent economist? "Independent economists have shown that extending emergency unemployment insurance..." These people are doofuses, too, because we've been doing it for five, six years in a row now, and it doesn't do any of this.

Extending emergency unemployment benefits helps the economy? There's no evidence. It actually creates new jobs, 'cause Kathy's gonna have a little bit more to spend to turn up her thermostat and buy a few extra grocery stores, and that may lead to people being hired? One person? That may inspire that business to hire one more person. So we're gonna measure an economic recovery by an individual schlub over here gets hired?

The schlub over there gets hired, because somebody got an unemployment check? (interruption) No, no, no, no, no. Folks, Snerdley is asking me, "What, are you against unemployment?" No, no, no. That's not my point here. See, this is the risk that you run in pointing out how these people are lying. They set up this massive, magical fantasy world, and when you point out that it doesn't work this way, they get credit.

"At least they're trying! They care about people. I mean, they want her to have an extra loaf of bread," and when you oppose it, it allows them to say, "See? These people that oppose Obama, they don't care about people." In fact, we do. This is not how you help people. This is punishing people. This is setting people back. This is not compassion. This is insulting everybody's intelligence. This isn't helping people. This is buying their votes. This is dumbing people down.

Here's one more sound bite from the president from his big show today...

OBAMA: I've heard the argument that says extending unemployment insurance will somehow hurt the unemployed because it saps their motivation to get a new job. I -- I -- I really want to -- I want to (pause) go at this for a second. Y'know, I -- I, uhhh --

FOLLOWERS: (applause)

OBAMA: That really sells the American people short. I meet a lot of people as president of the United States, and as a candidate for president of the United States, and as a US senator and as a state senator. I, uh, I -- I meet a lot of people. And I can't -- I can't name a time where I met an American who would rather have an unemployment check than the pride of havin' a job.

FOLLOWERS: (applause)

RUSH: Well, then, if that's the case, Mr. President, then why is the most important thing to you today an unemployment check. If that's not what people want, why is that all you're giving them? If they don't want an unemployment check, if that's not what they're really looking for, then why do you want all the credit for giving them one? If they don't want an unemployment check, why is that all you have to offer? And it is all he has to offer because his economic policies kill jobs. His economic policies kill health care. His economic policies destroy growing economies.

And, by the way, it's simple math. His economic policies grow government. Government can only grow if it takes money from other people in the private sector. The president is shrinking the pie. The president is taking money out of the place where people go and get jobs and get raises and have careers. He's taking the money and growing government with it. It isn't possible that the president's economic policies can create substantive, real economic growth.

Anyway, this is what we're dealing with here. This is the kind of neophyte just abject dishonesty that we are living with. Even if this babe did get a job, even if this mystical -- no, she's actually a real person. She's in the room. Even if she got a job at the grocery store, it'd be for 29 hours, because if they hired her for 30 they've have to give her health care. They're not gonna do that because of his policies. So even if she got a job it would be 29 hours a week and she would still need an unemployment check.

Okay. Now, folks, the show is effectively over. I have discussed the big issue of the day. I'm on record as having discussed it. The end of the day everybody can say, "Yep, yep, Limbaugh talked about it, gave us his unique take," and that's it. I can go home now. Bring in a guest host, do the rest of the program, go home, 'cause I have dutifully responded to the soap opera script, and I have talked about health care, and you the audience have not been let down. You had expectations and you heard unemployment, that's what the big news was, and I talked about it and so we're done.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: No, no. What I meant was, the big issue of the day, according to the news media, the soap opera plot line writers, is extending unemployment benefits. And I've talked about it. So now the audience is satisfied. If I go home right now, at the end of the day, everybody, "Yeah, yeah, Rush talked about that." I have satisfied the expectations of the audience and everybody else. I didn't talk about football. I didn't talk about golf. I didn't talk about blah blah. I talked about the big deal. Now I'm finished. I can go home. I'll come back tomorrow, whatever the big story is I'll fill the first hour on it and go home. And nobody can say I'm phoning it in, how this stuff works.

A question, though. This is a little rhetorical question. If we're gonna give Kathy three months of additional unemployment benefits and that's gonna create jobs and grow the economy, doesn't it stand to reason that taking money away from people would hurt the economy and maybe lose jobs, like raising their taxes? I mean, that takes money away from people. If this dummkopf is gonna sit up there and try to tell us that paying people not to work creates jobs 'cause they can turn up their thermostat and buy an additional dozen eggs, doesn't it then stand to reason that taking money away from people might result -- like if you get hit with a tax increase and you can't turn your thermostat up because of it, or you can't buy an additional dozen eggs, then somebody might get fired at the utility company, and the grocery store might say, "You know what, we didn't sell a dozen eggs today that we sold yesterday. We gotta fire somebody."

