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Rich liberals don't like it when they're asked to pay their "fair share."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's eat-the-rich policies aren't sitting to well with the city's wealthy residents. According to Michael Goodman, a number of them are getting ready to flee the Big Apple for greener pastures, like Florida, where they won't be treated like criminals.
Maybe they shouldn't have voted for the commie in the first place. De Blasio didn't exactly keep his class warfare plans a secret. You reap what you sow kids.
Beyond taxes, the mayor's open hostility is a factor. His insulting treatment of former Mayor Bloomberg at the inauguration remains a cloud over him. As one affluent woman, a self-described liberal, told me, "De Blasio hates me, so I hate him." She doesn't personally know him, but draws her conclusion from his words and deeds.
Liberals want the government to take other people's money, not their money.
The schadenfreude, it is delicious.
Legalized extortion, the maritime union way.
New Jersey spent $700,000 more to have road salt shipped from Maine to Port Newark by barge than it would have cost had the federal government granted a waiver allowing a foreign vessel to deliver the coveted cargo, the state transportation commissioner said yesterday.
Shuttling 40,000 tons of salt over four trips by barge between Searsport, Maine, and Port Newark will cost $1.2 million compared with the $500,000 New Jersey would have spent if the cargo ship Anastasia S. had been permitted to take the load to New Jersey, Simpson said today after a meeting of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
It was the same message Simpson, a close ally of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, delivered on Monday after a special NJ Transit meeting.
"I've never been aggravated more in my life than about this salt issue, because this is a no-brainer for government to fix," he said at that meeting. "If we can't feel that it's in the public's interest to get salt down here, then there's no hope for anything else, as far as I'm concerned."
With the Obama Administration, when there's a conflict between "the public interest" and "union interests," the unions win, hands down, every time.
And the Jones Act exists to protect the maritime unions.
So to recap.
The good news is we got our road salt, which as, um, luck would have it, is just in time because it's snowing again as I write this.
The bad news is it took 2 weeks and an extra 700 grand to get it here.
Your tax dollars at work.
Why should she? Because, to coin a phrase — what difference, at this point, does it make?
To here her tell it, she was only passing along the lies Hillary and Obama told her.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday she has no regrets over what she told the American public about the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks in the immediate aftermath of the deadly strikes.
Rice did a round of Sunday TV interviews a few days after the attacks, in which some of the information she gave was later proven incorrect.
"What I said to you that morning, and what I did every day since, was to share the best information that we had at the time," Rice told NBC's "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory on Sunday. "The information I provided … was what we had at the moment."
Rice said "No," when Gregory asked whether she had any regrets about her statements.
Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith were unavailable for comment.
And Makoula Basseley Makoula spent a year in jail to make sure Rice's story couldn't be disputed.
I suppose nobody in this administration "regrets" that either.
As I reported yesterday, NJ desperately needs rock salt. And we could have had 40,000 tons of it by now, if the Obama Administration is willing to buck the maritime unions and allow for a waiver of the Jones Act.
Today we got their answer — an emphatic "no."
With salt stockpiles dangerously low, the state transportation commissioner said yesterday New Jersey is just one snowstorm away from possibly closing major roadways — and he blames the federal government.
"A lot of the counties and municipalities are out of salt," Department of Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson said yesterday. "If we have one more storm, New Jersey is going to have to close its interstates."
Simpson said he has been trying to get the federal government to grant a waiver allowing an empty ship already in Maine to bring 40,000 tons of road salt to Port Newark.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security denied his request, he said, and the salt remains in Maine.
Close the interstates Jim. Close 'em today.
Hey, it's what Dear Leader did with the National Parks. Shove the Jones Act right back into his unionista-loving face.
The whole thing is absurd. There's a ship ready to get the salt here within 2 days. But it's homeported in the Marshall Islands and thus prohibited from carrying cargo from one U.S. port to another.
We're supposed to wait three weeks while they find a suitable U.S. registered ship.
On Thursday, Simpson said, he received a note amounting to a denial of the waiver and was informed the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration was trying to locate a U.S. vessel that could bring the salt to Port Newark.
