” Or A Genius, Who At Age 1 Figured-Out That The Federal Reserve Isn’t Federal & Has NO Gold or Reserves –>Worthless “
” Every time we hear someone complaining about wasted tax dollars, we usually just roll our eyes and get back to whatever pantsless activity we were attempting to engage in. But, you know, it turns out those people kind of have a point. We asked our readers to find us the biggest waste of time, money, and resources and gave $200 to the most appalling …”
The fee — two-tenths of a cent on every gallon sold — was tacked on to the end of the 959-page bill, which is winding its way through Capitol Hill. The fee would last for nearly 20 years and would siphon the money to develop equipment that is cheaper, more efficient and safer, and to encourage consumers to update their equipment.
It’s just one of dozens of provisions tucked into the farm bill, which cleared the House on a bipartisan 251-166 vote last week and faces a key filibuster test in the Senate on Monday. It is expected to survive and face final passage Tuesday before heading to President Obama’s desk.
Taxpayer groups say the bill could increase spending over the previous version and that it’s crammed with favors for individual lawmakers, such as rules legalizing industrial hemp.”
” Light arms supplied by the United States are flowing to “moderate” Syrian rebel factions in the south of the country and U.S. funding for months of further deliveries has been approved by Congress, according U.S. and European security officials.
The weapons, most of which are moving to non-Islamist Syrian rebels via Jordan, include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets.
The deliveries do not include weapons such as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, known as MANPADs, which could shoot down military or civilian aircraft, the officials said.
The weapons deliveries have been funded by the U.S. Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, two officials said.”
” Ignoring congressionally-mandated boundaries set in 1905, the Environmental Protection Agency has turned the Wyoming town of Riverton over to two Indian tribes.
In a surprising decision, officials at the EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department, designated the land the property of the Wind River Tribes, according to The Daily Caller.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead petitioned the EPA to reverse the decision, and vowing not to abide by the order, and pledging to fight it in court if necessary.
“ My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law,” Mead said in a statement. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?” “
” Alternate headline: Hot Air readers get results! In our year-end poll, readers chose as the most underreported story of 2013 the lawlessness of the Obama administration in its handling of ObamaCare. Eleven state Attorneys General share that opinion — and started off the year attempting to correct it. Led by Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia (no relation), the consortium of AGs protested the changes in a letter to Kathleen Sebelius (via Instapundit):
The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama’s executive action that allowed insurance companies to keep offering health plans that had been canceled for not meeting ObamaCare’s more rigorous standards.
We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”
They say the healthcare fix was “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.” “
” Reinforcing the power party identification has in shaping Americans’ views of many aspects of the world around them, Republicans and Democrats differ by at least 10 percentage points in their honesty and ethics ratings of six of 22 professions included in Gallup’s 2013 update. Republicans rate the honesty and ethical standards of police officers, clergy, military officers, and pharmacists higher than Democrats do. In turn, Democrats are more positive about judges and TV reporters.”
News Anchor Completely Loses It For The Best Possible Reason Ever
” The Obama thrill is gone among America’s millennials aged 18-29 just a year after they helped the president win a second term.
A new and shocking poll from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics released Wednesday found that younger Americans are so disgusted with President Obama, Congress and the troubled Obamacare system that 47 percent support recalling the president and just 29 percent are planning to sign up for health insurance.
How bad is it? Obama’s approval rating among millennials, many with big college loans and no job, is just 41 percent. Even young blacks are tiring of the president, with his approval rating among African-Americans dropping from 84 percent seven months ago to 75 percent today. “
” Facing low approval ratings after a historically unproductive 112th session and a series of last-minute showdowns over fiscal matters, Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, the rock band Nickelback, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussel sprouts.
When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress.
” The public’s approval rating for Congress has finally hit rock bottom: For the first time, America has a higher opinion of car salespeople.
A new Economist/YouGov.com poll put the approval rating of Congress at a historic low of 6 percent. A December 2012 Gallup poll comparing Congress’ approval ratings to other occupations had car salespeople at the bottom at 8 percent and Congress at 10 percent. Now Congress is the cellar dweller.
The nation’s bad opinion of Congress, impacted by inaction, budget fights and the battle over the filibuster, has also spread to Senate leaders. Just 19 percent approve of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell while 54 percent disapprove. Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid’s ratings are 52 percent unfavorable, 25 percent favorable.”
After dealing with car salesmen you do end up with something in your possession after having spent your money . What do you get when Congress spends your money ? The same pack of lies as the salesmen , the same empty pockets , but nothing at all that you can claim as your own . In fact once the politician has taken your money they are liable to be putting that car your money paid for in someone else’s driveway .
” For the victims of governmental fraud, the only recourse is political, which is to say that it entails relying on the same government that perpetrated the fraud.
When it enacted ObamaCare, Congress relied on its constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce. The Supreme Court held that Congress had exceeded that authority, but only with respect to one particular provision, the mandate that all individuals purchase medical insurance. There is little dispute that under more or less settled case law, Congress would be within its authority if it simply nationalized the insurance industry, or any other industry.
