Thursday, December 30, 2010

EPA overreach

I can't wait to vote in 2012!
The first thing President Palin will do: Fire all the bureaucrats, especially at the EPA!!

Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 8:47 AM

First, read Fred Upton and Tim Phillips very important article in today's Wall Street Journal on the push by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grab control over almost every aspect of American life

Congressman Upton is the incoming chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Phillips is the president of Americans for Prosperity.  (Chairman Upton will be my guest on Thursday's show as I continue to interview key chairmen of House Committees in the new Congress.)

The EPA's raw power grab is without precedent and built on the thinnest of rationales --a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA that said the Clean Air Act could provide the EPA with the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions if certain "findings" were made.  Obama's EPA made those findings and now is pushing forward the first wave of regulations that could end up with an EPA bureaucrat on overwatch of every carbon dioxide-emitting business, home, motor, machine and process in the country.

EPA is a serial job-killer, and this extreme regulatory agenda is contrary to every promise the president has made
to focus on job creation.

The first wave of rules targets power plants and oil refineries, and the public may be tempted to shrug and say "Who can argue with emission restrictions on such plants?"

EPA says it will be guided by reason, but this is Team Obama we are talking about, allied with the hard left edge of the environmental movement.  Recall that the "mini-EPA" of Southern California, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, started out promising common sense and ended up attempting to regulate backyard barbeques.
(I served a year on the board of this agency and know that while the agency is staffed by superb scientists and dedicated professionals, the nature of bureaucracy is such that it always rolls forward towards its narrow mission.  That is what bureaucracies do.)

Obama's EPA grabbed the authority to regulate carbon dioxide, and it believes it can regulate any emission of the gas anywhere in the country.  When EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson first appears before Chairman Upton or any other House Committee, the questions should bore in on these key inquiry: How vast is EPA's power, even if presently unused?  What in theory could EPA regulate?  Any manufacturing process that emits carbon dioxide?  Any household that does?

Administrator Jackson will demur, will resist laying out her understanding of the full scope of the agency's authority over American life.  But if the questions are sharp and the questioners not easily deterred, the answer will emerge that EPA believes it can regulate almost every aspect of American life, just as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes it can regulate vast swatches of private property in the name of saving endangered species.

Over the past quarter century, the administrative state has melded itself onto the world view of Big Environmentalism, and the combination represents a threat to the idea of limited government and the liberties preserved by such a limited government.  The fight to corral and tame EPA has significance far beyond power plants and refineries, and any honest participant in the debate will admit as much.

President Obama and his "tsar" for the environment Carol Browner fully embrace the most expansive vision of the uber-EPA, and their refusal to take any steps to curb the agency's expansionist zeal should be a major issue in the 2012 elections.  Americans didn't sign up for an army of bureaucrats regulating a gas that many don't believe can be meaningfully regulated to impact global temperatures.  Obama's EPA is the left flank of the front line in the political battle over the size and scope of government, with Obamacare being its center.  (The right flank is a story for another day.)  Upton and Phillips have fired the first shot in the 2011 battle to push back the EPA and hopefully they will find many allies on the Hill, in the grassroots, and among the GOP presidential candidates.

Liberal Chris Matthews asks: Why doesn’t Obama just release his birth certificate?

A serious look into the issue..

Yesterday, on Hardball, Chris Matthews asked a very obvious, rhetorical question:  "Why doesn't Obama just release his birth certificate?".

ANSWER:  Because there is something embarrassing on it politically for Obama that he doesn't want to have to explain to the American people, and the black community in particular.

I used to think he was listed as "Muslim" on his birth certificate, but I've since been convinced that in 1961, when Obama was born, religion wasn't recorded on a birth certificate.  I was born in Ohio in the late 1970s and "Catholic" is written on my birth certificate in several places, so I assumed "Muslim" was written on Obama's because of his father, who was Muslim, and Islam dictates a son is the religion of his father unless that boy renounces it formally before he is 18. However, a friend of mine who was born in Hawaii prior to 1961 has a daughter who was born in Hawaii in the 1980s…and she sent me copies of her daughter's and her birth certificate and the two of them don't have religion anywhere on them.  So, that struck down the "Obama is not releasing this because it says 'Muslim' on it" theory.

David Axelrod is a political genius for ginning up the "Birther Movement" and planting conspiracy theories out there that say the reason Obama is not releasing his birth certificate is because he was not born in the US.  I know for a fact Axelrod did this, and it is one of the smartest political moves in history.  It is Alinsky elevated to its purest form, because it completely neutralized all criticism of Obama for not releasing the birth certificate by painting anyone who talks about the issue as a lunatic.  Just watch:  the second anyone asks WHY Obama won't just show the world his birth certificate people call that person a lunatic, a "Birther", and claim they sit around with tinfoil hats on all day listening to conspiracy theories.

This attacks the questioner, and polarizes that person into a pariah for asking a valid question.  It's a genius move, and you can bet Axelrod was behind it…since it has kept the birth certificate question from ever being addressed.

Of course Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.

But, there's something on his birth certificate he does not want America to see, and it's now down to a few options as to what that something is:

(1) His race is listed as Caucasian-Arab on the birth certificate, not as "black" the way he needs it to be to get away with everything he gets away with in life. Obama's whole schtick is that he is black, not a Caucasian-Arab.  His mother was full Caucasian, and his father was only 1/4 black.  Most likely, his father was listed as "African Arab" on the race line below his name on that 1961 birth certificate.  When the child's line was completed, it would have been recorded as an amalgam of mother and father, according to how they recorded mixed race births in 1961.  A full-blood Caucasian mother plus a father who is 3/4 Arab and 1/4 black would result in a child that is 50% Caucasian/near 50% Arab, but with a little black in him.

