Tax Increases Already Planned For After The 2012 Election

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece about the taxes on Americans scheduled to being after the 2012 election–these taxes are an integral part of Obamacare. 

The article reports:

• Starting in 2013, the bill adds an additional 0.9% to the 2.9% Medicare tax for singles who earn more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.

• For first time, the bill also applies Medicare’s 2.9% payroll tax rate to investment income, including dividends, interest income and capital gains. Added to the 0.9% payroll surcharge, that means a 3.8-percentage point tax hike on “the rich.” Oh, and these new taxes aren’t indexed for inflation, so many middle-class families will soon be considered rich and pay the surcharge as their incomes rise past $250,000 due to tax-bracket creep. Remember how the Alternative Minimum Tax was supposed to apply only to a handful of millionaires?

Taxpayer cost over 10 years: $210 billion.

• Also starting in 2013 is a 2.3% excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers. That’s estimated to raise $20 billion.

• Already underway this year is the new annual fee on “branded” drug makers and importers, which will raise $27 billion.

• Another $15.2 billion will come from raising the floor on allowable medical deductions to 10% of adjusted gross income from 7.5%.

• Starting in 2018, the bill imposes a whopping 40% “excise tax” on high-cost health insurance plans. Though it only applies to two years in the 2010-2019 window of ObamaCare’s original budget score, this tax would still raise $32 billion–and much more in future years.

• And don’t forget a new annual fee on health insurance providers starting in 2014 and estimated to raise $60 billion. This tax, like many others on this list, will be passed along to consumers in higher health-care costs.

There are numerous other new taxes in the bill, all adding up to some $438 billion in new revenue over 10 years. But even that is understated because by 2019 the annual revenue increase is nearly $90 billion, or $900 billion in the 10 years after that. Yet Mr. Obama wants to add another $1 trillion in new taxes on top of this.

The article further reports:

The economic ironies are also, well, rich. Mr. Obama is now pushing to reduce the payroll tax by two-percentage points for another year to boost the economy, but he’s already built in a big increase in that same payroll tax for 2013. So if a payroll tax cut creates jobs this year, why doesn’t a payroll tax increase destroy jobs after 2013?

It is becoming increasingly clear that President Obama’s fiscal policies are not based on the health of the American economy but on election politics.  He allowed the ‘Bush tax cuts’ to continue in the January budget debates because he stated that raising taxes would cost jobs.  If raising taxes would cost jobs in December, how is it that raising taxes in July does not cost jobs? 

Republicans–stand your ground!!  No new taxes!!!  It’s the spending, stupid!!!

This Is No Way To Treat Your Friends

Recently The Blaze reported that Israel had been placed on the terror watch list by the Department of Homeland Security.  Last week, The Blaze reported that Homeland Security has acknowledged that this was a mistake done on the basis of “inaccurarte information.”  The article reports that Israel was placed on the list in May of 2011. 

The article reports:

“This list, which includes 36 nations, does not target government policies as the catalyst for inclusion. Rather, it looks at the likelihood that a traveler from a specific country might have terrorist ties. If a traveler from one of the listed nations is detained, that country’s presence on the list will spawn a special check by ICE (called a Third Agency Check or TAC).”

The Department of Homeland Security is supposed to protect us from terrorists–not accuse our friends of being terrorists.  An agency charged with maintaining our security and safety should not be making such major mistakes.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about the dangers of dining out with friends.  Well, that’s not really what the headline of the story was, but that was what the story was about.  I am sure you have heard of this, but, just in case, I will give you the details.

Paul Ryan was dining out with friends (it wasn’t eating out because it was an upscale restaurant) at the Bistro Bis in Washington, D. C.  Susan Feinberg, an associate professor at Rutgers saw an expensive bottle of wine on his table and decided that it was not appropriate for him to be drinking good wine.  She took pictures with her cell phone and went over the Respresentative Ryan’s table and gave him a piece of her mind–to the point where the management of the restaurant asked her to leave. 

The article points out:

There are several lessons to be learned here:

  1. In addition to the aeronautics industry — private jets! — obviously the winemaking industry is another one that shouldn’t produce jobs.
  2. Rich people spending their own money is bad, because they’re not giving that money to the government for programs that don’t work.
  3. It’s okay for a good person (Feinberg) to go to the same expensive restaurant as a bad person (Ryan), because she didn’t order the wrong thing.

Aside from the incredible rudeness exhibited by this professor, how is it anyone’s right to criticize what anyone else is eating at a restaurant?   It is bad enough that the government is trying to tell Americans how to spend their money, now we have the self-appointed restaurant police to help control the people they disagree with. 

