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Date: Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 20:11

**Written by Doug Powers

Our first headline is from just over two weeks ago:

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*****

That brings us to our second competing headline, which was posted today on the White House website:

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Baby steps.

What with Obama and Biden taking a voluntary pay cut to show solidarity with furloughed federal employees, maybe the White House figured that would narrow the gap enough to warrant preaching to everybody else about equal pay.

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Above, President Obama instructs ten male advisers (pictured) and ten female advisers who earn the same amount of money (not pictured) to start cracking down on private sector pay and hiring inequities

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Politics"
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Date: Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 16:23

**Written by Doug Powers

“Make the pain of the cuts noticable” was the original marching order, and they sure are trying to run with it:

A judge Monday proposed a September trial date for Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law and mouthpiece Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.

But Ghaith’s three federal public defenders said they can’t begin until January 2014 because of the deeps cuts in the federal budget known as sequestration.

Defense attorney Martin Cohen said the three attorneys working on Ghaith’s case have to take five-and-a-half-week furloughs by October as a result of the $85 billion in so-called “sequestration” spending cuts.

“It’s extremely troublesome,” Manhattan Federal Court Judge Lewis Kaplan said as he declined to set a trial date. “Stunning.”

The sequester won’t hit Capitol janitors hard but trials for accused terrorists might be delayed due to this massive cut (read: slight decrease in the rate of spending increase)?

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Not postponed due to the sequester: Sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Egypt, brand spankin’ new TSA uniforms, snail sex grants, and star-studded White House parties.

Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light:

But let’s pretend this is true. Then send Mr. Ghayth back to Guantanamo and give him a military tribunal trial. Problem solved.

Wait, Gitmo’s still open?

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Politics, Terrorist attack..."
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 18:46

The troubling trend of celebrity “SWATting” incidents has not abated. KPCC reports on the latest victims:

The “swatting” phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. The LAPD has sent officers to the homes of at least ten celebrities in recent months in response to prank calls about crimes being committed. There were four such incidents just last week; a psychologist blames a “lack of empathy” for the rich and famous.

On Friday the LAPD sent officers to Justin Timberlake’s Hollywood Hills home after a call came in of shots fired there by four black men. Less than two hours later, police rushed over to Tarzana after a 911 caller said someone had been killed inside Selena Gomez’s home. Both calls were pranks.

On Thursday, a bogus call sent officers to the Pacific Palisades home of Rihanna, and on Wednesday it was rapper Sean Combs’ mansion in Toluca Lake.

Police don’t always send a SWAT team in response to these calls, but the term “swatting” has come to identify these incidents.

The way it works is someone contacts 911 to report a serious crime or threat. The prankster uses a phone, a TTY phone for the deaf, reroutes the call through the Internet, or sends in a text or email.

It’s got the LAPD tied up in frustrated knots at chasing fake crimes. Chief Charlie Beck wagged his finger at the suspected prankster in October when Ashton Kutcher’s house was swatted.

“This is an under-policed city,” Beck said. “This is a city that has scarce police resources and to waste them on crank calls…affects everybody and so people should be upset about that.”

It’s not just a stupid “prank” that costs tax dollars. It’s an insidious, privacy-invading tactic that puts innocent lives in danger.

Last spring, the terror-inducing phenomenon came to national light after brave bloggers blew the whistle. Conservative bloggers and activists rallied behind the victims of left-wing convicted domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin and his cabal.

A year later, the survivors of those SWATting attacks are still fighting for their security and free speech rights.

*To be clear, I am not connecting the Hollywood SWATtings to the swattings against the bloggers. The point is that it’s the same reckless tactic. While the celeb targets will get much more media and law enforcement attention, the non-famous targets have struggled under the radar screen to get their cases and voices heard in a sustained way.*

The latest in SWATting victim Aaron Walker’s saga is here. Aaron’s wife was recently harassed by thugs who continue to take and post photos of Aaron and his wife. The Maryland prosecutor’s callous response:

“If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland.”

Patterico, my friend and the intrepid blogger who did ground-breaking reporting last year after he and his family were victimized by the SWATters, weighs in here.

Aaron Walker doesn’t have to go to Maryland to be stalked.

“If you’re so concerned about your safety, don’t come to Maryland.”

It’s hard for me to envision how a comment like this from a prosecutor can be appropriate.

Author: "Michelle Malkin" Tags: "brett kimberlin"
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 18:32

**Written by Doug Powers

Forty years ago, Manuel Martinez escaped communist Cuba and became an American citizen. Last week, Martinez spoke extemporaneously at a hearing in the Oregon state legislature, where debate took place over four proposed gun bills.

Video and partial transcript below (full transcript here):


My name is Manuel Martinez. Born in Cuba. American Citizen for more than 40 years. I oppose any manipulation, any regulation or disruption of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

In 1957 a Revolution … individuals … malicious individuals, masquerading as Democrats, revolutionaries, established a regime … a dictatorial regime … in my nation. Called Communism, Socialism, Stalinism, Marxism, and whatever other named -ism you want to put on it. The reason why it was done was to take away the guns from the People. The right of the People to wear guns. That is a God-given Right. It’s not given by anybody. It’s not given by any group. It’s the same thing as freedom, which is a God-given Right. And no one, absolutely no one, has the authority to take it away. To cease to defend the Second Amendment, and my God-given Right of freedom, will cease only with my death.

