Tags: Congress

The New York Times Covers “Oligarch Welfare” – Tax Breaks for Private Planes, Yachts and More…

I’m pleased to say that the topic of oligarch and corporate welfare finally seems to be getting the much needed attention it deserves. While billionaires like Sam Zell (read my open letter to him) continue to spout nonsense about how the poor just need to be more like the rich, objective folks are catching on to the joke.

Ironically, the biggest welfare queens in America are the oligarchs and multinational corporations themselves, yet many of them constantly like to blame growing inequality on the supposed character deficiencies of the lower classes.

Earlier this week, I wrote a very well received post titled, A First Look at a New Report on Crony Capitalism – Trillions in Corporate Welfare, as well as the post, Walmart Admits in its Annual Report that its Profits Depend Heavily on Corporate Welfare.

The New York Times has now thrown its hat in the arena with an article titled: A Nation of Takers?

Here are some excerpts:

In the debate about poverty, critics argue that government assistance saps initiative and is unaffordable. After exploring the issue, I must concede that the critics have a point. Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial.

I worry about those tycoons sponging off government. Won’t our pampering damage their character? Won’t they become addicted to the entitlement culture, demanding subsidies even for their yachts? Oh, wait …

Second, welfare subsidies for yachts. The mortgage-interest deduction was meant to encourage a home-owning middle class. But it has been extended to provide subsidies for beach homes and even yachts.

In the meantime, money was slashed last year from the public housing program for America’s neediest.

Read the Full Article »

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Picture of the Day: Presenting the Average American Voter

A friend of mine sent this to me earlier today from a family vacation to Disney World. I had always thought that the most terrifying venue to observe your fellow Americans is the airport, but apparently Disney World takes the cake. I suppose that makes sense. In fact, my first article to ever get published on Zerohedge was titled Goodbye Disneyland, in which I compared the U.S. economy to the iconic theme park.

Now take a look and who will be reelecting all the corrupt idiots back into Congress later this year:

DisneyWorld

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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Eric Holder Just “Doesn’t Know”…Video of the Day!

If you are looking for a hilarious, short video to end the workweek with…look no further! Nothing sums up the state of disorder in the the union like watching Attorney General Eric Holder stumble when confronted on his incompetence and cronyism by the almost equally corrupt Congress.  Let’s cut the guy some slack though, he was probably too busy prosecuting banker crimes to be bothered with such trivial matters…

Rand Paul Filibuster Shockwaves Continue…Now the Democrats are at War

Dear Mr. President:

In response to partial release of the Department of Justice memos describing the underlying legal justifications for the targeted killings of American citizens and others in the course of counterterrorism operations, we are writing to emphasize Congress’ vital oversight role in these matters.  Every American has the right to know the underlying legal rationale that ensures due process.

Authorizing the killing of American citizens and others has profound implications for our Constitution, the core values of our nation, our national security and future international practice.  The executive branch’s claim of authority to deprive citizens of life, and to do so without explaining the legal basis for doing so, set a dangerous precedent and is a model of behavior the United States would not want other nations to emulate.

Therefore, we ask that you release, in an unclassified form, the full legal basis of executive branch claims in the areas which are the subject of this letter.  The Executive’s claims of authority need to be fully articulated to the whole of Congress and the American people.

– Excerpts from a letter by eight Democrat Representatives to Obama on March 11, 2013

Last Thursday, I took the time to write a lengthy article on the historic Rand Paul talking filibuster because I had a strong sense of its significance.  It was exactly the sort of event we needed as a nation to blow a hole right through the false “left-right” paradigm used by mainstream Democrats and Republicans to trick the public into thinking there is a difference between the two parties on the major issues.  The whole point of the article was that Rand had successfully united libertarian and progressive activists, and also sparked a long overdue civil war within the Republican party.  By forcing John McCain and Lindsey Graham to come out in defense of Obama’s assassinated killing program the day after dining with Obama (while Rand stood on his feet for 13 hours), he brilliantly exposed them for the dinosaur fraud RINOs that they are.

Well now the shockwaves have hit the Democratic Party, as eight members of the House of Representatives have sent Obama a letter demanding he release the details of his assassination program.  The biggest problem for the Obama Administration is that four of them are black, which essentially neutralizes his favorite defense, which is to just say that anyone that disagrees with him must be a racist.  Interesting times have finally come to American politics, and it’s long overdue.

