Monday, December 31, 2012

The Latest OnThe Fiscal Cliff - And The Real Tax Horrors To Come You're Not Hearing About


The fiscal cliff negotiations are going down to the wire, and the word in Washington is that the outlines of a deal have been struck, although President Obama took a stab at sabotaging it.

House Majority Leader John Boehner isn't even involved in this one. After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Boehner the Senate wasn't even going to discuss anything the House came up with and derisively sent the Senate home, Boehner threw up his hands and said that the House would wait for the Senate to act.

It's fairly well known in DC that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid are not exactly on good terms to put it mildly, something fairly rare in the collegial Senate club even in these fairly partisan times. A huge problem in any negotiations has been simply getting Reid to deign to sit down with McConnell, as you can imagine.

So a great deal of the progress that's been made behind the scenes has been between McConnell and Vice President Biden, who served together in the Senate for years.

The tentative deal right now would raise tax rates to to 39.6 percent from the current 35 percent on family incomes over $450,000, $400,000 for individuals per year. This is yet another penalty for married couples, since if you live with your partner sans marriage the two of you have a threshold of $800,000 combined for your household.

It will also fix the Alternative Minimum Tax glitch from expanding to affect an estimated 28 million households for the first time in 2013, with an average increase of more than $3,000. And it increase the estate tax rate on estates valued over $5 million to 40 percent(!) and extend unemployment benefits for one year.The Democrats also reportedly agreed stop, for now, a 27 percent cut in fees for doctors who treat Medicare patients mandated under ObamaCare.

Where they're still deadlocked is on spending cuts. And how to pay for things like the unemployment extension, the AMT fix and the Medicare fix.

The sequestration deal McConnell foolishly agreed to calls for around Still left outstanding is how Congress will modify the $109 billion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect in the new year. President Obama and the Democrats want no spending cuts at all for a full year, and want to just pay for it with a combination of new taxes and later spending cuts where they prefer them to be, like defense.

McConnell wants to vote on the tax deal immediately to avoid the fiscal cliff and try later to reverse the automatic spending cuts in a separate deal.

That's not how Senate Democrats and the White House want it. They want an agreement covering everything now.

Still, it looked fairly promising until President Obama decided to do what he usually does in these situations...make a speech. He was not in a good mood, perhaps because for appearances he had to cut short his Hawaiian vacation.

The president slammed Congress for not getting things done faster, and made angry remarks about the emerging deal, which would net $600 billion in new taxes, or 'revenues' as Democrats like to call them.The President wanted $1.3 trillion, saying:

"I have to say that ever since I took office, throughout the campaign, and through the last couple of months, my preference would have been to solve all these problems in the context of a larger agreement.

"A bigger deal, a grand bargain, whatever you want to call it--that solves our deficit problems in a balanced and responsible way that doesn't just deal with the taxes but deals with the spending in a balanced way so that we can put all this behind us and just focus on growing our economy."

"But with this Congress that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time," said Obama.

Obama mainly blamed Republicans. "Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans," he said, laying the blame on Republicans.

"Now, if Republicans think that I will finish the job of deficit reduction through spending cuts alone — and you hear that sometimes coming from them ... then they've got another think coming. ... That's not how it's going to work at least as long as I'm president," he said.

"And I'm going to be president for the next four years, I think," he added.

Exactly the kind of tone you want to take during a delicate negotiation, no? And needless to say, Republicans in the House and Senate didn't react well, especially as this was a signal that whatever happens now, President Obama is going to fight any future spending cuts tooth and nail.

This drama is entertaining, but hardly scratches the surface of the real tax horrors Americans will face that aren't even being debated, because regardless of what happens or doesn't happen with the fiscal cliff, Americans are going to be facing a one trillion Obamacare tax hike.And the president knows it.

There are five major ObamaCare taxes coming into effect January 1st that are definitely going to affect most of us:

1) There's the ObamaCare Medical device tax, a a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales. Do you or your loved ones use or need a wheelchair, a hearing aid, walker, a stent, eyeglasses, an artificial hip or a prostheses or literally anything that comes under this category? Your healthcare costs are going up.

2)There are between 30 and 35 Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA)to pay for anticipated medical expenses, say for a handicapped or ill spouse or child. No more. Thanks to ObamaCare, the new ceiling on these accounts is a measly $2,500, which won't exactly buy you very much at today's healthcare costs.

3)Brand new ObamaCare surtaxes on all investment income. Capital Gains is climbing from 15% to 23.8%, Dividends from 15% to a whopping 43.4%, and other investment income (zero coupons, etc.) from 35.4% to 43.4%. If you're a retiree living off your investments, you are going to be hosed royally.

4)ObamaCare's new limits on medical itemized deductions. It used to be that you could deduct all medical expenses not paid for by your insurance that exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).

President Obama and his friends didn't cut it out, they simply made it relatively useless.The new 'haircut' establishes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI, which means a lot of people are going to have to just eat medical expenses they used to be able to deduct.

5) I saved the best for last, the wonderful ObamaCare Medicare payroll tax hike. It was 1.45% for both employer and employee on the first $200,000 of wage income, $250,000 for a married couple.If you were self employed and owned your own business, it went up to 2.9%.It stayed the same no matter how much you made.

The new ObamaCare law hits anything over a $200/250K threshhold with a 2.35% hit if you're an employee, and if your self-employed it goers up to 3.8%.

These taxes are going to slap you upside the wallet regardless of what happens in Washington. And that's in addition to your other federal income taxes, local sales taxes, state taxes, excise taxes on things like gasoline, county property and service taxes and in some jurisdictions, local city tax.

Obviously, the media isn't pushing this, and the president certainly isn't with his cynical rants about 'trying to help to middle class'. What he and the Democrats are doing is helping themselves to your wallet.

Ummm, Happy New Year, I think.This is the change you voted for, America, and change is what a lot of you are going have to scramble for when this president and his friends are through with you.

Let’s Give Up on the Constitution!


That's the title of an amazing rant in today's Pravda-on-the-Hudson, written by one Louis Michael Seidman who -wait for it- receives a handsome salary from the taxpayers to teach Constitutional law at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Here's a slice:

As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Hey, why not? We could confiscate the guns from all those knuckle draggers in flyover country, we could have Barack Obama as president for life, we could get rid of the Tenth Amendment and take away all state's rights, there's literally no limits on government and what it can do. And that, of course, is what educated fools like Professor Seidman are absolutely clueless about. Read this:

This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands. Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important, whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those requirements out of respect, not obligation.