That's not what Obama's narrative needed to be to get him where he wanted to go (hence, the necessity of him marrying someone like Michelle Antoinette, who gave him street cred in the black community).

So, it's most likely that his full birth certificate does not say black anywhere on it, but instead has Arab written where Obama doesn't want it to be.  Because a Certificate of Live Birth in Hawaii (a Cliff's Notes for a birth certificate) does not have the race lines included in the printout, for whatever reason, David Axelrod had that COLB released to the press and ginned up the Birther controversy to keep people from demanding to see the actual birth certificate.

If Obama loses the black community, and if they believe he lied to them and is not really one of them, the whole house of cards tumbles down. So, this is the most likely explanation for why the White House, to this day, refuses to release the birth certificate.

(2) Obama's adoption by Lolo Soetero in the 1970s complicated the birth certificate and the White House is afraid it can't explain that to the American people. The few school records that have been released for Obama are from his school in Indonesia where it was recorded that Obama was adopted by Lolo Soetero, his mother's second husband, and he went by Barry Soetero in Indonesia.  A friend of mine was adopted as an older child, and at the time of his adoption his original birth certificate was pulled, changed, and the adoption was noted on it with his legal name change.  So, he was born as "John Smith" but became "John Davis" at the time of the adoption.  A birth certificate for him that was pulled a day before the adoption would say "John Smith" and one the day after the adoption would say "John Davis".  If he kept going by the name "John Smith" because he liked it better (or he thought it would have gotten him farther with financial aid and admissions in the Ivy League, because he knew those schools wanted a black-sounding name like Barack Hussein Obama) then at some point in the future he would have had a lot of explaining to do if a "John Davis" birth certificate showed up for him (Barry Soetero in Obama's case). It seems the adoption would have created a lot of weird explaining for Obama to do, and the White House might not believe the American people can grasp all of this…so that could also be why they refuse to release the birth certificate.  This is the second most likely explanation for what's going on.

(3) Barack Obama Sr. is not Obama's real father. This is the craziest of the remaining theories, because the COLB issued by Hawaii lists this man as Obama's father. Perhaps the original birth certificate said 'Father unknown' and Obama's mother only later filled in BHO Sr. This weirdness would have been embarrassing for Obama to explain, so that could be why the White House refuses to release the birth certificate.  Some people speculate that Frank Marshall, who was married at the time, was really Obama's father and that BHO Sr. was used as a scapegoat because he lived in Kenya and had children all over the world with a half dozen different women, so what did it matter if Stanley Dunham wrote his name down for her son, too?  This could all be possible, but it's the least likely scenario.

Because Obama has spent most of his life hiding this birth certificate, because of whatever it reveals about him, he's entrenched himself too much on this issue to ever give that piece of paper up willingly.

The REAL mystery of all of this, at the moment, is why on Earth Chris Matthews decided to talk about this last night on MSNBC.

Matthews is to Obama what a teenage girl is to insert-Tiger-Beat-cover-hunk-of-her-choice-here.

I can't imagine Matthews ever saying or doing anything to hurt Obama of his own volition, and since MSNBC employs Matthews, and MSNBC is tied inextricably to Obama, I just don't know why Matthews would ever be allowed to harm Obama in any way.

So, why is he talking about the birth certificate?

It's a very slow news period right now, so maybe it's just to gin up ratings.

It's very, very weird though.

Naive Dummycrats

"It's amusing to me how simple America's problems were when Democrats were out of power, looking to take over. We would just fix the economy. Snap! Fixed. Just cancel Bush's tax cuts for the rich and it would all be right as rain. We could just bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and convince the Iranians and North Koreans it was in their interest to give up the bomb; all we needed was a smart guy to speak the right words to these countries that Bush was too stupid to know... We could just get the oceans to stop rising, and just reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and just do this and just do that.

It was all so very easy for the 2006-2008 Democrats to explain how they'd work these wonders. All they needed, they told the public, was to get the idiot Republicans out of office..." -- Ace, "Obama Destined For Scrapheap of History?"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Four Questions Every Liberal Must Be Asked

The Four Questions Every Liberal Must Be Asked

By Tony Kondaks
Ever notice how liberals like to spend money...particularly other people's money?  

If you've ever found yourself engaged in debate with a liberal in an attempt to convince him that government spending is out of control you know it's often an exercise in frustration.  This is especially true when your liberal invokes his holier-than-thou conviction that the supposed good he is intent on imposing upon the world - both domestically and internationally - must trump any financial considerations you may introduce into the debate.

Well, fret no more.  Here's a surefire formula to stop any liberal dead in his tracks: a series of 4 questions that every liberal must be asked.  It involves a few mathematical exercises, the effects of which are guaranteed to negate whatever Keynesian psycho-babble regular reading of  Paul Krugman's New York Times column may have infected a liberal's neuronal functioning.  I have found this bottom-line number crunching to be the best form of deprogramming for whatever Kool-Aid the Obamanomics crowd has been ingesting.

The Four Questions

Here's how it works.  Take out a sheet of lined paper (legal yellow pad, preferably) and a pen.  Number the top four lines of the page 1 through 4 down the left hand side.  Hand the page to your liberal and ask him if he would kindly indulge you: would he answer the following four questions?  Then proceed to ask them, in order.  Let him write down each answer before proceeding to the next question.

The four questions are:

  • 1) What is total spending of the federal budget?
  • 2) What is the federal deficit?
  • 3) What is the national debt?
  • 4) What was the most recent interest payment on the national debt?
You'll be surprised at the answers.  The first impression you'll get is that most won't know the difference between "deficit" and "national debt".  You see, liberals are all for spending your money but don't have a clue how much of it is being spent nor how much debt they're getting us into in order to do that spending.  You'll also find that the answer to question #1 ranges from a low of several hundred billion to a trillion; no one, it seems, is able to get the answer to within $300-400 billion.

