Saturday, June 30, 2012

US CO2 emissions continue to fall and will do so even if economy recovers, all with no UN treaties, no cap & trade-CNN

6/26/12, "The Incredible Shrinking Carbon Pollution Forecast - Part 2,", Dan Lashof

6/22/12, "U.S. cuts greenhouse gases despite do-nothing Congress," CNN, Steve Hargreaves

"A curious thing is happening to the air in the United States. It's getting cleaner.

Despite there being no real effort by Congress to address global warming and America's longstanding reputation as an energy hog, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are falling.

The lackluster economy has something to do with it. But it doesn't fully explain what's happening. Consider that even factoring in a stronger economy, forecasters see greenhouse gas emissions continuing to fall....

But the main and most surprising reason: cheap natural gas.

"The primary reason by far is low natural gas prices," said Robert Stavins, director of the environmental economics program at Harvard.

Natural gas prices are so low largely thanks to hydraulic fracturing. Known as fracking, the process uses sand, chemicals, water and pressure to crack shale rock and allow the gas to flow.

While the practice has raised fears over ground water contamination and other issues, it's unleashed an energy boom in the United States that's taken gas prices to their lowest levels in a decade.

That's allowed utilities to replace some coal-fired power plants with ones that run on natural gas -- which emits about half as much pollution as coal.

The numbers are fairly impressive. The United States has cut carbon emissions from its energy sector by about 9% since 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

All this has been accomplished without the cap and trade law Congress fiercely debated in 2009.

Europe, by contrast, has seen its energy-sector carbon emissions remain basically flat. This despite the fact that most of Europe operates under a market-based cap-and-trade scheme where emissions are capped at a certain level and companies get tradable credits to emit pollution.

Plus, Europe has significantly higher taxes on energy...

They also note that when counting all greenhouse gas emissions -- not just those produced by the energy sector -- Europe's emissions dropped 9% from 2005 to 2010 while U.S. emissions fell by just 5%.

But others take the U.S. success in reducing its energy sector emissions as a sign that its fragmented, state-based, regulatory approach has worked better than Europe's market-based cap-and-trade approach.

"The cap-and-trade system in Europe has not delivered to date," said Geir Vollsaeter, head of the energy and environmental consultancy Green World Advisors and former climate change specialist at Royal Dutch Shell. "Other tools in the tool box seem to be more efficient."

Both Vollsaeter and Stavins agree that the world needs to do more.

A 17% reduction from the United States by 2020 is roughly what the failed U.S. cap-and-trade bill was expected to achieve.

But that bill was also expected to bring about an 80% reduction by 2050 -- the level scientists say is necessary to head off potentially catastrophic impacts from climate change.

Natural gas is only so clean, it won't produce those kinds of cuts. Plus, emissions from the developing world haven't begun to be tackled."...

NY Times and Washington Post decided ObamaCare. John Roberts was never about to go against them. Thanks again to the Bush family and Fox News

Update: Re: the NY Times, Chief Justice Roberts gave ObamaCare to the NY Times, he took 20% of the economy out of the private sector and moved it to the sector that runs the postal service. But the NY Times says that's nothing. They still despise him because he didn't give them the Commerce Clause. This is the problem with trying to please the NY Times. They are deeply intolerant of others' views. Apparently they also feel the courts belong to them. If they are this angry after winning ObamaCare, it obviously would have been a bit worse had they lost. Most of the world's billionaires finance far left causes the Times favors. But that doesn't count. You can twist yourself into a pretzel trying to please the NY Times. Unless you're a vicious, hateful person you won't succeed:

6/30/12, "The Radical Supreme Court," NY Times Editorial (text posted below post)


If the NY Times and Washington Post did not exist, this country would have a chance.

6/29/12, "How the Media Convinced Justice Roberts To Be 2012's Kathleen Parker," Breitbart Big Journalism, John Nolte

