Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

The Coming Great Rift Between Progressives And Democrats May Be Beginning In New York

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Shots fired.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once earned plaudits from liberals for his tough talk on gun control and success in legalizing gay marriage in the state. But, lately, he’s found no shortage of frenemies to his left.

In the past month, liberal protesters outside Cuomo’s office have dubbed him “Governor 1 Percent”; a prominent progressive activist has suggested that he run for reelection as a Republican; the head of a major labor union has called for someone to challenge the governor in the Democratic primary; and a series of behind-the-scenes feuds between Cuomo and other top Democratic officials have spilled out into public view.

The proximal cause for the infighting during an election year, when parties typically put aside their internal differences, is the state’s recently concluded, highly contentious budget process, which ended many Democrats’ hopes for sweeping ethics reforms this year. On fiscal policy, Cuomo aides insist the budget is “very progressive,” but the labor-backed Working Families Party, which endorsed the governor in 2010, is reconsidering its support this year, saying that Cuomo “chose inequality over progress.”

Progressives have been involved in a deliberate, decades-long takeover of the Democratic Party that has mostly been hallmarked by patience. The current occupier of the Oval Office has increased their expectations, however. Any Democrat who won’t smash the tax piggy bank and give them ALL THE THINGS will be found wanting and, dare I say, targeted.

One of Cuomo’s sins is that he doesn’t worship at the altar of Big Labor all of the time.

“This is not a minor shift, but it comes after a slow burn that started in 2010 … and finally just exploded in the past week and a half,” says Bill Samuels, a New York City Democratic fundraiser and activist. “There was probably no one who liked Andrew better than me.…. He lost most of us permanently. And I mean permanently. I don’t have one friend who is a Cuomo supporter.”

At its root, much of the animosity lies in some Democrats’ suspicion that Cuomo is not really one of them. Richard Brodsky, a former Democratic state senator who is now a senior fellow at the think tank Demos, has dubbed Cuomo’s worldview “progractionary”—a mix of “progressive” and “reactionary.” On social issues, the governor is a textbook liberal, but on economics, he’s embraced tax cuts and is skeptical of labor unions.

Perhaps Cuomo is skeptical because Big Labor gets rejected in every place it isn’t forced upon workers by mandate. Labor proponents will have us believe that every workplace in America will immediately morph into a sweatshop from 1894 if Big Labor has any of its power diminished or if people are allowed-wait for it-the right to choose whether they want to join a union.

The reality is that Big Labor’s fairy tale isn’t working anymore and people know that most labor unions (especially public sector unions) are all about political lobbying for things that will line the bosses’ pockets and have nothing to do with workers. And, as we have seen in Wisconsin, they can’t always win by throwing all of the money they have at an election.

It’s not that Cuomo is actually moving towards the center, his psychotic gun grab alone should prove his leftist bona fides. He is merely centrist compared to someone from the “leans commie” end of the spectrum, like Bill de Blasio:

Against this backdrop, there was bound to be conflict between Cuomo and New York City’s new mayor, who struck an emphatically populist tone in his campaign. Days after Bill de Blasio’s inauguration, an education-policy battle erupted that typifies the opposing wings of the party the two men represent. De Blasio wanted to fund a universal prekindergarten program with tax increases on the wealthy and to rein in some of the city’s charter schools; Cuomo vociferously opposes tax hikes and is a staunch defender of alternative public education.

You know who hates alternative public education?

Big Labor.

The ideological battle for the soul of the party that the MSM loves to say is happening in the GOP is actually happening on the other side of the aisle. Like all things MSM and Democrat, it’s merely projection for what is happening with them. Yes, Republican moderates and conservatives are in the midst of a very necessary fight for some direction, but we are used to such infighting and this squabble isn’t quite as new as many would believe. It does get heated but nobody is really going with a scorched earth approach…yet.

The hive mind on the other side brooks no dissent however. One or the other has to win because that like-mindedness is what the Democrats have been using to win elections lately and the whole thing hits one of their planet saving low-flush toilets in a hurry if there’s a family fight.

There is no level of government spending on phantom issues that satisfies progressives. They are economically challenged non-thinkers who are fueled by mutually exclusive beliefs. On the one hand, they think there is a finite amount of capital in the world and any financial success in the private sector comes at the expense of someone else. On the other, they believe that these same rich people who are stealing from the poor have an infinite amount of wealth which can be taxed to support government largesse. Once those are reconciled in someone’s head, the brain short-circuits and renders any future logical thought impossible.

One side has to win this battle outright. If Hillary Clinton does end up being the nominee for 2016 it will definitely escalate the fighting, as she is practically a Reagan Republican from the leftist perspective of the progressives. Elizabeth Warren is their Golden Girl and many progressives are murmuring about her seeking the presidency, even if Fauxcahontas herself denies that she wants to.

The academics who have been indoctrinating college youth for decades are all on the whacko left and sowing seeds that could very easily blossom into a mobilized electorate. We’ve already seen the first glimpse of that with the Occupy crowd. Those weren’t poor, oppressed American youth fighting to get to the middle class. They were college kids with iPhones who thought their education should be “free”.

There is no level of taxpayer gouging that satisfies progressives. They always want more. When one of their schemes predictably fails, the excuse is always that it was because there wasn’t enough money spent on it.

More, more more.

No, no, no.

Read bullet | 6 Comments »

Desperate Democrats Sign Letter Urging Obama to Approve the Keystone

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s a Hail Mary

Nearly a dozen Senate Democrats, including five up for re-election this year, are pressing President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and they say they want a decision by the end of next month.

Most Republicans support the pipeline, but the 11 Democrats who wrote a letter to Mr. Obama urging him to approve the project deliberately made it a one party-effort. While a set of bipartisan signatures can be a powerful thing in the art of Washington letter-writing, these lawmakers clearly want to accentuate the pressure Mr. Obama faces from his own party on this issue.

“It’s really to turn up the pressure on the president,” said a Senate Democratic aide on the condition of anonymity. “We know where the Republicans are on this issue.”

Democratic Sens. Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Warner of Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska, who all face tight races this November, signed the letter, which urges Mr. Obama to put in place an explicit timeline to decide on the project and to make a final decision by May 31. The party’s quest to keep control of the Senate could hinge on the races of these five Democrats, who have previously expressed support for the project. Many of them come from fossil-fuel rich states.

I have to be honest: The way I’m reading the electorate this year, four of those senators are probably toast. Warner is the only one who stands in a strong position and is running in a bluish state. Hagan and Pryor are already polling behind their opponents and they’re in red states. Landrieu has been in a downward spiral but is still hanging on. Once she faces the actual GOP nominee, her trouble begins. Louisiana has changed dramatically under her feet. Begich fell behind last month.

Still, it’s nice to see some Democrats track right for a change. The vast majority of the American people support the Keystone, but President Obama is showing his radical left roots in standing in the way. Odds are, he relents closer to the election, to give vulnerable Democrats a positive talking point.

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama’s ‘War on Women’ Devolves into a Squabble Over Dry Cleaning Costs

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The formerly* most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States of America, said this today.

POTUS said, “[I] know it’s equal pay and not Obamacare day, but I do want to point out that the affordable care act guarantees free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care and ends the days when you can be charged more for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance. That’s true for everybody. That’s just one more place where things were not fair. We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right? I know that — I don’t know why it cost more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt.”

If he really doesn’t know, it’s probably because he never held a real job in his life. Or, he just isn’t very smart.