They found barges, he said. One that carries 10,000 tons and one that carries 5,000 tons and would get the salt to New Jersey in about three weeks, leaving more than half the load in Maine.
"Tell me how this is in the public interest — to deny New Jersey the ability to protect its own people?" Simpson said. "It's appalling. It's malfeasance."
It's sabotage by cabotage.
Thomas Allegretti, chairman of the American Maritime Partnership, the voice of the nation's domestic maritime industry, said a U.S. vessel will deliver the salt to New Jersey.
"The maritime industry is working to ensure that the state has the resources it needs to meet its seasonal demand," Allegretti said. "Despite short notice by transportation officials, maritime operators are moving to accelerate a request for additional salt and will deliver a new shipment to New Jersey before it is needed again."
Translation? The check is in the mail.
So if Chris Christie wants to make a point, he'll close the interstates
until it gets here. Three weeks of turning trucks back at the Pennsylvania
border ought to get somebody's attention. Let's see the Teamsters union
fight the maritime unions. I'll bring the popcorn.
New Jersey is out of rock salt. And our roads are slick with ice.
There's a ship in Maine with 40,000 tons of rock salt. It could be here in two days.
Getting the shipment to Port Newark has been frustratingly slow because of the state's inability so far to obtain a federal waiver of the 1920 Maritime Act, which requires that the shipment arrive on a vessel flying a U.S. flag.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Dee said Sunday that state officials have been unable to obtain a waiver of what is known as the Jones Act, which requires that shipments from one U.S. port to another be carried by ships flying under a U.S flag.
More accurately, it has to be a U.S. built ship, owned by U.S. citizens, flying a U.S. flag, with a unionized crew of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
The closest such ship is a month away.
Absent such a waiver, the state will have to send smaller and slower-moving barges to bring the shipment to New Jersey, Dee said.
A spokesman for Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said Sunday that his office and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., have been in touch with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the state Department of Transportation in an effort to resolve the situation.
Don't hold your breath.
On the plus side, we've finally found an immigration law he's willing to enforce.
Socialist Andrew Cuomo wants to ban guns.
Communist Bill De Blasio wants to arrest anyone who's ever owned a gun.
By voting for these two morons the citizens of New York have shown their disdain for the Second Amendment.
So when Remington needed to choose a state in which to create 2,000 jobs, they didn't choose New York.
Because in Alabama, Freedom still means something.
"High level sources have informed Yellowhammer News that Remington, one of the world's largest gun manufacturers, will on Monday join Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in announcing that they are bringing over 2,000 jobs to Alabama. The company is viewing the move into Alabama as an expansion, but it will likely impact their Ilion, NY plant as well. The New York facility currently employs around 1,200 people. It is expected to stay open, but with a reduced workforce."
Apparently New York didn't learn from Colorado's mistake.
"I make this announcement with mixed emotions," Phillip Howe, president and CEO of HiViz, said in a statement. "Colorado is a beautiful state with great people, but we cannot in clear conscience support with our taxes a state that has proven through recent legislation a willingness to infringe upon the constitutional rights of our customer base."
Alas, "Recall Cuomo" is a non-starter. So Remington voted with their feet.
And they join a proud tradition of freedom-loving Americans thumbing their noses at socialism.
Big Labor suffered a "devastating defeat" Friday when workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted against joining the UAW.
Even better, it was a kick in the nuts to Dear Leader.
President Barack Obama on Friday waded into a high-stakes union vote at Volkswagen AG's plant in Tennessee, accusing Republican politicians who oppose unionization of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers.
That's funny. The only folks voting here are average Americans, and they rejected the Democratic Party's line.
The loss is an especially stinging blow for U.A.W. because Volkswagen did not even oppose the unionization drive. The union's defeat — in what was one of the most closely watched unionization votes in decades — is expected to slow, perhaps stymie, the union's long-term plans to organize other auto plants in the South. . . .
Standing outside the Volkswagen plant, Mike Jarvis, a three-year employee who works on the finishing line, said the majority had voted against U.A.W. because they were persuaded the union had hurt Detroit's automakers.
Unions are a cancer on America.
