DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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

Budget Cuts Leaving Marine Corps Aircraft Grounded

15th April 2016

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Millions for welfare programs but pennies for defense. That’s the Democrat way.

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The Cruelty of the $15 Minimum Wage

14th April 2016

Read it. And watch the video.

The $15 minimum wage just went from “laughable” to “viable”—as a New York Times headline put it—to the law of the land for millions of New York and California residents.

In April 2016, the Empire and Golden states almost simultaneously passed laws that will boost the state-mandated wage floor to $15 over the next few years for all workers—a high-stakes bet that the law of supply and demand doesn’t apply to human labor.

To discuss the potential impact of the $15 minimum wage, Reason’s Nick Gillespie sat down with Don Boudreaux, an economist at George Mason University, who writes frequently about the minimum wage at his blog, Cafe Hayek.

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New Balance Claims Obama Administration Used Contracts to Stifle Policy Objections

14th April 2016

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The Boston Globe reports that locally-based shoe company New Balance is restarting its opposition to a trade deal supported by the Obama administration, contending the government failed to honor its side of secret deal.

Democrats being Democrats: Secret deals followed by reneging. Bill Clinton had this down to an art — and probably still does, for all anyone knows.

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Exxon Strikes Back Against the Climate Witch Hunt

14th April 2016

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Exxon has just challenged attempts by Al Gore’s climate witch hunt to “investigate” them, by demanding to know what crime they are supposed to have committed.

And about fargin time, too.

To date, most companies seem to have been happy to simply pay a bit of Danegeld, and get on with business, when unfairly targeted by green campaigners, rather than engage in a costly and potentially damaging PR battle with groups of fanatics who mostly don’t matter in the long run.

But a government backed investigation, with the possible threat of future RICO charges, is far more serious than a simple PR attack on a company’s corporate image. Exxon appears to have courageously decided to stand their ground, to put an end to this nonsense once and for all – a strategy which may lead them to challenge the increasingly shaky scientific basis of the entire climate scare.

When the government starts charging people with fraud and other crimes for speaking out against the ‘progressive’ Party Line, then it’s time to head for the doors.

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Obama to Forgive the Student Debt of Permanently Disabled People

13th April 2016

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By law, anyone with a severe disability is eligible to have the government discharge their federal student loans. The administration took steps four years ago to make the process easier by letting people who are totally and permanently disabled use their Social Security designation to apply for a discharge, but few took advantage. The Department of Education is now taking it upon itself to identify eligible borrowers and guide them through the steps to discharge their loans.

“Too many eligible borrowers were falling through the cracks, unaware they were eligible for relief,” said Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell in a statement. “Americans with disabilities have a right to student loan relief. And we need to make it easier, not harder, for them to receive the benefits they are due.”

It’s hell when you’re trying to give people Taxpayer Paid Free Stuff and they won’t even take it.

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America’s Free Riders Must Fight Their Own Battles

12th April 2016

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Today it is frankly unbelievable that Washington allows its Asian and European allies to continue cowering behind it. That they prefer not to do more is understandable. But that is no reason for America to do it for them.

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Past Cases Suggest Hillary Won’t Be Indicted

12th April 2016

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And even stronger is the fact that it’s a Democrat administration.

Democrats investigating Democrats — nobody gets fired, nobody goes to jail.

 

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Sens. Flake, Lee, Lankford and Sessions Voice Opposition to “Green Pork” in FAA Bill

12th April 2016

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In a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY-R), four senators this week voiced their opposition to extending expiring renewable energy provisions as part of the FAA reauthorization bill. Senators Jeff Flake (AZ-R), Mike Lee (UT-R), James Lankford (OK-R), and Jeff Sessions (AL-R), took exception to current attempts by some in the Senate to attach tax credits for green energy to such an important and needed bill.

Good luck with that….

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Exposed: The IRS Won’t Explain How It Audits Churches

12th April 2016

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

 

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TPP and the Law of Unintended Consequences

12th April 2016

Eric S Raymond pulls back the curtain.

Once upon a time, free-trade agreements were about just that: free trade. You abolish your tariffs and import restrictions, I’ll abolish mine. Trade increases, countries specialize in what they’re best equipped to do, efficiency increases, price levels drop, everybody wins.