I like the way the article sums up the events:

“That’s right: a busybody had some expensive wine at a restaurant and saw somebody she didn’t like having wine that was even more expensive, so she lurched over to his table and started berating him for his order. Then, because she thought it made him look bad, she decided to go to the press with it. Well, to TPM (Talking Points Memo), at least.”

This woman should be forced to make a public apology.  There is no excuse for her behavior.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Democrat Budget Proposal

On Thursday the Daily Caller reported that there actually is a Democrat budget proposal.  The article reported that last week the Senate Budget Committee, headed by Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, announced that a budget proposal had been finalized and would be released early this week (early in the week of July 7th).  The proposal is still not released, although the Democrat caucus has seen it.  Several Republicans in the Senate have sent a letter to Harry Reid asking that the budget proposal be made public.  It remains secret. 

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to predict what will happen next.  After a media-induced panic over the debt ceiling, the Democrats will drag out their budget at the last minute and say that the world as we know it will end if that budget is not passed exactly as it stands. 

Anyone want to make a bet?

Why It Is A Bad Idea To Let NATO Control The Rules Of Engagement

On Thursday the U.K. Telegraph posted an article about a totally ridiculous restriction put on British soldiers in Afghanistan.  The British soldiers are fighting under the rules of engagement laid out by NATO. 

The article reports:

“British soldiers who spot Taliban fighters planting roadside bombs are told not to shoot them because they do not pose an immediate threat, the Ministry of Defence has admitted. 

“They are instead being ordered to just observe insurgents and record their position to reduce the risk of civilian casualties.”

This information was disclosed during the investigation into the death of Sgt Peter Rayner, 34, a soldier who was killed in October last year by an improvised explosive device as he led a patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. 

The only good news in this article comes from a statement made by a British officer who recently served in Afghanistan:

“He said: “A British soldier manning a checkpoint at night might watch a man digging a hole for an IED 100 metres away and would not try to shoot at him. It’s a ludicrous situation.

“”There has to be an immediate threat to life and that’s a hard thing to prove. An IED does not count as an immediate threat.

“”The Americans are different – their Rules of Engagement are pretty liberal. If they even suspect someone of laying a bomb, they can shoot them.””

I understand that the accidental killing of civilians by NATO forces is seen as a victory for the Taliban, but this is ridiculous.  Allowing a terrorist to place an IED that later kills NATO soldiers is also a victory for the Taliban.  At least the American soldiers are allowed to shoot the terrorists!

Just The Facts, Maam, Nothing But The Facts…

As the debate on the debt ceiling continues, there are a few things to keep in mind.  I personally have considered playing BINGO during Democrat press conferences using the words shared sacrifice, tax cuts for millionaires, two unfunded wars, taking benefits from seniors in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, etc.  These seem to be the talking points of the moment.  Notice that none of these talking points deal with spending.

Anyway, there are some people on the internet who have done the research and come up with some interesting numbers. posted an article on Friday about the claim made in the New York Times that the debt ceiling problem was caused by the Bush tax cuts and the Republican refusal to raise revenues (that’s Democrat-speak for increase taxes).  The article points out that there has been a 41 percent increase in spending since the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007.  The article further points out that the last Republican-created budget signed by President Bush in 2007 was for $2.73 trillion.  Expected tax receipts were $2.57 trillion.  Those numbers seem like science fiction compared to today’s spending.

The article points out some of the creative math used in the New York Times article:

“In the Gray Lady’s strange world, eliminating the Bush tax cuts – which might raise $379 billion a year – completely wipes out a $1.5 trillion deficit.”

Wow,  Can I do that with my checkbook? 

On July 1, 2011, the Washington Post‘s Fact Checker Blog posted some of its findings about how the current Democrat talking points compare to facts regarding the deficit.  Glenn Kessler, who writes the blog reported:

“Clinton, in essence, was lucky to become president just as a revolution in computer and information technologies was unleashed.

“From 1992 to 1997, CBO estimated, revenue increased at an annual average of 7.7 percent in nominal terms, or about 2.4 percentage points faster than the growth of the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy. CBO Deputy Director James L. Blum in 1998 attributed only 1 percentage point of that extra tax revenue to the 1993 budget deal. The rest, he said, came from capital gains.

