Things Are Not Always What They Appear To Be

On Wednesday reported that actress Scarlett Johansson has resigned her role as “ambassador” for Oxfam International after the global charity criticized her for appearing in a Sodastream commercial that was prepared for the Super Bowl. Sodastream has a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, an eastern suburb of Jerusalem (the area referred to as the West Bank). The entire concept of the West Bank as Arab territorial is not historical (see, but that discussion can continue at some point in the future.

It gets more interesting. Breitbart reports:

Though it is widely understood that Ma’ale Adumim and its roughly 40,000 residents would remain part of Israel in any likely peace agreement with the Palestinians, Palestinians have long opposed its construction and continue to demand its removal. Sodastream, like other Israeli companies, has been criticized for several years by the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Oxfam has not officially endorsed the BDS movement, but openly opposes trade with Israeli companies doing business in the West Bank.

But sometimes international organizations do not represent the view of the people they claim to represent. Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported:

The Jewish actress’s promotion of the company in a Superbowl ad has propelled an international campaign to boycott the home sodamaker and today forced the actress to step down as a global ambassador for the humanitarian agency Oxfam.

But those most familiar with the factory – Palestinians who work there – largely side with Ms. Johansson.

“Before boycotting, they should think of the workers who are going to suffer,” says a young man shivering in the pre-dawn darkness in Azzariah, a West Bank town cut off from work opportunities in Jerusalem by the concrete Israeli separation wall. Previously, he earned 20 shekels ($6) a day plucking and cleaning chickens; now he makes nearly 10 times that at SodaStream, which also provides transportation, breakfast, and lunch.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a website called 14u is reporting that the Sodastream ad intended to be played during the Super Bowl has been revised and will be played during the Super Bowl. Just for the record, I own a Sodastream and love it!

Before calling for a boycott, it is a good idea to make sure you are not hurting the same people you claim to be supporting.

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Lawyers Are Revolting Against Attorney General Holder

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a letter the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys sent Holder three days ago. The letter was in reference to the Attorney General‘s support of the Durbin-Lee bill, which would overturn the current mandatory minimum sentences not only for marijuana violations but for all drug offenses, including major and repeat trafficking in heroin, meth, PCP and other extremely dangerous, and often lethal, drugs.

The article quotes the letter:

We believe the merits of mandatory minimums are abundantly clear. They reach to only the most serious of crimes. They target the most serious criminals. They provide us leverage to secure cooperation from defendants. They help to establish uniform and consistency in sentencing. And foremost, they protect law-abiding citizens and help to hold crime in check.

The Justice Department under Attorney General Holder has a history of ignoring laws and practicing unequal justice. Hopefully, if this law is defeated, the Justice Department will continue to do its job in accordance with the current law.

Putting drug dealers back on the streets more quickly does not help our society in any way.


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After The Speech, The Truth Comes Out

Today’s Washington Free Beacon posted an article entitled, “The Big Chide,” the writer’s term for President Obama’s foreign policy.

In his State of the Union speech, President Obama stated:

American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated. (Applause.) And we will continue to work with the international community to usher in the future the Syrian people deserve — a future free of dictatorship, terror and fear.

Well, not so fast. The Washington Free Beacon reported today:

…Well, who could have predicted it, but this week we learned that Assad has retained 95 percent of his WMD stockpile while continuing to miss the deadlines to hand over his weapons. More than 125,000 Syrians are dead, millions more are displaced, and al Qaeda affiliates claim jurisdiction over much of the country.

The conflict has drawn thousands of foreign fighters from 50 countries into Syria, foreign fighters who have every intention of bringing the jihad back home when they return to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States. The Syrian chaos has spilled over into Lebanon and into Iraq, where ethno-sectarian conflict has resumed and al Qaeda has reappeared.

But do not worry. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is on the case. “The United States is concerned that the Syrian government is behind in delivering these chemical weapons and precursor materials on time, and with the schedule that was agreed to,” he said in a statement from Poland. And if that is not enough to get Assad back on schedule, the State Department made the hilarious claim that the military option remains “on the table.”

The Syrians have not complied, the agreement we signed assured that Bashar Assad will stay in power, and put Russia in the position of being the power negotiator in the region. That is not a positive diplomatic achievement.

