Saturday, October 31, 2009

Senator Harry Reid’s Vapor Bill

by Brian Darling

All 40 Republican Senators signed a letter yesterday demanding to see the health care bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) sent to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Reid claimed he submitted the legislation for a CBO score on Monday. The letter from the Republican Caucus states that “our national debt stands at nearly $12 trillion, with a deficit of $1.4 trillion. The health care bill will likely be more than 1,000 pages long and is the single most important legislation we will consider and debate this year in Congress.” It is six days after Senator Reid said he sent the bill to the CBO. Where is the bill? Is this another Vapor Bill? Why are the American people prevented from reading the bill?


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released an almost 2,000 pages of Obamacare, yet Reid refuses to release the Senate version of Obamacare. The Senators wrote that “with an issue this large and complex, we need full transparency at every stage in the legislative process. President Obama was elected, in part, on his promise to bring greater transparency to the workings of the federal government. The American people and every member of Congress should be allowed to read the bill that was sent to CBO.” The American people have a constitutional right to participate in this process and they can’t fully participate if they are not allowed to know the details of the bill.

The Senators demanded “that you immediately make all materials sent to CBO publicly available on the internet.” The theory on the Hill is that Reid has submitted many versions of Obamacare to CBO so that he can get the legislation that scores as the least expensive to the taxpayer. The American people and all 100 Senators should be allowed to read the bill now.


So much for transparency in Government. Or does that mean, YOU have to be transparent, but WE don't?

Nancy, Harry? Remember that old adage, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you expect the Republican side to be transparent, you have to be too. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Ghost Caught on Film!!!

You've got to see this!

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 13 - the End

Friday, October 30, 2009

North Atlantic Hurricane Season slowest since 1997 -- Figure

Global and Northern Hemisphere Tropical Cyclone Activity remains near 30-year historical lows -- three years in a row now of considerably below-average activity globally. -- Figure

Consequence of the transition from La Nina to El Nino during the past year

Oct 29: The North Atlantic hurricane season has not produced a storm in over 3-weeks and, if no more develop, the season overall would rank as the slowest since the El Nino year of 1997. Hurricanes Bill and Fred accounted for over 82% of the Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE**] -- a metric that combines intensity, duration, and frequency of hurricanes and tropical storms during a year. The remaining storms were weak, rather short-lived and unremarkable. Indeed, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy [ACE] of 44 ranks among the slowest during the past half-century. Elsewhere, the Northern Hemisphere and Global ACE when calculated either with 12- or 24-month running sums, remains just above historical 30-year lows. Indeed, the global ACE sunk to record low levels during the early summer prior to the typhoon activity in the Western Pacific and the hurricane activity in the Eastern Pacific. While it may seem like the world has experienced considerable tropical cyclone activity lately, 2009 as a whole is still well behind normal or climatology. The previous Southern Hemisphere cyclone season including the Southern Indian and Pacific Oceans along with the Australian region produced historically low levels of ACE (from Oct 2008 - Apr 2009). So a global sum during the past 12 or 24 months will simply show the depressed tropical cyclone activity experienced.

This is a natural consequence of the rather unusual flip from strong La Nina to El Nino conditions during the past calendar year, which did not happen at all during the period of 1976-2006 as indicated by the MEI-ENSO INDEX (LINK). It is expected by NOAA and others that the current-El Nino is locked in for the rest of winter 2009-2010 and may indeed strengthen. This would suggest enhanced typhoon activity in the Western Pacific throughout the rest of the fall and winter which will necessarily increase the NH ACE. The Southern Hemisphere TC season may begin at any time now, but most activity is experienced between January and March.

**Note: The Accumulated Cyclone Energy metric combines frequency, duration, and the intensity of tropical cyclones into one value that can be calculated from historical storm records as well as current operational center (i.e. NHC) advisories. The ACE is simply the wind speed squared (times 10^4 kts^2) for each 6-hour storm location and intensity estimate -- added up for an entire season or whatever period you wish to define. CLIMO based upon 1979-2008 climatology.