"We all saw how the media reacted yesterday. Overnight, Chief Justice John Roberts went from a pariah to, literally in the eyes of the media, one of the great justices in the history of the Court. We also saw how the media suddenly found the dreaded 5-4 Supreme Court decision perfectly acceptable. Do not make the mistake of thinking that what you witnessed yesterday was some sort of bias or double standard. It wasn't. It was a payoff to a tactic the media's been using for years to co-opt narcissistic Republicans desperate for affirmation.... 
A number of conservatives whom I respect and admire and who are admittedly smarter than I am (low bar) have found a way to defend Chief Justice John Roberts' decision to side with the liberal wing of the Court and uphold ObamaCare. They wonder if Roberts wasn't playing some four-level game of chess that managed to both limit the Commerce Clause and, by outing the mandate for what it really is – a massive tax increase and redistribution of wealth – ensure Barack Obama's defeat in November.
Granted, with the largest tax increase in history now on the November ballot, if the Romney people play it right, Obama losing his job might very well be the result. But what Roberts really did was to abuse his power in a way that sets two precedents all freedom-loving people should find literally terrifying.
First, he told Congress that it may now tax us for standing still, for doing absolutely nothing. We can now be taxed simply for being born. Second, Roberts rewrote the ObamaCare legislation from the bench -- literally. He turned what Congress described in its law as a mandate into a tax as a way around the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court is all about tradition and precedent. To save ObamaCare, Roberts rewrote it, and you can bet that we will now see this kind of appalling behavior again.
Moreover, no one, not even among the jubilant left, is able to cite a legal defense for Roberts' decision. The best they can summon is that Roberts was motivated by his desire to protect the integrity of the Court, that he didn't want another high-profile 5-4 decision along ideological lines. Well, nowhere in the Constitution does is say that the opinion of the editorial writers at the New York Times and Washington Post trumps the Constitution and individual liberty.
Yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts sold out the Constitution, his ideology, his word, his country, and his sacred duty.
And today he is the Kathleen Parker of 2012.
For those of you who might not remember, Kathleen Parker is the "conservative" columnist who in 2008 sold her soul to the mainstream media. Even though our vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, had infinitely more political and executive experience than the other side's presidential nominee, Barack Obama, in the heat of the election, Parker still wrote a column stating Palin should step down as the nominee.
Suddenly, a columnist few of us knew became an overnight "star." This was the kind of death blow the corrupt media had been waiting for -- a conservative traitor, a National Review writer, no less -- who reaffirmed their narrative and, for her treachery and to ensure the other narcissists among us see how such things pay off, the Devil rewarded Kathleen Parker with instant fame and riches. Across the media landscape, she was heralded as brave and brilliant. Soon she would be handed a Pulitzer and her own primetime CNN program. 
Like Jim Jeffords, David Frum, Joe Scarborough, Meghan McCain, and now John Roberts, Parker gave in to the media's siren song, which goes a little something like this:
They're wrong about us. We don't hate you, we don't hate conservatives. No one's asking you to stop being conservative. We would never ask that. All we're asking for is this one thing. And it's only a little thing, a small thing, a baby step. What harm can it do -- this small thing? Who can it hurt? And look at what you get in return. We'll love you. We'll adore. We'll give you affection, acceptance, and stamp your courage into the history books. It's warm here and there are cookies and before you decide, I want you to sit back, close your eyes, and just imagine what it's going to feel like to see your name heralded all across the media, academia and beyond…if you'll just do this one little thing.
Of course, that "one little thing" is always everything, isn't it? Jeffords tipped the balance in the Senate and overnight Roberts evaporated the most potent criticism of Obama, his incompetence. To this day, Scarborough, Frum, Meggie Mac, and Parker continue to reaffirm the most damaging media-created narratives about conservatives: Palin is dumb, Fox News is extreme, Republicans have sold out to the extreme Right, and
  • of course racism, homophobia, and blah blah blah.
Over the last few months, Obama's Media Palace Guards weren't bullying or beating up on Justice Roberts. What they were doing was offering him a deal that he grabbed with both hands. And what you saw and will continue to see is the media fulfilling its end of the deal.
And somewhere out there is another narcissist among us watching how a such "small" betrayal can pay off in such a big way, and swaying back and forth to the sound of the siren's song."
After reading this I see Roberts on top of everything else is passive-aggressive:
6/30/12, "Why I Walked Out on John Roberts," American Thinker, Michael Filozof
The writer had a chance in 2010 to hear the great Justice Roberts speak about the weather:

"I was excited about the opportunity to see the head of one of the three coequal branches of government in person -- especially in an academic setting, ripe for debate, ideas, and insights on how things really work at the seat of power. I was really looking forward to hearing the kind of Socratic give-and-take Justice Scalia and Judge Bork are known for when they visit colleges and law schools.
I was sorely disappointed.
The event was not a "lecture"; it was formatted as a conversation between the chief and a moderator on a stage in front of about 1,300 people in the Koessler Center, the college's basketball arena.
Virtually all of it was trivia, minutiae, and nonsense -- sort of like watching Jay Leno interviewing some airheaded Hollywood actress on The Tonight Show. The chief prattled on about the weather in Buffalo, the fine print on prescriptions, etc., etc.
When the moderator asked Roberts if he had a judicial philosophy in approaching cases and he replied that he "really didn't have any," I got up and left. Listening to Roberts was a complete waste of my time.
I came away with the distinct impression that Roberts was a milquetoast, country-club Republican who had gotten to his station in life by having impeccable Harvard credentials and sitting around the clubhouse after the golf game and chatting amiably with the other lawyers and never saying anything even slightly controversial or partisan. Roberts seemed like the master of pleasing everyone all the time by saying nothing of substance."


"John McCain's main constituency is the New York Times Editorial Board." Jed Babbin on the John Batchelor Show, Monday night 6/20/11, about 11:26PM.


1/17/11, "China-style dictatorship of climatologists," Washington Times, Patrick Michaels


9/8/09, "
Our One-Party Democracy ," Tom Friedman, NY Times.