The regulation of commerce is a necessary and vital governmental function. Consumers and honest businesses need protection from unscrupulous market participants. That is nearly impossible when an industry is owned, or effectively controlled, by the government. To socialize an industry is to put it in a position to regulate itself. It legalizes fraud by recasting it as mere “political lies.” “
” Voters are evenly divided when asked whether they agree more politically with President Obama or with the average member of the Tea Party. But an enormous partisan gap colors virtually all opinions of the Tea Party.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of Likely U.S. Voters think the president’s views are closest to their own when it comes to the major issues facing the country. But just as many (42%) say their views come closest to those of the average Tea Party member instead. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording,click here.)
Thirty-four percent (34%) now believe their personal views are closest to those of the average member of Congress when it comes to the major issues of the day. But slightly more (36%) say their views are closest to those of the average member of the Tea Party. A sizable 30%, however, are not sure.”
The poll contains very bad news for the establishment RINO’s such as Mr McCain , Mr Graham and the rest of the “go along to get along gang” .
” When it comes to the major issues facing the nation, 77% of Democrats say Obama’s views are closest to their own. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans and 51% of unaffiliated voters identify more closely with the average member of the Tea Party.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters in the president’s party say the views of the average member of Congress are closest to their own. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Republicans say the views of the average member of the Tea Party are closest to what they think. Unaffiliated voters are more likely to identify with the Tea Party, but 38% of these voters are undecided.
Overwhelming majorities of Mainstream voters identify more with the average Tea Party member than with either the president or the average member of Congress. Pluralities of the Political Class agree more with Obama and Congress.
Interestingly, while voters are more critical of the Tea Party, they continue to identify with the movement’s smaller government/lower taxes message. Sixty-two percent (62%) think cutting spending rather than increasing it is the best thing the federal government can do to help the economy.
After four years of the MSM giving it their best shot at demonizing us Tea Partiers , the return on their investment is not looking too high . Just imagine the popularity of the Tea Party in a world of fair press .
” About now, many Americans wish they had never heard the term debt ceiling – or knew so much about what it meant. But with lawmakers hesitant to approve an increase in the amount that the U.S. government is authorized to pay for debts already incurred by Congress, this phrase has become a household word, as it were. Although it feels like this latest gridlock between Congress and President Barack Obama is yet another indication of today’s steely partisan politics, debt-ceiling conflicts have been to one degree or another Washington staples for the past four decades. Before the 1970s, not so much.
The first time the debt ceiling came into view was in 1917 with the adoption of the Second Liberty Bond Act, which placed limits on expenditures for large categories of debt such as bonds and bills. Before then, Congress had to authorize loans and other debt instruments individually. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to remove the $30 billion ceiling on Treasury bonds. And soon afterward, Congress eliminated individual limits for specific types of debt, leaving only one aggregate ceiling for the government’s total indebtedness. This gave the Treasury Department more flexibility in determining the types of instruments it issued.”
” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book, claiming his retelling of the Mexico “gun-walking” scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.
ATF’s dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson’s protection as a whistleblower.
The ACLU is slated to become involved in the case Monday, informing ATF it is representing Mr. Dodson and filing a formal protest to the decision to reject his request to publish the already written book, sources told The Times, speaking only on the condition of anonymity.”
Illustration by Nate Beeler
Maybe the Real Lesson Is That It’s Best to Shut Down the Federal Government Before a New Fiscal Year Begins
” The politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and interest groups in Washington are hyperventilating that the federal gravy train may get sidetracked for a day or two by a shutdown fight between Republicans and Democrats.
I’m not sure why they’re so agitated. After all, the shutdown is really just a slowdown since only non-essential bureaucrats are sent home. And everyone winds up getting paid for those unplanned vacations, which is why the bureaucrats I know are crossing their fingers for a lengthy confrontation.
But that describes what may happen when the new fiscal year begins tomorrow. What’s been happening in recent days, culminating today, is a feeding frenzy of end-of-the-fiscal-year wasteful spending.
Here are some details from a Washington Post expose.
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork. In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges. And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.” …All week, while Congress fought over next year’s budget, federal workers were immersed in a separate frantic drama. They were trying to spend the rest of this year’s budget before it is too late. …If they don’t, the money becomes worthless to them on Oct. 1. And — even worse — if they fail to spend the money now, Congress could dock their funding in future years. The incentive, as always, is to spend. So they spent. “
Illustrations By Jeff McNelly
” Congress has the constitutional prerogative to control spending, and it does so through the debt ceiling, which sets the allowable limit of federal government borrowing. The first chart shows all the times that the debt limit has been raised since 1980, which includes 18 times under Ronald Reagan, four times under Bill Clinton, and seven times under George W. Bush. Most recently, President Obama raised the debt limit for his fifth time, to $16.69 trillion, $305 billion above the previous statutory limit, which is exponentially greater than when it first reached $1 trillion about 30 years ago in 1982.