Click on the above link for charts and more information.


I hope I'm not setting us up for a big fall by posting this with a month to go in the season, but I thought it was interesting that this is the slowest hurricane season since 1997.

So much for global warming?
Did You Know?

The first working income tax actually passed Congress during the Civil War. Although collection was problematic, in 1861 Congress did enact an income tax of 3 percent on earnings between $600 and $10,000 a year. Earnings over $10,000 a year (about $170,000 in today’s dollars) were subject to a tax of 5 percent. This first income tax was repealed by 1872.

A later version was enacted in 1894 without a constitutional amendment and was rejected by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in 1895.
Letter: This country needs FairTax immediately

October 19, 2009

There has never been a time in our lives when we needed the FairTax so much. Total unemployment stands at 17 percent nationwide (including those not seeking work). Youth unemployment is above 50 percent.

The tax gap averages $350 billion per year. This is the amount the IRS cannot collect with our current tax system. You and I have to make up that difference.

It costs us well over $300 billion every year to fill out our tax forms. We spend more than seven billion hours filling out tax forms. The only ones who benefit from our tax system are those who know how to cheat the system, politicians who reward friends and punish enemies with it, and half of the lobbyists in D.C. who make seven-figure incomes from clients.

Passage of the FairTax immediately frees up $650 billion to grow our economy. Estimates are that the GDP will grow between 7 percent and 10 percent the first year the FairTax is in effect. The Dow Jones Industrials is expected to double quickly because of the FairTax. The FairTax means a 25 percent increase in spendable income for workers.

How do we pass the FairTax? The first thing is to make people aware of the FairTax. Americans for Fair Taxation has raised $250,000 as a first step in creating TV ads educating 140 million taxpayers. In June, the Rasmussen Poll found that 43 percent of Americans favor replacing the income tax system with an undefined national consumption tax! That's real progress.

If we want change we must look to ourselves. It is up to each of us to ask people we know if they have heard of the FairTax. Then direct them to We also offer webinars the fourth Thursday of each month at You must pre-register. Tell your congressmen you want the FairTax.

Al Ose
Regional Director WI, IA
Americans for Fair Taxation
Wisconsin Rapids

The following article on the mind numbing complexity of the income tax code comes from…the IRS!

Within the IRS there is a voice for taxpayers called the National Taxpayer's Advocate and that office actually agrees with FairTax advocates about one thing, at least--the income tax system is destructively and expensively complicated. Beyond that, the advocate writes below about what too many taxpayers have already learned the hard way-- the IRS has not adapted well to the painful effect of the recession or high unemployment rates on taxpayers when it comes to the usual heavy handed tax collection tactics. The IRS’ National Taxpayer Advocate finds that there is little instruction for IRS agents when dealing with citizens so hurt by the recession and that the complexity of the tax code is the most serious problem facing taxpayers. Sounds like an unanimous verdict on the tax code--but is Congress or the White House listening?

National Taxpayer Advocate Urges Tax Simplification and Compassionate Treatment of Taxpayers Hit by Recession
IR-2009-3, Jan. 7, 2009

WASHINGTON — National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released her annual report, urging Congress to greatly simplify the tax code and recommending measures to reduce the burden on taxpayers who are struggling to pay their tax bills.

The report takes note of the serious financial difficulties facing many Americans in light of the ongoing economic downturn. “It is imperative for the IRS to consider the circumstances of taxpayers facing economic hardship before initiating enforcement actions,” Olson wrote.

When the IRS contemplates taking an enforced collection action such as a levy, a lien or an asset seizure, both the tax code and IRS procedures require that IRS personnel consider whether the collection action will impose an economic hardship on the taxpayer. Despite these requirements, “current IRS guidance provides little direction to help IRS employees identify taxpayers who are experiencing economic hardship and prevent undue economic burden,” Olson wrote.