The article goes on the cite some of the other results of President Obama’s concept of ‘leading from behind.’ The President has projected weakness in foreign affairs, and the perception of America as weak has made the world a more dangerous place.

The article further reports:

Russia, for instance, has been caught violating a decades-old nuclear missile treaty. A high-ranking administration official has admitted as much to our NATO allies. But the Obama State Department does not want to acknowledge the violation formally because, the New York Times reports, “With President Obama pledging to seek deeper cuts in nuclear arms, the State Department has been trying to find a way to resolve the compliance issue, preserve the treaty, and keep the door open to future arms control accords.” This is logic at which Yossarian would not be surprised: We cannot say the Russians broke the treaty because that would jeopardize our chances of signing more treaties with the Russians.

The President also stated in the State of the Union:

And it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program — and rolled back parts of that program — for the very first time in a decade. As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium.

It’s not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify every day that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The article reports:

Then there is the Iranian president, who says the interim nuclear deal “means the surrender of the big powers before the great Iranian nation.” There is his foreign minister, who visited the grave of a Hezbollah terrorist. There is his chief nuclear negotiator, who said the interim deal could be undone in a day. And there is the White House response: All of this is simply Iranian propaganda, meant for internal consumption. The real Rouhani, the real Zarif, the real Araqchi want exactly the things John Kerry wants.

The question the writer at the Washington Free Beacon asks is, “What will the world look like in 2017?” I just hope America can survive the reality check that is coming.

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today comparing President Obama’s statement about equal wages for women with the actual pay scales at the White House. Please follow the link above to read the entire article, but this is the gist of it (as posted at

But a McClatchy review of White House salaries shows that when the same calculations that produced the 77 cents is applied to the White House, the average female pay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is less than the average male pay. When counted the same way that produced the 77-cent figure, the analysis found, women overall at the White House make 91 cents for every dollar men make. That’s an average salary of $84,082 for men and $76,516 for women.

 Asked about its own payroll, the White House said Wednesday that it should be measured by how it pays men and women in the same jobs, but not the kind of broad brush that compares overall male and female pay.

In other words, the White House doesn’t want to be measured by the same yardstick they use for everyone else. The 77-cent canard is based on averaging on the widest possible “big brush” scale. Their answer — that men and women doing the same work and responsibility get paid equally — holds true in the marketplace as well. In fact, that’s what the 91% gap shows, in both the White House and the Blau-Kahn study; the difference is in the rational choices made by women in the marketplace, not some kind of malicious conspiracy against the female gender.

Another reason the alternative media is necessary under the Obama Administration.

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About The Claim That Women Are Paid Less Than Men Who Do The Same Job

First of all, if there were real wage equality, mothers would be the highest paid workers ever–they are on call 24/7, often act as family CEO’s, peacemakers, custodial staff, grounds keepers, in charge of grocery logistics, family nurse, and often hold a job outside the home as well. If there were true wage equality, mothers would make more than most company presidents.

However, in regard to President Obama’s statement on Tuesday night that “You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.” This is simply not true.

The argument against this statement comes from three articles from people with very different political persuasions. On November 5,2012, Real Clear Politics posted an article by Dean Kalahar, on January 29, 2014, the American Spectator posted an article by Natalie deMacedo, and on January 30, 2014, Power Line posted an article by Scott Johnson.

All three articles said essentially the same thing–the figure of 77 cents on the dollar does not represent equal work–it represents the overall workplace and does not take into consideration the fact that many women work part time or that men tend to go into the higher paying professions–engineering, medicine (as doctors), etc.

What should be considered here is that women don’t always have the luxury of dedicating themselves to the high-paying corporate fast track. Women have to make a choice of priorities–motherhood versus career. While many women in lucrative careers can afford good child care, women in jobs in industries that do not pay as well often have difficult choices to make. That is not the government’s fault or the government’s responsibility–it is simply the way that things are.

Many years ago, I spent a few years working as a temporary employee. I learned a few things along the way. One of the things I learned was that pay scales in various industries vary a great deal. I have no idea why this is, but it was very obvious during the early 90’s in New England. I definitely considered that fact when I finally accepted a full-time job. It is also good to remember that a good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say. The 77 cents on the dollar quote is a good example of that.

Just for the record, this is the statistic that was not cited (from the American Spectator):

Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Many men tend to go into science and engineering fields which generally pay more. Women who stay at home with children are factored in as earning nothing. Therefore, the 77 cent stat is a misleading one.

