Yes, folks. To discuss the murder of journalist Steve Sotloff by ISIS, Sean Hannity interviews the lunatic leader of the Duck Dynasty clan.
This is so insane you won't believe it.
I am not sure if it will work or not, but Democrat Mark Udall is clearly convinced that he can ride to victory campaigning against the notion that an unborn human is a person. Virtually every word out of his mouth and a substantial portion of his ad buys focus exclusively on defending the absolute legal right to kill the smallest and most defenseless people in America.
When Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) first ran for Congress in 2010, he supported a “personhood” ballot measure that voters roundly rejected that same year (even as they elected him to a conservative district). During his time in the House, he has supported or sponsored several other measures aimed at curtailing abortion rights, such as last year’s “Life at Conception Act.”
* * *
On Monday, Gardner released an ad that serves as 30-second Cliff Notes for his op-ed. He pretty clearly thinks that his past position on the personhood issue could hurt him in such a close and important race, and he’s trying everything to convince Coloradans that he won’t try and take away their birth control. Which is what Democrats and abortion-rights groups have landed on as an excellent attack.
Democrats were quick to pounce on personhood in this race. In late April, shortly after Gardner reversed course and announced a Senate bid, his opponent, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D), ran an ad detailing Gardner’s past support of personhood policies.
Setting aside the fact that Udall’s entire ad campaign on this issue has been flatly and willfully dishonest in its particulars, let us grant that Udall’s statement of Gardner’s position is correct, instead of a corrupt half truth. What then? Udall is willing to forge his way back to the Senate based on the entirely arbitrary concept that human beings of specific developmental stages are not people. Politically, it is convenient for Udall that the human beings in question are difficult to see without the aid of ultrasound, which Udall and virtually all the moral detritus that composes the modern Democrat party opposes women who want abortions having access to. But by now surely Udall has seen pictures of one of these himself. Surely even he has seen with his own eyes that what he supports killing has the unquestioned face of a human baby, to say nothing of its hands, feet, and other organs.
A person like Mark Udall who has no compunction about preserving his cushy spot in the power elite of government by allowing unborn children to be killed at all costs is a person who is utterly without moral compunction or compass at all. There is no doubt that if Mark Udall felt it were politically necessary to support the killing of infants up to the age of two, he would likewise support that with equal fervor. Mark Udall has no problems if his road to victory is paved with dead children, which raises the question of what, exactly, Mark Udall would have a problem with.
In two short months, Colorado must choose whether to reward this moral cretin with the wages of his cretinism. Let us hope they make the right call.
The post Colorado’s Mark Udall Campaigning on Moral Cretinism appeared first on RedState.
Gov. Mike Pence, call your office:
It’s not really shocking that conservatives would reject candidates who rejected conservative beliefs.
What’s shocking is that after all this time, conservative Republicans like Gov. Mike Pence still haven’t learned that.
Loony Bryan Fischer: Michelle Obama Should Start a ‘Fight Obesity, Go Straight’ Anti-Lesbian Campaign
I haven't done a post about religious loony Bryan Fischer in a while, because he's so predictably hateful and dim-witted it gets boring, but this one made me laugh: Bryan Fischer Wants Michelle Obama to Start a 'Fight Obesity, Go Straight' Anti-Lesbian Campaign.
"I would suggest that if Michelle Obama ...
If you ask me, this reporter is the racist. I mean, her first question to the white guy is, “Are you racist?” Why would she ask that if she didn’t assume he was? And that, my friends, is racist:
Jesse: “That’s a dumb question to ask. You only asked him that question so you could use it on your program to make him look like a racist. Why didn’t you ask me if I’m a racist? Because I’m black, right?
I love America too, and I think these illegal aliens need to be shipped back to their countries. So why is that racist?
You’re a racist for asking him that question.”
White dude: “Thank you, Jesse.”
Jesse: “And you’re only doing it because he’s white and that’s what you’re gonna show on your report tonight. You shouldn’t play that kind of game. That’s a dumb question.”
White dude: “Shame on you.”
Jesse: “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Everyone needs a friend like Jesse.
I’m glad I have several who have my back.
And yes, shame on her and every other reporter who does this kind of hit job. You disgust me.
Three churches in Indiana were vandalized with spray paint. The graffiti was an Islamic verse, and not one of the warm and fuzzy ones:
olice in Columbus, Indiana, are investigating three acts of vandalism against local churches that unfolded Saturday night — a series of crimes that constitute an apparent first in the city.
But it’s the messages that were spray painted on the buildings that have some wondering if the acts were pranks or part of a more serious and pointed effort to deliver a message to Christian leaders and parishioners, according to WTHR-TV.
Consider the message painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church. It read, “Infidels!” and included a Koranic reference: “Qur’an 3:151.”
That verse reads, “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
What those responsible for the acts were trying to convey is currently unclear.
“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” Father Doug Marcotte, a faith leader at the church, told WTHR-TV.
Similar messages were also found at Lakeview Church of Christ and East Columbus Christian Church.
You ever get the feeling this is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better?
Yeah, me too.
Tonight on The Independents: The Latest ISIL Beheading, Grover Norquist Tells All About Burning Man, Report from the Russo-Ukrainian Mini-war, Leaked Nudes, Revolving Cantor, NSA, Minimum Wage, Plus After-show!