The Four Answers

The next step is to correct their answers by crossing out what they've written and, beside them, write down the right figures.  They are:

1) Total spending for the federal budget for 2010 is projected to be approximately $3.6 trillion.  The budget comprises total expenditures and total receipts by the federal government.

2) The federal deficit for 2010 is projected to be approximately $1.2 trillion.  However, note that in 2009, the deficit was projected to be $407 billion but ended up being $1.4 trillion.  The deficit is total expenditures less total receipts (such as incomes taxes) received.  When receipts exceed expenditures there is a surplus.

3) The National Debt at the end of fiscal year 2010 is projected to be $14 trillion.  This debt is the accumulation of every year's deficit since 1776 less all accumulated surpluses.

4) The annual interest payment on the National Debt for 2010 is projected to be $164 billion.

The Debt In 2015

Underneath the four answers write: "The debt in 2015 is projected to total $20 trillion."

The Extrapolation

Explain that the interest the government pays (#4) on the debt (#3) is raised by selling financial instruments such as Treasury Bills to investors (such as the People's Republic of China).  These financial instruments are currently paying about 1.5% interest which will result in the approximately $164 billion in interest expense to the federal government.

Here's where it gets interesting.  Remind your liberal that interest rates fluctuate (Remember when interest rates almost reached 20% back in the early '80s?) as this graph demonstrates.  Note this graph is the historical rates for 3-month U.S. Treasury Bills, one of the very instruments used to service the debt.  Also remind your liberal that we are experiencing historically low interest rates which means that interest rates have only one direction in which to go.

Treasuries At 6% Paying Today's Debt

Then ask what he thinks will happen to interest rates if China and other purchasers of American debt stop buying and what we would have to do in order to attract them back: will rates go up or down?  Ask your liberal: "if interest rates on treasuries go up to just a modest 6% -- which is more than triple what the current interest rate we are paying now - what will the annual interest payment be on just today's approximately $14 trillion national debt?"  Here's the math:

$14,000,000,000,000 X .06 = $840,000,000,000.

That's a $840 billion annual interest payment on the current National Debt.

Treasuries At 10% Paying Today's Debt

But interest rates can easily go up to 10%...after all we've seen much higher rates within our lifetimes.  What would the annual interest expense be on the current debt level if we had to pay 10% a year in interest:

$14,000,000,000,000 X .1 = $1,400,000,000,000.

That's $1.4 trillion in annual interest payments on just the current National Debt.

Treasuries At 6% And 10% In 2015

But we're told that at projected deficit levels the debt will reach $20 trillion in just 4 years.  At 6% and 10%, the annual interest payments on the debt would be:

@ 6%: $1.2 trillion

@ 10%: $2 trillion

Note that the above two figures just service the debt; they don't reduce the principal of the debt.  Note also that $2 trillion represents more than half of all current federal spending.

All The Signs Were There For The 2007 Financial Meltdown

Only a few astute individuals foresaw the global financial meltdown of 2007.  Indeed, those few warned us and provided ample evidence: AIG's overselling of their credit default swaps, lax Freddie and Fannie rules for granting mortgages, etc.  But we ignored them.

Now we look at those very same facts and figures from pre-2007 and think: of course!  It was so could we have missed it.  The numbers were there for anyone to see.  Trillions of dollars in credit default swaps liability on just the part of AIG and if the market moved against it, the world economy collapses.  And yet despite all the signs, despite all the public information readily available upon which any and all could perform the most rudimentary high school math we missed it all.

There's another financial crisis looming.  All the signs are there, all the numbers are right under our collective nose and we all have access to calculators and spreadsheets on those free Microsoft programs that come on the laptops and desktops we own. But, again, we're in full court press denial mode: ignoring what's sitting smack drab in front of us...and President Obama, his democrat minions in Congress and not just a few borrow and spend Bush 43 Republicans insist upon going down the same deficit path we've been tripping the light fantastic upon for the past decade of unbridled spending.

What To Do

Governments tax and spend; this is what they do.  Indeed, it's what they're supposed to do.  It's all part and parcel of running a country and can't be avoided.  But, as we all now know, things have simply gotten out of hand...and record deficits and a national debt approaching our annual GDP underline the insanity of the liberal spend spend spend credo.

We have come to accept declarations of political pundits who declare "it is the end of America as we know it!" unless we heed whatever warning or policy they are promoting as part of the political lexicon. A hackneyed phrase, to be sure, and largely ignored or tolerated.

But in this instance we may want to conclude such a declaration to be justified.  Trillions in annual payments just to service the debt without even reducing it one iota does indeed justify alarm.  As I see it, it means one of two things:

-  Indebted servitude to our creditors for decades to come, a form of financial slavery in which at least half of every dollar in federal taxes go to interest payments instead of government services; or

- Government-induced hyper-inflation in which the trillions in debt will be paid off but which will impoverish tens of millions of fixed-income Americans and irrevocably diminish the reputation of America on the world stage and global markets.

Either way, the America we've known up to now is over.  And Republican 2010 campaign pledges to bring federal spending down to - wow! - 2008 levels simply doesn't cut it.

Even a balanced budget is not enough.  What we need is a Surplus Budget and we need it now, not next year, not in 5 years from now...even if it means financial pain, which it will.

An ounce of hurt now is going to be a whole lot better than a pound of excruciating pain later.

