Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dems Propose Outrageous Minimum Wage Hike

Pelosi Democrats Dummies SC
Though it sounds good in theory, many conservatives view minimum wage laws as an impediment to the free market system. Nevertheless, Congress continues to demand that employers pay unskilled workers at an increasingly high rate.

Since 2007, the national minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour. A group of Democrat legislators recently advanced plans to address the issue, including a proposal by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin that would raise the hourly rate by almost 40 percent to a staggering $10.10.

Furthermore, wages would be directly influenced by the rate of inflation under Harkin’s proposal.
Not only would this cut deeply into the already thin profit margins of small businesses; it would force companies to make cutbacks and curtail hiring in many cases.

The Democrat senators met Thursday to kick around a few ideas, emerging from the conference with plenty of reasons to further besiege the private sector.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin called a rate spike “long overdue” as fellow senators touted the fact Barack Obama is on board with the initiative.

Report: IRS refunded $4B to identity thieves

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general’s report released Thursday.
The IRS sent a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds went to a lone address in Shanghai.
In the U.S., more fraudulent returns went to Miami than any other city. Other top destinations were Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Houston.
The IRS has stepped up efforts to fight identity theft, but thieves are getting more aggressive, said the report by J. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration. Last year, the IRS stopped more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds from going to identity thieves, compared with $8 billion the year before.
“Identity theft continues to be a serious problem with devastating consequences for taxpayers and an enormous impact on tax administration,” George said in a statement. The fraud “erodes taxpayer confidence in the federal tax system.”
Thieves often steal Social Security numbers from people who don’t have to file tax returns, including the young, the old and people who have died, the report said. In other cases, thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns before the legitimate taxpayer files.
The IRS, which takes pride in issuing quick refunds, often sends them out before employers are required to file forms documenting wages, the report said.
“The constantly evolving tactics used by scammers to commit identity theft continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS, and we take this issue very seriously,” the IRS said in a statement.

“The IRS has a comprehensive and aggressive identity theft strategy that focuses on preventing refund fraud, investigating these crimes and assisting taxpayers victimized by it.”
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Yahoo Finance Writer Needles Boehner, Ryan: ‘Obamacare Still Isn’t Killing Jobs’

Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman wrote a column arguing “Obamacare Still Isn’t Killing Jobs,” playing off the Friday employment numbers and picking on Speaker John Boehner and Paul Ryan.

“Since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010, Republicans have claimed repeatedly that it would be a job-killing monstrosity, with ample evidence of its withering effect on the economy by now. “The health-care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy,” a 2011 report sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan and other Republicans declared. Well maybe, someday, but in the law’s first month of existence it appeared to have no impact whatsoever on jobs.” Newman even argued Obamacare could create jobs by spurring people to quit jobs they were only keeping for the health benefits:
Obamacare could help create jobs, too, and not just for customer-service representatives taking calls from frustrated health-care shoppers unable to navigate the bug-filled Obamacare website. One benefit of the law is it will free some people from sticking with jobs they don’t like simply to get health-care benefits, since they’ll now be able to buy policies priced at a group rate — similar to the rates big companies pay — on one of the public exchanges. That could persuade some people to ditch jobs they’re poorly suited for so they can do more-productive work someplace else, or even start their own business.
Newman’s Twitter bio includes the word (and punctuation)  “Centrist!” You could have fooled people with this column. You’d be looking for the Obama logo.
Via: Newsbusters

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MSNBC Guest Calls Sarah Palin the ‘Jar Jar Binks’ of the GOP

