BIG STUFF: Klukowski – US braced for sCOTUS; Strassel – Kerry’s boondoggle; Phillips – Britain sneers; Klein – DHS militia training; Rohde – security industrial complex
IRS: Jeffrey – $46.4M refunds to one address
NSA: Simon – what Snowden knew; Pomfret & Kelly – Snowden left Hong Kong, Wallstein – rare scrutiny for FISA; Klein – Snowden’s leftist friends
Syria: Klein – BenG gun-running; Johnson – Dems & TEA Republicans merge; Cloud – US trains Syrian jihadists
Immigration: Hanson – who benefits?; Palin – fence holes; Boyle – Big Sis can kill fence; Hall – Admended to pass; Hinderaker – battle to House; Levin n pass now, read later
PA: Knepper – PA senate republicans; Minton – fight over privatization
End Notes – Hillary’s PAC, Calabrese – Hillary’s history; Lewis – Men going Galt
“The Koch brothers want the labor.” Rush Limbaugh, 6/22/13, 6:18 AM
Thus, AfP was missing at the immigration
Elbert Guillory: “Why I Am a Republican” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_YQ8560E1w
Ted Cruz: “Call your Senator, sign the petition”
“Number one, come to a website we formed: SecureBordersNow.com, and sign a national petition.
RUSH: Okay, that website is now officially shut down for awhile.
CRUZ: Excellent. But number two, every one of your listeners, I would encourage them, pick up the phone and call your Senator and call your House member.
RUSH: Does that really work on something like this?
CRUZ: It works tremendously.
Full interview at:
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Senate: Pass Amnesty First, Read the Bill Later”
“On Monday at 5:30pm, the United States Senate will vote on the most sweeping immigration reform proposal it has considered in almost 3 decades – and it will do so having only seen the nearly 1200 pages of text for approximately 72 hours. Americans – including myself, my fellow senators and our staffs – are still trying to figure out exactly what is in the new Schumer-Corker-Hoeven ‘deal.’
“Sound familiar? Pass it to find out what’s in it? Reminiscent of Obamacare, the lengthy amendment to replace the Gang of 8’s original bill was crafted behind closed doors and introduced late on Friday, after many members had left town. In the 2007 immigration debate, close to 50 amendments were considered. But this year, we have only debated 9 – with some of us being completely shut out.
“Given only a weekend to review the language, we will now vote on whether to end a debate that never really began. . .”
ACTION ALERT: WEST CHESTER TEA
Please call Senator Toomey and asked him to vote NO
on the Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill
It has come to our attention that Senator Toomey is unclear as to how he is going to vote. Let’s help him make the constitutional decision which is the duty of Congress to protect our borders.
Please call, fax or e-mail all this week.
Senator Harry Reid would like to push this Bill through by end of week.
Allentown/Lehigh Valley: Phone: (610) 434-1444
Toll-free phone (for callers in PA): 1-855-552-1831
Fax: (610) 434-1844
Philadelphia: Phone: (215) 241-1090
Fax: (215) 241-1095
Washington, D.C.: Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-0284
1497: John Cabot, exploring for England, became the first European since the Vikings to reach the North American mainland, probably in present-day Canada.
1784: In Baltimore 13-year-old Edward Warren made the first balloon flight in America, going up in a tethered balloon built by Peter Carnes.
1944: U.S. troops were engaged in the month long Battle of Saipan in the Pacific. (Bennett & Cribb, 2010)
Ken Klukowski, Big Govt: “U.S. Braces for Historic Supreme Court Decisions”
“This week the Supreme Court will hand down four decisions that will mark a turning point for the United States, and some possible outcomes could even change the course of this country for the rest of our national existence. . .
“. . . The first is Fisher v. University of Texas. [Full disclosure: at the request of one of the parties, I authored a brief in this case for economists and statisticians.] The petitioners argued that racial preferences in the admissions process at the University of Texas violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The Court could narrowly rule in their favor, or it could go so far as to overrule prior cases, especially the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger, and rule that racial preferences are always unconstitutional.
“The second is Shelby County v. Holder. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) requires certain states and localities—mostly in the South—to receive permission from a federal court or the U.S. Justice Department before redrawing legislative districts after each census, or changing their voting laws or procedures . . . “
“The last two major cases are the marriage cases. . .