Tony Kondaks is the author of "Why Canada must end" which can be found in its entirety online at
9 Comments on "The Four Questions Every Liberal Must Be Asked"

Ironic headline: White House tries to smother new 'death panel' talk

Ironic headline: White House tries to smother new 'death panel' talk

This headline over at The Hill :
White House tries to smother new 'death panel' talk
Apparently, The Hill got a phone call from the regime because they changed the headline to the following (via memeorandum):
White House attempts to quiet revived talk of 'death panels'
Note that the headline now has the positive word 'revived' in it. Can't make the regime look bad you know. But the internet address to the story still has the old headline: The irony of headlining what Obama wants to do to those that most need healthcare - kill them off.
The Obama administration is trying to quiet talk about so-called "death panels" after The New York Times reported Sunday that a new Medicare regulation includes incentives for end-of-life-care planning.

The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times. A similar provision was dropped from the new healthcare reform law after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled.
So it was dropped only to be installed anyway via regulation, thereby bypassing Congress altogether. Might as well just smother the sick, elderly and disabled. The original headline fits. More on The Hill piece from Flopping Aces, American Spectator, The Daily Caller and Left Coast Rebel

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time’s Joe Klein: Tea Party Will Be ‘Biggest Losers’ Next Year, Dream Act Opponents Will ‘Suffer’

I don't know if this columnist for Time Magazine will be right or not in his prediction.
But the very nature and tone of the prediction proves to me that Time is a leftist magazine.

Time's Joe Klein: Tea Party Will Be 'Biggest Losers' Next Year, Dream Act Opponents Will 'Suffer'

Solar power: a way to sustainability

One conservative has embraced solar power...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Death Panels written back into the bill by Obama

NYT: Obama to Enact End-of-Life Planning

Truth about Detroit

Model cities program didn't create the utopia they promised.
They destroyed Detroit.
That and the greedy UAW.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Re: Fw: Wall Street Journal Article - A Wind Power Boonedoggle

Low natural gas prices is not good news for our local land here in PA.
They will be drilling M.S. gas wells like crazy now, especially with coal being struck out of the equation because it isn't clean, and oil being struck out because we can't drill in ANWR because we might kill a few mosquitoes (Aren't they on the Endangered Species List?). And most of all because we can't build Nuclear, because we're too afraid of the atom.

So PA loses.

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 8:52 AM, you wrote:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 7:57 AM
Subject: Wall Street Journal Article - A Wind Power Boonedoggle

After 30 months, countless TV appearances, and $80 million spent on an extravagant PR campaign, T. Boone Pickens has finally admitted the obvious: The wind energy business isn't a very good one.

The Dallas-based entrepreneur, who has relentlessly promoted his "Pickens Plan" since July 4, 2008, announced earlier this month that he's abandoning the wind business to focus on natural gas.

Two years ago, natural gas prices were spiking and Mr. Pickens figured they'd stay high. He placed a $2 billion order for wind turbines with General Electric. Shortly afterward, he began selling the Pickens Plan. The United States, he claimed, is "the Saudi Arabia of wind," and wind energy is an essential part of the cure for the curse of imported oil.

Voters and politicians embraced the folksy billionaire's plan. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he had joined "the Pickens church," and Al Gore said he wished that more business leaders would emulate Mr. Pickens and be willing to "throw themselves into the fight for the future of our country."

Alas, market forces ruined the Pickens Plan. Mr. Pickens should have shorted wind. Instead, he went long and now he's stuck holding a slew of turbines he can't use because low natural gas prices have made wind energy uneconomic in the U.S., despite federal subsidies that amount to $6.44 for every 1 million British thermal units (BTUs) produced by wind turbines. As the former corporate raider explained a few days ago, growth in the wind energy industry "just isn't gonna happen" if natural gas prices remain depressed.

In 2008, shortly after he launched his plan, Mr. Pickens said that for wind energy to be competitive, natural gas prices must be at least $9 per million BTUs. In March of this year, he was still hawking wind energy, but he'd lowered his price threshold, saying "The place where it works best is with natural gas at $7."

That may be true. But on the spot market natural gas now sells for about $4 per million BTUs. In other words, the free-market price for natural gas is about two-thirds of the subsidy given to wind. Yet wind energy still isn't competitive in the open market.

Despite wind's lousy economics, the lame duck Congress recently passed a one-year extension of the investment tax credit for renewable energy projects. That might save a few "green" jobs.

But at the same time that Congress was voting to continue the wind subsidies, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that property tax breaks for wind projects in the Lone Star State cost nearly $1.6 million per job. That green job ripoff is happening in Texas, America's biggest natural gas producer.

Today's low natural gas prices are a direct result of the drilling industry's newfound ability to unlock methane from shale beds. These lower prices are great for consumers but terrible for the wind business. Through the first three quarters of 2010, only 1,600 megawatts of new wind capacity were installed in the U.S., a decline of 72% when compared to the same period in 2009, and the smallest number since 2006. Some wind industry analysts are predicting that new wind generation installations will fall again, by as much as 50%, in 2011.

There's more bad news on the horizon for Mr. Pickens and others who have placed big bets on wind: Low natural gas prices may persist for years. Last month, the International Energy Agency's chief economist, Fatih Birol, said that the world is oversupplied with gas and that "the gas glut will be with us 10 more years." The market for natural-gas futures is predicting that gas prices will stay below $6 until 2017.

So what is Mr. Pickens planning to do with all the wind turbines he ordered? He's hoping to foist them on ratepayers in Canada, because that country has mandates that require consumers to buy more expensive renewable electricity.

How do you say boonedoggle in French?

Heritage: Comparing Economic Recoveries

Let's hope that the tax rate extension helps, but it's not an actual CUT, so there is every chance it might not...


