Saturday, April 30, 2011

O Duce Update (Bumped)

Obama Administration punishes reporter for using multimedia : Bronstein at Large: "The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci - who, like many contemporary reporters, has a phone with video capabilities on her at all times - pulled out a small video camera last week and shot some protesters interrupting an Obama fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel."
My shock never ends.

PANTS-ON-FIRE UPDATE: Update: In a pants-on-fire moment, the White House press office today denied anyone there had issued threats to remove Carla Marinucci and possibly other Hearst reporters from the press pool covering the President in the Bay Area.

Chronicle editor Ward Bushee called the press office on its fib:

Sadly, we expected the White House to respond in this manner based on our experiences yesterday. It is not a truthful response. It follows a day of off-the-record exchanges with key people in the White House communications office who told us they would remove our reporter, then threatened retaliation to Chronicle and Hearst reporters if we reported on the ban, and then recanted to say our reporter might not be removed after all.

The Chronicle's report is accurate.

If the White House has indeed decided not to ban our reporter, we would like an on-the-record notice that she will remain the San Francisco print pool reporter.

I was on some of those calls and can confirm Ward's statement.

Messy ball now firmly in White House court.

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West Is The Best (Part 83,937)

Florida’s Congressman West Gaining Star Power - "Mr. West’s political beliefs hew closely to the most conservative members of the House; he was among the 59 House Republicans who voted against a deal worked out with Democrats to finance the government through the rest of the year, arguing that the included spending cuts did not go far enough, and says he will not vote to lift the nation’s debt ceiling without more cuts.

His views on the Middle East tend to tack even more to the right of the strongest supporters of Israel. During his campaign, Mr. West posted on his Web site a statement saying: “I do not support any creation of a Palestinian state, to do so would be to create a terrorist state. There is already a state for the Arabic people residing in the region called Palestine, Jordan.”"
How about West/Cain 2012?

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Why windmills won’t wash | Watts Up With That?: "The “global warming” that the Thanet wind-farm will forestall in its 20-year lifetime is 0.000002 Celsius, or two millionths of a degree, or 1/25,000 of the minimum global temperature change that modern methods can detect. The mitigation cost-effectiveness, per Celsius degree of warming forestalled, is £578 trillion ($954 trillion), or almost 6000 times the entire 296 years’-worth of UK peacetime and wartime national debt as it stood when Margaret Thatcher took office. That’s more than 1.7 million years’ British national debt, just to prevent 1 degree of warming.

Making IPeCaC’s predicted 3.4 C° of 21st-century warming go away, if all measures were as cost-ineffective as Thanet, would take more than half of the world’s gross domestic product this century, at a cost of more than £280,000 ($463,000) from every man, woman and child on the planet."
RTWT as they say. You never thought math could be so entertaining... and scary.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

We'd Have Full Employment And Nothing To Eat (The Rich)

Hayek and Keynes, Round Two:

One of my favorite questions is to ask people if they think Obama is a Keynesian? Heh.

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The Middle Class Has Been Broken

Guest Post: The Housing Bubble Broke The Middle Class | zero hedge: "The Great Middle Class between those in poverty and the top 20%--56 million households-- owns about $2.7 trillion in financial wealth, and the millions with mortgages own an additional $1 trillion in home equity. That comes to $3.7 trillion, or about 6.5% of the total household net worth.

Consumer durables--all the autos, washing machines, jet-skis, etc.--are worth about $2.2 trillion ($4.6 T = $2.4 T in consumer debt). Add the durables and the other wealth, and the Great Mortgaged Middle Class holds about 10% of the total household wealth ($5.9 trillion).

Before the housing bubble, households owed about $5 trillion in mortgages. The housing bubble came along, introducing the fantasy of home-as-ATM-cash-withdrawal-machine, and mortgages ballooned to over $10 trillion.

Back at the top of the bubble, the middle class had $6 trillion more assets on the books. Considering the Mortgaged Middle Class now owns about $6 trillion in net assets, then the bursting of the housing bubble caused their net worth to drop by 50%.

I'm not making any political statement here--these are the numbers."
O Duce got the 2008 Dem nomination because it was he -- through his work with ACORN -- and not Hillary that could lay legitimate claim to this feat and the path it sows to the Dem's cherished Marxist revolution.

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Transfer O Lunatics

Power Line - The Purpose of Government: "What is the central purpose of government? That question might be tricky to answer in theory, but here in the U.S., the practical answer is easy: the principal function of our national government is to transfer wealth from the young and the middle-aged to the elderly. Such transfers currently account for around $1.159 trillion, nearly one-half trillion more than we spend for national defense, and far more than any other category of the budget.

Am I the only person who finds this bizarre? No political philosopher has ever argued that the central purpose of government is to transfer wealth to the elderly. No politician, to my knowledge, has ever run for office on such a platform. It would be odd, at best, for such transfers to be deemed the principal purpose of government, even if the elderly were not--as one would expect--the wealthiest segment of our society."
And what did our (decidedly non-lunatic) ancestors think of this prospect? Well, here's an excerpt to ponder from one of them:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
Who said that? One James Madison. Widely revered as the architect of the Constitution.

