DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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

No Justice Department Charges Against Ohio Woman Who Voted Six Times for Obama

23rd April 2014

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

Now consider what would have happened to her had she been white, male, and voted six times for Mitt Romney.

Just guess.

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ABC: IRS Agents Who Didn’t Pay Their Taxes Received $1 Million in Bonuses

22nd April 2014

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

Actually, I’m most greatly surprised that a Voice of the Crust blew the whistle on their peeps in the government. Must be a slow news day.

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Regulators Make More Money than Bankers

22nd April 2014

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Paul Kupiec found that the average bank employee made $49,540 in 2012, similar to the average annual salary across all occupations, which is $45,790.

The average compensation at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the consumer Financial Protection Bureau was more than $190,000 in 2012. The Federal Reserve, which likely has even higher salaries, does not release its employees’ salaries.

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Happy Earth Day!

22nd April 2014

Mark Steyn points and laughs.

Happy Earth Day! April 22nd is the day when President Obama and the rest of the gang demonstrate their commitment to saving the planet by flying in to plant a tree somewhere. And say what you like but, when you’re looking for fellows who know how to dig a huge hole, Obama and Harry Reid are pretty much at the top of the list. My township in New Hampshire is 90 per cent forested, but you can never have too many trees, so on Earth Day I always like to plant a couple more, get the tree cover in my town up to 97, 98 per cent, whatever it takes to send climate change into reverse. Of course, it’s always a big pain in the neck the morning after Earth Day, when the holiday’s over, and it’s time to take down the trees. So these days I generally just plant artificial trees with the nice silvery tinselly branches, and then you can just take them down and put ‘em in the attic till next year’s Earth Day.

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Texas Search-and-Rescue Group Sues Feds Over Drone Policy

22nd April 2014

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A Texas-based group involved in searches for missing persons around the nation filed a lawsuit on Monday asking a federal court to set aside an order that prohibits the nonprofit from employing drones in its work.

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New Study Finds That Even the Good Kind of Ethanol is Terrible

21st April 2014

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The United States has spent much of the last 30 years subsidizing ethanol production under the pretense that it’s more environmentally friendly than gasoline. I say “pretense” because for years it’s been completely obvious that corn ethanol is actually worse for the environment, that the overall production cycle stokes global warming even more than typical fuel, and that, in addition, it drives up world food prices, contributing to global hunger problems in the process. Also, it makes your gasoline less efficient. And yet this is something that we’ve repeatedly mandated and paid for.

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Chocolate Milk Ban Backfires for School Lunch Programs

21st April 2014

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The study, published in PLOS ONE, looks at data collected from 11 Oregon elementary schools where chocolate milk was banned from cafeteria sales. The idea behind these bans was to get kids to switch from chocolate milk to less sugary and more nutritious options, such as regular milk. Wanna guess how that turned out?

According to Cornell University researchers, the chocolate milk ban resulted in students buying 10 percent less milk overall and wasting 29 percent more of the milk they did purchase. At the same time, the school district saw a 7 percent decrease in overall lunch program participation, which may also be related to the chocolate milk ban.

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Bans on Sharing Food With Homeless Persist

19th April 2014

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Last week, Scott Keyes, a senior reporter with the progressive news site ThinkProgress, reported on the idiotic outcome of one of the latest of such bans.

In that case, the city of Birmingham, Ala. has barred a local pastor from sharing food with the homeless from a church-owned vehicle because he doesn’t have… a food truck permit.

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Solutions Sought to Reduce Food Waste at Schools

19th April 2014

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It’s lunchtime at Washington Preparatory High School in Los Angeles, but 16-year-old Parrish Jackson has barely touched her turkey burger and apricots.

She’s dumping them into the trash can.

The apricots are “sour,” the junior says. The meat is “nasty.” If it were up to her, she would just have taken the potato wedges — they’re close enough to fries — then headed to the student store to fuel up on hot Cheetos and juice.

Perhaps getting the Federal government out of the business of setting food standards for local schools would be a good start.

Telling Michelle Obama to STFU would be another step forward.

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Solyndra Sequel: ‘We’re Back in Business’ with $4 Billion Energy Loans

18th April 2014

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Obama’s controversial DOE green energy loan program sparked a firestorm when Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer revealed that 80% of all $20.5 billion in DOE loans were given to Obama’s top campaign donors. In his New York Times bestseller Throw Them All Out, Schweizer called the Obama green energy loan slush fund “the greatest–and most expensive–example of crony capitalism in American history.”