WSJ: House Readies a Constitution Moment

Here's the biggest change, one that was broken again and again by the Democrats.

The Republicans weren't even allowed to read the healthcare overhaul bill before the Christmas Eve vote last year.
I'd say that's rather ludicrous!

–All bills must be online for three days before a floor vote, to ensure everyone has a chance to read them.
–All bills and amendments must be posted online. Other disclosure rules including posting lawmakers' attendance records and video of hearings online.

For those members of Congress who need a refresher course on the Constitution, Speaker-designate John Boehner has reserved the right to have it read aloud on the floor the day after he's sworn in on Jan. 6.

That tidbit comes from the new House rules package that Republicans released Thursday morning. Every two years, the majority has a chance to rewrite the rules that govern the chamber. Those changes are more dramatic when control shifts from one party to the other, as is happening this time.

The rules package, as outlined by aides, incorporates much of what Republicans laid out in the Pledge to America, including new procedural hurdles for deficit spending.

One of the biggest of those hurdles is a rule that the House will no longer recognize tax increases as a way of offsetting new spending in entitlement programs, like Medicare and Social Security. The president's health-care bill would have been almost impossible to pass if Democrats had been forced to meet that standard.

The full House must approve the rules, and it is expected to do so on Jan. 5, the day the new Congress is sworn in.

Other highlights include a ban on former lawmakers who register as lobbyists from using the House gym, and the reinstatement of a six-year term limit on committee chairmen.

For a longer list of proposed changes, click past the jump.

Other highlights include:
–Preserve the Office of Congressional Ethics, an outside body with limited authority to recommend investigations of lawmakers and their staff, and rename the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (known to most as the "ethics committee") as the Committee on Ethics.
–Members will have to cite the constitutional authority that allows them to introduce each bill and joint resolution they introduce.
–Rescind a rule that automatically raises the country's borrowing limit with passage of the annual budget agreement
–Committee name changes: The Committee on Education and Labor will become the Committee on Education and Workforce, and the Committee on Science and Technology will become the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
–All bills must be online for three days before a floor vote, to ensure everyone has a chance to read them.
–All bills and amendments must be posted online. Other disclosure rules including posting lawmakers' attendance records and video of hearings online.
–Create a new procedural hurdle for any measure that would increase the deficit by $5 billion or more over 10 years.


Slate: Whose Internet Is It, Anyway?

Slate is a leftist magazine...

And they question the regulating of the internet as well.

What has big government wrought: unemployment and no recovery

The Washington Post reports that panicky Democrats are pulling out all the stops when it comes to re-branding their failed agenda. public, Pelosi is projecting a no-looking-back aura. And behind closed doors, she is laboring to refashion the image of House Democrats - as well as herself.

Lawmakers say she is consulting marketing experts about building a stronger brand...

...The most prominent of her new whisperers is Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood director whose films have been works of branding genius...

...Lawmakers said Spielberg has not reported to Pelosi with a recommendation.

Pelosi met Friday with the members who will serve as ranking Democrats on committees, and she appointed a trio of rank-and-file legislators to take on new roles in helping shape and deliver the party's message.

Here's the message from Pelosi's four years controlling the federal purse-strings as Speaker: unemployment, depression, unsustainable social programs, epic failures, currency collapse, record deficits, and near calamitous terror attacks.

What's to rebrand?

Image: The Art of E (Evan Wondolowski).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If ever there was a bigger ass...

Disgraceful political chameleon lashes out at Supreme Court for enforcing First Amendment

If there's a more duplicitous political hack than Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), please tweet me and let me know. The Pennsylvania politician has switched parties -- not once, but twice -- over his half-century career on the public dole. This is a man, one can tell, with rock-solid principles.

Thankfully, the man with amorphous values was wiped out in the 2010 primary and will be replaced by Republican Pat Toomey. But before his departure, Specter couldn't help but bloviate on his perceptions of the Constitution's flaws.

Sen. Arlen Specter, the outgoing Pennsylvania Republican-turned-Democrat, directed a parting blow Tuesday to members of the Supreme Court's conservative bloc.

In his final speech on the Senate floor, Specter, the former GOP chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chastised Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito for "eroding the constitutional mandate of separation of powers."

...Specter specifically took issue with the court's controversial 5-4 decision early this year, in which it relaxed federally-imposed campaign finance regulations for corporations and unions.

"Ignoring a massive congressional record and reversing recent decisions, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito repudiated their confirmation testimony given under oath and provided the key votes to permit corporations and unions to secretly pay for political advertising - thus effectively undermining the basic Democratic principle of the power of one person, one vote," said Specter. Chief Justice Roberts promised to just call balls and strikes and then he moved the bases."

In short, Specter isn't pleased with the First Amendment. He would love to limit speech on any group of individuals with whom he has a disagreement. Or, better still, any group that wishes to stymie his bizarre political ambitions.

Don't let the door hit you on the ass, twit.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Obama FCC has regulated the Internet

So much for a free and open internet.
So much for Obama and freedom of speech.

The Obama FCC has regulated the Internet

Today the FCC defied the courts, the Congress, and a clear national consensus in favor of an open Internet, when it claimed the authority to regulate the Internet and passed so-called Net Neutrality regulations.

On a 3-2 vote, FCC Democrats Mignon Clyburn, Michael Copps, and Chairman Julius Genachowski voted to pass not just new Net Neutrality regulations, but an entire "framework" for future government meddling online. Republicans Robert McDowell and Meredith Baker voted against the plan.

Reports are already circulating that at least one major industry firm will sue to overturn the illegal regulations, and of course Congressional Republicans will rightly rake the FCC over the coals next year. However that said, today's result is a crippling defeat to the radicals. There weren't three votes for a much larger power grab that the FCC could have attempted today.