Frankly, you're off your rocker if you can read that and determine a mandate from the founders for FedGov to support oldsters, much less virtually anything else they've arrogated to themselves.

And while we're at it, isn't it interesting that Madison thought most of the tax haul for FedGov should come from tariffs? Now there's a great mechanism to support us oldsters ... not. Such a prospect was light-centuries from his mind I'm sorry to inform you.

But what did he know?

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The Reason

Instapundit » Blog Archive » THE REASON WHY “THERE ARE NO MORE ARBITERS OF TRUTH” is that the old ones were liars. Until you can…: "THE REASON WHY “THERE ARE NO MORE ARBITERS OF TRUTH” is that the old ones were liars. Until you can get past that problem, you’ll have to deal with conspiracy theories. And really, after Dan Rather, I don’t see how anyone can complain about Internet innuendo.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 9:52 pm"

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No Problem

Wal-Mart shoppers running out of money - Apr. 27, 2011: "NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

'We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,' Duke said at an event in New York. 'There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.'

Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they're 'running out of money' at a faster clip, he said.

Wal-Mart's ready to do battle on prices

'Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,' Duke said. 'This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern."
But O'Bernank sees no problem. You see, food and energy prices aren't counted in the inflation rate. No problem.

Just another variation of Stalin's "No man, no problem".

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Sickened Yet?

Power Line - Syriana: "I will now quote the Telegraph quoting al-Jazeera: 'There was a crowd crossing an overpass. They were met by a hail of gunfire. There were incredibly chaotic scenes. It was quite clear that there was a funeral procession -- and it was met by gunfire.' Of course.

Where has the United States been, as this evil has been perpetrated? Have we recalled our ambassador, made a fuss at the U.N.? Zero. This Washington Post editorial correctly tells of our national shame.

A final word, for now: When Israel announced the expansion of some housing in its capital, Jerusalem, the Obama administration went nuts. Absolutely nuts. Everyone -- president, vice president, secretary of state -- was mobilized against Israel.

When the Syrian government mows down unarmed innocents in the streets -- nothing. For more than two years now, we've seen the worldview of the Obama administration, expressed in foreign policy. Are you sickened yet?
These basic points and incongruities cannot be repeated often enough."
Why no! In fact it's overdue that we put them on the U.N. Human Rights Council!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Instapundit » Blog Archive » HOPE AND CHANGE SAME! Report: Obama’s new Afghanistan ambassador is … Bush’s old Iraq ambassa…: "HOPE AND CHANGE SAME! Report: Obama’s new Afghanistan ambassador is … Bush’s old Iraq ambassador. “Please don’t confuse him with David Petraeus, Obama’s top Afghanistan commander who used to be … Bush’s top Iraq commander. Or with Robert Gates, Obama’s Secretary of Defense who used to be … Bush’s Secretary of Defense.”

Hey, maybe we can get Rumsfeld back as SecDef when Gates leaves!

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 11:34 pm"
Kind of gives new dimension to the word "risible", doesn't it?

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Monday, April 25, 2011

No Silver Bullet?

The Silver Bullet? - April 23, 2011 - The New York Sun: "“Now,” said President Obama in his most soothing voice, “whenever gas prices shoot up, like clockwork, you see politicians racing to the cameras, waving three-point plans for two dollar gas. You see people trying to grab headlines or score a few points. The truth is, there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.”

Funny the president should choose those words. As he was delivering his weekly radio address, we were just thinking about gasoline and wondering how its value has been faring in specie. One can’t tell that from its price, though, because we are dealing with, in the dollars issued by the Federal Reserve, a fiat currency that no longer has any connection with something real. But what if, say, we were to price gasoline in silver?

It turns out that if we price gasoline in ounces of silver, we discover that it has been falling in value. That is, a gallon of gasoline on the day President Obama was sworn in was worth about a sixth of an ounce of silver. Today, the value of the same gallon of gasoline has fallen to less than a 10th of an ounce of silver."
Didn't think of it that way before, did you? Here's Peter Schiff making the same point ... and more:

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Diversity Chinese Style

China Proposes to Cut Two-Thirds of USD Holdings | The Gateway Pundit: "China has decided to serve the world another surprise. Following last week’s announcement by PBoC Governor Zhou (Where’s Waldo) Xiaochuan that the country’s excessive stockpile of USD reserves has to be urgently diversified, today we get a sense of just how big the upcoming Chinese defection from the “buy US debt” Nash equilibrium will be. Not surprisingly, China appears to be getting ready to cut its USD reserves by roughly the amount of dollars that was recently printed by the Fed, or $2 trilion or so. And to think that this comes just as news that the Japanese pension fund will soon be dumping who knows what. So, once again, how about that “end of QE” again?"