“Between 1994 and 1999, realized capital gains nearly quadrupled, the CBO concluded , with taxes on those gains accounting for about 30 percent of the increased growth of individual income tax liabilities relative to the growth of GDP. (Linden says: “I can’t really answer the question about how much Clinton had to do with the economy. He presided over it.”)”

Don;t look for any of these inconvenient facts in the Democrat talking points.

Protecting The Right To Choose

No, this is not an article about abortion–it’s an article about light bulbs–yes, light bulbs.  Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that on Monday the House of Representatives will vote on H. R. 2417, the Better Use of Light Bulbs (BULB) Act.

The bill states:

    “No Federal, State, or local requirement or standard regarding energy efficient lighting shall be effective to the extent that the requirement or standard can be satisfied only by installing or using lamps containing mercury.
    “No State or local regulation, or revision thereof, concerning the energy efficiency or energy use of medium screw base general service incandescent lamps shall be effective.”

The bill is sponsored by Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton and would allow Americans to buy and use any type of light bulbs they choose. 

The compact florescent lightbulbs, which the current legislation will force Americans to use in the near future, create an environmental hazard if broken.  Anyone who lives in the real world understands that occasionally light bulbs do break.  If you share your house with children or pets, this is not good.  It is time to give the American consumer the right to choose light bulbs.

Things Are Getting Complicated At The Justice Department

Yesterday the Salem News posted a rather lengthy article about statements made in Mexico by Attorney General Eric Holder indicating that he was aware of Operation Fast and Furious long before the time stated in his testimony before Congress. 

The article reports:

“Holder openly proclaimed his connection to the operation in April 2009 during a publicized speech in Mexico, then told a Congressional Committee in May 2011, “I probably heard of Fast and Furious the first time in the last few weeks.””

In the age of video tapes of everything anyone has ever said, it will be interesting to see if this is even reported by the media and if it is, how Attorney General Holder will spin it.

The article also links to an article at on July 8, which reports:

“Right there in the stimulus bill that no one in Congress bothered to read is $10 million for Project Gunrunner (aka Operation Fast and Furious), which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and increased drug cartel violence.

“Right there in the “shovel ready” stimulus, no black humor intended, is a provision for $40 million for “state and local law enforcement assistance” along our border with Mexico and in high drug-trafficking areas, “of which $10 million shall be transferred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, salaries and expenses for the ATF Project Gunrunner.””

Please follow the links to read both articles–in both cases they provide a lot of background information that actually explains what went on with this program. 

The story of Operation Fast and Furious is one of a government out of control with no one paying attention.  Part of the blame falls directly on the Obama administration, part of the blame falls on Congress for not carefully reading the stimulus bill, part of the blame falls on the American public for not paying attention, and part of the blame falls on the major media for not doing its job of reporting the story.  This is a major scandal and should be on the network news every night.

When You Refuse To Admit What Happened In History It Tends To Repeat Itself… reported yesterday that Eric Holder’s Justice Department has asked several major banks to relax their lending standards in order to make home ownership available to more Americans.  This is part of the Justice Department’s new crackdown on alleged discrimination, which so far has netted the government more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist.  Sounds like Chicago politics to me.

The article reports:

“Justice spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said the anti-discrimination notice “does not compel the banks to make loans to people who do not qualify.” She said such measures are “essential to remedy the harmful effects of the banks’ conduct.”

“But industry analysts fear Attorney General Eric Holder is rekindling an anti-bank witch hunt launched by Attorney General Janet Reno in the 1990s, when Holder served as her deputy.

“Some blame that in part for the subprime boom, because banks were ordered to throw open their lending windows to credit-poor minorities. That crackdown spurred the American Bankers Association to distribute to its thousands of members “fair-lend ing tool kits” advising the adoption of more permissive underwriting criteria to help inoculate them from prosecution.”

Refusing to lend money to someone who cannot pay it back is not discrimination–it’s good business! 

The article further reports:

“Justice confirmed it has asked banks to keep its methodologies, which include computer-based statistical analysis, secret.

“”In certain circumstances, when a bank has requested details of our analysis, the department has requested that a defendant agree to a confidentiality agreement,” Hinojosa told IBD.

“Critics say Holder’s interpretation of civil-rights law is even more radical than Reno’s.

“For the first time, prosecutors are judging banks for the secondary impact their policies have on entire minority communities, not just households. And they’re ordering reparations accordingly.

“In announcing a recent $2 million settlement with Dallas-based PrimeLending, Civil Rights Division chief Tom Perez said, “We will require lenders to invest in the community that they’ve harmed.”