Then environmentalists began honking about exporting pollution and demanded what amounted to imposing First World regulation on Third World countries who – in general – wanted the jobs and the economic stimulus from trade more than they wanted to make environmentalists happy. But the priorities of poor brown people didn’t matter to rich white environmentalists who already had theirs, and the environmentalists had political clout in the First World, so they won. Free-trade agreements started to include “environmental safeguards”.

Next, the labor unions, frightened because foreign workers might compete down domestic wages, began honking about abusive Third World labor conditions about which they didn’t really give a damn. They won, and “free trade” agreements began to include yet more impositions of First World pet causes on Third World countries. The precedent firmed up: free trade agreements were no longer to be about “free” trade, but rather about managing trade in the interests of wealthy First Worlders.

Today there’s a great deal of angst going on in the tech community about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Its detractors charge that a “free-trade” agreement has been hijacked by big-business interests that are using it to impose draconian intellectual-property rules on the entire world, criminalize fair use, obstruct open-source software, and rent-seek at the expense of developing countries.

These charges are, of course, entirely correct. So here’s my question: What the hell else did you expect to happen? Where were you idiots when the environmentalists and the unions were corrupting the process and the entire concept of “free trade”?

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Good News, Russia and China: The Great Shrinking of the US Military Is Here

12th April 2016

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Every year at this time, we see the same kind of headlines: “U.S. biggest military spender in the world.” They’re are all based on the release of the global military spending database, an annual report compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

What the headlines usually miss is that U.S. defense spending is going down while global military spending is going up. The fact that the U.S. spends more on defense than any other individual nation dramatically misses the point.

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“TSA is our No. 1 problem right now”: Long Security Lines Are Frustrating US Airlines, Too

12th April 2016

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Don’t fly. Problem solved, and you’ll be a lot safer.

Ask me a hard one.

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Ohio University Wants to Impose Cultural Sensitivity Training After Students Wrote ‘Trump 2016’ on Free Speech Wall

11th April 2016

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Guess they didn’t mean it when they called it a ‘Free Speech’ wall.

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Some L.A. Unionized Hotel Workers Realize They’ve Been Screwed Over

11th April 2016

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California’s upcoming, poorly thought out (beyond the political gains) massive minimum wage boost to $15 per hour does not grant unions an exemption. They will not be permitted to “collectively bargain” away the price floor in exchange for other benefits, just like businesses who are not unionized.

Hey, nobody claimed that these people were the sharpest knives in the drawer.

While most folks may assume that this has always been the case, in reality, cities and municipalities that have set their own minimum wages and other employment mandates have included exemptions for unions. Many people aren’t aware of it, and it may seem odd on the surface, given that the unions themselves are pushing for the increases.

This is what happened in Los Angeles when the city mandated a special minimum wage of $15.37 that applied only to hotel workers. It included an exemption for workers represented by unions, which essentially meant this minimum wage was really a fine for not being unionized. Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times took note that there are union workers that feel betrayed by these agreements and realize exactly what they’re for—to help unions expand their power and membership, not to actually help workers.

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Billionaire’s Move Puts New Jersey Tax Rates in Spotlight

11th April 2016

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The departure of one New Jersey resident to Florida has gotten so much attention that lawmakers are calling for changing the state’s tax structure, and a key legislative forecaster is raising concerns over revenue uncertainty.

The spotlight turned to hedge fund manager David Tepper this week when legislative budget forecaster Frank Haines cited the billionaire’s move to Florida as a potential factor in how much income tax revenue the state brings in. Income tax revenues make up the biggest share of cash in state coffers, and a shift in projections of as little as 1 percent amounts to about $100 million, forecasters say.

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Left Coast Blues: Bullet Train Still on Track to Go Almost Nowhere

11th April 2016

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“Where’s the beef?” asked a 1980s Wendy’s commercial, suggesting its burgers offered more hamburger than those of its fast-food rivals. The well-traveled phrase popped up during an April 4 hearing in the Legislature on the finances of the state’s high-speed rail project.