Rosin adds that the reason women are making less could largely depend on more complicated issues, such as maternity leave, marriage, and a lack of childcare options. Debates on those topics can be saved for another day.

Remember, any good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say!

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The State Of The Union

Today’s Independent Journal Review posted a list of seven of the lies President Obama told during his State of the Union address. There were more than seven, and I am sure anyone who has been paying attention was able to spot many of the lies in the speech.

The article lists seven:

1) Income inequality is the worst it’s ever been! The article points out that income inequality is the same as it was in 1987.


2) Raising minimum wage will help families. The article reminds us that it’s not hard to believe that Obama, who has never run a business, doesn’t understand that artificially forcing a business to pay someone more than their wage is worth will put more people out of the labor market. Making job creation more expensive leads to fewer jobs.


3) His minimum wage hike for federal workers brings immediate relief. The article points out that most employees of federal contractors earn more than the minimum wage, so this will apply to only about 10% of those, or 200,000 employees. Finally, this wage hike won’t apply until 2015 at the earliest, and even then, only for new contracts, not old ones.


4) How many Americans have gained insurance under Obamacare? In fact, five million Americans have lost insurance, meaning that this number is not a net gain. In other words, the vast majority already had insurance before Obamacare. As few as 11% might be new enrollments to Obamacare. Finally, the payment system for the federal Obamacare website isn’t completed; who knows how many of these will experience more “glitches.”


5) Obama will cut red tape that’s holding up construction jobs!  The article reminds us “The reason most of these projects are delayed is they don’t have enough money. So it’s great that you are expediting the review process, but the review process isn’t the problem. The problem is we don’t have enough money to invest in our infrastructure in the first place.”


6) Your medicare premium went up? You’re making that up! The article points out that on paper, the program’s giant trust fund for inpatient care gained more than a decade of solvency because of cuts to service providers required under the health law. But in practice those savings cannot simultaneously be used to expand coverage for the uninsured and shore up Medicare.


7. Obama’s created 8 million new jobs in the last four years. The article reminds us that this figure leaves out a lot of lost jobs early in Obama’s presidency and glosses over that this recovery has been the weakest since World War II. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a net gain of 2.4 million job have been added on Obama’s watch (this doesn’t account for population growth, leading to the lowest labor participation rate since 1978).


Generally speaking, there were a lot of lies in the speech. After listening to the speech, a person could easily assume that ObamaCare was working fabulously, the economy was in great shape, and the President could do anything he wanted to without the approval of Congress. Obviously, none of the above is true. I understand that politicians tend to stretch or spin the truth, but any resemblance to truth in last night’s State of the Union speech was purely coincidental.

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An Unusual Storm

The Associated Press posted a story about the cold weather and snow that has hit the southeastern part of America. This is a picture of our neighborhood in eastern North Carolina. The weather is unusual and has temporarily crippled the local area.

Photo: So - This is North Carolina - Today!

The article reported how people were impacted by the storm and how they coped:

Overnight, the South saw fatal crashes and hundreds of fender-benders. Jackknifed 18-wheelers littered Interstate 65 in central Alabama. Ice shut down bridges on Florida’s panhandle and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, one of the world’s longest spans, in Louisiana. Some commuters pleaded for help via cellphones while still holed up in their cars, while others trudged miles home, abandoning their vehicles outright.

Linda Moore spent 12 hours stuck in her car on Interstate 65 south of Birmingham before a firefighter used a ladder to help her cross the median wall and a shuttle bus took her to a hotel where about 20 other stranded motorists spent the night in a conference room.

“I boohooed a lot,” she said. “It was traumatic. I’m just glad I didn’t have to stay on that Interstate all night, but there are still people out there.”

No one knew exactly how many people were stranded, but some employers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield in Alabama had hundreds of people sleeping in offices overnight. Workers watched movies on their laptops, and office cafeterias gave away food.

The good news is that it will be above freezing in most places tomorrow and in the upper 50’s and lower 60’s by Saturday.

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ObamaCare Has Caused More Problems Than It Has Solved

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about Emilie Lamb, an accountant who suffers from lupus. She is now working a second job to cover a calculated $6,000 increase in out-of-pocket health care costs per year. She will watch the State of the Union address as a guest of Representative Marsha Blackburn.

