Hey, It’s Not Our Money, It’s Theirs

From Bob Livingston at Personal Liberty:

Recent news-making events demonstrate that the rot infesting the cesspool that is Washington, D.C., can no longer be contained. The rot is noxious, pervasive, knows no political party and infests all it touches.

The recent events include the scandalous excesses of the General Services Administration junkets — on which even the bureaucrats’ spouses traveled, partied, wined and dined on the taxpayers’ dimes — and the Secret Service’s drunken whoring with Colombian prostitutes.

These events contain a common thread: Federal government employees who understand that in the United States, money does indeed grow on trees (or at least in Federal Reserve computers). They view the American taxpayer as a bottomless pit. They have come to think of themselves as a privileged class and believe rules of decorum and normal conduct do not apply to them.

This is not a new thing; it has been occurring — at the GSA at least — for about 40 years. As lawmakers grilled GSA officials last week, they learned that GSA employees have repeatedly taken financial kickbacks, engaged in insider dealing and suffered from general incompetence. It’s a pattern that dates back to the 1970s.

It’s also increasingly apparent that the rot is not confined to the Federal government. More than 100 workers in the city government of Washington, D.C., received jobless benefits totaling at least $800,000 while still working for the city. Ninety-two workers implicated in the scheme were suspended (61 of those were subsequently fired), and 40 more workers who left the city’s employment before the scandal broke have been identified. Another 100 workers are being investigated.

Federal bureaucrats and elected elites owe $1 billion in back taxes for 2010. Some of them are people who set or enforce tax policy on the rest of us. Remember that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner did not pay taxes for the years 2001-2004 until the issue came up as he was being vetted for Senate confirmation. Obviously, Senators did not care.

Nor did Congress care that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) flew home and back on weekends at a cost of $120,000 per trip. That’s almost four times as much as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spends to go home to Carmel Valley nearly every weekend. They are not the only ones who have done this or are doing it. At least Panetta says he regrets the cost (not that he’s stopping the practice).

Neither the criminal political class in Congress (criminalongress?) nor President Barack Obama, the Redistributionist-In-Chief (RIC), speak of making any meaningful cuts in government spending. Under Obama’s recently introduced budget, Federal spending would increase by 55 percent from 2012 to 2021, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Under Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget, Federal spending will increase 34 percent.

In other words, when members of the political class speak of “cuts” what they’re talking about is reducing the amount of year-to-year increases. They never cut anything.

Yet bearing down on America like a Category 5 hurricane is taxmageddon. It will make landfall on Dec. 31 unless a lame duck Congress and President (whether Obama is re-elected or defeated will not matter) can reach some kind of agreement.

What is taxmageddon? It’s a combination of expiring George W. Bush-era tax cuts and the implementation of new Obamacare taxes. The marriage penalty for joint filers will return, the child credit will drop in half and the rate everyone pays on the first $8,700 of wages jumps from 10 percent to 15 percent. The Social Security payroll tax will go from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. Obamacare-mandated Medicare taxes will also rise.

There is little comfort to be found in the knowledge that the criminalongress and RIC will tackle the tax issue in a lame duck session following the November election. They will be unfettered by political considerations: Obama because regardless of November’s outcome he will never again be seeking election, and members of criminalongress because elections will be more than two years away for those who won. They will count on voters’ short memories. Those who lost will be attempting to win favor with the corporatocracy: those large fascist corporations that snatch up former lawmakers and pay them exorbitant salaries to lobby their former peers for special favors, tax breaks and government contracts.

Meanwhile, criminalongress will engage in political theater sleight of hand in an attempt to distract you from their own corruption. Criminalongress engages in insider trading, earmarks bills to benefit favored constituencies, take kickbacks in the form of campaign contributions from companies it supposedly oversees and regulates, cedes its authority to faceless and unelected bureaucrats at dozens of unConstitutional alphabet soup agencies, and dishonors the oath to “support and defend” the Constitution by allowing the Imperial President to wage unConstitutional war and set spending policy without Congressional approval.

Other than that, we are in great shape.

Ahh…Peace in the Middle East

Commandos from the Israeli navy’s Flotilla 13 unit boarded a cargo ship, the HS Beethoven, in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday night on suspicion it was trying to smuggle weapons to the Gaza Strip.

The ship, which was flying a Liberian flag, was intercepted by Israel Navy vessels approximately 260 km. from Israel’s coast. Commandos boarded the ship with the captain’s consent and began searching cargo containers for arms.
Searches were still ongoing at press time and IDF officers said that they could continue until the morning.

The IDF said that the operation was part of a routine patrol and that the ship’s route was likely what raised concern that it may have been carrying weapons for either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

The HS Beethoven left Beirut on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in Alexandria, Egypt, on Monday evening. Before stopping in Lebanon, it had stopped in Limassol, Cyprus. If the ship was carrying arms, they were likely meant to be smuggled into Gaza via tunnels located under the Philadelphi Corridor between Sinai and Gaza.

