New Emails Show Lois Lerner Was in Contact With DOJ About Prosecuting Tax Exempt Groups

Posted on April 17th, 2014
IRS government here to help by Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com

EDITOR’S COMMENT: After reading these recent comments from Townhall.com., you can start to see why Chairman Darrell Issa and the other Republicans are not anxious to provide immunity to Louis Lerner. Also, this information provides further proof that the IRS has clearly become a politicized federal agency. Finally, it now appears that your favorite Attorney General, Eric Holder, might well be implicated in these matters. And we should expect that his department will eagerly and Read More »

America’s Bad Optics Invite Adventurism. Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad U.S.?

Posted on April 17th, 2014
Reheating the Cold War by Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

By Frank Schell

The remaining two and a half years of the Obama Administration are a dangerous period for the world. There is a window of opportunity for rogue nations and adversaries to take advantage of an administration that has yielded on the world stage and put our foreign policy, if you can find it, into disrepair. Further, the president seems disengaged from foreign affairs, narcissistically absorbed with himself, and inciting class warfare and social unrest Read More »

Are We Losing Practical Life-Skills?

Posted on April 17th, 2014
Toolbox 20060513

By Charles Hugh Smith

Poverty and lack of life skills are causally connected.

Are we as a society losing the basic practical life skills? Longtime correspondent Kevin K. recently submitted his informal survey of two basic skills: repairing a flat bicycle tire and changing a tire on a car.

I recently asked one of my tenants (a student at a top-tier public university) if she needed a pump when I saw that her bike tire Read More »

More Informative Links for April 17, 2014

Posted on April 17th, 2014

NY Times: Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance was Purely Political – White House Dossier  …   “A New York Times Sunday Magazine article that went up on the website Wednesday makes clear what everyone suspected – that President Obama’s opposition to gay marriage was wholly political and that he made the decision to change it only after Vice President Biden accidentally smoked him out. Obama’s gay marriage stance is one of the best items in evidence that a man who presented himself to the public as some kind of un-politician who would change the way things work was really just a new type of political animal – born of the Chicago machine, no less – who was using authenticity as salable brand to get himself into the White House.”

“It’s clear from the piece that Obama, who has somehow moved in no time from an opponent of same-sex marriage to someone who sees the cause as a branch of civil rights movement, never really opposed gay marriage and tried to fool the public with a charade suggesting he was “evolving” on the issue. … Long before Obama publicly stated that he was against same-sex marriage, he was on the record supporting it. As an Illinois State Senate candidate from Chicago’s liberal Hyde Park enclave, Obama signed a questionnaire in 1996 saying, ‘I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.’ But as his ambitions grew, and with them the need to appeal to a more politically diverse electorate, his position shifted.”

COMMENT: Is it possible that President Obama has misled and lied to the American people again over all these years? When will the American people realize that they are constantly being misinformed and lied to on almost every major issue, and stop believing anything this administration says or claims!

As Al-Qaida Parties, Where Is the U.S.? – Investor’s Business Daily  …  “Far from being on the run, al-Qaida held a public terror powwow in Yemen, much to U.S. surprise. Meanwhile, as the U.S. exits Afghanistan, that nation is clearly unready to rule itself. Where’s our commitment? After all, the war on terror has been going on for a dozen years now. Maybe it’s comforting to think that with a multibillion-dollar intelligence apparatus, with hundreds of thousands of spies, analysts and covert operators, there’s always someone out there who’s keeping tabs on al-Qaida day and night. But the news broke this weekend that al-Qaida’s worst held a big terrorist convention out in the Yemeni desert, with stars of the terror world such as al-Qaida ‘Crown Prince’ Nasir al-Wuhayshi making guest appearances, amid Shriner-like whoops and cheers.”

These are bad signals, particularly given the kind of murderous rhetoric that was spewed at this event. What it points to is a badly neglected war on terror that provokes little fear in the minds of terrorists anymore, leaving them to claim victory by default. Given their deadly intentions, things could get ugly. But more to the point, it speaks to a lack of U.S. leadership as the president skips his intelligence briefings and focuses on domestic matters. Not once in the past year has the president said anything of substance about winning the war on terrorism. … Is there any commitment at all left toward fighting and winning what had been a great national endeavor? Apparently not with Obama’s leadership. A less-secure U.S. is exiting in disgrace, with a whimper.”

Informative Links for April 17, 2014

Posted on April 17th, 2014

NYT: Rents No Longer ‘Affordable’ for Most Middle-Class Americans – Moneynews  …   “Demand for rental housing has soared over the past seven years, and that has pushed rents higher than many middle-class Americans can afford to pay. A rule of thumb is that households shouldn’t pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities. But now half of U.S. renters devote more than 30 percent of their income to housing, up from 38 percent in 2000, revealed a report from Harvard University.

“Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan has called this ‘the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has ever known.’ Apartment-vacancy rates have dropped so low that forecasters at Capital Economics, a research firm, project rents could rise, on average, as much as 4 percent this year, the Times reports. To cope, a growing number of working-class professionals are finding it necessary to live with their parents or double up with roommates, the Times reports.”

IRS Considers Taxing Work Perks Like Food, Gym Memberships – Fox News  …   “In competitive job markets like Silicon Valley, companies are doing everything they can to entice the best and brightest — offering freebies that have become the stuff of legend. Employee perks like free food at lavish cafeterias, laundry and even yoga are not unheard of. But the taxman could soon crack down. The IRS reportedly is looking at these perks and seeing if these companies need to start paying up for the free stuff they offer employees.”

