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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

'Meaningful Work',Thomas Sowell

'Meaningful Work'

Monday, May 28, 2012

Taps, Remember our Fallen Heros.

May they find comfort in the arms of Angels.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Too Many Households on Assistance

  • May 26, 2012, 5:00 AM

  • Number of the Week: Half of U.S. Lives in Household Getting Benefits



    49.1%: Percent of the population that lives in a household where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.
    Cutting government spending is no easy task, and it’s made more complicated by recent Census Bureau data showing that nearly half of the people in the U.S. live in a household that receives at least one government benefit, and many likely received more than one.
    The 49.1% of the population in a household that gets benefits is up from 30% in the early 1980s and 44.4% as recently as the third quarter of 2008.
    The increase in recent years is likely due in large part to the lingering effects of the recession. As of early 2011, 15% of people lived in a household that received food stamps, 26% had someone enrolled in Medicaid and 2% had a member receiving unemployment benefits. Families doubling up to save money or pool expenses also is likely leading to more multigenerational households. But even without the effects of the recession, there would be a larger reliance on government.
    The Census data show that 16% of the population lives in a household where at least one member receives Social Security and 15% receive or live with someone who gets Medicare. There is likely a lot of overlap, since Social Security and Medicare tend to go hand in hand, but those percentages also are likely to increase as the Baby Boom generation ages.
    With increased government spending comes the need to pay for it, and if taxes aren’t going to increase that means deficits. Nearly three-quarters of Americans blame the U.S. budget deficit on spending too much money on federal programs, according to a Gallup poll last year, but when the conversation turns to which programs to cut, the majorities are harder to find. For example, 56% of respondents oppose making significant changes to Social Security or Medicare.
    The more people who receive benefits, the harder it’s going to be to make cuts, and it’s never popular to raise taxes. In some respects that argues for letting a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that is set to automatically hit in 2013 take effect. There’s just one problem: the Congressional Budget Office says it would sink the economy into recession.
    Letting the 2013 provisions come into force would be like dealing with a weight problem by cutting off your right arm. It may not be popular, but a long-term, well-planned diet is the only solution.

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Senate Dems pay females less

    Senate Dems Betray Lilly

    Senate Democrats pay female staffers less than male staffers
    Sen. Patty Murray / AP
    Sen. Patty Murray / AP
    A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.
    Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
    Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.
    That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent.
    A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.
    Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent.
    The Free Beacon used publicly available salary data from the transparency website Legistorm to calculate the figures, and considered only current full-time staff members who were employed for the entirety of fiscal year 2011.
    The employee gender pay gap among Senate Democrats was not limited to Murray, Boxer, and Feinstein. Of the 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus examined in the analysis, 37 senators paid their female staffers less than male staffers.
    Senators elected in 2010—Joe Manchin, Chris Coons, and Richard Blumenthal—were not considered due to incomplete salary data.
    Women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more.
    While the gap is significant, it is slightly smaller than that of the White House, which pays men about $10,000, or 13 percent, more on average, according to a previous Free Beacon analysis.
    The pay differential is quite striking in some cases, especially among leading Democrats. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who runs the Senate Democratic messaging operation, paid men $19,454 more on average, a 36 percent difference.
    Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) paid men $13,063 more, a difference of 23 percent.
    Other notable Senators whose “gender pay gap” was larger than 23 percent:
    • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—47.6 percent
    • Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D., N.M.)—40 percent
    • Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.)—34.2 percent
    • Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.)—31.5 percent
    • Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)—30.4 percent
    • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.)–29.7 percent
    • Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.)–29.2 percent
    • Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.)—26.5 percent
    • Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore)—26.4 percent
    • Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa)—23.2 percent
    Sen. Sanders, who is an avowed socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, has the worst gender gap by far. He employed more men (14) than women (10), and his chief of staff is male. Like many of his fellow partisans, he has previously accused Republicans of “trying to roll back the clock on women’s rights.”
    One possible explanation for the pay disparity is the noticeable preference among Senate Democrats’ for male chiefs of staff, who typically draw the highest congressional salaries. Of the 46 Democratic Senators listing a chief of staff on their payroll in 2011, 13 were women.
    A similar disparity exists in the White House, which employs 74 men and only 48 women in senior positions.
    Senate Democrats have been actively pushing the issue of equal pay over the past several days. “In 19 of the 20 most common occupations for men or women, women earn less for the same work. We need #EqualPay,” the official Twitter account of Senate Democrats wrote on Tuesday.
    Sen. Murray has invoked the so-called GOP “war on women” in fundraising pitches for months. “Women are people. That should be obvious, but apparently it isn’t, at least not to extreme Republicans who see us as mere targets of their political strategy,” she wrote in May 10, 2012, campaign fundraising e-mail.
    Senate Democrats plan to bring the Paycheck Fairness Act, which some have described as a “trial lawyers’ payday” that would facilitate large punitive damage claims in discrimination suits, up for a vote following the Memorial Day recess.
    Congress already passed equal pay legislation in January 2009. President Obama has frequently touted that bill—the Lilly Ledbetter Act—as the first piece of legislation he signed upon taking office, and has sought to declare “problem solved” on the issue of equal pay for women.
    “We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—the first bill I signed—so that equal pay for equal work is a reality all across this country,” he said in June 2009.
    When it comes to prosecuting instances of gender pay discrimination, however, the Obama administration has been far less active than that of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush. Under Obama, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed six gender-based wage discrimination lawsuits. That number is down from 18 lawsuits filed during Bush’s second term.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Only in America


    1) Only in America could politicians talk about the greed of the rich

    at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund raising event.

