Tag Archive: Wall Street Journal


Instead Of Welcoming Free Debate, Collectivists Engage In Character Assassination

 

 

Charles Koch

 

 

” I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

  Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

  A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

  More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. “The natural progress of things,” Jefferson wrote, “is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He knew that no government could possibly run citizens’ lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

  Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.”

 

Read Mr Koch’s answer to his character assassins at the Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Takes To Twitter To Dismiss Stage-4 Cancer Patient’s Insurance Cancellation

 

 

 

 

” Dan Pfeiffer is the White House’s senior advisor to President Obama.  Responding to a stage-4 cancer patient’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Pfeiffer took to twitter today to dismiss her complaint that she has lost her insurance coverage and her doctors because of Obamacare.”

 

 

     We posted about Edie Littlefield Sundby and her letter yesterday and lo and behold within hours a simple citizen expressing her first amendment rights comes under attack by the national bullying team at the White House . Have we ever had an administration that sunk to such depths as to demonize individuals by name ? Shameful is the only word that comes to mind .

    But of course this is not the first time the Chicago gang has sunk to character assassination . It has been a recurring theme over the past five years , but in all our years of following national politics we must admit that the phenomena seems to have been a recent development . More of that “Hope & Change”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consumers Set to Repeal a Big Part of the Health Care Law

 

” Perhaps the biggest news came last week when The Wall Street Journal reported that the mandates for comprehensive coverage apply to just 30 million out of 160 million Americans with private insurance: “A close reading of the rules makes it clear that those mandates affect only plans sponsored by insurers that are sold to small businesses and individuals, federal officials confirm.”

Earlier, The New York Times had reported that there was another way around the mandates: “Companies can avoid many standards in the new law by insuring their own employees.” Government regulators are busily trying to stop companies from taking that option.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wall Street Journal

 

The Fatalities

Officer Sean Collier , Martin Richard , Lingzi Lu and Krystle Campbell clockwise from upper left .

 

 

 

 

    Of course that’s not the way the WSJ put it , but face it , Tamerlan Tsarnaev was arrested for Assault & Battery in 2009 and could have been deported then . In 2011 the FBI , at the request of a foreign government , investigated him and allegations that he was an adherent of Radical Islam and again dropped the ball . Is that effective terror prevention ? 

 

 

” Late Friday, the FBI posted this statement on its 2011 interview ofTamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston bomber who was killed in a police shootout. Here is the statement:

 

2011 Request for Information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev from Foreign Government 

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, was previously designated as Suspect 1, wearing a black hat. Dzhokar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, was designated as Suspect 2, wearing a white hat. Both were born in Kyrgyzstan.

Once the FBI learned the identities of the two brothers today, the FBI reviewed its records and determined that in early 2011, a foreign government asked the FBI for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The request stated that it was based on information that he was a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecified underground groups.

In response to this 2011 request, the FBI checked U.S. government databases and other information to look for such things as derogatory telephone communications, possible use of online sites associated with the promotion of radical activity, associations with other persons of interest, travel history and plans, and education history. The FBI also interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and family members. The FBI did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government in the summer of 2011. The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from the foreign government.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government ( Taxpayers ) spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.

The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.

Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped.

The carriers—AT&T T +0.62% Inc.; Telrite Corp.; Tag Mobile USA; Verizon Communications VZ -0.05% Inc.; and the Virgin Mobile USA unit of Sprint Nextel Corp. S +1.04% —accounted for 34% of total Lifeline subscribers last May. Two of the other largest providers, TracFone Wireless Inc. and Nexus Communications Inc., asked the FCC to keep their counts confidential. Results for the full program weren’t available.

The program is open to people who meet federal poverty guidelines or are on food stamps, Medicaid or other assistance programs, and only one Lifeline subscriber is allowed per household.

The program, which is administered by the nonprofit Universal Service Administrative Co., has grown rapidly as wireless carriers persuaded regulators to let people use the program for cellphone service. It pays carriers $9.25 a customer per month toward free or discounted wireless service.

Americans pay an average of $2.50 a month per household to fund a number of subsidized communications programs, including Lifeline.”

Thanks to Democrats – US Now 100% Dependent on 19 Strategic Rare Metals & Minerals – 11 of Those From China

 

rare earth map

(Seeking Alpha)

 

 

 

” Thanks to Democrats, the United States is now tied for last, with Papua New Guinea, in the time it takes to get a permit for a new rare metal or mineral mine. And, thanks to Democrats, the United States is now 100% dependent on 19 strategic rare metals and minerals, 11 of those are from China.
American Resources Policy Network Principal Daniel McGroarty wrote about this crisis in The Wall Street Journal today.”