Tonight's episode of The
Independents (Fox Business Network, 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT,
with re-airs three hours later), like so many others of late,
begins with some gruesome business: the
news that American journalist Steven Sotloff is the latest to
have his head sawed off by the Islamic State (ISIL). Joining to
discuss the evolving ramifications and descending Mideast chaos are
Party Panelists Carrie Sheffield
contributor) and Joe DeVito (comedian).
Later in the show, the duo is slated to gab about the spate of
leaked celebrity nudes, and—even more searing to the naked
posh new gig at Moelis.
Have you heard about Russia's slow-motion invasion of
Weiss, of the Russian-media-reading The Interpreter,
will join live from Kiev via some sort of crude telecommunications.
President Barack Obama and every mediagenic mayor from
L.A. to Chicago spent Labor Day making calorie-free promises
about what a boosted minimum wage would do to the economy; the
co-hosts will react.
Remember how anti-tax activist and known moral monster Grover
Norquist announced intentions to
ruin Burning Man through his attendance this year? Here's an
Norquist will be on the show to report back what he learned
among the tech-hippies. The NSA's data-hoovering apparatus was
in court today; Kmele Foster will explain the import. And the
online-only aftershow begins at foxbusiness.com/independents
just after 10.
45/42 favorable ratings. In California. This is not good news for Democrats, going into the formal 2014 election season: I mean, imagine how Obama’s doing elsewhere.
Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the trend is ominous for Obama, because the latest declines come from his base.
Support among California Democrats dropped 8 percentage points to 68 percent over the last three months. Approval was down 11 points in Los Angeles County and 7 points in the Bay Area, usually liberal strongholds.
“These are constituencies that have been strong followers,” DiCamillo said. But there’s “frustration in the president not getting his way in affecting policy in Washington.”
…and the word I bolded there is interesting. At first I thought that either DiCamillo or the reporter who wrote the article got the word wrong: it should be ‘effecting.’ But then I remembered: when a Democratic President is weak* it’s never his fault. There are a lot of people out there with a vested interest in pretending that Barack Obama is a mere hapless spectator in the legislative process, mostly because then they don’t have to deal with the actual truth. Which is, of course, that Barack Obama wants to direct the process; he’s just stunningly incompetent at it**.
Field Poll: Obama’s popularity dives to record low in even California http://t.co/kyPIhqe2mE
— Raffi Williams (@Raffiwilliams) September 2, 2014
(Image via Shutterstock)
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I almost wrote that as ‘weak at setting policy,’ except that Barack Obama’s problems are considerably more comprehensive. Indeed, only a basic respect for the office that the man holds keeps me from categorizing Barack Obama as ‘weakling.’
**This is actually easy to reconcile with the President’s extensive golf record. Barack Obama clearly thinks that the executive authority of President is much like that of a ruling emperor’s: Obama’s job is to broadly set policy, and then the underlings are to scuttle around and do the actual work. Alas, the man has clearly never studied Byzantine history, or indeed any kind of proper history at all: would-be absolute monarchs tend to have to work long hours. The kings who get to occupy themselves with supermarket openings and good-will tours do so because they have been explicitly excluded from the decision-making process.
So, basically, if Barack Obama wants to get back to his golf games in peace then he’d better summon his party’s legislators and explain to them that from now on the President will pretty much automatically sign off on everything that
Prime Minister Speaker of the House John Boehner proposes. Enough Democratic Senators will happily jump on that bandwagon to make that scenario actually functional.
The post Field Poll: Barack Obama’s appeal going sharply downward in California. appeared first on RedState.
Every once and a while, a liberal has two brain cells cross paths and they rub together. The result is usually something like this:
W killed James Foley.George W Bush.He is the forgotten president as we forget & block severe trauma. @BarackObama stands for compassion.
— Eric Roberts (@EricRoberts) September 1, 2014
Roberts does not blame ISIS. He does not blame radical Islam. He does not fault Obama for just eight months ago referring to ISIS as JV (meaning junior varsity) while the group was actually on the rise. He does not criticize Obama for his failed foreign policy. No, Roberts instead places the blame squarely on former President George W. Bush, who has not President since January 20, 2009.
Some of the response tweets were epic:
Kids, this is how your brain looks on drugs ———> @EricRoberts
— Danny Fisher (@Xxessw) September 1, 2014
— JoeC (@JoeC1776) September 1, 2014
— JoanB™ (@MommaBeanz) September 1, 2014
— Gringo Suave Daryool (@2009superglide) September 1, 2014
You know that’s right.
The Louisville, Kentucky's
Courier-Journal highlights one
big potential roadblock to Rand Paul's likely run for
president: that it might prevent him from running simultaneously
for his Senate seat, which he'd have to do in 2016 as well. (If he
wanted to remain a senator, that is.)
A new poll shows Kentuckians might not be inclined to change
existing state election law to make things easier for Paul:
only 15 percent of Kentucky registered voters think Paul should
run for both offices, the survey finds. By a 24-22 percent split,
slightly more believe he should run only for his Senate seat than
make a bid for the White House. And a third of voters oppose the
freshman senator running for anything.
Paul enjoys a 39 percent favorability rating in the state, the
poll shows. Thirty-two percent of registered voters view the
senator unfavorably, while 24 percent say they are neutral.
