What is a Borroso? – LINK. This is SO good 🙂
What is a Borroso? – LINK. This is SO good 🙂
This is why Eric Holder, the Obama Administration, oppose voter ID laws.
While NAACP President Benjamin Jealous lashed out at new state laws requiring photo ID for voting, an NAACP executive sits in prison, sentenced for carrying out a massive voter fraud scheme.
In a story ignored by the national media, in April a Tunica County, Miss., jury convicted NAACP official Lessadolla Sowers on 10 counts of fraudulently casting absentee ballots. Sowers is identified on an NAACP website as a member of the Tunica County NAACP Executive Committee.
Sowers received a five-year prison term for each of the 10 counts, but Circuit Court Judge Charles Webster permitted Sowers to serve those terms concurrently, according to the Tunica Times, the only media outlet to cover the sentencing.
“This crime cuts against the fabric of our free society,” Judge Webster said.
Sowers was found guilty of voting in the names of Carrie Collins, Walter Howard, Sheena Shelton, Alberta Pickett, Draper Cotton and Eddie Davis. She was also convicted of voting in the names of four dead persons: James L. Young, Dora Price, Dorothy Harris, and David Ross.
This is powerful.
AARP, whose board of directors has been hijacked by liberal political activists threw seniors under the bus when they supported ObamaCare with its bureaucrats that can deny seniors access to care (after Obamacare is fully implemented) and its half a TRILLION dollars in Medicare cuts. President Obama of course sought to enrich those who run AARP with some giveaways [from my old college blog – yes we were paying attention even then]:
AARP Making Mega-Millions on Corrupt ObamaCare “Easter Egg” – LINK
Corrupt AARP Health Care Deal Puts Seniors at Risk – LINK
AARP and Many Others Hiking Premiums or Dumping Coverage Because of ObamaCare – LINK
Now this. Big Government:
Today, the Department of Labor proudly announced that it had given away some $260 million in grants to various organizations through its Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). SCSEP is “a community service and work-based training program for older workers – providing subsidized, part-time, community service training for unemployed, low-income persons 55 or older who have poor employment prospects.”
Sounds great. Except the biggest recipients of SCSEP cash are Democratic political surrogates.
The largest single recipient of general SCSEP funds was – you guessed it – the American Association of Retired Persons Foundation, which pulled down almost $52 million. The AARP Foundation is a wing of the AARP, which stands to make some $1 billion over the next decade thanks to Obamacare and spends hundreds of millions of dollars to push liberal policies. The head of the AARP contributed some $8,900 to Obama’s campaign committees in 2008.
Coincidentally, the DOL is handing $6.6 million to the National Urban League – and it just so happens that President Obama spoke at the NUL this week in an attempt to reinvigorate his black support base.
The goodies keep on coming for President Obama’s friends. And that’s his entire campaign strategy: buy off specific constituency with taxpayer cash, and then let them push him to victory.
A good policy speech worth watching
The GOP needs to get the message out that the tax the Democrats wish to raise does not have much impact on millionaires and billionaires, because most of their income is defined as “unearned”; rather it will impact the small businesses who actually employ people the most.
President Barack Obama blamed Republicans on Saturday for a stalemate that could increase taxes on Americans next year while a leading Senate Republican cast Obama and his Democratic Party as obstructionists who want to place the tax burden on businesses during an economic slowdown.
In his weekly radio and online address, Obama pressed the Republican-controlled House to extend Bush-era tax cuts for households making $250,000 or less while letting lower rates on wealthier taxpayers expire and go up. The Democratic-controlled Senate narrowly passed such a measure earlier in the week, but the House is not expected to follow suit.
“Instead of doing what’s right for middle-class families and small-business owners, Republicans in Congress are holding these tax cuts hostage until we extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” Obama said.
Responding on behalf of the congressional GOP, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said Obama’s plan would do more harm to the economy and criticized him with almost identical language. He called for extending current tax rates for all taxpayers and spending 2013 overhauling and simplifying the tax code.
“Raising taxes as our economy continues to struggle is not a solution, and the majority of Americans and businesses understand that,” Hatch said. “The president and his Washington allies need to stop holding America’s economy hostage in order to raise taxes on those trying to lead our economic recovery.”Read more on Newsmax.com: Hatch: Obama Holding Country Hostage With Tax Plan
We saw the first part of this video of Jay Carney as it went viral on the net, but stay tuned and watch what comes next from the State Department in the form of Spokesman Victoria Nuland on March 29, 2012. We apologize for totally missing this when it happened. It got very little coverage.
Via the KC3 Web Log:
There is NO evidence to support the assertion that law enforcement officers are put at risk by law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms in their car. There are no studies, even ones with twisted statistics, that draw this conclusion. How can that be? Because there is NO record of a law enforcement officers having been injured by a CCW permit holder during a traffic stop, anywhere in the 44 CCW states.
We can, on the other hand, offer numerous examples of armed citizens coming to the aid of officers in peril:
Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL
Driving to work one morning, Jim Povia, of Sarasota, Florida, saw a state trooper with his service pistol drawn, confronting a trio of male suspects during a traffic stop. Povia, a right-to-carry permit holder, pulled over and grabbed his .40 cal. pistol and went to the aid of the officer. The two held the men until backup arrived. The driver of the vehicle was driving with a suspended license and a gun was found in the rear of the vehicle. The three men were charged with felony weapons possession.
The Post, Houston, TX
In the finest tradition of armed citizens who take on crime in their communities, Texan Travis Neel helped save a wounded Harris County deputy sheriff’s life. Witnessing the shooting by one of a trio of Houston gang members after a traffic stop just west of Houston, Neel–who was on his way to his pistol range–pulled his gun and fired, driving the officer’s assailants away. An off-duty sheriff’s deputy also came on the scene and joined Neel in covering the deputy, whose life was saved by his body armor. The trio was captured after a manhunt.
The Bulletin, Norwich, CT
While the situation ended without incident, armed citizen Michael Acree stood ready to lend a hand when a police officer stopped a carload of unruly teenagers outside his Salem, Connecticut, home. Noticing the youths scuffling with the officer, Acree retrieved his pistol and went out onto his lawn. When the youths saw Acree and his handgun, they calmed down and the situation ended peaceably. Acree earned the appreciation both of town officials and the officer.
The Daily Commercial, Leesburg, FL
Vincent McCarthy wasn’t afraid to lend a hand when he noticed a police officer struggling with a man and woman at the side of the road. He tried to help subdue the man who was kicking the officer in the face. Despite McCarthy’s warnings, when the man pressed his assault, the tour boat captain shot him once in the leg with a pistol he is licensed to carry and stopped the attack. Neither the officer nor McCarthy were seriously injured.
The Observer, Charlotte, NC
A North Myrtle Beach, N.C., citizen was credited by the city’s public safety director with possibly saving the life of Police Officer Richard Jernick. Jernick had pulled over a suspected bank robber’s car after a chase, when the suspect charged the cruiser and pointed a gun at the officer, who was still behind the wheel. At that point authorities said, the robbery suspect saw that James Beach, a semi-retired electrician who had joined the pursuit, had a pistol pointed at him. Startled, the robber ran for his car, and Officer Jernick was able to shoot and wound him.
The Star-Banner, Ocala, FL
When a drug-trafficking suspect fleeing a state police traffic stop ran through an Ocala, Fla., campground, he was spotted by the manager. Leonard Hicks armed himself and held the man at gunpoint for pursuing officers. An officer later commented, We wouldn’t have caught the suspect if it hadn’t been for him.