Nor should we have a debate about, for instance, how long the president’s term should last or whether Congress should consist of two houses. Some matters are better left settled, even if not in exactly the way we favor. Nor, finally, should we have an all-powerful president free to do whatever he wants. Even without constitutional fealty, the president would still be checked by Congress and by the states. There is even something to be said for an elite body like the Supreme Court with the power to impose its views of political morality on the country.

What would change is not the existence of these institutions, but the basis on which they claim legitimacy. The president would have to justify military action against Iran solely on the merits, without shutting down the debate with a claim of unchallengeable constitutional power as commander in chief. Congress might well retain the power of the purse, but this power would have to be defended on contemporary policy grounds, not abstruse constitutional doctrine. The Supreme Court could stop pretending that its decisions protecting same-sex intimacy or limiting affirmative action were rooted in constitutional text.

Ah, but without the Constitution, Professor, there's no guarantee that you can just keep the bits and pieces you like.The document is unique in  that it supplies a foundation and an anchor for our liberties, even the ones you disapprove of.Cut the anchor and those rights drift away with the prevailing wind.

For instance, who's to say that the next president - perhaps one Professor Seidman didn't vote for, or more likely one he did given his embrace of the statist agenda - won't interpret anything that's  left in his own ways? For instance, why not put another 5 or 10 justices on the Supreme Court, all appointed by the current president? Franklin Roosevelt tried it, and was only halted when even Democrat leaders in Congress told him it was flat out unconstitutional and they wouldn't support it. Or maybe we should just scrap the court altogether. Why not? And while we're at it, we can interpret some of those freedoms the professor claims to approve of in startlingly different ways.

I also sniff something else that's more than a little bit foul in this educated fool's agenda. He's complaining here about revenue bills originating in the House precisely because there's a GOP majority there. Was he similarly opposed to President Obama's 'stimulus' or ObamaCare, both measures that were shoved through when Democrats had a supermajority and Republicans were literally locked out of the room? Both of those measures have had an adverse fiscal effect on the nation, but do you think Professor Seidman was jumping up and down screaming then?

I bet you my dollar to your dime he wasn't.

People like our friend Professor Seidman have been lecturing to captive audiences so long without being challenged that they no longer feel the necessity of actually thinking, what with tenure and all that goes with it.If this degreed buffoon actually got what he's asking for here, he might not like it half as much as he thinks he would.

Those 'white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries'  had more common sense in their individual  little fingers than Professor Seidman does in his entire body. The Founders understood that  human nature is unchanging, and they did a damned fine job of formulating the Constitution to stand the test of time and protect us against parasites like the professor who would nibble away at out liberties until they vanished..all for the Greater Good, of course.

Forum: What Are Your Predictions For President Obama's Second Term?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day. This week's question:What Are Your Predictions For President Obama's Second Term?

The Razor:I believe we will witness the Left’s Reagan, the difference being that no matter how badly he governs, whether he leaves the economy in tatters or how little he accomplishes, the Left will continue singing lionizing him. Meanwhile those of us in the center and on the right will continue wondering what the Left has been smoking, and how we can sell it to make a little cash to pay our taxes with.

But seriously, Obama’s strengths are only relative to the weaknesses of the GOP. If the GOP were as organized as the Democrats have been since 2006 Obama would not be perceived as all-powerful as the Left would have us believe. It is only because the GOP is in a civil war between the Washington elite and the Tea Party grassroots that Obama has managed to shine. If the Tea Party overthrows the GOP leadership the way the Deaniacs took over the Democrats after Howard Dean lost the battle for the 2004 candidacy but won the war for the Left by securing the heart of the party, the DNC, then the last two years will not be as glorious as they appear to be from the Leftist propaganda of today.

The Noisy Room:  Barack Obama will certainly attempt to finish the Progressive agenda he started in his first term. He will use his power in the Senate, in the Supreme Court and of course the Executive branch to ram through Marxist legislation and regulation. He will use executive orders wherever he can get away with it - the Constitution be damned. It means nothing to him.

The implementation of Obamacare will begin to take hold and America will see tax hikes at levels that will totally suppress Capitalism and smother entrepreneurship. The printing of money will accelerate and at some point you will see interest rates explode. There will also be a stock market crash. Hyperinflation will also kick in. Whether this occurs in Obama's second term or not depends on many factors - many of them are global in nature. Food and energy prices will steadily rise into the stratosphere. Unemployment will continue on an upward trend. But the government will keep manipulating the numbers and the stock market as long as they can before it all spins apart. Our debt will grow exponentially and our credit rating will most likely become junk. We are following in the footsteps of Greece. Our country is already in a managed depression and it will get progressively worse. Pun intended.

In foreign policy, you will continue to see Responsibility to Protect be used as an excuse to go into conflicts and bypass Congress. Obama will actively aid the Muslim Brotherhood and the stirrings of a new caliphate. He will not come to the aid of Israel, even if she is attacked. If he does, it will be mere lip service as he despises Israel, almost as much as he despises America. Obama will send troops into a myriad of African nations, further weakening our forces. He will slash our nuclear stockpiles and our military budget as much as he can get away with. He will bring America to her knees on the military front leaving us vulnerable to attack. He will assist Islam in any way he can. Obama will also cozy up even more to the United Nations, promoting an International Criminal Court and treaties concerning the control of guns, global warming, Agenda 21 and a whole host of Marxist policies, including control of the Internet and free speech.

At home, you will see violence increase massively and different forms of martial law and the abridgement of Constitutional rights will be in play. The unions and the TSA will strengthen. In the name of national security, patriots will be profiled. I would not be surprised to see a gun registry and the eventual confiscation of weapons as well. The censorship of social media has already begun and will get worse. Illegal immigration will increase and violence on both of our borders will be common, with a special emphasis on the Mexican border.

Drug legalization will spread as the government provides bread and circuses to the people to pacify them somewhat.

Government will grow massively in size as will regulations. Everyone will be a criminal of one sort or another. The culture will continue to devolve without God and ethics as a bedrock. The country is being run by gangsters.

The one bright light in all of this are the elections in 2014. Perhaps, Americans will have had enough by then and conservatives will sweep the elections. In order to do that, the Tea Party will need to organize and reignite. The second term of Obama will be one hell of a ride.

