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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Christmas Greeting From “Bibi”

A Christmas Greeting From “Bibi”

By Dell Hill

This blog is pleased to pass along this Christmas Greeting from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Allow me to say in return:  “Ah Lichtige Chanukah”

Democrats Pandering To Muslim Vote?

Democrats Pandering To Muslim Vote?

Government Dictation To Private Enterprise Is The Height Of Audacity & A Clear Abuse Of Federal Authority

By Dell Hill

When our federal government feels empowered to dictate where private enterprise advertising dollars go, that government has FAR too much power.  Or it thinks it does, anyway.

Such is the case for 32 repulsive power-mongers “serving” you in Washington D.C.

List Compliments of Bill Clay
Here are the 32 vermin Congress critters trying to FORCE LOWE"S to advertise on TLC's All American Muslim Show.  Lowe's is a Private Business and government has no right to dictate where LOWE'S or any private establishment advertises.  Here are all 32 elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives that think they can use government pressure to FORCE a company to change their business practices:

You may have noticed that all 32 are members of one particular political party.

Is your congressional representative on this list?

Isn’t it time to notify them they’re engaged in an incredible abuse of federal authority?

Obama Set To Cram More Control Down Your Throat

Obama Set To Cram More Control Down Your Throat

Regulations Strangle The Entire Nation

By Dell Hill

It’s all about “control”... And Americans hate it with the heat of a thousand suns.  Americans are demanding LESS regulation and control; President Obama is cramming more and more down your throat every day.

Anything and everything is getting the “control” treatment from President Barack Obama and here’s the proof.

The White House is on the political offensive, and one of its chief claims is that it isn’t the overregulator of business and Republican lore. This line has been picked up by impressionable columnists, so it’s a good time to consider the evidence in some detail.

Jan Eberly, an Assistant Treasury Secretary, kicked off the Administration campaign with a white paper in October that purported to debunk the “misconceptions” that “uncertainty is holding back business investment and hiring and that the overall burden of existing regulations is so high that firms have reduced their hiring.” Then the Administration mobilized some of the worst offenders, such as Kathleen Sebelius of HHS (“There has been no explosion of new rules”) and Lisa Jackson of the EPA (her opponents are “using the economy as cover”).

To answer the most basic question—has regulation increased?—we’ll focus on what the government defines as “economically significant” regulations. Those are rules that impose more than $100 million in annual costs on the economy, though there are hundreds if not thousands of new rules every year that fall well short of that.

According to an analysis of the Federal Register by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, the Cabinet departments and agencies finalized 84 such regulations annually on average in President Obama’s first two years. The annual average under President Bush was 62 and under President Clinton 56.”

A simple graph explains it all...

And that’s not all.  Another series of massive regulation is on the way, as we see in this report from National Review: “Obama’s Regulatory Burden.”

“In the next few days, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue another final regulation directed at electricity utilities.  This rule, known as the Utility MACT, will impose an estimated $11 billion each year in new costs on our economy.  It will threaten electricity-generating capacity in many parts of the country.  And it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this administration’s runaway rulemaking.”

Now isn’t that just lovely!

Time to get back on the phone.  Fire off Emails.  Send smoke signals, if you have to...But let your senators and representatives know that this President, and this government, is ruining this country.

HOPE AND CHANGE: The latest MAD Magazine cover.

HOPE AND CHANGE: The latest MAD Magazine cover.

By Dell Hill via Glenn Reynolds

Perfect timing for today’s financial theme.  (It wasn’t just happened that way).

HOPE AND CHANGE: The latest MAD Magazine cover.

US Still ‘Kicking The Can Down The Road’ On Massive Deficits

US Still ‘Kicking The Can Down The Road’ On Massive Deficits

“California is still spending more than it’s taking in, thus constantly adding to an already frightening debt of $371.5 billion dollars.”

By Dell Hill

Over the past three years, I’ve referenced the U.S. National Debt Clock several times to show living  proof of the financial dilemma this country is facing.  It’s time to have another look.

There are several key categories to watch closely.  Probably the most significant real-time number is found under “US Federal Budget Deficit”.  As long as that number goes up, the country remains in serious trouble.  The faster it goes up, of course, the more trouble.  As of this writing, we’re looking at deficit spending that climbs by $1,000 dollars every ten seconds.  That doesn’t sound too bad until you do the math.

