Saturday, December 8, 2012


Sam Trumbull, Arcata, has been elected chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Central Committee for 2013-14. Other officers elected by the committee are Gwen Morris, McKinleyville, first vice chairwoman; Melanie Hosford, Eureka, second vice chairwoman; Jean Giannini, Fortuna, secretary; and Todd Walker, Eureka, treasurer.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


A family oyster business recently shut down by the Obama administration’s demand that the public land on which it operates revert to a wilderness area is suing the federal government for what they say is an illegal taking of the property. - Audrey Hudson/Human Events

“Our family business is not going to sit back and let the government steamroll our community, which has been incredibly supportive of us,” Drakes Bay Oyster Company said in a statement.

Lawyers for the company, which is situated in Drakes Estero, a tidal inlet off Drakes Bay, will ask a judge in the Northern District of California’s District Court for an injunction on Friday to block the eviction while the lawsuit progresses....

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources subcommittee on national parks, forests and public lands, said the process used by federal officials to make the determination was “completely unacceptable.”

“I am extremely troubled by just about every aspect of this situation. There was clearly an effort on behalf of the Department of Interior (DOI) to manipulate data in order to derive a certain outcome,” Bishop said.

“It not only calls into question the integrity of the environmental review process but that of the DOI as a whole. When all components of this process are examined, you see that Secretary Salazar’s misguided decisions are arbitrary and based on a whim. Jobs and livelihoods are being destroyed solely because the Department of Interior knowingly created a fraudulent scientific review to justify a predetermined, ideological course of action,” Bishop said.

Critics of the closure also include Republican Rep. Darrell Issa and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who also says the findings for closing the oyster business was exaggerated.

The National Park Service purchased the land in 1972 that housed the oyster operation and offered the family a 40-year lease to continue operations across 1,000 acres. The company was seeking to have their lease extended.

White House admits president's tax hike cannot pass Dem-controlled Senate...

The White House on Thursday dismissed as political mischief Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s offer to bring President Obama’s fiscal cliff plan to a vote on the floor, conceding the proposal would not receive the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster. - Jim O'Sullivan/National Journal

“We don’t have 60 votes in the Senate,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, adding the White House was “very confident” that Democrats support the principles outlined in Obama’s plan, which has met with derision among Republicans.


“Look: the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. Now the President wants to remove that spur to cut altogether. It gets in the way of his spending plans.

“I assure you: it’s not going to happen. The American people want Washington to get spending under control. And the debt limit is the best tool we have to make the President take that demand seriously.

“The American people want us to fight to cut spending. It’s a fight they deserve. We’re happy to have it.”

DeMint Resigning from Senate to Head Heritage Foundation

The Senate is set to lose one of its most influential conservative voices after South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint announced on Thursday that he will step down. - Martin Gould/Newsmax

“I’m leaving the Senate now, but I’m not leaving the fight. I’ve decided to join The Heritage Foundation at a time when the conservative movement needs strong leadership in the battle of ideas. No organization is better equipped to lead this fight and I believe my experience in public office as well as in the private sector as a business owner will help Heritage become even more effective in the years to come.”

Praise arrived from around the conservative world for DeMint.

“Senator DeMint has done more to advance the cause of freedom and liberty in Congress than anyone else since his election,” said Chris Chocola, president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, in a statement congratulating the senator. “We wish him nothing but the best in his new role at Heritage.”

Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan praised DeMint.

“There is no better choice than Jim DeMint to lead this great organization. It is disappointing to lose his strong voice in the Senate, but I look forward to his continued conservative leadership at the helm of The Heritage Foundation," Jordan said in a statement. "The folks at Heritage are an indispensable ideas factory for conservatives in Congress. South Carolina’s loss is the country’s gain.”

State Treasurer Doesn’t Know How Much California Owes in Bond Debt

The LA Times also published a companion article where they provided a spreadsheet that tracked Capital Appreciation Bonds (spreadsheet) just for school districts in California. This spreadsheet showed that $5.6 billion in capital appreciation bonds have been issued to fund education to-date, and that the payments, most of which will not come due for another 20 years, will total $24.0 billion. But the borrowing disclosed on this spreadsheet is just for education, and it is just those borrowings that took the form of capital appreciation bonds. It is only a small portion of the debt. -

...So how deep is the hole? How much do California’s state and local governments owe? How much of that borrowing is via conventional bond financing, and how much of it is via capital appreciation bonds?

If you think the California State Treasurer’s office would know the answer to this question, you would be wrong. UnionWatch inquiries to that office yielded helpful suggestions to refer to the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission’s webpage that discloses California Public Debt Issuance – Yearly Totals 1985-2012. From this table you can see both state and local borrowing per year. The biggest borrowing year was 2009, with $95 billion in debt issuance. The average since 2000 is well over $50 billion per year. But how much of this debt was reissuance of old debt? How much of it is new debt? What is the cumulative outstanding debt of state and local governments in California? How much of that outstanding debt takes the form of Capital Appreciation Bonds?

We asked. Nobody knows. They’re working on it. The spokesperson suggested we consult someone with a subscription to Bloomberg online, wherein we suggested they get one for their office. Why isn’t this information a click away, clear for every journalist and policymaker in California to immediately apprehend? The reader may imagine what would happen to any treasurer in any large corporation if their department was unable to instantly produce this data. Such is the state of California’s public finance. This isn’t an unfunded liability for future obligations, such as pensions, where countless variables – including average lifespan, spiking impacts, and rates of return on investments – make precise estimates impossible. This is money borrowed, spent, and owed. It is a number that can be known to the penny. And in California, right now, we don’t know.


Members of the 2013-14 Humboldt County Republican Central Committee, elected in the June primary, will take the oath of office at the committee’s organizational meeting, 6 p.m., Thursday, December 6 at the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District building, 828 - 7th Street, Eureka.

Judith Hedgepeth, Administrative Analyst of the Humboldt County Elections Office will administer the oath to the members: (First District) Rebecca Crosby, Joy Finley, Peter Hannaford, Melanie Hosford, Byron Simpson, Todd Walker; (Second District) Jean Giannini; (Third District) Gwen Morris, Sam Trumbull; (Fourth Distrct) Jane Burchit; (Fifth District) Lia Fontillas, Gary Frank, Rose Welsh.

89% of the Humboldt County Democratic Party’s contributions came from just 7 special interest groups.

How Democrats Won the Supermajority: Party Laundering of Union Money -

Everyone has an explanation for why the California Republican Party was dominated in the last election. Immigration, demographics, social issues, taxes, etc. But all the blathering has ignored the elephant in the room: money.

Big business and big labor teamed up and spent big money to elect Democrats. And they used party central committees to funnel this money to targeted legislative candidates. You can read all about the suspicious campaign financing of the Quirk-Silva campaign here.

Both parties used this tactic to fund their targets. Democrats, however, accepted checks with an extra zero. This money laundering is, of course, done with a wink and a nod. “How do you prove the money was laundered and not just a big coincidence?” a skeptic might ask.

People are uncomfortable with numbers. That’s why I have created a few visual representations of these county party transfers to make it easier to understand this money laundering. Here’s a snapshot of every contributor to the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee in 2012. It’s how most people would read a campaign report.