The article reports:

She was forced to purchase a more expensive plan after her old policy with CoverTN was canceled. The federal government had denied CoverTN’s request for a waiver to grandfather her plan into Obamacare three times.

Even with a small federal subsidy, her premiums increased from $57 to $373 per month.

Ms. Lamb explained that she voted for President Obama in 2012 because she hoped that ObamaCare would help her with her medical care.

Please follow the above link to the story, which includes a video of Ms. Lamb telling her story.

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This Year’s Boston Marathon

On April 21, approximately 36,000 people will participate in the Boston Marathon. Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article about this year’s runners. If you are interested in supporting a runner, please click on the “Team for Kids” link under the picture at the top of the page.

The Boston Herald reports:

Competition for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society marathon team’s 135 spots was three times as fierce as usual, with more than 500 people applying, team coach Kelly Flynn said. “Every charity, within a month, all the numbers were gone and every charity had a wait list.”

Sarah Lucas, a coach for the Boston Children’s Hospital team, said last year’s events struck a nerve in the running community. “People want to show their resiliency and make it as positive as they can instead of shying away and letting the acts affect them,” she said.

The Boston Athletic Association increased the official field of runners by one third, from 27,000 to 36,000. As many as 45 percent of all the runners will be traveling the route for the first time, the BAA reports.

“People’s interest in every element of this year’s marathon — runners included — comes from a determination to show that they will move forward to live their lives as they choose, no matter what someone may have done to try to stop them,” BAA executive director Tom Grilk said. “That is the essence of ‘Boston Strong,’ and it motivates everyone.”

I am so impressed by the runners who will be participating this year. May they all safely complete the race.

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A Reasonable Alternative To ObamaCare

Yesterday Forbes posted an article about the Coburn-Burr-Hatch (CBH) proposal called the Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act.

The article reports:

CBH would repeal Obamacare, and replace it with a set of more market-oriented reforms. One key point right at the start: the authors “believe our proposal is roughly budget neutral over a decade.” That is to say, for all the reconfiguring it does to the health-care system, it doesn’t substantially reduce the deficit. It may modestly reduce the amount of federal spending and taxation. The Senate trio aims to have their proposal fiscally scored by an outside group of economists, most likely Doug Holtz-Eakin’s Center for Health and Economy.

The proposal includes a lot of aspects of ObamaCare that are popular, but it includes some common sense changes that will make ObamaCare much less of a burden on the American taxpayer. The proposal encourages tort reform, it makes changes to the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored coverage in order to subsidize policies for the uninsured.

Please follow the above link to the article to see the details. This proposal may be the first step to putting health care back in the hands of patients and doctors and taking it out of the hands of the government.

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Using Taxpayer Money To Delay Insurance Increases Until After 2015

The Daily Caller posted a story today about the possibility of the Government having to bail out insurance companies because of the lack of participation by young people in ObamaCare.

The problem is that young people are not signing up for ObamaCare. The article reports:

While there’s still time for young adults to sign up, the Obama administration has a lot of ground to cover in just two months. If not, a bailout via the “risk corridor” provision could offer a temporary fix.

“If [a bailout] does occur, it’s certainly going to hold down the size of the premium increases next fall and the year after,” Tanner told TheDCNF, “but the bailout only goes until about 2016 — so in 2015 we can begin to see significant increases” in the amount Americans pay for their health care costs on Obamacare exchanges.

The risk corridor program would partially reimburse insurers for losses only through 2016, allowing the underlying problem to come out in full force during the presidential election season.

The article states that the bailout’s cost to taxpayers could run as high as $25 billion, but that would only delay the rise in premiums until the election campaign season. It will be interesting to see how the Obama Administration handles this problem–the bailout will show the problem with ObamaCare regarding actuarial figures. Insurance companies base their premium costs on actuarial tables that calculate risk and allow the companies to make enough money to stay in business. If insurance companies do not make money, they do not stay in business. Subsidizing insurance companies for two years does not solve the actuarial problem–it simply delays it. The Republicans need to come up with a better way to help Americans get insurance–without a government takeover of the insurance industry.

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Ignoring The Financial Report Deadlines

Today the Washington Examiner reported on the progress of the Budget Process under President Obama.

