Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Friends of Obama: Tony Rezko

Claim: $400K from Tony Rezko to then Senator Barack Obama.  Is that legal Patrick Fitzgerald?
Daniel T. Frawley, a former business partner of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, claims he gave Rezko $400,000 that Rezko gave to then U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
This claim comes through Frawley’s emails to, and conversations with, Robert “Bob” Cooley, former Chicago mob lawyer turned government informer and author of the book on Chicago corruption entitled “When Corruption Was King.”
 For those that don't recall, Tony Rezko is a former Chicago politcal fundraiser and, more importantly, one of Obama's most important early fudraisers.  He was a member of Obama's U.S. Senate campaign finance committee.  He also allegedly helped Obama purchase a Chicago home.  On November 23, 2011, Rezko was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison for fraud and bribery.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romney Takes Michigan and Arizona

John Hinderaker reports that it is A Big Night for Mitt Romney.  We shall see.

America is Becoming a Less Attractive Place to Do Business

So observes the Economist.  The principle problem?   “The US government is failing to tackle weaknesses in the business environment that are making the country a less attractive place to invest and [is] nullifying some of America’s most important competitive strengths.”  The article goes on to observe that "Without both parties’ fingerprints on a deal, no one can curb the huge entitlement programmes that grow automatically, such as Medicare and Social Security (health care and pensions for the elderly). So deficits yawn and the welfare state keeps growing, even as America’s roads crumble. That is not a recipe for dynamism."  What the Economist fails to mention, however, is that it is the Democrats, led by Barack Obama, that refuse to even entertain the idea of entitlement reform, instead preferring to demonize anyone that does.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

U.K.'s 25% Tax Hike on the 'Rich' Produces Less Revenue

What a surprise!  The Tax Professor has a roundup on this news and reactions, including the following from the Wall Street Journal:
Speaking of higher taxes (and President Obama always does), there's news from once fair Britannia.

Preliminary figures out this week show that Britain's 50% top marginal income-tax rate may have reduced tax revenue from top earners by as much as 5%, compared to the old 40% top rate. Tax revenue from those filing self-assessments due January 31 was down some £500 million versus last year. ...

What this week's numbers teach, however, is that Britain's richest taxpayers are simply shifting their incomes, or themselves, offshore, or deferring income, or otherwise arranging their affairs to avoid the confiscatory new top tax rate. Maybe that's unfair, too—the rich are usually better at protecting their assets—but it's the predictable consequence of a tax rate whose animating purposes are envy and spite.

There's a lesson here for the Obama Administration, not that it is likely to heed it any more than Mr. Cameron.
 Via Instapundit.

Milton Friedman - On Capitalism And the Escape From Poverty

Friday, February 24, 2012

America's Government has Placed a Greater Debt Burden on Its Citizens Than Any Other

It seems Americans owe, per capita, more than the citizens of any other country in the world, including Greece.

"But don’t worry, you say. Surely our fearless leader, BHO, and the many geniuses employed in his administration have a plan to address the debt crisis. Right? Well, no, actually, they don’t. The administration’s hope, as expressed in Obama’s FY 2013 budget, is that by 2022, if all goes according to plan and every assumption embedded in the budget comes true, the average American’s debt will rise by 70%, to $75,000.

The American ship of state is beginning to resemble the Costa Concordia as it approached the rocks off Giglio Island. One question that will someday be answered by history is: which ship had the more irresponsible captain at the helm?"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stimulus Fail

Veronique de Rugy provides this chart showing what the president warned unemployment would be without the stimulus versus actual unemployment with the stimulus.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Obama Made It Worse

Credit goes to Don Surber for pointing me to the "Chart of the Day."

Obama Now More Unpopular Than Bush

A new poll conducted by the liberal Public Policy Polling organization shows that Barack Obama is now more unpopular than George W. Bush.
The poll showed 45% now have a favorable opinion of Bush 43, while 46% have an unfavorable opinion.
That’s a net of minus 1.
The poll showed 46% now have a favorable opinion of Obama, while 49% have an unfavorable opinion.
That’s a net of minus 3.
And it took Obama only three years to reach this point.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kate Upton

There is no real reason for me to link this story, other than the fact that it manages to combine economics and Kate Upton.  And that seemed like reason enough.

Sweet Sixteen

It seems that Michelle Obama selected Aspen as her latest, and sixteenth since taking up residence in the White House, vacation destination.  Does the White House not care about the optics of all these extravagent vacations when only 63.7% of working-age Americans are currently in the workforce or just know they will get a pass from the media?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Obama's "Budget"

Gay Patriot looks at Obama's proposed joke of a budget and Timothy "TurboTax" Geithner's testimony before the House earlier this week and comes away with three key points:
  1. The budget fails to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Medicaid.  As Geithner himself said, “Even if Congress were to enact this budget we would still be left with–in the outer decades as millions of Americans retire–what are still unsustainable commitments in Medicare and Medicaid.
  2. The administration doesn’t like the Ryan plan, but has no plan of its own to deal with the nation’s long-term debt problem.  Geithner again, “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.
  3. President Obama’s FY 2013 budget does increase federal spending, not only above current levels (from $3.796 trillion in FY 2012 to $5.537 trillion in FY 2021, a 46% increase) but also above the levels approved by current law” (i.e., the August 2011 debt deal).  Geithner could not answer with “Yes” or “No” when asked whether  the budget increased federal spending above those levels set by that deal.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"truly frightening. Truly."

Over at Legal Insurrection, Profesor Jacobson considers the list of potential Obama Supreme Court nominees in a second Obama term and then asks you to "imagine one of these people replacing Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Where Are the Jobs?