2012 Contributions to the Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by # of contributions):

It’s a confusing mess, and that’s exactly the point. Special interest groups hide in plain sight with this web of financial data. In 2012, the Humboldt County Democratic Party accepted $232,618 in 144 different transactions. But, it’s hard to understand what all of those contributions mean.

Let’s change the visualization to give greater weight to bigger transactions. Here’s what it looks like when the size of the font is proportional to the size of the contribution.

2012 Contributions to the Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by $ amount):

Wow! Suddenly, everything is much clearer. That’s because 89% of the Humboldt County Democratic Party’s contributions came from just 7 special interest groups. Those groups are: AFSCME, California State Council of Service Employees, California Teachers Association, California School Employees Association, Serivce Employees International Union Local 1000, Professional Engineers in California Government PECG PAC, and the Building and Construction Trades Council of California PAC.

Each of these groups sent a check for ◼ at least $25,000 to the party in August or September.

...How did the party spend all of its money? $225,000 transferred to two targeted state Senate candidates, Richard Roth and Cathleen Galgiani. Here’s a visualization of every penny of party expenses, including rent, postage and cell phone services. The information that stands out: $225,000 transferred to two targeted state Senate candidates, Richard Roth and Cathleen Galgiani.

2012 Outgoing Contributions from Humboldt County Democratic Party (sized by $ amount):

The seven special interest contributions totaled $207,000, just a few dollars shy of the total transferred to the state Senate targets. It’s also worth noting that neither state Senate district included Humboldt County. If a multi-national corporation used this money laundering scheme to avoid taxes, Democrats would be outraged.

The GOP should rethink its campaign approach. California’s demographics are changing. But the biggest contributing factor to the Democrats’ dominance was money.

If U.S. hikes taxes, high-income Californians may pay nation's highest tax rate, almost 52 percent + sales tax, property tax, and ObamaTax

Proposition 30 added three percentage points to the marginal state income tax rate for California’s highest-income taxpayers, bringing it to 13.3 percent. That action raised California over other high-tax jurisdictions to a marginal rate of 51.9 percent, slightly higher than New York City’s level. Hawaii was the only other place with a calculated rate above 50 percent. - Erika Johnsen/HotAir

…Ouch. We already knew that California was headed for a fall, but here’s yet another problem with top-down government and specifically with President Obama’s proposals to hike taxes across-the-board on those he deems wealthy, i.e. families making more than $250k/year. As Joel Kotkin writes for Forbes, it’s kind of odd that blue states voted so overwhelmingly against their own self-interest in reelecting Barack Obama, because the tax hikes he campaigned on will come down disproportionately hard on the economies of blue states.

From the comments: Don’t forget that the 1099 self employed folks who actually have a profit of over $250K, besides being taxed to the max in CA at 51.9% before property taxes, obamacare taxes, and sales taxes, will also have the social security and medicare taxes on top of the 51.9%.

AND don’t forget that Obamacare will tax you on the sale of your home a certain percentage, too. I am not sure if that hits in 2013 or 2014.

High-income Californians may pay nation's highest tax rate - Dan Walters/Sacramento Bee

Surprise: McConnell Offers Vote on Obama/Geithner Fiscal Cliff Plan, Reid Objects

This isn't the first time we've seen Democrats engaged in this awkward political dance.
- Guy Benson/Townhall

I've been critical of Republican tactics and messaging this week, so let's give credit where it's due: Moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor and offered an immediate vote on President Obama's fiscal cliff plan, which shocked the Beltway late last week. (In case you're keeping score at home, this was the surreal proposal that induced McConnell to laugh out loud as it was outlined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner). Harry Reid quickly objected and shut the whole thing down, labeling the suggestion a "stunt." Think about that. The President of the United States, a Democrat, crafted a fiscal cliff package that would give him everything he wants. It has tax hikes on the rich. It has huge tax hikes on investments and estates. It has more stimulus spending. It has no meaningful, specific, or guaranteed spending cuts. And it compels Congress to cede control of the debt ceiling to him. This is "fairness" on steroids. The Senate's top Republican proposed an up-or-down vote on everything the president wants, yet Democrats, who control the upper chamber, instantly blocked it. By what definition is it a "stunt" to hold a vote on the president's full, public plan? The White House has insisted it's a serious document, yet Hill Democrats don't want it to see the light of day.

Huh, that’s odd: Harry Reid declines to bring a vote on Obama’s cliff plan - Erika Johnsen

Jedi Mind Trick Nation

"These aren't the droids you're looking for." - Ben Shapiro/Townhall

The Democratic Party has apparently been endowed with the ability to use the old Jedi mind trick. That's their entire tactic throughout the fiscal cliff debacle. America faces actual liabilities of $86.8 trillion. That's our outstanding cost on Social Security, Medicare and other retirement benefits accrued. There's no way to tax ourselves out of that hole. As former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Chris Cox and former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill Archer wrote this week, "to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually." To put that in perspective, the entire GDP of the country last year was about $15 trillion. Just to keep up with our debt -- to keep it from growing -- we'd have to take more than half of all American wealth. Every year. And that wouldn't even solve our current debt issue.

Republicans sense that this is something of a problem. That's why they aren't going along with President Obama's class warfare shtick, in which Obama pretends that taxing rich people without cutting anything will solve all our problems. Obama's proposal to tax the top 2 percent of income earners accomplishes precisely nothing -- or, even more precisely, it would pay for about eight days of federal government spending.

So how is it that Democrats seem to be winning the battle over the fiscal cliff? Polls show that Americans think Republicans are being stubborn to insist on cuts rather than going along with President Obama's ridiculous scheme to tax and spend more.

Why? The Old Jedi Mind Trick.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research

Council approves new Eureka city manager; Atkins, Ciarabellini sworn in for second terms

link - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard

Bill Panos agreed Tuesday that as Eureka's next city manager he will need to hit the ground running over the next few months to get a hold on Eureka's biggest issues -- not the least of which being the city's search for its next police chief.

”It's all about building a context of where this city has been and where it is now,” Panos said. “There are a lot of challenging things to be done here and I am very much looking forward to being a part of that.”

...In other matters, the council unanimously approved a resolution accepting the results of November's election and installing Councilwoman Linda Atkins and Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini victors in the Eureka City Council races for the Ward 2 and Ward 4 seats, respectively.

After she was sworn in for another four-year term, Atkins said she was glad the “hideous campaign” was over. The incumbent ran a close race against challenger Joe Bonino, winning by 320 votes....

Ciarabellini thanked her husband and her supporters.

How Journalists Give Obama A Pass: Part 285746342

The other day Jay Carney said (and the professional stenographers collectively called “The White House Press Corps” reported*) that any deal to avoid the fiscal cliff had to include tax rate hikes. Not just additional revenues but rate hikes, specifically. Aside from one example*, I didn’t see anyone else in the stenographer pool press Carney on the “Why?” question. - The Right Sphere

It would be easy: “Why do we have to increase tax rates? Why is that absolutely necessary?” Then they could throw in some other W’s like, “What is the economic theory behind this necessity to increase tax rates? Keynes wouldn’t advocate such a thing. Where is the economic case for rate hikes when the economy is only growing around 2% annually?”