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (Titles I-IX of P.L. 93-344, 2 U.S.C. 601-
688) established the congressional budget process, which coordinates the legislative activities on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, reconciliation legislation, revenue measures, and other budgetary legislation. Under this budget process, the President is required to submit a budget to Congress on the first Monday in February.

The article in the Washington Examiner reports:

“The Office of Management and Budget recently announced that President Obama’s FY 2015 budget would be delivered to Congress on March 4, just over one month past the statutory deadline (which requires the President’s budget to be submitted by the first Monday in February),” explains a news release from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “This will be the 18th occasion that the Administration has missed an in-law budget deadline.”

…Obama has never submitted a plan to control Medicare spending following a Medicare funding warning, though the law states that “if there is a Medicare funding warning … made in a year, the president shall submit to Congress, within the 15-day period beginning on the date of the budget submission to Congress under subsection (a) for the succeeding year, proposed legislation to respond to such warning.”

Such warnings have were issued and ignored in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Obama’s team has not submitted a final sequestration transparency report, which was due Jan. 21 of this year. They were late submitting the earlier installation of the report.

Obama’s team was also late filing mid-session reviews in 2010, 2011, and 2011. The financial reports on the United States were filed late in 2009, 2011, and 2012.

The obvious question is, “What good is the law if the President refuses to honor it?”

The President has stated that if Congress does not cooperate with his agenda, that he has a pen and a phone and he will go around them. It seems as if he has already  insulted them by ignoring the laws they have passed. Maybe the President needs to look in his own back yard before complaining about the trash in his neighbor’s yard.

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Big Government At Work

In 2010 I attended a family reunion in Northern California. Because my military family was stationed near San Deigo, we made the drive up the Five. One of the things we saw was the impact of the Congress-imposed drought on the Central Valley, formerly the breadbasket of America. The story hasn’t gone away. The picture below of the Central Valley was taken during that drive.


Today National Review Online posted an update of the story.

The story at National Review Online describes the Central Valley:

The soil being uncharacteristically fertile and the summers being long and dry, growers are afforded that most valuable of things: control. Emancipated from Gaia’s caprice, farmers here can determine precisely not only how much water they wish to provide to their crops but when to add it, too. Which is to say that, in the Central Valley, irrigation is achieved not by the whimsy of the sky but by deliberately placed pipes, pumps, and microprocessors. It is here that the ancient earth meets the best of technology; where Silicon Valley meshes with the baser elements and, together, they yield life. “If the Pilgrims had landed in California,” Ronald Reagan liked to joke, “the East Coast would still be a wilderness.” Undoubtedly. I suspect fewer Pilgrims would have died, too. Make no mistake: This place is a miracle — a vast greenhouse in which, unmolested by the elements and provided with incomparably fecund terrain, farmers can do their thing as never before.

But the miracle has a problem. On the Harris Ranch in the Central Valley, 9,000 of the 15,000 acres are fallow because of lack of water.

The article explains:

The Central Valley’s woes began in earnest in 2007, when the hardline Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) won a lawsuit against California’s intricate water-delivery system, sending farmers like John Harris into a tailspin. In court, the NRDC’s lawyers contended that the vast pumps that help to funnel water from the reservoirs up in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta down to the Central Valley, to Southern California, and to the Bay Area were sucking in and shredding an unacceptable number of smelt — and, the smelt being protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1994, that this was illegal.

And much of the breadbasket became a dustbowl.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a study in governmental destruction of a natural resource–America’s breadbasket.

The article concludes:

And so nothing happens. Each year, farmers sit and wait — praying for rain, and hoping that the federal government will send them a few drops of water so that they do not have to leave perfectly good land fallow and tell their employees that this month there will be no work. Of all our present troubles, California’s farming woes are perhaps the most inexplicably sourced and the most easily fixed. Complacently convinced of their infallibility, legislators in the nation’s richest state have prostrated themselves at the feet of many silly ideas in recent years. But for authorities to have put the livelihood of millions of citizens at the mercy of a tiny little fish is almost too much to bear.

We need a little common sense with our environmentalism.

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Unions And Crony Capitalism posted an article today about some of the scandals that have been occurring in America’s Public Sector Unions. Remember, the members of the Public Sector Unions are people whose benefits and salaries are paid by the taxpayer.