“Another Reno protege, Perez has compared bankers to Klansmen. Only difference is, he said, bankers discriminate “with a smile” and “fine print.” He said this kind of racism, though more subtle, is “every bit as destructive as the cross burned in a neighborhood.”

“Perez has put in place an infrastructure to enforce “fair lending” — including a first-of-its-kind Fair Lending Unit staffed with more than 20 lawyers, economists and statisticians.”

Making bad loans to a minority community does not help anyone.  Houses become vacant and everyone suffers.  What is needed here is a healthy dose of common sense.

It’s The Spending, Stupid !!!

Unfortunately, runaway spending is not a new thing to Washington.  In August 2010, the Heritage Foundation posted the following graph:

In 2010, Washington Will Spend 30,543 Dollars per Household

Washington politicians are continuing to spend money they simply do not have.  That is why there is a discussion of “raising the debt ceiling.”  Think about that a minute.  What they want to do is increase the amount of money they can borrow.  There is no interest in fiscal discipline.  This is like a person who calls his credit card company after losing his job and saying, “I know my credit card is maxxed out, but I have lost my job and I need a higher credit limit.”  Obviously, you would feel sympathy for the person–he just lost his main source of income–but would you raise his credit limit?  America has not lost it’s main source of income–it has simply spent too much.  There is no reason to raise the credit limit.  The only way I would support raising the credit limit is with some REAL cuts in spending.  It’s not about the revenue–it’s about the spending.

The Dangers And Temptations Of Modern Technology

Today the Boston Globe reported that the televison broadcast images of the Fourth of July fireworks in Boston were altered. 

The article reports:

“Mugar (David Mugar, the Boston-area businessman and philanthropist who has executive produced the show for nine years) said the added images were above board because the show was entertainment and not news. He said it was no different than TV drama producer David E. Kelley using scenes from his native Boston in his show “Boston Legal” but shooting the bulk of each episode on a studio set in Hollywood.”

I realize that this may seem like a small thing, but think again.  Many people (myself included) watch the fireworks on television because we don’t have the patience to deal with Boston traffic.  We expect to see what we would see if we actually attended the event in person.  If we are not seeing exactly what is happening, we expect to be informed of that also.

I am not as concerned about the fact that the images were altered as I am about the fact that until viewers started questioning what they saw, no admission was made of the alterations.

Please follow the above link to the article to read the comments of some of the people who viewed the show who were familiar with the layout of Boston and realized that the pictures were altered.

What Is Currently Happening In The Plans For Ground Zero

Yesterday the Washington Times posted an article on the construction now going on at Ground Zero in New York City. 

The article reports:

“This Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks upon America, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will dedicate the massive, $600 million National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center.  What Americans have not been told is that this “memorial” will remake Ground Zero so that it does not acknowledge 9/11.”


The article goes on:

“Replacing all reminders of the attacks will be two immense “voids” with gigantic subterranean waterfalls designed to express exclusively, as per architect Michael Arad, the continuing “absence in our lives caused by these deaths.”

“About 500 trees will be planted upon the site. They are, we are told by memorial officials, “traditional symbols of the rejuvenation of life.” They also will eradicate all trace and memory of what stood there for 30 years and its destruction on Sept. 11.”

Wow.  It gets even more amazing when you realize that they are building all these fountains and no restrooms ( as reported on May 22.  The part of the facility that includes the bathrooms will open on the fall of 2012.  That’s an awfully long time to wait for a bathroom.

An example of some of the omissions at the Ground Zero memorial:

“The National September 11 Memorial at the WTC will not include the iconic WTC “Sphere” – again, exactly because it is iconic. “The Sphere” stood in the center of the WTC plaza for 30 years as a symbol of world peace. On 9/11, though badly damaged (a piece of one of the planes tore through it) it survived the attacks in place and was embraced by many Americans as a symbol of the nation’s strength and resiliency.

“That is why it cannot be returned.

“It sits at Battery Park, about a half-mile from Ground Zero, where it was installed March 11, 2002, the six-month anniversary of the attacks, as a “temporary” memorial. Battery Park is undergoing its own renovations, and “The Sphere” will have to moved.

“One 9/11 anniversary at Ground Zero, Mr. Arad told me that returning “The Sphere” would be “didactic.” That is, it would tell us what to think.

“Somehow disposing of it is not telling us what to think.

“This is like banishing the USS Arizona from the USS Arizona memorial.” 

I am sure that many Americans will visit this memorial once, but as word gets out as to what was done here and the political correctness involved, fewer people will actually be interested in going.  That is a shame.  Those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, deserve better than this.

