Ken's Project Blog

June 26, 2012

Democrats Question Motive in Holder Contempt Charges

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 10:19 am

Last week, Eric Holder (figuratively) held a selection of yet-unreleased documents that he feels relates to Fast & Furious and are “responsive” to the subpoena Congress issued months ago and was willing to turn them over for a promise to remove the threat of contempt charges against him. When the committee refused his offer he withdrew the documents, claimed he had fully responded to the subpoena, and his boss President Obama decided to exert Executive Privilege.

Why won’t the “most transparent” administration release those documents? Is it because they are holding the investigation up for political gain?

The Congressional investigation thus far has established that Fast & Furious was a seriously flawed program that had exactly zero chances of achieving it’s claimed goal of convicting high-level operators in gun running enterprises, but while establishing that point the DoJ under Eric Holder submitted a false document to the committee, and the committee is following up on that false document (why it was created, who approved it’s release, etc.).

The only conviction in the Valerie Plame “leak” case was “Scooter” Libby who provided conflicting testimony under oath – he was not convicted of leaking Plame’s name – that act was committed by Richard Armitage. If you support the prosecution of “Scooter” Libby by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (even after he knew Libby wasn’t the source of the leak), you really have to support the current efforts by Rep. Issa’s committee. Not because “they did it, now we can do it,” but because lying under oath and presenting false documents to Congress are both serious crimes.

Sources:

The Hill: Dems seek to recast Holder furor as GOP effort to suppress votes

cnn.com: Armitage admits leaking Plame’s identity

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May 29, 2012

NYT – The Politics of Religion

Filed under: Health Care,In The News,Politics — Ken @ 12:36 am

Over at the New York Times, they posted an Op-Ed concerning the dust-up over religious affiliated groups and the federal government’s requirement that they provide no-cost contraception, including the morning after pill. It is staggering that so many half-truths were crammed in to such a short Op-Ed.

I’ll refer you to the actual Op-Ed for the complete text, but let me point out a few of the more egregious mis-representations:

“Mr. Obama very publicly backed down from his original position and gave those groups a way around the contraception-coverage requirement.”

and

“After religious groups protested, the administration put the burden on insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to women who work for religiously affiliated employers like hospitals or universities — with no employer involvement.”

This refers to the government deciding that religiously affiliated organizations would not be charged directly for the cost of providing the required contraceptive coverage – hoping people will assume that the insurance companies would reach into their own pocket and pay for the contraceptives from their own profits. Ask yourself this question: Will a religiously affiliated organization see the cost of their health coverage go up, down, or remain the same once this expense is ‘covered’ by the insurance companies? The answer is, the cost will go up – the insurance companies won’t be donating coverage for contraceptives to these organizations (they are not in the business of giving things away) and contraceptives aren’t free… It’s just that there won’t be a line item for the cost on the invoice.

Carefully avoided in this Op-Ed is the impact to those religiously affiliated organizations that choose to self-insure, a common practice among religious hospitals – how does a self-insuring hospital avoid paying for contraceptives?

“The vast majority of Americans do not agree with the Roman Catholic Church’s anti-contraception stance, including most American Catholic women.”

As if that matters. The tenets and beliefs of the Catholic Church are not up for vote based on popular opinion – if the majority of Americans felt it was OK to steal, would the Catholic church find itself left with only nine commandments?

“The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church’s doctrine on everyone.”

This was the final line in the Op-Ed, the author’s attempt at a “coup de grace” – but he falls short: the churches aren’t trying to impose their doctrine “on everyone,” if they were to emerge victorious in this “battle” the only people impacted will be those women that choose to work at religiously affiliated organizations (hospitals, schools, charities, etc.) – they will simply be “forced” to pay full price for contraceptives, and there will be no impact on any other woman covered by employer-subsidised medical insurance.

