Saturday, January 5, 2013

PRESIDENT FOR LIFE: Dem Rep introduces bill to repeal two-term limit...

Rep. Jose Serrano reintroduces bill to repeal presidential term limit - Twitchy

We’re still a couple of weeks from the inauguration, but Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) is already looking forward to 2016 and beyond. The congressman yesterday reintroduced a bill to repeal the 22nd amendment establishing term limits for the president.

It does come up quite a bit. It’s interesting that so many who consider the First Amendment inviolable believe the Second Amendment is outdated, and the usefulness of the 22nd Amendment changes every few years.

OBAMA’S THIRD TERM? Democrat Proposes Repeal of 22nd Amendment - The Other McCain

Crazy as it is, however, it’s not a joke: Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) on Friday re-introduced as H.J. 15 the same bill he offered last year, “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment” — i.e., to end the two-term limit on the presidency, enabling Obama to be “President fo Life.”

The Twitchy Team is all over it, but as Barbara points out, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell this this thing could ever pass the ratification process. Of course, the Democrat Party’s contempt for the Constitution is so complete, they don’t care. They’d declare martial law, prohibit dissent as a “crime against the people” and govern by decree if it weren’t for the fact that conservatives are armed to the teeth. That probably explains why Obama is the greatest gun salesman in American history.

Snort: Helpful Photoshoppers doctor pics for fake-but-accurate Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi’s office releases doctored photo of female lawmakers - Andrew Beaujon/Poynter

Fake but accurate: Pelosi defends doctored diversity pic of female House Dems - Twitchy

As Twitchy reported, Nancy Pelosi’s office doctored a photo of female House Democrats in order to boost the Democratic diversity quotient. When she got busted for it, she insisted that while the photo was fake, it was still accurate. Of course.

Well, Nancy, two — or lots more — can play that game. We asked readers to submit their own Pelosi Photoshops:
- Twitchy

GOP's Camp: Obama's 'spending problem is getting worse, not better'

Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) stresses the need to boost our economy by focusing on cutting spending and fixing our tax code. “The spending problem is getting worse, not better,” Camp says, adding, “we’re committed to making our economy stronger and healthier, and getting our spending under control by making Washington fully accountable to you, the hardworking taxpayers of America.”

link - Andrew Malcolm/IBD

$54 million: California parks officials deliberately hid money, report says

Fear of embarrassment and budget cuts led California parks officials to intentionally conceal millions of dollars in a department account, according to an investigation conducted by the state attorney general's office. - LA Times

The report, released Friday, is the most detailed official narrative yet regarding the root of the accounting scandal at the parks department.

The scandal broke last summer when it was revealed that the parks department had a hidden surplus of nearly $54 million even though it was threatening to close dozens of facilities.

About $20 million was found in an account where entrance fees and other revenues are deposited. Accounting discrepancies appeared to begin innocently more than a decade ago, leading to fluctuating reports on how much money was in the fund, investigators said.

But in 2002, when the problems were identified, parks officials made a "conscious and deliberate" decision not to reveal the money to officials at the Department of Finance, which plans the state budget.

Multiple high-ranking officials were involved, including the former chief deputy director, Michael Harris, who later lost his job over the scandal. However, the report said it remained unclear whether ousted director Ruth Coleman knew about the accounting problems. Coleman declined to be interviewed for the investigation.
Parks officials didn't report the money because they were concerned that their already reduced budget would be cut even further if the state's number-crunchers knew they had more money in a department account, the report said. Interviews conducted by investigators also showed that officials feared embarrassment if the accounting problems were revealed.

"Throughout this period of intentional non-disclosure, some parks employees consistently requested, without success, that their superiors address the issue," the report said. It wasn't until a new deputy director was installed at the parks department in January 2012 was the issue reported.

Discussion at Lucianne

Megyn Kelly Grills NY Times Op-Ed Author Who Wrote That U.S. Should ‘Give Up’ On Constitution

Seidman began the interview praising Kelly for allowing him to come on the show, despite the fact that “a the lot of viewers don’t agree with what I have to say.” In turn, Kelly praised the “thought-provoking” and “interesting” nature of the controversial op-ed. - Andrew Kirell/Mediaite

The good news nobody is noticing

It requires a special kind of mind to challenge the commonly-accepted beliefs, take note of facts that others overlook, and stand up to tell people what is really going on, what nobody else seems to notice. Such a mind is that of Herbert E, Meyer, frequent contributor to American Thinker. What makes Herb different from most other brilliant original thinkers, however, is that he has a track record of making calls that have changed the world, accomplishing what others dared not even dream of.... - Thomas Lifson/American Thinker

The Next Big Thing From The Official Who Predicted Communism's Demise - Jerry Bowyer/Forbes

Regarding the next big world event that no one is paying attention to:
◼ When you stand back from all the yelling and the can see what I believe is the most important trend in the word...the world is emerging from poverty fast. This is the biggest under-reported news story in the world.

◼ By 1980 or 1990 about two billion human beings were out of poverty, since then another half billion have crossed the line out of poverty; a lot of them in India and china. In the last six years 20 million Brazilians have emerged. When you put all these numbers together...each year between fifty and one hundred million human beings are leaving poverty behind.

◼ If we can continue this trend within our lifetimes, and certainly within our children's lifetimes, the overwhelming majority of human beings will no longer be poor. This is the biggest thing that's happened in the entire world.

◼ By the way it's going to be a five billion-person middle class. This will become the most powerful force in the world. Their demand for our goods and services will set off an economic boom...I believe that we're heading for not just a sonic boom, but maybe a supersonic boom.
WHY IS THE WORLD (NOT) SO DANGEROUS? - Steven Hayward/Powerline

Here are the top 5 stories for the week from The Heritage Foundation and The Foundry:

Congressional Budget Office Shows Senate Bill Is $600 Billion Tax Hike - Curtis Dubay
Beware Obamacare’s Looming Conscience Cliff (VIDEO) - Sarah Torre
The 10 Worst Regulations of 2012 - Diane Katz and James L. Gattuso
Obesity in America: Blame Trade Protectionism on Sugar - Terry Mille
Some Good, Some Bad in National Defense Authorization Act - Michaela Bendikova

“If someone has made an important contribution – and that person happens to be classified as LGBT — then by all means, let’s teach our children about that person — but not because of that person’s sexual identity group”

Father of four in California makes his stand against alleged LGBT agenda in classroom - Eric Owens/Daily Caller

Monday’s meeting of the Capistrano Unified School District’s school board should offer more fireworks than usual.

At the meeting, Stan Wasbin, a father of four, plans to voice his complaint that local schools are becoming “re-education camps” because of an excessive focus on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, reports the San Juan Capistrano Patch.

Wasbin, a resident of the seaside suburb of San Clemente, asked in a three-page letter that his concerns about the supposedly agenda-driven politicization of the school curriculum be placed on the official board agenda.

Both the curriculum and Wasbin’s missive come in response to a new California law obligating social science classes to include the historical role played by gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender people.