It Makes Sense When You Do This With Fish–But Not With Terrorists

On Wednesday, Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post posted an opinion piece on the Obama administration’s current policy of dealing with captured terrorists. 

According to Mr. Thiessen, last week Vice Adm. William McRaven stated in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

“…that the Obama administration has no clear plan for handling captured terrorist leaders if they are caught alive outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. McRaven testified that that “in many cases” suspects captured in secret are taken to a U.S. Navy ship until they can be tried in a U.S. court or transferred to the custody of an allied country, but if neither option is feasible, he said, the terrorist is let go. “If we can’t do either one of those, then we will release that individual,” McRaven told the committee.”

Yes, you read that right.  The Vice Admiral testified that American forces have been letting captured terrorists go rather than continue the Bush policy of sending the terrorists to Guantanamo. 

Mr. Thiessen concludes:

“Until now, it was believed that the administration was not capturing senior terrorists alive outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, but simply killing them. Last year, The Post reported that there had been no known high-value detentions by the United States since Obama took office. Now, it appears, we have indeed been capturing such terrorists — and setting them free. If so, this is an outrage. With Adm. McRaven’s testimony, and today’s news, the administration owes the American people — and the United States Congress — some answers, and fast.”

This may be politically expedient–but it is strategically stupid.  Terrorists commit terrorism.  Why in the world would our military even consider turning them loose?  If this is the current policy, it shows not only a total disregard for the safety of the American people, it also shows a total disregard for the lives of the soldiers overseas.  This is the sort of policy that causes America’s enemies to view us as a paper tiger.  The policy needs to be brought to the public’s attention and changed quickly.

More Information On Agenda 21

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article on the United Nations initiative Agenda 21.  I posted a story about an executive order signed by President Obama that will facilitate the implementation of this program in the United States (see on June 15th).  Now the Tea Party is sounding the alarm about what Agenda 21 will do to freedom and national sovereignty of America. 

The article at the Daily Caller reports:

“”This is as vast, complicated issue that invades every corner of our lives. Al Gore promised us a ‘wrenching transformation’ of our society — this is it,” DeWeese (American Policy Center president Tom DeWeese) told TheDC. “What we are fighting is a move toward top down control-the exact opposite if the system America started with. Special interests, NGOs [Non-governmental organizations], and quasi official government groups like the American Planning Association are descending on local government and changing it through the establishment of non-elected boards, councils and regional governments. They don’t answer to the people.””

“Congress has never approved the implementation of Agenda 21, though Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush all signed executive orders to implement it.”

So far, this program is under the radar, but it needs to be brought to the attention of the American people.

The thing to keep in mind here is that the United Nations, like all bureaucracies, seeks to expand its power and control.  The idea of one world government is not alien to the United Nations at this point.  When the United Nations began, the freedom-loving countries held the power.  That is no longer true.  The largest power bloc in the United Nations at this time is the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), a fifty-seven state group whose goal is the establishment of a world-wide caliphate governed by Sharia Law.  Although Agenda 21 does not seem to move in that direction, it does move in the direction of abolishing national sovereignty, which could create enough chaos for anything to happen.

Is The Sky Falling ?

On Tuesday Newsbusters posted a rather long article on the debt ceiling, treasury bonds and how government spending and interest payments work.  I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, but I will try to summarize some of it here.

The article lists the monthly interest payments on our debt so far this year and points out that interest is by far the greatest monthly expense associated with our debt.  If we continue to make those payments, our debt remains in good standing.

The article then lists our monthly tax receipts and points out that those receipts far exceed our monthly interest payments.  The article reports that in fiscal 2011 we have made interest payments of $275 billion and taken in revenues of $1.48 trillion.

The article posts graphs of treasury bills and stock prices indicating that the financial markets are not overly concerned about the debt ceiling. 

The article concludes:

“Consider that last August, we brought in $164 billion in receipts. As it should be equal to or greater than that this year, we will easily afford the roughly $35 billion of interest expense without raising the debt ceiling.

“Our monthly Social Security and Medicare outlays in May were $51 billion. Assuming they’re close to the same in August, we’d still be left with $78 billion to pay military members, and a variety of other things.

“Will we have enough to meet all of our obligations?

“Certainly not. Like what’s happened in the past, many government employees and contractors would be given IOUs.

“BUT, unlike what the Obama-loving media are telling people, we won’t have to default on our debt, we won’t have to forego payments to America’s seniors, and we won’t have to hold back the salaries of our military members in the field.

