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Progressive Puritans

 by George H. Walker and Co. After J. E. Baker

How the once-transgressive left tries to criminalize fun

For Reason.com writes:  When I first started hearing people on the political left describe themselves with some frequency as progressive back in the 1990s, the term did not seem tethered to the epoch-defining, early-20th-century spasm of moral crusading and government centralization that helped give us everything from trust busting to Prohibition to the Federal Reserve. As articulated by champions like Ralph Nader and Molly Ivins, the progressive label was both a way to get out from under the generation-old baggage of liberal-a term Ronald Reagan and others had turned into an epithet-and to differentiate lefties from seemingly apologetic triangulators like Bill Clinton and that now-vanished tribe known as the New Democrats.

From a libertarian perspective, ’90s progressives were good on issues the New Democrats stunk up (particularly criminal justice and the drug war) and bad on those that made the Clintonites worthwhile, such as lowering trade barriers and restraining federal budget growth. At their best, such as at the “shadow conventions” organized by Arianna Huffington in 2000, progressives of the era challenged both parties to address long-neglected issues and reverse government policies that actively damaged people’s lives.

Since many of the people who self-identified that way came of political age in the ’60s and ’70s, progressives on the whole clearly belonged to the longhaired side of the culture war. They were the ones mocking the squares, pushing the envelope on free expression, and taking up arms in the sexual revolution. The more progressive the publication, the kinkier the sex classifieds in the back.

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[VIDEO] The Hammer: CBOs New, Lower Obamacare Score Still Gargantuan

Charles Krauthammer: Under this administration, the American national debt has still managed to racked up $7 trillion over 5 years.

“This is unimaginable — almost undoable but Obama has succeeded in doing it.”

In order to address the issue of excessive spending, Congress and the president must work towards reforming entitlements, but he remained doubtful that it would take place with the current makeup of Washington…(read more)

National Review Online


CNN Pushes Straight Up Lies About Politics of Kansas City Shooter

Originally posted on American Glob:

This headline is a complete fabrication.

From the story…

On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler” after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

CNN conveniently ignored the fact that the shooter ran for governor and congress as a Democrat.

Also worth noting, one of the authors of this story works for a George Soros funded organization.

Is CNN aware that the FBI doesn’t trust the SPLC as an authority on hate crimes…

View original 30 more words


Tweet from Mitt Romney’s Son, to Harry Reid, on Tax Day


8 Infuriating Facts To Remember On Tax Day

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For The Federalist,  writes:  Happy Tax Day, America! It’s not every day that you either get to write a big fat check to Uncle Sam or discover that you’d been loaning him money interest-free for the last year. But have no fear: at least your hard-earned money has been spent on vital projects essential to America’s well-being. Projects like studying shrimp running on treadmills (seriously, you paid for that), or Bridges to Nowhere. Super important stuff like that.

In honor of tax day, here are 8 facts that will make you even angrier than you already are about the state of the U.S. tax system.

1. It will take you 111 days this year just to pay off the government.

According to the Tax Foundation, a non-profit which compiles detailed tax statistics, it will take 111 days this year for American workers to collectively pay their tax bills. That means that every cent you earn throughout those first 111 days of the year gets collected and consumed by government. The Tax Foundation pegs Tax Freedom Day — the day on which the money you earn effectively belongs to you rather than America’s governmental bureaucracy — as April 21 this year. So as you sign your tax returns today, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll still need to work another 6 days before the American tax leviathan will be satisfied.

While millions of Americans continue to send back portions of their hard earned wages to Washington, many federal employees are tax cheats.

During the year of sweeping budget cuts, millions of federal employees faced layoffs, furloughs, and other cutbacks as a result of Congress’ failure to replace sequestration with responsible, targeted cuts. Most of these federal employees are responsible citizens who pay their taxes. Some, however, don’t feel they have to live by the rules like other Americans.

In 2011, the IRS found nearly 312,000 federal employees and retirees were delinquent on their federal income taxes, owing a total of $3.5 billion in unpaid federal income taxes. This represented an 11.5 percent increase in the number of federal employees failing to pay their taxes, and a 2.9 percent increase in the total taxes owed the Treasury by these public servants.