“In our public schools, we want our children to learn math, music, science, English, art, American history and a foreign language or two,” Wasbin wrote, according to Patch. “That’s a lot, and that’s enough.”

“If someone has made an important contribution – and that person happens to be classified as LGBT — then by all means, let’s teach our children about that person — but not because of that person’s sexual identity group,” Wasbin reportedly added.

...“Today, the state political winds blow from the left; but tomorrow, they could blow from the right, and then our children may be forced to learn about the role and contributions of other groups, such as gun owners, death-penalty proponents and anti-abortion advocates. Do we really want to politicize public education like this?” Wasbin said, according to Patch.

In addition, Wasbin wants school district officials to provide details about how schools will implement the new law....

Friday, January 4, 2013

“Childish,” Santelli replied. “We need to get serious about this debt and quit calling people ‘lunatics’ that acknowledge it.”

CNBC host Rick Santelli became visibly frustrated with cohost Kelly Evans after she read a comment from an “overseas analyst” who said that the economy is recovering but “lunatic Republicans” negotiating over the debt ceiling limit could scuttle that recovery. - Mediaite

“What about the lunatics that spent $16.4 trillion and want another check? Aren’t they the crazies, Kelly,” Santelli asked pointedly. “Why are the lunatics the people that say ‘overspending and creating too much debt’ are lunatics?’”

“If you think that we have a Congress that can’t get our house in order, do you think that we’re ever going to be able to worry about a long-term event and plan ahead,” Santelli asked.

"Lunatic Republicans" who believe crazy things like "you cannot spend a trillion more than you have every year and expect the math to work out in your favor." - Ace

Rick Santelli Is Right! - Zerohedge

Today on CNBC (view clip at during the coverage of the monthly employment report, Rick Santelli pointed out that there is some absurdity in calling the Republicans “lunatics” when they are the only responsible voice in Washington right now trying to call attention to the out of control government spending in the overall context of an unsustainable federal deficit while the Democrats are running the country into the ground with even additional spending programs that the government has to borrow more money to fund.

His point is that if anybody should be labeled a lunatic, it should be the Democrats and those that are encouraging these unsound financial spending policies....

the mainstream media should be chided for not doing their job, and holding Washington`s feet to the fire with regard to implementing sound financial principles into the government budgetary framework, and not busy promoting additional, irresponsible, creative finance workarounds that just dig the country into a further hole by not facing up to the real issue.

Balance the freaking budget, develop a surplus, and start paying down the country`s debt! Sound financial principles at work whether in the context of a government or household.

Ergo, the media needs to spend less time inventing and promoting “Governmental Coin” budgetary gimmicks and start asking some tough questions of our governmental representatives like, Does the 2013 budget balance with projected revenues? If not, why? What do we need to do to make this the last year where this country runs a budget deficit? Remember, you cannot even start to address the national debt, until you finally have a budgetary surplus!

Yes, Rick Santelli given the context of the consecutive years of running budgetary deficits, the size of the federal debt, and the projected obligations going forward, anyone not for major spending cuts in Washington or the mainstream media is an actual “Lunatic”.


Tea Party favorite and newly-elected Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took his oath of office today – and immediately moved to take on President Obama’s chief legislative accomplishment, Obamacare. - Ben Shapiro/Breitbart

His first bill, Cruz said, would move to strike “every syllable of every word” of Obamacare. With the retirement of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and the increasing battle between Tea Party conservatives and Republican Party establishment types, Cruz is set to become a leader early in his tenure – and grassroots conservatives are already rallying to his cause.

Cruz, 42, is slated to appear on Fox News Sunday. He is a Harvard Law graduate, the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (William Rehnquist), and a former Department of Justice lawyer. His rise has been so swift that he is already vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Lincolnton Furniture Company closed abruptly Thursday just one year after it was hailed by President Barack Obama as an example of the recovering U.S. economy

Furniture-making operations stopped indefinitely and only a few people will remain employed moving forward, company financial officer Ben Causey said. - Miami Herald

“I don’t know where it’s going to go exactly; we’re still evaluating our situation,” Causey said. “We just didn’t have any choice at this point.”

The company was not receiving the orders it needed to sustain its operations, Causey said.

“We needed more orders is really what it boiled down to,” he said. “We thought they would materialize.”

Owner Bruce Cochrane, a fifth generation furniture-manufacturer, formed the company in 2011 with a $5 million investment and the hope he could make a profit off people who wanted to buy furniture made in America.

It was a move that caught the attention of North Carolina officials and those in the White House. Last year, Cochrane sat with the first lady during Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address. He also joined the president and other business leaders in a discussion about how to create more jobs at home.


A New Hampshire legislator wants her constituents to know that she feels conservatives are the "single biggest threat" her state faces today, and she wants to use her powers to legislate to "pass measures that will restrict" the freedoms of Granite State conservatives. - Warner Todd Huston/Breitbart we have a legislator that doesn't just want to pass laws that are tangentially restrictive. She wants to purposefully use her powers to write laws to target individuals with whom she disagrees, take away their freedoms and liberties, and all in the hopes that the citizens she is oppressing might move away from her state.

As New Hampshirite Steve MacDonald notes, "this sounds like tyranny."

Imagine if a legislator had written a blog post targeting the freedoms of gays, or women, or some other minority? One would think that the media would go wild with such a story. But here we have an elected official suggesting that government be used in the United States of America to eliminate freedoms for certain citizens in order to gain political control and the media is silent.

Sounds like tyranny, indeed.

Ratings: Fox News Crushes Competition for 11th Year in Row

Unlike CNN, which was down in both total and demo viewers just about every hour, and MSNBC, which was up in both categories just about every hour, Fox News had some high points and low points, with most of its programs roughly on par with their 2011 performances. That said, the network still drew more viewers than CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined in primetime. It was also the second-highest delivery for the network ever in total viewers. - Breitbart BIG Journalism


Why is my paycheck less this week? A hashtag reality check for perplexed Obama voters - Twitchy

Workers making $30,000 will take a bigger hit on their pay than those earning $500,000 under new fiscal deal- Hayley Peterson/Daily Mail

Hope and less change: Americans cringe at first paychecks of 2013; Stunned lib asks, ‘What happened?’ - Twitchy

Ha! Big Labor tries to hijack #WhyIsMyPaycheckLessThisWeek, gets hashtag wrong - Twitchy

The hashtag trended for much of Friday, making it irresistible to Big Labor Obama apologists eager to put their left-wing spin on smaller paychecks and Obama’s broken promises. But oopsie! They tried to hijack the wrong hashtag.

Working America, an AFL-CIO allied organization, published a post titled “The Answer to #WhyMyPaycheckIsLessThisWeek (Warning: Contains Facts).” Yep, the “is” is in the wrong place in that hashtag. But that didn’t stop the geniuses at SEIU and AFL-CIO from rushing to promote the post.

Awwww. Twitter is so hard. Better luck next time, guys.

