Saturday, March 30, 2013

105-year-old California Buddhist teacher accused of sex abuse

A 105-year-old Buddhist teacher in Los Angeles allegedly groped, molested and even raped female followers throughout his decades-long tenure as a leading Buddhist figure. - Cal Coast News

An investigation conducted by a council of Buddhist leaders suggested that Joshu Sasaki Roshi may have abused hundreds of women in his 50 years since arriving in Los Angeles.
“We see how, knowingly and unknowingly, the community was drawn into an open secret,” the council wrote. “We have reports that those who chose to speak out were silenced, exiled, ridiculed or otherwise punished.”

The Buddhist council investigation into Roshi began after a Zen website published a letter by Eshu Martin titled, “Everybody know.”

“It’s been sort of a tribal secret for 50 years, and I just wanted to provide an opportunity for people to start talking about this in an open forum that couldn’t be shut up,” Martin said about his letter.

Found it on Facebook — You’ve come a long way, baby

This is heart-wrenching - Bookworm Room

Cypriot President Breaks His Silence

“We have no intention of leaving the euro,” he stated this afternoon, adding, “In no way will we experiment with the future of our country.” - Sarah Westwood/Viral Read

“Everyone will have to make sacrifices as our financial situation, in the violent way in which it has developed, will oblige all of us to share the burden,” the president admitted to his embattled nation today. His statement rings tragically true for wealthier foreign and domestic depositors, since his hastily-assembled bailout deal greenlights a raid on all deposits over 100,00 euros. This plan marks a historical departure from all previous euro zone rescues because it is the first time that bank depositors have been forced to accept a loss.

Friday, March 29, 2013

When Liberals Tweet

Here's the latest compilation of Tweets by the people who think they know what's best for everyone else...and aren't afraid to say so. - MRCTVone

Video: Planned Parenthood Official Argues for Right to Post-Birth Abortion (Ie: murder)

link - JOHN MCCORMACK/Weekly Standard

Rep. Jose Oliva followed up, asking the Planned Parenthood official, "You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you’re saying?”

Again, Snow replied, “That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider.”

“I think that at that point the patient would be the child struggling on the table, wouldn’t you agree?” asked Oliva.

"That’s a very good question. I really don’t know how to answer that," Snow said. "I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this.”

Later another representative asked Snow, “What objection could you possibly have to obligate a doctor to transport a child born alive to a hospital where it seems to me they would be most likely to be able to survive?”

Question for Planned Parenthood official: What should happen to a baby born alive after a botched abortion? - Allahpundit/HotAir

Say this much for her: As monstrous as this is, at least she’s consistent. It’s a strange mindset that would suddenly demand that a doctor rescue a baby in peril after giving him the green light to kill it in the womb 10 minutes earlier. The only situation I can think of where someone’s typically asked to switch from assailant to savior in the blink of an eye is when cops or soldiers wound an armed enemy in the course of defending themselves. In all other cases, a person who’s made the decision to kill will, if left uninterrupted, tend to finish the job. Pro-lifers have always argued that it’s silly and arbitrary to make birth (or viability) some key threshold for personhood. In her own ominous way, she’s agreeing with that. If a mother and her doctor have decided to kill, why stop at accidental birth? Why not let them finish the job?

Another horrifying assertion by Planned Parenthood - Doug Ross

No matter where you stand on the issue, the allegation that a baby surviving a botched abortion can legally be executed is noxious, repellent and -- yes -- evil. Yet this is the position of Planned Parenthood.

David Steinberg is ◼ as nauseous as I am.
..there is no daylight between her testimony and an advocacy of decriminalizing murder.

If a child brought into the world under such circumstances is unworthy of life via the intentions of the mother, logic dictates that the child would be placed in such limbo indefinitely, until such time as the mother chooses to kill it. Two minutes later, twenty-five years later: if this monstrous woman could shape a society according to her testimony, then the mother would necessarily have a permanent right to slaughter her child.... Which brings us to this: a government-funded organization just sent a representative to testify that she is not entirely sure a mother does not have an inalienable right to murder; the president whose administration funds her organization has expressed the exact same sentiments, and in fact voted on them — several times.
But Todd Akin is the extremist, don't ya' know?

Which brings me to ◼ Kermit Gosnell.

And one ◼ Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.

Girls as young as 14 are counted as eligible for the “sexual jihad”

‘Sexual Jihad’ Fatwa Urges ‘Temporary Marriages’ for Syrian Rebels - Patrick Goodenough/CNS

Reports about a fatwa urging young girls to travel to Syria to provide sexual services for jihadist rebels are causing a stir in Tunisia, while also drawing attention to the Islamic concept – little-known in the West and controversial among Muslims themselves – of “temporary marriage.”

...Although al-Arifi reportedly is now disowning the fatwa, Arab commentators seem skeptical.

“Sources close to the sheikh denied that he had issued any such fatwa,” the pan-Arab news service Al-Bawaba said in a report Thursday. “Then again, one might backtrack, standing accused of selling young innocents to militant Muslims.”

The president has used his executive powers to bolster the national background check system, jumpstart government research on the causes of gun violence and create a million-dollar ad campaign aimed at safe gun ownership.

Obama uses executive power to move gun control agenda forward - Jordy Yager/The Hill

It is unclear whether the National Rifle Association will challenge any of the executive actions in court. A spokesman for the NRA did not return a request for comment.

The moves, which have not been widely touted by the administration, come as Obama ups his pressure on Congress to take action on gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The Senate is expected to begin floor consideration of legislation when it returns in April.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marco Rubio joins group threatening to filibuster gun control legislation

Earlier this week, GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Ted Cruz (Texas) wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledging to “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.” - Jonathan Easley/The Hill

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday joined a group of Republicans threatening to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate.

“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” he wrote in a statement on his website.

“The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”

...On Thursday, President Obama made an emotional plea for Congress to pass gun control legislation, recalling the massacre that left 26 people dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School less than 100 days ago.
But Rubio said Obama's proposals aren't what's needed to reduce gun violence.

“We should look for ways to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill prone to misusing them, but I oppose legislation that will be used as a vehicle to impose new Second Amendment restrictions on responsible, law-abiding gun owners,” Rubio said.

“We should work to reduce tragic acts of violence by addressing violence at its source, including untreated mental illness, the lack of adequate information-sharing on mental health issues, and the breakdown of the family.”