Because our taxes become obvious with every purchase under the FairTax--instead of hidden from us in payroll taxes--we will all begin to see the true cost of the federal government every time we shop. It's right there on every receipt instead of hidden from us through payroll withholding. Many believe that when we finally "connect" the cost of the federal government with what comes out of our personal spending, a far different attitude about vote-buying spending promises will make "earmarks" like the "bridge to nowhere" a thing of the past. Families well understand that incurring debt beyond one's ability to pay is a dangerous path. The FairTax makes obvious how much our government costs us, making unchecked government spending recognized as equally irresponsible and makes it far less acceptable to the American public. The FairTax is the most direct path to healing our nation's finances.

Call for Tax Simplification

The report designates the complexity of the tax code as the most serious problem facing taxpayers. According to data compiled by Olson’s office, U.S. taxpayers and businesses spend about 7.6 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. “If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States,” the report says. “To consume 7.6 billion hours, the ‘tax industry’ requires the equivalent of 3.8 million full-time workers.” The report estimates that U .S. taxpayers spend $193 billion a year complying with income tax requirements, an amount that equals 14 percent of the total amount of income taxes collected. One count shows the number of words in the tax code has reached 3.7 million, and over the past eight years, changes to the tax code have been made at a rate of more than one a day including more than 500 changes in 2008 alone. Individual taxpayers now find the tax rules so overwhelming that more than 80 percent pay transaction fees to help them file their returns about 60 percent pay a preparer to do the job and another 22 percent purchase tax software.

Two examples of tax law complexity:
  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) effectively requires taxpayers to compute their taxes twice — once under the regular rules and again under the AMT regime — and then to pay the higher of the two amounts. Absent repeal or continuing AMT patches, the AMT will affect 33 million taxpayers in 2010. Although the AMT was originally conceived to prevent wealthy taxpayers from escaping tax liability through the use of tax-avoidance transactions, 77 percent of the additional income subject to tax under the AMT today is attributable to the disallowance of deductions otherwise allowed for state and local taxes and personal and dependency exemptions. “Few people think of having children or living in a high-tax state as a tax-avoidance maneuver, but under the unique logic of the AMT, that is essentially how those actions are treated,” the report notes.
  • The tax code provides tax breaks to encourage taxpayers to save for education and retirement. However, the number of such tax incentives has grown to at least 27 and the eligibility requirements, definitions of common terms, income-level thresholds, phase-out ranges and inflation adjustments vary among the provisions. This complexity undermines the intent of the incentives, as taxpayers can only respond to incentives if they know they exist and understand them.
Olson recommends that Congress substantially simplify the tax code. The report includes a series of recommendations, including recommendations to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax; streamline education and retirement savings tax incentives; simplify the family status provisions of the tax code; simplify the rules under which workers are classified as employees or independent contractors; reduce sunset and phase-out provisions and revise the overall penalty structure. More broadly, Olson recommends six core principles on which fundamental tax reform should be based. (For details, see Most Serious Problem: The Complexity of the Tax Code and corresponding items in the Legislative Recommendations section of the report.)
FairTax on Twitter

It's FairTax Friday - look at your paystub!

No need for tracking earned interests on savings for the purpose of tax compliance.

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 12

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quiz for people who know everything! - Answers

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends: Boxing

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with dw: Dwarf, dwell and dwindle. (Isn't "Dweeb" a word?)

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with "S": Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

How did you do?

I didn't do too badly on this quiz. Of the questions that required one answer, I got 5 right. Of the ones with multiple answers, I got at least half of the answers for each. The only one I missed totally was #3.


Sorry....for some reason the answers didn't publish the next day as I intended, but here they are!
Ever Wonder....If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 11

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three men were hiking....

through a forest when they came upon a large raging, violent river. Needing to get to the other side, the first man prayed: 'God, please give me the strength to cross the river.'

Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs and he was able to swim across in about 2 hours, having almost drowned twice.

After witnessing that, the second man prayed: 'God, please give me strength and the tools to cross the river.'

Poof! ... God gave him a rowboat and strong arms and strong legs and he was able to row across in about an hour after almost capsizing once.

Seeing what happened to the first two men, the third man prayed: 'God, please give me the strength, the tools and the intelligence to cross the river.'

Poof! He was turned in to a woman. She checked the map, hiked one hundred yards up stream and walked across the bridge.

'If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your wife told you!'
by Ann Coulter (more by this author)
Posted 09/02/2009 ET
Updated 09/02/2009 ET

(9) If you like Medicare, you'll love national health care, which will just extend Medicare's benefits to everyone.

Hey -- I have an idea: How about we make everyone in America a multimillionaire by pulling Bernie Madoff out of prison and asking him to invest all our money! Both Medicare and Bernie Madoff's investment portfolio are bankrupt because they operate on a similar financial model known as a "Ponzi scheme." These always seem to run fabulously well -- until the money runs out.

Not only is Medicare bankrupt, but it is extremely limited in whom and what it covers. If Medicare were a private insurer, it would be illegal in many states for failing to cover hearing aids, podiatry, acupuncture, chiropractic care, marriage counseling, aromatherapy and gender reassignment surgery.

Moreover, Medicare payments aren't enough to pay the true cost of those medical services it does cover. With Medicare undercutting payments to hospitals and doctors for patients 65 and older, what keeps the American medical system afloat are private individuals who are not covered by Medicare paying full freight (and then some). That's why you end up with a $10 aspirin on your hospital bill.

National health care will eliminate everything outside of Medicare, which is the only thing that allows Medicare to exist.

Obviously, therefore, it's preposterous for Democrats to say national health care will merely extend Medicare to the entire population. This would be like claiming you're designing an apartment building in which every apartment will be a penthouse. Everyone likes the penthouses, so why not have a building in which every apartment is a penthouse?

It doesn't work: What makes the penthouse the penthouse is all the other floors below. An "all-penthouse" building is a blueprint that could make sense only to someone who has never run a business and has zero common sense, i.e., a Democrat.

(10) National health care won't cover illegal aliens -- as the president has twice claimed in recent radio appearances.

Technically, what Obama said is that the bill isn't "designed" to give health insurance to illegal aliens. (That bill, the "Health Insurance for Illegal Aliens Act of 2009," was still being drafted by Ted Kennedy at the time of his death, may he rest in peace.)

But unless the various government bureaucracies dispensing health care are specifically required by law to ask about citizenship status, illegals will be covered. We can't even get employers and police to inquire about citizenship status, but liberals assure us that doctors will?

And by the way -- as with the abortion exclusion -- the Democrats expressly rejected amendments that would have required proof of residency status to receive national health care.

Still not convinced? Day after day, The New York Times has been neurotically asserting that national health care won't cover illegal aliens (without ever explaining how precisely it will exclude illegal aliens).

So far, just this week, these Kim Jong Il-style pronouncements have appeared in the Treason Times:

-- "Illegal immigrants will be covered. (Myth)" -- Katharine Q. Seelye, "Myth vs. Fact vs. Other," The New York Times, Sept. 2, 2009

-- "(Sen. Jim DeMint) fueled speculation that a health care overhaul would cover illegal immigrants, although specific language says it would not." -- Katharine Q. Seelye, "Fighting Health Care Overhaul, and Proud of It," The New York Times, Aug. 31, 2009

-- "'Page 50: All non-U.S. citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.' ... The falsehoods include (that italic statement)." -- Michael Mason, "Vetting Claims in a Memo," The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2009

-- "But that would not help illegal immigrants. Contrary to some reports, they would not be eligible for any new health coverage under any of the health overhaul plans circulating in Congress." -- Duff Wilson, "Race, Ethnicity and Care," The New York Times, Aug. 30, 2009

The last time the Times engaged in such frantic perseveration about a subject was when the paper was repeatedly insisting that Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong had a solid case against the Duke lacrosse players.