Crushed unicorn dreams: Why is my paycheck less turns to Obama vote regrets, ‘I should have voted Romney’ - Twitchy


Hurricane Sandy victim, Scott McGrath of Staten Island, gives his opinion of FEMA and the Obama administration's handling of the storm relief effort. Aired on Fox News, January 4, 2013.

link - Jason Howerton/The Blaze

During an interview on Fox News Friday, Hurricane Sandy victim Scott McGrath went off on President Barack Obama and politicians in Washington who have allowed the nation to rack up debt while neglecting its own citizens. He reminded them “we run this country, not you” in an epic segment.

McGrath lamented the fact that nearly two months later, many Sandy victims still need aid and Congress has only been able to put forth a pork-filled bill that will only partially help those affected by the storm.

“He’s a phony. He’s a liar,” McGrath said of Obama. “He said to be face to face, that he is going to cut the red tape. We’re two months now no red tapes been cut.”

He also blasted Washington for allowing the nation to rack up massive debt. “This country is in debt. We are so eager to help other countries that we forget our own people,” he added.... We encourage you to watch the entire powerful interview.

Sandy Victim: Obama is a ‘Straight Out Liar’ - Nathaniel Botwinick/National Review

◼ Not just Scott McGrath, but others as well: 'He made a promise to help us and he broke it': Hurricane Sandy Victim pictured in embrace with Obama reveals her heartbreak at receiving standardized letter after his visit - Lydia Warren/Daily Mail

When President Obama hugged a tearful New Jersey business owner after Hurricane Sandy ravaged her home and livelihood, it was the image of compassion, promise and hope.

But the victim in the photo, Donna Vanzant, has now revealed that the president's promises to pour aid into the area were empty - and that, after the hug, she merely received a form letter from him.

Obama visited the destroyed marina Ms Vanzant owns in Brigantine, New Jersey on October 31 and promised her 'immediate' aid. Soon after, Ms Vanzant wrote him an email.

'Many days later, I got a response back,' she told the Philadelphia Magazine. 'It was disturbing.

'It had nothing to do with what I was asking him. It was a form letter. It thanked me for supporting the troops. He made a promise to rebuild on national television, and I can't even get this money.'

She said that, while she would never expect free handouts, the president had given her hope that something would be done to help....

CFRW Capitol Update

Happy New Year!

Welcome back to dysfunctional California politics! The Legislature officially reconvenes on Monday, yet Governor Brown and his cronies have already managed to mismanage our government.

An investigation into the State Parks and Recreation department secret funds debacle have found that Parks officials were deliberately and intentionally hiding their surplus money over many years. The State Parks and Recreation department were able to conceal $54 million in two secret funds for over 12 years.

In yet another fiasco, the “fiscal cliff” agreement in Congress left California $45 million short of their June budget projection. As a part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, Congress abolished the state inheritance tax credit. With the 2010 Bush tax cuts set to expire, Governor Brown and the legislature were counting on a new income of federal tax transfers. But since Congress permanently blocked the inheritance credits for states, Governor Brown will not be receiving the $45 million he was counting on to help balance the budget.

This is just the beginning of short-sidedness for this Democrat super majority. Stay tuned!

President’s Message

Dear CFRW Members,

Welcome to "2013 Year of the CFRW Woman". We need to take ownership this year of our party. We need you at our 2013 Winter Conference to share your ideas at our interactive workshops. This is your organization and without your input we will not grow and be effective.

We need to learn how to reach women of all ages, ethnicities and heritages. We need to learn how best to get our message out to the public. We need to learn when elections are held regarding voter integrity. On Friday of our conference we will hold a "Leadership Workshop" to prepare you to looking forward to being leaders within your own clubs and the Federation.

We have been told over and over again, that we are the life blood of the party. Well, truth be told, we are the heart and soul. This is our year, but only if you are willing to step forward to being motivated and educated. Help us to meet your needs. Let us know what you are looking for and expecting from CFRW.

As the old WWII logo, "Uncle Sam Needs You," brought many into the armed services, our motto is, "CFRW NEEDS YOU NOW!"

Please log into the CFRW Web Site and download the 2013 CFRW Winter Conference Registration form and information. When calling the Marriott for your hotel reservation, please inform them you are attending the CFRW Conference to receive your discount room reservations.



Carol Hadley
CFRW President

CFRW Conference in San Diego!

Our CFRW Winter Conference in is sunny San Diego this February 8-10 and you won’t want to miss it! For more information on our website, ◼ CLICK HERE! This is the time for us to get motivated and start rebuilding our Republican brand! Californians need to know that Republicans are not the evil people the media tells them we are. We are the true party of hope and change. Join us and sign up today!

Ambassador Event!

You wont want to miss yet another exciting Amabassdor's Event. Olivia McCaffery had us dancing in the streets with her last event, so you know this one will be a hit! ◼ Click HERE for more information. Our Ambassadors are special CFRW members who help to keep our CFRW Advocate and her office up and running. Without our Ambassadors, we wouldn't have our unique connection in the Capitol! Please consider becoming an Ambassador and recieve free entry into our Ambassador events as well as other perks throughout there year. ◼ CLICK HERE! for more information.

It ain’t easy being green: Oregon officials want to tax fuel-efficient cars

When the legislature convenes in February, lawmakers will consider taxing eco-friendly vehicles, ones that get 55 miles per gallon or more, based on how much you drive. - NW Watchdog

Their logic: electric and other fuel-efficient cars aren’t paying the state tax on gasoline (which you pay when you pump) and therefore aren’t contributing to road construction and repair....

“What’s really happening: It’s two different, competing government priorities,” said Gloria Bergquist, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers vice president. On the one hand, you have energy security and environmental officials who want to incentivize the oft-pricier electric and hybrid vehicles. On the other hand, you have officials hit with the costs of fixing roads.

Bergquist said the auto organization opposes a per-mile vehicles tax, especially on fuel-efficient cars, which aren’t selling as well as they’d hoped.

Hybrids, which went on sale in 2000, still make up only 2.5 percent of all auto sales in the United States, she said.

“For many people, you’re taking away the incentive for them to buy this vehicle,” she said of the per-mile tax. “Generally a tax scares people.”

It's Less Easy Being 'Green' as Los Angeles Yanks Plug on Free Parking for Electric Cars - Hannah Karp/Wall St. Journal

Airport Nixes Mad Scramble for Coveted Spots; Frequent Fliers Now Regret 'Expensive, Underpowered' Rides

Taxpayer Bill for Obama’s Hawaii Vacations: $20 Million

The total cost to taxpayers of Obama’s vacations to Hawaii since becoming president is likely in excess of $20 million, and possibly much, much more. During a time of budget deficits that threaten the nation’s security and its future, the Obamas have chosen to maintain a “family tradition” and vacation halfway around the world instead of finding far cheaper alternatives closer to home. - Keith Koffler/White House Dossier

Drudge reveals Obama’s inner Marie Antoinette - Protein Wisdom

After warning Congress about spending, Obama heads back to Hawaii - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Barack Obama’s $7 million Hawaii vacation is an insult to America’s struggling middle class - Nile Gardiner/Telegraph

For most of America’s embattled middle class, who, unlike the president have already returned to work, this kind of luxury is simply unimaginable in the current economic climate. And they’ve just been hit hard with a significant rise in their payroll taxes due to the expiration of the Social Security tax break. According to the Tax Policy Center, 77 percent of US households will now be paying more in federal taxes following this week’s fiscal cliff deal.

