† Never mind Marxism. Will an Obama administration be totalitarian? (click here for related article): In an attempt to tamp down the bipartisan outrage over his political enemies being singled out for punishing tax audits, President Richard Milhous Obama forced the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller – who was already scheduled to vacate the position in less than a month – and appointed senior budget adviser Daniel Werfel to replace him, effective May 22nd. Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency's tax exempt and government entities division has also announced plans to retire on June 3rd.
FOX News host Eric Bolling, is amongst a growing number of individuals who say they were subjected to retaliatory IRS audits after criticizing Obama. Conservative filmmaker Joel Gilbert (“Dreams from My Real Father”) claims that in early 2012, the IRS reviewed his 2009 tax return and denied all of his business expenses.
Franklin Graham has also revealed that two charities he runs, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, were audited by the IRS after the BGEA ran ads urging NC voters to support a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. In all, nearly 500 conservative groups are now known to have been in the IRS’ crosshairs.
A New York Times op-ed by former Obama Car Czar Steven Rattner maintains that the real scandal is that “our campaign-finance system is in desperate need of overhaul.” Wrong. The proctologic IRS audits of conservative groups are violations of the Constitutional rights of free speech, free association and due process. Cases in point:
‡ The Biblical Recorder, a newspaper published by the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, was audited for the first time since it first rolled off the press in 1833 after publishing an interview with Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy and the BEGA ads in support of traditional marriage. Editor Allan Blume tells FOX News Radio that “It took some of our staff literally several weeks of doing nothing but that (the audit).”
‡ Washington Examiner reports that IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to Coalition for Life of Iowa until the group provided a letter signed by its entire board of directors stating that – under perjury of the law – they “do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood.” The group reportedly was also asked for “the content of the prayers” of its members (emphasis, The Stiletto).
‡ The IRS swiftly granted tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation – and made the designation retroactive to 2009, when the charity founded President Obama’s half-brother, Abon’go Malik Obama, began fundraising.
Further, with the IRS and EPA harassing conservatives and the CIA and State Departments repeatedly tweaking the Benghazi messaging, in 2011 and 2012 the entire machinery of government was put into the service of securing Barack Hussein Obama’s re-election, instead of doing the people’s business. This is the abuse of office and the high crime from which all the other civil rights abuses and Constitutional violations arose – the central impeachable offense.
† He’s So Tired, He Hasn’t Slept A Wink; He’s So Tired, His Mind Is On The Blink (related article, sixth item on the page): After the "Underwear Bomber" tried to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin wondered if President Barack Hussein Obama and his aides “will ever wake up." Now with Obama and key members of the executive branch claiming to know nothing about what the people who report to them were up to, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer wants to know: “Is anybody home?” For his part, Charlie Rose‘s observed that Obama “seems like a bystander in his own government” – and a couple of days later The Washington Post’s often droll but not always original (last item) Dana Milbank had a similar thought: “President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency.”
† So easy, a conservative can do it: Most “scientific” research on the cognitive differences between conservatives and liberals typically conclude that conservatives are proto-humans, as opposed to highly evolved liberals. A new study by Danish and American researchers is no exception – but this one is actually flattering to conservatives. Girlie-men tend to be liberal, while men who are physically strong are more likely to be conservative, The Daily Mail (London) reports:
The researchers collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status, and support for economic redistribution from hundreds of people in the United States, Argentina and Denmark.
In line with their hypotheses, the data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it. …
[Professor Michael Bang Petersen, of Aarhus University in Denmark] said: ‘Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that - at the psychological level - individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way.
‘In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution.’
Men with low upper-body strength, on the other hand, were less likely to support their own self-interest.
Wealthy men of this group showed less resistance to redistribution, while poor men showed less support. …
[T]he researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women.
Based on her own observations, The Stiletto believes these findings can also explain why single career women living in large urban areas keep meeting passive-aggressive jerks. A man who is physically weak tends to define his manhood by his brainpower. An accomplished, intelligent woman is emasculating to a 98-pound weakling who has a high-IQ, and he will try to assert his dominance over her with subtle put-downs or jokes at her expense. But a manly man who does manly things who has an IQ of 98 will be flattered that a smart woman finds him interesting and fun to be with – “I must be smarter than I thought, because she laughs at my jokes.” – and will appreciate the very qualities that his brainiac competitors in the dating pool find threatening.
Single writer Sarah Z. Wexler picked up and moved from NYC to Portland, OR, when “[i]t suddenly became easy to imagine myself at 40, still utterly single, still waiting an hour for brunch, still not able to scrape together enough money for an apartment with a backyard...or even one without a basement rat colony.” She has been chronicling her culture shock – the shock being how much better her life is now – in the pages of Cosmopolitan.
In Part III (published in the current issue of the print edition of Cosmopolitan, but not yet online), she scopes out the singles scene in Portland and admits she is dating the type of guys she never would have considered – much less met – in NYC.
Some 13 years earlier, freelance writer Lily Burana was lured from NYC to Cheyenne, WY – by a cowboy.
-- Roll Call, May 16, 2013
† Never mind Marxism. Will an Obama administration be totalitarian?: The Stiletto first asked this question in October 2008 when three OH state employees leaked information about Samuel Wurzelbacher (AKA “Joe The Plumber”) from state databases to the media after he had the temerity to characterize Barack Obama’s (he wasn’t using his middle name back then; only “racists” were) tax proposals as income redistribution.
Well, as The Wall Street Journal puts it, “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the IRS isn't out to get you” and this willingness – no, eagerness – of “public servants” to put the machinery of government in the service of Dear Leader was just a harbinger of civil rights and Constitutional abuses to come.
At a meeting of American Bar Association tax lawyers in Washington, DC, IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner disclosed that “low-level workers in Cincinnati” – what’s up with government employees in OH cavalierly violating people’s Constitutional rights? – had flagged tax-exempt 501(c) groups with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names for auditing, and that their actions were carried out “without any direction from Washington.”
Within a couple of days, Lerner’s modified limited hangout was proved false by a suddenly invigorated media, who smelled the strong aroma of Nixon in the air and – for once – didn’t pull their punches and called it an abuse of power:
‡ A flurry of reports revealed that IRS officials in DC were involved or knew about the burdensome audits; the IRS targeted a wide variety of conservative groups, including those opposing various Obama policies or promoting measures to thwart voter fraud; and that the IRS scrutiny of these groups has been going on for some two years.
‡ KMOV anchor Larry Connors, conservative talk show host Mark Levin and sociologist Anne Hendershott are amongst the individuals who came forward to reveal that they had also been subjected to IRS harassment.
‡ The IRS also improperly provided documents and confidential information to selected news organizations, administration officials and Democrat operatives which were used in public attacks on prominent conservatives, particularly those associated with Mitt Romney’s campaign – and even the rival candidate himself.
The onerous queries from the IRS required truckloads of documents to satisfy, and an allocation of personnel and resources that crippled many fledgling groups. More chilling, the IRS “even seemed curious what members were thinking,” Politico reports:
Several of the groups were asked for résumés of top officers and descriptions of interviews with the media. One group was asked to provide “minutes of all board meetings since your creation.”
Some of the letters asked for copies of the groups’ Web pages, blog posts and social media postings — making some tea party members worry they’d be punished for their tweets or Facebook comments by their followers.
And each letter had a stern warning about “penalties of perjury” – which became intimidating for groups that were being asked about future activities, like future donations or endorsements (emphasis, The Stiletto).
Intimidated and/or unable to comply, half of these conservative groups folded their tents. Others waited years for their tax-exempt status to be approved – and in many cases the designation was not retroactive to the year the application was filed. Meanwhile, applications for tax-exempt status from liberal groups and those supporting Obama’s agenda sailed through.
The IRS wasn’t the only government selectively and punitively enforcing regulations. The EPA routinely waived fees for Freedom of Information Act requests from for media and liberal or “green” watchdog groups, including Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, Greenpeace, and Southern Environmental Law Center. But when conservative groups such as Conservative Enterprise Institute, Judicial Watch and Institute for Energy Research asked for fee waivers they were typically turned down.
These agencies were fulfilling Obama’s promise that, “We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
The Washington Post fulminates against the “appalling” abuse of power and demands an “unimpeachably independent inquiry” to determine what, how and why it happened:
A bedrock principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends.