The National Journal
wrote last month with more on the situation Paul finds himself
in—and why the actual polled will of the people of Kentucky might
not be what matters:
Under current Kentucky law, Paul must choose to be on the
ballot for one or the other. His Republican allies in the
Kentucky state Senate have already pushed through a measure to let
him run for both, but it has languished in the
state's Democratic-controlled House.
"Our position is that a man who can't decide which office to run
for isn't fit for either office," said Democratic Kentucky House
Speaker Greg Stumbo. "I don't think that bill will ever see the
light of day as long as I hold the gavel."
Paul has been helping Kentucky Republicans fight this year to
win back control of the state House to pave the way for him. Lyndon
Johnson successfully got Texas law changes in 1960 to allow him to
run for both the Senate and the presidency/vice presidency, the
National Journal notes.
For starters, Rand is short for Randal, not an allusion to Ayn Rand, after whom Sen. Paul was not named by his libertarian (not Objectivist) father Ron Paul. Reportedly, growing up he was called Randy … until his wife shortened the diminutive to Rand.
Washington, ordinarily, is committed to maintaining the status quo or making, at best, incremental changes. As we struggle with the political consequences of the end of an era of all-out war the old political status quo is ripe for transformation.
Paul shows signs of being the key transformational figure. If he himself understands the depth of this proposition he well might become unstoppable.
Washington, naturally, finds him confounding.
As Aaron Blake, a columnist for the ever-conventional Washington Post, says, “Rand Paul is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. And four years after he burst on to the scene in the 2010 Kentucky Senate race, we’re still trying to figure out precisely who he is.”
August was a bit of a roller coaster PR month for U.S. Senator Rand Paul. He caught flak for denying a change of view on foreign aid, specifically to Israel, and got static for including a fundraising trip (for a local library) in the Hamptons during a family commitment to which he gave priority over a Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.
Then Paul upped the ante with his Time Magazine essay We Must Demilitarize the Police. Particularly noteworthy was his observation that “If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.”
This essay brought him more flak from the law-and-order right’s Bob Patterson and from “reform conservative”– meaning the Washington Post’s version of “conservatism” – Michael Gerson. Gerson belatedly exalts Jack Kemp, to whose supply-side wing of the GOP Gerson never belonged, and denigrates Paul.
As World War II bomber pilots used to say, “If you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target.” So the flak provides evidence that Sen. Paul might be “over the target” in a probable drive to Occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Naturally, his rivals for that office will attack, and the mainstream media, that Neo-Spanish Inquisition, will be Very Inquisitive. As for his rivals…
There are two major factions within the GOP. The Establishment Moderate (and big donor Chamber of Commerce) faction was uniting behind Gov. Chris Christie until Gov. Christie stubbed his toe, hard, on a bridge abutment. The Establishment, since Christie’s stumble, now is leaning toward former governor Jeb Bush. Mitt Romney, chastely protesting disinterest, appears to be waiting in the wings for Gov. Bush to bow out.
The second faction has been called, by Pew, “steadfast conservatives.” Steadfast conservatives are disproportionately influential in the early nominating contests, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
But (writing as a member of the Tribe) it’s not a homogenous group. Sen. Ted Cruz leads in the Tea Party demographic. Yet Cruz’s base support, at 15%, is by no means overwhelming. Cruz polls, therein, barely ahead of Jeb Bush. Also, the Tea Party is a vociferous but distinctly minority segment even of the steadfast conservatives.
The steadfast conservative base for the Iowa caucuses roughly divides, in a manner lost on most of the mainstream media, between the anti-big-government Tea Party and the social-issues-devoted religious right. It’s not at all clear that Sen. Cruz’s popularity in the anti-government Tea Party will propel him to victory over a candidate who appeals more directly to evangelicals. His appeal to religiously serious Catholics (who tilt more favorably toward a government role in social insurance and social justice) is even less apparent.
Favorite sons of the religious right have included Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rick Santorum. Gov. Huckabee polls well in Iowa (where he won in 2008). Yet Gov. Huckabee has not committed to running and well may not. Sen. Santorum won Iowa — in the recount — in 2012. In this cycle, however, rather than focusing on values issues he seems to be retooling as a populist champion of blue collar workers.
Focus on the economic plight of median income families is shrewd. Yet it’s unclear that Sen. Santorum’s endorsement of such Big Government nostrums as raising the federal statutory minimum wage will prove an apt way to excite a steadfast conservative base. The free market is doctrinal to the base.
Steadfast conservative commentator Erick Erickson is curiously dim on the evangelical appeal of Huckabee and Santorum. He calls Ben Carson “a novelty.” Erickson describes Rand Paul as “too far removed” (which, in context, represents praise by faint damning).
Erickson floats the names of Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz and Rick Perry as “three candidates who seem most able to tap into evangelical angst.” Recasting the smart but technocratic Jindal as a religious right favorite seems a stretch. Cruz, as noted above, has achieved Tea Party rock star status with his lion-tamer act against Uncle Sam. Yet Cruz has shown himself, so far, as much better at being oppositional than as a candidate with a positive agenda. Righteous indignation will only take him so far. The charismatic Perry well might emerge as a contender… if he, this round, can find, and keep, his footing.