Mike Wendy is right and this is not a good result from the FCC. The only good result would be freedom through a hands-off approach. But there truly were possibilities far worse than a Net Neutrality framework that leaves the wireless market relatively open, does not claim the authority to set price or content controls, and leaves open so-called paid prioritization.

The deck was stacked against us throughout this process. With no Congressional majority to work with this year, and an Obama-appointed FCC controlling the process, we might not have had any leverage at all were it not for winning the House in November. That Free Press and other extremists could not get the Title II Nuclear Option in this climate, shows just how much of a fringe group they actually are.

It should be fun to watch next year's oversight hearings by incoming chairmen like Fred Upton and Darrell Issa, as well as the legislative steps taken by other outspoken Republicans like Marsha Blackburn.

Unchecked power: The courts and Obamacare

I agree with the newspaper from New Hampshire...

"At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

We know the Obama administration has discarded that basic right. Let us hope that the Supreme Court has the courage to defend it.

We have three questions for Attorney General Eric Holder.

Should America's courts keep a President's political goals in mind when interpreting the Constitution? Why is it troubling when courts are asked to review an expansion of government power? And do your promises of independence from White House control mean anything?

In a Washington Post column yesterday, Holder predicted devastating consequences if challenges to aspects of Obamacare are "allowed to succeed."

The attorney general and co-author Kathleen Sebelius are sworn to defend the Constitution. But their essay shows advocacy of administration policy is a higher priority.

The cabinet members assert that anyone who challenges the mandatory purchase of health insurance must propose another way to meet the goals of Obamacare. "Without an individual responsibility provision, controlling costs and ending discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions doesn't work. The legal arguments made against the law gloss over this problem . . ."

In other words, the administration's policy goals must be preserved, even if this law is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs' "troubling" questions are secondary. Legal precedents must not be "allowed" to interfere.

Although that argument is nonsense, it betrays dangerous arrogance. Don't try it on U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson, the Virginia federal judge who found parts of the health reform act unconstitutional on Monday.

Hudson praised the law's goal, but did not let that sway his ruling. In his words, "Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative health care regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds."

In his 42-page decision, the judge carefully analyzed legal precedents before ruling that the mandatory purchase of health insurance is "neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution." He went further, warning that such "unchecked expansion of congressional power . . . would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."

Rather than rebutting Judge Hudson's careful analysis, Holder and Sebelius took a political approach. They appealed to the public's emotions, citing the financial difficulties of preschool teacher Gail O'Brien, the lymphoma patient from Keene whose plight has been made familiar by President Obama.

The attorney general must have forgotten his April 2009 pledge of independence. In an interview with Katie Couric, Holder said, "The President gave me this job and asked me to be attorney general with the specific understanding that I would do nothing in a political way . . .  . There has to be a distance that you keep between this department and the White House."

Given Holder's recitation of White House talking points, that distance can be no longer than a short leash.

After more appeals, the battle over Obamacare's constitutionality will reach the Supreme Court. The justices will doubtless read Judge Hudson's ruling and its clear summary sentence: "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

We know the Obama administration has discarded that basic right. Let us hope that the Supreme Court has the courage to defend it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Global Warming takes a holiday, down under

It's even snowing in Australia, in the summer there...

Global Warming takes a holiday

Here in the sunburnt country, floods are running rife, temperatures are so low some people might have a White Christmas, indeed many people are wearing clothes that are from the wrong season, and all of this of course is just weather.

Luckily we aren't getting as much weather as the UK and Europe.

This is not a real post, that comes tomorrow, but I thought it gives you some idea of the transformation going on downunder thanks to the PDO switch. If only our policy makers had seen it coming. They might not have thrown so much money at desalination plants to boost water supplies in Dams that on the Eastern Seaboard are all now suddenly full.

Bear in mind all this rain recorded above was before the current December floods

Stephen Goddard, captured this map from yesterday at the BOM.


Note the minus 12 degree colour… (That's 12 degrees below the usual, not 12 below zero.).

To give you some idea of what it means, Binny really captured it in a comment on Goddard's blog:

Laugh. I'm in western Queensland – 'the fridge' is right I just looked outside to notice my two work dogs sleeping on the lawn in full sun. That is the sort of thing you see in mid-July. Their normal mid-afternoon, mid-December position is in their water troughs with just their noses poking out like a couple of crocodiles.

No, I'm not drawing too much meaning out of one day, one flood, or one season.

Warnings for Queensland

Warnings for New South Wales

And you get the idea. The endless drought is now an expanse of flood. There is even a flood on the West Coast in Carnarvon. (That's about 1000 km north of Perth).

The short killer summary: The Skeptics Handbook. The most deadly point: The Missing Hot Spot.

The Small-Business Hiring Outlook? Two More Years Wandering in the Desert

Small businesses, like my 53-person outfit, see no reason whatsoever to do anything but hold tight to our cash for the next two years.
December 20, 2010 - by Jeff Pope
Mr. Pope runs a manufacturing company in the Midwest.

My company employs 53 people and is in the business of providing fabricated components to equipment manufacturers. Roughly 50% of our sales are for export, with the remaining concentrated in the Midwest where our plant is located. We would be classified as a low- to medium-technology machining and fabrication company.

In short, we have been right in the middle of the worst economic conditions since the late 1970s. I speak only for myself here, but I do know that in my circle the views expressed here are not unique or original, rather they are nearly universal. We are the people who are reluctant to hire new people in order to protect our businesses.

