Remember Obama’s promise to be “the most transparent administration in history”?
The Obama Administration has set a new record for rejecting Freedom of Information Act requests, censoring materials or rejecting requests for access in a stunning 596,095 cases, or 77 percent of the time.
Seventy-seven percent. No habla Englis almost 4 out of 5 times.
Who is surprised?
Zero Hedge found this anti-smoking ad on a bus stop in Moscow.
It reads, “Smoking Kills more people than Obama.”
I sent it to a friend who grew up in the Ukraine. His only comment, “Wow! Thanks for sharing. Cold War is coming back indeed.“
PJ Media covers 3 Stunning Indictments of Obama and Hillary in Benghazi Movie which is hardly unexpected in a movie review from a conservative news source.
But then this:
In the end, 13 Hours isn’t about a terror plot to destroy America, or the potentially damning decisions of elected officials in Washington. It’s about six home-grown American family men who lay their lives on the line for each other against impossible odds. And that’s a hero’s tale worth telling, no matter the political fallout.
Stephen F. Hayes at the Weekly Standard calls 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi “powerful” and a film “well worth seeing” in it’s film review titled 13 Hours: Stranger than Fiction. First, they talk about the movie and the impact it has on the viewer:
The movie is based on the book of the same name, written by Boston University journalism professor Mitchell Zuckoff with five CIA contractors who participated in the many battles in Benghazi that night. The authors announced in the book’s introduction that they had sought to avoid the politics of Benghazi in favor of a fact-based account of what happened during the 13 hours of fighting there. And while the film tracks the book’s narrative closely, Bay’s depiction of the sense of abandonment felt by those men, as they wait for help that never arrives, heightens the outrage.
Stephen also talks about the political ramifications (read the whole thing!) and the impact on the GOP primary but the money quote:
Whatever its impact, 13 Hours is a powerful film that is well worth seeing. From beginning to end, it forcefully rejects the sanitized, no-fault version of Benghazi. In scene after powerful scene, it assigns blame: to policymakers in Washington who naïvely overestimated our ability to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in post-Qaddafi Libya; to Washington bureaucrats who paid little attention to repeated warnings about the security of U.S. facilities in Benghazi; to CIA officials more concerned with career advancement and positive performance reviews than saving lives.
But perhaps the strongest indictment made by 13 Hours is an unspoken one. The film itself is an implicit but devastating critique of the American media that refused to report this story in this way, an establishment media that left to Hollywood the responsibility of telling these important truths.
It’s refreshing to see anything come out of Hollywood that attempts to tell the unvarnished truth about anything. To see a movie that addresses an issue that has current political ramifications spin is almost astounding. I urge you to support these rare events to deliver the message to the west coast that Americans want to see the truth without liberal spin. Read the book and see movie. Maybe even see another of Michael Bay’s movies; voting with your dollar is the most effective vote you can cast.
Received via email. Thank you, unnamed source, for making the start of each day a little happier for thousands.
Forbes calls for impeachment of Obama, and makes a strong case for doing so. Read the whole article, but here is the money quote:
The most important point is that Mr. Obama does not consider himself bound by the Constitution. He could not have made that more clear. He has drawn a line in the concrete and we cannot ignore it.
Those who currently hold political office, and who want to keep our system of government, need to act now. Surely, rejection of the Constitution is grounds for impeachment and charges should be filed. In addition, there are many other actions that Congressmen can and should take—actions that will tell Mr. Obama that we have seen where he is going and we will not let our country go without a fight.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government had been created. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”
We are losing it. If Mr. Obama’s reach for unprecedented power is not stopped, that will be the end. Everyone who values his life and liberty should find some way to say “No!” “Not now!” “Not yet!” “Not ever!”
This isn’t the National Review. This isn’t the Heritage Foundation. This is Forbes.
Finally. Now let’s get some traction on this.
Eurasia Group, who claims to be “world’s leading global political risk research and consulting firm,” sets up the State of the Union thusly:
“Obama’s speech … will largely be a political address aimed less at motivating congressional action in this election year, and more at providing a boost to Democrats in the House running for re-election and in the Senate where the party faces a challenge in maintaining its majority. … Obama is a bruised president, with limited political capital left to spend in Congress, and a perception that he is out of ideas.”
Extracted from Politico’s Morning Money, eigth item.
Keep peeling the onion and impeach somebody.
Is Obama’s brother a wife beater? President’s sibling is accused of attacking two of his TWELVE wives and seducing a schoolgirl. Now he’s using his White House links to launch his own bid for power
- President Obama’s half-brother accused of being wife beater
- Roy Abong’o Malik Obama standing for election in Kenya
- Dismisses wife-beating allegations as being ‘a matter of interpretation’
There has been an incessant influx of emails and internet rumors concerning a new “hidden tax” to fund ObamaCare, seemingly kicked off by posts that feature receipts from Cabela’s that show a Medical Excise Tax being applied to sporting equipment:
The authors of these emails and posts often gleefully point out that the administration is levying hidden taxes on our sporting equipment in an effort to get middle America to fund his wrong-headed policies. These are a mixture of truth and fiction, the latter caused by a computer mistake and possibly a lack of due diligence in reviewing confusing IRS publications.