As the voters begin to focus religious conservatives may find Sen. Paul far less “removed” than at first blush. Sen. Paul is Senate sponsor of pro-life personhood legislation about which he says “I am 100% pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.” This gives values voters a very good reason to fall in love with Sen Paul.
If Paul expands his fierce defense of the Bill of Rights beyond the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, his current focus, he is positioned to make himself the leading champion of religious liberty. That’s a politically impregnable position, a way of making palatable a principled defense of liberty to less conservative constituencies the nominee will need to win.
There’s more. Rand Paul, like his father, the iconic Ron Paul, is a medical doctor. This matters.
Politics is replete with lawyers. All of the leading Democratic presidential contenders are lawyers. (The GOP field offers, at least in this area, much greater diversity.)
The three most transformational political figures in this columnist’s lifetime — Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, and Charlie Wilson — were not lawyers. Reagan had been an actor, Kemp a champion football quarterback, and Wilson a Naval officer.
Actors embody narrative. Athletes and officers play to win rather than merely hold on. Physicians think in life and death terms. This mindset represents a profound dispositional difference from that of most politicos. Lawyers by training and disposition simply mitigate risk. Rand Paul “thinks different.” America is hungry for someone different.
Tactically, Paul portends profound fundraising capability both with the rank-and-file wherein his father raised many millions through “moneybombs” and from the wealthy libertarian-leaning. There is an army of hundreds of thousands of well-organized political foot soldiers deeply loyal to Paul. This grass roots network is unrivaled by any other prospective candidate.
Paul has proved to have crossover appeal to youth. And he demonstrates a heartfelt, rather than merely tactical, commitment toward inclusion of ethnic voters.
Most important, his message (rather than “messaging”) may perfectly capture the mood of war weary, big-government-skeptical, voters (across the ideological spectrum). As this columnist has noted, the improbable Barack Obama’s candidacy’s distinguishing feature was a promise to bring home the troops and restore America to a peacetime footing.
With this, plus the brilliant tactics of David Axelrod, Obama beat the immensely better known (and better funded) hawkish Hillary Clinton, beat the hawkish John McCain, and, in 2012, beat the hawkish Mitt Romney. If, as this columnist surmises, the electorate desires peace … and desires America to downshift from hyperpower to superpower … the predicate for smaller government … Rand Paul holds the trump card.
To become unstoppable, however, it is vital that Rand Paul capably define himself. As the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake observes:
The trouble with Paul is that no well-known labels seem to fit him well. While his dad, Ron Paul, is a pretty straight-line libertarian, that’s not really who the younger Paul is. He’s not an establishment Republican, a neo-conservative, an arch-conservative or a moderate Republican.
We still don’t know what label would be better than “tea party,” but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that this label doesn’t really fit.
Hello Aaron? This is not “the trouble.” This is the defining quality.
Paul, unlike politicians-as-usual, is working from fundamental axioms – axioms as in Jefferson’s “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” Most politicians work from postulates, “the notion that we are going to do it this way.” The “trouble” is with Washington’s outworn categories, not with Paul.
Who is Rand Paul? Pull off the blinders. He easily demystifies.
Memo to the Washington Post: you find Rand Paul “an enigma wrapped in a riddle” not because there is anything at all obscure about him. Washington is bewildered by its own obsolete taxonomy. Ease up on “left vs. right.” (It’s significant but much less so in the post-cold-war era than it once was.) Stop worrying about “libertarian vs. authoritarian.” (That matters, yet more as a means to an end than as an end in itself.)
Let’s make it easy for you, Washington.
Rand Paul is a classical liberal (holding certain human rights, such as the right to life, sacrosanct even from majority violation) republican (as in expecting the government to follow the people’s will rather than impose its will on the people a la Obamacare).
Rand Paul is a constitutional (as in explicitly referencing our national charter rather than vague platitudes) populist (as in, as fundamentally defined by public intellectual and former partner of this writer, now US Senate candidate from New Jersey, Jeffrey Bell, optimistic about people’s ability to manage their own affairs better than any elite can do for us).
Rand Paul is a radical (as in dealing from the fundamental axioms rather than mere postulates) humanitarian (committed to taking practical steps to support human flourishing, as befits a medical doctor who, as this column is being composed, is conducting charity eye surgeries in Guatemala).
Who is Rand Paul? If one understands the axioms from which Rand Paul is working he emerges not as an enigma but, rather, as a transformational figure. This has been noted by the Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis writing in the UK Telegraph.
Who is Rand Paul? The penny is beginning to drop. Rand Paul: classical liberal republican, constitutional populist, and radical humanitarian. Whether or not he becomes president of the United States Rand Paul already is changing the conversation, powerfully, and transforming American politics.
This week, liberals went into a tailspin over the news that Burger King announced a merger with Tim Horton’s, a Canadian based restaurant group, and was relocating its headquarters to Canada (pending approval from Canadian authorities). Liberals quickly erupted at the news of a for-profit company moving across the border to reduce expenses, particularly to reduce their corporate tax burden. Think Progress posted an article entitled “Burger King’s Move To Dodge American Taxes Not Going Over Well.” In this article the author notes “The top comment on the store’s most recent post includes a promise to ‘NEVER step foot in another Burger King again.’ It has 1,251 likes as of this writing.” USA Today pondered the future of Burger King with the story “Will Burger King get burned by Canada move?” ABC News even got into the act posting a story that stated “Controversy Erupts Over Burger King’s (BKW) Move.”
