Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is THIS a GREAT Economy or What?...Part II

Awhile back I had a “discussion” after claiming the recent Bush economy was “a great one.” Actually, after asking, "Is this a great economy, or what?"

“Discussion” is a polite word, considering that many of those who disagreed with me, rather quickly retreated to personal insult and invective.

No one could seem to argue over the current economic indicators (the inflation rate, unemployment rate and interest rates are all low, while productivity AND personal income are both UP and the Dow is rocking), but they took issue over the size of our national debt, which I pointed out (1) is NOT a traditional economic indicator and (2) is quite manageable considering the growth rate of our GDP. Still, one detractor compared our national debt to a home mortgaage and claimed that if any individual had the debt level of the USA, they'd "be bankrupt and facing eviction." I noted that given the 5% of the GDP that our current debt servicng accounts for, THAT is clearly not the case.

At any rate, now comes David Hale (Pictured above, Chairman of Hale Advisors, an international economic consultant) who writes in today’s Wall Street journal; “The Best Economy Ever.”

It can be found at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118584709244782989.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries

(Since that may only be available to subscribers, so I’ll email the text of that article to anyone who requests it – my email address is in my complete profile.)
What Hale says is that “First, the globalization process resulting from the end of the Cold War has encouraged a tremendous growth of world trade. This expansion of world trade has helped to increase competition and reduce inflation.

“Between 1990 and 2006, global imports more than tripled, rising to over $11.6 trillion from $3.5 trillion.”

As Hale notes, “Governments have also responded to the new competitive pressures by reducing tax rates on capital. Small countries in Eastern Europe such as Estonia started the process during the 1990s. But in recent years, traditionally high tax societies such as Germany have been slashing tax rates on corporate income. France will soon follow under its new president, Nicolas Sarkozy. In the U.S., Congress reduced the tax rates on capital income during 2003 to the lowest levels since the First World War.”

“In many countries the globalization process has encouraged a large increase in the profit share of gross domestic product (GDP), resulting in competitive pressures in the world economy, corporations in North America, Europe, and Japan have been striving to maximize productivity while restraining wages.

“The large rise in profits has encouraged major stock-market rallies everywhere since 2002; high profits help to bolster investment and improve productivity growth.

“Practically all countries had capital controls 25 years ago; most of those controls are now gone, while there has been a revolution in communications technology which has vastly reduced the cost of transferring money across national borders.

“Financial markets have therefore blossomed in dozens of countries; the stock market capitalization of developing countries has expanded from only a few trillion dollars 10 years ago to $15.7 trillion today -- or 26.5 percent of the global total.

“The gross value of global capital flows is now equal to 16 percent of world GDP, compared to 3 percent - 6 percent during the mid-1990s.”

Moreover, and perhaps more deliciously (at least for me) David Hale seems to support my view on the manageability of our current national debt! “Many economists have argued that the U.S. current account deficit is unsustainable. In reality, the world has an abundance of surplus savings that needs to find a home. Global investors have been happy to purchase dollar assets because they perceive that the U.S. offers both safety and competitive returns.”
OK, so I stand corrected, this is NOT merely a GREAT economy, it may very well be, as David Hale points out, The Best Economy EVER!

More BAD News For Ted Stevens?

Federal Agents raided the Alaska home of Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) yesterday.
Stevens, 83 and the longest serving Republican ever in the Senate (1968 – Present) and author of the Bill to fund the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” and of “internets” fame, is currently under federal investigation for his relationship with Bill Allen, an oil field services contractor who was convicted this year of bribing state lawmakers.

Allen oversaw a 2000 renovation project that more than doubled the size of Stevens' home in the ski resort community of Girdwood. Allen is the founder of VECO Corp., an Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company that has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

Contractors said they submitted bills to Allen, then received checks from Stevens. The senator has said he paid for all the improvements himself.

According to the AP about 15 agents took photos and video of various angles of the structure, climbing onto the roof at one point, and eventually entered. They later carried out a garbage bag full of unidentifiable materials and loaded it into an unmarked white van. The curtains were drawn during most of the search.

At least six other Alaskan public officials are also under investigation along with Ted Stevens and his son Ben, President of Alaska’s State Senate.

More Disinformation From the Disreputable FoxAttacks Website

AP: News Corp. “Highly Unlikely” to Proceed With Dow Jones Buy(!!!)

by DJK · Monday July 30, 07:48 PM


"Associated Press reported this potentially good news today:

"As of late Sunday, some 28 percent of the Bancrofts supported the deal, the Journal reported on Monday, but a News Corp. spokesman told the paper that the company was "highly unlikely" to proceed with the deal at that level of support. A News Corp. spokesman confirmed the remarks.

"The Bancroft family, which has controlled Dow Jones for more than a century, has been deeply divided over whether to sell to Murdoch, largely over concerns that his hands-on management style could affect the papers' coverage.

"I’ll believe it when the deal is finally dead, but keep your fingers crossed anyway. I really can’t think of any good reason why Murdoch’s empire needs to get any bigger and more powerful. Not one.

But Thankfully Reuters is there to set the record straight.

Bancroft family accepts News deal: DJ executive

Tuesday July 31, 2007

"CHICAGO (Reuters) - Dow Jones & Co. Inc.'s controlling Bancroft family "has accepted" News Corp.'s $5 billion offer to buy the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, an executive of a Dow Jones unit said on Tuesday.

"The Bancroft family has accepted," John Prestbo, editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes, told reporters on Tuesday in Chicago. Dow Jones "will be part of News Corp," he said.

"Prestbo told Reuters the information came from an internal company memo.

(Reporting by Sam Nelson) "

I know, I KNOW, they merely posted an AP story that turned out to be wrong, as the negotiations continued and the deal changed, BUT it's the inference that (1) Murdoch is somehow "evil and (2) that this deal is somehow "bad for business and bad for America," that's shear DISTORTION and DISINFORMATION and this is the kind of pablum we've sadly come to expect even from the major organs of the MSM.


No wonder the radical Left wants to shut down FoxNews and silence Talk Radio, with them out of the way they’d be free to use the media as a full frontal indoctrination tool.

This just in, it looks like a plea from the children of America: “Please don’t brainwash us, PLEASE????”

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gratuitous Sexytime Post

Turns out that Kimberly Bell (WHO?)...Barry Bonds’ former girlfriend, is going to pose nude in Playboy (on news stands October 1st)...I just had to get that plug in, besides Hef promised that “the check’s already in the mail.”

Bell calls her decision to pose nude "liberating" and claimed that, at least according to her, since Bonds had asked her to move from San Francisco to Scottsdale, Ariz., (the Giants’ spring training home) in 2001, promising to give her a $207,000 down payment on a house there, but only delivered on $80,000.

