Thursday, January 16, 2014

Our Clueless President ^ | January 16, 2014 | Michael Reagan 

Let me get this straight.

For five years Barack Obama has been president.
For five years he’s demonstrated -- with amazing consistency -- that he has no clue what we need to get out of the ditch and back on the road to real economic recovery.
He’s repeatedly demonstrated that he can’t work with a divided Congress and he can’t, or just plain won’t, lean on Harry Reid to allow the Senate to vote on the stack of jobs bills that has been sent over by the House.
The president clearly has learned nothing on the job. And now our multi-clueless commander in chief is so frustrated that he’s not getting his way with Congress, he’s starting to issue decrees like some tin-pot socialist South American dictator.
That’s what Obama did this week when he called on Congress to pass his latest list of tried-and-not-true ideas for resurrecting the economy.
If Congress didn’t enact his pet policies -- a federal minimum wage hike, another unemployment insurance extension, funding for universal preschool, etc. -- the president decreed, he was going to wield his executive super-powers.
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” he bragged, “I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive action and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”
Trouble is, the president is one of the few guys on the field who doesn’t realize that the ball he wants to move forward has been out of air for almost a century.
The most powerful leader on the planet still doesn’t get it when it comes to economic policy -- and obviously never will.
He still thinks like a naïve 20-something community organizer from South Chicago who has never had to meet a payroll or raise a dime of capital.
He still believes in the 1930s New Deal myth that it’s the government that creates prosperity and growth, not free-market capitalism.
And he still doesn’t understand that it is lower tax rates, federal spending cuts and less government regulation that encourage businesses to expand, create jobs and hire people.
In Obama-Think, passing a law to jack up the minimum wage, extending unemployment insurance for six months and throwing billions in subsidies at shaky solar companies are considered magical ways to stimulate a sluggish economy and create jobs.
In the real world, as we’ve seen for the last five years, it works the opposite way.
When one political party passes laws making it more costly for businesses to hire humans, companies learn to streamline and get by with fewer humans or hire humans in foreign lands. Can you spell Obamacare?
When jobs become too costly, they get destroyed and they never come back -- by the millions. Can you count a record 92 million people not participating in the workforce?
The only way our slow boat to permanent economic stagnation is going to be turned around is if we return to the economic policies of the 1980s and 1990s.
That’s when a pair of economically savvy presidents named Reagan and Clinton made sure tax and regulatory policies did not cripple the ability of capitalism to create economic growth, prosperity and jobs.
It doesn’t matter how many lightly taxed and lightly regulated “Promise Zones” President Obama sets up in North Carolina or Texas with a wave of his mighty pen.
The whole country needs to be turned into a permanent “Promise Zone.” But that’s never going to happen as long as we have someone in the White House who doesn’t appreciate or like the free market and doesn’t know the difference between capitalism and cronyism.

'How can we redistribute if there's no wealth?'

American Thinker ^ | 01/16/2014 | Ethel C. Fenig 

Maybe France's President François Hollande's publicly revealed, private personal indiscretions (ok, maybe in France they're not considered indiscretions but standard operating domestic procedures) also prompted him to publicly question the standard operating procedures of France's socialist economy. 

With French unemployment officially at over 10.5%, unofficially probably higher, Hollande put on his clothes, slunk out of his latest female friend's apartment and stood before the national enquiring minds of not only the French press but the international media as well, plaintively asking:
"How can we run a country if entrepreneurs don't hire?" he said. "And how can we redistribute if there's no wealth?"
In the words of a six year old, "Duh!" 