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Of Course Not

NLRB dictates Boeing operational plans « Hot Air: "I’ve heard plenty of people dismiss Atlas Shrugged (the book as well as the movie) as overwrought, contrived paranoia about the regulatory state.  The government can’t run companies through its regulatory system, critics scoff, no matter what a Russian ex-patriate thought more than 50 years ago.  No one is marching into manufacturers in the US and telling the Hank Reardons of the world what they can build and where.

Of course not:
In 2009 Boeing announced plans to build a new plant to meet demand for its new 787 Dreamliner. Though its union contract didn’t require it, Boeing executives negotiated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to build the plane at its existing plant in Washington state. The talks broke down because the union wanted, among other things, a seat on Boeing’s board and a promise that Boeing would build all future airplanes in Puget Sound."
The Equalization of Opportunity Act is here. And Stephen Moore had a nice commentary on Atlas Shrugged in the WSJ a while back:
Galt: "You want me to be Economic Dictator?"

Mr. Thompson: "Yes!"

"And you'll obey any order I give?"


"Then start by abolishing all income taxes."

"Oh no!" screamed Mr. Thompson, leaping to his feet. "We couldn't do that . . . How would we pay government employees?"

"Fire your government employees."

"Oh, no!"

Abolishing the income tax. Now that really would be a genuine economic stimulus. But Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Washington want to do the opposite: to raise the income tax "for purposes of fairness" as Barack Obama puts it.

David Kelley, the president of the Atlas Society, which is dedicated to promoting Rand's ideas, explains that "the older the book gets, the more timely its message." He tells me that there are plans to make "Atlas Shrugged" into a major motion picture -- it is the only classic novel of recent decades that was never made into a movie. "We don't need to make a movie out of the book," Mr. Kelley jokes. "We are living it right now."
The movie's out. Go see it. I had a lot of trepidation having read the book four times but I was pleasantly surprised.

The scene where Dagny trades her necklace for Lillian's Reardon metal bracelet was there and was worth the price of admission all by itself...

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fire Up Your Microscope...

Power Line - More White House Demagoguery on Gas Prices: "Exxon Mobil, America's largest crude oil producer, is a net buyer, not seller, of crude oil. The American oil companies typically refine two to three times as much oil as they produce. So they have little or no impact on the global price of crude oil.

It is too bad that demagoguery isn't a useful product. If it were, the Obama administration could add materially to our GDP."
... and try to find ExxonMobil on this chart:

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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Power Line - The Tea Party: How Extreme Can You Get?: "We are living in a bizarre moment in history. Our establishment--the press, the academy, all unions, most politicians, many in business who have skin in the Ponzi game--assure us that borrowing trillions of dollars to finance wasteful spending, while sticking our children with the tab plus interest, is perfectly sensible. On the other hand, believing that we should live within our means is? Crazy!

Michael Ramirez lends historical context to the debate; click to enlarge:"

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Hauser's Law

Ace of Spades HQ: "The time period in that graph encompasses three major revisions of the Internal Revenue Code (1939, 1954 and 1986) that have taken place since the 16th amendment was ratified. During the period, tax rates were all over the map, with top marginal rates as high as 90% at one point, and deductions, exemptions and credits were tinkered with constantly by Congress. But revenue was always constrained at 20% of GDP."
Kind of like the speed of light taxes.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

LBJ's Texas: Missing

Power Line - Obama as political historian: "Yesterday he was at it again, in his peevish interview with the feisty local broadcast reporter from Texas. Why are you so unpopular in Texas? the reporter asked. Obama being Obama, he was unable to laugh off the question and say he'd do better next time around. Obama responded: 'Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for, you know, historic reasons.'

Has the guy ever heard of LBJ? You know, the fellow who first brought us socialized medicine? Has he ever read a single volume of Robert Caro's monumental biography of LBJ? It's hard to miss the extent to which the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics for the duration of LBJ's (long) political career."

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Nuts On Stilts

H/T Powerline.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Where To Find The Gulch

Power Line - Clarity in Chile: "Chile has squelched a constitutional amendment affording public employee unions collective bargaining rights and a 'right' to strike. Even some of the lefties who dominate the senate didn't want to touch it. Perhaps the thugs at work in Wisconsin have tarnished the supposed 'right' to collective bargaining for public employees.

In any event, Chile has dragged itself up from the third world to the first in the last three decades by promoting economic freedom and free trade."
Things you thought you'd never read... Speaking of strikes, Francisco d'Anconia may be taking a different path in Chile?

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Tale O Innumeracy

Power Line - Where the Money Is: "This chart from the Wall Street Journal tells you pretty much all you need to know about the credibility of the Democrats' claim that they can solve the country's fiscal problems by raising taxes on 'the rich.' The chart, based on 2008 IRS data, shows how much total income was reported by Americans in each income range. Click to enlarge:"

If you took every penny of income of those making a million or more of income you'd have less than $1T to try to eliminate this year's budget deficit of ... $1.6T. Whoops.

And how many of your victims will be hanging around next year to see if you're going to do that to them again? And what do you suppose will happen to what few new jobs are being created? Have you ever been hired by a poor man?

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Why Even Bother?