“One is U.S. v. Windsor. Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA) defines marriage for purposes of federal law (such as federal taxes, immigration, and Social Security benefits) as the union of one man and one woman. In Windsor, the Court is considering whether Section 3 violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. If it does, then all federal marriage benefits can now be obtained by homosexual couples and likely polygamous families as well (both native to the U.S., and those seeking to immigrate to this country from Muslim nations where polygamy is legal).
“The final big case is nothing short of historic. In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court will decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution confers the right for any consenting adults to marry. If so, then traditional-marriage laws will be struck down nationwide in the 38 states where they currently exist, and all persons in every state will be able to enter into either homosexual or polygamous marriages. The case directly involved homosexual couples, but if the right is declared to be any union of consenting adults, then if three or more adults all consented to marry each other they would likely have the right to do so. . .”
Kimberley Strassel, WSJ: “John Kerry’s ObamaCare Boondoggle”
“A bipartisan backlash is growing against another section of President Obama’s health-care law. The president can blame this latest embarrassment on none other than Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Everyone remember the origins of the so-called Affordable Care Act? The Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, Gator-Aid, and other buyoffs for the votes of key Senate Democrats?
“Three years on, yet another sweetheart deal has declared itself, this one inserted by the then-senator for Massachusetts. In Congress, it’s becoming known as the Bay State Boondoggle. . . “
Melanie Phillips: “How ignorant Britain sneers and sniggers at the threat from Iran”
“For a distressing snapshot of how Britain is steadily sliding into irrelevance and indeed civilisational defeat, take a look at this week’s edition of BBC TV’s Question Time where I was on the panel. My statement that Iran currently posed the greatest threat to the UK and the west provoked a display of truly shocking ignorance amongst the political class, as well as venomous imbecility and resistance to truth-telling amongst the public.
There was booing and general outrage and disbelief at my remarks that Iran was a mortal threat to the west, that it was working to get a nuclear bomb in order to carry out its threat to exterminate Israel and ratchet up its war against the free world, and that it was impossible to negotiate with the religious fanatics ruling Iran, people who believe that producing an apocalypse will hasten the return to earth of the Shia ‘messiah’, the Mahdi, or ‘hidden Imam’.
“All these statements, however, are true. . . “
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “DHS trains for U.S. militia with ‘Uncle Sam’ hats. Forget Islam: Exercises focuses on fictional ‘Free America Citizens’ group”
“The Boston Globe revealed the plot of “Operation Urban Shield,” a simulation by the Department of Homeland Security costing $200,000. The program was slated to take place last weekend to train local Boston law-enforcement agencies to work together to thwart a terrorist threat.
“The Boston newspaper reported officials from a dozen agencies had been meeting for months to plan the simulation and had already recruited students from Northeastern University and the Boston Police Academy to play the parts of terrorists and witnesses.
“While the vast majority of all terrorist attacks worldwide are carried out by Muslims, the DHS program decided to train for a different set of antagonists.
“According to the plans obtained by the Boston Globe, the terrorist threat in the exercise was a fictional group called the Free America Citizens, described as ‘a home-grown cadre of militiamen whose logo would be a metal skull wearing an Uncle Sam hat and a furious expression.’ One official told the newspaper the goal of the simulation was for detectives to figure out the motives of the Free America Citizens group. . .”
David Rohde, Atlantic: “The Security Industrial Complex “
“An odd thing is happening in the world’s self-declared pinnacle of democracy. No one — except a handful of elected officials and an army of contractors — is allowed to know how America’s surveillance leviathan works.
“For the last two years, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) have tried to describe to the American public the sweeping surveillance the National Security Agency conducts inside and outside the United States. But secrecy rules block them from airing the simplest details.
“Over the last few days, President Barack Obama and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, have both said they welcome a national debate about the surveillance programs. But the president and senator have not used their power to declassify information that would make that debate possible. . . “
IRS . . .
Terence Jeffrey, CNS: “IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at One Atlanta Address”
“. . . That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta.
“The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.
“Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877. . . “
NSA . . .
Roger Simon, PJM: “What Snowden Knew”
“. . . I don’t have a brief for Snowden. He seems to be a new form of narcissistic international creep, similar to Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame. I hope he gets dysentery in Ecuador or wherever he winds up.
“But he may have done us a favor, putting an exclamation point on the activities of the NSA so there are no doubts. He also has made obvious the utter contempt with which Russia and China treat the Obama administration. (Evidently this was surprising to Dianne Feinstein on Face the Nation Sunday. Go figure.)
“Also interesting is that the heightened concern for our civil liberties under government digital surveillance crosses political and party lines. Given the plethora of scandals confronting the administration, this presents an opportunity for dialogue we haven’t had for many years. Who knows if it will happen?
