Site for Free Markets and Free People

Friday, December 31, 2010

Holder: Black Panther Intimidation was "Made Up Controversy"

Eric Holder, Obama's top law enforcement official, believes that the Black Panther case was nothing more than a "made up controversy" by those racist whities out there.

2010: The Year of Liberal Reckoning

The WSJ points out that one piece of good news coming from 2010 is that the American public overwhelmingly voted against the destructive power of liberalism. The bad news? Democrats couldn't care less what Americans think.

The real story of 2010 is that the voters were finally able to see and judge this liberal agenda in its unvarnished form. For once, there was no Republican President to muddle the message or divide the accountability. The public was able to compare the promise of 8% unemployment if the government spent $812 billion on "stimulus" with the 9.8% jobless result. They stood athwart liberal history in the making and said, "Stop."

Note well, however, that the Democrats still standing on Capitol Hill remain unchastened. In her exit interviews, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she would do it all the same way again, and her colleagues have seconded her lack of remorse by keeping her as their leader despite their November thumping. Her consolation to defeated Democrats was not to invite them to the House caucus meeting when she denounced President Obama's tax deal with Republicans.

The difference between the work of the 111th Congress and that of either the Great Society or New Deal is that the latter were bipartisan and in the main popular. This Congress's handiwork is profoundly unpopular and should become more so as its effects become manifest. In 2010, Americans saw liberalism in the raw and rejected it. The challenge for Republicans is to repair the damage before it becomes permanent.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Canada to Reduce Federal Corporate Taxes to 15%

By 2012, Canada will have federal corporate tax rates of just 15%, less than half that of the U.S.

The Canadian government says those cuts will give Canada the lowest overall tax rate on business investment in the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations when deductions and credits are factored in.

...Since 2008, KPMG has been moving internal marketing, technology and finance services to Toronto from London and other locations. Toronto is now KPMG's biggest global support center with more than 200 staffers.

Gregory Ebel, chief executive of Spectra Energy Corp., Houston, Texas, said Canada's tax advantages are a big reason the company plans to invest more than $2 billion there in the next two years on infrastructure projects, particularly in natural-gas facilities in British Columbia.

Meanwhile, Obama is still trying to increase regulations and costs for businesses in the U.S. to make things more "fair."

Obama Appoints Man Who Believes 9/11 No Worse Than Other Crimes

Obama used the Congressional break to bypass the Senate and install James Cole as deputy Attorney General via recess appointment. James Cole's thinking is perfectly in sync with both Eric Holder and Obama. He believes that 9/11 was really no worse than any other type of crime and should be prosecuted as such.

Snow Cleanup Botch-job a Union Protest?

It seems that the dismal cleanup efforts from last week's blizzard was in part a result of union bosses who ordered drivers to do so. If true, maybe this will help quicken the pace of the dissolving of all public sector unions, which I believe have largely outlived their usefulness, if they ever had any.

Continued Improvement in Iraq in 2010

Has anyone noticed how quiet the media has been about Iraq lately? According to Bloomberg, civilian deaths from violence is down 85% from the peak. Yes, it was down 63% in 2008, 50% in 2009, and another 15% in 2010. And most fatalities that are occurring are largely due to Al Qaeda and other terrorist activities. Likewise, US military fatalities continue to decline in Iraq. According to, US military deaths in Iraq have gone from 904 in 2007, to 314 in 2008, to 149 in 2009, to 60 last year. Continued improvement but I'm not sure why the media has been so quiet.

On the other hand, military fatalities in Afghanistan have become very substantial, with very little media attention. Since Obama has entered the White House, they have gone from 155 in 2008 to 498 last year.

Let's take the time to remember the sacrifice our men have made in 2010 and will continue to make for us in 2011. And let's hope the improvement in Iraq continues and that tide starts turning in Afghanistan in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

US Government Financials Can't Get Opinion From GAO Due to Weaknesses

If this happened at a private company, it would immediately be in default of its debt obligations (and its leaders perhaps facing convictions).

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said it could not render an opinion on the 2010 consolidated financial statements of the federal government, because of widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, and other limitations.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Obama To Provide Doctors with Death Panel Incentives

When Congress passed Obamacare, it left out a few controversial provisions, including one that incentivized doctors to discuss end-of-life options as a way to control costs.