As are the anti-liberty policies of blue state politicians like Andrew Cuomo.
Fortunately we still have the ability to self-correct, and route around the
problem. Good jobs are leaving the socialist enclaves. And any taint of the
progressive stench is unwelcome where freedom reigns supreme.
Those officials being VP Joe Biden and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.
Vice President Joe Biden, never one to hide what he's thinking, said Thursday that New York's LaGuardia Airport feels like "it's in some third world country."
"If I blindfolded someone and took them at 2:00 in the morning into the airport in Hong Kong and said 'where do you think you are,' they'd say, 'this must be America, it's a modern airport,'" Biden said during a speech on infrastructure in Philadelphia.
"But if I blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you must think, 'I must be in some third world country.' I'm not joking," he added as the audience broke out in laughter.
Hell to the yes! LaGuardia is a pit. Newark and JFK are only marginally better. Why? No competition. The Port Authority runs all 3 (along with Atlantic City Airport and Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY). So there's no incentive for any of our airports to woo travelers because they'd just be competing with themselves.
What do you get when you have a captive audience at the mercy of a monopolistic bureaucracy? A level of mediocrity that would make Bangladesh blush. I've seen South American bus stations with better ambience than Newark's Terminal B. And although it's been a few years since I've had to trudge through LaGuardia or JFK I can't imagine they've aged gracefully.
Adding to Joe's crediblity on this one — he rides Amtrak, so presumably he's seen the hellhole that is Newark Penn Station. If he thinks LaGuardia is worse than that, yikes.
Then we have Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, heard on tape saying, "Fuck the EU."
Yeah baby! A bigger bunch of whiny self-important pretentious overbearing nanny-state bureaucrats can't be found. (Except perhaps at the EPA…)
Nuland's criticism of the EU comes in the context of praising United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for picking an envoy to deal with the political crisis.
Nuland argues that the U.N. envoy will "help glue this thing and to have the U.N. glue it. And you know, f--k the EU," she adds.
"Exactly," Pyatt can be heard replying. "And I think we got to do something to make it stick together, because you can be sure that if it does start to gain altitude the Russians will be working behind the scenes to torpedo it."
So she's one for two. Because Ban Ki-moon and the Useless Nations aren't measurably different from the Bozos in Brussels.
But hey, any day where I can agree with something an Obamunist says? Either
I'm getting soft, or these guys are finally finding a clue.
At the Sochi Olympics, the KGB is watching you in the shower.
So far, the story of the Olympics in Sochi has been complaints about and funny photos of the bathrooms and hotel rooms in Russia.
Dmitry Kozak, "the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations," responded to criticism of the accommodations.
"We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," Kozak said.
Wait, what? Surveillance video of the showers?
Sure, it's par for the course for the KGB.
The little sink sits atop an exposed white plastic pipe, stuck to the wall and surrounded by an unruly gob of caulk. Might as well forget about a shower curtain. The way the bathroom is set up there's no place to affix a rod.
The single room has two lamps — which don't have light bulbs, but that's okay because they aren't near any unused outlets. An overhead chandelier has five shades, three of them with bulbs. There's no phone. The television doesn't work. A brainstorm interrupts an unsuccessful effort to plod through the manual — in Russian. There's no battery in the remote!
Comrades! You guys spent decades extolling the virtues of communism. Google "Soviet apartment block" to refresh your memory and revel in the utilitarian conformity. Then tell me your hotel isn't 10 times better!
It could be worse you know. They could have hired NJ Transit to arrange your
And Barack Obama is just the guy to do it.
Justice Antonin Scalia predicts that the Supreme Court will eventually authorize another a wartime abuse of civil rights such as the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
"You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again," Scalia told the University of Hawaii law school while discussing Korematsu v. United States, the ruling in which the court gave its imprimatur to the internment camps.
The local Associated Press report quotes Scalia as using a Latin phrase that means "in times of war, the laws fall silent," to explain why the court erred in that decision and will do so again.
"That's what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot," Scalia said. "That's what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It's no justification but it is the reality."
