Dear Mr. President: Paying your fair share begins at home

January 26, 2012

President Obama spent much of his recent State of the Union address declaring that the rich need to pay their “fair share” of taxes. (1)

Maybe he should have given that speech to his staff, first:

How embarrassing this must be for President Obama, whose major speech theme so far this campaign season has been that every single American, no matter how rich, should pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Because how unfair — indeed, un-American — it is for an office worker like, say, Warren Buffet’s secretary to dutifully pay her taxes, while some well-to-do people with better educations and higher incomes end up paying a much smaller tax rate.

Or, worse, skipping their taxes altogether.

A new report just out from the Internal Revenue Service reveals that 36 of President Obama’s executive office staff owe the country $833,970 in back taxes. These people working for Mr. Fair Share apparently haven’t paid any share, let alone their fair share.

Previous reports have shown how well-paid Obama’s White House staff is, with 457 aides pulling down more than $37 million last year. That’s up seven workers and nearly $4 million from the Bush administration’s last year.

Nearly one-third of Obama’s aides make more than $100,000 with 21 being paid the top White House salary of $172,200, each.

(Emphasis added)

On a scale of 1-10 on the Public Secrets Hypocrisy Meter(tm), this hits an “11.” But, coming as it does from the administration of the most cynical, fork-tongued president since Richard Nixon, it also isn’t surprising.

May I suggest that Congressman Issa’s Oversight Committee, in the moments when it isn’t digging into Operation Fast and Furious, summon these federal employees to explain to Congress why they are not obeying federal law and paying their fair share?

Meanwhile, have a look at the rest of Andrew Malcolm’s article; it seems tax evasion is a favorite sport for federal employees.

LINKS: More from Moe Lane and Hot Air.

Footnote:
(1) As determined by Obama and his allies, of course.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Advertisements

Anti-democratic Democrat governor cuts and runs

January 26, 2012

"Cancel elections? Wonderful idea!"

Remember Governor Bev Perdue, the Democratic Governor of North Carolina who suggested canceling the 2012 congressional elections so Congress could focus on solving the nation’s problems? (And preserving their Senate majority, coincidentally.)

Maybe she should have cancelled her state’s elections, instead. Facing bad polling numbers and strong opposition, Governor Perdue is calling it quits:

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue, facing a hard fight for a second term, will not seek re-election, a Democratic official said today.

The first woman elected governor in North Carolina history, Perdue faced a potential rematch against former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican whom she narrowly defeated in 2008 in the state’s closest gubernatorial contest since 1972.

Perdue’s win was partly attributed to Barack Obama’s surprise win in North Carolina.

Perdue was expected to make a formal announcement later today, according to a Democratic official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the governor’s decision.

Her likely opponent in the next campaign was to be Pat McCrory, former Charlotte mayor and a Catawba College graduate.

Hat tip to my blog-buddy, ST, who’s a go-to source for Tar Heel State politics and whose site should be one of your regular stops as the (Social) Democratic National Convention rolls into her hometown of Charlotte this summer.

Meanwhile, Ed Morrissey analyzes the egg-on-face moment this gives the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign (but I repeat myself):

Instead of making a triumphant entry into Charlotte and lifting Perdue to re-election, Democrats from around the country will have their convention opened by a one-term governor who couldn’t win re-election even with a Democratic presidential incumbent on the top of the ticket and her party spending a ton of money in her state.  That’s not exactly a winning message for Democrats this summer.

I think this means she gets moved to a 3AM speaking spot.

As for Governor Perdue, herself, I shed no tears at her decision. Not because I’m a partisan Righty who thinks the Democrats don’t deserve to win another election ever, because of the their incompetence and the damage they’ve done to the nation.

Though that’s true.

No, it’s because of that stupid statement about cancelling elections, which she lamely tried to pass off as a joke, that I think she should go away and never be heard from again. It’s not that I think she’s some sort of Fascist, though the proposal itself was. It’s that she has to be either incredibly stupid or incredibly ignorant of American History and political tradition (and of Fascism, itself) to even suggest such a thing and not know how appalling an idea it is.

And we don’t need those kind of ignoramuses in our politics.

Bye-bye, Bev!


Obama plagiarizes himself?

January 25, 2012

If you’re like me, you were too busy with urgent, pressing matters to watch the President’s State of the Union address last night. You know, things like alphabetizing your DVD collection, or playing Angry Birds. In fact, on Twitter last night I said that I wish presidents would go back to the old tradition of sending a written report to Congress; they’ve become such a pompous  event anymore that they feel like a speech from the throne. Instead, just mail it in.

It seems Obama agrees with me; as this video from the Republican National Committee shows, the President just took his old speeches , rearranged the order, and mailed it in:

Should’ve gone all the way and put a stamp on it, sir, and spared people the disruption of their TV night.

PS: I wonder if “Professor” Obama would ever have let his law-school classes get away with such cheap work?

PPS: On a more serious note, here’s the official Republican response, delivered by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When geek dreams become real life

January 24, 2012

Come on, this is Dungeons and Dragons brought to life, thanks to the mad scientists of DARPA: a Wand of Fire Suppression!