For this reason, politicians on both sides of the aisle and across the ideological spectrum have denounced the partisan weaponizing of the IRS (though some of them appear to have ulterior motives). Cracks are beginning to appear in the stonewall erected by Dems and the MSM to protect Obama from his incompetence and excesses all these years, Politico reports:
The town is turning on President Obama – and this is very bad news for this White House.
Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama – and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.
Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on – so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up. …
Republican outrage is predictable, maybe even manageable. Democratic outrage is not.
The dam of solid Democratic solidarity has collapsed, starting with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s weekend scolding of the White House over Benghazi, then gushing with the news the Justice Department had sucked up an absurdly broad swath of Associated Press phone records.
It remains to be seen whether all the investigations and hearings into the scandals swirling around the White House culminate in impeachment – recall that one of the Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon concerned “violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations … initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”
But with Obama and his top lieutenants tied up in knots, his second term agenda is effectively dead in the water for the foreseeable future. And with the IRS having repeatedly leaked confidential information from tax filings to administration officials and media henchmen, people have suddenly become very concerned about the agency having access to medical records in order to enforce ObamaCare’s coverage mandate, putting the viability of Obama’s sole legislative “achievement” into question.
† Living in these mad, mad, Madoff Times: The suicide rate amongst adults aged 35 to 64 has soared since the economy went South, and is now the fourth most common cause of death behind cancer, heart disease and unintentional injury such as drowning. The uptick is being attributed to “the worst recession in decades,” which “wiped out stock-market wealth, home equity, college savings and retirement funds for many workers – in addition to the heavy job layoffs,” The Wall Street Journal reports:
The number of suicides in a year rose 31% to 38,364 in 2010 from 29,181 in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …
Suicide rates for youth and elderly remained steady. But suicide rates for working adults were double that of the other demographics, with people in their 50s showing the highest numbers. That is troubling to public health officials, since most of the resources targeted at preventing suicide have traditionally been earmarked for students and senior citizens.
Downturns in the economy have been correlated with rises in suicides, according to CDC research. As people lose their jobs or work part-time, many struggle to make ends meet and go without health insurance, adding to stress and turmoil in households. States reduce mental-health services to balance budgets.
† Boobs and brains not mutually exclusive (related article, seventh item on the page): In the latest example of "boobism" - the last acceptable form of anti-woman bias - The Careerist blog asks, "Is Cleavage the New Power Tie?":
I've always thought that only bimbos show cleavage at work. According to one of my Wall Street friends, though, I'm seriously misinformed.
"Don't you know cleavage is the power tie for women?" asked my private equity investor friend, over drinks at an Upper East Side restaurant. "If you're at a meeting and you want to get people's attention, you wear something that shows cleavage." …
Elisabeth Squires Dale, the author of Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls … preaches that mammary glands should be deployed responsibly.
When it comes to lawyers and cleavage, Dale is fairly conservative. "Cleavage can sidetrack your legal career," she says. "It's not that the men in the room will see you as a sexual object—they might do that without any cleavage on display." The risk, she explains, comes from your "fellow female lawyers and/or [female] clients who may find it annoying and distracting." Plus, she adds, they might "assume you are playing the 'cleavage card' for advancement or favoritism."
† All the news that’s fart to print: Life imitated “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” but with potentially fatal consequences. Willie Butler, 53, purposely farted in the general direction of his girlfriend Deborah Ann Burns, 37, who got pissed off enough to hurl an eight-inch kitchen knife at him, causing a minor laceration to his stomach that was treated at the scene by EMS, The Smoking Gun reports.
Burns was arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and held in lieu of $50,000 bond. No stranger to violent crime or to prison, Burns spent 21 months in the slammer for aggravated assault with a weapon and battery on a law enforcement officer.
A recent UN study found more people around the world have access to a cellphone than to a working toilet, but this presumably isn’t the case even in Immokalee, FL. Knowing his girlfriend’s propensity for assaulting people with weapons, Butler should have known better than to provoke her by farting in the living room instead of in the bathroom.
Norris was arraigned in Fayette Magistrate Court on charges of attempt to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a felony and disruption of a public utility, Daily Mail (Charleston, WVA) reports.
[Hat Tip: Lemonfemale, a contributor to this blog.]
-- The New Yorker via Breitbart.com, May 11, 2013
#RichardMilhousObama: "What are our schools for if not for indoctrination against capitalism?" 10:43 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "I don't want any women around. Thank God we don't have any in the Cabinet."10:40 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "You can't trust the MSM bastards. They turn on you. Am I wrong or right?" 10:38 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "Stonewall it, plead the Fifth, cover up or anything else. We're going to protect our people on Benghazi if we can." 10:34 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "I am now a Keynesian in economics." 10:30 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "Do you want to make a point or do you want to make a change?" 10:27 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "Voters quickly forget what a man says." 10:17 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "I can take it. The tougher it gets, the cooler I get." 10:16 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "I played by the rules of politics as I found them." 10:13 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama: "The press is the enemy." 10:11 PM - 13 May 13
#RichardMilhousObama smears Sheriff Arpaio: "Prisoners in Maricopa County jails are pink right down to their underwear" 10:07 PM - 13 May 13
As evidenced by the T-shirt he was wearing at the time of his arrest, Castner had developed an intense antipathy for confinement during his various brushes with the law for various drug-related and violent crimes that include assault on a law enforcement officer and domestic battery by strangulation. The shirt said, “Jail Sucks!” and included a drawing of an inmate in prison stripes behind bars.
The 39-year-old Castner was charged with felony welfare fraud and is in custody in lieu of $5000 bond.
Though Floridian Nimeha Milien just turned 21 years old, she decided she’s done with romance for a good long time to come. Her last date started with a romantic walk on the beach, and ended with her beau jacking her car, The Daily Mal (London) reports.
Milien says she had never met Donald McGee, 19, when he started to send her text messages about meeting for a date.
Within a few hours McGee had convinced her to drive to meet him at the intersection of Sheridan Street and 68th Avenue in Hollywood, Florida. ...
[At the end of the evening] Milien agreed to drop McGee at a Wendy's parking lot on Boynton Beach Boulevard, where she thought his brother was going to collect him.
Instead McGee pulled out out a .380-caliber Kel Tec handgun and told her to get out of the car.
As McGee sped off, Milien ran to a gas station across the street and got into customer’s car to call the police while he tracked McGee’s movements. After an eight-mile chase on I-95, McGee lost control of the car on an exit ramp and got stuck in the dirt and grass.
McGee was arrested held at Palm Beach County Jail on charges of armed carjacking, robbery with a firearm, possession of marijuana, driving without a license, and fleeing police.
- The Washington Times, April 22, 2013
Four Newark cops, working on a tip from a confidential informant in 2008, were planning to go undercover to nab a drug dealer at the Riverview Court public housing projects. But they quickly blew their cover once the dealer, Rashad Walker, answered the door with a burning marijuana joint, according to the court record.
"Defendant appeared at the door smoking a marijuana cigarette," the court said. "Thus, a disorderly persons offense was being committed in the presence of police officers in the hallway of a public housing building, where the officers have a right to be."
The cops pushed their way in, arrested Walker and seized packs of marijuana, cocaine and "27 envelopes of heroin stamped ‘Horsepower’" from the living room, according to the court record.
The court explained that neither the tip from the informant, nor the smell of pot wafting into the hallway, would have justified forced entry into Walker’s home, but that his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure were not violated when he “tried to flee after being caught red-handed.”
Walker was paroled in 2012 after serving half of his six-year sentence.
Now, the disciplinary arm of the state’s Supreme Court has charged McCree (AKA “McCreep”) with 21 ethics violations stemming from his 2012 sexual affair with a woman who was suing the father of her children for overdue child support payments. In his answer to the charges, McCree admits that he “made the unfortunate decision to engage in a sexual relationship” with the woman, Geniene La'Shay Mott – whom he reportedly impregnated – and that “on a few occasions, the relationship took place in his chambers.” But that’s not the worst of the professional misconduct allegations against him, Legal Blog Watch reports:
McCree allegedly sent text messages to Mott from the bench, including a much-reported text cited in the complaint, which read: "C'mon, U'r talking about the 'docket from hell, 'filled w/tatted up, overweight, half-ass English speaking, gap tooth skank hoes ... and then you walk in." McCree states in his answer that the message "was sent in an effort to flatter Ms. Mott and was not intended to demean any person who had appeared in [McCree's] courtroom." Jonathan Turley writes: "I cannot imagine anyone feeling demeaned by a judge calling them "tatted up, overweight, half-ass English speaking, gap tooth skank hoes." In McCree's world, that appears to be terms of endearment." The complaint and answer include a number of other text messages and emails of note, none of them particularly printable.
