DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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

New York City Offers Free Attractions to Get Illegals to Apply for IDs

19th September 2014

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a new program giving illegal immigrants free access to the city’s zoo, its museums, and other attractions in order to cajole them into signing up for a new city-wide ID program that would allow them to rent apartment, get city assistance, and other things.

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Rumors of Terrorism

18th September 2014

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Have individuals with known terrorist ties been apprehended trying to cross illegally into the United States through Texas? It seems like a straightforward question to address to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Asked the question by Rep. Jason Chaffetz at a House Homeland Security hearing yesterday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson took the phlegmatic approach and vaguely denied awareness of such a case.

Asked directly if he was aware of four such individuals who were apprehended trying to cross into Texas on 9/10 last week, Johnson gave the question the full Obama kissoff, scratching his nose with his middle finger while conceding he has “heard reports to that effect.” However, according to Johnson, he doesn’t know the accuracy of the reports or how much credence to give them. Observing his demeanor and affect, one might conclude that the whole business is somebody else’s job. Why bother him?

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The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop

17th September 2014

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Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

But today the Census will almost certainly proclaim that around 14 percent of Americans are still poor. The present poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1967 a few years after the War on Poverty started. Census data actually shows that poverty has gotten worse over the last 40 years.

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Doctors Get Stuck with Bills for Deadbeat Obamacare Patients

16th September 2014

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Last year I wrote that Obamacare could leave doctors holding the bag for claims for patients who don’t pay their insurance premiums. That’s because the law includes a three-month grace period during which health insurers must continue to cover patients who sign up, but don’t pay the price of their insurance. If the patients eventually make good, there’s no problem. But if patients don’t pay the owed premiums, the insurance company has to cover the cost of claims filed during the first month. Providers are stuck with the tab for any claims filed during months two and three.

The piece I wrote last July was theoretical. The notification letter I’m holding in my hand, addressed to my wife’s pediatric practice, is reality. And reality costs, in this case, over $600. That’s the outstanding balance owed the practice by a patient insured by BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona. It’s a balance that my wife might have to eat, or else try to collect herself.

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

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Food Stamp Sign-Ups Outnumber Jobs Created in Obama’s Illinois

16th September 2014

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Among the many metrics that show Obama’s home state is struggling to break the Great Recession, a new report shows that applications for food stamps in Illinois is greater than its creation of jobs.

Illinois has had the worst recovery from the recession of any state in the country, the Illinois Policy Institute reported this month: “There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs. “

But hey! We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for! (Was it worth the wait?)

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Healthcare, Gasoline, Food and Housing Taking Biggest Bites Out of American Budgets

14th September 2014

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All of the heavily regulated by the government, often multiple layers of government. You do the math.

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Cop to Cameraman: ‘If You’re Invoking Your Rights, You Must Be Doing Something Wrong’

12th September 2014

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An attitude that is, unfortunately, all to common among law enforcement people.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department, of course, doesn’t even bother.

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Fifth-Frade Girl Fights ChapStick Ban Before Virginia County School Board

11th September 2014

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When 11-year-old Grace Karaffa was told she couldn’t use ChapStick at her Virginia elementary school, the girl — who’d been prohibited from using it for years to treat her dry, bleeding lips — decided she’d had enough.

The fifth-grader at Stuarts Draft Elementary School created a petition and presented her case before the Augusta County school board last week, arguing that a ban on the most commonly used remedy to treat chapped lips was “inappropriate,” her father told FoxNews.com.

In a statement, the Augusta County Schools superintendent’s office said the ChapStick rule was based on input from local health care experts.

“Health officials were concerned that the sharing of items like Chapstick, lip gloss and other lip balm products among elementary-aged students might well have been contributing to a serious infectious disease outbreak,” the statement read. “The school division chose to control the use of these products not because of a concern that they are inherently dangerous, but out of a concern that they may have been a means for the transmission of disease.”