I find it very telling that the supporters of this contraception regulation feel it is necessary to misrepresent the stakes (“impose doctrine…on everyone“), hold up ludicrous arguments (removing the line-item from the invoice solves the problem), and attempt to convince religious groups that they should let popular opinion polls determine church doctrine…

I agree that someone is trying to impose their doctrine on everyone, but it isn’t the Catholic church.

Sources:

New York Times: The Politics of Religion

November 4, 2011

Three years ago today…

Filed under: History,Politics — Ken @ 11:36 pm


Three years ago today, Nov. 4th, 2008, Then-Senator Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech in Grant Park in Chicago, IL. In looking over the text of the speech he delivered, I found this passage:

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

How far we’ve come in three short years – now we have a President who tours the country blaming House Republicans for their failure to pass his “American Jobs Act” legislation, despite his inability to get his Democratic majority in the Senate to pass this piece of legislation

Sources:

cnn.com: Transcript ‘This is your victory,’ says Obama

youtube.com: President-Elect, Barack Obama in Chicago

thehill.com: Obama’s jobs plan blocked in Senate

October 17, 2011

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and the Protect Life Act

Filed under: Health Care,In The News,Politics — Ken @ 3:18 pm

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Let me point out two things – the Hyde Amendment and Executive Order 13535.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under Medicaid, except for some very clearly defined circumstances (rape, incest, protect the life of the mother) and allows states to use their own money to fund abortions if they so choose.

Executive Order 13535 was signed by President Obama in March of 2010 to re-affirm the long-standing position of the Hyde Amendment on the Patient Protection Act (so-called “Obamacare”).

Sources:

youtube: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) Speaks Against Pro-Life Act (10.13.11)

wikipedia: Hyde Amendment and Executive Order 13535

October 14, 2011

Videos from Occupy Wall Street protest – 10-9-11

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 1:02 am


I shot these videos to try and capture a bit of the “flavor” of the protest – there are no outlandish demands as many have already been posted elsewhere, I just wanted to share what I saw in the two acre park just off of Wall Street.

Videos:

Dancing iPod girl

Drummers

Eviscerates

Hipster Protesters

iPhone protest supporters

Jersey protest family packs it in

Kitchen (rear shot)

Long shot of protest & Handing out Occupied WSJ

Long shot of sitting protesters

Walking past sitting protesters with signs

Tri-corner hat man

The Crowd and Their stuff

Sleeping Men

Sleeping Bags & Infirmary

Signs

Princesses make T-Shirts

Long shot from across street

Panning long shot

Poorman’s Nation, t-shirt creation, “protester” with Mac PowerBook

October 13, 2011

Biden warns of increased Rapes and Murders

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 12:34 am

Vice President Joe Biden said the following this week in Flint Michigan:

“In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city,” the vice president said. “In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes–just to pick two categories–climbed to 229. In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers will be this year for Flint if we don’t rectify it.”

Seems to me, right before the 2010 elections didn’t the Democraticly-controlled House & Senate pass a bill that the President signed to ensure that 319,000 teachers, nurses, and first-responders would be able to stay on the job?

Apparently the last bill, approved in August, did nothing for the Flint, Michigan police department – why should they believe the next bill will do anything to put more officers on the beat in Flint?

Sources:

youtube.com: In Flint, Michigan, Biden Warns Of More Rapes And Murders If Jobs Bill Not Passed

democraticleader.gov: House Passes Bill to Keep 319,000 Teachers, Police, Firefighters & Nurses on the Job and The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act

thomas.loc.gov: Bill Summary & Status 111th Congress (2009 – 2010) H.R.1586

senate.gov: Vote Summary H.R. 1586

whitehouse.gov: Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1586

September 30, 2011

Warren Buffett

Filed under: In The News,Politics,Taxation — Ken @ 3:06 pm

Remember when then-Senator Obama was running for President how excited the left was that ‘The Wizard of Omaha,’ Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest people in America would be advising President Obama? Well, fast-forward a couple years and we find President Obama in what one of his top political advisors described as a ‘Titanic Battle’ for re-election, and he appears to not be listening to his advisors, at least not Mr. Buffett.