But no, the stenographer corps* simply jots the comments down and nods along. I pressed some of them on Twitter and received no response. All I did was ask them if anyone asked Carney why the rate hikes were absolutely mandatory for any deal. They chose to ignore the question.

Today, Obama held a meeting of CEO’s and made some remarks to the press. Of the stream of provable lies that spewed from the podium, one was that, according to Obama, there was no way to raise enough revenue by simply eliminating loopholes, etc. Once again, the case was being made that tax rate hikes had to be part of the deal. Had to.

Now, you would think that journalists reporting on this event and the President’s remarks would think to themselves, “Why?” But you’d be wrong. You’d also think that when presented with video of Obama contradicting the very comment he had made, a journalist, and especially one who had just tweeted / reported Obama’s comments to his thousands of followers, would welcome the opportunity to show that the President was contradicting earlier pronouncements. I mean, isn’t that what a journalist is supposed to do? Question authority?

*Jake Tapper was the only one who pressed Carney about the tax rate hike nonsense which is why he remains the only mainstream media journalist in the country I actually respect. And that’s sad.

“Sadly, I was wrong” about Obama, isn’t good enough

The country deserved better geniuses: More of the post-election mea culpas. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

An Unfortunate Broken Promise - Greg Mankiw

Back in 2008, when President Obama was running for his first term, he promised to be a post-partisan leader. While a Democrat, he said he would accept good ideas when they came from Republicans. At the time, I believed him, at least to some degree. And I wrote about it in this NY Times column.

Sadly, I was wrong. The short version of the story is this: As a candidate, President Obama campaigned on a platform of raising taxes on the rich. Yet he and his economic advisers also said they wanted to raise dividend taxes only slightly, from 15 to 20 percent. For reasons I explained in the Times article, keeping dividend taxes low was a position bolstered by good economics. Now, however, the president wants to raise dividend taxes to ordinary income tax rates (plus, for high-income taxpayers, the new tax of 3.8 percent that is part of the Obamacare legislation).

To be it another way, he campaigned as a moderate, willing to concede that the other party had some good ideas on tax policy. Once in office, he gave up on those ideas.

Geithner: Ready to Go Over 'Cliff' If Taxes Don't Rise

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC Wednesday that Republicans are "making a little bit of progress" in "fiscal cliff" talks but said the Obama administration was "absolutely" ready to go over the cliff if the GOP doesn't agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy. - CNBC

"This is one of the most stunning and irresponsible statements I've heard in some time," Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said in a statement. "Going over the fiscal cliff will put our economy, jobs, people's paychecks and retirement at risk,but that is what the White House wants, according to Secretary Geithner, if they don't get their way."

The president has proposed raising taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade, cuts to Medicare and another $50 billion in stimulus spending, but has largely exempted Social Security from budget cuts.

Obama’s ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Proposal: $1.6 Trillion in Tax Increases - CNBC

The White House is seeking $1.6 trillion in tax increases up front, as well as $50 billion in additional stimulus spending, as part of any "fiscal cliff" deal, Republican aides said Thursday, as talks aimed at averting the economy-rattling cliff turned testy.

President Barack Obama also wants a permanent increase in the federal debt ceiling, a one-year expansion of jobless benefits, and an extension of the payroll tax credit, these aides said.

CITIGROUP to slash 11,000 jobs...

Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat, who took over the bank in October, is cutting more than 11,000 jobs, scaling back operations in some emerging markets and taking a $1 billion charge this quarter in an effort to drive down costs. - Donal Griffin/BLOOMBERG

...Citigroup also plans to shrink that division’s bonuses for this year by as much as 10 percent, two people with direct knowledge of the decisions said last week.
Cost-cutting by investment banks needs to be severe to deal with the impact of the new capital rules, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts said last month. Firms must slash pay and headcount and get rid of almost a third of their trading-business assets to earn even half the returns they once made, while replacing some traders with computers, the analysts wrote.


A new video produced by the California Federation of Teachers – which could be playing in your child’s classroom as we speak – drums up the typical class warfare images we’ve come to expect from Big Labor. - EAG News- SACRAMENTO

“Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale,” written by CFT staffer Fred Glass (2011 compensation: $139,800) and narrated by proud leftist actor (and 1 percenter) Ed Asner, advocates for higher taxes on the “rich” as the cure for government’s insatiable thirst for spending.

The video claims the rich got rich through tax cuts and tax loopholes and even tax evasion.

But when the 99 percent fought back, the “rich” apparently urinated on the “poor,” at least according to the video. What a classy way to frame your argument for children, Big Labor.

The conservative comeback begins now -- on the assumption that a majority of Americans will not welcome a second Great Depression.

Planting the Seeds of His Own Demise - Peter Ferrara/American Spectator

Conservatives who want to fight back should start with Obama's Second Inaugural Address and his 2013 State of the Union. These will be grand pronouncements of neo-Marxist principle and strategy. Books should be written unwinding them. They will be monuments to the Obama tactic of Calculated Deception, i.e., taking advantage of what he is sure a majority of Americans do not know, and what he calculates the Democrat party-controlled media won't tell them.

But in his hubris, and self-deception, Obama will plant the seeds of his own demise in the words of those addresses. Every paean to the middle class should and will be written in stone and compared to subsequent performance. Every promise to the poor and working people will be stored for future reference as the impact of Obamanomics on the poor and working people unfolds.

At about the same time, the first shoe will drop -- the 2014 Obama Budget proposal. This will outline what America's socialist future will look like under the Grand Vision of the Great Marxist, as the numbers crunchers effectively force Obama to confess that he wants higher taxes to pay for higher spending, which is what the budget will show. Check out in particular CBO's long-term projections of federal spending, and the national debt. They will show Obama is proposing the so-called Swedish socialism of the government taking and spending more than half of the entire GDP. (Even the Swedes have grown past Swedish socialism.)

Steyn: Obama aims to finish the work of FDR and LBJ to create ‘a big Sweden’ [VIDEO] - Jeff Poor/Daily Caller

“I think it’s clear from the election that, you know, the majority of Americans essentially voted for European levels of spending,” Steyn said. “And you can’t have European levels of spending. We’re one percent under Canada. Americans, conservative Americans think there’s a difference between America and Canada. There’s actually isn’t any more, not in terms of government spending. We’re close to Norway.”

“We’re not quite the full Sweden yet, but we basically are spending like Europeans, but we’re not taxed like that. And the idea that you can close that gap, I think he figures out, if he can make this level of spending permanent, he changes the United States into a European social democracy and he’ll be the most consequential president of the last hundred years,” Steyn continued. “He will finish the work of FDR and LBJ and that will be it. We’ll be a big Sweden.”

Obama to Pitch Unilateral and Unlimited Debt Ceiling Authority Today - Bryan Preston/PJM

President Obama will deliver a speech today in which he will personally pitch for unilateral authority to raise the national debt ceiling. Reuters reports that the president wants the ability to raise the nation’s credit card limit by himself, without the “drama” of having to consult the people’s representatives in Congress.

...What Barack Obama is asking for is dictatorial power to spend as he sees fit, without limits and without input from Congress. In the absence of a national budget, which we have not had for more than three years, Obama’s spending power would be unlimited.

