Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Government Tries to Bury Operation Fast and Furious For Good

It’s been three years since the Operation Fast and Furious scandal first broke in 2010, and to this day, little is known about what actually took place. Not surprisingly, the government has kept its lips tightly sealed. And now it’s doing its best to silence others, as well.
You see, there’s one man – John Dodson – who’s willing to set the facts straight…but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is doing everything it can to keep Dodson from speaking out.
Dodson is a former ATF agent, and he was also the first person to blow the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious. In fact, Dodson was assigned to the Operation and had attempted to stop it by confronting his superiors. When that didn’t work, he’d begun to publicly criticize Fast and Furious. He was soon transferred to a different assignment.

Obama is worst since Nixon in going after leaks

 Despite a promise of transparency, President Barack Obama has run a secretive government that’s chilling the flow of information to reporters while it tries to channel its version of news through its own government media, according to a new report from a journalists’ group.
The report says the Obama administration has curbed the disclosure of government information, limited the use of the Freedom of Information Act, launched a program of internal surveillance to stop people from talking to reporters and conducted an unprecedented number of investigations of journalists.
The search for leaks, the report’s author said, is the most aggressive since President Richard Nixon.
“In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press,” says the report by Leonard Downie Jr. for the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Read more here:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Who is Behind the Movement to Legitimize Pedophilia?

This is just another in a long line of progressive campaigns.  They have apparently won their gay rights campaign.  Normalizing pedophilia is the next in their sexual revolution undertakings unless polygamy beats it to the punch.  Does anyone ever wonder why societal norms that long sustained morality, order, respect for others, respect for religious beliefs, etc. have been eroding?  Open your minds to the progressive movement.  Do your own investigation and while doing so set aside the good things you will find and focus on the multitude of programs and policies they have underwritten that have slowly but surely undermined the fabric of a moral and orderly society.    

George Burns

Reality of Obamacare Hits Home

The consequences of Obamacare continue to emerge and the picture does not look good for those who are paying taxes and suffering through higher premiums all the while the government uses taxes collected to provide Obamacare subsidies for those who qualify.  Good deal for some lower income people but a really bad deal for the middle class Obama claims he wants to help with his social/economic policies.  Problem is that at every turn he punches the middle class in the gut.  The consequences of his actions include higher premiums for health care (for middle class), higher taxes to cover for healthcare premium subsidies for others, higher costs for medical care, increase in number of patients per doctor, reduction in number of doctors willing to participate in medicare and medicaid programs due to inadequate government payments to doctors, a heavy increase in number of part-time jobs imposed by Obamacare, businesses dropping healthcare coverage, higher prices for medical devices, medical device manufacturers moving off shore due to increased cost of doing business.  And those are just some of the Obamacare consequences.  Don't get me started on his economic policies and the damage they have done and are continuing to do so.  Just for kicks here is a listing of some of the Obamacare consequences that have both jobs and economic consequences.!   And check out what has happened at United Health as a consequence of Obamacare.  They try to put a good spin on it but it is just another example of the total chaos Obamacare has wraught. 

George Burns

Friday, October 11, 2013

Iranian Aftershocks: Washington And Tehran Face An Uncertain Diplomatic Landscape

Nearly two weeks have passed since President Barack Obama made history with a phone call to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, during the final moments of Rouhani's inaugural visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly meetings. And less than a week remains before diplomats from the two adversaries sit down in Geneva, along with European, Russian and Chinese representatives for the latest round of a long-running negotiation on Iran's nuclear program — talks that have suddenly assumed new meaning and newly inflated expectations thanks to the bilateral breakthrough. This interlude offers an opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved and what lies ahead for diplomacy aimed at resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis.
Since news of the presidential phone call went public — initially via a Twitter account associated with Rouhani, momentarily preempting President Obama's hastily-organized press conference — the shock of the unprecedented direct contact between Iranian and American leaders has faded. So has the glow of the calculated charm offensive that Rouhani and his colleagues waged during their week in New York. Both leaderships have seen some public pushback from their domestic political rivals, who distrust the sudden embrace of diplomacy, and are gearing up for the talks as the first real substantive test of the gamble they took in breaking one of the central taboos of Iran's post-revolutionary order. 

Obama’s Confession of Indifference

Last week I wrote a column accusing the president of having a vindictive streak — of deliberately trying to make the lives of average Americans worse just so he could score ideological and political points.
We already knew from how he handled the budget sequester that Obama liked this approach. He ordered Cabinet secretaries not to do their jobs — i.e., to manage as best they could under spending restraints — but instead to find ways to make the cuts needlessly painful for innocents caught in the Beltway crossfire. 


Tyranny comes in many forms but one sure sign of tyranny is when those elected to govern pass laws that impose tax burdens and limit freedom for all, except themselves. By this measure, Obamacare is an excellent example of tyranny.
The Administration is currently spending $684 million of our tax dollars on a massive, daily ad campaign to convince uninsured Americans to call Obamacare exchanges and buy health insurance at a cost of between about $5,000 per person and $11,000 per family per year.
While $684 million is being spent on this feverish, last minute attempt to convince the unwilling to fork over what is a veritable fortune for many in this troubled economy, the President is working in secret with House Speaker David Bohner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ensure that members of Congress and their aides do not have to pay for their Obamacare insurance coverage.

National Debt Set to Double Before Obama Leaves Office

The national debt is set to double by the time President Barack Obama leaves office, if it continues to increase at the current rate.

In January 2009, when Obama began his first term, the federal debt was $10.6 trillion. As of this week it has increased 57 percent to $16.7 trillion, The Washington Times reported.