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Immigrant Could Lose His Business Because It’s Not Fancy Enough for Lawmakers

11th April 2016

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Hinga Mbogo is a Kenyan immigrant who has owned Hinga’s Automotive Company in Dallas for 30 years. But because car repair shops are inconsistent with the local government’s vision for an arts district, he may be forced to close. Even worse, there is no legal obligation for Dallas to compensate Mbogo for his property.

The saga began back in 2005 with Planned Development District 298. The city rezoned Ross Avenue, home of Hinga’s, and made car repair shops illegal there. All other mechanics in the area have left as a result.

Because this is considered a simple zoning change rather than eminent domain—that is, the government’s “right” to expropriate private property for public use—Dallas does not even have to compensate the business owners affected.

Because Dallas is a Big City, that means (even in Texas) it is run by Democrats, who operate it to suit themselves and their rich hipster friends, which is what leads to such Liberal Fascist policies.

I’m happy to live in a nice Republican suburb.

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CIA’s Venture Capital Arm Is Funding Skin Care Products That Collect DNA

10th April 2016

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How much fun must it be to work for the CIA?

I have been in the wrong business all my life….

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Does President Obama Have Wealth Stashed Away in One of the World’s Most Secretive Tax Havens?

10th April 2016

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That would suggest a degree of long-range planning that he has singularly failed to exhibit since he left Harvard Law School, so I am reluctant to believe it.

The US reminds me on one of those mafia kingpins, who force other drug dealers out of a neighborhood, so that it can monopolize the business. For years, the US has been the leader in trying to close down tax havens. We’ve strong-armed other countries into providing us with information from secret bank accounts. And now the long campaign is paying off, as the US reigns supreme as the world’s most effective and secretive tax haven.

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Wages, Profit, Overtime Pay, and “Rights”

9th April 2016

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Progressives place a bunch of constraints of the lives of the working poor, then they expect to be hoisted triumphantly into office on the shoulders of people they have harmed. When a worker making $800 on 50 hours of work has to go home and tell her family she is now making $600 on 40 hours of work because new federal rules on overtime pay make the 50 hour arrangement uneconomical, she doesn’t need to understand the theoretical subtleties of economics to understand what’s happened. Bernstein and the president’s other supporters believe workers will be pleased about this constraint. They seem to think that someone making $15/hour for 50 hours of work will now have the same schedule, but with an extra $75 for the week. Or, alternatively, that they will be reduced to 40 hours and $600, and be happy about it, because they were only coerced into those extra hours by their employers. And, this has the added bonus of creating more jobs, to replace the lost hours. (I wonder if anyone has ever written on the troubling trend of workers who have to hold multiple jobs to get by.)

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THE TRIAL as How-To Manual

9th April 2016

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Does anyone read Kafka anymore? I doubt that high school and college students take him up as faithfully as we once did, but the bureaucratic tyrants running the Department of Education in the Obama administration appear to have drawn on Kafka’s Trial as a how-to manual rather than a modernist warning of a nightmarish future.

Why do we even have a Department of Education? It’s not as if they ever educate anybody. Oh, right, Jimmuh Cahtuh. ‘Nuff said.

 

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Biden Talks Sex-Assault Prevention in Boulder for “It’s on Us” Tour

9th April 2016

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Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni from the University of Colorado stood packed on a gymnasium floor Friday, right hands thrust high, pledging alongside the vice president of the United States:

“I pledge to recognize that nonconsensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer.

Extra Credit: Distinguish that photo opp from a revival meeting altar call.

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Funding Iran

9th April 2016

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I think it’s fair to say that the Islamic Republic Iran is a serious enemy of the United States. The powers that be in Iran regularly proclaim their ardent desire for the death of the United States, and they take action aimed at bringing it about in one way or another.

With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, President Obama has teamed up with the mullahs to finance their nuclear program and delay its fruition for a modest period of years if everything works out as indicated. Iran takes the money and dissolution of the sanctions regime up front. It can pull the plug on the deal at any time it sees fit.

The Constitution says ‘Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.’ Connecting the dots is left as an exercise for the reader.

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UnitedHealth Quitting Obamacare Markets in Georgia, Arkansas

9th April 2016

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Obamacare, the gift that keeps on shivving.