Barack Obama benefits from a largely deferential liberal press in the United States which rarely questions his opulence in office. It would be unthinkable for the British prime minister to act in the same manner. If David Cameron flew off to Hawaii and billed the British public £5 million for his Christmas vacation, he would be out of a job.

President Obama frequently calls on the American people to make sacrifices, but he is simply unwilling to lead by example and do so himself.

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on Obama family last year, perks questioned in new book - Alex Pappas/Daily Caller

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.

In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.

Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.

Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”

“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.

Court: Obama Can Secretly Assassinate American Citizens Suspected of Terrorism

The ACLU and New York Times are appealing the decision. - The Philly Post

Here are a few things that are public knowledge: President Obama oversees a drone program that targets terrorists with assassination. That he personally signs off on executions. And that American citizens abroad have—on at least one occasion—been targeted for assassination. We know all these things because anonymous administration officials have been telling us the details in newspaper and magazine articles for years. (The president has even made jokes about it in public.) But a federal court on Wednesday ruled that the Obama Administration doesn’t have to provide information showing that the program is actually lawful because … (drum roll) the program is a secret. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon acknowledged in her ruling that the explanation is a tough one to swallow. “The administration has engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of citizens, but in cryptic and imprecise ways,” she wrote. But in the end, the Obama Administration ““cannot be compelled . . . to explain in detail the reasons why its actions do not violate the constitution and laws of the United States.” We’ll just have to trust him then.

Judge backs Obama administration on secrecy of targeted killings of terrorism suspects - Washington Post

But the judge also described a “veritable Catch-22” of security rules that allow the executive branch to declare legal “actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”

...The ACLU and the Times both said they plan to appeal. A similar ACLU case covering many of the same issues remains pending in the U.S. District Court in Washington.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Obama’s raid on Social Security ends with a whimper

Contrary to all the hype about “saving” the middle class from tax increases, taxes did go up on people making less than $400,000 per year, as part of the fiscal cliff deal. The primary vehicle for this tax increase is the end of the 2 percent “payroll tax cut” implemented in 2010. - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o

This was never a true “tax cut.” It was a raid of Social Security funding – a cut in the Social Security tax on employees from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. There was to be no corresponding loss of benefits to American workers who enjoyed this funding cut. Social Security doesn’t work that way anyway – it is falsely presented to the public as some kind of individual retirement account built up over a lifetime, but in fact it’s a straightforward welfare program, with current workers funding the benefits of current retirees. Congress ended up diverting funds from other areas to cover the shortfall, so those nervous about the solvency of Social Security – notably the AARP – tended to describe the payroll tax cut as a “threat” or “risk” to Social Security funding.

President Obama was strangely silent about the end of the payroll tax cut that he once defended so vigorously. In fact, he used to push for the extension of his tax cut with the same kind of overheated hyperbole and human stage props that he used during the fiscal cliff drama. In February 2012, he launched a Twitter hashtag called #40Dollars to whip up public support, named after the amount of money that would be taken from weekly paychecks if the tax cut expired. He marched a number of people who responded to his Twitter campaign on stage to declare, “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class. The last thing we need is for Washington to stand in the way of America’s comeback… this is the least of what we should be doing for working Americans.”

...The noisy life, and bizarrely quiet death, of the payroll tax cut should serve as another lesson in the folly of “temporary” tax cuts. Early critics of the measure said it was a gimmick that distracted the public from effective, permanent pro-growth tax reform, and it couldn’t be left on the books as a threat to Social Security funding forever. We live in a world of invincible, permanently growing government programs that can’t even be trimmed back, let alone killed when they prove to be failures, coupled with “temporary” tax cuts we lose unless we fight like wildcats to keep them… turning against each other in a panicked frenzy of class warfare when we’re told we can’t keep all of them. Enjoy those lighter paychecks, middle class Americans!

“Why,” asked The Washington Post on the eve of the final “fiscal-cliff” agreement, “is the nation’s leader not embracing and then explaining the balanced reforms the nation needs?”


Because he has no interest in them. He’s a visionary, not an accountant. Sure, he’ll pretend to care about deficits, especially while running for re-election. But now that he’s past the post, he’s free to be himself — a committed big-government social-democrat....

Fundamentally, Obama is a leveler. The community organizer seeks, above all, to reverse the growing inequality that he dates and attributes to ruthless Reaganism. Now, however, clothed in the immense powers of the presidency, he can actually engage in unadorned redistributionism. As in Tuesday night’s $620 billion wealth transfer.

Upon losing the House in 2010, the leveler took cover for the next two years. He wasn’t going to advance his real agenda through the Republican House anyway, and he needed to win re-election.

Now he’s won. The old Obama is back. He must not be underestimated. He has deftly leveraged his class-war-themed election victory (a) to secure a source of funding (albeit still small) for the bloated welfare state, (b) to carry out an admirably candid bit of income redistribution and (c) to fracture the one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda.

Egyptian Magazine Claims Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated The Obama Administration…

You don’t say? - Weasel Zippers

The Dec. 22 story published in Egypt's Rose El-Youssef magazine (read an IPT translation here) suggests the six turned the White House "from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood." - IPT

The story is largely unsourced, but its publication is considered significant in raising the issue to Egyptian readers.

The six named people include: Arif Alikhan, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for policy development; Mohammed Elibiary, a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council; Rashad Hussain, the U.S. special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference; Salam al-Marayati, co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA); and Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

Alikhan is a founder of the World Islamic Organization, which the magazine identifies as a Brotherhood "subsidiary." It suggests that Alikhan was responsible for the "file of Islamic states" in the White House and that he provides the direct link between the Obama administration and the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.

Elibiary, who has endorsed the ideas of radical Muslim Brotherhood luminary Sayyid Qutb, may have leaked secret materials contained in Department of Homeland Security databases, according to the magazine. He, however, denies having any connection with the Brotherhood.

Elibiary also played a role in defining the Obama administration's counterterrorism strategy, and the magazine asserts that Elibiary wrote the speech Obama gave when he told former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave power but offers no source or evidence for the claim.

U.S. Electricity Use on Wane

Americans are using more gadgets, televisions and air conditioners than ever before. But, oddly, their electricity use is barely growing, posing a daunting challenge for the nation's utilities.

For decades, electricity use was viewed as a barometer of economic growth, but the link has become less clear cut in recent years, partly because of a big push to make major appliances and other products, such as compact fluorescent lightbulbs and high-efficiency motors, that use less electricity

National Federation of Republican Women Congratulates Speaker Boehner on Reelection

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Rae Lynne Chornenky, president of the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW), issued the following statement regarding U.S. House Speaker John Boehner's reelection today.