Hollande certainly noticed that adding a 75% surcharge on multi, multi millionaires' income, including star sports figures, doesn't yield more tax revenue but literally kicks out the star business generators to friendlier tax countries.Whoops - nothing to redistribute--not that there is anything right with the government forcibly redistributing private income.
Why should entrepreneurs hire when hiring--and firing--is an expensive, punishing obstacle course in France?  As one French entrepreneur explained,

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Tom Coburn to Congress: ‘The Problem Is Us’

Pajamas Media ^ | 01/16/2014 | Rodrigo Sermeno 

WASHINGTON – A push to eliminate waste across government programs has been hindered by Congress’s own failure to do its job, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told a congressional committee last week.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard testimony from Sens. Coburn and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and representatives from various think tanks about ways to reduce government waste.
As part of the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act, Congress must conduct oversight hearings and hold agencies accountable for meeting program goals. Under the law, agencies are to determine performance metrics for programs together with Congress and ensure those goals are being met.
In 2010, Congress passed the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act that directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to produce an annual report on duplication across government. Since then, the GAO has released three annual reviews outlining ways the government can save money by consolidating programs.
“I thought it would embarrass us into acting,” Coburn, said at the hearing, referring to the legislation he sponsored requiring the GAO to produce the report. “Boy, was I wrong. We haven’t done anything.”
Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, spoke to the committee about the numerous cases of overlap in federal programs.
Schatz said there are 56 programs from 20 different agencies devoted to promoting financial literacy “intended to improve the fiscal acumen of the American people.” Fifteen of those programs cost $30.7 million in fiscal year 2010.
“While it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, there is no reliable data on the total cost of the financial literacy programs, and a government that itself is going broke is trying to teach others how to balance their checkbooks,” Schatz said in his written testimony.
Coburn recently released his “Waste Book,” an annual compilation of wasteful projects, which identifies frivolous spending on programs that include $3 million spent by NASA to learn how Congress works, and $1 million by the National Endowment for the Humanities over three years to study popular romance in multimedia.
“I’m embarrassed that we, as members of Congress, have allowed this list, with the multitude of programs that are on there, with the duplicity that’s in it, that we haven’t fixed it,” Coburn said. “And we don’t have an excuse. We’re guilty of not doing our jobs.”
Coburn, who is the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the report contains 100 examples of wasteful and low-priority spending worth about $30 billion.
He said government has grown so big that only one government agency – the Department of Education – actually knows all of its programs.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, promised his support to Carper and Coburn, and said he would guarantee a vote on any bill addressing government waste in his committee.
“Take anything out of your waste book that falls within our mutual jurisdiction and if you’ll make a vote on it with your chairman, and I’ll make sure our committee brings the same bill and votes it out to the full House,” Issa said. “Let’s start to figure out whether it’s $100 million, which would be $1 billion over 10 years, or $1 billion, which would be $10 billion over 10 years. You pick something out of the book or something that’s not in the book, and if the two of you are prepared to hold a committee vote on it, I’ll guarantee you a vote here on the same bill.”
Carper said cutting waste is a bipartisan issue and the “key is to find that 80 percent that we agree on.”
Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee condemned the government’s profligate spending.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) lamented Amtrak’s $72 million loss on food services and vacant federal property that costs billions of dollars to operate and maintain. Mica has held hearings in empty warehouses in Washington, D.C., to put pressure on the General Services Administration to sell some of these properties.
“You got to just keep going after the bastards until you’re successful. I don’t know anything else you can do,” Mica said.
The GAO found in its 2013 report that agencies spent $95 billion on 162 areas of duplication across government, including 679 renewable energy programs from 23 different agencies that cost $15 billion to run.
The GAO also found that Congress and the Obama administration have made some progress in reducing waste. For example, Congress allowed a tax credit of ethanol to expire at the end of 2011, which reduced revenue losses by addressing overlapping federal efforts directed at increasing domestic production of ethanol.
Nevertheless, the GAO said the executive branch and Congress could do more to achieve substantial savings.
Brandon Arnold, vice president of governmental affairs at the National Taxpayers Union, said his organization worked with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group to come up with ideas that both sides of the aisle could support. The report contains 65 recommendations for Congress that would save over $500 billion over 10 years.
Arnold called for an end to the “use it or lose it” spending sprees that occur at the end of every fiscal year, and reestablishing the Byrd Commission, a bicameral committee tasked with identifying and recommending the termination of non-essential spending.
Several witnesses acknowledged the difficulty in defining waste. But Chris Edwards, director of the Cato Institute’s tax policy studies, laid out a simple way to identify it.
“What is waste? Well, it’s government spending where the cost is higher than the benefits created for citizens,” Edwards said. “And in my view, it’s also federal activities that the federal government does a poor job at that could be much better carried out by state local governments in the private sector.”