Follow Where You Tax Dollars Are Being Spent | zero hedge: "Earlier during the S&P conference call, one of the participants asked the brilliantly simple question: with the Fed monetizing debt, why should the US even bother to collect taxes? When one steps back from the apparent insanity of this rhetorical question, it does present a very good though experiment: after all what better way to stimulate the consumer part of the economy than to let 'taxpayers' no longer be that, and retain 100% of their cash. In the meantime, since nothing impacts bond yields, the statists will say, the Fed can continue to monetize debt indefinitely: after all we have a printing press and a reserve currency (an argument so asinine even the S&P laughed at it), until we get to a point where consumers have no choice but to lever up in the face of rampant inflation."
And the answer is: Because taxes are only collected from the "rich" you dummy! And they need to make them you poor schnell, schnell!

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Until It Ends This Can't Go On: "That's how much the U.S. government spends, in inflation-adjusted dollars, per capita. Which means it's adjusted for both inflation and population increase. And note that that graph has a logarithmic scale.

A hundred years ago, federal spending for each person was the equivalent of $200 in today's dollars. After FDR, with all of his massive public spending, it was $1,000. This year, it's over $12,000. How long can this continue?"
Until it ends with guns to the heads of the last remaining productive few. I think it was Kevin Williamson who pointed out the difference between communism and socialism. Communism starts with a gun to the head ... and socialism ends with one.

H/T Glenn.

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COTD/QOTD: Until The Day

WSJ shows taxing the rich won’t cover the bill « Hot Air: "“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
— Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)

xrayiiis on April 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM"

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eat The Rich (Part 67,391)

National debt: Tax the rich! Okay, but then what? - Apr. 12, 2011: "First, the income of the top 2% of taxpayers is typically more volatile than that of taxpayers lower down the income scale, so when the economy sours, so often do those high-end income streams. That means less revenue than expected will flow into federal coffers.

Second, even if that weren't true, there just aren't enough rich people to generate the kind of revenue needed to substantially reduce deficits.

To show the disparity, consider some recent calculations by the Congressional Budget Office. Raising all six income tax rates by 1 percentage point would yield an additional $480 billion over 10 years. By contrast, raising the top two rates by 1 percentage point would yield just $115 billion."
All quantities of things are possible to innumerate children.

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Gangsta Government Update

President Whatever finds things not going his way | Michael Barone | Politics | Washington Examiner: "By what criteria is this relief being granted? That's unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.

If so, what we're looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.

The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to."

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Friday, April 15, 2011

The Bernank Again

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Atlas Is Shrugging: Mashup Edition

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The $3.53 "Solution"

Here's something you can use with your friends and neighbors to put the disaster in perspective:

Philip Greenspun's Weblog » Understanding Congress’s solution to the federal deficit problem: "Let’s start with federal spending. The FY 2011 federal budget is approximately $3.82 trillion (3.82×10^12). Of that, approximately $2.17 trillion will be paid for by taxes collected and the remaining $1.65 trillion will be borrowed from our grandchildren. If we divide everything by 100 million, the numbers begin to make more sense.

We have a family that is spending $38,200 per year. The family’s income is $21,700 per year. The family adds $16,500 in credit card debt every year in order to pay its bills. After a long and difficult debate among family members, keeping in mind that it was not going to be possible to borrow $16,500 every year forever, the parents and children agreed that a $380/year premium cable subscription could be terminated. So now the family will have to borrow only $16,120 per year."
Except there's just one teeny problem. When the CBO audited the family, it said that they had already spent most of that cable subscription and were only going to save a total of $3.53 this year.

Not only is the $380 far too small to have an impact on their impending bankruptcy but the $3.53 is less than one penny out of every dollar of the 380 they claimed they were going to cut from the year's budget. I call b*llsh*t.

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The Google Provision

Federal News Radio 1500 AM: White House draft bill expands DHS cyber responsibilities: "Additionally, the source said there is a provision toward the end of the document that could have far-reaching effects.

The provision states: 'Prohibition, no law, rule, regulation or order or other administrative action of any state or political subdivision shall require a business entity to house a data center in such state or political subdivision there of as a condition to certify, licensure or approval in relating to operation of such entity.'

The source said the provision means the government can't stop a company from doing business in a state, but if the state is doing a procurement, they can't tell the business to locate a data center in their state.

The provision also defines what a data center is and says the language will 'promote efficiency and innovation'

The source called it the 'Google provision' since the search engine giant hosts its data in centers around the world."
It helps to know the O. I wonder how many hundred million he gets contributed to his billion dollar campaign for this one? And why is the executive branch writing legislation anyway?

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

QOTD: Restraints

The Vail Spot: GOP Leadership Betrays The Base: "“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry"
If only.

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Speaking O Attention Span...

Power Line - Obama Channels Ted Kennedy: "This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. And who are those 50 million Americans? Many are someone's grandparents who wouldn't be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down's syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we'd be telling to fend for themselves."
He also expects you to forget that he's happy to see the autistic and Down's children preemptively killed. Oh, excuse, me. Aborted.

