Archive for Liberal Nonsense

Drudge Lead: Obama Outraged With Israel

This is a NY Times article, and you can just bet that they have great contacts with the Obama administration.

The administration has been so furious about this speech for so long, and can’t seem to let go of it, that I have concluded that the administration is helping Iran to get the bomb, pronto. Why else would they flip out like this?

The Obama administration, after days of mounting tension, signaled on Wednesday how angry it is with Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Republican leaders’ invitation to address Congress on Iran without consulting the White House.

The outrage the episode has incited within President Obama’s inner circle became clear in unusually sharp criticism by a senior administration official who said that the Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer, who helped orchestrate the invitation, had repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.

The official who made the comments to The New York Times would not be named, and the White House declined to comment. The remarks were the latest fallout after Mr. Dermer, without the White House’s knowledge, worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to arrange the speech, which is scheduled for March.

G.O.P.’s Invitation to Netanyahu Is Aiding Obama’s Cause on IranJAN. 28, 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a Holocaust event on Tuesday, is scheduled to address Congress on Iran in March.Netanyahu Talk Stirs Backlash in Israeli RaceJAN. 27, 2015
The remarks are likely to escalate a feud between the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill and Mr. Netanyahu over the invitation, which has led to a new low in American-Israeli relations and threatened to mar the long tradition of bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. He said he did not intend to anger the White House over the speech. Credit Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Such officially authorized criticisms of diplomats from major allies are unusual.

In a telephone interview late Wednesday, Mr. Dermer said, “I have no regrets whatsoever that I have acted in a way to advance my country’s interests.” He said he never meant to slight the White House by keeping the confidence of the House speaker, who had suggested the invitation. He said he left it to Mr. Boehner to notify Mr. Obama’s team.

“My understanding was that it was the speaker’s prerogative to do, and that he would be the one to inform the administration,” Mr. Dermer said. “The prime minister feels very strongly that he has to speak on this issue. That’s why he accepted the invitation, not to wade into your political debate or make this a partisan issue, and not to be disrespectful to the president.”

Note to Jews who voted for Obama: You Own This. If the bomb drops on Israel, you were a big part of the reason why. Knowing full well that Obama has deep ties to the antisemitic Left (Jeremiah Wright!) you insisted that it was not true, that it was racism to point this out, that America has and will always have Israel’s back, ad nauseum. Now that there are no more elections for Obama to win, he is letting his Jew hatred shine.

– Aggie

Comments

NY Times Defines Merely Affluent

Anyone who has a 529 plan

This is quite an amusing article. According to the NY Times, if you have a 529 plan for your kids, you’re kinda rich and need to pay more in taxes. The the rich meanies rebelled at the suggestion, even the ones who read their newspaper! So poor old Obama had to pull it off the table.

The first rule of modern tax policy is raise taxes only on the rich. The second rule is that your family isn’t rich, even if you make a lot of money.

President Obama’s State of the Union proposal to end the tax benefits for college savings accounts ran afoul of these rules, which is why he abandoned it, under intense pressure from both political parties, within a week.

Tax-free college savings accounts, like the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction, principally benefit people who range from affluent to wealthy. In pushing its proposal, the White House pointed to Federal Reserve data showing that 70 percent of balances in the college accounts were held by families making at least $200,000 a year. In theory, tax reform is supposed to be built around cutting back preferences like these, in order to pay for some combination of lower tax rates and tax preferences aimed at people with lower incomes.

But in practice, politicians from both parties have made a point of holding the group you might call the “merely affluent” harmless from tax increases. If you make $150,000 to $225,000, you make about two to three times the national median income for a married couple. The list of occupations that can get you into this income bracket — government official, academic, lobbyist, journalist — can sometimes make it hard for people in political circles to remember that 92 percent of American married couples make less than $200,000 a year.

They keep hammering away at this, and disdainfully mention this article by economist Megan McArdle.

