If you are a conservative, you have to laugh at the complete cluelessness shown in this article.
On a recent evening, more than 300 homeowners who are worried about their rising property tax bills filled First Unitarian Universalist Church in North Austin for a town hall meeting. If something doesn’t change, many said, they will soon be priced out of their homes.
Two nights later, a similar discussion played out in South Austin, where homeowners gathered at Grace United Methodist Church in Travis Heights to talk about what can be done to slow escalating residential tax values.
“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchen Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8,500 this year.
“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore. I’ll protest my appraisal notice, but that’s not enough. Someone needs to step in and address the big picture.
Last night I ended up going to the Magna Town Council meeting (a business I am affiliated with is moving into Magna this year and we had business before the council). In attendance was Luz Robles, Utah State Senator for District 1 and current Democrat endorsed candidate for Utah's 2nd Congressional district. Luz is a reasonable Democrat and has sponsored some decent legislation in the past so I was interested in hearing what she had to say.
After going through her legislative resume, she made some rather curious remarks. She said "Senator Thatcher (Daniel Thatcher GOP SD 12) claims to be the only Senator to represent Magna, but my district covers 4 precincts in Magna". Now given that I have worked a couple of campaigns in Magna, I found that statement to be rather curious. It did not match up to what I had seen in those elections. However, that was before redistricting, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Then, when asked what her district included, she mentioned that it went all the way to 8400 W - to the east side of 8400 W and all the way down to 4100 S. An audience member asked for clarification because he lives on the east side of 8400W. She reiterated that her district went to 8400 W and down to 4100S.
Because that seemed odd to me, I searched the district map today....Sure enough, her district goes to 8000 W - but only on the NORTH SIDE OF the 201 freeway. There are maybe 2 or 3 homes on that side of the freeway - the rest of that area is industrial. Her district also goes to 4100 S.....but it stops at 7200W there. That is ALL West Valley City - not one inch of Magna. As far as precincts goes, she has 1 full precinct (Mag901) and part of another (Mag4).
It's been a couple of weeks, so it's time for another Affordable Care Act round up of unexpected success stories....
One of the main pitches for the bill was that "everyone" would be insured. When the GOP took a look at some of the restrictions, their first question was "what good will it do everyone if the bill drives doctors out of the market?" as some of the regulations have done. Well we were assured that would never happen....well the unforeseen has happened. In Kentucky, in Texas, in California, in New York, in South Carolina and in New Jersey - to name a few - people with newly minted ACA cards are finding that they can't get a doctor to take their "insurance". And while the Ebony article tries to soften the blow on POTUS for these failures, the screaming headline ("When Doctors Slam the Doors on the Newly Insured…") speaks louder than the excuses.
It's not just doctors that are not accepting the new "insurance", hospitals are also not part of the new plans.
Just because you signed up for insurance on your exchange, and paid your first month's premium, does not mean that you have coverage - as many Rhode Island residents found out.
The perpetual outrage machine is in high gear as election season gears up. Some of the outraged outrage is directed at the usual GOP candidates. However, this protest has me chuckling over the sheer ignorance of the protesters.
There is no substitute for the warm feeling one when gets when standing up to bullies and bad men—even if taking that stand has little effect at all, and there may be more pressing causes to take up elsewhere. Moral outrage can be its own reward.
Take the Beverly Hills Hotel, for example, where a contingent of gay rights groups, ordinary citizens and celebrities are protesting the fact that the hotel’s owner, the Sultan of Brunei, has instituted a new Sharia-based criminal code in his home country to be phased in over a number of years. Among other things, the new Brunei laws will eventually punish gay people with death by stoning.
Now don't get me wrong - I am not for Sharia law at all, given how women are treated under Sharia law (although it is not mentioned as a reason for the boycott). And I do appreciate that people are starting to see that Gays suffer more under Islam than they think they do here. However, there is just so much ignorance to be had, starting with....
Given the barbaric nature of this punishment and the fact that the Beverly Hills Hotel offers elaborate same-sex wedding packages, protestors say the Sultan’s actions are deeply offensive and hypocritical.
This actually shows that the Sultan of Brunei is a little more tolerant than they give him credit for - allowing the wedding packages to continue being offered.
But then Time hits the protesters hard.....
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) had a great column in the Wall Street Journal last week on the state of business in America.
In pursuit of lower tax rates, American multinationals are merging with smaller foreign companies and moving their headquarters overseas. About 50 U.S. companies have leveraged this "inversion" tactic in the past 30 years—and more than 20 have done so in the past two years. And just recently we have seen Pfizer PFE +1.61% make a bid for AstraZeneca AZN.LN -10.49% that would move its tax domicile to the United Kingdom.