The insurer won’t sell plans for next year in Georgia and Arkansas, according to state insurance regulators. Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesman, confirmed the exits and declined to say whether the company would drop out of additional states.

Many insurers have found it difficult to turn a profit in the new markets created by the Affordable Care Act, where individuals turned out to be more costly to care for than the companies expected. UnitedHealth and Aetna Inc. both posted losses from the policies last year, as did big Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in states like North Carolina.

Next step: A law to force them to sell coverage even when it loses money. In case you’re wondering, the technical term for that is ‘fascism’.

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Court Strikes Down Wisconsin Right-to-Work Law

9th April 2016

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Three unions filed the lawsuit last year shortly after Walker signed the bill into law. Right-to-work laws prohibit businesses and unions from reaching agreements that require all workers, not just union members, to pay union dues. Twenty-five other states have such laws.

The unions argued that Wisconsin’s law was an unconstitutional seizure of union property since unions now must extend benefits to workers who don’t pay dues. Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust agreed.

He said the law amounts to the government taking union funds without compensation since under the law unions must represent people who don’t pay dues. That presents an existential threat to unions, Foust wrote.

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Panama Papers Reveal Clinton’s Kremlin Connection

8th April 2016

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

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Thought for the Day: TSA

8th April 2016

parody TSA logo

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Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes in Media and Toys So That Our Children Can Explore, Learn, and Dream Without Limits

8th April 2016

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It’s comforting to know that the President has nothing more important to do.

(Where in the Constitution does it say that the Federal government is in charge of ‘breaking down gender stereotypes’? I must have missed that when I took constitutional law in law school.)

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Dems On FEC Target Conservatives, Vote to Punish Maker of Anti-Obama Movie

8th April 2016

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Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, owner of Highway 61 films, has produced several independent politically-themed movies and sent Dreams out to millions of voters in key swing states prior to the 2012 election.

While he acted on his own, and with no ties to political groups or parties, an FEC complaint was filed claiming he violated reporting rules, prompting him to seek the standard media “exemption.”

But despite giving the same exemption to liberal movie makers like Michael Moore and Daily Kos, the Democrats recently voted against Gilbert in a February action, reviving their bid to punish conservative media, a campaign initially targeting online news outlets like the Drudge Report.

A standard technique of totalitarian regimes is to pass strict laws that make almost anybody who walks and breathes a criminal, and then selectively enforce it only against people they don’t like. This is certainly consistent with the Obama administration’s usual operating procedures.

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Texas Principal Wants to Arrest Parents Who Let Kids Walk to School

7th April 2016

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The rot in education affects even Texas.

The principal of an elementary school in Magnolia, Texas, has forbidden parents from picking up their kids to walk them home. No matter how close the children live to the school, they are required to take the bus or be picked up by car, Fox 26 in Houston is reporting.

If not, the local authorities are ready to enforce the rule with arrests for trespassing.

The ostensible reason for this step at Bear Branch Elementary is “safety,” but parents interviewed by local reporters think it’s really about the principal exerting ironclad control over the pick-up procedures. A video of the line of cars at pick-up time looked like a funeral cortege, solemnly inching forward.

Another petty bureaucrat who longs to be a two-bit Hitler.

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Mom Arrested for Letting Kids Walk to McDonald’s Around the Corner

7th April 2016

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I am not making this up.

A South Carolina mom who let her 9-year-old nephew walk her 3-year-old son to the McDonald’s less than a quarter mile away has been—I’m sure you can finish this sentence in your sleep by now—arrested and charged with child neglect.

The reason? According to WSPA News 7:

The officer says the boys had to cross a street and pass several businesses and homes to get to the eatery, putting their safety at risk.

The mom, Tiesha Mesha Hillstock, 24, told the police the unthinkable: She had trusted the older boy to “take care of his cousin.”

It doesn’t get much more absurd that this. The police officer involved ought to be made to wear a diaper and suck his thumb for 24 hours in public.

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Clinton = Crooked (But You Knew That)

6th April 2016

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The impact of the Panama Papers is probably going to be biggest on people like Iceland’s prime minister — those who are denominated “Politically Exposed Persons” in the money laundering world. PEPs, our reader adds, are a category of individuals — foreign heads of state, their family members, and other ranking officeholders occupying significant positions in government placing them at risk for bribery or corruption.