What the president needs, really, is to have his credit card taken away. But unfortunately he got it extended for another four years on Nov. 6. His remarks today reveal that he fully intends to spend as much money as possible without regard for those who will eventually have to pay off his debts.

'Men don't have to worry about being caught': Sex mobs target Egypt's women

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In the post-Mubarak era, activists and protesters have reported many particularly violent assaults on women. - NBC

"It is not a country of law, not a state of law anymore. It has given men a chance to harass women without being accused," said Afaf Marie, director of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation and Enhancement, an NGO.

Some activists fear that women's rights will suffer under the rule of President Mohammed Morsi, who is an Islamist.

Government inaction has allowed the problem to spiral out of control, Heba Morayef, director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, told NBC News. Police no longer inspire fear as they did before the revolution. In addition, locals say it appears there are fewer police on the increasingly lawless streets -- and often none in Tahrir Square.

"The state is failing to respond,” she said. "Men don’t have to worry about being caught.”

C’mon Now, GOP, Don’t Go Wobbly on Us

link - Sarah Palin

Please read and pass along this article. We send good conservatives to D.C. to fulfill the promises they made to the electorate, and yet when they stay true to their word the permanent political class in their own party punishes them. This won’t be forgotten come 2014. Right now the GOP establishment is more concerned about the opinion of the media and the Georgetown cocktail circuit than they are “we the people” who hired them. For all this new talk of how the GOP needs a “populist movement,” it would do them good to remember they already have one; it’s called the Tea Party movement, and it won for them the majority they now enjoy in the House.

Council approves new Eureka city manager; Atkins, Ciarabellini sworn in for second terms

link - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard

Bill Panos agreed Tuesday that as Eureka's next city manager he will need to hit the ground running over the next few months to get a hold on Eureka's biggest issues -- not the least of which being the city's search for its next police chief.

”It's all about building a context of where this city has been and where it is now,” Panos said. “There are a lot of challenging things to be done here and I am very much looking forward to being a part of that.”

...In other matters, the council unanimously approved a resolution accepting the results of November's election and installing Councilwoman Linda Atkins and Councilwoman Melinda Ciarabellini victors in the Eureka City Council races for the Ward 2 and Ward 4 seats, respectively.

After she was sworn in for another four-year term, Atkins said she was glad the “hideous campaign” was over. The incumbent ran a close race against challenger Joe Bonino, winning by 320 votes....

Ciarabellini thanked her husband and her supporters.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What Proposition 30 Means for California’s Entrepreneurs

Prop 30 Hits Entrepreneurs the Hardest: Given the inherent risks entrepreneurs take just to start a new company, will they want to now take on additional tax and regulatory risk? The truth is, great tech start-ups can now be built almost anywhere. -
Ramirez at Townhall

Welcome to the new Republican generation.

RYAN, RUBIO REBOOT - Hope Hodge/Human Events Follow @MissHedgeHodge


FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe bashed the move, too, saying in a statement that “[t]his is a clear attempt on the part of Republican leadership to punish those in Washington who vote the way they promised their constituents they would – on principle – instead of mindlessly rubber-stamping trillion dollar deficits and the bankrupting of America. This is establishment thinking, circling the wagons around yes-men and punishing anyone that dares to take a stand for good public policy.” - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart News

NFRW: Legislative Update

Boehner Appoints Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) to Chair House Administration Committee

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced last week the appointment of Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) as chairman of the House Administration Committee for the 113th Congress:

"From ensuring the House runs efficiently and smoothly, to making Congress more open and accessible, Candice has a big job ahead as chairman of the House Administration Committee. In her new post, Candice will provide the leadership needed to keep operating costs down, save taxpayer dollars, and help lawmakers use new technology to better engage with their constituents. And her experience as Michigan Secretary of State will be invaluable given the committee's oversight of campaign finance and election laws.

Having helped implement new legislative data standards, approved the use of new low-cost digital tools for members of Congress, and more, the House Administration Committee has been at the forefront of many of our open government initiatives. I know we'll continue to make big advances with Candice at the helm."

According to the history provided by the Committee on the House Administration's (CHA) website, the CHA was first formed at the start of the 80th Congress in 1947 after the Legislation Reorganization Act of 1946. The law reduced the number of congressional committees from 48 to 19, as many of the committees had overlapping jurisdiction. The CHA takes care of many behind the scenes concerns of House offices, including salary disbursements, parking assignments, and room assignments. Its chief concern is overseeing federal elections, from drafting legislation to eliminate poll taxes in the early years to drafting the Help America Vote Act of 2002.
An Update on the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

On Thursday, November 29th, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner submitted a proposal for averting the fiscal cliff to Congress on behalf of the Obama administration. The proposal called for $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in entitlement cuts, and $50 billion in fresh stimulus spending. Yesterday, December 3rd, the House Republicans responded to the administration's proposal in a letter urging for $800 billion in new revenue, $600 billion in health savings, $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts, and $300 billion from cuts to mandatory spending. Another $200 billion would be raised by changing the way inflation is measured in order to disburse entitlement benefits. The letter is signed by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), among others. Here is the text of the letter courtesy of

Bipartisan govs to WH: Don’t stick the states with the fiscal-cliff costs

The governors have got to keep their own budgets in line, and it’s a task that’s made infinitely more difficult with the federal government playing tug-of-war. With it looking increasingly plausible that Democrats are ready and willing to take us over the financial edge, they’re looking for some assurance that their own state finances aren’t going to get bowled over. - Erika Johnsen/HotAir


Democrats are playing a game of three-card monte - Jerome Corsi/WND

Getting Republicans to agree to a tax increase on “the rich” is not the ultimate aim of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, says noted tax activist Grover Norquist.

“This is just the first act of a two- or three-act play,” Norquist said in an exclusive interview with WND....

“The reason the Democrats scream ‘tax the rich, tax the rich,’ is because they are going to pivot very soon to place a 3 trillion-dollar tax increase on the middle class, and they want ringing in the public’s ears that there wouldn’t have had to do this if the Republicans in Congress had acted right away to place a decent size tax on the rich.”

Norquist believes the Democrat strategy risks a tax revolt.

“The size of Tea Party Two is going to dwarf Tea Party One,” he predicted.

Morning Joe: When Does Obama Realize He Should Step Up

Fiscal Cliff Debate Is About Size Of Government, Not Taxing 'The Rich'

All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting "the rich" to pay "their fair share" is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. - Thomas Sowell/IBD

Taxing "the rich" will produce a drop in the bucket when compared with the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration.

No previous administration in the entire history of the nation ever finished the year with a trillion-dollar deficit. The Obama administration has done so every single year. Yet political and media discussions of the financial crisis have been focused overwhelmingly on how to get more tax revenue to pay for past and future spending.

The very catchwords and phrases used by the Obama administration betray how phony this all is. For example, "We are just asking the rich to pay a little more." This is an insult to our intelligence. The government doesn't "ask" anybody to pay anything. It orders you to pay the taxes it imposes and you can go to prison if you don't.

...there is no need to assume that Barack Obama is mistaken about the way to get the economy out of the doldrums. His top priority has always been increasing the size and scope of government.

If that means sacrificing the economy or the truth, that is no deterrent to Obama. That is why he is willing to play chicken with Republicans along the fiscal cliff.


Tapper To WH: You Know Sen. Obama Voted Against Raising Debt Ceiling?

