Sunday, March 31, 2013

Celebrity city mayors pushing gun control care least about reducing 'gun violence,' Chicago, NY and LA drop to dead last in fed. gun crime prosecutions, 88, 89, and 90 of 90 districts-US News

3/28/13, "Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Prosecuted Fewest Federal Gun Crimes," US News, Elizabeth Flock

"The districts that contain Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City ranked last in terms of federal gun law enforcement in 2012, according to a new report from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks federal data.

Federal gun crimes include illegal possession of a firearm in a school zone, illegal sale of a firearm to a juvenile, felon, or drug addict, and illegal transport of a firearm across state lines. In Chicago, the majority of gun charges last year were for firearms violations.

The districts of Eastern New York, Central California, and Northern Illinois ranked 88th, 89th and 90th, respectively, out of 90 districts, in prosecutions of federal weapons crimes per capita last year, but it wasn't always this way. All three districts fell lower on the list than they had been in years past. In 2010, for example, Chicago was 78th in federal weapons prosecutions.

These cities also have some of the nation's most restrictive gun laws, as well as the most active mayors in championing gun control. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are all members of the national Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.

D.C., which also has tough gun laws, was in the lower half of the list in 2012, coming in at 78th. In 2011, D.C. prosecuted a higher number of gun crimes, coming in at number 49.

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre first pointed to the report on Meet the Press Sunday, when he demanded to know why the national press corps wasn't asking the White House or U.S. attorneys general to explain lax federal enforcement of gun laws....

Requests for comment from the U.S. Attorney's offices in New York and California were not immediately returned. But the U.S. attorney's office in the Northern District of Illinois maintains that federal weapons law enforcement is among the top priorities of their office....

The TRAC report notes that many more gun arrests happen at the state and local level than happen at the federal level, and that it's difficult to assess how many prosecutions happen overall.

While the districts that ranked lowest last year for federal gun crime prosecutions all contained major cities, the districts at the top of the list for its enforcement were almost exclusively rural. The districts of Southern Alaska, Kansas and Western Tennessee ranked first, second and third in prosecmutions of federal weapons laws per capita last year.

Susan Long, a statistician and co-director of TRAC, said the data revealed a stronger federal enforcement presence in rural areas than urban ones. "If taxpayers of [a certain area] don't pass strong gun control measures ... the feds pick up the ball," she said. "But now we've got sequestration cutting back on all these resources."

The U.S. court system has said that sequestration will have a major impact on the federal judiciary, including the furlough of some court employees, cuts to the federal defenders' office and fewer probation officers for criminal offenders." via Michael Savage

Many UK doctors fear sending relatives to National Health Service hospitals, view them as substandard

3/30/13, "GPs fear sending their relations to hospitals," UK Telegraph, Laura Donnelly

"Almost half of family doctors and practice nurses do not believe their local hospitals are good enough to treat their own families, a poll has found."

"Victoria Vaughan, the editor-in-chief of Campden Health, the publishing and research company which conducted the poll, said: “If GPs wouldn’t want their own family members referred to their local hospital then there is clearly something wrong.”"...(near end of article) via Michael Savage


Additional voter fraud convictions expected in connection with 2008 presidential election, validity of signatures used to put Obama name on Indiana ballot

3/31/13, "Fraud Conviction tied to 2008 Obama victory,", Jim Shella, Indianapolis

"Fraud was committed to get the name of Barack Obama on the ballot in St. Joseph County in 2008. A guilty plea entered Thursday could leave a stain on the Obama victory.
At the center of this story is Butch Morgan, a longtime Democratic Party leader who lost his post as St. Joseph County chair when the scandal broke. Morgan is accused of telling three people to forge names on a ballot petition including Bev Shelton who pleaded guilty to forgery and fraud. 

She has agreed to testify against the others. 

"If she testifies truthfully," says Special Prosecutor Stan Levco, "we will recommend that she receives no jail time."

Morgan is scheduled to go on trial next month. In the meantime, there is speculation that the 2008 election could have turned out differently if not for crimes committed. 

"You could argue that if President Obama wouldn't have been on the ballot," says State GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb, "would he have spent so much time and money?" 

Obama won Indiana in 2008, something no Democrat running for President had done since 1964.

The forged signatures came from petitions for a candidate for governor and were placed on petitions for both Obama and Hillary Clinton, who won a narrow victory in the 2008 Indiana Democratic Primary. While that election is long over, Republicans still hope to take advantage of the voter fraud scandal"...

[Ed. note: This isn't true, though it's in all sides' interest to pretend it is. The GOP has merged with the democrat party, it's better for them if democrats win.] 

(continuing): "We're not trying to overthrow a past election result by any stretch of the means," says Holcomb, "but this just highlights that the Democratic Party in Indiana will go to any length to try to win an election.""...via Lucianne


2/4/13, "Going to Court in the Allen West Contest," J. Christian Adams, PJ Media 

"But after two decades of one side dropping the ball (the GOP) and quitting the game, it’s time folks who care about honest elections pick it up and run."

"Obama re-election helped GOP House Speaker Boehner": NPR

12/8/12, "Once Boxed-In, Boehner May Finally Be Master Of The House," NPR, Frank James

"In a paradoxical way, Obama's re-election victory coupled with congressional Democrats adding to their numbers may have helped Boehner. Some of those wins came at the expense of the Tea Party, the conservative movement whose affiliated House members have been very willing to stand up to Boehner.