Hey! A girl’s gotta eat, doncha know.

According to Bell’s agent, David Hans Schmidt, “This is a payday she deserves and that Barry Bonds never got her,” Schmidt said. “All she got from Bonds was being dumped and lied to. There was a settlement discussion on the table, and he pulled it off the table and said, ‘I don’t care.’ He never showed any class after he asked her to move out of San Francisco.”
Well, OK, I guess, so long as this is indeed a “liberating experience” and it’s guided strictly by principle rather than say, any personal animus.

Still, she IS at least kinda hot and she certainly ain’t getting any younger.

Oh yeah! And I almost forgot! She’s going to talk about Bond’s steroid use in the article...you know, the one that’ll accompany the pix.

The Party of Corporate Interests?

BOTH major Parties are beholden to Corporate interests, and that’s probably to be expected, given the money they can churn out. But for decades, many American voters have believed the Republicans were the “Party of Big Business,” when that really isn’t the case.

How beholden are the Democrats to Corporate interests?

Well, the staid Washington Post noted that, "(Soft) money has become increasingly useful to the parties, and their receipts have surged. In 1980, when soft money was born, Republicans and Democrats combined raised an estimated $19 million, with the GOP collecting the largest share, $15 million, according to Colby College political scientist Anthony Corrado. Two decades later (2000), that total had ballooned to $487 million, split nearly evenly between the two sides. Once a sideline, soft money had become a major part of party financing, accounting for nearly half of the Democratic Party's receipts and more than a third of the GOP's."


There it is, the Democrats, as recently as 2000, relied on Corporate cash for HALF their receipts, while the GOP relied on Corporate cash for a THIRD of theirs!

This year (2007) corporate donors have made a seismic shift since January toward the new Democratic chairmen. In the first six months of this year, political action committees donated $41 million to Democrats, compared with $24 million for Republicans. During the previous year, Republicans received $32 million in PAC contributions, compared with $22 million for the Democrats, the report concluded.

What Happened to “the Alienated America”


According to the far Left – the Moore-Gore-Soros Axis, “America has alienated the world, leaving us with few friends and more enemies than ever before.”

The MSM takes that on faith, but is it at all true?

Almost a year ago, Germany ousted the Schroeder administration and elected the pro-American Angela Merckel, who has declared among her goals to “make Germany’s economy more like America’s.

Back in May, the Giuliani-like Nikolas Sarkozy swept to victory in France and last month, his Party retained control over the French Parliament. Amon other things, Sarkozy intends to proceed with the promised “masss deportations” of the millions of Muslims now living in France. Australia’s John Howard and Canada’s Stephen Harper are both very pro-American.

Gordon Brown (pictured above), England’s new PM was seen as a last best hope for the “alienated America” chorus, but as Prime Minister Gordon Brown prepared to visit the United States on Sunday, he said he plans to use the trip to strengthen what Britain already considers its "most important bilateral relationship."

"It is a relationship that is founded on our common values of liberty, opportunity and the dignity of the individual," Brown said in a statement. "And because of the values we share, the relationship with the United States is not only strong, but can become stronger in the years ahead."

He denied speculation that the relationship was cooling.

A funny thing happened on the way to this “alienated America,” the rest of the world moved into sync with the Bush policies regarding the global war on terrorism and that bodes well, not only for America but for the West...and for the rest of the world, as well.

More Western governments are beginning to see the very real threat of jihadist terrorism both at home and abroad and here in America, more people are beginning to see the dual threat of global jihadist terror AND the far Left jihadists...”that Moore-Gore-Soros Axis).

Changing Times

The Moon (Lunar eclipse shown left) has been gradually slowing the Earth’s rotation and gradually INCREASING the length of a day on Earth, which could eventually (very eventually) be good news for all those people who "just can't find enough hours in the day."

Some 900 million years ago, an Earth day lasted only EIGHTEEN (18) hours, and an Earth year had 481 calendar days (except there weren't any calanders...a human invention, back then), while some 900 million years from now, at the current rate of change ( appx. 2 seconds every 100,000 years), a single Earth day will be nearly 30 hours long hours and an Earth year will have just 292 days!


This happens due to what scientist call “tidal effect.”

The same side of the moon always faces Earth because the moon rotates on its axis at the same rate as it revolves around the Earth - about once a month. This is called "synchronous rotation".

Long ago, the moon's rotation rate was much faster, but it was slowed down by the tidal effect. The Earth’s gravitational pull caused a "tide" on the moon, in which the part of the moon closest to Earth tended to bulge outward. Over time, the attraction between the Earth and the moon's moving tidal bulge caused its rotation rate to slow down.

The same thing is now happening to the Earth, but much more slowly - attraction between earth tides and the moon is slowing down the Earth's rotation. The Earth’s rotation has been slowed by about 2 seconds every 100,000 years. Eventually, it will match the moon's revolution rate, and about one billion years from now we'll see the 30 hour day and one day in the far distant future one day will become equal in length to a current month. Yikes! 360 hours of daylight followed by 360 hours of darkness...that'd be tough to take.

Friday, July 27, 2007

One of America’s BEST Writers...

...Is Vince Flynn, who writes about CIA operative Mitch Rapp, with extremely accurate detail and great insights into current events on the global war on jihadist terror. Flynn is a writer in the mold of Tom Clancy, though Mitch Rapp, Dr. Irene Kennedy, Senator Hank Clark are as compelling a cast of characters as any you’re likely to ever come across in such novels.

His Mitch Rapp novels make great summer reading;

Third Option


There isn't a bad choice in the group, though Memorial Day is a favorite of mine.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More “Nothing to See Here”

As Michael Moore and the far Left still insist, “There is NO terrorist threat.” It’s not the adherents of “the religion of peace” we have to worry about, according to these folks, but war-mongering Americans.

A July 20th Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Bulletin told Airport security officers around the nation to look out for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft, after four curious seizures at airports since last September.

The unclassified alert was distributed on July 20 by the TSA to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and other law enforcement agencies.

The seizures at airports in San Diego, Milwaukee, Houston and Baltimore included "wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cell phone components and dense clay-like substances," including block cheese, the bulletin said. "The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern."

Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for "ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components."

The four seizures were described this way:

• San Diego, July 7. A U.S. person — either a citizen or a foreigner legally here — checked baggage containing two ice packs covered in duct tape. The ice packs had clay inside them rather than the normal blue gel.

• Milwaukee, June 4. A U.S. person's carryon baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to some explosives.

• Houston, Nov. 8, 2006. A U.S. person's checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown clay-like minerals and pipes.

• Baltimore, Sept. 16, 2006. A couple's checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellular phone charger.