Panic? You mean like when Obamacare completely implodes, or Janet Yellen craters the dollar? Or maybe something simpler, say a nationwide rollout of Connecticut's gun confiscation? Because I could totally see the Alinskyites rounding up anyone who dares to oppose Obama's Executive Orders.
The IRS already has a list.
I live within that 100 mile cordon of fascism. Chances are that you do too.
And since Obama bought his own Lubyanka it's not inconceivable that he'll want to use it.
Before you dismiss me as a conspiracy nut, ask yourself this:
Do you trust your government?
It's being billed as the first "mass transit" Super Bowl. "Mass hassle" is more like it.
Super Bowl fans who take the train to the big game might confuse the rail station with an airport.
The Transportation Security Administration will be screening all bags for explosives at the Secaucus Junction Station in New Jersey before passengers are permitted on the one rail line serving MetLife Stadium.
TSA officers also will be using radiological detection devices.
NJ Transit estimates 12 to 15 thousand fans will pass through Secaucus Junction on game day. And one at a time they'll get felt-up by the TSA.
But if all this security kabuki makes you late for the game, you can always catch the kickoff on your mobile phone, right?
Uh, no. The NFL plans to block live streams of the game on the cellular networks serving East Rutherford. "Not enough bandwidth" is their lame-ass excuse.
I sure am glad I'll be watching the game from the comfort of my couch.
If you need help with your taxes, don't call the IRS.
As tax day looms, an annual watchdog report to Congress finds that the agency is falling short when it comes to answering Americans' questions about the convoluted tax code.
The National Taxpayer Advocate found only 61 percent of people seeking to speak with a customer service representative last year got through to anybody -- leaving nearly 20 million calls unanswered.
"At the risk of vast understatement, it is a sad state of affairs when the government writes tax laws as complex as ours -- and then is unable to answer any questions beyond 'basic' ones from baffled citizens who are doing their best to comply," the report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said.
The study detailed how customer service has steadily declined over the past several years, including at its 400 "walk-in sites." In fiscal 2014, the office said, the IRS will only answer "basic" questions at those sites during filing season. And it will not answer any questions, "even basic ones," after April, even for filers who got extensions.
"In addition, the IRS will discontinue its longstanding practice of preparing tax returns for low income, elderly and disabled taxpayers who seek help," the report said.
With the erosion in services, wait times have gone up. In fiscal 2004, callers were left on hold for just 2.6 minutes. Today, the average wait time is nearly 18 minutes.
Some taxpayers resort to writing letters to the IRS with their questions. The agency received 8.4 million such letters last year, but more than half were not answered by the end of fiscal 2013, the report said.
They blame "budget cuts."
Uh huh. Maybe if they weren't putting so much effort into persecuting the Tea Party they'd have time to assist the people they're supposed to be serving.
Obama doesn't want the IRS to help you. He wants the IRS to punish his enemies.
So Sarah Palin's brother gets audited 6 times in five years. But your 87 year old Aunt Mildred is out of luck when she calls the IRS for help.
A group of Hollywood conservatives (yes, they exist!) gets the full IRS protocology experience. But Obama's brother's "charity" was walked through all the necessary paperwork hoops by Lois Lerner herself.
Curiously the IRS didn't find it necessary to scrutinize Malik Obama's ties to Hamas. You only evoke their ire if you care about the Constitution.
All of that political gamesmanship leaves them with no resources to handle their actual mission — fairly administering the tax code. Because even though the IRS won't answer your questions, you can be damn sure they'll haul your ass in for an audit if you forget to dot even one "i" or cross a single "t."
Unless, of course, the NSA tells 'em you're a Democrat.
Should a mother who cares for her disabled adult son be forced to join a union and pay dues out of her meager Medicaid stipend?
The state of Michigan, and the SEIU, say "absolutely."
Yesterday a lawyer for that mother asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let her be free.
William Messenger of the National Right to Work Committee asked the Supreme Court today to hold that public employee unions are unconstitutional.
"This is—I'm just going to use the word here, it is a radical argument. It would radically restructure the way workplaces across this country are—are run," Justice Elena Kagan said from the bench. Since 1948, she pointed out, states have had the power to enact "right-to-work" laws that limit union power. Was Messenger arguing that "a right-to-work law is constitutionally compelled?"