The Valley Daily News, Renton, WA
The armed man who intended to rob a Renton, Wash., gunshop should have been forewarned by the police cruiser he had to walk past to enter the store, and the uniformed officer standing just inside the door. Belatedly noticing the policeman, the would-be robber began shooting at him. The officer and a store clerk armed with a semi-auto pistol returned fire, fatally wounding the man.
The Press-Herald, Minden, LA
During a drug arrest in Webster Parish, La., a sheriff’s deputy and a state trooper found themselves struggling with their two suspects. But four citizens observed the battle and, armed with shotguns, they came to the officers’ aid–enabling them to make the arrests.
The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA
Dave Storton, a San Jose, Calif., police officer, was doing off-duty security work at an apartment complex when two burglars knocked the officer down and attempted to grab his revolver. During the struggle, one of the assailants bit off part of Storton’s ear, but the two attackers were run off by an apartment resident who came to the rescue, armed with a shotgun.
The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK
Miami, Okla., motel owner Oba Edwards witnessed two policemen struggling with a man they were attempting to arrest and saw the man wrest away one officer’s revolver, shoot and kill him. Edwards armed himself and fired a shot that allowed the remaining officer to recover his partner’s revolver and fatally wound the attacker. The dead man was on probation for assault of a Texas police officer.
The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, MD
Police officer Chris Haldeman entered a Chambersburg, PA gold and silver exchange to arrest a suspect in a stolen property case, but the man resisted and a struggle ensued. The 220-lb. suspect had Haldeman pinned to the ground and was choking him when storekeeper Ken Cummings pulled his pistol and shot the officer’s attacker in the leg. The man, a known felon, managed to escape, and Det. Haldeman was treated at a local hospital and released.
The Morning News, Dallas, TX
A stolen car bearing three escaped convicts was stopped on a Kansas highway by a state trooper. When the officer ordered the men from the vehicle, they sped away. With the trooper in pursuit, the escapees crashed in the town of Gorham; two were captured as they crawled free of the wreckage. The third convict attempted to flee on foot, only to be collared by several onlookers who had secured rifles from their pickups at the trooper’s call for assistance.
The Times-Tribune, Corbin, KY
Corbin, Ky., motel operator Ray Miracle came upon state trooper James Phelps attempting to subdue two drunken occupants of a stopped auto and, carrying his revolver, went to the officer’s aid. At that point, another car stopped and one of two men inside levelled a gun on Trooper Phelps. Seeing Miracle’s drawn gun, however, they hastily drove off. Kentucky State Police rewarded Miracle with their highest civilian honor.
The Post, Houston, TX
Ralph Festavan watched as a heroin peddler attacked a Shreveport, La., policeman and grabbed the officer’s gun. Festavan ran to the patrol car parked nearby and got a shotgun with which he shot and killed the pusher.
The Times-Union, Rochester, NY
Dennis Koch was putting storm windows on his fiancee’s house when he observed a youth run into nearby woods. He passed the information on to a police officer who stopped by minutes later and told Koch he was searching for a burglary suspect. He gave Koch permission to assist him. Carrying his pistol, for which he has a permit, Koch found the youth hiding and held him in custody until the officer could place him under arrest.
The Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis, TN
A Missouri state trooper had been shot three times by two armed robbery suspects when armed citizen Robert Riley of Tiptonville, Tenn., rushed to his aid. Riley fired a small caliber pistol at the assailants until they surrendered. The law officer was then rushed to a hospital.
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, CA
Inland Valley, California, Humane Society officer Amy Murillo, 27, was responding to a local resident’s pleas when she attempted to call off a vicious dog. But the animal turned on Murillo, jumping at her and causing her to fall against her vehicle. She suffered several bites to the head and chest from the crazed animal. Witnessing the young officer’s plight, the resident who had summoned her help returned the favor by running to his house and retrieving a handgun. The dog then turned on the man who shot twice, killing it.
The Daily Facts, Redlands, CA
Redlands, California, sheriff’s deputies credited an armed citizen with helping them capture four men and two juveniles who had just robbed a convenience store and pointed a gun at a plain clothes police officer as they made their initial getaway. Following a short chase all the suspects were captured. “One of the guys was detained at gunpoint by a resident who really helped us,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Bobby Phillips said. “He kept him there on the ground until we got there.”
The Review Courier, Alva, OK
Things had turned ugly for Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Rick Wallace. He had found marijuana on a speeder, but was overpowered by the man before he could cuff him. Passerby Adolph Krejsek witnessed the altercation and came to the rescue, using his own firearm to help the trooper control the suspect. After helping subdue the assailant, Krejsek used the injured trooper’s radio to call for help.
Associated Press, IN
In Indianapolis 17-year-old Gerald Watson stood near a policeman who questioned a robbery suspect when the suspect’s accomplice appeared on the scene and shot the officer down. Watson, who had taught marksmanship at the YMCA, grabbed the fallen policeman’s service revolver and shot the felon dead.
In Saraland, Ala., the berserk husband of a woman charged with possession of illegal whisky killed one police officer and wounded another but, as he tried to make his escape, was shot dead by Carlos McDonald, the proprietor of a nearby shop.
Two gunmen kidnapped an Eclectic, Ala., town policeman and used the officer to gain admittance to the home of Carl Ray Barker in the early morning hours. Barker, an Eclectic banker, was taken by one gunman into town to open the bank’s vault, his wife, child, and the town policeman being held hostage by the armed companion pending a safe return from the bank. When the time-vault resisted opening, the gunman returned Barker to his house and, after some debate, took the policeman away with him to get tape for binding all hostages until morning, when another attempt was to be made on the vault. Barker, now held in his home with wife and child by the second armed man, asked if he could make coffee. The robber assented and Barker put water on the stove and got it boiling. “I took the scalding water to the living room,” said Barker. “When he held his cup, I just poured the water in his face and grabbed his gun.” Barker pistol-whipped the robber into submission, loaded a shotgun and waited for the return of the other bandit. When the door opened, the captive policeman dived out of the way and Barker killed the would-be bank robber with two blasts. Barker said he feared for his family’s safety and, “I didn’t want my bank to get a bad name about being robbed.”
… but look on the bright side. The elite media is talking up the ‘recovery’.
UPDATE – Economy is losing more jobs than people are getting jobs while another $150,000 leave the workforce, giving up:
(CNSNews.com) – There were 195,000 fewer people employed in the United States in July than in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the national unemployment rate ticked up from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, 150,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force during the month and did not seek to find a job.
Similarly, in June, there were 155,163,000 people in the civilian labor force in the United States. To be counted in the civilian labor force, person must be 16 years old or older, not be in the military, prison or a mental institution, and either have a job or have actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.
In July, the number of people in the civilian labor force was 155,013,000–a decline of 150,000 from June.
Senate Votes to Raise Taxes on Small Businesses:
Yesterday, the Senate narrowly voted (51-48) to raise taxes on 1.2 million small businesses, which will likely kill more than 700,000 jobs at a time when nearly 13 million Americans are out of work. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Jim Webb (D-VA) joined all Republicans in bipartisan opposition to the tax hike.
This is President Obama’s economic plan. This is what he asked Congress to do. And he recently told a fundraising crowd that his economic plan has been working.
Americans Getting On Disability Now Outpacing Americans Finding Jobs.
It still hasn’t bottomed out. In June housing sales dropped 8.4%.
New durable goods orders dropped 1.1%.
Business owners have no confidence in Obama and just wont hire until he is gone.
Census numbers show 200,000 small businesses closed from 2008-2010.