"One-party autocracy
certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century."...


5/22/11, Jeb Bush praises Obama, lectures conservatives


6/19/12, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio rebuke Jeb Bush


If we raise our voice above a whisper, a greasy slob like Jeb Bush smacks us across the face. Or someone like Mitt Romney says we're 'excitable' and he's not going to 'light his hair on fire' for us.

2/28/12, "Romney, Acknowledging Mistakes, Says He Won’t Say ‘Outrageous’ Things to Win," ABC News, The Note

"Mitt Romney vowed that he would not “light his hair on fire” just to rally the conservative base, even if it means not winning the GOP nomination.
“You know it’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” said Romney.We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire
  • to try and get support. I am who I am.”"
Rush Limbaugh: Conservatives have played by the rules yet are laughed at everywhere they look. "Nobody fights back for 'em."
The NY Times editorial after the ObamaCare ruling is beyond sick. Without the NY Times, this country would have a chance.
6/30/12, "The Radical Supreme Court," NY Times Editorial
"The Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act was a deft turn by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who voted with the court’s four moderate liberals for the first time in a 5-to-4 ruling. Yet, while they upheld the law’s mandate for individuals to buy insurance under Congress’s taxing power, the chief justice joined the four other conservatives to reject that provision under the Constitution’s commerce clause.
That rejection underscores the aggressiveness of the majority’s conservatism and marks a stunning departure from the long-established legal consensus that Congress has broad power to regulate the economy.
The court’s conservatism calls to mind the defiance of the court in the 1930s when it regularly struck down New Deal statutes during the Great Depression. But there are important differences. The 1930s court saw itself as preserving established precedents and principles. The Roberts majority does not have that conservative role. Nor does it play the role of the 1960s court, whose rulings reinforced a relatively liberal trend in politics.
The current conservatives are not preserving a tradition or articulating a new social consensus. Instead, as the legal historian Robert W. Gordon put it, they have regularly been radical innovators, aggressively stepping into political issues to empower the court itself.
The majority took that approach this term in the politically charged fields of union governance and campaign finance regulation. In a union dues case, it broke a court rule by deciding an issue that was not presented in the case and went out of its way to take the side of right-to-work laws, which have been the subject of bitter political debate. On campaign finance, it overturned the Montana Supreme Court ruling in favor of the state’s anticorruption law without hearing oral argument or considering a substantial factual record. In doing so, it extended to state campaign finance regulation the Citizens United ruling, which allows corporations and unions to spend freely in elections, the Roberts court’s most devastating decision.
The court took a similar path in retreating from the constitutional right of criminal defendants to confront witnesses against them in cases involving forensic evidence. It refused to follow recent precedents, which say clearly that defendants must be allowed to cross-examine crime lab analysts responsible for forensic tests.
The term’s statistics belie the fractiousness of the court, which decided almost half its cases by 9 to 0. (Many involve technical legal issues, and sometimes the justices’ different legal approaches lead them to the same result.)
In some important cases, with one or two conservatives going over to the moderate side, the majority reached conclusions that went against the court’s conservative politics. It held that criminal defendants had a right to effective lawyers during plea negotiations; that three of four provisions of Arizona’s deplorable immigration law were pre-empted by federal law; and that mandatory life without parole for juveniles was cruel and unusual punishment. While Justice Anthony Kennedy is clearly a conservative, his inner compass sometimes leads him to vote with the court’s moderate liberals, as in the right-to-counsel, immigration and juveniles cases.
Six full terms after Justice Samuel Alito Jr. joined the court, the five in the majority have redefined judicial conservatism. The contrast in style and philosophy with the moderate minority is pronounced, including the conservatives’ willingness to flout court rules, constraints of precedent and well-established practices of legal reasoning to reach results they seek.
It is no wonder that the court’s standing in public opinion polls is at its lowest level in a quarter of a century, with just one in eight Americans believing that the justices decide cases based only on legal analysis.
Justice Elena Kagan said last month, dissenting in the crime lab evidence case, that the conservative majority sometimes forsakes “precedent-based decision making,” which guides lower court judges and provides predictability in the justice system. The court reached the right result on the Affordable Care Act, but that ruling was not a sign of change in a strident conservative majority."

Ed. note: Please excuse the bright white background behind part of this post. It was put there by hackers I've had for several years.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts jokes about his ObamaCare decision and draws laughs from crowd of peers at posh Pa. resort

6/29/12, "Roberts jokes about trip to 'impregnable' fortress," AP

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joked that he'll spend some time on an "impregnable island fortress" now that the court has ended a session that featured him casting the decisive vote to uphold President Barack Obama's health care law.

Responding to a question about his summer break, Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation.

"Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea," Roberts said, drawing laughter from about 300 judges, attorneys and others attending a four-day conference Friday at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort."...via Drudge


6/29/12, "How the Media Convinced Justice Roberts To Be 2012's Kathleen Parker," Breitbart Big Journalism, John Nolte


New Hampshire passes voter ID by wide margin, sufficient to override Gov. veto

6/27/12, "Voter ID law passes by wide margin," Union Leader, New Hampshire, Ted. Siefer

"The Senate voted 18-5 on Wednesday to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 289, which will require voters this November to show a photo ID or sign an affidavit.

The House passed the bill 231 -112.

Both votes exceeded the two-thirds margin necessary for a veto override."...


Obama drones can be easily hacked though DHS had no idea of this, Univ. of Texas team showed DHS how easy it was-BBC

6/29/12, "Researchers use spoofing to 'hack' into a flying drone," BBC

"American researchers took control of a flying drone by "hacking" into its GPS system - acting on a $1,000 (£640) dare from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

A University of Texas at Austin team used "spoofing" - a technique where the drone mistakes the signal from hackers for the one sent from GPS satellites.

The same method may have been used to bring down a US drone in Iran in 2011.

Analysts say that the demo shows the potential danger of using drones.

Drones are unmanned aircraft, often controlled from a hub located thousands of kilometres away. They are mostly used by the military in conflict zones such as Afghanistan.

Todd Humphreys and his colleagues from the Radionavigation Lab at the University of Texas at Austin hacked the GPS system of a drone belonging to the university.

They demonstrated the technique to DHS officials, using a mini helicopter drone, flown over a stadium in Austin, said Fox News, who broke the story.

"What if you could take down one of these drones delivering FedEx packages and use that as your missile?" Fox News quoted Mr Humphreys.

"That's the same mentality the 911 attackers had.""


Friday, June 29, 2012

Rutgers climate scientist says extreme weather isn't man-caused climate change. CO2 in US steadily down since 2005

CO2 in the US has steadily decreased since 2005. If the US were warmer it wouldn't be because of CO2. Colorado climatologist says 2012 looks much like 1910 when warm temperatures hit early and many fires were experienced.

6/28/12, "Are Colorado's wildfires caused by global warming?", Stephanie Pappas

"The immediate driver of these fires is a lack of moisture and a ridge of heat that has settled over the central United States, said New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson, who also directs the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. After record snowpack last year, the Rocky Mountains did a 180 this year, Robinson said, seeing little moisture and early snowmelt.

"March and April are supposed to be your snowy months [in Colorado], and they weren't," Robinson told LiveScience. "Thus, the fire danger."

Meanwhile, a high-pressure system in the central part of the country is preventing cloud formation and allowing the sun to bake the ground, heating things up....

"You can't say it's climate change just because it's an extreme condition," said Colorado state climatologist Nolan Doesken. So far, Doesken told LiveScience, the spring of 2012 looks much like the spring of 1910, when warm temperatures hit early.

  • That year, he said, was a bad one for fires."...


4/21/12, "Why [CO2] Emissions Are Declining in the U.S. But Not in Europe," by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus,

"As we note below in a new article for Yale360, a funny thing happened: U.S. emissions started going down in 2005 and are expected to decline further over the next decade."


5/6/12, "US Leads EU in CO2 Reductions," Walter Russell Mead, American Interest


"Ten years ago, the feds had a fleet of 44 firefighting planes. Today, the number is down to nine for the entire country. Last summer, Obama's National Forest Service canceled a key federal contract with Sacramento-based Aero Union just as last season's wildfires were raging. Aero Union had supplied eight vital air tankers to Washington's dwindling aerial firefighting fleet. Two weeks later, the company closed down, and 60 employees lost their jobs. Aero Union had been a leader in the business for a half-century."

6/20/12, "How Obama Bureaucrats Fueled Western Wildfires," Michelle Malkin,, Colorado Springs, Colorado


6/16/12, The fire was started by lightning on June 4 but wasn't reported to feds until June 9. Part of it is on federal forest land so the federal government had to be consulted. Then the Obama official decided congress had to be consulted. All this while fires continued. "Vilsack praised Congress for allowing the government to contract additional aircraft particularly heavy tankers — to fight wildfires across the West." Our fire fighting air fleet had dwindled to almost nothing yet Obama canceled a fleet of 6 or 7 able tankers in 2011 knowing they were badly needed. The GOP didn't stop him.

6/16/12, "Wildfire destroys most homes in Colo. history," AP via CBS News


Man who accidentally started forest fire couldn't report it for awhile because there was no cell phone reception in the area:

5/19/12, "Feds say Colorado wildfire started on camp stove," AP

"There is no cell phone service in the area where the fire started....Hundreds of firefighters are battling a blaze fueled by warm, dry weather in northern Colorado that federal officials say started with a camp stove."...


The federal government says "it can't afford to" do life-saving necessary thinning.