Mr. Buffett has come out publicly against (or perhaps confused is a better word) this administration’s decision to rescind a generous tax deduction for corporate jet purchases made during this downturn in the economy. The tax deduction was put in place during the Bush administration, but once President Obama took office he not only extended the deduction, but increased it from 50% to 100%. But once this administration learned how well the American public reacted to the heads of the failing automakers being attacked for taking corporate jets to ask congress for a bailout, the President apparently rethought his attempts to stimulate the corporate jet industry – and held corporate jet owners out as examples of excess, and wanted to rescind the very deductions he implemented. That same deduction for corporate jets (not personal) also applied to other capital investments by American companies, but this administration is willing to hurt the jet industry to score political points. As Mr. Buffett said, why does it make sense for a company to be able to deduct the price of a new locomotive, but not a corporate jet? Both are pieces of equipment used by businesses to make money.

Now the President has set his sights on high-income earners (over $1M/year) that pay a ‘lower tax rate than their secretaries.’ this is based in part on a famous line Mr. Buffett used in a WSJ op-ed piece. First off, I thought the issue was revenue, not rates, and millionaires pay more than their secretaries, but let’s put that aside. The President has rolled-out what he calls “The Buffett Plan” – an alternative minimum tax for people that earn over $1M in income. Mr. Buffett, despite allowing the administration to name the proposal after him has come out against it. Mr. Buffett wanted the very high-earners to be subject to a higher rate than they currently are. The President’s ‘Buffett Plan’ does nothing to increase the taxes owed by say a person who earns millions a year playing a sport or in the entertainment industry – their compensation isn’t covered by the proposed change. Mr. Buffett wanted a tax on them.

Maybe President Obama should start meeting with, and listening to, the advisors he touted on the campaign trail, not reacting to polls and working on his re-election…

September 21, 2011

Fact Check: The CNN/Tea Party Debate in Florida

Filed under: In The News,Politics — Ken @ 12:58 am


The Associated Press has put together a fairly exhaustive “analysis” of many of the claims from the GOP primary candidates – I think it’s worth a look – here’s a link to it at USAToday.

Sources:

usatoday.com: Fact Check: The CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida

Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics

Filed under: In The News,Politics,Taxation — Ken @ 12:37 am


Over at the Wall Street Journal Stephen Moore penned a great piece comparing Obamanomics and Reganomics, as he wrote in the piece:

My purpose here is not more Reagan idolatry, but to point out an incontrovertible truth: One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn’t.

I encourage you to click-thru and take a look at his piece, it’s over at wsj.com.

Sources:

wsj.com: Obamanomics vs. Reaganomics

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Political Hack

Filed under: Education,In The News,Politics — Ken @ 12:20 am


Shortly after Gov. Rick Perry announced his run for the Republican nomination to run for President against Arne Duncan’s boss, Arne Duncan decided to inject himself into the political debate and slam the educational system in Gov. Perry’s Texas. Interestingly, Arne Duncan failed to point out that the Chicago Public School System, the very school system he personally ran before being tapped by President Obama to become the federal Education Secretary, posted worse results than the Texas school system he holds in such low regard. As but one comparison between Texas and the Chicago Public School System, let’s take a look at graduation rates – in Texas the graduation rate is about 73%, the Chicago Public School System has a slightly lower high school graduation rate… about 56%.

I wonder if Secretary Arne Duncan if he also feels “very, very badly” for the children he claims to have educated in Chicago?

Probably not.

And let’s not forget, Secretary Duncan’s boss President Obama was also a reformer trying to improve Chicago’s public schools when he led the Chicago Annenberg Challenge with his neighbor (and some would argue ghost writer), Bill Ayres.

Sources:

youtube.com: Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt Interviews Education Secretary Arne Duncan

time.com: Arne Duncan Can’t Quite Explain Why He’s Dissing Texas

wsj.com: Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools

nytimes.com: Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths

americanthinker.com: Who Wrote Dreams From My Father?

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