This week, Obama announced he will be introducing this concept into Medicare anyway. Gotta love his total disregard for the American public to get his policies enacted. Watch for more of this presidential diktat over the next two lame duck years.

Real 2010 Deficit: $2.1 Trillion

Up until 2009, a $1 trillion budget deficit was unheard of. Keep in mind that 2007 produced a deficit of roughly 1.2% of GDP. TaxProf points out that after taking into account long-term commitments, the 2010 deficit is actually closer to $2.1 trillion.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Obama Deep in Self-Love

With pundits from the left (and a few from the right) starting to proclaim Obama the "Comeback Kid," I think we should reflect. Just because Obama say's he's great, doesn't mean it is so, no matter how many times he said it this week. Here is what Obama bragged about this week (courtesy of Dana Milbank of The Washington Post):

"The most productive post-election period we've had
in decades."
"The most productive two years that we've had in generations."
"The most significant arms-control agreement in nearly two decades."
"The biggest upgrade of America's food-safety laws since the Great
"Al-Qaeda is more hunkered down than they have been since the
original invasion of Afghanistan in 2001."

OK. I think the President needs to calm himself down. If only the American public also believed that he is that good. Just because he passed stuff (yes he was successful in passing a lot of "stuff " this year), doesn't mean this "stuff" will be successful. It also doesn't mean that Americans like it or will like it. Let's wait and see if America will love Obama as much as he loves himself.

Murkowski Vindictive - Voting with Democrats

Let this be a lesson to all those GOP senators who wanted one of their own back in the senate and even secretly helped her win. They also did not take away her key committee positions despite losing the GOP nomination. Their reward? Her vindictiveness.

Murkowski is already showing a fierce independent streak, becoming the only Republican to cast votes on all four items on President Barack Obama’s wish list: a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a tax-cut compromise, the START deal and cloture for the DREAM Act.

Let that be a lesson to them - she's worse than a Democrat because she will continue to give the GOP a bad name and will be too willing to compromise, resulting in no distinction to voters.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pilot Home Searched For Being Critical of Government

You read a story like this and you don't have to wonder why the majority of Americans are scared to death of having the government control access to critical health care decisions. Critical of government? The hospital just might not have room to deal with your heart attack right now...

Jewish Witches at Gitmo

It seems that Jewish witches at Guantanamo Bay were causing all sorts of illusions to the terrorists there. And to think that some right wingers don't fully believe these guys...

Mass. Schools To Require Permission Slip to Say Pledge of Allegiance

Saying the Pledge of Allegiance now requires a permission slip in Brookline, Mass. - home of Barney Frank.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama Pursuing New Diktats For EPA

For weeks we have been understanding Obama's plan: since Democrats and Congress got slaughtered last election, he plans on ramming through his agenda via diktat. More specifically, he is using agencies run by unelected officials to jam his policies through despite the will of Americans. The latest example is with the EPA.

St. Paul School District Bans All Sweet and Salty Snacks

Parents better think twice about giving their kids a bag of chips or a cupcake as part of their school lunch. The school district has banned the snacks entirely.

Reminders have been sent to teachers, students and parents that "sweet, sticky, fat-laden [and] salty treats" aren't allowed during the school day, said Jean Ronnei, the district's director of nutrition services.

Why not ban parenting altogether and let the government raise our kids? It worked out well for Hitler.

Jim DeMint Vows To Reverse FCC Internet Takeover

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, vows to reverse the FCC's decision to take de facto control of the Internet through what it calls "net neutrality."

Jim DeMint is my favorite presidential candidate at this point. I really wish he'd consider running.

Obama to Insurers: More Services at Reduced Rates or Face Bankruptcy

Obama is on the warpath to jam as much government control down Americans' throats before the year is up. The latest is a diktat from Obama's HHS that essentially forces insurers to increase its benefits to a larger number of people without raising costs by more than 10% - or face being forced out of the market and into bankruptcy by Obama and his political thugs.

When is the presidential trade deadline? I'll swap Chavez for Obama with Venezuela in a heartbeat.

Obama Director of National Intelligence Clueless About London Arrests

James Clapper, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, was interviewed by Diane Sawyer along with John Brennan and Big 'Sis the afternoon after the recent terrorist arrests in London. Clapper was completely ignorant of the arrests. James Brennan had to save him and pretend he was aware - until Clapper admitted he had no clue. Later Clapper's office said that the question was too ambiguous.