BOOM: Ted Cruz hammers Obama for using Sandy Hook to promote agenda that will do nothing to stop violent crime - The Right Scoop

Ted Cruz Accuses Obama Of Taking 'Advantage' Of Sandy Hook, Vows To Stymie Gun Control Legislation - Huffington Post

"It is saddening to see the president today, once again, try to take advantage of this tragic murder to promote an agenda that will do nothing to stop violent crime, but will undermine the constitutional rights of all law-abiding Americans," Cruz said in a statement. "I am committed to working with Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Jim Inhofe -- and I hope many other colleagues -- to use any procedural means necessary to protect those fundamental rights."

Cruz also blamed the Obama administration for contributing to the gun violence it is now attempting to address.

"In any conversation about how to prevent future tragedies such as Sandy Hook, our focus should be on stopping criminals from obtaining guns," Cruz said. "Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to make this a priority -- in 2010, out of more than 15,700 fugitives and felons who tried to illegally purchase a firearm, the Obama Justice Department prosecuted only 44. That is unacceptable."

Tax increases exposed for not going to classrooms, funding government pension liabilities instead.

California’s New Taxes Are Paying for Pensions - David Crane/Bloomberg via ◼ HJTA

What if a corporation raised $500 million in a securities offering on the premise that the proceeds would go for operating expenses, then disclosed a few months later that $300 million of this amount would instead be used to service a debt that wasn’t disclosed in the offering document?

This would be false advertising, subject to sanction by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, the SEC doesn’t have jurisdiction over state politicians engaging in the same behavior, and, in the case of California, involving sums that are 100 times bigger.

Last November, California politicians persuaded voters to support a proposed seven-year, $50 billion tax increase, largely on the vow that the money would go to public education. The first five words of the initiative’s title were “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education.”

Now, just four months after the election, the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office has announced that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System requires an extra $4.5 billion a year for 30 years -- $135 billion -- to cover its unfunded liability for teacher pensions and that the money will have to come from some combination of school districts and the state. To the extent that it comes from the school districts, $4.5 billion a year is 167 percent of the annual amount those districts expected from the tax increase. To the extent that it comes from the state, $4.5 billion is more than 100 percent of the annual amount it expected in new revenue.

Prop. 30? Who cares? Tax hike fever is back -

Even after passing a huge tax increase with Prop. 30, politicians are back with more tax increase proposals now targeting drivers, drinkers of sugary drinks, stores that use bags, mattress manufacturers and more.

The adage that “past performance is no guarantee of future results” may be appropriate advice when it comes to buying stocks, but it is belied on a yearly basis by the California Legislature. Year after year after year, lawmakers talk about their devotion to creating jobs. Year after year after year, we learn that the Democrats running the Capitol somehow think that higher taxes are the key to prosperity.

Pssst: The super-secret GOP plan to repeal ObamaCare

Don’t get me wrong. I hope this works, and certainly the news this week that the White House is finally admitting that ObamaCare will jack up rates on healthy, younger people in order to subsidize rates for wealthier older Americans might provide some momentum.

The Secret Republican Plan to Repeal 'Obamacare' And why the fight is far from over. - Chris Frates/National Journal

Sitting at his desk a stone’s throw from the Senate chamber, McConnell turned to the aide and, with characteristic directness, said: “This decision is too cute. But I think we got something with this tax issue.”

He was referring to the court’s ruling that the heart of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the so-called individual mandate that requires everyone in the country to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, was a tax. And while McConnell thought calling the mandate a tax was “a rather creative way” to uphold the law, it also opened a new front in his battle to repeal it.

McConnell, a master of byzantine Senate procedure, immediately realized that, as a tax, the individual mandate would be subject to the budget reconciliation process, which exempted it from the filibuster. In other words, McConnell had just struck upon how to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority vote.

The Kentucky Republican called a handful of top aides into his office and told them, “Figure out how to repeal this through reconciliation. I want to do this.” McConnell ordered a repeal plan ready in the event the GOP took back control of the Senate in November — ironic considering Democrats used the same process more than two years earlier in a successful, last-shot effort to muscle the reforms into law. …

But, in the next two years, Republicans are looking to bring the issue back in a big way. And they’ll start by trying to brand the law as one that costs too much and is not working as promised.

Obamacare Gets Juicy: Obama hipsters learn health care law comes at a heavy cost

While employees seem shocked that their ranks are thinning from 128 full-time employees to 19, they really shouldn’t be outraged at their employer, as opposed to angry with themselves for supporting such an inanely-written law. - Red State

Yesterday, some person (or group) tweeted to me a link to a campaign (allegedly) by and for the current and former employees of Juicy Couture to demand “just hours.”
You see, according to the campaign, the hip and trendy Juicy is doing what other companies are doing in an effort to cope with the burdensome regulations and costs of the “Affordable Health Care Act” (aka ObamaCare)–the company is downsizing its full-time payroll to (mostly) part-time workers.

Since it is probably a safe bet that many of Juicy Couture’s (former) employees voted for Barack Obama, it appears that they are (or should be) learning three things simultaneously:

1. The law of unintended consequences;
2. Elections do matter; and
3. There’s no free lunch.

In their case, as with so many other Obama supporters, one might add: Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.

Just wait until the other shoe drops.

Feds Fund $880,000 to Study Benefits of Snail Sex...

The National Science Foundation awarded a grant for $876,752 to the University of Iowa to study whether there is any benefit to sex among New Zealand mud snails and whether that explains why any organism has sex. - Matt Cover/CNS News ◼ Via Drudge

he study, first funded in 2011 and continuing until 2015, will study the New Zealand snails to see if it is better that they reproduce sexually or asexually – the snail can do both – hoping to gain insight on why so many organisms practice sexual reproduction.

“Sexual reproduction is more costly than asexual reproduction, yet nearly all organisms reproduce sexually at least some of the time. Why is sexual reproduction so common despite its costs,” the study’s abstract asks.

Key Moments From the Hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act

The Supreme Court heard arguments over a federal law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The Times’s John Schwartz offered analysis of the arguments, with audio... - New York Times

Justice Antonin Scalia: It has not arisen very often in the past, because in the past, when I was at the Office of Legal Counsel, there was an opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel which says that the Attorney General will defend the laws of the United States, except in two circumstances: Number one, where the basis for the alleged unconstitutionality has to do with presidential powers. When the presidential powers are involved, he's the lawyer for the President. So he can say, we think the statute's unconstitutional, I won't defend it.