“Criminalization of unauthorized disclosures of information to the press has risen sharply, becoming a preferred tactic. Efforts to promote public accountability in controversial aspects of counterterrorism policy such as targeted killing have been blocked by threadbare, hardly credible national security secrecy claims.”

Obama admin more secretive than ever... - Dana Milbank/Washington Post


[A]ccording to polling by CNN, registered voters oppose Obamacare by a margin of 10 points — 52 to 42 percent. Independents like Obamacare even less, opposing it by a margin of 22 points — 57 to 35 percent. Clearly, voters didn’t think they were ratifying Obamacare when they pulled the lever for Obama. - John Nolte/Breitbart's BIG Journalism

Gergen: Democrats would rather humiliate GOP than solve fiscal clif

Via Eliana Johnson at NRO, David Gergen comes to the same conclusion that most of us did after the election — that Barack Obama and the Democrats aren’t really interested in solving the massive number of problems in the fiscal cliff coming in less than four weeks. Their priority is to inflict as much damage on House Republicans as possible, and if that inflicts damage on America, well, you gotta break a few eggs to make omelettes, too. - HotAir

DeMint: Boehner's $800B Tax Hike Will Let Politicians Spend Even More

Conservative Republicans don't like what they're hearing from House Speaker John Boehner, the man in the middle of fiscal cliff negotiations. - CNS

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says Boehner's offer to raise $800 billion in taxes on the wealthy (partly by closing loopholes and limiting deductions) "will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny.”

..."Washington has a spending addiction that is shackling our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt," he said. "Conservatives fought for a balanced budget amendment last year precisely because we knew the political establishment in Washington would never stop their tax and spend addiction without it.

"However," DeMint added, "if neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt, we should end this charade. We can stop the fiscal cliff with the bill that House Republicans already passed that simply extends the current tax rates and replaces the defense cuts with reductions in wasteful spending.”


IRS aims to clarify investment income tax under healthcare law - Reuters

The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income....

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals....

The proposed rules are effective starting January 1. Before making the rules final, the IRS will take public comments and hold hearings in April.

On CBS, Cheesecake Factory CEO Warns ObamaCare Will Be 'Very Costly' - Newsbusters

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.

Forget The Whining, Here's A Plan For Republicans To Seize The Agenda

The 2012 elections are in the book. One of America’s favorite pastimes is underway: post-election analysis, lamenting and finger pointing. In the final analysis, if Republicans want American voters to make a choice, they need to give them a choice. Between now and 2014, below is a plan to do just that. - Tom Del Beccarro/Forbes

As for the election just passed, a sophisticated campaign operation and dedicated supporters helped to re-elect President Obama. One thing that didn’t get Obama re-elected was a clear, second-term agenda. He is unique among American presidents for having been elected twice without a defined agenda.

For their part, Republicans lost the Presidency, House and Senate seats because they didn’t have a defined agenda either. There was no 100-day plan for voters to choose. Without an inspiring alternative, i. e. a real choice, voters often default to the incumbent.

Obama’s lack of agenda, let alone a mandate, represents an opportunity for Republicans. Beyond attempting to raise taxes and signing executive orders, what is Obama going to do over the next 4 years? Recall that he barely did anything at all in 2012. The answer, is that 2012-2016 will be a lot like 2012.

Also keep in mind that second-term, off-year elections are generally unkind to a President’s Party. This time, they could be especially so because we are arguably headed for difficult economic times given Obamacare’s looming implementation, proposed tax increases, and ever more in the way of regulations.

A sickly economy and lack of an agenda gives Republicans an opportunity to make 2014 a big year. In contrast to a rudderless Obama, if Republicans become real government reformers, 2014 could in fact be exceptional. Here is the plan to do just that - read how at the link.

It can still be ‘a wonderful life’ for Republicans

This movie contains all the wisdom Republicans need to win again. And again. - Timothy Philen/Daily Caller

Next time around, GOP candidates should give voters the same tour that Clarence the angel gave George Bailey. We need to show just what America will look like if we cede it to the Henry Potters of today: the goose-stepping collectivists who love diversity of races and genders, but hate diversity of thought — who want to control every facet of our lives, from our earnings, to our religious speech, to the size of our sodas.

And then we need to replace that hideous sight with our own vision of America, communicated not with political slogans forged in the crucible of focus group testing, but with timeless American truths, enduring ideas that have a history as old as the Mayflower and still have a shelf life — well — longer than any Hostess product ever made.

What IS the Fiscal Cliff?

With just a few weeks left in 2012, all eyes in Washington are on Capitol Hill and the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As usual, Congress and the President are taking highly contentious issues down to the wire before cutting a deal—never a situation that ends well for taxpayers.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coined the term ◼ “fiscal cliff” while urging Congress to avoid a steep dropoff for the economy at the end of the year thanks to tax increases and automatic budget cuts.

There is no agreement right now on how to avoid it, however. When Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented the White House’s plan to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week, Boehner said, “You can’t be serious.” Thus far, President Obama’s answer to the fiscal cliff is a proposed $1.6 trillion in tax hikes plus new stimulus spending—and expanded power for himself to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. He suggests only magnifying the policies that brought us to the fiscal cliff in the first place.

Heritage’s Romina Boccia, James Sherk, and Katie Tubb have explained ◼ “What’s in the Fiscal Cliff?” and recommended solutions to several of the immediate problems. They note that American individuals, families, businesses, and the military will all be harmed if the nation goes “off the cliff,” so to speak, or if a bad deal is done in Washington. Here are some of the major components of the fiscal cliff.

Tax Hikes

Tax hikes are the centerpiece of the problem, as the largest tax increase in American history is scheduled to kick in on January 1. This tax increase has been dubbed “Taxmageddon.” The authors break down its parts:
Most of this massive tax increase stems from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts implemented under President George W. Bush. There is also the payroll tax cut, the alternative minimum tax patch, and a host of other policies that expire at year’s end. In addition, five of the 18 tax increases built into Obamacare are scheduled to go into effect. Families will bear the brunt of this tax increase among American households, with an average increase of over $4,100 in taxes.

Raising taxes on upper-income earners would affect the nation's most robust job creators among small businesses. The effects of this would be devastating to the economy. The Congressional Budget Office is already forecasting another recession could hit in 2013. Congress should extend current tax policies for all Americans.

Defense Cuts

The fiscal cliff includes required cuts to defense spending. The cuts to America’s defenses known as “sequestration” were never supposed to happen. They are kicking in because a congressional “super committee” failed to reach a deal on spending cuts after last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling. Now these cuts are poised to gut military readiness because of a previous Washington negotiation gone wrong.

A Continual Medicare Problem

Medicare’s finances are in grave trouble. Years ago, Congress decided to reduce Medicare spending by paying doctors less to treat Medicare patients. That was an unsustainable idea—and Congress realized it later. Every year, instead of allowing the automatic cuts to doctor pay, Congress has made a temporary patch called the “doc fix” that keeps payments coming—which helps delay substantial Medicare reform. Now, “Unless Congress patches together another doc fix agreement before December 31, physicians will see a ◼ link27 percent decrease in pay, a situation that will make it unaffordable for many doctors to continue accepting Medicare patients.”