    2) Only in America could people claim that the government still

    discriminates against black Americans when we have a black President,

    a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is

    black. 12% of the population is black.

    3) Only in America could we have had the two people most responsible

    for our tax code, Timothy Geithner, the head of the Treasury

    Department and Charles Rangel who once ran the Ways and Means

    Committee, BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher

    taxes.

    4) Only in America can we have terrorists kill people in the name of

    Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims

    might be harmed by the backlash.

    5) Only in America would we make people who want to legally become

    American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens

    of thousands of dollars for the privilege while we discuss letting

    anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just become American

    citizens.

    6) Only in America could the people who believe in balancing the

    budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as

    "extremists."

    7) Only in America could you need to present a driver's license to

    cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

    8) Only in America could people demand the government investigate

    whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas

    went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company

    (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes

    (Nike).

    9) Only in America could the government collect more tax dollars from

    the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a trillion

    dollars more than it has per year for total spending of $7 million PER

    MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.

    10) Only in America could the rich people who pay 86% of all income

    taxes be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't

    pay any income taxes at all.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Who does the President really represent?

    West: President Obama's release of a known Hezbollah terrorist is an "utter betrayal"

    (WASHINGTON)-- Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today after sending a letter to President Barack Obama condemning the Administration's release, to the Iraqi court system, of a known Hezbollah terrorist responsible for the murder of an Army officer and four other service members:

    "It is with great disappointment and concern that I write to President Barack Obama today with regards to Ali Musa Daqduq and the decision by the Administration to release this madman to an Iraqi court, who in turn set this known terrorist free.

    Ali Musa Daqduq led a well-planned and coordinated attack in Karbala, Iraq in 2007 in which one American soldier, Captain Brian Freeman, was killed and four other service members were abducted and later murdered.

    The Administration mistakenly used the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which required Iraqi citizens to be handed over to Iraq before December of 2011, as a reasoning for Daqduq's release to an Iraqi court. However, since Ali Musa Daqduq was born in Lebanon, and was in fact a Lebanese citizen at the time of his capture, SOFA should not have applied to him.


    As someone who served 22 years in the United States Army and served in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I can tell you that true leadership means making responsible decisions, not necessarily popular ones. The President had options when dealing with this terrorist. Daqduq could have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay where he could have been tried in front of a military commission.


    The fact that our President makes these kinds of decisions, while American soldiers like Michael Behenna, William Hunsaker, and Joseph Mayo remain imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth for incidents that occurred during the heat of battle, is pure hypocricy.


    I find the release of Ali Musa Daqduq to be an utter betrayal, not only to those who perished at the hands of this terrorist, but to all men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.


    I ask President Obama for a prompt and personal response to this decision. As the Commander-in-Chief, he owes the American people nothing less."

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    From Powerline

     John Hinderaker in Energy Policy

    We Are Swimming In Oil

    America has more fossil fuel resources than any other nation. Russia is second, Saudi Arabia is third. On Thursday, a representative of the Government Accountability Office testified before the House Science Subcommittee on Energy and Environment that the Green River Formation alone–it is located at the intersection of the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and mostly underlies federal lands–contains as much oil as the entire proven reserves of the rest of the world combined. America is uniquely blessed in its energy resources. Two questions remain: 1) will Obama finally abandon his moronic two percent claim, and 2) will Obama, in a possible second term, block the development of the resources that can assure America’s economic supremacy for generations?

    Why isn't this reported by the dinosaur media?  Anyone...Anyone...?

    Sometimes Barry forgets?

