Saturday, December 29, 2012

The planned re-election of Obama, revolutionary style

It was not the proverbial 3:00 a.m. phone call, but close enough. And it was not made to the White House, but to my house, which is not white, nor is it in DC. It was about 2:30 a.m. on 25 April 2012, and the call itself was somewhat unexpected. I had anticipated the telephone call from my DHS insider much earlier the previous day, but our schedules didn’t synch up. I was traveling on an investigative assignment, while my source was in meetings all day. I had just fallen asleep, and was slumbering no more than 20 minutes when the phone rang.

n most households, a ringing phoneat that time of night causes concern for everyone who hears it. In my household, it seems to surprise only my surly, 140 pound light-sleeping German Shepherd. He let out an objective grunt as I stepped over him to take the call in another room. It was “Rosebud,” the code name given my insider source.

About Rosebud

Just a little bit here about my source and his “super-secret code name.” I’ve known this government insider since 1979, when he first became a municipal patrol officer. He took a job in a bigger city and had a very successful run as a cop. Before retirement and after the events of 9/11, he was tapped by the feds, where he worked in various capacities under the umbrella of DHS. He worked his way up, and suddenly found himself in what he terms the inner sanctum of the “TEC” building. TEC, he explains, is an acronym for what he calls “The Estrogen Challenged,” which houses the upper echelon of the Department of Homeland Security. I’ll leave it at that.

112th Congress Most Unproductive Since 1940s?

WASHINGTON -- As 2012 comes to a close, the 112th Congress is set to go down in American history as the most unproductive session since the 1940s.
According to a Huffington Post review of all the bills that hit President Barack Obama's desk this session, Obama has signed 219 bills passed by the 112th Congress into law. With less than a week to go in the year, there are currently another 20 bills pending presidential action. In comparison, the last Congress passed 383 bills, while the one before it passed 460.
The 104th Congress (1995-1996) currently holds the ignominious distinction of being the least productive session of Congress, according to the U.S. House Clerk's Office, which has records going back to 1947. Just 333 bills became law during that two-year period, meaning the 112th Congress needs to send nearly 100 more bills to Obama's desk in the next few days if it wants to avoid going down in history -- an unlikely prospect, considering that both chambers are squarely focused on averting the "fiscal cliff" before the new year.
The 112th Congress has done far less than the 80th Congress (1947-1948), which President Harry Truman infamously dubbed the "Do-Nothing Congress." Those lawmakers passed 906 bills that became law.
While Obama has signed several pieces of large, consequential legislation in the past two years -- such as sanctions on Iran and the National Defense Authorization Act, allowing the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects without charge -- many of the bills passed by Congress have been small and noncontroversial.
At least 40 bills, including ones awaiting Obama's signature, concerned the renaming of post offices or other public buildings. Another six dealt with commemorative coins.
Meanwhile, significant pieces of legislation that have traditionally received bipartisan support -- such


One out of every $20 spent in a new bill to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy will go to "non-relief-related pork," says American Majority Action Spokesman Ron Meyer in an email to Breitbart News.
On Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a $60.4 billion bill that contains expenditures for areas that were unaffected by the storm, including $2 million roof repairs for Smithsonian Institution museums, $150 million for Alaskan fisheries disasters, and $58 million in taxpayer dollars to plant trees on private property in areas where Sandy never touched down.  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) attempted to remove the $150 million fisheries “pork” spending from the bill, but his amendment was defeated.  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tried to strike down the tree subsidies but his amendment failed as well.
“It’s disgraceful to load a bill like this that has good motives, that has good intentions that is going to help people, with pork,” said Mr. Meyer on Fox Business.  “Why are you putting your own projects in it? It’s disgraceful.  It’s typical of Washington.”
Particularly troubling, says Mr. Meyer, is the fact that 85% of the bill’s allocations do not kick in until after 2014.  “That’s not immediate relief,” says Meyer.
The bill passed the Senate on a 61-33 vote.  Twelve Republicans supported the bill.