According to the complaint against McCree, he had also sent “[n]umerous text messages” to Mott “from the bench” that “contained inappropriate and/or derogatory references to defendants, litigants, or witnesses appearing before him.” One of these texts involved the nephew of Monica Conyers, former Detroit City Councilwoman and wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who is finishing up a 37-month sentence on corruption charges under home confinement.
For her part, Mott did not take it lying down (so to speak) when McCree wanted to break off their relationship after she informed him that she was carrying his child. In December 2012 she divulged steamy details of her affair with McCree to WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff, telling him that they had sex “[o]n his desk, in the chair, the couch, you name it.”
McCree has been suspended without pay. The formal hearing on the latest charges against McCree is scheduled for May 20, 2013 in the Washtenaw County Courthouse.
In addition to his sexting, McCree, who was appointed to the Wayne Circuit bench by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI), is famous for sentencing men who were behind on their child support payments to watch the Maury Povich TV show. He is the son of Wade H. McCree Jr. – U.S. Solicitor General under President Jimmy Carter and the first black judge appointed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals – but is certainly not his father’s judicial heir.
† He’s so tired, he hasn’t slept a wink; he’s so tired, his mind is on the blink (related article, fourth item on the page): After the "Underwear Bomber" tried to blow a U.S. airliner out of the sky, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin wondered if President Barack Hussein Obama and his aides “will ever wake up” and warned: "If America gets hit again, it's on him. All of it."
And that’s pretty much how The Telegraph of London sees it:
In his State of the Union address to the American people earlier this year, Barack Obama declared that he was "confident" of achieving "our objective of defeating the core of al-Qaeda".
Although he acknowledged the need to pursue the "remnants" of the terrorist group and its affiliates, the overall message was clear – al-Qaeda was badly degraded, the tides of war were receding and the US was winning this fight that was no longer even officially a war.
The Boston bombings would appear to present a fundamental challenge to that assessment and once again bring the nagging uncertainty of terrorism back on to the American main street. …
They bring home the complexity of the global Islamist threat and the fact that it cannot be confined to wars in distant lands, or fought at arm's length using drones, as the Obama administration has quietly yet insistently led America to believe.
Mr Obama and his intelligence community know the threat from al-Qaeda affiliates, but have chosen to downplay it to the US public.
For years, U.S. counterterrorism experts held their breaths waiting for terrorists to deploy IEDs in a major American city, and their worst fears came to pass, The Wall Street Journal reports:
Bruce Riedel, director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, said the Boston attack was likely a harbinger. "We are likely to see this as the future face of terrorist threats to the United States," he said, adding that the case of a small number of radicalized participants who have lived in the U.S. and execute a plot is "the counterterrorist community's worst nightmare, homegrown, self-radicalizing terrorism that learns its skill set off the Internet." …
U.S. counterterrorism officials have in recent years intensified warnings about the homegrown threat, though the threat has gotten less public attention because most of those plots, with the exception of the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting in Texas, have been disrupted or botched.
At an assessment in March of the threats facing the U.S., Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he expected al Qaeda-inspired homegrown threats to continue at a rate of fewer than 10 a year. Meanwhile, al Qaeda's core leadership, he said, was probably unable to carry out large-scale attacks in the West.
National Journal observes that Obama “seemed like a man ready to exhale after the surviving Boston Marathon bomber suspect was captured, but he shouldn’t breathe too easy” because the bombings have complicated efforts to reach bipartisan agreement on new immigration legislation – at the first Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) urged careful deliberations “given the events of this week”; have reignited the controversy over whether homegrown jihadis should be treated as enemy combatants; and, perhaps most troubling, provided fresh evidence that the FBI’s counterterror intelligence gathering and analysis operation remains a work in progress nearly a dozen years after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
And one more thing: If Obama wants to forcefully demonstrate that he is genuinely troubled by the prospect of 10 Bostons a year, he should force the resignations of Clapper, National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, because they allowed the unthinkable – and now, unstoppable – to happen on their watch.
† Dispatch from Bizzaroland: In an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is demanding that President Barack Hussein Obama lead from behind on immigration reform, The Washington Times reports:
"The moment for the president to be the sole leader on immigration that moment passed. He had four years. The moment is passed. The moment today is for all of us in the House and in the Senate, in collaboration with this president."
Mr. Gutierrez said the White House should allow the process to play out in the Senate, where negotiators unveiled their bill this week, and in the House, where Mr. Gutierrez is part of a bipartisan group working on what is likely to be a more conservative plan.
"Look, there's going to come some hard times and we're going to need him to use that bully pulpit, I believe, in the future," he said. "It's going to get stymied, there's going to be hiccups, you guys have been around long enough, we're going to need him there, so he is critical and essential to this process."
† Only the little people pay taxes (related article, eighth item on the page): Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) sponsored two bills to penalize federal employees and contractors for being tax scofflaws, The Washington Post reports:
[One bill] would require federal agencies to fire employees and reject potential hires with “seriously delinquent” tax debt, meaning those who have been hit with a tax lien. Democrats opposed that bill when it was considered by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last month.
[The other bill] would prohibit federal agencies from awarding large contracts and grants to contractors who are not tax-compliant.
Chaffetz won one and lost one:
The House … unanimously backed legislation to bar federal funding for contractors who fall behind on taxes, but ultimately rejected a proposal to prohibit tax-delinquent individuals from working for the federal government. …
The House voted 250 to 159 in favor of the measure to prohibit federal employment for tax-delinquent federal workers and job candidates, but the bill did not garner enough votes for the two-thirds approval needed for passage. Seven Republicans voted against the bill, joining 152 Democrats, while 35 Democrats supported the legislation.
Last year, the House approved a similar bill by a vote of 263 to 114. The Senate did not act on the proposal.
In 2011, about 3.6 percent of the nation’s 3 million federal civilian employees owed back taxes totaling more than $1 billion, according to Internal Revenue Service data.
† What it's like to be Sheriff Joe: Sheriff Joe Arpaio gets lots of packages, many of which he opens himself. Some of them contain cookies from his fans. A package en route to his Phoenix office near Flagstaff contained an explosive device that “would have exploded if opened, leading to serious injuries or death,” The Associated Press reports:
U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman Keith Moore said a courier called his supervisor after noting it was suspicious, and the package was eventually brought into the main Post Office in Flagstaff. An X-Ray showed what appeared to be bomb-like components, including wires and a container, and authorities used a water cannon to neutralize the package, Sheridan said.
Though Mexican drug cartels have a $4 million bounty on his head, Arpaio vows, “I’m not going to be intimidated by anyone.” Well, at least a Democrat Elvis impersonator hasn’t sent him any letters tainted with ricin.
† Never mind Marxism. Will an Obama administration be totalitarian?: Part II (click here for related article): More than 30 labor disputes are in limbo until the Department of Justice decides whether to challenge a January ruling by federal appeals court that President Barack Obama exceeded presidential authority with three “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board made when Congress was still in session. Meanwhile, the House voted 219 to 209 to suspend the NLRB until the five-member panel has a quorum, or until the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of Obama's appointments, The Washington Times reports:
Mr. Obama [has] nominated three candidates … for full terms to the board. The president has urged the Senate to quickly vote on the nominees, along with two other Democrats he nominated in February.
Despite the House action, the bill almost certainly die in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But Republicans said the vote sends an important message to the White House to respect the rules – and the spirit – of appointment procedures.
Union bosses may soon be facing a labor relations climate not seen in nearly 80 years–a world where there is no government agency for union bosses to run to. …
Labor leaders like Samuel Gompers knew that, with government involvement comes government control and, all-to-often, that pendulum would swing both ways. At times, The State would be for “the working man” and, at other times, the state would be against “the working man.”
Today’s union bosses – those who have embraced the tenets of socialism that Gompers fought so hard against – should learn from Gompers philosophy of voluntarism and self-reliance.
