Ross Mackenzie

A March mixture of comments about items in the news....

OK, so you voted for Barack Obama and still support him. If you like his over-the-top enthusiasm for public-employee union collective-bargaining rights at the municipal and state levels, why not urge him to get consistent and signify for unionized federal-employee collective-bargaining rights, as well?

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With Republican governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana confronting public-employee unionists and driving down taxes, Illinois -- still governed by Democrats -- is slapping new taxes on every entity it can grab. Indiana's Gov. Mitch Daniels, a hot prospect for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, says this about being a neighbor of Illinois: "It's like living next door to 'The Simpsons' -- you know, the dysfunctional family down the block."

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Illinois -- Chicago. If you've heard about coyotes (canis latrans) moving in nearby, consider this from The Wall Street Journal: "After showing up in forest preserves in the suburbs, (coyotes) moved on to (Chicago's) Lincoln Park and other green areas of the city itself. They have been spotted prowling the streets of the downtown Loop late at night. One even (has) wandered into a Quizno's sub shop."

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Datum: At the end of the current fiscal year (September 30), the nation's anticipated $15,476 trillion deficit will amount to -- please sit down for this one -- 102.6 percent of the nation's annual Gross Domestic Product. Meaning: The U.S. will owe more in debt than it produces in a year.

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During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama pledged that families earning less than $250,000 annually would not see "any form of tax increase" under his administration. In a television interview prior to the Super Bowl, he stipulated, "I didn't raise taxes once. I lowered taxes over the last two years." Yet the Heritage Foundation calculates his ObamaCare legislation alone "contains 18 separate tax increases that will cost taxpayers $503 billion between 2010 and 2019."

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According to a story in the Feb. 10 European edition of Stars and Stripes, at last the Veterans Administration has released -- months late -- new guidelines for benefits to caregivers of the terribly wounded. And they're a grenade in the gut -- full of cutbacks and benefit denials. Notes Steve Nardizzi of the Wounded Warrior Project, "This is horrendous for the families who've had to give up their jobs and the warriors who may end up back in nursing homes because their families can't afford to take care of them."

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Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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