Public schools apparently exist to remind children that even if they are demonstrably below-average in IQ there is still a place for them in government service.

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California City Mandates Free Medical Marijuana for Low-Income Residents

11th September 2014

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Weed welfare?

That’s what the Berkeley City Council in California has unanimously approved, ordering medical marijuana dispensaries to donate 2 percent of their stash to patients making less than $32,000 a year.

Note that the city isn’t paying for it to be distributed — they’re mandated that it be given for free.

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Water Fight: House Republicans Take On EPA

10th September 2014

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If a ditch fills with rainwater – and nobody’s around to see it – can it still be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency?

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Obama’s Untruth, Inc.

10th September 2014

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We can usefully view the Obama administration’s chronic untruthfulness as a sort of multifaceted corporation of untruth, with all sorts of subsidiaries.

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Why the Hysteria About Climate Change? Follow the Money

9th September 2014

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Global warming hysteria, as we wrote yesterday, is not science. The models on which it rests are known to be wrong, since they are refuted by observation. So why, then, does climate change hype persist?

Because a great deal of money depends on it. The purpose of global warming hysteria is to bamboozle voters into transferring vast amounts of wealth and power from the private sector to the government. This will be done via a carbon tax and regulations on, or prohibitions of, fossil fuels; but the scheme goes much deeper than that. Since virtually every human activity (including breathing) generates some quantity of carbon dioxide, global warming is an excuse to regulate pretty much everything, conferring unprecedented power on the federal government. Further, global warming justifies vast federal subsidies of “green” energy scams. The Democrats, in turn, are rewarded for those subsidies by enormous political contributions by the likes of Tom Steyer.

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Seven Killed, Twenty-Two Wounded in Chicago Weekend Violence

9th September 2014

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Thank God for all those strict gun control laws, or the place would look like Texas.

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D.C. Piano Prodigy Misses 10 Days of Public School, Gets Labeled “Truant.” Now She’s Homeschooled.

9th September 2014

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Avery Gagliano was kicking some international piano-playing butt while maintaining straight As at her D.C. public middle school last year.

But traveling abroad for competitions meant she wound up with more than the 10 days of “unexcused” absences allowed by the district on her record. Despite her parents’ attempts to provide school administrators with supplementary materials about the educational nature of the trips, the district refused to budge.

In fact, this spring when Gagliano returned (victorious!) from a competition in Connecticut, D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) declared her officially truant and assigned an officer to her case.

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Sugar Price Supports Are Not So Sweet

9th September 2014

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Like many lobbies, the American Sugar Coalition wants to have its cake and eat it too. The sugar lobby wants to make sure its members receive prices for their product that in most years are close to double what’s standard on the open world market. But the lobby also wants to make sure that the sugar program’s costs to the average American household and the U.S. economy are hidden from plain sight.

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Ouch, the Bill for ObamaCare Coming Due

9th September 2014

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Back in the 1960s, many Americans paid for doctor and hospital services out of pocket or through modestly priced private insurance. Health care spending was about 6 percent of GDP.

Enter President Johnson and Medicare. He bought millions of votes by giving seniors free health care that they never paid for through payroll taxes during their working years. As insidious, he helped lay the foundations for the entitlement state with Medicaid. The latter, first conceived to help poor children, has been gradually expanded to include many working families.

Today health care spending is more than 17 percent of GDP. Life extending treatments are part of the jump, but Germany and Holland spend about 12 percent and have those. The extra US costs are federally mandated giveaways, inefficiencies and abuse—about $850 billion and much more than spent on defense.

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Obama’s Delay on Immigration Action Brings Storm of Criticism From Hispanics, Liberal Supporters

7th September 2014

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Immigration-reform advocates expressed their objections Saturday to President Obama’s delaying executive action to fix U.S. immigration policy, including cries of  bitter disappointment and accusations that the president has caved to election-year politics.