The debt limit applies to federal debt held by the public and by the government’s own accounts, also known as intergovernmental debt, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Civil Service Retirement accounts. Of the $16.699 trillion in outstanding debt subject to limit, roughly $11.9 trillion is held by the public, and about $4.8 trillion is held by government accounts.
Simply raising the debt ceiling alone does nothing to address underlying drivers of our debt problem. The persistence of federal budget deficits has led to sustained growth in debt, thus requiring the government to issue increasing amounts of debt to the public. The second chart shows the growing portion of federal debt held by the public. Here are some key observations: “
From Obama’s Rose Garden speech of 10/2 :
” For example, one of the most important things Congress has to do in the next couple weeks is to raise what’s called the debt ceiling. And it’s important to understand what this is. This is a routine vote. Congress has taken this vote 45 times to raise the debt ceiling since Ronald Reagan took office. It does not cost taxpayers a single dime. It does not grow our deficits by a single dime. It does not authorize anybody to spend any new money whatsoever. All it does is authorize the Treasury to pay the bills on what Congress has already spent.”
Candidate Obama held a different view of the debt ceiling :
Now we come to candidate Obama pronouncing a litany of financial promises , all of which were nothing but bulls..t :
Here is a video that explains the debt limit in easy to understand terms :
And finally we have a simple video that explains the national debt in terms of taking a road trip :
Remember though , none of this “costs the taxpayers a single dime . “
Can This Happen, Please? Maybe Without Washington “Taking Care Of Us” People Will Figure Out How To Do A Few Things For Themselves
” Any number of grandstanding D.C. types have now magnanimously declared that they will not accept those portions of their $174,000 salaries that might come during a possible government shutdown. The question is why they get paid the rest of the time.
If Congress had passed an actual FY 2014 budget back in the spring like they were supposed to, the federal government would not be on the verge of losing its spending authority. If Congress could manage its finances like you and I have to do, it would not be desperately seeking yet another increase in the phony “debt ceiling,” which is not a ceiling at all but merely an occasional to schedule another vote to raise said “ceiling.”
If you can get paid for perpetrating this kind of fraud on a regular basis, you are no hero for eschewing a paycheck when you spend a few days tripping over your own dereliction of duty.
That said, shut the thing down.
Lefties shriek that we just don’t realize how many essential things the government does. They inspect the meat! They control the air traffic! They fix the highways! They control disease! You don’t want to do without any of that, do you?
Yes, it’s true that we rely on the federal government to do many things. But it’s also true that in many cases we would be better off if we did not, and necessity is the mother of invention. If the most inefficient, political, self-serving institution has been providing you with bread since long before anyone can remember, and then one day the institution grinds to a halt . . . flour, yeast, hey Bob, I think we’ve got something here! Add a little oil and you can make pizza dough! Why were we paying those people? “
Illustration by AF Branco
” My latest Townhall column is called, 13 Things About America That Would Make The Founding Fathers Turn Over In Their Graves. Here’s an excerpt from the column.
We’re a nation that was founded by principled revolutionaries who took on the super power of their day over almost insignificant taxes they felt Britain had no right to levy. These men were small government fanatics who felt very comfortable with God, guns, and taking care of themselves. The principles those men put in place and the standards they set were what helped turn America into the most successful nation that has ever existed on God’s green earth.
In a time when our nation is engaged in unsustainable economic policies that seem likely to put an end to America’s run as a great nation, perhaps it’s time to consider whether our real problem is that we’ve veered so far from the most successful blueprint for a country ever devised that the Founding Fathers would turn over in their graves if they found out about….
1) Not just 15% of Americans being on food stamps, but the existence of a food stamp program.
2) Forcing Americans to buy health insurance via Obamacare as a condition of American citizenship.
3) Members of Congress voting on bills that they haven’t read.”
” As close observers of history and human nature, James Madison and the other Founders of the U.S. Constitution knew that the equal and unbiased application of the law to all people, especially elected officials, is essential to freedom and justice and one of the primary safeguards from authoritarianism and oppression by a ruling class.
And so, referring to the members of Congress, James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 57: “[T]hey can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”
Today, elected officials need to be reminded of these truths. Under pressure from Congress, the White House has carved out a special exemption for Congress and its staffers from ObamaCare—the law it recently deemed necessary for the entire country. No Republicans voted for ObamaCare. Yet it appears that some of them support the exemption President Obama approved on his own—so they would not have to go on record with a vote for or against it.
Congress complains that without its special subsidies the Hill will suffer a “brain drain” as staffers leave their jobs because of increasing out-of-pocket insurance costs. Heaven forbid Congress suffer the same fate as private companies like UPS, which recently had to cut health-care benefits entirely for employees’ spouses; or labor unions, like the 40,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers who recently left the AFL-CIO citing as one factor ObamaCare’s tax on their “Cadillac” health-care plans.”