DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Your tax dollars at work – and play.' Category

In Obama’s Budget, a Suggestion More Multinational Corporate Profits Are Escaping U.S. Taxes

11th February 2016

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If you look closely at the numbers in the Obama budget proposal, you find that Treasury economists figure that U.S. multinational companies with profits overseas are exploiting the tax code even more than previously estimated–which means even more money would be raised by changing the way U.S. companies’ international profits are taxed.

Oh, so is Obama suggesting that we bring our corporate tax rates in line with other developed nations and encourage American companies to bring that money back home rather than scrambling around for tax shelters overseas? No, of course not.

The Obama plan would require companies to pay that 19% minimum rate to all governments combined, not just the U.S. The taxes that U.S.-based firms pay to foreign governments would count toward the minimum. The less they pay in taxes abroad, they more they’d have to pay to the U.S.

Rather than addressing the basic problem, the administration is trying to nail the doors shut so the livestock can be more easily slaughtered.

It’s hard to say definitively what’s behind this.

No, it’s not. The U.S. government is determined to bleed its businesses as thoroughly as it can, and this is the only area in which appealing to how foreign nations do things doesn’t seem to carry any weight.

It looks like U.S. companies are increasingly skillful at finding low-tax countries in which to book their profits while, for their part, foreign governments are reducing the rates at which they tax business.

And the administration’s actions merely increase the incentives to be even more clever in finding loopholes. The more cornered a victim feels, the more desperate the attempts to escape. And I suspect that companies like Apple can afford better attorneys and accountants than the IRS can.

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Cam Newton Takes a Tax Sack After the Super Bowl

11th February 2016

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As the Super Bowl weekend excitement fades and the Panthers have left California with a loss, at least one player takes a second hit. Since out-of-state athletes are levied with the ‘Jock Tax’, Cam Newton will pay $101,360 on his bonus of $51,000- effectively making his loss one championship ring and roughly $50,000. That’s a bad day.

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Remember the Scandal Over the IRS Targeting Tea Party Groups?

11th February 2016

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It seems like so long ago, but really isn’t. In 2013, President Barack Obama acknowledged that the IRS had in fact been directing extra scrutiny to broadly defined right-wing “Tea Party” groups as they applied for various forms of tax-code recognition. In fact, Obama forced out the acting commissioner of the agency and pledged publicly, “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but particularly the IRS given the power that it has and the reach that it has in all of our lives.”

Paul Caron, a Pepperdine University academic who runs the always interesting TaxProf blog, recently celebrated the 1000th day of the scandal, which he argues (convincingly) has never really been covered or investigated fully. After Obama’s first big statements, interest drifted away for the most part and even the president’s bald acknowledgements that something was rotten at the IRS started to be walked back.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

In a new USA Today column, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, who’s been linking to TaxProf for the past 1,000-plus days, sums up the social implications of the IRS scandal:

It’s not just that evidence overwhelmingly points to the IRS having been weaponized in an effort to neutralize Obama’s Tea Party opposition. It’s that ordinary Americans can look at this and conclude that there’s no reason to follow the law if they can get away with breaking it since the people in charge of enforcing the law clearly regard it with contempt.

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Report Finds Half of Minnesota’s Obamacare Enrollees Were Ineligible for Program

11th February 2016

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Obamacare: The gift that keeps on shivving.

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Ferguson Resists Federal Demand They Raise Police Wages. Justice Dept. Threatens Legal Action.

10th February 2016

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Somehow, when the Founders were setting up the country, I suspect that having the Federal government dictate to a local city how much they pay their police was not the sort of role they had in mind.

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Obama Signs Law to Bring Electricity to 50 Million People in Africa

10th February 2016

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And here I thought he was the President of the United States. Good to know for whom he’s actually working.

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Governor Mary Fallin Violates Taxpayer Protection Pledge in Budget Requests

10th February 2016

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Oklahoma faces a $900 million overspending problem, and that number could reach as high as $1 billion with falling gas prices and lower tax collections in December. Gov. Mary Fallin’s solution is $910 million in “recurring revenue,” an evasive term for tax hikes.