“The National Federation of Republican Women is pleased to congratulate Ohio's John Boehner, who has won reelection as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for a second term. Speaker Boehner is to be applauded for his continued leadership in Congress fighting for smaller government, fiscal responsibility and greater government accountability, and, in his reelection today, winning what NBC News calls the 'overwhelming support of the GOP.' The NFRW looks forward to supporting and working with Speaker Boehner and all of the newly-elected Republican leaders in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.”

Founded in 1938, the NFRW has thousands of active members in local clubs across the nation and in several U.S. territories, making it one of the largest women’s political organizations in the country. The grassroots organization works to promote the principles and objectives of the Republican Party, elect Republican candidates, inform the public through political education and activity, and increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government.

For more information about the NFRW, visit ◼


Republicans and conservatives in general will feel a lot better if they focus less on Washington and more on the 24 state capitals (including more than half the American people) which have Republican governors and Republican control of the state legislature. - NEWT GINGRICH LETTER/Human Events (image source)

Washington is likely to remain a painful spectacle for the near future. President Obama and the elite media will create anti-conservative and increasingly liberal policy directions. If the last seven weeks are any indication, Washington Republicans will range from inarticulate to deeply split. House Republicans have the Constitutional tools to take on Obamaism, but as long as the leadership refuses to operate strategically, those tools will be largely unused, with [Oversight Committee] Chairman Darrell Issa’s investigations as a striking exception and model for the others.

The good news is that conservatism is on the march outside Washington. (And outside Sacramento, Springfield, and Albany, which will be the new case studies in destructive tax and regulatory policies and the disastrous economic consequences of job-killing and taxpayer flight to other states. All three states will become poorer as long as they are dominated by liberalism....)

In Washington, national policy debate seems mired down between a party of big government and redistribution and a party of pain and cuts.

In the 24 states with Republican governors and Republican legislatures there is an emerging party of the future.

Conservatives in general and Republicans in particular ought to spend more time focusing on the states.

The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) could become the leading idea producer of any Republican organization in the country.

Despite the spectacle of taxing and spending in Washington, there are real signs of hope in the states.

Be of good cheer.

The future will not be defined by President Obama and the elite media.

The future will be defined by the American people — and it will be a much more conservative future than the elite commentators currently expect.

The real “selfishness and duplicity” ...comes from those who insist that this bill is meant for Sandy’s victims—when in reality, it is a special-interest money fest. This is a terrible way to treat storm victims, by piling on other projects and tying them to an emotional legislative vote. It amounts to exploiting disaster victims, which is inexcusable. That’s where the anger should be focused.

Uproar Over Bloated Sandy Aid Package - Amy Payne/Heritage Morning Bell

The bill includes funding for Head Start, the federal day care program. As Heritage’s Lindsey Burke, the Will Skillman fellow in education policy, explains, some Head Start centers may need repairs from hurricane damage, but handing the program $100 million—as the Sandy aid package would—is a large expenditure that deserves more scrutiny.

Other questionable items in the package, which have received wide media coverage, include money for fisheries in Alaska, free money for the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and repairs to the Smithsonian. Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen adds that “there is the truly audacious $17 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, an embarrassingly transparent slush fund.”

As Heritage visiting fellow Matt Mayer has said, there is a much larger issue here. The spending request:
reflects the President’s cavalier attitude toward spending and deficits. He intends to exploit loopholes in the Budget Control Act that allow this new spending, above existing spending limits, without offsets. In an era of chronic trillion-dollar deficits, this is an act of willful fiscal negligence.
Chuck Schumer & Kirsten Gillibrand stuffed the Hurricane Sandy relief bill with billions in pork - Mark Levin

UPDATE: Women still not included in Obama White House meetings...

White House War on Women Escalates - Washington Free Beacon

The White House’s Flickr account recently released a photo of President Barack Obama and his top advisers. The complete absence of women in the image is another reminder that females are underrepresented in Obama’s staff.

Additionally, the president still pays his female employees significantly less than their male counterparts.

Bachmann introduces bill to repeal Obamacare in its entirety

John Boehner retains Speakership

Boehner re-elected House Speaker - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

lNarrowly avoids re-votenk - Stephen Dinan/Washington Times ◼ Via Drudge
Tells GOP he's done dealing with Obama - Russell Berman/The Hill
'Time to secure for our children a future of freedom and opportunity' - John Boehner

FULL TEXT: Speaker Boehner Addresses the Opening Session of the 113th Congress
Posted by Speaker Boehner Press OfficeJanuary 3, 2013Video

WASHINGTON, DC – Following is the full text of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) address to the opening session of the 113th Congress:

Leader Pelosi, members of the House and Senate, dear family and friends, fellow countrymen:

We meet again at democracy’s great port of call. Every two years, at this hour, the Constitution brings a new order to this House. It is an interlude for reflection, a glimpse of old truths.

To our new members and their families, welcome. You are likely feeling awestruck right about now. History runs through here. And now you are among a select few to share in this privilege.

For those who are returning, who have walked these aisles before, maybe it’s time we feel awestruck again.

By 2050, our national debt will top $58 trillion in today’s dollars.

The Spending Cliff - Michael Tanner/National Review

Republicans claim that, having disposed of the tax issue, they will now devote all their attention to securing spending reductions as part of the continuing-resolution and debt-ceiling negotiations to come. But President Obama is already laying the political groundwork for this debate, warning that Republicans will risk throwing the country into default over the debt ceiling in order to cut Social Security and Medicare. Will the GOP have the courage to insist on making the deep and painful cuts that will be required to restore us to fiscal sanity?

When you get your W-2 wage and tax statement this month, look at Box 12. For the first time ever, as a result of the Obama health law, the IRS is requiring employers to report the cost of health insurance you get at work. The Obama administration claims that it´s informational, so you´ll appreciate the value of your health plan. Believe that and I´ll sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

Fiscal-Cliff Ink Barely Dry, Obama Already Moving To Hike More Taxes - Betsy Mccaughey/IBD

"Taxpayers should be uncomfortable with the implications of the W-2 reporting requirement," warns Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. He calls Box 12 a "clear set-up" for taxing your health plan.

The ugly outcome of the fiscal cliff shows that Washington politicians are intent on wringing more money out of American taxpayers instead of curbing profligate government spending.

The fiscal cliff pact raises income and capital gains taxes on high earners (on top of ObamaCare tax hikes), allows payroll taxes to rise on all workers, postpones previously agreed-to spending controls and extends costly unemployment benefits.

Worst of all, the president announced Monday night that he intends to push for more tax revenue in the new year.

In the hunt for new revenue, Washington politicians are almost certain to attack the single costliest exclusion in the tax code: the health coverage you get at work.

To protect her privacy the victim’s name was not released publicly. But while she remains nameless, she did not remain faceless. To see her face, women had only to look in the mirror. The full measure of their vulnerability was finally understood.

The Unspeakable Truth About Rape in India - Sonia Faleiro/NYT

On Dec. 16, as the world now knows, a 23-year-old woman and a male friend were returning home after watching the movie “Life of Pi” at a mall in southwest Delhi. After they boarded what seemed to be a passenger bus, the six men inside gang-raped and tortured the woman so brutally that her intestines were destroyed. The bus service had been a ruse. The attackers also severely beat up the woman’s friend and threw them from the vehicle, leaving her to die.