Doesn't it stand to reason, using the president's own logic, using his own persuasive device, if giving people $125 a week grows the economy and creates jobs, wouldn't taking money away from them do the exact opposite? This is so absurd. And get this. If you want to cringe, let's go to Gloria Borger. She was on CNN after Obama finished, and she thought it was the greatest thing she'd ever seen. It was just fabulous. It was so good, in fact, that she knows that the Republicans are trying to figure out a way to get in on it so that they can benefit from the compassion.

BORGER: Look, it was a winning issue for them in the 2012 campaign. It worked against Mitt Romney very well. I think what we're seeing, though, is sort of questioning that's going on in the Republican Party, which is, what can they do to combat this. This has started a whole conversation about what Republicans can do to talk about equality of opportunity. Because just saying you're against government intervention isn't enough if you want to win a national election. Right now the advantage is clearly with the Democrats on this, and I think they know it.

RUSH: See how this works? Gloria Borger says the Republicans now have to try to figure out a way to accept the premise of extending unemployment benefits and get in on it so that they can benefit from it, otherwise they're gonna lose elections. The substance of it is irrelevant. It's strictly horse race politics, as far as Gloria Borger and the rest of the media are concerned. I have an alternative. The alternative is not to run around and talk about smaller government, government intervention. You can do that. Nobody is talking about creating jobs and that's the solution to this. I'm sorry to yell, folks. I just get really passionate and wired up because it's just plain old simple logic.

Dana Milbank had a piece in the Washington Post wringing his hands (imitating Milbank) "Why aren't the Democrats crucifying the Republicans for throwing nearly four million people out of work?" By denying this extension of unemployment benefits. "It's a golden opportunity for the Democrats to just go in there and really paint the Republicans as cold-hearted, mean-spirited extremists." Not one person no matter where you look on this is actually talking about creating jobs. In the United States of America there's not one person who can offer as an alternative maybe economic policies that would spur economic growth and create jobs? Ms. Borger, if the Republican Party weren't afraid of itself, that's what they would be talking about, and they'd be talking about how this administration, with your assistance, has been killing jobs, and how this is going to continue to kill jobs. That's what they would be doing.

Trying to get in on it? What can the Republicans do to combat this? Yeah, because, see, all we care about is how Democrats look. They're giving people something. And the Republicans don't want to. Until the Republicans figure out how to do this, how to deal with this, and actually talk the language of the American people and their own voters, this same scenario is gonna be used against them every time the Democrats start using government to buy votes. All right, let's see. I don't have time to squeeze any -- she has another 15-second sound bite here, but, frankly, I don't want to want to hear it myself.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: So, in a nutshell, what do we have here? The president showing up in the East Room of the White House surrounded by victims of his own economy who are instead portrayed as beneficiaries. Everybody out of work in this country today is a victim of Obama economic policies. And he was surrounded by 'em in the White House today disguised as if they were beneficiaries. That is the degree of how sick all this has become.

The 20 Most Annoying Liberals of 2013

Townhall.com ^ | January 7, 2014 | John Hawkins 


Honorable Mentions: Bob Beckel, Joe Biden, Bill de Blasio, Michael Bloomberg, Barbara Boxer, Cher, Bob Costas, Al Gore, Alan Grayson, Chris Hayes, John Kerry, Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bill Maher, Mike Malloy, Meghan McCain, Michael Moore, Michelle Obama, Dan Savage, Ed Schultz, Chuck Schumer, Andrew Sullivan, Joan Walsh, Elizabeth Warren, Anthony Weiner
20) Nancy Pelosi: After being displaced as Speaker of the House, Pelosi returned to Mordor, reformed herself as a giant eye and the legends say her minions prepare for war and eternally search for a magic ring that will allow her to return to power.

Defining quote: "Our view of the law is that it — if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation." — Nancy Pelosi
19) The Southern Poverty Law Center: Ironically, the Southern Poverty Law Center used to do good work cataloguing hate groups around the country, but it’s since become little more than a hate group itself. Floyd Lee Corkins tried to murder people at the Family Research Council because the Southern Poverty Law Center falsely labeled them a hate group. You might think almost getting people killed might make the SPLW reconsider labeling people as hate groups for the sake of politics, but it continued the practice in 2013, even as Corkins faced 25 years in prison for the attempted mass murder that it inspired. That's why the Southern Poverty Law Center is just as much of a hate group as the American Nazi Party, the KKK or the New Black Panthers.