Pledge, schmedge — when money runs short, a politician will always pick raising taxes over cutting spending.

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Obama’s Lame Duck Budget

10th February 2016

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President Obama has unveiled his last budget proposal, which calls for $4.1 trillion in spending for FY 2017. In the final year of his presidency Obama is by definition a lame duck. With Republicans in control of Congress–even though it doesn’t always seem like it–he is the lamest possible duck. As always, Obama’s final budget purports to cover the next ten years. But since Obama will be gone in a mere eleven months, why should anyone care what he wants ten years from now?

Investor’s Business Daily points out that 70% of Obama’s budget consists of writing checks to individuals. It’s a sign of the times: the principal purpose of the federal government is one not found in the Constitution, redistributing wealth, most often from the young and middle-aged to the elderly.

Obama’s budget is a fantasy in several respects. It calls for programs that have no chance of being enacted. It relies on economic growth projections that will not be realized. It proclaims goals–stop the Earth’s climate from changing, as it has been doing for millions of years!–that cannot be achieved by any federal action. In one respect, however, it is not a fantasy: it would transfer trillions of dollars from those who earned the money to Democratic Party constituencies, like “green” energy scammers. At bottom, Democratic Party policies are motivated by a cold, hard realism.

And the chattering classes wonder why people are voting for Trump.

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‘White Guilt’ Video Shown to High School Students Irks Community

10th February 2016

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An animated film designed as a lesson in “racial discourse” for students at a Virginia high school has led to backlash from community members who’ve taken issue with not-so subtle references to so-called white privilege throughout the video.

“They are sitting there watching a video that is dividing them up from a racial standpoint. It’s a White guilt kind of video,” Don Blake, whose granddaughter attended the assembly where the video was shown, told told WWBT. “I think somebody should be held accountable for this.”

And the Narrative will get you if you don’t watch out.

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School Zero Tolerance Policy Costs Vermont Taxpayers $83,750

9th February 2016

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The taxpayers of Barre Town, Vermont, just spent $83,750 settling a lawsuit that should never have happened. The money is going to one mother who was banned from her child’s school last year. Her offense? An off-handed comment she made about a 2006 school shooting.

Katie Sherman had been fighting with the school district already, asking them to give her special-needs son the accommodations his Individualized Education Plan (IEP) requires. According to The Barre Montpeliar Times Argus, the dispute goes back to November 2014, when the school first issued the IEP. Sherman expressed concerns and then filed an official complaint in January 2015.

She enlisted the help of advocacy group Vermont Family Network (VFN) and later commented to VFN’s Martha Frank that she could understand how Christopher Williams, an Essex, Vermont, man convicted of killing two elementary school teachers, had been “pushed to the edge.”

Little did Sherman know the Supervisory Union would use that comment as justification to issue a no-trespass order, which kept her from going to meetings to complain about the IEP problem. The order also prevented her from voting in elections, since her son’s school is also her polling place. In July, Sherman sued, claiming the order violated her constitutional right to vote as well as her right to participate in public meetings.

There must be a special stupidity test that prospective government employees, especially school administrators, have to fail before they’re hired on.

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The EPA Is Out of Control – Now They Want to Ban Hobby Race Cars

9th February 2016

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a regulation to prohibit conversion of vehicles originally designed for on-road use into racecars. The regulation would also make the sale of certain products for use on such vehicles illegal. The proposed regulation was contained within a non-related proposed regulation entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”

The regulation would impact all vehicle types, including the sports cars, sedans and hatch-backs commonly converted strictly for use at the track. While the Clean Air Act prohibits certain modifications to motor vehicles, it is clear that vehicles built or modified for racing, and not used on the streets, are not the “motor vehicles” that Congress intended to regulate.

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Obama’s Final Budget: Highest Cap Gains Tax Since 1997

9th February 2016

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Of course. We can’t have all those businesses growing and creating value; why, they might even create jobs, and where would Democrats be without their dependent underclass?