"These errors were not detected because SEC did not require routine, such as monthly reconciliation of its budget execution module and the related general ledger account balances," said a report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' watchdog arm.
The SEC also has no definitive count of how much property it has, investigators said, since reviews of equipment are often incomplete. …
Investigators found problems with the SEC's handling of "downward adjustment transactions," essentially returning money it received from Congress that it doesn't need. The returned money can help officials get a better sense of the resources that are needed, and may affect the agency's funding the next fiscal year.
The GAO noted that "until these deficiencies are corrected, SEC remains at risk of misstatements in its property and equipment reporting and possible theft or misuse of its assets."
PENETRATING INSIGHTS: Steyn: Media will downplay Boston bomber-Muslim link, same as Ft. Hood, underwear bomber
- Syndicated columnist Mark Steyn guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, April 19, 2013
PENETRATING INSIGHTS: Krauthammer: Boston bombing a reminder of the threat of terrorism
- Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer on FOX News’ “Special Report,” April 15, 2013
According to a complaint filed by one of the students, she also photographed them while they were working on the project and posted the pictures and their artwork on a website she had created to promote a petition urging Gov. Rick Perry and the state legislature not to pass the bills, higher education watchdog Campus Reform reports. The student’s complaint adds that the photographs were used to create “the illusion of youth support,” and that their posters were “hung in the hallways of the Fain Arts building, giving the impression of student support.”
According to state law, “a state officer or employee may not use official authority or influence … to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose.”
Midwestern State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Betty Stewart tells Campus Reform that the school is investigating the incident, and that the professor will remain in the classroom during the inquiry.
In what The New York Times calls “an unusually critical opinion,” Tingling wrote that the under Bloomberg administration the Board of Health had become “an administrative Leviathan” that enacted rules and laws “limited only by its own imagination.” The judge also deemed the beverage rule “arbitrary and capricious”:
[N]oting [the serving size limits] would apply only to certain sugared drinks – dairy-based beverages like ilkshakes, for instance, would be exempt – and be enforced only in certain establishments, like restaurants and delis, but not others, like convenience stores and bodegas. The rules, the judge wrote, would create “uneven enforcement, even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole.”
Characteristically, Bloomberg vowed to challenge the ruling (“We believe that the judge’s decision was clearly in error, and we believe we will win on appeal.”), initiating “a lengthy legal fight that could outlast the mayor's term in office and affect the balance of power at City Hall,” The Wall Street Journal reports:
Lawyers for both the city and the restaurant and beverage groups that challenged the law are expected to battle through two levels of state appellate courts. …
At issue is the power of the Board of Health, the body appointed by the mayor that approved the rule preventing restaurants and other venues from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Part of state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling's reasoning for striking down the ban was that the board—an arm of the executive branch of city government—had usurped the power of the City Council, the legislative branch.
The Board of Health has issued unilateral rules about food before, notably banning artificial trans fats in 2006. But the City Council later agreed to that prohibition. Mr. Bloomberg has ruled out asking it to approve the sugary drink ban.
"This decision is not about soda, nor about obesity," said Matthew Geller, who represents a group of theater owners who challenged the ban. "It is about power. The decision illustrates that the mayor and the Department of Health exceeded their authority as the legislative branch, and violated the separation of powers."
Asked and answered (but someone wasn’t paying attention)
- Mediaite, February 28, 2013
- The Washington Examiner, January 15, 2012
† Prediction: Christians Will Be “Extinct” In The Holy Land Within 60 Years (click here for related article): Those who complain that the Catholic Church is resistant to “evolution” on the ordination of women, same-sex marriage and abortion rights, should consider the string of “firsts” that have occurred over the past four weeks: Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to resign his office since the Middle Ages and his successor, Pope Francis, became the first Jesuit to be elevated to the papacy; the first pope from the New World; and the first to take the name “Francis.”
“There is a strong tradition in the church of taking names of previous popes,” The Washington Post reports:
John Paul I, in 1978, broke with tradition when he combined the names of men who preceded him as bishop of Rome. Before that, one has to go back more than a thousand years, to Pope Lando of the early 10th century, to find a pope who took an entirely new name.
“That’s a novelty in an institution that often doesn’t have a lot of novelty, and I think that’s telling,” said Jonathan Seitz, a historian of early modern religion at Drexel University.
New York Times columnist and Catholic convert Ross Douthat points out that after having been edged out by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in the last papal conclave, the relatively quick selection of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio suggests that he has “deep reservoirs of support and goodwill among his fellow prelates” – but the choice is political for another reason:
The Latin church faces the same challenges from secularism and sexual liberation as the church in the developed world, and the same explosive growth of Pentecostalist and prosperity-oriented Christian alternatives as the church elsewhere in the global South. A pontiff from the region is thus a natural choice, in ways that an African or Asian pope might not have been, to move the church’s focus away from Europe and North America (and especially Europe) in some ways without cutting the Vatican off from the trends, issues and crises facing the church in a secularizing West.
This point was more sharply made by theologian Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and professor at Georgetown University, in an interview with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir:
“I don’t think the church is growing in Latin America,” replied Reese. “It’s growing in Africa, but in Latin America we’re actually losing people to the evangelicals.”
“In fact, in the last generation, we’ve lost more people to the evangelicals than were lost to protestants during the Reformation,” Reese continued. “So, the church in Latin America is in trouble.”
He said that “hopefully” one of the reasons that the cardinals chose an Argentinian pope is to help stem the tide of followers abandoning the Catholic faith for evangelicalism
It is true that Latinos have been abandoning Catholicism in alarming numbers for more than two decades, but they are converting voluntarily – and continue to worship Christ. The Catholic church is also shrinking throughout the Middle East and North Africa – but it’s not voluntary. Catholics and other Christians in Muslim majority countries are being driven from their homes and killed by the dozens – both a spiritual and humanitarian crisis.
As The Wall Street Journal put it, “the most important religious development in our time is the rise of Islamist fundamentalism”:
Pope Benedict refused to turn a blind eye when radical Islam suppressed freedom, notably freedom of conscience.
In the Middle East, China and elsewhere, Christians face persecution, expulsion, imprisonment or even death for cleaving to their faith. Coptic Christians in Egypt have suffered greatly after Mubarak, and in Iraq some of the oldest Christian communities in the world cling to a tenuous existence. Benedict's pontificate deserves to be remembered for the attention and energy he gave to the plight of Christians living in unfree conditions for religious practice.
In fact, Pope Benedict announced his retirement during a consistory for the canonization of the martyrs of Otranto – 800 Christians who were beheaded by Ottoman Turks August 13, 1480 during the Turkish siege of the Italian town of Otranto.
Before he become pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expressed his wish for a pope from Africa: “For all its condemnation of racism, the Western world still has reservations about the third world. Yet, in Africa for example, we have truly great figures whom we can only admire. They are fully up to the job.”
Cardinal Francis Arinze. Born in Nigeria, Cardinal Arinze, 80, has been the bishop of Velletri-Segni, a cluster of Roman suburbs, since 2005 — when he succeeded Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Benedict XVI.
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson. Born in Ghana, the 64-year-old cardinal is the archbishop of his native country and is a member of councils focused on evangelization, worship and Catholic education.
About 176 million people in Africa are Catholic, nearly one-third of all Christians across the continent, according to a December 2011 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
The Stiletto made the case for an African pontiff on Facebook during a discussion amongst several conservative friends:
I want a pope from an African nation where Christians are being killed by Muslims and their churches are being burned down on a daily basis. Only then will the plight of Christians in Muslim majority countries be in the spotlight. Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan ... any one of those would suit me fine. ... This will be to save the soul of the church and the lives of Christians who are daily martyred for their faith. ... The Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, as such the Pope's Number One job is to faithfully and accurately spread Jesus' teachings to grow and strengthen the church. Right now, the church is weakened by secularism in the West and democide in the Middle East and North Africa. The secular West yawns as Africans and people throughout the Middle East who live in the places where Jesus walked and who have been Christian centuries before Mohammad was born are being murdered or driven from the villages they've lived in since antiquity. ... The Church has to return to its roots by supporting the Christian soldiers fighting jihad on the front lines.
