Barack Obama wants the rich to pay more taxes. Since the days of Ronald Reagan, says the president, Republicans have been protecting the rich at every opportunity — shielding them from the obligation to pay their fair share.
As he attempted to address them this week, one third of the UN General Assembly walked out on Iranian “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Then, he was pointedly snubbed by all U.S. political figures and hard-balled by the media, which grilled him on human rights abuses and nuclear weapons.
Frank, an advocate of legalizing prostitution and online gambling, has been taking money from offshore gaming company Full Tilt Poker (FTP) that the Justice Department now says is just a Ponzi scheme.
In Part I of this series, "Iran at our Doorstep," published in the August issue of A Line of Sight, I documented Iran's continued quest to develop a nuclear weapon. Additionally, I explained the Iran-Venezuela-Russia alliance currently constructing a military missile base on the extreme northern coast of Venezuela well within reach of many heavily populated U.S. cities. The publicly stated purpose of building the base is to provide the capability for Venezuela to launch missiles at "Iran's enemies."
Watching the long slow death of this market has been agonizing. Back in 2009, a friend of mine who heads up research at a very big firm asked me what I thought. I told him the market was crap, but it would go up as long as the government bought it. We looked at some charts from the 1930's. While not a perfect mirror, this market reminds me of that time. We rallied in 2009, 2010, and this year the government stopped buying it.
The stock market is in free fall: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 675 points or almost nine percent of its value in the past two days alone, so it is likely the economy will be a big part of the debate. The execution of Troy Davis in Georgia Wednesday night will doubtless be a subject of discussion as well. On foreign policy, the Israel/Palestine issue is at the top of the stack; and funding FEMA - UH-gain - will probably be dealt with.
Will the Egyptian military be permitted to remilitarize the Sinai? Since Palestinian and Egyptian terrorists crossed into Israel from Sinai on August 18 and murdered eight Israelis this has been a central issue under discussion at senior echelons of the government and the IDF.
Given her prominent role as a top party spokesperson, fundraiser and cheerleader, some of Wasserman Schultz’s critics may forget that she simultaneously wears another hat: Three-term Congresswoman from Florida’s 20th Congressional District. Karen Harrington wants to strip DWS of that title in 2012.
Today one of America's most important conservative leaders is under brutal assault from the radical left, and he desperately needs conservatives from across America to rally to his defense. His name is Russell Pearce and he is the President of the Senate in Arizona.
President Obama still hasn't learned the classic First Rule of Holes: When you're in one, stop digging. Up to his earlobes in failed stimulus grants and tainted federal loan guarantees, the shoveler in chief tunneled forward this week on his latest Government Loans to Nowhere bill
It's easy to get nostalgic for those classic Dean Martin TV celebrity roasts. Just watch a Friars Club Roast on Comedy Central. This is not comedy; they are unremittingly vicious. When they announced they were going to roast Charlie Sheen, a disgraceful human being if ever there was one, there was a sense of karmic comeuppance.
When Obama promised "hope and change" as a candidate, I think he had in mind a new paradigm, one of restructuring America's economic system in his image rather than triggering economic growth, though he wanted the electorate to believe that growth was his focus.
When New York's District 9 went Republican, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, explained that the district, which has been in Democratic hands since 1923, is "a very difficult district for Democrats." By that standard, the entire nation may go Republican in 2012.
The lone-wolf threat is nothing new, but it has received a great deal of press coverage in recent months, and with that press coverage has come a certain degree of hype based on the threat’s mystique. However, when one looks closely at the history of solitary terrorists, it becomes apparent that there is a significant gap between lone-wolf theory and lone-wolf practice. An examination of this gap is very helpful in placing the lone-wolf threat in the proper context.
A second witness has now come forward, as well. Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing told The Daily Beast, that the White House pushed him to alter his testimony to say that "the government's concerns about the project by the firm LightSquared could be resolved in 90 days."
“The last thing Christ wants is our heart…what God wants from us is our feet, our legs, our hands, our arms. He wants our entire body,” Sam Childers recently stated during a roundtable interview for his new film, “Machine Gun Preacher.” The film chronicles the story of how Childers went from selling drugs in Pennsylvania to building an orphanage in the Sudan.
Translation for the perplexed analysts: The Federal Reserve will be virtually the only entity buying long-term (20 and 30-year) debt from the U.S. Government through mid-2012. This is most likely because even though the government would like to extend its debt for two or three decades, not many investors are willing to trust the government with their money for three decades.
Only the U.S. military could build a defensive wall of words -- "dismounted complex blast injury" (DCBI) -- around the bare fact that single, double, triple, even quadruple amputations are up sharply among U.S. forces on foot patrol in Afghanistan. So are associated pelvic, abdominal and genital injuries, according to a newly released report.