I’ve been through it. I’ve been there. You people don’t know what freedom is because you never lost it.

(rest of transcript here)

Dan Sandini, who was at the hearing, writes:

I can assure you even the Liberal hacks in the press pool were visibly shaken. The expressions on the Senators faces … well they spoke for themselves (I’ve included a few stll shots here). I’d wager no one in room did not feel a chill up their spine, or a tear in the corner of their eye, as Martinez described scenes of sons being torn from their mothers arms, and shot dead in the street, because they lacked the means to protect themselves. He spoke from the heart: no notes or teleprompter required.

Too bad Mr. Martinez and this former Tiananmen Square activist aren’t available to speak at every one of the hearings around the country.

(h/t CainTV and Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Guns, Politics"
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 13:59

Via the Center for Security Policy, 700 Special Ops veterans sent a letter to Congress today calling on Congress to establish a select committee to investigate the Benghazi cover-up. “The SOF 700 letter was organized at the initiative of Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin USA (Ret.) by Special Operations Speaks (SOS),” Frank Gaffney writes. “This not-for-profit organization was established by special operation veterans in 2012 to illuminate the failed operational security environment of the Obama Administration and to restore accountability in government. These veterans have put their lives on the line for our country. The signers are determined to ensure than no one else needlessly loses theirs by establishing – and learning from – the lessons of the Benghazigate scandal.”

More info:

Months after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador, the American people are still waiting to hear the truth about why this happened. After all this time, critical questions still remain unanswered about: the policies that may have contributed to this debacle; the motives of the attackers; President Obama’s whereabouts after he learned our facilities in Benghazi were taking fire; the failure to mount any rescue attempt; and even the status of survivors; to name just a few.

On April 8, 2013, seven hundred former special operations warriors ­many of whom were heroically involved in “preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans²” wrote an open letter to the House of Representatives. They said, in part:

“This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Thus far it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress. Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.”

To be sure, several congressional committees have tried to investigate separate aspects of the attack and the Obama administration’s handling of it after the fact. But, with each committee having different jurisdictions, their inquiries so far have been piecemeal and incomplete. The American people still do not have a definitive accounting of what went wrong.

What can be done?

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) has introduced a congressional resolution, H. Res. 36, calling for the establishment of a special Congressional committee to investigate the Benghazi attack and the Obama administration’s handling of it in the weeks that followed. It’s an opportunity for a comprehensive investigation that connects all the dots, and holds people accountable.

You can join the petition movement here at EndTheCoverUp.com. Make your voice heard and keep the memory of the fallen Americans in Benghazi alive.

Author: "Michelle Malkin" Tags: "Politics, War"
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Date: Monday, 08 Apr 2013 13:08

She was an irrepressible force for liberty. A lioness who minced no words. Fierceness personified. Britain and the world are better off because of Margaret Thatcher’s towering battles in defense of freedom and free markets. The world should mourn not just her passing, but that such leaders as the Iron Lady are so few and far between.

One of Thatcher’s classic moments debating blithering socialist blockheads on her legacy:

Bookmark, re-read, and share with your children: The essential Margaret Thatcher.

Margaret Thatcher paying tribute to Ronald Reagan on his 83th birthday:

And from her speech to Britain’s Conservative Party Conference in 1975, Thatcher’s blunt and timeless diagnosis of the economic and moral ills of destructive left-wing policies:

The economic challenge has been debated at length in this hall.

Last week it gave rise to the usual scenes of cordial brotherly strife.

Day after day the comrades called one another far from comradely names, and occasionally, when they remembered, they called us names too.

Some of them, for example, suggested that I criticised Britain when I was overseas. They are wrong.

It wasn’t Britain I was criticising. It was-Socialism. (Applause).

And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain—and Britain and
Socialism are not the same thing.

As long as I have health and strength, they never will be. (Applause).

But whatever could I say about Britain that is half as damaging as what this Labour Government have done to our country?

Let’s look at the record.

It is the Labour Government that have caused prices to rise at a record rate of 26 per cent a year.

They told us that the Social Contract would solve everything. But now everyone can see that the so-called contract was a fraud—a fraud for which the people of this country have had to pay a very high price.

It is the Labour Government whose policies are forcing unemployment higher than it need have been—thousands more men and women lose their jobs every day.

There are going to be men and women many of them youngsters straight out of school—who will be without a job this winter because Socialist Ministers spent last year attacking us, instead of attacking inflation.

And it’s the Labour Government that have brought the level of production below that of the 3-day week in 1974. W’ve really got a 3-day week now,—only it takes five days to do it. (Applause).

It’s the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease—they’ve run out of other people’s money. (Laughter).

And it’s the Labour Government that have pushed public spending to record levels.

And how’ve they done it? By borrowing, and borrowing and borrowing.

Never in the field of human credit has so much been owed. (Laughter). End of section checked against ITN News at Ten, 10 October 1975.

