The Final Minority Report

Because Even Minorities Oppose Liberalism & Statism

Rangel: “Don’t Ask Questions About My Taxes”

I’m actually surprised that Rangel didn’t use the old mantra that it’s racist to question a black man. Seriously. At least he was honest about how he feels about reporters doing…ya know, actual reporting.

Our intrepid Hot Air TV special correspondent Jason Mattera is back on Capitol Hill! You’ve watched him corner smear merchants Jack Murtha and John Kerry, ask William “Cold Cash” Jefferson for bribe-freezing tips, and roam the Democrat National Convention in an orange Gitmo suit exposing far Left insanity. This time he catches tax cheat Charlie Rangel and confronts him about his mounting ethical and financial scandals.

Charlie Rangel’s message for Jason – and for all you bothersome taxpayers wondering about his shady rental property deals, publicly-subsidized Cadillac, and unpaid taxes:

“Why don’t you mind your goddamned business?”

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03/10/2009 Posted by | tax cheats | | Leave a comment

Another Failed Obama Appointee

Another ill-considered appointment in the Barack Obama administration has come to an abrupt halt. Dennis Blair has reconsidered his choice of Chas Freeman as chair of the National Intelligence Council:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair announced today that Ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.

The more people found out about Freeman, the worse he got — and not just among conservative critics. His ties to CNOOC, his remarks about the Tiananmen Square protesters, and his support of a national ID after 9/11 painted a strange picture of the man who would run the process of evaulating our intelligence. That, plus the fact that Freeman had no intelligence experience — when the CIA also has a no-experience political fixer running it — doomed Freeman’s appointment.

Apparently, the Obama administration got the message from the Hill today. Dianne Feinstein requested that Freeman make himself available to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, signaling that she was not pleased with Blair’s choice. The White House had let Blair twist in the wind when Freeman started taking flack, first among Israel’s allies in DC and later as more critics began to speak out. They pointed out that the White House had no input on the choice and no opportunity to vet Freeman before Blair announced his pick.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Obama - Cabinet | | Leave a comment

Left Activists and Obama White House: Let’s Coordinate Attacks

How many faintly ominous pieces has Politico run this year about people close to Obama colluding to target their political enemies? There was the story about Rahm Emanuel’s friendly daily chats with Begala, Carville, and Stephanopoulos, then there was the expose on the group effort (“explicitly authorized” by David Axelrod) to make Rush Limbaugh the face of the GOP, and now this. No wonder Ben Smith’s using the word “conspiracy.”

Question to our resident Politico-haters: Has any other publication written extensively about this sort of thing? If so, I missed it.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Political Attacks | | Leave a comment

Contributors Wanted

One thing that people have asked about before is whether you have to use your real name when blogging. The answer is no. You use a user ID that allows you post under an alias. Mine is “ellatinolaw”. Not much of a surprise.

Secondly, the blog heading indicates that it is a website run by minorities. But by minorities, I don’t mean the political meaning minorities. I refer to it as a broad definition of minorities – e.g., Catholics, social conservatives, pro-life activists, non-crazed professor feminists, etc.

Third, being a blogger does NOT require you to reinvent the wheel which means that, if the only thing you want to do is link to another person’s website on a topic that you agree or disagree, then that works too. Just add a one-liner and its good to go. OR you can always write a pithy article if you wanted to.

Right now, most of my posts are focused on the Obama administration and its mishaps. However, I would like to add in more posts regarding the issues I have raised above. Part of the lack of issues is that the websites that I normally read from do NOT carry all the issues listed above. Hence, I could use contributors that could help out with that area.

Anyhow, let me know if you need more information.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Contributors | | Leave a comment

Government Forcing Catholic Hospitals to Stay Open?

My friend Jazz Shaw has an, er, interesting take on my post regarding FOCA and Catholic hospitals. He finds the final option of closure by Catholic bishops opposed to government coercion of abortions so distasteful that he wonders aloud whether the Catholic Church can be allowed to close its hospitals, or whether farmers can choose not to farm:

One of the fundamental dangers – widely and correctly considered to be a threat to our national security – of allowing foreign, potentially hostile nations to control our supply of oil, is the concern that they could cut it off at any time for any reason to our detriment. They might do it for religious or political reasons, or perhaps as part of a larger war effort. This is why it’s important to boost our own supplies. If we are to take the Catholic Church at their word, then FOCA and the larger abortion question have nothing to do with this question. The true issue is that they are apparently willing to cut off all emergency, required medical support to their individual communities because they do not agree with restrictions and legislation passed by the lawfully elected government of the United States.

First, Catholic hospitals are not owned by “foreign, potentially hostile nations.” They’re usually owned by the diocese, and sometimes by Catholic orders which exist independent of the diocese relationship. They receive their funds from parishioners in that diocese as well as through such fees as can be collected from patients and their insurers. Unlike OPEC, they don’t operate a monopoly. Anyone can open a hospital in the US, as long as they don’t mind losing money as Catholic hospitals do, thanks to their charitable work in low-income communities. That’s a strange analogy to use.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Anti-Catholic Legislation | | Leave a comment

Tea Time – Part II

Lots of folks in these parts are pretty “steamed” about the performance of their government and the direction that the nation they love is headed. That’s why we think it’s the perfect time for another Thomasville Tea Party, a hybrid redux of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 that set the stage for the American Revolution.