“Just imagine how much different this debate would be if our press were actually presenting the truth to the people rather than the hysteria-driving nonsense that’s been on display of late.”

What we are currently seeing in regard to the debt ceiling is political theatre orchestrated by the Obama administration and cheered along by the media.  We need to ignore it and watch what is actually going on in regard to the runaway spending of this administration.

That Was Then…Ths Is Now

Fox News reported on Tuesday that a Somali member of an Al Qaeda-linked group was captured and held on the USS Boxer of the coast of Africa while he was interrogated.

The article reports:

“Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, in his mid-twenties, was interrogated “extensively” and for “some time” by military personnel and he provided useful intelligence, according to one source.  He was advised of his Miranda rights at the time, according to an administration official, but U. S. law enforcement were ultimately able to interview him, and he continued to offer useful information, according to administration officials.”

A federal grand jury in New York State has indicted him, and he is expected to be tried there in a civilian trial (given all the rights of an American citizen)

The Washington Times posted an editorial on this story yesterday, commenting:

“The Warsame indictment is an end run around Congress, which last year voted to bar the transfer of terrorist detainees to the United States for trial or any other purpose. The 2011 National Defense Authorization Act stipulated that no Department of Defense funds “may be used to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer or release to or within the United States, its territories, or possessions” any detainee who “is not a United States citizen or a member of the Armed Forces of the United States” and was held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In his Jan. 7 signing statement, Mr. Obama called the restrictions “a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests” and maintained that the “prosecution of terrorists in Federal court is a powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation and must be among the options available to us.” He pledged that his administration would “work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions” and “seek to mitigate their effects.””

Just for some perspective, this is how we handled this sort of thing in World War II:

“During World War II, eight Germans landed on our shores in 1942 bent on sabotage. Caught before they could carry out their missions, under FDR’s presidential proclamation they were hauled before a secret military tribunal and found guilty. Meeting in an emergency session, the Supreme Court upheld the tribunal’s authority. Justice was swift: six of the men were put to death–a sentence much more harsh than would have been allowed in a civil trial.”

The above quote is from a book review by the University Press of Kansas of Louis Fisher’s book NAZI SABOTEURS ON TRIAL.  Even though Mr. Fisher wrote the book to express his opinion that what was done in that case was wrong, the fact remains that the saboteurs were dealt with quickly and effectively.

We are at war.  There are people in the world who would like to destroy American freedom and our way of life.  We can do what is necessary to protect and preserve our freedom or we can become the laughing stock of the world because we protect the people who have stated they want to destroy us.  As Americans, we make that decision.  Our elections need to reflect what we believe regarding terrorism and the safety of America.  I’m not sure our current elected officials understand the need to protect our country.

More Problems With Operation Fast And Furious

The Daily Caller reported today on secret testimony given by acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson about the involvement of the ATF in selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. 

The article reports:

“One key takeaway from the meeting was that Melson acknowledged to investigators that agents had witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns afterwards. Straw purchasers are people who could technically legally buy guns in the U.S. but their intent was to turn around and sell them to drug cartels in Mexico.

“Another point Melson clarified for investigators was that the ATF group carrying out the mission of Operation Fast and Furious was placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office. The U.S. Attorney in Arizona, Dennis Burke, is a political appointee of the Obama administration.”

The article further details the lack of cooperation by the Department of Justice with the Congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.  It is also interesting that Mr. Melson reported that he and other senior ATF officials were asked to reassign every major official involved in Operation Fast and Furious. 

The article concluded:

“Melson also confirmed many suspicions Issa and Grassley had of the existence of documents and other evidence in Justice Department possession. The Republican members called on Holder to be more transparent and honest in responses to their requests for information, and that DOJ officials should be informed of their right to communicate with Congressional committees without Holder’s oversight.

“”We hope that the Department will take a much more candid and forthcoming approach in addressing these very serious matters with the Committee,” Issa and Grassley wrote. “If other important fact witnesses like Mr. Melson have a desire to communicate directly with the Committees they should be informed that they are free to do so. They should also be notified that if they are represented by personal counsel, they may appear with personal counsel rather than with Department lawyers.””

I hope Congress will hold the Justice Department accountable for the incredibly bad judgment they exercised in going forward with Operation Fast and Furious.  Americans deserve an explanation of what happened and those responsible need to be fired.