Just wow.

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Does The Electorate Have The Attention Span Of A Fruit Fly?

Throw Grandma From the Train - Political Punch: "President Obama at the GOP House retreat, January 2010:  

“We're not going to be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as, ‘Well, you know, that's -- the other party's being irresponsible. The other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens. That the other party is doing X, Y, Z.”

President Obama today:

“One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates…This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit.  And who are those 50 million Americans?  Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid.  Many are poor children.  Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome.  Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care.  These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.”

-Jake Tapper"
It would appear that O Duce thinks they do...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The PyrO

More Ryan on Obama: “He’s basically a pyromaniac in a field of straw men” « Hot Air: "More Ryan on Obama: “He’s basically a pyromaniac in a field of straw men”"
That title was impossible to resist of course...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Du'O (Part 97,529)

Big banks are government-backed: Fed's Hoenig - Yahoo! News: "CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Big banks like Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc should be reclassified as government-sponsored entities and have their activities restricted, a senior Fed official said on Tuesday.
The 2008 bank bailouts at the height of the financial crisis and other implicit guarantees effectively make the largest U.S. banks government-guaranteed enterprises, like mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig.
'That's what they are,' Hoenig said at the National Association of Attorneys General 2011 conference.
He said these lenders should be restricted to commercial banking activities, advocating a policy that existed for decades barring banks from engaging in investment banking activities.
'You're a public utility, for crying out loud,' he said."

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100 Million Allegories

Rebecca Black's 'Friday': A libertarian allegory - "When she finally announces, elatedly, that 'I don't want the weekend to end,' she is expressing more than just the desire to be permanently relieved of educational tasks; it is a cry for the civic order to recognize the human right of liberty itself. The video ends with that hope that there will be no return to the twelve-year sentence but rather that 'partying' could become a permanent state of being, not just for her but for everyone.

To be sure, I'm not arguing that all of this was overtly intended by the songwriter or the singer. The point, rather, is that the plight, the hopes, and the dreams that are reflected in this video, however inadvertently, tap into a sensibility and a longing of a generation for a certain kind of freedom from a system that has ensnared them against their will. This might be the driving force of its popularity — and precisely why something that people claim not to like is evidently so loved.

A child-like dream of Friday and what it represents for kids trapped in public school, kids who are transported around on tax-funded buses and ordered around by tax-funded propagandists for the state, is a plausible allegory for the plight of all people imprisoned in state-controlled environments."

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And Just To Really Cheer Up Your Day

Here's a puzzle for you: What is this chart about? I'll leave it up for a while just in case anyone can figure it out. One clue is that you'll care about it especially if you live in Wyoming -- or anywhere in the northern / central Rockies for that matter. Another clue is that event #1 hasn't happened yet. (And yes, if you look at the HTML for this post -- or just hold your mouse over the chart -- you will figure it out also.)

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Nada Pimple

My Way News - Budget tricks helped Obama save programs from cuts: "WASHINGTON (AP) - The historic $38 billion in budget cuts resulting from at-times hostile bargaining between Congress and the Obama White House were accomplished in large part by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.
Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs - Pell grants for poor college students, health research and 'Race to the Top' aid for public schools, among others - from Republican knives, according to new details of the legislation released Tuesday morning.
And big holes in foreign aid and Environmental Protection Agency accounts were patched in large part. Republicans also gave up politically treacherous cuts to the Agriculture Department's food inspection program.
The details of the agreement reached late Friday night just ahead of a deadline for a partial government shutdown reveal a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially 'score' as cuts to pay for spending elsewhere, but often have little to no actual impact on the deficit."
If you're numerate, you figured out that the $38 billion wasn't even a pimple on the butt of Leviathan. And now you know the pimple went down the rabbit hole. Or is it the memory hole? I'll leave it to you to complete my theme of holes and what's happening with them...

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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Sickening Shock Never Ends

Instapundit » Blog Archive » THE “SMOKING GUN” of the Wisconsin Teachers’ Union Sickout. “Now there is proof that the sickout wa…: "THE “SMOKING GUN” of the Wisconsin Teachers’ Union Sickout. “Now there is proof that the sickout was a premeditated, union-authorized job action — a phone tree of teachers calling other teachers to close down the schools. This kind of activity is prohibited by the union’s own contract and illegal in WI Statute Chapter 111.84(2)(e).”

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:39 pm"

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's Not True That I'm Against All Taxes

Instapundit » Blog Archive » SO OBAMA’S PEOPLE ARE TALKING TAX INCREASES AGAIN. Here’s my proposal: A 50% surtax on anything ea…: "SO OBAMA’S PEOPLE ARE TALKING TAX INCREASES AGAIN. Here’s my proposal: A 50% surtax on anything earned within five years after leaving the federal government, above whatever the federal salary was. Leave a $150K job at the White House, take a $1M job with Goldman, Sachs, pay a $425K surtax. Some House Republican should add this to a bill and watch the Dems react.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:42 pm"

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Powers Rules

Arab League to ask UN to impose no-fly zone over Gaza: "The Arab League on Sunday announced during a special meeting in Cairo that it plans to press the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Gaza amid an escalation in violence in the area, AFP reported.