The Ed Show’s guest host Michael Eric Dysont ook advantage of the news that Sarah Palin will be speaking at this weekend’s Iowa Faith and Freedom Conference to invite comedian John Fugelsang on the MSNBC show to give his take on her motives and generally mock her presidential prospects.
Fugelsang suspected that Palin primary goal is to “flog” her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas “She’s getting in on the War on Christmas bandwagon about five years after Bill O’reilly made it trendy.” While he said it’s easy to “scoff” at Palin and call her “irrelevant,” there’s a reason why the MSNBC hosts were dedicating an entire segment to her.
“She does for the GOP what Jar Jar Binks did for Star Wars Episode 1,” Fugelsang continued. “She distracts the easily amused from a total lack of narrative.” At the same time, he said, “She is still a king-maker and everybody wants her endorsement.”
The comedian went on to predict that Palin will “be the first-ever major party ticket candidate to one day host a cosmetics infomercial.” But for now, he said, “her job is it to keep herself in the media eye, she’s very good at doing that. She is going to talk about the War on Christmas and make that her new pet issue with the book that somebody else wrote. And that should be pretty effective. Telling people who are the religious majority they’re an abused minority will never make you go broke.”
Fugelsang ended his Palin-centered rant by calling her “a hero to gullible conservatives, smart liberals, and all comedians. So, I hope she runs.”
Watch video below, via MSNBC:
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Soda Wars and the Nanny State

It’s one thing to tell people they should eat their vegetables, but it’s quite another to ban everything but carrots and broccoli from the dinner table.
But for many of state’s lawmakers, making rules about what Californians can and can’t eat is just part of their job description, convinced as they are that politicians know what’s best for us.
In San Francisco, the city is gearing up for a soda pop war on next year’s ballot, with Supervisor Scott Weiner calling for a two-cents-per-ounce tax on all sugary drinks. San Francisco being San Francisco, about the only complaint now being heard is from another supervisor who has his own plan for a soda tax and different ideas about how the estimated $31million in annual revenues should be spent.
If this sounds familiar, it should. A year ago, Richmond tried to put a penny-an-ounce tax on soda, only to see the ballot measure go down by a two-to-one margin, thanks to voters whose outrage was fueled by more than $2 million in campaign contributions from the American Beverage Association.
A similar measure in El Monte was walloped in a June vote.
And don’t forget that San Francisco and Santa Clara County also have banned McDonalds from putting toys in any Happy Meals that contain more than the limits they set on calories and salt.
In each case, lawmakers argued that they were just doing what was needed to stem the rising tide of childhood obesity, forgetting – or perhaps ignoring – the fact that children have parents whose job it is, morally and legally, to see to their well being.
Unless the politicians are planning to send every parent with an overweight kid to the slammer for child abuse, maybe they should back off and let those parents decide whether their child can munch the occasional French fry or, gasp, drink a Coke.

Michigan senate to probe unions' right-to-work obstruction

Michigan State Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof announced Nov. 7 creation of a new legislative committee to investigate allegations of union obstructionism against the state's new right-to-work law.
The law prohibits requiring employees to join unions or pay dues to one as a condition of employment. Michigan unions are still finding ways to make it extremely difficult for workers to take advantage of the law.
At least eight teachers are suing the Michigan Education Association over its drop-out process, which only allows workers to opt-out one month out of the year, among other conditions.
Meekhof said the new Michigan Senate Compliance and Accountability Committee was created to "examine the implementation and application" of state laws. MEA's actions are first on its list.
He said: "Allowing tactics like those being employed by the MEA to stand sends the wrong message to Michigan workers.
"It sends the wrong message to Michigan job providers. It sends the wrong message to workers or businesses looking to locate in Michigan."
Via: Washington Examiner
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Navy Christens Next Generation of Aircraft Carrier: USS Gerald R. Ford

The American navy on Saturday christened a new aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, a colossal ship plagued by equally huge cost overruns, at a time of growing budget pressures.

The daughter of the former US president, Susan Ford Bales, broke the traditional champagne bottle at a ceremony in the port of Newport News, Virginia, near the sprawling Norfolk naval base.

"May God bless and watch over the USS Gerald R. Ford, those who built her and the men and women who will sail her into harm's way," a teary Bales said moments before shattering the bottle against the hulking ship on a sparkling autumn morning.

A parade of dignitaries, friends and relatives of the late president spoke at the christening, which was also a celebration of the life of Ford, the 38th US president.