Last March, the navy intercepted a cargo ship called Victoria that was carrying some 50 tons of weaponry and was on its way to Egypt. It was also flying a Liberian flag and was headed to Alexandria.

The weapons seized on the Victoria included a number of sophisticated radar-guided Iranian anti-ship missiles that were intended for terrorist organizations in Gaza.

Attribution: Jerusalem Post

Joke of the Day

Actual Children’s quotes:

1. Never trust a dog to watch your food. – Patrick, age 10

2. When your dad is mad and asks you, ‘Do I look stupid?’ don’t answer him. – Michael, 14

3. Never tell your mom her diet’s not working. – Michael, 14

4. Stay away from prunes. – Randy, 9

5. Never pee on an electric fence. – Robert, 13

6. Don’t squat with your spurs on. – Noronha, 13

7. Don’t pull dad’s finger when he tells you to. – Emily, 10

8. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. – Taylia, 11

9. Never allow your three-year old brother in the same room as your school assignment. – Traci, 14

10. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time. – Kyoyo, 9

11. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. – Armir, 9

12. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick. – Lauren, 9

13. Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat. – Joel, 10

14. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone. – Alyesha, 13

15. Never try to baptize a cat. – Eileen, 8

It’s so Slimey and Pink

In Defense of Pink Slime

By: The Common Constitutionalist

By now, we’ve all heard of it, the dreaded Pink Slime. You’ve probably seen it, looking more like soft-serve strawberry ice cream than beef.

It has suddenly become a hot topic and unfortunately has all but put one company, BPI Industries, out of business.

So why now? Why has this become such a hot topic? Believe it or not, this product has been on the market for over 30 years. It is government approved and has not harmed anybody in all that time.

So now, all the sudden, it has become a danger to humans.

Well, of course it isn’t a danger to humans. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. People, with enough time on their hands, will always find something to worry about.

The fact is, the general public doesn’t give a thought to how food is processed and how it makes to the grocery store shelves.

It is only when the public discovers that not all food comes directly from Old McDonald’s Farm, that they get all panicked and overreact.

“The more people are disconnected with their food supply and the sources of their food, the more questions they will have, and we understand that,” said Craig Letch, director of food safety and quality assurance for South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. “But, We don’t produce ‘pink slime.’ We produce 100 percent quality lean beef. That’s it. That whole thing is a farce. There’s no substance to it.”

So why the uproar, why the outrage?

Just what is this Pink Slime made of and why has it suddenly become the scourge of the American public?

Lean, Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), better known as pink slime, is virtually identical to 90% lean ground beef.

It is actually 100% beef processed from the trimmings of steaks and roasts, that are delivered to BPI industries.

The trimmings are placed in a centrifuge that spins and removes virtually all the fat from the trimmings leaving behind 94 to 97% lean beef.

That doesn’t sound so bad does it? If that is all it is, what is the problem?

The problem is due solely to the slightly elevated level of the chemical ammonium hydroxide and naturally any chemical that is added to our food must therefore be dangerous.

Obviously this is not true. It certainly isn’t true in this case.

Beef already has naturally occurring ammonia in it. Why add more?

Simple. To prevent the growth of the deadly E. coli bacteria. By simply raising the pH level of the meat product with a slight addition of ammonium hydroxide the E. coli bacteria cannot form.

So, as always happens in this country, instead of taking a step back and looking at the facts, the public panics, makes rash decisions and hundreds of people are put out of work.

Only after the damage has been done, are the facts allowed to come out and more often than not, debunk the myth.

A Plethora of Happy Coincidences

By: The Common Constitutionalist 

Warren Buffett is President Barack Obama’s BFF.

Warren Buffett receives the Presidential Medal of Coincidence

The Keystone XL Pipeline is the oil pipeline that would carry oil from our friends in Canada down across several of our states to end up in Texas. It was first proposed in 2008.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad in 2009, shortly after Obama was elected.

Buffett’s nickname is the Oracle of Omaha. Omaha is in Nebraska, where resides the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway; remember that.

Nebraska (with the administrations help) just happens to be the state that put the kybosh on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

As it happens, Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, which, as previously stated, is owned by Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., handles 75 percent of all the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota.

Oil producers in North Dakota had planned to hook into the XL pipeline.

Strange bedfellows: Always remember a liberal is a liberal first, regardless of whatever else he or she claims to be and will always side with other liberals. So when a spokesman for the Sierra Club admitted “there is no question that transporting oil by rail or truck is much more dangerous than a pipeline,” it should come as no surprise that the eco-fanatics sided with the President to kill the pipeline.

Enter Ben Nelson, the honorable Senator from Nebraska. (I told you to remember this: Obama hearts Buffett. Buffett= Nebraska = Nelson)

"So this is what will kill the Pipeline project"

So when it comes to the Keystone oil pipeline and Buffett’s Burlington Northern, all roads lead to Nebraska.