That remark prompted the Washington Post’s Juliet Epstein and Kate Zezima to study up and write a post about — I’m not making this up — why it costs women more than men to get dry cleaning.

They note that there is no federal law against charging women more. They noted that Obama isn’t even the first Democrat to bring this vital issue to our nation’s attention.

They fail to note that women’s clothes tend to be tailored more than men’s, and that women tend to wear more delicate fabrics than men. The Post’s two writers on this one story failed to even take any of that into consideration, even though it’s blindingly obvious. They note all of the politics, but none of the relevant facts.

A female commenter on the story sets them straight.

I was born in the dry cleaning business. My parents have been in the business for 18+ years.
That being said, I would like to say dry cleaners are not trying to be discriminatory. It’s business.

1.) Men’s shirts are dry cleaner’s loss leaders. We hate people who bring 10+ shirts without any dry cleaning because we make no profit.

2.) Dry cleaners have men’s shirts machines. These machines are fit for men’s shirts.
See link: http://www.mymartinizing.com/files/shirts/sankosha…

3.) Women’s clothing are more complex than men’s clothing. This article talks about cleaning a women’s blouse versus a man’s shirt, but what about pressing a blouse, dress or skirt?

4.) Think about the lines of a woman’s figure and the way that clothes are designed to contour this figure. Now think about a man’s body. It’s more boxy. No machines are manufactured that could form the many types of women’s blouses. See link above.

5.) Women’s blouses are usually more versatile in style, fabric material, and embellishments. If a woman brought in a silk shirt, a dry cleaner would not wash it. It must be dry cleaned. The cost of chemicals and pressing is more expensive. Thus, her blouse is more costly.

Overview: The time and effort that goes into cleaning women’s clothing is more labor intensive as well as time intensive. This is why Michelle’s blouse is more expensive than Obama’s shirt.

Thank you, Pres. Obama, for considering the discrimination of women in the area of dry cleaning. However, you spoke too soon.

*Barack Obama has devalued the US presidency to the extent that he is no longer the most powerful man in the world. Vladimir Putin might be, China’s president might be, George Soros might be…but Barack Obama is not.

Read bullet | 7 Comments »

Reid: ‘Really Rich, Rich, Rich, Rich, Rich People’ Keep Women from Equal Pay

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters after a policy luncheon today that “really rich, rich, rich, rich, rich people” are trying to keep women from earning as much as men.

Democrats were on the offensive for Equal Pay Day, when President Obama issued executive orders to prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation and to collect information from federal contractors on pay broken down by sex and race.

“For the last few days, you’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, and you’ve heard it. I’m going to repeat it today. In America, a man who works the same job a woman has makes more money than she does. It takes a woman until today every year to make up for what she lost last year,” Reid said.

“So my Republican colleagues, I guess, think that pay gap doesn’t matter that much since I had not a single person come to the floor — well, we’ve had a couple. One of them came and said it was a bill for trial lawyers,” he continued. “But basically they do nothing but stand in the background and filibuster. I get it. Two Congresses ago, they did it last Congress, and they’re doing it this Congress, filibustering our moving to this important piece of legislation.”

Reid spoke of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which comes to the floor Wednesday with heavy opposition from Republicans.

“These really rich, rich, rich, rich, rich people like the Koch brothers, they prefer to go along with women being paid less than men. And like so many things here, the Republicans in the Senate go along with what the Koch brothers want,” he said. “This issue boils down a fundamental question: Whose side are you on? As usual, the Republicans are siding with the rich and not obviously being too concerned about what’s happening with women in America, not getting paid as much as men for doing the exact same work.”

Reid was asked if he’s going to get to the minimum wage bill, seeking a hike to $10.10, before the end of the week.

“I don’t think so. I have a lot of other things I’m going to do,” he said. “I want to put lots of nominations we’re going to move on, as early as probably today. So we’ll have to have a ton of votes before the week is done.”

Then the majority leader was asked by another reporter if he’s “been successful in explaining to America who they are.”

“Well, I haven’t been successful enough, because I’m going to continue. But I do feel good about this, no one knew who the Koch brothers were until we started this little deal here. And now about half the people in America know who they are,” Reid declared. “By the time we finish this, everyone is going to know who these — the two richest brothers in the world are.”

Read bullet | 48 Comments »

Desperate Dems Spread ‘Equal Pay’ Non-Cents

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

In other news, divisive, dishonest president who lied about your healthcare and his meeting with the Pope finds something else to lie about.

If Barack Obama really cared about the “equal pay” issue more than he cared about drumming up an issue for the politics of it, he would have seen to it that his own White House female staff make the same money for the same work before he launched today’s “Equal Pay Day” festivities. But he didn’t. Women in his own White House still make less than the boys.

And only a few years after the blogs noticed, so does the New York Times. All the news that’s fit to print…eventually. We’ll get around to it. Honest.

As Obama Spotlights Gender Gap in Wages, His Own Payroll Draws Scrutiny

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday will call attention to what he has said is an “embarrassment” in America: the fact that women make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns.

But critics of the administration are eager to turn the tables and note that Mr. Obama’s White House fares only slightly better. A study released in January showed that female White House staff members make on average 88 cents for every dollar a male staff member earns.

How embarrassing.

Time for a spin cycle!

Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, said the statistics for White House staff members reflect the fact that women fill more lower-level positions than men. But he said that women and men in the same positions at the White House are paid the same, and that many of the women hold senior positions.

“Men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries,” Mr. Carney said. “Some of the most senior positions in the White House are filled by women, including national security adviser, homeland security adviser, White House counsel, communications director, senior adviser, deputy chief of staff.”

He said that the 88-cent statistic was misleading because it aggregates the salaries of White House staff members at all levels, including the lowest levels, where women outnumber men.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, said the 77-cent statistic that Mr. Obama has often cited was misleading for the same reason, because it aggregates salaries for the American workforce. “The wage gap is real, but the White House does itself a disservice — and embarrasses itself in the process — by grasping for misleading statistics that don’t tell the whole story,” Mr. Buck said.

Obama’s team got caught playing fast and loose with numbers when they launched this gambit. Oopsies.  And of course, no one was fired for misleading the American press and people. That’s a job requirement with this White House.

The upshot of what the Democrats really want out of all this (other than an issue for the mid-terms and something besides Obamacare, the economy, Russia, etc to talk about): More regulations on businesses, more excuses for trial lawyers to sue.

This week, Democrats in the Senate are to begin considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would add new regulations on how private companies pay their employees.

This is who the Democrats are. They attack businesses for political fun and profit.

h/t Just One Minute

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama to Sign Executive Orders on Equal Pay Targeting Federal Contractors

Monday, April 7th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

With Lilly Ledbetter at his side, President Obama will announce two executive actions tomorrow to mark Equal Pay Day while urging the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this week.

The bill would “revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages” and “revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.”

Critics say the bill would constrain merit pay, hamper flexibility for working mothers, and put undue burdens on employers.

The main sponsor, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), had been urging Obama to take executive action along with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), sponsor of the House version. Obama’s order will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation and will collect information from federal contractors on pay broken down by sex and race.

“I applaud President Obama’s decision to take executive action to ensure that contractors doing business with the United States government are not retaliating against hardworking Americans seeking equal pay for equal work. I urged President Obama to take this important step while we work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress so that women fighting for equal pay will no longer be fighting on their own,” Mikulski said in a statement.

