Archive for January, 2012

What we ought to discuss, instead of how much Warren Buffett’s secretary earns

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Last year I asked, Just how much money does Warren Buffett’s secretary make?

In the annals of class-warfare propaganda, the answer appears to be somewhere Between $200,000 And $500,000/Year, which considering how much her boss pulls in, is not unreasonable.

She even went on TV (imagine that!) to say she feels she represents all secretaries, but also is “the poster woman for [Obama’s] tax policy”, which means the “poster woman” is in the top 1%,

video platform
video management
video solutions
video player

I would like to see their tax returns, Warren’s and Debbie’s. Warren even says “I think if you’re an ultra-rich guy and there’s a strong suspicion that you’re paying taxes at a rate that’s half the rate of what Deb pays, you’re going to expect some heat.” Until Warren coughs up his personal tax returns, we should dismiss anything he says as hypocritical propaganda.

But all this is a distraction. Not only Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Owes Taxes Going Back To 2002, Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC is among U.S. and Canadian railroads that stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s decision to reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline permit.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have reduced America’s dependence on oil dictatorships and created an estimated 20,000 jobs; however, Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky dismisses that with the comment,

Twenty thousand jobs is really not that many jobs and investing in green technologies will produce that and more.

Buffett is directly profiting from Obama energy policies while feeding into the Obama propaganda machine.

That, my friends, is the real story.

UPDATE, Monday 30 January,
Warren Buffett: Stop talking about the woman I keep dragging into the spotlight, via Instapundit.


The out-of-touch State of the Union

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

If you read or watched the SOTU, all you can conclude is that the words spoken are out of touch with reality.

Fact Checking the SOTU: Corporate Taxes

Let’s do some fact checking on President Obama’s corporate tax comments in last night’s State of the Union.

Claim: “Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas.”

False: There are no such breaks. Instead, we punish U.S. and foreign businesses for investing and creating jobs here.

Claim: “If you’re a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn’t get a tax deduction for doing it.”

False: There is no such tax deduction.

Claim: “No American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas.”

False: America is not a prison camp. Besides, imposing a 40-percent tax rate on corporations that invest here is not a “fair share.”

Claim: “From now on, every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.”

False: We’ve already got a corporate “alternative minimum tax,” and it’s an idiotic waste of accounting resources that ought to be repealed.

Clearly, Obama can not run on his record,

And more,

And that doesn’t count the recycling,

So he’ll blame Congress, even when This President has been “obstructed” less than anyone since LBJ.

The fact is,

People are hurting, and badly. The official unemployment rate may have fallen, slightly, but the real unemployment rate — the number of working-age Americans who aren’t working — rose from about 12% before the 2008 crisis, to about 23%, and hasn’t come down. That includes people who have retired early because they can’t find work, spouses who used to earn a second income but have gone back to homemaking because work isn’t available, self-employed people whose businesses have collapsed, young people who live in their parents’ basement because they can’t afford tuition and can’t find work.

(h/t Instapundit)

As for the energy part, check out what the Institute for Energy Research has to say.

While you’re at it, Warren Buffett profited from the Obama administration’s decision to deny the Keystone Pipeline. Guess whose secretary was sitting next to the First Lady?

TigerHawk put the SOTU through the shredder. Go read it all


The Artist gets 10 Oscar nominations

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Finally, a movie I liked gets an Oscar nomination,
Oscar Nominations Announced: ‘Hugo’ Leads with 11, ‘The Artist’ 10, ‘Moneyball’ and ‘War Horse’ 6 Each, Jonah Hill 1

Including best actor for Jean Dejardin, whose Douglas Fairbank’s face dances on a Gene Kelly body, and best supporting actress for Berenice Bejo.


Embraer: Where the manufacturing jobs are going

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

According to Bloomberg News, Obama’s State of the Union address will embrace manufacturing.

You can be sure he will not bring up the 1,200 high-skill manufacturing jobs that will go to Brazil’s Embraer, to which Obama is outsourcing national security:

Yes, the Embraer that is under investigation by the SEC for corruption.

That Embraer.

After giving Brazil a billion-dollar contract, Brazil stiffed Obama on an oil deal.


What do Rand Paul and Sunny have in common?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The TSA, of course!

By now you probably know that Rand Paul, Senator for Kentucky and son of Congressman Ron Paul (that wacky presidential candidate), was detained by the TSA at the Nashville Airport for refusing a full-body pat-down.

Steve Watson wonders if that constitutes a Constitutional violation,

The Constitution specifically protects federal lawmakers from being detained while en route to Washington DC.

Article I, Section 6 states:

“The Senators and Representatives…shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….”

Rand Paul was travelling from his home in Louisville to attend a session in the Senate today.

The White House’s Jay Carney wouldn’t even name Rand, and won’t call it detainment, either, saying instead, “The passenger was not detained. He was escorted out of the area by local law-enforcement.”

So it’s up to you to decide: Is the TSA a flight-inhibiting escort service, or your creepy uncle?


Headline of the week:

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Brazil Stiffs Obama on Oil Deal, Exposing President’s Incompetence

President Barack Obama has suffered the second embarrassment over oil importswithin the space of a week. Brazil, whose offshore deposits of oil were sought by the Obama administration, has signed contracts with China for the product.