Messenger didn't back off. "In the public sector, yes," he replied.
His clients, home-care providers paid by the state of Illinois with federal-state Medicaid funds, had started out arguing only that they were not "employees" for purposes of coverage by the Court's previous labor precedents. (Though they get state paychecks, they are selected and supervised by the families they serve.) But after cert was granted, their lawyers, the NRTWC's legal-defense fund, decided instead to go for the kill shot. They want the court to hold that permitting the unions to collect fees for representing non-members—the so-called "agency fee"—violates the First Amendment.
At least four members of the Court seemed ready to reach that "radical" result. The fate of public employee unionism in the nation seemed, by the end of the argument, to lie in the hands of Justice Antonin Scalia.
It's high time for Mr. Justice Scalia to deliver the coup de grace and free us from the tyranny of public employee unions.
The argument against public-sector agency fees is this: Since public employees work for government, everything they bargain about is political. Higher wages, better benefits, new work rules—all affect the state budget. Assessing fees from non-members thus requires them to pay for political speech.
Yes. Public employee unions are by their very nature inherently political. And it's an incestuous relationship. The union collects dues from its members, which it then uses to lobby government officials and contribute to their election campaigns. Those government officials in turn, not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them, always ensure the union's contract demands are easily ratified.
In many cases, like for instance when a recently retired teacher is elected to the school board (with her union's backing), the union ends up negotiating with itself. That's hardly a formula for fiscal restraint. But it does keep the union in clover.
You know who else hated public employee unions? No less a liberal icon than Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Roosevelt openly opposed bargaining rights for government unions.
"The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service," Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wrote Roosevelt. But, he wrote, "I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place" in the public sector. "A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."
And if you're the kind of guy who capitalizes "government," woe betide such obstructionists.
FDR wasn't alone among Democrats, either.
It was orthodoxy among Democrats through the '50s that unions didn't belong in government work. Things began changing when, in 1959, Wisconsin's then-Gov. Gaylord Nelson signed collective bargaining into law for state workers. Other states followed, and gradually, municipal workers and teachers were unionized, too.
Even as that happened, the future was visible. Frank Zeidler, Milwaukee's mayor in the 1950s and the last card-carrying Socialist to head a major U.S. city, supported labor. But in 1969, the progressive icon wrote that rise of unions in government work put a competing power in charge of public business next to elected officials. Government unions "can mean considerable loss of control over the budget, and hence over tax rates," he warned.
Which of course is the reason New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation. Our public employee unions own the government. And they don't care one whit about the taxpayers. We've seen the result. Overly generous union contracts awarded by career politicians who live large on union dues funneled into their campaign coffers while the cities and towns they supposedly represent fall into disgrace.
The Supreme Court now has a chance to level the playing field and wrest control
of our government back into the hands of "We The People." Let's hope they don't
let us down.
We all know the Post Office is hemorrhaging money. So cutting costs is now Job One. And what better way to cut costs, and enhance service in the process, than by outsourcing their retail operations?
Naturally, the unionistas are teed off.
The opening of Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores around the country is being met with threats of protests and boycotts by the agency's unions.
The new outlets are staffed by Staples employees, not postal workers, and labor officials say that move replaces good-paying union jobs with low-wage, nonunion workers.
"It's a direct assault on our jobs and on public postal services," said Mark Dimondstein, president of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union.The dispute comes as the financially struggling Postal Service continues to form partnerships with private companies, and looks to cut costs and boost revenues. The deal with Staples began as a pilot program in November at 84 stores in California, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as a way make it easier for customers to buy stamps, send packages or use Priority and certified mail.
Union leaders fear that if the Staples program is successful, the Postal Service will want to expand it to more than 1,500 of the company's other stores. That could siphon work and customers away from nearby brick-and-mortar post offices, taking jobs from postal workers and even leading traditional post offices to close.
The union says it's not asking to shut down the program. It wants the counters to be run by postal employees, not workers hired by Staples. The average postal clerk earns about $25 an hour, according to the union, plus a generous package of health and retirement benefits. The Staples post office counters are run by nonunion workers often making little more than the minimum wage.
It doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to sell stamps. That job just isn't worth $25 an hour. It never was. Which is why the Post Office loses money. And raising their prices to cover their labor costs would inevitably send their customers elsewhere.
The postal workers union did what unions always do, inflated their self-worth until they priced themselves out of their jobs. So like every other unionized behemoth before them the Post Office can collapse under the weight of its labor costs, or it can adapt to reality.
Selling stamps at Staples is Reality.
Believing that job is worth $25 an hour is Fantasy.
Oh, by the way, the folks who work at Amazon understand Reality too. They overwhelmingly rejected unionization.
Last month I wrote about an attempt by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to unionize technical workers at an Amazon.com Inc. warehouse in Delaware. This was my take back then: "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that if unions manage to make substantial inroads at Amazon, it will be the greatest advance that the labor movement has experienced in decades."
Well, on Wednesday night, workers voted to reject the union. So far, the citadel of the new economy remains unbreached. The vote wasn't even close: 21 to 6.
Take note Mr. Dimondstein. Unions are going the way of the dinosaur. And not a
moment too soon.
In other words, the Democratic Party's core constituency. All the rest of us are too "extreme" for Andy's libtard paradise.
Forty-eight percent of Americans and all priests and nuns are no longer welcome in the Empire State, according to its governor. Delivering a monologue on Republicans with all the hyperbole of an MSNBC anchor and none of the charm, Cuomo offered this:
You have a schism within the Republican Party. … They're searching to define their soul, that's what's going on. Is the Republican party in this state a moderate party or is it an extreme conservative party? That's what they're trying to figure out. It's a mirror of what's going on in Washington. The gridlock in Washington is less about Democrats and Republicans. It's more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans.
… You're seeing that play out in New York. … The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act … it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that's who they are and they're the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are.
He at least uses the liberal pejoratives for those who are pro-2nd Amendment and oppose gay marriage. "Right to life" he uses as if it's offensive on its face. As Life News notes, he leans heavily on the President Barack tactic to simply declare everyone who disagrees with your positions in the slightest "extreme," even if many of those people are your constituents.
Well the idiots voted for him. And they voted for that commie De Blasio. So we pretty much know what kind of people live in New York. And if they don't want me to visit, well that's fine. There are, after all, 49 other states (56, if you're Barack Obama!), and most of them are run by more tolerant folks.
New York State, where restricting the Second Amendment is "common sense," but restricting abortion is "extreme." So you can't murder someone (good!), unless that someone is an unborn child. Then you have a duty to ensure the kid never has a chance.
Unless he's gonna grow up to be gay. Then he has the right to get married while still in the womb.
This Wednesday is the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade.
Fifty-seven million babies
have been murdered in that time. That's 3 times the population of Andrew
Cuomo's empire of liberalism. Given the chance, I wonder if they would
have voted for him.
What happens when a state's governor stands up to an activist judge? The Supreme Court says, let's take another look.
The Supreme Court on Monday put gay marriage on hold in Utah, giving the state time to appeal a federal judge's ruling against Utah's same-sex marriage ban.
The court issued a brief order Monday blocking any new same-sex unions in the state. The ruling comes after a Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates gay and lesbian couples' constitutional rights.
The decision, in one of the country's most conservative states, touched off a flurry of court filings as some jurisdictions started issuing marriage licenses.
The state's request to the Supreme Court was filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from Utah and the five other states in the 10th Circuit. Sotomayor turned the matter over to the entire court.
The decision to stay the ruling was unanimous.
This is no surprise. Recognizing a constitutional right to same sex marriage is a big deal, which requires thought, consideration and preparation in the public if this is going to happen through the courts. In Utah, one of the most conservative states in the union, we went all of a sudden overnight from no gay marriage to gay marriage. There was little indication for those not following developments it would happen.
Hello, Chris Christie, feel like a chump yet?
New Jersey didn't have to roll over and dance to the homofascist tune. But Christie refused to fight for what's right, bowing to expediency by waving his hands and effectively saying "whaddaya gonna do?"