“It’s been more than half a century since the Equal Pay Act but women still make just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women should no longer be sidelined, redlined or pink slipped,” she added. “I call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so we can put change in the lawbooks and change into checkbooks of working families across America.”

DeLauro and Mikulski argue that the wage gap costs women $434,000 over their careers.

“Tomorrow we mark Equal Pay Day, the day when an average woman’s earnings finally catch up to what her male colleagues made the prior year,” DeLauro said. “A key part of ending what President Kennedy called the ‘serious and endemic’ problem of unequal wages is having the knowledge that you are being paid less in the first place.”

The congresswoman noted that Ledbetter’s case began when the former Goodyear plant supervisor found out she was being paid less because of an anonymous note, so “in order to detect and combat pay discrimination, employees must be able to share salary information with their coworkers without fear of punishment.”

“I constantly hear from women across the country that unequal pay continues to happen and is hard to uncover,” she said. “This is not just about women; it is about ensuring families, who are more reliant on women’s wages than ever, are not being shortchanged. Collecting data is a necessary step if we are to identify and end patterns of pay disparity. I am pleased the Labor Department will be taking steps to finally deal with this scourge head-on. And I could not applaud more strongly the President’s Executive Order banning retaliation among federal contractors. Now Congress needs to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so we can ensure women succeed and America succeeds.”

The 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act overturned the 180-day statute of limitations for women to contest pay discrimination. It was the first bill Obama signed and Ledbetter worked for him on the 2012 campaign trail.

Read bullet | 9 Comments »

Unemployment Rates Rise for Women, Blacks in March

Friday, April 4th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent for March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning, a number that’s shown little movement since December.

“The unemployment rate for adult women increased to 6.2 percent in March, and the rate for adult men decreased to 6.2 percent. The rates for teenagers (20.9 percent), whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.9 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier,” the Labor report said. The jobless rate for women was 5.9 percent in February and 12 percent for blacks.

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.7 million, changed little in March; these individuals accounted for 35.8 percent of the unemployed.” The labor force participation rate and employment-population ratio also remained stagnant.

The Obama administration, though, latched onto the part of the report that found total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March.

“The economy continued to add jobs in March at a pace consistent with job growth over the past year. Additionally, the unemployment rate was steady while the labor force participation rate edged up. While today’s data indicates that the recovery is continuing to unfold, the President still believes further steps must be taken to strengthen growth and boost job creation,” Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement. “In this regard, the Senate’s decision yesterday to move forward with the consideration of a bill to reinstate extended unemployment insurance was an important step in the right direction.”

“In addition to encouraging this and other action in Congress, such as raising the minimum wage and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, the President will continue to act on his own executive authority wherever possible to expand economic opportunity for American families.”

Long-term unemployment benefits expired at the end of last year. A bill to reinstate the stimulus-era package cleared a cloture vote in the Senate on Thursday and is expected to pass Monday, but is unlikely to clear the House without major revisions.

“I’m glad more Americans have found work, but our economy still isn’t creating jobs for the American people at the rate they were promised,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Under the Republican jobs plan, the House has passed dozens of bills that would help fuel economic growth by expanding all types of energy production, protecting families and small business from ObamaCare, improving education and job training, and more.”
“Senate Democrats have no excuse for standing in the way of these common-sense jobs measures, many of which passed with bipartisan support, and I urge them to act immediately.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama Accuses Republicans of Giving America ‘The Shaft’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The president — to be more accurate, the Organizing for Action workers who tweet on his behalf despite legal requirements that OfA be independent from the White House — tweeted this today.

Just to go over the statistics one more time, raising the minimum wage does not and never would “give America a raise.” The implication in that is that the vast majority of Americans are living on the minimum wage. That is far enough from the truth to constitute a lie.

Fewer than 5% of American workers live on the minimum wage. Many of them are teenagers and young adults working in their first or second jobs, and many of them are not poor at all. They are middle class kids working while they obtain their educations.

The minimum wage was never intended to be a permanent condition. It is a starting wage.

Raising the minimum wage nearly always leads to unintended negative consequences that President Obama never acknowledges, including businesses laying off some workers to compensate for being forced to raise wages for all of their minimum-wage workers. Raising the minimum wage also causes some employers not to hire more workers at all, because the forced wage hike gets in the way.

In the next tweet, Obama moves from the outrage statement to the action statement:

Why $10.10? Why not $11.00, or $20, or more? It’s an arbitrary number picked because it’s easy to say and remember. It’s all about public relations, not economics.

The bottom line is, if one wants to kill off a few jobs at the lower end of the economic ladder, raising the minimum wage across the board would be an excellent way to accomplish that. Raising the minimum wage will also hasten the day when machines replace even more workers.

Read bullet | 7 Comments »

Caterpillar Execs Tell Carl Levin To Stuff His Taxes Witch Hunt

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

His retirement can’t come soon enough.

Caterpillar Inc defended itself on Tuesday against accusations of offshore tax-dodging, telling a U.S. Senate panel that a low-tax unit the company set up years ago in Switzerland has not been challenged by U.S. tax authorities.

Executives from the world’s largest maker of mining and construction equipment were hauled in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to answer to allegations made by the panel in a 99-page report.

Released on Monday, it said Caterpillar avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes from 2000 through 2012 by moving profits from sales of replacement parts through the Swiss unit, a strategy sharply criticized by the panel’s chairman.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin said the Swiss arrangement had no business purpose other than to dodge taxes. “The documents couldn’t be clearer, it’s a tax deal,” Levin said at the hearing, the latest in a series on corporate tax avoidance.

Caterpillar executives said its tax strategies, related to a complex corporate restructuring that began in 1999, were legal and in the best interest of its shareholders.

Longtime Democrat (and many big government Republican) legislators like Levin will always be mad if you move your head away from the gun they’re pointing at you during the stickup. It is no big secret that lefties are resentful of any person or company that is successful in the private sector and believe that success should be punished.

The Dream World of Levin and his ilk doesn’t have any place for hard working people and corporations to legally protect their own money. Give them enough time working with the UN and they’ll get that.

Read bullet | Comments »

Ryan Unveils Latest GOP Budget That Cuts $5.1 Trillion in Spending

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled the latest incarnation of the Path to Prosperity budget blueprint, a proposal that vows to cut $5.1 trillion in government spending and gets a thumb’s up from the Congressional Budget Office for economic growth.

Ryan says his plan balances the budget within a decade, strengthens Medicare and national security, repeals Obamacare, reforms the tax code and tackles entitlement reform.

“This is a plan to balance the budget and create jobs, and it builds off a simple fact: We can’t keep spending money we don’t have,” Ryan said. “…The Bipartisan Budget Act was a good first step. But we can and must do more. As the House majority, we have a responsibility to lay out a long-term vision for the country, and this budget shows how we will solve our nation’s biggest challenges.”

“By cutting wasteful spending, strengthening key priorities, and laying the foundation for a stronger economy, we have shown the American people there’s a better way forward.”

The White House immediately jumped on Ryan’s plan as “the same old top-down approach.”