The second situation is where no possible rational argument could be made in defense of it. Now, neither of those situations exists here. And I'm wondering if we're living in this new world where the Attorney General can simply decide, yeah, it's unconstitutional, but it's not so unconstitutional that I'm not willing to enforce it, if we're in this new world, I -— I don't want these cases like this to come before this Court all the time.

And I think they will come all the time if that's — if that's — if that's the new regime in the Justice Department that we're dealing with.

Sri Srinivasan: Justice Scalia, one recognized situation in which an act of Congress won't be defended in court is when the President makes a determination that the act is unconstitutional. That's what happened here. The President made an accountable legal determination that this Act of Congress is unconstitutional.

The Left's Continuing War on Women

The New York Times caused a sensation with its kazillion-word, March 17 article by Michael Luo on the failures of state courts to get guns out of the hands of men in domestic violence situations. - Ann Coulter/Townhall

Numerous studies, including one by the National Institute of Justice, show that crime victims who resist a criminal with a gun are less likely to be injured than those who do not resist at all or who resist without a gun. That's true even when the assailant is armed.

Liberals' advice to rape and domestic abuse victims is: Lie back and enjoy it. The Times' advice is: Get a protective order. The NRA's advice is: Blow the dirtbag's head off. Or, for the delicate: Resist with a gun, the only effective means to stop an attack.

Apparently a lot of abused women prefer not to lie back and take it. Looking at data from Detroit, Houston and Miami, Margo Wilson and Martin Daly found that the vast majority of wives who killed their husbands were not even indicted, much less convicted, because it was found they were acting in self-defense.

But the Times doesn't want abused women to have a fighting chance. Instead, it keeps pushing gun control policies that not only won't stop violent men from murdering their wives, but will disarm their intended victims.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ADMITS: Yes, ObamaCare is raising insurance costs


Will soar 62% in CA, 80% in OH, WI! - JOhn Solomon/Washington Guardian (image source)

NEW: Obamacare to raise CA costs, shutter Anaheim hospital - John Seiler/Cal Watchdog
Many people, including yours truly, have warned that Obamacare would lead to higher costs and worse medical care. That’s now happening like a heart attack.

A new estimate by the Society of Actuaries pegs increases in California medical claims costs by 2017 at 62 percent. This is for “individual health insurance markets, where people purchase coverage directly from insurers rather than get coverage from employers.”

Meanwhile, reported the Orange County Register, “Anaheim General Hospital, which made a rare turnaround two years ago after a near-fatal loss of federal funds, will go out of business in May.

“The closure will result in the loss of 142 hospital beds at a time when Orange County hospitals are preparing to serve more patients because of the federal Affordable Care Act.”

...American medical care now has the worst of both worlds: the incompetency and high mortality of socialist medicine, and the high expense of capitalist medicine.

Why not talk about the economy?

The culture war is all Obama has left - Washington Examiner Editorial

...The U.S. economy is still suffering through the weakest economic recovery since the Great Depression. Unemployment is stubbornly high, especially for Americans age 25 to 54, who make up the core of the nation's workforce. And the American public does not approve of Obama's bumbling and ineffectual attempts to handle the economy.

...Meanwhile, Obama's failure to reach a grand bargain on deficit reduction has completely killed any hopes for new jobs or education programs. Instead of pushing for new stimulus spending or $10 billion a year for his proposed early education program, Obama is just trying to survive this year's $85 billion in sequester spending cuts.

Obama's signature domestic accomplishment, Obamacare, remains highly unpopular. Health care premiums are rising, as its opponents predicted, and numerous newspaper stories are now highlighting how the law is either discouraging new hiring altogether or forcing more Americans into part-time work involuntarily. The key component of the law, the state-based insurance exchanges, are supposed to be up and running in just over seven months, and no one believes they will be functioning properly. The federal bureaucrat in charge of implementing the exchanges recently told industry officials that he is no longer trying to make these exchanges provide a "world-class experience," but instead merely hoping they won't provide "a Third World experience."

...On Saturday, Obama devoted his weekly radio address to proposed new gun control laws, including background checks (which would not have prevented the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.) and the restoration of a demonstrably ineffective assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 after failing to prevent several of America's saddest and most memorable mass shootings. Given that nearly all gun violence is perpetrated with handguns -- not long guns and not so-called "assault weapons" -- it seems Obama's new focus on guns is designed not so much to prevent gun deaths as to energize Democratic voters who look down their noses at gun enthusiasts in flyover country.

Gorbachev: All I Did Has Been Destroyed

Mikhail Gorbachev believes his achievements as Soviet leader have not only been reversed but “distorted, violated, and destroyed." - Melanie Batley/Newsmax

And he had harsh words for current Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who, he said, understands the country’s problems but is looking in the wrong direction for a way out.

"We need to restore a real democratic system. People need to be involved. We won't solve the problems of developing the country, and strengthening it so that people can really feel [they are] their own masters, if we push the people out of politics," Gorbachev said.

"The next election is twenty months away, the last thing we need is Washington D.C. vetting our candidates"


The video...features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) praising Palin for her fearlessness and being instrumental in electing senators such as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Jeff Flake, Deb Fischer, Cruz and governors like Nikki Haley of South Carolina.
In 2012, former South Carolina Senator and current president of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint said Palin's endorsement "has more influence in primaries than any other endorsement right now."
"Sarah Palin picks winners," Cruz says in the video.

...Reporters in the video note only "Sarah Palin will hold Congress to account," that Palin "plays by her own rules," and Palin "doesn't care about old dogs" in the GOP. These are the qualities that make Tea Partiers, conservatives, and independents trust Palin.

DOMA as a states’ rights problem? Today’s oral argument in Plain English

...after yesterday’s argument in the Proposition 8 case, when it became apparent that there might well be five votes to hold that the sponsors of the California initiative lacked a legal right to defend the initiative in court, all eyes focused today even more closely on the first fifty minutes of oral argument, which the Court had set aside to consider the question of its authority to hear the case. - SCOTUS Blog

Drudge headlines:
PRESS: Defense of Marriage Act in jeopardy...
TOOBIN: 'DOMA's in trouble'...
POLITICO: On 'shaky footing'...
Concerned about 'conflict' with states' rights...

Last month, the White House flatly denied involvement in arming the Syrian rebels, going so far as to say the Obama administration rejected a plan by former Secretary of State Clinton and then-CIA Director Petraeus to help arm the rebels

NEW SCANDAL THREATENS OBAMA, HILLARY: Report confirms what well-placed sources have been saying - Aaron Klein/World Net Daily

Has the White House been misleading the public by repeatedly denying it was coordinating arms shipments to the rebels in Syria, insurgents known to consist in large part of al-Qaida and other jihadist groups?