But serious as the economic challenge is, the political and moral challenge is just as grave, perhaps more so.

Economic problems never start with economics. They have deeper roots—in human nature and in politics.
They don’t finish at economics either.

Labour’s failure to cope, to look at the nation’s problems from the point of view of the whole nation, not just one section of it, has led to loss of confidence and a sense of helplessness.

With it goes a feeling that Parliament, which ought to be in charge, is not in charge—that the actions and the decisions are taken elsewhere.

And it goes deeper than that. There are voices that seem anxious not to overcome our economic difficulties, but to exploit them, to destroy the free enterprise society and put a Marxist system in its place.

I sometimes think the Labour Party is like a pub where the mild is running out. If someone doesn’t do something soon, all that’s left will be bitter. (Laughter). And all that’s bitter will be Left. (Laughter).

Whenever I visit Communist countries, their politicians never hesitate to boast about their achievements.

They know them all by heart and reel off the facts and figures, claiming that this is the rich harvest of the Communist system.

Yet they are not prosperous as we in the West are prosperous, and they are not free as we in the West are free.

Our capitalist system produces a far higher standard of prosperity and happiness because it believes in incentive and opportunity, and because it is founded on human dignity and freedom. (Applause).

Even the Russians have to go to a capitalist country, America to buy enough wheat to feed their people. And that aftermore than 50 years of a State controlled economy.

Yet they boast incessantly while we, who have so much more to boast about, forever criticise and decry.

Isn’t it time we spoke up for our way of life? (Applause) After all, no Western nation has to build a wall round itself to keep its people in. (Applause).

So let us have no truck with those who say the free enterprise system has failed. What we face today is not a crisis of capitalism, but of Socialism. No country can flourish if its economic and social life is dominated by nationalisation and state control.

The cause of our shortcomings does not therefore lie in private enterprise. Our problem is not that we have too little socialism. It is that we have too much.

THE FREE SOCIETY AND THE ECONOMY

A man’s right to work as he will to spend what he earns to own property to have the State as servant and not as master these are the British inheritance.

They are the essence of a free economy. And on that freedom all our other freedoms depend. (Applause). End of section checked against ITN Early Evening News, 10 October 1975.

But we want a free economy, not only because it guarantees our liberties, but also because it is the best way of creating wealth and prosperity for the whole country.

It is this prosperity alone which can give us the resources for better services for the community, better services for those in need. (Applause).

By their attack on private enterprise, this Labour Government have made certain that there will be next to nothing available for improvements in our social services over the next few years.

We must get private enterprise back on the road to recovery, not merely to give people more of their own money to spend as they choose, but to have more money to help the old and the sick and the handicapped.

The way to recovery is through profits. Good profits today, leading to high investment, well-paid jobs and a better standard of living tomorrow. (Applause).

No profits mean no investment, and a dying industry geared to yesterday’s world.

Other nations have recognised that for years now. They are going ahead faster than we are; and the gap between us will continue to increase unless we change our ways.

The trouble here is that for years the Labour Party have made people feel that profits are guilty-unless proved innocent.

But when I visit factories and businesses I do not find that those who actually work in them are against profits. On the contrary, they want to work for a prosperous concern. With a future—their future. (Applause).

Governments must learn to leave these companies with enough of their own profits to produce the goods and jobs for tomorrow.

If the Socialists won’t or can’t there will be no profit making industry left to support the losses caused by fresh bouts of nationalisation.

And if anyone says I am preaching laissez-faire, let me say this.

I am not arguing, and never have argued, that all we have to do is to let the economy run by itself.

I believe that, just as each of us has an obligation to make the best of his talents so governments have an obligation to create the framework within which we can do so. Not only individual people, but individual firms and particularly small firms. (Applause).

Some of these will stay small but others will expand and become the great companies of the future.

The Labour Government have pursued a disastrous vendetta against small businesses and the self-employed. We will reverse their damaging policies. (Applause).

EQUALITY

Now let me turn to something I spoke about in America.

Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals.

We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise.

We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.

Engineers, miners, manual workers, shop assistants, farm workers, postmen, housewives—these are the essential foundations of our society. Without them there would be no nation. (Applause).

But their are others with special gifts who should also have their chance, because if the adventurers who strike out in new directions in science, technology, medicine, commerce and industry the arts are hobbled, there can be no advance.

The spirit of envy can destroy. It can never build…

***

One of a kind: “I make great leaps forward, not little jumps in studios.”

Author: "Michelle Malkin" Tags: "Politics"
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Date: Sunday, 07 Apr 2013 17:44

**Written by Doug Powers

Fisker Automotive, as you might recall, received hundreds of millions of dollars in US taxpayer backed loans on the promise of manufacturing cars at a Delaware plant, and then promptly — assembled the first line of Gore-Mobiles at a factory in Finland.

Cue the inevitable layoffs:

Fisker Automotive, the struggling, government-backed hybrid sports car maker, terminated most of its rank-and-file employees on Friday, in a last-ditch effort to conserve cash and stave off a potential bankruptcy filing, sources said.

In a statement, Fisker confirmed that it let go about 75 percent of its workforce. The automaker said it was “a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fisker’s core assets.”