“But if it does, I hope it will be intelligent and substantive. These are not easy questions. Good reasons exist for government surveillance.
“Most obvious of them is the threat and reality of Islamic terrorism, which, despite the death of bin Laden, does not seem to be going away. Quite the contrary. It appears to be growing rapidly and dangerously. . .”
Pomfret & Kelly, Reuters: “Snowden leaves Hong Kong, may head for Venezuela”
“(Reuters) – An aircraft believed to be carrying Edward Snowden landed in Moscow on Sunday after Hong Kong let the former U.S. security contractor leave the territory, despite Washington’s efforts to extradite him to face espionage charges.
The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said Snowden was heading for a “democratic nation” which it did not name, although a source at the Russian airline Aeroflot said he would fly on within 24 hours to Cuba and then planned to go to Venezuela.
Moscow airport officials said the flight from Hong Kong had landed but could not immediately confirm Snowden was on board. However, a source at Aeroflot said he had booked a seat on the service.
Snowden, who worked for the National Security Agency, had been hiding in Hong Kong since leaking details about U.S. surveillance activities to news media.
A spokesman for the government of Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to China in 1997, said it had let Snowden depart because a U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law.. . .”
Wallsten et al., WaPo: “For secretive surveillance court, rare scrutiny in wake of NSA leaks”
“. . . The two-hour meeting on June 13 featuring [Judge John} Bates and two top spy agency officials — prompted by reports days earlier by The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper about the vast reach of the programs — reflects a new and uncomfortable reality for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and its previously obscure members. Within the past month, lawmakers have begun to ask who the court’s judges are, what they do, why they have almost never declined a government surveillance request and why their work is so secretive. . . “
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “Anti-NSA reporter tied to Soros-funded radical left. Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pushed for ‘weakening of America’”
“London Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story exposing the National Security Agency’s collection of the telephone records of millions of U.S. Verizon customers, founded a progressive activist coalition that encompasses a who’s who of the George Soros-funded radical left. . .
“In 2008, Greenwald and liberal blogger Jane Hamsher co-founded the group Accountability Now, a political action committee described by the New York Times as seeking ‘to push the Democratic Party further to the left.’
“The press release published by the political action committee announced the members of the Accountability Now coalition: MoveOn.org, Color Of Change, SEIU, the Daily Kos blog, Howard Dean’s Democracy fo`r America and the communist-oriented United Steelworkers of America, among others.
“Soros is a primary donor to MoveOn.org as is the Soros-Funded Tides Foundation.
The Soros-funded Color Of Change was founded by Van Jones, President Obama’s former ‘green jobs’ czar. Jones infamously resigned in 2009 after it was exposed he also founded a communist revolutionary organization.
“SEIU is the longtime partner of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. A primary ACORN funder is the Soros-financed Tides Foundation.
Greenwald’s Accountability Now coalition board included Anna Burger, then-Secretary-Treasurer of the SEIU. Burger served on Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
“Greenwald, meanwhile, is a longtime activist against government surveillance. . .”
Matt Drudge, 6/23-24/13
DESTINATION: VENEZUELA -- VIA RUSSIA, CUBA...
U.S. extradition request did 'not fully comply with Hong Kong law'...
'Carrying 4 laptops with cornucopia of US intel documents'...
Pelosi booed for saying NSA leaker broke law...
Pardon petition hits 100,000; WH to reply?
SAFE PASSAGE FOR SNOWDEN!
Out of sight after leaving HK...
Officials struggle to explain how he got away...
U.S. warns other countries...
Fallout hits ChinaRussia...
NSA director: Irreversible damage...
'Carrying 4 laptops'...
Feinstein: 'He could have lot, lot more'...
Obama to release edited opinions of surveillance court...
SYRIA . . .
Aaron Klein: Benghazi & gun-running to Jihadists
Bridget Johnson, PJM: “Dems, Tea Party GOPs Join Forces to Block Military Aid to Syrian Opposition”
“Two Democrats and two Tea Party Republicans joined together today on bill to block military funds to Syria.
“Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation to ban the Defense Department, the CIA, and all other intelligence agencies from funding any military, paramilitary, or covert operations in Syria. Humanitarian aid would not be affected.