Defining quote: "While interviewed by the FBI, Corkins admitted that he wanted to 'kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces, and kill the guard.'I was one of those people who could have been his victim. I was on the 6th floor of the FRC building working on my pro-life internship assignments. I could have lost my life. My dear friend Rosa and everyone else in the building, including my boss Jeanne Monahan, now president of March for Life, could have lost their lives.
...It saddens me and brings tears to my eyes that a person like Corkins would resort to violence out of political disagreement, especially on the topic of gay marriage. It breaks my heart that Southern Poverty Law Center facilitated his intent to commit such a horrific act of violence by labeling FRC as a 'hate group.'" -- Anna Maria Hoffman
18) Piers Morgan: The last time there were Brits in America who were this annoying, Andrew Jackson drove them out of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Morgan's pretentious caterwauling about guns would be irritating under any circumstances, but if we wanted to be told what to do by Brits, we wouldn't have poured their tea in Boston Harbor to begin with.
Defining Tweet:


17) Jay Carney: It's a little bit of a cheap shot to pick on a White House Press Secretary since by definition, they're always playing Waylon Smithers to the Mr. Burns in the White House. Yet and still,Carney is such a petulant lick-spittle that it's hard not to hold him in contempt as you look into his dead little eyes while he spouts lies at each and every press conference.
Defining Tweet:

16) Wendy Davis: Nobody fought harder to kill babies in 2013 than Abortion Barbie. Now she's trying to turn her lust for dead children into a springboard to make her the next governor of Texas. Good luck with that, Killer!

Defining quote: "The left is in a tizzy on twitter for my referring to pink shoes wearing Texas State Senator Wendy Davis as “Abortion Barbie.” It sums her up perfectly. All the nation knows about Wendy Davis is that she is ignorant of the horrors of Kermit Gosnell, wears pink shoes, and filibustered legislation to save the innocent in Texas. She joined the long line of Democrats before her to oppose legislation to protect other people while using property rights arguments to do so." -- Erick Erickson
15) Kathleen Sebelius: She would be the hapless "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" mope of the Obama administration if there was anybody competent on staff to use in comparison. However, she stands out, even in aThree Stooges administration because she's so far over her head trying to implement Obamacare that it would almost be tempting to feel sorry for her if she weren't wrecking the lives of tens of millions of Americans in the process.
Defining Tweet:


14) Alec Baldwin: Baldwin was already known as such a pretentious, homophobic creep that conservatives were calling on Capital One to fire him for his gay slurs BEFORE MSNBC ever hired him. Then, MSNBC brought him on board, he allegedly exploded with more gay slurs, and MSNBC execs sent him packing. Why were they shocked? It wasn't like they didn't know he was prone to doing that already.

Defining quote: "C**ksucking f*g." -- Alec Baldwin allegedly to a member of the paparazzi in an outburst that cost him his job at MSNBC.
13) Debbie Wasserman Schultz: She's a bit of a puzzler in that she's habitually dishonest, nasty, annoying, and generally unlikable; yet she's risen to become the Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Also, did I mention she's delusional as well?

Defining quote: "...Democratic candidates will be able to run on ObamaCare as an advantage leading into the 2014 election!" -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz
12) GLAAD: These hypocrites stood strongly behind Alec Baldwin when he shouted homophobic slurs in public, but regularly try to destroy Christians for refusing to toe the liberal line on gay marriage. GLAAD is every bit as much of a rabidly anti-Christian group as it is a pro-gay rights organization. Even people who agree with GLAAD on gay rights shouldn't be supporting such a hateful, hypocritical group of bullies.

Defining quote: "Is GLAAD’s position so weak, so intellectually indefensible, that it cannot prevail in reasoned debate, and therefore all opposition must be bullied into silence? This is how America becomes divided and balkanized; because groups like GLAAD make civil disagreement impossible." -- V the K at GayPatriot

11) Oprah Winfrey: Oprah Winfrey built a net worth of more than 2 billion dollars on the backs of her white female fans, but suddenly America became an awful, racist country because she had a movie to promote. If this is such a horrible, bigoted country, how is it that Oprah was able to become the most successful black woman on planet earth while living here? Is she just that much more wonderful than everyone else?