People working two and three jobs to make ends meet must be so happy that their tax dollars were used to subsidize cars for “green” glitterati with guilty consciences while lining the pockets of eco-scammers.

Fisker has also been hit with a lawsuit for violating the WARN Act in its haste to conserve cash:

After losing its driving force, Henrik Fisker, and 75 percent of its employees, Fisker Automotive takes another blow. The fired workers are accusing the automaker of not having notified them in advance, and are calling the company’s action illegal, bringing about a federal lawsuit. Their motivation for pursuing the legal way also probably stems from the fact that aside from being paid for their unused days off, there wasn’t a severance package in sight.

What Fisker is being charged with is, breaking rules set by both the federal WARN Act and California’s own WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification). The law states that employees need to be notified of impending contract terminations at least 60 days before it actually happens, so as to make the necessary arrangements and not be caught off-guard.

All that remains to be seen now is if the company Karma has enough juice to get Fisker to bankruptcy court.

At some locations you can now pick up a Fisker Karma for the super discounted price of $80,000. The car has a **lifetime warranty.

**The company’s lifetime, not the buyer’s

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Enviro-nitwits, Hollyweird, Politics"
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Date: Sunday, 07 Apr 2013 15:06

**Written by Doug Powers

The wind-up:

The Delaware County DA’s office has announced that James Schiliro, the mayor of Marcus Hook, has been arrested.

He is facing multiple criminal charges, including reckless endangerment. Schiliro surrendered to police early Thursday morning.
[...]
According to court documents, the mayor is accused of having a police officer pick up a 20-year-old friend in a police cruiser and bring him to his home. Inside, the mayor allegedly served the minor alcohol and asked for sexual favors.

When the man refused, the mayor allegedly told him he was a hostage and fired his gun inside of the home, court documents said.

And the pitch: Schiliro is a member of Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”

Reports say Schiliro’s a Republican, but he sounds more like a No Labels man.

More:

Ballistics tests done by the investigators confirmed a bullet found in a wall in Schiliro’s home did match one of the guns. Schiliro sold eight weapons shortly after the incident, according to court records.

It’s possible Schiliro accidentally fired the gun, especially if he got his firearm safety tips from one of Bloomberg’s gun control ads.

Schiliro has been removed from the Mayors Against Illegal Guns list of supporters.

In related stories, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns should encourage its members and former members to also be against illegal drunk driving, corruption, bribes and child sex crimes.

Bloomberg obviously needs stricter background checks for his gun control bunch.

Count me in as a supporter of a different organization: Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors.

(h/t Mental Recession and The Black Sphere)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Guns, Michael Bloomberg, Politicians"
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Date: Saturday, 06 Apr 2013 15:25

**Written by Doug Powers

I’ll say this much: At least in this example it’s her own kid instead of a room full of other people’s children (and I’m assuming the audience watching the segment at the time consisted of fewer people than the average kindergarten classroom).

From The Blaze:

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, few will likely agree with MSNBC host Krystal Ball’s decision to use her young daughter to promote gay marriage during a segment titled “Political Playground” on Thursday.

“What if you were in love with a girl? Would you marry a girl?” Balls asks her daughter.

The little girl seems to be well versed in New York law, as she replies by saying girls can marry girls and boys can marry boys in New York but not in other places.

“And that’s good because you want people to be able to marry who they are in love with, right?” Ball nudged.

Flip the subject being pushed on the little girl to something like pro-life values and MSNBC would be reporting it as child abuse:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This wouldn’t be so bad provided they had follow-up segments asking little kids if it’s right that they’re already under a mountain of debt when they’re born, or other questions like this:

(h/t Free Republic)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Media, Politics"
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Date: Saturday, 06 Apr 2013 09:13

**Written by Doug Powers

If you’re wondering, no, the money isn’t going towards restoring White House tours. This is a symbol of solidarity with federal employees, not school kids.

From Bloomberg News:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew and Attorney General Eric Holder today followed President Barack Obama’s decision to refuse a portion of his salary to show solidarity with furloughed government workers.

Obama will send a check to the Treasury for 5 percent of his $400,000 annual salary each month federal employees are forced to take unpaid leave because of across-the-board budget cuts under a process known as sequestration, a White House official said yesterday.

Kerry will donate 5 percent of his pay to “an appropriate charity that will benefit employees of the State Department,” Victoria Nuland, the department spokeswoman, said today.

Lew’s office said he would donate an unspecified amount of his salary to charity.

Everybody then looked at Joe Biden, who just started whistling and slowly walking away.

Kerry’s voluntary cut was 5 percent of his government salary, not his total annual haul. He’s not about to show that much solidarity.

Obama, Kerry, et al say they’re taking voluntary cuts to show empathize with furloughed federal employees, because to show proper solidarity with the rest of America would cost them way too much (they’d have to take a 5.7 percent cut from their overall incomes as a matter of fact). And forget about them making any real effort to show voluntary financial solidarity with the involuntary debt of every American:

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**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Eric Holder, John Kerry, P..."
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Date: Friday, 05 Apr 2013 16:01

**Written by Doug Powers

In regards to the latest jobs report, the White House will put much of their focus on the slight drop in the unemployment rate. The reason for that however isn’t because America is going back to work.