Kos Goes Nuclear on O’Reilly

Recently Bill O’Reilly was instrumental in getting Jet Blue to drop its sponsorship for the Yearly Kos Convention and has highlighted the hypocrisy of many moderate and Liberal, though not far Left, Dems who’re planning to attend the event. Democrats, like Hillary Clinton, who are regularly lambasted in the Kos comments section.

Now Kos is going after O’Reilly....hard.

O’Reilly claims his moderators scrub his board of vile, vulgar comments and personal attacks. Now O'Reilly is charging that some Kossocks are posting comments on his board and claiming they’re from O’Reilly members in an escalating war between the two sides.

Interestingly enough, one Kossock recently attributed the quotes that other Kossocks claimed were from posters on O’Reilly’s board to O’Reilly himself; “Last week, the falafel-loving Bill O'Reilly declared a jihad against "the" Daily Kos, declaring it a hate site on par with the Nazis and the KKK.

"And in keeping with his non-existent journalistic standards, he produced random posts that he mined from the thousands of comments made here everyday...check that. He had had some low-level intern search for examples of hate from the thousands of comments made here everyday and presented them as representative of Daily Kos.

"Well, what's good for the goose is good for the fried balls of spiced fava beans. Here, presented for your consideration, are some deep thoughts from the denizens of billoreillydotcom, and following the logic of Bill O'Reilly, it means that:

"Bill O'Reilly advocates an armed rebellion against our government:

"Harry Reid playing politics? I wonder who's pulling his strings... I am ready for the new surge. Oh Keep your guns loaded. Mine are.

"If she wins which hopefully she won't. My guns are loaded for the revolt are yours??
"President Hillary Rodham Clinton no way I am keeping my guns loaded if she is elected because there will be a civil war."


Well, all this brought me back to a relatively recent furor involving the far Left and Bill O’Reilly. On June 4th, O’Reilly took the NY Times to task for failing to cover the recently busted “JFK Terror Plot” on page 1, as most news organs around the country had done.
A friend of mine emailed me that a website charmingly named oreilly-sucks.com had posted that they'd caught O'Reilly in a lie. I was skeptical when I saw the name of the site, but checked it out and found this;

"6-5-07 -- Last night Bill O'Reilly devoted an entire segment to attacking the NY Times for not covering the arrests made in the JFK airport terrorist plot on the front page...

..."One problem there Billy, the New York Times did cover the JFK terror plot on the front page of its Sunday edition. You wouldn't know it from watching O'Reilly, who chose to show only the top half of the front page. "Now I'm not making this up," he told his viewers. "You see it. This is not the Colbert Report. This is The Factor and this is the fact."

"But his fact is a lie, and he was making it up, he literally made it up, here is what Billy had on the screen." (they showed the front page of the 6-3-07 Sunday NY Times, above the fold)


Well, I still had the Sunday NY Times of 6/3/07 at that time and when I saw that story and guess what?

The NY Times DID NOT cover the story on the front page, below the fold or anywhere else!

Except Bill O'Reilly DID make a technical error. The story was NOT on page A-37, but on A-30.

The folks at oreilly-sucks.com even had a NY Times front page pictured, but it's largely unreadable, though I wouldn't be surprised if they photoshopped the page A-30 article onto their online front page.

Ironically enough, they were undermined by the old "Gray Lady" herself, when the NY Times acknowledged not putting the story on page one and rationalized their reasons for doing so, shortly after this dust up.

Even other NYC newpapers noticed. The NY Post wrote a piece on that curious bit of journalism that went;


"June 5, 2007 -- Terror plot? What terror plot? That's what The New York Times seems to be asking, even as most news outlets are giving front-page coverage to the recently foiled scheme to blow up JFK Airport's fuel pipeline.

"The paper's goal seems to be getting America to lower its guard - which can only lead to disaster.

"The suspects were "Short on Cash / And a Long Way From Realizing Goals," one Times headline insisted yesterday. Regarding two of the men arrested, a second headline asserted that "Neither Seemed an Extremist."

"Indeed, on Sunday the paper barely covered the arrests of three suspects behind the plot: Its main story appeared A-37 pages back. A second piece undermined the significance of that story: "Plot Was Unlikely To Work, Experts Say, Citing Safeguards and Pipeline Structure."


OK, they, like Limbaugh and O'Reilly had the page wrong (A-37), although that makes me wonder whether it was different pages in different editions.
But Brian Maloney over at the radioequalizer got it right;


"After their assertion was refuted even by the New York Times itself, a nasty attack by liberal bloggers against conservative talk show hosts has backfired.

"After Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other hosts lambasted the Sunday New York Times for burying news of the JFK terror plot bust, Think Progress, News Hounds and other lefties accused them of lying.

"By claiming the story actually was covered on page one and even asserting that O'Reilly intentionally misled viewers by showing only the top part of the page on camera, these smear sites were truly pulling a fast one.

"While Limbaugh said JFK terrorism plot coverage was found on page A30, O'Reilly says he found it on A37.


After seeing a number of egregious misrepresentations from these sites, I'm convinced they weren't just "pulling a fast one," as Brian said, but were engaged in something far more deliberate and malicious, and very possibly civilly actionable.

That story was my introduction to such "websites" and as I suspected, judging by many of their names, I expected very little and wasn't disappointed.

Suffice to say, if such people would lie about such an obvious and easily provable issue (whether or not the NY Times covered the “JFK Terror Plot” on page A-1 -they did not), then they’d almost certainly lie about ANYthing.

Whether they realize it or not, these bloggers are open to civil litigation and the attorney's I know all seem to feel that that would be a wise course in some of the more egregious cases, as it wouldn't merely stand a real chance of winning damages for the accused, even if it didn't, it would cost the defendant in legal fees.

You can't leave off any qualifiers, or intros when quoting someone, for instance, if O'Reilly said, "While I'm against the death penalty, there are times when I'd support the death penalty for pedophiles and not lethal injection, the very prolonged and painful deaths, their acts warrant," it is civilly actionable to say "That O'Reilly said, 'I'd support the death penalty for pedophiles and not lethal injection, the very prolonged and painful death, their acts warrant.' " The fact that that snippet is in there does not shield that deliberate, egregious and obviously malicious misquote from civil action. In fact, THAT kind of misquote, the kind that changes the entire meaning of what the commentator said is demonstrably and overtly malicious and very probably opens the person doing the misquoting to civil litigation.

When a person misquotes another individually that egregiously and that maliciously the consensus is that that may well reach the level of proving "deliberate, malicious intent" and leave that person liable to substantial civil damages.

Up to this point O'Reilly and others have adhered to the strategy that ignoring these folks is the best possible strategy, as it denies them the attention they seek, but now that he's engaged Kos (over Jet Blue) , that attention is a moot point, so that strategy may no longer be sound.