Things That Just Don't Make Common Sense to the Public ^ | January 16, 2014 | Matt Towery 

The mainstream media can't figure out why Americans won't get on the "global warming" train or why the whole nation isn't obsessed with Chris Christie and "Bridgegate" or even come to grips with why consumers didn't spend themselves silly during the Christmas season.
What they don't get is that most Americans apply common sense and their real life experiences when evaluating issues or ideas. And often they are confused by much of the "official" news they read or hear.
One example can be found in the endless chorus of news reports heralding our nation's great economic recovery. They are hearing it, but they are not feeling it. Expectations were that the public would go on a spending spree during the holidays. That didn't happen
The public was in no mood to spend as freely as expected in part due to economic uncertainty stirred up by concerns over what their cost of health insurance might be in the coming months and years, under the Affordable Care Act. Their question likely was "Affordable for who and when?"
Added to that question is another "official fact" that most Americans who are not in the D.C. bubble or who don't live in a few out-of-touch affluent areas in our nation don't understand. They are told that unemployment is dropping and that this is a big sign of an economic recovery. But recent numbers don't suggest a rosy employment picture, and even when we see numbers improving, they don't reflect the millions of Americans who no longer count in the reports. They are workers who have dropped off the rolls and who have given up trying to find work.
Everyone in the real world knows plenty of folks who used to have full-time jobs, but now seem to be doing a little of this and a little of that to make ends meet. While many are not scrambling with the same look of fear and desperation we saw at the height of the Great Recession, they are still trying to sustain themselves and their families by making do with less and working in less-conventional ways. They aren't convinced that unemployment in America has been solved.
Then there's the issue of global warming. Apparently, some Democrats in Washington want those who produce entertainment programs to work global warming and its evils into their scripts more often. That's likely because the nation has been shivering in the past month and most Americans can't figure out if things are melting or freezing. And, if so, they wonder how their so-called "carbon footprint" matters as opposed to the movie stars and ex-Vice President who jet-set everywhere leaving a much bigger carbon mess behind.
And the "average Joe" has wondered how we solve global warming if the United States continues to place increased burdens on its energy suppliers and consumers, but huge nations in other parts of the world don't. Will we save just our little corner of the world or is it that we think we are more important than these other nations, and thereby our efforts will count more with Mother Nature?
The list goes on and on. The pundits think we all follow politics and government every day. Anyone with a real life does not. No one cares about their press conferences and proclamations. Most can't name the Speaker of the House or Senate Majority Leader, not because they are ignorant, but because they don't trust Congress and don't believe it matters to get involved.
And then there are flair-ups like the one facing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. To older voters, Christie's amazingly similar appearance to that of the late comedian Jackie Gleason in Gleason's younger years is the main reason to even notice him. Most voters don't live in New Jersey and don't care what happens there. If they find out he knew a bridge was closed for political purposes, they won't be shocked or overly upset.
After all, to the average American trying to stay warm, feed his or her family, and watch a little football or basketball, these politicians and the media will say or do anything. That's the one thing that makes common sense.

Liberal-Republicans Begin Laying Ground Work to Walk Away From Obamacare Opposition!

Red State ^ | 1/16/2014 | Erick Erickson 

Conservative and Republican affiliated groups have started the 2014 assault against Democrats who support Obamacare. At the very same time, it is increasingly clear Liberal-Republicans are laying the groundwork to abandon their opposition to Obamacare.