…There’s a reason for that. Americans like to hear that rich people are going to be forced to pay their fair share. They would probably be considerably less excited to hear that Obama wants to tax the earnings on educational savings accounts, or that any assets they inherit from their parents would be subject to a capital gains tax. To be fair, there are generous exemptions. But there are a lot of affluent-but-hardly-wealthy folks in blue states who would be very unhappy to hear that that nice Westchester home Mom and Dad bought for $15,000 in 1952 is going to be subject to a capital gains tax — at the same time they’re suddenly paying income taxes on the capital gains and dividends in little Sally’s college account.

In some ways, this is a measure of how difficult the American fiscal picture is. Estates get what’s known as a “stepped-up basis” on assets — meaning that when you inherit a house from Mom and Dad and later sell it, you’re taxed on the difference between the value at the time you inherited it (your basis) and the value at the time you sell it. Obama proposes to use the price your parents paid as the basis, though the first $200,000 is exempted, and there’s an additional $500,000 exemption for homes.

The people this hits will be a small group, but again, it’s a group that includes a lot of fervent Obama supporters in blue states. Moreover, there’s good reason to step up the basis, because over the decades, records are lost and it can be hard to determine what price Mom and Dad paid, especially for assets that aren’t homes. Taxing the earnings on college savings accounts is even stranger, both because this hits the middle class, and because if you tax the earnings, there’s not all that much point to having the account; essentially, Obama is taxing college savings accounts in order to fund universal community college. This is scraping the bottom of the barrel, and what it tells you is that Obama has already run through most of the practical and politically palatable ways to tax the affluent.

And she makes this brilliant point:

Of course, these are never-never proposals; the new Republican Congress is not going to open its career by taxing America’s college savings. But in a way, that makes it even stranger; since you can’t get it done anyway, why bring it up?

The answer is that this gives him an imaginary revenue source he can attach to his equally imaginary plans to subsidize community college and child care. The real benefit of these proposals is that they’re complicated and hard to explain. Republicans have been understandably reluctant to attack these policies directly, and for good reason.

Heading back to the disappointment at the NY Times:

A lot of people in this category don’t think of themselves as rich, and they benefit from tax provisions like college savings accounts.

So when he first ran for president, President Obama repeatedly promised not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year. The flat thud his college proposal landed with emphasizes why that promise resonated so.

The savings plans debacle illustrates a problem for both the president and Congress: If you can’t go after tax provisions for the merely affluent, you are exempting almost everyone from tax increases. And if you can’t broaden the tax base, then you are very limited in how much you can finance tax reform.

And by reform, the NY Times means redistribute income from the middle class (they deny that the middle class is using the 529 plan, I call bs) to the poor. Because there just isn’t enough money among the rich to pay for everything that the Left wants to pay for. By the way, the comments at the end of the NY Times article are just priceless. Their readers are furious that Obama would take away their favorite tax break.

– Aggie

Comments

529 Fiasco

The dumbest administration evah continues its unbroken track record of dumbness…

Here’s my favorite line of the year, so far:

Well, that must have polled badly.

I guess the middle class wasn’t too impressed with the idea of free community college in trade for losing their tax-advantaged college savings plan, huh?

The White House on Tuesday dropped its proposal to tax 529 education savings accounts, a week after President Obama floated the idea in the State of Union. This is a cut-their-losses move, but we wish the idea had rotted in the sun for a few more months. It would have been instructive to the same middle-class taxpayers Mr. Obama claims to serve.

Mr. Obama wanted to tax 529 plans to finance a more targeted college subsidy program that politicians could better control. The 529 plans put the power in the hands of parents. The political problem is that 529s have become popular with, well, the middle class; there were some 11.8 million accounts and the average balance was $20,671 as of last June.

You can see the appeal. All that juicy tax money, squirreled away in the brats’ college accounts, instead of being used for good stuff.. like maybe more money for (you’re favorite goofy program here). Because let’s face it, the only real money to be had is in all those middle-class bank accounts, in just about every neighborhood in the USA.

House Speaker John Boehner had called on Mr. Obama to withdraw the proposal, and the Ways and Means Committee was already rolling out legislation to force Democrats to go on record for the 529 tax increase. “Given it has become such a distraction, we’re not going to ask Congress to pass the 529 provision,” a White House official told the Journal, in a a classic of political rationalization.