In recent weeks, Boehner...has gotten his entire leadership team to sign his tax-raising, fiscal-cliff counteroffer....

Despite complaints from conservative activists and bloggers, however, Boehner remains the most powerful Republican in Washington.".



"Reply 16 - Posted by: cgood, 3/31/2013 9:56:21 AM   
You haven´t heard a word from the Republicans about the widespread fraud that occurred in the last election. If the ´victims´ are content with the status quo, what are the rest of us to do to protect ourselves? I have never been this discouraged or frightened about the state of my country before."


UK Carbon Tax or 'carbon price floor' revenues will be used to prop up failing EU cap and trade system and to meet UK gov. expenses-Scotsman

3/31/13, "Energy bills to soar due to ‘stealth tax’,", K. Dorsey

"Energy-intensive industries are bracing themselves for a renewed surge in utility bills tomorrow when the UK government’s highly controversial Carbon Price Floor starts feeding through into energy costs.

Lambasted by business and environmental groups as a “stealth tax”, the price floor is expected to raise up to £3.2 billion over the next three years.

Although critics say the funds should be ploughed back into the green energy technologies that the price floor is intended to support, the money will instead be absorbed for general use by the cash-strapped Exchequer.

Michael Murphy, energy partner with MacRoberts Solicitors in Glasgow, said all business and residential consumers would be affected, with heavy industries, hospitals, councils and other large-volume users bearing the brunt of the increases.

“What we have said to our clients is that we are telling you this not because there is a clever way to avoid it – we are telling you this because your utility bills are going to rocket,” he said.

The net effect will be to take money out of a fragile economy, with firms committing more of their cash to meet rising operating costs. 

“That is the first call, and will come before investment in growth and new jobs,” Murphy added.
In an apparent effort to pre-empt any negative backlash against tomorrow’s price increases, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (Decc) released a report last week, which claimed that although utility bills will continue to rise, they will be 11 per cent lower by 2020 than they would have been without the government’s energy policies.

However, the Decc report also conceded that many businesses are bearing a bigger share of the burden brought by government policy.

Whereas 9 per cent of the average household bill goes towards the cost of energy and climate-change policies, bills for medium-sized business users are 21 per cent higher as a result of these UK government initiatives. That figure will rise to 22 per cent by 2020.

Energy-intensive users pay an extra 1 to 14 per cent to fund UK government policies, rising to between 6 and 36 per cent by 2020.

The UK government has said it will compensate those at risk of being driven out of business via a £250 million package of support, but details of how this will work have not been finalised.

Certain industries such as steelmaking will receive further support by way of an exemption from the separate Climate Change Levy.

Although the Chancellor has promised to extend support beyond 2015, Murphy said this will not keep pace with the escalating price floor.

“The really concerning news is that the £16 per tonne you pay from Monday is going up to £30 per tonne by 2020 and £70 by 2030,” he said. “We have to brace ourselves for energy costs going up quite substantially in the next 15 years.”

The UK levy is intended to drive investment in low-carbon technologies by propping up the current low price for the “right to pollute” under the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Keeping the cost of energy derived from fossil fuels high underpins the investment argument for green power.

However, the abundance of ETS credits available means the price for emitting the equivalent of one tonne of carbon fell to as low as £3 in January and is now trading at between £4 and £5 per tonne."




"Nabodican, 6:58 AM on 31/03/2013 

Complete madness, our government do not have a clue, all carbon and climate taxes should be scrapped immediately and give the country a chance to get back on its feet.

Clearly they have not noticed that global warming has long since stopped."

Nearly 900,000 on disability in UK dropped claim to payments rather than face medical evaluation, disability roles 'hid' jobless numbers-UK Telegraph

3/30/13, "900,000 choose to come off sickness benefit ahead of tests," UK Telegraph, Patrick Hennessy

"The 878,300 who decided not to have an official assessment of whether they were fit for work was more than a third of the total number of people claiming sickness-related benefits.

The statistics also revealed that some claimants cited conditions such as “blisters”, “sprains and strains” and “acne” as preventing them from having a job. 
More than 46,120 people claimed incapacity benefit because of “behavioural disorders due to the use of alcohol” while 29,130 claimants cited drug use.
Last night ministers said the figures showed the full extent of how millions had been “trapped on welfare” for decades. Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, said the old system was “evil” and accused Labour of using sickness benefits to “hide the unemployed” when the party was in power. 

The statistics emerged ahead of a raft of controversial changes to the benefits system which will come into force this week - including the “bedroom tax” which sees council and social housing tenants facing reductions to their benefits if they have empty rooms in their homes. 

Also coming in is an overall benefits “cap”, which will prevent any household receiving more than £26,000 a year in total benefit payments - a figure set to reflect the average gross salary of a full-time worker....

Another 837,000 who did take the a medical test were found to be fit to work immediately, while a further 367,300 were judged able to some level of work.

Only 232,000 (one in eight of those tested) were classified by doctors to be too ill to do any sort of job....
The vast majority of these have since dropped their claims or been found to be fit for work, according to the Department for Work and Pensions figures."...via Lucianne


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Washington Post execs make millions as paper sheds staff, benefits

3/30/13, "WaPo Executives Make Millions While Paper Cuts Staff, Benefits," Breitbart, Tony Lee

"The publisher of the struggling Washington Post made over $2.4 million last year, and at least three other executives made over $3 million while the left-leaning newspaper slashed benefits for its employees and laid off others. 