The Business Roundtable, which has a great relationship with Republican Leaders, is now listing Obamacare as an entitlement worth preserving.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former economic advisor to John McCain and who opposed passage of Obamacare, has started a think tank premised on keeping, but fixing, Obamacare. Holtz-Eakin has the ear of Republican leaders. In 2009, Mitch McConnell appointed him to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
The Chamber of Commerce is declaring it will work to fix, not repeal, Obamacare. In fact, just last week the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The administration is obviously committed to keeping the law in place, so the chamber has been working pragmatically to fix those parts of Obamacare that can be fixed.”
Concurrent to this, the Chamber of Commerce has begun funding candidates to beat conservatives in Republican primaries.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Tamera Mowry is not alone

Michelle ^ | January 15, 2014 | Michelle Malkin 

This made my heart ache and my blood pressure spike: Actress Tamera Mowry, who is black, wept in an interview with Oprah Winfrey over the vile bigotry she has encountered because of her marriage to Fox News reporter Adam Housley, who is white. Misogynist haters called Mowry a sellout and a “white man’s whore.” International news outlets labeled the Internet epithets she endured “horrific” and “shocking.”

Horrific? Yes. Shocking? Not at all. What Mowry experienced is just a small taste of what the intolerance mob dishes out against people “of color” who love, think and live the “wrong” way. I’ve grown so used to it that I often forget how hurtful it can be. Mowry’s candor was moving and admirable. It’s also a valuable teachable moment about how dehumanizing it can be to work in the public eye. Have we really sunk to this?
Young actresses in the 21st century forced to defend their love lives because their marital choices are politically incorrect? We’re leaning backward in the regressive Age of Hope and Change.
Let’s face it: Mowry’s sin, in the view of her feckless detractors, is not merely that she married outside her race. It’s also that she is so open about her love for a white man who — gasp! — works for reviled Fox News. Neither of them is political, but the mere association with Bad Things (Fox, conservatives, capitalism, the tea party, Christian activism, traditional values) is an invitation for unabashed hate.

The dirty open secret is that a certain category of public figures has been routinely mocked, savaged and reviled for being partners in interracial marriages or part of loving interracial families (for a refresher, see the video clip of MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and friends cackling at the holiday photo of Mitt Romney holding his black adopted grandson in his lap).
And the dirty double standard is that selectively compassionate journalists and pundits have routinely looked the other way — or participate directly in heaping on the hate.
Have you forgotten? Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was excoriated by black liberals for being married to wife Virginia, who happens to be white. The critics weren’t anonymous trolls on the Internet. They worked for major media outlets and institutions of higher learning. USA Today columnist Barbara Reynolds slammed Thomas and his wife for their colorblind union: “It may sound bigoted; well, this is a bigoted world and why can’t black people be allowed a little Archie Bunker mentality? … Here’s a man who’s going to decide crucial issues for the country and he has already said no to blacks; he has already said if he can’t paint himself white he’ll think white and marry a white woman.”

Howard University’s Afro-American Studies Chair Russell Adams accused Thomas of racism against all blacks for falling in love with someone outside his race. “His marrying a white woman is a sign of his rejection of the black community,” Adams told The Washington Post. “Great justices have had community roots that served as a basis for understanding the Constitution. Clarence’s lack of a sense of community makes his nomination troubling.”
California state Senate Democrat Diane Watson taunted former University of California regent Ward Connerly after a public hearing, spitting: “He’s married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn’t want to be black.”
Mowry is not alone. The Thomases and the Connerlys are not alone. Poisonous attempts to shame are an old, endless schoolyard game played by bullies who never grow up and can’t stand other people’s happiness or success.
Time doesn’t lessen the vitriol or hostility. Take it from someone who knows. “Oriental Auntie-Tom,” “yellow woman doing the white man’s job,” “white man’s puppet,” “Manila whore” and “Subic Bay bar girl” are just a few of the printable slurs I’ve amassed over the past quarter-century. You wouldn’t believe how many Neanderthals still think they can break you by sneering “me love you long time” or “holla for a dolla.” My IQ, free will, skin color, eye shape, productivity, sincerity, maiden name and integrity have all been ridiculed or questioned because I happen to be a minority conservative woman happily married to a white man and the mother of two interracial children who see Mom and Dad — not Brown Mom and White Dad.