“The House Republican Budget stands in stark contrast to the President’s Budget, which would accelerate economic growth and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans, while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The President has put forward a Budget that rewards hard work with fair wages, equips all children with a high-quality education to prepare them for a good job, puts a secure retirement within reach, and ensures health care is affordable and reliable, while at the same time asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share and making tough cuts to programs we can’t afford,” press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

“And by paying for new investments and tackling our true fiscal challenges, the President’s Budget builds on the progress we’ve already made to cut the deficit by more than half since 2009 and cuts the deficit as a share of the economy to 1.6 percent by 2024. It also stabilizes the debt as a share of the economy by 2015 and puts it on a declining path after that,” Carney continued. “Budgets are about choices and values. House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead.”

Ryan reaped praise from his House colleagues, though. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) lauded how it “prioritizes expanded American energy production and recognizes that new energy development is one of the best ways to raise new revenue, put Americans back to work, bolster the economy, lower gasoline prices, and create good-paying jobs.”

“Onshore and offshore U.S. energy production on our federal lands currently accounts for the second largest source of revenue to the U.S. Treasury,” Hastings said. “Yet the full potential of our energy resources will never be realized if the Obama Administration continues to block new leases sales and impose unnecessary bureaucratic regulations and costly red-tape.”

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) tweeted, “Paul Ryan ran for VP on a very similar budget to the one he released today. Americans didn’t like it last time, they won’t this time.”

unclesam-580

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee Explains High Unemployment: It’s All Republicans’ Fault!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Watching this segment from MSNBC today, it’s a close call as to who of the two is more economically ignorant. It might be the leftwing host asking his leading, softball question. Or it might be the leftwing Democrat he is chatting with.

Chris Hayes asked Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), “Something I can’t help but notice is there is a very obvious policy in front of everyone right now, which would be extending long term unemployment insurance. And it’s hard for me to think that the reason those people are on long term unemployment, or long term unemployed, is because they have neck tattoos, or because they didn’t have enough super vision growing up. I can’t quite seem to connect cause and effect there. Do you agree?”

Way to ask a tough question, there, Chris! What’s the follow-up, “Why are you so awesome?”

It is true that excessive body modification tends to limit one’s career prospects in many career fields, unless you’re Glenn Hetrick and you own your own special effects and movie creature design business. We can’t all be Glenn Hetrick. Which is too bad in some respects, because he pulls off some amazing stuff. At any rate, the whole “neck tattoos” discussion is a predictable vehicle by which Hayes intends to belittle Republicans and dismiss their actual economic and governance arguments. MSNBC is nothing if not the most predictable product on cable.

Lee’s answer to Hayes’ slow-pitch isn’t any better than the question: “These stereotypes are outrageous. People don’t have jobs because we have not invested in job creation, and the Republican Tea Party refuses to invest in job creation.”

It gets worse from there: “People don’t have jobs for the most part because we have really fallen short on workforce training, on education, on really investing in targeting resources in communities that are hardest hit. Not everyone has benefited from this recession — you know, this recovery, excuse me. But you know, some are, others aren’t.”

Government is an exceedingly poor job creator, and cannot create actual wealth. It can get out of the way of wealth creators, but most often chooses not to. It can and does confiscate wealth and redistribute it, all at the point of a gun. Lee evidently wants more of that.

Is it possible that people don’t have jobs because Democrat policies — Obamacare, overburdening regulations, Obama’s energy policies, confiscatory taxes at the state and local level — have made it hard to create and sustain jobs? Hayes never asks that question, and Lee therefore never has to answer it.

Watch the segment here:

Read bullet | Comments »

This Is Not Going to Help Wendy Davis’ Run for Governor of Texas. At All.

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Texas Democrats stick with their leftist national party on all the issues, relying on demographic changes to make them competitive. Eventually. Some time this century, they swear!

But a funny thing may be happening on their way to demographic destiny. The Texas Democrats may be losing the very demographic they most desire, because of an issue.

Imagine that.

As in other states with significant Hispanic populations, polling shows that Latinos in Texas are increasingly turning against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. According to the recent University of Texas poll, a majority of the state’s Hispanic population now has an unfavorable view of the law – with a stunning 41 percent saying they have a “very unfavorable” opinion of this new system. Overall, Texans are deeply opposed to the law, with just about half saying their view is “very unfavorable.”

All that’s according to the Libre Initiative, which also notes that Hispanic opinion of Obamacare has gone negative in Colorado. Hispanic voters were once solidly behind Obamacare, but are now split on it. More broadly, Obamacare may have discredited the idea of big government among Hispanic voters, at a time when Democrats are counting on those very same voters to hand them Texas and other states with growing Hispanic populations.

So what does this have to do with Wendy Davis?

The Texas Democrat is nothing if not a creature of the left wing of her party. She is running for governor in a state in which Democrats have not won statewide since current college sophomores have been alive. Davis supports Obamacare and has goaded the state to expand Medicaid. Davis also authored an amendment in the Texas lege that would have had government take over private insurance rates. Davis stayed out on the left fringe, providing just one of three votes against a market-based Texas health care reform for small businesses. And, at a time when Texas has been weathering a storm of regulatory nonsense from Washington, Wendy Davis wanted to raid the state’s rainy day fund to expand Medicaid to support Obamacare.

It’s fair to say that most Texans did not and do not want that to happen.

Wendy Davis is a champion of big government failure, at a time when the key Hispanic vote is trending against big government failure because of Obamacare, an unpopular law that Wendy Davis supports. Come November, that’s liable to have consequences.

Read bullet | Comments »

Sanders: We’re Living in a ‘Very Ugly Moment in American History’

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said we’re living in an “ugly moment in American history” because of income inequality in the country.

“We’re living in very, very strange and disconcerting times. We have more people living in poverty today than in any time in the history of the United States of America. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty,” Sanders said last night on MSNBC.

“Meanwhile, the rich are doing phenomenally well and corporations are enjoying record-breaking profits. And it is astounding to me from a moral perspective that folks in the Republican party stay up nights figuring out how they can give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and large corporations and then come back and try to cut food stamps for families who are hungry, for kids who are hungry, try to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is really a very ugly moment in American history,” he added.

The self-proclaimed socialist, 72, has hinted at a run for president in 2016, lamenting that the other hopefuls likely to be angling for the Oval Office aren’t committed to a “political revolution.”

“We have right now in real terms almost 13 percent of our people are unemployed. We have not extended unemployment benefits, long-term unemployment benefits. So you have folks out there now who have virtually no income coming in. They have families. They have kids. How are they going to eat? We have veterans out there who are trying to get into the food stamp program,” Sanders said.

“So to me what you’re looking at is an ugly kind of class warfare where the people on top want more and more and more. And they’re pushing down in an incredibly terrible way the most vulnerable people in our country.”

Sanders called the question of hunger “a basic moral issue that we as a nation have got to really discuss.”

“Tax breaks to billionaires and cuts to nutrition programs for kids. If a kid does not have enough food to eat, how is that child going to do well in school? He or she is not going do well in school,” he continued.

“So you’re attacking the most vulnerable people in this country. There is a rise in poverty among senior citizens, elderly people. They don’t have enough to eat. What kind of nation are we when we give tax breaks to billionaires, but we can’t take care of the elderly and the children?”

Read bullet | 33 Comments »

Bipartisan Effort To Export Natural Gas To Europe

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

No-brainer.

Calls to begin U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to counter Russian influence across the continent grew louder Tuesday amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine.

Lithuania’s energy minister, Jaroslav Neverovic, pleaded in emotional terms for U.S. help, saying his country is “100 percent” dependent on Russia for natural gas and has to pay 30 percent higher prices for it than other countries in Europe.