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

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The US Military Is Building a Stealth Dirt Bike

17th April 2014

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Wade Pulliam, manager of advanced concepts at Logos Technologies, told Defense Tech that the US military has a growing need “to operate small units far from logistical support.” So, he said, it will “increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.” Military officials have also enlisted a company called BRD Motorcycles to help build the bike, which will be used by special operations teams. There has been no announcement, however, about when the motorcycle will be completed — or where it will be deployed first.

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Feds Accused of Leaving Trail of Wreckage After Nevada Ranch Standoff

17th April 2014

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The federal agency that backed down over the weekend in a tense standoff with a Nevada rancher is being accused of leaving a trail of wreckage behind.

Fox News toured the damage — allegedly caused by the Bureau of Land Management — which included holes in water tanks and destroyed water lines and fences. According to family friends, the bureau’s hired “cowboys” also killed two prize bulls.

“They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week,” said Corey Houston, friend of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family. “So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they’re a better steward?”

Hey, it’s not their planet, monkey boy.

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Department of Cronyism

16th April 2014

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What’s the point of the Department of Commerce? If not for the Census and the Patent Office, the department would function as little more than a one-stop shop for special interests. Don’t believe me? Look at its record.

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The Last Full Measure of Your Tax Dollars

16th April 2014

Bluebird of Bitterness assembles a charming collection of Tax Day cartoons.

My favorite:

mccoy

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How Obama’s Justice Department Selectively Blocked A Merger By Republican CEOs

16th April 2014

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Obama once publicly stated, “we’re gonna punish our enemies and … reward our friends.”  Executive Branch action on the Comcast/Time Warner deal will demonstrate if this caveat applies to merger policy.  A number of Congressional Committees will review the merger, including a Senate Judiciary hearing on April 9.

In addition to analyzing financial details of this merger, Administration history of crony capitalism screams for Congressional inquiry to determine if the Executive gives preferential treatment to corporations with friendly donors.   Merger approval or denial should be based on objective analysis, not which political party enjoyed the loudest clink in its campaign jar.

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

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How the Department of Commerce Smothers What It’s Supposed to Promote

15th April 2014

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“I ran for office pledging to make our government leaner and smarter and more consumer friendly,” President Barack Obama reminded a group of small businessmen at a January 2012 White House gathering.

You can see why the audience needed a refresher course. The president’s two signature legislative accomplishments, the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial reform, had heaped unprecedented amounts of regulation onto the business sector at a time when full-time jobs were scarcer than they’d been in three decades. So to bolster his economic bona fides, Obama was now advocating greater executive-branch power to make the federal bureaucracy more responsive to business concerns. “Let me be clear,” he vowed. “I will only use this authority for reforms that result in more efficiency, better service, and a leaner government.”

The target of Obama’s tweaking that day was the Department of Commerce, the century-old rectangular behemoth on Constitution Avenue. Currently headed by the wealthy Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker, whose family fortune derives from the Hyatt hotel chain, Commerce’s mission is to “promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.” Yet even the president recognizes that Commerce, like many other federal agencies at the nexus of the government and the private sector, has often been better at promoting its own bewildering bureaucratic growth.

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The Pasture is Prologue

15th April 2014

Mark Steyn looks at the Bundy incident in Nevada.

These are low-level bureaucrats from a minor branch of the vast bottomless alphabet soup of federal agencies, and they’re running around pretending to be elite commandos. The county sheriff is supposed to be “the law”. But he had to broker a deal to get the BLM out of there because in America every jumped-up pen-pusher from the Bureau of Compliance has his own branch of “the law”, a personal SWAT team to act as judge, jury, executioner and, if necessary, as in Nevada, as army of occupation. In most parts of the developed world, there is “the police”, and that’s it. If a bureaucrat from the Ministry of Paperwork wants to have you seized, he has to persuade a judge to issue a warrant and then let the local coppers handle it as they see fit. There is an obvious conflict of interest when every tinpot regulatory agency has its own enforcement arm, and it imputes to even legitimate cases the whiff of something malodorous and, indeed, despotic.