Discord between the voters and the people they count on to represent them has been brewing for quite some time. That was clear during two recent citizens meetings at the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium.

In advance news coverage of the initial gathering last fall, we expressed hope that the “Thomasville Tea Party” might serve as the start of something larger, perhaps a movement that would expand across the state and nation. We wanted people to educate themselves and get involved in the process of government instead of being vaguely interested onlookers at the wreck our country has become.

Thankfully, it seems others are indeed following Thomasville’s lead. On Feb. 27, bolstered by an on-air rant by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, a combined 30,000 people gathered in 40 cities to protest the federal government’s growing penchant for bailouts and so-called stimulus packages. These confiscatory policies have piled a mountain of debt on current taxpayers and several generations yet to be born.

“Tea parties” are popping up all across America. Since Thomasville’s second meeting in January, Washington, D.C., Fayetteville, N.C., Pittsburgh, Penn., San Diego, Calif., Fort Worth, Texas, Tulsa, Okla., Oklahoma City, Okla., Orlando, Fla., Omaha, Neb., Atlanta and others have hosted them. Monterey, Calif., Green Bay, Wisc., and Harrisburg, Pa., conducted similar events last weekend.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Tea Party | | Leave a comment

The Future of Pensions in the US

This could be the US in the next 20 years! Hooray for horrendous social and fiscal policies!

March 3 (Bloomberg) — The Chicago Transit Authority retirement plan had a $1.5 billion hole in its stash of assets in 2007. At the height of a four-year bull market, it didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay its retirees through 2013, meaning it was underfunded to the tune of 62 percent.

The CTA, which manages the second-largest public transit system in the U.S., had to hope for a huge contribution from the Illinois state legislature. That wasn’t going to happen.

Then the authority found an answer.

“We’ve identified the problem and a solution,” said CTA Chairman Carole Brown on April 16, 2007. The agency decided to raise money from a bond sale.

So far so good, eh? I mean especially if you don’t think about it too hard. After all, the only way a scheme to borrow money to plug a fiscal hole can work is if you are earning more from investing that cash that you are paying out in interest. Makes sense right?

Your investment gains have to exceed your interest costs or the scheme becomes a sure-fire money loser.

Well, here’s the punch line:

In the CTA deal, the fund borrowed $1.9 billion by promising to pay bondholders a 6.8 percent return. The proceeds of the bond sale, held in a money market fund, earned 2 percent — 70 percent less than what the fund was paying for the loan.

Wow. I am speechless. That was the “plan”?

Borrow at 6.5% and earn 2%
?

03/10/2009 Posted by | Pensions | | Leave a comment

Fighting Pork Barrel Spending

Arizona congressman Jeff Flake, who is fed up with the process, recently tried to get the House ethics committee to investigate links between congressional earmarks and campaign contributions.

Not surprisingly, his resolution died – despite the support of nearly all House Republicans, including those who represent North Texas districts, and 17 Democrats, including Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, the sole Texas Democrat in Flake’s corner.

Therein is the problem. Most in Congress lack the will to police themselves, preferring to rail against wasteful earmarks while discreetly fattening up spending bills with pet projects. Flake and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, who doesn’t earmark any project, are among the few exceptions.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Pork | | Leave a comment

Some Democrats Dissent on Obama’s Spending Agenda

Democratic leaders in Congress did not expect much Republican support as they pressed President Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda. But the pushback they are receiving from some of their own has come as an unwelcome surprise.

As the Senate inches closer to approving a $410 billion spending bill, the internal revolt has served as a warning to party leaders pursuing Obama’s far-reaching plans for health-care, energy and education reform.

Those goals, spelled out in Obama’s 2010 budget blueprint, continue to enjoy broad Democratic support. But as the ideas develop into detailed legislation, they will transform from abstract objectives into a tangle of difficult trade-offs. Crop subsidies, the student loan program and Medicare radiology rules are all currently niche concerns, but any one could become the next crisis for party leaders, with the potential to derail a major agenda item. One major proposal, to limit itemized deductions for wealthy taxpayers, has already raised doubts among prominent Democrats in both chambers.

03/10/2009 Posted by | Former Obama Supporters, Obama - Spending Bills | , | Leave a comment

Obama Declares War on Business, Unemployment Spikes

Back in the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson gave us the War on Poverty. In the 1970s, Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs. Now that we have seen President Barack Obama’s first-year legislative agenda, we know what kind of a war he intends to wage.

It is no wonder that markets are imploding around us. Obama is giving us the War on Business.

Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?

He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action.

Another diabolical idea would be to significantly increase taxes on whatever firms are still standing. That would require subterfuge, since increasing tax rates would be too obvious. Our Manchurian Candidate would have plenty of sophisticated ideas on changing the rules to get more revenue without increasing rates, such as auctioning off “permits.”

These steps would create near-term distress. If our Manchurian Candidate leader really wanted to knock the country down for good, he would have to provide insurance against any long-run recovery.

If you are ever end up walking to the unemployment line in order to find a job or collect unemployment benefits, then remember to thank your local Obama ’08 Supporter!

03/10/2009 Posted by | Obama - Domestic Policy, Obama - Spending Bills | | Leave a comment