 JoshuaPundit:One of the things that has always struck me about President Obama is his enjoyment of the perks of office and what I'll call playing president as opposed to actually governing.A classic example is what I saw on one of this week's Sunday shows, where the president was asked about what steps he was taking regarding the Fiscal Cliff and suggested we all pray.

Here is the president of the United States, rather than working in the trenches to actually come to a reasonable compromise simply shrugging and saying, once again 'it's beyond my pay grade'.

I've always had the feeling that Barack Obama was the front man for the band rather than the guy who wrote the songs or produced the albums, if you get my drift. Oh he's down for the agenda all right, but he's not actually creating all that much.During the beginning two years of his first term when the Democrats had a supermajority, it was Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their minions whom actually concocted the stimulus, the GM buyout and ObamaCare.

No matter whom had been elected this year, America was always going to face a certain amount of fiscal corrections. President Obama's second term will likely be when the bill comes due. It's more likely to be a Carter-esque stagflation in my view than a depression or massive deflation, with low or negative growth, corresponding high rates of unemployment, high fuel prices (and higher prices for most other things)coupled an increased racial divide and a number of foreign policy debacles, especially in the Middle East. And speaking of which, look for an increased distancing between the White House and Israel as well as some more tap dancing on Iran and outrage in the Oval Office when and if Israel actually decides to deal with what they rightly consider an existential threat.One sign is the White House coordinated media pimping over the last few days by the usual suspects which signals to me that Chuck Hagel is likely to be nominated as Secretary of Defense.

We may also have a few interesting scandals to look forward to. Fast and Furious and Benghazi aren't going away.

 The Independent Sentinel: My predictions for the president's second term are: more spending, more taxation, more regulations and rules, more illegal "immigrants," more class warfare, more attacks on religion, more division, inflation, more restrictions on gun rights, more PC requirements, more Hollywood and media propaganda, a nuclear Iran, N Korea shooting off long range nuclear weapons, more nations acquiring nuclear weapons as we downsize our arsenal and a Republican win in 2016.

 Bookworm Room: All I can think of is Martin Mulls' famous humming song:

Last night I took you home
And we began to hmmmmm, hmmm hmmm
You were such a hmmmmm, hmmm hmmm...hmm hmm hmm hmm
Only seventeen...
Hmmm hmmm, hmm hmm hmm, rubber shirts
Hmmm hmmm, hmm hmm hmm, leather skirts
Hmmm hmmm...hmm hmm hmm hmm...
And jars of vaseline.

Hmmm, hmmm Hmmm, Hmmm Hmmm, Hmmm HMMM...Hmmmm
Pick up the soap...
Hmmm hmmm Hmmm, HMMM hmmm...Hmmmm
Mayonaise and rope...

Then from the chandelier...
The THREE of us hmmm hmmm, hmm hmm
Hmmm hmmm, hmm-hmm-hmm...hmm hmm...
Hmm hmm hmm hmm hospital...for life
Hmmm hmmm, hmm hmm hmm, whips and chains
Hmmm, hmm hmm hmm, hmmm, great danes
Hmmm hmmm...hmm hmm hmm Hmm, hm Hm...
Your wife...

It's going to be very bad, with a lot of unspeakable things happening.

 The Right Planet: The sequester looming in the fiscal cliff fiasco threatens to eviscerate the military and redistribute ever more money to "hope and change"--namely, social justice (i.e. welfare). Trevor Loudon wrote on his blog: "The push will be towards universal socialist healthcare and an economy wrecking Financial Transactions Tax." What is hard for me to predict right now is just how devastating Obamacare is going to be as it kicks in. I've already heard from a friend of mine that his job is threatened by the 2.3% medical device tax that the federal government will charge on everything his employer manufactures. The tax is also having a huge impact on their suppliers. I feel an intense sense of foreboding about the next four years. I truly believe we are under the leadership of a de facto thugocracy--organized crime.

I can't really state it better than what Trevor Loudon predicts in his article on what to expect: "Republicans are no longer fighting old line Democrats. They are effectively battling D.S.A, the Communist Party and the labor unions. The Democrats are simply a front for the Marxists....These people play dirty, and they play for keeps."

 Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it.
And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y'know?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Comedy Gold: Muslim Brotherhood Leader Tells Jews To Leave Israel, Return to Egypt

Don't read this one with a mouthful of liquid...

Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, called on Egyptian Jews to leave Israel to the Palestinians and return to their own homeland.

Their presence in Palestine contributes to the Zionist occupation of Arab lands, and every Egyptian has the right to live in his country — nobody can deny that, Erian said during an interview on the privately operated Dream TV on Thursday.

“Why did Nasser expel them [the Jews] from Egypt?” he asked, claiming that Nasser’s decision contributed to the occupation of other Arab lands.

"Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity," Erian said.

Yes..the Jews should leave prosperous, democratic Israel and return to sharia ruled Egypt where they'll have no rights and will live as a despised, poverty stricken minority in an anti-semitic country where Jew hatred is almost universal!

Perhaps the Egyptians need labor for some new building projects and see the Jews returning to their historical role in Egypt to provide it....


Here's a suggestion. First, just to clean the slate, let Egypt return the value of the property,business and bank accounts that were stolen from Egypt's Jews when they were ethnically cleansed from the country after 1948. Nazi-like, the Egyptians forced the Jews to sign papers 'donating' their net wealth to the Egyptian government as the price for their lives. The Jews from Egypt arrived in Israel literally with the clothes on their backs as penniless refugees in one of the only countries that would take them.

The value of the property stolen from the almost one million Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the Arab world is estimated at at least $5 billion in today's dollars. Egypt probably accounts for something in the neighborhood of at least $1.25 billion. Cut the Egyptian Jews still living and their descendents a check, saddiq! And in dollars please, not your worthless Egyptian Pounds.

Here's an even better suggestion, since the first one's unlikely to happen. If you want immigrants that badly, start with the 1.5 million Arabs living in Gaza, something Egypt should have done sixty years ago.Your fellow Muslim Brotherhood friends are bound to fit in better with the New Egypt you're creating than Jews willl.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Council Has Spoken!! This Week's Watcher's Council Results


The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

With the headlines going to the Fiscal Cliff and the Left's attack on the Second Amendment, not many people are really looking at foreign policy too closely these days. Mrs. Clinton's fortuitous concussion and subsequent inability to testify even took the Benghazi debacle off the radar, at least for now.