According to Securities and Exchange filings reviewed by the Washington City Paper, publisher Katharine Weymouth (pictured) earned $2,436,413 in salary and bonuses last year. Her "haul came from her $625,000 salary, a bonus of $611,413, and a $1,200,000 payment for a 2009-2012 incentive plan." She also "received a 3.5 percent raise this year, with her new salary set at $646,875." She received her raise even though The Post Co.'s share price fell three percent in 2012.

The Post has reduced benefits for its employees while dumping its Ombudsman and slashing jobs after Valentine's Day, while advancing the narrative that CEOs who do the same are villains. The paper has lost subscribers, advertisers, and its stock has gone down by three percent.

According to the City Paper, "Weymouth's uncle, Post Co. CEO and Chairman Donald Graham, made $877,724," her mother, Elizabeth "Lally" Weymouth made $300,000 in 2012 as the paper's editor-at-large, and "Laura O'Shaughnessy, Graham's daughter, made $150,000 in salary and $22,750 in bonuses in 2012 for her role as the CEO of Social Code, a company owned by the Post Co."

Those not in Weymouth's family also made millions at the Post

According to the filings, "Senior Vice President of Finance Hal S. Jones made $3,612,562," Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Gerald M. Rosberg made $2,258,617, Senior Vice President Ann L. McDaniel made $3,226,678, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel Veronica Dillon made $3,064,015.

In addition, Dillon received perks like "financial advice and living expenses reimbursements worth $82,468."" via Instapundit


Rand Paul has a strange way of showing how he wants to change the moss-covered GOP

3/28/13, "How Does Rand Paul Want to Change the Moss-Covered GOP?" Madison Project, Daniel Horowitz

"Rand Paul really struck a chord with many conservatives when he declared at CPAC that “the GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,——I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?”  But will he adhere to his own admonishment?...

If you want a dictionary definition of the GOP establishment, it is Mitch McConnell and those who surround him.  If you want to know the paradigm of stale, moss-covered leadership, it’s Mitch McConnell.  Nobody could assert with a straight face – even those who personally admire him – that Mitch McConnell is an inspiring leader who has provided bold leadership against the big government establishment in Washington.  He has voted for all of the things Rand Paul has inveighed against for years.  He has cut backroom deals with Biden to raise taxes and the debt ceiling.  He has been running around ridiculing Obamacare while doing nothing do defund it through the budget process until Ted Cruz forced his hand – and even then, he voted for the CR which ultimately contained that funding.

Now he is running around town as a born-again bare-knuckled fighter for conservatives.  He is schlepping around that tower of Obamacare regulations and letting every media outlet know that he hates Obamacare and taxes (after cutting the deal with Biden).  Why the sudden breath of fresh air and fighting spirit?  Well, he perceives a threat on his right flank back home from the same Tea Party forces that helped elect Rand Paul to the Senate and Thomas Massie to the House.  If nothing else, it proves the effectiveness of competition within the party, even the mere threat or perception that such competition exists.

Yet, Rand Paul has preemptively endorsed Mitch McConnell before any specific primary challenge has presented itself.  McConnell has tapped Rand Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, to run his reelection bid, and is running around saying that the two senators are “inseparable.” Look, I’ll also endorse Mitch McConnell against the eventual Democrat, but why preempt any competition?  How are we ever going to get rid of the moss if we are going to block out competition to the leader of the moss-covered Republicans?

We all get where Rand Paul is coming from.  Nobody ever expects the sitting junior senator to ever come out against the senior senator from the same state who happens to also be the minority leader.  We get that he wants to run for president and needs access to McConnell’s establishment donors.  But he would be well advised not to follow in the footsteps of Rick Santorum and stomp around the state with someone who campaigned against him the primary.  He’d be well served not to hitch his wagon too closely to someone who is not exactly that popular in the state.  Does he really want to be “inseparable” with McConnell’s 26-year-old moss, covered record?

You can’t change the status quo with the consummate iteration of the status quo.  Voters of Kentucky realize that as well.  That is why they elected Rand Paul over McConnell’s choice, whom McConnell considered more electable.  Speaking of electability, the irony is that at a time when we need to win back the Senate, McConnell might be the only man who could lose this seat for us in the general election.  He spent $21 million to barely eke out a victory against a Democrat in 2008 in a state Obama lost by 23 points....

Competition is healthy in the primary and it is healthy for the general election.  Let’s wait until the field matures and back the best candidate in the primary and general elections.  No senator is too big to fail.  No senator owns a seat for life.  Every six years he must make the case why his previous six years constitute the type of representation that earns him another term.  In the primary, he must vouch for why he is the best candidate to represent conservative voters.  Conservatives in Kentucky are looking for another leader like Rand Paul.  Are they getting such leadership from McConnell?

Why is it that McConnell always leads from behind?  Why is it the usual three amigos – Paul, Lee, and Cruz – are threatening to filibuster the gun bill, and not the minority leader?  Maybe he will support them in last moment like he did with Rand’s filibuster or with the defund Obamacare effort from Ted Cruz.  But why should we not look for another star from Kentucky, and perhaps, a new minority leader."...