EDITORIAL: Obamacare’s costly new year Taxpayers to start feeling law’s unhealthy effects

Illustration: Obamacare by John Camejo for The Washington TimesThe re-election of President Obama means Uncle Sam is only going to grow larger. As the new year arrives, Americans are likely to see with their own eyes the consequence of their choice of chief executive as health care costs escalate thanks to Obamacare.

Provisions of the law that take effect in the new year will reveal the true price tag of the president’s signature health care system in the form of five new taxes. Starting Jan. 1, a 2.3 percent medical device tax will be imposed on the miracles of modern medicine such as heart pacemakers, stents, prosthetic joints and diagnostic scanners. The levy will apply to sales, not profits, so startup firms that might be just breaking even could be pushed into the red by Obamacare. With 80 percent of medical device companies employing fewer than 50 people, the tax is a disincentive for small firms to stay in business — exactly the opposite of the effect needed to jump-start the nation’s flagging economy.

Obamacare will raise the threshold for the tax deductibility of medical bills from 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income to 10 percent, making it harder to write off the cost of health care. Pre-tax flexible spending accounts, which 24 million consumers rely on to pay for medical bills and currently have no federally imposed limit, will be capped at $2,500. These two provisions mean a greater share of families’ income must be devoted to health care, contrary to the promises Democrats made when selling the plan to the public in 2010.

Via: Washington Times

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New York newspaper to list more gun permit holders after uproar

A small portion of guns that were turned in by their owners are stacked inside a truck at a gun buyback held by the Los Angeles Police Department in Los Angeles, California, December 26, 2012 REUTERS/David McNew
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A suburban New York newspaper that sparked an uproar among gun enthusiasts by publishing names and addresses of residents holding pistol permits is now planning to publish even more identities of permit-toting locals.
Further names and addresses will be added as they become available to a map originally published on December 24 in the White Plains, New York-based Journal News, the newspaper said.
The original map listed thousands of pistol permit holders in suburban Westchester and Rockland counties just north of New York City.
Along with an article entitled "The gun owner next door: What you don't know about the weapons in your neighborhood," the map was compiled in response to the December 14 shooting deaths of 26 children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut, editors of the Gannett Corp.-owned newspaper said.
The next batch of names will be permit holders in suburban Putnam County, New York, where the county clerk told the newspaper it is still compiling information.
Some 44,000 people are licensed to own pistols in the three counties, the newspaper said. Owners of rifles and shotguns do not need permits, the newspaper said.
The publication prompted outrage, particularly on social media sites, among gun owners.
"Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves?" Rob Seubert of Silver Spring, Maryland, posted on the newspaper's web site. "What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are."
Republican state Senator Greg Ball of Patterson, New York, said he planned to introduce legislation to keep permit information private except to prosecutors and police.
A similar bill that he introduced earlier as an Assemblyman failed in the state Assembly.
"The asinine editors at the Journal News have once again gone out of their way to place a virtual scarlet letter on law abiding firearm owners throughout the region," Ball wrote on his Senate web site.
The newspaper's editor and vice president of news, CynDee Royle, earlier in the week defended the decision to list the permit holders.

Sheriff Arpaio Putting Armed Posse In Schools

In response to a nearby county’s announcement that it will arm teachers and principals to prevent a Newtown, Conn.-style massacre at its schools, America’s most famous sheriff said he will send members of his armed posse to schools around his county.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he would send members of his posse to protect the 50 schools that are located in areas that his department is singularly responsible for protecting, according to KTVK-TV in Phoenix.

“I have the authority to mobilize private citizens and fight crime in this county,” Arpaio said. “[Politicians] are going to be talking about the guns now for years. But I have certain resources at my disposal and I'm not going to talk about it. I'm going to do it.”

Arpaio created the 3,000-strong posse during the 1993 holiday season in response to violent incidents at malls. There haven’t been any violent acts in malls there since the volunteer police force was created.

