Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Armed pilots to be ended by DHS; Thomas Sowell explains "fairness"; Putin's anti-Americanism disrespects Obama's "reset" of relations; Obama to resume funding for UNESCO in spite of their acceptance of Palestine as a member; Cybersecurity budget nearly doubled as military budget plummets; Obama's Farsi greeting in "new day" video to Iran not working; Media Matters' donors; The skinny on Warren Buffett's declarations; New requirement for teachers pay off; Air travel to become more expensive due to Obama; U/M grad students may be protected from union membership; Democrat cronyism displayed; Georgia gets $8.3 billion loan guarantee following judge's decision of Obama's eligibility; Obama giving oil-rich Alaskan islands to Russia;

Redstate reports:  Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano disrespected Federal Flight Deck Officers (armed pilots) during a hearing yesterday in testimony presented to the House Homeland Security Committee.  Sec. Napolitano showed a lack of knowledge about the program in addition to an intent to kill it over the next few years. Napolitano argued that the FFDOs are not “risk based.”  What does the Secretary consider risk based? Maybe a pat down of 3 year olds as reported by Fox in Tampa Bay, Florida?


Townhall writes: Even if additional tax revenue all went to poor single mothers -- which it will not -- the multiple problems of children raised by poor single mothers would not be cured by throwing money at them. Indeed, the skyrocketing of unwed motherhood began when government welfare programs began throwing money at teenage girls who got pregnant.
Children born and raised without fathers are a major problem to society and to themselves. There is nothing "fair" about increasing the number of such children.
A more fundamental problem with the "fairness" issue raised by Beckel and many others is the slippery vagueness of the word "fair."
To ask whether life is fair -- either here and now, or at any time or place around the world, over the past several thousand years -- is to ask a question whose answer is obvious. Life has seldom been within shouting distance of fair, in the sense of even approximately equal prospects of success.
Four years ago, TV interviewer Charles Gibson pointed out to candidate Barack Obama that raising capital gains tax rates had on a number of occasions led to less capital gains tax revenue being collected -- and, conversely, lowering the capital gains tax rates had on other occasions increased the amount of capital gains revenue collected by the government.
Obama readily admitted that. But he said that "fairness" justified a higher tax rate on "the rich." Yet how does a higher tax rate on paper, without a real increase in the amount of taxes actually collected, promote fairness?
The Washington Post writes: A nasty spate of anti-Americanism set off by Vladimir V. Putin has grown into waves of attacks aimed at the new American ambassador and Russian opposition leaders, raising questions about the future of U.S.-Russian relations.
The attacks started just before the December parliamentary elections and have intensified as the March 4 presidential vote approaches. Although widely viewed as aimed primarily at a domestic audience, they have grown shriller and more aggressive, provoking debate about whether Russia is deliberately giving a cold shoulder to President Obama’s effort to promote more productive relations.
A main target of the attacks is Michael McFaul, the new ambassador, a longtime democracy advocate and Russia expert who as a top aide to Obama has been an architect of what the White House calls a “reset’’ with Moscow.  [As Obama promised, under his kinder leadership the world would love us once again.]
Free Beacon writes: A footnote tucked into the president’s recently unveiled budget proposal reveals the administration’s intent to resume funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, otherwise known as UNESCO.UNESCO caused an international firestorm last year when it accepted Palestine as a member – despite the fact that Palestine is neither a state nor a full member of the U.N.
Congress responded to UNESCO’s unwarranted intrusion into the Middle East peace process by invoking a U.S. law that prohibits funding of any international organization that recognizes a Palestinian state.
Now, however, Obama is aiming to resume UNESCO’s funding – ignoring the Palestinians’ ongoing quest to establish a state via the U.N., rather than through direct negotiations with Israel.
YouTube shows: Earlier this week President Obama revealed the 2013 military defense budget for the Department of Defense which is roughly $614 billion, and in it the cybersecurity budget has nearly double. Now the Department of Homeland Security plans to monitor social media sites. Also the Senate is attempting to return the controversial SOPA bill but under a new name.  [For instance the Department was searching social media for comments against placing Gitmo in a city in Michigan? Can we not see that this is an attempt to squelch speech against our government? Do you not feel like you are living in Russia or China?  You should.]
Financial Times reports: At the start of Barack Obama’s term, few moments better crystallised America’s change of face than his “New Day” video address to the Iranian people. Ending with a salutation in Farsi, Mr Obama offered Iran a new era of “co-operation”. It followed from the promise in his inaugural address to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist”.
Unhappily, Tehran has ignored Mr Obama’s overtures. Not only is Iran thought to be within striking distance of how Israel defines its “zone of immunity” – the point at which Iranian nuclear weapons capability is irreversible – it has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz. Nothing spells global recession faster than $200-a-barrel oil prices. And nothing will bring a colder sweat to Mr Obama’s electoral strategists than the thought of conflict with Iran.
Yet that is what many in Washington are now calling a “probability”. Some White House officials have referred to 2012 as the “year of Iran”. It was supposed to be dominated by the US economy. Might it instead be the moment Mr Obama takes that 3am phone call?
Many fear so. Some, including the New America Foundation’s Steve Clemons, talk about Mr Obama’s impending “Cuban missile crisis”. Much as Nikita Khrushchev misread John F. Kennedy as a pushover, and then tested his brinkmanship over Cuba, so Mr Obama is perceived by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, to be susceptible to intimidation.