"Small businesses are where jobs are created" is a common refrain from politicians and pundits these days. Suddenly the entrepreneurial business owner has been discovered as the hero of job creation for the whole country. And also its nemesis: witness their stubborn reluctance to expand and hire new workers. While the majority of the commentariat attributes this reluctance to uncertainty over taxes and health care costs, the reality runs much deeper. The problem is an ever more serious concern that political Washington will cause enough damage to the economy to cause long-term conditions in which small businesses won't be able to survive.

A seriously adverse business environment has been created, bad enough that small businesses — always fragile and necessarily obsessed with their ongoing existence — must opt for hyper-conservative financial management. The first restriction is hiring new people. Most of those responsible for creating this environment are still in place in Washington, and as long as they are there business owners will find it difficult to tack from their current lock-down mode.

This is not fear; rather it is a rational business approach to having low confidence in future conditions. Most owners have been around long enough to have experienced several economic gyrations, but this one is unique in that the political component seems to dominate the economic in what should be a time of recovery. That the rest of the world appears to be doing better by following paths that used to be perceived as American only highlights doubts about the direction policymakers are dedicated to here. We have a government dominated by ideologically driven people who show no sign of a reassessment after the failure of every remedy to work as they anticipated. Hip-deep in evidence that their actions are not working, or counter-productive, ideological blindness wins, and they continue on or even double down.

Looking back, it is certainly not hard to recognize the very significant role political factors had in leading to the recession, Fannie and Freddie chief among them. Then, in spite of 10% unemployment, the ideology of the leaders led them to impose such initiatives as ObamaCare, Wall Street reform, and carbon policies that could only hurt the very businesses that needed to be revived to increase employment. The evidence that all this was not working and likely to be obstructing a recovery is overwhelming. Yet they persist in their agenda, because that is what ideologically driven people do. Worse, the president and those around him, being ideologues, are unconstrained by popular opinion — or even constitutional law.

On what basis should a business owner believe that the worst is behind, and therefore become aggressive again? With the next election two years away?

The negative outlook is made much worse by the sheer lack of experience and competency in this government. Much has been made of the absence of business people in this administration and throughout the executive branch. There has never been a group that inspires less confidence in economic and business management, and yet there has been no apparent effort to make it even appear that it matters at all, much less build a more experienced team. Does anyone believe that business could rely on Eric Holder and the Justice Department to guard its legal interests? That Carol Browner even cares what effects the EPA has on a company? That Tim Geithner was expecting anything that has happened in the last two years? Does anyone see anything but imperious arrogance in Janet Napolitano or Robert Gibbs? Even the WikiLeaks emails convey a sense of amateurism that seems so pervasive in this government.

The point is made not in any one individual, but rather that the group as a whole does nothing to give confidence that some hugely damaging economic initiative, perhaps energy or currency related, will have any common sense arrayed against it within the circles of power in Washington. In this government being competent or knowledgeable means far less than being an ideological fellow traveler. As a result, what might have once been considered a most unlikely government economic body blow now seems all too possible. Just ask the oil drilling industry.

What is often not recognized is just how vulnerable small businesses are. They are notoriously undercapitalized, dependent on one or two major customers, with little cash reserves and limited ability to weather adversity. Individual labor costs are much more concentrated. Where a major company might follow labor costs from thousands of employees on a graph over many years, a small business might hire one person that costs 3% or more of total sales the moment that person is hired.

So when small business owners take stock of the current situation they are battered by two difficult years behind and a very uncertain period ahead. It is entirely reasonable for them to be extremely tight-fisted. The fact that risk is seen as being from Washington by leaders who will be in place for at least two more years makes it even more difficult to consider expansion. Decisions and policies made in Washington matter a great deal and affect small business in ways both immediate and life-threatening in consequence. Just a few examples:

  • Increasingly, even small businesses buy major materials on a global basis. Managing the global currency market and the decline of the dollar can increase costs effective with the very next purchase order.
  • The largest customers tend to be large multinational companies that source globally, so small companies must compete directly with foreign suppliers, and as a result have very limited pricing power. Inflation from any domestic source, particularly energy, matters a great deal because increased costs frequently can't be passed on and are a loss to the business.
  • Small private companies tend to be very illiquid, with most of the year's profit invested in business assets. Taxes require a critical outflow of cash that must be paid immediately. Cash lost to taxes is wholly unproductive, a pure loss of the most precious of assets.
  • The health and stability of customers matters. When they downsize, close a plant, or move it to a better environment in another country the business is almost always lost. If it is a major customer it may be fatal to the business.
  • Special favors matter. When the government grants waivers of costly changes to big corporations, smalls lose competitiveness because they are not exempt and must bear an even greater share of the cost.
  • When special groups are empowered, such as tort lawyers, unions, or other so-called progressive activists, big companies settle for what to them is a nominal amount. Threats of this type are almost always life and death affairs for a small business.

The actions of Congress and the administration have been decidedly negative on the above issues, and on so much more. There is every reason to believe they are capable of even more damage if they can find a way to do so. The political environment in this country is toxic to small business with a dramatic, immediate, and negative impact in ways most of the parties involved simply do not appreciate. Business owners are far more politically aware than the average person because it matters so much to them and they are seriously influenced by activities in Washington. In short, politics has a profound and direct impact on the decisions made by small businesses.

This is particularly true when it involves financial risk-taking and preservation of the business. Large corporate CEOs might risk their jobs making decisions for the future, but small business people risk their whole business and frequently all they own. The current political and economic environment makes them adamantly cautious, because the future looks so uncertain and the government so threatening. Caution means holding on to cash, keeping costs at a minimum, and not risking loss on new or expanded operations. Cash is security, survival, and the ability to protect oneself against long-term adversity. New hiring is a looking-forward commitment of very significant cash and resources, something that is decidedly not attractive today and highly unlikely to be so in the foreseeable future.