As Congress is faced with raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 or letting the government default on its bills, Obama has argued that doing so "won't add a dime" the federal debt.

"It does not increase our debt," Obama said. "It does not grow our deficits. All it does is allow the Treasury Department to pay for what Congress has already spent."

These claims by the president gloss over the growing total debt, according to Alex Brill, a budget specialist of the American Enterprise Institute.

The way out

For all the hyped indignation over GOP “anarchism,” there has been remarkable media reticence about the president’s intransigence. He has refused to negotiate anything unless the Republicans fully fund the government and raise the debt ceiling — unconditionally.
For all his protestations about protecting the full faith and credit of the United States — jittery markets are showing that his brinkmanship could have precisely the opposite effect — the president’s real intent is to score a humiliating victory over the GOP.
So far, so good. Republicans have fallen to 28 percent approval, the lowest level ever for either party in 21 years of polling and a staggering 10-point drop in the last month. Democrats have also declined, but only four points and, in the end, partisan politics is a zero-sum game. If you lose less than the other guy, you win — because every seat in Congress will be allocated to one party or the other, no matter how disgusted the country is with both. 

Who owns government? The government or the people?

The link below is a thoughtful and provocative piece.  I agree with most of what is covered but not everything.  Specifically, I disagree with the author's characterization that it is the democrats that are the problem - their refusal to negotiate on a goodly number of republican proposals to resolve the government shut down, deal with the federal debt and Obamacare.  It is instead the progressive elements within both the Democratic and Republican parties that are the problem.  Many democrats are wary of the progressive influences that dominate their party.  But it is a fact that the democratic party is the home of far more progressives than the republicans so that is where the intransigence lies.  Hence, the theme of the linked article.  Because the bulk of leadership within the democratic party happens to be progressives getting past the current issue of restarting government, dealing with the debt limit and on to Obamacare will be most difficult.  As the article notes the democrats (progressives) think they own the government.  Democrats and even some republicans lambaste the Tea Party's influence on the repulican party.  The fact is that the Tea Party believes that the federal debt and government spending are out of control and that Obamacare will only exacerbate those problems.  So the progressive left has its world view (big government is good, spending is not out of control, debt is good, etc.) and the Tea Party right believes the opposite.  The progressive left frequently calls Tea Party adherents tyrants, terrorists, etc..  That is an affront to ligitimately held beliefs.  What if they called the progressive left such names?  Who would be more correct? 

Saying the above things about progressives does not mean that all progressive thoughts and actions are unworthy.  Not so.  The movement has done good things over time.  The problem is that progressives seek to place all faith and power in government.  In effect they believe the government is supreme and has the right to dictate policy to its citizens.  A consequence of such thinking is to drain private citizen resources in pursuit of their Utopian ideas.  And because their thinking, especially progressive dominated government, they assume private citizens and organizations on their own are unable to "innovate" and "improve" the lives of their fellow citizens.  Only progressive minded government can do that.  Not only does past history demonstrate that to be a falsehood but also validates such thinking as being socialistic in nature.  To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher:  Socialism does not work for the long term because socialist governments eventually run out of other people's money.  Again history validates that fact.  Nonetheless that is what is happening to us.  Progressive driven programs have caused our government to grow so big and unwieldy that it can neither efficiently and effectively manage the programs it implements.  Worse yet the money is drying up. 

Progressives have demonstrated that they cannot effectively and efficiently manage the tax resources forcefully taken from us.  Hence their penchant for borrowing seemingly without regard for eventual consequences.  As budget and debt limit battles show they apparently cannot fathom our objections to an ever increasing tax load and unbounded national debt neither of which we asked for, but no thanks to them we are responsible for.

George Burns

About Our National Debt

If you want to truly understand the ins and outs of our national debt, this article by Murray Rothbard will go a long way towards that goal.  Here are two quotes I lifted from the article to provide a taste of what you will find.  It is an obvious reprint from several years ago but the examples and explanations are just as relevant today as when written, maybe even more so given current fiscal conditions

"If I borrow money from a mortgage bank, I have made a contract to transfer my money to a creditor at a future date; in a deep sense, he is the true owner
of the money at that point, and if I don’t pay I am robbing him of his just property.  But when government borrows money, it does not pledge its own money; its own resources are not liable. Government commits not its own life, fortune, and sacred honor to repay the debt, but ours. This is a horse, and a transaction, of a very different color."


"Deficits and a mounting debt, therefore, are a growing and intolerable burden on the society and economy, both because they raise the tax burden and increasingly drain resources from the productive to the parasitic, counterproductive, 'public' sector.  Moreover, whenever deficits are financed by expanding bank credit
– in other words, by creating new money – matters become still worse, since credit inflation creates permanent and rising price inflation as well as waves of boom-bust 'business cycles.'”

George Burns

Those Who Sign Up For Obamacare Are In For Some Surprises

This link explains how the Obamacare computer network (assuming it ever gets up and running) will take your most personal information and link it to all manner of other government systems.  It, in effect, is another link in the vast government domestic spying apparatus.  Even if only half of the stuff covered is true it is a violation of the public trust.  My sense, from all else I have seen and heard, is it is mostly if not completely true.  It is vital that you take this information and spread the word so it gets maximum coverage.  This outrage must be stopped.    

George Burns

Patriot Act author prepares bill to put NSA bulk collection 'out of business'

The conservative Republican who co-authored America's Patriot Act is preparing to unveil bipartisan legislation that would dramatically curtail the domestic surveillance powers it gives to intelligence agencies.
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, who worked with president George W Bush to give more power to US intelligence agencies after the September 11 terrorist attacks, said the intelligence community had misused those powers by collecting telephone records on all Americans, and claimed it was time "to put their metadata program out of business".
His imminent bill in the House of Representatives is expected to be matched by a similar proposal from Senate judiciary committee chair Patrick Leahy, a Democrat. It pulls together existing congressional efforts to reform the National Security Agency in the wake of disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden. 