“Udall, Murphy, and Paul are all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and cast the only dissenting votes in committee against authorizing President Obama to train and equip rebels. . . “
David S. Cloud and Raja Abdulrahim, LA Times: “U.S. training Syrian rebels; White House ‘stepped up assistance’”
“WASHINGTON — White House officials refused to comment Friday on a Los Angeles Times report that CIA operatives and U.S. special operations troops have been secretly training Syrian rebels with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons since late last year, saying only that the U.S. had increased its assistance to the rebellion.
The covert U.S. training at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.
“‘We have stepped up our assistance, but I cannot inventory for you all the elements of that assistance,’ White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. ‘We have provided and will continue to provide substantial assistance to the Syrian opposition, as well as the Supreme Military Council.’. . . ”
IMMIGRATION . . .
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “Immigration: If the Bill Passes”
“There are lots of reasons to believe that most of what is promised in the current so-called comprehensive immigration-reform bill won’t be honored if it is passed by the full Congress and signed by the president. . .
“First, this administration does not have a reliable record of living up to its policy promises. . .
“Second, this administration feels that law is a fluid concept, the degree of enforcement predicated on perceived social justice.
“Third, the recent history of immigration legislation is one not of the rule of law, but more of popular pressure and politics. . .
“As in 1986 and 2006, the people will believe their politicians that the passage of the new immigration bill will at last solve the problem of millions of foreign nationals living illegally in the United States. But the current bill was never intended to do that. Instead, lofty verbiage about qualifications for amnesty, penalties, and border security were inserted into the bill only to gain its passage. . .
“Illegal and illiberal immigration exists and will continue to expand because too many special interests are invested in it. It is one of those rare anomalies — the farm bill is another — that crosses political party lines and instead unites disparate elites through their diverse but shared self-interests: live-and-let-live profits for some and raw political power for others. For corporate employers, millions of poor foreign nationals ensure cheap labor, with the state picking up the eventual social costs. For Democratic politicos, illegal immigration translates into continued expansion of favorable political demography in the American Southwest. For ethnic activists, huge annual influxes of unassimilated minorities subvert the odious melting pot and mean continuance of their own self-appointed guardianship of salad-bowl multiculturalism. Meanwhile, the upper middle classes in coastal cocoons enjoy the aristocratic privileges of having plenty of cheap household help, while having enough wealth not to worry about the social costs of illegal immigration in terms of higher taxes or the problems in public education, law enforcement, and entitlements. . .”
Sarah Palin, Big Govt: “Exclusive–Palin: Holes in the Border as Big as the Holes in Their Amnesty Bill”
“Just like they did with Obamacare, some in Congress intend to “Pelosi” the amnesty bill. They’ll pass it in order to find out what’s in it. And just like the unpopular, unaffordable Obamacare disaster, this pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interests-ridden, 24-lb disaster of a bill is not supported by informed Americans.
I am an ardent supporter of legal immigration. I’m proud that our country is so desirable that it has been a melting pot making a diverse people united as the most exceptional nation on earth for over two centuries. But I join every American with an ounce of common sense insisting that any discussion about immigration must center on a secure border. The amnesty bill before the Senate is completely toothless on border security.
Matthew Boyle, Breitbart: “Repackaged Amnesty Bill Allows Napolitano to Nix Border Fence”
“Another loophole inserted into the new version of the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill allows Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (or any of her successors) to nix the construction of a required border security fence if she does not find it to be an ‘appropriate’ use of resources.
“The new version of the bill was introduced via a so-called “border surge” amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND), with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repackaging the whole bill into the amendment.
“On page 35, line 24 of the new bill, a provision was inserted that says Napolitano–who already believes the border is secure–can decide against building a fence if she chooses not to erect one:
‘Notwithstanding paragraph (1), nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing, or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing, in a particular location along the Southern border, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location.’
“The ‘paragraph (1)’ that new waiver refers to is the one that supposedly ‘requires’ the construction of a fence along the border. . . “
Wynton Hall, Big Govt: “Top Democrat: ‘Border Surge’ Amendment Boosts Corporate Cronyism”
“During a Friday floor speech, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment would be a boon to the corporate interests who are quietly backing the immigration reform bill.
Leahy, who says he will begrudgingly support the Corker-Hoeven immigration amendment offered by the so-called “Gang of Two”—Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND)—says it “reads like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton.”
Leahy said the Corker-Hoeven amendment, touted as a “surge” to border security, amounts to a crony capitalist giveaway to the many big money interests quietly backing immigration reform.
“I am sure there are federal contracting firms high-fiving at the prospect of all of the spending demanded by Senate Republicans in this amendment,” said Leahy during his floor speech on Friday.