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa said he plans to present the proposal to the UN Security Council, the report said."
Welcome to the "Responsibility O Protect". Against those nasty Joooooos dontcha know. Soros apparently feels he didn't get the job done the first go-round.

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More Eating the Rich

Eat the Rich - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic: "You can estimate the effects of various proposals in the best case, which is that each percentage point increase in the marginal rate translates to an equal increase in the effective rate. Going back to 2000 ('Clinton era') marginal rates on income over $200,000, let's call it a 5 percentage point increase in the marginal rate, would therefore yield $59 billion on a static basis. Going from there to a 45% rate on incomes over $1 million (another 5 percentage point increase) yields an additional $31 billion. Or, instead, on top of 2000 rates over $200,000, 50%/60%/70% on $500,000/$5 million/$10 million? An extra $133 billion, or nearly 1% of GDP. That's not accounting for the further middle class tax cuts that are usually proposed along with these 'millionaires' taxes.'

Now, compare this to deficits of $1,413 billion in 2009 and $1,293 billion in 2010, and using optimistic White House estimates, $1,645 billion in 2011 $1,101 billion in 2012, $768 billion in 2013, and continuing at over $600 billion after."

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Eagles And Parrots

Winston Churchill - When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. | Famous Quotes: "'When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.'
- Winston Churchill"

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just Another Day Of WTF

WTF? Government Can Read Any Of Your Old Emails Without A Warrant?: "This is Wired, so I guess I believe them, but this... unbelievable. And scary.

And the government wants to retain this ability?
The Obama administration is urging Congress not to adopt legislation that would impose constitutional safeguards on Americans’ e-mail stored in the cloud.

'The cloud,' I understand, is just email stored on external serves. Like any free email account. Like gmail, or yahoo.
As the law stands now, the authorities may obtain cloud e-mail without a warrant if it is older than 180 days, thanks to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act adopted in 1986. At that time, e-mail left on a third-party server for six months was considered to be abandoned, and thus enjoyed less privacy protection. However, the law demands warrants for the authorities to seize e-mail from a person’s hard drive.
A coalition of internet service providers and other groups, known as Digital Due Process, has lobbied for an update to the law to treat both cloud- and home-stored e-mail the same, and thus require a probable-cause warrant for access. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on that topic Tuesday.
That's insane. That's insane."
Just in case you didn't know. When O Duce said "transparent government", he muffled the "to" he said in between.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Non-Reformist Reforms Today

O Duce: Go into debt and buy a Volt!

American Thinker: The Unified Theory of Obama: "Obama Energy Plan A:

As consumers are priced out of the gas market, force them to buy cars they can't pay for without government subsidies we can't afford which run on batteries that don't exist yet which our electrical grid can't accommodate.

Plan B:

Cut oil imports 1/3 by 'investing' in Brazilian production, thus forming a 'partnership' which allows us to buy oil from ourselves. And pay for it twice.

Plan C:

After successfully implementing Plan B, recycle Plan A.

Plan D:

Punish folks who won't relocate to densely populated urban areas with public transportation by imposing a gas mileage tax to pay for inter-city high speed rail -- with train stations they'll have to drive hundreds of miles to get to."
And you thought Stanley Kurtz was crazy when he started talking about Obama's "non-reformist reforms" as a stealth method of collapsing the system? Go to 22:30 to start. Then roll back and WTWT.

Also available here.

UPDATE (click on image to enlarge):

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A Tale O Wreckage

Instapundit » Blog Archive » THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: NBC’s Brokaw: Saudis ‘So Unhappy’…: "THIS MUST BE MORE OF THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WE WERE PROMISED: NBC’s Brokaw: Saudis ‘So Unhappy’ With Obama They Sent Emissaries to China, Russia Seeking Enhanced Ties.

Really, if you were trying to wreck America’s world position, what would you be doing differently?

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:08 am"

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Marie Rules

Instapundit » Blog Archive » MORE ON Obama’s scoffing at high gas prices’ impact on Americans. “Obama fills the role of clueless…: "MORE ON Obama’s scoffing at high gas prices’ impact on Americans. “Obama fills the role of clueless aristocrat by telling a man who explains that he can’t afford to fill his gas tank at current prices that he should instead buy a new car. If the press reported it, the retort would prove rather embarrassing — which may be why the Associated Press scrubbed it from their coverage of the event. . . . Just think how Marie Antoinette would have fared with a media so devoted to spinning for her.” I saved a screenshot for the record. There’s also a link to video.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:48 am"

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Pie In The Face

Power Line - After the Big Mac, a Pie For Dessert: "I used the analogy of a Big Mac Extra Value Meal to illustrate how minor currently proposed cuts to the FY 2011 federal budget are. Michael Ramirez employs a more traditional analogy, the pie, to make a similar point. Click to enlarge:"

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Did I Forget To Mention The NYeT?