2. Those federal bureaucrats whose salaries you pay? A bunch of them are tax cheats.

According to an investigative report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), over 300,000 federal employees and retirees were delinquent on their own taxes to the tune of $3.5 billion:

While millions of Americans continue to send back portions of their hard earned wages to Washington, many federal employees are tax cheats. During the year of sweeping budget cuts, millions of federal employees faced layoffs, furloughs, and other cutbacks as a result of Congress’ failure to replace sequestration with responsible, targeted cuts. Most of these federal employees are responsible citizens who pay their taxes. Some, however, don’t feel they have to live by the rules like other Americans. In 2011, the IRS found nearly 312,000 federal employees and retirees were delinquent on their federal income taxes, owing a total of $3.5 billion in unpaid federal income taxes. This represented an 11.5 percent increase in the number of federal employees failing to pay their taxes, and a 2.9 percent increase in the total taxes owed the Treasury by these public servants.

3. You probably pay more in Medicare and Social Security taxes than you do in income taxes…

A lot of tax day commentary focuses on the income tax, but the vast majority of Americans — 80 percent or more — actually pay more in federal payroll taxes (the FICA line on your pay stub) than they do in federal income taxes. Those payroll taxes pay for Medicare and Social Security, the two largest federal entitlement programs.

2013 study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that each of the bottom four quintiles of income earners in America (the bottom 80 percent) pays a higher effective payroll tax rate than income tax rate. The middle quintile, for example, pays an average payroll tax rate of 8.3 percent and an average effective income tax rate of 1.6 percent. Only the top quintile pays a higher effective income tax rate than it does a payroll tax rate.

 

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Why are Liberals Afraid of Black Conservatives?

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Good article here, recommended by a reader, Tim Shey. Go here for the full article, in Washington Times Communities. Here’s an introduction:

headshot1_s120x120Wayne Dupree writes:  Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are heros. Their strength and conviction to free blacks from slavery are a testament to what happens when individuals think more of their community than themselves and are willing to risk everything for a cause greater than themselves.

In comparison, modern black “leaders” like Jesse Jackson Jr. and Al Sharpton are tiny and self-serving. They don’t serve black Americans or champion freedom and liberty for all. They champion liberal politics and ideology, and that’s odd; liberals want to see blacks tucked neatly into the roles of their design.

Liberals can’t abide a black person who leaves the black plantation of poverty and handouts to stand on his own two feet; they treat with contempt a black man who turns his back on their free money to work hard to make a good life for himself and his family. How dare these dissidents show the black community what they can do with their lives if they walk away from poverty and work to better themselves?

Too many liberals think they have the black race all sewed up, and it just paralyzes them to hear of black conservatives.

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Does the Second Amendment Protect Firearms Commerce?

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Defending the right to sell and trade arms

 writes:  The First Amendment protects both book buyers and booksellers.  Does the Second Amendment protect only people who buy guns, or does it also protect people who sell guns?  Though this question has divided the federal courts, the answer is quite clear: operating a business that provides Second Amendment services is protected by the Second Amendment.  District of Columbia v. Heller1 teaches that regulation of how firearms are commercially sold enjoys a presumption of constitutionality, which does not extend to prohibitions of firearms sales.

[Related: Find John Lott's essential book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

In the lower federal courts, there is a developing split about whether firearms sellers have Second Amendment rights which the courts are bound to respect.  Seventh Circuit courts view firearms sellers like booksellers — as holders of constitutional rights.  While gun sellers are subject to much stricter regulation than are booksellers, they are both protected by the Bill of Rights.  Conversely, in the courts of the Fourth Circuit, gun sellers have no Second Amendment rights.

bitchesandbullets.tumblr.com

bitchesandbullets.tumblr.com

Brown v. Board of Education was not exactly a popular decision among some state and local governments, and among some lower court judges.  The same is true of Heller.  One form of resistance to Heller has been to read the opinion in the narrowest possible way, excluding from Second Amendment protection many normal activities involving firearms.  One such form of resistance is the claim that the Second Amendment does not apply to gun sales.

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Vintage Toy of the Day: Buck Rogers Atomic Pistol

buck-rogers-pistol


Feds to File New Charges Against Leland Yee

Leland Yee, Ron Calderon

For Breitbart.com, William Bigelow reports:  California State Senator Leland Yee, who has been charged with wire fraud and conspiring to import firearms, may be facing new charges from the federal government.