According to the Washington Times, Brazilian offshore crude may number about 38 billion barrels. Obama went to Brazil last month to put in a bid for the oil, offering loans and other support to develop the oil in an “environmentally responsible matter,” The Hill reported at the time. Republicans criticized that initiative, pointing out Obama has placed roadblocks in the way of domestic development of oil and gas reserves.

Brazil’s decision comes on the heels of Obama’s refusal to permit the building of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to Texas oil refineries, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision was criticized by Republicans as well as union officials who point out that 20,000 jobs the pipeline would bring would therefore not be created.

Hat tip: TCotS.

Obama’s Keystone Delay Flouts the Law
The president’s decision to stop the project for further environmental review contravenes legislation he signed in December.

Linked by The Lonely Conservative. Thanks!


1,000 days without a budget VIDEO

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

More here and here.

Linked by The Morning Spew. Thanks!


The NFL and prosperous cities

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

How Sunday’s NFL Cities Became Champs
Favorable property taxes were game changers for New York, San Francisco and Boston. Baltimore needs a Hail Mary.

All these cities had long pursued progressive political agendas with pride. But the problem with redistributive policies at the local level is that the donor classes might move out as fast as beneficiary classes move in—or, as the population figures cited earlier show, even faster. Robin Hood may seem a heroic figure, but once his rich victims flee Nottingham, even that city’s poor might question his effectiveness.

San Francisco and Boston were rescued from their folly by statewide tax revolts. California’s Prop 13, passed in 1978, capped property taxes in that state at 1%—which slashed San Francisco’s rate by almost two-thirds. Massachusetts followed suit in 1980 with Prop 2½, which mandated that municipalities could not increase their total property tax receipts by more than 2.5% annually. New York City taxpayers did not revolt, but state legislators rationalized the Big Apple’s chaotic property tax system in 1981; it now enjoys property tax rates that average about one-third of those in its surrounding suburbs (though its other taxes are certainly punishing).

While no single factor explains any city’s destiny, it is not a mere coincidence that Boston, New York and San Francisco reversed their declines at the exact moment they became favorable environments for private investment in residential and business capital.

It has to do with the fact that

Every time a city raises the tax rate on residential and business property, its owners suffer a capital loss (which economists refer to as “tax capitalization”). In effect, tax hikes are incremental expropriations; owners flee not just because of short-term wealth losses but in fear of future damage to their property rights. Tax caps not only improve the immediate cash flow on investments in real property but—perhaps more important—secure it against further expropriations.

Go read the rest.
Here’s the video,


The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Stop trying to intimidate Falklanders, Hague tells Argentina

Video: Argentinian protesters burn Union flag outside UK embassy

Argentines Continue to Eat Less Beef

Bolivia signs anti-drug deal with US and Brazil
Bolivia has signed an agreement with the US and Brazil to help reduce the production of illegal cocaine

Bolivia is the world’s third biggest cocaine producer, and the main supplier to Brazil.

The deal was signed after months of negotiations and repeated delays as Bolivia sought changes to the document.

Bolivian Interior Minister Wilfredo Chavez said Bolivia had insisted on respect for its sovereignty as well as for the traditional consumption of coca leaf, which is used for medicinal and ritual purposes.

Reminds me of one of my relatives, who died of alcoholism, and used to say “it’s for purely medicinal purposes” as he swigged down from a flask.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso on Brazil’s future
More personal security, less inequality

Brazil’s Emerging Market: Crack
Hampered in the U.S., Drug Traffickers Find a Replacement; Skeletal ‘Zombies’ Rule São Paulo’s Cracolândia After Dark

Chilean government puts a stop to bill that would have allowed warrantless access to media archives

Colombia’s Farc rebels destroy radar station
Farc rebels in Colombia have destroyed a radar installation, disrupting civil aviation in the south and west of the country, the government says

Maritza Peregrino, widow of slain Cuban prisoner of conscience, being harassed by Castro State Security to stay quiet

Cigars and Law Schools in Havana

Gov. Cuomo’s ex wife Kerry Kennedy in $40 million anti-oil deal

Guatemala’s new president
Quick march
A former general must move fast to meet expectations

The Loneliness of the Guyanas

In Haiti, former dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier is thriving

Honduras named murder capital of the world
An unholy alliance of cops, crooks, prisoners and politicians has turned the nation into a shooting gallery.

Most violent city in the world award goes to …

Mexico’s do-nothing legislature
The siesta congress
Reforms languish while overpaid, underworked lawmakers bicker

Mexico’s drug war
Not so fast
The simmering controversy over Operation Fast and Furious

Mexico’s 2012 vote is vulnerable to narco threat

Two die of A(H1N1) swine flu in Mexico: official

What If: The Greatest Threat – An Al Qaida-Drug Cartel Alliance

Puerto Rico to Boot Dozens of Politicians

Venezuela and international arbitration

Chávez appointment – a slap to Colombia?

Chávez Gets Bluster Back and Reclaims the Spotlight, as if he didn’t have it all along.

Is Leopoldo López Venezuela’s Rick Perry?

Virgin Islands refinery shutdown to hit Venezuela hard
This week’s announced shutdown of a major oil refinery in the Virgin Islands could have major ramifications for the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA.

Video: Ezra Levant talks about why the Keystone Calamity benefits Venezuela the most , via Babalu and Gerard,

Another Lie, Another Cynical Day For PDVSA’s President Rafael Ramirez

The week’s posts:
Cuba: Building collapse kills 4
Where the coke comes from


Sunday night depressing chart

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Do you feel poorer?

Via Mike Fumento.