Mowry’s got the right attitude. She wiped away her tears and told Oprah that haters wouldn’t drag her down. Brava. Live, laugh, think and love without regrets. It’s the best revenge and the most effective antidote to crab-in-the-bucket syndrome.

Let's Not Kid Ourselves About Marijuana

Wall Street Journal ^ | January 15. 2014 | MITCHELL S. ROSENTHAL 

Let's Not Kid Ourselves About Marijuana Adolescents are vulnerable—and not just to pot. That's how they are programmed. They make rash and risky choices because their brains aren't fully developed. The part of the brain that censors dumb or dangerous behavior is last to come on line (generally not before the mid-20s). Meanwhile, the brain's pleasure-seeking structures are up and running strong by puberty.

When you link adolescent pleasure-seeking and risk-taking to marijuana's impairment of perception and judgment, it isn't surprising that a 2004 study of seriously injured drivers in Maryland found half the teens tested positive for pot.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Democratic Think Tank Study Finds Harry Reid and Senate Dems are Responsible for Gridloc! ^ | 1/15/2014 | 

As if it wasn’t obvious before, we now have a liberal leaning think tank blaming Senate Democrats for all the trouble the government has been having lately. Newest analysis from the Brookings Institution points directly at the Democrat-controlled Senate to blame for the congressional gridlock.
Justifying this conclusion the analysis opens with the observation that the House has passed twice as many bills as the Senate in 2013. Mostly to blame is the Senate committee process.

"When we look at this category, then, we begin to understand where the problem lies: even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87 percent of bills die in committee," Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker write in Politico. "While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon."
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Chasing the Dream of Half-Price Gasoline from Natural Gas