Posse members will be sent to the 50 or so schools that are in areas the Sheriff’s Office patrols, a response to nearby Pinal County officials saying they’d like to arm teachers and principals.

Arpaio said he’s a fan of school resource officers and though funding has been cut in recent years for their presence, he thinks putting them back in schools will make them safer.

“I support arming cops in the schools," Arpaio said. "If you have a cop that's armed you don't need a teacher that's armed."

Via: Newsmax

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Friday, December 28, 2012


If Congress fails to pass the Farm Bill before January 1st, milk prices could rise to $8 a gallon.

America could go over the “milk cliff” because of an arcane 1949 provisionthat could more than double the price of milk:
At the heart of the trouble is an old provision designed to create a floor for how much dairy farmers are paid for milk — a kind of minimum wage. The formula for calculating that price, however, is based on assumptions that are a century old, predating the improvements in dairy farming. That old formula, if not replaced by a new farm bill, would push prices higher.
The dusty law was implemented “as a poison pill to get Congress to pass a farm bill by scaring lawmakers with the prospect of higher support prices for milk and other agriculture products,” says Montana University Professor Vincent Smith.
Some conservatives like Charles Krauthammer say going over the milk cliff would “actually be a good idea”:
I do think if we went over the milk cliff it would actually be a good idea. [If] people actually saw the milk price double, it would be less abstract than watching a debt clock. They would finally understand that we have the insane laws, that acquire barnacles over the decades. And the farm laws are the worst. They are all kind of pressure, special interest favors, pay offs which make no economic sense. I'd like to wipe them out and start all over again, and it would be good if the law expired. People would actually be awakened to how insane our system is and how much we really need tax reform. It wouldn't be an abstraction, it would be real.
On Thursday, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to “consider other legal authorities that are available to mitigate the impact of the 1949 Act.”
Presently, a gallon of milk costs $3.65 per gallon.

Graham: Obama's Cliff Meeting is Political Theater

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders were to meet on Friday for the first time since November with no sign of progress in resolving their differences over the federal budget and low expectations for a fiscal cliff deal before Jan. 1.

Instead, members of Congress are increasingly looking at the period immediately after the Dec. 31 deadline to come up with a retroactive fix to avoid the steep tax hikes and sharp spending cuts that economists have said could plunge the country into another recession.

"It's feeling very much to me like an optical meeting than a substantive meeting," said Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, noting that it was not a sign of urgency to set a meeting for mid-afternoon with a deadline just days away.

"Any time you announce a meeting publicly in Washington, it's usually for political theater purposes," Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Thursday on Fox News.

"When the president calls congressional leaders to the White House, it's all political theater or they've got a deal. My bet is all political theater," said Graham, adding that he did not believe an agreement could be reached before the deadline.

With taxes on all Americans set to rise when rates established under former President George W. Bush expire on Dec. 31, lawmakers would be able to come back in January and take a more politically palatable vote to cut some of the tax rates.

U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 0.48 percent as investors fretted about the lack of certainty.

But some in the market were resigned to Washington going beyond the New Year's Day deadline, as long as a serious agreement on deficit reduction comes out of the talks in early January.

"Regardless of whether the government resolves the issues now, any deal can easily be retroactive. We're not as concerned with Jan. 1 as the market seems to be," said Richard Weiss, a Mountain View, California-based senior money manager at American Century Investments.

The new factor in the mix was involvement by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who held conversations with Obama this week and said he expected a new proposal from the president that he would consider.