You know where this is going….

Hillary Clinton was a PEP as Secretary of State, and so were Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. When Bill Clinton set up his shell in Sweden to accept $26 million plus his speaking fee, our reader explains, a report should probably have been filed. The transaction wasn’t reported to the State Department. According to the Washington Times, the Clinton Foundation has concealed the names of the specific donors:

Mr. Clinton’s Swedish fundraising shell escaped public notice, both because its incorporation papers were filed in Stockholm — some 4,200 miles from America’s shores — and the identities of its donors were lumped by Mr. Clinton’s team into the disclosure reports of his U.S.-based charity, blurring the lines between what were two separate organizations incorporated under two different countries’ laws.

The foundation told The Times through a spokesman that the Swedish entity was set up primarily to collect donations from popular lotteries in that country, that the money went to charitable causes like fighting climate change, AIDS in Africa and cholera in Haiti, and that all of the Swedish donors were accounted for on the rolls publicly released by the U.S. charity.

The foundation, however, declined repeated requests to identify the names of the specific donors that passed through the Swedish arm.

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign declined comment.

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16 Democrat AGs Begin Inquisition Against ‘Climate Change Disbelievers’

6th April 2016

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And AlGore is right there in the front row, looking smug as only a man who has gotten rich off of climate change hysteria can.

Treating climate change as an absolute, unassailable fact, instead of what it is—an unproven, controversial scientific theory—a group of state attorneys general have announced that they will be targeting any companies that challenge the catastrophic climate change religion.

Speaking at a press conference on March 29, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “The bottom line is simple: Climate change is real.” He went on to say that if companies are committing fraud by “lying” about the dangers of climate change, they will “pursue them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Oh, that First Amendment thing? Fugeddaboudit.

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White House Ramps Up Zika Funding Fight

6th April 2016

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Senior administration officials say they are not walking away from the months-long Zika funding fight with the GOP, even after conceding on a key issue.

The White House said Wednesday it is now forced to dip into a funding pool reserved for the Ebola virus to fight Zika — an approach that the administration had previously dismissed as it pushed Congress to approve new funding.

This exemplifies two structural problems with modern American government: (a) Money ‘earmarked’ for one purpose that may or may not match what is needed for that purpose, and which cannot easily be repurposed when needs change, and (b) the inclination of the current administration to do whatever the fuck they want and to hell with how the government is supposed to work. Both are significant flaws, one structural, the other moral. From what I have seen, Republicans (the only other game in town) don’t seem to have a clue as to how to cope with either.

While announcing plans to move about $500 million toward Zika efforts, Obama’s top health and budget leaders lashed out at Congress for ignoring their $2 billion funding request.

“We should not play with fire here. We should not risk spreading and getting out of control before Congress acts. They need to move immediately,” Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters Wednesday.

This illustrates another flaw in the way government is conducted in America, characteristic of ‘progressives’ but indulged in by non-progressives whenever they think that they can get away with it (which is too often, prompted by seeing ‘progressives’ getting away with it more often than not): The impulse to shout loudly THE SKY IS FALLING WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE in hopes of stampeding people whom they see as stupid and obstructionist into Getting With The Program promoted by their Betters. Again, Republicans are like Charlie Brown facing Lucy with the football — they know this usually ends badly, but they can’t think of that else to do.

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Panama Papers Are About Government Corruption, Not ‘Tax Evasion’

5th April 2016

The elephant in the room.

The “Panama Papers” are the largest leak in world history, revealing millions of documents related to the offshore accounts of politicians, former politicians, and billionaires around the world.

Despite much of the media’s focus on tax evasion as the primary theme of the Panama Papers story, which embarrassed governments are happy to adopt as the primary theme as well, the question is one of official corruption.

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

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9 Barriers to Building Housing in Central City Austin

5th April 2016

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The Austin area has, for the 5th year running, been among America’s two fastest-growing major metro areas by population. Although everybody knows about the new apartments sprouting along transportation corridors like South Lamar and Burnet, much of the growth has been in our suburbs, and in suburban-style areas of the city. Our city is growing out more than up.