Rising corn prices at record levels (and are causing food riots overseas and much of this is due to bad energy policy).
U.S. economic growth slows in second quarter.
Ten bad economic indicators.
And 20 more bad economic indicators (read this one).
Some more bad news linked on DrudgeReport:
Granted, Senator Brown is not an ideal conservative, but he is WAY better than his opponent Elizabeth Warren who is a radicalized neo-Marxist academic who lied about her ancestry to get her job at taxpayer expense.
Even if you are not wild about Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren must be kept out of the Senate. George Soros and other big money interests are backing Warren. Scott Brown will need your support to keep Warren out of the Senate. I rarely ask people to donate to a candidate, but this race merits an exception. DONATE!
Business owners will pay $4 billion more in taxes under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) than the Congressional Budget Office had previously expected.
“According to the updated estimates, the amount of deficit reduction from penalty payments and other effects on tax revenues under the ACA will be $5 billion more than previously estimated,” the CBO reported today. “That change primarily effects a $4 billion increase in collections from such payments by employers, a $1 billion increase in such payments by individuals, and an increase of less than $500 million in tax revenues stemming from a small reduction in employment-based coverage, which will lead to a larger share of total compensation taking the form of taxable wages and salaries and a smaller share taking the form of nontaxable health benefits.”
In short, CBO revised the Obamacare tax burden upward by $4 billion for businesses and $1 billion to $1.5 billion for individual workers.
CBO couldn’t help but bump into Chief Justice John Roberts controversial decision uphold the individual mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power. The report dubs the individual mandate a “penalty tax” — that is, “a penalty paid to the Treasury by taxpayers when they file their tax returns and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.”
Just as this writer predicted long ago, since ObamaCare places taxes on care and insurance policies, and skews the market in such a way to make insurance prices skyrocket; employers would rather pay the penalty than pay for the high cost of health insurance which is already going up fast as it is phases in.
About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by the consulting company Deloitte.
Nine percent of companies said they expect to stop offering coverage to their workers in the next one to three years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Around 81 percent said they would continue providing benefits and 10 percent said they weren’t sure.
The companies, though, said a lot will depend on how future provisions of the law unfold, since most of the key parts are scheduled to take effect in 2014. One in three respondents said they could stop offering coverage if the law requires them to provide more generous benefits than they do now, if a tax on high-cost plans takes effect in 2018 as scheduled or if they decide it would be cheaper for them to pay the penalty for not providing insurance.
While small business don’t face fines for failing to offer coverage, companies with 50 or more full time employees face a penalty starting at $2,000 per worker.
Deloitte conducted the study between February and April — before the Supreme Court upheld most of the law — and surveyed corporate and human-resources executives from 560 companies currently offering benefits.
In contrast, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that around seven percent of workers could lose coverage under the law by 2019.
You just cant make this stuff up folks. Of course Spanier has been shilling and covering for the progressive secular left for years – LINK and was invested in the child sex abuse cover-up according the the investigation of Penn State by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
Political commentator Marie Garr said it best, “Guess they figure he can keep a secret……….GEEZ!”
Our take: What if Bush had done this?
Graham Spanier might have been ousted from his post at the helm of Penn State over the sex-abuse scandal that engulfed the university, but it seems he’s found a backup employer: the American taxpayer.
Only a disgraced public figure would consider joining the much-maligned ranks of the federal workforce as a step up, reputation-wise. We can assume there were no openings for a used-car salesman.
Spanier was faulted in an internal Penn State report after the conviction on child-molestation charges of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The report said he, head coach Joe Paterno and others helped cover up Sandusky’s abuse.
His lawyer confirms to the Loop that Spanier is working on a part-time consulting basis for a “top-secret” agency on national security issues. But the gig is so hush-hush, he couldn’t even tell his attorneys the name of the agency. In April — months after his ouster as president but before the release of the internal report — he told the Patriot-News of central Pennsylvania that he was working on a “special project for the U.S. government relating [to] national security.”
But who’s he working for? The CIA? Homeland Security? Or maybe just a dull consulting firm with a government contract?
“I have no idea,”says his lawyer, Peter Vaira. “We know the work is in security and he’s prohibited from disclosing which agency or agencies he’s working for.”
Here is the rub. Even if he is not working for a government agency directly and he is a contractor for an intelligence agency he would still have to submit an SF86 and still pass the most rigorous national security scrutiny – unless of course that process was greased for him just like it has been for others in the Obama White House who couldn’t pass such scrutiny normally on their best day. One thing is almost a certainty; someone tipped off the Washington Post to this and they almost certainly know more than what they are reporting here.
Sticking up for Chick-fil-a’s freedom of speech, freedom of expressive association and freedom of religion is just that. It is not a “hate gays” play. Let us keep this in perspective. The Muslim Brotherhood and other associated Jihadists want gays dead, along with Jews and blacks (think I am wrong, just ask the Sudanese and other North Africans). To sum up – Islamists want gays dead, Republicans want to kill Jihadists. Gays make GREAT Republicans.
They say that the editing doesn’t change the meaning….. like heck it doesn’t. If it didn’t they would state this in every piece with an asterisk and more journalists and campaign staffers would be willing to go on the record to talk about this. They didn’t teach my this in J-School.
Latest Word on the Trail? I Take It Back
The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.
They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.
Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.
The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.
The push and pull over what is on the record is one of journalism’s perennial battles. But those negotiations typically took place case by case, free from the red pens of press minders. Now, with a millisecond Twitter news cycle and an unforgiving, gaffe-obsessed media culture, politicians and their advisers are routinely demanding that reporters allow them final editing power over any published quotations.
Quote approval is standard practice for the Obama campaign, used by many top strategists and almost all midlevel aides in Chicago and at the White House — almost anyone other than spokesmen who are paid to be quoted. (And sometimes it applies even to them.) It is also commonplace throughout Washington and on the campaign trail.
The Romney campaign insists that journalists interviewing any of Mitt Romney’s five sons agree to use only quotations that are approved by the press office. And Romney advisers almost always require that reporters ask them for the green light on anything from a conversation that they would like to include in an article.
From Capitol Hill to the Treasury Department, interviews granted only with quote approval have become the default position. Those officials who dare to speak out of school, but fearful of making the slightest off-message remark, shroud even the most innocuous and anodyne quotations in anonymity by insisting they be referred to as a “top Democrat” or a “Republican strategist.”
It is a double-edged sword for journalists, who are getting the on-the-record quotes they have long asked for, but losing much of the spontaneity and authenticity in their interviews.
Jim Messina, the Obama campaign manager, can be foul-mouthed. But readers would not know it because he deletes the curse words before approving his quotes. Brevity is not a strong suit of David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser. So he tightens up his sentences before giving them the O.K.
Stuart Stevens, the senior Romney strategist, is fond of disparaging political opponents by quoting authors like Walt Whitman and referring to historical figures like H. R. Haldeman, Richard Nixon’s chief of staff. But such clever lines later rarely make it past Mr. Stevens.
Many journalists spoke about the editing only if granted anonymity, an irony that did not escape them. No one said the editing altered the meaning of a quote. The changes were almost always small and seemingly unnecessary, they said.
Those who did speak on the record said the restrictions seem only to be growing. “It’s not something I’m particularly proud of because there’s a part of me that says, ‘Don’t do it, don’t agree to their terms,’ ” said Major Garrett, a correspondent for The National Journal. “There are times when this feels like I’m dealing with some of my editors. It’s like, ‘You just changed this because you could!’ ”
It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms.