GOP again prostrates themselves before the media

3/30/13, "Have You Heard The One About the Democrat and the Klansman?" Madison Project, Wendell Talley

"Once again the supine posture of the GOP allows Democrats to define the rules of engagement. Don Young’s use of a slur to describe Hispanic migrant workers has put the Democratic Party into overdrive as they vow to hang his stupidity around the necks of Republican office holders across the nation. Republicans, knowing their role, have thrown Young over the side and prostrated themselves before the media.

Don Young is an imbecile and probably a bigot. He is not someone any Republican should want speaking for the Party.

But doesn’t anybody here know how to play this game? When the Lieutenant Governor of California  referred to black people as Niggers in a Black History Month speech, what did the GOP do? When West Virginia Senator, Robert Byrd, a former recruiter for the Klan, called people Niggers in a nationally televised interview, what did the GOP do?

The correct answer to both questions is…Nothing.

They got zero campaign mileage from either slur — not that they tried to get any. In both cases they let the unhooded Democrat apologize his way out of outrageous and indefensible calumnies. No political price was paid by either man or the party they represent.

When Democrats fumble the ball we pick it up, hand it back to them and resume the game as normal — with the Democrats on offense. Always on defense. Always on defense. And we wonder why the scoreboard with minority voters is so lopsided.

As Don Young is leaving, I wish he’d hold the door open so Priebus, Boehner, McConnell and the rest could go with him."


Cyprus banks forgave millions in loans to connected companies and politicians

3/29/13, "Cypriot banks in politician loan scandal," ENet English Greek Independent Press

"A list of companies and politicians that had loans written off by banks at the heart of Cyprus' bailout crisis has been published in Greece. 

There is already anger on the island that loans with the Bank of Cyprus, Laiki Bank and Hellenic Bank often running into the hundreds of thousands – and, in one case, millions of euros – have allegedly been wiped out. 

The list, reported in Friday's Ethnos newspaper and which has been handed to the Cypriot parliament's ethics committee, includes the names of politicians from Cyprus' biggest parties (excluding the socialist EDEK and the Greens). 

Questions are being asked as to why banks at which – in the case of Bank of Cyprus and Laiki – deposits of above €100,000 face a levy of an estimated 40% apparently forgave the loans of politicians and other senior figures in the country's public adminstration. 

According to information acquired by, the list was originally leaked by the Cypriot parliament to a member of the European Parliament, and subsequently to journalists in America, before arriving in Greek hands. 

According to Ethnos newspaper, the following loans were written off:

Bank of Cyprus
– A hotel company (with links to the communist AKEL party): Entire €2.81m loan written off
Labour union: From €554,000 loan, €193,000 forgiven
– Company: From €1.83m loan, €111,000 forgiven
– Well-known conservative Democratic Rally (DISY) MP: From €168,000 loan, €101,000 forgiven
– Company linked to DISY MP: From €61,000 loan, €11,000 forgiven
Company belonging to the brother of a former minister with the centrist Democratic Party (DIKO): From €1.595m loan, €1.285m written off
– Former DISY MP: From €58,000 euro loan, €26,000 forgiven
– Former DISY MP: From €84,000 euro loan, €16,000 forgiven
Former mayor of a large town: From €105,000 loan, €17,000 forgiven
– Company linked with the daughter-in-law of a DIKO MP: From €625,000 loan, €330,000 written off
– Company of person related to a member of board of directors of Bank of Cyprus: From €839,000 loan, €237,000 forgiven
– Company apparently linked to a former minister: From €708,000 loan, €399,000 written off 

Laiki Bank
– Former AKEL MP: €39,000 loan written off
– Former DISY MP: €71,000 loan written off 
– Former DISY MP: €54,000 loan written off
Company 51% owned by Cypriot politician, appears to have had $5.8m of debt written off
Former spouse of leading ministry official: €18,500 loan written off
Company owned by ambassador: €14,000 euro loan written off 

Hellenic Bank
– Company owned by a MP from a smaller party: From €1.65m loan, €543,000 written off."


New Anti-Euro party in Germany of business execs and economists, standing room only crowd at first open meeting, middle class people who say established parties sold them out. (Tea may have been served)

3/17/13, "Anti-Euro Party Mobilizes in Germany," Wall St. Journal, by William Boston in Berlin and Nina Koeppen in Oberursel, Germany

"Merkel's Ruling Coalition Faces Test as Economists, Business Leaders Offer Conservative Voters an 'Alternative'"

"A prominent group of anti-euro German economists and business leaders has formed a political party to challenge Germany's support for euro-zone bailouts, a move that could test the ruling center-right coalition's hold on conservative votes in the fall general election. 
With just six months until the election, the new party, which calls itself Alternative for Germany, is unlikely to gain enough traction to win seats in Parliament, analysts say. Yet even if the party comes in below the 5% threshold needed to win representation, it could still attract enough conservative votes to prevent a return of the current coalition government, a combination of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, their Bavarian sister party, and the pro-business Free Democrats.

If Ms. Merkel's coalition were to fail to garner enough support in the fall, she would likely be forced to reach out to the center-left Social Democrats, Germany's other mainstream political party, to form what Germans call a "grand coalition." While such a combination would enjoy a large parliamentary majority, it would likely force Ms. Merkel's party to abandon a more-conservative agenda.

Ms. Merkel's party has gone on the offensive. "If this group criticizes our euro policies, we will stand firm," Volker Kauder, the head of the conservative parliamentary group, said last week. "There is an alternative to everything—even to the euro. But every alternative to the euro is much worse for Germany."

At an event outside Frankfurt to kick off their election campaign last week, the Alternative for Germany's leadership left little doubt about their objective.