The Stiletto is not Catholic, and is not directly affected by the choice made by the Papal Conclave. But she is indirectly affected, because she has family living in several Muslim majority countries who live in dhimmitude and are increasingly fearful about being identified as Christians and may soon be forced to adopt the burqa for self-preservation, if not by law, and perhaps even to convert at the point of a sword. Remember, it’s happened before on a large scale.
Pope Francis has yet to state his priorities, and The Stiletto can only pray that keeping the plight of the modern-day Christian martyrs on the radar screens of Western leaders is near the top of the list.
† Media irrelevancy – a self-inflicted wound (related article, second item on the page): Ann Romney was only stating the obvious when she told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that the MSM did not give her husband “a fair shake” and that “people weren’t allowed to see him for who he was.” She added that the media were partly to blame for her husband’s loss in the 2012 presidential election. Journos hate being criticized and The Washington Post's Chis Cillizza (yes, that Chris Cillizza) predictably protested – and blamed the victim:
While the media is a convenient (and common) scapegoat, Ann Romney is simply wrong …
Mitt Romney had two great positive selling points when it came to introducing himself to the American public: his business record and his faith. He talked about neither at any great length – or on the sort of terms that might have helped his chances. …
Put simply: The story of Romney’s Mormon faith is the story of “Mitt Romney as good guy.” That story never got told. And, no matter what Ann Romney thinks, the fault for that lies not with the media but rather with the campaign or, more accurately, her husband’s discomfort or unwillingness to talk about his faith.
Then there is his business background. While Romney did talk much more openly about what he did with Bain, he was constantly cowed by the negative storyline being told by President Obama’s campaign and other Democratic groups about his work as a “vulture capitalist.” …
As a result, the Obama campaign was effectively able to take Romney’s “successful businessman” narrative and use it against him, turning what should have been a great strength as a major weakness.
Cillizza makes valid points, but ignores the superficial reporting of political reporters and analysts – including his (click here and here) – which focused on trivialities, personalities and gossip instead of explaining the issues.
† Armed and dangerous: Libertarian author and lecturer Jim Bovard takes the Second Amendment-hostile Obama administration to task in a Washington Times op-ed for “scorning a mandate to track how many Americans are shot and killed each year by government agents”:
The same 1994 law that temporarily banned the sale of assault weapons also required the federal government to compile data on police shootings nationwide. However, neither the Justice Department nor most local police departments have bothered to tally such occurrences. …
Not only do government agencies fail to track official violence against Americans, they also sometimes pre-emptively exonerate all such attacks. A 2001 Justice Department report entitled "Policing and Homicide, 1976-1998" labeled everyone in the nation who perished as a result of a police shooting as "felons justifiably killed by police." There were hundreds, if not thousands, of people shot unjustifiably by the police in those decades, but their innocence vanished in the flicker of a federal label. …
At the state and local level, the deck is often stacked to vindicate all police shootings. Police unions have strong-armed legislation that guarantees their members sweeping procedural advantages in any post-shooting investigation. …
The federal government has no credibility condemning vast numbers of private gun owners as long as it refuses to compile the casualty count from government agents.
† The Media Get Punked (Yet Again): A 30-second YouTube video depicting a pig saving a baby goat from drowning at in a petting zoo pond that went viral in mid-September and was widely disseminated by the MSM was staged for a new Comedy Central series, “Nathan for You,” and involved the combined efforts of 20 people, including animal trainers, scuba divers and humane officers, The New York Times reports:
It seemed too adorable to be fake, but it was too good to be true. …
Within hours the video had been posted around the Web; it had been shared with the Twitter followers of Time magazine and Ellen DeGeneres; and it had been broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show and its “Nightly News” program, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Fox News, where the “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said of it, “You couldn’t do this at Warner Brothers as a cartoon and make it seem more realistic.” …
That a faked video had been so rapidly disseminated by unskeptical news outlets was both surprising and dispiritingly familiar to professional experts on the news media.
“It really is embarrassing for the journalists who stumbled upon this and decided to promote it or share it with their audience,” said Kelly McBride, the senior faculty for ethics, reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute. “It’s almost a form of malpractice.”
A specially-built plastic track guided the pig to the goat, which The Times assures, “was never in jeopardy.” But the gullibility of journalists and their laziness when it comes to due diligence and fact-checking puts the MSM’s credibility in jeopardy – yet again.
How awkward, then, that the ex-astronaut just purchased an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle with a magazine that holds 30 rounds at Diamondback Police Supply, a Tucson gun store – the day before he spoke in favor of gun control at the very site where six people were shot to death and 13 others, including his wife, were injured,
In an interview with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Kelly defended his purchase of a gun his PAC is trying to ban, explaining that he wanted “firsthand knowledge about how easy it is or difficult it is” to purchase “a weapon that's so deadly and really designed for the military.” Kelly also posted a statement on his Facebook page:
"I just had a background check a few days ago when I went to my local gun store to buy a 45. As I was leaving, I noticed a used AR-15. Bought that too. Even to buy an assault weapon, the background check only takes a matter of minutes. I don't have possession yet, but I'll be turning it over to the Tucson PD when I do. Scary to think of people buying guns like these without a background check at a gun show or the Internet. We really need to close the gun-show and private-seller loophole."
Doug MacKinlay, who owns the gun shop where Kelly made his purchase, told The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, AZ) that Kelly had been to the store two weeks earlier but didn’t have a government-issued photo ID with his current address, his date of birth and proof of AZ residency and left empty-handed. When he returned with the proper ID, he was able to make his purchase.
So now he knows. But Kelly had also purchased a pistol from Diamondback Police Supply – which required the same documentation and background check so the purchase of the AR-15 was completely unnecessary for his stated purpose. In addition, MacKinlay points out that his is a federally licensed gun store, and if Kelly wanted to learn about the "gun-show loophole" he should have bought his guns at … wait for it … a gun show.
Kelly’s explanation doesn’t add up. More likely, his real purpose was to buy an AR-15 and a .45 semiautomatic pistol before bans he and other liberals are lobbying for kick in. Oh, and adding to the hypocrisy, the Tucson police seem unaware of Kelly’s plans to turn over his “assault rifle.”
Pettway was first discovered by a passerby … between two cars on Macon Street.
His hands, legs and mouth were covered with duct tape and the rogue Romeo looked beaten up, complaining about pain in his ribs. …
He claimed his captors covered his eyes and hauled him to parts unknown before dumping him on Macon Street near Malcolm X Boulevard weeks later.
But authorities grew suspicious of his account, and Pettway soon confessed to the hoax, saying he had gone AWOL for a couple of weeks and was terrified of facing his significant other.
Police caught on to the hoax when they “noticed the roll of duct tape still dangling from his wrists.” Pettway, who has 14 arrests for robbery, marijuana possession and assault, was arrested for filing a false police report.
- The Washington Times, March 10, 2013
WHAT HEELS: Democrats have no self-restraint and continually spend beyond their means – and their national convention in Charlotte, NC, last September was no exception. After hitting up Duke Energy for an unprecedented $10 million line of credit, the DNC has now blithely decided to stiff the utility. But the company plans to take a write-down for the bad debt – meaning that shareholders and taxpayers will end up holding the bag for the Dems’ profligacy, The Washington Times reports:
A Duke company official said the company was claiming the money as a business expense for tax purposes, meaning shareholders will foot $6 million of the cost, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer.
The large loan and the secrecy surrounding it have government watchdog groups deeply concerned. They say the arrangement raises serious conflict-of-interest issues for Mr. Obama and challenges his claim to be committed to disclosure and transparency.
Although the White House had banned corporate donations to the convention, the DNC had raised only 2/3 of its $36.6 million goal for the three-day extravaganza. In addition to the loan guarantee, Duke also kicked in $4.1 million to a separate fund for corporate shindigs outside the convention hall, and donated $1.5 million in in-kind contributions to the host committee for office space, furniture and other expenses. And Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers – who was given a coveted speaking slot at the convention – dug into his own pocket and coughed up $339,000 in cash and in-kind services.
As it happens, Rogers was merely reciprocating the generosity shown to his company by the Obama administration, according to The Washington Times:
Duke received $200 million in federal stimulus money for "smart-grid" improvements in 2009, and at least two of the company's power plants – one in North Carolina and another in Indiana – got hundreds of millions of dollars in "advanced coal" tax credits from the Department of Energy, as well as federal and local incentives. …
Although the Obama administration, through the Environmental Protection Agency, has cracked down on emissions from coal-fired plants, Duke is among at least a dozen firms the administration has exempted so it can pursue energy projects paid for by stimulus dollars, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.