“We don’t like the practice,” said Dean Baquet, managing editor for news at The New York Times. “We encourage our reporters to push back. Unfortunately this practice is becoming increasingly common, and maybe we have to push back harder.”
The Obama campaign declined to make Mr. Plouffe or Mr. Messina available to explain their media practices. “We are not putting anyone on the record for this story,” said Katie Hogan, an Obama spokeswoman, without a hint of irony. She pointed to the many unrestricted interviews with campaign officials every day on television and when the press corps travels with the president.
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said the White House has made a concerted effort to make more officials available to the news media. “We have a lot more people talking a lot more often now,” he said.
Both presidential campaigns are keenly aware of what can happen when they speak too freely. Damaging sound bites can live on in the news cycle for days. Mr. Obama’s remark last month during a televised news conference that “the private sector is doing fine” landed almost immediately in attack ads. And Eric Fehrnstrom’s “Etch A Sketch” comment on CNN, about softening some of the harder positions Mr. Romney took during the primaries, continues to haunt the Romney campaign five months later.
Reporters who have covered the Obama presidency say the quote-approval process fits a pattern by this White House of finding new ways to limit its exposure in the news media.
“We realize there’s a caution and a wariness about stray comments driving the news cycle,” said Caren Bohan of Reuters, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. “The argument we make is that if a president or a candidate is out there more, I think these things are less likely to be as glaring.”
Modern White Houses have long had “background briefings,” gatherings of top officials who speak to reporters under the condition that they are quoted anonymously. With time, the restrictions have become broader, often bordering on the absurd.
In 2007, Vice President Dick Cheney outed himself in a briefing the White House intended to be anonymous during an overseas trip. “I’ve seen some press reporting says, ‘Cheney went in to beat up on them,’ ” the vice president told reporters, according to the official transcript, adding, “That’s not the way I work.”
Though reporters with him protested, the vice president’s office refused to allow them to identify Mr. Cheney by name — even though it was clear who was speaking.
Under President Obama, the insistence on blanket anonymity has grown to new levels.
The White House’s latest innovation is a variation of the background briefing called the “deep-background briefing,” which it holds for groups of reporters, sometimes several dozen at a time. Reporters may paraphrase what senior administration officials say, but they are forbidden to put anything in quotation marks or identify the speakers.
The White House held such a briefing after the Supreme Court’s health care ruling last month with officials including Mr. Plouffe, Mr. Carney and Dan Pfeiffer, the communications director. But when reporters asked to quote part of the conversation, even anonymously, they were told no. Even the spokesmen were off limits.
Former NAACP President CL Bryant:
Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock Speech at FreePAC:
Dan Bongino is running for Senate in Maryland. This is awesome and very educational.
Let us be clear. Huma Abadin is not under allegation. Her brother is a big shot in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (her mother is also a prominent figure) and has stated that the pyramids and such in Egypt should be blown up because they are idols and he says that all Christians are mentally ill – LINK [Note – the source for this is Walid Shoebat who is an Arab Palestinian so claims that this is some sort of racist play is nonsense – Editor]. The Muslim Brotherhood wants Sharia Law through any means, be it an election, or take over by force in Jihad. They say so when speaking in their native language, but in English they talk about peace, love and social justice.
Why does it matter who her brother is? Because, according to security regulations which have been in place for decades, if you have had contact with an enemy or sworn enemy of an ally your security clearance is limited. The greater the contact the greater the limits. For national security reasons conflicts of interests have to be nipped in the bud. The question is, and this is just one question asked, why was she not properly vetted?
By the way, notice how agitated and hostile the clearly biased reporter from Politico is. This is just a single example of many why Politico has not well respected as a news organization.
Andrew C. McCarthy has two very informative articles on this issue that should be read before anyone can have a truly informed opinion on this issue:
Questions about Huma Abedin: A State Department adviser has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – LINK
Huma Abedin’s Muslim Brotherhood Ties: Michele Bachmann has every right to ask questions – LINK
Dr. Jill Vecchio: ObamaCare forces doctors to violate the Hippocratic Oath (video)
This is THE floor speech of the year! 1,100 pages of government regulations to determine who is a “qualified borrower” at the bank…
Of course, if your health insurance plan is “too good” you run into the “Cadillac Health Plan Tax”. The tax is not indexed for inflation so eventually you are taxed to hell if you do and taxed to hell if you don’t.
Beginning January 1, 2014 the P.P.A.C.A. (a.k.a. ‘Obamacare’) legislation levies a brand new tax – the “Roberts Tax”. A tax aptly named after U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts who created this new tax all by himself. It is neither an excise tax, nor a capital gains tax or any other kind of defined tax. It is instead a new tax, a tax for doing nothing and it will be levied on nearly all Americans including small and large business owners whether they do offer health insurance to their employees or they do not.
The best way to describe this new tax is to imagine walking into a grocery store and the clerk asks if you would like to purchase a pack of gum. You politely decline the offer and are then forced by a new tax law – as defined by John Roberts – to give that clerk a tax for refusing to purchase that pack of gum. This, my fellow Americans, is how unmoored from our Constitution that our Federal Government has become.
One would think that a university that has a law school could grasp something a simple as the First Amendment, but you would be wrong if you thought that. Censorship and discrimination against conservatives, Jews, Christians and other groups not in favor with the radical left are under some form of attack at our public universities. This problem is so huge that there are at least half a dozen civil rights organizations that use most ore all of their resources fighting just this type of illegal discrimination; and they are so overwhelmed with cases that they have to be selective on what cases to draw attention to.
If you thought college was a place for young people to speak out, challenges one another’s deeply-held beliefs and grow intellectually, chances are you’ve never been to Indiana University Southeast.
The school, located just 10 miles north of Louisville, Ky., is the latest college to see its speech code come under fire from a group that advocates freedom of speech on campuses. One stipulation in the code requires that students may only “express opinions” within a free speech zone, which is antithetical to what a college should stand for, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an advocacy organization which defends the free speech and due process rights of college students.
“It’s the price you pay for living in a free society,” Robert Shibley, Senior Vice President of FIRE, told FoxNews.com.”The entire enterprise of a university is to express scholarly thoughts and opinions…restraints on that are impossible.”
The broad regulation probably doesn’t even state what its clumsy crafters meant it to say, said Samantha Harris, FIRE director of speech code research.
“IUS almost certainly doesn’t mean this–if you want to tell your friend that you think it’s hot outside, you have to go to the zone to do it…it’s an indicator of just how poorly written and unconstitutional this policy is,” she said.
IUS’s code also requires university approval for acts of ‘expressed opinions’ by submitting an application at least five days in advance.
But the school defended the speech code, expressing concern the exercise of First Amendment rights outside designated zones could disrupt others’ pursuit of an education.
“[The guidelines] were intended to provide some guidance on the issue so that those wishing to gather and express an opinion could do so without endangering people or property,” the school told FoxNews.com in a statement. “The guidelines also were intended to protect the rights of all students to have unfettered access to educational activities on campus (in other words, the exercise of free speech rights should not result in blocking access to buildings or disrupting classes or campus events).”
The university also said that it has never had any complaints about the policy since its implementation in 2004, and it welcomes the FIRE’s feedback.
“We have to regulate other groups who come from off campus. Some come and preach a lot of hate. We just can’t have them wandering around campus with bullhorns over here,” Joseph Wert, associate professor of Political Science and Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Indiana University Southwest, told FoxNews.com.