Another debacle in the making no one's focusing on is the Obama Administration's handling of the civil war in Syria, where as this week's winner, Joshuapundit's A Game Change In Syria   reveals,  the war is approaching a climax as President Obama and his team assist yet another  radical Muslim Brotherhood and salafist regime to power. Here's a slice:

The situation in the Syrian insurgency has changed in an interesting way.

We started out with the Obama administration actually supporting Bashir Assad - remember Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referring to Assad as a 'reformer' and Senator John Kerry shilling for U.S. aid to him?

The next twist in the road was the Obama administration supporting the insurgents, consisting of the Syrian National Council(SNC) and the Syrian Free Army, a group put together at the insistence of President Obama's closest friend among foreign leaders, Tayyip Erdogan and the Islamist Turkish government. The U.S. government has been supplying them with arms and some training via Turkey and Jordan while Qatar and the Saudis have been supplying most of the funding.

Of course, the problem is that the SNC and the Syrian Free Army are controlled in their entirety by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafists, some of them outright al-Qaeda affiliates like Jabhat al-Nusra. Apparently this troubling fact just came to light in Washington.

So the next step was to put together yet another insurgent group of Syrian 'moderates' to back, the Syrian Opposition Coalition,(SOC)and the associated Joint Military Council because, in President Obama's words, it was "now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population, that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime."

Except that there are just a few problems. Mere details.

This new coalition, formed in Qatar is only two thirds composed of members of the Muslim Brotherhood or their affiliates.

The leader of the SOC is one Ahmed Mouaz al-Khatib, former imam of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, and - wait for it - a religious cleric closely allied to the Damascus branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another troubling detail is that the SOC and their affiliated Joint Military Council are mostly located outside Syria, and it has few boots on the ground if any, let alone weapons. Thanks to the Obama Administration,it is the Syrian National Council and the Syrian Free Army who have the fighters and the weaponry, some of it reportedly taken from deposed Libyan leader Moamar Khaddaffi's armories, although that part of the sordid Libyan story has yet to be proven conclusively. If that's what actually went down, I suppose we could call it Fast and Furious, Middle East style.

As you might guess, the SNC and the Syrian Free Army aren't taking kindly to a bunch of ferenghi in DC and the EU dumping them and telling them whom represents the resistance and whom doesn't, especially when it's been them doing the fighting and dying against Assad's forces.

The ace in the hole for the newly formed and recognized Syrian Opposition Coalition is that they're going to be the main recipient and control point of Western economic aid. That ought to buy them a seat at the table.

But let's not make the mistake that this is going to end up with a moderate, pro-western government.

The SOC is just as anti-western, just as anti-Israel and almost as Islamist as the SNC.They will almost certainly come together and deal to put together a sharia governed Islamist state.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Larry Corriea's piece in Monster Hunter Nation, An opinion on gun control submitted by The Noisy Room. No less than four Council members originally nominated this superb piece as their non-Council selection this week. It's a superb examination of the entire issue written by someone who actually knows what he's talking about, and anyone who is actually interested in that so-called 'national conversation' should read it.

OK, here are this week’s full results. Gay Patriot and The Independent Sentinel were unable to vote this week and both would normally be subject to the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty. But hey, it's Christmas....

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and with short takes and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.....'cause we're cool like that!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Update: The Benghazi Pneumonia and the Hillary Flu..


The State Department's Accountability Review Board finally released its report last week, and it's notable in that we now know even less than we did before.

The report does say that security at the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “grossly inadequate” - the result of “systemic failures” of leadership and management. And it totally discredits the Obama administration’s deliberate lie that the murder of four Americans was a result of a “spontaneous” protest to an offensive video.

What it doesn't say a word about, of course, is whodunnit, or provide any of the answers to a number of relevant questions about what could be justifiably termed a coverup.

The whodunnit part was supposedly resolved by the Administration's announcement of the resignation of four State Department underlings because of their performance blunders on Benghazi.Of Course, as it turned out, they didn't actually resign at all.

And the unanswered questions?

The Obama Administration has live action, real time films from two drones that were overhead during the seven hour attack on the consulate, as well as from security cameras on site. It also has live transcripts of phone calls between the CIA annex and the consulate and the Situation Room in Washington and the debriefings and testimonies of the U.S. personnel who were evacuated from Benghazi and knew this was an organized attack and not a spontaneous demonstration over a video.

All of this material has been classified top secret so that no one in Congress can see them. Why? What is the justification for that, when according to President Obama's own words, his administration was going to be the most transparent in history?

And since the Administration obviously had access to all these items within 24 hours of the attack, why the false narrative about a spontaneous demonstration over a video for two weeks? President Obama and Secretary Clinton obviously had access to this material. Why did they make what amounted to false statements to the American people? And if they're still claiming that it was the intelligence community that withheld the information that led to those false statements, whom withheld it? And why haven't they been disciplined for it?

There were a number of previous assaults on foreign offices in Benghazi, including attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that occurred in April and June 2012, the local Red Cross offices and an assassination attempt on the British ambassador in Benghazi. The British and the Red Cross office both pulled out because of the deteriorating security situation. Did the president’s national security staff make him aware of this? And if he was informed, what steps did he take to ensure that our personnel there were better protected?When did Secretary Hillary Clinton become aware of the previous attacks and what steps did she take to protect State Department officials in Benghazi?

The attack took place on the anniversary of 9/11, and a year after the assassination of Osama bin-Laden. Any reasonable person could have foreseen massive unrest in the Arab world, especially in Benghazi, a known hotbed of al-Qaeda and similar salifists in Libya.Why weren't American military units and assets on alert and in place to protect our consulate? Why was security stripped from the consulate despite Ambassador Stevens' own requests?

The attack took place over seven hours. We had special ops military assets two hours away expressly designed for these situations that could have saved our people, we had helicopter gunships within easy reach and two ex-Seals with a laser sight in the CIA annex pinpointing targets and calling out coordinates.

During those seven hours, what were Secretary Clinton and President Obama doing? Where were their whereabouts?

These are all questions the State Department's Accountability Review Board report didn't answer at all.

That's to be expected. One doesn't ask a fox to investigate a murder in a hen house.

One place some of the answers were expected to come from was Hillary Clinton, who was scheduled to testify before Congress on the matter.