He added: “The litany of expensive services, technology, and hardware mandated by this package is combined with an inexplicable waiver of many normal contracting rules. This is a potential recipe for waste, fraud and abuse. . . ”
John Hinderaker, Powerline: “Immigration Battle Moves to the House”
“Predictions of Washington insiders were fulfilled yesterday when Harry Reid introduced a substitute amendment that includes the Corker-Hoeven amendment and the rest of the Gang of Eight’s bill, refused to allow any other amendments, and announced that the Senate will move straight to final passage of the bill, with debate cut off on Monday and final passage probably on Wednesday or Thursday. The actual text of the Corker-Hoeven Amendment wasn’t made public until yesterday, and the senators themselves were still hand-writing edits to the amendment at the last minute.
“We explained here why Corker-Hoeven does nothing to address the fatal defects in the Gang’s bill, but the amendment’s real purpose was political: its supposedly draconian enforcement provisions, most notably a doubling of the border patrol, are intended to give Republicans cover in voting for the bill. Once the text of the bill became public, however, it turned out that Corker-Hoeven is even worse than originally understood. For instance, the government doesn’t even have to begin hiring those famous border agents until 2017, and the deadline for completion of the supposedly required (and entirely futile) fence is 2021. And, intentionally or not, Corker-Hoeven provides that future immigrants in the “merit-based, non-immigrant” category who illegally overstay their visas will automatically be legalized (emph added, jb). Nice work, guys.
“The immigration battle has come to closely resemble what we went through a few months ago with respect to firearms. There has been enormous public attention fixed on the Senate, but why? As it turned out, the administration’s gun bill couldn’t even get through the Senate, but it would have been dead on arrival in the House in any event. The whole thing was a charade intended to fire up the Democrats’ base for 2014.
“On paper, that should be true here too. Why on Earth would the Republican House pass an immigration bill that provides for thirty to sixty million new immigrants over the next ten years, 90% of them low-skill, low-wage, likely welfare-dependent at least in part, and overwhelmingly likely to vote Democratic? I don’t suppose they will. But the difference between guns and immigration is that the anti-gun forces are well-organized and powerful, while the special interests are pretty much unanimously lined up behind the Gang of Eight’s bill. Still, the polls show that the more voters know about the Gang’s bill, the more they oppose it. And the Republican rank and file is overwhelmingly opposed to Gang-style immigration “reform.”
Yuval Levin, NRO: “Passing It to Find Out What’s in It, Again”
“The Hoeven-Corker amendment to the Gang of Eight bill is essentially a new bill. It is almost 1,200 pages long. Some parts of it are identical to some of the provisions of the original Gang of Eight bill, some parts are very different, and some parts are slightly different in ways that could prove very important but difficult to understand in a hurry. But it has to be understood in a hurry. Given the length and complexity of this proposal, I think it is fair to say that not more than a handful of the senators voting on it on Monday—which is apparently when the vote is scheduled—will really understand it in any detail. There is almost no way any of the senators voting on it could have read it all, and it’s unlikely even their staff members could do so in a thorough and responsible way in that time. Only the people who wrote it will know what it says, and I imagine it was written in parts by numerous people from several Senate offices. That means there is probably no one who really knows what it says. It also seems likely that, if the amendment is adopted on Monday, the vote on the final bill would come too soon thereafter to allow CBO to re-score the much-amended bill, and so to offer some sense of how things have changed in terms of costs, economic effects, future immigration flows (legal and illegal) and other key issues.
“Is this any way to make such an important set of decisions about the country’s future?. . .”
Matt Drudge 6/23/13
BILL: Napolitano has authority to nix border fence...
Reid, Heller Slip In Las Vegas Tourism Handout...
Loophole Creates Permanent Amnesty for Illegals...
Reid schedules vote...
White House stealth role 'revealed'...
PA . . .
Leo Knepper, CAP: “What the Hell is Wrong with PA’s Senate Republicans?”
“. . . Sadly, it appears that Senate Republicans will be putting legislation up for a vote that will enact the ObamaCare expansion of the already bloated Medicaid program. Evidently some members of the Senate Republican caucus believe that this money from the federal government is somehow free and expanding Medicaid will not result in more government spending down the road. According to an analysis by Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare, expanding Medicaid would cost Pennsylvania taxpayers nearly a billion dollars by 2016.