Behind this tailspin is the liberal belief that the payment of taxes is in direct congruence to a corporations or individuals level of patriotism. The higher percentage of taxes one or a corporation pays, the more patriotic that particular individual or corporation becomes. This belief is quite popular with liberals, especially rich Hollywood elites.
According to Fox News, Will Smith has stated he was supportive of the idea of the rich paying more as “America has been fantastic to me. I have no problem paying whatever I need to pay to keep my country going.” In addition, Jay-Z has noted “most people with a conscience and … some integrity and moral fiber wouldn’t have a problem paying more taxes.” Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, stated in a townhall meeting with Obama in which the idea of raising the tax rate on the wealthy was raised “I’m cool with that.” Author Stephen King went as far to state it was a “practical necessity and a moral imperative” for him to pay more in taxes. Other celebrities that support the raising of taxes on the wealthy include Eva Longoria, Chris Rock, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Chelsea Handler, and a host of other Hollywood elites and millionaire investors.
One such investor, billionaire Warren Buffett has been so vocal about raising the taxes on the rich he even has a “rule” named after him as part of Barack Obama’s plan on taxation. This tax rule (the Buffett Rule) would mean anyone making more than $1M annually would have to pay a minimum tax rate of 30%. According to Whitehouse.gov website this rule would “limit the degree to which the best-off can take advantage of loopholes and tax rates that allow them to pay less of their income in taxes than middle-class families. Anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead—not just a few. And at time when we need to pay down our deficit and invest in the things that help our economy grow and keep our country safe—education, research and technology, a strong military, Medicare and Social Security—giving tax breaks to millionaires simply doesn’t make sense.”
News broke after the announcement of the merger between Burger King and Tim Horton’s that Warren Buffet’s company will help finance the deal. Liberals have been somewhat silent on their favorite billionaire financing a deal that will lead to an American company becoming a Canadian company to reduce their corporate tax burden. President Obama has denounced deals where companies who move from the United States to another country to lower their corporate tax rate in the past. According to Forbes, Obama has called for “economic patriotism” and labeled such companies as “corporate deserters.” However, the White House has been silent regarding this move and Buffett’s involvement.
Hypocrisy is ripe regarding this entire concept of economic patriotism. Warren Buffett’s involvement and the White House’s silence on the matter is obvious hypocrisy. However, every wealthy liberal who promotes the idea that the rich should pay more taxes is also an outright hypocrite.
Anyone who believes they do not pay enough taxes can pay more to the federal government. If one wishes to pay 30% to the government, they can pay 30%. If they wish to pay more, they simply can pay more. Treasury Direct, a website for kids within the Treasury website notes how one can pay the government directly to reduce the national debt. According to Treasury Direct “The Bureau of the Public Debt may accept gifts donated to the United States Government to reduce debt held by the public. Acting for the Secretary of the Treasury, Public Debt may accept a gift of: Money, made only on the condition that it be used to reduce debt held by the public.”
Thus, one can actually gift money to the government for the sole purpose of reducing the national debt, i.e., one can make a donation to the federal government. The Bureau of Public Debt will accept donations for the purpose of reducing the national debt and one can do so electronically at Pay.gov or send a check to the Bureau of Public Debt.
Thus, Will Smith, Steven King, Matt Damon and others can pay as much as they want to pay to the federal government right now as I type this essay. Any of these wealthy liberal elites can help pay down the national debt with a gift immediately. Yet, to my knowledge, not one of these pro-tax the rich liberals have done so. If rich liberals think millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share, why not set the example and pay more than their accountant tells them they owe? To these rich liberals one can only say “write the check.” Until such liberals do, they are simply hypocrites.
This month we observe the 40th anniversary of the resignation, under threat of imminent impeachment, of President Richard M. Nixon. Nixon aide and loyalist Pat Buchanan sums up, in a column in USA Today Liberal Elites Toppled Nixon his view: “Richard Nixon was not brought down by any popular uprising. The breaking of his presidency was a product of the malice and collusion of liberal elites who had been repudiated in Nixon’s 49-state landslide in 1972.”
Nixon, as it happens, was not 1974’s only casualty. As William Safire recalls, Nixon’s secretary of the treasury, John Connally, “was indicted for taking graft on the same day the President was charged by the House Judiciary Committee for abuse of power.”
Both men were instrumental in the repudiation of the Bretton Woods gold-dollar monetary system that had undergirded post-war American (and world prosperity). Bretton Woods, indeed, was coming apart (as a gold+paper pastiche standard inevitably is prone to do). A gold-based international monetary order called out, however, to be mended not ended. Nixon ended it.
The House Judiciary Committee’s charges and the Connally indictment uncannily fulfill a prophecy by Tom Paine. Paine’s Common Sense triggered the American Revolution. Paine later wrote a tract, Dissertations On Government; The Affairs of the Bank; and Paper Money in 1786. It was issued the year before the Constitutional Convention that would send the confederated former colonies into the epic called the United States of America. It was, in part, a perfect diatribe against paper-based (rather than gold or silver defined) money.
But the evils of paper money have no end. Its uncertain and fluctuating value is continually awakening or creating new schemes of deceit. Every principle of justice is put to the rack, and the bond of society dissolved: the suppression, therefore; of paper money might very properly have been put into the act for preventing vice and immorality.