The young woman didn’t oblige. She had started that evening watching a film about a survivor, and must have been determined to survive herself. Then she produced another miracle. In Delhi, a city habituated to the debasement of women, tens of thousands of people took to the streets and faced down police officers, tear gas and water cannons to express their outrage. It was the most vocal protest against sexual assault and rape in India to date, and it set off nationwide demonstrations....

The volume of protests in public and in the media has made clear that the attack was a turning point. The unspeakable truth is that the young woman attacked on Dec. 16 was more fortunate than many rape victims. She was among the very few to receive anything close to justice. She was hospitalized, her statement was recorded and within days all six of the suspected rapists were caught and, now, charged with murder. Such efficiency is unheard-of in India.

In retrospect it wasn’t the brutality of the attack on the young woman that made her tragedy unusual; it was that an attack had, at last, elicited a response.

Delhi Rape Accused Face Murder Charge as India Seeks Justice - Bibhudatta Pradhan & Pratap Patnaik/Bloomberg

“It will be our endeavor to ensure the harshest punishment in the book for the culprits,” Dharmendra Kumar, special commissioner of police, said Dec. 29, hours after the death of the woman, who hasn’t been named. Kumar said police added the section of India’s penal code relating to murder to the case.

In a sign of the anger the rape has triggered, about 200 lawyers staged a demonstration today outside the court where charges will be brought, calling for the death sentence for those accused of the assault.

On the eve of today’s hearing, new details emerged of the brutal assault that has triggered weeks of soul-searching in New Delhi and beyond.

The victims boarded the bus without knowing it was plying illegally, the Press Trust of India news agency reported, citing interviews with police officers it did not name. The suspects first attacked the 28-year-old man and when the woman intervened to protect him, she was beaten and sexually assaulted, it said.

After throwing both from the bus, the driver attempted to run them down, the agency reported. The assailants told police they had raped the woman “to teach her a lesson” after she fought back in a confrontation, the Indian Express newspaper reported Dec. 19.

New Delhi Gang Rape: Youngest Attacker 'Ripped out Victim's Intestines with Bare Hands'... - IB Times

Because of his age, he is the only one of the six who cannot be sentenced to death if found guilty. He will be tried in a juvenile court.

Five adults have been charged with rape and murder and police say they plan to push for the death penalty.

However, the maximum sentence the juvenile can receive under existing law is three years.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that at least one thing will change about his leadership during the 113th Congress: he’s telling Republicans he is done with private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.

During both 2011 and 2012, the Speaker spent weeks shuttling between the Capitol and the White House for meetings with the president in the hopes of striking a grand bargain on the deficit. - The Hill

The influential editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday urged Boehner to “from now on cease all backdoor negotiations and pursue regular legislative order.” Linking to the article, a top adviser to Boehner posted on Twitter: “That’s the plan.”

Another aide cautioned that Boehner is not cutting off all contact with the president. "It doesn't mean the Speaker isn't going to meet with the president or talk to the president" when appropriate, the aide said.

Duncan said he was encouraged by Boehner’s commitment in recent days to return to “regular order,” saying it was imperative that the House not simply accept bills driven by Democrats in the White House and the Senate.

“We have a Republican majority. We need to pass Republican bills out of the House,” Duncan said.

A federal judge on Wednesday rejected The New York Times' bid to force the U.S. government to disclose more information about its targeted killing of people it believes have ties to terrorism, including American citizens.

NY Times loses bid to uncover details on drone strikes - New York Times

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon in Manhattan said the Obama administration did not violate the law by refusing the Times' request for the legal justifications for targeted killings...

2013: Welcome to Very, Very Scary Times

These are the most foreboding times in my 59 years. The reelection of Barack Obama has released a surge of rare honesty among the Left about its intentions, coupled with a sense of triumphalism that the country is now on board for still greater redistributionist change. - Victor Davis Hanson/PJM
There is no historical appreciation among the new progressive technocracy that central state planning, whether the toxic communist brand or supposedly benevolent socialism, has only left millions of corpses in its wake, or abject poverty and misery. Add up the Soviet Union and Mao’s China and the sum is 80 million murdered or starved to death. Add up North Korea, Cuba, and the former Eastern Europe, and the tally is egalitarian poverty and hopelessness. The EU sacrificed democratic institutions for coerced utopianism and still failed, leaving its Mediterranean shore bankrupt and despondent.

Nor is there much philosophical worry that giving people massive subsidies destroys individualism, the work ethic, and the personal sense of accomplishment. There is rarely worry expressed that a profligate nation that borrows from others abroad and those not born has no moral compass. There is scant political appreciation that the materialist Marxist argument — that justice is found only through making sure that everyone has the same slice of stuff from the zero-sum pie — was supposed to end up on the ash heap of history.
Poll finds Americans weary and wary heading into 2013 - Susan Page/USA Today

Majority Of Americans Want Spending Cuts, Instead They Get Taxed

AL GORE'S CURRENT TV IS NO MORE: Assets sold -- and Gore to serve as adviser -- to... wait for it... Al Jazeera

The New York Times' Brian Stelter reports that Al Gore's Current network was just acquired by Al Jazeera and will dissolve as an independent entity. And Gore will serve as an adviser to Al Jazeera. - Doug Ross

Alternate Headline for Current TV Deal - The Other McCain

The top of Memeorandum is cluttered with news that Al Gore’s Current TV was sold to Al-Jazeera, but Allahpundit nails the real story:
Al Gore opposed to paying his ‘fair share’
Liberal hypocrisy, thy name is Al:
Al Jazeera did not disclose the purchase price, but people with direct knowledge of the deal pegged it at around $500 million, indicating a $100 million payout for Mr. Gore, who owned 20 percent of Current. Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1 . . .
Unfortunately for Gore, they couldn’t manage to close the deal until yesterday, so he got screwed out of a few million bucks....

Political parties and movements sometimes have to limit the damage that a different course of action would entail; they cannot make “limit the damage” their slogan and battle cry.

Limiting the Damage - The Editors/National Review
Taxes are going up on almost everyone. The government is trying to extract additional revenue from the economy in the most economically damaging way possible, with tax-rate increases that undermine incentives to work, save, and invest. This is happening at a time when economic growth has been weak, and when many credible observers are concerned that its trend level has permanently declined. The federal debt, meanwhile, is sure to keep rising, largely as a result of the out-of-control growth of entitlement programs. Elected officials are barely trying to restrain that growth, let alone succeeding.

Conservatives have every reason to be dismayed by this picture, and to seek to change it. It would be a mistake, however, to regard the fiscal-cliff deal that has just passed Congress as an important cause of these destructive trends. The deal actually makes federal budget policy slightly less disastrous.
On the plus side:
The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were set to expire at the end of 2012. Most Democrats campaigned for office saying that they would refuse to extend these tax cuts in their entirety, but would instead extend only those for people making less than $250,000 a year. Voters unwisely gave those Democrats control of the White House and Senate. After the last few weeks of wrangling, Republicans nonetheless got the Democrats to agree to extend the tax rates of the last decade for people making between $250,000 and $400,000 a year — indeed, to extend them indefinitely, with no scheduled expiration date.