Great job Representatives:  Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Donna Edwards, Mike Honda, Rush Holt and James McGovern

In Liberty,
Mike

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Prepare for More Horse Meat

While many of you are aware of the forthcoming sequester on March 1, which may result in furloughs within the ranks of 2.1 million federal employees, you may not be aware of how this might affect your food. According to Daniel Werfel, a controller for the Office of Management and Budget, it might result in reduced food inspections by the Department of Agriculture.  Not that these guys do such a wonderful job in the first place, but this seems like a really bad idea considering that food fraud was already up 60% last year.  From CNN:

At Thursday’s hearing, Werfel said agencies might not be able to avoid furloughs that would reduce essential services. At the Agriculture Department, for example, it’s not possible to avoid furloughs that would result in fewer food inspections, because most of the agency’s expenses are the salaries and benefits of people who perform those tasks.

“So it becomes a math issue, ultimately,” he said. “This is one of the very tangible and clear and significant impacts of sequester: This division within USDA will not be able to make its core mission of sending the inspectors to these locations.”

The exact number of total furloughs planned is still unavailable, since agencies are still deciding how to spread the cuts. It’s possible some agencies may yet be able to spare some employees from furloughs or at least minimize days of unpaid leave.

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When Lindsay Graham and Barrack Obama Agree…Run the Other Way Fast

The easiest way for a patriotic, civil liberties defending U.S. citizen to know whether to support or oppose an issue is when two of the most authoritative, narcissistic politicians from the two controlled political in America are in strong agreement. In this case, I am referring to Lindsay Graham and Barrack Obama’s recent love fest on drone warfare.  From Politico:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.

“Everyone needs to get on board…” in commending the death of someone from 30,000 feet?  What kind of Nazi talk is this?  So this is what America has become.  Politicians with 10% approval ratings patting themselves on the back for killing other humans being without ever getting their hands dirty.  USA! USA!

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

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CISPA – The New Big Brother Bill and Why You Should Hate it

My Take: The articles below speak for themselves.  After popular revulsion was able to thwart the prior Constitution demolishing internet spy bills, our “representatives” in Congress have regrouped and passed something far worse in the House with a vote now set for the Senate.  As I have maintained for quite a long time, I believe much of Congress is cognizant of their criminal behavior and more importantly they view themselves as better than “we the people” and are now openly manifesting their fear and disgust for the citizenry by passing authoritarian bill after authoritarian bill to protect themselves from the people they supposedly represent.  I want to close my thoughts with a powerful quote from one of my American heroes – Henry David Thoreau.  I’m not trying to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do, but I am one hundred percent certain that we all need to think about these things more deeply than ever before.

Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

I agree with the above.  I do not answer to any man or man-made institution. We must answer to something far higher than that, whatever that may mean to you.  We are sovereign human beings and we should never under any circumstances live on our knees or expect our others to do so.

One final thing before I leave you with the CISPA articles.  My grandmother just recently passed away.  While it is a sad time for my family, she had been very sick for a long time and I know she is now at peace.  Besos y amor Granty.

What Everyone Who Uses The Internet Needs To Know About CISPA

By Annie-Rose Strasser and Scott Keyes on Apr 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Congress is on the cusp of passing a new bill that could threaten any internet user’s civil liberties. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a digital equivalent of allowing the government to fight perceived threats by monitoring which books citizens check out from the library, passed the House yesterday and will now be taken up by the Senate.

Online advocates, fresh off their victory against the Stop Online Piracy Act, are now gearing up to oppose CISPA because of the disastrous effect the bill could have for private information on the internet. The bill’s opponents argue that it goes too far in the name of cybersecurity, endangering citizens’ personal online information by giving the government access to anything from users’ private emails to their browsing history.

As the fight in the Senate begins, here is everything you need to know about CISPA:

CISPA’s broad language will likely give the government access to anyone’s personal information with few privacy protections: CISPA allows the government access to any “information pertaining directly to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity.” There is little indication of what this information could include, and what it means to be ‘pertinent’ to cyber security. Without boundaries, any internet user’s personal, private information would likely be fair game for the government.

It supersedes all other provisions of the law protecting privacy: As the bill is currently written, CISPA would apply “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” In other words, privacy restrictions currently in place would not apply to CISPA. As a result, companies could disclose more personal information about users than necessary. As Technica writes, “if a company decides that your private emails, your browsing history, your health care records, or any other information would be helpful in dealing with a ‘cyber threat,’ the company can ignore laws that would otherwise limit its disclosure.”

The bill completely exempts itself from the Freedom of Information Act: Citizens and journalists have access to most things the government does via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a key tool for increasing transparency. However, CISPA completely exempts itself from FOIA requests. The Sunlight Foundation blasted CISPA for “entirely” dismissing FOIA’s “fundamental safeguard for public oversight of government’s activities.”

Read more here

How CISPA would affect you (faq)

by Declan McCullagh April 27, 2012 4:00 AM PDT

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, who says CISPA will not endanger Americans’ privacy.

(Credit: U.S. House of Representatives)

It took a debate that stretched to nearly seven hours, and votes on over a dozen amendments, but the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act on April 26.

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