What if Barack Obama had begun his presidency by enacting a permanent tax cut that further lowered income tax rates, cut the capital gains rate in half and reduced business taxes across the board?
At some point during development, most of us begin to realize that life is not fair. If we have siblings, this happens earlier. We notice that the other child is better at math, or baseball, or whatever. We learn life is not fair, and we move on.
In China, human rights are not recognized as fixed or unalienable. Rather, they are a benevolence to be given or taken away in response to the mindset and behavior of individual Chinese citizens.
Will Israel survive? That question hasn't really been asked since 1967. Then, a far weaker Israel was surrounded on all sides by Arab dictatorships that were equipped with sophisticated weapons from their nuclear patron, the Soviet Union. But now, things are far worse for the Jewish state.
As Barack Obama huffs and puffs about his tax plan, which is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-majority Senate much less the Republican-controlled House, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, has provided a much broader view of where the United States stands amid great changes in the world and some useful guidance on what direction public policy ought to take.
The cultural and media snobs are trying to explain Texas to those who don't know the difference between a steer and a bull. If you fall into this category, a steer has been castrated -- a bull has not. I'll leave any analogy to East and West Coast elites for you to sort out.
The more we learn about the failure of the stimulus-backed company Solyndra, the more questions we have. It is time the White House give us honest answers, not convenient excuses.
At first blush, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware's decision to unseal videos of the federal trial challenging Proposition 8 would seem to be a victory for truth, justice and open government. But you can't always tell a video by its jacket.
If anyone ever believed that the more conservative Bill Clinton really thought the more liberal Barack Obama was prepared to be president in 2008, let them wonder no longer.
This much I know: When the Illinois Combine has a problem, they usually make it go away. Like either forever or at least until paroled for good behavior.
The American system was designed to be a phased process. By separating the selection of the legislature from the selection of the president, the founders created a system that did not allow for sudden shifts in personnel.
The Fed has been a consistent fixer. It has meddled too much and muddied up the marketplace. Something adverse happens, and everyone looks to the Fed to “do something, anything”. The Twist is the latest version of that. It didn’t work in 1960, and it’s not going to work today.
Two high-level government officials have revealed they were pressured by the Obama administration to change their testimony to Congress in order to favor a wireless company linked to a high-level Democratic Party donor, and to sound supportive of Obama’s stated goal of bringing high-speed wireless to at least 98 percent of Americans within five years.
If the Palestinian Authority genuinely desired international recognition as a sovereign state, Mahmoud Abbas wouldn't have come to New York to seek membership in the UN General Assembly this week. There would have been no need to, for Palestine would have long since taken its seat in the United Nations.
The so-called "debates" among Republican presidential aspirants are classic examples of the media spreading misunderstanding instead of enlightenment. The ancient admonition, "With all you're getting, get understanding" has been replaced in the media by, "With all you're getting, get sound bites -- and, if possible, 'gotcha' sound bites."
If you thought the half-billion-dollar, stimulus-funded Solyndra solar company bust was a taxpayer nightmare, just wait. If you thought the botched Fast and Furious border gun-smuggling surveillance operation was a national security nightmare, hold on. Right on the heels of those two blood-boilers comes yet another alleged pay-for-play racket from the most ethical administration ever.
School spending has doubled over the past 30 years. Yet what do we get? More buildings and more assistant principals -- but student learning? No improvement. If you graph the numbers, the spending line slopes steeply, while the lines for reading, math and science scores are as flat as a dead man's EKG.
During the recent GOP presidential debate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that Social Security is a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." More and more people are coming to see that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but is it a lie, as well? Let's look at it.
Twenty years ago, NBC's "Today" devoted three days of interviews to the insufferable Kitty Kelley, who unspooled baseless allegations against Nancy Reagan, like her supposed love affair with Frank Sinatra. That kind of tabloid bilge belched back up the garbage disposal on Sept. 16, when "Today" promoted the new Palin-bashing book "The Rogue," by leftist author Joe McGinniss.
In his 1973 "Libertarian Manifesto," the late Murray Rothbard argued that the biggest obstacle in the road out of serfdom was "status quo bias." In society, we're accustomed to rapid change. "New products, new life styles, new ideas are often embraced eagerly." Not so with government.
In one of the least needed reassurances in modern political history, President Obama's top political man David Plouffe, "told Democrats late last week that the White House would not suffer from overconfidence. 'What I don't want to suggest is that we're sitting around and thinking everything is great,' he said."
With gridlocked Washington unable to choose between the two great economists Keynes and Hayek, some leaders of both parties are attempting to come together in embracing the philosophy of another influential thinker: the immortal J. Wellington Wimpy.