Student Ordered to Stop Handing Out Constitutions on Constitution Day Files Suit

A student who was ordered by college administrators to stop handing out copies of the Constitution on campus—on Constitution Day—filed suit today in federal court. Modesto Junior College (MJC) student and Army veteran Robert Van Tuinen is suing the Yosemite Community College District and MJC administrators for violating his First Amendment rights. Van Tuinen is represented by the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine and is assisted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). 
“Last month, Robert Van Tuinen caught on camera administrators who were so unfamiliar with the basic principles of free speech that they prevented him from passing out the Constitution to his fellow students on Constitution Day,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Even in the face of national shock and outrage, the college has failed to reform its absurd ‘free speech zone.’ Now it will have to defend that policy in federal court.”

Proponents of Raising the Debt Ceiling Want To Bankrupt Your Kids

Whether it's long-term or short-term, proposals to hike the debt ceiling are schemes for allowing the federal government to borrow more money so it can continue to spend beyond its means. Politicians want to borrow more money because they have spending plans that consistently exceed the amount of money that the federal government takes in as taxes, and that are projected to continue to outpace revenues into the foreseeable future. Raising the debt ceiling means snowballing debt rolling downhill right toward our children and their children.
In a Cato Institute paper published in February of this year, Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Social Security Advisory Board warns: 

The Media No Longer Cares For Obamacare

Now The Media no longer care for Obamacare, either.
Wolf Blitzer of CNN announced that perhaps President Obama should listen to his Republicans (and a growing number of Democratic) critics and delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for one year.
Only a handful compared the hundreds of millions of Americans have been able to register. The local paper based in the South Bay, Los Angeles, The Daily Breeze, suggested that Obamacare enrollment in California was “phenomenal”, yet only about tens of thousands in the entire state had managed to sign on. There are thirty-eight million people in California, and there are Californians who have shared with friends and neighbors, as well as publishing in the same paper, that the Medicare exchanges will end up offering them health coverage more expensive with higher premiums and less coverage. 

We know who to blame for this shutdown

Sticks and stones won’t break your bones, but names are going to hurt you — unless you agree to change one in particular right this second, or at least within five years, whichever comes first. So bullies a none-too-bright Washington Poster named Mike Wise. Get used to the name. He’s got “Jay Carney’s replacement” written all over him.
So he’s a sportswriter. So much the better. He knows one thing: trashtalking. Perhaps he’s taken too many typewriters to the head. Or maybe he’s simply sucker-punched himself a little too often. Whatever the case, he is one concussed fellow. And so he argues like a vintage Obamaite, albeit without the soft nuance of King Obama himself when he purred about the Dan Snyder team’s radioactive name, “I’d think about changing it.” Hint, hint, nudge, nudge — hello, IRS! There is no truth beyond what we insist on, in other words.
So there will be no further defending the ’Skins’ name, Wise guy wrote. No negotiating ever again. “It is not a matter of ‘if” anymore, but ‘when.’” “Just when is the tipping point? The answer… is now.” “The debate… is over.” “It’s over.” And who are lowly we to disagree, especially now that the (proverbial) fat lady has sung? 

Privatize the National Park Service

The behavior of the National Park Service during President Obama’s shutdown campaign has been shocking. As has been widely reported, Park Service employees have been told to make life as uncomfortable as possible for people, and have flourished in that endeavor. They have acted crudely and unprofessionally as a partisan and ideological arm of the White House and its propaganda campaign.
If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about (that would exclude American Spectator readers), then you listen only to NPR, watch only MSNBC, and read only the New York Times. Just click Google and start searching. There are frightening first-person accounts everywhere. Among the worst examples was a case innocently covered by a small Massachusetts newspaper that reported on a group of tourists traveling to Yellowstone National Park. The tourists, by no means a bunch of Tea Partiers, described the Park Service as “Gestapo”-like in its tactics. 

Oh, and By the Way...We're Broke

Soon, President Obama and Congress will agree to terms on raising the statutory debt limit, or the "debt ceiling."  What will not be mentioned in the negotiations, however, is that the United States of America is bankrupt.

In a 2011 discussion about how spending cuts might impact jobs in the federal government, House Speaker John Boehner said, "If some of those jobs are to be lost in this, so be it.  We're broke."  Two years and one major credit downgrade later, the only thing that has changed is how much more broke we are.

As a nation, we're broke.  Flat busted.  Tapped out.  The coffers are empty.  We have no money.  This chart shows America's debt trajectory relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In May 2012, the national debt started growing faster than GDP, which means we are borrowing at a faster rate than we produce.  In The Great Reckoning, James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg warned that "debt cannot go on compounding faster than output forever."  For America, the day of reckoning has come.  

Harry Reid Wants Americans To Suffer From Shutdown

Word came this week that the National Institutes of Health has suspended therapy-dog visits to sick children at its clinical center because of a 25% reduction in staff, even though volunteers run the program.
Seems the veterinarians who evaluate the dogs have been furloughed. So how about the frequently used dogs that have already been evaluated? No deal.
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to fund NIH clinical trials for children with cancer. When asked why, if it could mean saving a single child, Reid replied: "Why would we do that?"
These are just kids, after all. Who cares if they're in pain or die because of his intransigence and lack of compassion?

Democrats to America: We own the government!