What you do is fight. If you have principles, that is.
Speaking of standing up for principles, I want to give a shout-out to Trestin Meacham. Trestin's been fasting since December 20th to protest Judge Shelby's unconscionable ruling. And the vitriol spewed his way by the homofascist forces of tolerance tell me all I need to know about the true nature of homosexuality and what it does to men's souls.
"God did this."
January 6, 2014
Yes He did.
Because nagging the crap out of you makes you healthier. And it makes do-gooder bureaucrats happy.
Office workers in search of snacks will be counting calories along with their change under new labeling regulations for vending machines included in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.
Requiring calorie information to be displayed on roughly 5 million vending machines nationwide will help consumers make healthier choices, says the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to release final rules early next year. It estimates the cost to the vending machine industry at $25.8 million initially and $24 million per year after that, but says if just .02 percent of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, the savings to the health care system would be at least that great.
Here they go again with more potential health care system savings if we'll only listen to our nanny state overlords. They don't care who pays, they just like telling us what to do.
The rules will apply to about 10,800 companies that operate 20 or more machines. Nearly three quarters of those companies have three or fewer employees, and their profit margin is extremely low, according to the National Automatic Merchandising Association. An initial investment of $2,400 plus $2,200 in annual costs is a lot of money for a small company that only clears a few thousand dollars a year, said Eric Dell, the group's vice president for government affairs.
"The money that would be spent to comply with this - there's no return on the investment," he said.
You're missing the Big Picture Mr. Dell. You're helping Society. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. It's the nanny state mantra. Liberty? Bah, that's so last century.
Advocacy groups for polygamy and individual liberties on Saturday hailed a federal judge's ruling that key parts of Utah's polygamy laws are unconstitutional, saying it will remove the threat of arrest for those families.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said in the decision handed down Friday that a provision in Utah law forbidding cohabitation with another person violated the First Amendment right of freedom of religion.
The ruling was a victory for Kody Brown and his four wives who star in the hit TLC reality show "Sister Wives" and other fundamentalist Mormons who believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven.
Anne Wilde of Salt Lake City, co-founder of the polygamy advocacy group Principle Voices, said polygamous families have lived under the threat of arrest for decades and no longer have to worry about being charged with a felony.
First, homosexuality was decriminalized, and before we knew it, same-sex "marriage" was here to stay.
Now it's only a matter of time before we're going to have to "tolerate" polygamy. Or be labeled a "hater."
Wanna take bets on which taboo is next to fall?
My guess is incest or bestiality, although the case for pedophilia seens to be coming on strong.
Somewhere, Caligula is laughing.
Alas, I am not. Because sometimes it sucks to be right.
Big Brother really is everywhere.
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations collected data on cellphone activity thousands of times last year, with each request to a phone company yielding hundreds or thousands of phone numbers of innocent Americans along with those of potential suspects.
Law enforcement made more than 9,000 requests last year for what are called "tower dumps," information on all the calls that bounced off a cellphone tower within a certain period, usually two or more hours, a congressional inquiry has revealed.
The little-known practice has raised concerns among federal judges, lawmakers and privacy advocates who question the harvesting of massive amounts of data on people suspected of no crime in order to try to locate a criminal. Data linked to specific cell towers can be used to track people's movements.
But wait, it gets better.
Carriers, following requests from law enforcement agencies, are providing a range of other records as well. Those include GPS location data, website addresses and, in some cases, the search terms Americans have entered into their cellphones.
You have no privacy.
The police know everything you're doing. Usually even before you do it. Because they're reading your text messages and tracking your Google searches. In real time. Day in, and day out. Without a warrant, or so much as even cursory judicial oversight.
With just a few taps on his dashboard computer, before he pulls you over Barney Fife knows what you had for breakfast, that you're fighting with your wife, and what time you're meeting your mistress for drinks. He knows where you've been, and he knows where you're going.
At least 25 police departments own a Stingray, a suitcase-size device that costs as much as $400,000 and acts as a fake cell tower. The system, typically installed in a vehicle so it can be moved into any neighborhood, tricks all nearby phones into connecting to it and feeding data to police. In some states, the devices are available to any local police department via state surveillance units. The federal government funds most of the purchases, via anti-terror grants.