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

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Twin Cities Green Line Claims First Fatality

5th September 2014

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Last Sunday, a pedestrian was struck and killed by the Twin Cities new Green light-rail line, which opened for operation in June. Shannon Buchanan was apparently crossing a pedestrian way over the tracks and was hit by a train going about 30 mph.

The FTA no longer includes fatality data in the National Transit Database, but the last time data were available, light rail was involved in about 12 fatalities per billion passenger miles carried while buses were involved in only about 4 fatalities per billion. Apparently, it’s a lot safer to get hit by a 50,000-pound bus than a 300,000-pound train.

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ISIS Raises the Stakes of a Porous Border

5th September 2014

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During his Labor Day speech on Monday, President Obama attempted to invent a new constitutional right – one that should alarm all conservatives, especially during this time of grave national security concerns. As he ticked off his litany of principle rights he supports, such as “women’s rights and civil rights,” he added an item to the list – “immigration rights.”

It is with this oblivious utopian ideology that the Obama administration plans to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, including those who overstayed their visas, offering legal protection to thousands of individuals who pose as a security threat. He is also threatening to expand immigrant and non-immigrant visas without the support of Congress.

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SimCity Progressives

3rd September 2014

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MyPlate serves as a good example of the sort of thinking I like to call “SimCity” progressivism. On this view, the government’s purpose is not necessarily to provide any particular goods or services, and not even (or only) the ones found in the Constitution.

No, the government’s purpose is to carefully curate the lives of the citizens—adjusting here, pruning there, maybe not necessarily forbidding, but managing, down to the last exquisite detail. Rather like one might do in a government simulator, only in real life.

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Study: Typical Illegal Resident in U.S. for More Than 12 Years

3rd September 2014

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“Green card? We don’t need no steenkin’ green card!”

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Cost of Educating New Class of Illegal Immigrant Minors Estimated at Over $760M

3rd September 2014

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And it’s coming out of YOUR pocket. Aren’t you proud?

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Chicago School Year to Begin With More Safety Guards

2nd September 2014

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Thanks to an infusion of $1 million from the city, another 100 “Safe Passage” workers will be on routes that students walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods to get to school when classes resume on Tuesday. And after Gov. Pat Quinn pledged $10 million, officials said another 600 of the workers would be hired and on the streets over the next several weeks.

When they’re all in place, said Jadine Chou, the chief safety and security officer for the Chicago Public Schools, more workers will be assigned along existing routes and some routes will be extended farther from schools. The district has added 27 schools to the 93 for which there will be Safe Passage workers.

Yeah, a hundred years of Democrat rule pretty much shoots the social contract right in the ass.

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“Immigration Rights”–What Are They?

2nd September 2014

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What are those “immigration rights”? Legally, of course, no one has a right to violate our immigration laws, whether the Obama administration enforces them or not. So what does the president have in mind here? It seems clear that Obama isn’t suggesting that immigrants are somehow being denied their actual rights under American law. Certainly he made no such explicit claim. Rather, his point appears to be that some people–not everyone in the world presumably, but some unspecified group of people–have a “right” to enter the United States, or stay here, even though it is illegal to do so under U.S. law, as long as Barack Obama opposes the law in question.

No coherent theory of law or justice supports such a proposition, but when has that ever stopped Barack Obama? “Immigration rights,” implying the right to violate others’ actual, legal rights, has now become liberal dogma. Who in the Democratic Party news media will point out the absurdity of the president’s position? No one, I suspect.

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In Government, Every Day Is Labor Day

1st September 2014

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The numbers tell the story. Among private sector employees — the ones who work for for-profit companies or non-profit organizations that are not part of the government — the percentage who belong to labor unions plummeted to a mere 7.5 percent last year, from 23.3 percent in 1977, according to UnionStats.com. By the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ more restrictive accounting, a mere 6.7 percent of private sector workers were in unions in 2013.