It’s a shame there won’t be a vote, because the 529 tax increase is a rare example of the President’s policy sincerity. Liberals sooner or later must raise taxes on the middle class because taxing the rich alone can’t possibly finance all of the Democratic Party’s entitlement schemes. The middle class is where the real money is. So while taxing 529s may die for now, it’s only a matter of time before liberals are back with a carbon tax or value-added tax or something. That’s the real meaning of “middle-class economics.”

Yep. And given the fact that he did win two elections, the middle-class deserves what’s coming. And come it will, because the debt keeps growing.

– Aggie

Comments

CBO Releases Truly Terrible ObamaCare News When The Media Is Obsessing Over Snowstorm

ObamaCare will cost $50,000 per insured, and fewer people will be insured than prior to ObamaCare

They picked the perfect day to release this:

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years
Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare
The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best
The law will still leave ‘between 29 million and 31 million’ nonelderly Americans without medical insurance
Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025

WE NEED SINGLE PAYER! Quick, somebody get ahold of Nancy Pelosi!!

It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday.
The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization’s new ten-year budget outlook.
The best-case scenario described by the CBO would result in ‘between 24 million and 27 million’ fewer Americans being uninsured in 2025, compared to the year before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
Pulling that off will cost Uncle Sam about $1.35 trillion – or $50,000 per head.

How stupid, exactly, are Democrats? I think $1.35 trillion stupid is a rough estimate.

– Aggie

Comments

California Found An Interesting New Way To Torment Poor People

Why not double the cost of eggs?

as grocery shoppers across the country are discovering. The state’s latest animal-rights march is levying a punishing new food tax on the nation’s poor.

Egg prices are soaring in California, where the USDA says the average price for a dozen jumbo eggs is $3.16, up from $1.18 a dozen a year ago, and in some parts of the state it’s more than $5. The Iowa State University Egg Industry Center says retail egg prices in California are 66% higher than in other parts of the West. National wholesale egg prices also climbed nearly 35% over the 2014 holiday period, before retreating.

The cause of these price gyrations is an initiative passed by California voters in 2008 that required the state’s poultry farmers to house their hens in significantly larger cages. The state legislature realized this would put home-state farmers at a disadvantage, so in 2010 it compounded the problem by requiring that eggs imported from other states come from farms meeting the same cage standards, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

The new standards require cages almost twice the size of the industry norm, with estimated costs to comply of up to $40 a hen. That’s about $2 million for a farm with 50,000 chickens. Some farmers are passing the costs on to consumers, while others are culling their flocks by half for each cage.

Some places in California are selling eggs for $5 a dozen. Now, let’s be honest. Does Aggie mind? Not really. But why is it that the Left enjoys tormenting the poor, but the poor continue to vote for the Left? Is it a sadomasochism thing? What do you think?

– Aggie

Comments

NY Times Proclaims End Of Snow

One year ago the NY Times decided that global warming will end snow forever

OVER the next two weeks, hundreds of millions of people will watch Americans like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin ski for gold on the downhill alpine course. Television crews will pan across epic vistas of the rugged Caucasus Mountains, draped with brilliant white ski slopes. What viewers might not see is the 16 million cubic feet of snow that was stored under insulated blankets last year to make sure those slopes remained white, or the hundreds of snow-making guns that have been running around the clock to keep them that way.

Officials canceled two Olympic test events last February in Sochi after several days of temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a lack of snowfall had left ski trails bare and brown in spots. That situation led the climatologist Daniel Scott, a professor of global change and tourism at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, to analyze potential venues for future Winter Games. His thought was that with a rise in the average global temperature of more than 7 degrees Fahrenheit possible by 2100, there might not be that many snowy regions left in which to hold the Games. He concluded that of the 19 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics, as few as 10 might be cold enough by midcentury to host them again. By 2100, that number shrinks to 6.

The planet has warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1800s, and as a result, snow is melting. In the last 47 years, a million square miles of spring snow cover has disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. Europe has lost half of its Alpine glacial ice since the 1850s, and if climate change is not reined in, two-thirds of European ski resorts will be likely to close by 2100.