6/20/12, "Forest-thinning strategy credited for saving Alpine from 2011 fire," Arizona Republic, S. McKinnon


6/29/12, UK Guardian vs CS Monitor, two different takes on Colorado fires


After Justice Thomas dissents on ObamaCare the left calls him 'house nigga,' 'Uncle Tom'

6/28/12, "Justice Thomas dissents, Left hurls vile racial slurs ‘house nigga,’ ‘Uncle Tom’,"

"As Twitchy reported this morning, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the individual mandate in Obamacare as a tax. Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito and Thomas dissented. Repulsively, yet predictably, this caused the Left to hurl vile racial slurs at Justice Clarence Thomas. They started yesterday, but are going all-in on the disgusting today....

"Kiefer Jack, This house nigga Clarence Thomas dissented on the supreme court decision to uphold the presidents health care platform."...

He’s not “really black,” you see. Much like conservative women aren’t “real” women and are instead gender-traitors. To the Left, racists and sexists at heart, all people must be put into identity groups and then must all think alike. They can’t possibly think for themselves. Silly girls and minorities. Know your places!...

"Mario Price, Clarence Thomas voted against me he is that field nigga that will never be a house nigga but he keeps trying anyway."...(many more tweets at site) via Weasel Zippers


Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS admit fraud in sales of interest rate swaps to thousands of small businesses beginning in 2001, caused severe harm-BBC

6/29/12, "FSA finds banks guilty of mis-selling to small firms," BBC

"The Financial Services Authority says banks mis-sold specialist insurance known as interest rate swaps tied to thousands of small businesses.

The FSA said it had found "serious failings" in the sale of the products, designed to protect firms taking out loans against rising interest rates.

The FSA said it had reached agreement with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS over providing "redress".

The mis-selling is the third case of serious malpractice at the UK's banks.

The FSA said it believed the swaps had had a "severe impact on a large number of these businesses".

It did not say how much money would be necessary to compensate the businesses involved.

Sandy Chen, from Cenkos Securities, estimated that the total cost to the banks collectively would be between £1.1bn to £1.4bn, with most of that falling on Barclays.

Around 28,000 interest rate protection products were sold to thousands of small businesses, starting in 2001."...


Food stamps and prisons leading the American economy

6/28/12, "Where Food Stamps Go to Die,", Mike Krieger

"What sectors are leading the American economy in the “recovery”: Food stamps and Prisons. They are actually perfectly complimentary. If the food stamps don’t work the prisons will.

Meanwhile, in the real economy we have the latest earnings blowup. Ryder System, a company involved in the leasing, rental and logistical business of trucking lowered its forecast and the shares were smashed. Too bad you can’t lease a truck with an EBT card, although who knows, that might be in the next stimulus package." (end of article) via Zero Hedge


JP Morgan makes billions on food stamp debit card transactions, the more economic ruin for Americans the more profit to JP Morgan

""This business is a very important business to JPMorgan in terms of its size and scale."...These are boom times."

2/9/11, "Food Stamps: JPMorgan & Banking Industry Profit From Misery,", Covert

"This week's credit check: A record 43.6 million Americans are using food stamps. JPMorgan's segment that makes food stamp debit cards made $5.47 billion in net revenue in 2010.

You might think that if you're on food stamps, big banks won't be very interested in you. What could they possibly want with someone who's struggling just to put food on the table? But it turns out that you're actually part of a profitable business for big bank JPMorgan. While the money to pay for the stamps comes from the government, the technology to access it lies in private hands. Food stamps used to be literally stamps -- that is, pieces of paper -- but in this day and age paper is so old fashioned. Now you get your food stamps with a debit card, and JPMorgan knows all about creating plastic credit products.

As the head of this division at JPMorgan, Christopher Paton, told Bloomberg (video link dead), "They act and feel very much like a debit card. A lot of stores increasingly take food stamps." What convenience! And Paton points out that his bank is the largest processor of food stamps in the country. These are boom times for such services -- a new report from the US Department of Agriculture reports that 43.6 million Americans are now using food stamps, nearly 14% of the population, which is a record number. Paton notes this trend himself: "Volumes have gone through the roof in the last couple of years," he says. "This business is a very important business to JPMorgan in terms of its size and scale." And the numbers bear him out. According to the company's most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, the Treasury & Securities Services segment, which is the division that includes the food stamp business, was up 2% in the last three months of last quarter and brought in $5.47 billion in net revenue for most of 2010.

Paton's quick to point out that this isn't just about profit at JPMorgan -- it's also serving a "useful social function." And department execs don't have to sit around hoping for unemployment to skyrocket so they can make a buck -- more than 40% of food stamp recipients have a job, as Paton notes. Even if you get a job, you still have an almost one in two chance of still not being able to buy groceries, so JPMorgan can continue to make its profits as unemployment falls (someday).

But it does show a misalignment between what the banks want and what's good for the rest of us. It turns out that JPMorgan also provides unemployment benefit debit cards in some states on top of the food stamp cards. Talk about marketing off of misery -- the profit made from these cards shoots up as workers lose their jobs and can't pay for food. Whether or not they're providing a needed service, you would be hard pressed to find a way in which the business interest of this segment is not aligned with further economic ruin for America's workers. Instead of profiting when we all do well, they profit off of our misery.