“This is not just unfair, this is abuse,” Neverovic told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Lawmakers from both parties used the hearing to urge the Obama administration to speed up natural gas exports as a hedge against the possibility that Russia could cut off its supply of gas to Ukraine and other countries.

Team Lightbringer is always slow to move on anything involving natural gas because it is beholden to the insane hippies from Big Green and their misinformation campaign about fracking.

It should be noted that the president was a big fan of natural gas production during the 2012 election whenever he campaigned in a state that benefited financially from it. You would have thought he invented fracking then.

Read bullet | Comments »

VIDEO: Big Government Caused This – Bigger Government Doesn’t Fix It

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 - by Seton Motley

The solution to government – isn’t more government.  But that’s exactly what governments proffer all the time.

Local governments have imposed ridiculously high and expensive impediments to private broadband companies providing their residents service.

The federal government then decries the resulting local-government-created dearth of competition.  And uses it as an excuse to jam more government — government-provided broadband — down states’ throats.  Including the twenty states that have passed laws proscribing government broadband.

ObamaCare, anyone?  Federalism, anyone?

All of which, and more, we explain in the visual and audio medium located herein.

Please, enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

(And for more of this in the printed word, please go here.)

 

 

Read bullet | Comments »

Boxer: Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage Is a Winning Election-Year Issue

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says raising the minimum wage should be the midterm election-year issue that gets people out to the polls this fall.

“We need federal action,” she told MSNBC. “…The pressure should be on these Republicans who brought about, in my view, under George W. Bush because of their policies, a horrific economic crash. President Obama got on top of this. Remember we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. We’ve had all these months of job creation, we’ve cut the deficit in half, we have some credibility and I believe there are three things we can do now to get this economy rocking and rolling. And one of them is to raise the minimum wage, the other pay unemployment compensation to those long-term unemployed, and third, pass an immigration bill.”

“And those three things would get us really moving. So I’m not going to sit back and say let the cities and states do it. I’m going to push as hard as I can and I think we’ve made the case,” Boxer continued. “…I ran into Robert Reich the other day and he said, ‘You know, this is the same story we hear over and over again. Oh, we’ll lose jobs, we’ll lose jobs.’ And when we raised the minimum the wage with Bill Clinton in the White House, we created 23 million jobs. And Reich said it was a great to thing do and I think he has credibility.”

The senator said “we need the passion of the people and we need the people to vote in this midterm election.”

“These are the issues that are confronting us. Oh, my God, this is a huge difference between the parties. Sadly, it never used to be. Under George W., we raised the minimum wage. We did it in a few steps. This makes no sense but that’s where the parties are. You know, two-thirds of small businesses support an increase in the minimum wage because, you know, they’re very smart, they see that if their workers have some extra money in their pocket they will spend it on the products that they sell, that they produce. Henry Ford understood this. And I think it’s important to know that the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35.”

“This is America and we got to do better,” she added. “It is an election issue… If you move it to $10.10, it would be a justice for inflation from 1968.”

Read bullet | Comments »

Photo Caption Winner: ‘US Capitol Goes Dark Thousands Lose Power’ and a Video Surprise Too!

Monday, March 17th, 2014 - by Myra Adams
dark

Credit: BuzzFeed

 

Our writers exceeded the judge’s high expectations with their bright entries for our dark photo caption contest.

We even had a grand prize winner who is a contest newbie and that is Makster with his entry:

US Capitol goes dark. America’s future is bright.

So thanks, Makster and we hope that you will continue playing along with our loyal readers who light up the web with their hilarious captions.

Here are the other entries that shined like stars over the dark Capitol.

Our reining Caption King, Chris Henderson had several creative entries:

Don’t panic. Obama’s teleprompter has its own back-up generator.

D.C. switches to Solyndra – loses A.C.

“If you like your electric power, you can keep your electric power.”

RockThisTown  (another Caption King )had three winners:

Democrats’ plan for 2016 – keep America in the dark.

Obama turns the lights  out so no one can see the latest unemployment numbers.

What happens when government redistributes light.

JRSWINE won with two catchy captions:

Perfect time to pass that Immigration Bill.

We have succeeded in lowering our carbon footprint.

At The Rubicon won with:

Thousands Lose Power. Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

David 77 gave us:

Don’t worry. With Pen and a Phone Obama will light the way (with his brilliant intellect)

Zip Code cracked up the judges with:

That should teach them not to buy a toaster made in China.

See you all next time a photo is worthy of a PJ Media Caption Contest!

But wait..if you call right now… (just kidding about calling) but do check out this video.

It takes you inside the twisted mind of a young left-leaning liberal who was once an Obamabot but now has turned against her beloved leader.

Watch how she burns her Obama campaign T-shirt in a rant where you will learn more about what young voters are thinking than any hand-picked focus group.

And yes, please comment and name this video.

YouTube Preview Image

Video hat-tip: BizPac Review

Read bullet | 15 Comments »

Just Great: Empty Government Buildings Costing Us Almost $2 Billion A Year

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Your tax dollars at work.

Government estimates suggest there may be 77,000 empty or underutilized buildings across the country. Taxpayers own them, and even vacant, they’re expensive. The Office of Management and Budget believes these buildings could be costing taxpayers $1.7 billion a year.

That’s because someone has to mow the lawns, keep the pipes from freezing, maintain security fences, pay for some basic power — even when the buildings are just sitting empty.

“To see a building that’s 28,000 square feet, just boarded up three stories — it’s really a shame not to have it … put to a use that would be of benefit to taxpayers and citizens as a whole,” Wise says.

We smaller government types are generally ecstatic when the federal behemoth stops using anything. Bureaucracies are only good at one thing though: hemorrhaging cash. The federal government is an institutional idiot savant when it comes to wasteful spending. If there is nothing to waste money on, it will make something up. If there is no more money to waste, it will whine that it needs more tax revenue.

Even while its sitting on some choice real estate.

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama Gets Set to Force Businesses to Accept Lower Profits

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

When Barack Obama gets desperate, he attacks businesses. The latest maneuver in his war on work is a gambit to unilaterally change labor regulations so that more workers qualify for overtime pay.

On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.

Mr. Obama’s decision to use his executive authority to change the nation’s overtime rules is likely to be seen as a challenge to Republicans in Congress, who have already blocked most of the president’s economic agenda and have said they intend to fight his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25.

Mr. Obama’s action is certain to anger the business lobby in Washington, which has long fought for maximum flexibility for companies in paying overtime.

The odds of this actually helping the economy or any great number of workers is minimal, but neither of those is actually the point. This move isn’t actually about helping anyone other than Democrats. The Obama economy is sluggish, with Obamacare being among the main reasons for that. Businesses will find a way to avoid having to pay overtime, either by limiting hours, laying some workers off or some other means, because their mission is to stay alive and generate profits. Businesses are not charities or jobs programs. They exist to make profits. If this move cuts into those profits, businesses will minimize the effects as best as they can. This is not evil or malicious behavior, as some on the left are likely to characterize it, it’s rational behavior. Given the hostility of this administration to the very concept of work, it’s self-defense.

But what this move does, or is intended to do, is provoke the business community and the GOP into reacting, which gives the Democrats a talking point about “denying overtime pay” and what have you. Like everything else about the Obama administration, this is a sham.

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama and Sebelius Just Snuck Out Yet Another Obamacare Delay

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It’s hard to keep track, given the Obama administration’s rampant transparency and all, but this appears to be the 31st unilateral change that the Obama administration has made to Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal noticed the latest quiet earthquake.