As to the assumed authority of any assembly in making paper money, or paper of any kind, a legal tender, or in other language, a compulsive payment, it is a most presumptuous attempt at arbitrary power. There can be no such power in a republican government: the people have no freedom, and property no security where this practice can be acted: and the committee who shall bring in a report for this purpose, or the member who moves for it, and he who seconds it merits impeachment, and sooner or later may expect it.
Of all the various sorts of base coin, paper money is the basest. It has the least intrinsic value of anything that can be put in the place of gold and silver. A hobnail or a piece of wampum far exceeds it. And there would be more propriety in making those articles a legal tender than to make paper so.
The laws of a country ought to be the standard of equity, and calculated to impress on the minds of the people the moral as well as the legal obligations of reciprocal justice. But tender laws, of any kind, operate to destroy morality, and to dissolve, by the pretense of law, what ought to be the principle of law to support, reciprocal justice between man and man: and the punishment of a member who should move for such a law ought to be death.
The death penalty for proposing paper money? Paine called for the criminal indictment as a capital crime, and for impeachment, of any who even would call for tender laws.
Connally was acquitted on the charges of graft and perjury. Later he underwent bankruptcy before dying in semi-disgrace. Nixon resigned rather than undergoing impeachment, also living out his life in disgraced political exile. The spirit of Paine’s declaration was fulfilled in both cases. Connally and Nixon engineered this violation, abandoning the good, precious-metal, money contemplated by the Constitution. Nemesis followed hubris.
The closing of the “gold window” was based, by Connolly, on deeply wrong premises. It was sold to the public, by Nixon, on deeply false promises.
On August 15, 1971 President Nixon came before the American people to announce:
We must protect the position of the American dollar as a pillar of monetary stability around the world.
In the past 7 years, there has been an average of one international monetary crisis every year. Now who gains from these crises? Not the workingman; not the investor; not the real producers of wealth. The gainers are the international money speculators. Because they thrive on crises, they help to create them.
In recent weeks, the speculators have been waging an all-out war on the American dollar. The strength of a nation’s currency is based on the strength of that nation’s economy–and the American economy is by far the strongest in the world. Accordingly, I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury to take the action necessary to defend the dollar against the speculators.
I have directed Secretary Connally to suspend temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold or other reserve assets, except in amounts and conditions determined to be in the interest of monetary stability and in the best interests of the United States.
Now, what is this action–which is very technical–what does it mean for you?
Let me lay to rest the bugaboo of what is called devaluation.
If you want to buy a foreign car or take a trip abroad, market conditions may cause your dollar to buy slightly less. But if you are among the overwhelming majority of Americans who buy American-made products in America, your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today.
The effect of this action, in other words, will be to stabilize the dollar.
Now, this action will not win us any friends among the international money traders. But our primary concern is with the American workers, and with fair competition around the world.
To our friends abroad, including the many responsible members of the international banking community who are dedicated to stability and the flow of trade, I give this assurance: The United States has always been, and will continue to be, a forward-looking and trustworthy trading partner. In full cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and those who trade with us, we will press for the necessary reforms to set up an urgently needed new international monetary system. Stability and equal treatment is in everybody’s best interest. I am determined that the American dollar must never again be a hostage in the hands of international speculators.
Nixon’s promise that “your dollar will be worth just as much tomorrow as it is today” has, of course, completely falsified. The 2014 dollar is worth only 15 cents in 1971 terms, buying 85% less than it did in 1971. Some bugaboo. All of Nixon’s other rationalizations for going off gold also have been falsified.
The closing of the gold window turned out to be the slamming of the golden door to social mobility and equitable prosperity. In the wake of the closing of the gold window median family income stagnated, never again experiencing secular recovery. Meanwhile the income of the wealthy has continued apace. This has produced the very income inequality so loudly denounced by progressives who, ironically, are the last defenders of the very policy which is the probable cause of our inequitable prosperity.
Brother Pat Buchanan states that Nixon
…ended the Vietnam War with honor, brought all our troops and POWs home, opened up China, negotiated historic arms agreements with Moscow, ended the draft, desegregated southern schools, enacted the 18-year-old vote, created the EPA, OSHA and National Cancer Institute, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with a 61% landslide.
Even as Watergate broke, he ordered the airlift that saved Israel in the Yom Kippur War, for which Golda Meir called him the best friend Israel ever had.
His enemies were beside themselves with rage and resentment.
Buchanan, while admirably loyal, ignores the correlation between Nixon’s embrace of paper money and Paine’s prophetic call for impeachment for that high crime. Let us now, in this month of the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation and the 43rd of his abandonment of the gold standard, pause to wonder. It is bewildering circumstance that the very liberal elites Buchanan indicts as malicious in their treatment of Nixon today represent the most reactionary of defenders of the most pernicious, and only enduring, residue of the Nixon Shock: paper money, “a most presumptuous attempt at arbitrary power.”
The Buffett Rule is part of a tax plan proposed by President Barack Obama in 2011. The tax plan would apply a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on individuals making more than a million dollars a year.
Remember for whom it’s named?
The Buffett Rule is named after American investor Warren Buffett, who publicly stated in early 2011 that he believed it was wrong that rich people, like himself, could pay less in federal taxes, as a portion of income, than the middle class, and voiced support for increased income taxes on the wealthy.