By August 2006, every single person in the United States, including the stripper, knew the stripper's claim of "gang rape" was a lie. That was when Duff Wilson -- quoted above -- co-wrote the Times' infamous cover story on the Duke case, titled: "Files From Duke Rape Case Give Details but No Answers." No answers!

(11) Obama has dropped his demand for the ironically titled "public option" (i.e., government-run health care), which taxpayers will not have an "option" to pay for or not.

Liberals never, ever drop a heinous idea; they just change the name. "Abortion" becomes "choice," "communist" becomes "progressive," "communist dictatorship" becomes "people's democratic republic" and "Nikita Khrushchev" becomes "Barack Obama."

It doesn't matter if liberals start calling national health care a "chocolate chip puppy" or "ice cream sunset" -- if the government is subsidizing it, then the government calls the shots. And the moment the government gets its hands on the controls, it will be establishing death panels, forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions and illegal aliens, rationing care and then demanding yet more government control when partial government control creates a mess.

Which happens to be exactly what liberals are doing right now.
Ever Wonder....If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 10

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 9

Ever Wonder......Why there isn't a mouse-flavored cat food?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quiz for people who know everything!

This is a quiz for people who know everything! These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine, it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters "dw" and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter "S."

Remember, this is for fun! Enjoy!

Answers tomorrow.
The Results of Cell Phone Use While Driving

The Honda crotch rocket rider was traveling at approximately 85 mph. The VW driver was talking on a cell phone when she pulled out from a side street, apparently not seeing themotorcycle. The riders reaction time was not sufficientenough to avoid this accident. The car had two passengers and the bike rider was found INSIDE the car with them. The Volkswagen actually flipped over from the force of impact and landed 20 feet from where the collision took place.

All three involved (two in the car and the bike rider) were killed instantly. This graphic demonstration was placed at the Motorcycle Fair by the Police and Road Safety Department.

Pass this on to car drivers or soon to be new drivers, or new motorcycle owners

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Wake up people.

Stop talking on Cell phones and Texting while trying to drive.

Put your Cell phone in the back seat !!!

The above was received in email. No, I didn't check this out for veracity. As stated above, a picture is worth a thousand words. This kind of accident is 100% avoidable. Three people died because one person was too selfish to think of the safety of anyone else, much less his or her own safety.

Cell phones, texting, and driving do not mix. No matter how good you think you are, you are not that good. If you must use a cell, then please, use a hands-free device. If you must text, pull off to the side of the road.

As a general thing, I don't care what you do to risk your life, but when you're talking on a cell phone, you're also risking mine. I know that you may think your reaction time is super and you can react in time to avoid any accidents. You may even have done it. You're playing on borrowed time and your luck will run out.

Don't think that just because you're young you're any better than the elderly person driving down the street. When your attention is diverted, (talking will divert your attention, and lets not even talk about how texting diverts your attention) you've just narrowed the gap in the differences between you and that white haired dear in the other car.

The life you save might be your own. Or mine.

Every Wonder......Why the time of day with the slowest traffic is called rush hour?

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 8

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Dogs Hate Halloween
Part 7

Ever Wonder......Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

A food critic was traveling....

....throughout England. He found most of the food bland and disappointing. Then, one day, he stopped at a small London pub for fish and chips. The meal was so good that he asked the owner for the recipe. The owner eventually admitted that he had bought the food from the monastery next door. The food critic went to the monastery and knocked on the door. A brother opened the door. The critic asked the brother if he was the fish fryer. "Nope," replied the brother. "I'm the chip monk."

Let the Festivities Begin!

There had to have been alcohol and a bet involved. But my question is...who lost the bet? The painter or the paintee?