The article lists several recent scandals. Here are a few:

A Chicago union leader takes a leave of absence in 1989 from the city’s sanitation department, where he earned $40,000, to work for a union. He is then allowed to “retire” from the city at age 56 with $108,000 pension. (The rules say that the individual should waive a union pension to do this. In this case, the official reportedly does not waive the union pension. The city knows this, but grants the city pension anyway.)

16 psychiatrists working for California are paid $400,000 or more. One of them, with a degree from an Afghan medical school, takes home $822,302

More than half the lifeguards working for Newport Beach, CA earn more than $150,000 in 2010. One earns $203,481. A lifeguard labor union spokesman comments: “We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries. . . . Lifeguard salaries here are well within the norm of other city employees.”

There are many more examples listed in the article. This might be the reason many of our towns, cities and states are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The article reminds us of the relationship between union dues and political contributions:

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) collects $211 million in dues in 2010; the National Education Association (NEA) $397 million. With state affiliates included, the total approaches $1 billion. The AFT president makes nearly half a million, and almost 600 officials at the two unions earn over $100,000. $297 million is donated to political campaigns over a decade—with total political spending much higher. It is hard to say how high the spending really is because members do not receive complete information.

…For the fifty states as a whole, unfunded public employee benefit liabilities are at least $1.26 trillion, according to the PEW Center on the states.

This information comes from a book entitled, Crony Capitalism in America 2008-2012, Chapter 19, Public Sector Union Scandals Begin to Leak by Hunter Lewis. The book is available at

There might be a few clues in the above examples of union abuse of taxpayer money as to how America might begin to trim its state, local and federal budgets.


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Silencing The Opposition Before 2014

I have written a number of articles about the IRS and the Justice Department targeting of conservative groups and their donors. It seems to be a way of life under the Obama Administration. (Use the search engine at the top of the page if you are curious to see who has been targeted and when.)  Evidently Governor Cuomo has decided to follow the example being set by the White House.

NewsMax is reporting today that James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, a group based in New York has been served a subpoena by the Board of Labor asking for every single financial transaction over the last three years.

Mr. O’Keefe is considering relocating to New Jersey because of the harassment he has experienced in New York.

The article concludes:

O’Keefe said among the documents the New York State Department of Labor is demanding to see by next week are general ledgers, journals, caches, pay roll records, checks, stubs, and copies of Social Security returns.

“Like I said, I’m happy to comply with all this stuff, it’s not my first audit, I’ve been audited nonstop for the last three years but it gives us pause. We’ve got to take a step back and look at what’s happening to our country right now,” O’Keefe said.

“I’m a journalist, OK, and I’ve decided to maintain a small nonprofit. When you look at the corruption in the state of New York, when it comes to the pension funds have been robbed and the state university system, all the stuff that’s going on, I wasn’t going to look into these things but now I think I am.

“The American people need to know that they think this is just standard procedure, [but] it’s politically motivated and it’s got to stop.”

James O’Keefe has done a good job of uncovering corruption in our government from ACORN to voter fraud. Any state government that was interested in honest, transparent government should be glad to have his organization in the state. If he is being harassed and driven out of the state, there is probably something in the state that those leading the state do not want exposed. New York needs more of James O’Keefe and less of Andrew Cuomo.

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When Government Works

Yes, government can actually work. You haven’t heard about this one example because it really does not illustrate what the media wants illustrated, but government can work.

Yesterday The Blaze reported on some comments made by Rush Limbaugh about what is happening in Wisconsin. You haven’t heard much about this, but the state has done an amazing turn around.

The story reports:

The state of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is “rapidly falling” and the government’s budget ended the year with a $912 million surplus, Limbaugh explained. He says the dramatic turnaround is due in large part to the conservative policies of Gov. Scott Walker.

What’s even more amazing, he continued, is the fact that Walker is going to “rebate the money in the form of tax cuts to the people, who he said own the money.” Limbaugh says the news is “earth-shattering” because, in one of the bluest states, Walker was targeted for removal twice but continued to implement conservative policies that he was confident would help his state — and his strategy appears to be working.

If you think back a little bit, you remember what Governor Walker went through to implement his plans for the state. He had protestors trashing the capitol, he survived recall elections, and personal attacks, but he just kept on moving forward.

The article reminds us:

“He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes,” Limbaugh argued.