Other top U.S. officials and former officials, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have implied in congressional testimony that they didn’t know about any U.S. involvement in procuring weapons for the rebels.

Now, a starkly different picture is emerging, one that threatens the longstanding White House narrative that claims the Obama administration has only supplied nonlethal aid to the rebels.

Confirming WND’s exclusive reporting for over a year, the New York Times two days ago reported that since early 2012, the CIA has been aiding Arab governments and Turkey in obtaining and shipping weapons to the Syrian rebels....

In fact, the Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND since last year describe the U.S. mission in Benghazi and nearby CIA annex attacked last September as an intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels in the Middle East, particularly those fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

The aid, the sources stated, included weapons shipments and was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar....

Further, in testimony during the Benghazi hearings, Clinton claimed she did not know whether the U.S. was aiding Turkey and other Arab countries in procuring weapons.

The exchange on the subject took place with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Paul asked Clinton: “Is the U. S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?”

“To Turkey?” Clinton asked. “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me....”

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A. - C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT/New York Times (Reporting was contributed by Robert F. Worth from Washington and Istanbul; Dan Bilefsky from Paris; and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey.)

Are Benghazi Survivors Hiding In A Washington, D.C. Hospital? - Richard Miniter/Forbes

For more than six months since the September 11, 2012 attacks on America’s diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, the Obama administration has been unwilling to turn over the names or whereabouts of any survivors. They may be hiding plain sight.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has learned that “as many as seven Americans have been or are currently being treated,” at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.—less than 11 miles from the U.S. Capitol. Rep. Wolf cited two independent confidential sources for his information.

And the number of survivors may be even larger than previously suspected. There may be more than 30 survivors, including State Department and CIA personnel as well as government contractors, according to a March 1, 2013 letter sent by Rep. Wolf and Rep. Jim Gerlach to Secretary of State John Kerry . As for those government contractors mentioned, they are believed to include former U.S Navy Seals and other former special-forces operators.

And it seems that the survivors have been told not to talk. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who has been in touch with the family members of Benghazi survivors, has said that the survivors have been “told to be quiet” by Obama administration officials. “The public needs to hear from people who were on the ground, their desperate situation. They need to understand from people who were there for months how bad it was getting and how frustrated they were that nobody would listen to them and provide aid.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest

Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse. - FOX

The latest crackdown is further confirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s most hard-line elements are consolidating control in Egypt, according to Shaul Gabbay, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver.

“It will only get worse,” said Gabbay. “This has been a longstanding conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become Muslims.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back,” he continued. “The floodgates are open.”


link - Breitbart

So, why do we need Republicans?

“This past Friday, an “Internet Sales Tax” amendment (no. 656) to S.Con.Res. 8, sponsored by Wyoming Republican Mike Enzi, passed the Senate with the support of twenty-six Republicans, many of them known as conservatives, with most of them talking about how conservative they are when facing a Democrat in an election. - John Seiler/Cal Watchdog

So, just like the Democrats, the Republican Party favors taxing the Internet, which the middle-class — including all those immigrants the GOP now is trying to attract — uses for commerce, communication and fun.

Note the presence there of Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee. The party’s problems didn’t begin with Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee — and himself a notorious tax raiser with his RomneyCare socialized medicine scheme in Massachusetts when he was governor there.

It’s becoming harder to find a reason why the Republican Party should continue operating.

12 Best Gay Marriage Moments at the Supreme Court

Supreme Court justices jousted with lawyers over California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, weighing whether marriage should be a national fundamental right, left up to the states or somewhere in between. Of the 80 minutes of legal questioning, here are the 12 best moments. - Steven T. Dennis and John Gramlich/Roll Call

This project would take personal information about each child, apart from any considerations of parental consent, and put it into a database being managed and monitored solely by the government agencies and private corporations that use it

Corporations gaining access to grades, addresses, hobbies, attitudes - Michael F. Haverluck/WND

The system has been in operation for several months and already contains millions of K-12 students’ personal identification ‒ ranging from name, address, Social Security number, attendance, test scores, homework completion, career goals, learning disabilities, and even hobbies and attitudes about school.

Claiming that the national database will enhance education, the main funder of the project, the Gates Foundation, entered the joint venture with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from a number of states. After Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify Education (a division of News Corp) spent more than a year developing the system’s infrastructure, the Gates Foundation delivered it to inBloom ‒ a nonprofit corporation recently established to run the database.

School officials and private companies doing business with districts might have plenty to be happy about with this information-sharing system, but President Michael P. Farris says parents have plenty to worry about when it comes to inBloom’s national database.

“The greatest immediate threat to children is the threat to their privacy,” Farris told WND in an exclusive interview. “The Supreme Court has recognized a sphere of privacy within the family, but this project would take personal information about each child, apart from any considerations of parental consent, and put it into a database being managed and monitored solely by the government agencies and private corporations that use it.”

“They protect their own privacy at any cost, but you need to surrender yours for the good of their ideal society,” Farris adds. “Ultimately, it doesn’t seem so ideal for the rest of us.”

Farris insists that schools giving in to the corporate interests of billionaires, such as Gates and Murdoch, is a major breach of parental rights.

“Now the government is sharing private student information with other organizations without parental consent,” Farris points out. “We believe that infringes a child’s right to privacy, and it infringes the parents’ right to be the first line of defense for that child.”

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz & Mike Lee threaten filibuster on guns

“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,” the three conservatives wrote in a copy of the signed letter obtained by POLITICO. - Jonathan Allen/Politico

Though they don’t use the word “filibuster” in the letter, the conservatives are leaving no doubt that they would filibuster on an initial procedural question — the motion to proceed.

◼ UPDATED: Marco Rubio joins group threatening to filibuster gun control legislation - Jonathan Easley/The Hill

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday joined a group of Republicans threatening to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate.

“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” he wrote in a statement on his website.

“The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”


link - Atlas Shrugs

Finally the New York Times is reporting on the sexual assault of women in Egypt. Of course, they have to qualify it and deflect blame from the Muslim Brotherhood by saying that sexual assaults took place during the Mubarak regime, but that the police kept it quiet. Lol. They're actually attempting to norm this brutal and bloody violence against women by saying that it happened under Mubarak, sort of -- it's just that nobody knew about it.