It reminds me of 19th century Ireland, when most of the big estates belonged to absentee landlords in England. It’s an even less attractive arrangement when the absentee landlord is a distant national government. There is no need for the vast land holdings of the United States Government, especially given their ever more unpleasant and bullying attitude to public access to the land. As I’ve said, a 21st century America has fewer rights on “the people’s land” than a 13th century English peasant had in the King’s forest. If I ever do run for Senate in New Hampshire, my platform will include a pledge to return the White Mountain “National Forest” to the people of the state.

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Obama Has Proposed 442 Tax Hikes Since Taking Office

14th April 2014

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

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Homeless Lose a Longtime Last Resort: Living in a Car

13th April 2014

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And yet they keep voting for the Democrat demagogues that put the housing restrictions in place that raise housing prices to where these proles can afford a place to live. You’d think they’d get tired of shooting themselves in the wallet — but they never do.

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National School Lunch Program Embarrassment Continues

12th April 2014

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Last month I noted that a GAO report had found that last school year’s disastrous rollout of the updated USDA National School Lunch Program helped drive 1.6 million paying students from the lunch rolls. The new rules led some schools to abandon the program, as I reported in 2012. What’s more, the new rules, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, have also resulted in unprecedented mountains of food waste.

Big Brother isn’t much of a chef. And Big Sister Michelle doesn’t have a clue.

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Americans Pay More in Taxes than on Food, Clothing, and Housing Combined

11th April 2014

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

Hey, those Gucci loafers don’t come cheap….

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Lesson Has Schoolkids Comparing Martin Luther King To Cop Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal

11th April 2014

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Maureen Faulkner, whose husband Daniel was gunned down in Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 1981, said the latest effort to glorify Abu-Jamal’s past using a lesson plan posted on the Oakland (Calif.) Unified School District’s website is akin to advocating violence to young students.

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LAPD Cops Sabotaged Equipment Installed to Monitor Them

10th April 2014

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

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FAA Stops Free Life-Saving Rescue Missions, Group Fights Back

10th April 2014

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The Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team (TXEQ) saves lives. These volunteers conduct free search-and-rescue missions with remote-controlled airplanes. They’ve used these drones to find more than 300 missing people across the U.S. and seven other countries. Too bad, says the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): The organization is violating federal drone policy.

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How the Tax Code Manipulates Us

10th April 2014

John Stossel turns over a rock.

The tax code is now complex enough that most Americans now hire Bob, or his equivalent. Instead of inventing things, doing charity work or just having fun, we waste weeks (and billions of dollars) on tax preparation. And we change our lives to suit the wishes of politicians.

“What the tax code is doing is trying to choose our values for us,” complains Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute.

I think I choose my own values, but it’s true that politicians use taxes to manipulate us. Million-dollar mortgage deductions steer us to buy bigger houses, and solar tax credits persuaded me to put solar panels on my roof.

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IRS Employees Accused of Donning Pro-Obama Gear, Urging Callers to Vote for Him

10th April 2014

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A report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, released Wednesday, cited accusations that workers at a Dallas IRS office may have violated federal law by wearing pro-Obama items like shirts, stickers and buttons. The Hatch Act forbids Executive Branch workers from engaging in partisan political activity.

The report, further fueling allegations of bias at the agency, claimed that several accusations were made against the Dallas office claiming pro-Obama gear was “commonplace” there. Employees allegedly wore Obama shirts, buttons and stickers to work and had Obama screensavers on their IRS computers.

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

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8100 Hawaii Employers Face Premium Hikes Due to Obamacare

9th April 2014

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Barack. Hossein. Obama. Um, um, um.

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1800 New Jersey Children Policies Canceled Because of Obamacare

9th April 2014

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Barack. Hossein. Obama. Um, um, um.

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Aunt Zeituni: The worst asylum excuse of all time

9th April 2014

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Aunt Zeituni’s reason for getting asylum may even top Ibragim Todashev’s, which was more or less: My dad back home in Russia is only three levels down the org chart from Vladimir Putin, so if the 82nd Airborne ever installs Masha Gessen in the Kremlin to bring Russia democracy, good and hard, well, our family could face repercussions.

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Why Have One Government Program When 10 Can Do the Same Thing? GAO Report Reveals Duplicated Efforts, Wasted Money.

8th April 2014

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Among the problems identified in the latest report is the lack of any consolidated system at the Department of Defense to contract for health care professionals. “For example, we identified 24 separate task orders for contracted medical assistants at the same military treatment facility.” Now, multiply that across the entire military establishment.