This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn’t think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don’t comply withObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.

That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.

In 2013, HHS decided that ObamaCare’s wave of policy terminations qualified as a “hardship” that entitled people to a special type of coverage designed for people under age 30 or a mandate exemption. HHS originally defined and reserved hardship exemptions for the truly down and out such as battered women, the evicted and bankrupts.

The new “hardship” may include having your healthplan canceled because of Obamacare’s mandates, and finding out that the Obamacare-approved plan that you have to buy costs more than the plan that got whacked. You don’t even have to have any documentation to get the hardship. And you don’t even have to have had healthcare prior to the Age of Obamacare. You just have to say so. All this means that the individual mandate, which the Democrats were so stridently insistent must remain in place even if the government had to be shut down last fall, has now been pushed back a couple of years, to 2016. That year being a presidential election year, bank on the outgoing Obama administration to do Hillary Clinton a solid and delay the mandate to 2017, some time around the point at which the Democrats officially choose their nominee. Just in case.

This is a rather large admission that Obamacare simply does not work and is hurting an awful lot of people, some of them being Democrats running for re-election this fall. Obama is looking out for those people if not the rest of us, and if he has to lawlessly extend the mandate to help them, so be it. It’s an admission that the centerpiece of Obamacare is now an existential threat to the party that passed it.

Which is a sort of justice, really.

Read bullet | Comments »

Sen. Tim Kaine Says He Opposes the Keystone Because Tar Sands Oil is ‘Dirtier.’ But Is It?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Earlier today on MSNBC, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) insisted that he bases his opposition to the widely popular Keystone XL Pipeline on science. That pipeline, if completed, would bring Canadian tar sands oil across the United States to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas.

Kaine says his problem with the pipeline project isn’t the pipeline itself, but the oil it would transport.

Chuck Todd asks Kaine, “Where do you stand on Keystone?”

“I’m against it,” Kaine replies, “not because of the pipeline”

“I don’t think we should be exploiting the oil…Tar sands oil is dirtier.”

Shawn Martini of the Consumer Energy Alliance says the science isn’t with Kaine on this.

“It’s one of things that sounds good,” Martini says, “But there’s no context.”

Martini continued: “GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions from oil sands crude account for 0.0016% of global emissions. Oil sands crude, on a wheels to wheels basis, is just as GHG intensive as Californian or Venezuelan crude. The plus side being that KXL will offset almost all of U.S. imports from Venezuela, further reducing the GHG footprint on a lifecycle basis due to lower emissions from transporting the oil.

“Moreover, since the oilsands in Canada will be developed even if KXL is not build ( a fact affirmed by the State Department’s EIS), it would be better to refine said crude oil here in the states where we have pollution controls, and high tech refineries that can get the most refined product out of every barrel. As opposed to incurring the GHG footprint of shipping the oil across the Pacific to China, where it will be refined without the benefit of environmental protections and air quality standards found in the US.

“Our policy continues to support the development of the Keystone XL pipeline as a way to lower emissions, increase energy security, and grow our economy,” Martini said in a statement provided to the PJ Tatler.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that about 65% of Americans approve building the pipeline, but President Barack Obama and some Democrats have dragged out construction for several years now.

Read bullet | Comments »

There’s More to #SXSW2014 than Skinny Jeans and Hipsters

Friday, March 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

20140307_112325

 

As great as it can be to be a conservative at CPAC, it tends to be a weekend of preaching to the choir. Well, that, and getting smeared by the dishonest media.

Media could just as easily stroll around Austin this weekend and mock the self-important, the hipster, the thousands upon thousands of conventioneers who occupy every couch, beanbag, stool and crevice to do exactly what they would be doing if they were at home — namely, burying their heads in their laptops and shutting out the rest of the world. If you’re looking for stereotypes, the city and SXSW are full of them — the non-conformist who wears the same little porkpie hat that every other non-conformist wears, the anti-corporate type checking into Facebook on his iPhone or Galaxy, the libertarian start-up dreamer who espouses every single anti-business leftwing trope known to humanity. They’re all here.

But so are the corporations.

20140307_133610_LLS

 

And the networks.

 

20140307_130025

20140307_111132

 

Seth Meyers’ booth/tent lets you rent bikes to get around town, which is pretty helpful. SXSW has brought a couple hundred thousand extra people here, and the roads aren’t even built to handle Austin’s normal traffic. Parking is insane. A free bike is handy.

Anyway, the media won’t mock any of this and it won’t note the corporate-indie conflict or just make fun of some of the more obvious oddities of the whole thing. The corporations are here and the indie start-ups are here, somewhere, and the politics of the place has a distinctively leftish point of view, which doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it. The left these days is all about conformity and one-size-fits-all. The left looks at bankrupt California and successful Texas and wants to force the latter to become more like the former, instead of allowing for differences or admitting that its way isn’t working. Tech is about doing whatever works, and then making that work better or in some new way. Tech development is about freedom. The left, and the politics the left has brought to SXSW, are not about freedom at all.

Read bullet | 14 Comments »

National Unemployment Rises to 6.7%; ‘Texas Miracle’ Rolls On

Friday, March 7th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

After dipping to a five-year low last month, unemployment ticked back up a notch to 6.7% in February. The New York Times puts the best spin possible on the poor numbers.

The American economy added 175,000 jobs last month, a pace that was better than economists had expected and well above the anemic job gains recorded in December and January.

Still, the latest figures for hiring were down from last year’s average of roughly 190,000 and fell a bit short of what policy makers had been hoping to see at this stage of the recovery. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 6.7 percent.

The February report by the Labor Department had been eagerly awaited and was viewed as a wild card, with economists struggling to estimate the impact of wintry weather in many parts of the country as well as seasonal adjustments by government statisticians.

Before Friday’s report, the consensus among economists on Wall Street called for employers to have added 149,000 positions in February, with the jobless rate remaining flat at 6.6 percent.

The best thing we could do to foster job growth nationally is repeal Obamacare.

By the way, not all states are suffering equally in the Obama economy. And one state is not only creating jobs, it is creating them more equitably, according to that right-wing rag, the Washington Post.

Texas experienced stronger job growth than the rest of the nation from 2000 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Not only that, a pair of researchersnote in a Thursday research publication, but Texas leads the nation in creation of jobs at all pay levels, too.

“Texas has also created more ‘good’ than ‘bad’ jobs,” they write. “Jobs in the top half of the wage distribution experienced disproportionate growth. The two upper wage quartiles were responsible for 55 percent of net new jobs. A similar pie chart cannot be made for the rest of the U.S., which lost jobs in the lower-middle quartile over the period.”

Read the rest.

Read bullet | Comments »

Staples Hits The ‘Not So Easy’ Button, Plans To Close 225 Stores

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sign of the times?

Staples Inc, the largest U.S. office supplies retailer, forecast a fall in current-quarter sales as it loses customers to mass market chains and e-retailers, and the company said it would close up to 225 stores in North America by 2015.

Staples’ shares fell 9 percent before the bell, after the company also posted lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results and forecast current-quarter profit below analysts’ estimates.

The company operates 1,515 stores in the United States and 331 stores in Canada.

Staples said it had initiated a multi-year cost reduction plan that was expected to generate annualized pretax cost savings of about $500 million by 2015.