Very often, I am asked to sum up for politics-minded colleagues just what I think is so terribly wrong with the American economy. It's always difficult to encapsulate all of America's fiscal problems in a few sentences -- everything from devastating crime to rising poverty levels, from inflated real estate values to bank bailouts, comes into play. Barrels of ink have been spilled on this topic, and barrels more will follow them.
“I am leaving Cuba most disappointed and perplexed,” said former New Mexico Governor and recent Democratic diplomatic troubleshooterBill Richardson from Havana’s Hotel Nacional last week.
Critics will say that Obama and Carter were victims of policies that started way before them. True enough. But neither did anything to change the trend and it ended badly for one. LBJ moved us right with Nixon; Carter moved us righter with Reagan; and I think Obama will move us righter still with…well, you tell me.
We are now beginning to grasp the definition and the scope of the words "new world order," an expression inserted into the U.S. political vocabulary by the first President Bush. He never defined it, leaving that task to his successors, and President Barack Obama is only too glad to expand its meaning.
When Solyndra went belly up last month, less than a year after it started making solar arrays in Fremont, Calif., an Energy Department spokesman insisted that the $535 million the federal government had loaned the company was well spent. "The project that we supported succeeded," he said. "The facility was producing the product it said it would produce."
I must confess that I no longer have a clear understanding as to how many of our major newspapers operate.
Here’s a pop quiz: What percentage of elementary school children in Washington, DC public schools is proficient in math? What about reading?
People making money, spending money and investing money. On the corporate, local and individual levels. Isn’t that what the President has been touting? But under the current state of affairs, the only people who will be making money are people such as Al Gore, and green technology companies who donate to the President's re-election campaign.
In March 2011, the school board in Douglas County, Colo., voted 7-0 to implement a school voucher program. It was designed to provide concerned parents with 75 percent of the education money provided by the state for their children if the parents preferred to send their children to the private school of their choice.
The fashion, one of them anyway, since Gov. Rick Perry entered the presidential lists is to bash him as a drooling neo-Confederate, pining for the good ol' days of states' rights. Yessuh, them Yankees tellin' us what to do all the time, why it's just unconstitutional, and we needs to see-seed!
Last week, David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Below are some excerpts from Brooks' summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. (It was led by "the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith.")
As a conservative in favor of limited government, I'm often asked what kind of government intervention I do support. The answer is simple: I'm in support of people doing anything they want in a free and democratic society -- until their actions infringe on my freedom or anyone else's.
Illegal immigration has become a heads-we-win / tails-you-lose proposition in this country. If the supporters of amnesty and open borders could get that codified into law, they would.
Smart meters are being installed stealthily by water, gas and electric utility companies on houses and buildings across the country. Despite that, the majority of the public still doesn't know about their potential health risks.
The finger wagger in chief, in too many ways to count, has permanently forfeited his moral authority.
For some time, we have been saying that Americans are concerned with the overly burdensome and stifling regulations coming from unelected bureaucrats in government agencies more concerned with rewarding special interests than facilitating job creation. This week, two separate polls revealed that voters believe government is getting in the way of business and that there is wide-spread opposition to the actions of the Obama Administration’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
"None of the changes I'm proposing are easy or politically convenient," President Obama noted from the Rose Garden on Monday. I've never seen a president less in a hurry to get things done -- or as quick to display his deep reservoir of self-pity.
Everyone told me in 2007-08 that Obama was “pragmatic,” “different,”“smart.” I knew better. His economic programs might have more appropriate adjectives to describe his persona and style of leadership. You might call him, “unimaginative”, “dense,” “fixed,” or “bourgeois."
An investigation by the Energy and Commerce Committee has revealed that, for political reasons, the White House rushed a $528 billion federal loan to solar firm Solyndra, which went bankrupt two weeks ago. Taxpayers should be outraged.
Pause a moment on the Buffett Rule. Almost all of Warren Buffett’s income comes from capital gains taxed at 15 percent. He only pays himself $100,000 a year, which would be taxed at the top rate. Most of his wealth is untaxed as unrealized capital gains. So his effective income-tax rate is lower than his secretary’s.
For decades, the world knew America would stand beside its allies.
Pressure is building on President Barack Obama to call for an extension of the so-called payroll tax holiday. Keeping it in place, say the people who favor the idea, brings some kind of needed economic stimulus... In reality it’s a dangerous idea, almost certainly doing more harm than good.
Ultimately, the fundamental backdrop continues to look as disturbed as ever. The Greek bailout situation is looking dire, and new Euro-dominoes could topple in the European fallout with countries that are "too big to bail" such as Italy and Spain. This could make the Lehman bankruptcy that occurred in the U.S. back on September 15, 2008 seem small by comparison.
Is marriage simply the union of two human beings or is it specifically the union of a man and a woman?