“This is just a blank check for the party, and it undermines the whole [Obama] message of cracking down on special interests' influence in Washington,” Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen tells the Times. "It's clear the administration is hypocritical.”
The shoe can tell what you are or aren't doing and can then relay that information to your phone via Bluetooth or to you via the speaker in the top tongue of the shoe. Think those 90's Pump sneakers, but with a speaker in place of the squishy ball.
The idea is that the shoe would function a lot like many of the fitness gadgets out there today that attempt you to motivate you more. When you have been sitting for more than an hour it might yell at you to walk around. But in this instance, Google's really thinking along the lines of what brands could do with this sort of technology.
Google doesn’t intend to get into the shoe business, and envisions someone taking this nascent idea and running with it. Perhaps a souped-up shoe will have a “personality,” depending on what it is programmed to say and the tone it uses to say it. So instead of buying a flashy red number, you might choose a “trash-talking shoe.”
But Biden’s advice backfired on a 22-year-old man in Virginia Beach, VA, who has been charged with reckless handling of a firearm, The Washington Times reports:
[T]he man was in his bedroom when two armed masked men leaned through the window and warned him to close the bedroom door. [He] did – but not before he stepped into the hallway. He then grabbed his shotgun and fired several shots through his closed bedroom door, toward the window.
No one was hurt in the incident, and the two suspects are still at large.
Biden has an unfortunate habit of shooting from the lip, and the NRA, prosecutors and law enforcement officials have warned people to disregard his personal safety tips if they want to avoid being charged with a felony – which would mean failing a background check to purchase a firearm in the future and, possibly, confiscation of the guns they already own.
Tom Shellenberger, a lawyer and spokesman for the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association, told U.S. News that Biden's security tip was "the worst type of advice" because in addition to potential criminal liability, “Not only does blasting blindly away put innocent persons at risk, it also tells the bad guys where you are and that you are armed. In most circumstances, it might be better if that comes as a surprise to the bad guys.”
BTW, Biden’s wife could
accidentally negligently injure or kill her neighbors who live only about 34 yards away. Their home is also less than 15 yards from a road and about a third of a mile (528 yards) from The Tatnall School. Depending on the size of the shot, the type and amount of powder used and the length of the shotgun’s barrel shooting from their porch, the range of a Biden’s gun is roughly 600 to 800 yards.
You would think school officials would applaud his heroism and give him a good citizenship award for saving the life of the student who was on the wrong end of the gun, and possibly others on the bus. But you’d be wrong. The 16-year-old was suspended for three days for being involved in an “incident” where a weapon was present. Huh? (It’s Lent, otherwise The Stiletto would have used a stronger term denoting her level of disbelief.) WFTX-TV (Channel 4, Fort Myers) reports:
"It's dumb," he said. "How they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?" …
"If they wouldn't've did what they had to do on that bus," the teen's mother said, "I think there would have been a lot of fatalities." …
"Those kids had to fight for their lives," she said. "All the kids that was involved in this they should have a pat on their backs because they did the right thing to save someone from burying their child."
The school bus surveillance cameras weren’t working, so there is no video of the incident. Pending further investigation by police, the suspect was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm on school property and assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill [emphasis, The Stiletto]. Again, huh?
“The good news is, the world doesn’t end March 2. The bad news is, the world doesn’t end March 2,” said Emily Holubowich, a Washington health-care lobbyist who leads a coalition of 3,000 nonprofit groups fighting the cuts. “The worst-case scenario for us is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens. And Republicans say: See, that wasn’t so bad.”
In the long partisan conflict over government spending, the sequester is where the rubber meets the road. Obama is betting Americans will be outraged by the abrupt and substantial cuts to a wide range of government services, from law enforcement to food safety to public schools. And he is hoping they will rise up to demand what he calls a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction that replaces some cuts with higher taxes.
But if voters react with a shrug, congressional Republicans will have won a major victory in their campaign to shrink the size of government. Instead of cancelling the sequester, the GOP will likely push for more. …
Adding to the liberal angst is concern that the scale of the cuts may be overstated, at least in the short term. While the sequester orders the White House to withdraw $85 billion in spending authority from affected agencies in the fiscal year that ends in September, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that agencies will reduce actual spending by only about $44 billion, with the remaining cuts carried over into future years.
As The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza admits, “People aren’t paying much (really, any) attention to the sequester.” He adds that, “even after it goes into effect … and the consequences begin to be felt, most people still won’t pay attention (or care).”
Obama manufactured this “crisis” and is trying (unsuccessfully, thus far) to gin up voter outrage over the budget cuts . For this reason, FOX News analyst Bernard Goldberg is convinced that instead of minimizing the impact of sequestration Obama will seek to magnify it so that he can claim to have been right all along about it’s dire effects – and blame Repubs for them:
I think he wants the most hardship to the most people so he can secure the most political points. I think he is rooting for chaos because he knows the American people won’t blame him, not a majority of them anyway. The Republicans will get the blame and in 2014 he may very well get the House – to go along with the Senate.
You know what that means? It means Mr. Obama would then be able to do whatever he wants and it will be called democracy in action. Higher taxes on success that might discourage investment that would create jobs, more money for green energy that won’t produce much energy, more money for early education programs that don’t work, a minimum wage that might cost young workers a job, increase in cap-and-trade programs for carbon emissions that might slow the economy and put people out of work, new housing incentives, new manufacturing incentives, new, new, new, more, more, more, money, money, money. …
If the sequester cuts aren’t as onerous as Obama has made them out to be, he loses political credibility. But here’s the irony: If Obama ensures that his dire predictions come true, Democrat voters will be hurt more than Rebpublican voters, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek article cited by NewsBusters:
[A new study from Bloomberg Government] shows that Democratic congressional districts will be harder hit by the military cuts than Republican ones, and that eight of the top 10 districts that will experience the deepest cuts are represented by Democrats. Robert Levinson, the Bloomberg Government defense analyst who conducted the study, found that “Democrats won 47 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives in the 2012 election, but 58 percent of the military’s fiscal 2012 prime contract spending went to companies performing work in those districts.” Among the top districts, military spending in those represented by Democrats averaged $893 million this year, vs. $573 million in those represented by Republicans
Rather than negotiating with Republicans in Congress, Obama prefers to play a dangerous game that will backfire one way or another.
How to tell whether your Representative has been in Washington too long
A corollary to "How to tell whether your Senator has been in Washington too long" (see last item) are these comments by Nancy Pelosi about why the across-the-board Congressional pay cuts forced by sequestration are a bad idea: “I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do. I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”
As The Washington Post notes, “Two kinds of middle-class Americans are struggling today – people who can’t find any work or enough work, and full-timers who can’t seem to get ahead.” State and federal legislators have a habit of exempting themselves from the laws and regulations that they inflict on the citizens they are supposed to represent and the financial pain of sequestration – which was dreamed up by Presdient Barack Hussein Obama as a “poison pill” to make Republicans knuckle under to raising the debt ceiling – will be no exception, if Pelosi gets her way.
Meanwhile, seemingly oblivious that millions of Americans have been suffering pay cuts through furloughs and reduced hours since President Barack Huseein Obama took office, federal workers are fretting over the effect of sequestration on their paychecks – except, perhaps, these 12 very handsomely paid government employees who will weather the “crisis” quite nicely. Mind you, those responsible for the creation, adoption and effects of sequestration are … wait for it … exempt from the draconian consequences of automatic cuts that amount to just 0.5 percent of GDP. By way of comparison, the budget cuts negotiated by President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich from 1994 to 2000 ranged from 18 to 22 percent of GDP.
When he’s not making like Chicken Little, Obama whines that Republicans “reflexively oppose any idea that I put forward,” but House Republicans have warmed up to the cold calculus of his sequestration brainstorm. An increasing number of Republicans now see sequestration as a sure-fire way to modestly slow government spending despite Obama’s tax and spend proclivities, which suggests that the post-election reports of the Tea Party’s demise were premature.