Among government workers, it’s a whole different story: 40.8 percent of local government workers — teachers, police, firefighters, librarians — belong to unions, according to the BLS numbers. The public sector rate drops to 35.3 percent (38.7 percent by the UnionStats.com numbers) if you include state and federal employees — postal workers, corrections officers. That’s so much higher than the private sector that it’s almost a tale of two labor movements — one, in the private sector, that is diminishing to irrelevance, and another, in the public sector, that retains substantial clout.

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Medical Insurance that Worked — Until Government “Fixed” It

31st August 2014

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Why do we have a crisis in health care costs today? Because government “solved” the last one.

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Sen. Mary Landrieu Owns No Louisiana Home. What Was She Thinking?

31st August 2014

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Obviously, she was thinking that the rules don’t apply to her. Don’t they know who she is?

She also may have been thinking that Louisiana (‘flyover country’) is a place to be from, not in. You’ll note how much time the Clinton’s spend in Arkansas.

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The Criminalisation of American Business

30th August 2014

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WHO runs the world’s most lucrative shakedown operation? The Sicilian mafia? The People’s Liberation Army in China? The kleptocracy in the Kremlin? If you are a big business, all these are less grasping than America’s regulatory system. The formula is simple: find a large company that may (or may not) have done something wrong; threaten its managers with commercial ruin, preferably with criminal charges; force them to use their shareholders’ money to pay an enormous fine to drop the charges in a secret settlement (so nobody can check the details). Then repeat with another large company.

A variant of this, polished to a fine art by Willy Brown while he was Speaker of the California legislature, is to introduce a bill that would destroy a company’s business, and then withdraw it once one’s campaign coffers had been adequately ‘topped up’ by the potential victim(s).

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Holder Cut Left-Wing Groups In on $17 Bil BofA Deal

28th August 2014

Read it. A deal that sticks in the craw even of lefty mag Business Insider.

Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

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That Sickening Sugar Subsidy

27th August 2014

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Because of a plunge in U.S. sugar prices amid a hefty crop of sugar beets and cane, the Agriculture Department estimates that it may have to buy 400,000 tons of sugar from processors who might default on $862 million in government loans. Sugar producers have the option of repaying the loans either with cash or with their harvests if prices fall below a certain level.

This is all part of a confection of federal price supports and subsidies for the industry. Last year, sugar processors took out loans when U.S. prices were about 25.5 cents a pound. Prices have since declined to 21 cents, just a hair above the trigger price that lets them repay their loans with raw sugar.

The sugar, by law, would be sold to ethanol refiners, who would pay 10 cents a pound less than the government paid — an inducement needed to get the ethanol industry to use the sugar. Aside from the ridiculousness of piling one ill-advised subsidy atop another, this would produce a loss of $80 million for the U.S. Treasury. Some industry analysts estimate the government may have to buy as much as 800,000 tons of sugar to restore balance to U.S. stockpiles, potentially doubling the loss.

All this while Democrats from Michelle Obama on down are demonizing sugar in all of its forms.

Is there any government in the world that doesn’t act like a retarded child?

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The Electric Warship

26th August 2014

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I remember Zumwalt. He was all hip & trendy and put the Navy into a crack that it took about ten years to get out of.

Let’s hope the ship does better.

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Nobel Peace Prize Winner

26th August 2014

The Other McCain jerks back the curtain.

There seems to be some confusion about President Obama’s “foreign policy.” At times, it has been alleged that he actually has a policy, but these allegations have never been substantiated.

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Washington’s Cynical Misinformation Game

25th August 2014

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Yet there is one arena in which misleading the public not only is abided but is the norm: politics. In fact, much of what constitutes political discourse in this country is now built on a foundation of dishonesty. One of the most effective — and perfectly legal — ways to win votes and influence public policy these days is to pour millions of dollars into deception-based campaigns designed to manipulate public opinion.