Rounding out the bad ideas emanating from the Senate, is the suggestion by Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Union Counties) that the state keep a tax on businesses that is slated to be phased out at the end of the year. Pennsylvania, unlike every other state in the country, collects a tax on business income and business assets. Not only does this result in double taxation, it also discourages businesses from expanding or upgrading equipment. The tax, known as the Corporate Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT), was supposed to be phased out entirely by 2008. The tax has survived this long because of two stays of execution. One granted by Gov. Schweiker (R) and the other by Gov. Rendell (D). . . “
Michelle Minton, NRO: A Bar Fight over Privatization”
“In Pennsylvania, unions scrap to keep alive the last remnants of Prohibition.
“Pennsylvania is one of two states in the nation with a government monopoly on the wholesale and retail sale of both wine and liquor. It dates from the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. Republican governor Tom Corbett and his allies in the statehouse want to dismantle that monopoly and allow private retailers to sell alcoholic beverages. But Democrats and at least one powerful Republican state senator are standing in their way.
Ordinary consumers should hope that Governor Corbett prevails. Privatizing the sale of alcoholic beverages would deliver greater choice, lower prices, more jobs, and more revenue for the state.
For evidence, look no further than the state of Washington, which privatized just last year. Now more than 1,400 retailers can sell liquor, and consumers can shop for booze at nearly 900 more outlets than they could under the previous state-run regime. This new competition in the alcoholic-beverage marketplace has greatly enhanced consumer choice and convenience.
Meanwhile, the state government is benefiting from higher tax revenues from alcohol sales — a projected $425 million by the end of fiscal year 2013, compared to $309 million for FY 2012. . .”
END NOTES . . .
Chris Cillizza, WaPo: “Welcome to the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential speculation sweepstakes”
“There’s a super PAC to support her and one that’s trying, at least in part, to stop her. Every word she utters is parsed by cable TV, blogs and anyone with a political pulse for indications of which way she is leaning. And, there are still 922 days between now and Jan. 1, 2016.
“Welcome to the Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential speculation sweepstakes, a process that not only has begun earlier than it did before Clinton ran for president in 2008 but also is significantly more well developed — on both sides of the equation. . . “
Dan Calabrese: “Hillary Clinton fired for lies, unethical behavior”
“I’ve decided to reprint a piece of work I did nearly five years ago, because it seems very relevant today given Hillary Clinton’s performance in the Benghazi hearings. Back in 2008 when she was running for president, I interviewed two erstwhile staff members of the House Judiciary Committee who were involved with the Watergate investigation when Hillary was a low-level staffer there. I interviewed one Democrat staffer and one Republican staffer, and wrote two pieces based on what they told me about Hillary’s conduct at the time.
“I published these pieces back in 2008 for North Star Writers Group, the syndicate I ran at the time. This was the most widely read piece we ever had at NSWG, but because NSWG never gained the high-profile status of the major syndicates, this piece still didn’t reach as many people as I thought it deserved to. Today, given the much broader reach of CainTV and yet another incidence of Hillary’s arrogance in dealing with a congressional committee, I think it deserves another airing. For the purposes of simplicity, I’ve combined the two pieces into one very long one . . . “
Matt Lewis, Daily Caller: “Going Galt: Why men are boycotting marriage, fatherhood and the American Dream”
“. . . Dr. Helen Smith’s new book, Men on Strike is decidedly different, inasmuch as she argues that if men are checking out of society, it’s only because we are making rational decisions about changing incentives.
Let’s take marriage, for example, where higher-educated women seem to be having a harder and harder time finding men worthy (or willing) to tie the knot. “[T]he incentives to marry have changed for men,” explains Smith, “and they are no longer willing to risk so much more than in previous years to gain potentially less.”
In the old days, Smith explains, a man might expect to be king of the castle. Now days, she says, he might be relegated to a “man cave” in the basement, and — if lucky — granted missionary position sex once a week. Or he becomes, as she told me, ‘some shlub, carrying around a flowered diaper bag.’
“But if the benefits of marriage have declined for men, the downsides haven’t. Men who marry can expect to pay disproportionately for a divorce, even if the wife cheats. And as Smith points out, sometimes men are on the hook for child support, even after DNA tests prove they aren’t the father.
“[T]he new world order is a place where men are discriminated against, forced into a hostile environment in school and later in college, and held in contempt by society,” she writes. ”Maybe there is no incentive to grow up anymore,” she continues. “It used to be that being a grown-up, responsible man was rewarded with respect, power and deference.” Now, not so much. . .”
A different set of explanations: www.JamesFBrody.com. Female choice, genomic imprinting, social networks and the cycling of cultures. About $12 at Amazon or Barnes.