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge:

Moments ago the March Non-farm payroll hit and it was a doozy, printing at 88K, below the lowest forecast of 100K, well below the expected number of 190K, and a tragedy compared to the February revised print of 268K (was 236K). This was the biggest miss to expectations since December 2009 and the worst print since June 2012. The unemployment rate declined to 7.6%, but this was due entirely to the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which declined by 20 bps to 63.3%, a new 30 year low.

Start the spin machine.

To where is the workforce disappearing? Here’s one place:

The number of American workers collecting federal disability payments climbed to yet another record of 8,853,614 in March, up from 8,840,427 in February, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.

That means there are more than 3 times as many Americans taking disability payments as there are people living in the city of Chicago, which according to the Census Bureau has a population of 2,707,120.

For the White House, “sequester” is the new “Bush’s fault”:

It is important to bear in mind that the March household and payroll surveys are the first monthly surveys to look at employment since the beginning of sequestration. While the recovery was gaining traction before sequestration took effect, these arbitrary and unnecessary cuts to government services will be a headwind in the months to come, and will cut key investments in the Nation’s future competitiveness. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the sequester will reduce employment by 750,000 full-time equivalent jobs by the end of the year.

In that case, maybe the White House shouldn’t have proposed the idea for sequestration.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey shoots down the scapegoats:

Sequestration didn’t create this, and for that matter, neither did the payroll tax cut. Consumer spending rose in January and consumer sentiment rose in February, remember? We just have a lousy economy, strangled by regulation that keeps investors from putting capital into efforts that create jobs.

I’m sure things will pick up once the economy fully absorbs Obamacare — or, most likely, the other way around.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Obama Jobs Death Toll, Politics"
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Date: Friday, 05 Apr 2013 14:40

Smiley-Face Lies and Homicide Hogwash in Dem Hellholes
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2013

President Obama’s hometown of Chicago still goes by the old nickname “Windy City.” But after three miserable decades of strict gun control and permanent Democratic rule, Chicago has cemented its reputation as America’s Bloody City.

No amount of statistical whitewashing can cover up the stains of the left’s ideological failures there. But as Obama continues to wage war on law-abiding gun owners, his home team is trying its hardest to spread smiley-face lies upon damned lies to downplay Chicago homicide statistics.

On Monday, April Fools’ Day, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy held a press conference to tout a “dramatic” drop in the city’s homicide rate. The headlines read: “March homicides drop dramatically in Chicago” (USA Today); “Murders fall 42 percent in America’s deadliest city: Chicago” (NBC News); and “March homicides drop 69 percent in Chicago” (Las Vegas Sun).”

Emanuel trumpeted the drop as a “good sign.” He hyped statistics to the Associated Press showing that first-quarter 2013 murders in Chicago tied the same time period in 2009. Murders decreased 69 percent compared to the same month last year; first-quarter homicides fell by 42 percent compared to the same time frame last year. Emanuel insisted: “We are clearly having an impact on the homicides.”

But it’s all in how you slice, dice and spin it, of course.

Let’s face it. Gun-grabbers in Democratic-dominated cities have an institutional incentive to fudge the numbers. In New York City, which rivals Chicago when it comes to out-of-control gun-control regulations, a New York Police Department whistleblower recently exposed systemic manipulation of crime data.

As anti-Second Amendment crusader Michael Bloomberg made the rounds last spring touting the Big Apple as “the safest big city in America,” an internal NYPD report confirmed that more than a dozen crime reports had been manipulated — including felonies downgraded and incident reports deep-sixed — to lower the crime rate. As punishment for exposing the tampering and corruption, the whistle-blowing officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, who secretly taped the manipulation, was suspended and forced into a psych ward. He’s still fighting for justice and has never received an apology.

So, call me crazy, but I wouldn’t put it past Team Obama’s Chicago theater directors to goose their numbers to improve the optics for Dear Leader. Speaking of the lobbyist in chief, he parachuted into Colorado this week and surrounded himself with Denver police officer human props during a gun-control campaign event. The rank-and-filers were none too happy with being exploited for political purposes. “To protect and serve” is supposed to be a public safety imperative, not a campaign imperative.

But back to the Bloody City. In 2012, Chicago racked up the nation’s deadliest death toll, with 506 of its residents murdered. The murder rate has simply returned to its bloody business as usual over the past five years. Here’s the first-quarter death toll breakdown:

2013: 70

2012: 120

2011: 75

2010: 75

2009: 70

The Second City Cop crime blog adds that Emanuel’s claim regarding the homicide rate dropping to levels not seen since the 1950s “is based solely on the population decrease in the city of Chicago. This is an amazing abuse of numbers, but as Mark Twain said, ‘There are lies, damned lies and statistics.’ Welcome to ‘statistics.’”

Local Chicago CBS 2 reporter Jay Levine didn’t buy the whitewashing bunk, either. He challenged City Hall with a piece entitled: “City Touts Lower Homicide Stats, But Context Reveals Return To Normal.” Put simply, “2013′s 70 first-quarter homicides was a major improvement over 2012′s 120 — but not over 2011 or 2010 or 2009.”