How come? The desire for living in central Austin has never been higher. But Austin, like most cities, has rules that prevent new housing from getting centrally built. That makes it easier to buy and build on virgin land in the suburbs. Here are some of those rules.

Austin (heck, all of Travis County) is the blue pustule on the otherwise red butt of Texas. As a result, it suffers from typical Democrat diseases like over-regulation and stupid housing policies. This is a good list of such moronic policies.

By contrast, Houston (which doesn’t have any of these stupid ‘zoning’ policies) is doing very well indeed, and growing even faster than Austin. I wonder why….

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Obama: Panama Papers Leak Shines Light on ‘Big Global Problem’

5th April 2016

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Apparently he thinks that the problem is that all of this tax avoidance is legal. The very idea! That people will use perfectly legal ways to lower their tax bill!

The real problem, of course, of which Obama is totally clueless (as of so much else) is oppressive levels of taxation, which makes it worthwhile for these pissant jurisdictions to provide these tax havens merely by (a) not charging as much and (b) not ratting out the beneficiaries to the Robber Barons.

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New Treasury Department Regulations Will Not Fix America’s Competitiveness Problem

5th April 2016

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The U.S. Treasury Department yesterday released new regulations they claim will curb business inversions. In reality, this is the latest in a line of regulations that have and will fail to address the underlying problem because they are treating a symptom rather than the root cause of inversions.

America has a competitiveness problem, and inversions together with foreign acquisitions are the consequences of this problem. By choosing to treat the symptom rather than the disease, Treasury is ensuring American businesses face the tough choice of fleeing the U.S. tax system or remaining headquartered in the U.S. and facing a crushing disadvantage when competing with foreign businesses.

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Schumer Calls for Investigation of Folding Gun That Resembles Smartphone

5th April 2016

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Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. slammed the gun as “a disaster waiting to happen” and claimed the gun’s manufacture could violate federal law by looking like an everyday item.

“Just like toys that too much look like handguns should not be sold, handguns that look too much like toys should not be sold,” said Schumer.

I’d like to call for an investigation of Senator Schumer. He resembles self-righteous prick too closely for comfort.

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Tennessee Lawmakers Vote to Make Bible Official State Book

5th April 2016

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MUST we have an Official State Everything?

Do these people not have better things to do with their time?

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Brickbat: City of the Big Shoulders

4th April 2016

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Elizabeth Harrison, 82, had to be hospitalized after Chicago cops knocked down the door to her home and demanded to know where a man she’d never heard of was. As cops were later explaining her family how to file to have the door repaired, the man they were looking for walked up and told them he lived at 126 and they’d just raided 136. The officers declined to arrest him because they had no evidence against him.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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CENTCOM Analysts Reportedly Claim to Have Lost Jobs Over Syria Warnings

4th April 2016

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Two intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command claim to have been forced out of their jobs for producing skeptical reports about U.S.-backed rebels in Syria, The Daily Beast reported Sunday.

The report claimed that one of the two analysts alleging the reprisals is CENTCOM’s top analyst in charge of Syria. He and his colleague doubted the rebels’ abilities and commitment to U.S. interests in Syria. For expressing those doubts, the report claims, they have been sidelined from their positions and well not be working at CENTCOM.

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How Much Tax Do We Really Pay?

3rd April 2016

Too much.

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Obama’s Solar Socialism

3rd April 2016

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President Barack Obama recently made headlines in Nevada by promoting the “progress” his administration has made in promoting solar power and fighting climate change. Most media outlets conveniently forgot to mention one crucial fact: Without government mandates, subsidies, and sweetheart deals, the sun would quickly set on Obama’s solar socialism empire.

The administration has taken a two-pronged, carrot-and-stick approach to propping up the solar industrial complex. Carrots have been lavished on the solar industry by encouraging states to enact policies such as renewable energy mandates, which require a certain percentage of the electricity generated in the state come from renewable sources, and net-metering policies, which subsidize wealthy rooftop solar owners at the expense of middle- and low-income families.