Yup, and Joseph Wert had to get a PhD. to come up with that one. Professor Wert you are an idiot, and you are even more of an idiot if you think that anyone is going to fall for such an excuse. First of all, the First Amendment has never been construed by the courts to allow what is known as a “heckler’s veto” meaning that the speech in question is not so much about content as it is about disrupting the lawful activities of others. Your university speech code is written in such a way to adjust the universities illegal reaction depending on the content of the speech; meaning that “Students for Pushing Israel Into the Sea” get a prominent place to hold their speech event, but “Students Against Abortion” get to have their event in a tiny room no one can find. College administrators and professors like Joeseph Wert gets lots of practice making the totally unreasonable sound reasonable.
That is why the policy is written so broadly and poorly, so that it can be used for selective enforcement. There are countless cases of FIRE and other groups helping students who have had such speech codes used against them illegally. This is why FIRE in league with other groups have been suing universities to have such speech codes thrown out by the courts. Universities know about these lawsuits, but too often they go to court anyways knowning full well they are going to lose only for the purpose of forcing civil rights groups to expend more resources. After all it’s only your tax dollars funding your local university.
Remember when there were more people working in the Department of Agriculture than there were farmers? Well it is still that way, but that pales in comparison to this.
This chart perfectly explains the explosion of health care costs. Far too many dollars are going to administrators rather than medical professionals.
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa:
“Communism is dead,” people shouted in 1989, when the Berlin Wall began to come down. Soviet Communism is indeed dead as a form of government. But Marxism is on the rise again, and people are not paying attention. Why not? Because most people do not seem to be familiar with the undercover forms of Marxism we are facing today.
Absolutely. When the wall came down 100,000 million dedicated communists didn’t suddenly become libertarians. They took over tax free foundations, took control of most public universities, environmental pressure groups, most union leadership positions and much of Hollywood. Not to mention the leadership of the Democratic Party.
I usually do not publish articles from WND, because what appears there is not as reliable as I would like, but some pieces there are still very good and this is one of them. This interview is an important piece of history so we are glad to help preserve it here.
Please tell me, did America win the Cold War? If so, why are we fighting Marxism in our own country today? And if not, what really happened?
Pacepa: Yes, we won the Cold War, but unlike other wars the Cold War did not end with an act of surrender and with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons. But no, we are not fighting Marxism in our country, because the American people have not yet been warned that their country is being contaminated by Marxism. A few conservative luminaries like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have warned that Marxism is infecting the United States, but neither the Republicans’ “Pledge to America” nor the Tea Party’s “Contract from America” has mentioned the word Marxism.
So far, to the best of my knowledge, only your “Marxism, American-Style” (June 2012 Whistleblower magazine) and PJ Media’s “Say No To Socialism” have called attention to the looming dangers of Marxism, a heresy that killed some 94 million people and transformed a third of the world into feudal societies in the middle of the 20th century.
There is still a widely popular belief in the U.S. and Western Europe that the nefarious Marxist legacy was uprooted in 1991 when the Soviet Union was abolished, just as the Nazi legacy was extirpated in 1945 when World War II ended. That is simply wishful thinking. There is a considerable difference between these two historical events.
In the 1950s, when I headed Romania’s foreign intelligence station in West Germany, I witnessed how Hitler’s Third Reich had been demolished, its war criminals put on trial, its military and police forces disbanded and the Nazis removed from public office. I also saw how West Germany’s economy was being rebuilt with the help of Marshall Plan money and how the country had become a multi-party democracy and a close friend of the United States. In 1959, when I returned to Romania, West Germany’s Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) made it the leading industrial power in Europe.
None of those things have happened in the former Soviet Union. No individual has been put on trial, although its Marxist regime killed many more millions than the Nazis did. Most Soviet institutions, under new names, have been left in place and are now run by many of the same people who guided the Marxist state. The KGB and the Red Army, which instrumented the Cold War, have also remained in place with new nameplates at their doors.
“Communism is dead,” people shouted in 1989, when the Berlin Wall began to come down. Soviet Communism is indeed dead as a form of government. But Marxism is on the rise again, and people are not paying attention. Why not? Because most people do not seem to be familiar with the undercover forms of Marxism we are facing today.
Hiding the ugly face of Marxism behind a smiling mask has become a Marxist science, which I described in a large piece recently published in PJ Media. Here let me just say that until 1963, Marxism was mostly camouflaged as “socialism.” The 1962 missile crisis generated by the socialist República de Cuba gave the socialist mask of Marxism a dirty name in the West and few Marxists wanted to be openly associated with it anymore. They therefore began hiding their Marxism under a new cover called “economic determinism,” which became all the rage among leftists who no longer wanted to be labeled socialists.
Economic determinism is a theory of survival rooted in Marx’s “Manifesto” (another theory of survival), but it pretends that the economic organization of a society, not the class war, determines the nature of all other aspects of life. Over the years, economic determinism has assumed different names. Khrushchev’s dogonyat i peregonyat (catching up with and overtaking the West in 10 years) and Gorbachev’s perestroika are the best known.
I wrote the script of Nicolae Ceausescu’s determinism, which was hidden behind the nickname “New Economic Order.” Most Americans, who are not used to dealing with undercover Marxists, have problems recognizing one. In April 1978, President Carter publicly hailed Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader who [had] taken on a role of leadership in the entire international community.” At the time, I was standing next to Ceausescu at the White House – and I just smiled.
Three months later, I was granted political asylum in the United States, and I informed President Carter how Ceausescu had been feeding him a pack of lies. The admiration for Ceausescu’s undercover Marxism had, however, taken on such a life of its own that the U.S. Congress, dominated by President Carter’s Democratic Party, brought the United States a sui-generis version of Ceausescu’s economic determinism. That move generated double-digit inflation. The U.S. prime rate hit 21.5 percent, the highest in U.S. history, and people had to spend long hours in line waiting to buy gas for their cars.
Laura D’Andrea Tyson, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton and later an economic adviser to President Obama, has kept that undercover Marxism alive in the U.S. She even wrote her Ph.D. dissertation on the merits of the allegedly “mixed” socialist-capitalist economies in Ceausescu’s Romania and Tito’s Yugoslavia. Two American presidents went to Bucharest to pay tribute to Ceausescu’s Marxism disguised as economic determinism. None had ever gone there before.
A few months ago, when the devastating economic crisis in Greece exploded, economic determinism lost credibility and our Democratic Party replaced it with “progressivism,” which is the current cover name for American Marxism. The real Progressive Movement was born after the U.S. financial crisis of 1893, which the country tried to solve by redistributing America’s wealth. The progressives pushed through the first federal income tax and they created a string of labor standards that opened up the floodgates of corruption and financial excess that generated the Great Depression. A new Progressive Movement, dubbed the New Deal, led to steep top tax rates, strict financial regulations, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, eventually generating the current economic crisis.
Today’s Progressive Movement was born in New York’s Zuccotti Park. It was first known as the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and advocated the abolition of “capitalist America.” The Democratic Party strongly embraced it and made “Progressive” its new byword. “God bless them,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the U.S. Congress. “It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.”
WND: You have said, “In the Soviet Union, the KGB was a state within a state. Now the KGB is the state.” Please explain that.
Pacepa: General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, the Soviet gauleiter of Romania, who afterwards rose to head the almighty Soviet espionage service for 15 years of the Cold War, used to tell me that “every society reflects its own past.” Sakharovsky, who was a Russian to the marrow of his bones, believed that someday “our socialist camp” might wear an entirely different face, and that even the Communist Party might have become history, but that would not matter. The party was a foreign organism introduced by Lenin into the Russian body, and sooner or later it would be rejected. One thing, though, was certain to remain unchanged: “our gosbezopasnost” (the state security service).