America’s Ranking in the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom

 

 

 

” When we talk about “economic freedom,” what do we mean—and why does it matter?

Economic freedom is the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state.

Since reaching a global peak in 2008, sadly, economic freedom around the world has continued to stagnate.

 

What are the reasons for the worldwide sluggishness? As Ambassador Miller writes in The Wall Street Journal, “Particularly concerning are the rise of populist ‘democratic’ movements that use the coercive power of government to redistribute income and control economic activity.”

While “corrupt political and legal environments cause underdevelopment in poorer countries,” Miller writes, “unfortunately, economic favoritism and cronyism exist in advanced democracies, too.” Americans are well aware, and the overall U.S. score has been dropping since 2009. From 2009 to 2010, the U.S. declined from being a “free” economy to “mostly free.” This year, it ranks 10th in the world. “

 

So , economic freedom in the US has taken a downturn since 2009 . What came about in 2009 to cause our precipitous drop in the rankings ? Where will we being after four more years ? 

 

” One reason for America’s lack of freedom is that its scores on regulatory efficiency—which include business freedom and labor freedom—have dropped. The editors point to the fact that “over 100 new major federal regulations have been imposed on business operations since early 2009 with annual costs of more than $46 billion.” “

 

Surprise , surprise … Regulation is the culprit . Who would have guessed ?

 

” It is no exaggeration to blame the recent slowdown in economic liberalization around the world on the lack of U.S. leadership. Trade flows—the engine of world growth—have declined as the U.S. economy has stagnated. Protectionism threatens consumers and businesses with higher costs and restrictions in supply. Ill-conceived banking regulations such as the Dodd-Frank law generate uncertainty and anxiety. And investment freedom declines in the face of higher costs and new legal and tax liabilities such as those introduced by ObamaCare. These misguided U.S. policies hurt Americans first, but others feel the harm as well. “

 

Lack of leadership in the ” Leader of the Free World ” is very costly , not just to Americans but to all the citizens of the world .

 

” Launched in 1995, the Index evaluates countries in four broad areas of economic freedom: rule of law; regulatory efficiency; limited government; and open markets. Based on an aggregate score, each of 177 countries graded in the 2013 Index was classified as “free,” “mostly free,” “moderately free,” “mostly unfree,” or “repressed.”

The broader areas are broken down into 10 measures: property rights, freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom, government spending, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom.

The New Website

The updated website, launched today, is interactive:

Each country’s profile includes quick facts such as its population, gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment rate, and the amount of foreign investment flowing into the country—and you can embed this data in your blog or website.

Visit the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom “

 

 

 

Reduced Rate Of Return

For Newly Minted M.B.A.s, a Smaller Paycheck Awaits

 

image

 

 

” Like many students, Steve Vonderweidt hoped that a master’s degree in business administration would open doors to a new job with a higher paycheck

But now, about eight months after receiving his M.B.A. from the University of Louisville, Mr. Vonderweidt, 36 years old, hasn’t been able to find a job in the private sector, and continues to work as an administrator at a social-service agency that helps Louisville residents obtain food stamps, health care and other assistance. He is saddled with about $75,000 in student-loan debt—much of it from graduate school.

 “It was a really great program,” says Mr. Vonderweidt. “But the job part has been atrocious.Soaring tuition costs, a weak labor market and a glut of recent graduates such as Mr. Vonderweidt are upending the notion that professional degrees like M.B.A.s are a sure ticket to financial success. “

Bloomberg U.S.A.

 

 

 

 

” It looks like Americans are in for a long campaign by Mayor Bloomberg to exploit the killings at Newtown, Connecticut, for his campaign against what he likes to call “illegal guns.” The children slain in Connecticut hadn’t even been identified when Mr. Bloomberg was issuing statements attacking President Obama for failing to take “immediate” action. The thing for the rest of America to keep in mind about Mr. Bloomberg is that in his hometown he has become known for playing a very slippery game.

This starts with the name of one of the organizations Mr. Bloomberg uses, known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns. In fact it plumps for prohibitions on guns that are currently legal. The organization likes to quote police chiefs who are for more gun control. This line of argument was demolished after the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, by the Wall Street Journal. It issued a piece by John Lott reporting that the overwhelming majority of police chiefs surveyed in America believe that “any law-abiding citizen [should] be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense.”