Makes you feel safe, huh?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FCC Gives Obama Power to Regulate Web Traffic

It's official. Democrats on the divided FCC gave Obama the power he so much craves - to regulate web traffic how he sees fit.

It's been a good two years for Obama - he's matching Chavez and raising him.

Obama on "Net Neutrality:" Trying to Keep Up with Chavez Internet Takeover

Not sure how I missed it, but it seems that Obama is simply trying to keep up with Hugo Chavez's nationalization of the media in Venezuela. Chavez's puppet Congress passed a law that "prohibits television, radio or internet messages that incite, promote or justify crime, the equivalent of war propaganda, fomenting anxiety among the citizenry or that alter the public order."

No way Obama will be out-socialized by some third world dictator...

U.S. Senate Forgetting One Thing on START - the Constitution

As Andrew McCarthy details, U.S. Senators are talking back and forth about various provisions to the awful new START treaty, when it's all for naught.

It is thus eminently understandable that senators concerned about our security should want New START drastically altered. The Constitution, however, does not permit them to do it themselves. Article II’s treaty clause quite clearly empowers the president alone to make treaties. The Senate’s limited roll is to provide the president with its advice and to decide whether to consent — meaning the senators get to counsel President Obama on how to deal with the Russians, and they get to say no or yes to the deal the president has struck.

They do not get to rewrite the deal, and trying to do so is worse than an empty gesture — it is a feint. Senatorial treaty amendments, all of which Democrats have voted down so far, would be of no legal consequence even if they passed. The reason is simple: They would not be the deal to which the Russians agreed with President Obama. A treaty is an agreement between the United States and another country. It is not an agreement between the president and the Senate to ignore the language the president and another country have endorsed.

And of course, it also ignores the fact that the Russians have already plainly said the treaty means that the U.S. will be prohibited from any missile defense shields at home or abroad. McCarthy's solution is simple:

The Republicans’ choice is an easy one here: Block New START and tell President Obama to get back to them when he has in hand a formal treaty that is consistent with his letter. The question is: Why are Republicans turning something so easy into a nail-biter?

Unfortunately, that's true of everything being crammed into this lame duck Congress before the conservatives come to town. (Lame duck Congresses usually do not try to try this garbage...)

Obama Has Control of Internet in His Sights

You'd think that November's body slam to Obama would have dented his over-inflated confidence. No chance. Obama, during his lameduck period, is looking to jam more government control onto his already impressive resume. This time it's net neutrality. The Washington Examiner opines:

Last April, a federal court told the Federal Communications Commission that it has no business regulating the Internet. Unfortunately, judicial rejection ...didn't deter Obama's FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, from taking another whack. He's bringing a new set of proposed net neutrality regulations to the five-member panel Tuesday. Unfortunately, nobody knows any details of the new proposal because Genachowski has kept them secret until the last possible minute even as he rushed them forward for a vote. How ironic that the Internet, the great and empowering liberator of information that "wants to be free," is being chopped up behind closed doors by an unelected panel...In their net neutrality quest, Genachowski and two of his fellow Democratic appointees are working to expand government power into an area where the commission has no jurisdiction, under the guise of solving a problem that does not exist.

Sounds like Obama will force the courts to overturn his unilateral governmental takeover of the internet. Hope and change and arrogance at its best.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Irony: Assange Lawyer Upset that Sensitive Assange Info Leaked

You can't make this up. Julian Assange's lawyer lodged a formal complaint over how sensitive information about Assange's personal love life were leaked to the press.

Friday, December 17, 2010

GOP Victorious in Killing Democrat Ominbus Bill

The "moderates" of the GOP were very nearly corrupted into voting for the big fat $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill that would have increased spending from even the bloated 2010 levels, as well as set up the enforcement mechanisms (including more IRS agents) for Obamacare. All it took was the unprovoked insertion of several earmarks in GOP districts of Murkowski, Collins, Bennett, etc. to help entice them.

But as Kimberly Strassel explains in the WSJ, leader Mitch McConnell (or Mike, as Obama calls him) ultimately persuaded his caucus to heed the election results and vote it down.

Democrats were euphoric. An omnibus victory, they knew, would subject Republicans to an ugly PR hit. True, the omnibus would pass primarily with Democratic votes. But the headlines would focus on the handful of Republicans who provided the final votes and undermined the GOP's spending message. GOP support for this bill would also tarnish what goodwill Republicans earned for their self-imposed earmark ban.