Sakharovsky used to point out that “our gosbezopasnost” had kept Russia alive for the past 500 years, “our gosbezopasnost” would guide her helm for the next 500 years, “our gosbezopasnost” would win the war with “our main enemy, American Zionism,” and “our gosbezopasnost” would eventually make Russia the leader of the world.
Sakharovsky was right. Marxism triumphed in feudal Russia, which had been a police state since the 16th century’s Ivan the Terrible. There Marxism evolved into a secret samoderzhaviye or autocracy, the historical Russian form of one-man totalitarian dictatorship, in which the new Marxist tsar’s political police first exterminated the entire leadership of Lenin’s Communist Party and then, behind a facade of Marxism, quietly took precedence over the original tools of ideology and the Communist Party for running their country.
Only a handful of people working in extremely close proximity to the Soviet and East European rulers knew that after Lenin died his Communist Party gradually became a scramble of bureaucrats, playing no greater role in the Soviet Union than did Lenin’s embalmed corpse in the Kremlin mausoleum.
So far, Sakharovsky has proved to be a dependable prophet. His successor, Vladimir Kryuchkov, who later authored the August 1991 coup that briefly deposed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, clearly shared the same fanatical belief in gosbezopasnost. Kryuchkov’s successor, Yevgeny Primakov, who was an undercover KGB officer under Sakharovsky, rose to become Russia’s prime minister.
On Dec. 31, 1999, Russia’s first freely elected president, Boris Yeltsin, stunned the world by announcing his resignation.
“I shouldn’t be in the way of the natural course of history,” Yeltsin explained, speaking in front of a gaily decorated New Year’s tree and blue, red and white Russian flag with a golden Russian eagle.
“I understand that I must do it and Russia must enter the new millennium with new politicians, with new faces, with new intelligent, strong, energetic people.”
Yeltsin then signed a decree “On the execution of the powers of the Russian president,” which stated that under Article 92 Section 3 of the Russian Constitution, the power of the Russian president should be temporarily performed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Yeltsin also announced that a special presidential election would be held around March 27, 2000, and he made a strong appeal for people to vote for Putin, who was “a strong person worthy of becoming president.” For his part, the newly appointed president signed a decree pardoning Yeltsin, who was rumored to be connected to massive bribery scandals, “for any possible misdeeds” and granted him “total immunity” from being prosecuted (or even searched and questioned) for “any and all” actions committed while in office. Putin also gave Yeltsin a lifetime pension and a state dacha.
To me, that had all the appearances of a KGB palace putsch.
Indeed, as of June 2003, some 6,000 former KGB officers were holding positions in Russia’s central and regional governments. Among them:
Vladimir Putin, elected president of Russia; Vladimir Osipov, head of the Presidential Personnel Directorate; Sergey Ivanov, defense minister; Igor Sergeyevich Ivanov, minister of foreign affairs; Viktor Ivanov and Igor Sechin, deputy directors in the Presidential Administration; Vyacheslav Soltaganov, deputy secretary of the Security Council; Viktor Vasilyevich Cherkesov, chairman of the State Committee on Drug Trafficking; Vyacheslav Trubinkov, deputy foreign minister; Vladimir Kozlov, deputy media minister; Gennady Moshkov, first deputy transport minister; Nikolay Negodov, deputy transport minister; Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, deputy minister for economic development; Vladimir Makarov, Leonid Lobzenko and Igor Mezhakov, deputy chairmen of the State Customs Committee; Sergey Verevkin-Rokhalsky and Anatoly Sedov, deputy taxes and duties ministers; Anatoly Tsybulevsky and Vladimir Lazovsky, deputy directors of the of the Federal Tax Police Service; Alexander Grigoriev, general director of the Russian Agency for State Reserves; Alexander Spiridonov, deputy chairman of Russia’s Financial Monitoring Committee; Vladimir Kulakov, Voronezh governor; Viktor Maslov, Smolensk governor.
Can you imagine a democratic Germany run by Gestapo officers?
Putin is indeed trying to make Russia the first intelligence dictatorship in history. In 2004, nearly half of all top governmental positions were held by former officers of the KGB. The Soviet Union had had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. In 2004, Russia had one intelligence officer for every 297 citizens.
A new generation of Russians is now struggling to demolish the barriers Soviet Marxism spent over 70 years erecting between themselves and the rest of the world, and to develop a new national identity. If history – including that of the last 22 years – is any guide, these Russians, who are now enjoying their regained nationalism, will not truly turn westward. They will struggle to rebuild a kind of an Old Russian Empire by inspiring themselves from old Russian traditions and by using old Russian ways and means.
This does not mean Russia cannot change, but for that to happen, it will need help. In order for us to help, we should first fully understand what is now going on behind the veil of secrecy that still surrounds the Kremlin. Man would not have learned to walk on the moon if he had not first studied what the moon was really made of and where it lay in the universe.
WND: Gen. Pacepa, you are credited with playing a pivotal role in waking up the Romanian people and inspiring the overthrow of the tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu. Why is it that a communist nation like Romania could hear and heed your message, but not America?
Pacepa: Emil Constantinescu, the second post-Communist president of Romania, once said:
The missiles that destroyed Communism were launched from Radio Free Europe, and this was Washington’s most important investment during the Cold War. I do not know whether the Americans themselves realize this now, seven years after the fall of Communism, but we understand it perfectly.
The serialization of my book “Red Horizons” by Radio Free Europe was just one of the missiles fired against the Romanian version of Marxism during the Cold War years. We need a kind of Radio Free America. Let’s hope that others, many others, will join our efforts to help the new generation of Americans – who have no longer been taught real history in schools and know little if anything about America’s 44 years of war against Marxism – to understand the deadly danger of this heresy.
American essayist George Santayana, an immigrant like me, used to say that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Let’s hope that others, many others, will help America understand this truism.
WND: Many Americans would roll their eyes at the phrase “Marxism in America,” even though with every passing year we are becoming more and more Marxist. Why are so many Americans so blind?
Pacepa: They are not blind. They just do not really know what Marxism is. Few Americans will roll their eyes hearing the world “Nazism.” Why? Because the hideous crimes committed by Nazism were publicly exposed and their main authors were publicly tried and hanged. Unfortunately, there was no trial of Communism, although this Marxist heresy had killed 10 times more people than Nazism killed. Nazi archives have been opened to the public, who could learn about Nazism’s atrocities from the horse’s mouth. Most Soviet archives are still sealed.
Stalin was famously quoted as saying: If it is not written, it did not happen. But Marxism did happen, it generated a dreadful empire of gulags and it spawned a 44-year Cold War. Let’s open that Pandora’s box. The United States of America is a unique country of freedom, built by people who came to this land of opportunity in search of religious, economic and personal freedom. Once Americans know the truth, they will never allow themselves to become puppets of Marxism.
WND: General, you were the head of Romania’s Presidential House – the equivalent in the U.S. of being White House chief of staff and director of the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security – but you ultimately defected to the West. You radically changed, and gave your loyalty to America. What woke you up? What changed you?
Pacepa: Michelle Obama once confessed in front of television cameras broadcasting her statement worldwide: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” When I was Michelle’s age I also liked to believe that history started with me. It took me a very long time to see the light. Power can generate blindness and it did in my case. It took me many more years to find the courage to renounce my exorbitantly luxurious existence and to face up to the truth about the hidden face of Marxism. Communist rulers have always been very generous with their spy chiefs – that is until they tire of them and kill them off.