And the creeping police state around us may be intrusive and presumptuous—but it sucks at cooperation. The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and the Treasury are independently modernizing their wireless communications systems. “As a result, their communications systems, which represent hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, may not be interoperable and may not enable the most effective response to natural disasters, criminal activities, and domestic terrorism.”

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CBS: White House Getting ‘Roughed Up’ Over Its Gender Pay Gap

8th April 2014

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During the White House briefing Monday, reporters asked Carney to explain why an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute found the median salary for female White House staffers was 12 percent lower than those of male staffers.

Carney struggled to provide an explanation, barely mustering “We, as an institution here, have aggressively, addressed this challenge. And obviously though, at the 88 cents that you cite- that is not 100, but it is better than the national average.”

The biter bit, forsooth.

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Numbers Never Lie: The True Cost of Obamacare

8th April 2014

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Although President Obama claimed victory on Tuesday due to the 7.1 million people who have signed up on federal or state exchanges for his health care law, the Affordable Care Act has been anything but ‘affordable.’

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

8th April 2014

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Officials at Salem High School in Plymouth, Michigan, have agreed to take down bleachers and a score board paid for and built by parents for the school’s baseball team. After an anonymous complaint, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights found the school was in violation of federal law because the baseball facilities are now superior to the girl’s softball field. The school can’t afford to upgrade the softball field, so it had to take down the amenities at the baseball field.

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Professional Licensing: A Risk to the Free Markets and Freedom of Speech

8th April 2014

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North Carolina resident Steve Cooksey was ill, obese, and struggling with type 2 diabetes. In 2009, after being rushed to the hospital, nearly in a coma, he decided to do everything in his power to get healthy. By following a low-carbohydrate diet, Cooksey claims he was able to drop 45 pounds and get off insulin and drugs. He documented his story on his personal blog, where he provided advice to others practicing the “paleo” diet that he believes saved his life.

That sounds like a win-win situation, but not according to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition (NCBDN), which decided to go after Cooksey for the “crime” of offering nutritional advice without a dietitian’s license. In 2011, it sent Cooksey a letter, claiming that his blog, by giving readers “unlicensed dietetic advice,” even for free, violated North Carolina law. The NCBDN included a 19-page copy of his online writings with comments in red ink pointing out what he could and could not say.

Even more surprising, the notice asserted that Cooksey’s private conversations with readers and friends via email and telephone also constituted a violation of the state’s dietitian licensing law!

Government will git you if you don’t watch out….

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Obama Isn’t Deporting ‘Gangbanger’ Immigrants, But Ones Who Run Red Lights

8th April 2014

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Despite President Obama’s expressed commitment to deporting only “gang bangers” and criminals, an investigation by The New York Times found that two-thirds of undocumented immigrants who were deported had committed only minor crimes like traffic offenses. While Obama has suggested his administration is just going after bad guys — and anti-immigration conservatives like Steve King have claimed that for every undocumented good student there are 100 drug mules — the reality is that only 20 percent of the administration’s 2 million deportees committed serious crimes.

Yeah, well, those are the ones they can catch.

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Pols Push to Abolish Agency Charging for Documents Available for Free Online

8th April 2014

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“This agency has clearly outlived its usefulness,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said of the National Technical Information Service — a component of the Department of Commerce. The agency was created in 1950 to collect and sell various reports to the public. But a recent government study found what might already have been obvious — most of the recent reports were “readily available from other public sources.”

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The Christmas Tree Fee Quietly Takes Root

5th April 2014

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A federal regulation that took effect this week imposes a 15-cent assessment on every Christmas tree cut and sold in the U.S. or imported into the country.

The reason behind the fee: to fund a national marketing program.

These are trying times for Christmas tree growers. An industry task force on tannenbaums reported that the market share for fresh-cut Christmas trees in the U.S. declined by 6% from 1965 to 2008, while the market share for artificial trees increased by 655% in that same period.

A few years ago, the task force pleaded with the federal government for help, and this week the U.S. Department of Agriculture put a present under its tree: a regulation that creates a marketing program to match the heavy advertising the fake-tree industry does so well.

Included in the regulation, which was first published in 2011 but takes effect now, is the 15-cent assessment to pay for the program. The hold on the regulation was lifted as a result of a provision in the 900-plus-page farm bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law in February.