Power Line - The Progressive Dilemma, Update 2: "What, one wonders, would Democratic governors and mayors do if they did not have Republican governors for comparison? In fact, the wage cuts and increased employee pension contributions being proposed in California, Maryland and New York are actually greater, on a per capita basis, greater than those being pressed by Republicans Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Scott and Chris Christie.

At least New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't bothered to invoke Walker or Kasich as a defense of his own assault on 'the schoolchildren, the the elderly, the poor, the sick,' as the New York Times described his budget, cuts which pale in comparison to the bite he is taking out of his state's employees."
Funny how this doesn't seem to make the national radar. Just that "fascist" Scott Walker. Welcome to "name that party", part 89,392.

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Layers Of Fact Checkers -- NYeT!

Actually, GE is paying taxes for 2010 « Hot Air: "Later in the day, the Times changed its headline to “At GE on Tax Day, Billions of Reasons to Smile,” but the meme had already been set.  In fact, GE did not get a $3.2 billion refund.  They also paid estimated taxes during the course of the year, as all companies do, and they’re pretty sure they’re not getting a refund, either.  They will probably end up with a “small tax liability” for 2010, which means they have to write a check to the IRS on the 15th, like many Americans will do.

So how did the Times get the story so wrong?  Well, thanks to a ludicrous American tax code, it’s extremely complicated to analyze any company’s tax liabilities even from the inside, let alone from the outside.  The Times apparently got confused by a report showing a $3.2 billion “tax benefit” in 2010, which they mistook for an after-profit credit.  The term actually refers to estimated pre-profit deductions and credits, which lower the eventual taxable income number on which GE gets billed by the IRS.  It’s roughly analogous to mistaking personal itemized deductions on a tax return for a refund figure."
Good Lord. The NYeT. You can't even count on them when they appear to be on the side of heaven. Or is it you can't count on them especially when they appear to be on the side of heaven?

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Paul Ryan: The GOP Path to Prosperity - "The president's recent budget proposal would accelerate America's descent into a debt crisis. It doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and triples it by 2021. It imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy. His budget permanently enlarges the size of government. It offers no reforms to save government health and retirement programs, and no leadership.

Our budget, which we call The Path to Prosperity, is very different. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion."
And even with all of this (RTWT) it takes 40 years to eliminate the national debt? The Bernank must be pleased as punch.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

More Than They Hate The Jews

Why Veena Malik’s smackdown of a mullah was a seminal moment for feminism « Hot Air: "European police investigate honour killings. European hospitals confront female genital mutilations.

And these things all happen in North America, too, albeit to a lesser degree.

On this 100th International Women’s Day, the challenge for feminists has become both imperative and anguishing: Will they argue forever against American television sitcoms of the 1950s — or are they morally and intellectually capable of recognizing the dangers to women’s aspirations in the 21st century? Can they transcend their inherited ideology, and recognize that the best and only guarantee of women’s equality is Western liberal democratic capitalism? Will they accept critics of Third World misogyny — such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji — into the pantheon of feminism along with Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B. Anthony and Simone de Beauvoir? Can they perceive that the people who would destroy Israel hate women even more than they hate Jews?"
And behold what courage really looks like:

How long do you think they'll let her live?

And who do you think supports those who are about to kill her? The Tea Party? Conservatives?

Umm, no.

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U.S. Embassy Cables: 90 Percent of Mexican Drug Cartels' Most Lethal Weapons Come From Central America--Not USA | "( -- The most lethal weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico are smuggled from Central America, not from the United States, according to U.S. Embassy cables unveiled by WikiLeaks, reported La Jornada, a leading newspaper in Mexico City.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City reportedly wrote the cables following three bilateral conferences on firearms trafficking that took place in Mexico between March 2009 and January 2010.
The cables from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to the State Department in Washington, D.C., reported that lethal weapons, including anti-tank firearms and grenades, were stolen from military forces in Central America and then smuggled into Mexico through the Guatemala border, reported  La Jornada on Mar. 29."
H/T Glenn.

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Transparency My *ss

Instapundit » Blog Archive » DARK DAYS AHEAD FOR TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT: I give you two headlines that pretty much say it all:…: "I give you two headlines that pretty much say it all:

Obama Receives Transparency Award at Secret Meeting

OMB prepares for open gov sites to go dark in May

It is relatively easy to make promises about transparency and to engage in all manner of posturing about it, but when push comes to shove it’s just a lot easier doing certain things (most things) when someone isn’t looking over your shoulder.
Well, on the pro-transparency side, you can see right through them."

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For Decades To Come

Better Living Through Electricity | Watts Up With That?: "Thousands of other African communities want the same opportunities. But for now they must continue to live without electricity, or have it only sporadically and unpredictably a few hours each week. Over 700 million Africans – and some two billion people worldwide – still lack regular, reliable electricity and must rely on toxic wood and dung fires for most or all of their heating and cooking needs.