It was noon when the U.S. military plane that was bringing me to freedom landed at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, D.C., on that memorable July 28, 1978, and I was sitting up front in the cockpit with the pilots. It was a glorious, sunny day outside, which only magnified the fireworks popping off inside of me. For many, many years I had learned to hide my personal feelings. For that was the way of life in a Marxist society, where the government had its informants everywhere and where microphones covered you everyplace you went, from the office to the bedroom. But on that unforgettable day I had an overwhelming desire to dance around in a jig all by myself.
I was a free man! I was in America! The joy of finally becoming part of this magnanimous land of liberty, where nothing was impossible, was surpassed only by the joy of simply being alive.
It was my desperate hunger for freedom that woke me up.
WND: What will it take for Americans to wake up?
Pacepa: A “Campaign of Truth” like the one unleashed by President Harry Truman in 1950. I still keep the declassified version of his NSC 68/1950 on my desk. That 58-page document put together by the U.S. National Security Council set forth the strategy of exposing and containing Marxism and Soviet Communism.
“The issues that face us are momentous,” the document stated, “involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.” Truman reasoned that Marxism and Soviet Communism were the mortal enemies of freedom and religion – of all religions – and he believed their expansion could be stopped only “through a concerted effort” that would place the superiority and strength of what he called “truth and freedom” before the peoples of the world.
Marxism is now threatening our country again. Let’s unleash another Truman-style campaign of truth. Let’s remind the leaders of the Democratic Party that Truman was a Democrat. Let also remind them that John F. Kennedy, another Democrat, was ready to start a nuclear war in order to protect the United States from the danger of Marxism. And let’s remind America that the peace and freedom of the world depend on the economic power of United States and the united resolve of its public opinion, as was always the case.
If our capitalist economy and national unity go, so will our prosperity, our security and the peace of the world.
The constant blurring of distinctions and the rewriting of history in political communications get really old.
The economy suffered after the Clinton tax increases and that is one reason why the Republican Revolution hit him in 1994 (along with gays in the military and HillaryCare which featured federal health care police with guns). Bill Clinton had campaigned on a tax cut to help get the economy growing again. He delivered just the opposite.
It is important to keep in mind that President Bush 41 went along with Democrats in increasing taxes in violation of his “read my lips no new taxes” promise. At the time Democrats praised President Bush saying “he had grown”, but when the tax increase resulted in a short 1-2 quarter recession the Democrats blasted him for reneging on his no new taxes pledge. Clinton ran against that tax increase and promised to lower them again.
But what about the Clinton economy and the surplus? Well that was in Clinton’s second term when Newt and the House Republicans balanced the budget, passed welfare reform over Clinton’s initial VETO threats and of course, the new GOP majority in Congress cut taxes.
The Dangerous Myth About the Clinton Tax Increase
One of the most dangerous myths that has infected the current debate over the direction of tax policy is the oft repeated claim that the tax increases under President Bill Clinton led to the boom of the 1990s. In their Wall Street Journal Op-Ed last Friday, for example, Clinton campaign manager James Carville and Democratic pollster and Clinton advisor Stanley Greenberg write the increase in the top tax rate to 39.6% “produced the one period of shared prosperity in this past era (since 1980).”
While this myth is now a central part of liberal Democratic folklore, it is contradicted by the political disaster and poor economic results that followed the tax increase. The real lesson of the Clinton Presidency is the way back to prosperity lies not through increased taxes on “the rich,” but through tax and regulatory reform and a return to a rules based monetary policy that produces a strong and stable dollar.
The 1993 Clinton tax increase raised the top two income tax rates to 36% and 39.6%, with the top rate hitting joint returns with incomes above $250,000 ($400,000 in 2012 dollars). In addition, it removed the cap on the 2.9% Medicare payroll tax, raised the corporate tax rate to 35% from 34%, increased the taxable portion of Social Security benefits, and imposed a 4.3 cent per gallon increase in transportation fuel taxes.
If these tax increases were good for the middle class, then they should have been popular. Yet, in the 1994 elections, the Democratic Party suffered historic losses. Even though Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell had declared the unpopular HillaryCare dead in September of that year, the Republican Party gained 54 seats in the House and 8 seats in the Senate to win control of both the House and the Senate for the first time since 1952.
Second, Messrs. Carville and Greenberg are contradicted by their former boss. Speaking at a fund raiser in 1995, President Clinton said: ”Probably there are people in this room still mad at me at that budget because you think I raised your taxes too much. It might surprise you to know that I think I raised them too much, too.”
During the first four years of his Presidency, real GDP growth average 3.2%, respectable relative to today’s economy, but disappointing coming as it did following just one year of recovery from the 1991 recession, the end of the Cold War and the reduction in consumer price inflation below 3% for the first time (with the single exception of 1986) since 1965.
For example, it was a half a percentage point slower than under Reagan during the four years following the first year of the recovery from the 1982 recession.
Employment growth was a respectable 2 million a year. But real hourly wages continued to stagnate, rising only 2 cents to 7.43 an hour in 1996 from $7.41 in 1992. No real gains for the middle class there.
However, with his masterful 1995 flip-flop on taxes, President Clinton took the first step toward a successful campaign for re-election and a shift in policy that produced the economic boom that occurred during his second term.
- Welfare reform, which he signed in the summer of 1996, led to a massive reduction in the effective tax rates on the poor by ameliorating the rapid phase out of benefits associated with going to work.
- The phased reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers between the U.S., Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement continued, leading to increased trade.
- In 1997, Clinton signed a reduction in the (audible liberal gasp) capital gains tax rate to 20% from 28%.
- The 1997 tax cuts also included a phased in increase in the death tax exemption to $1 million from $600,000, and established Roth IRAs and increased the limits for deductible IRAs.
- Annual growth in federal spending was kept to below 3%, or $57 billion.
- The Clinton Administration also maintained its policy of a strong and stable dollar. Over his entire second term, consumer price inflation averaged only 2.4% a year.
The boom was on. Between the end of 1996 and the end of 2000:
- Economic growth accelerated a full percentage point to 4.2% a year.
- Employment growth nudged higher, to 2.1 million jobs per year as the unemployment rate fell to 4.0% from 5.4%.
- As the tax rate on capital gains came down, real wages made their biggest advance since the implementation of the Reagan tax rate reductions in the mid 1980s. Real average hourly earnings were (in 1982 dollars) $7.43 in 1996, $7.55 in 1997, $7.75 in 1998, $7.86 in 1999, and $7.89 in 2000.
- Millions of Americans shared in the prosperity as the value of their 401(k)s climbed along with the stock market, which saw the price of the S&P 500 index rise 78%.
- Revenue growth accelerated an astounding 59%, increasing on average $143 billion a year. Combined with continued restraint on government spending, that produced a $198 billion budget surplus in 2000.
Shared prosperity indeed! But one created not by raising tax rates on high income but not yet rich middle class families, and certainly not by raising the capital gains tax rate or by imposing the equivalent of the Buffett rule, a new alternative minimum tax of 30% on incomes over $1 million, nor by massively increasing federal spending.
Rather, it was a prosperity produced by freeing America’s poor from a punitive welfare system, lowering tariffs, reducing tax rates on the creators of wealth, limiting the growth of federal government expenditures, and providing a strong and stable dollar to businesses and families in America and throughout the world.
This is not something I often talk about, nor am I one who buys into most conspiracy theories, but every once in a while such a theory has merit because the evidence is just too strong. In the interests of full disclosure this writer is an expert on the subject of airborne munitions. I have loaded and unloaded them, assembled and disassembled them, armed and disarmed them, repaired armament systems on military aircraft etc.