"He was a man of courage and solid values, and I know the men and women who sail this ship will bring those same qualities in their service to our nation," former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told the audience.

Other speakers included Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin.

The pomp belied problems with the project, however, which is only 70 percent complete, with delivery postponed until February 2016.

And faced with automatic budget cuts and the need to fund other programs, including submarines, the Navy's chief of staff, Admiral Jonathan Greenert has warned the service may have to delay completing the Ford "by two years."

The move would force the United States to rely on a fleet of 10 existing carriers and means "lowering surge capacity" in a crisis, he added.

US law requires the military to maintain 11 aircraft carriers, but at the moment only 10 are available since the retirement of the USS Enterprise in 2012.

The current carrier fleet, launched between 1975 to 2009, are Nimitz-class ships, but the Ford, or CVN 78, represents a new class of carrier with a new design, which will be followed by the John F. Kennedy and new Enterprise carriers. All have a similar length of about 1,090 feet (330 meters).

Via: Newsmax

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States Struggle to Draw Interest in Obamacare Health Plans

Obamacare’s rollout has become a punch line for late-night comedians, Saturday Night Live, and the Country Music Awards, which all noted that only six people enrolled in the federal health exchange’s website on its first day.
But the federal exchange isn’t the only part of the health law that’s suffering. Several states and the District of Columbia don’t even break double digits within the first month. Some examples:
  • Delaware is off to a slow start with only four state residents enrolling in Obamacare health plans. Four community groups in the state received $4 million in federal tax money to promote the exchange.
  • North Carolina has managed to get one enrollee, but officials admit that the person has not paid—suggesting a “payment re-direct option” on the government servers isn’t working. The state is also confronting a “scammer,” who was trying to obtain personal information using an insurer’s name.
  • Oregon has yet to enroll anyone on its exchange website, which still doesn’t work. The state hired 400 temporary workers to process paper applications.
  • The District of Columbia enrolled only five people in its insurance exchange
Even Maryland’s health exchange, considered a model for state exchanges, has had a slow and troubled start. One example is Maryland resident Brian Shaffer, one of millions of Americans who lost his current coverage because it didn’t comply with Obamacare. He was denied several times from buying new insurance on the state exchange because the state wouldn’t verify his citizenship.
According to WJLA ABC7, Shaffer—who has researched his U.S. family history back to the Mayflower—faxed his driver’s license and birth certificate twice but the state said it needed more proof.
“I believe it’s just sheer stupidity,” he told WJLA.
Via: The Foundry
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Ask actor Vince Vaughn about his political views and he’ll proudly tell you he’s conservative – and he doesn’t really care what Hollywood thinks.
Vince Vaughn Self Identifies as a Conservative in Interview With Adam CarollaIn a telephone interview with Adam Carolla, Hollywood A-lister Vince Vaughn made a strong declaration about his conservative principles. When Carolla asked him very directly, “Do you count yourself a conservative?” Vaughn did not hesitate or stammer, he merely replied, “I do, yeah…I mean I’m very supportive of Ron Paul, but I’ve always been more conservative than not.”
During the three minute interview Carolla tried to see if Vaughn’s conservatism was a product of a conservative upbringing. Vaughn talked about growing up in Chicago, with a father who came from a working class family that leaned more democratic.
However, the actor also stated, “As a guy that worked very hard, and sort of put himself through school and stuff, he was more conservative, for sure.”
Carolla claimed that he was not conservative, but he “has been made conservative by the direction the country’s been going.”
When Vaughn was asked if his conservatism runs along the lines of fiscal issues, social issues or both, he mentioned Ron Paul, the Constitution, and a lack of trust in government.
“I really like Ron Paul…I think that when you get older, you just get less trust in the government running anything. And you start to realize…when you go back and start to look at the Constitution and the principles of liberty, the real purpose of government is to protect the individual’s right to, you know, sort of think and pursue what they have interest in,” Vaughn replied.
Via: The Blaze
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