Although U.S. Attorney Susan Badger said that the government “is anxious to start discovery,” the government stated that there will be additional charges in a superseding indictment. Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave the government until July to file the charges.

Without naming names, the government stated, “Of particular note, the government is continuing to pursue its investigation of RICO violations as well as additional substantive criminal violations.”

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Vintage Photo: Superman & Robot

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Adventures of Superman (1952–1958) George Reeves

Note: Some good stuff can be found in IMDB’s Trivia page


Birthday of Armenian-American Painter, Arshile Gorky – April 15, 1904 – 1948

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Arshile Gorky: Summation, 1947 – Pencil, pastel, and charcoal on buff paper mounted on composition board. MoMA

“This is a world’, Gorky said of Summation. But it is an ambiguous world. The plant– and animal–like forms that appear to blossom, flop, poke, and tickle each other defy identification, even while their forms are crisp and clear. Gorky’s interest in the Surrealist practice of spontaneous and unplanned ‘automatic’ drawing freed and mobilized his line, allowing him to create what Surrealist leader André Breton called ‘hybrids’, or linear units with multiple metaphoric meanings.

- MoMA text on-line

Ordinary Finds


[REWIND] Dr. Ben Carson: White House Wanted Apology for ‘Offending’ Obama

Ben-Carson

“…I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him.”

Flashback: The Prayer Breakfast Speech

For The Daily CallerAlex Pappas writes:  Neurosurgeon Ben Carson says the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” President Obama after he famously delivered a conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast last year.

Obama-incandescentCarson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recalls the events surrounding his 2013 speech in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future. The Daily Caller obtained an advance copy of the book, which is set for release May 20.

“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

[Check out Dr. Ben Carson's upcoming book One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future at Amazon]

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A Glimpse into the Political Future: Jonathan Chait’s Advance Apologia for the Democrats’ Defeat in November

obama-kids-schoolFred Siegel writes:  Jonathan Chait has written a thoughtful, if debatable, 6,000-word article on race in the Obama years that has stirred a good deal of discussion. It can be read as an advance apologia for the Democrats’ defeat in the 2014 elections. Chait’s thesis, as he sums it up in an online surrebuttal, is that “American politics in the age of Obama has become balkanized not along racial lines, but by how people think about race.” In other words, Chait argues, “the Obama era has produced a cleavage along ideological rather than racial lines,” so that neither black conservatives who support the Tea Party nor the far more numerous white liberals who nod in agreement with Al Sharpton’s preachings on MSNBC are as anomalous as partisans assert. “Liberals,” Chait writes, “dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable.” Similarly, he goes on, “Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.”

“Parts of the public, not necessarily on the right, have caught on to Obama’s double game, in which his administration has been rhetorically egalitarian and operationally elitist.”

One can commend Chait for his evenhandedness—which has stirred a hornet’s nest of opposition from liberals—without accepting the equivalence he draws between these two views. But the real problem with his essay comes when he steps out of the realm of ideology and into the world of practical outcomes. Six years into the Obama presidency, Americans have ample grounds, independent of race, to dislike him.

[Check out Fred Siegel's book: The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class at Amazon]

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Pew: Democrats Losing Millennials

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Breitbart.com reports:  Barack Obama may be the Republicans’ best friend when it comes to educating 18-33-year olds of the Millennial Generation about the downside of voting for the Democrats’ economic policies. According to a report from the Pew Research Center for Social and Demographic Trends, the 73.7 million Millennialsare “unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.”

This growing rejection of the Democrat Party will undoubtedly have consequences in the coming mid-term and presidential elections.

Millennials in 2008 were all about the Democratic Party, with only 38% identifying themselves as political independents. Millennials associated Republicans with “a wave of disappointments and embarrassments: Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, congressional corruption scandals, the mortgage crisis.” Millennials were extraordinarily motivated to turn out and vote in 2008 and even more motivated in 2012.

But 50% of Millennials now describe themselves as political independents, “near the highest levels of political disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century,” according to the latest Pew Research poll. This comes despite 43% of Millennials and about half of their newborns being Hispanic, Asian, and black, ethnic groups that have strongly favored Democrats in the past. Read the rest of this entry »


Data Says Anti-Vaccination Kooks Mostly White; More Blue States Afflicted


The Obama-Putin Invasion Challenge

obama-putin-invasion-challenge

MrSerialX


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