Except surpise,  she suddenly contracted stomach flu, fainted and reportedly sustained a small concussion. Perhaps she was reliving being shot at by sniper fire is Bosnia. At any rate, she was not able to appear.

The convenience of this for everyone concerned is obvious. After Mrs. Clinton fully recovers - months later- Benghazi and four dead Americans will be conveniently forgotten by the non-Fox media, and Mrs. Clinton undoubtedly just wouldn't recall certain details. That concussion,you know. Nasty.

Except a number of  Republicans in the Senate had a surprise of their own.

They've announced that they will hold up any votes on confirming Senator John Kerry as her successor as Secretary of State until she comes to congress and testifies. So Mrs. Clinton might just be under some pressure now by the Obama White House to recover her strength, slap on a clean pantsuit and answer a few tough questions.

The cover up. It's always worst than the original crime.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Obama Enlists The Usual Suspects to Try To Save Anti-Israel Chuck Hagel's Nomination As SecDef

Yes, the call from the White House definitely went out. There are a whole slew of op-eds out in the usual Obama Media outlets, including one from Journolista Jonathan Martin at Politico, the WAPO, and of course Tom Friedman in Pravda-on-the-Hudson.

Friedman, of course has no problem with Hagel's long record of anti-Israel positions:

The disgusting is the fact that because Hagel once described the Israel lobby as the “Jewish lobby” (it also contains some Christians). And because he has rather bluntly stated that his job as a U.S. senator was not to take orders from the Israel lobby but to advance U.S. interests, he is smeared as an Israel-hater at best and an anti-Semite at worst. If ever Israel needed a U.S. defense secretary who was committed to Israel’s survival, as Hagel has repeatedly stated — but who was convinced that ensuring that survival didn’t mean having America go along with Israel’s self-destructive drift into settling the West Bank and obviating a two-state solution — it is now.

Actually, it's been more than once, and of course Friedman doesn't even mention Hagel's long record on voting against Israel in congress and advocating for the appeasement of genocidal terrorist organizations and Iranian proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

You might remember that it wasn't too long ago that Friedman himself was shilling for the Saudi 'peace' ultimatum' and bragging about President Obama listening to him about forcing Israel back to the pre-'67 lines. Talk about something self-destructive for Israel! If they listened to Tom Friedman,it would be downright suicidal. You could justifiably call Friedman a member of the far better funded and more pervasive Arab Lobby.

He also skirts over Hagel's position on Iran, something so pervasive that Hagel could almost be considered an unregistered lobbyist for the Ayatollahs.The Washington Post made that very argument just a couple of days ago. So did I:

Just a coincidence, But Senator Hagel is apparently quite enamored of Iran. In edition to what I mentioned above, he's long been an advocate of taking Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah off the State Department's list of terrorist groups,

In fact, while he was in the Senate, not only did he refuse to call on the EU to name Hezbollah a terrorist group, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. He also consistently voted against sanctions on Iran for their illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons.

One might almost suspect one of those cladestine lobbying contracts so well known in DC Land.

In fact..just another coincidence of course...The Washington Free Beacon reported on Thursday that Hagel is also on the board of directors of Deutsche Bank, which is now being investigated by U.S. authorities for violations of the same Iran sanctions Hagel voted against when he was in Congress.

Friedman's real motives are revealed pretty plainly:

Israel’s friends need to understand that the center-left in Israel is dying. The Israeli election in January will bring to power Israeli rightists who never spoke at your local Israel Bonds dinner. These are people who want to annex the West Bank. Bibi Netanyahu is a dove in this crowd.


For one thing, it isn't the 'center left'. What's dying is the pro-Oslo crowd in Israel, especially since those Arabs who identify themselves as Palestinians just unilaterally abrogated the agreements they signed, the Oslo Accords and the Road Map, at the UN. Unlike Friedman, most Israelis now understand that Oslo was just a swindle foisted on a people desperate for peace by some highly culpable politicians, with more than a little arm twisting by President Clinton. And a lot of cheer leading by the Tom Friedmans.

None of it led to peace, and as Arafat said more than once, in Arabic, it was never intended to. The only thing it did was give some of the most murderous of Israel's enemies a base on Israel's borders, and hundreds of Israelis paid the price for that obscene folly.

Very few people in Israel are willing to buy that used car again from the likes of Tom Friedman any more, although I'm sure it plays well in certain circles here, since they don't have to live with the consequences.

Now, the Israeli public is going to punish those politicians and those who think like them in a democratic election, and put an end to the charade. Only clueless idiots like Tom Friedman have their lips clamped on the dead corpse of the Two State Solution, trying to breathe life into it. It's D-E-A-D. And Hamas, Arafat and his loyal henchman Abbas killed it, if it ever was alive in the first place.

Interesting how someone like Friedman takes major exception to the idea that Israelis might make a choice to vote for politicians who understand that reality, but has no problems with the Arab Spring and quasi-fascist Muslim Brotherhood governments being voted into office because of it.

What he really wants is for Israel to die more or less peacefully so that it ceases to embarrass him in front of his leftist friends. Because, you see, he cares about Israel!

Harnessing the Obama Media to shill for him tells me that the president might very well decide to take the plunge on Hagel. If he's confirmed and actually becomes Secretary of Defense because enough Senate Democrats vote for him, it will be yet another signal like this one to America's Jews on which way the wind's blowing.

Because no matter what idiots like Friedman say, the whole controversy over Israel is very much about Jews. If it wasn't trust me, you'd hear far less of the old anti-Semitic canard about the insidious 'Jewish Lobby'.

Watcher's Council Nominations - Christmas Edition

Welcome to the Watcher's Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the 'sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday.

This week's contest is dedicated to the memory of Robert Bork, a giant and a man of rare intellect and courage. RIP.

It's Christmas, a very special time of year even for those of us who don't celebrate it. All of us at the Council send you our best wishes for a holiday season filled with light, hope, cheer and the warmth of your loved ones.

And for those of our readers who aren't able to be with their loved ones this holiday season, (and I know that includes a lot of Joshuapundit's readers as well as some of the other Council members) may the day come soon when you return to your loved ones safe and sound.This is for me, none of us here have forgotten you.

Council News:

I'm happy to report that for the third year in a row, The Watcher's Council won the Fabulous Fifty blogging award for Best Blogging Ring.Council Akbar, and thanks to Doug Ross and to everyone who voted for us.