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Dismantling The Repair Monopoly Created By The DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention Rules

9th February 2016

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One of the biggest victories of the copyright maximalists was the successful adoption of the 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty, implemented by the DMCA in the US, and the Copyright Directive in the EU. Its key innovation was to criminalize the circumvention of copyright protection mechanisms. That strengthens copyright enormously by introducing yet another level of legal lockdown, and thus yet another powerful weapon for copyright holders to wield against their customers. But as Techdirt has reported, the anti-circumvention laws are now being used to prevent people from exploring or modifying physical objects that they own.

The DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules not only strengthen an old monopoly — copyright — they create a new one. Because it is forbidden to circumvent protection measures, only the original manufacturer or approved agents can legally repair a device that employs such technologies. Motherboard has an interesting profile of efforts by the wider repair industry to dismantle that new monopoly before it spreads further and becomes accepted as the norm.

This may seem obscure but it’s not — these sorts of monopolies are how governments stifle individual freedom, not to mention technical innovation and economic progress. For an example, read Before I Can Fix This Tractor, We Have to Fix Copyright Law.

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Thought for the Day

9th February 2016

RAMclr-020916-missile-IBD-COLOR-FINAL

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Insurer Obamacare Losses Reach Billions of Dollars After Two Years

9th February 2016

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Obamacare: The gift that keeps on shivving.

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UC System Allots $5M in Financial Aid to Illegals, Legal Immigrants Not Elligible

8th February 2016

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The University of California (UC) announced Thursday in a press release that it has officially allotted the first $5 million in loans for distribution to illegal immigrant students through the California DREAM Act.

Approximately 3,500 illegal students in the UC system will be granted financial aid this year though the 2014 bill, which will serve students at all nine UC campuses.

My, how special.

UC president Janet Napolitano called the DREAM program an investment for the students, the state, and nation as a whole. Students residing in the U.S. illegally in California are eligible for state and UC aid, but not federal aid.

A name famed in song and story.

Alexis Moran, a third-year Hispanic student at UCLA, told Campus Reformthat by being exclusively available to illegal immigrants, these resources would not only hurt “law abiding citizens who are of all ethnicities including Hispanic, but they are also promoting and sponsoring people who are breaking the laws of our state and country.”

As if the Crust gave a shit about law abiding citizens.

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The Rent-Seeking Is Too Damn High

8th February 2016

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Imagine you run a barbershop and you learn that someone is planning to open a rival business down the street. What do you do?

One option, of course, would be to compete the old-fashioned way by offering lower prices or better service. But the old-fashioned way is hard! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep your competitor from setting up shop in the first place? There’s evidence that a growing number of businesses in the U.S. are trying to do exactly that. And while that may be good for them, it’s bad for entrepreneurs, workers and the economy as a whole.

On Tuesday, a Senate subcommittee held a hearing on “occupational licensing” laws, which require government-issued licenses to perform certain types of work. Such laws have long existed for doctors, lawyers and others in highly skilled professions, but they are increasingly spreading to low- and mid-skill jobs as well. A White House report last summer found that occupational licensing requirements have increased fivefold since the 1950s, covering more than a quarter of all workers in 2008. Cosmetologists, tree trimmers and even interior designers need licenses in some states.

The only way to prevent competition is via government action, and that is the major source of (a) special interest legislation and (b) corruption in government, not just in America but around the world.

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Prof Bans Students From Saying ‘Husband’ Or ‘Wife’ Because It’s Not ‘Inclusive’

8th February 2016

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My question is, what business is it of a professor what terms students use, so long as they accurately express the meaning the students intend?

In the syllabus for her “Creativity In Context” class — a required course for any student pursuing a minor in Innovation — UF professor Jennifer Lee informs students of her four paragraph long classroom “communications policy” that she says will enforce “ethical conduct” in the classroom.

There appears to be something in the bottled water supplied to Florida colleges these days.

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Where the Bern Is

8th February 2016

Mark Steyn scratches his head.

Aside from the Marco Rubot malfunction, the most dismal aspect of Saturday’s Republican debate was the sight of supposed conservatives competing in their enthusiasm for making women sign up for “selective service”. For non-Americans, I should explain that registering for “selective service” – as in military service – is something all young men have to do upon turning 18, so, in the event that the draft is ever reinstated, they’ll have everybody’s name in the big database. As with many aspects of the vast bloated federal bureaucracy, it seems a largely redundant exercise: I mean, between Social Security numbers, the IRS and the US Census, don’t they have every 18-year-old male in the database already?