MIT Technology Review ^ | Jan 15 | Kevin Bullis 

At a pilot plant in Menlo Park, California, a technician pours white pellets into a steel tube and then taps it with a wrench to make sure they settle together. He closes the tube, and oxygen and methane—the main ingredient of natural gas—flow in. Seconds later, water and ethylene, the world’s largest commodity chemical, flow out. Another simple step converts the ethylene into gasoline.
The white pellets are a catalyst developed by the Silicon Valley startup Siluria, which has raised $63.5 million in venture capital. If the catalysts work as well in a large, commercial scale plant as they do in tests, Siluria says, the company could produce gasoline from natural gas at about half the cost of making it from crude oil—at least at today’s cheap natural-gas prices.
If Siluria really can make cheap gasoline from natural gas it will have achieved something that has eluded the world’s top chemists and oil and gas companies for decades. Indeed, finding an inexpensive and direct way to upgrade natural gas into more valuable and useful chemicals and fuels could finally mean a cheap replacement for petroleum.
Natural gas burns much more cleanly than oil—power plants that burn oil emit 50 percent more carbon dioxide than natural gas ones. It also is between two and six times more abundant than oil, and its price has fallen dramatically now that technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling have led to a surge of production from unconventional sources like the Marcellus Shale. While oil costs around $100 a barrel, natural gas sells in the U.S. for the equivalent of $20 a barrel.
But until now oil has maintained a crucial advantage: natural gas is much more difficult to convert into chemicals such as those used to make plastics. And it is relatively expensive to convert natural gas into liquid fuels such as gasoline. It cost Shell $19 billion to build a massive gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar, where natural gas is almost free. The South African energy and chemicals company Sasol is considering a gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana that it says will cost between $11 billion and $14 billion. Altogether, such plants produce only about 400,000 barrels of liquid fuels and chemicals a day, which is less than half of 1 percent of the 90 million barrels of oil produced daily around the world.
The costs are so high largely because the process is complex and consumes a lot of energy. First high temperatures are required to break methane down into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, creating what is called syngas. The syngas is then subjected to catalytic reactions that turn it into a mixture of hydrocarbons that is costly to refine and separate into products.
two samples of different formed catalysts Powerful pills: Two versions of catalysts developed by Siluria to convert natural gas into ethylene, which can be used to make gasoline and chemicals.
For years, chemists have been searching for catalysts that would simplify the process, skipping the syngas step and instead converting methane directly into a specific, desired chemical. Such a process wouldn’t require costly refining and separation steps, and it might consume less energy. But the chemistry is difficult—so much so that some of the world’s top petroleum companies gave up on the idea in the 1980s.
Siluria thinks it can succeed where others have failed not because it understands the chemistry better, but because it has developed new tools for making and screening potential catalysts. Traditionally, chemists have developed catalysts by analyzing how they work and calculating what combination of elements might improve them. Siluria’s basic philosophy is to try out a huge number of catalysts in the hope of getting lucky. The company built an automated system—it looks like a mess of steel and plastic tubes, mass spectrometers, small stainless steel furnaces, and data cables—that can quickly synthesize hundreds of different catalysts at a time and then test how well they convert methane into ethylene.
The system works by varying both what catalysts are made of—the combinations and ratios of various elements—and their microscopic structure. Siluria was founded based on the work of Angela Belcher, a professor of biological engineering at MIT who developed viruses that can assemble atoms of inorganic materials into precise shapes. Siluria uses this and other methods to form nanowires from the materials that make up its catalysts. Sometimes the shape of a nanowire changes the way the catalyst interacts with gases such as methane—and this can transform a useless combination of elements into an effective one. “How you build up the structure of the catalyst matters as much as its composition,” says Erik Scher, Siluria’s vice president of research and development.
The process of making and testing catalysts isn’t completely random—Siluria has the work of earlier chemists to guide it, and it has developed software that sorts out the most efficient way to screen a wide variety of possibilities. The result is that what used to take chemists a year Siluria can now do in a couple of days, Scher says. “We’ve made and screened over 50,000 catalysts at last count,” he says. “And I haven’t been counting in a while.”
Nonetheless, some seasoned chemists are skeptical that Siluria can succeed. Siluria’s process is a version of one that chemists pursued in the 1970s and 1980s known as oxidative coupling, which involves reacting methane with oxygen. The problem with this approach is that it’s hard to get the reaction to stop at ethylene and not keep going to make carbon dioxide and water. “The reaction conditions you need to convert methane to ethylene do at least as good a job, if not better, of converting ethylene into carbon dioxide, which is useless,” says Jay Labinger, a chemist at the Beckman Institute at Caltech.
In the late 1980s, Labinger wrote a paper that warned researchers not to waste their time working on the process. And history seems to have borne him out. The process “hasn’t been, and doesn’t appear at all likely to be” an economically viable one, he says.
Yet in spite of the challenging chemistry, Siluria says the performance of its catalysts at its pilot plant have justified building two larger demonstration plants—one across San Francisco Bay in Hayward, California, that will make gasoline, and one in Houston that will only make ethylene. The plants are designed to prove to investors that the technology can work at a commercial scale, and that the process can be plugged into existing refineries and chemical plants, keeping down capital costs. The company hopes to open its first commercial plants within four years.

Siluria can’t tell you exactly how it’s solved the problem that stymied chemists for decades—if indeed it has. Because of the nature of its throw-everything-at-the-wall approach, it doesn’t know precisely how its new catalyst works. All it knows is that the process appears to work.