Better yet, Republican earmarkers would be providing President Obama and Democrats a giant policy victory, undercutting House Republicans before they even got the gavel. Everyone in Washington understands that the most powerful tool that Republicans gained in this election was control over spending bills.

...The good news is that the GOP will be even better positioned to reject the lures next year. Mr. McConnell is getting a batch of more fiscally conservative senators whose numbers will give him some breathing room. And the House is hoping its spending reforms will deny its members even the temptation of pork.

The funny thing is that virtually no journalists in the media have even criticized the Democrats for this unconscionable bill. I suppose it's just expected from Democrats nowadays.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Obama Ramming Net Neutrality In Before Christmas

It's likely that we'll have net neutrality soon. More government control. Little information, no vote, just RAM it through. Hard to believe all the stuff one man can jam through when most are opposed. Does anybody trust this guy?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Obama Names Ohio AG Election Loser to "Consumer Protection Bureau"

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who recently lost his re-election to Mike DeWine, won his consolation prize from Obama - to run the "consumer protection" agency.

Just to review, the key people sitting on the "consumer protection" agency are: Cordray, who made his name trying to sue banks who dared foreclose on consumers who couldn't pay their mortgages; David Silberman, former counsel for the AFL-CIO; and Elizabeth Warren, who once called the entire financial industry a bunch of "crooks."

Despite a recent stock price run-up, we shouldn't get overly optimistic about the economy when there are Obama-ites still trying to bankrupt private companies.

Real Healthcare Reform, Texas Style

I recall an Ob-Gyn based in Texas telling me almost a decade ago how terrible the litigation was in Texas which made it undesirable to practice in the state. No new doctors wanted to move there, and in fact, many were moving out. Then in 2003, the state introduced fundamental tort reform and the results were astounding. As the WSJ points out,

Before the reform, Texas was a kind of holy place on the tort bar pilgrimage. Now it’s a Mecca for doctors, especially the emergency physicians, obstetricians and surgical specialists who elsewhere can face blue-sky malpractice premiums. Liability rates have fallen by 27.5% on average since 2003. The number of doctors applying to practice in Texas has increased 60%, even as the overall population grew by 14%.

All of this is helping to end an acute Lone Star physicians shortage, especially in rural areas. Twenty-three counties now have their first E.R. doctor, 10 their first OB-GYN. Hospitals are reinvesting the malpractice savings in scarce services like neurosurgery and neonatal units and expanding access to care. This Texas success has opened eyes in nearby Oklahoma, where even Democrats have been forced to agree to some legal reforms.

Amazing - and the state didn't have to take over the entire industry and spend trillions of dollars to do it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dems Trying to Pass Last Minute $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Three months into the new government fiscal year, Democrats are trying to pass a massive, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill while they still can and before anyone can read it.

It also provides funding for Obamacare, which the new Congress has already said they will not fund.

Elections have consequences, but apparently, only when Democrats win. Just like Obamacare, jam it through Congress regardless of the consequences. ..

Dems Pass Bush Tax Cuts and Obama's Increased Spending Bill

I'm not a fan of this bill because I think it included too much pork. When people talk about the $890 billion of increased stimulus, $550 billion comes from Bush tax cuts, and $340 billion from Obama spending. Guess which part I don't support? I also believe Bush's tax cuts didn't go far enough.

But a lot has been said about this bill, and that it's the REPUBLICANS' BILL. Certainly most republicans did vote for it, but the fact remains that Obama is ramming this bill through his old Democratically controlled congress. Of course one option could have been to wait until January, but he chose to close it now because he knew he had the numbers. On the Senate side, 46 democrats and 37 republicans voted for the bill. And two dems abstained. I'm not sure how this means this is a Republican bill - I would have liked to see the vote tally with Toomey, Paul, Rubio, and Ron Johnson on the Republican side. Most senators on both sides voted for the bill, but the fact remains that even if most republicans did not vote for it, the Dems had the numbers.

I was hoping Republicans would go the way of Jim Demint and Tom Coburn (both voted against), and maybe they will next year. But looks like Obama will use every last hour to push everything thru his lameduck majority. What he'd doing of course is completely legal. Unethical yes, but legal.