The scheduled increase in tax rates put Republicans in a difficult position that gave rise to legitimate tactical disagreements. For the last two months it has often seemed that at any gathering of ten conservatives there would be twelve positions on what to do. But conservatives should not confuse disagreements over tactics with ones over principle.
On the other hand:
Mark Levin: "I feel confident the Bill Buckley I grew up watching, reading, & admiring would be appalled by NRO's editorial today"

Why the House Couldn’t Amend the Deal

A lot of conservatives in the House wanted to add spending cuts to the Senate deal and spent hours trying to figure out if they could pass a version of the deal that included them. They failed, though, for the same reason Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” failed. - Ramesh Ponnuru/National Review

You may recall that Boehner wanted the House to pass a bill that blocked income-tax increases for everyone making less than $1 million a year but allowed scheduled increases to take place for people who make more. He couldn’t get such a bill through the House, though, because Democrats wanted a bigger tax increase and a lot of Republicans didn’t want to appear to be endorsing tax increases for anyone. Republicans especially didn’t want to vote “for tax increases” since Boehner’s bill probably wasn’t going to become law. From their perspective, they would be sullying their voting records for nothing.

A deal-plus-spending-cuts bill faced the same hurdle. Republicans had to find 218 votes from their ranks alone; Democrats weren’t going to supply any votes for a bill to the right of the Senate deal. And a lot of Republicans didn’t want to vote “for” tax increases — bigger ones than many of them had rejected when Plan B was being considered. Again, they especially didn’t want to do that when the bill had a good chance of dying in the Senate.

In short: A lot of Republicans wished the deal included more spending cuts without being willing to vote for a deal with more spending cuts. That’s why this effort failed. (Comments at the link)

GOP Office hours for January

Wed. Jan.9, 16, 23, 30: 10 am - 1 pm
Thur. Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31: 10 am - 1 pm
Fri. Jan. 11,18, 25: 12N - 3pm

Bringing in the New Year

Branco Cartoon – Winning - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
A.F. Branco Political Cartoons

Via Lucianne

Among the Seven Deadly Sins, not even Lust is more important than Envy when it comes to electing Democrats

All-Purpose Scapegoats: Fiscal-cliff deal won’t end the Democrat war against “the rich.” - Robert Stacy McCain/American Spectator

Good-bye, “tax cuts for the rich.” If the legislation passed on New Year’s Day means nothing else, it should at least put an end to a rhetorical trope that Democrats have been pounding for the past decade. This has been the essence of the Democrat party’s economic message since the enactment of the “Bush tax cuts” in 2002: Everything that is wrong with the economy — and with the federal budget — can be attributed to the fact that the rich aren’t paying enough taxes....

Americans have been repeatedly told in recent years that “the rich” (however that term is defined) are not paying “their fair share” of taxes, and that this greedy unfairness is the explanation of anything that needs explaining. Did the local factory lay off workers? The rich are not paying their fair share! Is your daughter struggling to repay her student loans? The rich are not paying their fair share!

Especially in the “swing states” during last year’s election campaign, voters heard this Democrat message so often, in so many iterations, that it must have seemed like the universal panacea, a sort of snake-oil miracle cure. Whatever your problem — obesity, dandruff, halitosis, chronic flatulence — the Democrats promised to cure it by finally forcing the rich to Pay Their Fair Share. This message proved to be amply satisfactory to people too stupid or too lazy to bother themselves with arithmetic. Perhaps it is not entirely a coincidence that comparatively few of those math-deficient voters are themselves rich....

Sen. Rand Paul explained this in a New Year’s Eve floor speech before he voted against the deal. “Mark my word, you will raise tax rates and you’ll feel good because you went out there and you got those rich people,” the Kentucky Republican told his colleagues before they voted 89-8 in favor of the bill. “You campaigned against rich people and you got enough envy whipped up in the country, and you’re going to stick it to those rich people. But guess what? You may not get any more revenue. You may not get any more economic growth. But you can say, ‘I stuck it to the rich people.’”

Senate Received 154-Page Bill Only 3 Minutes Before Voting on it...

The bill is 154-pages and includes several provisions that are unrelated to the fiscal cliff, including repealing a section of ObamaCare, extending the wind-energy tax credit, and a rum tax subsidy deal for Puerto Rican rum makers. - CNS

Report: Senators received 154-page fiscal cliff bill 3 minutes before voting on it - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

And here's Zurawik, the guy who has been calling CNN "our last, best hope for a real news and information channel on cable TV," thinking how impressed I am by Fox's commitment to covering the story and how disgusted I am by CNN.

Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin double down debasing CNN brand two nights straight - David Zurawik/Baltimore Sun

This isn't about politics. It's about a cable channel letting one of its highest visibility show hosts and its brand be debased -- not once but twice. First on New Year's Eve, and then again on Cooper's Tuesday night show. To me, the Tuesday night performance was even worse.

On New Year's Eve, when I saw Griffin first kiss Cooper's crotch -- and listened to all her shock-jock double-entendre crap surrounding it -- I had two thoughts:

First, Jeff Zucker can't take over fast enough at CNN, which seems to have utterly lost its grip with stuff like this.

And second, maybe Cooper's image is bulletproof, but how much of this silliness can he keep indulging before people start to say, "Hey, maybe this is who this guy really is - a giggling clown, not a newsman"?

So, why am I writing about it now if I made that vow on New Year's Eve not to?

Because Tuesday night, Cooper had Griffin back on his show, and the two acted like a couple of adolescents celebrating how naughty they had been the night before. And this went on a long, long time, with video highlights and Cooper letting Griffin plug her next junky special.

Meanwhile, on Fox News, first-string anchors, reporters and analysts were going all out on a holiday night trying to cover the fiscal cliff maneuverings in Washington.

Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer, Ed Henry -- they were all there covering a major news story on Fox News, while CNN brought us Anderson and Kathy up in a tree.

Kathy Griffin, Andrew Sullivan and Other Desperately Unfunny ‘Faggot’ Jokes - The Other McCain
Kathy Griffin Offers Fellatio to Anderson Cooper - Ace Of Spades
This Was CNN - Michael Walsh/PJM

No one should be surprised. CNN and indeed much of American journalism, has been heading this way since advent of the Snark Generation — Harvard-educated princelings who, having failed to land a writing job on The Simpsons, took their tiny little sacks of tricks into the mainstream media, spreading out from the late Spy magazine (which really was funny early in its run) to New York, Vanity Fair and even my old alma mater, Time magazine. In short order, gossip was elevated to the status of news, serious cultural journalism vanished in the what’s-hot-now haze and “attitude” supplanted judgment as a hallmark of distinction.

MONEY'S NO OBJECT: Obama heads back to Hawaii -- at taxpayer cost of $7 million...Left town without signing bill!

Obama Returns to Hawaii at an Added Cost of Over $3 Million - White House Dossier
In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.