"We are convinced that the euro zone should be dissolved," said Bernd Lucke, an Alternative for Germany leader who quit the CDU party to protest euro-zone bailouts....

Germany's future path may well depend on how the euro crisis evolves in the coming months. Germans have largely supported Ms. Merkel's course despite widespread unease over the mounting cost of the bailouts. If Italy's political instability or other events lead to renewed financial-market upheaval and popular angst over the euro's future, crisis-weary Germans may be more likely to support the movement. 

The TNS Emnid polling group last week released the results of a one-question survey that suggests there could be support for an anti-euro party. About 26% of those polled by Emnid for the weekly news magazine Focus said they could imagine voting for an anti-euro party, most of those first-time voters or disgruntled conservatives. The poll didn't mention Alternative for Germany. Analysts cautioned that voter openness to supporting such a party wouldn't necessarily translate into actual votes. 

The new party's leadership is made up of a group of well-known euro-skeptics. The most prominent party backer is Hans-Olaf Henkel, a former chief executive of IBM IBM +1.14% Europe and former president of Germany's leading industry federation, the BDI. In 2010, Mr. Henkel became a leading euro critic with the publication of his book, "Save Our Money! Germany Is Being Sold Out—How the Euro Fraud Endangers Our Prosperity."

Others backing the party include Wilhelm Hankel, Karl Albrecht Schachschneider and Joachim Starbatty, economists who have co-written books arguing for dissolving the euro. The three filed a complaint with Germany's Constitutional Court in 2010, saying Germany's support for rescuing euro member Greece violated the constitution and the treaty on monetary union's no-bailout clause. The court ruled against them in 2011. The euro critics continue to challenge the euro-zone bailouts in court. A final decision on a constitutional change to the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, is still pending and could come by July.

The party held its first public meeting last week in Oberursel, a suburb north of Frankfurt, Germany's financial center and home to the European Central Bank. More than 1,000 people packed into the wood-paneled auditorium, so many more than expected that organizers couldn't begin the meeting until they had removed several room dividers to create space for the standing-only crowd.

Past anti-euro parties have appeared nationalist, often with links to the far-right, espousing a "Germany first" program and bashing Europe. Anti-European policies that flirt with the far-right don't go over well with German voters. That is why the Alternative for Germany is embracing Europe, but insisting that German support for covering the debt of other euro members should stop. Party leaders argue that in the interest of Europe, Ms. Merkel's drive for more European policy integration to bolster the euro must stop.

"The euro has proved to be a cause of great discord and polarization for Europe," Mr. Lucke said at the party's opening rally to a round of raucous applause.

The crowd at the rally consisted mainly of middle-aged men frustrated with the established parties. German political analysts describe this group as "Wutbürger," or "enraged citizens"—middle-class citizens who feel the established parties are selling them out."...

[Ed. note: Was Tea served at the meeting?....]

(continuing): "Many of these people no longer vote, which gives Alternative for Germany a large of pool of voters to mobilize, analysts said.

"These are not people who are in dire straits," said Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist from Berlin's Free University. "These are people who are afraid of losing their standard of living. That's why in the end, they will damage the Christian Democrats and the [Free Democrats] more than the [Social Democrats]."" via BBC radio


US wages drop 1.1% in Feb. 2013, a loss of $590 to median salary, wages decrease total of 6% since Obama 'recovery'-NY Times. (Bonus, BBC headline desperate to help Obama)

On a $51,404 income this meant a loss of $590 in Feb. 2013. 

3/29/13, "NYT: Median Annual Income Falls 1.1% in February," John Nolte, Breitbart

"As the Federal Reserve pumpity-pump-pump-pumps so the rich can get richer in the very stock market in which Democrats and the media ensured you and I wouldn't be allowed to invest our Social Security, according to a study by Sentier Research, out here in the real world, wages took a major dive of 1.1% in just a single month. 

According to the New York Times (who hid the bad news in a headline that reads, "Median Household Income Down 7.3% Since Start of Recession"), this is the first time in over a year a one-month drop in median annual income was statistically significant. Moreover, since the beginning of Obama's "recovery," median income has dropped a full six-percent.

Those of you who only get your news from the mainstream media might not know that during a real recovery wages are supposed to increase, not decrease.
Median annual household income in February 2013 was $51,404, about 1.1 percent (or $590) lower than the January 2013 level of $51,994. The numbers are all pretax, and are adjusted for both inflation and seasonal changes. …

While inflation is still quite low, income growth has been so weak that even very little inflation is enough to wipe out whatever gains households are seeing in their paychecks. 
The longer-run trends are even more depressing.

Yes, "so depressing" that The New York Times hides the news in a headline that obscures the news.  

Yesterday we learned that during the last quarter of last year our economy grew by only .04%.  

Jobless claims rose Friday.

Out here in the real world, people are hurting. There are hardly any jobs, no growth, incomes are going backwards, and just driving by a gas station sign puts a dark cloud over your head.

The media, though, ignore all of this. Because Obama demands it, the media are instead on a permanent gays/guns/immigration culture war rotation.