† Obama is just about every U.S. president all rolled into one!: But the motor-mouth Barack Hussein Obama is certainly no Calvin Coolidge (AKA "Silent Cal"), according to Washington Post columnist George Will:
Were Barack Obama, America’s most loquacious president (699 first-term teleprompter speeches), capable of learning from someone with whom he disagrees, he would profit from Amity Shlaes’s new biography of Coolidge, whom she calls “our great refrainer” with an “aptitude for brevity,” as when he said, “Inflation is repudiation.” She says that under his “minimalist” presidency, he “made a virtue of inaction.” As he said, “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” During the 67 months of his presidency, the national debt, the national government, the federal budget, unemployment (3.6 percent) and even consumer prices shrank. The GDP expanded 13.4 percent. …
Coolidge, says Shlaes, thought his office “really was one of ‘president,’ literally one who presided.” And “the best monument to his kind of presidency was no monument at all.” This absence, however, is a kind of admonitory presence for him who said, “It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man.”
[A]t firing ranges across the country, a growing number of women are learning to use firearms and honing their skills.
Women’s participation in shooting sports has surged over the last decade, increasing by 51.5 percent for target shooting from 2001 to 2011, to just over 5 million women, and by 41.8 percent for hunting, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.
Gun sales to women have risen in concert. In a survey last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 73 percent of gun dealers said the number of female customers had gone up in 2011, as had a majority of retailers surveyed in the two previous years. …
Women’s shooting clubs have also proliferated … Atlanta, Houston, even Manhattan, where a women’s gun club meets regularly at a firing range in Chelsea, a neighborhood better known for art galleries. …
Though they may share a fierce belief in the Second Amendment with their male counterparts, female gun owners often learn to shoot for different reasons, their interest in and proficiency with firearms not just a hobby or a means for self-defense, but a statement of independence and personal power.
† Journal News gun permit map shot down by citizens, law enforcement and elected officials: Pondering the plethora of gun control laws proposed by state legislators, The editorial board of The Oregonian (Portland) wonders whether gun owners are “the new smokers”:
We're leery of slippery-slope arguments, but … the transformation of concealed-handgun policy into something resembling smoking policies around the state. Sure, it's legal to smoke, but the places in which you can do it keep disappearing. A bill considered this week would even prohibit people from smoking in vehicles in the presence of minors. …
Concealed handgun privileges are subject to limitation, and license holders should accept that. State courts and federal facilities are off limits, for instance, and private property owners have the right to say "no" to weapons. What license holders shouldn't accept without protest, however, are further limitations that don't address demonstrated problems.
The Oregonian has a good point but while smoking is noxious, it is legal. Some people portray gun owners with permits as “the new sex offenders” – in other words, deviant criminals. The Journal News outed legal gun permit holders and posted their addresses on an online interactive map that displayed detailed photos of their homes and their distribution throughout various suburban neighborhoods as though they were child molesters – which is exactly how some pols and media commentators view them and want to treat them. If some legislators have their way, law-abiding gun owners will have fewer Constitutional rights than paroled felons.
† Is NRA’s Wayne LaPierre a “loon” or quicker on the draw than his critics? (related article, second item on the page): The Washington Times reports that in an interview hosted by Parents magazine and posted on Facebook, Vice President Joe Biden recalled that when he served as DE’s senator, he wrote a crime bill in 1994 that included police officers in schools, and that he and President Barack Hussein Obama want to increase funding for additional school resource officers:
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina introduced legislation last week that would restore funding for the Cops in Schools program, which dispenses grants to local law enforcement agencies to hire new officers for school duty.
Mr. Meadows has talked to several Democrats and got a "favorable response." He's optimistic that he can get co-sponsors from the other side of the aisle once Congress returns from recess. …
Mr. Meadows' legislation would allocate the initial $30 million of unspent funds originally allocated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This won't be enough for every school, but it can be a critical part of a broader solution to gun violence in schools.
According to the latest Department of Education survey, 28 percent of the nation's 23,000 schools already have armed guards.
† Armed and dangerous: Never mind that this is from The Onion – it has the “ripped from the headlines” verisimilitude required for truthiness:
Los Angeles residents are reportedly on edge today following reports that hundreds of armed and extremely dangerous Los Angeles Police Department officers are resuming regular patrolling duties after the conclusion of Tuesday’s manhunt for rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner. “I mean, just knowing they’re out there is terrifying – how can I feel safe when these maniacs are on the loose in my neighborhood?” said a visibly rattled Ashley Stillson, 38.
† Liberals don’t know jack about Jesus: More bible lessons from those two ignoramus liberals The Stiletto has been doing battle with on Twitter. You’ll recall that the Twitter war with @NYgrooveX began when he accused Republicans of preaching “the teachings of Christ” while telling needy to “drop dead.” @TheStiletto challenged him to cite a specific “teaching” to back up his assertion. Then @KSpencer01 jumped in with an irrelevant and incorrect observation about the Old Testament being essentially the same as “the teachings of Christ” and accusing @TheStiletto of trying “to run from” make-believe facts.
For his part, @NYgrooveX was perplexed over @TheStiletto bringing up the New Testament in relation to “the teachings of Christ,” whereupon she informed both biblical scholars that it’s the book of the bible where said teachings are reported. @KSpencer01 again insisted that the Old Testament and New Testament are largely interchangeable, which @TheStiletto refuted by pointing out that Jesus brought a new covenant to the children of Israel (i.e., New Testament).
The story continues with @TheStiletto pointing out to the still misinformed @KSpencer01 that her repeated references to the Old Testament are irrelevant to the tweets between @NYgrooveX and @TheStiletto, to which @KSpencer01 retorted, “why, because you say so?” Here is the rest of the back-and-forth:
2. @NYgrooveX: @TheStiletto @KSpencer01 Isaiah 58:10-11 Luke 3:10-11 Proverbs 28:27 Deuteronomy 15:7-11 Isaiah 58:6-7 www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/15/jesus-quotes_n_898695.html#s308815&title=Luke_62021 … Are we done? 2:07 p.m. - Feb 25, 2013
The Telegraph of London speculates that Kerry may have been conflating Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Curiously, the State Department edited the mistake from the official transcript of Kerry’s remarks, which were made just before he set out on his first foreign trip as secretary of state.
As the media are known to get key facts wrong The Stiletto is not convinced that Kerry made the slip of the tongue, and has an alternative theory:
- Mediaite, February 20, 2013
The tweet, sent out around 8:42 p.m. PST, quickly made the rounds on the social media website. An hour later, the offending message was deleted from The Onion's feed. CEO Steve Hannah issued an apology Monday morning.
There was outcry, with many deeming it inappropriate and a cheap dig. Treme and The Wire actor Wendell Pierce called out The Onion, tweeting: “Identify the writer. Let him defend that abhorrent verbal attack of a child. You call it humor I call it horrendous.” …
In his apology, Hannah said the tweet "was crude and offensive – not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting. No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire." He also noted that the group has "instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again."
Even more shocking and saddening than the tasteless, abusive tweet itself: Mediaite points out that it got “favorited more than 400 times and received more than 500 retweets.”
Advocates for stricter firearms restrictions are employing mothers of shooting victims in their public relations push, calculating that when they speak out against gun violence they are hard to dismiss. …
The gun lobby, meanwhile, is using women to create a gentler image of the male-dominated industry and to frame its status-quo agenda as more about family safety and self-protection than about hunting and aggression.
In addition to mothers who lost children to gun crime and mothers who saved their children’s lives by using a gun, there is a third type of mother that The WaPo did not mention: the hysterical harpy who raises tattle-tales and makes a federal case out of innocent child's play so that some other mother’s kid is suspended from school, or even arrested. This particular species of harpy is best exemplified by one Rebecca Edwards, whose daughter attends Douglas MacArthur Elementary School in Alexandria, VA with Nakicha Gilbert’s 10-year-old son. The boy, who is black, got into adult-sized trouble when he showed a classmate a toy gun from the dollar store while they were riding the bus home from school. The Washington Post reports:
It is unclear how many other children noticed or talked about the toy gun, but one girl told her mother that the episode frightened her. The girl’s mother called the school immediately and e-mailed school officials that she was uncomfortable sending her children to school until she could be certain the 10-year-old was not armed. …
[T]he boy’s backpack was searched, the toy gun was found and school officials called police. …
[He] stood in a small courtroom, answering questions about Miranda rights, accused of brandishing a weapon, his mother said. He was fingerprinted and photographed. He now has a probation officer, lawyers and another court date.