GBTV uncovered a not so startling connection between Berkshire Hathaway and Senator Ben Nelson, who voted against the Keystone XL and lobbied that it be re-routed to avoid Nebraska, effectively killing the project. Ironically, the Senator’s attempts to thwart the pipeline were done while he himself maintained his state would heartily welcome the jobs created from the Keystone project.

 While Nelson’s position then seems counterintuitive, add to it the fact that he is heavily invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. From 2007 to 2012 Nelson contributed $27,000 to the company itself and according to a recent financial disclosure statement from 2008, he owned between $1.5 and $6 million of the company’s stock – his largest investment in any one company to date. (So by counterintuitive, I meant completely intuitive.)

It doesn’t end there, of course. Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe PAC in turn contributed $5,000 to Senator Nelson’s Nebraska Leadership PAC and Berkshire Hathaway employees have reportedly long supported the senator, contributing at least $75,550 to the Nebraska Democrat over the course of his political career according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Coincidence or quid pro quo? I vote…coincidence.

Not coincidentally, Senator Nelson penned an op-ed column on March 5, 2012 entitled “Behind Those High Gas Prices.” As you can imagine, the senator was quick to tell Nebraskans that the spike “has nothing to do with the Keystone Pipeline” and also “isn’t a result of domestic oil production.”

Now move along people; Nothing to see here.

Joke du Jour

An Italian, an Irishman and a Chinese fellow are hired at a Sydney construction site.

The foreman points to a huge pile of sand and says to the Italian guy, “You’re in charge of sweeping.”

To the Irishman he says, “You’re in charge of shoveling.”

To the Chinese guy, “You’re in charge of supplies.”

He then says, “Now, I have to leave for a little while. I expect you guys to make a dent in that there pile.”

So the foreman goes away for a couple hours, but when he returns the pile of sand is untouched.

He says to the Italian: “Why didn’t you sweep any of it?”

The Italian replies in a heavy accent, “I no gotta broom, an’ you tella me dat de Chinese’a guy supposa bringa da supplies, but he disappear and I no finda him.”

Then the foreman turns to the Irishman and asks why he didn’t shovel.

The Irishman replies in his heavy brogue, “Aye, that ye did, but I couldn’t get meself a shovel. Ye left the Chinese fella in charge of supplies, but I couldn’t fin’ him.”

The foreman is really angry now, and storms off looking for the Chinese guy.

He can’t find him anywhere and is getting angrier by the minute. Just then, the Chinese guy springs out from behind the pile of sand and yells… “Supplies!!”

Hooray for Utah

From: Erica Ritz at The Blaze

Utah Republicans denied U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch a clear path to a seventh and final term Saturday, forcing the 78-year-old lawmaker into a June primary with 37-year-old former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.

Hatch fell short of the outright nomination by fewer than three dozen votes from the nearly 4,000 delegates at the party convention.

In a matter of weeks, Hatch turned the question of whether he would survive the convention into a question of whether he would reach the 60 percent threshold to earn the nomination. Despite the setback, Hatch holds a significant fundraising edge in what has become the stiffest challenge since his election to the Senate in 1976.

“It is time for a new generation of leaders…We know it to our bones,” his competitor Dan Liljenquist remarked.

“No one senator is too big to fail…No one senator is too important to lose.”

This year’s race essentially began in 2010, when former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett was ousted by delegates fueled by tea party politics.

Hatch reportedly remarked: “These people are not conservatives. They’re not Republicans…They’re radical libertarians and I’m doggone offended by it.”

“I despise these people, and I’m not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth,” he continued.

Immediately recognizing the challenge he would likely face from such groups, Hatch launched one of the most well-organized and expensive campaigns in the state’s history. Since the beginning of 2011, he has spent more than $5 million – and he still has $3 million to spend on a primary.

Hatch has also shifted his rhetoric to the right over the past two years to address the claims that he was not conservative enough (probably not a good strategy to admit you “despise” your constituents).

FreedomWorks has called the outcome “a historic upset,“ describing Liljenquist as ”an energetic, conservative underdog.”

“Utahns have spoken today, and their message is clear: it’s time for a change,” Russ Walker, national political director for FreedomWorks for America, declared.

Attribution: AP

Social Justice = Iran

If one were to start a national movement to effect change in America, where might one schedule a conference to discuss the movement’s forward thinking strategy? Obviously, the group supposedly set up to change the United States for the better, would hold a gathering in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

It is a natural fit for those interested in the betterment of the little people, women’s rights and the otherwise disenfranchised. Because, as we all know, Iran is the Mecca of human rights.

Why else would those who educate our children, University professors, travel so far?

Listen closely for the “Money” quote at the very end. “And in the long run, it can lead to the collapse of the government.”

Well, that would be change.