Meanwhile, people suffer in this economy in part because Obama is feeling zero media or political pressure to fix it."
BBC hides news behind deceptive headlines too:
"US Growth is Faster than Expected," BBC headline on Firefox headlines is how BBC describes 3/28/13 news of higher jobless numbers and revised .4 GDP in Q4 2012 from .1 They've kept this headline up for almost 2 days. (It's now 2:32AM ET, Sat. Mar. 30). When you click through to the story the headline is slightly more realistic but still misleading and not helpful. Not until sentence #6 in the story do they tell you this "growth" "has not changed the picture of the economy."  In 2 days BBC still hasn't put up a headline about US jobs numbers that came out Thursday morning along with the revised GDP number. In fact, they lie about the job numbers in the GDP story. They place the lie in the last sentence of the article just like a third grader would: "Although US joblessness has fallen, the Fed said it wanted to see signs of a long-term trend of falling unemployment." Obviously, the economy is never "coming back" because the US private sector has been killed off or 'fundamentally transformed' to serve a smirking, massive federal bureaucracy. But the first headline--the deliberately misleading and therefore lying headline---is all many people will see. Here's the story you get when you click on the happy headline above:
"The US economy grew at a faster than expected 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2012, the Department of Commerce has said.

The annualised figure was better than an earlier estimate of 0.1% growth, reflecting increased investments in plant and equipment.

However, despite the upwards revision, the department warned that the economy remained "sluggish".

The latest figures were a marked slowdown from the previous quarter.

An acute fall in defence spending and government expenditures hurt economic output, said the department. 

"While non-residential fixed investment is higher than previously estimated, the revision to GDP [gross domestic product] has not changed the general picture of the economy," said a statement."...


More than half UK Christians who voted for Conservative candidates in 2010 say won't do so in 2015, many Christians feel persecuted in particular by PM David Cameron-Daily Mail

3/29/13, "Cameron accused of betraying Christians: Astonishing Easter attack on the PM by former Archbishop of Canterbury," UK Daily Mail, James Chapman

"Many Christians doubt David Cameron’s sincerity in pledging to protect their freedoms, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey says today.

In an article for the Daily Mail, Lord Carey squarely accuses ministers of ‘aiding and abetting’ discrimination against Christians.

He says he believes there is an ‘aggressive secularist and relativist approach’ behind the Government plans to legalise gay marriage and says the Prime Minister has ‘done more than any other recent political leader’ to ‘feed’ Christian anxieties.

As a dramatic new poll released on the eve of Easter Sunday revealed that more than two-thirds of Christians feel they are now part of a ‘persecuted minority’, Lord Carey insists the Government must do more to demonstrate its commitment to pledges to stand up for faith.

The survey suggests churchgoers increasingly feel religious freedoms are under assault from aggressive secularism. 

Critics say court rulings against Christians who want to wear crosses at work, and legal action preventing prayers before council meetings, have helped make people feel marginalised.

In the article, Lord Carey expresses particular alarm about apparent Government support for a campaign by Labour MP Chris Bryant to turn the 700-year-old Parliamentary chapel of St Mary Undercroft [seen in photo above] into a multi-faith prayer room so that gay couples can get married there.

But he also turns his fire on the Prime Minister, saying: ‘It was a bit rich to hear that the Prime Minister has told religious leaders that they should “stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation” when it seems that his government is aiding and abetting this aggression every step of the way....

The ComRes poll suggests there is continuing resentment over the Government’s decision to legalise same-sex unions, even though there is special protection for the Church of England in the law

More than half (58 per cent) of Christians who backed the Conservatives in 2010 suggested they will ‘definitely not’ vote for the party in 2015.

The ComRes poll of 535 regular churchgoers, commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), reveals that more than two-thirds (67 per cent) of Christians feel that they are part of a ‘persecuted minority’.

The march of secularism means that if trends continue, Britain will no longer be a Christian country by 2030 when the number of non-believers will have overtaken the number of Christians.

In the past six years the number of Muslims has surged by 37 per cent to 2.6million, Hindus by 43 per cent and Buddhists by a massive 74 per cent." above of Chapel of St. Mary, Alamy via UK Daily Mail, via Free Republic


Ed.note: Please excuse unpleasant white background behind part of this post. It was put there by an illegal hacker I've had for several years and whom I believe to be from google/blogger. 


'Death of the Family,' 'A society in which a majority of births are out of wedlock cannot be other than a Big Government welfare society,' Mark Steyn

3/29/13, "The Death of the Family," Mark Steyn, National Review

"Gay marriage? It came up at dinner Down Under this time last year, and the prominent Aussie politician on my right said matter-of-factly, “It’s not about expanding marriage, it’s about destroying marriage.”

That would be the most obvious explanation as to why the same societal groups who assured us in the Seventies that marriage was either (a) a “meaningless piece of paper” or (b) institutionalized rape are now insisting it’s a universal human right. They’ve figured out what, say, terrorist-turned-educator Bill Ayers did — that, when it comes to destroying core civilizational institutions, trying to blow them up is less effective than hollowing them out from within.

On the other hand, there are those who argue it’s a victory for the powerful undertow of bourgeois values over the surface ripples of sexual transgressiveness: Gays will now be as drearily suburban as the rest of us. A couple of years back, I saw a picture in the paper of two chubby old queens tying the knot at City Hall in Vancouver, and the thought occurred that Western liberalism had finally succeeded in boring all the fun out of homosexuality.