Oh, Mark, Mark, Mark. When will you ever learn? The purpose of government isn’t to provide a service efficiently; it’s to hire and pay government workers. And if that means paying more than once for the same thing, they’re okay with that.

Be that as it may, there’s now a proposal to make the young ladies register for selective service, too. And naturally the Republican candidates were falling all over each other to say how hot they were for the idea. For my own part, I’d like to go back to the days – barely within living memory now – when America won wars, rather than figure out ways to lose them more diversely. But, as usual with Republican pandering, it seemed to me a bit behind the curve.

Indeed. Time to Get With The Program.

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Brickbat: Mississippi Goddam

8th February 2016

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WAPT

Jackson, Mississippi, City Council member Kenneth Stokes is calling for an investigation of a local gun dealer who posted a sign saying that people who vote for Stokes or President Barack Obama are too stupid to own a gun. “If this gun dealer feels that it’s legal for him to display negative images of the president of the United States, keep in mind that he must have some kind of license,” Stokes said. “We’re asking the attorney general of the United States to do an investigation and let’s see whether the rules and regulations have been violated.”

Note that he wasn’t interested in violations of the Constitution. ‘Free speech? We don’t need no stinkin’ free speech!’

Never was a sign so thoroughly validated.

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How to Cut Through the Problem of Multinationals’ Tax Dodging

7th February 2016

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Surprising sense from the UK.

How about if we simply scrap corporation tax? That has been mooted by a number of commentators and libertarian-leaning think-tanks in recent weeks, in the wake of the latest outbreak of public outrage and confusion over Google’s meagre back-tax settlement with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

The “just scrap it” proposition sounds suicidal from the point of view of the public finances. Corporation tax is expected to raise £42bn over the current financial year – that’s almost as much as all our excise duties bring in. HMRC would miss that money if it disappeared.

Yet would it simply flow into the state’s coffers by another route? Other things being equal, lifting the burden of corporation tax ought to translate one-for-one into higher surpluses for companies. That cash has to go somewhere. Managements could use it to invest. Or hire more staff. Or they could pay it out in dividends to shareholders.

If businesses increased investment, that would boost the UK’s GDP growth directly, and tax receipts indirectly. And more employment would bolster the Government’s income tax and national insurance take. And if the money were disbursed in dividends, a good deal would be caught by the income tax net. What left one pocket would come into another.

Too bad it won’t work — once politicians have gotten a hand in a pocket, there’s no getting it out again. If they can take a cut of the same dollar (or pound) three times before it gets to the individual, they’ll do it and never look back.

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Rams Stiff St. Louis, Leave City with $144 Million Bill

7th February 2016

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St. Louis residents no longer have a football team, but that doesn’t mean they will get to stop paying for one. While the Rams won a vote in mid-January to relocate to Los Angeles, St. Louis taxpayers will still be responsible for making $144 million in debt and maintenance payments for the Edward Jones Dome.

Lewis Reed, the St. Louis Board of Alderman president, has asked the NFL for money to help pay off the debt, but he seems unaware of how the multi-billion dollar league operates.

As Reason has reported in the past, stadium financing is one way the NFL holds cities hostage—either pay for a state-of-the-art facility or lose the prestige of having a professional football team. This has resulted in often lopsided stadium deals that leave cities (and their taxpayers) burdened with much of the debt.

Not that taxpayers got all that much to say about it; politicians just LOVE major league teams.

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President Obama Wants to Fund Trains and Self-Driving Cars With a New Oil Tax

5th February 2016

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Much like the Mafia, the government is always on the lookout for new ways to steal money.

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Minimum Wages Surged In 6 Cities Last Year; Then This Happened

5th February 2016

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Hint: When you raise the price of something, people buy less of it.

Hiring at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality sector venues slowed markedly last year in metro areas that saw big minimum-wage hikes, new Labor Department data show.

Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years.