While Emanuel sang “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” for the press, the Bloody City was still reeling after a 6-month-old baby was shot and killed in gang crossfire. On Easter weekend, a mob of violent teens terrorized shoppers in the Magnificent Mile district. Similar outbreaks of racially driven attacks have escalated in Chicago under the reign of Daley-Emanuel-Obama. By some police estimates, gang violence accounts for up to 80 percent of the city’s homicides.

Plagued by juvenile delinquency, organized crime, ruinous government dependency, corruption and out-of-control spending, these liberal-dominated hellholes have proved impervious to progressive “social justice” engineering. It’s the insane demagogues blaming guns who need their heads examined.

Author: "Michelle Malkin" Tags: "Politics"
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Date: Friday, 05 Apr 2013 01:53

**Written by Doug Powers

Sometimes, when you least expect it, parapraxis rears its ugly head:

(h/t Drudge)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Michelle Obama"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 20:41

**Written by Doug Powers

When President Obama is on his game he’s some serious kind of funny (he’s funny when he’s off his game as well).

From the Washington Examiner:

During his fundraisers in California, President Obama explained that it was more important than ever to win a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives in the upcoming elections.

“She has been an extraordinary friend of mine, but more importantly, she’s a friend to working families all across the country each and every day,” Obama said about Pelosi. “I could not be prouder of her, and I expect that she is going to be once again the Speaker of the House — Nancy Pelosi. Love Nancy.”

Obama took time to flatter Pelosi in front of Democratic donors in her district.

“She is thoughtful, she’s visionary, she’s as tough as nails. She is practical. She never lets ideology cloud her judgment,” Obama said proudly.

Here are just a few examples of “Practical” Pelosi not letting her ideology get in the way of judgment:





And of course, we “don’t have a spending problem.”

At first I thought Nancy’s over the top SOTO display below was evidence of a sycophantic partisan ideologue, but it turned out that the Botox mixer in Pelosi’s office was hooked up to The Clapper, so I didn’t include it with the examples above:

Finally, longing for the mega-spending days of yore:

Obama explained to the audience that he still wanted to pass more legislation in his second term, including climate change, immigration reform and gun control – but hinted that Republicans were making it difficult. Pelosi, he explained, was the key to the success of his second term.

“Realistically, I could get a whole lot more done if Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House,” he said as the crowd applauded.

If Pelosi can somehow become Speaker again after the 2014 elections, just imagine how many jobs could be created constructing a new debt clock after the old one explodes due to overload.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 17:26

**Written by Doug Powers

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The Affordable Care Act will be made a bit more expensive because evidently those who sign up will have to be issued a taxpayer-provided personal red tape sherpa to help them navigate the treacherous and unpredictable “pass it to find out what’s in it” landscape:

Tens of thousands of health care professionals, union workers and community activists hired as “navigators” to help Americans choose Obamacare options starting Oct. 1 could earn $20 an hour or more, according to new regulations issued Wednesday.

The 63-page rule covering navigators, drawn up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also said the government will provide free translators for those not fluent in English — no matter what their native language is.

“The proposed requirements would also include that such entities and individuals provide consumers with information and assistance in the consumer’s preferred language, at no cost to the consumer, which would include oral interpretation of non-English languages and the translation of written documents in non-English languages when necessary to ensure meaningful access,” said the regulations.

The rules also addressed conflict of interest and other potential issues that navigators could face as the public’s first stop on the Obamacare trail.

It is still not clear how many navigators will be required. California, however, provides a hint. It wants 21,000.

That could be an expensive proposition. The proposed rules, now open for public comment, suggest an estimated pay of $20-$48 an hour.

Chances are your Obamacare application sherpa (look for the Union label) will also need a sherpa:

Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.

The government’s draft application runs 15 pages for a three-person family. An outline of the online version has 21 steps, some with additional questions.

Seven months before the Oct. 1 start of enrollment season for millions of uninsured Americans, the idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking.

At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application. Checking your identity, income and citizenship is supposed to happen in real time, if you apply online.

That’s just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help. The government asks to see what you’re making because Obama’s Affordable Care Act is means-tested, with lower-income people getting the most generous help to pay premiums.

Once you’re finished with the money part, actually picking a health plan will require additional steps, plus a basic understanding of insurance jargon.

Oh come on, what could possibly be difficult to understand about this?

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**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Democrats, Health care"
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Date: Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 13:52

**Written by Doug Powers

A few headlines from world news yesterday:

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In our competing headline from the same day, President Obama stayed focused on the threat:

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Speaking of that, some Denver police weren’t happy with the expectation that they should serve as a backdrop to another Obama gun control speech.

Meanwhile, in the highly unlikely event Kim Jong Un should actually have the capability to take out Austin, Texas, Obama went on to make sure the Democratic Party was armed with plenty of cash:

Obama will attend two San Francisco fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Wednesday.

The first fundraiser is a cocktail reception at the home of billionaire and clean energy advocate Tom Steyer. He and his wife Kat Taylor will host approximately 100 people at the event. Tickets cost between $5,000 and $34,200.