  I came across this chart on Instapundit yesterday.  The Republicans would be wise to hammer home this message for the next nine months

Monday, February 13, 2012

You Don't Rein in Out-of-Control Spending by Increasing It - Seems obvious, no?

David Boaz of Cato:  It’s being reported that in his 2013 budget President Obama will propose to increase spending now and reduce the deficit some day.  Isn’t that what every budget promises these days? As I noted last summer during the debt ceiling fight at the Britannica Blog, fiscal conservatives should be very skeptical of plans and proposals that  promise to cut spending some day—not this year, not next year, but swear to God some time in the next ten years:
As the White Queen said to Alice, “Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.” Cuts tomorrow and cuts in the out-years—but never cuts today.
We’ve become so used to these unfathomable levels of deficits and debt—and to the once-rare concept of trillions of dollars—that we forget how new all this debt is. In 1981, after 190 years of federal spending, the national debt was “only” $1 trillion. Now, just 30 years later, it’s past $15 trillion.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This is the Compromise?

In response to the backlash from his mandate that employers, including religious institutions, offer health plans that cover both birth control and abortion-causing drugs, Obama has settled on a compromise:  I'll just mandate that employeres contract with insurers to cover contraception for free, and hence employers cannot be said to be paying for it.  This leaves Ace of Spades asking the only obvious question.  "Has he gone insane?"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Breitbart Offers This Teaser

Andrew Breitbart at CPAC:  I got videos of Barack Obama from college.  And he promises to reveal them during the campaign.  This should be interesting.

Fair Question

Rand Paul to Barack Obama:  "Do you hate all rich people or just those that aren't campaign contributors?"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Turning Us All Into Beggars

"The American public's dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation."  That would be the biggest jump since . . . you guessed it, Jimmy Carter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Broken Promises: Super PACs

 Obama put his support behind Super PACs earlier this week, after having previously decried them as "a threat to our democracy."  Now, the RightScoop has found a video from 2007 in which "Obama went on and on about the fact that you can't be against these outside groups one day and then for them the next day only when its convenient."  As one commentor observed, it would seem that "YES YOU CAN!" 

The Plot Thickens

As Santorum takes Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado.  PJMedia's Bryan Preston gives his take here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Fairness Quiz for the President

Althouse: "Is it fair that some of Mr. Obama's largest campaign contributers received federal loan guarantees?: Stephen Moore, at the Wall Street Journal, noting that Obama likes to talk about economic fairness, has "A Fairness Quiz for the President."

Obama Blames the Founding Fathers for His Failures

President Obama no longer places the blame for his failures upon Bush, the Republicans, and the Tea Party alone.  It seems our nation's Founding Fathers are also at fault.  In a recent interview, Obama explained that he has been unable to bring about the hope and change he promised because "It turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes".

I would have thought that a former constitutional law professer would know that the U.S. Presidency is an office with limited powers set within a system of checks and balances before assuming that office.   

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, President Reagan

Are You "Them!"?

Victor David Hanson:  "This is proving to be a Manichean administration. It sees the world in terms dark and light, of us/them, and then must create the necessary binaries to divide and demonize—so strange given this was the narrative of the Obama campaign against Bush, not so strange given the Chicago origins."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Community Organizer-in-Chief

Over at Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft notes that yesterday "Barack Obama lashed out at lenders who sold home loans to families who couldn’t afford them in his  Weekly Address . . . .  But Obama forgot to mention that he was the one who sued banks to force them to make loans to families who couldn’t afford them."  Any chance the media might ask him about this apparent hypocrisy?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Devil is in the Details

While yesterday's headlines read that unemployment dropped to 8.3% (still .5% higher than when Barack Obama took office), a closer look at the details reveals this was partly a result of the civilian labor force tumbling "to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% . . . . "  Should Barack Obama and the media really be trumpeting this as good news?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Obamacare vs. the First Amendment

Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, recently announced that Obamacare would require nearly all employers, including the Catholic Church, to offer, free of charge, insurance coverage for  "preventive services," which her department has defined to include contraception, abortion drugs, and sterilization services.  As Red State explains, the problem, at least in part, is that:

Catholics are bound by the Law of Moses expressed in The Decalogue not to commit murder. The Catholic Church considers an unborn child a fully-corporate, living human being. Abortion, kinetic or chemical, terminates this life and hence violates the Sixth Commandment of the Ten. Paying for this act to take place (by buying insurance or paying the penalty fee for not providing the insurance) would make the Church morally culpable for every one of these murders that occurred under the auspices of an ObamaCare-approved employer insurance plan. Sec. Sibelius has just ordered the Catholic Church to directly violate a fundamental precept of their faith.
 And so violated the First Amendment, which provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religioin, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ."  Sadly, the Catholic Church has itself to blame to the extent that it puts its trust Obama and previously supported Obamacare.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics

Over at the Forbes website, Daniel J. Mitchell compares the results of Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics.  Guess what?  As the chart to the left indicates, it isn't even close.  Read the whole article.

Three Years Ago Today

Fast and Furious

Powerline points us to an excellent column by Michael Hayden, the retired Air Force General and former director of both the NSA and CIA.  In his column, Hayden brings illustrates the irony of Holder's claim that "he has been subjected to a heavily politicized process over Fast and Furious," when Holder himself previously led a heavily politicized witch hunt against the CIA and its officers for its renditions, detentions, and interrogations of terrorists.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Some good news

Obama's recent poll numbers reflect his vulnarability while signs also suggest that his presumed money advantage in the campaign may not be materialize.