Defining quote #1: "There’s a level of disrespect for the office that occurs. And that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he’s African American. There’s no question about that and it’s the kind of thing nobody ever says but everybody’s thinking it." — Oprah Winfrey

Definining quote #2: "You know, as long as people can be judged by the color of their skin, problem’s not solved. As long as there are people who still, there’s a whole generation – I say this, you know, I said this, you know, for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own, you know, community in the south - there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in it, in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die." -- Oprah Winfrey
10) Chris Matthews: Aside from constantly claiming to hear the same racist dog whistles that everyone else on MSNBC does (Maybe everyone at that network should get his ears checked), Matthews may be the biggest Obama fanboy on the planet. I'm not entirely sure if Sasha and Malia Obama love their daddy the way Chris Matthews does and if those horrible rumors about the Obama marriage crack-up in the Enquirer turn out to be true, we do know at least one "journalist" who'd be happy to let Bo crash on his couch for as long as he wants.

Defining quote: "I look at Obama as a perfect American,” Mr. Matthews said, according to the show’s transcript. “I don’t mean politically. … But as a citizen. The guy went to school, he never broke a law. He did everything right. He raised a wonderful family. He’s a good husband, a good father. My God, I don’t think he’s ever gotten a speeding ticket. The guy does everything right." -- Chris Matthews
9) Hillary Clinton: Wow, what a role model! She married a guy who screwed half of Arkansas behind her back, leveraged people's pity for her into a Senate seat in New York and then turned a failed presidential run into an abysmal term as a Secretary of State that was most noteworthy because her incompetence got Americans killed in Benghazi. After all that, she wants to run for President again. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Defining quote: "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?" -- Hillary Clinton on her department’s lies to the American people about an Al-Qaeda attack.
5, 6, 7 & 8) Michael Eric-Dyson / Jesse Jackson / Al Sharpton / Touré: All of these men are listed together because they're such indistinguishable professional race hustlers that they don’t even merit their own entries. All four of these men have managed to turn finding new and creative reasons to call people racists into a profession that's probably only slightly more reputable than professional kidnapper or puppy torturer (Saddam Hussein probably had one of those, right?).

Defining Conversation: "Matt Lewis: It took 10 minutes — 10 minutes to get to the race issue. Clearly that’s why Republicans –Michael Eric-Dyson: Sir, sir — I didn’t interrupt you when you were offering bromides.
Matt Lewis: I didn’t accused anybody of being –
Michael Eric-Dyson: Hold on, I didn’t interrupt you. Don’t interrupt me.
Martin Bashir: Matt, Matt –
Michael Eric-Dyson: Don’t deploy the very principles of white privilege to silence a black man on the panel because you don’t want to talk about race. So be quiet." -- Michael Eric Dyson plays the "white privilege card" on Daily Caller writer, Matt Lewis
4) Martin Bashir: Happily, in the unlikely event that Bashir is ever remembered in the history books, it will be as the cable news host who was fired from MSNBC for suggesting that someone defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth.

Defining quote: "One of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of slavery comes from the personal diary of a man called Thomas Thistlewood, who kept copious notes for 39 years….In 1756, he records that ‘a slave named Darby catched eating canes; had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, s-h-i-t in his mouth.’ This became known as ‘Darby’s Dose,’ a punishment invented by Thistlewood that spoke only of the slave owners’ savagery and inhumanity….When Mrs. Palin invoked slavery, she doesn’t just prove her rank ignorance. She confirms that if anyone truly qualified for a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood, then she would be the outstanding candidate." — Martin Bashir explains why Sarah Palin should have someone crap in her mouth.
3) Harry Reid: Reid spent 2013 picking on kids with cancer and driving a dagger through the heart of the filibuster, which will make our system of government considerably less stable from here on out. In other words, he's both a terrible human being AND a terrible Senate majority leader.

Defining quote: “If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?,” Bash asked.“Why would we want to do that?” — Harry Reid
2) Melissa Harris-Perry: It's tempting to lump Melissa Harris-Perry in with the other race hustlers, but her tampon earrings, mockery of Mitt Romney's adopted child and her creepy, fascistic desire to see children pried away from their parents sets her apart. It's like Al Sharpton mixed with Leon Trotsky, all rolled up in one hateful package!

Defining quote: "We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities." — Melissa Harris-Perry
1) Barack Obama: America's worst President offered up another year of lies, division, vacuous speeches and selfies to go along with what may be the worst government program in America's history. Ironically, even as his administration proved to be completely incompetent in every facet of governance and utterly lawless, Obama demanded more power over gun laws, immigration, our taxes and our health care. We should be grateful he spends so much time on vacation because the country is safer every time that nincompoop goes out of town.