How the Federal Government Keeps Poor Kids Drugged

Ever hear of SSI? Supplementary Security Income is a form of welfare. Recipients, can receive $700/month if their child has certain disabilities. The Boston Globe is doing an indepth piece on the fraud and unintended consequences involved with SSI.

A Globe investigation has found that this Supplemental Security Income program — created by Congress primarily to aid indigent children with severe physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and blindness — now largely serves children with relatively common mental, learning, and behavioral disorders such as ADHD. It has also created, for many needy parents, a financial motive to seek prescriptions for powerful drugs for their children.

And once a family gets on SSI, it can be very hard to let go. The attraction of up to $700 a month in payments, and the near-automatic Medicaid coverage that comes with SSI approval, leads some families to count on a child’s remaining classified as disabled, even as his or her condition may be improving. It also leads many teenage beneficiaries to avoid steps — like taking a job — that might jeopardize the disability check.

Unbelievably this program, originally for kids with severe disabilities, is now going mainly to kids with nervous disorders like ADD and ADHD (53% nationwide!) where they need to be on drugs to qualify for benefits. Hey this is the problem with big government welfare. People abuse the system, and there are always severe unintended consequences - in this case a generation of poor American boys drugged up by the federal government. Good reporting by the Globe.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Michelle O: Childhood Obsesity is National Security Threat

Hmm. According to Michelle Obama, childhood obesity is a leading national security threat.

Hey, I'm all in favor of linking tax rates to body fat indexes if she really wants to impact behavior.


Says Michelle: "We can't just leave it up to the parents." Since she brought it up, perhaps I should be regulating some of that junk in her own trunk...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Obama Votes for More of the Same

I'm not sure why people are excited about Obama's big "compromise" to extend Bush's tax cuts for another couple of years. To me, his bill is just more of the same. We had the tax cuts over the past two years. Also, Obama has extended unemployment benefits from 13 weeks to 2 years, and that will be extended for another unlucky 13 months under his bill. So we had all of this stuff in 2009 and 2010, and we will have it in 2011 as well. Sure there are a couple of new "one-time" depreciation gimmicks which we didn't have, but mostly, it's same 'ol, same 'ol.

I see why Obama can partially celebrate if the deal passes (he can at least blame Republicans when in a year we're still in the same mess, and if there's one thing Obama knows - it's blaming others).

But what I don't understand is why Republicans think this is so great. Sure - it's far better than Obama's tax increase policy which would have been a disaster, but why is status quo acceptable? I think Republicans should have started with the premise of a permanent tax cut for everyone, rather than trying to just win the status quo.

This was the kind of thing I was afraid of. Obama compromised yes, but in short, 2011 will be similar to 2010 policy-wise. It's possible the economy is stronger this year if businesses gain a little confidence that Obama will not do further damage, and hire a bit more, but I'd like to see more radical change that will help America compete again.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dems Feign Outrage Over Not Addressing Budget

As Obama appears ready to support a plan not to increase taxes on January 1 (and perhaps even a very limited reduction in payroll tax cuts), many Democrats are feigning outrage that we are not "addressing our long term budget deficit." These Dems, like "moderate" Mark Warner, who was on CNBC today and supported all of Obama's $3.5 trillion in new spending over the past two years, must have been sleeping since he's been in the Senate.

At least he's consistent on favoring tax increases, just as he did when he was Virginia governor.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wikileaks Docs Show US Manipulated Climate Accord

Unsurprisingly, the US manipulated, threatened and cajoled foreign countries to support the global warming climate talks according to documents released by Wikileaks.

As was the case with Al Gore's arguments for ethanol, the whole climate discussion is falling apart at the seams.

Obama Flip-Flopping on South Korea: Copies Bush Policy

He voted against six free trade acts while he was senator and criticized the Bush attempt at this treaty, saying it was bad for American workers.

Now he favors it, saying that it will be good for American jobs. Great. I'm not sure of the reason he changed his mind, but maybe if he had done his homework as a senator and decided back in 2007 that it was a good deal, perhaps we would be already be seeing the fruits of this agreement.

Maybe I'm expecting too much in asking that our American President be forward thinking.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Lame Duck House Dems Pass Tax Increases

The Pelosi-led Democrat lame ducks in the House passed a bill today to raise taxes on January 1. To all you Ron Paul lovers, he voted with the Dems.

Unfortunately, even if the Senate doesn't pass it, the House certainly will not pass a bill not to raise taxes, which means that they are likely to rise next month.