Corruption inside the Obama administration runs rampant. The list of scandals grows longer by the moment, with a new one popping up at an ever-increasing rate. However, the Republican leadership empowers the corruption by refusing to fight.
For over a year, ADF and decorated, high-ranking veteran chaplains have warned that DADT repeal will harm military religious liberty. One of the most significant threats is that the lack of strong regulations protecting chaplains and service members from “sexual orientation discrimination” complaints will chill free speech and freedom of religion.
Barack Obama has been at pains to convince voters that he cares about jobs. It seems to be a hard sell. But he certainly can demonstrate that he cares about certain jobs -- the 7 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of public-sector jobs held by union members.
The first law passed in 1995 after Republicans assumed control of the Congress was quite succinct: “Congress must abide by all the laws that they impose on the rest of America.” Ever since then, hundreds of stories have been written that describe how our Federal government reserves special treatment for itself.
So our love of idolizing the yappy captains of industry has come to the point where George Kaiser controls investments, Warren Buffett controls tax-policy, George Soros controls media and organizing, T. Boone Pickens controls our energy policy and TV pundits treat the Donald’s TV reality candidacy like it’s, um, reality.
When Newt Gingrich criticized House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal in May, a who’s who of conservative, tea party and Republican leaders, including many in Congress, told him to “get back on board with what we’re trying to do.” Conservative-leading pundits said Newt was “not a serious person” and was “underm[ing]” conservative efforts.
China is the largest motorcycle market in the world, and Harley sold a little more than 200 bikes in China last year. The problem lies in the Chinese regulatory environment. “About 100 cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, have restrictions that include banning two-wheel vehicles from elevated highways and major thoroughfares to curb noise and thefts, according to the state-affiliated Society of Automotive Engineers of China.”
Yesterday, I devoured a book. It is titled, The Color of Rain. It’s the tragic and in the end, uplifting, story of Mike and Gina Spehn. Like a tragic thriller, it’s really three separate intertwined stories in one. You should pick it up and read it. I guarantee that it will make you think. It might even change your life and help you find your own personal rainbow.
Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States. They are a diverse collection of peoples primarily from a dozen different Western European states, mixed in with smaller groups from a hundred more. All of the New World entities struggled to carve a modern nation and state out of the American continents. Brazil is an excellent case of how that struggle can be a difficult one. The United States falls on the opposite end of the spectrum.
It always sounds good to those “less fortunate” to make those “more fortunate” pay all the bills, regardless of whether their lack of “fortune” is related to laziness, bad decisions, or anything else in their control. With the exception of inherited wealth, the “fortunate” have earned their money, through innovation and motivation.
When I see the Federal Reserve warning Wall Street they’re going to need to go back to depositors and investors for their cash instead of the endless dependence on the Fed, when I see our government start to threaten countries endlessly devaluing their currency with equalizing tariffs on manufactured goods, and the government setting up a series of state banks, ala North Dakota, for direct lending to small business, then I’ll start being concerned about gold prices.
Tone-deaf is one thing; incompetent is another. There’s a fine line between the two and they are often confused. If there was any doubt about which camp President Obama belongs to, it has been removed this month.
If I could get close to President Obama, close enough to speak to him, I’d like to ask him this question: “Mr. President, how, exactly, is a job created?”
Liberal strategist James Carville has suggested that Obama find someone to indict. Never mind whether the person is actually guilty of a crime. So the Mighty One has fallen a bit, but hasn’t fallen enough yet to take his place with the rest of us mere mortals bound by laws.
The Otero Country Tree Party has worked to stay within the law and asked people to leave their pitchforks and chainsaws at home. The trees were cut by professionals, who safely dropped them, as a cheering public looked on. Congressman Steve Pearce cut the first tree under the direct supervision of the professionals. The Tree Party supporters then helped clean up—doing what the USFS should be doing.
It’s no wonder that Pew Research Center found that 86 percent of Americans are either frustrated or angry with the federal government. Solyndra gives them 535 million more reasons. You’d think someone would have the common decency to apologize. Don’t hold you’re your breath waiting for one. The reaction from all the players ranges from defensive to offensive, from cavalier to incredible. No responsibility. No display of remorse.
I disagree with Noonan. As regular readers of this blog know, Obama and his administration are a frequent pin cushion for barbs. However, few things are 100% bad, and Obama is one of them. There are some things that I actually admire in Obama-I’ll list them later after using Ms. Noonan as a pincushion.
The Apple product watershed has revolutionized how we use software, how we purchase music and movies, communicate using cell phones, receive help desk support in person at a retail store, and most recently, how we get portable with a tablet computer.
On college and university campuses around the country, officials are increasingly using “nondiscrimination” policies to deny religious groups the right to choose prospective members and leaders based on whether they share the group’s religious beliefs.