The hope for finding more valuable uses for natural gas—and making natural gas a large-scale alternative to oil—doesn’t rest on Siluria alone. The abundance of cheap natural gas has fueled a number of startups with other approaches. Given the challenges that such efforts have faced, there’s good reason to be skeptical that they will succeed, says David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California at San Diego. But should some of them break through, he says, “that would be seismic.”

Veteran Group Leader: Paul Ryan Budget Deal a 'Total Betrayal'

Big Government ^ | 1/16/14 | MATTHEW BOYLE 

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America founder Paul Rieckhoff told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on the The Kelly Filethat the budget deal House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is a “total betrayal” to American military members.

On Wednesday evening, the House voted to pass the second part of the budget deal—an omnibus spending bill drafted by House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). That bill is expected to pass the Senate soon, after which President Barack Obama will sign it into law.
In December, the Ryan-Murray budget deal passed the House, then the Senate and was signed by Obama before the end of the year. The December budget deal legislation is a broad budget outline while this bill that just passed the House from Rogers and Mikulski allots money program-by-program and agency-by-agency—more than a trillion dollars in spending government-wide.

Rieckhoff said the deal is a “whole new level of bipartisan stupidity,” because it cuts the pension benefits of more than 90 percent of military veterans. While the omnibus bill restores the pension cuts that the original budget deal had taken out for wounded warriors and disabled and injured veterans, it cuts the pensions of all other military veterans.

“It’s a promise that’s been made with our military folks when they raised their right hand and they sign up,” Rieckhoff said of the deal’s military pension cuts. “Somebody in Washington came up with this stupid idea to try and find some money to save and they are going to do it on the backs of retirees from the military? It’s absolutely absurd.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Eat Shit!


Clinging to power!




Not HIM!


Leave the gun!


The Press


Get good grades...


Tea Party Membership


Transforming America


Sorry, so sorry!


Bush's Fault!




Set Me Up!




Lanes Closed!




Did ya' hear?


This is a message from a friend, who was vacationing in Honolulu.

My wife and I are on Oahu for our annual Hawaii trip with good friends and two granddaughters enjoying the hospitality of the Hawaiian people on this lovely Island. Being retired military allows us the privilege of using the military facilities and especially the highly desirable golf courses.

Yesterday , Jan 4, we had a tee time of 12:04 to play golf at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base on Oahu. We arrived early because we were advised the President was possibly going to play but also that he was leaving to fly back to D.C. that same day.
We checked in and were second off and waiting for carts when we were advised that he really may be coming but there was no count of when or how many in the party. We then got body scanned, our golf bags searched and briefed on the proper behavior expected. He and his party finally arrived at 1:00 and he then hit balls on the range and then drove right in front of us on his way to the first tee hollering Happy New Year to the small group( 50 or so) golfers waiting to play. They keep two holes clear for him both front and rear and the secret service used 30 carts in all. After he teed off they went down the first fairway and I spotted a single golfer going to the first tee. I hollered at him to get off and he slowly ambled my way and when within talking distance he said he was White House staff and was allowed within the two hole space. I cannot repeat what I said to him. We were finally allowed to tee off at 1:30 and watched as the President bullied his way thru all the young Marines who were able to take a day off as they prepared to go to wherever to protect us all. No words of thank you for your service or how are you doing, just he and three of his civilian high school buddies messing up the day for many. They would make the two groups ahead of his progress move to the side and allow the group to play through.

It really is bothersome to view firsthand the egotistic ass that is our President. I asked numerous marines who were standing around what they thought of him and not one of the thirty or so had any kind words. The common refrain was why did he not come out and join a threesome of young Marines and play golf with them. That would have been so appropriate. Why doesn't his staff make a tee time like all of us and cancel if necessary? That would eliminate all the confusion. Why does he not respect the lives of all around him instead of being so arrogant.

Thank God he left last evening. We were out there for 5 1/2 hours and quit after 14 holes and left the course with a total lack of respect for our President.