The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas’ Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.

The added cost was incurred because by the time the Obamas return from Hawaii – whenever that is – the president will have used Air Force One to travel to Honolulu and back twice.
Obama In Hawaii, Fiscal Cliff Standoff Behind Him - CBS/DC

Deal Means Higher Tax on 77% of Households...FEW SPARED: Average tax increase will be $1,635... - Bloomberg
More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.

The heaviest new burdens in 2013, compared with 2012, would fall on top earners, who would face higher rates on income, capital gains, dividends and estates. The top 1 percent of taxpayers, or those with incomes over $506,210, would pay an average of $73,633 more in taxes.
Bosses: Don't blame us for smaller paychecks...

CBO: 'Fiscal cliff' deal carries $4 trillion price tag over next decade - The Hill

Paul Ryan votes 'yes'; Cantor 'no'... - yahoo

GOP torn in half... - LA Times

Reminder: Most Americans’ taxes are still going up - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
While President Obama is taking credit for saving the middle class from tax increases, what isn’t being trumpeted across the land is that the Biden/McConnell deal did not include an extension of the payroll tax cut. This means that this year over three-quarters of earners will be paying — you guessed it — higher taxes... And let’s not forget to add the new Obamacare taxes to the mix — the same ones that even Democrats who voted for the law have admitted will be job killers. There will be no unaffected taxpayers.

10 Predictions for California 2013

link - Steven Greenhut/Fox&Hounds, crossposted at ◼ Cal Watchdog

Prediction One: Gov. Jerry Brown and the legislative leadership will continue to argue that the state government is on a bare-bones diet, and therefore continue to look for additional revenue to fund it regardless of mounting evidence of waste and excess....

Prediction Two: The state’s optimistic budget projections will not come to pass. This isn’t much of prediction given that they already are falling short....

Prediction Three: Democratic leaders will begin increasing every tax imaginable to fill the gap in what will amount to death by a thousand cuts. When Sen. Ted Lieu proposed tripling the car tax, he backed down as a backlash grew. But that was only because he started the taxing spree too quickly. Soon enough, the leadership will start floating trial balloons including limited assaults on Proposition 13, the 1978 voter-approved property tax limitation that sparked a nationwide tax revolt.

Prediction Four: Legislators will make good on their promise to “reform” the referendum and initiative process, thus assuring that there will be less opportunity for voters — who still tend to be more conservative in their votes on ballot measures than for candidates — to keep a Democratic majority in check....

Prediction Five: Waves of California millionaires and business owners will throw in the towel given that there’s no longer anything to protect them. Businesses often threaten to move, and many leave but more stay. Yet the November election seems to have been the last straw for many wealth producers.

The long-awaited implementation of the bogus “cap and trade” market – essentially a massive tax and a policy that will generate increased utility costs — is yet another impetus for manufacturers in particular to head to friendlier states.
Redevelopment returns

Prediction Six: We’ll see a return of every bad idea including some resurrected version of redevelopment agencies — those property-rights-abusing, central-planning agencies that Brown eliminated as he sought new funds. Now that there’s no problem raising taxes, Brown and legislative leaders will bring them back. California will become an even bigger laboratory for crazy proposals.

MORE, at the link.

13 Bold Forecasts for 2013: As the new year rolls in, The Kiplinger Letters give you our forecasts on key issues to build into your decisionmaking process.

Though Congress and the President have known for two years that they would have to do something about all the expiring tax rates, they waited until after the deadline had passed. This resulted in lawmaking for which “irresponsible” is not a strong enough word.

Taxes to Rise on Most American Workers - Amy Payne/heritage Morning Bell

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it “a happy start to a new year.” That probably tells you all you need to know about the fiscal cliff deal that passed the House last night.

The bill—which President Obama has promised to sign, though he took off for Hawaii again after the vote—has a 10 to 1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts. This is the President’s version of a “balanced” approach.

In addition to tax increases on Americans making more than $250,000 a year, the bipartisan deal will actually raise taxes on the vast majority of American workers. How? The payroll tax “holiday” has ended. The Wall Street Journal calculates that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” will lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

Meanwhile, the higher tax rates will hit small businesses and investors—which is grim news for a country in need of new jobs.

“It is the small businesses that employ the most workers who will pay the higher rates,” explains Heritage’s Curtis Dubay. “These tax hikes on investment will further dampen investment and result in even less job creation. This is more bad news for the 12 million unemployed Americans.”

While the President touted a “balance” of tax hikes and spending cuts, the truth is that the bill increases government spending by about $330 billion.

Though Congress and the President have known for two years that they would have to do something about all the expiring tax rates, they waited until after the deadline had passed. This resulted in lawmaking for which “irresponsible” is not a strong enough word.

The Senate voted without knowing the cost of the bill—the Congressional Budget Office had not even had time to go through it.

The legislation passed both chambers of Congress within a 24-hour period on a holiday, which meant that Members of Congress—much less the American people—did not have time to find out what was in the 157-page bill....More at the link.

My Name is Bridget Willard and I’m A Republican

Commonsense Conscience, now linked in the sidebar.

If there’s going to be change it begins with me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans who voted for the unsatisfactory package and ensured its passage knew that the alternative was a devastating tax hike for all Americans that would harm the economy

Cliff Win May Be Obama’s Last - Jonathan S. Tobin/Commentary

President Obama got the best of both worlds with the passage of the deal to prevent the country going over the fiscal cliff. He got the massive tax hike on wealthier Americans that he wanted and paid for it with no spending cuts. Though he acted throughout the crisis as if he might prefer the political advantage that he would gain by a Republican refusal to pass these measures, the avoidance of the cliff prevents the economy from going into a tailspin that would blight his second term. And he accomplished all this while making his Republicans looking bad with the passage of the compromise being accomplished despite overwhelming opposition from the House majority caucus.

But the president’s claim that he wouldn’t have another with Republicans about taxes and spending in the future was a hollow challenge. House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans who voted for the unsatisfactory package and ensured its passage knew that the alternative was a devastating tax hike for all Americans that would harm the economy and hurt their party for years to come. Though liberals have often claimed that it was the GOP and its Tea Party faction that was holding the nation hostage, this time it was the Democrats who were the ones with a gun to the heads of the nation. It was either vote for a tax increase for some and no spending cuts or see middle class America pay a terrible price. These circumstances won’t apply in the coming months when the debt ceiling and other budgetary measures must be passed. Though the cliff bill was a win for the president, he isn’t likely to have one like this again....

Far from silencing the Republicans, this debate will ensure that the House majority will be even more determined in the future to oppose the tax increases that the president has said he will push for in the future. Nor will they allow him to get anything passed without addressing the one thing that he has refused to contemplate in any serious manner: entitlement reform. He also won’t be able to count on dividing the GOP caucus as he did this time as Speaker Boehner’s desire to do the right thing by the country estranged him from not only the Tea Partiers but much of his own leadership team. If there’s anything Obama should expect it is that this is the last time Boehner will allow House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to outflank him with most Republicans siding with him against the speaker...