It's a power far beyond anything the KGB ever dreamed of. And it's available to every beat cop in America whenever he wants it.
We are all
Robert Clayton Dean now. And the Bill Of Rights has lost all meaning.
If you're an online retailer, New York State wants to tax you, no matter where you are. And the U.S. Supreme Court says they can.
The US Supreme Court upheld Monday New York state's law requiring Amazon to collect sales tax on items sold online, the latest decision in a long battle over ecommerce taxes.
The top US court dismissed without comment an appeal from Amazon and online retailer Overstock.com, after the New York state Court of Appeals ruled the tax constitutional in March.
The decision requires Amazon to collect and remit sales taxes for goods sold to residents of New York state, an important battleground over the question of taxes for online sales.
State governments and brick-and-mortar retailers have long argued that online retailers should be required to collect sales taxes, to avoid giving an unfair advantage to ecommerce sites.
Amazon and others have argued that the US constitution bars taxes on interstate commerce, and prior court decisions have held that etailers must collect sales taxes only in states where they have a physical presence.
"The world has changed dramatically in the last two decades, and it may be that the physical presence test is outdated," the state court opinion said.
It added that "active, in-state solicitation" establishes a presence in the state which requires the collection of sales taxes.
So, what's a "physical presence?" It used to be a building with your name on it. Now, SCOTUS says it's anyone who even tangentially works on your behalf. Like say, the mailman. Or a web site viewed in New York that displays your banner ad. Congratulations! Pixels are a "physical presence." Please make your check payable to Andrew Cuomo.
Sales tax is one of the most convoluted creatures ever conceived. Big guys like Amazon will easily handle all the nuances of every state, county, city, town, school district, and sewer authority's myriad tax rules. But the little guy trying to eke out a living on eBay? Yeah, he's toast.
And just wait until New York wants to audit you. They really won't care if you're in Idaho either. Taxation without representation, it's now The Law Of The Land.
What's that old saying about death and taxes? Because thanks to SCOTUS, taxes
are gonna be the death of us.
Because, really, why should the guy running DHS have an original thought?
The Obama administration was accused Wednesday of providing cribbed answers to 23 questions in the form the Senate received for the hearing of its nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, charged that the White House "cut and pasted" Jeh Johnson's responses to the committee.
Coburn, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, charged at the start of Wednesday's hearing that some of the answers provided by Johnson are the same as those provided by previous nominees.
"These are the exact words [given] to the committee before," he said. "We want to get your thoughts, not some legislative assistant's."
In one example, Johnson's questionnaire answer states that if confirmed he would: "continue to sustain common DHS intelligence standards as well as build privacy and civil rights protections into its operations, policies, programs and technology deployments from the outset of their development."
In July 2011, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the agency: "builds privacy and civil rights and civil liberties protections into its operations, policies, programs and technology deployments from the outset of their development."
In another example, Johnson's questionnaire states: "Critical infrastructure is the backbone of our country's national and economic security. In addition to the federal buildings where millions of Americans work and visit each day, it includes power plants, chemical facilities, communications networks, bridges, highways, and stadiums."
Napolitano submitted written Hill testimony in March 2013 that in part stated: "Critical infrastructure is the backbone of our country's national and economic security. It includes power plants, chemical facilities, communications networks, bridges, highways, and stadiums, as well as the federal buildings where millions of Americans work and visit each day."
Johnson, a multimillionaire lawyer from Montclair, NJ, is virtually unknown in law enforcement circles. But he did raise a bundle of cash for Dear Leader's two election campaigns, so clearly he's qualified to run the largest intelligence and security bureaucracy in the universe.
Well that, and the fact that as Pentagon General Counsel, Johnson personally drafted the legal authority for Dear Leader's use of armed drones to kill American citizens anywhere in the world. Which of course makes all of us safer, because this Administration would never consider the domestic use of deadly force against random Americans.
But if they wanted to, Jeh Johnson is exactly the right guy to make it all nice and legal. So long as he dots his i's and crosses his t's there's no reason to fear him.