Via: Newsmax

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Store Says NO To HHS Mandate

In November a federal judge ruled Christian-owned Hobby Lobby must pay for abortifacient drugs and birth control for their employees.
This week Hobby Lobby announced it will defy the Obama HHS mandate and risk potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
Life News reported:
Following a decision by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denying Hobby Lobby’s request for an exemption from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate, the Christian retail company said it will defy the mandate.
As LifeNews reported, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has refused to act favorably on an emergency appeal Hobby Lobby stores filed to stop enforcement of the HHS mandate against it.
After a federal court denied a request to temporarily stop enforcement of the abortion pill mandate against the Christian-operated business Hobby Lobby, it took its HHS mandate lawsuit to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor denied its request to block the mandate and the millions of dollars in fines it will be subjected to starting January 1 for not complying…
…Now, an attorney for Hobby Lobby says it will defy the mandate and potentially risk potential fines of up to $1.3 million per day.
Kyle Duncan, an attorney for the pro-life legal group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement that hobby Lobby doesn’t plan to offer its employees insurance that would cover the drug while its lawsuit is pending.
“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
Via: Gateway Pundit

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Most of the new healthcare taxes will fall on high income earners, but the middle class and medical device industry will also take a hit.

Directly impacting taxpayers is the Medicare tax hike on high income wage earners, higher taxes on investment income, lower contributions to flexible spending accounts and a higher threshold for deducting medical expenses from income tax. 
The Affordable Health Care Act is funded through the Medicare taxes of high income earners. These taxes hit individuals earning over $200,000, and joint filers earning more than $250,000.  Medicare taxes will go up by .9% for these folks and they will be hit with an additional 3.8% on unearned income.
Also hit will be folks who earn a greater share of their income from investments. Even if their regular income isn't high enough for the additional taxes, their investment income would be hit with an additional 4% tax. The consequence will most likely be less investment.
The cost of the Affordable Healthcare Act will not just hit the "rich." Two new taxes will affect the middle-class. Taxpayers used to be able to deduct health care expenses that total more than 7.5% of their income. Starting in 2013, that threshold will rise to 10%. This deduction is most often utilized by lower income earners with high medical bills.
According to Lindsey Buchholz of the H&R Block Tax Institute, about 10 million taxpayers deduct around $80 billion in health care expenses a year.
The second of the two middle class taxes is a limit on flexible spending accounts. Previously there was no limit to what an individual could contribute in pre-tax dollars, but now contributions will be limited to $2500.  These two provisions are expected to raise $40 billion of the next 2 years.
The medical device tax, and addition 2.9% tax on medical devices, is expected to raise $29 Billion over the next ten years.  Unlike other taxes that can be passed on to the consumer, Medicare is the largest purchaser of medical devices; Medicare doesn't function in a free market where companies are able to pass the costs on to consumers. The industry will have no choice but to absorb the costs by cutting the work force or reducing their output.
Happy New Year!

Lawmakers huddle as options dwindle for tackling fiscal crisis

President Obama and congressional leaders were facing a rapidly shrinking set of options for averting the fiscal crisis as they met Friday afternoon, with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell warning they are "running out of time." 

Just a few weeks ago, lawmakers had high hopes for a "grand bargain" that would narrow the deficit, overhaul the tax code and set the country on a course to curb its entitlement spending -- all while averting massive tax hikes and spending cuts set to hit Jan. 1. 

Having squandered that time, lawmakers -- and taxpayers -- will now be lucky if they can just avert the tax hikes.

Obama and the top four congressional leaders were meeting Friday afternoon at the White House, along with Vice President Biden and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. At the meeting, Obama was expected to pitch a "Plan C" that's essentially a version of the scaled-back proposal he floated a week ago before leaving for Hawaii. 

Under the proposal, lawmakers would extend the current tax rates for the "middle class." What income level defines middle class remains up for debate -- Obama had previously pushed for tax hikes on families making over $250,000 and later upped that threshold to $400,000. House Speaker John Boehner, in a proposal that died in the House last week, called for tax hikes only on those making over $1 million. 

Beyond the tax rate issue, Obama wants to extend long-term jobless benefits for 2 million people set to lose them at the end of the year, and perhaps agree to some spending cuts that could short-circuit the automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit the Pentagon next month. 

Via: Fox News

Obama Orders Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he'll now make $231,900 per year
Members of Congress, from the House and Senate, also will receive a little bump, as their annual salary will go from $174,000 to 174,900. Leadership in Congress, including the speaker of the House, will likewise get an increase.