That, Mr. Lott noted, was the finding of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. It covered more than 20,000 chiefs of police and sheriffs. Adds Mr. Lott: “Seventy-seven percent believed that concealed-handgun permits issued in one state should be honored by other states ‘in the way that drivers’ licenses are recognized through the country’—and that making citizens’ permits portable would ‘facilitate the violent crime-fighting potential of the professional law enforcement community.’”

18 Democratic Senators REVOLT, Urge Harry Reid To STOP Obamacare Tax

 ” Eighteen Democratic U.S. Senators and senators-elect sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week calling for a “delay in the implementation” of the medical device tax in Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The provision was an integral part of the version of the Obamacare law , which was passed in the Senate under Reid’s stewardship in 2009. It is set to take effect on January 1, 2013.

An effort to repeal the provision failed in Congress in June. At the time, Reid characterized the proposed repeal as a Republican attack on Obamacare.

“The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has received little guidance about how to comply with the tax — causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses ,” according to the letter. “We urge you to support delaying enactment of this provision in a fiscally responsible manner.” “

 

 

 

… Offer Up Your Own Deficit Reduction Plan And Save The Republic

 

 

Do It Yourself Budget Reduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Gun Violence Soaring in America?

 

 

 

 

  Since the statistics make no distinction between perpetrators and their intended victims , perhaps the shrinking fatality rate in tandem with the burgeoning growth in the treatment of wounds is indicative of a civilian population that has made great inroads toward fighting back and now there are less dead victims and more wounded perps .

Or maybe in this world of the Obama ” Hope & Change ” economy no one can afford to buy the ammo necessary for target practice and thus their aim is off . 

 

 

 ” Well, the article itself cast doubt about the claim in subsequent paragraphs:

 

Criminologists say they are cautious about using such medical statistics to draw conclusions because of year-to-year inconsistencies in the number of medical institutions reporting data. The FBI collects annual homicide and aggravated assault statistics but doesn’t have reliable numbers for gun and knife attacks.

Jens Ludwig, a law professor and the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said he was leery of any number beyond reported homicides.

“Homicide is the one thing we’re measuring well,” he said. “Everything else is subject to much more uncertainty,” including varying numbers of emergency departments contributing data, as well as differences in how injuries are classified.

So, can we trust those numbers?  The short answer is “no.”  In his own analysis of the data, Kent Scheidegger, the Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said the following about the WSJ article:

It is certainly a very good thing that doctors are able to save more shooting victims, but take the “soaring gun violence” part with a grain of salt.  Aggravated assaults per capita are down 16% from 2007 to 2011, according to the FBI’s UCR, and down 24% from 2001 to 2011.  Did assaults with guns really soar while aggravated assaults overall were dropping?  I’ll join Prof. Ludwig in the leery section.”

Is Gun Violence Soaring in America?

 

  Since the statistics make no distinction between perpetrators and their intended victims , perhaps the shrinking fatality rate in tandem with the burgeoning growth in the treatment of wounds is indicative of a civilian population that has made great inroads toward fighting back and now there are less dead victims and more wounded perps .

Or maybe in this world of the Obama ” Hope & Change ” economy no one can afford to buy the ammo necessary for target practice and thus their aim is off . 

 

 

 ” Well, the article itself cast doubt about the claim in subsequent paragraphs:

 

Criminologists say they are cautious about using such medical statistics to draw conclusions because of year-to-year inconsistencies in the number of medical institutions reporting data. The FBI collects annual homicide and aggravated assault statistics but doesn’t have reliable numbers for gun and knife attacks.

Jens Ludwig, a law professor and the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, said he was leery of any number beyond reported homicides.

“Homicide is the one thing we’re measuring well,” he said. “Everything else is subject to much more uncertainty,” including varying numbers of emergency departments contributing data, as well as differences in how injuries are classified.

So, can we trust those numbers?  The short answer is “no.”  In his own analysis of the data, Kent Scheidegger, the Legal Director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, said the following about the WSJ article:

 

It is certainly a very good thing that doctors are able to save more shooting victims, but take the “soaring gun violence” part with a grain of salt.  Aggravated assaults per capita are down 16% from 2007 to 2011, according to the FBI’s UCR, and down 24% from 2001 to 2011.  Did assaults with guns really soar while aggravated assaults overall were dropping?  I’ll join Prof. Ludwig in the leery section.”