This is the very essence of fascism: Government imposing regulations on citizens in order to benefit a favored corporate interest.

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For The Children

5th April 2014

Sarah Hoyt reminds us of some inconvenient truth.

As we’ve talked about before, the entire welfare bureaucracy seems to keep people there, once they fall in. This also I suspect leads even competent parents to the sort of state of despondent despair where they can’t make rational decisions.

But that is precisely the point. To render assistance to the children, we got through the parents. And if the parents weren’t broken to begin with, the system breaks them.

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Scrap Heap of War: Billions in Equipment Being Left Behind in Afghanistan

5th April 2014

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I doubt that the Taliban will even send Barry a nice thank-you note.

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The Best Government That Money Can Buy

4th April 2014

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The communications giant Comcast announced in February that it would buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, creating the largest cable provider in America, with more than 33 million customers. That is about one third of the U.S. cable and satellite television market. FCC approval is required for the merger to go into effect. Critics of the deal say it would lessen competition and lead to even shoddier customer service. They are probably right, as all of us will soon find out, because there is little chance the merger will be stopped. Comcast, Time Warner, and their political fixers have spent years preparing for this moment—by buying off the Democratic Party.

Comcast, which employs more than 100 lobbyists, spent almost $19 million last year on lobbying activities. Its president and CEO, Brian L. Roberts, is a golf buddy of President Obama’s, and a Democratic donor who has contributed thousands of dollars not only to the president’s campaigns, but also to the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the DNC Services Corporation, and to Steny Hoyer, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bob Casey. Roberts’ executive vice president, David Cohen, is a former aide to Democratic bigwig Ed Rendell. Cohen skirts lobbying regulations through loopholes, has raised more than $2 million for Obama since 2007, and in 2011 hosted a DNC fundraiser at which the president called him “friend.” Cohen has visited the White House 14 times since 2010, including two visits to the Oval Office. He attended the recent dinner for President Hollande of France.

He who has the gold makes the rules.

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Even the IRS Chief Says Tax Code Is Too Complex

4th April 2014

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But will anything be done about it? Of course not. Too many deep-pocket contributors have an economic interest in the profitable little tricks that their favorite congresscritters have placed in the dark recesses of the current code.

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Fort Hood Shooting Repeat Renews Calls for Ending Gun Restrictions on Base

4th April 2014

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The absurdity of making a major military base a ‘gun free zone’ ought to be obvious to anybody.

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School Employee Tells Five-Year-Old She Can’t Pray for Lunch

3rd April 2014

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5 Reasons Obama’s 7.1 Million Number Is Meaningless

2nd April 2014

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Aside from the fact that the number of people signing up (under government compulsion) was never one of the core objections to Obamacare.

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Obamacare: It’s Really About Power And Control

2nd April 2014

Camp of the Saints understands the dialectic.

The point and purpose of Obamacare was never about insuring the uninsured.

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State Department Spending $400,000 on a Camel Statue in Pakistan

31st March 2014

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Hey, Joe Camel can afford some primo lobbyists.

The State Department may have gotten a pretty good deal on the camel, since Baldessari has sold even less inspiring works for millions. But they could have done even better if they had opened the opportunity to competition. The department didn’t do that though, insisting that only this camel could satisfy the “unique artistic criteria” for the embassy.

After all, it’s not as if the American taxpayer has anything better to do with that money.

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US Government Is World’s 3rd Largest Economy

31st March 2014

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If you consider stealing from people and wasting their money an economy.

And you’re paying for it. Aren’t you proud?

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Corruption Scandals Galore for Dems Ahead of Election Season

31st March 2014

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Hey, it’s what they do best.

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California Couple Receives Voter Registration Card Pre-Marked for Democratic Party From State Obamacare Site

31st March 2014

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Hey, California + Obamacare signup = Democrat. You can take that one to the bank. It’s like driving a Prius.

After all, they’re just trying to get out their base.

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Megaprojects Invite Corruption

31st March 2014

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FBI agents posed as transit-oriented developers willing to bribe the mayor of Charlotte to get his support for a streetcar line, light rail, and related projects. The now-ex-mayor Patrick Cannon gladly accepted bribes in exchange for lying to investors and pushing city planning agencies to fast track the developments. When on the city council, Cannon had opposed construction of a streetcar line, but mysteriously changed his vote when he became mayor.

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