There is indeed an excise tax imposed by ObamaCare, aka ACA (Affordable Care Act), but meant only for a "medical device" which is intended for use by medical professionals. The tax is imposed at the point that a manufacturer (or importer) sells the medical device to the buyer, which is (of course) subsequently passed on the the consumer (or patient) in the form of higher prices.
The definition of a "taxable medical device" is laid out rather confusingly in section 48.4191-2 of an IRS publication that attempts to clarify the final regulations , but it is basically any device that is, or should have been, "listed as a device with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under section 510(j) of the FFDCA and 21 CFR part 807, pursuant to FDA requirements."
Clear? I didn’t think so.
To try and clarify things, the publication explicitly says that eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids are not subject to the tax, or indeed any device generally available to the public through retail outlets. Further, it offers up a plethora of examples which try to show how the determination of taxable vs. non-taxable is made, through which we learn that denture adhesive and oxygen concentrators are not taxable, while portable x-ray machines and nonabsorbable silk sutures are (big surprise there, huh?).
So obviously, fishing poles and the like do are not subject to the ObamaCare excise tax that is adding to the already burdensome cost of medical care in this country. But it is easy to see why the internet lit up with false rumors otherwise.
The main source are numerous posts displaying a Cabela’s receipt such as the one shown above. While these receipts are real, they were a temporary phenomena caused by a computer glitch that has since been corrected.
The other source of confusion is the fact that the ObamaCare taxes are reported on form 720, which lists all excise taxes, including fishing poles and the like. So rather than assuming malicious intent on the part of the author of said emails and posts, it may be a lack of diligent review that contributed to this internet myth.
But let us return for a moment to the subject of excise taxes in general.
Excise taxes are intended to excise (i.e., control or hopefully eliminate) certain behaviors by levying punitive taxes such as drinking (UK) and prostitution (Canada). Wikipedia explains:
Excise duties or taxes often serve political as well as financial ends. Public safety and health, public morals, environmental protection, and national defense are all rationales for the imposition of an excise.
- Public safety and health –
- deter individuals from harming their health by abusing substances such as tobacco and alcohol, thus making excise a kind of sumptuary tax, or
- deter them from engaging in morally objectionable activities such as gambling and prostitution (see below) (including solicitation and pimping) – thus making it a type of vice tax or sin tax
- Environmental protection –
- deter individuals or organizations from harming the general environment, including curbing activities which contribute to pollution, or which harm the natural environment.
- Defense – including taxation directly levied on other countries’ militaries and/or governments, such as the UK’s taxation on "visiting forces"
- Punitive – Many US states taxes on drugs, as well as the UK government impose excise on money laundering and on "visiting forces" (i.e., occupying military forces). These taxes are not considered revenue sources, but rather exist to allow governments greater leverage for punishments and reparations/war reparations – based mainly around tax evasion – which can be imposed in the event that the perpetrator is caught and tried.
As Samuel Johnson so eloquently put it, an excise tax is "A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid."
Smart guy, that Mr. Johnson.
So what behaviors are imposed in the US of A, land of the free? According to Chapter 24 of the IRS publication Internal Revenue Manual these are:
|Type of Excise Tax||Trust Fund|
|Air Transportation of Persons and Property||Airport and Airways Air Transportation|
|Taxable Fuel (gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene)||Highway, Airport and Airway|
|Heavy Highway Vehicle Use||Highway|
|Sports Fishing/Bows and Arrow Components||Aquatic Resources, Wildlife Restoration|
|Coal||Black Lung Disability|
|Inland Waterways||Inland Waterways Trust|
|Leaking Underground Storage Tank||Leaking Underground Storage Tank|
|Vaccines||Vaccine Injury Compensation|
|Obligations not in Registered Form||General|
|Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering||General|
|Ozone Depleting Chemicals||General|
|Structured Settlement Factoring||General|
These are the activities in our society that the government has deemed important enough to warrant additional scrutiny, the items that Uncle Sam wants to opportunistically profit from (like telephone tax or ship passenger tax), use to subsidize public service (like taxing heavy haulers and tires to help fund highways), or punish behavior (like wagering, buying "gas guzzlers" and indoor tanning).
Thus the excise tax on sporting equipment is rationalized by setting it aside to fund bureaucratic oversight of our park system and has been in existence for quite a few years — at least back to 1983. There is, however, some evidence that a portion of this particular tax has been used effectively, at least according to one study.
But what I don’t get is why the ObamaCare excise tax on medical devices aren’t set aside for an ObamaCare fund instead of being put in general population with the rest of the tax dollars stolen from the pockets of hard working Americans. After all, that would make it easy to track and report on the efficacy of the new tax and make it obvious when ObamaCare costs far outpaced the taxes collected.
Oh wait. I see. Never mind.