Rival Office Depot Inc (ODP.N) said last week that it expected sales to continue falling in 2014, after reporting a surprise quarterly loss.

Staples and Office Depot have been struggling to keep shoppers from turning to mass merchants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and online retailers like Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

Staples has been shifting its focus to new categories such as tablets, breakroom supplies and copy and print services from traditional office supplies such as paper and toner.

It has also increased the number of items it sells online.

Shouldn’t we be a little past the point of blaming Wal-Mart and Amazon every time a retailer struggles? It’s not as if we are in the first year or so of this crazy Internet phenomenon or Wal-Mart’s business model is sneaking up on anyone.

There is probably plenty of discussion to be had about the lack of adaptability and forethought exhibited by Staples upper management. Mentioning that you’re increasing the number of items you sell online in 2014 almost sounds like a quaint quote from the past, after all.

Maybe we should take a look at the fact that, despite whichever numbers might uptick for a month or two, this economy has been mired quicksand for a long, long time. There is also the overwhelmingly negative impact that Obamacare is having, and will continue to have, on small and medium sized business, or the kinds of customers who made companies like Staples huge in the first place.

As a self-employed, small business person who has shopped at places like Staples and Office Depot for years, as well as a frequent Amazon shopper, I can honestly say that all of the money I used to spend at Staples isn’t going to Amazon. It’s not going anywhere.

Because it doesn’t exist anymore.

Read bullet | Comments »

Bad News for the Obama Economy

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The US manufacturing sector is stubbornly ignoring the years-old “summer of recovery.”

Hiring isn’t doing any better.

Private sector employers added just 139,000 jobs in February. While that was an increase from 127,000 jobs added in January, it was still disappointing.

The number missed economists’ forecasts and was well below an average of 186,000 jobs added in each of the prior 12 months. Like many of the other weak economic reports lately, economists were quick to blame the disappointing number on snow and ice.

“Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which helps ADP (ADP, Fortune 500) compile the report.

Sure. Blame it on the weather.

Read bullet | Comments »

Obama EPA to Announce Even More Regulations; Could Raise Gas Price 9 Cents Per Gallon

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Environmental Protection Agency’s power to formulate regulations without Congressional authorization is the subject of a case currently being decided in the US Supreme Court. Justices have voiced skepticism that the EPA even has such power. But that isn’t slowing the agency down, nor is the rapidly developing situation in Ukraine. The EPA is reportedly set to announce yet another round of unilaterally-imposed sanctions on the US economy.

The Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly announce a new rule Monday that requires oil refiners to strip even more sulfur molecules from American gasoline blends.

The New York Times reports that the new rule will require oil refiners to install new equipment and carmakers to install newer, cleaner fuel-burning technology in engines. The EPA estimates that the cost of gasoline will be raised by two-thirds of a cent per gallon as a result of the new regulations, while the sticker price of a car will be increased by $75.

The former estimate is disputed by Charles Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers lobbying group. Drevna claims that the price of gasoline could rise by up to 9 cents per gallon.

“I don’t know what model [the EPA] uses,” Drevna told The Times. “The math doesn’t add up.”

That’s the story of the Obama administration: The math doesn’t add up.

 

Read bullet | Comments »

Science Mag Editor, Former Obama Adviser: Build the Keystone, Because, Science!

Friday, February 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The opposition to building the Keystone pipeline is shrinking by the day. Another former Obama adviser has come out in favor of building it.

Marcia McNutt, prominent scientist, former head of the U.S. Geological Survey, and now the editor-in-chief of Science magazine writes in aneditorial [subscription required]:

I drive a hybrid car and set my thermostat at 80°F in the Washington, DC, summer. I use public transportation to commute to my office, located in a building given “platinum” design status by the U.S. Green Building Council. The electric meter on my house runs backward most months of the year, thanks to a large installation of solar panels. I am committed to doing my part to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and minimize global warming. At the same time, I believe it is time to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil from the tar sands deposits of Alberta, Canada, and from the Williston Basin in Montana and North Dakota to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Former Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon have previously left the administration and then come out in favor of building the Keystone.

h/t US Chamber of Commerce

Read bullet | Comments »

Minnesota Democrats Think It’s High-Larious that Obamacare Hasn’t Brought Insurance Costs Down, as Promised

Friday, February 21st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Three Democrats — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Tim Walz and Rep. Collin Peterson, held a townhall this week. As anyone might expect, the subject of Obamacare came up. Four years after passing that bill into law, the Democrats still don’t have good answers for it. A constituent asks why, despite Democrat promises that premiums would go down $2500 per family, that hasn’t happened.

The Democrats laugh. Then the two men at the table hand off the mic to Sen. Klobuchar. Take a look. The Obamacare discussion came after a discussion of the ag bill.

KEYC – Mankato News, Weather, Sports -

The question: “I thought the Affordable Care Act would save $2500 per family. What happened?”

After Sen. Klobuchar and Rep. Walz looked at each other, laughter broke out in the room.

Rep. Peterson quickly picked up the microphone to say, “I voted ‘no’, so I’ll let these guys handle that,” to the applause of the crowd.

Even in Minnesota, a Democrat can earn applause by saying he voted against Obamacare.

At the end of the clip, Walz pushes the old Democrat line that while things are bad now, the old system was worse. That’s not true, though. Before Obamacare, about 85% of Americans were happy with their healthcare. Even about 50% of the uninsured were find with where they were.

h/t David Freddoso

Read bullet | Comments »

Look at How Much WhatsApp Employees Are Going to Make from the Facebook Sale

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Stephen Kruiser

Teach your kids to code.

How much will WhatsApp’s employees make in the deal?

We don’t know how that $3 billion will be divided.

We do know the $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash will be divided among Whatsapp owners.

Whatsapp employees own a piece of the company.

How much?

Forbes’ Parmy Olson reports: “Early employees are said to have comparatively large equity shares of close to 1%.”

Ready to have your mind blown?

1% of $16 billion is …

… $160 million.

This is the kind of thing that happens in America to people who aren’t constantly told that they’re stuck in one place. It is not, however, the kind of thing that happens to people who trained to only demand a few more dollars in what was always meant to be an entry level job by people who want to keep them politically beholden.

Doug Ross had this nice illustration of the juxtaposition of reality and tired lefty rhetoric.

God bless America.

And remember the thing about teaching your kids to code.

Read bullet | Comments »

Tatler Makes the Pages of USA Today

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Turn to page 11A of today’s USA Today and you’ll see this:

usat-2-20-2014

 

Or you can click here to see the quote online.

The Ukraine truce on the front page didn’t hold up, through no fault of the newspaper of course, but the minimum wage piece that USAT quotes will.

Read bullet | 5 Comments »

Even Chuck Todd Says the Obama Admin’s Dismissal of the CBO on the Minimum Wage is ‘Petty’

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Someone over at religious channel MSNBC is straying from the faith’s central tenet: Barack Obama is the embodiment of perfection and He can do no wrong.

That temporary apostate’s name is Chuck Todd. He appeared on the channel and declared that the One’s fig leaf has been raked away.

Host Thomas Roberts kicked off the sacrilegious passage, asking Todd “Chuck, how does the White House pivot off the CBO defending back? With the CBO you can live and die by the sword when it comes to them and going on their numbers.”