“Now, folks, what I just told you was not reported once anywhere in what you would consider mainstream media. It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.”

“And to me, for us as conservatives, Wisconsin and Governor Walker, I mean, everything that we want to happen, happened there,” the radio host concluded.

When government is done right, unemployment goes down, taxes go down, and everyone gains. When government is done wrong, unemployment goes up, taxes go up, the number of people receiving food stamps goes up, and everyone loses.

It is, in the long run, up to the voters to decide what they want.

“He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes,” Limbaugh argued.

“Now, folks, what I just told you was not reported once anywhere in what you would consider mainstream media. It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.”

“And to me, for us as conservatives, Wisconsin and Governor Walker, I mean, everything that we want to happen, happened there,” the radio host concluded.

Listen to the segment via the Daily Rushbo:

Walker is proposing a $504 million property and income tax cut plan as a means to return some of the surplus money to the people of Wisconsin. Some Democrats and Republicans are already criticizing the plan and are calling for changes.

“The budget surplus is really your money,” Walker recently said at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. “You earned it.”

However, some lawmakers are concerned that Walker’s tax cut plan would increase the state’s projected budget shortfall from $700 million to $800,000 million. The Republican governor argues the estimates don’t take into account any revenue growth, which he says will cover the difference.

The unemployment rate in Wisconsin dropped to 6.2 percent in December and has been dropping steadily since 2011.

Featured Comments

  • Shreknangst

    A $912 million surplus, turns into a projected $700-$800 million deficit … a $1.6 Trillion negative shift.
    Somehow that sounds like Reagan era traditional GOP math and economics … Where are the Tea Party and their idea of cutting deficits? This guy seems to be creating a massive one, and, naturally, Rush doesn’t see it.
    A 6.2% unemployment rate doesn’t leave much room for growth in the economy. To wipe out that $1.6 Trillion negative shift, the state would need to get to nearly zero unemployment.


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Things That Make Me Wonder

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the indictment of Dinesh D’Souza, the producer of the documentary 2016: Obama’s America. Mr. D’Souza is being charged with allegedly pushing $20,000 in straw-man contributions into a Senate race in New York.

The US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York released a statement that included the following:

The Indictment is the result of a routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC by various candidates after the 2012 election for United States Senator in New York. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Rebecca Ricigliano are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This indictment raises a lot of questions in my mind. I don’t know whether Mr. D’Souza is guilty or innocent, but I would love to know how many other people were investigated by this group. It is also ironic that Mr. D’Souza is being investigated when there was no investigation of the security on the website for donations to President Obama’s campaign when the website disabled the programming that would have disallowed foreign contributions.

This appears to be more thuggery from the Obama Administration, but we shall see what happens next.

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Upside Down Logic At Work

On Wednesday Bill Bennett and Christopher Beach posted an article at Politico about the legalization of marijuana. The article points out the contradiction of a liberal philosophy that wants to legalize marijuana while banning large sodas, sugary foods, trans fat, smoking tobacco, etc.

The article points out:

In his recent New Yorker interview, President Obama remarked, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.” But then he added, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Of the legalization in Colorado and Washington—never mind the unresolved conflict between state and federal law—he said, “it’s important for it to go forward.”

Got that? The same president who signed into law a tough federal anti-cigarette smoking bill in 2009 now supports marijuana legalization.

The article concludes:

What explains this obvious paradox? Do these liberals think that marijuana is somehow less harmful than a Big Gulp soda or a bucket of fried chicken? It’s hard to believe that’s the case, given the vast amount of social data and medical science on the dangers of marijuana.

Marijuana is destructive, particularly when used by teenagers. Does the people who want to make it legal believe teenagers will not be able to get it and smoke it? That hasn’t worked real well with either cigarettes or alcohol. Most of us probably know a teenager who used pot and paid a price later on–either in his ability to learn, moving on to other drugs, or side effects from some of the things added to the marijuana. Are we willing to make this drug easier for teenagers to obtain? This sounds like a bunch of 60’s hippies who are finally in control wanting to mainstream their counterculture. This is not good for our children, and it is not good for our society.


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What About The Baker’s Rights?

On Sunday, reported that the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that the Gresham bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it refused the order for a wedding cake on Jan.17, 2013.

The article reports:

Portland, OR—A Gresham bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it denied service based on sexual orientation, a Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) investigation has found.