Liberals fighting for a dramatic increase in the minimum wage have insisted that there would be a negligible impact on job creation. Though the data are preliminary and overly broad, Washington D.C., Oakland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago seem to be finding out that the reality isn’t so benign.

Demonstrating once again that the ‘reality-based community’ isn’t.

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New York City Is About to Shell Out $2.5 Billion for Fancy Electric Streetcars

4th February 2016

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The ‘progressive’ campaign to cancel anything after 1900 proceeds at taxpayer expense.

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The F-35’s Terrifying Bug List

4th February 2016

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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive military program in the world, is even more broken than previously thought. The jet can’t tell old parts from new ones, randomly prevents user logins into the logistics information system, and trying to eject out of it will likely result in serious neck injury and maybe death. A Pentagon office is warning that the plane is being rushed into service.

In short, it’s a piece of crap, as I have been saying all along.

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UN Peacekeeping Mission for Central African Republic ‘Identifies Seven New Cases of Sexual Abuse by Its Troops’

4th February 2016

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The UN peacekeeping mission for Central African Republic has said it has identified seven new cases of sexual abuse by its troops including women and girls Human Rights Watch (HRW) says were raped or gang raped.

The new cases, which involved at least five children, come on top of more than 20 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers in the country last year.

And how much of that did YOU pay for?

The top 10 providers of assessed contributions to United Nations Peacekeeping operations in 2013-2015 [A/67/224/Add.1] PDF Document are:

United States (28.38%)
Japan (10.83%)
France (7.22%)
Germany (7.14%)
United Kingdom (6.68%)
China (6.64%)
Italy (4.45%)
Russian Federation (3.15%)
Canada (2.98%)
Spain (2.97%)

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Republicans Vow to Hunt Down Flint Emergency Manager Responsible for ‘Government-Made Catastrophe’

4th February 2016

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At a Congressional hearing on the Flint water crisis, Republican Rep, Jason Chaffetz vowed to “hunt down” emergency manager Darnell Earley and drag him to Washington, D.C. to explain why he did nothing while citizens drank poisoned water for months.

“We’re calling on the U.S. Marshals to hunt him down and give him that subpoena,” said Chaffetz.

Darnell Earley is, as you might suspect, a black Democrat ‘public administrator’.

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The Peace of Submission

4th February 2016

Mark Steyn is brutally blunt.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union funded “peace movements” throughout the west – because for the Soviets “peace” meant “the absence of opposition”.

In our time the new peace movement is Islam. And so we are told today, from the podium of a mosque with “extremist” “links”, that the very word Islam means “peace”. Actually, it means “submission” – ie, the absence of opposition.

The only difference between then and now is that instead of being chanted by scrofulous hippies protesting outside a Nato air base the old line’s being peddled to us by the President of the United States. Odd.

Concise and to the point.

Just to reiterate a point I’ve made before: Two decades ago I met many refugees from Yugoslavia’s descent into civil war – for example, a family from Mostar in Herzegovina. They’d spent months living in the roofless remains of a bombed house eating rats and whatever else they could find. And it showed. They were youngish people but they war-ravaged: sunked-cheeked, slack-skinned, with rotting teeth and clothes that hung off their emaciated bodies. You didn’t need to be told they were refugees from a civil war: They might as well have had a neon sign on their heads. Oh, and they were Muslim, too.

Oddly enough, their co-religionist “refugees” don’t look like that at all. The ones I saw in Denmark and Sweden were well-fed, well-dressed – and fit and muscular, as German women discovered at New Year.

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San Diego’s Oversupply of Water Reaches a New, Absurd Level

3rd February 2016

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San Diego’s overabundance of water during one of California’s worst droughts has reached a new, absurd level. The San Diego County Water Authority has dumped a half billion gallons of costly drinking water into a lake near Chula Vista.

Now that drinking water has been poured into a lake, the water must be treated a second time before humans can consume it. And here’s another kick in the gut. The drinking water that’s now been dumped into the lake includes desalinated water, some of the most expensive treated water in the world. Water officials will now have to spend even more money to make the once-drinkable desalinated water drinkable once again.

Sounds like a government to me.