The same could happen in the United States, where in the Northeast, more than half of the 103 ski resorts may no longer be viable in 30 years because of warmer winters. As far for the Western part of the country, it will lose an estimated 25 to 100 percent of its snowpack by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are not curtailed — reducing the snowpack in Park City, Utah, to zero and relegating skiing to the top quarter of Ajax Mountain in Aspen.

Meanwhile, the east coast is shut down due to SnowMaggeddon, which we’re promised for tomorrow. Oh, and the current decade is the snowiest on record.

– Aggie

Comments

PPACA

Out: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

In: Patently Preposterous and Achingly Complex A**wipe

I think I was wrong about this thing: it’s comedic gold.

A controversy has erupted in Massachusetts over an obscure provision of the federal Affordable Care Act that small health insurers say will force them to write fat checks to support the state’s dominant insurer.

Hahahahaha!!!

“Fat checks”! Heeheeheehee!!

“Obscure provision”! Hhohohohoho!!! Oh my sides.

The law requires states to redistribute income among health insurers, so those whose members tend to be healthy will pay into a state-run pool, while insurers saddled with a high proportion of expensive, sick patients receive payment from the pool. The payments will be made for the first time this summer, based on 2014 data.

The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans contends that the state is using flawed data and bad methodology, threatening the futures of smaller insurers while shoring up the market’s behemoth, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Blue Cross, which is not a member of the association, counters that the federal requirement is necessary to level the playing field in a market in which insurers can design their plans to attract the healthy while discouraging the sick from joining.

What do you expect from something designed by Jonathan Gruber? And peddled by Pajama Boy, Ethan Krupp?

But if you’re swayed by the journalist’s writing about “fat checks” to “behemoths”, read on:

Andreana Santangelo, Blue Cross senior vice president and chief actuary, said Blue Cross covers a disproportionate share of sicker, costlier patients, and thus expects to receive a payment to compensate. She noted that the company, with 2.1 million members in Massachusetts, is losing money despite its size.

The federal law prohibits insurers from rejecting or charging higher premiums to people who are sick, and Massachusetts law has done the same for many years.

But insurers can still manipulate the market by the way they craft benefits. For example, a plan can offer a narrow network of providers that would be unattractive to people who see many doctors, or it can exclude from its preferred drug list medications popular with people who have an expensive illness, such as diabetes. Such plans tend not to appeal to sicker patients.

The behemoth is actually doing the Lord’s work, while the insurance Davids to Blue Cross’s Goliath can pick and choose whomever they want.

But the most important thing is that they hate each other, thanks to government intrusion into the marketplace, and cry like squealing brats to Mommy that the other isn’t being fair. That’s Obama’s “signature achievement”, and I thank him for it.

Comments

John Kerry’s Joke

Not a “botched” one either!

Addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, “the biggest error that we could make would be to blame Muslims collectively for crimes not committed by Muslims alone.” Kerry said we are increasingly fighting back, “but in doing so we also have to keep our heads.”

Oh, John, you wag you!

On second thought, maybe I used the wrong punctuation in the title. A colon rather than an apostrophe would have been more appropriate.

Comments

A Fool and His Money

Not soon enough:

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer announced Thursday that he will not enter the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in California, a move that reshaped the early contest that has attracted a pack of potential candidates.

He said in a statement on The Huffington Post that global warming will “define the success or failure of our generation,” and the nation needs leadership in, and outside of, government.

“Given the imperative of electing a Democratic president — along with my passion for our state — I believe my work right now should not be in our nation’s capital but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference,” he wrote.

Steyer will be seen as a prospect for a future campaign and signaled he intends to remain active in politics. Seeking to make climate change an issue, he poured about $74 million into 2014 races.

“The road we take may be less traveled and less well marked, but I am very determined. The journey is far from over — in fact, it has just begun,” he wrote.

Probably true, alas. Blowing money at a rate of $74 million every two years, he won’t run out until 2040, give or take a midterm.

But the nation’s loss is California’s gain. She’s tanned, she’s rested, she’s ready…she’s Sheehan!