O'Reilly acknowledges that the U.S. "must confront the Islamic jihadists," well, it's becoming increasingly clear that people like O'Reilly have to confront the Liberal jihadists here at home.

I ALMOST Can’t Believe It’s NOT News

When Cindy Sheehan was calling Bush and Cheney “war criminals” and comparing the current administration to the Third Reich, while ironically enough cuddling up to a real, honest-to-God totalitarian dictator (Hugo Chavez) THAT was big news, but now that the same Cindy Sheehan is saying things like, “The Democrats are the party of slavery and were the party that started every war in the 20th century, except the other Bush debacle. The Federal Reserve, permanent federal income taxes, not one but two World Wars, Japanese concentration camps, and not one but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan -- all brought to us via the Democrats,” now she finally deserves to be ignored?!

Yeah, NOW, now that she’s bashing Dems, she’s deranged!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Glorifying the Ghetto

Just when you’d thought you’d heard everything, comes Beauty Turner (pictured above), a Chicago woman obsessed with romanticizing the inner city projects that the city of Chicago has begun tearing down.

"I want you to see what I see," says Beauty Turner, after leading the group off the bus to a weedy lot where the Robert Taylor Homes once stood. "To hear the voices of the voiceless."

Turner is a former Robert Taylor Homes resident, and has been one of the most vocal critics of the Chicago Housing Authority's $1.6 billion "Plan for Transformation," which since the late 1990s has demolished 50 of the 53 public housing high-rises — including Cabrini-Green — and replaced them with mixed-income housing.

City officials have heralded the plan. But Turner believes the city, once accused of leaving residents to be victimized by violent drug-dealing gangs, is now pushing those same people from their homes without giving them all a place to go.

"I have people becoming homeless behind this plan, people that's living on top of each other with relatives," said Turner, who has given informal tours for years before the community newspaper she works for began renting the bus in January and charging tourists $20 for the ride. "For some it has improved their conditions, but for the multitude of many it has not."

Chicago Housing Authority officials claim that Turner is glossing over the failures of public housing. They say the 25,000 units being built or rehabbed are enough for the number of people whose buildings were demolished.

"She is running out of bad things to show people," housing authority spokesman Bryan Zises said. "She is taking a circuitous route so she doesn't have to drive by the new stuff," including, he adds, Turner's own home in one of the new mixed-income communities.

On the tours, Turner talks about the strong, black women like herself who raised their children in the projects.

"This is where people lived, played, stayed and died here, just like in your area. ... Children played here," she tells the students, academics, activists and residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs who take the tour — most of them white and visiting a part of Chicago they've only seen on television or from the expressway.

She downplays the years of violence, saying that all those news reports distorted what day-to-day life was like.

"All the horror stories that you heard about in the newspapers, it was not like that at all," she said.

But the stories loom over the tour. They are impossible to forget. By the time the city started pulling down or rehabilitating the projects in the late 1990s, each one had its own headlines that spoke to the failure of public housing in Chicago.

According to reports, a young boy, at Cabrini-Green was struck by a bullet and killed as he walked hand-in-hand with his mother.

At the Ida B. Wells project, a 5-year-old boy was dangled and then deliberately dropped to his death from a 14-story window by two other children.

And at Robert Taylor, where the illegal drug trade thrived, a rookie police officer was shot to death on a stakeout outside a gang drug base.

Turner could even add her own story. She saw a teenage boy shot on the very day she arrived at the Robert Taylor Homes in 1986.

Her approach had some on the tour shaking their heads.

"Are they romanticizing these communities?" asked Mark Weinberg, a 44-year-old Chicago lawyer. "These were drug-ridden, violent neighborhoods where people wanted to live a good life but couldn't."

They were also home to many, many dysfunctional people who made it next to impossible for the beleagured decent residents to forge a decent life. The really strange thing here is a woman waxing nostalgic over those concrete tombs that were the Housing Projects built in the 50's & 60's, while opposing a $1.6 Billion rennovation project that not only upgrades the housing stock in the area, but promises a home for all of the people displaced by the demolition of those Housing Projects...and ironically enough, the woman waxing nostaligic about the Housing Projects, HERSELF, lives in one of the newly renovated residences!

Well, at least they're making money on the bus tour. That's Capitalism in action!

Obama: I'll Picket for Votes...

Remember seeing those signs some homeless people held up; "I'll work for food," well, Barack Obama has a new twist on that, as he's telling union activists he would walk a picket line as president if organized labor helps elect him in 2008, in effect, "I'll picket for votes."

More MSM Misinformation...AND Liberal Nepotism!

Jack Kelly at RealClearPolitics.com has scooped two new major incidents of U.S. MSM misinformation, although today, in the wake of the AP using Hammas operative, “Green Helmet” for coverage of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict, the NY Times being found out using insurgents as war photographers, this is hardly news any more.

Kelly notes, “Jennifer Hunter (pictured above) is married to Chicago Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank, which explains why Ms. Hunter writes a column for the Chicago Sun-Times. Here is why she should not.

“On July 16, Ms. Hunter wrote a column which began: "After watching the top five Democratic candidates for president speak before a trial lawyers' group Sunday, attorney Jim Ronca of Philadelphia, a staunch Republican, became certain of one thing: He is not going to vote for a Republican in the 2008 presidential election."

“A suspicious reader checked out Mr. Ronca's political contributions. Mr. Ronca had made 14 since 1994 -- 12 to Democrats. The Democratic candidates received $7,000; the GOP candidates $750.”

Whoops! I guess Jenny Hunter goofed...Big Time!

“Mr. Ronca's contribution record was posted on several Web sites, whose readers flooded Ms. Hunter with demands for a correction.

“If Ms. Hunter had fessed up, I wouldn't be writing about her. But she responded by attacking Web loggers for doing the research she should have done, and blaming her error on her editor.

"The grumbling arose partially because my editor took a small part of my story and made it into a headline: 'GOP lawyer sold on Dems,'" Ms. Hunter wrote in her July 19 column.

"But what her readers objected to was the description of Mr. Ronca as a "staunch Republican," which was Ms. Hunter's own, and which appeared in her lede. To blame the headline writer for the mistake is as dishonest as it is lame.”

Maybe Jenny Hunter should be writing for hate sites like D-Kos or Media Matters and not the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mr. Kelly also uncovered yet another atrocity against the truth at the New Republic. As he notes, “The New Republic was shamed when two high profile writers (Ruth Shalit and Stephen Glass) were discovered to have made up stories. The venerable liberal magazine apparently has another scandal on its hands.

“In last week's issue the New Republic ran an article by "Scott Thomas," who -- the editors tell us -- is a pseudonym for a soldier currently serving in Iraq.