Steyer is a staunch opponent of the Keystone pipeline — a project that currently is being reviewed by the Obama administration. Steyer recently launched an outside effort against Rep. Stephen Lynch’s Massachusetts Senate candidacy — citing Lynch’s support for the pipeline.

Obama’s second fundraiser will be held at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty, where 75 attendees will dine with Obama. Tickets to that fundraiser cost $32,400 per person.

The event is an annual fundraiser on behalf of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The fundraiser raised $1.7 million in 2012.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Guns, North Korea"
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 13:29

The Open-Borders “Journalists” Who Banned “Illegal Immigrant”
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2013

File this in the overflowing cabinet labeled: No Wonder the Mainstream Media Is Dying. On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced that it is banishing the phrase “illegal immigrant” from its famous stylebook. The world’s largest newsgathering outlet now advises reporters that “illegal” will “only refer to an action, not a person.”

AP directs writers not to use the terms “illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented” anymore, except “in direct quotations.” It won’t be long before illegal border crossers, illegal visa overstayers, illegal deportation evaders, document fraudsters and illegal alien traffickers are all referred to as “our fellow Americans.” Without the quotations. Mark my words.

(Update, via the Center for Immigration Studies: See, I told you so!)

AP explains that it wants to stop labeling people. Hah. This is the same organization that employs journalists who have repeatedly shown naked bias against tea party members, gun owners and pro-life activists. AP’s most famous White House correspondent, Jennifer Loven, was such a shameless water-carrier for the Democratic Party that she earned the permanent nickname “Democratic operative Jennifer Loven” on the Internet. In 2010, she left AP to join an official Democratic-run lobbying and communications firm in D.C. Same difference.

I propose that we banish the term “journalist” when referring to members of mainstream news organizations who pose as neutral news-gathers while carrying out a blatantly ideological agenda. From now on, AP’s staffers shall be described in my columns as “alleged practitioners of journalism” or “journalists” only when using direct quotations.

But I digress.

Just a few years ago, the AP resisted open-borders demands and the pressure of political correctness in favor of pithiness and precision. In 2010, a member of the “Diversity Committee” of the Society of Professional Journalists launched a campaign against “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien.” The crusading “journalist” argued that foreign law-breakers should instead be labeled “undocumented workers” or “undocumented immigrants.”

As I told Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle at the time, the idea that “undocumented workers” and “undocumented immigrants” are more objective labels than “illegal immigrants” is complete and utter nonsense. The euphemisms that mainstream “journalists” favor are far more politically loaded than the ones they’re trying to replace.

It’s a farce to call someone an “undocumented immigrant” whose pockets are overflowing with fake, fraudulent documents — and that is usually the case with many of the suspected illegal immigrants featured in AP stories. (Moreover, it is inaccurate to call someone whose employment history, criminal record and welfare status are unknown an undocumented “worker.”)

At the time, the AP agreed. AP’s deputy standards editor David Minthorn told Boyle three short years ago: “The AP Stylebook created its entry on ‘illegal immigrant’ in 2004, in response to renewed debate over border security and the enforcement of immigration laws after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Together, the terms describe a person who resides in a country unlawfully by residency or citizenship requirements. Illegal immigrant … is accurate and neutral for news stories.”

So what changed? “Journalist” Kathleen Carroll, AP’s executive editor, attributes the move to the “evolving” English language. I attribute it to the “evolving” transformation of once-neutral news organizations into brazenly transparent satellite lobbying outfits for the left. It’s not media bias that’s the problem, of course. It’s the sanctimonious pretense of objectivity to which these alleged practitioners of journalism cling.

Just look at the ABC News coverage of the AP’s decision. “Journalist” Cristina Costantini praised the move and patted her own colleagues on the back for their progressivism. “Fusion, the ABC-Univision joint venture, does not use ‘illegal immigrant’ because we believe it dehumanizes those it describes and we find it to be linguistically inaccurate.” On her Twitter account, “journalist” Costantini gushed that AP’s capitulation came “thanks to the hard work of great people like @joseiswriting.”

“@joseiswriting” is Jose Antonio Vargas, the former Washington Post reporter who spearheaded the whitewashing of our language and our laws on behalf of illegal aliens. In 2011, with great fanfare and elite media sympathy, Vargas publicly declared himself an “undocumented immigrant.” Except, as he himself confessed, Vargas had documents coming out of his ears — including a fake passport with a fake name, a fake green card and a Social Security card his grandfather doctored for him at a Kinko’s.

As I previously noted when Vargas shed his “journalist” costume in favor of full-fledged activist, he had committed perjury repeatedly on federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. An immigration lawyer advised him to take responsibility for breaking the law and return to his native Philippines. Following the rules would have meant a 10-year bar to reentry into America. Making false claims of citizenship is a felony offense. Document fraud is a felony offense. Instead of accepting responsibility, Vargas used a friend’s address to obtain an Oregon driver’s license under false pretenses and duped his employers until the golden moment to confess — without any fear of punishment under the illegal alien-friendly Obama administration — arrived.