Taxpayers have been bilked for billions of dollars for decades so politicians could funnel money into solar firms like Solyndra, which a new investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Energy (DOE) confirms engaged in a “pattern of false and misleading assertions” to win a loan guarantee from DOE. The Inspector General also said DOE failed to do its job in vetting the loan, because of pressure from the White House.

Despite all these carrots, solar produces just 0.4 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration, which is why Obama is increasingly turning toward using the stick.

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Tennessee Terror: Marion County Mother Charged With Neglect for Making Children Walk to School

3rd April 2016

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I am not making this up.

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Who Says Clinton Accomplished Nothing in the Senate?

3rd April 2016

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Dianne Feinstein came up empty when asked by the San Francisco Chronicle what Hillary Clinton accomplished during her time in the Senate. Feinstein couldn’t recall any “bills [Clinton] authored.” However, she noted that “there are things outside of bills that you can do.”

There are, indeed. A reader directs my attention to three such things Clinton did in the Senate.

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Huma Abedin “Terrified” as FBI Takes Over State Dept Investigation of Top Secret Emails

3rd April 2016

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In her position, I would be, too. The Clintons have a long history of sacrificing minions to save their own skins.

 

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Officials: Obama Nixed CIA Plan That Could Have Stopped ISIS

3rd April 2016

My, what a surprise.

The CIA in 2012 proposed a detailed covert action plan designed to remove Syrian President Bashar Assad from power, but President Obama declined to approve it, current and former U.S. officials tell NBC News.

It’s long been known that then-CIA Director David Petraeus recommended a program to secretly arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in 2012 to pressure Assad. But a book to be published Tuesday by a former CIA operative goes further, revealing that senior CIA officials were pushing a multi-tiered plan to engineer the dictator’s ouster. Former American officials involved in the discussions confirmed that to NBC News.

In an exclusive television interview with NBC News, the former officer, Doug Laux, describes spending a year in the Middle East meeting with Syrian rebels and intelligence officers from various partner countries. Laux, who spoke some Arabic, was the eyes and ears on the ground for the CIA’s Syria task force, he says.

Laux, an Indiana native who joined the CIA in 2005 at age 23, says he wrote an “ops plan” that included all the elements he believed were necessary to remove Assad. He was not allowed to describe the plan, but he writes that his program “had gained traction” in Washington. His boss, the head of the Syria task force, regularly briefed members of the Congressional intelligence committees on what Laux was seeing, hearing and suggesting.

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The Battle for the Right to Challenge Environmental Edicts in Court Continues

2nd April 2016

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United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc. pits a family-owned business that harvests and processes peat for golf courses against the federal government. Hawkes Company was harvesting peat from a bog on privately owned property in Minnesota in compliance with state environmental laws when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put a halt to their operation, citing the Clean Water Act, which gives the federal government jurisdiction over all navigable waters in the United States. The Corps demand that the company submit to its permitting process before continuing.

The strange thing about this, and other similar cases involving the Clean Water Act, is that the Supreme Court will not rule on whether or not the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is correct in deeming the property a wetland subject to federal regulation, but whether or not the property owners even have a right to challenge the environmental agency’s decree in court.

SCOTUS adjudicated a simliar dispute between landowners and the Environmental Protection Agency back in 2012 in Sackett v. EPA. Reason TV profiled the Sackett’s case in the video above. While the agency involved is different, the principle is the same: Do landowners have the right to challenge orders from environmental agencies in court, or is such behavior illegal defiance deserving of thousands of dollars in fines a day?

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How Habitat for Humanity Went to Brooklyn and Poor Families Lost Their Homes

2nd April 2016

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In 2010, the New York City affiliate of Habitat for Humanity received a $21 million federal grant to work on a city neighborhood hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis and help stabilize it.

The funds would allow Habitat-NYC to launch the most ambitious project in its 32-year history. Its neighborhood pick was Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historically poor neighborhood in central Brooklyn, where the charity would focus on buying and renovating abandoned apartment buildings.

There was just one problem. With few vacancies in the gentrifying area, longtime tenants were pushed out of their apartments — some into homelessness — clearing the way for developers to sell to Habitat at a hefty profit, a ProPublica investigation has found.

Beware the partnership of do-gooder organizations and government. That always ends badly.

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