After preventing the cuts once again (which is likely to happen in any deal), the new Congress should pursue real Medicare reform that would permanently eliminate this problem.

Extending Unemployment Benefits

Federal funding for extended unemployment benefits is also set to expire at the end of this year. Extending these benefits again is one of the issues on the fiscal cliff bargaining table.

Although the average length of unemployment is 40 weeks, these benefits are available for 73 weeks. In a rough economy, many people need unemployment benefits. But “extending UI also ◼ increases unemployment and can hurt those it is meant to help. Extending benefits for too long encourages the unemployed to postpone job searches or hold out for something that may not be attainable.” While a deal is likely to extend these benefits, Congress should set the benefits at a more realistic 52 or 60 weeks.

This is a complex set of problems that should not be glossed over in a hasty deal.

Read more about The Heritage Foundation’s recommendations for each of these parts of the fiscal cliff. - Heritage's Morning Bell

Place this on your nose and bark like a seal for me

Merry Christmas, You're Fired...Love, President Obama

Thanks to the 62,615,406 individuals who took off their thinking caps and re-elected President Barack Obama, thousands upon thousands of folks are receiving their pink slips now or soon will over the next several weeks or months. These lost jobs are often high-paying and are disappearing by the hour. - Chad Stafko/American Thinker

The culprit? It's none other than Obama's landmark legislation, The Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.

Re-electing Barack Obama guaranteed that the 2.3% medical device tax, a key funding source for ObamaCare, will go into effect on January 1, 2013. This transfer of money from these companies to the federal government, which is effectively a far higher amount than it first appears, is producing massive layoffs in one of the most innovative and life-saving industries in America.

Understand that this 2.3% tax is not on the earnings of medical device makers; rather, it's on the top line, meaning the revenues of the company. So regardless of whether the medical equipment makers earn one red cent, they will still have to pay the tax.

...The list of job layoffs in this industry is staggering....

Here's the reality: people are losing their way of life because of this law. ObamaCare is not free. It costs jobs, and high-paying jobs at that. These folks who have lost or will soon lose their jobs have put many years into their educations and technical certifications only to have their jobs cut because of ObamaCare.

Maybe that's part of the whole purpose of this law. President Obama has been a propagator of class warfare throughout his presidency. We've seen it since his encounter with Joe the Plumber down to his campaign and present-day talk of soaking the rich with more taxes. All of this to take from those who have and give to those who have not. That is ObamaCare; it is the very definition of class warfare. Take from those who have -- in this case, those who are working in the medical device industry and earning a good living -- and give to those who have evening of the playing field if you will.... More at the link

Having a little friction around sharing is one of the better ways to protect your privacy, so think twice before automatically placing sensitive information in places where it can easily go public. As is often the case, the upside of a feature like this — it makes sharing easier — is also its potential downside.

Why You Might Not Want Facebook To Have A Copy Of Every Photo You Take With Your Smartphone - Kashmir Hill/Forbes

Facebook is offering up a new frictionless sharing option: on Friday, the social networking giant announced “Photo Sync,” a feature that lets you automatically upload every photo you take with your smartphone. You don’t need to freak out. The feature is opt-in and the photos go into a private photo album that only you see. “When you want to share these photos, just pick and post your favorites,” says Facebook.

Though there are privacy protections in place, there are a few reasons you might not want your mobile photo archive automatically put into Facebook’s eager hands. - Read and Share

Dirty tax-hike tricks: "Democrats want GOP fingerprints on tax increases so they can crush the modern Republican Party."

Obama and company try to scam Republicans into violating their pledge - Emily Miller/The Washington Times

President Obama sent his Treasury Secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, to Capitol Hill on Thursday to make Republicans an offer they could only refuse. The administration’s proposed deal consisted of $1.6 trillion in new taxes, no spending cuts, a limitless debt ceiling and a multiyear stimulus plan that opened with a $50 billion binge just for 2013.

Mr. Geithner’s only concession in the closed-door meeting was a vague promise to work toward $400 billion in Medicare savings in the future — but nothing up front. The proposition was so pathetic that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laughed out loud, and House Speaker John A. Boehner declared “a stalemate.”

...Senate Democrats are trying to sow discord in Republican ranks. The No. 3 Democrat, Sen. Chuck Schumer, told reporters Thursday that the GOP was waffling on the terms of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in order to give themselves political cover to raise taxes....

“The Democrats aren’t interested in more money; they’re interested in Republican fingerprints on tax increases so they can crush the modern Republican Party,” the founder of Americans for Tax Reform told us. “Schumer’s not trying to help Republicans not raise taxes, he’s trying to convince Republicans to raise taxes.”

The GOP shouldn’t let its guard down for a moment in negotiations with Democrats, who will say anything to win.

Trillion-Dollar Student Loan Industry to be Bailed Out by Taxpayers

The latest sector to benefit from a taxpayer-subsidized bailout is the taxpayer-subsidized student loan industry. - Political Outcast

Currently, student loan debt is larger than credit card debt. Collectively, students have racked up nearly $1 trillion in loan debt. And it’s all thanks to government taking over the student loan industry which prompting schools and universities to increase their tuition fees and diminish their own aid programs. Students were fed the promise that a college degree would yield them an additional $1 million in income over their lifetime compared to their high school graduate counterparts, so paying off their loans wouldn’t be all that hard, right? But recent studies show that the number has plummeted to $300,000 in additional income, and the average college graduate enters the workforce with $30,000 of debt. Nowadays, most college graduates don’t have much better jobs than those without college degrees, and the one thing they’re guaranteed to have is a giant loan that they will spend the rest of their life trying to pay off.

Is it really worth it anymore to get a college education when it’s become little more than a racket for the loan industry, the university system and the government that just wants to create another entitlement with which to buy votes?

...This bailout hasn’t happened yet, but it’s being proposed as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t pass. The Student Loan Forgiveness Act provides debt forgiveness to all student loan recipients who have paid 10% of their discretionary incomes toward their loans for 10 years. If the recipients go into teaching, “public service” or medicine in underserved areas, their debts will be forgiven after only 5 years of such payments.

If this becomes the new norm, what incentive will there be for future students to pay off their loans at all? The next step will “free” college education for all.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Republican Headquarters office hours:

WEEK OF 12/3-7:
Wednesday 12/5
10 am-1pm
Thursday, 12/6
10 am-1 pm
Friday, 12/7
1-4 pm

Michael Savage on WABC

You can listen online


House Republican leaders on Monday countered President Barack Obama’s opening “fiscal cliff” offer with a proposal to produce $2.2 trillion in budget savings over the coming decade with “a combination of spending cuts, entitlement reforms, and $800 billion in new tax revenue,” The Hill reports. - Becket Adams/The Blaze

GOP Letter to WH

The counteroffer was delivered to the White House via a three-page letter signed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and other senior Republicans, including former Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The GOP letter begins by outright rejecting the president’s initial offer, which included a $1.6 trillion tax increase (twice the amount he supported during the 2012 presidential election), a $50 billion economic-stimulus program, and the removal of the federal debt limit, as outlined by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

“[T]he proposal [Secretary Geithner] outlined on behalf of your Administration contains very little in the way of common ground,” the letter reads. “We cannot in good conscience agree to this approach, which is neither balanced nor realistic.”...