Mark Twain on the Anti-Smoking Police

(and Busybodies In General )

 

 

” Today’s Wall Street Journal reprinted a delightful five-paragraph excerpt from a 1893 essay by Mark Twain titled “The Moral Statistician.”  It is worth a few minutes of attention because it illustrates how far we’ve traveled from the days when politically incorrect truths could be voiced without fear of condemnation and censorship by the mainstream media.”

 

   To those of you who , like us , bemoan the endless parade of PC drivel coming from the ” powers that be ” whether leftist do-gooders or the official authorities in DC and the statehouses , it may bring some small measure of comfort to know that this nanny tendency predates us . Leave it to Mark Twain to set the Bloombergs of the world in their place . 

 

 

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

” I don’t want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it.

I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man’s health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years’ indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc. etc. And you are always figuring out how many women have been burned to death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, etc. etc. You never see more than one side of the question.

It won’t do for you to say that you can use it to better purpose in furnishing a good table, and in charities, and in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. . . . “

 

FHA Red Ink May Be $32.8 Bil, Double Official Audit

 

 

 ” The Federal Housing Administration is in the red, according to an official audit released Friday, making a taxpayer bailout “all but certain.” But the reality may be even worse.

The FHA’s capital reserve was -1.44% of loan guarantees, or -$16.3 billion, according to a new independent audit. Last year reserves were still positive at 0.24% and $2.6 billion.

By law, the FHA — which insurers mortgages, mostly for low-income borrowers — is supposed to have a capital reserve of 2%.

The report prompted the chairman of a House Financial Services subpanel, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., to say that “a taxpayer bailout of the Federal Housing Administration is all but certain.”

And Ed Pinto, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, says the truth is even worse. “

Illustration By Nate Beeler

Drip , Drip , Drip …

 

 

 

 

” Full time work is about to get scarcer. The reason? By hiring part-time workers who put in less than 30 hours per week, employers can avoid a mandate dictated by the new health reform law: either provide expensive health insurance or pay a fine equal to $2,000 per worker. Avoiding the mandate becomes even more attractive for low-wage employees, since they can get highly subsidized insurance in the newly created health insurance exchanges. According to the Wall Street Journal:

  • Darden Restaurants [parent of Red Lobster and Olive Garden] was among the first companies to say it was changing hiring in response to the health-care law.
  • Pillar Hotels & Resorts this summer began to focus more on hiring part-time workers among its 5,500 employees, after the Supreme Court upheld the health-care overhaul.
  • CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, began two months ago to hire part-time workers to replace full-time employees who left.
  • Home retailer Anna’s Linens Inc. is considering cutting hours for some full-time employees to avoid the insurance mandate if the healthcare law isn’t repealed.
  • In a July survey, 32% of retail and hospitality company respondents told [Mercer] that they were likely to reduce the number of employees working 30 hours a week or more.

Clearly the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a major factor holding back economic recovery. But it’s not alone. Other public policies enacted during the Obama administration’s first four years have been affecting the supply side of the market. “

 

 

Illustration By Glenn McCoy

OBAMA’S AMERICA MOST DIVIDED IN 70 YEARS

 

 

 

 

” “I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.” – Obama’s 2012 victory speech

So much for that.

In the aftermath of the 2012 election, the vast majority of states are either entirely blue or entirely red, their entire legislatures and governors of one party or the other. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “In 46 states, the same party now controls both chambers of the legislature, creating distinct divisions between red and blue states.” That’s the highest number in 70 years. When governors are counted as well, there are just 12 states across the country with divided government. A full 38 states are of a single party.

If this continues, we are watching the end of America as we know it. “

“The Pinocchio Press”

The bizarre rise of “fact checking” propagandists.

  ” Outside the world of journalism, fact checkers were pretty much unknown until recently. Like proofreaders, they work behind the scenes. Their job is quality control. The most rigorous fact-checking operations–The New Yorker’s and Reader’s Digest’s are the best known among us who know about such things–would scrutinize every factual assertion in an article, reporting back so that any error could be corrected.

Over the past few years, many organizations have promoted “fact checkers” by making them writers, or perhaps demoted writers by making them fact checkers. No, it’s more the former, because other writers have been bowing to the “fact checkers” as submissively as Barack Obama upon meeting some anti-American dictator.”

” TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: Top 5 possibilities for the RNC’s mystery speaker “

” But since people are speculating who this mystery speaker could be, here are the top 5 possibilities: “

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