In the current fight over the government shutdown, Republicans are simply representing the views of the American people.
Americans didn’t ask for Obamacare, they don’t want it, but now their insurance premiums are going through the roof, their doctors aren’t accepting it, and their employers are moving them into part-time work — or firing them — to avoid the law’s mandates.
Contrary to Obama’s promises, it turns out: You can’t keep your doctor, you can’t keep your insurance — you can’t even keep your job. In other words, it’s a typical government program, but this one wrecks your health care.
Also, the president did raise taxes on the middle class in defiance of his well-worn campaign promise not to. Indeed, Obamacare is the largest tax hike in U.S. history. 

Climate change is dominated by the water cycle, not carbon dioxide

Climate scientists are obsessed with carbon dioxide. The newly released Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that “radiative forcing” from human-emitted CO2 is the leading driver of climate change. Carbon dioxide is blamed for everything from causing more droughts, floods, and hurricanes, to endangering polar bears and acidifying the oceans. But Earth’s climate is dominated by water, not carbon dioxide.
Earth’s water cycle encompasses the salt water of the oceans, the fresh water of rivers and lakes, and frozen icecaps and glaciers. It includes water flows within and between the oceans, atmosphere, and land, in the form of evaporation, precipitation, storms and weather. The water cycle contains enormous energy flows that shape Earth’s climate, temperature trends, and surface features. Water effects are orders of magnitude larger than the feared effects of carbon dioxide. 

IRS, White House officials that shared confidential taxpayer info had 155 White House meetings

Embattled IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram made 155 visits to the White House to meet with a top Obama White House official with whom she exchanged confidential taxpayer information over email.
Of Ingram’s 165 White House meetings with White House staff, a staggering 155 of them were hosted by deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, according to a June Watchdog.Org analysis of White House visitor records.
Ingram exchanged confidential taxpayer information with Lambrew and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Read more:

Jon Stewart accuses Kathleen Sebelius of lying to him about Obamacare

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius likely thought her interview with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Monday night would be an easy setting to pitch the Obamacare exchanges to young people. Instead, she ended up getting accused of being a liar by the popular comedy host.
During his interview with Sebelius, Stewart repeatedly sought an answer from the secretary on why big businesses got a delay in their Obamacare mandate to provide affordable health insurance to their employees, while individuals did not get a delay in their Obamacare mandate making them purchase health care or face a penalty.
In a rare monologue at the end of the show, Stewart said he remained confused and that he suspected that the secretary may have been lying to him.

Obamacare Website Cost $634 Million, Faces Months of Glitches, the federal Obamacare website, cost taxpayers more than $630 million, nearly seven times its original estimate of $93 million, new figures reveal.

Yet it will likely take months to get it running properly following its disastrous rollout last week, when those hoping to enroll instead experienced an online nightmare, with websites crashing, refusing to load, and failing to offer comprehensive choices.

"It’s like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it," George Edwards, a computer scientist and professor at the University of Southern California, told Fox News.

The administration has tried to explain away the problems as a result of heavy traffic.

"Take away the volume and it works," President Barack Obama's chief technology adviser, Todd Park, told USA Today.

Concern about runaway spending is ‘anarchy’

A national network reporter, during an interview about about the government shutdown, actually told me: “Democrats believe government should do some things. Republicans don’t believe government should be doing anything.” Where had we heard that characterization of the GOP?
“‘Anarchist’? Why in the world wouldn’t I use the term anarchy?” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a CNN interview. “That’s what they are. They’re anarchists. They don’t believe in government — at any level. … They’re anarchists, just like they were at the beginning of the 20th century. … They’re not blowing up buildings and they’re not killing people. But they’re throwing monkey wrenches in the wheels of government.” That a reporter parroted the line almost verbatim explains why Obama and the Democrats believe they will win the PR battle over which party voters will blame for this partial government shutdown.
Well, forgive tea party Republicans, elected to stop Obamacare, for actually going to Washington D.C. to try to stop Obamacare. Politicians literally attempting to fulfill campaign promises. Imagine. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Beyond Obamacare glitches, some consumers face dramatically higher rates

Problems with the main "Obamacare" website,, have dominated headlines since the site opened for business on Oct. 1.
But another problem is surfacing: Some consumers who have been buying their own insurance are getting cancellation notices – and offers for insurance at dramatically higher rates.
There are multiple reasons this is happening. First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) sets minimum standards for benefits, including mental-health and substance-abuse treatment, maternity care, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative care, which were not included in many of the old plans. Also, insurance companies are now required to take all comers, regardless of their health status, and so rates are rising to cover their costs as well.

Government Shutdown: Don’t Believe the Hype

Government wants you to play a role in the "shutdown" of the federal government. Your role is to panic.
Republicans and Democrats both assume that shutting some government is a terrible thing. The press concurs. "Shutdown threatens fragile economy," warns Politico. "Federal workers turn to prayer," laments The Washington Post.
If the public starts noticing that life goes on as usual without all 3.4 million federal workers, we might get dangerous ideas, like doing without so much government. Politicians don't want that.
They'd rather have us worry about how America will cope.
President Obama gave a speech where he actually said we need to keep government open for the sake of people like the person working for the Department of Agriculture "out there helping some farmers make sure that they're making some modest profit," and the Department of Housing and Urban Development "helping somebody buy a house for the first time."

Illegal immigrants allowed to practice law in California

Illegal immigrants can be licensed to practice law in California under one of eight bills expanding immigrant rights that were signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday.
The California Supreme Court, which finalizes requests of applicants to be licensed as a lawyer in California, is now authorized to approve qualified applicants regardless of their immigration status.
Other new laws prohibit law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants based on federal government instructions except in cases of serious crimes or convictions, and make it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers on the basis of their citizenship.
"While Washington waffles on immigration, California's forging ahead," Brown said in a statement. "I'm not waiting."