Defining quote #1: "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed." — Barack Obama lies about his “If you like your plan, you can keep it” lie.

Defining quote #2: "Well, you’ve touched on it to a degree. (Obama) made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be – I shouldn’t say this at Christmastime, but – the next messiah." — If you want to know how a buffoon like this could spend two terms in the White House, this quote fromBarbara Walters offers up a lot of insight.

MARK LEVIN LAYS OUT PLAN FOR CURBING GOVERNMENT EXPANSION: 'THANK GOD FOR THE TEA PARTY'

Breitbart ^ | January 6, 2014 | by Jeffrey Poor 

Some conservatives see the ballot box as their only means of recourse against an out-of-control government. But over the last three national elections, including the 2010 midterm elections that propelled the Republicans to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, things haven’t worked out as planned.
Mark Levin, author of The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, charts a path to reel in the growth of this ever-expanding federal leviathan by harnessing the sentiment that inspired the Tea Party movement.
In a three-hour interview he conducted with C-SPAN that aired Sunday night, he praised the Tea Party movement and explained what their grievances are with the current state of the union.
“Thank God for the Tea Party,” Levin said.
"The Tea Party is the modern-day conservative constitutional movement. And without it, the debt would be bigger. The unfunded liabilities would be bigger and the federal government would be even more consolidated. So, I think it is a crucially important movement. I think it needs to grow and I think if the Republican Party wants to go to war, apparently it does, with the Tea Party movement, then the Republican Party is going to lose because the Tea Party is, there as I say in Ameritopia, is nothing more than citizens – hard-working, taxpaying citizens that have had enough, who see the $90, now $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, see the massive federal debt just more, more and more, see the fecklessness of the Republican Party, see the radicalness of the Democratic Party and they say enough is enough."
Levin anticipates a defeat for the Republican Party if it tries to go to war with the Tea Party...
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

AGs to Obama: We need meeting on ACA (ObamaCare)

Associated Press ^ | Jan 7, 2014 2:41 PM EST | Meg Kinnard 

Attorneys general from South Carolina and Florida have asked the White House to arrange a meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over prosecutors’ concerns about the health care overhaul.
In a letter provided on Tuesday to The Associated Press, Alan Wilson of South Carolina and Pam Bondi of Florida ask President Barack Obama to direct Sebelius to meet with them, saying previous requests made directly to the secretary have gone unanswered. […]
Wilson and Bondi were among 13 attorneys general who have previously written to Sebelius questioning whether there will be enough protection of consumer data in Obama’s signature health law. …
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...

State Slogans

Alabama: At Least We're not Mississippi
Alaska: 11,623 Eskimos Can't be Wrong!
Arizona: But It's a Dry Heat
Arkansas: Litterasy Ain't Everthing
California: As Seen on TV
Colorado: If You Don't Ski, Don't Bother
Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, Only Dirtier and With Less Character
Delaware: We Really Do Like the Chemicals in our Water
Florida: Ask Us About Our Grand kids
Georgia: We Put the "Fun" in Fundamentalist Extremism
Hawaii: Haka Tiki Mou Sha'ami Leeki Toru (Death to Mainland Scum, But Leave Your Money )
Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes... Well Okay, We're Not, But The Potatoes Are Real Good
Illinois: Please Don't Pronounce the "S"
Indiana: 2 Billion Years Tidal Wave Free
Iowa: We Do Amazing Things With Corn
Kansas: First Of The Rectangle States
Kentucky: Five Million People; Fifteen Last Names
Louisiana: We're Not All Drunk Cajun Wackos, But That's Our Tourism Campaign
Maine: We're Wicked Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster
Maryland: A Thinking Man's Delaware
Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden's (For Most Tax Brackets )
Michigan: First Line of Defense From the Canadians
Minnesota: "10,000 Lakes and 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes"
Mississippi: Come Feel Better About Your Own State
Missouri: Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars at Work
Montana: Land of the Big Sky, the Unabomber, Right-Wing Crazies and Very Little Else
Nebraska: Ask About Our State Motto Contest
Nevada: Whores and Poker! New Hampshire: Go Away and Leave Us Alone
New Jersey: Ya Wanna ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!
New Mexico: Lizards Make Excellent Pets
New York: You Have the Right to Remain Silent, You Have the Right to an Attorney...
North Carolina: Tobacco is a Vegetable
North Dakota: We Really are One of the 50 States!
Ohio: We Wish We Were In Michigan
Oklahoma: Like the Play, only No Singing
Oregon: Spotted Owl... It's What's For Dinner
Pennsylvania: Cook With Coal
Rhode Island: We're Not REALLY An Island
South Carolina: Remember the Civil War? We Didn't Actually Surrender
South Dakota: Closer Than North Dakota
Tennessee: The Educashun State
Texas: Si' Hablo Ing'les (Yes, I speak English )
Utah: Our Jesus Is Better Than Your Jesus
Vermont: Yep
Virginia: Who Says Government Stiffs and Slackjaw Yokels Don't Mix?
Washington: Help! We're Overrun By Nerds and Slackers!
Washington, D.C.: Wanna Be Mayor?
West Virginia: One Big Happy Family-Really!
Wisconsin: Eat Cheese or Die
Wyoming: Wynot? 