So we have a real problem. Businesses are reluctant to hire due to two hard years behind and concern about the future policies of an ideologically driven government that is clearly not pro-business ahead. Business conditions in 2010 are a little better than 2009, but nowhere near the prior levels that might encourage a more aggressive view. The three major forces in policymaking, President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, continue to hold office and make no secret that they desire to advance their agenda with or without regard to the Constitution. They and their anti-business orientation will remain in place for at least two more years. On the other side of the aisle, most of the senior Republicans who were so ineffective over the past decade will retain the same ability to compromise away government restraint for the next two years. The November elections may have helped the situation, but the Republicans have a long, long way to go to prove they are up to the generational level change it will take to turn things around. Worse, it is becoming easier to accept the possibility that the corruption between all the special interests, including corporate, and government is just too firmly entrenched and too lucrative to break apart at all. If that is true, nothing changes until an ultimate collapse.

What to do? Stay locked down, very conservative, and prepared for at least two more years wandering in the employment desert.

Mr. Pope runs a manufacturing company in the Midwest.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Obama tax mix up surprises 13 million Americans

Change we can count on!

Obama tax mix up surprises 13 million Americans
The Washington Examiner

A new government audit says 13.4 million taxpayers may be getting unexpected tax bills because they were awarded too much money under President Barack Obama's Making Work Pay tax credit.

The tax credit, which expires Jan. 1, was designed to increase take-home pay by about $8 a week through new tax withholding tables. The credit was capped at $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly.

However, the audit said people with multiple jobs, married couples who both work, and Social Security recipients who also work risk not having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks, resulting in a tax bill when they file their returns.
12/16/10 1:30 PM

Friday, December 17, 2010


Not at all, here are 6 previous posts from me on the subject...
These are just the ones that came before Obama was sworn in as president.
There is even one where I am critical of Bush.

----  dateTue, Jun 10, 2008 at 6:03 PM
Our business fed rate is 35%, which, when combined with state taxes on businesses,
is much higher than European countries, that's why you are hurting, because our climate
for business is being hindered by taxation.

Since you are a citizen of the U.K, you should look up their business tax rate, and compare
it to ours.

----- dateThu, Apr 3, 2008 at 9:19 AM

U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes

Comparing U.S. State Corporate Taxes to the OECD

OECD Overall Rank


Federal Rate Adjusted

Top State Corporate Tax Rate

Combined Federal and State Rate (Adjusted) (a)











Miki, remember that businesses are not individuals.
When a business is taxed, it is in reality a double taxation on individuals.

Pennsylvania is #2 in the world in combined business taxes,
more than anywhere except Iowa.
More than Europe:
Combined Federal and State Rate (Adjusted) (a) 41.5 %

---- dateWed, Oct 22, 2008 at 8:38 AM
Finally, Mr. Obama would require many small business owners to pay as much as a four-percentage-point payroll tax surcharge on net income above $250,000. All of this would bring the federal marginal small business tax rate up to nearly 45%, while big business would continue to pay the 35% corporate tax rate.

----dateFri, Nov 7, 2008 at 3:50 PM
If anything, the most recent rise might be linked to the business tax. Our business tax is at 35%, and it is climbing. Europe recently lowered their business tax and their unemployment rates have been going down, while ours is going up.

----dateFri, Nov 7, 2008 at 7:11 PM
If Obama wants to spur the economy, he should do what Europe has done,
lower the business tax from 35% to something like 30% so that we can compete.
Many businesses are leaving for Europe.
That still lets him hike the Income tax for individuals, while helping business.

----dateMon, Nov 10, 2008 at 9:11 AM
Q: Why didn't you blame Bush?
Easy answer: Even Bush is a dummy for now lowering the business tax.
35% is killing our business climate.


On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 1:22 PM, dude wrote:

The HUGE corp tax that you are complaining about only now…you ignored under the Rs for 8 years before…hmmmm must be another fault of the President?


From: dEncens Chaton


Every American held hostage... by the Democrats..

Who refuse to drop the highest corporate tax rate in the world! From 35% to 30%, to be in line with the other countries.


Check it out, our lovely liberal progressives have actually designed a REGRESSIVE corporate tax:

For SMALL BUSINESS, the rate is 39% over $100,000 and below $335,000, which is most small businesses.


Federal tax rates

For regular income tax purposes, a system of graduated marginal tax rates is applied to all taxable income, including capital gains. Through 2010, the marginal tax rates on a corporation's taxable income are as follows:

Taxable Income ($)

Tax Rate[21]

0 to 50,000


50,000 to 75,000

$7,500 + 25% Of the amount over 50,000

75,000 to 100,000

$13,750 + 34% Of the amount over 75,000

100,000 to 335,000

$22,250 + 39% Of the amount over 100,000

335,000 to 10,000,000

$113,900 + 34% Of the amount over 335,000

10,000,000 to 15,000,000

$3,400,000 + 35% Of the amount over 10,000,000

15,000,000 to 18,333,333

$5,150,000 + 38% Of the amount over 15,000,000

18,333,333 and up



On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM, dude wrote:

Every American held hostage….so tied to their own self-survival that they don't notice the Rs sneaking in an extension to the tax cuts of the upper 1% earners.


From: dEncens Chaton 


Whew, that was a close one.

If they didn't pass that compromise tax plan last night, my tax burden next year would go UP by $5000


That's $5000 I can't afford! 



All over the Main Stream Media I see "Obama Tax Cut Passes"

What a lie, there is no cut in income taxes, there is only a small temporary cut in SS taxes, from 13% down to 11% for one year, a 2 point temporary drop.