Which of these alternative scenarios — the demolition of marriage or the taming of the gay — will come to pass? Most likely, both. In the upper echelons of society, our elites practice what they don’t preach. Scrupulously nonjudgmental about everything except traditional Christian morality, they nevertheless lead lives in which, as Charles Murray documents in his book Coming Apart, marriage is still expected to be a lifelong commitment. It is easy to see moneyed gay newlyweds moving into such enclaves, and making a go of it. As the Most Reverend Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, said just before his enthronement the other day, “You see gay relationships that are just stunning in the quality of the relationship.”

“Stunning”: What a fabulous endorsement! But, amongst the type of gay couple that gets to dine with the Archbishop of Canterbury, he’s probably right.  Lower down the socioeconomic scale, the quality gets more variable. One reason why conservative appeals to protect the sacred procreative essence of marriage have gone nowhere is because Americans are rapidly joining the Scandinavians in doing most of their procreating without benefit of clergy

Seventy percent of black babies are born out of wedlock, so are 53 percent of Hispanics (the “natural conservative constituency” du jour, according to every lavishly remunerated Republican consultant), and 70 percent of the offspring of poor white women. Over half the babies born to mothers under 30 are now “illegitimate” (to use a quaintly judgmental formulation). For the first three-and-a-half centuries of American settlement the bastardy rate (to be even quainter) was a flat line in the basement of the graph, stuck at 2 or 3 percent all the way to the eve of the Sixties. Today over 40 percent of American births are “non-marital,” which is significantly higher than Canada or Germany. “Stunning” upscale gays will join what’s left of the American family holed up in a chichi Green Zone, while beyond the perimeter the vast mounds of human rubble pile up remorselessly. The conservative defense of marriage rings hollow because for millions of families across this land the American marriage is hollow. 

If the Right’s case has been disfigured by delusion, the Left’s has been marked by a pitiful parochialism. At the Supreme Court this week, Ted Olson, the former solicitor general, was one of many to invoke comparisons with Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case that struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. But such laws were never more than a localized American perversion of marriage. In almost all other common-law jurisdictions, from the British West Indies to Australia, there was no such prohibition. Indeed, under the Raj, it’s estimated that one in three British men in the Indian subcontinent took a local wife. “Miscegenation” is a 19th-century American neologism. 

When the Supreme Court struck down laws on interracial marriage, it was not embarking on a wild unprecedented experiment but merely restoring the United States to the community of civilized nations within its own legal tradition. Ted Olson is a smart guy, but he sounded like Mary-Kate and Ashley’s third twin in his happy-face banalities last week.

Yet, beyond the Court, liberal appeals to “fairness” are always the easiest to make. Because, for too much of its history, this country was disfigured by halfwit rules about who can sit where on public transportation and at lunch counters, the default position of most Americans today is that everyone should have the right to sit anywhere: If a woman wants to be a soldier and sit in a foxhole in the Hindu Kush, sure, let her. If a man self-identifies as a woman and wants to sit on the ladies’ toilet, where’s the harm?  If a mediocre high-school student wants to sit in a college class, that’s only fair. American “rights” have taken on the same vapid character as grade-school sports: Everyone must be allowed to participate, and everyone is entitled to the same participation ribbon.

Underneath all this apparent “fairness” is a lot of unfairness. Entire new categories of crime have arisen in the wake of familial collapse, like the legions of adolescent daughters abused by Mom’s latest live-in boyfriend. Millions of children are now raised in transient households that make not just economic opportunity but even elementary character-formation all but impossible. In the absence of an agreed moral language to address this brave new world, Americans retreat to comforting euphemisms like “blended families,” notwithstanding that the familial Cuisinart seems to atomize at least as often as it blends.

Meanwhile, social mobility declines: Doctors who once married their nurses now marry their fellow doctors; lawyers who once married their secretaries now contract with fellow super-lawyers, like dynastic unions in medieval Europe. Underneath the self-insulating elite, millions of Americans are downwardly mobile: The family farmers and mill workers, the pioneers who hacked their way into the wilderness and built a township, could afford marriage and children; indeed, it was an economic benefit. For their descendants doing minimum-wage service jobs about to be rendered obsolete by technology, functioning families are a tougher act, and children an economic burden. The gays looked at contemporary marriage and called the traditionalists’ bluff.

Modern Family works well on TV, less so in the rusting double-wides of decrepit mill towns where, very quickly, the accumulated social capital of two centuries is drained, and too much is too wrecked. In Europe, where dependency, decadence, and demographic decline are extinguishing some of the oldest nations on earth, a successor population is already in place in the restive Muslim housing projects. With their vibrant multicultural attitudes to feminism and homosexuality, there might even be a great sitcom in it: Pre-Modern Family — and, ultimately, post-Modern.

“Fiscal conservatives” recoil from this kind of talk like homophobes at a bathhouse: The sooner some judge somewhere takes gay marriage off the table the sooner the right can go back to talking about debt and Obamacare without being dismissed as uptight theocratic bigots. But it doesn’t work like that. Most of the social liberalism comes with quite a price tag. The most reliable constituency for Big Government is single women, for whom the state is a girl’s best friend, the sugar daddy whose checks never bounce. A society in which a majority of births are out of wedlock cannot be other than a Big Government welfare society. Ruining a nation’s finances is one thing; debauching its human capital is far harder to fix." via Free Republic


Ed. note: How does a massive, advanced western civilization crumble so quickly? Because only one side was fighting. Second, there were many Trojan Horses. The biggest Trojan Horse in the US has been and continues to be the Bush family. The left took control of the school system. To paraphrase Todd Gitlin, "we won the text books." Over time you can get people to believe anything. 82% of Muslims in Egypt believe you should be stoned to death for adultery per Pew poll.