Remember what Buffett 2012 said – in his New York Times editorial?
Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”
Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.”
But he has to know that potential investors do exactly that all the time.
Foreign profits held overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private research firm’s report….
Well, flash forward to Warren Buffett 2014.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is expected to help finance Burger King’s pending acquisition of Canadian doughnut-chain Tim Hortons.
The deal will allow Miami-based Burger King to claim Canada as its new legal home for tax purposes….
And why is Canada a more favorable tax locale than the U.S.? Because everywhere on the planet is.
Buffett’s corporate tax move is called an “inversion.”
Tax inversion, or corporate inversion, is the relocation of a corporation’s headquarters to a lower-tax nation, or corporate haven, usually whilst retaining its material operations in its higher-tax country of origin.
Does Buffett 2014 know this? He’s not a dumb guy. But here’s your Joke of the Day: He ludicrously claims:
…(T)he deal was not about taxes, saying that the combined company would be based in Canada because of Tim Hortons’ “strong roots” north of the border.
Of course in May Buffett said:
“I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I won’t pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe. And that’s very simple.”
Indeed it is very simple. And you can’t blame Buffett 2014 for the sentiment. But you may certainly blame Buffett 2012 for his contradictory sentiment – and for wishing to impose its inanity upon us all.
So the Buffett Rule fails the Reality Test – per Buffett his own self. Just as do all the Left’s attempts at reverse engineering the economy and human nature.
This is just and yet another example of (at least) a couple of empirical facts.
1) The greater the government involvement in the marketplace – the more warped and damaged the marketplace becomes.
2) The private sector’s wealthiest members will always outsmart, outpace and outdistance whatever the oft-talentless government hacks try to throw at them.
The government damage is instead done to those who can least afford to absorb it.
The Buffetts already have theirs. But the tens of millions of Americans looking for work and new opportunities desperately need the Buffetts parking their $2.1 trillion overseas to bring it on home.
And until the government makes it more attractive to do so – those tens of millions of Americans will continue to suffer.
While the Buffetts jet set – and Buffett Rule champion President Obama golfs.
The American public has been misinformed regarding human-to-human transmission of Ebola. Assurances that Ebola can be transmitted only through direct contact with the body or body fluids of victims needs to be seriously scrutinized in the wake of the current West African outbreak. The Canadian Health Dept. states that airborne transmission of Ebola is strongly suspected and the CDC admits that Ebola can be transmitted in situations where there is no physical contact between people, i.e.: via direct airborne inhalation into the lungs or into the eyes, or via contact with airborne fomites which adhere to nearby surfaces, where individuals are separated by 3 feet. That helps explain why 81 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers have died in West Africa to date. These courageous health care providers use careful CDC level barrier precautions such as gowns, gloves and head cover, but it appears they have inadequate respiratory and eye protection. Dr. Michael V. Callahan, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who has worked in Africa during Ebola outbreaks said that minimum CDC level precautions “led to the infection of my nurses and physician co-workers who came in contact with body fluids.”
Currently the CDC advises health care workers to use goggles and simple face masks for respiratory and eye protection, and a fitted N-95 mask during aerosol-generating medical procedures. Since so many doctors and nurses are dying in West Africa, it is clear that this level of protection is inadequate. Full face respirators with P-100 (HEPA) replacement filters would provide greater airway and eye protection, and I believe this would save the lives of many doctors, nurses and others who come into close contact with, or in proximity to, Ebola victims.
The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases conducted a monkey to monkey Ebola study in December 1995, published in The Lancet, Vol 346. Here is a link to the abstract, but the entire article must be purchased. Several rhesus monkeys were infected with Zaire Ebola by intramuscular injection while three control rhesus monkeys were kept in cages separated 10 feet from the infected monkeys. All of the injected monkeys died of Ebola by day 13 and 2 out of 3 control monkeys died of Ebola by 8 days after that. The authors of this study concluded that:
“The exact mode of transmission to the control monkeys cannot be absolutely determined, although the pattern of pulmonary antigen staining in one of the control monkeys was virtually identical to that reported in experimental Ebola virus aerosol infection in rhesus monkeys, suggesting airborne transmission of the disease via infectious droplets… Fomite or contact droplet transmission of the virus between cages was considered unlikely. Standard procedures in our BL4 containment laboratories have always been successful in the prevention of transmission of Ebola or Marburg virus to uninflected animals. Thus, pulmonary, nasopharyngeal, oral, or conjunctival exposure to airborne droplets of the virus had to be considered as the most likely mode of infection… Our present findings emphasize the advisability of at-risk personnel employing precautions to safeguard against ocular, oral, and nasopharyngeal exposure to the virus.”