At the current rate of deficit spending (at the federal level only) we’ll add a staggering $60 million, 480 thousand dollars to the constantly growing federal deficit in JUST ONE WEEK.  Now we’re talking about a huge amount of money!  Multiply that times 52 and you don’t even want to know the answer.  Things are that bad.

Food for thought:  While the President and Congress “take a break” from their incredibly arduous work, the federal deficit will go up by at least $181 Billion dollars!

The national debt shot up and over $15 trillion dollars a few weeks ago and, of course, it continues to race upward - now $125 billion higher, en-route to the $16 trillion mark.

Things are “bad all over”, or so they tell me.  The European Union countries are involved in a pitched battle to see if any of them can survive the Mother Of All Financial Dillemas...and the United States isn’t far behind.  In fact, when the dominoes start falling, the US is in line to take yet another huge financial hit.  While we don’t have as much financial support vested in those failing countries, we DO have plenty at stake.  The losses will hurt here almost as much as there.

In an earlier post, I highlighted the incredible financial plight facing the State of California and a quick check today shows no change in the Golden State’s status - other than it continues to deteriorate.

California is still spending more than it’s taking in, thus constantly adding to an already frightening debt of $371.5 billion dollars.  Californians are staring at over two million unemployed and twice that many now on food stamps.  The dwindling number of taxpayers is only adding to the loss of tax revenue, not to mention the run for the border by businesses large and small, which just adds many more to the unemployment and food stamp lines.

Of course, adding a 99 billion dollar high speed rail service should help alleviate some of that financial pressure.  NOT.

And I don’t mean to single out California for fiscal irresponsibility.  There are many states facing staggering deficits, which only adds more fuel to the federal money problems.

I guess the thing that’s most troubling about all of this negative news is the fact that very few states seem to be doing anything about it.  New Jersey seems to be back on the right track.  The deficit there is actually coming down...albeit slowly, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.  Unfortunately, New Jersey is just one of over twenty states with huge deficits.

Is there any good news to report?

Yes, there actually is.  The State of Utah, for example, has a nicely declining Debt To GDP ratio taking place and the employment picture seems to be looking better every day.  But, Utah is only one of a very few to make that claim.  

How’s your state doing?  Go to the US Debt Clock page and click on the “State Debt Clocks” button in the upper left corner and then select your state from the icons.

California Spending $99 Billion High Speed Rail And It Won’t Be Operational For At Least Ten Years, Minimum!

California Spending $99 Billion High Speed Rail And It Won’t Be Operational For At Least Ten Years, Minimum!

How Can A State So Close To Financial Ruin Be Allowed To Pursue Such Irresponsible Spending?

By Dell Hill

If the price of that new sports car you’ve been eyeing suddenly jumped from 33 thousand to 99 thousand dollars, you’d probably jump back in shock.  Just change the word “car” to “train” and the word “thousand” to “billion” and you’re looking at California’s latest effort to break the backs of every taxpayer in the State.

Ed Morrissey has this to say:
“The projected cost of the California high-speed rail project has tripled from the $33 billion estimate the state used to get voter approval for the necessary bonds — borrowing, in other words — in 2008, just three short years ago.  The state hasn’t even broken ground on the project, and even its former supporters are questioning the wisdom of putting a state that’s already sinking in red ink on the hook for a boondoggle that will require them to borrow almost all of the $99 billion cost and not have any service to show for it for more than a decade.

Don’t expect the Obama administration to show that kind of critical thinking, however:

The Obama administration vowed Thursday at a House committee meeting in Washington that it would not back down from its support of California’s bullet train project despite attacks from critics who alleged it is tainted by political corruption.

“We are not going to flinch on that support,” said Joseph Szabo, chief of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Szabo said that his agency had committed itself to provide $3.3 billion for a construction start next year in the Central Valley and that federal law prohibits any change of mind about where to begin building the first segment of the state’s high-speed rail system.

“The worst thing we could do is make obligations to folks and start to renege on our word,” Szabo told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Er, no.  The worst thing they could do is to waste taxpayer money on a boondoggle that, at least at this point, actually has no realistic final price.  The new estimate includes a risk of a 20% increase from the new $99 billion estimate based on “route options,” and that’s before any work has even been started.  Once ground breaks, the project will undoubtedly face unexpected setbacks and need for new cash infusions, a pattern seen on every public works project in memory.”