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How the Feds Use Title IX to Bully Universities

2nd February 2016

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In the past several years politicians have lined up to condemn an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses. But there is a genuine question of whether the Education Department has exceeded its legal authority in the way it has used Title IX to dictate colleges’ response to the serious problem of sexual assault.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Ohio State Requires Nursing Students to Learn About White Privilege

1st February 2016

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This push for social justice requirements is getting a little ridiculous, isn’t it?

More GoodThink from the Ministry of Truth.

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Why We Fear the IRS

1st February 2016

Megan McArdle uncovers the darkness within.

What’s interesting about this scam is that it’s a departure from classic confidence schemes. Think about something like the Nigerian e-mail scams, and how they draw their victims in: greed for a lucrative finder’s fee in exchange for doing something that sounds maybe a little bit shady, but maybe sort of noble too. The victim is then strung along by playing to the greed, and kept from talking to others who might point out the scam by because they think they are complicit in something legally questionable.

The IRS scam, on the other hand, works entirely by fear. It takes people who haven’t done anything wrong, and makes them afraid that they have. That’s a pretty hefty achievement. Imagine trying to extort money from someone by, say, claiming that they had murdered someone. You might elicit laughter, or bewilderment, but you’d rarely elicit much cash.

Which raises the obvious question: How did we get into a situation where it’s so easy for people to believe that the IRS is about to arrest them for a crime they weren’t even aware of having committed?

You guessed it: The IRS is incredibly powerful, and the tax code is incredibly opaque.

Filling out your taxes is not a matter of being good at math, or accounting, or even knowing how various provisions of the tax code interact in revenue projections. It is entirely a matter of knowing what can be deducted, and how. And because our tax code is so complex, that doesn’t mean “read the statute”; it means “read the statute, and the case law, and develop a sense over long experience of how agents are likely to interpret this or that during an audit.” The only people who can do that are tax professionals; the rest of us are too busy earning a living in our own professions.

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Brickbat: Teach the Children Well

1st February 2016

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Revital Zilonka, an education instructor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, requires all students in her “Institution of Education” class to state their personal and professional commitment to social justice in an eight-page essay. Her class syllabus also provides a list of feminist and LGBTQ organizations to “like” on Facebook. The class is required to receive a k-12 teaching license in the state.

Rarely does the Marxist indoctrination machine come out of the closet this far.

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‘This was all planned’: Former IG says Hillary, State Dept. Are Lying

31st January 2016

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The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says.

“This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.

The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries.

Boy, that sure sounds suspicious, doesn’t it?

He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/?-year vacancy was unprecedented.

But very convenient. Hmmm….

Added Krongard: “She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus.”

Hey, that sounds just like a … a Clinton.

Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.

For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Even if they accept the referral, he says, the case quickly and quietly will be plea-bargained down to misdemeanors punishable by fines in a deal similar to the one Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, secured for Gen. David Petraeus. In other words, a big slap on the wrist.

“He knows the drill,” Krongard said of Kendall.

Democrats investigating Democrats: Nobody gets fired, nobody goes to jail.

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Montana Commission on Political Practices Targets Ideological Opponents

31st January 2016

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

In Washington, D.C., Lois Lerner, head of the tax-exempt organizations division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), allegedly slowed or killed the nonprofit applications of conservative and libertarian organizations. In Wisconsin, Kevin Kennedy, director of his state’s political ethics organization and Lerner’s longtime “professional friend,” worked with a rogue Milwaukee district attorney to spy on, and seize the personal papers and equipment of, supporters of Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican. In Texas, the benign-sounding Texas Ethics Commission convened to determine whether a conservative nonprofit journalist is really a journalist and therefore deserving of First Amendment protections—or is an activist who does not.

In each case, the officials leading the charge are Democrats. And in each case, they invoke the language of campaign-finance reform and the specter of so-called “dark money”—donations to nonprofit organizations that Democrats allege have tipped the electoral scales rightward.

Campaign finance regulations are designed to make it as difficult as possible to get people elected who don’t already have the newspapers and TV on their side (i.e. Democrats). This is just more blatant than usual.

 

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US Military Finds F-35 Software Is a Buggy Mess

30th January 2016

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That’s because the F-35 is a piece of crap.