So much for “negotiation" - White House reponds to GOP’s counteroffer: Sorry, wrong number, not going there - Erika Johnsen/HotAir

"I am extremely disappointed," Feinstein said Thursday in a statement. "The National Park Service's review process has been flawed from the beginning with false and misleading science, which was also used in the Environmental Impact Statement. The secretary's decision effectively puts this historic California oyster farm out of business. As a result, the farm will be forced to cease operations and 30 Californians will lose their jobs."

U.S. evicting Point Reyes oyster farmer - Peter Fimrite and Justin Berton/San Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a popular oyster farm at Drakes Bay on Thursday to pack up and leave, effectively ending more than a century of shellfish harvesting on the picturesque inlet where Europeans first set foot in California.

...Salazar gave the farm 90 days to move out, issuing his decision a day before the lease was set to expire and one week after visiting the Point Reyes National Seashore for a tour.

...Kevin Lunny, a local rancher who bought the shellfish operation from Johnson Oyster Co. in 2004, said he was shocked when he got a call directly from Salazar on Thursday morning telling him that the 40-year occupancy agreement would not be renewed.

"It's disbelief and excruciating sorrow," he said of the mood at the oyster farm, where 30 people are employed, including seven families that live on the property.

"There are 30 people, all in tears this morning, who are going to lose their jobs and their homes," Lunny said. "They are experts in seafood handling and processing in the last oyster cannery in California, and there is nowhere for them to go."

Many local conservationists were nevertheless overjoyed. Congressional representatives, including Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, former Park Service employees, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Wilderness Society and the Marin Audubon Society applauded the decision.

"A heartfelt salute to Secretary Salazar for his wisdom and statesmanship in choosing long-term public good over short-term private interests," said Sylvia Earle, a local environmentalist and the former chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Protecting Drakes Estero, America's only West Coast marine wilderness park, will restore health and hope for the ocean and for the interests of all of the people of this country."

...Salazar ordered the Park Service to help the oyster company remove property, oysters and racks from the estuary and assist oyster company employees in relocating and finding jobs and employment training.

"We are taking the final step to recognize this pristine area as wilderness," Salazar said. "The estero is one of our nation's crown jewels, and today we are fulfilling the vision to protect this special place for generations to come."

People weren’t paying attention. Those are the people now surprised that President Obama is still stridently campaigning instead of doing the real work of governing

Obama 2.0 -- even more reckless with America's fiscal future - Michael Goodwin/FOX

Even some who voted for him last month are puzzled as he threatens to take the nation off the fiscal cliff if Republicans don’t give him the tax hikes he demands now and puts off entitlement reform until later. He even wants to increase spending.

I’ve talked to people who supported him, and their surprise is surprising.

“I thought he was going to move toward the center after the election,” one stunned Obama backer told me. Another said he believed the president’s positions were opening gambits and he would compromise. “It’s the first round,” he insisted.

Both are smart, accomplished men, but I’m baffled that they didn’t see this coming. Where, exactly, is the evidence that Obama is willing or able to work with people who disagree with him? Tick, tock, time’s up — there isn’t any evidence, because he’s not.

Again and again, the first term revealed Obama’s idea of bipartisanship: Dissenters are unpatriotic and must surrender. Compromise is a one-way street for him.

Who benefits from 'fiscal cliff' crisis? Donald Trump weighs in


While conservatives fixate on the “fiscal cliff,” the left, characteristically, is thinking further ahead about how to advance a transformative agenda in the Senate during the next two years.

Video: Geithner busted on “war savings”

Chris Wallace challenges Tim Geithner on the lack of real spending cuts in the proposal he brought to Capitol Hill last week, and Geithner objects, claiming that the White House has trillions in cuts in their proposal — from ending the wars. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir

When Wallace reminds Geithner that no one planned to keep fighting those wars in the first place, Geithner loses his composure and starts complaining about Republican gimmicks:

Obama Economy: Men Find Careers in Collecting Disability

Things have changed. Americans have grown healthier, and significantly lower numbers die before 65 than was the case a half-century ago. Nevertheless, the disability rolls have ballooned. - Michael Barone/Real Clear Politics

In 2011, 15 percent of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s. Concludes Eberstadt, "Collecting disability is an increasingly important profession in America these says."

Disability insurance is no longer a small program. The government transfers some $130 billion obtained from taxpayers or borrowed from purchasers of Treasury bonds to disability beneficiaries every year.

But there is also a human cost. Consider the plight of someone who at some level knows he can work but decides to collect disability payments instead.

That person is not likely to ever seek work again, especially if the sluggish recovery turns out to be the new normal.

He may be gleeful that he was able to game the system or just grimly determined to get what he can in a tough situation. But he will not be able to get the satisfaction of earned success from honest work that contributes something to society and the economy.

I use the masculine pronoun intentionally, because an increasing number of American men have dropped out of the workforce altogether. In 1948, 89 percent of men age 20 and over were in the workforce.

In 2011, 73 percent were. Only a small amount of that change results from an aging population. Jobs have become physically less grueling and economically more rewarding than they were in 1948.

The Americans With Disabilities Act helped many people move forward and contribute to society. The explosive growth of disability insurance has had an opposite effect.

Obama Aide: With These Republicans, 'There'd Still be Slavery' Today

"You're going to like this," MSNBC host Chuck Todd said this morning on TV. "So, I threw the Lincoln analogy at a close aide to the president last week, and he said, 'You know, with this Republican, with the way politics of Washington are today, there'd still be slavery. Lincoln wouldn't have been able to navigate the polarization between the media between this--' It was an interesting and depressing observation from this very smart White House aide." - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard

White House Aide: Gosh Darn These Republicans Are Racist - Duane Patterson/HotAir

So a policy decision over the impact of tax rates cannot be dissented against in this country anymore, because it’s morally equivalent to owning slaves. The American left has thrown around the racism charge so freely that the boy hasn’t just cried wolf, he’s run full page ads, recorded infomercials, embedded blogads, and personally visited the residence of every American in the republic to make sure everyone knows there’s a wolf, that the wolf is a Republican, and that he’s racist.

Never mind the fact that the tax rate increases the left, elected Democrats and MSM, want will only raise around eight days of revenue out of a projected trillion and a half dollar deficit, and it will have a smothering effect on the private sector going into the new year. Forget about the fact that the President’s proposal last Thursday actually takes our deficit and makes it worse by increasing federal spending by an additional quarter of a trillion dollars. Having concerns about the executive branch having unilateral control over when and how much money this country can borrow, with no Congressional ability to check it? You’re dreaming. And you might as well submit yourself to thought police reprogramming if you hold the opinion that it’s a moral evil to take from those who have earned it in order to give it away to those who have not.


Republicans Freed the Slaves
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Abolition of Slavery

At the suggestion of President Abraham Lincoln. RNC Chairman Edwin Morgan opened the 1864 Republican National Convention with a brief statement:
“The party of which you, gentlemen, are the delegated and honored representatives, will fall far short of accomplishing its great mission, unless among its other resolves it shall declare for such an amendment of the Constitution as will positively prohibit African slavery in the United States.”
Abolishing slavery became part of the platform. Congressional Republicans passed the 13th Amendment unanimously – against nearly unanimous Democrat opposition – and it was ratified within the year.