Here's the list of new wages, as attached to President Obama's executive order:

"A new executive order has been issued providing for a new pay schedule beginning 'on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning after March 27, 2013,'" reports "The pay raise will generally be about 1/2 of 1%."

Jeryl Bier points to an example of the pay increase for average government executives:

Via: Weekly Standard

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hey, let’s elect a new Speaker from outside the House

Ed’s headline in the Greenroom for this piece (written by the co-author of “The Republicans Are the Problem”) tells you all you need to know about what an unserious bit of trolling it is, but I’m oddly comforted to see it show up on WaPo’s op-ed page. It’s proof positive that even the most celebrated newspapers aren’t immune from having to scrounge for content in the news desert between Christmas and New Year’s. Coming tomorrow, presumably: “Let’s repeal term limits for Obama.”
Still, it’s worth writing about for two reasons. One: Conservative dissatisfaction with Boehner is real. We may well end up with a new Speaker on January 3. No harm in thinking about alternatives. Two: It’s a useful prism through which to consider the leadership void in the GOP right now.
What if Boehner doesn’t survive? Go to Article I, Section 2: The Constitution does not say that the speaker of the House has to be a member of the House. In fact, the House can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the post. Every speaker has been a representative from the majority party. But these days, the old pattern clearly is not working…
The best way out of this mess would be to find someone from outside the House to transcend the differences and alter the dysfunctional dynamic we are all enduring. Ideally, that individual would transcend politics and party — but after David Petraeus’s stumble, we don’t have many such candidates. It would have to be a partisan Republican.
One option would be Jon Huntsman. By any reasonable standard, he is a conservative Republican: As governor of Utah, he supported smaller government, lower taxes and balanced budgets, and he opted consistently for market-based solutions. As a presidential candidate, he supported positions that were in the wheelhouse of Ronald Reagan. But a Speaker Huntsman would look beyond party and provide a different kind of leadership. He would drive a hard bargain with the president but would aim for a broad majority from the center out, not from the right fringe in. He could not force legislation onto the floor, but he would have immense moral suasion.
Another option would be Mitch Daniels, the longtime governor of Indiana and a favorite on the right. Daniels has shown a remarkable ability to work with Democrats and Republicans, and he is a genuine fiscal conservative — meaning he does not worship at the shrine of tax cuts if they deepen deficits, and he would look for the kind of balanced approach to the fiscal problem put forward by Simpson-Bowles, ­Rivlin-Domenici and the Gang of Six.
Via: Hot Air
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Will 'Fiscal Cliff' Accelerate Millionaire Deaths?

Pigeon Productions SA | Riser | Getty Images
Because the "fiscal cliff" will not stop for death, it looks as if death's carriage may make a "kindly" stop to pick up some American millionaires this year, to paraphrase Emily Dickinson.
In 2010, after a year in which the estate tax was zeroed out altogether, Congress passed a law that set the estate tax at 35 percent and exempted all estates under $5 million, adjusted for inflation. That law expires in January 2013 when the exemption will fall to $1 million and the tax will rise to 55 percent.
Many families are faced with a stark proposition. If the life of an elderly wealthy family member extends into 2013, the tax bills will be substantially higher. An estate that could bequest $3 million this year will leave just $1.9 million after taxes next year. Shifting a death from January to December could produce $1.1 million in tax savings.
It may seem incredible to contemplate pulling the plug on grandma to save tax dollars. While we know that investors will sell stocks to avoid rising capital gains taxes, accelerating the death of a loved one seems at least a bit morbid—perhaps even evil. Will people really make life and death decisions based on taxes? Do we don our green eye shades when it comes to something this serious?

House, Senate Leaders Frozen On Fiscal Talks

The rhetoric heated up Thursday as time on the clock wound down for a fiscal crisis deal, with lawmakers trickling back into Washington and no plan of action in place for averting the tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to hit next week. 

President Obama returned Thursday afternoon from vacation in Hawaii, as the Senate gaveled into session for unrelated business. House leaders announced that members will return late Sunday – but that leaves just one full day to act on any legislation before the deadline passes.