And of course they cite an instance of Republican misfeasance, as if there weren’t ten times as many Democrat goings-on, starting with the Obama administration.

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Why Housing All Across LA Costs So Much

25th August 2014

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BLUF: Government regulations.

LA’s deep-rooted culture of NIMBYism makes matters worse. If developers could build more high-rise or high-density housing, rents would fall. But thanks to restrictive zoning laws, they find this extremely hard.

The zoning code hasn’t changed much since the 1940s. More than 78% of the city’s residential land is currently zoned for single-family dwellings, according to the LA Department of City Planning. By comparison, only 24% of San Francisco and 25% of New York City is zoned exclusively for one- and two-family homes.

Some of California’s green rules drive up rents–and hurt the environment, too. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), signed by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970, allows almost anyone to sue to block any development, and is used by the slow-growth lobby to thwart vertical expansion. “The irony is that CEQA is now preventing us from building high-rises near public transit, which would improve the environmental quality by allowing people to walk more and not use their cars,” says Richard Green of the University of Southern California.

Developers seeking to build in LA today find that they have to scale back their projects to get them built at all. Construction began on Ponte Vista, a cluster of 676 homes near the Port of LA, earlier this year. The original plans called for three times as many units, but the project was cut back after neighbours protested about the extra traffic it would bring.

In February a judge struck down what he called a “fatally flawed” plan to build taller, denser buildings in some parts of Hollywood, after community groups sued under CEQA, complaining that the plan would “Manhattanise” Hollywood.

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Lefty Liz Backs Subsidies for Big Biz, Megabanks

24th August 2014

Veronique de Rugy blows the whistle.

In the little time she’s been in Congress, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made a name for herself as a populist who talks tough about Wall Street and other large corporations. But is she going to do more than just talk about it?

Recently, Warren confirmed that she is renewing her support for the Export-Import Bank — an agency that lends money to foreign companies to buy U.S. goods and services. This may sound good on paper; however, Warren’s endorsement of the Ex-Im Bank is inconsistent with her otherwise populist stand.

The biggest Ex-Im Bank beneficiaries are giant corporations like Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar and their very wealthy foreign buyers. These companies don’t need the bank, but they love it. It increases their profits and transfers onto taxpayers the risk that the companies should be shouldering since they pocket the benefits.

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Obama’s Golf Outing After Foley Beheading Was a Huge Mistake

24th August 2014

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Simple decency and respect for Foley’s horrified parents should have been enough to sober him. If that didn’t do it, the realization that the Islamic State had declared war on America in the most gruesome fashion imaginable should have sounded a call of duty in his head.

Instead, Obama continued with his vacation and was photographed looking as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Suddenly, that megawatt smile that often charmed voters wasn’t so charming. It was vacuous.

He looked like an empty-headed frat boy, numb to the world.

Maybe that’s not just an appearance. Maybe it’s the truth. Maybe that’s all there is.

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Thought for the Day

23rd August 2014

Bogey copy

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SWAT Lobby to Congress: Hands Off Our Mine-Resistant Vehicles!

23rd August 2014

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I got yer militarized police, right here.

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Food Stamp Fraud Rampant: GAO Report

23rd August 2014

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Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash, according to a new federal report that investigates fraud in the nation’s largest nutrition support program.

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

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Obama Insiders Cash in on Crony Connections

22nd August 2014

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President Barack Obama may be unpopular, but members of his inner circle of advisers are finding themselves in high demand for big money consulting gigs with crony capitalist companies like Uber and Apple, reports The Hill.

This week, top Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe took a job with the $17 billion taxi app giant Uber.

It’s all part of the DC “Boomtown” cash dash to trade insider access from public service into cold hard cash. What’s more, as Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer chronicled in his New York Times best seller, Extortion, the Obama administration is engaged in a form of legal regulatory extortion wherein it makes complex, onerous, and costly regulations and then whirls through Washington’s revolving door to go to work for corporations who will pay a premium to help navigate big businesses through the very regulatory minefields those former staffers and advisers helped cement in place.