Still, they admit that after Mubarak left, so did the security police, and that since then, these attacks have gotten more brazen, more bold, and more violent.

There is an element of soft bigotry in the Times's low expectations of Egyptian men -- as if the understanding is that these men are savages. The Times speaks of these attacks as if they are to be expected. Urbane, savage media.

And the great tragedy is that the majority of these attacks are not reported, because the understanding is that these women deserve it -- because they were out and the Muslim Brotherhood government basically says that they brought it on themselves.

This is what we can come to expect from these Islamic governments that take over from secular governments. This is progress under Islam.

Even the New York Times headline is deceiving and dissembling. It's about who is to blame? Really? Who's to blame? The raping men. Who's to blame? The Islamic culture that sees women as sex slaves or property....

Rise in Sexual Assaults in Egypt Sets Off Clash Over Blame - MAYY EL SHEIKH and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK/New York Times

...In the aftermath, victims of other sexual assaults around Tahrir Square over the last two years have come forward as well. “When I see Mohamed Mahmoud Street on television from home, my hand automatically grabs my pants,” Yasmine Al Baramawy said in a television interview, recalling her own attack last November.

She and a friend were each surrounded by two separate rings of attackers, she said. Some claimed to be protecting her from others but joined in the attack. They used knives to cut most of the clothes off her body and then pinned her half-naked to the hood of a car. And they continued to torment her on a slow, hourlong drive to a nearby neighborhood, where, she said, residents finally interceded to rescue her.

“They told people I had a bomb on my abdomen to stop anybody from rescuing me,” Ms. Baramawy said.

The attacks have underscored the failure of the Morsi government, with its links to the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, to restore social order. The comments by the president’s Islamist allies blaming the women have proved embarrassing....

No sooner had Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed three gun-control bills into law Wednesday than the economic backlash began

Magpul Industries Was Not Bluffing, Remington and Colt May Follow Suit - Valerie Richardson/Washington Times

Officials at gun equipment manufacturer Magpul Industries confirmed that the company would make good on its vow to leave Colorado if the governor signed the bill to limit ammunition-magazine capacity. The Erie-based manufacturer confirmed on its Facebook page that it will start its transition “almost immediately.”

Magpul may be the first firearms-related business to relocate as a result of state gun-control laws, but it probably won’t be the last. Companies in Connecticut, Maryland and New York are considering moves to more gun-friendly pastures as their state legislatures act on restrictive firearms measures similar to those pushed through by state Democrats here.

In New York, where Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed laws banning so-called assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity to seven rounds, venerable gun manufacturer Remington Arms is being wooed by officials in at least a half-dozen other states.

...Magpul, which manufactures polymer firearms accessories, including ammunition magazines, employs about 200 people and supports 400 supply-chain jobs in Colorado. The company blamed political currents outside Colorado for the Democratic legislature’s gun-control package.

“It is disappointing to us that money and a social agenda from outside the state have apparently penetrated the American West to control our legislature and governor, but we feel confident that Colorado residents can still take the state back through recalls, ballot initiatives and the 2014 election,” said the company.

Mr. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, acknowledged at the signing ceremony that Magpul might leave Colorado, but said he had concluded that the legislation’s benefits “clearly” outweighed the costs.

“Those are 200 people who go to work every day, and if Magpul decides they do indeed have to leave, that’s a hardship, that’s difficult,” said Mr. Hickenlooper. “In any difficult piece of legislation, there’s pluses and minuses.”

The little bookstore that could

The idea of opening a bookstore sprang from a field trip a small group of students take to Blake's Books in McKinleyville each spring. Students, selected for their need of encouragement in reading, are invited to pick out a free book using store credit donated by customers. - Nancy Wheeler/For the Times-Standard

Jones witnessed one of the field trips and cited it as a transformative experience.

”It was magical,” he said. “There was excitement, but also joy as it was explained to the kids that this wasn't like the school library. They would keep their book. I'd never seen eyes open so wide.”

A thought entered his mind that day that slowly wriggled around for several months until he dared to ask: What if the school could give the same experience to every student, and not just once, but several times every year?

”I'm a garage sale fanatic, and have a large home library for my own kids,” he recalled. “I thought, if I'm buying two books out of a box of 30 at a yard sale for my family, what if I just bought the whole box for the school? And kept doing it.”

”There was hesitancy when I pitched the idea to our parent group, but the principal, some teachers and several parents believed in the concept,” Jones said. The idea matured into a system for academic incentives, a system that guarantees every student earns books.

A year later, with a dedicated room and thousands of used books and shelving acquired, the bookstore opened. A grant from the McKinleyville Area Fund purchased the Blockbuster shelves, and the Morris Parent Teacher Organization pays for the books Jones finds.

”We saw many new things when the bookstore opened during lunch recess,” said Deanne Fisher, a playground monitor and early store volunteer. “Boys would walk around with books in their faces, girls reading and hanging upside down on the monkey bars. Boys in small groups showed off their books to each other.”

...Donations to the Morris bookstore can be arranged by contacting or calling the school at 839-1529.

Thanks to ObamaCare, You May Soon Get Serious Medical Treatment from People Who Lack Medical Training

ObamaCare has transformed the healthcare landscape across America. Though not yet fully implemented, it is already changing the way we buy and access healthcare, mostly in negative ways. - Bryan Preston/PJM

Premiums keep going up. Doctors are speeding up their retirements to avoid having to deal with the law. Its push to digitize our medical records may expose Americans to violations of our privacy, and even to misdiagnoses as doctors and nurses are forced to use templates rather than handwritten notes to describe the ailments patients present them.

ObamaCare is also creating chaos in how states deal with which medical personnel are allowed to perform different tasks. The Department of Health and Human Services essentially writes much of the law on the fly, and state legislatures and health departments find themselves regulating between the voluminous law’s many gaps. Chaos presents opportunities, and into those opportunities, some say, consortia of health practitioners are stepping, to take advantage.

Specifically, two groups — nurse practitioners and optometrists — are moving to increase their medical taskings to include many typically done by MDs, without obtaining the years of training that MDs obtain.

The Obama administration has announced its intent to disregard state laws and state constitutional amendments prohibiting the enforcement of ObamaCare. Federal agents from the Department of Health and Human Services will assume absolute control over states’ health insurance industry and regulation in states that refuse to comply with the federal healthcare mandates.