The persistent use of open-borders euphemisms championed by Vargas and Company once again serves as the perfect illumination of the agenda-driven, dominant progressive media. They’re as activist inside their newsrooms as Vargas is out in the open. Vargas won’t rest until the legal definition of American citizenship is obliterated. And neither will his “journalist” colleagues cheering him on, whitewash brushes in hand.

Author: "Michelle Malkin" Tags: "Immigration, Media"
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Date: Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 01:29

**Written by Doug Powers

We’ll have to assume based on Piers Morgan’s interpretation of the limits of the Second Amendment that, if there’s a problem at Casa del Gun Control, his hired security will arrive armed with nothing more than muskets:



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Somebody please inform Morgan that armed security will not help stop an attack — at least not according to… Morgan. He doesn’t seem to believe his own advice though.

(h/t Legal Insurrection)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Guns, Media Bias"
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 23:02

**Written by Doug Powers

In February it was reported that the Obama administration would soon be announcing a ten year plan to create a human brain map. I speculated the plan then might include putting America back to work folding it. That time is now:

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed an effort to map the brain’s activity in unprecedented detail, as a step toward finding better ways to treat such conditions as Alzheimer’s, autism, stroke and traumatic brain injuries.

He asked Congress to spend $100 million next year to start a project that will explore details of the brain, which contains 100 billion cells and trillions of connections.

That’s a relatively small investment for the federal government — less than a fifth of what NASA spends every year just to study the sun — but it’s too early to determine how Congress will react.

Obama said the so-called BRAIN Initiative could create jobs, and told scientists gathered in the White House’s East Room that the research has the potential to improve the lives of billions of people worldwide.

“As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away,” Obama said. “We can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears.”

As with many other government proposals, first you get the money for it, then you try and figure out what the hell you’re going to do with it:

The goals of the work are unclear at this point. A working group at NIH, co-chaired by Cornelia “Cori” Bargmann of The Rockefeller University and William Newsome of Stanford University, would work on defining the goals and develop a multi-year plan to achieve them that included cost estimates.

The NIH already spends $5.5 billion a year on neurosciences.

Obama is now fully qualified to help lead the study, because he’s named himself Scientist-in-Chief:

At a speech this morning at the White House to outline a new science initiative, President Barack Obama named himself “Scientist-in-Chief.”

“I’m glad I’ve been promoted Scientist-in-Chief,” Obama said to laughter at the White House. “Given my grades in physics, I’m not sure it’s deserving. But I hold science in proper esteem, so maybe that gives me a little credit.”

Doing his part to contribute to the mapping effort, Joe Biden made a selfless offer.

Video via Twitchy:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Barack Obama, Politics"
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Date: Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 18:11

**Written by Doug Powers

If some Democrats have their way, armed guards at schools will be replaced by a more effective deterrent: Insurance salesmen:

A contingent of liberal Democrats in Congress is proposing a new federal gun control idea: mandatory liability insurance for gun owners.

When New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced the legislation last month with eight other Democrats, she boasted that it is “the first bill to require liability insurance of gun buyers nationwide.”

Maloney’s “Firearm Risk Protection Act” requires gun buyers to have “a qualified liability insurance policy” before they are able to legally purchase a firearm.
[...]
Others who have signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation include: Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano, Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, Massachusetts Rep. Nikki Tsongas, Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

What are the odds that a crazed individual bent on killing as many people as possible will re-think his plan because he doesn’t want that “lack of liability insurance” fine?

That said, some are trying to make an argument for precisely what Maloney is attempting to legislate:

It’s an idea that seems to be gathering a bit of steam. At Forbes.com, John Wasik lays out the logic behind treating firearm deaths as a market externality to be compensated via insurance, as we do with cars: “Those most at risk to commit a gun crime would be known to the actuaries doing the research for insurers… An 80-year-old married woman in Fort Lauderdale would get a great rate. A 20-year-old in inner-city Chicago wouldn’t be able to afford it. A 32-year-old man with a record of drunk driving and domestic violence would have a similar problem.” Robert Cyran and Reynolds Holding write that mandatory liability insurance is a measure that could pass Supreme Court muster where other restrictions might fail: “[T]here’s a strong argument that damage caused by firearms gives the government a ‘compelling interest’ to require insurance, the test for infringing a constitutional right.”

Designing a system so 20-year-olds in inner-city Chicago can’t afford a constitutional right? If Republicans were saying this I’m guessing more than a few people would have major problems with it.

Also, car insurance comparisons don’t address how the Dem idea for mandatory liability insurance for gun owners would help prevent another Newtown or Aurora, not that I expected them to. Prevention of such horrible crimes was what this discussion was supposedly about, right? My car insurance policy doesn’t prevent crimes such as the theft of my vehicle — it only covers the loss — and the insurance doesn’t prevent the stolen car from then being used to run into a school bus. Interesting how some “solutions” to problems so often involve making those who have nothing to do with the problem pay up anyway.

In a related story:

FACT: That’s not a fact. Three Pinocchios.

More on gun insurance:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Author: "Doug Powers" Tags: "Democrats, Guns"
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