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known to its friends as DARPA, has announced their latest innovation: Instant fire suppression. The goal of the research project, which was part of a joint venture with Harvard University, was to find a better way to put out fires. Instead of conventional tactics, DARPA wanted a high-tech tool that would attack the very physical make up of fire using acoustics and electromagnetism.

You might be asking, “But DARPA, we already have perfectly good means of extinguishing fires, don’t we?” Sure, but each method has some pretty major drawbacks. Chemical suppressants, which interrupts the combustion process, are only effective against some types of fires, often result in collateral damage through their use, and are usually toxic. Water and CO2 suppression work well enough by smothering fires, but they still require a physical delivery system — the logistics of which can be hampered by the tight spaces one might encounter onboard a ship, for instance.

Through their research, DARPA wanted to use the physics of fire against itself. In their own words, they sought, “a novel flame-suppression system based on destabilization of flame plasma with electromagnetic fields and acoustics techniques.” Their research paid off in the form of a handheld “wand” device which snuffs out flames.

Click through for video. The big problem is scalability (perhaps power requirements or the size of the fire), but I imagine that can be fixed with enough research. Regardless, this is beyond way-cool. It’s science fiction brought to life, technology as magic.

Now, if they’d only start working on creating a hot Elf chick in a chainmail bikini…


Keystone pipeline rejection a product of crony capitalism?

January 24, 2012

As they say, Hmmm…

Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.

With modest expansion, railroads can handle all new oil produced in western Canada through 2030, according to an analysis of the Keystone proposal by the U.S. State Department.

“Whatever people bring to us, we’re ready to haul,” Krista York-Wooley, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern, a unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in an interview. If Keystone XL “doesn’t happen, we’re here to haul.”

The State Department denied TransCanada a permit on Jan. 18, saying there was not enough time to study the proposal by Feb. 21, a deadline Congress imposed on President Barack Obama. Calgary-based TransCanada has said it intends to re-apply with a route that avoids an environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska, something the Obama administration encouraged.

Buffett, aside from being a master investor (1), is also a big supporter of Barack Obama and famously demanded to be taxed at a higher rate, even though a) he can voluntarily pay as much as he wants, and b) his company owed a billion in back taxes as late as last year. (2)

Now, I’m more inclined to think Obama killed Keystone to pander to the enviro-whacko Left, but he’s also shown no restraint about using the power of the federal government to help his buddies. (Solyndra? LightSquared? The UAW?)

As Artie Johnson would say, “Verrryyy Interesting!”

Footnotes:
(1) Seriously. If you invest for yourself, his letters to shareholders are must-reading.
(2) Economist Daniel J. Mitchell has called Buffett “innumerate” for his opinions on taxes.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Now this is a debate I would watch!

January 24, 2012

Sponsored by Hot Air, moderated by Ed Morrissey, intelligent questions on issues that matter, and with a format that doesn’t resemble a version of “What’s My Line??

Sign me up!

PS: Hey, Ed! If you need a Center-Right blogger for the panel, I know someone who might be available…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s about time: Arizona to launch investigation of Operation Fast and Furious

January 23, 2012

It’s bad enough when states have to act to enforce federal law that Washington itself refuses to enforce, as did Arizona and other states when they passed tough anti-illegal immigration laws. But what is a state or local government supposed to do when the federal government is not just refusing to enforce the law, but may itself be one of the lawbreakers?

Answer: Start your own investigation.

Arizona’s state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration’s disgraced gun-running program, known as “Fast and Furious,” the speaker of the state House said Friday.

Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.

(…)

Mr. Tobin will announce the committee’s jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state’s laws were broken.

A report is due back by March 30.

To recap, Operation Fast and Furious (aka “Gunwalker”) was a program that fed thousands of heavy-duty firearms to Mexican drug cartels, without the knowledge of the Mexican government. Guns were purchased by “straw buyers” who were allowed to walk the firearms over the border into Mexico. The originator of this scheme was the United States Department of Justice, which, through its subordinate law-enforcement agencies, pressured legitimate gun dealers in Arizona to sell these weapons knowing that these sales were likely violations of federal statutes and regulations.

The ostensible purpose was to trace these weapons back to their cartel users, though how that was supposed to work given that the weapons were untraceable until they showed up at Mexican and US crime scenes is unknown.

What is known, however, is that over 300 Mexican military, federal agents, police officers, and civilians are dead from weapons obtained via Gunwalker. In addition, at least one and maybe two US federal officers also were killed with “walked” guns. And the Department of Justice is stonewalling congressional investigating committees, to the extent that –and it appalls me to have to write this– a high-ranking DOJ official is now “pleading the Fifth.” (1)

So, having had enough, the State of Arizona is launching its own inquiry, with the possibility of criminal action down the road.

I wish our neighbors to the East good hunting.

via Big Government

RELATED: Hot Air has news video on the Arizona investigation. See these earlier Gunwalker posts for background links.

Footnote:
(1) Probably because he wants a deal and refuses to be the fall guy. Rats and sinking ships, and all that.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)