Obama Admin. Ignores Nullification: Federal Agents Will Enforce ObamaCare - Joe Wolverton, II, J.D./New American

In an exclusive telephone interview with The New American, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak reported that the his office has received a letter from Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) Deputy Administrator and Director Gary Cohen informing him that the federal government will impose ObamaCare regulations on insurance companies in Oklahoma. The CCIIO is part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to a story in Politico, Doak’s colleagues in Missouri, Wyoming, and Texas have received these notifications, as well.

In a press release issue by his office after receiving Cohen’s letter, Doak writes that the “Oklahoma Insurance Department will not be participating in a collaborative effort with the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) to enforce the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

...“This is yet another example of continued overreach of the federal government on states’ rights,” Doak told The New American, when asked about the conflict. “This is the first shot over the bow of states” which have chosen not to enforce ObamaCare’s myriad mandates, he added.

Apart from the assault on state sovereignty, the CMS announcement will be financially devastating, as well.

Tulsa World reports that “health insurance companies doing business in Oklahoma are receiving letters from Cohen telling them that enforcement of the law’s requirements will be handled by the federal agency.”

The way the system will work, apparently, is that any health insurance plan purchased through an ObamaCare healthcare exchange will be regulated and managed by a federal official (known in the language of ObamaCare as a “navigator”). Plans sold through other companies, however, will continue to be under the purview of Doak and his office.

Insurance companies that provide plans through the ObamaCare exchange and outside of the government program will be subject to two radically different regulatory schemes: one created and enforced by Washington, D.C., and one administered out of Oklahoma City.

Doak warns that this duplicate regulatory scheme — state and federal — will result in increased costs for the consumer.

“Oklahomans should be alarmed,” he said.

If Oklahomans are ultimately subjected to the deprivations of ObamaCare, it will be at the hand of federal agents, as Doak says there is no enacting legislation empowering his office to enforce federal law in Oklahoma.

Savings accounts in Spain, Italy and other European countries will be raided if needed to preserve Europe's single currency by propping up failing banks, a senior eurozone official has announced.

Cyprus bail-out: savers will be raided to save euro in future crises, says eurozone chief - Bruno Waterfield, in Brussels/The Telegraph

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chag Sameach!

Have a Happy and meaningful Passover!

Republicans must be aggressive to secure smaller government

Republicans in Congress have a problem reducing the size and scope of the federal government. Far too often, they introduce watered-down legislation that they hope will not be torn to shreds by the media. This strategy has failed to pay off. - Adam Bitely/Net Right Daily

If Republicans in the House want to be the party of limited government, they will have to start legislating like it. If they cave to the same old media and Democrat pressure that calls Republican ideas “radical” and “out of touch”, they will have effectively signaled to those who want leaders in Washington to champion limited government issues that they are not up to the job.

Instead of caving, Republicans should lay out a broad plan, tied to something such as a vote on the debt ceiling, that finally begins to rein in the mountain of debt and out-of-control spending that Congressional Republicans have allowed to continue. Rhetoric without action must not be allowed.

If Congressional Republicans are not aggressive in fighting the downward debt spiral, then who will be? That answer is probably no one.

Mayor Bloomberg: ‘I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom’

On Meet the Press Sunday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicated that Americans should get used to the idea of having their freedom’s limited by government, particularly when their actions affect themselves or others. - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

“I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom,” Bloomberg said, citing laws banning drinking and driving or carrying guns on airplanes .

Surprise(s)! ObamaCare’s third birthday

I was unable to attend the third birthday party of ObamaCare, but at least American Action Network celebrated it … in a manner of speaking. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
Obamacare: The World’s Ugliest Toddler - David Catron/American Spectator

In reality, the costs associated with the “Affordable Care Act” are already confirming the gloomiest predictions of its opponents, which probably accounts for the continued unpopularity of the law. Like most three-year-olds, new entitlements are generally regarded with an indulgent eye. Obamacare, however, has proved to be an exception. In February, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation published a health tracking poll showing that opposition to the law had increased since its previous survey and an even more recent survey confirms that finding.

The latter was conducted on behalf of Reason: “Asked an open-ended question about what comes to mind when they hear the term ‘ObamaCare,’ 50 percent gave a negative response of some sort. At 24 percent, the largest single response was a generalized comment that the law is a bad thing.” No matter how often the President and his congressional accomplices invite us to admire the beauty of Obamacare, the public recoils from the creature. Regardless of the gaudy rhetorical frippery with which Obama & Co. adorn their progeny, the voters still know ugly when they see it.

Why the Size of Government Matters

When one moves beyond all the budget numbers floating around Washington these days, much of the debate over future policy boils down to a question of the size of government. - CATO Institute

The Left often dismisses this issue as symbolism or rhetoric, but it is much more than that.

The question of big government vs. limited government is not an abstraction. How we answer that question has real consequences for real people. For example:

1. Big government is unaffordable.
2. Big government is incompatible with economic growth.
3. Big government doesn’t work.
4. Big government breeds corruption.
5. Big government limits freedom.
(Details, at the link)

Ventura Co, CA Sheriff expects to get FAA approval for drones within weeks

With the county of Ventura as the lead agency, a coalition of local government entities, businesses and universities has formed the Southern California Unmanned Systems Alliance in the hope of becoming one of six national test sites that the FAA is expected to designate before the year is out. - VC Star

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office expects within weeks to be granted FAA approval to become among the first law enforcement agencies in the nation to test and operate an unmanned aircraft that could be deployed in search-and-rescue operations and in other emergencies.

A three-day conference sponsored by the nation’s leading aeronautics industry organization will open Tuesday in Westlake Village, featuring industry experts, a keynote speech from California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and a tour of naval facilities at Point Mugu, where the Navy intends to soon locate four Triton Unmanned Aircraft Systems to provide national defense surveillance over the open seas....

Advocates see the advent of drones for commercial and civilian uses as an opportunity for Southern California to reclaim its standing as the center of the aerospace industry, potentially re-creating some of the thousands of high-wage manufacturing jobs that disappeared with defense industry rollbacks after the end of the Cold War.

“I want to create a hub for innovative jobs in Ventura County and Southern California,” said Gorell. “I want to keep the manufacturing jobs here — the middle-class jobs that won’t stay here unless we act.”

...Advocates for the commercial drone industry know there is a huge impediment to technological progress — public concerns about intrusions into their privacy and public anxiety to drones being used as military killing machines.