Todd replied: “Especially the White House who feels, in more times than not, the CBO has been on their side on policy or at least confirm what their arguments on various policies issues, whether it’s on immigration, which is a big one about how many jobs it would create, or even on the health care law and on the debt but when it comes to the deficit. So I was surprised the White House have been as aggressive as they have been trying to push back on the CBO on this. They look now as petty and almost as if basically you agree with the CBO only when they agree with you…”

The only surprises are that anyone finds this White House’s pettiness surprising, and that MSNBC allowed this moment of heresy to get past the FCC’s monitors and onto the nation’s unsuspecting cable and satellite delivery systems.

Read bullet | Comments »

White House Email Suggests that Most Americans Still Make the Minimum Wage

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

This email landed in my inbox last night. Titled, “What $10.10 would mean for you,” the email sent on the official White House address and festooned with the official White House logo attempts to sell President Obama’s desire to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

wh-email-minimumwage

For about 95% of the American work force, $10.10 would represent a pay cut. In many cases, it would represent a substantial pay cut. Just about 4.7% of the American work force earn the minimum wage.

The vast majority of Americans who have jobs already make above the minimum wage, in many cases far above. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly wages in the United States range from about $13.66 in the leisure and hospitality industries to $35.40 for utilities workers in January 2014.

The White House email does not mention the Congressional Budget Office report on the minimum wage at all. Instead, it resorts to an airy assertion.

Raising the federal minimum wage will give millions of Americans a raise, and it’s long overdue — because no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.

From there, the email lists anecdotal support for raising the minimum wage.

The CBO found that while raising the minimum wage might raise 900,000 out of poverty as the federal government defines it, from 500,000 to one million jobs would be lost. The White House’s email does not mention that trade-off. It also does not mention the CBO’s finding that raising the minimum wage is likely to slightly increase the deficit over the next several years. The White House also fails to mention that just a small proportion of workers who make the minimum wage are living in poverty. Many Americans who earn minimum wage are children and young adults of middle class and wealthy families, working their first or second jobs.

Read bullet | 7 Comments »

Three West Virginia Day Care Centers Forced to Shut Down, Obamacare Among the Causes

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Obama administration claims that there is no evidence of job loss due to Obamacare. They will continue to claim that, despite the fact that things like this keep happening. WVAH-TV reports that Obamacare has contributed to the reasons that three West Virginia daycare centers have to shut down.

Reporter Jenifer McAndrews: Today, scores of parents will have to start looking for a new daycare. Three Kanawha County daycare centers will be closing soon. The daycare centers are at the Capital Complex, Shawnee, and Elk Center schools. The county says they’re too expensive to operate and have been losing $65,000 since the beginning of the school year. The buildings are in major need of repairs, too. And there are concerns about added costs because of the Affordable Care Act. Parents impacted by the closures are frustrated and now worried about waiting list to get their child into another daycare.

I wonder, will some of these parents have to quit a job because they’ve lost their daycare?

Read bullet | 8 Comments »

Sperling: We Disagree with CBO on Job Losses Because of Our New Jersey Fast-Food Study

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The director of President Obama’s National Economic Council said the White House just flat-out disagrees with the Congressional Budget Office finding that raising the minimum wage would cost jobs.

The CBO report says that “once fully implemented in the second half of 2016, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent, CBO projects.”

“As with any such estimates, however, the actual losses could be smaller or larger; in CBO’s assessment, there is about a two-thirds chance that the effect would be in the range between a very slight reduction in employment and a reduction in employment of 1.0 million workers,” the report adds.

Gene Sperling told MSNBC that they instead want to focus on “the primary thing in which we agree with them on and which everybody should agree, which is 16.5 million people would be getting a direct raise.”

“On jobs, you know, this is an area where I’d say we respectfully disagree with the CBO, though we have enormous admiration for the institution and their professionalism,” he said.

“But here is why. This is actually an area where economists have done very interesting, easy to understand research. They look and say, this was the first research done like this, Alan Krueger and David Carr did this, they looked at New Jersey when New Jersey raised the minimum wage and they said, ‘Wow, it’s on the border with Pennsylvania, so we can actually look and say did fast food restaurants in New Jersey, right on the border where they raised wages, did they lose more jobs than in Pennsylvania where wages stayed lower?’ And what they found was, not at all. There was no negative job impact.”

So based on that New Jersey-Pennsylvania burger study, Sperling says the CBO got it wrong.

“People are taught in Economics 101 that, you know, if price goes up there must be a little less supply and I think their mistake was not looking at the practical research that was done because then economists looked at 500 counties where there was this, you know, one state raised the minimum wage and on the other side of the county they did not, and all of them, they found that raised wages and that it did not hurt jobs,” he continued. “But it’s interesting to understand why, because there’s things you learn about human behavior when you actually study it as opposed to just look theoretically.”

“And let me just ask a question to those who want to criticize, we are about — we are less — we’re about where we were in the minimum wage as we were 50 years ago. So think about that, 50 years ago. That would be 1964. Can you imagine people in 1964 saying we can’t have a better minimum wage than we did in 1914 before World War I? So you’re telling me that 50 years later, we as a country haven’t improved our standard of living enough for people who are working hard so that we can say if you work full-time in the United States of America, and this is very important to the president’s heart, if you work full-time in the United States of America you should not have to raise your children in poverty.”

The CBO also found that the maximum impact from a minimum wage hike would not be felt by families below the poverty line.

“The increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, by CBO’s estimate. However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold, CBO estimates,” the report states.

“People would say — basic economic theory would say that if you have to pay more for a worker, you might hire less workers,” Sperling said. “I’m sure they looked at the evidence but what I’m saying is that we as a country can afford to give people minimum wage.”

 

Read bullet | 22 Comments »

Five Years Ago Today: Rick Santelli’s Epic Rant Launched the Tea Party

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

It was on February 19, 2009, that CBNC’s Rick Santelli let rip the rant heard ’round the world. The day before, President Obama spent some of his honeymoon political capital on a proposal to subsidize the mortgages of about 9 million Americans, with taxpayer dollars. The media, still in full swoon over Obama (and most of the media remain in that state to this day), reported on the proposal without noting that it would force Americans who had been responsible with their decisions to subsidize millions who had not.

CBNC’s Rick Santelli was standing with traders in Chicago the morning of February 19. The mortgage proposal had him in high dudgeon. He turned to his fellow traders and said, “This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbors’ mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills? Raise their hand.” The traders can be heard booing the proposal. Santelli turns back to the camera and makes his first slice of history, saying, “President Obama, are you listening?”

President Obama was not listening (well, unless you count the NSA). He hasn’t listened to this day. He would go on to ram Obamacare through a Democrat-controlled Congress despite the majority of the American people’s objections to that law. The majority still object to that law; Obama continues selling it anyway.

Santelli wasn’t finished. He noted that it is possible to take a prosperous nation to its knees with terrible, big government policies.

“Y’know, Cuba used to have mansions and a relatively decent economy. They moved from the individual to the collective. Now they’re driving ’54 Chevys, maybe the last great car to come out of Detroit,” he said.

A few seconds later, Santelli said something that launched a whole movement.

“We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” Santelli said. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m going to start organizing.”

The Tea Party would go on to galvanize opposition to Obama’s policies and hand the U.S. House of Representatives to Republicans in 2010, along with several governorships and state legislatures. The Obama administration, or functionaries within it, would counter by using the IRS and other executive branch agencies to harass and slow the Tea Party’s growth heading into the 2012 election.

Watch Rick Santelli’s epic rant here.

Read bullet | 8 Comments »