The government said that the plane was too high to be intercepted by a mobile ground to air missile – a lie.
The government said that a heat seeking missile would have gone after the engine – again another lie. In fact heat seeking missiles are designed to fly next to a specific temperature range as they intercept the target such as the heat from it going over the body of the aircraft so it can explode next to it and let the shrapnel weaken the airframe so that the stress of flight will cause the aircraft to break apart. Going after such a hot object as jet exhaust would allow the missile to be too easily fooled by countermeasures. I also saw a photo pf the aircraft that was put back together as best as possible by the recovery team and the damage to the plane is consistent with the shrapnel pattern of such a heat seeking missile.
President Clinton revoked the Whistle-blower Act for the military recovery team working the crash site. Boeing insists to this day that TWA 800 was shot down.
I am reposting this article from Jack Cashill here mainly to help preserve it.
TWA Flight 800: 16 Years and Still No Questions
I got involved in one of the two great media scandals of our time — the Obama ascendancy being the other — fully by happenstance.
In the year 2000, investigative reporter James Sanders came to Kansas City to talk about his research into the fate of TWA flight 800, the plane that crashed into the waters off Long Island on July 17, 1996, sixteen years ago today.
Sanders chose Kansas City because the town had historically been the headquarters for TWA. As a result, many pilots, mechanics, and flight attendants still lived there. The audience was filled with them. Almost to a person, they believed what he was saying — the plane had been shot out of the sky.
Afterwards, I went out to dinner with James and his wife, Elizabeth, and a dozen other people. I sat next to Elizabeth, a sweet, unassuming former TWA flight attendant and trainer of Philippine descent. She told me in painful detail how at one of the many memorials she attended after the crash — 53 TWA employees were among the 230 killed — she ran into an old friend, Captain Terrell Stacey.
Stacey had flown the 747 that would become TWA Flight 800 from Paris to New York the night before it was destroyed. In fact, he was in charge of all TWA 747 pilot activity within the airline. So it was logical that he would be among the first TWA employees assigned to the crash investigation.
Elizabeth thought of Stacey as “a straight arrow, go-by-the-rules kind of guy” and respected him for it. After a phone introduction arranged by Elizabeth, James Sanders and Terrell Stacey agreed to meet. “What he told me over those first hours,” Sanders would later tell me, “was one thing: ‘I know there’s a cover-up in progress.'”
As a result of that one introduction, the FBI arrested Elizabeth and oversaw her conviction on federal conspiracy charges. James and Stacey had been arrested, too. The crime? Stacey had sent Sanders a tiny piece of foam rubber to have tested. The Sanderses were still on probation when I met them. When I heard this story from Elizabeth, I thought maybe there was something there worth pursuing.
As a video producer, I talked to the Sanders about creating a documentary, but, as I explained, I had no interest unless they could prove to me beyond a doubt that the plane was shot down. They could, and they did. The result was a documentary called Silenced, which has been inexplicably removed from YouTube. It is still available, however, through my website. To explain how I know the plane was shot down would take a book, which James Sanders and I proceeded to write. The result, First Strike, is available through Amazon, including on the Kindle.
In the way of summary, on the night of July 17, 1996, and into the early morning hours of the 18th, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Deputy National Security Adviser Sandy Berger huddled fretfully in the family quarters of the White House.
The election they thought was in the bag no longer was.
The air-traffic controllers had already reported in. The radar data told a story of an unknown object striking the plane seconds before it exploded. And now, eyewitness reports were flooding in.
The explosion had taken place right at sunset, just 10 miles off the coast, on a perfect night, with thousands of people looking out over the sea from Long Island’s popular south shore. FBI witness No. 73, an aviation buff, watched a “red streak” with a “light gray smoke trail” move up toward the airliner, and then go “past the right side and above the aircraft before arcking [sic] back down toward the aircrafts [sic] right wing.” She even reported the actual breakup sequence before the authorities figured it out on their own.
High-school principal Joseph Delgado told the FBI that he had seen an object like “a firework” ascend “fairly quick,” then “slow” and “wiggle,” then “speed up” and get “lost.” Then he saw a second object that “glimmered” in the sky, higher than the first, then a red dot move up to that object, then a puff of smoke, then another puff, then a “firebox.” He drew a precise image of the same.
Mike Wire, a no-nonsense millwright and U.S. Army vet, watched events unfold from the Beach Lane Bridge in Westhampton on Long Island. Wire had seen a white light traveling skyward from the ground at approximately a 40-degree angle, sparkling and zigzagging before culminating in a massive fireball.
To control the information flow, the White House hit upon a strategy that dazzled in its simplicity and in its sheer nerve. The Clintons’ trusted point person, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, took the investigation away from the professionals in the National Transportation Safety Board and gave it to the amateurs of the FBI. There was one reason why. The FBI reported to Gorelick. The NTSB did not.
This was illegal, of course, but the media had a president to re-elect soon enough, and they were not about to scruple over details. The second part of the strategy was as simple as the first. The FBI would talk only to The New York Times. This essentially made the Times Gorelick’s Ministry of Truth.
Of the 270 eyewitnesses who told the FBI they saw what looked like a missile strike on TWA Flight 800, the Times would interview exactly none. Fearing perhaps the loss of their privileged status and trusting the FBI more than they should have, the Times people followed the FBI lead. The other media, some grudgingly, followed the Times.
Four weeks after the disaster, the Times would report, “Now that investigators say they think the center fuel tank did not explode, they say the only good explanations remaining are that a bomb or a missile brought down the plane.” Likely under White House pressure, and without any new evidence, the FBI immediately shifted its storyline away from a missile to a bomb, and a month later, from a bomb to a center fuel tank explosion.
As each week passed, the Clintons had to be stunned that so obvious a truth remained so thoroughly ignored. To sustain the lie, however, insiders had to tell more lies still.
The FBI would fabricate a second interview with Witness No. 73 that never took place. The CIA — the CIA? — would fabricate a second interview with Mike Wire that also never took place. NTSB insiders would lie outright about what Joseph Delgado saw, but the election came and went without anyone even knowing who these people were.
Gorelick could not have slept easily through all of this, but the lotto was around the corner, and she knew she had the winning ticket. In May 1997, the White House called her number. The Fannie Mae Board picked her, a lawyer with no relevant experience, to be its new vice chair. Gorelick would earn more than $4 million a year for the next six years, and no one in the media asked why.
They did not even ask why when she stepped down. Always the patriot, Gorelick resigned to take one of five Democratic seats on the Sept. 11 Commission. Who knew where talk of aviation terrorism might lead? Someone had to keep talk of TWA Flight 800 off the table, just as someone had kept it off from 1996 to 2001.
And lest some messy scraps of information find their way to the committee’s Republicans, the Clintons dispatched their most trusted adviser to do a little cleanup work. Alas, Sandy Berger got caught stuffing evidence in his underwear, but this proved much easier to bury than TWA 800. Democrat staffers in the Bush Justice Department arranged for a wrist slap on a Friday, the day after Terry Schiavo died and the day before Pope John Paul II did.
The media did not want to know anyhow, and sixteen years later, they still do not want to know. Not one mainstream journalist has ever bothered to ask why the CIA was recruited to make the preposterous video that would seemingly discredit all of the eyewitness testimony. This is a shame, especially for the family members who have been left only with their grief and their unanswered questions.
Those questions, alas, will likely never be answered for the simple reason that they have never been asked.