"Thomas" describes three instances of shocking behavior by U.S. troops. In the first, his buddies humiliate a woman in the chow hall who was disfigured by an IED. In the second, a soldier excavating a mass grave puts a portion of a child's skull on his head and wears it like a helmet for an entire day. In the third, the driver of a Bradley fighting vehicle deliberately runs over a dog in the street.

“The New Republic's editors told a skeptical Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard the chow hall incident took place at FOB Falcon near Baghdad, and the mass grave was uncovered in farmland south of the Baghdad airport.

“But soldiers currently serving at FOB Falcon say they've never seen a woman there fitting Scott Thomas' description. (There are only a handful of women, and just one small mess hall on the base.) They also find incredible Thomas' claim he couldn't tell whether the woman was a soldier or a civilian. (Soldiers in Iraq wear their uniforms -- and carry their weapons -- at all times.) "There was no mass grave found during the construction of our Coalition outposts at any time," Major Kirk “Luedeke, the public affairs officer at FOB Falcon, emailed milblogger Matt Sanchez.”

Why do Left-wing “journalists” continue to insist on disgracing themselves like this?

Interestingly enough, Jenny Hunter’s bio says nothing about being the “boss’s wife.”

“Jennifer Hunter is a political columnist for the Sun-Times. Previously she wrote editorials for the paper about foreign affairs public policy and she also penned a weekly column about women’s issues, ranging from the abortion debate to the perils of wearing stiletto heels. Hunter was the editor of North Shore magazine before she joined the Sun-Times in 2004. She spent much of her 31-year professional career in Canada before moving to Chicago six years ago — working as a reporter for the Montreal Gazette, the Toronto Globe and Mail and Maclean’s weekly news magazine. In the late 1980s she took time away from reporting to work as an associate professor in the Ryerson University School of Journalism in Toronto, where she stayed for six years until joining Maclean’s as Vancouver bureau chief. She was one of the first women in North America to cover sports: travelling on the road for part of a season with the Montreal Expos in 1981. She has written about business issues, sports, city news and politics and her stories range from the drama of the diamond rush in the Canadian Arctic, to an interview with wrestler Hulk Hogan (while she was four months pregnant), a profile of former Mets catcher Gary Carter, an afternoon at home with writer George Plimpton and the riots at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 2000. She intends to keep on writing until someone tells her to stop. And she will likely ignore them anyway.”

As Jack Kelly says, “The Web makes it harder for journalists to lie and get away with it. This is a lesson Jennifer Hunter and the editors of the New Republic evidently haven't learned.”

Britain’s Brown is no Peacenik!

When Tony Blair stepped aside last month, many Liberal extremists both here and in Britain, hoped he’d reverse course on “Blair’s ill-fated and needless expansion of police powers and the targeting of British Muslims, along with a clear break on the military War on Terrorism (WoT)."

That has proved NOT to be the case, as Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the British Parliament earlier today (Wednesday, 7/25/07) that police need more time to question suspects longer than 28 days in some complex terrorism cases.

Brown said another proposal, to allow police to question suspects after being charged, would minimize the number of exceptions to the 28-day standards.

He also announced a review into the use of wiretaps in court cases, a practice currently banned in Britain. And he proposed creation of a unified border police force combining the work of immigration, customs and visa agencies.

Brown told the House of Commons, "Our country — and all countries — have to confront a generation long challenge to defeat al-Qaida inspired terrorist violence."

One option would include using current state of emergency laws to grant police a maximum of 58 days to question suspects, Brown said.

Worse still for “peacenik prospects” was that on Monday (7/23/07) Brown refused to rule out military action in Iran!

"I firmly believe that the sanctions policy that we are pursuing will work, but I'm not one who's going forward to say that we rule out any particular form of action," Brown told a news conference, when asked if he would rule out a military strike against Iran.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions since December on Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment, a process which can produce fuel for power plants or material for warheads. A third sanctions resolution is being considered.

Brown said he believed the current sanctions were having an effect, but he thought there would still be a third resolution.

"There will probably be a third resolution in relation to Iran soon ... I appeal to the Iranian authorities to understand the feelings that other countries have about the development of a nuclear weapons program," he said.

French Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Denis Simonneau told an online briefing it was necessary to maintain "a message of firmness" until Iran suspended sensitive activities.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Good Democrats...

Over 100 House Democrats Help Defeat the Fairness Doctrine, While in the Senate Dick Durbin Blocks Norm Coleman’s Fairness Doctrine Foil

Last month, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 309-115, amended the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill to bar the FCC from requiring broadcasters to balance conservative content.

That vote count means more than half the Democrats in the House voted for the ban as well. That should pretty much bring all discussion about reimposing the doctrine again to a halt.

But, while House Democrats labeled the reintroduction of the FCC's fairness doctrine a non-issue and grandstanding by talk radio, on Friday (July 20, 2007) Senate Democrats blocked an amendment to an appropriations bill similar to one that passed without incident in the House.

Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) tried Friday to amend a defense appropriations bill to insure that the FCC could not reinstate the doctrine, which was scrapped by the FCC as unconstitutional back in 1987. The “Fairness Doctrine” required broadcasters to provide the other side on issues of public importance. It's disappearance from the FCC rulebook helped spur the rise of primarily conservative talk radio.

But Coleman's attempt was blocked in a procedural move by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Senate Democrats have been most vocal about bringing back the doctrine. "In this day and age, reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine is not about equal balance, as its supporters claim, it is about muzzling broadcasters," said Coleman on his Web site
Coleman has said, "I believe it is a dangerous proposition for the government to be in the business of rationing free speech and determining what is fair."

And Bad...

Democrats Cut “John Doe” Provision Which Would Protect Citizens Who Report Suspicious Behaviors From Civil Litigation.

Ever since 9/11, the government and law enforcement has openly urged citizens to be vigilent and to report suspicious behavior. Nevertheless, congressional Democrats Thursday stripped a provision in the pending 9/11 Commission recommendations legislation that would protect citizens from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior to authorities that may lead to a terrorist attack.
Rep. Peter T. King, a New York Republican who previously chaired the House Homeland Security Committee, said "This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists.”

A group of six Imams who say they were wrongly removed from US Airways Flight 300 from Minneapolis to Phoenix on Nov. 20 because of passengers and security personnel who separately reported what they believed was suspicious behavior on the part of the Imams, have sued the airline, the Minnesota Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the "John Doe" passengers who reported the men.
Oddly enough, on March 27, the House approved the "John Doe" amendment on a 304-121 vote.
"Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement," Mr. King said. "I don't see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity."
While the conference is not likely to meet again, Mr. King noted the conference report has not been written and says he will continue discussions with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to insert the "John Doe" language.
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and ranking member of the committee, announced afterward she will attempt to attach a similar bill to an education measure currently under debate on the Senate floor.

Way Too Much Time on Their Hands???