Learned a lesson?

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Minimum Wage

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WHY?

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It's Time!

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Another Vacation

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Mixed race BS!

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It is difficult...

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Hitting the sauce!

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Repackage it!

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On the backs of the poor

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Change the subject

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No more horses!

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Pajama Game?

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Progress?

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Pillage People

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He didn't know!

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Paul Ryan vs. the Military

American Thinker ^ | 1/7/2014 | Elise Cooper 

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have wrongly and outrageously cut the budget on the backs of the U.S. military. On December 26 President Obama signed a new bipartisan bill that includes a $6 billion cut from military members' retirement. These cuts to COLA (cost-of-living adjustments) also affect medically retired veterans, including those wounded in combat. American Thinker interviewed those who are directly affected.
Amongst Congress and the president there is always the talk of how those serving, past and present need to be admired for their sacrifices. Michael Hall, a former Ranger Command Sergeant Major who served thirty-four years, felt that on December 26th President Obama could have "done the right thing" by refusing to sign the bill unless this provision was taken out. He lost a chance to be the supportive commander-in-chief, missing an opportunity to be the hero and protector to those who have served in the military.
Paul Ryan still insists that the cuts are necessary because military compensation growth is out of hand. With this new budget he obviously did not throw grandma off the cliff, but instead has thrown those in the military. The former and current defenders of America were transformed into sacrificial lambs in an attempt to make Republicans more appealing to the left. Ryan did not balance the budget, pay off the debt, or reform entitlements. Instead he, along with Senator Murray, broke a promise when they changed the contract signed by having the annual cost-of-living adjustments cut by one percent for military retirees 62 or younger.
Iraqi and Afghanistan veteran Pete Hegseth is surprised that it was as much Paul Ryan's idea as Patty Murray. "I felt he should have known better…
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Illinois Conceal Carry Applications Overwhelmingly Outpace Obamacare Enrollment

Big Government ^ | 1/7/2014 | KERRY PICKET 

On the heels of a federal court striking down Chicago's ban on gun sales, those seeking gun permits in Illinois flooded the State Police website over the weekend to begin the permitting process.
In fact, the amount of Illinois residents seeking a conceal carry permit already surpasses those who enrolled in Obamacare after the first two months of the launch of healthcare.gov. The Chicago Sun-Times reported 4,525 individuals signed up on Sunday alone for their firearms permits, when the State Police first opened the process to all concealed carry applicants.
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said that number is included in Sunday’s total of more than 11,000 people who have signed up because of an early application process that began December 18 and was open to only firearm instructors. Officials told the Sun-Times they expect 350,000 to 400,000 people (about 1,000 per day) will sign up for conceal carry firearm permits this year.
“So far, we’re pleased with the process,” Bond said. “The early application process allowed us to work out several issues.”
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Obama’s Attack on Workers