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Now, yesterday was Christmas, but it wasn't the only momentous indeed.
It was also the birthday of our own Dave Schuler, The Glittering Eye!

There's not much I can say about Dave that I haven't said already. Aside from being a writer extraordinaire, he's a true renaissance man, someone I could have a conversation with about opera, wine, economics, politics, foreign policy or a thousand other topics and he'd be all over it.

We've known each other in an online sense ever since I joined the Council. He's one of the two members who predate me, and it's a mark of his cheerful demeanor and tolerance that he's put up with all of my nonsense during all that time without going off on me even once.

Best birthday wishes Dave, many, many happy returns and I hope  all those candles didn't set off the smoke alarms!

A little music, with you in mind:

This week, Right Truth, Ask Marion, Crazy Bald Guy, Wolf Howling, and The Pirate's Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

Simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won't be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then just return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

It's a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let's see what we have this week....

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas....

Christmas is a special time, even if you don't celebrate the holiday yourself.Just seeing the good humor and joy in the way most people conduct themselves this time of year is a treat and a blessing to all of us.

This Christmas, you and your loved ones, no matter where you are have my special wishes for a joyous and blessed Christmas. And for those of you who can't be with your loved ones this Christmas (and I know that applies to a number of my readers)may the day come soon when you return to your loved ones safe and sound.This is for me, none of us here have forgotten you.

NBC's David Gregory - A Prime Example Of How Lefty Elites Think

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre appeared on NBC's Meet The Press yesterday, hosted by David Gregory. As you would expect, Gregory was nasty, rude and borderline hysterical toward LaPierre for actually insisting on defending the Constitutional rights of American citizens.

There's only one fact LaPierre got wrong, concerning school shooting in Israel. What you had was one horrific terrorist attack at a school in Ma'alot that killed 25 children and teachers who were taken hostage. After that, the Israelis became a lot more security conscious and simply allowed teachers, many of whom had served in the Idf and were in the reserve to bring their military weapons to school.

Among other fallacies, Gregory doesn't have a clue that magazines are incredibly easy to fabricate, so thinking that banning high capacity magazines is going to prevent another Sandy Hook is pure crack induced fantasy.

 But here's the real kicker. Gregory is a perfect example of exactly the kind of monied leftist elite who want other people disarmed and wants other people's children defenseless while he and his own children are protected by - wait for it - armed security guards.

Gregory's children attend the ultra elite Sidwell Friends school in DC. The school has a security department made up of at least 11 people, many of whom are police officers. In addition, since President Obama's two daughters go there as well, the Secret Service is in attendance.

Gregory, you see, has no need to carry a gun because he can afford to hire that out. When he's at work, NBC's private security protects him, his children are well guarded at their private school and I guarantee you that whatever tony security building, gated community or suburb he calls home is as well.He may even be a subscriber to an private armed response security company, the private 911 of the monied elite. What he objects to is a bunch of rubes in flyover country without his paycheck having the audacity to retain the ability to protect themselves and their families. They've lived in the bubble so long that they can barely even imagine how other people live, and they care much more about their agenda than they do about the lives of you, your property or you loved ones.

This is the argument about school choice all over again. The David Gregorys, the Diane Feinsteins and the Barack Obamas have their needs covered, many times at the public's expense. They recoil in horror at giving the peasants the choice to do the same.

The New Egypt: Sharia And The Muslim Brotherhood Triumphant


Over the weekend the second round of the voting referendum for Egypt's new sharia compliant 'constitution was held. As I predicted, it won easily.

The new laws, written by the Islamist and Salafist dominated legislature  have elastic statutes making defaming Islam or Mohammed major crimes, have a major impact on freedom of the press  and  severely curtail rights for non-Muslims and women. They even allow closed door military tribunals on civilians. It's essentially Mubarak's regime on steroids, this time in the name of Allah and run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood is now taking part in enforcing its own conception of these new laws with street militias, who arrest and interrogate suspects  themselves before turning them over to the police:

A lot changed on the night of December 5. During the afternoon, a group of Muslim Brotherhood supporters swept down on a tent encampment outside the presidential palace, occupied by anti-Morsi protesters, and tore them down. 

The counter-demonstration that evening was violent and bloody, with both sides hurling stones at each other, and the Muslim Brotherhood claiming that several of its members were shot dead.
But also disturbing was the role earlier of what appeared to be a Muslim Brotherhood militia who seized protesters off the streets and took them for their own "interrogation" before handing them over to police. 

"After they caught me they dragged me away and started threatening me," said Walid al-Ganzouri, no youthful stone-thrower but a 35-year-old, British educated engineer. "They said they were going to kill me, and started beating me up." 

Along with scores of others, he was eventually handed over, bruised and with cuts to his head, to the prosecution service, which released them for lack of evidence. 

Walid al-Ganzouri, by the way, is a Christian, something the Muslim Brotherhood  militia was able to find out by demanding his identity card.

This is the real face of the Arab Spring that President Obama and his team did so much to empower and encourage. It will be their real foreign policy legacy to America, not the assassination of a retired terrorist.

Israeli PM Netanyahu's Christmas Message

Note his remarks about how Christianity is becoming extinct in the Muslim world..but not in Israel, the only place in the Middle East where the Christian population is actually increasing.

Ted Nugent Educates Piers Morgan On Civility And Gun Control

This is what it looks like when CNN talking head Piers Morgan get treated with the respect he deserves.

Forum: What's Your Favorite Holiday Tradition Or Memory Of Holidays Past?

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a single timely topic, political, cultural or personal. This week's question. with Christmas upon us:What's your favorite holiday tradition or memory of holidays past? Feel free to add yours in the comments section.

 The Razor:Sorry to disappoint but my favorite holiday tradition occurred on the 4th of July. Although fireworks were illegal in my home county in Missouri, that didn’t stop my brother-in-law from driving us over the county line. There beneath canvas tents Black Cat bottle rockets, Thunder bomb firecrackers, Jumping Jacks and hundreds of other types of fireworks could be bought in unusual quantities like “bricks” and “grosses”. 144 bottle rockets taught me the meaning of the measure “gross” – something that the Kid marveled at when I mentioned that fact as he was learning his multiplication tables.