I don’t know, every once in awhile even I just have to ask the question, “What in the hell is wrong with white people?”

One of those times is now, with the PETA protests over Michael Vick’s “dog fighting” charges.

OK, dog fighting is a horrific activity, especially to dog-lovers everywhere and America IS indeed a dog-loving nation. But it’s also a cultural phenomenon, much like cock-fighting and bull-fighting, which both have far more supporters and fewer detractors.

So I guess, “dog-fighting” suffers from, among other things, unpopularity or “bad PR.”

Still, given that, the PETA protestors around the Vick charges want a man punished (suspended from the NFL without pay), as he’s already taken a paid leave to deal with the upcoming trial, even though he hasn’t been CONVICTED of any crime.

Kudos to blacks, Hispanics and Asians, as I saw none of those represented among the many inane protests over these Vick ALLEGATIONS.

Oh yeah, and to all the dipshit whites who attended and supported those protests – THANKS for making me ashamed of sharing a lack of melanin with you dopes. I mean it’s bad enough we can’t dance...isn’t it?

Sheehan Banned by the Kos Kids!

File this under “Liberals eat their own.”

You’ve really gotta love THIS!

Since Cindy Sheehan has moved to pointing out the hypocrisy of the Democrats running on and then refusing to impeach Bush and cut funding to the war in Iraq, she’s become persona non grata among the precincts of the far Left.

About ten days ago Ms Sheehan posted this, on her Kos page;

I have been "warned"

By Cindy Sheehan
Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:16:05 AM PDT

I can't post here anymore because my potential run for Congress is not on the Democratic ticket.

I have been deeply grateful for all of your support over the years.

Your love and kindness helped me through lots of sleepless nights at Camp Casey '05.
If Speaker Pelosi does her constitutionally mandated duty and I don't run, then I can come back and post.

I know a lot of you are hostile towards my candidacy. Please understand that I am doing it for your children and grandchildren (and my surviving ones.)

Love always, Cindy


Seriously THIS is almost TOOOOO Good!

Why the only thing that could top this would be, you know, something like Michael Moore going after CNN or something...

How Cool is THIS?

In all the recent hoopla over the arrest and recent conviction of American jihadist Michael Curtis Reynolds, the former Montana Judge who lured him to a sting operation, after contacting Mr. Reynolds in an online jihadist website, has become news herself.

In the early morning hours, while her family is still asleep, the former Montana judge goes online and assumes the identity of a Muslim extremist, in order to strike up conversations with actual terrorists and, she hopes, ferret out their plans to harm the United States and its allies.

Then the 38-year-old former Miss Congeniality and married mother of three feeds the intelligence she gathers to the FBI.

Her moonlighting as a volunteer terrorist hunter has brought down two suspects in the United States so far, including Michael Reynolds, an unemployed ex-con found guilty in federal court in Scranton last week of offering to help al-Qaida blow up U.S. pipelines and refineries.

Mr. Reynolds is a rare exception as most of Rossmiller's work has been focused on overseas suspects. By her count, she’s given the FBI more than 200 "packets" of information on such things as terrorism trends, potential targets, as well as potential suspects, and because of her work, at least eight people have been arrested, she said.

"It's all about trying to make a best guess of what the intentions of any individual might be," Rossmiller said. "If they just want to be loudmouths, I leave them alone. They're not worth my time."

She doesn’t draw a salary and says she doesn't want one, saying, "Being a judge, I saw paid informants all the time, and I did not want that label on me. It's not about money," she said. "It's about doing what's right because I can."

To date, the FBI has reimbursed her about $30,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, but she said she’s spent far more than that on her terrorist-hunting.

A volunteer undercover terrorist hunter for the FBI! How cool is that?!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

Steve Jobs' Commencement at Stanford back in 2005. It's a very inspiring speech. It's well worth listening to the entire 14 minutes worth.

Thanks to Mick Brady for bringing it to his reader's attention.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

OK, THIS is a GOOD One! Didja Hear The One About the Peacenik Who Logs Onto a Jhadi Website and...

So, did you hear the one about the Liberal who went online to join with al Qaida to help commit terrorist acts within the U.S. because he opposed the war in Iraq?

Oh yeah! This is a riot! Because...well, becau-...Oh! WAIT a minute! This isn’t really funny at all, cause it’s actually true!

As Ace says, “Don't question his patriotism. Conspiring with Al Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism is the highest form of patriotism.” (SEE: http://www.ace.mu.nu/ 7/9/07)

That kind of goes without saying, if you ask me.

So, the trial of Michael Curtis Reynolds begins today in Wilkes Barre, PA. He’s accused of communicating via the Internet with someone he believed was a member of al-Qaida, according to an indictment handed down last year. Of course, as luck would have it, that “someone” was Shannen Rossmiller (a municipal court judge from Montana) who was acting as an undercover operative for the FBI.
Mr. Reynolds allegedly offered to help commit acts of terrorism by "identifying targets, planning terrorism attacks, describe bomb-making methods, among other services," the indictment reads. He allegedly suggested targeting pipeline systems and energy facilities in the U.S.

On Dec. 5, less than two months after they began communicating, Ms. Rossmiller and undercover FBI agents set up a money drop, e-mailing Mr. Reynolds and telling him he could pick up $40,000 at a deserted rest stop outside Pocatello, Idaho. It was there that Mr. Reynolds was arrested.

His defense attorney has complained that Mr. Reynolds is being prosecuted for the same behavior that Ms. Shannen Rossmiller was being lauded for.

Funny story, and a not too fine a distinction, see, Ms. Rossmiller was “lauded” BECAUSE SHE WAS OPERATING AS AN UNDERCOVER FBI INFORMANT!!!

Funny stuff, eh.

Well, all is not lost, perhaps while in prison, Mr. Reynolds can pen his jihadi memoirs and when he gets out, maybe he can join with the kindred spirits at Kos and MoveOn.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Boy, That was QUICK!...OR...Damn Cindy, we Hardly Missed You!!!

Cindy Sheehan former hippie and modern-day professional protestor, has threatened to run for Nancy Pelosi's Congressional seat UNLESS Speaker Pelosi introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush within the next two weeks.
(WoW! If THAT doesn't light a fire under Pelosi, I guess nothing will.)
Sheehan, who turns fifty tomorrow (Tuesday, July 10th) and lives in a Sacramento suburb, OUTSIDE of Pelosi's District, has said she'll run against Pelosi as an Independent if Pelosi doesn't seek to Impeach Bush by July 23rd. That's the date that Sheehan and her supporters are set to arrive in Washington after a 13 day caravan and walking tour, starting next week from the group's Crawford, TX site.
(I sure hope to gawd they have shower facilities on that 13 day caravan.)
Sheehan said "Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership. We hired them to bring an end to the war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big a move for me. I would give her a run for her money."
(Yes, Cindy, I'd be clear in separating (Liberal) "Democrats" from "Americans" too.)
Of course Ms. Sheehan seems to be overlooking a vital factor in American politics - If you're to the Left of Nancy Pelosi, you have a better chance of winning in Beijing, than anywhere within the old U.S. of A.