Killing Tony The Tiger Is Not The Answer

Tony the Tiger was born in1952 as the mascot for Kellogg’s frosted flakes.  He has been there since I was a young child.  I love Tony the Tiger.  I also don’t eat frosted flakes.  There is nothing wrong with them, I just like other things.  Obviously, Tony the Tiger has not had a major impact of my eating habits.  I also doubt that he has had a major impact on the eating habits of my children and grandchildren.  So why in the world is the Federal Trade Commission getting ready to kill Tony the Tiger (what would PETA say?)?

On Friday, CNS News reported that the Federal Trade Commission is defending its proposals to change food and beverage marketing to children ages 2-17, which industry and legal critics say would lead to the end of iconic commercial characters such Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam and create free speech issues.

The article reports:

“The interagency report is intended to help the food industry determine which items are “appropriate and desirable to market to children to encourage a healthful diet.” The group’s report says that by the year 2016, “all food products within the categories most heavily marketed directly to children should meet two basic nutrition principles. Such foods should be formulated to: (A) make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet; and (B) minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health and weight.”

“Vladeck ( David Vladeck, director of the bureau of consumer protection for the FTC) said the government is not trying to ban Toucan Sam. However, he said the interagency group would hope to see sugary children’s cereals change their formula.”

The Federal Government does not have the right to tell (or even encourage) a company to alter its product.  Sugar frosted flakes have been in existence for almost sixty years; the obesity problem in America has not existed for sixty years; why are we placing the blame on a product, rather than a behavior?  Not every obese person is obese because of their eating habits, but many are.  Killing Tony the Tiger will not change those eating habits.  Tony the Tiger did not cause overeating, and Tony the Tiger will not cure it.  Why are we wasting government money on this nonsense?

The Friday Before The Fourth Of July News Dump

Friday before the Fourth of July is a great time to release news–people are engrossed in making their holiday plans and might not notice.  I have previously reported on one of the stories released Friday–the lack of stimulus in the stimulus program, but there was another piece of news released on Friday–the growth and salaries of President Obama’s staff. 

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported that President Obama’s 454 White House aides will make a total salary of $37,121,463 this year.  About that shared sacrifice…

The current salary paid to White House aides represents an increase of nearly $4 million from 2008, the last year of President George W. Bush’s term.  It also incudes an increase of seven staff members. 

It seems as if the Los Angeles Times is not too impressed with this news, the article reports:

“Because Americans would no doubt be pleased to know of the Obama staff’s economic success amid the bleak national scene for so many others, we saved the information for today, when most Americans who are still employed are back at their own jobs and can share the joy.

“The 2011 White House salary report does not include mention of the 41 unidentified Obama staff members who owe the Internal Revenue Service $831,000 in back taxes. That report came out last fall…”

I hope the voters remember this next November.

What The Government Stimulus Program Actually Cost

The Weekly Standard posted a story on Sunday about the actual impact of the government stimulus program.  The program cost $666 billion and is said to have created or saved just under 2.4 million private or public jobs.  That amounts to a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job. 

The aricle points out:

“Furthermore, the council (White House’s Council of Economic Advisors) reports that, as of two quarters ago, the “stimulus” had added or saved just under 2.7 million jobs — or 288,000 more than it has now.  In other words, over the past six months, the economy would have added or saved more jobs without the “stimulus” than it has with it. In comparison to how things would otherwise have been, the “stimulus” has been working in reverse over the past six months, causing the economy to shed jobs.”

This seems to be an awful lot of money spent on something that did not work.  And we still have to pay back the money! 

The article points out that at the end of 2008, when President Obama was about to take office, the national debt was $9.986 trillion.  The national debt is now $14,467 trillion and climbing.  It is definitely time to cut spending! 

Looking At “The Right Of Return” From A Different Angle

We are all influenced by the way the media tells a story–whether the telling is accurate or not.  Most of us have a tendency to accept what we hear.  I am often guilty of that.  I have heard a lot of stories about the “right of return” and the role it plays in the negotiations for a Palestinian State, but I must admit the following story is an angle I have never considered.

Steven Plaut posted a story at Front Page Magazine which asks the question, “What if the Tories who supported the British during the American Revolution had been treated by Britain the way the Arab countries have treated the Palestinians?”

The article points out:

“Like all wars of independence, both the Israeli and American wars were in fact civil wars. In both cases, religious sectarianism played an important role in defining the opposing forces, although for Americans, taxation was even more important. (Israelis suffered under abominable taxation only after independence.) Among the causes of the American Revolution was the attempt to establish the Anglican Church, or Church of England, as the official bishopric of the colonies. Anglicans were the largest ethnic group opposing independence in the 1770s, as were Palestinian Muslims in the 1940s, although in both cases, other religious/ethnic groups were also represented in the anti-independence movement.”