And the decision to place card creation in private hands can turn out to be complicated for the actual users. While the government outsourced its card creation needs to JPMorgan, the bank in turn outsourced the customer service end to India. So if you're a food stamp user who has a problem or a question, don't expect to actually get someone in your own country to help you out. They can't be bothered to actually deal with the people they're giving such a necessary service to."


6/24/12, "Top secret: $80B a year for food stamps, but feds won’t reveal what’s purchased," Washington Times, Luke Rosiak

Convenience stores have lobbyists who vie for food stamp business.


Lawyer who argued for 26 states against ObamaCare Medicaid now says most states will do it because it's so much money just sitting there

6/28/12, "High Court Health Care Ruling Shifts Action To States," NPR, Julie Rovner

"But even Paul Clement, who argued the case on behalf of the 26 states who fought the Medicaid expansion, says he thinks most states will end up going along with the Medicaid expansion.

"Since there's all that new money sitting there and it's all going to be paid for by federal tax dollars whether or not they accept it, it's going to be very hard for states to refuse the funds," he told NPR's Nina Totenberg in an interview.

At least the Supreme Court says states will legally now have that option."


Only a few months ago Paul Clement was bothered by the fact that these gobs of money were stolen from ordinary Americans against their will:

3/28/12, "ObamaCare gets the John Gotti Defense," Tea Party Tribune, by mrcurmudgeon

"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan characterized ObamaCare as the federal government’s way of saying, We’re giving you [the states] a boat-load of money, there are no matching funds requirement, there are no extraneous conditions attached to it, it’s just a boat-load of federal money for you to take and spend on poor people’s health care. It doesn’t sound coercive to me,” insisted Kagan to [former] Solicitor General Paul Clement, who spoke for the 26 states challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare on Wednesday.

Let me give you a hypothetical, Mr. Clement,” added Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “Now, suppose I’m an employer and I see somebody I really like and I want to hire that person and I say, ‘I’m going to give you 10 million dollars a year to come work for me,’ and the person says, ‘Well, I … you know … I’ve never been offered anywhere approaching 10 million dollars a year …’ of course I’m going to say yes to that.

  • Now, we would both agree that that’s not coercive, right?”

“Well,” responded Clement, “I guess I would want to know where the money came from.” With that, the courtroom gasped and then erupted with laughter.

Wow, wow!” said a surprised Sotomayor, “I’m offering you 10 million dollars a year to come work for me and you’re saying that this is anything but a great choice?”

Sotomayor’s analogy was faulty, Clement explained, because the money in question “actually … came from my own bank account. And that’s what’s really going on here …”

What Kagan referred to as a free “boat-load of money” and Sotomayor called “a great choice” results from what the fictional mob character Vito Corleone called

  • an “offer you can’t refuse.”...

To wonder from where and from whom that cash came was, well, as funny a question to Gotti’s neighbor as were councilor Clement’s moral qualms concerning ObamaCare’s extortion to Justice Kagan, Justice Sotomayor and the packed courtroom gallery of media and Washington movers and shakers.

Because power corrupts,” observed John Adams, “society’s demands for moral authority and character

  • Not in John Gotti’s America."


Ed. note: Even before this horror politicians had sold us out for years, broke California, broke the entire middle class. Politicians just wanted us to shut the hell up and leave them alone. So they broke our back. Their idea was to make a teeming slum of the entire country. So they brought in millions of criminals and poor people from violent cultures like Mexico who had no skills, couldn't speak English, didn't want to learn, many effectively feral, and they forced modest, middle class American earners barely making it themselves to pay for all the new people and eventually to live side by side with them in squalor, with cockroaches, fleas, mice, rats, filth, and screaming. I've seen it. The left calls this utopia, a classless society.


After ObamaCare's $1.8trillion 'tax' on working families it has 20 other misc. taxes

6/28/12, "Obamacare's Hidden Taxes," IBD Editorial

The high bench has confirmed that ObamaCare's individual mandate is a massive tax on the American middle class. But let's not forget the 20 other new taxes that are embedded in the law.

Though President Obama never sold it as a tax hike, the Supreme Court ruled the mandate is exactly that. Unfortunately, the majority argued it's legal under Congress' taxing authority.

Forcing citizens to buy health insurance "is absolutely not a tax increase," Obama insisted in 2009. Earlier, he assured the public that raising taxes on the middle class to support his health care plan was "the last thing we need in an economy like this." "Folks are already having a tough enough time," Obama added.

Indeed they are. But his plan, which subsidizes some 30 million uninsured, amounts to a $1.8 trillion whammy on working families. And that's just for starters.

The court was silent about the 20 other different taxes hidden in ObamaCare, more than half of which affect families earning less than $250,000 a year.

The new taxes, which cost some $675 billion over the next decade, include:

A 2.3% excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that's already devastating the medical supply industry and its workforce. The levy is a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs roughly 400,000.

Several major manufacturers have been roiled, including: Michigan-based Stryker Corp., which blames the tax for

  • 1,000 layoffs;

Indiana-based Zimmer Corp., which cites the tax in

  • laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge

against earnings; Indiana-based Cook Medical Inc., which has

  • scrubbed plans to open a U.S. factory;

Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc., which expects an annual charge against earnings

  • of $175 million, and

Boston Scientific Corp., which has opted to open plants in tax-friendlier Ireland and China to help offset

  • a $100 million charge against earnings.

A 3.8% surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends that applies to single filers earning more than $200,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000.

A $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance" and other rules set by the Health and Human Services Dept.

A $24 billion tax on the paper industry to control a pollutant known as black liquor.

A $2.3 billion-a-year tax on drug companies.

• A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons.

• An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed.

• A hike in the threshold for writing off medical expenses to 10% of adjusted gross income from 7.5%.

• A new cap on flexible spending accounts of $2,500 a year.

Elimination of the tax deduction for employer-provided prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients.

An income surtax of 1% of adjusted gross income, rising to 2.5% by 2016, on individuals who refuse to go along with ObamaCare by buying a policy not OK'd by the government.

• A $2,000 tax charged to employers with 50 or more workers for every full-time worker not offered health coverage.

A $60 billion tax on health insurers.

• A 40% excise tax on so-called Cadillac, or higher cost, health insurance plans.

All told, there are 21 new or higher taxes imposed by Obama's health care law — and 21 more reasons to repeal it." via Free Republic


Ed. note: I hope no one actually believes the GOP has any intention of "repealing" ObamaCare.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obama Attorney General Holder held in Contempt of Congress, 17 Democrats join Republicans, civil suit also voted, Obama plead Executive Privilege


Above American border guard Brian Terry was murdered with a weapon from Obama's gun program Fast and Furious which sold weapons to drug dealers. Obama refused to turn over documents related to the 'gun walking' program's investigation. The Hill article fails to mention Brian Terry's murder.

6/28/12, "In 255-67 vote, House places Holder in contempt of Congress," The Hill, by Jordy Yager and Pete Kasperowicz

"The House voted Thursday to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for not complying with a congressional subpoena.

Seventeen Democrats bucked party lines and voted with Republicans to pass a criminal contempt resolution in a 255-67 vote. House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) pushed that resolution as part of his 16-month investigation into the botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking operation....

At the center of the feud between the DOJ and Issa is a letter the department sent last year to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) stating that it does everything in its power to stop guns from going to Mexico. Ten months later, the DOJ took the rare step of withdrawing the letter because it contained false information.

Nearly two months before the DOJ rescinded the letter, Issa subpoenaed Holder for documents related to the fallout that the letter's misinformation had caused.

But after turning over about 7,600 pages of documents to Issa on Fast and Furious, the Attorney General has refused to comply with the remainder of the subpoena, stating that much of the requested information would jeopardize ongoing prosecutions and criminal cases if made public.

After attempts at negotiating a compromise failed last week, the president — at Holder's urging— asserted executive privilege over the documents in question.

The DOJ's inspector general has been investigating the failed operation for more than a year as well. And Issa says he should have access to the roughly 80,000 documents that the IG has received from the DOJ....

Democrats voting for the resolution were Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kathy Hochul (N.Y.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Bill Owens (N.Y.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Tim Walz (Minn.).

The Department of Justice is not expected to enforce the criminal contempt measure against Holder. But less than an hour later, the House also passed a separate resolution allowing Issa's committee to pursue civil court action against Holder.

That second resolution could lead to a lengthy court battle if Issa pursues civil action against Holder.

The House approved the civil resolution in a 258-95 vote that saw 21 Democrats vote with Republicans, and just 70 Democrats skip the vote....

As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa has led Congress's investigation of Fast and Furious, which oversaw the sale of nearly 2,000 firearms to straw buyers for Mexican drug cartels.

Issa was initially concerned with uncovering who was responsible for allowing guns to "walk" during the operation. But he recently switched the primary concentration of his probe to focus on the DOJ's internal communications after the details of the operation were made public." via Free Republic


6/28/12, "Slain border agent's family reacts to vote holding AG in contempt," CBS5 Phoenix, kpho, Bierman

"The U.S. House voted Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

Republicans pushed through the resolution because Holder did not turn over documents related to a gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious.

Brian Terry was killed in a 2010 shootout near Nogales. The shooter admitted to participating in a gun smuggling ring that was being monitored as part of the government's botched investigation.

On Thursday, his family released the following statement on the House's vote.

"The Terry family takes no pleasure in the contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Such a vote should not have been necessary. The Justice department should have released the documents related to Fast and Furious months ago.

"Eric Holder's refusal to do so and President Obama's assertion of executive privilege have stood in the way of justice and the answers we seek into the death of fallen Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

"Given the Obama Administration's steadfast refusal to level with the American people, Congress was left with no choice but to vote Mr. Holder in contempt."

It was the first time a sitting Cabinet member has been held in contempt." photo of Brian Terry from CBS5


6/20/12, "Obama asserts executive privilege and backs Holder over Fast and Furious," UK Guardian, MacAskill

""Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding Fast and Furious were confined to the department of justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the Fast and Furious operation, or the cover-up that followed," Brendan said.

"The administration has always insisted that wasn't the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?""


Welcome to the United Slave States of America courtesy of Justice John Roberts

6/28/12, "The United Slaves Of America?" CNS News, Craig Bannister

"The Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare and the health insurance mandate (by renaming it a tax) has ruled that the federal government can force every American to do whatever it pleases by threatening a tax.

As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee, told, if the Supreme Court deems Democrats’ health-care reform constitutional - empowering the federal government to force Americans to buy health insurance “then there is literally nothing the federal government can’t force us to do.”

Apparently, lawmakers can now, if they choose, impose a million dollar tax on anyone who doesn’t:

  • Buy an electric car,
  • Buy, and prove they’ve eaten, a proper serving of broccoli every day,
  • Buy a home gym and exercise at least 16 hours a day (leaving eight hours to earn wages to pay other taxes),
  • Have an abortion, if the government decrees it would benefit society."


In 2005 Obama voted against confirming his new buddy John Roberts:

9/29/2005, "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session"

NAYs ---22
Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)


1/21/09, "To avoid any constitutional problems, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the oath of office a second time with Barack Obama in the Map Room of the White House on Wednesday, January 21, 2009." White House photo

Bonus, George Bush nominates Obama savior John Roberts, 9/5/05:

So, does EJ Dionne Jr. still think Justice Roberts is a right wing lobbyist who shouldn't be 'catered to?'

3/28/12, "Judicial activists in the Supreme Court," EJ Dionne, Jr., Washington Post


6/28/12, "Now That Obamacare Has Passed, Here's What It's Going To Cost You," Business Insider


Ed. note: The 'evolution' of John Roberts is no surprise when one considers George Bush. George Bush wasn't about to nominate the kind of person we really needed. After all, he also nominated Harriet Myers. The left has to have someone to hate so they had George Bush, but Bush and his crowd were a great help to the left and still are. They are globalist, big government liberals who for some reason despise ordinary Americans.


In 2005 Obama vetoed the nomination of his now savior Chief Justice John Roberts


1/21/09, "To avoid any constitutional problems, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administers the oath of office a second time with Barack Obama in the Map Room of the White House on Wednesday, January 21, 2009." White House photo


Obama voted against confirming John Roberts:

9/29/2005, "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session"

NAYs ---22
Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)


Bonus, George Bush nominates Obama savior John Roberts, 9/5/05:

So. Does EJ Dionne Jr.still think Justice Roberts is a right wing lobbyist who should not be 'catered to?'

3/28/12, "Judicial activists in the Supreme Court," EJ Dionne, Jr., Washington Post

"On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office? It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches....

Liberals should learn from this display that there is
no point in catering to today’s hard-line conservatives. The individual mandate was a conservative idea that President Obama adopted to preserve the private market in health insurance rather than move toward a government-financed, single-payer system. What he got back from conservatives was not gratitude but charges of socialism — for adopting their own proposal.

The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words."...


ObamaCare as a tax is a 'position that no lower court accepted,' Justice Kennedy

6/28/12, "Kennedy dissent: Court 'imposes tax when Congress deliberately rejected tax'," The Hill, Sam Baker

"The dissent said Congress did not intend for the health insurance mandate to function as a tax.

The Supreme Court’s most conservative justices pulled together Monday for a harsh dissent in the court’s landmark healthcare case, saying the court should have invalidated all of President Obama’s healthcare law.

Justice Anthony Kennedy — once considered the swing vote in the healthcare decision — sided with three of the court's conservatives in the blunt dissent.

“The fundamental problem with the court’s approach to this case is this: It saves a statute Congress did not write,” Kennedy said in a statement from the bench. “The court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching.” The court said in a 5-4 decision that the healthcare law’s individual mandate is constitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said the mandate functions as a tax — a position that no lower court accepted.

The dissent — written jointly by Kennedy and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — said Congress did not intend for the mandate to function as a tax.

“The court imposes a tax when Congress deliberately rejected a tax,” Kennedy said.

The dissenters also criticized the majority’s split decision on the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion. The court said the expansion was partially unconstitutional because states would have to give up their participation in the entire Medicaid program just to reject the newly added requirements.

Although Roberts decided that threat amounted to coercion, the court did not strike down the entire expansion. Rather, it simply said the federal government could not withhold all funding from states that choose not to participate.

The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the federal government is one of limited powers,” Kennedy said. “But the court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism,
  • it undermines state sovereignty.”"

via Howie Carr