Wage & Price Controls Put Zimbabwe on the Brink of Ruin

Over 1,300 business owners and shopkeepers have been arrested in Zimbabwe's misguided "carckdown" on firms accused of "flouting the government imposed price controls, police said Monday. The dimwitted autocrat, Robert Mugabe, taking a page out of fellow socialists Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler has instituted Wage & Price controls across Zimbabwe.

About a month ago, Zimbabwe's Industry Minister, Obert Mpofu ordered all businesses to halve the prices for all goods and services in a bid to curb spiraling inflation, BUT the edict has been largely ignored.

Zimbabwe's inflation rate was surreptitiously reported in a newspaper at 3,714% in April, but it's now believed to be well over 5,000%!

Among those taken into custody were executives from some of the largest firms operating in Zimbabwe, including a local franchise owner of the chain restaurant Nando's and the Spar Supermarket company.

"We will continue to arrest anyone who will defy the government imposed controlson basic food commodities," said Oliver Mandipaka, a Chief Superintendant and Zimbabwean police spokesman, adding, "We will not stop until there is order in the business community."

Many manufacturers claim that government set prices mean they cannot cover their own costs and have stopped production, leading to widespread shortages of basics such as cooking oil and salt.

Robert Mugabe, unable to stem the rise of what is the world's highest inflation rate, has warned that his government will seize and nationalize firms found to be "profiteering." Some owners have threatened to burn their facilities first.

Economists worldwide, have warned that price controls will only lead to furhter empty shelves, but the move has won support, especially in rural areas. demonstrating convincingly why political democracy can never be allowed to override property rights, or "economic Liberty."

For his part, Mugabe has portrayed critics of his pricing controls as nothing more than puppets of former Colonial Britain, who are determined to topple his regime.

Poverty and Lack of Education Are NOT Linked to Terrorism

More than half a decade since 9/11/01, it seems that America STILL doesn’t understand its enemy in the Global War on Terrorism (WoT). Sure there are fringe characters like Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan who insist that “there is no terrorist threat,” but almost EVERY one of the Democratic candidates for the White House, save Hillary Clinton, seem to think that Military force can and should be replaced with diplomacy.

Even the Bush administration has failed to understand who the enemy is and what. Less than a year after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush said, "We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror."

A few months later, the First Lady, Laura Bush, said, "Educated children are much more likely to embrace the values that defeat terror," while former World Bank President James Wolfensohn has claimed, "The war on terrorism will not be won until we have come to grips with the problem of poverty, and thus the sources of discontent."

THAT’S the conventional wisdom and it's appealing to many people because it’s in line with the noble cause of fighting poverty and ignorance. But all the systematic study done to date seems to indicate that this “conventional wisdom” is wrong.

According to Alan Krueger and economist at the London School of Economics, "As a group, terrorists are better educated and from wealthier families than the typical person in the same age group in the societies from which they originate," Mr. Krueger outlined the results of his recent studies at the London School of Economics last year in a lecture that will soon to be published as a book, "What Makes a Terrorist?"

Alan Krueger says, "There is no evidence of a general tendency for impoverished or uneducated people to be more likely to support terrorism or join terrorist organizations than their higher-income, better-educated countrymen," he said and that seems to be borne out by some of the most high profile recent terrorist attacks – both the 9-11 and the 7-7 attackers were relatively well-educated and well-off men.

David Wessel writing in the Wall Street Journal notes that, “Mr. Krueger, 46 years old, is one of those academics whose research extends from the standard fare -- How much more do workers with education earn? What happens to employment when the minimum wage rises? -- to, well, cool stuff. Did Firestone factories produce shoddy tires during a period of labor unrest? (Yes) Are rich people really enjoying life more than the rest of us? (No) Are concert-ticket prices higher for female musicians than males? (Yes)”

“When He began poking around this sordid subject a decade ago when he and a colleague found little connection between economic circumstances and the incidence of violent hate crimes in Germany. Among the statistical pieces of the puzzle a small band of academics have assembled since are these:

• Backgrounds of 148 Palestinian suicide bombers show they were less likely to come from families living in poverty and were more likely to have finished high school than the general population. Biographies of 129 Hezbollah shahids (martyrs) reveal they, too, are less likely to be from poor families than the Lebanese population from which they come. The same goes for available data about an Israeli terrorist organization, Gush Emunim, active in the 1980s.

• Terrorism doesn't increase in the Middle East when economic conditions worsen; indeed, there seems no link. One study finds the number of terrorist incidents is actually higher in countries that spend more on social-welfare programs. Slicing and dicing data finds no discernible pattern that countries that are poorer or more illiterate produce more terrorists. Examining 781 terrorist events classified by the U.S. State Department as "significant" reveals terrorists tend to come from countries distinguished by political oppression, not poverty or inequality.

• Public-opinion polls from Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey find people with more education are more likely to say suicide attacks against Westerners in Iraq are justified. Polls of Palestinians find no clear difference in support for terrorism as a means to achieve political ends between the most and least educated.”

So if poverty and lack of education DO NOT motivate terrorists, what does?

Well according to Mr. Wessel, “So, what is the cause? Suppression of civil liberties and political rights," and he cites Alan Krueger who notes, "When nonviolent means of protest are curtailed," he says, "malcontents appear to be more likely to turn to terrorist tactics."

While that may well explain some of jihadism’s appeal in the Mideast, it does nothing to explain its appeal among Muslims in the West. No, there’s something more.

As blogger Jeremayakovka (http://jeremayakovka.typepad.com/) has astutely noted, “Islam, like Communism is simply incompatible with democracy.”

Jere cites former British PM Tony Blair who said, “The idea that as a Muslim in this country that you don't have the freedom to express your religion or your views, I mean you've got far more freedom in this country than you do in most Muslim countries.”

Blair goes on, “The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, "It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified."

Yes, it seems that like Communism, Sharia-based Islam is simply incompatible with Democracy.

You've gotta LOVE this.....

Live From Congress: Rep. Ingersoll's Murder of a Hobo

Friday, July 6, 2007

NSA Wiretap Ban Overturned...









Earlier today the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an earlier 2006 order by a lower, Detroit court, which had found the NSA's warrantless wiretaps to be unconstitutional, violating both privacy and free speech rights.

With that decision, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals set the post-9/11 domestic NSA wiretap program back to its dfault position.

The court ruled 2 to 1 that the Plaintiffs had no standing on which to sue, since none of those involved had been subject to the surveillance.