Those large, weaponized drones, with ominous names such as “Predator,” “Reaper” and “Sky Warrior,” bear little resemblance to the small, lightweight models proposed for commercial use, but the image is hard to shake....

Dean envisions using it to assist deputies during backcountry search-and-rescue operations and during dangerous incidents such as hostage situations to give deputies a close-up look at the scene without having to put themselves at risk.

...In the meantime, the department has developed an internal policy that says any imagery the camera collects will be deleted “unless federal or state regulations mandate retention.” In addition, the policy says that images “determined to be evidence in a criminal case will be retained.”

“We have to have stringent policies,” Dean said. “Just because we have the technology, we don’t have the right to be intrusive in people’s lives. That doesn’t change. I don’t want anybody looking in my backyard, and I don’t want our personnel flying over other people’s houses.”

Democratic New Mexico senator worked closely with convicted eco-terrorist

Democratic New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich founded an environmentalist group with a convicted eco-terrorist in the 1990s. - Patrick Howley/Investigative Reporter/Daily Caller @PatrickHowleyDC

Prior to his political career, Heinrich c0-founded and chaired the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. David Foreman, a convicted criminal and founder of the radical environmental “warrior society” Earth First!, was among the other co-founders of the group. He also sat on the board during Heinrich’s tenure as chairman.

...Foreman pled guilty to sabotaging a nuclear power plant and has openly advocated for monkey-wrenching and other forms of “environmental espionage,” according to documents.

Other Earth First! members also served on the board Heinrich chaired, including Foreman’s wife Nancy Morton and Todd Schulke, according to a 2001 Wilderness Alliance newsletter.

Foreman pled guilty in 1991 to conspiracy to damage the property of an energy facility in an Earth First! attempt to destroy an electrical transmission line leading to a nuclear power plant, according to a report funded by the U.S. Department of Justice entitled “Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorist Incidents: The Identification of Behavioral, Geographic, and Temporal Patterns of Preparatory Conduct.”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ted Cruz’s ‘Big Gulp Amendment’ Latest Mockery Of Bloomberg Soda Ban

Mockery and scorn for New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s bid to ban big sodas came swiftly, and now conservatives are pouring it on: Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz proposed a “Big Gulp Amendment” Friday to prohibit the federal government from following Mr. Bloomberg’s lead… - Douglas Ernst/Washington Times

The Daily News reported that the Texas lawmaker and tea party favorite submitted the resolution as part of the Senate’s debate over a new budget, and calls for “prohibiting federal regulation of food and beverage size and quantity.”

The legislature is largely symbolic. Even if it was passed by a Democrat controlled Senate, it would not be binding on federal agencies. The federal government has no plans for such restrictions.

Mr. Cruz’s resolution is the latest in a string of recent public excoriations from conservatives of Mr. Bloomberg’s attempted ban, which was invalidated earlier this month by a state judge.

Awesome: Tweeters capture Palm Sunday festivities in pictures

Many folks around the world took to Twitter on this Palm Sunday to share photos of different experiences. - Twitchy

Cyprus told: take bank levy or leave euro UPDATED

President, eurozone finance ministers and bailout troika hold emergency meeting as €100 limit imposed on ATM withdrawals - The Guardian

The European Central Bank has threatened to cut off funds propping up Cypriot banks on Monday, precipitating the island's exit from the euro if agreement was not reached on Sunday night at the emergency meeting between eurozone finance ministers, the president of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, and the bailout troika of the IMF, European Commission and the ECB.

The Europeans, with the Germans and the IMF taking a particularly hard line, demanded the winding up of Cyprus Popular Bank, the country's second biggest, and the restructuring of Bank of Cyprus, the biggest financial institution.

The parties considered new proposals that had emerged over the weekend with European officials speaking of a levy of up to 25% on Bank of Cyprus depositors with accounts holding more than €100,000, plus a further levy of up to 5% on similar deposits in other banks.

"The numbers have not changed. If anything they've got worse," said Wolfgang Schäuble , Germany's finance minister. He said that last week's agreement to raise €5.8bn had to be achieved. This time, however, savers with less than €100,000 would be spared, meaning the burden would fall much more heavily on the wealthy than the 9.9% levy proposed for their accounts last week.

◼ UPDATE: Cyprus clinches last-ditch bailout deal - NBC

Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders on Monday for a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout that will shut down its second largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians.

The agreement emerged after fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system.

The plan, swiftly endorsed by euro zone finance ministers, will spare the east Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a "good bank".

Deposits above 100,000 euros, which under EU law are not guaranteed, will be frozen and used to resolve debts, and Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses.

An EU spokesman said no levy would be imposed on any deposits in Cypriot banks. A first attempt at a deal last week collapsed when the Cypriot parliament rejected a proposed levy on all deposits.

Few winners in Cyprus deal - BBC
Days of uncertainty lie ahead.

It is not clear whether the banks will reopen on Tuesday. Neither is it known when restrictions on cash withdrawals will be lifted or what capital controls will be left in place.

There will be big, and innocent, losers.

What happens to the person who parked more than 100,000 euros in an account before buying a property or before paying foreign suppliers?
EU and Cyprus agree to take big depositors’ money without calling it a “tax” - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion

So the EU has reached a deal to bail out Cyprus, but unlike the prior proposal, there will be no tax levied on anyone.

Insured deposits under 100,000 Euros will be safe and transferred to a new “good” bank, but the losses will be concentrated on the larger depositors who will be stuck at the “bad” bank. And in a move eerily reminiscent of the maneuvering to get Obamacare passed, the deal is structured to avoid calling it a tax (which would require parliamentary approval).

Zero Hedge summarizes what it means: - Zerohedge

… In other words, a deal far worse then the original one proposed by the Eurogroup last week – when the banks still existed. The key appears to be the ‘saving’ of the insured depositors (crucial to avoid a pan-European bank run) and the crushing of the ‘whale’ depositors….

UPDATE: It appears the ‘deal’ to default/restructure the banks has been designed to bypass the need for parliamentary votes, since it is theoretically not a tax.

The Next Phase of the Financial Meltdown in Cyprus: an "Unimaginable" and Vicious Policy is Being Considered - Doug Ross

...Just a week ago the entire financial world shuddered when Cypriot banks were to "tax" (i.e., steal) 12 to 15 percent of deposits.

Now the act of total confiscation of these accounts is on the table.

This is lawlessness. And Statist cheerleaders like Henry Blodget and Paul Krugman support the policies that will bring Cyprus to our shores.