What happens when only 16% of flu patients have the flu?

Here is how serious propaganda works: Over a a long period of time, you build up a gigantic lie. You keep reinforcing it.
You have major money behind you, as well as institutions of government, and corporations. You forge that lie, and you keep repeating it over and over.
Finally, and this is the payoff, you reach a point where a refutation of the lie would seem, to most people, like a piece of incomprehensible insanity, like gibberish.
Therefore, the refutation of the lie would tend to be invisible. It would sink like a small stone, leaving no trace.
After writing about fake vaccine science since 1988, I thought I’d seen it all: 

Why Growth Is Getting Harder

For over a century, the trend line for the long-term growth of the U.S. economy has held remarkably steady. Notwithstanding huge changes over time in economic, social, and political conditions, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has fluctuated fairly closely around an average annual rate of approximately 2 percent. Looking ahead, however, there are strong reasons for doubting that this historic norm can be maintained.
Consider the four constituent elements of economic growth tracked by conventional growth accounting: (1) growth in labor participation, or annual hours worked per capita; (2) growth in labor quality, or the skill level of the workforce; (3) growth in capital deepening, or the amount of physical capital invested per worker; and (4) growth in so-called total factor productivity, or output per unit of quality-adjusted labor and capital. Over the course of the 20th century, these various components fluctuated in their contributions to overall growth. The fluctuations, however, tended to offset each other, so that weakness in one element was compensated for by strength in another. In the 21st century, this pattern of offsetting fluctuations has come to a halt as all growth components have fallen off simultaneously. 

Electronic Privacy Defenders Lose Challenge to Government Secrecy

The director of national intelligence properly withheld documents related to how his office uses databases to fight terrorism, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
     The nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center had filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding how the National Counterterrorism Center gets information from other federal agencies.
     Though the agency released eight partial documents, it withheld an additional 21, citing statutory exemptions. EPIC then filed suit in Washington, D.C.
     U.S. District Judge James Boasberg granted the agency summary judgment Wednesday. 

Government Has Met the Enemy & It Is Us

Americans are learning to their great surprise that Smokey the Bear has big, sharp teeth.
Formerly warm and cuddly branches of government — the Park Service, Forest Service and other granola–based management teams — have suddenly turned on innocent taxpayers who only wanted to scratch behind their ears.
You’re no doubt familiar with the WWII veterans who removed barriers the US Park Police erected to block the formerly law enforcement–free WWII Monument on the Mall. (Best sign of the Shutdown: “Normandy was closed when we got there, too.”) But that’s only one of many incidents.
The Washington Post interviewed a visitor from San Antonio who “expressed indignation at the petty ways that officials prevented people from enjoying national landmarks.” Her family had no problem looking at the cemetery itself since putting barriers in front of each tombstone was too much for even Smokey Bear. But they were unable to peek inside Arlington House because “they put black plastic in the windows so we couldn’t look in.”

Suicide of the Right?

“CONSERVATIVE CRACKUP ON DEBT SHAKEDOWN,” screeched the headline on Huffington Post (October 9, 2013), a statement to which I took great exception. The unfolding disaster on the Hill is not conservative in the least. It seems to be a toxic brew of populism and neo-libertarianism. Or maybe it is just a manifestation of a post-modern death wish, politically speaking, to which even sensible Republicans have succumbed, with the potential of bringing down their party, government, and nation in the hopeless task of blocking Obamacare without actually winning elections.
Would William F. Buckley, Jr., Russell Kirk, Burke, Tocqueville, John Adams, Madison, or Hamilton be a party to this farce? OK, Sam Adams and Jefferson, maybe.
Isn’t there something a bit out of whack when the supposedly “conservative” party indulges in the kinds of escapades usually reserved for community organizers and followers of Saul Alinsky? That said, even Alinsky posited Rule 11, “The price of successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Assuming the Ryan plan is a constructive alternative, and I do, is shutting down Obamacare without winning the White House or at least the Senate, really an option? 

Is Obama's Shutdown War on Private Business Illegal Racketeering?

Has President Barack Obama violated the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO") Act with his hardball tactics over the government shutdown, to extort taxpayer funds?

"We've been told to make life as difficult for people as we can," an angry National Park Service ranger told Washington Times columnist Wesley Pruden.  "It's disgusting"  The park ranger indicated that there is a political motive behind the closure of the open-air memorials. 

The Park Service went out of its way to prevent tourists from taking photographs of Mt. Rushmore, far beyond any legitimate closure.  The Park Service is actively blockading tourists from simply stopping along the public road to take a photograph from afar. 

Government websites cost nothing to leave in place.  Yet the government spent extra money to turn websites off. 

Mt. Vernon is privately funded and operated, on private land, using no federal funds.  Yet the Park Service barricaded a nearby stretch of road where buses turn, to maliciously harass and interfere with the public's use of the 100% privately funded historic plantation.

The Current Federal Debt Ceiling of $16.7 Trillion Plus...