Frontpage ^ | 1/7/2014 | Arnold Ahlert 

Democrats and President Obama aim to make raising the minimum wage and focusing on growing inequality their main agenda for the 2014 mid-term election campaign. The strategy behind the effort is two-fold: make Republicans defend their opposition to a policy favored by a majority of the public, and increase the turnout of youth and minority voters who lean Democrat, but typically stay way from mid-term elections. Unfortunately, the effort amounts to little more than feel-good populism supported by a host of dubious actors, even as it masks the true nature of the problem.
The dubious actors have familiar names. They include ACORN, the community organizer group that was defunded by Congress in 2009, following a tax fraud scandal, Industrial Areas Foundation, which was founded by radical strategist Saul Alinksy, labor unions such as the SEIU, and other progressive entities like Americans United for Change and the National Employment Law Project. “It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”
The agenda consists of Democrats in Congress and the president getting behind an initiative that raises the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour by 2015, and indexes it to inflation. The president is also planning to make a series of speeches on the issue across the nation timed to coincide with minimum wage votes in Congress, undoubtedly led by the Democratically-controlled Senate. In addition, Democrats and their supporters aim to put minimum wage increases on the ballot in several states, including Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota and New Mexico. The win-win scenario they envision is rousing their base, and just as importantly, shifting the conversation away from the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, especially in those states where Democratic candidates for office will undoubtedly be put on the defensive because of it. “The more Republicans obsess on repealing the Affordable Care Act and the more we focus on rebuilding the middle class with a minimum-wage increase, the more voters will support our candidates,” said Representative Steve Israel (D-NY), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
That may be wishful thinking. While it remains difficult at the present time to determine how much ObamaCare will impact lower-income, or minimum wage voters, Americans who shopped for insurance in the individual market will endure premium hikes in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Those hikes are approximately 41 percent in the average state. Moreover, the brunt of them will be borne by the healthy, young male voters that comprise a substantial part of the aforementioned youth vote Democrats see as critical to their success. That would be the same youth vote whose currently cratering support for Obama (and likely other Democrats by extension) is tied directly to the healthcare bill.
Furthermore, the individual insurance market is only part of the equation. Despite Obama’s unconstitutional delay of the business mandate until after the 2014 election, Americans who get their insurance through their employers will likely get their notification of policy cancellations prior to it, since insurance companies must have time to prepare. According to the the administration’s calculations–made in 2010–as many as 100 million Americans will lose policies provided by small and large businesses. Thus, despite Democrats’ best efforts, it remains to be seen whether the American voter is more attuned to rewarding Democrats for their efforts on the minimum wage and income inequality front, or hammering them for a healthcare bill whose premium hikes could more than offset anywage increases, minimum or otherwise.
The Heritage Foundation illuminates this particular reality with regard to employers. Despite the president’s desire to raise the minimum wage to over $10 per hour for workers, they note that the federal government has already raised the cost of hiring those workers to that level. If the president pushes through his raise to $10.10?  ”Coupled with the employer penalty and existing taxes, this would raise the minimum cost of hiring a full-time worker to $12.71 per hour. Employers would respond by eliminating jobs and cutting workers to part-time status, making it significantly more difficult for unskilled workers to get ahead,” concludes authors James Sherk and Patrick Tyrrell.
The American left remains undaunted by such realities. Their arguments revolve around the idea of what a “living wage,” should be, and they have successfully pushed that initiative for decades in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Their attitude is informed by what they believe a worker needs or “deserves” to make, irrespective of a worker’s skill level, experience or productivity. They cite a study by University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Arindrajit Dube, who claims that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could help to raise 4.6 million Americans above the poverty line directly, and thin the ranks of the nation’s poor by 6.8 million, over the long term longer-term effects.
Yet even Dube himself was forced to concede that raising the minimum wage wouldn’t be nearly as effective as policies like the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps and others aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among those referred to as “high-risk” groups of Americans. “We have to remember that many families in poverty have very little or no connection to the labor market, so of course we can’t expect a wage-based policy like a minimum wage increase to have a very large effect on the poverty,” he noted. “But nonetheless, we find it has a moderate-sized impact.”
It is precisely those people who have very little or no connection to the labor market that may never develop one. Since about 60 percent of Americans living in poverty don’t work at all, raising the minimum wage will make it harder for them to find employment. Even when minimum wages are raised, less than 15 percent of the overall increase will go to people below the poverty line, and less than 33 percent of those receiving minimum wage are families below the poverty line. A majority of families are above the poverty line, meaning a so-called anti-poverty program is largely missing its mark. In fact, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Census Bureau show that most minimum wage workers are overwhelmingly young and part-time, and that their average family income is over $53,00 per year.
Moreover, only 2.9 percent of American workers earn minimum wage. That number is considerably lower than the 4.7 percent of minimum wage workers tallied in 1979, when the BLS began a regular study of minimum wage workers.
And despite Dube’s contentions, when Congress raised the minimum wage 10.6 percent in July of 2009, the ensuing six months saw 600,000 teenagers lose their jobs. The reason for this is simple common sense. Money spent on any wage increase either comes out of the employer’s pocket, that of his customer, or an employee who must be terminated to maintain the status quo. As Forbes Magazine’s William Dunkelberg explains, poorly done studies by agenda-driven research groups can’t obscure basic economics. “The Law of Demand always works: the higher the price of anything, the less that will be taken, and this includes labor,” he writes.
If that were not the case, then why wouldn’t the American left advocate for a minimum wage of $50 per hour, or $100 per hour? Because even they know prices would have to rise commensurately to make such a scheme viable.  Even if one talks about the smaller increments Democrats champion, only the numbers change, not the reasoning. That so many Americans fail to grasp this is a testament to the reality that populist rhetoric is no match for basic economics–which brings us to the other part of the left’s agenda, bemoaning income inequality. A single paragraph by Townhall columnist John Hawkins destroys the credibility of those whose central argument revolves around the “zero sum” idea that the rich are richer, because the poor are poorer:
Getting beyond [capitalist policies], shouldn’t there be massive income inequality between someone with rare skills who works 70 hours a week and an unskilled part time worker? Most people say “yes” and even liberals who talk obsessively about income inequality behave as if there should be a difference. Do you see Michael Moore, Barack Obama, or Al Gore refusing to work for more than $20 an hour because they want to show solidarity with poor workers? No, they believe they deserve their money, but those “other people” should have more of their money taken away for the common good. If a CEO should have his pay limited, why shouldn’t Michael Moore make $20 an hour? If Barack Obama thinks fast food workers are so vitally important to the economy, why doesn’t he reduce his salary to the point where he only makes as much as they do? If Al Gore really believes in fighting for income inequality, why doesn’t he refuse to make more than the guy who spends 8 hours a day saying, “Welcome to Wal-Mart?’”
The answer to Hawkins’ question is simple. Progressivism is about talking the talk of “compassion,” not walking the walk. There has never been a society in the history of the world where wealth redistribution has obviated the need for a cabal of wealthy elitists and their (often bloodthirsty) enforcers who must ensure the so-called equality of the masses, even as they enrich themselves in the process. Despite all protests to the contrary “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs” is, and alway has been, for the little people.
The Obama administration and Democrats might have an iota of credibility regarding income inequality were it not for their embrace of the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing (QE) and Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP). QE has been described by one of its implementers as the ”greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time,” and ZIRP has decimated the ability of Main Street Americans to earn a decent return on their savings. The inability to get decent returns, even as prices for items such as food and fuel increase, amounts to a de facto tax on those who can least afford it.
Nothing fuels the so-called income gap more than this atrocity. Yet Democrats and their Keynesian economic allies remain wedded to this “New Normal” of the weakest recovery since WWII, and 75 percent of all new jobs created in 2013 being part-time and low wage. Add the continuous binge of government spending and regulations to the mix and it become obvious that Democrats exacerbate every problem with wages and income inequality they are ostensibly trying to correct. If voters still buy into the Democrats’ redistributionist economic agenda next November, even as they are expected to forget ObamaCare–which is nothing less than the ultimate realization of it–they deserve everything they get.