Todd Gitlin, was SDS president in 1963-64. The citation below is from Wikipedia which normally wouldn't be sufficient for me to post but I've seen this "we won the text books" quote from Mr. Gitlin elsewhere, haven't been able to find a link. Anyway, Mr. Gitlin has been in the middle of education and the left for his entire adult life:

""My generation of the New Left — a generation that grew as the [Vietnam] war went on — relinquished any title to patriotism without much sense of loss. All that was left to the Left was to unearth righteous traditions and cultivate them in universities. The much-mocked political correctness of the next academic generations was a consolation prize. We lost — we squandered the politics —  but won the text books."
~ from Varieties of Patriotic Experience"

Friday, March 29, 2013

2013 US corn crop to be highest acreage since 1936, record in 6 states-USDA

3/28/13, "USDA: Highest Corn Acreage Since 1936 Expected," AP, David Pitt, via ABC News

"Farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936, the USDA's spring planting survey said Thursday.

The overall corn acreage forecast is up slightly from last year's 97.2 million acres and reflects a shift in where the grain is grown. Acreage in some states hit hardest by last year's drought retreated, while Southern states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas are shifting cotton acres to corn

Chad Hart, an agriculture economist at Iowa State University, said Texas is a prime example. The state is changing more than 1 million acres normally planted in cotton for corn. Farmers there are in desperate need of grain to feed livestock after two years of debilitating drought, and are betting on a corn crop to replenish feed, Hart said.

Corn remains profitable, as prices are holding strong at around $7 per bushel because drought conditions left the grain in short supply. Corn stocks fell 10 percent from a year ago to 5.40 billion bushels, the lowest March stockpiles since 2003, the USDA said in a separate report Thursday.

Corn prices fell Thursday after the report was released, as it showed there was 7 percent more corn stockpiled than expected. Record corn acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon. Iowa, the nation's leading corn producer, will plant an estimated 14.2 million acres in corn, the same as last year. And Minnesota is up 3 percent to 9 million acres.

But the states that suffered significantly during last year's drought — the worst since the 1950s — expect to plant slightly less corn acreage: Illinois' acres are down 5 percent to 12.2 million and Nebraska corn acres are down 1 percent at 9.9 million acres.
Brad Tank, a farmer near the western Iowa town of Blencoe, said he expects to plant his normal mix of half corn and half soybeans on his 685 acres.

"I'm hoping that with winter hanging on longer than it did last year that things will be a little more toward normal," he said.

The USDA report addressed other crops, too, including soybeans. Farmers plan to plant 77.1 million acres — a small decline from 2012's 77.2 million acres but still the fourth highest on record.

Compared with last year, soybean acreage intentions are down across all of the Great Plains, with the exception of North Dakota, as drought conditions have persisted. However, increases in planted area across most of the eastern Corn Belt and parts of the Southeast nearly balance out the plains' declines.

If the estimates come to fruition the planted soybean areas in New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania will be the largest on record. Iowa soybean acres are expected to rise 1 percent to 9.4 million acres, while Illinois is up 4 percent to 9.4 million. Nebraska is expected to see soybeans acres fall about 6 percent to 4.7 million....

Growers in portions of the Corn Belt have had reason for optimism in recent weeks as storms pummeled the nation's midsection with snow, in some cases more than a foot deep.

As spring planting season nears, much of that has melted off, which has boosted soil moisture and raised levels of rivers that often serve as irrigation sources.

But temperatures remain below normal throughout much of the Midwest. Missouri is weathering its coldest March in at least 17 years, and frozen soil persists in east-central Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin.

The U.S. Drought Monitor's weekly report said Thursday that roughly half of the continental U.S. remains in some form of drought,"...

[Ed. note: The US (Palmer) Drought Monitor
  "does not reflect snowpack." (See more below). This important fact isn't mentioned by the AP. Reuters reports the snow has so far eliminated midwest drought conditions.]
(continuing, AP): "with the most pronounced dryness lingering in the key Midwestern farm states.

Some 96 percent of Nebraska as of Tuesday was gripped by extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — as was one-fifth of Iowa and nearly two-thirds of Kansas." via Michael Savage. photo above ap, "photo from July 19, 2012, shows a corn field on a foggy morning near Springfield, Neb.The USDA is releasing its first estimate of the 2013 crop size in its spring planting report on Thursday, March 28, 2013."


About Palmer Drought Severity Index:   
Palmer Drought Severity Index," (scroll down)

"The PDSI is updated weekly by the Climate Prediction Center. It is based on rainfall, temperature and historic data, and is computed based on a complex formula devised by W.C. Palmer in 1965. Although the Palmer is the main drought index used by the U.S. government, it is slow to detect fast-emerging droughts, and does not reflect snowpack, an important component of water supply in the western United States."  


Winter rain and snow have eliminated drought conditions in much of the midwest:

3/4/13, "Drought areas shrinking as snow and rain fall," Reuters

"Crop-friendly snowfall will be moving from the Northern Plains into the central and eastern Midwest overnight Monday and Tuesday, leaving up to an additional six to eight inches of snow, an agricultural meteorologist said on Monday....

Meteorologists said the significant winter rainfall and snow have so far eliminated the drought, the worst in 50 years in the United States, in an area roughly from Illinois eastward."...