Why Don’t National Dems Take a Lesson From These Guys...?

Jim Webb (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) all voted to defeat the recent ill-conceived “amnesty for illegal aliens Bill,”

Now Arizona’s Democratic Governor, Janet Napolitano has signed a new law that effectively sets up a two-strikes penalty for enterprises that hire illegal aliens/”undocumented workers.” For a first offense, a business employing an illegal immigrant would have its business license suspended temporarily. A second offense would mean a permanent revocation of that license.

The new law "takes the most aggressive action in the country against employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers says Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who signed the measure into law late Monday, July 2nd.

This get-tough attitude with businesses is growing across the US. As of April, 40 other states had introduced 199 bills related to employment of undocumented workers – the top subject of immigration-related legislation in the states,

Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Tennessee, and West Virginia are still in the process of enacting legislation to force employers to verify their workers' legal status.

There’s no question that individual states have the right to set the parameters for employment within that state, so these new laws are expected to weather any challenges.

Given the overwhelming public support for border enforcement and its antipathy for illegal immigration, why are the national Democrats failing to adopt the agenda of their more enlightened brethren?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The WRONG Way to Look at Income and Wealth

(A Poorly Crafter Viewpoint, and My Response)

Inequality has run Amok. Do Leaders Care?

NY Daily News
Be Our Guest
Posted Wednesday, June 27th 2007

When pets are poisoned by imported pet food or U.S. attorneys are fired under suspicious circumstances, Congress gears up hearings and vows quick action. A far greater scandal, however, has hardly gained the interest of legislators or the presidential candidates. That is the increasing wealth gap between the rich, the middle class and the poor, which is reaching alarming proportions.

The top 10% of income earners in the United States now owns 70% of the wealth, and the wealthiest 1% owns more than the bottom 95%, according to the Federal Reserve. In 2005, the top 300,000 Americans enjoyed about the same share of the nation's income - 21.8% - as the bottom 150 million.

New York is an especially bleak case study. The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now makes 52 times what the lowest fifth makes - $365,826 annually compared with $7,047 - roughly comparable to income disparity in Namibia.

Meanwhile, the ratio of average CEO to worker pay in the U.S. shot up from 301-to-1 to 431-to-1 in 2004. The average CEO now earns substantially more in one day than the average worker earns all year. Adding insult to injury, taxpayers actually give tax breaks to corporations for those salaries, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a country founded on the principle that "all men are created equal," this stark and growing economic inequality has become a third rail. Almost no one in political leadership touches it for fear of being accused of inciting class warfare.

Government has more than a right to confront the problem. It has an obligation to do so.

A small first step would be passing the Income Equity Act, denying corporations a tax deduction for excessive CEO salaries (defined as pay greater than 25 times the company's lowest full-time worker). They could still pay CEOs whatever they wished, but taxpayers would no longer subsidize it. That would create downward pressure on executive income while saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

More substantive would be a fix to Social Security's dirty little secret of favoring the rich: Annual wage income above $94,200 is completely untaxed by Social Security. While an average worker pays 6.2% of her income to Social Security, a CEO earning $1 million pays only 1% of his salary. As is, only 83% of all wages are subject to Social Security taxes, so this would increase annual revenues by nearly 20%, or $100 billion a year.

Other worthy proposals include providing child care for working parents, expanding health care and lowering college costs. But the most direct way to address inequality is to reimpose higher income tax rates. Under President Dwight Eisenhower's Republican administration, the maximum marginal tax rate was 87%. The Reagan tax cut of 1981 dramatically lowered this to 50%, then again to 28% in 1986. Since then, no surprise, our nation has seen a steady rise in wealth disparity.

It is long past time for our political leaders toput aside the scandal du jour and take urgently needed action to slow if not reverse our nation's growing economic inequality.

Iglitzin is a labor law attorney. Hill is director of the political reform program of the New America Foundation and author of "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy."

Income Isn’t Wealth and Income Equality Isn’t the Answer


Mr. Dmitri Iglitzin and Mr. Steven Hill both subscribe to the “fixed pie” view of the economy.

The inane view that “there’s only so much money in the economy at any given time, so one person earning a lot of money, means many others will have to earn a lot less.”

That’s a view that’s been proven wrong since the 19th Century, when that idea first came into being. Today it’s folly is a staple of all first semester economics courses.

The fact is that the market determines what any given skill is worth. Skills that are particularly difficult to attain and master skills tend to be valued much higher than those that are more mundane.

Income disparities are not actually a sign that an economy is extremely healthy, NOT the reverse.

Moroever, income, contrary to what Mssr’s Hill and Iglitzin would have us believe, is NOT wealth.

In fact, there is virtually no overlap between the richest 1% of Americans and the top 1% of income earners! The truly “rich,” the Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s, the Tom Keane Jr.’s and the Kennedy’s don’t rely upon income as a major source of their wealth. Ergo, income equality is NOT the same as wealth equality, not that the latter is a good thing either.

In their article, Inequality has run Amok, they take issue with CEO “pay,” comparing CEO “pay” (total compensation) to average salaries.

That comparison conveniently does NOT count the full “compensation” of teachers, police officers, construction workers and firefighters, for instance, their healthcare and pension programs, their 457s and 401-Ks, etc., BUT it does very much count CEO “stock options.”

In fact, CEO stock options are investments, NOT mere “compensation.”

Just as we don’t count an employee’s 457 and 401-K contributions as “compensation,” a CEO’s stock options shouldn’t be counted as raw “compensation” either.

The reality is that there’s no way for any educated person today to argue in favor of the “fixed pie” economic model and because of that, there’s no way to argue, as Mr. Hill and Mr. Iglitzin do, in favor of higher marginal tax rates.

For one thing, higher across the board tax rates ALWAYS result in lowered government revenues, as more higher income earners (those Hill and Iglitzin would like to target) simply defer more of their compensation in various tax exempt vehicles, leaving the bulk of the tax bite to fall upon those earning lower incomes, those least able to defer income in order to avoid the full impact of the tax increase.

If either Mr. Hill or Mr. Iglitzin really cared about those earning lower salaries, one or both of these men would be supporting replacing the income tax with a consumption tax, along the lines of the Fair Tax, which would kick in after the first $30,000 spent each year, exempt medicines and basic foods like milk, bread, meats, etc. and tax luxury good slightly higher, having the effect of not only taxing the truly “rich” and the highest income earners more, as they all spend much more, but it would also tax the huge and growing underground economy of “off-the-books” workers, etc.

Instead the Steven Hill’s and Dmitri Iglitzin’s of the world still espouse 19th Century solutions (higher income tax rates) to deal with a problem (wide disparities in wealth and in tax burdens) that’s really not about income at all!
American Ideas Click Here!