Another NHP to NHP (monkey to monkey) study was published in July of this year. Rhesus monkeys were infected with Ebola via intramuscular injection and they were terminated on day 6 after becoming unresponsive, but without developing vomiting, diarrhea or apparent respiratory illness. Ebola virus was detected in their blood, and genetic fragments of Ebola were found in their nose, mouth and rectum, but no intact infectious Ebola virus was found in their nose, mouth or rectum by tissue culture. Control cynomolgus monkeys were caged 1 foot away from the infected rhesus monkeys but did not become infected with Ebola. This experiment is not a helpful comparison for human to human Ebola infections which are characterized by GI (vomiting & diarrhea) and respiratory (cough and expectoration of sputum) shedding of the intact infectious virus. The monkeys in this year’s study simply died too fast, not allowing time for them to shed infectious Ebola particles. It goes without saying that monkeys which do not shed infectious Ebola particles cannot transmit Ebola to other monkeys. Had this year’s rhesus monkeys been infected by the nasal route, as was the case in a pig to monkey experiment in 2012, or if they had lived up to 13 days as in the 1995 study, allowing time for intact infectious Ebola virus to appear in their nose, mouth and rectum, and thus more closely matching human Ebola disease, then it is likely we would have once again seen monkey to monkey airborne transmission of Ebola. The authors of this study concluded that:
“NHPs [non-human primates such as monkeys] are known to be susceptible to lethal EBOV infection through the respiratory tract [just like humans] putting the onus of the transmission on the ability of the source to shed infectious particles.”
We know that airborne transmission of Ebola occurs from pigs to monkeys in experimental settings. We also know that healthcare workers like Dr. Kent Brantly are contracting Ebola in West Africa despite CDC level barrier protection measures against physical contact with the bodies and body fluids of Ebola victims, so it only makes sense to conclude that some, possibly many, of these doctors, nurses and ancillary healthcare workers are being infected via airborne transmission. It makes perfect sense that sick hospitalized humans, as they vomit, have diarrhea, cough and expectorate sputum, and as medical procedures are performed on them, have the ability to shed infectious Ebola particles into the air at a similar or higher level compared to the rhesus monkeys in 1995 and the wild boar in the pig to monkey study from two years ago, and are not comparable to the Ebola-infected monkeys described in this year’s experimental laboratory setting, monkeys which in fact did not shed infectious particles.
Dr. Brantley acquired Ebola while strictly following CDC guidelines (simple mask, goggles or face shield, gloves, gown, leg covering, shoe covers), so it is likely he became infected by inhaling contaminated droplet nuclei into his lungs or having them settle into his conjunctival (eye) sacs despite the use of CDC level protection against direct contact. Dr. Brantly apparently did not use a full face respirator with P-100 filters, but rather a simple or N-95 face mask. An interviewer noted that
“Brantly says he isn’t sure how he got infected. He’s certain he didn’t violate any [CDC] safety guidelines.”
It is apparent that the primary mode of person to person Ebola transmission is through direct contact with the body or body fluids of Ebola victims, but it is unwise to ignore the airborne mode. Current evidence supports healthcare workers using a higher level of airway and eye protection than is currently recommended. Although less airborne than Influenza, it is reasonable to conclude that the West African strain of Ebola is at times spread by airborne means since over 170 medical workers have been infected to date, with 81 dead, and since we know that airborne transmission of Ebola occurs in other species. Dr. Brantly, and Dr. Callahan’s physicians and nurses, were using CDC level protective measures against direct contact with the bodies and body fluids of Ebola patients, leaving airborne transmission as the remaining alternative mode.
Aerosol generating medical procedures such as surgical operations, endotracheal intubation, airway suctioning and the operation of mechanical ventilators or BiPap devices place physicians, nurses and ancillary health workers at very great risk, and I suspect even bathing patients is likely to generate infectious airborne droplets into the air. “Casual contact” or spending hours in the same room with Ebola patients also places medical personnel at significant risk, even with the CDC recommended protective measures listed above, as was the case with Dr. Brantly, so in retrospect it is clear that he was not at “low risk” as the CDC would have us believe. As Dr. Michael V. Callahan observed first hand, and as the case of Dr. Brantly demonstrates, absent effective pharmacological treatment the current CDC guidelines are inadequate for preventing nosocomial transmission of Ebola from patients to medical workers in the confined spaces of hospital settings. Since CDC level respiratory/eye precautions for Ebola are inadequate for healthcare workers in West Africa, I assume they will also be inadequate in the United States since, as things now stand, very few Ebola patients in the US would be able to receive ZMapp or similar therapy, which presumably would reduce the risk of Ebola transmission to our medical workers.
Simple face masks, and N-95 masks as well, are not good enough to filter out Ebola contaminated airborne particles, and they do not have silicon rubber seals against the face to prevent entrainment (leaking) of contaminated room air in clinic and hospital settings. Likewise, goggles and face shields are inferior in eye protection compared to full face respirators with P-100 filters. It is not feasible for all medical workers in the United States to use “spacesuits” with a self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) air supply, as used in BL4 labs and at hospitals specially equipped for Ebola, but at a minimum the American healthcare system should immediately upgrade respiratory / eye protection to full face mask respirators with P-100 filters for known or suspected cases of Ebola.
If Ebola comes here via infected individuals from affected overseas areas, and spreads from these cases to American medical personnel, the damage to our society would be greatly magnified. Not only would we lose doctors, nurses and other medical workers who could no longer provide care to Ebola victims (not to mention loss of care for the normal influx of patients), the medical team would its self become sources of Ebola transmission to others. Considering the deadly virulence of the Ebola virus, with a 50-90% death rate, it be behooves us to err on the side of safety rather than on the side of risk by increasing the level of respiratory and eye protection for our medical teams. In the absence of a widely available cure for Ebola, the scientific evidence should compel us to exercise a higher standard of preventive care.