Rumors were flying Thursday afternoon about last-ditch efforts to craft some sort of a scaled-back package that can shield most Americans from the more than $500 billion in tax hikes scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

But with hope fading, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on the floor that “it looks like” the nation is going to miss the deadline.

Reid also put all the blame on House Speaker John Boehner, likening him to a dictator and claiming he was putting his speakership before the good of the country.   

"John Boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing," Reid said. "He's waiting until Jan. 3 to get re-elected as speaker before he gets serious with negotiations because he has so many people ... that won't follow what he wants."
Via: Fox News

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Obama Golfs with Buddy Busted for Soliciting Prostitute

President Barack Obama is in Hawaii for Christmas. Right now, he's golfing with White House chef Sam Kass, staffer Marvin Nicholson, and friends Mike Ramos and Bobby Titcomb, according to the White House pool report.
Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu last year for soliciting a prostitute.
As ABC reported at the time of Titcomb's arrest:
One of President Barack Obama's oldest friends has been arrested in Honolulu on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute.
Robert "Bobby" Titcomb was one of four men arrested in an undercover prostitution sting operation Monday evening and later released on $500 bail, according to Honolulu police.
Titcomb, 49, attended Punahou School with Obama in their hometown of Honolulu in the 1970s. The president graduated in 1979, a year before Titcomb.
Since their time together in school they have remained close. Titcomb has visited the White House on numerous occasions to see the president, most recently during Obama's August birthday when he was included in a round of golf with Obama's closest friends at the links of Andrews Air Force Base. Afterwards Titcomb, among other friends, joined the president for a barbeque at the White House.
The fivesome is golfing at at the Kaneohe Clipper course at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
The Obamas are in Hawaii for Christmas.

WSJ: Obama Threatened Boehner With Using Inauguration, SOTU Address To Blame GOP

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 21: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on fiscal cliff at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called on congressional leaders to work out a solution on the fiscal cliff over the Christmas break. He also said "becaues we didn't get this done, I will see you next week." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Obama has threatened House Speaker John Boehner that if no deal is struck on the “fiscal cliff,” he will use his Inaugural address and State of the Union speech next month to blame Republicans,according to the Wall Street Journal.
In the Journal’s behind the scenes account of how fiscal cliff talks between Obama and Boehner hit a wall, what comes across is that the president is emboldened by his reelection and eager to extract more concessions from Boehner than he was willing to accept during last summer’s debt limit talks.
This excerpt from the piece is revealing:
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
Via: Washington Examiner

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Advertising Guru Sells Hamptons Estate: ‘I don’t Want My Money Going To Obama’

He got taxed out of town.
Legendary advertising guru Jerry Della Femina is the latest Hamptons fat cat to unload his East End spread at the precipice of the dreaded fiscal cliff, The Post has learned.
The flamboyant Madison Avenue guru has sold his 8,500-square-foot estate — the host of many legendary Hamptons bashes — for $25 million, and blames his flight squarely on President Obama’s fiscal policies.
“I want the proceeds of this sale to go to my kids and my grandkids,” said the man behind iconic ad campaigns for Meow Mix and Absolut Vodka. “I don’t want my money going to Obama, and that’s what’s going to happen in the New Year. That’s why I sold right now, that’s why I wanted to get this done.”
TAXING DECISION: A Hamptons party at the oceanfront mansion of Jerry Della Femina in happier times — before Obama’s “class warfare.”
Doug Kuntz
TAXING DECISION: A Hamptons party at the oceanfront mansion of Jerry Della Femina in happier times — before Obama’s “class warfare.”
The listing broker for the East Hampton oceanfront property, Corcoran’s Susan Breitenbach, declined to comment on the megabucks deal.
Sources said that the buyers are a New York based family.
Della Femina’s buzzer-beating sale is just one of many big-ticket closings sweeping the Hamptons as affluent homeowners seek to move their blue-chip digs before taking a capital-gains beating in the coming year.
A fall off the fiscal cliff could trigger a 40 percent rise in taxes on short-term investments and a 5 percent spike in taxes on long-term capital gains.
Della Femina said that brokers are in the midst of a frenzied sell-off as the fiscal cliff approaches.
“I’m basically the loser in Obama’s class warfare,” he fumed. “That’s what this boils down to. If Romney was elected, we would have had our parties in East Hampton this year.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