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Washington Gives $1.3 Million in Parking Fines During Snowstorm

30th January 2016

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

 

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Administration Pursues Charges Against Another Whistleblower

30th January 2016

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Another whistleblower is facing charges brought by this administration — one that has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all other administrations combined. Thomas Tamm, a DOJ lawyer during the Bush era, exposed the NSA’s super-secret domestic surveillance program, whose authorization ran directly from the Attorney General to the Chief Judge of the FISA Court.

I guess when Obama said he would run the most transparent Administration in history, he was referring to letting his inner fascist shine through.

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15 of the Most Expensive Projects Scrapped by the US Military

30th January 2016

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But throughout the 2000s, the Pentagon spent $51.2 billion on 15 major programmes “without any fielded systems to show for it,” according to a new Center for Strategic and International Studies report.

The abandoned projects are largely due to a lack of funding attributed to the Budget Control Act and sequestration.

Hey, got to pay for all that welfare somehow.

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Study Finds More Accidents After Red-Light Cameras Installed

30th January 2016

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In the same week a federal jury convicted a Chicago transportation official of taking bribes from a leading manufacturer of red-light cameras, council members in another prominent American city are raising questions about the equipment’s effectiveness in improving traffic safety.

Several city council members in Tampa said this week they felt duped by promises of that red-light cameras would reduce traffic crashes. That’s not happening. Instead, crashes at 23 intersections where cameras are installed in the city have increased between 40 and 51 percent, two separate analyses found.

“We were told this would help and stop crashes and it’s not,” Tampa councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin tells WTSP-TV. “I look at these numbers and I don’t see the value to our tax dollars.”

Her comments came following a contentious meeting about the red-light cameras. Last month, a study compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles showed crashes increased 14.6 percent at intersections after cameras were installed.

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More Bad News for the Snakebit F-35

30th January 2016

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There’s a new wrinkle in the drawn-out saga of the F-35, the Pentagon’s troubled fighter jet of the future. At the current pace of testing, the contractors being paid by the federal government will have produced as many as 500 of the jets – at $100 million or so apiece – before the Defense Department can say for sure that the plane can do what it’s supposed to do.

They’ll have to buy the plane to find out what’s in it. Is Nancy Pelosi in charge of this project?

Considering the plane’s track record so far, the likelihood that the testing of its capabilities will reveal shortcomings and other problems seems pretty high. And that means that the Pentagon will have hundreds of incredibly expensive planes on its hands that may not perform up to expectations.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Why is the F-35 a Turkey? Let’s see.

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Suspended Missouri Professor Reaches Assault Case Deal

30th January 2016

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The suspended University of Missouri assistant professor who was charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from a confrontation with two student journalists during November’s campus protests reached a deal Friday with prosecutors, getting community service but no jail time or fines if she stays out of trouble for a year.

Democrats investigating Democrats – Nobody gets fired, nobody goes to jail.

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Louisiana Governor Wastes No Time in Proposing Massive Tax Hike

29th January 2016

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Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-La.) is beginning his first term as governor by slamming taxpayers with a smorgasbord of tax hikes in order to close the Pelican State’s projected $700 million shortfall by June 2016. Nine of the tax increases proposed by Gov. Edwards, which are listed below, would directly hit consumers and five of them would take effect as soon as April 1st.

Well, he is a Democrat….

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Clinton Emails Labeled ‘Top Secret’

29th January 2016

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The Obama administration will entirely withhold 22 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server because they have been classified as “top secret,” the State Department said on Friday.

The existence of multiple top secret emails in the Democratic presidential front-runner’s inbox will only increase public scrutiny on the former secretary of State’s unusual email arrangement, mere days before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation nominating contest on Monday.

The 37 pages of emails are the first time the Obama administration has confirmed that messages within Clinton’s server while she was at State merit one of the highest levels of classification. Although the State Department has previously classified more than 1,300 of Clinton’s emails upon release, the vast majority of those were at lower classification levels.

Well, well, well.

Clinton’s presidential campaign quickly dismissed the news, which spokesman Brian Fallon called “overclassification run amok.”