Dell’s Bottom Line:  California is so boned.  That’s all there is to it, folks.  And there doesn’t seem to be a single thing anyone can do about the on-going total stupidity that emanates from Sacramento.

Why the taxpayers allow this kind of foolish venture to even begin is beyond any form of rational thinking.  Where is the evidence that such a boondoggle would somehow be a benefit to the people?  How in the world does California plan to subsidize a train system for many years (perhaps forever) as it competes with other modes of transportation and fails to even be equal - say nothing about better - service than what’s already in place?

One look at the Amtrak rail system should be enough to convince anyone with half a brain that 1) You don’t need it, and 2) you can’t possibly afford it.  American taxpayers have subsidized Amtrak rail service every year it’s been in operation.

And then, as Ed points out, “..don’t forget that this fixed-track system, which for passenger service is a relic of the 19th century, will necessarily sit astride and parallel one of the largest fault lines in the US — the San Andreas fault, where most people believe California’s next big earthquake will originate.

The worst thing that the federal government can do is to be a poor steward of public capital, and that’s exactly the choice that the Obama administration and Jerry Brown are making by continuing this embarrassment of a boondoggle.”

“California, Here I Come!”?  

Businesses and individuals are leaving California in droves, and I don’t blame them.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is Obama Backing Down From Keystone Pipeline Veto Threat?

Is Obama Backing Down From Keystone Pipeline Veto Threat?

Tree Huggers Will Scream - Unions Will Cheer

By Dell Hill via Hot Air

In a capitulation that’s bound to anger his far-left wing political base, President Barack Obama appears ready to abandon his threat to veto the payroll tax cut extension bill, despite issuing a serious warning to that effect just days ago.  The President’s major qualm was the Republican backed rider concerning the Keystone oil pipeline project.

Today, the President’s press secretary refused to address several questions concerning that veto threat and it would appear he’ll either sign the bill in to law or allow it to become law without his signature.  Either way, it’s another big win for Republican leadership.

AllahPundit, writing at Hot Air, had these thoughts.

Good lord.  Not only did he promise to veto the payroll-tax-cut extension if the Keystone provision was attached, he did it at a press conference with Stephen Harper standing right next to him.  His own party must have realized the cave was coming, though, because Emanuel Cleaver was backing off the threat just two days after The One made it.  The politics were poisonous: Not only did it give the GOP an opening to seize the mantle of job creation, it pitted labor against Obama and the greens — and on top of all that, a veto would have meant torpedoing a tax break for the middle class, which he was never going to do with an election less than a year away.  (That’s also why he caved on the millionaire surtax, natch.)  Reminds me of the GOP’s predicament in the debt-ceiling standoff: O took a hostage he simply wasn’t prepared to shoot.”

“White House spokesman Jay Carney declined several opportunities to say that President Barack Obama would veto the tax cut if it contained language aimed at expediting the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project.  Obama last week said he would reject efforts to tie the pipeline to the payroll tax…

Carney told reporters he would not comment on what language regarding the pipeline would be acceptable to the president.

Senate Republicans think there are 14 Democrats willing to vote for the Keystone provision, which would be just enough to beat the filibuster.  The White House must think so too or else Carney wouldn’t suddenly be conspicuously noncommittal.  To be clear, the provision wouldn’t automatically approve the pipeline, it would merely force Obama to make a decision on it within the next 60 days.

But that’s no help to O: Remember, his goal here isn’t necessarily to cancel the pipeline but merely to postpone a decision until after the election so that he’s not forced yet to choose between labor and the greens.  Henry Waxman’s confident that if the provision passes, O will turn around and cancel it on grounds that Congress didn’t give him enough time to study the environmental effects.  Fine — let him make that decision under a media microscope and then spend the next 10 months defending it.  Can’t wait for the GOP attack ads showing glum union members sitting around with unused oil equipment.”

Dell’s Bottom Line:  I have to strongly believe that the President is getting a tremendous amount of pressure from within his own party on this one.  After all, elections are just around the corner and those Democrats running for re-election are going to have a tough enough time as it is, trying to justify supporting a President who’s run the country right into the ground.  Eliminating several thousand jobs isn’t the way to go about that.