EPA cries ‘uncle’ in face of lawsuit, withdraws threat against W.Va. chicken farmer

The Environmental Protection Agency is backing off from a controversial lawsuit that brought farming groups out of the woodwork to defend a West Virginia farmer against charges that chicken droppings violated the Clean Water Act because rains could carry them into a stream located two football fields away.
The case mobilized agriculture organizations against what they saw as bureaucratic bullying that could impact thousands of other farmers. Green groups saw it as an opportunity to give the EPA tighter control over what they have derisively called “factory farms.”
The EPA said in November 2011 that Lois Alt and her husband needed a Clean Water Act discharge permit because rainwater on their farm could come into contact with dust, feathers or small amounts of chicken manure that strayed out of the large barns where they raise their flocks. Rainwater at Eight Is Enough Farms empties into Mudlick Run, a stream 200 yards away from the edge of the property.
The agency had warned the Alts that they could be fined up to $37,500 — per day — if they failed to apply for the permit, and another $37,500 per day if the government moved to enforce the Clean Water Act against them. But in a Dec. 13 letter, the EPA told their attorney it had withdrawn last year’s order entirely.
Alt told the agency in February that she intended to ignore the order. She sued the federal government in June, insisting that the threat was “arbitrary, capricious, not in accordance with the law, and in excess of the EPA’s jurisdiction and authority.”
The EPA’s threat was an attempt to define rainwater on livestock farms as a pollution “point source” under the Clean Water Act if it comes into contact with animal waste.
While the Clean Water Act considers animal barns themselves pollution point sources in some cases — if manure spills and seeps into rivers, lakes or streams, for instance — a sweeping 1972 amendment to the law specifically said point sources do “not include agricultural stormwater discharges.”
Via: Daily Caller

The ‘Reagan 13’ give Americans Something to Believe In

In the astroturfed Christmas Card Version of Obama’s 20-day Hawaiian holiday, (Michelle and daughters already there, but starting for Barry this weekend) the mental vision strived for is the regime and its staffers running happily, like the Moon-doggies of old, into the surf.

With Axelrod doing the astroturfing,  who needs Hollywood, and if Gidget can go Hawaiian, why not a lugubrious Valerie or Michelle?

The astroturf version of the Obamas’ $4 million holiday in Hawaii is set to demoralize and depress the proletariat.  It vividly underlines how the rich and powerful get to spend long, care free days kissed by the sun, while the left behind average citizenry of the winter-bound Northeast get to spend theirs slogging through the slush.

The Obamas and their traveling road show can, and do, holiday whenever they want. The real reason for ‘Obama’s Vacation From Four Years of Vacation’ is a strategy session to savor driving the last nails into the coffin lid of “the home of the brave”.

If Obama was power drunk before his reelection, imagine his euphoric mental state as he heads out for Hawaii today.

Confident with the four years the November 6 election grants him, Obama is planning an airtight new world for what he sees as his hapless, can’t-do-anything-to-stop-him constituents.

In the coming new world shaped by the Marxism-obsessed Obama, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod et al, there will be no room for competition.  It goes without saying that there’s never any room for competition in anti-Free Market, Marxist set ups.Confident with the four years the November 6 election grants him, Obama is planning an airtight new world for what he sees as his hapless, can’t-do-anything-to-stop-him constituents.

In the coming new world shaped by the Marxism-obsessed Obama, Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod et al, there will be no room for competition.  It goes without saying that there’s never any room for competition in anti-Free Market, Marxist set ups.

Via: Canada Free Press

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