Republicans Passed the 14th Amendment

The 14th Amendment guarantees due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens. It enshrines in the Constitution provisions of the GOP’s 1866 Civil Rights Act. The original purpose of the 14th Amendment was to defend African-Americans from their Democrat oppressors in the post-Civil War South. (Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States.)

The principal author of the 14th Amendment was U.S. Rep. John Bingham (R-OH). In Congress, all votes in favor of the 14th Amendment were from Republicans, and all votes against it were from Democrats.

In 1868, the Republican Governor of New Jersey vetoed an attempt by the Democrat-controlled legislature to rescind the state's ratification of the 14th Amendment.

Republicans Passed the 15th Amendment

In 1869, the Republican-controlled 40th Congress passed the 15th Amendment, extending to African-Americans the right to vote. Nearly all Republicans in Congress voted in favor, though a few abstained, saying it did not go far enough. Nearly all Democrats in Congress voted against the 15th Amendment.

The 15th Amendment was ratified the following year, but using intimidation, poll taxes, registration fraud, and literacy tests. Democrats prevented most African-Americans from voting for nearly a century.

Republicans Outlawed the Ku Klux Klan

In 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed a Civil Rights Act aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. Guilty of murdering hundreds of African-Americans, this terrorist organization had also eradicated the Republican Party throughout most of the South.

The law empowered the Republican administration of Ulysses Grant to protect the civil rights of the former slaves in federal court, bypassing the Democrat-controlled state courts.

The 1871 Civil Rights Act, along with the GOP’s 1870 Civil Rights Act, effectively banned the Klan and enabled Republican officials to arrest hundreds of Klansmen. Though the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually strike down most of the 1871 Civil Rights Act, the Ku Klux Klan was crushed. The KKK did not rise again until the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

Full text of Obama's Twitter Q&A session

President Obama Answers #My2k Questions on Twitter

Norquist: Put fiscal cliff talks on TV

Closed-door negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff haven’t yielded much progress so far, so anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has a suggestion: Put them on TV. - Reid J. Epstein/Politico

Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform who's become Democrats’ favorite bogeyman, said if President Barack Obama meets with congressional leaders in front of cameras the American people will be able to better judge who is being “reasonable” about compromise.

Port strike update: SoCal at a standstill, shippers move to Mexico, retailers beg Obama for help

In case you missed it last week during the holiday, I discussed the port strike chaos on the Cavuto show and pointed out that shippers were redirecting traffic to Mexico. As the L.A./Long Beach port strike drags on this week, southern California is losing even more business. - Michelle Malkin

Port strike: SoCal loses work as ships shift to Oakland, Mexico - LA Times Business (image source: LAX/Nick/Ut/AP)

Politicians, national retailers and others have weighed in, urging both sides to get back to the bargaining table. Retailers have even asked President Obama to intercede to force both sides back to the bargaining table.

Retailers have asked the White House for help. Good luck with that. - American Shipper

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Obama admin: By the way, we’re going to need insurers to pay to use our exchanges

Just getting these supposedly fabulous online insurance marketplaces set up is already turning into an unmitigated disaster — what on earth is going to happen when we finally get down to the business of actually insuring and caring for people? Rolling this thing out, the Obama administration is looking like a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off, and their unpreparedness in dealing with their own Frankenstein’s monster is showcasing all of the new costs and consequences coming with it. - HotAir

The delusion that ObamaCare is going to do anything except turn our entire health care system into much more of an expensive, inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare than it already is, is quickly wearing thin — and we’ve barely even gotten started.

The Obama administration said Friday that it would charge insurance companies for the privilege of selling health insurance to millions of Americans in new online markets run by the federal government. - Robert Pear/New York Times

In proposing the new rule, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said that fees charged by the federal government would be “sufficient to cover the majority of costs related to the operation of federally facilitated exchanges.” She did not say how the remainder of the money would be raised.

Ms. Sebelius said she could not estimate the total amount of federal user fees because she did not know exactly how many states would have federal exchanges. She said the federal fees should generally be “commensurate with fees” charged by state-run exchanges.

The federal government will run the exchange in any state that is unable or unwilling to do so. Indeed, it now appears that federal officials could be running the exchanges — alone or in partnership with local officials — in more than half the states.

Obama playing golf today -- what fiscal cliff?

Fore-ward! What fiscal cliff? Obama hits the links with Clinton - Twitchy

The first presidential film with sound recording.

Peter Hannaford Book Signing in Eureka

"Presidential Retreats: Where They Went and Why They Went There." BOOK REVIEW/Washington Times

◼ This Saturday, Dec. l from 6-9 p.m. Peter will be at Eureka Books, 476 - 2nd St., Old Town, during Arts Alive! to sign copies.

◼ On Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. Peter will give a talk about "Presidential Retreats" and sign books at the Old Town Coffee & Chocolates, 211 F St., Old Town.

Eureka author discusses presidential retreats - Times-Standard

Obama punts to Congress over repercussions for UN Palestine vote

Palestinian Authority President Declares Jerusalem 'Eternal Capital of Palestine'... -

Obama punts to Congress over repercussions for UN Palestine vote - Julian Pecquet /The Hill

The White House won't seek to punish the Palestinian Authority for this week's statehood vote at the United Nations, but did not vow to veto pending legislative proposals to cut off U.S. aid in retaliation.

The U.N. General Assembly voted 138-9 on Thursday to recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as a non-member observer state, over the strident objections of the United States and Israel. In response, the Senate is expected to vote next week on legislation placing new restrictions on the $600 million in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.

Questions about repercussions are “better directed at the Congress than at us,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday. She said the State Department is still trying to release $495 million in pending funds for fiscal year 2012 that were held up following the Palestinians' failed effort last year to become a full member of the U.N.

U.N. “Palestine” vote served Obama’s purposes, without his fingerprints on it - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

There is no middle ground anymore. There is Obama’s way as adopted by the General Assembly, a return to 1967 maybe with some minor swaps, and then there is the way of Israeli security needs. The two are not compatible.

This could have been stopped, and a middle ground preserved for negotiation, had the Obama administration done more than some tepid rhetoric.

But that would not have served Obama’s goal: To force an Israeli return to 1967, with some minor modifications.

The U.N. General Assembly vote served Obama’s purposes, without his fingerprints on it.

Legal Implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine - Alan Dershowitz/Algemeiner

Democrats voting state into ruin

link - Times-Standard Letter to the Editor

This is an open letter to all of you Democratic voters:

By your recent actions, I can only assume that you love high taxes and fees. First, you passed Proposition 30, which raises already high sales tax even higher. It will not be a temporary four-year tax, and there is no accountability no matter what Jerry and his cronies tell you.

Next you approve a completely unbalanced state government (supermajority), which has the power to pick our pockets. A Democrat has never seen a tax he didn't like. Or a fee hike, either.

The election wasn't over even a week when state Sen. Ted Lieu said he'd like to triple the vehicle registration fee. That's just the start. Down the road, when you are whining about outrageous taxes and fees, don't blame the Republicans. Remember who you voted for on Nov. 6, 2012. Why should I be surprised? You must be the same voters that gave us another four years of Obama. Thanks for nothing.

Ed O'Connell