The current national debt ceiling of $16.7 is but a small part of our estimated "total" debt by 2017 of more than $170 trillion, mostly unfunded liabilities, is a consequence of actions taken on the part of our federal government.  Both the republicans and democrats are responsible so it is a bi-partisan problem which can only be resolved on a bi-partisan basis.  Charges and counter-charges of who is responsible is a total waste of time.  Bottom line.  It is time for both parties to STOP spending money we do not have.  That means some hurt will occur but not necessarily for those most in need of assistance.  If this debt is not dealt with everyone will be hurt.  Billions of dollars are wasted every year on frivolous endeavors.  Redundancy in government is rampant.  Government has far over-reached its constitutional boundaries.  Multiple agencies can and should be downsized to make government more efficient and effective.  Some should be eliminated.  These and a multitude of other actions can bring huge savings of taxpayer dollars.  That means favored programs on the part of both parties must either be eliminated or seriously down-sized.  The public must demand it or the ultimate consequence will be the financial ruin of the nation.  Here is a part of what this article says.  "America simply must begin discussing our financial outlook in terms of our cataclysmic unfunded liabilities. Perhaps if the truth were out, it would supply the political motivation needed to inflict radical change upon these nation-destroying benefit programs. During the next few weeks, as you hear politicking about raising the debt ceiling from $16.7 trillion to about $20 trillion, be aware that you are hearing only of 'government-style' accounting, covering only a small fraction of the national debt."   

George Burns

How Obamacare's Exchanges Turned Into A 'Third World Experience'

Back in March, at an insurance industry conference in Washington, the problems were apparent. Henry Chao, chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, openly fretted that the exchanges wouldn’t be ready by October. “I’m pretty nervous—I don’t know about you,” he told the crowd. “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.” At the time, Chao’s comment seemed like an attempt at dark humor. One week into the launch of Obamacare, however, it’s not a joke: it’s literally easier to blog from the Kenyan border than to sign up for insurance on Obamacare’s federal exchange. Why is this happening? Politics. The Obama administration was more afraid of delaying the launch of Obamacare, than they were of botching it.
All you need to know about the rollout of Obamacare’s subsidized insurance exchanges is that, so far, the toughest questions posed to the Obama administration have come from Comedy Central. “We’re going to do a challenge,” Jon Stewart told Kathleen Sebelius on the Daily Show. “I’m going to try and download every movie ever made, and you are going to try and sign up for Obamacare, and we’ll see which happens first.” 

Citizens United Chief: Resentful Obama Wants 'Absolute Power'

David Bossie, chairman of Citizens United — which President Barack Obama has repeatedly blamed for many of Washington's problems — says the commander-in-chief is frustrated because he wants "absolute power."

"He hates Citizens United, he hates our organization, he knows that we are responsible for the House of Representatives' not being under Democratic control, or being one of the groups that helped do that, but, you know, he wants to have full, total control," Bossie told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"He wants to have absolute power, and ... he sees the House of Representatives not being under his control, not being ruled by Nancy Pelosi and him, and he resents it. Look what he's doing with the government shutdown right now," Bossie said on Wednesday.

The NSA isn't foiling terrorist plots

US officials claim that the government's massive data collection has protected the country from terrorist attacks. After The Guardian's first revelations about the National Security Agency's digital surveillance programs, Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Representative Mike Rogers, head of the House Intelligence Committee, jumped to the NSA's defense by pointing to two terrorist plots supposedly foiled by the organization's digital surveillance programs. Lawyers and policemen involved in these cases disputed these claims, but this did not keep NSA chief Keith Alexander from taking it up a notch by raising the number of foiled attacks to more than 50, and later to 54.

These numbers are crucial for an informed debate about the digital surveillance programs. If the NSA's digital surveillance indeed 

Defunders, Back on Message

Conservative groups and their allies in Congress appear to be rallying around a new strategy to refocus budget negotiations on Obamacare, the original point of contention that led to the government shutdown that’s is heading into its tenth day.
In a somewhat ironic development, support is growing on the right for a short-term debt-limit increase with relatively few strings attached. “We should raise the debt,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham told reporters Wednesday. “My tactic is to focus on the [continuing resolution].”
FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe agreed, telling the Huffington Post that the new strategy “looks to be where everybody’s gravitating to.” RedState’s Erick Erickson is on board, arguing that Republicans “are winning the shutdown fight” and a contentious showdown over the debt limit would be an unwelcome distraction. For what it’s worth, President Obama has indicated he’d be open to a short-term debt-limit increase. 

The Nuclear Option–Both Parties Agree: Taxpayers Foot Bill for Vacationing Bureaucrats

Just when you thought nobody around here could agree on anything, Democrats and Republicans in Congress come together to unanimously express their unified and unwavering view of the innocent American taxpayer:

 That's right. You can't get these people to agree on whether or not it's raining outside, but when it comes to their deep disdain for us suckers paying all the bills around here, a hot case of venereal bipartisanship breaks out all over the place. 

Over the weekend, the House held a vote and agreed—without a single exception—that when this government shutdown is all over, all these "non-essential" government bureaucrats who have been loafing around at home all this time will all be given back pay for work they did not perform. 

Liberalism vs. Conservatism – What Difference Does It Make?

There is a great divide in America. On one side, you have liberalism, voiced by a group of progressive Democrats that believe in greater government control of almost every aspect of our daily lives. On the other, there is conservatism. More and more, conservatism is being voiced by the people who lean more to the libertarian side of the political spectrum. Many of us want nothing more than to be simply left alone. We do not desire the government to be in our homes or in our lives and we see much of the federal government as an unneeded and unwanted intrusion into our personal lives. The differences between the two sides of this divide could be no greater. My question is this. To borrow the words from Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make, as long as we are all still Americans? My answer to that question may also be simple, but I would contend that it makes a great deal of difference in the direction America is going.
Stop and think about this for a moment. Have you ever seen a time when so many things you do are controlled by the federal government? I was talking to a gentleman yesterday about his car. He had a tire pressure monitor (TPMS) light on because the sensor itself was bad. He didn’t want to spend the money to fix the problem and voiced this question. He wanted to know why the vehicles were required to have the TPMS systems. I informed him it was because of federal regulations and he wanted to know what business it was of the federal government if his car had the system or not. He went on to mention numerous items that the federal government requires, but in reality were none of their business. 