Now add in the sour faces of thousands of union workers who would be in line to hold those jobs and you get a much clearer picture of how Obama painted himself into a corner.  He’s trying to keep the “greenies” happy and slapping the unions to do so.  Something had to give and the unions spend millions on elections.  It was a no-brainer, really.

Today's 'Toon from Tony!

Today's 'Toon from Tony!

The New World Trade Center Tower!

The New World Trade Center Tower

In Your Face Osama Ben Dead Now!

By Dell Hill

The New World Trade Center Tower

Click right here for several more great pics!

Dems Want FDA Regulation Of Flavored Cigars

Dems Want FDA Regulation Of Flavored Cigars

One Problem - FDA Doesn’t Regulate Cigar Industry...


By Dell Hill

Don’t these people have really important economic “stuff” to tend to?
Shown here is a package of White Owl Grape flavored cigars.
Swisher Sweets could be the next target of federal tobacco regulation.

A group of U.S. senators is urging the Food and Drug Administration to ban flavored cigars, claiming the "candy-like flavorings" increasingly are luring teens into the smoking habit -- even as they turn away from cigarettes.

"Cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals contained in cigarettes, and public health experts have warned that cigars are not safe alternatives to cigarettes," the senators wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
The letter comes as the FDA exerts newly granted authority to regulate tobacco products. The FDA in 2009 officially banned flavored cigarettes.  Despite some confusion at the time, the regulation did not end up applying to many flavored cigars and cigarillos like Swisher Sweets or Black & Milds, which are among the most popular cigar products in the country.

The FDA has shown an interest in regulating cigars, and the senators on Thursday urged the agency to close what they described as the "regulatory loopholes" allowing the flavored brands to stay on the shelves.

"Cigars with candy-like flavorings such as strawberry, watermelon, vanilla and chocolate attract kids to smoking and help hook them on this addictive habit," they wrote. The letter was signed by Sens. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Dell’s Bottom Line:  Sooooo, if you’re going to go so far as to ban flavored cigars, why not ban ALL cigars?  You’re saying cigar smoking is “deadly”, but just want to get your foot in the door by banning flavored cigars?

I see.

Don’t you @$$ holes have anything better to do???

Control Of The Senate Is Critical, Too!

Control Of The Senate Is Critical, Too!

Maybe If I Make The Headline BIG They’ll Wake Up!

By Dell Hill

Many millions of people are sharply focused on the upcoming presidential election...and that’s a good thing.

Those same millions of people haven’t spent two minutes discussing...or even thinking about...the 33 seats in the United States Senate that will also be decided next November.  That’s a bad thing.  A very bad thing.

Every minute that’s spent ignoring the race to control the United States Senate is another very valuable minute for Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.  Think about it, people.  Start talking up those key senatorial races.  If you don’t, you really have no complaint if Obama is defeated, but control of the Senate remains in Harry Reid’s hands.

33 senate seats will be decided.  Six Democrats have announced their retirement, while two Republicans have done so.  Fifteen Democrats are running for re-election, and eight Republicans, likewise.  The remaining incumbents haven’t announced their intentions, as yet.

That’s fully one-third of the senate and most people don’t even know who the candidates are running for those offices.

One good place to start boning up on these critical senate races can be accessed by clicking right here.

Review the entire entry.  Locate your state and learn about who’s doing what.  It’s time to get in the game, folks.  While it’s important to discuss presidential politics and beat each other senseless over each of the candidates, it’s just as important to get the ball rolling on the senate races that are just as critical.

I say again;  if Barack Obama is defeated, but control of the senate remains controlled by Democrats, you’ll see little or nothing changed. Every Republican move will be stopped dead in its tracks by Democrats in the Senate and obviously there will absolutely no chance of ever winning an impeachment or other punitive action the House might choose to take.

I’m not asking you to ignore the presidential race.  What I’m asking is for everyone to start thinking about, talking about and getting involved in elections that are just as important.

This blog will be highlighting various senate races between now and election day.  House of Representative races, too, for that matter.  If you’d like me to dig into your state’s senate race, just drop a note in the comment box and, as a reward for your interest, I’ll move your state’s races to the top of my list.