Large California city heads to bankruptcy court

By outward appearances, Stockton, a city of nearly 300,000 on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, seemed in the mid-2000s to be emerging from decades of struggle. - AP via FOX

Next to its gleaming downtown waterfront -- a window to the West's largest fresh-water estuary -- a beautiful new $46 million glass hockey arena rose in 2005. That same year, an Oakland A's minor league baseball team began play in a new taxpayer-financed stadium, amenities sought by elected officials catering to a wave of new residents fleeing Bay Area congestion and soaring home prices.

High salaries and lucrative benefits were supposed to attract and retain the brightest city workforce to improve the quality of life for its residents. "We spent like the good times would go on forever," said Stockton spokeswoman Connie Cochrane.

But then the recession hit, and the good times went bust....

After the city's population grew by nearly 20 percent between 2000 and 2005 and real estate tripled in value, home prices plummeted 40 percent the following year before bottoming out at 70 percent.

Within two years, Stockton had accumulated nearly $1 billion in debt on civic improvements, money owed to pay pension contributions and the most generous health care benefits in the state -- coverage for life for all retirees plus a dependent no matter how long they had worked for the city.

"It's not realistic to think that something like that could be sustained indefinitely," Cochrane said....

By 2009, the city began slashing its budget to stay afloat. The police department lost 25 percent of its 441 sworn officers and the fire department was cut by 30 percent. City staff was cut by 40 percent. The city general fund budget, now $155 million, has been cut by $90 million over three years.

The impacts were felt everywhere. Wells Fargo bank seized three parking garages when the city defaulted on the $32 million in bonds that financed them. Bond holders also seized the $40 million downtown high rise that was to become City Hall.

Stockton recorded its highest-ever number of murders in 2011 and 2012, and had three just last Sunday. Last year, an FBI analysis of violent crime made it the 10th most dangerous city in the U.S. Its unemployment rate is 17.5 percent, and it has the third-highest illiteracy rate in the country.

"We are fiscally insolvent, but service insolvent as well and that threatens our ability to attract new business, which we need to recover," Cochrane said.

Senate Votes Down Amendment Preventing Illegals From Receiving Obamacare

link - Caroline May/Daily Caller

The Senate voted down an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded health care if they are granted legal status in an immigration reform package.

The 43-56 vote — taken during the Senate’s so-called budget vote-o-rama Friday and the early hours of Saturday — split along party lines the “gang of eight” senators currently working on an immigration reform package.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, the sponsor of the amendment, said that the vote put “immigration reform in jeopardy.”

L.O.L. – Obama Operative Claims “Obama Doesn’t Attack Rush Limbaugh or Fox News”

These Obama folks have gotten so used to the lies that just roll off their tongues with such ease and conviction it startles even the most weathered of politicos. They must be absolutely CONVINCED that Americans won’t even bother to call them out or take even the briefest moment to investigate the truth. - Ulsterman report

From the mailbox:

This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the Word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of Putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.

While this thought is still fresh in our brain... let's take a look at New Orleans ... It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) was asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS To rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number... What does it mean?

A. Well .. If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman and child) You each get $516,528

B. Or... If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or... If you are a family of four... Your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington , D.C
Are all your calculators broken??
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes)


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago... And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt...
We had the largest middle class in the world...
And Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?
Can you spell

Middle East: Assad killed? Egypt in turmoil. Israel fires.

ISRAEL FIRES INTO SYRIA after Golan attack on troops - Reuters
Israeli forces "destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border," the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page.

Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria's civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn Israeli return fire.
Syria chemical weapons: Finger pointed at jihadists - The Telegraph
A Syrian Army source gives the first account of what is believed to have been a chemical attack - and it could mean that one of the West's biggest fears is about to come true. Channel 4's Alex Thomson reports.
House Intel Chair: 'Red Line Has Been Crossed' - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
RUMOR WILDFIRE: Assad killed by bodyguard - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit ◼ Via Drudge
.....◼ Translated from JSS News: Bashar al-Assad was killed by a bodyguard ... (Arab media)
Update: According to Arab media , Bashar al-Assad would have been seriously wounded by gunfire last night Saturday, March 23 by his bodyguard but Iran is not dead. He is currently hospitalized, between life and death, Shami Hospital in Damascus which the streets were closed.

Proprietary information (in France): According to reports in the Arab press (and then republished in the Israeli press ), information that journalists say they have "verified" the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was killed this morning by one of his bodyguards. An important safety device has been set up at the hospital in Damascus.
Did Obama Give Israel Go-Ahead? - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard


UPDATE: Assad’s inner circle says the reports are not true – the dictator is in high spirits and will deliver a keynote speech within days (unless he’s dead).

UPDATE: Syrian TV premises have been evacuated.

UPDATE: Russia Today News (pro-Assad) says the rumors are not true because Assad’s inner circle told them so.

UPDATE: Here we go…..
The Jews and their robots are being blamed for the ‘disinformation.’

Zionist bedouins created an Al-Assad articulated robot, will show him dead along with Damascus streets in chaos, to bring about panic and demoralize the Syrian people and the army, to enable terrorists to take advantage of the situation. Just like they did with the fake GREEN SQUARE footage in LIBYA.

Those Jews and their evil robots are at it again.

UPDATE: French website L’Express picked up the story but says there is no evidence the reports are true.

UPDATE: The New York Daily News reported on the rumors.

What the Tea Party Congress accomplished:

3.6 trillion reasons why the 112th Congress was a huge success - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner @conncarroll

...if you look at the hard numbers -- if you look at the tax-and-spending trajectory that the United States was on before the 112th Congress was sworn into office, and then look at the path the U.S. is on now -- you'd see that Republicans in Congress have made tremendous progress in shrinking the size and scope of the federal government.

Just weeks after Huelskamp was first sworn in, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2011 through 2021. That document showed the federal government was on track to spend $3.7 trillion in 2011, or 24.7 percent of the entire U.S. economy, and a total of almost $50 trillion ($49.8 trillion to be exact) through 2021. At the same time, tax revenues were set to rise from just 14.8 percent of GDP in 2011 to 20.8 percent in 2021.

Huelskamp and his Republican colleagues changed all that. The 2011 Budget Control Act cut spending by $1.5 trillion, and the sequester cut it by an additional $1.2 trillion. At the same time, House Republicans were able to preserve nearly all of the expiring Bush tax cuts and cut the debt.

The CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2013 through 2023 shows just how much House Republicans have actually accomplished....