Harry Reid: Concern About Runaway Spending Is 'Anarchy'??!!!

A national network reporter, during an interview about about the government shutdown, actually told me: "Democrats believe government should do some things. Republicans don't believe government should be doing anything." Where had we heard that characterization of the GOP?
"'Anarchist'? Why in the world wouldn't I use the term anarchy?" said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a CNN interview. "That's what they are. They're anarchists. They don't believe in government -- at any level. ... They're anarchists, just like they were at the beginning of the 20th century. ... They're not blowing up buildings and they're not killing people. But they're throwing monkey wrenches in the wheels of government." That a reporter parroted the line almost verbatim explains why Obama and the Democrats believe they will win the PR battle over which party voters will blame for this partial government shutdown.
Well, forgive tea party Republicans, elected to stop Obamacare, for actually going to Washington D.C. to try to stop Obamacare. Politicians literally attempting to fulfill campaign promises. Imagine. 

IRS Officials Used Private Email to Do Official Business

Top IRS officials repeatedly used private email to do official business, including sending classified documents to non-agency email addresses, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa says.

Issa, a California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel outlining a "troubling pattern" involving at least four senior officials — including now-retired official Lois Lerner, who's at the center of a tea party groups' targeting scandal.

The Washington Examiner, which broke the story Monday, quoted from a copy of the letter it had obtained.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

About those closed National Parks?

I don't get it.  The Obama administration says the national parks are closed.  Yet he allows a favored group (pro amnesty) to use one for its rally.  Meanwhile a lone runner was getting in his run on a "closed" park and for doing so was issued a $100 citation (for trespassing I guess) by two on duty park rangers.  And WWII veterans were harassed and forbidden access to the WWII memorial by other on duty rangers.  Some were even arrested.   What's the justice, fairness or decency in that????  But then again even Democrat members of congress participated in the pro-amnesty event and some even arrested for "crowding, obstructing, and incommoding”.  More details here:

Park rangers have leaked that they have been ordered to make it as difficult as possible during the Shut Down for citizens wanting access to the parks.  Apparently the administration's thinking is that doing so will teach those recalcitrant Republicans a lesson or two in governance.'sty-rally-on-closed-national-mall-29158/    Playing political games with citizens is flat out wrong. 

Want to see a litany of the games Obama and his minions are playing?  It is unbelievable the lengths to which he is willing to go to disrupt the lives of Americans for HIS selfish political interests.    He and members of his administration seem to think OUR country is theirs to do with what they will.

Lastly, here is an example of the Obama administration's picking and choosing what offices/agencies to shut down in order to have the most "negative" impact on the public.  Again, I say, it is absolutely unbelievable how he abuses the power of his office to get what he wants.  Governing is not his agenda - getting what he wants is.

George Burns

Putting The Debt Limit Debate In Perspective

Want to know more about the debt ceiling and the role played by Congress and the Administration?  The short answer.  Historically both have done an abysmal job honoring the purpose of the debt ceiling (put in place to control government spending) and the nation's citizens are now the one's paying the price for poor/irresponsible government actions.

And tell me again which political party is the more fiscally reckless of the two major parties.  The Democrat senate has failed to even pass a budget for four years.  Yet the senate's Majority Leader Reid feels compelled to lecture the Republican House Speaker Boehner about doing his job.  The Republican led House of Representatives has passed multiple budget/fiscal bills during the past four years many of which Reid has refused to even bring to the Senate floor for a vote.  Give me a break.  See here:

What does this link tell you?  It tells me that our overly spendthrifty government cannot pay its bills unless we borrow the money to do so.  It is time for the government to deal with its HUMONGOUS spending problem.  Raising the debt ceiling is just a way to avoid doing that.  This time the Republicans have it right.  But, the president will not negotiate anything until the Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling.  Given history how accommodating/willing to negotiate do you think the president will be once he has access to a whole new pile of borrowed money?  

This is the way President Obama and his Democratic counterparts want to "negotiate".

Finally, here is what happens when the holders of our debt decide they want to push us around a bit.  Given that China holds so much of our debt they are doing just that.  Rightfully so, I might add.  The only way out is to start paying down the debt instead of wasting so much of taxpayer's money through rampant fraud, waste and abuse and spying on American citizens, engaging in endless overseas military actions, etc., etc., etc, and, oh by the way Obamacare, too.  Obama's term in office has seen the federal debt grow at a pace that exceeds all preceding presidents combined.

Remember this little tidbit?  During the George W. Bush presidency then Senator Obama lambasted Bush and his ethics when he wanted to raise the debt ceiling.

George Burns

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Might Want to Consider this Obamacare Revelation

The below link addresses whether or not Obamacare imposes unwanted/uninvited home visits from Obamacare operatives.  This is a legitimate question raised by a number of challengers of the legitimacy/legality of portions of Obamacare.  This article is a follow-up to one posted on this admittedly conservative leaning website this past August and which was later challenged/refuted by the liberal/left leaning website politifacts.  The first article reported that such visits are, in fact, a part of Obamacare.  The second claims that is not the case.  The linked article takes-on the politifacts article and is authored by Constitutional Attorney, Kent Brown.  Brown is interviewed in an embedded video during which he elaborates on points raised by the interviewer - viewing it is recommended.  There is certainly reason for concern, especially for households with children. One of the key questions addressed is whether or not the provisions of the law as written constitute "forced" visititations.   