While they may not be breaking U.S. laws, many of these companies are navigating a loophole in America's broken and dysfunctional tax code.
Now you can be excused in thinking that this is going to delve into the progressives favorite attack on off-shoring and the free market, but you are wrong.
Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is out with his biography this week. The book has set tongues wagging because...
The White House wanted Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to lie on Sunday talk shows to downplay the part Social Security played in driving the deficit, it was revealed today.
Geithner writes in his memoir Stress Test, out today, that the White House communications director asked him to downplay the long term cost of Social Security spending to mollify the Democratic Party's base.
That is a pretty strong accusation (albeit one that conservatives have been making for years) to make without back-up.
'I remember during one Roosevelt Room prep session before I appeared on the Sunday shows, I objected when Dan Pfeiffer wanted me to say Social Security didn't contribute to the deficit. It wasn't a main driver of our future deficits, but it did contribute,' he says.
'Pfeiffer said the line was a 'dog whistle' to the left, a phrase I had never heard before. He had to explain that the phrase was code to the Democratic base, signaling that we intended to protect Social Security.
Suppose a male GOP Senator or Congressman had an affair with a staffer. What do you think the media's reaction would be? Do you think that they would be raking said Senator/Congressman over the coals as they did when Senator John Ensign had his affair? Or would they attempt to paint the whole thing as a partisan witch hunt? Now, suppose 20 years later, the mistress writes a tell all book - just in time for the Senators spouse to run for national office? What do you suppose the reaction would be? Would they be rushing to report on all of the gooey details in the book or do you think that they would be racing to paint the mistress as a political opportunist trying to bring down the Mrs. political career.....
Well, Monica Lewinsky is back in the news and has written an essay for Vanity Fair about her affair with President Bill "It depends on what your meaning of "is" is...." Clinton. The essay talks about the relationship (it was consensual) and the aftermath - where Lewinsky says the REAL abuse happened.....
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
And where were the feminists during all of this?
One of the latest attacks that the left has used on the right is the so called "War On Women". They accuse candidates on the right of engaging in said "War On Women" because they don't support abortion rights. Yet, when it comes the the REAL war on women they are deadly silent.
Case in point......Boko Haram. For those of you who only get your news from the alphabet soup television media, you are probably thinking "what does a '60s art rock band have to do with women's rights?". However, that would be Procol Harem. Boko Haram is an Islamic group that kidnapped over 200 school girls from their schools last month. For weeks, only British news outlets were reporting on this outrage. Thank goodness for the internet because people started posting those stories here in the US and asked a very simple question - why is this not a story in the US? Well, the US media is uninterested in large part because these girls are not wealthy, guilt ridden, liberal white women (a la Sandra Fluck), but I digress. While President Obama is finally doing something (he's sending in "advisers" where the Brits are sending in Special Forces), I wanted to focus on a couple of things....the silence of the so-called "women's rights" movement and how one of their key members is in part responsible for these girls being in danger.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who escaped from an Islamist life of oppression herself, has a heartbreaking column in today's Wall Street Journal.
Quite often, when debating the proper role of government, the left accuses the right of wanting no government at all. Then when someone on the right points out a place where government belongs, the left accuses them of hypocrisy. Case in point, this opinion column from Minnesota.
To set the stage, Minnesota is experiencing a pot hole crisis. A brutally cold snowy winter has morphed into a rainy spring which has led to epic pothole encounters. Meanwhile, the Minnesota legislature is putting more money into bike trails and urban parks, urban light rail, electric vehicle charging stations and new Senate Office Buildings. This has been an ongoing rant of mine since the I-35 bridge collapsed back in 2007. So when one writer (who is married to an Economics professor and former GOP state representative) wrote to her local paper talking about how the proper role of government IS FIXING ROADS, the comments from the left were not unexpected...
Isn't it interesting how some folks are ALL for the gov't when it comes to something THEY want? Their particular interest is where the priorities should be. Never mind that they have been whining for the gov't not to spend money and not to raise taxes.
Have the new and improved Urban Chickens come home to roost?
Yeah sweetie - because improved roads ONLY effect the writer....In response to the above, another commenter says...
It's been yet another crazy week that has taken me away from home and internet access (for blogging anyway). While I was out and about, I had a chance to read and digest a story that I stumbled across before I left last week.
President Obama has made the talking point of the election season income inequality. Robert Tracinski, writing for The Federalist, decided to take a look at where income inequality is worse - and the answer will come as no surprise if you are of a conservative leaning nature....
So now we know why the Democrats are adopting economic inequality as their central issue: because their constituents, the people who live under policies crafted by the left, are the ones who experience the highest degree of income inequality in their own lives.