Fireworks resulted in my first run ins with the St. Louis County Police Department. I remember being about ten years old talking to a cop when a packet of a dozen bottle rockets slipped from inside my shorts and fell onto the pavement. The cop didn’t hassle me for it; he didn’t even take them away. He just warned me to use common sense when shooting them off.

Unfortunately that just wasn’t possible. Being an adolescent with fireworks means that everything that can be blown up, will be blown up. Model airplanes. Army men. Even a few unfortunate crayfish met their ends strapped to Thunder Bombs and Black Cats. There were even a few bottle rocket fights and crude attempts to build “super bombs” by combining several firecrackers together. Amazingly I made it through adolescence without losing a finger or an eye, and my lust for explosives waned as I became a teenager and found other, more shapely pursuits.

Now my family in St. Louis lives in a fireworks-friendly county, and when I take my son to visit my people it always happens right around the 4th of July. I then revisit the stands and my youth through the sour smell of black powder and the bright lights and loud explosions on humid summer nights.

The Noisy Room: My favorite tradition is the live tree we get from the Boy Scouts every year. In fact, this year's 6 foot beauty is the most spectacular yet. Then my husband puts on the lights (new LEDs this year) and he puts the angel on top. I then decorate the tree and reminisce over each and every decoration. We then watch Christmas videos non-stop for days.

I can remember as a kid, our small Christmas tree. It wasn't real - we lived in a trailer because my dad was in construction and was very good at what he did. We traveled a lot. We loved that tree and we loved being together even more than the gifts. The best part was always family and still is. I loved watching the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman.

Other than that, I love watching the snow fall and a fire. And last but not least, watching the cats tear up the wrapping paper. :)

JoshuaPundit: I don't celebrate Christmas, but what I love most about this time of year is the way it effects people. They're simply kinder, more cheerful and nicer to their fellow humans. They let the little things slide with a smile, saying 'hey it's Christmas'.

And it focuses people on love, family, hope and charity, perhaps the real message of the Gospels.

One favorite memory? Not earth shattering perhaps. A Chabad Hanukkah lighting outdoors/Hannukah party in Encino where a bunch of kids,mine among them were all lighting their Hanukkiah (menorahs)on a table while everyone sang 'Ma-Oz Tzur'.

I happened to be standing next to a rabbi I knew who had been ethnically cleansed from Egypt as a child and refugeed with his family to Israel after 1948. I was watching the kids sing and dance, and I looked at him and said, 'You know, Rebbe, this is how we stick a thumb in the eyes of our enemies and tell them that we're still here'. He laughed and replied 'Nachon'( exactly).

Rhymes With Right: My favorite holiday memory? It is a fairly recent one, only in the last few years.

When I found myself looking for a teaching job in 1997, I resolved to look nationally. To my wife, on the other hand, I made the promise that I would not take a job anywhere that we could not expect snow for Christmas. Sadly, that didn't work out -- my job offers all came from the Houston area, and Paula conceded that it would be for the best if I took one of them rather than face both of us being unemployed.

For several years we made it a habit to travel to my wife's hometown for Christmas, but as she developed some health problems we realized that the long trip by car was beyond her. It was difficult that first year to not see snow on the ground on Christmas morning, and it did not get any better over the next couple of years. But then it happened -- as we left the Christmas Eve service at our church and stepped onto the front steps, we saw a single snowflake fluttering down. In its wake came a flurry of other snowflakes, and we drove home on slick roads, looking at Christmas lights. We went to bed that night joking about what the morning would bring.

And then morning came, and I stepped onto the stoop to grab the newspaper. All I could do was call back to Paula to come join me. On our lawn, in Seabrook, Texas, was an inch of snow for Christmas. Perhaps I've not been able to fulfill my promise every year, but at least once my dear wife had snow for Christmas.

Old School: Ah,  there is nothing like a traditional English Christmas, from the ham, Turkey or goose, the tree and the wreaths, and  the Christmas pudding to the carolers, the singing of the old familiar hymns in Church and the excitement of Boxing Day, which unfortunately you seem to have missed out on in America.

Where I live in Yorkshire, such traditions still endure. Hard to pick a favorite, but perhaps the first Christmas with my wife is one of my more delightful memories.

 The Glittering Eye: Let's go with Christmas memories. Since Christmas is also my birthday, I have a lot of them.

Among the most memorable was one Christmas Eve. I believe it was the day before my 50th birthday. Both my mom and my wife's mom were visiting us and it's hard to imagine a more cordial group.

After early Mass on Christmas Eve my wife was acting a bit coy. Much to my surprise a limo showed up on our doorstep and whisked us off to Tru, back in its glory days at the height of its fame, to a dinner at the kitchen table, the primo place in the restaurant.

Not only did we get the glorious food and presentation for which Tru was famous, we got to watch the kitchen in operation. A wonderful evening, shared with the people I love the most.

 Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y'know?

Wishes for a very joyous and blessed holiday season from all of us at the Watcher's Council!

Friday, December 21, 2012

LATMA's Latest - Cutting Edge Israeli Satire!

Meltdown - Boehner's 'Plan B' Implodes As Conservatives Say No

In spite of Majority Leader Reid essentially flipping him the middle digit yesterday, Republican Speaker John Boehner still didn't get the message.

He insisted on getting his 'Plan B' passed by the House, a rehash of former Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan from last May - tax increases on gross incomes of $1 million and up, no mention of spending or the debt ceiling.

His idea was that this was somehow going to force President Obama and the Democrats to deal.

But to his surprise, the Republican caucus refused to go along:

At a quarter to 8 p.m. on Thursday night, House Republicans gathered in the Capitol basement for an urgent, closed-door conference meeting. The scene was hushed and confused. Instead of huddling in a windowless room, members thought they’d spend the evening on the House floor, voting on “Plan B,” Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal-cliff proposal. But as they took their seats and looked at Boehner’s face, the reason for the gathering became clear: The speaker didn’t have the votes. The whipping was over. “Plan B” was dead.

Boehner’s speech to the group was short and curt: He said his plan didn’t have enough support, and that the House would adjourn until after Christmas, perhaps even later. But it was Boehner’s tone and body language that caught most Republicans off guard. The speaker looked defeated, unhappy, and exhausted after hours of wrangling. He didn’t want to fight. There was no name-calling. As a devout Roman Catholic, Boehner wanted to pray. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he told the crowd, according to attendees.

The Serenity Prayer is about all Boehner has left.