‘And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.’
– Luke 16:9.

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Governor Who Oversaw Soaring Unemployment Will Teach Class on Job Creation

22nd August 2014

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As the Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out, Michigan lost roughly half a million jobs during Granholm’s eight-year reign. Even so, UC-Berkeley believes she is qualified to teach Public Policy 290: “Creating Jobs through Better Government Policies for Innovation and Education.”

‘We destroyed thousands of jobs, and so can you!’

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The Latest Obamacare Victim: the Chicago Cubs

22nd August 2014

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Obamacare forced the beleaguered Chicago Cubs to reduce staffing hours for its ground crew, resulting in an embarrassing game cancellation on Tuesday because of the failure to get a tarp on Wrigley’s infield.

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Even Obama’s Defenders Can’t Explain Obama’s Golfing Decision

22nd August 2014

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But I can. He’s got two years left as President, and he’s decided to phone it in. In 2016 he’ll retire to a cushy gig as a former President, with plenty of perks, and if he feels like doing a bit of work he can travel the world giving speeches as the Magic Negro at $250,000 a pop. In the mean time, he’s going to enjoy himself.

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Bergdahl Swap for Guantanamo Detainees Violated Law, Says GAO

21st August 2014

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‘Law? We don’t need no stinkin’ law!’

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Retired Intel Officer: Foley Rescue Attempt Failed Because Obama ‘Dragged His Feet’

21st August 2014

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Now playing: Jimmy Carter II — Return to the Vomit.

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Eric Holder: DOJ Stands With People of Ferguson

21st August 2014

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Of course, it would be more truthful to say that the DoJ stands with the black people of Ferguson, specifically the black Underclass of Ferguson, on which Eric Holder and his Obamanation compatriots depend for the Low Information votes that keep them in power.

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The Feds Really Don’t Want You to Smoke at Work

21st August 2014

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I fail to see how this is any business of any level of government, much less the Federal government. In conformity with Truth in Advertising, the Centers for Disease Control ought to be renamed the Centers for Nosy Health Nazis.

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Gen. Jack Keane Blasts Obama Admin Over Release of Information About Failed Hostage Rescue in Syria

21st August 2014

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Asked by host Megyn Kelly why the Obama Administration chose to disclose such information, Keane responded “The obvious conclusion you come to- they wanted to take some credit for something they tried, although it obviously didn’t work.” He said that the Obama Administration’s attempt to cover themselves is not reason enough to divulge that information.

Apparently Obama wants to cement his reputation as the new Jimmy Carter. ‘Hey, we can run failed operations too!’

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S.F. Teachers Miss More School Than Students on Average

20th August 2014

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While absenteeism is usually considered a student matter, in San Francisco – and many other districts – the average teacher misses more school than the average child.

If last year’s numbers hold steady, the 4,100 teachers in San Francisco, on average, will each be absent about 11 times this school year, about once every three weeks. That’s four to five days more than a typical student, out of 180 days total.

About seven of those days were for sick or personal leave, and the rest were training days offered or required by the district.

While the teacher absentee rate is about average, or even a smidge below average, for large urban districts across the country, it’s a lot higher than other industries, where the typical worker takes about four sick or personal days over an entire year.

Look for … the Union label….

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Employers Hiring More Part-Time Workers Due to Obamacare

20th August 2014

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Employers were also asked what effects Obamacare is having on their labor forces. Over 21% of manufacturers and nearly 17% of service firms say they reduced the number of employees because of the law, while only about 2% of each have hired more workers. What’s more, nearly 20% of both manufacturers and service firms say that Obamacare has pushed them to increase their proportion of part-time workers, but just under 5% of each type of firm said they have lowered them. Presumably this is due to the perverse incentives from Obamacare’s employer mandate.

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