The couple filed the complaint against Sweet Cakes by Melissa under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, a law that protects the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Oregonians in employment, housing and public places.

Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied service based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion.

The investigation concludes that the bakery is not a religious institution under law and that the business’ policy of refusing to make same-sex wedding cakes represents unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation.

What about the rights of the bakery owners to practice their religion? If they are Bible-believing Christians, their Bible states that homosexual marriage is wrong. To bake a cake for a lesbian couple goes against the bakery owners’ religious beliefs. I think this is a situation where the law should not be involved–the couple could have easily gone to another bakery for their cake. If we are going to support the rights of homosexuals, we also need to support the rights of Christians.

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Using The IRS To Silence Free Speech

Yesterday the New York Times posted an article about an organization formed in Hollywood called Friends of Abe. The group of about 1,500 conservative people in the entertainment industry has applied for tax-exempt status. The group has kept a low-profile in order to avoid the possibility of a conservative black list that would result in their not being hired to work in their industry.

The article reports:

Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status. Last week, federal tax authorities presented the group with a 10-point request for detailed information about its meetings with politicians like Paul D. Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and Herman Cain, among other matters, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

The article further reports:

The group is not currently designated tax-exempt, but it behaves as a nonprofit and has almost no formal structure, people briefed on the matter said. The I.R.S. review will determine whether Friends of Abe receives tax-exempt status that would provide legal footing similar to that of the People for the American Way Foundation, a progressive group fostered by the television producer Norman Lear and others. If not, Friends of Abe could resort to the courts, or it might simply operate as a nonprofit, but it would be unable to receive tax-deductible contributions.

I hate to by cynical about this (but I am), but it would be nice if Friends of Abe were treated the same way as People for the American Way. Unfortunately under President Obama, the IRS is as much a political tool as an agency to collect taxes.

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Snookered Again

CNN is reporting today that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated Monday that that “we did not agree to dismantle anything.”

The article reports:

In addition, the deal mandated that Iran halt all enrichment above 5% and “dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%,” according to a White House fact sheet issued in November after the initial agreement was reached.

Zarif accused the Obama administration of creating a false impression with such language.

“The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said, urging Sciutto to read the actual text of the agreement. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

He repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching over 5%.”

“You don’t need to over-emphasize it,” Zarif said of the White House language. A separate summary sent out by the White House last week did not use the word dismantle.

So what is going on here? The sanctions placed on Iran by the United States and the United Nations had seriously hurt Iran’s economy. In order for the current regime to stay in power (avoid political unrest due to the economy), they needed to get those sanctions lifted. They also wanted to continue their nuclear program. The Obama Administration needed a victory in the area of foreign affairs to take the spotlight off of ObamaCare, bad unemployment numbers, Benghazi, etc. So the Obama Administration signed this agreement with Iran which allows the Obama Administration a political victory, allows Iran to get out from under the sanctions, and allows Iran to continue its nuclear program. The bottom line is simple–America, Europe, and Israel lose–all will be in range of Iran’s nuclear arsenal. Remember, the mullahs in charge in Iran believe that chaos will usher in the coming of their messiah. This is not a good situation. America has been snookered again by a regime buying time to complete its nuclear development.

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A Major Obstacle To Peace In The Middle East

On Tuesday, Israel Today reported on a billboard put up in Nazareth by local Muslims.

The article quotes the billboard which features a picture of an Israeli stop sign:

The poster (and Koran 4:171) reads:

“O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits of your religion. Say nothing but the truth about Allah (The One True God). The Christ Jesus, Son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God and His word conveyed to Mary and a spirit created by Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not say: ‘Three gods (trinity)’. Cease! It will be better for you. Indeed, Allah is the One and the Only God. His Holiness is far above having a son.”

The article further reports:

Evangelical Christians from Nazareth have become a growing and integral part of the overall Messianic body in the land, while traditional Christians (Catholics, Greek Orthodox, etc) have been waking up to their historical and religious connection to the Jews and are joining the Israeli army in ever greater numbers.

People of different faiths can live together only if the people involved respect each others’ right to their beliefs. This poster is an example of why there will not be peace in the Middle East until the Muslims accept the existence of Israel and accept the fact that everyone should not be forced into Islam. Unfortunately, the Koran encourages evangelism by the sword.

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