He and his friends in the GOP establishment have spent the last few weeks dissing the Tea party and conservatives in general, kicking members associated with those movements off committee seats, and threatening suspected dissidents with similar retaliation.

Did Boehner think that would go unnoticed? Is he really that clueless?

Plan B was a stunningly futile and bad idea anyway. Most of the GOP caucus obviously didn't like the idea of going home and explaining it to the constituents who elected them.

Harry Reid has said he's not going to consider any plan that comes out of the House and already sent the Senate home for Christmas, and the president is already preparing for his $4 million Hawaiian vacay at the taxpayer's expense, so even if it had passed it would have been meaningless.

And the Plan itself was ridiculous.

Boehner and anyone else that thinks like him need to get a clue - President Obama and the Democrats have no intention of negotiating anything. Why should they?

Taxes are going to go up, there will be no meaningful spending cuts and our defense budget is going to be scaled back to pre WWI levels. That's what this president and the Democrats wanted all along, and they'll get it, either by doing nothing and letting sequestration take effect or by making Boehner and the House cave on everything they want. And the men who put them in this comfortable position were none other than Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

He champions them now, but President Obama has constantly demonized the Bush tax cuts since 2008, something no Republican of any stature has had the stones to remark on publicly. They were supposed to sunset on January 1st, 2012, but they were extended for an additional year because of the ridiculous deal Boehner and McConnell made with the president last year in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and giving the president a higher credit card limit.They could have refused to increase the debt limit and forced the president to live within a 2.3 trillion dollar budget. Instead, they expected the president to negotiate with them in good faith a year down the road to pass meaningful spending cuts.

Now, how bad a deal that was is finally starting to become readily apparent to them.I use the word 'starting' advisedly, based on Boehner's recent antics.Having been screwed once, he's apparently anxious for a repeat performance.

Again some simple truth. This president and his minions were always going to raise taxes and strangle the defense budget. The Bush Era Tax Cuts are going up on people making more than $250K, and that number will be go south fairly quickly, using the AMT calculation, bogus stimulus programs, and more 'reforms' in Congress to $100,000 and lower. It's open season on the Kulaks, because elections do matter. And as the American people are going to discover, who is labelled as 'the rich is going to be a lot more elastic and inclusive then they imagined.

What Boehner could do, providing he gets someone to help him find his lost testicles is to use the power of the House to prevent the worst of the excesses. Congress holds the purse strings.There's nothing stopping them from simply refusing to raise the debt ceiling past its already obscene limits.If that involves shutting the government down, fine.

There's nothing stopping them from refusing to fund President Obama's agenda and making it clear that any spending he does will come with a price tag of spending cuts attached.There's nothing stopping them from addressing the country and explaining clearly and eloquently that this poresident has no intention of negotiasting anything in good faith, exactly why President Obama's fiscal policies are leading us to ruin, and why they oppose them. And there's nothing stopping them from attacking this president and his policies forcefully.

They're going to be demonized either way by the president and his media lackeys, but at least they're providing an honest, principled alternative, and one more and more people will understand as the Obama economy unravels.

Will they do it? I doubt it. Especially with John Boehner in charge.

But it needs to be done, and if the Republicans can't or won't, someone else will. Depend on it.

The Council Has Spoken !! This Week's Watcher's Council Resuults


Alea iacta est...the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week's Watcher's Council match up.

This week's contest ended up in a tie, between Joshuapundit's   The Newtown School Shooting And What It Should Tell Us, a theme many on the Council chose to look at this week and The Right Planet's Talking Past Each Other, an interesting  look at the left/right divide in America based on psychological types.

In accordance with our by-laws, any time there's a tie between The Watcher and one of the other members. I happily make way for the latter, in this case, The Right Planet's excellent look at the state of discourse in America, Talking Past Each Other. Here's a slice:

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not , shun him for he is a fool
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, Teach him that he should learn
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, Wake him for he is asleep
He who knows, and knows that he knows, Follow him for he is is a leader

Exasperation is how I would describe the feelings I have right now regarding the reelection of Barack Hussein Obama, but I refuse to give into hopelessness and despair. I’m in this for the long haul. Although it may be tempting to pick up my ball and go home, I would rather make the other poor bastard pick his ball up and go home—even if it is a long, hard slog.

Yesterday, as usual, I listened to my favorite conservative talk show personalities—folks like Rush Limbaugh, Dana Loesch and local radio host Greg Garrison—for their take on the reelection of Barack Obama and what it means for “moving forward.” I also talked to family members and friends to get their views as well. If there’s one common consensus as to what went wrong for the GOP from the people I listened and talked to yesterday, I think Rush Limbaugh summed it up best: “It’s just very difficult to defeat Santa Claus.” People love free stuff. Well, I think greed and selfishness is a huge part of the problem in modern-day society. But it appears to me that there are a myriad of reasons why Obama is back at the helm again, in addition to a culture that demands instant gratification and cradle-to-grave entitlements.

I’ve believed for a very long time that liberals and conservatives seem to talk past each other. In psychology, the concept of personality types is a very important one—meaning: certain personality types are more prone to base their decision-making solely on intuition and feelings, as opposed to other personality types who may base their choices solely on cold, hard facts and logic—devoid of much emotion. In a nutshell, I’m referring to the touchy-feely type, for lack of a better term, versus the cold, calculating type. The point here is that it’s not that either personality type is wrong per se, but that they are simply different personality types who communicate in very different ways. What is required for two different personality types to communicate effectively is the need for the differing personality types to understand each other’s language.

A hypothetical example: it may be more effective to communicate with a touchy-feely personality type with pictures, song or dance, as opposed to handing them a field manual or spreadsheet. Conversely, the touchy-feely type may find communication is vastly improved with the cold, calculating type by avoiding the song & dance—just the facts, M’am.

Once again, from a purely psychological perspective, it’s not that either personality type is necessarily wrong—just different. Naturally, when communication breaks down between two disparate personality types conflict will ensue. I’m of the opinion that more touchy-feely types are attracted to the left-side of the political spectrum (democrat), while the more calculating types are attracted to the right-side politically (republican), thus the constant conflict between liberals and conservatives.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Ben Stein with G-d Help Us submitted by The Razor. It's a masterful piece that looks at why some evil inthis world becomes a major news story while other evil is simply conveniently ignored. Do read it.

OK,  here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! Don't forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week's Watcher's Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in...don't you dare miss it. And don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..'cause we're cool like that!