Mothers with babies strapped on their backs must bend over open fires, breathing poisonous fumes and being struck down by debilitating, often fatal lung diseases. Homes, schools, shops and clinics lack the most rudimentary electrical necessities. Impoverished families must live in mud-and-thatch or cinderblock houses that allow mosquitoes to fly in, feast on human blood and infect victims with malaria. And parents and children must carry and drink untreated water that swarms with bacteria and parasites which cause cholera, diarrhea and river blindness. When the sun goes down, their lives shut down.

The environmental costs are equally high. In Rwanda gorilla habitats are being turned into charcoal, to fuel cooking fires. In Zambia, entrepreneurs harvest trees by the thousands along highways, selling them to motorists heading back to their non-electrified homes in rural areas and even parts of cities. As quickly as First World charities hold plant-a-tree days, Africans cut trees for essential cooking.

If eco-activists have their way, it will be like this for decades to come."
Conservatives kill babies? Reeeaaallly??? And don't even get me started on Margaret Sanger...

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Flapping In The Wind

Sir Andrew of Rubesville : The Other McCain: "“The president’s own words are incredibly important here. The hypocrisy is amazing. In 2007, the president said, ‘The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’ And yet here we have a president cavalierly taking us to war. He seems to have had a lot of time to talk to people. He talked to the Arab League; they had time to get together and vote on it. He talked to the U.N.; they had time to get together and vote on it. But he had utter disregard and contempt for the most important body in the United States that represents the people, the U.S. Congress — utter contempt. He’s gone to NATO, he’s gone to our allies, he’s gone to the U.N., he’s gone to the Arab League, but he has not had one single minute of debate in Congress. To add insult to injury, he chose to go to war while in Brazil, while Congress was not even in session.”
– Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)

And rather than allow such a debate, Harry Reid adjourned the Senate — leaving Sully’s shredded credibility flapping in the wind."

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Friday, April 1, 2011

My Farmer Died

Power Line - Are We Doomed?: "I grew up in a farm state, South Dakota, and still recall a joke that was then popular. It grew out of the fact that the number of farmers in the U.S. was constantly declining, while at the same time the Department of Agriculture was steadily growing. So here is the joke: A guy at the Department of Agriculture is going past a cubicle and he sees one of his colleagues sitting at his desk, crying. He wonders what is wrong and stops to ask his colleague what has happened. The guy looks up and, through his tears, says: 'My farmer died.'

That same phenomenon has now spread throughout the economy. Government workers are everywhere proliferating, even as private sector employment flags. In today's Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore notes this astonishing fact:
Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government."
Jiminy crickets.

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The New Foreign Aid

Foreign Banks Tapped Fed's Lifeline Most as Bernanke Kept Borrowers Secret - Bloomberg: "The biggest borrowers from the 97-year-old discount window as the program reached its crisis-era peak were foreign banks, accounting for at least 70 percent of the $110.7 billion borrowed during the week in October 2008 when use of the program surged to a record. The disclosures may stoke a reexamination of the risks posed to U.S. taxpayers by the central bank’s role in global financial markets.

“The caricature of the Fed is that it was shoveling money to big New York banks and a bunch of foreigners, and that is not conducive to its long-run reputation,” said Vincent Reinhart, the Fed’s director of monetary affairs from 2001 to 2007."
That would be because the caricature is true.

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Eat The Rich

Remember this from Iowahawk? Here it is in a masterful video by Bill Whittle:

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Shooting For 100

‘Time to End the Fed?: The Origin of Central Banking and Possible Alternatives’ - By Veronique de Rugy - The Corner - National Review Online: "This is an informative video on the role, history, and problems of the Federal Reserve and central banks in general. The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell makes the case that the Federal Reserve has a dismal track record and bears significant responsibility for almost every major economic upheaval of the past 100 years, including the Great Depression, Seventies stagflation, and the recent financial crisis. And yet it always seems to get more powerful over time."

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Spot The Thug

Review & Outlook: Wisconsin Unions Get Ugly - "Having lost their fight in the legislature, Wisconsin unions are now getting out the steel pipes for those who don't step lively to their cause. A letter we've seen that was sent to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin shows that Big Labor's latest strategy is to threaten small businesses with boycotts if they don't publicly declare their support for government union monopoly power.

Dated March 28, 2011, the letter is addressed to 'DEAR UNION GROVE AREA BUSINESS OWNER/MANAGER,' in Racine County. And it begins with this warm greeting: 'It is unfortunate that you have chosen 'not' to support public workers rights in Wisconsin. In recent past weeks you have been offered a sign(s) by a public employee(s) who works in one of the state facilities in the Union Grove area. These signs simply said 'This Business Supports Workers Rights,' a simple, subtle and we feel non-controversial statement given the facts at this time.'

We doubt 'subtle' is the word a business owner would use to describe this offer he is being told he can't refuse."

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The Ad

GOP launches mock 'Obama 2012' ad - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room: "The ad, which features Obama riding a unicorn over a rainbow, declares: 'Four more years: America needs more changing.'

Republicans are taking aim at President Obama's impending reelection effort with a mock campaign ad outlining his first two years in office."

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