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Kill Bald Eagles

    Interior Looks to Expand Permits for Killing Bald Eagles to Accommodate Wind Energy
    Posted By Lachlan Markay On May 9, 2012 @ 2:24 pm In Ongoing Priorities,Scribe | 32 Comments
    [1]
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, is considering loosening regulations on the killing of bald eagles, the national bird of the United States, to accommodate the development of wind energy sources.
    A draft regulation first filed in April would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits allowing them to kill bald eagles in the course of other legal activities. The length of those permits would be a six-fold increase over the five-year window allowed under current law.
    The USFWS explains [2] at FederalRegister.gov:
    We have reviewed applications from proponents of renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power facilities, for programmatic permits to authorize eagle take that may result from both the construction and ongoing operations of renewable energy projects. During our review, it became evident that the 5-year term limit imposed by the 2009 regulations (see 50 CFR 22.26(h)) needed to be extended to better correspond to the timeframe of renewable energy projects.
    Current law allows permitting for “programmatic” killing of bald eagles, which “is recurring, is not caused solely by indirect effects, and that occurs over the long term or in a location or locations that cannot be specifically identified.”
    The USFWS notes that permits “may authorize lethal take that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity, such as mortalities caused by collisions with rotating wind turbines.”
    According to the regulation, measures will be taken to attempt to minimize bald eagle mortalities, and additional actions may be authorized if mortalities exceed “anticipated” levels. USFWS began investigating [3] numerous bald eagle deaths associated with wind turbines in early 2012.
    Without the proper permit, the killing of a bald eagle is a federal crime [4].

    It's ok to kill bald eagles, as long it is promotes subsidized "green energy".

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Egotism on display

    During my 9 1/2 years in the US Air Force, I had couple of Commander in Chiefs, but I served my Country, not some elected official.

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Third Base Politics: Sherrod Brown's ex-wife claimed he abused her

    Third Base Politics: Sherrod Brown's ex-wife claimed he abused her: While Sherrod Brown has been playing politics with the Violence Against Women Act, it seems he has his own violence against women to answer ... Simple, vote for the one without the restraining order!

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Liz Cheney,Obama Foreign Policy

    Chicago Style Fundraising

    It has been reported that the Obama campaign this year, as in 2008, has disabled or chosen not to use AVS in screening contributions made by credit card.
    That doesn’t sound very important. But it’s evidence of a modus operandi that strikes me as thuggish.
    AVS stands for Address Verification System. It’s the software that checks whether the name of the cardholder matches his or her address.
    If a campaign doesn’t use AVS, it can wind up accepting contributions from phony names or accepting contributions from foreigners, both of which are illegal.
    The 2008 Obama campaign pocketed money from “John Galt, 1957 Ayn Rand Lane, Galts Gulch CO 99999” and $174,000 from a woman in Missouri who told reporters she had given nothing and had never been billed. Presumably she would have noticed an extra charge of $174,000.
    The Obama campaign is evidently happy to pocket the money. After all, this is the president who, according to political scientist Brendan Doherty, has appeared at more fundraisers in three and a half years than his six predecessors did in 35 years.
    Obama has been to at least two fundraisers just in my apartment building. I often see police and Secret Service blocking traffic for a block around Washington’s posh Jefferson Hotel at 16th and M Streets.
    Obama talks a good game on transparency and openness, but he’s ready to flout the law by avoiding AVS and to break his high-minded campaign promises.
    In the 2008 campaign cycle, he promised to take public financing for the general election. He broke that promise when it became apparent that he could raise far more money on his own.
    During much of this cycle, he’s been criticizing Republican super PACs as a perversion of the political process. But when he saw that Republicans might be able to raise as much money as Democrats, he broke that promise too and authorized cabinet members to appear at fundraisers for the super PAC headed by his former deputy press secretary.
    Democrats outraised Republicans in 2004 and 2008. Evidently, Obama considers it grossly unfair that they might not do so this year. That’s not how things work in Chicago.
    The “campaigner in chief,” as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank dubbed him yesterday, also has a nasty habit of denouncing Republican and conservative contributors by name. He’s followed lefty bloggers in trying to demonize the Koch brothers.
    This, coupled with a propensity to make jokes about siccing the Internal Revenue Service on people, looks like an attempt to chill opposition political speech. Especially when there are reports that tea-party organizations are getting hassled by the IRS.
    Obama also indulges often in reckless political rhetoric. He likes to say that Republicans want no regulations at all on financial institutions and businesses.
    It would be more politically astute, I think, and would certainly look less thuggish, to draw intellectually defensible distinctions between his own regulatory policies and those of the opposition. Attacks like this sound like debates late at night in the dorm.
    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said during the 2008 cycle. That sounds like something you might hear from a community organizer. Or a Chicago pol.
    Chicago, Obama’s chosen political venue, helps to explain this behavior. The mayor of Chicago — the job he once aspired to before greater opportunity beckoned — is an utterly dominant figure.
    Chicago pols assume they can endlessly plunder the local private sector without penalty. And business leaders quickly catch on that it’s a good thing to be known as a personal friend of the mayor. Campaign money flows accordingly.
    The local rule is “don’t back no losers.” Those who do are well advised to do business somewhere else. You never know when the assessor is going to raise your assessment. And don’t appeal in court unless you hire the lawyer with the right connections.
    The mayor is also the one who gets all the credit for all good things that happen on his watch, as Obama is attempting to do with the killing of Osama bin Laden. Even though he opposed the interrogation methods that produced the information that led our special forces to Abbottabad.
    Other campaigns have not disabled their AVS systems. But then their candidates are not from Chicago. Obama likes to talk about the need for civility. He just doesn’t like to practice it.
    — Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner. © 2012 The Washington Examiner