Fun with a Pocket Knife: How to Play Mumbley Peg [Mumblety-Peg]

The Art of Manliness ^ | June 7, 2011 | Brett & Kate McKay 

Every man should carry a pocketknife. It’s handy for cutting open packages, severing twine, and, of course, eating an apple like a bad ass.
But it can also be a source of instant, anywhere entertainment. Because it’s all you need to play the game of mumbley peg.
Never heard of the game? Don’t worry. Today we’ll give you the scoop on how to play this knife throwing pastime that was once popular among 19th century schoolboys, Wild West cowboys, and World War II soldiers. All you need to play mumbley peg is a friend, a couple of pocket knives, and a bit of skill. It’s the perfect way to pass the time when hanging outside with your friends, relaxing around the fire on a camping trip, and bonding with your son. The History of Mumbley Peg
Versions of mumbley peg (also known as mumblety-peg, mumblepeg, mumble-the-peg, mumbledepeg or mumble-de-peg) have been around as long as jackknives have been in the pockets of boys and men who had time to kill. The game gets its name from a stick driven into the ground by the winner of the game, which the loser must pull out of the ground with his teeth. Mumbley peg was an insanely popular schoolyard game in the 19th century among boys. It was right up there with marbles and jacks. In fact, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Detective, mentions “mumbletypeg” as being a favorite game with the children at old Tom’s school.
The game continued in popularity well into the first half of the 20th century.
. . .
The game waned in popularity starting in the 1970s as over-protective adults put a kibosh on the game at summer camps and as pocket knife-carrying became less prevalent among the male population.
(Excerpt) Read more at artofmanliness.com ...