The story continues:

“In both the Israeli and American wars for independence, anti-independence refugees fled the country in order to live in areas under the control of their political allies. Many who opposed independence nevertheless stayed put. After the wars ended, these people generally found the devil was not as bad as they had feared, and were permitted to live as tolerated political minorities with civil rights. (This in spite of the fact that many refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new states, sometimes for decades.)”

Then the similarities between the two groups begins to break down:

“The Tory refugees were regarded by all as the problem of Britain. The American patriots allowed small numbers to return. Others attempted to return illegally and were killed. But most languished across the partition lines in eastern British Canada, mainly in what would become Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The refugees would never be granted the “right to return.” In most cases, they would never even be granted compensation for property; Benjamin Franklin was among the leading opponents of any such compensation.

“At this point, the similarity between the Palestinian refugees and the Tory Loyalists breaks down. The British, unlike the Arabs, did a great deal to settle their refugees, rather than force them into festering camps, and allotted $20 million for their resettlement. The Tory refugees quickly became a non-problem, and never played any subsequent role in British-American relations.”

Please follow the above link to the article and read the rest of the story.  We have forgotten how we came to be America, and if we don’t quickly remember, we will make some really dumb mistakes internationallly.

Happy Birthday, America!

From the USA Flag Site

America, The Beautiful Lyrics
by Katharine Lee Bates – 1913

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Happy Birthday, America!

This is a link to a video that includes Ray Charles singing “America the Beautiful.”

Thank you to all of our military past and present who have made our freedom possible.

Energy Policy And Jobs

The Heritage Foundation posted an article on Friday about the impact of high energy prices on jobs in America.  The article points out the obvious fact that America does not have a coherent energy policy–we haven’t had one in the past forty years. 

The article states:

“CEA’s (Consumer Energy Alliance) study indicates the offshore energy potential of the United States is conservatively estimated at 45 billion barrels of oil and 183 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That would be enough oil to power 60 million vehicles for 25 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million American homes for 57 years.

“”Demand for oil and natural gas is increasing,” said National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi. “Yet we only explore for oil and gas in about 15 percent of the nation’s offshore areas — the same areas that were available when Richard Nixon was president.”

“Apart from boosting job creation and steadying oil prices, offshore energy production would garner billions for the U.S. Treasury. Declining production in the Gulf of Mexico alone could cost the federal government more than $1 billion in revenue this year.”

Drill, baby, drill. 

Meanwhile, Washington says no.  The article reports:

“Production in the western Gulf of Mexico dropped nearly one-third of a million barrels per day since last April, and the increased production in 2010 is a result of increased horizontal drilling in North Dakota. We can’t drill off the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, or the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Environmental Appeals Board withheld air quality permits preventing Shell from moving forward to develop 27 billion barrels of oil off the coasts of Alaska. The Environmental Protection Agency already issued two air permits, but Earth Justice filed a petition to review the permits, delaying the process.”

If alternative energy is allowed to develop in a free-market environment, it eventually will become practical.  Meanwhile, fossil fuel is the current coin of the realm.  We can accept that fact or we can hurt our economy and the American people by fighting the energy environment in which we currently exist.

A Liberal Pundit With Class

On Friday Fox News posted an article written by Juan Williams about a tax-exempt group called Media Matters.  Media Matters was founded in 2004 by journalist and author David Brock.  Eric E. Burns has been president of the group since it was founded.

Media Matters describes itself as a progressive (liberal) media watchdog group.  There is nothing wrong with that–everyone should be watching the media for accuracy.  However, recently, they have morphed into something else. 

Mr. Williams reports:

“Since they bagan work in 2004, however, the watchdog spirit of the group’s founding has turned into an outright assault on its political opponents.  That means they delight in attacking anyone with a conservative point of view on radio or TV.  In fact, they have now announced they are engaged in a “war” against Fox News Channel and anyone who appears on their airwaves.  They have also admitted to engaging in a despicable campaign to dig up dirt on Fox News executives and producers in an attempt to do personal damage to people who are guilty of offering the public political perspectives they find disagreeable.”

It seems as if the media watchdog has gone rabid.  Please follow the link above to read the entire article by Juan Williams.  Mr. Williams does a very good job of defending true liberalism as practiced by people such as Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Bobby Kennedy. Somehow, the concept of civilized debate has been lost by some of the people who currently claim to be liberals.