For her part, Gayle Trotter, a senior fellow at the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, exemplifies The WaPo’s archetype of the “flinty mother who wants maximum firepower to take matters into her own hands in protecting her brood.” In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Trotter pointed out what should be obvious to everyone, but is not: “An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon.” After The New York Times accused Trotter of being a “pseudofeminist” peddling “dangerous gun myths,” she elaborated further in an interview on “The Hannity Show”:
Trotter told Hannity that her view is not one that gets talked about in the media. Hannity said that the two of them are some of the only people in the country bothering to cite actual instances of people successfully using guns to defend themselves. Trotter added that everyone who criticized her for her testimony did not bother to check her written appendix, which had such examples available.
In fact, about a minute into her prepared remarks Trotter related the story of 18-year old Sarah McKinley, who fended off two intruders breaking into her mobile home New Year’s Eve to steal the pain meds her husband had been taking before he died of lung cancer on Christmas Day in 2011 (sixth item on the page). Waiting for the police to arrive after calling 9-1-1, she had a pistol and 12 gauge shotgun at the ready and was giving her baby a bottle to keep him quiet. After 20 minutes on the phone with the dispatcher, she was forced to shoot one of the intruders with the shotgun, when he burst through the door brandishing a 12-inch hunting knife. This so-called figment of Trotter’s fevered imagination later said, ““It was either going to be him or my son. And it wasn’t going to be my son.”
Another woman The Times prefers to think does not exist is Chloe Morris, who was “staunchly anti-gun” until home invaders beat up her aunt and held her and her children hostage for ransom in 2008. After the ordeal, her aunt and mother began building a gun collection, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports via GOPUSA.com:
[I]t wasn't until Morris' mother bought her a firearm and she attended a gun safety course that she felt comfortable with guns.
“The class changed my life,” said Morris, who soon became a regular at the range and eventually a pistol instructor. She's now a recruiter for the NRA.
The Times is not alone in liking women unarmed and ready to be victimized. On RedStateNews, Dana Loesch reports that while arguing against allowing concealed carry on college campuses in the state, CO State Rep. Joe Salazar (D- Thornton) doesn’t think college co-eds need to be armed, and should preferentially resort to non-violent means of fending off a stalker or rapist:
“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.”
Someone should tell Salazar that if a woman “feels” like she’s about to be raped, chances are she’s about to be raped. Women just know these things. To contact him, call 303-866-2918 or write email@example.com.
After his colleagues Rep. Polly Lawrence (R-Littleton) and Rep. Lori Saine (R-Dacono) took issue with the suggestion that women were too flighty to be trusted with handling a concealed gun safely, Salazar apologized: “I'm sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention ... If anyone thinks I'm not sensitive to the dangers women face, they're wrong.”
Meanwhile, University of Colorado (Colorado Springs) campus police offer female students “realistic” tips on how to fight off a rapist that are on par with Salazar’s: scream (just hope that others will run to your aid rather than run the other way to avoid whatever it is that’s making you scream); kick off your shoes and run (just hope that your would-be rapist is too out of shape to run after you); use passive resistance (just hope that an aggressive attacker who may be high on drugs can be talked out of raping you); tell him you have an STD or are on the rag (just hope he doesn’t one-up your fake chlamydia with real AIDS or doesn’t care about your period because he has a condom); and if worse comes to worst, yell – apparently, yelling is a more forceful response than screaming – hit and bite (just hope that you don’t enrage him enough to he beat unconscious before raping you).
Surprisingly, the #LiberalTips2AvoidRape suggested by the campus police don’t include vomiting, wetting yourself or crapping your pants – maybe because some guys get off on that sort of thing.
There is not much that is modern in Agate [CO], except at the 11-student elementary school, which has three high-speed fiber optic Internet connections – more than nearly every school in Denver, 70 miles to the west, and, for that matter, just about any school in the country. And it is something, the school says, that it doesn’t need. …
[L]ocal phone companies have complained about waste or unfair competition, like using some of the grants to build fiber networks where they already exist – including, in Colorado, in the easily accessible eastern plains that include Agate – rather than where they are most needed, in rural mountain towns.
After the Commerce Department Inspector General cited concerns about the lack of oversight over the 230 grants that have already been awarded, $594 million in spending was temporarily or permanently halted and the House subcommittee overseeing the program is planning to hold a hearing into allegations of fraud and waste.
Campbell who is from Detroit and now lives in Kentucky [has been waging] a fight with Wayne County Friend of the Court over child support that Campbell says he is still paying for Michael.
A spokesperson for the Friend of the Court says no one ever notified them of the boy's death until Campbell began asking why he still owed child support in 2011 for a child that was deceased by the age of 3….
Campbell drove to Detroit to show court officials a death certificate … but says he was told that [due to surcharges] he still owed about $43,000 for Michael.
After Campbell asked for an audit, he was told he owed about $20,000. Not satisfied, he asked for another audit and was told he still owed $6,460 to support a child who has been dead for 25 years.
A spokesperson for the Friend of the Court acknowledged “human error” in the wildly varying audit results and that the surcharges owed by non-custodial parents – which one court official likened to “loan sharking” – can “drastically” increase the amount of payments owed.
Michael’s mother declined to give WXYZ an interview.
When The Stiletto read through a couple of them she decided she wasn't going to miss out on the fun and began countering each one of theirs with one of hers. The entire collection of exchanges can be found here – you have to click on the "view conversation" link at the bottom of the rebuttals to see the back-and-forth (please feel free to "retweet" and/or "favorite" The Stiletto's rebuttals – and those of other conservatives – as well as to follow @TheStiletto on Twitter). The idea is to make the conservative tweets go viral in the Twitterverse because lots of people retweeted and favorited them. Liberals have already been doing this with their #YouMightBeARepublican tweets and conservatives need to fight back on the social media battleground:
[L]ast summer, [Bret Jacobson and Ian Spencer, founders of digital-advocacy group Red Edge] approached the conservative super PAC American Crossroads with their digital-tool-building strategies and, they say, were politely ignored. …
“They were playing chess while we were playing checkers,” a senior member of the campaign’s digital team somberly told another top Romney aide shortly after the election. Later, the top aide would participate in a postelection forum with Obama’s campaign manager [and] “when Jim Messina was going over the specifics of how they broke down and targeted the electorate” [he thought to himself], ‘I can’t play this game. I have to play a different game, so that I don’t look like an idiot in front of all these people.’ ”
For those of you who aren't on Twitter yet, check out this one #YouMightBeARepublican and #YouMayBeALiberal Twitter exchange between The Stiletto and two liberals, because it proves Ronald Reagan's observation, "It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so":
1. @NYgrooveX: #YouMightBeARepublican If you preach the teachings of Christ, but tell the poor and needy to drop dead. 7:47 a.m. - Feb 17, 2013
Unlike these holier-than-moi ignoramuses, The Stiletto knows where “the teachings of Christ” can be found in the bible – which means she knows more about His teachings than either of them do (probably both of them combined, too). And by ignoring and blocking conservatives, they not only betray their distaste for debate but guarantee that they will remain ignorant.
By the way, the effort put into taking on 15 of these smug, self-righteous and uninformed liberals with snarky rebuttals resulted in three of them blocking The Stiletto on Twitter (including @NYgrooveX) – one of them calling her an "idiot" and "racist" before blocking her, a cowardly move that ensured The Stiletto could not defend herself against the calumny.
All in a day's work for a conservative who wants to fight today’s battles using modern weaponry. If you're on Twitter, get in on the #YouMightBeARepublican and #YouMayBeALiberal Twitter meme fun yourself!
NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER: Timothy Carr, a 48-year old jobless transient, was arrested by Brooksville, FL, police and charged with disorderly intoxication and felony retail theft for driving around a Walmart on a motorized shopping cart while guzzling the contents of two “Daily Daiquiri” packages he swiped from a shelf. As he zoomed around the store, Carr knocked other items off the shelves, damaging them, WFLA (Channel 8, Tampa) reports:
Police say Carr told them he did not have the money to pay for the alcohol he was drinking. …
Carr had two previous arrests for retail theft, which made the current arrest a felony.
Carr, who had a “difficult time standing and talking” during questioning, was taken to the Hernando County Jail and held in lieu of $6000.