George Burns


There are certain defining moments in life when circumstances reveal our true characters. On Wednesday of last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid experienced one of those defining moments. He revealed to the world a very dark and ugly core, a center that is crass even to the point of sacrificing life for his own selfish political agenda.
Reid had an exchange with CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that is one of the most remarkable events of his career. So obsessed with blaming Republicans for the partial government shut down, Reid is even willing to sacrifice children dying of cancer to score political points.

Money is not true wealth

On one side were the egalitarian ideas of Jefferson and Paine as expressed in the Declaration of Independence:   “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
On the other side were the aristocratic ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Livingston.   Or as John Jay, first chief justice of the Supreme Court put it:  “The people who own the country ought to govern it.”
And it was these latter ideas, as the historian Eugen Weber explains, which became the legal, statutory reality of the new republic with the adoption of the Constitution:
So while all men were created equal, this didn’t include blacks, who could not marry whites; Indians, who were to be driven off their lands; illiterates and paupers, who weren’t going to get a vote; and women of course, who were not men.
The Constitution replaced the old authority with a new one, the old monarchical ruling class with a republican ruling class which rested on property and social distinction, and eventually on heredity too, as much as the old one had done. 

Fashion's True Leading Economic Indicator

Much has been made of skirt lengths as an economic indicator. This theory has been debunked many times. At the moment, both short flared skater skirts and knee-length sheath skirts, not to mention long hippie skirts, are in style. Fashion’s real economic indicator is nail polish.
Yep, nail polish. Indeed, it can be considered a leading economic indicator, with skirt lengths a lagging indicator. The darker the polish, the worse the economy. Why haven’t men figured this out? They don’t pay attention to nail polish unless they don’t like what their girlfriends are wearing. 

'Why Isn't Poverty Falling? Weakening of Unemployment Insurance Is a Pivotal Factor'

The social safety net for unemployed workers is weakening:
Why Isn't Poverty Falling? Weakening of Unemployment Insurance Is a Pivotal Factor, by Arloc Sherman, CBPP: The poverty rate remained unchanged at a high 15.0 percent in 2012, the third full year of an economic recovery that officially began in June 2009. One key reason why poverty has remained virtually frozen despite continued economic growth is the weakening of unemployment insurance (UI). ...
UI benefits kept 1.7 million ... jobless workers and their families ... above the poverty line in 2012... This was 600,000 fewer than in 2011 and 1.5 million fewer than in 2010... To be sure, the decline partly reflects a positive development: fewer workers are unemployed, so fewer are eligible for UI benefits. But that explains only a small part of the decline. ...
The chief reason for the decline is the dwindling likelihood that an unemployed worker will receive UI. The number of UI recipients for every 100 unemployed workers fell from 67 in 2010 to 57 in 2011 and 48 in 2012. 

IMF fears 'asset spirals' in emerging markets on Fed tapering

“A repricing of risk could induce a run by investors holding speculative positions, especially if these are highly leveraged using short-term funding,” said the Fund in a study of global fall-out from the radical policies of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the European central bank.
The report said a witches’ brew of sliding currencies and excess credit could spin out of control. “Thin markets could amplify price movements and kick off sale spirals. Contagion effects could both amplify and broaden asset price movements and capital outflows as investors flock out of emerging market economies,” it said.
Exit must be “very carefully managed”, said Karl Habermeier, the IMF’s head of capital markets, advising countries at most risk of capital flight to beef up their defences before it is too late. 

FBI struggles to seize 600,000 Bitcoins from alleged Silk Road founder

The FBI has found that seizing an anonymous decentralised peer-to-peer currency was trickier than it seemed, following the Bureau’s bust of the international drugs marketplace, Silk Road.
When Ross Ulbricht, known as Dread Pirate Roberts to users of the site, was arrested last week, the FBI seized 26,000 Bitcoins belonging to Silk Road customers. But it also attempted, unsuccessfully, to claim the nearly 600,000 - thought to be worth around $80m - which Ulbricht himself is thought to be holding.
Bitcoin is a digital currency based on a methods of cryptography similar to those used to protect confidential emails. Due to its decentralised nature – the currency does not rely on any centralised agency to process payments, instead relying on work done by users’ computers – it is popular for a number of fringe-legal and illegal uses. One of those uses was Silk Road, where Bitcoin was required for all transactions. 

Is the Administration Misleading People on Obamacare's Web Failures, Or Is It Just Incompetent?

When Obamacare’s health exchanges rolled out last week to myriad glitches and, in the 36 federally facilitated exchanges, widespread inaccessibility, the Obama administration had a ready excuse: too much traffic. But the too-much-traffic story, along with repeated promises to fix online enrollment problems, hasn’t held up.
“We found out that there have been times this morning where the site's been running more slowly than it normally will,” President Obama said last Tuesday, the day the exchanges opened. “The reason is because more than one million people visited before 7:00 in the morning.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius put a positive spin on the website malfunctions. They were a sign of too much traffic, she said, “a great problem to have.”

The Upside of the Government Shutdown

The government “shutdown” is starting to feel a lot like the sequester — a lot of alarmist warnings that the sky is going to fall, followed by business pretty much as usual.
That’s not to minimize the genuine inconvenience or worse for those government employees who have been furloughed, or for cancer patients involved in clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health, an institution that House Republicans voted to fund but that Senate Democrats are holding hostage.
But for most of the rest of us, it turns out that the government can “shut down” and life goes on pretty much the same as it did before. Now there’s a valuable insight that it’s almost worth having the government shut down to discover.