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World Net Daily reports: One of the single largest donors to the embattled Media Matters for America is a controversial far-left clearinghouse that funds groups such as, ACORN and a litany of anti-war organizations, WND has learned.
The organization in question, the Tides Foundation, is funded in part by billionaire George Soros, himself a prominent Media Matters donor.
The Greeley Gazetter writes: A Wall Street Journal editorial titled “Stop coddling the super-rich” Buffett called for raising taxes on what he called the “super-rich.”Buffett’s definition of super-rich is people making $1 million or more. According to Buffett, most rich people support being allowed to pay more in taxes. “Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”
Buffett is chairman and chief executive of the giant financial firm, Berkshire Hathaway. According to a company report, they have been involved in a tax dispute with the IRS for years.

Richard McCarty, a researcher for Americans for Limited Government, said the company appears to have had a practice of short-changing the government for years. “The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade.   Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009.  Yet he says he’d happily pay more.  Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.”
When one considers the size of the company, the amount of taxes due could be in the tens of millions.
The Blaze reports: Berkshire Hathaway, the eighth-largest public company in the world according to Forbes, openly admits to still owing taxes for years 2002 through 2004 and 2005 through 2009, according to the New York Post. The company says it expects to "resolve all adjustments proposed by the US Internal Revenue Service" within the next year.
According to Berkshire’s 2010 annual report, the company has been in a near decade-long struggle with the IRS over its own taxes. Using public documents, a certified public accountant detailed Berkshire’s tax problems to Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, revealing the damage could be close to $1 billion. Netright Daily adds:
According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities.  They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”
The 2009 results  show that the average taxpayer paying Buffet’s 17.4 rate earns an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000. But an average taxpayer in Bosaneck’s rate (after downward adjustment for payroll taxes) earns an adjusted gross income  of $200,000 to $500,000. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary well above two hundred thousand.
We must wait for further details to learn how much more than $200,000 she earns. The tax tables tell us about average ranges. For all we know she earns closer to a half million each year, but that is pure speculation.
The NY Times reports: A couple of years ago, the school district reached a revolutionary contract with teachers. Pay and benefits would rise, but teachers would embrace reform — including sacrificing job security. With a stronger evaluation system, tenure no longer mattered and weak teachers could be pushed out.
Roughly half of a teacher’s evaluation would depend on the performance of his or her students — including on standardized tests and other measures of learning. 
We all use the same litmus test: Would we want our kid in that room?” says David Cicarella, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers, the local union. “We all recognize that we need to do something. Tenured teachers who are ineffective — that is an issue. We want to do something about it. But it’s not fair either to blame all teachers.”  
Mayor John DeStefano Jr. of New Haven says that the breakthrough isn’t so much that poor teachers are being eased out, but that feedback is making everyone perform better — principals included. “Most everybody picked up their game in the district,” he said.
Natural News reports: The Obama Administration has proposed significantly hiking air travel fees to cover the costs associated with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) molestation of air travelers. Under the new plan, which would garner a whopping $32 billion in ten years, ticket fees that cover the costs of TSA security screenings would more than double for passengers, costing them at least $5 per one-way trip.

As the TSA continues installing naked body scanners at U.S. airports and hiring hordes of new agents to grope travelers at airports, bus stations, trains stations, and even sports stadiums, the agency's more than $8 billion annual budget is rapidly ballooning. And rather than continue to siphon the cash to pay for this unconstitutional nightmare of tyranny directly from taxpayers, Obama and Co. wants to make airlines, airports, and air travelers foot the bill.
Detroit News reports: More than 400 graduate research assistants at the University of Michigan got a little good news last week in their fight against being forced into a union. The state Senate introduced a bill that would settle the matter by clearly defining the research assistants as students — not public employees.
The Legislature should pass the bill, and soon.
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, the bill would amend the state's Public Employment Relations Act to protect the student researchers from an organizing drive abetted by U-M's Democratic regents, but opposed by the university administration.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Expose Obama reports: Word now coming out reveals just two days after Secretary of State Brian Kemp gave Barack Obama the green light to appear on Georgia election ballots,,the Department of Energy awarded Kemp’s state an eye popping $8.3 billion loan guarantee  to begin construction on two nuclear plants.  In the face of “a shocking dissent by Nuclear Regulatory Commission CHAIRMAN Director Gregory B. Jazcko,”  four other commissioners approved awarding Southern Energy the first nuclear construction licenses since 1978,just one year before the tragedy of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster put a hold on new U.S. nuclear plant construction.  No new licenses have been approved until this huge Vogtle project got its go ahead to build two new reactors near Augusta.
Expose Obama reports: Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic,resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes,to the Putin regime in the Kremlin.
The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake.

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