My, what a surprise.

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EPA Playing Fast, Loose, and Possibly Illegal, With WOTUS

29th January 2016

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In an effort to further promote their Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, the EPA may have violated the Financial Services and Government appropriations Act of 2014, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). How they broke the law; through their use of government funds for “unauthorized publicity and propaganda” and the use of “indirect or grassroots lobbying”. To put it simply, the EPA used government funds, designated for other purposes, to orchestrate false support for their new land grab.

In a thinly veiled attempt to spin their rule into something more presentable, they used a crowd speaking website known as Thunderclap. The EPA set up an initial page and support goal, and when that goal was reached, Thunderclap would send out a tweet previously made by the EPA that would be automatically sent out by the campaign supporters, and thus spreading the message. Thunderclap estimates the EPA’s message reached almost 2 million people. The GAO argues that since the EPA did not take responsibility for the tweets themselves, they violated the statute.

They didn’t stop there either; they continued their grassroots campaign through the use of two outside websites in favor of the rule. Through the use of hyperlinks, the EPA allowed and promoted travel to websites, for the Surfrider Foundation and National Resources Defense Council, with opinions and blogs that would attempt to trick people into being in favor of the rule. This collusion clearly is against the statute, and even though the EPA didn’t directly post, they sent traffic to these sites, once more likely violating the statute.

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Report: HHS Gave Immigrant Children to Human Traffickers

29th January 2016

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At least 19 immigrant children were inadvertently handed over to human traffickers by the U.S. government last year after it failed to conduct proper background checks, a Senate report released Thursday said.

But we can surely vet all of those Syrian refugees, guaranteed!

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Why Is the Federal Government Afraid of Fat?

28th January 2016

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I suspect that it’s not so much that they’re afraid of fat as it is they’re against anything the people enjoy.

Plus they just like to tell people what to do; that’s a large part of it.

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Ten-Dentious

28th January 2016

Ammo Grrrll doesn’t like what she sees.

Oh, God. Make it stop; make it stop. We are $18 bazillion quadrillion in debt (seriously, I looked it up…), half added since Dear Leader has been in charge. Obamacare accomplished absolutely none of the promised benefits (“Cover 40 Million people! Bend the Cost Curve! Keep your Insurance If You Like It! No Illegals, Except for the Illegals Who Don’t Have Insurance!”) in exchange for destroying the best health care delivery system in the world.

Millions upon millions of Federal employees are vulnerable to identity theft, blackmail, threats, at least four times as many people as the Administration admitted to at first.

Dear Leader is trying his best to lose against our beheading, gay-murdering, woman-mutilating enemies in the Middle East, but as slowly as possible so as to leave the biggest, most intractible mess for the next person in charge. The timing is tricky. If he’s not careful, Iran will have the bomb before Dear Leader is out of office. I’m sure it’s part of the backdoor deal to wait until January 21, 2017 to fire one at Israel. Was ensuring that Iran gets the bomb the ultimate pricetag for this Man-Choom-ian Candidate to pay back his consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who was born there? She made the Obamas rich beyond any possible dreams of obscene avarice even before the post-Presidential loot rolls in like a tsunami.

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Are We Approaching Peak Transit?

28th January 2016

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“Billions spent, but fewer people are using public transportation,” declares the Los Angeles Times. The headline might have been more accurate if it read, “Billions spent, so therefore fewer are using public transit,” as the billions were spent on the wrong things.

The situation is actually worse than the numbers shown in the article, which are “unlinked trips.” If you take a bus, then transfer to another bus or train, you’ve taken two unlinked trips. Before building rail, more people could get to their destinations in one bus trip; after building rail, many bus lines were rerouted to funnel people to the rail lines. According to California transit expert Tom Rubin, survey data indicate that there were an average of 1.66 unlinked trips per trip in 1985, while today the average is closer to 2.20. That means today’s unlinked trip numbers must be reduced by nearly 25 percent to fairly compare them with 1985 numbers.

Mass transit: Politicians spending billions of dollars on systems that take you from where you aren’t to where you don’t want to go at times that are convenient for them, not for you.

And they wonder why people prefer to own and drive automobiles.

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