Comments

How Obama Will Make Affording College More Difficult For Middle Class Families

He will “rollback” the tax savings on the 529 plans

President Obama is pitching his new tax plan as a way to help the middle class at the expense of the rich. But middle-class savers are bound to notice if he achieves two of the White House’s stated goals—to “roll back” tax benefits of 529 college savings plans and “repeal tax incentives going forward” for Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

Both plans allow parents, grandparents or anyone looking to help fund a kid’s education to contribute after-tax dollars into accounts that grow tax-free. There is also no tax when the money is withdrawn, provided it is used for qualified educational expenses such as tuition, fees, books, room and board.

Mr. Obama wants to allow the IRS to tax as income any withdrawals from future 529 contributions. This would make them less attractive. The White House goal seems to be to discourage private thrift, and encourage greater use of government benefits, when paying for college.

If the plans are closed to new investments and savers, those who stand to lose aren’t the 1%. As of June 30, 2014 there were 11.8 million 529 accounts holding $244.5 billion in assets, according to the College Savings Plans Network, a a group of state officials who administer the plans. The average account balance was $20,671. That sounds like “the middle class.”

Isn’t that fascinating? Rather than make it easier for mom and dad and grandma and grandpa to help with college costs, this administration wants to make community college free, and withdraw parents and grandparents from the equation. Let’s be honest here. Community college is terrific, but most kids and families would prefer the choice of going directly to a 4 year college or choosing to save money with community college first. And community college is inexpensive already. So, given the loss of tax breaks for the educational plans, I think that we can fairly conclude that Obama’s plan is both a tax on the rich and a tax on the middle class. What a disaster this president is.

– Aggie

Comments

Hey Obama! How’s That Unclenched Fist Working Out?

Russian spy ship in Havana.

Russian intelligence warship docked in Havana on Tuesday, a day before the start of historic US-Cuba talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations.

There was nothing stealthy about the arrival of the Viktor Leonov CCB-175, which was moored to a pier in Old Havana where cruise ships often dock. But the visit was not officially announced by Cuban authorities.

US officials in Washington played down the presence of the Russian vessel, saying it was perfectly legal and not at all out of the ordinary.

“It’s not unprecedented. It’s not unusual. It’s not alarming,” a defense official told AFP.

Whistling past the graveyard…

– Aggie

Comments

He Had a Dream—and He Had a .300 Win Mag

I can’t think of a better way to honor Dr. King than to attend a movie about justice, USA style—and I don’t mean Selma:

Clint Eastwood’s R-rated Iraq War drama “American Sniper” opened in January like a superhero movie in July, taking in a record $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend.

“It’s become a cultural phenomenon,” said Dan Fellman, head of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “The movie reached an audience that’s very hard to tap into. In both red and blue states, small and large cities, tiny towns — everywhere we went — it broke records.”

Going into the weekend, optimistic predictions for “American Sniper” were closer to $50 million, which still would have been an enormous success, particularly considering how little appetite audiences have had for movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This was maybe the most underestimated film of all time, considering that it did about twice what estimates predicted,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office firm Rentrak. “This just doesn’t happen.”

It’s not movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for which audiences have little appetite. It’s bad, anti-US movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from which people stay away in droves:

The science is now settled: Anti-American films are costly box office bombs at a rate of nothing less than 100%. On the flip-side, pro-American films make money. Many are outright blockblusters. Moreover, almost every the anti-American film produced over the last decade has also been an artistic failure, while many pro-American films have garnered positive reviews.

Let me boil this down for the leftwing-impaired: Lies make for lousy art and can’t be sold to the public.

And here’s another lie Hollywood was spreading a few years back — the lie that in an international film market, Americanism doesn’t sell. Below is the science; an apples-to-apples domestic box office comparison of narrative films (not documentaries) with major stars produced over the last decade about the War On Terror.

Read the lists. It’s hysterical how many forgettable movies (not least because they’re forgotten) Hollywood has turned out with the message war is bad, US wars are worse, Bush’s wars are the worst. For every American Sniper and Lone Survivor (each well over $100 million), there were dozens of Syrianas and Munichs (perhaps the most despicable film I’ve never seen) that lose their shirts.

I wish Dr. King had lived, but, as I say, I can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of one American hero than by confounding those racists in Hollywood with box office boffo for a Clint Eastwood movie about another American hero.

PS: And the Left can’t stand it!

Comments

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »