Thursday, December 13, 2012

I said this from day one...

Obama Gunrunning To Al-Qaeda

See the video here:
NASA Named Best Place to Work in Government -- Work Force Rallies to Support New Direction in Post-Shuttle Era
WASHINGTON -- NASA was named the best place to work in the federal government among large agencies in a survey released today by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization. This ranking, which reflects NASA's highest results since this index was developed, makes clear that the agency's work force is focused on carrying out the nation's new and ambitious space program.

"The best workforce in the nation has made NASA the best place to work in federal government," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, who is accepting the award at a ceremony this morning in Washington, D.C. "Our employees are carrying out the nation's new strategic missions in space with heart-stopping landings on Mars, cutting-edge science and ground-breaking partnerships with American companies to resupplying the space station. They are truly leading in the innovation economy."

The rankings are based on responses from nearly 700,000 federal workers. The Best Places to Work rankings are based on data from the Office of Personnel Management's annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted from April through June 2012 and additional survey data from nine agencies plus the Intelligence Community. This is the seventh edition of the Best Places to Work rankings since the first in 2003.

NASA's Stennis Space Center was ranked second in the sub-agency component category.

During the past year, NASA's employees continued to implement America's ambitious space exploration program, landing the most sophisticated rover on the surface of Mars, carrying out the first-ever commercial mission to the International Space Station and advancing the systems needed to send humans deeper into space.

Just last week, NASA announced the next Mars rover mission and recently announced the first year-long crew stay on the International Space Station. As the agency continues developing the capabilities to explore the solar system and beyond, as well as understand our home planet and make life better here, workers with a wide range of skills and interests will be critical.
Muslim hackers threaten to take down U.S. banks if Muhammad video isn't taken down from YouTube

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Censor yourself -- or else. Here's the latest in the Islamic war on free speech: "Protest group offended by YouTube video of Prophet Muhammad again targets PNC Bank," by Patricia Sabatini for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 11 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
A protest group that claimed responsibility for a wave of digital attacks on big U.S. banks in the fall -- including Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank -- apparently has PNC in its crosshairs again. The al-Qassam Cyber Fighters said in an Internet posting that the group planned a second round of attacks this week on PNC and four other banks -- JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank and SunTrust.
This afternoon, PNC started having problems with its website.
"Some PNC customers may be experiencing intermittent difficulty logging into PNC's website on the first attempt," spokeswoman Amy Vargo said in an email.
Pittsburgh's biggest bank was working to restore full access and "will be reviewing the cause of this incident," she said.
In September, PNC's online banking operations were disrupted for a couple of days by the so-called denial of service attacks, which flood websites with communications requests.
PNC "had the longest attack of all the banks," PNC chief executive officer James Rohr said in an interview with CNBC in October.
The hackers "just pummeled us," he said, adding that no customer data was compromised.
In the latest phase, "the wideness and the number of attacks will increase explicitly," the protest group said in a message posted on a website called Pastebin.
The group has said the attacks would continue until a YouTube video insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad was removed from the Internet.

Fiscal Cliff Creates Problems That Don't Faze Obama Fiscal Cliff Creates Problems That Don't Faze Obama

By: Michael Barone / Townhall Columnist
Is Barack Obama bluffing when he threatens to go over the fiscal cliff if Republicans refuse to agree to higher tax rates on high earners? 

Some analysts think so. Keith Hennessey, a former top staffer for the Bush White House and Senate Republicans and a veteran of budget negotiations, argues that Obama's whole second term would be blighted if he allows the fiscal cliff tax increases and sequestration budget cuts to take place next month.

His argument is based on three assumptions. One is that going over the fiscal cliff would trigger a sharp recession and a weak economy thereafter. Many economists agree. Some disagree. I leave that argument to them.

Hennessey's second assumption is that Obama has other second term policy goals -- immigration reform, cap-and-trade legislation, tax reform -- that would be difficult to achieve if he breaks sharply with Republicans.

Third, he assumes that Obama, like previous presidents, wants vibrant economic growth and chooses policies that he thinks will stimulate it.

I wonder whether these second two assumptions are true.

On policy, it seems clear that Obama wants to preserve Obamacare and to continue something like the high levels of domestic spending of his first term -- 24 to 25 percent of gross domestic product.

But it's not clear he really wants comprehensive immigration reform. As a senator, he voted for immigration amendments that Edward Kennedy opposed as poison pills, fracturing the bipartisan coalition needed for passage.

As president, he failed to press for immigration legislation when Democrats had supermajorities. It was a useful issue in the 2012 campaign, but that is over.

Cap-and-trade legislation is a nonstarter so long as Republicans retain a majority in the House and unlikely even if Democrats gain one in 2014. Too many Democrats in marginal districts would look back at the Democrats whose 2009 votes for cap-and-trade helped defeat them in 2010.

Nor does Obama seem much interested in a 1986-style tax reform that lowers rates and reduces tax deductions. He'd rather raise rates on high earners, as would happen if we go over the fiscal cliff.

But doesn't this president, like his predecessors, want bounteous economic growth?

Maybe not. First-term presidents want strong economic growth because they think they need it to be re-elected. But Obama has already been re-elected without it.

And economic growth produces things Obama doesn't like. Some people -- and not necessarily those with government subsidies -- get very rich. Obama prefers a more equal income distribution. The Depression of the 1930s did a great job of increasing economic equality.

Obama seeks to direct the economy in certain politically correct channels. He delights in subsidizing "green jobs" making solar panels or electric cars. Not coincidentally, losers like Solyndra and Fisker had backing from Obama political insiders.

The oil and natural gas boom ignited by hydraulic fracturing -- fracking -- on private lands does not delight him so much. He sought credit for it on the campaign trail. But his regulators are itching to stamp it out.

One of the problems of prosperity, from this perspective, is that you can't predict what will happen next. People operating in free markets produce innovations that no one else anticipates.

Sluggish growth and recession, in contrast, make things more predictable. Constituencies that enjoy political favor -- UAW members at General Motors or Chrysler, for example -- can be subsidized to remain in place.

The cost of such subsidies can be extracted from disfavored constituencies. This is called, in Obama's words to Joe the Plumber, "spreading the wealth around."

Remember when ABC's Charlie Gibson asked candidate Obama if he would raise capital gains tax rates even if it brought less revenue to the government. Yes, Obama said. "I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."

In contrast, it was after Bill Clinton agreed to cut the capital gains rate in 1997 that large enough gushers of revenue poured in to balance the federal budget.

Obama seeks to advance what Alexis de Tocqueville in "Democracy in America" called "soft despotism," with "a network of small, complicated, painstaking rules" -- think Obamacare -- to "finally reduce ... each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which government is the shepherd."

Or so it seems to me. If so, why not risk a recession? It would keep the herd in need of shepherding.

Tax Rich Liberals

Republicans have been forced into a Hobson's choice of either letting the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone or agreeing to a tax hike on the top 2 percent of income earners (not to be confused with "the rich," who have already made, inherited or married their money).

If Republicans object to the Democrats' hitting job creators with a tax hike, three things will happen: Taxes will go up for everyone; Republicans will be seen as the "party of the rich"; and the inevitable economic collapse will be blamed on Republicans.

If Democrats were merely trying to raise taxes on the rich in a vacuum, it would be easier for Republicans to oppose raising anyone's taxes. But because the Bush tax cuts are only temporary, unless the high-income earners' taxes go up, everyone's taxes revert to pre-Bush tax rates.

Republicans cannot be the party that raised everyone's tax rates to prove that they can't be pushed around by the Democratic Senate and Democratic president. You don't want job-killing tax hikes on producers? Vote Republican next time.

It is not helpful to complain, "But Republicans will be blamed no matter what they do!" Yes -- true. When has that not been true? It's not a novel insight, and it's certainly not an argument for handing our enemies a baseball bat to bludgeon us with.

Consider that the media's neurotic fixation on an alleged Republican "War on Women" was going nowhere. It wasn't even working with soccer moms -- until Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock started prattling about rape and abortion.

Suggestion for Republicans: Stop living up to the Non-Fox Media's stereotype of us as woman-hating Cro-Magnons who care only about the rich.

The fact that the NFM is against Republicans doesn't mean Republicans can never win any battles. (The demographic shift to Third World welfare recipients will soon mean Republicans can never win any battles.)

Apart from gay marriage, the only issue the NFM has ever cared more about is aborting babies. And yet, intelligent pro-lifers swung the debate and public opinion by pushing parental notification laws, spousal notification laws and partial-birth abortion bans.

Even now, when we're down to a slight majority in one-half of one branch of government, there are crucial battles Republicans can win.

I note that rich liberals -- who somehow manage to avoid paying high taxes themselves -- are always wildly enthusiastic about raising taxes on the middle class to keep the strivers down.

Forget the top 2 percent. The top 1 percent of the top 1 percent keep voting for higher taxes -- and then take advantage of indefensible tax loopholes and deductions. Get them.

Let's have a class warfare bloodbath.

Californians, for example, apparently adore high taxes. By contrast, Texans -- and the Californians who have relocated there -- do not. So why should residents of high-tax states be able to deduct their state and local taxes from their federal taxes? Texas and other no- or low-tax states are being forced to subsidize the profligate states.

The five highest-taxed states are New York, New Jersey, California, Vermont and Rhode Island -- with California soon pulling into the lead. The five least-taxed states are Florida, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming.

See the pattern?

You want high taxes, New York and California? Then pay them -- with no deductions for state and local taxes on your federal returns.

Billionaire liberal Warren Buffett keeps gassing about how he's dying to pay a higher tax rate (while employing a phalanx of lawyers to argue that he owes less in taxes than the IRS says he owes). Buffett is taking advantage of an unwarranted tax loophole that allows full-time investors like himself to report their entire income as capital gains, not ordinary income.

But that's his job! A stock-picker like Buffett is completely different from a doctor, whose job is to save lives, or a lawyer, whose job is to wreck them. They pay the full income tax rate for what they earn doing their jobs, and then pay a lower capital gains rate on investing the money they get to keep.

Buffett's only job is to earn capital gains. He and others like him should be paying the ordinary income tax rate like the rest of us on the money he earns from his job. Close that loophole. Almost no Republicans will be harmed in the making of this tax change. (There's a reason Sen. Chuck Schumer fought so hard to save it.)

Finally, as Glenn Reynolds -- the law professor known as "Instapundit" -- has been arguing, it's time to end Hollywood's exemption from excise taxes.

Excise taxes are taxes imposed on goods and activities, passed on to the consumer, such as alcohol and tobacco taxes. There are excise taxes on gasoline, airlines, tanning salons, fishing and archery products, truck driving, long-distance telephone service, and on and on.

Hollywood movies used to be subject to an excise tax, but, for no reason whatsoever, rich Hollywood liberals have been relieved of excise taxes on their products since the 1950s.

Reynolds suggests that, for "extra fun," Republicans "could show pictures of David Geffen's yacht and John Travolta's personal Boeing 707 on the Senate floor."

Republicans can't block the Democrats from raising taxes on "the rich" without themselves being responsible for raising taxes on the middle class. But they can at least force liberal fat cats to start paying their fair share.
North Korea and in nuclear armageddon
By: Diane Sori

“The eastern world it is explodin', violence flarin', bullets loadin'...”*

Those simple words from the first line of a long ago protest song have taken on new meaning as the Eastern world, in fact the entire world, is indeed exploding...exploding in fear that a North Korean madman could start World War III.

On Tuesday, in defiance of international warnings, and adding yet another ingredient into the mix of nuclear soup, North Korea thumbed it's nose at the world when they successfully launched a long-range rocket into space.  Claiming this was for peaceful purposes, as in putting a weather satellite into orbit, in reality this is yet another step forward in their developing a nuclear missile that could potentially reach as far as California.

Just what we don't need on top of Iran's so-called 'peaceful uses only' (yeah right) development of a nuclear bomb.

In 2009 after a second nuclear test (the first was in 2006), North Korea was banned from both nuclear testing and ballistic missile testing under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874, but this resolution has proven to do as much good as the U(seless) N(ations) gaining access to Iran's nuclear program...just paper bloviations amounting to nothing of substance.

In reality all the resolution did was shut down the flow of foreign currency into North Korea with the irony being that it made Iran an even more important trading partner for North Korea than it ever was before.  The two rogue nations currently cooperate in matters of science, share scientific labs, do student and professional exchanges that encompass the fields of technology, engineering, renewable energy, the environment, and sustainable agriculture.

In other words, when you strip away the layers of cover-ups and subterfuge, the bottom line is that these two dangerous countries do most certainly share nuclear secrets and research.  In fact, the US has repeatedly accused North Korea of providing Iran with advanced missiles capable of targeting Western European capital.  So the nuclear relationship has been tightened, not disrupted, by the sanctions. 

And while the US immediately issued a statement calling the launch a "highly provocative act that threatens regional security," and while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was a "clear violation" of the U(seless) N(ations) resolution, as usual NOTHING will be done to either punish them or stop them from going further with these tests even though experts agree that the technology involved in a satellite launch is similar to that needed to develop a very long-range (nuclear-tipped) missile. 

The scary bottom line is that the world knows that North Korea does indeed have nuclear weapons, and that the erratic behavior of it's leaders have made them almost impossible to stop.  And remember, North Korean has one of the most brutal regimes in the world.  Yet the world looks afraid to provoke this unpredictable regime because of their nuclear arsenal.  And with their success in doing as they please in regards to the missile test, that gives Iran an added incentive NOT to give up its own nuclear program.

And why...because they know the U(seless) N(ations) and the US with Obama as its president will do NOTHING to stop them at all except maybe slap more useless sanctions on them. 

Tuesday's launch should serve as a warning of just how dangerous it would be to allow nuclear weapons into the Middle East, weapons coming in via Iran's partner North Korea...nuclear weapons into the most unstable region on Earth.

Oh yeah “...we're on the eve of destruction.”*

* The Eve of Destruction, recorded by Barry McGuire in 1965