“The Wall Street Journal first reported that the agency is considering whether the freebies like food, shuttles, haircuts and more are really fringe benefits on which workers should be taxed. Some tax experts see the perks as skirting the edges of the law, and warn the companies may be violating it — but also think it would be a very aggressive move for the already-busy IRS to pursue this when they have much more on their plate.”

No, the Obamacare Debate Isn’t Over. Phony Stats Won’t Make It Popular or Legal

Posted on April 16th, 2014
Obamacare questions by Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

By David Catron

Two weeks ago, our President swaggered into the Rose Garden to announce that 7.1 million people have signed up for health coverage through Obamacare’s exchanges and that all further argument about the future of his “signature domestic achievement” was pointless: “The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” The problem with this claim is that no one with a basic grasp of arithmetic believes Obama’s Read More »

Armstrong Predicts the West’s Eventual Demise

Posted on April 16th, 2014
Dead End Sign

By The Daily Bell

This Is the Age of Civil Unrest … All governments had better open their eyes for we are on the brink of a major convergence between both the Cycle of Civil Unrest, Civil War & Revolution and International War. Both of these models converge and as I pointed out at the Cycles of War Conference, this is the first time we have seen this convergence since the 1700s. This is Read More »

Reminder: Paying More than Your Fair Share of Income Taxes

Posted on April 16th, 2014
Taxes

By Ethel C. Fenig

If you are a member of the 53% of the US population who actually pays income taxes, due yesterday without a penalty, perhaps this chart from the Internal Revenue Service and analyzed by Mark J. Perry of AEIdeas will make you feel better.  Or not.

IRS data: The top 1% pay 37% of all taxes, the bottom half pay 2%, a blubbering David Letterman can’t believe the facts.

Read More »

More Informative Links for April 16, 2014

Posted on April 16th, 2014

Congressional Budget Office Dire Debt Warnings Show Nation’s Democrat Future – Investor’s Business Daily  …  “The Congressional Budget Office warns of a terrifying, unprecedented level of national debt in the coming decade. That fits nicely with Democrats’ objectives, but not with our nation’s founding principles. The CBO’s new budget projections contain an eerie warning that we are on path from today’s already unfathomable $17.7 trillion in gross federal government debt to more than $27 trillion in 2024. This in spite of finger-crossing projections of tax revenue over the next decade exceeding its 40-year average as a share of GDP.”

The consequences will include big hikes in spending on interest payments on the debt when interest rates go back up. It also means ‘less flexibility’ for future Congresses ‘to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges’ and, most chillingly, such a massive debt ‘increases the risk of a fiscal crisis in which investors would lose so much confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget that the government would be unable to borrow at affordable rates.’ It has little to do, however, with the society of free people our Founding Fathers sought to secure, under a Constitution established for the express purpose of restraining government.”

Under Obamacare, the Doctor Won’t See You Now – Newsmax  …  “Proponents of the Affordable Care Act insist the law will extend health insurance to millions, expand access to healthcare, and improve Americans’ overall health. But, as The New York Times recently reported, at least 20 percent of the new enrollees have not paid their premiums. They therefore do not really have insurance. But even for those enrollees paying premiums, having health insurance is not the same thing as getting good healthcare, or any healthcare. In fact, it doesn’t matter how many Americans obtain insurance under the ACA. Most will have difficulty finding a physician.”

Many people will not be able to see the physicians who have treated them for years, use facilities providing the most appropriate treatment, or access care within a reasonable time and distance from their homes. Some specialty hospitals have been excluded from all exchange plans. The drafters of the ACA presumably had noble intentions, but the law is failing in all of its intended goals. Unless the ACA is redrafted to provide insurance coverage that most physicians and hospitals will accept, many patients will find that when they need medical care, the doctor is not in.”

Informative Links for April 16, 2014

Posted on April 16th, 2014

The Fed’s Obsession with Inflation – Newsmax  …  “Americans struggle with stagnant wages and rising prices. Yet the Federal Reserve is obsessed with boosting inflation with easy-money policies that may actually discourage reforms that would help jobs creation and lessen income inequality. During the last year, consumer prices were up 1.1 percent. That was historically low, because gasoline fell 8.1 percent. The Fed fears anything less than 2 percent inflation is detrimental to economic growth.”

Low interest rates permit Wall Street to borrow cheaply, make big profits trading and pay huge bonuses. Monopoly conditions in other industries enable other excesses in executive compensation, an easy life for professors and so forth. Meanwhile, presidential and congressional inaction, aided by Fed posturing about easy money, keeps a lid on wages. The Fed’s inflation obsession simply feeds Washington’s policy dysfunctions and income inequality.”

Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops – Bloomberg  …   “Dozens of schools have seen drops of more than 10 percent in enrollment, according to Moody’s. As faculty and staff have been cut and programs closed, some students have faced a choice between transferring or finishing degrees that may have diminished value. There will clearly be some institutions that won’t make it and there will be some institutions that will be stronger because of going through these difficult steps,’ said David Warren, president of the Washington-based National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.”

“Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has predicted that as many as half of the more than 4,000 universities and colleges in the U.S. may fail in the next 15 years. The growing acceptance of online learning means higher education is ripe for technological upheaval, he has said. … ‘We haven’t hit bottom yet,’ said Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and author of the book, ‘The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education From Itself.’ Students are shopping for a less expensive education as the cost of college has increased and the job market worsened, he said.”

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