That’s the upshot of a recent study of income inequality organized by congressional district: “Across the country, inequality is lower in Republican districts than in Democratic ones” and is “highest in the New York City district of Representative Jerry Nadler, a liberal Democrat.” Who has the congressional district with the least income inequality? That would be Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, who represents suburban Minneapolis.
Not so in the Twin Cities themselves. Minneapolis-St. Paul, a Democratic stronghold, is notable for a particularly high level of inequality between blacks and whites.
He cites a number of different studies to back up his claims. These studies all show that it is the policies of the left that are the cause of income inequality - not the solution.
Transparently secretive maybe? I wrote in March about the media starting to admit (amongst themselves anyway) about the secretive and controlling nature of the Obama administration. Well, in an interview with the Take-Away, NYTimes editor Jill Abramson takes it a step further.
In 2007, the Frontline documentary "News War" featured a series of interviews with Bill Keller, then the executive editor of Takeaway partner The New York Times. Frontline host Lowell Bergman asked Keller about freedom of the press under the Bush Administration.
"We have an administration that is more secretive and more hostile to the operations of the press probably than any since the Nixon administration," Keller replied.
As Bergman noted in the documentary, many prominent journalists and news organizations agreed with Keller. They may have even looked forward to the Obama years, hoping the new administration would have a change of heart.
Jill Abramson succeeded Keller as executive editor in July 2011, in the midst of the Obama era. She tells Takeaway host John Hockenberry that the White House's relationship with the press has only deteriorated.
"The Obama years are a benchmark for a new level of secrecy and control," says Abramson. "It's created quite a challenging atmosphere for The New York Times, and for some of the best reporters in my newsroom who cover national security issues in Washington."
How so, you may ask?
A quick ObamaCare news round up for a busy Monday morning.
First - say good bye to being able to buy health insurance when you WANT or need to. Thanks to ObamaCare, we all are subject to open enrollment periods only.
Americans thinking about buying health insurance on their own later this year, or maybe switching to a different insurer, are probably out of luck. The policies are going off the market as a little-noticed consequence of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
With limited exceptions, insurance companies have stopped selling until next year the sorts of individual plans that used to be available year-round. That locks out many of the young and healthy as well as the sick and injured, even those who can afford to buy without government subsidies.
The reports say "little noticed" a lot when talking about the ACA. The problem is, most of these "little noticed consequences" WERE NOTICED by those who actually read the bill. But their protestations were called paranoid and silly by the President and his cheerleaders in the media.
The Republican Party is roiling with internal conflicts, say the analysts. The tea party is confronting the establishment. The noninterventionists are at war (forgive the expression) with the interventionists. The libertarians would like the party to endorse same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, supposedly the firm fortress of the middle class, minorities and women, is actually showing some internal stresses as well. Little fissures are snaking through the crust, perhaps reflecting tectonic movement beneath.
My friend Gary Gross has been highlighting on of those fissures in his series on the environmentalists blocking the PolyMet mine which will bring hundreds of good paying UNION jobs to a part of Minnesota that is desperate for jobs. However, there are more than just that.
Just how bad are things looking for Democrats right now? Pretty bad if this KSTP/SurveyUSA poll is ANY indication.
Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as President? Asked of 600 Minnesotans. Of the group 543 are registered voters.
10% Not Sure
Margin of Sampling Error for this question = ± 4.3%
Now, of course the "registered voters" sample is not as good as a "likely voter" sample - hence the high sampling error.
This is deep blue Minnesota people....that can not be overstated enough.
Questions 6 & 7 are the heartburn questions for Democrats across the country.
Pleasant Grove police made a grisly discovery Saturday: seven dead infants, six of them in cardboard boxes.
Megan Huntsman, 39, was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of six counts of murder.
Police believe she gave birth to the babies then killed them over the past decade, according to a police news release.
On Saturday, police responded to a call from Huntsman’s ex-husband about a dead infant found inside a Pleasant Grove home that Huntsman lived in until 2011. Officers arrived and found the body of a newborn infant, who appeared to be full term, according to the release.
Ms. Huntsman has admitted to strangling or suffocating 6 of the infants.
The news has been full of the most delicious ironies this week. Starting with the outing of OKCupid (the company that eventually caused the downfall of Mozilla CEO Brenden Eich) CEO Sam Yagan as having donated to "anti-gay" candidate Chris Cannon (yes THAT Chris Cannon). Then in the midst of Harry Reid's Koch addled rantings, comes word that Senator Chuck Schumer AND Harry Reid both have taken Koch money! Now comes word that President "Equal Pay for Equal Work" does not provide equal pay to the women in HIS office! CNN calls it a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do". Even more entertainingly ironic was this chyron on CNN during the President's speech about the importance of his "Equal Pay Day".